Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why does anyone pay attention to P.Z. Myers?

P.Z. Myers has a characteristically incoherent post on free will. I've included my comments:

I was compelled to post this
December 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm PZ Myers
I said I didn’t want to say anything about free will, and I still don’t, but Massimo Pigliucci weighed in, and Jerry Coyne responded, and so did Sean Carroll, and of course I created a free will thread for everyone else to talk about it, so I guess there’s a fair bit of momentum behind it all.
I don’t understand why free will was getting all tangled up in indeterminacy vs. determinism, since that seems to be a completely independent issue.
There are philosophers who believe that free will and determinism are not incompatible. I think they're wrong.

Free will and determinism are linked. If all human acts are determined-- i.e. completely in accordance with past events and the laws of physics-- then there is no room for libertarian free will. Human will can change neither the past nor physical laws.

Myers:
I’ll sum up my opinion by agreeing with Jerry Coyne:
[Coyne] Of course, whether the laws of physics are deterministic or probabilistic is, to me, irrelevant to whether there’s free will, which in my take means that we can override the laws of physics with some intangible “will” that allows us to make different decisions given identical configurations of the molecules of the universe. That kind of dualism is palpable nonsense, of course, which is why I think the commonsense notion of free will is wrong.
Absolute gibberish. Coyne's idiotic view that we have no genuine libertarian free will entails three consequences:

 1) Our acts are determined by agency (history and physics) over which we have no control. We bear no responsibility for our acts.

2) Our acts are determined by agency (history and physics) which have no reference to truth. A neurochemical reaction isn't "true" or "false". It just is. If our acts and thoughts are neurochemical, and we have no genuine choice in our opinions, then our opinions can be neither true nor false, anymore than  mixing chemicals in a beaker can be true or false.

If determinism and lack of libertarian free will are true, we can't meaningfully argue that they are true.

3) If the past and physical law fully determine our future, then what happens to us has nothing to do with our "choices". Just history and physics. What happens, happens. The future is set- only one outcome is possible, and we can't choose it.

So why bother to do anything? Why does Myers bother to post on his blog? What shows up on his blog is determined by the history of the universe and the laws of physics. He can change neither. Why do anything?

Myers:
My mind is a product of the physical properties of my brain; it is not above them or beyond them or somehow independent of them.
If Myers' mind is a product of his brain, it is by definition something other than his brain. What is it?

... birds chirping...

And how is it that a physical object (Myers' brain) has reference to something external to itself? This is the classical problem of intentionality. Myers brain doesn't mean anything. It's just a few pounds of meat. But Myers means things. He writes about them daily.

Where does the meaning come from?

Myers:
It doesn’t even make sense to talk about “me”, which is ultimately simply yet another emergent property of the substrate of the brain, modifying the how the brain acts. It is how the brain acts.
Perhaps Myers can inform the payroll department at the university that his "me" doesn't really exist. They can stop cutting paychecks to emergent properties of brain substrates.
I think consciousness is a product of self-referential modeling of how decisions are made in the brain in the absence of any specific information about the mechanisms of decision-making — it’s an illusion generated by a high-level ‘theory of mind’ module that generates highly simplified, highly derived models of how brains work that also happens to be applied to our own brain.
Let's take it one bit of gibberish at a time:

I think consciousness is a product of self-referential modeling of how decisions are made in the brain...

A self-referential model presupposes a self. Decisions presuppose a decider. Myers' explanation for self presupposes self. Back to the drawing board.

...in the absence of any specific information about the mechanisms of decision-making —...
Myers has no clue about how any of this works. None. Zippo. But he's sure it's materialistic, and people who disagree with him are fools who believe things on faith.

...it’s an illusion generated by a high-level ‘theory of mind’ module...
A delusion presupposes a self which is deluded. Thus the delusion cannot create the self.

[... it’s an illusion generated by a high-level ‘theory of mind’ module] that generates highly simplified, highly derived models of how brains work that also happens to be applied to our own brain. 
Myers is saying that consciousness doesn't exist in the absence of a 'high-level theory of mind module'. So module-less people who don't contemplate theories of the mind-- children, disinterested or uneducated adults-- aren't, by Myers theory, conscious.

Myers is a fool. Why anyone-- me included-- pays any attention to this idiot is a mystery. One of the unresolved questions of science...

61 comments:

  1. Fetus-eatin' godless atheistDecember 7, 2011 at 6:37 AM

    Myers is a fool. Why anyone-- me included-- pays any attention to this idiot is a mystery. One of the unresolved questions of science...

    That's exactly what I think when I'm reading your blog.

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  2. Your heroes, Dr. Egnor, are Coulter and Barnhardt, symbols of ignorance and violence.

    Mine are Myers and Obama.

    Guess that says a lot about who we are.

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  3. Michael,

    You're wrong as usual. The mind is a product of the brain. The brain decides to perform at action and then passes the decision to the mind which becomes aware of the action to be performed and then the action is carried out, so the mind has the illusion it initiated the decision, whereas it didn't. The duration between the brain deciding to do something (as shown on fNMR) and the mind being conscious of it may be as much as 7 seconds.

    The brain makes decisions on the basis of genetics and past experience; nature and nurture.

    The most that one can say is that there's no free will, but there is free won't. The mind is capable of vetoing decisions before they're carried out.

    Sorry, for a neurosurgeon, you have a grossly inadequate understanding of neuroscience. PZ Myers and Jerry Coyne are correct.

    I am beginning to agree with one of my past physician lecturers who noted that surgeons are very good with their hands but not very good thinkers.

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  4. Well put, Mike.
    The man is spewing silly, lazy, positivist NONSENSE. That is what he does. He is an apologist for scientism and materialism.

    As for mind and brain: It's pretty obvious that without a mind one would not be able to even make reference to the organ we call a brain. The self is immaterial. Is that 'created' within the functions of the brain, or is it external? THAT is a matter of common sense. Common sense tells us it is external. The materialists want us to deny this common sense and believe that we imagine ourselves with our imaginary imagination. Such blind faith is beyond me.

    As for my heroes: My father and grandfather. My wife. A certain young 'terp. My son. The physicians and nurses who tend to the suffering and dying. An old dog who once saved the life of my adult son (miss ya 'Bubbles'!)
    The young men and women willing to fight and die to protect our rights to these disagreements. My (young) men are some of the biggest heroes I could imagine. The old vets at the Legion I work with.... THESE are my heroes.
    Obama, PeeZee, Coulter, and Bernhardt do NOT enter into it for me. Just a bunch of political talking heads, IMO.
    Obama being the biggest fake of the lot.

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  5. PS I quit the 'taking the Pee(zee)' about 2 months back. A boring echo chamber.

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  6. People pay attention to PZ because he is a talented teacher and an engaging writer. Try reading his biological posts sometime and you will see what I mean. His anti-religious rants can be off-putting (they are to me, and I am an atheist) but he is a top-notch writer and there simply isn't any argument against that.

    What you have done in this post is draw a caricature of the materialist picture of the mind as an emergent property of the brain. This is not an incoherent position. Emergent phenomena are all around us. Rigidity does not exist on the scale of a single atom. It arises as a collective property of many atoms forming a periodic lattice. We know how that works in minute detail.

    Philosophy, frankly, is a lousy tool to analyze the world. And you are pitting one philosophical position against another. Nothing will be decided on philosophical grounds. At this time, however, the materialist position has a crucial advantage: it has neuroscience on its side. Insights into the properties of mind will come from neuroscience, not philosophy. Get busy organizing a scientific enterprise if you want an upper hand. That would be a hoot: scientists studying soul. Good luck!

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  7. @Bach,
    "Sorry, for a neurosurgeon, you have a grossly inadequate understanding of neuroscience. PZ Myers and Jerry Coyne are correct."

    What an utterly stupid thing to say.

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  8. Ah PZ Myers,another crackpot another day. In the previous post he called someone a "loon" that is a better scientist than PZ in EVERY WAY. And now the poor sod jumps into the philosophical arena and makes an ass of himself... again.

    Crackpots like PZ and Coyne are essentially trying to solve a philosophical problem with empirical science.

    Now another crackpot, old oleg, makes it clear he falls in the same category.

    Old oleg tells us that philosophy is a lousy tool to analyse the world and that nothing will be decided on philosophical grounds.
    In the same magnificent paragraph he tells us how materialist philosophy nonetheless has an advantage. He says neuroscience is on its side. Why exactly this crackpot thinks it does is a complete mystery and it should be quite obvious to any observer that oleg is just too philosophically ignorant to even describe what exactly materialism is. But he will nonetheless, like other crackpots, keep on claiming that materialist philosophy has neuroscience on its side. Any person with at least a little logic, intellectual honesty and knowledge about philosophy will quickly come to realize just how silly materialistic philosophy is.

    Crackpots on the other won't, it is not in their nature to realize just how silly their views are.

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  9. Oleg,

    "Philosophy, frankly, is a lousy tool to analyze the world."
    I guess to a reptile like PeeZee, it would be.
    It is the ONLY tool, and includes your materialism and 'science'. Your comment is akin to saying 'air is a lousy thing to breath.' Only if you're a fish.

    "And you are pitting one philosophical position against another."
    Close. Mike is defending the common sense and traditional philosophy (dualism) from a hostile and pretentious one (positivism - in this case specifically monistic materialism) - that has proven time and again to lead to totalitarianism and horrific abuses of human rights.

    "Nothing will be decided on philosophical grounds."
    Uh..what? No reason? No logic? No science?
    Okay...So, what form of decision making do you suggest? Instinctive?

    "At this time, however, the materialist position has a crucial advantage: it has neuroscience on its side."
    Sheer pretension. Neuroscience is a study. It's not on ANYONE's 'side'. You may also note the only Neuroscience in this conversation is NOT on side with materialism.

    "Insights into the properties of mind will come from neuroscience, not philosophy."
    Oracular powers are not your strong suite, Oleg. Stick to promissory materialism. The star trek stuff at least SOUNDS funny.

    "Get busy organizing a scientific enterprise if you want an upper hand."
    Organizing for an upper hand? In what? I thought yo wrote philosophical debates would decide nothing?

    "That would be a hoot: scientists studying soul. Good luck!"
    How about scientists studying PERIOD, instead of scientists setting out to prove an ideological point and PUSHING the data and TWISTING results to make it fit? You 'evolution' (a hijacked term, if there ever was) folks are as bad as 'biblical archaeologists'...and we ALL know it.
    You argue as if you have common opinion behind your 'scientists', Oleg. You do not. The normal 'guy' distrusts you 'scientists' as much as any clergy or politician - and RIGHTLY so.

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  10. @bach
    ...PZ Myers and Jerry Coyne are correct...

    As usual, you are at odds with the truth again!

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  11. It doesn’t follow that if mind is solely a product of processes in that brain then there is no reason to “do anything”. The ability to make decisions is the bottom line of free will, and we all make a myriad of decisions every day regardless of where we stand on the mind / brain issue.

    In my opinion, the real problem of free will has to do with the nature of time. Einstein said “the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." Einstein showed that it is possible for an observer to adopt a state of motion such that their actions can be said to be simultaneous with any event in the universe. An event that is in your future if you remain at rest can be brought to the present simply by undergoing a specific acceleration.

    In a universe governed by special relativity the future is as fixed as the past. In the past you made a decision, and that decision had a single outcome. In the future you will make a decision and that decision will also have a single outcome, and at every point in space there is a state of motion (sometimes realized) for which your future decision is happening “now”.

    Will any of this have a bearing on what you have for lunch tommorow? No, of course not. The illusion of free will is so all encompassing that we have no choice but to proceed as if it is real.

    -KW

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  12. @bachfiend:

    I'm trying to understand your ideas about the brain (which you seem to imply is purely physical) and the mind.

    Here's what I've gleaned from your remarks:

    1. The mind owes its existence to the brain, because, as you put it: "The mind is a product of the brain." Hence, no brain, no mind.

    2. The mind receives input from the brain: "The brain...passes the decision to the mind."

    3. The mind has awareness of input from the brain.

    4. The mind can be deluded, at least in some sense: "...the mind has the illusion it initiated the decision, whereas it didn't".

    5. The mind can prevent decisions previously made by the brain from being executed: "The mind is capable of vetoing decisions before they're carried out."

    Is this a fair and accurate portrayal of what you wrote?

    Help me understand more about what you believe to be the nature of the mind. How would you define mind? Is the mind material? Immaterial?

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  13. Disprove my above comment, and you’re well on your way to being one of the greatest physicists of all time.

    -KW

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  14. KentD,
    You wrote
    "Help me understand more about what you believe to be the nature of the mind. How would you define mind? Is the mind material? Immaterial?"

    Your honest question touches the central issue perfectly. The MATERIAL definition requires and IMMATERIAL foundation. This paradox is the central inconsistency in the hard materialist position.

    The materialist suggests that you imagine your imagination. That your mind is software that allows for the computer that is your brain to run. But who is the USER?
    They frequently your free will is purely an illusion (even delusion!)...but an illusion observed by WHO?

    But let's see them answer your very astute question, first.
    Hopefully they can manage WITHOUT sneering at you.

    My own position is that the mind is immaterial, and the brain functions as it's interface to physical / material reality. To be childishly simplistic for the purposes of brevity: The brain is kind of like an temporal computing/navigation device for an immaterial self/mind.

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  15. **They frequently ARGUE your free will...etc

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  16. @megnor:

    I strongly agree with what you say in this post. Materialistic arguments for any kind of free will are patently self-swallowing. If PZ Meyers is correct, the last thing he would be able to do is prove it by argumentation.

    Some (perhaps all) non-Christian philosophies have to borrow presuppositions, inferences, or intellectual tools from Christianity in order to try to make their case. Such philosophies cannot logically coexist with the very forensic resources they employ. This is, at best, a kind of ignorance, and at worst, outright dishonesty. They do not strike me as very compelling world views. Materialistic atheism is such a philosophy. It's a denial of rationality, logic, and reason, all of which are ultimately grounded in the God of the Bible. Materialism, from a purely rational standpoint, is stillborn.

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Word = Greek logos, a meaningful statement or communication.)

    Keep on fighting the good fight, Michael.

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  18. Kitten-kickin' atheistDecember 7, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    @Pépé:
    As usual, you are at odds with the truth again!

    Says the guy who believes in nonexistent deities.

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  19. "In my opinion, the real problem of free will has to do with the nature of time. "
    I like to give credit where it is due, and this is by far the most intelligent post I have read from the materialist side of this debate on free will in a LONG time.

    It may be a deliberate attempt at redirecting the conversation to temporal physics (or not)- but it is a genuine and original pondering...and it is in non-specialist English for all to read.
    Nice.

    KW has rolled up his sleeves!
    He deserves an honest response, also in ENGLISH. I hope I am as precise and clear as he was.


    My view/understanding of Einstein's ideas are not so static as those presented.
    Where you see a 'problem', I see a pattern or fingerprint.
    Specifically that BOTH the 'future' and 'past' seem to be within the grasp of 'present' influences - they are all actually instantaneous. All things, acts, thoughts...
    I prefer the term 'timeless'. Or when I am referring to a living creature's self, animus, or mind: An 'immortal soul'.
    Now if we consider these ideas in this light and then consider the equally 'spooky' (Einstein's word) implications of potentiality and super-potentiality and the lesson of Schrödinger's's cat, or the famous double slit box.
    Also consider only living things experience time. They seem to be the only conscious influence of this timeless cosmos.
    Mind. Self. Soul.
    Then consider again the recent and controversially DUPLICATED experiments at CERN showing that even MATERIAL particles could travel BACK in time (FTL, arriving before initiation) providing a PHYSICAL medium for information etc.
    When considered these aspects as part of a body of research into the nature of life in relation to time, they convince me that there is an underlying pattern surfacing in the (research AND conjecture based) sciences.
    It seems time is far more fluid than we expect.
    So, all this taken into account: I do not see special relativity as a problem to 'free will', I see any such theory on time/space as subject to 'Free Will', even (especially) if proven.

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  20. Atheist shittin' KittenDecember 7, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    @ Kitten-kickin' atheist

    "Says the guy who believes in nonexistent deities."

    Says the guy who dearly hopes the Deity does not exist.

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  21. @KW
    "Disprove my above comment, and you’re well on your way to being one of the greatest physicists of all time."

    Nah...Just the greatest lover. LOL
    JK!
    :P

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  22. To deny genuine free will is to affirm a form of astrology. Instead of our thoughts, destinies, and actions being governed by the positions and motions of celestial bodies, they are governed by the positions and motions of atoms and molecules. There is no essential difference.

    New atheist thinking, such as it is, merits nothing more than the respect one would accord to astrology; less so, in fact, since astrologers at least admit that they are practicing astrology.

    Atheists are too dim to recognize that they are something a good deal less than glorified astrologers.

    Flame away, atheist nitwits, for you have no real choice not to do so.

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  23. Puppy-kickin' atheistDecember 7, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    @Atheist shittin' Kitten:
    Says the guy who dearly hopes the Deity does not exist.

    What the hell does it even mean? Do you "hope" Allah doesn't exist?

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  24. @Puppy-kickin' atheist
    "What the hell does it even mean? Do you "hope" Allah doesn't exist?"
    I think they mean you are not an Atheist, but an ANTI-Theist. That it is important to you that a God does not exist.
    That's my guess.

    BTW,
    'Allah' is the Arabic word for the Deity. It is a word like 'God'. Allah is said to have 99 actual names, according to Muslim traditions. Maybe what you mean is 'Do you hope that the Muslims are wrong in their interp of God's will?'
    What do you care? You're an Atheist aren't you?

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  25. @crusadeREX:
    If Allah Jesus herp God, why do ahteists hate America?

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  26. @Herp
    I don't know that they DO hate America.
    Dental care, heterosexual relations, and the 3rd and 4th (and all upper) dimensions in general...sure. But to specifically single out a Nation? Nah. That would be way too real and scary.
    Not unless it is their own Nation, and their Atheism is just a symptom of a larger dysfunction...er ideology - like communism, for example.
    The normal, trendy, nominal, work a day, and fairly academic Atheists just are not that interesting, in my experience.
    Hate America? I suppose some number of them do. A few million of the most indoctrinated party members of Asia. Military hawks etc..sure.
    On the other hand, I have had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting quite a few ardent Theists that hate America too. Very different reasons. Same effect.
    They didn't have much love for my Nation or person, either....and I can't say I was or am too fond of them.
    That enough for a decent derping?

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  27. @Derp,
    Better to say 'Atheists don't believe in any 'God given' rights or ideals - and that includes the founding ideals of the USA.'
    That may be an issue in the USA. A constitutional issue, for example.
    Can an Atheist be sworn in as President? Would that be legal? This kind of thing.
    But as for hate...as I said before, the garden variety (village square?) seem to reserve that for Santa Clause parades and Anthems at kids sports games - the REAL hardcore stuff!

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  28. Dental care, heterosexual relations, and the 3rd and 4th (and all upper) dimensions in general...sure.

    Damn, I'm busted. I'm an atheist and I hate dental care (dental caries should be mandatory) and I hate even more the 3rd dimension (length and width are okay, but height is really evil). How did you know?

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  29. @hairypalm & All

    The reader will clearly notice our poor troll avoided the single chance he had to add any sort of depth to his statements.
    Typical Atheist.

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  30. Sorry, I don't want to waste my time answering seriously to your nonsensical, retarded theobabble. (Honestly, after moronics statements such as "atheists hate dental care and heterosexual relations", why would you expect people to take you seriously?)

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  31. @Hairypalms,

    3-d...depth...pun...joke...HELLO?

    Did you really expect me to engage in a serious conversation with a guy who just screws around on here with random silly names?
    Care to comment on the mind/brain debate? Physics? Biology? Theology? Philosophy? ANYTHING?
    No. Of course not.

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  33. KentD,

    There are too many comments already. I'll just comment on one of yours. Your summary is mostly correct except for (3), the mind is not aware of the brain passing its decision onto it, otherwise it wouldn't be an illusion.

    CrusadeRex,

    You got the CERN experiment wrong. The neutrinos didn't travel back in time, they just apparently traveled slightly faster than the speed of light.

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  34. The Lord's faithful otterDecember 7, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    @crusadeREX: "But verily I say unto thee, answering more ideology telleth and redirecting decision I includes your delusion isn't presupposes". James 3:11

    Even your God disagrees with you.

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  35. "You got the CERN experiment wrong. The neutrinos didn't travel back in time, they just apparently traveled slightly faster than the speed of light."

    True, Bach.
    I got ahead of myself and misspoke.
    what I meant to say was that the particles being accelerated faster than light implies the possibility of moving matter (ie the particles) backwards in this time stream. This possibility has long been hotly debated and controversial.
    The way I wrote it made it sound as if this has already been done. I did not intend to do so.
    No such proof exists that I am aware of.
    I stand corrected, if just as resolute in my position.

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  36. @bashfiend

    The neutrinos didn't travel back in time, they just apparently traveled slightly faster than the speed of light.

    Superluminal travel is equivalent to backward time travel.

    Check your light cone!

    BTW you were born a contradicting moron, you still are a contradicting moron and you will die a contradicting moron!

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  37. @Dawkins faithful Hamster

    "Even your God disagrees with you."
    If you mean my behaviour, I should assume He does so quite frequently. I hope He can forgive me. Can you my Rodent friend?

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  38. @crusadeREX

    Of course I forgive you, for I am forgiving.

    However I am afraid you are mistaken when you call me "Dawkins faithful Hamster": I do not believe in Dawkins.

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  39. @Pépé
    "Superluminal travel is equivalent to backward time travel."

    You took my meaning well, Pépé.
    I thank you, Sir!

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  40. Atheism is a disease!

    Definition of a disease:

    1) A condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.

    2) A particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.

    In other words, atheists can't think straight.

    Blame it on evolution!

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  41. Pepe,

    You're still an idiot.

    Even if the CERN experiment is true, which is still doubtful, it doesn't involve travel back in time. The neutrinos are still detected in Italy after they've been generated in Switzerland. The light cone is irrelevant. For example if someone in Africa had a signal sent to him at light speed at the time that the neutrinos were generated and the time they were detected, then it would just appear that they were detected before they were generated. But it's only apparent, not real; they were still generated before they were detected.

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  42. @bashfend

    You're still an idiot.

    There are two possibilities:

    1) You have a broken record

    2) You should stop inhaling CO2

    If I WAS you, I would choose 2 because inhaling CO2 won't save the planet.

    QED

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  43. @Pépé
    Atheism is a disease! (...)

    No word can express how idiotic this message was.

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  44. @crusadeREX

    You took my meaning well, Pépé.

    There is a French proverb that says:

    Ça prend pas une tête à Papineau

    which is equivalent to saying that the obvious does not require a demonstration (a.k.a. also known as a given or a truism)

    But that fact is out of reach of atheists! I wonder why?

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  45. @Poe

    No word can express how idiotic this message was.

    How about TRUE?

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  46. What is free will? I'd say it's the ability to choose between different options given some input information. A machine can do that. A machine can evaluate the consequences of choosing between different options, and then it chooses the option that is closest in meeting a certain criterion. How is that different from human free will? Humans are of course very complex machines with dynamic evaluation machinery and criteria, but I don't see how human free will is in essence different from the ability to evaluate different options and picking the option that seems best in some sense.

    To paraphrase Von Neumann: if you tell me exactly what free will is, I can build a machine that has just that.

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  47. @Pépé
    How about "flabbergastingly dumb"? Seriously, I can't believe that you're for real, you must be a parody.

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  48. @troy
    A machine can evaluate the consequences...

    So why don't you let the computer in your car make all the decisions?

    Just recline and relax!

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  49. @crisse de cave

    I like your moniker. Suits you well...

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  50. Jeebus iz mah copilotDecember 7, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    So why don't you let the computer in your car make all the decisions?

    Because the computers embedded in cars usually don't control the wheels.

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  51. Pèpë:

    "So why don't you let the computer in your car make all the decisions?"

    Because I'm not the computer in my car.

    You are just too dumb to participate in discussions, Pépè. Do us all a favor and leave the internet for good.

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  52. @jee.. whatever!
    computers embedded in cars usually don't control the wheels..

    Ever heard of traction control and ABS, bozo?

    @troy
    ...leave the internet for good...

    In your wildest dream! I am takin' a likin' of spoon feedin' all you atheists...

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  53. @Pĕpế
    Ever heard of traction control and ABS, bozo?

    Hurr durr, the car still cannot drive itself.

    Talking to Pępė is like talking to a wall. A dim-witted wall.

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  54. "People pay attention to PZ because he is a talented teacher and an engaging writer. Try reading his biological posts sometime and you will see what I mean."

    I agree that Prof Myers is a good expositor of biology but he invariably embarrasses himself when he ranges outside of it, as he often does, and in any event, that is not really why people pay attention to him. People pay attention to Myers because of his militant godlessness.

    "His anti-religious rants can be off-putting (they are to me, and I am an atheist)..."

    That is to your credit.

    "...At this time, however, the materialist position has a crucial advantage: it has neuroscience on its side..."

    Not much of advantage if you ask me. I would characterize much of neuroscience as unsubstantiated fluff.

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  55. Hey Bachfiend,

    When you were mentioning CERN to Peep up there, i could picture his tiny brain, much like Homer Simpson, quickly tuning out from something that complicated and a cartoon scene playing through his head to amuse himself.

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  56. I would characterize much of neuroscience as unsubstantiated fluff.

    It has more going for it than the completely unsubstantiated emptiness that Egnor touts.

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  57. Oh look, once again Egnor smears on the clown make up and tries to glom on to PZ Meyers' popularity in a desperate and pathetic attempt to get attention.

    And, of course, Egnor's criticisms of Meyers' amount to nothing more than "he doesn't believe in magic like I do, so he's wrong".

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  59. @Troy-boy
    You ranted:
    "You are just too dumb to participate in discussions, Pépè. Do us all a favor and leave the internet for good."


    You may be able to lord over your nerd friends in your school with garbage like that, but that is not how it works on a free forum with adults.
    If you don't like what you read - YOU leave.
    So grow up, or make like an F and OFF.

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  60. I like to rant and insult people because I suffer from an undiagnosed mental issue.
    I am too lazy and scared to adopt a nic-name.
    So I hide behind anonymous and attack everyone who talks like my parents. It makes me seem intelligent.
    I will pretend I know what I am talking about, and use all sorts of different nics, because I have no life what-so-ever.
    I am a religious bigot, and a closeted homophobic. But I do cross dress to upset Daddy.
    I hate anyone who is not a worshipper of conformity, like me.
    I am anonymous.

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  61. Look at the Egnor parrots shriek in outrage when the fact that their idol is nothing more than an attention whoring internet clown in greasepaint is pointed out.

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