Like it? Share it!

Sign up for news and updates!






Enter word seen below
Visually impaired? Click here to have an audio challenge played.  You will then need to enter the code that is spelled out.
Change image

CAPTCHA image
Please leave this field empty

Login Form



Talking to the Dead - I Mean FoxNews PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

This week, beacon of truth FoxNews had an interview with two champions of reason: John Edward and Sean Hannity. Removing tongue from cheek, I present to you an interview that demonstrates two things: 1) it’s still cool to be “the skeptic” and 2) to quote Southpark, “John Edward is the biggest douche in the universe.”

Note that the article is entitled “Medium John Edward Explains Ability.” Really? Did whoever titled this piece actually read or see the interview?

John Edward, when asked why he doesn’t defend what he does, had this to say:

Because as soon as — as soon as you have to defend something, then you're admitting that something needs defense. So I kind of, like — I come from a place of I'm a spiritual person. I believe in God. I would never defend my belief in God. People either do believe or they don't believe, and that's OK. That's their choice.

So I feel the same way about this. As soon as I go to a place I have to defend it, I feel like you immediately lose. I have no problem explaining it, though, or trying to teach about it.

Well, guess what John… if you want us to believe that you can TALK TO THE DEAD, yes, you’re going to have to defend it. Do so succesfully, and we'll give you $1,000,000. This "non-answering" is a favorite technique of so-called psychics and mediums, as it puts all the pressure on the person who has questions, and make them feel guilty for somehow doubting such an esteemed individual. Alas, we skeptics are like that.

Imagine if I claimed I could run a 4-minute mile. Would you believe me? Why not? That’s actually more believable than talking to the dead. After all, nothing in our experience leads us to believe that the dead speak. That’s rather the point of their being “dead.” But we do know people who can run a 4-minute mile, so why not just believe me?

You don’t believe me because A) it’s a rare ability, and not one that I look like I posses and B) it would be easy for me to prove it to you. In fact, it would take me 4 minutes.

You woudn’t take me seriously if I just refused to answer the question, and no one should take Edward seriously when he does the same (or Geller, or Browne, or Altea, or Van Praagh, or….).

It’s no surprise that Hannity claims he’s “a bit of a skeptic.” That’s the label folks want these days, especially those who aren’t actually skeptics. It’s cool to be a skeptic, but of course, proclaiming that you are one doesn’t mean you are. Take a look at this exchange:

HANNITY: All right. I'm a bit of a skeptic.

(LATER)

EDWARD: I've been involved with astrology, numerology, you know, energy, alternative belief philosophy, reincarnation. And I want to give people the opportunity to say maybe.

HANNITY: That's fair. You see, you can't explain certain things as a person of faith. I can't explain what faith is to a nonbeliever

A “person of faith” is NOT a skeptic, but he had to start off saying he was to gain credibility with the audience. That’s right: “skeptic” means “credible” to the masses these days.

It’s a shame that he wasn’t credible enough to actually ask the right questions. Such as... why won't you take the challenge, even if it's only to shut the JREF up and earn $1,000,000 for charity? Or, why don't you talk to the dead about things that matter, like lost wills or where Ted Bundy buried his victims? I'm just repeating what Randi has been saying for years of course, but nothing's changed to prevent us from asking the same questions.

 

Trackback(0)
Comments (125)Add Comment
...
written by scubzer0, June 18, 2009
Why can't someone ask him, on TV, if he would like to save thousands of starving children from dying by taking a few hours to win them a million dollars? I guess he would have to defend wanting to save them, and that apparently isn't worth it.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +17
to quote Southpark, “John Edward is the biggest douche in the universe.”
written by Able, June 18, 2009
My wife and I find Southpark to be very offensive and degrading (cough). I would never watch it except that I feel its my duty to keep a watch on the enemy (snigger). In our vigilance to keep our airwaves clean we apparently missed the episode you referred to. Don’t suppose you remember which one it was do you?
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
...
written by fluffy, June 18, 2009
It was the one entitled, oddly enough, "The Biggest Douche in the Universe."
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +3
...
written by Kuroyume, June 18, 2009
As we know all too well, these psycho(er, -tic, er, -ic) guys (and gals) always have excuses on why they won't ante up for the JREF million dollar challenge and be vindicated. The money isn't real. They don't want or need the money. It is beneath them. Too busy. Hiding under a rock (ala Sylvia Browne).

Wouldn't it be a swell world wherein someone claiming to have any skill (let alone paranormal, psychic, telekinetic, and other unscientific ones) would need to show at the very least evidence of some level of competence and efficacy in their proclaimed skill (i.e.: they're not just making it up). I'm a guitar player and have been playing since 1981. I'm not in a band, don't have a recording contract, and not famous, but if you were to take me to task and ask me to pick up a guitar and play something, I could demonstrate that I can indeed play guitar. Now we move into deeper waters when we ask someone to show that they can, say, perform surgery or design a bridge or skyscraper or fly a commercial airliner. Some skills require that you have an education (with a commensurate certificate) and others go further and require you to have certification from a board or other oversight committee (lawyers and physicians for instance). Some skills require you to be tested at regular intervals and to be continuously educated in new techniques or technologies (astronauts, pilots, and surgeons for instance).

So, to get to the point, where is the evidential quality assurance in such fields? There is a difference between being good at something competitive (like games or sports) and something wherein you claim to provide a service to customers. Ignoring the oft-used out 'for entertainment purposes only', these scammers are purporting to provide a real service to paying customers. The 'Miss Cleo' psychic hotline scam in the 1990s was a highly visible case. Why do people like John Edward, Van Praagh, and Sylvia Browne not get the same scrutiny? I don't want to hear about 'real psychics' and 'fake psychics'. Prove the difference.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +10
Episode 615 from 2002 titled The Biggest Douche in the Universe
written by szyszek, June 18, 2009
You can watch it here:
http://www.southparkstudios.com/guide/615/
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +4
...
written by That Guy, June 18, 2009
@Kuroyume: Wouldn't it be swell if the people presenting us with news had to go thru a similar review process. And of course, the level of the review would be based on post performance. So, someone like Hannity would get a review process somewhere around the Journalism 101 mark. Did he ask proper questions? Nope. Do the questions asked show an understanding of reality? Nope. and so on.

Well, we here at the review board sure home you review goes better next time or we are going to have to revoke you ability to stand in front of a camera and tell the world what it is.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +6
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 18, 2009
I'm invisible and I don't have to prove it to anybody. It is a matter of faith.

So I feel the same way about this. As soon as I go to a place I have to defend it, I feel like you immediately lose. I have no problem explaining it, though, or trying to teach about it. smilies/wink.gif

Why is that emoticon not invisible? I choose not to be defensive about that. I am a spiritual person and it is about faith. It would be unreasonable to demand more from me about my invisibility ability.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@That Guy
written by Kuroyume, June 18, 2009
Exactly. My point, although long winded, is codified thusly: It is one thing when you have a skill and another when you have a skill that involves expectation of a particular result for payment.

For instance, if I were to contract a company to build me a deck then I expect a deck to be built. Not simply built, but up to code and with standard materials and building practices in a timely manner (and so on). If the company took my money and did not build the deck or did not finish building it or it wasn't up to code or not the deck plan agreed to, they could be taken to court for breach of contract and other business legal actions.

When a person does 'business' with another person (here, person can be an individual or company or group), there is a mutual expectation that is contractually bound and with repercussions. You pay money for a specific service or goods that are expected to be within a certain degree of competence, quality, safety, quantity, expectation... I am a programmer by trade. I have a 3D CG plugin that I sell. Directly in the EULA of the documentation for this software, it is specified the limits of expectation, the general limits over which I and the software that is provided can be considered ineffectual (meaning: hardware, firmware, driver, software configurations vary and I cannot be held responsible therein), the caveats of use, and best practices to avoid data/work loss if one accepts these limits of expectation and proceeds to use this software. This doesn't absolve me of all liability but protects me from frivolous grievances not directly related to the software.

Psychics 'promise' (to some vague degree) that they can contact dead people and pass on information otherwise impossible to garner that is specific to the person requiring the services, usually with payment for these expectations. They charge for shows, conferences, phone calls, letters, consultations. And yet the quality is always rather suspect. This is how cons work - give the sucker what they want (not what they actually expect!) by using generalizations and hyperbole. Promise them answers and run away before reality kicks in. Snake oil salesmen promised miracle cures, sold the product, and quickly left town. This is consumer fraud at its best. Psychics raise the bar simply by imparting a sense of requirement by being vague enought that people are left to their own subjective devices.

You mention journalism. I mention weather forecasters. Weather 'forecasting' is almost (not quite) as bad as fortune telling. There is more science involved but there is little expectation of efficacy. It was proven some time ago that weather is chaotic (unpredictable based on the sheer number of variables). Utilizing past performance and patterns is only slightly efficacious. There is a slight modicum of success but, for the most part, they are just spewing expectations based on models that are easily discredited (unfortunately). As some say, 'you want the weather, look out your window'. We had at least three tornadoes touch-down here Monday and nigh an alert or forecast. It was me looking out my window at the supercell dropping tornadoes that was the alert to action. It's always sunny in California (see the last Mythbusters for a hilarious irony testing rain and convertibles wherein, what?, it actually rains!) and summer in Colorado is always 'sunny, afternoon thunderstorms'.

Journalists, unfortunately, get to pick and choose their subject matters and often engage in them subjectively. FoxNews isn't my first pick for objectivity. smilies/cheesy.gif
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@Kuroyume
written by GusGus, June 19, 2009

It looks to me like you are a salesman of high-tech products, not a programmer. If you were a programmer you would be spending eight hours a day in a windowless cubicle designing and writing code. I know, I've been there! You wouldn't be selling.
.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -1
...
written by Stanfr, June 19, 2009
@Kuroyeme
You clearly are not familiar with meteorology or forecasting. If you want to take on forecasters such as myself, you have to be a lttle more specific in your
critique. Where do you get "little expectation of efficacy??" How exactly are forecast models "discredited"?? They utilize complex partial differential equations based on fundamental physical laws, if you've ever examined the code for a model you might have a better appreciation for just how scientific they are--to even remotely compare it to "fortune telling" is ludicrous.
You're understanding of Chaos Theory seems even less--the 'number of variables' has nothing to do with the label of 'chaotic'! Edward Lorentz' original equations were quite simple compared to a complex weather system! As for tornadoes, you're welcome to join me on a storm chase, I was once again very successful this year in intercepting tornadoes--as were hundreds of other chasers--becuase we are able to rely on those "discredited" models you mentioned. Chaos prevents accurate weather forecasts (as opposed to climate) beyond a couple weeks, but as the time span shortens, forecasting can be extremely accurate. Oh, and it aint gonna be thunderin' in E CO today until this eve, when that disturbance over the Baja moves a little further north.

As for "the biggest douche in the Universe", not only is he indeed deserving of that title, he is also a huge hypocrit; I recall from one of his books (i actually read one--as quickly as i could!) that he insisted he wanted to "prove himself" to the skeptics and was wholeheartedly in favor of scientific testing. Guess he was lying then too.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +12
@jeff wagg, Lowly rated comment [Show]
...
written by garyg, June 19, 2009
If you saw mw and *I* said I could run a 4-minute mile you might offer me $1 million to do so.
And I'd make a fool out of myself trying. But that's just me. I'm not as "proud" as John Edward
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
Turth64
written by Griz, June 19, 2009
I've come to the conclusion that the only explanation for your irrational behavior and twisted apologetics is complete illiteracy.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +2
...
written by fluffy, June 19, 2009
Prove it.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
...
written by fluffy, June 19, 2009
Pfft, clearly that quatrain was about Dave Matthews.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@griz
written by truth64, June 19, 2009
I have to admit- you completely lost me on that response.
"irrational behavior and twisted apologetics is complete illiteracy. "
I have no idea what you are referring to. Please be more specific.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -10
Houdini Bashing? Really, Sean?...
written by SheldonHelms, June 19, 2009
Gee, this is just the kind of crack journalism I've come to expect from Fox, and especially from Sean Hannity. Softball questions when it's a "friend of the show," and hardball "gotcha journalism" and screaming when it's an easy target.

Notice how Hannity even manages to bash Harry Houdini in the process? "Or Houdini used to have microphones, and he'd pick up stories, and then he'd seem like a genius: "I know exactly what you're thinking." But meanwhile, they'd picked that up earlier. So there are techniques that hucksters and fraud people use."

The difference, Sean, is that Houdini was trying to show how easy it was to FAKE these things; he wasn't a huckster or a fraud himself. But then, can we really expect Sean Hannity to get this right? He's still supporting the Bush Administration, and they broke the world!
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +10
Truth64
written by Griz, June 19, 2009
See, there you go.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@griz, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Truth64
written by Griz, June 19, 2009
1. Oh, I guess you did know what I was refering to.

2. Did this report appear on another network?

3. Seems to me like YOU are the one trying to twist this into a political thing and upon that tenuous thread drag the tired diatribe about evolution back into something that has nothing to do with either.

4. Who are you calling hypocrite again?

5. You and the other slavering fundies out there need to wake up to the fact that most of the rest of the world do not see things in strict black and white. "Every network except FOX is nothing more than an Obama pep rally." That's an extreme viewpoint reflective of a desparate, besieged mind who injects its threatened philsophy into every topic, related or not. It's not normal to listen to something, find one small point where it may possibly undermine your house of cards, throw the whole thing out and call the author names.

6. Search back in the JREF archives. Contempt for sensationalistic and irresponsible programming is not limited to FOX. Even in the case you cite, the lemur "type" creature (which is a vast oversimplification of an oversimplification, this particular creature existed LONG before actual lemurs) has been taken up by sensationlistic media and made a big deal of. The rest of us see that and go "well, that's TV for you" and look at the facts surrounding the actual find and the fossil. You latch on to this like it's exactly the great big deal the media try to make out of it. Who's getting fooled here? I think it's you. And as soon as you realize that you're the only one that thinks it's THAT significant, you'll move on to something else, just like all the little-enders, I mean young earth creationists did when the dummy with the banana was swiftly discredited.

Therefore, I conclude you are completely illiterate and you just substitute whatever words give you the platform to come here and pick fights and aruge. Why are you so angry? Jesus is supposed to bring joy to your like, but you're here calling people hypocrites in order to stir shit. Again, as I've pointed out in the past, if you're going to claim to be a follower of the man, at least try to look you're making a serious attempt to live by what he said.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +22
@griz, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Fox Rocks, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Truth64
written by Griz, June 19, 2009
Maybe I am angry. What's your point? I never came in here trumpeting my higher moral standard and then contradicting it in the same breath. To me, calling someone a hypocrite is disrespectful, but you've already given yourself an out with your situational ethics by saying it's not so "evil", whatever that means objectively. Your bible says you will go to hell if you call someone a fool, but hypocrite is okay? Way to move the goalposts. Jesus gives that tactic a big thumbs up.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +7
@dasher, Lowly rated comment [Show]
EMERGENCY! Someone criticized FoxNews!
written by Cleon, June 19, 2009
OMG! Someone said something that was NOT entirely positive about Fox News - and, even more horribly, REFUSED to criticize every other media source in the known universe at the same time!

Quick! Man the barricades! Protest the bias inherent in the system! It's all leftist, liberal, elitist, socialist garbage!

How DARE you, Jeff?! Don't you know that, by using a sarcastic phrase like "beacon of truth" to describe Fox News, you have personally destroyed the credibility of the JREF and Randi. (Of course, you didn't have any to begin with, because you don't watch Fox News.)

You should be ashamed.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +16
@griz, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Truth64
written by Griz, June 19, 2009
So your defense is that you're authorized to do anything Jesus did regardless of qualifications?
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +6
Truth64 - "Atheists are never Conservative"
written by Dasher, June 19, 2009
Truth64, ah, I beg to differ. I am an atheist, and conservative. I do believe that when I'm dead, I'll just be dead, like anything else on this planet that was once alive. Was it Curtis Mayfield who said "if there's a hell down below, we're all gonna go"? Sounds fairly accurate to me.

I do think it a little ironic that a lot of the posts here are so firmly objective about science, for instance, but wholly accept any "blame Bush, Fox News sucks, etc..." rhetoric from the MSM. Selective objectivity.

I will most certainly go on record as saying Sean Hannity is certainly not my favorite host on Fox, (sometimes he annoys the tar out of me!) but for the best source of news, Fox cannot be beaten. That's really all I wanted to say about Fox. But I digress...

I am eager to read Mr. Randi's latest book. I guess that is one way in which I WILL continue to donate to the JREF (gasp!).

D.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -8
Mask of Nostra
written by Dasher, June 19, 2009
I sure hope you're not a Fox news fan, you're weird.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -4
...
written by Caller X, June 19, 2009
Mask of Nostra - The Wrath of God
written by nostra2009, June 19, 2009 scribbled with its crayola:

the rape and violation of the JREF and its members....

Cool! I usually have to pay extra for that.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +4
Dasher
written by Griz, June 19, 2009
In my opinion, it's conservative or liberal that is right or wrong, but this tendancy to label and then judge according to which club you're a member of. I do not think that the problem with G.W. Bush's administration was that he was conservative or liberal, but rather his alignments with big business, specifically big oil, and the lengths he was willing to go to protect those interests. I do not believe he ever had the best interests of the American people at heart.

Jimmy Carter is a great humanitarian but he was a very ineffective president. At the time, the american people voted in whoever did not have the stench of Nixon on them. By the same token, though, Nixon did a lot of good for this country and took the fall because he got caught doing what they all do and still do. Bill Clinton was a good man with a lot of ideas but a poor leader with bad judgement. I don't care really what anyone does on their own time or whether they engage in extra marital activities, but I think they way he went about demonstrated that he was not a guy to be helming the most powerful country in the world if sex was more important to him than his marriage and his credibility as a leader.

I think, however, that Ronald Reagan was a great man. I think he was a good leader and had good but somewhat misguided economic ideas. The trickle down theory was great but the problem is that in unchecked capitalism, the folks with the money and the power can fix it so they collect all the free cash floating around, i.e. trickling down and they nearly always abuse the system to make a few more bucks, from Savings and Loans to the internet bubble to the current financial crisis.

I also think that unions are a huge part of the economic problems we face now that have been brewing for a while. They have been a large factor in our inability to compete in the global economy and the failure of the auto industry now is just the final gasps of a production based economy that has been dying since we started importing oil and steel.

I don't say those thing to get into a political argument but rather to demonstrate that I think the majority of folks take these things on a case by case basis and don't need a party line to tell them how to evaluate things. But I will say this: years ago I would have characterized myself as a conservative republican in most areas. Over the years, though, this seems to have come to identify with bigotry and rampant self-interest. If I am forced to pick a side, as I am in November every two years, I support whoever seems to care the most about people. Right now, republicans want to deprive people of rights and give big business free reign to stomp around in our economy. Democrats want to provide health care and services.

That's an easy call for me right now. However, I think the pendulums on the backswing. Democrats are moving further to left and may nanny and spend us into oblivion, while I think the republicans are moving more towards the middle and realizing that unbridled greed does not benefit the country and that the elimination of the middle class really is a bad thing. I am very concerned right now about the democrats kid in a candy store spending sprees and the deficit looms large in my worries. I hope that President Obama will turn out to be a strong leader who can reign in the left wing extremists in his camp and keep everything sane, but only time will tell.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +4
...
written by Kuroyume, June 19, 2009
@GusGus:
It looks to me like you are a salesman of high-tech products, not a programmer. If you were a programmer you would be spending eight hours a day in a windowless cubicle designing and writing code. I know, I've been there! You wouldn't be selling.


???

I program in C/C++/Obj-C/Java/Python/Asm/BASIC/Pascal/... So, yeah, I'm not a programmer. What decade are you from? Programmers aren't all in small, windowless cubicles in big offices. Some of us work from home or in small companies. My business is Kuroyume's DevelopmentZone and I program iPhone apps, Java apps, and Cinema 4D C++ multi-platform (32/64 Windows and MacOS X) plugins. I sell my plugins either through third-party online sites or on my website using PayPal. I'm not alone. There are many thousands of similar developers out there. You are incorrect in your assumptions. And I have a window! ;P

@Stanfr: Sorry, I understand Chaos Theory (well enough). I was being succinct - or is a treatise of CT needed to validate my quick comment here? Part of the theory extends into non-linear dynamics (e.g.: turbulesnce) which involves many variables (like air flow over complex terrains or water flows and such). Here 'variables' can simply mean the number of interacting things - like atoms or molecules. There is also the 'sensitivity to initial conditions'There are many things which conflugrate to make weather (as you well know): temperature, humidity, winds, sun, moisture and evaporation, and so on. I've rarely seen a five day forecast where the fifth day has any degree of certainty above, say, 10%. The other part of Chaos Theory (which I don't know anything about - looking at "Chaos and Fractals: New Frontiers of Science" on my bookshelf, which I've read) is that, in chaotic systems, predictability decreases the further out in time one tries to predict the state of the system. Yeah, simple formulas/algorithms can also exhibit chaotic behavior. Weather is not simple. You of all people should know that very well.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by JeffWagg, June 19, 2009
Wow, very interesting comments. So interesting, I'm going to write a Swift about them. I wonder why no one complains when I bash Huffington Post or MSNBC or ABCNews?
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +8
Jeff
written by Griz, June 19, 2009
I can't speak for everyone but I didn't percieve this article as bashing anything but the particular interview it referenced and John Edward, who is indeed the biggest douche in the universe. But maybe that's because I don't have an opinion one way or another on FOX News or Sean Hannity other than I think all networks do what they think will get them ratings and I think all those political talking heads on all the networks and radio shows, conservative or liberal, are tools. I think you're perfectly justified in saying in this instance Hannity made an ass of himself. Whether he does that on a regular basis I have no idea but I assume he does because that's my opinion of all of them.

Which is why if I want to form an opinion I'll check several sources. For those of you who are polarized in the false democrat vs. republican dichotomy, this is how you detect bias. Not by assuming it based on which club they belong to. I think Jeff did a pretty good job of analyzing the interview in it's own right without political bias.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +5
Griz!
written by Dasher, June 19, 2009
What a wonderful post! Thank you, really. The one (and only, I think) thing about your post that I take difference with is the lines about W and oil.

The thing with W and Iraq, I'm assuming here, is that he invaded for the oil, of course. However, if the US was getting this oil from Iraq courtesy of W, you'd think the MSM would be all over this. I think the US gets most of its oil from Canada, of all places. I could be wrong, though.

I agree with you nearly spot on with most everything you wrote. However, I am more of a "me first" person and sort of operate under the Ayn Rand/Milton Friedman concept of "no one knows what's best for me better than me" and get the government out of the way. Laissez faire has a few pitfalls, but works for me. There ARE things the government can and should do, and lots it should not.

D.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -5
...
written by Kuroyume, June 19, 2009
To be (eh hem), 'fair and balanced', news media tends to be rather useless and sensationalistic to me. I'll add CNN, MSNBC, and other news networks to the list with FoxNews. They are only useful when they are relaying new events and not engaging in subjective meanderings therein. This is all too often the case for anything remotely political. I'm tired and disgusted over that facet. Who cares who said something thirty years ago or who sucked who's whatchamacallit! Our government is an unresponding shamble and all we hear about is minutia, fingerpointing, and partisanship. How about getting some work done instead? smilies/wink.gif
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +5
@jeff wagg
written by truth64, June 19, 2009
Of course, you see no problem with your article. How about the title? Would you have titled it "Talking with the dead- NBC news", I kinda doubt it...........
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -9
Dasher
written by Griz, June 19, 2009
As far as GW Bush and Iraq, what I wrote there is just a very very oversimplified summary of what I think was going on. I don't think it was as simple as going over there to secure access to oil. I think oil interest were a large part of the big business interests he served, but by no means the only. To the degree that GW made the decisions himself, I think a significant motivation was to finish what Dad started. Politicians value power, and power cannot let a challenge to itself stand. I also believe that GW was a tool to obtain power by people who could not have otherwise been elected to the highest office, Cheney, Ashcroft, etc. I don't believe the motive ever to coopt Iraq's oil for the US. But, Iraq has some of the greatest reserves that still exist. Those will become more key as time goes on. Iraq is a major player in OPEC. It was not the oil itself but ensuring a government was in power in Iraq that was friendly to the US. Not to mention the huge benefit defense contractors enjoyed when we went to war. That whole business flows directly from big oil into the auto industry, who demanded that GW not compell them to seek alternative energy sources. It's like the triangle of wealth in the 18th century: molasses to rum to slave and back to molasses. In this case, it's oil to autos to war and back to oil.

Anyway, that's something of an elaboration on my thoughts on the matter. I can only agree when you say that it's never as simple as saying we went there for oil.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +2
Griz
written by Dasher, June 19, 2009
Yes, well, as I wrote as well, I was trying to read your mind when making my reply. My powers still need some work!

Have a great weekend, I'll hop in from time to time in the next few days to see what Jeff Wagg writes in his "Media Swift" posting he proposes.

D.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -1
@griz, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@truth64
written by Cleon, June 19, 2009
Would you have titled it "Talking with the dead- NBC news", I kinda doubt it...........


I kinda doubt it too--because the Sean Hannity show isn't on NBC, and so Hannity didn't interview John Edward there.

So titling the article "Talking with the dead- NBC news" just wouldn't make any sense, would it?
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +5
@cleon, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@truth64
written by Cleon, June 19, 2009
You must be a little obtuse- he titled it "Talking to the Dead - I mean Foxnews". Read closely before debating me, my friend.


You must be a little dim, because unfortunately your point still doesn't make a damn bit of sense. Because the article (you know, the tiny bit of text beyond the phrase "beacon of truth") is about an interview that Sean Hannity conducted on Fox News, not NBC. So a title like "Talking with the dead- NBC news" would be somewhat ridiculous.

Care to try again?

(Though I am amused by your attempt at condescension. Good try, sport!)
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +4
@cleon, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@cleon
written by Cleon, June 19, 2009
[block]
I will try to talk a little more S L O W L Y for you this time.[/block]

You seem to be laboring under the misconception that if you attack me enough, you will have a point.

Good luck with that.


"IF" Nbc had done this interview,


They didn't.


jeff would not have titled it "Talking to the daed- I mean NBC",


So you're accusing Jeff of hypocrisy based on his supposed behavior in a completely hypothetical situation that you just made up.

I am humbled by your debating skills.


because the libs (like yourself) LOVE NBC and their equals.


Yeah. I'm a liberal. *snrk*.

And I love NBC. I can't remember the last time I watched that network, or even looked at their website, but yeah, I love it! This entire article was nothing more than an elaborate attempt at driving more people to watch NBC! You caught us.


Again- try getting someone to explain these things to you before you make a fool of yourself. Just a hint! [/block]

Again- try making sure your point makes sense before attacking other people for criticizing it. Just a hint!

(Your attempts at condescension are still really funny.)
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +14
@cleon, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@truth64
written by Cleon, June 19, 2009

Seriously, Cleon. I have enjoyed the exchange. Your last reply mentioned everything except the POINT.


Yes, do let us know when you've figured out what your point actually is, won't you?


I hope you debate evolution better than you do your politics.


First, I haven't argued my politics. At all. You don't even know what my politics are, as you proved conclusively with your little "Cleon is a liberal who loves NBC" bit. (Which, by the way, still has me chuckling.)

Second, You still seem to be laboring under the misconception that if you attack me enough, you will have a point. Unfortunately, it's still not true.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +6
@cleon, Lowly rated comment [Show]
distraction
written by jer, June 19, 2009
Fighting superstition is a daunting, never-ending task. Woo is annoyingly pervasive and will always keep cycling back, and the best we can do is keep educating and drawing in as many people as we can. I think we all need to decide what our goal is. Do we want to form a unified core based on a common goal of promoting healthy, objective skepticism? Or do we want to get distracted by subjective philosophical and political arguments?

The core arguments against woo can be addressed just as effectively without attaching politics. I would suggest that the authors of this site's articles carefully consider what battles they want to fight - and that the commenting masses decide how distracted they want to get by it. Jeff made a compelling point about psychics, but here we are tearing into each other over the merits of Fox News. It wastes our time, it divides a group that's all too small in our society, and to outsiders it makes skeptics look petty and vindictive instead of educated. Our country will be fine with both conservatives and liberals. Our country will not be fine with woo. Let's choose our battles.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +7
...
written by Cleon, June 19, 2009

Thanks for the response, now answer the question:


Unless you're paying me or sleeping with me, you do not get to give me orders.

The fact that you are unable to discuss the issue without resorting to hypothetical scenarios speaks volumes.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +4
@cleon, Lowly rated comment [Show]
lazy thinking
written by jer, June 19, 2009
Did anybody else catch the lazy thinking Edwards' commend assumed?

"People either do believe or they don't believe, and that's OK. That's their choice."

Under the guise of respecting other people's opinions, our country praises people for just floating through life and choosing their beliefs without any consideration for the merits of their ideas.

This is handy for Edward, who operates on what I call the 90% principle: even if 90% of the population knows he's full of crap, he can still make a lot of money off the remainging 10%. He has no need to convince us (or even the fence sitters) of anything, and being drawn into a debate only threatens his core base of followers. The best thing for him to do is simply ignore pleas for evidence and thumb his nose at the 90%. Slap on a little rhetoric about honoring his customers' choice to believe what they want, and he has his customers eating out of his hand.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +8
...
written by Cleon, June 19, 2009

There's nothing hypothetical about it.


So you do not know what the word "hypothetical" means.

A "hypothetical" situation is one that hasn't happened, but is posited for the sake of making a point.

By definition, "would Jeff have titled the article differently if NBC conducted the interview" is hypothetical.

You just cant answer it. My whole point is that the title would have been different if NBC did the interview and even Jeff would admit that. You cant, for some reason.


So your "whole point" relies on Jeff's theoretical behavior in a hypothetical situation. That's not a point on any meaningful data; that's just you interpreting the world according to your own biases.

Which is ironic, considering that you're accusing Jeff of doing that very thing.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +10
@jer, Lowly rated comment [Show]
...
written by pxatkins, June 19, 2009
>personal topics like abortion and evolution

evolution is personal?
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +11
Oh politics, is there nothing you can't ruin?
written by Dental Floss, June 19, 2009
written by truth64, June 19, 2009
Poster Griz has ranted for 10 paragraphs about the most irrelevant issue.

So have you. Could you both please quit it? Like, pretend to be the bigger person, or something?
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +9
ref: Jeffs Fox "bashing"
written by Able, June 19, 2009
As an independent I also get (very slightly) miffed at the constant Fox bashing because they are one of the eight news sources I go to everyday and they all have their problems.
However, I have the ability, as do you all, to take whatever “news” they present and filter out the dung. In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to.
We also have the ability to take whatever Jeff or Randi says with or without a grain of salt.
I don’t get very upset when Randi, Jeff or any of you say something that I don’t entirely agree with or believe to be personally biased, instead of being based solely on fact.
I respect all of the people that make the foundation possible and believe that Randi, Jeff and the others would be disappointed in us, if we were not able to draw our own conclusions based on the skeptic techniques they have taught us.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +5
@pxatkins, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Dental Floss
written by Griz, June 19, 2009
Even though my last comment was hours ago I will still take a moment to invite you to eat my shorts. You don't get to decide what I can and can't post. Why don't you participate in the discussion rather than playing hall monitor.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
Truth64
written by Griz, June 19, 2009
"Again- try getting someone to explain these things to you before you make a fool of yourself. Just a hint!"

[Jesus said]...whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
- Matthew 5:22

Just a little reminder to walk the walk.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by Willy K, June 19, 2009
There was a Marx Brothers movie that had a musical number where they sang "Whatever it is... I'm against it!"

I speculate that it's one of the criteria Fox News uses when hiring "commentators." So whatever the other news shows say, the Fox guys have to say the opposite. smilies/tongue.gif
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +2
About truth64
written by Willy K, June 19, 2009
Folks, there's no use "debating" truth64.

He exhibits all the classic symptoms of schizophrenia. I've seen it many times. It's not a sin or shameful, it's just a disease that can sometimes be treated.

Sadly, truth64 seems to need of more treatment. smilies/cry.gif
I hope he gets some soon.
Good luck and Good night. smilies/wink.gif
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +7
I'm against it
written by That Guy, June 19, 2009
@Willy K and all,

For those of you who have never seen it, and those of you that have, too, here is the clip from Horse Feathers, I'm Against It.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7cry-4pyy8

And as far as truth64 goes, we all know it is not schizophrenia but simple ignorance. This shows up very well in the comment on evolution showing "cracks" "under hevy(sic) scrutiny". I doubt truth64 is one of those few, lets call them 'willfully ignorant', at least as far as evolution goes. When it comes to news and politics, I am less sure. Saying "Every network except FOX is nothing more than an obama pep rally" seems pretty ignorant to me. Yes, there are some which are clearly biased for Obama and therefore failing in their reporting duties, FOX "news" is even worse. Their reporting is quite often very bad, fitting the reports to preexisting ideas rather than the way the world really is.

Having said all that, i do have to sorta agree with one of truth64's comments. the comment on Darwinius masillae(truth64's "extinct lemur type creature") is not far off. It really was not some gome changing find, just a really interesting one, in a long line of interesting finds. But again, news orgs and even edutainment networks like sensational stories, and overhyping the Darwinius masillae find makes for a sensational story. And for this, the overhypers should be called to account. It might not be woo, but these stories get out there for a lot of the same reasons.

Thank goodness for the internet and blogs like this one, which has much more interesting and factual information about Darwinius masillae.
http://pandasthumb.org/archive...masil.html
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
@ That Guy re Truth
written by BillyJoe, June 19, 2009
i do have to sorta agree with one of truth64's comments. the comment on Darwinius masillae(truth64's "extinct lemur type creature") is not far off.
You give him too much credit.

Where are all the scientists that made this claim?
It was just journalistic hype, that's all.
For scientists is was always just an "important find", never a "missing link".

BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +3
@BillyJoe
written by That Guy, June 19, 2009
While I may be giving truth64 too much credit, my point was that the media does not seem to be called on hyped stories, like this one. For people who get their science from news orgs, this find seems to be an "important missing link". And while every fossil is a missing link, without digging deeper, this one seems to have more weight. These actions contribute to a misunderstanding of evolution, and science in general. News is supposed to be accurate, informative, and contribute to understanding. But way too often, it is just sensational. Even when the sensational needs to be added to the story to make it attractive, at the cost of lowered understanding.

Most of the arguments for "cracks" in the theory of evolution seem to come from people who just don't understand the theory. These stories just don't help. Well, it might get the "there are no transitional fossils" group to admit that there might be one... and I guess that is a plus... or at least a start in the right direction.

As for scientists making these claims, it seems there were some, the ones who wrote about the fossil. Take a look at the link at the bottom of the Panda's Thumb post (added as an update since the first time I read it), http://scienceblogs.com/laelap...ling_a.php. It seems that the authors of the paper had a bit of an agenda, and were overselling the find from the beginning, angling for the History, Discovery, and MSM. So I guess this cuts a little slack for History and Discovery. I mean, if the scientist is saying it, it has to be true. Right? Too often it is forgotten that scientists are just people, and will act just like people. The temptation to take a find and add a little hot air to give it that sensational smell, can get you your 15 min. Or even whole shows.

Every other scientist I have read on the subject of Ida has pretty much agreed that is an amazing find, but not the type which leads to a sensational story.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@that guy (re: Billy joe & Willy K and my pal Griz)
written by truth64, June 20, 2009
First, a brief history on BJ and Willy. Willy's ultimate response to the difficult evolution questions is that you must be mentally impaired if you dont swallow the whole evolution story (if you look in his past posts you will find that this even includes spontanteous generation at some point in our distant past.) I know its frustrating to defend a belief that has such absurd claims, but I dont think that accusing the questioner of being a mental case is much of a defense. Billy Joe is just hostile. He makes some good points but his rage usually gets the best of him.

But back to the topic- Discovery & History channels get a free pass for blunders such as Ida soley for the reason that they are pro-evolution. In other words, they fit the agenda for the typical skeptic (atheist/liberal) and therefore receive FAR less scrutiny on sites such as randi's. And on top of that, the Willy K's, Billy Joes and Grizzes on this site had rather kill the messenger than admit that there is even the slightest hint of hypocrisy here. At least I try to keep on topic instead of throwing out insults and distractions.

And by the way Griz- Jesus called some people fools also, so please study (difficult but try) the subject of "CONTEXT" before you accuse me. If you're fishing for hypocrisy, you're in the wrong place, my friend.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -7
...
written by BillyJoe, June 20, 2009
Well, you've got it about right there I think.

But I wouldn't place too much weight on the odd scientist or two who are out of tune with their peers. They're the ones the media (and truth) like to highlight. And there's even the odd crank or two. Hell, there are even scientists who still believe there is a link between vaccines and autism. And, if you dig real hard, (like truth obviously has) you'll even find an evolution denier or two amongst them.

BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
Oops...
written by BillyJoe, June 20, 2009
The above comment was in response to That Guy.
The truth snuck in whilst I was not looking smilies/grin.gif
(Oh, the irony! smilies/cool.gif)

Billy Joe is just hostile. He makes some good points but his rage usually gets the best of him.
You have me completely miscast. I don't rage against words written by faceless people on the internet. My demeanor is always cool calm and collected. I think you mean I put my position - and especially my questions - uncomfortably strongly. smilies/wink.gif

Discovery & History channels get a free pass for blunders such as Ida soley for the reason that they are pro-evolution. And on top of that, the Willy K's, Billy Joes and Grizzes on this site had rather kill the messenger than admit that there is even the slightest hint of hypocrisy here.
I have said absolutely nothing in defence of the D&H channel. I'm even disqualified from making a comment because I've never even tuned in. We don't even have it down here.

At least I try to keep on topic
If that at least was true but it isn't.
The following is the first post here to mention evolution:

"As for science, you let channels like History and Discovery get away with shows that make absurd assumptions about evolution while never calling them up on it. (The most recent being the fossil that would change everything! The extinct lemur type creature.)"

No prizes for guessing who wrote that.

BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 20, 2009
At least I try to keep on topic instead of throwing out insults and distractions.


Not while I'm eating, please. I have just read through this thread and you bounce all over the place. Your posts are occasionally, very briefly, logical, but then you go and ruin it with some completely unrelated ranting.

At least Groucho Marx was intentionally funny.

You asked,
Do you think Jeff would have titled his article "Talking to the dead- I mean NBC" if they were the ones who did the interview?


I certainly do not speak for anyone else. I am not familiar with NBC news. I choose not to get my news from any of the Main Stream Media, such as NBC, CNN, FOX, or any others. They are there to sell advertising. I do not trust any of them without looking into the source of the information.

The Fair and Balanced claim by FOX is something that makes them a target, because they clearly are presenting news with a conservative slant. They may occasionally cover something well, but people go to FOX for a conservative view on the news.

If this were a story about the Huffington Post, I would not be at all surprised to see "Talking to the dead- I mean Huffington Post" as the title. I do not go to Huffington Post for news, either. They clearly present the news with a liberal slant, but they do not appear to try to use a slogan as ridiculous as FOX's Fair and Balanced.

If the title were, "Talking to the dead- I mean Huffington Post," I would not expect a liberal version of you to show up claiming that this shows Jeff Wagg is really Sarah Palin, just in a very clever disguise.

News organizations are biased. Some work much harder at avoiding bias. Some make ridiculous claims about being unbiased. When you make a fool of yourself, ridicule comes with the territory.

Oh, yeah! Evolution an opinion?

I guess you just showed up because a search engine alerted you to comments about FOX news.

Evolution is science. The scientific method is a means of attempting to minimize the effect of bias on information. This appears to be virgin territory to you.

At least I try to keep on topic instead of throwing out insults and distractions.


I do have to give you credit. That is the funniest thing I have read today. smilies/wink.gif
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +3
@rogue
written by truth64, June 20, 2009
you are correct,"the scientific method is a means of attempting to minimize the effect of bias on information." But evolution is nothing but bias. What method from science can prove that life can arise from non-life? And yes, abiogenesis is germane to this discussion. You've been duped and have no clue. Now THAT'S funny.

report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -8
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 20, 2009
Well, truth, that is the most thorough exploration of the science of evolution I have ever read.

Evolution is the process by which creatures evolve into different species. Some think that life came about naturally, while plenty of religious people believe that the first life was put on Earth by God and evolved from there. Both of these theories are consistent with the available science. Creationism, in any sense other than what I just described, is contrary to science. Creationists probably should not see the movie 2012, because they are gullible enough that they may believe that, too.

Evolution is an excellent example of science.

truth64 is not at all an example of truth.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
...
written by That Guy, June 20, 2009
@truth64
First, the theory of evolution says nothing, Nothing, about how life began. (I can not make the same claim about Willy's comments as I have not read them.) Its sole topic is how life changes. The start of life is a completely different scientific endeavor. Anyone who says differently is ignorant (willful or otherwise). And this is not a problem with evolution. Scientific theories deal with a specific area, leaving others alone. Atomic theory says nothing about why we have atoms. It just deals with how they interact now that they are here. The theory of gravity says nothing about why we have gravity, just how it keeps us from flying into space, now that it is here.
Second, Discovery & History channels, as you say, are far less scrutinized by Randi and his gang because they are mostly not selling woo-woo (except for those damn ghost shows!). That is the primary topic of this site. There are plenty of science skeptics out there who try to not let them get away with bad science, like the Ida story, but this is not one of them. Again, much like scientific theories, this is not a Skeptic of Everything site. It has a focus. This is the wrong place to look for articles being critical of bad science. Just woo.
Finally,
I know its frustrating to defend a belief that has such absurd claims
No, you don't. One, as I said before, it does not have these absurd claims that you think it does. Two, as Rogue Medic pointed out, it is not a belief. Third, it is only frustrating in that almost every critic I have ever read is being critical from a place of ignorance.

@Rogue Medic
I totally agree. To use the Fair and Balanced tag line, and then be fairly transparently not is just asking for it. Sure, it makes all the people who go to FOX to get their beliefs affirmed feel warm and fuzzy. But those of us who can think critically, even on issues we feel strongly about, can tell. FOX news just isn't.

(sorry to keep going on about evolution, it is one of my peeves.)
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +2
Let's get past this silly argument, once and for all...
written by BillyJoe, June 20, 2009
That Guy:
the theory of evolution says nothing, Nothing, about how life began.

The confusion is caused by the fact that "evolution" is a pretty broad term.

There is the "evolution of the universe", the "evolution of life", and the "evolution of species". When Truth uses the term "evolution", he is using it to include all three types of evolution (he especially includes "evolution of life", but I have also seen him include the "evolution of the universe"). When others use the term "evolution", they specifically mean "evolution of species", and even more epecifically the "evolution of species by means of natural selection".

I think we should get past this confusion and nail him down on "the "evolution of species by means of natural selection", even if we do have to write it out pedantically like that.

The confusion suits him, of course, because then he can avoid all the tough questions.

BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
...
written by truth64, June 20, 2009
you say it is "I" who avoid the tough questions? you gotta be kidding. You wont even answer a simple yes/no question.

Do you believe life can arise from non-life?

Evolutionists can bring up all the smoke and mirrors they want, but eventually you gotta admit your theory is founded upon a complete impossibility, not to mention- absurdity as well.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -7
...
written by That Guy, June 20, 2009
@BillJoe
I'm sorry, but there is no "evolution of the universe" or "evolution of life", even if truth64 uses them. There is just the theory of evolution, which as you said is most often evolution of species by means of natural selection. The other two just don't exist. The universe does not evolve. It just is. Sure, it changes over time, but this is not evolution. And life does not evolve, something is either alive or it is not. Living things evolve thru small changes in the offspring produced, but not life.

@truth64
Like I said before, evolution makes no claims about how life arose. As far as the theory goes, it does not matter how it began. Some gods hand bringing the spark of life or life out of non-life, the theory of evolution does not care. It does not matter. The theory starts off with the assumption that life already exists in some form. To claim otherwise is either ignorant or dishonest. This is true. Really. You can look it up.
The theory of evolution has nothing to with how life arose, or how the universe got here.

You wont even answer a simple yes/no question.

Do you believe life can arise from non-life?

So you really think this is a simple question? I sure don't. First off, it is not about belief. No matter what you or I or anyone else believes, life either did or did not arise from non-life. Belief does not enter into it. So, the real question is "Did life arise from non-life?" This question can be answered, but right now, the only answer is "Maybe." Science does not yet have an answer. I hope that we do, some day. It would be really nice to know the answer.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by BillyJoe, June 20, 2009
That depends on what subject you want to talk about.

Choose from three:

1) The Evolution of the Universe.
2) The Evolution of Life.
3) The Evolution of Species.

Now pick your topic and we'll all see if we can all keep on track shall we?


Do you believe life can arise from non-life?

Okay, I think you'll agree that the topic is:

2) The Evolution of Life.

But you forget that I already answered that particular question on that particular topic:

Of course Life can arise from non-life, meaning that it is certainly possible that life could arise from non-life. It is also certainly true that this has never been demonstrated experimentally. However there are many pointers towards it being possible. One pointer and I'll expand on that now) that I mentioned (and that you didn't respond to the last time you posed this question) is that there is no one thing that definitely distingusihes life from non-life. Is a virus life or non-life? If a virus is life, is a prion life or non-life? If not, what is the distinguishing characteristic that makes a virus life and a prion non-life? And, if you can't clearly distinguish life from non-life, why couldn't one arise from the other?

It's like the question of the physical basis of consciousness. If there is life that is clearly not conscious, and life that clearly is conscious, and there is a wide spectrum in between, why couldn't consciousness arise from the evolution of the physical brain? (0ops, sorry, I've strayed off topic smilies/grin.gif )

BillyJoe

report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@that guy
written by truth64, June 20, 2009
So are you saying its possible that life can arise from non-life?
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -7
...
written by BillyJoe, June 20, 2009
I'm sorry, but there is no "evolution of the universe" or "evolution of life"
Evolution is change by small increments.
(you can even talk about the "evolution of language")

Synonyms: unfolding, change, progression, metamorphosis.
Antonyms: stasis, inactivity, changelessness.

It depends on how broadly you want to use the term. Truth is using it broadly, and you are using it narrowly. No one is actually wrong.


And life does not evolve, something is either alive or it is not.
I'll just refer you to my above post regarding viruses and prions.

regards,
BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by truth64, June 20, 2009
interesting quote:

"something is either alive or it isnt"

again, interesting
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -5
On Life, the Universe, and Everything....
written by That Guy, June 20, 2009
@truth64
Yes, I am saying that it is possible life arose from non-life. And I am also saying that is it possible that life did not. I have read much which hints at the possibility of life from non-life thru natural processes, from many fields. But so far, they are all just hints. And even if we come up with a unarguable path from simple matter to simple life, it is still not going to prove that is how life got its start on earth.
This is going to be an open question for quite some time. That I know.

@BillJoe & truth64
Let me attempt to clarify.
something is either alive or it is not.
Life/Alive are human constructs. We define what to be alive does or does not mean. Viruses and prions are excellent examples of this. A definition of life one way includes viruses. Another include viruses and prions. Yet another include neither. But it is only a definition. Viruses and prions still exist and do not change because we use a different definition of Life. That is what I meant with the quote above.
I am not sure one single human word is enough to be able to draw a line and put everything on one side or the other. Everything is just way to complex. That is why this question is so difficult. We don't feel quite right putting a virus in the same group as fish, dogs, people, etc. But then, we don't feel quite right saying they are not alive.
But either way, no matter the definition used, viruses and prions no doubt got here the same way we did, however that was.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@ That Guy
written by BillyJoe, June 20, 2009
I agree with a lot of what you say.

But I think you should think carefully before you say something like "something is either alive or it is not" again, because the falsity of that statement is at the heart of this argument against the Truth's view
(Hey, what is Truth's view anyway, he never quite gets around to saying).

As for the definition of life. I am not going to get into semantics here. However, there are things which are definitely alive and things that are definitely not alive. Agreed? Then there are things that cannot be confidently classified as either alive or not alive.

And that is exactly the argument for the hypothesis of the evolution of life from non-life. If there are things that cannot be confidently classified as either alive or not alive, then, at the boundary, there cannot be much difference between the two. Therefore it is not much of a stretch to say that one probably evolved (I'm going to continue to use that word) from the other.

regards,
BillyJoe
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by markbellis, June 20, 2009
Journalists, unfortunately, get to pick and choose their subject matters and often engage in them subjectively.

No, we don't. We get assigned things by editor or producers - we often pitch ideas to them, but they decide on whether it's published. I don't think it's unfortunate that media does get to pick and choose what stories to do - just as you get to decide what stories you want to listen to. News reporting is supposed to be objective - sometimes it isn't, of course.
Sean Hannity is a talk show host, not a journalist. He doesn't research stories, he just gives his opinion about them - he's supposed to be subjective. What he does is present his ideas.
But Hannity still has obligations here - Steve Allen or Johnny Carson would not have let John Edwards get within 30 feet of their desks - because they didn't want to shill for psychics who are trying to profit off of people's grief.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
Hannity and FoxNews
written by Human Person Jr, June 20, 2009
John Edward is a rotten sonofabitch; Hannity is awful. The interview is what you get when an awful television personality questions a rotten sonofabitch.

Hannity was once on the local airwaves in Atlanta, Georgia. Back then, he was even worse. He was funny, too, in that he would (accidentally) combine ordinary sayings, e.g. "President Bush should hold their feet to the carpet..." He was, of course, confusing "calling someone on the carpet" with "holding someone's feet to the fire." I am amazed and disappointed that he has such a large audience.

His relentless promotion of religion is sickening. His simple mind always seeks the simplest solution. That said, his views are generally more realistic than his counterparts at MSNBC, Olberman and Matthews. And we're still left with an inescapable fact: Far too many skeptics are unskeptical as hell regarding political and economic matters. They just know they want to see people "get medical care," or "avoid foreclosure." Far too many skeptics are incredibly naive regarding the nature of government, politics and natural market forces. The market exists and will always exist, even in a totalitarian Marxist state. National Democrats hate the market and wish it didn't exist. Their wishful thinking (religious views) on this one topic alone disqualifies them from office. We are screwed, seriously screwed, and you skeptics who won't look closer at these issues are partly to blame.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -3
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 20, 2009
truth64,

Nobody is ducking your question.

You asked if the title would be the same if this were written about a news organization with as much of a liberal bias as FOX has a conservative bias. I believe the answer is yes. I stated that and you changed to a different ultimate question.

You claimed that evolution and the origin of life are the same thing, because that is the way you think about evolution.

I wrote that it is irrelevant. Evolution of species by natural selection has nothing to do with whether God made the first life or whether life arose spontaneously.

Plenty of religious people believe in an omnipotent, omniscient God. They have no problem with God creating life that evolved from the most simple form of life, to the current diversity of species. After all, that is what the science shows.

The answer to your question about life is that we do not know.

The answer to the religious implications of this question is that it does not contradict God, but if you worship a Book, then you have to just add it to the many contradictions that exist in that Book.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
...
written by BillyJoe, June 20, 2009
Far too many skeptics are unskeptical as hell regarding political and economic matters.
Excluding you, of course. smilies/cool.gif

They just know they want to see people "get medical care," or "avoid foreclosure."
Excluding you?

Far too many skeptics are incredibly naive regarding the nature of government, politics and natural market forces. The market exists and will always exist, even in a totalitarian Marxist state. National Democrats hate the market and wish it didn't exist. Their wishful thinking (religious views) on this one topic alone disqualifies them from office. We are screwed, seriously screwed, and you skeptics who won't look closer at these issues are partly to blame.
Nice argument you have there. smilies/wink.gif
Oh, sorry, no....oh well, please put away the box when you leave...
...and close the door behind you. Thanks. Everyone else has already left the building.

smilies/grin.gif

BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
When bread is $14.00 a loaf...
written by Human Person Jr, June 21, 2009
I won't have time to say I told you so. Anyone could, if they weren't too lazy, review past examples of exactly the same behavior in which we're currently engaged.

Fine.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -3
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 21, 2009
When bread is $14.00 a loaf...
written by Human Person Jr, June 21, 2009
I won't have time to say I told you so. Anyone could, if they weren't too lazy, review past examples of exactly the same behavior in which we're currently engaged.


Golly Gee,

Maybe these end of the world fanatics should just go put on their Nikes, drink their Kool-Aid, and take their clozapine. Not necessarily in that order.

There are valid arguments to be made for inflation. I have made them. This is not a site for discussions of economics, since economics is not a real science. Therefore, this is not the place for them. Oh yeah, the point seems to be to make this site about politics. Pobrecita. Here's your tissue. Have a good cry.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
It isn't the end of the world...
written by Human Person Jr, June 21, 2009
just the beginning of the end of our quality of life.

As for science, politicians and religionists try to control it, mold it to their ends. We saw it with Bush and his born-again idiot friends, on several issues. This site addressed those (political) issues. We'd be well advised, as skeptics, to better understand politics and economics, for verily, our asses will be bitten if we don't.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
wow
written by jer, June 21, 2009
My, what an engaging discussion we're having about a supposed medium dodging proof.

Jeff (if you've bothered reading this far), see what tossing a meaningless jab into an otherwise good article can do? Whether this is mostly your fault or theirs, I'd think about whether it's worth it.

John Edward would laugh his head off if he saw this.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -2
...
written by BillyJoe, June 21, 2009
John Edward is laughing his head off anyway.
No reason for the rest of us not to have some fun. smilies/wink.gif

report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
...
written by Willy K, June 21, 2009
As I see it, the seemingly off-topic posts in this article are a fascinating demonstration of how apparently intelligent people (yes truth64 I include you) can have a completely irrational view of the evidence of how the Universe works.

Even thrut64 must recognize his obsession with evolutionary theory and the conservative vs. liberal news media myth.

Since he makes no mention of John Edward I guess he has no opinion or doesn't care about J.E. and other so called psychics scam people out of their money.

I hope the behavioral researchers are using theses posts in their research. smilies/wink.gif
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 21, 2009
As for science, politicians and religionists try to control it, mold it to their ends. We saw it with Bush and his born-again idiot friends, on several issues. This site addressed those (political) issues. We'd be well advised, as skeptics, to better understand politics and economics, for verily, our asses will be bitten if we don't.


Was that coverage of politics, economics, or was it just coverage of bad science/pseudoscience/religion presented as science?

I do not see any role for this site in politics or economics. I believe JREF has limited itself to coverage of things that are appropriate for an organization that addresses skepticism. Believing that a news organization is fair and balanced, just because they use that claim as their motto, is not skeptical, but is fodder for sarcasm. Especially when a topic, such as John the Fraud Edwards is being treated as an honest credible magical person. smilies/sad.gif

If you search the JREF site, you will find plenty of articles mentioning the various media organizations. Looking at the search results for ABC and NBC, there were a lot of mentions and, sit down for this, much of it is critical. Here is one example, that has a title similar to Talking to the Dead - I Mean FoxNews. Not that that either seems to mention economics.

http://www.randi.org/site/inde...08.html#i1
ABC Shames Itself Again
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
Back on track?
written by Captain Trips, June 21, 2009
Yeah, let's remember -- this is supposed to be about how Mr. Edward double-talked his way out of giving an explanation of his "talent" -- NOT whether someone is biased against a certain news source.

Let's look at it this way: Edward makes an extraordinary claim. (This is an obvious fact -- he claims that he can talk to the dead, and that it isn't something that ordinarily happens. By definition, "extra-ordinary.") At this point, we have to look at Carl Sagan as a philosopher. (Admittedly, he was no Socrates, but he had some interesting points.) In particular, his philosophy of, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." Edward refuses to give any proof, let alone extraordinary proof! Therefore, we cannot give credibility to his extraordinary claim.

That's it. That's all. And that's all this thread should be about.

(BTW, I return after many years of lurking because I felt that all of you above have either missed the point of the article, or decided to thread-jack for your own purposes. Can't we stay on topic, and save the personal views for a different thread?)
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 21, 2009
Captain Tripps returns from the dead to comment on John Edwards coverage.

Irony? smilies/smiley.gif
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
You came back from the dead to tell us this???
written by BillyJoe, June 21, 2009
@ Captain Trips

...this is supposed to be about how Mr. Edward double-talked his way out of giving an explanation of his "talent" ...
That's it. That's all. And that's all this thread should be about.
What?
Do you seriously expect a discussion on that point? smilies/grin.gif

When there is nothing to discuss on the main point, it's not exactly surprising that other aspects are discussed instead and that posters will go off on tangents.

If you don't find that interesting, fine, you don't have to read it. But I find blank commentary section pretty dull personally.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@Truth
written by BillyJoe, June 22, 2009
Do you believe life can arise from non-life?

This is the second time that you have asked that question and gotten a response from me that you have not reponded to. I can't make you respond - that's entirely up to you - but I hope you don't ask that question again and pretend that no one has yet answered it. smilies/wink.gif

BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@Truth64
written by HiEv, June 22, 2009
Every network except FOX is nothing more than an obama pep rally.

Nothing could be further from the truth, not that you'd know, since you apparently don't actually watch other networks. Just for example, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown show has attacked Obama on many issues, including White House transparency, Don't Ask Don't Tell, not prosecuting torture, the continued existence of Gitmo, not investigating the Bush administration, the slow withdrawal from Iraq, warrantless wiretapping, and defending the Defense of Marriage Act, just to name a few recent topics. See this transcript from the Thursday show if you don't believe me. And that is just the tip of the iceberg, not only for that show, but for the rest of the networks as well.

And this is the FOX News channel you're defending, which even the President has noted, "First of all, I've got one television station that entirely is devoted to attacking my administration and you'd be hard-pressed if you watch the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front." So if you're going to talk about "not in the business of unbiased reporting," then you're talking about FOX News, and not the other networks, since they both praise the good things Obama does and criticize the bad things he does (or does not do when he should).

It's pretty amusing to watch you trash networks you obviously don't watch for being "biased" and then defend the incredibly biased FOX News in the same breath. So, is "bias" OK when it's FOX News, but not when it's any other network, or is bias just OK when it agrees with you? smilies/wink.gif
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
clarification & correction
written by HiEv, June 22, 2009
Just to clarify, my "they both praise ... and criticize" part referred to the other networks, not Fox news.

Also, that was the Wednesday show (6/17/'09) I linked to, not the Thursday show. Correct link, wrong description.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@hiev & billy joe
written by truth64, June 22, 2009
Sorry for the delayed response, massive computer probs.
Hiev, I have NEVER said that Fox was not biased. What my question was is this "would the author have titled his article the same had it been one the networks that are more liberal doing the interview?" I think not. Do you?

Billy J, I have not been avoiding you. I am simply confused. You say youre a skeptic, yet you say life "could" arise from non life with NO evideence. thats all.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -5
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 22, 2009
@truth64,

I have NEVER said that Fox was not biased. What my question was is this "would the author have titled his article the same had it been one the networks that are more liberal doing the interview?" I think not. Do you?



I posted this before. Search JREF for articles mentioning the other networks. See what has been written. I think your claim about not criticizing the other networks is just an example of your ignorance of what you are writing about. Your repeat of the same false claim, even after I showed you an example of your error, is just an example of how you ignore truth..

http://www.randi.org/site/inde...08.html#i1
ABC Shames Itself Again

Is this title any less critical than Talking to the Dead - I Mean FoxNews?

Maybe a follow up article should be truth64 Shames Itself Again.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
...
written by BillyJoe, June 22, 2009
Billy J, I have not been avoiding you.
Well, last time, about a month or so ago, you said "I'll get back to you soon" and, after three days, I enquired "how long is soon?". Seems soon is a very long time.

I am simply confused.
I know, but couldn't you at least try? smilies/grin.gif

You say youre a skeptic, yet you say life "could" arise from non life with NO evideence. thats all.

Well, what can I say to someone who is confused? Perhaps reading what I wrote in support of that opinion and addressing that. I mean, if it's worth your time.

BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
@billy joe
written by truth64, June 23, 2009
So let me simplify your beliefs, as I understand them, to a very basic level. You believe the evidence more strongly supports that at some point, before the universe began, there was this unknown substance, the size of a pin head that exploded into literally nothing. This explosion was so huge it covered distances beyond human comprehension. After a cooling off period, the planet Earth happened to have the precise ingredients to begin a process that would eventually bring us to where we are today. If I have missed something in this concise history please advise.

Do you honestly believe the above paragraph is not only possible , but probable? Darwinists have to have much more faith than creationists to believe such theories.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -4
It seems I must once again state this
written by That Guy, June 23, 2009
@truth64
Once again, darwinists, evolutionists, people who study evolution, or whatever you want to call them today, have nothing to say on the origin of the universe or the origin of life. The theory of evolution deals with changes to already existing life. How life got here, or how the earth got here, or how the universe got here has nothing to do with the theory of evolution.
Yes, these are all important questions, but they are not answered by, or even part of, the theory of evolution. It is like complaining that traffic laws don't take into account milk. they are independent.
As the wikipedia entry for Evolutions states well:
The origin of life is a necessary precursor for biological evolution, but understanding that evolution occurred once organisms appeared and investigating how this happens does not depend on understanding exactly how life began.

Also worth a glance (it is short): http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB090.html

Fine, you have an issue with all these topics (except maybe milk), but can you at least try to see that they are separate? If you just focus on one of them, instead of combining them all into one huge, messy lump, you just might be able to make a better argument.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +2
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 23, 2009
@truth64,

You continue to underwhelm.

What are the odds that there is an all powerful being who created life?

How are the odds of a perfect God more probable than the odds of a less perfect universe? Please show your work.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +2
@truth64
written by HiEv, June 23, 2009
However, you did indeed say, "Every network except FOX is nothing more than an obama pep rally." And I easily demonstrated how wrong that statement of yours is.

Why did you dodge that point? Admitting you were wrong about something won't kill you.

As for your question to me, Rogue Medic has amply demonstrated that this site is an equal opportunity shamer, and has gone after other networks, such as ABC. A simple search turns up many others, such as the "CNN Berserk" commentary (on CNN saying how to deal with ghosts in your home) or the "MSNBC OFF THE DEEP END" commentary (on someone whom MSNBC reported supposedly has two-way telepathy with animals), each of which I found in less than 30 seconds of searching.

So, since it seems obvious that this site will go after any purveyor of "woo", no matter what news organization their with, the real question is why you only choose to be offended when that news organization is FOX News? It sounds like it has more to do with the fact that you're a fan of FOX News, rather than any reasonable argument, since your attempt at an argument is demonstrably false.

Look, it's fine to be a fan of FOX News, as long as you don't let that cloud your judgement when the facts are in front of you. The facts are in front of you now, so will you continue to pretend that FOX News is being singled out for persecution, or will you admit that they go after any news organization that supports nonsense like this?
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 23, 2009
I think that truth64 owes Jeff Wagg a pretty big apology.

It appears the bias was on the receiving end of the message, not the writer of the message.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 23, 2009
Ouch that was a pathetic combination of sentence fragments. Oh well.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by BillyJoe, June 23, 2009
So let me simplify your beliefs, as I understand them to a very basic level.
I hope it will be as simple as possible but no simpler. smilies/wink.gif

You believe the evidence more strongly supports that at some point, before the universe began, there was this unknown substance, the size of a pin head that exploded into literally nothing. This explosion was so huge it covered distances beyond human comprehension.
But I haven't even given my opinion on that theory for the evolution of the universe. As far as you know, I could completely disagree with it. For the purposes of the argument, though, let's assume I do disagree with it.

After a cooling off period, the planet Earth happened to have the precise ingredients to begin a process that would eventually bring us to where we are today.
I haven't even given my opinion on the anthropocentric view of life on Earth. As far as you know, I could completely disagree with it. For the purposes of the argument, though, let's assume I do disagree with it.

If I have missed something in this concise history please advise.
Have you missed something???
You haven't even touched on my reasons for believing life could come from non-life.
Please try again.

Do you honestly believe the above paragraph is not only possible , but probable? Darwinists have to have much more faith than creationists to believe such theories.
Ask someone else. I'm still waiting for your response to my reasons for believing that life could come from non-life.

thanks,
BillyJoe.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
@hiev
written by truth64, June 24, 2009
I have never stated that Fox was singled out by the author- Jeff. You are reading that into my question. I have been a regular on this site probably longer than you so I am well aware of the fact that even liberal networks get mentioned when they do a horrible job discussing woo. That being said- Wagg used different verbage when dealing with Fox. For one, he in the very first sentence he put Hannity and Edward in the same category which is patently false. Also, by using the sarcastic term "beacon of truth" (again in the very first sentence) he was implying that most if not all of Fox was bogus. Trust me- this is nothing new so even though you may think I am "offended", I couldnt care less personally. I just hate it when people simply cant be honest about such matters. Especially the "open minded".
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -4
@billy joe
written by truth64, June 24, 2009

You dont have to say you agree with my brief description of your beliefs, but I know I'm very close if not right on target. For one thing- you have no other options to choose from. (And the old "scientists are still working on that" excuse no longer cuts it).

Also- your new theory of "we cant really tell the differnce between life and non-life" is, to be blunt, absurd. Whether or not we classify a virus or prion as alive or not does not remove your responsibility for showing at least SOME evidence that life can arise from non-life- again, this is absurd. As you so eloquently quoted "that guy" a few paragraphs above- 'Something is either alive or its not'- truer words have never been spoken.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -3
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 24, 2009
I have never stated that Fox was singled out by the author- Jeff. You are reading that into my question.


Of course they were singled out. They were named in the title. This is a bogus defense of your bias.

The story is about FOX because and Hannity because they needed to be criticized for their fawning behavior to this fraud. You have claimed that this is about politics. You continue to miss the point.

You suggest that the reason Hannity is singled out is his politics. You claim that (in your original comment):

Somehow I get the feeling you wouldnt have said:
beacon of truth NBC, ABC, CNN had an interview with two champions of reason: John Edward and Brian Williams, Katie Couric or Charles Osgood..."


There are two important and different parts to that.

1. Would any of these people suck up to this fraud in their reporting? I do not know the answer to that, but if they would not, then maybe it is because they have some capacity for reason. Maybe they leave jobs like this - fellating John Edwards on TV - to people like Hannity.

2. If any of these people exhibited such incompetence on TV, would Jeff Wagg point it out in the same way as he did with the buffoon Hannity?

I already showed one example of similar treatment of another network, HiEv showed that there were plenty of other examples.


I have been a regular on this site probably longer than you so I am well aware of the fact that even liberal networks get mentioned when they do a horrible job discussing woo. That being said- Wagg used different verbage when dealing with Fox. For one, he in the very first sentence he put Hannity and Edward in the same category which is patently false. Also, by using the sarcastic term "beacon of truth" (again in the very first sentence) he was implying that most if not all of Fox was bogus.



This is the problem with people, who feel that they are smart enough to tell you what God means. Completely unjustified arrogance. There is no consideration of other meanings. This is taken so far as to tell a living person what he meant, rather than ask him for clarification.

Just add in the irony and humility of the name - truth64. As with the ridiculous claim fair and balanced, it just begs for ridicule. And succeeds. Even a blind squirrel . . . .


Trust me- this is nothing new so even though you may think I am "offended", I couldnt care less personally. I just hate it when people simply cant be honest about such matters. Especially the "open minded".


This is funny. You stat off with a request no intelligent person (liberal, conservative, something else) would consider. Trust you?

Then you claim you are not offended, but this has appeared to be personal, all along. Still, we should trust some clown, who claims to tell the truth and tells others what they mean when they write. There may be a few DSM IV criteria satisfied just in this thread.

You just hate it when people simply can't be honest about such matters.

Why can't everyone join me in worshiping the "open minded" - by that I mean FoxNews.


All the views expressed in this comment have been examined by President Obama for accuracy and adherence to the party line. Rogue Medic looks like he is on his way to stardom in one of the party's news organizations. The party's news organizations means everything that is not FoxNews, that one hold out. That bastion of truth. That savior of Hannity, I mean humanity.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
@rogue medic
written by truth64, June 24, 2009
Truly astounding. You scrutinize every word of my post and come up with the most judgmental opinions and yet you cant find one iota of fault with your buddy Wagg. From the title of this article to the end of the first sentence there are 3 insults. Later in the article he makes yet another snide remark about Hannity ("you cant be a person of faith and also be a skeptic"). The issue here isnt that Hannity dropped the ball (he did), its that Wagg (and libs like yourself) are so hypocritical, you cant even see any difference. Again- truly astounding. Try turning your strong investigative techniques on such woo items as evolution and maybe you can actually accomplish something worthwhile.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -3
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 24, 2009
@truth64,

When did I become a liberal?

I have been very critical of President Obama, but you prefer to lie about that.

You appear to be obsessing on politics and religion. Why?

It has been shown that JREF is an equal opportunity critic.

On the other hand, you duck questions and change the subject.

Show that the appearance of an imperfect world is more improbable than the perpetual existence of a perfect being. Of course, you deny the existence of an all powerful God, because he has to follow the rules as you interpret them.

Then there is all of the evidence for evolution, but you continue to ignore that and switch topics.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB090.html

You are a troll. You may have been here for a while, but that just makes you a persistent troll. smilies/wink.gif
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +2
...
written by BillyJoe, June 24, 2009
You dont have to say you agree with my brief description of your beliefs, but I know I'm very close if not right on target.
Well, in fact, you would be wrong.

I have no idea how a singularity could possibly exist. A point of infinite mass and density seems an impossibility to me. To me this is an unresolved mystery. How something could arise from nothing also seems an impossibility to me. But so is the alternative that there has always been something. I also think it is possible that this mystery will never be resolved. We may not be smart enough (can an ant understand Newtonian physics?), we may not live long enough to discover the answer, or we may be asking the wrong question.

Do I think God is another alternative? Frankly, no.
Enough of the diversion though.

For one thing- you have no other options to choose from.
You assume that I have to actually choose an option.

(And the old "scientists are still working on that" excuse no longer cuts it).
B.S.
In fact the truth is even more stark: "scientists are still working on that, and they may never discover the answer to the ultimate mystery of existence (why there is something rather than nothing)"

Also- your new theory of "we cant really tell the differnce between life and non-life" is, to be blunt, absurd. Whether or not we classify a virus or prion as alive or not does not remove your responsibility for showing at least SOME evidence that life can arise from non-life- again, this is absurd.
I have already said that life has never been observed to arise from non-life. And whether that observation will ever be made is an open question.
The point I made is that it is certainly be possible for life to arise from non-life, and my evidence for that possibility is as follows:

- We cannot confidently tell whether some things are alive or not alive.
- Therefore, at the boundary, there cannot be much difference between being alive and not alive.
- Therefore, it is not too much of a stretch that life could arise from non-life.

I will ask you once again to respond to that argument.

As you so eloquently quoted "that guy" a few paragraphs above- 'Something is either alive or its not'- truer words have never been spoken.
Is a virus alive?
If so, is a prion alive?
If you cannot answer, your above statement that "Something is either alive or its not" is not proven and possibly false.

Let me put it another way:
Name me one characteristic that distinguishes life from non-life.

BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +2
@truth64 pt.1
written by HiEv, June 24, 2009
I have never stated that Fox was singled out by the author- Jeff. You are reading that into my question.

Uh, actually, you said exactly that. Here's what you said:
Every network except FOX is nothing more than an obama pep rally. Thats fine if your not in the business of supposedly unbiased reporting. Those networks get away with ridiculous "reporting". Yet you guys bash FOX.

In other words, you were saying that only FOX wasn't biased in favor of Obama, and yet here they are only going after FOX. If you didn't mean only FOX, then your argument is pointless, because then you're bashing this site for treating FOX the same way they treat everyone else. In other words, your argument must be that they are singling out FOX, or it simply self-destructs in its absurdity.

I've pointed out that both your claim about "every network except FOX" and your implications of bias here are both false, and yet I notice that you still have not retracted that basic argument. No, you have merely attempted to mutate your original argument into something else, and claim it is your original argument.

I have been a regular on this site probably longer than you

You should apply for the $1 Million prize if you think you can assert such a thing based on zero evidence. FYI, I've been reading SWIFT newsletters since the late 90's, not that it matters.

In fact, whether you've been here longer than me is totally irrelevant. You'd only bring it up if you were somehow trying to put yourself above me somehow, but that's a fallacious argument in any case. Anyways, in knowledge of what gets covered here and how its covered, you clearly fail to demonstrate that you know more, as I show below.

so I am well aware of the fact that even liberal networks get mentioned when they do a horrible job discussing woo.

It's funny that you claim such "awareness" of what goes on here, despite saying things like:
As for science, you let channels like History and Discovery get away with shows that make absurd assumptions about evolution while never calling them up on it.

Actually, they have gone after both the History Channel (for example, see "GET OVER THE 'CODE'!") and the Discovery Channel ("DISCOVERY CHANNEL DISCOVERS MORE WOO-WOO") for making absurd claims in the past. Sure, those examples aren't on evolution, but they don't really make woo-woo claims about evolution that I'm aware of, beyond possibly the occasional supposition about dinosaur behavior. (I'm sorry, but your "lemur" example does not qualify as woo-woo.)

For someone who brags about how long he's been here, you probably ought to learn to use a search engine, because apparently your memory isn't helping you much here.

That being said- Wagg used different verbage when dealing with Fox. For one, he in the very first sentence he put Hannity and Edward in the same category which is patently false. Also, by using the sarcastic term "beacon of truth" (again in the very first sentence) he was implying that most if not all of Fox was bogus.

Yeah, and if you read the "GET OVER THE 'CODE'!" example I linked to above it says:
The History Channel thought it could get some more mileage from such an item, and since they don't much care whether their "history" represents facts, they went right ahead with the deception.

Right there it implies that the History Channel cares more about ratings than truth or accuracy. So, again, FOX News isn't really being treated that differently.

Seriously. High horse. Get off it.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +1
@truth64 pt.2
written by HiEv, June 24, 2009
As for FOX News, well, they're pretty clearly biased, as even you've admitted. And in the past they have let that bias run amok, and have misrepresented the truth. Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) has, for example, taken FOX News to task for claiming that the 2008 Obama/McCain race was tightening, while in fact polls showed that McCain was holding steady while Obama was continuing to grow his lead over McCain. See "Fox News Nailbiter!" and their comment on FOX News' rebuttal in "Fox Responds to FAIR". Media Matters for America has also pointed out things such as how FOX News has doctored photos of people they don't like to make them look bad. See "Fox News airs altered photos of [i]NY Times[/i] reporters". Those are just two of many examples showing why some people laugh when FOX News calls itself "Fair & Balanced".

Trust me- this is nothing new so even though you may think I am "offended", I couldnt care less personally. I just hate it when people simply cant be honest about such matters. Especially the "open minded".

An interesting mishmash of ironic and hypocritical commentary there. Considering that you were anything but honest about "every network except FOX" when you called them "nothing more than an obama pep rally", it's kind of hypocritical for you to be upset at Jeff for making a snarky remark about FOX News. Your inability to be honest about even your own argument, or open minded to the fact that maybe you were wrong, honestly left me a bit slack-jawed upon reading that closing statement.

You have repeatedly made statements to this effect:
"IF" Nbc had done this interview, jeff would not have titled it "Talking to the daed- I mean NBC", because the libs (like yourself) LOVE NBC and their equals.

And yet, when faced with other examples on this site where that is basically what has already happened, you can't be open and honest enough to admit you were wrong.

Before you go around accusing other people of being "a little obtuse" or "hypocrites", you might want to remove that plank from your eye.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@truth64 pt.2
written by HiEv, June 24, 2009
As for FOX News, well, they're pretty clearly biased, as even you've admitted. And in the past they have let that bias run amok, and have misrepresented the truth. Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) has, for example, taken FOX News to task for claiming that the 2008 Obama/McCain race was tightening, while in fact the polls showed that McCain was holding steady while Obama was continuing to grow his lead over McCain. See "Fox News Nailbiter!" and their comment on FOX News' rebuttal in "Fox Responds to FAIR". Media Matters for America has also pointed out problems with FOX News, such as how they have doctored photos of people they don't like in order to make them look bad. See "Fox News airs altered photos of [i]NY Times[/i] reporters". Those are just two of many examples showing why some people laugh when FOX News calls itself "Fair & Balanced".

Trust me- this is nothing new so even though you may think I am "offended", I couldnt care less personally. I just hate it when people simply cant be honest about such matters. Especially the "open minded".

An interesting mishmash of ironic and hypocritical commentary there. Considering that you were anything but honest about "every network except FOX" when you called them "nothing more than an obama pep rally", it's kind of hypocritical for you to be upset at Jeff for making a snarky remark about FOX News. Your inability to be honest about even your own argument, or open minded to the fact that maybe you were wrong, honestly left me a bit slack-jawed upon reading that closing statement.

You have repeatedly made statements to this effect:
"IF" Nbc had done this interview, jeff would not have titled it "Talking to the daed- I mean NBC", because the libs (like yourself) LOVE NBC and their equals.

And yet, when faced with other examples on this site where that is basically what has already happened, you can't be open and honest enough to admit you were wrong.

Before you go around accusing other people of being "a little obtuse" or "hypocrites", you might want to remove that plank from your eye.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@hiev
written by truth64, June 25, 2009
Its probably only me, you and billy joe left but anywho- I have read your last posts a couple of times and after culling out the "mole hill into mountains" comments I see that you sincerely believe that this site is 100% unbiased in how it discusses skepticism. You say this site treats the more liberal networks "basically" the same way it treats ones like FOX. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on that point.

Well, I am off to Jeff's latest article. Looks like an interesting conversation is taking place there on a very similar subject.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -2
Truth has no answer.
written by BillyJoe, June 25, 2009
Well, I am off to Jeff's latest article.
I will take that to mean that you cannot answer that argument.
As I said before, I hope you don't ask that question (Can life arise from non life?) again and pretend that it hasn't been answered.

BTW, your comment on Jeff's latest article has been censored.
(Not that I agree with this sort of behaviour, of course smilies/grin.gif)

regards,
BillyJoe
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
Billy joe has no point
written by truth6413@yahoo.com, June 25, 2009
For the last time- your answering a question with a question tactic is not making sense. "How can you tell what is life and non-life?" I dont even get that question from 8th science students. And if I did I would advise them to maybe start over in the first grade. The FACT is, you cant breathe life into anything that isnt alive and even if you could, what kind of evidence do you have that that life would become more complex? Especially to the level of the human brain (apparently this is the highest evolved product we have on hand). Just admit it- you have NO decent answer and you know you never will.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: -3
...
written by Rogue Medic, June 25, 2009
truth64 is a science teacher? We're doomed. As long as bin Laden has allies like truth64, al quaeda does not need to fly planes into buildings. truth64 is contributing to the destruction of the ability of America to compete in global markets with this anti-science BS. Students who believe in magic will not be competitive. We will need to import scientists from other countries, but at least we will have a competitive market in the challenging world of fast food staffing.

truth64's comment on the other post was not censored.

It was treated as all other comments that receive such negative rating from readers. It is collapsed due to lack of interest. If you wish to endure the nonsense, click on the text:

..., Lowly rated comment [Show]


Apparently the attitude of the JREF readers is Don't feed the troll.

report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
You just can't face the truth....
written by BillyJoe, June 25, 2009
For the last time- your answering a question with a question tactic is not making sense.
Please point out the question in my response, which I reproduce below

"I have already said that life has never been observed to arise from non-life. And whether that observation will ever be made is an open question.
The point I made is that it is certainly be possible for life to arise from non-life, and my evidence for that possibility is as follows:

- We cannot confidently tell whether some things (?virus, ?prion) are alive or not alive.
- Therefore, at the boundary, there cannot be much difference between being alive and not alive.
- Therefore, it is not too much of a stretch that life could arise from non-life.
"

"How can you tell what is life and non-life?" I dont even get that question from 8th science students. And if I did I would advise them to maybe start over in the first grade.
No, that was NOT my response to your question, it was my attempt to explain to you what I mean, because you apparently don't get it yet. Here it is in full:

"Is a virus alive?
If so, is a prion alive?
If you cannot answer, then your above statement that "Something is either alive or its not" is not proven and possibly false.
Let me put it another way:
Name me one characteristic that distinguishes life from non-life."


Just admit it- you have NO decent answer and you know you never will.
I will admit it once you convince me by actually responding to my amswer to your question.
I won't hold my breath though.

BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by BillyJoe, June 25, 2009
Edit:

If you really do not understand my response, I will be happy to explain, but you will need to point out what exactly you do not understnd.

If you are just avoiding reponding to my answer, because it causes cognitive dissonance, I understand, but I also feel sorry for you.
(Well, okay, not really)

BJ
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
@truth64
written by HiEv, June 28, 2009
I see that you sincerely believe that this site is 100% unbiased in how it discusses skepticism. You say this site treats the more liberal networks "basically" the same way it treats ones like FOX. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on that point.

You're just seeing what you want/expect to see, and not what I really said or mean.

I don't believe that this site is "100% unbiased", and I have never said any such thing. I have merely pointed out, with multiple examples, that they will go after anyone who supports woo-woo claims. That isn't the same thing as "100% unbiased".

I don't think anyone can be 100% unbiased, however I don't think that they often let their biases blind them to when something they usually like claims or supports something absurd. Just because someone might have some biases, that doesn't mean that those biases must rule them completely or necessarily blind them to the flaws in the things that they like.

Finally, I note that for someone who spends so much time attacking skeptics, atheists, this site, and most of the other people here, you don't seem to be particular interested in admitting or even acknowledging your own errors. In fact, you entirely ignore it when those errors are pointed out.

I really don't understand how you can expect anyone to take you seriously when you make demonstrably false claims, and then you simply act as though those errors are unimportant ("molehills") and ignore them when they're pointed out to you. If you base your argument on a claim, and that claim is shown to be false, pretending your argument is still true just says that you're being close minded to the possibility that you were wrong, and that facts aren't important to you once you've decided the "truth".

I strongly urge you to be more open minded, and consider that perhaps you were wrong in this case. Don't let you pride or your bias control you.
report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0
...
written by BillyJoe, June 28, 2009
HiEv,

I'm afraid, truth has left the building.

report abuse
vote down
vote up
Votes: +0

Write comment
This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy