Tara Smith posted Entry 1608 on October 25, 2005 09:55 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1603

‘New recruits’ said needed for intelligent design

In the Dover circus (updates continue here), a sociologist named Steve Fuller testified yesterday on behalf of the defense. What was a theme of his testimony? Recruit the younger generation to give ID theory a boost–since apparently, the senior level ID “theorists” haven’t been able to come up with jack squat.

Introducing “intelligent design” to high school students could help the idea gain wider acceptance among mainstream scientists, a sociology professor testified Monday in a landmark federal trial over whether the concept can be mentioned in public school biology classes.

Fuller said minority views can sometimes have a difficult time getting a toehold in the scientific community, but students might be inspired to develop intelligent design as future scientists if they hear about the concept in school.

“You have to provide openings where you have new recruits to the theory,” Fuller said. “Unless you put it into the school system, it’s not going to happen spontaneously.”

And later in the article:

“It seems to me in many respects the cards are stacked against radical, innovative views getting a fair hearing in science these days,” he said.

Once again, it makes you wonder how such “minority views” as a bacterial cause for ulcers and symbiogenesis ever made it without a political lobby.

Edited to add: once again, Mike Argento nails it.

Fuller said intelligent design is, essentially, a half-baked idea, pretty much something the intelligent design guys have whipped up without doing much in the way of producing evidence.

And that’s why it should be taught to ninth-graders in Dover.

You know, I can come up with a lot of half-baked ideas that no one in their right mind would want to teach to kids in Dover. Let’s see. How about this? Cows think in Spanish. Discuss.

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Comment #53664

Posted by Bob Davis on October 25, 2005 10:25 AM (e)

That’s hilarious. Good to have a laugh with Fitzmas right around the corner, waiting wistfully for the watchful eyes of Washington to fall on the wasted carcass of the W machine.

Comment #53665

Posted by K.E. on October 25, 2005 10:29 AM (e)

You just have to love those Post Modernest equal time kinda guys don’t you . They have an even looser grasp on reality than Behe if that is at all possible. They bring a new meaning to …well meaning.
These links help demystify PoMo and its relevance to science.

http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/ehrenreich.html

right click on the link below and download the pdf

http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/pseudoscience_rev.pdf

Comment #53677

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 25, 2005 11:55 AM (e)

Other radical minority notions that never became popular until their teaching was required in the public schools:

plate tectonics

(of course) evolution

high temperature superconductors

Comment #53678

Posted by Norman Doering on October 25, 2005 11:58 AM (e)

Bob Davis wrote: “… waiting wistfully for the watchful eyes of Washington to fall on the wasted carcass of the W machine.”

Is it just a coincidence that the religious right wing which has so wanted to stack the courts is now being hit on all fronts by lawyers?

We’ve got Rove and Libby possibly indicted soon. We’ve got the ID trial, Frist and Delay getting hit by corruption charges – all at once.

Damn! Our evil atheist conspiracy is good!

Comment #53680

Posted by K.E. on October 25, 2005 12:08 PM (e)

Norman
Go back to, I think it’s Jack Chic cartoon ? link you put in and tell me if that is what you wanted.

Comment #53689

Posted by Albion on October 25, 2005 1:12 PM (e)

Fuller doesn’t sound as though he knows much about how science works. Does he really think the funding agencies are suddenly going to start looking more favourably at proposals to do intelligent-design research (assuming there ever are any, of course) just because a bunch of high-school kids have been taught about it?

I wonder how he thinks any of the current theories got to be the mainstream, if not by toppling older theories, and I wonder how he thinks they ever did that without help from a bunch of 17-year-olds.

If he doesn’t see that this is just a case of trying to promote a particular worldview to children as young as possible, he hasn’t scratched below the surface of the ID movement.

Comment #53701

Posted by Richard Ray on October 25, 2005 1:35 PM (e)

Steve Fuller is yet another example of the “Science Studies” folks, who purport to study how science is actually done while knowing not the first thing about science. Moreover, they even take pride in their scientific ignorance (e.g., Fuller’s colleague Andrew Ross famously thanking the science teachers he never had). Fuller and his ilk tend to be exceedingly hostile towards real science, and especially toward scientists. They think scientists are merely playing “privileged” power games and that their work could in no way have any grounding in a real, external world.

But I’m confused. These postmodern “scholars” like Fuller tend to be very radical in their politics. So for the life of me I cannot fathom how they can make common cause with religious fundamentalists, as Fuller is now clearly doing. Unless it’s simply “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Surely in a theocracy, these postmodernists would be the first to be executed! Don’t they realize that?

Comment #53715

Posted by Steverino on October 25, 2005 2:12 PM (e)

“Introducing “intelligent design” to high school students could help the idea gain wider acceptance among mainstream scientists, a sociology professor testified Monday in a landmark federal trial over whether the concept can be mentioned in public school biology classes.”

That’s not teaching…that’s indoctrination!. I think a group in Germany used the same tactic in the 1930’s.

If the “theory” (not!) had any actual merit, it would gain acceptance the correct way and not by the use of indoctrination.

Comment #53723

Posted by Michael Hopkins on October 25, 2005 2:49 PM (e)

Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism by Robert T. Pennock, a plaintiff witness at Dover BTW, briefly discussed the Postmodern influences on ID. Indeed he quotes Phillip Johnson as saying:

…After a morning of writing I met Political Science professor Patricia Boling who hosted a noon colloquium for the department faculty and grad students. I told them I was a postmodernist and deconstructionist just like them, but aiming at a slightly different target.

Comment #53731

Posted by Alan on October 25, 2005 3:38 PM (e)

I hereby apologise to the US nation. My schadenfreude has been known to emerge, knowing that such cranks as Michael Behe et alis “could only happen in America”. Then I took a look at Steve Fuller from Warwick Uni. A complete nutter from my own backyard.

Mea culpa!

Comment #53735

Posted by Alan on October 25, 2005 3:55 PM (e)

I should have read his CV before posting. Born in New York… but still he adopted UK citizenship (and we let him!)

Comment #53747

Posted by Mona on October 25, 2005 4:27 PM (e)

I should have read his CV before posting. Born in New York… but still he adopted UK citizenship (and we let him!)

Blame the French. Pomo and deconstructionism originate and blossom with them. Their nonsense has spread to some Anglo scholars, unfortunately. Richard Dawkins – and he is one of yours – tore them a new one in a positive (and highly entertaining) review of a book co-authored by NYU physicist Alan Sokal.

Sokal, in turn, was moved to look at pomo idiocy after reading PT contributor Paul Gross’s (co-authored) 1994 book about their anti-science inanity.

Comment #53755

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 25, 2005 4:40 PM (e)

so long as you clarify that the French have no monopoly on anti-science inaninity, or even deconstructionism for that matter.

Should we blame modern gun missusage on the Chinese, since they invented gunpowder?

You do have a tendency to use France as a negative exemplar for many of your points, Mona.

did you support the “freedom fries” movement, by any chance?

Not that I’m french or anything, but it does seem a bit over the top to overgeneralize on this point, wouldn’t you agree?

Comment #53761

Posted by SEF on October 25, 2005 4:53 PM (e)

once again, Mike Argento nails it.

Having now read quite a few of the York Daily Record pieces, I’ve been noticing how good Mike Argento is but also how bad Michelle Starr is. Her pieces don’t even manage to flow coherently let alone follow the plot properly. They just flit between things - presumably in pursuit of that “he said, she said” paradigm (a word she fully deserves).

Comment #53762

Posted by Mona on October 25, 2005 4:56 PM (e)

You do have a tendency to use France as a negative exemplar for many of your points, Mona.

Huh? I have referenced the French Revolution and Robespierre, along with Stalin and Hitler in one thread, but only after having first been asked by you to elaborate on European secularism in contrast to the less secular U.S. Otherwise, I don’t believe I have ever discussed France here (or much elsewhere). Moreover, I was waxing somewhat glib…I guess I should have employed something like the symbol for wink.

Actually, I’m a bit of a francophile. French is my only other language. But it just is true that the major hitters of pomo and deconstructionism originate avec les francais.

Comment #53767

Posted by Mona on October 25, 2005 5:06 PM (e)

Richard Ray writes: But I’m confused. These postmodern “scholars” like Fuller tend to be very radical in their politics. So for the life of me I cannot fathom how they can make common cause with religious fundamentalists, as Fuller is now clearly doing. Unless it’s simply “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Surely in a theocracy, these postmodernists would be the first to be executed! Don’t they realize that?

Reasonable people – left, right and center – have been ringing the alarm bell about these folks for some time now. If you go to leftist Alan Sokal’s web site here:

http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/

and scroll almost to the bottom you will find an entry with embedded links that reads:

Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism in India, by Meera Nanda (Rutgers University Press, January 2004). Available from amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Highly recommended: “In this courageous and important book, Meera Nanda shows in dispiriting detail how postmodernist-oriented Indian intellectuals have unwittingly helped pave the way for the rise to power of right-wing Hindu nationalists. A must read for anyone who still doubts that abstract philosophical debates can have real-world consequences.” See also the debate on this book in Social Epistemology, January-March 2005, including Nanda’s response to her critics.

Nanda is a secular feminist, and if you read her response to critics in the Social Epistemology journal, it is almost heartbreaking. Hindu creationism, the caste system, and decidedly unenlightened attitudes toward women are being buttressed by Indian, pomo intellectuals.

Nor is this the first time IDists/creationists here in the U.S. have made common cause with these people who are on (part of) the left.

Comment #53768

Posted by Gerard Harbison on October 25, 2005 5:07 PM (e)

Richard Ray wrote: Surely in a theocracy, these postmodernists would be the first to be executed! Don’t they realize that?

I don’t care how many nice things you say about them, I still don’t like fundies!

Comment #53769

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 25, 2005 5:07 PM (e)

ah, pardon my misunderstanding then. I live in the “red” part of california (East of LA) and i think i’ve seen too many “francophobics”, including lots of folks who actually thought the whole “freedom fries” thing was a good idea.

my apologies for overgeneralizing myself.

Comment #53771

Posted by Alan on October 25, 2005 5:10 PM (e)

For Mona

Les États Unis sont passés du stage primitif à celui de la décadence sans cette période intermédiaire que l’on nomme, ailleurs, civilisation.

Georges Clémenceau

Comment #53772

Posted by Steve S on October 25, 2005 5:12 PM (e)

Argento indeed nails it.

Anyway, Fuller said intelligent design “needed to be mainstreamed,” which I guess is a polite way of saying that in its current embryological state, it rides the short bus of science.

If you’re in the RTP area, and want to have a party when the Dover verdict is released, email me at stevestory@gmail.com

Comment #53776

Posted by Mona on October 25, 2005 5:29 PM (e)

Alan, yes, well, we de classe Americans have saved their civilized @sses a few times now. I know many dislike the francophobia that has occurred since the dispute between the Bush Admin and the French over the Iraq war. But the French also are extremely chauvinistic and can be quite anti-U.S., and were well before Bush.

I recall traveling from Orly airport by cab some 15 years ago, and using my reasonably fluent (but not perfect) French to inquire of the cab driver about a billboard we passed for the book Dianetics. Having to think a bit to internally translate, I explained this was a strange religious belief system launched by an American sci-fi writer, and its adherents included celebreties like Priscilla Presley, daughter of Elvis. The driver sniffed and assured me Scientology would find no toe hold in his nation, where folks are purportedly too sensible, and that only Americans could be such fools.

I could have set forth where I think they have been a good deal less than sensible, but was too polite to do so.

Comment #53778

Posted by Dean Morrison on October 25, 2005 6:07 PM (e)

(sorry I posted this in another thread but I think it fits better here..)
“Deans unifying theory of Intelligent Design and Evolution - and why it deserves some Affirmative Action”
If a group of Hindus come along and propose another hypothesis - namely that the irreducable complexity found by Behe is because of reincarnation, and that ‘conservation of information’ supports this - will they be allowed in the ‘big tent’? Of course we are not talking ‘intelligent design’ here in the sense that the process does not call on a supernatural creator - only unknown processes we don’t understand - perhaps in another dimension. Of course there could be mix-ups in this other dimension which could lead to some interesting recombinations and more material for evolution.
They could even claim to have a grand unifying theory explaining both evolution and ‘intelligent design’ and has the benefit of parsimony and the support of scriptures as least as old as the bible.
Shouldn’t this be taught as part of the controversy - can I be leader of the movement and get lots of money? (I’m not a Hindu so can’t be accused of religious motivation). All I need is some affimative action for this idea in public schools and I’ll have a new generation of supporters to help me develop the science.
I could even do joint work with Behe to figure out which elements have been designed from scratch as opposed to merely recycled.

Comment #53784

Posted by Dean Morrison on October 25, 2005 6:32 PM (e)

I should have read his CV before posting. Born in New York… but still he adopted UK citizenship (and we let him!)
Read his CV again he’s resident in the UK but still a US citizen. I wondered how he was so prolific until I grsped that he wrote pomobabble. In fact there is a nice random word generator that can do a fairly convincing job of this:
http://www.elsewhere.org/cgi-bin/postmodern/988132080
-seems to demonstate the absence of an Intelligent Designer in that field. My bet is that the first computer to pass the Turing Test will be talking to a postmodernist.

Comment #53804

Posted by Adrian Griffis on October 25, 2005 8:33 PM (e)

The plantiffs should hire Lynn Margulis as a rebuttal witness to this silly notion that unorthodox theories can never never gain acceptance among evolutionary theorists. Her theory that organelles like mitochondria might have originally separate organisms and were incorporated into eukarya as symbiotes was not well accepted, at first. But science is driven by evidence, and her theory is now well accepted.

Adrian

Comment #53852

Posted by Alan on October 26, 2005 1:29 AM (e)

But the French also are extremely chauvinistic

Well, they did invent the word. They do have some things to be chauvinistic about. Their food, their wine, their health system, their complete separation of Church and State, their, well, their civilisation. (OK I am a bit biased, having lived here in the Languedoc for the last four years) Also your taxi driver was right; no sign of any cults gaining a foothold here. I seriously think groups such as creationists need a cultural base to exploit, which is why they don’t make much headway in a non Anglo-Saxon environment.

@ Dean Morrison
Sorry, my error. My head was still spinning from speed reading the…words fail me… written as I thought by Fuller. I suspect you may be right about the real source.

Comment #53889

Posted by Keith Douglas on October 26, 2005 10:36 AM (e)

Fuller is the kind of guy that gives people like me a bad name. (An unabashed leftist who might be regarded as a “science studier.) Fortunately Sokal, Gross, Levitt and others have made Fuller and co. settle down just a little. As for what he is doing in the ID debate, I don’t know. Maybe he’s a trojan horse, the way the rhetorician of science JA Campbell seems to be. (I met him a few years back and heard his talk about “Why was Darwin Believed?” and didn’t realize he was an ID supporter until recently.)

Comment #53891

Posted by PaulC on October 26, 2005 10:47 AM (e)

I wonder if the Fuller testimony is not as damaging as it sounds, and possibly useful to the defense. The issue on trial as I understand it is whether or not ID is repackaged creationism, which is religious and therefore prohibited from being taught in school.

So, Fuller comes along and says “This has nothing to do with religion. This is a much needed affirmative action program for crackpot science. As an expert on the need to give crackpots a fair shake, I heartedly endorse this program.” This gives the schoolboard an out:

“We’re not promoting religion, we’re, uh, what he said, uh, affirmative action for crackpots, yeah that’s the ticket.”

It’d be be hard to sell it to voters as a good idea but the court is not voting on whether it’s a good idea, just determining if they’ve violated laws.

Is there any law against a schoolboard picking any crackpot science they like–as long as it does not promote a religion–and demanding that it be presented as a possible alternative to mainstream science?

Comment #53893

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 26, 2005 10:52 AM (e)

But I’m confused. These postmodern “scholars” like Fuller tend to be very radical in their politics. So for the life of me I cannot fathom how they can make common cause with religious fundamentalists, as Fuller is now clearly doing. Unless it’s simply “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Surely in a theocracy, these postmodernists would be the first to be executed! Don’t they realize that?

Actually the Right has been co-opting many of the tactics formerly used by the Left. For another instance of relativism, read up on the Academic Bill of Rights being promoted in various states by the likes of David Horowitz. Also note how any attempts to stop the march of theocracy by enforcing separation of church and state are being labeled as religious intolerance and discrimination.

Comment #53896

Posted by Arden Chatfield on October 26, 2005 11:12 AM (e)

Alan, yes, well, we de classe Americans have saved their civilized @sses a few times now. I know many dislike the francophobia that has occurred since the dispute between the Bush Admin and the French over the Iraq war. But the French also are extremely chauvinistic and can be quite anti-U.S., and were well before Bush.

And the Americans can be very chauvinistically anti-European, and the French were right about Iraq. What’s your point?

I can’t really get into this whole Gallophobia that seems to be so fashionable among the right these days, ever since the whole Rush Limbaugh crowd turned it into such an article of faith of what it means to be a Republican. Claiming it’s because of the French’s lack of support for Iraq makes very little sense, since most other countries in the world were just as unsupportive of Iraq, but you don’t see Coulter et al bashing, say, Canada and Germany. At the bottom of it, it’s a convenient bit of bigotry that the right has discovered works as a handy crowd-pleaser.

Comment #53902

Posted by sanjait on October 26, 2005 11:40 AM (e)

“Alan, yes, well, we de classe Americans have saved their civilized @sses a few times now.”

As long as we’re talking about historical debts, it must be noted that democracy as we know it was conceived by philosophes, and probably wouldn’t exist as it is today without them. Also, without French military assistance, neither would our country. There is a reason every major eastern city has a Lafayette Blvd. To many it seems, who crow about how “we” (actually mostly our parents and grandparents) saved the French, the irony is not troubling.

Comment #53907

Posted by K.E. on October 26, 2005 12:46 PM (e)

Well,well,well fascinating …as the seers said “look and ye shall find”

The Seduction of Unreason:
The Intellectual Romance with Fascism, from Nietzsche to Postmodernism
Author: Richard Wolin
Publisher: Princeton University Press

1/2 page review
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/lnl/s1490204.htm

My take:
The Ugly Past of Postmodernism

French postmodernism’s birth began with the Academic Rights Nazi aligned Vichy anti humanist collaborators. The critique of the enlightenment and reason lives quite happily with the new identity politics current in Anglo Saxon USA UK Australia.

Identity politics is something Germany had between 1933-1945.

Minor notes.The author points out the French psyche(Vichy denial) at the time of English translation was not fully understood by the translators. Jung vs Freud and the love affair of feminism with PoMo.

To hear a 25 minute talk with the author on Australian ABC:Radio National
download the mp3 (25MB) for Tuesday 25 October 2005
Skip to minute 34 ,
The talk is a little slow and not too deep but very revealing.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/lnl/

Comment #53953

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 26, 2005 6:17 PM (e)

To many it seems, who crow about how “we” (actually mostly our parents and grandparents) saved the French, the irony is not troubling.

The right-wing flag-wavers also seem to forget a few inconvenient things about the whole “we saved the French” thingie. First, the US had virtualy no military effect on the First World War. We had no army when we entered the war, we didn’t begin sending large numbers of troops there until just a few months before the armistice (and the failure of the 1918 German spring offensive meant that the war was already, to all intents and purposes, over), and the troops we DID send were so green that the Brits and French wanted to integrate them into their own units so they’d have SOME chance of staying alive. The British lost more troops in the FIRST DAY of the Battle of the Somme, than the US lost during its entire presence in the war.

The entry of the US into the war had an ECONOMIC effect, which was the most telling one —- it meant that the Germans would have no hope of either breaking through the British blockade, or of wearing down the Entente economies and win a war of attrition, and this ultimately led to the German surrender. But militarily, the US simply had no effect.

As for the Second World War, we in the US seem to conveniently forget that US troops made up less than half of the forces that went ashore on D-Day, and that subsequently fought their way across Europe. Over half of those troops were Canadian and British. And once again, the American troops were so green that Allied aircraft painted bold black and white “invasion stripes” on their wings so the poorly trained gunners wouldn’t shoot down their own aircraft by mistake.

It is also relevant to note that almost three-fourths of the total combat losses suffered by all combined German armed forces during the war, came at the hands of the Russians.

Does that denigrate the contributions that the US made to the two world wars? Not at all. But it does put it into perspective. The US, despite our mythology, did not win these wars singlehandedly.

Comment #53967

Posted by Alan on October 26, 2005 7:22 PM (e)

Lenny, you’re a veritable polymath.

Comment #53971

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 26, 2005 7:40 PM (e)

Lenny, you’re a veritable polymath.

I just have wayyyyyy too much spare time on my hands. :>

Seriously, I read an average of 3-4 books each week. On virtually any topic that even vaguely interests me.

It happens that I’ve been working recently on some freeware campaigns for Combat Flight Simulator 2 – I’m lethal in a Zero fighter ;> – and thus have been doing lots of reading lately on the Russian, North African, and Aleutian campaigns, and also on World War One, and the Battle of Britain. So I’ve learned quite a bit on the topic.

As an aside, it struck me during my research into the Battle of Britain just how SMALL the battle really was, despite its tremendous historic importance. During the entire Battle of Britain, the RAF lost a little over 500 aircrew. During the night raids over Germany in 1943-44, it was not uncommon for the RAF to lose that many people in ONE RAID.

Many people do not appreciate how “few” those pilots really were, to whom the British (and we) owe “so much”.

And it was the Hurricane, not the Spitfire, that won the Battle of Britain.

Comment #53972

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 26, 2005 7:44 PM (e)

I’m lethal in a Zero fighter ;>

tight turns over strength and speed, eh?

Comment #53977

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 26, 2005 7:56 PM (e)

I’m lethal in a Zero fighter ;>

tight turns over strength and speed, eh?

Well, the Zero, being so light, also has the speed. But yes, it is the tight turning ability that makes it such a wonderful fighter. Not even the most advanced Allied fighters at the end of the war could out-turn a Zero. Once I get on your tail, you are a goner. ;>

The only way to beat the Zero is, not surprisingly, the one adopted by the US Navy during WW2. Known as the “Thatch Weave”, it puts Navy fighters working in pairs, weaving back and forth so each can cover the tail of the other. It was an ironic thing that, in combat, the Japanese (who by cultural inclination were tightly regimented and disciplined) were most effective when they worked individually to pick out and maneuver behind enemy aircraft. The Americans, by contrast (who were culturally individualistic anti-authoritarians) were most effective when they worked together as a tightly disciplined team to catch the Zero between them.

The other key to shooting down a Zero is to bounce them from above (the Zero couldn’t dive very well) and hit it in one pass as you go by. You do NOT want to get into a turning dogfight with a Zero – it’ll beat you every time. Instead, you want to close rapidly, hit-and-run, then dive away and climb for another pass.

Alas, the bad thing about the Zero is that its speed and maneuverability come from its lightness, which is the result of lack of armor. All it takes is a few hits on a Zero, and down ya go. Of course, it’s hitting it in the first place that is the problem. ;>

Comment #53982

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 26, 2005 8:17 PM (e)

The other key to shooting down a Zero is to bounce them from above (the Zero couldn’t dive very well) and hit it in one pass as you go by. You do NOT want to get into a turning dogfight with a Zero — it’ll beat you every time. Instead, you want to close rapidly, hit-and-run, then dive away and climb for another pass.

ahhh, yes. i do remember the many hours spent playing “aces over the Pacific” where i learned the ins and outs of how to beat up on zeroes.

glad to see a fellow enthusiast :)

a couple of days ago, another game enthusiast (fantasy roleplaying), who also happens to be an avid anti-IDiot pediatrician from Ohio (yes, i mentioned the creation museum to him) posted he was now a regular here too.

I hope this doesn’t mean that PT posters are mostly folks with too much time on their hands :p

cheers

Comment #53983

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 26, 2005 8:18 PM (e)

now to the next obvious remark…

does your choice in fighter plane reflect your debating style as well?

Comment #53986

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 26, 2005 8:25 PM (e)

does your choice in fighter plane reflect your debating style as well?

(grin)

Nope. No finesse for me. I’m an Me-110 — I just open up with the big cannons and shred ya to bits. :>

Comment #53988

Posted by K.E. on October 26, 2005 8:30 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam
… a mere Zero why not a full blown Deity ?
Speed, power (oooohhh the power) and fanatical devotees.
Able to change shapes or in fact whole universes.

Krisha… comes to mind famously quoted by Robert Oppenwhatsit
at ground zero.

Shiva* by the way is reserved for Lenny so you can’t have him.
*(the swallower of the poisonous cloud released by the battle of the gods and the anti gods etc etc)

Comment #53990

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 26, 2005 8:36 PM (e)

Shiva* by the way is reserved for Lenny so you can’t have him.

I do have a t-shirt that says “Kali is my co-pilot”.

It always pisses off the fundies. :>

Comment #53992

Posted by K.E. on October 26, 2005 8:40 PM (e)

He who dances on dwarfs !!!!!
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Comment #53994

Posted by K.E. on October 26, 2005 9:15 PM (e)

The dwarf by the way symbolizes the demon “Non-knowing”
There are a great insights into the meanings of the Hindu Deities
as well as hundreds of others in

“The Hero with a Thousand Faces” By Campbell
First published in 1975 and still in print.

Campbell had a unique ability to unravel the meaning of Myth and parallel analogies in modern man, making comparisons across all the worlds great religious stories. Including insights from ancient folklore through to modern story tellers, Poets, Freud, Jung and contemporary psychology. Wagner to Huxley, Abraham to Zuni Indians.
I read it first over 25 years ago and can always find something new and relevant.

Campbell was no lightweight he wrote

“A Skeleton Key to Finagans Wake”

Which I found more interesting than the Wake itself.

If Behe and the rabble that surrounds him picked that book up before they started their fools errand we wouldn’t have to be doing this.

Comment #54021

Posted by Dean Morrison on October 27, 2005 5:04 AM (e)

To many it seems, who crow about how “we” (actually mostly our parents and grandparents) saved the French, the irony is not troubling.

Another point that should be made is that the USA did not enter the war to save the French, or the British for that matter. You were quite happy to stand on the sidelines and sell us weapons until you got attacked by the Japanese.
Hitler then declared war on you - if he hadn’t it would have been quite possible for the US to have had its own war with the Japanese alone (as was the wish of several republicans at the time).
We - the Allies - won the war together. Perhaps the lesson should be that its important to stay friends with people that share your values (and even some that don’t). This is not to denigrate or ignore the contribution that the USA made to defeating the Nazis - I went on a pilgrimage to the D-Day beaches and the American War cemetary this summer to pay my respects.

Comment #54043

Posted by Stephen Elliott on October 27, 2005 11:05 AM (e)

Rev Doc Len,
The Battle of Britain was much larger than RAF losses would indicate.
Don’t forget it was almost exclusively (especialy in the opening phase) a defensive action for us brits. Thus it was (mostly) a case of UK fighters against Axis fighters and bombers.

I do believe UK civilian casualties far outnumber aircrew losses.

The hurricane was indeed responsible for more “kills” than the spitfire. Due mainly to the fct that the RAF possesed far more of them, but also the hurricanes being far quicker and easier to repair helped.

Generally when the situation allowed, controlers tried to target hurricane squadrons onto bomber formation and spitfires to handle the fighter escort.

Dean,

Another point that should be made is that the USA did not enter the war to save the French, or the British for that matter. You were quite happy to stand on the sidelines and sell us weapons until you got attacked by the Japanese.

That is a tad harsh.
US interventionists were starting to get the upper hand before the pearl harbour atack. Due mainly to the work of a bunch of (courageous) US journalists covering the Battle of Britain.

Comment #54076

Posted by Arden Chatfield on October 27, 2005 2:15 PM (e)

Another point that should be made is that the USA did not enter the war to save the French, or the British for that matter. You were quite happy to stand on the sidelines and sell us weapons until you got attacked by the Japanese.

True. But in our defense, FDR wanted to enter the war in Europe really bad, he just knew he couldn’t sell it to Congress unless the US was actually attacked.

Hitler then declared war on you -

Not one of his better-thought out ideas.

if he hadn’t it would have been quite possible for the US to have had its own war with the Japanese alone (as was the wish of several republicans at the time).
We - the Allies - won the war together.

Actually, there’s very good reason to believe that it was only the Russian/German conflict that ensured that Germany would lose. The Russians sacrificed the most by far, and cost the Germans the great majority of their casualties. Most of the ground fighting the Germans did was against the Russians. If Hitler had actually honored his nonaggression pact with Stalin, and had Russia stayed out of the war, Nazi Germany might have been unbeatable, at least on the continent.

Comment #54136

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 27, 2005 6:32 PM (e)

Mr Elliott writes:

Don’t forget it was almost exclusively (especialy in the opening phase) a defensive action for us brits. Thus it was (mostly) a case of UK fighters against Axis fighters and bombers.

Well, more accurately, I think it was a case of UK fighters vs German fighters —- no invasion attempt could take place unless the Luftwaffe had air superiority over the Channel, and that meant destroying Fighter Command. Their failure to do so was what decided the Battle of Britain. The German bombers were more or less just there to force the British fighters into combat so they could be shot down (the Luftwaffe tried, early on, massive fighter sweeps over the UK, but Fighter Command refused to commit any fighters to engaging them).

I do believe UK civilian casualties far outnumber aircrew losses.

That is indeed true. One problem for the Germans was that they continually switched tactics, and never followed through on any of them. The first phase of the battle was the “Channel War”, in which the Luftwaffe tried to lure RAF fighters into combat (and to cripple British supply) by attacking shipping in the Channel. They were successful enough in this to force the British to run convoys only at night, but then gave up on the tactic and switched to direct attacks on RAF airfields – whcih turned out to be their most effective tactic. But, just as this tactic had the RAF on the ropes and very close to defeat, the Germans switched again and began an attempt to terror-bomb London and intimidate the civilian population into surrendering. That tactic, of course, was later perfected by the RAF and USAAF over Germany and Japan, where it failed just as patently.

And through the whole battle, the Luftwaffe never made much of a serious effort to destroy the radar stations and the Fighter Command sector control centers – which were the real heart of British defense. Without those, the RAF would have worn itself down to nothing by flying standing patrols and continuous fighter sweeps. Radar control allowed the RAF to commit just the number of fighters it needed to, exactly where they were needed.

The hurricane was indeed responsible for more “kills” than the spitfire. Due mainly to the fct that the RAF possesed far more of them, but also the hurricanes being far quicker and easier to repair helped.

Generally when the situation allowed, controlers tried to target hurricane squadrons onto bomber formation and spitfires to handle the fighter escort.

Yes, that is true. The Hurricane was also a more stable gun platform and was best suited for attacking the bombers, while the Spitfire was capable of taking on the Me109 directly, which the Hurricane wasn’t.

US interventionists were starting to get the upper hand before the pearl harbour atack. Due mainly to the work of a bunch of (courageous) US journalists covering the Battle of Britain.

But, it should be noted, a significant portion of the US actually supported the Nazis. Henry Ford published a book titled “The International Jew” which was reprinted in Germany. Charles Lindbergh was presented with a medal by Goebbels for his work in “helping the American public to understand the New Germany”. Radio preacher Father Coughlin, like most of the Catholic hierarchy, actively supported the Nazis, citing their implacable opposition to “godless Bolshevism”.

Mr Chatfield writes:

Actually, there’s very good reason to believe that it was only the Russian/German conflict that ensured that Germany would lose. The Russians sacrificed the most by far, and cost the Germans the great majority of their casualties. Most of the ground fighting the Germans did was against the Russians. If Hitler had actually honored his nonaggression pact with Stalin, and had Russia stayed out of the war, Nazi Germany might have been unbeatable, at least on the continent.

I quite agree. The US flag-wavers like to claim that it was “American aid” that allowed the Russians to win, but that is simply not true. The total amount of Lend-Lease aid to the USSR amounted to less than 15% of Soviet war production. Most of the American military equipment that was given to the Russians was obsolete stuff like American P-39’s and P-40’s, and, towards the end, British Hurricanes. The best and most effective Russian equipment was Russian-made, including the T-34 tank (the best in the world at the time), the Shturmovik ground-attack airplane (which made mincemeat out of German armored formations), and the Yakovlev and MiG fighters, which outclassed the German Me109 and FW190. The strategic turning point in the war was the counter-offensives at Kursk and the Kuban, both of which happened before the Lend-Lease supplies began to arrive with any regularity. By this time, the USSR was already, on its own, outproducing Germany in military equipment.

The most effective military resource for the USSR, of course, was its huge manpower reserves, coupled with Stalin’s utter ruthlessness in using them (regardless of the losses incurred).

It is also a little-known fact that the Japanese attempted a move against the USSR in the early 30’s, near Nomonhan in Mongolia. The Russians (under the command of Zhukov) cleaned their clocks. It was the drubbing they took in this action that helped convince the Japanese to move southwards, towards the Dutch East Indies, rather than northwards into Siberia. Of course, moving into southeast Asia would mean a direct naval conflict with the US, and the only way the Japanese saw to accomplish this was a first-strike knockout blow to put the US fleet out of action right off the bat. Hence, Pearl Harbor.

Wow, we sure are straying wayyyyy offtopic. But hey, all the schoolkids out there are getting quite a history lesson, huh. :>

Comment #54140

Posted by Dean Morrison on October 27, 2005 6:56 PM (e)

..but it’s a bit of light relief from UnIntelligible design, Specious Infomation, Irrefutable Complexity and all that rubbish (quote miners welcome here).

Comment #54144

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 27, 2005 7:08 PM (e)

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Not only is it “a bit of light relief,” it has infinitely more information content than ID.

(*No real soldiers were injured during the making of this sound track.)