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.