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Comments by Muetze

Go to: Vatican scoffs at idea of arresting pope in Britain

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Muetze

Did Reuters jump on the Times' band wagon or has something changed? I though Richard had just been called by the Times and said that he agreed with the notion. This makes it look like he was one of the key players here.

Tue, 13 Apr 2010 18:31:00 UTC | #458979

Go to: The Greatest Hoax on Earth - a new flea

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Muetze

His "trademark clear, crisp style"? That's a laugh. The very first sentence of the book calls Richard a "staunch admirer". How can you be a staunch admirer?

Mon, 12 Apr 2010 11:07:00 UTC | #458374

Go to: Science writer Simon Singh wins libel appeal

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Muetze

Hooray!

Thu, 01 Apr 2010 13:17:00 UTC | #454918

Go to: Christian militia group arrested

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by Muetze

I wanna be a Boramander.

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 15:19:00 UTC | #454044

Go to: Christopher Hitchens and Bill Donohue on FOX News

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Muetze

This show makes "fair and balanced" its punchline. What is the point of having two people make very conflicting statements on the same issue within 30 seconds of each other, if you are then going to completely ignore the implications of their disagreement? She just had them on seperately, said "gosh, what a controversy" and then dropped the issue.

Anybody who has Hitchens and Donohue on their show and doesn't even let them talk to each other is not doing their job right. At least on the O'Reilly Factor, abysmal as that show is, they would have had something resembling an argument. This was just a waste of airtime.

Mon, 29 Mar 2010 22:07:00 UTC | #453794

Go to: CERN to resume search for "Big Bang" secrets

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Muetze

Thanks for the illuminating explanations. I should read up on this stuff ...

Wed, 24 Mar 2010 22:02:00 UTC | #451939

Go to: Richard Dawkins is more than a 'militant atheist': he's a magnificent writer who changed my life

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Muetze

Here's my guess about this whole "Dawkins is a militant butthole" issue: could it be a cultural thing?

I have noticed that Richard never seems out of place in English (or Australian for that matter) talk shows, and almost every writer or pulblic intellectual I know who similarly enjoys "robustly humorous broadsides" is also British. Just contrast this healthily uninhibited debate culture with the awkward spectatle that was Richard's appearance on Johannes B. Kerner in German TV a couple of years ago, or the frequent "strident, etc." introductions he gets on US television.

I am familiar with many social circles where it is just completely out of the question to directly address issues that are often a matter of personal conviction. It is easy, then, to see the disconnect between Dawkins' own perception of his public persona and that of many accomodationists around the world: For many people religion is a matter that just isn't discussed, and Dawkins is quite literally breaking the spell. I can only really speak about a German perspective, but I was somewhat bewildered (although not really surprised) when Richard quoted quite vicious restaurant reviews and the like in his TGD paperback foreword. I can confidently tell you that I have never read the like in German language outside of YouTube comments.

In a nutshell: People outside the Commonwealth, or from somewhat isolated upper-middle class upbringings are not used to either Richard's method nor his vocabularly and hence misinterpret both. What do you think, am I on to something?

Wed, 24 Mar 2010 22:00:00 UTC | #451938

Go to: CERN to resume search for "Big Bang" secrets

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Muetze

Here's something I don't understand: Wasn't the LHC supposed to test the Higgs Boson hypothesis? I thought the question of the Higgs was supposed to be answered right away, so why does it still say everywhere that we don't know? Or are they doing the experiments about dark matter first?

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 19:34:00 UTC | #451557

Go to: Merkel: Sex abuse scandal major challenge

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Muetze

And Merkel weasels out of a definite statement with any content whatsoever again -- and everyboy is impressed by her bravery and integrity ... again.

Seriously, is that all she has to say about this? It's "a challenge" but not "pointing fingers" is important? This is the same non-commital shit as always from this woman. Stand united against the things which are bad and solve them together! How? Never mind, I have my cabinet for concrete ideas, get pissed at them for their incompetence, not me!

She is an expert at this, a true politician.

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 19:16:00 UTC | #450266

Go to: Dawkins preaches to the deluded against the divine

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by Muetze

Love, law and philosophy are not scientific yet they are not irrational.


I doubt that sentence makes sense even to herself.

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 03:18:00 UTC | #449923

Go to: A handy list of dimwitted members of parliament

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Muetze

Comment #468919 by captain underpants

From the same site: "In praise of the data-free discussion. Towards a new paradigm"

http://www.dcscience.net/?page_id=13

It doesn't seem to be a parody, since the same article also turns up here:

It would be even more funny if that were true, but that article is dripping with sarcasm. Just check Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edzard_Ernst

Fri, 12 Mar 2010 22:21:00 UTC | #448902

Go to: Chief exorcist says Devil is in Vatican

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Muetze

The funny part is that the Harry Potter books are actually a pretty good moral story and have quite a lot to say about the distinction between white and black magic. For example that they are FICTICIOUS. Which makes them a whole of a lot smarter than a certain other book that shall remain unnamed here.

Thu, 11 Mar 2010 16:29:00 UTC | #448516

Go to: Pacific under tsunami threat after massive 8.8 quake strikes Chile

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by Muetze

How what exactly is different? Am I commenting on the wrong article here? There was absolutely nothing about religion, faith or any church in there. I would have understood, and will happily join, the outrage that will ensue in a week when Robertson will actually make his redundant remarks about paganism in Chile bringing on the retribution of Jehova or some absurdity like that, but as it is we just have a bunch of conceited comments about plate tectonics and how religion is stupid under an article that is completely removed from the issue — and it's ALL of them.

I'm not complaining to anybody in particularly, I was just a bit sad when I logged on here at noon and found out that this place had turned into 4chan.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 00:19:00 UTC | #445110

Go to: The problem with secularism - Opinion - International Herald Tribune

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by Muetze

I like this article.

The author doesn't simply claim that science and philosophy empirically support theism, but he actually tries to argue the point using what he thinks is science.

I wish more apologists would try to do this; they would expose themselves more quickly for the scientific illiterates they are. They also brilliantly fly in the face of the moderate christian accomodationists who try to claim that there are no incompatibilities between biology and theism and that Dawkins etc. are arguing a mute point.

So yeah, thanks Phillip Blond and Adrian Pabst for reminding ourselves once again for why we argue these things in the first place.

Sun, 28 Feb 2010 12:21:00 UTC | #444798

Go to: Pacific under tsunami threat after massive 8.8 quake strikes Chile

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by Muetze

Man, how cynical has this place become? Or am I missing a joke here? Three hundred people have just died and almost all of the comments to this article are trying to use this for their personal hilarious take on how even more stupid religion looks in the face of this. Yes! I get it! We are the smart people and religious folk are deluding themselves, I agree! But can't you give it a fucking rest once?

Religion may be wrong, but I guarantee you that there will be a lot more compassion in the first 32 comments on almost any christian website that would post this.

Sun, 28 Feb 2010 12:01:00 UTC | #444796

Go to: Symphony of Science - The Poetry of Reality (An Anthem for Science)

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Muetze

14. Comment #464067 by weavehole

Sorry to spoil your fantasy but iirc Sagan was very proud of the fact that he didn't know any constellations.

Except maybe Orion. Everyone knows that one.


Naah, I doubt that. Sagan had a doctorate in astronomy. I don't think you can dedicate your life to the subject and not know your way around the night sky.

And he might not have been particularly fond of astrology but if my memory of Cosmos serves me right, he had a bit of a soft spot for the multitude of names that different cultures gave the constellations.

He might just have been reading off a script though.

Fri, 26 Feb 2010 11:45:00 UTC | #444248

Go to: IMAX - Hubble 3D

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Muetze

Why would they re-do the narration?

Wed, 13 Jan 2010 22:44:00 UTC | #431627

Go to: IMAX - Hubble 3D

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Muetze

Uh, Sigourney Weaver? I'm pretty sure Planet Earth was narrated by David Attenborough.

Wed, 13 Jan 2010 21:55:00 UTC | #431620

Go to: Waiting For Armageddon

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Muetze

Apple stinks. While the rest of the world is perfectly happy to watch videos on flash, or at least container formats that every player can run, like AVI or MP4, they still have to push their stupid Quicktime format. What for, I ask you?

Sat, 12 Dec 2009 14:36:00 UTC | #422820

Go to: A plague of atheists has descended, and Catholics are the target

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Muetze

In an average week of atheistic bigotry in the Melbourne media, we can expect to learn that Catholics endorse child molestation, hate all other religions, would re-introduce the crusades and the auto de fe at the slightest opportunity, despise women, wish to persecute homosexuals, greedily divert public moneys for their own religious purposes, subvert public health care, brainwash children, and are masterminding the spread of the cane toad across northern Australia.


Uh ... yes. That's actually pretty well to the point. I don't see how you make this less depressing by couching it in sarcasm.

I am tempted to quote Stephen Fry's recent outburst that impressed me so much: "Yes! Yes! Are you getting the message? There is a reason we hammer home these issues; because they matter. They matter to people's hearts and souls."

Mon, 30 Nov 2009 02:57:00 UTC | #418203

Go to: Michelle Malkin: Atheists Should Be Treated Like ''Trolls''

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 156 by Muetze

Note this was from 2008, last Christmas


Last Christmas? But that was when I gave you my heart! Unfortunately you gave it away the very next day. Just wait 'til you see what I did this year …

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 20:00:00 UTC | #417125

Go to: Cell Size and Scale

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Muetze

Isn't a bird's egg technically a cell, too?

Sun, 15 Nov 2009 17:21:00 UTC | #413593

Go to: Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry vs. The Catholics

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by Muetze

This was a phantastic display of debating skills. Hitchens and Fry didn't let their opponents get away with anything! I have hardly seen anybody be this quick-witted in picking up on the constant shifting of goal-posts. Brilliant! I think I can finally lay to rest that memory of the Shermer-Hovind debate, which still haunted me.

Sun, 08 Nov 2009 19:55:00 UTC | #412044

Go to: Sermon for All Saints' Day, Cologne Cathedral, 1st November 2009

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Muetze

[…] the church would still be singing the Easter Hallelujah when scientific atheism was consigned to the history books as a relic of human folly.


I love quoting Richard, and this nugget from his interview with Ted Haggard seems fitting:

“You want to bet?”

Thu, 05 Nov 2009 22:21:00 UTC | #411524

Go to: Colossal 'sea monster' unearthed

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Muetze

The Tyrannosaurus comparisons would be stupid even if they were accurate. A simple look on Wikipedia will tell you that the bigest specimen of T.Rex ever found was close to 13 meters in length. Hardly a kitten when compared to a 16 meter ... marine reptile.

I bet in two hundred million years the post-human civilisation equivalent of the BBC will be pitching fossilised tigers against fossilised great white sharks in imaginary battles.

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 17:20:00 UTC | #409086

Go to: David Attenborough's Life Stories - Sloths

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Muetze

Has anybody saved this mp3? The BBC deleted it from their website and I remember it as a very sweet bit.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 18:55:00 UTC | #408314

Go to: Will E.T. Look Like Us?

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Muetze

Check out Star Trek Voyager's "Distant Origin", it's one of the best kind of what-if? science episodes from all of Trek. Very cleverly written and executed and with the right dose of wackiness and irony.

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 10:00:00 UTC | #408215

Go to: Mr. Deity and the Science Advisor

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by Muetze

Double post. :-)

Tue, 13 Oct 2009 16:13:00 UTC | #405355

Go to: Paper Challenges Ideas About 'Early Bird' Dinosaur

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Muetze

Nuclide, thanks again for the reply.

but I'm not sure that just because it 'walks like a duck, talks like a duck' means that we should label it as a duck. Middle-sized organisms that move well through water are going to be streamlined and that means generally fish-shaped

But that's exactly my point. When talking about evolution, I use the word fish to refer to all descendents of fish, no matter how much they have changed. I don't really see why you would draw a line around fish and exclude amphibians who are after all just heavily modified fish. However, it works the other way round. So by my way of thinking (warped as it may be), all amphibians are fish, but not all fish are amphibians. Also, all humans are apes who are monkeys who are primates who are mammals who are reptiles who are amphibians who are jawed fish who are jawless fish who are mollusks, who are sponges who are colonies of single-celled organisms who are bits of DNA — or something roughly like that. I guess you can tell that I just read The Ancestor's Tale. :-)

Anyway, that is precisely why it's not classifying organisms by what they look like, but by their (genetic) relation. And isn't that what phylogeny is?



By the way, this is hardly relating to the article at all. In fact I really like it. Sometimes I have to remind myself that not every single word written by somebody not revered on this website seeks to disprove common descent. Only recently I have watched a really well-made and fascinating TV programme about the many commonalities among great apes, including humans. Even though I enjoyed learning about some of the things that I really hadn't known before, I was very eager to jump on the editors for not stressing the fact that humans indeed are apes consistently enough; but that was very unfair of me. They were obviously not working from the presupposition that we were created seperately and large part of the programme even dealt with DNA comparison.

So yeah, you can get a bit caught up in the business of proving evolution, and lose sight of the fact that most people already accept it (at least in Germany).

Sun, 11 Oct 2009 10:38:00 UTC | #404826

Go to: Paper Challenges Ideas About 'Early Bird' Dinosaur

Muetze's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Muetze

Thanks for the reply. :-)

It has to be called something other than a fish in the same way that evolutionary ancestors to humans are not called humans!

I think there's a difference. If you are just talking about any human ancestors, of course those could be anything, even single-celled organisms. Allow me to clarify my example:

All modern bony fish and tetrapods descend from a creature that lived in the Devonian oceans. As I understand it (and I would ask you again to correct me on any of this), this creature was a fish. It had a spine, fins, a jaw and a proto-swim bladder. It might not have corresponded to a specific species of fish alive today, but looking at it, you would recognise it as a fish as clearly as you would call the common ancestor of humans and orang-utans an ape.

Now, my point is this: It is not helpful to ever consider this creature to not any more be a fish. At some point in time, something like Tiktaalik started to show amphibian features, but why stop calling it a fish — just because it changed some of its part around a bit? Why stop calling the animal a fish that first layed its eggs on land? and so on.

In short: Isn't it a more reasonable way of thinking to call *all* creatures fish that descend from fish (and then create subgroups, of course), instead of arbitrarily dividing vertebrates into those that are still finned/scaley/gilly/watery enough to qualify as a fish and those that aren't?

Aren't we *still* fish?

And does this way of classifying organisms correspond to any methodology in modern biology?

Sat, 10 Oct 2009 20:41:00 UTC | #404729