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Comments by Geoff

Go to: Various articles on Richard Dawkins' visit to Brazil

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Geoff

Comment #395352 by lordpasternack:

That's true, lp, it's kinda the "No True Christian" thing, with her. Cherry picking the bits she finds "convenient" to believe, as so many religios do.

Oh, and I just moved the right headphone earpiece off my ear... ;)

Sun, 12 Jul 2009 06:44:00 UTC | #378114

Go to: Various articles on Richard Dawkins' visit to Brazil

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Geoff

Thanks for those, Layla!

I've been having fun teasing my wife about Richard's trip, as she's both Brazilian and a Christian...

Sat, 11 Jul 2009 14:49:00 UTC | #377957

Go to: Kids are awesome everywhere

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Geoff

Saeed bumps!

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 16:31:00 UTC | #372896

Go to: Correspondence regarding the Templeton Foundation

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by Geoff

There's an article of hers on the Grauniad site dated yesterday...

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 14:36:00 UTC | #372868

Go to: The Joke's on Him: Bill Maher could use a lesson in civility from Michael Moore

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 64 by Geoff

Someone should tell him that a string of weak ad hominems does not constitute a film review.

Fri, 17 Oct 2008 02:57:00 UTC | #252030

Go to: Coming soon: 'In God We Trust' tags

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Geoff

I hope they'll paint out the letter 't' before the cars are consigned to the scrap heap...

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 07:02:00 UTC | #243816

Go to: 'God as Science Fiction'. Richard Dawkins at the Edinburgh Book Festival

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by Geoff

I thoroughly enjoyed that interview; refreshing to hear discussions about topics different from the usual ones we've been getting recently.

sbooder, I entirely agree with you; I've been having a similar discussion on the forum section where I've been arguing exactly that.

For a group to succeed, I feel, there has to a positive rather than a negative commonality.

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 06:58:00 UTC | #243812

Go to: An idea ready for takeoff

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Geoff

We need to get as many Xtian organisations as possible to condemn or ban it. It would be good to get it banned in Turkey, too, if possible...

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 10:19:00 UTC | #242533

Go to: Saudi Arabia Bans Dog Walking in Capital

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by Geoff

the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice

...says it all, really.

Tue, 12 Aug 2008 01:35:00 UTC | #216265

Go to: Interview with Paula Kirby on 'The Right Hook'

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 57 by Geoff

I've been on the fora, rather than here, recently, but just popping in to add my congratulations to Paula for yet another job well done!

Sun, 10 Aug 2008 11:52:00 UTC | #215583

Go to: Richard Dawkins slaps creationists into the primordial soup

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 69 by Geoff

28. Comment #213811 by Steve Zara

Hoho, masterly slap down there of Germaine "I'm an intellectual you know" Greer and British TV.

And a rather odd and inappropriate one. This is the same British TV that recently produced the wonderful "Live in Cold Blood" by David Attenborough, and which presents the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, and which had a recent documentary on the ideas of Stephen Hawking.

The entire intellectual output of British TV should not be judged by Celebrity Big Brother.

To be fair, Steve, Kate was only having a go at C4, and BB in particular, not British TV as a whole.

...especially when he shares a channel with Big Brother

I utterly despise Big Brother and I'm really sorry to be associated with it on Channel 4.

Sat, 19 Jul 2008 07:34:00 UTC | #202940


Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 107 by Geoff

Here's mine, hard copy to follow:

FAO: President Robert H. Bruininks

Dear Sir,

I am writing this note in support of PZ Myers, in particular regarding the hate campaign that Bill Donohue is trying to whip up against him.

You will by now, no doubt, be aware of the difference between the methods of the "tolerant, loving, forgiving" Christians (and their associated death threats), and the methods of the "godless, heathen, bound-for-hell" atheists, so I don't think I need to elaborate.

Although not a regular reader of his weblog, I fully support his campaign to expose the irrationality of many, if not all, religions. The reaction of the Catholics (and other Christian sects) to his "cracker" story simply reinforces his and my belief that their only remaining weapon these days is hate - which surely should sit uncomfortably with their alleged beliefs.

Bill Donohue, of course, has made a career out of persecuting those who, allegedly, insult his faith. A noted racist, avowedly anti-Semitic, who has defended the numerous convictions of Catholic priests for sexual abuse of minors, Donohue clearly sees his position as equivalent to a modern day "Witchfinder-General".

Please treat his campaign with the contempt it so clearly deserves.


Geoff Newman

Thu, 10 Jul 2008 17:05:00 UTC | #197601

Go to: McDonald's Makes Jesus Cry

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by Geoff

I hope some of those comments have been forwarded to FSTDT.

Tue, 08 Jul 2008 16:17:00 UTC | #196212

Go to: Origin of the Novel Species Noodleous doubleous: Evidence for Intelligent Design

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by Geoff


Although it is considered unethical to destroy incipient life-forms, thereby causing them to go extinct, the experimenter was hungry, so he ate them anyway.


It's worth noting here that Dr. Thomas D. Schneider is a real person, and a genuine research biologist too.

There's an ongoing "debate" in the fora with a cretinist who is misrepresenting Schneider's data from an earlier published paper:

And Dr. Schneider has contributed to the thread.

Tue, 08 Jul 2008 16:03:00 UTC | #196201

Go to: Dawkins on Darwin

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Geoff

25. Comment #201098 by rod-the-farmer

Here is a question I would like to hear answered by others on this site. I am trying to come up with the single most convincing evidence for an old Earth, in the sense that this one piece would have the most effect on YEC types. Something that would show that evolution by natural selection, while quite slow in some areas, has an enormous amount of time in which to operate. What I have come up with is the combination of plate tectonics and the matching coastlines of South America and Africa, particularly if you examine the continental shelf. We can already detect their on-going slow separation, and by extrapolation, they have been moving apart for much longer than 6,000 years or so.

We've all tried that, rod. Their latest idea is something they call the hydroplate theory, which actually does have the continents whizzing around at amazing speeds. I'm afraid their reality denial is such that no amount of real science will shake them.

Sun, 29 Jun 2008 03:07:00 UTC | #190998

Go to: New discovery proves 'selfish gene' exists

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Geoff

Like others, I want to see the published paper first, before commenting. This is just a "teaser"; no substance.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 12:42:00 UTC | #187317

Go to: Proving ID is Creationism

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Geoff

Old news to most of us, I guess, but the more ways this gets publicised, the better.
They could have mentioned the wedge document, too.

Wed, 21 May 2008 02:17:00 UTC | #173560

Go to: Mayor challenges pope during Genoa visit

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Geoff

I'm with rod-the-farmer on this one - the vast majority of the anti abortion lobby seem to think a fertilised ovum is an "unborn child" and quite deliberately use that emotive phrase in their propaganda.
As far as they're concerned, abortion is a sin right from day one.
The pro-choice lobby have their differences, true, but as rod says it's typically over the latest time it should be allowed.

Mon, 19 May 2008 08:00:00 UTC | #172885

Go to: Texas Megachurch Minister Busted in Internet Sex Sting

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Geoff

Nothing in the ten commandments that suggests he did anything wrong.

Good job we get our morals from the bible really, otherwise people might think what he did was immoral.

Sat, 17 May 2008 08:42:00 UTC | #172284

Go to: These dim-wits believe in anything but God

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Geoff

But to bin what the Judeo-Christian tradition has bequeathed us in terms of responsibility for the stranger, care for the vulnerable, collective consciousness and our sense of what is right and wrong is utterly ludicrous.

That has to be satire, surely?

Sat, 17 May 2008 08:37:00 UTC | #172280

Go to: Pelosi, Reid shunning Ten Commandments?

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Geoff

24. Comment #181312 by RightWingAtheist

In the future, please address your comments to ALL makers of dairy products.

Especially the cheesemakers...

Sat, 17 May 2008 08:04:00 UTC | #172261

Go to: Indian village proud after double 'honor killing'

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 51 by Geoff

33. Comment #181272 by Teratornis

This is an interesting story, but everyone is probably wondering: what does this story have to do with peak oil?



Sat, 17 May 2008 07:11:00 UTC | #172221

Go to: The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, ed. Richard Dawkins

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Geoff

35th post!

Sat, 17 May 2008 05:27:00 UTC | #172201

Go to: Turkish Islamic author given 3-year jail sentence

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Geoff

Ah, Harun Yahya!

Time to mention the "Atlas of Creation!" fishing lures again!

Fri, 16 May 2008 09:01:00 UTC | #171832

Go to: God seekers go public

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by Geoff

anna, I suggest you start your new drug regime with caffeine and alcohol.

Have an Irish coffee.

Tue, 13 May 2008 08:35:00 UTC | #170312

Go to: Americans pray at the pump for cheaper petrol

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 66 by Geoff

47. Comment #179233 by AllanW

It's waaaaaay past time;

Teratornis! Paging Teratornis! Your prescence is requested on a thread to do with oil prices! Teratornis! Oh! wherefore art thou, Teratornis?

Has he run out of gas?

Tue, 13 May 2008 02:56:00 UTC | #170139

Go to: Evolution: What is 'Natural'?

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 211 by Geoff

193. Comment #178914 by irate_atheist

'argumentum ad mistakum'

"argumentum ad erratum"?

Mon, 12 May 2008 08:45:00 UTC | #169811

Go to: Evolution: What is 'Natural'?

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 210 by Geoff

94. Comment #178693 by Artful_Dodger on May 11, 2008

Popping briefly back to page 2...

Isn't that what the Jesuits used to say? Sounds like a very "rational" project! The premise of course is that atheism is the default "mechanism". Gradgrind would be proud of you. "Let's set up schools where children will be exposed to facts, pure and simple. We will have to careful of the reading material we admit onto the shelves! Encyclopedias and text-books with spadefuls of information. Fiction which depicts kids acceding to glory in sport and setting an example of achievement and supremacy. But at all costs we must keep them from reading the kind of fantasy that might encourage them to feel deep down that there might be more to existence than can be accounted for by the empirical sciences. No Lord of the Rings or anything of that ilk, unless it be heavily anotated by scholars who will be able to explain away any longings that such literature might awaken!

Not at all: quite the opposite in fact.

As long as they are taught to distinguish between fact and fiction.

I love LOTR, but I don't waste much time arguing that while Anduril, Lothlorien & Rivendell undoubtedly exist, the rings of power are metaphorical.

Your book is a poorly written collection of Bronze age myths, stories and superstitions, with less relevance to real life than Aesop's fables.

Mon, 12 May 2008 08:43:00 UTC | #169809

Go to: Discussion between Richard Dawkins and Paula Kirby

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 140 by Geoff

The usual garbage.

If he cannot make the distinction between false religion and true Christianity, it is possible that this is the fault of the Christian church more than his fault...

...He doesn't even deign to consider the Christian God...

and "fulfilled prophecies"? WTF? That guy is a danger to himself and others.

Thanks for that Paula; you just wasted 10 minutes of my time with it!


Sun, 11 May 2008 02:07:00 UTC | #169136

Go to: Is religion a threat to rationality and science?

Geoff's Avatar Jump to comment 1028 by Geoff

I think something similar has already been proposed, but for Kent Hovind instead:

Hovind Factor = (X s i p) x (m 1)


Belief in scripture - "X"
0 - No doctrinal belief required
1 - Metaphorical use of Biblical/Qu'ranic quotation
2 - Belief in scripture as the infallible word of God. Timeless, inerrant and absolute. (AiG/The flud etc.)

Scientific Illiteracy - "s"
0 - Full understanding of detailed, advanced scientific principles
1 - Overall grasp of principles with some understanding of specific area being discussed
2 - Vague understanding of general principle but with poor grasp of many details
3 - No understanding or knowledge of area being discussed
4 - Rejection of basic scientific facts/laws/robust theories and/or denial of any evidence that contradicts scripture
5 - Robert Byers (Extreme, moronic and puerile level of 4 above)

The idiocy scale - "i"
0 - no discernible stupidity
1 - slightly silly, but understandable
2 - foolish
3 - daft
4 - rather funny in a slightly worrying sort of way
5 - very funny in a very worrying way
6 - scary stuff
7 - very scary
8 - unlikely to be accepted by anyone with more than two functioning neurons
9 - Moronic. Stark-bollock-naked, off-the-wall, wing-nut
10 - Kirk Cameron or VenomFangX

Paradox - "p"
0 = Statement is logical and self-consistent
1 = Statement acknowledges slight flaw in internal logic but glosses over it with babble.
2 = Statement relies on an assumed divine intervention to explain self contradiction.
3 = Self contradiction invalidates statement completely, and is left unaddressed.


Mendacity - "m"
0 - Total honesty
1 - Statement maker knows they are telling enough of a porkie to try to mislead a generally credulous audience
2 - Statement maker knows they are lying enough to try to mislead an educated audience, or they are repeating a lie that they have previously been corrected on.
3 - Whopper! (including plagiarism)
4 - Complete, burn-in-Hell, perjury grade, super-lie - for example, one that is strategically designed to mislead authorities or the general public (e.g. as witnessed in the Dover trial and Expelled).

Using this formula, a completely honest statement of scientific merit would score a Hovind Factor of zero.

The maximum Hovind Factor, HFmax, is a completely insane statement which contradicts all scientific evidence but adheres totally to religious doctrine and which the person making the claim knows to be untrue - while at the same time the statement also completely contradicts itself - would score (2 5 10 3) x (4 1) = 100.

EDIT: formula should have "plus" signs inside the brackets!)

Sat, 10 May 2008 09:38:00 UTC | #168928