You’ve Got Mail!

We had a few yucks in some past posts about what it would take for us to believe in god(s). We batted around miracles, and concluded a true human limb regeneration, spontaneously occurring after a prayer-for-all or something, might just be the ticket. Chappie entertained a few other criteria, such as a direct, unequivocal, simultaneous revelation, but with no real consensus. But I think I’ve found the one thing that would do it for me.

A letter from God.

Imagine getting that letter, postmarked “Heaven”? Who could resist a letter along these lines?

Dear cl:

Keep up the good work. “Lying for Jesus” doesn’t sound like a good name for your program, but, hey, if you’re doing it for me, I approve. Just remember. You can’t let all of those heathen atheists you play games with know that we have a personal relationship. They’ll never take you seriously, and the proverbial cat will be out of the bag. If you’re successful, your reward will be an eternity with me.  I have enough Altoids to last us at least a billion years, so the halitosis won’t be a problem. At least for a billion years of eternity. After that, we’ll wing it. Get it? Wing it? Angels? Oh, I crack me up.

Yours in Christ

Christ

Can you imagine actually getting a letter from Jebus? I mean, fer sure, but I’d be knocked out loaded. That would definitely tug me over the line. I mean, talk about The Word. There would be no turning back, no more doubt, no more hesitation, if Mr. Postman delivered the letter, the sooner the better.

Please Mr. Postman look and see, if there’s a letter in your bag for me.

I’ve been waiting such a long time, for a word from that god of mine.

So, fuck spontaneous human limb regeneration, just send me a letter, oh god.

Make me a believer.

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220 thoughts on “You’ve Got Mail!

  1. Well, if I’d receive such a letter, I think I would:

    1) Roll on the floor laughing. I mean, really, a letter?! G-Zeus could at least bother glittering in out of thin air. AT LEAST!

    2) Make to sure to have the DNA sample behind the Heaven stamp analyzed, and take care of the bastard who sent it.

    😀 Nice post

  2. Hmm…I could swear the Postman has delivered heartfelt, genuine letters from Gawd as good as that one in the past. Surely you haven’t read them or you would be a believer by now 🙂

  3. Haha! Thanx Lorena for pointing that out. Now I know… 😀
    But I’m a badass, so I’ll stick to my first inspiration.
    🙂

  4. Dear SI…

    Thanks for being such a great salesman for me, and clinging to the stupid fallacies that I and my more significant dupes have fabricated for simple minds a lot like yours. See, I hate God and His Son, and would like all to think like me. You and your idiot friends are doing a great job of helping see my agenda through.

    Of course, I know I’m dead meat, and so are you, because Christ whipped my sorry ass when He died on the cross, and, if I go down, you most certainly will go down with me. It will be at least some consolation seeing you fry alongside me.

    Until that great day, just keep on being the arrogant, stupid assholes that you are, and we’ll make sure that many are kept from eternal life, just like us. It’s a pleasure having fools like you in my service, worshiping me, and you are a constant source of entertainment for me and my fellow angels. We never tire at seeing your gullibility and inflated egos carry you further and further down the path of destruction. Also, be advised that we hate you and despise you, as much as we do God and Christians.

    So, with that, have a good day, and hope to see you die real soon!

    Love and kisses…

    Satan.

  5. Mwhahahaha! Which pit haven’t they reached yet!
    Now they’re feeling the need to play boogeyman.

    Oh those damn vicious atheists! They refuse Gee-Zeus! Let’s scare them with Satan!
    Like we’re going to get scared! Excellent!

    “So, with that, have a good day…” LOL That Satan is priceless.

  6. Oh, and please everyone: notice the VERY scary avatar, too, will you. Very, very, scary.

    Conclusion: Satan is as dumb as his inexistent boss. Drooling over in a blog post instead of frying us Zzzzap!
    Oh, OK, that would suppose some knowledge in special effects. Wooow Wooow. Hold on a minute. Let’s just make this Satan-One-Post-At-A-Time, ok? Intelligence was an option in the perfect grand design.

    😀

  7. Hmmm… here’s an interesting piece of drivel…

    In one line, our hero has all the patience of Job for the beliefs of others, while in the rest of his/her/whatever’s diatribe, we see a spew of vitriol unmatched in many of his/her/whatever’s goofy peer’s rags. Typical of atheists, this predilection toward inconsistency and self-contradiction, but, then, we aren’t dealing with coherent or logical individuals, either. Rather, highly emotional, irrational inepts, prone to deception.

    You can visualize the haughty smirk behind the childish taunts, and realize that mockers are never interested in learning, just hearing themselves yammer on and on and on. They are their greatest fans, and never cease to amaze themselves, nor compliment themselves, on their great insight and intellectual prowess. They lack nothing. We are privileged to have them. They’ll be the first to tell you that, too.

    You’re a good little soldier for Satan, D.M.D.

    😉

  8. If I got a letter postmarked Heaven and signed by Jesus, the first thing I’d do would be to call Ex, thank him for a good laugh, and ask him how he faked the postmark.

  9. Awww our little Satan here is having palpitations 😦 I didn’t intend my pen to sting your inflamed ego that much, so you would come up with such weak lines.
    But at least, it says it all. C’mon take off your mask, now. You’ve been mooned!

    I have a question for you: Do you know what an ip address is? Ha! 😀

  10. Your pissant little commentary doesn’t bother me in the slightest, D.M.D. (Is that short for Demented, Mindless, Defunct?) And, I know all about WordPress and it’s popularity with those that don’t have the balls to take criticism without having to resort to childish threats of intimidation… like revealing I.P.’s. I’ve used WordPress for years, dealing with all sorts of defunct fools like yourself, and have never had to resort to the tactics you do. In the world of REAL bloggers, you would be blackballed pretty quick.

    Speaking of REAL blogs, yours is one of the most pathetic examples of vitriolic nonsense I’ve ever had the misfortune of ruining my eyesight looking at. While it’s known that many of you operate in tandem groups, like a pack of rabid wolves, co-authoring and posting on each others blogs, stroking each others already over-inflated egos, I’m hoping that there aren’t any others associated with that drivel you probably call ‘writing’. Surely there are some atheists with more self-respect than that!

    Here’s a question for you, little mind: Do you ever venture anywhere you don’t have a retinue of fellow atheists standing ready to support your flagging logic and infantile mannerisms? In other words… are you the balls-less little wonder I know you are?

    And, does hiding behind an avatar consisting of a jumbled mass of letters, constitute a “mask”?

    Maybe it’s just lack of imagination?

  11. LOL you’re sounding so catholic, Satan! Quite honestly, I’d debate with you all you want. But I mean “debate”. This is as sterile as your circling neuron. Besides, debating with someone who goes by the name of Satan… Really… 😀 That would be an insult to human intelligence.

    So, what shall I do? Should I release your name, address and phone number so we can all laugh out loud at who Satan is? Oh no… Wait… I have a better idea!

    ROFL

  12. Dear The Highwayman,

    I noticed that my old chums Jesus and Satan were posting letters here and I didn’t want to be left out. So I popped by to remind you that you’d better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout – or I swear on a stack of cookies that you will wake up next Xmas with a lump of coal in your stocking the size of Detroit.
    Bank on it.

    Cordially,
    S. Claus

    P.S. – Expect to hear from the Tooth Fairy and H. R. Puffenstuff, too.

  13. Why even bother to comment if all you want to do is acknowledge an absurdity? Why not post nothing? Do you spend a lot of time acknowledging absurdities? Or do you just like seeing your name on the page?

  14. SI,

    Why even bother to comment if all you want to do is acknowledge an absurdity?

    Because at that time, that was all I had to say, and because commenting on the absurdity of your posts is my right to free expression that us Americans pay taxes for.

    Why not post nothing?

    Because much like believing in that which cannot be known as you do, there’s no point in posting nothing.

    Do you spend a lot of time acknowledging absurdities?

    I don’t know how much time I spend acknowledging absurdities.

    …do you just like seeing your name on the page?

    No, but sometimes I wonder if you do, the way “cl” always seems to end up in your little jests, on your header, etc.

    According to most Christians, Satan doesn’t exist,

    That 1,104 people who identified as Christian either strongly or somewhat agreed that Satan is allegorical does not permit your conclusion. Keep things in scope.

    Evo,

    ..are you sure you don’t want to jump in with The Highwayman?

    No, I don’t, but since you brought it up, I’ll comment on this snippet of his:

    ..many of you operate in tandem groups, like a pack of rabid wolves… Do you ever venture anywhere you don’t have a retinue of fellow atheists standing ready to support your flagging logic and infantile mannerisms?

    That’s true, and I didn’t coin the phrase “Team Scarlet A” without reason. Freethinkers don’t travel in herds.

    The Highwayman,

    Do you have a blog? If so, can I read it?

  15. Ah, yes… “bookends at their best”, yet, as Dawkins puts it ( I haven’t read it better formulated ) : “…when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.”

    But this is would slip off-topic anyway. This post is about a letter from heaven and I’ll stick to my first comment.

    Mektoub.

  16. Because much like believing in that which cannot be known as you do, there’s no point in posting nothing.

    Gotta buy another irony meter. Too bad there are no warranties on these things.

    That 1,104 people who identified as Christian either strongly or somewhat agreed that Satan is allegorical does not permit your conclusion. Keep things in scope.

    Well, feel free to interview all 300 million of us, and prove me wrong. Until then, it’s a fact.

    Freethinkers don’t travel in herds.

    So true. And theists are usually found in large herds, grazing on magic mushrooms.

    It’s tough to get us to agree on anything with some semblance of consensus, but you seem to really know how to bring us together, don’t you? It must be a knack.

  17. @ cl – yes, I did notice that The Highwayman shares your idea almost identically.

    @ The Highwayman – yes, I’m with cl. Do you have a blog we can read? Or perhaps you can just tell us some of the other places you go to leave your thoughts.

    @ sfatheist – oh. He’s not here is he?

    @ cl again – Speaking of letters from Christ – do you think he died for our sins and then resurrected?

  18. SI,

    Gotta buy another irony meter.

    There was no irony in my comment. You believe that after you die, your consciousness simply terminates. That cannot be known, hence, you literally believe in that which cannot be known. It’s a solid argument.

    Until then, it’s a fact.

    No, it’s not, it’s an inflated, out-of-scope claim.

  19. when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.”(DMD)

    Good point, but do you leave room for the possibility that you are both wrong?

  20. There was no irony in my comment. You believe that after you die, your consciousness simply terminates. That cannot be known, hence, you literally believe in that which cannot be known. It’s a solid argument.

    I never said it wasn’t an argument, solid or otherwise. You need to get a better dictionary, because you don’t seem to understand the term “irony”.

    The irony here is your comment that I believe “in that which cannot be known”, as if you don’t believe in the same thing. And if you think I don’t understand what you’re argument is, I do. You believe that when you die, your “consciousness” will continue on, and you end up continuing to live in some unknown state, in an unknown place, and in an unknown reality, but that when it occurs, you’ll know it, and hence it’s not something “that cannot be known”, whereas my belief that consciousness end, and hence I end, upon death, cannot be known. But that’s, as usual, a semantic argument, without any substance backing it up, other than your desire to believe it’s true.

    One of the best things about the human brain, something that adds a lot of pleasure to life, is it’s ability to concoct fanciful and even impossible fiction. Realities that exist only in our minds. Issac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Ray Bradbury, Moses, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They all created fiction. As humans we have to resist the urge to believe the fiction we create.

    Frankly, I don’t really care if that’s what you and billions of others believe. The evidence points to the opposite conclusion. There is no evidence that points to your belief, but if it gives your life meaning, have at it.

    The important question you need to answer though, is: once you die and your consciousness goes to this unknown place, will you be meeting the resurrected Jesus when you get there?

  21. Jesus will be the one with the nail prints in his wrists and feet – and the hole in his side.

  22. I understand irony correctly, and I had already understood you were claiming I also believe in that which cannot be known, as you state here:

    ..as if you don’t believe in the same thing.

    I don’t. Unlike cessation of consciousness, an afterlife can be known. Your counter-argument is not cogent.

    There is no evidence that points to your belief,

    Incorrect. We’ve already established that there is no evidence that you’re willing to accept, or even take a look at for that matter, so again, your claim is inflated and out-of-scope.

  23. You still haven’t answered the important question.

    Speaking of obfuscation, let’s get to the bottom of this: as opposed to cessation of consciousness, can an afterlife be known? If yes, we see that your counter-argument does in fact fail. If no, why not?

  24. cl does make a strong point here – no one in this discussion knows for an absolute certainty whether consciousness continues or terminates at the moment of death. if it continues it will be known (albeit without a way to communicate this fact to the rest of us) but if it terminates it cannot, by definition, be known. i’d be interested if anyone could logically debate his point.

  25. …no one in this discussion knows for an absolute certainty whether we are really conscious at all right now, at this moment
    Jeez. If you’re going to navel gaze, start there. Or maybe start with an argument about whether or not this is all a dream in someone else’s fevered imagination, or simply an illusion…then Morpheus will offer you two pills…

  26. That’s my point in defining consciousness. How do we know consciousness even exists independent of our life? Based on everything we know right now, it’s simply brain activity reacting to external stimuli. If that’s the case, it doesn’t continue without a brain. So to claim that we can know about an afterlife once our consciousness continues into this assumed afterlife, is to bootstrap the existence of consciousness as a separate entity, which gets into the whole dualism question, which of course, as far as I’m concerned is simply wishful thinking – i.e. fiction.

    Jason

    …no one in this discussion knows for an absolute certainty whether consciousness continues or terminates at the moment of death

    ALL the evidence points to termination. NONE points to continuation. Which one are you likely to revolve your life around.

    We can’t actually know whether leprechauns bury pots of gold at the end of rainbows until we actually catch one and force him to take us to the end of the rainbow. Does that mean we have to seriously consider the existence of leprechauns, because there are such things as pots of gold and rainbows?

    The whole question is patent nonsense, an exercise in imagination. When every single person in the history of the world has not come back to describe the afterlife, it is reasonable to conclude that human consciousness goes to the same place that the consciousnesses of all other living things goes. The evidence is in the deaths of all living things. It is not reasonable to hold stock in a belief in something for which we have no evidence, and for which all available evidence contradicts.

  27. “When every single person in the history of the world has not come back to describe the afterlife, it is reasonable to conclude that human consciousness goes to the same place that the consciousnesses of all other living things goes. The evidence is in the deaths of all living things.”

    i wouldn’t say that this is evidence of anything except that all living things eventually die.

  28. i wouldn’t say that this is evidence of anything except that all living things eventually die…

    Finish the thought. “…and stay dead.” If there is an afterlife, one would expect there to be evidence of it. Billions* of people who have died and not come back to tell us about the afterlife, or to provide descriptions of it, means that the only evidence we have that it even exists is from people (and a book written by people) who have not been there, making it fiction, at best. The lack of evidence when evidence would be expected is certainly compelling. Billions of dead people who stay dead is also compelling. Do I really need sources or citations?

    Weigh this against the evidence in favor of an afterlife.

    *admittedly a guess, since we don’t know a) how many humans have actually preceded us and b) at what point humanity became so special as to merit an afterlife.

  29. Why is it when some guy name “Jason” or whatever, comes out of the blue and says “cl has a point”, that person is not a verified blogger who we could visit and see what else they have to say about life?

    Jason. Can YOU direct me to your blog or somewhere else where you contribute your thoughts on a regular basis?

  30. Egnor Dishes on Meat and Materialism

    No matter how we choose to look at it, altering brain function alters consciousness. Further, there is absolutely zero evidence of consciousness existing outside the context of brain function. There is one hypothesis that is consistent with all the evidence – brain function causes consciousness.

    If brain function causes consciousness, then consciousness requires a functioning brain. If consciousness survives death, then the brain must survive death. The brain does not survive death. Therefore, consciousness does not survive death. To claim otherwise is just wishful thinking.

  31. In all fairness to cl and Jason, I’ve already acknowledged their argument (I say “their” because Jason seems to have embraced cl’s argument) here. IF consciousness is something that survives death, and IF there actually is an afterlife, then it is possible to know what it is to have consciousness continue to exist. I hope I’ve made clear, though, that those are two big “ifs”, and at the present there is no evidence to substantiate them, and as NAL has pointed out, much to negate them. To hypothesize a fanciful notion of an afterlife does not make it true. We live in the real world, not the esoteric one cl likes to habituate.

    So, in my not so humble opinion, belief in a continued consciousness that survives death into eternity, as opposed to belief in the natural process of death ending consciousness, is akin to belief in a god who obtains lightning bolts from Cyclops and throws them to Earth, as opposed to belief in the discharge of electricity from the interaction of positively and negatively charged particles in clouds.

  32. To hypothesize a fanciful notion of an afterlife does not make it true.

    Ah, but it does make one feel better (as long as one meets the conditions for attaining this happy state). Or, it could make one feel morose (if one meets the conditions for attaining eternal damnation, which is postulated as the more likely condition for the vast majority of humankind).

  33. IF consciousness is something that survives death, and IF there actually is an afterlife, then it is possible to know what it is to have consciousness continue to exist.

    So then, we see that your counter-argument does in fact fail, because I do believe in an afterlife, and it can be known. Hence, I do not “also believe in what can’t be known” as you originally claimed.

    ..those are two big “ifs”, and at the present there is no evidence to substantiate them..

    Now see, there you go right back to the same old rhetorical argument again. Honestly SI, you come across like you have your fingers in your ears sometimes. What you really mean to say is that there is no evidence you’re willing to accept, and that’s an entirely different claim, one that I’m okay with.

    ..and as NAL has pointed out, much to negate them..

    I’ve discussed some evidence with nal already. I believe it is less rational to believe some hitherto undiscovered non-conscious force accomplished this than to believe consciousness can exist outside a body. Further, nothing nal’s pointed out negates anything, as demonstrated by the circular nature of the argument:

    1. “If brain function causes consciousness, then consciousness requires a functioning brain.” True. This is the materialist claim as it relates to consciousness. However, whether or not brain function causes consciousness is the very premise we’re debating in the first place.

    2. “If consciousness survives death, then the brain must survive death.” True, if we grant as a free lunch the premise we’re debating in the first place – that brain function causes consciousness.

    3. “The brain does not survive death. Therefore, consciousness does not survive death.” Again, true if and only if we grant as a free lunch the premise we’re debating in the first place – that brain function causes consciousness.

    nal’s arguments only work if we presuppose the premise we’re debating in the first place. Recall the difficulty of proving a negative, in this case proving that something akin to a soul or spirit doesn’t exist. However, what’s less difficult and also theoretically possible is proving or at least supporting the claim that consciousness can and does exist outside physical bodies, and while by no means proven, the evidence that consciousness can exist outside a physical body is well-documented.

  34. So then, we see that your counter-argument does in fact fail, because I do believe in an afterlife, and it can be known.

    No, my so-called counter-argument was simply that we both believe something that can’t be known. Just because you believe in an afterlife doesn’t make an afterlife known, so until you can prove there is such a thing as an afterlife, you cannot know it, and hence your original argument fails.

    Hell, using your reasoning, I can say I believe in leprechauns, so therefore, leprechauns can be known. Not so. They can only be known IF they exist. Same for the afterlife. Sorry, your argument fails.

  35. “However, whether or not brain function causes consciousness is the very premise we’re debating in the first place.”

    If you are going to contest what the experts say with the entire weight of their educations and the entirety of human science and knowledge, than I trust that you’re going to have more of an argument than the “nuh-uh!” that I expect is all you can really muster.

    “…the evidence that consciousness can exist outside a physical body is well-documented.”

    If you mean out-of-body experiences, I really hope you’re familiar with the fact that those can be induced and are well understood…

  36. SI,

    ..my so-called counter-argument was simply that we both believe something that can’t be known.

    Yes, and that so-called counter-argument is incorrect, because of the two of us here, only you believe in something which cannot be known: the cessation of consciousness.

    Just because you believe in an afterlife doesn’t make an afterlife known,

    I agree, but that’s a strawman, as I’ve not argued that belief in an afterlife makes it known.

    ..so until you can prove there is such a thing as an afterlife, you cannot know it, and hence your original argument fails.

    I disagree with your conclusion because your premise is faulty: inability to prove something does not preclude ability to know or experience it. You might as well just adapt to the fact that you believe in something which can neither be known or experienced.

    John Evo,

    Why is it when some guy name “Jason” or whatever, comes out of the blue and says “cl has a point”, that person is not a verified blogger who we could visit and see what else they have to say about life?

    Why is it when some guy named jason comes out of the blue and says “cl has a point” that you ignore the actual argument to focus on irrelevancies and offer a “No True Blogger” rhetorical farce?

    jason,

    “When every single person in the history of the world has not come back to describe the afterlife, it is reasonable to conclude that human consciousness goes to the same place that the consciousnesses of all other living things goes. The evidence is in the deaths of all living things.” (SI)

    i wouldn’t say that this is evidence of anything except that all living things eventually die. (jason)

    I agree, and a frequent complaint of mine is that SI often over-extends the scope of his claims. This is yet another perfect example. Also, note that many people have also claimed exactly what SI claims not a single person in the world has ever claimed: that they’ve both come back from and described an afterlife.

    That Other Guy,

    ..I really hope you’re familiar with the fact that [OBE] can be induced and are well understood…

    I agree that OBE can be induced, I disagree that OBE are well understood, and I’m always willing to take a look at your sources.

  37. cl:

    I believe it is less rational to believe some hitherto undiscovered non-conscious force accomplished this than to believe consciousness can exist outside a body.

    Undiscovered in what sense? That you haven’t discovered the force or that the force is unknown to the scientific community? If the former, it’s an argument from ignorance. If the latter, it’s a false dichotomy.

    More on Dualism and Denial

    Does this metaphysically prove that the mind is nothing but brain function? No, science does not deal with metaphysical certitude. However, I think that we can come to two broad conclusions based upon the current state of neuroscience:

    1) The “brain causes mind” hypothesis has held up to all scientific observations. Every correlation predicted from this hypothesis has been observed, and there is no established evidence that is incompatible with this hypothesis.

    2) The brain is sufficient to explain the mind, meaning that we do not require something other than or more than the brain to explain the phenomenon of mind.

    To argue that the brain does not cause mind, is a desperate argument. Desperate arguments depend on desperate evidence.

  38. MO

    Yes. I agree. We point out his faulty reasoning, and he just keeps repeating it. I’m not repeating myself again. As I said before, if he wants to believe something , he can believe it all he wants. If it makes him happy, go for it.

  39. If one accepts anecdotal evidence to support a particular hypothesis, on what grounds does one reject anecdotal evidence that supports other hypotheses? There is anecdotal evidence of alien abductions. If one supports anecdotal evidence of extra-brain consciousness, is it then reasonable not to accept the hypothesis of alien abductions?

  40. This is comment #53. I’ve got to hand it to you, SI – you got a lot of mileage out of a fake letter from Jeebus. Where did the highwayman and jason go? Are they checking their inboxes in feverish anticipation of their very own letters?

  41. “To argue that the brain does not cause mind, is a desperate argument. Desperate arguments depend on desperate evidence.” – nal

    a quote from an article written by john gliedman, a science writer, who speaks about the work of john eccles – dwarnist and nobel prize winner for his research of the synapse –

    “Each of us embodies a nonmaterial thinking and perceiving
    self that “entered” our physical brain sometime during embryological development or very early childhood, says the man who helped lay the cornerstones of modern neurophysiology. This “ghost in the machine” is responsible for everything that makes us distinctly human: conscious self-awareness, free will, personal identity, creativity and even emotions such as love, fear, and hate. Our nonmaterial self controls its “liaison brain” the way a driver steers a car or programmer directs a computer. Man’s ghostly spiritual
    presence, says Eccles, exerts just the whisper of a physical influence on the computerlike brain, enough to encourage some neurons to fire and others to remain silent. Boldly advancing what for most scientists
    is the greatest heresy of all, Eccles also asserts that our nonmaterial self survives the death of the physical brain.”

  42. YES, but alas, jason, you’re not a “verified blogger,” so I’m afraid that your very appropriate remark might be refused by those who claim they don’t refuse evidence…

  43. i know, right?

    perhaps if i died and then “came back” (any suggestions on how to exactly do that would be appreciated) to report my findings i would have more credibility here.

  44. i missed this comment earlier.

    “Finish the thought. “…and stay dead.” If there is an afterlife, one would expect there to be evidence of it. Billions* of people who have died and not come back to tell us about the afterlife, or to provide descriptions of it, means that the only evidence we have that it even exists is from people (and a book written by people) who have not been there, making it fiction, at best.”

    well of course they stay dead – that’s why people generally refer to the idea of the continuation of consciousness at one’s death as the AFTERlife – even you yourself used the term. why would you assume that if consciousness did indeed continue on that it should then be able to communicate or have any interaction with those who have not died? to say that you believe consciousness terminates after death simply because there are no dead people talking to you is absurd.

  45. jason:
    Do you have a link to Gliedman’s article? If it’s not online, could you provide a citation, i.e., journal, book title, etc.?

    Thanks.

  46. a quote from an article written by john gliedman, a science writer, who speaks about the work of john eccles – dwarnist and nobel prize winner for his research of the synapse –

    {snip quote}

    then

    YES, but alas, jason, you’re not a “verified blogger,” so I’m afraid that your very appropriate remark might be refused by those who claim they don’t refuse evidence…

    C’mon cl, even you know that the opinion of anyone, even an award winning scientist, is not evidence, much less proof, of anything.

  47. Jason

    to say that you believe consciousness terminates after death simply because there are no dead people talking to you is absurd.

    But we were talking about evidence. The fact that dead people stay dead, and their allegedly surviving consciousness doesn’t somehow communicate with the living, is evidence that consciousness terminates at death. What evidence do you rely on for your belief that consciousness continues, beside the opinion that

    Eccles also asserts that our nonmaterial self survives the death of the physical brain

    ?

    If my consciousness survived, I’d do my damnedest to get back here and tell people, wouldn’t you? If for no other reason than to clear this up and stop these kind of debates.

  48. Chappy

    Do you have a link to Gliedman’s article?

    Here’s where I think Jason got it. The quote you can find by doing a search in the document. Note the publisher.

    Eccles won his Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1963. His quote is from 1982.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, Jason, but I think our understanding of the brain has advanced significantly since Sir John Eccles wrote.

  49. “The fact that dead people stay dead, and their allegedly surviving consciousness doesn’t somehow communicate with the living, is evidence that consciousness terminates at death.”

    actually, no, that’s only one possible interpretation of evidence. another would be that the physical laws of the universe don’t allow such communication to be possible.

  50. “Correct me if I’m wrong, Jason, but I think our understanding of the brain has advanced significantly since Sir John Eccles wrote.”

    sure it has. that, however doesn’t in any way invalidate any of his research or findings. would you say that darwinism is likewise to be ignored? i believe his writings date a little farther back than eccles, no?

    btw, hat tip to si for the link. you beat me to it.

  51. actually, no, that’s only one possible interpretation of evidence. another would be that the physical laws of the universe don’t allow such communication to be possible.

    I didn’t say it was the only interpretation. But it is the best interpretation. To interpret that evidence your way, we have to assume that the physical laws of the universe, which so far have been constant, stop being constant, and simply cease to have an effect after we die. You are, in effect, adding another element to the request for evidence, and interpreting the evidence in a more complicated manner than is justified. Occam’s Razor says this is a no-no.

    If you want to come up with multiple interpretations of an item of purely natural evidence, by positing something that so far would be completely un-natural, then fine, but all you’re doing is saying that you’re interpreting the evidence to conform to your beliefs in the supernatural. You can keep doing this by positing even sillier, less plausible interpretations, such as leprechauns building a magic rainbow wall to prevent communication between the after life and the before life, but you’ll still be stuck with a simple request for the evidence to back that up.

    The simplest, and most plausible explanation is that when you die, consciousness blinks out. Period. Any further interpretation of that evidence is wishful thinking, and indicates your intent to desperately hold on to preconceived beliefs.

    So I’ll repeat and reformulate my question in light of your response: What evidence do you rely on to to assume that that laws of the universe are suspended upon death to prevent communication?

  52. sure it has. that, however doesn’t in any way invalidate any of his research or findings. would you say that darwinism is likewise to be ignored? i believe his writings date a little farther back than eccles, no?

    The way science works, later science is added to earlier science. So sure, his research and findings most certainly have been, at least, modified, if not completely subsumed in more modern findings. I doubt you’ll find many scientists in his field who agree with Eccles today. New means of examining the functions of the brain are light years ahead of what we knew in 1982.

    As for Darwin, his original theory has been tremendously modified by the Modern Synthesis, something he would have predicted, but didn’t know at the time he published. Some of his ideas have been discarded, but the basic one, that of natural selection, has been affirmed and re-affirmed millions of times over the past 150 years. Darwin has not only not been ignored, he’s been vindicated by subsequent research.

  53. “But it is the best interpretation.”

    really? why is it the best?

    “What evidence do you rely on to to assume that that laws of the universe are suspended upon death to prevent communication?”

    you’re certainly trying to set me up with that one. the answer is i don’t believe any would be in violation or suspended.

    “To interpret that evidence your way, we have to assume that the physical laws of the universe, which so far have been constant, stop being constant, and simply cease to have an effect after we die.”

    i’m sort of hazy on what you’re saying here – maybe you can clarify a couple of things so that i can respond correctly – which laws exactly would have to cease? and why?

    btw – if i were a proponent of evolution, oscillating universe theory(i’m assuming this one is your cup of tea but it could very well be another perpetual universe theory), the big bang, and abiogenesis, i wouldn’t ever refer to occam’s razor.

  54. really? why is it the best?

    I already explained that. Re-read my reply.

    you’re certainly trying to set me up with that one. the answer is i don’t believe any would be in violation or suspended.

    So in other words, you don’t believe your alternative interpretation? Then why bring it up?

    i’m sort of hazy on what you’re saying here – maybe you can clarify a couple of things so that i can respond correctly – which laws exactly would have to cease? and why?

    I don’t know. It’s your supposition. You need to tell me what laws are being suspended. I don’t believe any are, because that’s not the ways the laws of nature work.

    btw – if i were a proponent of evolution, oscillating universe theory(i’m assuming this one is your cup of tea but it could very well be another perpetual universe theory), the big bang, and abiogenesis, i wouldn’t ever refer to occam’s razor.

    Really? Why not?

  55. Eccles was a devout theist who “believed ‘that there is a Divine Providence operating over and above the materialistic happenings of biological evolution’…”. A statement of his philosophy with respect to dualism, while interesting, is not evidence. I would be interested in any evidence that supports his beliefs.

  56. chaplain,

    Do you have a link to Gliedman’s article? If it’s not online, could you provide a citation, i.e., journal, book title, etc.? Thanks.

    Ha! I ask you to support your claim that evidence from neurology has negative implications for God and you refuse, then you prance over here and demand that jason do that which you refuse to?

    SI,

    C’mon cl, even you know that the opinion of anyone, even an award winning scientist, is not evidence, much less proof, of anything.

    You’ve missed the forest for the trees SI, as even you know expert testimony is acceptable evidence in a court of law. Besides, the meat of my claim was that Evo made an ad hominem argument to discredit jason solely on account of the fact he supported my claim – which you’ve conveniently dropped, I might add. Do you understand yet that between us, it is you, and only you, who believes in something that cannot be known?

    The fact that dead people stay dead, and their allegedly surviving consciousness doesn’t somehow communicate with the living, is evidence that consciousness terminates at death. (to jason)

    SI, thousands if not hundreds of thousands if not millions of people have for thousands of years reported that this does happen, and you simply handwave this preponderance of evidence all away in a single sentence. jason was also correct to note that even if zero instances of “coming back” occurred, such would not make the materialist hypothesis more likely than the immaterial consciousness hypothesis. To this end, you note,

    I didn’t say it was the only interpretation. But it is the best interpretation.

    Well golly-gee-willakers, SI! I can say rocky road is the best ice cream, too, but why conflate opinion with cogency if we are to be rationalists?

    To interpret that evidence your way, we have to assume that the physical laws of the universe, which so far have been constant, stop being constant, and simply cease to have an effect after we die. (to jason)

    How so? To posit that communication between the dead and the living may not be possible does not require that we assume the physical laws of the universe must stop being constant. It’s reasonable that some form of barrier analogous to the singularity might exist between the living and the dead, one that may or may not be able to be breached under specific conditions, analogous to the way gravity can be breached under specific conditions – by being temporarily overcome by greater laws.

    Occam’s Razor says this is a no-no.

    Occam’s Razor and a bedrock of confirmed science also says that stacks of solid objects at rest suddenly embarking on 45-degree trajectories across space and remaining stacked upon landing is a no-no, too (source), one that I think excludes nal’s TV warping hypothesis, and my own music vibration hypothesis.

    The simplest, and most plausible explanation is that when you die, consciousness blinks out. Period.

    Sure, if you want to simply plug your ears and deny every single report to the contrary.

    Any further interpretation of that evidence is wishful thinking, and indicates your intent to desperately hold on to preconceived beliefs.

    Yet, that’s intellectually fascist: you have completely usurped the evidence in favor of your own conclusion (cf. Catholic Church vs. Galileo).

    nal,

    Undiscovered in what sense? That you haven’t discovered the force or that the force is unknown to the scientific community? If the former, it’s an argument from ignorance. If the latter, it’s a false dichotomy.

    I disagree. I’m not saying, “It must be a spirit because there’s no known natural explanation,” which would be an argument from ignorance. I’m saying, “I believe an explanation that postulates consciousness or psychism is reasonable.” Neither do I offer a false dichotomy: in fact, the goal of my video-game incident post was to generate the maximum number of allowable hypotheses, allowing us to consider as wide a range of hypotheses as possible. Regarding the video-game incident, do you really believe Occam’s is more favorable to your TV-warping hypothesis or some other non-conscious force than some form of immaterial consciousness or psychism as Dominic described? If so, on what grounds?

    I would be interested in any evidence that supports his beliefs.

    As just one example, I would be interested in why the testimony of thousands if not hundreds of thousands if not millions of people for thousands of years reporting that this does happen is not evidence that consciousness can exist outside of a body. Like SI, you simply handwave this preponderance of evidence all away. Is it because all those accounts are anecdotal? If so, although correct, such does not entail that all anecdotes are false, so on what rational grounds can one presume them to be?

  57. As just one example, I would be interested in why the testimony of thousands if not hundreds of thousands if not millions of people for thousands of years reporting that this does happen is not evidence that consciousness can exist outside of a body.

    It is anecdotal evidence. If anecdotal evidence is sufficient for you, then mustn’t you accept the anecdotal evidence that aliens have been abducting humans?

    By that logic, the testimony of billions of people that this does not happen is evidence that consciousness can not exist without a brain.

  58. You’ve missed the forest for the trees SI, as even you know expert testimony is acceptable evidence in a court of law.

    You’re out of your league here, cl. I think you just bumped into a tree.

    The bald assertion that expert opinions are admissible is limited to those subjects the expert is qualified for, and the testimony must be supportable by expert research. If the expert’s testimony is based on his personal religious beliefs, then he would be a fool to even get on the stand. Even the stupidest attorney would make mincemeat out of his testimony. In fact, the testimony would probably not even be allowed to be heard by the jury, on an offer of proof.

    From what NAL quoted, and what I read about him, he seems to have allowed his religious beliefs to interfere with his professional opinions. Current research in neurobiology and other fields seems to have passed him by. Right now, Sam Harris would be a better expert in the field than Eccles, if he were alive, (he died in 1997.)

  59. “I don’t know. It’s your supposition. You need to tell me what laws are being suspended.”

    let’s clarify, shall we? one. i only said that perhaps one or more of the physical laws of the universe don’t allow such communication to take place. two. i never stated that any law would be in violation if such were true. and three. in fact, YOU stated that certain laws would be in violation if such were true. here is your statement again lest there be any more confusion on your part.

    “To interpret that evidence your way, we have to assume that the physical laws of the universe, which so far have been constant, stop being constant, and simply cease to have an effect after we die.”

    so, again, which laws are you referring to?

    “I already explained that. Re-read my reply.”

    sorry – couldn’t find it. maybe you believe its the best because you think its the simplest explanation?

    “I would be interested in any evidence that supports his beliefs.” – nal

    would you consider the following?

    “Extensive experimental studies have shown that mental acts of attention and intention activate appropriate regions of the cerebral cortex. An intention to move, for example, initiates the firing of a set of neurons of the supplementary motor area about 200 Milli-seconds before the intended movement takes place. If the mind were the brain, this would mean either that one part of the brain activates an other part, which then activates another part, etc., or that a particular region of the brain is activated spontaneously, without any cause, and it is hard to see how either alternative would provide a basis for free will.

    According to Eccles, we have a nonmaterial mind or self which acts upon, and is influenced by, our material brains; there is a mental world in addition to the physical world, and the two interact. However, Eccles denies that the mind is a type of nonphysical substance (as it is in Cartesian dualism), and says that it merely belongs to a different world. (How the Self Controls Its Brain, p. 38.) But unless our mind (and the world in which it exists) is pure nothingness — in which case it would not exist — it must be composed of finer grades of energy-substance.”

    i would like to point out that i’m not supporting eccles without reservation, i simply bring him into this because he offers up some of the evidence that si says does not exist. the point is that we do not now nor will we ever know everything that can be known about everything. to make matter of fact statements like: “there is no god” and, “consciousness terminates at the moment of death” are not only stated from a starting point of arrogance but also one of ignorance.

  60. I would be interested in why the testimony of thousands if not hundreds of thousands if not millions of people for thousands of years reporting that this does happen is not evidence that consciousness can exist outside of a body.

    Millions?

    I would be interested in seeing the reports of people who claim to have died and come back, in these so-called Out Of Body experiences, that are able to describe something that they would not already have in their brains when they supposedly died. Most, if not all the ones I’ve ever read, tell stories about seeing a light, or seeing relatives who have died, but no one ever seems to meet a stranger who is later verified to have died, someone they wouldn’t know. Nor do they come back with descriptions of the afterlife that don’t match some preexisting conception of what it is like. Nor do they come back with any information that people in the afterlife would know, but that we struggle to understand. No helpful “Theory of Everything” ever comes back with them. Or even the Powerball for next week.

    No, it’s always something that reaffirms or mirrors that which is already in their brains, all of which leads one to the obvious conclusion.

  61. let’s clarify, shall we? one. i only said that perhaps one or more of the physical laws of the universe don’t allow such communication to take place. two. i never stated that any law would be in violation if such were true. and three. in fact, YOU stated that certain laws would be in violation if such were true. here is your statement again lest there be any more confusion on your part.

    Let’s start over.

    Right now, the physical laws of the universe allow my consciousness to communicate with your consciousness. I’m doing it as I type. So if, after you die (it’s your consciousness that’s living on, after all) you can no longer do that, what’s stopping you?

    And don’t say your consciousness doesn’t have access to the internet. 8)

    You said:

    …the physical laws of the universe don’t allow such communication to be possible.

    In what way? Why not? What changes to the physical laws of the universe occur that prevent consciousnesses that have previously been able to communicate with each other to no longer do so? And what evidence do you rely on to substantiate that?

    It seems to me that the only change is the death of your body. Nothing else in the universe changes as a result of your death.

    If you are simply maintaining that without a body, consciousness cannot communicate any more, i.e. there is no change other than the death of the body, then how is that different than what I maintain? Effectively, if you don’t have the ability to communicate without a body, you don’t exist. How would any other consciousness know you existed and interact with you?

    I think your supposition is a stretch, wholly unsubstantiated by anything we know.

  62. Well golly-gee-willakers, SI! I can say rocky road is the best ice cream, too, but why conflate opinion with cogency if we are to be rationalists?

    No, dummy. Not “best” as in “my favorite”. “Best” as in “the theory that best explains all the evidence.”

    You love this semantic game playing don’t you.

  63. … it is hard to see how either alternative would provide a basis for free will.

    Just to be clear, these are not the words of Eccles.

    I don’t see any problem with the different parts of the brain activating other parts of the brain and free will. There is no explanation for why it should.

  64. One other small point-

    “the point is that we do not now nor will we ever know everything that can be known about everything.”

    How do we know we won’t someday know everything, if we don’t know everything now? This is where cl’s…er, jason’s…er, sfathiest’s…er, kirk c’s…er, whatthefuckever pathologically lying narcissist’s who happens to be working the keyboard epistemological running in circles leads to.

  65. Jim quoted some silly internet entity as saying, “matter of fact statements like: “there is no god” and, “consciousness terminates at the moment of death” are not only stated from a starting point of arrogance but also one of ignorance.”

    John Evo says: matter of fact statements like: “there is no flying, fire-breathing dragons” and, “consciousness is not controlled by the alien mother-ship” are not only stated from a starting point of arrogance but also one of ignorance.

    Oh, wait. No I don’t.

    Some around these here parts fail to comprehend the differences and important differing functions of empirical scientific evidence and logical, reason-based philosophy.

    My main dog SI in apparent exasperation cried out: “You love this semantic game playing don’t you[?]”

    Bahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    cl wants me to concentrate on his smelly arguments that Mo mistook for feet, rather than going off on irrelevancy. There’s another “Baha” for you! But, I will note that neither of these mysterious entities gives us a clue regarding my simple question. I know someone else who can plaster ridiculous shit all over the internet, yet fail to answer the simplest of questions. Coincidence? You be the judge.

  66. ALL the evidence points to termination. NONE points to continuation. (SI)

    nal,

    You agreed,

    It is anecdotal evidence.

    So then, do you disagree with SI’s inflated claims that “ALL the evidence points to termination,” and “NONE points to continuation?”

    If one accepts anecdotal evidence to support a particular hypothesis, on what grounds does one reject anecdotal evidence that supports other hypotheses?

    That will differ with the details of each case. Where we have conflicting anecdotes, we’ll likely have to rely on higher-level evidence to sort things out.

    There is anecdotal evidence of alien abductions. If one supports anecdotal evidence of extra-brain consciousness, is it then reasonable not to accept the hypothesis of alien abductions?

    To accept any hypothesis solely on anecdotal evidence is unacceptable if you ask me, but regarding alien-abduction anecdotes, I treat them like I would any other situation where we have a high number of data points that both overlap and conflict: some are bound to be pure fabrication, others distortions and misinformation, but surely another subset must represent genuine phenomena. I believe it’s foolish to simply dismiss every single anecdote on account of the fact that a majority might remain veridically worthless.

    But ultimately, in these question of consciousness, I don’t believe what I believe solely on account of anecdotal evidence, so objections to belief based solely on anecdotal evidence don’t apply to me.

  67. SI,

    Do you understand yet that it is you who believes in that which cannot be known, whereas what I believe can theoretically be known?

    No, dummy. Not “best” as in “my favorite”. “Best” as in “the theory that best explains all the evidence.” You love this semantic game playing don’t you.

    SI, I’m no dummy, and neither are you, else you couldn’t have passed a bar exam. You apparently didn’t get the pun. You are in fact doing nothing other than elevating your personal preference to the level of some kind of objective best. jason also noted your lack of justification for your claim that your interpretation of the evidence is the best, and this is not about semantics, but justification for one’s claims. To say your interpretation is the best without giving address to anomalous evidence is to simply bury your head in the sand and ignore the evidence like a Fundie.

    I would be interested in seeing the reports of people who claim to have died and come back, in these so-called Out Of Body experiences, that are able to describe something that they would not already have in their brains when they supposedly died.

    Your position doesn’t just exclude OBE and NDE. It must exclude a priori every single claim from every single religion across the entire span of humanity from the Aztecs to the Mayans to Native Americans on down the line. You further must dismiss every single instance where the clinically dead have experienced consciousness, you must also dismiss every instance where psychics have proven reliable in law enforcement, and you must also conclude that every single person who ever claimed to have seen a spirit or soul or ghost or otherwise conscious but non-embodied entity is hallucinating or lying. What you propose is so far outside the bell curve it’s absurd, mind you, as probability would suggest that amidst such a preponderance of evidence at least a few cases are likely to represent genuine phenomena.

    ..no one ever seems to meet a stranger who is later verified to have died, someone they wouldn’t know.

    So, every psychic who’s ever correctly identified a deceased individual that actually lived just happened to guess luckily?

    ..that expert opinions are admissible is limited to those subjects the expert is qualified for, and the testimony must be supportable by expert research.

    Correct. Eccles was qualified to speak on the subject, and the subject itself is supportable by research, hence his testimony pertinent.

    If the expert’s testimony is based on his personal religious beliefs, then he would be a fool to even get on the stand.

    Correct, but you have not provided evidence suggesting that Eccles’ testimony was based on his personal religious beliefs, so this is a non-sequitur.

  68. Do you understand yet that it is you who believes in that which cannot be known, whereas what I believe can theoretically be known?

    Do you understand yet that I don’t give a flying fuck about what can be “theoretically known”?

    Santa Claus can be theoretically known. BFD.

  69. I liked the old layout better, at least for the comment threads. It was easier to follow because of the changes in contrast. But as far as the front-page presentation, I like this version.

    Do you understand yet that I don’t give a flying fuck about what can be “theoretically known”?

    There’s no need to get so hostile, I’m simply trying to reassure myself that you understand basic principles of logic. Do you now realize that your original claim that I also believe in something which cannot be known was false?

    What do you have to say about experimental evidence and field research which challenges your position?

    How do you feel about the fact that even other atheists seem to disagree with your claim that “ALL the evidence points to termination,” and “NONE to continuation?”

  70. I liked the old layout better,

    I’m may not keep it. I’m still re-arranging the furniture.

    There’s no need to get so hostile,

    No hostility intended. Frustration maybe, but not hostility. But I think the crux of the matter is in that little exchange. You’re more interested in discussing theoretical propositions in the religious context. You then use these little wedges of theoretical possibilities to try to crack open a naturalistic viewpoint, but in the end you are completely transparent, unimpressive, and unconvincing.

    I don’t give a flying fuck care about theoretical propositions, or philosophy, or metaphysics, or theology. I’m more interested in the practical applications, and the real world likelihood of religious claims. Whether you think, logically, that you can possibly know the afterlife is irrelevant to the reality of whether you can or can’t.

    I’m more interested in whether there is any evidence that one can base a belief on. And yes, I want good evidence, one on which a consensus of rational people would agree, unequivocal in all regards, because the demand for religious belief is unequivocal, therefore, the evidence should be commensurate. Not theoretical evidence, or anecdotal evidence, or most evidence you think is valid, or at least what you offered in the past as valid evidence.

    Something like a human limb regeneration. Something equivalent in the consciousness, neurobiology field. Like someone actually coming back with photos of heaven. All the stuff you talk about in your False Arguments post is namby-pamby equivocal, and subject to subjective limitations of the person reading it. Hence, worthless to me.

    There. Feel better?

    I’m simply trying to reassure myself that you understand basic principles of logic.

    Why even give a shit? Instead of spending 300 comments trying to “reassure” yourself, simply present your evidence, and see if it sticks. Lot’s of people here can point out my faulty logic, if it is indeed faulty. In this thread, don’t bother, because this is not the OP to do it. This post was intended as a joke. Your opportunity was in the past, and you missed that boat.

    How do you feel about the fact that even other atheists seem to disagree with your claim that “ALL the evidence points to termination,” and “NONE to continuation?”

    Again, I don’t care. When I say evidence, they know what I mean, so I doubt they disagree with me. You’re the only quibbling with the definitions.

  71. cl:

    … surely another subset must represent genuine phenomena.

    Not it doesn’t, and don’t call me Shirley.

    /Doesn’t work as well, visually.

  72. SI,

    You’re more interested in discussing theoretical propositions in the religious context.

    Says who? I’m equally interested in any angle of discussion, whether already introduced or not.

    I don’t care about theoretical propositions, or philosophy, or metaphysics, or theology.

    Surely though, you care about logic and making accurate claims, right? You claimed that like your belief that consciousness ends upon death, my belief that consciousness transcends death cannot be known, yet as jason also pointed out, this is a logically unsustainable claim. As another example of a logically unsustainable claim, you also maintain that “ALL evidence points to termination” of consciousness after death, and “NONE to continuation,” yet evidence that points to the existence of non-embodied consciousness exists, which means that yours is an inaccurate claim.

    Why even give a shit?

    I’m concerned because I see no use in attempting to persuade somebody via logic if they are incapable of reaching logically sustainable conclusions. When you claim that like your belief that consciousness ends upon death, my belief that consciousness transcends death cannot be known, you suggest that you are incapable of understanding basic logic.

    I’m more interested in whether there is any evidence that one can base a belief on.

    Then, why not address (as opposed to dismiss) the anomalous evidence that challenges your position that the phenomenon of consciousness never occurs outside a body?

    Like someone actually coming back with photos of heaven.

    Photos of purported spirits already exist, and you remain unconvinced. What would make a purported photo of heaven convincing?

    All the stuff you talk about in your False Arguments post is namby-pamby equivocal, and subject to subjective limitations of the person reading it.

    Dismissal sans explanation does not entail cogent rebuttal.

    ..simply present your evidence,

    I do, but instead of critically consider it, you either ignore it altogether, or call it names like “namby-pamby,” then continue with your own claim that there’s no evidence, but really, there’s no evidence you’re willing to accept.

  73. nal,

    I’m not sure if I understood the Shirley reference, but I agree I could’ve worded that sentence better: “…surely another subset must is likely to represent genuine phenomena.”

  74. John Evo,

    Denigrating other interlocuters as “some silly internet entity” does not entail that you’ve cogently rebutted their points.

    Why is it when some guy name “Jason” or whatever, comes out of the blue and says “cl has a point”, that person is not a verified blogger who we could visit and see what else they have to say about life?

    Yet, 2 of the last 3 people who “came out of the blue and said I had a point” were verified bloggers – The Senator, and Ubiquitous Che. Why are you making false claims?

    Some around these here parts fail to comprehend the differences and important differing functions of empirical scientific evidence and logical, reason-based philosophy.

    In a similar vein, some people around these here parts fail to comprehend are the differences between evidence and proof which leads them to make inflated claims, and this is a claim I can document.

    I know someone else who can plaster ridiculous shit all over the internet, yet fail to answer the simplest of questions.

    What simple question would you like me to answer?

  75. cl:

    I’m not sure if I understood the Shirley reference, but I agree I could’ve worded that sentence better: “…surely another subset must is likely to represent genuine phenomena.”

    Shirley reference is from the movie Airplane!. I couldn’t resist.

    I still don’t agree with “likely”. Alien abductions are highly unlikely. Aliens are highly unlikely. Interstellar travel is highly unlikely. I would put alien abductions in the almost impossible category.

  76. “Shirley reference is from the movie Airplane!. I couldn’t resist.”

    Great reference, nal…& it came right in the nick of time when I was about to set myself on fire or commit hari kari.

    “Yet, 2 of the last 3 people who “came out of the blue and said I had a point” were verified bloggers – The Senator, and Ubiquitous Che. Why are you making false claims?”

    Make that 3 of 4, cl…

  77. MS Quixote,

    2 of the last 3 people who “came out of the blue and said I had a point” were verified bloggers – The Senator, and Ubiquitous Che. (cl, to John Evo)

    Make that 3 of 4, cl… (MS Quixote, to cl)

    Well thank you, MS…

    nal,

    Alien abductions are highly unlikely. Aliens are highly unlikely. Interstellar travel is highly unlikely. I would put alien abductions in the almost impossible category.

    To that end, life itself is highly unlikely: do you equally place life itself in the almost impossible category?

  78. Life in general, no, not almost impossible but highly unlikely. Intelligent life, on the order or above humans, I would regard as almost impossible. It would not surprise me to learn that humans were the most intelligent lifeforms in the universe. But the universe is young and we may just be the first.

  79. So, if the highly unlikely clearly happens, what do you gain by noting that aliens, abductions and interstellar travel are highly unlikely?

  80. The fact of my existence in no way effects the probability of aliens. The almost impossibility of aliens, and hence alien abductions, forms the basis of my inference that alien abductions are, almost certainly, imaginary events.

  81. You said that aliens and alien abductions are almost impossible, and that such justifies your inference that they are almost certainly imaginary events. Yet, you also said intelligent life on the order or above humans is almost impossible, but you don’t infer that intelligent life on the order or above humans is almost certainly imaginary. Why?

    What makes acceptance of intelligent life on the order or above humans so easy, but acceptance of aliens or alien abductions so difficult, when you claim that both are equally almost impossible?

  82. The probability of humans, given the fact that humans exist, is one, even though the probability of humans is almost zero. The probability of intelligent aliens, given the fact of an alien spaceship hovering over Johannesburg, is one. The probability of intelligent aliens, given no facts, is almost zero.

    Since a claim of alien abduction is not a fact regarding the existence of actual aliens, any inference regarding the factuality of the claim depends on the probability that aliens exist. Since the probability that aliens exist is almost zero, I infer that the claims of alien abductions are not factual.

  83. And then of course, there’s that whole “universal speed limit” thing. The universe might be teeming with life, but we can’t get to one another.

  84. cl/sfatheist/Kirk C

    I’m not getting into all your questions. We’ve been down that road before, with no end in sight. If you think I’m wrong about what I say, I’ve always maintained that you are free to point out the error of my ways. But I’m not interested in this semantic sparring you seem to revel in. The likelihood, in my opinion, that the matters you find interesting to discuss are true, amount to a 99.9999% improbability, so all of this back and forth crap falls into the 0.0001% possibility gap, which, as far as I’m concerned, is much ado about nothing.

    With that kind of probability, it really is akin to arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. In the real world, the one I live in, life is too short to even think about it, much less talk about it.

    You’re young. (The fact that you didn’t get the Shirley reference indicates that). Someday you’ll figure things out. Right now, you’re just a waste of time.

    Of course, if you’d like to comment on the OP, feel free.

  85. SI,

    I’m not getting into all your questions.

    Of course not.

    If you think I’m wrong about what I say, I’ve always maintained that you are free to point out the error of my ways.

    Certainly. I will speak up anytime anyone refuses to critically consider the evidence anywhere, whether they are an atheist, creationist, or something else. I will continue to challenge you every time I hear you make incorrect claims, such as your claim that I also believe in that which cannot be known. I will also challenge you every time I hear you make inflated claims, such as “ALL evidence points to termination and NONE to continuation,” which is a false claim. I will also point it out every time you or one of your guests denigrate other commenters instead of engage their arguments. That being said, here’s the formula: there is an inversely proportional relationship between the cogency of your arguments and the quantity of my comments. If you want me to comment less, then tighten your arguments. Philly’s doing it, follow along with the team.

    Postman,

    If we’re talking traditional interstellar travel a la propulsion, I absolutely agree with you and nal that such seems highly unlikely.

    nal,

    I’m not sure if we’re getting across to one another here. You said alien life can be called imaginary because it’s almost impossible, but I don’t understand why, because by that token, human life is also almost impossible, but clearly not imaginary. So, to say something is probably imaginary because it seems almost impossible seems like a weak argument. All I’m saying is the fact that a claim seems highly unlikely to us is not necessarily a strong argument against said claim’s plausibility. Would you agree or disagree?

  86. Oh, Gawd… why do I bother?

    cl,
    I was just trying to point out, ever so subtly, that you are an Olympic-grade wanker. No one does Useless Masterbatory Drivel like you do Useless Masterbatory Drivel.

  87. No one does Useless Masterbatory Drivel like you do Useless Masterbatory Drivel.

    Yet, that is perhaps the most useless masturbatory drivel in this thread so far. Way to go!

  88. cl:</b.

    … human life is also almost impossible, …

    Wrong, human life is a certainty.

    All I’m saying is the fact that a claim seems highly unlikely to us is not necessarily a strong argument against said claim’s plausibility.

    If someone claimed to have won the Powerball lottery, I would doubt that claim based on the improbable nature of such an event. I think it is reasonable to doubt unsubstantiated claims of improbable events.

  89. Wrong, human life is a certainty.

    Now were really going around in circles. Of course human life is a certainty! What I meant was, the chances of there being human life as opposed to nothing are astronomically thin – as you note about aliens.

    I think it is reasonable to doubt unsubstantiated claims of improbable events.

    That’s fine. My original point was this: when we have a preponderance of claims stretching back thousands of years, just by probability alone, some are bound to be exaggerated or wrong, but others are also likely to represent real phenomena.

    You disagreed, on the grounds that alien life and alien abductions were highly unlikely. My objection was that human life is highly unlikely, too, yet it happened. If human life can happen, why can’t alien life?

  90. cl:

    My original point was this: when we have a preponderance of claims stretching back thousands of years, just by probability alone, some are bound to be exaggerated or wrong, but others are also likely to represent real phenomena.

    Not necessarily. It depends on the starting probability and the number of people making the claim. If you have a room filled with 10 people all claiming to have won the Powerball lottery, it is reasonable to doubt all their claims. If the room contains 1,000,000 people, ones confidence in doubting all their claims is not as great. It is my hypothesis that the probability of alien abductions is so small that one can be confident that all their claims are unlikely to represent real events.

    You disagreed, on the grounds that alien life and alien abductions were highly unlikely. My objection was that human life is highly unlikely, too, yet it happened. If human life can happen, why can’t alien life?

    Of course alien life can happen, that’s why its probability is not zero. Human life was highly unlikely, it is no longer highly unlikely. The fact that humans exist, has no effect on the probability that aliens exist. When facts change the circumstances so that alien life is, also, no longer highly unlikely, then then my confidence, in doubting all the claims of alien abduction, will be shattered. Until that time, …

  91. Sheesh, one simple little letter, and all this! Ha-ha! Oh, and I’m Satan, now? I guess that means SI is Christ, by starting it all off with his idiotic letter?

    CL, I guess you know you’ll never convince this crowd of anything. They’ve had an answer for everything you or anyone else has said. Even if there are some closet believers, here, you’ll never get an admission from anyone that they’re wrong. These guys are never wrong… just ask them.

    Quite the rag… I do like the avatar, though. Nice tits. Could we get an ass shot, too?

    😉

  92. The Highwayman “These guys are never wrong… just ask them.”
    I’ve been wrong before. A bunch of times. This haircut, for example, was clearly a mistake.

  93. Ah, don’t beat yourself up over it, Modus. We’re all human… well… some of us, anyway.

    Those that aren’t full of ape blood, that is.

    🙄

  94. Modus,

    You just can’t leave a comment like that without a link to a haircut picture. That was like, a total tease.

    nal,

    If you have a room filled with 10 people all claiming to have won the Powerball lottery, it is reasonable to doubt all their claims.

    Of course, but that’s nowhere near what we’re talking about. However unlikely alien life might be, human life was pretty damn unlikely, statistically, yet it happened. Now, I’ve said I agree with you that the interstellar travel thing is likely bogus, and I’ll further state that although I believe a subset of accounts reflect real phenomena, I don’t necessarily believe the alien or alien abduction phenomena represent the doings of carbon-based beings who simply evolved in some other star system and came here.

    It is my hypothesis that the probability of alien abductions is so small that one can be confident that all their claims are unlikely to represent real events.

    But see, even though I agree the probability of carbon-based beings evolving in some other star system and coming here and abducting humans is very small; the problem is that your argument is a just-so statement, not to mention limited in scope to the carbon-based being hypothesis. Although I feel confident assuming the military-industrial complex has some pretty advanced stuff, as far as things alien are concerned, I believe something more like waveforms is consistent with all the evidence.

    The fact that humans exist, has no effect on the probability that aliens exist.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it does. I’m saying the fact that humans exist weakens your argument that aliens are unlikely to exist, because we are clear proof that the “unlikely to exist” happens.

    Highwayman,

    I guess you know you’ll never convince this crowd of anything. They’ve had an answer for everything you or anyone else has said. Even if there are some closet believers, here, you’ll never get an admission from anyone that they’re wrong. These guys are never wrong… just ask them.

    Well, while I agree if we’re talking about PhillyChief, who actually once referred to himself as the guy that’s almost always right, this isn’t entirely true. I’ve never had an unreasonable discussion with nal, and even convinced nal that prayer studies were bunk for a few weeks. That’s not too bad, and who knows? Maybe nal will convince me something non-conscious flung the video games across my buddy’s room that night. As far as SI and Evo, I’ve gotten SI to admit he’s been wrong quite a few times lately. Evo has no problem admitting when he’s wrong, either. Whether it’s deserved is another story, but I think we ought to give these guys just a little more credit. I also let them know when their tenacity helps change my position. Still, I do remain puzzled at their (SI and Evo’s) stubborn unwillingness to honestly address a variety of evidence. My hypothesis is that it’s just Fundamentalist thinking in atheist trappings, because all the characteristics are there: the constant denial as opposed to critical rebuttal, the tendency to demonize and denigrate outsiders, the tendency to operate in teams, etc.

  95. cl:

    Although I feel confident assuming the military-industrial complex has some pretty advanced stuff, as far as things alien are concerned, I believe something more like waveforms is consistent with all the evidence.

    I infer that something like imagination, or outright fraud, is more consistent with all the evidence. Why? Because imagination, or outright fraud, are not uncommon. Aliens are extremely uncommon. Therefore, the likelihood of the imagination, or outright fraud, hypothesis renders it the only reasonable conclusion. It is unreasonable to choose a hypothesis (waveforms) that has a small likelihood when there is another hypothesis with a greater likelihood.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it does. I’m saying the fact that humans exist weakens your argument that aliens are unlikely to exist, because we are clear proof that the “unlikely to exist” happens.

    It doesn’t weaken my argument because it doesn’t change the probability that aliens exist. A small probability of alien existence is exactly what I mean when I say aliens are “unlikely to exist.” If that small probability is unchanged by human existence, then the likelihood of alien existence is also unchanged. Knowing that someone won the Powerball lottery doesn’t change the fact that it’s unlikely I’ll win.

  96. Evo, there may be ancestors of mine that swung by their necks, but, there sure as hell never were any that swung by their tails. If you want to believe you’re a monkey’s nephew, that’s just great, but, you can leave me out of it.

    CL, you must be talking about another group of individuals, if you got anyone to admit they’re wrong. These blokes would self-destruct before they’d recant.

    Being from Missouri, you’d have to show me!

  97. cl “That was like, a total tease.”
    So’s my hair.

    The Highwayman “…there may be ancestors of mine that swung by their necks, but, there sure as hell never were any that swung by their tails.”
    Denying common ancestry? Really? Seriously?

    “If you want to believe you’re a monkey’s nephew, that’s just great, but, you can leave me out of it.”
    What I want to believe is irrelevant. It’s where the evidence points.

  98. “What I want to believe is irrelevant. It’s where the evidence points.”

    😆 😆 😆

  99. You guys need some help… here…

    Proof of Evolution

    There… solid proof of what R. Dawkins will eventually evolve into… in about, oh, say… three weeks?

    Ha-ha-ha-ha!

    *Actually, that’s what he REALLY looks like!

    😉

  100. PROOF that dogs are closer to humans than apes…

    Just try and get an ape to talk like that!

    How’s THAT for evidence, Modus?

    😆

  101. *Crickets chirping*

    Hey, guys… is it my deodorant?

    I’m using Eau de Infidelle!

    😆

    *More crickets*

    😦

  102. That would be SI, Jimbo. He seems to have a fetish for impersonating Christ.

    So… how long have you been a loser, Jimmy?

  103. WoW! :\ Hmm… This is all quite interesting.

    While CL’s one-track mind is looping at full speed, I might actually reconsider my views on brain and consciousness, especially since the funny “Satan” The Highwayman — who is obviously brain dead —, still manages to use a greasy keyboard to type some words.

    I wonder if that feature is linked to Mississippi’s skyrocketing record of obesity? If consciousness would after all hide in fat, that would make sense. Hmm… :\

  104. Is that the best you can do, Highwayman? Do you ever have something interesting to say? You remind me of that guy who shows up on Evo’s blog once in a while. Puerile antics, then, and nothing else? Just another internet insult comic, eh? Get in line; there are about 10 million in front of you.

  105. Love the aquarium, Jim. Amazing how those fish follow along behind your pointer. Just like atheists with their noses pressed up against Chuck Darwin’s ass!

    Btw, is that you in that pic getting the rim-job from that heifer? No wonder you left the fold… bestiality is a no-no in Christian circles, even in most atheist ones. You doing pigs on the side, as well? That would exclude you from Jewish fellowship, as well.

    Naughty boy!

  106. Oh, look… Dead Mind Deteriorating is back! Just like a fly on shit!

    Anything new in the realm of the putrid and ridiculous for us, Doofus?

  107. Ach, another Christian imbecile. If this is the way you see fit to represent the flock, carry on. But remember, Jesus is watching! LOL!

  108. You must be confused, Satan dear. DMD stands for Do Me Dickhead. I see from your latest comments that the theory of fat consciousness might indeed be an interesting lead to follow.

    As Jim suggests, I do think you really are a good specimen of your flock.

    That’s what makes this world and life interesting too: people might need role models, but they also do need their antithesis. So that is how, The Highwayman dear, people with brains can witness the abysmal insanity of belief systems when they happen to cross your path. You certainly have no meaning, but at least, you have purpose. It is always reassuring when life keeps presenting me with blatant proofs I’m a good guy and not alone at it 😀

  109. “It is always reassuring when life keeps presenting me with blatant proofs I’m a good guy”… yada, yada…

    And, they can also witness the abysmal depths to which those with delusions of grandeur can fall, too, Diddling My Dick!

    Oh, and my life has plenty of meaning, when I can LOL at dumbasses like yourself… and, there is an even longer line of those than what our resident ‘cowpuncher’ states for those that he associates with myself.

    Nice to see you’re still the asshole we’ve all come to know and despise. Keep up the good work. You know, you’re almost proof by yourself of evolution, but, you see, evolution theorizes that an organism actually evolves into a higher state, whereas you, clearly, are the antithesis of any kind of evolution.

    Thanks for clarifying that for us, bozo!

  110. “evolution theorizes that an organism actually evolves into a higher state”

    This is a misconception. Evolution is about adaptation to environments, and indeed species can evolve downward in terms of complexity; less genetic information, smaller genome. Not the same as devolution, btw, which posits a linear, ‘backwards progression’, and is also a fallacy.

  111. “Is that the best you can do, Highwayman? Do you ever have something interesting to say?”

    When are you going to contribute something that isn’t full of shit, Jimbo?

  112. “Evolution is about adaptation to environments…”

    Baloney! That’s not what I was taught in your marvelous school of humanistic crapola!

    And, if it were, it would be the end of your precious theory, as NO species can anticipate ANY future change UNTIL the event happens, and, if it is a catastrophic event, the species DIES, it does not evolve.

    Which is why the dinosaurs DIED, and didn’t evolve. Man didn’t crawl up out of a fucking cesspool because it looked like he might have an easier time on land, or, that it was his ‘destiny’ to go there. If all of that bullshit were actually true, we’d still be swimming in the soup, content that we were there and thriving there.

    In nature, when something works, it sticks with it, it doesn’t concern itself with being ‘upwardly mobile’.

  113. “And, if it were, it would be the end of your precious theory, as NO species can anticipate ANY future change UNTIL the event happens, and, if it is a catastrophic event, the species DIES, it does not evolve.”

    That’s because not all environmental changes are catastrophic. More often than not, we’re talking about gradual environmental changes, and small evolutionary advantages that eventually become significant.

  114. Oh, and in the case of dinosaurs, they died out, and the small creatures which were able to survive eventually grew up into the new, prevailing environmental niche. And evolution proceeded from there.

  115. There is no significant adaptation beyond the point where there is any new information added to the genome. Mutations do not constitute the evolution touted by humanists.

  116. No new information.

    In fact, Dawkins goes along with the Bible’s assertion that every living thing was created “after it’s own kind”, when he sidesteps and says that evolution isn’t anything other than the categorization of different species, and their respective evolution from a common ancestry.

  117. Humanism is but a modernization of ancient anti-theism, and a popular religion for those that oppose any sort of divine control over their lives.

    Sound familiar?

  118. Humanism first appeared in Eden, when it’s inventor and primary proponent advised the first humans that their knowledge would only INCREASE by disobeying God. In fact, their knowledge DID increase… the knowledge of the consequences that come with rebellion and separation from the Life-Giver. A knowledge of misery and toil… and death.

  119. “Humanism first appeared in Eden…”
    In where now?

    “…when it’s inventor and primary proponent advised the first humans that their knowledge would only INCREASE by disobeying God.”
    You mean the fallen angel made by a perfect God who tricked a pair of other beings that were also made by a perfect God, perfectly? And that makes sense, how?

    “In fact, their knowledge DID increase… the knowledge of the consequences that come with rebellion and separation from the Life-Giver.”
    And how can you know whether or not to do something without a knowledge of consequences (good & evil)? Remember when you were little and the hot stove? Mom could explain heat and burns, but without actually burning yourself you couldn’t really know what she meant. She didn’t kick you out of the house for doing it, either. Nor did she punish your children and their children and their children for your disobedience. Instead, she rubbed some goop on it and covered it with a dressing. Later, she kissed it better.
    How come Mom is better at this than God? Is God missing omni-Momience?

  120. I followed your links. I’ve seen the video before; wow, an 11 second pause! That proves your case, I guess. LOL! You might consider following some of the links for the other side of the story.

    As far as your Wiki link, here’s the first sentence:

    “Humanism is a perspective common to a wide range of ethical stances that affirms the dignity and worth of all people, attaching importance to human dignity, concerns, and capabilities, particularly rationality.”

    Seems ok to me. Doesn’t have much to do with evolutionary theory, though. Well, there is that ‘rationality’ part. Maybe so, maybe so.

    As far as divine control is concerned, I’ve yet to see much evidence of such a thing on your part (so far, anyway). Maybe I’ll catch you again, see if the Holy Spirit has done any housecleaning. Up to this point, I’ve been less than impressed. Of course, another poster on this thread, supposedly a theist of some sort or another (he plays his witness card close to the chest) has been outed as a blatant liar, so who knows? Maybe the Christian conscience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Perhaps? Yes? No?

  121. BTW, since you shifted gears there, may I assume that you’ve backed off your statement about evolution supposedly leading toward ‘higher states’? Thanks for conceding the point, Highwayman. See, you’re teachable. You get a cookie! I also accept the inferred apology for the ‘piece of shit’ thing, since you were reacting to my statement that you’ve now conceded to.

    Progress regarding a theist…remarkable!

  122. The only gears that have shifted are those grinding in your head, Modus. I tried to continue this conversation, but, for some reason, wasn’t allowed back onto this site… or ANY WordPress site! That’s why I dropped this particular blog host, too many bugs, too frequently.

    I wasn’t so much interested in the 11-second pause as I was his backpedaling on ancestry, which, I already referred to in an earlier comment. Before that, and with many of his followers, the theory was that all species had to originate from other totally unrelated ones, but now Dawkins (conveniently) assigns that happening so far back in antiquity as to be almost inscrutable. VERY convenient, but then, that’s the way humanists operate.

    I also explained where Satan’s lie to Eve was the first indication where there was issue with God’s honesty. Satan fooled her into thinking that she was missing out on something trusting God, and as a result of her disobedience, the entire race was plunged into misery and death.

    As for “higher states”, there is no indication that any new information is added to the genome, and, as I tried to say BEFORE I was kicked out of WordPress, there is indication that genetic material is being lost, not added. We are not evolving, if anything, we are devolving. That, of course, is in complete compliance with what scripture teaches. We are a fallen race in need of redemption.

    The Wikipedia reference is meant to show that humanism is the alternative to theism, and, if you weren’t so biased, you would have read that. Read it again.

    Sorry to say, I haven’t “progressed” into your way of thinking, and I don’t assume that you will learn anything from what I say, and have said, a million times before, to so many other hardened rebels, either. But, if you’re really serious about truth, there is enough of it to convince even the most ardent rebel if the talk is based on real science, and not the pseudo-humanistic variety that you’ve come to embrace.

    Hopefully, the Holy Spirit will be able to reach YOU… again!

  123. I was seriously considering revising my laissez faire attitude on comment moderation after reading many of The Highwayman’s comments, but then figured that the best way to showcase Christian idiocy is to let it all hang out. So his comments stay.

    Personally, I think he’s Gideon’s WordPress identity. The writing style is the same, as is his penchant for renaming the objects of his affection.

  124. “I was seriously considering revising my laissez faire attitude on comment moderation…”

    It wasn’t any of your doing, my not being able to get on this site, last night, as I couldn’t access any other WordPress site, either, so I gave it up.

    You know, SI, I really don’t know why you guys blog at all, as you are not interested in anything that anyone has to say that doesn’t agree with what you’ve already decided is truth. If all you want is to just set up your own little ring of yes-men, and sit around all day agreeing with one another, then why not just say so, and save us all a lot of trouble? I certainly have better things to do.

    And, I’ll be doing them. I imagine this Gideon guy probably thinks the same way. Anyway, have a nice day, I’m off to salvage what’s left of mine!

  125. “You know, SI, I really don’t know why you guys blog at all, as you are not interested in anything that anyone has to say that doesn’t agree with what you’ve already decided is truth. If all you want is to just set up your own little ring of yes-men, and sit around all day agreeing with one another, then why not just say so, and save us all a lot of trouble? I certainly have better things to do.”

    Mostly atheist blogs are about getting people to say intelligent things on the subject of non-belief, whether they agree with it or not. This is why cl and yourself have gotten such cold receptions.

  126. I was determined to not get sucked into this pathetic mire, but I will make one point:

    That Other Guy,

    Your implication that my comments lack intelligence and are thus comparable to Highwayman’s is laughable, especially given your own tendency to make factually incorrect claims time and time again. Your spiteful attitude towards correction speaks for itself, and it’s really pathetic that you’re so fixated on me, when you could just go about your own business and do your own thing. But to each their own, I suppose..

    Mostly atheist blogs are about getting people to say intelligent things on the subject of non-belief, whether they agree with it or not.

    Hilarious, and false. The truth is, say something intelligent that falls outside the Team Scarlet A party lines, and you’ll get banned, denounced, called a troll, a liar, and a mealy-mouthed prick and all sorts of other things, and the hornets will come out of their nest in fury, like this? Is the stuff in that link what you would consider intelligent?

  127. My apologies. I forgot at least one person is still having an intelligent discussion:

    nal,

    I infer that something like imagination, or outright fraud, is more consistent with all the evidence. Why? Because imagination, or outright fraud, are not uncommon.

    Well sure, but does that mean we get to just throw up our hands and attribute yet-to-be-explained phenomena as imagination? If that’s really how you look at so be it, but I just can’t get my head around that as any sort of rational skepticism. If that’s the case, where do we draw the line, numerically?

    It doesn’t weaken my argument because it doesn’t change the probability that aliens exist.

    Again though, I’m not saying that’s why it weakens your argument. Your argument was that alien abduction stories can justifiably be declared 100% imagination because aliens are unlikely, right? Well, humans are unlikely – and again, I’m not implying the unlikeliness of humans affects the unlikeliness of aliens – I’m just noting that the unlikely obviously happens. If it can happen with humans, why can’t it happen with another species elsewhere in this vast universe? To argue otherwise just seems… odd.

  128. I was determined to not get sucked into this pathetic mire, but

    You know, that’s very amusing. Here you have one of your 2 unverified blogger supporters (on *this* comments section. If you want evidence of others, I can certainly provide it for you) stumbling around in the dark, getting punched by Jim left and right and you can’t do him justice of inserting yourself into his 50 inane comments and put him out of his misery?

    Why not, cl? You claim to be interested in rational thought – whether you have to admonish theists or atheists. If I make even a quite reasonable scientific slip, you are quick to correct me (and rightfully so) but you don’t do it when your unverified supporter spouts complete nonsense?

    You can’t claim ignorance of what was going on or that you were busy with other things, as you’ve admitted to intentionality in staying out. So please – tell The Highwayman that the ToE is mostly spot on and that the *fact* of life evolving is not something a rational person would ever deny.

    SI was right in allowing him to do his thing, as it provides a perfect illustration of how dogma leads to ignorance in seemingly unrelated areas of thought. But that’s SI’s position on free speech. You could have used yours (also provided for by SI – and something that you know full well, not all bloggers afford you) to do something quite honorable.

  129. cl:

    Well sure, but does that mean we get to just throw up our hands and attribute yet-to-be-explained phenomena as imagination?

    I don’t see these phenomena as yet-to-be-explained. There are multiple explanations. I choose between these explanations based on their likelihood. If a new explanation comes up with a greater likelihood, I’ll change my mind.

    Your argument was that alien abduction stories can justifiably be declared 100% imagination because aliens are unlikely, right?

    But I’m not 100% confident in my conclusion. Does one need 100% confidence before drawing a reasonable conclusion?

    If it can happen with humans, why can’t it happen with another species elsewhere in this vast universe? To argue otherwise just seems… odd.

    I am not arguing otherwise. My argument that aliens are unlikely implies that another species could exist elsewhere in the universe.

    If one wanted to argue that they are 100% confident that 100% of alien abduction stories are imaginary, only then would it be required that the probability of alien existence be zero. That is not my argument. My argument is that the probability of alien existence is not zero. Hence, one of the above percentages can’t be absolute. I argue that, with a confidence less that 100%, that 100% of the alien abduction claims are imaginary, or outright fraud.

  130. My argument is that the probability of alien existence is not zero. Hence, one of the above percentages can’t be absolute. I argue that, with a confidence less that 100%, that 100% of the alien abduction claims are imaginary, or outright fraud.

    Also known as “the nal hypothesis”. 🙂

  131. “Your implication that my comments lack intelligence and are thus comparable to Highwayman’s is laughable…”

    Well, thanks for that, CL, you’re a helluva guy, yourself! See, I believe in fair play… if they want to play rough, what the hey, I’ll give them a tussel! It doesn’t bother me. I don’t let prissiness get in the way of a lively discussion. They’re (you’re) just text on a screen to me… no big deal.

    As for intelligent discussion, I haven’t seen any of that here at any time, not even while I or you have been here. I’ll admit to getting anal, at times, but, only because I was invited to. There are knuckle-draggers here, like most other blogs of contentious nature , and, believe me, they just ache for a chance to show their stuff. When people like me come along, they thank the God they don’t believe in for me!

    Oh, I’m sorry… I’m supposed to be a Christian, right? No swearing, cursing, belittling trolls or dumbass atheists, (Oops! Did it again!) or anything like that? Oh well… I know a good priest that will absolve me of anything for the right price. Not to be too presumptuous, but, I think Christ probably gets a kick out of my antics, at times. I don’t think He’s the stuffed-shirt that many of His professed followers say He is. He knew how to lay a good whipping on evil folk, now and then!

    Evo… you back, again? Where were you hiding? Oh, and about that rationality you keep yammering about? Yeah, where is the rationality in believing that only you and your atheist buddies have the monopoly on rationality? If you ask me, I think your monopoly is on ignorance, not rationality!

    I did like that link that CL provided, (I’m too lazy to go to all of that trouble) showing you guy’s true nature! 😆 Yep, that’s about it, in a nut shell!

    I wasn’t going to bother coming back, but, this place is SUCH a booby-hatch… I’m liking it more all the time!

    And, I mean that literally! (Is that your sister you have pinned up on that cross, SI? Your mother? It’s not YOU… is it? 😆 )

    Life IS good!

  132. Evo… did they use your head for the Piltdown scam, buddy? Kinda looks like it…

    😯

  133. John Evo:

    Why not, cl?

    That reminded me of this:

    On Blogging, Passivity, Party Lines & The Pursuit Of Truth

    In real life, we may not correct people that much or enjoy being corrected ourselves, and that’s fine. But this is blogging, folks. It’s different.
    –snip–
    Any statements found to be errant or wanting deserve to be addressed. To fail in this regard is to disrespect the pursuit of truth.

    🙂

  134. Now HERE is a rational discussion!

    Right on the money! Just don’t even THINK of talking God in any ‘reputable’ institution of ‘learning’, they’ll fucking kill you!

    So much for tolerance, eh? Yeah… right!

  135. John Evo,

    You claim to be interested in rational thought – whether you have to admonish theists or atheists.

    Yes, John… that’s correct..

    If I make even a quite reasonable scientific slip, you are quick to correct me (and rightfully so) but you don’t do it when your unverified supporter spouts complete nonsense?

    Well hell, some thanks, eh? FYI, after I actually defended you against his bogus claim that you were all beyond reproach, I skipped right past the rest of what The Highwayman had to say, as well as the responses to it, because it all just seemed like a bunch of.. well, yes, complete nonsense is a good phrase for it.

    About all I noticed is that Highwayman and jim are bickering about something to do with evolution, but I don’t expect that either one of them would be persuaded by what I have to say anyways. Last time I attempted to discuss evolution with jim, jim went and found some postdoc’s paper, then claimed I quote-mined said postdoc’s paper in a dishonest attempt to make it support my position, but in reality jim didn’t read the whole paper, and said postdoc actually came on the thread and announced support for my position, not jim’s.

    So please – tell The Highwayman that the ToE is mostly spot on and that the *fact* of life evolving is not something a rational person would ever deny.

    I told you, I gleaned past the majority of his comments and their responses. It’s a bunch of silliness. If you feel The Highwayman made a specific claim so egregious that I really need to address it, I’ll gladly hear your case if you bring it to the table, but I’m not going to wade through this so-called “intelligent discussion” That Other Guy claims goes on here.

    You could have used yours (also provided for by SI – and something that you know full well, not all bloggers afford you) to do something quite honorable.

    Well, John, I thought it was “quite honorable” when I took your side by rebutting The Highwayman’s claim that you were all beyond reproach, and I thought it was equally “quite honorable” when I tackled a bunch of Gideon’s claims for you when I first started visiting your own blog. Did you forget about that, or are you only seeing what you want to see here? It appears you want to project an image of me as a one-sided defender of truth, even though I’ve just provided evidence that that’s not true.

    The Highwayman,

    They’re (you’re) just text on a screen to me… no big deal.

    Don’t you think that’s a really poor way to look at other people?

    As for intelligent discussion, I haven’t seen any of that here at any time, not even while I or you have been here.

    Then, why are you here? It’s obviously not for intelligent discussion, right?

    nal,

    That’s too bad, because I thought we’d been doing pretty good thus far, you and I, but I’m going to have to say that was a cheap-shot on your behalf. If you want to join with the crowd in implying that I’m duplicitous because I simply refused to wade through a bunch of nonsense, so be it. My offer to Evo is also open to you: spare me the inanity by bringing me these claims that were so egregious, and I’ll skewer them if need be. Other than that, I’m not going to read through 50+ comments where people are just calling each other names and making jokes that aren’t even funny.

  136. “Don’t you think that’s a really poor way to look at other people?”

    No. I guess you weren’t listening. Try putting less starch in your collar, CL, it’s cutting off the circulation. I SAID… well, you quoted it. 😕

    Why am I here? Why are YOU here? Are you accomplishing anything?

    How about it, guys… is CL doing it for ya?

  137. cl:

    “Last time I attempted to discuss evolution with jim, jim went and found some postdoc’s paper, then claimed I quote-mined said postdoc’s paper in a dishonest attempt to make it support my position, but in reality jim didn’t read the whole paper, and said postdoc actually came on the thread and announced support for my position, not jim’s.”

    Of course, you misconstrued the whole thing like you always do, and as I told you then. However, as I also told you then, I’m not interested in rehashing, which always turns into a bullshit semantical free-for-all with you. I’m not interested in another 200 post thread trying to straighten you out, when I already know how futile such an attempt would be.

    As for being a liar…you are one. Signed, sealed and delivered, pal o’ mine. Most everybody you’re talking to now have witnessed it, so no need to say anything further other than to remind you that nobody’s buying what you’re selling.

    So cl/kirk c/sfatheist/jason(?)/anonymous (on another blog of mine)/?/?/?/mealy-mouthed prick (that’s one I gave you)/?/?/?/?/etc., please realize that you’re not fooling anyone here.

  138. Hwyman: Yeah, that happened to me, to. I orginally posted my reply to you on my own blog, so you wouldn’t think I’d just left you hanging. But wordpress was back up this morning, so I moved it over here.

    I have one wordpress blog that I don’t use much. I just got used to blogspot, I guess. More familiar.

  139. cl:

    That’s too bad, because I thought we’d been doing pretty good thus far, you and I, but I’m going to have to say that was a cheap-shot on your behalf.

    Sorry. 😦

  140. cl: Btw, don’t bother emailing me. I don’t trust you enough to answer back. Maybe once, but not anymore. And it’s not hatred. It’s disgust.

  141. jim,

    Since you don’t value free speech, I’d consigned myself to ignoring your comments, but this one has to be rectified:

    Of course, you misconstrued the whole thing like you always do, and as I told you then.

    Say whatever you want. It’s all in the record for anyone to see: although nal defended my position three times in that thread, you just had to push the macro-micro issue by saying that my position was just the minority opinion, and implying that as such, it could be dismissed. You then went and cited Dan’s paper as “informed criticism” of Larry Moran’s position (also my position), but in reality, Dan had actually reversed his position because of Moran and Allen MacNeill’s informed criticism of his paper! Why on Earth would you cite a paper as “informed criticism of Moran’s position” when said paper actually conceded Moran’s position?

    It must have been embarrassing for you when Dan – the author of the paper you were trying to clown my with – came on that thread and said, like other people seem to be saying here lately, that I had a point. Tell me jim, while you’re hard at work writing poems and entire posts to denigrate me, how many working biologists and microbiology professors are saying that you had a point?

    Highwayman,

    Why are YOU here? Are you accomplishing anything?

    To test ideas, and to learn about people. I think I’ve accomplished and learned much in two years of blogging. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be wasting my time.

    jason,

    These guys are so paranoid, they think I’m you! Make them believe, if you can.

  142. The Highwayman “What I want to believe is irrelevant. It’s where the evidence points.” 🙂 🙂 🙂, “There… solid proof of what R. Dawkins will eventually evolve into… in about, oh, say… three weeks?”, “How’s THAT for evidence, Modus?”, “…there is no indication that any new information is added to the genome…”, etc.
    Try Your Inner Fish, Making of the Fittest, Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA, Why Evolution is True, Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origins & Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved.
    Then you’ll at least know what you’re arguing against.
    Maybe add In the Beginning: A Scientist Shows Why the Creationists Are Wrong, too.

    “Nice to see you’re still the asshole we’ve all come to know and despise.”
    At worst that’s a Tu Quoque.

    “As for intelligent discussion, I haven’t seen any of that here at any time, not even while I or you have been here.”
    Even if that’s true, you’re not helping to raise the bar.

    “Oh, I’m sorry… I’m supposed to be a Christian, right?”
    I’m having a Gideon flashback, but you’re doing it wrong.

  143. cl – yes, I forget to run my fingers into knots trying to rapidly type out my profuse gratitude for your chivalrous defense:

    Evo has no problem admitting when he’s wrong, either. Whether it’s deserved is another story…

    Anyway – OK… thanks. I don’t know if I *deserve* to have it pointed out that I admit when I’m wrong, and you didn’t have to say so.

    Your primary response to my direct request was:

    If you feel The Highwayman made a specific claim so egregious that I really need to address it, I’ll gladly hear your case if you bring it to the table, but I’m not going to wade through this so-called “intelligent discussion”

    I wasn’t asking you to. You got the gist of his point of view. The specific comments were absurd and it’s the mindset that needs addressing. I’m just asking you to tell him that evolution is a fact and ToE is on incredibly solid scientific ground.

    Since you are concerned with rationality, reason, clarity – you might agree with this proposition:

    A theist who understands the the facts of science is in a much stronger position than an agnostic or an atheist, to persuade believers that they can still believe in god but for their own good, and the well-being of society, they must accept scientific information that is firmly established.

    Did you forget about that, or are you only seeing what you want to see here?

    Probably a bit of both. You know how it goes here – where some people don’t even see each other as real people.

    Speaking of “real people” – you do understand that Homo sapiens is a social group species, right?

  144. cl:

    You’ll tell it your way, as you always do. If I remember right, you even accused me of fetching Dan into the discussion…LOL! Whatever; old news, and your usual pathetic attempt at obfuscation. I won’t have any of it, but thanks anyway!

    As far as ‘jason’ is concerned, you may have noted the question mark. Who knows? You’re an internet troll, a liar, and a namechanger. That’s the problem when you’re not straightforward…you lose credibility. But beyond the blatant lies, I’ve seen you caught in semantic dissembling AT LEAST a hundred times over the course of this year (so far).

    However, I’m tiring of this subject. None of this has to do with the OP, anyway. Sorry, S.I. The peckerhead just pisses me off. Carry on, cl. Play your games, and pretend I’m not here.

  145. Modus:

    LOL! Where did you get that list… Marvel Comics? Gimmee a break! How about I unload a couple of tons of books on the Christian viewpoint on you… you going to read them? I’ve read and watched many online arguments for what you’re trying to sell, and, I also remember what was forced down my throat in school.

    Let’s take that first one, for example. “Your Inner Fish.” Now, and after hearing your esteemed Richard Dawkins admit that there is no direct correlation between humans and reptiles, fish, etc. After hearing THAT, I’m supposed to take this book seriously? Har-dee-har! You guys get your stories straight, then come see me.

    “Even if that’s true, you’re not helping to raise the bar.”

    Uh-uh, no way, bub! You’re not laying that bullshit on me! You pecker-heads pulled the snake out of his hole, now you can just deal with him! I’ve watched you systematically work over many commenters whom tried to be civil… even CL… and I saw what the fruits of that were! Hey… I’m here to party, guys! What, now you’re not interested?

    Look back a ways on this thread. Were all of my comments anal? Were none of yours? Might be too much for prissies like CL, but, I’d say I was willing to give civility a go. Who started all of this off in the first place? Who wrote what letter in the name of Whom, for whom? The Highwayman? I think not!

    You jumping on the Holy Spirit bandwagon, now, too? Awww… is the big, bad, Highwayman being naughty, and not following the gospel of Wikipedia? I guess we’ll have to do something about that, won’t we?

    🙂

    On second thought… nah!

    😈

  146. “To test ideas, and to learn about people. I think I’ve accomplished and learned much in two years of blogging. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be wasting my time.”

    Well, I’ve got five years on you, and, I can tell you that you ARE wasting your time.

    Myself, on the other hand… I have some time, today, to waste.

  147. I’m serious, SI, who is that in your avatar? She is gorgeous! LOVE those tits!

    There’s just something about a woman in bondage…

    😎

  148. Evo,

    I don’t know if I *deserve* to have it pointed out that I admit when I’m wrong, and you didn’t have to say so.

    I did have to say so, because Highwayman made a false claim about all of you, that you never admit to being wrong. Stop being so sensitive. Presenting evidence of you admitting to being wrong was the only rational way I could have demonstrated that Highwayman’s claim was false.

    You got the gist of his point of view.

    What? Inanity? I already said that was the gist of Highwayman’s spiel, here. Second, I really have no idea what kind of argument Highwayman was trying to have with jim, save for that it involved evolution, which jim has already demonstrated sufficient ignorance of. Honestly. Going off the chance that Highwayman was probably at least equally ignorant of the subject, I skipped right past the blathering from both of them.

    Since you are concerned with rationality, reason, clarity – you might agree with this proposition: A theist who understands the the facts of science is in a much stronger position than an agnostic or an atheist, to persuade believers that they can still believe in god but for their own good, and the well-being of society, they must accept scientific information that is firmly established.

    Well of course I agree with that, and I’ve already provided links where I attempt to honor such a standard, but according to you, I’m just another douche and pussy, so what makes you think my opinion is going to sway the Highwayman, or anyone?

  149. The Highwayman “How about I unload a couple of tons of books on the Christian viewpoint on you…”
    CS Lewis? Shrug. I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist? Meh.

    “Let’s take that first one, for example. “Your Inner Fish.” Now, and after hearing your esteemed Richard Dawkins admit that there is no direct correlation between humans and reptiles, fish, etc.”
    Does not follow. Alternately, red herring, maybe.

    “After hearing THAT, I’m supposed to take this book seriously?”
    Well, yes. Yes you are. There’s a reason why you have fish genes.

    “I’ve watched you systematically work over many commenters whom tried to be civil… even CL…”
    Me? Really?

    “Were none of yours?”
    My comments are pretty consistently adorable. Occasionally they’re even informative.

    “You jumping on the Holy Spirit bandwagon, now, too? Awww… is the big, bad, Highwayman being naughty, and not following the gospel of Wikipedia?”
    It’s not wikipedia. It’s the Bible. You don’t exibit the characteristics that the Bible says real Christians do.

    “I guess we’ll have to do something about that, won’t we?”
    Not “we”. “You”. And you don’t have to, but you probably should, what with your lack of Fruits being the Bible’s way of telling you that you’re not a True Christian™ and all.

  150. jim,

    You’ll tell it your way, as you always do.

    Well, you got it half-right: I’ll tell it my way, then include the links that are the proof of what I’m saying, so other people can test my claims for themselves.

    If I remember right, you even accused me of fetching Dan into the discussion…

    Yes, jim, that’s correct, and when you corrected me on that, instead of calling those who correct me names, I accepted your statement on good faith and publicly stated that I was wrong about that. Is that what liars do? Or honest, conscientious debaters?

    You’re an internet troll, a liar, and a namechanger.

    Ah, yes, when we can’t win via cogency, we can always return to the standard just-so claims, and just “tell it our way.”

    Sorry, S.I. The peckerhead just pisses me off.

    Thank you, jim, for being so candid, but what does it say that your feathers are so easily ruffled? Repeated patterns, perhaps? I’d be pissed off, too, if my mouth was as big as yours, yet the ones with the Ph.D’s were backing my claims. Like I said, it’s gotta suck knowing that the professionals side with the one you burn so strongly against and work so hard to malign!

  151. “Going off the chance that Highwayman was probably at least equally ignorant of the subject, I skipped right past the blathering from both of them.”

    Oh… now, that hurt, CL. That really hurt.

    *Sniff*

    (Blowing honker)

    I’m sad, now.

    😦

  152. Modus:

    Nope, no fish genes. Just Levi’s. 😆 That’s a joke! You know… Levi? Like in the Bible?

    Anyway, buffalo have eyes like me… am I a buffalo? We’re all made up of matter, and, gee-willickers, you know that, maybe… just MAYBE, mind you, there could be some similarities on a molecular level, given that it’s the same dirt that covers the whole friggin’ planet?

    Oh, and no offense. When I said you were working people over, I meant that collectively. I want to apologize to everyone here… HEY! EVERYONE… MODUS IS LILY-WHITE, OKAY? Anyone takes issue with that, will have to deal with me!

    And, you’ve been reading your Bible! *Sniff* That… just… chokes me all up… (BIG blow on the ol’ honker) My widdle Modus is all growed up, now! (Another sizable toot on the ol’ schnoz!)

    (Putting snotty rag away) Now… about me not being a real Christian and… oh, wait… gotta go, guys. Be back, later, k? The real world’s calling.

    Later… bye, CL. Say a prayer for this ol’ heathen, tonight, will’ya?

    😉

  153. Wow, I actually started to do a step-by-step response there. Silly me; why bother with a guy who epitomizes bad faith argumentation. I’ve had my say on the matter. Moving on.

  154. Wow, I actually started to do a step-by-step response there. Silly me; why bother with a guy who epitomizes bad faith argumentation.

    How revealing. Like I said, jim, the links are there. It’s all in the record. Anyone can click on the links and verify that what I’ve said is true. You pointed me to Dan’s paper, claiming it was an “informed criticism” of Moran’s position, when it was in fact a concession to Moran’s position. Dan later came on that thread and agreed with me. Frankly, moving on might be best for you at this point.

  155. The Highwayman “Nope, no fish genes.”
    Yes, fish genes. Genome denialism doesn’t change your genome. They’re there. They’re broken, too, since you can’t breath underwater there wasn’t a whole lotta use for them, so they weren’t selected for. Dolphins and whales, meanwhile, have those and they have “air smell” genes (of which some are now broken), since the only time they get to sniff is when they breach to take a breath.

    “Anyway, buffalo have eyes like me… am I a buffalo?”
    No. They have fish genes too. Oh, that pesky common descent!

    “I want to apologize to everyone here… HEY! EVERYONE… MODUS IS LILY-WHITE, OKAY?”
    I’m hardly so clean. I just try to avoid being an asshole, because it adds nothing to the conversation. That goes for everyone here.

    “…about me not being a real Christian…”
    That’s between you and your God. I have little doubt that He’ll be completely supportive, virtually no matter what you do. All I can do is point out what your book says in the passages that you’ve apparently missed. At worst, you won’t try to improve yourself, but at best you’ll be a better person, so I’ve got nothing to lose by trying to help you.

  156. Highwayman,

    Oh… now, that hurt, CL. That really hurt.

    Don’t get me wrong, Highwayman, I’ve got nothin’ but love for ya, but what’s the point of hootin’ and hollerin’ and cursin’ at folks, unless of course this is 100% comic relief for you?

  157. cl:

    Sigh, you’re really gonna make me do this, aren’t you? You say:

    “You pointed me to Dan’s paper, claiming it was an “informed criticism” of Moran’s position, when it was in fact a concession to Moran’s position.”

    Here is ‘Dan’s paper’ in total-

    NOTE: This post is a year and a half old now (April 2009 now), and it’s still being linked to by people occasionally reading it as a support for the idea that Macroevolution = Microevolution plus Time. Please see down in the comments – I was shown to be incorrect on that. I was wrong. I misunderstood what evolutionary biologists mean when they use those terms, especially macroevolution. The key missing ingredient was *reproductive isolation*. Please leave a comment if you have further questions, or see John Wilkins’ explanation of Macroevolution: Its Definition, Philosophy and History, on TalkOrigins.org.

    Via Greta:

    In other words, microevolution + time = macroevolution. Larry Moran takes issue with this, citing Gould, Eldredge, and the concept of “Species sorting.” Somehow, despite requests for explanation, Larry will not or cannot explain how species sorting cannot be explained by microevolutionary mechanisms of species competition.

    Eldredge (1995) defines “species sorting” (also called “species selection) as “differential speciation or extinction of species within a larger group”; he clarifies that “Some lineages speciate at a higher rate than others, and some species are more prone to extinction than others” (119). These varying rates of speciation and extinction, according to Eldredge, produce definite patterns in the fossil record.

    Differential rates of speciation and extinction sounds a lot like, well, a speciation process. Elsewhere, Eldredge and Gould are muddled in their descriptions of how macroevolution cannot be reduced to speciation processes, saying only that “macroevolution must be studied at its own level.” Great, we already know that ‘zooming out’ to view large-scale patterns of many small-scale events is a good strategy, just as a physician would be myopic to diagnose a patient he’s never seen or spoken to based on a single biopsy. But we still say that patients are made out of the cells collected during a biopsy.

    Larry goes on to just make an ass out of himself, telling us we’re pitiful for not reading his essay that he spent 10 years writing on macroevolution. Except we did read it, and as Sven DiMilo said in the comments:

    I read the essay. In fact, I just clicked on your link and read it again. I’m sorry to report that it didn’t help to clarify my understanding of why the “sufficiency of microevolution hypothesis” ought to be discarded. After a fine treatment of the history of this controversy, there are simply assertions, by you and quoted from Gould and Eldredge, that microevolution is insufficient. But see, that’s what I’m not getting–why is it insufficient?

    That higher-level patterns are identifiable in hindsight does not require that new mechanisms are necessary. And statements like “Since speciation is not a direct consequence of changes in the frequencies of alleles in a population, it follows that microevolution is not sufficient to explain all of evolution.” don’t help–it’s the premise I don’t get. Why is speciation more than the simultaneous changes in allele frequencies in two populaitons that lead to reproductive isolation?

    Larry continues with assertions, explains that he’s under no obligation to explain his assertions, tells us to go read his essay and leave him alone, and that his critics aren’t getting it (i.e. they’re not being credulous). Oh, and his best explanation “read up on species sorting” falls flat, because he’s skeptical that it’s valid – yep, you heard that right – we’re supposed to buy into microevolution being insufficient for explaining macroevolution based on an argument that he himself finds questionable.

    Come on Larry – if it’s microevolution + time + X = macroevolution, then what is X? Transmogrification?

    PS – Yes, as Sven also said:

    But you’re right–you’re under no obligation to explain or try to convince me. And likewise, I’m under no obligation to buy into your unexplained conclusions just because you’ve been thinking about it for 10 years.

    This is a CRITICISM of Moran’s position, from start to finish. LATER, in the COMMENTS section RESPONDING to DAN’S PAPER, there is a DISCUSSION which ultimately sways Dan. Consequently, he has added this header to HIS PAPER:

    “NOTE: This post is a year and a half old now (April 2009 now), and it’s still being linked to by people occasionally reading it as a support for the idea that Macroevolution = Microevolution plus Time. Please see down in the comments – I was shown to be incorrect on that. I was wrong. I misunderstood what evolutionary biologists mean when they use those terms, especially macroevolution. The key missing ingredient was *reproductive isolation*. Please leave a comment if you have further questions, or see John Wilkins’ explanation of Macroevolution: Its Definition, Philosophy and History, on TalkOrigins.org.”

    As can be plainly seen, DAN’S ORIGINAL PAPER was not a concession, but a criticism. But I’d like to circumvent what I’m sure you’d like to be an endless quibble and quote war, and get to the heart of the matter.

    In the ER thread in question, I was doing my best to avoid you, as you are a complete pain in the ass. As is par for the course, you tried to make the thread YOUR thread. On the other hand, MY first comment there (as I recall) was to Arthur about something COMPLETELY UNRELATED. However, as is your wont, at some point you listed several commenters in the thread, aiming derisive comments at each. You included me, making a snarky comment about what I said being completely unrelated. Thing is, it was only unrelated to your agenda, and not the thread itself. When I called you on this, you lied (naturally), saying you were just making an observation, or some such crap.

    Then, I started getting interested in the micro/macro subject you guys were talking about, so I did some searching and reading on my own. I happened to find something with Larry Moran, the guy you had mentioned, so I thought I’d offer it to the forum for possible discussion. Where I may have been mistaken is when I said that Larry Moran’s view was still a minority opinion amongst the whole scientific field. I’m still not sure about that, one way or the other. As I said at least once, I had no solid opinion on the subject.

    However, you jumped on my offering as a personal attack against your position. You accused me of not reading the paper, and then bringing it in to attack you, and wound up saying what you’ve reiterated above, that the paper supported you. It does not. It is a criticism through and through. But since it seemed informed (‘fairly’ as in ‘pretty much so’…I seem to recall you making a fuss about that, as well), and since there was a REBUTTAL to the PAPER in the COMMENTS SECTION, I thought it made a good offering for discussion.

    I think I also remember you making a fuss about calling one side of the argument a FACT, when there were scientists who held the other opinion. However, when you found substantiation for your side of the argument, you immediately said that the opinion you sided with was a FACT. Eventually, you got so wrapped up in the idea that the whole thing was a personal attack about you, that you accused me of bringing Dan over to ER to…what…rub it in? Of course, I had said from the beginning that I wasn’t taking sides, but as usual, you took any little nuance of speech, or perhaps even poor word choice on my part, to once again make yourself the martyred hero. Par for the course.

    In fact, I think it’s pretty funny that you would even bring up this old stuff. What, do you keep a file for every internet victory you think you’ve won? Pathetic, man, truly pathetic. If I wanted to go fishing, I could tote reams of your bullshit over here. But you know what? Everybody already knows you’re full of it. They don’t really need me to point it out, though I do from time to time, just for fun.

    Now, I’ve offered this purely from memory (other than a glance at the one post your link took me to, to refresh my memory a bit), and I’m sure you’ll have a field day trying to bury me with semantics. Go ahead, it’s your way. Instead, I’ll do a short summary here, and be finished-

    1. I was avoiding you, and not speaking to your subject.

    2. You dragged me in with your usual nasty potshot.

    3. I got interested in the subject, found that article, and posted the link, which included the comments section.

    4. You jumped the gun, assuming I was looking to get you, but that I was so stupid I didn’t read the whole article. I DID, however, read the ARTICLE, as well as the COMMENTS SECTION. That’s why I posted it, because taken together there were arguments on both sides.

    5. You were your usual idiot, I my charming self; again, as usual.

    And again I’ll state that I may have been wrong in assuming DD’s side was predominant amongst the scientific community at large. Knowing myself, I probably used a qualifier like ‘seemingly’ or ‘apparently’ or something like that, though I may have been negligent in that regard.

    Ok, I guess I’m done with that. Oh! One more thing…

    Go fuck yourself, troll/liar/namechanger.

    Feel better now? Idiot.

  158. Hey! I just read over the entire thread over at ER’s. Seems like memory served me pretty well on this one. I especially like where I pointed out where you cherry picked from the COMMENTS section to prove the the ARTICLE wasn’t a critical one. Bravo! Classic cl!

    Still gonna stick with your story that the ARTICLE wasn’t a critical one, cl? Or will you admit you’re wrong…hehehe! Fat chance!

  159. Oh my God! It just struck me! YOU’RE the one who didn’t read the whole thing! You just fished for the arguments in the comments section that supported your position! You did the thing you accused me of! Oh, the fucking, beautiful irony!

  160. *Buuuuurrrr-r-r-r-p-p-p!*

    Ah, an excellent repast!

    (Wiping mouth)

    Now, where were we? Oh yes! I am SO a Christian, and I’ll kill anyone that says different!

    That settled, about these fish genes… you know, I’d like to know just how they’ve determined that these microscopic bits of DNA are in any way related to fish. I’m thinking, because, they probably LOOK like the same ones they pull out of their ass… I mean, fish samples? Supposing that they do look similar, what says that they necessarily fulfill the same function, or did?

    I think it’s a stretch of the imagination comparable with what you might determine to be the blindest faith, to assume that God would leave dormant and useless paraphernalia in every species that He created.

    Maybe… God has a sense of humor, and left those in there so a certain element would have some reason to go off on idiotic tangents? Maybe, as I’ve said, it is simply grasping at straws on the part of those that will stoop to whatever level necessary to avoid giving allegiance to anyone but themselves, and their humanistic gurus?

    “At worst, you won’t try to improve yourself, but at best you’ll be a better person, so I’ve got nothing to lose by trying to help you.”

    Damn, but that’s magnanimous of you, Modus! However, that’s the very reason I’m here… to help YOU back on the straight and narrow! Hmmm… this constitutes a problem, doesn’t it?

    Well, this could take some time. We’ll see what we’ll see, I guess. See, while I am a Christian, no matter what anyone might tell you, and I’ll kill them if they do, Apologetics really isn’t my thing. I’m more into the esoteric, and have been, for years. I could tell you that religion is what makes your world (the secular world) go round, and that very religious men control your country and government. They are satanists, sadly, and they are very much aware of the God that you say doesn’t exist. They, in fact, oppose Him, and one way they do that it is to teach their “sheeple” that He doesn’t exist.

    See, at one time, Satan couldn’t pass God off as a myth, because there were long-lived people (they lived for centuries, in those days) that knew for a fact, having actually SEEN Him, and angels, etc, that He existed. Nowadays, however, some 6000 years down the trail, there are no eyewitnesses left to say, “Hey, I actually saw God!” Just like you take for granted everything that Darwin and Dawkins, et al, say, we only have faith that we’re not being lied to.

    You and I actually didn’t see creation, so we have to depend upon other’s testimony. However, since there is a completely verifiable lineage stringing back to the first human being, (and none of those have fins) and given the durability and reliability of the Bible as an historical, genealogical, and everyday practical guide, and that your Darwinism is a comparatively infantile belief-system, I’d say that you’re on rather shaky ground where voracity is concerned.

    You and I can be complete assholes or saints… it doesn’t change facts. Whether I’m a good-mannered Christian or no, there is a God. Period. And that’s what they say in secular schools about Evolution… it’s true…

    … period.

    Tit-for-tat.

  161. I just read over the entire thread over at ER’s. Seems like memory served me pretty well on this one. I especially like where I pointed out where you cherry picked from the COMMENTS section to prove the the ARTICLE wasn’t a critical one. Bravo! Classic cl! Still gonna stick with your story that the ARTICLE wasn’t a critical one, cl? Or will you admit you’re wrong…hehehe! Fat chance!

    jim, the article begins by criticizing the position Moran holds, which was the position that I held in said ER thread. The article ends by conceding Moran’s position, which effectively nullifies the erroneous criticism it began with. I would actually be wrong if the paper you cited effectively criticized Moran’s position, but it effectively conceded Moran’s position.

    YOU’RE the one who didn’t read the whole thing!

    Hey, there you go. Great argument: “Nuh-uh, you didn’t read the homework!” jim, if I only read what I needed from the comments section, how would I have known the ending? I’ll admit I didn’t read every single word of every single comment, but what do you now I claim I missed that changes anything?

    This is a CRITICISM of Moran’s position, from start to finish. LATER, in the COMMENTS section RESPONDING to DAN’S PAPER, there is a DISCUSSION which ultimately sways Dan.

    Now that’s funny… what’s that about semantics and splitting hairs to obfuscate the point? Yes, jim, the pertinent material that supported Moran’s position was actually in the comments section of the link, not the paper itself. I award you one brownie.

    ..In the ER thread in question, I was doing my best to avoid you,

    Yes, that’s the picture you need to sell, meager and innocent, humble and charming, poetry-writing jim, just minding his own business on the interwebs when all of a sudden he was pounced upon by the nefarious troll cl. Give it a rest! If that’s the case why did you just have to address me with three comments in a row when I wasn’t talking to you at all?

    I think I also remember you making a fuss about calling one side of the argument a FACT, when there were scientists who held the other opinion. However, when you found substantiation for your side of the argument, you immediately said that the opinion you sided with was a FACT.

    Here ya go, jim, I did the work of providing the links for you. My response was cogent, “..did DD tell us that there was legitimate debate over the sufficiency of microevolution, in spite of the fact he’d been corrected on it before? No. However, from my very first comment, did I maintain that there is legitimate debate over the sufficiency of microevolution? Yes. Therefore, did we do the same thing? No. DD offered his opinion, and his opinion alone, sans any sort of admission that educated professionals disagree with him – and that’s it. To contrast, I first offered the fact that educated professionals disagree with DD, and that the sufficiency of microevolution is a matter of debate, and then proceeded to offer my own opinions on the matter. So clearly, I wasn’t “chiding others for what I myself do.” Again, not that I really believe people care about our argument from six months ago, but it’s all in the links, people.

    In fact, I think it’s pretty funny that you would even bring up this old stuff.

    I brought it up to illustrate that certain people won’t listen to what I have to say until an atheist or scientist corroborates it, and that’s why I saw no need to jump in with you and the Highwayman.

    Everybody already knows you’re full of it. They don’t really need me to point it out, though I do from time to time, just for fun.

    What do you point out? All I see is that you make accusations, call names and write insulting poetry about me (which is actually kinda flattering). You even admit it here:

    If I wanted to go fishing, I could tote reams of your bullshit over here.

    Right, but you don’t, for whatever reason.

    1. I was avoiding you, and not speaking to your subject.

    False. You were not in the discussion about micro/macro, and you chimed in on it without being asked. As Chris Hanson tells those poor saps in the Dateline investigations, “I have the transcripts right here,” and they show you leaving three comments in a row to me, before I said anything to you.

    2. You dragged me in with your usual nasty potshot.

    What? I control you? Come on jim, you’re a grown man, what, at least 50, right? Do you mean to tell me you really couldn’t resist the advances of somebody you claim is a troll and mealy-mouthed prick? Besides, the transcripts clearly indicate that you spoke to me first. How do you account for that discrepancy?

    3. I got interested in the subject, found that article, and posted the link, which included the comments section.

    4. You jumped the gun, assuming I was looking to get you, but that I was so stupid I didn’t read the whole article. I DID, however, read the ARTICLE, as well as the COMMENTS SECTION. That’s why I posted it, because taken together there were arguments on both sides.

    By no means am I gonna call you a liar, because I really don’t know why you posted it, there’s no way to verify that whatsoever, and if that were true, why not have simply said that the first time around?

    5. You were your usual idiot, I my charming self; again, as usual.

    “It’s now almost impossible to participate in these threads without the egomaniacal troll hijacking them… You’re a disingenuous sophist through and through, cl. And a friggin’ narcissist to boot!” (jim, to cl)

    Charming, indeed, jim… charming indeed.

  162. Jim & Cl: can’t you see that you’re fighting, not just each other, but your love for one another?

    The Highwayman “That settled, about these fish genes… you know, I’d like to know just how they’ve determined that these microscopic bits of DNA are in any way related to fish.”
    It’s been a while since I read Your Inner Fish, but they look at the genes in fish that code for smell receptors and they find in us those same genes (garbled by an accumulation of errors). Fish, meanwhile, don’t have “our” smell genes at all, which is as it would be if common descent was true.

    “Supposing that they do look similar, what says that they necessarily fulfill the same function, or did?”
    Unless I’m terribly mistaken, a gene that codes for one thing codes for the same thing no matter where it’s found. In this example, ours are pseudogenes, as they’re broken.

    “I think it’s a stretch of the imagination comparable with what you might determine to be the blindest faith, to assume that God would leave dormant and useless paraphernalia in every species that He created.”
    I think you’re begging the question.

    “Maybe… God has a sense of humor, and left those in there so a certain element would have some reason to go off on idiotic tangents?”
    And maybe you’re grasping at straws. Comparative genomics reveals the pattern of Common Descent even better than the geneless fossil record. In most cases it supports the fossil record (and when it doesn’t it results in minor changes to cladistic tree).

    “Maybe, as I’ve said, it is simply grasping at straws on the part of those that will stoop to whatever level necessary to avoid giving allegiance to anyone but themselves, and their humanistic gurus?”
    Or, more likely, if God is, and God does, then this is how He did it. To think otherwise would require ignoring virtually all of the Earth’s history, not to mention that of the universe itself.

    “However, that’s the very reason I’m here… to help YOU back on the straight and narrow!”
    Really? If the straight and narrow requires ignoring most the history of Man, the Earth and the universe, and twisting the rest to make it fit Genesis, then that road leads only to ignorance. Genesis, with its six day Creation, Fall and global Deluge is simple. It’s also wrong.

    “I’m more into the esoteric, and have been, for years.”
    Going by the text that follows that, you appear to be using “esoteric” as synonymous with “tinfoil hat conspiracy theory” (although, getting off of eight years of BushCo, I can see where your coming from).

    “(they lived for centuries, in those days)”
    And the evidence for this is…?

    “Nowadays, however, some 6000 years down the trail…”
    Wow. I’d suspected you were YEC. You’re not fighting the Theory of Evolution. You’re fighting everything. And you’re losing…not because of Satan, but because the YEC position is untenable and it gets a little moreso every day.

    “However, since there is a completely verifiable lineage stringing back to the first human being, (and none of those have fins)…”
    No. There’s a radically incomplete lineage going back to the earliest examples found of homo sapiens sapiens. You are correct on that last bit, though.

    “…and reliability of the Bible as an historical…”
    Not so much. Things like Babel*, for example, match no historical record nor does it reflect the history of language, while the biblical timeline starts some 34,000 years after people reached Australia.

    *Babel’s “hypothesis of the division of language” isn’t even consistent with itself. Gen11:1 says that there was one language, while just one chapter before it says there were many.

    “…genealogical…”
    Nope. The compressed timeline alone destroys it.

    “…and everyday practical guide…”
    If you mean the Golden Rule, then yes. Lots of the rest, not so much.

    “…and that your Darwinism is a comparatively infantile belief-system…”
    It’s not a belief system. It’s part of the story of how we got here.

    “I’d say that you’re on rather shaky ground where voracity is concerned.”
    So there was an earthquake and the dead got up and walked around Jerusalem as is written in Matt27:51-53?

  163. cl:

    Quote responses-

    1. You’re just wrong. The article is critical to the very last word.

    2. So you DIDN’T read the whole thing after all. We’re in agreement. As to what might be significant regarding what you skipped, please refer to 1. Basically, the conclusion you’ve drawn from the article is the exact opposite of what it really says.

    3. So you agree with me again. As far as splitting hairs: So, when you refer to the ‘OP’ from the ‘comments section’, you’re really referring to the comments section? LOLOL!

    4. I count three posts directed to Arthur, none to you, or your subject. Then you come off with ““4) jim chimes in and muddies the water by talking about irreducible complexity, when nobody was even talking about irreducible complexity” in the midst of derogations aimed at several other commenters. Then I posted “If you had been paying attention, and not so fervent in your fisking, you would have seen that my post was addressed to Arthur, and that I was simply trading links with him regarding bad criticisms of evolution, and that’s it. Or is there a new rule in place now that says I’m required to follow your lead in this blog’s threads? Sorry, someone failed to inform me.

    Personally, I have no stake in the micro-macro debate. Whether or not macro fully encompasses micro, or works alongside other mechanisms is a minor talking point in the thrust of Deacon’s post. More semantics for contention’s sake is the way I see it. I’d ask that you don’t address me in these threads, cl. I find your approach offensive in the extreme.”

    5. After that, I offered the link in question, then later I went on to point out your logical inconsistency, which I’ve already noted.

    6. I still find it funny. Or weird. Take your pick.

    7. Already sufficiently stated.

    8. I don’t because it’s tedious, but I’m making an exception tonight. Not that it’ll do much good, but it’s something that should probably be done once in a while, just to demonstrate what a bullshit artist you are.

    9. Here you’re just playing around with the timeline. Originally, I WAS avoiding you, and NOT speaking to your subject. I joined in AFTER your poorly veiled insult, which is exactly the way I outlined it. You’re being quite devious here.

    10. Actually, you made the derisive comment first, and I chimed in afterward. You seem to be playing a semantics game with ‘addressed’, since you referred to me without actually addressing me straightforwardly. However, I didn’t say you addressed me first. I said you made a disparaging remark about me before I addressed you. As far as I can tell, nothing’s changed.

    11. I DID say it-

    “However…!

    Concerning the micro/macro debate, and since Larry Moran has been ‘parroted’ (garsh, it’s just a term of brevity, and NOT denigration!), here’s what seems to be a fairly informed and interesting criticism of Mr. Moran’s position, with the prof chiming in in the comments section. Good reading!”

    12. Thank you.

    Don’t expect me to do this again for awhile. But it was quite fulfilling to show you false on every one of these points (except where you conceded). Somebody mentioned somewhere recently (maybe it was Philly? not sure) how tempting it is to follow through, in detail, on one of these bullshit sessions of yours. Personally, I’m of mixed feelings. I’m not sure how valuable any of this is, to tell you the truth. Mostly just battling egos, I suppose. I’ve wasted an evening when I should probably have been finishing up my book; though admittedly, I was feeling a bit dry in that area tonight. I probably spend a bit too much time doing this shit. But I love to think, and to write. Maybe this’ll get this crap out of my system for a while. There’s the book, and about 3 thousand poems to edit, and other efforts to be attended to.

    Sorry for fussing with you this way, cl. I really would have liked to like you. But intellectual dishonesty just sticks in my craw, and you’re one of the worst of them. I’ll try to back off, and you can go paint the (internet) town red! LOLOL!

    Night, folks. All sleep well.

  164. “Gen11:1 says that there was one language, while just one chapter before it says there were many.”

    What Bible are you reading? The Asshat’s Bible? There were many tribes, but only one language. The languages were confused at Babel.

    “Not so much. Things like Babel*, for example, match no historical record…”

    That’s funny, the clay tablets of Hammurabi mention not only Babel, but the Flood. I learned that in your beloved secular educational system, over 40 years ago.

    Want some more interesting reading?

    And, there is nothing wrong with the genealogical account, when you consider that the ages of the patriarchs were as the Bible says that they were. Modern medicine cannot understand why humans age and die, that we should live for decades longer than what we do. Such is the genius of our Maker.

    Darwinism is a part of a much larger belief system… Paganism. The worship of nature. Evolution places blind chance and the forces of nature as our maker and our ultimate destiny. Pagans worship the Earth, and nature. They call ‘her’ Gaia. Of course, Satan hides behind every false belief system. You’re a worshiper of Satan, and don’t know it, Modus!

    “So there was an earthquake and the dead got up and walked around Jerusalem as is written in Matt27:51-53?”

    You ain’t seen nuthin, yet!

    Nighty-nite!

  165. “What Bible are you reading? The Asshat’s Bible? There were many tribes, but only one language. The languages were confused at Babel.”

    Gen10:5 (NIV)From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.

    Gen10:20These are the sons of Ham by their clans and languages, in their territories and nations.

    Gen11:1Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.

    “That’s funny, the clay tablets of Hammurabi mention not only Babel, but the Flood. I learned that in your beloved secular educational system, over 40 years ago.”
    Uh huh. Does that make it true? Or is it more likely that the Hebrews picked up Babylonian theology during their exile and brought it back with them?

    “And, there is nothing wrong with the genealogical account, when you consider that the ages of the patriarchs were as the Bible says that they were.”
    And there’s nothing wrong with anything, if you ignore the fact that homo sapiens sapiens was around long before 4004 BC.

    “Darwinism is a part of a much larger belief system… Paganism.”
    Uh huh.

    “The worship of nature.”
    And the Christians that accept ToE/old Earth/old universe/etc are, what, secret pagans?

    “Evolution places blind chance and the forces of nature as our maker and our ultimate destiny.”
    I’m not big on the last four words, but the rest is pretty close, actually. If, say, the KT event didn’t happen, we wouldn’t be here. Heck, if my parents had coitus a day earlier, I wouldn’t be here. Someone else, maybe, but not me.

    “You ain’t seen nuthin, yet!”
    So you believe that that actually happened…and nobody but Matthew, forty-plus years later, bothered to mention it?

  166. jim,

    You’re just wrong. The article is critical to the very last word.

    My point which you seem to be missing is that the overall exchange was one in which Dan changed his position and agreed with mine. Yes, the article was critical to the very last word, that is, until the comments started. Then, MacNeill and Moran persuaded Dan that their position was correct.

    I count three posts directed to Arthur, none to you, or your subject.

    jim, who do you address in your comment right here?

    After that, I offered the link in question, then later I went on to point out your logical inconsistency, which I’ve already noted.

    Yes, you offered the link, then you claimed logical inconsistency, then you failed to even address the rebuttal, and you failed again here. I wish you would address the rebuttal, because it would show your claim as false: you claimed I did the same thing I criticized DD and others for, I explained how I did not: DD only shared what he felt was fact about macro and micro, and DD completely omitted the fact that a significant cross-section of scientists disagrees with him, even though he had been corrected on the same exact issue before. That’s why I criticized him. To contrast, I came along and told both sides of the story, and also stated which side I felt was a fact. You might dislike me so much that it compromises your ability to make cogent arguments now and again, but you’re not an idiot, jim, and I believe you understand the difference between DD stating his position as fact while completely omitting the opinions of professionals that challenge his, vs. my stating of my opinion as fact after pointing out that there were two sides to the story. All the rest aside, can you really not see the difference?

    I still find it funny. Or weird. Take your pick.

    I find it weird that you spend so much time writing poems and slam-posts about me just because we’ve disagreed online.

    Actually, you made the derisive comment first, and I chimed in afterward.

    I didn’t make a derisive comment first, jim – I told Arthur I felt you muddied the waters, and that apparently hurt your ego, but don’t blame me for your own inability to control yourself.

    ..it was quite fulfilling to show you false on every one of these points (except where you conceded).

    While I really believe you believe that, I submit that my detractors at DD’s were making boatloads of false claims and insulting me as usual, all because I claimed (correctly) that macroevolution is not “just lots of microevolution,” nor are the terms “only used by creationists” as That Other Guy would have us believe. I told my detractors to listen to nal, to no avail, and I attempted to back up my claims with reference to an expert, Prof. Moran, to no avail. Still, my detractors persisted in their insults, and you yourself later joined in, claiming that Moran’s “was the minority opinion,” which is awfully out of character for somebody who claimed not to be interested at all, but that’s another story. Anyways, regardless of why you linked to it, the paper you linked to – though it began in criticism of Moran – ultimately agreed with Moran, and this means that my detractors were wrong. So what is it that you contend you’ve shown false?

    Sorry for fussing with you this way, cl. I really would have liked to like you.

    Are you kidding? I’d much rather you at least try to justify your accusations this way, rather than just run your mouth as usual. I can respect a man who disagrees but brings evidence. People are bound to disagree and misunderstand one another, jim, it’s part of the deal. Don’t get so heated up about it, it’s really no reason to slander another’s character as violently as you do. I would still really like to like you, because I can see through the stupidity that all this is. So what? We’re two people with passion who’ve disagreed. Congratulations on your book, life’s too short for hate.

  167. OK, let’s back up a leetle bit. I just got back from being out of town and see there’s over 200 comments in this originally-but-no-longer humorous post. I need to catch up on some of the one from about #175 onward, (I was keeping short tabs on it via Blackberry).

    However, a quick perusal finds cl posting as Jason, up there ^^^ about 16 comments. He didn’t even hide his blog link or IP.

    Explanation?

  168. “However, a quick perusal finds cl posting as Jason, up there ^^^ about 16 comments. He didn’t even hide his blog link or IP.

    Explanation?”

    …fucking sock puppets. cl, you ought to be ashamed of your deceptive, lying, prevaricating self.

    But you won’t be. You have no shame whatsoever.

  169. Watch, he’ll try to explain it away like it’s no big deal. He was “doing an experiment” or some other crap like he tried to feed us LAST TIME WE CAUGHT HIM DOING THIS.

    I dunno, SI. My patience with this guy ran out a long time ago, you’re showing amazing restraint by not moderating comments. He does this shit here, he does it at DD’s place, he does it at the Chaplain’s place… he’s got serious issues. I’m starting to wonder if he does anything with his life other than posting 25,000 word treatises on atheist blogs all day.

  170. You know he’ll just say he did it on purpose, to teach everybody a lesson or some such crap. The only way to deal with this guy is to ban him. He’s an insult to the idea of an honest exchange of ideas. He gets his kicks playing everybody for suckers, and uses anyone’s respect for ‘free speech’ as so much toilet paper. I went ahead and removed all references to him from my blog, and I’ll remove any old comments soon as I can get around to it. We’re just feeding his pathology, and it really isn’t fun anymore. Of course, this is just my opinion. As much as I like to take my digs at theists, even they shouldn’t be this unfairly represented.

  171. Awww That Other Guy, you’re not being fair lol

    cl/jason is a writer.
    He needs stroke his keyboard and in lack of anything good enough to be really published, he goes for Smarta** online.

    😀

  172. You mean cl/jason/sfatheist/kirkc or whatever the hell his other sock puppets were. What a disgrace.

  173. yup, yup, yup. Make it “disgraces” — we’re talking dissociative identity disorder here. 🙂

  174. wow. gone for a long weekend and this post is still going strong. i probably wouldn’t even comment except for this –

    “However, a quick perusal finds cl posting as Jason, up there ^^^ about 16 comments. He didn’t even hide his blog link or IP.

    Explanation?”

    not real sure how anyone came to this conclusion – cl and i are not the same person. i think our personal worldviews although similar on certain general points, would for the most part would diverge at other, more specific ones. of course, that’s just a guess based on what little i’ve read from him, though. i don’t maintain a blog as cl does (pretty good one too) but i do find atheist blogs fascinating. they’re usually great places to find interesting dialogues. its unusual that i see anyone but other atheists commenting but when it does happen it usually makes for the most interesting and entertaining discussions. to reiterate, though, cl and i are different persons. hope that helps in some way.

  175. I won’t be interacting with cl/jason any more. I’ve deleted their web site, TWIM, from my list of bookmarked sites.

  176. That Other Guy,

    He does this shit here, he does it at DD’s place, he does it at the Chaplain’s place… he’s got serious issues.

    Man, yet another false claim for “That Other Guy’s false-claims file” – I’ve not once posted under a name besides cl at DD’s, or the chapel, and you are more than welcomed to support your claim with evidence.

    “my blog ain’t no free speech zone” jim,

    The only way to deal with this guy is to ban him.

    You mean like how you banned me from your blog so I can’t rebut your arguments, then continue to accost me on everybody else’s blog? Is that “dealing” with me? You might wanna rethink that one. Besides, some freethinkers still respect free thought, and your strategy sounds awfully Funda-miliar: “Ban the dissenter, ban him, I say, ban the nasty troll before even our children are in danger!!” Now, where did I here that sort of closed-minded silliness just recently? Oh yeah, I remember… it sounds almost exactly like Laurie Higgins complaining about Hemant from Friendly Atheist.

    I went ahead and removed all references to him from my blog, and I’ll remove any old comments soon as I can get around to it.

    Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!

    nal,

    I won’t be interacting with cl/jason any more. I’ve deleted their web site, TWIM, from my list of bookmarked sites.

    Well, that’s the risk I took, and while I hate to lose a thoughtful commenter, I must accept the consequences. I’m sorry you took the bait and jumped to conclusions, too, but I’m not jason, and thank you for the intelligent discussion while it lasted – sincerely.

  177. Pingback: False Arguments #31 & #32: My Response To A Ghost In The Machine, Pt. IV « The Warfare Is Mental

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