Westboro Baptist Creationist Loses School Board Bid

| 177 Comments

jackwu.jpg

NECN.com reported today that

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Carolyn Campbell lamented that she didn’t court enough voters in northeast Kansas in seeking her second term on the State Board of Education.

Her opponent, Jack Wu, was outspoken on teaching evolution and has ties to an anti-gay Topeka church notorious for picketing military members’ funerals. Campbell, a Democrat, worried GOP voters would simply follow Wu’s Republican party affiliation.

In the end, Campbell, a Topeka Democrat, received more than enough votes in Tuesday’s election, easily defeating Wu, according to unofficial results.

“I’m happy I have four more years to work for our children. That’s all I wanted to do,” Campbell said.

Wu, a Topeka computer programmer, made opposition to teaching evolution the centerpiece of his campaign. He described evolution as “Satanic lies” and said on a website that public schools were preparing students to be “liars, crooks, thieves, murderers, and perverts.”

Wu also raised eyebrows by saying that he was lured to Kansas from California in 2008 by Westboro Baptist. The Topeka church, led by the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., is known internationally for picketing with anti-gay slogans and proclaiming that American soldiers’ deaths are God’s punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality. Wu is not formally a member, but he’s attended services regularly.

Here’s a bit more from Jack Wu’s own website:

My mission, in running for the Kansas State Board of Education, is to throw out the crap that teachers are feeding their students and replace it with healthy good for the soul knowledge from the holy scriptures.

Let’s be specific. Evolution should never be taught in public schools as science. Evolution is false science! God made the heaven and the earth and created humans from the dust of the earth! The very bad teachers that teach that men descended from apes via evolution need to have their teaching licenses revoked. Yes, students should be taught that God created everything.

Congratulations, Kansas!

Discuss.

177 Comments

Even in deeply red Kansas, the deeply red voters aren’t (quite) crazy enough to voted for the likes** of Jack Wu.

**The likes of Jack Wu include FL, IBIG, et al.

Discuss.

There’s not much to discuss. Nobody in Northeast Kansas (including myself) gave Wu any chance to win, and he lived up to expectations.

The WBC connection was an automatic Forget-It-Baby anyway, and also his opponent Carolyn Campbell was a reasonably popular incumbent.

A big victory for evolution? Hardly. Just same-o same-o, status quo.

The End.

FL

I wonder what type of “computer programmer” he is. I strongly suspect that there is a connection between creationism, low level careers in the information sector, and exaggeration of one’s credentials within the information sector.

Granted, Wu isn’t quoted describing himself as a “computer programmer”, and he may well be one by any reasonable standard. However, it would be creationist-like to do some bureaucratic job on a legacy system, or even play with a computer at home, armed with an associate’s degree or once-impressive bachelor’s but with never-updated skills, while declaring oneself a “software engineer”, “computer scientist”, or “computer programmer”, and implying that such a title indicates expertise across all of science.

FL said:

Discuss.

There’s not much to discuss. Nobody in Northeast Kansas (including myself) gave Wu any chance to win, and he lived up to expectations.

The WBC connection was an automatic Forget-It-Baby anyway, and also his opponent Carolyn Campbell was a reasonably popular incumbent.

A big victory for evolution? Hardly. Just same-o same-o, status quo.

The End.

FL

Does this mean that God is now going to murder punish random innocents in a nonsensical manner in order to punish Kansans for failing to elect the more pious candidate?

I believe the end of the world is nigh upon us, since I now have to use the phrase “Way to go, Kansas voters!”.

FL said:

A big victory for evolution? Hardly. Just same-o same-o, status quo.

Did someone say it was a “big victory for evolution”? My understanding has always been that evolution’s “big victory” happened about 150 years ago (give or take). You know, back when people realized it fit all the evidence perfectly?

Of course, if he had won, you would probably be shouting it from the rooftops and calling it a landmark victory…

stevaroni said:

I believe the end of the world is nigh upon us, since I now have to use the phrase “Way to go, Kansas voters!”.

You’ve overlooked the really obvious quote.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5k68vWyWGg

If FL really does live in Kansas, does this mean that he’s prone to strawman arguments?

Mr Wu appears to be one of those people who lives up to his name.

Meaning nothing to reasonable people with the name of “Wu,” but in this case I have to be pleased that Wu lost in both (auditory) senses in this case.

Glen Davidson

Well, Wu still got about 30,000 votes out of about 100K, so either that many in the area ado support Fred Phelps’ agenda in secret or an awful lot of voters just went for the (R) after his name. One option is bad and the other is worse.

The good news that even if Wu had won, he’d be one of three on the 10-member board working against evolution.

Now back to grading … gotta keep crankin’ out those “liars, thieves, murderers and perverts!” [insert dastardly laugh here]

If Kansas ballots have the option to “skip all this choosing, and vote across the board for one party”, that might explain a lot of the votes Jack Woo got.

As Einstein might have said about politics, always appeal to the lowest common denominator, but no lower. Woo seems to have aimed too low, even for Kansas.

I don’t think this says much about support for evolution in Kansas. Mr Wu’s link to the Westboro Baptist Church would have been enough to turn off 99.9% of voters, including creationists. (But would Mr Wu from DEADWOOD have had a chance in that election, I wonder?)

I hadn’t read csdams’s post before commenting. Change that 99.9% estimate into maybe 70% – although I suspect most of the people voting for him were just following the (R) next to his name.

SonOfHastur said:

FL said:

A big victory for evolution? Hardly. Just same-o same-o, status quo.

Did someone say it was a “big victory for evolution”? My understanding has always been that evolution’s “big victory” happened about 150 years ago (give or take). You know, back when people realized it fit all the evidence perfectly?

True. The only people who haven’t recognised that evolution is the explanation for the fact of biodiversity are those who don’t understand it - or don’t want to - and/or think it’s some kind of competing ideology (because that’s how they’ve been browbeaten - sorry, educated - to see everything) instead of what it obviously is: an explanation, supported by evidence, of an observed fact. The fact that species change is indisputable; the only explanation for this fact that is supported by any evidence whatsoever is biological evolution.

This was more a victory for common damn sense in general - who in their right mind would want a Westboro Kentucky Taliban fruitcake having any input whatsoever into kids’ education?

Of course, if he had won, you would probably be shouting it from the rooftops and calling it a landmark victory…

You can bet if the scientific rodeo-clowns of the ID movement had had their way at Dover (as they fully and smugly expected to, what with the Bush-appointed conservative Republican judge on the bench) that every stripe of creationist, from YEC to ID, would’ve been at the ensuing hoedown. They of course didn’t, but every little victory (no matter how small, pointless or pyrrhic) gets blown out of all proportion - this would have been no different.

I, for one, am very disappointed. With Kathy Martin departing from the Board, we needed someone to take her place as the mainspring of creationism in Kansas. Wu would have been perfect – just think of the entertainment he would have provided. I hope we haven’t heard the last of Jack Wu.

Never fear, SC; creationists John Bacon and Ken Willard are still on the state school board. Former board member (now state senator) Steve Abrams is sure to cause all kinds of mischief; with the GOP moderates definitively ousted from the state legislature the Tea Party is in complete control here in Brownbackistan.

How long before Wu is discovered in a public restroom with a “wide stance”?

Great news about poor Jack. That bastered and all thoughs other religous nust can stay in Topeka.

Moo Moo said:

One of the most disappointing things about the re-election of Obama is that we will have to wait another four years before a presidential decree calling for a moratorium on the teaching of evolution. Hopefully, someone like Huckabee will run in 2016 and do just that.

Why don’t you move to some 3rd world country, like the hinterlands of Afghanistan, or Somalia, or the regions of Nigeria controlled by Boko Haram, or the regions of Uganda controlled by the Lord’s Resistance Army?

In those lovely places, you don’t have to worry about terrible, unGodly things like education, or evolution, liberals, science, vaccinations, or public sanitation, instead, all you’d have to worry about are dying of otherwise treatable disease, watching you and your family starve to death, or be brutally murdered by the local religious thugs for not being pious enough.

i’m pretty sure I commented on this thread. Anyways. The great point of the thread and the issue is that indeed its up to the people to decide these issues. To allow creationism or evolution to be taught and about what, if anything, should be censored. These minor cases only rightly highlight and give publicity to this important issue of teaching and seeking truth. This guy is too wrong with words and concepts but his agenda to bring back truth to origin subjects gives him credibility.

Moo Moo said:

apokryltaros said:

Moo Moo said:

One of the most disappointing things about the re-election of Obama is that we will have to wait another four years before a presidential decree calling for a moratorium on the teaching of evolution. Hopefully, someone like Huckabee will run in 2016 and do just that.

Why don’t you move to some 3rd world country, like the hinterlands of Afghanistan, or Somalia, or the regions of Nigeria controlled by Boko Haram, or the regions of Uganda controlled by the Lord’s Resistance Army?

All I am saying is that the teaching of evolution should be withheld until we can together arrive at a format which is acceptable to all school boards and to all school teachers. Yes, let’s teach kids that living things change over time, and that bacteria evolve drug resistance, but not the absurd things like their ancestors were carnivorous reptiles or that they are just modified walking fish.

Bullshit. Facts are not absurd simply because you despise them too much to understand them. If you think that we shouldn’t teach that mammals are descended from reptiles, or that all higher vertebrates are modified fish (which they are), then why don’t we suspend the teaching of all mathematics higher beyond simple addition and subtraction until we find out all the digits of pi?

No?

Then you are a science-hating, education-hating hypocrite.

Robert Byers said:

i’m pretty sure I commented on this thread. Anyways. The great point of the thread and the issue is that indeed its up to the people to decide these issues. To allow creationism or evolution to be taught and about what, if anything, should be censored. These minor cases only rightly highlight and give publicity to this important issue of teaching and seeking truth. This guy is too wrong with words and concepts but his agenda to bring back truth to origin subjects gives him credibility.

Robert Byers, Jonathan Wu does not want to teach truth, Wu hates science, and wants to brainwash the local children into becoming more Westboro Baptist Bigots For Jesus.

Having said that, Robert Byers, you have also been told a thousand times before, “Not teaching your preferred religious propaganda in place of actual science in a science classroom is not censorship.”

Jack Wu, whatever.

Moo Moo said:

apokryltaros said:

Moo Moo said:

One of the most disappointing things about the re-election of Obama is that we will have to wait another four years before a presidential decree calling for a moratorium on the teaching of evolution. Hopefully, someone like Huckabee will run in 2016 and do just that.

Why don’t you move to some 3rd world country, like the hinterlands of Afghanistan, or Somalia, or the regions of Nigeria controlled by Boko Haram, or the regions of Uganda controlled by the Lord’s Resistance Army?

All I am saying is that the teaching of evolution should be withheld until we can together arrive at a format which is acceptable to all school boards and to all school teachers. Yes, let’s teach kids that living things change over time, and that bacteria evolve drug resistance, but not the absurd things like their ancestors were carnivorous reptiles or that they are just modified walking fish.

Let’s wait until we have a theory of everything before we teach about gravity as well. In fact, why not just skip all of the science stuff, since we can’t get all of the really ignorant people to understand it?

See, the thing about teaching to the lowest common denominator is that it’s always a lot lower than you think. You yourself are a shining example of just how low one can sink. So why exactly do you think that you should be the one to decide what is taught in public schools, rather than say the scientific experts in the field?

Moo Moo said:

DS said: So why exactly do you think that you should be the one to decide what is taught in public schools, rather than say the scientific experts in the field?

I may be no scientific expert myself, but I think that parents and communities hold the right to decide what is taught in the public schools that they pay for through their taxes . The views of teachers and scientists can only be advisory: We live in a democracy, not a technocracy. It would be an awfully repressive world if scientists decided what we were taught, what we ate, what fuels we put in our cars, and how we lived generally.

And we are to presume that you know better about science, and that you know better about what should and should be taught to children in a science classroom than actual scientists?

Then how do you expect these children to fare in the real world when Creationists have abused democracy in order censor all inconvenient facts that disagree with their preferred religious propaganda? Hmmm?

We’ve repeatedly seen how Creationists have turned the educational programs of numerous states in the US into appalling dungheaps that churn out Idiots for Jesus.

Then again, we are talking to a science-hating, education-hating hypocrite, after all.

fnxtr said:

I call Poe.

Maybe I’m a crazy optimistic dreamer, but to me that opening comment is just flat out obvious and fairly humorous satire.

Sometimes a joke really is a joke.

Incidentally, this is all perfectly true…

I may be no scientific expert myself, but I think that parents and communities hold the right to decide what is taught in the public schools that they pay for through their taxes.

This is factually correct, at least in the United States and Canada, they do.

Of course, teachers and school boards can’t break other laws. Public school teachers can’t discriminate against some religions by favoring others. That’s illegal in the United States because of the First Amendment. It’s also basically illegal in Canada, perhaps in a mildly more complex way, for similar reasons.

However, within those broad restrictions, voters do hold the right to decide what is taught in public schools.

The views of teachers and scientists can only be advisory: We live in a democracy, not a technocracy.

This is also factually correct.

A substantial majority of Americans currently want their public schools to teach science correctly. All efforts to insert creationist science denial into public schools to date have been defeated in court, by election, both, or are being legally or democratically challenged as we speak.

This article is about voters choosing not to elect a creationist buffoon to a school board.

This part is not so true…

It would be an awfully repressive world if scientists decided what we were taught, what we ate, what fuels we put in our cars, and how we lived generally.

Actually, scientifically educated people do decide what fuels you put into your car; designing cars requires considerable scientific knowledge, regardless of what fuel they use. You may want a car the burns daisies and drives you to heaven, but unless a scientifically educated person can design it, you won’t get one.

It’s also an excellent idea to allow scientists to advise you on what you should eat and what you should learn.

However, scientists in general don’t want the arbitrary authoritarian power to tell you what to do.

You seem to be projecting creationist values onto scientists. Creationists want to tell you what fuel your car should use (petroleum only is a major compulsive fetish or theirs). They certainly want to control what you are taught. As to what to eat, they disagree among themselves, but each probably desperately wants to be able to tell you what to eat.

harold said:

fnxtr said:

I call Poe.

Maybe I’m a crazy optimistic dreamer, but to me that opening comment is just flat out obvious and fairly humorous satire.

Sometimes a joke really is a joke.

Yeah, but he didn’t stop with that opening statement.

Moo Moo said:

DS said: So why exactly do you think that you should be the one to decide what is taught in public schools, rather than say the scientific experts in the field?

I may be no scientific expert myself, but I think that parents and communities hold the right to decide what is taught in the public schools that they pay for through their taxes . The views of teachers and scientists can only be advisory: We live in a democracy, not a technocracy. It would be an awfully repressive world if scientists decided what we were taught, what we ate, what fuels we put in our cars, and how we lived generally.

Please tell me what scientist is trying to tell you what to eat? That wasn’t the question/. The question was, who is the most qualified to determine what scientific theories are taught in public schools? SHould it be the experts who discovered the science and understand the science, or should it be the know nothing people who don;t understand science and are afraid of science? That’s the only question.

See science isn’t a democracy and wanting it to be ain’t gonna make it so. Voters don’t get to decide which scientific theories are valid, scientists do that. If you don;t like the findings of science, fine, don’t study it. But don’t try to deprive others of the opportunity, just because of your own ignorance and prejudices. DOn;t forget, people who don;t share your religious views pay taxes as well. Why should you get to prevent them form getting a real education just because you don’t want one?

Moo Moo said:

apokryltaros said: And we are to presume that you know better about science, and that you know better about what should and should be taught to children in a science classroom than actual scientists?

Heck, no. I didn’t take science class beyond high school. I went and did law instead.

From the way you talk about science and science education, I would venture to guess you didn’t take science class beyond kindergarten.

But I do know that it is parents and school boards who have the right to decide what is taught. The views of teachers and scientists must always be taken into account, but the ultimate decision does not rest with them. That said, many teachers just want to be allowed to present different points of views and interpretations on the evidence for evolution.

Creationism and science denialism are not legitimate “different points of view,” and neither offer “different” interpretations of the evidence for evolution.

Then how do you expect these children to fare in the real world when Creationists have abused democracy in order censor all inconvenient facts that disagree with their preferred religious propaganda? Hmmm?

I think you’ll find that some scientists have censored out all the inconvenient objections to the theory of evolution from the textbooks despite the fact that Charles Darwin himself devoted an entire chapter of The Origin to such criticisms. Why can’t literature like this be presented in class or at least in the school library?

The only “inconvenient objections to evolution” that laypeople and the idiots who mislead can think of are the various incarnations of lies, and other illegitimate objections Creationists bring up because science offends their religious sensibilities.

That, and it’s actually far more important that students learn and understand the subject first before they are taught about the subject’s critics and criticisms. Unless of course, you want to deliberately confuse the students and make them vulnerable to charlatans and propagandists who want to mislead and manipulate them.

We’ve repeatedly seen how Creationists have turned the educational programs of numerous states in the US into appalling dungheaps that churn out Idiots for Jesus.

Louisiana and Tennessee are actually doing just fine. If anything, the science performance of their schools has improved since academic freedom bills were passed.

Lie. Louisiana’s science performance has absolutely nothing to do with its academic freedom bill, which was promoted by Creationists for the specific intent of letting Creationist teachers teach Creationism in classrooms, yet, has not yet been taken advantage of for fear of generating yet another Dover debacle. And Tennessee’s science education program has gotten worse, having gone from a “B” rating in 2005 in the State Science Standard to a “D” rating this year. http://www.edexcellencemedia.net/pu[…]ds-FINAL.pdf

Moo Moo said:

bigdakine said: You’re a weasel.

Close. I’m a lawyer.

People get convicted solely based on Forensic evidence all the time. No eyewitness testimony needed. Alibis are refuted all the time by forensic evidence… you say you weren’t there? Well your fingerprint does…

Fingerprints and DNA evidence alone are not sufficient to convict: if otherwise, the 90s trial of OJ Simpson would have been very different. That said, many miscarriages of justice have involved relying on forensic evidence when there was no other corroborating evidence. Is that what you want to be comparing the theory of evolution against?

Red herring. Maybe in the case of OJ where the incompetence of the legal system was at its finest.

But do you state here, publicly, that no criminals have ever been convicted solely on the basis of forensic evidence?

Make that justly convicted solely on the basis of forensic evidence.

bigdakine said:

For that matter we haven’t observed Pluto making a complete orbit around the Sun. Perhaps we should withhold judgment on gravity… and not teach it in the schools for another 140 years or so.

Not to mention the sun making a complete circuit of our galaxy…

Moo Moo said:

Say you know the current amount in the account and the interest rate. It should be easy to calculate how much time has elapsed to go from a penny to $1,000,000 or whatever. Right?

Actually, no - that would be a false assumption. Why? Because you don’t know and didn’t observe the initial amount in the account. You can’t say whether it was a penny or $100,000.

But that is not what we know is it. We have millions of scraps of discarded bank statements, containing partial information about such things as a statement date, balance, interest rate, customer address, iterations of the bank’s logo and even corporate mergers, statement generation technology in use and many more. Piecing these bits of information together in chronological order allows us to observe the operation of compound interest, and plot a broken historical record of interest rates. The minimum balance for which we can see direct evidence is the equivalent of the last known common ancestor, but the principle is established whether this is a penny, $1 or $100,000. We probably will never find the first statement to establish the original balance, and even if we do it might be described as as something like “Bonus from Maturing Abiogenesis Bond”. But even if it was described as “Donation from Divine Designer”, it would not affect the validity of the subsequent compound interest calculations. And there may be gaps in the statement record where a period of high interest rates is inferred but an additional Divine Donation to the principal can not yet be excluded. The scientific approach is to go looking for those missing fragments of statements and narrow the gaps. And unless we find the one that says “Divine bonus” then there is no reason to postulate that capital accumulation via compound interest is not an understood phenomenon that can be taught as “fact”

Moo Moo said:

ogremk5 said:

We can observe and measure the DNA sequences of organisms on this planet. Now, using whatever your chosen methodology, why don’t you tell us your prediction of what we would find when we do this and why.

We would expect to find a common design with organisms sharing the same genes coding for the same proteins.

Well, would you hire a designer that “designs” common designed broken genes (like the defective Vitamin C gene [more specifically the GULO pseudogene] and defective hemoglobin gene) and then puts these broken genes - with exact matching defects - in multiple organisms? Would you really want a designer that seems to be an inept plagiarist, that not only puts the broken GULO gene in human primates, but in all ape primates (chimps, gorillas, etc) and in many non-ape primates like monkeys?

Furthermore, why does this designer give a functional GULO gene to most other mammals (pigs, rats, etc) and even to a few primates (like lemurs), yet not to humans? Does this designer favor pigs, rats and lemurs more than people?? With a working GULO gene, pigs/rats/lemurs can make their own Vitamin C, but we humans would die of scurvy if we didn’t include Vitamin C in our diet.

And as bigdakine touched on, why do genetic similarities - including the distribution of matching genetic defects among different species - give the appearance of a nested hierarchy?

ogremk5 said:

Moo Moo said:

ogremk5 said: So, by this logic, every criminal in jail should be set free because no jury member observed the crime.

No. Because, more often than not, someone else did observe the crime and testifies to this effect under oath in a court of law with the jury present.

We can observe and measure the DNA sequences of organisms on this planet. Now, using whatever your chosen methodology, why don’t you tell us your prediction of what we would find when we do this and why.

And witness testimony is the absolute worst form of testimony in the court system. Every lawyer, every judge, everyone knows this.

Same with accidents involving airplanes and other modes of transportation. It’s typical for investigators to get widely varying accounts from eyewitnesses even though eyewitnesses saw the same event.

But you only answered ONE out of five or six similar objections. Get with the rest. Please, do try to explain those away as well.

bigdakine said:

Moo Moo said:

eric said: I have never observed a bank account starting with a penny in it growing to $1 billion over thousands of years due to compound interest. But I don’t have to observe this particular case to know that it would; I observe how compound interest works in more limited cases (say, $1,000 into $1,005 over two years) and apply what I know to all other time increments and starting amounts.

Evolution is exactly the same: we find a mechanism at work in cases we can observe and apply what we know about it to longer time increments. There is no reason to think the amount of genetic change that can occur has an upper limit any more than there is a reason to think compound interest, as a mechanism, stops mathematically working once you hit $1,000,000.

Actually, no - that would be a false assumption. Why? Because you don’t know and didn’t observe the initial amount in the account. You can’t say whether it was a penny or $100,000.

Actually we do know what the original amount is in this case.

We can add radio-chronology to the ever expanding list of things about science you don’t know.

Here’s a link about mainstream science explanations of radiometrics. It’s even authored by a theist. While Moo Moo may still ignore the link anyway, perhaps others can learn a thing or two.

Moo Moo said: That’s a good point you make, but I think it is more relevant to the age of the earth than it is to evolution.

Nope, its directly applicable. In fact I intentionally chose that analogy because humans tend to dramatically underestimate the amount of change that occurs in both, for the exact same reason: they compound. Change occurs on top of change. Our intuitions tend to estimate linear change - simple interest and mutation of a base genome - so we typically underestimate the ability of such systems to deviate from their starting point.

Say you know the current amount in the account and the interest rate. It should be easy to calculate how much time has elapsed to go from a penny to $1,000,000 or whatever. Right?

Actually, no - that would be a false assumption. Why? Because you don’t know and didn’t observe the initial amount in the account. You can’t say whether it was a penny or $100,000.

Nope, wrong again.

1. We can get good estimates of starting ratios of radioisotopes by using accelerators and reactors to actually determine their production cross section for nuclear reactions. For example, we can know how much U-235 is produced in relation to U-238 in the same neutron flux.

2. Once you know the ratio of starting amounts in two accounts, and their interest rates, and their current amonuts, it becomes mathematically trivial to calculate time. A high school senior who knows how to use the ‘exp’ or ‘log’ button on their calculator can do it.

3. We actually know the above data for a lot more than just two primordial radioisotopes. All yield an agreement on amount of time that’s passed. It becomes conspiracy-theory ridiculous to claim that our cross sectional measurements for every single one of them is wrong and that the mistakes just happened to agree with each other.

4. If that wasn’t enough, we can use the observation of secular equilibrium in decay chains to estimate initial amounts. Again, this data is in agreement with other estimates of age. (Even though I’ve listed this as point 4, I believe its actually the earliest and most common method of dating.)

5. And we can also check our cross sectional estimates by looking at supernovae in telescopes. Again, agreement.

6. All of this ignores the enormous orders of magnitude we’d have to be wrong for YECism to be right. I don’t know of any methodological error which would change the estimated age of the earth by 6 orders of magnitude. Maybe some error in our cross sectional measurements will cause us to reevaluate the age at 4.55E9 years old instead of 4.54E9. But no such error is going to change that to 6E3.

In short, if there was only one primordial radioisotope on this planet, it didn’t have a long decay chain, and we didn’t have good telescopes, you’d be right - we could not use radioisotopic decay to estimate age. But all those assumptions are wrong.

eric said:

Nope, its directly applicable. In fact I intentionally chose that analogy because humans tend to dramatically underestimate the amount of change that occurs in both, for the exact same reason: they compound. Change occurs on top of change. Our intuitions tend to estimate linear change - simple interest and mutation of a base genome - so we typically underestimate the ability of such systems to deviate from their starting point.

This is an important point. Not only are mutations cumulative, but selection is cumulative as well. The results of cumulative selection can easily produce results that are far different from the original starting point. And of course you not only compound the interest on mutations but on the combination of mutation and selection simultaneously. Creationists never seem to grasp these simple facts. That’s why “scientists” like Behe are always demanding that flagella poof out of nowhere. His absurd demands disprove creationism, not evolution.

Announcement: The PT admins have disabled poster “Moo Moo” for violating our usage rules.

That is all.

Please resume the discussion.

We would expect to find a common design with organisms sharing the same genes coding for the same proteins.

Correction: We would expect to find common design for common needs–which we don’t see at all, instead we see odd (“design odd”) derivations using unpromising, but all that is possible to evolution, inherited forms. Like all vertebate wings being derived from their ancestors’ terrestrial forelimbs, rather than re-using (possibly changing and adapting) what worked previously.

Also, microevolution in prokaryotes and in eukaryotes follows the mechanisms of DNA transfer that are available to those organisms respectively. Broadly speaking, prokaryotic microevolution reflects mechanisms that allow for easy horizontal transfer of DNA, while eukaryotic microevolution (there are exceptions) primarily reflects vertical transmission of DNA.

Oh yes, macroevolutionary patterns show exactly the same pattern of horizontal transfers in prokaryotes, largely vertical transmission in eukaryotes (except, for instance, a few very old genes in humans and other vertebrates–apparently from a time when horizontal transfers were rather easier than now). Gee, what are the odds?

Well, 100% if evolution occurred according to largely known mechanisms. For a designer, well, you pretty much have to get to that idiotic idea of Behe’s that, after all, design might be made to appear undesign-like. Uh, yeah, why would anyone say such a thing, other than to try to explain away the lack of evidence for design?

Glen Davidson

Oh, and I don’t mind responding to Bozo Joe when he’s banned, since he never provides any meaningful answers to crucial questions regardless of his status at a given time.

Glen Davidson

Dave Thomas said:

Announcement: The PT admins have disabled poster “Moo Moo” for violating our usage rules.

That is all.

Please resume the discussion.

Thanks Dave. I sincerely appreciate the effort to keep this site running smoothly, without disruption from unscrupulous people who place their own personal agenda above all honesty and decency. Keep up the good work.

When we inevitably encounter the next Moo-Moo-like troll, it might be a good idea if we didn’t inundate him/her/it with too many questions at one time, thus depriving the troll of the opportunity to cherry-pick the easiest question(s) to respond to while ignoring the more difficult.

You’ve been asking many excellent questions but the troll has been effectively evasive.

Can we somehow take turns asking just one question at a time, and ignore the troll until each question has been addressed?

gnome de net said:

When we inevitably encounter the next Moo-Moo-like troll, it might be a good idea if we didn’t inundate him/her/it with too many questions at one time, thus depriving the troll of the opportunity to cherry-pick the easiest question(s) to respond to while ignoring the more difficult.

You’ve been asking many excellent questions but the troll has been effectively evasive.

Can we somehow take turns asking just one question at a time, and ignore the troll until each question has been addressed?

You must be new here :)

That never works either. I’ve had some questions for some trolls here for 4 years.

ogremk5 said:

That never works either. I’ve had some questions for some trolls here for 4 years.

Exactly my point. Your question is never answered because others jump in with their own questions, allowing the troll to control the argument by picking and choosing which (if any) to respond to.

What I’m suggesting requires co-operation and discipline. By regularly posting reminders that the troll has not responded to a question, along with “Do Not Feed The Troll” warnings to visitors and would-be posters, we can engage the troll under our terms.

If the troll continues posting without answering a simple, clearly-phrased question, astute visitors should recognize evasiveness and an unwillingness or inability to answer, thus clearly exposing weaknesses in the troll’s argument.

With respect, I think ‘astute visitros’ already can recognize this.

With respect, I think ‘astute visitors’ already can recognize this. Don’t worry, there already are lots of people here that restate questions and offer narrowly understood challenges.

And assuming that M.M was not Joe, and assuming that he really is the lawyer he says, he is not a troll - he really believes what he is saying. He is not trolling; he is intellectually incompetent. And it doesn’t matter if he was lying, because there are lots of similarly intellectually incompetent people out there, and plenty of them are lawyers, doctors, etc.

And I wish I was sufficiently competent to avoid double posts.

RJ said:

And assuming that M.M was not Joe, and assuming that he really is the lawyer he says, he is not a troll - he really believes what he is saying. He is not trolling; he is intellectually incompetent. And it doesn’t matter if he was lying, because there are lots of similarly intellectually incompetent people out there, and plenty of them are lawyers, doctors, etc.

And I wish I was sufficiently competent to avoid double posts.

As Joe the troll was fond of saying, the preponderance of the evidence suggests otherwise:

1) He used the exact same routine as the original, including claiming that development was somehow magic, a blatant double standard for evidence, not even a hint of any alternative explanation, demanding that others read papers in their entirety even though he had not.

2) He used appeal to authority in a very narrow field while simultaneously admitting his own lack of knowledge in the field. He would cite papers that categorically proved him wrong as support for his position. He assumed arrogantly that he knew more about every subject than the authors, editors and reviewers of the papers he so blithely dismissed as inadequate. Hell he didn’t even try to change his routine one bit.

3) He never objected to being called Joe, refused to deny that he was Joe and used British idioms and British web sites to supposedly prove that he wasn’t posting from England! Obviously he was just flaunting his blatant disregard for the rules of common decency.

4) He conspicuously ignored any an all questions put to him, while still demanding that others answer every stupid question he posted. His contempt for all who dared to disagree with him was obvious, even when he tried to emulate politeness.

Now granted, others share some of these traits, but the probability is vanishingly small that anyone else would share all of them. I suppose it is true that we don’t know for a certainty, after all he could have been banned for breaking some other rule. Still, in the absence of any contradictory evidence, the tentative conclusion is warranted.

And of course you know he’ll be back. He probably just assumes that no one is smart enough to catch him and he’s probably dumb enough to think that he’s entitled to behave this way regardless of the consequences. In short, he personifies the authoritarian mindset that is so diametrically opposed to science. Pity the fool, but if at all possible, don’t let him infest this site again. Keep this profile in mind for the next time he tries to break the rules. He’s probably incapable of hiding his true nature.

Just to be clear, DS, I was not arguing one way or the other whether Moo was Joe. I trust your judgment in that issue.

FYI, Moo Moo’s email address included the name Hannon, which certainly indicates a possible relationship with Joseph Esfandiar Hannon Bozorgmehr, a.k.a. “Bozo Joe.”

That, and his ISP is in Manchester, UK.

That, and his inability to just say “No, I am not Joseph Esfandiar Hannon Bozorgmehr,” makes me think the admins got it right. And, the admins have even more info (previous ISP’s used by Bozo, for example) that I am not privy to, so I suspect there was more than enough information to make the right decision.

Cheers, Dave

Dave Thomas said:

FYI, Moo Moo’s email address included the name Hannon, which certainly indicates a possible relationship with Joseph Esfandiar Hannon Bozorgmehr, a.k.a. “Bozo Joe.”

That, and his ISP is in Manchester, UK.

That, and his inability to just say “No, I am not Joseph Esfandiar Hannon Bozorgmehr,” makes me think the admins got it right. And, the admins have even more info (previous ISP’s used by Bozo, for example) that I am not privy to, so I suspect there was more than enough information to make the right decision.

Cheers, Dave

So once again, he was convicted by the preponderance of the evidence, even though no one actually saw him post under a different name. Interesting, he was caught in exactly the same way he claimed you could not be caught. That and he was apparently completely incompetent at covering his own tracks.

Thanks again Dave.

So, he’s not a lawyer either?

ogremk5 said:

So, he’s not a lawyer either?

I was also pretty obvious that he was not a parent, nor had he ever served on a school board. Such idiots are just too incompetent to be able to pretend convincingly to be anything.

All this notwithstanding, a marvelous array of solid science was presented in response.

To me, reading it weeks after the event, it was immediately apparent from stylistic elements that this was JoBo, but the net effect was enough to make me want to believe that MM was someone who wished to evoke precise and effective expressions of the science that was supposedly being contested.

Despite occasional twitches, this patient seems to have ceased normal function.

I’m calling it - 1:46 PM MST, 25 November 2012.

Cheers, Dave

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