Saturday, February 22, 2020

Saturday Night Radio Drama - R. D. Wingfield - Deadfall

Demolition expert Harry Davis is a retired British special agent. In his service days he was part of a disastrous plot to assassinate an African leader. Now, many years later, there is to be another attempt. Reluctantly Harry is drawn into the plot, but is all it seems to be?

Bob Peck as Harry Davis, 
Judy Berry as Jenny Brown, 

with Stephen Thorne, Jim Reynolds, Alan Dudley, Aubrey Woods and Peter Howe. Produced by Ian Cotterell.

Pressed for time, as I said earlier. Here's a kind of old-fashioned kind of drama. 

Atheists Believe In A god And By Preference Their god Is Stupid

A. If some atheist-materialist, ideological eternal-past universe is, in fact, not reality, as there is no reason to believe it is, I doubt that our one known universe provides enough time for their stupid god, Random-Chance, to create life.  

That is one of the reasons that atheists have always had to insist that the universe is past-eternal, something that becomes all the more obviously necessary for their stupid god to come up with life.  They know that the probability of life arising in our one, known, universe by Random-Chance is entirely unbelievable when considered intelligently.   It requires, literally, an infinity of time to produce the sight probability of explaining us in their preferred way.   And they don't care if they have to create an infinity of universes because they can't stand that. 

Why that is different from what they accuse their opponents of doing, coming up with scenarios that support the way they prefer is, apparently, not to be considered.  

I will note that even as they posit their eternal-past universe, that doesn't clinch the deal for their stupid creator god, there is nothing that would prevent the intelligent God of monotheism from creating any number of universes* out of the eternity of God's own being, so the desperate attempt would seem to be rather futile except that it might salvage their own naive faith in their preferred, stupid god.  The God of Judaism, Christianity and, I believe Islam, not to mention other monotheistic religions could easily operate as the Creator in an eternal-past ensemble of universes. 

B. If the current Big Bang cosmological scheme that our universe came into being from literally nothing is correct, that would more likley to support a belief in intelligent design, though not creationism, the time being too short to sort out all of the enormous improbabilities of life arising as it seems to have.  

As I've pointed out the last two days, I don't believe the current schemes of abiogenesis for a single second because their claims for random chance are unrealistic. 

I will not apologize for stating the fact that the atheist-materialist god "Random-Chance" is, in fact, their creator god nor that they insist that their god is in fact, stupid, unintelligent, devoid of consciousness.  They seem to like the idea of a stupid creator that creates by accident just as they like the idea that the universe is devoid of intelligence and, in the worst cases, consciousness.  That they insist that they are just brilliant while holding these denials of the things that they would need to, in fact be brilliant, the holders of truth while denying the existence of the only means we have of apprehending truth, etc.  leads me to being ever less surprised that even the smartest of them are able to hold such stupid ideas in such high regard.  

* I always have a problem of the irrational idea that there is more than one universe, if it's not the only one there is no "universe".  You can only have one or you can't have any.  

Friday, February 21, 2020

Do You People Even Have The First Idea Of What You're Claiming And How Complex That "Simple" Life Is?

I am extremely skeptical that the original organism of life on Earth could have been something as complex as a prokaryote, muliti-layered containing membranes, complex division of the organism into organells with different functions, DNA, RNA, etc. not to mention things like flagella and other surface appendages and, let's not forget those to little details, metabolism and reproduction - with a rupturing, resealing membrane that happens to result in two viable organisms containing what is needed for continued life and reproduction - 

Prokaryotic Cell Structure

And this is just a current, schematic, highly general "typical" body type for them.  I have no doubt that, if this continues to be studied, they will be found to be far more complex than is known now.  And none of those things marked on this diagram are simple, in themselves nor are their interactions and regulation. 

If you insisted on that I would insist such a complex organism coming together by pre-biological random chance events is so incredibly remote that anyone who believed it could be anything but the product of intelligent design may as well make resort to invoking spontaneous magic but I'd more likely point out that they would have, then, attributed powers to their god "Random-Chance" that were already attributed to God in Genesis so they may as well admit that. 

The idea that any modern domain of biology could have contained the original organism or given you a good clue as to what the original organism(s) in our line of life was like strikes me as more absurd than anything Michael Behe has said to my knowledge.  I would wonder what an accurate probability of such an organism just-happening in the early-Earth by random chance events could possibly be because my next question is why we don't see it happening all the time now when, certainly, the molecules that would need to waft into each other are certainly more abundant, before they decay as I discuss below. 

Every time I look at the claims made by atheist-materialists dealing with attempts to dream up some original organism that just happened, the more absurd the entire effort looks and the more desperate their schemes seem to me.  

Ayering The Linen On William Barr

Reading U.S. Deputy Attorney General under George H. W. Bush Donald Ayers' most recent article about why William Barr must resign (fat chance of that happening) I kept wondering at not only how so many elite connected lawyers, liberal as well as conservative had to have played a huge game of let's pretend to ignore that Barr was and has long been an overt fascist - as long as the strong man was a Republican.  Ayer references and links to an op-ed supporting Barr as an "excellent choice" from the TV liberal lawyer Harry Litman in support of Barr, I believe at the time I read Litman's article along with other anodyne piles of horseshit from other such "liberals" over the sterling character the "institutionalist" credentials of Barr and, previously, of the scumbag little hack Rod Rosenstein and may have called him out as a willingly unseeing dupe.  I have speculated what's in it for these self-duped dupes as I did the "liberals" in the legal and judicial profession who reassured us that Samuel Alito was not going to be a dangerous oligarachic and Republican-fascist hack on the Supreme Court.  

Well, the proof is in the pudding and that proof shows that such connected lawyers are a remarkably unreliable bunch until they can't possibly pretend that their buddies are men of honor.  I have noted several times that the now obviously absurdly lionized Robert Mueller was one such friend of Barr whose nonfeasance should remove his halo, which I have no doubt he'll retain.  Though it's one made of plastic, not gold. 

The bigger question to wonder at is what's in it for the person who all right-wing fascists hold in highest regard, not their strong-man, themselves.  I am certain that William Barr is not a true-Trump believer, Trump is nothing but a vehicle for him to see his fascist theory of law and the American presidency fulfilled in.  That it took the most criminal and traitorous of Presidents to present him with that opportunity is a pretty good sign that such an effort is, in itself, an overt criminal enterprise as I would hold the entire "unitary executive" and "Federalist Society" program has been.   His previous activities were in regard to the not-infamous enough cover-up pardons issued by George H. W. Bush to those who, if forced to testify in their own defense are believed to have been in a position to implicate him in criminal activities while Vice President and President.  That alone makes someone like Litman supporting him as Trumps AG definitively self-impeaching as to their judgement of such matters. 

But what do these fascist lawyers, law professors and judgeds and "justices" expect to get out of the destruction of American democracy?  

I suspect there are a couple of psychological gratifications they get from it. 

First is the establishment of a hierarchical order of unequal evaluation of human beings, their kind of people being elevated to the superior status.  That, in every way, is the prime directive of the enemies of equality and democracy from the time of Greek antiquity to today.   It is a habit of thought and a gratifying habit that people of low morals constantly indulge in, racism, ethinic hatred, misogyny are all motivated by the gratifying belief that the - for the most part - affluent or aspiring to be affluent white male holds as among his greatest possessions, the feeling that he is superior to others and that he is so entitled to the privileges and benefits of his superiority.   I have seldom known a preppy-Ivy equivalent product who doesn't, to some extent, harbor such a notion of their superiority to the mass of humanity. 

Second, Barr is either too lazy or too cowardly to stand for elective office, himself, something which he shares with so many others of the legal bureaucracy who are the enemies of egalitarian democracy.   Perhaps he knows that he has little chance to gull enough voters in a place he would like to live into voting him into office and, no doubt, he realizes his elitist oligarachic fascism would work against him in gaining or retaining elective office.  Perhaps his view of himself as being above the vulgarity of depending on something as debased as the hoi polloi who vote plays a huge role in that.  I don't doubt it is something he shares with many other members of the same lawyerly rank of insiders.  Which would account for the "liberals" among them being willing supporters of others of their rank.  

Lacking public office for himself, a William Barr will attach himself to someone who will stand for election and gain office in order for him to further himself and his fascism.  He doesn't mind not being the one at the top as long as he gets to maximize his own power in service of the strong-man he attaches himself to.  He also gets to attack and destroy the things that stand between democracy and his vision of an oligarchic-fascist government which can bypass elections by an informed population dedicated to egalitarian democracy. 

That the thing a Barr attaches himself to is like a translation of Roman imperial decadence only even stupider than the old Roman aristocrats isn't something that bothers him much.  Such oligarchic fascists are always as vulgarly decadent  and deeply cynical as can be in their center, anything less depraved being merely for show and to allow them to pretend they're better than the vulgarians they serve.   They are florid, continual and shamelessly hypocritical liars.   I'd love to go into the allegedly Catholic Notre Dame University giving him a platform for floridly and hypocritically and habitually lying from late last year but time doesn't permit it. 

Apart from that the thing I suspect is that William Barr and, very possibly, his father Donald Barr, the elite prep-school head who gave the clearly unqualified Jeffry Epstein a job teaching at an elite prep school, has secrets he wants to keep under raps.   Either for himself or for his late father. Perhaps he gets blackmailed, though I think that's probably more understood than threatened.  I strongly suspect among other things he wants to keep from ever surfacing are his activities surrounding Epstein's last years and days.  But that's something that awaits him and the fascist order he serves being deposed and an honest regime of legal investigation taking its place.  

I think that is one thing above all that such people fear from an Elizabeth Warren who, I suspect, is less likely to appoint hacks like Harry Litman and Robert Mueller to head investigations than Barack Obama or Bill Clinton would have been.  I think if she became president she is likely to reach outside of the bubble that such people exist in to really put law on the side of egalitarian democracy and the rule of law.  

Random-Chance Is The Name Of The Atheist God

Though I would never bring up molecules as complex as DNA and RNA in thinking about a theorized "first organism" which is the original parent of all life on Earth - I think they probably both evolved within living organisms but that's as much of a guess as anything - those are the two which catch the imaginations of both the duped lay public and those within science, itself.  I would guess in the popular imagination such molecules would just, somehow, spontaneously come together and accumulate and VOILA!  they'd come together and you've got yourself an organism!   Much of the popular understanding of such "science" and I'd guess most of the understanding of those who give money to it is based on an actual ignorance of what such a molecule does, how it does it and the fact that they only do what we know them to do through being contained within some very complex cellular chemistry and physics contained in a very complex cellular wall within even the most "simple" of bacteria.  Outside of that, or under some artificial, non-biological conditions intelligently designed for that purpose in some laboratory devoted to disproving intelligent design - such scientists are generally philosophical idiots - those molecules do little but deteriorate.  

As the argument has developed, the less unsophisticated of those in the discussion had, last time I looked in depth, abandoned talk of DNA as the problems with it were brought up for some theorized RNA rich creation event.  But the problem of some scenario that relies on accumulating RNA in that manner, has to ignore that it deteriorates quite regularly a quite easily - just how often it would form by random chance events is the other end of that problem but not one I looked into because I doubt anyone could come up with an honest measure of the enormous improbability of that happening often enough for such randomly constructed molecules to meet on the young Earth even once. 

That deterioration was the point considered in my post, yesterday.  I was pressed for time but I did manage to find this description from a paper on methods of preserving RNA for laboratory use,  intelligently designed methods of not a little ingenuity, not random chance occurrences in nature.  Speaking of which, it's from that Watchtower of popular and more elite atheism Nature.  

For most of these uses, integrity of RNA is required and must be maintained during storage. However, this molecule can be affected by multiple degradation reactions. First, it is very sensitive to oxidation by reactive oxygen species. In vivo, they are produced by respiration.6 Outside the cell, they can be generated by mechanisms generally involving metallic ions.7, 8 Oxidation could also result from attacks by ozone, an atmospheric pollutant that rapidly reacts with RNA either in solution or in the solid state.9 Degradation can also occur through the activity of some metallic complexes catalyzing the hydrolytic cleavage of the phosphodiester bond or by contaminating nucleases.

However, the main degradative event is the spontaneous cleavage of the phosphodiester linkage through transesterification resulting from a nucleophilic attack of the phosphorus atom by the neighboring 2′OH. A large variety of agents such as specific acids and bases as well as Brønsted acids and base acting as catalysts can be involved. For reviews, see Emilsson et al10 and Oivanen et al.11 RNase A and some ribozymes share this mechanism.12 Water is involved, for instance, by providing hydroxyl or hydronium ions or by allowing proton transfer. As expected, dehydration of RNA strongly inhibits its degradation.13 However, partial rehydration by atmospheric water restores the initial instability while still in the solid state.13

Another characteristic of the reaction is that it is highly dependent on the geometry of the molecule. Indeed, in the transition state, the 2′ oxygen, the phosphorus and a negatively charged oxygen of the phosphate group must be ‘in line’. This structural requirement leads up to 10 000-fold rate variations depending on the local secondary and tertiary structures of the molecule.

I'll break in here to point out that protein folding in the right way to produce biological action is of enormous importance and not just some detail that you can ignore. What proteins other than this one happening to be folded in the right way to do what they are proposed to have done in the original organism in our line by mere chance is, itself an enormous complication for the atheists preferred creator god - Random-Chance - to have gotten it done in time. But that's just another side issue for this piece. 

In order to prevent degradation, RNA samples are generally stored frozen at −20 °C or −80 °C or under liquid nitrogen. However, even at a low temperature, RNA retains some reactivity. It has been shown, for instance, that ribonucleases are still active at −20 °C on frozen RNA.16 In addition, the activity of some ribozymes is still significant at −70 °C13 and can even be enhanced by freezing.13, 17 More importantly, the increase in the number of samples that need to be stored by up to hundreds of thousands in biorepositories, biobanks and biological resource centers leads to problems of space, costs, maintenance and security.18 Shipping of RNA samples, usually done in dry ice, is costly and can be challenging for air transportation (regulations, limited weight, long distance travel, and so on). Obviously, an effective room temperature storage and shipping procedure is needed.

I gave this paragraph because it should help shatter the imagined scenario of huge numbers of RNA molecules accumulating in some warm pond of water rich in the molecules needed for an organism to come together by the action of Random-Chance, or, in some of the fantasies, in frozen water faces problems of the relatively easy and rapid deterioration of any such molecules that come together in the imaginary way. 

The atheists creation of a god, Random-Chance, leads me to believe it is impossible to think of this problem, of the problem of the origin of the universe without needing to make recourse to a Creator.  The virtue of the old definition of the Creator has the virtue of being a believable being who could get the job done in the known conditions, in the time it would have had to happen in.   I can't believe in their god, for a start it has a name that sounds like something kids too young to have children would name their unfortunate, unplanned infant son, they'd have gotten it from that most degraded of all sources of nourishment for the human imagination, TV and the movies.  That's where they get most of what they understand about science, too.  

Thursday, February 20, 2020

When Old Whine In An Old Bottle Doesn't Get Better With Age - Hate Mail

I will admit that I'm having a mix of something I almost never have, writer's cramp (not being a writer has that advantage, in my experience) and competing claims on my time.  Yep, another of my always aging family members has produced an unanticipated triple bi-pass this week.  I've got to do his chores for the next couple of months.  If we're all lucky.

Anyway, lacking time I dipped into the uncordial slime that is my spam box and came up with a topic, an objection to my skepticism about casting of chance and random events into a creator god in the way of the pseudo-science of abiogenesis.  I did come up with a new angle on it that I don't think I've included before, so it's not entirely a repeat.   That old Miller-Urey "proved life could happen by random events" and that so "intelligent design is disproven."

First, for that last claim to be disproven, you'd have to stipulate that Miller and Urey and their fellow anti-religious abiogenisist experimenters were unintelligent.   I wouldn't claim that, merely that their ideological commitments led them to make some rather stupid and self-defeating claims.  What they proved is that they could make some amino acids through a highly controlled and planned experiment, they proved that intelligence could produce that result.  So it proves the exact opposite of what is claimed for their effort.   There is nothing that any scientist could do in a lab that wouldn't have that effect, you can't remove the intent, the planning, the component of intelligence from any experiment or even from the interpretation of an observed thing, though they'll never have that in their field, they will never, ever have the first organism in the history of life on Earth to study, the only thing a truly scientific study of the origin of life on Earth could be scientifically based in. 

It's not merely a matter of the improbability of molecules wafting at random into each other and forming more complex molecules, organic molecules I'll remind you, and those uniting to form something that can become a component of a living, metabolizing and, most difficult to randomize them into being, a reproducing organism within a containing structure that will successfully, the first time, split, contain the components for two living organisms and then, in another totally unprecedented event for the not-so great god "random chance" to make, reseal itself so as both of those organisms live and reproduce their reproduction.  

Now for the new twist. 

The problem for the worshiper of random chance to sustain their scenario with has to face the fact that time is its enemy on both ends.  Time being too short to produce the incredibly remote chance of all of that lining up in exactly the right way but, also, the time frame for a series of very complex improbabilities to line up in to create life is, itself, under a very tight time line because the more complex the organic molecules needed get, the likelihood that they will deteriorate under ambient conditions after a very short time is also a factor.  I would like to know what the chances are that the very few molecules that would have been generated by abiotic activity in any given centimeter of water to have endured long in the theorized atmosphere they were created in would be.  My guess is that most relevant known molecules would tend to deteriorate rather fast and that would have to be figured into the ever lengthening odds of it happening by random chance events.  I'd love to see different graphs of different estimates of those odds. 

I'd guess that all of that would have had to come about very fast and in a very narrow window of time and the more you think about that the less probable it seems and the more unreasonable the atheist-materialist conjecture seems to an informed person who is not willing to pretend those problems away.  

There, that should give you something to fuss about while I'm away. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

When Brilliant People Say Stupid Things

Asked for an example of where I profoundly disagree with William Lane Craig on something, I can give any number of examples.  One of the things he said, proving that even the most brilliant of people can say the most ridiculous of things in defense of badly thought out theories was his answer to a question about the Western European - post-apostolic dogma of original sin, the idea that all human beings inherit sin at birth due to the transgression of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, which is to be washed away with baptism.  His resort to using proxy voting by stock holders in a corporation has to count as one of the dumbest things I've ever heard a brilliant person say. 

Given that WLC notes that Orthodox Christianity by and large doesn't subscribe to the idea it is remarkable to me that his Evangelical commitment leads him to make such a justification of what is, in fact, a libel on the character of God.  I will note that Craig doesn't commit himself to the doctrine, he merely comes up with a defense of it.  Perhaps he intentionally was trying to subvert it by coming up with a really bad justification of it.  Though I think he really wants to defend it.   I would disagree with him that it makes a belief in original sin reasonable, I think it makes it still indefensible. 

David Bentley Hart's point that it those who could read the New Testament in the original Greek as their natural language didn't come up with a lot of these ideas which were more likely to arise among those who relied on an inferior Latin translation makes sense to me.  

I think it's one of the essential tasks of Christianity in the coming decades and, if they come, centuries, to get rid of the baggage heaped on it, much of it in the late classical period but, also, much of it in medieval Western Europe and later, as those distortions of the Gospel and the Epistles became established.  And that means that the Protestant traditions are as much and, in some cases, more in need of getting rid of junk as the Catholic Church is.  The other branches of Christianity have their problems, as well, but I think Karl Rahner was right that that stuff is not sustainable into the future.  Nor should we want to sustain it. I've told the story before, I think, that after he wrote his enormous work, the Summa Theologica Thomas Aquinas had a profound mystical experience that led him to stop writing because he saw that even his brilliant arguments were useless.

On the feast of St. Nicholas in 1273, Aquinas was celebrating Mass when he received a revelation that so affected him that he wrote and dictated no more, leaving his great work the Summa Theologiae unfinished. To Brother Reginald’s (his secretary and friend) expostulations he replied, “The end of my labors has come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.” When later asked by Reginald to return to writing, Aquinas said, “I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw.”

Considering the huge effort it had to have been, over decades, to think out and explain his theology, the product of enormous learning which was, certainly, harder to get then than now, it's clear his vision must have been on an order of the one Paul had that led to his conversion.  

The absurd place given to Aquinas as the official theology of the Catholic Church since the 1870s is something that Catholics have been trying to recover from since even before Vatican II.  Though pretending to read him is fashionable among the fascist neo-integralists.  I doubt even a tenth of one percent have read even summaries of it. They don't seem to read The Bible, after all.  

We Need An Elected Committee To Investigate Attacks On Egalitarian Democracy And We The People

If even a shaky form of democracy is restored after the carnage of Republican-fascism, I think it's absolutely necessary to investigate and expose the fascist rot that flowed into the United States through such things as "Federalism" and the fascist legal theory of the unitary executive.  I would go so far as to say that something like the House UnAmerican Activities Committee of elected officials should be mounted to look hard at the Federalist Society, among other entities, which are the enemies of American egalitarian democracy.   

The old HUAC was begun to look into Nazi subversion before World War Two and after the war went after those impotent, stupid and minimally dangerous old commies - apart from those who were spies for Stalin, they were an absurd target who never posed any real danger to American democracy.  

In the long run, the old HUAC became more useful to those sympathetic to the commies due to their excesses and, more dangerously, those who were, effectively,  indifferent to the protection of American democracy from its enemies.  

That might be a danger in mounting an absolutely essential investigation into what is clearly a real danger cororporate, oligarchic fascism, one which has corrupted the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial branches of the government, excessive overreach.  But that danger should not keep us from doing it because such a danger is always there no matter what we do.  THERE IS NOT A SINGLE THING THAT CAN HAPPEN IN GOVERNMENT THAT DOESN'T CARRY SUCH A DANGER.  But that danger cannot be allowed to thwart the investigation and exposure of a real and present danger, one which has hold of a dangerously influential part of the mass media and which is clearly working hand in glove with billionaire and multi-millionaire enemies of egalitarian democracy, foreign as well as domestic.  For the record, the domestic ones, native and corruptly allowed to come here to destroy democracy, have, up till now been the greater danger, though it's clear they are coordinating and working with foreign billionaires and multi-millionaires from Britain, probably some European countries, definitely from the Putin criminal regime and the oil oligarchs of the Middle East as well as Israeli.  That distinction among billionaire traitors doesn't matter that much.   Ours are no less of a danger to our democracy than those from other lands. 

The old assurances that the Constitutional order and habits of the United States could be relied on to protect egalitarian democracy given by, among others, the meat-heads of the civil liberties industry and the media they enabled to destroy democracy, are clearly not true.  

If they were true we would not be where we are today with no prospect of recovering the pre-Trump normal and no guarantee that he won't get four more years to destroy it.  

The old and falsely comforting reassurances that we could protect American democracy through the First Amendment, through that most impotent of all protections against a concerted campaign of well-planned lies and con jobs, "more speech" are spouted by the neo-Nazis, by the Trump crime regime, from their enablers in Republican-fascism, now/

And, stupidly, the libertarian left whose slogans they hijacked without any difficulty is too stupid to understand that they've done it because their facile slogans swamp the most obvious refutation of those slogans in reality.   Libertarians of the alleged left are some of the stupidest and most reality resistant of people, or so experience has taught me.  Some of them have a financial and professional interest in it, especially those in the legal profession and in the professional media. 

American democracy, egalitarian democracy, decency won't be regained or secured without overturning most of the post-WWII culture that brought us here being overturned.  That will include the most meat-headed idea of all, that because "The First Amendment" democracy can't choose between the ideology of egalitarian democracy and the various forms of gangster governmental schemes and oligarchic legal plans, not to mention the explicitly anti-democratic ideologies of fascism, Marxism, Nazis, and oligarchy.   

A truly democratic society owes the enemies of egalitarian democracy nothing which will enable them to con and sucker enough people to gain power, we owe The People, the thing which the Constitution, itself, claims to be merely the servant of, the protection of egalitarian democracy from ALL THEIR ENEMIES, foreign, domestic, and certainly within the legal profession and the judiciary and the media.  

We shouldn't let the excesses of the idiot commie hunters to cow us from answering  the real danger that we don't merely face, but which is governing the United States and destroying democracy right now. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

My Fellow Democrats - Just saying

but I'm unaware of anyone getting Bernie Sanders to promise to, this time, STAY in the Democratic Party if he gets the nomination or if he doesn't or if he is not president next year.

Hell, has he ever promised to stay in the Democratic Party IF HE BECOMES PRESIDENT?  

Seems to me those are things we might want to pin the oily old man on right away. 

Superficial Untelligence - Answer To An Inquiry

Duncan Black doesn't mind that his blog is a place where people can post libels about other people, he's never much minded that.  I remember when he found out that the Supreme Court had issued a ruling that said people like him can't be sued for posting lies and he figured he was off the hook to exercise any responsibility over what liars posted on his blog, it thrilled him to the point where he put finger to keyboard about it, about as much work as he does.  I wonder if it's about the same time he's rumored to have gotten a buddy of his to give him an app that let his computer post new and content free posts when the old ones got too long without him having to exert himself.   

Duncan Black is a very minor example of what's wrong with letting people lie with impunity, just as he's a very minor example of everything else.  He's a lazy jerk, you get that with the affluent, the white, the male who figure they're entitled.  If my greatest claim to fame was an unnamed reference on a very old re-run of the wretched white- pseudo-liberal fantasy, The West Wing I think I'd give up.  But, then, I don't mind trying.   

As to being called names there, there might be three to four people who make that place a bad habit who I might, might care what they think of me.  I figure they're old enough to make their own bad friends.  The rest don't think much so it doesn't matter. 

Lawdy.  I do hate The West Wing. 

Hristo Vitchev Quartet - "It May Backfire"

Hristo Vitchev, guitar
Weber Iago, piano,
Dan Robbins, bass
Mike Shannon, drums

The Kropotkin Village Fools Only Those Who Want To Be Fooled - Hate Mail

In being a critic of natural selection it is not that common but somewhat inevitable that someone will bring up the most famous of those atheist-materialist patches put on the Darwinism that atheist-materialists liked because it was a weapon to use against some common - and rather naive - views of Judeo-Christian religion.   The more informed of them will bring up the Mutual Aid theory of Kropotkin which is the model of all such false-fronts put on what is inevitably the brutality of Darwinism.  Those false fronts started with Darwin, as soon as he started getting criticism of the brutality of his theory as applied to the human species.  His own ass covering was transparent and it was obviously meant for PR to the general public, not something to be taken seriously by his fellow Men of Science, and the men of science never did take those false-fronts seriously.  

That can be seen rather clearly in the fascinating article that the critic of scientific racism, eugenics and Darwinian fundamentalism of Sociobiology and Evo-psy, Stephen Jay Gould wrote an interesting article about the biggest and most often cited - though among scientists, generally ignored or discounted - such patch, the Mutual Aid of  the anarchist utopian, Petr Kropotkin who obviously expected biology to replace religion, he being a typical anti-religious 19th century ideologue.  

That was something he shared with Gould whose late-in-life accommodationist non-intersecting magestria proposal was his equally uninfluential attempt to be nicer about rejecting religion while keeping it away from his atheist-materialist religion but which has worked about as badly as Kropotkin's patch up job for Darwinism.   I met Gould once, he was a nice guy and he certainly was nicer than most Darwinists in rejecting scientific racism and eugenics, but he had to be as dishonest about Darwinism and Darwin, himself, to do that as putting a false front on that requires.   And even he couldn't bring himself to present Kropotkin as credible:

I confess that I have always viewed Kropotkin as daftly idiosyncratic, if undeniably well meaning. He is always so presented in standard courses on evolutionary biology – as one of those soft and woolly thinkers who let hope and sentimentality get in the way of analytic toughness and a willingness to accept nature as she is, warts and all. After all, he was a man of strange politics and unworkable ideals, wrenched from the context of his youth, a stranger in a strange land. Moreover, his portrayal of Darwin so matched his social ideals (mutual aid naturally given as a product of evolution without need for central authority) that one could only see personal hope rather than scientific accuracy in his accounts. Kropotkin has long been on my list of potential topics for an essay (if only because I wanted to read his book, and not merely mouth the textbook interpretation), but I never proceeded because I could find no larger context than the man himself. Kooky intellects are interesting as gossip, perhaps as psychology, but true idiosyncrasy provides the worst possible basis for generality.

I would recommend reading the entire article because Gould being Gould, he had some interesting observations, though most of those flow from an article I haven't been able to read,  Darwin's Malthusian Metaphor and Russian Evolutionary Thought: 1850-1917 by Daniel P. Todes.  Mostly it was presenting what different species of Darwinists came to think of it as a product of the Darwinist's environment, the difference between Darwin and A. R. Wallaces' experiences in the biologically abundant tropics and how that, informed by their reading of the brutal Malthus led to their theory and the experience of Russian intellectuals in the vast wilderness of Russia with its relative lack of abundance.  I would note that his explanation of how different intellectuals came to say things differently doesn't do much of anything to support Kropotkin's attempt to make Darwinism less brutal, I concluded reading the article by thinking it was a rather subtle attempt to explain away his thinking by use of the genetic fallacy.  Though one that works as well to explain away his own and Darwins' theories which had their own origins. 

My major objection to Gould's article is that he, as is always done, variously presents natural selection as articulated by Darwin and his closest friend-colleagues such as Huxley, Galton and Haeckel as a law of nature and, when they want to deny the brutality in that "law" as a mere "metaphor".  As Gould demonstrates, anyone wanting to do that double-speaking two-step can start with Darwin, himself, covering his own ass in the first edition of On the Origin of Species, even as his later editions of that work and his major work on the application of natural selection, The Descent of Man proves that Darwin had no intention of his theory being taken as a mere metaphor but as a basis of actual human action, military, social, legal and medical.  His endorsement of Haeckel and Galton all through that later book as well as of Herbert Spencer's "survival of the fittest" as being exactly what he meant by "natural selection" in the last two editions of On the Origin of Species.

Gould certainly had read at least The Descent of Man and he was certainly aware of the brutality of Haeckel and Galton.  Gould himself said of Darwin's chief promoter in Europe:

[His] evolutionary racism; his call to the German people for racial purity and unflinching devotion to a “just” state; his belief that harsh, inexorable laws of evolution ruled human civilization and nature alike, conferring upon favored races the right to dominate others; the irrational mysticism that had always stood in strange communion with his grave words about objective science—all contributed to the rise of Nazism.  [Ontogeny and Phylogeny]

Every single statement Gould made about Haeckel could be made of Darwin if you change out "English" for "German" and we know that because in The Descent of Man Darwin, himself, said that Haeckel perfectly and in more detail elucidated his own thinking on natural selection as it was relevant to the human species.  In letters we now that Darwin eagerly anticipated the British doing in places other than Europe, what the Nazis did in Europe.  He, himself, described the British genocide of the Tasmanians in such terms. 

When does a "scientific metaphor" encouraged as a basis of social, medical, legal and military policy stop being a "metaphor" and become an ideological assertion?  I can answer that, as soon as Haeckel, Galton, George and Leonard Darwin, and yes, Charles Darwin start proposing it as such and all of them did during Charles Darwin's lifetime and with his support as a scientific expert.  

Kropotkin was typical of the atheist-materialist presented with the theory of natural selection, whether or not they understood the alleged scientific basis of it, they saw it as confirmation of their atheism and materialism and as scientific proof against the existence of God and if not proof, useful propaganda to win over the naive, the ignorant and gullible masses for anti-religion.  That, I will assert, is the primary motive of his use from the beginning, his use in evolutionary biology, allowing them to pretend they had a universal explanation for the phenomenon of evolution - no doubt something like what Newton and his successors had given physics and which chemistry was attaining in atomic and molecular theories when it was certainly not that.  Gould, himself, didn't really believe it even as he remianed a champion of Darwin, rather stupidly claiming that natural selection was the greatest theory in the history of science, at one point.  He said such things even as he knew they couldn't be true, as other mechanisms to compete with natural selection were gaining credibility and even as his own professional work weakened its universality.  In the article he says:

But Todes identifies a far more interesting reason in the immediate experience of Russia’s land and natural history. We all have a tendency to spin universal theories from a limited domain of surrounding circumstance. Many geneticists read the entire world of evolution in the confines of a laboratory bottle filled with fruit flies. My own increasing dubiousness about universal adaptation arises in large part, no doubt, because I study a peculiar snail that varies so widely and capriciously across an apparently unvarying environment, rather than a bird in flight or some other marvel of natural design.

If he'd said that during Darwin's lifetime, I'll bet he'd have waged the kind of dirty campaign - through others - that was his typical response to serious criticisms of his theory.  Just as his more orthodox champions waged in Gould's time against him and other critics of ultra-adapatationists who won that battle and who hold influence, now.  As I said yesterday, that will always be the case as long as natural selection is retained as the ruling ideology of biology. 

As someone who cringes every time I hear the word "meme" an invention by one of Gould's enemies, Richard Dawkins, to try to patch up his absurd theories and which pretty much no serious scientist ever adopted, I was struck that the body of Gould's article claimed a kind of memetics that didn't want to be called that.  Attributing different spins on natural selection to the predilections caused by environment, culture and field of research probably has some validity, though I think that's a sign of the basic theory, itself, being nothing but a product of the artificial conditions of the British class system and not anything that has any kind of existence in nature.  It's not shocking, at all, that the little thug that Boris Johnson dumped his neo-Darwinist racism and eugenics when the opposition got too hot.  Darwinism was born of the same Brit class system that Boris Johnson and his fascist allies want to retain and intensify.  It is no shock that the neo-Nazis in the United States, Canada, Australia, Britian, Germany, etc. speak in such terms.  It wasn't any shock when, stripped of the Marxist veneer it had on it, that such stuff isn't taking hold in neo-Soviet Russia where fascism and neo-Nazism are the variation on gangster government that has control, now. I don't think you need "memes" to explain that, they're thugs and gangsters like Britain has always been ruled by.  The kind of thing that will arise whenever there isn't a strong egalitarian democratic government that levels things so such corruption can't take control.  And that never happens except in a very specific kind of religious context which is the opposite of Darwinism.  As Darwin's good buddy, Haeckel put it in Freie Wissenschaft und Freie Lehre a book Darwin said he agreed with, entirely, 

Darwinism, I say, is anything rather than socialist! If this English hypothesis is to be compared to any definite political tendency—as is, no doubt, possible—that tendency can only be aristocratic, certainly not democratic, and least of all socialist. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Told You So: I Found This CV for Andrew Sabisky, Boris Johnson's Just Sacked Racist Nut Sack And Eugenicist

Andrew Sabisky is a writer and independent research worker, particularly interested in evolutionary psychology, behavioural genetics, mental chronometry, and individual & group differences in intelligence and personality. After a MSc in Psychology of Education at the Institute of Education, he has presented talks on intelligence, genetics, and testing at multiple researchEDs and the Festival of Education (2015/2016). He plans to train as a chartered educational psychologist.

I assume my readers won't be any more surprised than I am not by such a racist, eugenicist, neo-fascist having such educational credentials.   You will never stop seeing these kinds of people close to power as long as natural selection is the ruling ideology within biology. 

The Perpetual Suicide Of The American Left Is Playing Itself Out In the Sanders Cult

If I were thirty or so years younger, I'd research and write a book geared to a popular audience, The Perpetual Suicide Of The American Left: A History.  The topic would be the major and some of the minor figures who have grabbed the megaphone or, as those were invented, microphone to declare themselves the most leftisty of the leftist, impress and - their only real goal - leading a smaller or larger small faction of leftists who then a. act and talk to discredit the left, generally, b. split the left that might unite to win something possible instead of the inevitable make-believe, pie-in-the-glorious millennium that it is possible for such most leftist of the lefty to peddle to the stupid and gullible who are their following.  And c. inevitably split bitterly and divisively. 

Bernie Sanders' cult is only the current most successful of such con-men, they litter the wreckage that American leftism has generally been.  

That wreckage comes from several parts of  the history of the American "left".  the less damaging and idiotic anarchists such as the idiotically elevated Emma Goldman who, late in life as she saw the rise of fascism in Europe rather stupidly asked her friends if she had wasted her life on her ideology of anarchism.  It is one of the seldom mentioned aspects of the legendary Goldman and her idiot boyfriend, Alexander Berkman, that her great inspiration, the anarchist moral atrocity of "propaganda of the deed" was an ideological inspiration to Mussolini's conception of fascism as Goldman's other hero on the basis of his inversion of morality, Fredrich Nietzsche was an inspiration of Nazism.  In the United States its self-indulgent violence did nothing to help the cause of the rights of workers and caused probably decades of setbacks for it.  It is worth noting that the anarchists, even before Goldman and Berkman appeared on the scene were far better at fighting with each other and damaging the nascent socialist movement, inevitably splitting and destroying any such socialist group or party they attached themselves to like limpets. 

This internal self-destructive activity is the most notable effect that the anarchists would have in the reality of real life.  Even when anarchists like Goldman and Berkman developed what would be one of their many temporary enthusiasms for the ideas of someone else that wouldn't last.  The idiots got a lot of their ideas about the attractively exciting violence of "propaganda of the deed" from the advocate of terrorism,  Johann Most - as I recall Berkman brought her to one of his lectures as a first date -  but they soon broke with him as they, no doubt, got bored and fussy and, no doubt, didn't get their way in some futile and stupid internal discussion and had a fight with him.  I don't remember the unimportant details but Goldman got pissed off when Most said something uncomplimentary about her boyfriend and she slapped him across the face with a horse whip.  Not that she and Berkman had a very stable relationship, either, they broke up as a couple to screw around with other people, including each other.  Their ever temporary adoption of one or another sect of anarchism was never much more than temporary as those habits they share with virtually every major figure of the play left led to breaks and splits among them.  The excuse was often some "principle" which I used to buy but I think it was mostly ego and personality and selfishness.  It's remarkable what a selfish lot those ultra-idealsts were. 

And what you can say about the anarchists in that regard you can probably say many times over about the various species and figures within Marxism.  The Marxists were only ever good for the same things, a. discrediting and damaging the real left that actually had some political success,* b. dividing even the play left as they saved their aggression to use it up in internal struggles for controls of their pathetic little "parties" and organizations and to war among the ever tinier little cliques that came after the splits in the already tiny cults. 

The history of the American left is an absolutely needed cautionary tale against continuing with the practices of the left here and elsewhere which have produced nothing good.  I am convinced that the atheism, the naturalism, the scientism and the resultant amorality of most of the major figures in that left are the source of a large part of why they will always have that effect.  

The attraction to violence among them is one of their most obvious features - given that the uniform effect of that in American politics has been radically counterproductive it would have been given up long ago if that violence wasn't their real goal.  When that violence can be made vicarious through distance in place, time, economic class and race, it can be indulged in by the mostly affluent members of the academic play left without any actual inconvenience or risk to their own sweet asses.  And there is no mistaking that as a main feature of that left, it is mostly of that kind - they complain bitterly whenever working-class and poor people opt for political associations that are more likely to get them something other than killed or imprisoned or discredited.  

As I've mentioned before, it was the widespread affection for the most accomplished murderers of the 20th century among that "left" that was a shamefully belated insight for me.  The day I realized that someone murdered by Stalin or Mao or in the German "Democratic" Republic or, yes, by Castro was as dead as a Jew or disabled person murdered by the Nazis and, that was the defining commonality between Nazism and Marxism was the key to my understanding of all of those dear old lefties that I'd been taught to revere in the magazines of the left, in the books issued by lefty professors by lefty presses, by the secondary hagiographic bull shit that led me to revere the memory of Stalin's agents and fan boys, be they the Rosenbergs or the Hollywood 10 as being no better than neo-Nazis and no real part of any American left that was ever going to succeed and which was, in no way, worthy of admiration, respect or lying for.  

Bernie Sanders has a lot of people gulled, he's an old man with massive baggage in the form of his public-access TV show, his scribblings for various 1970s self-styled underground papers (they never had to be underground, that was part of the romantic let's-pretend bullshit that the "new left" was), and things like his support for the Trotskyite presidentical candidate in 1980 and 1984, when he could have been supporting the one and only people who were going to be president in stead of Reagan.  That didn't much matter when he was merely a slightly accomplished member of the House or Senate from the eccentric NYC colony of Vermont.  His one and only real use was in him caucusing with the Democrats to the extent that meant he might keep Republicans from the majority and for his voting with Democrats.  Though it clearly gave his already too amply fed ego more nourishment than was safe.  It also fed his legend which is what his campaign in the twilight of his life, as he's already had one heart attack and as the Republican-fascists will reveal that huge load of baggage he trails behind him to make him the McGovern for a new century.   Supported by the rump end of the quasi-Marxist left, people like Michael Brooks and Sam Seder and In These Times and the even more obvious pseudo-lefties on the make such as The Young Turks, history is repeating itself in the most disastrous way possible. 

The part played by the real left is in not facing the fact that we have got to get away from them, to push them away, to reject them and permanently identify them as our enemies.  We can't continue to work with them because they don't work, they discredit, they divide, they enable their actual ideological cousins, the fascists.  

The play left is not a real left, it is the enemy of the real left that has any hope of winning elections and controlling any of the branches of the American government.  The self-pitying anarchists and Marxists don't deserve our pity, they certainly don't deserve our support - I'd even leave them on their own in trying to secure their rights to speech and freedom of press and association, rights their heroes don't grant to those they dictate to and which, no doubt, they'd suspend if they ever took power.   

Here's a rule to live by, never, ever trust a "civil libertarian" who advocates the right of the opponents of democracy have an ability to spread their ideological poison.  Never trust anyone, whether with a law license or a job in journalism who says we must be fair to fascists, nice to Nazis or kind to commies.  We must not do anything that lets them get another try to kill people. 

The ones who have a right to our support and help are the ones who the Marxists, the anarchists claim to champion but who will never get a thing from them.  Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson made the most revolutionary change in the United States after Abraham Lincoln, two of them had to contend with being tarred with associations with the "real left" which bitterly hated both of them and ran candidates against them.  The Democratic left owes the Marxists, the anarchists not a single thing.  

* The quintessential example is, of course,  the old Socialist Party which managed to do what no socialist or Marxist party has done since, won mayorships and seats in Congress and which was destroyed by some "most leftisty of leftists" I am convinced on orders from Lenin and Trotsky in 1919.