Friday, March 14, 2014

Michael Egnor is an expert on cluelessness

The war between science and religion is fought on many fronts. One of the most remarkable campaigns is the attempt by religious zealots to discredit evolution (and science). We see this played out on creationist websites ranging from the most absurd Young Earth Creationist sites to the somewhat more subtle websites of the Intelligent Design Creationists.1

I can understand why believers want to defend their beliefs—we all do that. The part I don't get is the incredible stupidity of the main defenders of Intelligent Design Creationism and Young Earth Creationism. Not all of them, of course, but enough to make me slap my head.

Let's take Michael Egnor as an example. He is perfectly entitled to defend his Roman Catholic beliefs and to try and poke holes in evolution. But why does he have to use such stupid arguments? Why is such a person promoted on the main Intelligent Design Creationist website, Evolution News & Views (sic). Is he really the best they've got?

Let's look at his latest post: Clueless in Toronto. He begins with ....
Larry Moran at the University of Toronto has a typically nasty blog post demanding censorship of public prayer at city council meetings in Canada.

Of course, the obvious remedy to public prayer (if you're a Moran-style atheist) is to not participate. Don't like prayer? Don't pray.

But censorship is part of who Larry Moran and his friends are.
It doesn't take a mental giant to recognize the difference between censorship and responsible behavior in a secular society. The vast majority (>95%) of city councils in Ontario do NOT begin their meetings with a public display of belief in god(s) and nobody is complaining about that. Furthermore, there's no evidence that the god(s) are punishing those cities for not worshiping them.2

One can make a (weak) case for beginning city council meetings with a prayer if all the council members believe in god(s) and are comfortable with a public display of their personal beliefs in a government institution that's supported by taxpayers. Michael Egnor is free to make that case if he wishes. I'm free to make the case that it's unwise to bring religion into government. If my arguments are more convincing than his—as they are in the vast majority of city councils—then why is this censorship?

I suppose it's "censorship" in his book if the courts agree that public displays of religious belief by politicians in a public institution is unnecessary and inappropriate. But that doesn't make a lot of sense.

It's been almost 15 years since my friends attended a City Council meeting in Mississauga so I don't know for sure what happens today, but back them every member of the audience in the Council Chamber was expected to bow their heads and remain silent during the prayer. They were obliged to participate in a religious ceremony whether they wanted to or not. It's true that they didn't have to pray but they did have to respect the religious ceremony that was going on because it would have been crazy to cause a fuss and then ask city council to respect their views on the issue of the day.

I wonder what would happen if an atheist councilor sat in her chair and read her email messages while the other councilors were standing and praying? No "pressure," right? Why in the world is it necessary for the majority of council members to force their religious demonstrations on every single member of council?
The funny thing is that Moran has had a few self-pitying posts about the reductions in public funding for science (particularly bogus science like AGW "research").

He doesn't see that the two issues are related. If you tell the public that they're idiots, and you link your anti-religious hate to science, why would you be surprised that after a while the public tells scientists to "go get your paycheck from someone else."
First, I do not tell the public that they are idiots. I reserve that description for those individuals who clearly demonstrate that they deserve it. On the other hand, I DO lament the fact that the general public is not well-informed about science.

I don't think it's too much to ask that the public finding of science be divorced from religion. The general public should not be basing their decision on how to support scientific investigation on whether or not they believe in a particular god and how fervent their belief is.

Obviously Michael Egnor feels differently. How stupid is that?
Science is an overrated endeavor. Obviously there have been substantial advances, but most of them have been in applied sciences like medical research and engineering, not ideology-infested "disciplines" like climate science and evolutionary biology. Ninety-five percent of the scientific literature is garbage, most of it is irreproducible, and most of the rest is irrelevant except to tenure. A lot of published science is so dodgy with data and logic that if it were a financial prospectus the authors would be prosecuted by securities authorities. And of course scientific literature is a prospectus, attracting hundreds of billions of research dollars annually.

Incompetence and fraud seem to plague particular kinds of science. Think about it: what exactly have climate scientists and evolutionary biologists done for you lately, except take billions of tax dollars and then compare you to Holocaust deniers if you question them or call you idiots if you believe in God and drag you into court if you talk about God in public or if you don't want their materialist religion taught to your kids in your schools?
Michale Egnor doesn't like the knowledge generated by evolutionary biologists and climatologists. The reason he doesn't like it is because it conflicts with his religious beliefs. He would like to cut off funding for climate studies and evolution because of his religious beliefs. I wonder if this counts as censorship?

Whether it counts as censorship or not, the argument is quite stupid. How can any reasonable person deny the knowledge generated by science?
People are starting to catch on. There's a simple solution. Defund these credentialed losers who hide behind their worthless "science." They have no marketable skills -- many would require remedial training to work at the drive-through window at McDonald's ("Larry, we know you're new to the restaurant, but you really have to stop telling the customers that they're IDiots -- they pay your salary").

So aim at the scientific disciplines they infest and take their money away. We don't need just-so stories about evolution, about surviving survivors and randomness generating all of life, and transparent frauds like the crowd in Climategate.

Time to pull away the teat.
Is this really the best they've got? No wonder religion is losing in (almost) all Western industrialized nations.


1. And the even more subtle webstites of the theistic evolution creationists.

2. Although the behavior of Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto gives one pause. I wonder if things would have been better if there had been prayers at Toronto City Council meetings?

66 comments :

  1. I guess I'll go make a comment on that bastion of free speech and non-censorship, "Evolution News and Views."

    Hey, wait a minute. There doesn't seem to be anywhere that I can leave a comment. If my computer broken or something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. luitesuite:

      You can comment all you want on my blog Egnorance.

      Delete
    2. On the other hand, said blog is dying on its feet - same 3 or 4 commenters all the time, nothing new coming up. lutesuite (and others): you may ponder about whether you want to help Egnor postpone its demise ....

      Delete
    3. Lame plug, Mike. Your ideological kin set the bar for what real "censorship" is on the internet.

      Delete
    4. Well, that's very nice, Dr. Egnor. However, why are you not railing against the blatant violation of free speech on the blogs of your fellow IDiots? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

      Delete
    5. And, again, to avoid misunderstanding (because misunderstanding is what you do best, Dr. Egnor), I am not saying the IDiot blogs are violating free speech by regulating or disallowing the comments. But you say it would be "censorship" if you were banned from this blog (which, again to avoid misunderstanding, I do not advocate myself). So, again, where is the vitriol for your ideological brethren?

      Delete
    6. I notice that Dr. Egnor has failed to respond to the polling data I provided him that firmly refuted the basis of his claim that the Conservatives' decisions on science funding is a response to and reflection of public opinion. I'll repeat the link here, for those who have not read the other thread:

      http://www.caut.ca/docs/default-source/better-funding/caut-harris-decima-poll-%282013%29.pdf?sfvrsn=0

      I guess Dr. Egnor would prefer to ignore the evidence and continue to live in his little fact-free universe, where he can believe whatever he wants.

      Delete
  2. As much as I hate ENaV, not enabling comments on your site is not somehow an affront to free speech/non-censorship.

    That's just a stupid assertion. If you got sued for making comments about them elsewhere and they somehow won, then maybe I'd be concerned about how your FREE SPEECH!!11~!11! is being affronted on.

    Not enabling comments on a website doesn't automatically disable somebody from discussing topics of free speech for blog entries. Though yes, the authors on ENaV are always moronic about what they post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did not claim it was an affront to free speech.

      And, similarly, not permitting prayer at a government session is also not an affront to free speech. But if I was stupid enough to argue that it was, I hope I would not compound my stupidity by doing so in a venue that committed the very sin I was arguing against.

      Delete
    2. Whether or not there is prayer at a public meeting should be the decision of the people, acting through the democratic process via elected officials.

      I note that you atheist bastards never campaign for your beliefs-- you merely sue people and use the courts and the police to do your work for you.

      I have no objection to permitting or foregoing civic prayer by legislation.

      Using unaccountable judicial fiat is censorship.

      Delete
    3. Re Schmucknor

      Given that Schmucknor is a member of the biggest criminal conspiracy in the world, namely the Raping Children Church, he should go around with a bag over his head when attending services.

      Delete
    4. Once again, it is not any sort of "sin" to disallow comments or ban people on your own website.

      It is stupid to say that government should not remain secular, it is stupid to claim that attempts at keeping government secular are an affront to free speech. But the whole "lol look at their venue" thing is just so tired and old, and is so inane to say because it doesn't make sense.
      If they actually made a blog entry that was legitimate about something against free speech (let's pretend, I doubt it'll ever happen), snarking about how that's ironic given that they don't allow comments DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. And if they can't comprehend what free speech is and make incorrect statements about it, it STILL does not make sense to snark about how their personal website does not allow comments.
      Unless you want to be purposefully immature and purposefully miss the point about what free speech is, and use the most literal definition of it devoid of actual application possible.
      Please don't do that. (Or you can continue to do so, but I'll probably whine again.)

      Delete
    5. mregnor said:

      "Whether or not there is prayer at a public meeting should be the decision of the people, acting through the democratic process via elected officials.

      I note that you atheist bastards never campaign for your beliefs-- you merely sue people and use the courts and the police to do your work for you.

      I have no objection to permitting or foregoing civic prayer by legislation.

      Using unaccountable judicial fiat is censorship."

      Nice try mregnor but anyone with a clue knows that it has taken much more than what you call "judicial fiat" to do everything it has taken to have laws, rules, codes, ordinances, or whatever that pertain to freedom (or not) of speech, freedom (or not) of religion, freedom (or not) of expression, prayer (or not) at governmental meetings, etc. You'er trying to make it sound as though someone who isn't religious can just make up their own laws, rules, etc., and that a judge or the police will surely back them up. Judges and police can only 'legally' act upon or enforce laws, rules, codes, etc., that are enacted via democratic processes, and there are multiple levels of courts for appeals if the police or lower courts don't adhere to the law. You know damn well that it's not as simple as: 'I don;t like prayer at council meetings so I'm going to get a cop or a judge to put a stop to it, and I'll prevail for sure not matter what the law says.' The campaigning for the separation of church and state (in some countries, provinces, states, counties, cities, or whatever) has been going on for centuries and will surely go on for as long as religious zealots like you keep trying to shove your myths into government and every aspect of everyone's life. No one is stopping you from believing whatever you want, but when you try to control others with your religious BS you are going to run into opposition. Just one of the things that you conveniently ignore is that even many religious people don't want government or public education mixed with religion. If you want your kids to be religious, enroll them in religious schools or brainwash them at home. If you want to preach,, go to a church or stand on a public street corner and obey any laws pertaining to disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct. If you want to pray, go ahead and do so whenever you want to as long as you don't try to force anyone else to join you and you don't disturb others. Your religious beliefs are like your underwear. You can wear any color or style you like but you can't pull down your pants and show them to everyone anytime and anywhere you like without getting some flak about it.

      Delete
    6. His Egnorance says:

      Whether or not there is prayer at a public meeting should be the decision of the people, acting through the democratic process via elected officials.

      Why do you hate our Constitution (which, of course, Larry doesn't live under)? The Bill of Rights was specifically written to prevent the "tyranny of the majority." Do you think that blacks should have waited for the "democratic process" in Alabama (which actively sought to deprive blacks of access to that process) to get around to giving them equal rights under the law instead of seeking "unaccountable judicial fiat," as in, for example, Brown v. Board of Education? That's why we have courts, as the Founders set forth in the Federalist Papers.

      So you only support the rule of law when it favors your position? What if one of the wingnut fantasies came true and you, doctor, were forced to bow your head to a prayer to Allah in order to have access to your local government? Would you think that was hunky-dory?

      Delete
    7. @Uncivilzed Elk

      If they actually made a blog entry that was legitimate about something against free speech (let's pretend, I doubt it'll ever happen), snarking about how that's ironic given that they don't allow comments DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.

      I agree, that wouldn't make sense, and I wouldn't do it.

      But Egnor is not making a legitimate comment. And, moreover, he is saying that it would be "censorship" if Larry were to ban him from Larry's own blog. As if no one ever gets banned from Uncommon Descent, and as if speech of any kind at all is allowed on ENV.

      (But, just to reiterate, I do not think he should be banned from here.)

      Delete
    8. John Monkey Boy Pieret:

      [Why do you hate our Constitution (which, of course, Larry doesn't live under)? The Bill of Rights was specifically written to prevent the "tyranny of the majority."]

      The Bill of Rights was specifically written to preclude federal hegemony over issues of individual rights that should be left to the states. Congress shall make no law....

      The Establishment Clause was specifically written to protect established state churches (half of states had them at the time, and they were perfectly Constitutional) from federal regulation.

      The Incorporation Clause can be interpreted to incorporate other clauses of the First Amendment to the states, but it can't rationally be applied to the Establishment Clause, because the EC is inherently an anti-incorporation clause. You can't apply a federal regulation on established churches to the states-- that is the point of the Establishment Clause.

      Learn some history, moron.

      ["Do you think that blacks should have waited for the "democratic process" in Alabama (which actively sought to deprive blacks of access to that process) to get around to giving them equal rights under the law instead of seeking "unaccountable judicial fiat," as in, for example, Brown v. Board of Education? That's why we have courts, as the Founders set forth in the Federalist Papers."]

      I think Brown was rightly decided, although for the wrong reasons. Its proper basis is the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection, not pseudo-sociology that was invoked by the Court.

      Blacks were certainly right to take this to the courts, because they were right about the law. Being right counts. You are wrong about the law-- there is no legal or constitutional prohibition on civic prayer.

      Your comparison of atheist thugs who call the police when they hear someone pray in public to blacks who were segregated and denied basic rights is nauseating. It is religious people today, not atheists, who are dragged into court to deny them their freedoms.

      The author of the 1947 Everson decision that started the project to ban school prayer etc was Hugo Black, a fine Progressive Democrat and KKK'er who rose to power through the Alabama Klan and who incorporated "separation of church and state" into constitutional law. Black was familiar with the phrase because it was part of the Klan oath he administered to new Klan recruits in Alabama.

      [So you only support the rule of law when it favors your position?]

      I support rule of law. Banning civic prayer is not based on either the law or on the constitution.

      [What if one of the wingnut fantasies came true and you, doctor, were forced to bow your head to a prayer to Allah in order to have access to your local government? Would you think that was hunky-dory?]

      WTF do you mean by "in order to have access", asshole? No one must pray "in order to have access". People are free to join in prayer, to ignore prayer, to say their own prayer to themselves, to leave the room for a moment, or to play on their IPhones or to read the God Delusion during prayer. The only compulsion is when you atheists call the police.

      I have no constitutionally-based objection to civil Muslim prayer. If the city council in Deerborn wants to say one, what do I care? I'd say a Christian prayer to myself if I were in attendance, then get on with business.

      Unlike you, asshole, I like freedom.

      Delete
    9. Pieret:

      [What if one of the wingnut fantasies came true and you, doctor, were forced to bow your head to a prayer to Allah]

      Forced? No one is forced to participate in prayer, civic or private, in our society. I (and everyone) would strongly object to forcing prayer. That's not an issue in this debate, and you use of it suggests that you have no real arguments against civic prayer and you have to erect strawmen,

      Civic prayer is perfectly legal and constitutional. Courts that ban it are acting outside of law.

      The only force involved in this issue is when you atheists call the police and sue people for praying.

      I point out that it's telling that immediately in this thread the issue of my being banned on this blog came up. I've been running my blog for several years, and have had countless nasty obscene insulting comments and the issue of banning has never come up.

      I like freedom. You hate it.

      Delete
    10. Egnor here is defining freedom as "not banning people and not deleting their comments", but the two main blogs devoted to Intelligent Design permit no real criticism of ID. ENV, where Egnor posts, permits no comments nor any criticism at all-- we must conclude Smegnor posts there because he hates freedom.

      UD had banned several dozen people, often for the most mild criticisms of ID that can possibly be conceived. Lizzie Liddle has been banned twice; so have others. Dozens of people were banned for accurately describing quantum mechanics. IDiots hate freedom, by Egnor's logic.

      I myself have been banned from Uncommon Descent, and the Disco Tute deletes my tweets and Nick Matzke's. Adnan Khan (Refuting Evolution) puts my comments on Archaeopteryx in permanent moderation. I can no longer log into Cornelius Hunter's site. Under my real name, I've been banned by a bunch of other ID proponents.

      As we speak, in Indiana four creationist pols, directed by the Disco Tute, are demanding a total ban at Ball State U. on any criticism of Intelligent Design. Disco Tute's John West admitted in the Muncie Star-Press that ID is a religious belief, and any criticism of ID is anti-religion, and therefore must be censored.

      By your defintion of "freedom", Egnor, IDiots hate freedom.

      Delete
    11. And Egnor, you hate America and its Constitution. Atheists win and win and win when they sue conservative Christians because conservative Christians are scofflaws who violate the Constitution.

      "The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of ... constitutional principles."
      [James Madison, Detached Memoranda, circa 1820]

      The primary author of the Constitution wrote the following:

      "Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and & Gov’t in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.” [James Madison, Detached Memoranda, circa 1820]

      The "precedents" he referred to were prayers by governmental bodies, chiefly Congress, which Madison many times stated explicitly were unconstitutional.

      You don't like the fact that atheists keep kicking the ass of conservative Christians in court over and over and over? Simple solution: stop being criminals and cease violating the Constitution. Atheists would have *no* power in court if conservative Christians weren't scofflaws who hate the US Constitution.

      Leave the Thug Life of the Christian criminal behind. Problem solved!

      Delete
    12. Smegnor says: "The Establishment Clause was specifically written to protect established state churches (half of states had them at the time, and they were perfectly Constitutional) from federal regulation. "

      This is a complete lie. The first Amendment was interpreted by the Founding Fathers as effecting total separation of religion from govt and govt from religion, as we know because they wrote about it so often and so explicitly, particularly Madison and Jefferson. It's also a lie that half the states had established churches; 3 out of 13 did, the Founders regarded them as unconstitutional, and all 3 were abolished within a few years of the writing of the Constitution.

      Abolishing *state* churches *established by the states* was the work of the Founding generation. It was not the work of modern liberals. However, the attempts to re-establish state churches is the work of modern radical right wing authoritarians opposed to the Constitution.

      Madison wrote at great length on the separation of church and state. Jefferson, in his famous letter to the Danbury Baptists, was opposing a church *established by a state*, Connecticut, which sought to extract taxes from Baptists who were not adherents to that faith. Jefferson clearly stated in that letter that the US Constitution *abolished churches established by the states.*

      So Smegnor is lying.

      Delete
    13. The Bill of Rights was specifically written ...

      How do you know that Smegnor ?

      Were you there ?

      Delete
  3. "Ninety-five percent of the scientific literature is garbage, most of it is irreproducible, and most of the rest is irrelevant except to tenure."

    The only word to describe this stinking pile of tripe is obscene.

    I don't know what kind of sour, twisted, sexually repressed, delusional world Egnor lives in but I'm glad I'm not part of it. Yet, he wants us to be like him! I can't imagine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here asshole.

      http://phys.org/news/2013-09-science-crisis.html

      I understated the problem.

      Delete
    2. I see that a number of proposals have been offered to keep non-reproducible "data" to a minimum. I wonder - wWhere are similar efforts being made religion (ha!), or antiscience activism circles like climate change denialists, Appollo Moon Landing hoax conspiracists, anti-vaccers, etc.?

      Scientific methodology seeks to minimize the errors inherent in human endeavors. Because of this, science works. As data in a filed accumulates, the scientists in the field eventually come to a consensus, because they are studying the same reality. Religions diverge and multiply, because there is no grounding in reality. No way to tell wishful thinking from fraud from psychotic delusions.

      It wasn't religion that wiped polio off the face of the planet - it was science.

      I'm sorry you find the conclusion of climatologists inconvenient and disagreeable. But you will find the continued progression of unmitigated global warming far more inconvenient.

      Delete
    3. Smegnor has no evidence for his claim that "95% of science is garbage and most of it is irreproducible." Certainly not in his or Klinghitler's links. So they're just lying.

      Above, Smegnor, to back up his emotional blurts that science is mostly fraud, tried a literature bluff, by citing a pop sci writer who in fact says "The number of known cases of outright fraud is very low." So Smegnor is lying.

      It gets worse. Smegnor's pop sci writer says science has a "reproducibility crisis." In which fields, you ask? According to Smegnor's source, ESP and medical research. The first, ESP, is widely supported by ID proponents like A. E. Wilder-Smith, who believed taking drugs gives you clairvoyance, who said he himself had ESP, and who believed in ghosts, phantasms, necromancy, witch doctors and mojo bags. ESP and ghosts are routinely promoted at Uncommon Descent (citing idiot G K. Chesterton) and Smegnor himself at ENV aggressively promoted Eben Alexander's ghost story fraud, "Proof of Heaven."

      Smegnor loves fraud. Smegnor loved Eben Alexander's ghost story fraud. IDiots love fraud about ESP and spooks because they claim it disproves atheism.

      The other major class of irreproducible results is *medical* research. But Smegnor in his ENV blurt says medical research is the *only* branch of science that shouldn't get its funding cut. Now Smegnor is a *medical* doctor who won't be discovering the Higgs boson any time soon, but he must lie about the reproducibility of *medical* research because *he* must suck and suck and suck at the taxpayer's teat.

      Smegnor, mumbling around the taxpayer's teat shoved deep in his own milkhole, says medical research is the *only* research that's not "95% garbage and mostly irreproducible" so keep sending taxpayer $ to *him*, not to physicists finding exoplanets or new particles. Smegnor's claims about *medical* research are contradicted by the very sources he cites, so asshole just stuck his head in his own cannon. But he's not smart enough to realize that.

      Delete
    4. "Ninety-five percent of the scientific literature is garbage, most of it is irreproducible, and most of the rest is irrelevant except to tenure."

      Except somehow science, in the broadest sense, is the only human exercise that has contributed to a reliable understanding of nature. What is truly appalling is the amount of money raked in by organized religion by selling (excuse me, I mean requesting donations and monetary gifts for) false hopes, unfounded assertions, and supernatural trinkets - all tax-free.

      Delete
    5. SRM:

      "Except somehow science... is the only human exercise that has contributed to a reliable understanding of nature."

      *slaps forehead*

      Science is natural philosophy, which is the branch of philosophy that studies nature. It would be odd if, say, political philosophy helped us understand nature.

      "Ethics" is the only human exercise that has contributed to the reliable understanding of ethics".

      Those new marijuana laws are already having an effect.

      Delete
    6. Does anyone know of a study that rates the literature of Intelligent Design Creationism? I pretty sure that Egnor thinks it's more accurate than the scientific literature. Do the IDiots get it right more than 5% of the time?

      I don't think so, but surely there must be data.

      Delete
    7. "Ethics" is the only human exercise that has contributed to the reliable understanding of ethics".

      Besides the fact that this statement if tautological, how have you determined what constitutes a "reliable understanding" of ethics?

      Delete
    8. Smegnor has ignored the fact that HIS OWN SOURCE cited above rebuts his claims about *medical* research not being "95% garbage" while the rest of science is; the source he cited actually gives *medical* research together with ESP as the best examples of irreproducible results.

      But to Larry's question. IDiots don't publish results so there's nothing to reproduce, but they constantly make factually false pronouncements and bad predictions, the most common of which is the imminent death of evolution. I'll tot up a list shortly.

      Delete
    9. I promised a list of Intelligent Design frauds, incompetence and falsifications of facts. It will take a while. Since Smegnor says he is so, so offended by fraud and incompetence, I'm sure he'll denounce ID proponents... yah right.

      Let's start with Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by real fraudster Eben Alexander. When that book came out, it was trumpeted by Smegnor as proof of the existence of spooks at the Disco Tute's blog, ENV.

      Alexander, an unethical neurosurgeon with a history of altering medical documents, had a "Near Death Experience." He later told Michael Shermer that his hallucination "took place not while [his] cortex was malfunctioning, but while it was simply off.” However, in fact he was in a medically induced coma, not a natural coma, during which he was conscious but hallucinating, according to his doctor.

      At Evolution Snooze and Abuse, Smegnor was aroused by Alexander's bosomy vision of the afterlife:

      [Alexander]: "...someone else was with me. A woman.

      She was young, and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face."


      Just one woman!? I thought you religious types thought you deserved 72.

      If Smegnor found a stain in Alexander's underpants, he'd announce it was proof of Jesus and the Saints and all the Prophets, and that Balaam son of Beor really did have a conversation with his talkin' donkey, as the Bible says [Numbers 22:28].

      Meanwhile, a writer at Esquire checked the facts on Alexander's wet dream and every fact that could be checked had been hoaxed up by Alexander.

      Plus: "The Esquire article also accuses Alexander of falsifying medical records to cover up the fact that he’d operated at the wrong site on a patient’s spine when working as a neurosurgeon." [ Daily Mail]

      A crooked and unethical neurosurgeon. Never seen one of those before!

      The Esquire article is behind a paywall but you can read a summary of Alexander's fraud at the Daily Mail.

      Now, since Dr. Smegnor has demanded Death Camp imprisonment for those who fake their data,

      Egnor: "Criminal prosecution of scientists who manipulate data would be a good start."

      says he, I'm sure he will now (not) demand the imprisonment of Eben Alexander... Yah right.

      Delete
    10. Those new marijuana laws are already having an effect.

      Let me guess, you are also opposed to the liberalization of marijuana laws.
      And the your take on the conclusions from climate studies?
      What about them gays?
      Just curious how much of your world view, aside from science, is modified by your deeply held religious beliefs.

      Delete
    11. And story #2 on Intelligent Design fraud, incompetence and falsification of evidence.

      Back in 2004, Jonathan "Icons of Evolution" Wells proposes a radical, "groundbreaking" theory of cell division that could cure cancer. In his hypothesis, centrioles were tiny turbines that spun around rapidly (like the flagellum) which caused vibrations in the microtubules of the mitotic spindle (how does spinning cause vibrations? never explained) and these vibrations pull apart the two duplicates of chromosomes into the two halves of the dividing cell (how do vibrations pull centrioles? never explained.) Everybody at the time knew that the chromosomes were pulled apart by actin & myosin or homologs thereof, but the IDers had a breakthrough theory!

      A cure for cancer!? And the Darwinists were suppressing the IDer's cure for cancer! Some of you may remember than in 2008, when the Martyrbation fantasy movie Expelled came out, Ben Stein was saying on TV that Intelligent Design could lead to a cure for cancer, but Darwinists were suppressing it. This is what he was talking about.

      Casey Luskin, 2004 describes how Wells announced his groundbreaking hypothesis at... a Christian apologetics revival by Rick Warren's ministry at a Bible college: "Molecular biologist Jonathan Wells proposed potentially groundbreaking ideas on causes of cancer. [Boldface in Luskin’s original.] Wells employed principles of engineering design to hypothesize that malfunctions in tiny biomolecular turbine engines in the "centrosome" of the cell might cause chromosomal damage, becoming a cause of cancer. Wells contended that principles of engineering design, and the knowledge that cellular structures are not limited to what can be produced by Darwin's theory, led him to make this hypothesis. These ideas must undergo further experimental testing, but it is significant that ID spurred Wells' research ideas." [Casey Luskin. 2004. Biola hosts intelligent design conference (dead link, archived at Wayback Machine). Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox.]

      Or course the IDiots then spent months in the laboratory doing experiments and testing their... uh wait... IDiots don't do experiments.

      Wells' cure for cancer was promoted by the Discovery Institute as "A Possible Link Between Centrioles, Calcium Deficiency and Cancer” (Undated). Wells gave his research plan (or non-research plan) the grand name "Theory of Organismal Problem-Solving" (TOPS), published by IDers ISCID in 2004. TOPS also included his false claim that cancer is not caused by chromosomal abnormalities (rebutted by Ian Musgrave here) and a bunch of other stupid claims.

      Wells also falsely asserted that scientists ignore centriole research because of their "Darwinist" beliefs. His TOPS "research plan" is 10 years old now, and in the ensuing decade no IDiot, not Wells nor anyone else, did even one experiment on any of it. It was, as always, up to the slandered "Darwinists" to do the experiments.

      But real scientists did do the experiments, and as a result in 2006 Ian Musgrave summarized experiment results proving centrioles are not turbines.

      Delete
    12. Continuing on false claims of Intelligent Design, Centriole division:

      Musgrave slams Wells for lying:

      Musgrave, 2006: "...Another pet peeve is Wells’s misleading citations. Wells claims that there has been little interest in centrioles, whereas it is an exploding field, as new molecular and functional tools have been developed to study them. The year Wells’s paper was published was the year of the third European Molecular Biology Organisation conference devoted solely to centrioles. The year before his paper, 15 papers solely on centriole function were published (this ignores all the other papers on centriole structure and morphology etc.). Wells states that Kid [a protein] was not motile in a microtubule gliding assay, but does not report the authors caution that low force generating motors would not necessarily be seen in this assay, and a recent study has show that Kid is a low force motor (Brouhard & Hunt 2005). He reports that while Xkid [protein] deficient frog cells have PEF defects, frog oocytes have normal metaphase I. He neglects to mention that metaphase I oocyte chromosome alignment is mechanistically different from mitosis... and that metaphase II, which is mechanistically similar to mitosis, does have abnormalities." [Ian Musgrave relates experiment results proving centrioles are not turbines, 2006]

      Besides Ian Musgrave, Steve Matheson in 2007 cited experimental results disproving Well's claims about centrioles being turbines. Matheson's post presents electromicrographs showing that centrioles are not turbines. A must-see.

      And the kicker, from Musgrave:

      "Sadly, the hypothesis was sunk as a by-product of researchers looking at completely different things, not checking if centrioles were turbines (Wells’s paper has gathered zero citations since its publication)."

      Delete
    13. "But real scientists did do the experiments, and as a result in 2006 Ian Musgrave summarized experiment results proving centrioles are not turbines. "

      But, but Meyer's "Signature in the Cell" was published in 2009, and Meyer touts centriole turbines as a prediction of "ID research" in that book, pg 486-487.

      Three years later Meyer and the Disco Tute (that's you, too, Smegnor!) are still lying about centriole turbines. Why is that, Smegnor? That's not even a dog-ate-my-homework level lie!

      Delete
    14. Exactly right Bill, I forgot that Stephen Meyer touted the centriole shit TWO YEARS AFTER Matheson posted the electromicrographs, and three years after Musgrave's demolition.

      Pathetic ID incompetence.

      I'll tot up more examples as tme allows, but next up you may peruse Wells' false claims about how peppered moths don't rest on tree trunks (observed many times) and that all photos of them were of dead moths pinned to tree trunks, a lie that is always raised by creationists at school board meetings, even today.

      Delete
    15. Diogenes: If Smegnor found a stain in Alexander's underpants, he'd announce it was proof of Jesus and the Saints and all the Prophets, and that Balaam son of Beor really did have a conversation with his talkin' donkey, as the Bible says [Numbers 22:28].

      I prefer the good old Authorised Version, in which Balaam has a conversation with his ass.

      Delete
    16. I have had several conversations with my ass... damn Mexican food.

      Delete
  4. It seems as if the practise of dubbing them IDiots is smoking them out in their true colours (sorry about the mixed metaphor). Wilful ignorance is their stance as it's the only way to confront the cognitive dissonance of reality and religion.

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  5. First, I do not tell the public that they are idiots. I reserve that description for those individuals who clearly demonstrate that they deserve it. On the other hand, I DO lament the fact that the general public is not well-informed about science.

    I've been trying to learn from these threads with some success on the odd occasion when people have been kind (thanks Piotr, and JohnHarshman on a rare good day). I've been shocked at the childish bullying Evolutionists on this site and Creationists on others and appalled that I have got sucked into it just to survive. Does anyone really believe that name calling will help educate the public (like me)? It's as bad as the UK MPs throwing insults at each other in the House of Commons. Maybe it's time for one side to call: "Order! Order!"

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    Replies
    1. Some people here could be more civil; granted. But you invited the insults by your means of approach, arrogantly and -- so it still appears despite your denials -- deceptively attacking evolutionary biology. If you had been less contentious and more honest yourself you might have expected better treatment. It isn't too late to start.

      Egnor invites the insults even more strongly. Did you actually read what he wrote?

      Incidentally, are you willing to agree that macroevolution has been demonstrated to your satisfaction?

      Delete
    2. Schmucknor comes on this site to comment and proceeds to insult the host. Very poor manners on his part and he should either clean up his act or be given the heave ho.

      Delete
    3. colnagowithIQof80:

      I call you censors, so you demand that I be censored.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      Delete
    4. Re schmucknor

      Hey schmucknor, Prof. Moran is no more required to put up with your insulting him on his blog then he is to put with it in his house. If you can't comment without calling him names, then you have nothing to say and should f*ck off. I suspect that the only reason he hasn't given you the heave ho is because your insults make you look bad, not him.

      Delete
    5. Re Schmucknor

      Ah gee, IQ of 80. What an insult. I'm devastated. However, just for the record, I have a BA degree in physics and a PhD in elementary particle physics. In addition, my PhD thesis adviser, who by the way is a born again Christian, was a finalist candidate for this years Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the Higgs boson.

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    6. "Does anyone really believe that name calling will help educate the public (like me)?"

      Does anybody here actually believe your lies about your credentials, your lies about seeking "Truth", and your lies about being honest in the discourse you've engaged in? You can't even use (or heard of apparently prior to a few weeks ago) Google Scholar but you think you can pretend to know about a subject (which you apparently haven't kept up with for multiple decades)? And then when called out on your shit, withdraw into the "I'm just JAQing off, look I'm no expert!"

      Geezus.

      Delete
    7. Pauline, your criticism of our tone is at best subjective. Scientists take falsification of evidence very seriously, and you really don't. No creationists (except a very very few like Todd Wood) take falsification of evidence seriously. There are no arguments against evolution that do not involve falsification of evidence or redefinition of the scientific method.

      In every argument we have with IDiots, they always relate or present falsified evidence. On this blog and some others, like PT, we always catch them and we always prove-- prove-- their evidence is fake. We've done it here, you've seen us do it, and you never care. No creationist ever cares (OK except maybe Todd Wood.) But you don't care. Instead, your main concern, I guess only concern, is our tone, which does not treat liars and ignorant egomaniacs as if they are our colleagues and equals.

      We are enraged by falsification of evidence and by people who combine ignorance with an arrogant belief they are smarter than the world's scientists. We don't care about tone. You care about tone, and give no thought AT ALL to falsification of evidence or threats to destroy science.

      You don't share our values. At. All. But just for a moment, imagine you cared about factual accuracy, and idiots in the legislature were being advised by cunning pathological liars. What would you do? Pretend they are our esteemed colleagues?

      Delete
    8. Hey, Egnorance, that's Dr. Asshole to you.

      Do try to get something right, mmm-K?

      Delete
    9. I stumbled onto this site not realising the calibre of scientists frequenting it. I must have come across as a really arrogant and ignorant person, disrepectful even, but it was an honest mistake. The language used here was the reason I misjudged the occupants. Never having joined a blog before I was shocked at the childish and rude language and assumed that the participants couldn't possibly be respected scientists. Larry you've just given a talk on Blogs - I assume there's a psychological reason why this particular media encourages abusive dialogue that many would (hopefully!) not repeat face to face?
      John says I was "deceptively attacking evolutionary biology" what does that mean? How can one be "dishonest" when putting forward an argument? Do you think that people are putting forward arguments they actually believe are wrong? Really?
      Diogenes says:"In every argument we have with IDiots, they always relate or present falsified evidence." but I think they really are presenting information they believe in - even some (out-of-date) from Evolutionists themselves. I believe in human nature and I think that most people wouldn't argue "dishonestly" but in line with their worldviews and beliefs. Why get angry if someone is ignorant?

      @Uncivilsed Elk: "Does anybody here actually believe your lies about your credentials" Can't you see that everything I have said is consistent with me claiming that I got a genetics degree 30 years ago? If I had lied about my credentials I would have awarded myself something a little more impressive!

      Compare Larry's language in his excellent essay on Macroevolution:
      When dealing with macroevolution this is very much a learning experience for me since I'm not an expert. Please bear with me while we explore these ideas.
      with this:
      "Jesus fucking Christ... do you not see how sleazy and dishonest you are being?" "So you truly lack the basic intelligence to understand the point I'm making" (@Diogenes am I just being 'subjective' in calling that bad tone?)
      These latter comments were shot at me by people who Larry did not censor while I was trying to learn. I'm left to guess what Quest could possibly have said to trump that! If you really do want to educate others then you have to create a safe place for people to make honest errors and be magnanimous enough to accept their mistakes. Alternatively, if all you want to do is poke fun and ridicule others then carry on as normal but don't express surprise when no-one learns anything:

      "The world is not inhabited exclusively by fools, and when a subject arouses intense interest, as this one has, something other than semantics is usually at stake.
      Stephen Jay Gould (1982)


      @JohnHarshman ref macroevolution - it depends on definitions but I'm getting there...thank you!

      Delete
    10. Poor "Pauline" Her feelings have been awfully hurt. And all she wanted to do was learn! It's so unfair.

      As usual, Gould is correct. There is more than mere semantics involved here. Can you guess what that is? If not, do you know what an "analogy" is? I hope so, because I'm about to use one.

      Suppose a neo-Nazi Holocaust denier were to go onto a webforum dedicated to discussing and memorializing the Holocaust and started spouting some of the common claims made by Holocaust deniers. And, after people tried to educate him and provide him with accurate information to counter the lies and propaganda he had been fed, he continued to simply reply with yet more lies and propaganda straught from the Holocaust Denier Playbook.

      What kind of response to you believe this person would receive? Would people continue to be patient, kind and courteous towards him? Would he deserve such treatment?

      Now suppose another person goes onto a webforum devoted to neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers and tries to provide accurate historical information in an attempt to persuade them that their ideas are incorrect. What kind of reception do you think he'll receive?

      Now, why do you think this is? Is it, perhaps, because this disagreement is over something more than semantics?

      More importantly, do you really think this situation demonstrates that, actually, no one really knows the real truth regarding the Holocaust? That there are two equally valid and legitimate sides to that issue, and the reason the discussion so quickly becomes acrimonious is because boths sides are equally guilty of trying to obscure the weakness of their position with heated rhetoric?

      Or, perhaps, is it because one side, and one side only, insists on holding a position that is in contradiction to every single shred of evidence? And that this side holds this position for ideological reasons that it will not admit to, despite how blatant those reasons are to any reasonably informed observer?

      What do you think, "Pauline"?

      Delete
    11. Pauline,

      John says I was "deceptively attacking evolutionary biology" what does that mean? How can one be "dishonest" when putting forward an argument? Do you think that people are putting forward arguments they actually believe are wrong? Really?

      Well, that does happen on the web, but that isn't what I was accusing you of. You seem dishonest not about the arguments you made but about your motivations for posting. You were attacking evolutionary biology while claiming merely to be seeking information.

      So, now you're "getting there". What more would you need, and how exactly does that depend on definitions?

      Delete
    12. John,
      I was presenting information against evolution naively not realising that most people on this site have far more experience in molecular biology than me. I WAS seeking answers but I was doing it by putting forward evidence against what had been said. Had it been a Creationist website I would have put forward my evidence for evolution and got called an Evolutionist instead. (In retrospect I should have hedged my questions as such had I known the calibre of scientists on this site. I apologise for coming across as arrogant - I made a mistake.) I'm "getting there" as I was most dissatisfied with the fossil evidence and Dawkins' claims that it proved evolution beyond a shred of doubt. Now I am reading about phylogenetic trees I see more robust evidence than the fossil record so I'm "getting there" but what I really want is a direct link between a specific change in DNA and the production of a novel limb/function/kind. I described this as an "increase in information" but I have been corrected on this - I meant "information" in the lay sense (you never answered me John - do you think there is 'information' in DNA.) Maybe in my lifetime this will be commonplace, but all examples given to me so far have shown minor benefit if any, most have deleterious or neutral effects.

      Delete
    13. sez pauline:
      …what I really want is a direct link between a specific change in DNA and the production of a novel limb/function/kind.

      "Kind" is Creationist jargon, Pauline. You just can't help but keep on ticking those "yep, she's a Creationist, alright" check-boxes, can you? Anyway…

      Show me a person who's never heard of a kinkajou, and I'll show you a person who wouldn't recognize a kinkajou if one was chewing on their face. You want to see "a direct link between a specific change in DNA and the production of a novel limb/function/kind"? Fine. What would such a "direct link" look like? How would you be able to tell whether or not a proposed candidate for such a "direct link" genuinely is a "direct link" of the type you want to see?

      Delete
    14. Pauline,

      You're asking for a macromutation. I don't think macromutations have much influence on evolution. New functions generally start out small, as far as I can see. But now you have gone from asking for proof that macroevolution happens to asking for proof about how it happens. Can you see the difference? Was that progress?

      The fossil evidence, by the way, does prove evolution beyond a doubt. It's just that the molecular evidence is even better.

      And I did answer you: there is information in DNA, 2 bits per nucleotide. I really don't know what information "in the lay sense" is.

      Delete
  6. I sympathize with poor, widdle Egnor. I don't think there is a support group for People Who Post Drunk.

    Alas.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Both Klinghoffer and O’Leary tweeted exultantly about Egnor’s marvelous post, which they regarded as the very zenith of ID literature. I tweeted various thing back at them. Such as:

    @NickJMatzke @d_klinghoffer: Is it policy of @DiscoveryCSC that science resrch shld get defunded? Why do u suprt #Egnoramus? #ScienceHaters

    I use the hashtags #Egnoramus for Egnor and #ScienceHaters for general anti science. @NickJMatzke is noted anti-creationist Dr. Nick Matzke.

    Klinghitler has attempted to defend Smegnor’s claim that science is “95% garbage” by tweeting a 2005 paper in PLOS Medicine by Ioannidis saying that most results in *medical* research are not reproducible.

    Of course, *medical* research is the one kind of research that *medical* Dr. Egnor does *not* call garbage and does not want defunded, so of course Klinghitler backs him up by citing a paper that says medical research is mostly non-reproducible.

    These IDiots scored one in their own goal but are not smart enough to know it.

    Follow the fun on twitter @DiogenesLamp0.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Egnor said:I note that you atheist bastards never campaign for your beliefs-- you merely sue people and use the courts and the police to do your work for you.

    Egnor is as fine a specimen as can be found of Pseudochristian Fundamentalist Stupidity, arrogance and general unpleasantness. I just find him disgusting, with more than a hint of fire and brimstone. People like him should be left to simmer in their own brew.

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  9. Egnor seems to have disappeared but I think he would have an answer to Diogenes' list of ID fraud. Egnor is unhappy about scientific fraud that involves publicly funded research so whatever the people at the DI do its irrelevant as long as they're not taking tax money to do it.
    Scientists who commit fraud suffer disgrace and loose their profession but one could argue that's not enough. I think jail time is a bit too much though. Some political commentator ( a conservative I think ) suggested that tax cheats shouldn't go to jail. They should have to pay all the money they withheld five times over. I think it would be enough if scientific frauds had to pay back all of the grant money out of their own pocket

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    Replies
    1. That's a new one: If you're not receiving public funds, then you're not longer beholden to the ethical standards of your profession. I think you need to think that thru a bit more.

      Delete
    2. Telling lies on the internet is very different than telling lies that involve hundreds of thousands of dollars that aren't yours

      Delete
    3. Here is where you blunder: "Egnor is unhappy about scientific fraud that involves publicly funded research"

      Egnor has not cited any real examples of fraud involving publicly funded research. He has instead made the accusation that all biology based on evolution (which is pretty much all research biology) is based on fraud, and as he says, "climate science is a criminal syndicate." His only cited example is Climategate, in which *no* scientists committed *any* fraud, in which not even one data point from any graph needed correcting (although some scientists did not make their data easily available to those who requested it.)

      Egnor has slandered the scientists victimized by the Climategate theft, calling them criminals, and demanding the imprisonment of not just all climate scientists, but anyone who could reasonably have known of the "fraud" which he imagined in his head. A fraud for which he has never presented even a scrap of evidence. And each time we catch him lying outright about easily verifiable facts, he switches the topic to another emotional blurt.

      When we ask him for evidence of widespread fraud, he and Klinghitler link to pop sci articles which talk about the irreproducibility of *medical* research. But *medical* research is the one type of research that Smegnor claimed is *not* garbage and *should* be funded. Smegnor is a *medical* doctor so he wants to suck at the taxpayer's teat.

      The articles they themselves cite also talk about how research is biased if it's funded by corporations. But Smegnor and Klinghitler and the Disco Tute want a libertarian Me-topia of Austrian economics and Russian-style theocracy in which *no* scientific research exists *except* research funded by corporations and medical research-- the least reliable, and most irreproducible kinds of research, according to the sources they themselves cite.

      So no, Smegnor does not really care about fraud. He promotes fraud; he defends fraud. What Smegnor wants is a libertarian Metopia of inequality, corporate dominance, Austrian economics to keep people poor and and Russian-style theocracy to keep them dumb.

      I've read many of Egnor's blog posts, and I'm convinced that he knows he's lying. Some people are just ignorant, but time and again we prove that his facts are false and he immediately switches to another emotional blurt. That's deliberate; he's no genius but he must recognize the pattern of his own behavior. He knows he's lying.

      But he wants his epistemology of anti-reason, authoritarianism and emotional hysterics enshrined politically and placed beyond challenge. This is a recipe for a totalitarian Fourth Reich.

      Delete
    4. Telling lies on the internet is very different than telling lies that involve hundreds of thousands of dollars that aren't yours.

      The IDiots receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations on the pretext that they are doing scientific research, and all they produce is religious propaganda. This makes interesting reading:

      http://cenlamar.com/2013/06/07/the-discovery-institute-is-a-con-profit-scam/

      Delete
    5. For thoe disinclined to read the link, here is the money quote (if you'll excuse the pun):

      Over the last several years, the Discovery Institute has raised well over $20 million, donations that are almost entirely eaten up in salaries and administrative costs. On average, since 2008, the Discovery Institute has spent less than 13% of its annual revenue on program activity and phony “grants.” Put another way, the Discovery Institute spends nearly 90% of the tax-deductible donations it receives every year on salaried employees, consultants, lawyers, lobbyists, accountants, and administrative and overhead expenses, and that’s being generous.

      Indeed, there’s actually ample reason to believe that the Discovery Institute’s programmatic money is dramatically inflated, because during the last several years, nearly half of the expenditures they’ve itemized as “grants” has been given to the Biologic Institute, which is, essentially, a subsidiary organization. And if you delve into the 990 returns of Biologic, you’ll find that, like the Discovery Institute, it spends all of its money on salaries and overhead costs.


      Ah, yes, the Biologic Institute. That reminds me of this classic post from Antievolution.org:

      http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=14;t=3889;st=60#entry171772

      In which it is revealed, among other things, that the director of the Biologic Institute, Doug Axe, paid himself a tidy salary of over $92,000. That would be about the amount an associate professor in a university science department would be receiving. Except that university professor would be very busy doing things like teaching classes, publishing research. supervising grad students, etc. Axe, as far as can be told, is mainly sitting around writing the occasional blog post, and keeping the Biologic Institute's freezer stocked with tasty snacks. Nice work if you can get it.

      Dr. Egnor is strangely silent on this misuse of funds which, since it is mainly from tax deductible donations, is largely subsidized by his government.

      Delete
    6. On the other hand, their results are reproducible. Anyone could easily reproduce loafing about and publishing no research papers.

      Delete
    7. Here's some more evidence relative to global warming. Maybe if the Atlantic rises enough, Schmucknor's house on Long Island will end up under water.

      http://goo.gl/4IuvwR

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