UDreamOfJanie

Dream a Little Dream of Me.

Shooting Yourself In The Foot

Over at Fundy Central, Little Billy D pulls an O’Leary.

“Youth — the key to unseating Darwinian materialism

Check out this forthcoming book, in which I understand that our very own Sal Cordova is featured. Note especially Sam Harris’s blurb — with people like Harris expressing such foreboding, one has to wonder how close we are to seeing the Darwinian house of cards collapse under the weight of its self-delusion.”

The forthcoming book about which he’s blathering can be found at Amazon. It’s called Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement it’s by Lauren Sandler, and its scheduled release is September 7, 2006.

It’s apparently an in depth look at the fundy youth movement. After his salivating comments above about the upcoming release of this book, he does a wholesale copy and paste of the book review section of the Amazon page.

Now, reading his comments above, you might be tempted to think of this book as praise for the right wing fundy Christian movement. However, if you actually READ the reviews that he so flagarently slopped all over his post, you see a bit of a different timbre to the book.

“Lauren Sandler obliterates the naïve and complacent hope that keeps most secularists and religious moderates sleeping peacefully each night-the hope that, in 21st century America, the young know better than to adopt the lunatic religious certainties of a prior age. The young do not know better. In their schools, skate-parks, rock concerts, and in the ranks of our nation’s military, our children are gleefully preparing a bright future of ignorance and religious fascism for us all. If you have any doubt that there is a culture war that must be waged and won by secularists in America, read this book.”
—Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation

“Lauren Sandler has traveled among the believers and returned with a story that alarms, informs, and enlightens. She reveals the rise of a fundamentalist-style youth movement that has replaced faith with closed-minded certainty and is frighteningly cult-like. Read this book and you will understand this Disciple Generation and the challenge it poses to a civil society.”
—Michael D’Antonio, former Newsday religion writer and author of Fall From Grace and Heaven on Earth

“Righteous is the most adroit and fascinating examination of a great national ill, the muddling of faith and politics, the secular and the divine.”
—Brad Land, author of Goat

It seems to me that none of the above quotes are really positive towards the movement, only toward the book itself, and its expose of the movement.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the impression that Dr. Doolittle-to-nothing forgot to actually read the reviews before he pasted them on his blog?

And given the topic of the book, what exactly does it have to do with science and ID? Unless, of course, ID is about religion, and not at all about science?

If this is his idea of promoting good science, it’s no wonder ID can’t get a place at the table.

Filed under: Biology, Education, Fundies, Humor, Rants, Religion, Science

77 Responses

  1. Wonderpants says:

    Yeah, isn’t it funny how UD seems to focus rather more on politics, religion, rants about the ACLU, prominent biologists, and similar topics, than actual science.

    It’s also pretty educational watching them rush to reassure themselves that ID is alive and well/evolution is really on it’s deathbed whenever some new discovery that reinforces evolution is discovered (see the UD Tiktaalik discussion for a good example of this)

  2. JanieBelle says:

    Hi wonderpants!

    I tried, Dave tried, even some of the AtBC crowd that hadn’t yet been muzzled over there tried. They just don’t want to talk about science.

    They want to preach. They want to convert. And they don’t even do THAT very well.

    Does the expression “Preachin’ to the choir” ring any bells?

    That’s exactly what Dembski and O’Leary are all about. Nothing more.

    It’s a shame, in a way. I really would have liked someone to take some time and lay out ID’s scientific position for me.

    Alas, I fear there is none. I don’t know what else to say about it.

    Sal started to lay it out for me, but his numbers were coming out of nowhere, near as I can tell. He popped in here exactly once, and didn’t even say anything useful. He just plugged a book. (Turns out it was the very same book mentioned above, just FYI)

    Dave’s tired of the Culture War, and has gone to great lengths to ask for a break. I’m giving him his space on that, and even enforcing that for everyone else here at the blog.

    I totally understand. It’s all very exhausting. It sucks the life right out of ya’.

    But that still leaves me with no idea what exactly the ID position is. Every IDer I ask seems to have a totally different take on it.

    And the UD position is quite blatantly a push for a Christofascist Theocracy, near as I can tell. It has nothing at all to do with science. I don’t know if it always was that way, but I can’t find a damned bit of science being discussed over there.

    Being banned wasn’t such a great loss in the end, I suppose.

    Plus, now I can add cool letters to the end of my name…

    JanieBelle BBWAD

  3. blipey says:

    Okay. At risk of being banned, I have the following to say. I believe it to be of the utmost importance:

    And the UD position is quite blatantly a push for a Christofascist Theocracy, near as I can tell. It has nothing at all to do with science.

    If you have come to this conclusion, why? how? when? I am assuming whatever answer you come up with applies to the ID movement in general? So, my question is, “What different does DaveScot bring to the discussion?”

    You seem to be compartmentalizing DaveScot and ID. Is this on purpose? If so, why? If not, how?

    You seem to think that DaveScot brings his own thoughts and new ideas to ID. Really, all he has done has been to defend Dembski, Wells, and Luskin. Dave has introduced no new ideas to ID; he has generated no new information. So, if you think the ID movement is bogus, why do you not apply the same conclusion to DaveScot?

    They just don’t want to talk about science.

    Again, my above criticism holds. However, if you are claiming that DaveScot really wants to talk scinece, you are also claiming that he has new ideas. If this is true, what are they? What substansive information does he have to introduce that Dembski, Johnson, Wells, Luskin, and Behe have not already covered?

    If he has indeed introduced new info, why has the movement not been infused with fresh thinking and purpose? Why have not his own posts showed anything of the like?

    It seems disingenuous for you to separate DaveScot and ID into different camps–as if they only tangentially connected.

  4. Alan Fox says:

    It seems disingenuous for you to separate DaveScot and ID into different camps–as if they only tangentially connected.

    Dave was an uneasy occupant of the big tent. He was always more interested in advancing the wedge strategy on political grounds than in spouting ID dogma. His commitment to ID was never convincing, IMHO.

  5. blipey says:

    I do not argur the point that Dave was in it for his own reasons–certainly not the same as those in my list (Johnson, et al). However, I think my point remains valid. If Janie is saying that the ID movement is bankrupt in general, how is that she can claim DaveScot had no connection to said bankruptcy?

    It doesn’t matter why he supported it, the fact that he supported a bankrupt proposition should be his legacy. If ID is shit (and obviously so according to Janie’s post), how does anyone who supported it get a free pass?

  6. JohnADavison says:

    When I was a child, I never had any friends or anyone else for that matter who would play with me. I didn’t even have any toys. If I did I wouldn’t make such a petfect ass of myself everywhere I surface which is just about everywhere.

    I am an emotional disaster and a blight upon the face of the internet.

    I love my peepee so!

  7. Wonderpants says:

    What everyone’s said about DaveScot.

    “On July 30, 2006 4:04 AM, JohnADavison said…

    David Springer never had any respect for Dembski or anyone else for that matter. He doesn’t even have any self respect. If he did he wouldn’t make such a petfect ass of himself everywhere he surfaces which is just about everywhere.

    He is an emotional disaster and a blight upon the face of the internet.”

    Oh, the irony….

  8. JanieBelle says:

    ‘Morning boys.

    Everyone needs to back up just a sec.

    My beef in the above post is not with ID it’s with UD.

    You are all conflating the two.

    UD has been terribly unhelpful in my investigation of ID.

    Is that a bit more clear?

    With one exception, none of you are in danger of being banned. Discussion of the position is not off-limits. Personal attacks on Dave are.

    Now I have to get out the Big Green Marker, I’ll be back.

    Kisses,
    JanieBelle

  9. JanieBelle says:

    Looking back at the post itself, I see that the confusion is surely my fault.

    I certainly could have worded the end of that post to be more clear.

    ID may or may not be all about the religion. I don’t know. But that definitely seems to be UD’s take on ID.

    Kisses,
    JanieBelle

  10. JanieBelle says:

    Which, I suppose, brings us to the question…

    Is there any one out there anywhere who is actually promoting an ID theory that isn’t religious propoganda at its core?

    JanieBelle

  11. blipey says:

    I really don’t think we’re conflating anything. My take goes something like this:

    As you stated, “And the UD position is quite blatantly a push for a Christofascist Theocracy, near as I can tell. Well, UD is supposed to be the “Science Blog” of ID. If you think that UD is religion based (and I certainly think it is), try some of the other ID proponents: John Calvert’s organization, IDEA clubs, and many others.

    So, if UD is the most science-y and least religious-y, what does that say about the movement in general?

    My point is not to attack DaveScot, and I don’t think that I have done that. My point is to have you take a look at his arguments (past, I suppose, since he apparently has no desire to enlighten us with his current opinions) in light of what you claim to have learned about UD. It was UD that Dave ran for 6 months. How exactly can he be separated from the claims made on UD? How do his opinions, strategies and goals differ from theirs? I’m sure they do in many regards, but I’m also certain they coincide on many points. As Alan said, I believe Dave was in it as a socio-political endeavor, but since that’s all ID ever was, I don’t see how he can be separated from his pro-ID, anti-science arguments.

    If your conclusion is that UD is crap, musn’t ID as a serious scientific argument also be crap (as UD and the DI are the leading lights of IDC)? If this is true, must not Dave’s arguments for ID also be crap? Not a personal attack, just following the argument through. His opinions on other things may be perfectly valid.

  12. Lifewish says:

    UD has been terribly unhelpful in my investigation of ID.

    Good luck finding anywhere that is helpful… The only sites I’ve come across that have actually made any effort to aid my investigations of ID are run by what you might call interested hobbyists. Lovely people. Clueless about maths. Mostly evangelical Christians, for some strange reason 😛

    Dembski, by contrast, seems to delight in obfuscating his work as much as possible. Which, of course, gives him free rein to tell critics that they just don’t understand his maths.

    Anyway, if you do find a helpful, well-informed IDer, let me know. We could flog them to a museum for the rarity value 🙂

  13. JanieBelle says:

    blipey said:

    Well, UD is supposed to be the “Science Blog” of ID.

    I was afraid of that. Near as I could tell on the web, that’s what I thought when I first started going there. That’s WHY I first started going there.

    I’m not interested in the religion or the politics.

    So, if UD is the most science-y and least religious-y, what does that say about the movement in general?

    It bodes not well, I’m afraid.

    My point is not to attack DaveScot, and I don’t think that I have done that.

    You haven’t, and I appreciate that. It’s the position I want to discuss.

    since he apparently has no desire to enlighten us with his current opinions

    His choice, and I respect that.

    How exactly can he be separated from the claims made on UD?

    Precisely thus:
    Dave has been an active, interesting, kind commenter on this blog. He wishes a vacation from the ID/evo debate, he gets it here.

    Dave is a person, and a commenter who I happen to like, regardless of where he stands on ID. I don’t think of him as an ID supporter, I think of him as a person who I like to engage at my blog.

    He is no more just “an ID proponent” than I am just “a bisexual”.

    I am a person who happens to have blonde hair, great legs, a love for literature, no sexual preference, and a good heart. My sexual proclivities do not define me. Dave’s position on ID does not define him. The fact that you are a professional clown does not define you. You are so much more than “just a clown”.

    If your conclusion is that UD is crap, musn’t ID as a serious scientific argument also be crap…?

    Not necessarily, though as it is seeming to turn out, this may indeed be the case. That’s what I’m trying to find out for myself. (With all of your help, of course.)

    Kisses as always and Kate sends her love,
    JanieBelle

  14. JanieBelle says:

    Lifewish said

    Good luck finding anywhere that is helpful

    Thanks, but that may be in vain.

    Dembski, by contrast, seems to delight in obfuscating his work as much as possible.

    Yes, and it’s pissing me off.

    Anyway, if you do find a helpful, well-informed IDer, let me know. We could flog them to a museum for the rarity value

    I’ll do that, but don’t hold your breath on that. It ain’t looking good for the home team.

    JanieBelle

  15. Lifewish says:

    I’ll do that, but don’t hold your breath on that. It ain’t looking good for the home team.

    Don’t get too steamed about it. Real science is a hell of a lot more interesting than pseudomathematical gibberish.

    Ever read a book called “Red Queen” by Matt Ridley? I think you’d find it interesting – it’s a beautifully-written discussion of why sexuality, and all its variations, are a good idea evolution-wise. Ever wonder why being a good dancer is an attractive trait?

  16. DaveScot says:

    jb and ck

    I’m going to break my silence on ID just long enough to tell you what made me believe beyond reasonable doubt life is no accident. I’ll preface it by saying two things; I might be wrong and I believed life was an accident without purpose for most of my 49 years.

    About 2 years ago I was having an online argument with an MD who was very religious. I was taking the hard nosed agnostic side and arguing that life could be an accident, there was just no way to tell. So he skipped past all the baloney about flagella and camera eyes and bird wings and got right to the heart of the matter – DNA and ribosomes.

    If you’ve forgotten your basic cell biology a ribosome is a little machine that all known forms of life possess (except viruses and even they must use a ribosome to reproduce). The ribosome takes snippets of DNA called coding genes that have been copied into a temporary media called RNA and reads a sequence of instructions off the snippet that defines a protein. Proteins are the basic building blocks of life. There are tens of thousands of different proteins in a human being.

    Think of DNA like a hard disk drive. It stores program information and data in slow but long-lasting memory. It uses a genetic code. The instructions and data must be translated to be useable. They are first translated to a form called RNA which is like RAM in a computer. It’s chemistry, unlike DNA, is very fast but also unlike DNA it is volatile (easily destroyed).

    Ribosomes read RNA snippets starting from one end and bit by bit (or byte by byte if you like) like a computer reading a sequence of instuctions performing a second translation until a stop instruction is encountered. The translation proceeds according to the “genetic code” which is a digital code that links codons (nucleic acid triplets that are the individual units of DNA and RNA) to amino acids (the individual units that compose proteins). There are 64 possible codons and only 20 amino acids used in organic life we know about. Multiple codons can and do specify the same amino acid. The redundancy may serve a purpose or it just may be an artifact of the digital encoding system (three base-4 digits per codon). There’s also a big unexplained mystery in how all the amino acids used happen to right-handed when nothing unalive in nature favors the production of right versus left handed but that’s another story. All known forms of life use exactly the same genetic code with only very trivial variation. All life is somehow related by this commonality because the genetic code could have taken on any of a virtually infinite number of permutations yet all life uses the same permutation.

    Now if this program controlled robotic protein factory found in all living things isn’t enough to make you wonder how a computerized factory for protein production evolved from lifeless chemicals, don’t worry. That isn’t the thorniest part of the problem.

    The thorniest part of the problem is that ribosomes are composed of RNA and proteins. But proteins require a ribosome for their manufacture. And DNA requires proteins in order to replicate. The question of which came first, the ribosome or the protein, or DNA and the ribosome if you prefer, is the mother of all chicken/egg paradoxes.

    So after the MD pointed out the paradox to me I started to wonder how this could be reasonably explained as a freak accident. So after a little googling I mentioned the so-called “RNA World” hypothesis to the doctor. He laughed and told me the RNA World was a fantasy world and the chemistry it required was simply not feasible in the real world. The RNA World is based upon the proven fact that in some rare and exceptional instances RNA can serve as both an information storage mechanism and a catalyst for protein production. Therefore the hypothesis states that RNA came along before DNA or proteins, and then somehow managed to become a self-replicator and evolved into the protein-based DNA-controlled protein manufacturing machinery at the core of every living thing today.

    The biggest problem with this isn’t just the complexity of it (which is huge) or the fact that a digital code is employed (which is another “how the fuck did that happen?”) but rather that RNA is inherently unstable and easily destroyed (see above about differences between RNA and DNA). Even if there was somehow a chemical soup of concentrated nucleic acids (nobody has even figured out where the soup comes from as Miller-Urey falls far short) where random polymers (strings of nucleic acids) could form, none of them could hang together long enough to do anything interesting (like become a stable self-replicator). The chemistry required for the RNA World just doesn’t work.

    So in the end everything science can tell us (hard sciences; chemistry and physics) tells us that it’s not possible for ribosomes and DNA to self-assemble. But ribosomes and DNA are definitely here so they had to come from somewhere. The only reasonable answer, until proven otherwise, is that they didn’t self-assemble. They were assembled by something else. The only thing we know of in the universe that can possibly accomplish this kind of chemical assembly is intelligent agency. Humans can, in theory and very nearly in practice, build these kind of molecular machines. But since we are ourselves molecular machines doesn’t seem possible that intelligent agency like ourselves did the deed. And we just don’t have any scientific evidence of any other form of intelligent agency.

    Thus I remain agnostic by definition but until someone offers a plausible explanstion for the DNA/ribosome paradox I’m presuming it was no accident.

  17. Wonderpants says:

    I’m not interested in the religion or the politics.

    And there isn’t much on UD that isn’t religion or politics. Even DaveScot, for all his protestations about ID being science, couldn’t refrain from rants about the ACLU, evil atheist scientists, and stock right-wing rants.

    Dave has been an active, interesting, kind commenter on this blog. He wishes a vacation from the ID/evo debate, he gets it here.

    You don’t think it’s curious that he suddenly decides he wants a holiday from the debate right after Dembski demotes him, though?

    And how is this blog even offering him a break? It’s still discussing ID and evolution, albeit in a milder form than on UD or the Pandas Thumb, and he’s getting the kid gloves treatment here. No doubt he thinks it’s the next best place for him to post after UD.

    “If your conclusion is that UD is crap, musn’t ID as a serious scientific argument also be crap…?”

    Not necessarily, though as it is seeming to turn out, this may indeed be the case.

    As it stands, it certainly is. All it consists of is an opinion (that things like bacterial flagella are too complicated to have evolved naturally). And it’s going to stay like that until the IDers take the novel step of doing some research.

  18. JanieBelle says:

    Dave,

    Thank you for that. It’s a definable statement which I can investigate. That’s all I ever really wanted at UD in the first place.

    That said, you’re going to have to give me some time to do that. I got straight A’s in science (actually I think the last B I got was in 9th grade Art class, ain’t I just the super genius!) but to be honest, my science teachers sucked. I didn’t understand half of what I regurgitated.

    Kisses,

    JanieBelle

  19. blipey says:

    Does “breaking my silence on ID just long enough…” mean you will be taking no questions now? State your case and then be silent to responders? Lifewish’s “kid gloves” statement is undoubtedly true if this is the case.

  20. blipey says:

    Beg pardon, that was wonderpants’s statement about kid gloves.

  21. JanieBelle says:

    Wonderpants said

    “And there isn’t much on UD that isn’t religion or politics.”

    …Which is depressing as well as unhelpful.

    “Even DaveScot, …”

    I’m interested in discussing the science, let’s stick to that. I think I’ve gotten enough “he said, she said” from UD.

    “You don’t think it’s curious that he suddenly decides he wants a holiday from the debate right after Dembski demotes him, though?”

    As I understand it, Dave stepped down… which is still irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

    “And how is this blog even offering him a break? It’s still discussing ID and evolution, albeit in a milder form than on UD or the Pandas Thumb, and he’s getting the kid gloves treatment here. No doubt he thinks it’s the next best place for him to post after UD.”

    Dave mostly discusses life here, and has done his best to avoid the ID/evo debate here. What he does or doesn’t think about where the best place to comment is, is also irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I’m happy to have him here, whatever his reasons.

    “As it stands, it certainly is. All it consists of is an opinion (that things like bacterial flagella are too complicated to have evolved naturally).”

    That may be, I don’t know. I’m working on finding out.

    One thing I will say, however. I think I’ve pretty much dismissed the “look how pretty, it must be designed” argument. It was compelling at one time to me. Dr. Behe’s book was interesting.

    Now I want something a little more solid.

    As my Dad says, “Where’s the beef?”

    I’m trying to find out.

    JanieBelle

    (This comment managed to get lost, I’m trying to repost it. I’ll ditch it if it’s a double.)

  22. JanieBelle says:

    Lifewish said

    Ever wonder why being a good dancer is an attractive trait?

    Funny enough, I’ve heard something from both the Fundies and the Dyed-in-the-wool Atheists that bears on that.

    “Dancing is just sex with your clothes on.”

    It’s interesting to note the different tones with which that statement is uttered, however.

    And with that statement, since you all have caused Kate and I to miss another opportunity to fluster the little old ladies in blue dresses, we are headed to the shower to…um… dance.

    Dream a little dream of us,
    JanieBelle and Kate

  23. DaveScot says:

    If you have questions, Blipey, google for the answers. I explained why and how I arrived at my position and I’m not hosting a question and answer session. At least not for you. I might indulge jb or ck if they have specific questions that can’t be answered by looking up any of the terms mentioned on wikipedia. They’re all there AFAIK.

  24. Lifewish says:

    Thank you for that. It’s a definable statement which I can investigate. That’s all I ever really wanted at UD in the first place.

    The wikipedia page is probably a good place to start – it’s as detailed as anything I’ve seen. They’ve also got a short section on the origins of the genetic code.

    Bear in mind that we’re dealing here with things that leave no fossil trace, existed in a world that had a completely different chemical makeup, and have been almost completely bulldozed by later arrivals. If there was ever anything that science would get legitimately stuck on, this is it.

  25. Lifewish says:

    Funny enough, I’ve heard something from both the Fundies and the Dyed-in-the-wool Atheists that bears on that.

    “Dancing is just sex with your clothes on.”

    It’s interesting to note the different tones with which that statement is uttered, however.

    Hehe 🙂

    The actual reason that I’ve seen given is that, when you’re dancing, any physical asymmetries you may possess show up more easily. That’s useful information for the opposite sex, since symmetry is a useful shortcut for checking that someone’s developmental genes are functioning properly.

    There’s such an amazing array of cunning tricks out there.

    Dream a little dream of us

    No comment… :p

  26. Wonderpants says:

    On July 30, 2006 11:02 AM, DaveScot said…

    stuff about DNA/RNA that he heard from a very religious (so presumably a fundamentalist) doctor

    Emphasis is mine.

    I wonder if he actually compared this with what scientific resources say about DNA/RNA before drawing conclusions.

    “And there isn’t much on UD that isn’t religion or politics.”

    …Which is depressing as well as unhelpful.

    But true.

    I’m interested in discussing the science, let’s stick to that. I think I’ve gotten enough “he said, she said” from UD.

    I can provide links to DaveScot’s comments on UD to demonstrate it’s not a ‘he said, she said’ situation if you want, but otherwise, we can certainly stick to the science/

    As I understand it, Dave stepped down… which is still irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

    Whether he was pushed or jumped, the bottom line is that he’s suddenly not the big cheese at UD anymore. And since you want to stay focused on the science, you can probably draw your own conclusions from that.

    Dave mostly discusses life here, and has done his best to avoid the ID/evo debate here.

    I’ll just say I have my opinions on why that is, and leave it there.

    One thing I will say, however. I think I’ve pretty much dismissed the “look how pretty, it must be designed” argument. It was compelling at one time to me. Dr. Behe’s book was interesting.

    Now I want something a little more solid.

    Unless someone can prove me wrong, I doubt you’re going to get anything more solid on ID than that.

  27. JanieBelle says:

    Thanks for that Lifewish.

    I’ve made it through paragraph 2 so far, and I think I could have saved them a lot of trouble. (I will, of course finish reading the paper anyways.)

    Why is dancing more important to women? (Warning – huge tongue-in-cheek generalization ahead!)

    Women are more discerning. Women want to know something about a guy before we even talk to him, much less boink him.

    Men? They’re looking for a hole. Pretty girl, ugly girl, symmetrical girl, asymmetrical girl, sheep, tree knot, whatever.

    How hard was that?

    :p

  28. JanieBelle says:

    Wonderpants said:

    “I can provide links to DaveScot’s comments on UD to demonstrate it’s not a ‘he said, she said’ situation if you want,”,

    I don’t.

    “Whether he was pushed or jumped, the bottom line is that he’s suddenly not the big cheese at UD anymore.”

    No, the bottom line is it’s still irrelevant.

    “And since you want to stay focused on the science, you can probably draw your own conclusions from that.”

    I draw no scientific conclusions from that whatever. It’s still irrelevant.

    “I’ll just say I have my opinions on why that is, and leave it there.”

    Please do, I’m not interested in discussing it.

    Feel free to take that up Here though.

    “Unless someone can prove me wrong, I doubt you’re going to get anything more solid on ID than that.”

    Well, doubt is what it’s about, right?

    Anything actually useful to add?

  29. Lifewish says:

    Men? They’re looking for a hole. Pretty girl, ugly girl, symmetrical girl, asymmetrical girl, sheep, tree knot, whatever.

    On behalf of my gender: oi! 😀

    Good point, though. Men tend on average to be more promiscuous than women, given half a chance. What’s really interesting is the way this relates to different social structures, and the effect that has.

    For example, you can actually judge the amount of promiscuity in a species fairly accurately just by looking at the size of their testicles. Chimpanzees live in groups that are basically one big orgy, whereas gorillas live in harems that don’t really interact. Hence male chimpanzees have to produce lots of sperm to ensure that the one that fertilises the egg is their’s, whereas male gorillas aren’t that bothered. Hence chimp balls are about three times the size of gorilla balls.

    What’s really interesting is that, when you apply this assessment to humans, you find that our testicles are significantly bigger than you’d expect if we were completely monogamous. Which means that there’s a lot of cuckolded males out there…

  30. JanieBelle says:

    test. I’ll get back to you fellas, I’ve got something going on….

    Ignore any weird test posts that pop up and disappear.

  31. Wonderpants says:

    I’ve now tried posting a reply twice, and it’s gone missing twice, so here’s a condensed version:

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on Davescot; and as for having anything useful to post, that depends on whether you’ve read UD, Panda’s Thumb/ATBC, Talkorigins, and some of the posts on this blog itself. If you have, then isn’t it evident by now that ID is just a front for pushing Christian fundamentalism, and if not, then I don’t have anything to say that will definitively debunk ID which these sites haven’t already said a lot better than I could.
    Keeping an open mind is well and good, but at some point you’re going to have to choose one side or another. In some posts, you seem very clear that ID is indeed a front for fundamentalism, and then in others, you seen pretty keen for there to be some evidence for ID.

  32. JanieBelle says:

    Sorry Wonderpants. You’re comments aren’t being deleted by me, but I am working on the site and strange things may happen.

    Just so y’know.

    JanieBelle

  33. JohnADavison says:

    There is nothing in my underpants that ever had anything to do with organic evolution, absolutely nothing. It isn’t even going on any more. How manyt times do I have to tell you –

    “My past intelligence is undeniable, my present brain undemonstrable.”
    Dohn Asswipe Javison

    I love my peepee so!

    Piss off Davison, I’m busy and don’t have time for your idiocy. – jb

  34. JanieBelle says:

    Do you really have nothing at all better to do than bother me while you’re playing with yourself, Davison? Go rent a porno movie or something constructive.

    JanieBelle

  35. JanieBelle says:

    Don’t Davison. JUST GO AWAY!

  36. JohnADavison says:

    My name is Dohn Asswipe Javison. I am a complete fruitcake.

    Domain Name
    Level3.net ? (Network)IP Address
    4.140.249.# (Level 3 Communications)ISP
    Level 3 Communications
    Now, unless you’d like for me to start publishing the rest of your personal information,
    GO AWAY!

    Does your family know what an interest you’ve been taking in the blog of a 17 year old girl?

    Do you want them to? If I see your name on one more comment on my blog, they will.

    For the last time, piss off you dirty old lunatic.

    JanieBelle

  37. JanieBelle says:

    Somehow, I knew you wouldn’t listen. If you post here again, I’ll publish your IP address and every damned thing else about you from my site stats.

    I’m sure the fellas at AtBC would be thrilled to have that information. Do you know what they could do with it?

    GO AWAY!

  38. JohnADavison says:

    Promises, promises. I am horny for the work mule and all others just like him. Can’t you tell? I need all the anal penetration by large farm animals I can muster so be my guest.

    Don’t forget to mention my hideous drinking problems. My recent physical indicated an abnormally large anal cavity which I sure expected, especially since David Springer had me along with the whole world. I thought I was a goner. Ah, the powers of persuasion don’t you know!

    I love my butthole so!

    “My past intelligence is undeniable, my present brain undemonstrable.”
    Dohn Asswipe. Javison

    You’re right, dipshit. I’m having a great deal of fun. Please continue. – jb

  39. JanieBelle says:

    DAJ said
    “so be my guest”

    Well, if you insist.

    Domain Name Level3.net ? (Network)IP Address 4.140.249.# (Level 3 Communications)ISP Level 3 CommunicationsLocation Continent : North AmericaCountry : United States (Facts)State : VermontCity : WilliamstownLat/Long : 44.1068, -72.5397 (Map)Language English (United States)
    en-usOperating System Microsoft WinXPBrowser Internet Explorer 6.0
    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; MSN 9.0;MSN 9.1; MSNbMSNI; MSNmen-us; MSNcIA)Javascript version 1.3Monitor Resolution : 1024 x 768Color Depth : 32 bits Time of Visit Jul 30 2006 6:46:33 pmLast Page View Jul 30 2006 7:03:41 pmVisit Length 17 minutes 8 secondsPage Views 6Referring URL

    Visit Entry Page http://udoj.blogspot.com/Visit Exit Page http://udoj.blogspot…n-foot.html#commentsOut Click Post a Comment
    http://www.blogger.c…D=115419548987990467Time Zone UTC-5:00Visitor’s Time Jul 30 2006 6:46:33 pmVisit Number 3,419
    I warned you. I hope you get a virus. Of course, instead of cleaning it out, you’ll probably just go buy a new computer. C’est la vie.

  40. JohnADavison says:

    I’m a bitch!

    Happy to help. Go away. I don’t bother you on your one-post-blog.

    Get a clue. Your brain is empty, your dick is limp, and your condition is to be pitied.

    jb

  41. JanieBelle says:

    Davison, why don’t you go play some bingo, or shuffleboard? It’d do you some good to go play with folks your own age.

    Maybe it’d even help your stress and senility.

    Relax, dear John, and enjoy what few years you have left, in this, your golden twilight.

  42. JanieBelle says:

    Well now that my work on the site is done for the moment, and the ridiculous old man in the tinfoil hat has left for the moment…

    What were we talking about?

  43. LeperColony says:

    I think somebody likes you.

  44. JanieBelle says:

    Geez, LC, ya’ think?

    I’d be flattered if I weren’t so disgusted.

    JanieBelle

  45. blipey says:

    The reason I came to this blog in the first place was to see what the new thing was on ID / EVO. Looked promising, but has since deteriorated into the same old mess. It’s boring.

    DaveScot says he wants a break from the “debate.” Great. Except, of course, when he thinks that he can publish a long, drawn-out diatribe on why ID is correct without having to engage anyone on the subject. He is protected by the powers that be, so that he can behave in this manner.

    It is the same thing that ID advocates have always done. Shout something, then run and hide. Boring.

    Does everyone remember this thread?

    It was to be used for positive evidence of ID. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, were there any takers? No. Not even DaveScot–before his UD fall from grace–took it up. This seems counter to the claim above that he really wanted to talk science all along.

    Now, he gets to publish a great long tract about ID (but he’s retired from the subject) and we are unable to ask him about it–no cross-x–because he’s retired. It’s silly. And boring.

    His post above all boils down to “we don’t know.” It is wholly a negative argument. There are no new ideas, only doubts. Doubts are fine and useful. How are you using them? To do actual research? To look for real answers? To take potshots at peopl whose politics you dislike? I”ll go for number 3.

    I can google, he can google, she can google, wouldn’t you like to google, too? Google and wiki ARE NOT arguments. Standing up like a man, defending your position–taking it to task and seeing if it weathers the storm–that’s argument.

    If you aren’t going to do that, you don’t have the right to talk about it–at ALL, even above, even when you think he rules are different for you.

    They’re not.

  46. JanieBelle says:

    Hi blipey,

    I’m sorry we’ve been remiss in our duty of not allowing the blog to sink into the flames of the culture wars.

    You are right of course, about that. I have to plead “busy designing” and “really pissed off” for my pitiful, yet only defenses.

    You are, as you have always been, welcome to educate me on the science. I really am trying to keep up. But you have to go slow with me. As I have explained over and over, I am severely handicapped in the science department.

    As for the whole Dave thing…

    Don’t worry about Dave, worry about me. Teach me. Why is it that whenever I ask about science, I get one of three things…

    Something I would need a biology doctorate to understand, or

    Here’s Joe Snuffy’s website, click here, or

    personal attacks on the opposition.

    I don’t think any of you are interested in science at all. And that’s directed at every damned one of you. Not a single one of my commenters can make more than one comment to help me without taking cheap shots at the other side. Some commenters here can’t even go ONE!

    Why is that?

    You know what? I’ve about had it. If you’re here to read what I write, or here to help me with some science, fine.

    If you’re here because it looks like a shiney new battlefield for the culture wars, then just go the fuck away. I’m sick of the bullshit. Go to Larry’s blog, or AtBC, UD, or shithead Javison’s blog, if you want to fight the culture wars.

    I will fight no more forever.

  47. JanieBelle says:

    Ok, that was a little bitchier than I intended.

    Sorry. I’m rather stressed and frustrated just now.

    Can we just cool it with the pot shots, please?

    Kisses,
    JanieBelle

  48. JanieBelle says:

    I’m going to get some sleep now. Maybe I’ll be less bitchy in the morning.

    Good night to you all.

    Kisses
    JanieBelle

  49. blipey says:

    Education is a two-way street. What would you like to know? I understand that that is a very broad question, an unfair one. However, I think it is equally broad and unfair to say something like, “Tell me why TOE is true.”

    How can we meet in the middle? The easiest (and most informative and educational) is for you to tell us what questions you have. For example, the one positive argument that has been posted has been the vitamin C thread. Have you studied the arguments there? What questions did that investigation raise? Ask us those questions.

    If you don’t want dissertation papers, focus us (and I really mean the actual scientists and science teachers–not necessarily myself) on specific questions you have.

    It will be easier for you to assimilate new information this way, becasue you will be guiding the lesson plan. You won’t be grasping at new material that comes in an order you have trouble following.

    Common descent is another possible starting avenue. Why do we think that common descent is true? Are there lines of evidence that support this? What would falsify common descent? What does the fossil record have to do with this? What exactly is a transitional fossil? Do they exist?

    I don’t know where to start; how much of this do you know about? How much of the evidence and supporting details are you familiar with? If none, great we starat at the beginning. If some, we’ll start later in the lesson. Tell us where to focus our energies.

    Otherwise, it is way easier to just point at resources and books that are already extant. Icthyic at AtBC is fond of saying “educate yourself” and then come back and have a discussion. This is not the viscious circle that some think it is. It is easy to educate yourself about the basics of many things. You, yourself, have read Darwin’s Black Box. Have you read On the Origin of Species? Climbing Mount Improbable

    When students have familiarized themselves with the basics they are ready to engage in the learning process, not before. Without taking the time to bone up at square one, students will form no questions.

    Those with no questions will surely fade away, content in the certain ignorance. That is the way of science…there is always another question to be investigated, always another problem to be answerd, never a fade to black.

    ID proposes no questions, only answers. No investigation, only certainty. Nothing to do, only to sit and fade away.

    Ask your first question.

    It’s not much of a question, but it’s interrogatory in nature.
    Kisses, jb

  50. DaveScot says:

    Blipey,

    You seem to be struggling under some great misapprehension that I wrote my little ID ditty here for anyone but Janie and Kate.

    If I want to say something to you, which I can’t really imagine ever wanting to do, I’ll put your name at the top. Until then, do me a favor and butt out of my conversations with other people.

  51. JohnADavison says:

    Bye now you all must realize what a deranged drunk I am. I can’t handle my peepee while I type. I need one hand for the magnifying glass, and one for the tweezers!

    Dohn Asswipe Javison

    Almost forgot your image…almost.

    C’mon, DAJ, you’re not giving me much to work with here. If you’re going to continue your masochistic spamming of my blog, at least be verbose enough to allow me more fun. It would be simpler if you gave me some sort of idea in which direction I should go with the Big Green Marker. — jb&k

  52. Lifewish says:

    Bye now. I can’t handle all this pressure!

    Thank the Designer…

    Incidentally, if you’re still looking for reading material, “Origin of Species” is available online. I recommend it – Darwin very clearly laid out each step in his chain of logic and provided lots of concrete examples.

  53. JanieBelle says:

    Thank you, lifewish.

    My dear darling Kate has provided me with my very own hard cover edition. She even wrote me a note in the cover.

    blipey,

    Your point is well taken. Let me shower and think about where I want to start. It’s kind of hard to ask for an answer if I don’t even know the question.

    That said, I’m sure you’ve figured out that my organizational skills are somewhat lacking here. Give me a little bit to figure out what I know, what I don’t know, what I want to know, and where to begin.

    I’ll try to have a post for you by this afternoon.

    Kisses,
    JanieBelle

  54. blipey says:

    DaveScot:

    Not sure if you noticed, you’re not using Outlook. That’s right, this is a BLOG. If you’d like to talk in private, there are other anvenues to do so.

    You can click on your email program of choice, enter Janie’s address and type to your heart’s content. If, however, you feel the need to post a response on a BLOG, why? (Sorry, that’s right; you’re not answering questions.)

    Surely it was because you meant for it to be seen by anyone who read the BLOG. So, my point stands. This was a nice way for you to spout off without feeling the obligation to listen to others.

    See, I want other to see this, otherwise I wouldn’t post it on a BLOG. Try to remember the differences and possible consequences of using private vs. public types of communication.

    Helpfully yours,

    blipey

  55. DaveScot says:

    Blipey,

    Your opinion has been duly noted and you may rest assured it will be given all the consideration it deserves. Thank you!

  56. DaveScot says:

    Blipey,

    It probably isn’t a good idea for me to have “private email conversations” with 17 year old girls. At a minimum it should be done in plain view so that’s what I’m doing. You don’t put much thought into what you blurt out, do you?

    If you had an ounce of integrity you’d honor my request and stop rudely forcing yourself onto me. This is what you did to me at Uncommon Descent until finally you had the honor of being the very first person I used an IP ban on. What the fuck is wrong with you? Leave me ALONE.

    Roses for you, for sticking up for us at DAJ’s blog. – jb&k

  57. JanieBelle says:

    The very chivalrous DaveScot, at the tin-foil-hat-guy’s blog said, repeatedly,

    “John,

    You were asked to stop posting on udoj.blogspot.com by the owner. Yet you insist on doing it solely to attack me. You’re taking up their time cleaning up after you soil it. Since they are too polite to mess up your blog in retaliation, and I’m not polite at all, I’ve taken that task upon myself. Don’t bother writing this down. I’m going to repeat on your blog here until you get the message.”

    Dave, I can’t tell you how funny that is.

    Thank you so much for your high opinion of us, but to be honest, Kate and I were working on exactly the same tactic. We’re very sorry to inform you that we just hadn’t executed our plan yet as the spam we intended to leave was still a little rough around the edges.

    We apologize for letting you down, but here is what we had so far…

    “Just so you know what it’s like to have your blog spammed, I’d like to take just a moment of your time to quote a dear friend of mine….

    “Davison

    Do you have your nose all the way up O’Leary’s ass or is there still some measure of your alcohol induced explosion of flesh where a human nose would be found still to go?

    You’re a useless old man with a useless narrative pitting it against the contrary but still useless narratives of dead naturalists who at least found the fame for themselves that has eluded you. You’ll die in obscurity and no one will weep for you. Even the University of Vermont where you spent almost all of your working life has disowned you and refused you emeritus status. That’s your legacy. A wasted life.

    Be sure to delete this as soon as you find it you craven wretch.”

    Stay off my blog. I don’t want to see your name on my blog or in my inbox again. You are a sad, deluded old man, and you need to keep your filth to yourself.

    Neither Kate nor I is interested, so buzz off.

    Raspberries to you, you old freak.

    And one last thing. You, in your complete psychosis, said,

    “Incidentally I just copied the last 30 odd pages of my blog in case Dinger in a moment of lucidity decides to delete his comments. He often does that you know.”

    Dr. Doolittle, you actually have to HAVE 30 odd pages before you can copy 30 odd pages. That’s a lot of typing for an old fart. You might want to take a nitro pill, just to be safe. Aspirin might help if you have any.”

  58. blipey says:

    DaveScot:

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

    There are a few things I can work on, but I’m not the genious you are, so there’s room for improvement. What’s your excuse?

    It probably isn’t a good idea for me to have “private email conversations” with 17 year old girls.

    I suppose Janie was lying when she said she had received nice, polite, and informative emails from you? If you’ve emailed her once, might as well keep going. I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with that. I don’t think you’re a predator. And you are fairly public with all your posting, etc–so I think it would be hard for others to come to the conclusion that you are either. So:

    You don’t put much thought into what you blurt out, do you?

    Yes, I always think about what I say. Do you remember what you do?

    If you had an ounce of integrity you’d honor my request and stop rudely forcing yourself onto me.

    I did stop asking you questions. Until, let’s see…you decided to break your silence. I maintain that you opened the door. It is the same double standard you have always operated on: Dave can talk, others should shut the fuck up.

    By your request, I’ve altered one word, just so it’s not on the homepage. I’ve been getting a bit of static of late from home about language. That said, I have no real wish to censor much. My mom thanks you. You may continue dropping the f bomb in this thread, as long as it’s not in the first sentence. Thank you for your consideration. Kisses, JanieBelle

    And now that the comment has dropped from the recent comments, I’ve restored it. Kisses, JanieBelle

  59. JanieBelle says:

    Allright fellas. I can see I will never be successful in stopping a shooting war between you.

    Please do me a favor and restrict it to this thread.

    Do me the further courtesy of not dropping the f bomb in your first sentence so it doesn’t appear in my recent comments area of the home page of the blog.

    Once this thread drops off the front page next week, you can drop it in whatever sentence you wish.

    Have at it.

    JanieBelle

    😦

  60. blipey says:

    sorry ’bout the language…please erase the offending sentence.

  61. Arden Chatfield says:

    Dave, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, Davison just surrendered his blog to you. Do you plan to take him up on this rather startling offer?

  62. JanieBelle says:

    Dear Dave,

    If tinfoilhat man actually gives you the password, we will be happy to instruct you in installation and usage of the Big Green Marker.

    Hours and hours of fun for everyone.

    Just so y’know.

    jb&k

  63. Zachriel says:

    DaveScot: “The only reasonable answer, until proven otherwise, is that they didn’t self-assemble.

    This is a basic fallacy. The assertion is that because we don’t know how it happened, it had to be an intelligent designer.

    Anyone can believe anything they want, but Intelligent Design claims to have scientific support for their assertions. This is false. Intelligent Design is a fallacy masquerading as a scientific theory.

    DaveScot: “The only thing we know of in the universe that can possibly accomplish this kind of chemical assembly is intelligent agency.

    And for evidence, he points to an intelligent agency that can’t “accomplish this kind of chemical assembly”! Just because the Ancients couldn’t understand how someone could have “assembled” the planets in their intricate orbits, that does not justify a scientific assertion that they are pushed by angels on crystal spheres, er, put in place by an unnamed and unspecified designer.

    This demonstrates the entire weakness of the Intelligent Design movement. As science has unraveled more and more of the history of life and other aspects of the natural world, the Gap in human knowledge has been pushed back further and further in time, to the very dawn of life.

    The early evolution of cells is little understood (though that is not to say that nothing is known). However, it is known that once life began, it evolved and diversified into a myriad of forms. You are more than welcome, DaveScot, to fill this shrinking Gap with God, if you want (though it seems to be a very meager God compared to the one I know). But don’t claim you have scientific support for this assertion.

  64. Zachriel says:

    When discussing evolution, it’s important to have an understanding of what is actually being discussed. For instance, Common Descent is inferred from the nested hierarchy of extant life, extinct life, genomes, embronics, etc.

    So what exactly does a nested hierarchy mean? It means that traits will be shared between lineages because they share a common ancestor. So a dolphin has three ear bones, just like a person does, just like all mammals do. A whale has vestigial hip bones and vestigial hair follicles. Think about it. Having mammary glands means having lungs, hair follicles, three ear bones, whether you live on the land, or swim in the ocean, or fly in the air. You don’t see a mammal with feathers even if it flies. And a dolphins back fin goes up-and-down, like your legs do when you swim, not back-and-forth like a fish.

    Or because we know that whales share an ancestor with some ancient mammal, there should be common ancestors with legs. And, indeed, such intermediate organisms have been found. And what about those proto-humans? What are they doing there? Having an arm-leg ratio, brain size, gait, hand structure, between humans and other extant apes? Not to mention they always appear in specific geological strata as befits their intermediate characteristics.

    Of course, it quickly becomes very technical. But there is no reasonable scientific doubt about the reality of Common Descent.

    Now, IDers will claim that their “theories” are compatible with common descent. But it is usually only compatible when they want it to be. But if they accept common descent, then they might claim that someone has tampered repeatedly with the ancestry of life over the eons.

    So then, we look at mechanisms. Well, Darwin couldn’t directly observe the process of evolution which happens only over long periods of time (of if you look very very carefully). He *predicted* that the broad changes of life over time were caused by mechanisms such as natural selection working on natural variation. Since then, we have developed the technology to actually observe these mechanisms.

    Evolution is a contingent process, and there are many unknowns. But that’s the fun part, at least for scientists. You can tell real scientists, because they like to closely examine life in all its details, whether the development of embryonic fish, or searching for baby dinosaurs. To them, it really does matter enough to spend years in the Pakistani wastelands looking for a tell-tale anklebone predicted by the genomic data as an intermediary between land mammals and whales, or searching an ancient shoreline in Montana looking for dinosaur eggs, and finding nesting colonies including toddlers in the nest.

    I know. I know. Some people don’t want to wander around the hills of Montana looking at rocks, but aren’t you glad that others do and bring back stories of Maiasaurus, Good Mother Lizard.

  65. DaveScot says:

    zach

    The assertion is that because we don’t know how it happened, it had to be an intelligent designer.

    This is a logical fallacy called a straw man. Nowhere have I said that it “had to be” an intelligent designer. I’ve stated over and over that intelligent design is the best explanation for certain patterns found in nature. You’ve changes “best” into “only” to construct your straw man. I’m left with the question of whether you knowingly did that (dishonest) or unknowingly (ignorant). Science doesn’t work that way. All explanations are tentative. Intelligent design doesn’t have to be the answer, it is merely the best fitting explanation for the currently available empirical evidence. Further discovery could serve to either verify or falsify it. The evidence is of course open to other explanations but to me and many others who’ve no dogmatic convictions about unintelligent origins, intelligent agency is the best explanation.

    You don’t see a mammal with feathers even if it flies.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you don’t see a dog with retractable claws even though they’ve been artificially selected (regardless of natural fitness value) for every unusual trait to be seen for 20,000 years. They’re all still dogs without a single novel anatomical structure that their wolf ancestors didn’t have.

    But here’s what you seem to have missed in the mammal class – monotremes. These are mammals that lay eggs like a reptile, secrete venom like a reptile, and have the all-important milk producing glands that classify them as mammals. How did this mixed bag of traits come into existence? Well, if we take the front-loaded view we can surmise a reptilian ancestor with latent characters of live birth, milk production, feather production, hollow bone production, warm blood, flight, fur, etcetera. Descendants of this hypothetical ancestor didn’t acquire the characters we use to classify birds and mammals but rather they simply went from unexpressed to expressed in a planned order. Monotremes got an odd assortment and probably belong in their own class. Taxonomy is rather arbitrary.

    Instead of a strictly planned order one might also consider that front-loaded genomes may be like a big deck of cards where disparate taxonomic classifications are just different hands dealt out of the same deck. Thus birds and mammals were both dealt warm blood but one was dealt hollow bones and feathers and the other was dealt live birth and milk glands. And the monotremes got a different hand where it got egg laying and venom production plus warm blood. There are otherwise some rather intractible (under neoDarwinian mechanisms) convergent evolution problems.

    Also I would point out that just because there’s no known mammal with feathers doesn’t mean there was never an extinct mammal with feathers. Maybe that particular combination (hand) of milk glands and feathers just wasn’t fit enough to compete or proliferate in large enough number to
    leave many fossils behind.

  66. DaveScot says:

    Aren’t there far more pressing problems in the world for science to address than knowing more about the habits of dinosaur nestlings?

  67. Zachriel says:

    DaveScot: “Aren’t there far more pressing problems in the world for science to address than knowing more about the habits of dinosaur nestlings?

    Regardless of the importance you place on it, the strongly supported scientific conclusion is that life was much different in the distant past, and that dinosaurs really did once roam the Earth.

  68. DaveScot says:

    zach

    Regardless of the importance you place on it, the strongly supported scientific conclusion is that life was much different in the distant past, and that dinosaurs really did once roam the Earth.

    Two more straw men so soon?

    Nowhere have I said that life wasn’t different in the past and nowhere have I said that dinosaurs never existed. WTF is wrong with you that you insist on putting words in my mouth? Do you make up shit all the time or do you respect some boundaries in your lying?

  69. Lifewish says:

    Aren’t there far more pressing problems in the world for science to address than knowing more about the habits of dinosaur nestlings?

    So-called basic research tends to seem absolutely useless – right up until the point where it starts to pay off. You see this all the time in maths. Pure mathematical subjects like number theory used to be only one step up from calculating how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Then encryption started getting more and more advanced, and suddenly the number theorists were every government’s best friend.

    There’s no obvious advantage to be derived from looking at dinosaur eggs, but who knows what might result? Maybe that bit of data will turn out to be the key to some problem in evo-devo. Some day it could be the deciding factor in our attempt to do something we can’t even envisage now – clone a dinosaur, maybe?

  70. Lifewish says:

    This is a logical fallacy called a straw man. Nowhere have I said that it “had to be” an intelligent designer. I’ve stated over and over that intelligent design is the best explanation for certain patterns found in nature.

    And the effective difference between these statements is…

    I’m not taking the piss, I’m genuinely confused. If the intelligent design hypothesis were ahead by a sufficiently large margin wrt the patterns you mention, as your comments appear to suggest you think, wouldn’t that mean it effectively had to be an intelligent designer?

  71. Zachriel says:

    DaveScot: “Nowhere have I said that life wasn’t different in the past and nowhere have I said that dinosaurs never existed.

    Nor did I claim you did. Rather, I pointed out that the scientific conclusion concerning dinosaurs remains whether you consider it an important scientific question, or not.

  72. DaveScot says:

    There’s no obvious advantage to be derived from looking at dinosaur eggs, but who knows what might result?

    There are plenty of things to look at WITH obvious advantage. When we run out of things to investigate with known practical implications we can afford to dally with remote possibility that knowing how many dinosaur eggs are in an average clutch will help cure disease or grow more food.

    I really don’t understand why you’d try defending the indefensible. Do you LIKE getting these canings or what?

    Intelligent design could be wrong as could undirected evolution. I’m an agnostic. Science is agnostic. How many times do I need to reiterate it? Is english not your native language? What part of the words agnostic and uncertain and could be wrong don’t you understand?

  73. Zachriel says:

    DaveScot: “There are plenty of things to look at WITH obvious advantage.

    Apparently, you have a very constricted view of what constitutes and “advantage”.

    Galileo discovering mountains on the Moon, a painting by Van Gogh, Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Parthenon, a child’s wonder at a dinosaur egg, songs around a campfire, discovering something about evolution of humanity.

    What is the use of a newborn baby? — Ben Franklin

    In any case, the scientific facts don’t go away because you personally find them unimportant.

  74. DaveScot says:

    What would you rather have, Zach, a cure for cancer or a better description of the behavior of dinosaur nestlings?

    In an ideal world we would of course want both but in a world of limited resources which is the more important?

  75. Zachriel says:

    davescot: “What would you rather have, Zach, a cure for cancer or a better description of the behavior of dinosaur nestlings?

    Which would you rather have? Music or the cure for cancer.

    False dichotomy.

    davescot: “In an ideal world we would of course want both but in a world of limited resources which is the more important?

    Humans are odd creatures. Galileo risked the Inquisition because he continued to publish evidence that the Earth moved.

    What use is a newborn baby?

  76. Anonymous says:

    davescot: “What would you rather have, Zach, a cure for cancer or a better description of the behavior of dinosaur nestlings?”

    Which would you rather have? Music or the cure for cancer.

    False dichotomy.

    You’re assuming Dave knows the definitions of “false” and “dichotomy”.

  77. […] Oh, except for when Lifewish gave us the link to the dancing and sex paper. That would have been cool if we could have concentrated on it without having to keep one eye on the blog-o-meter, looking for visits from the tin-foil hat man. […]

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Sex in the Public Square

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Kate Once Said:

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    It's making me excited again."

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  • Best You People Are Truly Geeks Post

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Order of the Science Scouts

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