Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Advice for Ann Coulter: Don't mess with science

Believe me, I'd like for nothing more than to see Mrs. Coulter shred any remaining credibility she might have by continuing to opine on subjects she has zero knowledge of, but if I were to give her some friendly advice, I'd recommend she confine her hate-mongering to the realm of politics. Otherwise, she runs the risk of embarrassing deconstructions like this.

Coulter: "Darwinism never disappoints the liberals. They never say '‘Well, I'd like to have cheap meaningless sex tonight, but that would violate Darwinism.' They can't even say ‘'I'd like to have cheap meaningless sex tonight with a goat, but that would violate Darwinism.'"

PZ Meyers: "This is true. Neither does Coulter, though. She also doesn't get to refuse to screw goats because it would violate Boyle's gas law. Is this a surprise? Evolution doesn't pretend to be a set of moral rules. It's a description of how populations of organisms behave over time, not how individuals should behave.

Why, without Ohm's Law to restrain her, what's to prevent Ann Coulter from indulging her wanton, bestial lusts?"


Anonymous said...

A logical explanation for the existence of God...

An atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks

one of his new students to stand.

"You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"

"Yes sir," the student says.

"So you believe in God?"


"Is God good?"

"Sure! God's good."

"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"


"Are you good or evil?"

"The Bible says I'm sinful."

The professor grins knowingly. "Aha! The Bible!" He considers for a moment.

"Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can
cure him. You can do it. Would you help them? Would you try?"

"Yes sir, I would."

"So you're good...!"

"I wouldn't say that."

"But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could.
Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. "He doesn't, does
he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that?"

The student remains silent.

"No, you can't, can you?" the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. "Let's start again,
young fella. Is God good?"

"Er... Yes," the student says.

"Is Satan good?"

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. "No."

"Then where does Satan come from?"

The student falters. "Fro m... God..."

"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in
this world?"

"Yes, sir."

"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?"


"So who created evil?"

Again, the student has no answer.

"Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness. All these terrible things,
do they exist in this world?"

The student squirms on his feet. "Yes."

"So who created them?"

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question,
"Who created them?"

There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front
of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.

"Tell me," he continues. "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son? The student's
voice betrays him and cracks.

"Yes, professor. I do."

The old man stops pacing. "Science says you have five senses you use to
identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?"

"No sir. I've never seen Him."

"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"

"No, sir. I have not."

"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have
you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that

"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."

"Yet you still believe in him?"


"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol,
science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?"

"Nothing," the student replies. "I only have my faith."

"Yes, faith," the professor repeats. "And that is the problem science has
with God. There is no evidence, only faith."

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his

"Professor, is there such thing as heat?"

"Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."

"And is there such a thing as cold?"

"Yes, son, there's cold too."

"No sir, there isn't."

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room
suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

"You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, white
heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We
can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any
further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be
able to go colder than - 458 degrees. You see, sir, cold is only a word we
use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can
measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of
heat, sir, just the absence of it." Silence across the room. A pen drops
somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

"What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?"

"Yes," the professor replies without hesitation. "What is night if it isn't

"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of
something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing
light... but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's
called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In
reality, Darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness
darker, wouldn't you?"

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a
good semester.

"So what point are you making, young man?"

"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start
with and so your conclusion must also be flawed."

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time.

"Flawed? Can you explain how?"

You are working on the premise of duality," the student explains.

"You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad
God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we
can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity
and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. o view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death
cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life,
just the absence of it. Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students
that they evolved from a monkey?"

"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes,
of course I do."

"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where
the argument is going. A very good semester indeed.

"Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?"
The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has

"To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me
give you an example of what I mean?" The student looks around the room. "

Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?"

The class breaks out into laughter.

"Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the
professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to
have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable,
demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due
respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your
lectures, sir?"

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face
unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. "I
guess you'll have to take them on faith."

"To the unbeliever no proof will suffice. To the believer no proof is

Sheldon said...

Ahh, speaking of Coulter,
Just the other day I picked up her new book opened a page and began reading.
She was ranting about Herstien and Murray of The Bell Curve fame. She complained that those damn liberals and the media jumped all over the book for dubious reasons, and she wrote as though the science and statistics of the book were solid and supported by the American Psychological Association. Perhaps all the "damn liberals" and mainstream media did pan The Bell Curve for dubious reasons. However, in many scientific circles the book has been severely debunked. One excellent and accessible critique is that of Stephen J. Gould's book Mismeasure of Man (explicitly addressed in the later editions).

Sheldon said...

Hey anonymous,
What in the hell does your comment have to do with what Humes' Ghost as written?
I have seen befor what you have copied and pasted. I suppose you think it is clever? It isn't. Its stupid.

"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?"

If you knew anything, you would know that "an atheist philosophy professor" would never say such a thing.

Anyway, don't you think it rude to just copy and paste things you did not write yourself and that are irrelevant to a blogger's post?
And don't be such a coward with signing your name!

Hume's Ghost said...

I imagine Coulter would dismiss Gould as a "liberal." In fact, in Ruse's Mystery of Mysteries, Ruse notes that Gould's father was a Marxist.

That would be all the rope Coulter would need to hang herself with the genetic fallacy.