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Posts by Kevin OMalley

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  • Peru finds ancient burial cave of warrior tribe - Chachapoyas, white-skinned aka "Cloud People"

    10/06/2006 6:46:48 PM PDT · 25 of 37
    Kevin OMalley to Ptarmigan

    You may have something with that Basque connection. Here is an excerpt from a book called "Cod".,,9780140275018,00.html?sym=EXC

    A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
    Mark Kurlansky - Author

    $14.00 add to cart view cart

    Book: Paperback | 5.27 x 7.12in | 304 pages | ISBN 9780140275018 | 01 Jul 1998 | Penguin

    A delightful romp through history with all its economic forces laid bare, Cod is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason Europeans set sail across the Atlantic, and it is the only reason they could. What did the Vikings eat in icy Greenland and on the five expeditions to America recorded in the Icelandic sagas? Cod, frozen and dried in the frosty air, then broken into pieces and eaten like hardtack. What was the staple of the medieval diet? Cod again, sold salted by the Basques, an enigmatic people with a mysterious, unlimited supply of cod. As we make our way through the centuries of cod history, we also find a delicious legacy of recipes, and the tragic story of environmental failure, of depleted fishing stocks where once their numbers were legendary. In this lovely, thoughtful history, Mark Kurlansky ponders the question: Is the fish that changed the world forever changed by the world's folly?
    1: The Race to Codlandia

    He said it must be Friday, the day he could not sell anything except servings of a fish known in Castile as pollock or in Andalusia as salt cod.

    —Miguel de Cervantes,
    Don Quixote, 1605-1616

    A medieval fisherman is said to have hauled up a three-foot-long cod, which was common enough at the time. And the fact that the cod could talk was not especially surprising. But what was astonishing was that it spoke an unknown language. It spoke Basque.

    This Basque folktale shows not only the Basque attachment to their orphan language, indecipherable to the rest of the world, but also their tie to the Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, a fish that has never been found in Basque or even Spanish waters.

    The Basques are enigmatic. They have lived in what is now the northwest corner of Spain and a nick of the French southwest for longer than history records, and not only is the origin of their language unknown, but the origin of the people themselves remains a mystery also. According to one theory, these rosy-cheeked, dark-haired, long-nosed people were the original Iberians, driven by invaders to this mountainous corner between the Pyrenees, the Cantabrian Sierra, and the Bay of Biscay. Or they may be indigenous to this area.

    Basques have been able to maintain this stubborn independence, despite repression and wars, because they have managed to preserve a strong economy throughout the centuries. Not only are Basques shepherds, but they are also a seafaring people, noted for their successes in commerce. During the Middle Ages, when Europeans ate great quantities of whale meat, the Basques traveled to distant unknown waters and brought back whale. They were able to travel such distances because they had found huge schools of cod and salted their catch, giving them a nutritious food supply that would not spoil on long voyages.

    Basques were not the first to cure cod. Centuries earlier, the Vikings had traveled from Norway to Iceland to Greenland to Canada, and it is not a coincidence that this is the exact range of the Atlantic cod.

    Eirik colonized this inhospitable land and then tried to push on to new discoveries. But he injured his foot and had to be left behind. His son, Leifur, later known as Leif Eiriksson, sailed on to a place he called Stoneland, which was probably the rocky, barren Labrador coast. "I saw not one cartload of earth, though I landed many places," Jacques Cartier would write of this coast six centuries later. From there, Leif's men turned south to "Woodland" and then "Vineland." The identity of these places is not certain. Woodland could have been Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, or Maine, all three of which are wooded. But in Vineland they found wild grapes, which no one else has discovered in any of these places.

    The remains of a Viking camp have been found in Newfoundland. It is perhaps in that gentler land that the Vikings were greeted by inhabitants they found so violent and hostile that they deemed settlement impossible, a striking assessment to come from a people who had been regularly banished for the habit of murdering people. More than 500 years later the Beothuk tribe of Newfoundland would prevent John Cabot from exploring beyond crossbow range of his ship. The Beothuk apparently did not misjudge Europeans, since soon after Cabot, they were enslaved by the Portuguese, driven inland, hunted by the French and English, and exterminated in a matter of decades.

    How did the Vikings survive in greenless Greenland and earthless Stoneland? How did they have enough provisions to push on to Woodland and Vineland, where they dared not go inland to gather food, and yet they still had enough food to get back? What did these Norsemen eat on the five expeditions to America between 985 and 1011 that have been recorded in the Icelandic sagas? They were able to travel to all these distant, barren shores because they had learned to preserve codfish by hanging it in the frosty winter air until it lost four-fifths of its weight and became a durable woodlike plank. They could break off pieces and chew them, eating it like hardtack. Even earlier than Eirik's day, in the ninth century, Norsemen had already established plants for processing dried cod in Iceland and Norway and were trading the surplus in northern Europe.

    The Basques, unlike the Vikings, had salt, and because fish that was salted before drying lasted longer, the Basques could travel even farther than the Vikings. They had another advantage: The more durable a product, the easier it is to trade. By the year 1000, the Basques had greatly expanded the cod markets to a truly international trade that reached far from the cod's northern habitat.

    In the Mediterranean world, where there were not only salt deposits but a strong enough sun to dry sea salt, salting to preserve food was not a new idea. In preclassical times, Egyptians and Romans had salted fish and developed a thriving trade. Salted meats were popular, and Roman Gaul had been famous for salted and smoked hams. Before they turned to cod, the Basques had sometimes salted whale meat; salt whale was found to be good with peas, and the most prized part of the whale, the tongue, was also often salted.

    Until the twentieth-century refrigerator, spoiled food had been a chronic curse and severely limited trade in many products, especially fish. When the Basque whalers applied to cod the salting techniques they were using on whale, they discovered a particularly good marriage because the cod is virtually without fat, and so if salted and dried well, would rarely spoil. It would outlast whale, which is red meat, and it would outlast herring, a fatty fish that became a popular salted item of the northern countries in the Middle Ages.

    Even dried salted cod will turn if kept long enough in hot humid weather. But for the Middle Ages it was remarkably long-lasting--a miracle comparable to the discovery of the fast-freezing process in the twentieth century, which also debuted with cod. Not only did cod last longer than other salted fish, but it tasted better too. Once dried or salted--or both--and then properly restored through soaking, this fish presents a flaky flesh that to many tastes, even in the modern age of refrigeration, is far superior to the bland white meat of fresh cod. For the poor who could rarely afford fresh fish, it was cheap, high-quality nutrition.

    Catholicism gave the Basques their great opportunity. The medieval church imposed fast days on which sexual intercourse and the eating of flesh were forbidden, but eating "cold" foods was permitted. Because fish came from water, it was deemed cold, as were waterfowl and whale, but meat was considered hot food. The Basques were already selling whale meat to Catholics on "lean days," which, since Friday was the day of Christ's crucifixion, included all Fridays, the forty days of Lent, and various other days of note on the religious calendar. In total, meat was forbidden for almost half the days of the year, and those lean days eventually became salt cod days. Cod became almost a religious icon--a mythological crusader for Christian observance.

    The Basques were getting richer every Friday. But where was all this cod coming from? The Basques, who had never even said where they came from, kept their secret. By the fifteenth century, this was no longer easy to do, because cod had become widely recognized as a highly profitable commodity and commercial interests around Europe were looking for new cod grounds. There were cod off of Iceland and in the North Sea, but the Scandinavians, who had been fishing cod in those waters for thousands of years, had not seen the Basques. The British, who had been fishing for cod well offshore since Roman times, did not run across Basque fishermen even in the fourteenth century, when British fishermen began venturing up to Icelandic waters. The Bretons, who tried to follow the Basques, began talking of a land across the sea.

    In the 1480s, a conflict was brewing between Bristol merchants and the Hanseatic League. The league had been formed in thirteenth-century Lubeck to regulate trade and stand up for the interests of the merchant class in northern German towns. Hanse means "fellowship" in Middle High German. This fellowship organized town by town and spread throughout northern Europe, including London. By controlling the mouths of all the major rivers that ran north from central Europe, from the Rhine to the Vistula, the league was able to control much of European trade and especially Baltic trade. By the fourteenth century, it had chapters as far north as Iceland, as far east as Riga, south to the Ukraine, and west to Venice.

    For many years, the league was seen as a positive force in northern Europe. It stood up against the abuses of monarchs, stopped piracy, dredged channels, and built lighthouses. In England, league members were called Easterlings because they came from the east, and their good reputation is reflected in the word sterling, which comes from Easterling and means "of assured value."

    But the league grew increasingly abusive of its power and ruthless in defense of trade monopolies. In 1381, mobs rose up in England and hunted down Hanseatics, killing anyone who could not say bread and cheese with an English accent.

    The Hanseatics monopolized the Baltic herring trade and in the fifteenth century attempted to do the same with dried cod. By then, dried cod had become an important product in Bristol. Bristol's well-protected but difficult-to-navigate harbor had greatly expanded as a trade center because of its location between Iceland and the Mediterranean. It had become a leading port for dried cod from Iceland and wine, especially sherry, from Spain. But in 1475, the Hanseatic League cut off Bristol merchants from buying Icelandic cod.

    Thomas Croft, a wealthy Bristol customs official, trying to find a new source of cod, went into partnership with John Jay, a Bristol merchant who had what was at the time a Bristol obsession: He believed that somewhere in the Atlantic was an island called Hy-Brasil. In 1480, Jay sent his first ship in search of this island, which he hoped would offer a new fishing base for cod. In 1481, Jay and Croft outfitted two more ships, the Trinity and the George. No record exists of the result of this enterprise. Croft and Jay were as silent as the Basques. They made no announcement of the discovery of Hy-Brasil, and history has written off the voyage as a failure. But they did find enough cod so that in 1490, when the Hanseatic League offered to negotiate to reopen the Iceland trade, Croft and Jay simply weren't interested anymore.

    Where was their cod coming from? It arrived in Bristol dried, and drying cannot be done on a ship deck. Since their ships sailed out of the Bristol Channel and traveled far west of Ireland and there was no land for drying fish west of Ireland--Jay had still not found Hy-Brasil--it was suppposed that Croft and Jay were buying the fish somewhere. Since it was illegal for a customs official to engage in foreign trade, Croft was prosecuted. Claiming that he had gotten the cod far out in the Atlantic, he was acquitted without any secrets being revealed.

    To the glee of the British press, a letter has recently been discovered. The letter had been sent to Christopher Columbus, a decade after the Croft affair in Bristol, while Columbus was taking bows for his discovery of America. The letter, from Bristol merchants, alleged that he knew perfectly well that they had been to America already. It is not known if Columbus ever replied. He didn't need to. Fishermen were keeping their secrets, while explorers were telling the world. Columbus had claimed the entire new world for Spain.

    Then, in 1497, five years after Columbus first stumbled across the Caribbean while searching for a westward route to the spice-producing lands of Asia, Giovanni Caboto sailed from Bristol, not in search of the Bristol secret but in the hopes of finding the route to Asia that Columbus had missed. Caboto was a Genovese who is remembered by the English name John Cabot, because he undertook this voyage for Henry VII of England. The English, being in the North, were far from the spice route and so paid exceptionally high prices for spices. Cabot reasoned correctly that the British Crown and the Bristol merchants would be willing to finance a search for a northern spice route. In June, after only thirty-five days at sea, Cabot found land, though it wasn't Asia. It was a vast, rocky coastline that was ideal for salting and drying fish, by a sea that was teeming with cod. Cabot reported on the cod as evidence of the wealth of this new land, New Found Land, which he claimed for England. Thirty-seven years later, Jacques Cartier arrived, was credited with "discovering" the mouth of the St. Lawrence, planted a cross on the Gaspe Peninsula, and claimed it all for France. He also noted the presence of 1,000 Basque fishing vessels. But the Basques, wanting to keep a good secret, had never claimed it for anyone.

    The codfish lays a thousand eggs
    The homely hen lays one.
    The codfish never cackles
    To tell you what she's done.
    And so we scorn the codfish
    While the humble hen we prize
    Which only goes to show you
    That it pays to advertise.
    --anonymous American rhyme

  • I'm having lunch w/ President and First Lady on Tuesday!

    06/05/2006 10:42:41 AM PDT · 245 of 247
    Kevin OMalley to chris_in_nj

    Bump for later reading.

  • Grace O'Malley: Pirate Queen of Connacht (1530-1603)

    03/25/2006 11:01:03 PM PST · 13 of 14
    Kevin OMalley to Palladin

    I think that part was true, or at least one reads about it in the non-fiction side of the library.

    The story of Grace is so interesting that I'm surprised Hollywood hasn't picked up on it. It's got many of the elements they look for: fighting against the social norms & superpowers of the day, action, women in battle (think Jennifer Garner), early historical evidences of feminist outlook, musical accompaniment (there are songs sung in Irish bars even today about Grace O'Malley) possibilities for sequels/spinoffs & merchandising, even precedence -- Mulan was quite successful.

  • THE BEST POSSIBLE NEWS - Stedman Bible Study #9 in the Gospel of John

    03/25/2006 10:45:35 PM PST · 6 of 7
    Kevin OMalley to P-Marlowe; CAPMarineTet68

    Thanks for the ping.

    This might be something you'd be interested in, CAP...

  • This is just a drill: Thanks to John McCain, Free Republic will shut down tomorrow at high noon for

    03/25/2006 6:11:56 PM PST · 1,210 of 1,257
    Kevin OMalley to Jim Robinson; Susannah

    When the Free Republic server went down this morning, it was the first time in my 8 years of freeping that I thought it might actually be due to some political pressure or perhaps as a form of protest due to this particular thread.

    Thanks, Susannah for your post that points out one of the mirror sites. It was one of only 2 hits on Google for " is down" -- and that was the first time I've felt it necessary to go elsewhere to post political commentary.

    Keep up the good work, both of you.

    "Oh, Susannah, please don't cry for me... for I'm off to Free Republic with a banjo on my knee."

    I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee;
    I'm goin' to Free Republic my true love for to see.
    It rained all night the day I left,
    the weather it was dry;
    The sun so hot I froze to death,
    Susanna don't you cry.

    Oh! Susanna, don't you cry for me;
    I come from Alabama,
    with my banjo on my knee.

    I had a dream the other night,
    When everything was still;
    I thought I saw Susanna dear,
    A-coming down the hill.
    The buckwheat cake was in her mouth,
    The tear was in her eye,
    Said I, I'm coming from the south,
    Susanna don't you cry.

    Oh! Susanna, don't you cry for me;
    I come from Alabama,
    with my banjo on my knee.

    I soon will be in New Orleans,
    And then I'll look all 'round,
    And when I find Susanna,
    I'll fall upon the ground.
    But if I do not find her,
    This darkey'll surely die,
    And when I'm dead and buried,
    Susanna don't you cry.

    Oh! Susanna, don't you cry for me;
    I'm off to Free Republic with a banjo on my knee.

    To: ApesForEvolution; SteveMcKing
    When is down, for whatever reason, head to the following yahoo group where freepers communicate:

    *suggest you bookmark the link!

    20 posted on 09/26/2004 11:25:57 PM PDT by Susannah (What's less united than the USA during war? > the UN !)

  • Ex-union official's plea claims psychotic bouts

    03/19/2006 6:31:22 PM PST · 13 of 13
    Kevin OMalley to CAPMarineTet68

    Hey, CAP:

    It's a pleasure to welcome you to Free Republic.

    God Loves You. Keep up the good work.

  • Grace O'Malley: Pirate Queen of Connacht (1530-1603)

    03/07/2006 9:26:39 PM PST · 9 of 14
    Kevin OMalley to Betis70; SunkenCiv

    Thanks, both of you. Perfect timing for St. Patrick's day and my daughter, Grace O'Malley, who will be "top banana" in her kindergarten class during this time. A little living Irish History.

  • Who Were the Greatest Military Commanders (Of All Time) ?

    12/22/2005 3:30:07 PM PST · 685 of 748
    Kevin OMalley to Strategerist; Senator Pardek

    Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires.  But on what did we rest the creations of our genius?  Upon force.  Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him.  ~Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Jihad- an integral part of Islam (An absolute, critical MUST READ: know thy enemy)

    12/21/2005 1:27:04 PM PST · 67 of 67
    Kevin OMalley to sageb1

    No sarcasm, just intended ironic humor which you didn't apprehend. Click on my screenname for background.

    p.s. you might want to read my tagline as well.

  • Jihad- an integral part of Islam (An absolute, critical MUST READ: know thy enemy)

    12/18/2005 9:53:25 PM PST · 56 of 67
    Kevin OMalley to sageb1

    If you join our club, you might hold the record for Longest Login Loss or somesuch thing.

  • Military History Ping List (New)

    12/16/2005 7:37:39 PM PST · 70 of 91
    Kevin OMalley to indcons

    Cool. Please add me to the list.

  • Israel readies forces for strike on nuclear Iran

    12/10/2005 9:22:01 PM PST · 163 of 315
    Kevin OMalley to Brad from Tennessee

    I agree. Here are 2 of my posts on prior threads that propose one approach to the issue.

    Kurds drift toward autonomy, away from Iraq's daily violence

    Posted by Kevin OMalley to Camerican
    On News/Activism 01/03/2005 1:51:59 PM PST · 7 of 7

    I thought it would be cool for us to set up security for the Kurds on their southern border with Iraq, rewarding them for their bravery in defying Saddam Hussein. We put in some military bases there for, say, 20 years as part of the occupation of Iraq in their transition to democracy. We guarantee the autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan as long as they don't engage with Turkey. But that doesn't say anything about engaging with Iranian Kurdistan. Within those 20 years the Kurds could have a secure and independent nation with expanding borders into Iran. After we close down the US bases, Kurdistan is on her own. But at least Kurdistan would be an independent nation with about half its territory carved out of Persia. If Turkey doesn't relinquish her claim on Turkish Kurdistan after that, it isn't our problem, it's 2 of our allies fighting each other, one for independence and the other for regional primacy. I support democratic independence over a bullying arrogant minority.

    Armed Kurds fomenting unrest in Iran pose security threat to Tehran

    Posted by Kevin OMalley to F14 Pilot
    On News/Activism 08/29/2005 4:18:19 PM PDT · 16 of 17

    The kurds are the closest thing we have to friends in that area. They fought against Saddam (got nerve-gassed), they're fighting against Iran, they squabble with our so-called ally Turkey (who didn't allow Americans to operate in the north of Iraq this time around).

    It's time for them to have their own country. They deserve it. They carve Kurdistan out of northern Iraq, northern Iran, and eastern Turkey. If Turkey gets angry, we let them know that there are consequences to turning your back on your "friend".

  • Just Received My Appointment As Board Member of the Selective Service (Vanity)

    11/24/2005 3:35:11 PM PST · 89 of 90
    Kevin OMalley to Archangelsk

    My hope is that you clean up this ridiculous hole in the system. Posted on a prior thread:

    To: RockinRye
    I have a Kafkaesque experience with this nightmare bureaucracy. I fulfilled my obligation to register for the draft when I was a teenager, but I do not have any evidence of it, I just didn't think about that part. When I tried to apply for loans during school, I was told that I wasn't registered for the draft. No problem, I'll just register. They told me I was too OLD to register for the draft. I was consequently never able to prove that I fulfilled the requirements and I never got any school loans. I probably will never get a guvmint job.

    I agree with Reagan that we should have an all-volunteer army except in times of declared war. And I also agree that this is a sexist policy because women are not required to register. But the thing that really bites is that a person should be allowed to re-register if the paperwork gets "lost".

    40 posted on 02/21/2005 4:02:52 PM PST by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)

  • Clare Places: Islands: Mutton Island or Enniskerry (9th century catastrophe in Ireland)

    11/19/2005 7:23:03 PM PST · 34 of 47
    Kevin OMalley to Irish_Thatcherite

    Probably not, other than being from the same clan of O'Malleys in that part of the country. That didn't stop me from naming my daughter Grace... Of course, we keep telling her she's named after the same thing that Grace was named after: the Grace of God.

  • Clare Places: Islands: Mutton Island or Enniskerry (9th century catastrophe in Ireland)

    11/19/2005 10:45:04 AM PST · 28 of 47
    Kevin OMalley to ApplegateRanch
    That's near Clare Island, old stomping grounds of the famous female Irish smuggler/pirate/privateer Grace O'Malley.'Malley Grace O'Malley From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Grace O' Malley (Irish name Gráinne Ní Mháille, also known as Gráinne Mhaol or Granuaile (a corruption of the Gaelic Gráinne Mhaol)) (c. 1530 -c.1603) is an important figure in Irish legend but was in fact a larger than life figure from 16th century Irish history. Clare Island, associated with Grace O' MalleyContents [hide] 1 Early life 2 Marriage to O' Flaherty 3 Second marriage 4 Attack from Galway 5 Later life 6 Fictional portrayals 7 External links 8 Reference [edit] Early life Grace was born into early 16th century Ireland, when Henry VIII was on the throne of England. Under the policies of the English government at the time, the semi-autonomous Irish princes and lords were left mostly to their own devices. Grace was the daughter of Owen Dubhdarra O' Malley, chieftain of the O'Malley clan. The O' Malleys controlled most of what is now the barony of Murrisk in South-West County Mayo and recognised as their nominal overlords the gaelicised anglo-norman Burke or de Burgo family who controlled much of what is now that county. Unusually among the Irish nobility of the time, the O' Malleys were a great seafaring family and taxed all those who fished off their coasts, which included fishermen from as far away as England. Their leader bore the ancient Irish title of The O' Malley. According to Irish legend, as a young girl Grace wished to go on a trading expedition to Spain with her father, and on being told she could not, cut off her hair to embarrass her father into taking her, and thus earning her the nickname "Gráinne Mhaol" (IPA: /ˈgrɑːnʲə veːl/) (Irish maol meaning "bald" or having cropped hair); the name stuck. [edit] Marriage to O' Flaherty Grace was married in 1546 at a young age to Donal An-Chogaidh (Donal of the Batttles) O' Flaherty, tánaist or heir to the O' Flaherty title. Grace bore three children during this marriage. Later the warlike Donal was killed in battle, and Grace recaptured a castle from the Joyces that had been his (now Hen's Castle in Lough Corrib). Grace afterwards returned to Mayo and took up residence at the family castle or tower-house on Clare Island. [edit] Second marriage Grace later married a second time to Richard "Iron Dick" Burke, owner of Rockfleet Castle near Newport. According to tradition they married under Brehon law 'for one year certain', and it is said that when the year was up Grace divorced Richard and kept the castle. It remained for centuries in the O' Malley family and is today open to the public. They had one son, Tibbot Burke nicknamed Tiobóid na Long (Tibbot of the Ships). The meeting of Grace O'Malley and Queen Elizabeth I[edit] Attack from Galway Grace engaged in piracy and her castle at Rockfleet was attacked by an expedition from Galway who wanted to get rid of her. Grace, however, put them to flight and they barely escaped. Later Grace was captured but released some time later. [edit] Later life In the later 16th century English power steadily increased in Ireland and Grace's power was steadily encroached upon. Finally, when two of her sons and her brother were taken captive by a local English ruler, Granuaile sailed to England to petition Elizabeth I of England for their release. The petition was granted, and Granuaile returned to her former ways, though nominally directing her raids against "enemies of England". She died in Rockfleet around 1603. [edit] Fictional portrayals Granuaile's adventurous life has inspired musicians, novelists and playwrights to create works based on her life. The latest artistic project inspired by Granuaile is the upcoming musical play The Pirate Queen by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and John Dempsey, which will debut at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre in fall 2006. [edit] External links [1] Granuaile O'Malley Web Resources [2] [[3]][4] Granuaile story and poem The song where Grace O'Malley is celebrated, Óró 'Sé Do Bheatha 'Bhaile Official site for The Pirate Queen musical [edit] Reference Judith Cook, Pirate Queen, the life of Grace O'Malley 1530-1603, 2004, Mercier Press, Cork, ISBN 1-85635-443-1 Patricia Lynch, Orla of Burren (1954), 1970, Knight Books, Brockhampton Press Ltd., Leicester SBN 340 03990 6 (children's literature, historical novel) Retrieved from "" Categories: 1530 births | 1603 deaths | Women in war |
  • Power companies enter broadband market (very interesting)

    10/17/2005 3:30:56 PM PDT · 81 of 110
    Kevin OMalley to rawhide

    bump for later reading

  • The Deformed Theology of Seeker Sensitivity

    10/15/2005 9:45:12 AM PDT · 9 of 32
    Kevin OMalley to Gamecock

    read later bump

  • College football discussion: Will 4 or 5 undefeated teams finally force a playoff system?

    10/15/2005 9:43:01 AM PDT · 17 of 21
    Kevin OMalley to ken5050

    This system has long been due for a major overhaul. Very high DUH factor.

  • From the NSA Website: The Venona Story

    10/15/2005 9:27:12 AM PDT · 3 of 19
    Kevin OMalley to ckilmer

    Bump for later reading. Too much to read for now.

  • UC Santa Barbara guide urges return to student radicalism

    10/10/2005 9:51:03 PM PDT · 55 of 56
    Kevin OMalley to RKV; LS

    I'm a UCSB alum as well. It was fascinating to surf the internet from one of the first 4 nodes ever put on it -- in engineering 1.

    UCSB will become a top notch school by virtue of its weather. When I went there, my professors had the world's fastest BJT, world's fastest and smallest diode, world's smallest (and probably fastest) FET, my TA developed the first blue laser in North America, and the lab I worked in had the most advanced VCSELs. All of those professors were world class, could teach anywhere and chose Santa Barbara because of how nice it was. If you could have a $50million lab & teach anywhere in the world, would you live in Chicago? Detroit? Taipei? New York?

  • Intel ...To Acquire Digital Broadcast Technology Assets, Expertise From Zarlink Semiconductor

    10/10/2005 9:34:33 PM PDT · 2 of 2
    Kevin OMalley to Ernest_at_the_Beach

    Looks like Pat Brockett hit the big time after all. Seems like everyone who flew the coop at National Semiconductor did better than Brian Halla.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    10/08/2005 11:01:27 AM PDT · 197 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to Quark2005

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. Since I have run out of time on this round of freeping, it appears that the 4th graders' soccer strategy worked. Bummer.

    I would like to encourage you in the same manner that I encouraged another Physics student about 10 years ago. He was looking for an area to explore in Physics to do his PhD and I suggested that the speed of light showed signs of not being a constant. If he had pursued my suggestion, he'd be at the top of his game right now. So here is my similar suggestion to you: Don't take for granted those points at the far end of the graph. If they all "conspire", it could mean that they are all dependent upon some variable that we have not yet discovered. One of the greatest physicists in our generation, Richard Feynman, won the Nobel prize following this line of attack. I'll reprint some of his story here, which I found also posted online at

    The 7 Percent Solution

    The problem was to find the right laws of beta decay. There appeared to be two particles, which were called a tau and a theta. They seemed to have almost exactly the same mass, but one disintegrated into two pions, and the other into three pions. Not only did they seem to have the same mass, but they also had the same lifetime, which is a funny coincidence. So everybody was concerned about this.
    At that particular time I was not really quite up to things: I was always a little behind. Everybody seemed to be smart, and I didn't feel I was keeping up. Anyway, I was sharing a room with a guy named Martin Block, an experimenter. And one evening he said to me, "Why are you guys so insistent on this parity rule? Maybe the tau and theta are the same particle. What would be the consequences if the parity rule were wrong?"
    So I got up and said, "I'm asking this question for Martin Block: What would be the consequences if the parity rule was wrong?"
    Murray Gell-Mann often teased me about this, saying I didn't have the nerve to ask the question for myself. But that's not the reason. I thought it might very well be an important idea.
    Finally they get all this stuff into me, and they say, "The situation is so mixed up that even some of the things they've established for years are being questioned -- such as the beta decay of the neutron is S and T. It's so messed up. Murray says it might even be V and A."
    I jump up from the stool and say, "Then I understand EVVVVVERYTHING!"
    They thought I was joking. But the thing that I had trouble with at the Rochester meeting -- the neutron and proton disintegration: everything fit but that, and if it was V and A instead of S and T, that would fit too. Therefore I had the whole theory!
    That night I calculated all kinds of things with this theory. The first thing I calculated was the rate of disintegration of the muon and the neutron. They should be connected together, if this theory was right, by a certain relationship, and it was right to 9 percent. That's pretty close, 9 percent. It should have been more perfect than that, but it was close enough.
    I was very excited, and kept on calculating, and things that fit kept on tumbling out: they fit automatically, without a strain. I had begun to forget about the 9 percent by now, because everything else was coming out right.
    The next morning when I got to work I went to Wapstra, Boehm, and Jensen, and told them, "I've got it all worked out. Everything fits."
    Christy, who was there, too, said, "What beta-decay constant did you use?"
    "The one from So-and-So's book."
    "But that's been found out to be wrong. Recent measurements have shown it's off by 7 percent."
    Then I remember the 9 percent. ....

    I went out and found the original article on the experiment that said the neutron-proton coupling is T, and I was shocked by something. I remembered reading that article once before (back in the days when I read every article in the Physical Review -- it was small enough). And I remembered, when I saw this article again, looking at that curve and thinking, "That doesn't prove anything!"
    You see, it depended on one or two points at the very edge of the range of the data, and there's a principle that a point on the edge of the range of the data -- the last point -- isn't very good, because if it was, they'd have another point further along. And I had realized that the whole idea that neutron-proton coupling is T was based on the last point, which wasn't very good, and therefore it's not proved. I remember noticing that!
    And when I became interested in beta decay, directly, I read all these reports by the "beta-decay experts," which said it's T. I never looked at the original data; I only read those reports, like a dope. Had I been a good physicist, when I thought of the original idea back at the Rochester Conference I would have immediately looked up "how strong do we know it's T?" -- that would have been the sensible thing to do. I would have recognized right away that I had already noticed it wasn't satisfactorily proved.
    Since then I never pay any attention to anything by "experts." I calculate everything myself. When people said the quark theory was pretty good, I got two Ph.D.s, Finn Ravndal and Mark Kislinger, to go through the whole works with me, just so I could check that the thing was really giving results that fit fairly well, and that it was a significantly good theory. I'll never make that mistake again, reading the experts' opinions. Of course, you only live one life, and you make all your mistakes, and learn what not to do, and that's the end of you.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/27/2005 3:50:09 PM PDT · 195 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to Quark2005

    Different issue entirely. What happened during the opening epoch of the Big Bang is definitely controversial in science;
    ***OK, sounds like a good place to start for someone like me who is saying that it sure looks like a scientific controversy.

    there are ideas all over the map on this one. But 1-2 orders of magnitude younger? That's not really possible, given the constancy of light observed over the order of billions of years.
    ***I've really got a problem with this statement because we have not been around long enough to observe such constancy, we can only postulate that it has been constant. But now even that postulation is demonstrably untrue if we know that the fine structure constant has changed, so we are now in a position of trying to figure out how much it affects the origins hypotheses. That is another area where I see scientific controversy. Keep in mind that Feynman got his Nobel Prize in this kind of area, and a considerable measure of it was from NOT agreeing to what other scientists had to say when they were taking points from the far end of the curve (scientifically questionable to begin with), which is similar to where the controversy is today.

    I've heard hypotheses that the speed of light may have been radically different at the opening instant of the universe, but in order for observations we see to hold true, it had to have "leveled off" fairly quickly.
    ***Yep, it looks like science is going to have to get some more data on this topic. In the meantime, does that mean that there is a scientific controversy or is there not one?

    Why is this such a big deal? Einstein’s Theory of Relativity would be wrong....."Wrong" is kind of a misnomer; ...
    ***I am afraid that I might not have made myself clear at this point in my post, but I was quoting from the various websites to show that there was a scientific controversy in progress. I don't necessarily agree with what those folks said (mostly I do, but perhaps not in such magnitude). If you would like me to comment on your comments, let me know. I see a lot that I agree with in what you said.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/26/2005 6:29:06 PM PDT · 193 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to Quark2005

    Thanks for the links. That natural nuclear reactor was fascinating. So was the pulsar timing stuff, good writing.

    One question before I go into criticism mode: Is the pulsar timing article considered exemplary? i.e., do I have to go & read more of those to get the full picture or will that one do? I do prefer to read both sides of a story but I can't find the rebuttal.

    Well, if that article is exemplary, I still see a scientific controversy. Now while it certainly appears to be a slam-dunk against 6000 year creationism, the latest suggestions are playing with light being 2 to 10 orders of magnitude faster at the beginning, so it is conceivable that the universe could be 1 or 2 orders of magnitude younger. That article only disputed 6000 years old creation, not 6M or 600M year old creation.

    Evidences of scientific controversy:


    Student Project


    Is the speed of light slowing down over time?

    The punch-line to the familiar joke says the only things you can count on are death and taxes. In the scientific world of physics one key fundamental that could be counted on is the speed of light remaining constant at a speed of 186,000 miles a second, over time. Much of physics is based on this assumption. But now “the times, they are a-changin', and so are the fundamental constants of physics, an international group of physicists reports. After analyzing light from distant quasars, the team has concluded that the fine-structure constant, which is related to the speed of light, has shifted over time” (Seife 1410).

    Why is this such a big deal? Einstein’s Theory of Relativity would be wrong. The universe would not be as old as previously thought. While scientists cannot find over 90% of the matter needed to make the Big Bang a feasible theory, faster light speeds would explain it while rendering it unworkable. It would agree and substantiate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Much of astronomical theory would need to be rethought. One thing is for certain…there will be much debate and research regarding the constancy of the speed of light.

    In 1989 it was claimed that room-temperature, resonant-bar, gravitational-wave detectors saw events that correlated with supernova 1987A. But in the very paper that announced this finding, M Aglietta and co-workers said that if our current understanding was correct, the energy seen by the detectors was equivalent to the complete conversion of 2400 solar masses into gravitational waves (1989 Il Nuovo Cimento 12C 1 75) The authors agreed that this was incredible, but nevertheless thought they should report what they had found in print in case something odd was going on. Nearly everyone else thought that the result was wrong, and a critical paper was published that tried to show that it was the outcome of inadvertent statistical massage (1995 Phys. Rev. D 51 2644). Last year, in an internal report from the University of Rome La Sapienza, the original authors rejected the criticism.

    Consider the deep disagreement about SN1987A discussed above. Observations, better experimentation, more knowledge, more advanced theories and clearer thinking have not settled the argument - at least, not to the satisfaction of all parties. What happens in deep disputes like this is summed up in the grim Planck dictum: scientists do not give up their disputed ideas, they only die.

    from wizbangblog:

    Raina said: There actually is some real scientific controversy over whether or not the speed of light has changed.

    This would not rescue Young Earth Creationism, note the bold font. Consider SN1987A: SN1987A was a supernova observed in the Large Magellanic Cloud in 1987. (The progenator was a star blue white supergiant catalogued as SK-69 202). SN1987A has a primary gas ring that allows us to calculate it's distance using simple triangulation. That distance is 168,000 light years. Ergo: SK-69 202 blew up 168,000 years ago or about 160,000 years before you believe the univrerse was created if you're defending YEC. So we know the universe is older than 6,000 - 10,000 years years, because in 1987 we observed the light of a super nova which actually occurred in 166,000 BC.
    We also know the light from 1987A has not slowed down during transit because if it had, among other enormous physical problems, events on 1987A would be in 'slow motion' and they're not, again direct observation. SN1987A also gives us rock solid evidence that radiodecay processes operated at the same rate in the remote past as they do today. During the super nova explosion exotic isotopes were created with short half lives such as cobalt 56 and nickel 55. We can observe the decay sequence of those isotopes in the spectral emission of 1987A. They match exactly the empirically measured rates on earth which are also the theoretically predicted rates universally applicable in the entire universe. Thus SN1987A is a 'twofer' in falsifying YEC.

    Startling Scientists, Plant Fixes Its Flawed Gene
    In a startling discovery, geneticists at Purdue University say they have found plants that possess a corrected version of a defective gene inherited from both their parents, as if some handy backup copy with the right version had been made in the grandparents' generation or earlier.

    The finding implies that some organisms may contain a cryptic backup copy of their genome that bypasses the usual mechanisms of heredity. If confirmed, it would represent an unprecedented exception to the laws of inheritance discovered by Gregor Mendel in the 19th century. Equally surprising, the cryptic genome appears not to be made of DNA, the standard hereditary material.

    The discovery also raises interesting biological questions - including whether it gets in the way of evolution, which depends on mutations changing an organism rather than being put right by a backup system.

    "It looks like a marvelous discovery," said Dr. Elliott Meyerowitz, a plant geneticist at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. David Haig, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard, described the finding as "a really strange and unexpected result," which would be important if the observation holds up and applies widely in nature.

    My argument about evolution* is and will always be, that all you loud mouth people who accept as some sort of fact etched in stone that man evolved from some primordial ooze are just as religious as the people you bash.

    The truth is --though you are loath to admit it-- that we don't know jack about the origin of the species. If there is indeed some mechanism built into organisms to repair flawed genes, the whole theory -which is already mathematically astronomically improbable- is now a few dozen more orders of magnitude more improbable. There is something other than DNA that apparently carries some sort of genome and we don't even have a name for it yet, much less understand it!

    OK, you can now commence to ranting in the comments about how it is a fact and I'm just some ignorant fool. And make sure you bash religious people... If there is one thing I love to laugh at, it is one religious zealot claiming the other guy is just a religious zealot.

    * The nomenclature will always bite you. I don't use "evolution" in the strict definition here, I mean evolution as in the theory that lighting stuck inorganic material and started life that a bazillion years later evolved into every life form on the planet. That version of "evolution" is seriously, seriously flawed.... And no amount of your typing in the comments section will make unflawed.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/22/2005 3:55:31 PM PDT · 188 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to Quark2005; jess35

    I would like to ask the two of you, do you see a scientific controversy over the fine structure constant/speed of light, or not? If not, why not? If so, why the constant references to a lack of a scientific controversy? I see one, the public sees it, I from what I can see, GWB sees it.

    I posted this assertion at #3 and it did not get answered until #123 (wrongly, as far as I can tell). And this doesn’t appear to be a peripheral sideshow in the debate, there is a distinct possibility that with light being faster in the beginning that many of our radiometric & other age-determining techniques could be skewed in the direction of there not really being the millions of years that evo supposedly had to take place.

    Has project Steve been updated with this information? i.e. have all the Steves been approached and asked if they reconsider in light of these facts that there might actually be a real scientific controversy here? Reapproaching project Steve is actually germane to this whole debate, because if someone were to be confronted with real evidence that the aging techniques could be off by orders of magnitude, their response to that information is what comprises the inductive/philosophical processes that are a matter of internal faith. Their thinking goes perhaps something like this, “well, I really do have faith in my colleagues over there in nuclear physics land , and they will come up with something, they’re really smart. In the meantime, kids need to learn about evolution because it will prove itself out, I have faith in science to find the answers. So I can’t let on that I really do think there’s a scientific controversy here.” Can you see the faith element here? That is scientism, not science. Their own thinking that goes into answering the question is germane to the discussion, not just the result. At that point they are on the same level as any other religion. Their opinion is just an expression of a bias, not science. If it hasn't been updated, that makes Project Steve invalid on the inductive plane.

    ...evolutionary theory is scientifically controversial...
    This is just blatantly untrue. Evolutionary theory is mainly the province of biologists, who are practically unanimous in their support of the theory. …. The NCSE's Project Steve makes a parodical point of this sort of statement. Once again, I know "might doesn't make right" for a theory, but I wanted to point out that this is a false statement.

    Post #123
    The speed of light is still constant and hasn't changed. What are you talking about?
    ***Here you go, for starters:

  • Senate Clears NASA to Buy Russian Spaceships

    09/22/2005 9:18:45 AM PDT · 18 of 112
    Kevin OMalley to Dan Evans

    There goes that giant sucking sound again, and no, that sound is not caused by an american built rocket. This time it is rocket scientists losing their jobs. The outsourcing continues. [sigh]

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/21/2005 10:02:23 AM PDT · 182 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to whattajoke

    Double sigh. Gravity is "just a theory."
    ***A theory explains why or how something works. We have a theory of gravity? I know we have things like Keppler's laws of planetary motion and the law of gravity, but I haven't heard that there is one settled theory that explains what causes gravity. A law is just basically an observation, usually accompanied by a nifty mathematical description such as acceleration due to gravity ~ 1/2at^2. I think there may be several gravity theories on the table at this point in time, including my favorite which has to do with electrogravitics.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/21/2005 9:43:45 AM PDT · 181 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to little jeremiah

    I got a few hits and found something on an atheist website, of all places:

    The Vedas, for instance, which are the Hindu Scriptures, teach that the moon is about 150.000 miles higher than the sun and shines with its own light. that the earth is flat and triangular, and that earthquakes are caused by elephants shaking themselves under it.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/21/2005 9:40:58 AM PDT · 180 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to little jeremiah

    Good points, except that the Bhagavad Gita doesn't say that earthquakes are caused by elephants jumping up and down.
    ***Darn it, I dislike being wrong. I guess I'll have to dig up where I heard that. This could take some time.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/21/2005 9:39:57 AM PDT · 179 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    Not my job.
    ***Ok, please give him back his hat. Oh, I know... not your job.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/21/2005 9:37:40 AM PDT · 177 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    And you've repeatedly said you weren't religious or or interested in religion.
    ***I'm not. You don't see me very often on those threads where they talk about 5point Calvinism or whether Mary was assumed to heaven or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. That's religion. I am, however, interested in spirituality, which is a tough distinction for some to parse. I draw the line at the deity of Christ -- that isn't so much doctrinal chatter, it is the center of the issue (and why Jesus was put to death, BTW). Even then, I consider it a personal faith matter what one does with the information when confronted with the trilemma, that might be religion or it might not, I'm not quite sure.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/21/2005 9:29:40 AM PDT · 176 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to dukeman

    That's pretty funny, thanks.

    Now you can see what will happen when the philosophers move in on this topic. Some folks may find me exasperating, just wait 'til you're up against one of those guys (on either side), that's how hair pulling was invented.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/21/2005 9:26:43 AM PDT · 175 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954; Right Wing Professor

    This is an interesting development. I've never seen it before in 7 years of freeping. The closest I can come up with was what happened when I was playing soccer in 4th grade, the PE teacher knew there was one good soccer player and he loaded up the other side with all the best offensive players (the good one was a fullback). It was an interesting game and the fullback found himself surprised to be ahead near the end, but he could tell they had his number. So he came up with a quick plan to disrupt the game by kicking the ball out of bounds, catching it with hands (causing a penalty kick, but it gave his team time to get back into position), and various other tricks to make the time run out. The key was the runout of time. He got sent to the principal's office and had to write a thousand sentences, something like "I will cooperate". His team ended up winning even without him there. This new tactic reminds me of that same strategy, based upon the knowledge that time is the critical element here. It may just work, I can't tell yet.

    I think he gave away his scheme in his post to me,
    and close down a couple of crevo threads." "

    ***After mulling this over for awhile, trying to figure out why there is such a hypersensitive reaction, I think it may have to do with my choice of using the phrase, "close down" rather than "finish out" or "stick with" or [fillintheblank]. In the silicon valley, I've noticed a new term arising which is that people go drinking and "close down" the bar, which used to mean that there was a fight or something and the bar would have to close when the police came, but it is developing a new meaning which is simply, "drinking till closing time". The mental imagery of technogeeks "closing down" a bar still strikes me as whimsical. Perhaps I used the wrong term, feel free to substitute the politically correct term if it makes y'all feel better. It is easy enough to check my latest posts to see that the crevo threads I was on are still open, they haven't been pulled so that is an independent verification of my use of the phrase. But my suspicion is that someone is looking to escape the heat and get out of the kitchen, and they will find something to hang their hat on rather than answer my points. As the rancor increases, I tend to get obnoxious and there are plenty of places to hang one's hat if that is what one wants to do. Just let me know if I get to keep the hat.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/21/2005 8:58:35 AM PDT · 173 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    Can you please tell carolina guitarman that his fence wasn't up when I posted my comments. I am not sure how this particular game is played.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 6:31:13 PM PDT · 166 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    "Religion" is a code word....No it's not.
    ***It is in the evangelical christian community.

    You've confused no one. You are obvious and very full of misplaced pride and self righteousness.
    ***Please point it out and if it is true, I will renounce it. Misplaced pride? That self righteousness thingie is probably closer to the truth because you're not the first to say it, but if you're going to engage in personal attacks you need to back it up.

    Gotta go now.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 6:28:24 PM PDT · 165 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to CarolinaGuitarman

    I think he gave away his scheme in his post to me,

    ***Actually, on my first crevo thread someone pointed out that I hadn't been involved in a crevo thread "in your life." So now I've gotten past that, and the criticism no longer holds. I have no scheme.

    He is baiting us to attack him and get the thread pulled, or one of us banned.
    ***uhhh, no. But I do admit that it would have been fun if someone asked me to leave, it really did look like that was gonna happen. Sometimes I just go into aggressive pursuit mode, that's all. I don't understand -- it is nothing more than what I have observed while lurking on the crevo threads. You guys can handle it, you sure dish it out enough.

    Very Christian of him.
    ***If you are truly serious about that charge, feel free to explore it and I will apologize if it is the right thing to do.

    I say let the &^%$ stew in it and just ignore him.
    ***OK, whichever. Gotta go now. It's been real, it's been fun....

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 6:22:25 PM PDT · 163 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to CarolinaGuitarman

    Why is someone with no knowledge of math qualified to discus it's merits?
    ***Because in our analogy he’s on the school board.

    It's not a FR rule, it's a rule of logical debate. You made an assertion and then refused to back it up.
    ***Did not George W make the same assertion?

    "If a school board is made up of all art history majors, they’ll tend to handwave on any of the scientific stuff."…. And they will make horrible decisions on scientific issues
    ***How do you know they will make horrible decisions on technical issues? Most school boards don’t have so many PhDs and they seem to be doing pretty well in that regard.

    …You talk as if ignorance is a virtue.
    ***What is the standard of whether it is a horrible decision? If their communities are safer or quieter or whatever as a result of their decisions, they did a good thing. I’m not advocating ignorance of the theory of evo, just that the burden of knowledge might be something that kids shouldn’t have to bear. They can carry that burden later on in life when they are better equipped for it. It’s not an advocacy of ignorance, it is an advocacy of wisdom for our children.

    You can stick around, making ludicrous statements about a theory you refuse to engage. But that won't make you look like anything but a fool.
    ***OK, thanks for the invite.

    No, I said where does the theory of evolution corrupt people. Evolution, and science in general, doesn't pretend to be a moral guide.
    ***We all know that. The fact that there is no moral guide is the problem.

    No you aren't, you are ducking every attempt by us to get you to say what specifically about the theory is dangerous.
    ***I’ll get around to it.

    You call it soulless but won't say how it is soulless.
    ***It is soulless by its silence on the moral issues that arise from processing the theory on a behavioral level. Kids think they are not accountable, that they can get away with animalistic behavior, that it is a world of “survival of the fittest” so I might as well just start getting mine right now.

    Hey, you are the one who wants everybody to be as ignorant as you.
    ***Another good zippy one liner.

    Now we know your motives.
    ***If you want to know my motives, ask. I’ll tell you.

    "Do you want a godless, soulless religion that the bible calls “mystery, Babylon” to be the forced creed that every school kid in the world must follow?"… That isn't evolution.
    ***That’s my point, that you don’t want me telling you what you want so why do you tell me what I want?

    When you tied NAMBLA and Islamic terrorism to evolution.
    ***Again. They’re not tied. They’re not Associated. It is an analogy.

    You presume to tell me what I think? "… It's not a difficult task.
    ***Go ahead.

    You didn't make any points. We are still waiting for some substance.
    ***If I make the points again will you answer them?

    That is not authority. You have no knowledge of evolution and yet want to influence policy on evolution in the classroom. It's not that someone has more knowledge than you, it's that they address the subject and you evade it. The social policy is evolution.
    ***Why is knowledge of evolution required in the discussion of whether it is good social policy? GWB didn’t have the knowledge enough to take you guys on, neither does the average school board member. You are right, in my limited knowledge of evolution I “want to influence policy on evolution in the classroom”. That is my right as a freeper, an American, a voter, etc.

    Look, you gave away your plan earlier; you want to shut down these crevo threads.
    ***No. I prefer to discuss things rather than have the other side just give up or throw one liner zingers or ridicule or whatever 2nd grade game is the order of the day. “I gave away my plan?” I didn’t know I had a plan. Could you please tell me what the plan is so that I can have it back, you’re so good at telling me what I think and what I want.

    You are proud of the threads you have shut down.
    ***Now you are telling me how I feel? Well, if you are right, please please tell me what stock I should buy tomorrow.

    They make your side look stupid.
    ***My guess is that my side can handle it. So far, no freepmail asking me to pipe down or apologize or anything like that.

    Glad I was amusing for you.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 5:59:51 PM PDT · 159 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    And you've repeatedly said you weren't religious or or interested in religion.
    ***"Religion" is a code word. People who study christianity realise that Jesus didn't like religion, He wanted a relationship, which is different. Religion is more like trying to make yourself good enough for God to accept them into heaven, which is as impossible as swimming to Hawaii. I can't do it unless God helps me. And he accepts believers into heaven by Grace, not how good they were. At any rate, I'm not so good at that stuff and will just confuse you more. I seem to have caused enough confusion round here.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 5:55:21 PM PDT · 157 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to Right Wing Professor

    I'm sure you intended this to be English. Want to try again? At the point of unknown what?
    ***Here's some better writing:
    Here is where I see that evo/abiog becomes a philosophy. There are always going to be things that we don't know. Even in that abiog article, they say, "At the moment, since we have no idea how probable life is, it's virtually impossible to assign any meaningful probabilities to any of the steps to life except the first two .... For the hypercycle->protobiont transition, the probability here is dependent on theoretical concepts still being developed, and is unknown." At that point of the unknown, the way all of us connect the dots is an inner matter of faith. Some have faith that the probabilities/the missing link in the fossil record/ the great microparticle discovery that explains everything/whatever will be found by scientists because they are so clever and their fact-filled theory explains so much. At the point of the unknown, it is a philosophy. It belongs in a philosophy class, right next to some other fascinating philosophies.

    Why do you combine evolution and abiogenesis?
    ***I oppose accidentalism, in both theories. That's what I call the haps side because it's easier to write.

    And please identify in what respect they are philosophical, in a way that other areas of science are not.
    ***Basically, the facts that a theory proceeds from are usually reasonably established. What I look for are the facts that both sides of a debate will acknowledge. That has proven to be difficult in this case. But proceeding from those facts, filling in the dots, that's where it becomes a philosophy.

    That's too bad. I voted for him because I believed he wasn't merely a creature of political expediency
    ***I'm not sure this was an expediency thing. GWB was on vacation, he isn't running for office, he's thinking about his legacy.

    I see the [accidentalist] side of evo/abio as a philosophy. I also see the teaching of evolution as [a matter of] social policy. I believe that a majority of americans agrees with me, which is significant in a social policy debate. Hopefully that's better grammar.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 5:44:26 PM PDT · 154 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    Guess where this guy stands on the TOE?
    ***It can't be that hard to guess.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 5:42:58 PM PDT · 153 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    You are irrational or disingenuous or both
    ***Probably more irrational, but thanks for the false dilemma. The subject isn't TOE it is the social policy of teaching TOE.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 5:41:01 PM PDT · 151 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to Right Wing Professor

    I wrote it better on a different thread, please forgive the obnoxiousness:

    Are you condemning evolution because there are "People Whose Theories Derive From Evolution" (that is charlatans) who advocate bad things?
    ***When I was more snide in the past, I would simply have answered, "no." I would have been suspicious that you're trying to trap me and that there is some issue with condemning a belief system because of its followers... Then we'd have to go back & forth and you'd finally figure out that my problem is with your use of the word "condemn", it's just a little bit stronger than how I view it; I suppose I would call it an annoyed tollerance of that belief system. So, in the interest of moving the conversation forward, I'll go ahead and tell you what I do think.

    I don't condemn followers of a belief system unless they do something wrong. However, for purposes of social policy discussion, there is a point of critical mass where some or most or many followers of certain idealogies cause too much trouble. That may be fallacious thinking, but it doesn't matter for purposes of social policy. An example is Islam... the current political environment seems to be realizing that there is something within the Islamic belief system that lends itself to violence (look even at its founder). Another example is Nazism -- at what point do we "condemn" Nazism due to its negative influence on society and how it lends itself to evil?

    My viewpoint towards evo/abiog arises from my contact with its adherents as well as what I perceive from its soulless conclusions. My perceptions might be right, they might be wrong, and so might yours. As a social policy discussion, the terms tend to move towards what is the ultimate good for society, whether most people have perceived that as worthwhile, that kind of thing.

    I like to think that the difference between a charlatan and a crackpot is that one believes his pet theory and the other doesn't. I would think that much of what I have seen resulting from evo isn't from charlatans, but from crackpots. They're sincere in their belief system. It's possible to be sincere, and be sincerely wrong.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 5:27:52 PM PDT · 148 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to CarolinaGuitarman

    They ARE required to actually talk about the subjects they are dealing with and not just hand-wave the subjects aside.
    ***So a guy with a BS in Art History will need to know how much math in order to be qualified to discuss it on a school board? None. He doesn’t even need to have that Art History degree. He handwaves when the technical stuff comes along. If you want to set up a system where only people who have certain knowledge can enter the debate, by all means do so and get it posted. But I don’t see that on FR. I don’t see GWB getting a biochem degree overnight, but he was able to discuss policy decisions. You guys are trying to set up a priesthood.

    If the school board is debating which Math text to use, don't you think they should debate the merits of the competing texts?
    ***What can I say other than ABSOLUTELY. And if enough parents want 2 sets of math books to be presented to their kids, for whatever goofy reason, it should be allowable as long as it doesn’t cause harm to society.

    You don't want to do that; you just want to say *Evolution make people do bad things, evolution bad* without ever talking about whether or not evolution is true.
    ***Show me where there is that requirement here on FR and I will follow it. This appears to be some unwritten rule that you guys have been following, and you’ve been ridiculing anyone who can’t stand up to some nebulous technical standard. You folks are acting like religionists in so many ways that it has become obvious to some.

    A basic understanding of the subject and a willingness to discuss some of the details of that subject are a definite requirement. If school boards and other policy makers don't want to talk about the specifics of a theory they appose, then they have no leg to stand on.
    ***If a school board is made up of all art history majors, they’ll tend to handwave on any of the scientific stuff. That’s just human nature. That is analogous to the situation you have here. If this is a definite requirement for entering crevo threads, show me where it is written by the mods or JimRob and I will follow whatever is considered to be the correct norm. Until then, I’m gonna stick around.

    "The real scary thought is that there are a lot more OJ level jurors than PhD biochem guys."…They'll be a lot more if we lie to students and teach them that creationism is a scientific theory.
    ***There will be a lot fewer if we teach both sides congruently.

    Your ignorance should not be the level we strive to.
    ***Oh, that’s a good, zippy one liner. Your callousness should not be the level we strive to when we teach our children. Sorry, I’m just not as crisp as you when it comes to one liners.

    Explain yourself. You keep saying how horrible evolution is for morality yet you haven't shown where in the theory it makes any claims to be a moral guide.
    ***Ok. A garden left to itself will grow weeds. This area of concern, where kids will process the evo information in an unhealthy manner by default, is due to the fact that Science stops right at the point where the moral implications start to arise. The lack of a moral guide is like having the lack of a gardener, the default position is moral weeds.

    A willingness to actually discuss the policy under consideration. You refuse.
    ***I am discussing this soulless policy that you guys want taught to our children. But like the art history laden school board, the level of expertise has its limits.

    "I had trouble with thermodynamics, but that doesn’t mean I suggest that others shouldn’t learn it."

    Yes you did.
    ***Um, no I didn’t.

    You said ""And if someone like me can't understand the theory, why are you folks trying to teach it to our kids? ". Just because you're ignorant, doesn't mean our kids have to be too.
    ***I’m not ignorant. I know enough about the theory to have gotten this far and close down a couple of crevo threads. I just don’t agree with you. Is your assumption that just because someone doesn’t agree with you, they’re ignorant? What do you think happened when the eggheads tried to get into the finer points of protein sequencing with GWB? He probably handwaved it, said he didn’t have the time, and said that as long as both sides are using science to bolster their points, it appears to be a scientific controversy. That works for me.

    What affects? You refuse to discuss the theory, why should we take your word there are *negative spiritual effects*. Explain them, with reference to what the theory says.
    ***I did explain a few of them, from my own personal experience. I know they exist because I experienced them for myself. You’re right, you shouldn’t just take my word that there are negative spiritual effects, you should investigate this with some vigor. You might find that that 2/3 majority has a few things to say along these lines. I imagine that this is the area where I have a lot of work ahead of me.

    Ok, you want science by polls.
    ***Again. BORING. Over & over. You keep telling me what I want and I know that it isn’t what I want, it is even posted. If I post three more times that it isn’t what I want, will that take care of the next 3 reiterations? Do you want a godless, soulless religion that the bible calls “mystery, Babylon” to be the forced creed that every school kid in the world must follow? I didn’t see that you wrote that, but hey, as long as you can tell me what I want then why can’t I tell you what you want?

    By votes. You want people who don't wish to know anything about a theory decide whether that theory is sound or not.
    ***Once again, NO.

    You pride yourself in not caring about the science.
    ***No. I wish I had the time. I actually like science. I don’t like scientism.

    You think it is a good thing that most people don't know what evolution is, and you are working to make sure even less do. Your denials are baloney.
    ***Time for a bran muffin and decaf. Geez, get ahold of yourself. You presume to tell me what I think?

    "He designed his own atom bomb. Now, was it Einstein’s fault? No. Is there something so inherently dangerous to the subject matter that it demands legitimate control so that society does not get harmed? Yes"….No, there isn't. You want to limit the teaching of the theory of relativity, you do it with your kids. Let the rest of the countries children know about it.
    ***Wow, you’ve really gone off the deep end here. Are you incapable of reasoning from an analogy, even one that you introduced?

    Please tell us, what other theories that you have very little knowledge of do you deem too *dangerous* to be taught?
    ***Oh, ok, thanks for asking ;-) That Lyndon Larouche stuff seemed dangerous to me. Scientology. . Zero point energy. est. Islamofascism. That comet/spaceship thingie. Electrogravitics might be on the listAstrology. Satanism. That’ll do for starters.

    What spiritually dangerous teaching? E=mc^2?
    ***The spiritually dangerous teaching is that kids are told they evolved from animals and that some animalistic behavior is most likely genetic or pre-programmed or that we can’t control certain urges or whatever. That sex is just an exchange of bodily fluids. There’s more, but I’m running out of time.


    You refuse to expand on the *scientific* controversy, after repeated pressing.
    ***And I will probably never expand on the scientific controversy surrounding global warming because the subject is too vast to tackle for me at this point in time. That doesn’t stop people from engaging in discussions about SUVs and pollutants. Same goes for certain areas of the evo controversy.

    Put up or shut up. That's the scientific method. BTW, Bush's science adviser has come out against teaching ID.
    ***I know Bush’s science advisor came out against teaching ID. That’s why it caught me by surprise when GWB came out with his position. Apparently there was not enough evidence to sway George from his confirmatory bias. I find that very intriguing. Do you think it’s because the science advisor didn’t give him enough information on protein sequencing? Or maybe it was that fine structure constant thingie, maybe he wasn’t up to speed on that? I guess it’s possible that even top-level PhD science advisors might not know enough to sway some VIP’s opinion, so I figure I’m in the clear for awhile. Perhaps you think that since the president doesn't hold a science degree, his opinion is invalid? That's where you're wrong, and he's gonna drive a truck right through that opening you leave him. I find it fascinating to view your thinking process as you grasp that the rules have changed in the ID debate, and yet you still don't get it.

    And you saying there are *spiritual problems* without addressing how specifically the theory produces them is just smoke blowing from your butt.
    ***I imagine I’ll get around to those spiritual issues when it seems like the right time.

    The average kid is a lot smarter then you.
    ***I’ll keep that in mind.

    Don't use your admitted ignorance as a yardstick for what other's can do.
    ***Pretty good one liner. That’s others, no apostrophe.

    "Bringing out character as a subject matter without addressing the points mentioned is a form of ad hominem argumentation. "…Do you know how ironic your above statement is?
    ***Glad you caught that. But when did I question your character?

    "I was very explicit when I pointed out that the NAMBLA stuff is hyperbole."…Yet you just happened to bring them in to the conversation. Riiiight.
    ***I guess I don’t see your point here. I saw an analogous parallel and went with it. You can see the obvious spiritual consequences if we were to allow NAMBLA to teach our kids, so I think my point was actually well made. Now the spiritual consequences for evo aren’t as obvious, but you can see how someone might view it as dangerous to teach our children.

    Yes, a patently disgusting and ludicrous analogy.
    ***And yet you do not address the points brought up in the analogy, even though you’ve been shown to be wrong that I wasn’t using Association. But your colorful language is enjoyable, keep up the good work.

    Nonsense. I appealed to no authority.
    ***Sure you do. The authority of knowledge in the subject matter, that someone who doesn’t know as much as [whatever yardstick, note that this isn’t written down anywhere I can find] should not be engaging in these social policy debates.

    You HAVEN'T engaged in discourse on this subject, you have evaded the core of the debate, which is the scientific merits of evolution and ID. Utterly pathetic.
    ***The core of the debate is what should we teach our children, and I have engaged. The core is not how much I know about evolution, thus I choose not to engage there for the most part. If you want to engage others on what you consider to be the core, go ahead.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 4:15:05 PM PDT · 141 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    ... where you refused to concede
    ***And I still refuse to concede that point. I see a scientific controversy raging around global warming and one around the safe levels of radioactivity and another around how much milk we should drink and one around crevo. The milk guys don't expect you to know the finer points of endocrinology of lactose intolerance in order to engage in discussion.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 4:06:38 PM PDT · 138 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to js1138
    ONLY because you asked
  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 3:51:47 PM PDT · 136 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    ok, bye bye again

    Posted by Kevin OMalley to ml1954
    On News/Activism 09/12/2005 10:02:36 AM PDT · 206 of 213

    When there is a basic unreconcilable difference, no answer is adequate and any attempt is a waste of effort.
    ***That's interesting to know. Now that this has become a public policy discussion, when one side disengages, there are more consequences than before. You lose that chance to educate the public.

    The only purpose is to inform/convince the lurkers.
    ***That may have been true before, but the definition of lurkers has just changed and expanded to include that 2/3 of the general public that agrees the two philosophies should be taught side by side.

    There are no more on this thread. It is a dead thread. Bye
    ***Good enough. I may be new to crevo threads, but I'm no newbie to FR. In my experience, people disengage when they have no more to say, and can't come up with strong enough rebuttals.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 3:47:58 PM PDT · 135 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to Coyoteman

    Thanks for that background, Coyoteman, good stuff.

    So, now where is my lead statement (repeated again below) wrong?

    I am trying to stay away from the scientific end of this argument for the same reason that I stayed away for 7 years: It's too acrimonious, requires too much time/knowledge/digging/etc, and I see very little ROI for myself [from your post #76].

    From this post, you have declared that you do not believe science,
    ***No, I'm just trying to stay away from it because it looks overwhelming in how much time it's going to take. Do you think the 12 OJ jurors "believed science"? That's an interesting choice of terminology, more suited for a philosophical inquiry rather than a scientific one.

    you do not understand science,
    ***There's some truth to that, and some falsehood. I have a BSEE, so I think that's enough to know some scientific method, but not enough to engage in the crevo threads. GWB changed all that when he came out with his position, so I feel I can engage on the level of social policy and leave the science egghead stuff to the folks who are already doing it.

    and if you did it wouldn't matter anyway.
    ***Probably wrong, but it appears to be conjecture anyways.

    Every time someone brings up science you turn it to a question of public or social policy. You consistently duck the science questions.
    ***That's because I consider this to be a social policy issue. A school board member doesn't need to be a PhD mathemetician to be able to decide on the math curriculum for the local school, and the same should hold true for this scientific endeavor/philosophy. Send your science questions to the other eggheads on this forum who appear to be doing a good job answering that stuff. If there are some real zingers, I'll take notice, assuming I have the time.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 3:30:20 PM PDT · 132 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    I do see a scientific controversy

    You just stated in post #123 "That’s why I choose not to engage on the scientific end of the argument."

    And here you are already again engaging in the scientific end of the argument.

    ***I see a scientific controversy raging around global warming and one around the safe levels of radioactivity and another around how much milk we should drink. That doesn't mean that I intend to get into the finer points of acidophilous cultures.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 3:20:34 PM PDT · 130 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    That’s why I choose not to engage on the scientific end of the argument....Then why do you?
    ***I'm operating at the level I'm comfortable with. You don't see stuff from me about the finer nuances of protein sequencing because I don't know that stuff. It looks fascinating, though.

  • Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design

    09/20/2005 3:05:27 PM PDT · 129 of 197
    Kevin OMalley to ml1954

    You sound Hillary.
    ***Ouch, yer right.