Klinghoffer Thinks Stephen Hawking Is a Fool

The Discovery Institute has a history of posting rants about Stephen Hawking — for example, see Egnor: Stephen Hawking Is “Sophomoric”, and before that Food Fight: Klinghoffer v. Stephen Hawking, which links to others.

Today, David Klinghoffer, upon whom the Discoveroids have bestowed the exalted title of “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), is battling his old foe again. His new post at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is Dr. Hawking’s First World Problem: What If Aliens Call!?. We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Here from Stephen Hawking is a First World problem if ever there was one: If aliens call, do we pick up?

Then he quotes from this article in The Independent: Stephen Hawking warns that humanity should not respond to aliens in case they kill us all , which says:

If we actually end up discovering aliens then they’ll probably just wipe us all out, Stephen Hawking has said. When we made contact with any aliens it would probably be like when the Native Americans first met Christopher Columbus. And, in that case, things “didn’t turn out so well” for the people being visited, Professor Hawking has said. … It’s far from the first time that Professor Hawking has warned about the risk of chatting to aliens.

After that, Klinghoffer tells us:

Sometimes I wonder if Dr. Hawking is being manipulated to say these things or does he really lie awake at night worrying about the “risk of chatting to aliens”? He seems to spend a lot time of “warning” about a diverse list of threats.

He then links to several articles, in which Hawking has warned about the risks of artificial intelligence, Brexit (the UK’s departure from the European Union), global warming, and the extinction risk inherent in humanity’s failure to expand its domain to other planets. The Discoveroids think Hawking is a nervous Nellie. Klinghoffer continues:

But back to the “chatting to aliens” dilemma, he says of Gliese 832c, “[T]he planet could have Earth-like temperatures with an abundant liquid water, and where there is water, there is very often life.” There is? Very often?

Wikipedia has a write-up on Gliese 832 c. It’s a newly-discovered extra-solar planet that is “located approximately 16 light-years (4.93 parsecs, or about 151,400,000,000,000 km) away in the constellation of Grus, orbiting the star Gliese 832, a red dwarf. The planet has an Earth Similarity Index of 0.81, one of the highest Earth Similarity Indices for any known extrasolar planet. It is in its star’s habitable zone. To date, it is the third closest known potentially habitable exoplanet to Earth.”

Like all creationists, Klinghoffer doubts that intelligent life exists anywhere other than on Earth, because their mystical designer — blessed be he! — created us right here on The Privileged Planet. That means Hawking is worried about nothing. He’s a fool!

Klinghoffer ends his post with a smugly superior dismissal of Hawking’s fears:

Meaning no disrespect to the oracular physicist, how does he know this? And if receiving a return call from aliens is a sensible thing to fear in such apocalyptic terms, along with Brexit, global warming, [etc.], why search for a signal, “scan[ning] the nearest million stars for signs of life,” to begin with?

If only Hawking paid attention to the Discoveroids, he wouldn’t go around behaving like an idiot.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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40 responses to “Klinghoffer Thinks Stephen Hawking Is a Fool

  1. O Great Hand of Correction, may I humbly beseech thee for thy healing intervention–but not for my own sake, but for our Curmudgeon, who has omitted the punctuation from the title of this blog post. It should of course read:

    Klinghoffer, Thinks Stephen Hawking, Is a Fool

    [*Voice from above*] I am aware of Hawking’s thoughts. He has never in his life, not even once, thought of Klinghoffer.

  2. And Klinghoffer has never in his life, not even once, thought.

  3. One reason for scanning the nearest stars and their planets is precisely to judge what there is to fear. If we see high-energy weapons being used we should keep a very low profile and hope we haven’t been noticed yet.

  4. The cosmic [*Voice from above*], in His Ineffable Omniscience, proclaims that Stephen Hawking

    has never in his life, not even once, thought of Klinghoffer.

    Well, not Klinghoffer himself, per se

    But surely, in his pioneering work on Black Holes, Hawking has perfectly described the mind of a Creationist: a preternaturally dense core of thick ignorance, a priori assumptions, extreme narcissism, fallicious teleology, and religious hysteria, all protected by a Prevent Horizon which no amount of empirical evidence or rational argument can penetrate but which nonetheless allows to escape a faint glow of wildly distorted blatherings known as Squawking Radiation…

  5. Klinghoffer never calls Hawking a fool. However he does imply that Hawking is indeed a Nervous Nellie given the dozen events listed that the “oracular physicist” warns us about (not the short list the Curmudgeon deems only worthy of mention).

    And Klinghoffer asks a legitimate question at the end of his post. With all the articles posted at ENV lately, TSC chooses this one to comment on? I’m starting to get a sense of what the Curmudgeon feels qualified to comment on and what he’s not.

  6. I hope that that sense makes you feel good, KevinC, because nobody else here gives a crap.

  7. Well KevinC we know that neither you nor Klinghoffer are qualified to comment on anything regarding science.

  8. Reminds me of a comment Klinghoffer made about Hawking in 2011,

    It’s fair to assume that Hawking’s installation as atheist guru is attributable mostly to his evocative, camera-ready physical handicap and cinematically eerie computer-generated voice, which someone seems to have tweaked lately to make it sound even eerier. He’s not only a media darling but a media creation.

    That was, BTW, quoted in a post by the inestimable SC. https://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/food-fight-klinghoffer-v-stephen-hawking/

    It doesn’t matter what Hawking says, for some reason, Hawking just gets under Kling’s skin.

    Personally, I don’t share Hawking’s concern on this issue. It’s a moot point at the present because we don’t have the technology to send a signal to a star 10’s or 100’s of light years away. On the other hand, if the aliens were close enough to receive a signal from us, they would know about us already.

  9. Discoveroids think Hawking is a nervous Nellie. Klinghoffer continues:

    But back to the “chatting to aliens” dilemma, he says of Gliese 832c, “[T]he planet could have Earth-like temperatures with an abundant liquid water, and where there is water, there is very often life.” There is? Very often?

    There sure is on Earth, even in places where that water is literally boiling hot and is kept from actually boiling only by extreme pressure (undersea volcanic vents).

  10. Leaving aside Klinghoffer’s misrepresentation of what Hawking appears to have said (“It’s probably a good idea not to pick up the phone because more advanced cultures have a habit of wiping out less advanced ones, even if inadvertently” becomes “Hawking says OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!”), that Indy article he refers to is pretty bloody awful in its own right. Take this:

    When he helped launch the Breakthrough Listen project last year, he warned that any alien that we did actually hear probably wouldn’t be interested in killing us – precisely because it would have barely any interest in us at all. // Any civilisation that could actually read a message we sent out would need to be billions of years ahead of us, he said. “If so they will be vastly more powerful and may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria.”

    I think what the journalist is trying to say is that Hawking suggests truly advanced civilizations might wipe us out because not really aware that it mattered if they did so . . . but the passage is so clumsy that I’m not sure.

    I actually disagree with Hawking. I suspect we’d be less at risk from advanced cultures, who wouldn’t see us as rivals, than from cultures at a similar (order of magnitude) technological level as ourselves, who would. Of course, I’m making the big assumption here that natural selection in an alien ecosystem would produce organisms with similar drives, which assumption may be unjustified.

  11. A technologically advanced culture would not need to resort to weapons using great amounts of energy to be a danger to us. They could be computer hackers. Or they could use psychological warfare by inducing us to make warfare among ourselves or against Earth. They could easily figure out how to manipulate earthlings to act against our self-interest.

    BTW, I had mistakenly thought that the silence from our local source of boredom had reached a limit. I was mistaken.

  12. Ed notes

    Hawking just gets under Kling’s skin.

    Indeed. The medical term for this is “Genius Envy.”

    Hawking is a brilliant physicist who gets portrayed by Eddie Redmayne in a Hollywood biopic; Klinghoffer is a failed journalist who would be lucky to be portrayed by Pee-wee Herman–if any studio would ever actually make his a film of his life story, The Theory of Poo-Flinging.

    All one need do is look at how Klingy offers a list of 12 sensationalist tabloid headlines in lieu of any actual engagement in anything Hawking actually says to see what cheap and mediocre polemicists are employed by the DI.

  13. KevinC thinks there is something important offered at ENV and that SC is skipping the meaty stuff. Stuff like this Kevin?

    Savvy Sarah for the gazillionth time says, “First, it is not true that objections to evolution come primarily from religious, not scientific sources. Second, there is growing debate among scientists over Neo-Darwinism.”

    Wrong on the first count – the key word is primarily – meaning 99%. As for the second, none of the debate about the neodarwinian synthesis considers ID a viable option; some are merely arguing for an extended synthesis.

    So Kevin can you tell us all the strengths of evolution that you want taught in the classroom?

  14. michaelfugate asks

    So Kevin can you tell us all the strengths of evolution that you want taught in the classroom?

    He generally runs away for a while when challenged to produce anything of substance, but who knows? Maybe the little dear will drop in here again?

    But if he is unable to keep the phrase “does not mandate the teaching of ID in classrooms” out of any response he may make, then we can be certain he is indeed a paid shill for the DI.

  15. Megalonyx, et al
    Never construe my absence as “running away”. I’ve already told michaelfugate what the strengths of evolution are. I’m here but primarily looking to see what the Curmudgeon doesn’t report on. It can be very instructive. My happiness doesn’t stand or fall on the ID / Darwinian evolution debate so I’m not OCDing on trying to comment on each and every post. It’s nothing more than a contest to see who can be the cleverest, most insulting bore anyway. No?

    That being said, I knew it was too much to hope for but was still optimistic that our gracious host might provide us with a post on the podcast about the MEGA-plate evolutionary infomercial. Then I might have offered something. I mean it had all the elements a Curmudgeon loves: Savvy Sarah, Mike Behe, trivial evidence of Darwinian evolution. Even the LLLTEE was touched upon. Klinghoffer mentioned it, Egnor wrote about it. TomS brought it up in these pages but the poor guy was basically ignored.

    I guess I’m not a paid shill 😉

  16. That being said, I knew it was too much to hope for but was still optimistic that our gracious host might provide us with a post on the podcast about the MEGA-plate evolutionary infomercial.

    Could you tell this particular insulting bore what you’re talking about, KevC?

  17. realthog, didn’t we say our goodbyes?
    Not hard to find for most: ENV Sept 12

  18. It needs to be emphasized to Klinghoffer and the rest of the ID/creationist crowd that none of their complaints about evolution and cosmology are coming from people who know anything about science. ID/creationists to a person, including their “PhDs,” are scientifically illiterate. They can’t articulate scientific concepts and they can’t do science. They can’t even articulate their own “theories.” Their whiney complaints carry no weight; they are motivated at their core by their revulsion to evolution because evolution threatens their sectarian beliefs. There is no amount of dancing around and rationalizing they can do that can hide these facts.

    Hawking, on the other hand, has contributed enormously to cosmology. He has tackled difficult issues in physics and mathematics. He has tackled the difficult issues involved in calculating the entropy of black holes. He has come up with a mechanism called “Hawking radiation” the fits black holes more properly into the entire framework of cosmological models. Everything Hawking has done is so far over the heads of ID/creationists that explaining any of it to an ID/creationist is a complete waste of time; like trying to explain physics to a clam.

    The penchant ID/creationist have for retreating into pretentious pseudo philosophy in order to sound knowledgeable and erudite simply makes every one of them look silly and ignorant; which they are because their sectarian beliefs cause them to spend their entire lives bending and breaking scientific concepts to fit their sectarian dogma rather than the real universe.

  19. Well said, Mike! You don’t by any chance recommend we check out the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, do you? Just a guess.

  20. Given that one of the goals of the DI’s wedge is “to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God”, how can they say that the objections to evolution are not primarily religious in nature?

  21. @KevC

    Not hard to find for most: ENV Sept 12

    Ah, it’s a bit of DI propaganda? Sorry — I thought you were talking about some science piece I’d missed.

    You don’t by any chance recommend we check out the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, do you?

    This remark sounds as if it’s stuffed with meaning, but again I don’t know what you’re talking about. I checked the winners out on Wikipedia but they don’t seem to be creationists, unless I missed something in my haste.

  22. Well said, Mike! You don’t by any chance recommend we check out the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, do you? Just a guess.

    Why do you have to guess; don’t you know by now?

    Do you ever intend to learn the history of your own ID/creationist socio/political movement? We have been hearing the same whining for something like 50 years now. There are dozens of court cases about it; yet you can’t seem to find them; let alone understand what led to those cases.

    Repetitive whining will always get you the same repetitive responses. You never learn; and we keep repeating that all of you ID/creationists need to go back to high school and middle school to start over learning science properly. We aren’t fools or being fooled. We all know it’s not about science; it’s about aggressive proselytizing of a particular form of sectarian religion.

    When are any of you going to figure that you are allowed to keep your pseudoscience as the pillars of your sectarian beliefs? The US Constitution guarantees your freedom to worship whatever dogma you wish; you just can’t use the institutions of government to impose your dogma and your ignorance on everyone else.

    You fail in science and you fail in history and social studies as well; and it’s the fault of your religion. Curmudgeon mocks the self-imposed ignorance of ID/creationists; and you still don’t get it.

  23. I don’t know whether religion is at fault, or whether religion is just a fall guy. The Bible is, to be sure, not particularly clear about many things, but it shouldn’t be blamed for such things as baraminology.

  24. I don’t know whether religion is at fault, or whether religion is just a fall guy. The Bible is, to be sure, not particularly clear about many things, but it shouldn’t be blamed for such things as baraminology.

    I take your point; and it is an important one.

    ID/creationism is based on a rather peculiar set of interpretations of the Christian religion. It’s believers really do think they have “the one true understanding” of Christianity and the “one true” moral compass. The Wedge Document lays it out pretty clearly; but you don’t have to look at just that screed; you can read what creationists like Henry Morris, Duane Gish, Ken Ham, Jason Lisle, and others have been saying to each other and to their followers.

    Theirs is a peculiar interpretation of religion that seeks the imprimatur of science in order to imply that it is “logically” superior to those other “compromised” interpretations of Christianity. This is the centuries-old sectarian warfare played in a new way by bastardizing science into pseudoscience that props up sectarian dogma to make it “superior.” Simple faith is inferior because it can’t stand up against modern science.

    So I would argue that it is their religion – or perhaps, “religion” – that makes them do this. They believe – or, at least, try to convince their followers to believe – that they will burn in hell if they don’t. Henry Morris made this quite clear from the beginning of ID/creationism and in a conversation he had with Kenneth Miller after a debate in Florida.

    I suspect that fear, loathing, and a lust for unquestioned authority is what has driven ID/creationist leaders; they want to be the movers and shakers of not only their sectarian subculture but of the wider society in general. Ignorance and fear dive their followers. That’s why I said that it is their religion that makes them do this. Most religions don’t do this, but instead try to provide a support community and a template for getting on with living a good life and helping their fellow humans.

  25. @ Mike Elzinga: Bravo! [standing ovation & applause]

  26. KevinC protests

    Never construe my absence as “running away”.

    My dear boy, it wasn’t your ‘absence’ to which I was referring (for that would not be lamented), but your consistent dodging and running away from whatever particular issue is at hand, even when (in fact, especially when) you have raised that issue yourself. For example, on a previous thread, you doubted if anyone at the DI had made certain claims, but when presented with an article by Casey Luskin which did indeed do so, you shucked and jived a bit before offering an irrelevant quote from Dembski—which only makes the point that there is no coherent or consistent ‘theory’ of ID even among its most ardent proponents.

    But that to one side: let’s confine ourselves to your original post on this present thread (in other words, no Gish-galloping away with blather about other DI podcasts on unrelated topics, or obfuscating references to Nobel Prizes in Chemistry). Here’s what you said (my bolding):

    Klinghoffer never calls Hawking a fool. However he does imply that Hawking is indeed a Nervous Nellie given the dozen events listed that the “oracular physicist” warns us about (not the short list the Curmudgeon deems only worthy of mention).

    There can be no doubt, given the words in bold above and the repetition (in scare quotes, no less) of the DI’s smug epithet of “oracular physicist”, that you are in full agreement with the thrust of Klinghoffer’s pathetic attempt at a smear. That’s fine, you’re welcome to your opinion — but can you defend it?

    So let’s have a little empirical looksee, shall we, at Klingy’s ‘dozen samples’ (count ‘em, a full dozen, by jiminy!) of Hawking’s ‘Nervous Nellieisms’; after all, he must have spent a solid and exhausting 5 minutes with Google to find these links — so the poor chap was clearly too tired after that painstaking research to actually read any of the articles, or to compare the sensationalistic tabloid headlines with the actual content of the articles themselves.

    So let’s do that now! The first three items on Klinghoffer’s list are about

    The Future of Artificial Intelligence

    [Item 1] Sensational Headline (BBC Online News): Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind (BBC Online News)

    From the article:

    Prof Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s pre-eminent scientists, has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence. He told the BBC: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” …[snip]… Prof Hawking says the primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have already proved very useful, but he fears the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans.

    “It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate,” he said. “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

    [Comment: Do note the conditional tense in Hawking’s own words: he is very clearly outlining possibilities, not making firm predictions.]

    [Item 2] Spectacularly Sensationalist Headline (Daily Mail (UK): Our robot overlords will take over in 100 YEARS: Stephen Hawking warns computers could control humans within a century

    From the article:

    ‘Computers will overtake humans with AI at some within the next 100 years,’ he [Hawking] said, according to a report in TechWorld. “When that happens, we need to make sure the computers have goals aligned with ours. Our future is a race between the growing power of technology and the wisdom with which we use it.”

    [Comment: It’s the trashy Daily Mail that has given us ‘Robot Overlords’ here, not Hawking.]

    [3] Punchy Headline (GeekWire):

    From the article:

    “Governments seem to be engaged in an AI arms race, designing planes and weapons with intelligent technologies,” Hawking told veteran interviewer Larry King. “The funding for projects directly beneficial to the human race, such as improved medical screening, seems a somewhat lower priority.” …[snip]… Hawking acknowledged that AI can bring lots of benefits to humanity. “Imagine algorithms able to quickly assess scientists’ ideas, catch cancer earlier and predict the stock markets,” he said. He disagreed with the idea put forth by futurist Ray Kurzweil that humans and thinking machines will merge harmoniously in just a few decades: “I think that his views are both too simplistic and too optimistic. Exponential growth will not continue to accelerate. Something we don’t predict will interrupt it, as has happened with similar forecasts in the past. And I don’t think that advances in artificial intelligence will necessarily be benign. Once machines reach the critical stage of being able to evolve themselves, we cannot predict whether their goals will be the same as ours.”

    [Comment: Anyone serious about science really needs to read far, far more than the headlines in the popular press. And you actually need to read far more than even those articles themselves. In the exemplars above, Hawking is simply considering, based on past experience, future possibilities; that’s the sort of thing that bright and open minds do — but Creationists wouldn’t know a thing about that.]

    My goodness, we’re only ¼ of the way through Klinghoffer’s dossier!

    Do I need to continue?…

  27. O bugger, html tagging went adrift again! Apologies yet again! A man needs to know his own limitations…

    [*Voice from above*] Tags fixed, but you left out the Geekwire headline. In my cosmic view of things, it’s of no importance.

  28. Actually, let’s just pause for a moment here to step back and have a look at the totality of Klinghoffer’s little smear piece.

    He makes no attempt to engage with anything Hawking actually says, for Klinghoffer’s sole intent (as usual) is to attempt to discredit and belittle a genuine scientist, and solely because of the DI’s stated abhorrence of science. Period.

    One can certainly disagree with Hawking’s opinions and speculations; he does not claim to be making predictions. If you caution your child against running with a knife in her hand, are you predicting that an accident will happen? Or are you making a rational intervention to prevent that possible outcome?

    Klinghoffer simply wants to fling his poo, pure and simple. That is indefensible–and utterly contemptable.

  29. At the very real risk of utterly boring everyone (and likely screwing up more html tags), I’d better finish what I started here lest KevinC weasel away with the claim I’ve only presented a “short list” of Klinghoffer’s searing indictments of Hawking, the ‘Nervous Nellie’:

    BREXIT

    [4] Headline (Inside Higher Ed): Stephen Hawking Warns Against Brexit

    From the article (my bolding):

    Stephen Hawking, the Emeritus Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and more than 150 other Royal Society fellows are warning that Britain’s exit from the European Union would be a “disaster” for science in the United Kingdom. In a letter published in The Times of London, Hawking, of black hole fame, and fellow scientists argue that the so-called Brexit would hurt science because the union has led to increased research funding, especially in the United Kingdom. “We now recruit many of our best researchers from continental Europe, including younger ones who have obtained [European Union] grants and have chosen to move with them here,” they added. “Being able to attract and fund the most talented Europeans assures the future of British science and also encourages the best scientists elsewhere to come here.”

    [Jeepers! Does the entire Royal Society consist of nothing but Nervous Nellies?!]

    [5] Headline (The London Economic): Stephen Hawking warns against Brexit and Trump

    From the article:

    He [Hawking] said Trump is “demagogue who appeals to lowest common denominator.” Hawking, who has pushed the boundaries of scientific knowledge, can’t get his head around the success of Trump.
    …[snip]…
    Hawking also addressed immigration, one of the biggest issues in the [EU] referendum debate. He said: “There are two obvious reasons why we should stay in. The first is that it promotes the mobility of people. Students can come here from EU countries to study, and our students can go to other EU universities. More importantly, at the level of research, the exchange of people enables skills to transfer more quickly, and brings new people with different ideas, derived from their different backgrounds. The other reason is financial. The European Research Council has given large grants to UK institutions, either to foster or promote exchanges.”

    [Note: The clear concerns of UK scientists over Brexit were — and remain — well-founded, though at least the UK government has, since the referendum, indicated that it will make up the shortfall in funding for scientific research projects already in progress once European funding is withdrawn. But at present, no one (whether they voted Leave or Remain) actually knows what Brexit will entail or even when it will come into effect. The only certainties at present are: (1) nobody has an agreed plan on what Brexit means, or what the status of Brits resident in Europe or Europeans resident in the UK will be, or what tariffs and visas will be introduced, &c &c., (2) a number of promises by the ‘Leave’ campaigners have been withdrawn by those campaigners themselves (e.g. no ‘£350 million per week windfall for the NHS’, and an ‘Australian-style points system’ for managing immigration will not be introduced as it is unworkable, &c &c), and there is already some palpable short- and medium- term damage — especially to the scientific sector, where the current uncertainty prevents the renewal or creation of job contracts and research proposals &c &c)

    And I note in passing here: the debate in the UK over Brexit was and continues to be indeed passionate, and often was conducted very poorly. But there has also been serious discussion on matters of substance, quite unlike the sort of empty assertion and poo-flinger one invariably encounters from Creationists. I very sharply disagree with one of the regular commentators on this blog, Dave Luckett , but I acknowledge he writes and reasons very well, and I continue to read his comments (on whatever topic) with pleasure for their insight and instruction.

    Oh, and as for the report of Hawking’s concern about a possible Trump Presidency — no, that really doesn’t need a comment, does it?]

    Do I still need to continue?

  30. @realthog:

    This remark sounds as if it’s stuffed with meaning, but again I don’t know what you’re talking about. I checked the winners out on Wikipedia but they don’t seem to be creationists, unless I missed something in my haste.

    KevinC’s sneer was in reference to an earlier comment of his that mocked my “always needing to be the smartest guy in the room.” He apparently didn’t like my observations that ID/creationists always get the science wrong; which they most certainly do.

    I outlined to KevinC the key – and wrong – assertions of Dembski and others and then referred him to the 2013 Nobel in chemistry.

    Unfortunately, as one would expect from any of the followers of ID/creationism, he didn’t read or comprehend any of it.

  31. Many thanks for the explanation, Mike Elzinga! I was wondering about KevC’s silence in response to my question, and had assumed it was yet a further example of the “consistent dodging and running away from whatever particular issue is at hand” that Megalonyx mentions above.

  32. @Mike Elzinga
    I’d like to thank you also for the explanation because it is, of course, wrong. My reference to the 2013 Nobel Prize was simply an observation that you are somewhat fixated on it as is evidenced by googling “Mike Ellzinga” “2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry”. There are many more instances out there with variations on the theme but we all get the picture. You somehow think that this research is the silver bullet against ID and you’re SHOUTING IT FROM THE MOUNTAINTOPS!

    @realthog
    This insistence that I’m always running away is rather funny but if it makes you feel better…

  33. KevinC sneers:

    @Mike Elzinga
    I’d like to thank you also for the explanation because it is, of course, wrong. My reference to the 2013 Nobel Prize was simply an observation that you are somewhat fixated on it as is evidenced by googling “Mike Ellzinga” “2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry”. There are many more instances out there with variations on the theme but we all get the picture. You somehow think that this research is the silver bullet against ID and you’re SHOUTING IT FROM THE MOUNTAINTOPS!

    As I said in my last comment:

    Unfortunately, as one would expect from any of the followers of ID/creationism, he didn’t read or comprehend any of it.

    And, as is obvious from KevinC’s comments, he is aware of the potential for learning that is all over the internet as well as in textbooks that he could have access to if he were so moved; which he isn’t. The general ID/creationist troll on the internet is indeed quite dense; pretty much a waste of time trying to provoke into learning anything.

    So, Q.E.D.; I stand by what I said. Nothing has changed with ID/creationists in 50 years. They’re all stuck in the same loop.

  34. KevinC claims

    I’m not a paid shill

    Bereft, then, of even the threadbare excuse of a mercenary, your content-free blatherings here are even more pathetic than I thought.

  35. What’s comic is nothing is stopping our dear creationist Kevin from providing evidence for the something that creates something, somewhere somehow and yet he never does. It is all one long whinge. He can’t deny that Axe’s “Undeniable” is just one long apologia for Christianity of a very narrow sort. Nor can he deny that the DI was founded to promote humans as created in the image of their God and endowed with a soul – separate and distinct from other primates.

  36. @Megalonyx:

    Bereft, then, of even the threadbare excuse of a mercenary, your content-free blatherings here are even more pathetic than I thought.

    He can’t articulate the specifics of anything; no substance, no knowledge of even ID/creationism. He is just hurling feces and doing the generalized trolling thing.

    I haven’t been following what has been going on over at Uncommon Descent lately, but he appears to be one of the dullard denizens that hangs out there.

  37. IMHO, he has had enough time to get around to telling us anything substantive, positive, interesting or novel.

  38. While I agree with TomS that it’s about time the Kevster produced something that might give us genuine cause, even if only momentarily, to question or reexamine our assumptions, and while I find his evasiveness irritating, I’m a bit concerned about some of the remarks about him here — a bit ad hominem, doncha know?

    To be sure, they’re as nothing compared to the abuse (up to and including death threats) that rationalist folk get from the commenters on science-denialist sites, but, y’know . . .

    Just my $0.02’s worth.

  39. TomS, you and I both offered the MEGA-plate experiment for discussion. Was that not substantive or interesting? Apparently not to the rest of the Curmudgeonites.

  40. After fifty years of studying ID/creationist output and watching their “debating” tactics, I would claim that “respect” is definitely not what they have earned.

    They always want to be treated as equals in science, but they don’t want peer review from anyone in the scientific community. They expect everyone who engages them will “debate” them on their own territory using their made-up definitions and their misconceptions. They constantly whine about being persecuted when asked to demonstrate any real understanding of science.

    This is a socio/political game they are playing, and it took a number of years before the scientific community caught on to this fact; hence, no more debating them.

    I have seldom engaged them in a “debate;” and I have regretted the two, or possibly three, times I have. They always want a free ride on the back of a scientist in order to puff up their image within their sectarian community. Allowing oneself to be drawn into debating them creates the illusion that there is something significant in their attacks on science.

    I have even tried giving them short but deep concept tests so that they can demonstrate their understanding of the scientific concepts they are criticizing or are using against science – this is something I know a little about. Not one ID/creationist has ever passed such a concept test; their understanding of basic concepts in science goes off the rails at the high school level.

    So I don’t debate them. However, I do not hesitate to profile them; nor do I hesitate to put those profiles and my analyses of their failures to understand the basics out there in public. I would characterize that as blunt assessments of their competence in science and their socio/political tactics to get noticed; but not as ad hominem attacks.

    Studying misconceptions and misrepresentations of science can be put to good pedagogical use in understanding why some students struggle with scientific concepts. The ID/creationists have been responsible for perpetuating many of the memes that lead to confusion in studying a science.