Post-Kitzmas Free Fire Zone

The creationists seem to be exhausted by this year’s especially exuberant ten-year celebration of Kitzmas.

There’s no news of any importance, and none of the creationist sites we visit have anything worth writing about. Once again, we need to entertain ourselves. We therefore declare another Intellectual Free Fire Zone.

Wanna talk about Star Wars? Donald Trump? Even — gasp! — Hillary? Go ahead. 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 © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Post-Kitzmas Free Fire Zone

  1. Derek Freyberg

    I’m just going to say a big “thanks” to the Curmudgeon for hosting the twelve days of Kitzmas, and to Megalonyx for some wonderful Kitzmas carols and “A Kitzmas Carol”.

  2. The blogger Naturalis Historia published a very interesting essay the other day called Reflections on a Young Earth Creationist’ Approach to Scientific Apologetics. I was particularly enticed by the response of commenter Trevor, who told the world that really geology ought to pay attention to YEC critics:

    I think it highlights an important role for the YEC position that no other perspective can lend. Let’s say for the sake of argument that the YECs are right; the earth is young, and traditional dating methods have been misreporting dates due to inherent confounders in the methods (such as leaky samples, accelerated decay, etc). If this is true (again, for the sake of argument), then the YECs are the only ones who will identify the flaw.

    I’m thinking of paying more attention to my grandson Tom on the subject of Santa Claus, because if indeed there is a flaw in my conclusion that Santa doesn’t exist, it’s people like Tom who’re the only ones who’re likely to identify that flaw.

  3. Bottoms! (Oops. Hope my cuss doesn’t draw the vicious attention of the profanity filters.) I seem to have muffed my link to the Naturalis Historia essay:

    [*Voice from above*] No problem.

  4. And of course commenter Trevor suffers from ignorance:

  5. FFZ post:

    There’s an article on the Science News website about a paper that explores ways to determine scientific fraud in papers submitted for publication.

    One of the tells the authors mention is an overabundance of “sciency-sounding” jargon, bafflegab, and nonspecific superlative adjectives and adverbs such as “exceedingly”, “very”, “huge”, “hugely”, and so forth. I immediately thought of the writings of the Discovery Institute while reading the article. “Specified complexity” comes to mind.

  6. Oh — this is from a comment on that Science News article by a Craig Markham — “… a quote attributed to Ben Jonson commenting on another author’s writing: ‘Your piece is both good and original. However the parts that are original are not good, and the parts that are good are not original.’ “

    Love it!

  7. Eddie Janssen

    Think of your maternal line back into the past: your mother, her mother, her mother, etcetera; repeat 10 million times.
    Think of your paternal line back into the past: your father, his father, his father, etcetera; repeat 10 million times.

    Two questions:
    1. Would your 10 millionth greatgrandmother and your 10 millionth great grandfather live at the same time (give or take a million years)?
    2. Would these two individual animals be of the same species?

  8. @Eddie Janssen
    It is just a yucky thought that leads to creationism. Not belief in God, not some Bible proof-text, and (it goes without saying) no evidence or reasoning.

  9. @Eddie Janssen: It’s a fun calculation, even for someone as innumerate and arithmetically-challenged as myself–but who has a nerdish hobby of tracing the family tree.

    For example: on my paternal line, I belong to the 8th generation of descendants of a chap born in 1707 in Colonial Virginia, and have documented nearly 7,000 of his other descendants over three centuries. The annual family reunion is attended by living descendants in the 6th through 12th generations of his descendants. There are a number of living folks, 2 generations ‘younger’ than myself (relative to our common ancestor) who are over 10 years my senior, and so forth. That’s just the ‘generational drift’ over 300 hundred years.

    Of course, if one could document every ancestor back 10 million years, one could illustrate the unsettling paradox: for each generation counting back from oneself (at the pinnacle of the pyramid, as it were) the number of ancestors increases by a power of 2, but the human population as you step back in time dramatically decreases (an inverted pyramid, if you will). Long before you get to 10 million generations you will find–somewhat disturbingly–the same individual appearing as an ancestor on both your mother’s and your father’s side, most likely in different generations relative to yourself.

    None of this applies, of course, to our Curmudgeon, who comes from a planet where reproduction is asexual–as Olivia, who still suffers PTSD from the dreadful occasion he attempted to demonstrate it to her, can tearfully attest.

  10. Megalonyx refers to: “the ‘generational drift’ over 300 hundred years.”

    Indeed, that can happen with a relatively long-lived species, where each individual can be fertile for decades. Some will produce offspring only when young, others may do so later, and still others may reproduce over the entire span of years when it is possible to do so.

    However, because Megalonyx has so recently evolved from pond scum, and those little critters can easily reproduce every hour, counting the generations preceding him is almost impossible. As Olivia says: “It makes me ill to think about it.”