Saturday, August 3, 2019

We lost power here for several hours.  I'll post a play tomorrow.  Until then you can find many fine radio plays linked in my archive. 

When Those Who Are Supposed To Have More Integrity Skate By It In Real Life

Oh, I could have gone a lot farther with those posts about the atheist practice of turning probability and random chance into gods they insert into the enormous gap left when you take God out of an explanation of why things are the way they are.  NOT that inserting God into such explanations has any place in science,  no more than, in an ultimate sense of the phrase, why things are as they are are properly considered by science. Such questions were not supposed to be a part of science as I was taught, science being incompetent to go past what a rigorous evaluation of physical evidence could show.  Back when I was young I was exposed to enough real science to have heard scientists who had a more realistic view of the limits of what science can deal with.  Today I'd bet there are not a majority of scientists who really respect the importance of that limit.

When I, much to my surprise, found that I couldn't deal with the political issues without dealing with the issues of atheism so stylish in the long gone '00s of this century, I was surprised to find that virtually every fault that can be identified in the Biblical fundamentalist desire to insert Genesis into science has its direct counterpart in atheists far more successful insertion of their ideological preferences directly into science and, especially, into the then much cited "pubic understanding of science".   Such "understanding" was, I was shocked to find out through my direct interactions with myriads more of mid-brow and even higher-brow secularized college credentialed people than I ever had before, how saturated with deeply wrong and often quite flawed such "understanding" of science into the credentialed culture is.  It is, more often than not, coupled with an absurdly false narrative fiction conception of "history," which itself could figure as an example of how low the integrity of such modernism is, and of the damage done to education in the modern period. 

One of the oddest things about Biblical Fundamentalism is that it is a product, not of medievalism but of modernism, not only in a reactionary sense against the modern world but in its fundamental understanding of how you read the text of The Bible.  The expectations of literalism, of an assertion of superficial "literal truth"  of the texts from Genesis through Revelation being mistaken as modern science or history writing is a feature of modernism.  It was a tendency that had been on display before the 18th century, form time to time, but the culture of modern science and history exacerbated that.  The Protestant veneration of the text of the Bible in the way that kind of veneration arose in Western culture may have made that inevitable, though there are plenty of Protestants whose reading of those texts is some of the most honest and nuanced and deeply respectful of the contexts they were composed, complied and written down in that I've read.  It's too bad that that hard road to reading them isn't more wide spread. If it were, I doubt the Mammonist anti-Christianity that is - due to the media - the popular view of American Protestantism and, now, with the financing of corrupt billionaires and multi-millionaires, a neo-integralist fascism that is rising in the Catholic Church.*

But it's even odder that the direct insertion of atheist ideology directly into the literature and the culture of science has been far more widely successful when such ideology isn't supposed to be inserted into science by scientists.  Yet it pervades it.  

The lack of integrity in modernism is as deep as the lack of integrity in any previous iteration of human culture, maybe the assertions of virtue contained in all human culture, all human movements, certainly in all human institutions should be taken as a given and watched out for.  It's one of the things that allegedly makes science superior to other parts of human culture but I think that pretense of integrity can mask a heightened practice of hypocrisy and convenient cutting of corners.  Religion, as it deals so intimately with temptation, weakness and sin has its own work cut out for it in that regard but science starts in a state of denial to match that of the Catholic hierarchy during the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.   Francis, to his credit, starts out with more modesty in that regard and, as his papal writing shows, a more practical and realistic view of human thinking.

*  I remember, reading about John Paul II's scandalous activity in regard to Central America thinking he was acting like a CIA asset.  The activity of the Bishops and Cardinals he appointed and, in reaction to Pope Francis, their openly working with fascists like Steve Bannon and ultra-right billionaires and millionaires to try to destroy him does nothing to dampen my suspicion that Roman Catholicism has been undermined by that kind of effort for the past thirty three years, probably longer.  A recent such "Catholic" event financed by Tim Busch in Napa featured the double-life, gay Southern Baptist, Lindsay Graham as well as the cream of American anti-Francis Catholics. I, like a lot of other Catholics are getting fed up with the power of such people as Raymond Burke and the influence of billionaires and millionaries on the US Catholic Conference of Bishops.  This picture of the self-exaltation of Burke, as part of a liturgical service, the alleged worship of God, says more than a thousand words could. 

 U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke waves to the congregation after celebrating Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Cork City, Ireland, July 7. (CNS/Cillian Kelly)

Friday, August 2, 2019

A Vote For Susan Collins Is A Vote For . . .


What does that make Susan Collins?  The one who pretended that she could vote for Republicans huge give-away to billionaires because she had Moscow Mitch's word that an ACA fix would be in the final bill when she knew damned well that Republicans in the House - not to mention in the Senate - would never do what she claimed they promised her.  It would be impolitic to put it in the natural rhyming formation, so I'll just repeat that she has gotten elected and voted in the Senate going along with some of the most appalling Republican-fascist stuff while perfecting her SUSAN THE SUCKER act. 

People are telling me that the Maine TV and radio stations are really slobbing all over anything they can get their lying tongues on to make Mainers forget Susan Collins' votes on the billionaire tax giveaway without doing anything to really get the problems with healthcare fixed, for voting to put Kavanaugh, the perjuring serial liar and very likely sexual assaulter on the Supreme Court after one of the sleaziest cover-ups of his record ever in a modern Supreme Court confirmation process where he will destroy women's' right to ownership of their bodies.  Something Collins and the class of rich women who comprise those she really cares about won't be more than slightly inconvenienced by.   Susan Collins is a master of that kind of two-faced-two-step.

Susan Collins has been a fraud her entire political life, that has become undeniable as her Republican-fascist party has Trump, McConnell and the stacked Republican-fascist federal judiciary in place.   A vote for Susan Collins is a vote for Moscow Mitch, Putin's Bitch. 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Dick On Ice

Saw the story about sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein and his posse of celebrity scientists attracted by his moolah and who knows what else.  I was relieved to see that the NYT account of it that had one of my favorite recently dead scientists Stephen Jay Gould was wrong because by the time the story happened, dear SJG had been dead for six years.   Obviously fact checking at the paper of record is as out of style as 16 RPM.   I had read the inaccurate one and wondered why such an ardent anti-eugenicist would have been hanging around with that bunch of determinists.

I got to the point where they said that the guy Dershowitz called so brilliant he was the only person outside of his family he trusted to review his books before he sent them off to the best-seller press had great hopes in the totally bogus and pseudo-scientific scam of cryogenics - freezing rich peoples dead meat on the empty promise that in some unspecified and, no doubt, never to be reached future that they will be thawed and revived.   Epstein is reported to want to have his head and penis frozen.  I haven't laughed so hard over a cryogenics story since I read about them dropping Ted Williams's deep frozen head and cracking it.  I almost choked to death for it.   I say he be given the chance to participate in a scientific experiment with putting his dick on ice now. 

I remember years and year ago some scientist, wish I could remember who it was, who said that none of these idiots had ever considered what happens to the cells in frozen meat, one suspects they don't have a clue as to what happens to ice as it crystalizes - clearly the brilliance of Epstein doesn't include such basic science, something I remember being taught about in my rural elementary school by Mrs. M in 4th grade.  

I've got to lay off reading this kind of thing when I'm goofy with antihistamines. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A lot of those boring old name-dropper celebrity memoirs could have the subtitle  "My Encounters With Greatness."

If he could manage to write one, I wouldn't be surprised if he subtitled his, "Greatness's Encouters With ME!"

No.   " . . . With MOI!"  

Update:  Silly, I'd never write a memoir.  I don't name drop.

Even Stupider "Polling" Methods

Ah, polling, problematic enough to start with,  doesn't work when you set it up that way.

I just voted in an online poll asking who the top three "winners" of last nights "debate" were.  The reporting of the results ranked the "winner" to be Bernie Sanders though the format didn't include ranking. 

Let me explain the problem with that.  If A, B and C are the "winners" you could determine those who got the most votes in those three rankings but "A" might have been the second or third choice of more who felt "B" was the "winner" or  "C" or any and all of the others combined but that would still not mean they were the first choice of most of them.  He could as easily be the third choice of all the rest of them.  I listed Bernie Sanders as the one I thought came in third last night, Elizabeth Warren being most effective and Pete Buttigieg second (though that wasn't based on what he said but on the rest of them doing badly).

In order for ranked choice voting to work, the choices have to be ranked by the voters.  Not to mention no "poll" which is done on the basis of voluntary participation by a very atypical population (the readers of a poll which is "big" only as "big" is misused in regard to blogs) in which you can vote as many times as you want to is bogus to start with. 

Why do they even bother with these things?  

Ranked choice voting in real elections should be adopted everywhere, it's the only way under our foul system to keep the last choice of a majority of voters from taking a seat from which they will not be removed before the next election. 


Jonathan Weisman took down the tweet that set off the storm this morning, I suspect because he discovered that his bigotry was too obviously on display in it

(((JonathanWeisman)))Verified account @jonathanweisman

Earlier this morning I tried to make a point about regional differences in politics between urban and rural areas. I deleted the tweets because I realize I did not adequately make my point.

"Why are you in such a bad mood?"

This latest round of the heat wave we're having has set off some of the worst neuralgia I've ever experienced.  One of the pleasures of aging.  I can understand why those who study it list one of the complications of it as suicide.   If I had to live through this every day I don't know how long I could take it.  It's like having an abscessed tooth that travels all over your mouth and then your eyes etc.  I've read that some people in a desperate attempt to get rid of it have all their teeth removed.  I'm experimenting with antihistamines which I didn't realize were sometimes used to treat it.  Those work, so far surprisingly well,  but they make me feel groggy.  It also makes me really grouchy, in case you're wondering why I'm all dyspeptic Walter Mattheau this week.

The Casual Racism Of The Scribbling Class

I made the mistake of putting a checkers playing program on my computer as part of my Linux conversion, one day, after realizing I'd played about ten games in a row and was wasting a lot of time and becoming hooked, I took it off.  I don't trust myself not to become addicted.

I've been doing another addictive behavior I try to avoid, following a twitter feed this morning,  the one that the Deputy Washington Editor of the New York Times, Jonathan Weissman set off with an incredibly stupid and ignorantly racist tweet of the kind only the most parochial of upper class NYC - DC white guys would ever make, claiming to be able to determine that 

(((JonathanWeisman)))Verified account @jonathanweisman

Saying @RashidaTlaib (D-Detroit) and @IlhanMN (D-Minneapolis) are from the Midwest is like saying @RepLloydDoggett (D-Austin) is from Texas or @repjohnlewis (D-Atlanta) is from the Deep South. C’mon.

along with some other, as learned from the movies and TV stereotypes about mid-westerners.  

He's getting raked over the coals over this one.  I doubt he'll be forced to apologize for it by the Great Gray Drab.  It's the kind of stereotyping stuff that comprises most of its editorial content and much of its alleged reportage.  And they're hardly alone in that, it's typical of American so-called journalism. 

Update:  Sorry, I mixed his name up with my beloved dentists'.  I love my dentist.  

Update 2:  That wasn't sarcastic, I do love my dentist, he's a really nice guy and knows his anatomy well enough so the first prick of the Novocaine needle is the only pain you'll feel no matter how much work there is to do.   He's the most generous person with a medical degree I've ever known.

Bring Back The League Of Women Voter Debates

Of course CNN, Tapper, Lemon, Bash, created a Republican-pleasing Democratic "debate" CNN was FOX-lite before FOX existed.  That shouldn't have baffled anyone, least of all professional journalist.

Everything the host network did tonight baffled me. Much of the debate, moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Don Lemon, and Dana Bash, seemed like it was designed to confront Democrats with Republican arguments and create a spectacle at the expense of substantive debate.

For starters, CNN spent the first 10 minutes on a patriotic display and then cut to commercial. Bam, 10 minutes gone.

After one-minute opening statements by all the candidates, Tapper pivoted to health care — but repeatedly interrupted the candidates to enforce an absurdly short time limit, making it impossible for candidates to give full and interesting answers on some difficult policy questions.

The Vox article lists Republicans as one of the winners of this Democratic "debate". 

That's what anyone who allows the cabloid media, any broadcast media to run such "debates" should expect, it's what they do, they know their first and foremost obligation is to set things up to favor Republicans, it's what they do.  It's what they've always done.  And if not that to set it up so that no Democrats who will do what Democrats want to get done gets done. Why the DNC plays along with this, after seeing how that works for thirty years is baffling to me.  Democrats should have run these "debates" themselves.  Or even better, if it were up to me, I'd have the former and very good management of them as used to be commonly done by the League of Women Voters revived.  The way that ended in 1988, in an updated version of the smoke filled room by a scheme cooked up by the two campaigns, is worth remembering.

"The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debate scheduled for mid-October because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter," League President Nancy M. Neuman said today.

"It has become clear to us that the candidates' organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and honest answers to tough questions," Neuman said. "The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."

Neuman said that the campaigns presented the League with their debate agreement on September 28, two weeks before the scheduled debate. The campaigns' agreement was negotiated "behind closed doors" and vas presented to the League as "a done deal," she said, its 16 pages of conditions not subject to negotiation.

Most objectionable to the League, Neuman said, were conditions in the agreement that gave the campaigns unprecedented control over the proceedings. Neuman called "outrageous" the campaigns' demands that they control the selection of questioners, the composition of the audience, hall access for the press and other issues.

"The campaigns' agreement is a closed-door masterpiece," Neuman said. "Never in the history of the League of Women Voters have two candidates' organizations come to us with such stringent, unyielding and self-serving demands."
Neuman said she and the League regretted that the American people have had no real opportunities to judge the presidential nominees outside of campaign-controlled environments.

"On the threshold of a new millenium, this country remains the brightest hope for all who cherish free speech and open debate," Neuman said. "Americans deserve to see and hear the men who would be president face each other in a debate on the hard and complex issues critical to our progress into the next century."

Neuman issued a final challenge to both Vice President Bush and Governor Dukakis to "rise above your handlers and agree to join us in presenting the fair and full discussion the American public expects of a League of Women Voters debate."

I remember those two "debates" and what a disaster they were for Dukakis under the "moderation" of Jim Lehrer of the always Republican friendly McNeil Leherer News Report and the second one "moderated" by Bernard Shaw who worked at CNN.   Dukakis's campaign managers played an enormous role in that catastrophic gift to the Republican-fascists.

I'll apologize that for lack of time to get better documentation that I'm relying on Wikipedia to point out that one of the parties in that sandbagging of the League was Dukakis' campaign manager, Susan Estrich who went on to become a fixture at FOX and Newsmax and to do this.

In July 2016, Estrich was retained as legal counsel to the former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes — whom she met on the George H. W. Bush campaign trail in 1988 and whom she considers a close friend. Ailes lost his job after a number of women who worked for Fox News accused him of sexual harassment. Her attacks against Gabe Sherman, the New York reporter who broke the scandal, were negatively viewed by some who felt the representation to be inconsistent with Estrich's pro-feminist philosophy.

Two sleazes killed off that tradition.  I'm reading that one of the foremost voices slamming progressive Democratic campaign issues this year is Obama's campaign strategist and one of the architects of Obama always playing his weakest hand, administration,  David Axelrod, who seems to be following something like Estrich's post-presidential trail only with CNN.   I loathe these people.  He's heading up the campaign against Medicare For All from his base at the University of Chicago.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Brain Trussed

Democrats tried to undo the Citizens United ruling in 2010, the DISCLOSE Act passed the Democratically controlled house but was blocked by Republicans in the Senate though a majority of the Senate favored the bill.  in 2012 the honorable Sheldon Whitehouse introduced a DISCLOSE Act 2.0 which, of course, the Republican-fascists didn't even take up.  Yet Duncan's rump of rumps whines that the Democrats did nothing back then.

You would think that a Brain Trust (they really do call themselves one) would know how to google such things before they make such stupidly whiny complaints that the Democrats didn't do anything about it when they held all three branches.  I found that information in less than two minutes by google search.  Democrats tried, the stinking corrupt, slave enabling institution of the Senate blocked it just as they blocked anti-lynching legislation for decades as hundreds and hundreds were lynched. 

That's one of the worst things about open comment threads, Facebook, tweets, . . .  on the internet, every moron who is too lazy to research topics can misrepresent history to other such lazy morons who then believe they know something because their fellow morons believe it.  They're the kind that billionaires foreign and domestic steer so easily, so many of them on the alleged left. 

Here, I Said It


Teaneck Stupe, Duncan's poop.   There, I said that too.  

FFS, What Part Of "That is a long way from "proving" that God's intentionality is behind the relatively small set of evolutionary consequences . . . " Did You Miss?

I understood the consequences of what Afinsens said about chains of amino acids being folded by even more complex cellular action to produce working proteins out of the amino-acid chains produced, not BY DNA but which DNA plays a major role in, makes what happens within cells far, far more complex and adding to the burden placed on probability and random chance that would have been required to produce not only a result BUT THE RIGHT RESULT and that what was already vastly improbable - especially in the limited time it has to happen - improbable to an even greater degree.  Cellular chemistry doesn't produce only one kind of protein based on the same DNA code, it produces many different ones, which seem to find their way to just the right place most of the time to function within cells and which function within organisms.  The burden on "probability" and "random chance" is unsustainable.

The atheist-materialist-scientistic resort to saying "DNA"  something that has made quite a number of careers in a number of sciences and in pop-science (Dawkins) is a sign of rather stupendous ignorance, not erudition.  And that's a far less inadequate resort than the less defined and more general God replacements of "probability" and "random chance".   Those explain nothing, they are materialist smoke and mirrors and slight of hand.  None of this "proves God" but it certainly debunks the atheist gods that they set up to impress the naive. 

Update:  " blah, blah . . . you're claiming that probability is invalid . . . blah, blah". 

Not at all, they're quite often valid and useful tools to do a number of things, they just can't be atheist gods in the gaps in these matters.   And that's exactly what they are in that ideological use, gods in the gaps, materialist gods which, in their most extravagant use in multi-universe cosmology are given powers of creation, lavishing powers on them to create universes out of nothing, in direct contradiction to the arguments the atheists make against the reality of God and, furthermore, insisting that their ideological idols be inserted directly into science as scientific holdings.  

Probability can be very useful, though you have to use it in an honest and rational manner in line with the rules of logic, things this ideological use of them don't even start with.   Atheists do the same thing with "natural selection" and "genes" and "DNA," the first of which I believe doesn't exist and, on close inspection, as a number of people have pointed out,  has many logical problems.  But, since natural selection benefits powerful, privileged elites, it is enforced as one of the foremost matters of scientific faith.  Genes and DNA are real - at least if you maintain a more modest and realistic definition of "genes"and what they both do than is commonly done -  but they're as ill suited as scientistic creator gods as probability.  

For me, thinking about the uses of these things, real and unreal, it is striking how desperately ready ideological atheists are to try to stuff anything they can into the gaps in exactly the way that some naive religious believers are.   If you want a really fine example of how difficult talking about these questions without doing that is,  read Hans Kung, I've read atheists trying to use his writing to their ends when an accurate reading of him shows they don't get him at all.  For example, in his study I quoted from the other day,  Eternal Life?  he doesn't say that things reported as human experience indicating life after death is to be rejected out of hand, in the manner of pseudo-skepticism, he says that since he chooses to argue on the grounds that modernism insists on, he sets those aside.  Then he makes a very convincing argument that would not please the modern atheist or even many modernistic religious writers, doing so on the turf they say is the only valid field of battle.  

I am also finding in reading Kung this year that my respect for the German intellectual tradition of scholarship as opposed to most English language scholarship has grown enormously.   Though much English language theological writing is of the same kind,  Brueggemann's massive Old Testament Theology, comes to mind.  Perhaps growing up in a church where services were still held in German - his father had to convince the older members of his congregation that it was time to move to English - and having to read so much German language scholarship on the subject, it's natural that he would practice that same kind of scholarship.

". . . taking it so personally" - As I Said, Derbes Can Kiss My Ass

He teaches physics at an elite prep-school that feeds an ultra-right wing private, Ivy-league equivalent university and he propagates lies about me while playing play-lefty at Duncan's blog.  I can assure you that I'm not impressed with an elite prep-school teacher in the sciences who can't be bothered to fact check things he says about anyone but when it is lies about what I've said,  repeating the lies of a self-evident and dishonest idiot instead of seeing if what the idiot said was true, I can see no reason why I shouldn't take it personally.   As I recall he's one of the two sci-guys at Duncan's I long ago got into an argument with about the ahistoricity of Inherit the Wind.  I researched the topic before I even developed my conclusion as to its historicity and found it was, pretty much from start to finish, untrue.  That didn't seem to impress the two sci-guys.  I won't name the other one who I believe teaches at a public university because, as far as I can see, he hasn't lied about me at Duncan's.   

I do find that many of those who are in the sciences may maintain the highest level of exigent criticism for their one, tiny and often quite simplified area of investigation but they so often prove themselves entirely uninterested when it comes to looking up facts anywhere else, especially outside of the sciences.  There are exceptions but I haven't run into that many of them.  Richard Lewontin comes to mind but he's a genuine intellectual and a rather impressive practical logician as well as an eminent scientist.  Modern universities don't produce many of those.  The idea of a liberal education seems to have died off in my generation, right before it, actually, as the hegemony of the STEM subjects and their financial utility swamped any, more idealistic view of education. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Orrin Evans Trio - The Answer

Orrin Evans, piano, composer
Eric Revis, bass
Karriem Riggins, drums

I've really been enjoying learning more about Orrin Evans music and the people he's playing with.  Following up on the members of EB3, posted here the other night.  
Duncan Black has knowingly posted vicious lies about me for at least seven years, he's responsible for that.  That's the price of having the right to determine the contents of your blog, you're responsible for what you keep up on it.  If he doesn't like people saying that, he only has himself to blame.   I haven't exactly noticed any of the regulars calling him on it.  They apparently don't mind it.   To hell with them and the play left they typify. 

Update:  David Derbes is a horses ass who doesn't bother to find out if what his blog rat buddy says is true.  I am not surprised to find that level of insouciant assertion of unreality by a prep-school physics teacher.  Typical sci-guy who doesn't bother to fact check anything else.   He can kiss my ass. 

Update 2:  Hey, if Derbes weren't a coward he'd come here and say that.  I'd give him a list of links where I said the exact opposite of what he claims to remember me saying.  He's apparently gone stupid from spending too many years at Duncan's daycare for doddering duffers, the place of prevarication, the lair of the Lazy-boy liars set.  The click-bait clique. 

You Had To Ask What I Meant When I Said "Britain's BM of a PM"

Bowel Movement
Medical » Physiology 

PM - Prime Minister

This Is Your Brain On Entertainment

There used to be an effective margin of adults who turned elections in the United States and even Britain who understood that there are things more important and desirable than being entertained by mentally deficient clowns.  TV and movies and light novels has whittled down that margin into ineffectiveness to the detriment of government of, by and most of all FOR The People.   Interestingly enough, that was demonstrated well by John Oliver talking on a comedy program on a comedy channel on cable TV about the mentally retarded Etonian who is now the BM of a PM of Britain.


Any questions?

Clearly humor has not saved Britain from the Tory fascists any more than it has saved the U.S. from Republican fascists.  The belief that comedy defeats fascism is incredibly well disproved in history and people continuing to believe it does proves that we're on the way to that same level of stupidity.

Update:  John Oliver's Last Week Tonight began  on April 27, 2014.  Two years before the United States got Trump, five years before the UK (where it is also shown) got Boris Johnson out of an election that gave it Teresa May.   John Oliver worked for a long while on The Daily Show, which premiered when Bill Clinton was in office, the excellent comedian Jon Stewart taking over the show in 1999.   Clearly, if the excellent comedic talent of John Oliver and Jon S.  (not to mention Colbert, Bee, etc.)  was going to save us it would have worked by now. 

You would have to be as TVily retarded as a Simels or a Trump to still be holding the candle for the salvific power of comedy, even excellent comedy.   It doesn't even seem to help in that the evil we get now is ever so much worse than the evil we got before the Comedy Channel started up. 

Update 2:  So, that only shows that Duncan's audience has more than its share of mentally deficient liars who lie about what I said and others who aren't much bothered by their presence.  I've been pointing that out for almost seven years, now.   Duncan didn't live up to the promise that the owner of Media Whores Online saw in him but that was a long, long time ago, too. 

Update 3:  He's so stupid that he doesn't realize he's both claiming that comedy is going to save us from fascism and that it's not going to save us from fascism and he's been rendered so stupid from a lifetime of TV and pop kulcha that he doesn't understand that both of them can't be true.  See what I was saying about how integrity dissolves under a regime of materialism, vulgar as much so if not more so than academic varieties of it.

Time Runs Out For The Atheist gods Of Probability And Random Chance - Stunned Mail

Stunned as you are, you might be even more stunned if you knew what a profound effect this passage from the Nobel laureate Christian Afinsens, talking about his prizewinning work on the folding of amino acid chains into working proteins has had on me.

If the chain explored all possible configurations at random by rotations about the various single bonds of the structure, it would take too long to reach the native configuration.  For example, if the individual residues of an unfolded polypeptide chain can exist in only two states, which is a gross understatement, then the number of possible randomly generated conformations is 1045 for a chain of 150 amino acid residues ( although, of course, most of these would probably be sterically [spacially] impossible ones  If each conformation could be explored with a frequency of molecular rotation (1012 sec.-1) , which is an overestimate, it would take approximately 1026  years to examine all possible conformations.  Since the syntnesis and folding of a protein chain such as that of ribonuclease or lysozyme can be accomplished in about 2 minutes, it is clear that all conformations are not traversed in the folding process.  Instead, it appears to us that, in response to local interactions, the peptide chain is directed along a variety of possible low-energy pathways (relatively small in number), possibly passing through unique intermediate states, toward the confirmation of lowest free energy.  

1026  years is a friggin' long time, longer than the universe has been in existence, longer, by may multitudes than the entire history of all of life on Earth and all of the,who knows, nonillions of  times that organisms have performed these acts successfully?  That alone is a profound clue that the classical materialist-atheist reliance on random chance and probability having produced the phenomena of life as we experience it - AS CONSTITUTES THE ENTIRETY OF WHAT WE CAN EXAMINE SCIENTIFICALLY - is not only wrong, belief in it is best seen as anti-scientific.  It simply could not happen that way.   

That is a long way from "proving" that God's intentionality is behind the relatively small set of evolutionary consequences from that fact about protein folding though it exposes a belief that biology is, in fact, designed by intelligence is more in line with the facts than that synthetic substitute, the ersatz gods of probability and randomness were what unintelligently produced it.   We have only our own experience to judge the reliability of proposed scenarios and we have to ask ourselves, from what we know so strongly that even atheists make resort to it constantly, what would do the choosing among all of those possibilities so as to produce the effects we can observe in the very, very limited time in which we know they happened.  Even the 3 billion years and change that is the best scientific estimate for that is a tiny fraction of the 1026  years Christian Afinsens estimates for it to have happened once and it happened by a factor of far more than three billion years times more than that of times to produce the entire repository of information that can inform the human study that is biology.   

So, no, dopey, what I'm thinking about isn't based on the Genesis stories, it's based in Nobel level science and understanding how the conventional notation of large numbers works and understanding that in this context, it has to work in the time available to produce the results the argument is about.  What you're thinking seems to be based on the most vulgar levels of pop kulcha and the conventional non-wisdom of middle-brow guys who might have a degree in some branch of the humanities or who have a stand-up act.  Which, in a tragic number of cases, isn't that far removed from what the humanities under the brow-beating of scientists has come to. '

The traditional fundamentalist use of the Genesis narratives - the entire Bible, actually - pretty well destroys their usefulness and value.  Which is certainly related to the demonstrable and amoral depravity on display in so many fundamentalists who support the adulterous - far worse than the Herod condemned by John the Baptist by many times - high-priest of Mammonism, Donald Trump.   Jesus gave the very useful means of judging the authenticity of those who claimed to follow him, "by their fruits you will know them".   I've found it always works.  

Update:  The cellular chemistry mentioned in that quote - unspecified by Afinsens and, as far as I know, pretty much totally unknown - since they produce a vast number of different working proteins, must, themselves, work within realms of possibility that would add to not subtract from the problem for the results being by random chance working on possible variations.  My argument is that the reliance on random chance and probability that has produced what only on a most vulgarly naive level seems like a good atheist argument is stupendously inadequate.  I think that given we only have human experience to guide us to understanding - or, in fact, to construct human theories of random chance and probability from - it is entirely reasonable to believe that intelligence must be making those choices.   You have to really take the Jewish God, who I believe is the real God,  very seriously to come to an even more profound belief that an intelligence we can hardly begin to understand is at work in it.  

It was human beings who invented the mathematics of random chance and probability, you know.   We can't even begin to have any faith in those without human observation coming to something of a confirmation of them.  So arguing any of this as if human thinking and observation debunks it is rather stupidly forgetting that human beings are at work in it at every level, including having invented the mathematical gods of such atheist arguments.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Orrin Evans Quartet - Alone Together

Orrin Evans, piano,
Curtis Lundy, bass
Donals Edwards, drums
Abraham Burton, sax

A Rant In Response To One Of The Stupidest Claims Cherished By English Speaking Monoglots

The two major English speaking countries, the United States and Britain are led by sadistic, mentally deficient criminal thugs who even look the part of malign clowns.   Australia has been led by a similar level of thug recently as I fear Canada soon will be ("Ford" a name I'm beginning to think means "should never govern a city or country").  Clearly speaking English, having English common law tradition, having the dogma of "free speech" "free press" tradition hasn't protected the so-called English-speaking Peoples from a level of depraved evil such as the bigoted popular cultures of us attribute to those who speak other languages. That "othering" of others is one of the more depraved parts of English language culture, though it's far from alone in that.

That arrogant assumption that something as awful as English history, - Magna Carta, the English Reformation, the various and evolving English governments, the sort of stuff Horace Rumpole* spouted about losing in court,  when not seen through the lens of BBC costume dramas, is a class-based line of not only depravity but cruelty, racism, economic plunder and despoliation which gained a world-wide empire which decayed (as all empires do) and crumbled to the point where it's possible even Scotland and Northern Ireland might leave it, maybe even, in the fullness of Boris Johnson level depraved decadence, Wales, might get out of it -  is a guarantee of American democracy is such a massive delusion that anyone holding it should probably not be depended on to do much more than get food in their mouth.  

The history of England as it really was, the history of the rest of the English Speaking Peoples, as those really were, give us nothing to be confident, much less arrogant about.   Not that that will stop the BBC from producing more bull shit to that effect and PBS showing it to save money and to promote English language arrogance. 

*  I found in listening to the radio versions of the Rumple stories last winter that my affection for that character has worn thin.   Many of his cherished claims were lies to start with (his recitation of Voltaire comes to mind) and John Mortimer's world-weary post-socialist cynicism and giving up seems far worse after witnessing the history of the Thatcher years and their aftermath.   I think the things in 18th century "enlightenment" which quickly went sour for so many to the extent that it went from there into romanticism - which was pretty rancid itself - have turned destructive in 20th century modernism.  I don't think a return to any part of that failed past will bring us to anything like safety or a decent life.   If you don't get it from the distortions of a lying, posing asshole like Christopher Hitchens but get it directly from his own writings, I think George Orwell has a lot more to offer, though nothing anyone wrote is going to be without problems.   It's not a joke fest but nothing much about our situation is funny.

Hate Mail

Remember, I was the one who said I didn't believe natural selection to be more than an application of the thinking behind the British class system and Malthusian class-based economic theory as a supposed universal explanation of evolution.  I think evolution is too big a thing to squeeze into the thinking of a small number of Brit and German aristocrats of the mid-19th century.  I doubt it will ever have an adequate, single explanation.  I suspect it might have millions of different explanations for individual cases among the trillions and trillions of organisms whose lives and reproductive lives have resulted in the present (alas, rapidly becoming former) abundant variety of life.  I doubt any real understanding of evolution will happen until Darwinism is thrown into that large and not to be discussed boneyard of discontinued science, into which evolutionary biology has heaped so many carcasses.  But that pile is dwarfed by the one that the alleged sciences of minds and behavior have thrown in to it.  Almost all of those under some scheme of materialist explanation of minds, many in the alleged context of natural selection.   I suspect Evolutionary Psychology is going to fill an entire section, alone.

You do not seem to understand that I'm not under any obligation to come up with an explanation of how minds arise - whatever that means in this very unknowable context - in order to point out that natural selection without divine intent or at least the transcendence of material causation can have no effect but to undermine the reliability of human and animal thinking.  Your claim that I have that obligation is certainly not the way science is supposed to work, disconfirmation of any experiment or proof doesn't fail if the person finding the problem with a hypothesis cannot solve the problem, themselves.  Science would not be capable of advancement except in the rarest of cases if that were required. 

I can point out the problem with materialist-determinism of our minds without having to come to any alternative story-line as to how minds came into being. 

And, considering the universally destructive aspects of materialistic doctrine as they impact the products of our minds, noting that the degradation and debunking of human minds applies equally to their thinking that produced their position.   They don't get to escape the consequences of their own doctrine, their thoughts are as debased if their belief which produced it is true.  


Any materialist who wants to retain a belief that their most cherished beliefs have any such transcendent character or value is either too lazy or stupid or emotionally unable to follow their beliefs to their necessary conclusions, that their beliefs fall under the same nihilistic program of denial they reserve for those ideas and things they despise.  

If you want to understand how Trump and his allegedly Christian supporters can throw aside the distinction between truth and lies, replacing sadistic cruelty for kindness, for raising up a crooked, self-indulgent, adulterous, thieving, treasonous Mammonist pagan as their man-god - following the word of Trump as they claim to follow the entirely opposite word of Jesus, it's kind of the vulgar materialist equivalent of what academic atheist materialists do all the time.  They live with a total lack of integrity based on what they like instead of what they claim to believe in.  They isolate islands of exception when the monistic nature of their materialism, in order to be valid, can have no possibility of such islands of exception, it is a relentlessly ruthless ideological position based in an emotional solipsism of denial.  While you can point to the contented and placidly otiose members of the scribbling classes and of university faculties who don't wish to exert themselves in a pursuit of more material acquisition and ruthless power seeking (at least until someone else's pursuit of it interferes with their placid comfortable existence) they are atypical of materialists, many of whom of the vulgar variety probably don't even realize they are materialists.  Materialism is quite able to function, fully, in total ignorance, it is not, basically, a product of deep intellectual activity unrelated to personal preference. 

Small draughts of philosophy lead to atheism but longer draughts bring one back to God.
Luigi Galvani

* I anticipate someone might bring up the use of the words "true"-"false" in computer science but those are just human labels that in that context have no transcendent quality.  It was unfortunate that they used those terms because people, some of them very eminent scientists, once a label is chosen seem to believe that the thing they're talking about in the vastly simplified sphere of their science have the same meaning outside of it.   They could have used "yes"-"no" "vanilla"-"chocolate" "paper"-"plastic" "boxers"-"briefs" to mean the same things they use "true" and "false" for.  Any transcendent quality that is inserted into it is put there by human understanding or, more likely, nothing more than human intention.  It is not related to the transcendent quality of some idea being true and many others being false in real life. 

The current and rather desperate fashion of panpsychism that attributes "consciousness" to non-living physical matter requires a similar change in meaning of the word "consciousness" which makes such an attribution absurd, especially when proposing it as an explanation of animal-human consciousness.  It only seems to move the materialist case forward by pretending that the two very different "things" proposed mean the same thing.  It in no way moves forward the attempt to explain how "lower forms of consciousness" turn into what human beings experience, it merely, in the most childish way possible, attributes consciousness to atoms and electrons in the way that very young children attribute it to teddy bears and dolls.  What I see in panpsychism is desperation of a failed ideology and an exposure of the delusional arrogance which forms the emotional basis of all scientistic-materialistic-atheism.