Wacko comments of the week

Some of the nastiest emails and comments I get are from defenders of woomeisters like Rupert Sheldrake (who complained to my provost about me a few weeks ago) and Deepak Chopra. There’s a penchant for woo that runs deep in some people.

From reader “Someone who knows,” commenting on a post about Tanzi and Deepak Chopra’s theory of “self-directed evolution”.  I love the aside that I’ve never been in a lab.  Note that in none of these comments so far—and this one includes a gratuitous insult—do the readers have the guts to identify themselves with their real names. If the person was forced to use  his real name (I’m assuming it’s a male), do you suppose he would have added the last word? I again would urge readers to use their real names while commenting, though I understand why many will not and will respect their reasons to remain pseudonymous.

“What mystifies me is that this article is co-written with Rudolph Tanzi, a neuroscientist at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital, described in the article as “Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit and Vice-Chair of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Co author with Deepak Chopra, Super Brain.” Why would a respectable scientist lend his name to..”

Perhaps because this is cutting edge science and is in fact….. real.

Are you a qualified doctor or neuroscientist? What qualifies you to talk about scientific data and theories with no qualifications or knowledge? Do I see you in a lab? No.

Did you think science would just ‘stop’ finding out new things. Undermining someone else and their research doesn’t automatically intelligent, it makes you automatically ignorant. Ignorance by the way, means you are with the absolute stupidest people on the whole planet, congratulations on your ignorance!! Bravo! Cunt.

Note that the theory I was posting about, “self-directed evolution,” is about genetics and evolution—precisely my area of expertise. Being an M.D. doesn’t provide any more credibility to discuss that. Note as well that this commenter plays the “credentials card” to defend Tanzi and Chopra’s theory, even though I raised real scientific arguments against it (arguments that “One Who Knows” doesn’t seem to understand, or care about).

***

Reader Mark, an obvious sympathizer with Intelligent Design, comments on a post critical of Stephen Meyer’s interpretation of the Cambrian “explosion” as the handiwork of Jesus, “A paleontologist’s response to Darwin’s Dilemma“:

You assume there was 40 million years to play with. There is no known study that I have ever seen that dates the exact time it had taken. It could have been as short as 200 thousand or even overnight nobody knows yet. They are setting up more accurate ways of measurement to see just how long it did take, so I will wait and see before I stick my head out only to get it stepped on when that data comes out. Something in the plus or minus range of 5% will do.

Second, it doesn’t answer why we have the Yunnan Cambrian find producing embryonic cell and embryos once thought impossible to find in the fossil records. It clearly can be seen and observed under an electron microscope. So the theory that no soft body animals could be found is false.

I might add the study saying evolution was 5 times greater then the Big Bang would require “Special Evolution” to happen only once then stop. That is not Darwinian or even Neo Darwinian theory as it breaks all the rules of simple naturalistic, random mutations, unguided process mechanism. It’s not even reducible to smaller simple cell proteins or amino acids that could account for this special evolution to even happen without special modeling and certain human fudging on restrictions they’ve applied to get the result they wanted. I might add they did it so quick I was even amazed it had only taken 4 or 5 years with no hypotheses was ever established much less a theory where others could follow along on the progress. It just appeared as if it was planed in secret.

One thing we can definitely say about the Cambrian “Explosion” is that it didn’t take place overnight. Estimates range from 10-40 million years, one can absolutely rule out 200,000 years. And while the length of the explosion is subject to debate (it’s somewhat subjective, of course), the dating of the Cambrian is not subject to debate.

As for the “theory” that no “soft body animals” could be found, that’s just bunk, of course. Nobody ever argued that; what we claim is that the process of fossilization is such that it makes the preservation of animals with only soft parts much rarer, as they are eaten or eroded away before they can be mineralized. But of course we find them. It’s curious that this comment somehow sees this as a refutation of evolutionary theory.

As for the last paragraph, it’s incoherent. This, of course, is common among fulminating creationists.

***

This last, and worst, comment is from “Enochered” in Ireland, who has a website also touting Hitler. He/she was commenting on a post about how “Lots of Irish people admire Hitler.” And the reader simply buttresses my claim.  The Irish, of course, were

Well that was an exhausting business, reading through all of those totally false claims about Adolf Hitler. I have not come across such a frighteningly absurd bunch of ideas about the Third Reich, since I was caught up in a difference with an MSNBC group of bigots. Apart from one or two exceptions, there is not one word of truth or reality in this example of brain-dead received notions about WW2. De Valera himself sent a letter to the Germans expressing his sadness, on hearing of the death of Hitler. I have only one thing to say here. Of all the countries which took part in WW2 Hitler and the German people, were by far the most honourable of them all.

It is true that Irish Prime Minister Eamon De Valera did sign a book of condolences at the German Embassy in Dublin after Hitler’s death, and expressed condolences in other places, though I’m not sure if he sent a letter to the Germans.  De Valera said he did this simply as a matter of diplomatic courtesy, though he didn’t extend this same courtesy to the British when Churchill died in 1965.

One can argue about whether De Valera’s neutrality was an expression of support for the Nazis, or simply just a refusal to take sides, but the same can’t be said for the many Irish who hoped that Hitler would defeat the allies in World War II, a hope fueled by hatred of the British. And, surprisingly, some of that admiration for Hitler remains seventy years after the war ended, a fact documented in my earlier post. This commenter, by saying that Hitler and the German people were more admirable than any country who participated in the war, shows himself or herself to be a contemptible human being.

104 Comments

  1. Posted February 15, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Are you sure you want to be giving the link to the Nazi blog?

  2. Posted February 15, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Can’t resist: “It just appeared as if it was planed in secret.”

    What else is about to come out of the woodwork?

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      I think he means it was flown in on space-going DC-8s.

      • lisa parker
        Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        You must have seen The Iron Sky.

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    That first message is just amusing. If that person were a squirrel, he would see Jerry in the lab all the time. He’s probably just jealous of the squirrels getting treats & that’s why he ended with a swear.

    I’m so glad Jerry sees the last paragraph of the second one as incoherent as well because I couldn’t figure out if that was me or not.

    • Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Well, the person is clearly not a squirrel outside Jerry’s lab. And from the way the person writes, I’m pretty sure that they have never been near any other lab, either.

      And, for what it’s worth, the last paragraph of the second one is totally incoherent. If that person has been near a lab, it’s one that makes chemicals that injure neurons!

    • steve oberski
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      What did those poor squirrels ever do to deserve that invidious comparison ?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Not a comparison – I said he wasn’t the squirrels and he was jealous of them. :)

  4. John Hamill
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    As an Irish person, I’m deeply embarrassed by this. Please know that this guy is a lone crackpot and that there is no movement or organisation of any size in Ireland that sympathises with his view. Valid criticism of British foreign policy over hundreds of years, especially with regard to the behaviour of their armed forces, is absolutely no excuse for this kind of idiotic revisionism.

    • Rory
      Posted February 16, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      As another Irish person, I second John’s comment and I share his embarassment. While it should be noted that thejournal.ie attracts some of the most rabid “hang ‘em & flog ‘em & send ‘em home” commenters of any Irish website, such authoritarian right opinions are not rare in Ireland. On the other hand the country has been generally moving in an ever-more progressive direction for some time now and the age old animosity to the British and loyalty to the Catholic church are both in steady decline.

  5. Posted February 15, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Gerry I thought your post on how lots of Irish are sympathetic to Hitler was very silly and based on a comment from a few nut jobs. Hardly proof that LOTS of Irish are sympathetic to Hitler. I know of absolutely no Hitler lovers amongst my fellow Irish. If you are going to slur an entire race please provide some statistics. There are nuts in every country and this shouldn’t be used as away of slurring an entire race. Also historical interest aside, the attitudes of the Irish during WW2 has no bearing on how people think now. I don’t know anybody who hates the British… Though things were different during WW2 for a variety of historical reasons. That said as a country we should have supported the fight against the Nazis.

    • Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      But let’s not forget the shenanigans of Eoin O’Duffy.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Pro tip: it’s a good idea to have a firm grasp of the word, “race” before you chastise an evolutionary biologist.

      • John Hamill
        Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Pro tip: evolutionary biologists do not have a monopoly on the definition of all words and the word “race” has frequently been used as a synonym for national affiliation, among other things:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(human_classification)

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          I see you didn’t read that article all the way through and therefore missed the meaning of what I said above.

          • John Hamill
            Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            I’ve just read it all the way through. It was very interesting actually. Every day is a school day.

            Still, I think any reasonable person reading the comment posted by surtymind knew what he was saying and the admonishment on the biological definition of ‘race’ was gratuitous.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

              I disagree, every reasonable person should question incorrectly used language, especially the use of contentious words like “race” and especially on a site like this one.

              • John Hamill
                Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

                The point was, in the parlance of informal discourse on any topic (such as the proportion of people in a country who may hold a particular view) the same word can have more than one meaning. If we insisted that all words must only mean exactly what an academic text book may define them as, then a simple conversation (say on a message forum) would be impossible. I could point out that the word ‘race’ means something very different in a sports science text book or in a computer science text book.

                It would really require a huge effort to view the use of race in the comment made by surtymind as contentious. The comment was clearly about the statistical proportion of Irish people who hold a particular view. It was clearly not about an athletics race, a race condition in a computing system, or the biological definition of race.

                To attempt to construe the comment as relating to biological race serves only to facilitate point-scoring. Any reasonable reader would interpret the use of ‘race’ as an informal synonym for nationality and not an attempt and genetic analysis.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

                It would really require a huge effort to view the use of race in the comment made by surtymind as contentious.

                To attempt to construe the comment as relating to biological race serves only to facilitate point-scoring. Any reasonable reader would interpret the use of ‘race’ as an informal synonym for nationality and not an attempt and genetic analysis.

                I can’t believe I have to point this out, but here it goes. You have completely missed the nighjar on this one. Please point out where I “view the use of race in the comment made by surtymind as contentious.”? I said that the word “race” is contentious, not the comment (which I thought was misguided, but I didn’t address that and Jerry did already). You’ll get that “race” is contentious, if you’ve read the Wikipedia article you referenced.

                I was pointing out the inaccurate use of the word “race” because using such a word inaccurately, is pretty loaded on a site about evolution, in a post about a person who sympathizes with Hitler, a man who committed genocide on the basis of his pretty strong and controversial opinions about the concept of “race”. My point is, if you’re going to use words within these contexts, it’s in your best interest to make sure you get them right. Context is everything.

              • John Hamill
                Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

                Diana,

                I think the original comment was pretty clear in making a point about the insignificant number of people in Ireland who sympathise with Hitler. I also think it’s pretty unfair to use that as the basis of a finger-wagging discussion on the biological definition of the word ‘race’. You have pointed out that this can be a contentious area and you are of course correct. It’s just not fair to paint the original comment in a racially contentious context. The word was used very informally to refer to the Irish people and not as an attempt at genetic or biological analysis of a specific population.

                John.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

                OMG! I did not paint the original comment in a racially contentious context. Stop trying to twist things.

                I also didn’t finger wag, I sneered. You finger wagged. :/

              • John Hamill
                Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

                Hi Diana,

                I think we’re probably talking in circles here as I imagine we disagree on little in broad terms. On this particular thread though, I thought you issued a missive on the biological definition of ‘race’ when the word was not used in that kind of formal manner. I also think that you justified this by introducing the contentious nature of the word race and insisting that everyone must be aware of this context, even when the comment was clearly just referring very informally to ‘Irish people’.

                Best,
                John.

              • pacopicopiedra
                Posted February 16, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

                Yes. John, give up. Diana is correct.

              • John Hamill
                Posted February 17, 2014 at 3:34 am | Permalink

                Wow … hard to argue with the power of that logic.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I don’t think that Jerry suggested at all in his original article that this was a majority opinion in Ireland. Of course people who come out in favor of Hitler are regarded as the lunatic fringe.

      However, because you don’t know anybody who espouses backwards and ignorant ideas doesn’t mean they don’t exist. To be sure it isn’t an opinion you are going to find endorsed at universities or in the mainstream media. But yes, sadly, they do exist. I have personally come across a number of people who are seemingly perfectly sane lovely people who none the less manage to come up with such gems as:
      “I just hate the English” (without any trace of irony)
      and
      “I’ve nothing against Protestants myself, but…”
      This in the 21st century in the Republic of Ireland.

      • John Hamill
        Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        None of that supports the original contention that “lots of Irish people admire Hitler”. To be honest, I think that is a silly comment and no effort has been made to support it. If I pointed to the web site of the American Nazi Party and stated that lots of Americans admire Hitler, lots of Americans might raise an eyebrow with some justification.

        • Larry Gay
          Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          As an American I fully accept the indisputable fact that there are many Hitler admirers in this country. The Southern Poverty Law Center is working day and night to expose them and prosecute them when they break the law. I hope the SPLC has a counterpart in Ireland.

          • John Hamill
            Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

            If there were a formal organisation that professed sympathy with Nazi-ism in Ireland, they certainly wouldn’t last long. The wacko that Jerry correctly referred to as a wacko was treated with ridicule.

            I believe there were many people in Britain who had sympathy with Hitler too. They were called ‘The Royal Family’.

      • Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Jerry said LOTS of Irish support Hitler the evidence he provided was from one person. You gave a bit of anecdotal evidence. If he wants his very silly claims to be taken seriously he needs to provide statistical evidence. Short of that there is absolutely no reason to take his views seriously.

    • Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      First, my name is spelled “Jerry,” not “Gerry.” Second, did you read the original post. There were about two dozen people admiring Hitler on that thread alone, and that is a lot of pro-Hitler comments for a news article. I don’t need to provide percentages: numbers will do, and that, to me, is a big number for a small thread. As I said in the original post:

      To their credit, many listeners called in and expressed disgust with his sentiments; you can hear their comments here. But what distresses me is a pretty big selection of pro-Hitler comments on the Journal website; reader Grania provided a selection (and these links) below; you can see more written comments here.

      • John Hamill
        Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        I fully agree on the nature of the comments, Jerry. As an Irish person, I would add embarrassing to disgusting and distressing.

        For what it’s worth, I counted the wacko commenters on that thread on the fingers of one hand … rather than there being two dozen.

        Do you think there is any country in the world that doesn’t have that number of wacko Hitler sympathisers? Ireland as a nation has many many faults. Supporting a significant number of Hitler sympathisers is not one of them. It’s really not.

        • Filippo
          Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          “It is true that Irish Prime Minister Eamon De Valera did sign a book of condolences at the German Embassy in Dublin after Hitler’s death . . . De Valera said he did this simply as a matter of diplomatic courtesy, though he didn’t extend this same courtesy to the British when Churchill died in 1965.”

          For the record, do you disapprove of De Valera’s signing a Hitler condolence book (and not one for Churchill)?

          For anyone who knows: did De Valera condemn The Holocaust?

          • John Hamill
            Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know of anyone in Ireland who has referred to the Holocaust without condemning it unequivocally. I’m not a historian or an expert but I believe that de Valera had been friendly with the German Ambassador to Ireland before the Nazi party came to power … but I could be wrong on that but I think that was the context in which he visited the Germany embassy after the war.

            In terms of de Valera and Churchill, it is worth remembering that de Valera spent much of his adult life fighting a war with Britain. The behaviour of Churchill towards the Irish and in other military adventures is not beyond reproach either. I don’t think that a failure to display an uncritical and fawning demeanour towards Churchill is necessarily a bad thing. I don’t think Gandhi was necessarily a big Churchill fan either.

            • Jeffrey
              Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

              Didn’t de Valera let German submarines dock and refuel in Irish ports? That would hardly make Ireland neutral in WW2.
              Sure Churchill was no saint, but then neither was Gandhi. In his early days in South Africa he was quite racist against the black Africans.

              • John Hamill
                Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

                Nope … quite the opposite. Irish policy was to be “neutral in favour of the Allies”.

                Viscount Cranborne, the British Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, wrote a letter[when?] to the British War Cabinet regarding Irish-British collaboration during 1939–1945:[46]

                • They agreed to our use of Lough Foyle for naval and air purposes. The ownership of the Lough is disputed, but the Southern Irish authorities are tacitly not pressing their claim in present conditions and are also ignoring any flying by our aircraft over the Donegal shore of the Lough, which is necessary in certain wind conditions to enable flying boats to take off the Lough.
                • They have agreed to use by our aircraft based on Lough Erne of a corridor over Southern Irish territory and territorial waters for the purpose of flying out to the Atlantic.
                • They have arranged for the immediate transmission to the United Kingdom Representative’s Office in Dublin of reports of submarine activity received from their coast watching service.
                • They arranged for the broadening of reports by their Air observation Corps of aircraft sighted over or approaching Southern Irish territory. (This does not include our aircraft using the corridor referred to in (b) above.)
                • They arranged for the extinction of trade and business lighting in coastal towns where such lighting was alleged to afford a useful landmark for German aircraft.
                • They have continued to supply us with meteorological reports.
                • They have agreed to the use by our ships and aircraft of two wireless direction-finding stations at Malin Head.
                • They have supplied particulars of German crashed aircraft and personnel crashed or washed ashore or arrested on land.
                • They arranged for staff talks on the question of co-operation against a possible German invasion of Southern Ireland, and close contact has since been maintained between the respective military authorities.
                • They continue to intern all German fighting personnel reaching Southern Ireland. On the other hand, though after protracted negotiations, Allied service personnel are now allowed to depart freely and full assistance is given in recovering damaged aircraft.
                • Recently, in connection with the establishment of prisoner of war camps in Northern Ireland, they have agreed to return or at least intern any German prisoners who may escape from Northern Ireland across the border to Southern Ireland.
                • They have throughout offered no objection to the departure from Southern Ireland of persons wishing to serve in the United Kingdom Forces nor to the journey on leave of such persons to and from Southern Ireland (in plain clothes).
                • They have continued to exchange information with our security authorities regarding all aliens (including Germans) in Southern Ireland.
                • They have (within the last few days) agreed to our establishing a Radar station in Southern Ireland for use against the latest form of submarine activity.

              • Kieran
                Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

                This pops up from time to time but there is no evidence to support German U-boats re-fueling in Ireland. Robert Fisk who wrote his PhD on this topic find stories but no hard evidence http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-german-uboats-refuelled-in-ireland-surely-not-2356105.html

          • NewEnglandBob
            Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            De Valera’s helped the resistance, surreptitiously during the war.

    • Marta
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      “Irish” is a “race” now?

      • Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        This is news to me. I guess that since I’m an American of Irish, German and Italian parentage, I can consider myself mixed race. And since I live in a disadvantaged part of town, and am mixed race, I qualify for additional tax and business benefits at the public expense. The things I learn from some of the commenters here… ;-)

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          I actually thought the same of myself. My parents come from two different former British colonies & their families were in those countries for many generations, meaning they met lots of other people. I have Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh, French, German (and the Germans were Jews) & Maori so I guess I’m mixed race too.

          • Graham Martin-Royle
            Posted February 15, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

            Me, I’m a thoroughbred Englishman, or as I like to call myself, a mongrel. :-)

    • aljones909
      Posted February 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      “as a country we should have supported the fight against the Nazis”. Many Irish did join british forces to resist the nazis. They were designated traitors when they returned home. The visceral hatred of the english/british seems mainly confined to an older generation. A Dublin taxi driver once told me of his admiration for the british royals (I think Prince Charles was visiting). Maybe he was trying to be friendly. When I told him of my own anti monarchist views he still held to his original position.

  6. Posted February 15, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Similarly, the study saying the hand of Jebus was 5 times greater than the Big Bang would require “Special Pleading.”

  7. Greg Esres
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    “Being an M.D. doesn’t provide any more credibility to discuss that. ”

    Surely it provides less?

    • Harrison
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      That doesn’t really make sense. The only credentials that would make a person less credible than a layman in discussing any topic would be out and out antiscientific or pseudoscientific credentials.

  8. Christine Janis
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Note that this paper shows that rates of evolution during the “Cambrian explosion”, at least among arthropods, were no greater than the fastest known rates today.

    Lee, MS et al. Rates of phenotypic and genomic evolution during the Cambrian explosion. Curr Biol. 2013 Oct 7;23(19):1889-95.

    What is really funny is, that when this paper came out in October, the DI seized upon it as something that had obviously been written in response to “Darwin’s Doubt” but which *didn’t even mention Meyer*!

    However, if you look at the actual paper, you can see that it was submitted in May, before the publication of Meyer’s treatise.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      The DI always thinks that everything is about them; they haven’t come to grips yet with the fact that the only people looking at them are only doing so in order to laugh at them.

  9. Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing your abuse with us. It is fascinating for some reason.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Like the crash on the other carriageway of the road … you know you shouldn’t watch, but it just draws your eyes.

  10. NewEnglandBob
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    First comment, last word:
    Chopra Undermines Neurology with Tanzi

    • natalielaberlinoise
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      First comment, last word: isn’t that just the guy’s signature? Sometimes people leave their nicknames (I resisted…) like this naked at the end. Don’t they? I’ll do that now to demonstrate. Nat.

      • pacopicopiedra
        Posted February 16, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        I have no idea what you think New England Bob meant, but I’m pretty sure you misunderstood his comment.

        • pacopicopiedra
          Posted February 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          I should add that it appears very easy to misunderstand and quite presumptuous as it declares his first thought to be the last word on the matter, with no discussion whatsoever. Unless I misunderstood him.

  11. Stonyground
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Sorry to be OT here but I came across a really good post that relates to accomodationism. I’m posting here because I thought that if I put this comment at the end of a long thread on a post that is several days old then hardly anyone would see it. Peter Hearty runs a blog that comments on a daily three minute sermon that appears on BBC Radio 4. The post in question is comment number four by Steve.

    http://www.platitudes.org.uk/platblog/comments.php?y=14&m=02&entry=entry140213-073659

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Thank you. As a regular listener to “Today”, I find the “Thought for the Day” slot pretty irritating. In spite of pressure, the BBC has so far refused to open this slot to Humanists. I particularly liked the comment by “Steve”. His point is, that Science Vs Religion is a false dichotomy – it should be Science Vs Wrong. Well argued.

      • thh1859
        Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Some years ago Richard Dawkins was invited to compose a three-minute “Thought for the Day”. This was broadcast (but obviously not in the religious spot). I wish I had a transcript. It was brilliant.

  12. Richard Olson
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    It’s also at least as equally disturbing as fascinating. A bit of exposure to this is useful to me in that I’m confronted with the evidence of some of the rather frightening thinking that occurs among my fellows. Where I reside, there are many who have quite a number of extreme prejudicial opinions.

    Conservative media and this group have a direct relationship, imo. On a more or less daily daily basis some members of this group immerse themselves to a worrisome extent in passionate drama rhetoric, resulting in not a few who are from time to time only a hair trigger away from hostile confrontation on an instant’s notice with a perceived ideological opponent. Comments like those to JAC serve as a useful reminder that it is prudent for me to be cautious and wary when vocally expressing myself in some public settings.

  13. Occam
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    “Enochered” surely must have jacked the crackpot.

    By his permanently dimmed lights, Climate Change is a weather-engineered scam.

    But the real gem, the juiciest morsel of certifiable paranoia, concerns, predictably, JFK: his assassination was concocted by, wait for it, the Rothschilds!

    « Baruch and Morganthau, were the main protagonists, during the war against Germany. Churchill was financed by Baruch, who settled all of his gambling debts and made sure his little sexual experiments remained hidden, while Onassis, of course, supplied the heroin. »

    « Onassis was a high ranking Illuminati, his brother-in-law, Stavrov Niarchos is a Bilderberger, who was married to one of Henry Ford’s daughters, was a friend of Bernard Baruch and worked closely with Rockefeller. There is also evidence that Stavros and Onassis spent time in Italy with the Duke of Edinburgh and Baron Rothschild, shooting birds. »

    “Shooting birds”: stealthy nightjars, by all accounts.

    « When one mentions the Mafia, despite the fact that we have long been led to believe that the Mafia was Italian, all of the main players, Meyer Lansky, Jack Ruby and of course Onassis himself were Jews. When Rothschild, Rockefeller and the City of London appear on the scene, well everything falls into place. So it appears that it was one homogeneous group of killers, which included the Bush family and the controlled, soon to be President LBJ and the future Presidents, Nixon and Reagan. »

    Now, could somebody please confirm the presence of the 82nd Airborne and the 75th Ranger on the Grassy Knoll?

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      “Now, could somebody please confirm the presence of the 82nd Airborne and the 75th Ranger on the Grassy Knoll?”

      Don’t be ridiculous, it was the Queen’s Guards in conjunction with the Swiss guards sent by Pope Paul VI

      • merilee
        Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        The flaming gay Swiss Guards;-)

        • NewEnglandBob
          Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          It is Queen’s Guards, not Queens Guards. :)

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Crispin Jago’s guide to conspiracy theories

      Crucial reference material!

      • Occam
        Posted February 16, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        That’s what THEY would like you to believe.

    • Occam
      Posted February 16, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Now that THEY are coming after me, here’s what really happened on that fateful day in Dallas, based on the Snowden files.

      The obvious suspects, if you knew what to look for: The Horsemen. (They’ve been accused of every evil under the sun, so why not this one. Who was to stop them anyway, with God being dead?)

      True, Dawkins and Hitchens had unassailable alibis in November ’63: Dawkins ostensibly fiddling with a cellist, and Hitchens being a mere lad of fourteen. In my world, we call that good cover.
      Sam Harris couldn’t make it: he was caught between a disambiguation page and an unborn identity.

      True to form, Christopher Hitchens showed up camouflaged as the Johnnie Walker Black Label dandy, complete with walking stick. But the prop turned out genuine, so that shot never happened. The bâton was mistaken for an umbrella; the myth of the Umbrella Man was born.

      Richard Dawkins disguised himself as the Blind Watchmaker. Ever the experimentalist, he couldn’t see a thing, so he wound up climbing Mount Improbable instead of the Grassy Knoll. No shot either. His hapless part in the conspiracy inspired an endearing tale, The Englishman Who Went Up Mount Improbable But Came Down a Grassy Knoll.

      Dan Dennett took the best, indeed the only, shot, but he quined it: “yields falsehood when up-ended to the trajectory of this bullet” yielded falsehood when appended to the trajectory of that bullet.

      Interrogated by Captain Fritz “The Cat”, Dennett stated truthfully that he aimed at quining qualia. Captain Fritz took that down as “pining quail” and released him.

      When Dan Quayle insinuated in 1988 that he, rather than JFK, could have been the target in Dallas, Dennett exploded:
      “Senator, I hunted for Jack Kennedy. I shot at Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a fiend of mine. Senator, ‘J. Danforth Quayle’ yields falsehood when appended to ‘Jack Kennedy.’ ”
      (Lloyd Bentsen later misappropriated that line. (He would, wouldn’t he?))

      Like Oswald, The Horsemen were evidently framed. The trail pointed to Chicago and went cold. Aaron Swartz died before he could reveal that PCC wasn’t Russian for RSS; PCC were the initials of one mysterious “Professor Ceiling C*t”, the elusive mastermind behind the Horsemen plot. Like Macavity, he wasn’t there.

      Incontrovertible proof exists of one man who indeed shot JFK on November 22, 1963: Abraham Zapruder. Zapruder, and his terrible Bell&Howell 414PD, the deadliest analogue imaging contraption short of Ben Goren’s barbed-wired Leica.

      Heisenberg had warned him: any attempt to fixate JFK’s shifting positions would annihilate his momentum. Zapruder did not relent: “I won’t listen to a Nazi who patronises half an h-bar!” But Heisenberg was right: Zapruder kept shooting until Kennedy’s Δx was irreversibly scattered. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Back and to the left.

      J. Edgar Hoover, the privy of many a secret, was also privy to this one. So was Freeman Dyson. Dyson, widely regarded as the very antithesis to Hoover, understood Zapruder’s predicament: “It was really either JFK or Erwin’s cat. Mr. Zapruder saved the cat when The Last Wave (starring Richard Chamberlain) collapsed.”

      A scant 49 years, 3 months and 20 days later, the spinmeisters at CERN hatched a faux-innocent communiqué announcing that a 125 GeV bump was confirmed. They made it look like an accident.

      For the Higgs was a boson, you see.

  14. StevenSClark
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    The first and third comments do not justify a response beyond the output of energy used to write this sentence.

    In the second comment, who is the “they” to which the commenter is referring? And, what are the “more accurate ways of measurement” that are “setting up?” I think some of the current dating methods are accurate well within 5 percent.

    I enjoyed Dr. Coyne’s response to the odd comment about fossilized soft-bodied animals. My biology and geology textbooks didn’t cover the “theory” mentioned by the commenter.

    And, thanks Dr. Coyne for the urging to use real names. Done!

  15. Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    It’s funny that “One Who Knows” didn’t read Tanzi in the comments, effectively backing down from most of his claims and admitting he had no evidence for any of them.

    (Just for the record, I don’t use my legal name for commenting, because I work in the field of social work and want my clients to be able to share freely, without being confronted with my personal ideas about religion, etc. As a representative of the state, I keep such things separate. I have no financial or professional interest in any of the topics about which I criticize others, and I always use the the same ID. Also my personal email is available at my blog at the link.)

    • Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      That is perfectly alright. I can see how a commenter here could be concerned about being recognized by people trolling by. Their bosses or customers or parents of the children they teach could include religious conservatives, for example.

  16. Sastra
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Some of the nastiest emails and comments I get are from defenders of woomeisters like Rupert Sheldrake (who complained to my provost about me a few weeks ago) and Deepak Chopra. There’s a penchant for woo that runs deep in some people.

    This doesn’t surprise me. Because many woomeisters tend to vote liberal and dislike the Religious Right, many atheists want to count them as rationalist allies, a sort of agnosticism heavy, perhaps. Do not be fooled. Their bias against mainstream science and their impermeable fundamentalist mindset is as entrenched as the Creationists.

    It’s supernaturalism and faith. The methods and strategies of the spiritual-but-not-religious are religious. And they get nasty and defensive when their sacred fee-fees are offended. It’s just that they call blasphemy “negative energy.”

    Science can only work together with Spirituality if those who aren’t enlightened are excluded. That’s because the unenlightened are cold-hearted, closed-minded, and incapable of any depth of understanding or feeling. Yup. That’s us. Watch out.

    Perhaps because this is cutting edge science and is in fact….. real.

    In which case it needs to run the gamut of criticism. But you know and I know that this brave new discovery will go nowhere and thus other brave new discoveries will be introduced and subsequently fall off the map with mind-numbing regularity till the very end of time.

    The claim that the cosmos is in some sense conscious and aware of us is the OLDEST FREAKING CLAIM in the book. From small children to the overwhelming majority of adults, from indigenous tribes to ancient cultures to the modern world, the “astonishing hypothesis” that the Mind is NOT the brain has been peddled and pushed with an almost stupefying uniformity throughout history. And here it is again, being presented as “cutting edge science.”

    If you disagree with it, then it’s obviously because you don’t WANT it to be true. You’re a victim of fear. Otherwise, you’d grab on and heave a giant sigh of relief. Vindicated at last … by the discovery of something totally unexpected and new.

    • Kurt Helf
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      “…many woomeisters tend to vote liberal …” If you have evidence for that assertion please share it. It is just as easy for me to dismiss that claim as “both-siderism”.

      • Sastra
        Posted February 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        My actual source for that statement re the ‘spiritual’ is, of course, my friends themselves — along with frequent conversations held within various Unitarian Universalist groups, the members of which are almost all politically liberal humanists and spiritually “open” to various forms of ‘woo’ — alternative medicine, the paranormal, UFOs, etc. Anti-vaxx draws from both sides of the spectrum.

        I’m pretty sure I’ve seen one or two actual studies w/ statistics on the topic written up in Skeptic Magazine. IIRC the gist was that liberals and conservatives believed in different forms of pseudoscience, with the right more likely to believe creationism and the left more likely to believe in psychics. Another source is this one.

        Of course, since I failed to define “many” and they only “tend” to vote liberal I haven’t committed myself too deeply to anything too obvious. I’m too cautious … and sneaky.

        • Richard Olson
          Posted February 15, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          The Harriet Hall piece has much I agree with, but a few opinions that seem to me to be sweeping generalizations — certainly true of some people but how many? enough to justify appending a label to a group? — that don’t jibe with my own personal definition set (I an unsure whether the ones I refer to are from the authors of the book she reviews or her own). For example, the quote I paste below annoys me (I think a lot of people who align with thinkprogress.org would call themselves progressive, and the leadership of that group is nothing if not pragmatic):

          Pragmatism is notably absent from progressive thinking. Environmentalists tend to be inflexible absolutists, unwilling to balance the trade-offs between protecting the environment and promoting economic development. They tend not to consider economic realities. They push the precautionary principle to an extreme without considering the costs of alternatives and the risks of adverse unintended consequences.

          Sastra: I do not assume you agree/disagree with any specific Hall comments.

      • pacopicopiedra
        Posted February 16, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        Evidence that “many woomeisters vote liberal?” I think just being alive in the United States should provide you with boundless evidence on a daily basis. There are no Republican hippie mystics. And if you need first hand observation, just visit Kauai, Sedona, or Marin County on a day of the week.

        • Sastra
          Posted February 16, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          pacopicopiedra wrote:

          There are no Republican hippie mystics.

          I got curious about this and just now googled “Republican hippie mystic.”

          Meet John Perry Barlow – “…probably the only former Republican Country Chairman in America willing to call himself a hippie mystic without lowering his voice.” He wrote lyrics for the Grateful Dead.

          And now we are all wiser (you said ‘No’.)

  17. Sastra
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I might add the study saying evolution was 5 times greater then the Big Bang would require “Special Evolution” to happen only once then stop. That is not Darwinian or even Neo Darwinian theory as it breaks all the rules of simple naturalistic, random mutations, unguided process mechanism. It’s not even reducible to smaller simple cell proteins or amino acids that could account for this special evolution to even happen without special modeling and certain human fudging on restrictions they’ve applied to get the result they wanted.

    Is this guy trying to apply evolution onto the Big Bang?? Hard to say, but if so I’ll point out that using an understanding of evolution to undermine the existence of a preexisting essential Mind at least goes after a target which resembles the type of thing which would normally evolve.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      I think he’s claiming that there’s some “study” showing that the assemblage of a protein [or some such] is so unlikely that it would require 65 Billion years. Below is an example of such an argument from a now dead PhD shill over at the ICR that’s based on the number of particles in the observable universe:-

      Astro-physicists estimate that there are no more than 10^80 infinitesimal “particles” in the universe, and that the age of the universe in its present form is no greater than 10^18 seconds (30 billion years). Assuming each particle can participate in a thousand billion (10^12) different events every second (this is impossibly high, of course), then the greatest number of events that could ever happen (or trials that could ever be made) in all the universe throughout its entire history is only 10^80 x 10^18 x 10^12, or 10^110 (most authorities would make this figure much lower, about 10^50). Any event with a probability of less than one chance in 10^110, therefore, cannot occur. Its probability becomes zero, at least in our known universe.

      Thus, the above-suggested ordered arrangement of 100 components has a zero probability. It could never happen by chance. Since every single living cell is infinitely more complex and ordered than this, it is impossible that even the simplest form of life could ever have originated by chance. Even the simplest replicating protein molecule that could be imagined has been shown by Golay [1] to have a probability of one in 10^450. Salisbury [2] calculates the probability of a typical DNA chain to be one in 10^600

      We [reasonable people without an agenda] obviously all know why such reverse engineered probabilistic arguments are absurd, but I’ve quoted the above anyway because I particularly enjoyed “Henry Morris’ PhD” schoolboy error in the part that I’ve put in bold. You would think a civil engineer would have a better grasp than that! P.S. Dr. Henry M. Morris is still shown as President of the ICR on many articles even though he died in 2006…

      • Sastra
        Posted February 15, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Ah, you could be right. Sometimes it really helps to know original sources in order to properly translate Garble.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted February 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          That’s so true. I’m used to digging out their sources for myself because in my many direct “conversations” with all the different types of creationists it’s rare for them to supply a reference for their claim. And when a ref is supplied I’ve never had an instance where the source material is presented accurately. I’ve concluded there’s more than mere deceit going on at the level of the creationist fanboi ~ these people haven’t been exposed to thinking about thinking. This is why lying Bill Craig can still trot out the Kalam argument ~ he knows his fans are either intellectually ill equipped or too deep in the delusion to apply reason to his claptrap.

  18. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    That is better written – replacing “race” with “nation” is far more accurate.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Ah crap. The paw of ceiling cat struck and my comment has no context.

      • Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, the guy said the same thing twice, so I struck the second comment (The Protip was to provide data, which the original post on Irish Hitlerophilia did).

  19. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    this one includes a gratuitous insult

    Read: “I have no evidence.”

    Dismissed.

  20. Jeffrey
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I went on to “Enochered” blog. This “contemptible human being” is just an anti-semitic, fascist, moron. He is beneath contempt. I wouldn’t even call him a human being, at best he’s humanoid.

  21. JoeBuddha
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    WRT Pseudonyms:
    You forget those of us who have used pseudonyms for years and identify on-line with them. I’m more of a lurker than a commenter, but I value my pseudonym. Flags me as an ordinary joe and a Buddhist at the same time. I really don’t care who knows my name.
    – Bob Webster

  22. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    the Yunnan Cambrian find producing embryonic cell and embryos

    I think this is confusing the Chengjiang (Yunnan) lagerstätte with the Doushanto (Guizho) lagerstätte.

    “Taken as a whole, the Doushantuo Formation ranges from about 635 Ma (million years) ago at its base to about 551 Ma at its top, predating by perhaps five Ma the earliest of the ‘classical’ Ediacaran faunas from Mistaken Point on the Avalon peninsula of Newfoundland, and recording conditions a good forty to fifty million years before the Cambrian explosion.”

    “An alternative possibility is that the “embryos” and “eggs” are in fact fossils of giant sulfur bacteria resembling Thiomargarita, a bacterium so large that it is visible to the naked eye.[5] The interpretation would also provide a mechanism for phosphatic fossilization through microbially mediated phosphate precipitation by the bacteria, which has been observed in modern environments. If dark spots in the fossil transpire to be fossilised nucleii – an unlikely claim[6] – this would refute the Thiomargarita hypothesis. That being said, recent comparisons of the Doushantuo fossils to modern decaying Thiomargarita and expired sea urchin embryos shows little similarity between the fossils and decaying bacterial cells.[7]”

    [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doushantuo_formation ]

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Finally! This site/WP is spotty in publishing comments today.

  23. gbjames
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I did enjoy the bit from the oxymoronically named “One Who Knows”!

    • Posted February 16, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      I think it’s truncated. The full username clearly ends, “… Nothing” …

      /@ / Paris

  24. madscientist
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I think the Irish hated the English most. I don’t think the Scots and Welsh were particularly disliked at that point in time.

    You get all sorts of people I guess. Even in Australia you can still find a few old folks who just hate all Germans and then there are the nuts (mostly younger people) who idolize Hitler. I guess some people just need an Asshole figure to look up to.

  25. Andrikzen
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    When asked what would disprove evolution – ‘Jesus in the Cambrian’, he replied.

  26. Kieran
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    De Valera was president of Ireland in 1965 and not Taoiseach, Sean Lemass was Taoiseach. De Valera even if he wanted to could not send any letter or otherwise without the permission of the government of the day. President of Ireland while having some constitutional powers is a figure head. In the end the external affairs minister Frank Aiken attended Churchill’s funeral.
    De Valera did send a letter to Lady Churchill..
    “Sir Winston Churchill was a great Englishman, but we in Ireland had to regard him over a long period as a dangerous adversary.”
    It was also the 50th anniversary of the 1916 rising. Anti-British sentiment was high and Churchill was always an easy target for that.
    We’re still cleaning up de Valera’s mess when it comes to the Church involvement in state to the Irish constitution with it’s preamble and oaths of office.

    http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/Historical_Information/The_Constitution/December_2013_-_Bhunreacht_na_hEireann_Constitution_Text.pdf

  27. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Second, it doesn’t answer why we have the Yunnan Cambrian find producing embryonic cell and embryos once thought impossible to find in the fossil records. It clearly can be seen and observed under an electron microscope. So the theory that no soft body animals could be found is false.

    Someone clearly doesn’t have the faintest idea of how science in general, geology in general and palaeontology in particular work. Which is about normal for Creationists talking about science, geology, and palaeontology.
    I was trying to summon the energy and inspiration to send the following link to JAC for consideration, but it fits moderately well here, since this weekend’s “Creationist hoist on his own petard” sees fit to bring up the Cambrian explosion.
    Those of you with an interest in the commonest multicellular animals on the planet (now, and probably always, at least since the Cambrian), the arthropod super-phylum, might be interested in a paper published online a week or two ago in Proc.Roy.Soc.B. (It’s Open Access, so anyone should be able to get it.)
    To cut a long story short, one of the less well-known Lagerstatten (outcrops of fossiliferous rock with exceptionally good preservation) is not in the soaring Alpine scenery of the Canadian Rockies, but in a grubby little stream by an anonymous field in rural England (almost in Wales, actually). And for the thick end of 20 years (publications listing – a sample) a small group have been mining it’s riches in painstaking detail. It has been tremendously revealing about the hitherto cryptic evolutionary history of many groups, but particularly the arthropods.
    January’s publication (for print in March, I think ; get it while it’s not dead-tree) ties together a couple of hitherto enigmatic groups, from the Burgess-type faunas of the Cambrian and the celebrated Devonian-age Hunsru¨ck Slate of Germany, to elucidate a hundred-million year duration branch of the arthropods whose existence was more an expression of puzzlement than comprehension until this discovery.
    Straightening out and joining together these few strands of the tangled skein which is the evolutionary tree of the arthropods is just one more brick in the edifice of knowledge which has built out from Darwin’s seminal 1859 contribution. It is steady, unglamorous work conducted by anonymous (to most of the world) specialists. And every single paper like this nails shut another Gap for the God of the Gaps, and leaves the DI-type “people” (I use the word in it’s looser sense ; calling them “anthropoid apes” would not be inaccurate, but might be considered pejorative) wallowing deeper in the mire of their own incomprehension.
    Hey, I liked the paper, which is good enough for me ; I’ve worked with one of the authors (even academic geologists sometimes have to earn filthy lucre grubbing around for oil) ; another of the authors used to work on the Burgess project with Whittington and Conway Moriss. And the pictures are really cool! And the technique used to get the data out of the rocks in 20 micrometer chunks will induce sympathetic eye strain in anyone who uses a microscope more than a few minutes a month. Way to go! Sutton, Briggs, les freres Siveter, et a couple of als. Keep on digging!

  28. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    “Deepak Chopra, Super Brain”

    WTF?

  29. Richard Thomas
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Jerry,

    Concerning some of your persistently aggressive/nasty responders, have you read Chris Mooney’s article at Slate: Internet Trolls Really are Horrible People: narcissistic, machiavellian, psychopathic, and sadistic. (conclusions from a paper in the Journal of Individual Differences).

  30. Hempenstein
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    As far as de Valera signing the condolences book, I recall reading somewhere that the NYTimes expressed regret at (German hero) von Stauffenberg’s attempt on Hitler. Regret not that it was unsuccessful, but regret re. attempt itself. Words to the effect of “on a duly-elected official”. Haven’t been able to find that, tho, without better search terms.

    • Posted February 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Found it, I think: http://www.30giorni.it/articoli_id_7888_l3.htm

      “The New York Times said that the attempt on Hitler made one think more «of the atmosphere of a dank criminal world than what one would expect from a normal body of officers of a civilian state». The Herald Tribune played the same tune: «Americans won’t be sorry that the bomb has spared Hitler and that now he personally is getting rid of his generals. In any case Americans have nothing to share with aristocrats, especially those that go in for backstabbing».”

  31. lisa parker
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    The Irish that claim admiration for Hitler and the Third Reich were/are mostly just happy for the London blitz and any damage done to any British. The fact that there are still a few that hold some admiration for Hitler remains seventy years after the war ended should not be surprising. The Irish are still mad about the Milesian invasion. The Irish have very long memories. Way longer than just one lifetime.

    • Kieran
      Posted February 16, 2014 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      While at the same time following English football teams, reading British tabloids and following every aspect of the royal families lives. Complicated relationship is the easy way to describe it.
      We had a great 3 day state visit from the Queen and we’re reciprocating by sending a leprechaun… I mean Michael D Higgins.

      When I was in school we were still shown pictures of a Celtic invasion from Spain. Weirdly even though a pseudo history they’re strong genetic links between Irish and people of the Basque region in Spain.

      • lisa parker
        Posted February 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Humans seem to have a great aptitude for complicated relationships. My father’s ancestor received his money, land (and possibly a minor title) from Cromwell for his ‘valor’ at Boyne. But the rest of the family tree has it’s roots firmly in the Ancient Soil of Tara. And it may be the very right thing to have a leprechaun for a president; it beats what we have. And he’s still taller than I am.

        • lisa parker
          Posted February 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

          Oh, and btw, my research tells me that ‘current thinking’ supports the Milesian invasion. The British Isles were ‘most probably first by the Gallic Celts (from what is now France) and some time later (the dates can be really creative sometimes), maybe the first millennium BCE, the Milesian invaders forced the Gauls back across the Irish Sea, and once settled in comfortably, began attempting to conquer the bigger island. They succeeded in taking over Scotland and Cornwall, but were driven back from any more territory long before the Roman invasion. Sorting out the Gael vs Gaul DNA must be really fun. Glad I have no real interest in too much history at the molecular level. I’m certain if I tried to trace my DNA back, it would be to the Tuatha de Danann.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 18, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            I never wanted to bother with DNA tests because I figure it will tell me what I already know: I’m white with ancestors from northern Europe & the British Isles.

            • lisa parker
              Posted February 21, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

              My last attempt to look too far back in my prehistory I found out a was a descendant of a very vile Orange-man. That’s enough truth for me.

  32. Posted February 17, 2014 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Being a (medical) doctor does not make one a scientist – sadly – so I have discovered.


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