Open thread: questions and explanations

| 261 Comments

Over on the T-urf13 thread we had a request for an open thread for questions and answers. In the spirit of the holiday season, I’m happy to oblige. However, let’s make this an experiment in attempting to increase the signal-to-noise ratio in blog comments. I suggest:

1. This thread is not for arguing, it is for explaining.

2. Thus the issue is not whether or not person X believes viewpoint Y, the only issue is to understand/explain the science relating to Y.

3. Typically, these will be about evolution, but I imagine some people may have itching questions about climate science, given the recent denialgasm that’s been going on in the wingnut-o-sphere, found in some its most extreme, pitchforks-and-torches forms on the blogs of the Discovery Institute (there goes Casey Luskin’s attempt at pro-environment credibility, by the way) and William Dembski

4. Don’t insult honest questioners who come to the thread. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

5. Questioners: don’t take statements like “you really aren’t getting it” as insults, and don’t take “you need to read this reference” as a brush-off – learning requires effort and looking stuff up, particularly learning complicated science-y stuff.

6. I will delete noncompliant posts in a fairly arbitrary and dictatorial manner, and I will take suggestions, since I don’t have time to monitor the thread constantly.

Like I said, this is an experiment – go to it!

261 Comments

Lab exam tomorrow.

What’s a good way to keep straight in my mind the differences between mice, rats, voles, moles, shrews, tenrecs, lemmings, and all the other rodents and rodent-like mammals?

I want to know which of the mutually contradictory anti-evolution positions (young earth, old-earth-young-life, old life without common descent, old life with common descent, etc.) is the “correct” one. I want only anti-evolutionists to answer, so if you think they’re all wrong, please explain that elsewhere. I would especially like advocates of each anti-evolution position to tell me why the others all fail.

Most anti-evolutionists these days claim that “Darwinism” is wrong by focusing on (some of the) evidence, and not because some book says so, so you should be able to do the same with supporting your position, and refuting other anti-evolution positions.

WannaKnowBoutRodentsEtc said:

Lab exam tomorrow.

What’s a good way to keep straight in my mind the differences between mice, rats, voles, moles, shrews, tenrecs, lemmings, and all the other rodents and rodent-like mammals?

Among other things, all rodents have buckteeth, in that the incisors are modified for gnawing, as well as sharpening the edge of the corresponding teeth.

Rabbits, hares and pikas have similar teeth, except that each incisor has another tooth in back of it propping it forward. This is the primary way to distinguish a rodent from a lagomorph.

Also remember than a mole is a burrowing, sometimes aquatic shrew (though in that respect, they should not be confused with true water shrews). A hedgehog is a kind of spiny shrew, and a moonrat is a spineless hedgehog. A desman essentially is one of two species of aquatic moles (Russian Desmana moschata, or Pyrenean, Galemys pyrenaicus, though they look sort of like a cross between an otter, a mole and Jimmy Durante.

Tenrecs are not closely related to shrews: the closest relatives of tenrecs are golden moles, elephant shrews, hyraxes and elephants, while the closest relatives of shrews are bats. The 2 main differences between shrews and tenrecs are that 1) tenrecs have a cloaca where their urogenital and anal openings open into, while shrews and their ilk do not, and 2) male tenrecs lack scrotums.

Why haven’t the science defenders around here written a single criticism of climate scientists who have thwarted FOIA requests by “losing” their data?

I mean, Dembski makes fart noises and you guys go ballistic for days.

Here’s a bona fide threat to science - and you guys can’t be bothered??

Nick,

Please feel free to delete this as well as chunkdz’s comment, but The Sensuous Curmudgeon has written extensively on “Climategate,” and not to defend anyone. Ronald Bailey (long time ID/creationism critic) has also weighed in. And I have not even tried to google it as chunkdz and any lurker can do. Only in the DI’s fantasy are scientists “silent” on it.

Frank, my question was about Panda’s Thumbs silence in particular.

I mean, really, …the Kirk Cameron thread gets 80 comments but the world’s foremost authority on climate destroying data does not even merit a single blog entry?

This is an honest question guys. “Assault on Science” is one of your most popular tag headings.

What’s a good way to keep straight in my mind the differences between mice, rats, voles, moles, shrews, tenrecs, lemmings, and all the other rodents and rodent-like mammals?

Well, they are all good eatin’, but your moles and shrews are going to have a little more white meat on ‘em.

What is the source/nature of human consciousness and how did it evolve? What is the difference between human consciousness and animal consciousness, if any? What is the biggest question science has not spoken to regarding human consciousness?

Why do IDiota think their bastardized interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics is important? Won’t the “designer” keep the world from ending in chaos”

Regarding the hacked emails and climate scientists:

Since this is a blog concerning life sciences, I am going to guess that folks here don’t feel qualified to address the specific issues. However, the site Realclimate (realclimate.org) is fielding questions on this topic. (hundreds of questions, last I looked) Since these are climatologists doing the discussing, you might find your answers there.

nmgirl said:

Why do IDiota think their bastardized interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics is important? Won’t the “designer” keep the world from ending in chaos”

They fixate on the idea that according to 2lot, systems inexorably flow from a state of organization to one of homogenity, i.e. that organization decreases as entropy increases.

They feel that life in general, and evolution in specific, thereby violate the 2lot and are, consequently impossible.

This argument has two problems. First, the laws of thermodynamics properly apply to things like the flow of heat energy through materials and fluid mechanics, and their application to biology is tenuous, to say the least.

But secondly, and far more importantly, their argument conveniently ignores the fact that, while entropy does always increase globally, it can easily be decreased on a local scale, all you need is an energy flux.

Which is why the 2lot is very specific about it’s scope. Specifically, the law states “In a closed system entropy increases”.

To recap the obvious, Earth and its life forms are not closed systems, Earths environment is powered by the massive solar flux, and, of course, all life forms actively harvest energy from their environment - that is, they eat.

If, however, you convert an open-system life form into a closed system, say, by sealing an ID activist into an airtight 55 gallon drum and leaving him in the back of a cool closet for several weeks, the preconditions of the 2lot are satisfied and, lo and behold, entropy increases very quickly indeed.

chunkdz - what would your answer be to the question above:

I want to know which of the mutually contradictory anti-evolution positions (young earth, old-earth-young-life, old life without common descent, old life with common descent, etc.) is the “correct” one. I want only anti-evolutionists to answer, so if you think they’re all wrong, please explain that elsewhere. I would especially like advocates of each anti-evolution position to tell me why the others all fail.

Of course, you may be pro-evolution, in which case you will remain silent as per instructions.

In Dawkins’ “The Blind Watchmaker”, he has a chapter about how replicating chemical reactions could have been a precursor to RNA molecules. In the chapter he talks alot about certain clays being important for the initial chemical reactions.

My experience with clays is only in the context of soil particle size relative to other soil particles (ie, sand, silt, and clay). Is Dawkins using the same definition I am thinking of or something different? How realistic is his scenario?

lkeithlu said:

Regarding the hacked emails and climate scientists:

Since this is a blog concerning life sciences, I am going to guess that folks here don’t feel qualified to address the specific issues. However, the site Realclimate (realclimate.org) is fielding questions on this topic. (hundreds of questions, last I looked) Since these are climatologists doing the discussing, you might find your answers there.

The only specific issue in my question was why Panda’s Thumb has not spoken up even they they tout themselves as “Defenders of the Integrity of Science”.

nmgirl said:

Why do IDiota think their bastardized interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics is important? Won’t the “designer” keep the world from ending in chaos”

No, ideally, the “designer” will destroy the (sinful) world, and take with Him all of His faithful minions to Paradise.

I have seen one thing from Panda’s Thumb, and that is comments on the personal nature of emails and the violation that occurred. However, the people who actually wrote some of those emails, as well as those who were part of the discussions those emails pertained to, are better equipped to discuss them, especially since it appears that they were edited, taken out of context, or misinterpreted. Some of these scientists are the ones actually fielding the questions on realclimate.

Posters at the Panda’s Thumb indeed defend the integrity of science against those who would misinform the public regarding biological evolution, usually for religious reasons. Most areas of science are not attacked in this way. This site attracts people who actually know the field well. They are prudent, however, in not making any statements regarding this event and its fallout; the area of science is not the same, and the emails are part of a much bigger picture, a picture that has been distorted for political reasons by the cherry-picking of content. Only the folks directly involved should be answering these claims. If anyone has been dishonest other climate scientists will be able to ascertain this. Unless, of course, folks believe that science is one big conspiracy. (which would be unlikely-that would require an awful lot of scientists to cooperate on so many levels, and like any group of people, they would fail spectacularly)

“Typically, these will be about evolution, but I imagine some people may have itching questions about climate science, given the recent denialgasm that’s been going on in the wingnut-o-sphere, found in some its most extreme, pitchforks-and-torches forms”

Hey, I have itching questions about ClimateGate, but I was never a ___ (fill in the blank with all those goofy terms you used in the attempt to shut down the debate). Really, with those expressions (denialgasm, wingnut-o-sphere, pitchforks), you’re trying to get real scientists who want to speak out against ClimateGate to shut up.

Conrad said:

In Dawkins’ “The Blind Watchmaker”, he has a chapter about how replicating chemical reactions could have been a precursor to RNA molecules. In the chapter he talks alot about certain clays being important for the initial chemical reactions.

My experience with clays is only in the context of soil particle size relative to other soil particles (ie, sand, silt, and clay). Is Dawkins using the same definition I am thinking of or something different? How realistic is his scenario?

Those are indeed the clays. It’s been a while since I’ve taken these classes, but this ought to give you a starting point.

1) Clays are very good at forming a variety of structures (they are ‘sticky’). Clays can form smooth sheets similar to micas or collections of spheres or other various shapes. This gives things that fall onto (or chemically attach to) some shape and structure.

2) Clays tend to have different particles (unlike a mineral or crystal that must be a regular repeating unit). This gives a variety of possible chemical reaction sites and types.

The way I understand it is think of a clay sheet almost like a ribosome. Amino acids attach to the clays, then are shuffled when the clays move and attach to each other (as well as the clay). Several of the aa collections get together and you have a protein or a nucleotide sequence.

I believe that at least one RNA sequence has been found that can self replicate.

I hope that helps and if I missed somewhere, let me know.

I’ll ask my question:

Can any creationist or IDist provide me with a tool that I can use to predict the changes in a biological system?

If so, what is that tool and how should it be used?

My question:

Can any creationist or ID proponent provide me with a tool that I can use to quantitatively determine the complex specified information in a given genome, or, failing that, a tool which I can use to differentiate the specified information from the non-specified information?

To add a bit to OgreMkV’s reply:

The term “clay” in geology has two separate meanings. “Clay” as a grain size refers to sedimentary grains smaller than 1/256 mm in diameter, which is what Conrad was referring to.

“Clay” as a mineral refers to a “cousin” of micas; that is, a silicate mineral containing structural sheets of silica tetrahedra (tetrahedral arrangements of one Si and 4 Oxygen atoms, with the Oxygen atoms at the 4 corners). In sheet silicates, each silicate tetrahedron is joined at 3 corners to other tetrahedra in sheet form. Each of the 3 corners “shares” an oxygen atom with other tetrahedra, giving a ratio in the formula of 1 Si to 2.5 O, or Si2O5. This results in a charge imbalance, resulting in MANY other, mostly + ions that can be added to form different clay minerals.

My understanding of why these are important for the origin of life is that (1) because the edges of the clay sheets are always charged, they can bond with other materials such as organic molecules, and (2) they can form an atomic framework on which other chemicals can form.

I have to say that the above paragraph is far out of my area of expertise, so I can’t guarantee it’s correct. Any biologists able to confirm/deny what I have in that paragraph?

OgreMkV said:

Conrad said:

In Dawkins’ “The Blind Watchmaker”, he has a chapter about how replicating chemical reactions could have been a precursor to RNA molecules. In the chapter he talks alot about certain clays being important for the initial chemical reactions.

My experience with clays is only in the context of soil particle size relative to other soil particles (ie, sand, silt, and clay). Is Dawkins using the same definition I am thinking of or something different? How realistic is his scenario?

Those are indeed the clays. It’s been a while since I’ve taken these classes, but this ought to give you a starting point.

1) Clays are very good at forming a variety of structures (they are ‘sticky’). Clays can form smooth sheets similar to micas or collections of spheres or other various shapes. This gives things that fall onto (or chemically attach to) some shape and structure.

2) Clays tend to have different particles (unlike a mineral or crystal that must be a regular repeating unit). This gives a variety of possible chemical reaction sites and types.

The way I understand it is think of a clay sheet almost like a ribosome. Amino acids attach to the clays, then are shuffled when the clays move and attach to each other (as well as the clay). Several of the aa collections get together and you have a protein or a nucleotide sequence.

I believe that at least one RNA sequence has been found that can self replicate.

I hope that helps and if I missed somewhere, let me know.

OgreMkV said:

I believe that at least one RNA sequence has been found that can self replicate.

Like the viroids, such as Kadang-Kadang, or sequences formed in a testtube that simulate cell cytoplasm?

nmgirl said:

Why do IDiota think their bastardized interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics is important? Won’t the “designer” keep the world from ending in chaos”

Basically their argument comes down to the following:

If you put mouse in a thermos bottle, seal it tightly and put it on a shelf for, say, a few million years, when you finally open it, a cat won’t come out.

Mike Elzinga said:

nmgirl said:

Why do IDiota think their bastardized interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics is important? Won’t the “designer” keep the world from ending in chaos”

Basically their argument comes down to the following:

If you put mouse in a thermos bottle, seal it tightly and put it on a shelf for, say, a few million years, when you finally open it, a cat won’t come out.

Or a crocoduck.

“Why is it, that no matter how many pairs I buy, I keep running out of socks?”

A question for god, if he isn’t too busy talking to Mr Dembski.

Frank J said:

I want to know which of the mutually contradictory anti-evolution positions (young earth, old-earth-young-life, old life without common descent, old life with common descent, etc.) is the “correct” one. I want only anti-evolutionists to answer, so if you think they’re all wrong, please explain that elsewhere. I would especially like advocates of each anti-evolution position to tell me why the others all fail.

Most anti-evolutionists these days claim that “Darwinism” is wrong by focusing on (some of the) evidence, and not because some book says so, so you should be able to do the same with supporting your position, and refuting other anti-evolution positions.

Yes, I would like to hear how our resident ID/creationist trolls would explain all this.

4 comments in, and a dishonest asshole uses the page as toilet paper for a surely endless sh*t!

And these people wonder why they are considered useless in their obsessive, vanity-driven idiocy?

Frank J said:

I want to know which of the mutually contradictory anti-evolution positions (young earth, old-earth-young-life, old life without common descent, old life with common descent, etc.) is the “correct” one. I want only anti-evolutionists to answer, so if you think they’re all wrong, please explain that elsewhere. I would especially like advocates of each anti-evolution position to tell me why the others all fail.

OK, I’ll bite as an “anti-evolutionist”, though I’m not necessarily opposed to the idea of theistic evolution (if it’s good enough for Os Guinness…). For now, however, you can put me in the ID /”Darwin skeptic” camp. WRT the “correct” one, I’d lean towards one of the old life answers, I suppose because of what we know from geology and astronomy (with regards to age of the earth). One argument (from genetics) I found particularly convincing was the number of fixed alleles in the human race for a specific gene. I also think the plagiarism portion in “Darwin’s Genome” of “Only a Theory” makes a good case for common descent, and I’m interest in critiques of this argument as well. That being said, I’m not going to set roots in any one position (that includes ID) and refuse to budge. So yes, many IDists agree with “Darwinists” in several areas. I hope this was an honest question, and that the point of this exercise is not merely to ask the question, “if you agree with them on these first matters, why not everything?”

Why do animals of different species generally ignore each other? Well, apart from trying to eat each other? Even when they are in the same herd like zebra’s and wildebeests

chunkdz said:

Great experiment Nick. Very revealing.

Yes, indeed. Especially seeing as you were the one who initially derailed it.

You are the male equivalent of what Dan Ackroyd called Jane Curtin on “Saturday Night Live”; an ignorant slut. Wish you much success in mastering the time-honored Japanese tradition of seppuku. Again, if you do do it, you will help decrease the surplus population of delusional internet trolls posting here at PT. On the other hand, maybe I might prefer instead a “trial by combat” between you and Dembski using whatever weapons you wish to use at your disposal. With any luck you would both lose:

phantomreader42 said:

So, just to recap, John Wilkes Kwok loved the idea of a military coup in the United States based on fantasies about communist conspiracies to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids, claims he has recanted that insanity but still defends it to this day, he accuses people who disagree with him of devil worship and calls upon god to murder them and torment their innocent children, while claiming to be a deist (but apparently not even knowing what deism means), he constantly repeats preprogrammed phrases that have no meaning to anyone else, is a pathological name-dropper who can’t stand being referred to by an insulting nickname, and he says OTHER PEOPLE are delusional!

Thank you, John, for demonstrating your mastery of creationist tactics. They’re still as crazy and worthless when you use them.

Go ahead, tell us all how much you’ll love it when you get to watch me burning in hell, and your transition to the dark side will be complete.

John Wilkes Kwok said:

Thanks for demonstrating that you are just as delusional as any of the usual creos dropping by here, whether it is Robert Byers or Sal Cordova or Larry Fafarman. I didn’t answer anything about Dembski and his child because I’ve said enough (Again, if one is religious, then it is only fitting to think that Dembski has been “punished” by the Almighty for his bizarre behavior, which are far more consistent with a servant of Lucifer’s than of Christ.).

Wish you well in assuming room temperature soon. Do it and we’ll decrease the surplus population of delusional nuts posting here at PT:

So now you’re telling someone to go kill himself?

Kwok, get hold of yourself. This is insane.

John Kwok said:

You are the male equivalent of what Dan Ackroyd called Jane Curtin on “Saturday Night Live”; an ignorant slut. Wish you much success in mastering the time-honored Japanese tradition of seppuku. Again, if you do do it, you will help decrease the surplus population of delusional internet trolls posting here at PT. On the other hand, maybe I might prefer instead a “trial by combat” between you and Dembski using whatever weapons you wish to use at your disposal. With any luck you would both lose:

phantomreader42 said:

So, just to recap, John Wilkes Kwok loved the idea of a military coup in the United States based on fantasies about communist conspiracies to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids, claims he has recanted that insanity but still defends it to this day, he accuses people who disagree with him of devil worship and calls upon god to murder them and torment their innocent children, while claiming to be a deist (but apparently not even knowing what deism means), he constantly repeats preprogrammed phrases that have no meaning to anyone else, is a pathological name-dropper who can’t stand being referred to by an insulting nickname, and he says OTHER PEOPLE are delusional!

Thank you, John, for demonstrating your mastery of creationist tactics. They’re still as crazy and worthless when you use them.

Go ahead, tell us all how much you’ll love it when you get to watch me burning in hell, and your transition to the dark side will be complete.

John Wilkes Kwok said:

Thanks for demonstrating that you are just as delusional as any of the usual creos dropping by here, whether it is Robert Byers or Sal Cordova or Larry Fafarman. I didn’t answer anything about Dembski and his child because I’ve said enough (Again, if one is religious, then it is only fitting to think that Dembski has been “punished” by the Almighty for his bizarre behavior, which are far more consistent with a servant of Lucifer’s than of Christ.).

Wish you well in assuming room temperature soon. Do it and we’ll decrease the surplus population of delusional nuts posting here at PT:

You’re complaining about me when you’re as bad as Phantom jackass in piling ridiculous shit on me? Do me a favor and just shut up. I think Phantom jackass has told me to drop dead, so am just returning the favor.… so he can help decrease the surplus population of delusional trolls posting here.

On a more serious note you seem far more interested in commenting on me whenever you perceive some kind of “injustice” I have done, ignoring the ample instances where I have tried to educate delusional, intellectually-challenged creos posting (IMHO you and phantom jackass are often no better than the creos who “drive by” here in your equally ridiculous comments.):

Rilke’s granddaughter said:

So now you’re telling someone to go kill himself?

Kwok, get hold of yourself. This is insane.

John Kwok said:

You are the male equivalent of what Dan Ackroyd called Jane Curtin on “Saturday Night Live”; an ignorant slut. Wish you much success in mastering the time-honored Japanese tradition of seppuku. Again, if you do do it, you will help decrease the surplus population of delusional internet trolls posting here at PT. On the other hand, maybe I might prefer instead a “trial by combat” between you and Dembski using whatever weapons you wish to use at your disposal. With any luck you would both lose:

phantomreader42 said:

So, just to recap, John Wilkes Kwok loved the idea of a military coup in the United States based on fantasies about communist conspiracies to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids, claims he has recanted that insanity but still defends it to this day, he accuses people who disagree with him of devil worship and calls upon god to murder them and torment their innocent children, while claiming to be a deist (but apparently not even knowing what deism means), he constantly repeats preprogrammed phrases that have no meaning to anyone else, is a pathological name-dropper who can’t stand being referred to by an insulting nickname, and he says OTHER PEOPLE are delusional!

Thank you, John, for demonstrating your mastery of creationist tactics. They’re still as crazy and worthless when you use them.

Go ahead, tell us all how much you’ll love it when you get to watch me burning in hell, and your transition to the dark side will be complete.

John Wilkes Kwok said:

Thanks for demonstrating that you are just as delusional as any of the usual creos dropping by here, whether it is Robert Byers or Sal Cordova or Larry Fafarman. I didn’t answer anything about Dembski and his child because I’ve said enough (Again, if one is religious, then it is only fitting to think that Dembski has been “punished” by the Almighty for his bizarre behavior, which are far more consistent with a servant of Lucifer’s than of Christ.).

Wish you well in assuming room temperature soon. Do it and we’ll decrease the surplus population of delusional nuts posting here at PT:

Yeah, you guys–cut it out!

The idea was good: straightforward questions and answers minus the contention, insults, and baiting (hey, it was MY idea).

Then a troll showed up with unrelated climate change crap, and you couldn’t just let it go. (How’s this–after each upCHUNK, simply state “We’re ignoring you–do this elsewhere.)

Then you had to start in on each other. Nobody outside the 2 or 3 involved wants to read through that shite. Why don’t you do that stuff in emails and spare the rest of us?

And while I’m unloading…some folks are way too quick to jump to insults (however deserved they may be by creationist trolls). The lurkers would get the point if the response were more like, “You’re wrong and here’s why,” or, “You’ve been corrected on this many times before,” or, “You don’t seem to understand.” Yes, be patronizing.

That resonates way more with watchers than calling them liars, sacks of shit, ad nauseum. They may be those things, but I’ll bet they leave sooner or clean up their acts if they’re calmly corrected on their childish misunderstandings by adult figures. Nobody likes being made out to look dumb and childish, but when schoolyard insults start to fly, who looks immature?

Kwok, your points concerning evolution, ID, the DI, etc. are sound and on point. I applaud them and hope you make many more such posts.

You are also delusional, obsessive, and genuinely creepy in your nastiness to anyone you perceive as having slighted you in any way. Your campaign of harrassment against PZ Myers (remember demanding an expensive camera so that you wouldn’t unfriend him on Facebook?) which involved sending letters to his colleagues and others pleading for intercession that he not ban you are now legends of insanity on the intertubes.

Remember your stalking of Abbie so that she had to ban you?

Bipolar much?

John Kwok said:

You’re complaining about me when you’re as bad as Phantom jackass in piling ridiculous shit on me? Do me a favor and just shut up. I think Phantom jackass has told me to drop dead, so am just returning the favor.… so he can help decrease the surplus population of delusional trolls posting here.

On a more serious note you seem far more interested in commenting on me whenever you perceive some kind of “injustice” I have done, ignoring the ample instances where I have tried to educate delusional, intellectually-challenged creos posting (IMHO you and phantom jackass are often no better than the creos who “drive by” here in your equally ridiculous comments.):

Rilke’s granddaughter said:

So now you’re telling someone to go kill himself?

Kwok, get hold of yourself. This is insane.

John Kwok said:

You are the male equivalent of what Dan Ackroyd called Jane Curtin on “Saturday Night Live”; an ignorant slut. Wish you much success in mastering the time-honored Japanese tradition of seppuku. Again, if you do do it, you will help decrease the surplus population of delusional internet trolls posting here at PT. On the other hand, maybe I might prefer instead a “trial by combat” between you and Dembski using whatever weapons you wish to use at your disposal. With any luck you would both lose:

phantomreader42 said:

So, just to recap, John Wilkes Kwok loved the idea of a military coup in the United States based on fantasies about communist conspiracies to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids, claims he has recanted that insanity but still defends it to this day, he accuses people who disagree with him of devil worship and calls upon god to murder them and torment their innocent children, while claiming to be a deist (but apparently not even knowing what deism means), he constantly repeats preprogrammed phrases that have no meaning to anyone else, is a pathological name-dropper who can’t stand being referred to by an insulting nickname, and he says OTHER PEOPLE are delusional!

Thank you, John, for demonstrating your mastery of creationist tactics. They’re still as crazy and worthless when you use them.

Go ahead, tell us all how much you’ll love it when you get to watch me burning in hell, and your transition to the dark side will be complete.

John Wilkes Kwok said:

Thanks for demonstrating that you are just as delusional as any of the usual creos dropping by here, whether it is Robert Byers or Sal Cordova or Larry Fafarman. I didn’t answer anything about Dembski and his child because I’ve said enough (Again, if one is religious, then it is only fitting to think that Dembski has been “punished” by the Almighty for his bizarre behavior, which are far more consistent with a servant of Lucifer’s than of Christ.).

Wish you well in assuming room temperature soon. Do it and we’ll decrease the surplus population of delusional nuts posting here at PT:

Sorry about that. Trolls are funny.

Just Bob said:

Yeah, you guys–cut it out!

The idea was good: straightforward questions and answers minus the contention, insults, and baiting (hey, it was MY idea).

Then a troll showed up with unrelated climate change crap, and you couldn’t just let it go. (How’s this–after each upCHUNK, simply state “We’re ignoring you–do this elsewhere.)

Then you had to start in on each other. Nobody outside the 2 or 3 involved wants to read through that shite. Why don’t you do that stuff in emails and spare the rest of us?

Rilke’s Granddaughter said:

…Trolls are funny.

If I wanted something unpleasant and unwholesome to be “funny,” I’d set Tina Fey’s business suit on fire, and call it a “Cajun-flavored power lunch.”

You might have a point there. And the basic idea of the thread is a good one. Why Phantom has it in for Kwok I don’t know, but couldn’t we just cut all the irrelevant Kwokiness and Chunkiness out and see what’s left?

Part of the problem may be that simply understanding WHY trolls (sorry, creationists) ask the questions they do in the way they do it requires such a huge amount of explication that makes getting to the answer almost impossible.

Stanton said:

Rilke’s Granddaughter said:

…Trolls are funny.

If I wanted something unpleasant and unwholesome to be “funny,” I’d set Tina Fey’s business suit on fire, and call it a “Cajun-flavored power lunch.”

Wheels said:

… while debating someone on another venue about the “climategate” thing, I was confronted by the writings of one Roy Spencer, who is (in addition to a AGW denier) an ID advocate. In addition to pointing out his lack of peer-reviewed work … significantly challenging the consensus, I said he also has a problem understanding how science works because he thinks “evolutionism” is on equal scientific and philosophical footing as ID. … I consider it a litmus test on scientific literacy for people who claim, like Spencer, to have read up on the relevant subjects. … is it acceptable to bring up such things during the course of arguing about the consensus of climate change and the “deniers,” or entirely inappropriate because he was speaking outside of his field?

Little help?

Wheels said:

Wheels said:

… while debating someone on another venue about the “climategate” thing, I was confronted by the writings of one Roy Spencer, who is (in addition to a AGW denier) an ID advocate. In addition to pointing out his lack of peer-reviewed work … significantly challenging the consensus, I said he also has a problem understanding how science works because he thinks “evolutionism” is on equal scientific and philosophical footing as ID. … I consider it a litmus test on scientific literacy for people who claim, like Spencer, to have read up on the relevant subjects. … is it acceptable to bring up such things during the course of arguing about the consensus of climate change and the “deniers,” or entirely inappropriate because he was speaking outside of his field?

Little help?

Science develops theories and insights that work in the real world. ID/creationists build pseudo-science that works in the political world. They are by no means the same in their motivations and applicability; and anyone who consistently uses the latter does not understand the real world.

It makes no difference whether or not such an individual is “speaking outside his field”; we don’t even need to know that information. Such a person has already demonstrated which world he is operating in.

Stanton,

I agree with you here, but I don’t think you should ignore RG’s consistent pattern of ignoring whatever important contributions I may be making here for the sake of making me look as ridiculous as possible. But I understand that it goes with the terrority and have been advised by others, including several prominent creationist foes that this is what is to be expected when I post as frequently as I have done in the recent past. Given the hostility which RG has shown toward me, you would think that I was one of the delusional creos “driving by” for a visit:

Stanton said:

Rilke’s Granddaughter said:

…Trolls are funny.

If I wanted something unpleasant and unwholesome to be “funny,” I’d set Tina Fey’s business suit on fire, and call it a “Cajun-flavored power lunch.”

As for RG I do wish her well in assuming room temperature soon.

As far as I can tell, she and phantomreader are unforgiving of your internet hooliganisms.

I would try to suggest Ms Granddaughter be more lenient toward you, as you are an eloquent eviscerator of anti-evolutionists, but, the last time I suggested something along the lines of that to her; well, my mother then had to drive me to the ER to have Ms Granddaughter’s shoe surgically removed from my umbilicus.

John Kwok said:

Stanton,

I agree with you here, but I don’t think you should ignore RG’s consistent pattern of ignoring whatever important contributions I may be making here for the sake of making me look as ridiculous as possible. But I understand that it goes with the terrority and have been advised by others, including several prominent creationist foes that this is what is to be expected when I post as frequently as I have done in the recent past. Given the hostility which RG has shown toward me, you would think that I was one of the delusional creos “driving by” for a visit

Unlike some others who did question my contrary political views and accepted me back in the fold when I admitted my mistakes. Am sure that they themselves are so “perfect” that for them to err it would be impossible (Oh wait, that does remind me of my “perfect friend”, one Bill Dembski, who thinks not only that he’s always right, but the prophet of a brand new scientific revolution.):

Stanton said:

As far as I can tell, she and phantomreader are unforgiving of your internet hooliganisms.

I would try to suggest Ms Granddaughter be more lenient toward you, as you are an eloquent eviscerator of anti-evolutionists, but, the last time I suggested something along the lines of that to her; well, my mother then had to drive me to the ER to have Ms Granddaughter’s shoe surgically removed from my umbilicus.

John Kwok said:

Stanton,

I agree with you here, but I don’t think you should ignore RG’s consistent pattern of ignoring whatever important contributions I may be making here for the sake of making me look as ridiculous as possible. But I understand that it goes with the terrority and have been advised by others, including several prominent creationist foes that this is what is to be expected when I post as frequently as I have done in the recent past. Given the hostility which RG has shown toward me, you would think that I was one of the delusional creos “driving by” for a visit

Kwok, I was one who debated your political views, and accepted that you had varied them in response to fact and evidence, as a good scientist should.

But I have always found that the only useful answer to intemperance and personal insults from others is an icy, impersonal correctness. (Although I will admit that my reaction to outright lies that I can clearly document is to call the liar a liar.)

May I be so bold as to recommend this course to you?

Dave Luckett,

I agree, and, indeed, have ignored most of their rants and ravings about me. But if I think it’s a bit out of line, then I will respond.

Anyway, thanks for recognizing my right to change my mind, which I do appreciate highly, especially since you’ve been among the most eloquent and thoughtful critics of evolution denialism and other instances of scientific illiteracy or ignorance here at PT:

Dave Luckett said:

Kwok, I was one who debated your political views, and accepted that you had varied them in response to fact and evidence, as a good scientist should.

But I have always found that the only useful answer to intemperance and personal insults from others is an icy, impersonal correctness. (Although I will admit that my reaction to outright lies that I can clearly document is to call the liar a liar.)

May I be so bold as to recommend this course to you?

Kwok, I realize you’re a sanctimonious ass without a shred of intelligence, but how did you miss this, “Kwok, your points concerning evolution, ID, the DI, etc. are sound and on point. I applaud them and hope you make many more such posts.”?

Are you just going to lie and claim I didn’t say it.

People pick on you because you exhibit really weird and abnormal behavior. You write book reviews without reading the books, for example, and you seem to have the thinnest skin on the planet.

But you are famous on the internet for whacko behavior.

John Kwok said:

Stanton,

I agree with you here, but I don’t think you should ignore RG’s consistent pattern of ignoring whatever important contributions I may be making here for the sake of making me look as ridiculous as possible. But I understand that it goes with the terrority and have been advised by others, including several prominent creationist foes that this is what is to be expected when I post as frequently as I have done in the recent past. Given the hostility which RG has shown toward me, you would think that I was one of the delusional creos “driving by” for a visit:

Stanton said:

Rilke’s Granddaughter said:

…Trolls are funny.

If I wanted something unpleasant and unwholesome to be “funny,” I’d set Tina Fey’s business suit on fire, and call it a “Cajun-flavored power lunch.”

As for RG I do wish her well in assuming room temperature soon.

And what does the whole “assume room temperature thing” mean? It’s pretty dopey. Can’t you be creative? And use something understandable?

The funny thing, I do strongly second Kwok’s put-downs of the various ID trolls creationists who clutter the internet. He’s well-read, strongly opinionated, clear in this points, and quite forceful.

But then he strays off message into weird comments about temperatures and star trek minutia that only a trekkie is interested in.

And his integrity IS questionable: he does review books without reading them, etc. Rational wiki has an entire article on his antics.

It’s the combination of the looney and the defender of science I find so odd.

Stanton said:

As far as I can tell, she and phantomreader are unforgiving of your internet hooliganisms.

I would try to suggest Ms Granddaughter be more lenient toward you, as you are an eloquent eviscerator of anti-evolutionists, but, the last time I suggested something along the lines of that to her; well, my mother then had to drive me to the ER to have Ms Granddaughter’s shoe surgically removed from my umbilicus.

John Kwok said:

Stanton,

I agree with you here, but I don’t think you should ignore RG’s consistent pattern of ignoring whatever important contributions I may be making here for the sake of making me look as ridiculous as possible. But I understand that it goes with the terrority and have been advised by others, including several prominent creationist foes that this is what is to be expected when I post as frequently as I have done in the recent past. Given the hostility which RG has shown toward me, you would think that I was one of the delusional creos “driving by” for a visit

Well, this experiment was pretty much a failure. I didn’t end up having the time to babysit. I’m closing it.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on November 30, 2009 4:46 PM.

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