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.

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.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ahmadinejad is right about Holocaust dogma

I often think that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be put on trial for crimes against humanity. However, I do think that he is right about the Holocaust. A news article reports,

"The West made a claim - about the Holocaust - and urges all the people in the world to accept it or otherwise go to prison," Ahmadinejad told a group of Islamic scholars Thursday in Nigeria, where he attended a summit of the Developing Eight, a group of countries with large Muslim populations.

"The West allows everybody to question prophets and even God but not to pose a simple question and open the black box of a historic event," he charged.

Ahmadinejad had earlier sparked international fury by calling for the eradication of Israel from the Middle East and its relocation to Europe or North America and by describing the murders of 6 million European Jews by Germany's Nazi regime as a "fairy tale."

Because of Israel's hardline policies, Arabs and Moslems are especially receptive to holocaust denial and revisionism. Scoffing at holocaust denial and revisionism is generally ineffective, but is especially ineffective on these people.

I myself have argued that a "systematic" Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews. An attempt to have a "systematic" holocaust would have been a Reign of Terror where anyone suspected of having Jewish ancestry would have been at risk of being sent to a death camp. I doubt that even the most virulent anti-Semite would have supported such a program.



Friday, August 06, 2010

Unscrupulous ScienceBlogs bloggers getting their comeuppance

As I pointed out, ScienceBlogs is home to some of the worst arbitrary censors on the Internet, e.g., Fatheaded Ed Brayton and Sleazy PZ Myers. Now the New York Times has a scathing article attacking ScienceBlogs -- the article says,

Clearly I’ve been out of some loop for too long, but does everyone take for granted now that science sites are where graduate students, researchers, doctors and the “skeptical community” go not to interpret data or review experiments but to chip off one-liners, promote their books and jeer at smokers, fat people and churchgoers? And can anyone who still enjoys this class-inflected bloodsport tell me why it has to happen under the banner of science?

Hammering away at an ideology, substituting stridency for contemplation, pummeling its enemies in absentia: ScienceBlogs has become Fox News for the religion-baiting, peak-oil crowd. Though Myers and other science bloggers boast that they can be jerky in the service of anti-charlatanism, that’s not what’s bothersome about them. What’s bothersome is that the site is misleading. It’s not science by scientists, not even remotely; it’s science blogging by science bloggers. And science blogging, apparently, is a form of redundant and effortfully incendiary rhetoric that draws bad-faith moral authority from the word “science” and from occasional invocations of “peer-reviewed” thises and thats.

Under cover of intellectual rigor, the science bloggers — or many of the most visible ones, anyway — prosecute agendas so charged with bigotry that it doesn’t take a pun-happy French critic or a rapier-witted Cambridge atheist to call this whole ScienceBlogs enterprise what it is, or has become: class-war claptrap.

Fatheaded Ed's blog "Dispatches from the Culture Wars" is not even "science blogging" -- most of his posts are about political and social issues.

I am very proud that I am still first on Sleazy PZ's "Killfile Dungeon" list of banned commenters.

Other comments about the New York Times article are here and here.

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Monday, August 02, 2010

There we go again with that stupid crap that "evolution is the unifying principle of all biology"

Nothing raises my hackles like stupid statements that evolution is "the unifying principle of all biology," is "central to all biology," etc.. Simply, such statements are totally and unequivocably false, and anyone who seriously makes such a statement is completely lacking in credibility.

Panda's Thumb says,

Lucky for us, there is also a growing body of literature on the most effective ways to teach what has been dubbed “tree-thinking”. I have summarized this literature in a review due to be published in the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach (doi:10.1007/s12052-010-0254-9). The full text of the article is available at that link, and I have reproduced the abstract below.

Evolution is the unifying principle of all biology, and understanding how evolutionary relationships are represented is critical for a complete understanding of evolution . . . . .

In contrast, it is a true statement that Fourier's Law is central to the analysis of heat conduction in solids.