Monday, January 30, 2017

Inappropriate Open Thread

Since all the bunnies have agreed to hijack the discussion on one of Eli's wonderful posts, the blather has been moved here, and feel free to disgrace yourselves further or feed the troll (you know who you are).


8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...
Jesus Lives!

You know I blame Hayhoe and her ilk, right? F-em.

Please forgive me for stopping to read your rant after the word Hayhoe.
Susan Anderson said...
8c, I am a tolerant atheist, and you have just put yourself on my list of intolerant so and sos. People who are unable to imagine that good people living in the world are entitled to their beliefs and their culture provide justification for the election of other people with different beliefs who are equally intolerant. When you attack good people, you make room for bad people.

As a remedy, I suggest you go out and get a bible, and read the gospels, and perhaps Isaiah for good measure, and think about what it says. There's some good stuff in the Koran too. And you could try the Pope's Laudato Si.

Alienating people who share the beliefs of a large majority of the population is a good way to lose big time.

'No Man is an Island'

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

You're smart enough to get over yourself: please do so. If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.
8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...
I'm sorry Susan, but as a scientist I can clearly see that religion IS THE PROBLEM. That problem has led directly to this national crisis.

Whether this devolves into another American civil war still remains to be seen, but if you think the delusional and insane Christian religious conservative right are going to stand down and back away peacefully from this, then you too are delusional. Kathryn Hayhoe iw the enabler.

And I am not going to back down on this until this is resolved.

One thing I am not, is a fearful cowardly American.

I'm a scientist. An American scientist.
Chris_Winter said...

You should watch episode 4 of Showtime's "Years of Living Dangerously", in which Rick Joyner's daughter -- assisted by Katherine Hayhoe -- attempts to convince the pastor that climate change is real. They fail. But the daughter does get the chance to address Joyner's congregation.

I am an atheist myself, but I don't condemn all Christians. The problem is a vocal minority who seek to establish a Christian theocracy in the United States. They are the ones who rail against Islam, against atheism, and against many areas of science -- including climate science.
8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...
And Kathryn Hayhoe and Sylvester James Gates just goad them on and enable them. Gates in particular with science so out of touch with reality that the average joe doesn't have a clue what science is.

There is ZERO room for religion in science and government.

I am going after scientists in particular with this.
magmacc said...
@Susan Anderson: Very well-stated. Thank you.
magmacc said...
Feel free to leave me out of whatever personal issues you are struggling with, 8c.
8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...
And likewise, feel free to have and express original thoughts of your own.
EliRabett said...
Jim Gates is anything but insane. Too nice if anything, but the same could be said about Obama.
Katharine Hayhoe said...
Thank you Eli for this post, and Susan and magmacc for your gracious support. With over 70 of the US identifying as Christians, fixing the climate problem without them is a pipe-dream. We have to work together on this, rather than focus on what divides us.

8c, I would love an example of when you were nice to me, even if you are done now. And I'd also love to know your real name.
8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...
Susan, I am a theoretical physicist and a (former) rocket scientist, and everything you need to know about me may be found at, although it would be more to the point to start with this essay.

Which at the end of the references has some links to some recent companion essays. In particular, in this essay I utterly demolish the need for any deities to establish the origin of life on terrestrial planets, and which has subsequently been backed up by some elegant mathematical proofs by James Crutchfield.

As much as I am loathe to continue to spam Eli's blogs with my idiotic crackpot essays, now is the time for it. I just felt the need for Vera Rubin and Helen Quinn cheerleading at a time when religious funding is corrupting string theory and theoretical physics with vast amounts of money from the John Templeton Foundation. I don't much care what nonsense scientists believe in, but science and government can only function properly by the a priori EXCLUSION of religious beliefs from science and government. There can be no reconciliation.

Current events in America demonstrate that conclusively. You can run it by your father, or not. I care not. I am now an activist for the absolute exclusion of religion from science and government. I will not stand down on this. The current American crisis is the fault of people who allow religion to sway their scientific beliefs, at the highest level of government, include and especially our former president. Trump and Bannon are just using that to promote fascism.
EliRabett said...
8c go try and hijack someotherbunny's thread.
8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...
No thanks Eli, feel free to ban me.

Sorry Kathryn, I thought you were Susan. I've been traditionally nice to Christians when I live in Christian theocracies. America is a Christian theocracy now. I blame you, and people just like you.

America is the nation of my birth. I am a US citizen.

There is no more being nice to Christians for me.
Bryson said...
I'm puzzled by 8c's insistence on lumping together all religious/ Xian people. There are plenty of moderate religious people who understand science and appreciate the value of freedom of religion. Of course there are others who, it seems, want to impose an absolutist theocracy. The first group is clearly prepared to join their fellow citizens in a democratic country that respects science and freedom of religion, and the second clearly isn't. Equating the two seems self-indulgent at best and destructively delusional at worst.

Mal Adapted said...
8c: "There is no more being nice to Christians for me."

I'm trying-but-failing to remember a single comment by 8c in which he was "nice" to anybody.

He defends his all-encompassing misanthropy by claiming he's "An American scientist". Well, so am I, by training and inclination though not by profession, and an atheist (in the dictionary sense) as well, and I have nothing but respect for Dr. Hayhoe. When she says "With over 70[%] of the US identifying as Christians, fixing the climate problem without them is a pipe-dream", she is speaking cold truth, and her theology of stewardship offers the only realistic challenge to the Calvinist dominionism now in unholy alliance with American plutocracy.

As an atheist, I agree with Susan that wisdom can be found in the world's holy books. Before I declined to be confirmed in my mother's church at age 12, I became acquainted with the Bible. It holds that pride is the deadliest of sins, for it enables all others. While 8c may believe himself heroic, his fatuous declamation of disdain for all religious faith is purely self-indulgent, and his intolerance at least as dangerous as the notion that AGW can't be real because God wouldn't allow it. With friends like him, climate realists don't need enemies!
BBD said...
I'm puzzled by 8c's insistence on lumping together all religious/ Xian people.

Some warthogs are orange.

Mad, isn't it?
8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...
If that were true Bryson America would not have suddenly run off the rails into an effective coup d'etat headed straight for a fascist Christian theocracy. This has been creeping up for decades, ever since the summer of 1988 if you recall the events of that summer. There were plenty of flags raised the first year into Reagan's term. And we all had to suffer Nixon, and before that, the Vietnam war.

These people are American fascists, and religion is the direct cause.

Whether it was used as a took, or as a true believer, or not.

It's false dogma and has no place in science, education or government.
Kevin O'Neill said...
8c - You've either forgotten or never learned your history. There is nothing unique about religion or christianity vis a vis fascism. Atheism has probably spawned the worst fascists. Have you sworn off atheists as well - yourself included? It would make sense in a DSM sort of way.
Susan Anderson said...
Please do not feed the trolls or haters. It doesn't go anywhere.

Just for pleasure, here's rather a nice poem which was referenced as a memorial to Vera Rubin by someone else whose name I forget. Sadly, the nice spacing of the original will probably disappear, in which case you can go to the original here:

By Adrienne Rich

Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750—1848)
astronomer, sister of William; and others.

A woman in the shape of a monster
a monster in the shape of a woman
the skies are full of them

a woman 'in the snow
among the Clocks and instruments
or measuring the ground with poles’

in her 98 years to discover
8 comets

she whom the moon ruled
like us
levitating into the night sky
riding the polished lenses

Galaxies of women, there
doing penance for impetuousness
ribs chilled
in those spaces of the mind

An eye,

‘virile, precise and absolutely certain’
from the mad webs of Uranusborg

encountering the NOVA

every impulse of light exploding

from the core
as life flies out of us

Tycho whispering at last
‘Let me not seem to have lived in vain’

What we see, we see
and seeing is changing

the light that shrivels a mountain
and leaves a man alive

Heartbeat of the pulsar
heart sweating through my body

The radio impulse
pouring in from Taurus

I am bombarded yet I stand

I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe
I am a galactic cloud so deep so invo-
luted that a light wave could take 15
years to travel through me And has
taken I am an instrument in the shape
of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind.


Anonymous said...

Right Kevin, but living in the present as I do, the fascists that we have right now in America executing a Russian American coup d'etat are insane rabid American Christian fascists, and not a bunch of skeptical impotent atheists. What I find inappropriate is you and others defending this, enabling the insertion of evangelical Christianity into American public schools, our government and our scientific institutions. And then allowing Mike Pence to create an army of Christian zombies through the privatization of the American educational system and a massive effort of Christian indoctrination through home schooling. Just like climate change through global warming, the neglect of this problem for decades has now done its work. And all you do is apologize. F-you. Like the NASA debacle of Constellation, SLS and Orion, I'm just going after the scientists and engineers I consider to be most responsible for these other debacles. Why should I go after the uneducated retarded morons who elected these fascists, that's just entertainment for me. When I confront scientists, and those who claim to be scientists, and I will continue to do so, that's serious business for me. You are not exempt from my ire. I don't care if you are a string theorist advising the president or some insane evangelical Christian preaching to your choir, I'm going to speak up and out, against you ... personally. I have made personal judgements of your personal character, and I care not what you think of me the the manner in which I conduct science for my own personal enlightment.

Fernando Leanme said...

Leave the Russians out of it. This is all the democrats fault for picking Hillary as a candidate. I read the Bible, and I particularly recommend the part where Jericho gets destroyed. I also like to read all the laws and wonder if Sharia was derived from the Old Testament. Is it possible Mohammed thought he was Christian?

Tom said...

I'm a lukewarmer, a progressive liberal democrat, a Vietnam veteran and an agnostic from the word go.

8c, for someone who self-identifies as a scientist, you have done remarkably little research into the incidence or impact of religion on American government or science.

The obvious fact that religion is (mostly) irrelevant in the performance and analysis of science does not mean that it is within the bounds of polite discourse to rubbish someone because they have religious beliefs. If we threw out all the science that had been conducted by devout believers we would live in a much poorer world.

I have been reading Ms. Kayhoe's writings on climate change for several years. I disagree with quite a few of the conclusions she draws, but her behaviour in the overall discussion has been exemplary. As someone who has ranted vehemently about people and subjects in the climate discussion, I can say with some confidence that both you and I would benefit from the lessons she offers.

Anonymous said...

Where did I say through out the science? I'm a scientific anarchist.

I just don't think the government should be funding anyone who publicly attaches the term 'Christian' to their publicly funded science in the public media. If Hayhoe and Gates want to do that, they should quit taking public money. John Templeton Foundation Koch money is ok though.

That's exactly what we have happening now. Fake physics. Fake news.

Fake Christians.


Onward Science Soldiers,
Marching out to bore.

Tom said...

8c, if this is indicative of the quality of your thinking on scientific issues, I think Christians in science are the least of our issues...

E. Swanson said...

8c-long char: Having been reared in a Christian environment, including years in a Christian Prep school, then later progressing thru an engineering quasi-scientific college experience, I long ago came to a point of view much like yours. I'm agnostic tending to atheism only because there's no way to prove that there's no Deity hiding out there beyond our ability to find same. Most people believe their senses and the narratives passed down over many generations, even though its now well know that our senses are seriously limited and our brains easily fooled. Lately, I've found myself living among seriously religious folks, most of whom don't have college degrees, let alone scientific training. My neighbor was home schooling her 2 girls and when I sent her a link to an astronomy presentation about the universe, I think she freaked.

It's been more than 150 years since Darwin, yet, there are many who still refuse to accept his theory and the data which supports it. Worse yet, many around here still think the Earth is quite young and that Heaven is a real place up in the sky. Trying to talk to them about science is hopeless, as they take any other world view as an affront to their personal being. The spread of Fundamentalist/Evangelical religions of all persuasions is cause for much worry to me, as I think the day will come when the stark differences in world views will result in outright conflict within the U.S. of A. History gives numerous examples of religious wars which erupt between different factions, let alone between those with secular and those with religious world views.

It would be wonderful if people could just agree to live and let live, but history teaches that major disagreements usually tend toward violence and blood shed. The U.S. had it's Civil War and each side believed they were in the right, even to the point of having God on their side. We may be living in interesting times as the old Chinese curse would have it...

Anonymous said...

Tom, your issue is that you think that your personal issues are 'our' issues. You are precisely the kind of person who voted for Donald Trump/

Anonymous said...

Eric, I personally think that the scientific community continuing to ignore these people, apologize for these people, coddle up to these people and enable these people and their thinking IS FAR MORE DISGRACEFUL than me occasionally ranting about it. It has done far more damage to American democracy than I could do in a thousand lifetimes.

So Eli and Ken Rice are operating on a completely different plane than I. They are apologizing for religion. They think they are 'civilized'.

And somehow they think being civil to insane religious cranks will make them stop being insane religious cranks or stop profiting from filling up impressionable little children's head with insanely cranky ideas.

That's not happening. I feel my approach if far more appropriate.

Tom said...

8c, your observations are on a par with your thinking, sad to say.

You're actually sounding more like a cultist than the people you are criticizing. Of course there are religious nuts out there. Hayhoe is not one of them.

I would have thought there would be far fewer scientism cultists. Hopefully you're sui generis.

Shelama said...

@ Fernando Leanme said...

"...Is it possible Mohammed thought he was Christian?"

Well, Fernando, we know Mohammad was at least somewhat familiar with early Christian texts, both canonical and non.

One can certainly wonder if Mohammad was inspired by and developed his one-upmanship triumphalism from what he found in the New Testament coming out of the mouth of Jesus.

In what is undeniably a self-referential parable, with Jesus referring to himself...

"But those mine enemies, who would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither and slaughter them before me." (Luke 19:27)

Plus, plenty of non-historical, political and propagandist anti-Jewish polemic in Matt and John. That to this day, in addition to the Christian 'Protocols,' continue to provide poison for both Muslims and Christians...

–– Jewish crowds screaming, "Crucify him!... his blood be on us and on our children!” (Matt 27)

–– Jesus talking to and about "the Jews"... "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44)

Anonymous said...

In my world of your 'scientism', anyone who believes in imaginary deities over say, ordinary nearby aliens with sufficiently advanced technologies, and/or worships a long dead human individual known only through myths and ancient scripts, as a savior or prophet, is a cultist.

I'm totally ok with cults, as long as they are not running my government, filling up children's heads with cultish ideas, or attempting to legitimize their cults through public education or the public funding of public science. Hayhoe and Gates are cultists.

I'm fairly sure my judgement of your personal character is similar.

Tom said...

Interesting that you actually can use the word 'judgement' without collapsing in gales of hysterical laughter. But we can do that part on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

Sure 'we' can, Tom.

How may insane anti-science nutjobs live inside your head with you?

That's ok, Tom, except when the other you's start talking to youz.

David B. Benson said...

This thread is certainly increasing entropy...

Anonymous said...

How is that eternal inflation and the multiverse working out for you David? Got those predictions all lined up, or is it just 'god did it'?

Here is how the pros do it.

Notice the date. Welcome to the 21st Century.


8C: 'Notice the date. Welcome to the 21st Century.'

Is that anno domini or is your belief in the year zero predestinate?

Anonymous said...

I don't publish papers or essays in Latin anymore, Russell.

It's fallen out of favor as the language of science a while back.

Maybe you didn't get the memo. Aren't you on the pope's short list?

Tom said...

So you don't like Latin 8c, and you clearly are not a fan of English. What is your preferred language?

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see how you would explain how you parsed that I don't like Latin out of my statements. Maybe some other time. Mathematics, obviously, but I do find public mathturbation to be very embarrassing, especially in unmotivated and experimentally inaccessible model building such as goes on in string theory and cosmology, etc.

I'm totally ok with classical model building, though. The math and the physics are both rock solid in those cases, with intimate contact with observable reality. I just find that science to be less than 'new'.

Tom said...

Yes, your version of logic is very Boolean. Limited, but simple.

Anonymous said...

It worked well enough for scientists and engineers to give you the capability to use a hand held supercomputer to post nonsense text comments on a global wide band communications network. I'm ok with it.

It's not the only tool in my bag of scientific methods, though.

Not only do I believe in evolution, Tom, I practice it.

Kevin O'Neill said...

8c - "Not only do I believe in evolution, Tom, I practice it." Which reinforces the biological point that most genetic mutations are harmful. You ignored the "Do not attempt this at home" warning label


8c, the last time HH called in, he wanted us to lobby the UN for internet access as a Universal Human Right

Anonymous said...

Kevin, my definition of the term 'evolution' is considerably more flexible and all emcompassing than yours, sorry.

Russell, I consider the fairly recent development of the immediate access to all human knowledge to be a good thing. It saved me a lot of time and pavement pounding, particularly with scientific research. The old way of doing research was nice, but it involved a lot of time, energy, natural resources, paper and xerox copying and a huge coffee house bill. It did result in a far more interesting and rich social life, but now I can grind my own coffee beans, the coffee is a lot stronger, and I can do the kind of research that I believe desperately needs to be done, horizontally. The force of gravity on this planet is continuous, and very strong. That kind of research does require occasionally entering some clever key words or phrases into the search bar. I know how that can be a hassle, even horizontally, drinking coffee. It's probably easier just making stuff up and getting pair for it like our newly elected government now does. That's how the churches do it too. Little children love that kind of knowledge, especially when they are bombarded with it early.

David B. Benson said...

More bits to increase entropy, I see.

Anonymous said...

That's how the universe we live in works, David, I'm sorry that somehow offends your religious sensibilities. Who you quit producing entropy, you become ... boring. And inaccessible. Like a string theorist. Or a priest.

Kevin O'Neill said...

8c writes: "[When] you quit producing entropy, you become ... boring. And inaccessible."

LOL The complete lack of self-awareness is droll.

Bring out yer dead.
Here's one.
But I'm still producing entropy.
Er, he says he's not dead.
Oh c'mon, do me a favor - he's boring and inaccessible.
But I'm still producing entropy.
Boring and inaccessible? Right then, that'll be nine pence. I'll see he's not producing entropy much longer.

Anonymous said...

You're a real Fermi gas, Kevin, the life of the party. But least you aren't frozen stiff like a Wigner crystal. I prefer something in between. Occasionally excitonic, but also occasionally dense.

So occasionally I make executive decisions that greatly reduce entropy production, and thus pollution. In this case that decision was not the give religious cranks like Francis Collins a free ride for their dogma.


8c, if "The force of gravity on this planet is continuous, and very strong."

Why dont you move downstairs two million floors or so, and become a Centrist?

The integral speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Because I'm not a vain, pompous, latin quoting asshole like you, Russell. I just call them as I see them, and what I see is a scientist named Ken Rice defending the people whose insane nutty Christian beliefs are insinuating themselves into science in some other person's country.

But that's exactly what I expect of a scientist living in a Christian monarchy.

Mal Adapted said...

8c: "Because I'm not a vain, pompous, latin quoting asshole like you, Russell."
To be sure. While 8c shares many characteristics with every other anus, at high enough resolution he is revealed as anus sui generis

Anonymous said...

Try sewing yours up once and see how that works out for you.

Mal Adapted said...

8c: "Try sewing yours up once and see how that works out for you."

No need, thanks. The outcome can be, uhm, projected without incurring the discomfort the experiment would cause.


Can this poor dyspeptic wight ever have laid eyes on a Wigner crystal ?

What he has to say is Greek to me.

Anonymous said...

Your woo is very wooful and wooish - woofully woosish, Russell.

You and Kathryn Pritchard must be best buddies with the editors at Nature.


Senor 8C:
1. Sir John Maddox, he dead.
2, my humble superstion is physics and Wigner predicted a lot of things, some far more momentous than jelly opals:


Never heard of Pritchard , but just took a look at the link- God how Nature has gone to the dogs !

My condolences to 8c on having read her, but damn his eyes for not warning us off in the first place.

David B. Benson said...

GAD entropy:
Does this explain this thread?

Anonymous said...

Sorry David, wrong multiverse. We're in the multiverse where stochastic energetics as outlined by Udo Seifert demands that non-quilibrium steady states demands that charged ions in a chemical potential driven by an energy gradient demands that charged ions self order, self assemble and self replicate in order to dissipate energy as efficiently as possible, ulimately producing you, David B. Benson, the obvious pinnacle of evolution (in the broadest sense of the word. I thought you would have at least read my essay on the subject, it was your obsession with the multiverse and some geneticist whose name I cannot remember that motivated it in the first place. Start here :

Why, pray tell, would I be cranking on Kathryn 5ritchard, Kathryn Hayhoe (the two Kathryns, lol) and Francis Collins, et al? The problem is that now that I am driving them off Earth and into the universe where they belong, they are just using their nutty sky daddy beliefs and nearly infinite John Templeton Foundation funding to retreat into the fuzzy dark matter firewall at the event horizon in black holes. The should be comfortable there with their black minds.

And all their insane Christian physicist friends.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, Russell, that your Nature woo, having at least some basis in discernible reality, is of a much higher quality than Kathryn Pritchard's woo. What I said to the editors of Nature concerning the dearth of recent article quality, is that they separate the woo from the resutls in a separate publication named 'Popular Nature'. That way woo can rule the roost like is does in Amurka now, and not interfere with those who a priori exclude the god woo from their science lives.

And those who a priori exclude the god woo from public education, public government and public statements, as it should be if they are being paid by the government and are charged with protecting children.


Since Nature owns Scientific American, they might strip it of political woo, and rechristen it Scientific Republican in the hope of attracting readers in need of what remains.

This would save them a lot of money, as regurgitating what The Guardian says is a hell of a way to attract advertisers.

David B. Benson said...

Increasingly the sitting room in Bedlam.

Anonymous said...

That's the Oval Office and the War Room.

This is just the internet.