Prof Steve Steve rules

| 99 Comments

After Prof Steve Steve encouraged fellow Steve’s to sign the NCSE petition, the Steve Steve counter did not only pass 900 but ended up at 930!.

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to “intelligent design,” to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation’s public schools.

To see if you qualify, just answer the following simple questions:

  • Are you named Steve, Stephen, Steven, Esteban, Etienne, or Stephanie?
  • Do you have a Ph.D. in biology, geology, paleontology, or a related scientific field?
  • Do you want the kind of success in life you always thought was reserved for the “other Steves”?

If you answered yes to all three of these questions, then you have what it takes to become an NCSE Steve!

99 Comments

No, no, and no. But I have an engineering degree, so I’m superbly suited for signing some Darwin dissent thing!

Yes, no, yes. But I also have an engineering degree – maybe I can start an “anti-Steve” list of the pseudo-knowledgable who believe in ID ;-). (Oops, did I just blow my alias?)

I love how the evolutionists appeal to the authority of a stuffed bear. Christians don’t need plush toys to tell us how to think; we have the inerrant, inspired Word of God!

The said:

I love how the evolutionists appeal to the authority of a stuffed bear. Christians don’t need plush toys to tell us how to think; we have the inerrant, inspired Word of God!

You’re right. “We” have the inerrant, inspired word of a stuffed bear, which scientifically is exactly as valid and useful as your word of god. What you don’t have, unlike us, is a coherent theory, relevant evidence, or the slightest clue how to form a proper logical argument. What was your point again?

I call Poe on “the”.

The problem with inspired inerrant words of God, is deciding which group of people get to decide what those inspired inerrant words are, and what they mean.

In the prior thread, someone suggested that there be a “Friends of Steve” list, open to those with degrees in other scientific disciplines. I’d second that notion, especially if you’d allow MDs to sign up. You could use me to counter Dr. Egnor.

Hmm, I interpreted The’s comments as sarcasm. Anyhow, let’s get the ball rolling for the FOS list.

The said:

I love how the evolutionists appeal to the authority of a stuffed bear. Christians don’t need plush toys to tell us how to think; we have the inerrant, inspired Word of God!

I call double-Poe.

Let’s see, if 930 is an average number, then times 26 letters gives us 24180 names for every letter total. How many names did the Dishonesty Institute claim?

In response to “The,” sure you do, you have a big stuffed toy doll called J.C.

What is “calling Poe”? Is it something to do with the poet of that name?

Henry

Henry J said:

What is “calling Poe”? Is it something to do with the poet of that name?

Henry

Edgar Allan Poe once said:

“Without a blatant display of humour, it is impossible to tell the difference between religious Fundamentalism and a parody thereof.”

Ergo, to “call (a) Poe” is to accuse someone of merely pretending to be a religious fanatic, i.e., someone who is impersonating a Creationist for laughs.

I feel left out, not having any degree and due to my name. Just imagine how big the list would be if we asked for scientists named Michael, Michelle or variations thereof? Here’s a histogram to give us some idea of how utterly the “Scientists Named Mike” would trounce the creationists.

We don’t have a mascot, but that could all be worked out.

Stanton said:

Henry J said:

What is “calling Poe”? Is it something to do with the poet of that name?

Henry

Edgar Allan Poe once said:

“Without a blatant display of humour, it is impossible to tell the difference between religious Fundamentalism and a parody thereof.”

Ergo, to “call (a) Poe” is to accuse someone of merely pretending to be a religious fanatic, i.e., someone who is impersonating a Creationist for laughs.

Actually, this is wrong. It was not Edgar Allan Poe (which predeceased the internet, while this law is consequence of internet forum trolls). According to rationalwiki, it is named after Nathan Poe. Link: http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Poe’s_Law

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

People have a tendency to over exaggerate the facts when they want to present a decent opinion. The results are no surprise that the goal has been obtained. One has to wonder if this could have been done with Dave, John, or Christopher. Know the original of a name such as Christopher would have been poetic irony. The dispute in biology relating to the understanding of the theory of evolution does not exist.

Eamon Knight Wrote:

Yes, no, yes. But I also have an engineering degree – maybe I can start an “anti-Steve” list of the pseudo-knowledgable who believe in ID ;-). (Oops, did I just blow my alias?)

As you probably know, the DI’s “dissent” statement is so ambiguous that any evolutionary biologist would sign if if they didn’t know that it would be used to mislead people. So I suggest writing one that explicitly rejects at least common descent. Note that only a small % of biologists who signed the DI’s statement admitted denying common descent. And IIRC we still don’t know if they deny any of mainstream chronology as YECs and some (most?) OECs do.

So I say go for it. You have at least 2 guaranteed names - unless they have since joined the “don’t ask, don’t tell” crowd.

Christians don’t need plush toys to tell us how to think; we have the inerrant, inspired Word of God!

On the other hand, you can actually prove that the bear exists.…

I’m a fan of Project Steve (I recruited three Steves and am trying for more), but I’m concerned that “overwhelming majority” argument is being used to the exclusion of the even more devastating argument that the antievolution movement has failed to provide data to support its case in peer-reviewed scientific research papers. It’s not just that creationism is the minority opinion, it’s that it has no validity as science. So yes, bring out the Steves, but don’t make it look like you’re just comparing lists - give their credibility the ol’ one-two punch.

The said:

I love how the evolutionists appeal to the authority of a stuffed bear. Christians don’t need plush toys to tell us how to think; we have the inerrant, inspired Word of God!

Who was God inspired by?

Also,

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no controversy, no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to “intelligent design,” to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation’s public schools.

Fixed

James F Wrote:

It’s not just that creationism is the minority opinion, it’s that it has no validity as science.

It’s a Catch-22 of all science-pseudoscience debates, that whenever one draws attention to their arguments, however bogus and/or misleading they may be, one gives them unearned publicity. My guess is that for every person who might be turned on to creationism/ID, several might be turned off to it. Also, in any science-pseudoscience debate, it’s as critical for the science side to be clear as it is for the pseudoscience side to obfuscate, so any form of oversimplification (e.g. saying that ID “is” creationism without detailing the difference between what ID scammers promote and what honest rank and file creationists believe) is self-defeating.

So I consider the publicity given to the DI’s “dissent” statement a small price to pay if in doing so we show how misleading it is. Another thing I wish would be emphasized more is that the ~99.9% of biologists who do accept evolution would be the first to advertise any evidence that truly falsified it. The public simply does not appreciate how scientists in general live to replace existing theories with new and better ones. The myth that scientists are involved in a conspiracy to protect a dying (or dead) theory is still widespread, so we have a lot of work to do regardless of how many court cases we win.

Frank J said:

The public simply does not appreciate how scientists in general live to replace existing theories with new and better ones. The myth that scientists are involved in a conspiracy to protect a dying (or dead) theory is still widespread, so we have a lot of work to do regardless of how many court cases we win.

We need to point out to people that if scientists really were engaged in a carnival of sin and deceit to destroy their competitors and cover up the allegation that evolution doesn’t happen, we would not only have no tangible products, be they accurate descriptions of fossil organisms, their phylogenies, antibodies or cultivated products to name a few, but, the whole scientific community would collapse in on itself from having its members constantly faking science and engaging in cloak and dagger conspiracies.

Furthermore, whenever we hear someone repeat this libelous myth, we have to ask that person about, if scientists really are engaged in a century and globe-spanning conspiracy to cover up for evolution’s alleged shortcomings, why have the scientist-conspirators have allowed that person to live and speak of this conspiracy in the first place.

Antibiotics, not antibodies, I mean.

Stanton,

Sure, but whatever we do, as you know, it won’t be easy because the scam artists are ready to keep misleading with well-rehearsed comebacks. With antibiotics it’s the trusty old “that’s only ‘microevolution’.” People like Michael Egnor will be quick with the bait-and-switch that medical researchers don’t need to know (or accept) “Darwinism.”

Not sure what you mean by the second paragraph, but if you mean that they would eliminate or threaten the “whistleblowers,” I think that very few of even the most hard-line anti-science people think of scientists as that evil.

Also, in any science-pseudoscience debate, it’s as critical for the science side to be clear as it is for the pseudoscience side to obfuscate, so any form of oversimplification (e.g. saying that ID “is” creationism without detailing the difference between what ID scammers promote and what honest rank and file creationists believe) is self-defeating.

But that “oversimplification” mess is precisely where the NCSE petition is at, Frank. It does NOT “detail the difference”, as you call for.

Nor does the NCSE petition display the slightest awareness of the OTHER inherent, longstanding, rational problems involved in conflating ID and creationism, such as:

http://www.idthink.net/back/idc/index.html

********

But you seem to be the only evolutionist who has enough cajones to even speak up about oversimplification. So, sincere thanks.

FL

Frank J said:

Stanton,

Sure, but whatever we do, as you know, it won’t be easy because the scam artists are ready to keep misleading with well-rehearsed comebacks. With antibiotics it’s the trusty old “that’s only ‘microevolution’.” People like Michael Egnor will be quick with the bait-and-switch that medical researchers don’t need to know (or accept) “Darwinism.”

Well, we can either continue countering their rehearsed bullplop with the truth, or we can just give up and let them win, with all of the catastrophic consequences that will result.

Not sure what you mean by the second paragraph, but if you mean that they would eliminate or threaten the “whistleblowers,” I think that very few of even the most hard-line anti-science people think of scientists as that evil.

Given as how anti-science people invariably speak of scientists as being either pointy-hooded devil-worshipers in white lab coats, or as faceless grunts in “AntiGod Amalgamated,” I find it extraordinarily unlikely that they have any positive regard for scientists in the first place. And if they do profess to regard scientists or the scientifically inclined as being human, it’s vital to ask them why they also insist on participating in blood libel.

That, and I feel it’s also important to point out why a group of people would go to the trouble of participate in an allegedly centuries-old conspiracy, and yet, suffer some yappy conspiracy theorists to continue blabbing about allegedly important details.

Then, please explain how reading the Bible literally can resolve questions about the diversities of life on Earth better than the theory of Evolution, and please explain how Intelligent Design is a science, even though none of its proponents, including you, have ever bothered to demonstrate how it is a science, or how some of its proponents, such as Michael Medved and John E. Phillips, have admitted that Intelligent Design was never a science in the first place.

Frank J said:

It’s a Catch-22 of all science-pseudoscience debates, that whenever one draws attention to their arguments, however bogus and/or misleading they may be, one gives them unearned publicity.

True, but I think that a benefit of hammering home the lack of published, peer-reviewed data in support of ID is that it forces the question, what explains the lack of a body of research? One has three basic choices:

1) ID isn’t science

2) There is a vast global conspiracy suppressing ID

3) ID is valid, but its proponents are utterly incompetent at doing research

This at least gets most of the cdesign proponentsists to admit that they’re conspiracy theorists.

James F said: the even more devastating argument that the antievolution movement has failed to provide data to support its case in peer-reviewed scientific research papers.

It is even worse than that.

There is no “case” that is available for being supported.

Well, yes, the “Young Earth Creationists” do tell us the When, and creationists generally tell us the Who, but it has long been noted that creationism has very little positive substance to it, and the recent history has been a case of becoming ever more negative (something, somehow, somewhere is wrong about evolution) and putting as much distance as possible from anything which is capable of being tested by evidence or investigated by reasoning.

FL Wrote:

But you seem to be the only evolutionist who has enough cajones to even speak up about oversimplification. So, sincere thanks.

You’re welcome. But don’t confuse the headlines with the rest of the story, which NCSE does quite nicely, despite the occasional quibble I have with the language. But that’s why pseudoscience usually wins in the “court of public opinion.” Science illiteracy + lack of interest + short attention spans + wishful thinking mean that most people rarely look past the “headlines,” or worse, cover pictures. Note how Michael Behe, who accepts common descent, allowed that cover picture of a human and other ape on the paperback edition of “Darwin’s Black Box,” knowing that most people would wrongly infer from it that the book argues against common descent.

Stanton Wrote:

Well, we can either continue countering their rehearsed bullplop with the truth, or we can just give up and let them win, with all of the catastrophic consequences that will result.

Of course we need to keep countering, but with each iteration the arguments necessarily becomes more detailed, and the audience dwindles for the reasons I stated in my reply to FL. So people who would otherwise agree with us end up saying things like “I hear the jury’s still out.”

James F Wrote:

This at least gets most of the cdesign proponentsists to admit that they’re conspiracy theorists.

They’ll never admit it, but I guess you mean that it would get the audience to conclude that anti-evolution activists, not mainstream scientists, are the conspiracy theorists. Just as with the “censorship” issue, our side has to (1) dispel the myth that we are the culprits, and (2) convince the public that the anti-evolution activists are. IMO, not nearly enough emphasis is placed on 2, and too much is devoted to “defense.” For that “offense” we need to be ultra careful not to say anything that most people would interpret as criticizing their religion, or it easily backfires.

Stanton Wrote:

…Michael Medved and John E. Phillips, have admitted that Intelligent Design was never a science in the first place.

Do you mean Phillip E. Johnson? I know that he and the DI’s (allegedly) YEC Paul Nelson have issued clear statements that ID is not (yet?) science. I would not be surprised if Medved has by now, since he seems more interested in how “Darwinism” doesn’t measure up than in ID itself.

Why be so arrogant in your theory that you insult and belittle other people’s beliefs? Also, I am surprised that so many intelligent scientists are so ignorant to the fact that just maybe evolution works the way it does because it was designed that way on purpose by God. Check out a little book titled “The Holy Bible”, where the order of appearance of organisms follows the same sequence as the Theory of Evolution. How is that for a proper logical argument?

I come in peace, Jennifer

Jennifer said:

Why be so arrogant in your theory that you insult and belittle other people’s beliefs? Also, I am surprised that so many intelligent scientists are so ignorant to the fact that just maybe evolution works the way it does because it was designed that way on purpose by God. Check out a little book titled “The Holy Bible”, where the order of appearance of organisms follows the same sequence as the Theory of Evolution. How is that for a proper logical argument?

I come in peace, Jennifer

Sorry for the double post.

Jennifer said:

Why be so arrogant in your theory that you insult and belittle other people’s beliefs?

Did it ever occur to you that we happen to be sick and tired of silly people coming up to us to demand that we must hold their beliefs as sacrosanct, or face hellfire? How would you feel if some weird old man were to barge into your house and rap you on the crown of your head every time you tried to point out to him that the moon is not made out of luminescent cheese?

Also, I am surprised that so many intelligent scientists are so ignorant to the fact that just maybe evolution works the way it does because it was designed that way on purpose by God. Check out a little book titled “The Holy Bible”, where the order of appearance of organisms follows the same sequence as the Theory of Evolution. How is that for a proper logical argument?

Let’s find out, shall we?

“When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth then was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God’s breath hovering over the waters, God said, ‘Let there be light.’ and there was light”; the “firmament” separating “the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament;” dry land and seas and plants and trees which grew fruit with seed; the sun, moon and stars in the firmament; air-breathing sea creatures and birds; and on the sixth day, “the beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” “Then God said, Let us make man in our image … in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” On the seventh day God rests from the task of completing the heavens and the earth: “So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.”

So then, please to explain why the Bible says that fruit-bearing plants came before the sun, moon, stars, aquatic air-breathing animals, birds, and land animals, even though the fossil record says that fruit-bearing plants came after all of the above-mentioned organisms? Or, perhaps you can explain why the Bible says that birds and air-breathing sea animals came before land animals despite the fact that DNA tests, anatomical comparisons and the fossil record strongly suggest that birds and air-breathing sea animals are descended from land animals?

I come in peace, Jennifer

Coming here to accuse us of being ignorant and arrogant simply because we will not give you (and your beliefs) the respect that you have no intention of earning from us does not sound like the definition of “coming in peace,” Jennifer.

Please understand that understanding facts of nature does not require a separate belief system to accept.

The only way that understanding facts and facets of nature would require one to forfeit one’s current faith or belief system is if the faith or belief system in question is so fragile that it requires one to deny reality on a regular basis.

Sorry for the double post.

Clearly, the best way to atone for it is to post the same crap twice more.

maybe evolution works the way it does because it was designed that way on purpose by God

Maybe it does. Maybe there’s a tooth fairy. Evidence, please.

Check out a little book titled “The Holy Bible”, where the order of appearance of organisms follows the same sequence as the Theory of Evolution

If you were actually trying to convince anyone of anything, you might try constructing a real argument here, using quoted passages from your book, instead of just saying it is so (which it’s not). Five thousand years of unsupported assertion and argument from authority might be a hard habit to break, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

How is that for a proper logical argument?

Absolutely pathetic, actually. Thanks for asking, though.

It is, in fact, an argument from a discredited authority. The evidence contradicts your assertion that the forms of life appeared in the same order as stated in Genesis, as was pointed out above; but quite apart from that, the logic is ridiculous. You are saying that if the Bible got any part of the facts right, it must have got them all right. Nonsense.

Who is belittling beliefs? I myself am a Christian and while I occasionally speak out about fellow Christian’s foolishness, this is not about insults or belittling belief.

As to the Holy Bible, let’s not confuse it with a science book or we have to explain as well why the Bible got things wrong as well? Let’s not confuse logic with faith…

Deal?

Jennifer said:

Why be so arrogant in your theory that you insult and belittle other people’s beliefs? Also, I am surprised that so many intelligent scientists are so ignorant to the fact that just maybe evolution works the way it does because it was designed that way on purpose by God. Check out a little book titled “The Holy Bible”, where the order of appearance of organisms follows the same sequence as the Theory of Evolution. How is that for a proper logical argument?

I come in peace, Jennifer

The climb toward 1,000 Steves continues (963 at last count). I asked several Steves and a Stephanie from the Texas 21st Century Science Coalition list, so hopefully some of them will join. I’m happy to report that Prof. Steven W. Squyres of Cornell, Principal Investigator for NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission, has agreed to sign at my invitation. I don’t know him personally, but I heard him on NPR. So, have you invited a Steve? It’s easier than you think!

Quick Steve update: the list is up to 982, let’s get the last 18 in!

My name is Sandy Lawrence, and I am an MD with sixteen years experience as assistant and then associate professor at a UC Davis-affiliated family medicine residency program. But I would give it all up if I could change my name to Steve and join this list. Oh well.

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