Chuck Dixon and Paul Rivoche call out an industry filled with moral relativists like Dan Slott 249

Chuck Dixon and Paul Rivoche took to the The Wall Street Journal this past weekend to address an issue that guys like myself, Hube at Collossus of Rhodey, and Avi Green over at The Four Color Media Monitor have been spotlighting for ages: moral relativism in the comics industry.

Over the years, fewer and fewer superheroes had a functioning moral compass, and the result is that these days its often difficult for to distinguish between the hero and the villain. As the industry lurched to the left, conservative voices were elbowed out. The result: A politically correct schizophrenic comic book market, where creators see themselves as “social justice warriors,” one day, and writers with no social responsibility the next — usually when a cultural event turns the nation’s attention towards moral relativism practiced in much of the entertainment community.

Dixon and Rivoche wrote for WSJ on Sunday:

In the 1950s, the great publishers, including DC and what later become Marvel, created the Comics Code Authority, a guild regulator that issued rules such as: “Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal.” The idea behind the CCA, which had a stamp of approval on the cover of all comics, was to protect the industry’s main audience—kids—from story lines that might glorify violent crime, drug use or other illicit behavior.

In the 1970s, our first years in the trade, nobody really altered the superhero formula. The CCA did change its code to allow for “sympathetic depiction of criminal behavior . . . [and] corruption among public officials” but only “as long as it is portrayed as exceptional and the culprit is punished.” In other words, there were still good guys and bad guys. Nobody cared what an artist’s politics were if you could draw or write and hand work in on schedule. Comics were a brotherhood beyond politics.

The 1990s brought a change. The industry weakened and eventually threw out the CCA, and editors began to resist hiring conservative artists. One of us, Chuck, expressed the opinion that a frank story line about AIDS was not right for comics marketed to children. His editors rejected the idea and asked him to apologize to colleagues for even expressing it. Soon enough, Chuck got less work.

The superheroes also changed. Batman became dark and ambiguous, a kind of brooding monster. Superman became less patriotic, culminating in his decision to renounce his citizenship so he wouldn’t be seen as an extension of U.S. foreign policy. A new code, less explicit but far stronger, replaced the old: a code of political correctness and moral ambiguity. If you disagreed with mostly left-leaning editors, you stayed silent.

Messrs. Dixon and Rivoche note that there have been bright spots over the years (e.g., “Maus,” Pixar’s “The Incredibles,”) but that a.) those creative endeavors are generally apolitical, and b.) they are now the exception rather than the rule. They conclude that most modern comics send the message: “in a morally ambiguous world largely created by American empire—head left.”

Perhaps the most recent glaring example of the industry’s moral relativism came from Marvel’s Spider-Man scribe, Dan Slott.

Here’s what moral relativist Mr. Slott said during the start of his run on Superior Spider-Man in an interview with Newsarama:

Nrama: With Superior Spider-Man, you’re writing Doc Ock as a lead character for really the first time, and a more long-term Doc Ock story than has really been seen before. We’re seeing the character put in very different situations, interacting with totally different characters. What kind of task has that been — approaching his mindset and his attitude in the position of a lead character?

Slott: He’s trying his best to be a hero, but he’s doing it in a very Doc Ock way. And Doc Ock’s an egotistical, annoying sh*t. It makes him an interesting character. At his core, he’s someone we don’t really think of heroic. But is he any more annoying than [former villain] Hawkeye used to be?

Yes, that’s right. Dan Slott actually asked if a man who tried to incinerate 6 billion people was any more annoying than Hawkeye in his very early days as a villain.

Slott continued:

Slott: Also, when you look at Doc Ock, he was so much like Peter Parker. Peter Parker, if he didn’t know the lessons of power and responsibility, that teenage nerd would have grown up to be an Otto Octavius nerd, with the same kind of, “I’m going to make them pay.” This is the flip of that. This is Doc Ock getting to go back in time and be as young as Peter Parker, and have force-fed into him this sense of power and responsibility. He has that lesson from Uncle Ben in his core. That was Peter Parker’s parting gift to the world — I’m not going to leave the world a villain, I’m going to leave them a hero.

So either Dan Slott was lying in his interview, or he forced Peter Parker to make one of the dumbest superhero decisions of all time. If Dan Slott’s “hero” had Uncle Ben’s lesson embedded in his core, Inception-style, why did he blow a guy’s face off at point blank range or engage in Nazi-like torture practices? Great “gift to the world,” Mr. Slott.

The funny thing about moral relativists is that when the culture spins out of control they refuse to take any responsibility for the disgusting cultural mosaic they’ve helped to create. It’s always the fault of someone else.

Dan Slott guns

In the mind of a moral relativist like Dan Slott, the creative work he puts out into the world has zero effect on his reading audience aside from being innocuous “entertainment.” In the mind of a moral relativist like Dan Slott, he can make an American cultural icon into a genocidal maniac “Spider-Man” for over a year, have that character blow a guy’s face off and engage in Nazi-like torture, and then say with a straight face that what he does for a living has no effect on our cultural consciousness. It’s a great defense mechanism: “Hey, I ‘just’ write comics. Don’t look at me.”

Superior Spider Man Gun

Dixon and Rivoche end their piece by saying that they “hope conservatives, free-marketeers and, yes, free-speech liberals” will join them in entering the field with a renewed sense of purpose. Conservatives may have an uphill battle when it comes to getting their work seen through traditional outlets, but modern technology has helped level the playing field. If you’re a conservative or libertarian writer with a story that’s been sitting in your head for years, get it out of there. Crack open your laptop or go old school with a typewriter. Do whatever it takes to get your story one step closer to reality. Start that snowball rolling downhill and see where it takes you. The same thing goes for artists and musicians.

There’s an old saying that the greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he didn’t exist. In a similar vein, the greatest trick moral relativists play is convincing people that what they read and listen to on a daily basis is incapable of warping their minds in dangerous ways.

If you see yourself as a creative conservative or libertarian individual, you owe it to yourself and your community to share that gift with the world. The ideological battle may be a long tough slog, but it’s one that is worth fighting.

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249 comments

  1. Scariest part of the article for me: Dixon being made to apologize (and then subsequently getting less work) for offering his opinion that a story about AIDS might not be suitable for children.

    • I remember that. It is pretty scary. Not to mention that DC also made sure to kill off and/or completely obscure his characters once he left the company. His character Stephanie Brown/Spoiler was brought back during Dixon’s brief return to DC in late 2008, but after he left again, she had her own short-lived series and faded back into obscurity as a result of the New 52. He also battled his editors over whether or not they should kill off Tim Drake’s dad. As soon as he left, they did. Dixon also created the female superhero team Birds of Prey, but DC has obscured that, too, and most people think it was Gail Simone who did that.

      They’re spot on about how moral relativism has destroyed the industry. Clowns like Slott, who kill off iconic characters and replace them with genocidal maniacs, sadly dominate the industry today. They fail to acknowledge there are bad people out there who do emulate violent media. But it’s never their fault, in their minds. They’d rather blame the NRA, or conservatives, or something.

      A big reason why I started writing a superhero book was partially to push back against the rampant liberalism and moral relativism that was plaguing the industry.

      • A big reason why I started writing a superhero book was partially to push back against the rampant liberalism and moral relativism that was plaguing the industry.

        I’m looking forward to one day reading the finished product, Carl. I’m sure it will be great.

      • It isn’t just Slott either. Geoff Johns had supervillains Lex Luthor and Captain Cold join the Justice League recently, for Christ’s sake and has gone on record as saying that he thinks “villains are more interesting than heroes.”

      • Aside from Spoiler, the only character of his that wasn’t killed off and/or obscured was Bane, I think. And Tim Drake. Seems to me that once he was gone, they did this to get even with him.

    • So the writers acknowledge that they can influence the direction of the culture — except when bad things happen they’re not to blame. Got it! ;)

      As I’ve said before, liberals in the entertainment industry get to be outspoken activists. Conservatives (to the extend they exist) are essentially told to they can be conservative…as long as they shut up and sit quietly in the corner.

  2. I just checked his latest post of stupidity:
    Dan Slott “If we’re going to teach Creationism in science classes, we should give equal weight to the theory that Earth’s on the back of a giant turtle”

    Keep at it you are shedding more readers each day Dan.

    • The guy is hilarious. He goes out of his way to alienate readers with snide comments and political pot shots, and then wonders why he isn’t treated with more respect.

    • In fairness, Creationism is the complete opposite of science. It’s faith. Faith and science aren’t incompatible, but you probably wouldn’t teach evolution in a Bible study class, and Creationism has absolutely no place in a science class.

      • I disagree, creationism is one theory of how we are here today just as the scientific method. Science based on creationism has also been a big part of science and are scientific study.

      • Uh, no. No, Creationism is not a “theory.” Theories can be tested. Through that testing, they can potentially be disproven. Creationism cannot be disproven.

  3. I guess what I find odd is the hypocrisy of the far left (and sometimes far right). How is science which is theory (it is not proven fact) and has been found to be inaccurate on many occasions given more weight than another belief that has not been proven wrong?

    • I’m willing to cut Slott slack on that tweet; of course, don’t dare tell him what a college physics professor of mine (held in high regard, nationally) told us when someone asked him “what lies beyond our known universe,” and “who put the primordial monobloc there which exploded in the Big Bang?”

      Response: “A belief in a higher power might be in order here.”

      Also, don’t dare ask Slott why we all should fundamentally alter our lifestyles to help prevent “global warming”/”climate change”/”climate disruptions” based on science some 20+ years old. How did we suddenly become uber-experts in a realm that features such vast ups and downs over billions of years … especially when a bit over 30 years ago these same scientists were warning about the next freakin’ Ice Age?? THAT is people like Slott’s religion.

      • How did we suddenly become uber-experts in a realm that features such vast ups and downs over billions of years … especially when a bit over 30 years ago these same scientists were warning about the next freakin’ Ice Age?? THAT is people like Slott’s religion.

        Bingo. The same people who are now clamoring about Global Warming (urrrm, Climate Change) were doing the same thing about another Ice Age. I’m supposed to abdicate freedom and individual liberty because a bunch of computer programs say that the world will end unless I do so? No thanks.

      • Actually, very few scientists were predicting an Ice Age. There were a small number, but most actually predicted warming: http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

        In terms of how we suddenly became experts, well, much the same way we became experts at computers, astronomy and a lot of other scientific fields. Progress begets progress, and we reached a point where we pretty much couldn’t help but make one development after another.

      • As your link says, the cooling voices were getting all the ink, though.

        Oh, and I have some interesting facts on that oft-cited “97%” figure. They’re bookmarked at home.

        I stand by my statement about “expertise.” I refuse to fundamentally alter my lifestyle because an artificially derived-at “consensus” figure tells me that if I don’t, we’ll all perish. Especially since these scientists also state that there’s nothing we can do to alter the amount of CO2 currently in the atmosphere for 1,000 years.

    • That’s the thing: in many ways science has become its own religion. There are plenty of zealots who believe that anything that is said in the name of science can not be wrong. They talk about the “settled science” (How much more anti-science can you get?) of climate change, etc.

      I personally think science and Christianity work hand in hand…but I’m not going to demonize Creationists. The funny thing is, why do guys like Dan Slott spend so much time ridiculing people who they say are fringe kooks? When I think someone is inconsequential, I ignore them.

    • You misunderstand what “theory” means. You’re using the vulgar definition of theory as “a guess,” but in scientific terms, a theory goes far beyond that, and actually isn’t that much different from a fact.

      Beyond that, the reason a belief like Creationism has “never been proven wrong” is because it is literally impossible to prove. Science and faith are two entirely different things, and treating them as being similar does a disservice to both.

      • Scientists use faith all the time. Faith drives innovation and manifests greatness. A person who didn’t have faith that “x” disease could be cured would not move forward with attempting to make it happen (or at the least, the speed with which the endeavor was completed would be severely hindered). When Bill Gates or Steve Jobs were inspired with their visions for home computing and technology, they were just that — visions. They had to have faith that those visions could one day become reality.

        When you enter into relationships, has a scientist printed out a data sheet for you that predicts you future happiness with “mate x” due to computer models? Of course not. You use faith to fill the gaps in knowledge that you either a.) can never know, or b.) will not know for an extremely long duration of time.

        To say that faith is never applied in scientific settings is just wrong. Science answers the question “How?” but it doesn’t answer the question “Why?” It would be nice if more scientists acknowledged the limits of their profession.

      • That’s not faith. They come up with a hypothesis, and then they test that hypothesis. That is the complete opposite of faith, which is simply accepting something without feeling any need to test it.

        People creating something and hoping it catches on also isn’t faith. It’s trusting in the product (or service), and working hard to make sure it succeeds.

        Entering into a relationship isn’t exactly a scientific endeavour, so I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.

        Well, science answers the “Why?” whenever it can, too. But like I said, it’s not that science and faith are incompatible. It’s that they’re two entirely different things, and comparing them is just wrong.

      • That’s not faith.

        Yes, it is. You use faith every day. Faith is the bridge between what you know and what you can’t know (now or possibly ever). If you don’t know what faith is, then I can’t help you.

      • I should’ve said that I’m using “faith” as just a shorter way of saying “religious belief.” Either way, faith has no place in a science class. Science is about facts, faith is about accepting without facts.

      • I have a friend who has certain spiritual gifts. We’ll put it that way… I’ve witnessed her using her gifts in ways that “97%” of scientists would probably say is impossible. Like I said: it would be nice if more scientists acknowledged the limits of their field. There are things going on around you that are beyond your ability to comprehend because the human body was only made to understand the world through its five senses. The level of hubris needed to actually believe you could understand the totality of the universe through your five senses (with enough time) is laughable.

      • Maybe we can, maybe we can’t. The point of science is to understand as much as we can.

        The point of faith is to accept something without needing proof. A lack of proof is anathema to science, which is all about proof. They can co-exist, but they’re still complete opposites and have no bearing on each other, and teaching faith-based ideas like Creationism in a science class is wrong, same as teaching evolution in a Bible studies class would be.

        But there’s a question, for those who think Creationism (or even Intelligent Design) belong in science classes: Would you be fine with evolution being taught in a Bible study class? “Teach the controversy,” right?

      • You do know that the Catholic Church sees nothing wrong with evolution, right? Go ahead and talk about evolution in the church I attend. It wouldn’t bother me in the least. In fact, let’s talk about science all day and I can count the ways that science complements my belief in God.

      • I’m aware that most Christian denominations have either accepted evolution or, at the very least, stopped arguing against ti. But that wasn’t my question. My question was whether you would be OK with a Bible studies class including a lesson on evolution.

        Also, I wouldn’t normally do this, but you seem like someone who prides himself on proper grammar, so I’ll point out that you mean “complement,” not “compliment.” I’m assuming you just made a typo. I typically appreciate my own grammar errors being pointed out, and I get the feeling you probably feel the same way.

      • Really? I’m doing five things at once while trying to respond to you and you’re going to play grammar police with me? My goodness. Yes, I usually go back and fix my typos. I’m typing fast. Sorry. Yeesh.

        I’m aware that most Christian denominations have either accepted evolution or, at the very least, stopped arguing against ti. But that wasn’t my question. My question was whether you would be OK with a Bible studies class including a lesson on evolution.

        When was the last time you’ve been in a Bible study? No, I would not mind if a discussion on evolution took place in Bible study. In fact, I would encourage it.

        Oh, and since we’re being weird with grammar, you misspelled ‘it’ as ‘ti.’ **rolls eyes**

      • I wasn’t playing grammar police. Like I said, I appreciate when people correct mistakes I make, I figured you were probably the same.

        And OK, that makes one person who would be fine with a Bible study class – and, to be clear, I do mean in a high school setting – having a lesson on evolution.

      • Because you’re not a man of faith (I have to assume that based on what you’ve said up until this point), you don’t get why a conversation on evolution would be germane to a bible study class. It’s more than just “one” person (i.e., me) who would be perfectly fine with that. Like I said, science complements my faith in God.

        Side note: Pointing out random typos or brain farts is fine, but not in the middle of a discussion when doing so only serves to disrupt the flow of conversation. If you’ve read the comments section for any length of time you know that sometimes people ask me to fix a typo here and there, and I do. But I never play grammar police in the middle of a discussion.

      • Frankly, I would disagree with evolution being taught in a high school Bible study class. Same as I think Creationism has no part in a science class.

      • Again, that’s because you appear to not have been properly grounded in religious faith. You knock religious people for not being scientifically informed, and now you meet a guy who says he’d be happy to talk about evolution during the course of a bible study group, and you tell him that it’s inappropriate. Classic!

      • Actually, no, I didn’t. I never said the religious aren’t scientifically informed. I said that science and faith are two different things, and shouldn’t be compared.

      • Palmer Joss: “Did you love your father?”
        Ellie Arroway: “Yes, of course.”
        Palmer Joss: “Prove it.”

      • I’m missing the point of this post. For one thing, a lot of people actually probably could prove that they loved someone, though whether another person would accept that proof would be their problem. For another thing, if they can’t prove it, then it’s probably not something that belongs in a science class, either.

      • In science, even a “fact” can be altered or expanded on, theories can incorporate facts, other theories, and tested hypothesis. In the end, theories are guesses with reasoning behind it, as best the science can do, not sure where there is a misunderstanding on what theory means.

      • The misunderstanding is people who don’t grasp just how much rigourous testing has to be done before something is actually considered a theory. A theory isn’t rough guesswork. It is the most probable explanation of a given phenomenon or set of phenomena, tested and debated and disputed and disputed some more, with objections raised, considered, tested and results factored in, and every single scrap of knowledge that could be found put together until a large majority (in the case of climate change, 97%) of experts on the topic agree that it’s the most likely explanation.

        A lot of people, when they hear the word “theory,” think of its more everyday use. To use a comic book example, a lot of people right now have “theories” about Marvel rebooting. But those aren’t theories, they’re just guesses.

        People talk about climate change being a “theory that hasn’t been proven.” But they’re wrong. By definition, a theory has been proven to the full extent possible under current scientific conditions. It’s not “proven” in the sense of a mathematical proof. But a theory is not something standing on shaky ground. It’s not something that’s still uncertain, with all sorts of holes and problems in it. It’s something that has an extremely low probability of being proven wrong.

      • So first it was “Global Warming.” And then it was “Climate Change.” And now I’m seeing phrases like “Climate Disruption.” It seems as though 100% of that 97% agree that they every few years they can change the doomsday terms so that no matter what they say it’s proof that the gospel according to ‘science’ is correct.

        Who, exactly, composes this 97% and how was it decided?

        Scientists concluded the the climate changes over time. Bravo. And if we turn over hundreds of billions of dollars (and individual liberties) over to a federal Leviathan for the next 50 years it might shave a couple degrees off computer models that have been wrong on multiple occasions. Thanks, but no thanks.

      • In regards to “global warming” vs. “climate change,” both are used in the scientific literature, as they refer to different things: http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-global-warming.htm

        The 97% is comprised of climate scientists publishing papers about the subject: http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm

        The fact that climate changes wasn’t what they found. What they found is that human activity is the primary driver of the current warming trend, and they’ve also found what the consequences of the warming will be.

      • The fact that climate changes wasn’t what they found. What they found is that human activity is the primary driver of the current warming trend, and they’ve also found what the consequences of the warming will be.

        Human activity was the primary driver…using computer models that have been shown to be wrong on multiple occasions. And what have they said about the “pause” in Climate Change that has gone on for, what, 15 years now? I think I saw a few articles where scientists said, “Oh, the warming is being absorbed by the ocean. The heat is going to the bottom of the ocean, and when its released — look out!” Give me a break.

        Ted Danson said in the 80s that all the oceans of the world would be “dead” within a decade. How did that turn out, Ted? Al Gore said years ago that New York would be underwater by 2016 (or something weird along those lines). It even prompted Rush Limbaugh to create the Al Gore Doomsday Clock. We have 1 year and 231 days left as of right now. Heh.

      • Ah, yes, the “it hasn’t warmed since 1998″ idea. It’s false: http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm

        It has multiple problems. First, using 1998 as the cutoff year is misleading; 1998 was an unusually hot year, a spike in the graph. When you look at the graph for the past 40 years, the overall trend is still upwards. Second, there actually have been years since 1998 that have been as hot. Third, surface air temperatures don’t tell the full story, and oceanic temperatures have been steadily increasing.

        The models are actually very reliable: http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm

        Ted Danson’s an actor, Al Gore a politician. They’re not scientists. Gore used the most dramatic predictions in order to grab attention, and that’s unfortunate, but he’s not a scientist. Few scientists have ever expected anything that dramatic to happen any time soon. Using non-scientists to discredit the science would be like using a couple guys who’ve just watched their first football game to discredit the players.

      • If the scientific community allows politicians and Hollywood movies to misrepresent their findings, then they shouldn’t complain when they get push-back. Do you know why they’re silent when guys like Al Gore lie? Because they want that federal grant money. Don’t upset the politicians and the money will keep rolling in.

        Scientists are just as fallible as everyone else. Take a look at the abstracts they send out to NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and other news outlets. They always hype the results in the abstract so doomsday headlines go out, and then when you read the actual study it’s much more subdued. Why? Because they want the money. It’s funny how businesses are always lampooned for being in bed with politicians when scientists are just as bad.

        Read Chris Horner’s books when you get a chance. He has some interesting stories about carbon credits and what a scam it was. How does he know? Because ENRON wanted him to take advantage of the shell game for its benefit, so he balked. Global Warming is, more or less, a big scam to line the pockets of politicians. I believe humans should be good stewards of the environment, but they are not the “primary driver” of some epic meltdown that’s going to occur.

      • The reason scientists didn’t push back much against The Inconvenient Truth is because few scientists are really interested in getting into the political stuff. They’ll sigh, shake their head and go back to the work they’ve dedicated their lives to. All they really want to do is advance human understanding of the world they live in. That’s why they got into the sciences in the first place. They think the world is a really neat place, and they want to know more about it.

        And then they get accused of being almost universally liars and idiots. It’s a wonder they even bother warning us any more, and don’t just let global warming kill us all.

      • Scientists are normal people. They are no more or less likely to have an agenda than anyone else that isn’t actively pursuing a career in politics. Some do, but most really do just want to do their research and live their lives. The common implication I see from conservatives is that basically every scientist on the planet is a greedy, manipulative liar who can’t be trusted. Except, of course, for the ones who dispute the majority view – they’re all heroes fighting against the tyranny of the corrupt majority.

        It’s such a ridiculous, insanely paranoid point of view that gets pushed.

      • Sorry, I’m not changing my lifestyle based on what some quacks and their faulty computer models say MIGHT happen in the future. I’m not ceding my individual liberties to the federal government based on pseudoscience. I have no doubt the climate changes, but I believe humans have little if any impact on it. Like Doug said, first it was “global cooling,” then “global warming” and now it’s “climate change/disruption.” They can’t even keep their terminology straight, but they know that gullible people will buy into the doomsday rhetoric hook, line and sinker regardless of what terminology they use.

        To quote the late Michael Crichton, consensus is not science. How can science be “settled?” I thought they were supposed to be open to different ideas? Why are they so interested in silencing those who dispute their climate change dogma?

      • They do keep their terminology right. It’s laypeople who get it confused. Global warming is cause, climate change is effect.

        Actually, consensus is an important part of science. Obviously, people who disagree with the consensus can continue to do their own studies, and it’s even possible that they might end up developing an explanation that fits the data better. At which point, it becomes the new consensus.

      • Scientists put out ideas the best they can; it’s what those in power do with them that is scary. Our liberties getting taken away, the comic writer that was moved out because of a different opinion as detailed in the post; I’m not sure science is the enemy here, but those using it to force their social agendas.

      • Who, exactly, composes this 97% and how was it decided?

        Hmm, let’s see:

        But Cook’s 97 percent consensus claim was rebutted in subsequent analyses of his study. A paper by five leading climatologists published in the journal Science and Education last year found that Cook’s study misrepresented the views of most consensus scientists.

        The definition Cook used to get his consensus was weak, the climatologists said. Only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate studies examined by Cook explicitly stated that mankind caused most of the warming since 1950 — meaning the actual consensus is 0.3 percent.

        “It is astonishing that any journal could have published a paper claiming a 97% climate consensus when on the authors’ own analysis the true consensus was well below 1%,” said Dr. David Legates, a geology professor at the University of Delaware and the study’s lead author.

        http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/16/where-did-97-percent-global-warming-consensus-figure-come-from/#ixzz34B0cp2oc

      • Watts up With That also covered the 97% number. Thanks for the addition, Hube!

        We’ve all been subjected to the incessant “97% of scientists agree …global warming…blah blah” meme, which is nothing more than another statistical fabrication by John Cook and his collection of “anything for the cause” zealots. As has been previously pointed out on WUWT, when you look at the methodology used to reach that number, the veracity of the result falls apart, badly. You see, it turns out that Cook simply employed his band of “Skeptical Science” (SkS) eco-zealots to rate papers, rather than letting all authors of the papers rate their own work (Note: many authors weren’t even contacted and their papers wrongly rated, see here). The result was that the “97% consensus” was a survey of the SkS raters beliefs and interpretations, rather than a survey of the authors opinions of their own science abstracts. Essentially it was pal-review by an activist group with a strong bias towards a particular outcome as demonstrated by the name “the consensus project”.

        In short, it was a lie of omission enabled by a “pea and thimble” switch Steve McIntyre so often points out about climate science. …

      • The link I posted actually explains the exact thing that quote brings up. What they did was look at how many either explicitly or implicitly accepted global warming as a given. Basically, only 3% of articles actually disputed global warming; the rest all accept that it’s happening, and that humans are the primary driver. There’s almost no one arguing against that position, because as far as the scientific community is concerned, it’s settled.

      • Here’s more on the 97%:

        “The number stems from a 2009 online survey of 10,257 earth scientists, conducted by two researchers at the University of Illinois,” he wrote in a 2010 article. “The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers – in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change. The ratio 75/77 produces the 97 percent figure that pundits now tout.”

        This rejoinder to the 97 percent figure concerning the so-called “scientific consensus” is not typically reported as it would complicate the political agenda attached to global warming alarmism. But there is a new 97 percent number concerning the latest U.N. report that goes unmentioned. John Droz, a physicist and mathematician, who heads up the Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED), has just released an independent study that shows 97 percent of the computer models attached to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) overestimate the amount of carbon dioxide induced warming. Droz’s study probes into the draft version of the U.N.’s Fifth Assessment, which was released in September.

        “How come we don’t see the media publicizing this 97 percent consensus?” he asks. “In light of these realities, for the IPCC to claim that they now have an even higher confidence in their conclusions, is simply political posturing to justify their existence. The bottom line is that there is an extraordinarily large amount of understanding of this issue that we simply do not have. To spend tens of trillions of dollars to ‘fix’ something we don’t understand is insanity.”

        http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kevin-mooney/2013/11/18/97-percent-figure-global-warming-media-wont-tell-you-about#ixzz34B22oPl8

      • I’m missing the point of this post. For one thing, a lot of people actually probably could prove that they loved someone, though whether another person would accept that proof would be their problem. For another thing, if they can’t prove it, then it’s probably not something that belongs in a science class, either.

        Hmm. I wonder how many scientists claim to love somebody. Many, I would guess. I wonder how many could scientifically prove it.

      • Again, what the hell does that have to do with Creationism in science classes? What does that have to do with the purpose of science in general?

      • To wit: Only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate studies examined by Cook explicitly stated that mankind caused most of the warming since 1950.

        How does that make 97% believe man is the “primary driver?”

      • Again, what the hell does that have to do with Creationism in science classes? What does that have to do with the purpose of science in general?

        Aw, gosh, don’t get upset Mr. xpert!

        Ask Carl Sagan since he’s the man who wrote the line in Contact. (Maybe he’ll respond to you from Heaven. Oh, right, like love, there’s no proof it exists.) And if you cannot grasp his point, it’s b/c you choose not to.

      • Or, you could not be a condescending dick, and could explain what it has to do with the discussion at hand, which is science and faith being two completely separate things, with faith being accepting things without proof, and science being about seeking to understand through proof.

        As an aside, I actually would argue that love is something that can be scientifically proven. While it goes far beyond just a chemical reaction, it is something that includes chemical reactions. It also often leads to changes in our behaviour.

      • As an aside, I actually would argue that love is something that can be scientifically proven. While it goes far beyond just a chemical reaction, it is something that includes chemical reactions. It also often leads to changes in our behaviour.

        You’re grasping there. Call me back when you have a machine that can translate someone’s innermost thoughts and desires.

      • No one is disputing the consensus position. The logic is that they accept it.

        You claimed, again, that 97% claimed man is the primary cause of GW. But “only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate studies examined by Cook explicitly stated that mankind caused most of the warming since 1950.”

      • Fine. The more accurate statement is that 97% either accept or don’t dispute that human activity is the primary driver of current global warming.

      • Or, you could not be a condescending dick, and could explain what it has to do with the discussion at hand, which is science and faith being two completely separate things, with faith being accepting things without proof, and science being about seeking to understand through proof.

        Or, I could say “fuck you” because it’s quite cathartic, and, once again, because you choose to ignore the obvious.

        Face it — you can’t prove you love or loved anybody. Scientifically. Chemical reactions, my ass. That’s just hormonal lust.

        Again, your argument is with Carl Sagan.

      • Fine. The more accurate statement is that 97% either accept or don’t dispute that human activity is the primary driver of current global warming.

        LOL … “Only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate studies examined by Cook explicitly stated that mankind caused most of the warming since 1950 — meaning the actual consensus is 0.3 percent.”

        Perhaps the others believe man plays a role. Just not the primary one.

      • Again, NONE OF THIS has anything to do with the difference between science or faith.

        Again, CARL SAGAN disagrees with you. And he’s a lot smarter than you.

      • I was unaware Carl Sagan was involved in this particular discussion.

        I’m pretty sure Sagan’s point was that science and faith can coexist, which is something that I have no disputed once. All I’ve said is that science and faith are different. I strongly doubt that Sagan was saying they’re at all similar. On account of them not being the least bit similar, and are actually polar opposites.

        Hell, it’s not even about one being better than the other. They simply fill totally different roles.

        I get the feeling you’re arguing against something I’ve never said, and insist on arguing against it, no matter how often I point out that I never said it.

      • Einstein said that “in every true searcher of nature there is a kind of religious reverence.” (The Fire in the Equations: Science, Religion, and the Search for God; Ferguson, 1994).

        Just saying… I’m not sure you want to go down this route, xmenexpert. I’ve got plenty of ammo.

      • That’s poetry, but I’m talking about definitions. Faith is accepting something without proof. Science is about demanding proof before accepting something.

        I had no idea that “science and faith are different things” would turn out to be such a controversial statement. It’s not like I said – or even implied – that science is better than faith, or that faith is in any way a bad thing. All I said is that they’re different things and should be treated as such.

      • Faith is accepting something without proof.

        Again, you’re wrong. Faith is accepting something with proof — that you may or may not have at a later date. It is the bridge that fills in that gap in knowledge that you do not have in a particular moment.

      • Ugh.

        Faith says, “I know there’s no evidence that god exists, but I still believe.” Science says, “Looking at all the data we’ve gathered, this is the most probable explanation of how a black hole works, and our further studies will operate under that assumption.”

        Faith doesn’t need proof, science demands it.

        Are you honestly disputing that science and faith are completely different things?

      • Using your own definition, if we were to examine a black hole singularity you would have to go “ugh” at yourself.

        Hube notes Carl Sagan and I’ve noted Albert Einstein to demonstrate that science is not nearly as far removed from faith as you believe. You? You’ve got “xmenxpert.”

        Maybe if you listen to Michio Kaku for awhile you’ll come around.

        “We know what a singularity is. A singularity is when we don’t know what to do,” (Professor Andrew Strominger, Harvard University).

      • Science and faith are opposites. That they can coexist doesn’t suddenly make them the same damned thing, any more than hockey and milk coexisting make them the same thing. They serve different roles.

        But I’m done with this argument, because it’s ridiculous. Science is not faith. Faith is not science. All poetic sentiments aside, they’re not the same thing and shouldn’t be treated as such.

      • Science and faith are opposites. That they can coexist doesn’t suddenly make them the same damned thing, any more than hockey and milk coexisting make them the same thing. They serve different roles. But I’m done with this argument, because it’s ridiculous.

        I never said they were the same thing. I never said one was the other. I said that faith is the bridge that humans use to fill in the gap between what they know and what they do not know at a given moment (or might never know). I said “science is not nearly as far removed from faith as you believe.” I can’t help it if you refuse to accept that. It’s interesting how this debate became “ridiculous” when I wanted to talk about hard-nosed science (e.g., black hole singularities). Telling.

        Call me when you want to talk about a black hole singularity. I’d like hear your thoughts on an object of infinite density and infinite gravity. I’ll be waiting.

      • Here’s a bonus for those who are still reading:

        “I should’ve said that I’m using “faith” as just a shorter way of saying “religious belief,” (xmenexpert)

        Notice how xmenxpert’s definition of faith, which he believes is the “opposite” of science, simply assumes that science and religion are incompatible. I can think of plenty of scientists who would disagree with him — especially Deepak Chopra. But as we all know, Chopra’s background in endocrinology and lifetime love of science is moot in the world of xmenexpert because he would agree with me.

  4. I am sorry xmenxpert but theory is far from fact:
    Theory -a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein’s theory of relativity.

    Be aware that many theories have been proven wrong, just because they have tested them they are not guaranteed. For example explain why no dating system has been consistent in results and they often contradict each other yet they want to use that as fact?

    I think we should consider teaching both methods.

  5. xmenexpert you have still have not explained how one science”fact” dating method contradicts another yet it is fact? Sure things are tested but that still does not always hold true just as correlation does not equal causation which is a common flaw in science and left wing logic.
    You also cannot disprove creation so why should it not also be taught, we teach many things about science that is not proven to be true.
    Cause- global warming which has yet to prove true and predictions contradicted the theory.
    Effect- change the name to climate change.

    I am sorry but they change the term to fit their agenda. I am not saying it is true or false, I am saying they have yet to prove it is true. With that said why do we teach that in school?
    It seems people like to pick and choose the rules so that they fit their will.

    • “You also cannot disprove creation”

      Which is exactly the point. Science is something that can be tested and potentially disproven. All it takes to disprove gravity is for a single hammer to fall upwards when it should’ve fallen downwards. Creationsim is not science. At all. It is the opposite of a scientific theory, because it is something that is utterly impossible to disprove.

      And as I pointed out above, no, scientists don’t change the terms. Global warming is cause. Climate change is effect. Scientists have used those two terms in those two ways for decades.

      • xmenxpert, I am sorry but some science is based off of creationist theory. Have you even watched the debate I posted?

        Also I am sorry but you are wrong they did change the terms the dates prove that (and observational history can be proven).

        Once again a classical case of a person trying to pick the rules in their favor.

      • If they drew anything from Creationism, it’s because Creationism was the only idea anyone had until the past couple hundred years. Creationism itself is not a scientific theory. It is a religious belief. And it has absolutely no place in a science class.

        And no, the terms didn’t change. Ever. At any point. Global warming means one thing, climate change another. Global warming refers to the planet getting warmer, climate change refers to the changes resulting from that warming. It is laypeople who get the terms confused. http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-global-warming.htm

        As for “observational history”: That link uses a Google Scholar search to show that climate change was used before global warming, and has always been the term more commonly used in scientific literature. Maybe you can find something to show that news coverage has changed its preferred term, but it’s always worth remembering that the news media sucks at covering science stories (or, really, any story).

      • xmenxpert, your post still indicates that you do not know what you are talking about. The debate completely throws out your statement “If they drew anything from Creationism, it’s because Creationism was the only idea anyone had until the past couple hundred years. ”

        Their are recent scientists that have contributed, please watch the debate you may find it to be a good lesson. You also do not use the term observational history correctly that is not what it means, pleas watch the video it will also explain that for you as well. Also consider the source of your article it does not come from any unbias research source it is from a clearly promotional source for climate change. If you are going to use facts you cannot use sources that are trying to push a point and asking for money to support their view it is already proven to be a marketing tool rather than an informational fact driven site.

        The author of the site even tries to hide this:
        “Skeptical Science is maintained by John Cook, the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland.”
        “There is no funding to maintain Skeptical Science other than Paypal donations – it’s run at personal expense. John Cook has no affiliations with any organisations or political groups. Skeptical Science is strictly a labour of love. The design was created by John’s talented web designer wife.”

        Now go look into that school it is rather telling.

      • “Scientists don’t change the terms.”

        Actually, yeah, they do. That’s why it’s gone from “global cooling” to “global warming” to “climate change/disruption.” Whenever people start to wise up to their Chicken Little alarmism, they change the terminology so they can get people scared again. If you think scientists are infallible and don’t get your political, you’re living in an alternate reality. The Climate-gate scandal from a few years ago showed they were willing to manipulate their data for their own purposes. Many so-called climate change “scientists” are intolerant of dissenting views, and one (David Suzuki) thinks those who are skeptical of it should be imprisoned. He said this during an interview with PBS’ Bill Moyers (who himself is a radical progressive) and Moyers basically agreed with him.

        The EPA and BLM in this country go after private citizens and violates private property rights in defense of “endangered” animals, most of which aren’t even endangered to begin with. A Wyoming couple were recently fined $75,000 for making a pond on their property, one their cattle could drink from. There was the Bundy standoff in Nevada where BLM thugs violated private property rights under the pretense they were “protecting” and “endangered” tortoise. Those are just two examples of many. People get fined and harassed for building on their own property because it’s in violation of some fictitious “regulation.”

        Again, I am not changing my lifestyle based on pseudoscience. That does not mean I don’t want clean air or water (there is arguably less pollution now than there was in the horse-and-buggy days, largely because you don’t have horses crapping every few feet), but it also doesn’t mean we should have to cede our individual liberties to power-hungry bureaucrats based on something whose existence is very dubious.

      • “Actually, yeah, they do. That’s why it’s gone from “global cooling” to “global warming” to “climate change/disruption.” Addressed above.

        “If you think scientists are infallible and don’t get your political, you’re living in an alternate reality.” Scientists are like any other group of people. Some are big into politics, some are dishonest, but most are honest people who just want to do their jobs and live their lives, and got into science for the love of knowledge. The implication I often see from conservatives is that every single scientist is either a liar or an idiot, and that’s paranoid ravings.

        The Bundy thing was because he’d been grazing on land he didn’t own. The fact that the land was owned by the government didn’t mean he could graze there without permission, any more than he could walk his cattle onto some guy’s private farm. Trying to elevate this guy into some kind of hero is pure nonsense. It’d be like walking into the cafeteria of a local government building, grabbing a bunch of food without paying for it, and then refusing to leave and declaring yourself a victim when the cops finally show up and drag you out. Bundy’s not a hero, or a victim, he’s an idiotic jackass.

      • According to xmenexpert, faith is the “opposite of science “and Creationism is the “opposite of scientific theory.” He also defines faith as “religious belief.” So what we essentially have is xmenxpert saying: Faith = Religion = Creationism.

        No wonder why you’re not handling nuances very well in this conversation.

        I’m still waiting for you to start up that discussion on a black hole singularity. Any time now… I’m starting to think you’re avoiding an actual conversation that delves into physics because it’s easier to just mock religious people with a knowledge base that is a mile wide and an inch deep than it is to talk about an object with infinite density and infinite gravity.

      • For clarification: I was using faith to mean religious beliefs in my earliest posts, when talking about why Creationism has no place in a science class. In the long, pointless semantics debate that I have absolutely no interest in getting back into, I was using the broader definition.

        And at no point in this entire discussion have I mocked religious belief. At all. That’s you reading something into my posts that you want to see. I would thank you not to put words or intentions into my mouth.

        And the reason I’m not getting into a debate about black hole singularities is because I’m not a scientist. I find science really neat, but I’m not particularly good at it.

      • And at no point in this entire discussion have I mocked religious belief. At all.

        You’re right. I apologize. You never outright mocked religion. But there was something in your words that moved troll-boy “Silver Age Monster” to quote Isaac Asimov: “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

        Perhaps it was because you were the first one to refer to a another commenter on my blog as a “dick.” Way to raise the level of discourse, xmenxpert.

        And the reason I’m not getting into a debate about black hole singularities is because I’m not a scientist. I find science really neat, but I’m not particularly good at it.

        Translation: “I don’t want to talk about something that might make everything I’ve said about faith melt into an embarrassing pile of goo.”

        So you can defend scientists — even though you’re not a scientist — but when someone wants to actually talk science to buttress a point, you don’t want to do that. How convenient…

      • I defend scientists because I figure people who’ve dedicated their lives to something are probably going to know a lot more about it than I do, or than anyone who hasn’t dedicated their life to that thing does. I trust doctors on medical matters, I trust mechanics when it comes to fixing cars, I trust English professors when it comes to Shakespeare.

        At this point, I honestly no longer give a shit about the whole “definition of faith” thing. My whole point, in this entire debate, is that faith and science are different, and that religious beliefs don’t belong in a science class. I don’t care if it’s Christianity, Shinto or Wicca, religion has no place in a science class.

      • At this point, I honestly no longer give a shit about the whole “definition of faith” thing. My whole point, in this entire debate, is that faith and science are different, and that religious beliefs don’t belong in a science class.

        And my point is that scientists use faith, to some degree, every single day. You do not want to accept that, nor do you want to actually talk about, say, black hole singularities that demonstrate my point quite nicely. You say you don’t “give a shit,” but … you obviously do. You refuse to talk science with me, but deep down you know that if you do you might have to reevaluate some of what you’ve said over the course of this conversation.

        So you call people “dick” and say you “don’t give a shit” to mask the truth: if you knew more science, you’d know just how much you don’t know — about faith and a wide range of other topics.

      • To be fair, I only called one person a dick, and it’s because he was being a dick.

        Whether scientists use some degree of faith is irrelevant. They sometimes use intuition, too, but intuition isn’t science. The points I was making had always been that science and faith are different, and that religion has no place in a science class.

      • Whether scientists use some degree of faith is irrelevant.

        Actually, it is very relevant. I’d explain it to you, but you don’t want to go that route because you’re “not a scientist.”

        Side note: I know you’re not a scientist, but you might want to start looking into Quantum Physics…because some of its new theories might cause you to reconsider that whole “religion and science don’t mix” assertion. Think about the implications of what Michio Kaku is saying. I have “faith” in you. You can do it.

      • “It’s laypeople that gets it confused.”

        No, actually, I’m not confused. And nice elitism there, implying that ordinary people don’t get it because they’re not as smart as the scientists.

      • This is actually funny, given his previous comment about not wanting to talk about black holes: “And the reason I’m not getting into a debate about black hole singularities is because I’m not a scientist. I find science really neat, but I’m not particularly good at it.”

        So the “laypeople” get confused (which would presumably include xmenexpert, given his comments), but he of course exempts himself from the “confused” masses. Again, how convenient!

      • Not at all what I was actually implying. I simply meant what I said: That the people who don’t study something for a living tend not to be as familiar with the terminology, and so are more likely to use it incorrectly. It’s not a matter of intelligence. It’s the same reason why people will mix up metaphors and analogies. The people who do that aren’t stupid, they’re just not grammarians.

        It’s not elitism. It’s recognizing that the less a person immerses themselves in a topic, the less they know about the terminology.

        And you’re either confused about the difference between global warming and climate change, or you know the difference but you don’t care and are pretending they’re interchangeable in order to score political points. That’s really what it comes down to.

      • To be fair, I only called one person a dick, and it’s because he was being a dick.

        I also said “F*** you,” because you were being a dick. To be fair.

      • Also, keep in mind from what I noted earlier: The “settled” science says we can’t do a thing about the quantity of CO2 currently in the atmopshere for 1,000 years. So … why are all the scientists screaming about “doing something now”?

        Furthermore, I thought “progressives” were for poor people. Why would these “caring” folk demand that their (3rd World) economies not have the same advantages the developed countries have enjoyed for decades? You really think China and India give a f*** about Western scientists screaming that they have to switch to “clean” energy sources?

        Dream on.

      • The scientists are urging action so we can try to avoid making things even worse. The longer we delay, the harder it’s going to be to manage.

        It’s actually entirely possible to have economic progress with environmental responsibility. For example, it wouldn’t take many solar panels to provide power for a small village. A few small appliances can make their lives easier, so their children have more time to study. As for China, it’s actually the world’s largest investor in clean energy, though the sheer scale of its energy needs does mean it’s also the world’s largest polluter. That pollution, of course, does have its own costs.

      • The scientists are urging action so we can try to avoid making things even worse. The longer we delay, the harder it’s going to be to manage.

        Uh huh. 1,000 years means we need to act now. As if new technologies will not be developed to 1) create new energy sources in the “interim,” and 2) help alleviate the CO2 issues that “plague” us. In the “interim.” Pardon me while I still use incandescent light bulbs.

        It’s actually entirely possible to have economic progress with environmental responsibility. For example, it wouldn’t take many solar panels to provide power for a small village. A few small appliances can make their lives easier, so their children have more time to study.

        I’m sure. That’s why there are so many “small villages” with solar panels in poor countries right now. Oh right, there isn’t. Why is that?

        As for China, it’s actually the world’s largest investor in clean energy, though the sheer scale of its energy needs does mean it’s also the world’s largest polluter.

        Meanwhile, the US’s GHG emissions have dropped, while China’s have increased. And just keep in mind how far China has to go: Recall the city images when they hosted the Olympics. The last time US cities looked like that was the Industrial Revolution (LA notwithstanding)

      • You’re being deliberately obtuse, and I got tired of that shit a long time ago. So I’m done with this discussion. I’m sure you’ll declare that means you won; whatever, go right ahead.

      • You’re being deliberately obtuse, and I got tired of that shit a long time ago. So I’m done with this discussion. I’m sure you’ll declare that means you won; whatever, go right ahead.

        You said you were done yesterday, too.

        What you’re actually tired of is people not validating your belief system. Gosh, what a shame.

      • Correction: I said, yesterday, that I was done with the ridiculous discussion about faith and science. Today, I issued a clarification of my position.

        And what I’m tired of is people intentionally misrepresenting what I say. It is disrespectful and dishonest, and it’s what you have been doing.

  6. XMENXPERT: You’re making a good argument. The responses of others remind me of this quote from Isaac Asimov: “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

    • Congrats, Silver Age Monster: you’re the guy who offers nothing to a conversation but personal attacks. My ignorance? I see that neither xmenxpert nor you have taken me up on the offer to talk about black hole singularities. Or how about the anthropic principle? If you want to get into a debate on hard science, go for it. If you want to just hurl personal attacks, then just keep going so I can ban you.

  7. HEBREWS 11:1-3 KJV
    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    For by it the elders obtained a good report.
    Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

    As a Christian, I have always believed that God works within both the supernatural and natural realm. Science is a great revealer of Gods’ handiwork. There is so much complex precision and design in scientific fact, that to say it all happens by chance is ludicrous.

    Even Charles Darwin stated that the thought of the eye evolving left him cold. All of the parts that make up the eye must be in perfect working order from the beginning otherwise it’s useless to whatever is meant to be evolving.

    In October 1996, I woke up one morning and found myself in immense front lobal headache and blind having lost 90% of my sight. I was seen by 2 doctors and 2 eye specialists and 1 neurologist who told me I had a disease known as Optic Neuritis which is basically severe inflamtion of the optic nerves.

    To my shock, they also told me that the outer shealth to the optic nerves may be permanently damaged and they were going to test me for aids, syphilis, diabetes, leukemia, brain tumors and multiple sclerosis as these are all dieases linked to Optic Neuritis. There is also a history of diabetes and leukemia in my family.

    Every single one of those tests came back negative. As scary as it was being blind I had a wonderful peace and assurance through my faith that I would be healed. I had been healed of other things in my past and I knew no matter how great or small God would fullfill His promise of healing through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ availing for us today.

    I was told that according to case studies, the duration of Optic Neuritis affects people differently and to be prepared to suffer with it for months or even years. The worst possible case scenario was multiple sclerosis and I was booked in for an MRI scan 3 months down the track.

    Through lots of prayer and the prayers of folks at the fellowship I attend, I awoke one morning, just 4 weeks later totally healed.

    The eye specialist wouldn’t write healed by a “miracle”. Instead he wrote ” Fully recovered within a short amount of time, without the aid of drugs and with no lingering problem” Further peripheral vision tests a year later continued to show a full recovery.

    According to his case studies, he had never witnessed a full recovery, let alone one within such a short amount of time.

    I went on to work as a Camera Assistant on various movies and TV shows and as a Cameraman today with no adverse problems with my eyes whatsoever.

    • Magnetic Eye,

      I want to say that your reply in this thread is a perfect example of why I write this blog. The time that that it took to write the post this morning was undeniably worth it the moment you contributed to the comments section. I appreciate everyone who comments, but that kind of story is what brings a smile to my face, and it fits in perfectly with the conversation.

      I’m sure that if I would have brought up spontaneous remission, certain people would laugh. However, there’s no way anyone can simply dismiss your story. You’re here and you’re a witness to such a miraculous recovery. Like my spiritual friend with certain gifts, there are things that happen in this world that modern science simply can not explain.

      Thanks again for sharing.

      • Douglas, thanks for the opportunity in allowing me to share. I read your blog this morning and felt compelled to share a very strong part of my testimony.

        Without faith it is impossible to please God and He is a wonderful rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. I’ve seen several miracles over the last 20 years and heard of many others to simply dismiss as coincidence or mind over matter.

        :-)

  8. Interesting story, magnetic eye! If you don’t mind me asking, what films and TV shows have you worked on? I might’ve seen movies you’ve worked on.

  9. Carl, these days I’m doing more documentary type work for a network here in Australia which is similar to PBS in the United States. I also freelance and collaborate with another cameraman/editor and we ocassionally pick up corporate video work.

    In recent years I worked for the Australian ABC network on various shows as an assistant cameraman. They included kids shows, current affair type shows and a cooking show. :-)

    On the Nine Network, I worked on a TV Drama called “McLeods’ Daughters” which was syndicated around the world. It was shown on a cable network in the US.

    As far as motion pictures go, the only one I worked on that had success in the US was “Wolf Creek”. I’m not a fan of horror, but here in Adelaide the film industry isn’t as sustainable as it once was, so you pretty much take whatever work comes your way. The other alternative is to make the big move to the east coast of Australia where they have a larger burgeoning industry, but didn’t want to uproot the family.

    In earlier days I did seriously consider making the move to LA, but you know life happens; wife, kids, mortgage and all that. Very satisfied with the priority decisions made. :-)

    • Interesting. Thanks for the reply. I have heard of “Wolf Creek” before, although I’ve never seen it. It’s supposed to be a pretty good horror movie and I’ve thought about seeing it even though I’m not a big horror fan, either. As for the name “McLeod’s Daughters,” it sounds familiar and I might’ve seen it listed on network TV in the past.

  10. I want to point out”
    Douglas-
    Again, you’re wrong. Faith is accepting something with proof — that you may or may not have at a later date. It is the bridge that fills in that gap in knowledge that you do not have in a particular moment.”

    I agree and you will have the proof later when you are in heaven.

    I have still yet to see any person that is against creationism explain why supposed facts about dating methods consistently contradict each other invalidating themselves. I would also like to say that anyone that has not seen this debate should. Notice how Bill keeps avoiding the same question that I ask here.

  11. Thank you for sharing that Carl.
    What a trash article, notice that if you are a conservative your view is stupid and you are a bigot. This is another classic case of the people claiming tolerance being the truly intolerant.

    • Sad thing is, Truth, there are so many people who are of like mindset in today’s day and age. People can no longer simply agree to disagree and find common ground (a problem I ran into with a lot of my so-called “friends” from high school, who couldn’t stand my conservative beliefs once they learned about them) but instead liberals want to actively silence people who disagree with them, while claiming to be “tolerant.”

  12. I just saw Dana Perino interview Chuck and Paul on “Greta.” If I find the interview, I’ll post it. It wasn’t long but it did touch upon many of the themes that were in their article.

  13. Love this thread. Xmenexpert is so interesting to me. He is very typical of many people today. They say “we believe in science”, but what they really are saying is that “we believe in scientists”, which is simply faith. Xmenexpert has a lot of faith. He may argue it isn’t faith, but as he said, he isn’t a scientist himself, so he is just believing…without any proof. Now I know that the scientists say they have proof, but Xmenexpert doesn’t have any. He may point out a few facts that he knows, but he doesn’t have any true knowledge about climate change. So where does this faith come from? The same is true about creationism versus evolution. What is more believable: That there is an all powerful, eternal God who created the universe, or…it just happened. Talk about faith! Everything just came out of nothing. Mommy Darkness and Daddy Chaos accidentally bumped uglies in their blindness and gave birth to Light and Order. It just happened….happy accident. Very interesting.

    • I would actually argue that there are subtle but important differences between “trust” and “faith.” They’re mostly synonymous, but not entirely. If I’m feeling sick, and a doctor tells me I need to have my appendix removed, I trust him, because he knows a lot more about medicine than I do. I’m not sure that’s at all comparable to believing in Jesus as my saviour.

      In regards to what’s more likely – well, where did god come from? How could he exist before existence? The origin of the origin is one hell of a mystery. I do find it funny that, with a simple difference in tone, your “what’s more believable” line could actually be used by believers and non-believers alike.

  14. Faith and Trust are the same thing as far as I can tell. You say you would trust the doctor because he knows more about medicine than you. Very wise. I trust my priest because he knows more about God than I do. I had my appendix out not too long ago. This guy walked in and said he was going to remove it for me. I said, “thank you.” I didn’t know that guy from Adam. I didn’t check his credentials. He could have been someone posing as a doctor. That’s faith. That’s trust. And why do we trust doctors. Because we see the results of their work around us. I’ve heard testimonies my whole life about how doctors made people better. Why do I trust Jesus to heal my spirit. I saw what happened to my father after he gave his life to Jesus. He was an angry man and not a great father. But after he gave his life to God, he changed drastically. He became patient with me. He didn’t yell at me anymore. I wasn’t afraid of him anymore. So, I too gave my life to God.

    As far as where did God come from…he didn’t come from anywhere. He has always been. There was never a time when He wasn’t. The origin of the origin isn’t “one hell of a mystery”. It’s nonsense. The beginning of the beginning? What the hell does that mean? Even a child knows that there must be something that has always been. Scientists used to believe that the universe had no beginning. Now that that scientific theory has been debunked, they are trying to figure out a way to find something else that has always existed (besides God of course), such as parallel universes.

    • Here’s the thing: On the one hand, faith is simply a synonym for trust. However, faith is also often used as a shorthand for religious belief. Using the former definition, then yes, I have faith in a doctor. I have faith in a mechanic. However, I do not think this should not be in any way implied as being similar to religious belief, which is the general vibe I’ve been getting in this entire discussion – that trusting or “having faith” in a scientist is the same as having faith in the Bible.

      I think a key difference is one of accountability, for lack of a better term. There are systems in place, at each step of the way, to weed out bad doctors. Some still get through, and some go unnoticed for decades, as no system is perfect, but it is still possible to get an objective measurement of a doctor’s skills. When I trust a doctor – or, to tie into the earlier stuff, when I trust climate scientists – what I’m ultimately putting my faith in is society as a whole. I am operating under the assumption that most people don’t suck, and that society as a whole isn’t a crapshoot.

      None of that really applies to religious belief. There’s no accountability there; at least, not until you die, at which point you either learn the truth or are incapable of learning anything because you no longer exist. I don’t mean this as a criticism of religious belief; I have no problem with organized religion, and I actually do admire the inner strength it gives a lot of people. I can’t bring myself to believe, but I don’t think less of people who do. (Though I do resent people who try to use their religious beliefs to dictate how other people should live their lives.) But there’s not really any way to objectively judge whether any given set of beliefs is accurate or not. As an agnostic, I see Shinto as being no more or less possible than Christianity. All religions are based on things that are literally immeasurable and unknowable – that’s kinda the point. The inability to know for sure (at least in life) is where faith comes in. But that same inability to know means that, from the perspective of a non-believer, religion is basically a crapshoot. I’m no longer trusting in people, I’m trusting in what is, for all intents and purposes, myths and legends. I’m trusting that this guy’s visions are better than that guy’s visions, which means I have to assume that guy was just insane. But if that guy was insane, what guarantee is there that this guy isn’t, too? Again, I’m not trying to be insulting, I’m just saying how it looks from my side.

      As far as your father goes, you think god made him better, whereas I would argue that his belief in god made him better. It may seem like a minor distinction, but it’s actually a major one. To you, it’s because he opened his heart to a specific deity that he became better. To me, he could’ve achieved the same result with Buddhism, Islam, Wicca or any other religion. Or, hell, even a cult like Scientology.

      And I see god always existing as having much the same problem as the universe emerging from nothing. At the end of the day, the question remains, “but how?” And the answer – “because” – isn’t entirely satisfying.

    • Edward, thanks for sharing your inspirational story, real life accounts bolster faith and reinforce what’s taught at mass. You and Magnetic Eye brought a smile to my face this week!

  15. You know, in regards to Dixon and Rivoche’s claims, I have a few thoughts.

    First, the implication that the end of the Comics Code Authority was a bad thing is, to me, absurd on its face. The CCA was, itself, censorship. It prevented good writers from telling good stories, and it wasn’t until publishers decided to simply ignore it that we were able to get stories like Watchmen. By the ’90s, the CCA was actually pretty much over and done with already, because it no longer had any actual influence. So, the CCA can rot in the grave it belongs in.

    One of the writers who’s actually most responsible for the increase in dark, ambiguous stories was Frank Miller, who’s actually a conservative. The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City and other stories were full of that sort of thing, where the heroes were as brutal as the villains they fought. And I’m not sure conservatives at the time actually opposed heroes being brutal – was Dirty Harry really a liberal movie? Or Death Wish? Or those other movies about hard men pursuing vigilante justice?

    I also don’t think moral ambiguity is an inherently bad thing, any more than moral certitude is an inherently good thing. It’s all in how the story’s told. No question, there are a whole lot of stories that try to be ambiguous and wind up being terrible, but that’s because of bad writing, and that’s going to be a problem no matter what a story’s about. But I think of one of my favourite titles of the past few years, Avengers Academy, written by Christos Gage (who often co-writes with your nemesis, Slott). The villain of the final arc was a guy who wanted to depower all superhumans, and then repower only those who he believed deserved it. He presents a lot of entirely valid arguments about why the hero-villain paradigm is stupid, destructive and limiting. He wants a better world, and he comes across as a great guy. At the same time, though, he’s willing to do some pretty awful things, including murder, to advance his interests. In the end, one of the Academy students – someone who’s previously shown a willingness to sacrifice her own life to stop villains – decides the only way to stop him is to kill him, and she manages to do it without anyone noticing, and she even lets her best friend feel responsibility for it. This is the sort of moral ambiguity that’s incredibly effective, and wasn’t really possible under the CCA.

    I also actually disagree with the assertion that a large number of heroes have a weak moral compass. Just looking at Marvel alone right now, and just the solo titles, we have Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Daredevil, Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man (now that Superior’s over with), Silver Surfer, Nightcrawler, Cyclops (which is about a time-displaced teen version of the character, rather than the admittedly more ambiguous current adult version), and Nova. In the team titles, Mighty Avengers, All-New X-Factor, All-New X-Men, Amazing X-Men, All-New Invaders and New Warriors all being consistently morally positive. If I go back to any given month, I can find plenty of examples of comics that are morally positive.

    The final question would be this: What constitutes conservative values that could be depicted in a comic book? Economics, obviously, is a subject that doesn’t lend itself easily to someone throwing a car. Distrust of the government? I’m pretty sure that’s actually most comics, at least at Marvel (I don’t read DC, so I don’t know if the government there isn’t the blend of evil and incompetence that it is in the Marvel Universe). I suppose there aren’t often many comics that make a point of a character’s Christian faith, though it does come up with some characters – Nightcrawler, Daredevil, Wolfsbane of the X-Men. A few others. I think one of the big obstacles there is actually that it’s tough to make a character going to church interesting. But what other sort of values can be shown that would actually fit into a superhero story? A story where a woman is talked out of getting an abortion? That’s about all I can think of.

    • “The final question would be this: What constitutes conservative values that could be depicted in a comic book? Economics, obviously, is a subject that doesn’t lend itself easily to someone throwing a car. Distrust of the government? … I suppose there aren’t often many comics that make a point of a character’s Christian faith, though it does come up with some characters – Nightcrawler, Daredevil, Wolfsbane of the X-Men. … [W]hat other sort of values can be shown that would actually fit into a superhero story? A story where a woman is talked out of getting an abortion? That’s about all I can think of*.”

      You seem to see yourself a bright bright guy, and yet when it comes to stories that would resonate with a conservative audience that’s the best you can do? That’s all you can think of? As I said earlier, this is the type of comment I expect from someone who is thinking a mile wide and an inch deep. You’ve boiled conservatism in comics down to a character who distrusts the government, a guy who is openly Christian, and a story where a woman talks about abortion. It’s rather insulting. I hope you can see that.

      I’ve asked before: Where has there been a single story that told of Cap’s black ops in Afghanistan or Pakistan to take down a terrorist plot against the United States? We’ve had him go after the tea party, but not behind enemy lines in the tribal regions of Pakistan. Interesting. You say economics is boring, and yet Gail Simone got to experiment with ‘The Movement.’ Interesting. I suppose if an artist or writer who loved Rand brought a script for ‘The Visionaries’ into an editor it would be laughed out of the room…

      Regardless, the crux of Dixon’s and Rivoche’s piece was about moral relativism in the industry.

      Which brings me back to Dan Slott, since you called him my “nemesis.” No, he is not my “nemesis.” He is just a moral relativist and a narcissist who demonizes anyone who disagrees with him on a daily basis. He is also the guy who used anger to sell a book — one where he took a cultural icon, killed him off for a year, and replaced him with a character who fancied “Nazi-like” torture practices (Bleeding Cool’s words, not mine).”

      Look how Dan Slott treated “Jewish Marksman.” I thought it was hilarious that he made Jewish Marksman’s “Hall of Shame.” Maybe Dan Slott will follow the guy around the internet asking for an apology for the next year.

      “Slott, like most anti-gun activists, can’t tolerate logic and reason. He wrongly accused me of lying about the number of firearms Lanza fired, made outlandish caricatures of my arguments, and banned me from his Twitter feed. … Uninformed, irrational and divisive people like Slott do nothing to advance the society’s dialogue about firearms. There are plenty of other comics creators out there, so I’ll be avoiding anything written by this schmuck,” (Jewish Marksman).

      Way to win new fans, Dan Slott! You’re such an ambassador for the industry. How many people have walked away from Dan Slott comic books because of his stupid ad hominem attacks on Twitter? How many friends will Jewish Marksman convince to stay away from Dan Slott’s work because Slott (ironically) makes cartoonish arguments like, “you clearly care about people’s ‘rights’ to amass arsenals more than life”?

      Dan Slott is an embarrassment to the industry, if for no other reason than his inability to conduct himself like a professional on social media platforms — a must for any creator who uses them in 2014.

      I’ll end this reply with a quote from Jewish Marksman:

      “The muses’ favor can infect a man’s brain and is indeed pitiful. Moderate success as comic author produced a narcissist,” (Jewish Marksman on Marvel writer Dan Slott).

      • “You seem to see yourself a bright bright guy” Actually, I see myself as pretty average.

        The Captain America Tea Party story actually got a fair bit of criticism, even from liberal readers, for being pretty strawmanned. I don’t generally read Captain America, so I actually have no idea if, over the past 12 years, he’s fought any Muslim extremist terrorists.

        A writer wanting to adapt Ayn Rand for Marvel or DC would almost certainly be rejected, simply because most of their readers don’t want to read Rand. That writer would have to go to a different publisher. Actually, he’d have to go to whoever currently owns the copyright to the story, pitch it to them, and have them contact a publisher about adapting it.

        Still, I’m assuming there’s more to conservatism than Ayn Rand and fighting Muslim terrorists.

      • A writer wanting to adapt Ayn Rand for Marvel or DC would almost certainly be rejected, simply because most of their readers don’t want to read Rand. That writer would have to go to a different publisher.

        Haha! You haven’t even seen a story pitch, but you already know “most of their readers” wouldn’t want to read something inspired by Rand. Really? How do you know? Have you ever heard of a character named Tony Stark? I think he could easily lend himself to an amazing story inspired by Rand. I guarantee you that if Marvel or D.C. asked me to adapt something from Rand’s work that would sell I could do it. Obviously that’s not going to happen (at least any time soon), but once the book I’m working on is released you can read that and judge for yourself…

      • I’d say it’s a safe bet that most comic book readers are probably liberal. A story that has strong undertones of Randian philosophy is unlikely to do well. If it actually credits Rand, it’s going to do even worse.

      • My goodness, man. You’re cracking me up. The reason why the industry may be mostly “liberal” today is because liberal editors have forced guys like me, Patrick, Hube, Carl, Magnetic Eye, Edward, Avi Green, Truthwillwin, Jewish Marksman, etc. out of the market.

        Don’t you get it? There are plenty of conservative comicbook fans, but guys like you (when they’re in power) just assume a story inspired by Rand is “unlikely to do well.” Liberal editors shove liberal propaganda down the consumers’ throats, and guys like us walk away.

      • And people like Slott, Ron Marz and others mocking conservative fans who point out the industry’s far-left tilt doesn’t exactly encourage me to start buying their work.

        The dude who runs my local comic book store is a conservative. And he’s also Hispanic, being born to immigrant parents in the Bronx, and Superman (an immigrant from space) is his favorite character; his wife is actually from here in Minnesota. Anyway, he agrees with me in saying that the industry left a lot of people like us behind.

      • Hollywood, too, has a problem of driving conservatives away. Many of the anti-war movies of the 2000s tanked in the box office because many moviegoers were fed up with being told awful they were for thinking the way they did. People want to see movies to be entertained, not be lectured on they should think. That’s just one example.

        And a TV example: up until very recently, I was a fan of the cancelled FX series “Legit” with Australian comic Jim Jeffries. But then in the last few episodes, he went on rants about how he hates the Second Amendment (which, according to what I’ve found elsewhere, is actually how he feels) and how “primitive” Americans are for having guns. He also brought out some easily debunked stats that favored his pro-gun control arguments. At that point, I deleted every episode of “Legit” that I recorded. I watched that show to laugh, not to be lectured by an Aussie twit who mocks and lectures Americans and can’t even get his facts straight.

      • Just to clarify: I was specifically referring to Jim Jeffries when I made that “Twit” remark, in case anyone were to take it the wrong way.

    • One of the writers who’s actually most responsible for the increase in dark, ambiguous stories was Frank Miller, who’s actually a conservative.

      But he wasn’t a conservative when he wrote DKR. Look at the belittling caricature of Reagan in the story, too.

      • I would say that even a “liberal” Frank Miller’s work is far better than, say, Mark Millar’s ‘Nemesis.’ I understood the question that Millar was asking with Nemesis, but the execution of the idea was just vulgar and disgusting and, quite honestly, immature.

        Did Frank Miller become liberal or did liberalism just go off the deep end and leave him behind?

        “Then came that sunny September morning when airplanes crashed into towers a very few miles from my home and thousands of my neighbors were ruthlessly incinerated — reduced to ash. Now, I draw and write comic books. One thing my job involves is making up bad guys. Imagining human villainy in all its forms. Now the real thing had shown up. The real thing murdered my neighbors. In my city. In my country. Breathing in that awful, chalky crap that filled up the lungs of every New Yorker, then coughing it right out, not knowing what I was coughing up.

        For the first time in my life, I know how it feels to face an existential menace. They want us to die. All of a sudden I realize what my parents were talking about all those years.

        Patriotism, I now believe, isn’t some sentimental, old conceit. It’s self-preservation. I believe patriotism is central to a nation’s survival. Ben Franklin said it: If we don’t all hang together, we all hang separately. Just like you have to fight to protect your friends and family, and you count on them to watch your own back.

        So you’ve got to do what you can to help your country survive. That’s if you think your country is worth a damn. Warts and all.” — (Frank Miller, ‘This Old Cloth.’)

      • Did Frank Miller become liberal or did liberalism just go off the deep end and leave him behind?

        The latter, I believe.

      • I’d say that liberalism went off the deep end and left Frank Miller behind. He wouldn’t be the only one, either. Charles Krauthammer more or less said the exact same thing when interviewed about his recent book. “I didn’t leave the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party left me.” He switched parties in the mid-1980s, I believe.

        Back on the subject of Dixon and Rivoche, I do find it funny how as soon as comics abandoned the CCA, they went off the rails in terms of violence, gore and stuff that never would’ve been seen in comics when the Code was in effect. There were plenty of good stories when it was in effect and I fail to see how it was limiting. Did they go overboard in terms of censorship? To an extent. But I’ve never viewed the Code as something overly sinister. Silver Age Comics does a good job at explaining it here: http://sacomics.blogspot.com/2008/12/comics-code-pros-and-cons.html

        And so does the now-defunct Comics Coverage blog: http://comiccoverage.typepad.com/comic_coverage/2008/12/dear-editor-dave-wants-zombies.html

        I’ve never liked moral relativism. I really don’t want to sympathize with villains, especially those who are mass murderers. Instead of Cap stories where he went on black ops missions to Afghanistan or Pakistan, one early 2000s story had him apologizing to Islamic extremists for everything America’s done. This was about a year or two after 9/11, for what’s it worth. The story where he went after the Tea party was the point where I gave up on contemporary comics altogether.

        And as I said earlier, DC’s Geoff Johns is on record saying that he prefers villains over heroes. If that doesn’t sound like moral relativism to me, I don’t know what is.

        “Dan Slott is an embarrassment to the industry, if for no other reason than his inability to conduct himself like a professional on social media platforms — a must for any creator who uses them in 2014.”

        Agreed completely. If he was an employee of any company (something outside the entertainment industry) other than Marvel, his behavior would not be tolerated and he would be fired for making the company look bad. He acts more like an immature seventh grader than an adult.

      • “I would say that even a “liberal” Frank Miller’s work is far better than, say, Mark Millar’s ‘Nemesis.’ I understood the question that Millar was asking with Nemesis, but the execution of the idea was just vulgar and disgusting and, quite honestly, immature.”

        Yeah, I can’t say I’m a Mark Millar fan. Pretty much everything he does is vulgar and disgusting. Don’t get me started on Civil War and how bad that story was. “Nemesis” is just some douchebag who decides to kill people because he’s bored. And that’s it. I never liked the Ultimate Avengers, either, although they were ironically inspired (at least partially) the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, which I do like.

        He’s one of those writers who is good when they put a leash on him, or so I’ve heard. I’ve never read any of his Flash or Superman stories, but I’ve heard those are good.

  16. Pingback: Watcher of Weasels » Watcher’s Council Nominations – Borders? What Borders? Edition

  17. Xpert: I think your faith in the scientists that are sounding the alarm for climate change is exactly the same as someone who has faith in the bible. How do you hold scientists who believe that global warming is a result of human activity accountable? Just like we really won’t know what happens to us after we die until we actually do die, so the same goes for the global warming. We won’t know if they are right or wrong until we actually do everything they want, and then see what happens in a few hundred years. How is that any different than someone who believes that the world is heading towards the catastrophes predicted in the book of Revelations due to human immorality? You can say, “but its science! Look at the charts and the trends!” But what are they to me? Where did those numbers come from? Who collected that data? Are they honest? Has it been tampered with?
    Here’s another “thing”. All scientists are not equal. The reason you believe in things like man made global warming because of things like medical science and computer technology. Question: What makes us believe in things? Answer: Signs and wonders. I have faith in the computer scientists at Google. Why? Because of have a computer in my pocket that has made my life much better. I would sit at their feet as they taught me about computer science. I have faith in medical scientists. Why? Because I’ve seen the sick made well. I myself have been healed by their methods. I would sit at their feet to learn about medical science. What exactly have climate change scientists done for me lately? What sign will they produce so that I can believe in them? What have evolutionary scientist produced to make my life better? If they could put a bacterium in a jar and let us watch it turn into a monkey, I guess everyone would believe them. Now I’m not saying they are wrong about everything. I’m just saying, they haven’t earned my trust. Perhaps if all of the climate change scientists gave up all of their worldly goods in order to reduce their carbon footprints I might take them more seriously. Perhaps they should all take vows of poverty. If they really cared about global warming, wouldn’t they be out on street corners with signs screaming to anyone who would listen, “The end is nigh! Repent!” At least a few of them would right? But, I guess the end is too far off to get too crazy about it.
    You wrote: “I can’t bring myself to believe, but I don’t think less of people who do. (Though I do resent people who try to use their religious beliefs to dictate how other people should live their lives.)”

    You resent religious people who try to dictate how you should live your life. And many resent people like you who try to use their scientism beliefs to try and dictate how they should live their lives. Or perhaps I assume to much. Are you on board with the whole climate change train?

    You wrote: “All religions are based on things that are literally immeasurable and unknowable – that’s kinda the point. The inability to know for sure (at least in life) is where faith comes in. But that same inability to know means that, from the perspective of a non-believer, religion is basically a crapshoot. I’m no longer trusting in people, I’m trusting in what is, for all intents and purposes, myths and legends.”

    I don’t know much about other religions, but Christianity is based on a historical event. Not myths and legends. Faith doesn’t come in…at least for me…because I want to believe in something that is unbelievable. Faith is making a decision (based on evidence) that you believe something, and then acting on that belief. Jesus Christ was a real person, did real miracles, was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. These are historical events. They are recorded and there were witnesses. It was a singularity in time, like the big bang. Like the cambrian explosion. Why don’t you believe it? Shinto on the other hand is a belief in many gods that inhabit trees and rocks and rivers and such. It is not based on a historical event. So Christianity isn’t a crap shoot since it is based on signs and wonders. Climate change policies however, are a crap shoot.

    • There is accountability for climate scientists. First, of course, they need good enough grades in high school to get accepted to a university. Then they need to get good grades in university, which weeds out most of the ones who don’t know what they’re doing. Then, there are other climate scientists reviewing their work. If one is straight-up making shit up, there are a lot of others who can call that out. What happens if the entire scientific community is corrupt? Well, then, I guess we’re all screwed, but I see no reason why the scientific community would be any more prone to corruption than any other group of people. Call me naive, but I prefer to assume that people aren’t lying dickwads until proven otherwise. I tend to assume that most people are generally good. If you prefer to take an entire section of humanity and paint them as horrible, awful people who are making shit up, well, that’s your hang-up.

      As far as dictating how people live, I’m inclined to think that that’s not a winning strategy. Dictating how corporations do business, on the other hand, is a good strategy. Force them to adhere to stricter environmental guidelines. Increase efficiency standards on products. Tax breaks and other rewards for meeting or exceeding standards. Ordering people to buy more fuel efficient cars won’t work, but ordering car manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency will, especially if at least some of the costs are subsidized by the government. Greater government spending on renewable energy also goes along with that.

      Yes, Jesus was a historical person. But all the stories we have about him come from decades – sometimes centuries – after he died. We don’t have contemporary reports of his miracles, and we certainly don’t have contemporary reports of him coming back from the dead. So, to me, most of that stuff remains myth and legend. You obviously disagree, but my point isn’t to convince you. My point is simply to explain the point of view of people like me.

      • We don’t have contemporary reports of his miracles…

        Wrong. ‘Miracles happen every day: Girls pull 3,000-pound tractor off trapped father’

        LEBANON, Ore. — A Linn County man pinned by his overturned tractor said his teenage daughters saved his life by lifting the 3,000-pound machine off of him.

        Jeff Smith was able to wriggle free and get breathing room after his daughters, 14-year-old Haylee and 16-year-old Hannah, lifted the huge machine up, as first reported by the Albany Democrat-Herald.

        “I was saying, ‘God help me’ over and over because I obviously could not lift it myself. It was heavy,” [daughter Haylee said].

        You do not see miracles and you do not see God because you do not look for Him.

      • Adrenaline. That sort of thing is pretty common.

        You’re right that I don’t really look for god, but you’re still missing my point. You seem to think that I’m saying you’re wrong for believing. That’s not what I’m saying. I was simply giving you the perspective of someone who doesn’t believe. You see a couple girls lifting a tractor as proof that god exists, I see it as proof that adrenaline pushes the human body past its normal limits. You see it as proof that your specific religion is correct, but if I really felt like it, I’m pretty sure I could find instances of people from all different religions doing similar things.

      • Adrenaline. That sort of thing is pretty common.

        It.was.a.tractor. A freakin’ tractor. Seriously? You think two 90 pound girls could lift a tractor that size — even with adrenaline? Okay…

        I’m going to jokingly say it: “You even lift, bro?”

        You obviously don’t, because you’d know that was more than adrenaline. Try to dead lift, say, 300 pounds as a man and get back to me about what those two tiny girls did with 3,000 pounds.

        And for the record, you have no idea what I believe about other religions or how what I believe ties into my own faith in God.

      • It.was.a.tractor. A freakin’ tractor. Seriously? You think two 90 pound girls could lift a tractor that size — even with adrenaline? Okay…

        xpert’s been watching old reruns of The Incredible Hulk TV show …!! ;-)

      • I don’t like to go to “dude,” but that one made me say it. I can probably max out at around 330 pounds for my dead lift right now. Even if adrenaline was surging through my veins I might be able to do, what, 400 pounds max? And that’s with an Olympic bar under perfect conditions. That’s not a rusty old, awkwardly shaped 3,000 pound tractor…

        Sorry, but those girls has a “hand” in lifting that tractor, maybe many…that were not of this world.

      • Fair enough on the final paragraph. I’ll withdraw that point.

        As far as lifting the tractor, the human body actually is pretty strong. We have limits in place that prevent us from using our full strength so we don’t hurt ourselves, but the fight-or-flight instinct does allow us to override those limits in times of extreme duress. Ordinarily, no, I wouldn’t be able to lift a 300-pound man. If someone I loved was trapped under a car, though, I may be able to lift it enough for the person to be pulled clear.

        It’s also worth remembering that those girls didn’t have to lift the full 3000 pounds. They only had to lift part of it, and only enough for the father to roll clear. It’s still a hell of a lot of weight, but it’s the sort of thing that’s pretty well-documented.

      • That point is that short of you actually witnessing a miracle — one that is directly relevant to xmenxpert’s life — you won’t believe. You’ll say it was adrenaline or person x was hallucinating or person y is a liar or person z just has a freak immune system, etc.

        God loves you so much — He wants you to enjoy your free will and live the life you want so much — that He even allows you to deny His existence. I don’t think that’s a good idea on your part, but oh well. Ever hear of Pascal’s Wager?

      • Yes, I have heard of Pascal’s Wager. And truthfully, I think it’s actually a really bad argument. Though I don’t feel like getting into that.

        As for the rest, yeah, that’s kinda my point. Where you see god, I see science and reason.

      • xmenxpert:

        “If one is straight-up making shit up, there are a lot of others who can call that out. What happens if the entire scientific community is corrupt? Well, then, I guess we’re all screwed, but I see no reason why the scientific community would be any more prone to corruption than any other group of people.”

        I have news for you there has been many cases of fraudulent “facts”. You do not see the reason why because you refuse to accept it. Some very powerful people have a lot to gain from the fear of global warming.

  18. Pingback: Watcher’s Council Nominations – Borders? What Borders? Edition | Nice Deb

  19. Edward,

    “I don’t know much about other religions, but Christianity is based on a historical event. Not myths and legends. Jesus Christ was a real person, did real miracles, was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. These are historical events. They are recorded and there were witnesses.”

    I cannot agree more and this is another point of hypocrisy form xmenxpert and others that believe like him. He will believe in something like global warming which there is no proof of at this time yet he will say creationism is not right because there is no proof that he will accept.

    • Well, the proof of global warming is that the planet’s gotten warmer. But by the same token, you don’t find it hypocritical for you to accept Creationism without proof, while rejecting global warming because you don’t accept the proof offered by scientists?

      For my part, I don’t find either stance hypocritical. You trust the guys who wrote the Bible, I trust the guys and gals who write reports I can’t make heads or tails of.

      • I never confirmed or denied global warming, I stated that it has no proven facts to back it up. The major difference is that I don’t tell others that it does not have a place in education. I feel both methods should be provided and allow people to make decisions for themselves. Saying the weather has gotten warmer is also far from fact. If you can’t make heads or tails of a subject then you should not be making claims that things you do not understand should not be included in education. That very mentality is not providing each side with the same level of respect which seems to be a common trend by today’s so called “tolerant” people.

      • Weather is not climate.

        And my view is that non-scientific theories – and any religious belief is inherently non-scientific – belong in a humanities class, not a science class.

      • xmenxpert, you stated “Well, the proof of global warming is that the planet’s gotten warmer”

        I said where is the proof to back it up. I did not say anything about weather that is a common misdirect.
        Also there is scientists that base their work on religious beliefs so how is that not science? I am sorry but you have yet to make a valid point on how one belief in science should be held above anther.

      • The proof is in the numbers. But fine, yes, accepting that scientists aren’t the worst people in the world is EXACTLY THE SAME THING as accepting that Jesus came back from the dead. Whatever.

        Those scientists are driven by the religious beliefs, but those beliefs are not, themselves, scientific. Religious beliefs are not scientific for one simple reason: They cannot ever be disproven. It is impossible. If I use various geological and astronomical methods to calculate that the Earth is 13 billion years old, there’s the possibility that someone else will use better methods that show it’s only 10 billion years old. If I say the Earth is 6000 years old and was created as-is . . . that’s pretty much that. The discussion’s over at that point. Someone points to the fossil record, and I say it was planted by god. Someone brings up another point, and I say it’s because of god. No one can ever prove that I’m wrong, because any attempts are met with a blunt “because god.”

        Creationism isn’t science because it’s an explanation that ultimately shuts down any possibility of debate about its validity. There will never be the possibility of new knowledge and understanding leading to it being revised.

      • Remember: xpert “is done with this conversation,” even though he’s come back. For a third time.

        How does science define “done?”

      • Different conversations with different people. But hey, by all means, feel free to continue being a condescending dick. Just because someone’s discussing something civilly and respectfully is no reason for you to show any respect back.

      • “being a condescending dick” = standing firm and not agreeing with xpert.

        There’s several ways of being condescending, and you’ve certainly mastered at least one of them, that’s for sure. So dismount your high horse, asshole.

      • I’m really happy that both your guys are commenting, but here’s the deal: I’m going to share this video and then there will be no more ‘dicks’ or ‘asshole’ references in this thread. This is perhaps the most vulgar defense of freedom I’ve ever heard.

        Warning: Strong language.

      • “standing firm and not agreeing with xpert.” No, it actually means throwing out insulting comments like the one I just told you off for. If you notice, I haven’t insulted anyone else here, despite them disagreeing with me. I’ve only insulted you. The reason is because you’re the only one who’s been an outright [wiggity wiggity wiggity wack]*.

        *Editor’s note: I’m serious. Stop it.

      • The reason is because you’re the only one who’s been an outright [wiggity wiggity wiggity wack]*.

        Boy, so much for listening to Doug, eh?

        I reiterate: There are different ways of being insulting/condescending/etc. So stick it up your [Great Googly Moogly]*, pal. Go cry to your mommy.

        Editor’s Note: I love ya Hube, but I had to do it.

      • See my Team America video share and heads up on the language.

        That aside, I do admire you for going up against a room full of people who don’t agree with you. Also, if nothing else you’ve got a bunch of individuals from all over the United States (including Australia and England) talking about how much they love God. Thanks!

      • Fine by me, Doug. And apologies. But for those keeping track, just remember who started the name calling … ;-)

      • xmenxpert, what numbers? the ones that we don’t have, the ones that you cannot provide? I never said scientist were bad people notice you keep going off track and going into the strawman defense. I am also sorry but the same test you use for science you are applying differently to traditional science making your point again wrong. Your own dating method proves your logic wrong each method was stated as fact by science yet they cannot prove it to be true and each method has disproved the other. Science has yet to be proven yet you stand by it and say it should be in school but you say we cant prove creation so it cannot be in school their is a term for this hypocrisy.

      • The numbers that have been gathered first-hand over the course of decades. We can look at what the average global temperature has been over the past 50 years, and look for trends. That’s even something anyone can do on their own.

        You’ve missed my point once again. I didn’t say we can’t prove Creationism. I said we can’t DISPROVE it. That’s why it’s not scientific. Even our current understanding of gravity can be disproven by a single hammer dropping upwards. New discoveries lead to revisions of various theories, hypotheses and so on. That cannot happen with Creationism. Creationism can be proved by god coming down and saying he did it. But it is impossible to ever disprove it.

      • xmenxpert, now wait look what you just said: “The numbers that have been gathered first-hand over the course of decades. We can look at what the average global temperature has been over the past 50 years, and look for trends. That’s even something anyone can do on their own.”

        Are you referring to weather or the temperature of the earth, 2 different things. You have yet to accept that you are playing by two different sets of rules any you chose to apply them based on preference. The very fact that you state you cannot disprove creationism is not a valid reason for not teaching it.
        Another problem is that the data you state does not clearly indicate any global warming.

        Sorry but at this point you are really grasping at straws.

      • To determine the temperature of the Earth, you get measurements from all over the world, including surface, atmospheric and, in particular, ocean, and use them to get a global average.

        And, yes, the data does, in fact, indicate a strong warming trend. Take a look at the past 50 years. While there’s lots of fluctuations, plenty of peaks and valleys, the overall trend has been upwards. Even if you look only at surface temperatures, the past decade was hotter than the one before that, which was hotter than the one before that, which was hotter than the one before that, and so on.

        At this point, trying to claim the planet isn’t warming is not a scientific claim, it’s a partisan one. There is no dispute over whether the planet is warming. It is. That is settled, and has been for a long time.

        And, yes, the fact that Creationism is impossible to disprove actually is a reason not to teach it in a science class, because it is not a scientific theory. Scientific theories are open to review, criticism and revision. Creationism is an absolute. It’s a closed book. Science is all about questioning, but Creationism can’t be questioned. If someone tells me the Earth was created 6000 years ago, where does the debate go from there? I say it was created billions of years ago, and they shrug and say they disagree, and that’s that. It doesn’t matter what facts and arguments are presented, their “theory” doesn’t change. There is absolutely no room, at all, ever, for revisions.

        That is not how science works. Science operates by always questioning, and always being open to new discoveries changing our existing understanding. Anything that doesn’t follow that simply IS NOT SCIENCE, and has no place in a science class.

      • It happens, but a lot of those sites do get factored out of calculations. The more isolated a surface station is, the more climate scientists like it.

      • Yes, but the point (as it’s been all along) as that these sorts of things, along with faulty computer models, makes giving hundreds-of-billions of dollars and individual liberties over to a federal Leviathan a really bad idea. Once you give up freedom and liberty, it’s often hard to get it back.

        Struggling to keep a discredited global warming crisis afloat, United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chair Raj Pachauri this week denied the well-documented plateau in temperatures during the past 15-plus years. Pachauri’s denialism contradicted his own admission earlier this year that there has been a 17-year plateau in global temperatures.

        The IPCC is in full damage-control mode after it leaked advance copies of an upcoming Summary for Policymakers to what it assumed would be friendly journalists. The journalists, however, quickly realized the IPCC Summary for Policymakers contained several embarrassing walk-backs from alarmist statements in prior IPCC reports.

        Two of the most embarrassing aspects of the Summary for Policymakers are (1) IPCC’s admission that global warming has occurred much slower than IPCC previously forecast and (2) IPCC is unable to explain the ongoing plateau in global temperatures. IPCC computer models have predicted twice as much warming as has occurred in the real world, and virtually none of the IPCC computer models can replicate or account for the recent lack of global warming.

        That was the IPCC admitting it had serious problems with its own computer models — not Pope Francis, Patrick, Hube or Truthwillwin. How bizarre is it that the head of the IPCC was a climate change denier before he denied his denial?

      • All right, I could go look for articles that address those points, but frankly, I just don’t feel like it. You don’t trust climate scientists – whether because you think they’re dishonest or just incompetent – and I’m not going to convince you. So I’m letting the actual science part of this discussion end.

      • Haha! Once again you’re cornered into admitting that I may very well have a good point…so you a.) say something I never said (i.e., I don’t trust scientists), and b.) end the discussion.

        I’m sure there are many good scientists. I’m married to a woman who has made science her life. My argument all along is that the “settled science” (which it isn’t) is not worth turning over ungodly amounts of freedom and individual liberty over to 535 members of Congress — some of whom think Guam will tip over if too many people are on it. You seem to think that scientists are infallible beings who are not influenced by politicians. You seem to think that scientists aren’t motivated by federal grants. You seem to think they can’t be just as greasy as the greasiest lobbyist. When it comes to turning over individual rights, I will always be skeptical when someone starts making doomsday predictions.

      • At no point have I actually made any arguments about depriving people of any rights. Also at no point have I said scientists are infallible. My claim has been that, as a group, scientists are no more or less likely to be dishonest than anyone else.

        I’m not “cornered,” I’m simply neither qualified nor actually interested in continuing a scientific debate. If you’re genuinely interested in debating it, I suggest you seek out someone with a passion for climate science. I only ever actually wanted to correct one or two incorrect statements made early on.

      • At no point have I actually made any arguments about depriving people of any rights.

        It stands to reason that the public policy options you would choose to deal with climate change would, indeed, infringe upon individual rights.

        “I’m about as liberal as it gets. I’m a Canadian liberal (but not Liberal) – that’s “far left pinko Commie” by US standards,” (xmenxpert, Nov. 7, 2013).

        I’m not “cornered,” I’m simply neither qualified nor actually interested in continuing a scientific debate.

        So you go on and on about climate change, scientists, and the scientific method, but you don’t actually ever want to talk about any science that might force you to reconsider your stance. You just wanted to “correct one or two incorrect statements.” Gotcha. I’m sure neutral observers will buy that…

      • I do have an argumentative streak in me. It’s a part of me I don’t particularly like. When I made my initial post, I didn’t actually intend to get into a long debate about climate science. However, the side of me that craves having the last word wouldn’t let me drop it. I’m overriding that impulse, however. As I said, if you’re really looking for a debate on the issue, there’s no shortage of people more interested and more capable than I am.

        As far as the public policy I advocate, it’s mostly focused on subsidies and corporate standards. More government investment in renewable energy, and regularly raising things like energy efficiency standards for electrical products, fuel efficiency for cars, stricter pollution standards for factories, all that sort of thing. There are also always subtle ways to basically manipulate the behaviour of individuals. For example, studies have shown that conservatives are less likely to buy fluorescent light bulbs when they’re promoted as environmentally friendly, and more likely to buy them when they’re promoted as saving money. Or the studies that show most people turn right when entering a store, so if certain products are placed to the right of the door, they’re more likely to be purchased. There’s all sorts of weird, subtle ways to influence behaviour that don’t actually involve mandating certain behaviour.

        So I don’t really advocate the government mandating behaviours in individuals. I do advocate the government mandating behaviour in corporations. I also advocate the government rewarding responsibility with tax breaks and subsidies, and penalizing irresponsibility with very hefty fines that make the cost of non-compliance not worth it.

      • There are also always subtle ways to basically manipulate the behaviour of individuals.

        This is the takeaway line, right there. That says it all. As a conservative, I just want to be left alone. I want you to do your thing so long as it doesn’t affect my thing. As a liberal, you try to find ways to “manipulate the behavior of individuals.” I do not see people as pawns that can be manipulated on the chessboard of life. I see them as spiritual and unique individuals who should be left to their own devices, provided they do not infringe upon the rights of others.

      • I figured you would take issue with that line, and it’s not something I’m entirely comfortable with, either. The thing is, it’s already being done to you. When you shop for groceries, the store is laid out in such a way as to manipulate you. It’s not an infringement on anyone’s rights, it’s simply making use of what’s known about human behaviour to maximize profits. Often, it’s as simple as an item getting the right place on the shelf.

        And really, we all manipulate others, to some extent or another. Most of the time, we just don’t really see it as manipulation.

      • When I go to the grocery store, the free market has brought me 52 kinds of jelly to choose from. I can get 10 different kinds of peanut butter. The mind spins at how many flavors of yogurt I can buy. A company can “manipulate” me all they want with an advertisement, but if the product sucks I’m going to walk away. In the case of the free market, we both win: Chobani likes my money and I like its yogurt with dark chocolate and raspberry sauce.

        You like comic books and have admitted you spend a lot of them. Marvel can “manipulate” you with 10 different covers for the same comic, but you’re still enjoying your love for comics. When your tastes change and you decide buying ten different comics that are exactly the same is weird, no amount of slick marketing will convince you otherwise. (This is all just an example, I don’t know if you do this sort of thing.)

        With public policy, 9 times out of 10 when a politician is “manipulating” someone he is boxing a man in; he is limiting a person’s ability to fulfill their desires. I want to drive a lot because I love the open road, but under Obama’s plan “energy prices would necessarily skyrocket.” We don’t like people who drive a lot because driving is bad for the environment and New York will be under water in 100 years if we don’t do this. Ride your bike, American. I want to buy yogurt, but there’s a “war on sugar” or something weird, so now there is a sugar tax (history repeats itself…) to curb my consumption of sugar, even though I’m a fit healthy man. But if your name is Barack Obama, you get to fly a lot because you’re in charge. If you’re a U.S. Senator, you get to drive a lot because the rules don’t apply to you. If you’re a friend of the president’s, you don’t have to pay the sugar tax because Congress carved out an exemption just for you.

        One form of “manipulation” always gives you a way out — you don’t need to come to douglasernstblog if you think I’m a jerk, despite videos, links to stories, conversation with others, etc. However, if I run for office and get elected, you can not escape the law. I control you — and that is a scary thing. I do not want to control you or any man.

      • Frankly, I’d be all for public figures to switch to telecommuting a lot more.

        Oddly enough, it was actually a conservative writing an article for Time who I got the idea of influencing behaviours from. He was talking about the ban on incandescent light bulbs. He opposed it, naturally. What he advocated instead was fluorescent bulbs being positioned in stores to sell better.

      • Have you ever worked retail? That’s the biggest “duh” of all time. Yes, where you position items will affect what you sell and how much you can move off the shelves. That is very, very different from mandating that everyone use the lightbulb you want them to use.

        Frankly, I’d be all for public figures to switch to telecommuting a lot more.

        Again, there is a huge difference between telling people why they should ride a bike or telecommute, and enacting public policy that leaves them little choice but to a.) ride the cars you like, b.) bike, or c.) telecommute. It’s made even worse when one considers that the “carbon footprint” of say, Al Gore flying a private jet to massage parlors is bigger than the carbon footprint I’ll make over the course of several lifetimes.

      • I actually haven’t worked in retail. My first job was at a call centre, and that lasted 7 years, and then I went to college after that.

        Yes, there is a difference between positioning and mandating. Positioning influences behaviour in subtle ways. It’s manipulation. And that was what I was proposing.

        And yes, Al Gore should telecommute. I agree.

      • Yes, but the point that you keep glossing over is that to the extend you’re “manipulating” me by putting the sticks of gum and Hersey bars at the front counter, it’s really nothing comparing to the force applied by the federal government in order to control behavior.

        The funny thing about liberals is that most of their ideas are so great…that they have to be mandated.

      • But I’m still advocating minor influences. Most of the government’s actual force would be focused on corporations, and even that would be a blend of carrot and stick.

        I would disagree with your take on liberal ideas. On the other hand, I suspect I would disagree with you on whether many ideas are even liberal in the first place. For example, I’m assuming you consider the Affordable Care Act to be a liberal idea, while I would declare it a Centrist idea that liberals regard as imperfect at best. (And, as an aside, I’m not a fan of the mandate element of it.)

      • I’m not sure how familiar you are with the ACA, but the mandate is the glue that holds it all together.

        Wanting as many people to have health insurance as possible is not a liberal idea. Having the government control the health care industry, however, would qualify.

        Most of the government’s actual force would be focused on corporations, and even that would be a blend of carrot and stick.

        You do realize that the vast majority of businesses in the United States are small businesses, right? You keep saying “corporations,” as if by just saying that people will think, “Oh, Apple, Microsoft, etc. That’s cool. They can afford whatever taxes xmenxpert-type politicians throw at them.” Who do you think pays those taxes, xmenxpert? The costs that you impose on businesses, large and small, are always paid by individuals. That might mean less goods and services, less jobs available, or higher prices for ‘product x,’ but it will be the individual who feels your “stick.”

        I want product x. You don’t like product x, so you make it difficult for company x to deliver it to me. But in your mind, you did a good thing because you only hindered a “corporation.” Well, no. You just stopped me from engaging in a mutually beneficial transaction with company x so you can have your way (e.g., less sugar consumption).

        When I go to the grocery store I like having 50 jars of jelly to choose from. I wish I can do the same with health insurance, but if liberals had their way I’d have one choice — the government’s choice. Take it or leave it. Oh, and by the way, when money is tight we’ll have to ration your health care. And if you’re old and you want that heart surgery…well, you had a good run, Doug. We’re going to save our limited resources for the young folks. You don’t mind kicking the bucket a few years early, do you?

        Actually, I do mind. Now please leave before I get angry, Mr. Government Bureaucrat.

      • You like to do that. You like to give your opinion on things, and then when someone wants to drill down into the implications of your “general position,” you balk. Oddly enough, you do this while expecting to have the last word. As long as you keep it “general” you a.) can never be nailed down, while b.) also having the luxury (I’d call it the unfortunate situation) of never having to reevaluate your beliefs.

      • I used to enjoy political debates. I don’t any more. I probably shouldn’t even have bothered engaging in this thread. It’s not a matter of not liking having my beliefs challenged, or having to reevaluate them. It’s that I find these sorts of debates to usually end up a waste of time. And I hate how they always turn into an “Us vs. Them” battle. It’s never about finding common ground, it’s always about showing that the other side isn’t worth listening to at all.

        Hell with it. From now on, I’m not going to comment on anything that isn’t specifically about comics.

      • It’s that I find these sorts of debates to usually end up a waste of time. And I hate how they always turn into an “Us vs. Them” battle. It’s never about finding common ground, it’s always about showing that the other side isn’t worth listening to at all.

        Hell with it. From now on, I’m not going to comment on anything that isn’t specifically about comics.

        It seems to me that aside from your spat with Hube, everyone has been rather cordial to you. I never said or implied anyone was not “worth listening to.” Quite the contrary — I tried to talk to you about science in a thread that turned into a debate about Global Warming, but you didn’t want to go there. I tried to have a deeper discussion about public policy, and you didn’t want to get into specifics after admitting that your own desire to “manipulate” people via public policy made you uncomfortable.

        “Waste of time”? That is you who is saying that — not me or Hube or Patrick or Magnetic Eye or anyone else.

        Hell with it. From now on, I’m not going to comment on anything that isn’t specifically about comics.

        So be it. I’m happy to have you comment in any thread, so long as it doesn’t turn into another “dick” vs. “asshole” name-calling contest. Regardless, refusing to comment in any thread that doesn’t pertain to comics strikes me as another way to S.H.I.E.L.D yourself from having to really evaluate those beliefs that you hold dear.

        Best of luck to you.

      • I am sorry but something that has not been proven wrong does not make it unworthy to be educated on. Why does it have to be debatable to be considered science (that is a argument made with no merit)?
        The very definition of science does not back your logic.
        Science “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.’

        All of these things can be done with creationism theory. Your reason does not hold up.

        Your excuse does not fly consider this example if a person punches a person in the face we know it will hurt and we cannot disprove that therefore under your logic we cannot consider the forensic science or any spots science. The logic you used is a bias deception used to try to make an excuse with no merit.

        Also if you look the trends they show a patter of fluctuation up and down not a systematic trend up you do not want to debate stats with me trust me on that. Also with that said 50 years out of the debatable period of earth history that has fluctuated consistently is not enough to say a verifiable guaranteed trend.

        You can question creationism and find answers as well. I am sorry but you have yet to provide a valid argument against creationist theory. As with almost every post your repeat the same thing that does not hold up. Observational science can be proven or appear to be and much of that is used to support creationism. We have yet to provide real proof of things such as evolution.

        Once again lets peel the onion of your logical downfall.

        You believe we should teach a subject that contradicts itself often and has yet to be proven correct and you are okay with that.

        You believe we should not teach something that you cannot prove wrong, because you do not understand it and you are okay with that.

        Really, that is logical? Not even close.

      • Part of the observation and experimentation is to eliminate as many of the incorrect ideas as possible. In order for something to be truly scientific, there needs to be the possibility that experimentation will prove it to be incorrect.

        Actually, one potentially could punch someone and not have it hurt. It’s unlikely (unless you’re really weak, or they have lots of padding, or something like that), but it’s still something that’s possible. Creationism is still something that will always be impossible to disprove. There is absolutely no possible scenario, short of god coming down and declaring that he had nothing to do with the Earth, that could ever disprove Creationism.

        How does forensics science not fall under the “capable of being disproven” umbrella? Mistakes can be made in forensics science, which can lead to results being incorrect, and later tests can show those results to be incorrect.

        Yes, there is an upward trend. Have you ever actually looked at any graphs of global temperatures for the past century? The trend is clear. That’s why there are virtually no reputable scientists anywhere in the world who still actually dispute that the planet is warming. That is settled science. Trying to argue the world is not warming is a blindly partisan position.

        Name one way – just a single, solitary way – in which Creationism can be proven wrong. Under what circumstances would you, reviewing a set of data, nod your head and say, “Yep, this proves that god didn’t create the Earth. I guess that theory can be put to bed.” What is the one single shred of evidence that could ever possibly exist that could lead to that conclusion?

        And I believe science classes should stick with scientific theories, and religious theories can be taught elsewhere. Creationism is a religious theory. I understand Creationism – god created the world. That, ultimately, is the core of the belief. Whether we go with the literalists or the people who view the Biblical account as at least partially allegorical, it still comes down to “god did it.” And “god did it” is an explanation that can never be disproven. There’s no test for that. There’s no crunching numbers to find, oh, no, it was definitely blind chance. While there’s no reason why the same people trying to figure out how it happened can’t believe it was god, the point is still to find as much out about the mechanics of the origin of the universe as possible. “God did it” actually ultimately remains separate from the “how’d it happen.”

      • Lets explore this comment.” In order for something to be truly scientific, there needs to be the possibility that experimentation will prove it to be incorrect.”
        That statement alone is opinion not fact. Point one down shot down.

        “Actually, one potentially could punch someone and not have it hurt”
        Can you prove that, can you read a persons mind if something hurt, no. Your very theory contradicts itself on every level.

        “Yes, there is an upward trend. Have you ever actually looked at any graphs of global temperatures for the past century?”

        You mean the data that was proven calculated and presented wrong. Before data can be used it must actual come from a reliable source and the data you have used has had many proven flaws (Douglas has mentioned some of them). Also you have not had all of the history of data to support the trend especially if the earth is as old as traditional science claims. Trust me you don’t want to play the stats game with me I will analyze the data for hours for fun and punch holes in that one easy.

        Your last point is the biggest offender “And I believe science classes should stick with scientific theories”

        You started with “I believe” and ever time facts were used the very thing you claim backs up your whole system of logic and theory mind you has been flawed. With that you still say something that you cannot disprove should not be taught over something that has been yet to be proven.
        Clearly “you believe” means more than you theory of it must be disproved to count.

        Your bias on the topic is clear. You would rather teach something that has contradicted itself numerous times in school rather than teach something you can’t prove wrong. You have all but said if it has anything to do with God you don’t want it in school because you don’t” believe” it and you would rather teach something that contradicts itself than teach something that you chose not to believe.

        Creationist science is science it just has a different view of how we started than traditional science, the very science that claimed the world was flat and the very science has changed its views and contradicted itself since the creation of the very word.

        I think you are right in the fact that it is best that you walk away form this one.

      • Science changes its views because it’s a process. New discoveries lead to ideas being revised or, if necessary, thrown out entirely. That’s how science works. It’s not about 100% certainty, as Creationism is. It’s about the best possible explanation given what we know at a given time.

      • That is part of your mistake the origin of creationist science is the beginning the rest can be tested. The foundation is the only part that you cannot question.

      • Please notice that my question still remains unanswered. How can we consider dates from dating methods fact when the results have been different from the same test ran multiple times and when other accepted testing methods from the same scientists provide different results?

      • xmenxpert should read Chris Horner’s “Red Hot Lies.”

        He was the one I was talking about who ENRON wanted to help it take advantage of the carbon credits scam. He balked…and we all know what happened to ENRON.

        “In pursuing their anti-energy, anti-capitalist, and pro-government agenda, the global warming alarmists — and unscrupulous scientists who see this scare as their gravy train to federal grants and foundation money — resort to dirty tricks, smear campaigns, and outright lies, abandoning scientific standards, journalistic integrity, and the old-fashioned notions of free speech and open debate. In Red Hot Lies, bestselling author Christopher Horner–himself the target of Greenpeace dirty tricks and alarmist smears–exposes the dark underbelly of the environmental movement. Power-hungry politicians blacklist scientists who reject global warming alarmism. U.S. senators threaten companies that fund climate change dissenters. Mainstream media outlets openly reject the notion of “balance.” The occasional unguarded scientist candidly admits the need to twist the facts to paint an uglier picture in order to keep the faucet of government money flowing. In the name of “saving the planet,” anything goes.”

        But as we all know, scientists — all of them — are infallible beings.

      • I’ve provided no answer because I am not a scientist. Bill Nye was unable to answer the question because it’s not his particular field of science. Go ask someone who actually studies dating methods if you really want an answer.

      • No Bill Nye was unable to answer, could it have been because he avoided the question to protect his view? I find it odd that he would go into a debate that he knew data methods would be a key point and not have any data to support his view. Scientists that study dating have found the measures inconclusive and that did not support his view.
        Once again how can a view be considered fact and have a place in school that has yet to have solid proof be above another scientific view? It is rather clear it is because people do not want to admit that it is also a form of science and it has its place as well.

      • Thanks for the recommendation, Doug. I’m going to have to read that book sometime. It sounds interesting.

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    • Maybe that will be the next shirt after I finish the “Doug C.R.O.N.I.E.S.” (Comics Reconnaissance Operative, Negotiator Intelligence Expert, and Soldier) shirt. ;)

  24. “Call me naive, but I prefer to assume that people aren’t lying dickwads until proven otherwise. I tend to assume that most people are generally good. If you prefer to take an entire section of humanity and paint them as horrible, awful people who are making shit up, well, that’s your hang-up.”

    But you do assume an entire group of people are lying dickwads. You believe the early Christians were a bunch of lying dickwads. They would have to be if they made all of that stuff up about Jesus healing people, Jesus rising from the dead, Jesus ascending into heaven. They would also have to be insane to then go on to die horrible, painful deaths because they refused to say they made it up. So it seems it is your hang-up. But it isn’t my hang up. I don’t believe the vast majority of these climate scientists are lying. I believe they probably believe what they are preaching. I just think they aren’t as smart as they think they are. I think they are wrong in thinking that we can turn this thing around. I don’t think we can change this trend any more than we can change the path of a hurricane. So I don’t think a whole group of people are dickwads…you do though.

    The accountability you speak of isn’t accountability in the way you meant it in your previous post. A doctor can be held accountable because the results of his actions are readily apparent. The same with a computer scientist. If a doctor is incompetent, it will be discovered soon enough. But a climate scientist can be competent even while the science itself isn’t. If an aerospace engineer is wrong about his theories, he will discover it as soon as his vehicle crashes. He can go back and rethink his theories on flight. A climate scientists cannot test his theories. He can run simulations based on assumptions, but he can’t take a replica of the planet and pump carbon dioxide into it to see how much it heats up.

    You wrote: “Yes, Jesus was a historical person. But all the stories we have about him come from decades – sometimes centuries – after he died. We don’t have contemporary reports of his miracles, and we certainly don’t have contemporary reports of him coming back from the dead. So, to me, most of that stuff remains myth and legend.”

    Well of course we don’t have “contemporary reports” of his miracles. Sheesh. We don’t have any contemporary reports of the trial of Socrates either. Do you think that incident is legend and myth? The earliest written document of Jesus rising from the dead was within 10 to 20 years of his death. Do you really believe thousands of people would have bought into that story and died defending it that soon after he was killed?

    • But you do assume an entire group of people are lying dickwads. You believe the early Christians were a bunch of lying dickwads. They would have to be if they made all of that stuff up about Jesus healing people, Jesus rising from the dead, Jesus ascending into heaven. They would also have to be insane to then go on to die horrible, painful deaths because they refused to say they made it up. So it seems it is your hang-up. But it isn’t my hang up. I don’t believe the vast majority of these climate scientists are lying. I believe they probably believe what they are preaching. I just think they aren’t as smart as they think they are.

      Have you ever seen the WFB “Beast Mode” videos? Yeah…you just did that on xmenxpert.

    • It’s not that I think the early Christians were lying. But stories have a way of escalating pretty quickly – the fish that got away gets bigger every year. And they weren’t crazy for dying for something they believed in, they were just very dedicated.

      So your claim isn’t that climate scientists aren’t all awful human beings, they just know less than you do about the field they’ve dedicated their entire lives to?

      I’m pretty sure we do have contemporary accounts of Socrates, though Plato’s stories about him were almost certainly fictionalized (or straight-up fiction).

      • “So your claim isn’t that climate scientists aren’t all awful human beings, they just know less than you do about the field they’ve dedicated their entire lives to?” That was unfair and rude of me; I apologize. I was just heading down for dinner, and I posted before I had a chance to really reconsider my words.

        Still, it does seem like you’re saying that experts can’t be trusted. I’ve seen plenty of conservatives imply that climate experts are dishonest, now you’re implying that they’re just not very good at their jobs. But that raises some questions. Should we not trust any experts, in any field? Are there certain climate experts we can trust? Which ones, and what makes them more trustworthy than the rest? Is climate science as a whole a field of study that should just be considered impossible to really understand? Why would that be the case?

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    • If you mean global warming, I accept the word of what appears to be the greatest number of climate scientists. Most don’t dispute the humans are the primary drivers of the current warming trend (and there are virtually none that dispute that there IS a warming trend – that has pretty much universal acceptance). To me, that means that they actually agree with that stance. Almost every climate science organization on the planet has issued statements supporting that view, with most of the sceptical groups (which still acknowledge that the planet is warming) being petroleum geology groups. Even a renowned and respected sceptic who received funding from the Koch Brothers wound up coming to the conclusion that humans are the primary drivers of the current global warming.

      But you’re more inclined to trust other experts, who present different arguments. Maybe your experts are right. Maybe mine are right. Maybe none of them are right. Maybe it’ll turn out that it was all the fault of aliens. And maybe we’ll find out WE WERE THE ALIENS ALL ALONG! Dun dun duuuunnn!

      Either way, as I said, I’m no longer interested in discussing the science. The one last thing I will say is that we’re none of us free of confirmation bias. It’s human nature to pick an opinion and then hold fast to it, no matter what evidence is thrown at us, and that evidence often only makes us cling to our opinions even harder. That holds true for liberals and conservatives alike.

      Except me. Because I’m always right.

      • xmenxpert, if you notice my very first post I stated I am not for or against global warming. My main point is that you believe we should not teach something that you cannot disprove yet you want to teach something that has been proven wrong.

        Under your logic we should only teach creationism if we have proven it wrong and that does not make any sense.
        You would rather have our schools teach one method that has not been proven and has contradicted itself over something that has yet to be proven wrong where I said both methods should be provided in school.

      • You still misunderstand. I am not saying things that have been proven wrong should be taught. I am saying that in order to be scientific, the possibility needs to exist for it to be proven wrong. There needs to be a ways in which an idea can be tested and revised based on the results. Creationism can never be revised. Never. So I do not view it as anything close to scientific, and so does not belong in a science class.

        I’m really not sure how I can make my position any clearer.

      • Most don’t dispute the humans are the primary drivers of the current warming trend

        Except that we (Doug and I) showed this not to be the case. Once again, “Only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate studies examined by Cook explicitly stated that mankind caused most of the warming since 1950.” You argued, then, that these scientists implicitly agree that man is primary cause of GW. But … how?

        And one thing no one has really brought up on this topic: Even if man is the primary culprit, so what? Why do we act as if climate is some static phenomenon that if f***ed with, we’ll be irreparably harmed? Which goes to the point I also made earlier: These GW scientists have said that there is nothing we can do about the quantity of CO2 already in the atmosphere. For 1,000 years. So, AGAIN, why should you, I, and especially the dirt-poor Honduran farmer drastically alter our lifestyles as a remedy? So that we can make a “better” world for, what, the year 3014?

  26. Xpert wrote: “It’s not that I think the early Christians were lying. But stories have a way of escalating pretty quickly – the fish that got away gets bigger every year. And they weren’t crazy for dying for something they believed in, they were just very dedicated.”

    You are not being honest here or you are ignorant of early christian history. Jesus’ disciples all died defending the fact that Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, was crucified, buried and rose from the dead three days later. They are the originators of these stories. If they made these stories up, they were evil men, or “dickwads” as you say. There was no time for the stories to escalate. People were dying for defending these stories within 5 years of Jesus’ death. So you simply can’t say that these men believed stories someone else made up about Jesus and died defending them. These men lived with Jesus. They followed him around for 3 years. Then they all died painful deaths because they refused to say they made it all up. You really only have two choices here. Choice 1: These men were evil, insane liars. Choice 2: These men were telling the truth.

    You wrote: “I’m pretty sure we do have contemporary accounts of Socrates, though Plato’s stories about him were almost certainly fictionalized (or straight-up fiction).”
    I’m confused here. What do you mean by “contemporary accounts of Socrates”?

    You wrote: “Still, it does seem like you’re saying that experts can’t be trusted. I’ve seen plenty of conservatives imply that climate experts are dishonest, now you’re implying that they’re just not very good at their jobs. But that raises some questions. Should we not trust any experts, in any field?”

    Of course. Any field that produces something tangible can certainly be trusted. Medicine, Communication, Computing, Engineering, Mathematics…for example. The reason I don’t trust the climate change science is because it’s so political. It asks for so much. The other sciences I mentioned just give. They produce things that make our lives better. I can see the results. The same is not true with Climate science. It is opaque to me. And because it is all tied up with politics, I am wary. I believe it is very possible that you won’t make it very far as a climate scientist if you don’t toe the line. So I don’t think I know more than they do. But it doesn’t take but a few bad apples to throw the whole theory off, especially since they cannot test their theories. Are you familiar with Piltdown Man?

    The Piltdown Man was a paleoanthropological hoax in which bone fragments were presented as the fossilised remains of a previously unknown early human. These fragments consisted of parts of a skull and jawbone, said to have been collected in 1912 from a gravel pit at Piltdown, East Sussex, England. The Latin name Eoanthropus dawsoni (“Dawson’s dawn-man”, after the collector Charles Dawson) was given to the specimen. The significance of the specimen remained the subject of controversy until it was exposed in 1953 as a forgery, consisting of the lower jawbone of an orangutan deliberately combined with the cranium of a fully developed modern human.
    The Piltdown hoax is perhaps the most famous paleoanthropological hoax ever to have been perpetrated. It is prominent for two reasons: the attention paid to the issue of human evolution, and the length of time (more than 40 years) that elapsed from its discovery to its full exposure as a forgery.

    These few men (whoever they were…they were never caught) sent biologists on a rabbit trail for 40 years. And they had tangible data! Where was the accountability? Climate scientists have nothing but historical data. You can only take readings once. You can’t go back in time to check to see if the data taken 10 years ago is accurate.

    • As far as Jesus goes: I really wasn’t trying to get into a debate about it. All I was doing was trying to explain the point of view of people, like me, who don’t believe in god. It’s been too long since I’ve done any real reading on the matter, and I don’t actually care enough to refresh myself. I’ll defer to you on early Christianity.

      As far as the scientific stuff goes, again, it’s not a debate I’m interested in having right now. I don’t feel like doing the research required to dispute the points you bring up. At this point, I’m just going to admit to being guilty of simple laziness. I disagree with the science itself being tied up with politics. I disagree with it providing no benefit. I disagree with the idea that we shouldn’t trust them. In short, I just disagree with you.

      But I got tired, a long, long time ago, of getting into political discussions. They never frigging end, and nothing gets accomplished, and they become less and less fun the longer they go on, and become more and more a chore. I honestly regret actually engaging in this thread, because it went far, far beyond what I actually wanted to say, which comes down to “Creationism is not a scientific theory” and “climate scientists weren’t predicting an Ice Age in the ’70s.”

      • Very interesting article.

        This discussion was sparked just days after the publication of the IPCC report in April, when report co-author and Harvard environmental economics professor Robert Stavins released a controversial open letter to the IPCC leadership. Stavins criticized the last-minute intervention by several governments in the approval process of the IPCC report in Berlin and called the resulting policy summary document “a summary by policy-makers, not a summary for them.”

        “Over the course of the two hours of the contact group deliberations, it became clear that the only way the assembled government representatives would approve text for SPM.5.2 [the Summary for Policy-makers] was essentially to remove all ‘controversial’ text (that is, text that was uncomfortable for any one individual government), which meant deleting almost 75 percent of the text,” Stavins wrote on his blog on April 25.

        That’s bad enough, but this one is even funnier:

        IPCC co-author Charles Kolstad, a Stanford economist who was not involved with any of the papers released in Science, tells National Geographic that there is a “perception that the main product was the summary for policymakers and that it appeared to be a censored version of what we wrote.” Kolstad says it would be better if the public had a clearer distinction of the two sides of the report and says “it would be a mistake to move the policymakers away from the process.”

        Kolstad adds that it was gratifying “how much the diplomats seemed to care about what was in the IPCC product” and says “remaining relevant is of paramount importance.”

        Translation: “Don’t make the guys with the money mad at us. What are you doing?! You’re going to screw up next year’s grants…”

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  29. Xmenxpert,
    You said “As far as the scientific stuff goes, again, it’s not a debate I’m interested in having right now. I don’t feel like doing the research required to dispute the points you bring up. At this point, I’m just going to admit to being guilty of simple lazines”

    Yet you still debated why you did not think we should even teach a large section of scientific theory? Just because you do not want to accept a form of science does not make your view reality.
    Notice your view, we should embrace your beliefs but another belief that is counter to your view should not be shared (you sound like a traditional type that preaches tolerance while in actuality are not tolerant to others).
    It fascinates me how you debate and have strong views on something yet you say you do not feel like researching it? When your very own theories of needed data contradict itself global temperature included you decide that you did not want to get into a debate…really?
    You are against a form of science due to your disbelief of God, yet you fight to support something that has had a history of making claims that are “true”or “fact” just to find out it was wrong.
    Do you not see the failure in that logic?
    As I said before I believe both methods of science should be provided in school and this will allow people to make an informed decision rather than hiding one whole section of science to protect their theories.

    • I’ve made my arguments. My responses to your posts here are going to be similar to what I’ve already said. Suffice it to say, I disagree with what you’re saying, and I’m as firm in my stance as you are in yours. Rather than continue to spend time in a debate that’s just spinning its wheels, I’m simply going to drop it.

      • You have already said that once, yet you never did.

        I state again. Why should we be able to have something in school that has been consistently proven wrong and be fine with it yet we will not allow a form of science in that may even prove helpful in developing traditional science.

        The whole logic behind the reasoning is ludicrous at best and malicious at worst.

      • xmenxpert, the very argument you make is oppressive and only serves as an protectionist theory for traditional science.
        If you were truly open to science you would embrace the possibility and explore it rather than try to block it.

  30. Anyone that says creationist science is not science people such as Theodore M. Drange and many scientists disagree. Xmenxpert should pay close attention to the gremlin theory of car failure, it will show a major flaw in his entire argument rendering it as to nothing but a bias statemetn.

    This should enlighten you:

    http://infidels.org/library/modern/theodore_drange/creationism.html

    Section 2 in particular shows how xmenxpert is mistaken on many levels:

    What is it for a theory to be scientific?
    Theories are sets of propositions put forward to explain facts or observations. They could come to be widely known to be true and thereby become facts (or sets of facts). One example of that is the heliocentric theory of the solar system. Though not initially known to be true, several centuries ago it became a set of facts. I would say that a scientific theory is one that is capable of being produced by, or used in, science. Hence, it must be capable of employing empirical method, which relies on interpersonal observations within a framework of natural law. The main criterion for such capability is whether or not the theory is: (1) testable (i.e., test procedures that appeal to interpersonal observations can be clearly described for the theory) and (2) compatible with natural law (i.e., conforming to the known laws of nature). The theory need not be true and need not be used by current scientists, but it does need to be the kind of theory that might fit in. Scientific theories satisfy this “empirical method” criterion, as it might be called, whereas unscientific ones do not. If a theory is unscientific, it is because it is not part of an empirical pursuit of knowledge but something else, perhaps a system of thought based on revelation or authority, or something derived only from personal experiences or imagination rather than interpersonal observations.
    As a paradigm example of an unscientific theory, I offer the “gremlin theory of car failure.” It maintains that the reason why some cars won’t start is that they have gremlins in them, where gremlins are by definition undetectable beings who dwell inside engines and cause them on occasion to malfunction. They do this by means of a supernatural power which also enables them to forever elude observation, no matter how sophisticated the investigator’s detection devices may be. Consider the prediction that gremlins will prevent a certain car from starting. Is this testable? I would say, “Only partly, not fully.” The prediction can be analyzed as the conjunction of these two statements:
    (a) The car’s engine won’t start.
    (b) The cause of that is gremlins.
    Only statement (a) is testable, not (b). Since statement (a) can be falsified, the entire prediction can be falsified. But falsifiability of a prediction is not enough to make the theory on which the prediction is based testable. Since part of every prediction made by the theory is untestable, the theory itself is untestable and should not be called “scientific.” It also fails to conform to natural law, since the gremlins do things by means of forces that lie outside the known laws of nature. That would be another reason for regarding gremlin theory to be unscientific.
    It has been objected that the attempt to draw a line of demarcation between scientific and unscientific theories is misguided. Two reasons are commonly given. One is that all the proposed definitions of “scientific theory” are failures because of some obscurity within them. And the other is that, even if the boundary could be clearly defined, the distinction is useless, because, whatever purpose one might try to fulfill by means of it, it would be better to try to achieve that purpose by drawing a different boundary, in particular, that between “good” theories and “bad” theories. Let us look more closely at these objections.
    The first objection maintains that all the various attempts to demarcate between scientific and unscientific theories have been failures. But what is wrong with the criterion that I propose above: that a theory is scientific if and only if (1) it can be empirically tested and (2) it is compatible with natural law? It might be objected that some theories in physics do not meet requirement (1). For example, quantum theory cannot be empirically tested because it deals with entities that are in principle unobservable. My reply is that this is an overly narrow conception of testability. Quantum theory does generate empirically testable predictions and that should suffice to satisfy requirement (1). The details of this issue lie beyond the scope of the present essay. It should be noted, though, that the testability requirement is a fairly standard one and is used by scientists themselves, as well as philosophers of science.
    The second objection maintains that even if a clear line of demarcation can be drawn between scientific and unscientific theories, it is not required for any useful purpose. Why draw the distinction at all? One reason is pedagogical. Schools need to decide what to teach under the heading of “science” and what to exclude. A related reason pertains to publications and libraries. Editors and librarians need to decide which manuscripts and essays are “scientific” and which books belong in the “science” section. Still another reason has to do with funding. Agencies like the National Science Foundation need to decide whether or not a proposed research project is “scientific” or not. There are many such purposes served by the given line of demarcation. The objection being considered is that instead of distinguishing “scientific” from “unscientific” theories, it would be more appropriate to distinguish “good” theories from “bad” theories. Thus, the reason why gremlin theory should not be taught in schools, or funded, or published, or given library space, is not because it is “unscientific” but because it is a “bad” theory. My reply is, first, that the line of demarcation between “good” and “bad” theories is not any clearer or easier to draw than that between “scientific” and “unscientific.” And second, there is still a need for the scientific-vs.-unscientific distinction within our present institutions. Libraries and schools, for example, will always have “science” sections and “science” classes, and not “good theory” sections or “good theory” classes. So, the suggested shift in focus is simply impractical, given the organizational structures within our present institutions. For these reasons I find the objection to be a failure.
    I shall proceed on the assumption that a line of demarcation between scientific and unscientific theories can be drawn, somewhat along the lines suggested above, and that the standard objections to such an approach to our topic can all be satisfactorily rebuffed.

  31. For the record notice the article I posted was not pro religion, as a For the record notice the article I posted was not pro religion, as a matter of fact look at their goal and who pays for the message it is rather the opposite yet it makes points for both sides.
    The point I am making is that both sides deserve to be represented and to deny one is changing the rules and forcefully stacking the deck with one view which in turn removes the possibility for logical study.
    To be fair I also do not agree with all of their points (I do believe in God), but they do make a good case for both sides.

  32. To be fair I tend to agree with this view more than my previous post. This post comes from a source that does believe in God.

    http://www.icr.org/article/should-public-schools-teach-creation/

    Should the Public Schools Teach Creation?
    by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
    Many today claim that only evolution should be taught in the public, tax-supported schools of our land. Let us look at their reasoning and formulate a response.
    The basic assumption of modern evolutionary theory is that no Supernatural Being has ever been involved in this universe. The basic definition of science even has been changed to imply Naturalism. If there is no Creator, there is no creation, and teaching creation is folly. Furthermore, the claim that creation is religious implies that teaching it would violate the “establishment clause” in the Constitution. Beyond that, the claim that creation ideas have been disproved by science implies it would be a waste of valuable classroom time to teach it.
    On the other hand, many modern educators believe that the inclusion of creation in the public school curriculum is both proper and advantageous, for the following reasons:
    The assumption of no supernatural input into the universe is unscientific. At best, it is unfounded, impossible of proof, and religious to the extreme.
    The claim that belief in creation is religious, is, of course, true, but no more religious than belief in evolution. Both are based on similar, but opposite religious assumptions. The two concepts are on equal religious footing, and to mandate the teaching of only one (i.e., evolution), while censoring the other, “establishes” a state religion, and certainly prohibits the “free exercise” of the religious practice held by creationists. To make matters worse, “free speech” is frequently abridged in such onesided forums.
    Keep in mind that this is not a small minority whose rights have been denied. A recent national poll revealed that eighty-five percent of the American people want creation taught in the public schools, either exclusively or along with evolution. The rights of the majority have clearly been usurped.
    The claim that only evolution is scientific is patently false. In fact, many scientists now hold that creation is much more scientific than evolution. Evolution flies in the face of established scientific law, including the second law of thermodynamics, the law of cause and effect, and the law of biogenesis, as well as not being harmonious with observed data. Fossil gaps are real, there are limits on genetic variability, favorable mutations are essentially non-existent, etc. The flaws in the concept of evolution are seldom admitted, let alone taught in public education. This situation has the flavor of brainwashing students in only one school of thought, and an unscientific one, at that. On the other hand, the true facts of science fit quite well into a creation model.
    By incorporating both views of the unobserved past into the curriculum, teachers can employ a proven teaching method. Students allowed to study the pros and cons of conflicting models are much more likely to grasp the material, develop love for science, and learn critical decision making skills. Brainwashing does none of this.
    In summary, we have found evolution and exclusive evolutionary teaching to be unscientific, unconstitutional, religious, frequently dishonest, unpopular, and undesirable. The time has come for better teaching on origins.

    I believe it is only fair to provide both sides of the discussion.

    • Cap’s new sidekick could be a prostitute. http://www.shortpacked.com/2006/comic/book-2-pulls-the-drama-tag/06-the-drama-tag/whores/

      As for whether Marvel would give him a chance . . . Well, I think it depends on the story he pitched. If Miller wants to write a story where Captain America defeats terrorism, Marvel’s probably going to have a lot of concerns about that, just based on his attempted Batman: Holy Terror story (which he published elsewhere without Batman). There were a lot of people who felt that, all politics aside, that was just a really bad, poorly-written mess of a story. So if Frank Miller pitches a Cap story that’s got similarities to that, then it would make a lot of sense for Marvel to pass.

      I think, at this point, Miller’s in the position where if he wants to pitch to Marvel or DC, he’s going to need to put a whole lot of detail into the pitch. He’s not in the Warren Ellis position of being able to step into the editor’s office, say he wants to do something, and being given a stack of money. He needs to put a little more work into it.

      On the other hand, with his creator-owned stuff, he can just throw whatever he wants on the page and get it published. So I don’t see much reason for him to bother pitching anything, especially to Marvel.

      That said, it might be pretty awesome if Marvel approached Miller about writing a fill-in issue of the current Elektra series. Maybe reunite him with Bill Sienkewicz for that issue, though Mike Del Mundo’s doing a phenomenal job.

      • xmenxpert, I have heard that as well. I a have not read his latest work so I can not judge it but I have yet to hear anything positive about it. With thas said it does scare me a little but I feel it would be a nice change of tone…maybe.

      • I’ve read very little of Miller’s work in general. I’ve read his two absolutely incredible Daredevil runs. And I’ve read Elektra: Assassin. But I’m a Marvel Zombie, so my utter lack of interest in DC means that most of Miller’s work, I just haven’t read. Though I did really like the Sin City movie, and look forward to the new one.

        But yeah, what I’ve read about him is that he kinda went off the rails. And I’ve seen some pages from that Holy Terror, and man, no. Since I haven’t read the stuff itself, I can’t judge, but it’s affected his reputation, and that’s as big an obstacle as anything else. Liefeld has a terrible reputation, too, so it’s unlikely he’ll get any Marvel work. Chuck Austen has a terrible reputation, and Marvel’s stopped giving him work.

        I only hope that the next hack whose reputation leads to a lack of Marvel work is Greg Land.

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  34. Another Dan Slott hypocrite moment:

    “Dan Slott@DanSlott ·

    .@Carl_Howie @wikitconcepts I actually have a great deal of gun rights people who follow me. I’m all for discussion. Long at it’s not rude.”

    Really since when is Dan for a discussion without being rude?

    Really you posted this just hours before:

    Dan Slott@DanSlott · 24h

    .@wikitconcepts Unfollowing me’s a good choice. I’m a person. I have views & the freedom of speech. Sorry I’m not just a comic book machine.”

    “leep Bloop@wikitconcepts · 24h

    @DanSlott In order to go on reading Spidey, I’m going to unfollow you. If you want to spend so much time on politics, leave comics.”

    So if you do not agree with Dan he does not want you to follow …..wait I thought he wanted discussion….guess not.

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