Reed A. Cartwright posted Entry 3163 on June 1, 2007 03:11 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3153

Ever want some good ole fashioned southern California creationism? Well the Jesse Nickles, an international studies major at UC Irvine, has your answer: Evolution Doesn’t Make Much Sense. With arguments like these he will be running the Discovery Institute in no time.

Females: Although debatable, humans are the only species in which the females are more physically attractive than the males—the sole exception being, perhaps, Stephen Colbert….

Time: According to the theory of evolution, it took millions of years for mankind to figure out how to cultivate, hunt, invent the wheel, etc., and yet, in the last few hundred years alone, we’ve discovered the steam engine, the car, electricity, the computer and the safety pin? You’ve got to be kidding me.

And don’t miss the surprise ending.

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Comment #181008

Posted by Gerard Harbison on June 1, 2007 3:27 PM (e)

I just don’t understand the fascination these people have with collecting the same dozen stupid arguments, placing them in random order, and then inscribing their name at the bottom. It’s sort of a social ritual of shared stupidity; you bond with your fellow creationist by publicly avowing the same nonsense he publicly avowed last week.

Doesn’t Jesse have something better to do? (What does an ‘International Studies’ major do, anyway?)

Comment #181011

Posted by CJO on June 1, 2007 3:31 PM (e)

That’s kind of long. Here, Jesse, I’ve tightened it up a little, really distilled your argument for you:

DNA, etc.

There, now, that packs a punch.

Comment #181014

Posted by waldteufel on June 1, 2007 3:34 PM (e)

Gee …what a smart guy!

With almost no discernible knowledge of even elementary school level science, little Jesse has completely overturned biology, geology, physics, astronomy, history, ……

I sure am impressed!

Comment #181016

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 1, 2007 3:37 PM (e)

Man, where were these idiots when I was growing up in Southern California? They either hid themselves well, or So Cal has become a mecca for the insane.

Comment #181019

Posted by Albion on June 1, 2007 3:50 PM (e)

Well, that’s just tiresome. No surprise that he isn’t a science student.

Comment #181021

Posted by Jeff Ross-Ibarra on June 1, 2007 3:56 PM (e)

This is not the first time Nickles has graced our university with his wisdom. Note his well-researched piece on climate change from a few months back. To be fair to UC Irvine and SoCal in general, Nickles’ ideas are hardly commonplace. His climate change article garnered its share of criticism, and his current masterpiece is doing so as well.

Comment #181023

Posted by minimalist on June 1, 2007 3:59 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam wrote:

So Cal has become a mecca for the insane.

… “become”?

Comment #181025

Posted by Jim Wynne on June 1, 2007 4:02 PM (e)

Jesse Nichols wrote:

Language: Not only does mankind have a special brain capability that caters specifically to spoken language, but the human mouth, lips, tongue and larynx are perfectly suited to play along, with no sign of such harmony anywhere in sight for other species.

And the holes in our skin line up perfectly with our eyes!

Comment #181026

Posted by MYOB on June 1, 2007 4:16 PM (e)

International Studies Major = Capacity to perform brain surgery, Build replacement space shuttle, Factor 1024 digit numbers in only a few minutes and splice DNA.

I wish I had one. I bet he gets the chicks with a degree like that.

Comment #181027

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 1, 2007 4:20 PM (e)

… “become”?

yes, I was born in Newport Beach and grew up there in the 70’s.

Believe me when I say that this kind of lunacy was not at all common in Orange County until much, much later.

I often wonder if Howard Ahmanson has played some critical role in acting like a beacon for these moths.

Comment #181032

Posted by Chris Andrews on June 1, 2007 4:47 PM (e)

I got a chuckle out of his “Sex” argument that humans are the only species to have sex in private.

If other species were having sex in PRIVATE we, by definition, wouldn’t know about it… would we?!

He he.

Comment #181033

Posted by Peter Henderson on June 1, 2007 4:54 PM (e)

Females: Although debatable, humans are the only species in which the females are more physically attractive than the males—the sole exception being, perhaps, Stephen Colbert….

Surely that depends on your perspective ?

Comment #181038

Posted by hinschelwood on June 1, 2007 5:18 PM (e)

Chris Andrews wrote:

I got a chuckle out of his “Sex” argument that humans are the only species to have sex in private.

If other species were having sex in PRIVATE we, by definition, wouldn’t know about it… would we?!

So how do we know that humans have sex, if it’s so private…? Or isn’t it so private after all?

Comment #181039

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on June 1, 2007 5:21 PM (e)

humans are the only species in which the females are more physically attractive than the males

to humans, perhaps. Oh, wait, maybe I misunderstood. What units of “physically attractive” are we talking about here?

Comment #181042

Posted by waldteufel on June 1, 2007 5:38 PM (e)

Jesse’s mindless twaddle ought to be an embarrassment to UC Irvine.

That he is a university student and writes this drivel boggles the mind.

Comment #181046

Posted by CJO on June 1, 2007 5:47 PM (e)

What units of “physically attractive” are we talking about here?

Rilly. Hubba-hubbas, or va-va-vooms? It makes a difference.

Comment #181048

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on June 1, 2007 5:54 PM (e)

To tell the truth, the only units I’m familiar with are “millihelens,” being defined as the amount of beauty necessary to launch one ship.

Comment #181051

Posted by David B. Benson on June 1, 2007 6:01 PM (e)

Milli Helens? I had a date with her once…

:-)

Comment #181069

Posted by waldteufel on June 1, 2007 6:42 PM (e)

Hey, Sir_Toejam, I was born in South Gate, Calif., and grew up in Huntington Beach during the 60’s.

I guess we wuz almost neighbors ….

Comment #181071

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 1, 2007 6:54 PM (e)

I weep for what HB has become.

when I was 15, we used to surf huntington near bolsa chica; parked at the big dirt lot near the river outlet.

now, it’s all condos as far as the eye can see.

*sigh*

Orange County is pretty much dead to me now, sorry to say.

even the name is a misnomer any more; no more orange groves left.

Comment #181080

Posted by Sam on June 1, 2007 7:52 PM (e)

I was certain that the posting was a joke, a lampoon, until I saw everyone here taking it seriously. Wow.

Comment #181081

Posted by Scott Simmons on June 1, 2007 8:03 PM (e)

I’m still not entirely certain, Sam. The Colbert reference near the beginning seemed suspicious to me … Is it at all possible that this guy’s published persona is an extended bit of performance art, kind of like Pee-Wee Herman (but dweebier and less attractive)?

Comment #181091

Posted by Crudely Wrott on June 1, 2007 9:43 PM (e)

A fourth year student, eh? I see that he has named to call out the names of the most worn and dreary canards that show, irresistibly and incontrovertibly, that evolution cannot be. And that it’s nasty, too.

Wonder how he’s ranked by his professors and his peers.

Comment #181095

Posted by Crudely Wrott on June 1, 2007 9:50 PM (e)

Oop!

“learned to call out the names,” as all must have already deduced.

Comment #181110

Posted by Science Avenger on June 1, 2007 10:06 PM (e)

Females: Although debatable, humans are the only species in which the females are more physically attractive than the males—the sole exception being, perhaps, Stephen Colbert….

Why would this indicate we are somehow superior? Couldn’t it just as easily mean we are inferior? Why can’t it be “sequential”?

Worst of all it isn’t true. I can think of another one that is less debatable than humans: the Black Widow. The female is so striking she looks fake. The male is a drab brown runt.

Comment #181129

Posted by Gerry L on June 1, 2007 11:18 PM (e)

At the bottom of his … essay, young Jesse wrote:
“Jesse Nickles is a fourth-year international studies major. He can be reached at jnickles@uci.edu.”

I sincerely doubt it. There is no way he could be reached if he is willing to publicly embarrass himself by posting his ignorance for all to see. And UC should take away the “.edu” at the end of this email address.

Comment #181130

Posted by Anton Mates on June 1, 2007 11:18 PM (e)

Worst of all it isn’t true. I can think of another one that is less debatable than humans: the Black Widow. The female is so striking she looks fake. The male is a drab brown runt.

The widow female isn’t necessarily more “attractive” than the male, though, since her coloring is AFAIK more for warning than mate attraction.

But yeah, it’s been known to be false for centuries. Darwin listed several bird species with more striking females (who also perform/fight more for mates, etc.) in the Descent.

Come to think of it, I don’t really know what “attractive” is supposed to mean here. Arguably females are more uniformly “attractive” to males than vice versa in the majority of mammal species, simply because males are less choosy.

Comment #181131

Posted by Gary Hurd on June 1, 2007 11:36 PM (e)

I was Director of the Orange Counth Natural History Museum, and I was a studnet at UCI 1969-1976. I still live behind the orange curtain. We have a long history of rightwing whack nuts in addition to Ahmanson. The Knott family was the money machine for the John Birch Society and the Minute Men (with plenty of help I heard from Disney). The Minute Men were probably sexually inadequate, but they were heavily armed (compensation?) to mount a counter attack against the Roman Catholics, Communists, and the Negroes. Kent Hovind was a total amateur compared to Benny Hinn, Paul and Jan Crouch, the Schuller family cash machine, and oh so many others still rakeing in the cash from OC.

The “Children of God” died in Waco but they started in the late ’60s in Hunington Beach. Charley Manson camped out in Laguna Canyon for a while, as did Tim Leary, and the later mega freek Bagwan Rashneesh.

Comment #181154

Posted by stevaroni on June 2, 2007 1:17 AM (e)

Anton Writes…

The widow female isn’t necessarily more “attractive” … her coloring is more for warning

Considering some of the girlfriends I had when I was younger, this would have been a very handy feature.

On the other hand, it probably wouldn’t have stopped me anyway. It doesn’t stop the black widow males.

Comment #181180

Posted by Andy Hayes on June 2, 2007 4:49 AM (e)

Sir Toejam - remember the Continental Tilt Theory?
The Intelligent Designer picked up the United States by the tip of downeast Maine, and all the loose nuts rolled into Southern California.

Comment #181181

Posted by Andy Hayes on June 2, 2007 4:50 AM (e)

Sir Toejam - remember the Continental Tilt Theory?
The Intelligent Designer picked up the United States by the tip of downeast Maine, and all the loose nuts rolled into Southern California.

Comment #181182

Posted by Andy Hayes on June 2, 2007 4:50 AM (e)

Sir Toejam - remember the Continental Tilt Theory?
The Intelligent Designer picked up the United States by the tip of downeast Maine, and all the loose nuts rolled into Southern California.

Comment #181183

Posted by Andy Hayes on June 2, 2007 4:50 AM (e)

Sir Toejam - remember the Continental Tilt Theory?
The Intelligent Designer picked up the United States by the tip of downeast Maine, and all the loose nuts rolled into Southern California.

Comment #181196

Posted by the pro from dover on June 2, 2007 7:10 AM (e)

This is an antiscientific opinion puff piece from someone with no demonstrable scientific credentials. Michael Behe he is not. I doubt that the “New University” is an official publication of UCI. Why anyone at this blogsite should feel this is worth commenting on is beyond me. There are probably, on any given week, hundreds of these kinds of science denying postings online somehere in the USA and elsewhere. None of PT’s regular contributors post opinions on “International Studies.” Why should we care about Mr. Nickles opinion on anything?. If it’s not a joke it’s pathetic beyond belief. Time to move on to something more interesting like Lindsey Lohan’s blood alcohol level.

Comment #181197

Posted by Moses on June 2, 2007 7:28 AM (e)

A 4th year student? And that’s what he argued? I’d expect something better from my 5th grader. And by the time she hit HS, I’d expect her to be able to far, far better.

Comment #181201

Posted by Science Avenger on June 2, 2007 7:56 AM (e)

Why should we care about Mr. Nickles opinion on anything?

I don’t think anyone here cares about Mr. Nickles opinion per se. However, opinions like his, and the people likely to adopt them, are all-too-common, and I for one like the exercise of going through their “thinking”, both as preperation for any future confrontation, and believe it or not for my own education.

I think it was Asimov that said one has to understand a subject far more thoroughly to teach it than to use it, because students, even the least informed among them, sometimes ask the most novel questions dealing with facets of the subject you hadn’t thought about in just that way. Having to clarify such a thing to a dullard often illuminates another aspect of it to the teacher.

We also have our share of lurkers, and hopefully some of them will come away from their readings here with less respect for opinions like those of Mr. Nickles than they would have had otherwise. It’s also another opportunity to illustrate the scientific approach in practice. Can we have too many of those?

Hell, personally, I had never thought about the black widow that way before. Not exactly earthshattering stuff, but for me that little nugget of perspective made this whole thread worth it.

Comment #181205

Posted by raven on June 2, 2007 8:40 AM (e)

Time: According to the theory of evolution, it took millions of years for mankind to figure out how to cultivate, hunt, invent the wheel, etc.,

Rather casual disregard of the facts. The main evidence is paleontological, archeological, and historical. The archeological record for a stone age going back 12,000 years in N.S. America is extensive, Australia-ca. 50K, old world ca. 3 million years.

But facts don’t matter to creos.

This is willing suspension of disbelief. We all do this to read fiction, watch TV or movies or plays. That is what makes Star Wars or Star Trek etc. entertaining. The creos have just decided to check out of reality forever. By itself it would be harmless except that they keep demanding that we take their fantasy seriously and keep trying to sneak it into our children’s science classes.

I came up with this theory on my own but doubt that it is original as it is too obvious. Bet it is right on correct. If you ask some of the more self aware, educated, and honest creos if that is what they are doing, they will admit it. One common rational is, “I’ve decided to believe the dinosaurs wandered the US with herds of mammoths a few thousand years ago because if I don’t take every word in the bible literally, I will go to hell.”

This is in fact very bad theology that the majority of the world’s christians haven’t bought into. Weird cults are dime a dozen and they come and go.

Comment #181208

Posted by raven on June 2, 2007 8:54 AM (e)

Dover:
If it’s not a joke it’s pathetic beyond belief. Time to move on to something more interesting like Lindsey Lohan’s blood alcohol level.

You have a point. Think Brittany has hit bottom yet and what is bothering her anyway? LOL.

This example of 2rd grade reasoning illustrates two points.

1. The eternal question is, “How can these people be so stupid and manage to blindly ignore 150 years worth of evidence in biology, astronomy, geology, and paleontology?” My answer is, “willing suspension of disbelief.”

2. The stated goals of the creos are to overthrow the US government and set up a theocracy and then head back to the dark ages. While it is unlikely they will succeed in such a noble goal, the rest of us have a vested interest in making sure it doesn’t happen.

We don’t want our kids to end up making cheap manufactured goods to be shipped to the Chinese while their cousins sneak across the border into Canada and Mexico looking for work in the orchards and farm fields.

Comment #181219

Posted by i_like_latin on June 2, 2007 9:19 AM (e)

The New University is the foremost information source in the University of California, Irvine campus community. We provide news, advertising and information to students, staff and faculty. We want the New University to be the standard by which all university campus newspapers will be measured. We promise to continue to deliver an award-winning level of journalistic excellence, building public interest, trust and pride. We aim to achieve the highest standards of quality and will do this through excellence and integrity in publishing.

Interesting…

Regarding Orange County… I moved here from up north and there are a number of wing nuts. This place can feel more conservative than southern Ohio.

Anyhow, two words describe this piece- ‘breathtaking inanity’

Funny how they keep creeping up when describing creationism, ID etc…

Comment #181235

Posted by jesus on June 2, 2007 10:25 AM (e)

i think this is a spoof
i’m using his colbert reference as a clue

Comment #181240

Posted by Michael Tuite on June 2, 2007 10:35 AM (e)

C’mon folks. Jesse is having a big laugh as grown ups from both sides of our favorite heated issue feverishly reject/embrace his musings. This is sophomoric satire at its finest.

Michael

Comment #181241

Posted by Frank J on June 2, 2007 10:37 AM (e)

He pulls the bait-&-switch in the 1st paragraph, so how is the ending any surprise?

Comment #181264

Posted by Gary Hurd on June 2, 2007 11:30 AM (e)

I don’t think that Jesse Nickles is kidding. Those are all arguments I have seen/read other creationists make.

Comment #181269

Posted by AR on June 2, 2007 11:59 AM (e)

It is too obviously stupid to be real. It must be a joke - just note the mention of Colbert, which is a clear clue.

Comment #181284

Posted by Mark Studdock, FCD on June 2, 2007 1:25 PM (e)

It is so fortunate for the anti-ID and anti-Creationist apologists of naturalism that guys like this exist and write as silly as they do.

They provide an “opponent of evolution” which can be used to straw-man all other doubters. Forget dealling with Behe or someone like that. Let’s bash some kid in California and pretend he is representative of all non-naturalists.

MS

Comment #181323

Posted by AR on June 2, 2007 2:59 PM (e)

Re: Comment 181924 by Mark Studdock. I don’t know whether Studdock’s comment is a result of his myopia or of an irresistible desire to mislead readers. Who has “pretended” that the “kid” from UC Irvine represented all anti-naturalists? On the contrary, most of the commenters expressed puzzlement caused by inordinate stupidity of his “arguments.” Furthermore, to assert that critique of that “kid” served to avoid replying to Behe and his cohorts, shows that Studdock is either ignorant of the real situation or deliberatly decieves readers. Behe’s output (as well as of other prominent ID advocates) has been addressed by ID opponents in minute detail in dozens of publications (as well as in comments on this blog). Especially after his fiasco at the Dover trial, Behe looks like a clown for the overwhelming majority of mainstream scientists. His seeming sophistication is just a smokescreen while in fact the essence of his arguments is not much better than the piffle by the Irvine “kid.”

Comment #181325

Posted by AR on June 2, 2007 3:06 PM (e)

Apology: Studdock’s comment was not 181924 but 181284.

Comment #181327

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 2, 2007 3:47 PM (e)

served to avoid replying to Behe and his cohorts,

I’ll bite.

how on earth does this thread avoid replying to an argument that isn’t even under discussion?

if you want replies to Behe, I would suggest you check one of the other dozens of threads on PT (hint: use the search function) where his concepts are ripped apart, and post your comment there.

Comment #181328

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 2, 2007 3:50 PM (e)

btw, just to be clear, I’m using the words from the post above to address studdock’s post.

Comment #181368

Posted by Joel Eissenberg on June 2, 2007 5:33 PM (e)

I think quoting pop song lyrics as evidence qualifies as a spoof, too.

Comment #181374

Posted by raven on June 2, 2007 6:02 PM (e)

Forget dealling [sic] with Behe or someone like that.

Behe has been ripped to shreds anytime he bothers to pretend to have anything legitimate to say. Including in a court of law.

For every Behe, there are a thousand real scientists who can look reality in the eye without whimpering. The number of scientists in relevant fields of biology, paleontology, geology, or astronomy who accept reality runs around 99% and the actual numbers run around 450,000 USA.* Many of these don’t just talk, they walk the talk by contributing to the world total of knowledge. *Source:Talkorigins.org, list of claims.

It’s not our fault that a parody of creo nonsense is indistinguishable from creo nonsense or that by the second grade one has learned all they have to offer. How hard is it to learn a simple minded fairy tale?

Comment #181402

Posted by LaurenTheFish on June 2, 2007 7:36 PM (e)

I only want to, coming into this from the ‘soft sciences’ as I do, point to a psychological dysfunction not uncommon in both ideologues and extremists (and obviously even moreso in extremist ideologues…), which I call ‘pathological egocentrism’.

“All those tens, even hundreds of thousands (millions?) of other people, who have studied and worked in all areas of the life sciences, for centuries - representing at the very least, many millions of years of theorizing, hypothesizing, measurement, observation, study, collaboration, debate… among individuals from all manner of backgrounds, all personality types, from average intellects to utter geniuses -

…and they’re all blind! Only I can see these totally obvious, fundamental flaws in what they all naïvely believe to be true.”

That, my friends, is the underlying “reasoning” at work in poor, deluded Mr. Nickles’ mind - as well as his like-minded brethren, with whom we are all too familiar.

To believe such a literally fantastic scenario is on a par with believing affirmatively in Russell’s teapot - it actually constitutes prima facie proof of psychosis, far past any reasonable degree of doubt. The man is not a fool, nor is he a fraud; I will aver, with no fear of contradiction, that he is utterly insane.

Comment #181403

Posted by natural cynic on June 2, 2007 7:48 PM (e)

Maybe Jesse really does worship the Colbert faux persona. If you look at his blog, he IS that clueless.

Comment #181418

Posted by Marion Delgado on June 2, 2007 10:22 PM (e)

Well, “professor” or whatever you are, I think we’re all sick of the haughty arrogant attitude of the Darwinists.

Rather than play your sick “Old-Earth” heliocentric random mutation mind games, I am going to stick with the real science that gives me the truth every time - Media Creationism.

Comment #181430

Posted by mwmillman on June 2, 2007 11:15 PM (e)

Actually, peacocks find peahens to be more attractive than other peacocks. This is why there are little baby peacocks and peahens. Or am I stepping on Mr. Nickles lifestyle?

Comment #181439

Posted by fnxtr on June 3, 2007 12:50 AM (e)

Hinschelwood:

So how do we know that humans have sex, if it’s so private…? Or isn’t it so private after all?

Reminds me of a local radio station ID:

“We play the music your kids were conceived to.
How do we know? (heh heh)
What do you think that rustling in the bushes was?”

Comment #181557

Posted by Gary Hurd on June 3, 2007 4:07 PM (e)

I forgot to ask if anyone is planning to write a debunking of Mr. Jesse Nickles?

Comment #181648

Posted by Christophe Thill on June 4, 2007 3:24 AM (e)

Come on, people ! It’s just satire, you know. Actually, mixing old, tired creationist canards with obvious jokes is not a bad way to mock them.

Comment #181908

Posted by entlord on June 4, 2007 1:17 PM (e)

If you doubt his evolution and global warming ruminations, check out his take on the Geneva Convention and why it is unnecessary in Iraq. Cheney and Gonzalez and Yoo would love this kid.
He does seem capable of superficial Wiki-level research but other than that could have been a GOP Brat in Charge of a Ministry in Bremner’s administration of Iraq.

Comment #182073

Posted by Gary Hurd on June 4, 2007 5:49 PM (e)

Oh well, I wrote a response and sent it to the campus newspaper. Perhaps futile, but the alarm clock failed us this morning and I missed the fishing boat I had planned to take. Plus, as a graduate of UCI (31 years ago this month) I felt a little bit of responsibility and so I responded.

My fisking was a bit long, so you can read it at Stones and Bones.

Nickels did not have any original ideas, but I did use some interesting references from Science and Nature that people might have missed.

Comment #182340

Posted by Ron Okimoto on June 5, 2007 6:41 AM (e)

My take is that even the creationist clowns at the Discovery Institute cringe at seeing this type of claptrap seriously touted about. This guy hasn’t even made it to the big lie about the science of intelligent design. I wouldn’t be surprsed if the ID scam aritst might refer to ridiculously bogus creationists arguments that depend on an ignorance so deep or a incompetence so profound (you can’t rule out dishonesty) as bonehead age creationism. This doesn’t mean that they won’t engage in it when they know that they can get away with it, because it still fools a lot of people, but you don’t see them touting the junk where it matters like in court and the Ohio model lesson plan.