Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Doggerel #213: "Just Because / It's Magic!"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

This particular Doggerel entry is a bit different from the standard sorts: It's usually only spoken in between the lines, most commonly when someone is faced with a question of "how."

I've seen a few minor arguments in my corner of the blogosphere over whether to call what doctors and medical scientists do "evidence-based medicine" or "science-based medicine." While both terms leave a good impression on me, those who favored SBM pointed out an important issue: Prior plausibility. Before investing time, money, and effort into investigating something, it's reasonable to expect an explanation for why a particular treatment might work. By asking that question and putting it in the context of what other research has shown and raised questions about, researchers can focus on more realistic ideas, instead of investigating any claim, no matter how implausible, as if all ideas were equal.

While it's true that we must bow to what good evidence says, we have to exercise pragmatism in what we study because we only have finite resources. Without looking at or presenting the larger picture of the controversies (manufactured or otherwise), a skeptic can doom himself to "play whack-a-mole" with every claimant on the internet. Demanding evidence is a good practice, but it should also come with a demand for a plausible explanation.

In my naive, pre-skepticism days, I remember a little thing from a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode that planted one of the first seeds of doubt when it comes to psychic powers: Dr. Crusher talked about Lwuxana Troi's "psilosynine" levels: A neurochemical involved in her telepathic powers. My belief in the possibility of psychic powers took a big hit: How could psychic powers work? How do the chemicals in someone's brain make all these things happen? Parapsychologists have been studying the subject for a long time, but none of the stuff I had heard or read about the topic had any guesses. I'd later come to hear invocations of quantum mechanics, but with all the tests physicists can do, you would think there'd be at least one psychic who could make an electron zig when it's expected to zag.

That's the problem with so many forms of pseudoscience: They don't explain anything, and are more often used as a wall against explanation and investigation. Even in fantasy, "It's Magic!" falls short with me: I prefer my fantasy to have consistent rules with its "phlebotinum." Without rules like that, it's easy for writers to pull things out of their back pocket to justify unforeseeable plot twists. Fiction has to make sense, and despite what some comedians say, so does real life.

Science is a rigorous process of learning the rules our universe runs on. We need to be able to understand those rules and make predictions from them to find useful ways of doing things. Additionally, a robust science is one that has new, verifiable things to look for, to explain finer details or possible exceptions.

Pseudoscience, in contrast, is usually dead from the start: There's usually no explanation, and if there is, it contains no details or mechanisms to look for. Without that, there's no predictive power: The people who propose a pseudoscientific theory usually can't guess anything about what new tools will find. Take evolution versus Creationism: Biologists can use the theory of evolution to guess where they're likely to find a fossil, both geographically and what layer of rock it will turn up in. Biologists can predict how much genetic similarity two different species will have based on when their ancestors branched off each other. Creationism can't do anything like that. Instead, they can only sit back and attempt to claim evolution's predictions for themselves.

63 comments:

Valhar2000 said...

Interestingly, I gave a similar argument to a family memeber once, to explain why I thought that the scientific endeavour was, at the end of the day, so much more interesting than other things (such as the search for Bible codes).

I told her that scientific explanations have always rpoved to be orders of magnitude more useful in actually getting things done, and she agreed with me, and agreed that I was therefore justified in being intersted in science.

Small comforts!

Gabriel said...

Science is a rigorous process of learning the rules our universe runs on. We need to be able to understand those rules and make predictions from them to find useful ways of doing things. Additionally, a robust science is one that has new, verifiable things to look for, to explain finer details or possible exceptions.

I wish to point out some fallacies here. Yes, The 'Scientific Method' is the only way to go, the problem is that alot of them claiming to 'use it', such as Bronze Dog's, simple do it 'wrong' or simple dont 'get it'.

For example, the most white societies of the world are the most advanced whiles the ones going darker (spics) and negroid are the most inferior.

This can be shown by the Scandinavian nations as well as America where the problems comes from Negroids/Spics, and in Scandinavia the problems arises from Muslims/Spic societies.

We, obviously, ignore small exemptions as few rednecks and the small minority of negriods being educated by white sources (schools) and resources (white) as a society, its Memes, is a Whole, which is something people like Bronze Dog want to ignore, they take one negriod and use it as an excuse that entire Negriod societies are useless and backwards.

So, Bronze, are you going to explain Why Whites are Good and Negriods are not? You claim that You do not need to, BUT YOU DO, as you claimed that Race are NOT relevant, and therefore you are responsible to provide evidence to WHY it is not, and then please, provide evidence to WHAT IS the reason to Whites being superior to Negroids.

Or you going to run, again?

Bronze Dog said...

Correlation equals causation fallacy. When are you going to understand that?

...its Memes, is a Whole, which is something people like Bronze Dog want to ignore, they take one negriod and use it as an excuse that entire Negriod societies are useless and backwards.

What the hell are you talking about?

It's like you're changing your mind to use memes as an explanation and then changing your mind back to saying it's race. Which is it?

So, Bronze, are you going to explain Why Whites are Good and Negriods are not? You claim that You do not need to, BUT YOU DO, as you claimed that Race are NOT relevant, and therefore you are responsible to provide evidence to WHY it is not, and then please, provide evidence to WHAT IS the reason to Whites being superior to Negroids.

Shifting the burden of proof is a logical fallacy. You're the one who's making a claim, so you're the one who has to make a case.

Argument from ignorance is a logical fallacy. Even if I had zero idea how the inequality of those nations started, that still wouldn't prove it's race.

Or you going to run, again?

Because we all know that pointing out logical fallacies that tear down a house of cards is a cowardly act.

You're a master of projection, Gabe.

Anonymous said...

On behalf of the whole of Scandinavia, Gabriel - shut the fuck up! We don't want people like you, who can't even spell correctly in your OWN language, for goodness sake, talking of our countries as some sort of model for your Nazi wet dreams. People like you are a very small, and very ridiculed minority here.

djfav said...

"I wish to point out some fallacies here."

Such as...

Gabe, you're a fucking parrot.

Bronze Dog said...

Gabe's shifting of the burden of proof onto the skeptic shows that he uses the superstitious method, not the scientific method.

Gabe: "I saw a unicorn!"

Us: "There are plenty of alternate explanations for what you think you saw. Dreams, horse with a fake horn, optical illusion that made the horse look like it had a horn..."

Gabe: "You can't think of any explanations, therefore it could only have been a unicorn!"

Us: "How do unicorns live? How do they do all those powers from the D&D Monster Manual? How'd they get to this world? A plausible explanation of all that would help."

Gabe: "You can't explain it, therefore it must have been a unicorn!"

Gabe's turning into more and more of a Graeme Bird.

Bronze Dog said...

Another funny thought: It's starting to sound like Gabe believes copyright is a physical force on par with gravity, electromagnetism, strong, and weak forces.

I say that because when he talks about memes, he seems to think that race just arbitrarily attaches to them for no discernible reason.

Perhaps you should try actually reading the post, Gabe and think about what magical, unseen steps you've been desperately trying not to describe.

Gabriel said...

Once again Bronze, you actively claimed that 'race' or being 'white' has nothing to do with being superior, please provide PROOF for this assertion as I given references and statistics.

Waiting, else you are what you claim I am.

Also, some points for you.

Majority of problems in Scandinavia and America is from Negroids/Muslims/None-White, why? Race has nothing to do with it, remember, yet the majority of crime is (in comparison to population) from None-White sources...

Race has nothing to do with it, I know, its a mere coincidence, so please provide reason Bronze.

Jacqueline said...

Bronze Dog wrote:

"Gabe's turning into more and more of a Graeme Bird."



Or vjazz79!



JS:)

Jacqueline said...

vjazz79/Gerbriel squeeked:

"Or you going to run, again?"

Gerbil, would you mind explaining how you were so wrong about MarkCC's wife? Or are you going to run off again, like the coward that you are?

MarkCC said...
"Hey, Gabe, you got all of your guesses wrong.

I met my wife in the US, but she's not American. She was born in Canada. Her parents got there by getting into graduate school for being so damned smart. Her father was a professor of Chemistry at Concordia when she was born. They moved back to Taiwan as a result of some obnoxious Quebequois laws. (In Quebec at the time, you could only send your children to a french-language school unless *you* attended a non-french school in Quebec. Since they didn't speak French, they didn't want their daughter to go to a French-laguage school. So they moved to Taiwan, where she stayed until she graduated from college.

Then she got into a Canadian university for a PhD program. Her advisor became pregnant, and was planning on taking several years off - so she changed schools, and wound up at the same grad school as me. We met prepping the the PhD preliminary exams.

Have you ever heard of IBM Research? You know, the best corporate research lab in the world today? Yeah, that's where she works, as a professional
researcher.

I've long since lost count of her professional publications. Which are peer reviewed, like any other scientific publication. And most are *blind* reviewed - meaning the reviewers know nothing about the authors. The reviewers don't know the names of the authors; they don't know where they work. Somehow, she's managed to get somewhere around 50 peer reviewed publications on natural language processing.

Have you heard about these projects that they do at IBM, called "deep blue"? Like where they built an IBM computer and software that beat Gary Kasparov at chess? My wife is one of the technical leads in the current deep blue project. IBM isn't passing out jobs on that project; they've got rather a lot staked on it's success. She's one of the people that they chose to work on it.

But you know better, right? Because you know *one* thing about her: that she's chinese. And therefore, you know all that you *need* to know to conclude that she couldn't possibly be smarter than a big white man like you."


Is it the humiliation that you feel that keeps you from replying to this put down, Gerbriel?



JS;)

djfav said...

I've decided Gabe is having a cargo cult argument. He thinks he's provided evidence or pointed out a fallacy when in fact all he's done is squawk a bit and flap his wings about.

MWchase said...

Technically, we don't even have a correlation to argue about unless race is

(all together now)

Rigorously defined.

I mean, you know that, for the US, at least, the reported race is just what people identify as, right? Are you saying that identifying as white is all someone needs to do to become a 'better person'? Or do you have some superior criteria that nobody latched onto when trying to standardize racial classifications?

Bronze Dog said...

Gabe: Once again Bronze, you actively claimed that 'race' or being 'white' has nothing to do with being superior, please provide PROOF for this assertion as I given references and statistics.

Shifting the burden of proof onto the skeptic is a fallacy. Science isn't into proving the nonexistence of things. You should try reading up on the concept of the null hypothesis and falsification.

Of course, all you've got for evidence is a correlation (which does not equal causation) and you compulsively change the subject whenever we bring up controlling for alternatives.

Waiting, else you are what you claim I am.

A logical, rational person who doesn't jump to the conclusion that any unidentified object in the sky is an alien spacecraft because aliens are a popular explanation?

Quit being so chicken shit cowardly and mount a defense against the logical fallacies I've been pointing out. I've been launching that same salvo for a while now, and all you do in response is go off on how wonderful newage (rhymes with sewage) subjectivist hippie shit is. Epistemology isn't decided by American Idol.

Majority of problems in Scandinavia and America is from Negroids/Muslims/None-White, why? Race has nothing to do with it, remember, yet the majority of crime is (in comparison to population) from None-White sources...

1. [Citation needed]

2. Did it never occur to you that if this is true, Muslims might be a problem because of their religion (a collection of memes), and not their DNA? (Of course, you're too scared to explicitly state that race is in DNA.)

Race has nothing to do with it, I know, its a mere coincidence, so please provide reason Bronze.

1. Coincidence is pretty powerful an explanation for a lot of superstitions. In this case, it's a coincidence of resources and climate.

2. You're proving the point behind this doggerel: Skeptics ask "how" and woos like you grow desperate to avoid answering or explaining anything. "A wizard did it" is not an explanation, Gabe. No amount of whining about how unfair logic is is going to save you from the vapidity of your hocus-pocus answer of "My undefined white genes are magic!"

When you were a kid, did you accept "magic" as an explanation for how stuff worked?

Bronze Dog said...

To summarize the problem: We propose a multitude of common sense alternatives and ask Gabe to give his explanation in detail greater than you would expect in a slogan. And Gabe's holding out on us because he wants us to commit what looks to be a much larger, unnecessary amount of research to nail down exactly which common sense alternative it is.

Hence, he is superstitious in the exact same way ufologists are: Instead of explaining how they know a fuzzy dot is an alien spacecraft, the ufologists expects the skeptics to perform all sorts of unnecessary tests so that we can say precisely what caused the fuzzy dot.

Creationists want us to perform absurd amounts of research to find exactly when and where certain key mutations and couplings happened before they buy evolution, one pointless question at a time. And they won't tell us anything about how their magic sky fairy operates.

He wants us to play whack-a-mole with his racial version of the Gish Gallop instead of presenting anything meaningful.

Gabriel said...

Hence, he is superstitious in the exact same way ufologists are: Instead of explaining how they know a fuzzy dot is an alien spacecraft, the ufologists expects the skeptics to perform all sorts of unnecessary tests so that we can say precisely what caused the fuzzy dot.

Seriously Dog, are you that tragic you need to lie and make shit up? Well, you done it in the past.

No Bronze Dog, you REFUSE to accept any facts that does not suit your world view, YOU have actively claimed that race is NOT relevant (without me mentionign race or saying anything about it), YOU have claimed several negatives therefore YOU need to give reasons for this.

I asked you, very nicely, PLEASE PROVIDE THE REASONS FOR THIS after I given you explanation after explanation, YOU have continued to claim 'no, it is wrong because I say so, no evidence needed for my view', This is YOU Bronze.

Cant you see it? Seriously? I just want you to provide evidence for the claims YOU been making, SOMETHING? You claim it is not related at all, PLEASE, PROOVIDE SOME BASIS FOR THIS CLAIM, as I have done over and over again. You are the one without anything here.

Bronze Dog said...

Gabe: Seriously Dog, are you that tragic you need to lie and make shit up? Well, you done it in the past.

So, you're saying your questions aren't an attempt to invoke an argument from ignorance or lack of imagination in the same way that ufologists do?

The please, tell us how race does anything.

No Bronze Dog, you REFUSE to accept any facts that does not suit your world view, YOU have actively claimed that race is NOT relevant (without me mentionign race or saying anything about it), YOU have claimed several negatives therefore YOU need to give reasons for this.

Translation: I need to prove the nonexistence of unicorns before I can say I disbelieve in their existence.

Shifting the burden of proof onto the skeptic is a logical fallacy. You can't goad us into falling for such a cowardly diversion tactic.

I asked you, very nicely, PLEASE PROVIDE THE REASONS FOR THIS after I given you explanation after explanation, YOU have continued to claim 'no, it is wrong because I say so, no evidence needed for my view', This is YOU Bronze.

Riiiiight. Because if I'm going to disbelieve in something, I need magical evidence against it, and you don't need any good evidence whatsoever. You should probably change your pants, now.

Cant you see it? Seriously? I just want you to provide evidence for the claims YOU been making, SOMETHING? You claim it is not related at all, PLEASE, PROOVIDE SOME BASIS FOR THIS CLAIM, as I have done over and over again. You are the one without anything here.

It's called the null hypothesis, Gabe: A scientist's job is to assume the null hypothesis until he has good evidence that can falsify it.

And you're blatantly lying, Gabe: You're the one with a claim, and I'm the one who's been punching holes in it by pointing out your logical fallacies.

And what's funny is that I rarely deny facts because even if they were true, they don't support your theory.

So, either drop all this anti-science cursive-L liberal arts post-modernist hippie shit or man up and tell us how your theory works.

Hell, I'll call your bluff: Let's say I don't know how to explain those inequalities. How does that support your argument one jot?

We all remember you changed the subject last time I tried humoring you in that way.

Bronze Dog said...

I find it funny that Gabe seems to think that the description of a fundamental logical fallacy is an argument from self-authority.

Jacqueline said...

50 million posts in and Gerbriel still can't make his mind up about wether the scientific method is relevant or not.
First he says "My experience trumps the scientific method!" Then he prattles on about "Yes, The 'Scientific Method' is the only way to go...".

Also, he's too scared to actually settle on declaring that genetics makes him an Aryan superbeing, as he knows that Nazi wankfantasies are easily shown to be the feverish delusions of loser worshippers.


JS:)

Bronze Dog said...

He doesn't even know anything about the scientific method. When I asked him to describe the philosophy of science, he tried to rather transparently bluff his way into pretending that I was asking because I didn't know.

His efforts to shift the burden of proof just further demonstrate his lack of this basic knowledge.

I wouldn't be surprised if he thinks the scientific method is all about pouring colored liquids into funny-shaped glasses until something explodes.

Jacqueline said...

From reading the rantings of woo believers on various blogs some of them seem very similar.
They have limited language skills.
They have limited comprehension of basic ideas.
They dance around and change their tune every time skeptics try to pin down their argument.
They don't realise when they're being insulting, and take umbrage when skeptics return the compliment.
As a last resort, to cover the fact that they have nothing to back their woo up, they scream "Show me your evidence!" As if the skeptics were the ones making outlandish claims and not the woo believer.
Lastly, the woo believer always wins the argument, even if he/she got a righteous panning. Their capacity for living in a fantasy world allows them to ignore the fact that they've just had their ass handed to them on a plate.

I predict that our gerbil fascist will squeek off muttering something about how he defeated all the "close minded pseudoskeptics" on this site.



JS:)

Bronze Dog said...

And of course, he'll pretend that we never bothered to point out his logical fallacies over and over and over again, and try to project that list onto us.

And then I imagine in the back of his head, he'll rationalize his logical fallacies by claiming that logic is obviously just a narrative of the man-o-centric maleocracy because most of the best known philosophers and logicians tended to be male, and thus logic is just a meaningless story.

Bronze Dog said...

Another thought: On those counterexamples I gave of intelligent black people, it's funny: Gabe's story allows the wealth of resources civilization provides to explain their prosperity, but, for some bizarre reason, he won't let the explanation work the opposite way: The absence of resources can't explain a lack of people living up to their potential.

At least, that's how it comes across when he characterizes the use of his own story's explanations (and ours) both ways as "making excuses."

Jacqueline said...

Bronze Dog wrote:

"And then I imagine in the back of his head, he'll rationalize his logical fallacies by claiming that logic is obviously just a narrative of the man-o-centric maleocracy because most of the best known philosophers and logicians tended to be male, and thus logic is just a meaningless story."

Gerbriel, being a dyed in the wool Nazi loser worshipper, probably ranks males near the top of his wankfantasy hierarchy. I'll bet that women are only fit for the kitchen, child rearing or the bedroom. Which is why he didn't reply to MarkCC's post about his wife's scientific work.
Logic would only be meaningless to Gerbriel because Hitler once wrote "The masses, being feminine in nature, need appeals to their emotions. They need the attraction of a strong male leader more than they need science, logic and free will."
Or something like that.

JS;)

debra said...

I have hope for some of you, because y'all are always talking about God or looking for him.

The Ukraine... the deaths since last friday... blood filled lungs with a temperatures above 140 degrees... spreading...

Will any of you at the very very least buy food and water now, or will you take the chance of shopping with the violent?

YouTube-
Bill Weise 23 Minutes in Hell Parts 1-6
on Enntimes777 channel

The world is in a transition that humankind has never experienced.

MWchase said...

Debra? It's something to see you back. I haven't watched those videos, though. I'm a bit swamped by classes, and everyone in this neck of the woods is a bit apocalypsed out at the moment.

Anyways, we were talking about God? I thought we were talking about black people.

Jacqueline said...

debra said...
"I have hope for some of you, because y'all are always talking about God or looking for him."


Creepy.

"The Ukraine... the deaths since last friday... blood filled lungs with a temperatures above 140 degrees... spreading..."


"The horror...the horror!" Oh sorry, debra's quote appears to be about swine flu.

"Will any of you at the very very least buy food and water now, or will you take the chance of shopping with the violent?"

So long as it involves shoes I'll be shopping with the violent.

"The world is in a transition that humankind has never experienced."

It always is. I still haven't seen the Watchmen movie yet.


JS:)

debra said...

For information
You Tube- seattle4truth channel
SACRAMAINIACSmc channel
TrutherGirls channel

Jacqueline said...

debra said...
"For information
You Tube- seattle4truth channel
SACRAMAINIACSmc channel
TrutherGirls channel"



Sorry debra,I prefer this to Illuminati conspiracies.

http://www.youtube.com
/watch?v=E4blSrZvPhU



JS;)

Dark Jaguar said...

Wait what? Is the end of the world happening and we're somehow unaware? I haven't heard anything in the news about it anyway.

Bronze Dog said...

Just a note, Jacquiline: The "man-o-centric maleocracy" jab was about Gabe's rejection of logic. I've seen a few people who live up to the straw feminist stereotype and used Post Modernism in that way to justify their ignorance on math and science.

The joke is in exaggerating Gabe's PoMo response to pointing out his logical fallacies.

---

@Debra:

The reason atheists like me talk about gods so much isn't because of any sort of yearning: It's because there are people out there trying to shove their superstitions down our throat, often trying to use the government to do so.

They also attack our character, apparently because they don't believe it's possible to just be a good person without a system of bribery and threats.

Supernatural beliefs are also anathema to scientific thought: Saying something works by magic, with no explanation whatsoever, is a "brick wall answer": It resists inquiry and examination. Someone who readily believes such explanations is closed-minded and incurious.

MWchase said...

The Ray Comfort joke well on this topic has technically run dry, but I just wanted to point out that I managed to read "anathema" as "bananathema".

Anyway... mayhap Gabe subscribes to the Andy Schlafly methodology of science and research?

(In condensed form: "We want to find this trendline. Everybody! Help us find data that lies on this line!")

Gabriel said...

Once Again Bronze....

You claimed that RACE has nothing to do with anything, you repeated it OVER and OVER and OVER again, you provided NO basis for this claim and ignore ALL Evidence given to you based on that claim.

Please, PROVIDE THE EVIDENCE/AND/OR basis for your claim, so far you give nnothing, No, I DO NOT need to give anything I ALREADY HAVE, this is about you IGNORING evidence based on that 'you do not want it to be true'.

Provide a basic reason to not accept any race is relevant. I also want to (not that this is an excuse not to respond) have not claimed Race, I simple pointed out, OVER and OVER again that WHITES are superior, NOTHING ELSE, you project your own racial point to it, NOT ME, I simple asked WHY, no response.

djfav said...

"...this is about you IGNORING evidence..."

I repeat, this time without any typos: You wouldn't know evidence if it crawled up your ass and massaged your prostate.

You have not provided evidence.

You do not know what evidence is.

"Provide a basic reason..."

This has been done, repeatedly.

Bronze Dog said...

LOGICAL FALLACIES ARE NOT EVIDENCE!

POST MODERNISM IS A LITERARY CRITICISM TECHNIQUE, NOT A WAY OF LIFE!

Twisted little PoMos like you would have us reverse the whole of logic and science because it's inconvenient for you.

The reason I repeatedly point out the same logical fallacies is because you keep performing them and defend your point of view with post-modernist psychobabble.

I also noticed you've avoided my point on saying "I don't know" for the sake of argument.

Oh, yeah, you perform the same fallacies that psychics do. I don't let them get away with that shit, and I want psychic powers to exist. Unfortunately, they don't have good evidence, just the crappy kind that relies on confounding noise like yours.

Of course, you're not going to read any of that, probably because you ask Storm Front for what I said instead of bothering to read my most basic points. That's why you habitually lie about my position.

I think I can now safely say that you're the stupidest troll I've ever had to deal with.

Bronze Dog said...

Here's a very simple question you should try answering, Gabe, since you obviously don't know anything about how I think. If you parrot some PoMo, we'll know for certain you're ignoring everything I say:

Why do I not believe in unicorns?

Dark Jaguar said...

Once again you have totally ignored everything I've said.

At this point, you seem to have one last arguing tactic. If I am right on this, you are asking us why we think race has no significant effect on human thought or on a society's development.

Simply put, we don't think it has any basis because there has been no evidence for it. However, there is plentiful evidence demonstrating that intelligence is equivilent across "races" and further that "racial boundries" are arbitrarily defined and thus meaningless on a genetic level. Further there is plenty of evidence for the notion that one's available resources and history have a strong effect on what they are able to do with their lives.

The notion of race having an effect is both unproven and unsupported by any evidence.

Is that sufficient?

Bronze Dog said...

To add to DJ, there's also the fact that Gabe is making a statistical claim about certain populations. In statistics, one of the first things you do is prove that two groups are NOT equal. To do this, you perform tests designed to falsify the null hypothesis that there is no difference.

Gabe would have us reject all of the principles of statistical mathematics, one of the most directly useful branches of math for scientific discovery and analysis. On top of that, he can only make his point by increasing the "noise" by retreating to impoverished nations. Poverty and stagnation can be caused by more than one thing, Gabe.

I will not be surprised if our little PoMo starts arguing that statistical mathematics were made up as part of a mass academic conspiracy, and only work in non-race related pursuits by dumb luck.

Dark Jaguar said...

I thought I'd add something. I've seen repeated accusations from Gabe about HIV being a "black disease". Well, firstly, there's the fact that it can infect pretty much everyone, so it's not exclusive to Africa in any way. Secondly, there is absolutely no reason to think any population would actually "evolve" their own diseases. Such a virus would evolve for it's own purposes, simply using us as a host. Thirdly, just because it ORIGINATED in a specific place does not mean that the population it infected first is somehow responsible (this relates to my second point, it didn't evolve "for" the sake of people in Africa, or due to their actions).

Here's the thing, all species originate in one specific place. Do you think the same species repeatedly emerges worldwide? No, it's specific to a certain population, and then has the potential to spread from there. Two otherwise identical populations spread in two parts of the world will not necessarily go along the exact same evolutionary lines. Evolution, that is natural selection, is not a random process, BUT it DOES use a random seed, mutations. Without the right mutations, evolution has nothing to work with. In other words, there is nothing particularly special about people living in Africa that made them "more" vulnerable to HIV, it just showed up there. It could have showed up potentially anywhere, or not at all. Most importantly, as it DOES infect everyone, we know beyond reasonable doubt that there is NO weakness of Africans that was exploited. I will note that there is always the possibility that only Africa itself could have originated it, but not due to the hosts, but rather the original strain of the virus simply being native to Africa. Again, since the virus infects ALL humans, this is the claim that actually stands the test of reality.

As to the notion that black people would actually WANT to use it as a weapon to infect everyone else, that's about as baseless as anything else here. I mean honestly, what possible evidence could you have that black people met up in some secret meeting somewhere and decided to infect the rest of the world with a secret virus? I mean, seriously? That's their plan? They create a new strain using genetic engineering no one else has come up with (which would alone shoot a big hole in your idea of racial superiority), keep the entire plan a perfect secret, it's ALL of them, and whoops, accidently kill off themselves by a vast majority. Talk about a pyric victory... It's about the stupidest kind of conspiracy there is, and is far more simply explained as just an emergent virus occuring and spreading naturally. If you just think they all "hate" everyone else and just want to hurt them, what would be the point? Just pure hatred on race lines? That's really more your bag.

Oh, here's a secret. No, we DON'T secretly share your hatred and your "affiliation" and siding with "race", it really IS just you and the limited few racists still around. The rest of us get on with our lives, and by "us" I mean black, white, asian, whatever else you may designate people by.

Jacqueline said...

Since our resident gerbil troll is too scared to commit himself to wether his Nazi wankfantasy of racial superiority is genetic or not, here is a quote from his beloved fuhrer:

“We use the term Jewish race merely for reasons of linguistic convenience, for in the real sense of the word, and from a genetic point of view, there is no Jewish race. [...] The Jewish race is above all a community of the spirit. Spiritual race is of a more solid and more durable kind than natural race.”


So even Hitler didn't believe in racial genetic superiority. He merely lead the believers in genetic racial superiority on, by publically agreeing with them, while privately he believed no such thing.
Since Gerbriel worships Hitler ( he even wants us to read Mein Kampf in the original sacred language, like the Koran)its a safe bet that he will unthinkingly go along with his idol's idea on race being a "spiritual" thing.

Bronze Dog said...

Something quite relevant for Gabe to watch.

Rick said...

Since Gabe has seen fit to jump thread again, I'll ask again:

Gabe, just who do you mean when you say white?

Any bets on whether he will respond but avoid, or simply ignore the question this time? Perhaps someone wants to bet on the long shot that he actually has an answer this time.

Bronze Dog said...

He's probably back to traveling.

I like the pacing of this extended troll roast: Periods of fun dismantling, and when the frustrating side gets high, we tend to get a period of quiet.

Dark Jaguar said...

I like the imagery of the expression "troll roast", because isn't fire supposed to prevent them from regenerating?

At any rate, we've all basically got our own specific questions for him at this point that he's refusing to answer. I'll say it again should he show up: Why can't you tell who here is what race?

Gabriel said...

Sorry, im on travelling foot here just been sneaking a peek once and awhile but not (really wanted) wanted to respond because of lack of time and suitability, sorry about that.

Bronze, you still piss me off, you do what you accuse me of doing, its fucking annoying, pardon mon français.

I do not get it, I supply you with information, I gave you a good story which I truly assumed would help you understand (I did not notice any errors or wrongdoings in it), and yet you 'get nothing' and I 'ignore your demand', I just dont get it.

Not only that, several members continue to lie and claim things that I never said and general speweing bullshit, is that the normal way of 'skeptics'?

Yes, you should Read Adolf Hitlers book in its original language, just as you should read the Holy Bible in its original languages, as it is very different if you do. It is interesting historically and in many other ways, you clearly Hate Adolf Hitler, a man you never met and whom you know very little about and you call this man an idiot and buffoon showing how little you know about him, why? Because he was 'bad', he started a war, he did X things, I really suggest you should learn some OBJECTIVE viewing and stop hating.

Also, why do you not hate George W Bush? Why do you not proclaim your hatred for him? He attacked an innocent nation directly responsible for killing innocent men woman and children in the middle east, AND HE LIVES NOW!!! Yet you say nothing about that, but the evil GERMAN guy living 60 years ago, Bad Bad Bad... Maybe you are blinded by faith, who knows.

Gabriel said...

I claim xenophobia, straight out, the guys here are just afraid of the world and everything foreign, maybe thats because you never travel.

I am ashamed of your ignorant behaviour, no one, and I mean no one can possible be more patriotic and loving of our Nation then me, But I love it BECAUSE I KNOW HOW GOOD IT IS, you do not, you never been anywhere, you never seen anything else, and yet you spew xenophobia like its something good.

Cheezes Christ.

MWchase said...

For a narrower question, is this man white?

Nothing about ancestry in there. Just an (admittedly small) image from ScienceBlogs. (SB allows hotlinking, right? I messed around a bit, and it didn't seem to complain.)

Here's a thought... "What is the cause of the obesity epidemic?" Answers to that question have run the gamut from different metabolisms; human evolution; viruses that alter metabolism; epigenetic responses to famine (note that the response was not to get skinnier, Lamarck-style); a shift in eating habits due to a variety of factors (I favor this one, as I managed to lose 30 pounds over the summer by controlling my intake), including a gradual increase in plate size; to... I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody thinks it's a punishment from bees that have abandoned their mortal shells. Point is, the question presupposes that there's exactly one answer, and once we have that answer, we just need to focus everything on it, and then suddenly the nation will be overrun with supermodels.

Now, Mindless Eating, the book that put forward, for me, the idea that weight gain is simply a product of eating too much (though this may not cover the extreme cases. On the other hand, the models of metabolism that calculate a discrepancy between intake and weight gain could simply fail above some threshold.), also puts forth at least a dozen forces that act to increase consumption. The author figures that one person focusing on any three can slowly but steadily lose weight, without bouncing back.

Again, the point is... Obesity and general being-a-terrible-place-to-live are both complex issues that have multiple causes. From that perspective, there is nothing wrong with drawing a correlation and suggesting possible causation. However, the null hypothesis is that there's no definite causal link between correlated things. Maybe A causes B, or B causes A, or perhaps C causes both of them. Reality is rarely so clean-cut, and there's likely a complex network of intermediate phenomena between A and B. If you want us to believe in causation, you need to lay out a mechanism. And no, 'deluded [sic] blood' is not sufficient as a mechanism, not unless you can prove that the "dilution" is real, and that it actually does the things you say it does.

MWchase said...

We don't denounce George Bush because A) you haven't praised him, B) the whole treason thing is old news by now, and C) we're worn out from when he was actually in office.

MWchase said...

Dammit. I managed leave some stuff out from that long-ass post.

Gabe. The evidence that we have suggests that your arguments are ad hoc rationalizations of prejudices. If you wish to prove me wrong, characterize post-Industrialization Germany's citizens' technical understanding of industrial technology. There are, hypothetically, two answers you could give to that: one answer consistent with what you've said, and one answer consistent with how you've acted. If you've a shred of integrity, it'll be the first, but I'm not holding my breath.

Dark Jaguar said...

You once again fail to address anything or point out any evidence. You once again claim that just travelling around means we should trust your limited observations.

Also, I actually couldn't stand George W Bush, and did think he did some pretty evil things. Your point?

Just answer my question. Can you tell who here is what race, and if not, why not?

(Oh, strictly speaking, proof is what math does, not science. You can't even really "prove" a positive in science. Seeing a reigndeer fly could just be an illusion.) I'd say all sorts of negatives can be established to the same level as positives. We can rule out creationism to exactly the same degree we can rule in evolution, and in fact I'm of the opinion we have, using the exact same evidence.

djfav said...

"I do not get it..."

Agreed.

"...I supply you with information..."

Oh, so now you're calling it "information". We want evidence. But you don't know what that is, do you?

"...I gave you a good story..."

Yes, a work of fiction. Thanks for nothing.

"Not only that, several members continue to lie and claim things that I never said..."

Care to back that accusation up with some textual evidence?

Oh, right. You don't know what evidence is. I almost forgot.

Run along now, Gabe.

Jacqueline said...

Gerbil squeeked:

"I claim xenophobia, straight out, the guys here are just afraid of the world and everything foreign, maybe thats because you never travel."

You should know about being afraid of foreigners, as you think that Africans are trying to give you AIDS. you also shit your pants when I ask you questions. Is it xenophobia?



"I am ashamed of your ignorant behaviour..."

My superstrong irony meter maxed out and went thermonuke on me!

"... no one, and I mean no one can possible be more patriotic and loving of our Nation then me..."

Which is why our racist Captain America gerbil has apparently spent so much time AWAY from his beloved fatherland.



"But I love it BECAUSE I KNOW HOW GOOD IT IS, you do not, you never been anywhere, you never seen anything else, and yet you spew xenophobia like its something good."


Gerbil, you're the one calling Egyptians and other assorted Africans all kind of insulting names.
By the way gerbil boy, I HAVE been to various places around the globe, so you can't accuse me of xenophobia. But you can do what you're good at. Which is run away from me.

JS:)

Jacqueline said...

Gerbriel squeeked:
"Yes, you should Read Adolf Hitlers book in its original language, just as you should read the Holy Bible in its original languages, as it is very different if you do."


So you are finally admitting that "Mein Dummheit" is your religion. That explains why you hold such baseless prejudices without critically examining them.

"... you clearly Hate Adolf Hitler, a man you never met and whom you know very little about"

That loser is dead. Hating that loser would be a waste of energy. I never met John Wayne Gacy or Pol Pot, but I know that they probably weren't the nicest people I'd ever encounter. As for knowing little about Hitler, you didn't know that he knowingly misled the "genetically superior race" proponents in Germany, because you swallowed Mein Dummheit hook line and sinker.


"..and you call this man an idiot and buffoon showing how little you know about him, why? Because he was 'bad', he started a war, he did X things.."


How clever is it being the tactically incompetant warmongering loser that Hitler was?

"I really suggest you should learn some OBJECTIVE viewing and stop hating."


Like you're saying you're totally objective now? So no Nazi tinted SS special issue spectacles colouring your estimation of Der Fuhrer then?
As for hating, you've been doing more of that than anyone else posting on this site, including me. Or are you blind to your own words?

JS:)

Rick said...

"...I gave you a good story..."

Yes, a work of fiction. Thanks for nothing.


A work of fiction that, even ignoring the white supremacist fantasy it was based on, would have been laughed right off of soc.history.what-if faster than landing on Baffin Island and striking south was[1]. The bit about removing the inventor meaning the invention never comes about is iffy when talking about a few decades, killing the infant Marcellus Gilmore Edson[2] would not mean that you couldn't have peanut butter on your toast, (although it might mean that someone in 1885 couldn't).

Personally, I think Gabe needs to spend some time playing a few 4X games. Maybe then he would grok the idea of being in the lead being one of the best ways to advance faster than everyone else.


[1] Part of an actual WWII what if that was posted.

[2] No, not George Washington Carver, by the time he started working with peanuts, peanut butter had been on the market for over a decade.

MWchase said...

If we keep him around long enough, maybe we can convince him to use the Civilization app on Facebook.

...

I'm guessing my friends will know when I've started using it by the fact that I'll stop leaving my dorm.

Dark Jaguar said...

It would also show that a good method of success, if you can manage it, is simply to merge all nations into a world wide nation. Game over, everyone wins.

Jacqueline said...

Gerbil squeeked:

"So, Bronze, are you going to explain Why Whites are Good and Negriods are not? You claim that You do not need to, BUT YOU DO, as you claimed that Race are NOT relevant, and therefore you are responsible to provide evidence to WHY it is not, and then please, provide evidence to WHAT IS the reason to Whites being superior to Negroids?"

And then he squeeked some more:

"Bronze, seriously. You seem to excuse everything EXCEPT race.

Or rather, to formulate it better, anything except Race is accepted. You do not find that strange? That you seem to IGNORE the fact that entire nations are almost 100% one race and wonderful, whiles another is 100% negro is horrible... YOU seem to have decided thats its everything EXCEPT
the race."

So BY YOUR OWN WORDS, Gerbil, you admit that Bronze has explained why race is irrelevant.
Seeing as your dead alpha male, Adolf Hitler, didn't actually believe in genetic races anyway are you now going to admit that it is memes, and environment that makes differences in American and certain African cultures?

Or are you going to prevaricate, whine about how your dead loser idol is being defamed, or just parrot things back like a three year old?
Or are you going to tell us why your idol was wrong about his ideas of race being purely "spiritual"?

Bronze Dog said...

Welcome, class to Woo-ology 101. Today's subject is the PoMo variety of woo. They come in many shapes and forms, such as the aging hippie douche, the cursive-L liberal arts professor, and the stuck-up fine arts hack. They can, however, be identified with several common reactions to empirical, logical, and scientific inquiries. For example...

Yes, you should Read Adolf Hitlers book in its original language

When faced with a request for greater detail, a PoMo will often demand that his opponent read a certain book in its original language. This is also especially common when many questions require simple answers. This is, of course, a stalling tactic designed to cover up their inability to answer a simple question in simple language.

It is interesting historically and in many other ways, you clearly Hate Adolf Hitler, a man you never met and whom you know very little about and you call this man an idiot and buffoon showing how little you know about him, why? Because he was 'bad', he started a war, he did X things, I really suggest you should learn some OBJECTIVE viewing and stop hating.

PoMos are quite fond of concepts such as cultural relativism and nihilism to excuse immoral acts. This is also commonly seen among fundamentalists of any religion to excuse crimes committed by manipulative leaders.

Also, why do you not hate George W Bush? Why do you not proclaim your hatred for him? He attacked an innocent nation directly responsible for killing innocent men woman and children in the middle east, AND HE LIVES NOW!!! Yet you say nothing about that, but the evil GERMAN guy living 60 years ago, Bad Bad Bad... Maybe you are blinded by faith, who knows.

PoMos, when they realize cultural relativism will not suffice as a defense, will try to claim that their opponents do not care about similar crimes being committed now. In this case, our example is accusing a blogger who supported impeachment of Bush for war crimes of not caring.

I claim xenophobia, straight out, the guys here are just afraid of the world and everything foreign, maybe thats because you never travel.

PoMos such as the stuck-up fine arts hack commonly claim that their travels have endowed them with nigh-supernatural perception. While such experiences can be useful for artistic pursuits, it does not change the nature of empirical data nor does it dispel logical fallacies committed.

I am ashamed of your ignorant behaviour, no one, and I mean no one can possible be more patriotic and loving of our Nation then me, But I love it BECAUSE I KNOW HOW GOOD IT IS, you do not, you never been anywhere, you never seen anything else, and yet you spew xenophobia like its something good.

PoMos, having no experience or knowledge of scientific thought, insulated from the high standards of the scientific community and constant self-criticism necessary to make discoveries, praise the outcomes of science. When faced with the most basic forms of scientific inquiry, however, they reject the scientific method for being too harsh.

In addition, nearly all of these PoMo defense mechanisms involve changing the subject, rather than dealing with the core issue or defending their claims. The ad hominem fallacy is, of course, the favorite.

Bronze Dog said...

So, Gabe, any responses over here after changing subjects in another thread?

Gabriel said...

On foot again sorry for that but I am doing my best responding.

I did want to go back to the subject of knowledge. You claimed earlier that Travelling and experiencing the world does not evolve youas a human being, that you do not learn, apparently you only 'learn' if you go to school, do you still hold that or want to explain?

For example, if someone travells the world, visits hundreds of countries and lives in various cultures, is he not superior in knowledge then you about does societies? Does this experience not mean something?

You can read the history of a society, you can learn the current cultural phenomenon and what is going on in the education, medical and technological areas, but this is not the same as actually lived there, as the same as visited it, been around its citizens and spoken to them. The information you can gain from school (as example mentioned) is good, a positive, but you can not seriously claim it is superior to actual (real) experience of the people and its culture?

Please explain.


Would you think that None Americans know how it is to live in America by watching our movies? Do you even understand how skewed view most people have about our Nation? What you previously stated, this seems to be your view, I watch TV and I *know* how India is, I do not have to go there like Ga briel, what a waste of time.....

Seriously?

Bronze Dog said...

Gabe:

I did want to go back to the subject of knowledge. You claimed earlier that Travelling and experiencing the world does not evolve youas a human being, that you do not learn, apparently you only 'learn' if you go to school, do you still hold that or want to explain?

I never held that opinion.

For example, if someone travells the world, visits hundreds of countries and lives in various cultures, is he not superior in knowledge then you about does societies? Does this experience not mean something?

Not if he allows his biases to color his experiences. Science is all about methods to remove biases to come to empirical knowledge.

You can read the history of a society, you can learn the current cultural phenomenon and what is going on in the education, medical and technological areas, but this is not the same as actually lived there, as the same as visited it, been around its citizens and spoken to them. The information you can gain from school (as example mentioned) is good, a positive, but you can not seriously claim it is superior to actual (real) experience of the people and its culture?

That's entirely dependent on which group did what to remove personal biases. Whenever we ask you what you did to remove your biases, you change the subject from the data to ad hominem, straw men, or otherwise avoid answering simple questions.

Please explain.

I have been. You just manufacture straw men that sound exactly like those used by hippie douches who don't like science's ability to cut through the crap.

Would you think that None Americans know how it is to live in America by watching our movies? Do you even understand how skewed view most people have about our Nation? What you previously stated, this seems to be your view, I watch TV and I *know* how India is, I do not have to go there like Ga briel, what a waste of time.....

What does television have to do with anything? I smell more compulsive subject changing.

Seriously?

You're really intellectually bankrupt, aren't you? You've done nothing but repeat a bunch of canards that have nothing to do with anything I've said on the matter.

Bronze Dog said...

To get Gabe back on topic: Did you take DNA samples?

Rick said...

Gabe, since you still seem to be unable to get it: Your conclusions are _NOT_ being attacked because people are taking issue with your observations[1], but because they are taking issue with your _ANALYSIS_.

While it is true that if you analyze garbage data, you get garbage conclusions, it is also true that if you take good data and preform a garbage analysis you will get garbage conclusions.

Now: Just who do you mean when you say white?


[1] Although I will admit to some level of mistrust. I've heard too many stories from anthropologists about missionaries showing up, seeing exactly what they expected to see, and getting just about everything wrong.

Jacqueline said...

Racially pure ubermensch whined:

"Also, why do you not hate George W Bush? Why do you not proclaim your hatred for him? He attacked an innocent nation directly responsible for killing innocent men woman and children in the middle east, AND HE LIVES NOW!!! Yet you say nothing about that.."

I have a hypothesis that Gabe is George Bush's bastard son. The "mangularisation" of his english, his disdain for black folks, and the fact that he is as dense as uranium. Plus the posssibility that he has been paid to stay away from the US to avoid a scandal.
Gabe, is that why you write such hateful things about your daddy?