Prof. Steve Steve posted Entry 2524 on August 17, 2006 12:21 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2519

head.jpg Okay, cubs, it’s time to play everyone’s favorite game, “Who Said Something Stupid?” Rules are simple: in your comment to this post, identify the dim bulb who uttered each of the following outrageous statements. Creativity in your guess will be rewarded, but points will be deducted for snorts and guffaws that lead to spewing coffee on your keyboard.

After finding the author of the quote, place your vote for the stupidest statement of the month. Winners will be decided by me at an arbitrary point in time, and will be notified telepathically. The prize for correctly identifying all of the authors will be a sincere pat on the back (i.e., with claws retracted) and a virtual pint of virtual Pilsener at the virtual Pub.

The prize for the author of the winningest statement will be the negative attention of a small number of people for a fairly short period of time. And the perpetual linking of his or her name with his or her stupid comment on web archives everywhere.

Ready? Let’s play!

  1. Our first contestant is a software engineer. When solicited for a discussion about how one might find the solution to a particular class of mathematical problems, he responded (with such composure and self-assurance!):

    “To find a solution, one could try the software at: http://www.diku.dk/geosteiner/”

    Try this on your next college calculus problem set: find the answer to a problem by looking in the back of the book. In the space where you’re supposed to show your work, write “looked up the answer in the back of the book”. Sit back and bask in your enhanced credibility and in the TA’s admiration of your command of the subject.

  2. Continuing the mathematical theme:

    “…no population geneticist would assume…that variance is a parameter that might remain unchanged for more than 360,000 generations, not least of all because it is well-known that changes in gene frequencies affect variance, often by linkage disequilibrium. The word variance might suggest as much, suggesting, as it does, something that varies.

    Uh, did this guy just suggest that it’s called “variance” because it varies?!? Oh, indeed he did!

    Maybe these are the words of a mathematical naif, untutored in the arcane points of mathematical statistics. Maybe this person is the internet equivalent of Gauss’s classmates, who – que stupide! – could not see what was so obvious to that prodigy. “Certainly,” you cry, “this is not someone who claims any mathematical expertise whatsoever!”

  3. We got “engineers”, we got mathematicians. We also got LAWYERS (yea! woohoo!). Our next entry, by a lawyer, concerns the “Demarcation Problem” of distinguishing science from all the other human crap there is out there (y’know: art, religion, “American Idol”). Mr. JD Esquire says:

    “Who gave Karl Popper the authority to set the epistemological ground rules for all of the rest of us? I feel like the peasant in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. The peasant asks Arthur, ‘How did you get to be king? I didn’t vote for you.’ Similarly I don’t recall voting to put science in a box marked ‘falsification line of demarcation – do not open.’”

    Lawyers talking epistemology and quoting from Monty Python movies (not, it should be noted, from “The Life of Brian”)? Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends!

    Wait a minute: “Popper”? Did you say “Popper”? Who but Phillip Johnson cares about Popper anymore? That’s sooooo old paradigm! And by the way: so what? You didn’t get to vote on the law of gravity either.

    There are of course many more such stupidities just waiting–as the philosophers and house movers say–to be ‘unpacked’.

Whenever I get around to it, I’ll post the answers and links below. Thanks to my fan club for pointing these out! As always, email me (prof@pandasthumb.org) with more examples for next month’s Stupid ID Statement!

Commenters are responsible for the content of comments. The opinions expressed in articles, linked materials, and comments are not necessarily those of PandasThumb.org. See our full disclaimer.

Comment #120266

Posted by secondclass on August 17, 2006 4:28 PM (e)

Are write-ins allowed?

“However, his argument is like that a wet noodle, it’s not strong.”

Comment #120268

Posted by Corkscrew on August 17, 2006 4:36 PM (e)

OK, I know the first one was Sal, but I have no idea about the other two.

My vote would be for Contestant Two - the idea that the variance of something must change a lot because it’s related to the verb “to vary” is the daftest mathematical statement I’ve seen (bar one).

Comment #120270

Posted by Prof. Steve-Steve on August 17, 2006 4:37 PM (e)

Write-ins are most certainly allowed!

Let it not be said that I limit the opportunities for stupidity!

Comment #120271

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 17, 2006 4:39 PM (e)

1. Slaveador Cordova. no doubt. he always likes to bypass tough questions by referring to authority. Though usually he refers to his umm, no I won’t say it. I’ll just say his “bu__ buddy” William Dembski.

and speaking of which…

the use of circular mathematics that ain’t geometry is a common form of discourse for above mentioned WD40, so I put

2. squarely in the lap of WD.

3. I just saw that in comments on another thread, but immediately blocked it out of my mind… the combination of Popper and Python short circuited some part of my brain.

Comment #120273

Posted by GuyeFaux on August 17, 2006 4:48 PM (e)

Corkscrew wrote:

…is the daftest mathematical statement I’ve seen (bar one).

Ohmygod. Pi=3. Ohmygod. And he gives a proof.

Comment #120279

Posted by Mike Rogers on August 17, 2006 5:10 PM (e)

Popper originally viewed his falsification “line of demarcation” between science and non-science as descriptive, not prescriptive. This eventually caused him a lot of trouble from other philosophers because it is arguable that science doesn’t really work that way. I think in a broad scence and in practice, falsifiability is at least a sine qua non for successful science, but you can debate about the relative importance of other, less objective, things.

Popper then applied his descriptive model to produce a prescriptive recommendation for scientific theorizing - you should make theories falsifiable if you want them be reasonable and potentially successful scientific theories. This makes good sense whether you believe in a Popperian model of science or not.

Popper’s demarcation criteria was initially seized upon by the logical positivists because they thought it would replace verificationism to support their rather dogmatic ideology. It didn’t and Popper was very non-dogmatic himself and never had such a thing in mind, although he often got the brunt of criticism instigated by the dogmatism of those positivists. And when they realized Popper didn’t support logical positivism they often turned on him as well, so he was attacked from both his “left” and his “right”. Unfortunately, he opened the door for the relativists by emphasizing the social aspect of human knowledge in order to objectify it (he was a nominalist) and spent the rest of his career trying beat back the relativists who rushed in.

In any event, he was right about the neccessity of falsificationism because otherwise everybody could put out their own theory of anything and as long as it’s observationally equivallent to the available data, it’s as good as anyone else’s theory. We could each have our own theory for everything and nobody could criticize it! That might be kinda cool, but it would allow a lot of untestable nonsense to be passed off as science, which would totally devalue the really good and useful scientific theories. So this lawyer is just an idiot.

Comment #120281

Posted by CJ O'Brien on August 17, 2006 5:23 PM (e)

Larry, Moe, and Curly, respectively.

If it’s just jaw-droppingly stupid… It’s GOT to be Uncommonly Dense.

Comment #120283

Posted by Don Baccus on August 17, 2006 5:50 PM (e)

#3 is “BarryA” (AFAIK he’s not revealed his last name). Actually I think the stupidest things he’s said this past month are related to the Dover trial. To hear him tell it, if HE, rather than the Thomas More Legal Center, had been the defense lawyer at the trial, Dover would’ve won the case in a slam dunk.

He then goes on to show repeatedly that he’s about as good a lawyer as Dembski is a mathematician.

I just hope he gets to run the next courtroom defense of ID and has the good sense to call upon Salvador Cordova and Dave Scott Springer as expert witnesses!

Comment #120284

Posted by steve s on August 17, 2006 5:56 PM (e)

Hmmm…I remember us at AtBC making fun of Sal for saying the first one, and BarryA for saying the last one, but I don’t recall seeing the middle one.

Comment #120286

Posted by afarensis, FCD on August 17, 2006 6:02 PM (e)

I nominate:

So understanding human nature and knowing that the immune processes could probably be written in a less technical way so all of us could follow the logic I have come to the conclusion that the 58 references do not support the evolution of the immune system. Why, because if they did then someone would want to pile on and shove it in our faces that here is a well documented and scientifically accurate description of a process that proves Behe a fool. But if they did so then their interpretation of the 58 documents would be on paper where their logic and accurate interpetation could be challenged.

By Jerry

Comment #120287

Posted by argystokes on August 17, 2006 6:06 PM (e)

“BarryA” (AFAIK he’s not revealed his last name).

He’s Barry Arrington, from Colorado, and he’s Uncommonly Dense.

Comment #120289

Posted by secondclass on August 17, 2006 6:10 PM (e)

Don wrote:

. To hear him tell it, if HE, rather than the Thomas More Legal Center, had been the defense lawyer at the trial, Dover would’ve won the case in a slam dunk.

Before the trial even began, Lenny Flank presciently noted: “Already, I am seeing the makings of the standard ID/creationist refrain that they give every time they lose (yet again) —- ‘the guys representing our side weren’t really trying’.”

As Judge Jones noted, Thomas More did about as well as could be expected, given their hopeless case. At least they had the sense to fire Dembski, who would have turned the Waterloo into an Armageddon.

Comment #120290

Posted by argystokes on August 17, 2006 6:14 PM (e)

In response to a comment suggesting that sequencing chimp and human chromosomes would provide conclusive evidence for the fusion event leading to human chromosome 2:

Sequencing doesn’t tell us squat except for the sequence of nucleotides. From that we may be able to extract the number of genes but not of the coding sequences from alternative gene splicing.

Do quotes get more points for being coherently wrong, or just stupid? Because this one doesn’t even begin to make sense.

Comment #120291

Posted by argystokes on August 17, 2006 6:17 PM (e)

Jerry,

I’ll see your stupid and raise you 3 drools:

The very fact that the Darwinist side presented a stack of *58 books and articles* on the immune system, shows that it in fact has *no* “detailed testable answers to the question of how the immune system could have arisen by random mutation and natural selection.”

If it did, it would only have to read out *one page* in all those 58 books and articles where it is. That they didn’t, proves Behe’s claim that there is *no* such “detailed testable answer… to the question of how the immune system could have arisen by random mutation and natural selection.”

Comment #120292

Posted by Don Baccus on August 17, 2006 6:23 PM (e)

Ahh, Barry Arrington. Google shows him to be a Colorado State Legislator, which I know to be true of BarryA due to statements he’s made. Good.

Now, let’s see, what’s his legislative track record. Pretty much vanilla conservative stuff … end partial birth abortions, end state funding for county courthouse furnishings, protect minors from bare buttocks.

OK.

Now, he poses at UD as an expert on the federal rules of evidence and trial procedures.

Is he, really?

Hmmm …

HE IS A REAL-ESTATE LAWYER!

Oh my, oh my! Yeah, he’s an expert trial lawyer, yabetcha!

Comment #120294

Posted by KP on August 17, 2006 6:41 PM (e)

1. Cordova
2. Dembski
3. Luskin

What was the context of stmt #2? Just curious…

Comment #120295

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 17, 2006 6:52 PM (e)

Before the trial even began, Lenny Flank presciently noted: “Already, I am seeing the makings of the standard ID/creationist refrain that they give every time they lose (yet again) —- ‘the guys representing our side weren’t really trying’.”

Alas, no prescience involved, however —– simply the recognition that ID, having nothing new to offer, cannot help BUT simply repeat all the things that creation “science” did decades ago.

Within a few years, DI will be forgotten and ignored, and its “leading lights” will make their living by selling religious tracts to the gullible. Just like ICR.

Comment #120296

Posted by shiva on August 17, 2006 6:53 PM (e)

“Who did not say Something Stupid?”

Comment #120298

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 17, 2006 6:57 PM (e)

oh yes, that thread where barry “demolishes” Andrea was quite a hoot.

Andrea:

here are the summary details that were presented in the bulk of the research from those 58 publications (link).

barry:

what details, I don’ see no stinkin’ details.

Andrea:

I also put together an entire review paper on the evolution of the immune system, which you can read here (link).

barry:

Yeah, i read that link. there is no evidence of evolution there.

Andrea:

??? but I just.. gave… you… the evidence… ???

barry:

I win! yay me!

god, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Comment #120306

Posted by Don Baccus on August 17, 2006 7:17 PM (e)

Well, it look like I may have the wrong “Barry Arrington”, since he claims to be a constitutional law expert in Denver, rather than a Real Estate lawyer in Arvada.

Ah, well.

If he were Real Estate Barry he’d at least have an *excuse* for being so mind-numbingly off-base.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Real Estate laywers, mind you.

Comment #120307

Posted by Steverino on August 17, 2006 7:21 PM (e)

1. Christler Cordova
2. Dumski the Chimp
3. Tinkie Winkie (the one with the Luskin lined purse.)

Comment #120312

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 17, 2006 7:40 PM (e)

he claims to be a constitutional law expert

So did Beckwith, pre-Dover.

(snicker) (giggle) (howls of laughter)

Comment #120318

Posted by shiva on August 17, 2006 8:06 PM (e)

Amazing how all these ‘scholars’ are crawling out of the woodwork after the dhulai (means getting laundered in Hindi ie., washed and scrubbed thoroughly) in Dover. Wonder where they were while debacle was in progress. BillD could come up with a counterfactual account of Dover; and Berlinski could in rugby style start a series, Dover Jokes, More of Dover Jokes, Son of Dover Jokes

Once we are done with mathematical jokers like BillD and Salzo Panza could we get started on the physics frauds like Dave “Gravity is the strongest force” Scott?

Comment #120323

Posted by Richiyaado on August 17, 2006 8:25 PM (e)

Hey, my immune system poofed into existence “ex nihilo” only this morning. Good thing… you shoulda seen my “line of demarcation” yesterday—hoo mama!

Comment #120335

Posted by Wheels on August 18, 2006 12:23 AM (e)

Lenny wrote:

he claims to be a constitutional law expert

So did Beckwith, pre-Dover.

So does Pat Robertson. He even admits to having gone through law school without reading the document.

Comment #120340

Posted by Prof. Steve-Steve on August 18, 2006 12:38 AM (e)

Folks, you should all be aware that we’ve just been visited by the illustrious Richiyaado, of Nippon and New Orleans.

Richi is the genius behind that famous ad campaign that sold so many of those… you know, those little… they go on the ends of the… you know what I’m talking about, I’m sure.

I also heard somewhere that he played a seminal role in this public service ad campaign. He clearly had a hand in it: his fingerprints are all over it.

I’m also told that Sir Richi routinely smacked ‘em around on the old ARN battlefields, back when people were still taking ID seriously enough to try to actually calculate how much CSI was contained in Bill Dembski’s ego. Answer: a lot. (Of course, this was way back, before Dembski’s prime-time TV show “CSI: Waco” was even in its first season. And waaayyyy before Dembski started doing those Home Shopping Network specials.)

Anyway, give ‘em heck, Richi. And welcome!

Comment #120343

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2006 1:06 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'I'

Comment #120344

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2006 1:10 AM (e)

Richi is the genius behind that famous ad campaign that sold so many of those… you know, those little… they go on the ends of the… you know what I’m talking about, I’m sure.

Oh Yeah! Moose turds on a stick. I’ve seen those for sale in various places.

Yes, very clever.

Comment #120345

Posted by Anton Mates on August 18, 2006 2:31 AM (e)

Try this on your next college calculus problem set: find the answer to a problem by looking in the back of the book. In the space where you’re supposed to show your work, write “looked up the answer in the back of the book”. Sit back and bask in your enhanced credibility and in the TA’s admiration of your command of the subject.

When I TAed calculus for business majors, at least one student did exactly that on every problem set. (Not the same student every time, thankfully.)

The best part is when students write some incorrect calculations, copy the correct answer from the back of the book–which doesn’t follow from their calculations–and then ask (completely honestly, mind you) for full credit because they got it right and showed their work.

Comment #120346

Posted by sparc on August 18, 2006 2:39 AM (e)

Somehow my connection to PT is not stable today. So I will try to post again:

John A Davison is a safe bet for Stupid ID statement of the month, although I don’t know if he made any statements during the last weeks. Besides I never quite get it: Is he an IDist or does WD only allows him to play the jester at UD?

Comment #120350

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2006 3:09 AM (e)

JAD is in his own little world he created for himself in the mid 80’s as a result of a mental breakdown, likely caused by a bout of serious cognitive dissonance.

he is not an IDer, nor is he a strict creationist.

He is, however, completely insane.

in fact, his last “published” paper earned him the title “crankiest” over in the evolution section on crank.net.

back in the days when we used to let him post here, we called him the “monkey” because he was so fond of flinging sh*t on the forum walls.

yes, they ban him every month at UD, then let him back. mostly for their own amusement, I’m sure.

Comment #120351

Posted by Corkscrew on August 18, 2006 3:10 AM (e)

Sir_Toejam wrote:

Andrea:

I also put together an entire review paper on the evolution of the immune system, which you can read here (link).

Which thread was that? I’d be interested in reading that paper.

Comment #120352

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2006 3:20 AM (e)

*shudder*

It’s asking a lot of me to scrape the bottom of that trash can to find that thread for you, but OK…

let’s see…

ewwww, what’s that thing…

yuuuucccckkk.

*phew*

ahh, here’s the thread, look for the posts by andrea, and you will see the links to where he discusses the evidence regarding the evolution of the immune system.

http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/1443

don’t ask me to do more than that, it’s painful to probe through that garbage; might get stuck by a dirty needle or something.

Comment #120353

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2006 3:25 AM (e)

note that by “paper” i really mean the review article he wrote for the thumb (the link in the UD thread he provided), but somewhere I believe he also mentioned a published article in this field as well. I could be wrong, but it is a distinct memory.

ask him; he’s around.

Comment #120355

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2006 3:58 AM (e)

ahh, this might be the article I was thinking of:

http://www.nature.com/ni/journal/v7/n5/abs/ni0506-433.html

Comment #120374

Posted by Jim Wynne on August 18, 2006 8:24 AM (e)

I have another write-in candidate, this one being perhaps the stupidest thing anyone has ever said on any subject. It came from a commenter at Right Wing Nuthouse, and I wrote about it here.

The commenter thinks that if evolutionary theory is correct, it should affect inanimate objects:

Besides being unmeasurable, evolution is arbitrary! Oh yes, we evolve because we’re special, but things like coelecanths, sharks, etc. do not. Of course evolution just works on living things, not on inorganic matter, for some reason….computers didn’t evolve, neither did steel. Evolution sure is picky!!

When another commenter asked if he could possibly be serious, he responded,

…and why wouldn’t evolution work on non-living things? Does gravity work on living and non-living things?

again, DARWINIACS have no answers, just try to silence the critics.

It doesn’t get more stupider than that, folks.

Comment #120377

Posted by Ric on August 18, 2006 8:50 AM (e)

Without looking at other people’s comments, I would have to say:

1. Sal

2. Dembski

3. ?

It was sort of like Jeopardy though; the questions were phrased in such a way that the answers were easier.

Comment #120390

Posted by Kristine on August 18, 2006 10:11 AM (e)

Hey, you guys—
Women can be just as stupid as men.

“I don’t have much use for young earth creationism [oh, yeah?], but I strongly oppose the assumption that a person who holds that view cannot function well in a job where all the important issues occur in real time today. That’s a form of prejudice unjustified by the facts. While writing By Design or by Chance?, I interviewed accomplished scientists who were - for religious reasons - YECs.”

Oh, guess who? UD’s very own Dense O’Leary.

Comment #120392

Posted by Gerard Harbison on August 18, 2006 10:18 AM (e)

Sadly, the month’s stupidest statement about creationism/ID may well have been written by the commentary editor of Nature, Sarah Tomlin. In the midst of a paean to Iranian science, no less, she wrote the following…

One practical advantage for science in Muslim countries is the lack of direct interference of religious doctrine, such as exists in many Christian countries. There has never, for example, been a debate about darwinian evolution, and human embryonic stem-cell research is constrained by humanistic rather than religious ethics.

Can she really be this ignorant about the attacks on biological scientists in Turkey by Islamists, Harun Yahya, Islamic creationism, etc. etc.?

Comment #120398

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on August 18, 2006 10:35 AM (e)

I would dare to say;

1) Sal “Illustrious” Cordova

2) “Wild” Bill Dumbski

3) “Lame Case” Casey Luskin

Comment #120407

Posted by Richiyaado on August 18, 2006 11:16 AM (e)

Holde thy horsyse, Sir Toejayme! We hathe nay recollectione oof ye upone the Queste! Aske ye oof Prof. Steve… he knowethe oof the manye and dyvyrse travailese vysytede upon ye nobile companye, longe ago in the lande of ARN!

(I really think I have made the stupidest ID statement of the month… I’m voting for myself!)

Comment #120422

Posted by Tiax on August 18, 2006 12:34 PM (e)

Well, the first one is our favourite computer scientist.

The second one could only be Dembski, because that is the most round-about way of stating a simple concept.

I might as well stick with the UD motif and guess their lawyer Barry.

Comment #120431

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2006 1:11 PM (e)

now, now richiyaado, don’t take it personally, working for the onion I figured you would appreciate a little humor.

after all, Prof. Steve Steve did leave the interpretation of what was on the end of the stick a little open…

;)

that said, yes your efforts on ARN were most appreciated, if in hindsight only by myself.

but that just sounds so trite…

I still like “moose turds on a stick”. You gotta admit, the fact that those sell at all must be a tribute to a great advertising campaign…

Comment #120433

Posted by Anonymous_Coward on August 18, 2006 1:15 PM (e)

Well, the first one is our favourite computer scientist.

PLEASE!

Even when you’re being sarcastic, DO NOT put Sal Cordova into the same league as computer scientists.

Even computer scientists have to do REAL science. They certainly don’t pretend to know something about Genetic Algorithms and they would just look up answers on a website, completely ignoring the challenge.

I’m not a computer scientist, btw.

Comment #120438

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on August 18, 2006 1:36 PM (e)

Hint: #2 is not due to William Dembski.

Comment #120444

Posted by argystokes on August 18, 2006 2:21 PM (e)

Another write-in, this one fresh of the presses from the dumbest creationist at AtBC:

Absolute dates of fossils are determined by Mutation Rates, apparently.

Comment #120446

Posted by Dave Thomas on August 18, 2006 2:26 PM (e)

Another candidate, from johnnyb at UD, complaining about Genetic Algorithms:

The problem is that the fitness function cannot be directly related to the problem being solved. Natural selection simply says the animal must survive or be better at reproduction, but somehow guides processes such as eye formation. Therefore, in a fitting scenario the selection algorithm should not directly correspond with what you are searching for, in fact there should be a large disconnect.

Without such a disconnect, what you are doing is moving the design to the environment. You aren’t getting rid of design, you’re just moving it around.

Kampai, Dave

Comment #120449

Posted by Bob O'H on August 18, 2006 2:42 PM (e)

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends!

…we’re so glad you could attend! Come inside! Come inside!

It must be ELP’s big tent. Do I win a prize?

Bob

Comment #120453

Posted by Richiyaado on August 18, 2006 3:27 PM (e)

Actually, Sir Toejam, they were nutria turds on a stick… we don’t have any moose (mooses? meeses?) down heah!

Comment #120459

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2006 3:54 PM (e)

nutria?

I hear tell thems’ good eatin’.

true?

Comment #120482

Posted by Inoculated Mind on August 18, 2006 5:21 PM (e)

argystokes - I’ll second that write-in. That 58 references One Reference inequality was incredibly dense.

I can tell it’s friday by the wackiness of the jokes.

Comment #120485

Posted by Godslayer on August 18, 2006 5:37 PM (e)

There is a simple response to the lawyer’s question “Who gave Karl Popper the authority to set the epistemological ground rules for all of the rest of us?”

The United States Supreme Court, that’s who, in Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). This is the leading case on “junk science,” of which ID is only a poor specimen. But perhaps this lawyer can cite a “higher” authority.

Comment #120502

Posted by Richiyaado on August 18, 2006 6:28 PM (e)

“nutria?

I hear tell thems’ good eatin’.

true?”

Sure… just go into any New Orleans restaurant and order chicken!

Comment #120510

Posted by steve s on August 18, 2006 6:35 PM (e)

Comment #120453

Posted by Richiyaado on August 18, 2006 03:27 PM (e) | kill

Actually, Sir Toejam, they were nutria turds on a stick… we don’t have any moose (mooses? meeses?) down heah!

A Møøse once bit my sister…

Comment #120521

Posted by Richiyaado on August 18, 2006 7:25 PM (e)

Realli? Was she karving her initals on the møøse with the sharpened end of a bacterial flagellum?

Comment #120525

Posted by deadman_932 on August 18, 2006 7:49 PM (e)

1. Salivatin’ Salamandrous Slanderous Sal. (apologies to amphibians everywhere)
2. Hmm..if it’s not Dembski, I’d be hard-pressed to say who else is that dim. “Variance = something that varies” is pretty dull, though – Must be ONE of the standard deviants.
3. BarryA

Oh, and Argy, no fair nominating AFDave, he won the “Dumbest Creobot” award already and you KNOW he’d sweep the categories here. He’s like the bestest li’l pinhead :)

Comment #120554

Posted by Anton Mates on August 18, 2006 9:26 PM (e)

Hmm..if it’s not Dembski, I’d be hard-pressed to say who else is that dim. “Variance = something that varies” is pretty dull, though — Must be ONE of the standard deviants.

Mathematical silliness with a dash of painfully obvious etymology…I vote for Berlinski. After all, he is the guy who interrupted an interview with himself to explain to himself what “chutzpah” meant, and who wrote of “a flensing of intellectual blubber” in A Tour of the Calculus.

Comment #120558

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 18, 2006 9:44 PM (e)

Oh, deadman, I am SO insulted by this utterly unwarranted insult to good pinheads everywhere:

Oh, and Argy, no fair nominating AFDave, he won the “Dumbest Creobot” award already and you KNOW he’d sweep the categories here. He’s like the bestest li’l pinhead :)

Dumbest Creobot, sure, no problem!

But “bestest li’l pinhead”! What!?!
I’m waxing so wroth that I’m about to drown in froth. I’ll eventually cool down, but it’s probably just as well that you’re dead already…

(Fume, sputter, …

Comment #120578

Posted by Lynn on August 18, 2006 10:56 PM (e)

Anton Mates said: “When I TAed calculus for business majors, at least one student did exactly that on every problem set. (Not the same student every time, thankfully.)

The best part is when students write some incorrect calculations, copy the correct answer from the back of the book—which doesn’t follow from their calculations—and then ask (completely honestly, mind you) for full credit because they got it right and showed their work.”

Oh, yeah. I’m sure any of us who teach have files of stories like this LOL!

I had a student in my on-line Bio course who took this kind of approach to statistics and genetics problems. Provide the answer, then write “appropriate punnett square” and go on to the next question.

He also hit the roof any time he lost points on *any* assignment, and was outraged when, in response to any question he might ask, I’d imply that bacteria were important in any aspect of modern biology. After all–they’re the distant past, and *we’re* the present and, supposedly, future.

Of course, he was also a self-styled “visionary” who tried to file a class-action suit against the college because it was unfair and outrageous for faculty to insist on deadlines for assignments.

Really. He did.

One of those unique experiences that’s horrible during the experiencing and endlessly amusing in the remembrance.

Lynn

Comment #120616

Posted by Chiefley on August 18, 2006 11:15 PM (e)

Mike Rogers,
Regarding your comments about Popper. If I were trying to teach someone the diffrence between science and non-science who should I be reading, if not Popper? Kuhn?

Comment #120703

Posted by KC on August 19, 2006 3:39 AM (e)

#2 is Berlinski.

Comment #120730

Posted by k.e. on August 19, 2006 8:15 AM (e)

#2 is Berlinski

Which one ? …guffaw …snicker…I could just about dine out on that. It’s a pity I don’t live in sad Paris, I’d make him buy 3 drinks, one for each of him and 1 for me.

Comment #120790

Posted by deadman_932 on August 19, 2006 9:28 AM (e)

Dear steviepinhead: my apologies, my mind was elsewhere – probably gamboling in the gutter, per usual. And doesn’t it hurt to wax your wroth? Cheers, deadman

Comment #120799

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on August 19, 2006 10:25 AM (e)

To be fair to Berlinski, I am sure he knows that variance doesn’t need to vary and he was just making a bad pun.

Regardless, his actual claim in that sentence still sounds just wrong: not only assuming constant variance is a common and legitimate statistical approximation for modeling purposes, but since in fact artificial selection of quantitative, polygenic traits shows that genetic variance can persist even in the presence of selection (because of new mutation and recombination), it seems perfectly biologically reasonable for Nilsson and Pelger to assume that variance over the course of eye evolution averaged out at their modest proposed value (expressed as a coefficient of variation, V=0.01), especially under a small selection coefficient of just 0.01.

(Or, if Berlinski thinks this is not reasonable, he could change the model by introducing a factor for the variation of variance, and do the calculations again to show how it would affect the outcome. At least, he’d be putting his money where his mouth is, and perhaps even get some interesting result for once, instead of just criticizing the real work of scientists while comfortably sitting on his derrière.)

Oh, and I don’t see what “linkage disequilibrium” has to do in this context, since there is no reason to assume the underlying loci are in LD at all (and even if any of them were, in the case of an additive quantitative trait they would just behave as a single locus, and not affect the model).

Comment #120800

Posted by wamba on August 19, 2006 10:37 AM (e)

But wait, the month is not yet over, and John Calvert wants to enter:

First, accounts of origins are generally built on one of two causal concepts: Life derives from (a) only material causes or (b) from both material and intelligent causes.

Very odd. This doesn’t make sense unless one substitutes ‘supernatural” for “intelligent”.

After replicating life starts, biological evolution writes the rest of the chapters using imagined random mutations and natural selection.

Bolding added.

Fourth, in our country, government is constitutionally required to be neutral as to religion. Public schools may not take sides in any debate “respecting” “religion.”

Any clear thinking requires schools to avoid any bias that favors one origins story over another.

That’s right, it’s the old “materialistic science is another religion” gambit.

Comment #120825

Posted by hooligans on August 19, 2006 4:25 PM (e)

Here is another write in candidate for IDiot of the week,month,day, year: Dense O’learing states:

“Indeed, sophophile confirms just what I was trying to say - that when you have to explain why Darwin matters, he doesn’t.”

Wow, does this mean that when I explain something and how it matters I automatically prove it doesn’t matter? Ok, Ok … ID must be promoted to stop the evil onslaught of materialistic science! Did I just make ID not matter?

Comment #120828

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 19, 2006 5:03 PM (e)

Accepted, deadman.

Whatever minor pain is involved in waxing wroth, at least my froth is all shiny and squeaky now.

So thanks for that!

Comment #120855

Posted by Don Baccus on August 19, 2006 7:32 PM (e)

I’m becoming worried that this contest is going to become very, very boring in months to come.

Denyse O’Leary is putting up dumbest-post-of-the-month candidates about once an hour over there. While Bill and Sal and the choir can compete with her in quality (so to speak), they’re not even in the same league quantity-wise.

Comment #120856

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 19, 2006 7:32 PM (e)

I second Gerard’s nomination of Sarah Tomlin.

WTF is up with that statement she made? It makes me think there must be more to it than that. It’s hard to imagine the level of ignorance that statement would require out of context.

Comment #120864

Posted by deadman_932 on August 19, 2006 8:03 PM (e)

Amazing. As Hooligan noted above, Dense O’Leary at Uncommonly Dense writes a three-parter about the topic of book titles and their “real” significance. Her “reasoning” ( and responses to her) run as follows:

1. A book with the with the title “Why ____ Matters” (e.g. “Why Darwin Matters”) automatically means the subject of the title is less significant than in the past.
2. Dense O’Leary is presented with a list of titles from Amazon which include “Matter” or some variant thereof in the title and Dense O’Leary refines her claim to say that “well, I only meant non-abstractions, so “Why God Matters” means “God” is exempt.
3. The same critic that posted the list (“sophophile” –bravo, by the way)points out that children, as in “Why Children Matter” are not abstractions. Dense O’Leary fails to respond.
4. Dense O’Leary says that this doesn’t alter her original claim because “ the ID controversy is actually hot, hot hot,” but that she’s “bored with this topic and will delete future posts on it”

Good to know that there will still be lots of Dense at UD even without DaveScot

Comment #120872

Posted by k.e. on August 19, 2006 9:49 PM (e)

DM said:

4. Dense O’Leary says that this doesn’t alter her original claim because “ the ID controversy is actually hot, hot hot,” but that she’s “bored with this topic and will delete future posts on it”

Well that shows their usual anti-logic,
followed by an arbitrary obstruction
of criticism of her original abstraction.

Perfect…. another BRILLIANT day at the office for Dense Denies.

Tomorrow: Arbitrary criticism of obstruction followed by abstraction.

The next day: Abstracted obstruction followed by critical arbitrariness .

Day 3: A warm change “Do cats believe in god, and should we GAF”

Comment #121060

Posted by Laser on August 20, 2006 1:17 PM (e)

I have a write-in vote for pretty much anything Larry Fafarman said, but especially: “You don’t have to believe in evolution to use it as a scientific theory.”

Or, anything he said about imaginary numbers.

Comment #121122

Posted by Arden Chatfield on August 20, 2006 10:04 PM (e)

I have a write-in vote for pretty much anything Larry Fafarman said, but especially: “You don’t have to believe in evolution to use it as a scientific theory.”

I think it’s even better than that. I think he actually once said something along the lines of “just because the theory of evolution works, that doesn’t mean it’s true”.