Weekend Intellectual Free-Fire Zone #23

It’s another slow news day. We’re still waiting for the Coppedge decision, but the judge continues to take his time. Meanwhile, we did find a few items of interest.

There are Five potential habitable exoplanets now, and two of them orbit the same star.

According to a New Zealand researcher, Women Beat Men on IQ Tests For First Time. The news story says:

[H]e collected data from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Estonia and Argentina on scores on a standard IQ test, called the Raven test.

And finally, 600-year-old linen bras found in Austrian castle. This is important news because:

[T]he bra had commonly been thought to be only little more than 100 years old as women abandoned the tight corset. Instead, it appears the bra came first, followed by the corset, followed by the reinvented bra.


While paintings of the era show outerwear, they do not reveal what women wore beneath. [Hilary Davidson, fashion curator for the London Museum] described the finds as “kind of a missing link” in the history of women’s underwear.

So there you are. We’re on our own again. 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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7 responses to “Weekend Intellectual Free-Fire Zone #23

  1. Have some fun with the comments I left Casey Luskin the other day, and his “answer”:

    My comment to Luskin:

    Thanks for the reply. As you know, “creationism” has several definitions, so I should be clear in that I mean as the DI defines it, which seems to correspond to the YEC and OEC promoted by AiG and RTB, respectively. I should add that I do not criticize ID for not identifying the designer. Like you, Michael Behe and Ken Miller, I think it’s God, but don’t think that’s a scientific conclusion. I’m much more interested in the “what happened when” part. As you know, evolution and creationism make many such claims, as do some individuals in the ID movement. So it only makes sense that ID criticize all claims that it finds unconvincing, whether they come from “Darwinists” or evolution-deniers. That would add some support to ID’s claim of being scientific. And it would put an end to the claims of “ID is too creationism” that at least one “Darwinist” finds annoying.

    My comment to another commenter. Luskin must have read it, since the thread had very few comments:

    It’s not just “Darwin’s adherents” who think that, but Michael Behe too, and many other “Darwin doubters,” including an apparent majority of the signatories of the “dissent” statement. And some of “Darwin’s adherents” do not think that a single free-living organism was ancestral to all subsequent life.

    Luskin’s reply:

    Daer Frank J,
    Thanks for the reply. I’m not sure how “DI” defines creationism–but I know that leading authorities on all sides of this debate have observed that the central claim of creationism is that a “supernatural creator” created life. This isn’t a DI-definition: The U.S. Supreme Court, National Academy of Sciences, Eugenie Scott, National Science Teachers Association, Phillip Johnson, Robert Pennock, William Dembski, Barbara Forrest, Paul Gross, and many others have all defined creationism like this. So while many people (including you) might believe in a “supernatural creator,” it’s not a scientific conclusion. So I think we’re in agreement here.
    I provided you with principled, logical reasons for why ID lacks this central, defining characteristic of creationism. This demonstrates that ID is substantively different from creationism in one of the most important ways possible.
    Finally, I’m not calling anyone a “Darwinist” here (even though evolutionists themselves use this term — see http://www.discovery.org/f/628 )– and I also don’t think the term “evolution-denier” is appropriate, since ID proponents acknolwedge that life has changed over time.
    Thanks for writing.

    Please give him slack on the spelling. There’s so much else to have fun with. Especially what he left out

  2. Of course the bra came first! The womanly orbs get sore sometimes without support…specially if you’re running up and down stairs in the castle.

  3. Stacy says: “The womanly orbs get sore sometimes”

    I assume so, but I never dreamed they were so technologically advanced back then.

  4. Wait, how can he not know how the DI defines creationism? Doesn’t he work for them? And if he doesn’t know how the DI defines creationism, how can he know whether or not the DI’s version of ID fits the definition? I’ll give him slack for spelling, but that?!?! Nuh-uh.

  5. docbill1351

    Luskin is a liar. Oh, sorry, professional liar. His job is misrepresentation. I guess that would make him an anti-lawyer, one who mis-represents his client.

    Of course Luskin knows how the DI defines creationism as he has written on the subject many times, the disingenuous little twerp. Whenever anybody points out that ID is simply creationism they, and I mean Luskin in particular, are quick to point out that they didn’t say anything about Genesis or the Bible. Notice the dodge? The subject is quickly changed from generic creationism to literal Biblical creationism which is one of the creationism variants. They think they are being clever.

    Oddly, ALL of the DI fellows are on record many times confirming, confessing, admitting, claiming – whatever you want to say – that the designer is God of the Bible. Wedge Document, anybody?

    Another of Luskin’s many lies is how he refers to ID “theorists” and ID “scientists.” There aren’t any. Even Dembski and Behe are no more ID “theorists” than my cat! What theory? Dembski: things look designed. Behe: can’t imagine how this thing-a-ma-jig could have evolved. Berllinski: gaps therefore no evolution. Meyer: oooooh, have you ever really looked at your hand, man?

    That’s it. That’s the entire clown car of ID “theorists.” A bunch of kooks laying out some unfounded assertions surrounded by scientifical words.

    And you wonder why we laugh at creationists? Ridiculous comes to mind.

  6. docbill1351

    Be sure to catch up on the fun from this week when superb science writer Carl Zimmer asked the DI a simple question to provide him a citation supporting one of their published assertions. They scattered faster than parts in a junkyard during a tornado! It was High-Larry-Ous to watch.

    Zimmer was later branded a coward by Klinkletinkle which in itself was a remarkable bit of irony.

  7. DocBill, you didn’t give them the URL. That was at Biologic Institute’s facebook page, where Zimmer asked them a simple question, asking them for a scientific citation whence they drew their Darwin-destroying quotes. 250+ comments later, no one at the DI would tell him the citation, they just issued endless ad hominem attacks:

    Paul McBride searched Luskin’s crappy book and copied in the citation that Zimmer asked for. Someone at the DI deleted McBride’s comments. So they can’t give us the citation, and we’re not allowed to copy it in ourselves.

    Dirty Klotheshamper showed up, inviting Zimmer to debate the “facts” whose “origin” no one at the DI can or would specify. Zimmer declined to debate; he just wanted one simple scientific citation.

    So yours truly, in the comments section on FB, challenged Klotheshamper to a debate in Zimmer’s stead, on two conditions: 1.From now on, all posts at ENV will have open comments, forevermore. 2. No word length limit.

    I got this response:

    Instead, Klotheshamper crowed “Victory!” at ENV, describing his incontrovertible evidence that Darwin’s Boys are cowards who run from a fair fight, because “Darwinists” decline to debate. He never mentioned me, and he never posted the citation Zimmer asked for.

    I read Luskin’s book and actually wrote a review of Chapter 4 (lying ’bout genetics) in 100-word comment snippets on their facebook page, refuting Luskin’s made up facts by describing real science, complete with citations to real scientific papers and stuff. (100 word snippets because the DI enforced a 100-word limit on evolutionist comments, but not on creationist comments.)

    Dirty Klotheshamper then posted at ENV announcing that no “Darwinists” had read Luskin’s book, except McBride, so all “Darwinists” were criticizing that which they had not read. This after I had demolished every page in chapter 4, dissecting Luskin’s “figures” and citations, logic, etc. Klotheshamper implicitly accused me of having not read the book, from which I had provided page numbers, Luskin quotes, etc. and posted on their own FB page.

    Naturally the DI banned me–you’re shocked I know– and deleted my 100+ comments, with scientific evidence and citations, from their FB page. No doubt they did so, accusing me of being “uncivil.” For creationists, facts are “uncivil.”

    As they say in Communist China, I have been “harmonized.”