Monday, August 29, 2011

In which I take up P.Z. Myers' challenge on Ann Coulter and Evolution

Traffic must be slow on Pharyngula-- perhaps the latest generation of psych meds have finally calmed the Pharyngula hordes. So P.Z. Myers reissues his challenge from years ago:

Ann Coulter is a horrible, ignorant person who once wrote a whole book accusing liberals of being Godless, as if that were an insult, and advancing arguments against evolution that made the standard noisy creationist look like a veritable scholar. I looked at her arguments, and I made a public challenge back in 2006 for any defenders to pick one paragraph from the book and we'd discuss it in detail — there have been no takers, not one person willing to stand up and support in detail any claim she had made.
Well, nobody insults Ann Coulter without a reply from me. I love Ann Coulter (Platonically, of course). Love, love, love. She's basically right about everything, and the only thing I don't like about her books and T.V. appearances is that when she attacks atheists/Darwinists/liberals she's so clever that my sides ache from laughing. I still can't look at a picture of John Edwards without thinking of her name for him: 'Silky Pony'.

I have all of Coulter's books, paper and electronic (so I can always have her insights close). Coulter has more wisdom in one of her neurons than P.Z. Myers and his Pharyngula inmates have collectively in their telencephalons and diencephalons (I know, I know, that implies a materialist reduction of the mind. It's a metaphor).

So, in reply to Myers' challenge, I'll pick a Godless paragraph. The first paragraph of the first chapter about evolution will do.

Coulter:

Liberals' creation myth is Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, which is about one notch above Scientology in scientific rigor. It's a make-believe story, based on a theory that is a tautology, with no proof in the scientist's laboratory or the fossil record—and that's after 150 years of very determined looking. We wouldn't still be talking about it but for the fact that liberals think evolution disproves God.

So much wisdom. Let's break it down:

Liberals' creation myth is Charles Darwin's theory of evolution,
Coulter is imprecise, but, hey, artistic license. Atheists' creation myth is Darwin's theory. Until the 1860's, it was hard to call yourself an intellectually fulfilled atheist. Atheism is such logical nonsense that no intelligent person believed it. 'Shit happened' is terrible metaphysics.

Most atheist wannabes were deists or some such-- 'God made the world, and then he didn't care, so shit happened'. Biology was particularly hard to explain, because life had such obvious teleology that even atheists had to admit it. 'Atoms and the void' doesn't get you to physiology, anywhere outside of a padded room.

Then the miracle happened. Charles Darwin banished 'shit happened' and with a master-stroke, and atheism of the intellectually fulfilled sort was born (or evolved or something). Darwin replaced 'shit happened' with 'stuff changes and survivors survive'. The best idea anyone ever had.

Within seconds (in geological time), atheists were proclaiming the theory proved. Huxley trounced Wilberforce (although nobody who was at the debate remembered it as a trouncing, but...), Galton invented eugenics, Haeckel faked his embryos, Dawson glued Piltdown man, and Darwinism was off and running.

The most difficult theoretical hurtle Darwinism has had to face is not, as some have asserted, the problem  of building the New Synthesis from Mendelian genetics and Darwin's (Lamarckian) theory. The most difficult theoretical hurtle Darwinists faced is disguising 'stuff changes and survivors survive' so that its utter banality isn't obvious. Neologisms don't just happen by themselves (unlike life). They need to be created. So Darwinists gave us natural selection, sexual selection, kin selection, group selection, reciprocal altruism, disruptive selection, diversifying selection, selective sweeps, background selection, adaptive radiation, punctuated equilibrium. All Darwinian 'selections' reduce to: 'living things vary heritably and survivors survive'. Of course, 'survivors survive' is more precisely: 'relatively more effective replicators relatively more effectively replicate', but succinctness is a virtue. The great challenge for Darwinian theorists since the 1860's has been to make Darwin's banality/tautology (stuff changes and survivors survive) seem like a scientific theory. Slather on the lipstick. You gotta dress up the banality (and the contradictions) with science-sounding stuff.

The most important textbook for Darwinism has always been a thesaurus.

Thanks to Darwin's theory miracle, there is now a whole coven of intellectually fulfilled atheists. Life evolved by natural selection, sexual selection, kin selection, group selection, reciprocal altruism, disruptive selection, diversifying selection, selective sweeps, background selection, adaptive radiation, punctuated equilibrium. Stuff changed and survivors survived.

'Shit happened' was relegated to... atheist cosmologists.

...which is about one notch above Scientology in scientific rigor.

Coulter is imprudent here. The Church of Scientology is litigious, and ranking it below Darwinism could incite a lawsuit.  Careful, Ann. Scientologists have feelings, even after a good dianetic auditing and a Clear State. Being called 'dumber than Darwinism' hurts.

But let's take look at the respective scientific rigor of Scientology and Darwinism.

Scientology is testable.

Scientists could find Xenu, or thetan spacecraft resembling Douglas DC-8 airliners, or hydrogen bomb residue in volcanoes. No Xenu, no scientologic cosmology. No DC-8's with anti-matter propulsion in the precambrian, no scientologic taxonomy. No thermonuclear fallout in volcanoes, no scientologic anthropology. A testable hypothesis.

Darwinism is hard to test.

What exactly could scientists find to disprove 'stuff changes and survivors survive'? Could you find 'stuff that didn't change' or 'survivors that didn't survive'? Not likely.

That's what Darwinists really mean when they say "Darwin's theory is a fact". It's so damn banal that it couldn't not be true. And it proves atheism, which, coincidently, is the religion conclusion of nearly all evolutionary biologists!

Scientologists are moderately obnoxious.


Scientologists sue people who make fun of their religion.


 Darwinists are severely obnoxious. 


Darwinists sue people who ask questions about their religion.


Scientologists don't use public funds to push their religion. 


They get a tax exemption, but that's just keeping their sucker converts' money.


Darwinists take tens of millions of dollars in expropriated Christian taxpayer's money to do research that concludes that the religious views of expropriated Christian taxpayers are evolved delusions.

Oddly, atheists never publish research demonstrating the delusional evolutionary origins of... atheism. Hmmm...

Scientology is honest about its status as a religion.

Registered. Official.

Darwinism denies the obvious fact that it is a religion, instead asserting that it is 'science', although it's less testable than Scientology.

Ironically, late 20th century Darwinists are so obsessed with their faux-science-religion that they would have called themselves 'scientologists', if the name wasn't already taken.

Coulter:
It's a make-believe story,
Darwin's theory is a bit more than banality and tautology. It's just-so stories, predicated on banality and tautology. Think of a trait, make up a story about how it might have helped a survivor survive, and voila, you gotta breakthrough. Front page, Evolution. The toughest part is writing the press release. Best part is that the fundie taxpayers pay you to do this!

Of course for a scientist, a moment's reflection (a moment too long if you want your job) reveals that nothing in the actual evidence excludes intelligent agency. Intelligently designed stuff 'changes and survives', too. Banality and tautology works for anything. So atheists, thesauruses in hand, work feverishly to conceal the fact that every bit of evolutionary data is at least as consistent with theism as it is with atheism. Shhhh....
based on a theory that is a tautology,
'Survivors survive', 'reproducers reproduce', 'more effective reproducers more effectively reproduce'. Natural selection. Kin selection. Punctuated equilibrium. You know the drill. Keep the thesaurus handy.
with no proof in the scientist's laboratory or the fossil record 
Evolutionary biology-- the actual non-ideological study of the fossil record-- reveals that organisms have changed over time. The data are clear.

Darwinism-- the ideological study of the fossil record-- asserts that evolutionary change is non-teleological. The data are non-existent.
—and that's after 150 years of very determined looking.
Every week, in the press, Darwin's theory is finally... proven, even though it's 'already a fact...' The federal judge said so.

We wouldn't still be talking about it but for the fact that liberals think evolution disproves God.
Evolutionary biology, which is a field of science within which Darwinism is a theory, is obviously real science and has contributed substantially to our knowledge of life. The cataloging of fossils and species, the study of changes in anatomy and function, the study of changes in living populations, are all genuine and important scientific endeavors. These tasks have long been a part of biology.

Evolutionary biology was infested by atheists in the mid-19th century. What had been rational non-ideological science became a desperate program to intellectually fill the godless' empty intellects, and Darwin's theory provided the gruel. Thin gruel, but gruel. For atheism Darwin's theory was the best idea anyone ever had.

Until Darwin, atheists had 'shit happened'. After Darwin, atheists had 'stuff changed and survivors survived'. A new dawn.

A new dawn for atheism, but not for science. Real scientific theories propose extraordinarily specific descriptions of nature, usually expressed mathematically. The best theories propose natural laws that are logically unlikely, but empirically true.

Newton's theory of gravitation specifies an inverse square law with a precise constant of proportionality. Newtonian mechanics required the invention of calculus. Einstein's general relativity specifies 20 tensor equations that are so difficult that Einstein needed help to specify them. Quantum mechanics involves matrix equations and complex differential equations. String theory has required novel mathematical research to describe it.

'Temperature changes and heat is hot' isn't a scientific theory.

'Light changes and brightness is bright' isn't a scientific theory.

'Stuff changes and survivors survive' isn't a scientific theory.

Darwinism is a ruse for a metaphysical assertion-- "There is no God". Darwinists say it's proven. A fact in fact. The ruse 'theory' is little more than a tautology, so how could it not be true?

But it intellectually fulfills atheists, up to the brim (it's a small cup), and lives on in science classes and biology departments.

Your kids are forced to learn it, and you pay for it. And if you have questions about the theory, atheists will... see you in court.

OK P.Z., the ball's in your court (figurative, I mean).

165 comments:

  1. I've been reading Michael's blog for some time, wondering exactly which psychopathology explains his rants.

    Initially, I thought he must be a 'firstborn' to explain his tendency to conservatism and authoritarianism.

    But now I wonder whether it might actually be the Geschwind syndrome?

    Going through the list of behavioral features:

    Emotionality. Yes, tendency to get upset with atheists and to swear.

    Mania. Yes. Tendency to write completely over the top statements.

    Depression. Not certain, probably not.

    Guilt. By definition, yes, all Christians feel guilt from the Original Sin.

    Humorless. Definitely.

    Altered sexual interest. Uncertain.

    Aggression. Definitely. Not Michael's tendency to swear at atheists and to state that he 'hates the bastards'.

    Anger and hostility. Yes. See aggression above.

    Religiosity. Yes, definitely.

    Philosophical interest. Yes, definitely, even if pseudo philosophy of hype Orphic dualism.

    Sense of personal destiny. Probably.

    Hypermoralism. Yes, definitely.

    Dependency. Yes, definitely, on the Catholic Church.

    Paranoia. Yes, definitely, thinks that there is an atheist conspiracy, whereas actually organizing atheists is like herding cats.

    Obsessionalism. Yes, definitely. Obsessed with evolution and cosmology.

    Circumstantially. Yes, definitely. Regardless of topic, keeps on coming back to something he calls 'Darwinism'.

    Viscosity. This actually refers to repeated nonsensical phrases in writing. So yes, definitely, as shown by repeated characterizations of evolution as being 'survivors survive', which he obsessively repeats despite being repeatedly informed that that is not what evolution is.

    I think overall that Michael fits the Geschwind syndrome well. It's actually due to overfunction of the left temporal cortex and limbic system, and related to temporal lobe epilepsy, which also results in many of the above features (Karen Armstrong has it, and was a nun till she was fortunate enough to be diagnosed and treated. Probably Saint Paul had it too).

    The best analogy is that GS lies on a continuum of temporal lobe activity. If 'normal' are 5 volts, Geschwind syndrome people are 7-8 volts, and temporal lobe epilepsy sufferers are 10 volts.

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  2. Excuse the typos above. Too difficult writing a comment on an iPad.

    Should read '... note Michael's tendency to swear at atheists' and 'pseudophilosophy of hylemorphic dualism'.

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  3. Whoa... I've never seen so much idiocy in one blog post before. Subscribed!

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  4. @bachfiend:

    I've always wondered about that twitching in my right arm. Thanks for the diagnosis.

    @reedbraden:

    Thanks for subscribing. I'll try not to disappoint!

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  5. In my book, anyone who takes Ann Coulter seriously is a wing nut. And yes, that's a technical term.

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  6. @Mike I can tell that we're going to be great frienemies!

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  7. Here are a few quotes from scientists regarding evolution:

    Darwin produced embarrassingly little concrete evidence to back up some of his most important claims. This includes the change of one species into another in succeeding geological strata, or the production of new structures and taxonomic types by natural selection. Ernst Mayr

    Darwin's prediction of rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time is refuted. The record is there, and the record speaks for tremendous anatomical conservatism. Change in the manner Darwin expected is just not found in the fossil record. Niles Eldredge

    …the problem of the Cambrian explosion has remained as stubborn as ever -- if not more so, since our confusion now rests on knowledge, rather than ignorance about the nature of Precambrian life. Stephen Jay Gould

    Now I think that many people in this room would acknowledge that during the last few years, if you had thought about it at all, you’ve experienced a shift from evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith. Colin Patterson

    No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution. Pierre Grassé


    Those who still believe evolution is a fact are either deluded, ignorant or are addicted to fairy tales.

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    Replies
    1. What on Earth are you talking about? Okay, look, when either you, Ann Coulter, or the person who wrote this article a.) Make any sense and use any logic whatsoever and b.) Have a Phd in biology or even a related scientific field, then maybe you can come back and challenge the theory of evolution. Until then, nothing you say will have any meaning whatsoever scientifically. Even then, despite the claims of the quotes you have, the fossil record does in fact support evolution with plenty of evidence. If you are going to make an argument, make a good one, please. I get very tired of trying to reason with with people who use no logic and cannot even properly support their claims.

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    2. Agree. Funny thing, when I was an Atheist, evolution made sense to me. After I became a Christian, I thought maybe I should look into Creationism. Low and behold - there is no evidence that one species ever changed into another species. It's impossible genetically, biologically, and chemically. We all share common building blocks for protein, but does that mean we evolved from a single-cell organism? How unlikely can you get?

      Delete
  8. Egnor said:
    Evolutionary biology-- the actual non-ideological study of the fossil record-- reveals that organisms have changed over time. The data are clear.,
    and:
    Evolutionary biology, which is a field of science within which Darwinism is a theory, is obviously real science and has contributed substantially to our knowledge of life. The cataloging of fossils and species, the study of changes in anatomy and function, the study of changes in living populations, are all genuine and important scientific endeavors. These tasks have long been a part of biology.

    Egnor concedes evolutionary biology has provided a consistent account of evolution. What else does anyone want?

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  9. Nice job at quote mining there Pepe. I take that back - most of them are 25 years or more years old. Ho hum.

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  10. "Atheism is such logical nonsense that no intelligent person believed it. 'Shit happened' is terrible metaphysics."

    Mregnor, you are an idiot.

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  11. I'm not sure what scares me more. This blog or that the writer is a neurosurgeon. I would not let this man near me with a butter knife in his hand.

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  12. Ummm Coulter is kind of silly. She says that evolution is a tautology. This isn't true but suppose it were true. Then it would follow that evolution is true because tautological claims cannot be false. Evolution is true QED using only Coulter's bad reasoning.

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  13. @Pepe

    First, quotes do not validate nor invalidate a scientific theory no matter the figure. People who are not ignorant understand this.

    Second, cherry-picking and grossly misrepresenting quotes of scientists who studied evolution does not make you an honest individual much less make your position any more credible.

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  14. Surprising, when one googles these cherry-picked quotes, one finds a bunch of creationist websites. Christians certainly love to cut and paste and avoid thinking for themselves.

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  15. Wait, this guy is a neurosurgeon? Well I guess that's ONE good reason to use alternative medicine.

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  16. How does one 'face a hurtle', please?

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  17. So how do you think antibiotic resistance happens, then? Magic? God likes bacteria better than us?

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  18. I may be missing something here, but it seems like Egnor's premiss is that evolutionary change is real, but that to assert natural causes for the change is some sort of atheist plot.

    Whether or not atheists agree with the theory of evolution is irrelevant. Scientific theories (whether mathematical or otherwise) rest on their own merits, irrespective of religious beliefs.

    Science isn't about the supernatural. Biologists have identified numerous selective mechanisms (some described by Egnor) which operate in nature and which are sufficient natural causes to account for the observed evolutionary changes over time. That's science. To assert that those causes were actually the work of a supernatural intelligence is to make a claim that is outside of the realm of science. That's not a judgement on whether the idea is right or wrong - the supernatural is just not measurable, testable, subject to detailed analysis, etc. There's no way to investigate supernatural effects.

    The connection between atheism and evolution is a red herring. Most mainstream religions accept evolution. On the other hand, I would guess that most atheists have about as much knowledge about evolution as they do about nuclear physics. Being an atheist does not imply being an evolutionist, and being an evolutionist certainly does not imply being atheist.

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  19. Hi. My firs time here. Gotta hand it to you: that's one aptly named blog, if there ever was one. Thanks!

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  20. This blog is getting more interesting!

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  21. @Petr: No it's not: he's a pro-alternative medicine neurosurgeon.

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  22. I LOVE this stuff. LOVE it. Whenever creationists start spouting how evolution is 'just a theory' how Darwinism is like a religion, etc., it really does expose their ignorance.

    I mean, to say that we believe in fairy tales is absolutely laughable. BUT - believing that some unseen man in the sky snapped his fingers one week and made EVERYTHING, wiped out the whole planets population at some point (after of course, telling some guy to round up EVERY living animal - oh including dinosaurs too and put them on a ship), then after a while got tired of all these naughty people again so he impregnated a 'virgin' with a 'son' which of course was himself(?) as a scapegoat - a blood sacrifice - to save mankind from.... himself?? So oh yeah we can have 'eternal life.'

    OK, who's living in a fantasy world again??

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  23. An entertaining piece, with some witty assertions, but nowhere do you actually show that Darwinism is "make believe based on a theory that is a tautology" At best, you paraphrase the original statement - that's not the same as explaining or developing an idea.

    Myers is going to make people laugh at you...

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  24. And not for nothing, ever notice how EVERY religion makes these grandiose promises that can never ever be actually SEEN?

    Seems to me if a creator REALLY wanted his creations to worship him and live by his word, then he would make himself very visible and obvious. THEN - perhaps everybody WOULD fall in line, and there would be no ambiguity about who's the real god, what we should be doing, etc.

    But nah, thats too easy. Let them all pick things out of some ancient vague book and misinterpret it all.

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  25. Darwinism denies the obvious fact that it is a religion,

    People deny obvious things all the time. Like the Catholic church being #1 in torturing children either through rape and punishment, or scary indoctrination.

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  26. "Darwin produced embarrassingly little concrete evidence to back up some of his most important claims." (quote mined above)

    And of course, there's been not a bit of research since Darwin, so what he said or did is all we have to go on about evolution, is that right? You like to think that because religions quit learning anything new after their one great book, that scientists do the same?

    So I guess the mountains and mountains of evidence from multiple diverse fields of research in the past 150+ years, most of it in fact testing a priori hypotheses, just doesn't exist? Or you can't be bothered to learn about it?

    Get these people a copy of Dawkins' "Greatest Show on Earth" so they can at least get half a clue as to what they (think they) are arguing against, and they'll only have to read ONE book (plus it has pictures, to help hold tiny attention spans!)

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  27. Wow, a neurosurgeon who ignores all evidence from various fields in favour of the overwhelming body of evidence contained in bronze age Hebrew mythology that is 'God did it'. Really? Zeus didn't have a hand in it? Show your work.

    Here's a scientific prediction:
    America will end up a third world shithole of a Christian Theocracy, because the electorate is too fucking stupid to tie its own shoelaces.

    You all deserve a President Bachmann.. congratulations.
    Feckin' idjits.

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  28. The Onion has a blog now ?

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  29. Tard boy mregnor, do you have any evidence for your fairy's magic wand?

    I didn't think so.

    Neurosurgeon?

    Do you warn your patients you're an uneducated moron?

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  30. "Darwinism is hard to test."

    It's called "evolution" tard boy. Can you say "evolution"?

    One of thousands of examples of evolution being tested: the predictions made about Human Chromosome Two which had to be correct or else evolution is false. The predictions were of course spectacularly correct in extreme detail. Look it up you fucking asshole for Jeebus.

    Michael Egnor, you're obviously proud of your breathtaking stupidity.

    You Christian scum are equal to a terrorists.

    Fuck off subhuman.

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  31. Pépé: Here are a few quotes from scientists regarding evolution

    I guess quote-mining will never die. Nevertheless, comments from Mayr, Eldridge, Gould, and Patterson—evolutionists all—are hardly likely to discredit evolution.

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  32. OK, the more i'm thinking about this, this HAS to be a fake site, right? I mean, who refers to ann coulter as someone with 'so much wisdom', who is right about everything(!) and who professes to 'love love love' her?

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  33. The Christian’s Jehovah, the Almighty God,
    is a capricious and cantankerous sod;
    and, so far as I can tell,
    the Christian often is as well.
    Confused with dogma, the poor old fogey
    can’t fathom the nature of the old Bible Bogey.

    Is it a father, and its son, and a ghost too?
    Well, clearly, that’s ridiculous woo.
    Christians claim their god, in its Empyrean lair,
    is omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent and fair,
    but, with the problem of theodicy,
    their dogma is Christian idiocy.

    The Jew’s Yahweh, that wrathful old jerk,
    set Jews strict rules on when to work,
    how to dress, and what to sup or sip,
    and giving baby boys the snip.
    Myths of Bronze Age, goat-herding nomads,
    metaphorically have them, by the gonads.

    The Moslem’s Allah, a fierce great djinn,
    demands under ‘Islam’, literally, ‘Submission’.
    Apostasy is treated just like a crime;
    they’ll threaten to kill you, to keep you in line,
    and if you dare draw Mohammad in a comic cartoon,
    there’ll be riots and killings from here to Khartoum.

    Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist,
    Zoroastrian, Baha’i, Mormon, and Scientologist,
    Confucianist, Shintoist, and Taoist too,
    Spiritualist, Wiccan, and the New Ager into woo.
    Yea, verily, those of each and every religion,
    are mired in the miasma of superstition.

    So, why should yours be the one true faith,
    in the magic of a phantasmagorical wraith?
    Belief, without evidence, is just plain crazy,
    ignorant, stupid, or thoughtlessly lazy.
    Life derives no purpose, at a theistic god’s direction;
    when evolution happens, it’s due to Natural Selection.

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  34. PZ has just completely annihilated your arguments (so could the average 9th grader) Care to try again??

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  35. Ignorance as a badge of honor, thy name is Republican.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/29/opinion/republicans-against-science.html

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  36. You'd think it would hurt, on some level, to be this willfully stupid. There must be some compensation. For Coulter, book contracts and the occasional media appearance. For Egnor, apparently being the buttocks end of the blogosphere is enough.

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  37. Michael Egnor is one of the professional assholes for Jeebus who work for the anti-science Christian Creationist Discovery Institute. Their goal to is destroy America's science education to defend their Christian Death Cult.

    This means you, Michael Egnor, are an enemy of America, a traitor who belongs in prison or worse.

    Fuck off asshole.

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  38. Epic fail.
    Thanks for playing.
    Please try again.

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  39. If you're going to insist on being so transparently stupid and wrong, can you at least have the decency to do so in a more organized and less long-winded fashion? You could've easily said everything that you wound up stating in 5 or 6 paragraphs, instead of 20 to 30.

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  40. Words fail me. How can a medical professional not see the obvious evidence that evolution is fact? Is not the increasing antibiotic resistance in bacteria an example of evolution?

    Isn't it quaint how the old colonies cling to their obsolete superstitions?

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  41. The time has come for Doctor Egnor to invite Miss Coulter to test one of the world's great theological theories, the hemisphere-spanning consensus that eruptions can be stopped by throwing virgins in volcanoes because the virgins provide an alternative receptacle for Xenu's explosive energy.

    If he assists Miss Coulter in taking take a flying leap into the next Icelandic lava fountain to erupt, its failure to subside will allow Egnor to denounce the ex- virgin as a hypocrite, take over her franchise.

    This will at once put paid to the Scientologist's thermonuclear ambitions, facilitate the reconquest of the island of pagan and protestant elf-worshipers by the Slaves of the Sacred Heart of Mary, and most importantly, spare Miss Coulter's genes from any further risk of Godless evolution.

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  42. I really enjoyed reading both posts. I'm not a biologist or an atheist, but I have to say that Doctor Myers really dissected through Mr. Egnors points pretty easily.

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  43. Members of the Darwinian-Stuff-Happens-Believe-You-Me-I-Am-A-Scientist-And-Know-The-Truth Party are loosing their cool and are getting a very bad case of coprolalia... again!

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  44. @anon:

    [Words fail me. How can a medical professional not see the obvious evidence that evolution is fact? Is not the increasing antibiotic resistance in bacteria an example of evolution?]

    Of course evolution is a fact, if one defines evolution as:

    1) Populations of living things change with time.
    2)Organisms heritably vary and relatively successful reproducers relatively successfully reproduce.

    My (obvious) points:

    1)Darwin's theory of RM + NS reduces to banality and tautology.

    2) Darwin's theory 'explains' nothing. Explanations are to be found in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, etc.

    3) Darwin's theory serves as a creation myth for atheism.

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  45. If this isn't satire I will be so depressed.

    I can't see how I'm the same species as someone who truly believes this tripe.

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  46. Explanations are to be found in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, etc.

    Mike, you forgot catlick mythology.

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  47. Darwin's theory serves as a creation myth for atheism.

    The factualness, or not, of the theory of evolution says nothing, zilch, nada about the existence of god(s). Indeed, were you to totally disprove that theory tomorrow it wouldn't magically prove the god hypothesis to be true.

    I've yet to see a creationist/IDer provide a single bit of evidence for their own hypothesis; rather you all seem to spend all your time trying to knock holes in what you see as 'the' opposing idea. So come on; where's your testable evidence for the existence of god(s)?

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  48. Egnor, seriously, did you pay someone to take your boards for you or what? Evolution, classic Darwinian, punctuated equilibrium, or any other, says nothing about abogenesis. That's a completely different theory. Thus, evolution can't be anyone's "creation myth" because it doesn't say anything about any creation. It provides a framework for understanding how life changes over time. It does not and does not attempt to answer questions concerning the origin of life. At least get your creationist talking points straight.

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  49. That's it, I call Poe's law on Michael Egnor.

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  50. Egnor the dim explains:

    "My (obvious) points:

    1)Darwin's theory of RM + NS reduces to banality and tautology."

    Right... but how did you show that in any factual, meaningful way other than to assert it in several different ways? Meanwhile PZ not only debunked that claim himself but also pointed to at least two others who have done the same, using actual, real evidence and example. Fail, the first.

    "2) Darwin's theory 'explains' nothing. Explanations are to be found in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, etc."

    If you remove "provides an explanatory mechanism by which evolution occurs" from the definition of "explain", then by all means, you're absolutely right! Hooray for specific, conveniently exclusionary made-up definitions! :/ Fail, the second.

    "3) Darwin's theory serves as a creation myth for atheism."

    As Darwin's theory say absolutely nothing about the 'creation' of anything, whatsoever, and has nothing to do with atheism, in general, I can't imagine how you contort yourself into stating this with any conviction. Surely you can't be this dim... and somehow manage to practice medicine. Fail, the third... and a glorious fail at that.

    The really funny thing, though... is that this simple post from you actually said, more clearly and concisely, what you took paragraphs to say above. It's still flat out wrong-headed and painfully ignorant... but at least it's succinct... maybe you could take your own advice ("succinctness is a virtue"). Although contradiction seems to be your thing, so...

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  51. The funniest thing about Coulter (and her admirers) is that she thinks being called Godless is an insult. Only in god fearin' America (and a number of muslim theocracies) I guess.
    The other amusing insult is to refer to atheism/darwinism etc as just another religion. Isnt it odd, that the worst description a religious person can imagine is religion itself? Its as if, deep down inside, they know there is something very wrong with religion. Almost as if they know it is intellectually infantile, and indefensible. The religion-addled mind in action, it seems.

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  52. Inch by inch towards the recognition of ID.

    Not wanting to be ostracised, drawn and quartered by the NCSE (National Center for Selling Evolution) Shapiro wisely and cunningly still professes his (pseudo) faith in Darwinism, because the Darwin Party is very powerful, albeit stupid and out of whack, but still powerful, somehow like a suicide bomber (who dares contradict a suicide bomber?)

    Prediction: Like all big lies cheaply sold to humanity, the Darwin Party will be bad history by the end of this decade.

    Good riddance!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Anyone feeling the need to defend Coulter, and choosing to do so in the blathering, illogical and intellectually dishonest manner posted above, is in deep need of deep help.

    ReplyDelete
  54. You can't test Xenu!

    ReplyDelete
  55. [Forgive my Anon response- but creationists and death threats go hand in hand so...]

    I thought the challenge was to defend Coulter with an argument- not a list of random re-assertions. None of us doubted you believe the ignorant rants published as 'Godless'- I doubt Coulter herself believes half of what she says/writes- but your list of talking points does not address the point of this challenge.
    Instead of a thesaurus, try a dictionary (or better) a grade school text book for such high concepts as 'theory', 'debate' or even 'science'. Meanwhile, there is no shame in admitting you don't understand something. There is, however, much comedy in your mental process. Pointed ignorance is its own satire. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Egnor has signed the Dissent From Darwin list, agreeing with "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. "

    In this blog post he shows that he knows 'Darwinists' are also skeptical of [only] random mutation and natural selection. He shows that he is aware of: "natural selection, sexual selection, kin selection, group selection, reciprocal altruism, disruptive selection, diversifying selection, selective sweeps, background selection, adaptive radiation, punctuated equilibrium. "

    Perhaps now he can see he is not disagreeing with 'Darwinists', but agreeing with them and that the "Dissent From Darwin" list is dishonest.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Pepe,

    I wouldn't take too much notice of what Casey Luskin claims, with the exception of his statement that Shapiro would probably disagree with Casey's take on Shapiro's book.

    I had a brief look at Shapiro's book and decided to pass on it, as not revealing much new and also being written in a turgid difficult style. Variation is important for evolution. Error correction mechanisms in replication of DNA are important, but too perfect correction is a negative because it means that a species perfectly adapted for one environment can't adapt if the climate changes and hence runs the risk of going extinct.

    Did you read the book, or are you just relying on the Discovery Institute's review?

    I see you're making a prediction as to the time of ID's triumph (the end of the decade). No offense, but I think I'll just add it to the list of failed prediction.

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  58. @ bachfiend

    I see you're making a prediction as to the time of ID's triumph (the end of the decade). No offense, but I think I'll just add it to the list of failed prediction.

    See you in 2020!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Wow! What a thoroughly entertaining public smack-down. Dr. Egnor has been owned.

    I've been commenting on this blog for a couple of weeks, and it looks like Dr. Egnor has revealed the origin of his often repeated simple “arguments”. Here I was thinking that I was arguing with the cream of the creationist crop, when in fact it might as well have been cut and paste from Anne Coulter.

    Can anyone recommend a creationist blog by somebody who can come up with their own arguments and address the points made by commenters without resorting to straw men and insults?

    -KW

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  60. Pepe,

    You know, maybe if you put have as much effort into writing something original as you do in in paranoid predictions, you'd be at least less 1/2 an Egnor unit.

    That is, if you care to better yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  61. That's what you have? Really?

    It's barely comprehensible gibberish, how the F did you pass your boards?

    ReplyDelete
  62. Allow me to add something into the mix.

    Reading the Phyrangulite minions’ comments is like entertaining yourself, watching apes inside a padded cell.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Pepe the parrot,

    Here is a small sample of predictions of The Theory of Natural Selection's eminent demise ranging from 1825 t0 2008.

    "The Imminent Demise of Evolution:
    The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism"
    Copyright 2002 G.R. Morton.

    http://home.entouch.net/dmd/moreandmore.htm

    You're on the wrong side of this-find out who lied to you-kill them.

    ReplyDelete
  64. “Reading the Phyrangulite minions’ comments is like entertaining yourself, watching apes inside a padded cell.”

    I thought you wanted to add something to the mix, junior high insults miss the mark.

    ReplyDelete
  65. "....Reading the Phyrangulite minions’ comments is like entertaining yourself, watching apes inside a padded cell."

    Not nearly as entertaining as watching the pretzel-like contortions of fools trying to defend a bronze age myth I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Mike Egnor @ August 29, 2011 4:05 PM said...

    "1) Darwin's theory of RM + NS reduces to banality and tautology.

    2) Darwin's theory 'explains' nothing. Explanations are to be found in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, etc.

    3) Darwin's theory serves as a creation myth for atheism."

    If it is a banal tautology and if the various specialties listed in point 2 all provide consistent evidence for HOW it works, then I don't see how you've exactly made an argument against evolution. I would go so far as to say that your argument boils down to "Evolution is obvious, but I don't like the implications that some people draw from it". Which is hardly an argument now is it.

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  67. A new dawn for atheism, but not for science. Real scientific theories propose extraordinarily specific descriptions of nature, usually expressed mathematically.

    I guess this neurosurgeon has never heard of population genetics and the enormous advances in statistical theory attained because of this, ahem, mathematical expression of the dynamics of changes in the genetic makeup of populations, which sounds just like something else. Hum! Yeah! Evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  68. "One thing about my Coulter Challenge is that I specifically wanted just one paragraph, one idea, because the typical creationist tactic is to throw out a hundred cursory accusations in a confused mess, so that the poor scientist has to pick through a curdled puddle of logical vomit to find one addressable nugget…and then, of course, once that’s been shown to be fallacious, the creationist can stand over the incoherent crapola he’s spewed forth and demand that we clean everything up, or he’ll declare victory."

    Balls in your court now, you very publicly foolish person.

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  69. I wonder if he will even respond to us...

    If so, it will most likely be in essay form, complete with sneering, arrogant tidbits like:

    "Evolutionary biology was infested by atheists in the mid-19th century. What had been rational non-ideological science became a desperate program to intellectually fill the godless' empty intellects, and Darwin's theory provided the gruel. Thin gruel, but gruel. For atheism Darwin's theory was the best idea anyone ever had."

    These Chris†ians® often seem to have this peculiar persecution complex.
    So again, in this quote above,I need to point out that he's trying to portray early scientists as believers who were brainwashed more or less by the evil atheist horde. Hogwash to be sure, but if it werent for non-believers, we may not be nearly as advanced as a people as we are now.

    Because after all, the theist/scientist has an answer already. No matter WHAT his education in the sciences may be, or how far his research takes him, he 'knows' that god is behind it all.

    Oh! DNA? GOD! Fossils? GOD!!
    How did the universe begin?
    "Well, we refute the Darwinism that is currently being taught in schools, without giving the children another alternative to the THEORY of Evilution. Considering how little we know about our origins, it makes sense that another theory should be heard, one of Intelligent Design."

    Oh, really? Who's this 'intelligent being?'
    And exactly what empirical, scientific, peer-reviewed evidence does this 'theory' of yours have? Because the Theory of Evolution indeed has all of those.

    "Um, well, i didnt say 'God', although the majority of people all over the world believe in a single creator. We cant ignore that this is a valid addition to what is being taught now."

    So its just a coincidence that what you personally BELIEVE in, (god), the one who created everything, the one with no real evidence other than a book, sounds a weee bit like what you want taught in schools?

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  70. Wow.

    You're a fucking neurosurgeon and you posted that ridiculous nonsense in defense of your hero, of all people, Ann Coulter!? Did you, at some time in the past, perform a botched operation on your own brain? I'm no brain surgeon but at least I know that Evolution is fact supported by mountains of evidence and that Ann Coulter is a rabid ignoramus.

    Actually, I'm glad I visited this site because I learned that I'm smarter than a neurosurgeon.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Poe. It's the only explaination

    ReplyDelete
  72. I live in a European country where the creation/evolution "debate" does not exist. I've never met a creationist in real life. You can't imagine how insane they sound to me.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Egnor said in the main text:
    Evolutionary biology-- the actual non-ideological study of the fossil record-- reveals that organisms have changed over time. The data are clear.
    and:
    Evolutionary biology, which is a field of science within which Darwinism is a theory, is obviously real science and has contributed substantially to our knowledge of life. The cataloging of fossils and species, the study of changes in anatomy and function, the study of changes in living populations, are all genuine and important scientific endeavors. These tasks have long been a part of biology.

    Therefore, Egnor concedes evolutionary biology has provided a consistent account of evolution.

    Moreover, Mike Egnor said @ August 29, 2011 4:05 PM:

    Of course evolution is a fact, if one defines evolution as:

    1) Populations of living things change with time.
    2) Organisms heritably vary and relatively successful reproducers relatively successfully reproduce.


    In other words, Mike Egnor has no problem with evolution or evolutionary biology.

    However, Mike Egnor said @ August 29, 2011 4:05 PM:
    My (obvious) points:
    1)Darwin's theory of RM + NS reduces to banality and tautology.
    2) Darwin's theory 'explains' nothing. Explanations are to be found in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, etc.
    3) Darwin's theory serves as a creation myth for atheism


    These points are not obvious.
    Point 1 of the ‘obvious points’ list is a restatement of point 2 of the ‘of course’ list, and only differs in the wording. Therefore, it should not be objected to.
    Point 2 of the ‘obvious’ points is obvious, in that in evolutionary biology explanations are to be found in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, etc, (and ecology, life history, etc), but that is all the background of how animals come to have higher fitness: after all that is what one wants to know about natural selection, how animals get their higher fitness.
    Point 3 of the obvious points: if Darwin’s theory serves as a creation myth for atheism: why not let them?

    Given that Egnor accepts evolution and evolutionary biology in the main text, it is not at all clear why he is defending Coulter. The issue is not whether atheism is interesting (personal opinion), but whether evolutionary biology is good science. It is. According

    ReplyDelete
  74. last paragraph should read:

    Given that Egnor accepts evolution and evolutionary biology in the main text, it is not at all clear why he is defending Coulter. The issue is not whether atheism is interesting (personal opinion), but whether evolutionary biology is good science. It is. According to Egnor too. (But perhaps not according to Coulter.) That is all what matters.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Egnor doesn't reject evolution. He's made it very clear that he accepts common descent, and in earlier posts he has clearly accepted that natural selection happens.

    Look at the sidebar on this blog to see what is important to Michael Egnor. He wants to inflame, to argue, and above all TO BE NOTICED!

    So he'll continue to make provactive statements, continue to use faulty logic, dubious facts and bad arguments, and will get gradually more extreme - all to elicit a response. Apparently family and neurosurgery aren't enough - Michael measures himself by how many people are talking about him on the internet.

    So don't expect rational responses to PZ or any of you. Don't expect honest, fact-based debate. Egnor's alignment with Coulter is telling, and indicative of things to come. Expect gradually more radical statements as he desperately tries to increase the dosage and feed his need to be noticed.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Atheist points of note:
    1. "Egnor" is a jerk because I don't like his ideas on religion.
    2. People of religious faith should not be allowed to practice medicine.
    3. Tautologies are not always bad.
    4. Anne Coulter is EVIL. Anyone who buys or reads her best selling books is evil and should be forced out of professional life and perhaps institutionalized.
    5. Animals that survive, have survived. Some of them can reproduce and some of them appear to have changed slightly.

    ReplyDelete
  77. CNTD

    6. Atheist don't have a myth - they don't agree on ANYTHING...except everything, because it is 'SCIENCE' . Amen.
    7. Pépé copied those quotes - IE they are not his words. Some of those guys are dead and it was all in the past (like Darwin) and every good monist knows: past=bad and future=good.
    8. "Egnor" is a jerk and his blog makes the worshippers of economics and science upset.
    9.Pépé copied those quotes from people who said / wrote them years ago.
    10. Atheists think they are funny while having a go at other peoples beliefs, but get upset when you challenge them.

    ReplyDelete
  78. The response?
    Evolution is an exercise in banality and has been morphed into a creation myth by Atheist/Materialists. True. But...that is so...nice! So scientific. Do these guys deserve that? No in my estimation.
    I will give the reader a proper soldiers response to each of the points.

    1. No. "Egnor" is alight, because most sane people would agree with him. You're the jerks.
    2. The moment that professional job selection is based on religious beliefs is the moment the forces I work with replace that government and cut away the Marxist or Fascist tumour.
    3."Once upon a time there was a man who told the world that it was useless and futile, and that all the little girls and boys were nothing more than sacks of lusting meat descended from pond scum.... and they all died in a hopeless obscure futility, but only after some genocidal wars for biological domination.The End."
    I'll stick to Disney (old) thanks.
    4. Anne Coulter is an extremely popular political commenter and author. I'll be honest, I am NO fan of her style. I may agree on the substance of her position much of the time, but her approach reminds me of Bill Maher - who makes my skin crawl. The Sneer is what loses me in both cases. I have often imagined with horror what their offspring might come out like.
    So that said: One's taste in political comment/humour is not an indicator of their relative sanity, intelligence, or competence. If this where the case ANY serious reaction would be (like/dislike) and ALL the folks here, even PZ Meyers histrionic challenge would be evidence of madness. In short: GET OVER YOURSELVES. She doesn't like YOU either, and I'd still buy her a drink.
    5. *crickets chirp*.... oh yeah, sure. Didn't the Greeks write about that stuff too? *yawns*
    6. The monkey myths. Piltdown man and all the other 'men'. Lucy. Cambrian explosion (still exploding!). Haekels embryos. Living fossils. Aliens (promissory).. Etc etc ad nauseum. Atheism should not recoil so much from the observation that it is a faith, but I am glad it does. It makes all such arguments so much easier and adds some humour.
    7. ANON: That is what 'quotes' are. People have said or written them in the past. Pepe is a sharp guy, but even he cannot quote what these scientists (or those yet unborn) will say in the future. The past is a wealth of information. Someone once said "you have a neck so you may look around, and a memory so you may look back." I think that applies here.
    8. AWWWWW. Poor kids. Just smoke some more stuff and read your red book. Get some talking points ready and come back for a quick flame. PZ will be proud.
    9. Yes Anon, we KNOW he did. That was the entire point of the exercise. See above.
    10. Humour? Please don't mess with the qualia. Way out of your depth here, folks.
    This 'poem' is like listening to a Texan try to speak Hebrew or Latin in order to hire a prostitute.
    Like the man said at Woodstock 'Don't take the brown acid, it's bad'.
    Determinism + Marxist x Atheism= CHEESE at best, HATE at worst. Your poem is about as funny as 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. Was it written by the same author, or are they just fellow travellers?

    Thanks for your foam and passion, Atheists.
    You may now return to you banal existence and get back to the flaming, ad hominem attacks and non sequitur observations.
    I hope you enjoyed the taste of your own sh!tty medicine as much as I did spoon feeding it to you
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  79. Darwinism was one of the theories that was later refined and shaped into what we now call evolution. That's how science works. I really find it funny, however, that you'll argue against darwinism and yet, as a self-proclaimed conservative catholic, believe that the eucharist turns into the literal body of christ after the blessing? And THAT is not questioned. It is extremely disheartening that this type of ignorance is allowed into med schools. We really should be requiring IQ tests during the admission process.

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  80. How does Life come into a world without Life?

    (small hint: ghosts and gods, whatever you may invent to answer that, would count as Life, if they existed)

    ReplyDelete
  81. @anon:

    [I really find it funny, however, that you'll argue against darwinism and yet, as a self-proclaimed conservative catholic, believe that the eucharist turns into the literal body of christ after the blessing? And THAT is not questioned. It is extremely disheartening that this type of ignorance is allowed into med schools. We really should be requiring IQ tests during the admission process.]

    There is an 'IQ' process to get into med school (it's quite competetive), and we doctors did quite well, thank you. Most of my physician colleagues are theists. I see many of them in Mass each Sunday.

    I'm happy to put my intellectual achievements (and that of countless other Christians) up against those of atheists anytime.

    What you are suggesting is a religious litmus test for medicine. If you don't buy into atheism, you don't get into med school. You've already created such a test in biology, and you expel Christians who ask too many questions.

    And you wonder why we fight?

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  82. The process might be "quite competetive", but apparently being able to spell or write well isn't on the list of required attributes. I suppose that these are "hurtles" that face those who don't "tow the line". You seriously need to proofread your stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  83. A new atheist proverb:

    When loosing an argument, do a spell check!

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  84. You are aware of course that one tends to hurtle over a hurdle rather than to hurdle over a hurtle as you seem to suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Umm, Pepe, the word you are looking for is "losing", not "loosing". The inability to spell seems to be endemic among creationists. I suppose that science education isn't all that you missed out on.

    ReplyDelete
  86. And, no. One "hurdles" over a "hurdle". http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hurdle

    "Hurtle" is to rush violently or with great speed. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hurtle

    ReplyDelete
  87. @anonymous

    Umm, Pepe, the word you are looking for is "losing", not "loosing"

    So, you really are in spell-checking mode. Thank you, you just proved my point!

    ReplyDelete
  88. @anonymous

    FYI, it's Pépé, not Pepe!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Mike Egnor said... @anon on August 30, 2011 10:17 AM

    Actually, I don’t care what Mike Egnor said @anon.

    Mike Egnor has been online, and I would like a serious discussion rather than pro- or anti-atheist ranting. And the timing of anon’s comment shows that Egnor must have seen my comment.

    I made a serious non-ranting argument, August 30, 2011 5:12 AM and August 30, 2011 5:15 AM, and I would like an answer.
    I wrote (at the end of the comment):
    Given that Egnor accepts evolution and evolutionary biology in the main text, it is not at all clear why he is defending Coulter. The issue is not whether atheism is interesting (personal opinion), but whether evolutionary biology is good science. It is. According to Egnor too. (But perhaps not according to Coulter.) That is all what matters.

    Why does Egnor defend Coulter? To get the fun of shouting matches with atheists? Not likely for a serious person. Why should Egnor pose as anti-evolution given that Egnor considers evolutionary biology is good science. What is the purpose of this post?

    ReplyDelete
  90. Meat Head Rex:

    "Atheist points of note:
    1. "Egnor" is a jerk because I don't like his ideas on religion.

    (Nope-Egnor is a jerk because he thinks bare re-assertions of erroneous propositions makes them less ridiculous.)

    "2. People of religious faith should not be allowed to practice medicine."

    (Straw man-depends on which faith and how seriously they take said faith.
    Would you go to a faith healer for brain surgery?
    Didn't think so.)

    "3. Tautologies are not always bad."

    (Another straw man. numerous posters have shown that evolution and TNS are not in any sense tautological. No one that I have seen and read here says a tautology isn't a logical fallacy.)

    "4. Anne Coulter is EVIL. Anyone who buys or reads her best selling books is evil and should be forced out of professional life and perhaps institutionalized."

    (Ann Coulter is evil. She is an attention whore who makes a living by being provocative. No provocation-no income. This isn't rocket science.
    And her books aren't honest 'best sellers'. The plutes buy them in bulk to create the illusion she has a market and to get them on the NYT list.)

    "5. Animals that survive, have survived. Some of them can reproduce and some of them appear to have changed slightly."

    (Uh huh.

    "Lab yeast make evolutionary leap to multicellularity"

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028184.300-lab-yeast-make-evolutionary-leap-to-multicellularity.html

    And that's just one of many examples we've seen in the lab and in the wild.)

    ReplyDelete
  91. Pépé,

    Actually, what has been proven is that in addition to being completely unable to grasp basic science, apparently you and Dr. Egnor share an inability to spell simple words correctly. This does not speak well for the asserted intellectual competence Dr. Egnor trumpets.

    And the only people who think atheists are losing these sorts of arguments are, well, pretty much nobody. Atheists are pretty confident they are handing you your head on a platter. Actual scientists are too. And people like you and Dr. Egnor are shrieking in response because they realize that their untenable Bronze Age fantasy is collapsing around them. But keep trying to prop it up. It is amusing to see you try.

    ReplyDelete
  92. how were you smart enough to be a neurosurgeon but yet dumb enough to write this? are you crazy? seriously? its scary to me that someone would want to be stupid when they obviously are capable of so much better insight. you're choosing to be blind to facts.

    ReplyDelete
  93. @heleen:

    [Why does Egnor defend Coulter? To get the fun of shouting matches with atheists? Not likely for a serious person.]

    Good questions.

    Coulter is a polemicist who uses satire to make very serious points. Her point about evolution is that Darwin's theory is a religous view for atheists, and that it distorts science and theology.She's right.

    [Why should Egnor pose as anti-evolution given that Egnor considers evolutionary biology is good science.]

    Some of evolutionary biology is good science, some isn't. That's true of all science. A fair amount of my science (hydrocephalus research) is bad science.

    The problem with evolutionary biology is that it is infested with ideologues who use it to advance a (ir)religious agenda. I don't like that.

    [What is the purpose of this post?]

    1) To point out the basic truth of Coulter's satire.
    2) To make atheists defend their views publicly. Whenthey do so, they lose. That's why they get so angry.

    ReplyDelete
  94. More Meat head Rex:

    "6. Atheist don't have a myth - they don't agree on ANYTHING...except everything, because it is 'SCIENCE' . Amen."

    (Sorry-the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. ERVs, the Twin Nested Hierarchies, biogeography, chromosomal fusion, documented speciation, replicated speciation, thousands of transitional fossils, nylonaise, atavisms, homologous structures, vestigial organs, genome synteny, gene order, wobble position sequence, intron sequence, pseudogene sequence, transposons, evolutionary computer algorithms, and 200,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers.
    No 'belief' necessary.
    You might as well deny the existence of the roman empire.)

    "7. Pépé copied those quotes - IE they are not his words."

    (Noooo-really? LOL)

    "Some of those guys are dead and it was all in the past (like Darwin) and every good monist knows: past=bad and future=good."

    (They are all quote mines-carefully edited to make it seem that the persons quoted meant the opposite of what they did in fact, mean. And they are all hackery from creobot sites-I've personally had all them thrown up to me dozens of times.)

    "8. "Egnor" is a jerk and his blog makes the worshippers of economics and science upset."

    (Who is upset? This is sport for us.
    and how does this differ from your #1 point?)

    "9.Pépé copied those quotes from people who said / wrote them years ago."

    (Yea-so?)

    "10. Atheists think they are funny while having a go at other peoples beliefs, but get upset when you challenge them."

    (What is funny is how determined godbots are to draw a false equivalence between whacky faith-('believing in things you know just ain't so'in the words of Mark Twain)-and empiricism.
    and getting all hot under the collar while they attempt it. Priceless entertainment.)

    ReplyDelete
  95. To make atheists defend their views publicly. When they do so, they lose. That's why they get so angry.

    The next time an atheist or an evolutionary biologist loses an argument on the topics or religion or science to you, it will be the first.

    ReplyDelete
  96. "1) To point out the basic truth of Coulter's satire."

    The "truth" of her "satire" is "I want to get dupes to buy my books."

    2) To make atheists defend their views publicly. Whenthey do so, they lose. That's why they get so angry.

    Not at all; people like you insist on defining their positions as something they aren't. Evolution says nothing about where life came from, yet you insist that it's so. Evolution can make testable predictions about the development of life forms over time while religion can't.

    Turning this around, you claim to be a good Catholic. Is the Bible literally true? It's got some hilarious things to say about genetic diversity and how genes are expressed. How often do you see people holding striped branches in front of sheep to change their coloring? It's in the Bible, so it must be true, right? And Catholicism: You eat human flesh and blood, don't you? No? Really? I could've sworn a man in a collar and funny robe claimed he was serving blood and flesh to his congregation. Was he lying? You're a believer, do you ever stick bread in a patient's head and ask another robed man to turn it into gray matter? How about defending those views publicly? I guarantee you evolutionary biology can stand up to actual scrutiny, testing, recording, and additional data. Unless you want churches to apply for biohazard disposal licenses, you've got nothing to stand on, sir.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Wow, you just got pwned by PZ. Didn't you have to go to med school to become a neurosurgeon? "Hurtle"? Seriously? LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  98. More on meat head Rex and his conversations with himself:

    "The response?
    Evolution is an exercise in banality and has been morphed into a creation myth by Atheist/Materialists. True. But...that is so...nice! So scientific. Do these guys deserve that? No in my estimation."

    (Yea-you and your militia should hunt us down like dogs, eh?)

    "I will give the reader a proper soldiers response to each of the points"

    (You're not a soldier-you're just another fanatic.)

    "1. No. "Egnor" is alight, because most sane people would agree with him. You're the jerks."

    ("Alight" LOL
    Weeeeell-I guess you showed us with that bare assertion.)

    "2. The moment that professional job selection is based on religious beliefs is the moment the forces I work with replace that government and cut away the Marxist or Fascist tumour."

    (No one is suggesting anything remotely similar to that, fool.
    Again-would you trust a brain surgeon who lectured you on the veracity of fairy myths before your scheduled operation?
    Fools can practice and the wise can let them practice on other fools.
    BTW-Try to get elected to any US governmental office as an open atheist. Come out as an atheist in almost any professional occupation and see what the results are.

    We are not afraid of your bagger militia.
    Leftists have seen this theocratic fascist movement coming for decades and are ready should you be stupid enough to plunge the country into a civil war to impose your rules on everyone else.)


    "3."Once upon a time there was a man who told the world that it was useless and futile, and that all the little girls and boys were nothing more than sacks of lusting meat descended from pond scum.... and they all died in a hopeless obscure futility, but only after some genocidal wars for biological domination.The End."

    (Wow-that's your best straw man yet-but WTF does it mean?)

    "I'll stick to Disney (old) thanks."

    (Of course you will-change is bad-truth is bad-questioning authority is bad.)

    "4. Anne Coulter is an extremely popular political commenter and author."

    (No-she isn't. She's a marginal fringe loon.)

    "I'll be honest, I am NO fan of her style. I may agree on the substance of her position much of the time, but her approach reminds me of Bill Maher - who makes my skin crawl. The Sneer is what loses me in both cases. I have often imagined with horror what their offspring might come out like."

    (You have a morbid imagination-and a superiority complex.
    Oh yea-and you're a concern troll.))

    "So that said: One's taste in political comment/humour is not an indicator of their relative sanity, intelligence, or competence."

    (Actually-it is. As Freud supposedly said, 'there's no such thing as a joke'.)

    cont

    ReplyDelete
  99. Meat cont

    "If this where the case ANY serious reaction would be (like/dislike) and ALL the folks here, even PZ Meyers histrionic challenge would be evidence of madness."

    (Uhm-not really. the reality based community finds delusion funny. You baggers find reinforcement of stereotypes amusing. Another false equivalence-congrats.)

    "In short: GET OVER YOURSELVES."

    (Hahahaha-the clown who just threatened to 'replace' the US government just told us to get over ourselves.)

    "he doesn't like YOU either, and I'd still buy her a drink."

    (I personally would kill myself if she expressed interest-and you seem like the desperate type. Point?)

    "5. *crickets chirp*.... oh yeah, sure. Didn't the Greeks write about that stuff too? *yawns*"

    (You don't know or understand jack about evolution, jack.)

    "6. The monkey myths. Piltdown man..."

    (A fraud exposed by science.)

    "...and all the other 'men'."

    Sahelanthropus tchadensis
    Orrorin tugenensis
    Ardipithecus ramidus
    Australopithecus anamensis
    Australopithecus afarensis
    Kenyanthropus platyops
    Australopithecus africanus
    Australopithecus garhi
    Australopithecus sediba New
    Australopithecus aethiopicus
    Australopithecus robustus
    Australopithecus boisei
    Homo habilis
    Homo georgicus
    Homo erectus
    Homo ergaster
    Homo antecessor
    Homo heidelbergensis
    Homo neanderthalensis
    Homo floresiensis
    Homo sapiens sapiens

    All known from fossil evidence-most from multiple specimens.)

    cont

    ReplyDelete
  100. more Meat

    "Lucy."

    (Lucy is a 'myth'? really?
    Care to document that?)

    "Cambrian explosion (still exploding!)."

    (Explosion that took 10 t0 70 million years and that can be divided into eras based on the evolution of trilobites. Fail.)

    "Haekels embryos."

    (Not a myth-a fraud that has been discarded.)

    "Living fossils."

    (TNS doesn't posit extinction for well adapted species. Fail.)

    "Aliens (promissory)"

    (Huh? You're out in right field there, guy.)

    ".. Etc etc ad nauseum."

    (Yea-I'm sure there's so much more you could bring up since you included the 'alien' thing and the kitchen sink at the end there. LOL)

    "Atheism should not recoil so much from the observation that it is a faith..."

    (Erroneous observation. FIFY.)

    "but I am glad it does."

    (Of course-like Ann Coulter you love provocation however fallacious it might be.)

    "It makes all such arguments so much easier..."

    (Then why are you getting wasted right now?)

    "...and adds some humour."

    (Yes-it really is funny to see the godbots try to equate faith in a 2,000 year old jewish zombie who is his own father and will grant you immortality if you telepathically communicate your belief in him without evidence with.....

    logic, reason and science.)

    cont

    ReplyDelete
  101. More Meat

    "7. ANON: That is what 'quotes' are."

    (Sorry-you don't get to redefine 'quote mines' as 'quotes'. Doesn't work that way.)

    "People have said or written them in the past."

    (Uhm, thanks for that Captain Obvious.)

    "Pepe is a sharp guy, but even he cannot quote what these scientists (or those yet unborn) will say in the future."

    (Pepe is a parrot with an emotional attachment to his received opinions-kinda like you. The issue is misrepresentation by selective quotation. The 'future' has no bearing.)

    "The past is a wealth of information."

    (Unless you take little specks from the whole because they seem to support your position.)

    "Someone once said "you have a neck so you may look around, and a memory so you may look back." I think that applies here."

    (May I suggest you take your own cracker barrel philosophy to heart and educate yourself.)

    "8. AWWWWW. Poor kids. Just smoke some more stuff and read your red book. Get some talking points ready and come back for a quick flame. PZ will be proud."

    (I don't use drugs.
    I don't have a 'red book' whatever that means.
    I haven't need any talking points yet-just a little pin prick to your pretensions one by one.)

    "9. Yes Anon, we KNOW he did. That was the entire point of the exercise. See above."

    (Way to miss the point, genius.
    "When two people say exactly the same thing one of them ain't thinkin'"
    Put that on your cracker barrel.)

    ReplyDelete
  102. More Meat

    "10. Humour? Please don't mess with the qualia."

    (Wingers are notorious for their lack of humor-you being a case in point.)

    "Way out of your depth here, folks."

    (Hahahaha-yea, since you used the word 'qualia' you must be a philosopher of note. LOL

    You do understand that most who frequent PZ's blog are actual scientist who do actual research and not only read actual books...they write them, no?)

    "This 'poem' is like listening to a Texan try to speak Hebrew or Latin in order to hire a prostitute."

    (If the prostitutes you solicit speak latin you need to get out of the cemetery.)

    "Like the man said at Woodstock 'Don't take the brown acid, it's bad'."

    (Odd, though appropriate, that you would compare your jewish 3 in 1 zombie religion to bad acid-but you're not the first.)

    "Determinism + Marxist x Atheism= CHEESE..."

    (Hahahaha-did that make sense when you types it?
    Really?
    Atheism has nothing to do with marxism.
    Atheism does not presuppose determinism.
    Atheism, in fact, is nothing more than a lack of belief in 'god' or 'gods'.

    And what could possibly be 'cheesier' than imagining 100 billion galaxies were created just so you could prove you have strong beliefs without evidence?)

    "....at best, HATE at worst. Your poem is about as funny as 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. Was it written by the same author, or are they just fellow travellers?"

    (Now choosing a text that christians used to justify pogroms against the jews as your example of 'hate'-that is some funny stuff.)

    "Thanks for your foam and passion, Atheists."

    (No, no-thank you bagger militia man ready to replace the US government. Really, thank you.)

    "You may now return to you banal existence and get back to the flaming, ad hominem attacks and non sequitur observations."

    (What's 'banal' about roasting fanatics?)

    "I hope you enjoyed the taste of your own sh!tty medicine as much as I did spoon feeding it to you."

    (Hahahaha-sorry Meat-you're the one tasting.)

    ReplyDelete
  103. @Jim:

    [Wow, you just got pwned by PZ. Didn't you have to go to med school to become a neurosurgeon? "Hurtle"? Seriously? LOL.]

    Oh, I'm sooo embarassed. Pleese don't make fun of me... I'm trying so hard to be liked by atheists...

    ReplyDelete
  104. I don't know if all these last comments by Anonymous are from the same person, if so then this guy has a serious case of logorrhea on top of his coprolalia!

    ReplyDelete
  105. @MikeEgnor said...
    I didn’t see satire in the quote from Coulter. If Coulter’s point about evolution is that Darwin's theory is a religious view for atheists: that would concern only atheists, so why bother. The more serious point is whether Coulter’s view that Darwin’s theory distorts science is correct. At least in the citation you gave above Coulter provides no evidence for that. What would have to be given is a clear example where atheism distorts evolutionary biology in its content.

    [The problem with evolutionary biology is that it is infested with ideologues who use it to advance a (ir)religious agenda. I don't like that. ]

    The problem then is that Dawkins and some others use evolutionary biology to push their own agenda. In a free society, they have that right. That is not an important point about science, and should not be used to bring discredit to the content of the science evolutionary biology.
    Actually, evolutionary biology is not ‘infested with ideologues who use it to advance a (ir)religious agenda’ – go to any conference of SSE or ESEB. Dawkins never makes an appearance. Atheism is not in any way part of the discourse.

    The question is whether evolutionary biology is in any way beholden to the philosophy of atheism in its content. As all science, evolutionary biology uses methodological naturalism. That is not a philosophical preference for atheism, but the method of science. Evolutionary biology has nothing to do with atheism.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Mike Egnor:

    "Good questions.
    Coulter is a polemicist who uses satire to make very serious points. Her point about evolution is that Darwin's theory is a religous view for atheists, and that it distorts science and theology.She's right."

    (Ann Coulter makes a living rabble rousing for the plutes. She makes outrageous and false statements then retreats into the 'I'm just a satirist' closet when her BS leads to violence.
    Stupid people-like for instance 'crusaderRex' on this blog do not understand what she says to be humor. Instead they get out their baseball bats when she says they should do so.
    There is nothing 'religious' about accepting the evidence for evolution-sorry. I'm aware that it would make you feel better about your belief that your cracker turns into human/god flesh in your mouth if there were-but it just ain't so.
    There is also nothing religious about not having a religion. Rankles ya, doesn't it.

    If Coulter weren't blowing smoke you would have been able to mount a much better defense.)

    "Some of evolutionary biology is good science, some isn't. That's true of all science. A fair amount of my science (hydrocephalus research) is bad science."

    (Judging from your arguments here I rather doubt you are capable of separating the two.
    And remind me to steer any potential patients elsewhere.)

    "The problem with evolutionary biology is that it is infested with ideologues who use it to advance a (ir)religious agenda."

    (A blanket condemnation of tens of thousands of honest scientists and utter nonsense. Shame on you.)

    "I don't like that."

    (You weren't asked what you liked-you were asked to defend Coulter's nonsense for even one paragraph.)

    [What is the purpose of this post?]

    "1) To point out the basic truth of Coulter's satire."

    (Where is the 'satire' in her bare assertions-or yours for that matter?)

    "2) To make atheists defend their views publicly. Whenthey do so, they lose. That's why they get so angry. "

    (Who is angry? I would say it's the clown who is offended by challenges to his bronze age human sacrifice mythology. Why else even rise to defend the indefensible?)

    ReplyDelete
  107. Today, our duty is to destroy the myth of evolution, considered as a simple, understood, and explained phenomenon which keeps rapidly unfolding before us. Biologists must be encouraged to think about the weaknesses of the interpretations and extrapolations that theoreticians put forward or lay down as established truths. The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs.
    Pierre-Paul Grassé, Evolution of Living Organisms (1977) p.8

    PS: this is not quote mining but highlighted text from books I have read.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Pépé,

    Citing a Lamarckist doesn't actually help your case.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Pepe,

    A quick google search on your quote mine gives 70 hits-all from creobot religious cites.
    I've had creobots throw this exact quote at me many times.
    Grasse was a 'Lamarckian' and was hostile to the modern Darwinian synthesis.

    And be honest-you did not find this quote yourself and you did not have any context for it
    so it is a quote mine.

    You need to broaden your reading materials, guy.

    ReplyDelete
  110. @Anonymous
    Grasse was a 'Lamarckian' and was hostile to the modern Darwinian synthesis.

    Grassé (not Grasse) was right! As Ann Coulter once said:

    We keep hearing about gaps in the theory of evolution. The whole theory is a gap.

    You’d better beware of these holes you may fall and break something!

    ReplyDelete
  111. Pépé,

    Well, the problem is that Lamarckism has been completely discredited as a theory. And had been by the time de Grasse was writing his book. So citing him for criticizing Darwin doesn't really make much of a case that there are "gaps" in the theory of evolution by natural selection.

    But instead of copying mined quotes from creationist websites, perhaps you could cite some original research done by creationists or intelligent design proponents (or as they are more properly called cdesign proponentists) that demonstrate such gaps?

    ReplyDelete
  112. Never have I seen a mature adult appear more childish than in the first three paragraphs of this post. I'd compare you to an infatuated pre-pubescent Belieber, but that would be an insult to Justin Bieber fans everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  113. I do not understand how anyone can say "Darwinism is a religion" an expect to be taken seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Seriously, Pepe,
    you're just making yourself look stupid here.

    "We keep hearing about gaps in the theory of evolution. The whole theory is a gap."

    And yet she offers no evidence of any of these supposed gaps.
    Why do you think that is?

    ReplyDelete
  115. @Herpy:

    Atheism is a religious viewpoint, in the sense that it is an opinion about ultimate Truth.

    Does it have a liturgy?

    Do you celebrate Darwin Day?

    ReplyDelete
  116. Atheism is a religious viewpoint, in the sense that it is an opinion about ultimate Truth.

    Actually, it is the observation that the empirical case for a deity has not been made.

    Does it have a liturgy?

    Do you celebrate Darwin Day?


    Nope, and who cares? If someone celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. day is that evidence of some sort of religious leaning?

    ReplyDelete
  117. @Mike Egnor said...
    @Herpy: Atheism is a religious viewpoint, in the sense that it is an opinion about ultimate Truth.

    It is up to Mike Egnor to think that atheism is a religious viewpoint; that is quite a different discussion. What has that to do with evolutionary biology / evolution, however?

    Evolution / evolutionary biology is a science, and not identical to atheism. Moreover, Egnor still has to document his opinion that The problem with evolutionary biology is that it is infested with ideologues who use it to advance a (ir)religious agenda. . It is clear that some atheists use evolutionary biology, but Egnor has to defend that the field is infested with ideologues.
    As I wrote on August 30, 2011 1:01 PM, the question is whether evolutionary biology is in any way beholden to the philosophy of atheism in its content. As all science, evolutionary biology uses methodological naturalism. That is not a philosophical preference for atheism, but the method of science. Evolutionary biology has nothing to do with atheism.

    This is what Egnor has to contend with. Taking a cheap shot at Herpy McDerp who quite reasonably said... “I do not understand how anyone can say "Darwinism is a religion" an expect to be taken seriously” is not a productive attitude. Science is not a religion, and Egnor has to explain why he thinks science, evolutionary biology, is bound to the religious viewpoint atheism.

    ReplyDelete
  118. @anonymous

    ...you're just making yourself look stupid here.

    What about your own performance:

    God likes bacteria better than us?
    …believing that some unseen man in the sky…
    …mountains and mountains of evidence…
    …because the electorate is too fucking stupid to tie its own shoelaces.


    I had to stop there, I was getting nausea.

    Anyways, these statements are not exactly peer paper stuff, more like the ranting of a frustrated teen on met.

    You remind me of the Black Knight!

    ReplyDelete
  119. Pepe sez:
    "I don't know if all these last comments by Anonymous are from the same person, if so then this guy has a serious case of logorrhea on top of his coprolalia! "

    How is that echolalia faring?
    Better than the pyorrhea?

    You haven't cut and pasted any quote mines from
    the 'Discovery' Institute cite for hours-are you slipping?

    ReplyDelete
  120. How is that echolalia faring?

    I see I have helped in your education.

    I do hope you are not suffering from Onomatopoeia when you say
    Oh! DNA? GOD! Fossils? GOD!!


    Try saying that out loud and you will realize it really sound foreign, if not alien!

    ReplyDelete
  121. "Does it [atheism] have a liturgy?"
    No.

    "Do you celebrate Darwin Day?"
    No.

    Oh, and I was talking about "darwinism", not atheism. Well, I understood "darwinism" as "evolutionary biology", but since it's a word used mainly by creationists, it can probably mean whatever you want it to mean.

    ReplyDelete
  122. On this blog, does "neurosurgeon" mean something else than what I think it means (i.e., a surgeon specializing in the central nervous system)? I find it hard to believe a bone fide physician would be making these arguments.

    ReplyDelete
  123. @anon:

    [On this blog, does "neurosurgeon" mean something else than what I think it means (i.e., a surgeon specializing in the central nervous system)? I find it hard to believe a bone fide physician would be making these arguments.]

    Most physicians, and most people, believe in God and reject purely Darwinian explanations for man.

    You're the fringe, pal.

    ReplyDelete
  124. @anonymous (alias Dark Knight)

    I find it hard to believe a bone fide physician would be making these arguments.

    It's "bona fide", unless you're picking bones...

    ReplyDelete
  125. Pepe-

    "I see I have helped in your education."

    Don't flatter yourself. I've been using both terms for more than 40 years.

    I imagine most things sound 'alien' to you.

    And 'onomatopoeia' is the best you can do?
    Really?

    ReplyDelete
  126. M Egnor:

    "Most physicians, and most people, believe in God and reject purely Darwinian explanations for man.
    You're the fringe, pal."

    (Interesting that you identify yourself with the unwashed. The higher the education level, and IQ, generally speaking,the lower the incidence of belief in the supernatural. And unfortunately for your argumentum ad populum, most believers disagree with each other beginning with a billion muslims versus 2 billion christers and ending with 33,000 sects of christers all disagreeing with one another, not to mention virtually every christer inventing their own version of the religion.
    That makes atheists the middle and the normal, 'pal'.
    And most scientists don't believe in a personal 'god' but rather some form of pantheism/deism.

    And ISWYDT-'purely' Darwinian-cute. Giving yourself some wiggle room.)

    ReplyDelete
  127. M Egnor,

    BTW-

    "In the national academy of sciences
    72.2% disbelieve in God
    20.8% have doubt or agnosticism."

    And-

    "Of the scientists and engineers in the United States, only about 5% are creationists, according to a 1991 Gallup poll (Robinson 1995, Witham 1997). However, this number includes those working in fields not related to life origins (such as computer scientists, mechanical engineers, etc.). Taking into account only those working in the relevant fields of earth and life sciences, there are about 480,000 scientists, but only about 700 believe in "creation-science" or consider it a valid theory (Robinson 1995). This means that less than 0.15 percent of relevant scientists believe in creationism. And that is just in the United States, which has more creationists than any other industrialized country. In other countries, the number of relevant scientists who accept creationism drops to less than one tenth of 1 percent."

    How do ya like them apples, 'pal'?

    ReplyDelete
  128. @anonymous (a.k.a Black Knight)

    And 'onomatopoeia' is the best you can do?
    Really?


    Reading some of your logorrhea, sorry, comments, schizophrenia and dyschezia comes to mind.

    ReplyDelete
  129. @anonymous (a.k.a Black Knight)
    "Of the scientists and engineers in the United States, only about 5% are creationists... bla bla bla

    Quote mining aren't you!

    ReplyDelete
  130. Pepe le genius sez:

    "What about your own performance.."

    (are you really so stupid you think all the anonymous posters are the same person?
    Really, fool?

    "I had to stop there, I was getting nausea."

    (Doubtless-I've seen cognitive dissonance do much worse to fools like you-not mention pyorrhea.)

    "Anyways, these statements are not exactly peer paper stuff, more like the ranting of a frustrated teen on met."

    (Hahahahaha-and your quote mines are your guarantee of a Nobel in biology, fool.)

    "You remind me of the Black Knight!"

    (Funny-from where I sit it looks like you are the one who has had limbs subtracted and doesn't know when to quit.
    And who was talking about "... frustrated teens ranting on the met...(assuming you meant to type 'meth'-but you're an idiot)..."?

    Buffoon.)

    ReplyDelete
  131. Dr Egnor, why would anyone take your assessment of Ann Coulter's "wisdom" seriously, given your own poorly thought out and error ridden attempt to take up Dr. Myers challenge? I'm sorry, but you were "owned" by Dr. Myer's rebuttal.

    I wonder what your take is on someone, such as Dr. Kenneth Miller, who is a staunch evolutionist, as well as a strict practicing Catholic. Someone, like Miller, must be a terrible annoyance for your "black-and-white" world.

    ReplyDelete
  132. @Dr. Egnor,

    "Atheism is a religious viewpoint, in the sense that it is an opinion about ultimate Truth. "

    The atheistic viewpoint is the antithesis and negation of a religious viewpoint. Atheism is no more a religion, than not stamp collecting is considered a hobby.

    ReplyDelete
  133. @anon:

    Miller has made his compromises with you brownshirts.

    Go along to get along.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Wow, my first time on the blog, and I ask a civil question and the good Doctor brands me with a "Nazi" epithet. What a man of class and substance! Godwin's Corollary rears it's ugly head.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Pepe the legless and armless

    {"Of the scientists and engineers in the United States, only about 5% are creationists...}

    "Quote mining aren't you!"

    (Yes, idiot boy, citing a Gallup poll is 'quote mining'. Like I said before....

    buffoon.)

    ReplyDelete
  136. Pepe the limbless fool:

    "Reading some of your logorrhea, sorry, comments, schizophrenia and dyschezia comes to mind."

    (Still assuming all anonymous posts are the same poster, fool?

    Pyorrhea is a bitch-all that sh*t coming out of your mouth-and dyschezia isn't your problem is it, what with the crapping all over the place. LOL)

    ReplyDelete
  137. Anon-

    "Wow, my first time on the blog, and I ask a civil question and the good Doctor brands me with a "Nazi" epithet. What a man of class and substance! Godwin's Corollary rears it's ugly head."

    LOL-
    "Respect my authoritaaaaah!!!
    .....or you are a nazi."

    He doesn't have much else.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Pepe le fool

    "schizophrenia and dyschezia"

    Now that's the way to use that thesaurus!

    ReplyDelete
  139. @Dr Egnor

    "Miller has made his compromises with you brownshirts.

    Go along to get along."

    Hmmmm...............it's more likely that Dr. Miller has a good grounding in the field of his expertise..............Dr. Egnor...............not so much. Don't feel too bad. If Dr. Miller ever decides to criticize the field of Neurosurgury, I won't pay too much attention to him either. Of course, he'll probably skip the "Brownshirt" comments, as he seems to shun the "Coulter" influence.

    ReplyDelete
  140. "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." So said Einstein.

    Mike, Miller is in a different league, a student from his first class won the Nobel few years back. You aren't headed even for I(E)GNobel anytime soon, because even that requires real science of sorts! An overwhelming majority of scientists the world over are atheist/agnostic. Actually it's you who is on the fringes. That's why you are posting these poorly reasoned screeds on some obscure blog. And no you aren't in the same league as Myers. His knowledge and experience is a superset of yours. He's a biologist, you are simply a practicing neurosurgeon. Biology is to your practice as Physics is auto repair. Get a grip on yourself and stop making a spectacle of your ignorance.

    ReplyDelete
  141. So 'doctor' Egnor:

    When and if one of your patients stays sick, gets worse or dies, is that 'god's plan?'

    When you have a successful operation, do you thank god for saving the patient? (although i doubt that because i bet many surgeons are arrogant).

    Because after all, you claim the majority of doctors believe in god.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Oh yes, we atheists are all so riled up and angry all the time!

    Theists ALWAYS say this. As if they just cant understand that someone doesnt believe in the same ancient creation myth as they do.

    I'll try to explain: One only has to look at the history of the New World circa the 1500-1600s. The Spaniards were the most vicious conquerors. Their rationale? Why, Catholicism of course!

    These native american savages with their sorcery (their own religion) needed to be saved from their little backwards ways. Plus, once the spaniards had more christians in their ranks, they could use them to fight their enemies! Missionaries who claimed to have good intentions, completely exploited, tortured, made slaves of and murdered these people.

    And this was common practice among 'holy men.' The world has seen millennia of the religious pushing their views on others. Even to this day. So, are we a little miffed? Uh, yeah.

    ReplyDelete
  143. I had the good fortune to meet Kenneth Miller and we maintained an e-mail conversation for some time on the topic of his reconciling scientific truths with his belief in divine revelation.

    He believes that revelation as given to the Jews was like a parent speaking to a child in terms the child can comprehend. There would be no point in God explaining Big Bang cosmology, stellar evolution, planetary formation, evolution, etc. too a scientifically illiterate audience. They simply wouldn’t understand.

    Dr. Miller believes that the work of science is further revelation, revealing grandeur of creation literally unimaginable to the intellectually impoverished first Jews.

    He argues that a vast creation of virtually unlimited creative potential by naturalistic means is the method by which God ensures the existence of free will. God has provided a universe that allows us the option of choosing not to have faith, and being created in God’s image means crossing a threshold to become moral beings.

    I’m not sure the Pope would agree with Dr. Miller, but if he did, the world would be a better place.

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
  144. Forgive me Dr. Miller If I’ve misrepresented anything.

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
  145. And yet, at the end of the day, species evolve through natural causes, and there has never, ever, EVER been a definitive example of divine magic.

    So all of this bluster is a simple waste of time. Catholicism is a convenient myth around which people and cultures can bond, but it has no more support in reality than does the ancient Greek or ancient Norse mythology. Myths are myths. Humanity needs a story, and myths are good stories. But there is absolutely no requirement that they be real.

    And still, species go on evolving. New fossils continue to fill in gaps in the historical record. Microbiologists continue to watch and influence evolution-in-action. DNA continues to confirm and re-confirm and re-re-confirm common descent. Nature goes on, headless of human mythical nonsense.

    Egnor's blusters are meaningless in the steady process of real knowledge acquisition. Real knowledge is based on facts, agrees with facts of nature, and can be tested.

    Egnor cares not for reality or honesty - he just wants to piss people off so they'll notice him.

    A tiny nudge in political power at various times in history would have resulted in a completely different set of religious beliefs - no protestants, Gnostics instead of Catholics, Jesus as a chose human rather than divine, Judaisim dominant over Christianity, no awareness of Christ at all - any of these could easily have happened if the political and winds blew differently.

    And yet, the Earth would still orbit the Sun. The tectonic plates would still move. The continents would still exist. And life would still evolve.

    This whole "debate" is utterly pointless. 300 years from now, debates will rage over different flavors of Christianity. Or perhaps Christianity will be remembered by a few people while the majority of the world follows Islam. It doesn't matter.

    But Darwin will still be credited alongside Newton as having one of the greatest intellectual breakthroughs in human history.

    Keep raging, Michael - you're no more relevant than the most fervant syncophant of Marcion. What was the name of the most fervant syncophant of Marcion? Who knows? Who cares?

    ReplyDelete
  146. Nicely written, KW. That is my understanding of Ken Miller's personal thoughts also. I don't agree with Dr. Miller here, but I still respect him, his work, and teaching.

    ReplyDelete
  147. My sister did this somewhat unintentionally. If I recall correctly she wanted to do it up until close to delivery when she thought better of it but when the time came she delivered my niece almost before she knew what was happening. It was good that she had really taken the time to prepare her body for it but she still had some tearing that she complained about months after the delivery.

    Now the reason she didn't realize it was coming was because her water never broke. She actually delivered her child without breaking the placenta. Was still a bloody enough affair that they had to throw out the towels and everyone rushed to the hospital after.

    Unfortunately my sister has always been easily swayed by this sort of thing and not quite willing to change her stance when the arguments she parrots get torn to shreds by someone who is actually informed on matters but she does actually do the legwork to get several doctors opinions so at least she's not trying to leave her kids un-vaccinated.

    ReplyDelete
  148. @Anonymouses

    You (in the singular or plural) seem very pissed off! But you still look exactly like the Black Knight.

    I wish your dyschezia transforms to a diarrhoea. Don't thank me, I am happy to help...

    ReplyDelete
  149. @Pepe the screaming headless torso

    Projection much?

    ReplyDelete
  150. Poor poor Pepe le fool
    not only doesn't he have a leg to stand on or an arm to lean on
    he doesn't have a head to lean.

    the sophomoric black knight/monty python silliness has been used by countless other junior high school hacks

    but you will never forget the mental image of yourself as a "screaming headless torso"

    so appropriate for a fool who went from answersingenesis quote mines to childish insults from a thesaurus in just a few posts of his own public humiliation

    ReplyDelete
  151. Anonymouses commenters of this blog love to contemplate their navel from the inside!
    This probably explains their fetid breath and their simian intellect!

    ReplyDelete
  152. Pepe le fool

    even more sophomoric than the monty python reference

    you should quite while you're behind
    it's only going to get worse

    ReplyDelete
  153. Listen....hear that?
    its the screaming of a headless torso!
    And even without a head pepe le fool is still able to rectally extract his opinions.

    ReplyDelete
  154. Poor, poor, poor Anonymouses...

    ReplyDelete
  155. Poor poor pepe le fool,
    beaten at his own game of childish insults.

    ReplyDelete
  156. I have no problem with evolution, although I think the doctor has a point about its being a faith system. But I've certainly learned from these comments that Darwinists have evolved into truly nasty beings.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Anonymous said...

    "I have no problem with evolution, although I think the doctor has a point about its being a faith system. But I've certainly learned from these comments that Darwinists have evolved into truly nasty beings."

    Where is faith required to accept the fact of evolution?

    Too bad you see being shown truth as 'nasty'.

    ReplyDelete
  158. @anon:

    [Where is faith required to accept the fact of evolution?]

    You misunderstand faith. Faith isn't belief without evidence.

    Faith is reasonable belief based on incomplete evidence. Faith is 'filling in the blanks' and making sense of reality. Faith also involved fidelity-- sticking to a conclusion unless sufficient evidence is offered to refute it.

    You obviously have faith in evolution, in very much the same way that I have faith in God. Your evidence is massively incomplete. You haven't personally witnessed evolution, and you take the word of scientists who have studied it. Even they have very incomplete knowledge-- inferences drawn from fragmentary data.

    So it is with religion, etc.

    We all have faith, in just about everything, because none of us has complete first-hand knowledge about any topic. Faith is a necessary part of functioning as a human being.

    You need to understand that you're no different.

    ReplyDelete
  159. "Faith: Belief that is not based on proof.
    strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence.
    A conviction of the truth of certain doctrines of religion, esp when this is not based on reason."

    Faith is indeed belief without evidence.
    It is not synonymous with trust even though it can be used in that sense that is not the meaning we are using here and you're an ass for pretending otherwise.
    Pretending faith is synonymous with 'fidelity'in the senses of 'loyalty' and/or 'allegiance' is just as dishonest.

    Either you're kidding yourself or you need to open a friggin' dictionary.

    Actually, anyone can 'witness' evolution-all they need do is look at sequences of fossils or footage of single celled organisms becoming multi-celled organism in just a few generation:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028184.300-lab-yeast-make-evolutionary-leap-to-multicellularity.html

    We just saw lizards in the wild go from egg layers to live birth as well:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1308772/Evolution-action-Scientists-discover-lizards-verge-leap-egg-laying-live-births.html

    These are only two recent examples.

    We have far far more evidence for evolution than you have for your invisible jewish zombie who is his own father and listens to 7 billion people's thoughts telepathically etc etc in spite of 5,000 years of lying priests.

    To deny this is so you would have to question most of science and label almost all scientists as conspiratorial liars-and if you do that, why the hell are you practicing medicine?

    Knowledge is always incomplete-science deals only in probabilities, not absolutes. I can't imagine who gave you your degrees when you didn't know that.
    I can learn enough science in just about any field to check out the basics of scientific claims-but no one can present a method of falsification for your 3 in 1 invisible sky fairy-sorry.

    Idiotic equivocation = you.

    ReplyDelete

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