kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Name:
Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Miracles

An update from the science wars—well, actually the war is between those who get to claim they are doing science and those who, while claiming to do so, aren't.

The money quote?

Public opinion surveys consistently have shown that Americans are deeply divided over evolution. The most recent Gallup poll on the issue, in June 2007 , found that 49 percent of those surveyed said they believed in evolution and 48 percent said they didn't. Those percentages have stayed almost even for at least 25 years.
News story from Yahoo!


I'd like to say this is hard to believe, but it is all too easy to believe. This, to my mind, is a scathing indictment—as if we need another—of our educational system.

It's been awhile since this there has been much doubt about the basic outlines of evolution—descent with modification—and talking to actual biologists (with the exception of Michael Behe) indicate that it functions as an assumption of doing biology. All kinds of biology. One might as well have a poll about trigonometry; if 48% of Americans said they "didn't believe" in it, would anyone think that working mathemeticians and their views would be relevant?

I love it when someone who rejects evolutionary theory, yet flies 1000 miles, drives to a hotel, flips on the lights and the TV, then hooks up a laptop to write up more objections to evolution, because it isn't a science.

Anyone reading this probably thinks I'm wasting my time on this issue. I probably agree with them.

66% of Republicans, according the poll cited, don't "believe" in evolution. (Imagine someone asking "Do you believe in gravity?" [The opposing view, my wife Robyn would say, is the ever-popular theory, not taught enough in public schools, of "intelligent falling."])

Yet Obama got 52% of the vote.

Hence, the miracle.

95 Comments:

Blogger Bazarov said...

It's hard not to dwell atop an ivory tower when I read about things like this.

Intelligent falling. Nice. That sounds ripe for elaboration.

Just to argue, because I like to, is it really an indictment of our educational system? I went through a similar system many others went through, yet I have a clear picture of reality...well, clearer. I would argue it's more of a societal problem, more strongly correlated to church attendance than to poor schooling. Something about American churchgoing is to blame I think. Plus, I think people use the word "believe" in this country much to mean "want to be true".

I once looked up 'church' in the Dayton Yellow Pages, counted the number of listings on one page, and then multiplied that by the number of pages, including mosques, synagogues, new-age-colon-cleaning-crystal-rubbing-centers, etc. It came out to about 500-600. I told a swede that and they wouldn't believe me, said they didn't have that many in the entire country. I looked up museums, schools, learning centers, etc. The results were too abysmal to list. I also notice a similar disparity when going to book stores. The science section is perhaps eight feet wide, four feet tall, at most. New Age, Religion, and Self-Help are ginormous in comparison. I think bookstores are putting up what sells, not shoving garbage down the population's throat. So I don't get mad at the bookstores, but I do move Behe and other ID books from the science section should someone at the store have placed them there by accident or ignorance. I have a lot more questions than answers regarding this and similar societal phenomena.

I'm sometimes amazed Obama won too, but maybe psycho-**** was too much for those same republicans that voted for president Clinton. I got a $5 bet goin that McCain dies before Obama's first term is up. It was hard to find a taker.

2:20 PM  
Blogger joe said...

I love it when someone who rejects evolutionary theory, yet flies 1000 miles, drives to a hotel, flips on the lights and the TV, then hooks up a laptop to write up more objections to evolution, because it isn't a science.

This is an interesting statement for someone who believes in the theory of evolution. Nonetheless, I understand it is hard for evolutionists to accept a diverse opinion contrary to their belief system. I have studied evolution quite extensively with lackluster results. I find it interesting we can discover the evolutionary ancestors of a rat that coincidentally appear as a reptilian dinosaur. Yet we can’t’ find in any of our fossil records, the necessary “bones” which bridged modern humans from the upright apelike ancestor we are theoretically descended. It just amazes me that those who support the evolutionary theory base their whole thought process on, well, a theory. Science has proven, not one piece of evidence exists linking species to another through either the process of adaptation or natural selection. Not one fact can be substantiated to support the theory, yet, Obama did win.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"well, actually the war is between those who get to claim they are doing science and those who, while claiming to do so, aren't."

The second group is a subset of the first. Hence, the two groups can't be at war.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See what you've done, Mosser? The ID-iots have come out of the shadows and into the sunlight. Scurry back, little friends.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Bazarov said...

You're simply ignorant if you think there isn't any fossil evidence linking us to other hominids or apes. Fossils aren't even necessary any longer given all the molecular evidence that didn't have to agree with evolutionary theory, but does to a brilliant degree. You're exposing your ignorance and the way you emphasize theory to mean something that isn't true exposes you as someone better off ignored than taken seriously. It's a shame I haven't a life or I would've ignored it, but I'm stupid in maintaining the hope that most humans can be enlightened.
If you're actually not as idiotic as you appear to be through your post, and you're truly interested in fossil evidence that links species together, I'd suggest looking up the fossil record of the horse--it's rather stunning. Comparative anatomy is good too. And as mentioned before, molecular genetics has proven we're all related, which is a bit saddening when I have to admit that I'm related to people who deny evolution when they should know better--bacteria haven't any brains; what's your excuse?
What, would you propose, is a better theory for explaining life in the natural world?

9:02 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

"most humans can be enlightened"--in theory, of course.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Bazarov,I must say you have made a convincing argument for the case that YOU did descend from some type of animal. Your immature name-calling indicates you incapable of adult discussion. You must be a beneficiary of some government grant that pays you to put forth your conjecture and “theory” on the origins of life. For clarification and this would be a good time to call you a denigrating name, but I do resort to such immature behavior as you have exhibited via your evolutionary journey through life, yes, we humans are all related as molecular genetics has proven, but nothing in molecular genetics has proven we are conclusively, 100 per cent related to apes. If you want to believe you descended from an ape good for you. If you do then I suggest you start looking in Africa for the burial site of the missing links. Funny we can find all the other fossils that evolutionist base their THEORY but no fossils have been found, conclusively, bridging the great leap from ape to man. Email me directly when you and your ilk find this evidence. I will then change my position. You are unworthy of any further consideration due to your scholarly immaturity. Have a good day and make sure you eat your banana for breakfast everyday.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"nothing in molecular genetics has proven we are conclusively, 100 per cent related to apes."

Wrong!

"no fossils have been found, conclusively, bridging the great leap from ape to man. "

Wrong!

"...not one piece of evidence exists linking species to another through either the process of adaptation or natural selection."

Wrong!

"we can’t’ find in any of our fossil records, the necessary “bones” which bridged modern humans from the upright apelike ancestor we are theoretically descended."

Wrong!

"Not one fact can be substantiated to support the theory..."

Wrong!

"I have studied evolution quite extensively ..."

Quite obviously wrong!

Bazarov, far be it for me to quell any discussion, don't waste your time with Joe. He's clearly one of those fools who will not acknowledge a single fact when it doesn't suit him, but then turns around and proposes creationism or ID without _any_ facts whatsoever to back him up. He's also engaging in the favorite tactic of the Creationists: draw you into a prolonged discussion, then turn around and point to the discussion as evidence that there is a valid disagreement between two equally valid points of view, and that therefore we should "teach the controversy."

You wouldn't argue with this fool about whether gravity exists, whether the earth is flat, or whether 2+2 =5, right? So don't argue with him about this one and let him crawl back to his hole.

-Anonymous (closer and closer to being a doctor)

12:48 PM  
Blogger Bazarov said...

Name calling? You are ignorant. You claimed: "not one piece of evidence exists linking species to another through either the process of adaptation or natural selection."

That's simply false. There is an ample amount of evidence--warehouses worth--suggesting evolution is by far the best theory we have. {Again, if you'd actually spend some time looking, you'd find it. Try the Herring Gull for starters, since you seem to have avoided the horse...perhaps your Yahoo disposition has made you, understandably, dislike that kind}. To think this "theory" is debatable with regards to it being seriously contested by a competing theory is about as silly as thinking the moon-made-of-cheese is on equal grounds with it being made of rock.

I'm quite capable of adult conversations, hence my superior understanding of the world and universe, relative to yours. You, on the other hand, seem to prefer comforting delusions. I'd suggest you start hanging around people who prefer to say things the way the are than the way they'd prefer them to be.

That deals with the ignorant statement, which you must be in order to maintain the idea that evolution is wrong despite the plethora of evidence and argument supporting it.

The idiotic appellation was conditional, and you've managed well with it.

We're not just descended from apes, we ARE apes. I know some people take offense to this, but don't worry, the other apes don't know we're making the comparison, so they're spared the embarrassment of being related to the 'joe's of the world, plumbers-turned-reporter or otherwise. I needn't look in Africa, others much more capable have and are doing that.

You say conclusively. What's that mean? Any other viewpoint is far less conclusive than evolution, correct?

Boy, name-calling's fun! Especially when one's right!

Did you not descend from some type of animal. Were your parents not mammals? Did you not feed off your mother's milk? You say me coming from an animal as if it were some sort of insult. This is a self-hating posture I wouldn't recommend, Joe. You should be proud of your heritage, not shirk away from it. What's the alternative? And don't lie by saying, "I have studied evolution quite extensively with lackluster results." The latter part of that sentence I'm inclined to agree with, but the former part is either a lie or proof of idiocy. Your choice. Maybe you should look for help with other things before you look for the truth about evolution. Aren't ad hominem attacks fun!?

Seriously, go read a book. In fact, read many books. Grow up some, be mature in that grand sense of Enlightenment. Maybe take a field trip to a museum. It'll do you good in the end. I still have hope you can be enlightened one day.

And thanks, I do enjoy a good banana from time to time. Those were designed, you know. Yep, Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains and Ray Comfort said so, it's GOT to be true!

I was just kidding before, I haven't any hope for you; just pay your taxes and lie quietly a few years more.


With regards to arguing with him: it's no sweat off my back, and if I can raise his bloodpressure some and irritate him, well, that's great! Lying delusional folk, when at the safe distance provided by the web, are fun enough to tease.

1:20 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Joe is using a well-known, well-established, and utterly worthless argument.

Identify two phenotypes, a and b.

Scream there are no intermediate
fossil forms between a and b (and hope no one asks for how the opposing view explains either a or b).

Then, when the the intermediate form (call it "c") is provided, scream there is no intermediate fossil form between a and c (and hope no one asks for how the opposing view explains c).

Repeat as necessary, for there will always be a gap (only here, evidently, is an absoutely continuous, perfect and exhaustive set of data required in any thing called "science).

God explains these gaps, gaps that are provided by the screamer objecting to evolution, thus providing the "God of the gaps" well-known, and long-dismissed, by anyone actually working in a lab trying to do productive science, rather than--here's the name-calling--simply being a wanker.

4:39 PM  
Blogger bmackintosh said...

I agree with Joe. Also the earth is the center of the universe and flat as a pancake. Please excuse me because I don't feel well and need the barber to bleed me.

8:41 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

""well, actually the war is between those who get to claim they are doing science and those who, while claiming to do so, aren't."

The second group is a subset of the first. Hence, the two groups can't be at war."

Well, I suppose from a technical set-theoretical view, this may be correct; but if "get to claim" is read as distinct from "claiming"--insofar as the former was supposed to contain an implicit legitimacy the latter lacked--then the two groups are distinct.

But I certainly didn't say that clearly enough.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Matteo said...

"I love it when someone who rejects evolutionary theory, yet flies 1000 miles, drives to a hotel, flips on the lights and the TV, then hooks up a laptop to write up more objections to evolution, because it isn't a science."

That kind of begs the question, doesn't it? There's science and then there's "science". I think Vox Day aptly summed up the fallacy inherent in your statement in the graphic viewable here.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" There's science and then there's "science". "

Wrong!

There's just science.

Or perhaps, to put it more in context: There's science that idiots choose to recognize, and science they choose not to. Either way, though, the science remains the same.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Matteo said...

Ah. A total failure to see the point. But not unexpected.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You! Back to your hole!

This is a blog for smart people to discuss real issues, not a blog for smart people to debate idiots.

12:52 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Since the link you provided only refers to Dennett's terrible blunders, I'm not sure where I'm supposed to see them indicated and devastatingly refuted. Dennett, of course, can take care of himself. But since he isn't a reductionist in any obvious sense, it's not clear from what is stated at the link provided that criticizing him as a reductionist is accurate.

So enlighten me so I can discover where Dennett comes off as such a fool, and we can proceed.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I must apologize to most of the bloggers on this page. You have proven me very wrong. How infantile of me to assume a mature discussion could occur without condescending name-calling. Your methods of debate prove your evolutionary point absolutely. You are evolution in progress for example,

APE, MORON, IMBECILE, IDIOT, ELVOLUTIONIST BLOGGER.

To whoever stated I espouse creationism you too are,

Wrong.

I am neutral. I mistakenly thought after being directed to this board maybe one of you idiots could provide the FACTS that would 100% prove the THEORY of your ascension from ancestor bonzo.

I work with science everyday in my job. My job entails making conclusions of fact based on scientific reality. There is no need to explain to me the natural phenomenon of science.

None of you morons has anything but an opinion. None of you imbeciles can provide a scientifically proven fact that any species “evolved” into greater or sub-species of the original. None of you idiots can provide world-renowned scientist who will state absolutely the THEORY of EVOLUTION is a fact. The only proof of evolution you can provide is your own ape-like behavior. Don’t forget you banana today, it just may help you evolve into a human being.

9:57 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

It might help if you would indicate what would qualify as "proof." Most of the science I've done involves confirming (or disconfirming) claims; thus finding an intermediate form, or noting phenotype changes among drosophila, would confirm a claim, while finding marsupial skeletons in the Arctic would disconfirm a claim.

You work in science every day. Cool. Tell us what kind of claim you investigate, and what qualifies as a) confirmation and b) proof for those kinds of claims. Then we can go from there. Thanks.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Bazarov said...

Ooo Oooo OOOO! AAaahh AAHH AAAH EEE EEE EEEEE!

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe and Matteo:

You are clearly getting out of sorts because of your need to still feel relevant in a world that is not going in the direction that you think it ought to go in. The truth, though, is that you were _never_ relevant to begin with. The sooner you adapt to that reality, the sooner you can come out of your hole and see the light of day and appreciate what a great, scientifically-organized world this is.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe said:

"None of you idiots can provide world-renowned scientist who will state absolutely the THEORY of EVOLUTION is a fact."

I suspect this is a fool's errand, since, given these people's hostility to fact and science, they will try to shoot down everything no matter how unequivocal the proof. But, in an effort to show that Joe is wrong on even this small claim, here goes:

Stephen Jay Gould: "Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. " (From Stephen Jay Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory," Discover 2 (May 1981): 34-37.

So there you have it, Joe: A world renowned scientist stating absolutely that the THEORY of EVOLUTION is a fact.

I don't expect you to apologize, or to acknowledge you were wrong. But that is of little matter, and this proof was actually unnecessary, since we all already knew that you are, in fact, an idiot.

Back to your hole indeed.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't we all agree there are no zombies?

http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/Road_signs_warn_of_zombies

1:48 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Anonymous you idiot, because you or an evolutionary theorist states a theory is a fact does not make it a fact. His whole life was devoted to the theory of evolution. What did you expect him to affirm?
One of Stephen Gould’s best-known theories, developed with Niles Eldredge, argued that evolutionary change in the fossil record came in fits and starts rather than a steady process of slow change. Did you notice the word theory? The facts of the evolutionary process have not been 100% proven, period. By the way, this THEORY was known as punctuated equilibrium.
I have tired of you name-calling morons, except KMOSSER. He did not act like and idiot was open for honest debate. I have found another board discussing this issue in a much more “adult” manner.
Anonymous, you keep on believing you descended from an ape, it validates your intelligence. Bananas on sale.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, this is how these idiots operate. They demand proof (in this case a single world-renowned scientist), and when we supply it, they immediately shift their argument, claiming that...what? Gould is not world-renowned enough? That, because he's an evolutionary bioligist, his views on evolutionary biology should be discounted? Do you people have any intellectual consistency whatsoever?

Joe, you moron, you asked for it, we gave it to you. Now you go off simpering like a baby because we dared to prove you wrong?

The best news in your entire post is:

"I have found another board discussing this issue in a much more “adult” manner."

Good! As I said before, this is a blog for smart people to discuss real issues, not a blog for smart people to debate idiots. I told you before politely to get back to your hole. Now get the @#%$#@ out of here.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous bob said...

Joe just a clarification. The fact that something is called a theory by the scientific community means that there is overwhelming evidence to support it. In the scientific community the word theory does not mean someone's best guess as to what is going like it generally does in everyday language. As for the following quote:

"I am neutral. I mistakenly thought after being directed to this board maybe one of you idiots could provide the FACTS that would 100% prove the THEORY of your ascension from ancestor bonzo."

If you require 100% proof of anything in science you are going to be sadly dissapointed. A good scientist never asserts that anything is true beyond the shadow of the doubt. However, if something has enough evidence to be called a theory any scientist would be willing to accept it. Thus, the use of the word theory with regard to evolution does not suggest that there is any practical doubt about it within the scientific community.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous and Bob:

"See, this is how these idiots operate. They demand proof (in this case a single world-renowned scientist), and when we supply it, they immediately shift their argument, claiming that...what?"

Wow; there no possibility at all that your proof is actually not proof? In other words, there is no possibility that you failed to meet his criteria?


"If you require 100% proof of anything in science you are going to be sadly dissapointed."

I don't think he ever said this or implied it. He simply said he "studied evolution quite extensively with lackluster results." In other words, it is not a question of certainty for him, but what seems more reasonable.


Now, although I am defending him, this is not because I necessarily agree with his argument. Rather, I am tired of seeing people try to tear down his argument with slander, then bitch next week why there are so many people that deny evolution when they had the opportunity to teach/correct a person on the topic a week before.


F

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

F said:

"Wow; there no possibility at all that your proof is actually not proof? In other words, there is no possibility that you failed to meet his criteria? "

Well, let's examine Joe's criteria:

"a world-renowned scientist..."

That Gould was a world-renowned scientist is, I think, generally recognized by everyone except the lunatic fringe. In any event, Leeds, Columbia and Harvard certainly thought so.

"...who will state absolutely the THEORY of EVOLUTION is a fact."

Gould stated, and I quote: "...Evolution is a theory. It is also a fact."

So, no, F, there is no possibility whatsoever that my proof is not proof. I met exactly, 100%, Joe's stated criteria. That he then shifted his criteria, as is this crowd's modus operandi, is no reflection on my proof, merely of his inconsistency. In fact, this is a perfect microcosm of what is wrong with this mode of "thinking", and why he should go find somewhere else to peddle his garbage.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the slander you mention--"a malicious, false and defamatory statement or report"--I believe the Creationist, IDers and other sundry evolution-denying characters have cornered the market on this particular type of discourse.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous:

“So, no, F, there is no possibility whatsoever that my proof is not proof. I met exactly, 100%, Joe's stated criteria. That he then shifted his criteria, as is this crowd's modus operandi, is no reflection on my proof, merely of his inconsistency.”

Well, I am not sure how or where he shifted his criteria. What I do think is going on is that Joe is trying to explain why your attempt to fulfill his criteria was not actually achieved. Joe stated that he wanted a “world-renowned scientist who will state absolutely the THEORY of EVOLUTION is a fact.” Apparently Joe did not think Mr. Gould was not referring to evolution as a fact in terms of it being 100% certain. Perhaps this is why Joe should that Mr. Gould still thought of his work/investigations in terms of theory. Now, is Joe correct? Well, who knows if no one will actually debate him in a sophisticated way. And yes, your statement “Joe, you moron, you asked for it, we gave it to you. Now you go off simpering like a baby because we dared to prove you wrong” is not what I would consider to be sophisticated.


“As for the slander you mention … I believe the Creationist, IDers and other sundry evolution-denying characters have cornered the market on this particular type of discourse.”

Perhaps you are correct on this; but, lets look at some of the comments made on this blog:
-“See what you've done, Mosser? The ID-iots have come out of the shadows and into the sunlight. Scurry back, little friends.”
-“You're exposing your ignorance and the way you emphasize theory to mean something that isn't true exposes you as someone better off ignored than taken seriously.”
-“Bazarov, far be it for me to quell any discussion, don't waste your time with Joe. He's clearly one of those fools who will not acknowledge a single fact when it doesn't suit him, but then turns around and proposes creationism or ID without _any_ facts whatsoever to back him up.”
-“Seriously, go read a book. In fact, read many books. Grow up some, be mature in that grand sense of Enlightenment. Maybe take a field trip to a museum. It'll do you good in the end.”
-“I was just kidding before, I haven't any hope for you; just pay your taxes and lie quietly a few years more”
-“You are clearly getting out of sorts because of your need to still feel relevant in a world that is not going in the direction that you think it ought to go in. The truth, though, is that you were _never_ relevant to begin with. The sooner you adapt to that reality, the sooner you can come out of your hole and see the light of day and appreciate what a great, scientifically-organized world this is.”
-“Joe, you moron, you asked for it, we gave it to you. Now you go off simpering like a baby because we dared to prove you wrong?”
-“You! Back to your hole! This is a blog for smart people to discuss real issues, not a blog for smart people to debate idiots.”

Ok, maybe slander is not the best word since these statements are not necessarily false. However, I would consider these statements though to be malicious. Regardless, I doubt this is the best way of going about a debate.

Oh; let me provide you with the response you will most likely give me: “F, you are a moron. You know why, because I said so and since I hold the majority opinion on this blog, I don’t need to explain myself. Go back to your hole [whatever the hell that means] and read a book”

F

6:23 AM  
Blogger Bazarov said...

To F,

-“Seriously, go read a book. In fact, read many books. Grow up some, be mature in that grand sense of Enlightenment. Maybe take a field trip to a museum. It'll do you good in the end.”
-“I was just kidding before, I haven't any hope for you; just pay your taxes and lie quietly a few years more”

Those two were mine, not anonymous'. I think you must've gotten a saddle by now for as much fence sitting as you do :p. Do you really walk around in life assuming all propositions have equal probability of being true?

I can see you're trying to be nice, but there are instances when that's wasted. I believe this is one of them. In all seriousness, what is something you find inarguable? Is there any fact of the universe you feel beyond dispute? That doesn't exclude the possibility of changing your mind should some new evidence come along. Supposing you have a boss, would you be open to the idea that she's the same person the night before she is the next day? I mean, an alien could have come down and swapped her out, right? Or maybe an angel or valkyrie could've done the exchange.

Some things are just beyond debate with intelligent, educated folk. I'm pretty sure evolution's one of those things. Joe's an angry idiot. There are lots of them. I think you could find better things to do in life than defend people such as him.

7:15 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Nice. I'm not entirely sure who "Bob" is (I have my suspicions), but his point shouldn't be ignored. We have a variety of things called "theories": gravity, evolution, string, number, atomic, quantum. Rarely does one hear "number theory isn't a fact; it's just a theory."

Only, evidently, does evolution require evidence so strong that it has to satisfy criteria that surpass those required for mathematics. When biology can't satisfy them, the critics object.

One might also point out that the strongest critics of Gould and Eldrege's "punctuated equilibrium" were evolutionary biologists. They were the only ones taken seriously, and they raised good points against it. That hardly implies much damage to the basic thrust of the neo-Darwinian synthesis.

The maligned Dr. Dennett also made some important points against punctuated equilibrium. He probably just guessed right.

Carry on. I should blog on something controversial, next: should Jewish settlers in the West bank have abortion on demand if they are gay?

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In responce to Bazarov:

" I think you must've gotten a saddle by now for as much fence sitting as you do :p. Do you really walk around in life assuming all propositions have equal probability of being true?"

This is a good question, and one that I do not want to push aside. I will answer this when I have more time (perhaps early next week). I will post it on your blog site under the post that you started in responce to me.

F

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

F said:

" Well, I am not sure how or where [Joe] shifted his criteria."

Well, I'll tell you: He shifted his criteria when he brought his own interpretation of the word "fact." He says, in essence (and quite Clintonially), that it depends on what you mean by the word "fact", that when Gould used the word "fact", he didn't really mean "fact", he meant Joe's definition of "fact". I hate to harp on this, but it's not a minor point: it's the crux of the entire Creationist argument. They have constructed their own reality, and their objections come when the world doesn't fit that invented reality. I could go down the line with every one of Joe's claims, show absolutely how false they are, only to have him come back with: "well, not if you define the term that way. You need to define it this way."

And we live in a world where even respectable media outlets, newspapers and networks feel obliged to give equal coverage to the other side, no matter how idiotic their positions. Well, I for one refuse to debate those who insist the earth is flat, the mathematically challenged who insist 2 +2 = 5, the Creationists who insist evolution is a fiction, and fools who insist a fact is not a fact. There are plent of places out there for that kind of crap. We don't need it here.

As for the lack of civility, I would suggest, F, you look at the fourth word that Joe used in his claim, and the numerous references to people on this blog being monkeys and eating bananas.

12:14 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

I have constructed my own reality, I'm happy to say, where I eat, Clintonially, banana after banana without ever learning how to spell it. Yet I remain unclear on whether this makes me an idiot or a moron.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Victory is ours!

And so, go forth into the shadows and let it be know throughout the netherworld that those fools who dare run the gauntlet that is Kurt's Nightmare shall not escape unscathed, but that their noses shall be bloodied and that they shall return to their lairs of comfortable ignorance with tails firmly between their legs and egos sorely deflated.

BWAAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAAAA!!!!!!!


(Now I can get back to the diss.)

2:11 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

As you come close to saying in your blog entry the "theory" of evolution is a theory in the same sense that the "theory" of gravity is a theory.

For this reason, when someone tells me that evolution is "only a theory," I say to them: "Yes, it is 'only a theory' in the same way the theory of gravity is only a theory. Are you currently floating above the ground? Well, then you are descended from apes. Good day."

My favorite quote to toss over my shoulder at them: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Theodosius Dobzhansky.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Happy birthday to all bloggers here who believe they are descended from some ape like ancestor. I was hoping your "scientist" who live off the government tit through their “ever-evolving” series through research grants, publishing a book or paper, thereby securing the next round of “groundbreaking” discoveries in “fossil record” interpretation. Show me the money, or more specifically the missing link and I will become a true believer. Don't forget to pick up the ballons baz.

2:13 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Thanks, Joe. We also think you and apes descended from a common ancestor; one hint might be the remarkable overlap betweeen the DNA for, say, homo sapiens, bonobos, and chimpanzees.

Since all intermediate forms have been ruled out as not meeting your criteria, and since you won't actually provide any critiera for what would qualify for you, or say, oddly enough, biologists or physical anthropologists, it's hard to provide. But it certainly makes it easier to deride a "theory" when you require data that cannot be provided by definition, and for which you impose standards not met by any of those other whacky sciences you might even regard as genuine. And, of course, your own view may well not require any evidence, nor offer any, nor make any testable claims, nor provide the merest inklings of what one might do to even look for evidence or what a hypothesis would even be, yet that's acceptable.

Methinks it ain't science unless Joe tells us it is. Which is a pretty good criterion for knowing what a science really is: what Joe rejects as only a "theory."

I'm off to look for intermediate forms of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Now that's science.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe said:

"Show me the money, or more specifically the missing link and I will become a true believer."

You lie.

You previously asked us to provide a world-renowned scientist who would state absolutely the THEORY of EVOLUTION is a fact. When we did, you hemmed and hawed and had yourself a little hissy fit tantrum. If we were to provide the missing link that would allegedly turn you into a true believer, you'd do the same again, ad infinitum.

It's not just that you guys are wrong. It's that you are dishonest and of low moral character.

What's the matter, Joe, did your "adult" site kick you off as well?

Return to your lair, Gollum.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

"...their “ever-evolving” series through research grants, publishing a book or paper, thereby securing the next round of “groundbreaking” discoveries..."

You sound bitter, Joe. Are you secretly harboring a Freudian grudge because you didn't get into grad school? Or was it it college you couldn't get into? (I have to assume you at least went to high school, right?) Perhaps you ought to talk to someone about this. A mind is a terrible thing to wast...

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you hit it on the head, Bill.

And to my previous assertion that they are both wrong and dishonest, let me also add stupid and uneducated. This guy can't even form a coherent sentence. To wit:

"I was hoping your "scientist" who live off the government tit through their “ever-evolving” series through research grants, publishing a book or paper, thereby securing the next round of “groundbreaking” discoveries in “fossil record” interpretation."

Umm, this sentence doesn't even have a verb, genius. What exactly were you hoping for, Joe? What did you want our "scientist" to do?

I'm just so heartened by the suggestion that we should just jettison (that means throw away, Joe) 150 years of scientific research and embrace the finely nuanced arguments of this moron who can't even form a sentence in the English language. Yeah, the world would be such a better place.

I have a hypothesis (notice I didn't say theory): Do we know of a grammatically-challenged and reality-impaired individual who recently retired from his job about the same time Gollum, er, Joe, reared his tiny head? Could it be? Joe, are you really W.? If so, it is an honor to have such a complete moron in our midst.

But only for about 3 seconds. There. Time's up. Back to your hole, genius.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Don't forget to pick up the ballons baz."


WTF?

12:15 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Is this the same thing as "Golem"?

There is also a fairly obviously logical fallacy here.

x researches y and receives federal funding for that research.

x researches y, and provides z results.

z is therefore determined by what will produce more funding from y.

Of course, many scientists follow this pattern. I gather we should now be suspicious of any results provided from the NIH, the NSF, the CDC, and any other "scientists" who dare sully their otherwise immaculate approach--except the evolutionary biologists--who receive federal funding.

I'm starting to wonder about the Manhattan Project.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Anonymous said...

I never have had much respect for cowards, i.e. those who blog anonymously. Can you pick the verb out of that sentence Mr. Pulitzer? I have not had so much fun intellectually with a moron like you in a long time. Unlike you I work, I do not have all day to sit around like you but do not worry; I will run spell and grammar henceforth. You have to admit, my views have made you angry and condescending.

My good friends, you have to agree the most blatant manner in which the “evolutionist” design research findings to conform to their ideology is by the intended fabrication of data. Their research and conclusion process is made all the easier by the fact evolutionary academia is dominated by people who are from socio-economically advantaged backgrounds. Let us not forget the evolved minds which constructed the atomic bomb, or is that an oxymoron?

I am still waiting for the definitively conclusive evidence supporting your position. If it does not exist just say so and we can then agree.

p.s. anonymous said… I have to work this weekend so I may not be able to get back to you until Sunday night.

5:17 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Given that you refuse to indicate what would qualify as "conclusive evidence," my guess is that what evidence is offered won't qualify.

An odd way to do science, but s.o.p. for those people who reject evolutionay theory; claim "extensive familiarity," ignore all canonical methods, avoid offering a claim that can be tested or falsified, then mutter deeply and darkly about dogmatists, while you stand alone, clear-thinking, righteous, and vindicated, if only as the master of onanism.

This is a tradition deeply respected in one school of science: the one started by P.T. Barnum.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooo! Ooo! Can I have this one? Pleeease?

Joe said:

“I never have had much respect for cowards, i.e. those who blog anonymously.”

You do understand, Gollum, that simply assigning a name to your Google account does not qualify as identifying yourself, right? You are aware that, until you’ve actually identified yourself, you are still blogging anonymously, right? So do you want to give us your full name, or do you want to remain a self-loathing coward?

“I have not had so much fun intellectually with a moron like you in a long time.”

I assume you are using the term “intellectually” very loosely. Perhaps the last time was when you actually did not lose a game of tic-tac-toe?

“Unlike you I work, I do not have all day to sit around like you…”

Hmmm, you still sound a little bitter. Bill, what do you think? Sounds like Gollum is stuck in a dead-end job with no prospects for advancement, and he sits around pathetically muttering about how the whole world is against him. If only he had graduated high school…

“but do not worry; I will run spell and grammar henceforth.”

I assume you mean the spell-check and grammar-check functions on your computer? Well, at least that’s something, an improvement over your previous efforts. But Jeez, Gollum, are you really not able to spell or form a coherent sentence without the help of a machine? I’m starting to feel a little sorry for you.

“You have to admit, my views have made you angry and condescending.”

No, not really. It’s kind of like shooting fish in a barrel. Fun for a little bit, then merely annoying after a while. But was that what you were aiming for? Is that how you get your jollies? Quite pathetic, I must say.

“you have to agree the most blatant manner in which the “evolutionist” design research findings to conform to their ideology is by the intended fabrication of data.”

To quote our could-have-been V.P.: there you go again, Joe! This sentence once again makes no grammatical sense. What exactly is the “evolutionist” blatantly doing? Is the “evolutionist” (singular) the subject, or does it modify “findings”, or “research”? Or is “evolutionist” suppose to be plural, since it is modified by “their”? I thought you were going to use your grammar check. Clearly I don’t have to agree with it since I don’t know what it means. Jeez, even when you are trying you can’t form a coherent sentence. Illiteracy is a terrible thing.


“Their research and conclusion process is made all the easier by the fact evolutionary academia is dominated by people who are from socio-economically advantaged backgrounds.”

Another grammatically incorrect sentence. Still, I get your gist. You are essentially saying that science is conducted by smart and educated people. You got me on that one.

“Let us not forget the evolved minds which constructed the atomic bomb, or is that an oxymoron?”

Does the oxymoron refer to the evolved minds or the atomic bomb? Either way, the word is used incorrectly, so I have to assume you don’t know what it means. Moron!


“I am still waiting for the definitively conclusive evidence supporting your position. If it does not exist just say so and we can then agree.”


Okay, once again, slowly, for the morons in the audience:

WE……..HAVE…....THE………..

DEFINTELY………….CONCLUSIVE…….

EVIDENCE!

The point has been made several times on this blog that the problem is not with the evidence, but with your idiotic refusal to even consider it, let alone accept it. It’s as if you said “I will agree with you that Paris is the capital of France if you show me a map proving it,” and then you lock the door and turn out the light so that you can never see the map, and then you continue repeating like an idiot: “Show me the proof! Show me the proof! I don’t see any proof. Paris is not the capital of France!”

To prove that this is how you think (since, unlike you, we smart people don’t make stuff up, but base it on actual evidence), I refer you back to your previous statement that there are no world-renowned scientist who have stated that evolution was a fact. This is a fairly simple proposition, easily answered with a yes or a no. There was, in fact, at least one world-renowned scientist who did make that statement. It’s undeniable. It’s a fact, and a fairly simple one at that. But you have walled yourself up and turned out the lights to the point where you continue to deny it. If you will not recognize this easy, yes or no, fact, how do you expect to have even the remotest credibility when it comes to something as complex as evolutionary biology?

Which brings me to your dishonesty: you know damn well what you are doing, and that despite your laughable professions of open-mindedness, you know you will never accept any kind of proof.

Which then raises the question: knowing you will never accept the proof, why do you subject yourself to the ridicule and derision that inevitably comes your way at every corner (except from those who are equally moronic)? Do you enjoy the abuse? Are you secretly suspicious that, deep down inside, you really are a moron, and subconsciously await confirmation from the world at large?

Because there is an important difference between you calling me a moron and me calling you a moron. You have amply demonstrated that you live a big chunk of your life not by reason or logic but by belief. You simply believe stuff. Occasionally, that belief coincides with reality (like a broken clock that’s right twice a day), but most of the time, your beliefs have nothing to do with reality. Thus, you don’t know that I am a moron. You have no evidence of it, and you could not make a rational argument demonstrating it. You simply believe it, and it just spews out of your mouth (or fingertips).

On the other hand, I know that you are a moron because I have deduced it logically from empirical evidence. I know (and have demonstrated) from your writing that you are illiterate, even when you are trying hard not to be. I know (and have demonstrated) from your arguments that you are illogical and closed minded. I know (and have demonstrated) from your refusal to acknowledge an obvious fact that you are morally and intellectually unable to tell the truth. And I know (and have demonstrated) from your continued professions of open-mindedness that you are a liar.

In short, Joe, you really are a moron.

Have a nice day.

11:33 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Harsh.

But fair.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

And he had it coming.

5:43 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Joe: I know you have a job, unless like the rest of us. You said you may not get back to us until Sunday night; we're waiting for your criteria for acceptable evidence of intermediate forms, micro- vs. macro-evolution, and the testable claims made in the approach you use in understanding biological processes over time.

Thanks.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, looks like our self-loathing coward has decided to stay in his lair after all. I was starting to enjoy him. Idiots are such fun. No wonder every village wants one.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I did post this on Monday but it must not have gone through. I checked back today because I miss my simian friend, Anonymous said. Here is my original post. Maybe someone intelligent like kmosser could reply. He seems to have the best grasp of the topic although I wish you would get a job. It is not good to sit around all day and blog. If you do, you may gradually morph into Anonymous said.

By the way, Anonymous said, my name is Joe Rusty; I live in Montgomery County, Ohio. I do not post under a pseudonym I use my real name. Maybe you could too.
I erroneously made the following statement in an earlier post. None of you idiots can provide world-renowned scientist who will state absolutely the THEORY of EVOLUTION is a fact. My intention was to have you “idiots”, and I only use that term because I did so before, nothing personal, provide me a world-renowned scientist who has proven, through indisputable facts, the theory of evolution. My point at the time and still remains, the theory of evolution is not a proven fact.
Some points against evolution:
The first (neo-Darwinism) proposed that many tiny changes made new creatures. They could not find these tiny changes between one type of creature and another in the fossil record, so a few evolutionists proposed instead that change occurred by occasional leaps (punctuated equilibrium).
Evolutionists say with a straight face that no fossils have been found from a leap because thousands of years is too fast in the billions of years of "geologic time" to leave any. On the other hand, without fossils there is no evidence that any leaps ever happened, and of course, there is no evidence that leaps or gradual changes are happening today in any of the millions of species that still exist.
The whole process is random trial and error, without direction. So every plant and animal, living or fossil, should be covered inside and out with useless growths and have parts under construction. It is a grotesque image, and just what the theory of evolution really predicts. Even Charles Darwin had a glimpse of the problem in his day. He wrote in his book The Origin of Species: "The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on Earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory." The more fossils that are found, the better sense we have of what lived in the past. Since Darwin's day, the number of fossils that have been collected has grown tremendously, so we now have a pretty accurate picture. The gradual morphing of one type of creature to another that evolution predicts is nowhere to be found.
"The tree-of-life concept was absolutely central to Darwin's thinking, equal in importance to natural selection, according to biologist W. Ford Doolittle of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Without it the theory of evolution would never have happened." In 1999, Doolittle made the provocative claim that 'the history of life cannot properly be represented as a tree'.5 'The tree of life is not something that exists in nature, it's a way that humans classify nature,' he says."
The theory of Evolution violates two laws of science. The Second Law of Thermodynamics (law of increasing entropy) says that things, which start out concentrated together, spread out over time.
However, the Second Law the Law of Biogenesis was established by Louis Pasteur three years after Darwin's book was published, and simply says that life only comes from life. Living cells divide to make new cells, and fertilized eggs and seeds develop into animals and plants, but chemicals never fall together and life appears.
Today there is an explosion of knowledge going on in the study of gene regulation networks. However, it is not led, assisted, or even inspired by the theory of evolution. In fact, evolution theory has always predicted that researchers would find simple devices that mutation-natural selection, their little one-at-a-time change mechanism, could conceivably work on. Yet each discovery has opened up higher levels of complexity in even the tiniest organisms.
Some points for evolution:
I will direct you to the following site as it is too long to post, www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_fact-and-theory.html.
Interesting proposal but in my view an opinion of an individual whose whole life was dedicated to his cause. He did not convince me his justification is fact.

Darwin’s major conclusions: www.talkorigins.org/faqs/darwinism.html.
Again, interesting but there is no absolute evidence any of his five occurred and more importantly, there is no evidence any living thing has changed or morphed into another more adaptable or varied life form.
... I consider it necessary to dissect Darwin's conceptual framework of evolution into a number of major theories that formed the basis of his evolutionary thinking. For the sake of convenience, I have partitioned Darwin's evolutionary paradigm into five theories, but of course others might prefer a different division. The selected theories are by no means all of Darwin's evolutionary theories; others were, for instance, sexual selection, pangenesis, effect of use and disuse, and character divergence. However when later authors referred to Darwin's theory thay invariably had a combination of some of the following five theories in mind:
Evolution as such. This is the theory that the world is not constant or recently created nor perpetually cycling, but rather is steadily changing, and that organisms are transformed in time.
My words, I will just use the example of man. The complexities of the human body could not have been transformed into what we are in the short amount of time, which evolutionist estimate to be between 3 and 7 million years, man or ape-like creatures have inhabited the earth. Why isn’t man transforming into a better, disease free, more efficient organism?
Common descent. This is the theory that every group of organisms descended from a common ancestor, and that all groups of organisms, including animals, plants, and microorganisms, ultimately go back to a single origin of life on earth.
My words, this is the most preposterous of his theories. Earth is reputed to be 4 billion years old, too short of a time to believe all the past and present life on this planet evolved, multiplied, gradually, only the fittest survive, from a common origin. Many mutations occur in the animal and human world whereby natural selection should have eliminated them from the species.
Multiplication of species. This theory explains the origin of the enormous organic diversity. It postulates that species multiply, either by splitting into daughter species or by "budding", that is, by the establishment of geographically isloated founder populations that evolve into new species.
My words, what has evolved into a new species definitively?
Gradualism. According to this theory, evolutionary change takes place through the gradual change of populations and not by the sudden (saltational) production of new individuals that represent a new type.
My words, again, not enough time to allow for this process. Thus, Gould had to develop the “time warp” theory.




Natural selection. According to this theory, evolutionary change comes about throught the abundant production of genetic variation in every generation. The relatively few individuals who survive, owing to a particularly well-adapted combination of inheritable characters, give rise to the next generation.
My words, humans are the perfect antithesis to this hypothesis. How have we really changed? The builders of the pyramids and Ephesus had the same brains we do. The artists of Lascaux were just as intelligent and physically able. The priest or priestess of the Sanpeople was just as religious. I ask then, when was the last great leap for humans and when is the well-adapted combination of inheritable characters going to rise the next generation of improved human beings?
This is for Anonymous said, only. I was hoping you could put out a linguistic message to your brothers and sisters and request they do not attack humans in the future. Remind them they are our relatives and biting a family member’s face and hands off is not cool and does nothing for their homo erectus image. Thought that maybe you would want to help and make a real contribution to society.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He’s baaaaack! Apparently a glutton for punishment, Gollum is offering himself up again for us to wipe the floor with him. Let the games begin.

Joe said:

“The first…”

Hey, wait a minute…Why am I even addressing this idiot’s absurd (and barely comprehensible) pronouncements? I already demonstrated that he is a moron and a liar. As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t argue with him whether gravity exists, whether the earth is flat, or whether 2+2 =5, so I won’t argue with him here. There are political issues that good, smart people on both sides can disagree on. Declaring that evolution is fiction is not one of them. And, once again, too many outlets, seeking some kind of “balance,” cave in and feel obliged to grant space to the other side of the argument. In this case, there is no other side, other than that invented in the figment of these morons’ imagination.

Here’s a far more interesting and useful debate: where does Joe fall in the psychological Binet scale, which describes a moron as having an IQ of 51-70, an imbecile as having an IQ of 26-50, and a idiot as having an IQ of 0-25. I have admittedly been using the term “moron” rather loosely, and it is entirely possible that he falls into some other, lower category. We should, after all, make the determination through objective criteria, not simply guess at it or, even worse, just believe it, the preferred method this crowd (proudly) engages in. Joe could settle the argument by voluntarily taking and IQ test, but he’d have to be smart enough to know how to do that. We’ll have to make a determination based on his arguments and postings. Any thoughts from the smart community?

Dr. Anonymous

(And by the way, Joe, much as I’d like to be related to Edward Saïd, the word “said” in your appellations is a verb, not my last name. Idiot!)

10:13 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Hey Anonymous said..., I thought I asked for an intelligent response from someone intelligent sounding like Kmosser. You sound like an old hen English teacher. Go to the Zoo today and talk with your cousins about the terrible incident in Conn. If your mom does not let you have the car today give me a call and I will drive you to the zoo. However, do not be surprised if I leave you there. Then sometime in the distant future someone can theorize YOU are the missing link.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I thought I asked for an intelligent response from someone intelligent sounding like Kmosser."

And how would you recognize an intelligent response?

"You sound like an old hen English teacher."

Seems like more of your high-school drop-out traumas are making their way to the surface. You really should talk to somebody about that. Don't let it fester, Gollum. It will eat you up from the inside.


"Go to the Zoo today and talk with your cousins about the terrible incident in Conn."

Up to now, racism hasn't been part of the conversation, to your credit. That now seems to be changing. We are going from idiot, to morally corrupt idiot, to despicable idiot. Keep it up, genius.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Joe, unlike anonymous, I did read your arguments. Unfortunately, I came to the same conclusion as Anonymous did. They are baseless and infantile, and not grounded in reality.

Sorry.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

For example:

"Earth is reputed to be 4 billion years old..."

First off, the number is 4.54 billion. Second, it is not "reputed," it actually is, as has been proven by dozens of different methods.

"...too short of a time to believe all the past and present life on this planet evolved..."

The key word here is "believed." If your thought process is based on belief, then maybe it is too short a time. But if your thought process is based on scientific data and empirical evidence, then, as has been demonstrated numerous times, this is plenty of time, and then some.

Unfortunately, all of your "arguments" are this flimsy and illogical.

Dr. Anonymous, I'll vote "imbecile."

6:15 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:18 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Hmmm. Either an evolutionary biologist is or is not willing to call the general neo-Darwinian synthesis (roughly, descent with modification, genetics, and mathematics applied to populations within specified competitive niches) a "fact."

Some do: Gould, for one, Dawkins sometimes seems to.

Others don't: one might consider most working biologists under this category.

Does this mean it isn't a "fact" or "factual"?

No, it means it is a theory, currently the one used in biology, to drive research, to generate testable and falsifiable claims. It is more elegant, more useful, and more productive than any competing theory, by far.

Hence it is used. Hence it is regarded as our most successful theory. Can it be overthrown? Of course; the history of science has shown this repeatedly.

But our friend Joe isn't offering an alternative theory, he is offering standard critiques of the neo-Darwinian synthesis that are the stuff of creationists (young and old earth variety), intelligent design theorists, the Discovery Institute, etc..

Where one to do this for, say, subatomic physics, or organic chemistry, or astronomy, and point out that these "theories" fail to yield absolutely every bit of confirming evidence that could be available, we would laugh. Rightly so. Biology has two distinguishing features: it interferes with some people's view of religion, and a lot of critters don't leave skeletal fossils (although a lot do, and fit into the predicted pattern quite nicely).

Mathematics has its conjectures, physics still seeks its unifying field theory, and biology doesn't have a continuous stream of fossils from the big bang to right now, tracking each change.

I'll still keep math, and physics, and biology, until some better version or model comes along, and if there is a more productive competing model that has greater explanatory potential and fits the data better.

Joe, sadly, isn't offering any of this. And the "facts" that there are have been a bit too readily dismissed. As in immediately discounted. Tant pis.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Joe,

Rather than spending your time tearing down science, just complete the following sentence:

"The proof that the diversity of species is attributable to God or an intelligent designer is that..."

No doubt you will revert back to something like "...all other theories fail." That, of course, is just an evasion, making it obvious you have absolutely no proof.

The other evasion, popular of late among your kind is: "I never claimed anything about God or an intelligent designer. You're putting words in my mouth."

That one doesn't fly either. We all know what the agenda is, and you should be honest about it. It's like latter-day KKKers like David Duke putting on suits and ties and claiming they are not racists, and that they are merely concerned with reforming affirmative action and immigration. They, of course, fool no one, and neither do you.

Come on Joe, you got any actual proof, or is your argument concerned entirely with tearing down the opposition?

-B

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The major creationist concern is they’re afraid evolution may prove they’re not created in the image of the Bible’s God. It seems these fools have never read their Bible objectively. The Bible’s God is a serial murderer. He endorses stealing and lying, institgates gang rape, and finally declares that all (virtually 99% of all humanity) who do not believe in his Son will be condemned to Hell to burn forever and ever. But, that’s okay because he really loves you? Tell that to the 6,000,000 Jews who perished under Adolph Hitler.

Over the past 150 years since Charles Darwin, scientists of relevant disciplines such as cosmology, astronomy, geology, biology, zoology, and paleontology repeatedly confirm evolution a valid theory having the same reliability as the theory of gravity. According to a 1991 Gallup Poll there were about 480,000 scientists working in the relevant fields of earth and life sciences. Of those, only about 700 consider creationism valid. This means 98% of relevant scientists accept evolution and less than 2% of relevant scientists consider creationism good science. In the world of science, creationism does not even qualify for fringe of the fringe.

In contrast to creationist theory, scientific theory is always tentative and subject to change as new evidence dictates. Joe, when was the last time your theory changed?

The thing is, these guys are not just harmless buffoons. They are dangerous. Make no mistake, creationism intends to redefine science, and replace it with a meaningless shell of supernatural speculation and deceit. And why, you might ask? Because religion has ever been a sanctuary of those who seek to secure their eminence at the expense of others. History is unequivocal in teaching this lesson, and yet as blind as we are we seem to have failed to learn it. The creationist attack on the teaching of evolution devalues science, cheapens theology, and condemns America’s students to an inferior education, ultimately hurting their professional opportunities, not to mention diminishing America’s leadership in science and technology.

Creationists aim to not only destroy science in an effort to protect their creationist fairy tales, their mission is to redefine the United States of America, eviscerate the Constitution, and effectively dismantle American democracy by instituting religious indoctrination in the schools and halls of public policy making. They mean to supplant all of these things with a form of oligarchy wrapped in the shrouds of a dumbed down science and legalistic religion.

You think I'm exaggerating? Go consult the web sites and publications of such notable creationist organizations as the the Creation Museum, the Institute for Creation Research and the Discovery Institute. Creationists are quite explicit in their stated goals, and there is little room for doubting their true intentions. The true mission of creationism is theocracy. Thus exposed, the need to fight it on all fronts, scientific, philosophical, theological, administrative and judicial, is made even more clear. There is no higher imperative if we mean to preserve America’s intellectual freedom.

I thus applaud Dr. Anonymous's effort to not only confront Creationists wherever they are, but also to deny them a forum as much as possible. To quote Barry Goldwater, moderation in the protection of liberty is no virtue.

-LS

1:22 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

My dear long lost friends I apologize. I have not been able to read and comment on your posts until now, I have been out of town working and paying the taxes necessary for your favorite scientists new grant money courtesy of the stimulus, I mean welfare package.

Anonymous said and Bill, congratulations, you both has evolved into MORICLIOTS. This species wiggled its way out of the original life’s waters and after some unknown millennia became a moron, and over many eons and through natural selection processes then morphed into an imbecile, and over many more eons and through continual natural selection processes, adaption skills, and its journey through punctuated equilibrium, became a MORICLIOT.

“Anonymous said”, your visiting and talking with your simian cousins at the zoo has nothing to do with racism let alone morality. The intellectual insecurity you display is often indicative of deep-seated primordial emotions. You display symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder most likely brought on by your witnessing the brutal murder of your cousin Travis after he got out of hand in Connecticut. I know a guy, who knows a guy, who is conducting group violence reduction sessions with simians in the San Diego area. If you like, I can get you his number and you will be on your way to recovery in no time.

Look, it cannot be too hard to answer the question I asked. Bill said the earth is 4.5 billion years old, give or take the standard scientific variance of 10 per cent. I know Kmosser has stated not all biological life forms leave fossil records. Okay, I will yield to Bill and Kmosser on those points.

Let us not belabor the point. All I have asked for is definitive evidentiary FACTS that humans descended from an APELIKE creature in the past. Instead, I have received condescending, apologetic and theoretical replies. You have failed to SHOW ME THE MONEY. I therefore conclude you choose to believe you descended from two cells joined in a primordial soup mixture billions of years ago. Furthermore, you believe that you descended from an apelike creature some odd number of millions of years ago. Maybe you and your families did, me and mine did not.

“Anonymous said”, I don’t care if you are related to apes or not, think about talking to my friends friend, I think it will help set you free.

8:48 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Joe, thanks for returning. You write:

"All I have asked for is definitive evidentiary FACTS that humans descended from an APELIKE creature in the past."

I might suggest the various fossils, such as afarensis, australopithecus, erectus, habilis, faber, etc., would indicate that something that became homo sapiens, yet didn't look like homo sapiens, is evidence. i might also suggest that the recent fossilized foot that got some pub would indicate, again, non-homo sapiens forms, but certainly distinct from apes as well, in significant ways.

but more importantly: can you tell me what you would accept as "evidentiary facts," and what qualifies as such in, say, quantum mechanics, organic chemistry, or astronomy? thanks.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A cookie is missing from a jar, so Jane assumes that John took it. This is NOT a theory. This is a guess.

A cookie is missing from a jar, so Jane dusts it for prints, checks surveillance cameras, interrogates John and pumps his stomach to conclude that he took it. That would be a theory.

In the same way, all the evidence mentioned by Kmosser (and much, much more besides) leads 98% of scientists to conclude that humans descended from ape-like creatures. Just to take one exemple, evidence of afarensis fossils is "definitive evidentiary FACTS that humans descended from an APELIKE creature in the past." We could provide hundreds more.

Once again (and as in the "Gould statement" issue discussed on this thread a few weeks ago), you asked for it, Joe, and we provided it. Your logical response (as evidenced by your response to the refuted Gould claim) will be to assert that this evidence does not meet your definition of "evidence," despite the fact that we've asked you numerous times to provide that definition, which you refused to do.

In the same way, you would claim that John's fingerprints on the cookie jar, the video of John taking the cookie, the contents of John's stomach and his full confession do not "definitively" prove that John took the cookie.

True to form, this will be evidence of either your dishonesty or your intellectual limitations, or both. Fortunately for the rest of the world, however, evidence does not need to meet Joe's arbitrary test, but the objective criteria of the scientific process.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LS Said:

Anonymous brings up an interesting point, highlighted by her cookie-theft example. In common law (used in the US, Britain, and many other countries), there are essentially three standards of proof, though one of them is largely theoretical. They are:

• proof by a preponderance of the evidence
• proof beyond a reasonable doubt
• proof beyond the shadow of a doubt

The first one merely needs to meet a standard greater than the opposite proposition, though doesn’t need to be over 50%. It is used, for example, in custody cases, when 20% of the evidence shows that a child would be better off with one parent, and 21% with the other, the remainder unknown or undetermined.

The second standard, by far the most common, is applied when the evidence would lead a “reasonable man” (and law books are filled with debate over who that might be) to reasonably conclude that the proposition has been proven. In practical terms, that means that the determination must encompass between 51% and 99.9% of the evidence.

The third standard is the one that is largely theoretical, and is not currently used in jurisprudence, for it is seeing as an impossible standard to meet, requiring 100% certainty of an event by the aforementioned reasonable man. Most criminal and civil actions require the second standard, for if the third were applied, no defendant would ever be convicted, and no suit would ever be successful.

Let’s take the cookie theft example, which in common law would require the second standard.

“A cookie is missing from a jar, so Jane assumes that John took it.”

Here there is no evidence whatsoever, so even the first standard is not met.

“A cookie is missing from a jar, so Jane dusts it for prints [and finds John’s]…”

There is now some evidence that John took the cookie, but the evidence is not enough for me, the “reasonable man,” to conclude that therefore John took the cookie. He may have handled the jar, but not therefore taken the cookie. The evidence is less than 50%, not enough to convict.

“…[Jane] checks surveillance cameras [showing John eating the cookie]…”

Now the evidence jumps way past the 50% benchmark, and I would reasonably conclude that John ate the cookie. To conclude that he did not eat the cookie would mean that the tape had to be doctored as well as the fingerprints, two possible but highly unlikely events when taken separately, more so taken together. (In the hypothetical there is no evidence of that doctoring). So I, the reasonable man, conclude that the evidence is about 85% that John took the cookie, and I would vote to convict.

“…[Jane] interrogates John [who confesses]…”

The evidence jumps to about 95% certainty. For John to be innocent of the theft, the fingerprints must have been doctored, the surveillance cameras must have been doctored, and the confession must somehow be false. (Again, the hypothetical does not provide evidence that either John was coerced or that he lied).

“…[Jane] pumps his stomach [and finds the cookie remains].

The evidence now jumps to about 99.9% certainty. For John to be innocent of the theft, the fingerprints must have been doctored, the surveillance cameras must have been doctored, the confession must somehow be false, and the cookie remains must have somehow entered his stomach other than by John’s eating it. (Surgical procedure he didn’t know about? Alien abduction and insertion? Star Trek transporter?)

But here is the crux of the argument: as in Zeno’s Paradox, the evidence always approaches 100% without actually reaching it. We could add a fifth, sixth, seventh, etc. ad infinitum, piece of evidence, and there would always be _some_ way to explain it away. And the closer you get to 100%, the more bizarre and unlikely the explanation. That infinitesimally small and irresolvable possibility is what leads nutcases to claim that Oswald did not shoot Kennedy, that it was “the Jews” rather than Bin Laden that caused 9/11, and, finally, that evolution is not a fact because it has not been “definitely” proven.

Just to make things clear: There is so much evidence for evolution, and of such quality, that evolution has been proven to about a 99% certainty. For it not to be true would require such bizarre leaps of logic and possibility that no reasonable man could ever consider it.

And a final point, addressed directly to Joe: surely you (or one of your ilk) have served on a jury at some point, and surely you (or one of your ilk) have therein voted to convict. What we have, therefore, is a situation where you are willing to send someone to prison, or even impose the death penalty, on far less evidence than what you propose for this largely abstract, theoretical argument. If you were a reasonable and consistent person, you would apply the same standard (that is, a 100%, beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt standard) to your jury decision as you do to your views on evolution. But I’m guessing that, as a good conservative, you have no problem with putting people away (or killing them) with even the most flimsy evidence. I’m guessing that you support the incarcerations at places like Guantanamo Bay, most of which have occurred, not with even a preponderance of the evidence, but with no evidence whatsoever.

Do you really think, Joe, that your God (Christian or otherwise) is looking down approvingly on you, or that, come Judgment Day, your will be able to look him or her in the eye and justify yourself?

-LS

2:03 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

You say

"There is so much evidence for evolution, and of such quality, that evolution has been proven to about a 99% certainty. For it not to be true would require such bizarre leaps of logic and possibility that no reasonable man could ever consider it"

as if such leaps would be, somehow, wrong!?!

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kmosser said:

"as if such leaps would be, somehow, wrong!?!"

A good scientist, of course, never eliminates the possibility that the theory is wrong, and that something else could take its place if the evidence warrants it. In this case, however, not only does the evidence almost incontrovertibly sustain evolution (at least so far), but its opponents (including Joe on this thread) have not offered a shred of opposing evidence.

The argument is not: "Theory A vs. Theory B."

The argument is "Theory A vs. Not-Theory A."

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, LS. (Law Student?)

I want to amplify a little on what you said. Currently, the evidence for evolution consists of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of items drawn from many fields including biology, genetics, astronomy, physics, archeology, chemistry, etc. There’s not going to be a single, theatrical “Aha!” moment by Perry Mason (or, I suppose, William Jennings Bryant) in which he says: “You haven’t considered this crucial fact” after which the whole theory of evolution will magically crumble. For the theory to fall, every single one of those items is going to have to be questioned and disproved. Evolution is a fact down to 99% certainty. Disproving one fact will hardly put a dent in that certainty.

And of course, individual items are disproved or refined all the time by scientists themselves, though they are most often replaced by even stronger evidence. The process of questioning the theory, far from weakening it, thus continuously makes it stronger.

So good luck, Joe et al., trying to disprove the theory. (You understand that merely declaring the theory to be false over and over is not the same as disproving it, right? Just checking. I never know with you.) You might actually have more success by proposing an alternative theory, though as we have seen, you don’t seem to have one.

Dr. A.

8:53 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

A salient point, this:

"You understand that merely declaring the theory to be false over and over is not the same as disproving it, right?"

1:33 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

My dear friends, sorry it took so long to reply, I have been out of town. I will not reiterate my previous posts. I have asked the question numerous times and all I receive in return is a theory which 98% of the scientists in the world have proven evolution to be a fact 99% of the time.

Kmosser said, who by the way is the most logical and impressive on this blog, asked

but more importantly: can you tell me what you would accept as "evidentiary facts," and what qualifies as such in, say, quantum mechanics, organic chemistry, or astronomy? thanks.

I would accept as an “evidentiary fact” something that is 100% proven by scientific analysis. For example, water boils at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit under standard conditions at sea level (at one atmosphere of pressure). Another example, water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit etc… You get my drift.
Anonymous said... I will address a couple of your points that need clarification.
You say,
There are essentially three standards of proof, though one of them is largely theoretical. They are:


proof by a preponderance of the evidence
• proof beyond a reasonable doubt
• proof beyond the shadow of a doubt

The first one merely needs to meet a standard greater than the opposite proposition, though does not need to be over 50%. It is used, for example, in custody cases, when 20% of the evidence shows that a child would be better off with one parent, and 21% with the other, the remainder unknown or undetermined.

The second standard, by far the most common, is applied when the evidence would lead a “reasonable man” (and law books are filled with debate over who that might be) to reasonably conclude that the proposition has been proven. In practical terms, that means that the determination must encompass between 51% and 99.9% of the evidence.





Your first supposition is correct. Your second is partially correct. For a person to be convicted in a court of law all 6 or 12 jurors must agree UNANIMOUSLY, which is 100% whether, the defendant is guilty. One or two dissenting votes can hang a jury.

For a person who lives and dies by the god of science, I am surprised at you for making your incorrect assertion regarding the third standard. You lack of confidence in evolved man perplexes me.

You further state, for it is seeing as an impossible standard to meet, requiring 100% certainty of an event by the aforementioned reasonable man. Most criminal and civil actions require the second standard, for if the third were applied, no defendant would ever be convicted, and no suit would ever be successful. You also assert, but here is the crux of the argument: as in Zeno’s Paradox, the evidence always approaches 100% without actually reaching it. Etc…


In another attempt to demean me you state,

And a final point, addressed directly to Joe: surely you (or one of your ilk) have served on a jury at some point, and surely you (or one of your ilk) have therein voted to convict. What we have, therefore, is a situation where you are willing to send someone to prison, or even impose the death penalty, on far less evidence than what you propose for this largely abstract, theoretical argument. If you were a reasonable and consistent person, you would apply the same standard (that is, a 100%, beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt standard) to your jury decision as you do to your views on evolution. But I’m guessing that, as a good conservative, you have no problem with putting people away (or killing them) with even the most flimsy evidence. I’m guessing that you support the incarcerations at places like Guantanamo Bay, most of which have occurred, not with even a preponderance of the evidence, but with no evidence
whatsoever.

No, “Anonymous said” I personally meet none of your final points. Let me explain and you will learn my ilk and I respect science; we do not worship it like you.

Yes, A-s our current criminal justice system operates under the “beyond a reasonable doubt” continuum. The standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” is outdated. You may ask, how can this be true, because your god, Science, has enabled certainty to replace lesser traits of evidence. It will be even more so in the future when failed practices such as facial identification are no longer admissible. That day is not today, but it will arrive.

Yes, A-s I am a reasonable and consistent person, and I do apply the same standard (that is, a 100%, beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt standard) to my jury decisions as I do on my views of evolution. I would NEVER convict a defendant accused of Murder unless unequivocal DNA evidence was present. This must have you baffled A-s, how can this be, how can a person who doe not prostrate himself in front of the god of Science believe so completely in the Science of DNA. Because I believe the Science is 100 PER CENT evidentiary accurate. Fingerprints, blood, semen, hair, other biological fluids, 99.9 per cent accurate, but not 100 PER CENT. Zeno’s paradox has been proven wrong by science.

“A-s” penned, But I’m guessing that, as a good conservative, you have no problem with putting people away (or killing them) with even the most flimsy evidence. I’m guessing that you support the incarcerations at places like Guantanamo Bay, most of which have occurred, not with even a preponderance of the evidence, but with no evidence
whatsoever.

You assume I am a conservative. More importantly, you make the MORICLIOTIC statement that I have no problem-putting people away, OR KILLING THEM based on flimsy evidence. Not that it matters to you what I believe or don’t but I DO NOT believe the death penalty should be used unless a defendant is convicted for pre-meditated murder because of DNA evidence. Why because if proves his guilt 100 PER CENT, not 99. Murder conviction without DNA evidence should get life without parole.

Neither you nor I are in a position to know what went on a Guantanamo Bay so to comment is irrational. A-s maybe you should hook up with Daily Kos and maybe they will pay you to write your vitriol.

Now that I have covered the first 379 degrees the last is this, I do not care that 98% of the scientist have proven evolution to be true 99% of the time. Not my belief or figures, I am borrowing from an earlier evolutionist post.

I WANT 100% EVIDENCE (PROOF) THAT THE HUMAN RACE DESCENDED FROM SOME ANCIENT PRIMORDIAL SOUP AND OUR ANCESTORS WERE APE-LIKE.

Just as I would not send some defendant to the death chamber without the benefit of 100% surety he committed the crime, nor will I affirm Darwin and his ilk on any less.

A-s, you need to lighten up a little. Otherwise, you just might convince me by your demeanor your ancient ancestors really were animals. You know I do not really believe they were.

7:27 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Thanks, Joe. We missed you.

You write "I would accept as an “evidentiary fact” something that is 100% proven by scientific analysis. For example, water boils at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit under standard conditions at sea level (at one atmosphere of pressure). Another example, water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit etc… You get my drift."

If I do, in fact, get your drift, then we seem to have a problem:

the choice seems to be this

1) to define laws, such as that given above. Water at a given altitude, etc., boils at a given temperature. If a given liquid doesn't, it isn't "water." This isn't a law, it is a definition, in that case.

2) to recognize that laws are falsifiable, and thus not definitions. in the past, and generally we assume, certain properties of water. those properties are so well-established that no one really challenges them (and currently we have no good reason to do so).

No biologist I'm familiar with defines homo sapiens as evolved from an earlier species with which it shared an antecedent. But the evidence supports it, and the mechanism is overdetermined by laboratory studies, microevolution, the fossil record, and as an assumption driving research. Thus 1) is out, 2) is in.

2) also has the advantage of allowing us to do science, in that a vast majority of both theoretical and applied sciences adopt 2) as the only way actually to science. (Mathematics here, for the most part, is distinct, in that definitions allow us to construct axiomatizable models.) To ask for evidence with the strength of 1) is not to ask for laws, it is to ask for definitions. If that is our standard, fine; however, we have now not just eliminated evolutionary theory, but most of physics, chemistry, genetics, biochemistry, astronomy, and other "hard" sciences, not to mention any discipline with pretensions of following a scientific method: economics, demographics, anthropology, cliometrics, etc..

A high price to pay to call into question a discipline that has been extraordinarily productive for 150 years, especially the last 70, and to offer nothing in return.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, so many idiotic statements about the law (to add to the numerous ones about science), I don’t know where to start. (I’ll start by stating that I am a practicing attorney, so I think I know a little of what I’m talking about.)

Joe Said: “Your first supposition is correct. Your second is partially correct…”

First of all, they are not suppositions. They are standards of law, long accepted by all 50 state jurisdictions, as well as the federal courts, and the courts in Britain, India, Pakistan, etc. And no, Joe, the second one is not “partially” correct. It is, as of right now, and for the foreseeable future, 100% correct. (You seem to have trouble with that concept). Like evolution, Joe, this is not up to you to decide if it’s valid. Like it or not, it is!

Joe said: “For a person to be convicted in a court of law all 6 or 12 jurors must agree UNANIMOUSLY, which is 100% whether, the defendant is guilty. One or two dissenting votes can hang a jury.”

What kind of idiot are you? (Oh wait, they already had that discussion.) You are seriously suggesting that because a jury must be unanimous (also not universally true, by the way), that therefore the standard of proof is met at 100%. Warped logic, but we knew that. Here’s what happens, Joe: all members of the jury are required to meet a standard of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt,” that is less than 100%, not “beyond the shadow of a doubt", which would be 100%. If all 12 jurors are “somewhat” convinced, that does not make the proof 100%. It just makes 12 jurors convinced at less than 100%.

Joe said: “I would NEVER convict a defendant accused of Murder unless unequivocal DNA evidence was present. [It] proves his guilt 100 PER CENT, not 99. Murder conviction without DNA evidence should get life without parole.”

And here we come full circle, for you use the word “unequivocal” in reference to DNA in the same way it applies to evolution. Sorry Joe, you are once again factually wrong: DNA is not 100% accurate, it is only 99.99..% accurate. (Clearly, you don’t know much about DNA either, on top of everything else. Check any basic article on DNA in any science journal, or even on wikipedia.) There is a 1 in 1 billion chance (smaller between relatives, tribesmen, etc.) that the DNA does not match the defendant. You’ll say, well 99.99… is almost 100%, so I’ll convict for murder, because for him not to be guilty it would mean the most improbable, almost impossible, set of circumstances. EXACTL Y!!!! That is evolution in a nutshell. It is 99.99% proven, and for it to not be true, it would take a set of improbable circumstances that far dwarf the inaccurate DNA. Guess what Genius: you just proved our point!

Joe said: “I am a reasonable and consistent person, and I do apply the same standard (that is, a 100%, beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt standard) to my jury decisions as I do on my views of evolution”

Clearly, as I have just demonstrated, you lie. You do not apply 100%, beyond-the-shadow-of-a-doubt standard, since that standard cannot be applied to jury decisions, and certainly not by DNA evidence. This means the previous point stands: we still have a situation where you are willing to send someone to prison, or even impose the death penalty, on far less evidence than what you propose for this largely abstract, theoretical argument. Nice going, holy man.

Joe said: “how can this be, how can a person who doe not prostrate himself in front of the god of Science believe so completely in the Science of DNA. Because I BELIEVE the Science is 100 PER CENT evidentiary accurate.”

Once again, the key term here is “believe.” You don’t know the facts about DNA. You choose to believe them, as you apparently do with everything else in your life.

Joe said: “[DNA evidence] proves his guilt 100 PER CENT, not 99. Murder conviction without DNA evidence should get life without parole.”

As dogmatists do, you are now going rigidly in the other direction. For Osama Bin Laden, Timothy McVeigh and Ted Bundy, DNA evidence is (or was) not an issue. Yet somehow that now raises the possibility in your mind that they should be treated as if there is a doubt that they are guilty. Do us all a favor Joe, stay away from juries, will you?

Joe said: “I do not care that 98% of the scientist have proven evolution to be true 99% of the time.”

Clearly not. But you would also not care if 100% of the scientists had proven it 100% of the time. You have erected an artificial barrier, so what’s the point in arguing with you?

Finally, there is still the obvious elephant in the room that you are intent on avoiding at all costs, and which has been raised here numerous times. Namely, that even if you somehow managed to disprove the tens of thousands of pieces of evidence that prove evolution, that would not automatically make YOUR theory valid. Returning to “B’s” earlier request, Joe, please complete the following sentence:

"The proof that the diversity of species is attributable to God or an intelligent designer is that..."

If you refuse to do so, it will be confirmation to all on this list that not only are you an idiot, but a coward as well.


-LS

5:03 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Wow A-s, you are a practicing attorney you say. No wonder you go as Anonymous said, too ashamed to put your real name behind your “arguments”? If you are an attorney, I am not impressed. What do you do, patent law. Maybe you will garner the barrister courage to list your first name. However, I do not blame you, if have any clients, they would realize you aren’t much of a mouthpiece. Attorneys do not impress me, some of the biggest morons and thieves I ever knew were attorneys.

Okay bonzo, and I am not disparaging your bedtime story monkey friend by calling you a bonzo, I will yield that DNA is only 99.99% accurate. I am aware their can be damaged DNA etc…

Hey barrister, I was talking about felony law in the UNITED STATES, for a conviction in this country all 12 jurors must find the defendant GUILTY. By my calculation, that is 100%.

I did not ask you to argue with me you Morcileot, but you are wrong about your asinine statement; if 100% of the scientist proved evolution true with 100% irrefutable proof, I would yield. Just because you say it is so means nothing to me. If you are an attorney then you should know best you are trained to lie and stretch the truth. You would not do the same if scientists discover they will never be able to 100% prove evolution because you are a fanatic. I doubt you would man-up, you would just look for some other wordsmith legalese bullsh*t superfluous objection .Sadly you cannot help yourself, you are predisposed to react that way. You suffer from the effects of bi-polar affliction; you are a rapid evolutionist and an attorney. You most likely suffer from delusions too. You are convinced all life transcended from a couple of cells eons ago and will say or do anything. Good for you, I am not convinced yet.

You further write in your “ingenious” closing statements:

Finally, there is still the obvious elephant in the room that you are intent on avoiding at all costs, and which has been raised here numerous times. Namely, that even if you somehow managed to disprove the tens of thousands of pieces of evidence that prove evolution, that would not automatically make YOUR theory valid. Returning to “B’s” earlier request, Joe, please complete the following sentence:

Regardless of your pandering evolution as an absolute, it is not. When evolution is proved absolutely, as, for example, the laws of gravity, then I will accept it as fact, as it would no longer be a theory.

In addition, my recognition of evolution as is not in contradiction of my personal religious beliefs.

Coward, you have an attorney’s set to call someone a coward from the comfort of your home all the while you hide behind your computer anonymously. As most attorneys opinions, there are too many. You should be a little more like Kmosser, at least he debates in real science and doesn’t rely on his manipulation of language to make his points.

These questions are for Kmosser as I want intelligent answers, A-s, please don’t ruin it by chiming in.

Kmosser?

If natural selection and minor mutations occur over time in nature then why hasn’t man improved? Why the increase in autism, allergies, cancers, and other physical deficiencies that should have naturally “improved” over time? Would not 3.5 million years be enough time? I use this reference point because I think it is the best estimate humanoids evolved. I look forward to your response.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Careful boys. Joe is descending into even more nonsense than usual. He’s becoming increasingly unhinged. He’s clearly had a bad experience with lawyers in the past. You can almost see him tremble in fear as he vainly attempts to type a cohesive response. He must also be confronting his own contradictions, and part of him is making sure they do not see the light of day. Let’s expose them, shall we?

Joe said: “I DO NOT believe the death penalty should be used unless a defendant is convicted for pre-meditated murder because of DNA evidence. Why because if proves his guilt 100 PER CENT, not 99.”

But then later, Joe said “I will yield that DNA is only 99.99% accurate.”

Contradiction proven. But wait, there’s more:

Later, Joe said: “at least he debates in real science and doesn’t rely on his manipulation of language to make his points.”

This is not the first time on this thread you have been proven wrong, and forced to confess your mistakes. (See Gould, above). This proof was not achieved by any language manipulation, but by simply comparing your opinions and beliefs with the truth, and guess what? Your opinions and beliefs are found wonting. Let’s try another one:

Joe said: I was talking about felony law in the UNITED STATES, for a conviction in this country all 12 jurors must find the defendant GUILTY. By my calculation, that is 100%.”

First off, I too was talking about felony law in the United States. In fact, I mentioned all 50 states as well as the federal courts. Are you unable to read?

Secondly, you are merely repeating the same idiotic point you made earlier, meaning you didn’t understand my answer, and probably don’t understand the issue. 12 jurors out of a jury of 12 does indeed make 100% of the jury. However, genius, EACH ONE of them is required only to reach less than 100% of the standard of proof. So even if all of them render a verdict based on “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the 100% standard has STILL not been met. Can you understand that, genius?

And lest I let you off the hook, now that you have acknowledged and admitted deciding a verdict based on something less than 100% proof, the salient point has now been proven: you are indeed willing—BY YOUR OWN ADMISSION—to send someone to prison, or even impose the death penalty, on far less evidence than what you propose for this largely abstract, theoretical argument. Good luck explaining that to Jesus on judgment day.

Joe said:” When evolution is proved absolutely, as, for example, the laws of gravity, then I will accept it as fact”

That day has arrived. Gravity is also a theory that cannot be proved beyond 99.99…%, meaning evolution has been proven as absolutely as gravity. So, are you going to keep your word, or are you going to continue lying?

Joe said: “These questions are for Kmosser as I want intelligent answers, A-s, please don’t ruin it by chiming in.”

Sorry my proofs stir your rage, but your efforts to shut me up will be of no avail.

And finally, again, I’ll point out that you STILL haven’t offered a shred of evidence for any opposing theory. Your entire argument is completely (100%, one might say) dedicated to tearing down evolution.

Joe, complete the following sentence: "The proof that the diversity of species is attributable to God or an intelligent designer is that..."

-LS

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Sh#*! We're still on this thread, almost three months later? It was about 3 months ago that I told Bazarov:

"Bazarov, far be it for me to quell any discussion, don't waste your time with Joe...don't argue with him about this one and let him crawl back to his hole."

Now admittedly, I too have engaged in this shooting-fish-in-a-barrel exercise. It's just soooo hard to resist. But still, why are we still feeding his delusions?

LS: good job on pointing out his contradiction and his intellectual vacuum. I do like to see the writhe in agony.

Mosser: He's clearly feeling cornered and wants desperately to change the subject. It's your blog, of course, so do what you want, but if I were you I wouldn't let him prattle on about the minutiae of minor mutations. I'd force him to confront LS's (and others') questions that he has so far refused to answer, coward that he is.

To wit: Joe, complete the following sentence: "The proof that the diversity of species is attributable to God or an intelligent designer is that..."

Can you do that, you imbecilic coward?

Dr. A.

10:36 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Well, I was asked . . . .

"Kmosser?

If natural selection and minor mutations occur over time in nature then why hasn’t man improved?"

I think, probably, because "progress" and evolutionary change are distinct notions. The latter is measured in terms of successful reproduction, the former by all sorts of things, most of which are irrelevant to the latter.

In your sense, Catholics are more "evolved" than Shakers.

Or, perhaps we should simply turn to Marshall McLuhan, who once asked "Is it progress when cannibals use forks?"

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe’s over the top, vitriolic reaction against lawyers seems rather unhealthy, and is very unnatural. It suggests some deep psychological trauma in his past involving a lawyer. Since we’ve already seen in previous posts that he also hates professors and academia, it could well suggest that after he was rejected from graduate school, he then applied to law school, where he was also summarily rejected. These rejections were quite possibly due to his inability , as we have seen repeatedly in his postings, to write a coherent sentence devoid of grammatical errors, as well as his inability to grasp even the simplest of logical propositions. Still, it is quite possible that his hatred for lawyers was caused by some other, unrelated reason. Here are some possibilities:

10. Joe’s wife left him for his attorney, and Joe was subsequently forced to return to the trailer park where he grew up, but only until he lost the trailer in the divorce proceedings.

9. Joe was molested as a young child by a lawyer.

8. Joe saw every one of his classmates grow up to become successful lawyers while he repeated 11th grade seven times and then ended up as a janitor.

7. Joe doesn’t actually know any lawyers, and his entire experience with them consists of hearing his right-wing friends spewing lawyer jokes.

6. Joe is really, really upset that most lawyers actually try to uphold legal principles, which goes against the iron-clad beliefs he has acquired over many decades.

5. Joe is really, really upset that some lawyers try (and succeed) in holding right-wing zealots, corporate America and corrupt government accountable for their misdeeds.

4. Joe had this creepy stalker attraction to a girl in high school who, after laughing at him, went on to become a lawyer, and twenty years later he still stalks her secretly on the internet.

3. Joe hates everybody who had the gumption to spend three years actually studying something difficult in depth, and then applying that knowledge in a meaningful career.

2. Joe was fired from the law firm where he worked as a janitor for not understanding what was expected of him.

1. Joe know that most lawyers are both smart and educated, meaning they don’t share his infantile and ludicrous notions about evolution, and the few times he comes across them, they mop the floor with him intellectually, making him, in spite of himself, admit that he was wrong. This really, really, REALLY pisses Joe off.

12:46 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Well, I have to admit I like a good lawyer joke. And while I have a certain degree of respect for the law, and for some attorneys, I can't bring myself to endorse the preceding claims in toto about lawyers being in-principle advocates of righteousness, having studied "in depth" something so difficult.

I guess I'm somewhere in between lawyer as loser and lawyer as saint.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Kmosser. In my experience, this level of pathology I not due to the hatred of lawyers, but is usually the result of either fear of abandonment or intense feelings of sexual inadequacy. It is quite possible that the subject (for purposes of this analysis, let’s call him “Joe”) was abandoned by his mother, for whom he felt intense sexual attraction, which might have actually been consummated before she abandoned him emotionally. It is also quite possible that the subject had intense homoerotic feelings for his father, which probably were not consummated, leaving the unfulfilled desire to fester for many years, so that there is a palpable anger bubbling under the surface of the subject’s subconscious. Or, it may be as simple as the subject having an inordinately small penis.

In either respect, common symptoms are paranoid delusions that one is being continuously persecuted, the inability to form coherent thoughts or speech, the attempt to compensate for inadequacies by driving a huge truck or expensive sport scar, the embracing of rigid political or religious ideologies that are outside the mainstream, conflicting feelings about (and subsequent denial of) one’s own sexual identity, the inability to form lasting relationships with the opposite sex or even long-term friendships, and the inability to function in a normal society. This condition has the potential of being very dangerous, for there is a disproportionate ratio of subjects who suffer these conditions who in turn become child molesters. Anyone who perceives evidence of any or all of these symptoms is urged to immediately contact their local law enforcement authorities or crisis hotlines, before their condition degenerates even further, causing potentially catastrophic results.

1:04 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Harsh.

I'm not really sure why, if one disagrees with another, this immediately calls into question sexual identity or penis size (the latter particularly if it is a man).

Oh wait: I do know why. Never mind.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill said:

Harsh...but fair.

And he had it coming.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, and let's not forget that Joe also bristles when he's called a coward, suggesting that deep down, he probably thinks he is one.

-B

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is worthy of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years of life, while the brain is impressible, appears to acquire almost the nature of an instinct; and the very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason.”

--Charles Darwin, “The Descent of Man.”

8:07 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Hello boys, have you missed me? I am sorry I have not been able to engage in our little fun as often as I like, I am working out of town and do not have much free time to engage in one of my favorite past times, that being, posting on blogs for amusement. I must CONFESS, I really do not give a rat’s ass if evolution is true or not. It means little to nothing to humanity or me. Moreover, if you look it at realistically who really cares where we came from? It doe not change anything now, does it? Kmosser, you seem like an honestly intellectual who is knowledgeable about this subject matter. Too bad, I will not have the chance to discuss other topics with in earnest. A.S., I have no aversion to the legal field. I worked in the arena for many years and many of the most prominent attorneys and judges in this area I respect and consider my friends. You on the other hand remind me of an attorney, IF YOU REALLY ARE AN ATTORNEY, whom I met early in my career. I do believe however, you are far more condescending and arrogant than he. I would have never believed that possible, but, then again, you may be him. Regardless, I had fun with you and enjoyed reading your 2nd year law school analysis. I would have liked to, and maybe I did, meet you adversarial in the courtroom. That is if you practice real law. Too bad we will never have the opportunity to debate something of meaning. You will have to excuse me; I have to go buy some bananas for my yearly visit with my great, great aunt Kathy at the zoo. She is a little depressed because my side of the family evolved and hers didn’t. . She is also terribly traumatized by the actions of her great, great, nephew Travis propensity to human flesh. Not to worry, she is in therapy with the best psychologist in the business I must say Adios Amigos I hope you all had as much fun as I.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally!

Good riddance!

11:52 PM  
Blogger kmosser said...

I'm sure we will miss Joe; I know I already do. After all, I rarely break into double figures on comments, and here I am threating triple figures.

I also have to admire someone who seems to insist that evidence, argument, truth, and other such things are important, and continues to engage in at least some version of debate, yet concludes:

"I must CONFESS, I really do not give a rat’s ass if evolution is true or not. It means little to nothing to humanity or me."

Gee whiz. And all this time, I thought it would make a difference to humanity, and/or Joe, whether we were the result of a divine spark from the Almighty, or just a particularly well-adapted species, able to kick the ass out of the competition because of a large frontal lobe, cererbral cortex, language, etc..

Now I discover that it really doesn't make much of a difference.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, good to be rid of him, but even in his (hopefully) last missive, he is full of crap, and deserves to be exposed.

Joe said: “I must CONFESS, I really do not give a rat’s ass if evolution is true or not.”

Clearly a lie, Joe, one which contradicts numerous statements you made over the past three months.

Joe said: “It means little to nothing to humanity or me. Moreover, if you look it at realistically who really cares where we came from? It doe not change anything now, does it?”

Well, except maybe that it does mean a lot to humanity. Evolutionary biology is one of the central pillars of science, and one that is vital not only to our understanding of the universe, of humanity, or archaeology and anthropology, but also to our management of diseases and health care, the environment, social policy, etc. As an added benefit, it puts the lie to religious superstition, and reaffirms our commitment to rational enlightenment.

Joe said: “Kmosser, you seem like an honestly intellectual [sic] who is knowledgeable about this subject matter. Too bad, I will not have the chance to discuss other topics with in earnest.”

Joe, nothing was stopping you from contributing to other threads on this blog. The fact that you only addressed evolution confirms that your fist statement, above, was a lie.

Joe said: “Too bad we will never have the opportunity to debate something of meaning.”

We did debate something of meaning, and you lost miserably every single time. Probably good that you withdraw now.

Joe said: “You will have to excuse me; I have to go buy some bananas for my yearly visit with my great, great aunt Kathy at the zoo. She is a little depressed because my side of the family evolved and hers didn’t.”

And here, finally, an admission of Joe’s complete lack of understanding of evolution, a fitting goodbye from an idiot. Joe is asserting essentially that humans evolved, but monkeys and apes did not, echoing the commonly but absurdly asked question: “If humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” The obvious answer (to those who understand even a smidgeon about evolution): humans did not evolve from monkeys! Joe, you great-aunt Kathy at the zoo DID evolve into what she is today. It would be like asking: if penguins evolved from ostriches, why are there still ostriches? It’s an absurd question: penguins did not evolve from ostriches; penguins and ostriches both evolved from a common ancestor which looked neither like a penguin nor an ostrich. Humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor which looked neither like a human nor an ape.

Joe said: “Adios Amigos I hope you all had as much fun as I.”

Let’s hope you stay gone Joe. But just know that if you choose to come back, you will once again be confronted, and your ignorance and mendacity will continue to be exposed. Too many idiots have gotten a free pass for far too long, and it is time to make the world a better place.

-LS

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And for those of us who are dedicated to the idea that confronting idiots and their zealotry is slowly making the world a better place, there is this from today's New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/us/27atheist.html?hp

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been almost a month since our friend Joe decided he was tired of getting his butt kicked on a weekly basis. Maybe, finally, we have heard the end of him.

And you thought the penis thing wouldn't work!

10:44 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

I should have know: the penis thing always works.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

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