Readers’ beefs

The creationists have been making their egress from the woodwork over the last few weeks. Here are four of their comments that didn’t make prime time.

From reader William, commenting on my post BioLogos tells “The Big Story”, becomes less scientific and more evangelical“:

God did not use evolution for exactly the reasons you have pointed out, Jerry Coyne. Also, because that type of evolutionary biology – crossing over into different created ‘kinds’ – doesn’t occur in the natural world; there is no evidence for it anyway. He created everything ex nihilo, just like the Bible says. The Genesis account is a record which is in agreement with observed science.

There’s no hope for this person.

*********

Reader James Bryonson, commenting on, oddly, yesterday’s photo of me with my voting receipt:

Evolution is just a theory to try to prove a point with the nerds that hate god.

“Nerds that hate god.” Those nerds must include Francis Collins and Ken Miller, and the 40% or so of scientists who believe in gods.

*********

Reader “groovyman 67” had this to say about my post “What are the fundamentals of evolutionary biology?“, which featured a description of the origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts by ingestion of bacteria by other organisms:

Is this science or science-fiction? Really? 2 made-up of one creature eating another and co-opting it’s genes provides the entire foundation of Darwinism (even ignoring the origins question). This idea will be long gone in 20 year, if not 10 or 5, but no matter today is passes as wisdom rather than an entertaining Dr. Suess book. Of course I’m just a regular dude so I can’t comprehend that common sense is disallowed by geniuses.

I’ll ignore the “it’s genes” and misspelling of Dr. Seuss (why can’t creationists spell?), and add that there are tons of evidence that the “ingestion” origins of these organelles is supported by very strong evidence. Besides, they are hardly “the entire foundation of Darwinism.” Groovyman 67 is simply an ignorant evolution denialist who touts his “regular dudeness” as evidence of intellectual superiority.

*********

And reader “bill” on my post, “Social media excoriates British teacher for claiming there’s more evidence for the truth of the Bible than of evolution“:

I stand on the Bible account and am sure at some point you will wish you had also.

When, exactly, will I stand on the Bible account? When I’m about to die? Don’t count on it.

*********

On the non-creationist side, we have reader “idpnsd” commenting on my post, “Another misguided believer claims that science is based on faith“. Always be wary of a comment that starts with “Ayn Rand” said:

Ayn Rand said – “Truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it.” Or in other words – there is no truth in the mainstream, but truth is out there, on the internet, and a truth seeker will recognize it.

All of science is completely wrong and all of religion is completely correct. There are many ways to prove it. But since space is limited, please refer to the free book on Soul Theory at the blog site https://theoryofsouls.wordpress.com/

But I give some examples. Take Newton’s first law, which says – an object will continue in motion in a straight line with a constant velocity. But we have never seen such an object, neither on earth nor in space. Thus Newton is wrong. Look at the book for many such examples including QM and SR.

You have said – “but I wouldn’t bet $5 that Jesus was resurrected bodily.” – You do not know that this is correct. Even you can do that also, if you acquire yogic power via yogic meditation. There are many such examples even in modern times. Take a look at the yogic power chapter in the above book.

There was a time when Vedas were known all over the world. You can find its influences in Bible, Judaism, Hinduism etc. Vedas define all the laws of nature like – soul theory, yogic power, reincarnation, destiny, eternal recurrence, birth-maturity-death etc. All of these laws are there in Bible in some form. There is no God in Vedas. [Yogic power in the Bible?]

“You have faith (i.e., confidence) that the sun will rise tomorrow because it always has, and there’s no evidence that the Earth has stopped rotating or the sun has burnt out.” – you know it is wrong. Sun will burn out one day. Vedas say – all objects go through, birth-maturity- death process. Scientist have confirmed that by observing the nature.

“It’s what produced antibiotics, computers, and our ability to sequence DNA.” – Not correct. These are examples of engineering. There is heaven and hell difference between science and engineering. See the book.

I don’t want to waste my time refuting all the nonsense packed in this comment. And what good would it do anyway; the person is beyond redemption.

*********

Finally, from reader “tiffany 267,” we have the Flounce of the Year, as she was apparently convinced she caught me contradicting myself. This was intended as a comment on my post, “Apple vs. U.S. government: a big dilemma“:

I no longer know why I’m following this blog. You claim it is impossible to objectively know right from wrong, and yet ironically you make a moral statement in the same essay “My own feeling is that Apple should comply with the government’s request” which is so evil I cannot fathom the thought processes that could facilitate such a vile statement.

My next step is to unfollow you. So long.

I hope the door didn’t hit her on the way out! Clearly “tiffany 267” doesn’t know the difference between “objective moral statements” and making a judgment call about what would be the best thing to do. As for the “evil” of Apple’s compliance, well, that’s just dramatic hyperbole.

I suspect we won’t miss her contributions to our discourse.

168 Comments

  1. Tom
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Bill (I stand on the Bible account and am sure at some point you will wish you had also.) probably means when you find yourself in hell. Religion inspires such lovely thoughts.

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking more along the lines of when I need to get something down from a high shelf.

  2. Merilee
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  3. Geoff Toscano
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    It would be interesting were we ever to get more information on these sorts of people; do they have families, hold down jobs etc? I have this perception of rather sad, introverted, low self esteem individuals, stuck away in their bed sits with a laptop.

    They certainly don’t appear to have any reasoning abilities.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      One can clearly see their gears turning…as the teeth break off.

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      These sorts of people are very common and successful, and may be in the majority. Think of Republican voters.

      • Zado
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Given that almost half of Americans are creationists, the odds are good that these people are functional (and even rational) in most other aspects of their lives. Hell, we’d probably even like some of them.

        It is still disconcerting to meet them though, either on the internet or in real life. I never cease to be surprised if the subject of evolution comes up and someone says it’s “just a theory” (which they don’t believe).

        • somer
          Posted March 18, 2016 at 5:14 am | Permalink

          I suppose their normal business they know to shut up about “soul theory”, “Ayn Rand says,”yogic power” “that Newton was wrong”[gravity does suck]

      • Christopher Bonds
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        I would so love to know how each of those (assuming them to be US citizens of age) vote in the coming elections.

    • Michael 2
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      “these people” have jobs and exist in numbers sufficient to dominate many or all southern states and some midwest states.

      Surveys have shown “these people” to generally be happier on indexes of such things.

      Your mileage may vary.

      The reasoning proposed is that a simple world view reduces the stress of decision making. It also serves as social glue. When everyone in a town has the same cultural foundation right and wrong are pretty much understood the same way by everyone.

      It is unlikely any will fly to the moon or build the spaceship in which that sort of thing is done. But thats okay; it is very likely the people that grow your food are the very souls you deprecate.

  4. BobTerrace
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Wow, these people are not far from “nah, nah, poo, poo, so there!”, especially “it’s in the bible!!!!1!!”

    Gee, I wonder how many of these people are big Trump-eteers.

  5. Billy Bl.
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    When the truth is known, everything else, using pure logic, is wrong. No amount of argument or evidence can ever change that. We’ll just have to wait for the wise ones to die off and do our best to discourage the perpetuation of their truth. As you say, there is no hope for some people. Sad to say – they’re missing out on some pretty cool stuff.

  6. Damien McLeod
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Some of those folks still believe that illness is caused by a bunch of demons that must be cast into a herd of pigs. Rational Thinking doesn’t come easily to human beings. Look at republicans who say god guides their every vote.Look a Nancy and her astrologer.

  7. kategladstone
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s freaky to see Rand quoted in defense og mysticism!

  8. kategladstone
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s freaky to see Rand quoted in defense of mysticism!

    • Stephen
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Well bless my soul I went over to the dude’s Theory of Souls site. You just know when they start up with the “Chi” and the “Vedic Science” it’s time to head for the hills.

      • Posted March 17, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Wait, chi *and* Vedas? Cultural appropriatation somewhere, unless I guess the guy happens to be a rare Chinese Hindu! 😉

  9. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    “Nerd that hates god” was my nick name in high school. 😛

    • Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Don’t tell me you were disputing god in your class!

    • barn owl
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      It’s your Native American name.

      Back when I was playing polo, mine was Only Woman on the Field – the girlfriend of one of the other players used to cheer for me that way, before she knew my name.

      Ooops, cultural appropriation!

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        I like “only woman on the field”. I’ve got to remember that one.

  10. eric
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m just a regular dude so I can’t comprehend that common sense is disallowed by geniuses.

    Not disallowed, just often wrong.

    And IMHO, evolution is far more common-sensical than quantum mechanics. Descent with modification I see with my own eyeballs, every time I look at my kid. A single particle passing through two parallel holes in a sheet simultaneously? I never see that with my own eyeballs, and frankly would never expect to see it if generations of past scientists hadn’t demonstrated that it actually happens.

    • colnago80
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Actually, one can’t observe a photon passing through both slits. Any attempt to make such an observation causes the wave function governing the motion of the photon to collapse and it will be seen to pass through one or the other slit. Known as the Copenhagen interpretation of QM.

      • eric
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        I was referring to the pattern produced on the plate (or CCD equivalent).

        But you’re being pedantic. The point is that many things about QM are far more removed from our ‘common sense’ views of the world than evolution is. For a person to reject evolution with the excuse that it violates their notions of common sense, while they accept QM, shows that their real problem is religious bias and their reasoning has nothing to do with common sense. Because if it did, they’d never reject evolution without first rejecting QM.

  11. Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I live in Texas AND work in the oil business, so right wing god botherers are a fact of my everyday life. What’s surprising to me is that most of them are adequately functioning adults. Some of them, in fact, are pretty good engineers who exhibit well organized thought process in their work. It’s just that there’s this little switch marked “religion” (or “evolution”, etc.). When that switch is flipped rational thought just stops. Pretty amazing to watch, actually.

    • Sastra
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Yes. That’s why I think making people more knowledgeable needs to be supplemented by arguments for why it’s NOT “okay” to flip that switch. Not ever. The accomodationist case that folks can learn to flip it less often is imo doomed by the nature of what the switch is for.

      • Michael 2
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        “supplemented by arguments for why it’s NOT okay to flip that switch. ”

        I look forward to your reasoning. As for me, I rather prefer everyone in town agree “thou shalt not steal”.

        Maybe it isn’t really a switch. Maybe it is a multi-dimensional fabric with some socially useful parts, some parts less socially useful and some parts you simply don’t like because your fabric is a different color.

        • Sastra
          Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          Most people agree that stealing is wrong; the arguments tend to be over whether or not something is really “stealing.” Having a separate track of facts which are faith-based makes it impossible for opposing sides to communicate or persuade on an even ground. God always sets up a win. It only looks like stealing if you’re not mystically enlightened.

          You’re absolutely right about the “multidimensional fabric” of religion. Perhaps we could use a different metaphor and talk about many switches on a network instead. The switch we could all work on then is the one which deals less with what is socially useful — and more with what is actually true. Does it make sense to have a separate, easy track for certain facts and not others? For what, and for whom?

          The tactics of new or “firebrand” atheism only work if religious people in general are as wise, as strong, as smart, as brave, and as honest in general as we are. Not a lot of difference, when you get down to it. I think the evidence seems to run that way. I look forward to your reasoning against that.

          • Michael 2
            Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

            Sastra “Most people agree that stealing is wrong”

            In my Navy career I encountered a wide variety of cultural differences. I would say most people wish not to have their property stolen from them but that does not always, or even very often, suggest that such persons ought not to steal from others.

            Cultural norms:

            In America: Finders keepers, losers weepers.

            Iceland: It’s not mine, leave it alone.

            As you have written, both places have rules against stealing and both are Christian, more or less. Americans simply define stealing rather narrowly; ripping something out of your hands is stealing (maybe), but if you put it down for even a moment, it is abandoned (or so it seems).

            “the arguments tend to be over whether or not something is really stealing.”

            Indeed.

            Stealing, or rules against it, are part of a social contract. Sometimes those rules authorize stealing, or even mandate it (“spoils of war”). In modern times the word for it is “civil forfeiture”.

            “Having a separate track of facts which are faith-based makes it impossible for opposing sides to communicate or persuade on an even ground.”

            Yes. This is seen in many ways. Robert Altemeyer for instance in his questionnaire for religious people lacks the obvious question of whether the person answering the questionnaire has a revelation, a personal reason to believe in God. So sure is he that such a thing cannot exist that he neglects to ask the most important question of all.

            Because of that assumption, no meaningful interpretation of the result is possible.

            “The tactics of new or firebrand atheism only work if religious people in general are as wise, as strong, as smart, as brave, and as honest in general as we are.”

            That didn’t make a lot of sense but just as Republicans are finally seeing the value of Saul Alinsky, so too are atheists seeing the value of evangelism. But in order to make people believe, atheism has to become a “thing” rather than not a thing. It acquires dogma, evangelists, authorities that declare what it is and what it is not. Books are published, websites, money demanded — all for a thing whose literal meaning is denying a thing.

            Gotta run. This feels a bit fuzzy but it will have to do for now.

            • Sastra
              Posted March 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

              What you call “evangelism” I would call “rational persuasion.”

              When we try to convince someone who disagrees with us on factual matters concerning science, politics, the environment, history, etc., we don’t use words like “evangelism” or “conversion” unless we’re making a point about someone using too much passion, or too much manipulation. Atheists put the factual claims unique to religion in the same category as other factual claims.

              By expecting theists to understand and accept this, we’re giving them credit for caring about whether or not their views are true, rather than simply “socially useful.”

        • darrelle
          Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:41 am | Permalink

          You forgot the parts that are socially detrimental. There are many ways to arrive at “thou shalt not steal.” But some of those ways are not good because they result in many answers / beliefs / behaviors that are detrimental. For one bit of evidence, take a look at the modern RCC. From experience hearing my neighbors mouth religious derived moral phrases does not leave me feeling content about my security.

          • Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

            Not to mention that the religious right in fact thinks it *is* ok to steal, in the form of economic policy that allows unethical business practices and eschews regulation.

        • Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          I don’t like the idea of keeping other people indoctrinated with untruths because some parts of these untruths may be socially useful. I disagree with dividing humanity into some entitled to know and others better kept in ignorance and delusions.

          This said, I do not troll on religion and creationist blogs, so it is difficult to me to understand why these commenters insist on putting their twopence here.

          • Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            I engaged with this commenter on an older thread, but I’m beginning to see that he’s basically just doing a contrarian schtick, so I’d agree with the troll diagnosis.

          • Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            (Although he doesn’t seem to be religious.)

          • Michael 2
            Posted March 17, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            mayamarkov writes “it is difficult (*) to me to understand why these commenters insist on putting their twopence here.”

            * Impossible, I suspect.

            The short answer is that the blog owner wishes to put in front of creationists reasons for a more scientific viewpoint. That won’t happen if you shut the door on creationists.

            I am not a creationist but I *am* religious, more or less, depending on who you ask. It is not a binary world (shock, gasp, heresy!).

            Among other things I enjoy observing human behavior. This happens best where conflict exists but the only weapons permitted are words.

            One group of people, represented by you, expresses superiority over another group of people. The details vary but the behavior does not; and sometimes the details are nearly identical. You appeal to “morality” as if such a thing naturally arises and is the same for everyone; when it is clear that many people have “lessality”. 🙂

            This morning I was contemplating reason versus faith. Each serves a different purpose. Reason builds bridges; faith builds societies. Can you have both? Yes, and I do. I served in the US Navy 20 years, having taken an oath to defend the constitution of the united states. It is very similar to a religious belief; an oath to a principle and not to a person.

            Humanists seem to believe reason can cover all needs; just as some religious people believe ancient words can build bridges. Both of those extreme ways of thinking are faulty; both emanate from a weak sense of personal worth that needs buttressing by appeal to your particular brand of authority. For children it’s “My daddy can beat your daddy.” Same kind of thing. Here all you have is a banhammer and your words.

            I am here (and elsewhere) because I do not understand people very well. It is at the margins that understanding is increased. Therefore, the friction area of dogmatic religion vs dogmatic reason is a superior place to observe these behaviors and gain understanding.

            As for allowing this friction, well that’s up to the blog owner. Friction produces heat, enough heat produces light, viola!

            It would be easy enough to just be another DailyKOS, highly purified ideology. Rather boring I suspect. Thousands of purified, seldom viewed blogs doubtless exist.

            • Posted March 17, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

              “One group of people, represented by you, expresses superiority over another group of people.”

              Frankly, I was already thinking that our differences are of a degree where meaningful communication is impossible, and I was going to follow the advice of another commenter and not comment to you anymore. And now, this sentence created a sense of fellow-feeling.
              I admit I think that “I am wrong about one thing less”, and this gives me a sense of superiority. It shows up even if I try to hide it.
              And I feel the same sense of superiority emitted by religious people when we talk about religion or science. Including you.

              • Michael 2
                Posted March 17, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

                mayamarkov writes: “And I feel the same sense of superiority emitted by religious people when we talk about religion or science. Including you.”

                There but for a strange thing go I.

                I was raised in an atheist household, but not an atheist nation, so I had the usual six days of creation idea even though it didn’t originate in my household. Likewise Santa Claus. I had *no idea* that Christmas was a religious holiday well into my teens. Easter was a holiday where rabbits somehow poop out eggs and never mind why. Just pass the candy.

                Then one day I sat on a rock in the mountains and noticed that it was composed almost entirely of white cone shells, about two inches long, in a black rock so hard that a chisel barely scratched it. I knew enough geology already by then so I realized that these cone shells were under water long ago, but now they are at about 7,000 feet elevation. In rock. That doesn’t happen in 6000 years. It probably doesn’t happen in 6 million years. I looked it up once. It’s like this:

                To me that was proof of antiquity of that portion of Earth. Until that moment I had two parallel systems of history; a religious history obtained by osmosis from surrounding cultural norms, and a geological history.

                To some people that disproves god. It most certainly disproved a “young earth” and by extension all religions that require a young earth for their existence.

                I know there’s a god of the whispering kind, seldom involved in human affairs and more likely to be involved in small personal affairs that big affairs of state. My life has been saved at least once for sure by this whispering kind. I also do not define god in any way other than whispering kind, sort of an over-the-horizon radar that sees the oncoming car that’s in my lane and tells me to change lanes and avoid a collision. I have a doubt that a benevolent omni-everything god can exist, but I keep that doubt pretty much to myself since everyone around me either believes in an omni-everything god, or no god at all.

                There doesn’t seem to be much room for discussing other possibilities.

              • Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

                More likely your whispering god is just your subconscious, alert to things your conscious mind isn’t. A “guardian angel” from the id.

                /@

                /@

              • Michael 2
                Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

                Ant “More likely your whispering god is just your subconscious, alert to things your conscious mind isn’t. A guardian angel from the id.”

                On script, on schedule! Turning the page…

                Oh yes. Well, I’m glad that my id can see danger coming before it is visible. I am glad that my id knew that it was useful and necessary for me to go render aid to the victim of an automobile accident several miles away. I hope this id continues to advise me.

                I like my id. You seem to deprecate my id. I have no doubt that quite often it is indeed my id talking.

            • Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

              “Humanists seem to believe reason can cover all needs…”

              I don’t think you know very many humanists, then.

              A little empathy goes a long way.

              /@

              • Michael 2
                Posted March 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

                Ant writes “I don’t think you know very many humanists, then.”

                Well there’s my father for sure and maybe my brother. But beyond that I can think of no one I know personally.

                “A little empathy goes a long way.”

                Whereas a lot of empathy goes a short distance before it is consumed and exhausted.

            • Sastra
              Posted March 17, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

              This morning I was contemplating reason versus faith. Each serves a different purpose. Reason builds bridges; faith builds societies.

              I don’t think we’re going to be able to understand each other well (let alone come to any happy agreement) if we’re not using the term “faith” to mean the same thing. It’s a big issue, because one of our complaints is that people are hasty and tend to equivocate between religious faith in religious facts and things like values, goals, trust, hope, and so forth. If the person of God does not exist, the principle is supposed to disappear and lose its merit. Unless, of course, we’re humanist.

              The incapacity or extreme reluctance to change one’s mind, admit error, and learn may indeed build a strong society. I’m afraid it currently seems to be building a loyal constituency.

        • Posted March 17, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          Have you ever found a town in which everyone agrees “thou shalt not steal”? I think not.
          Also, stealing pertains to much, much more than taking someones physical possessions of some value: jewelry, a car, a TV. Witness the stealing of valuable technological advances. Ditto the works of authors, musicians, film makers, etc. Plagiarism is a kind of stealing. Ideas are stolen all the time.

          The incorporation of religious beliefs of one culture into the belief systems of another culture may be viewed as a form of stealing.
          The bible is replete with this. Judaism, Islam and Christianity have all stolen from the same sources and each other. There are influences from Egyptian and Babylonian religious beliefs, for example.

          Why is it that people who believe in the Genesis creation myths are unaware that two creation myths are there side by side, and that they conflict? The editors of the stories didn’t do a very good job of editing.

          • Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, the beginning of the Genesis includes a number of things created twice, sometimes in a different fashion. E.g. man and woman are initially created together, as in Sumerian/Akkadian myth, then they are created again, and now it is first the man and then the woman as his derivative.
            It almost resembles the introduction of a scientific article: “Some authors report that… while others find that…”
            I miss the older sources that were lost.

          • Michael 2
            Posted March 17, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

            Rowena Kitchen asks: “Why is it that people who believe in the Genesis creation myths are unaware that two creation myths are there side by side, and that they conflict?”

            It isn’t their fault. In the southern states, the bible belt in other words, the government adds dihydrogen monoxide to their water supplies and this clouds their judgement so they don’t notice this obvious and interesting detail.

          • kategladstone
            Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            Re:
            “Why is it that people who believe in the Genesis creation myths are unaware that two creation myths are there side by side, and that they conflict?”

            Children sometimes notice this, in religious schools (Jewish or Christian) where they read — or are read — the first and second story on two successive days. They ask about the differences, and are given some non-explaining “explanation” or are simply told that they’ll understand it when they are older.

  12. eric
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    there is no truth in the mainstream, but truth is out there, on the internet

    Bwa ha ha ha! So the truth of the universe consists of about 60% cat videos, 30% pornography, and 10% all other stuff? I guess we know what ‘dark energy’ is composed of then: LOLcats.

    • Posted March 16, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      The truth is here, in this place, on the internet, but you have to be wise enough to recognize it when you see it. Clearly, idpnsd is not.

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      Srsly, “but truth is out there, on the internet” just cracked me up.

      (Actually, a lot of it is, but not where this guy’s looking.)

    • darrelle
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I have to disagree with you on this eric. The internet is clearly 60% porn and 30% cat videos.

      • eric
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        🙂

      • Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        With how big an overlap? 😜

        /@

        • darrelle
          Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          That would give a whole new meaning to the term “hairball!”

          =^_^=

  13. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    This is a particularly… colorful patch of commenters. It is particularly hard to fathom how idpnsd can adhere to just about every numinous utterance said by anybody, while managing to reject founding models of the material world.

    • rom
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      It is particularly hard to fathom how anyone can adhere to just about every numinous utterance said by anybody, while managing to reject founding models of the material world.

      Replacing idpn… with anyone would make a beautiful quote.

  14. Sastra
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    There’s no hope for this person.

    Whew! Then it’s a damn good thing you never wasted any time writing a book trying to explain to creationists why evolution is true or anything. Can’t get through their thick skulls. They’re all hopeless! No need for books or articles or debates. Irrational people are always beyond redemption.

    Except for the ones who aren’t.

    I don’t think we can tell at a glance. Or by reading an email. I might have thought that once upon a time, but that was before I got on the internet and ran into former fundamentalists who said they used to think just like this, argue the same way, use similar bad examples, buy into comparable assumptions — and then they got better. Sometimes they’ve changed their minds after years of entrenchment, after they retired and had the time to look into the other side. And sometimes they just grew up and got out of homeschool.

    Never give up. Never, ever, ever give up. My own motto, ymmv. Sometimes people get most passionate (or ludicrous) just before they cave, because they’re starting to get afraid and angry.

    Ayn Rand said …

    Years ago, in my youthful folly (before the intertubes of course), I assumed that people who loved Ayn Rand would be atheists because she was an atheist. Silly me.

    I’m not only cured of that supposition, I’m enchanted at the variation. Gentle reader ‘idpnsd’ seems to be a Hindu Objectivist. Unless they just used Rand that to “appeal” to atheists, or they’re making some other point. Hard to say.

    • eric
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Objectivism (n): a number of somewhat decent if libertarian free market capitalism concepts, combined with the implied commandment “act like a d**k.”

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        It’s precisely the synthesis and mixture of all these ideas that makes Objectivism toxic.

        Like Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, there are rules you should follow only if they don’t conflict with other higher priority rules.

        Free markets are good, but the medical safety of the public is a more important principle. And that is why Chapter 1 of Atlas Shrugged and the behavior of the protagonist in a railway accident is enough to discredit the book.

        • Michael 2
          Posted March 16, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          “but the medical safety of the public is a more important principle.”

          Why? What makes it more important? Who has the authority to declare that it is more important? Quite frankly it sounds a lot like a religious belief.

          I believe everyone has religion; that is to say, some belief, usually a moral belief, that they just “believe” first and sometimes try to objectify or rationalize only when questioned. Sometimes sufficient thought shows a weakness in that belief, but it might also strengthen that belief.

          • Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

            “Quite frankly it sounds a lot like a religious belief.”

            No, it sounds like elementary morality.

            • Michael 2
              Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

              mayamarkov “No, it sounds like elementary morality.”

              Indeed 😉

              That’s a pretty good definition of religion. I’ll try to remember it.

          • Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

            Simply considering the consequences for human wellbeing is hardly a religion. Empathy plus reason can go a very long way.

            /@

        • kategladstone
          Posted March 16, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          Re:
          “but the medical safety of the public is a more important principle” —

          In a libertarian society, as far as I can discern, anyone who said so would be told: “No one is stopping you from ensuring the public’s medical safety — with the help of anyone whom you can persuade to help you: NOT with the help of anyone whom you cannot persuade.”

          • Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

            Having public safety nets in place is too important to be left to individual whim. Yes, people can sometimes be wonderfully altruistic and generous, but they can just as often (more often?) turn on the industrial-strength denial and ignore the plights of the less fortunate.

            • kategladstone
              Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

              Can “public safety nets” morally — or even practically — be left to depend on those who don’t see their importance, who pay (and otherwise maintain those nets) against their will? The government, after all, has _only_ those resources which it gains from individuals, willing or otherwise. A thought-experiment: suppose that you were an entirely destitute person (homeless, etc.) in a world perilously without “safety nets” and with no one willing to build one. Suppose also that you had a friend or acquaintance, equally destitute, who was deathly ill with some contagious disease. To get the means to regain your friend’s health, and/or to get the means to prevent his/her disease from spreading, would you be justified in telling a third person (who wasn’t interested in giving): “My friend is sick, so unless you pay to get him well, I’ll take the needed funds from you by force? (For instance: would you, if destitute and altruistic, be morally justified in steeling a gun and using it to rob the unwilling so that you could be altruistic with their resources?)

              • darrelle
                Posted March 17, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

                It all depends on what kind of society you want to live in. The way you are arguing for here, lets call it strong libertarianism for the sake of argument, has been done before many times throughout human history, or major aspects of it, and it doesn’t work very well. In fact it has typically resulted in what most modern people would consider to be pretty awful conditions.

                If you (general you, throughout) wish to enjoy the trappings of a relatively decent society then you need to accept a social contract in which you have a responsibility to do your part. That doing so is against your will is not a convincing argument.

              • Posted March 17, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

                Living amongst billions of other humans means you will have to accept that you can’t do whatever yo want to do. Is it an unacceptable violation of my will that I will be imprisoned and have my children removed from my care if I decide to leave them at home unattended while I spend a few hours getting drunk at the bar? What if I want to drive 100 mph down the highway? What if I want etc… It is with the same threat of force that we keep or roads safe, but I never hear any complaints about that. It’s only when it comes to money, which tells me that greed is the ultimate issue.

                The part of your thought experiment that libertarians always leave out is that safety nets also work in favor of those who don’t need them. In a society that takes care of the less fortunate there will be less crime committed by those who feel they have no other option.

                Additionally, libertarians always point to the recipients who game the welfare system. These libertarians must be woefully uninformed about the financial misdeeds of private sector business leaders. Privatizing everything is most emphatically no path to doing away with people getting money they don’t deserve. In fact, I’d guess that much more money is wasted on exorbitant CEO salaries, bonuses, and perks than on “welfare queens”.

              • kategladstone
                Posted March 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

                Fir the record, I regard sleazy corporate fat-cats as not one whit more moral than the worst of the (other) welfare fraudsters.

                And don’t assume I’m a Libertarian — I’m a Republican who voted for Obama. (Now, EVERYONE gets to hate me!)

              • Diane G.
                Posted March 17, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

                “Living amongst billions of other humans means you will have to accept that you can’t do whatever you want to do.”

                For all of that comment, MB: well said!

            • kategladstone
              Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

              One might also use a version of an argument which has been instrumental in ending the military draft in many countries: the argument that any country, culture, or civilization which cannot motivate enough people to _willingly_ ensure its survival doesn’t in fact deserve to survive (and therefore doesn’t deserve to depend on forcing the unwilling to rescue that civilization.

              • Posted March 17, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

                People are notoriously bad at being willing to do what’s best rather than what’s easy or fun. Good luck with that!

              • Posted March 17, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

                Additionally, much of the criticism of the draft, at least from the left, is not just the coercion, but *what people are being coerced to do*, ie, participate in unethical wars or “police actions”.

        • Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

          What did that protagonist do? (Too lazy to check. I liked much of Rand’s “We the Living”, but it seems to be not a typical work of hers).

          • kategladstone
            Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            Which protagonist, of which work?

            • Posted March 17, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

              Of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shruggs, in some railway accident. (I was replying to Jon Lynn Harvey who mentioned it, but many other commenters wrote opinions and it became difficult to trace.)

              • kategladstone
                Posted March 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

                I know the scene your talking about … A
                and hasten to add that I am very far from considering her novels to be some kind of [GASP! HORRORS!] Bible! (I was once kicked out of a Randite club for being, according to the club president, “too logical”: which is as if someone could get excommunicated from Catholicism because of being entirely TOO donvinced that the bread and wine become Jesus when properly blessed.)
                Regardless, for anyone to get what he or she needs (healthcare, or safe transport, or anything else worth creating), someone has to create it … and the people who are able and willing to create it are not always guaranteed to remain happily willing (or able) when they /a/ do not find that they are justly recompensed for their efforts, and/or they /b/ find that a portion of their effort (or of the results/gain from their efforts) is systematically diverted my, in the name of “a greater good,” towards endeavors that they are _not_ willing to support. (E.g., a science teacher may be unwilling, or unable to continue teaching science when she knows that a portion of every dollar she earns from her efforts will be used to teach against science and to promote the destruction of science. When that is the context in which she must live and must teach, will the fact that science teaching is good — indeed essential — be _always_ sufficient to motivate her to keep on doing it? That’s what I mean by considering that a society whose members insufficiently create/allow something cannot expect to have that “something” indefinitely …

                One might even jest that funding various important things just may be far _too_ important to leave to the government …

    • Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Contrary to their claim that “There is no God in Vedas”, the Rig Veda alone has enough gods to supply a small continent if used economically.

      • E.A. Blair
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        “There is no God in Vedas.”

        But it is a universal principle that what happens in Vedas stays in Vegas. So does that mean there is a god in Vegas?

        • E.A. Blair
          Posted March 17, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

          Oops – made a typo (blast you, WordPress!) It should have been

          “But it is a universal principle that what happens in Vedas stays in Vedas”

          The type ruined the pun.

          • E.A. Blair
            Posted March 17, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

            This is really not my day:

            “The typo ruined the pun.”

  15. bric
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    All of science is completely wrong . . . she typed into her computer

    waiting for the drumroll

    • kategladstone
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      HAIKU

      Those who disbelieve
      Evolution still line up
      For this year’s flu shots.

    • Graham Martin-Royle
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 4:04 am | Permalink

      And ALL of religion is completely correct. So that includes the claim that jesus is the son of god AND the claim that he isn’t but is just another of gods prophets. Hmmm, both those claims can’t be correct, at least one has to be wrong. Personally, I think that both are wrong.

      • Richard
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        Or perhaps they just go through different slits and the wave function has not yet collapsed… 🙂

        • kategladstone
          Posted March 17, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          Shhh! Don’t give the mystics/True Believers _ideas_!

  16. E.A. Blair
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I once had to work with Dr. Seuss (but I called him “Mister Geisel”) and he was a royal pain in the butt the whole time. I was in charge of designing an educational computer game based on The Cat in the Hat, and he just didn’t know how to give instructions to people – I guess he was just too used to doing all the work on his books himself. His comments included remarks like “Make this more ridiculous.” When I asked him how we were supposed to do that, he came back with things like, “Add more ridiculosity”. Eventually, his comments and suggestions descended into abuse and the whole project was scrapped. How Chuck Jones managed to do the TV version of Grinch I’ll never know. He may be fondly remembered for his own output, but I may never remember him kindly.

    Whatever the case, I think Dr. Seuss is much more wholesome for children than bible stories and I’d certainly prefer to have his books in schools than creationism.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Maybe Dr Seuss could only express himself in rhyme and that was the crux of your communication issues.

    • eric
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      I’m not surprised. In some people the skill sets may overlap, but in general, “artist” /= “program manager.”

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 12:41 am | Permalink

      That’s disappointing. 😦

  17. Ken Phelps
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    In the world per JB, are we to presume that the term “nerds” includes everyone what reads them there book things?

  18. Scote
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    “bill” on my post, “Social media excoriates British teacher for claiming there’s more evidence for the truth of the Bible than of evolution“:

    “I stand on the Bible account and am sure at some point you will wish you had also.””

    I believe bill means after die and are facing God. Many Christians take glee at the prospect of unbelievers getting their comeuppance. It’s a variation of ” When dad gets home you are going to get a whopping, and I’m gonna enjoy watching. ” I wish I could say it isn’t very Christian of them to say such things, but, unfortunately, it actually is very Christian of them to do so.

    • eric
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Their glee at the thought of watching sinners burn in hell is how you will ‘know them by their love.’ 🙂

  19. Kevin
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    “There’s no hope [or redemption] for this person.”

    This reminds me of the death penalty. An argument for: there is no way this person can integrate into society. It is a non-trivial argument for death, as opposed to life or rehabilitation or re-programming.

    With the uncompromising faithful (derelict criminals), we can still learn from them:

    · where did we go wrong
    · how did lifestyle play a role
    · how did education (or lack thereof) play a role
    · how can the next generation (who are most at risk) be prevented from falling into faith (or crime)

    The reward the faithful get for staying out of jail (mostly) is that you can still be clinically deluded and be a functioning member of society.

  20. Cole
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    “When, exactly, will I stand on the Bible account? When I’m about to die?”

    No, I think he means *after* you are dead.

  21. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Here is an inspiring photo of someone standing on the Bible.

    • eric
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      I think I have that version! I couldn’t resist buying it: there was a big sticker on the front proclaiming “Slightly Imperfect, 25% Off.”* I kept the sticker on the book, of course. 🙂

      *In actuality, stickers like this identify books with minor printing errors, like a page printed closer to the margin than it should have been or with the print slightly rotated on a few pages. So my bible is perfectly readable and nothing is missing…but unlike most, it is also accurately labeled!

    • Mary Sheumaker
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      love the toilet placed so carefully in the background!

  22. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    What a coincidence, I was just thinking of creationists when I saw today’s astounding evolutionary news, they have placed the Tully Monster!

    [Not only is it a chordate, and it seems there will be two papers noting this soon, but it clades within lampreys. The eye stalks is analogous to hammerhead sharks enhanced binocular vision, to place the funky jointed jaw. Worm-in-hole eater?]

    ““Forty years ago, the fossil record seemed to be replete with ‘problematic’ fossils,” says Smith, who worked on Hallucigenia. “One by one, these have been brought into the fold and found places on the tree of life.””

    That must make creationists cry, yet another gap-for-gods gone.

    I especially liked groovyman’s nonsense, since evolution wasn’t gone after 5 years but is ever growing stronger after 150 years.

    And this is too funny:

    “Take Newton’s first law, which says – an object will continue in motion in a straight line with a constant velocity. But we have never seen such an object, neither on earth nor in space.”

    The nearest lamp shadow, or laser pointer for the incredulous, will show that photons travel in a straight line (modulo GR).

    The best example is the cosmic microwave background, since it shows photons have traveled in a straight line (modulo weak GR effects) for 14 billion years over ~ 50 billion lyrs (when accounting for cosmological expansion). One couldn’t ask for a better test.

    Rand was a philosopher, for Ceiling Cat’s sake!

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Tully’s Monster: http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/03/solving-the-mystery-of-the-tully-monster/473823/

      • W. Benson
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Great article by Ed Yong.

        • loren russell
          Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          Yes, “bully for Tully!” With a nod to SJGould for loss of another proto-phylum. I remember my HS biology teacher bringing in a science newsletter announcing the find and I’ve been following every mention since. At one time I guessed it might be related to chaetognaths, but chordate affinity always seemed as likely as any.

          With Tullimonstrum accounted for, what are the most-enigmatic incertae fossils?

      • Merilee
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Fascinating! I had never heard of this.

    • Michael 2
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      “The best example is the cosmic microwave background, since it shows photons have traveled in a straight line (modulo weak GR effects) for 14 billion years”

      So who has the stopwatch that measured this? I really do think better, more accessible examples exist.

      Newton’s laws are often demonstrated in a small boat on a lake; sometimes inadvertently.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        The stopwatch is the cosmological expansion from small scales to today, which can be extracted from LCDM parameters in the latest Planck data on the cosmic microwave background.

        You also need a ruler (angular measure, really) to measure flatness, but that is extracted from the feature size in the cosmic microwave background.

        The best walk trough is to look at the latest LCDM summary paper in the Planck legacy archive. It takes you from data to result.

  23. John
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Another beef – yours is the only, the ONLY, site that I regularly read that doesn’t display well by default on my mobile device. Every freaking post I have to pinch to get the text centered. Does nobody else have this problem?

    I know people like you. Won’t tw**t; have an x-year-old computer where x means “it does the job, why would I need another?” (I’m right aren’t I?)

    • Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Are you aware that this blog is run by WordPress, using their code, and that Jerry has no responsibility for how this website displays on your phone? If there is a problem, it is probably due to some issue with the WordPress theme coding.

      I know people like you. Always have the latest electronics, and think everyone else is dumber than they are. Am I right?

      • Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        + 1

      • Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        I suspect John is pretty technologically illiterate himself. I’m certainly no techie and even I know the way the site displays is nothing to do with Jerry.

        Also, I Horace no idea what he’s talking about. When I double-tap my screen, it zooms in appropriately and centers just fine.

        • Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          Horace?

          An edit function sure would be nice, though. C’mon, WordPress!

          • Diane G.
            Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

            LOL, you get the most hilarious substitutions! 😀

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted March 18, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

            Hahahahahaha probably Horace would agree with you.

    • Posted March 17, 2016 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Sorry John, but I have no ability to change the way this site displays on WordPress. And, as you see, others don’t have this problem.

      As for “people like me”, that’s just plain rude. First of all, my posts automatically go to Twitter, and once or day or so I do make an independent tw**t. And is there something WRONG with people who don’t tw**t? I regard this website as a long-form tweet, okay?

      As for other computers, I have a brand new desktop Mac with a 30 inch screen and a one year-old Macbook air, along with a three year old Powermad.

      No, you’re not right. But you’re bloody rude, and won’t post here again until you apologize.

      • Posted March 18, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

        Powermad?!

        A MacBook for egomaniacs. (Or strident atheists.) Awesome.

        /@

        Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse all creative spellings.

        >

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted March 18, 2016 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          Or sociopaths. I’m pretty sure that’s what the president on House of Cards uses. 😛

  24. Doris Fromage
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    “‘I stand on the Bible account and am sure at some point you will wish you had also.’

    When, exactly, will I stand on the Bible account? When I’m about to die? Don’t count on it.”

    ARGUMENT FROM I KNOW BETTER
    (1) When you are dead, you’ll stand before a righteous God for judgment.
    (2) You will be unable to utter a sound.
    (3) We will all gloat and jeer and say, “Told you so”. Even your own mother.
    (4) THEN you’ll be sorry!!
    (5) Therefore, God exists.

    • EvolvedDutchie
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      If Joseph Smith was right, reader “bill” has a problem too.

      • E.A. Blair
        Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        “If Joseph Smith was right, reader ‘bill’ has a problem too.”

        That reminds me of an old Catholic school joke which I shall update for current conditions:

        The Vatican’s Prefect of Communications came to Pope Francis’ office pleading to be seen. He was admitted, and as he entered the office, the pontiff noticed that he was pale and trembling.

        “What is the matter, Dario?” he asked

        “Your Holiness, I have some wonderful news and some horrible news.”

        The Pope nodded and said, “Go on; tell me the wonderful news first.”

        “Your Holiness, we have received a telephone call from our Lord Jesus himself.”

        “Is this some kind of prank?”

        “No, Your Holiness. Even over the phone, the sense of His presence and the sound of His voice leaves no doubt. The Son of God has returned to earth.”

        “That is indeed wonderful news,” said Francis. “It is what we have been working towards for centuries. What could possibly be horrible after that?”

        Although it seemed impossible, the Prefect paled even more and his agitation increased. “Your Holiness the call…the call…it came from Salt Lake City.”

        (Rimshot)

        • EvolvedDutchie
          Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          Haha, excellent! +1

  25. W. Benson
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, could it be that election year nonsense is bringing out the loonies?

  26. Doris Fromage
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    A favorite to share, just because:

    There was a good exchange about this on alt.atheism a few years ago. “Mr GoodSalt” asked:
    ________________________________________
    What don’t atheists like about OBEDIENCE?

    Is there any condition under which you could see yourself getting ON YOUR KNEES before another being and acknowledging that being as having ABSOLUTE authority to tell you what to do forever no matter what – and LIKE IT!?

    So, if God exists, and He is your creator, He is good, and loves you, paying Him the respect of kneeling before Him, and acknowledging His right to be your leader, and to even enjoy having Him as your leader – you call that slavery?
    ________________________________________
    Another user, L. Raymond, responded:
    ________________________________________
    When you phrase it like this, it is obvious what you describe is not slavery. It is a thousand times worse than the most degrading slavery ever inflicted by one human on another. You do not want people to simply bow meekly before your idol; physical debasement is not enough. You demand that people allow their minds to be corrupted as well. You would force them to *enjoy* crawling through the dirt, squirming mindlessly through the dust towards this demiurge you posit in order to thank it for the opportunity to abase themselves.

    • EvolvedDutchie
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      “Mr. GoodSalt” should have picked “Marquis de Sade” as his nickname. What Mr. GoodSalt describes is a sadomasochistic relationship between a dom and his/her submissive. If that’s what floats his boat, good for him. Just don’t force it on society.

    • Michael 2
      Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      “Is there any condition under which you could see yourself…”

      You could just answer “no”.

      The question implies voluntary allegiance. Your response assumed forced behavior. Do try to get on the same page.

      • Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        There were 2 questions, not one. Our answer is “no” at No. 1, “yes” at No. 2. We are on the same page. And, for the record, I do not know a religion “implying voluntary allegiance” without disastrous consequences if that allegiance is not given “voluntarily”.

        • Michael 2
          Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          mayamarkov “for the record, I do not know a religion implying voluntary allegiance without disastrous consequences if that allegiance is not given voluntarily”.

          It may surprise you what you find under rocks if you turn them over. If you don’t, then many things will remain “I do not know.” Of course, you’d have to go where the rocks have that sort of thing under them where here you will find genomes and bosons.

          Many religions, from Buddhism to Mormonism, have no negative consequences other than failing to obtain the positive consequences from turning that rock.

          • Diane G.
            Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            “…to Mormonism..”

            I consider excommunication and shunning by your own family a negative consequence.

            • Michael 2
              Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

              Diane G. “I consider excommunication and shunning by your own family a negative consequence.”

              Agreed, but the original comment was referring, I believe, to “hell” and more particularly to some Christian beliefs about torments there.

              Being shunned by others is very common and is frequently exercised on blogs. Who do you shun?

              • Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

                That’s *very* different to being shunned by your own flesh and blood.

                /@

          • Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            As a former Mormon, let me say you are full of it. Mormonism is little more than Quiverfull-lite.

            • Diane G.
              Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

              Ooh, I gotta remember that one!

            • Michael 2
              Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

              musical beef wrote: “As a former Mormon, let me say you are full of it.”

              What a strange thing to say. Of course I am full of it, and wish to be more filled, but it does not require a person to be a former Mormon to observe this. I am able to, and enjoy, conversing on many topics.

              “Mormonism is little more than Quiverfull-lite.”

              I have no idea what is quiverfull-lite but you are likely correct. The question is whether quiverfull-lite is closer to reality, or is a “better” thing, than arguing for a grand ex-nihilo creation of everything 6000 years ago.

  27. Alpha Neil
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    HUMANS EVOLVED FROM ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS HAVING GAY SEX THAT MELTED STEEL BEAMS IN A BENGHAZI ABORTION CLINIC!!!1!!1!!! IT’S RIGHT THERE IN THE SECOND AMENDMENT BUT OBAMACARE MADE YOU TOO MUSLIM TO SEE IT!!!! THE UNITED NATIONS PUT AUTISM IN OUR VACCINES – HILLARY’S TOP SECRET PRIVATE EMAILS PROVE IT SHEEPLE!!1!!

    That was kind of fun. Why aren’t stupid people happier?

  28. aljones909
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Groovyman said: “Of course I’m just a regular dude so I can’t comprehend that common sense is disallowed by geniuses”.
    That’s the first thing you need to comprehend. “common sense” is frequently overturned by scientific geniuses.

    • Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Not that there is much common sense in creationism.

    • Posted March 17, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      And relative to background knowledge.

      My friend Raven was raised by an intelligent enough but (by our standards) uneducated uncle (he was a construction worker). When he was told about evolution, he said that it sounded obvious. The difference? A relatively non-European-religion-religious Native American background!

  29. Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I shouldn’t be in as much shock and dismay to see Creationism so alive and well in the 21st century, but I am. And I don’t know what to do about it.

    Carl Kruse

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I can puke.

  30. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Quote of the day:

    “truth is out there, on the internet”

    Well, yes, among other things…

    cr

  31. Posted March 16, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I shouldn’t be in as much shock and dismay to see Creationism so alive and well in the 21st century, but I am. And I don’t know what to do about it or how to feel better.

    Carl Kruse

  32. Michael 2
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    “I don’t know what to do about it or how to feel better.”

    Start with why it matters. Why is it important to you that a wheat farmer in Kansas believe the Earth is 4.7 billion years old, then be prepared to answer to him the same thing.

    Answers do exist; I’m wondering if you’ve given it much thought.

    As I was driving across Nevada with a friend of mine, he was declaring that there was plenty of room for more people, that the command given to Adam and Eve to replenish the Earth wasn’t fulfilled. I explained that yes, there’s plenty of room, the problem is water. The parts of Earth that can be populated have pretty well been populated.

    He said that there is no such thing as an insurmountable problem for God and there’ll soon be water everywhere, even in the Sahara desert. Well obviously God is choosing not to water it right now so I suppose that excuses not filling deserts with people.

    Why it matters is that such persons are less likely to conserve resources if they believe that a god will simply create more resource.

    The correct answer, in my opinion, is not to challenge god-belief directly; that’s a non-starter. Instead, argue the specific example. Obviously northern Nevada has insufficient water right now, the Ogalalla aquifer is being depleted and it is unwise to continue to deplete it expecting God to replenish it.

    If your opponent persists, point out the story of Egypt and Pharoah’s dream; 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine. God did not rescue anyone. They saved grain for their own future and survived the famine thereby. No miracle beyond having been given advice.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      FWIW, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, give or take.

      [The solar system is 4.567 Ga. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Earth

      Two different ways to date light “rare” elemnt growth in the newforned crust from early impactors agree that the Eaeth/Moon forming event happened ~ 90 Myrs after that.]

      • Michael 2
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        I salute a fellow pedant and Viking. The age of the Earth seems to me ought to be slightly fuzzy as deciding at what moment of its construction it is to be called “Earth” rather than “blob”; but whats a few hundred million years among friends?

    • Posted March 17, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      At one time there was an excess of water in the inland sea that covered the largest part of the middle of what we now choose to call the United States. Who knows? It could happen again. Or, maybe with global warming, the seas will rise enough to cover the west coast and spill over the dam of the Sierras into Nevada. Anything is possible without the intervention of a god. The terrain changes all the time. We just prefer to to believe that the earth is stable and permanent.

      • Michael 2
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Rowena writes “Or, maybe with global warming, the seas will rise enough to cover the west coast and spill over the dam of the Sierras into Nevada. Anything is possible without the intervention of a god.”

        Agreed. Using Jim Hansen’s parameters of 3.2 millimeters per year sea level rise, exponentially rising, and a ten year doubling I calculated it will take about 170 years to overtop Mount Everest.

        There’s a remote possibility that not enough water actually exists to do that, or to overtop the Sierra Nevada, but as you say, anything is possible without a god — you need only a vivid imagination.

    • barn owl
      Posted March 17, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Well, the obvious solution is to adopt stillsuit technology, harvest water from the atmosphere, and learn to ride sandworms, until the Lisan al-Gaib arrives.

      • Michael 2
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        From one of my favorite series of science fiction stories.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 17, 2016 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        Avoid the gom jabbar altogether as well – I think that is good advice.

        • barn owl
          Posted March 17, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          Gom jabbar will be my new way to refer to a bark scorpion that gets inside the house. “Look out for that gom jabbar … let me get the broom. Or a heavy shoe.”

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted March 18, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            I call that box you put your finger into, for a pin prick, for blood tests, the gom jabbar.

        • Posted March 18, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

          Jubjub birds and bandersnatchi are to be avoided too …

          /@

          Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse all creative spellings.

          >

  33. merilee
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Biology and chemistry and physics do not deal with objects of nature????

  34. Nell Whiteside
    Posted March 17, 2016 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    To cope with the creationist milieu in which I live, I mutter the following to myself:

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” – Charles Darwin

  35. Atheos
    Posted March 17, 2016 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Even common dudes/dudettes can understand science if they really try, that’s how people end up as scientists.

    Basically these people are incredibly dumb and do not want to understand science because it conflicts with their own beliefs.

  36. Andrew B.
    Posted March 17, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    That’s ok. You still have 266 other Tiffanys who apparently stand by you.

  37. Michael 2
    Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    “It is obvious from this response that the Big Bang is assumed BEFORE any research has even begun.”

    Yes. This is the way that science normally proceeds. You start with an idea then you test the idea.

    • Posted March 17, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      No. Plenty of research led to the formulation of the Big Bang hypothesis. And, yes, I know there are issues surrounding the idea of a “big bang”. The point is that hypotheses are not conjured ex nihilo, but are *educated guesses* based on, that’s right, prior research.

      • Michael 2
        Posted March 18, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        musical beef wrote: “No. Plenty of research led to the formulation of the Big Bang hypothesis.”

        If I remember right, and ignoring the possibility of nuances, the Big Bang was implied by the discovery of redshifted distant galaxies. If all are flying apart going forward in time, well then it is a reasonable guess to imagine they originated from a point going back in time.

        From that moment on, research examines that point of origin, partly with a view to deciding whether the universe is going to oscillate or expand forever.

        As to what caused the big bang, I doubt anything we do can push back before the singularity when time itself (IMO) came into existence.

        So there wasn’t exactly plenty of prior research on the topic of cosmic singularity. It was a leap, a gestalt, an “ah hah!” moment for someone or many someones as the idea is almost obvious once you have observed distant galaxy redshift.

  38. somer
    Posted March 17, 2016 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    I do love to get “yogic power” from the Bible!

  39. Posted March 18, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Wow! The Big Bang is just as much part of the real world as the technology we’re having this conversation on is. It’s part of the same body of knowledge (physics, in this case).

    Our understanding of the Big Bang is still rather incomplete, but it is well supported by mountains of evidence. The cosmic microwave background is possibly the best known but there’s far more besides.

    The physics of everyday life is completely understood (see Sean Carroll) and it’s the same physics that runs all the way back to (just after) the Big Bang. If the Big Bang were a bogus theory, it would imply that everyday physics is bogus too (which it’s not).

    The things that you poo poo because we don’t see them everyday are nonetheless rooted in the same physics that we do see everyday.

    The explanations we construct – our guesses (see the video of Richard Feynman’s lecture on the scientific method have to be consistent with what we already know (e.g., Einstein’s theory of gravity doesn’t make Newton’s wrong, just limited in scope) as well as with the evidence, and it’s this consilience that gives us greater confidence in our theories.

    At this point in history, if you want to discredit the Big Bang theory you have to do a lot more than (as Fred Hoyle did) simply giving it a derisory name (which nonetheless stuck) or hand-wave about things unseen. You have to provide an alternative theory that has a /greater/ explanatory power – but which is still consistent with everyday physics. Good luck with that.

    /@

    Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse all creative spellings.

    >

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      +1

  40. Bruce Gorton
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I stand on the Bible account and am sure at some point you will wish you had also.

    I would have thought stamping on a Bible was a no no.

  41. Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Sadly, continuing to pile ignorance upon ignorance does not advance your case any.

    The CMB is not uniform (have you not seen the pictures?!) and is exactly the temperature we’d expect from a hot Big Bang when red shift is taken into account.

    Your assertion that science is becoming less “experimental” will come as a huge surprise to the millions of people actual doing experiments around the world today.

    /@

  42. Michael 2
    Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Thank you. One of my interests is why people argue about anything. Most argument is Darwinian, figuratively speaking. In a social setting we would be forming groups and when fully grouped, conflict would arise to decide who gets the food and breeding rights.

    The religious words include sorting, sifting (wheat from chaff). It is the same principle.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 18, 2016 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Because through conflict issues are revealed and if the people are good at listening and discussing, those issues are resolved.

  43. Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Oh, you are priceless. Do you actually believe the things you say to be true? Or are you just making this shit up? “Evolutionists” (which I’d generally take to mean evolutionary biologists) don’t really have much to say on cosmology in any case.

    /@

  44. Posted March 18, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    You also have a very lose definition of “arguing”. What you’ve done so far is little more than foot stamping. “I’ll scweam and scweam and scweam until I’m sick!”

    /@


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