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Comments by agg

Go to: Sex for diploma offer caught on tape

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by agg

TheHardProblem and black wolf: My sentiment, exactly!

Sat, 19 Apr 2008 16:59:00 UTC | #156107

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 415 by agg

Not nearly as pleasing as agg's rendition.

Thanks, sent2null and steve. I am glad someone has finally appreciated them --- I was beginning to think that they'd go unnoticed.

Unfortunately, all the actual jewelry that I could find with a google search returned items that were amazingly obnoxious, with a huge "darwin" spelled out in the core.


Heh, tell me about it. A lot of googling went into this throughout the night. I was surprised to find as many as I did. I was prepared to work with the Jesus fish (shudder)! Good thing I got The Gimp. (EDIT: You could say that Darwin got EXPELLED!)

On the flip side, I still got a progress report to finish...

Tue, 01 Apr 2008 12:11:00 UTC | #145675

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 414 by agg

That is actually rather beautiful. I want one!

Sorry, Steve, too late. Latest word is they've sold out. You gotta wait for the backorder.

SurfDude: Exactly what I've been saying. I am glad I'm not alone in this. I am simply enthralled. These guys are playing it perfectly...

Tue, 01 Apr 2008 12:00:00 UTC | #145659

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 397 by agg

The hottest selling bling item in the store --- sterling silver, 100 5-carat diamond studs! A must-have for any self-respecting atheist rapper! Hurry while supplies last!

Tue, 01 Apr 2008 04:03:00 UTC | #145382

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 396 by agg

I think we need to bring the inventory of the RichardDawkins.net store up to date:

Tue, 01 Apr 2008 03:15:00 UTC | #145374

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 390 by agg

Richard, is the author of this poem called Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings by any chance? (and is she from Sussex?)

EDIT: Or is she from Redbridge? I just noticed that the historical record seems a bit confusing on this point.

Tue, 01 Apr 2008 00:57:00 UTC | #145325

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 387 by agg

Do they make Pound Sign rap jewelry?

Heh, excellent question --- right on the money :) Kinda hard to find.

EDIT: Yay, found it!

A bit too small and cheap for my taste though...

Tue, 01 Apr 2008 00:25:00 UTC | #145312

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 377 by agg

upsidedawn: thanks. I wonder why they took it off. Any admin here?

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 13:19:00 UTC | #145041

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 369 by agg

BTW, this story has already generated 8 pages of comments and I still don't see it on the front page. I can see it neither under "Latest News", nor under "Featured Articles". In fact, I first found it accidentally from google. Does anyone know why it has not been posted?

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 11:01:00 UTC | #144989

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 367 by agg

sent2null:

It would be nice for the author to come out and state their intent once and for all just to put this discussion to rest,

I think we are well past that. No matter what the author says now about their intentions, people will not let go of their views.

Did you see that article on Slashdot, which reported research claiming that men have difficulties understanding women's intentions? Most of the responders hammered on the point: "Well, it's women who are unable to give proper clues!" The same will happen here. As I said above, once a piece of art leaves the hands of its creator, the artist's intentions cease to matter.

Russell Blackford: I am 100% with you on this. My point earlier that the author's intention did not matter was in the context of whether people should like or hate the video. I am also curious about who the author is but for now I am enjoying the commotion it has stirred.

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 10:48:00 UTC | #144981

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 324 by agg

After a moment of reflection, I think I should admit to the obvious bias in my previous post too. Had this not been a forum whose general message I subscribe to, I would have argued more forcefully.

A piece of art, after it leaves the creative hands of the artist, becomes what you make of it. The artist's intention at this point ceases to matter.

This is why I don't understand the people who ask who the author of the video is --- as if this is somehow relevant to whether they should like it. This is also why I enjoy the fact that in this case the author is as of yet anonymous.

Sun, 30 Mar 2008 19:06:00 UTC | #144647

Go to: Beware the Believers

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 318 by agg

Heh, I absolutely loved this video. I don't think it has anything to do with age (I am in my late 30s). Musical preference might be a factor here; I like (almost) all styles of music and thus rap was not so off-putting to me as it may have been to some of you. Most importantly, I don't think this video would have worked if it weren't for the in-you-face attitude of rap.

What I'd like to say now, however, is that the initial laugh I got from the video pales in comparison with the complete and utter delight and amusement I get now by watching the (supposedly) rational people's reaction to it. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to dismiss anyone here, but I simply love it when something like this comes up stirring the pot, there being no apparent answer to the riddle as far as the eyes can see, and people start scrambling to form an "informed" opinion about whether it is "pro" or "against" and then rationalize about it.

Besides the pure fun, what I like in these situations is that people start to really exercise their brains; even to the point of over-analyzing. This is why we see so many different ways to argue whether the video is "pro" science or "against" science and the matter does not look like it is going to be resolved any time soon.

Which brings me to my point: I've been waiting for this for so long --- the moment when somebody comes up with something so close to that sweet singular spot predicted by Poe's law! And I must give it to the authors, not only for the masterpiece they've created, but also for the ingenuous way they've distributed it. I only hope that they let this go for as long as it can without ruining the fun by "explaining it".

As for my take on the video, in case you think I am dodging putting out an opinion here --- I think that the question of whether it's "pro" science or "anti" science may be an ill-posed one. It looks to me like the authors ridicule both ID and what they might perceive as some dogmatic, close-minded and shrill scientists. I can't see the authors being in the ID camp but I don't see them very sympathetic to the "new atheist" movement either.

Of course, I might be wrong, but I don't really care. My enjoyment of this clip is not going to take the slightest hit, even if it were conclusively shown that Ben Stein did it himself. I think art is art --- regardless of who created it or what his/her motives were --- and I am appreciating it as such.

Please, don't stop the fun. Keep this discussion alive!

Sun, 30 Mar 2008 18:20:00 UTC | #144636

Go to: I always aim to misbehave

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by agg

I am of two minds about this. I like the way PZ confronts the IDiots and exposes their lies at every opportunity he gets. He seems to be singlehandedly destroying the movie. I am simply in awe because of this.

On the other hand, I think this particular episode may backfire. The "Expelled from Expelled" situation was a complete own goal by the creationists: it was hard to not be sympathetic to the scientist who was interviewed for the movie and then refused entry (in addition to the multiple levels of irony). In this case, though, PZ looks more like the mad scientist type --- someone who's obsessed with these people and just can't let go.

In an ideal world, we should be able to let other people say what they have to say (i.e. have their press conference) and if there's something they say we don't quite agree with, we can always issue a rebuttal (perhaps even have a formal discussion or a debate about it) and let those on the side make their minds up. Of course, this world is far from ideal and we all see that the creationists don't play by the rules and avoid any honest attempt at level-playing field, as clearly demonstrated here by the tightly controlled press conference. So, I don't really know what the best approach against this is. It looks like PZ's at least has a good chance of producing results.

As for the video: absolutely hilarious. I don't think the authors are in any of the "pro" or "against" camps though. I think they are against both creationists and what they must perceive as dogmatic scientists/atheists.

Sat, 29 Mar 2008 15:54:00 UTC | #144199

Go to: Discussion on PZ Myers being expelled from Expelled

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 72 by agg

Damn, I lost my comment. I don't have the time to write it again, so I'll try a short one:

RC Metcalf

At least for me, an apology and video/online correction would suffice. No sense turning this against Richard and PZ.

Perhaps I wasn't very clear. My objection was not about Richard and PZ speculating about the animated video clip. In fact, I think they were perfectly justified and they gave good reasons for doing so in this video.

My problem is that they put this in the open without having anything more concrete in terms of evidence. They weren't even sure if they were talking about the same video clip. At least they should have made it absolutely clear they were speculating that the clip in Expelled was related to Xvivo's clip. Instead they moved on to wondering if the producers have got the necessary rights from the Harvard group.

As I said, they were right to speculate. And I am sure it was just a speculation, but in this video, it came out as if they jumped to conclusions.

In fact, the free exchange of knowledge is pretty much what Expelled! is all about

Sorry but I can't see how you could have come to this conclusion. I haven't seen the movie, but from what I've seen and read from people who have, I am under the impression that this movie has nothing to do with discussing knowledge and everything to do with pushing someone's religious and political agenda.

Sat, 22 Mar 2008 16:09:00 UTC | #140783

Go to: Discussion on PZ Myers being expelled from Expelled

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 69 by agg

Hmm, I think Richard and PZ should have waited to get some confirmation first that the clip they were talking about was really the one from Harvard. As it is right now, they seem to have engaged in speculation that may turn out to be incorrect --- especially if what RC Metcalf says is true. This may be turned against them by the creationists who I am sure would be quite happy to switch the topic from the embarrassing own goal they scored yesterday.

Sat, 22 Mar 2008 13:48:00 UTC | #140730

Go to: Biology prof expelled from screening of 'Expelled'

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by agg

The story even got to the New York Times (registration required):

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/science/21expelledw.html

I did not know Richard's first name was Clinton. May be this is how they missed him.

Fri, 21 Mar 2008 18:54:00 UTC | #140471

Go to: Taking evidence seriously

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by agg

ianmkz, I loved it. Do you know if they actually go through with orders placed on their site?

I started to purchase a "remedy" for "intolerance of pseudo-scientific rubbish" and their system suggested Chloralum Remedy (Single Dose) after which it sent me to the paypal site. I stopped after that but I am still tempted to actually place an order, just to see if they would go through with it. If so, I somehow expect them to send a big pamphlet attempting to pour some reason in the poor customer's brain.

I also love their slogan: Nothing acts as well as FairDeal Homeopathy.

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 17:25:00 UTC | #128368

Go to: The New Theology

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by agg

I think this is a good trend. The more "traditional" theists go under this new flock, the better for us: Fewer people would remain to worry about the "decline of family values", stem cell research, gay marriage, etc. --- the things that actually affect us as a society and hold up the progress. We can't expect everyone to just come to their senses and give up religion altogether.

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 17:54:00 UTC | #107829

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 149 by agg

Sorry, just saw this one:

If God is omniscient, he can see his own future, so would have no free will, so wouldn't be omnipotent.

Diacanu: You are right. I realized this as soon as I posted and edited my statement to qualify it. Perhaps you've seen the original post before the edit. Sorry.

Paula: Thanks for the info. Actually, I was hoping that more theologians would be subscribing to a "natural" god. About the people on the streets: I live in the USA; what else can I say?

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 11:27:00 UTC | #97889

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 147 by agg

Steve, it looks like we've reached the point of 100% agreement on this --- quite a fortunate event for me, because I really need to go to bed (I am in the US Eastern timezone and just did an overnighter).

It was a pleasure talking to you, Radesq, Paula and everyone else. Later...

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 11:21:00 UTC | #97885

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 144 by agg

What are some irrational defenses of atheism? Perhaps I am unwittingly guilty of presenting them.

I think no one can honestly say that they've never made a sloppy or irrational argument. What I like about this site is that people for the most part are willing to think for themselves and point these out when they happen.

I myself am not here to argue with anyone for the sake of convincing them but to learn. I am more of RD's mentality: I am interested deeply in what is true and on rigorous argumentation (though I can be very sloppy if time is of consideration).

For the same reason, I tend to often take a contrarian position --- "me too" posts are only good to a certain extend. So I very much appreciate it when somebody points out flaws in my reasoning.

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 11:14:00 UTC | #97881

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 142 by agg

About omnipotence: I don't see a problem with the concept.
I do, as how do you prove it?

I think a concept may be sound even if a particular proposition involving it may not be provable/testable. For example, you can't prove or disprove a brain in a vat scenario, but the concept seems perfectly fine to me.

But I guess this is nitpicking...

I believe so, as a God is supposed to be 'Magic', not just very clever with technology and nature.

I think historically there have been gods who do nothing else than fool around with bolts of light or cause rain. You seem to exclude these from your definition (just pointing out; I don't care either way).

Also, as Arthur Clark said, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic...

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 10:57:00 UTC | #97877

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 139 by agg

Paula, so God is naturally (as opposed to supernaturally) omnipotent? Does this not imply he's a product of Nature? (Yeah, I can be a sophist too).

What I am more interested in is: Is this guy's view prevalent (or even common) in Christianity or is this a fringe phenomenon? And I guess I have to also ask about Christian theologians, because as we've seen what they think is not the same as what the masses think...

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 10:40:00 UTC | #97866

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 135 by agg

My wife might have something to say about that however

Oh, I was going to say something about the Holy Trinity, but I guess I'd better stop here.

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 10:13:00 UTC | #97860

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 134 by agg

My brother pissed in the priest's hands during his baptism. I couldn't beat that.

But you did!

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 10:07:00 UTC | #97859

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 133 by agg

I think I would define God as an all-powerful supernatural being (the Christian definition, for example)

Well, you stopped quite short of the holy trinity: omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence.

About omnipotence: I don't see a problem with the concept. (EDIT: Hmm, may be I do; it needs to be qualified to within the world this god created, but I think this is implied.) Existence of this entity is another matter, however.

I also have a problem with the concept of supernatural but is being supernatural essential for a god?

BTW, do all Christians claim that their God is supernatural?

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 10:05:00 UTC | #97858

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 131 by agg

Radesq, you're a blasphemer! :)

The question is: Will God in that case be committing a sin?

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 09:58:00 UTC | #97855

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 127 by agg

I got confirmed by some local bishop at 12. He died later the same day of a heart attack.


What a great way to enter a religion!

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 09:47:00 UTC | #97849

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 126 by agg

I don't think I would accept the idea of a God who was subject to the restrictions of natural laws, even if it was only in his/her/its universe, not ours.

You don't accept that this god exists or that this kind of a hypothetical being is a god?

I think I even have a problem with the concept of Gods.

But in this case, how do you define god, so you can rigorously say that you have a problem with this concept?

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 09:43:00 UTC | #97848

Go to: 'Atheistic fundamentalism' fears

agg's Avatar Jump to comment 123 by agg

Bonzai: exactly my point! Well put.

Sun, 23 Dec 2007 09:38:00 UTC | #97843