I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Monday, July 07, 2008

This blog is really great!

Gosh, I'm dumb. It took me this long to realize that the reason why the trolls spend so much time trying to sabotage this blog with their asinine comments is that they consider this blog to be a big threat! And the trolls must consider my posts about co-evolution to contain some of the best arguments against Darwinism that they ever saw!

38 Comments:

Anonymous Zmidponk said...

Larry, as one of the supposed 'trolls', I can tell you that you are way off the mark. Again. The reason I like commenting on your blog is that your various incoherent rants about things that are so obviously well in excess of your intellect are extremely entertaining, and it is doubly entertaining to see you so blatently proven wrong on a regular basis, and your reaction to this happening.

Monday, July 07, 2008 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

What I find entertaining is the futility of the trolls' attempts to counter my arguments. But this entertainment comes at a high price -- the trolls' comments clutter up this blog with nonsense and sometimes I find it necessary to counter the trolls' absurd arguments.

Monday, July 07, 2008 1:04:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Most creationists have enough sense to pretend that co-evolution does not exist, since it is inherently and embarassingly strong evidence for evolution.

Monday, July 07, 2008 1:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I've thought essentially the same thing, Larry: the Darwinebriates who continue to embrace the easily-discredited doctrines of old Chuck Darwin and his apostles, must see you as a big threat.

Hell, PZ even felt so threatened by Larry, evidently, that he called Larry a "creationist!" As I pointed out, if Larry is a creationist than Dawkins is an ayatollah from Afghanistan: and for that matter, PZ is the ayatollah's camel!

Monday, July 07, 2008 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The zmidpunks and other punks who leave their foul droppings on this blog, should be happy that Larry is so tolerant as to publish their intellectually incompetent crap. If it were my blog, I would censor Darwin-addicts who lack all normal reasoning powers.

Monday, July 07, 2008 2:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Oops! I meant "then" not "than" in the first of the above comments. I'd better watch the typos, or the Zmidpunks and the other ignorant punks will think it's an excuse to try to waylay me.

It's amazing that these characters cannot inform themselves, at least to some degree, if they are in fact able to think: instead they simply rush here, apparently at PZ's command, determined to Do Or Die For Darwin's Dumb Doctrine.

Monday, July 07, 2008 3:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Zmidponk said...

Wow. It is interesting how far some people's delusions go. Firstly, we have Larry who seemingly believes it is futile to counter his arguments, despite the fact this has successfully been done numerous times, both on his own blog and elsewhere. Then we have Jim Sherwood who seemingly likes to make all sorts of wild accusations, allegations and nonsense that, as far as I can see, simply has no basis in reality whatsoever.

I have to admit, this is utterly fascinating.

Monday, July 07, 2008 4:27:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

If the trolls think that this blog is so stupid, then why do they waste so much time commenting here?

Monday, July 07, 2008 4:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Zmidponk said...

Larry wailed...
>>>>>>If the trolls think that this blog is so stupid, then why do they waste so much time commenting here?<<<<<<

That's another question that's already answered. Try the first comment here.

Monday, July 07, 2008 4:44:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

You answered it for yourself, dunghill. You didn't answer it for others.

You must really be hard up for entertainment if you spend so much time here for that reason.

Monday, July 07, 2008 5:04:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Larry deserves a medal for putting up with these trolls, none of whom know what they are talking about. But I don't propose to feed any trolls by answering them: so I'll be careful not to reply to any of their comments, in the future.

Monday, July 07, 2008 5:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>>so I'll be careful not to reply to any of their comments, in the future.

Good, that means that the smart readers will have that much less nonsense to dig through.

Larry, zmidponk answered your question for at least one other reader (that's me, in case you're your typically slow self).

Monday, July 07, 2008 6:42:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> Larry, zmidponk answered your question for at least one other reader (that's me, in case you're your typically slow self). <<<<<

So there is at least one other reader who is hard up for entertainment (that's you, in case you're your typically slow self).

Monday, July 07, 2008 6:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> You answered it for yourself, dunghill. You didn't answer it for others. <

No, cretin. He did. Most of us are here for our daily dose of shadenfreude.

Monday, July 07, 2008 8:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What I find entertaining is the futility of the trolls' attempts to counter my arguments."

A fancy way to say you're impervious to reason. I guess it's good you find that entertaining; might as well.

Monday, July 07, 2008 9:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Larry deserves a medal for putting up with these trolls"

Yes. We hereby confer the Gold Schadenfreude Medal.

Monday, July 07, 2008 9:47:00 PM  
Blogger Phae said...

If the trolls think that this blog is so stupid, then why do they waste so much time commenting here?

Larry, how many times do I have to tell you that you are my dancing puppet of retardation? I have repeatedly told you that I come here for entertainment's sake, because you are not only incredibly ignorant and rather stupid, but you also are just rhetorically amusing. Your responses are almost mechanical, as you Mad Lib in the word "dunghill" or "fathead" every few sentences while cranking out your own laboriously-constructed nonsense. It's like watching someone make Play-Doh spaghetti with a pinhole: you cram the vast brunt of your idiocy against it, and squeeze out an incredibly flimsy line of stupidity.

And of course, you are additionally convenient, because after you have been brutalized a few times with rationality and evidence, you withdraw in a huff and declare that you won't answer any more of the mean man's arguments. You have a convenient fuse, so that when my interest runs out on a topic, you've already fled and I have won.

You are tailor-made for my amusement, sweetcheeks. That's why, yes, this blog IS really great. Dance for me some more.

Monday, July 07, 2008 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

As I told the other trolls, dunghill, you must be pretty hard up for entertainment. I mean, my cartoons of Judge "Jackass" Jones and Chris Comer are hilarious, but you can enjoy those without spending time posting comments here. Anyway, troll, it is easy to stop amusing you -- all I have to do is stop feeding you.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 12:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Dschugasch said...

Please, don't stop, Larry! It's really fun to read your IDiotic posts. Best wishes.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 5:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I mean, my cartoons of Judge "Jackass" Jones and Chris Comer are hilarious <

Why don't you share them with us then? All we have seen is the stupid and childish ones.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 7:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>>>>Anyway, troll, it is easy to stop amusing you -- all I have to do is stop feeding you.

Larry, as long as your blog has posts and especially if Jim Sherwood keeps commenting, you will never cease to amuse us with your display of ignorant raving, bad arguments, horrible poetry, and childish cartoons.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 7:26:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Any troll can come here and say nasty things about me -- that doesn't make any of it true.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 9:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Hector said...

Larry said: "Gosh, I'm dumb."

At last he has said something on which we can all agree!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 9:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Zmidponk said...

Larry flounced...

>>>>>>Any troll can come here and say nasty things about me -- that doesn't make any of it true.<<<<<<

This is correct, the simple act of the 'trolls' posting 'nasty things' about you doesn't, in itself, make them true. Your own posts, however, demonstrate they are, to a rather effective degree.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

What I find entertaining is the futility of the trolls' attempts to counter my arguments.

I prefer not to use such labels, but understand where your coming from, Larry. But what I find interesting as I observe more of the evolution debate, I find that that some who are in the naturalist community a belief that they must dominate the conversation. For example, in youtube there is a video on intelligent design. A promoter of evolution seems to think he must have all the posts on the first page...

A comment (not a reply but a regular post) was made after a month of his front page comments in youtube video on intelligent design, and the very next day, he responded. So they check them videos with regularity so they always have their opinion on the first page...lol...

It would be nice to see a good debate on the issue, even though the two parties don't agree on conclusions at least they are debating on substance rather than just, "I don't respect your beliefs because I feel it's so way out there" kinda of debate. I suspect that's another reason why atheists in particular haven't been too successful in trying to sway the public that there is no God.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 6:29:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Those who haven't read quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff's favorable review of the intelligent design book The Design of Life, by Dembski and Wells, should be interested in doing so. Mohrhoff concludes that "There's no doubt in my mind that specified complexity is the 'smoking gun' of some other-that-human intelligence at work, as the authors maintain." But while he concludes that ID is correct, he notes that of course that doesn't automatically lead to a theistic conclusion. I'm not suggesting that Mohrhoff is an "authority" on the matter whose judgement all ought to accept: merely that those who read his interesting and mostly non-technical 7-page review, should gain a better understanding of what ID really is, and why it is, in my view, increasingly influential. Read it by doing a search for "mohrhoff," "dembski," and "koantum."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 6:44:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Jim, how come you don't provide a simple link to the review?

I did read it (not too impressed). I may have more to say about it later when/if I have time.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 1:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, Jim, Jim. Firstly, that review is by a scientist working outside his field. He is a physicist, not a biologist. Secondly, significant sections of the review are actually spent pointing out in what ways the book is wrong, absurd, or both (such as how it uses the word 'evolution' quite confusingly, not least by seemingly contradicting it's own definition of 'evolution'). The only parts that actually support the book are where he seemingly accepts the debunked ideas of 'irreducible complexity' and 'specified complexity', as well as making much of an amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act, which is irrelevant to the actual science, which is exactly what ID is completely lacking. (Incidentally, in the review it actually says that, in the final conference report, there is the phrase, 'The Conferees recognize that a quality science education should prepare students to distinguish
the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science.' This would mean that evolution should be taught as proper science, with a great deal of evidence backing it up, and ID should be taught as religiously-motivated 'science' with absolutely zero hard evidence whatsoever.)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 4:14:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

In Mohrhoff's review, I was struck by the inappropriateness of this analogy:

"(Mutation plus selection) works if and only if Mount Improbable can be scaled in baby-steps. What if Mount Improbable is sheer on all sides and getting to the top via baby-steps is effectively impossible? To see whether this is the case, we need the concept of specified
complexity.

For something to exhibit specified complexity it must (i) have a low probability (high “probabilistic complexity”) and (ii) be describable in relatively few words (“low descriptive complexity”). An example that came to my mind was the digital expansion of PI=3.1415926535897932384626433832795 ... The probability of selecting this number by chance from the real numbers between, say, 3.0 and 4.0 is actually 0, while its descriptive complexity is not higher than that of “the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.”

Both the bacterial flagellum and the giraffe ..."


Mohrhoff looks at the pseudorandom digits and is reminded of the apparent randomness of the base pairs of DNA. But there is no comparison. Every digit of PI is locked in by fundamental reality. Even "omnipotence" has no power over a single digit of PI, not even in the Beginning if there was one. In this collision, if one must choose between PI and omnipotence, it is not PI that has to yield.

So, this alone shows that Mohrhoff is seriously confused.

Friday, July 11, 2008 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The anonymice err, since they know nothing about ID. Mohrhoff isn't discussing DNA at all: he is simply explaining Dembski's concept of specified complexity. What he says is correct, but brief, and would probably be confusing to those who haven't looked into the concept of specified complexity at all.

And ID is not religious: it is the study of how to discern the difference between designed systems and those which arise by processes not involving intelligent action.

Incidentally, while I'm studying Dembski's analysis, I haven't yet reached the personal conclusion that it is correct: which may suprise the anonymice.

Friday, July 11, 2008 4:28:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"they know nothing about ID"

Nor does anyone else.

"Mohrhoff isn't discussing DNA at all"

I didn't say he was.

"he is simply explaining Dembski's concept of specified complexity"

:-D :-D :-D

Friday, July 11, 2008 7:29:00 PM  
Anonymous brossa said...

he is simply explaining Dembski's concept of specified complexity. What he says is correct, but brief, and would probably be confusing to those who haven't looked into the concept of specified complexity at all.

Sounds straightforward enough.

The following object looks improbable enough- if anyone can pin down the probability for me, that would be great. If you need to know how many atoms are in the rock, or how far the center of mass is from the center of the earth, or anything like that, I'll try to track down the information. Maybe you'll need to include the probability of life forming on a small, rocky planet around a G-class star and producing an oxygen-rich atmosphere that allowed for the deposition and cementation of the iron oxides that give the rock that particular color. I can't really help you there.

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n291/brossa/GOG_Balanced_Rock.jpg

And I can describe it with just two words -- balanced rock.

So - can anyone what Dembski's sigma is for this pattern so that I can determine whether it is the product of intelligence?

Friday, July 11, 2008 9:21:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Mohrhoff quotes a piece by philosopher Jerry Fodor titled “The big idea: can there be a science of mind?”, in which Fodor mentions three major questions to which a theory of mind is required to find answers: (i) How could anything material be conscious? (ii) How could anything material be about anything [the problem of intentionality]? (iii) How could anything material be rational?

In everyday life, we notice that -- however unlikely it might be -- some material things (humans) are conscious, do have intent, and are rational (well, at least some of us are rational). So we observe that (a) this is possible, and (b) it's connected to material life forms.

ID says that this is inexplicable. In order to explain it, ID invokes some being / force that has the attributes of consciousness, intention, and rationality, but is not material. This is supposed to be a "helpful" explanation. But it begs the question, and does so by disregarding the known prerequisites for such attributes.

(BTW, I don't deny that life is a marvel and that humans are the most marvelous of all.)

Also BTW, there are some good books on how consciousness works; I suggest Marvin Minsky's The Society of Mind (even the few negative -- i.e., 4-star -- reviews are enthusiastic).

Friday, July 11, 2008 9:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Mohrhoff gives a brief outline of the concept of specified complexity, omitting many important details, including Dembski's "universal probability bound." That's necessary in a book review. But those who want to understand specified complexity will have to read Dembski's books. It's a basically mathematical concept, and not a simple one.

Mohrhoff uses selecting pi from the real numbers between 3 and 4 as an example of an event which has very low probability (actually zero probability,) and thus is "complex" in Dembski's sense. The event is "specified" since it has a brief description. The concept of a "brief description" needs clarification, which Dembski provides. Mohrhoff necessarily leaves out much of Dembski's analysis.

One commenter said that Mohrhoff is "reminded" of DNA, etc. That's nonsense. Specified complexity per se has nothing to do with DNA; nor does Mohrhoff mention DNA.

Saturday, July 12, 2008 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I'm not going to try to discuss specified complexity further with those who know little or nothing about it, since I'm still in the process of looking into it myself. There are quite a few logical and mathematical details of the concept that I want to examine.

As to how Dembski's analysis might apply in a given instance, his "explanatory filter" is a very conservative process which will necessarily err by consigning many designed objects or entities to the undesigned category. Thus the explanatory filter, which invokes specified complexity, could not infallibly answer every such question. Those who want to know more should ask Dembski or the guys who comment on his blog.

Saturday, July 12, 2008 1:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim wrote, "Mohrhoff isn't discussing DNA at all: he is simply explaining Dembski's concept of specified complexity. What he says is correct, but brief, and would probably be confusing to those who haven't looked into the concept of specified complexity at all."

But he later adds, "since I'm still in the process of looking into it myself."

So, let me get this straight. 1) Jim doesn't completely understand the concept. 2) He thinks he knows enough about the concept to say that "[Mohrhoff] is simply explaining Dembski's concept of specified complexity. What he says is correct, but brief." 3) He defends Mohrhoff's apparent support for ID (support that was questioned earlier in this thread or on another thread on this blog) through this passage, but accepts that a) he doesn't understand the concept very well, b) isn't convinced that it's right, and c) wants us to give ID a pass because all this suggests that ID isn't religious. Jim is starting to pack the crazy like Larry. Maybe I'll take a break from this blog in case it's contagious.

Saturday, July 12, 2008 3:52:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Mohrhoff uses selecting pi from the real numbers between 3 and 4 as an example of an event which has very low probability (actually zero probability) ...

In other words, pi does not exist.

Isn't that what "zero probability" means?

Saturday, July 12, 2008 5:21:00 PM  

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