Ben Stein Withdraws As UVM Commencement Speaker

Science • Views: 5,230

Creationist Ben Stein has withdrawn as the commencement speaker at the University of Vermont, after a huge outcry erupted over his support for the pseudo-science promoted by the Discovery Institute, and his ludicrous, highly dishonest anti-evolution film “Expelled.”

And now, of course, he’s complaining that he’s being treated unfairly and suppressed by the atheistic, monolithic scientific establishment. You know, that scientific establishment that leads to killing people.

Ben Stein described the brouhaha over his selection as commencement speaker at the University of Vermont as “laughable” on Tuesday called the whole episode “pathetic.”

In a phone call to the Free Press on Tuesday, Stein said that describing his views as “antithetical to scientific inquiry” was “a wildly unfair characterization.” He said he was by no means “anti-science,” as some of his critics have described him.

“I am far more pro-science than the Darwinists,” Stein said later in an e-mail. “I want all scientific inquiry to happen — not just what the ruling clique calls science.”

Stein’s comments came a day after UVM President Dan Fogel announced that Stein, whom Fogel had invited to address UVM’s commencement in May, would not be coming after all. Fogel said that his selection of Stein generated an intense protest, that he received hundreds of angry e-mails over the weekend, and that after he shared these “profound concerns” with Stein, Stein “immediately and most graciously declined our commencement invitation.”

Asked the nature of those “concerns” at a news conference Monday, Fogel said they pertained to views of science perceived by many to be “affronts to the basic tenets of the academy.”

Allahpundit wonders why it took me so long to post about this; hey, I wanted to let you enjoy some of the glory that results from trying to talk sense into the creationist wing of the GOP. I see from the comments for your post that you’re feeling the love already.

Jump to bottom

679 comments

1 Randall Gross  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 7:58:14pm

Feellllll the luv AP !

This is good news indeed.

2 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 7:58:51pm

Shit.

3 astronmr20  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 7:59:26pm

I actually ran into him at a Bob's Big Boy in Jersey a few weeks ago.

Anyway, he doesn't seem to understand that he's a detriment to his own cause.

4 WhiteRasta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 7:59:30pm

Rove! You magnificent bastard!

5 HelloDare  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 7:59:33pm

UVM? University of VerMont?

6 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 7:59:47pm
“I am far more pro-science than the Darwinists,” Stein said later in an e-mail. “I want all scientific inquiry to happen — not just what the ruling clique calls science.”

There is no "ruling clique", mr stein. Science is ruled by empirical data- something you and your friends have in non-existent supply.

7 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:00:01pm

Is anybody surprised this is still debated. Anyone? Bueller?

8 ArmyWife  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:00:17pm

Good night, Honcos.

9 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:00:34pm

re: #3 astronmr20

I actually ran into him at a Bob's Big Boy in Jersey a few weeks ago.

You have my condolences.

10 astronmr20  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:00:35pm

re: #7 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Is anybody surprised this is still debated. Anyone? Bueller?

You win quote of the night. *Applause!*

11 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:00:37pm

re: #8 ArmyWife

Good idea. Scoot over.

12 Shinken  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:00:41pm

[Link: www.news.com.au...]

Iraqi woman had 80 women raped then recruited as suicide bombers

13 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:00:48pm

Why is Allahpundit so obsessed anyways? He's ripping the GOP apart!

14 MandyManners  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:01:08pm

WWBS?

15 Edge  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:01:13pm

If Stein would simply start bashing Israel, all would be forgiven and he would be allowed to speak.

16 HelloDare  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:01:49pm
“I am far more pro-science than the Darwinists,” Stein said later in an e-mail.

Ben Stein is for killing people? After they use eye drops to get the red out, I presume.

17 astronmr20  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:01:58pm

re: #12 Shinken

[Link: www.news.com.au...]

Iraqi woman had 80 women raped then recruited as suicide bombers

What the FUCK?

18 Mich-again  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:02:09pm

They should get Jimmy Kimmel to do the speech in Ben's place.

19 WhiteRasta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:02:19pm

re: #12 Shinken

And your problem with that is...? ////////

Don't be judgmental of other cultures....

20 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:03:06pm

AP takes a lot of shit on his own blog.

21 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:03:16pm

I haven't read the comments at HotAir, but I wonder how many former LGFers are over there thinking they'd found a safe haven from this issue. Doh!

22 WhiteRasta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:03:25pm

re: #17 astronmr20

Yea. This is the culture and mentality we are supposed to "respect".

23 MandyManners  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:03:35pm

re: #14 MandyManners

WWBS?

WWBSS.

24 jaunte  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:03:48pm

Get your creationist bingo cards here, while the night is young:
Image: id_bingo_card_2.jpg

25 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:03:55pm
26 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:04:12pm

re: #20 Killgore Trout

AP takes a lot of shit on his own blog.

Isn't that an unfortunate set of initials?

27 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:04:50pm

hey H O N C O S™! It is still cold in Near Iowa.

After spending the last few days out-of-state overseeing the medical care my parents are getting I can tell you that I DEFINITELY LOVE SCIENCE. I can b!tch and b!tch about the state of the medical system in this country, but I will never b!tch about the professionals that actually do the caring, nor the work they do. It's the paperwork end of it that I can't stand.

How are you-all and what did I miss?

28 WhiteRasta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:04:52pm

re: #25 taxfreekiller

NO. The question is what they are evolving into.......

29 Syrah  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:05:24pm

re: #12 Shinken

[Link: www.news.com.au...]

Iraqi woman had 80 women raped then recruited as suicide bombers

That is some serious bad evil.

30 starflyer  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:05:30pm

re: #13 Sharmuta

Heh...I only wish he had the power to make a slight nudge in the party's direction.

31 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:05:50pm
“I am far more pro-science than the Darwinists,” Stein said later in an e-mail. “I want all scientific inquiry to happen — not just what the ruling clique calls science.”

This is true. The "ruling clique" does not allow supernatural explanations for natural phenomenon into science. Ben wants to change the definition of science to fit a theological agenda.

32 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:05:58pm

re: #27 ggt

You're a good boy/girl. Hope your parents are okay.

33 jaunte  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:06:00pm

re: #25 taxfreekiller

Pakicetus -----> Hyena -----> Daschle

34 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:06:35pm

re: #2 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Shit.

Where, I don't want to step in it.

35 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:07:16pm

re: #32 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

You're a good boy/girl. Hope your parents are okay.

Unbelieveable-y well considering their age and different afflictions. Thanks for asking.

36 MandyManners  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:07:35pm

I'm just a fucking red-neck so, let me offer this.

37 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:07:35pm
Allahpundit wonders why it took me so long to post about this; hey, I wanted to let you enjoy some of the glory that results from trying to talk sense into the creationist wing of the GOP. I see from the comments for your post that you’re feeling the love already.

Charles

I read his post at that link, as far as I'm concerned, that was a tacky remark. WHat the fuck is his problem?

38 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:07:49pm

It's obvious that Allahpundit hates Christians and is trying to destroy the Republican Party. It's so boring. He's obsessed.

re: #21 Sharmuta

I haven't read the comments at HotAir, but I wonder how many former LGFers are over there thinking they'd found a safe haven from this issue.

I'd say, more than a few.

39 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:08:46pm

re: #24 jaunte

Get your creationist bingo cards here, while the night is young:
[Link: skeptico.blogs.com...]

That's hilarious!

40 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:09:17pm

re: #37 Walter L. Newton

Charles

I read his post at that link, as far as I'm concerned, that was a tacky remark. WHat the fuck is his problem?

Not tacky. He's a friend.

41 jaunte  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:10:25pm

re: #39 Sharmuta

Just print a few out and wait for the old familiar phrases to roll past.

42 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:10:47pm

re: #38 Charles

Then I feel bad for him. It must be pretty ugly over there.

43 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:10:51pm

Countdown until the first post telling me I'm obsessed about this, and never post about anything else, even with dozens of front page articles on other subjects staring them in the face....

44 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:11:03pm

I really liked AP's quote....

Why would an audience filled with scientists and science majors want to be addressed by a guy who believes “science leads you to killing people”? Better yet, why would that guy want to address them?


Ben has alienated anyone with an education and the entire civilized world.

45 HelloDare  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:11:15pm

re: #13 Sharmuta

Why is Allahpundit so obsessed anyways? He's ripping the GOP apart!

That's a little hyperbolic, don't you think? Jindal's position on evolution is doing more harm to the GOP than Allahpundit's relatively silent carping.

46 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:11:45pm

re: #45 HelloDare

No- it was a lot sarcastic.

47 Archimedes  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:12:10pm

Charles, I think you missed your calling. You should have been a paleontologist.

48 OldLineTexan  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:12:11pm

re: #44 Killgore Trout

I really liked AP's quote....


Ben has alienated anyone with an education and the entire civilized world.

Now there's a group that seems to be getting SMALLER.

49 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:12:32pm

re: #37 Walter L. Newton

AP's comment was with a wink and a nod.

50 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:12:38pm

Gotta go to bed. 13 hour day. Tired. Gonna evolve to bed.

51 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:12:47pm

re: #44 Killgore Trout

I really liked AP's quote....


Ben has alienated anyone with an education and the entire civilized world.

Speaking for myself, I was actually shocked when he came out with that incredibly stupid movie. And it takes a lot to shock me.

I was a fan of Ben Stein's before that.

52 Hard Right  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:12:56pm

re: #28 WhiteRasta

NO. The question is what they are evolving into.......

Who says they are evolving? Have you not heard of De-evolution?

53 Dancing along the light of day  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:12:59pm

I think Ben Stein is funny. I ran into him at a grocery store in Hollywierd, years ago. He kept stopping & posing in the aisles, waiting for someone to 'recognise' him. It was seriously funny. No one gave him a glance!

54 Archimedes  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:13:20pm

re: #51 Charles

Speaking for myself, I was actually shocked when he came out with that incredibly stupid movie. And it takes a lot to shock me.

I was a fan of Ben Stein's before that.

Ditto.

55 HelloDare  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:13:30pm

re: #46 Sharmuta

No- it was a lot sarcastic.

Oh, I fell victim of the phantom /

56 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:13:41pm

re: #40 Charles

Not tacky. He's a friend.

Ok, so he was being tongue-in-cheek?

57 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:14:23pm

re: #56 Walter L. Newton

Ok, so he was being tongue-in-cheek?

Tongue firmly ensconced.

58 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:14:25pm

OT:

According to Nancy Pelosi, if we don't pass the wealth transfer bill, 500 million Americans could lose their jobs!

US Population Clock: 305,744,144

That's right - you'll all lose your jobs, find another one, and lose it, all within a month, if the stimulus bill doesn't pass!

(h/t Gateway Pundit)

59 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:14:49pm

re: #21 Sharmuta

I haven't read the comments at HotAir, but I wonder how many former LGFers are over there thinking they'd found a safe haven from this issue. Doh!

Exactly the thought I had, just now, over there trying to read through the comments.

Unfortunately, I've been so spoiled by how easy it is to read and reply here, I couldn't get through many of the comments over there.

60 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:15:01pm

re: #55 HelloDare

That's what some people are always saying about evolution posts at LGF and Charles, so I was making a joke.

61 Bloodnok  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:15:07pm

re: #49 Killgore Trout

AP's comment was with a wink and a nod.

Well, a nod's as good as a wink to a blind cave-dwelling salamander.

62 Kosh's Shadow  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:15:20pm

re: #58 gmsc

OT:


[Video]According to Nancy Pelosi, if we don't pass the wealth transfer bill, 500 million Americans could lose their jobs!

US Population Clock: 305,744,144

That's right - you'll all lose your jobs, find another one, and lose it, all within a month, if the stimulus bill doesn't pass!

(h/t Gateway Pundit)

She's counting all the illegal aliens.
/

63 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:15:34pm

re: #57 Charles

Tongue firmly ensconced.

Fine. I really don't surf around to to many other blogs, so I don't really know who's in what camp.

Sorry.

64 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:15:41pm

re: #58 gmsc

"According to Nancy Pelosi, if we don't pass the wealth transfer bill, 500 million Americans could lose their jobs!"

That is certainly some interesting logic.

/

65 Syrah  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:16:34pm

re: #58 gmsc

OT:


[Video]According to Nancy Pelosi, if we don't pass the wealth transfer bill, 500 million Americans could lose their jobs!

US Population Clock: 305,744,144

That's right - you'll all lose your jobs, find another one, and lose it, all within a month, if the stimulus bill doesn't pass!

(h/t Gateway Pundit)

Has she been helping out some prominent Democrats with their taxes?

66 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:16:39pm

re: #62 Kosh's Shadow

She's counting all the illegal aliens.
/

I think we have a winner!

67 Miss Molly  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:17:12pm

I thought we were just supposed to worry about global warming.

68 Bloodnok  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:17:17pm

Good night, Lizards.

69 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:17:48pm

re: #64 ggt

"According to Nancy Pelosi, if we don't pass the wealth transfer bill, 500 million Americans could lose their jobs!"

That is certainly some interesting logic.

/

I suspect she misspoke and meant 50 million.
/

70 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:17:59pm

re: #51 Charles

I've come to the conclusion that anti-intellectualism isn't just for stupid people. It's a conscious choice. Al Ghazali's The Incoherence of the Philosophers is very much the same thing Ben is promoting. It's a well thought out and deliberate choice to ignore reality in favor of religious dogma. It's like having millions in the bank but living in a shack in the woods. People do these things.

71 Cato the Elder  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:18:16pm

LOL, they're really coming out of the woodwork over there on HA.

Ha ha ha.

Plenty of idiots for Allah to chastise.

72 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:18:20pm

I'm not sure why Mr Stein is complaining- he should be thrilled his scientific worldview has been reinforced- he's been "expelled". If he didn't want to be a "martyr" for this cause, he shouldn't have signed up.

73 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:18:25pm
74 Edge  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:18:44pm

re: #58 gmsc

OT:
[Video]According to Nancy Pelosi, if we don't pass the wealth transfer bill, 500 million Americans could lose their jobs!

All that plastic surgery has cut off needed circulation to the brain.

75 MandyManners  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:18:51pm

re: #63 Walter L. Newton

Fine. I really don't surf around to to many other blogs, so I don't really know who's in what camp.

Sorry.

Huh?

76 Hard Right  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:18:58pm

re: #69 Walter L. Newton

I suspect she misspoke and meant 50 million.
/

I doubt she knew 500 million was wrong.

77 OldLineTexan  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:19:24pm

re: #62 Kosh's Shadow

She's counting all the illegal aliens.
/

She must've added in all the illegal thetans as well...

78 jcm  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:19:46pm

re: #67 Miss Molly

I thought we were just supposed to worry about global warming.

It is the coming ice age....
No wait that was my high school textbook.....

79 OldLineTexan  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:19:52pm

re: #75 MandyManners

Huh?

No, Mandy ... WHAT?

/

80 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:20:05pm

re: #69 Walter L. Newton

I suspect she misspoke and meant 50 million.
/


Either way, I don't understand how transferring wealth helps someone keep their job. I would think it would work the other way around.

81 Hard Right  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:20:24pm

re: #73 Maximu§

Another Christian-Bashing thread......how nice.

You know, I once watched an old Hispanic woman at Saint John's, go from the back of the Church to the alter on her knee's...took her well over an hour and she prayed every step of the way holding her rosary..

Thats Faith and it is a sight to behold.

I don't lump creationists with Christians. Christians are not being made fun of. Creationsists are.

82 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:20:53pm

Huh- Ben Stein is a Jew, not a Christian.

83 Jim D  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:21:05pm

re: #73 Maximu§

Point out where Christians are being bashed.

84 Hard Right  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:22:00pm

re: #82 Sharmuta

Huh- Ben Stein is a Jew, not a Christian.

Not that your post was directed at me, but I'm commenting on the folks posting about Allah Pundit creationists.

85 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:22:04pm

re: #75 MandyManners

Huh?

Ok, maybe I didn't word that clearly. I thought the remark at the end of Allahpundit's post that Charles linked to was meant to me a slam on LGF.

Charles posted to let me know it wasn't and that they are good buds.

I apologized and commented (tried to) that I really don't read any other blogs, so I didn't know that AP was a friend, foe or whatever.

Is that clear?

What?

86 Cato the Elder  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:22:14pm

re: #73 Maximu§

Another Christian-Bashing thread......how nice.

You know, I once watched an old Hispanic woman at Saint John's, go from the back of the Church to the alter on her knee's...took her well over an hour and she prayed every step of the way holding her rosary..

Thats Faith and it is a sight to behold.

And your point is?

87 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:22:17pm
88 Miss Molly  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:23:00pm

jcm -- someone has to decide whether it will be global warming or ice age so people will know what to shop for.

89 Buster Bunny  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:23:39pm

re: #88 Miss Molly

jcm -- someone has to decide whether it will be global warming or ice age so people will know what to shop for.

I vote for a string bikini with matching gloves.

90 OldLineTexan  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:24:18pm

re: #89 Buster Bunny

I vote for a string bikini with matching gloves.

OK ... i just added lightproof goggles to my requisition list.

91 winston06  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:24:43pm
I want all scientific inquiry to happen


I think that's already happened, Ben!

92 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:24:49pm

re: #84 Hard Right

My point was we're not ripping on Christians (we never are) but in this specific case, the person that's the subject of the article is Jewish.

93 Hard Right  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:24:55pm

re: #89 Buster Bunny

I vote for a string bikini with matching gloves.

But what will the women wear?
////

94 hazzyday  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:24:55pm

re: #73 Maximu§

Another Christian-Bashing thread......how nice.

You know, I once watched an old Hispanic woman at Saint John's, go from the back of the Church to the alter on her knee's...took her well over an hour and she prayed every step of the way holding her rosary..

Thats Faith and it is a sight to behold.

Yes and unlike you? she wasn't a young earth creationist.

95 Hard Right  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:25:33pm

re: #92 Sharmuta

My point was we're not ripping on Christians (we never are) but in this specific case, the person that's the subject of the article is Jewish.

It was a good point.

96 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:25:40pm

re: #80 ggt

Either way, I don't understand how transferring wealth helps someone keep their job. I would think it would work the other way around.

I could use a job. Most here know I work at a live theatre, but that is not what I would rather be doing full time, since I am a programmer, and I like using my intellectual skills more than my artistic skills.

I've been looking over the bill, and I don't see any place the damn thing is going to help put me to work as a programmer.

I'm 56, and I see a few things that may make me dependent on the government, if I go along with the program. I don't want that.

97 astronmr20  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:25:41pm

re: #73 Maximu§

Another Christian-Bashing thread......how nice.

You know, I once watched an old Hispanic woman at Saint John's, go from the back of the Church to the alter on her knee's...took her well over an hour and she prayed every step of the way holding her rosary..

Thats Faith and it is a sight to behold.

Agreed,

But what in the world does that have to do with Ben Stein being a whiny cry-baby and ruining his own positions?

98 Miss Molly  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:26:35pm

Buster Bunny -- But, what about shoes? Is this high heels or boots?

99 HelloDare  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:26:44pm

re: #88 Miss Molly

jcm -- someone has to decide whether it will be global warming or ice age so people will know what to shop for.

Just build up a thick layer of fat like Al Gore. You're protected from the cold and you can live off the fat if it gets warm and all the crops die.

100 Salamantis  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:27:24pm

re: #73 Maximu§

Another Christian-Bashing thread......how nice.

You know, I once watched an old Hispanic woman at Saint John's, go from the back of the Church to the alter on her knee's...took her well over an hour and she prayed every step of the way holding her rosary..

Thats Faith and it is a sight to behold.

Reminds me of Thulsa Doom gesturing to the lady on the ledge to fall down to him. The propellent power of faith can be placed at the service of anything, be it good or evil.

101 Randall Gross  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:27:29pm

AP could use a hand in comments...

102 Hard Right  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:27:46pm

re: #99 HelloDare

Just build up a thick layer of fat like Al Gore. You're protected from the cold and you can live off the fat if it gets warm and all the crops die.

If all else fails you could cut him open and crawl inside.
///

103 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:28:14pm

re: #101 Thanos

AP could use a hand in comments...

I don't have an account.

104 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:28:41pm

My question is how the president of UVM needed an outcry from people smarter than himself to change his mind?

What does it take to become president of a university these days, read no news except from Al Jazeera?

105 Bobblehead  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:29:33pm

OT
Something funny from Michael Ramirez

And this :

Memo to the president -- please remove that "kick-me" sign


[Link: www.powerlineblog.com...]

106 hopperandadropper  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:29:46pm

I used to have some respect for Ben Stein until this nonsense came up. BTW, Maximus, exactly what is Christian-bashing about this thread? It seems to me that it's ignoramus-bashing. Not the same thing unless you make it so.

Question to all you "open debate" creationists: Explain why all cell-based organisms have DNA as their genetic material. Friendly hint: "Because God made it that way" is not a scientific explanation.

107 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:29:56pm

re: #73 Maximu§

What is it with people hogging all the meth to themselves lately. Don't be selfish, you should share.

/But none for me, thanks.

108 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:31:00pm

re: #96 Walter L. Newton

I could use a job. Most here know I work at a live theatre, but that is not what I would rather be doing full time, since I am a programmer, and I like using my intellectual skills more than my artistic skills.

I've been looking over the bill, and I don't see any place the damn thing is going to help put me to work as a programmer.

I'm 56, and I see a few things that may make me dependent on the government, if I go along with the program. I don't want that.

Well, I guess you could apply for a grant from the National Council for the Arts --or whatever it is called these days . . . ..

I've been out of the loop for a few days, forgive me if that money was taken out of the bill.

109 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:31:45pm

re: #102 Hard Right

If all else fails you could cut him open and crawl inside.
///

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

110 winston06  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:32:11pm

re: #102 Hard Right

lol

111 Optimizer  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:32:19pm

My mother got me Stein's movie for Xmas.

It isn't that she's ignorant about my thinking Creationism is idiotic; it's that in her self-deluded, self-centered fantasy world she thinks Ben might turn me. Notice that she uses Xmas to try to force her views on others, not to give people stuff they actually want. WTF is wrong with these people!?!

112 Miss Molly  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:33:18pm

Hard Right -- just thinking about Al Gore is ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. He is so awful and he just won't go away.

113 unclassifiable  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:33:30pm

Well my job karma restoration job is done:)

114 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:33:55pm

re: #107 Slumbering Behemoth

What is it with people hogging all the meth to themselves lately. Don't be selfish, you should share.

/But none for me, thanks.

Smack!

115 Kosh's Shadow  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:34:19pm

re: #77 OldLineTexan

She must've added in all the illegal thetans as well...

You don't know how many aliens it takes to run Area 51.

116 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:34:53pm

re: #111 Optimizer

My mother got me Stein's movie for Xmas.

It isn't that she's ignorant about my thinking Creationism is idiotic; it's that in her self-deluded, self-centered fantasy world she thinks Ben might turn me. Notice that she uses Xmas to try to force her views on others, not to give people stuff they actually want. WTF is wrong with these people!?!

Gift certificates are the way to go, imho. Who can't use a Target gift card? Or Dunkin Donuts?

117 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:35:02pm

re: #101 Thanos

Agreed, but I don't have an account over there. They way some of those blinkered peeps talk, you'd think AP was the devil incarnate.

118 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:35:15pm

re: #103 Sharmuta

I don't have an account.

I just put something over there.

119 itellu3times  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:35:18pm

Ben, babe, science is not for amateurs.

That's pretty much what happened to you.

120 JHW  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:35:45pm

Saw this yesterday, from Cracked Magazine, with links to their info. Some seriously offbeat stuff, puts the "turtles all the way down" to shame.
5 Japanese Creation Myths

121 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:36:06pm

re: #114 Dark_Falcon

Smack!

You should share that too. But again, none for me, thanks. I'll stick with my beer if it's all the same to you.

122 astronmr20  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:36:08pm

re: #111 Optimizer

My mother got me Stein's movie for Xmas.

It isn't that she's ignorant about my thinking Creationism is idiotic; it's that in her self-deluded, self-centered fantasy world she thinks Ben might turn me. Notice that she uses Xmas to try to force her views on others, not to give people stuff they actually want. WTF is wrong with these people!?!

The problem with Stien's movie is that again, he sabotages his own positions by being a shithead.

Is there anti-christian bias in universities? Perhaps. But people like your mom aren't going to spend time on the web to see how most of his claims turned out to be either fabricated or figments of his imagination. They simply see a movie that supports what they might suspect, made by a "reputable" fellow like Stien, and Voila. Therefore, it hurts your Mom, too, because there are people he dupes with this crap.

123 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:36:23pm

re: #70 Killgore Trout

I've come to the conclusion that anti-intellectualism isn't just for stupid people. It's a conscious choice. Al Ghazali's The Incoherence of the Philosophers is very much the same thing Ben is promoting. It's a well thought out and deliberate choice to ignore reality in favor of religious dogma. It's like having millions in the bank but living in a shack in the woods. People do these things.

Ahh, yes, Tahafut al-Falasafia (The incoherence of the philosophers); My favorite was the response, by al-Farabi "Tahafut al-Tahafut" (The incoherence of the incoherence). Required reading, both of them, for anyone looking for some insight into the whole revelation/reason thing. Also, a cautionary tale is there, of what happens when an entire intellectual tradition is suppressed on theological grounds.

Oh, and by the way, al-Ghazali was a Sufi. Yeah, those Sufis.

124 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:36:25pm

re: #108 ggt

Well, I guess you could apply for a grant from the National Council for the Arts --or whatever it is called these days . . . ..

I've been out of the loop for a few days, forgive me if that money was taken out of the bill.

The NCA (National Council on the Arts) were getting 50 million dollars, and I don't know if it's in or out. That's a national endowment, and most of that money will wind up being used for administrative purposes. You can be sure of that. Fifty million is not that much, not when you have all these hands out.

Besides, I don't have any "Piss Christ" type projects in the que. They wouldn't be interested in commissioning my new work "A Modest Proposal" since it's a satire that deals with agenda driven politics and is a metaphor for a anti-abortion point of view.

125 slokat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:36:42pm

OT: read about these hacked roadsigns, I think zombie is doing some guerilla marketing - Sign warns Illinois drivers about zombies

126 Vicious Babushka  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:36:51pm

Tomorrow afternoon I am flying to New York for my oldest grandson's Bar Mitzvah. I don't know whether or not to take the laptop, since I don't think I will have access to a wireless connection.

127 southernfriedchickenhawk  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:37:56pm
There is no "ruling clique", mr stein. Science is ruled by empirical data- something you and your friends have in non-existent supply.

You mean like Global Warming?

I'm no christian, but that is some fine company you guys are pandering to.

128 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:38:00pm

re: #96 Walter L. Newton

I could use a job. Most here know I work at a live theatre, but that is not what I would rather be doing full time, since I am a programmer, and I like using my intellectual skills more than my artistic skills.

My first job was as a programmer, cobol fortran algol assembler and all those more or less dead languages, almost 40 years ago. It, and managing programmers and systems got me to where I have some income now, but I don't think there are any programming jobs for anyone much over 30 anymore. Unless one is brilliant, it strikes me as a churn and burn profession.

Ask Charles how to create your own blog system. ;)

129 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:38:15pm

re: #126 Alouette

Tomorrow afternoon I am flying to New York for my oldest grandson's Bar Mitzvah. I don't know whether or not to take the laptop, since I don't think I will have access to a wireless connection.

You didn't get your country wide wireless broadband modem from Obama?

130 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:38:16pm

re: #126 Alouette

Tomorrow afternoon I am flying to New York for my oldest grandson's Bar Mitzvah. I don't know whether or not to take the laptop, since I don't think I will have access to a wireless connection.

Come on; we can spare you for so important an occasion. Mazel tov on your simchat.

131 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:38:17pm

re: #126 Alouette

Tomorrow afternoon I am flying to New York for my oldest grandson's Bar Mitzvah. I don't know whether or not to take the laptop, since I don't think I will have access to a wireless connection.

I would bring it with me, just in case.

'course, I always overpack.

132 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:38:24pm

re: #120 JHW

That's some good stuff. Maybe I'll get a teaching gig in Louisiana so's I can spread the good word.

133 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:38:42pm

re: #117 Slumbering Behemoth

Agreed, but I don't have an account over there. They way some of those blinkered peeps talk, you'd think AP was the devil incarnate.

The fanatics are trying to drive AP out of Hot Air. It's a microcosm of what's wrong with the Republican Party.

134 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:38:50pm

re: #111 Optimizer

My mother got me Stein's movie for Xmas.

It isn't that she's ignorant about my thinking Creationism is idiotic; it's that in her self-deluded, self-centered fantasy world she thinks Ben might turn me. Notice that she uses Xmas to try to force her views on others, not to give people stuff they actually want. WTF is wrong with these people!?!

I get where you're coming from. My family used to do the same thing to me during Christmas, giving me all these clothes and stuff. Yeah, right, like I'm gonna start wearing clothes.
/

135 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:39:00pm

re: #121 Slumbering Behemoth

You should share that too. But again, none for me, thanks. I'll stick with my beer if it's all the same to you.

Drugs aren't for me either. I just think that you were being nastier to Maximus than he deserves.

136 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:39:15pm

re: #121 Slumbering Behemoth

You should share that too. But again, none for me, thanks. I'll stick with my beer if it's all the same to you.

No smack for me, thanks. I'll stick to diet Rockstar energy drink and coffee.

137 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:39:49pm

re: #132 Killgore Trout

That's some good stuff. Maybe I'll get a teaching gig in Louisiana so's I can spread the good word.

That stuff looked a lot like voodoo.
People here would understand that.

138 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:39:55pm

re: #123 Guanxi88

Oh, and by the way, al-Ghazali was a Sufi.

I didn't know that. Oh well, at least the Sufis don't Jihad as much as the rest of them.

139 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:40:10pm

re: #133 Charles

The fanatics are trying to drive AP out of Hot Air. It's a microcosm of what's wrong with the Republican Party.

Why? I love AP. Color me confused.

140 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:40:10pm

re: #136 Catttt

No smack for me, thanks. I'll stick to diet Rockstar energy drink and coffee.

And what's wrong with booze and coffee, nature's own left-right combination?

141 SouthernFriedChickenHawk  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:40:16pm
The fanatics are trying to drive AP out of Hot Air. It's a microcosm of what's wrong with the Republican Party.

Peggy is that you?

142 JHW  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:40:26pm

re: #132 Killgore Trout

That'll work, if one creation story can be taught, why exclude the others?

143 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:40:58pm

re: #140 Guanxi88

And what's wrong with booze and coffee, nature's own left-right combination?

No booze for me, thanks. I stay away from soporifics.

144 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:41:24pm

Wow- serious dingdown artist on the thread downstairs.

145 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:41:45pm

re: #142 JHW

That'll work, if one creation story can be taught, why exclude the others?

I'm calling BS on the story of these Japanese creation myths. I pulled out my flat model of the world, and didn't find Japane on it anywhere.

146 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:42:06pm

re: #144 Sharmuta

Wow- serious dingdown artist on the thread downstairs.

Oh?
who?

147 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:42:09pm

re: #143 Catttt

No booze for me, thanks. I stay away from soporifics.

That's what the coffee's for.

148 Racer X  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:42:18pm

re: #58 gmsc

According to Nancy Pelosi, if we don't pass the wealth transfer bill, 500 million Americans could lose their jobs!

US Population Clock: 305,744,144

That's right - you'll all lose your jobs, find another one, and lose it, all within a month, if the stimulus bill doesn't pass!

I've told Nancy a hundred billion times to not exaggerate!

149 SteveC  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:42:25pm

re: #140 Guanxi88

And what's wrong with booze and coffee, nature's own left-right combination?

It makes my liver quiver and my ticker flicker. Sprite, if any is in the fridge. Usually there is a can or two behind the fruitcup.

150 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:42:59pm

re: #149 SteveC

It makes my liver quiver and my ticker flicker. Sprite, if any is in the fridge. Usually there is a can or two behind the fruitcup.

Different strokes, so to speak.

151 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:43:16pm

re: #128 Naso Tang

My first job was as a programmer, cobol fortran algol assembler and all those more or less dead languages, almost 40 years ago. It, and managing programmers and systems got me to where I have some income now, but I don't think there are any programming jobs for anyone much over 30 anymore. Unless one is brilliant, it strikes me as a churn and burn profession.

Ask Charles how to create your own blog system. ;)

I don't want to code my own blog, or run a blog at all. I have been a programmer for 30 years, still do a little work from home (for the last year, some work for Kaiser, maybe picked up 4000 last year), but I haven't been able to find full time work for the last 4 years.

And yes, you're right, I'm not a 30 something. I'm 56. And I am brilliant, in the sense that I know business and database design like breathing, there's nothing you could throw at me that I haven't already coded before, for someone.

I got in at the beginning, about 1979, help build the foundation, now they don't need us.

152 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:43:45pm

re: #124 Walter L. Newton

The NCA (National Council on the Arts) were getting 50 million dollars, and I don't know if it's in or out. That's a national endowment, and most of that money will wind up being used for administrative purposes. You can be sure of that. Fifty million is not that much, not when you have all these hands out.

Besides, I don't have any "Piss Christ" type projects in the que. They wouldn't be interested in commissioning my new work "A Modest Proposal" since it's a satire that deals with agenda driven politics and is a metaphor for a anti-abortion point of view.

LOL! How true! Perhaps if you included a scene with someone standing on the American Flag?...

153 JHW  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:44:20pm

re: #145 Guanxi88

I'm calling BS on the story of these Japanese creation myths. I pulled out my flat model of the world, and didn't find Japane on it anywhere.

I take it you didn't find Kusobakama, Shitpants Japan, on the map then?

154 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:44:39pm

re: #144 Sharmuta

Wow- serious dingdown artist on the thread downstairs.

Oh, great. Now I have Ding Dong the Witch is Dead stuck in my head.

155 Syrah  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:44:43pm

re: #144 Sharmuta

Wow- serious dingdown artist on the thread downstairs.

A newbie.

A Sock Puppet?

156 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:46:00pm

Lazydr is having a field day downdinging comments.

157 Vicious Babushka  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:46:12pm

Goodnight, Lizards, play nice. I'll see you for a short time in the morning. In the meantime, buy stuff at the Zionist Mall. We have a lot of Israeli products, including "Operation Cast Lead" and other IDF T-Shirts.

158 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:46:19pm

re: #156 Killgore Trout

Lazydr is having a field day downdinging comments.

Not any more.

159 Miss Molly  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:46:22pm

Nancy Pee Losi is just probably doing her "Lady McBeth"routine and trying to scare all 500 million of us. I don't know where she finds the time to do then as she is so busy counting her husbands millions.

160 SteveC  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:46:41pm

re: #155 Syrah

A newbie.

A Sock Puppet?

New Ranger out testin' his guns. Thinks he's the only one ever to strap on a six shooter. Then when the spit hits the fan, either you or me will have to save his ass.

161 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:46:45pm

re: #158 Charles

Heh

162 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:46:54pm

re: #146 reine.de.tout

Thank you, {Sweets}.

163 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:47:05pm

re: #133 Charles

The fanatics are trying to drive AP out of Hot Air. It's a microcosm of what's wrong with the Republican Party.

Wait for it. If Dan Caplis here in Denver decides to run for the state senate, we will have a full blown, anti-abortion, creationist, social conservative in all the ways possible, candidate.

And it's looking good that the party is looking close at him. He has a 3 hour talk show on a Clear Channel station every day, and has for 10 years or so.

He's Catholic and he's everything that is wrong with the Republican party. I suspect that you will be seeing more like him across the country. The party, state or national, follow a common plan.

164 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:47:12pm

re: #153 JHW

I take it you didn't find Kusobakama, Shitpants Japan, on the map then?

See, the more you look into this obvious forgery intended to throw mud (or worse) onto the divinely-revealed account of the origins found in Genesis. This cheap attempt at a straw man for YEC will fall into the oblivion it so richly enjoys. Japane, indeed.

165 Syrah  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:47:46pm

re: #160 SteveC

New Ranger out testin' his guns. Thinks he's the only one ever to strap on a six shooter. Then when the spit hits the fan, either you or me will have to save his ass.

Maybe we will be busy when that call comes.

166 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:48:39pm

re: #133 Charles

The fanatics are trying to drive AP out of Hot Air. It's a microcosm of what's wrong with the Republican Party.

It's a mad house. No matter what he posts or links to, the peanut gallery goes bat-shat apoplectic. If he links to something that is just the tiniest bit critical of Palin, even if he disagrees with the criticism, paint-eaters come out of the wood work calling him a Palin hater.

167 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:49:20pm

re: #163 Walter L. Newton

I suspect that you will be seeing more like him across the country. The party, state or national, follow a common plan.


8 years of Obama....Wheeeee!
/Zen Strawberry

168 SteveC  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:49:33pm

re: #164 Guanxi88

See, the more you look into this obvious forgery intended to throw mud (or worse) onto the divinely-revealed account of the origins found in Genesis. This cheap attempt at a straw man for YEC will fall into the oblivion it so richly enjoys. Japane, indeed.

You ain't fooling anyone. We all know there really is a Japan. But they made up Obama!

169 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:50:10pm

re: #158 Charles

Not any more.

You rock. /And I don't expect extra pie.

170 Gretchen G.Tiger  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:50:26pm

I'm still exhausted from the visit with my parents.

Have a great night all

weet dreams!

171 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:50:34pm

re: #168 SteveC

You ain't fooling anyone. We all know there really is a Japan. But they made up Obama!

Okay, see, this is why you can freely throw piss-poor jokes around in a place like this; some genius is bound to save the thing and make it witty as hell. Oh, yeah! You earned a ding.

172 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:50:41pm

re: #151 Walter L. Newton

Dinosaurs, I've heard us described. We could come back if the hardware guys would limit us to 32k memory and tape drives, when skill and efficiency counted; but of course I love the freedom to be lazy myself, so don't take me seriously.

173 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:51:01pm

re: #135 Dark_Falcon

That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. I don't have much patience for whiners with a persecution complex.

174 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:51:24pm

re: #162 Sharmuta

Thank you, {Sweets}.

Stupid asshole idiot jerks thinking they are so smart, can come in, never contribute to the conversation, and then just pick somebody out to ding down (and for some reason you seem to be one of their faves).

I don't normally use that kind of language about people, but it's just - stupid silly childish behavior, completely unnecessary if a person is smart enough to have anything of value to say.

175 OldLineTexan  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:51:29pm

re: #169 Catttt

You rock. /And I don't expect extra pie.

There is no such thing as extra pie.

/Nancy Pelosi

176 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:51:40pm

re: #166 Slumbering Behemoth

I've tried commenting over there but too many of them already know me. It's a pretty hostile environment.

177 jaunte  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:52:41pm

re: #174 reine.de.tout

it's just - stupid silly childish behavior, completely unnecessary if a person is smart enough to have anything of value to say.

There's the rub.

178 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:52:42pm

re: #166 Slumbering Behemoth

It's a mad house. No matter what he posts or links to, the peanut gallery goes bat-shat apoplectic. If he links to something that is just the tiniest bit critical of Palin, even if he disagrees with the criticism, paint-eaters come out of the wood work calling him a Palin hater.

I had not noticed that people were so anti-Allahpundit.
I find it hard to read many of the comments there, it's hard to follow.

179 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:53:05pm

re: #174 reine.de.tout

I think they've targeted me because they know I can't ban them. I'm a stand-in for the anger they feel.

180 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:53:33pm

re: #172 Naso Tang

Dinosaurs, I've heard us described. We could come back if the hardware guys would limit us to 32k memory and tape drives, when skill and efficiency counted; but of course I love the freedom to be lazy myself, so don't take me seriously.

I coded a bulletin board system called "The Softboard" in 1981. It was sold by TimeWorks of Chicago. Ran in 19k. ON A VIC 20!

181 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:53:57pm

re: #174 reine.de.tout

tsk tsk tsk (wine with dinner? :)

182 SteveC  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:54:00pm

re: #171 Guanxi88

Okay, see, this is why you can freely throw piss-poor jokes around in a place like this; some genius is bound to save the thing and make it witty as hell. Oh, yeah! You earned a ding.

Agreed, I'm not running my A-material tonight. Just got in and kinda tired.

Friend had minor surgery, everything went great. But everyone in South Carolina who needed a toenail removed or a circumcision showed up today, all the operating rooms got backed up, and had to wait forever!

/I was driving, friend still full of happy juice. So I couldn't leave.

183 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:54:52pm

re: #179 Sharmuta

I think they've targeted me because they know I can't ban them. I'm a stand-in for the anger they feel.

Well, you sort of express yourself well, too.
Since they cannot counter-argue, they ding you down.

184 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:55:14pm

re: #181 Naso Tang

tsk tsk tsk (wine with dinner? :)

YO!
You callin' me a winer?

185 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:55:20pm

Sigh. I used to like Ben.

186 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:55:21pm

re: #182 SteveC

Agreed, I'm not running my A-material tonight. Just got in and kinda tired.

Friend had minor surgery, everything went great. But everyone in South Carolina who needed a toenail removed or a circumcision showed up today, all the operating rooms got backed up, and had to wait forever!

/I was driving, friend still full of happy juice. So I couldn't leave.

Now, if I could just find a way to make money off the brains we get in here most days, I could quit my day jobs and pursue my one real passion - sleep.

187 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:56:45pm

re: #181 Naso Tang

tsk tsk tsk (wine with dinner? :)

:-)

188 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:57:03pm

re: #180 Walter L. Newton

Ouch. I remember my first mandelbrot fractal program on a 386. Took 36 hours to run the first screen until I tweaked it to 24, but enough of this, let's get back to younger stuff...

189 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:57:22pm

re: #185 rawmuse

Sigh. I used to like Ben.

OT - I have two musical quotes for you that are humorous and I thought you would enjoy. I've been waiting to see you on here. They are...

Sometimes you may think I'm making mistakes on the piano, but that's jazz.

The blues is another way of saying don't come back.

190 itellu3times  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:57:31pm

re: #172 Naso Tang

Dinosaurs, I've heard us described. We could come back if the hardware guys would limit us to 32k memory and tape drives, when skill and efficiency counted; but of course I love the freedom to be lazy myself, so don't take me seriously.

Me dinosaur too and still at it, so I can tell you that what has changed is not just that efficiency doesn't count, what they want is lousy work, not good work, not great work. If it just barely gets by, so you have to spend seven hours a day keeping the plates spinning, that's what they like, that's what they demand. So how do I keep going? I dunno. I give the customer what he wants, I guess, and sometimes fix up a thing or two while he's not looking, but it's still a battle.

191 Guanxi88  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:57:49pm

re: #185 rawmuse

Sigh. I used to like Ben.

Yes, it's always sad. I feel like him as I did about Pat B. when he went right off the deep end. I was always ready to give him the benefit of the doubt, but at some point, this becomes indistinguishable from closing your eyes.

192 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:59:47pm

re: #93 Hard Right

But what will the women wear?
////

2 band-aids and a cork.

193 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 8:59:59pm

re: #141 SouthernFriedChickenHawk

Peggy is that you?

Right. Because everything the GOP does is perfect, and anyone who voices even the slightest criticism should be tarred and feathered.

Pathetic.

194 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:00:20pm

re: #189 Walter L. Newton

Good ones. Yeah, I am not here much these days due to an oppressive work schedule. It is going to be this way for at least a month. Bunch of classical people renting my studio, arguing about whether to notate tempi in German or Italian.

195 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:00:28pm
196 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:00:47pm

re: #176 Killgore Trout

I've tried commenting over there but too many of them already know me. It's a pretty hostile environment.

For you. (Static vid, but better sound)

197 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:01:07pm

re: #190 itellu3times

Me dinosaur too and still at it, so I can tell you that what has changed is not just that efficiency doesn't count, what they want is lousy work, not good work, not great work. If it just barely gets by, so you have to spend seven hours a day keeping the plates spinning, that's what they like, that's what they demand. So how do I keep going? I dunno. I give the customer what he wants, I guess, and sometimes fix up a thing or two while he's not looking, but it's still a battle.

My contact for my Kaiser work that I do off and on says he's never dealt with a more detailed and knowledgeable programmer in the last 10 years. He's a project leader, he's 32 years old.

'nuff said?

198 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:01:54pm

re: #183 reine.de.tout

Thanks- that means a lot to me.

199 Kailen  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:02:07pm

Esh, it's like an atheist saying "I'm not anti-religion. In fact, I'm MORE religious than you Vatican types! You just don't understand what REAL Religion is."

200 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:02:37pm

Please don't spread financial panic at my site. If idiots are going to go nuts, I don't want to contribute to it.

201 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:03:08pm

re: #194 rawmuse

Good ones. Yeah, I am not here much these days due to an oppressive work schedule. It is going to be this way for at least a month. Bunch of classical people renting my studio, arguing about whether to notate tempi in German or Italian.

Well, it sounds better than when you were "whining" at the end of the year that you didn't know what you were going to do. It sounds like things have worked out fine, and a little vacation on top of it. I can't even afford to go to sleep.

202 the phantom  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:03:09pm

re: #55 HelloDare

Oh, I fell victim of the phantom /

You'd better watch your step.
/

203 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:03:44pm
204 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:04:01pm

re: #200 Charles

Please don't spread financial panic at my site. If idiots are going to go nuts, I don't want to contribute to it.

Charles, what is this comment in reference to?

205 SouthernFriedChickenHawk  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:04:06pm

re: #193 Charles

Right. Because everything the GOP does is perfect, and anyone who voices even the slightest criticism should be tarred and feathered.

Pathetic.

Ouch...your definition of tarred and feathered is a bit exaggerated. You know the problem with self-crucifixion? You can never nail in the last nail.

206 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:04:25pm

re: #200 Charles

Please don't spread financial panic at my site. If idiots are going to go nuts, I don't want to contribute to it.

Thank you, sir. The times are scary enough without panic making it worse.

207 itellu3times  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:04:32pm

re: #200 Charles

Sorry. Guess my #203 goes too.

208 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:04:43pm

re: #201 Walter L. Newton

Ain't it always the case. Just did some taxes, one of the forms says "do you expect a change in your income this year?"

As if I can predict that. As Yogi said "Predictions are hard, especially about the future".

209 SteveC  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:04:49pm

re: #200 Charles

Please don't spread financial panic at my site. If idiots are going to go nuts, I don't want to contribute to it.

Sorry, Charles! Delete that post if you wish.

210 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:05:08pm

re: #205 SouthernFriedChickenHawk

Ouch...your definition of tarred and feathered is a bit exaggerated. You know the problem with self-crucifixion? You can never nail in the last nail.

Maybe not, but I can ban your ass.

211 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:05:25pm

re: #200 Charles

Please don't spread financial panic at my site. If idiots are going to go nuts, I don't want to contribute to it.

Thank you thank you thank you.

It is what it is, people need to keep their wits about them and will get through it, I'm tired of the financial gloom and doom and panic.

And I don't even know which comment you're referring to.

212 slokat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:05:26pm

re: #199 Kailen

Esh, it's like an atheist saying "I'm not anti-religion. In fact, I'm MORE religious than you Vatican types! You just don't understand what REAL Religion is."

That pretty much happened here last night...

213 JacksonTn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:05:59pm

re: #194 rawmuse

Good ones. Yeah, I am not here much these days due to an oppressive work schedule. It is going to be this way for at least a month. Bunch of classical people renting my studio, arguing about whether to notate tempi in German or Italian.

Hey Rawmuse ...don't you play this instrument? ...I hardly ever see women playing it ...

214 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:06:02pm

Was that #195 a spammer or what? Sure disappeared fast?

215 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:06:07pm

re: #194 rawmuse

Good ones. Yeah, I am not here much these days due to an oppressive work schedule. It is going to be this way for at least a month. Bunch of classical people renting my studio, arguing about whether to notate tempi in German or Italian.

RM, Diana had quite a few good things to say about you tonight. I didn't know you were so talented.

216 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:06:58pm

re: #200 Charles

Please don't spread financial panic at my site. If idiots are going to go nuts, I don't want to contribute to it.

I'm such a geek. I clicked on that link and was actually more interested at the interplay and levels of the money velocity variables than I was in panicking.

I guess that was just me.

217 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:07:04pm

re: #214 Naso Tang

Was that #195 a spammer or what? Sure disappeared fast?

Already answered I see.

218 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:07:07pm

re: #214 Naso Tang

Was that #195 a spammer or what? Sure disappeared fast?

Must have been the financial panicker Charles referred to in re: #200 Charles

219 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:07:44pm

re: #214 Naso Tang

Was that #195 a spammer or what? Sure disappeared fast?

See #200.

220 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:08:09pm

re: #216 gmsc

I'm such a geek. I clicked on that link and was actually more interested at the interplay and levels of the money velocity variables than I was in panicking.

I guess that was just me.

That reminds me - I should be studying for my 7 instead of doing this. Oh, well.

221 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:08:16pm

re: #213 JacksonTn

Hey, she is cute! Technique needs some work, but who cares...
Yes, I play one of those.

222 NY Nana  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:08:18pm

/Maybe he could go to Ben and Jerry's, and make his own flavor as a consolation ....any suggestions?

223 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:08:23pm

re: #208 rawmuse

Ain't it always the case. Just did some taxes, one of the forms says "do you expect a change in your income this year?"

As if I can predict that. As Yogi said "Predictions are hard, especially about the future".

I wasn't dumping on you. That's why I put "whining" in quotes. I was just saying it worked out better than you thought. And I say, congrats.

The theatre has has a terrible Jan and Feb looks like hell. But the Golden Civic Foundation want to add some money to our loan, so it looks like we will be ok till the season picks up. So, right now I don't have to worry, but I always keep looking for full time programming work.

If I have full time programming work, I still manage to do about 80 percent of what I do now for the theatre, and they get me a a stipend rate.

224 SteveC  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:08:23pm

re: #214 Naso Tang

Was that #195 a spammer or what? Sure disappeared fast?

*Raises hand*

That was me. I posted before I thought. Sorry, everyone.

225 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:08:33pm

re: #204 Walter L. Newton

Charles, what is this comment in reference to?

Ssssh.

226 slokat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:09:11pm

re: #213 JacksonTn

Hey Rawmuse ...don't you play this instrument? ...I hardly ever see women playing it ...


[Video]

I can't see Rawmuse swaying in a low cut top... if he plays, or not.

227 [deleted]  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:09:12pm
228 jorline  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:09:15pm

re: #200 Charles

Please don't spread financial panic at my site. If idiots are going to go nuts, I don't want to contribute to it.

Financial Troofers...they're everywhere.

229 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:09:15pm

re: #215 turn

RM, Diana had quite a few good things to say about you tonight. I didn't know you were so talented.

That's nice. Dianna is a good kid.

230 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:09:26pm

re: #222 NY Nana

/Maybe he could go to Ben and Jerry's, and make his own flavor as a consolation ....any suggestions?

Irreducibly Complex Chunky Monkey.

231 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:09:28pm

re: #204 Walter L. Newton

Charles, what is this comment in reference to?

Curiosity killed the cat Walter.

232 Achilles Tang  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:22pm

Time to go and recharge.

Long Live the Dinosaurs!

233 steve  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:32pm

re: #125 slokat

OT: read about these hacked roadsigns, I think zombie is doing some guerilla marketing - Sign warns Illinois drivers about zombies

There is Zombie Ammo for those of us that like to hunt. Not for our Zombie but for these guys and gals.

234 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:32pm

re: #231 Catttt

Curiosity killed the cat Walter.

re: #225 Naso Tang

Ssssh.

Ok, all right, I see nothing.

235 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:36pm

re: #223 Walter L. Newton

Hey, I am as capable of whining as anyone. I hate to break it to you all, but today was dayumm fine weather here in moonbat central. People were wearing shorts downtown. Amazing.

236 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:42pm

re: #218 reine.de.tout

Must have been the financial panicker Charles referred to in re: #200 Charles

Not only was it financial panic, it was old financial panic. The post talking about a reason to expect an economic downturn was from late November 2007.

I'd say the foreshadowed downturn has already happened. So, do whatever you're doing now.

If you do feel the need or desire to panic, just check Google News and you should be able to find a more recent and better updated reason.

237 esch  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:46pm

re: #227 esch

Whoa.

Sorry Charles. Took me so long to put it together I missed your statement.

Please delete #227

238 JacksonTn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:11:58pm

re: #226 slokat

I can't see Rawmuse swaying in a low cut top... if he plays, or not.

slokat ...how do you know he doesn't when he is ...um ...you know ...all alone ...


/ducking from rawmuse

239 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:12:18pm

re: #229 rawmuse

Really nice, but don't try and mess with her in a dark alley. If she didn't succeed in talking some sense into you she would probably chop you in half with a big ass knife :.)

240 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:12:32pm

Uh, good morning y'all - well morning Eastern time!
Evening to the rest of you!
I've been busy scanning the thread and watching LGF Spy and have re-discovered that I'm not so good at multitasking!
How is everyone doing?

241 Optimizer  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:13:13pm

re: #127 southernfriedchickenhawk

You mean like Global Warming?

I'm no christian, but that is some fine company you guys are pandering to.

[This was regarding the claim that "Science is ruled by empirical data".]

It's perhaps important to make a distinction between "science", and the aforementioned "scientific establishment". It is a part of the latter that has ignored the empirical evidence regarding Global Warming - opting to to promote the results of unvalidated (or invalidated) computer models instead. When the empirical data takes a back seat, you're not doing science any more.

The legitimate point here is that scientific argument need focus on facts and reason - appeal to authority should not be used. Hopefully we already have more of the former than the latter in here.

Arguing against Creationism is pretty easy - there is no science to be had. Arguing for evolution is more involved. Personally, I would expect to see the evolution theory see a few refinements in my lifetime - something that makes ol' Darwin seem like a bit of an oversimplification.

242 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:13:42pm

re: #235 rawmuse

Hey, I am as capable of whining as anyone. I hate to break it to you all, but today was dayumm fine weather here in moonbat central. People were wearing shorts downtown. Amazing.

I don't want to hear it. It's suppose to be in the 70's by Thursday. I guess that coming from your direction this way.

I would be happy with it being in the 20's and snow all year round. But, this is typical of front range winters, we can be in the 70's one day and 2 days later, blizzard. Happens all the time.

Our biggest snow month is March/April.

243 jcw46  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:13:59pm

re: #234 Walter L. Newton

Ok, all right, I see nothing.

Walter doing Sargeant Schultz impressions, hah!

I zee nussings!

244 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:14:36pm

re: #240 realwest

Uh, good morning y'all - well morning Eastern time!
Evening to the rest of you!
I've been busy scanning the thread and watching LGF Spy and have re-discovered that I'm not so good at multitasking!
How is everyone doing?

I don't know about everybody, but I'm doing OK.

I love the LGF spy.

245 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:15:07pm

re: #240 realwest

Uh, good morning y'all - well morning Eastern time!
Evening to the rest of you!
I've been busy scanning the thread and watching LGF Spy and have re-discovered that I'm not so good at multitasking!
How is everyone doing?

Hey real, doing fine. Met Dianna tonight, fortunately for turn she did most of the talking. Wow is she full of stories, ha!

246 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:15:24pm

re: #243 jcw46

Walter doing Sargeant Schultz impressions, hah!

I zee nussings!

No, I was doing a Helen Kellar impersonation.

247 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:15:43pm

re: #244 reine.de.tout
Glad to hear you're doing OK and yeah, isn't that Spy thing too cool?

248 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:15:47pm

re: #240 realwest

Hi.

249 dentate  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:15:48pm

re: #151 Walter L. Newton

still do a little work from home (for the last year, some work for Kaiser, maybe picked up 4000 last year), but I haven't been able to find full time work for the last 4 years.

Kaiser? As in, Permanente? Say it ain't so. Tell me you don't have anything to do with HealthHellConnect.

/Head explodes

250 victor_yugo  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:15:55pm

Totally OT:

If you want to see a face in the weather radar, go to Intellicast.com and check out the national radar.

251 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:16:34pm

re: #246 Walter L. Newton

No, I was doing a Helen Kellar impersonation.

You should have said "I feel nothing" then
:.)

252 SteveC  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:16:34pm

re: #240 realwest

How is everyone doing?

Too tired to post! (the Iron Fist rule is not in play here!)

Seriously, I'm out of it tonight, so I'm gonna try again at a later time.

Goodnight all!

253 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:16:51pm

I have been missing a lot of the news, but I guess Tom D. washed out today.
And Eric Holden was confirmed.
I don't give a rip about Tom D., (but glad he bowed out) but there is no way in hell that Mr. Eric Holden should be anywhere near a position of responsibility.

254 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:17:13pm

re: #245 turn
Hey Turn, I'm very impressed and very jealous! She is one of the most intelligent and pithy commenters out here!
How'd you come to meet her - I mean was there a meet up or something?

255 Salamantis  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:17:16pm

re: #127 southernfriedchickenhawk

You mean like Global Warming?

I'm no christian, but that is some fine company you guys are pandering to.

Trying to discredit evolutionary theory by bringing up anthropogenic global warming is like trying to discredit Abraham Lincoln by bringing up Ron Paul.

256 karmic_inquisitor  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:17:58pm

re: #240 realwest

Uh, good morning y'all - well morning Eastern time!
Evening to the rest of you!
I've been busy scanning the thread and watching LGF Spy and have re-discovered that I'm not so good at multitasking!
How is everyone doing?

My son tells me that women's brains have a higher concentration of white cells where as men are almost entirely gray cells which apparently makes women better multitaskers than men. Men's brains are supposed to be better geared towards "deep" and narrow thinking. That's what he tells me that he learned in a Biology class - haven't bothered to check it out except to be inclined to agree with it from my own observations.

257 Buster Bunny  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:18:02pm

re: #241 Optimizer

Ah say .... Ah say ... boy .. are you listening to me?

Ok .. so he wasnt a real chickenhawk to start with ....

/Thats All Folks .....re: #246 Walter L. Newton

No, I was doing a Helen Kellar impersonation.

Dont matter. We got a great meal lined up tonight.

Overfried Southern ChickenHawk .. and fruit cup.

258 victor_yugo  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:18:36pm

re: #250 victor_yugo

Better yet, I've grabbed the image here.

259 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:18:46pm

re: #248 Walter L. Newton
Hi Walter! How are you tonight? Did you have something going on at the playhouse this evening?

260 Buster Bunny  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:18:49pm

re: #257 Buster Bunny

preview WAS my friend :(

261 The Shadow Do  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:18:50pm

re: #223 Walter L. Newton

Probably pointless to mention, but have you investigated potential opportunities at government facilities or government contracting entities near you (there are quite a few, e.g. NIST, Ball Aero, etc)?

Looks like lots of money going there to, you know, create millions of jobs?

262 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:18:51pm

re: #244 reine.de.tout

I love the LGF spy.

Me too- the second best innovation after the "new comments" button.

263 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:19:31pm

Good grief.

I just read through some more of the comments for Allahpundit's post at Hot Air.

They need to start wielding the ban stick over there. That is some really ugly stuff.

264 NY Nana  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:19:50pm

re: #230 Sharmuta

Irreducibly Complex Chunky Monkey.

Bingo! We have a winner!

265 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:20:07pm

re: #249 dentate

Kaiser? As in, Permanente? Say it ain't so. Tell me you don't have anything to do with HealthHellConnect.

/Head explodes

Yes, Denver.

266 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:20:36pm

re: #254 realwest

It was sort of spontaneous, no meet up. I happened to be in San Jose on business and remembered she lived somewhere near here. Caught her on a post about people dinging us CA folks this morning and the rest led from there. She is very intelligent, like I said good for turn she did most of the talking!

267 dentate  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:21:08pm

re: #256 karmic_inquisitor

My son tells me that women's brains have a higher concentration of white cells where as men are almost entirely gray cells which apparently makes women better multitaskers than men. Men's brains are supposed to be better geared towards "deep" and narrow thinking. That's what he tells me that he learned in a Biology class - haven't bothered to check it out except to be inclined to agree with it from my own observations.

Umm, no such thing as "white cells" and "grey cells." The "white matter" is composed of the "wires" running between different areas of "grey matter." If women had more white matter, they would have more connections between their cortical cells. This theoretically could allow them to think more creatively, or alternatively it might just make them confused. ;-)

268 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:21:14pm

re: #261 The Shadow Do

Probably pointless to mention, but have you investigated potential opportunities at government facilities or government contracting entities near you (there are quite a few, e.g. NIST, Ball Aero, etc)?

Looks like lots of money going there to, you know, create millions of jobs?

Nothing going on right now. We'll see.

269 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:21:37pm

re: #210 Charles

Maybe not, but I can ban your ass.

I've just put on the charcoal (grilling is never out of season in my family), so we'll have Southern BBQ Troll in 40 minutes. Anybody have a special request for Gamey Buttocks?

270 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:21:41pm

re: #178 reine.de.tout

I had not noticed that people were so anti-Allahpundit.
I find it hard to read many of the comments there, it's hard to follow.

There are some intelligent commenters over there, with well reasoned postitions, but unfortunately those posts get drowned out by a bukkake storm of ignorance. I am tempted to register there, but I would likely have about as much impact as Kilgore. It's a pity, because I think HotAir is a great blog.

One thing is for sure, AP has a much higher level of integrity and confidence than the army of troglodytes that constantly sling shit at him. I don't think I could take all that crap in stride the way he does.

271 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:21:47pm

re: #256 karmic_inquisitor
Uh, well the fact that I suck at multi-tasking doesn't mean all men do!
How old is your son and is that in a biology textbook or did the teacher tell him that?

272 dentate  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:23:03pm

re: #265 Walter L. Newton

Yes, Denver.

Good. I am in California, so you are safe from me! Although I am certain that you are responsible for the part that works the way it should. If only I could locate it.

273 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:23:12pm

re: #269 Dark_Falcon

Yes, raw ...

274 Buster Bunny  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:23:30pm

re: #267 dentate

Umm, no such thing as "white cells" and "grey cells." The "white matter" is composed of the "wires" running between different areas of "grey matter." If women had more white matter, they would have more connections between their cortical cells. This theoretically could allow them to think more creatively, or alternatively it might just make them confused. ;-)

One of the most fascinating things to watch is someone who has taken hormones to change sex. It does take a little while, but after a certain amount of time he actually starts thinking like a woman .. and if the treatments are dropped .. he goes back to thinking like a man. Changes in brain utilisation and allocations are amazing stuff. And its all just hormones that make the difference.

275 meeshlr  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:23:30pm

re: #51 Charles

Speaking for myself, I was actually shocked when he came out with that incredibly stupid movie. And it takes a lot to shock me.

I was a fan of Ben Stein's before that.

Me, too. I assumed that intelligent, educated people couldn't possibly deny that evolution occurs. Obviously a wrong assumption.

276 Salamantis  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:24:24pm

re: #205 SouthernFriedChickenHawk

Ouch...your definition of tarred and feathered is a bit exaggerated. You know the problem with self-crucifixion? You can never nail in the last nail.

The difference between Jesus and a picture of him is that it only takes one nail to hang the picture.

/white smoke

277 Buster Bunny  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:24:24pm

re: #269 Dark_Falcon

I've just put on the charcoal (grilling is never out of season in my family), so we'll have Southern BBQ Troll in 40 minutes. Anybody have a special request for Gamey Buttocks?

mmm .. Char grilled .. save a slice for me.

278 The Shadow Do  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:24:41pm

re: #269 Dark_Falcon

I've just put on the charcoal (grilling is never out of season in my family), so we'll have Southern BBQ Troll in 40 minutes. Anybody have a special request for Gamey Buttocks?

Just use a good rub. Sauce is for bad BBQ or yankees.

279 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:24:56pm

re: #266 turn
Well heck, good for you! And I think you're pretty bright, so maybe you shoulda tried talking more? Although I confess if I had a chance to eat dinner with her, I'd finish all of mine while she was still on the appetizer - she is really smart and very witty!

280 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:08pm

re: #256 karmic_inquisitor

My son tells me that women's brains have a higher concentration of white cells where as men are almost entirely gray cells which apparently makes women better multitaskers than men. Men's brains are supposed to be better geared towards "deep" and narrow thinking. That's what he tells me that he learned in a Biology class - haven't bothered to check it out except to be inclined to agree with it from my own observations.

Well, I believe it's true, and that's why women are more involved with what I call the minutiae of life - schedules, who has to be where when, what's clean and what's in the wash, etc.

281 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:31pm

re: #273 turn

Yes, raw ...

OK, I'll cut you off a chunk right now. Here you are, and don't forget to get some potato chips before you sit down. :)

282 reine.de.tout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:25:53pm

re: #270 Slumbering Behemoth

There are some intelligent commenters over there, with well reasoned postitions, but unfortunately those posts get drowned out by a bukkake storm of ignorance. I am tempted to register there, but I would likely have about as much impact as Kilgore. It's a pity, because I think HotAir is a great blog.

One thing is for sure, AP has a much higher level of integrity and confidence than the army of troglodytes that constantly sling shit at him. I don't think I could take all that crap in stride the way he does.

He does seem able to just ignore and go about his business.
You should register.

283 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:20pm

re: #272 dentate

Good. I am in California, so you are safe from me! Although I am certain that you are responsible for the part that works the way it should. If only I could locate it.

The project that I have been working on, off and on, for the last 12 months is a application that selects patients for getting surveys, in turn, you tell Kaiser about your care.

It's a Customer Relations Management (CRM) system. It has nothing to do with your medical care.

284 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:28pm

re: #278 The Shadow Do

Just use a good rub. Sauce is for bad BBQ or yankees.

What sort of rub do you use for troll? Vinegar?

285 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:26:46pm

re: #205 SouthernFriedChickenHawk

I bet you're busy as a bee when you're not posting here.

286 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:27:15pm

Update from thread on another forum:

Hey- I never said raise taxes. Just cut the tax cuts. Think about it- you're taking my money... and handing it back to me? Just don't take that part in the first place.

Honestly, tax cuts are pretty useless for stimulating the economy. The lower and middle class won't get a large enough tax cut to make a difference in their spending (the last two tax cuts were failures, stimulus-wise), the upper-class will invest most of it, rather than pumping it into the economy, and the unemployed don't pay taxes, so they won't benefit at all. Spend the money creating jobs- people with jobs buy stuff and pay taxes.

Scott, if you think creating jobs isn't the best way to stimulate the economy, then what would you suggest we do?

Um, hello - the taking of the money is the taxation. All removing the tax rebates (which he was actually referring to) does is prevent that taken money from being handed back to you.

If you don't want them to take so much you'd have to do what they call a tax cut. Oh, but you're against those, aren't you?

287 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:28:31pm

re: #279 realwest

Oh I'm teasing, I talked plenty. Just not at her level. Hell she had to tell me Kilgore got his nic from a Vonnegut book. Ha!

288 jcw46  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:28:36pm

Poor Ben. Another victim of celebrity-hood going to his head. He parlayed a nasal whine and deadpan delivery of 5 or was it six "Bueler"s and thought he was a big time actor. Never got his column in the National Review or was it The American Spectator where he went on and on about his kid and how smart he was.
Another conservative hypnotized into believing his publicist's hype by the flashbulbs of fleeting box office success. Like so many sensible people who get taken in by the fast talking charmer at the door who convinces you that 'YOU'VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES KID'. Then once the celebrity fades a bit, you're desperate to rekindle those flashbulbs so you thrash around for some cause or group to be a part of so that you can bask in all that warm attention. Pick the wrong cause or the wrong person and WHAM you're back in the gutter with your pockets turned inside out. Your dignity; gone, your sensibility; gone, your sense of humor; gone, your ability to laugh at yourself; gone. Like a drunk that's been rolled you're sick to your stomach, your valuables are gone and all for a brief, fleeting moment of intense pleasure.

289 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:29:11pm

re: #281 Dark_Falcon

OK, I'll cut you off a chunk right now. Here you are, and don't forget to get some potato chips before you sit down. :)

I think I'll get the TP first.

290 The Shadow Do  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:29:28pm

re: #284 Dark_Falcon

What sort of rub do you use for troll? Vinegar?

Properly rubbed buttocks demand a unique blend of seasoning followed by proper smoking of course.

291 pink freud  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:29:40pm

re: #258 victor_yugo

Better yet, I've grabbed the image here.

Heck, victor, its a whole person.

292 esch  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:30:56pm

re: #290 The Shadow Do

Properly rubbed buttocks demand a unique blend of seasoning followed by proper smoking of course.

And nothing can 'beat a bum (w)rap'.

293 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:00pm

re: #290 The Shadow Do

Properly rubbed buttocks demand a unique blend of seasoning followed by proper smoking of course.

Well, Charles already smoked the troll so all that's left is the spices.

294 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:08pm

re: #287 turn He did?!
:)

295 dentate  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:29pm

Ah, Intelligent Design. That glorious branch of science in which the ultimate argument is, "I can't imagine how this might have happened, and if I can't imagine it, it cannot have happened."

In science, when facts contradict a standing theory, the theory must be modified to accommodate them, or a new theory developed. In intelligent design, when the facts contradict the standard view, they are ridiculed with ad hominem attacks or ignored.

Once, just once, I would like to hear an ID proponent tell me that "evolution is just a HYPOTHESIS," rather than a "theory." That would be someone with whom to hold a rational argument. Only when they are willing and able to understand the distinction between hypothesis testing and theory construction will it EVER be possible to hold an intelligent (!) argument with these folks. Until then, no amount of explication of facts will help. Poor Steven Jay Gould spent his last precious days on earth fighting that one.

296 karmic_inquisitor  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:30pm

Charles - Check your email. Forwarded a note from a friend about "Gaza" Solidarity" groups intimidating universities in the UK, having recently succeeded at Oxford that the London School of Economics. They are working on Cambridge at the moment. Makes for "interesting" reading

What Oxford and the LSE have conceded (at the bottom of the email) is quite unreal.

297 Buster Bunny  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:31:54pm

re: #290 The Shadow Do

Properly rubbed buttocks demand a unique blend of seasoning followed by proper smoking of course.

With the amount of trolls we seem to get in here .. you need never have to eat out. You could make quite a decent feast on troll buttocks till we run out of them !

298 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:32:29pm

re: #294 realwest

Seriously, she even corrected me on the title of the only book of his I've read, I said Ice 9.

299 BlueCanuck  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:32:44pm

re: #284 Dark_Falcon

What sort of rub do you use for troll? Vinegar?

Brine the sucker first. That way it gets rid of all the nasty junk building up. Evening all, night shift checking in.

300 dentate  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:33:27pm

re: #274 Buster Bunny

One of the most fascinating things to watch is someone who has taken hormones to change sex. It does take a little while, but after a certain amount of time he actually starts thinking like a woman .. and if the treatments are dropped .. he goes back to thinking like a man. Changes in brain utilisation and allocations are amazing stuff. And its all just hormones that make the difference.

Yes. That is absolutely true. It is fascinating to see what happens to men who have gradually become hormone deficient when they have their testosterone replaced. It does not just bring back their libido. They THINK better.

301 Buster Bunny  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:34:07pm

re: #288 jcw46

Celebrity as in amusing. Celebrity as in 'we like the acting you do .. keep it up'. Celebrity is not a means OR an authority to spread your crappy little world views about how ignorant you really are and how little you know about the world at hand.

Ben Stein is amusing. But nothing else.

302 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:34:49pm

An email from a creationist in Australia, who sends me angry emails every time I post on this subject:

I think your take on Hamas is correct. You have done your research and you are not taken in by the deception.

Which is why I cannot understand your position on creationism. Why do you fall for the deception and side with those who want to silence disent?

You are an enigma, but keep up the work.

I guess I'm just into that whole "silencing disent" thing.

303 Erik The Red  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:34:55pm

re: #299 BlueCanuck

Brine the sucker first. That way it gets rid of all the nasty junk building up. Evening all, night shift checking in.

Morning Lizards. Hey Blue. I only logged on about 30 minutes ago and am waiting for the BBQ to be ready. Has been interesting.

304 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:35:00pm

re: #301 Buster Bunny

Celebrity as in amusing. Celebrity as in 'we like the acting you do .. keep it up'. Celebrity is not a means OR an authority to spread your crappy little world views about how ignorant you really are and how little you know about the world at hand.

Ben Stein is amusing. But nothing else.

"There's nothing as stupid as an educated man, once you get him off the subject in which he was educated."
-Will Rogers.

305 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:35:03pm

I asked on the last thread if anyone had read Denying Evolution by Massimo Piliucci. Haven't seen anyone respond to that. It looks to be a real ripping of ID/creationism, so I thought I'd pass it along for any interested in further reading.

306 jcw46  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:35:26pm

re: #263 Charles

Good grief.

I just read through some more of the comments for Allahpundit's post at Hot Air.

They need to start wielding the ban stick over there. That is some really ugly stuff.

I noticed that after the latest open registry, it seemed to get a little dark. During the election AP was getting a lot of comments that he was being an 'eeyore' and 'mr. pessimist' when he'd post some misgivings about some jackasery or other that was being perpetrated by those who should know better. I got in in oct./nov. and almost immediately stopped trying to post as people were getting ugly with each other. I read the blog for a year or so before getting registered and this stuff was not the usual thing I had seen before. Was like going to a PTA meeting where all the 'adults' were acting like 5 yr olds.

307 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:35:26pm

re: #300 dentate

Yes. That is absolutely true. It is fascinating to see what happens to men who have gradually become hormone deficient when they have their testosterone replaced. It does not just bring back their libido. They THINK better.

Than what?

308 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:35:34pm

re: #300 dentate

Yes. That is absolutely true. It is fascinating to see what happens to men who have gradually become hormone deficient when they have their testosterone replaced. It does not just bring back their libido. They THINK better.

Oh man, don't get me started on that. I've personally been through two transformations at work. Really hard for turn to get his head wrapped around that.

309 karmic_inquisitor  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:35:49pm

re: #267 dentate

Umm, no such thing as "white cells" and "grey cells." The "white matter" is composed of the "wires" running between different areas of "grey matter." If women had more white matter, they would have more connections between their cortical cells. This theoretically could allow them to think more creatively, or alternatively it might just make them confused. ;-)

Thanks.

Like I kinda disclaimed ...

Anyway - is there anything to such a supposition or is it simply a wives tale grafted on to something plausibly scientific?

310 JHW  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:36:03pm

re: #302 Charles

Maybe he meant "silencing descent". :)

311 Cicero05  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:36:12pm

I read Hot Air regularly but when a creationism topic comes up, I run. I once made the mistake of ridiculing the idea that humans and dinosaurs lived contemporaneously.

It was like arguing with troofers.

312 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:36:52pm

re: #302 Charles

You are an enigma honco, but keep up the work.

/fixed

313 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:36:57pm

re: #296 karmic_inquisitor
HEY! Why not share it with all of us? I mean, suppose Charles doesn't find it thread worthy or something - then we'll never get to see it!

314 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:37:42pm

re: #298 turn
Oh, gosh, it isn't Ice 9 ?!

315 karmic_inquisitor  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:38:05pm

re: #271 realwest

Uh, well the fact that I suck at multi-tasking doesn't mean all men do!
How old is your son and is that in a biology textbook or did the teacher tell him that?

15. Teacher I suppose, but I will ask him in the morning.

I am lousy at multi-tasking too. I love a deep, complex, thorny problem or situation to deal with.

316 dentate  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:38:17pm

re: #283 Walter L. Newton

The project that I have been working on, off and on, for the last 12 months is a application that selects patients for getting surveys, in turn, you tell Kaiser about your care.

It's a Customer Relations Management (CRM) system. It has nothing to do with your medical care.

Thanks, Walter. And, good luck. When I was in college and graduate school I wrote my own pong-like video games in Basic on a Trash-80 with giant floppy discs. Today my 25 year old son is a software engineer at World of Warcraft. I can see a little of how that world has changed.

317 karmic_inquisitor  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:38:31pm

re: #313 realwest

HEY! Why not share it with all of us? I mean, suppose Charles doesn't find it thread worthy or something - then we'll never get to see it!

I will pull it up.

BBIAB.

318 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:38:54pm

re: #282 reine.de.tout

He does seem able to just ignore and go about his business.
You should register.

I've never hit an open registration, despite reading HotAir nearly every day. Also, I am afraid I might turn into this guy.

319 Buster Bunny  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:39:25pm

re: #302 Charles

we have our share of whackos in Australia. Just take a tour down our bible belt .. towards Wollongong (its also known for witchcraft). And you have a full set of born-agains and creationists that still believe that mankind was carved out of a potato.

BTW .. Dissent is ok. But then so are house rules ;)

320 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:39:36pm

OT

At our group meeting today, someone at the office (several of us telecommute) said it was cold in the room. The senior remarked that it was the patriotic thing to do and asked those of us at home if we were patriotically turning down the heat (he was being a smartass). I said I figured it would be optimal to emulate President Obama and turn the heat up high. You could have heard a pin drop.

Now everyone in my group knows that President O is a hypocrite - or at least they had the opportunity to know that.

/I actually like it cool. I'm one of those women who says "Is it hot in here, or is it me?"

321 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:41:15pm

re: #320 Catttt

Heh!

322 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:41:23pm

Ok, I'm off to sleep. And I would suggest that you all get a good nights rest because tomorrow night is the next episode of LOST and I suspect you will all be watching.

(ABC PR Department - Colorado agent)

323 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:41:51pm

re: #315 karmic_inquisitor

15. Teacher I suppose, but I will ask him in the morning.

I am lousy at multi-tasking too. I love a deep, complex, thorny problem or situation to deal with.

I don't like it, but I do it every day. The IMs are hard, because people are always popping up to ask me questions. My boss told me to tell them to talk to the paw - he thinks they're being lazy.

324 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:42:14pm

re: #302 Charles Gee Charles, that didn't seem as if it was an "angry" e-mail.
Dumb, yes, angry I'm not so sure about that. Hell I'm not anyone and I've gotten angrier e-mails than that!

325 dentate  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:42:15pm

re: #307 rawmuse

Than what?

Than they did when they were testosterone-deficient. They just feel better. Most of my patients tell me that they "thought they were getting old," and replacement of the hormone makes them feel sharper and more decisive. I expect it has some link with emotion and aggressive behavior.

326 Kailen  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:42:20pm

re: #212 slokat

That pretty much happened here last night...

I didn't really notice any of that lat night, although I may have "contributed" to it by pointing out Transubstantiation. *Shrug* I just toss my comments out there and hope someone smiles from 'em.

And my comment in this thread, BTW, was referencing Stein's "I'm not anti-science" quote, not any of the comments in this thread, the previous "Morphing" thread, the Ben Stein threat, or the All Korea All The Time thread.

327 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:42:38pm

re: #318 Slumbering Behemoth

I've never hit an open registration, despite reading HotAir nearly every day. Also, I am afraid I might turn into this guy.

LMAO!

328 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:42:46pm

re: #322 Walter L. Newton

Ok, I'm off to sleep. And I would suggest that you all get a good nights rest because tomorrow night is the next episode of LOST and I suspect you will all be watching.

(ABC PR Department - Colorado agent)

Oh? Land of the Lost is back on TV? Are these re-runs, or are they making new episodes? If new, who plays Will and Holly now?

329 Opilio  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:43:33pm

re: #298 turn

Seriously, she even corrected me on the title of the only book of his I've read, I said Ice 9.

Cat's Cradle, no?

330 Charles Johnson  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:43:44pm

re: #324 realwest

Gee Charles, that didn't seem as if it was an "angry" e-mail.
Dumb, yes, angry I'm not so sure about that. Hell I'm not anyone and I've gotten angrier e-mails than that!

That's just the latest one out of more than 20. They vary from "lecturing" to "ranting."

331 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:45:02pm

re: #325 dentate

Ah. What do you do to replace the testosterone? Shots? Pills? Watch "Rambo, First Blood"?

332 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:45:07pm

re: #329 Opilio
Yeah, well it had been years ago for me.

333 Walter L. Newton  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:45:40pm

re: #328 gmsc

Oh? Land of the Lost is back on TV? Are these re-runs, or are they making new episodes? If new, who plays Will and Holly now?

Ha, I caught you. You thought I was already in bed, little man. Now you just sit there and say you are sorry. You know what I meant.

334 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:46:15pm

re: #330 Charles

That's just the latest one out of more than 20. They vary from "lecturing" to "ranting."

Not good. They skipped "hectoring", which usually goes in between.

335 dentate  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:46:16pm

re: #318 Slumbering Behemoth

I've never hit an open registration, despite reading HotAir nearly every day. Also, I am afraid I might turn into this guy.

IT'S ME! just sent it to my wife. She is downstairs and I am communicating with her by email....frightening!

336 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:46:52pm

re: #333 Walter L. Newton

Ha, I caught you. You thought I was already in bed, little man. Now you just sit there and say you are sorry. You know what I meant.

Huh?!?

337 dentate  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:46:56pm

re: #331 rawmuse

Ah. What do you do to replace the testosterone? Shots? Pills? Watch "Rambo, First Blood"?

Usually patches. Timed release, you know. Unless you prefer needles.

338 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:48:15pm

re: #305 Sharmuta
Hi Sharmuta! I think ggt has said that there's some sort of "reading list" or recommended books up on the
Left top of each page here (though I'm not sure) and if she's right, y'all ought to think about recommending that there.

339 karmic_inquisitor  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:49:06pm

This is the email I got from a friend who went to the 3 schools mentioned. He broadcast it to a list of folks that he hopes will get the word out. He has me on that list.

email me if you want the original email w/ addresses.

>
If you attended or have taught at Oxford or the LSE you can help to resist intolerance and intimidation at British universities. If you know somebody who has attended or has taught at Oxford or the LSE, please pass this email on.

In recent weeks there have been "occupations" of university buildings by "Gaza Solidarity" groups. These activists have demanded that universities issue statements condemning Israel and create scholarships for Gazans (Cambridge demands are here). Some "occupations" have involved the Stop the War Coalition, a group that consorts with such terrorist groups as Hamas and Hizballah (see report here). Comparisons between Israel and apartheid South Africa are routine.

Sadly, institutions such as Oxford and the LSE have negotiated with the "occupiers" and made concessions to them (Oxford "Gaza solidarity" victory statement here, Oxford University statement here, LSE "victory" statement here, LSE joint statement here). In addition, the LSE withdrew an invitation to speak from the well known writer, Douglas Murray

Those of us with connections to Oxford and the LSE can politely express our concern at these institutions straying into international politics and conceding to those who break university regulations. It is particularly important to contact the Alumni office.

The Director of the LSE, Howard Davies, can be reached here:[redacted]

The Head of Alumni Relations at the LSE, Charlotte Armah can be reached here: [redacted]

The Vice Chancellor of Oxford, Dr. John Hood can be reached here: [redacted]

His successor in October 2009 will be Professor Andrew Hamilton, the Provost of Yale, he can be reached here: [redacted]

The Oxford Director of Alumni Relations Nancy Kenny, can be reached here:
[redacted]

What Oxford and the LSE have conceded

* Waive application fees for "those in Gaza and the West Bank directly affected by the conflict" (LSE);
* A "Fund raising and recruitment strategy will be developed by the Financial Support Office, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and the Students Union Palestine Society" for Palestinian students (LSE);
* "It was agreed that efforts to attract endowments to fund scholarships at Oxford for the most academically talented Palestinian students, to help lessen some of the obstacles to education that now prevail, would be welcome." (Oxford);
* At Oxford, the Senior Proctor stated that he had "I have decided to raise in Council the concerns regarding possible University investments in arms manufacturers and ask whether the University's policy of socially responsible investment is being adhered to." (This in response to demands for disinvestment from arms companies doing business with Israel);
* At Oxford, the Senior Proctor reported that some academics "have volunteered their time to help teach in Gaza and help during the restoration of university facilities there."

Background

The "occupation" of buildings is a disciplinary offence in British universities. Also British universities are only supposed to be involved in education, not politics, and cannot make political statements. Cambridge refused to be intimidated (see Cambridge "Gaza solidarity" statement here). Nottingham University security staff expelled students engaged in an occupation, while Sheffield Hallam suspended students. There was no reason for the LSE or Oxford to concede.

The broader context is also worrisome. Britain has seen the worst wave of anti-Jewish violence in 25 years. There have also been attacks against Starbucks and the supermarket Tesco because of their supposed Israel connections (see here, here and here). The occupations, and the other protests, have created an atmosphere of intimidation towards Jewish student

340 So?  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:49:39pm

But his eye glasses, are so "IN"

341 Killgore Trout  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:49:51pm

re: #196 Catttt

Nice.

342 Catttt  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:50:35pm

re: #318 Slumbering Behemoth

I've never hit an open registration, despite reading HotAir nearly every day. Also, I am afraid I might turn into this guy.

I registered once, but I think I did it wrong. I didn't get an e-mail or anything. Hmmmm.

343 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:50:55pm

re: #337 dentate

Hate needles. I will talk to my MD about it. He will tell me no. I know him pretty well by now. If my thinking goes fuzzy, it usually means my blood sugar is low, and I eat something or drink some juice. Never suspected hormones.

344 Wishing  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:51:10pm

re: #339 karmic_inquisitor

We had better send this to US universities. If they did it in Europe, they will do the same damn thing here.
Spit.

345 Salamantis  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:52:17pm

re: #344 Wishing

We had better send this to US universities. If they did it in Europe, they will do the same damn thing here.
Spit.

So they can plan their pre-emptive surrender?

346 Buster Bunny  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:52:50pm

re: #339 karmic_inquisitor

Britain is dead. As we know it and as we remember it .. its gone. It is rushing head-on into a total abandonment of anything possibly related to sanity in a mad embrace of the Ummah.

There is now nothing which would surprise me coming from Britain. Except the possibility of actual self-defense.

347 Kailen  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:52:53pm

re: #275 meeshlr

Me, too. I assumed that intelligent, educated people couldn't possibly deny that evolution occurs. Obviously a wrong assumption.

It's not dissimilar to assuming that intelligent, informed people couldn't possibly vote Democrat. Yet look who's in the White House (or running from it, as they case may be).

348 Wishing  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:53:08pm

re: #345 Salamantis

So they can plan their pre-emptive surrender?

Sad, isnt it?

349 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:54:04pm

re: #330 Charles
OMG - he's sent you more than TWENTY e-mails about that topic?!
Some folks really need to get a life.

350 So?  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:54:30pm

re: #345 Salamantis

So they can plan their pre-emptive surrender?

The sun has set on the British Empire.

351 Wishing  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:54:35pm

I think I'll go watch a movie.
Gnite Lizards.

352 Syrah  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:55:16pm
353 So?  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:55:21pm

re: #351 Wishing

I think I'll go watch a movie.
Gnite Lizards.

Watch Superbad , you pee in your pants

354 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:55:25pm

re: #334 rawmuse
Hey rawmuse - didn't you go to a grand send off for a good friend and musician buddy of yours today? How did it go?

355 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 9:59:04pm

re: #354 realwest

Hey rawmuse - didn't you go to a grand send off for a good friend and musician buddy of yours today? How did it go?

That was on Sunday. I did pretty good, made everyone laugh, and then cry. Everyone loved me later. I have to follow up on the widow, though, because these will be hard times for her coming up. I can't imagine losing my mate. She is going to be hurting for a long time.

356 rawmuse  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:00:11pm

OK, Lizards, be cool, I will check in as I am able. Later!

357 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:00:53pm

re: #353 So?

Watch Superbad , you pee in your pants

Superbad - at last, honesty in advertising!

358 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:03:00pm

re: #339 karmic_inquisitor
Wow. I'm really surprised that Oxford and LSE caved in like that.
Of course, I also believe that there has been a long and deep history of Anti-Semitism in England, particularly among the "upper class" so in part I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that.
Do you recall a year or two ago when some British wacademics called for breaking off all contacts and connections with Israeli Academics because of the "Palestinan Situation"? I never thought much about which institutuions were involved but now wonder if a lot of those "academics" may have come from Oxford and LSE?

359 Archimedes  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:03:17pm

re: #302 Charles

An email from a creationist in Australia, who sends me angry emails every time I post on this subject:

I guess I'm just into that whole "silencing disent" thing.

All they have to do is enter the scientific process. If they'd just do that, they will be taken seriously. Instead they want to circumvent the process and claim special privileges over everyone else.

360 SpaceJesus  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:03:17pm

reading the comments on that hot air blog is like taking a shower in the niagra falls of stupidity

361 notutopia  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:04:19pm

I'm out too. Goodnight all, sweet dreams rawmuse.

362 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:06:29pm

re: #344 Wishing
Ah, I'm not so sure of that idea Wishing. No need to give these folks even more publicity. Besides, I can think of plenty of academic institutions here who'd take that message as some sort of call-to-arms against the Israeli's or Jews in general.

363 pat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:07:24pm

I just took the most interesting Gallup Poll. Asked me what I thought about Islam. And asked me if I knew any. Yep.

364 karmic_inquisitor  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:07:46pm

This was also in my email.

It is pretty darned funny.

You have to watch the whole thing.

[Link: www.freakybestmanspeech.com...]

365 stevieray  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:07:49pm

re: #351 Wishing

I think I'll go watch a movie.
Gnite Lizards.

I just finished "Moonstruck" on hulu. A nice, light romantic comedy to escape from reality for a while...

366 Syrah  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:08:05pm

re: #363 pat

I just took the most interesting Gallup Poll. Asked me what I thought about Islam. And asked me if I knew any. Yep.

What kind of questions?

Did they tell you who sponsored the poll?

367 funky chicken  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:11:25pm

hotair's been crawling with creationists for at least a year. chatted with a poor, hysterical person who had really been frightened by the creeps. I hope I was at least able to convince her that we godless scientists aren't out to take over the world or whatever.

the poor thing went on and on about how "Darwinists" teach that everything is evolving...even the elements!

/sigh

368 Erik The Red  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:11:34pm

re: #363 pat

I just took the most interesting Gallup Poll. Asked me what I thought about Islam. And asked me if I knew any. Yep.

Would like to take the poll. Do you have a link? Thanks

369 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:11:42pm

re: #359 Archimedes

All they have to do is enter the scientific process. If they'd just do that, they will be taken seriously. Instead they want to circumvent the process and claim special privileges over everyone else.

It's fascinating, really. Here these people are supposed to be conservatives, yet they are the ones with the sense of entitlement we usually see in the left. They are the ones who feel they should have a special right to bypass the system and go straight to the classrooms without any work- a scientific affirmative action, if you will. For me, these people are anything but conservative.

370 funky chicken  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:14:27pm

re: #111 Optimizer

My mother got me Stein's movie for Xmas.

It isn't that she's ignorant about my thinking Creationism is idiotic; it's that in her self-deluded, self-centered fantasy world she thinks Ben might turn me. Notice that she uses Xmas to try to force her views on others, not to give people stuff they actually want. WTF is wrong with these people!?!

sorry to hear that. my inlaws do crap like that...send Xmas presents that are all about them and where they've been over the last year, instead of anything we might want/need.

371 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:15:23pm

re: #352 Syrah
Hey Syrah - no I hadn't heard about him until your post, and THANK YOU.
I wonder if Sims is gonna be found to be having problems with the Tax Authorities, too. While I'm pretty sure Obama knew who and what he was getting in Sims, I'm not as sure as I was after Daschle and Kathy whatsername.
Not to mention Eric Broder (Marc Rich pardon) nor our new Secretary of the Treasury. I wonder who, if anyone, is vetting this people for Obama? Hillary?!

372 pat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:16:22pm

re: #368 Erik The Red

Sorry. I am a Gallup panelist. (only about 43,000 of us, lol)

373 Dustyvet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:17:03pm

I got a flu shot in January, and I'll be damned I got the flu...:P

374 Erik The Red  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:17:55pm

re: #372 pat

Oh well thanks anyways.

375 karmic_inquisitor  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:19:29pm

BTW, I have some friends that tell me that they members of an exclusive Catholic circle in "the industry" (Hollywood).

One of them told me about a year ago that they were close to getting Ben Stein to convert to Catholicism. They were quite giddy about "Expelled". After I expressed my thoughts (diplomatically, seeing I was a guest at a party hosted by one of the circle members) on Mr Stein's movie, I was never told of the "goings on" of that group again.

376 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:19:44pm

re: #373 Dustyvet

I got a flu shot in January, and I'll be damned I got the flu...:P

Influenza viruses are like moonbats; There's always some new mutation.

377 Dustyvet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:20:31pm

re: #376 Dark_Falcon

Influenza viruses are like moonbats; There's always some new mutation.

sniff, thanks I needed that, pass the kleenix please...

378 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:20:48pm

re: #373 Dustyvet

I got a flu shot in January, and I'll be damned I got the flu...:P

Ouch, sorry. I always pass on those, I'm not convinced they can ever really forecast what bug is going to pop up. In the back of my mind I'm thinking the "cure" may be worse than the threat. Maybe I've just been lucky, haven't had the flu in ages.

379 Syrah  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:22:02pm

re: #371 realwest

Hey Syrah - no I hadn't heard about him until your post, and THANK YOU.
I wonder if Sims is gonna be found to be having problems with the Tax Authorities, too. While I'm pretty sure Obama knew who and what he was getting in Sims, I'm not as sure as I was after Daschle and Kathy whatsername.
Not to mention Eric Broder (Marc Rich pardon) nor our new Secretary of the Treasury. I wonder who, if anyone, is vetting this people for Obama? Hillary?!

I don't think he has any Tax problems.

I have mixed feelings about him getting appointed to HUD.

I am very pleased to get him out of the State of Washington for spell.

I am worried that if he manages to stick it out for his 4/8 year term with out being indicted or otherwise disgraced, that he will come back and run for Governor or Senator.

Some bad pennies should just stay gone.

380 capitalist piglet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:22:53pm

re: #352 Syrah

Have you all heard about Ron Sims?

King County resident here. If he has very much influence, this country is in big trouble.

381 hazzyday  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:24:39pm

re: #352 Syrah

Have you all heard about Ron Sims?

I've met Sims at a dinner and he is a friendly smart person. He does have leadership ability. From my view his weaknesses are.

1. He is weak on property rights. He all too easily wanted to do away with land rights of people in rural areas when it got in his way.
2. He expects loyalty but doesn't give it.
3. He failed to establish integrity in an election system. He tried to throw money at something that wasn't broken in the first place and then broke it with the changes.
4. He likes expensive projects where he can throw money away. (soundtransit) (viaduct tunnel)
5. Doesn't support the Boy Scouts.
6. He is for this racial and social justice BS.

On the plus side, he is a tireless worker who can get things done. And has basic respect for the everyday person. Something a lot of politicians are missing. He has had his car stolen. He works well with law enforcement people.

382 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:27:20pm

"In other words, Obama may be more ordinary than some admirers would like to admit."

Jeeeze, ya think?

[Link: news.yahoo.com...]

383 capitalist piglet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:29:36pm

re: #381 hazzyday

I've met Sims at a dinner and he is a friendly smart person. He does have leadership ability. From my view his weaknesses are.

1. He is weak on property rights. He all too easily wanted to do away with land rights of people in rural areas when it got in his way.
2. He expects loyalty but doesn't give it.
3. He failed to establish integrity in an election system. He tried to throw money at something that wasn't broken in the first place and then broke it with the changes.
4. He likes expensive projects where he can throw money away. (soundtransit) (viaduct tunnel)
5. Doesn't support the Boy Scouts.
6. He is for this racial and social justice BS.

On the plus side, he is a tireless worker who can get things done. And has basic respect for the everyday person. Something a lot of politicians are missing. He has had his car stolen. He works well with law enforcement people.

He also could not stand up to SHARE/WHEEL when they strong-armed him into allowing a tent city on public land. Only the Republicans on the county council stopped that train when they discovered something in the county charter that made it illegal.

384 Syrah  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:30:08pm

re: #381 hazzyday

There are some people who would be OK as neighbors that you would not want in public office.

He is tireless. He will do things. I am sure I won't like most of what he will do.

385 hazzyday  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:31:32pm

re: #328 gmsc

Oh? Land of the Lost is back on TV? Are these re-runs, or are they making new episodes? If new, who plays Will and Holly now?

Lost in space you mean? I swear I heard a parking garage mechanical voice the other day that was exactly like the robot's in Lost in Space.

Danger! Danger! anonymous pedestrian. Danger! Car is approaching.

386 Kailen  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:32:24pm

Well, I've read as much as I can here, and as much as I can stomach from HotAir's comments, so it is time for me to get some sleep.

Good night, and may you all be touched by FSM's noodley appendage.

387 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:33:24pm

re: #373 Dustyvet
Hey Dusty! LOL! - Actually "the" flu shot is usually only designed to deal with one or two flu viruses that the CDC think are gonna hit this year and it therefore won't protect you against any OTHER flu viri going around.
But you didn't get the flu because you got the shot; flu vaccines have been made with inert versions of the flu virius for at least a decade now, just because some folks - usually the elderly or those with suppressed immune systems used to get the flu from the shot!

388 hazzyday  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:33:34pm

re: #384 Syrah

There are some people who would be OK as neighbors that you would not want in public office.

He is tireless. He will do things. I am sure I won't like most of what he will do.

I think i have seem him give up on some of his personal principles for electable principles in the past few years. I want to like him, but as you say he might be a better neighbor.

389 itellu3times  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:33:59pm

re: #253 rawmuse

I have been missing a lot of the news, but I guess Tom D. washed out today.
And Eric Holden was confirmed.
I don't give a rip about Tom D., (but glad he bowed out) but there is no way in hell that Mr. Eric Holden should be anywhere near a position of responsibility.

Fifteen years ago, Tom D. was a regular guy. He might have been a good secretary of HUD. Of course, he was a prime asshole when Bush first took office, and since he's been a lobbyist ever since, Obama couldn't possibly have considered him, if there was any seriousness anywhere around. I'd take him over Holder any day. Heck, he might even be telling almost the truth about the tax issues ... naw, probably not.

390 Dustyvet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:35:12pm

re: #387 realwest

Hey Dusty! LOL! - Actually "the" flu shot is usually only designed to deal with one or two flu viruses that the CDC think are gonna hit this year and it therefore won't protect you against any OTHER flu viri going around.
But you didn't get the flu because you got the shot; flu vaccines have been made with inert versions of the flu virius for at least a decade now, just because some folks - usually the elderly or those with suppressed immune systems used to get the flu from the shot!

I'm screwed...:)

391 hazzyday  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:37:17pm

re: #383 capitalist piglet

He also could not stand up to SHARE/WHEEL when they strong-armed him into allowing a tent city on public land. Only the Republicans on the county council stopped that train when they discovered something in the county charter that made it illegal.

Yah that tent city BS. lol. giving homeless pedophiles and criminals a chance to make political statements using churches.

392 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:37:49pm

re: #385 hazzyday

Lost in space you mean? I swear I heard a parking garage mechanical voice the other day that was exactly like the robot's in Lost in Space.

Danger! Danger! anonymous pedestrian. Danger! Car is approaching.

A coworker told me a funny story the other day about the recently deceased midget "actor" that worked inside the robot. He was a smoker and since it took so long to get him into and out of the costume he would smoke inside. June Lockhart used to crack up when she would see the smoke pouring out during breaks.

393 Randall Gross  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:37:59pm

I've been over at HA, but stopped back by for a PSA before I hit the hay:

Valentine's day is only ten days out, don't make the mistake of forgetting about it.

394 Dustyvet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:39:31pm

Valentine's day Chicago style?

395 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:39:38pm

re: #390 Dustyvet
Yup, afraid so my friend! Hey drink lots of hot tea or hot chicken soup, take zinc tablets - lots of 'em and lots of Viatmins C and D and you'll feel just fine in about fourteen days.
Or you could just lay around, do nothing particularly special to treat it, and you'll feel fine in about two weeks!
:)

396 Dustyvet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:40:41pm

re: #395 realwest

Yup, afraid so my friend! Hey drink lots of hot tea or hot chicken soup, take zinc tablets - lots of 'em and lots of Viatmins C and D and you'll feel just fine in about fourteen days.
Or you could just lay around, do nothing particularly special to treat it, and you'll feel fine in about two weeks!
:)

What can i do in a Fortnight?...:)

397 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:41:17pm

re: #395 realwest
Hat tip, Mark Twain!

398 itellu3times  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:43:22pm

re: #197 Walter L. Newton

My contact for my Kaiser work that I do off and on says he's never dealt with a more detailed and knowledgeable programmer in the last 10 years. He's a project leader, he's 32 years old.

'nuff said?

Some punkass (actually a nice guy, just young!) was getting all excited, telling me how kewl these new virtual machines were, how technology was really getting there. I told him I was running IBM VM/CMS virtual machines, before he was born (I didn't tell him how ungodly slow and unbelievably expensive they were!). Anyway, sometimes it's fun, being older than dirt.

399 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:43:24pm

re: #396 Dustyvet
I dunno - spend the first 14 feeling like shit and the remaining six feeling ok?!
Semi-seriously here, the Vita C, D and Zinc can help you get better faster and the hot chicken soup will make you feel better, but you are probably better off just sleeping and resting as much as you can.

400 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:43:50pm

re: #395 realwest

Yup, afraid so my friend! Hey drink lots of hot tea or hot chicken soup, take zinc tablets - lots of 'em and lots of Viatmins C and D and you'll feel just fine in about fourteen days.
Or you could just lay around, do nothing particularly special to treat it, and you'll feel fine in about two weeks!
:)

Last time I had the flu the turnwife and I had it together. We were really sick for about three days, couldn't even keep water down. The first thing we wanted when we started feeling better was a McDonalds cheesburger of all things. Strange.

401 pat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:44:11pm

re: #393 Thanos

I am not allowed to comment there anymore. Hmmm. Likely used a bad word.

402 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:44:48pm

re: #393 Thanos
Hey Thanos, what's a PSA?

403 itellu3times  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:45:41pm

re: #395 realwest

Yup, afraid so my friend! Hey drink lots of hot tea or hot chicken soup, take zinc tablets - lots of 'em and lots of Viatmins C and D and you'll feel just fine in about fourteen days.
Or you could just lay around, do nothing particularly special to treat it, and you'll feel fine in about two weeks!
:)

There was a Beverly Hillbillies episode like that, scheming and intrigue to get Granny's cure for colds, then it turns out, take Granny's cure for colds, rest and drink plenty of liquids, and in two weeks you'll feel fine!

Mark Twain, huh?

404 pat  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:45:58pm

Public Service Announcement

405 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:46:02pm

Well y'all it's been grand as usual, but I gotta get some sleep now - it's supposed to go down to 13 degrees by morning and it's snowing here in Charlotte, North Carolina - you know THE SOUTHLAND!
I do hope you all have a GREAT EVENING/EARLY MORNING and that I get the chance to see you down the road!

Good night, all.

And Dusty - get better quickly my friend!

406 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:47:03pm

re: #404 pat

Duh, thanks.

407 Dustyvet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:47:33pm

re: #405 realwest

Well y'all it's been grand as usual, but I gotta get some sleep now - it's supposed to go down to 13 degrees by morning and it's snowing here in Charlotte, North Carolina - you know THE SOUTHLAND!
I do hope you all have a GREAT EVENING/EARLY MORNING and that I get the chance to see you down the road!

Good night, all.

And Dusty - get better quickly my friend!

Otays, Nighters my friend and take care...Tiger sends purrs...

408 traderjoe9  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:47:37pm

In a class, a group of children circle around Little Moise, and decide to, once more, do the traditional big-small coin joke that they seemingly play on Moishe every day; snickering, one of the kids lays out on his palm two coins: A 10 shekel coin, and a much larger 5 shekel coin. Then, the child ask Moishe to take one of the coins, and Moishe proceeds to choose the 5 shekel coin. Laughing hysterically, the rest of the class runs away as the teacher approaches little Moishe.

"Moishe, why didn't you take the 10 shekel coin? Its smaller than the 5 shekel coin, but it is worth more!" To which Moise responds:

"But if I took the 10 shekel coin, they would stop giving me money."

409 realwest  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:49:30pm

re: #402 turn I think he meant it as a Public Service Announcement. Otherwise PSA is the result of the blood test that they give to men to check on whether or not they have prostate cancer or - for guys like me who do have metastasizing Prostate Cancer, they use it to judge how badly the cancer has or is becoming.
Now I'm outta here! Good night, y'all!

410 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:51:05pm

re: #408 traderjoe9

Hey are you one of those rare 30 bay area lizards? I see your avatar is the Giants.

411 traderjoe9  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:52:46pm

re: #410 turn

Hey are you one of those rare 30 bay area lizards? I see your avatar is the Giants.

I am indeed from the Bay Area. How come? I would have thought that many people on LGF are from the area. How about you?

412 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:53:03pm

re: #409 realwest
Not used in that context friend, we know all about that. G'night

413 Dustyvet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:54:56pm

Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside with only a pet dog for company. One day the dog died, and Muldoon went to the parish priest and asked, 'Father, my dog is dead. Could ya' be saying' a mass for the poor creature?'

Father Patrick replied, 'I'm afraid not; we cannot have services for an animal in the church. But there are some Baptists down the lane, and there's no tellin' what they believe. Maybe they'll do something for the creature.'

Muldoon said, 'I'll go right away Father. Do ya' think $5,000 is enough to donate to them for the service?'

Father Patrick exclaimed, 'Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus! Why didn't ya tell me the dog was Catholic?

414 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:55:12pm

re: #411 traderjoe9

Sac, but in San Jose right now. Dianna works in SF and mentioned there might be about 30 or so of you SF lizards.

415 capitalist piglet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:56:36pm

re: #391 hazzyday

Yah that tent city BS. lol. giving homeless pedophiles and criminals a chance to make political statements using churches.

Do you remember that what they really wanted was to develop a site on public property? You probably do, but for others:

SHARE/WHEEL is a homeless "advocacy" organization here, that runs the roaming tent cities. They threatened Sims and said they would camp illegally at a park on the eastside in Kirkland that was just yards from an elementary school; he caved to their threat, and allowed them at a nearby park and ride. Republican Kathy Lambert and some of the others on the council (Rob McKenna, for another, I think) discovered that the park and ride land could only be used for transit.

Then came the churches.

They've had security at the camp using meth in the tents, domestic violence, increased mail theft and robberies in neighborhoods where they camped - one woman said one of the campers approached her young daughter and said, "I know where you live." The Bothell police had to take one of them down in a grocery store at gunpoint.

But it's totally safe for the community, they tell us. And Sims went for it. I guess 'cause it wasn't his neighborhood.

Then there's the CAO.

I wonder what can happen with him at HUD.

416 traderjoe9  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:57:43pm

re: #414 turn

Sac, but in San Jose right now. Dianna works in SF and mentioned there might be about 30 or so of you SF lizards.

Awesome! I'm in San Jose as well, not San Francisco. But I frequently make the quick trip up there for the Giants. Are you a fan?

417 traderjoe9  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:59:31pm

George Bush is surrounded by his most trusted advisors when he asks "How do the Jews know everything first?"

Nobody can answer his question but one aide suggests he speaks with Henry Kissinger.

He calls him on the phone.

"Henry, Mr. President here, tell me as one of the Chosen People how do the Jews always know everything first?"

Kissinger replies, "I don't know Mr. President but if you really want to find out I think you need to infiltrate their Orthodox community, become one of them and gain their confidence. Then you might discover how they do it."

Bush decides to take on the task personally and calls in Hollywood's best wardrobe and make-up artists to help him change his appearance to that of an orthodox Jew. With the transformation complete he calls Kissinger back to ask him for a few Yiddish phrases.

At 6.00 a.m. Bush arrives in New York's Orthodox Jewish quarter and dispenses will all his aides and security. He walks the streets until he finds a Strictly Kosher Deli serving early morning breakfast.

He enters looking exactly like all the other diners he buys a black coffee and starts to mingle. Eventually he turns to one of his kin and says "Vus Muxda?".

The elderly Orthodox Jew replies,

"George Bush is in town!"

418 gmsc  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 10:59:35pm

Good night, all!

419 traderjoe9  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:01:28pm

The year is 2016 and the United States has just elected the first woman as well as the first Jewish president, Susan Goldfarb. She calls up her mother a few weeks after election day and says, 'So, Mom, I assume you will be coming to my inauguration?'

'I don't think so. It's a ten hour drive, your father isn't as young as he used to be, and my arthritis is acting up again.'

'Don't worry about it Mom, I'll send Air Force One to pick you up and take you home. And a limousine will pick you up at your door.'

'I don't know. Everybody will be so fancy-schmantzy, what on earth would I wear?'

Oh Mom, replies Susan, 'I'll make sure you have a wonderful gown custom-made by the best designer in New York .'

'Honey,' Mom complains, 'you know I can't eat those rich foods you and your friends like to eat.'

The President-to-be responds, 'Don't worry Mom. The entire affair is going to be handled by the best caterer in New York , kosher all the way. Mom, I really want you to come.'

So Mom reluctantly agrees and on January 20, 2017, Susan Goldfarb is being sworn in as President of the United States. In the front row sits the new president's mother, who leans over to a senator sitting next to her.

'You see that woman over there with her hand on the Torah, becoming President of the United States

The Senator whispers back, 'Yes I do.'

Mom says proudly, 'Her brother is a doctor.'

----

Oh boy...I can't get enough of these.

420 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:02:00pm

re: #416 traderjoe9

Awesome! I'm in San Jose as well, not San Francisco. But I frequently make the quick trip up there for the Giants. Are you a fan?


I've been to a few games, not a bit fan though. Well not a big fan of baseball in general that is. Took the youngest to a game a couple of years ago and saw Bonds knock one out of the park. We took the ferry over from Larkspur landing, that was really cool. You ought to chat with Dianna, she goes way back here at LGF.

421 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:03:02pm

re: #420 turn

Oh, and Dianna lives in San Jose too.

422 Dustyvet  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:03:39pm

This is a true story, proving how fascinating the mind of a six year old is. They think so logically.
A teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where first pig was trying to gather the building materials for his home.
She read . 'and so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said: 'Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?'
The teacher paused then asked the class:
'And what do you think the man said?'
One little boy raised his hand and said very matter-of-factly ...'I think the man would have said -
'Well, I'll be damned! A talking pig!'

The teacher had to leave the room.

423 hazzyday  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:06:51pm

re: #415 capitalist piglet

Do you remember that what they really wanted was to develop a site on public property? You probably do, but for others:

SHARE/WHEEL is a homeless "advocacy" organization here, that runs the roaming tent cities. They threatened Sims and said they would camp illegally at a park on the eastside in Kirkland that was just yards from an elementary school; he caved to their threat, and allowed them at a nearby park and ride. Republican Kathy Lambert and some of the others on the council (Rob McKenna, for another, I think) discovered that the park and ride land could only be used for transit.

Then came the churches.

They've had security at the camp using meth in the tents, domestic violence, increased mail theft and robberies in neighborhoods where they camped - one woman said one of the campers approached her young daughter and said, "I know where you live." The Bothell police had to take one of them down in a grocery store at gunpoint.

But it's totally safe for the community, they tell us. And Sims went for it. I guess 'cause it wasn't his neighborhood.

Then there's the CAO.

I wonder what can happen with him at HUD.

Seattle Politicians seem to have a need to socially engineer neighborhoods via public policy.

424 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:07:10pm

re: #422 Dustyvet
LOL. Only from the mouth of babes. That kid will probably be a conservative, a liberal probably would have answered "BIG FRAMER IS RIPPING US OFF"

425 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:07:43pm

re: #424 turn

That's FARMER turn!

426 traderjoe9  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:08:12pm

re: #420 turn

I've been to a few games, not a bit fan though. Well not a big fan of baseball in general that is. Took the youngest to a game a couple of years ago and saw Bonds knock one out of the park. We took the ferry over from Larkspur landing, that was really cool. You ought to chat with Dianna, she goes way back here at LGF.

Heh, we should all get together and have a northern California LGF convention.

I bleed orange and black...I'm planning to attend UCSF next year, and get season tickets!

I've honestly never been to Sacramento...we've always driven around it. We're planning to go sometime this summer, though.

427 MrPaulRevere  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:10:37pm

I was reading something the other day that caused me to look at creationists in a new light. Not only do they despise Darwin and modern science generally speaking, they despise the age of Enlightenment ITSELF. They are not content with a state religion and a soft (or hard) theocracy, but their aim is to eradicate reason itself. They are not content with an 1800's pre Darwin mindset, they want to drag the west back into a pre 1650's culture, where no one questions anything or applies the light of logic and/or reason to ANY subject. Since the United States Constitution is a product (and perhaps the crown jewel of) of the age of Enlightenment, it is an obstacle to them. It's time to call them what they are, treasonous.... Age of Enlightenment: [Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

428 nbenhaim  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:11:26pm

while he may be for this "intelligent design", i think it's unfair to label Stein a Creationist. If I recall correctly, Expelled never denied the existence of evolution. Am I wrong about that ?

429 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:11:45pm

re: #426 traderjoe9

That would be fun. No Sac, really? Look me up, I'll show you around (it will take about 1/2 hr - just kidding). Oh, and all the more reason to chat with Dianna because she graduated from SF State.

430 Emphasis  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:12:42pm

>And now, of course, he’s complaining that he’s being treated unfairly and suppressed

It is obvious that he is right.

431 LaMano  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:13:06pm

Self-righteousness doesn't swing just one way.

432 turn  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:14:42pm

re: #431 LaMano

Self-righteousness doesn't swing just one way.

Ok I'll bite. Meaning what?

433 Erik The Red  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:16:12pm

Just received as an email. Don't know if true or not, but spot on.

An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently at
the UN, and made the world community smile. A representative from
Israel began:

"Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Moses.
When he struck the rock and it brought forth water, he thought,
'What a good opportunity to have a bath!' He removed his clothes,
put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out
and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Palestinian had
stolen them."

The Palestinian representative jumped up furiously and
shouted,"What are you talking about? The Palestinians weren't there
then."

The Israeli representative smiled and said:- "And now that we have
made that clear, I will begin my speech."

434 BlueCanuck  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:16:52pm

re: #428 nbenhaim

I don't know about that. But "Expelled" did put alot of blame on Darwinism for a lot of evils. Unjustly as well. It also said that creationism wasn't been taken seriously as an alternate theory of why we were here. It's all between the lines that they laid out on the page. Something like the Disco Institute does in their campaign to get creationism taught in science classes.

435 Erik The Red  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:17:02pm

A female CNN journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been
going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long,
long time. So she went to check it out. She went to the Western Wall and
there he was, walking slowly up to the holy site.

She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to
leave, using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him for an
interview.

"Pardon me, sir, I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN. What's your name?" "Morris
Fishbien," he replied.

"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"
"For about 60 years." He said.

"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?" "I pray for peace
between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims. I pray for all the wars
and all the hatred to stop. I pray for all our children to grow up
safely as responsible adults, and to love their fellow man."

"How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?" she asked. "Like I'm
talking to a f*cking wall."

436 Erik The Red  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:22:17pm

Received an update from Michael Yon this morning.

Afghanistan is in a sad state. Some folks are worried about "disturbing trends" in Afghanistan. I was concerned about disturbing trends back in early 2006. But that concern is over. My concern is more grave; that we will completely lose the war if we set expectations too high. We should downgrade our expectations for Afghanistan, and what we are willing to invest there. The world is a big place and there are other problems at hand. Iran just launched a satellite to orbit, for example. Afghanistan is such a sorry place that it will require at least decades severe effort to become half-way presentable, and likely a century to bring to anything respectable.

In Iraq, the light at the end of the tunnel was always bright (except during the civil war), and now Iraq is already out of the tunnel and blinking in the light of a new day. But Afghanistan is a national Humpty Dumpty. The best I see is the very distant, very dim, twinkling of a star. Or maybe it's just a phosphene and not a star at all. My humble recommendation is to downgrade all expectations for Afghanistan. Treat the patient as best we can, and concern ourselves with more important matters while striving not to allow Afghanistan to again become a launching pad for international terror. President Obama should not stake our national reputation on the idea that we will achieve our current more ambitious goals. Decrease expectations, and work on more important matters such as the world economy and other more serious military threats. Afghanistan is not worth so much effort when most of NATO has no heart and is virtually worthless. Eventually we'll likely end up alone, or mostly alone, holding the bag, while Europe goes home to its wine and beer.

Read the whole article [Link: www.michaelyon-online.com...]

437 Salamantis  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:23:01pm

re: #428 nbenhaim

while he may be for this "intelligent design", i think it's unfair to label Stein a Creationist. If I recall correctly, Expelled never denied the existence of evolution. Am I wrong about that ?

Intelligent design is pseudoscientific lipstick applied to a creationist pig.

438 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:24:39pm

re: #427 MrPaulRevere

I just started reading Monkey Girl, and for those who think these people don't want to establish a theocracy in America- guess again. It's right there with a name and congregation who is actually pushing this in just one instance- he's not alone. The crown listening to this man said "hallelujah!" Unreal.

439 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:26:10pm

re: #428 nbenhaim

while he may be for this "intelligent design", i think it's unfair to label Stein a Creationist. If I recall correctly, Expelled never denied the existence of evolution. Am I wrong about that ?

The entire purpose of the ID movement is to undermine evolutionary theory. Please read Theistic realism.

440 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:29:15pm
441 traderjoe9  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:30:43pm

A Hasidic Jew walks into a bank in New York City and asks for the loan officer. He says he is going to Europe on business for two weeks and needs to borrow $5,000.

The bank officer says the bank will need some kind of security for such a loan, so the man hands over the keys to a new Rolls Royce parked on the street in front of the bank. Everything checks out, and the bank agrees to accept the car as collateral for the loan.

An employee drives the Rolls into the bank's underground garage and parks it there.

Two weeks later, the man returns, repays the $5,000 and the interest, which comes to $15.41.

The loan officer says, "We are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out and found that you are a multimillionaire. What puzzles us is why would you bother to borrow $5,000?"

The Hasidic Jew replied, "Where else in New York can I park my car for two weeks for 15 bucks?"

442 Spiny Norman  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:36:46pm

re: #426 traderjoe9

Heh, we should all get together and have a northern California LGF convention.

I bleed orange and black...I'm planning to attend UCSF next year, and get season tickets!

I've honestly never been to Sacramento...we've always driven around it. We're planning to go sometime this summer, though.

There hasn't been a SoCal LGF meetup since 2004. ::sigh::

443 traderjoe9  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:37:58pm

re: #442 Spiny Norman

There hasn't been a SoCal LGF meetup since 2004. ::sigh::

Pitch the idea to Charles!

Good night.

444 Throbert McGee  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:50:27pm

re: #419 traderjoe9

The year is 2016 and the United States has just elected the first woman as well as the first Jewish president, Susan Goldfarb...

Just for balance, a joke about us goyim:

So this Gentile calls his mother and says, "Mom, I know you're expecting us for dinner this evening, but something important has come up and I can't make it." His mother says, "OK, honey, thanks for the heads-up -- we'll do it some other night."
A couple days later, the same Gentile dude goes into a clothing store, looks around, and says, "Wow, I love this bomber jacket -- how much is it?" The salesman replies, "It's $250." The Gentile says, "Awesome, that's a very reasonable price for such a finely-tailored and stylish jacket -- I'll take it!"

445 Sharmuta  Tue, Feb 3, 2009 11:58:38pm

re: #438 Sharmuta

PIMF- The crowd listening to this man said "hallelujah!"

446 Throbert McGee  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:56:54am

An old woman walks into a produce market and says, "Hello, I'd like a pound of broccoli."

The manager smiles and shakes his head: "Sorry, ma'am, we're out of broccoli -- could I interest you in some asparagus?"

The woman thinks a minute: "Hmmm. Hmmmmmm. Hmmm. No, I think I'd rather have the pound of broccoli."

"As I said, we're out of broccoli -- maybe you'd like a pound of fresh snowpeas?"

"Mmmmmmnope. All I want is a pound of broccoli."

"Okay, what about this delicious cauliflower, or these Brussels sprouts, or... or maybe kale? They're all close relatives of broccoli!"

"Listen, young man, I just want some broccoli, please! Is that too much to ask?"

Exasperated, and wondering if the woman is senile or mildly retarded or stoned on little-old-lady pills, the manager says: "Ma'am, can you spell cat, as in catapult?"

"Of course," she responds, a bit surprised. "That's C-A-T."

"And can you spell dog, as in dogmatic?"

"D-O-G, obviously," she says, glaring.

"And can you spell fuck, as in broccoli?"

"But there's no fuck in broccoli!"

"Exactly my point!" grins the manager, triumphantly...

447 Jim in Virginia  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:25:28am

Rant # 2: We must be in Bizarro world. The Beltway insiders and pundits are defending Tom Bleeping Dasche. "He's smart and evenhanded and he'd be a valuable policy advisor.. he made a simple mistake but he paid up... maybe we should reform the tax code if it so complicated that Daschle and Geithner can't understand it... ................"
1. He didn't report over $100,000 in income. He knew about it last August. He didn't pay up up until he was nominated to the Cabinet.
2. He left the Senate and made hundreds of thousands of dollars working for a health care company. They didn't pay him for his management expertise, they paid him for his access. He was a lobbyist for a special interest in Health Care. So Obama wanted him to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.

I'm sure he'd be a valuable policy advisor.
OK, rants over. (Successfully resisted the urge to type in bold and all caps....)

How is everyone today?

448 Ashbridge  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 5:32:56am

The "Expelled Exposed" website is pretty weak. It appears more of a reactionary grasp at straws than serious investigative reporting.

449 Peacekeeper  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 5:57:18am

Ben Stein's a good man. Peace and may God bless you. And all of us.

450 [deleted]  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:01:00am
451 medaura18586  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:22:28am

re: #3 astronmr20

I actually ran into him at a Bob's Big Boy in Jersey a few weeks ago.

Anyway, he doesn't seem to understand that he's a detriment to his own cause.

What's his cause?

452 Basho  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:24:05am

I was a big fan of HotAir, and I still am a big fan of Allahpundit. But ever since that Ed guy took over, that site has gone really downhill. In addition to what I consider his awful commentary, he seems to energize the fundies and encourage them. I wish Bryan, who Ed replaced, was still there. I obtained an account a long time ago but have yet to comment because those members seriously creep me out...

453 Ayeless in Ghazi  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:26:16am

re: #437 Salamantis

Intelligent design is pseudoscientific lipstick applied to a creationist pig.

Good one!

454 Basho  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:32:33am

re: #319 Buster Bunny

we have our share of whackos in Australia. Just take a tour down our bible belt .. towards Wollongong (its also known for witchcraft). And you have a full set of born-agains and creationists that still believe that mankind was carved out of a potato.

Ken Ham comes from that area if I'm not mistaken. That subset of Australia appears to have teamed up with the similar subset in the US to create a force of stupid in the West...

455 Ayeless in Ghazi  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:34:47am

re: #448 Ashbridge

Please, elaborate.

456 Ayeless in Ghazi  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:36:42am

re: #454 Basho

And who could forget Ray Comfort and his atheist nightmare banana?

457 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:12:32am

re: #448 Ashbridge

The "Expelled Exposed" website is pretty weak. It appears more of a reactionary grasp at straws than serious investigative reporting.

Only to the myopic and memetically filtered eyes of creationists, which see what they wanna see and are blind to what they wanna dismiss or deny.

458 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:19:55am

Charles! You're obsessed! Stop this! It's boring! You hate Christians! You're just like Andrew Sullivan! This is ruining your site! Burn! Burn in hellfire! I'm not a creationist but Darwin led to Hitler!

Did I miss anything?

459 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:21:41am

re: #448 Ashbridge

The "Expelled Exposed" website is pretty weak. It appears more of a reactionary grasp at straws than serious investigative reporting.

Well, it is full of actual things like facts, as opposed to Ben Stein's movie, which is full of distortions and outright lies.

To creationists, I suppose that makes it "reactionary."

460 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:22:31am

re: #458 Charles

"I'm going to pray for you all."

461 Basho  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:22:40am

The comparison to Sullivan was new... Props to that.

462 Zimriel  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:31:06am

re: #123 Guanxi88

Oh, and by the way, al-Ghazali was a Sufi. Yeah, those Sufis.

In other words, he was a Muslim Gnostic. Damn hippies!

See, this is why I don't pop a woody every time the media / scholars faint over "lost gospelzOMG!1" Every time they do that, it's over a pile of mumbo jumbo, like the Gospel of Judas.

Gnosticism / Sufism is inherently irrational. Unlike intelligent-design, which is an unintentional feature of theism (specifically, Greek paganism), the irrationality of Gnosticism is the whole point. The gnosis is SECRET. It's personal to the elect, like Ghazali, and cannot be falsified to those not in the elect.

As for the jihad, it's true that the Nag Hammadi gnostics didn't go on crusade. But that's mostly because they didn't have the opportunity. Up to 300 AD, the orthodox didn't crusade either. When the Manichaean gnostics coverted the Uighur Turks, they fought crusade a'plenty - right after their conversion, Tengri Bögü invaded China in 779 AD. And here's a nice article on Sufi Jihad.

463 Ayeless in Ghazi  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 9:04:19am

re: #455 Jimmah

Ashbridge - you couldn't elaborate. I'm shocked/

464 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 9:35:21am

re: #428 nbenhaim

while he may be for this "intelligent design", i think it's unfair to label Stein a Creationist. If I recall correctly, Expelled never denied the existence of evolution. Am I wrong about that ?

"Intelligent design" is creationism, and I refuse to play their game of making a false distinction between two branches of pseudo-science.

465 nbenhaim  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:13:05am

re: #464 Charles

Now, I'm not talking here about whether intelligent design is valid or not, but isn't it true that there are essentially 2 camps within this community of people. One camp does not believe in evolution at all, and believes that God made the planet in a few days. But another, i think larger camp, believes in evolution but just believes there is a higher force behind it. Isn't it fair to distinguish between these two?

466 tigger2005  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:13:38am

re: #51 Charles

Speaking for myself, I was actually shocked when he came out with that incredibly stupid movie. And it takes a lot to shock me.

I was a fan of Ben Stein's before that.

Same here ... he wrote some great post 9/11 articles. And with his dry, ironic wit, as displayed on the show "Win Ben Stein's Money," he gave me the impression that he was a bit of an intellectual but one with his head screwed on straight. I agree with him on lots of things, which is why it's so sad for me that he's on the wrong side of this issue.

467 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:15:48am

re: #464 Charles

"Intelligent design" is creationism, and I refuse to play their game of making a false distinction between two branches of pseudo-science.

Charles, this is not actually true. It is true that ID has been used as a Trojan horse for creationists. It is true that many IDer's are creationists. It is true that the main financial supporters for ID also support creationists. etc. etc. However, it must be pointed out that one of the main proponents of ID (Michael Behe) is in no way a creationist. He has been very clear on this (esp in his last book The Edge of Evolution, pages 70-73) when he acknowledges the evidence for universal common descent, and (most critically) states unequivocally that the evidence for the descent of man from the great apes could not be better.

ID is crappy stuff: there should be no debate on that, and there are abundant empirical facts to demonstrate that point. But a perfect equivalence of ID with creationism simply doesn't hold up. Groups of ideas are fuzzy around the edges: what do you make of Brig Klyce, or for that matter Hoyle (the Astronomer)? Why force nuts into shoe boxes? Why not just make it plain that they are nuts?

468 meeshlr  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:23:54am

re: #378 turn

A couple of years ago, I actually had influenza. OMG. It was awful ... no wonder it kills old people. Everyone in the house got it except for my husband who always gets his flu shot.

I, of course, always forget to get mine.

469 tigger2005  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:25:46am

re: #465 nbenhaim

Now, I'm not talking here about whether intelligent design is valid or not, but isn't it true that there are essentially 2 camps within this community of people. One camp does not believe in evolution at all, and believes that God made the planet in a few days. But another, i think larger camp, believes in evolution but just believes there is a higher force behind it. Isn't it fair to distinguish between these two?

IMO, the leaders of the Intelligent Design movement are worse than those who just take the Bible literally and reject evolution entirely and make no bones about it. This is because the leaders of the Intelligent Design movement are deliberate liars and deceivers. They made up Intelligent Design as part of an elaborate deception called the "Wedge Strategy" to break down the Constitutional separation of church and state. They are engaged in deeply immoral behavior.

These are NOT the same as people who accept the science of evolution but just believe/have faith that God was involved in it somehow (while acknowledging that science cannot prove this one way or the other, because science cannot investigate the supernatural). This is the Pope's stance on the matter, by the way. Charles has no problem with those people.

470 tigger2005  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:27:02am

Michael Behe plays the ID game. He is a deeply dishonest person. He knows that ID is crap but he pushes it anyway.

re: #467 Hhar

Charles, this is not actually true. It is true that ID has been used as a Trojan horse for creationists. It is true that many IDer's are creationists. It is true that the main financial supporters for ID also support creationists. etc. etc. However, it must be pointed out that one of the main proponents of ID (Michael Behe) is in no way a creationist. He has been very clear on this (esp in his last book The Edge of Evolution, pages 70-73) when he acknowledges the evidence for universal common descent, and (most critically) states unequivocally that the evidence for the descent of man from the great apes could not be better.

ID is crappy stuff: there should be no debate on that, and there are abundant empirical facts to demonstrate that point. But a perfect equivalence of ID with creationism simply doesn't hold up. Groups of ideas are fuzzy around the edges: what do you make of Brig Klyce, or for that matter Hoyle (the Astronomer)? Why force nuts into shoe boxes? Why not just make it plain that they are nuts?

471 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:29:04am

re: #465 nbenhaim

re: #467 Hhar

No- ID was created to pass the court bar for creationism:

Theistic realism

Theistic realism is a philosophical justification for intelligent design proposed by Phillip E. Johnson in his book, Reason in the Balance. According to Johnson, true knowledge begins with the acknowledgment of God as creator of the universe, the unifying characteristic of which is that it was created by God. Theistic realism relies on a God that is real, personal, and acting in the world through mechanistic creationism.

In 1987 Johnson became convinced that creationists had lost in Edwards v. Aguillard because in his opinion the methodological naturalism used by the scientific community in defining science does not include supernatural processes, and therefore unfairly excluded creationism. He concluded that creationists must therefore redefine science to restore the supernatural, and developed the Wedge Strategy. The intelligent design movement was begun by the authors and publishers of Of Pandas and People in 1989, and Johnson later became its de-facto leader.

Of Pandas and People:

The basic metabolic pathways (reaction chains) of nearly all organisms are the same. Is this because of descent from a common ancestor, or because only these pathways (and their variations) can sustain life? Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view.

See what they did there? That was a big "oopsie" edit on "creationists".

ID is nothing more than creationism with a fresh facade.

472 a marine mom  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:30:26am

It really doesn't matter which side of the debate you fall on because neither side can prove a darn thing of how "we" came to be.

A theory is a belief in an idea. So, go ahead and beat each other up and I will applaud the last one standing.

That is how natural selection works.

473 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:31:24am

re: #470 tigger2005

Michael Behe plays the ID game. He is a deeply dishonest person. He knows that ID is crap but he pushes it anyway.

I disagree. I've followed his story for years. He isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I do not think he is more intellectually mendacious than (for instance) Dawkins. I don't think he does know that ID is crap. I think he seriously sees it as an imortant paradigm, and he's simply wrong.

474 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:34:16am

I could only handle a page and a half of comments at Hot Air. I don't know how to contact Allahpundit, but if he's reading this thread I would tell him to keep it up, but don't put up with abusive crap. No one respects a door mat.

Really, Allah- keep going, because anyone with a really open mind will look at the facts presented from both sides and reach a conclusion based on the evidence. The fact is that the IDers can't present any scientific facts, because none are on their side. If nothing else, they are exposing their ignorance for all the world to see. Keep it up, AP.

475 Ashbridge  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:34:42am

Ad-Hominem attacks are neither beneficial nor relevant to the discussion. Let's keep this discussion to facts and open debate without demonizing people who may not agree with our position. If it is truth we are after, we should all be seeking it without prejudice or bias. We extend this graciousness to liberals and may we do likewise to others. I may not agree with some positions on this website, but I try to be fair enough to hear you out without merely dismissing your position and then post some argument or evidence that purports to support my position. Overall, I enjoy this website and the interesting articles that present things not often seen throughout the MSM. Keep up the good work and let's try to keep it fair and balanced. However, it's your website so I guess you can do what you want with it! :-)

476 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:36:39am

re: #467 Hhar

Charles, this is not actually true. It is true that ID has been used as a Trojan horse for creationists. It is true that many IDer's are creationists. It is true that the main financial supporters for ID also support creationists. etc. etc. However, it must be pointed out that one of the main proponents of ID (Michael Behe) is in no way a creationist. He has been very clear on this (esp in his last book The Edge of Evolution, pages 70-73) when he acknowledges the evidence for universal common descent, and (most critically) states unequivocally that the evidence for the descent of man from the great apes could not be better.

ID is crappy stuff: there should be no debate on that, and there are abundant empirical facts to demonstrate that point. But a perfect equivalence of ID with creationism simply doesn't hold up. Groups of ideas are fuzzy around the edges: what do you make of Brig Klyce, or for that matter Hoyle (the Astronomer)? Why force nuts into shoe boxes? Why not just make it plain that they are nuts?

Michael Behe is a creationist. The fact that he dresses it up in pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo about "irreducible complexity," and pays lip service to common descent, does not change the fact that he is making an argument for religious creationism. In the Dover trial this became exceedingly clear.

"Intelligent design" is nothing more than a sneaky attempt to get around court decisions banning the teaching of "creation science." The "intelligent design" textbook Of Pandas and People began as an openly creationist book, then morphed over several editions to remove all references to "creationism," replacing them with "intelligent design" -- a perfect illustration of my point. Again, in the Dover trial this was demonstrated beyond any doubt.

Are there "two camps?" For public consumption, yes - but once you begin looking into this a little deeper than their deceptive public statements, the differences become minuscule. Creationists who promote "intelligent design" are simply better at hiding their main agenda, which is to sneak the teaching of religious creationism into public school science classrooms.

477 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:38:52am

re: #472 a marine mom

It really doesn't matter which side of the debate you fall on because neither side can prove a darn thing of how "we" came to be.

Yes- evolutionary theory can prove it, if one is willing to actually look at the empirical evidence. We evolved, and that's a fact.

A theory is a belief in an idea. So, go ahead and beat each other up and I will applaud the last one standing.

You don't know what theory means in scientific terms or you would not have said that. Please see Theory, Science:

In science, the word theory is used as a plausible general principle or body of principles offered to explain a phenomenon.

It's completely different than "theory" in layman's terms. It doesn't mean "hypothesis" is means a plausible general principle or body of principles offered to explain a phenomenon.

478 Ayeless in Ghazi  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:39:13am

re: #465 nbenhaim

Now, I'm not talking here about whether intelligent design is valid or not, but isn't it true that there are essentially 2 camps within this community of people. One camp does not believe in evolution at all, and believes that God made the planet in a few days. But another, i think larger camp, believes in evolution but just believes there is a higher force behind it. Isn't it fair to distinguish between these two?

What's really unfair is serving the ID/creationists by confusing ID with merely believing in God.

479 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:40:02am

re: #471 Sharmuta

Behe did not author Of Pandas and People.

I agree that the textbook it is a classic example of why ID as per the DI is in classic violation of the establishment clause. But when Behe makes his acceptance for universal common descent very clear, and even spends pages in a book devoted to ID defending the notion, simply declaring a priori dishonest seems unecessary. He makes his view of ID perfectly clear, and he ALSO makes it clear that he thinks the designer is the Christian deity, and he also makes it clear that he follows the Papal pronunciations on evolution.

480 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:40:52am

re: #475 Ashbridge

The people on this website defending evolution are not the ones being dishonest and unfair. It's the IDers/creationists distorting, lying and engaging in ad hominem attacks and that's a fact.

481 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:41:49am

re: #479 Hhar

Behe's a liar. Irreducible Complexity is a crock.

Irreducible Complexity Demystified

482 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:45:01am

re: #479 Hhar

Behe did not author Of Pandas and People.

Actually, he did.

483 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:45:01am

re: #476 Charles

"Intelligent design" is nothing more than a sneaky attempt to get around court decisions banning the teaching of "creation science." The "intelligent design" textbook Of Pandas and People began as an openly creationist book, then morphed over several editions to remove all references to "creationism," replacing them with "intelligent design" -- a perfect illustration of my point. Again, in the Dover trial this was demonstrated beyond any doubt.

Two words: cdesign proponentsists.

484 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:45:26am

re: #476 Charles

So Charles, show me that BEHE (not the people that he is with, but Behe himself) is a creationist. For years now he has been saying that common descent is a great idea. I agree fully that most IDers are nothing different than creationists.

But I've done a lot of parsing of ideas and following verbal rabbit trails. I don't see Behe as a creationist, and I think its fair to say that even if you are right, there is room for reasonable doubt. Again, I'll point you to Brig Klyce's enthusiasm for ID and for Panspermia (which is antithetical to 99% of Biblical creationism).

485 Ayeless in Ghazi  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:48:02am

re: #473 Hhar

Any examples of Dawkins intellectual 'mendaciousness' you'd like to share? He is very highly regarded within the biological community. The same community of scientists takes an extrmemly dim view of Behe. Do you know of any reason why we should disregard the views of the biological community?

486 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:48:52am

re: #484 Hhar

First you have to understand that ID is nothing but creationism with a fresh facade. It was designed intelligently, you might say, to hide it's creationist origin, but it is what it is- creationism.

487 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:50:19am

re: #467 Hhar

Charles, this is not actually true. It is true that ID has been used as a Trojan horse for creationists. It is true that many IDer's are creationists. It is true that the main financial supporters for ID also support creationists. etc. etc. However, it must be pointed out that one of the main proponents of ID (Michael Behe) is in no way a creationist. He has been very clear on this (esp in his last book The Edge of Evolution, pages 70-73) when he acknowledges the evidence for universal common descent, and (most critically) states unequivocally that the evidence for the descent of man from the great apes could not be better.

ID is crappy stuff: there should be no debate on that, and there are abundant empirical facts to demonstrate that point. But a perfect equivalence of ID with creationism simply doesn't hold up. Groups of ideas are fuzzy around the edges: what do you make of Brig Klyce, or for that matter Hoyle (the Astronomer)? Why force nuts into shoe boxes? Why not just make it plain that they are nuts?

Look at the history of the term. The term ID was invented by the Disco Institute in order to circumvent the judical prohibition against the foisting off of the religious dogma of creationism in public high school science classes, as amply and ambundantly demonstrated by the notorious slip cdesign proponentists, but failed in that aspiration in the Dover case.

In the selfsame Dover case, Behe, whose every supposed example of irreducable complexity has proven to be all-too-reducable, was forced to admit that his criteria would allow the teaching of astrology, of all things, in public high school sci9ence classes, as it is no less supported by empirical evidence than is ID.

488 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:54:08am

re: #472 a marine mom

It really doesn't matter which side of the debate you fall on because neither side can prove a darn thing of how "we" came to be.

A theory is a belief in an idea. So, go ahead and beat each other up and I will applaud the last one standing.

That is how natural selection works.

Actually, there is plenty of empirical genetic evidence, in particular artifactual retroviral DNA sequences, that humans and all other contemporary terrestrial lifeforms did indeed evolutionarily diverge from ancient common ancestors.

489 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:56:17am

1. Firstly, wrt IC being debunked. Yes, IC is crap. Yes, IC is intellectually shoddy and poorly formulated, But then again, so is Dawkin's notion of Memic evolution. Publishing intellectually dishonest shoddy crap doesn't make you a wilful liar about your own beleifs.

2. You cite the article in which it says:

confirmed that he authored pages 141-146 of Pandas, although he seemed at a loss to explain why he was listed as a “reviewer” rather than author. Behe also confirmed his authorship at trial at various points in his testimony. It has since been widely mentioned, e.g. in my articles, in Ken Miller’s new book, etc., but it still surprises people, primarily those who mostly heard of ID through Johnson and Darwin on Trial, and Behe and Darwin’s Black Box, and assume, incorrectly, that knowing about the most famous ID works and authors provides an accurate first approximation of the history of the ID movement.

Read those pages: you'll find that they are fairly focussed and, IIRC do not contain the critical references to creationism: the whole creatism to ID transition occurs outside them. This guy is a dupe, and a willing one. Read his books: he simply isn't crafty enough to lie contiguously. Also, I note that even if we WERE to say that Behe WAS a creationist at one point, why couldn't he have changed his mind? Dembski has waffled back and forth on it, to all appearences. Why insist that these4 guys are either diabolically clever or stupendously stupid? Why not just not very clever and ordinarily stupid?

The facts are all there.

490 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 10:56:31am

re: #475 Ashbridge

Ad-Hominem attacks are neither beneficial nor relevant to the discussion. Let's keep this discussion to facts and open debate without demonizing people who may not agree with our position. If it is truth we are after, we should all be seeking it without prejudice or bias. We extend this graciousness to liberals and may we do likewise to others. I may not agree with some positions on this website, but I try to be fair enough to hear you out without merely dismissing your position and then post some argument or evidence that purports to support my position. Overall, I enjoy this website and the interesting articles that present things not often seen throughout the MSM. Keep up the good work and let's try to keep it fair and balanced. However, it's your website so I guess you can do what you want with it! :-)

You mean ad hominem attacks lodged against evolutionary theory supporters such as atheist, communist, nazi fascist, ethics-bereft moral relativist, and cannibal?

491 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:00:43am

re: #484 Hhar

So Charles, show me that BEHE (not the people that he is with, but Behe himself) is a creationist. For years now he has been saying that common descent is a great idea. I agree fully that most IDers are nothing different than creationists.

But I've done a lot of parsing of ideas and following verbal rabbit trails. I don't see Behe as a creationist, and I think its fair to say that even if you are right, there is room for reasonable doubt. Again, I'll point you to Brig Klyce's enthusiasm for ID and for Panspermia (which is antithetical to 99% of Biblical creationism).

Panspermia kicks the evolutionary can down the universal road, but not off of it. The aliens or the seeding material would still have had to evolve SOMEWHERE.

492 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:02:40am

re: #489 Hhar

I'll stick with Ken Miller- a Catholic biologist who knows the difference between science and religion, rather than Michael Behe who, for whatever reason, is trying to conflate the two.

493 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:11:37am

re: #489 Hhar

1. Firstly, wrt IC being debunked. Yes, IC is crap. Yes, IC is intellectually shoddy and poorly formulated, But then again, so is Dawkin's notion of Memic evolution. Publishing intellectually dishonest shoddy crap doesn't make you a wilful liar about your own beleifs.

Memes exist, and they evolve - Daniel Dennett, among many others, also agree - or are you now denying the history of politics, religion, mathematics, language, visual art, and music?

[Link: blogs.myspace.com...]

[Link: blogs.myspace.com...]

2. You cite the article in which it says:

Read those pages: you'll find that they are fairly focussed and, IIRC do not contain the critical references to creationism: the whole creatism to ID transition occurs outside them. This guy is a dupe, and a willing one. Read his books: he simply isn't crafty enough to lie contiguously. Also, I note that even if we WERE to say that Behe WAS a creationist at one point, why couldn't he have changed his mind? Dembski has waffled back and forth on it, to all appearences. Why insist that these4 guys are either diabolically clever or stupendously stupid? Why not just not very clever and ordinarily stupid?

The facts are all there.

They're making money peddling this snake oil. They're just as aware of the vast and massive empirical evidence for evolutionary theory, and the blatant, abject and utter lack of any such empirical evidence for ID, as is anyone involved in this anti-science fiasco, and they are proving themselves to be surpassingly cynical and venal in the face of that essential difference.

[Link: ase.tufts.edu...]

494 Ashbridge  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:12:57am

re: #480 Sharmuta

I think it's safe to say that both sides are guilty. I'm not defending one side or the other, but merely making a general statement to everyone that the discussion should center around truth and not degredation of either side because we merely disagree with them.

By the way, the overuse of the term "fact" here causes it to lose it's meaning and effectivness in the discussion. Facts are facts and speak for themselves without having to point out what they are.

495 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:15:07am

re: #485 Jimmah

dawkins is widely respected? In some circles, yes, that's true.

A meme is a unit, right? So if the first four chords of Beethoven's fifth are a meme, where does the next meme start in the symphony? How would anyone find out? How do you quantify how many memes there are in the symphony? Are there parts that are necessarily memic and parts that aren't? How would anyone find out?

If you claim that there are memes, then they need to be separated from non-memes, but as soon as a person communicates which bits are non-memes, alas, they become memes. Behold: the theory that destroys itself: everything and anything in a culture can be a meme. How incredibly useful.

It isn't useful: its slipshod. If you declare something a unit by definition, and then can't rigorously define its boundaries even in theory, you don't have a unit.

496 Ashbridge  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:15:23am

re: #490 Salamantis

Absolutely. I may not agree with you on this particular topic, but calling you names in an emotional tirade is not going to accomplish anything. I think we can move beyond playground tactics and openly discuss any topic in an intellectual manner.

497 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:15:54am

re: #491 Salamantis

Exactly. So panspermia ISN'T creationism. It IS ID. Thanks for agreeing.

498 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:17:24am

re: #494 Ashbridge

I think it's safe to say that both sides are guilty. I'm not defending one side or the other, but merely making a general statement to everyone that the discussion should center around truth and not degredation of either side because we merely disagree with them.

By the way, the overuse of the term "fact" here causes it to lose it's meaning and effectivness in the discussion. Facts are facts and speak for themselves without having to point out what they are.

One side has the empirical evidence on its side; the other side does not, and intentionally obfuscates this fact. The difference between them is clear and undeniable.

499 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:21:52am

re: #497 Hhar

Exactly. So panspermia ISN'T creationism. It IS ID. Thanks for agreeing.

It isn't specifically Genesis literalist creationism. But the teaching of a faux secularized version of Biblical creationism is the purpose for which the Disco Institute created the propaganda PR term.

Scratch an IDer and you will find someone who believes that God breathed life into their hypothesized aliens - and who more than likely covertly believes that God breathed the life into each terrestrial subspecies, and is cynically using ID advocacy as a taqqiya device.

500 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:22:04am

re: #492 Sharmuta

Ken Miller is a fine man, but why rely on anyone to tell you what someone else is thinking? Especially when everyone has their self interest at heart?

Note that both Ken Miller AND Behe are both religious Catholics: do you not think it possible that each thinks the other is trying to define the relationship of science to their Church? I am not saying that thery are of equal intellectual probity and authority: I am saying that there are personal issues at stake, and the judgement of one on the person of the other should not be acceoted at face value, especially when it is irrelevant to the point: ID IS crap. You can show that empirically.

501 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:23:14am

re: #496 Ashbridge

Absolutely. I may not agree with you on this particular topic, but calling you names in an emotional tirade is not going to accomplish anything. I think we can move beyond playground tactics and openly discuss any topic in an intellectual manner.

Okay, then, read and discuss this:

[Link: www.newyorker.com...]

502 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:25:20am

salamantis:

Whatever it is now (I haven't looked lately) Klyce's panspermia was not a DI initiative. Its completely contrary to Biblical creationism, postulating an eternal universe and/or alien seeding of life.

503 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:26:13am

re: #500 Hhar

Ken Miller is a fine man, but why rely on anyone to tell you what someone else is thinking? Especially when everyone has their self interest at heart?

Note that both Ken Miller AND Behe are both religious Catholics: do you not think it possible that each thinks the other is trying to define the relationship of science to their Church? I am not saying that thery are of equal intellectual probity and authority: I am saying that there are personal issues at stake, and the judgement of one on the person of the other should not be acceoted at face value, especially when it is irrelevant to the point: ID IS crap. You can show that empirically.

Which is precisely the point. Miller can empirically demonstrate his contentions; Behe cannot. And Behe knows this, or should. So what is Behe trying to do, and why? All he can do; attempt to muddy waters, in a failed and futile endeavor to obscure the facts of the matter, because it pays him to do so.

504 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:26:57am

re: #494 Ashbridge

Am I supposed to think that calling a creationist a creationist is degrading? Otherwise, I'm not sure who you think on the side of evolutionary theory is engaging in such tactics. Most of us supporting evolution rely on scientific facts and thoughtful arguments, not ad hominems.

It's the creationists who are lying, smearing, damning others to hell and viewing any factual refutations of their position as an attack.

I suppose- if it's "degradation" to point out reality consistently then you may have a point. But since reality isn't degradation, you don't really have one. Just a soft line on, "please stop, Charles!" Good luck with that.

505 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:29:23am

re: #502 Hhar

salamantis:

Whatever it is now (I haven't looked lately) Klyce's panspermia was not a DI initiative. Its completely contrary to Biblical creationism, postulating an eternal universe and/or alien seeding of life.

If so, then Klyce can be rejected out of hand, since not only does the existence of the Big ang echo background radiation demonstrate that the Universe has a beginning, but its redshift coefficient allows us to establish how long ago this was within pretty close parameters: 13.73 ± 0.12 billion years.

506 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:31:06am

re: #500 Hhar

I don't rely on Miller alone, nor would any good science rely on one scientists. As the case stands, evolution has 150 years worth of scientist backed testing and approval.

Behe's been shown to have no credibility on this issue, so I'm not sure why I would give him the time of day after learning that of him. If you want to grant him credibility in the face of his distortions, that's unfortunate, to say the least.

507 grenma  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:33:38am

It is a sad indication of whatever state of intellectualism or idealism this board represents (conservative materialism? pseudo-intellectual Zionism?) that a man with such character and accomplishments here becomes a source of (undeserved) schadenfreude for having his own principles. For many of you, the fact that he questions an assertion that many of you either only partially understand or accept at face value from second- or third-hand sources (as anyone must in this age of specialization) makes him somehow worthy of your scorn.

508 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:33:42am

Gah! I've been typo prone as of late. Too "in the moment" to read my comment before clicking post. Please excuse my neglect of the preview button.

509 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:34:29am

re: #503 Salamantis

Which is precisely the point. Miller can empirically demonstrate his contentions; Behe cannot. And Behe knows this, or should. So what is Behe trying to do, and why? All he can do; attempt to muddy waters, in a failed and futile endeavor to obscure the facts of the matter, because it pays him to do so.

Ummm......Behe is trying to show design. His efforts so far have failed. (shrug) Seems obvious. He has explicitly and strongly supported the notion of Universal common descent: that makes him not a creationist. THAT'S the point. ID is not synonymous with creationism. It is crap: that's the other point. In order for ID to be crap, it does not have to be creationism. There is science that is crap too, and also is not creationism. while all creationism is scierntific crap, not all crap in science, and even not all crap in evolutionary biology, is creationism.

510 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:36:16am

re: #507 grenma

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I think most of us here understand ID better than Ben Stein, and he clearly doesn't understand evolution.

511 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:37:16am

re: #509 Hhar

ID is not synonymous with creationism.

Yes it is, as has been shown to you repeatedly.

512 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:37:27am

re: #506 Sharmuta

What credibility? ID doesn't have scientific credibility. I must have misinterpted you, and please don't apologise for typos: I'm awful that way.

All I have been saying is that to all appearences, Behe isn't a creationist.

513 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:39:59am

re: #496 Ashbridge

Sal always offers an intellectual response on these threads.

514 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:40:22am

re: #512 Hhar

Behe has no credibility.

515 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:42:40am

re: #495 Hhar

dawkins is widely respected? In some circles, yes, that's true.

A meme is a unit, right? So if the first four chords of Beethoven's fifth are a meme, where does the next meme start in the symphony? How would anyone find out? How do you quantify how many memes there are in the symphony? Are there parts that are necessarily memic and parts that aren't? How would anyone find out?

First off, the applicable term isn't 'memic', but 'memetic.' Second, memes are more often than not found in systems of mutually supported fellow memes known as memeplexes. A musical phrase in a symphony is such a meme.

If you claim that there are memes, then they need to be separated from non-memes, but as soon as a person communicates which bits are non-memes, alas, they become memes. Behold: the theory that destroys itself: everything and anything in a culture can be a meme. How incredibly useful.

This stance completely ignores the 'aboutness' of communication. Words for things are not the same as the things themselves. So the long necks of giraffes remain genetic, while linguistically labeling and talking about them is an example of the memetic spread of the knowledge that such entities as giraffes exist, and that they have long necks.

It isn't useful: its slipshod. If you declare something a unit by definition, and then can't rigorously define its boundaries even in theory, you don't have a unit.

The term 'meme' is a descriptor of actually occurring, and evolving, entities. The discipline is still in its infancy, but has advanced by leaps and bounds, through the work of Dawkins, Dennett, Brodie, Lynch, Blackmore, Gatherer, Shennan, Balkin, Aunger, and Distin, among others.

On the fine-grained microphysical level, the boundaries of the human body are uncertain. Does that mean that you doubt the existence of humans?

516 grenma  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:43:33am

I'm afraid it would be impossible to burst your bubble Sharmuta, as intellectual arrogance seems to be the glue that holds your world together

517 grenma  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:44:44am

re: #510 Sharmuta

Most of us? Hurray for groupthink!

518 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:45:28am

re: #516 grenma

Indeed, because I'm the one who called scientists a bunch of nazis and whined when they didn't want to hear what I had to say after that.

519 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:45:31am

re: #507 grenma

It is a sad indication of whatever state of intellectualism or idealism this board represents (conservative materialism? pseudo-intellectual Zionism?) that a man with such character and accomplishments here becomes a source of (undeserved) schadenfreude for having his own principles. For many of you, the fact that he questions an assertion that many of you either only partially understand or accept at face value from second- or third-hand sources (as anyone must in this age of specialization) makes him somehow worthy of your scorn.

Arguments from ignorance carry no weight when addressed to the knowledgeable. People here can check the empirical evidence for evolution via random genetic mutation and nonrandom environmental selection with a few mouse clicks, and many of us here have been doing precisely that for quite some time.

520 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:48:33am

re: #516 grenma

I'm afraid it would be impossible to burst your bubble Sharmuta, as intellectual arrogance seems to be the glue that holds your world together

What is the essence of overweening hubris and (pseudo)intellectual (actually, religious) arrogance is to dismiss, ignore, belittle or deny mountains and tsunamis of empirical evidence in order to cling to cherished pet dogmas that possess not a single shred of empirical evidence in their favor.

521 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:53:18am

re: #509 Hhar

Ummm......Behe is trying to show design. His efforts so far have failed. (shrug) Seems obvious. He has explicitly and strongly supported the notion of Universal common descent: that makes him not a creationist. THAT'S the point. ID is not synonymous with creationism. It is crap: that's the other point. In order for ID to be crap, it does not have to be creationism. There is science that is crap too, and also is not creationism. while all creationism is scierntific crap, not all crap in science, and even not all crap in evolutionary biology, is creationism.

ID is a Trojan Horse carved out of whole cloth by the Disco Institute in order to camoflage the teaching of creationism in public high school science classes in some sort of pseudoscientific cover.

522 jaunte  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:55:17am

re: #518 Sharmuta

You might enjoy this:


Mr. Owl, how many days does it take to get a Creationist to admit he made a mistake?
103, 104, 105... **CRUNCH!** 105.

105 days after I wrote my essay on Vpu, Behe finally admitted I was right:

Yes, I’m perfectly willing to concede that this does appear to be the development of a new viral protein-viral protein binding site, one which I overlooked when writing about HIV.

Well aint that super. But heres the deal. What would have happened if he had said this, and only this, on say, Day 5? We would have laughed "Silly lazy Creationist!" made comments about "What other mistakes did Behe make in 'Edge'?" and probably gone about our business.

But thats not what happened.

read on...

[Link: endogenousretrovirus.blogspot.com...]

523 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:56:53am

re: #515 Salamantis

First off, the applicable term isn't 'memic', but 'memetic.' Second, memes are more often than not found in systems of mutually supported fellow memes known as memeplexes. A musical phrase in a symphony is such a meme.

great, but the question was "where does the next meme start in the symphony? How would anyone find out? How do you quantify how many memes there are in the symphony? Are there parts that are necessarily memic and parts that aren't? How would anyone find out?"

Note that you completely didn't answer, unless the answer is "he whole thing is one big Memeplex" in which case, whoopee do: you haven't defined the UNIT. A meme is a unit. If, of course, it actually exists as a useful term. Just SAYING that there is an empirically defineable entity, and giving examples isn't enough. Here: on this webapage, is there anything that isn't memic? Give it a go. Put in all the aboutness you can manage.


When I say:

"If you claim that there are memes, then they need to be separated from non-memes, but as soon as a person communicates which bits are non-memes, alas, they become memes. Behold: the theory that destroys itself: everything and anything in a culture can be a meme. How incredibly useful."

You reply:

This stance completely ignores the 'aboutness' of communication. Words for things are not the same as the things themselves. So the long necks of giraffes remain genetic, while linguistically labeling and talking about them is an example of the memetic spread of the knowledge that such entities as giraffes exist, and that they have long necks.

But you have simply avoided the question again. If parts of cultural artifacts (say poetry, music) are memes, and someone manages to pick a poem that has 4 lines, and magically manages to define the firsdt two lines as memic, and the second two lines as non memic, then someone asks "what are the second two lines", and said researcher recites the two lines, BEHOLD, they are now memic. A now completely untestable theory: Everything anyone talks about, ever, is now a meme! yay!

524 grenma  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:58:11am

re: #520 Salamantis

I am not making truth claims here - only pointing out the obvious arrogance on display here. While I have no desire to unleash your tsunami, any theory that explain finch beak sizes but not how amoeba became finches has a long way yet to go.

525 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:01:13pm

One thing I love. As soon as I post nything aagianst the set in stone doctrine that all ID must be creationism, I get downdinged like crazy, even if I provide reason and evidence for my position. Its pretty funny.

BAD opinion! Bad opinion! Must Punish!

LOL!

526 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:08:58pm

re: #525 Hhar

Believing ID as a personal philosophy is one thing. Defending it as science is another.

527 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:15:57pm

There's a reason why I'm insisting that "intelligent design" is simply repackaged creationism -- because it is.

Here's a book I highly recommend, that goes into exhaustive detail on the history of creationism and its gradual evolution into "intelligent design," with names, dates, and footnotes:

Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design

528 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:17:25pm

re: #526 Sharmuta

Believing ID as a personal philosophy is one thing. Defending it as science is another.

Well, yeah, I agree. What are you trying to say?
I get the feeling (and I could be wrong) people think I'm supporting or defending Behe's ideas. I'm not.

529 Sharmuta  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:19:16pm

re: #528 Hhar

Well, yeah, I agree. What are you trying to say?
I get the feeling (and I could be wrong) people think I'm supporting or defending Behe's ideas. I'm not.

It certainly appears that way to me, and I'm guessing it does to others as well.

530 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:20:33pm

re: #523 Hhar

Sal1: First off, the applicable term isn't 'memic', but 'memetic.' Second, memes are more often than not found in systems of mutually supported fellow memes known as memeplexes. A musical phrase in a symphony is such a meme.

Hhar1: great, but the question was "where does the next meme start in the symphony? How would anyone find out? How do you quantify how many memes there are in the symphony? Are there parts that are necessarily memic and parts that aren't? How would anyone find out?"

Note that you completely didn't answer, unless the answer is "the whole thing is one big Memeplex" in which case, whoopee do: you haven't defined the UNIT. A meme is a unit. If, of course, it actually exists as a useful term. Just SAYING that there is an empirically defineable entity, and giving examples isn't enough. Here: on this webpage, is there anything that isn't memic? Give it a go. Put in all the aboutness you can manage.

Sal2: Memes are units that are remembered (cognitively reproduced) and replicated via communication to other minds. Of course peoples' memories differ in their copying fidelity, and huge memeplexes do not easily replicate in their entirety, but one can state with reasonable confidence that the pattern of the first four notes in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, that single opening musical phrase, is indeed a quite widespread memetic unit. I contend that there is no other element of that symphony, including the opening passage and the symphony in its entirety, that has demonstrated anywhere near the same cognitive stickiness.

Of course almost everything on this webpage is memetic; it is, after all, placed here for the purpose of communication, which is how memes replicate. And words, among other things, are memes. The chosen colors are not necessarily memetic, as a different color scheme could have been chosen without changing the meaning of the messages, but the fact that different colors denote different things - one's own messages, Charles' messages, the messages of other lizards - means that the differences in colors - independent of the specific colors themselves - are intentionally memetic, as they were differentially chosen so as to communicate information.

Hhar1: When I say:
"If you claim that there are memes, then they need to be separated from non-memes, but as soon as a person communicates which bits are non-memes, alas, they become memes. Behold: the theory that destroys itself: everything and anything in a culture can be a meme. How incredibly useful."
You reply:

Sal1: This stance completely ignores the 'aboutness' of communication. Words for things are not the same as the things themselves. The long necks of giraffes remain genetic, while naming and talking about them is an example of the memetic spread of the knowledge that such entities as giraffes exist, and that they have long necks.

Hhar1: But you have simply avoided the question again. If parts of cultural artifacts (say poetry, music) are memes, and someone manages to pick a poem that has 4 lines, and magically manages to define the firsdt two lines as memic, and the second two lines as non memic, then someone asks "what are the second two lines", and said researcher recites the two lines, BEHOLD, they are now memic. A now completely untestable theory: Everything anyone talks about, ever, is now a meme! yay!

I noticed that you gratuitously switched from giraffes to poems in your reply - and without specifically citing any poem in particular. This is because that to which the words refer is not necessarily memetic; the words themselves are. So no, everything anyone talks about is not a meme; the words used to talk about them are. Words, like 'giraffe', are types; individual giraffes are tokens of that type.

Also note that for language to be able to label every existent, it had to expand beyond the bounds of the actual; word combinations can now describe nonexistent things.

531 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:22:12pm

re: #527 Charles

Charles, all I can say is that the position "Behe is a creationist" is equivalent to saying "Behe is a pathological liar." Both statements are supportable opinion, even if I disagree. But it is also a supportable opinion to say that Behe is not a pathological liar, and it is empirical fact that he has expressed unequivocal support for universal common descent, and defended it with reference to the Roman catholic teaching.

Why not stick to indisputable fact? ID is neither productive nor supportable as empirical science, and ID is most often simply a PR vehicle for creationism.

532 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:22:14pm

re: #524 grenma

I am not making truth claims here - only pointing out the obvious arrogance on display here. While I have no desire to unleash your tsunami, any theory that explain finch beak sizes but not how amoeba became finches has a long way yet to go.

By means of a lot more evolutionary steps than were involved in the changes in finch beak sizes. But there was 3 1/2 billion years for them to happen.

533 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:28:01pm

Excellent, Salamantis, you just demonstrated my point: you are claiming that a unit exists which you cannot empirically define nor separate from a non-meme.


Note: I didn't bring up giraffe's necks, nor "gratuitously switched topic". You brought up giraffe's necks after I said :"If you claim that there are memes, then they need to be separated from non-memes, but as soon as a person communicates which bits are non-memes, alas, they become memes. Behold: the theory that destroys itself: everything and anything in a culture can be a meme. How incredibly useful." Nothing in there about giraffes or necks, and your reply again evaded the point: you can neither empirically define what the "unit" is (as distinct from the memeplex), nor distinguish meme from non-meme in a clutural artifact. But you are sure it exists! Why, dawkins has said so! And Dennett! And whatever....jumpin. Think for yourself for bloody once. The obvious is staring you in the face.

If there is anything else completely off topic you want to talk about, go for it. Don't forget to down ding me!

LOL! Bad opinion! Bad opinion! MUST Punish!

534 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:28:29pm

re: #525 Hhar

As soon as I post nything aagianst the set in stone doctrine that all ID must be creationism, I get downdinged like crazy, even if I provide reason and evidence for my position.

Evidence?

For years, "intelligent design" (ID) proponents denied that ID is just a new label for creationism. However, it is now well-known that the first intelligent design "textbook," Of Pandas and People, is just a revised version of a classic "two-model' creationism vs. evolution book named Creation Biology. As Barbara Forrest showed during her testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover, Pandas was remade into an intelligent design textbook in 1987, in a few months after the Supreme Court ruling against creation science in Edwards v. Aguillard came down.

The most striking example of the transition was discovered by Dr. Forrest as she compared the drafts of Creation Biology and Of Pandas and People. Not only had "creationism" and "creationist" literally been replaced, apparently via a word processor, with "intelligent design" and "design proponent" in passages that were otherwise unchanged, but she even found a transitional form between the two labels!

LINKY

535 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:30:47pm

re: #534 Slumbering Behemoth


Sigh.

re: #489 Go here.

536 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:33:07pm

Sorryre: #534 Slumbering Behemoth

Sorry, and go here:
re: #467 Hhar


There is evidence that Behe is not a creationist. I invite you to examine it.

537 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:33:27pm

re: #531 Hhar

Why not stick to indisputable fact? ID is neither productive nor supportable as empirical science, and ID is most often simply a PR vehicle for creationism.

It's an indisputable fact that "intelligent design" is repackaged creationism. Michael Behe was involved in writing a chapter of a book that promoted "creation science," and is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute. That makes him a creationist, no matter how much you deny it.

538 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:34:26pm

re: #531 Hhar

Charles, all I can say is that the position "Behe is a creationist" is equivalent to saying "Behe is a pathological liar." Both statements are supportable opinion, even if I disagree. But it is also a supportable opinion to say that Behe is not a pathological liar, and it is empirical fact that he has expressed unequivocal support for universal common descent, and defended it with reference to the Roman catholic teaching.

Why not stick to indisputable fact? ID is neither productive nor supportable as empirical science, and ID is most often simply a PR vehicle for creationism.

I stoutly maintain that Behe is indeed an intentional deceiver, based upon, among many other indications, a passage I found in:

[Link: ase.tufts.edu...]

Which I shall now quote:

The focus on intelligent design has, paradoxically, obscured something else: genuine scientific controversies about evolution that abound. In just about every field there are challenges to oneestablished theory or another. The legitimate way to stir up such a storm is to come up with an alternative theory that makes a prediction that is crisply denied by the reigning theory - but that turns out to be true, or that explains something that has been baffling defenders of the status quo, or that unifies two distant theories at the cost of some element of the currently accepted view.

To date, the proponents of intelligent design have not produced anything like that. No experiments with results that challenge any mainstream biological understanding. No observations from the fossil record or genomics or biogeography or comparative anatomy that undermine standard evolutionary thinking. Instead, the proponents of intelligent design use a ploy that works something like this. First you misuse or misdescribe some scientist's work. Then you get an angry rebuttal. Then, instead of dealing forthrightly with the charges leveled, you cite the rebuttal as evidence that there is a "controversy" to teach.

Note that the trick is content-free. You can use it on any topic. "Smith's work in geology supports my argument that the earth is flat," you say, misrepresenting Smith's work. When Smith responds with a denunciation of your misuse of her work, you respond, saying something like: "See what a controversy we have here? Professor Smith and I are locked in a titanic scientific debate. We should teach the controversy in the classrooms." And here is the delicious part: you can often exploit the very technicality of the issues to your own advantage, counting on most of us to miss the point in all the difficult details.

William Dembski, one of the most vocal supporters of intelligent design, notes that he provoked Thomas Schneider, a biologist, into a response that Dr. Dembski characterizes as "some hair-splitting that could only look ridiculous to outsider observers." What looks to scientists - and is - a knockout objection by Dr. Schneider is portrayed to most everyone else as ridiculous hair-splitting.

In short, no science. Indeed, no intelligent design hypothesis has even been ventured as a rival explanation of any biological phenomenon. This might seem surprising to people who think that intelligent design competes directly with the hypothesis of non-intelligent design by natural selection.

But saying, as intelligent design proponents do, "You haven't explained everything yet," is not a competing hypothesis. Evolutionary biology certainly hasn't explained everything that perplexes biologists. But intelligent design hasn't yet tried to explain anything.

Sal: Behe has for many years been doing precisely the same damned thing as his good Disco buddy Dembski, which is why I consider him to also be as cynically duplicitous.

539 grenma  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:45:04pm

re: #532 Salamantis

Heck, I'll give you 35 billion years if you want. Assuming it must happen, like the inevitable spread of heterosexual AIDS or a world 5 years hence with with no Polar Ice Caps is as scientifically honest as theories about the Nephilim.

540 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:45:17pm

re: #524 grenma

I am not making truth claims here - only pointing out the obvious arrogance on display here. While I have no desire to unleash your tsunami, any theory that explain finch beak sizes but not how amoeba became finches has a long way yet to go.

Careful. Your creationist ideas are starting to slip out. Maybe you should go back to ranting about how "arrogant" everyone is.

541 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:46:23pm

re: #533 Hhar

Excellent, Salamantis, you just demonstrated my point: you are claiming that a unit exists which you cannot empirically define nor separate from a non-meme.

Not true; I empirically define a meme as a unit of information that can reside in human brains and replicate between them via communication and observation, and I further separated memes (as words) from that which the memes describe (such as actual giraffes, as opposed to the weord 'giraffe').

Note: I didn't bring up giraffe's necks, nor "gratuitously switched topic". You brought up giraffe's necks after I said :"If you claim that there are memes, then they need to be separated from non-memes, but as soon as a person communicates which bits are non-memes, alas, they become memes. Behold: the theory that destroys itself: everything and anything in a culture can be a meme. How incredibly useful." Nothing in there about giraffes or necks, and your reply again evaded the point: you can neither empirically define what the "unit" is (as distinct from the memeplex), nor distinguish meme from non-meme in a clutural artifact. But you are sure it exists! Why, dawkins has said so! And Dennett! And whatever....jumpin. Think for yourself for bloody once. The obvious is staring you in the face.

No, I brought up giraffe necks in order to illustrate a point; it was you who substituted lines from poems, in an attempt to obfuscate my point. And that point is that words and phrases like 'giraffe neck' are memes, while actually giraffe necks are NOT memes - and thus I demonstrated the distinguishing that you spuriously claimed that I was incapable of demonstrating. I also stated that the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony constituted a widespread meme quite eclipsing the spread of the memeplex comprising the symphony itself. And if you had read the two personally authored articles I linked from my own website, you would not be falsly claiming that I have not been thinking about these matters for myself, and for a long time.

If there is anything else completely off topic you want to talk about, go for it. Don't forget to down ding me!

LOL! Bad opinion! Bad opinion! MUST Punish!

I downding what in my view deserves it. Being wrong deserves it. And you have been wrong about many things, as I have amply and abundantly demonstrated. Not that you'd ever admit it. You're not that big a person, im my opinion. Let's see if you can prove me wrong about that.

542 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:47:32pm

re: #535 Hhar

re: #536 Hhar

Sigh indeed. The post I was responding to (yours) had nothing to do with Behe. You said:

As soon as I post nything aagianst the set in stone doctrine that all ID must be creationism, I get downdinged like crazy, even if I provide reason and evidence for my position.

I simply linked to evidence that contradicted what you appeared to be claiming.

543 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 12:50:02pm

re: #539 grenma

Heck, I'll give you 35 billion years if you want. Assuming it must happen, like the inevitable spread of heterosexual AIDS or a world 5 years hence with with no Polar Ice Caps is as scientifically honest as theories about the Nephilim.

Umm..heterosexual intercourse is the main vector for HIV transmission worldwide. But the world will still have polar ice caps 5 years from now.

As for 'the Nephilim', what beliegvers have concerning them are religious opinions. I could not call them theories, since they lack any supporting empirical evidence whatsoever for their various stances.

544 grenma  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 1:09:14pm

re: #540 Charles

Charles:

I'm flattered that you took the time to answer, but the level of vituperation that you seem to reserve here for Intelligent Design just stumps me. The normal conversational tone morphs into paranoid language about deceptive evildoers trying to set back Western Culture 500 years. The black hat/white hat dichotomy you paint here is so removed from reality, not to mention the irony inherent in painting the fairly reasonable and not all secretive "Wedge Document" your own personal Protocols. I have spoken to and seen Philip Johnson, Eugenie Scott and many others in this debate and can honestly say you are either a very poor judge of character or just "blinded by science". I also fully understand that from a materialist worldview ID must seem crazy, but the rush to judgment (and the burning desire for it to be so) on the "truth" of Evolution seems just as crazy on your side. And while you love to ridicule people for blaming everything from Hitler to teen pregnancy on Evolution, it cannot be argued that the sociological effects of a theory that strikes at the very core of Judeo-Christian morality have been vast and, to my mind at least, unwelcome.

545 Zimriel  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 1:21:02pm

re: #544 grenma

Charles:

I'm flattered that you took the time to answer, but the level of vituperation that you seem to reserve here for Intelligent Design just stumps me. The normal conversational tone morphs into paranoid language about deceptive evildoers trying to set back Western Culture 500 years. The black hat/white hat dichotomy you paint here is so removed from reality, not to mention the irony inherent in painting the fairly reasonable and not all secretive "Wedge Document" your own personal Protocols.

You're against vituperation, and you've just nonvituperatively called our host "paranoid" and likened him to the antisemites who publish/ed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Stay classy, grenma.

And while you love to ridicule people for blaming everything from Hitler to teen pregnancy on Evolution, it cannot be argued that the sociological effects of a theory that strikes at the very core of Judeo-Christian morality have been vast and, to my mind at least, unwelcome.

What sociological effects have this theory caused? State them outright.

546 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 1:23:00pm

re: #544 grenma

Charles:

I'm flattered that you took the time to answer, but the level of vituperation that you seem to reserve here for Intelligent Design just stumps me. The normal conversational tone morphs into paranoid language about deceptive evildoers trying to set back Western Culture 500 years. The black hat/white hat dichotomy you paint here is so removed from reality, not to mention the irony inherent in painting the fairly reasonable and not all secretive "Wedge Document" your own personal Protocols. I have spoken to and seen Philip Johnson, Eugenie Scott and many others in this debate and can honestly say you are either a very poor judge of character or just "blinded by science". I also fully understand that from a materialist worldview ID must seem crazy, but the rush to judgment (and the burning desire for it to be so) on the "truth" of Evolution seems just as crazy on your side. And while you love to ridicule people for blaming everything from Hitler to teen pregnancy on Evolution, it cannot be argued that the sociological effects of a theory that strikes at the very core of Judeo-Christian morality have been vast and, to my mind at least, unwelcome.

Had a whistleblower never leaked the infamous Wedge Document, it would never have seen the light of public scrutiny. It was intended entirey for internal Disco Institute consumption. And it is indeed a plot to topple the edifice of empirical science and build a theocratic temple in its place.

Only in yhe vevered imagination of a diehard creationist could 150 years worth of empirical evidence be egregiously mislabeled as a 'rush to judgment.'

And Judeo-Christian morality was appropriated from either the ambient culture in which it arose and from which it emerged, or from previous faiths that appropriated it from their societies. Many of the accepted tenets of such societies - slavery, for one - are now rightly considered to be moral abominations. It is only good and right that we consider the ethical advances that have been made in the last couple of millennia in formulating our own moral standards.

547 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 1:24:17pm

Umm...'the fevered imagination...PIMF!

548 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 1:34:09pm

re: #541 Salamantis

Not true; I empirically define a meme as a unit of information that can reside in human brains and replicate between them via communication and observation, and I further separated memes (as words) from that which the memes describe (such as actual giraffes, as opposed to the weord 'giraffe').

No, thats' VERBALLY defining a meme, and uselessly so. Define a meme EMPIRICALLY. All you are doing is waving your hands around, unable to tell me where memes end and precisely what they are in fact (not theory). To wit: how many memes are there in the first ten bars of Beethoven's fifth symphony? If a meme is a unit, there must be a limited number. How would you ever find out? Its nice you talked about giraffes, but you were changing the subject from a very very simple question. Just asserting that there IS such athing as a meme doesn't mean the idea is worth anything. I thought you were some sort of champeen of science? How many memes on this webpage? Is there any idea, word or communication that ISN'T a meme? No? Oh, well, THAT makes it a useful notion, doesn't it?

No, I brought up giraffe necks in order to illustrate a point; it was you who substituted lines from poems, in an attempt to obfuscate my point.

Given that you totally avoided my original question (as you still are) and started talking about giraffe's necks, and lines from poetry are quite in line with my original question (which you still haven't answered, no I'm not obfuscating your point: your point is simply a restatement of what you think memes are: it is not evidence that there is any use or rigor to the idea. We already know that when people use symbolic communication (talk) the symbol isn't the thing. This is not an insight new to humanity, nor clarified by the idea of "memes".

And that point is that words and phrases like 'giraffe neck' are memes, while actually giraffe necks are NOT memes - and thus I demonstrated the distinguishing that you spuriously claimed that I was incapable of demonstrating.


That ain't empirically validating or defining the idea. That's saying something we already knew in sciency-talk.

I also stated that the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony constituted a widespread meme quite eclipsing the spread of the memeplex comprising the symphony itself.

Oooh! Eclipsing! SCIENCE talk! In an eclipse, you have a non luminous object moving between a luminous object and an observer. So, how does this magical meme eclipse another? Answ: it doesn't. You are try6ing to say something meaningful, but you are spouting metaphorical gibberish, and avoiding the question: how many of these units are there in Beethoven's 5th? Where does the next one begin?


And if you had read the two personally authored articles I linked from my own website, you would not be falsly claiming that I have not been thinking about these matters for myself, and for a long time.

No, I can read them and say you haven't actually been thinking. That's my opinion about what you wrote.

I downding what in my view deserves it. Being wrong deserves it. And you have been wrong about many things, as I have amply and abundantly demonstrated. Not that you'd ever admit it. You're not that big a person, im my opinion. Let's see if you can prove me wrong about that.

You haven't proved me wrong. I have opinions, you have opinions. You are skittering all over the place around a simple question.

Wotta hoot. BAD opinion! Must Punish!

549 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 1:39:40pm

re: #542 Slumbering Behemoth

re: #536 Hhar

Sigh indeed. The post I was responding to (yours) had nothing to do with Behe. You said:


I simply linked to evidence that contradicted what you appeared to be claiming.


Ummmm...how does that reply contradict what I said? I have been stating something very specific about Behe for a little while now. I have given evidence for my opinion. It is simply rejected qua evidence. That rejection is a matter of weighing empirical evidence: it is opinion against my opinion. And I get downdinged. Its funny.

I seem to have kicked a sacred cow.

550 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 1:55:25pm

re: #544 grenma

Charles:

I'm flattered that you took the time to answer, but the level of vituperation that you seem to reserve here for Intelligent Design just stumps me. The normal conversational tone morphs into paranoid language about deceptive evildoers trying to set back Western Culture 500 years. The black hat/white hat dichotomy you paint here is so removed from reality, not to mention the irony inherent in painting the fairly reasonable and not all secretive "Wedge Document" your own personal Protocols. I have spoken to and seen Philip Johnson, Eugenie Scott and many others in this debate and can honestly say you are either a very poor judge of character or just "blinded by science". I also fully understand that from a materialist worldview ID must seem crazy, but the rush to judgment (and the burning desire for it to be so) on the "truth" of Evolution seems just as crazy on your side. And while you love to ridicule people for blaming everything from Hitler to teen pregnancy on Evolution, it cannot be argued that the sociological effects of a theory that strikes at the very core of Judeo-Christian morality have been vast and, to my mind at least, unwelcome.

Right. I'm vituperative, and you're just telling it like it is when you call me "paranoid" and "blinded by science," and compare me to Jew-haters promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

And you do this while ranting at everyone here about how "arrogant" they are. What a piece of work. Can't say I'm surprised though -- it's a pretty common creationist attitude.

551 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 1:56:27pm

re: #538 Salamantis

Behe has for many years been doing precisely the same damned thing as his good Disco buddy Dembski, which is why I consider him to also be as cynically duplicitous.

Yeah, except that Dembski has explicitly denied universal common descent, and Behe has explicitly affirmed it, and given that universal common descent is really the sticking point of the discussion (ie if one accepts the empirical reality of universal common descent, one is not a creationist) saying that Behe and Dembski have been doing precisely the same thing is demonstrably wrong.

Keep your eye on the ball.

I can't say I think much of Dennett here: he hasn't gotten to the heart of the matter. Sober's essay on the topic of ID is much better. Better yet, Duhaime's Aim and Structure of Physixcal Theory is the place to start.

552 Mr Secul  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:03:27pm

re: #549 Hhar

Ummmm...how does that reply contradict what I said? I have been stating something very specific about Behe for a little while now. I have given evidence for my opinion. It is simply rejected qua evidence. That rejection is a matter of weighing empirical evidence: it is opinion against my opinion. And I get downdinged. Its funny.

I seem to have kicked a sacred cow.

People here don't trust Behe and they don't trust ID proponents.

If we were to go by Behe's statements in TEoE on their own then we would think that he was a Darwinist and a Theistic Evolutionist.

But we know more about him than that. We know the company he keeps and what he has done in the past.

We don't trust Behe's new look and his public statements of what he believes.

I think that the readers of this blog are used to looking beyond someone's public statements and are used to forming their own opinions.

553 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:12:11pm

re: #548 Hhar

Sal1: Not true; I empirically define a meme as a unit of information that can reside in human brains and replicate between them via communication and observation, and I further separated memes (as words) from that which the memes describe (such as actual giraffes, as opposed to the werd 'giraffe').

Hhar1: No, thats' VERBALLY defining a meme, and uselessly so. Define a meme EMPIRICALLY. All you are doing is waving your hands around, unable to tell me where memes end and precisely what they are in fact (not theory). To wit: how many memes are there in the first ten bars of Beethoven's fifth symphony? If a meme is a unit, there must be a limited number. How would you ever find out? Its nice you talked about giraffes, but you were changing the subject from a very very simple question. Just asserting that there IS such athing as a meme doesn't mean the idea is worth anything. I thought you were some sort of champeen of science? How many memes on this webpage? Is there any idea, word or communication that ISN'T a meme? No? Oh, well, THAT makes it a useful notion, doesn't it?

Do you deny the existence of stars? Okay, then tell me precisely how many of them are in the sky. Do you deny the existence of grains of sand? Okay; then tell me precisely how many of them there are on earth's beaches. Do you deny the existence of water molecules, or of oxygen molecules? Okay, then tell me how many of them are in the oceans, or the atmosphere. Do you deny the existence of atoms? Okay, then tell me precisely how many of them there are in the universe.

And yes, the fact that ideas, words and communications are memes allows us to say, by using them, that the things to which they often point, such as actual things, are not uniformly memetic, although they can be. A lump of marble is no meme, but a sculpture carved from it is. The difference is that if meaning-giving is involved, we can speak of memes. Meanings are what distinguish memes from non-memes, and different meanings denote different memes. But the reason one cannot say precisely and unequivocally how many memes are in a section of music is because the question then arises: in whose mind? In the mind of a Borneo tribesman, who has never heard any of Beethoven's 5th? In the mind of a classical musician, who knows the symphony by heart? In the mind of a teenybopper, who heard a small piece of it in Roll Over Beethoven? Memes are in the minds of their possessors, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This does not entail that neither memes nor beauty exist.

We know that memes form memeplexes because we can separate some component memes from them, and find the identical components in other memeplexes. For instance the memes that to believe in a religion or its message saves or redeems the believer, and that proselytizing the faith is a sacred and caring duty, are found in many (but not all) different faiths.

to be continued...

554 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:19:34pm

re: #552 Mr Secul

Enh. I think there is way too much paranoia on this issue. I have been talking and debating IDers since the early 90's, and one thing I have learned is that it is very difficult to seprate a flake from a liar. In my experience, many people on the fringes don't know what they think, until they put it in print, and even then they sometimes change their minds.

Behe has pretty much come down hard on saying universal common descent is true, which is actually really good news if accepted at face value. Why? Because if you stop accusing him of being a creationist, and simply ask of him what you would ask of any scientist: "So...What's the point? Show me the use. Show me the evidence." the answer you get will always be the same: either perfectly empty talk, or utter silence.

You have then kicked the principle crutch of ID right out from under it: the "I'm being persecuted for the truth!" slogan: the whole "Expelled!" thesis. As long as you have people saying that Behe is a creationist, creationists who honestly think Behe is NOT a creationist, are going to think (and reasonably) that it is unrelenting hostility towards their religion that has created the rejection.

555 grenma  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:28:21pm

re: #550 Charles

I guess I forgot to add thin-skinned. I think your response justifies my criticisms. Can you not see the similarity between your treatment of the Wedge doc and Anti-Semitic claims about the Protocols? I think "blinded by science", while rather light-hearted (sorry if I offended any Thomas Dolby fans) is rather apt as well. Arrogance is defined as "an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions". Again, I make no truth claims; I'm only pointing out the heavy-handed manner you employ, ostensibly to crush dissent. Your justification for your behavior is probably something akin to "rescuing Reason and Truth from Superstition and Dogma" but I think it is a false premise and an overreaction.

556 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:28:55pm

re: #548 Hhar

Sal1: No, I brought up giraffe necks in order to illustrate a point; it was you who substituted lines from poems, in an attempt to obfuscate my point.

Hhar1: Given that you totally avoided my original question (as you still are) and started talking about giraffe's necks, and lines from poetry are quite in line with my original question (which you still haven't answered, no I'm not obfuscating your point: your point is simply a restatement of what you think memes are: it is not evidence that there is any use or rigor to the idea. We already know that when people use symbolic communication (talk) the symbol isn't the thing. This is not an insight new to humanity, nor clarified by the idea of "memes".

No, you chose to substitite poem lines, without even citing them, for giraffe necks, to conceal the fact that word memes point to non-meme things. The words 'giraffe neck' represent actual giraffe necks. But the unrevealed lines of a hypothetical poem cannot be said to point to anything in particular, which is why you substituted.

We also know that religions (polytheism - henotheism - monotheism or nontheism), and political systems (monarchy - theocracy - ideological totalitarianism - democracy), and languages, all evolve (Latin is the main root of many European languages, but they have borrowed terms from other tongues).

Sal1: And that point is that words and phrases like 'giraffe neck' are memes, while actually giraffe necks are NOT memes - and thus I demonstrated the distinguishing that you spuriously claimed that I was incapable of demonstrating.

Hhar1: That ain't empirically validating or defining the idea. That's saying something we already knew in sciency-talk.

Sal2: Actually, I DID define memes, as "a unit of information that can reside in human brains and replicate between them via communication and observation", and you can differentially validate the spread of the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony vs. the rest of it by empirically conducting differential recognition studies when people hear the first 4 notes vs. when they hear another musical phrase within it.

I also stated that the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony constituted a widespread meme quite eclipsing the spread of the memeplex comprising the symphony itself.

Hhar1: Oooh! Eclipsing! SCIENCE talk! In an eclipse, you have a non luminous object moving between a luminous object and an observer. So, how does this magical meme eclipse another? Answer: it doesn't. You are trying to say something meaningful, but you are spouting metaphorical gibberish, and avoiding the question: how many of these units are there in Beethoven's 5th? Where does the next one begin?

Sal2: You damned well know what the word 'eclipsed' meant in context; it meant that a shitload more people would recognize the first four notes of beethoven's 5th Symphony than would recognize a passage pulled from the middle. Stop indulging in gratuitous asininity. As to how many memes are in Beethoven's 5th symphony, we would have to check individual minds for that. The count would be different for different individuals, because they would have cognitively absorbed the symphony to different degrees. The fact that some people own more shoes than other doesn't mean that shoes don't exist.

to be continued...

557 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:37:17pm
Do you deny the existence of stars? Okay, then tell me precisely how many of them are in the sky. Do you deny the existence of grains of sand? Okay; then tell me precisely how many of them there are on earth's beaches. Do you deny the existence of water molecules, or of oxygen molecules? Okay, then tell me how many of them are in the oceans, or the atmosphere. Do you deny the existence of atoms? Okay, then tell me precisely how many of them there are in the universe.

LOL! I say "Where is the second meme in Beethoven's fifth and you relate that to caounting stars! LOL! Look, I can tell you where I see one star and don't see another, and I can define a star empirically. same with grains of sand, water molecules, whatever. You can't even tell me where one meme starts and another begins! This is hysterically funny.

And yes, the fact that ideas, words and communications are memes allows us to say, by using them, that the things to which they often point, such as actual things, are not uniformly memetic, although they can be.

LOL! A tremendous advance: symbols are not the objects that they refer to, though sometimes objects are symbols! Thanks Dawkins! We are way ahead of where we were...ummm.....five millenia ago! Brilliant!


A lump of marble is no meme, but a sculpture carved from it is. The difference is that if meaning-giving is involved, we can speak of memes. Meanings are what distinguish memes from non-memes, and different meanings denote different memes. But the reason one cannot say precisely and unequivocally how many memes are in a section of music is because the question then arises: in whose mind? In the mind of a Borneo tribesman, who has never heard any of Beethoven's 5th? In the mind of a classical musician, who knows the symphony by heart? In the mind of a teenybopper, who heard a small piece of it in Roll Over Beethoven? Memes are in the minds of their possessors, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This does not entail that neither memes nor beauty exist.

That's right. So it isn't a unit, is it? You can't say something is a unit if even in theory you cannot hope to define its limits. You can't even be sure you are referring to a real thing.

We know that memes form memeplexes because we can separate some component memes from them,

But you just said that memes are in the eyes of the beholder. How do you know that in my mind, the first four notes form a meme? How do you even know that in anyone's mind they form a meme? "Well, I just think so. They seem to play together". Well! THAT was rigorous, wasn't it! Science! AND it provides a great insight! Phrases and melodies are often memorable! I'm just bowled over by this. LOL!


and find the identical components in other memeplexes. For instance the memes that to believe in a religion or its message saves or redeems the believer, and that proselytizing the faith is a sacred and caring duty, are found in many (but not all) different faiths.

Why not call them "ideas"? I mean, you have taken a perfectly good word: "idea", and translated it into something that you say you can't be sure of the composition of and that is entirely subjective. A great gain! SCIENCE! LOL!

to be continued...

558 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:39:18pm

re: #555 grenma

I think your response justifies my criticisms.

Well, of course you do.

Can you not see the similarity between your treatment of the Wedge doc and Anti-Semitic claims about the Protocols?

No. That's a flat-out stupid comparison. To start with, the Protocols are a forgery. The Wedge document is real. But since you obviously have a problem distinguishing reality from fantasy, it's understandable how you might be confused on that point.

I'm only pointing out the heavy-handed manner you employ, ostensibly to crush dissent.

That's right, I'm like Stalin, Hitler, and Big Brother all rolled into one, crushing dissent wherever I go with my heavy, heavy hand.

I repeat: you are a real piece of work, arrogant to the hilt and totally unable to see your own behavior for what it is, spewing foolish accusations right and left.

You aren't the first creationist to try this line of attack, and I'm sure you won't be the last.

559 grenma  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:41:06pm

re: #550 Charles

And why the need for cheap shots like "Disco Institute" and the "Night of the Living Dead"-like practice of screaming "Creationist!" when ever anyone is to be shunned?

560 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:41:19pm

re: #548 Hhar

Sal1: And if you had read the two personally authored articles I linked from my own website, you would not be falsly claiming that I have not been thinking about these matters for myself, and for a long time.

Hhar1: No, I can read them and say you haven't actually been thinking. That's my opinion about what you wrote.

Sal2: Care to comment upon specifics, citing the passages in question? Or do you just wanna gratiotously diss without providing a ingle logical, rational, coherent or cogent reason?

Sal1: I downding what in my view deserves it. Being wrong deserves it. And you have been wrong about many things, as I have amply and abundantly demonstrated. Not that you'd ever admit it. You're not that big a person, im my opinion. Let's see if you can prove me wrong about that.

561 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:46:29pm
No, you chose to substitite poem lines, without even citing them, for giraffe necks, to conceal the fact that word memes point to non-meme things.

LOL! Why would I do that? Symbols can point to things. That says nothing about the utility or even existence of a meme.



The words 'giraffe neck' represent actual giraffe necks. But the unrevealed lines of a hypothetical poem cannot be said to point to anything in particular, which is why you substituted.

LOL! OK, you pick any four lines of poetry you like, with the first two lines being well known. Then address my question. It doesn't matter to me, that's why I asked the question so generally.

We also know that religions (polytheism - henotheism - monotheism or nontheism), and political systems (monarchy - theocracy - ideological totalitarianism - democracy), and languages, all evolve (Latin is the main root of many European languages, but they have borrowed terms from other tongues).

Yes: cultures change. Cultural institutions change. Cultures are transmitted. Thanks Dawkins, I didn't know that before. LOL! I liked this one too:

Sal2: You damned well know what the word 'eclipsed' meant in context; it meant that a shitload more people would recognize the first four notes of beethoven's 5th Symphony than would recognize a passage pulled from the middle. Stop indulging in gratuitous asininity. As to how many memes are in Beethoven's 5th symphony, we would have to check individual minds for that. The count would be different for different individuals, because they would have cognitively absorbed the symphony to different degrees. The fact that some people own more shoes than other doesn't mean that shoes don't exist.

LOL! Yeah, you couldn't say "More people recognise the first four notes of the symphony than the rest. maybe its because some things are more memorable than others!" No, it had to be dressed up in meme talk, all about ecli[psing and stuff, because you STILL haven't addressed the central problem: a meme is putatively a unit, but given that its an entirely subjective unit, how can you say it is a unit at all? You are trying to reduce experience to neurobiology, and the one is fundamentally not the other.

LOL! But keep going, true beleiver!

562 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:48:10pm

re: #560 Salamantis

No, I'm not going to spend my time on them. You are uncritical and scientistic. You are not thinking objectively.

563 jaunte  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:49:24pm

Intelligent Design proponentsists have been spotting "Darwinian fascists"
for some time:

"Dembski offers an excuse for not getting any real research done:

The pressures directed against frontline ID proponents are real. From your armchair, it is easy enough to say that we need simply to get to work. But families and livelihoods really are under threat by these Darwinian fascists, and when our days are spent trying to shore up the latter, the former does not get done.

Yes, Bill. It is the "Darwinian fascists" who are preventing ID from developing into anything remotely like a scientific paradigm. It is the "Darwinian fascists" who are preventing you publishing in mathematical journals. It is the "Darwinian fascists" who are preventing you from holding down a non-theological job. It is the "Darwinian fascists" who are preventing you from applying your "vise strategy" as in Kitzmiller.

It is the "Darwinian fascists" who are causing the crisis in the Middle East, terrorism, high gas prices, American Idol, and the losing record of the Arizona Cardinals. Oh, and they set up Mel Gibson as well.

[Link: scienceblogs.com...]

564 grenma  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 2:57:55pm

re: #558 Charles

This is your party - you can do and say what you like. I come here as a guest to read news posts and get some insight into current events. I just feel you are doing yourself a disservice with all the preening and schadenfreude on display here. As I said, I have personal knowledge of many of the people involved in this debate. If throwing stones at Ben Stein or Philip Johnson somehow makes you sit up a little straighter, then more's the pity.

Of course, being nice and being right are two different things. But being neither is never good.

565 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:08:20pm

re: #557 Hhar

Hhar1: LOL! I say "Where is the second meme in Beethoven's fifth and you relate that to caounting stars! LOL! Look, I can tell you where I see one star and don't see another, and I can define a star empirically. same with grains of sand, water molecules, whatever. You can't even tell me where one meme starts and another begins! This is hysterically funny.

Sal2: Okay; I empirically define the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony as a widespread meme. Not the first five, and not the first three. Prove me wrong. it will be hysterically funny when you try to deny it; practically everybody who reads the passage will have Da-Da-Da-Dummmmmm! echoing in their ears, but far fewer of them will have the entire symphony for an earworm.

Hhar1: LOL! A tremendous advance: symbols are not the objects that they refer to, though sometimes objects are symbols! Thanks Dawkins! We are way ahead of where we were...ummm.....five millenia ago! Brilliant!

Sal2: When you have no legitimate answer, you compulsively resort to attempts to ridicule. I explained to you the distinction between always memetic words and the frequently but not in all instances nonmemetic things to which they refer. This is a distinction that you cannot deny.

Hhar1: That's right. So it isn't a unit, is it? You can't say something is a unit if even in theory you cannot hope to define its limits. You can't even be sure you are referring to a real thing.

You cannot define a meme in brains generally, because different brains contain different memes. But you can empirically verify the presence or absence of a particular meme in an individual brain by means of a simple recognition test. And when the brain in question recognizes, say, the Golden Rule, but not Great Commission, or vice-versa, you can confidently say that for that brain, the one recognized is a meme, distinguishable from the Biblical memeset of which it is a part, and that, for that brain, the unrecognized one is not. Are you telling me that fire doesn't exist, or sand grains, or stars? I can point to individual examples, but I cannot point to 'fire' or 'sand grain' or 'star' in general. This is because tokens exist, but types for them - words or phrases like 'star' or 'sand grain' or 'fire' - are purely memetic, and have no physical existence ourtside of cognitive patterns in minds and their coding in gestures, speech and texts. Likewise, one cannot point to 'memes' in general, but individual memes, such as the first four notes of beethoven's 5th Symphony or the tendency for some people to cover conversation gaps by compulsively saying 'you know', can indeed be pointed out. And some people will possess these memes, and others will not, just like dogs and cats exist, even though not everybody owns them.

Hhar1: But you just said that memes are in the eyes of the beholder. How do you know that in my mind, the first four notes form a meme? How do you even know that in anyone's mind they form a meme? "Well, I just think so. They seem to play together". Well! THAT was rigorous, wasn't it!

Science! AND it provides a great insight! Phrases and melodies are often memorable! I'm just bowled over by this. LOL!

Sal2: You ask them. Or, if you don't trust them to answer truthfully, you monitor their pupil dilations while asking them. Recognitiion causes pupils to dilate or constrict, depending upon whether what is recognized is liked or disliked. Or you can be giving them a PET scan, and watch the cortical energy conscumption patterns for those that indicate recognition. You are beginning to sound like a Skinnerian (he denied inner consciousness, all the while writing books, a practice that employed it), but cognitive science has been around a long time.

to be continued...

566 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:08:36pm

re: #564 grenma

This is your party - you can do and say what you like. I come here as a guest to read news posts and get some insight into current events. I just feel you are doing yourself a disservice with all the preening and schadenfreude on display here. As I said, I have personal knowledge of many of the people involved in this debate. If throwing stones at Ben Stein or Philip Johnson somehow makes you sit up a little straighter, then more's the pity.

Of course, being nice and being right are two different things. But being neither is never good.

I know what you mean. It's so nice to tell someone they're paranoid and just like an antisemite. Now why would anyone take offense at that? After all, you're just dispensing wisdom, right?

Ben Stein made a deeply dishonest film, containing numerous claims that are provably false. If you want to call it "throwing stones" to be appalled at this movie full of lies, then hand me a rock.

Philip Johnson is a born-again Christian who advocates pseudo-science in a deceptive way, claiming not to be religious when his extremist agenda is perfectly clear from every word he writes, and making no secret of the fact that he would like to see a theocracy in America and the destruction of modern science. He's also an AIDS denialist, who pushes the false, completely unsupported fantasy that HIV is unrelated to AIDS.

Lovely bunch of people. Tip top.

567 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:15:32pm
Hhar1: Why not call them "ideas"? I mean, you have taken a perfectly good word: "idea", and translated it into something that you say you can't be sure of the composition of and that is entirely subjective. A great gain! SCIENCE! LOL!

Sal2: Because the term meme indicates things that the term idea does not. Replicating between minds by means of communication, for one thing. And by means of other action, also. Is it an idea when you open a Zippo lighter with a snap of your fingers? Also, memes are also replicated in artifacts. Bibles and Qurans can be described as physically instantiated memeplexes, but as ideas?

The fact is that when something becomes the object of focused study, a specialized vocabulary develops as a means to exclude the baggage that might be otherwise insinuated by the connotations found in common discourse. Phenomenology did this, Hermeneutics did this. Semiotics did this. Why should memetics be any different?

568 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:18:06pm

re: #562 Hhar

No, I'm not going to spend my time on them. You are uncritical and scientistic. You are not thinking objectively.

At least youn recognize - sometimes - when you should stay out of the deep end of the pool, and remain in the wading end.

569 Basho  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:22:03pm

PZ gets mail:
[Link: scienceblogs.com...]

570 Basho  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:26:33pm

Well... for people who keep calling "Darwinism" a religion, creationists seem eager to hold events on Darwin Day, with topics that include:

Darwin & Evolution`s Racist Roots
The Catastrophe of Noah`s Flood
Answers about the "Ape-Men"
Answers from Science and Scripture on the Real Age of the Earth
Answers from Design

[Link: scienceblogs.com...]

Oh, and you have to be age 11 and over to go. So who is indoctrinating who with what?

571 Basho  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:29:20pm

re: #570 Basho

Anti-Darwinism is the religion. Or at least a subset of an insane cult...

572 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:33:35pm

re: #567 Salamantis

Sal2: Because the term meme indicates things that the term idea does not. Replicating between minds by means of communication, for one thing.


So ideas aren't routinely passed from person to person? Why, dawkins is more brilliant than I thought! LOL!

And by means of other action, also. Is it an idea when you open a Zippo lighter with a snap of your fingers?


And learned behaviors are often imitated and.....(gasp) Learned! And taught! Its a whole new world of SCIENCE! I have been so BLIND!


Also, memes are also replicated in artifacts. Bibles and Qurans can be described as physically instantiated memeplexes, but as ideas?

You mean ideas and stories can be put into books for people to read and copy? GASP! This is incredible. Tell me more! Before, we had to do with referring to books, films, tapes and media of communication, but now we have the MEMEPLEX! Is that like a cineplex where you can just buzz like a fly between movies to get your altogether subjective impression, and then call that a unit of cinema? SCIENCE!

The fact is that when something becomes the object of focused study, a specialized vocabulary develops as a means to exclude the baggage that might be otherwise insinuated by the connotations found in common discourse. Phenomenology did this, Hermeneutics did this. Semiotics did this. Why should memetics be any different?

Yeah, the word "book" has all this baggage associated with it. Better call it a physcally instantiated memeplex. So much more informative.

Ummm...maybe because meme doesn't add anything and its a sloppy, poorly defined term? I think you were going to tell me how something that is only subjectively defineable and you can't ever count or have a limited number in any physically instatiated memplex can be a "unit". I'm waiting on this, I really am.

I'm killing myself laughing, is what I am. I haven't had so much fun since my creationist baiting days. The difference is that I regret that, but will not regret this.

573 grenma  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:36:03pm

re: #566 Charles

Sigh.

Well, I like how you designed your site.

574 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:37:27pm

re: #561 Hhar

Hhar1: LOL! Why would I do that? Symbols can point to things. That says nothing about the utility or even existence of a meme.

Sal2: Sure it does, when meaning is a main characteristic of a meme (which is why symbols are always memes, but the existents to which existents refer are not themselves always memes). Words are memes. We mem-orize them, and communicate by means of them. We also impart them to people who don't possess them.

Hhar1: Yes: cultures change. Cultural institutions change. Cultures are transmitted. Thanks Dawkins, I didn't know that before.

Sal2: What Dawkins brought to these topics - politics, religion, art, technology, language, etc., was a way to see them as tokens of a single memetic type, with a single set of rules for their alteration and propagation. It's like you are saying animals change, plants change, thanks, Watson & Crick & Gregor Mendel, I didn't know that before.

Hhar1: LOL! I liked this one too:

Sal1: You damned well know what the word 'eclipsed' meant in context; it meant that a shitload more people would recognize the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony than would recognize a passage pulled from the middle. Stop indulging in gratuitous asininity. As to how many memes are in Beethoven's 5th symphony, we would have to check individual minds for that. The count would be different for different individuals, because they would have cognitively absorbed the symphony to different degrees. The fact that some people own more shoes than other doesn't mean that shoes don't exist.

Hhar1: LOL! Yeah, you couldn't say "More people recognise the first four notes of the symphony than the rest. maybe its because some things are more memorable than others!" No, it had to be dressed up in meme talk, all about eclipsing and stuff, because you STILL haven't addressed the central problem: a meme is putatively a unit, but given that its an entirely subjective unit, how can you say it is a unit at all? You are trying to reduce experience to neurobiology, and the one is fundamentally not the other.

LOL! But keep going, true beleiver!

Sal2: Actually, as long as we remember things, there must be traces of those memories in our brains. If you choose to deny this, please inform me whether you favor the heart, the stomach, the liver, or the akashic record via the pineal gland as a storehouse for human memories. And people subjectively possess different memes precisely because they have subjectively had differing experiences. But they also possess many of the same memes - common vocabularies, for instance, that permit them to propagate other memes via intersubjective communication. Because they had similar experiences in learning these memetic symbol systems.

575 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:41:57pm

re: #573 grenma

Sigh.

There I go, crushing your dissent with facts again. Just can't seem to help it.

576 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:52:33pm

re: #572 Hhar

Yeah; who needs precise scientific terminology? Like them damn laws of motion Newton goes on about? Why anyone can see that apples fall; why try to say it in all these high-falutin' terms? Hilarious, I tell ya!

And what's this nonsense about the earth revolving around the sun? Anyone with half an eye can see the sun moving across the sky! And as for those pesky epicycles, if they were good enough for grampaw, they're good enough for me!

And that crazy-haired dude Einstein doesn't make enough sense to cram into the southbound end of a northbound mule! Who can read alla that mathematical gobbeldygook, anyway? No me, for shure! I don't think it really means a damn thing!

And as for Darwin and Mendel and Watson and Crick, why you have to have special machines just to LOOK at those genome thingies! They can't be alla that important if they're so small! It's alla these pointy-headed scientists and philosophers' I tell ya! No common sense at all!

No my preacher, well, he's one smart man; he tells me exactly what my folks told me when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, and of course they would know...and its all written down in the only book worth reading!

Excuse me while I make this guy squeal like a pig...

577 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 3:57:00pm

in other words, the argument from incredulity is a species of the argument from ignorance, and gratuitously tossing attempts at ridicule into the mix does not save it from logical fallaciousness.

578 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 4:07:02pm
Sal2: Okay; I empirically define the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony as a widespread meme. Not the first five, and not the first three. Prove me wrong. it will be hysterically funny when you try to deny it; practically everybody who reads the passage will have Da-Da-Da-Dummmmmm! echoing in their ears, but far fewer of them will have the entire symphony for an earworm.

Um, no, you have to demonstrate that you are RIGHT. Its your theory: you need to show the use. Show that calling this catchy phrase a "meme" has any utility. You have already said that a someone from Borneo might have a different impression of the symphony. I'll take you at your word. Then show that this "unit" is actually a "unit", and what is unitary about it. If one persons earworm of the first notes represents all the chords, and the person can even pick out the different instruments, and another only remembers 4 simple tones and the rhythm, what is the meme? I've had that played to me as 4 notes with the rhythm on a recorder and I didn't recognise it. So what's the unit?

Sal2: When you have no legitimate answer, you compulsively resort to attempts to ridicule. I explained to you the distinction between always memetic words and the frequently but not in all instances nonmemetic things to which they refer. This is a distinction that you cannot deny.

Its a distinction that is pointless if a meme is an entirely subjective entity. I keep saying "So what?" and you keep throwing perfectly silly jargon at me. We went over it: symbols are not the things they represent. Some things are symbols. I won't deny it because its bleeding obvious, and rephrasing it in sciency language is pointless. The fact that you are getting hot under the collar for me saying "So what?" is really interesting, true beleiver.

You cannot define a meme in brains generally, because different brains contain different memes. But you can empirically verify the presence or absence of a particular meme in an individual brain by means of a simple recognition test. And when the brain in question recognizes, say, the Golden Rule, but not Great Commission, or vice-versa, you can confidently say that for that brain, the one recognized is a meme, distinguishable from the Biblical memeset of which it is a part, and that, for that brain, the unrecognized one is not.


LOL! So all ideas that a person recognises as having learned are units? How do you know? Often people mix up and get ideas confused: they get the (say) Jewish and Christian forms of the Golden Rule mixed up, and get neither of them straight. Where's the unit? Ans: it isn't a unit if it doesn't turn out to be. Its only a unit when it fits the pattern.


Are you telling me that fire doesn't exist, or sand grains, or stars? I can point to individual examples, but I cannot point to 'fire' or 'sand grain' or 'star' in general.


Yeah, and that is just so like me asking "Where is the second Meme in Beethoven's symphony number 5.' and "If a meme is a subjective ezxperience, how do you know it is a unit, and what is it necessarily composed of?" I mean, this isn't deep metaphysics, its simple stuff.

This is because tokens exist, but types for them - words or phrases like 'star' or 'sand grain' or 'fire' - are purely memetic, and have no physical existence ourtside of cognitive patterns in minds and their coding in gestures, speech and texts.


Makes it hard to call them "units", doesn't it?

Likewise, one cannot point to 'memes' in general, but individual memes, such as the first four notes of beethoven's 5th Symphony or the tendency for some people to cover conversation gaps by compulsively saying 'you know', can indeed be pointed out.

I can empirically define the composition of a star. The first 4 notes of Beethoven's 5th symphony are a subjective experience: you CAN't empirically define that.

579 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 4:20:23pm
Sal2: Sure it does, when meaning is a main characteristic of a meme (which is why symbols are always memes, but the existents to which existents refer are not themselves always memes). Words are memes. We mem-orize them, and communicate by means of them. We also impart them to people who don't possess them.


Ummmm....in what way is a word necessarily a 'unit"? Words have meanings: these meanings apparently differ from person to person. To me, a book is an object with pages cover, binding etc. To you its a word with a huge amount of weird baggage that must be gotten rid of to talk about memeplexes or somesuch. In what way is the word "book" a unit?

Sal2: What Dawkins brought to these topics - politics, religion, art, technology, language, etc., was a way to see them as tokens of a single memetic type, with a single set of rules for their alteration and propagation. It's like you are saying animals change, plants change, thanks, Watson & Crick & Gregor Mendel, I didn't know that before.

LOL! That's simply false in fact. Watson and Crick defined the chemical substrate of heredity empirically. Gregor Mendel defined, empirically, (some of) the laws of heredity. dawkins said "Memes exist, and are useful, because it seems to me that they are. " Meanwhile, you can't even define the second meme in a memeplex putatively bristling with them. The darn thing is in there somewhere though, I'm sure.


Sal2: Actually, as long as we remember things, there must be traces of those memories in our brains. If you choose to deny this, please inform me whether you favor the heart, the stomach, the liver, or the akashic record via the pineal gland as a storehouse for human memories. And people subjectively possess different memes precisely because they have subjectively had differing experiences.


So are you really saying that subjective experience is reducible to neurobiology? Oh good. In that case, what are the objective units of measurement for beauty?

But they also possess many of the same memes - common vocabularies, for instance, that permit them to propagate other memes via intersubjective communication. Because they had similar experiences in learning these memetic symbol systems.

Ah, so when I say "book" you and I think the same thing. That's why its a unit. No, wait: we went through that.....

580 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 4:24:49pm

re: #578 Hhar

Sal1: Okay; I empirically define the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony as a widespread meme. Not the first five, and not the first three. Prove me wrong. it will be hysterically funny when you try to deny it; practically everybody who reads the passage will have Da-Da-Da-Dummmmmm! echoing in their ears, but far fewer of them will have the entire symphony for an earworm.

Hhar1: Um, no, you have to demonstrate that you are RIGHT. Its your theory: you need to show the use. Show that calling this catchy phrase a "meme" has any utility. You have already said that a someone from Borneo might have a different impression of the symphony. I'll take you at your word. Then show that this "unit" is actually a "unit", and what is unitary about it. If one persons earworm of the first notes represents all the chords, and the person can even pick out the different instruments, and another only remembers 4 simple tones and the rhythm, what is the meme? I've had that played to me as 4 notes with the rhythm on a recorder and I didn't recognise it. So what's the unit?

Sal2: If you didn't recognize it, it isn't a meme for you, but it is a meme for many others. As I said before, different minds contain different memes, just like different closets contain different cloths, without doubting the fact that clothes both exist and that separate articles of clothing can be distinguished in particular cases. And the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th constitute a meme in many minds. Memetics possesses utility for the same reason that other organizing principles possess utility; it allows us to see that spoken words and musical melodies and physical symbols including written text and flashed gang signs are all tokens of a single memetic type, and all obey the same rules of mutation and propagation.

Sal1: When you have no legitimate answer, you compulsively resort to attempts to ridicule. I explained to you the distinction between always memetic words and the frequently but not in all instances nonmemetic things to which they refer. This is a distinction that you cannot deny.

Hhar1: Its a distinction that is pointless if a meme is an entirely subjective entity. I keep saying "So what?" and you keep throwing perfectly silly jargon at me. We went over it: symbols are not the things they represent. Some things are symbols. I won't deny it because its bleeding obvious, and rephrasing it in sciency language is pointless. The fact that you are getting hot under the collar for me saying "So what?" is really interesting, true beleiver.

Sal2: Memes are not only subjective, but also intersubjective. They are carried between people by the sound waves that carry melodies and speech, and by the light waves that carry seen gestures and printed words. As to so what, organizing principles that show that things previously thought to be different are in fact species of the same thing and obey the same rules do indeed possess great utility, as far as understanding observed phenomena goes. And it ain't believing when there's empirical evidence. Every word you type that I read is an example of a communicated meme.

to be continued...

581 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 4:31:58pm

re: #576 Salamantis

Yeah; who needs precise scientific terminology? Like them damn laws of motion Newton goes on about? Why anyone can see that apples fall; why try to say it in all these high-falutin' terms? Hilarious, I tell ya!


Well, it does get pretty funny when some bloviating defender of the faith tries to tell you that book is a very baggage laden term, and that subjective experience is reducible to neurobiology, and then can't keep chloroplast and blastocyst straight. A mere typo, fer shure.

And what's this nonsense about the earth revolving around the sun? Anyone with half an eye can see the sun moving across the sky! And as for those pesky epicycles, if they were good enough for grampaw, they're good enough for me!


Yeah, that's what galileo did. He said "Gee, I think the earth revoves around the sun, so I'll make up a whole new terminology, because it just seems to me to be so! I don't have to demonstrate the validity. I'll just SAY so!

And that crazy-haired dude Einstein doesn't make enough sense to cram into the southbound end of a northbound mule! Who can read alla that mathematical gobbeldygook, anyway? No me, for shure! I don't think it really means a damn thing!


Its right about now that the comparison starts to get hallucinatory. Dawkins and Einstein? LOL!

And as for Darwin and Mendel and Watson and Crick, why you have to have special machines just to LOOK at those genome thingies! They can't be alla that important if they're so small! It's alla these pointy-headed scientists and philosophers' I tell ya! No common sense at all!


Yeah, because memetics has these decades of patient experimentation behind it to demonstrate its definitions and validity. LOL! "Memes are a good idea, because I think they are!"

No my preacher, well, he's one smart man; he tells me exactly what my folks told me when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, and of course they would know...and its all written down in the only book worth reading!
Excuse me while I make this guy squeal like a pig...

Hey, you are the one who can't keep a blastocyst and a chloroplast straight. You want uncritical, ignorant scripture spouting, you've been doing it. Dawkins and Einstein! LOL!

582 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 4:40:07pm

Behold: total evasion of the simple question. I'll repeat it: If one persons earworm of the first notes represents all the chords, and the person can even pick out the different instruments, and another only remembers 4 simple tones and the rhythm, what is the meme?

If you are saying that they are two different memes, then the opening 4notes of Beethoven's symphony IS NOT A MEME. It is at best, a bunch of memes. bang goes your primary example of what a meme is as a unit, thank you very much.

g'night.

583 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 4:41:35pm

re: #578 Hhar

Sal1: You cannot define a meme in brains generally, because different brains contain different memes. But you can empirically verify the presence or absence of a particular meme in an individual brain by means of a simple recognition test. And when the brain in question recognizes, say, the Golden Rule, but not Great Commission, or vice-versa, you can confidently say that for that brain, the one recognized is a meme, distinguishable from the Biblical memeset of which it is a part, and that, for that brain, the unrecognized one is not.

Hhar1: LOL! So all ideas that a person recognises as having learned are units? How do you know? Often people mix up and get ideas confused: they get the (say) Jewish and Christian forms of the Golden Rule mixed up, and get neither of them straight. Where's the unit? Ans: it isn't a unit if it doesn't turn out to be. Its only a unit when it fits the pattern.

Sal2: if they get them mixed up, they still possess a meme, but a mutated one. This is one way that memetic evolution occurs.

Sal1: Are you telling me that fire doesn't exist, or sand grains, or stars? I can point to individual examples, but I cannot point to 'fire' or 'sand grain' or 'star' in general.

hhar1: Yeah, and that is just so like me asking "Where is the second Meme in Beethoven's symphony number 5.' and "If a meme is a subjective ezxperience, how do you know it is a unit, and what is it necessarily composed of?" I mean, this isn't deep metaphysics, its simple stuff.

Sal2: You didn't answer my question, because you can't, without impugning your own position, since it is a good analogy. But the second meme in Beethoven's 5th, almost always found linked with the first, but less prevalent than it, because the first meme does appear in the ansece of the second, would be the SECOND four notes of the symphony. As to what an individual meme is composed of, it is composed of a cortical pattern that corresponnds to information or meaning, and it is a unit when it cannot be further subdivided and still maintain significatice characteristics. Kinda like you can't split up a hydrogen atom and have it still exhibit atomic characteristics.

Sal1: This is because tokens exist, but types for them - words or phrases like 'star' or 'sand grain' or 'fire' - are purely memetic, and have no physical existence ourtside of cognitive patterns in minds and their coding in gestures, speech and texts.

Hhar1: Makes it hard to call them "units", doesn't it?

Sal2: No it doesn't. Just as particular stars can be found in some spaces and not in others, so it is with memes and minds.

Sal1: Likewise, one cannot point to 'memes' in general, but individual memes, such as the first four notes of beethoven's 5th Symphony or the tendency for some people to cover conversation gaps by compulsively saying 'you know', can indeed be pointed out.

Hhar1: I can empirically define the composition of a star. The first 4 notes of Beethoven's 5th symphony are a subjective experience: you CAN't empirically define that.

Sal2: Actually, you can do no better. The tones corresponding to those notes can be objectively quantified as to frequency, sequence and length, while the composition of a star comes down to peoples' subjective readings of electrospectroheliographs. And while people can intersubjectively agree on those readings, they can also intersubjectively agree that a particular tonal sequence is an example of the first 4 notes of Beethoven's 5th, too. Unless they are ignorant of it, and then they could make mo more heads or tails of it than could a scientific illiterate trying to read an electrospectroheliograph.

584 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 4:58:17pm

re: #579 Hhar

Sal1: Sure it does, when meaning is a main characteristic of a meme (which is why symbols are always memes, but the existents to which existents refer are not themselves always memes). Words are memes. We mem-orize them, and communicate by means of them. We also impart them to people who don't possess them.

Hhar1: Ummmm....in what way is a word necessarily a 'unit"? Words have meanings: these meanings apparently differ from person to person. To me, a book is an object with pages cover, binding etc. To you its a word with a huge amount of weird baggage that must be gotten rid of to talk about memeplexes or somesuch. In what way is the word "book" a unit?

Sal2: Well, it might have something to do with those little spoken pauses or empty text spaces that separate it from other word units...and the fact that those others have different sounds or visual appearances, to which different meanings correspond...But you would of course lol at such a weird notion...

Sal1: What Dawkins brought to these topics - politics, religion, art, technology, language, etc., was a way to see them as tokens of a single memetic type, with a single set of rules for their alteration and propagation. It's like you are saying animals change, plants change, thanks, Watson & Crick & Gregor Mendel, I didn't know that before.

Hhar1: LOL! That's simply false in fact. Watson and Crick defined the chemical substrate of heredity empirically. Gregor Mendel defined, empirically, (some of) the laws of heredity. Dawkins said "Memes exist, and are useful, because it seems to me that they are. " Meanwhile, you can't even define the second meme in a memeplex putatively bristling with them. The darn thing is in there somewhere though, I'm sure.

Sal2: The second four notes, as I said above. But the fact is that there are words, both written and spoken, and there are melodies, and there are symbols, and there are mathematical quantities, and there are gestures, and the mutation and propagation of all these different entities obey the same rules. You're maintaining either that there is no similarity between them whatsoever, or that whatever similarity they may possess, it cannot be related to mutastion and propagation. But the very history of the categories in question belies such denials.

Sal1: Actually, as long as we remember things, there must be traces of those memories in our brains. If you choose to deny this, please inform me whether you favor the heart, the stomach, the liver, or the akashic record via the pineal gland as a storehouse for human memories. And people subjectively possess different memes precisely because they have subjectively had differing experiences.

Hhar1: So are you really saying that subjective experience is reducible to neurobiology? Oh good. In that case, what are the objective units of measurement for beauty?

Sal2: Gestalt symmetry is one; faces whose left and right sides are more similar are perceived as more beautiful, all other factors being equal.

Sal1: But they also possess many of the same memes - common vocabularies, for instance, that permit them to propagate other memes via intersubjective communication. Because they had similar experiences in learning these memetic symbol systems.

Hhar1: Ah, so when I say "book" you and I think the same thing. That's why its a unit. No, wait: we went through that.....

Sal2: One book, many words, many phrases. Single physical object, and still a memeplex fulla memes.

585 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 5:12:00pm

re: #581 Hhar

Hey, you are the one who can't keep a blastocyst and a chloroplast straight. You want uncritical, ignorant scripture spouting, you've been doing it. Dawkins and Einstein! LOL!

I'll give you another example of an error of mine; just for the hell of it. Some months ago, I accidentially included the four nucleotides in a list of amino acids. And when presented with the error, I immediately acknowledged it.

I have busted you on several conceptual errors you have committed, such as confusing science with the philosophy of science, and also demonstrated that things you described as impossible, such as distinguishing memes from non-memes, and distinguishing a meme from the memeplex of which it is a part, could be done (because i did them in this very thread). But will YOU ever admit to being busted? Hell no; your brittle, fragile ego could not take such an admission. You're not a big enough person to be able to endure it.

Btw: few people initially accepted Darwin or Einstein, either; give it a hundred years, and people will be wondering what the problem with memetics ever actually was. Except, perhaps, for incredulous Luddites such as yourself.

Memetics isn't a hard science, like physics and chemistry. It isn't even a soft sceince, like psychology, sociology or anthropology. What it is is a philosophical stance, and it can be anchored in a constellation of other philosophical stances in the following manner:

Phenomenology and Piaget's genetic epistemology are philosophical stances in relation to the realm of the being of consciousness, while semiotics and memetics are philosophical stances in relation to the realm of conscious meaning, or that which the being of consciousness contains. As phenomenology and genetic epistemology are complementary disciplines with relation to the being of consciousness, so semiotics and memetics complement each other in relation to consciously held meanings. Phenomenology and semiotics are synchronic, or statically structural (the focus-field-fringe structure of perception is one such phenomenological structure; the signifier-sign-signified structure of signification is a semiotic structure); genetic epistemology and memetics are diachronic, or dynamically functional, developmental and evolutionary. Since the objects of study for phenomenology and semiotics are static, universal and apodictically self-evident structures, their forms may be astatisticsally deduced with precision, whereas, since the objects of study for genetic epistemology and memetics are particular dynamic functions that differ depending upon circumstances such as age or content, they may only be statistically and inductively inductively approximated. Phenomenology does not address the question of how self-conscious awareness could have evolved, but accepts its developmentally matured structures as ground conditions to be derived and described; genetic epistemology, by studying the emergence of the structures of self-conscious awareness in the developing child, can offer insights into how such an awareness might have evolved during the evolution of the species. Likewise, semiotics does not address the question of how symbolic capacity could have evolved, accepting its fully matured structures as ground conditions to be extracted and diagrammatically delineated, while memetics, by studying the transmission of symbolicity from the caregiver to the child and its progressive internalization by that child, implicitly offers ontogeny/phylogeny type suggestions as to how a species possessing symbolic capacity could have evolved.

586 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 5:17:47pm

re: #582 Hhar

Behold: total evasion of the simple question. I'll repeat it: If one persons earworm of the first notes represents all the chords, and the person can even pick out the different instruments, and another only remembers 4 simple tones and the rhythm, what is the meme?

If you are saying that they are two different memes, then the opening 4notes of Beethoven's symphony IS NOT A MEME. It is at best, a bunch of memes. bang goes your primary example of what a meme is as a unit, thank you very much.

g'night.

What you have just furnished is an example of differential memetic mutation in the minds of different recipients; congratulations! It is precisely because of both intentional alterations and inadvertent misapprehensions that memes evolve.

If a night-blind person only sees a silver smear where another person with excellent night sight can point out patterns of light and darkness, does this mean either that the moon does not exist, or that there are multiple moons? The same goes with the tone deaf and the perfect pitch person hearing the same musical phrase.

587 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 6:15:17pm

re: #586 Salamantis

What you have just furnished is an example of differential memetic mutation in the minds of different recipients; congratulations! It is precisely because of both intentional alterations and inadvertent misapprehensions that memes evolve.

Or do not even exist as empirically defineable entities. You see, you assume they exist as real causally efficaceous units, without proof, just by assertion. But when I ask you to give an empirically defineable example, and you boldly choose one, and I show you that it isn't one unit, you say "see! That's what memes do!" You have just generated a completely untestable framework, more akin to religious dogma than science.

If a night-blind person only sees a silver smear where another person with excellent night sight can point out patterns of light and darkness, does this mean either that the moon does not exist, or that there are multiple moons? The same goes with the tone deaf and the perfect pitch person hearing the same musical phrase.

Stunning example of category error. The moon is not a subjective experience. Nor is a defined musical phrase, played on a given instrument with defined timing. These things are empirically defineable. A meme is, as you note, a subjective experience which is why, as a causal unitary entity (note those qualifications: you have stumbled on them before), simply doesn't exist. I agree: memetics isn't science. It is confused nonsense.

588 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 6:31:41pm
I'll give you another example of an error of mine; just for the hell of it. Some months ago, I accidentially included the four nucleotides in a list of amino acids. And when presented with the error, I immediately acknowledged it.

Um, so what?

I have busted you on several conceptual errors you have committed, such as confusing science with the philosophy of science, and also demonstrated that things you described as impossible, such as distinguishing memes from non-memes, and distinguishing a meme from the memeplex of which it is a part, could be done (because i did them in this very thread).

Well, no you haven't. If you think I've confused science with philosophy of science, show me where. If you think you have managed to distinguish a meme from a non meme, show me where. For instance, if you assert that an object can be a meme (and you have), how can you confidenty say that a giraffe's neck cannot be a meme? You can't: you can only say that in the context of a given situation, it doesn't function as one, which is not at all the same thing. Finally, you didn't actually manage to distinguish the first 4 notes of Beethoven's 5th as a meme from a memeplex, because by your own definiion, it isn't unitary, so how can you "distinguish" something you cannot empirically define?

Memetics isn't a hard science, like physics and chemistry. It isn't even a soft sceince, like psychology, sociology or anthropology. What it is is a philosophical stance, blah blah blah(snip)

That's what Behe says about ID. Me, I say both you and Behe are full of ideas that aren't science at all. Looks like religion, sounds like religion, acts like religion...Its religion.

589 [deleted]  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 6:41:01pm
590 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 6:59:10pm

re: #587 Hhar

re: #586 Salamantis

Sal1: What you have just furnished is an example of differential memetic mutation in the minds of different recipients; congratulations! It is precisely because of both intentional alterations and inadvertent misapprehensions that memes evolve.

Hhar1: Or do not even exist as empirically defineable entities. You see, you assume they exist as real causally efficaceous units, without proof, just by assertion. But when I ask you to give an empirically defineable example, and you boldly choose one, and I show you that it isn't one unit, you say "see! That's what memes do!" You have just generated a completely untestable framework, more akin to religious dogma than science.

Sal2: My calico cat once had a litter of kittens. I guess only her calico ones were really cats. I don't know how I'll break it to her.

Sal1: If a night-blind person only sees a silver smear where another person with excellent night sight can point out patterns of light and darkness, does this mean either that the moon does not exist, or that there are multiple moons? The same goes with the tone deaf and the perfect pitch person hearing the same musical phrase.

Hhar1: Stunning example of category error. The moon is not a subjective experience. Nor is a defined musical phrase, played on a given instrument with defined timing. These things are empirically defineable. A meme is, as you note, a subjective experience which is why, as a causal unitary entity (note those qualifications: you have stumbled on them before), simply doesn't exist. I agree: memetics isn't science. It is confused nonsense.

Sal2: HeeheeHeeHaaHaahooHoooo! What a side-splitter! "The moon is not a subjective experience", he said! Can you believe it? What a maroon! And I've never subjectively experienced a melody, either; right! What the fuck did I buy alla those CDs for, then? I shoulda known that I was deaf, and apparently also blind! In fact, I can't figure out how I'm typing this!

If no subject had ever experienced the moon, we wouldn't even have the word! Plus, I'm a subject, and I've seen the shiny glowy thing in the sky. You must reeeeally not be a night owl...and you must not be a music lover, either...how can you love something you have, by your own words, never ever subjectively experienced?

Or mayby you're the one who's full of nonsense and confused.

A word, whether written and seen or spoken and heard, would not be a subjective experience, by such definitions. It is apprehended by the visual or auditory senses. And just like the moon or a musical phrase is recognized because it jives with a pattern already present in the mind of the apperceiver, so it is with words. But the moon is a physical thing, and comprised of streams of particular photons in a configuration (and also, so far as it is a symbol, it is a meme), and a musical phrase is a series of physical changes in air pressure (and can also be a meme if the melody is recognized or specifically produced). A spoken word is also a sculpted series of physical changes in air pressure, and a written word is also reflected as a stream of patterned photons apprehended by the eye. The moon, the musical phrase, the word; they are all both intersubjective and subjective experiences. There is no such thing as an 'objective' experience; there are only subjective and intersubjective experiences. The difference isn't in the being of the phenomena, but in their meaning. You would know this if you knew a tinker's damn about the phenomenology of perception.

But you brandish your supposedly amused incredulity as if it were a sword, and as if it were both a laudable condition on your part, and an argument for your position, to either misunderstand such things or to not understand them at all.

Damn, you're funny! And you're the only one who doesn't see the humor

591 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:02:42pm

Btw, whe Jimi Hendrix sang Purple haze, some folks misheard him as singing "scuze me while I kiss this guy", instead of what he actually sang, which was "scuze me while I kiss the sky." Surprise! A new meme was created; that Jimi must be gay, or at least bisexual. In reality, he was an inveterate horndog. But memes don't have to be true to spread; they just have to find amenable cognitive enviroments. Just check out ID for a prime example.

592 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:03:26pm

re: #583 Salamantis

Sal2: You didn't answer my question, because you can't, without impugning your own position, since it is a good analogy.
But the second meme in Beethoven's 5th, almost always found linked with the first, but less prevalent than it, because the first meme does appear in the ansece of the second, would be the SECOND four notes of the symphony.

Most people who can remember the second four notes also remember the third phrase. How can you be sure that the second four notes is a unit, other than just by your say so?


As to what an individual meme is composed of, it is composed of a cortical pattern that corresponnds to information or meaning, and it is a unit when it cannot be further subdivided and still maintain significatice characteristics.

LOL! So the first three notes of Beethoven's 5th have no independant sgnificance? If a meme is composed of a cortical pattern, and my experience of the first 4 notes is strikingly different from (say) a native of Borneo, or a prfessional musician, then presumably our cortical patterns will also be different. So they aren't really the same meme, are they?


Kinda like you can't split up a hydrogen atom and have it still exhibit atomic characteristics.

If by "kinda" you mean "nothing", yes.

Sal1: Likewise, one cannot point to 'memes' in general, but individual memes, such as the first four notes of beethoven's 5th Symphony or the tendency for some people to cover conversation gaps by compulsively saying 'you know', can indeed be pointed out.

Yes, learned behaviors and culturally significant artifacts can be pointed out, but that des not mean they are causally efficaceous units.

Sal2: Actually, you can do no better. The tones corresponding to those notes can be objectively quantified as to frequency, sequence and length,
No: those aren't the subjective experience.


while the composition of a star comes down to peoples' subjective readings of electrospectroheliographs.


No, those are inferences made from subjective experiences. You have committed a classic category error again.


And while people can intersubjectively agree on those readings, they can also intersubjectively agree that a particular tonal sequence is an example of the first 4 notes of Beethoven's 5th, too.

Not always. I gave an example of that above.

Unless they are ignorant of it, and then they could make mo more heads or tails of it than could a scientific illiterate trying to read an electrospectroheliograph.

Now you are confused: the fact that people can recognise a pattern does not mean that the pattern represents a unitary causal entity. I can objectively define a star as a unit. You haven't done that with a meme, except by pure assertion.

593 [deleted]  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:08:48pm
594 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:18:14pm

OK, we are seriously in lala land. A meme is a subjective experience: a cortical pattern, you say. And now the moon is too.

Yes salamantis, brilliant, and as you say, just like the works of Mendel, Einstein and Darwin. LOL!

595 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:22:31pm

Creationists who want to post dramatic goodbye messages full of insults will be disappointed. Your goodbye messages are deleted and your accounts are blocked.

596 [deleted]  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:26:08pm
597 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:32:32pm

And another meltdown.

598 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:40:25pm

Well, no you haven't. If you think I've confused science with philosophy of science, show me where.

Here, where you confuse metaphysical with methodological materialism:
[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com...]
Excerpt:

You are out of your depth here, and you need to study this problem more deeply. If you think evolutionary biology is simply a matter of objective fact you are wrong about its history, and its present. You claim that "science" eschews metaphysical pronouncement, but this is a simple and horrible error. Modern science, like a religion, is founded on a metaphysical assumption (physicalism). What individual scientists DO with that is a different story, and SCIENTISTS in no way eschew metaphysical pronouncements.

Sal2: And I pointed it out (for the first of several times) here:

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com...]

excerpt:

You confuse and conflate methodological materialism with metaphysical materialism. Empirical sciences must assume the first in their empirical investigations, but this does not entail the assumption of the second. Science does not claim that the metaphysical does not exist, only that the empirical tools available to it are useless to investigate any extraphysical realms, so they remain outside the purview of the discipline...

But ReRTWT; apparently it hasn't yet worked its way beneath your brow ridges and registered in your forebrain yet.

Hhar1: If you think you have managed to distinguish a meme from a non meme, show me where. For instance, if you assert that an object can be a meme (and you have), how can you confidenty say that a giraffe's neck cannot be a meme? You can't: you can only say that in the context of a given situation, it doesn't function as one, which is not at all the same thing. Finally, you didn't actually manage to distinguish the first 4 notes of Beethoven's 5th as a meme from a memeplex, because by your own definiion, it isn't unitary, so how can you "distinguish" something you cannot empirically define?

I distinguished an actual giraffe neck (non-meme) from the spoken or written word phrase 'giraffe neck' (meme). The actual giraffe neck might possibly be a meme for someone, I suppose, like, say, some bizarrely kinky veldt dweller whom it for some reason reminds of a hard-on, but for the vast majority of human beings, it is not. Just like a lot of people would recognize the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, but damn few of those would recognize a musical phraze from the middle of the work. The meme of the first four notes is much more widespread than the symphony memeplex of which it is a component part.

By the type of absurdly stringent definition you are trying to apply, there can only be one human being on the planet, unless that human has an identical twin, because no one else's genetic data is precisely the same.

Sal1: Memetics isn't a hard science, like physics and chemistry. It isn't even a soft science, like psychology, sociology or anthropology. What it is is a philosophical stance...

That's what Behe says about ID. Me, I say both you and Behe are full of ideas that aren't science at all. Looks like religion, sounds like religion, acts like religion...Its religion.

Nope. There is such a discipline is philosophy, which is neither science nor religion. I should know; I have a BA degree in it and it was my major MA track (cum laude, outstanding student award, college of arts and sciences). And I also studied philosophy of science and comparative religion at the graduate level, too. Which is how I know you're full of shit, and exactly how full of shit you are, when you dare to endeavor to opine concerning philosophical matters and where the demarcation line between philosophy, science and religion lies.

599 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 7:45:42pm

re: #594 Hhar

OK, we are seriously in lala land. A meme is a subjective experience: a cortical pattern, you say. And now the moon is too.

Well, it would have to be if any moonlight chanced to hit your eyes and signals from it ever made their way to your brain. You would be a subject having an experience; hence, a subjective experience. Got it? Naah, you're not that bright.

Yes salamantis, brilliant, and as you say, just like the works of Mendel, Einstein and Darwin. LOL!

You obviosly don't know Edmund Husserl from Edgerrin James, since you just demonstrated your absolute and total ignorance of the entire philosophical discipline of phenomenology.

600 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:09:14pm

re: #592 Hhar

Sal1: You didn't answer my question, because you can't, without impugning your own position, since it is a good analogy.
But the second meme in Beethoven's 5th, almost always found linked with the first, but less prevalent than it, because the first meme does appear in the absece of the second, would be the SECOND four notes of the symphony.

Hhar1: Most people who can remember the second four notes also remember the third phrase. How can you be sure that the second four notes is a unit, other than just by your say so?

Sal2: How can you be sure that most of those who remember the first two prases remember the third? It is, after all comprised of 12 notes, and is linked, via musical theme, to the next 26 notes, so I most sincerely doubt it; besides which, by your own criteria, ALL of those who remembered the second phrase would have to also remember the third for them to be part of a single meme.

Sal1: As to what an individual meme is composed of, it is composed of a cortical pattern that corresponnds to information or meaning, and it is a unit when it cannot be further subdivided and still maintain significative characteristics.

Hhar1: LOL! So the first three notes of Beethoven's 5th have no independant sgnificance? If a meme is composed of a cortical pattern, and my experience of the first 4 notes is strikingly different from (say) a native of Borneo, or a prfessional musician, then presumably our cortical patterns will also be different. So they aren't really the same meme, are they?

Sal2: The first three notes are the same note repeated; this happens in a number of songs, not just the 5th. And the cortical patterns in gestalt context of the received four tones would be the same - same pitch, same length - but they would not constitute a meme for the Borneo native, unless there exists a native song employing them of which he was aware, or unless he decided to employ them to create such a song, in which case he would be creating a meme, not apprehending one. But for both you (if you recognized the sequence) and for the professional musician, the sequnce would have the selfsame memetic significance as the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th.

Sal1: Kinda like you can't split up a hydrogen atom and have it still exhibit atomic characteristics.

Hhar1: If by "kinda" you mean "nothing", yes.

Sal2: No, the analogy stands; just as the shattered components of a hydrogen atom would be unrecognizeable as the components of any particular atom, because they all have protons and electrons, the first three notes of Beethoven's 5th are unrecognizeable as components of a particular song, because many different songs begin that way.

Sal1: Likewise, one cannot point to 'memes' in general, but individual memes, such as the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony or the tendency for some people to cover conversation gaps by compulsively saying 'you know', can indeed be pointed out.

Hhar1: Yes, learned behaviors and culturally significant artifacts can be pointed out, but that des not mean they are causally efficaceous units.

But they are. Many people immediately notice the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th as exactly that, and ascribe vapid vacuous inanity to a serial repeater of 'you know' in conversation...

to be continued...

601 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:27:02pm

re: #592 Hhar

Sal1: Actually, you can do no better. The tones corresponding to those notes can be objectively quantified as to frequency, sequence and length,

Hhar1: No: those aren't the subjective experience.

Sal2: No, but they are what can be instrumentally registered about the same notes that one subjectively hears.

Sal1: while the composition of a star comes down to peoples' subjective readings of electrospectroheliographs.

Hhar1: No, those are inferences made from subjective experiences. You have committed a classic category error again.

Sal2: You parrot the phrase 'category error' without the slightest notion what it means. When people subjectively read electrospectroheliographs, they ARE making inferences from subjective experience.

Sal1: And while people can intersubjectively agree on those readings, they can also intersubjectively agree that a particular tonal sequence is an example of the first 4 notes of Beethoven's 5th, too.

Hhar1: Not always. I gave an example of that above.

sal2: Those people who know of Beethoven's 5th will agree upon the notes, just like those who know how to read an electrospectroheliograph will agree upon the readings.

Sal1: Unless they are ignorant of it, and then they could make mo more heads or tails of it than could a scientific illiterate trying to read an electrospectroheliograph.

Hhar1: Now you are confused: the fact that people can recognise a pattern does not mean that the pattern represents a unitary causal entity. I can objectively define a star as a unit. You haven't done that with a meme, except by pure assertion.

Sal2: As I said before, you don't know jack shit about phenomenology. There IS NO such thing as human objectivity; NO ONE has the hypothetical Gods' eye view. EVERYONE apprehends perspectivally and incompletely. A recogized pattern is indeed a unitary causal unity; it has caused itself to be recognized as a pattern by someone. And granted that its components issued from a single source, that souce must itself be unitary - however the world in itself may be, it cannot be so that its in-itself whole contradicts its for-us part. And whereas one person would say that the star is that little shiny thing burning billions of lightyears away, another would claim that it includes all the light that has shined from that star. So I guess by your definition, since not everyone agrees on the definition, either stars don't exist, or there are two separate stars, rather than two different representations of what one memetically means when they say the word 'star.'

602 Randall Gross  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:32:10pm

I knew Hhar was in the creationist/DI camp when he slung the word "scientistic". It's in their catechism, and the reconstructionist's as well.

603 Achilles Tang  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:38:32pm

re: #602 Thanos

I knew Hhar was in the creationist/DI camp when he slung the word "scientistic". It's in their catechism, and the reconstructionist's as well.

You read all this and recognized that in the forest?

604 jaunte  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:39:52pm

re: #602 Thanos

Scientistic and a quote that's razeed, are the Indefatigable words of the night.

605 Randall Gross  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:49:52pm

re: #603 Naso Tang

Didn't read it all - mostly skimmed since the TP from DI is repetitive and circular, you can skip bits when you see where they are going.

606 Randall Gross  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 8:53:12pm

Fr. Wiki fwiw:

Scientistic materialism is a philosophical stance which posits a limited definition of consciousness to that which is observable and subject to the scientific method. The term is used as a pejorative by proponents of creationism or intelligent design.

The "Wedge Document" produced by the Discovery Institute, a creationist organization, described "materialism" as denial of "the proposition that human beings are created in the image of God," and the assertion that humans are instead "animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment." The document went on to argue that materialism leads inevitably to "moral relativism" and denounce its "stifling dominance" in modern culture. By this definition, scientific materialism is linked to the more general version of materialism which declares that the physical world is the only thing that exists; ie. that gods and other supernatural forces do not exist.

607 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 9:13:32pm

Salamantis: You confuse and conflate methodological materialism with metaphysical materialism. Empirical sciences must assume the first in their empirical investigations, but this does not entail the assumption of the second. Science does not claim that the metaphysical does not exist, only that the empirical tools available to it are useless to investigate any extraphysical realms, so they remain outside the purview of the discipline...

Errr...I didn't actually confuse the two. I pointed out that science is a social endeavor, and that social endeavors have subcultures. I did no say that science rejected metaphysical assumptions, I did say that it was methodologically founded on one. (snip nonsense).(snip more nonsense)

distinguished an actual giraffe neck (non-meme) from the spoken or written word phrase 'giraffe neck' (meme). The actual giraffe neck might possibly be a meme for someone, (snip blather)
Right. So you can't dstinguish a meme from a non meme. That's what I said.

(snip strawman)Nope. There is such a discipline is philosophy, which is neither science nor religion.

I agree. But to some people, its a religion. You sound like a religionist, replete with sacred cow and hero worship.

I should know; I have a BA degree in it and it was my major MA track (cum laude, outstanding student award, college of arts and sciences). And I also studied philosophy of science and comparative religion at the graduate level, too. Which is how I know you're full of shit, and exactly how full of shit you are, when you dare to endeavor to opine concerning philosophical matters and where the demarcation line between philosophy, science and religion lies.

LOL! I knew you had to have advanced degrees in something. If you studied graduate philosophy of science, at a Universty, you should ask for your money back.

608 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 9:17:14pm

re: #607 Hhar

I haven't followed much of this debate, but may I ask you a question of my own?

609 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 9:24:46pm

re: #600 Salamantis

Hhar:A meme is a subjective experience: a cortical pattern, you say. And now the moon is too.

Salamantis:Well, it would have to be if any moonlight chanced to hit your eyes and signals from it ever made their way to your brain. You would be a subject having an experience; hence, a subjective experience. Got it? Naah, you're not that bright.

Ummmm...my subjective experience isn't the moon. My subjective experience of the moon is my subjective experience of the moon. The difference between the moon and the meme is that the former is something that is not a subjective experience, while the latter (you have said) is wholly a subjective experience.

If you really think that your subjective experience IS the moon, well, OK. I think that speaks for itself. Like I say: La-la land. Thanks for playing, but you are a brilliant example of why anyone with common sense distrusts naive scientism.

Naso Tang, no, I think ID is crap, and I think creationism is a religious dctrine devoid of scientific support. I also think brain dead scientism is silly on its face, and so is knee-jerk anticreationism.

610 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 9:36:19pm

re: #607 Hhar

Sal 1: You confuse and conflate methodological materialism with metaphysical materialism. Empirical sciences must assume the first in their empirical investigations, but this does not entail the assumption of the second. Science does not claim that the metaphysical does not exist, only that the empirical tools available to it are useless to investigate any extraphysical realms, so they remain outside the purview of the discipline...

Hhar1: Errr...I didn't actually confuse the two. I pointed out that science is a social endeavor, and that social endeavors have subcultures. I did no say that science rejected metaphysical assumptions, I did say that it was methodologically founded on one. (snip nonsense).(snip more nonsense)

Sal2: But science isn't founded on metaphysical naturalism, it is founded on methodological naturalism, which is vastly different. This is one of your errors. Methodological naturalism means that, methodologically, empirical science cannot consider the supernatural, because it is beyond the capacity of empirical science or of its investigorory tools, which are all physical, to do so. No techology has yet been found that can register the presence or the absence of the supernatural. And your definition of nonsense seems to be sense that is beyond your ability to comprehend.

Sal1: distinguished an actual giraffe neck (non-meme) from the spoken or written word phrase 'giraffe neck' (meme). The actual giraffe neck might possibly be a meme for someone, (snip blather)

Hhar1: Right. So you can't distinguish a meme from a non meme. That's what I said.

Sal2: Sure I can, in any particular case, in context. But in general? No more than you can distinguish a melody in general from a nonmelody in general.

Sal1: (snip strawman)Nope. There is such a discipline is philosophy, which is neither science nor religion.

I agree. But to some people, its a religion. You sound like a religionist, replete with sacred cow and hero worship.

Once again, nope. You really misunderstand philosophy if you conceive of it as monochromatic or beyond questioning and revision by means of logical tools and reference to obtaining states and processes of affairs. That is a strength that philosophy shares with empirical science - a strength that is sorely lacking in religious dogma.

Sal1: I should know; I have a BA degree in it and it was my major MA track (cum laude, outstanding student award, college of arts and sciences). And I also studied philosophy of science and comparative religion at the graduate level, too. Which is how I know you're full of shit, and exactly how full of shit you are, when you dare to endeavor to opine concerning philosophical matters and where the demarcation line between philosophy, science and religion lies.

Hhar1: LOL! I knew you had to have advanced degrees in something. If you studied graduate philosophy of science, at a Universty, you should ask for your money back.

Sal2: How would you know? You lack the prerequisite education and intelligence to render a worth-a-shit judgment one way or another.

Read Karl Popper and get back to me when you understand the verification principle and the principle of falsifiability. And remember that Kuhn has some good things to say, but, as a postmodernist, he has to be taken with a hodload of salt.

611 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 9:55:50pm

re: #609 Hhar

Hhar1 :A meme is a subjective experience: a cortical pattern, you say. And now the moon is too.

Sal1: Well, it would have to be if any moonlight chanced to hit your eyes and signals from it ever made their way to your brain. You would be a subject having an experience; hence, a subjective experience. Got it? Naah, you're not that bright.

Hahr1: Ummmm...my subjective experience isn't the moon. My subjective experience of the moon is my subjective experience of the moon. The difference between the moon and the meme is that the former is something that is not a subjective experience, while the latter (you have said) is wholly a subjective experience.

No, I have said that the meme is a subjective meaning that is either triggered (if it's already in the mind) or learned (if it isn't) in response to a subjective experience. That subjective experience is, of course, an experience of some stimulus that entered through the senses. And that ALL experiences are of phenomenological necessity subjective. The moonlight enters your eyes just like the Beethoven's 5th notes enter your ears, or the spoken words enter your ears, or the light bouncing from the words on the page carry their configuration to your eyes. And for some people, the moon has meaning and significance. But you cannot claim that the light bouncing off the moon to your eyes has nothing to do with the moon; it partakes of the moon, and were the moon not there, its reflected light would not reach your eyes.

Hhar1: If you really think that your subjective experience IS the moon, well, OK. I think that speaks for itself. Like I say: La-la land. Thanks for playing, but you are a brilliant example of why anyone with common sense distrusts naive scientism.

Sal2: The pseudophilosophy you seem to be spouting is called naive realism, and it is called that for good and solid reasons. My subjective experience of the moon is the moon-for-me, and that part cannot contradict the whole moon-in-itself of which it is a part. For instance, the moon being round, there had better be a damned good explanation if I perceive the moonlight to form a triangle or a square.

Naso Tang, no, I think ID is crap, and I think creationism is a religious dctrine devoid of scientific support. I also think brain dead scientism is silly on its face, and so is knee-jerk anticreationism.

What is silly is to see you invoke creationist terms like scientism, when there is no such -ism. You fail to grasp the difference between methods and doctrines. Science has methods by means of which it ascertains the veracity of empirical evidence, but it contains no content-specific doctrines, just general methodological principles, and its theories are provisional, and may be modified in response to subsequent empirical evidence, rather than being frozen like dogmatic flies in ancient amber. And one does not have to jerk knees to know that creationism is crapola; one merely needs to peruse the empirical evidence for evolutionary theory. Once one does that, to describe creationism as a religious doctrine devoid of scientific support, as you just did, is simply being accurate and honest in description (a rarity for you).

612 Hhar  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:21:18pm

But science isn't founded on metaphysical naturalism, it is founded on methodological naturalism, which is vastly different. This is one of your errors. Methodological naturalism means that, methodologically, empirical science cannot consider the supernatural, because it is beyond the capacity of empirical science or of its investigorory tools, which are all physical, to do so. No techology has yet been found that can register the presence or the absence of the supernatural. And your definition of nonsense seems to be sense that is beyond your ability to comprehend.

Tsk. So science can't address the reality of ghosts, werewolves and vampires. Of course it can, and it did two and a half centuries ago. Methodological naturalism is a sleight of hand: it says "pretend naturalism represents reality: what would happen." That's what I mean when I say it is methodologically founded on a metaphysical assumption. To say that science cannot assess the supernatural is silly: are you actually worried about magical monsters under your bed? fairies at the bottom of the garden? Of course not.

Sal2: Sure I can, in any particular case, in context. But in general? No more than you can distinguish a melody in general from a nonmelody in general.

Depends on how you define melody, doesn't it? Just like you can in general distinguish star from non-star. But you cannot, in general distinguish meme from non-meme, like I said. Thanks! (snip ego gratification)

No, I have said that the meme is a subjective meaning that is either triggered (if it's already in the mind) or learned (if it isn't) in response to a subjective experience. That subjective experience is, of course, an experience of some stimulus that entered through the senses. And that ALL experiences are of phenomenological necessity subjective. The moonlight enters your eyes just like the Beethoven's 5th notes enter your ears, or the spoken words enter your ears, or the light bouncing from the words on the page carry their configuration to your eyes. And for some people, the moon has meaning and significance. But you cannot claim that the light bouncing off the moon to your eyes has nothing to do with the moon; it partakes of the moon, and were the moon not there, its reflected light would not reach your eyes.

Umm, yeah, but the moon isn't a subjective experience. If the moon itself is not a subjective experience, that means that whatever my experience is of it, it doesn't necessarily change because of my experience. If a meme is a subjective experience, two people will not have the same meme if they have different subjective experiences. Here you are claiming that when I say I have a different subjective experience than someone else, and that is evidence of memes not being causally significant units, and you go blathering about the moon being different if my glasses are blurred. Jumpin'. Its incredible. What precisely were you honored for? No, don't answer....(snip irrelevancy)

What is silly is to see you invoke creationist terms like scientism, when there is no such -ism.

You sure hit the ground hard with that one. You are egregiously in error:
[Link: carbon.cudenver.edu...]
You canalso find it in the dictionary. I mean, heaven forfend.....
I would seriously ask for your money back, Mr BA (cum laude).

You fail to grasp the difference between methods and doctrines.
No I grasp it all right, I just hold that the distinction is often more theoretical than real, and an insistence on the relevance of the distinction is often misplaced. I have this crazy idea that scientists are human, and that personal philosophy interacts with professionalism. I wouldn't say that all scientists are physicalists, but I think anyone would be a fool to say that the practice and education of science do not discourage non-physicalist views. Nor does your magnificent display of your BA (with honors! cum laude!) awe me into accepting a contrary opinion.

(snip rambling)

613 Salamantis  Wed, Feb 4, 2009 11:52:43pm

re: #612 Hhar

Sal1: But science isn't founded on metaphysical naturalism, it is founded on methodological naturalism, which is vastly different. This is one of your errors. Methodological naturalism means that, methodologically, empirical science cannot consider the supernatural, because it is beyond the capacity of empirical science or of its investigorory tools, which are all physical, to do so. No techology has yet been found that can register the presence or the absence of the supernatural. And your definition of nonsense seems to be sense that is beyond your ability to comprehend.

Hhar1: Tsk. So science can't address the reality of ghosts, werewolves and vampires. Of course it can, and it did two and a half centuries ago. Methodological naturalism is a sleight of hand: it says "pretend naturalism represents reality: what would happen." That's what I mean when I say it is methodologically founded on a metaphysical assumption. To say that science cannot assess the supernatural is silly: are you actually worried about magical monsters under your bed? fairies at the bottom of the garden? Of course not.

Sal2: What methodological naturalism does is to say that only natural explanations, that can be empirically verified, are scientifically acceptable. Ghosts may not be naturally existent or causally efficient entities (which is why belief in them lingers), but werewolves and vampires had to actually run the woods and soar the skies and victimize actual empirical victims. Belief in them died the natural death of lack of empirical evidence where it would be possible to obtain it.

Sal1: Sure I can, in any particular case, in context. But in general? No more than you can distinguish a melody in general from a nonmelody in general.

Hhar1: Depends on how you define melody, doesn't it? Just like you can in general distinguish star from non-star. But you cannot, in general distinguish meme from non-meme, like I said. Thanks! (snip ego gratification)

Melodies, being a species of meme, are in the mind of the perceiver. Is that particular tonal sequence a melody, or is it not? But the definition of a star is, too. Are black holes, which began as stars, still stars, or are they not? It depends upon which astronomer you consult. Just like how many planets circle the sun is a definitional matter of what does and does not count as a planet. So apparently, what a star in general is isn't so clear.

to be continued...

614 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 12:24:00am

What methodological naturalism does is to say that only natural explanations, that can be empirically verified, are scientifically acceptable.

Right. Like I said: pretend that its true.

Ghosts may not be naturally existent or causally efficient entities (which is why belief in them lingers), but werewolves and vampires had to actually run the woods and soar the skies and victimize actual empirical victims. Belief in them died the natural death of lack of empirical evidence where it would be possible to obtain it.

I disagree; witchcraft and ghostly apparitions were widely thought to be supernatural in origin. The Royal Society of England had a few members who tried, using basc scientific ideas, to assess their reality. They found that a) there was little postive evidence and b) that what evidence there was could beexplained by other means. So the existence of these two entities were scientifically discredited. Science has the abundant tools of common sense, logic, alternate hypothesis creation, testing, and observation to investigate the supernatural, and did so, and could do so in the future. For the life of me, I cannot see why people insist that science cannot investigate or deal with the supernatural. It has, and it can. These are historical and simple common sense facts.

Melodies, being a species of meme, are in the mind of the perceiver. Is that particular tonal sequence a melody, or is it not?

Tsk. You are picking your mode of definition arbitrarily. If you insist that the defining qualities of melody are purely subjective, then yes, the melody and its definition are mental states. But if you insist that the defining qualities of a star are purely subjective, well, that is simply not true. The definition is in the mind, but neither the qualities nor the star is: they are empirical things that seem to e quite independant of your existence.

But the definition of a star is, too. Are black holes, which began as stars, still stars, or are they not? It depends upon which astronomer you consult. Just like how many planets circle the sun is a definitional matter of what does and does not count as a planet. So apparently, what a star in general is isn't so clear.

Rght. But that does not mean the qualities qua qualities are subjective: it means your choice is subjective, but even so, once you have made the subjective choice, the definition (if properly made) can serve for objective measurement. So you CAN say what a star is, in general, and such a definition can be both useful and objectively applied. You CAN'T say what a meme is not, in general, with any assurance that your definition will be useful or objectively applicable. Moreover, even if we agree that establishment of definitions in science are entirely subjective, still they are often explicity oriented to solve problems that are definitely objective: if I drop this bomb, how many will die? If I build so many cottages, will this lake turn into a pool of muck? So we try and minimise the subjectivity and maximise the utility of any given definition. This isdifficult when the entity itself under discussion is both subjective in nature and of dubious use as an independant causal agent.

Let's go back to the giraffe's neck. I have an interest in this organ because to me it has personal significance (my personal acceptance of an argument from authority) and medical signifcance: are cervical ribs a marker for pediatric malignancy? It turns out that a giraffe's neck is important in answering this question. I have used it as a teaching example. In fact, a particular giraffe's neck itself is now a "meme" by your definition. So no: you really cannot know if a giraffe's neck is a meme or not, and given the bewildering variety of human experience, you similarly cannot even usefully generally orient your definition to solve a problem. The fact is that your idea of a meme (the first four notes of Beethoven's fifth) isn't a unit, and your idea of not a meme (a giraffe's actual neck) is in fact a meme.

615 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 12:31:32am

re: #612 Hhar

Sal1: No, I have said that the meme is a subjective meaning that is either triggered (if it's already in the mind) or learned (if it isn't) in response to a subjective experience. That subjective experience is, of course, an experience of some stimulus that entered through the senses. And that ALL experiences are of phenomenological necessity subjective. The moonlight enters your eyes just like the Beethoven's 5th notes enter your ears, or the spoken words enter your ears, or the light bouncing from the words on the page carry their configuration to your eyes. And for some people, the moon has meaning and significance. But you cannot claim that the light bouncing off the moon to your eyes has nothing to do with the moon; it partakes of the moon, and were the moon not there, its reflected light would not reach your eyes.

Hhar1: Umm, yeah, but the moon isn't a subjective experience. If the moon itself is not a subjective experience, that means that whatever my experience is of it, it doesn't necessarily change because of my experience. If a meme is a subjective experience, two people will not have the same meme if they have different subjective experiences. Here you are claiming that when I say I have a different subjective experience than someone else, and that is evidence of memes not being causally significant units, and you go blathering about the moon being different if my glasses are blurred. Jumpin'. Its incredible. What precisely were you honored for? No, don't answer....(snip irrelevancy)

Sal2: You are becoming progressively incoherent, but I will endeavor to reply to what I think you might have meant. Two people may subjectively perceive intersubjectively existent things in the selfsame way, but they will not experience them the same (experience involved perception plus conception). The sight of an actual Christian cross, or an actual Jewish star, or an actual Islamic crescent and star, will provoke reverence in some people, fear in others, hatred in still others, and disdain in yet others, and all because of the different memetic baggage, learned and internalized earlier in their lives, that they will attach to the sight. Because of their prior experiences, the meanings they ascribe to these perceptions varies.

Sal1: What is silly is to see you invoke creationist terms like scientism, when there is no such -ism.

Hhar1: You sure hit the ground hard with that one. You are egregiously in error:
[Link: carbon.cudenver.edu...]
You can also find it in the dictionary. I mean, heaven forfend.....
I would seriously ask for your money back, Mr BA (cum laude).

Sal2: Scientism is a pejorative applied by creationists and other anti-science denizens, such as postmodernists, to disparage empirical inquiry. In the context of evolutionary theory it is gratuitously, egregiously, and fallaciously misapplied. Of the sources cited in the link, Arendt and Hayek were responding to the abuses of Nazism, which was not itself scientistic, but atavistic, Susan Haack is a feminist ideologue who draws inspiration from Mary Daly and trashes what she perceives as phallocentric academia generally , and Jurgen Habermas is a post-modernist marxist social theorist. Of all of them, only Haack spent any significant time studying the discipline, and in the service of ulterior motives.

Ian Hacking and Daniel Dennett are two of the foremost philosophers of science in the last few decades, and I would include in that number Don Ihde's work in the philosophy of technology.

to be continued...

616 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 12:40:58am

re: #612 Hhar

Sal1 : You fail to grasp the difference between methods and doctrines.

Hhar1: No I grasp it all right, I just hold that the distinction is often more theoretical than real, and an insistence on the relevance of the distinction is often misplaced. I have this crazy idea that scientists are human, and that personal philosophy interacts with professionalism. I wouldn't say that all scientists are physicalists, but I think anyone would be a fool to say that the practice and education of science do not discourage non-physicalist views. Nor does your magnificent display of your BA (with honors! cum laude!) awe me into accepting a contrary opinion.

(snip rambling)

Sal2: and I have this crazy idea that there's such a thing as peer review, and scientists checking each other's work by perusing its methodology and repeating its experiments, knowing that if they can bust someone else, they get to advance toward the head of the piranha pool. But don't let the notion real-world competition interfere with your idea of a great, grand and glorious anti-metaphysical conspiracy, although I will admit that if someone inserted God Did This Part into a certain section of their empirical demonstration, both their methodology and their results would most certainly be rigorously, and justifiably, checked.

And if I snipped all of your rambling, I would have little to which to reply. Rather, I suspect that you snip the parts to which you have the greatest problems replying, and I will make it a point to check this idea out.

617 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 12:53:24am

Two people may subjectively perceive intersubjectively existent things in the selfsame way, but they will not experience them the same (experience involved perception plus conception). The sight of an actual Christian cross, or an actual Jewish star, or an actual Islamic crescent and star, will provoke reverence in some people, fear in others, hatred in still others, and disdain in yet others, and all because of the different memetic baggage, learned and internalized earlier in their lives, that they will attach to the sight. Because of their prior experiences, the meanings they ascribe to these perceptions varies.

Uh, no, what I'm saying is that "perception of the moon" is different from "pereception of a purely subjective process" because the one is actually an objective entity, and the other is not. The objective reality of entities is important to scientists in general, because while it does not guarantee the utility of any particular measurement or definition, it does imply that multiple different means of measurement and definition, if externally and internally consistent, should all approach scientific truth. The utility of such an approach to establishing scientific truth has not been established for purely subjective states.

The rest of your post is crude ad hominem and argument from authority. Scientism is in fact a word, quite apart from creationists, so you were quite wrong. I thought you siad you acknowleged mstakes? Well, here I am rubbing your nose in a howler. The credulous acceptance of Memetics as valuable and insightful (and apparently on par with the contributions of Einstein and Darwin) is to me as good an example of the over privileging of science as it can get.

618 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:01:41am

Sal2: and I have this crazy idea that there's such a thing as peer review, and scientists checking each other's work by perusing its methodology and repeating its experiments, knowing that if they can bust someone else, they get to advance toward the head of the piranha pool.

Sure, but if all the piranahs have a similar view, then that process isn't always so efficient. That's it. In the long run, it seems to work. In the short run, I can show you dozens of examples where it does nit. Anf in the intermediate run, it varies from field to field. I have over 50 papers to my name: I know how it works. I'm not shouting "Conspiracy!", I'm just saying culture can't be a priori discarded, and that on occasion it is important. This is simple empirical FACT.

This is a great example of hallucinatory rambling:
But don't let the notion real-world competition interfere with your idea of a great, grand and glorious anti-metaphysical conspiracy, although I will admit that if someone inserted God Did This Part into a certain section of their empirical demonstration, both their methodology and their results would most certainly be rigorously, and justifiably, checked.
That's just wrong: it would be out of hand rejected as the ramblings of a nut. See, even when you are trying to e all clever and skeptical you get t wrg. I KNOW it woud be rejected out of habnd, because I'm one of the people who would reject it. You think we'd all waste our time rigorously checking, 'cause you don't know what the hell you are talking about.

619 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:03:38am

re: #614 Hhar

Sal1: What methodological naturalism does is to say that only natural explanations, that can be empirically verified, are scientifically acceptable.

Hhar1: Right. Like I said: pretend that its true.

Sal2: No supernatural explanation for anything has yet been found to be verifiably true. By anyone. Please furnish an empirically verified counterexample, or admit that all you have is snark totally bereft of substance on this point.

Sal1: Ghosts may not be naturally existent or causally efficient entities (which is why belief in them lingers), but werewolves and vampires had to actually run the woods and soar the skies and victimize actual empirical victims. Belief in them died the natural death of lack of empirical evidence where it would be possible to obtain it.

Hhar1 : I disagree; witchcraft and ghostly apparitions were widely thought to be supernatural in origin. The Royal Society of England had a few members who tried, using basc scientific ideas, to assess their reality. They found that a) there was little postive evidence and b) that what evidence there was could be explained by other means. So the existence of these two entities were scientifically discredited. Science has the abundant tools of common sense, logic, alternate hypothesis creation, testing, and observation to investigate the supernatural, and did so, and could do so in the future. For the life of me, I cannot see why people insist that science cannot investigate or deal with the supernatural. It has, and it can. These are historical and simple common sense facts.

Sal2: You cannot deny that belief in purely supernatural entities such as ghosts persists in some civilized quarters, whereas nobody much in the civilized world believes in empirical-footprint entities such as werewolves or vampires any more. But indeed, belief in ghosts has died in many such quarters, due to a dearth of empirical evidence. Witches, on the other hand, are real, but they don't do supernatural things; they do quite natural things, and in fact, they reverence the immanent divinity of nature (Wiccans are pantheists at heart, the God and Goddess are only mediating lenses by means of which the otherwise ineffable Divine may be apprehended in human terms).

Sal1: Melodies, being a species of meme, are in the mind of the perceiver. Is that particular tonal sequence a melody, or is it not?

Hhar1: Tsk. You are picking your mode of definition arbitrarily. If you insist that the defining qualities of melody are purely subjective, then yes, the melody and its definition are mental states. But if you insist that the defining qualities of a star are purely subjective, well, that is simply not true. The definition is in the mind, but neither the qualities nor the star is: they are empirical things that seem to be quite independant of your existence.

Sal2: Neither is whalesong dependent upon human existence, and some perceive melodies in it, while others do not. And black holes - are they stars or not? It depends upon who you ask. But the melodies in question can be heard; they are produced by actual instruments, they flow through real atmosphere, they impact upon authentic eardrums. So the pattern that moves from instrument through air to ear can only be described as nothing more than a mere mental state by the certifiably solipsistic.

to be continued...

620 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:20:20am

Sal2: No supernatural explanation for anything has yet been found to be verifiably true. By anyone. Please furnish an empirically verified counterexample, or admit that all you have is snark totally bereft of substance on this point.

I didn't imply anything to the contrary. All I said was that MN says "pretend that N is true." ON says "assume that N is true". There is a difference, but psychologically, it isn't always that big.

Sal2: You cannot deny that belief in purely supernatural entities such as ghosts persists in some civilized quarters, whereas nobody much in the civilized world believes in empirical-footprint entities such as werewolves or vampires any more. But indeed, belief in ghosts has died in many such quarters, due to a dearth of empirical evidence. Witches, on the other hand, are real, but they don't do supernatural things; they do quite natural things, and in fact, they reverence the immanent divinity of nature (Wiccans are pantheists at heart, the God and Goddess are only mediating lenses by means of which the otherwise ineffable Divine may be apprehended in human terms).
I said "witchCRAFT" (ie the emprical efficacy of spells and suchlike) not WITCHES. Witches certainly exist. In any event, allofthis is empirically investigable and investigated. Some of it is thought to be supernatural. Handwaving aside, the supernatural is eminently investigable by science. You were wrong, next topic please.

Neither is whalesong dependent upon human existence, and some perceive melodies in it, while others do not. And black holes - are they stars or not? It depends upon who you ask. But the melodies in question can be heard; they are produced by actual instruments, they flow through real atmosphere, they impact upon authentic eardrums. So the pattern that moves from instrument through air to ear can only be described as nothing more than a mere mental state by the certifiably solipsistic.

Hey, I agree. But you were yhe one who said that a. memes are causal, unitary entities and b. that they are subjective states. If a melody is in general defineable (you said it wasn't), then it isn't simply a subjective state. If a star isn't in general defineable, then you aren't talking to a scientist. Pick your poison, bucko. The options for you don't look good.

You know, Tullibardine is a damn fine highland malt.

621 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:31:12am

re: #614 Hhar

Sal1: But the definition of a star is, too. Are black holes, which began as stars, still stars, or are they not? It depends upon which astronomer you consult. Just like how many planets circle the sun is a definitional matter of what does and does not count as a planet. So apparently, what a star in general is isn't so clear.

Hhar1: Rght. But that does not mean the qualities qua qualities are subjective: it means your choice is subjective, but even so, once you have made the subjective choice, the definition (if properly made) can serve for objective measurement. So you CAN say what a star is, in general, and such a definition can be both useful and objectively applied. You CAN'T say what a meme is not, in general, with any assurance that your definition will be useful or objectively applicable.

Actually, in either case, if you say what a meme or a star is or is not, you will find people who disagree with you. And you can apply your criteria, and they can apply theirs. But I have already given my definition of a meme before: a meaning that mutates within minds and propagates between them. Your general plan here is to confuse and conflate the realm of being with the realm of meaning. By your own criteria, you would have to testify in court to the unrteality of ideas, because you could not fix them in any intersubjectively observable firmament as though they were stars.

I won't let you get away with it. In fact, I didn't let you get away with it. I just exposed your scheme. Now tell everyone here that there are no such things as ideas or words. Go ahead; I dare ya!

Hhar1: Moreover, even if we agree that establishment of definitions in science are entirely subjective, still they are often explicity oriented to solve problems that are definitely objective: if I drop this bomb, how many will die? If I build so many cottages, will this lake turn into a pool of muck? So we try and minimise the subjectivity and maximise the utility of any given definition. This isdifficult when the entity itself under discussion is both subjective in nature and of dubious use as an independant causal agent.

Memes are the primary causal agents of our culture, and they are so precisely because they are INTERsubjective, that is, they are communicated. Let's for a moment imagine a world without language, text, or gesture. How would any cooperation take place? How would any intentions or meanings get transmitted? How would anything get done? The absence of memes would entail the end of our existence as civilized, because our technological and sociocultural worlds are perfused with them.

Hhar1: Let's go back to the giraffe's neck. I have an interest in this organ because to me it has personal significance (my personal acceptance of an argument from authority) and medical signifcance: are cervical ribs a marker for pediatric malignancy? It turns out that a giraffe's neck is important in answering this question. I have used it as a teaching example. In fact, a particular giraffe's neck itself is now a "meme" by your definition. So no: you really cannot know if a giraffe's neck is a meme or not, and given the bewildering variety of human experience, you similarly cannot even usefully generally orient your definition to solve a problem. The fact is that your idea of a meme (the first four notes of Beethoven's fifth) isn't a unit, and your idea of not a meme (a giraffe's actual neck) is in fact a meme.

Sal2: No, A giraffe's neck would only be a meme should a hypothetical bushman actually exist for whom the sight of a giraffe's neck reminds him of an erection. And hypothetical entities can not be granted de jure existence. But the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th do indeed comprise a meme, and for a shitload more folks than you can find that will rub their crotches when they see a giraffe neck.

622 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:42:54am

re: #617 Hhar

Sal1: Two people may subjectively perceive intersubjectively existent things in the selfsame way, but they will not experience them the same (experience involved perception plus conception). The sight of an actual Christian cross, or an actual Jewish star, or an actual Islamic crescent and star, will provoke reverence in some people, fear in others, hatred in still others, and disdain in yet others, and all because of the different memetic baggage, learned and internalized earlier in their lives, that they will attach to the sight. Because of their prior experiences, the meanings they ascribe to these perceptions varies.

Hhar1: Uh, no, what I'm saying is that "perception of the moon" is different from "perception of a purely subjective process" because the one is actually an objective entity, and the other is not. The objective reality of entities is important to scientists in general, because while it does not guarantee the utility of any particular measurement or definition, it does imply that multiple different means of measurement and definition, if externally and internally consistent, should all approach scientific truth. The utility of such an approach to establishing scientific truth has not been established for purely subjective states.

Are you telling me that the sight of a cross is less real than the sight of the moon? Meaning in such a context is not instead of being, but in addition to being.

The rest of your post is crude ad hominem and argument from authority. Scientism is in fact a word, quite apart from creationists, so you were quite wrong. I thought you siad you acknowleged mstakes? Well, here I am rubbing your nose in a howler. The credulous acceptance of Memetics as valuable and insightful (and apparently on par with the contributions of Einstein and Darwin) is to me as good an example of the over privileging of science as it can get.

No, the fact is that I actually know who the people are that are cited in your link, and what their histories and predispostions are, and you do not. Becsause you just googled a link, and don't know jack shit about the disciplines in question.

And now you are attempting to say that I called memetics an empirical science, when I have clearly deemed it to be a philosophical stance, on a par with, for instance, phenomenology and semiotics. If you can't find a howler, you'll make up one. Which is what you've done a lot of on this thread. You laugh so much at unfunny things that IRL you would be in a corner alone at the party because everyone else would reasonably consider you to be weird, and no one would wanna be seen by the others as associating with you. It's called inappropriate affect. It's a sign of real problems. Look it up.

623 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:54:14am

re: #618 Hhar

Sal1: and I have this crazy idea that there's such a thing as peer review, and scientists checking each other's work by perusing its methodology and repeating its experiments, knowing that if they can bust someone else, they get to advance toward the head of the piranha pool.

Hhar1: Sure, but if all the piranahs have a similar view, then that process isn't always so efficient. That's it. In the long run, it seems to work. In the short run, I can show you dozens of examples where it does nit. Anf in the intermediate run, it varies from field to field. I have over 50 papers to my name: I know how it works. I'm not shouting "Conspiracy!", I'm just saying culture can't be a priori discarded, and that on occasion it is important. This is simple empirical FACT.

And in what kinda run - log, short, or mid - would you consider evolutionary theory (150 years)? And how can you possibly credibly assume that a million scientists around the globe are mental clones of each other, and entertain no independent ideas? And into precisely what culture do they all belong? The scientific culture? The one that says check everything and assume nothing?

This is a great example of hallucinatory rambling:
Sal1: But don't let the notion real-world competition interfere with your idea of a great, grand and glorious anti-metaphysical conspiracy, although I will admit that if someone inserted God Did This Part into a certain section of their empirical demonstration, both their methodology and their results would most certainly be rigorously, and justifiably, checked.

Hhar1: That's just wrong: it would be out of hand rejected as the ramblings of a nut. See, even when you are trying to e all clever and skeptical you get t wrg. I KNOW it woud be rejected out of habnd, because I'm one of the people who would reject it. You think we'd all waste our time rigorously checking, 'cause you don't know what the hell you are talking about.

Sal2: Yes, of course it would be rejected out of hand, and should be. What I was trying to say is that the eyes that would be cast upon it would be so jaundiced, and justifiably so, that they would dayglo yellow. So now you're gonna criticize me for giving interventionary creationism TOO MUCH of a break? Apparently, you either don't understand me, or you don't understand anyone's humor but your own. Don't feel too bad; no one else much gets your attempts at humor, either.

624 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:09:02am

Are you telling me that the sight of a cross is less real than the sight of the moon? Meaning in such a context is not instead of being, but in addition to being.

no, I'm saying that the sight of the moon is not the moon, and the existence of the moon per se has different implications than the existence of the sight of the moon. I'm not sure why this is challeging for you.

No, (snip irrelevant delusion),,,And now you are attempting to say that I called memetics an empirical science, (snip)

No, I haven't. I've said you've called it valuable and insightful, and you haven't establishhed either the empirical reality of a meme as a causal unit, nor its value.

Actually, in either case, if you say what a meme or a star is or is not, you will find people who disagree with you. And you can apply your criteria, and they can apply theirs. But I have already given my definition of a meme before: a meaning that mutates within minds and propagates between them.
Oops. Definition is not demonstration of empirical validity or explanatory efficacy.

Your general plan here is to confuse and conflate the realm of being with the realm of meaning. By your own criteria, you would have to testify in court to the unrteality of ideas, because you could not fix them in any intersubjectively observable firmament as though they were stars.

No, I'd say they were real, but that I couldn't identify any value to saying that any part of one was a causal unit and then renaming it and lumping it in with flicking your lighter.

I won't let you get away with it. In fact, I didn't let you yack yack yack whooopee do. Still avoiding the question and blatantly mischaracterising my position. Whatever.

Memes are the primary causal agents of our culture, and they are so precisely because they are (snip argument by assertion)

That's all ya got? Oh wait, there's more..."No, A giraffe's neck would only be a meme should a hypothetical bushman actually exist for whom the sight of a giraffe's neck reminds him of an erecti Oops. Sorry. How embarassing! Your sexual fantasies abut bushmen are not relevant. Focus on reality please.

625 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:16:19am

re: #620 Hhar

Sal1: No supernatural explanation for anything has yet been found to be verifiably true. By anyone. Please furnish an empirically verified counterexample, or admit that all you have is snark totally bereft of substance on this point.

Hhar1: I didn't imply anything to the contrary. All I said was that MN says "pretend that N is true." ON says "assume that N is true". There is a difference, but psychologically, it isn't always that big.

Sal2: Actually, methodological naturalism just does its work, observing, measuring and manipulating its phenomena, with the conceptual (verification priciple, falsifiability) and empirical (techology, statistics)tools that it has. Metaphysical naturalism is the presence of an assumption against supernaturalism, while methodological naturalism is simply the absence of any search for anything besides the observable, measurable, manipulable phenomena that constitute the natural world.

Sal1: You cannot deny that belief in purely supernatural entities such as ghosts persists in some civilized quarters, whereas nobody much in the civilized world believes in empirical-footprint entities such as werewolves or vampires any more. But indeed, belief in ghosts has died in many such quarters, due to a dearth of empirical evidence. Witches, on the other hand, are real, but they don't do supernatural things; they do quite natural things, and in fact, they reverence the immanent divinity of nature (Wiccans are pantheists at heart, the God and Goddess are only mediating lenses by means of which the otherwise ineffable Divine may be apprehended in human terms).

Hhar1: I said "witchCRAFT" (ie the emprical efficacy of spells and suchlike) not WITCHES. Witches certainly exist. In any event, allofthis is empirically investigable and investigated. Some of it is thought to be supernatural. Handwaving aside, the supernatural is eminently investigable by science. You were wrong, next topic please.

Sal2: Actually, no I am NOT wrong. All that empirical tools can investigate are the natural world. If they can completely explain the phenomena in question by recourse to natural explanations, then mystery solved, by default. But if natural explanations ever do not suffice, there exists no such thing as empirical recourse to supernatural investigation.

Sal1: Neither is whalesong dependent upon human existence, and some perceive melodies in it, while others do not. And black holes - are they stars or not? It depends upon who you ask. But the melodies in question can be heard; they are produced by actual instruments, they flow through real atmosphere, they impact upon authentic eardrums. So the pattern that moves from instrument through air to ear can only be described as nothing more than a mere mental state by the certifiably solipsistic.

Hhar1: Hey, I agree. But you were yhe one who said that a. memes are causal, unitary entities and b. that they are subjective states. If a melody is in general defineable (you said it wasn't), then it isn't simply a subjective state. If a star isn't in general defineable, then you aren't talking to a scientist. Pick your poison, bucko. The options for you don't look good.

Sal2: Actually, I have already pointed out that meaning is not the same as being,, but that they tend to cling together for the reflective mind, just like words and things do. It was Immauel Kant who said that concepts without percepts were empty, and percepts without concepts were blind. If you should see a giraffe neck, you would most probably cognitively entertain a meme, and that meme would be Hey! That's a giraffe's neck! But that doesn't mean that the giraffe's neck itself is a meme; it just conjured its memetic description out of you. And you could tell your friends that you saw a giraffe's neck. But the meme would most likely not replicate far, and would go extinct, unless you jazzed it up with a catchy story.

626 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:18:50am

Whoops sorry: forgot this:

: Yes, of course it would be rejected out of hand, and should be. What I was trying to say is that the eyes that would be cast upon it would be so jaundiced, and justifiably so, that they would dayglo yellow. So now you're gonna criticize me for giving interventionary creationism TOO MUCH of a break?

No, for giving science TOO MUCH objectivity and TOO LITTLE common sense. Jumpin, you ARE naive.

Apparently, you either don't understand me, or you don't understand anyone's humor but your own. Don't feel too bad; no one else much gets your attempts at humor, either.

I'm primarily amusing myself and, I confess, succeeding beyond your dreams. I may not understand you, it is true. But then again, I might. The principle difference between us seems to be that one of us cares, and the other simply finds it all rather hilarious. The one of us who cares isn't me. Why is this so important to you? It is utter nonsense, and obvious nonsense.

(Aw, cmon. The pulpit is all ready, there is your congregation all out there. Defensor Fidei, advance into battle!)

627 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:36:00am

Sal2: Actually, methodological naturalism just does its work, observing, measuring and manipulating its phenomena, with the conceptual (verification priciple, falsifiability) and empirical (techology, statistics)tools that it has. Metaphysical naturalism is the presence of an assumption against supernaturalism, while methodological naturalism is simply the absence of any search for anything besides the observable, measurable, manipulable phenomena that constitute the natural world.

Right. One says "pretend like it is true" and the other "assume that it is true". You sure do like talking.

Actually, no I am NOT wrong. All that empirical tools can investigate are the natural world. If they can completely explain the phenomena in question by recourse to natural explanations, then mystery solved, by default. But if natural explanations ever do not suffice, there exists no such thing as empirical recourse to supernatural investigation.

Oh pish. If I could empirically identify ghosts or fairies, then that's what I'd call them. If a transparent ectoplasmic being in the shape of my dead great aunt Celia strated inhabiting the teapot I got from her house, and told me stiff only she could know, and t was witneessed and videotaped etc etc. etc. Then I'd have a ghost on my hands, full stop, and I'd have to consider previos speculations on the subject, and they would include all kinds of spooky things. The fact is that such a thing WON'T happen, but its also silly to say that if I did, I'd be reduced to shrugging mutism. "Cmon. A bit of common sense here.


If you should see a giraffe neck, you would most probably cognitively entertain a meme, and that meme would be Hey! That's a giraffe's neck! But that doesn't mean that the giraffe's neck itself is a meme; it just conjured its memetic description out of you. And you could tell your friends that you saw a giraffe's neck. But the meme would most likely not replicate far, and would go extinct, unless you jazzed it up with a catchy story.

Oop. earlier you said that some objects acted as symbols (instantiations of memes). I'm saying that a giraffe's neck does that for me and about a dozen other people, and I tld you why. Whether or not it goes extinct is an empirical question you cannot answer by mere argument, and is thus irrelevant here: you apparently cannot tell the difference between a meme and a non meme. Thanks!

628 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:40:52am

re: #624 Hhar

Sal1: Are you telling me that the sight of a cross is less real than the sight of the moon? Meaning in such a context is not instead of being, but in addition to being.

Hhar1: no, I'm saying that the sight of the moon is not the moon, and the existence of the moon per se has different implications than the existence of the sight of the moon. I'm not sure why this is challeging for you.

Sal2: because you have it wrong. If you chart the lunar orbit, and know that it's time for it to appear in your cloudless sky, and it's not there, something has happened to the moon itself, not just your perception of it. And, as I said before, there had be a damned good explanation if it looks triangular or square. The in-itself whole cannot contradict the for-us part, or else our long-evolved perceptions would be undependable - but they ARE dependable; they got us here.

Sal1: No, (snip irrelevant delusion),,,And now you are attempting to say that I called memetics an empirical science, (snip)

Hhar1: No, I haven't. I've said you've called it valuable and insightful, and you haven't establishhed either the empirical reality of a meme as a causal unit, nor its value.

Sal2: Yes I have. I have already mentioned how ostensibly dissimilar thigs such as language, music, gestures, visual arts, religious and political systems, etc., can all be understood as adhering to the same rules of mutation and propagation. And memes are as real as words. if you doubt their reality, try communicatig on LGF without them.

Sal1: Actually, in either case, if you say what a meme or a star is or is not, you will find people who disagree with you. And you can apply your criteria, and they can apply theirs. But I have already given my definition of a meme before: a meaning that mutates within minds and propagates between them.

Hhar1: Oops. Definition is not demonstration of empirical validity or explanatory efficacy.

Sal2: Moving your goal posts again, I see. First you say that I didn't provide a defiition; now, when I reiterate it yet again, you say that it doesn't matrter that I did.

Sal1: Your general plan here is to confuse and conflate the realm of being with the realm of meaning. By your own criteria, you would have to testify in court to the unreality of ideas, because you could not fix them in any intersubjectively observable firmament as though they were stars.

Hhar1: No, I'd say they were real, but that I couldn't identify any value to saying that any part of one was a causal unit and then renaming it and lumping it in with flicking your lighter.

Sal2: That's because you are synthetically myopic. You, for some bizarre reason, cannot figure out what value it is to unite various phenomena under a common rubric. Like biology and botany under genetics. Or relativity and quantum mechanics under a GUTOE.

Sal1: I won't let you get away with it. In fact, I didn't let you

Hhar1: yack yack yack whooopee do. Still avoiding the question and blatantly mischaracterising my position. Whatever.

Sal2: Whose snipping what they need to avoid? Not me, sport.

Sal1: Memes are the primary causal agents of our culture, and they are so precisely because they are

Hhar1: (snip argument by assertion)

Sal2: And yet again you snipthe inconvenient.

Hhar1: That's all ya got? Oh wait, there's more...

Sal1: No, A giraffe's neck would only be a meme should a hypothetical bushman actually exist for whom the sight of a giraffe's neck reminds him of an erecti

Hhar1: Oops. Sorry. How embarassing! Your sexual fantasies abut bushmen are not relevant. Focus on reality please.

Sal2: You were the one who was maintaining that there are as many african bushmen who get woodies off spying giraffe necks as their were teenyboppers who recognized dadadadum! from Roll Over Beethoven!

629 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:53:39am

re: #626 Hhar

Whoops sorry: forgot this:

Sal1: : Yes, of course it would be rejected out of hand, and should be. What I was trying to say is that the eyes that would be cast upon it would be so jaundiced, and justifiably so, that they would dayglo yellow. So now you're gonna criticize me for giving interventionary creationism TOO MUCH of a break?

Hhar1: No, for giving science TOO MUCH objectivity and TOO LITTLE common sense. Jumpin, you ARE naive.

Sal2: Sorry, but you are confusing science and scientists again. There are undoubtedly creationist 'scientists' who would try to make it fly in a reputable journal , but it would't pass peer review.

Sal1: Apparently, you either don't understand me, or you don't understand anyone's humor but your own. Don't feel too bad; no one else much gets your attempts at humor, either.

Hhar1: I'm primarily amusing myself and, I confess, succeeding beyond your dreams. I may not understand you, it is true. But then again, I might. The principle difference between us seems to be that one of us cares, and the other simply finds it all rather hilarious. The one of us who cares isn't me. Why is this so important to you? It is utter nonsense, and obvious nonsense.

Sal2: I figured that if you were easily amused, ad it seems that you are, you would be best amused by yourself. You may not give a flying fuck at a rolling donut what goes unchallenged here, but I care about this place, and I don't want folks to visit here and think that creationist crapola is the order of the day. I refuse to allow my silence to be misconstrued as assent.

Hhar1: (Aw, cmon. The pulpit is all ready, there is your congregation all out there. Defensor Fidei, advance into battle!)

Sal2: You're the one who seems to be crusading against every fucking thing around, be it religion, science, or philosophy. I have a funny feeling all you're doing is trolling for lulz. Which, if true, is a cynical abuse of this site, and if that's your drunken game (and I strongly suspect that it is), you would have to rise inestimably in my consideration to be deserving of my contempt.

630 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:54:54am

Sal2: because you have it wrong. If you chart the lunar orbit, and know that it's time for it to appear in your cloudless sky, and it's not there, something has happened to the moon itself, not just your perception of it. And, as I said before, there had be a damned good explanation if it looks triangular or square. The in-itself whole cannot contradict the for-us part, or else our long-evolved perceptions would be undependable - but they ARE dependable; they got us here.

Sure, but a perception of a thing isn't the thing. That's why we have words like "illusion" and "hallucination" and "mistake". It is baffling that you cannot see this simple fact.

I have. I have already mentioned how ostensibly dissimilar thigs such as language, music, gestures, visual arts, religious and political systems, etc., can all be understood as adhering to the same rules of mutation and propagation. And memes are as real as words. if you doubt their reality, try communicatig on LGF without them.

No, that's argument by assertion again. language, music, gestures etc. have all been recognised to be learned, transmitted and changed for a looooong time. Lumping 'em all together: show me the value.


: Moving your goal posts again, I see. First you say that I didn't provide a defiition; now, when I reiterate it yet again, you say that it doesn't matrter that I did.

I have consistently asked for an empirical definition. You came up with one: it did not prove to be a unitary entity. next.

That's because you are synthetically myopic. You, for some bizarre reason, cannot figure out what value it is to unite various phenomena under a common rubric. Like biology and botany under genetics. Or relativity and quantum mechanics under a GUTOE.

Yeah, and you are a misunderstood Einstein. Or something. Alas for the world that it has such lumps as myself in it.

You were the one who was maintaining that there are as many african bushmen who get woodies off spying giraffe necks as their were teenyboppers who recognized dadadadum! from Roll Over Beethoven!

Well, that was certainly an interesting bit of creativity!

631 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 3:01:10am

(snip largely vacuous tripe)

You're the one who seems to be crusading against every fucking thing around, be it religion, science, or philosophy. I have a funny feeling all you're doing is trolling for lulz. Which, if true, is a cynical abuse of this site, and if that's your drunken game (and I strongly suspect that it is), you would have to rise inestimably in my consideration to be deserving of my contempt.

That's everything? Good heavens, your world is small. Anyhow, I don't have to troll: all I have to do is be plain and straightforward, ask a few questions, laugh at obvious absurdities, and you go all loopy about Bushmen erections and your various emotional states, none of which are relevant. If that's abuse on my part alone, well, I disagree. And: if you don't like the conversation, instead of dribbling sexual innuendo all over the place, just opt out. I cannot make you say anything you do not want to.

later!

632 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 3:12:11am

re: #627 Hhar

Sal1: Actually, methodological naturalism just does its work, observing, measuring and manipulating its phenomena, with the conceptual (verification priciple, falsifiability) and empirical (techology, statistics)tools that it has. Metaphysical naturalism is the presence of an assumption against supernaturalism, while methodological naturalism is simply the absence of any search for anything besides the observable, measurable, manipulable phenomena that constitute the natural world.

Hhar1: Right. One says "pretend like it is true" and the other "assume that it is true". You sure do like talking.

Sal2: No, 'pretend' imples you could stop pretending and do things differently. Scientists can't just decide to stop 'pretending', and get 'real', and reach into their lab drawers and pull out their angel-counters or their djinn measurers.

Sal1: Actually, no I am NOT wrong. All that empirical tools can investigate are the natural world. If they can completely explain the phenomena in question by recourse to natural explanations, then mystery solved, by default. But if natural explanations ever do not suffice, there exists no such thing as empirical recourse to supernatural investigation.

Hhar1: Oh pish. If I could empirically identify ghosts or fairies, then that's what I'd call them. If a transparent ectoplasmic being in the shape of my dead great aunt Celia strated inhabiting the teapot I got from her house, and told me stiff only she could know, and t was witneessed and videotaped etc etc. etc. Then I'd have a ghost on my hands, full stop, and I'd have to consider previos speculations on the subject, and they would include all kinds of spooky things. The fact is that such a thing WON'T happen, but its also silly to say that if I did, I'd be reduced to shrugging mutism. "Cmon. A bit of common sense here.

Sal2: If ghosts could be verified by empirical means such as witnesses and videotapes, we wouldn't be talking about unamenable to empirical investigation now, would we? And if such things can be captured on recording devices or seen by eyewitnesses, they can't be entirely supernatural, since indications of them are arriving at our witnesses or videotapes by natural means. Light, a physical quantity, has to either radiate from or bounce off the surface of what we see.

Sal1: If you should see a giraffe neck, you would most probably cognitively entertain a meme, and that meme would be Hey! That's a giraffe's neck! But that doesn't mean that the giraffe's neck itself is a meme; it just conjured its memetic description out of you. And you could tell your friends that you saw a giraffe's neck. But the meme would most likely not replicate far, and would go extinct, unless you jazzed it up with a catchy story.

Hhar1: Oop. earlier you said that some objects acted as symbols (instantiations of memes). I'm saying that a giraffe's neck does that for me and about a dozen other people, and I tld you why. Whether or not it goes extinct is an empirical question you cannot answer by mere argument, and is thus irrelevant here: you apparently cannot tell the difference between a meme and a non meme. Thanks!

Sal2: I can't tell what's a meme for YOU unless you let me know (for instance, I know that there are quite a few words among them). Do you believe that believing Zoroastrian exist? (Parsees in India are Zoroastrians). Can you recognize that they have such beliefs if they don't tell you?

633 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 3:32:02am

re: #630 Hhar

Sal1: because you have it wrong. If you chart the lunar orbit, and know that it's time for it to appear in your cloudless sky, and it's not there, something has happened to the moon itself, not just your perception of it. And, as I said before, there had be a damned good explanation if it looks triangular or square. The in-itself whole cannot contradict the for-us part, or else our long-evolved perceptions would be undependable - but they ARE dependable; they got us here.

Hhar1: Sure, but a perception of a thing isn't the thing. That's why we have words like "illusion" and "hallucination" and "mistake". It is baffling that you cannot see this simple fact.

Sal2: You should read JJ Gibson on perceptual affordances. We're not talking about dosed observers here, and illusions are mistakes of interpretatiopn, not perception, which doesn't fly when we're talking about whether or not the fucking moon is shining in a clear night sky; sheesh! Hint: you can't grasp absent straws.

Sal1: I have. I have already mentioned how ostensibly dissimilar things such as language, music, gestures, visual arts, religious and political systems, etc., can all be understood as adhering to the same rules of mutation and propagation. And memes are as real as words. If you doubt their reality, try communicating on LGF without them.

Hhar1: No, that's argument by assertion again. language, music, gestures etc. have all been recognised to be learned, transmitted and changed for a looooong time. Lumping 'em all together: show me the value.

Sal2: Better understanding. What has NOT been previously understood about all those things is that they are tokens of a single type, and follow the same rules. And there will certainly be more. The discipline is young yet. What did we have out of evolution by 1889?

Sal1: : Moving your goal posts again, I see. First you say that I didn't provide a defiition; now, when I reiterate it yet again, you say that it doesn't matrter that I did.

Hhar1: I have consistently asked for an empirical definition. You came up with one: it did not prove to be a unitary entity. next.

Sal2: It did indeed allow for the distinction between memes and non-memes (meaning), and as far as memes and memeplexes go, I have Beethovened you to death over 4 separable notes. No one but you and a creationist shill with ulterior motives will contend that example.

Sal1: That's because you are synthetically myopic. You, for some bizarre reason, cannot figure out what value it is to unite various phenomena under a common rubric. Like biology and botany under genetics. Or relativity and quantum mechanics under a GUTOE.

Hhar1: Yeah, and you are a misunderstood Einstein. Or something. Alas for the world that it has such lumps as myself in it.

That's an ad hominem non-answer. What's wrong; your snipper broke?

Sal1: You were the one who was maintaining that there are as many african bushmen who get woodies off spying giraffe necks as there were teenyboppers who recognized dadadadum! from Roll Over Beethoven!

Hhar1: Well, that was certainly an interesting bit of creativity!

sal2: It was pointing out yet another of your manifest nonsensical absurdities in a supposedly jocular manner.

634 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 3:39:58am

re: #631 Hhar

(snip largely vacuous tripe)

Sal1: You're the one who seems to be crusading against every fucking thing around, be it religion, science, or philosophy. I have a funny feeling all you're doing is trolling for lulz. Which, if true, is a cynical abuse of this site, and if that's your drunken game (and I strongly suspect that it is), you would have to rise inestimably in my consideration to be deserving of my contempt.

Hhar1: That's everything? Good heavens, your world is small. Anyhow, I don't have to troll: all I have to do is be plain and straightforward, ask a few questions, laugh at obvious absurdities, and you go all loopy about Bushmen erections and your various emotional states, none of which are relevant. If that's abuse on my part alone, well, I disagree. And: if you don't like the conversation, instead of dribbling sexual innuendo all over the place, just opt out. I cannot make you say anything you do not want to.

later!

The bit dog barks, ayy? And bitches and moans about analogies and examples. You are well and truly busted as a lulztroll.

635 freetoken  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 4:19:37am

re: #612 Hhar

Down-dinged for the link you gave... After the statement about Nazi Germany (of course, don't we all know that high regard for science leads to being Nazis!), the statement is made:

It is the role of science to serve the primary interests of the polity.

... which is totally arbitrary and only expresses the beliefs of someone who is on the defense from a perceived threat from scientific endeavors.

636 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 6:31:20am

re: #635 freetoken

What a great place! Look, the function of the link is simply to establish that scientism exists as a perfectly valid and non-creationist term (unless you are calling Arendt a creationist? LOL!). If you want to downding me because a reference I gave lacks some sort of ideological purity, or whatever, fine. I am beginning to positively enjoy the negative karma as a very good joke.

I agree the statement you quoted is simply an opinion: it is a defensible opinion, even if I don't agree with it. However, if you DON'T think that scientific endeavors threaten society, you are perfectly blind to both history and the modern world. It is naive to see science as an unmixed good.

637 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 8:26:32am

re: #633 Salamantis

You should read JJ Gibson on perceptual affordances. We're not talking about dosed observers here, and illusions are mistakes of interpretatiopn, not perception, which doesn't fly when we're talking about whether or not the fucking moon is shining in a clear night sky; sheesh! Hint: you can't grasp absent straws.

No, we are talking about whether the perception of a real thing is meaningfully different from a purely subjective experience. You keep talking like it isn't, I keep saying "In any empirical science, it sure is: the former can be approached through multiple independant objective means, the latter only by introspection. Given that memic processes are for postulated to reflect an aspect of empirical reality one would think it was germane.

Better understanding. What has NOT been previously understood about all those things is that they are tokens of a single type, and follow the same rules. And there will certainly be more. The discipline is young yet. What did we have out of evolution by 1889?

Not really: you are simply asserting that they ARE all tokens of a simple type. You haven't demonstrated it, largely because the unit under examination (the meme) is not clearly unitary, using your own example. You can't even tell the difference between a meme and a non meme in this very discussion except by blurting out of thin air a fantasy of Bushman erections.

It did indeed allow for the distinction between memes and non-memes (meaning), and as far as memes and memeplexes go, I have Beethovened you to death over 4 separable notes. No one but you and a creationist shill with ulterior motives will contend that example.

Uh, no: I pointed out that the content of those "4 notes" was variable between individuals, which kinda puts to rest the idea that tis is a causally efficaceous unit. When I pointed that out, you just said "Well, you have a different meme!", which is the same as saying "those 4 notes are at least two different memes in two different people, so how do you know that you have even ONE meaningful unit? Answer: Well, it just seems so. Einstein! Darwin! Galileo! Memic evolution! My cat has kittens! silliness is what it is.

You think that there was something in this:That's because you are synthetically myopic. You, for some bizarre reason, cannot figure out what value it is to unite various phenomena under a common rubric. Like biology and botany under genetics. Or relativity and quantum mechanics under a GUTOE. to respond too? Well, since you asked: it isn't very clever. I can see all kinds of advantages if the synthesis is meaningful. But that "meaningful" thing is what you have a hard time with. You keep saying "Mimetics isn't Science" and I keep agreeing, but when I ask "Of what use" you cite scientific syntheses. so you have a bit of a problem there, too. Finally, biology and botany aren't united under genetics: botany is a subfield of biology; it is united with zoology under biology. satisfied? I can hack limbs off you all day long if you want.

638 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 8:58:52am

Looks like IngisKhan and Lynn B have a real grrrr on for me. Guys? Down ding THIS one too! LOL! Seriously, you guys: outta the woodwork. State your problem like adults. freetoken managed it fairly easy, nobody hurt him. Now: why can't you?

Aw heck, you can upding each other when you reply. Free karma! LOL!

639 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 9:10:21am

Sal2: No, 'pretend' imples you could stop pretending and do things differently. Scientists can't just decide to stop 'pretending', and get 'real', and reach into their lab drawers and pull out their angel-counters or their djinn measurers.

Right: they can't stop pretending and still do science; that's a professional standard. But they can in their personal lives honestly believe and do all kinds of strange things totally at odds with their professional methodologies. So you are wrong again. tnx.


Sal2: If ghosts could be verified by empirical means such as witnesses and videotapes, we wouldn't be talking about unamenable to empirical investigation now, would we? And if such things can be captured on recording devices or seen by eyewitnesses, they can't be entirely supernatural, since indications of them are arriving at our witnesses or videotapes by natural means. Light, a physical quantity, has to either radiate from or bounce off the surface of what we see.

ENTIRELY supernatural? Nothing can be, by your definition ENTIRELY supernatural and still affect the real world. You are arguing petitio principii. I note as well that a supernatural entity could pop photons into cameras wherever it liked, make everybody hallucinate the same thing, whatever. That's why they are called "supernatural". The problem with empirical investigations of such things is that one cannot expect them, if they ate real, to be orderly. But one CAN ask whether or not the phenomena observed can be accounted for by other means, if the phenomena is in any way regular, etc.

Sal2: I can't tell what's a meme for YOU unless you let me know (for instance, I know that there are quite a few words among them). Do you believe that believing Zoroastrian exist? (Parsees in India are Zoroastrians). Can you recognize that they have such beliefs if they don't tell you?

Right: and not only do you have to ask me about my memes, but if I lack insight, I can't necessarily tell you my memes. So: you can't tell what a meme is not, in general. We went through this. You CAN tell what a star is not, in general. Why you have trouble with this I'll never know.

640 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 9:10:42am

re: #495 Hhar

dawkins is widely respected? In some circles, yes, that's true.

It's true in biological science circles. Can you bring yourself to admit that?
Yet you claimed that Dawkins was no better than Behe. In some circles of course - intelligent design circles - that would be a respectable opinion. But it would leave the vast majority of scientists scratching their heads and looking at you all funny.

A meme is a unit, right? So if the first four chords of Beethoven's fifth are a meme, where does the next meme start in the symphony? How would anyone find out? How do you quantify how many memes there are in the symphony? Are there parts that are necessarily memic and parts that aren't? How would anyone find out?

If you claim that there are memes, then they need to be separated from non-memes, but as soon as a person communicates which bits are non-memes, alas, they become memes. Behold: the theory that destroys itself: everything and anything in a culture can be a meme. How incredibly useful.

It isn't useful: its slipshod. If you declare something a unit by definition, and then can't rigorously define its boundaries even in theory, you don't have a unit.

This does not any way support your suggestion that Dawkins is mendacious. There are differences of opinion among scientists and philosophers regarding the meme concept, but most prominent biologists and philosophers who deal with science seem to be quite happy with the general idea. Your hyper-reductionist criticism even if correct, (which it isn't),would only establish that Dawkins was incorrect, or had produced a flawed or incomplete thesis, it would do nothing to suggest either mendacity or intellectual idiocy of the sort Behe exemplifies.

"Darwin was a LIAR and/or an IDIOT" is a familiar refrain of creationists I have tussled with in the past. As ludicrously overreaching claims about scientists go, "Dawkins is a LIAR and/or an IDIOT" is equally unimpressive, and as with similar claims about Darwin, tells us much more about the accuser than the accused.

641 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 9:19:09am

re: #484 Hhar

So Charles, show me that BEHE (not the people that he is with, but Behe himself) is a creationist. For years now he has been saying that common descent is a great idea. I agree fully that most IDers are nothing different than creationists.

But I've done a lot of parsing of ideas and following verbal rabbit trails. I don't see Behe as a creationist, and I think its fair to say that even if you are right, there is room for reasonable doubt. Again, I'll point you to Brig Klyce's enthusiasm for ID and for Panspermia (which is antithetical to 99% of Biblical creationism).

Even taking ID completely at face value and ignoring everything we KNOW about it's being a mere front for creationism, ID is nevertheless just creationism spread over time. It's still creationism. It still contends that the laws of nature cannot produce the biological diversity we see around us, and it plugs the gaps it imagines/asserts with god-magic.

642 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 9:25:02am

re: #497 Hhar

Exactly. So panspermia ISN'T creationism. It IS ID. Thanks for agreeing.

No, panspermia has nothing to do with ID, except that ID'ers have a strange habit of thinking that it can be used as a weapon against evolutionary theory, which it quite obviously can't.

643 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 9:30:38am

It's true in biological science circles. Can you bring yourself to admit that?

He's respected as a publicist and writer, not as a scientist, aside from ssome early work. I know biologists who cringe at his ideas and approach. So no, I don't think that it IS necessarily true.

Yet you claimed that Dawkins was no better than Behe. In some circles of course - intelligent design circles - that would be a respectable opinion. But it would leave the vast majority of scientists scratching their heads and looking at you all funny.

Really? How do you know that? You have taken a poll? Hyperbole aside, you may be right, but it is irrelevant: in my opinion, they are both intellectually dishonest cranks. I suggest David Stove: Darwinian Fairy Tales for an attack on Dawkins. Stove is (was: he's dead now) neither an IDer nor creationist, but a lifelong, clear spoken agnostic: look it up. His biology is sometimes weak, but his criticisms of Dawkins are trenchant.

At any rate, I do not think Darwin was a liar, and if he was ever a hypocrit, that is just about irrelevant. But if we are going to pillory Behe for intellectual mendacity, and on that basis assert that he must therefore be a pathological liar about his personal beleifs (that's one of the things I have been hearing) then we must hold science writers to the same standard. Dawkin's idea of a meme is slipshod pseudoscience, in my opinion. The most ardent defender of memetics in this thread won't even dare to classify it as science, and I agree with that much of what he says. By these standards, plus the fact that he's a howling antitheist bigot (did you read his post Sept 11 column?) he's a pathological liar too.

Now, if he is widely respected, then either a) it is unfair to characterise all those biologists as respecting a pathiological liar or b) it is unfair to dawkins to classify him as a pathological liar simply because he's an intellectually dishonest bigot. I favor B. But then apply those criterioa to Behe. Behe is sloppy, intellectually dishonest, hypocritical blah blah blah, all that stuff, no argument from me. That doesn't make him a pathological liar: it makes him wrong.

I find it funny that because I am saying this, a number of people seem to have gotten the impression that I'm an ID supporter. I am definitely going to have to keep this up.

644 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 9:37:50am

Oh no, Jimmah, panspermiare: #641 Jimmah

Even taking ID completely at face value and ignoring everything we KNOW about it's being a mere front for creationism, ID is nevertheless just creationism spread over time. It's still creationism. It still contends that the laws of nature cannot produce the biological diversity we see around us, and it plugs the gaps it imagines/asserts with god-magic.

OK, so you have a form of creationism (in this case, Behe's personal take on ID) that asserts universal common descent by modification through deep time. Sorry: that ain't creationism, unless you are willing to say that just about any theist other than a strict Deist is a creationist. If you are, that's fine with me, but it makes "creationism" a much less useful term.

I agree that Behe's personal ideas about the mechanism of universal common descent by modification through deep time are much more treligion than science, but that isn't the same as calling them 'creationist".

645 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 9:47:16am

Sorry: re panspermia.

This guy:

[Link: www.panspermia.org...]

has been posting IDish stuff for years. His basic opinion is that the origin of life is a religious question, not a scientific one. IIRC Hoyle felt similar. read through his site: any of those themes sound familiar?

This guy is basically a sort of IDer.

646 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 10:56:52am

Bt Jimmah, I failed to respond to this:

There are differences of opinion among scientists and philosophers regarding the meme concept, but most prominent biologists and philosophers who deal with science seem to be quite happy with the general idea. Your hyper-reductionist criticism even if correct, (which it isn't),would only establish that Dawkins was incorrect, or had produced a flawed or incomplete thesis, it would do nothing to suggest either mendacity or intellectual idiocy of the sort Behe exemplifies.

1. I dispute that most prominent biologists and philosophers of science are "quite happy" with the general idea. Michael Ruse, for instance, is not "quite happy" with it. Nor is Eliot Sober. Which "prominent biologists" were you thinking of?

2. If you think my critique is incorrect, offer your correction please. I'm interested.

3. If someone indulges in deliberately misleading language far more often than they correct their misleading language, I infer an intent to convince, not an intent to educate. Dawkins, with his idiotic "selfish" gene rhetoric (to mention but the most famous, and ignoring his often uncorrected over the top anthropomorphisations about "intent") intends not to educate, but convince. He says he's educating. I say he's lying about that. I further think that people cut him slack because he's on the "right" side against the "wrong" side. Well, to heck with that: at some point with that attitude one becomes nothing but a cultural stooge.

4. Dawkins has his valuable gifts. Honesty, transparency, and an open mind are not amoung them. So: yes. Both idiocy and intellectual mendacity.

647 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 11:21:32am

re: #643 Hhar

He's respected as a publicist and writer, not as a scientist, aside from ssome early work. I know biologists who cringe at his ideas and approach. So no, I don't think that it IS necessarily true.

Even widely respected people have their detractors. I know from reading and personal experience that biologists generally have a high degree of respect for his work in biology and his subsequent work as an educator, writer and populariser of science.

Really? How do you know that? You have taken a poll? Hyperbole aside, you may be right, but it is irrelevant: in my opinion, they are both intellectually dishonest cranks.

If Dawkins were held in contempt by the biological mainstream, I think I would have noticed, the same way I noticed the opprobrium in which Behe is held by the same community. Trying to make equivalence betweeen Dawkins and Behe is idiotic.

I suggest David Stove: Darwinian Fairy Tales for an attack on Dawkins. neither an IDer nor creationist, but a lifelong, clear spoken agnostic: look it up. His biology is sometimes weak, but his criticisms of Dawkins are trenchant.

If his biology is weak, I don't expect much from his criticisms of Dawkins either, whose biology is anything but weak. Looking at the comments on Amazon, "Darwinian Fairy Tales" appears to be an ID'ers wet dream. Anything that attacks Darwin with that sort of language is bound to be. Can't you point me to a more credible source, because this doesn't look it's worth wasting my time on.

At any rate, I do not think Darwin was a liar, and if he was ever a hypocrit, that is just about irrelevant.

Why do you introduce the idea of Darwin's being a hypocrite? Do you think he was?

But if we are going to pillory Behe for intellectual mendacity, and on that basis assert that he must therefore be a pathological liar about his personal beleifs (that's one of the things I have been hearing) then we must hold science writers to the same standard.

No comparison whatsover. There is no equivalence between the debate over memes and the ID fiasco. Behe, like the rest of the ID movement, has been conclusively shown to be wrong, repeatedly, yet he persists with this nonsense. Let's try for the sake of argument to be generous to him. Even if as you claim he really believes for his own part that ID is science of sorts, he must be long aware that the people with whom he is deeply connected in this and whose books he has co-authored have a blatantly religious agenda. He must have read the wedge document by now.(LOL) His failure to distance himself from them, and his continuing to go along with this nonsense screams his dishonesty and mendacity from the highest tower.

You cannot begin to make a similar case against Dawkins.

648 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 11:26:51am

re: #643 Hhar

cont.

The most ardent defender of memetics in this thread won't even dare to classify it as science, and I agree with that much of what he says. By these standards, plus the fact that he's a howling antitheist bigot (did you read his post Sept 11 column?)

It's probably more philosophy than science, as Dawkins himself accepted in his book "The Selfish Gene". I read Dawkins post sept 11 column, and I liked it. I suppose I must be a howling anti-theist bigot too. Imagine thinking that sept 11th was anything to do with religion. Perish the thought!

he's a pathological liar too.

Examples of his pathological lies, please.


I find it funny that because I am saying this, a number of people seem to have gotten the impression that I'm an ID supporter.

Maybe something to do with your evident passion for obfuscating the connection between ID and creationism, and your strange and -strangely comitted- 'defence' of Behe as a mere innocent idiot in all of this, a claim which as has been shown, simply doesn't bear out. Add to that your attempts to misrepresent how scientists like Dawkins are viewed within the biological community.

I am definitely going to have to keep this up.

You enjoy being taken for an IDer although you aren't one? You are a maniac of some sort that's for sure. Also, you've been at this for over 24 hours solid, without a break.

The psychiatrist, Hhar, the psychiatrist.

649 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 11:41:17am

re: #644 Hhar

Oh no, Jimmah, panspermia

OK, so you have a form of creationism (in this case, Behe's personal take on ID) that asserts universal common descent by modification through deep time. Sorry: that ain't creationism, unless you are willing to say that just about any theist other than a strict Deist is a creationist. If you are, that's fine with me, but it makes "creationism" a much less useful term.

I agree that Behe's personal ideas about the mechanism of universal common descent by modification through deep time are much more treligion than science, but that isn't the same as calling them 'creationist".

It's nice of Behe to allow for some role for the natural world to play, however his ID is just creationism spread out over time, depending not on the laws of nature to do the job but on the application of supernatural fairy dust, a little here, a little there - and a little more over there.

650 Basho  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 12:07:23pm

re: #648 Jimmah

cont.

You are a maniac of some sort that's for sure.

And that's putting it nicely.

651 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 12:14:24pm
If his biology is weak, I don't expect much from his criticisms of Dawkins either, whose biology is anything but weak.

When Dawkins starts with memetics, he is no longer in the realm of biology, and Stove is very effective in that realm, and in the analysis of Dawkins' language, I think he is spot on.

Looking at the comments on Amazon, "Darwinian Fairy Tales" appears to be an ID'ers wet dream. Anything that attacks Darwin with that sort of language is bound to be.


Yes, we can't ridicule Darwin and Malthus. Good heavens.

Stove in no way endorses anything like ID or creationism. Here is a case where a man of unimpeachable agnostic credentials, who in no way favors pseudoscience or religion, is distrusted because he is attacking a sacred cow, and attacking it out of the philosopher's duty to dismantle a bad idea.

Can't you point me to a more credible source, because this doesn't look it's worth wasting my time on.

If you are too prejudiced and insecure to handle a little cutting language, try Ruse's book "The Evolution Creation Struggle". I must warn you though: Ruse is one of those agnostic/creationist/pathological liars I hear about who think that evolution seems to be a lot like a religion to some of its proponents.

Why do you introduce the idea of Darwin's being a hypocrite? Do you think he was?


You introduced Darwin's (putative) faults. I don't care about them, nor even if they exist. They seem pretty much irrelevant to me. I can't say that they ARE completely irrelevant, because I am not a deep scholar of history, but they do seem irrelevant, if they exist. YOU brought them up, now you are asking me about them as though I had some hidden motive. If you stopped with the paranoid notion that I am somehow a super stealthy creationist shill, you would see how silly this part of the exchange is.

There is no equivalence between the debate over memes and the ID fiasco.


Hey, half baked shonky pseudoscience is half baked shonky pseudoscience. Don't care who its from, or who agrees with it. You seem to be compounding a genetic fallacy with an argument from authority and an argument from popularity. Me, I'm just looking at the arguments.

Behe, like the rest of the ID movement, has been conclusively shown to be wrong, repeatedly, yet he persists with this nonsense.

Has it ever occurred to you that he can be dogmatically attached to his pet theory, for (say) religious reasons? Of course it has. Well, people will not always be very rational when they start seeing a vast religious significance in something. It can be a species of dishonesty, to be sure, but it doesn't mean that he will out and out lie about his scientific and religious ideas. In fact, everything he does points to this aspect of his life. He keeps saying: He thinks the designer is his deity, and that he's a catholic. Why not just look at him that way? A religious crank, trying to reconcile diverging ideas and having difficulty with it. That doesn't make him a creationist.

Let's try for the sake of argument to be generous to him. Even if as you claim he really believes for his own part that ID is science of sorts, he must be long aware that the people with whom he is deeply connected in this and whose books he has co-authored have a blatantly religious agenda. He must have read the wedge document by now.(LOL) His failure to distance himself from them, and his continuing to go along with this nonsense screams his dishonesty and mendacity from the highest tower.

He agrees with them. Why should he distance himself from them? So that the people who scream "Liar" all day and demean him should stop? A man of any worth wouldn't stoop to that. For shame. And Dawkins? He calls himself an educator of science, and he is nothing more than an antireligious bigot who finds science a handy stick to beat religionists with. If you think not, that speaks for itself.

652 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 12:35:01pm

(snip stuff I don't care about)

It's probably more philosophy than science, as Dawkins himself accepted in his book "The Selfish Gene".


It isn't science at all, is what it is.

I read Dawkins post sept 11 column, and I liked it. I suppose I must be a howling anti-theist bigot too. Imagine thinking that sept 11th was anything to do with religion. Perish the thought!


So excellent: when he says that "To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used. " you are comfortable with saying that Judaism is a loaded gun, waiting to be used? And when he says that the world would be better off without religion, you are cool with that context to his statement? Well, I AM glad you think so poorly of religion. Particularly, I am glad you are so plain about it.

Now this next bit is funny: you quote mine: I say "By these standards, plus the fact that he's a howling antitheist bigot (did you read his post Sept 11 column?) he's a pathological liar too. and then later go on to explicitkly say that I DON'T think dawkins is a pathological liar (I note you snipped that out) and you reduce it too:


he's a pathological liar too.
Examples of his pathological lies, please.

This is why I enjoy these exchanges. Here in this thread, you act like the stereotypical creationist, down to the quote mining.


Maybe something to do with your evident passion for obfuscating the connection between ID and creationism,

LOL! I'm not obfuscating anything: I'm saying thery aren't identical. That's all. My doctrine is wrong, so you must cotrrect! It is really very funmny.

and your strange and -strangely comitted- 'defence' of Behe as a mere innocent idiot in all of this, a claim which as has been shown, simply doesn't bear out.


Who said innocent? I've said: he's intellectually dishonest. That doesn't make him a pathological liar.

Add to that your attempts to misrepresent how scientists like Dawkins are viewed within the biological community.


Where? Because I simply don't accept your say so? (snip vacuity)

653 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 12:46:46pm

re: #651 Hhar

Hey, half baked shonky pseudoscience is half baked shonky pseudoscience. Don't care who its from, or who agrees with it. You seem to be compounding a genetic fallacy with an argument from authority and an argument from popularity. Me, I'm just looking at the arguments.

No, you are repeating already debunked assertions. The claim that Dawkins views on memes are held in the same regard as Behes ideas on ID by the science community is ludicrous. It's just as well you don't have any credibility left to destroy.

He agrees with them. Why should he distance himself from them?

Because if he doesn't then he is knowingly engaging in deception, a deception whose goal is to fill the minds of other people's children with shite. Unbelievable that this would have to be pointed out to you.

654 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 12:50:46pm

re: #652 Hhar

And Dawkins? He calls himself an educator of science, and he is nothing more than an antireligious bigot who finds science a handy stick to beat religionists with. If you think not, that speaks for itself.

+re: #652 Hhar

entire post [snip]

You are foaming at the mouth now. Go get some sleep.

655 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:00:29pm
No, you are repeating already debunked assertions. The claim that Dawkins views on memes are held in the same regard as Behes ideas on ID by the science community is ludicrous.

Great, but I didn't say that. I said I think memetics is nonsense, and I have said some others do too. If you do not beleive me, look up the names I have given you. You are the one who thinks that the number of people who think something is so, and who thinks somethioing is so, is very important. I'm the one looking at the arguments. You aren't ecven willing to read them because you think someone who you disagree with may like them. Has it ever occurred to you that david Stowe could be right, and IDers, creationistys, and dawkins fans could all be wrong? Since you are so keenj on where arguments come from: Of all those parties, who has the least obvious self interest in accepting or rejecting dawkins arguments: Dawkins, IDers, or a conservative retired agnostic Australian philosopher?


It's just as well you don't have any credibility left to destroy.


I'm not really worried about you beleiving me: I have given you what I see as fact, and you are either misrepresenting it or ignoring it. Sooner or later, you will think about this again.

Because if he doesn't then he is knowingly engaging in deception, a deception whose goal is to fill the minds of other people's children with shite. Unbelievable that this would have to be pointed out to you.

Hello? Lots of people in the USA are very tolerant of creationism: they just think its someone else's opinion. They don't think it is shite even if they disagree with it. What is wrong with saying that this is the case with Behe? How does it exonerate him? It doesn't. It just makes him not a pathological liar. Just amazing, the out and out venom.

656 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:05:40pm

Ooops. I guess you do have a bit of a hard time thinking things through.

Not surprised.

657 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:27:32pm

re: #636 Hhar

What a great place! Look, the function of the link is simply to establish that scientism exists as a perfectly valid and non-creationist term (unless you are calling Arendt a creationist? LOL!). If you want to downding me because a reference I gave lacks some sort of ideological purity, or whatever, fine. I am beginning to positively enjoy the negative karma as a very good joke.

I agree the statement you quoted is simply an opinion: it is a defensible opinion, even if I don't agree with it. However, if you DON'T think that scientific endeavors threaten society, you are perfectly blind to both history and the modern world. It is naive to see science as an unmixed good.

Yeah, right, shuuuure...because some things should simply not be known, right? Especially those things that contradict religious dogmas...in spite of the fact that the fruits of modern science have extended countless lives.

658 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:40:34pm

re: #657 Salamantis

Yeah, right, shuuuure...because some things should simply not be known, right? Especially those things that contradict religious dogmas...in spite of the fact that the fruits of modern science have extended countless lives.

Ummmm...no. Because scientists occasionally (for instance) sacrifice human dignity for knowlege. See: Tuskegee.

Good heavens you are naive.

659 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:44:55pm

re: #637 Hhar

Sal1: You should read JJ Gibson on perceptual affordances. We're not talking about dosed observers here, and illusions are mistakes of interpretation, not perception, which doesn't fly when we're talking about whether or not the fucking moon is shining in a clear night sky; sheesh! Hint: you can't grasp absent straws.

Hhar1: No, we are talking about whether the perception of a real thing is meaningfully different from a purely subjective experience. You keep talking like it isn't, I keep saying "In any empirical science, it sure is: the former can be approached through multiple independant objective means, the latter only by introspection. Given that memic processes are for postulated to reflect an aspect of empirical reality one would think it was germane.

Sal2: How would it be germane when memetic meaning is in addition to, not instead of, sense perception? And there is no such thing as a purely subjective experience, completely disconnected from either present sense perception or the memories of past sense perception, whether those memories have been crystallized into abstract knowledge or remain as experiential memories.

Sal1: Better understanding. What has NOT been previously understood about all those things is that they are tokens of a single type, and follow the same rules. And there will certainly be more. The discipline is young yet. What did we have out of evolution by 1889?

Hhar1: Not really: you are simply asserting that they ARE all tokens of a simple type. You haven't demonstrated it, largely because the unit under examination (the meme) is not clearly unitary, using your own example. You can't even tell the difference between a meme and a non meme in this very discussion except by blurting out of thin air a fantasy of Bushman erections.

Sal2: The history of the evolution and propagation of religions, political ideologies, language and art disagree with you. nonmemes are in the realm of being, and memes possess meaning. That is the distinction. Like between a word and a thing. When the apprehension of a thing causes a word for it to come to mind from memory, the thing is not the meme; the word called to mind is. The thing is just a perceptual trigger causing its appearance. For instance, to someone unaware of written language, a printed word is just a meaningless visual configuration.

Sal1: It did indeed allow for the distinction between memes and non-memes (meaning), and as far as memes and memeplexes go, I have Beethovened you to death over 4 separable notes. No one but you and a creationist shill with ulterior motives will contend that example.

Hhar1: Uh, no: I pointed out that the content of those "4 notes" was variable between individuals, which kinda puts to rest the idea that tis is a causally efficaceous unit. When I pointed that out, you just said "Well, you have a different meme!", which is the same as saying "those 4 notes are at least two different memes in two different people, so how do you know that you have even ONE meaningful unit? Answer: Well, it just seems so. Einstein! Darwin! Galileo! Memic evolution! My cat has kittens! silliness is what it is.

Sal2: No it doesn't. The selfsame causes can have different effects when they encounter different objects. The effect of one billiard ball on another is not the same as its effect on a boulder or a bowl of jello.
Your definition would entail that there are no such things as words, because two people hearing the selfsame word can have different things come to mind because of it. Therefore I insist that you answer me without using these word thingies that you insist are nonexistent, according to your spurious logic.

to be continued...

660 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:48:10pm

re: #658 Hhar

Ummmm...no. Because scientists occasionally (for instance) sacrifice human dignity for knowlege. See: Tuskegee.

Good heavens you are naive.

Yeah, right, shuuuure; people don't kill people, guns kill people.

The technology made possible by scientific investigation is value-neutral; it is people who employ such tools for good or for ill. Science isn't good or bad; some scientists are both, just like some politicians are both, and some clerics are both. But that is not the province of science, but of ethics.

Now who's naive?

661 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 1:53:27pm

Sal1: You think that there was something in this:That's because you are synthetically myopic. You, for some bizarre reason, cannot figure out what value it is to unite various phenomena under a common rubric. Like biology and botany under genetics. Or relativity and quantum mechanics under a GUTOE.

Hhar1: to respond too? Well, since you asked: it isn't very clever. I can see all kinds of advantages if the synthesis is meaningful. But that "meaningful" thing is what you have a hard time with. You keep saying "Mimetics isn't Science" and I keep agreeing, but when I ask "Of what use" you cite scientific syntheses. so you have a bit of a problem there, too. Finally, biology and botany aren't united under genetics: botany is a subfield of biology; it is united with zoology under biology. satisfied? I can hack limbs off you all day long if you want.

Sal2: Piaget's genetic epistemology, Husserl's phenomenology, and Peirce's semiotics also have gathered many various structures and functions under unitary rubrics, and they're philosophical stances. And you are right about the terms; it is zoology and botany that are united under biology via genetics. The terms were wrong, but the point is right.

662 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:06:01pm

re: #639 Hhar

Sal1: No, 'pretend' imples you could stop pretending and do things differently. Scientists can't just decide to stop 'pretending', and get 'real', and reach into their lab drawers and pull out their angel-counters or their djinn measurers.

Hhar12: Right: they can't stop pretending and still do science; that's a professional standard. But they can in their personal lives honestly believe and do all kinds of strange things totally at odds with their professional methodologies. So you are wrong again. tnx.

Sal2: What scientists do in their private lives is, well, done in their private lives. But when they enter the lab, they are supposed to check their biases, prejudices, assumptions and preconceptions at the door. Of course many do not, and these things find their way into their work. But then other scientists who do not share their predilections root them out. And science advances.

Sal1: If ghosts could be verified by empirical means such as witnesses and videotapes, we wouldn't be talking about unamenable to empirical investigation now, would we? And if such things can be captured on recording devices or seen by eyewitnesses, they can't be entirely supernatural, since indications of them are arriving at our witnesses or videotapes by natural means. Light, a physical quantity, has to either radiate from or bounce off the surface of what we see.

HHar1: ENTIRELY supernatural? Nothing can be, by your definition ENTIRELY supernatural and still affect the real world. You are arguing petitio principii. I note as well that a supernatural entity could pop photons into cameras wherever it liked, make everybody hallucinate the same thing, whatever. That's why they are called "supernatural". The problem with empirical investigations of such things is that one cannot expect them, if they ate real, to be orderly. But one CAN ask whether or not the phenomena observed can be accounted for by other means, if the phenomena is in any way regular, etc.

Sal2: You get my point. The supernatural cannot, by definition, affect the natural world, else it would not be SUPERnatural, since it would possess natural-world causal efficacy. And that includes camera photon-popping and hallucination induction, which would have PET scan measurable effects.

Sal1: I can't tell what's a meme for YOU unless you let me know (for instance, I know that there are quite a few words among them). Do you believe that believing Zoroastrian exist? (Parsees in India are Zoroastrians). Can you recognize that they have such beliefs if they don't tell you?

Hhar1: Right: and not only do you have to ask me about my memes, but if I lack insight, I can't necessarily tell you my memes. So: you can't tell what a meme is not, in general. We went through this. You CAN tell what a star is not, in general. Why you have trouble with this I'll never know.

Sal2: As I noted before, if you recognize something, and a word or thought you have associated with it comes to mind, that word or thought is a meme, and theoretically, a PET scan could register the neurological change concommitent upon such recognition. If you DON'T recognize it, well then you possess no meme associated with it.

663 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:14:16pm
How would it be germane when memetic meaning is in addition to, not instead of, sense perception?

It would be germane because I pointed out that I did not recognise what you said was a meme. You then said back in 580 that such a meme did not exist in me. A different one did. Now, I accepted that, and pointed out that this demonstrated that the 4 note meme wasn't unitary: that this 4 note meme now required at least two different memes to account for its behavior. You then said "If a night-blind person only sees a silver smear where another person with excellent night sight can point out patterns of light and darkness, does this mean either that the moon does not exist, or that there are multiple moons? The same goes with the tone deaf and the perfect pitch person hearing the same musical phrase." In the case of the meme, the meme is a subjective phenmenon, and so if you have two different subjective phenomena, you have two different memes: as you said, I had a different meme than the other person, to account for the differential effect of the 4 note phrase. Now: in the case of the moon, if I see two moons, that does not mean that there ARE two moons, becuase the moon (unlike the meme) is not a subjective phenomenon.

(snip)

Sal2: The history of the evolution and propagation of religions, political ideologies, language and art disagree with you. ,


Well, if you have talked with them, bring 'em here, 'cause I have a few questions for them.

nonmemes are in the realm of being, and memes possess meaning. That is the distinction. Like between a word and a thing. When the apprehension of a thing causes a word for it to come to mind from memory, the thing is not the meme; the word called to mind is. The thing is just a perceptual trigger causing its appearance. For instance, to someone unaware of written language, a printed word is just a meaningless visual configuration.

Beautiful! Except there is no way of knowing if anything has no meaning, because firstly, that is asking someone to demonstrate a negative, and secondly, given human nature, I can't think of something that has no meaning.


(snip)

Sal2: No it doesn't. The selfsame causes can have different effects when they encounter different objects. The effect of one billiard ball on another is not the same as its effect on a boulder or a bowl of jello.
Your definition would entail that there are no such things as words, because two people hearing the selfsame word can have different things come to mind because of it. Therefore I insist that you answer me without using these word thingies that you insist are nonexistent, according to your spurious logic.

No, my definition would say that there is no such thing as a meme as a causally efficaceous unit. Full stop. Words are still possible, even with very low reproductive fidelity. I am NOT saying that there cannot be anything such as a meme. I AM saying that if there is such a thing, it isn't a word, or a melody, or any of the other examples you are giving.

664 Hhar  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:21:55pm
Sal2: What scientists do in their private lives is, well, done in their private lives. But when they enter the lab, they are supposed to check their biases, prejudices, assumptions and preconceptions at the door. Of course many do not, and these things find their way into their work. But then other scientists who do not share their predilections root them out. And science advances.

Usually. Sometimes it stands still for a long time. Thank you for agreeing with my point: you cannot claim that the methodological naturalism of science is entirely distinct from the dominant ontological naturalist culture of science. They are not distinct in practice: science is a social activity, and has metaphysical biases.

(snip)


Sal2: You get my point. The supernatural cannot, by definition, affect the natural world, else it would not be SUPERnatural, since it would possess natural-world causal efficacy. And that includes camera photon-popping and hallucination induction, which would have PET scan measurable effects.

Again, that is petetito principii. The supernatural CAN affect the natural world, but the WHOLLY supernatural cannot, by your definition. But I did not restrict my discussion to wholly supernatural entities and effects.

(snip)


Sal2: As I noted before, if you recognize something, and a word or thought you have associated with it comes to mind, that word or thought is a meme, and theoretically, a PET scan could register the neurological change concommitent upon such recognition. If you DON'T recognize it, well then you possess no meme associated with it.

Yes, which is why (vide supra) memes are not unitary causally efficaceous entities.

665 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:29:06pm

re: #643 Hhar

It's true in biological science circles. Can you bring yourself to admit that?

He's respected as a publicist and writer, not as a scientist, aside from ssome early work. I know biologists who cringe at his ideas and approach. So no, I don't think that it IS necessarily true.

Yet you claimed that Dawkins was no better than Behe. In some circles of course - intelligent design circles - that would be a respectable opinion. But it would leave the vast majority of scientists scratching their heads and looking at you all funny.

Really? How do you know that? You have taken a poll? Hyperbole aside, you may be right, but it is irrelevant: in my opinion, they are both intellectually dishonest cranks. I suggest David Stove: Darwinian Fairy Tales for an attack on Dawkins. Stove is (was: he's dead now) neither an IDer nor creationist, but a lifelong, clear spoken agnostic: look it up. His biology is sometimes weak, but his criticisms of Dawkins are trenchant.

At any rate, I do not think Darwin was a liar, and if he was ever a hypocrit, that is just about irrelevant. But if we are going to pillory Behe for intellectual mendacity, and on that basis assert that he must therefore be a pathological liar about his personal beleifs (that's one of the things I have been hearing) then we must hold science writers to the same standard. Dawkin's idea of a meme is slipshod pseudoscience, in my opinion. The most ardent defender of memetics in this thread won't even dare to classify it as science, and I agree with that much of what he says. By these standards, plus the fact that he's a howling antitheist bigot (did you read his post Sept 11 column?) he's a pathological liar too.

Now, if he is widely respected, then either a) it is unfair to characterise all those biologists as respecting a pathiological liar or b) it is unfair to dawkins to classify him as a pathological liar simply because he's an intellectually dishonest bigot. I favor B. But then apply those criterioa to Behe. Behe is sloppy, intellectually dishonest, hypocritical blah blah blah, all that stuff, no argument from me. That doesn't make him a pathological liar: it makes him wrong.

I find it funny that because I am saying this, a number of people seem to have gotten the impression that I'm an ID supporter. I am definitely going to have to keep this up.

First, David Stove accepted evolutionary theory; he just didn't think that natural selection applied to humans any more, due to human social support networks (memes overriding genes, although he didn't express it that way). Memetic evolution is indeed much faster; we weren't able to progress from knapping spear points to nuclear fusion, moon travel and computers in 40,000 years merely because of some genetically based instinctual exigency. We were able to do it because, with the advent of communication, we were able to accumulate and aggegate knowledge through generations, rather than have it die with its discoverers.

[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

As to Dawkins' supposedly anti-theist post 9-11 column, it is here:

[Link: www.guardian.co.uk...]

Other notable folks, such as the anthropologist Lionel Tiger, published essays at the same time and in the same newspaperlargely agreeing with him:

[Link: www.guardian.co.uk...]

666 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:35:53pm

re: #644 Hhar

Oh no, Jimmah, panspermia

OK, so you have a form of creationism (in this case, Behe's personal take on ID) that asserts universal common descent by modification through deep time. Sorry: that ain't creationism, unless you are willing to say that just about any theist other than a strict Deist is a creationist. If you are, that's fine with me, but it makes "creationism" a much less useful term.

I agree that Behe's personal ideas about the mechanism of universal common descent by modification through deep time are much more treligion than science, but that isn't the same as calling them 'creationist".

They are characterized by Behe's belief that God sticks his finger into the world and suspends the laws of cause and effect in order to insinuate his own biological plans, and Behe's insistence that this MUST have happened, because, according to Behe, evolution via random genetic mutation and nonrandom enviromental selection alone could not have possibly resulted in our present profusion of complex terrestrial species. But every instance of such purported 'irreduceable complexity' that Behe has proffered has proven to be all-too-reduceable.

667 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:46:24pm

re: #645 Hhar

Sorry: re panspermia.

This guy:

[Link: www.panspermia.org...]

has been posting IDish stuff for years. His basic opinion is that the origin of life is a religious question, not a scientific one. IIRC Hoyle felt similar. read through his site: any of those themes sound familiar?

This guy is basically a sort of IDer.

Yes, he is. There is, in fact, a scientific discipline distinct from evolution known as origins of life theory, that addresses precisely such questions. Charles has posted at least one article on OOL theory.

Aliens or meteor/comet lifeforms would have had to evolve somewhere, so panspermia just kicks the evolutionary can down the universal road, and not off of it, unless we are supposed to suppose that some deity created them from nothing (which is what a lot of these folks really believe about terrestrial life; they just use panspermia as a debating point against the contention that life has been able to evolve on earth because it naturally originated here, and thus belongs - which is funny, because life naturally originating anywhere in the universe de facto belongs within it).

668 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 2:55:52pm

re: #646 Hhar

Bt Jimmah, I failed to respond to this:

1. I dispute that most prominent biologists and philosophers of science are "quite happy" with the general idea. Michael Ruse, for instance, is not "quite happy" with it. Nor is Eliot Sober. Which "prominent biologists" were you thinking of?

Sal: A VERY prominent philosopher of science, Daniel C. Dennett, is among its proponents. So is the well-known Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker.

Hhar: If someone indulges in deliberately misleading language far more often than they correct their misleading language, I infer an intent to convince, not an intent to educate. Dawkins, with his idiotic "selfish" gene rhetoric (to mention but the most famous, and ignoring his often uncorrected over the top anthropomorphisations about "intent") intends not to educate, but convince. He says he's educating. I say he's lying about that. I further think that people cut him slack because he's on the "right" side against the "wrong" side. Well, to heck with that: at some point with that attitude one becomes nothing but a cultural stooge.

4. Dawkins has his valuable gifts. Honesty, transparency, and an open mind are not amoung them. So: yes. Both idiocy and intellectual mendacity.

This is the highly awarded Oxford professor, the foremost intellectual by far in Britain (according to a poll), that Hhar decribes as idiotic and intellectually mendacious; read about his work and decide for youselves:

[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

669 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 3:12:05pm

re: #651 Hhar

Hhar: When Dawkins starts with memetics, he is no longer in the realm of biology, and Stove is very effective in that realm, and in the analysis of Dawkins' language, I think he is spot on.

Sal: But of course you are aware that very little of Dawkins' work, save a couple of chapters at the end of his early work The selfish Gene, have to do with memetics at all? The vast preponderance of his work, over several books, has had to do with concrete examples of evolution in action.

Hhar: Yes, we can't ridicule Darwin and Malthus. Good heavens.
Stove in no way endorses anything like ID or creationism. Here is a case where a man of unimpeachable agnostic credentials, who in no way favors pseudoscience or religion, is distrusted because he is attacking a sacred cow, and attacking it out of the philosopher's duty to dismantle a bad idea.

Actually, Stove has a reputation for attacking anyone and everyone, and most of his attacks are not thought well of in the philosophical community, having not proven out over subsequent investigation. He is widely viewed as a reactionary controversialist. He has attacked not only Darwin and Malthus, but also Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, Feyerabend, Goodman, Nozick, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. He has defended practically no one.

670 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 3:28:36pm

re: #651 Hhar

Hhar: If you are too prejudiced and insecure to handle a little cutting language, try Ruse's book "The Evolution Creation Struggle". I must warn you though: Ruse is one of those agnostic/creationist/pathological liars I hear about who think that evolution seems to be a lot like a religion to some of its proponents.

Sal: Yep, I'd expect as much of someone who has testified in favor of including creationism in public high school science classes and who regularly hits the road with William Dembski:

[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

Hhar: Hey, half baked shonky pseudoscience is half baked shonky pseudoscience. Don't care who its from, or who agrees with it. You seem to be compounding a genetic fallacy with an argument from authority and an argument from popularity. Me, I'm just looking at the arguments.

Sal: Yes, and having your objections replied to, at which point you either belittle, dismiss or ignore the reply, and then proceed to either the next objection or a reiteration of the just-answered one, just like a creationist who places his interlocuter on the you-must-prove-everything-and-I-have-to-prove-nothing hamster wheel.

Hhar: Has it ever occurred to you that he can be dogmatically attached to his pet theory, for (say) religious reasons? Of course it has. Well, people will not always be very rational when they start seeing a vast religious significance in something. It can be a species of dishonesty, to be sure, but it doesn't mean that he will out and out lie about his scientific and religious ideas. In fact, everything he does points to this aspect of his life. He keeps saying: He thinks the designer is his deity, and that he's a catholic. Why not just look at him that way? A religious crank, trying to reconcile diverging ideas and having difficulty with it. That doesn't make him a creationist.

Sal: He seems to be objecting to evolutionary theory in ways that the Roman Catholic Church does not. It accepts evolutionary theory as valid, sound and solid science.

Hhar: He agrees with them. Why should he distance himself from them? So that the people who scream "Liar" all day and demean him should stop? A man of any worth wouldn't stoop to that. For shame. And Dawkins? He calls himself an educator of science, and he is nothing more than an antireligious bigot who finds science a handy stick to beat religionists with. If you think not, that speaks for itself.

Sal: He should distance himself from them because they are wrong. Because they attack evolutionary theory withut offering any alternatives that account for the evidence, or performing any experimental investigations themselves. Because they, like he, are Disco Institute snake-oil-selling shills for dollars donated by the naive faithful under spurous pretenses. And religionists could not be beaten with any science stick if they weren't poaching on science's territory, and making empirically falsifiable claims about the natural world (such as young earth and separate and as-is species creation). It is the duty of science to expose such dogmatic falsehoods.

671 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 3:55:40pm

re: #663 Hhar

Hhar: It would be germane because I pointed out that I did not recognise what you said was a meme. You then said back in 580 that such a meme did not exist in me. A different one did. Now, I accepted that, and pointed out that this demonstrated that the 4 note meme wasn't unitary: that this 4 note meme now required at least two different memes to account for its behavior. You then said "If a night-blind person only sees a silver smear where another person with excellent night sight can point out patterns of light and darkness, does this mean either that the moon does not exist, or that there are multiple moons? The same goes with the tone deaf and the perfect pitch person hearing the same musical phrase." In the case of the meme, the meme is a subjective phenmenon, and so if you have two different subjective phenomena, you have two different memes: as you said, I had a different meme than the other person, to account for the differential effect of the 4 note phrase. Now: in the case of the moon, if I see two moons, that does not mean that there ARE two moons, becuase the moon (unlike the meme) is not a subjective phenomenon.

Sal: If you see two moons, it's probably because you've been drinking too much. Different memetic responses to the selfsame perceptual triggers are found in different people because they have different experiential and communicational histories. The moon is indeed really out there, but our experience of it is subjective (although externally prompted by sense perception). The memetic recognition response, however, is not only subjective, but also internally stored, but at one time it, too, entered via our sense perceptions from outside.

Hhar: Except there is no way of knowing if anything has no meaning, because firstly, that is asking someone to demonstrate a negative, and secondly, given human nature, I can't think of something that has no meaning.

Sal: In each particular case, people could be PET scanned while presented with the stimulus, and be checked for the neurobiological accompaniment of cognitive recognition response.

Hhar: No, my definition would say that there is no such thing as a meme as a causally efficaceous unit. Full stop. Words are still possible, even with very low reproductive fidelity. I am NOT saying that there cannot be anything such as a meme. I AM saying that if there is such a thing, it isn't a word, or a melody, or any of the other examples you are giving.

Sal: Actually, words have a high degree of reproductive fidelity, or we would not share a knowledge of enough words and their definitions to engage in communication. Some words, of course, more widely propagate than others. If you are saying that words and melodies are external triggers that can prompt the coming-to-mind of an internally stored meme-ory trace, that's how memes work. Already-known words or notes can also be combined, in conversation or performance, in novel (to the recipient) patterns and sequences, and thusly are new ideas and melodies propagate and spread.

672 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 4:11:38pm

re: #664 Hhar

Sal1: What scientists do in their private lives is, well, done in their private lives. But when they enter the lab, they are supposed to check their biases, prejudices, assumptions and preconceptions at the door. Of course many do not, and these things find their way into their work. But then other scientists who do not share their predilections root them out. And science advances.

Hhar1: Usually. Sometimes it stands still for a long time. Thank you for agreeing with my point: you cannot claim that the methodological naturalism of science is entirely distinct from the dominant ontological naturalist culture of science. They are not distinct in practice: science is a social activity, and has metaphysical biases.

Sal2: Yes, I can. The ontological presumptions of individual scientists do not comprise any metaphysical stand undertaken by empirical science in general. Individual scientists may have metaphysical biases; empirical science itself does not, in principle. It's like claiming that the Catholic proesthood is institutionally pedophilic because of the predatory propensities of some priests.

Sal1: You get my point. The supernatural cannot, by definition, affect the natural world, else it would not be SUPERnatural, since it would possess natural-world causal efficacy. And that includes camera photon-popping and hallucination induction, which would have PET scan measurable effects.

Hhar1: Again, that is petetito principii. The supernatural CAN affect the natural world, but the WHOLLY supernatural cannot, by your definition. But I did not restrict my discussion to wholly supernatural entities and effects.

Sal2: But there apparently are differences between MORE empirically impinging phenomena, such as jugular-sucking vampires and flesh-ripping werewolves, and LESS empirically impinging ones, such as ghostly and insubstantial ectoplasmic apparitions. I suppose that poltergeists would fit somewhere in the middle.

Sal1: As I noted before, if you recognize something, and a word or thought you have associated with it comes to mind, that word or thought is a meme, and theoretically, a PET scan could register the neurological change concommitent upon such recognition. If you DON'T recognize it, well then you possess no meme associated with it.

Hhar1: Yes, which is why (vide supra) memes are not unitary causally efficaceous entities.

Sal2: Well, the triggers don't get a memetic recognition response out of everyone, because some people don't have one stored. But that fact canot impugn the unitariness of such triggers; it only demonstrates that their causal efficacy is not omni-efficacious, but is contingent upon whether or not something triggerable is stored in the recipient. And then again, perhaps novel word strings, presenting new ideas, can plant a fresh meme there.

673 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 5:19:34pm

Wow - it (Hhar) actually does sleep. I make that about 30 hours solid btw - is that an LGF record for sustained trollage?

674 Salamantis  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 5:23:49pm

re: #673 Jimmah

Wow - it (Hhar) actually does sleep. I make that about 30 hours solid btw - is that an LGF record for sustained trollage?

It's a real drag when the crank wears off...crash and burn...

675 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 5:47:02pm

re: #655 Hhar

Great, but I didn't say that. I said I think memetics is nonsense, and I have said some others do too.

Nope - as has been made plain to you, everyone is already well aware that Dawkins, like any widely respected scientist or author who has done any work worthy of notice, has his detractors. But what you tried to say was that Dawkins is not widely respected in the biological science community.

You said:

dawkins is widely respected? In some circles, yes, that's true.

I said:

It's true in biological science circles. Can you bring yourself to admit that?

You replied:

He's respected as a publicist and writer, not as a scientist, aside from ssome early work. I know biologists who cringe at his ideas and approach. So no, I don't think that it IS necessarily true.

And you then picked up on a some quotes from a couple of his critics as if that proved your case. In the awareness of the fact that your case fell flat on it's face you now try to downgrade your claim to the above. Pathetic.


You are the one who thinks that the number of people who think something is so, and who thinks somethioing is so, is very important. I'm the one looking at the arguments. You aren't ecven willing to read them because you think someone who you disagree with may like them. Has it ever occurred to you that david Stowe could be right, and IDers, creationistys, and dawkins fans could all be wrong? Since you are so keenj on where arguments come from: Of all those parties, who has the least obvious self interest in accepting or rejecting dawkins arguments: Dawkins, IDers, or a conservative retired agnostic Australian philosopher?

I think that when someone tries to claim that Dawkins is frowned on by the biology community, it becomes relevant to take note of what the biology community actually thinks. As for Stowe, I just made a judgement based on the reviews and reader comments that it's not likely to be a worthwhile read. I'm not a closed minded bigot who is skeered of the troof for not assenting to your demand that I read it.


Hello? Lots of people in the USA are very tolerant of creationism: they just think its someone else's opinion. They don't think it is shite even if they disagree with it. What is wrong with saying that this is the case with Behe? How does it exonerate him? It doesn't. It just makes him not a pathological liar. Just amazing, the out and out venom.

Behe knows full well that he is supporting a group who are involved in a deceptive attempt to have religious nonsense taught in science class, but keeps up with the charade that it is all about teaching good science. I said that he is knowingly involved in a deception, I didn't call him pathological liar.

Lots of people in the US object very strongly to this deeply anti-American plot by the Disco Institute and it's associates. But you seem to be far more worked up about memes for some reason. Go figure.

676 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 5:49:30pm

re: #674 Salamantis

It's a real drag when the crank wears off...crash and burn...

Heh...

677 Ayeless in Ghazi  Thu, Feb 5, 2009 6:20:33pm

re: #665 Salamantis

A snip from that piece by Dawkins:

Could we get some otherwise normal humans and somehow persuade them that they are not going to die as a consequence of flying a plane smack into a skyscraper? If only! Nobody is that stupid, but how about this - it's a long shot, but it just might work. Given that they are certainly going to die, couldn't we sucker them into believing that they are going to come to life again afterwards? Don't be daft! No, listen, it might work. Offer them a fast track to a Great Oasis in the Sky, cooled by everlasting fountains. Harps and wings wouldn't appeal to the sort of young men we need, so tell them there's a special martyr's reward of 72 virgin brides, guaranteed eager and exclusive.

Would they fall for it? Yes, testosterone-sodden young men too unattractive to get a woman in this world might be desperate enough to go for 72 private virgins in the next.

It's a tall story, but worth a try. You'd have to get them young, though. Feed them a complete and self-consistent background mythology to make the big lie sound plausible when it comes. Give them a holy book and make them learn it by heart. Do you know, I really think it might work. As luck would have it, we have just the thing to hand: a ready-made system of mind-control which has been honed over centuries, handed down through generations. Millions of people have been brought up in it. It is called religion and, for reasons which one day we may understand, most people fall for it (nowhere more so than America itself, though the irony passes unnoticed). Now all we need is to round up a few of these faith-heads and give them flying lessons.

Facetious? Trivialising an unspeakable evil? That is the exact opposite of my intention, which is deadly serious and prompted by deep grief and fierce anger. I am trying to call attention to the elephant in the room that everybody is too polite - or too devout - to notice: religion, and specifically the devaluing effect that religion has on human life. I don't mean devaluing the life of others (though it can do that too), but devaluing one's own life. Religion teaches the dangerous nonsense that death is not the end.

If death is final, a rational agent can be expected to value his life highly and be reluctant to risk it. This makes the world a safer place, just as a plane is safer if its hijacker wants to survive. At the other extreme, if a significant number of people convince themselves, or are convinced by their priests, that a martyr's death is equivalent to pressing the hyperspace button and zooming through a wormhole to another universe, it can make the world a very dangerous place. Especially if they also believe that that other universe is a paradisical escape from the tribulations of the real world. Top it off with sincerely believed, if ludicrous and degrading to women, sexual promises, and is it any wonder that naive and frustrated young men are clamouring to be selected for suicide missions?

I think Dawkins is undeniably correct here. Whatever one may think of the merits of one's own religion, the fact is that without a belief in the afterlife and the insane rewards promised for fighting for your God, holy wars and acts of holy terrorism involving suicide bombers would not occur. And let's face it, before the outraged spluttering starts, we all know that while Islam is top of the list in this dept, Christianity doesn't have a great past record on holy war etc either. And in that case too, the belief in an afterlife, the temporary nature of this world and the rewards/punishments of the hereafter made it that much easier to justify killing people. Christians lo longer engage in holy war, but back in the days when they did, the reasons weren't so different to the reasons given by todays holy warriors. 'Screw this shitty world, we're fighting for God and a better afterlife'.

678 JohnH  Fri, Feb 6, 2009 8:44:30pm

And then there are the non-, or ir-, religious who kill in even greater numbers.....

679 Salamantis  Sat, Feb 7, 2009 12:18:09am

re: #678 JohnH

And then there are the non-, or ir-, religious who kill in even greater numbers.....

People have been killing others for the sake of one faith or another since time immemorial. If only 50 thousand people per year were killed in the name of some religion for the past two millennia, that would add up to 100 million people.

Are you seriously going to try to maintain that non- or ir-religious people have murdered more?


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