Weekend Intellectual Free-Fire Zone #20

We’ve had to scramble around, but we only found one news item worth mentioning. At PhysOrg, they report the results of a poll that Americans favor Obama to defend against space aliens. They say:

With Obama facing re-election in November, 65 percent said Obama would be more adept than Romney to respond to an alien invasion, with women and younger Americans more likely than men and over-65s to agree with that prospect.

Among the findings were:

Thirty-six percent of respondents said they were certain that unidentified flying objects exist. Eleven percent were confident they had spotted a UFO, and 20 percent said they knew someone who claimed to have seen one.

Aside from that, we’re still waiting for a ruling in the Coppedge case. Some little things have been showing up in the court docket, but they don’t seem important. The last item is this:

06/27/2012 at 03:45 pm in Department 54, Ernest Hiroshige, Presiding. Exparte proceeding – Completed

That means nothing to us. The way the courts are behaving lately, we have no idea what will happen, but we’ll know, soon enough.

Otherwise, the 4th of July is coming and our kind of news is scarce, so you’re on your own.

As with all our free-fire zones, we’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Weekend Intellectual Free-Fire Zone #20

  1. Ceteris Paribus

    While you are outside standing watch for UFOs and their space alien invasion, David Rives Ministries website offers this advice on his June 24 Skywatch page http://davidrivesministries.org/skywatch-7-big-dipper/ :

    “Skywatch: Big Dipper Visible in Summer Sky
    June 24, 2012
    David Rives
    Big Dipper Visible in Summer Sky

    For those in the Northern Hemisphere, the Big Dipper can be seen in the Northwestern evening sky.

    It also serves as an excellent guide for locating the North Star (Polaris)”

    So if you observe some UFOs, be sure to use the handy Big Dipper for reference points when you call your local sheriff department to alert them to the impending invasion in your backyard.

  2. The Coppedge case has been a real eye opener for me. I’m just astonished how slow the wheels of justice turn. It seems to me a judge would make a decision while the facts of the case are fresh in his mind.
    While aliens are a bit of a long shot; I think a more relevant poll would be which president would be better at eliminating a small body impact. And the answer would be neither. While praise and blame are heaped upon the president most people are regrettably naive to the fact that it is constitutionally a weak office.

  3. The Obama-Aliens thing (Birther jokes aside) reminds me of something I find increasingly perplexing. Scientists, probably more than any group, like competition, and hate bureaucracy and handouts. Yet I read that ~2/3 vote Democratic. Is this more a case of voting against Republicans than for Democrats? Few politicians in either party are very friendly to science, but Republicans, by pandering (at least significantly more than Democrats) to the most vocal and organized anti-science movement, are at least perceived as more immediately threatening to science.

    I’m interested in a range of thoughts, not a debate.

  4. Ruling on Coppedge’s activity while not infringing Coppedge’s right to believe as he chooses, has to be a task for Hiroshige. But Il I think it will be another low point in the fortunes of creationist psychosis. I look forward to Kadooplefloppens report, after the ruling,
    I’m sure it will be fun. Maybe he can blame everything on the aliens from outer space.

  5. @Frank: I think scientists in general would be unlikely to share the present day GOP’s positions on climate change and environmental protection, their opposition to public education, the conservative religious “social values” positions that seemingly have become required of GOP candidates, and the aversion that the GOP has to any sort of international cooperation. (The Texas GOP platform advocates withdrawing from the UN and moving the headquarters off of US soil, among other examples.)

    I don’t think scientists’ views on classic GOP positions related to economics, size of government, federal v. state sovereignty, etc. are any different that the population at large. In my opinion it’s the other positions that religious conservatives have brought to the party that repel scientists, college-educated younger voters, and other people with higher levels of education.

    Interesting, people defecting from the GOP apparently haven’t been joining the democrats. Per a recent poll, the distribution was: Republicans 35.7%, Democrats 33.8%, Unaffiliateds 30.5%. (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/partisan_trends)

  6. Ed says: “Interesting, people defecting from the GOP apparently haven’t been joining the democrats.”

    Re-registering as “Independent” would have been my choice if the GOP nominee this year had been one of the creationist candidates.

  7. Coppedge got his tail in a crack by exhibiting the behavior of an annoying, gibbering idiot. It was his behavior, not his viewpoint, that was his issue in the workplace. A win for Coppedge would be less a win for creationists and a huge victory for gibbering idiots everywhere.

    As for the wheels of justice, the Freshwater case is still open after how many years? I’ve lost count!

  8. Doc I like “gibbering idiots” a lot.
    “Blithering ” has always struck a particularly
    agreeable chord with me when describing
    creationism. Babbling works well also.

  9. Over at Amazon dot Com in the reviews of Luskin’s new “book” a five-star reviewer, Mark, got his head handed to him by several scientists commenting on his review. As a True Creationist ™, Mark put up a brave fight of trying to change the subject, using the I’m Rubber You’re Glue argument, and demonstrating a complete failure to understand what he purportedly read and attempted to review coherently. Massive fail.

    Here is Mark’s final statement in this long (122 comment) exchange. Yes, Mark, we know that creationists are like mosquitoes. They always run away from an argument. Always.

    Smokey, and also EK, Francis, David, etc., etc., you need an explanation in biological terms, so you can understand better what is going on:
    Where I sometimes venture to go, there is a wild land where the deer flies are at home, especially at this time of the year. They come in droves and with a missionary zeal seeking to satisfy their instinctive drive to keep alive and propagate. Essentially, they are harmless, yet pesky and a nuisance nevertheless. Homo Sapiens (the wise man) has a choice: either by endlessly swatting smooshing them, or to leave them alone in their habitat and just go away. Get it? Mark

  10. It might be of interest that Paul McBride has finished his chapter-by-chapter review of Luskin’s book. Great reading. http://apomorph.blogspot.com/

  11. Doc Bill: “They always run away from an argument. Always.”

    They run away fastest when asked questions about their “theory.” But at least old-style YECs and OECs give the basic “what happened when” questions a few half-hearted tries. But ID scammers and their well-trained fans know better that to expose the fatal weaknesses and embarrasing contradictions. Some, like Behe, just concede those “unimportant details” to science, but only to move on to safer turf, and occasionally trip up a “Darwinist” who assumes that the IDer is a YEC.

  12. True, Frank, they run away from the current argument only to surface like Jason in a bad horror film later. With the same argument. Same knife. Same chainsaw. Same scantily clad Jennifer Aniston looking so ripped and perky and panting and wet-lipped, dewy eyes and golden, glowing skin, beckoning, yea, beckoning you to the beach where the waves are crashing on the shore and the moon is reflecting on the waters and in her eyes and … and … and

  13. @Doc Bill:

    On boards like Talk Origins and Panda’s Thumb they don’t have to run anywhere. I ask them questions about their “theory” and they ignore me, most from the beginning, and all by the 3rd round – 11 years, 100s of deniers, in case anyone is wondering. But other “Darwinists” on the same thread “take the bait”, so their comments get replies, while mine get ignored. By “take the bait” I mean (1) give them evidence for evolution that they can take out of context to spin more incredulity or “Gish gallop” to another long-refuted “weakness.” And (2) allow them to bait-and-switch between proximate causes and ultimate causes. Certainly some of that “bait taking” is necessary, to expose deniers’ tactics to readers, but it must be balanced with questions, if only to show their outrageous double standards.

  14. One of the best threads ever, and I think it’s preserved, was over at Denial Central aka Uncommon Descent (into madness) where they invited poster “MathGrrl” to discuss “complex specified information” and its variants. MathGrrl just wanted to do a calculation. Any object. Their choice. Over 300 insulting comments later … nothing. None of the ID “experts” cooperated. First the calculation was “too simple” and they weren’t going to waste their time, then the calculation was “too difficult” and they weren’t going to waste their time, then nobody could agree on definitions. If you had to ask for a definition you obviously didn’t know what you were talking about and if you provided a definition (right out of Dembski’s own books) then it was wrong and you misread it, misinterpreted it, misunderstood it, were too stupid-uneducated-smart-simple-difficult.

    It’s quite an infuriating read. Of course we all know that all of “intelligent design creationism” is made-up word salad so when put to the test it’s impossible to make any sense of it. Worse than Wonderland!

  15. NeonNoodle

    Arrrrrgh! Why do I receive every new Chick tract in my inbox? I must have an enemy spamming me. Just got two more a couple seconds ago. (One is titled “Camels in the Tent.” I wonder what that’s about? Sounds dirty, although it’s unaccompanied by the words “toes” or “pitched.” I’ll never know, I guess, because there’s a “?” icon indicating it can’t be opened.)

    More surprises: under the subheading “Did you receive our last email newsletter? If not, here’s what you missed,” I found this subject title: “How a Missionary was Made.” (That sounds dirty too. I’m afraid to click on it. What the hell’s going on with those people??)