Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I Know You Are But What Am I?

Remember when you were a kid? When you were having an argument with another kid, and you realised you'd been caught talking a load of bullshit and the other guy was properly taking you to task for it?

What did you do? There were a few options. You could start throwing punches at the smart-arse little fucker. You could shit in your whips and run away. Or, if you thought you were a bit of an evil genius yourself, you could try this one on: "Ha ha", you'd ejaculate smugly, "I was joking. You thought I was serious". Then you'd point and laugh and all your idiot friends would join in. You'd get one over on your confused opponent and your buddies would think you were pretty cool, but a little bit of you would die inside every time you resorted to it. Remember that?

Well, the other day I witnessed a grown man use this very same technique. A grown man of some renown, too.

Look here. Scott Adams, creator of popular foreskin-headed cartoon character Dilbert, weighs in on the fabricated evolution vs. intelligent design debate. His central point (or so he later claims) is that each "side" misrepresents the arguments of the other, such that poor Scott can't work out who to believe. Therefore, neither side is credible to him. Aside from the fact that there is no shortage of credible sources of info on evolution, it should be noted that if you need to be taken gently by the hand before you can see the difference between a vacuous "god-did-it" argument that has not and will never produce a single testable hypothesis on one hand, and the most well-established and experimentally verified scientific theory in the world - the backbone of modern biology, and the product of 150 years of peer-reviewed scientific endeavour - on the other, then no amount of credibility is going to save you. You's a idiot.

Anyway, along the way to making his revealing point, Scott repeats a fair amount of creationist disinfo and ID propaganda (although always taking care to dissociate himself from the points being made: "Intelligent Design advocates point out..."; "Darwinists often argue that..."). And what a surprise! Someone calls bullshit.

In this case it's biologist PZ Myers, proprietor of Pharyngula, erstwhile Panda's Thumb contributor and all-round stout defender of science from the hordes of uninformed "both-sides-of-the-debate" slackjaws. He has the audacity to take Scott at face value, and with no small amount of irritation sets about debunking each one of the fundamentalist talking points that Scott has lazily rehashed. Fair enough, no?

Here's where our retrogressive schoolyard debating techniques come in handy. Scott's reply? It's a classic case of "Ha ha I made a trap and you fell for it!", much to the delight of the drooling ID yahoos that appear to make up the bulk of his fan base. He appears to think that the entirely understandable irritation of one scientist proves his contention that neither side of the debate is credible (further demonstrating a deep misunderstanding of the nature of empirical evidence and the scientific method).

There's some bullshit claims that PZ misrepresents him, although you can judge that for yourself by reading the relevant posts. For what it's worth, here's my favourite example (and I'll stick to direct quotes lest Scott accuse me of twisting his words):

Scott: Darwinists often argue that Intelligent Design can’t be true because we know the earth is over 10,000 years old
PZ: I have never heard anyone on my side of the debate make this argument
Scott: PZ declares that no one has EVER argued against the young earth argument to refute ID

Who's misrepresenting who? You decide.

As a result of all this tomfoolery Scott has indeed succeeded in demonstrating two things, neither of which I imagine he intended:

1. If you drop your bags and take a big old shit all over a man's professional discipline - a man who has to deal with the likes of this from people who have never produced one shred of scientific work in their life - he's gonna get fucking annoyed, whether it was all some big hilarious joke or not. This doesn't mean he is not credible, just that he has had it up to here with ignorant buffoons monkeying around with his life's work. A bit of a fucking no-brainer, really.

2. 95% of Scott Adams' commenters are soft-headed tits, stinking up the joint with a shitstorm of barely literate whooping and high-fiving. If the ultimate point of this exercise was to expose his readership as a gaggle of slope-browed knuckledraggers, then I take it all back. Scott Adams is a fucking genius. If not - well, the joke's on him, I'm afraid.

Inevitably, when the aftermath of one's prankery is one pissed off biologist and a wankstain of back-slapping intelligent design halfwits, there's a suspicion that Scott has already taken sides in this bogus debate. Yet throughout all of this, Scott has claimed that he doesn't believe in intelligent design (he even posted this nugget twice to make sure). However, he also says that he doesn't believe in "Darwinism" and has been very careful not to raise any points without qualifying them as someone else's opinion. I don't know about you, but it strikes me as a little cowardly, to exploit the sincere and passionate opinion of a professional scientist for yucks without having the cojones to reveal one's own point of view.

So, how about a little honesty? Why don't you tell us what you really believe, Scott?

50 Mewling Pricks

At 3:33 pm, Blogger Larry Teabag ejaculated...

Thank you Mr McShot - I did enjoy that.

I shall immediately go and burn all my cousin's Dillweed books.

"I was waiting to see how many people fell into the irony trap" indeed! "I was waiting to see how many people noticed how much of a cunt I am" is more like it.

 
At 5:54 pm, Anonymous J Grundy ejaculated...

"and I'll stick to direct quotes lest Scott accuse me of twisting his words"

Honestly, I don't see him caring enough about you to even bother responding to this.

 
At 6:20 pm, Anonymous J Grundy's Dad ejaculated...

J, don't be a tool. Go back home. Your momma's waiting for you.

 
At 6:27 pm, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

Honestly, I don't see him caring enough about you to even bother responding to this.

Neither do I, man. I'm just unscrupulously fucking fair. It's how I was brought up.

 
At 10:45 pm, Anonymous cap'n kronik ejaculated...

top blog. mr. mcshot seems to have a firm grasp of things.

 
At 2:07 am, Blogger Adam Gurri ejaculated...

Yo. Mr. Pleasant.

I have to concur.

 
At 2:09 am, Blogger Andraste ejaculated...

Brilliant, Snotty. I'll be coming back. I think you've hit it on the head.

When anyone in my family gets backed up to the wall in an argument against any other member of the family, the "bail out" line is always "Well, you're just a fucking asshole." Same thing at play here, methinks.

 
At 11:45 am, Anonymous David Duff ejaculated...

I'm an idiot with a slack jaw! Well, I know you knew that all along, but still I thought I would write it all the same. You see, I, too, think that Darwinism has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese, whilst at the same time thinking that the notion of an intelligent designer, whilst it is an hypothesis of sorts, it is a fairly useless one since it defies any method of falsifying it. A characteristic it shares with Darwinism.

 
At 2:18 pm, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

Ah, hello 'David'.

You're probably right that Darwinism is full of holes, but thankfully biological science has come a long way in the last century and a half, so it's all good. A lot has happened while you were napping by the fireplace, and not just on The Archers.

Anyway, in case anybody out there gives a flying fuck, you can share The Duffer's insights into "Darwinism" here, here, and oh yes, here.

 
At 3:08 pm, Blogger Adam Gurri ejaculated...

Personally, I don't think that darwinism is full of holes--I think that there are many schools of thought in modern evolutionary biology, and some make more sense than others.

And may I just be the first to say that Stephen Jay Gould can lick Richard Dawkin's unwiped asscrack.

 
At 3:19 pm, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

"And may I just be the first to say that Stephen Jay Gould can lick Richard Dawkin's unwiped asscrack"

No. Fuck off.

 
At 5:45 pm, Anonymous David Duff ejaculated...

"You're probably right that Darwinism is full of holes, but thankfully biological science has come a long way in the last century and a half, so it's all good."

That sums up half the problem in debating with neo-Darwinists. When it suits them they lean on the old man, himself; and when it doesn't, they loftily assure me that, er, "biological science has come a long way in the last century and a half". If you try and stick to just the modernist, or even post-modernist neo-Darwinists, you find yourself in teh crossfire between teh 'Gouldites' and the 'Dawkinistas'; or in the maze of 'natural selection *definitely* takes place at the level of species/individuals/genes (delete according to taste/university attended/whose book you last read'.

I only hope I live long enough to see the humiliation and ridicule heaped on the unscientific neo-fanatics who have swallowed this tosh whole, in much the same way that the phlogiston believers suffered.

 
At 6:07 pm, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

"I only hope I live long enough to see the humiliation and ridicule heaped on the unscientific neo-fanatics who have swallowed this tosh whole"

Y'know, if I didn't have a ball-bearing suspended in battery acid for a heart, this would probably be the sort of comment that would make me weep gentle tears of sadness.

Good luck with that, 'David'.

 
At 6:50 pm, Blogger Hugs O'Toole ejaculated...

Luckily I have a butterfly fluttering within a satin covered music box for a heart so I shall weep for you, my hateful friend.

And I weep for all those branded by the attachment of three letters to some theory or idea, often bearing no relation whatsoever to the point, in order to denigrate whatever view the brandee holds that the brander disagrees with.

Accepting evolution as the best scientific theory we have to go on brands one a "Darwinist". It's like saying that believing in Jesus makes you a "MatthewMarkLukeandJohnist". Like calling Americans "Columbusists". That evolution is happening has fuck all to do with Darwin. He didn't invent the pissing thing, just observed some phenomena. That America is there has fuck all to do with Columbus. He just landed there on his way somewhere else. And if you believe in Jesus, the fact that these particular four blokes observed his shenanigans should have fuck all to do with whether Jesus existed or not.

 
At 8:58 pm, Blogger Adam Gurri ejaculated...

What are you saying, David? That in order to talk about evolutionary theory people are only allowed to talk about the opinions of one Charles Darwin?

This may come as a shock to you, but in the past century, technology and science on the whole has gone through staggering advances. This made it possible for people to measure things and test things in a way that people in, on I don't know, Darwin's day never could have.

Evolution does not rely on the Origin of Species like a bible. Everything that Darwin wrote could be lost entirely, and we'd still be fine because of all the theoretical advances and data collection that has been done entirely without his help.

 
At 9:35 pm, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

Oh yeah? Well you would say that, Gurri, you neo-fanatic Newtonist!

 
At 9:51 pm, Anonymous David Duff ejaculated...

Thank you 'Snotty' for your sympathy, I always knew that beneath that rough exterior you had a ball-bearing.

Thank you,too, 'Hugs' (but pleae don't stand quite so close), for your sympathy "for all those branded by the attachment of three letters [GOD, I assume) to some theory or idea", and what a pity that does not include me, an oft-proclaimed agnostic with no religious attachments.

Also, 'Hugs', I am happy to agree with you in "Accepting evolution as the best scientific theory we have to go on..." Alas, being the "best" in a field of no-hopers does not make it any the more persuasive, it is too riddled with gaps and inconsistencies to be accepted by anyone other than anti-religionist fanatics. That is why I encourage anyone and everyone to try and come up with a better hypothesis - which are, even as I write, slowly gathering force.

Finally, thank you to Adam for pointing out gently that I obviously failed to make myself clear in the *second* paragraph of my *second* comment. Mind you, having re-read it, I am at a loss to know how to rephrase it in order to make it any more plain, that is, that Darwin came up with a theory on how living organisms of great complexity have arisen from organism of very basic simplicity. His theory, in essence, has been taken up , quite properly, by modern scientists and in the light of new research has been given, shall we say, a new slant, or to be accurate, *several new and contradictory slants*.

I am sorry if my impatience upsets Adam, but I cannot be expected to sit twiddling my thumbs whilst sundry neo-Darwinists conduct an internicine slash-and-burn campaign against each other as they try, like a conclave of medieval Bishops, to decide on what is the true gospel.

Sorry, chaps, just like Marxism and Freudianism, Darwinism, ancient or modern, is, for the most part, tosh. Remember, you read it here first!

 
At 11:11 pm, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

Jesus, Dave, I try to be down with the "respect your elders" rouyine, but you really are an awful penis sometimes.

"...it is too riddled with gaps and inconsistencies to be accepted by anyone other than anti-religionist fanatics"

You take that shit right back to where you got it.

"...in the light of new research [Darwin's theory] has been given, shall we say, a new slant, or to be accurate, *several new and contradictory slants*"

Okay. What new research? Actual research, mind you, not popular science books and Amazon bestsellers.

"...I cannot be expected to sit twiddling my thumbs whilst sundry neo-Darwinists conduct an internicine slash-and-burn campaign..."

Right. That's all so very exciting. So what's your plan? Post a bunch of irritating comments on a stupid fucking website?

In all honestly though, I am genuinely interested in this bit: "a better hypothesis - which are [sic], even as I write, slowly gathering force". Where can I read about these new hypotheses? (I can't imagine one can justify the modifier "better" just yet, though, without doing the research and assessing the data.)

If you had some links for those, that would be geniunely appreciated.

Cheers.

Oh, and the three letters aren't GOD.

 
At 1:41 am, Blogger Hugs O'Toole ejaculated...

What am I to do when there are David Duffs in this world? Like a shopping bag all laden with bulbs of turd and piss flopping off of a beautiful tree they razz my every effort to forgive those more arrogant yet more stupid than I am. David Duff. Just the Sound of it. David Duff. Oh God, it's all so horribly inevitable. David Duff. I've visited his blog. I KNOW, christ I know I shouldn't have. The anger grows within my throat like a ball of sick and beans. Maybe he's right. If it's survival of the fittest, how did he ever get this far? He's a fool. And the worst sort. Those that believe they are fucking geniuses. David Duff. It's survival of the blindly ignorant. The rest of us give ourselves strokes just considering their idiocy, while they shuffle their egos to frothy frenzy like scaly erections on the belly of a dead smiling clown, drooling at their own reflections in a cracked, stained mirror. David Duff. Remember, you read it here first. David Duff. Proof that there is no hope. No hope. David Duff. A big pair of bruised tits flapping in the face of a jaded, impotent cripple. David Duff. David Duff. Cunt.

For those that think I'm exaggerating, go to his blog and read his post entitled "Christian Trade". Much like the bullshit smeared across your screen above from him, this one lacks any understanding of the issues in question.

Get this on the aims of the trade justice movement: Only if people are impoverished and desperate will the conditions be ripe for the revolution they yearn for. Thus, whatever the SWP and all the other groupuscles that proliferate in their strange, political petri dish advocate, you can be sure it is aimed to produce conditions of chaos, hunger and poverty. I'd laugh if I wasn't crying tears of glass.

Perhaps he's mad. Shit, perhaps he is. Feel a bit bad about calling him a pair of bruised tits now. And a bag of piss too, that might have been too far. If he's mad that is. Then again, he refers to his wife as the "little Memsahib" so he's probably older than we think. Perhaps just a little senile. An under educated military type. A drooling old codger lost and bewildered in a racist, isolationist fog, in a world where the colonies are gone, Rhodesia's changed its name and he is no longer relevant. But I can't feel sorry for a cunt like him because he makes the world such a shite place to be. He's all that's wrong with everything.

 
At 8:55 am, Anonymous David Duff ejaculated...

Gentlemen, it's 8.45 Saturday morning and I'm expecting friends for the weeend. Thus I may not get back to you until Sunday evening. In the meantime, 'Hugs', I urge you to get in touch with Jarndyce over at the Sharpener, he's looking for new recruits to fill his 'Thursday Rant' spot, and as a ranter, you're world class!

And quickly to 'Snotty', the research I mainly had in mind was the discovery of genes which followed Mendel's experiments with sweet peas. Darwin knew their were inheritable facets in living things but didn't know how it occurred. Hence all the internecine warfare *between* neo-Darwinists who cannot agree at what level selection takes place - gene, individuals or species. Do you know?

And finally, ignore my age, as a thumb-in-the-eye-knee-in-the-groin debater, I never look for any favours - just as well on this site!

 
At 8:59 am, Anonymous David Duff ejaculated...

Sorry, 'their' should be 'there', I'm all fingers and 'fumbs' this morning. Also, apologies for mixing up my 'singularities' with my 'pluralities' over the word hypothesis. Ooooh, you're a stern task-master, 'Snotty'!

 
At 10:48 am, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

Aw shit in my eye, 'David', you mean Mendel's sweet pea experiments in the fucking 19th Century?

I was all jazzed about the prospect of this new research you were talking about. Fucking consider me disappointed.

And a little confused, too: what exactly is your beef with the "true gospel" of evolution?

You make a big righteous noise about how new research has resulted in "several new and contradictory slants" but only offer Mendel's sweetpeas as an example. Sure, there's been mountains of subsequent research since, resulting in "internecine warfare" (to use your creationist propaganda-inspired hyperbole) as to the level at which selection takes place.

But, 'David', in what way does this contradict the essence of Darwin's theory on how "living organisms of great complexity have arisen from organism of very basic simplicity"? Bioligists could be beating lumps out of each other with bunsen burner hoses about the level at which selection takes place, but the simple fact would remain: they all agree that selection takes place, just like Chuck D proposed 150 years ago.

So what's your fucking problem, Duffer? Do you have a stake in the "level of selection" argument (a position which might just make you a "Darwinist" yourself), or do you deny that selection even takes place?

How far does your anti-Darwin crusade go? Do you deny evolution itself? Do you deny that "living organisms of great complexity have arisen from organism of very basic simplicity"? And if they didn't, then what?

In the mean time, I find it hard to get upset about the differing opinions on the level of selection. It really fails to set my lip a-quiver, being that the whole affair is exactly what scientists are supposed to do. You fucking dickpumps want it both ways: a giant conspiracy of the scientific establishment to quash dissent against the "Darwinist dogma" on one hand, and a massive rift between squabbling scientists on the other. Yez can fuck right the fuck off with that shit for a start.

When you get around to producing these new hypotheses and producing research which genuinely challenges the prevaling theory and not just the fucking details, then we'll talk. So far it's just a lot of pissing in the wind.

 
At 12:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous ejaculated...

Is Duff actually Melanie Phillips in drag, or just one of her brave foot-soldiers (let's say 'Phillipsists') charged with cutting arguments straight off her web site and pasting them here and there, completely unaltered?

Then has the cheek to say 'Darwinists' are 'fanatics'. Incredible.

 
At 12:57 pm, Blogger Larry Teabag ejaculated...

(i) Evolution doesn't seem to make any sense, therefore it must all be nonsense.

(ii) Evolution doesn't seem to make any sense, therefore my understanding of it might be seriously flawed.

I've tried to persuade Duff to consider which of these statements most accurately describes his position, oh how I've tried.

But contrary to his claims of fascination with the subject, he has absolutely no interest in correcting his own mistakes, but prefers to trumpet his ignorance from the roof-tops.

Oh well, you can't say that watching him tie himself into a thoroughly knotted arse isn't quite entertaining, in a morbid sort of way.

 
At 8:16 am, Anonymous David Duff ejaculated...

'Snotty' I worry for you! You must try and control that temper of yours. If your blood pressure goes any higher you might have a fit and require the kiss of life - at which point you'll find out exactly how many friends you have.

I try (without always succeeding) not to ascribe motives to other people's opinions, but it seems obvious to me that you and 'Hugs@ and 'Larry', et al, are so fearful of the creationists that you are blind to the screamingly obvious holes in the whole Darwinian fabric from the old man himself to the current crop of squabbling neo-Darwinists. I mean, they blow holes in *each other's* Darwinisms, but you all become enraged when I do the same.

I ask once again, at which of the three current levels does natural selection take place - genes, individuals or species. Currently neo-Darwinists of one belief insist that the others are in error. From the outside looking in, I conclude that there is astron possibility they are *all* in error. You can call me names but until you come up with a proof for one of them, you're wasting your breath.

If that is too difficult, I also ask you this; how does a suicide bomber comply with Darwinian theory governing teh behaviour of *ALL* living things?

Off to London today to see an Ibsen, back tomorrow.

 
At 10:47 am, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

1. I am fully aware that there are a number of phenomena that the modern theory of evolution (can we drop this "Darwinism" bullshit yet, for fuck's sake?) cannot yet adequately explain. This is not uncommon in science, however. The field of biology is particularly huge, too. I'm sure that all the work you've been doing, reading websites and leaving pretentious comments everywhere will be much appreciated by the scientific community.

2. The number of unexplained phenomena is falling all the time, and it has nothing to do with the likes of you and your little paperbacks from Waterstones. Witness the ID folk latching on to the blood-clotting system in order to argue irreducible complexity. Next thing you know, the scientists - the actual reseachers, that is, and not the My-First-Test-Tubers sitting at home - came up with a theory of how that system evolved, and the IDers duly shuffled off to the next "gap". Or, as you might put it while pounding the dust out of the arm of your chair with your palsied claw, "screamingly obvious hole".

3. Fuck off with your "proof". Scientists don't prove shit, and you oughta know that before you come drooling all over my comments section. If you're looking for the "Truth" then crack a copy of Genesis, you daft old coot. If you want degrees of probability based on mountains of empirical research, then hey, come on in. But leave your evangelising at the door, huh?

4. I said it before: scientists arguing about the level that selection takes place is fucking A-OK with me. This is not the humdinger you and all your Young Earth compatriots think it is. (Don't you worry about the company you keep, by the way?) Also, as I also said before, it is plainly obvious that they all agree that selection takes place, just like Darwin theorised. The argument about the level of selection is in no way a refutation of Darwin's theory. This is a pitiful argument, 'Dave', I'm really sorry. You are not "blowing holes", merely blowing your own shrivelled little Johnson.

5. Here's the kicker, for me. If the (sigh) "Darwinists" are all in error about the level of selection, then what hypothesis do you propose by way of replacement? Fuck it, Grampa Simpson, let's do some fucking science. Let's hear your hypothesis, because until you've got that you've got nothing. Is there some other level on which selection takes place? What is it? Or does selection not take place at all? Then how do you account for the increasing complexity of species over time? Do you deny evolution occurs? Time to put your pension where your keyboard is, old timer.

6. You're damn straight I am afraid of Creationists, and you should be too. They are completely insane and deluded maniacs, some of whom have access to nuclear fucking weapons.

 
At 12:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous ejaculated...

Heh heh:

Grampa: "Hey, the dogs dead."
Bart: "Grampa, he's not dead."
Homer: "Dad, you shouldn't say the Dog's dead when he's not."
Lisa: "It's not fair to toy with peoples emotions like that."
Grampa: "He is dead. I'll get a shovel."
Marge: "Well he's not dead but he is awfully sick."
Grampa:"Oh sure, the old man's off his rocker. If Grampa says he's dead he must be alive."
Lisa: "He is alive, he's wagging his tail."
Grampa: "That's only nothing. Dogs wag their tails for hours after they die. I'm tired of this conversation. Let's talk about something else. I'm going home."

 
At 12:41 pm, Blogger Hugs O'Toole ejaculated...

Afraid of creationists? Yep. Believing in god making all this is one thing, woman from man's rib (eternal subjugation, great), all the various little species with their jobs to do (lovely, predestination, super), Adam and Eve, Noah and his bird, and the fact that incest only became a sin after we all fucked eachother to a genetic soup (see www.answersingenesis.com for that one) thereby accepting we're all fucking our families (if we wanna get as simplistic as that. Which it is). Yeah these things are all about as frightening as Gary Glitter but you know what else? Revelations. Holy haemorroids, creationists also believe in the ultimate destruction of all things by big ass dragons, and we call Scientologists nuts (Scientologists are nuts) but it's ok because we all leave this popsicle stand and go off to heaven in a big fucking row boat! Clap hands, clap your hands. If I'm choosing sides, I'll go with the uncertain hard working self-doubting peer reviewing scientist dorks any day.

 
At 9:08 pm, Anonymous David Duff ejaculated...

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin. The Ibsen, by the way, was terrific.

I shall take 'Snotty's' points in order:
1: No, we cannot "drop this "Darwinism" bullshit" for the simple reason that the current theory of evolution is based on his theory as spelt out in 'The Origin of the Species', and subsequently developed further in the light of modern research which we can call neo-Darwinism. You misunderstand me, caused partly I suspect by your inability to read, in implying that I complain about the Darwinian failure to explain "everything". So far there is *no* scientific theory that explains everything. There are supernatural theories that make this claim, but, as I wrote, they are fairly useless because there is no known method of attemting to falsify them. The same criticism can be leveled at Darwinism, ancient or modern, in that, unlike any other scientific theory, it makes no predictions; and its operation, that is, the formation of new species has never been witnessed and cannot be reproduced in a laboratory.

2. I am not a biochemist, like you, but *unlike* Prof. Michael Behe, who raised the problem of irreducible complexity. I had difficulty following his details of the workings of chemistry at the molecular level, but no trouble at all in taking in his central theme. I cannot judge, and neither, I guess, can you, the strength (or otherwise) of the counter-arguments, but one thing I could understand, was his metaphor of the common mouse-trap. I did follow-up one risible paper that claimed to 'explain' how such a mouse-trap could come about by tiny incremental improvements and my only response was to be more convinced than ever that Behe was on to something. (NB: I shall return to "tiny incremental improvements", later!)

3. "Fuck off with your "proof". Scientists don't prove shit.." There was a time when I would have agreed with that on the Popperian grounds that all scientific propositions are only 'true' up to the point that some-one else falsifies them. On the other hand, I, and, I guess, you, will happily fly the Atlantic based on our trust in the 'proof' that air flowing over a wing will keep us up! On the other hand, *every* scientific proposition must be tested to try and falsify it. Why should Darwinism be any different *unless* it is really a religion masquerading as a scientific theory. Judging by the bellows of outrage that meet *any* criticism of its probity, a religion may well be what it is. (NB: More of that later!)

4: I am glad that you attach no importance as to the level at which natural selection operates, despite the fact that if Darwin (and others are right), Dawkins and others are wrong. None of Newton's disciples argued like that over his theories, did they?

5. It is not for me, or you, to put up scientific hypotheses, if only because neither of us, judging by what we have written, is a scientist! However, we can take an intelligent (or otherwise) interest and do our best to try and understand the problems. In your case, with this particular 'scientific' theory, you apparently see no problems at all. How happy that must make you!
You ask, rhetorically, "[D]oes selection not take place at all?" and even, "Do you deny evolution occurs?". I will answer thus, 'Some conspecifics live longer and thus reproduce more often than others', 'some species have appeared and some have disappeared' and finally, 'life forms have developed into greater complexity rather than greater simplicity'. Those are careful statements of fact gathered from observation either at first or second-hand. Drawing any conclusion from those facts, is I suggest, very difficult. I would add that the one Darwinist who appreciated the difficulties and recognised all too clearly the weaknesses in the Theory of Evolution was a certain Charles Darwin - but, hey, what would he know, he was from the 19th century!

6. You are obviously of a nervous disposition. Every Sunday I watch a whole gang of creationists going mob-handed on their way to church clutching their prayer books. Their average age looks to be about 103. It's not 'creationists' you should worry about, it's fanatics! Stalin and Hitler, to name but two, were not 'creationists'!

Finally, I promised to return to two topics. If you can't be bothered to worry about the schism over the level at which natural selection works, then try this, who is right on the subject of slow, steady evolution, as opposed to stasis followed by evolutionary explosion? Either Gould (and friends)or Dawkins (and friends - if he has any!) stands or falls by your response and they are both staunch Darwinists!

Then try reading your *own* responses to my cool questioning of this theory. Is there any difference in ferocity and viciousness between your re-actions and that of, say, the Curia to Gallileo's ideas; or the politbureau towards some deviationist; or the Anglican bishops towards, God bless my soul, Darwin, himself?

'Anon' can be safely ignored on the grounds of his gutlessness in hiding, and the utter incomprensibility of his comment.

'Hugs', as always, wastes everone's time stating the obvious but finally gets around to this, "I'll go with the uncertain hard working self-doubting peer reviewing scientist dorks any day." Of course, being a humbug, he doesn't actually believe it. What he means is that he will go along with those scientists who feed him what he wants to hear, and will ignore, when he is not denouncing, any who question his faith. In that, he will be happy to know, he shares his one-eyed, one-eared prejudices with most of Mankind, but especially those who regularly attend church or mosque!

(I apologise now for typos that are sure to litter my comment!)

 
At 11:23 pm, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

"...try reading your *own* responses to my cool questioning of this theory. Is there any difference in ferocity and viciousness between your re-actions and that of, say, the Curia to Gallileo's ideas."

Yes.

The difference is that you don't have any ideas, 'David', you dozy arse.

 
At 1:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous ejaculated...

Which Anon can be 'safely ignored'?

The Anon who pointed out Duff's opinions are lifted directly from Melanie Phillips' Web Site?

Or the Anon who pointed out Duff's arguments are lifted directly from Simpsons transcripts?

Does Duff know himself?

Will we ever know?

You'll hear it here first!

 
At 8:56 am, Anonymous David Duff ejaculated...

It is of no interest to anyone except 'Anon', but just for the record, I cannot remember the last time I read a Melanie Phillips article in The Mail. I know where she is coming from and as I agree with *most* of what she writes there doesn't seem much point in wasting the time. For the same reason it must be over a year since I last looked at her web-site. As for the Simpsons, I have never seen a single episode.

As for our host, he appears to have reached the end of his limited knowledge of Darwin and his theory - but don't think it hasn't been fun!

 
At 11:03 am, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

"As for our host, he appears to have reached the end of his limited knowledge of Darwin and his theory..."

Well, I'm quite happy to leave that judgment up to the any readers of this comment thread, without grasping at fatuous playground point-scoring techniques (thank you for bringing this discussion full circle, DD). I've made my points at least twice and I'm not planning to make 'em again.

Toodle-pip.

 
At 5:54 pm, Blogger Hugs O'Toole ejaculated...

'Hugs', as always, wastes everone's time stating the obvious

As always eh?

OK then, here's a few quotes from my previous post that Duffer thinks are obvious:

"If it's survival of the fittest, how did he (Duffer) ever get this far? He's a fool"

"David Duff. Proof that there is no hope"

"David Duff. A big pair of bruised tits flapping in the face of a jaded, impotent cripple. David Duff....Cunt."



Duffer's "Perhaps just a little senile. An under educated military type. A drooling old codger lost and bewildered in a racist, isolationist fog, in a world where the colonies are gone, Rhodesia's changed its name and he is no longer relevant...He's all that's wrong with everything."

And finally, I referred to your posts on this site as lacking "any understanding of the issues in question."

Obviously.

 
At 8:32 am, Blogger svensun ejaculated...

Sorry Mr. McShot,

Next time, try standing up and defending someone who is WORTH standing up and defending, because Mr. PZ Myers just isn't that person.

You implied that Scott Adams misrepresented what Myers said, using word games, but the simple truth is that Myers isn't quite truthful in his response to Adams.

You seem to imply that Adams deliberately misconstrued Myers' words into meaning that NO ONE HAD EVER claimed ID'ers mistakenly believe the Earth is very young.

But alas, it seems Mr. Adams knows a bit more about the subject than you give him credit.

In fact Mr. Myers is the one guilty of playing with words, for while perhaps he never HEARD someone argue that ID'ers think the Earth is young, he sure did READ just that argument in the NY Times, and he PRAISED it effusively, here:

"I will say that this readers' opinion piece today, "Grasping the Depth of Time as a First Step in Understanding Evolution", was excellent (Josh agrees). Maybe what the Times needs to do is fire their journalists as tainted goods and start from scratch with a few more competent outsiders."

http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/nyt_two_strikes_one_ball/

So Mr. Myers has trouble with the truth? What's the big deal with lying, if you thinking kicking, publicly firing and humiliating people are OK?

http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/001143.html#c35130

 
At 2:29 pm, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

Oh, there's no need to apologise at the Dept, Svensun.

Your point is crap, I'm happy to say. Myers did not claim that there are no ID proponents who believe in a young earth. Plenty of them do and, as someone who is fully informed as to both the ID arguments and the personalities behind those arguments, Myers knows that better than most.

No, what Myers was taking issue with was Adams' claim that "Darwinists" use the age of the earth to refute arguments from design. They don't, because the age of the earth has absolutely nothing to do with the case for ID.

However, the age of the earth is relevant in demonstrating that a number of ID proponents are religious creationists masquerading as scientific thinkers.

Thanks for stopping by - I'll be keeping an eye on yer site, by the way. Looks like it'll be good for a few chuckles.

 
At 7:19 am, Blogger svensun ejaculated...

Oops, Mr. McShot, methinks you did not read my post.

Surely my post would appear as 'crap' to you if I had said what you claimed, but the fact is I did NOT say what you claim.

I didn't say that Myers had ever accused ID'ers of believing in a young Earth.

I accused him of LYING when he said he had NEVER heard SOMEONE ELSE make that argument.

As proof, I cited an op-ed by Verlyn Klinkenborg, Grasping the Depth of Time as a First Step in Understanding Evolution, in the August 23, 2005 New York Times in which the author says the following:

"Nearly every attack on evolution - whether it is called intelligent design or plain creationism, synonyms for the same faith-based rejection of evolution - ultimately requires a foreshortening of cosmological, geological and biological time."
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/23/opinion/23tue3.html

Now if this isn't an accusation that ID'ers believe in a young Earth, then I don't know what is.

Fine, you will say, Mr. Myers didn't say it. True, but in his response to Scott Adams, Mr. Myers said that he personally had NEVER heard this argument made before against ID.

I quote his words of November 13th,(HIS emphasis):

"I have never heard anyone on my side of the debate make this argument. Never."
http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/scott_adams_is_a_wally/#comments



The problem with this is that on that very same August 23rd, 2005, he posted this on HIS blog:

"I will say that this readers' opinion piece today, "Grasping the Depth of Time as a First Step in Understanding Evolution", was excellent (Josh agrees). Maybe what the Times needs to do is fire their journalists as tainted goods and start from scratch with a few more competent outsiders."
http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/nyt_two_strikes_one_ball/

What am I to make of this, except that Mr. Myers chooses to play fast and loose with the truth. Oh, I suppose it is possible that he has a habit of not paying attention to what he is reading. It is known to happen now and then.

Regards,
Svensun

 
At 10:24 am, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

Fucking hell, man.

Let's do this again. Here's that quote from the article you provided: "Nearly every attack on evolution - whether it is called intelligent design or plain creationism, synonyms for the same faith-based rejection of evolution - ultimately requires a foreshortening of cosmological, geological and biological time."

Okay?

Here's Scott Adams' claim: "Darwinists often argue that Intelligent Design can’t be true because we know the earth is over 10,000 years old."

Are you seriously trying to tell me that those statements mean the same thing? The first, if we reduce the scope of the sentence to "geological time", refers to any period of time short of 4 and half billion years. The second statement refers specifically to 10,000 years, a shorter figure by several orders of magnitude: a 450,000th of the accepted age of the earth.

They aren't even nearly the same thing, buddy. It is the second statement that PZ correctly takes issue with, and you have failed to find the slam dunk evidence you were so desperate to uncover.

Another small matter is that the first statement is hardly "an accusation that ID'ers believe in a young Earth". The statement merely means that "nearly every" attack on evolution requires a geological period less that 4.5bn years. It doesn't say 10,000 years or anything like it, nor does it make any explicit statement as to the actual beliefs of IDers. They do not have to actually believe in a shorter period to have erroneously advanced an argument that requires one.

Let it lie, svensun. Leave the scientist-bashing for another day, huh? This round is over.

 
At 12:21 am, Blogger svensun ejaculated...

Dear Mr. McShot,

Well, I agree to a truce, since I must concede that at least you DID read what I actually wrote this time, and for that, I am very grateful.

I would rather not quibble over the definition of 'young Earth'. I think we have both made our point, and there's not much further we can go with this, as now you've chosen to take this discussion down to the level of hair-splitting semantics; to that inferno, I choose not to go.

As for the supposed science-bashing, well, all I can say to that is one man's science is another man's religion, obviously, and vice versa.

So, while I can agree to depart the cyberpages of your hallowed 'Department' with arms stowed, alas, the struggle goes on in what will be, we can hope, fairer and friendlier pastures.

God Bless You,

Svensun

 
At 12:48 am, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

Svensun, you big tool. That was the lamest pussy-out I have ever heard.

If you think that the difference between 4.5 billion years and 10,000 years is "hair-splitting semantics" then you are a bigger fucking cumguzzler than I thought you were. 10,000 years doesn't even make a dent in four and half billion, you pisspipe motherfucker, and you know it.

Ye can fuck off with yer fuckin truce, too. Fuck off back to yer land of make-believe and take your fucking god with you, ya sanctimonious cunt. These aren't the pastures you're looking for, geebag.

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

 
At 5:43 am, Anonymous Bond...James Bond. ejaculated...

Obviously, Mr. McSnot or whatever, you seem to have single handedly disproven ID simply by posing your rants on this blog. You, good sir, don't seem cognitively well designed at all. In fact, you seem to have inherited alot of serious junk-dna. And any person making such sweeping claims against ID by saying that there is no evidence and never will be, is taking soothsaying to a whole new level. Furthermore, "saying so makes it so" type of reasoning shows little for rational consideration. And the sailor talk makes you appear extraordinarily peevish, dull and uneducated. A question for you, posed by two British philosophers (David Hume and Bertrand Russell) of much greater brilliance than yourself, is: what reason do you have to expect that the future will resemble the past? All science is predicated on this principle, and thus far, no one has been able to offer a cogent reason to believe in the induction principle itself. It is assumed at the outset, kind of like neo-Darwinian dogmatism. And your response had better me more than ad hominems, straw men and red herrings. Your curses may make you seem funny, but you appear to be a very unstable reasoner and at the farthest point from cleverness. And while you are at it, explain why your own cognitive abilities and powers actually allow you to "know" anything at all? Do you just believe in induction with no ontological and epistemic considerations or can you provide a sound reason to believe in the principle itself? Do you have a reason to believe that your mind actually and accurately guides you into truth and knowledge? Or do you just take these things on blind faith? I like academics but I think that anything more than rambling and
go @#$! yourself and whatever is asking too much from this bloggery.
Perhaps you should take up boxing or bar brawling to let go of all that pent-up anger and hostility. Or maybe getting a girlfriend or getting married....something to keep your mind off yourself.
Cheerio.

 
At 8:13 pm, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

"...the sailor talk makes you appear extraordinarily peevish, dull and uneducated"

Oh hi Granny! I didn't know you were online! Thanks for knitting me that birthday jumper the other day.

Don't stay up too late, okay?

 
At 5:17 am, Anonymous bond...james bond. ejaculated...

hahaha

Dude, is that the best comeback someone like you can spout?!?! It's a good thing I wear logic as a mental prophylactic in case I run into people like you; people who are terribly infected with HIQ and threaten to destroy humanity by spreading terminal stupidity.

I knew I was right in expecting something less than actual attempts to answer my questions. You engaged in another ad hominem fallacy (please consult any edition of Irving Copi's "Introduction to Logic"), completely failed to engage my argument (due to cerebral malfunction, i'm sure) in an attempt to evade my objection, red herrings again.

So, I have cut and pasted your responses and desire to use them in a logic textbook as case examples of unsound reasoning, with your permission, of course.

But feel free to emote and blather on, it's not helping your case. More fair minded and objective people will move on to better things, whilst you continue to convince the choir that using fallacious reasoning and dishonest tactics is more effective in the sound-bite war.

Oh, and I think you're going to find it difficult to resolve the riddle of induction and how "reason" has any ontological status in a purely material universe. My prediction is you won't even bother. You're too chicken...bahk bahk...chicken. You're army's not prepared for nuclear assault. And I'm 10 steps ahead of you, anyway. Watch my predictions continue to come true, ya wanker.

Sorry for having gone to school. My bad. I am gonna have to dum it down for da peeple like u. I crost my hart an...

And thanks for the "granny" compliment; I always knew I was ahead of my time. Youth isn't always wasted on the young. That's the cool thing about our elders; they usually know alot more than we do. Please continue with these glowing observations; I'm totally flattered that you consider me older and wiser.

But I like you, kid. You got fighting spirit; and with a proper education...well, at least you wouldn't be complaining "I coulda been somebody. I coulda been a contender", instead of blog "lite". The problem with people like me: we're just too smart for your own good.

Cheers bro!!! And this Blogs for you.

 
At 5:50 am, Anonymous Anonymous ejaculated...

Have any of you read even on ID book? I mean all the way through? Or even 4 or 5? Have you actually discussed ID with a current "known" ID proponents? Have any of you read Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species", "Descent of Man"; I mean all the way through? Do you any of you actually read neo-Darwinian articles in current academic science journals? Or has your list of reading materials been texts about ID and about Darwin? Are any of you scientists, philosophers of science or educators with relevant background knowledge to qualify as "competent" in making assertions about this controversy?

 
At 10:51 am, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

Anonymous: yeah, you're right. Best that we just keep quiet and let people like Scott Fucking Adams the fucking cartoonist spout off about intelligent design instead. Man, were you paying attention or what? Wasn't this whole post about Adams' ill-informed dispute with PZ Myers, the scientist? Why don't you take your questions over to the Dilbert Blog where they might be more appropriate, and stop wasting my fucking time.

 
At 11:56 am, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

James: “I have cut and pasted your responses and desire to use them in a logic textbook as case examples of unsound reasoning, with your permission, of course

Sure, James, fire away. I will expect all proper credits, citations and royalties, of course, and a copy of the finished textbook pre-publication for approval purposes. My lawyer will be contacting you as soon as you deign to step out from behind the cloak of anonymity that you hide behind like a fucking pussy. I will also volunteer to be your editor in order to avoid such embarrassments as “You’re army’s…”, above. Alternatively, I will just sit here and chuckle myself silly about the fact that a commenter on a fucking stupid blog is smug and ridiculous enough to claim that he is writing a textbook in response to one of my posts. You, sir, are a ludicrous tool.

I also note that, for all your bluster and claims to intellectual superiority, you have been very careful to avoid advancing any argument of your own beyond appeals to the elusiveness of true knowing, and furthermore I would point out that such arguments tend to undermine your own posturing as the master of all knowledge. In fact, you might do well to listen to your own points from time to time:

James says: “It's a good thing I wear logic as a mental prophylactic”

James responds: How does "reason" have any ontological status in a purely material universe? Do you have a reason to believe that your mind actually and accurately guides you into truth and knowledge?
--------------------------

James says: “Watch my predictions continue to come true, ya wanker” [Oooooh, watch that mouth, sailor!]

James responds: This is taking soothsaying to a whole new level - what reason do you have to expect that the future will resemble the past? And while you are at it, explain why your own cognitive abilities and powers actually allow you to "know" anything at all?
--------------------------

Come back when you actually have something to contribute beside this deeply tedious “intellectual” shape-throwing, and then maybe we’ll talk.

I remain yours etc.

 
At 7:23 pm, Blogger Hugs O'Toole ejaculated...

Mr. Bond,

Let's talk practicalities.

Scientists use inductive reasoning. What happens if they don't? What happens if we don't?

Your hero Hume said himself that if someone relied entirely on deductive reasoning he would starve to death. Inductive reasoning saves your life every day. Why don't you step out in front of a bus? (That's not a fuck you, I'm really asking!)Because in the past people got mangled into a bloody stew? That may not happen to you. It's not a philosophical guarantee. Did no-one think of the ontological this and that of the conclusion that stepping in front of a bus might end up in a squashy nightmare? No. Will you step out? No. Not unless you're fucking nuts.

To bring this back to the argument in question: Scientists observe natural phenomena and use inductive reasoning in order to come to hypotheses based on those phenomena. They also make absolutely no excuses for it. (You mentioned profilactics...why use one on your little pecker? That's right, they observed that...oh fuck it, you get the point)

Proponents of ID have no answer so jump to the supernatural. They claim this is scientific. It's not. That's the debate.

Induction is indeed a philosophical conundrum, just like a tree falling in the woods. But it has no place in a scientific, practical argument.

As a good friend of mine once said, a tree falling in the woods does make a sound...but who cares?

I say the same of your argument. Who gives a fizzy fuck? And you can answer that as philosophically as you like, because practically speaking...no one does.

So fuck off. (And that is a fuck you)

You twit.

Your pal

Hugs

 
At 1:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous ejaculated...

eat flaming shit and die

homo

 
At 1:47 am, Anonymous Cocksnot gurgler snotty mcshot ejaculated...

yeah i'm a homo

so what

 
At 10:14 am, Blogger Snotty McShot ejaculated...

Hey, thanks for kindly leaping to my defence there, my cocksnot gurgling twin. I was totally devastated by that "homo" remark left by some completely retarded total stranger that I don't give a flying fuck about, and I did not know how I was going to go on lving. Thank you for your courage and inspiration.

So what if I'm gay? Exactly. So what if I sell blowjobs to dogs for biscuits? So what? So what if I get my kicks by fucking the rotting chest cavity of your mother's moistened corpse? So what?

Thanks again, cocksnot gurgler!

 

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