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Comments by chris 116

Go to: Oxford Gift for Poor Students

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by chris 116

Mark Ribbands #12

the rich, by definition, are not stupid.

We are way off topic here, but as this isn't the Daily Mail, I can't let that one go unchallenged. Try this:

"George Bush is rich, and therefore by definition, not stupid." Do you have enough money in the bank to see how daft that looks?

"The rich, by definition, are born rich." My comment is a ridiculous generalisation. But I'll bet it's a damn sight closer to the truth than yours is. I don't have any evidence, apart from anecdotes, to back up my claim but nobody seems to insist on it around here.

I'm ashamed to admit that I used to work in sales. We used to make a lot more money than your average Oxford don. By your logic, we were smarter than the dons. I wish that you could have heard our afterwork conversations in the pub. Then, I'd hope, you'd never have made such a ludicrous comment.

Sat, 14 Jul 2012 05:56:34 UTC | #949154

Go to: Oxford Gift for Poor Students

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by chris 116

Cartomancer #8

I am ambivalent about projects like this

I'm not. I'd simply say thank you very much, without any reservations.

That said, I agree with the sentiment of your post. While you mourn the fees of the early 2000s, back when I blew the chance of a tertiary education there were no fees, like Scandinavia and Scotland today.

It will reduce the momentum for change and make a profound reversal in policy all the less likely to happen,

This is where we disagree. I believe that you seriously over estimate the Tories: there is S.F.A chance of a change in government thinking this side of the next election. And whatever figure Labour promise to cap Fees at, I think it's 6,000 at the present, will be pure vote bait and not influenced by this gift at all. I don't know what the Lib Dems are promising, but then, who cares?

I agree with you regarding the taxes. But, unlike this gift, that's not going to happen any time soon.

Sat, 14 Jul 2012 04:48:05 UTC | #949153

Go to: Primary school indoctrination (UK)

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by chris 116

I followed your links. That is one creepy organisation.

Luckily there are better stories around. Kids of that age lap up tales of the Greek Gods and you'll enjoy them too. And they prepare the ground for later on when you can introduce the Egyptian myths and they can see that not only is the Christian myth not the greatest story ever told; it's based on earlier fictions. has some well made animations of creation myths from around the world but it's short on fun. I'm sure there must be some better ones around.


Fri, 06 Jul 2012 07:34:17 UTC | #948675

Go to: Great tits join mobs with neighbours they know

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by chris 116


one German study showed that 40% of nests contained some offspring fathered by parents other than the breeding male.

I know nothing of avian adultery but I'm guessing that a close neighbour would be a more likely adulterer. Could this be a factor in why this behaviour manifests itself only after they've been neighbours for a while?

Of course, this would only explain the neighbouring male's interest. If the female is as often the first to join in the neighbour's defence, then I suppose it must be a case of reciprocal altruism. But if studies showed that it was invariably the male who was first into the fray, then this could simply be him defending possible offspring and his mate backing up her partner.

Thu, 26 Apr 2012 07:33:38 UTC | #937405

Go to: New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 65 by chris 116

If the tests prove that the flint is of "French" origin are flawed, then the Solutrean style artefacts in America could be simply a case of Clovis people independently coming up with a similar style of toolmaking. But if the tests are correct, then somehow the tools arrived on the east coast of America, either by the long or short route. I can't find any evidence of Solutrean style artefacts being discovered in the West of America, or even in Asia.

It seems that their distinctive art and toolmaking disappeared suddenly around 17,000 years ago. While I agree with Jonathan Dore that leaving terra firma would not be a natural choice, whoever replaced their culture could have provided them with the motivation to choose the ice.

Maybe many bands took to the ice, only to perish or turn back to land, where either the new people wiped them out, or they made a living closer to the ice sheets without leaving any record. Only one band had to make it to America.

I don't have any problem believing that they had the technology or experience. We know that they could sew, as their tool kit included needles. Tens of millennia previously, somehow, the first Australians crossed seas, so why not the Solutreans, with seal skins for tents, clothing and kayaks and seal blubber for fuel. Furthermore, cave art suggests that Halibut, a deep water fish, was a part of their diet.

And they wouldn't have had to make the entire journey under their own steam. Our lucky band could have found the decision to push on West made for them, when their ice broke free during a summer thaw and the currents took them to America. Icebergs find their way to the area which we are talking about.

This is all highly unlikely on the face of it but given enough bands or clans running away over enough time, maybe it could have happened. We know for a fact that many species have survived incredible voyages on rafts of vegetation. And the art that they left behind suggests that they were smarter than your average bear.

I wish that I could simply buy the bloody book but I can't as I'm travelling many miles from an English bookshop. All of the reviews which I've found are so similar that I suspect the publisher's marketing department wrote them. This leads me to doubt those flint tests and suspect that we may be wasting our time talking about this.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 08:13:01 UTC | #924535

Go to: New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by chris 116

Re-: the problem of access to the water for seals and people.

Wikipedia – last glacial period

The Arctic Ocean between the huge ice sheets of America and Eurasia was not frozen throughout but like today was probably only covered by relatively shallow ice.

If true, this still leaves the biggest hurdle:

comment 48 by Jonathan Dore

the psychology of spending years or even lifetimes out of sight of land……

Two thoughts on this, very much off the top of my head.

1) The motivation was fear of the tribe who pushed them off their former territory. In the repeated tellings of the tale of their exile, their conquerors mutated into man eating monsters. Their tribal lore became "trouble comes from the East: always head west" They stumbled upon America, where some millennia later, the Clovis people arrived from the West and ate them.

2) They were led by a psychotic patriarch, who heard voices telling him to lead his people out onto the ice desert and then they would find their promised land.

I realise that these are both highly unlikely, but somehow the "French" flint did arrive "Stateside"

I think that I understand Helga's comment 42: "the stuff got traded a long way" But if it didn't travel along the coast, it means putting people up on the ice miles above sea level where, as I understand it, there'd have only been lichen and beetles.

Thu, 01 Mar 2012 05:53:37 UTC | #923369

Go to: New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by chris 116

Comment 31 by Jonathon Dore

There is no game on top of an icecap because there's nothing there for game animals to eat.

The OP doesn't actually mention any herbivores.

Where the ice ended and the open ocean began would have been extremely rich in food resources – migrating seals, sea birds, fish and the now extinct great auk.

Wed, 29 Feb 2012 06:07:39 UTC | #923033

Go to: New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by chris 116

Can they be certain that the Flint was French? If so, surely this makes it a certainty, rather than a possibility, that Europeans arrived in America during the ice age.

That said, does the style of the tools really prove that they arrived 19 – 26,000 years ago? Would it not be possible that the tribe/band/clan who made the trek were a bit behind the times in stone technology, or that they took several thousand years to reach America?

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 17:09:48 UTC | #922843

Go to: Explaining the RDFRS UK/Ipsos MORI poll

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by chris 116

I listened to the Radio Scotland interview, which began "Why are you so aggressive?" And then the interviewer spoke over her answer. He was the only one who came across as aggressive.

Well done Paula: unflappable under fire.


Fri, 17 Feb 2012 07:37:27 UTC | #918657

Go to: BREAKING NEWS: Atheist Professor Head of New TERROR MOVEMENT

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by chris 116

Comment 21 by Questioning Kat

Let's face it, people with poor reading comprehension and ADD exist.

I have ADD and yet the headline alone was enough for me to recognise the post as satire. And I not only managed this amazing feat without the aid of Ritalin, but after a big fat spliff.

ADD is neither synonymous with low intelligence nor a lack of humour.


Fri, 17 Feb 2012 04:00:04 UTC | #918644


chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 95 by chris 116

Comment 87 by eanassir

I'm guessing that you're new to the preaching game. My first clue was that you're on this website: it's a foundation for REASON and SCIENCE, which are your natural enemies. Stay away from them.

Your best bet is to get them young, before those bastard critical faculties kick in. A kid who can believe in the tooth fairy is much more likely to swallow the idea of magic carpet rides, hook, line and sinker.

If the idea of going after innocent kids is just too creepy for you, then take a leaf out of the missionary's book: get them un-educated and hungry. The hungry will listen to any old bollocks if you've brought sandwiches and the un-educated are more likely to swallow it.

I hope this helps,


Sat, 11 Feb 2012 15:28:29 UTC | #916652

Go to: The Host's return (The Ancestor's Tale)

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by chris 116

Comment 13 by Roedy

I find it odd that animals seem to lose a characteristic no longer needed so rapidly.

There is a link to a story on the Science News page above that suggests that they have been isolated in their caves for 1 million years.


Sat, 11 Feb 2012 11:33:54 UTC | #916601

Go to: The Host's return (The Ancestor's Tale)

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by chris 116

Comment 14 by Alan4discussion

I seem to recall that an experiment was done where blind fish from two separate caves were crossed and this produced fish with normal eyes.

There is a link to a story on the Science News page above.The gist is: they created hybrids out of four cave fish populations and found that some hybrid crosses produced 40% sighted offspring. Their conclusion was that evolution has many ways of achieving eye loss: some populations deficiencies may be compensated for by remaining strengths in others.


Sat, 11 Feb 2012 11:27:18 UTC | #916600

Go to: Why Romney's Religion Matters

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by chris 116

Comment 71 by Idleracer

It must have been very humiliating for Romney to lose in Missouri, the birthplace of Jesus.

I'm afraid that you're getting your comings confused: it was Jesus's second coming that was scheduled to take place in Missouri. But before they'd even build the necessary temple, Smith got another revelation which explained that due to lusting and coveting among the Latter Day Saints, it had been put on hold.

After the Mormon war, Missouri expelled the LDS, thereby blowing their chance of ever becoming "Missouri – home of the second coming"

Sat, 11 Feb 2012 09:10:52 UTC | #916562

Go to: While temperatures rise, denialists reach lower

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by chris 116

Comment 51 by rocket 888

For every article/ story/ claim etc on either side, I can find one with the opposite opinion.

Nobody could accuse you of being off topic. Did you read the original post before commenting? It's about two stories which were published and were nonsense. For example, grasping at credibility, the Mail hack quoted the Met office. And they weren't too happy about it.

…… the Met office decided to publish another release stating clearly that the Mail article "included numerous errors" is "misleading" and that "the author chose not to fully understand the answers we gave him"

There's lots more: go and have a read of it.

You may well be able to find that for every article or story on either side, you can find one with the opposite opinion. Those who watch Fox know that there's nothing to worry about. But the same is not true regarding claims made by climate scientists: it's closer to 97:3

Wed, 01 Feb 2012 07:52:29 UTC | #913340

Go to: While temperatures rise, denialists reach lower

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by chris 116

As usual, the vast majority of posts here, agree with the vast majority of climate scientists. But it's not so over at the Daily Mail. By the time I saw this article, the Mail were no longer accepting comments.

Is it possible that this forum could have an open page for members to post alerts of AGW denial or anti-atheist stories as soon as they hear of them? Then those of us who like an argument could get stuck into Daily Mail readers, or their ilk, on the day, while the thread is still being read.

Of course, I could simply read the Daily Mail every day. But I'd much rather not. I don't have much to be proud of in my life at the moment: not being a Daily Mail reader is something that I need to cling on to. But if my suggestion were taken up, you could put me down for reading the rag on the first Wednesday of the month.

Wed, 01 Feb 2012 04:57:30 UTC | #913323

Go to: [Update 1/21] Rajasthan police invented plot - A WRITER UNDER THREAT, AGAIN

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by chris 116

Comment 23 by Stafford Gibbons

Writers who attend should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

You've forgotten to explain why.

The festival had already begun when Rushdie cancelled. Its organisers had bravely resisted pressure to cancel Rushdie.

From the OP.

The Satanic verses is still banned in India and so in late afternoon authors Hari Kunzru and Amitava Kumar read passages from the novel as a form of protest, to much applause.

Rushdie has said that he hopes to do a video link to the festival.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 12:01:22 UTC | #910482

Go to: [Update 1/21] Rajasthan police invented plot - A WRITER UNDER THREAT, AGAIN

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by chris 116

Comment 12 by KAahmed: Oh please. Another cheap publicity stunt by Rushdie to drum up the haunting spectre of Khomeini's 1989 death edit against him.

As you point out, the fatwa was issued in 1989. However, in February 2009, the Iranian News Agency reported that:

"a group of Iranian lawmakers, political activists and analysts believe that the fatwa against the apostate British writer Salman Rushdie is irrevocable."

And I think that you really should answer M Murray's question, or admit that you have no evidence as to why Rushdie's not putting the festival visitors at risk is a cheap publicity stunt. You should remember that while the Turkish Satanic Verses' translator survived, 37 people died in the attempt on his life.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 09:57:49 UTC | #910464

Go to: Why is NCSE Now Concerned with Climate Change?

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by chris 116

Re: Comment 41 by Chomolungma

For further evidence of why we needn't worry over AGW, go to You Tube: What's the harm? Let's ask Congressman John Shimkus.

He assures the Enquiry by reading from Genesis. Watch the woman's face in the top right screen, when he mentions Genesis.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 10:42:42 UTC | #909751

Go to: Why is NCSE Now Concerned with Climate Change?

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by chris 116

My post above is in response to: Comment 5 by Tony K.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 06:00:39 UTC | #909070

Go to: Why is NCSE Now Concerned with Climate Change?

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by chris 116

I have an ally

There is something that you really should know about your ally Mike "business as usual" Ridley: he has more front than Brighton. Firstly, his family has extensive interests in fossil fuels. Secondly, he was the chairman of Northern rock, the first British bank to crash since 1878. Neither this failure nor his being judged by Parliament’s Treasury select committee to have practised a "high risk, reckless business strategy" stopped him from publishing a book a few years back, which explained why there should be less regulation for bankers.

Think about the CO2 output from every breath of every living creature every second.

This, unlike man made warming, has been happening for quite some time now.

From every volcano…

Estimates for volcanic output collected from scientists by the Energy Information Administration of the US energy Department range from 65 to 319 million tonnes. In 2007, fossil fuels were responsible for 29, billion tonnes, which is nearly 100 times the highest estimate.

The weather has not changed…

Even your mate Matt doesn't have the chutzpah to deny that the climate is warming.

Polar bears are not dying…

You don't cite a source for your optimism, so I'm guessing that yours is Matt Ridley again. His optimistic source was a Canadian politician he'd heard on the telly, who was quoting some polar bear hunters. The IUCN have monitored 12 groups of polar bears: one is increasing, three are stable, and eight are in decline.

I don't understand how climate change deniers have become heretics among "educated" scientific thinkers

It's the same reason as they don't take people seriously who don't except evolution: Scientific evidence.

I must be somewhat of a rational person, for I believe strongly in evolution….

Even creationists accept that the sun is not driven across the sky daily on a chariot and that the Earth is not flat. All the same, their beliefs are fucked up beyond belief.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 05:52:59 UTC | #909068

Go to: The atheist who tried to steal Christmas

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by chris 116

Jewish traditions are lumped with those of the Tasmanians.

If RD is guilty as charged, then I say 'Well done'. I suspect that this is the Achilles heel of many a strong faith: knowing that it's only History and Geography that made the difference between a believer being raised in the one true denomination of the one true faith, rather than one of the ridiculous ones.

Wed, 28 Dec 2011 02:59:06 UTC | #903187

Go to: Air Force Base denies atheist display, allows Menorah and Nativity Scene

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by chris 116

Comment 1 by Obijuanmatinez

My question is – do we really want a ticket to the freak show?

I'd much prefer to hear that some Druids, Wiccans or Witches were fighting for a spot. They could show up the ridiculousness of religion better than any atheist display.

Maybe American Atheists could offer some Druids some covert support instead.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 18:21:02 UTC | #899922

Go to: Tsunami Relief: Help People Not Whalers

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by chris 116

Comment 11 by Diotalevi

Sea Shepherd are criminally obstructing Japan's legal right to kill whales.

If it is criminal, then the law is an ass: the criminals have right on their side and all power to them.

The support of activists which put people's lives in danger is misplaced and wrong.

Misplaced and wrong is an opinion. An indisputable fact is that there are more whales alive because of Sea Shepherd's actions and therefore I urge anybody who is pleased by that result to support Sea Shepherd. By the way, last year's result was: several hundred whales saved from slaughter against no whalers kill.

The scientific basis of the hunt is not sneaky……

While covertly buying the votes of small nations is sneaky, I've never thought of the slaughter as sneaky: far from it. They continue to openly slaughter these intelligent beasts because they don't give a fig for world opinion, which is why direct action is required.

…… It was put there to allow whaling nations to perform lethal scientific research with the aim of developing a sustainable whaling industry.

The AIM of their lethal scientific research is to provide whalemeat. Are you seriously suggesting that Sea Shepherd's crew putting themselves between the harpooners and the Whales was detrimental to cetacean research?

There is also the question of why Western countries so strenuously object to these killings when their own meat industry is causing ecological destruction which is magnitude greater than the whaling industry.

I wasn't aware that Western countries were making strenuous efforts. But if that's true, then it is hypocritical. All the same, I still urge the individuals of those nations who want to stop the slaughter of whales to support Sea Shepherd. It's possible to be both opposed to hacking down rainforests for cattle and whaling.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 09:23:57 UTC | #899568

Go to: Tsunami Relief: Help People Not Whalers

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by chris 116

Comment 3 by Floyd

If you are passionately against whaling then you need to ask yourself some important questions, such as why you are against whaling?

Well said Floyd. May I suggest starting with Wikipedia's Cetacean Intelligence and following the links. Hopefully another user can offer a better suggestion.

Japan kills less than 500 per year.

This was true last year. But they'd have liked to kill more. The crew of Sea Shepherd harassed them so much that they were only able to slaughter 172, which was about a fifth of their target. If you'd like the Japanese to kill more Whales, then please send money to the Japanese tsunami fund, so that they can better protect their whaling fleet. If you want them to kill less Whales, then support Sea Shepherd: they have proved that they do make a big difference.

It's inhumane: maybe – but then so is a lot of killing in nature. Ever seen a pack of African wild dogs take down a zebra and eat it alive?

Wild dogs can't be inhumane Floyd, on account of them being wild dogs.Indogane just sounds wrong, doesn't it Floyd? Plain stupid in fact.

Much inhumane killing of other animals goes on as well.

My neighbour beats his dog, therefore……

Whales are of relative (sic) high intelligence, but then so are pigs, cattle and sheep and even chickens.

May I suggest Scientific American: Are whales smarter than we are? The jury is still out on whether or not Whales have developed consciousness. But I'm pretty sure they're not even sitting on chickens.

While I can understand apathy, why somebody would take the effort to defend this barbarity baffles me. Are you sure that you're not a Japanese whaler, Floyd San?

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 05:14:24 UTC | #899393

Go to: Can theists be convinced by reason?

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by chris 116

Long after losing the Anglican faith of my childhood, I still believed in a creator. "Because nature is all so beautiful" is a remark I remember making to a bemused zoologist drinking buddy. He neither attacked nor laughed at my naivete, instead he lent me his copy of The Selfish Gene. That's not an easy book for somebody with attention problems who left school at 16 and had stopped regularly attending well before that. But, with his encouragement, I persevered. And when I finally got it, my faith had gone and my love of nature had grown.

I don't mean to suggest that it's going to be as simple as that in your case. Firstly, my questioning mind had already led me to dump my childhood faith. And my love of nature, combined with my lack of a formal education, meant that I was hungry for answers. And Sir David had already prepared the ground for growth.

I have three suggestions. Firstly, do not attack or sneer in the superior fashion of many on this forum, as this will only entrench their position. Instead, try to plant seeds. Secondly, it's not worth losing a good friend over. Since my conversion I've managed to alienate some religious friends, while not making one single convert. You don't have to back down but know when to back off. On this point, I'm suggesting that you do as I say and not as I do. And lastly, never say never.


Sat, 10 Dec 2011 10:20:31 UTC | #897470

Go to: When the magic of reality collides with the magic of childhood

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by chris 116

Comment 1 by Niqi

Hope your child will not resent you for this hoax you played on him for years.

My feeling is that he won't. I'm basing this on the fact that even the people I've known who blame their parents for most of their own shortcomings, have never mentioned Santa being an issue. I guess that some on this panel will contradict me but I'm going to stick my neck out and declare that the vast majority of kids grow up with fond memories of the deception.

The magic of the season need not be packaged in a red velvet suit with white beard.

This may be true, but most kids seem to love it, which is the main point of Christmas.

Sat, 10 Dec 2011 06:23:59 UTC | #897410

Go to: Judgement reserved over Bideford Town Council prayers

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by chris 116

Comment 44 by rational mind

see my comments 45 and 30

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 12:06:01 UTC | #897070

Go to: Judgement reserved over Bideford Town Council prayers

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by chris 116

Comment 42 by jumped up chimp

My comment 38 should never have been made as it adds precisely nothing to the discussion. I stupidly made it solely to point out to Alan 4 discussion how ridiculous his analogy was in response to my comment 30. After reading his long winded reply, I felt guilty for the other people who I'd inflicted that on. I hereby pledge to try and not rise to such bait again, in the interests of rational discussion. Maybe some others would like to join me.

Like you, I wish that the councillors would stop this silliness. But unlike you, I believe the probable outcome of their prayer is that they go home at 12 min past the hour rather than 10 past. And while I think it's worthy of the ire of this panel, as previously stated in comment 30, I think it's a silly argument to take to the High Court, when there are bigger fish to fry. The upside of victory will be stopping democratically elected councillors being able to pray at meetings, if a majority of them vote to do so. The downside is giving ammunition to the enemies of the NSS, such as the Daily Mail, who will portray this worthy organisation as intolerant bullies who are picking on poor little Bideford.

I believe this to be a silly battle in a very serious war.


Fri, 09 Dec 2011 11:59:52 UTC | #897068

Go to: Judgement reserved over Bideford Town Council prayers

chris 116's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by chris 116

Comment 31 by Alan 4 discussion

Really? Perhaps you would also not see a problem with 10 minutes of Morris dancing, in a business meeting, when time is needed to discuss and approve plans for £millions of public money on a 50 page agenda?

If the prayers were being held at the expense of time spent on council business, then yours would be an excellent analogy. However, that is not the case. I think that Mr Bones might have mentioned it if it were. His beef is that the prayer at the beginning of the meeting made him feel "disadvantaged and embarrassed" and that he was being discriminated against.

Thu, 08 Dec 2011 15:48:58 UTC | #896787