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Comment Re:Yea right (Score 1) 219

Don't be a fascist. Try and keep an open mind, and when you disagree, simply be polite about it.

Just don't open your mind so far that your brain falls out.

If your debate opponents aren't even willing to concede the existence of physical evidence or the relevance of basic logic, then you are not going to achieve anything useful by pretending like their arguments have any sort of useful information in them (unless you're studying the psychology of the willfully ignorant).

And politeness works best when it is being practiced in both directions (referring to common reactions by people who think their faith is being attacked, not your post).

I, for one, have spent many years trying to be polite to certain aggressive creationist relatives. I have not seen any evidence that my politeness has caused them to consider my views with any more validity. On the contrary, they tend to regard my politeness as evidence that I do not have confidence in my arguments, and that encourages them to attack.

On the other hand, if I go out of my way to make them look like idiots in the eyes of their peers whenever they open their ignorant mouths, I can at least get them to keep quiet when they are within my earshot - which has done wonders for my stress levels & for the general level of discussion at family gatherings.

Comment Re:That's bright! (Score 0) 451

At which point companies will stop developing hybrids.


Companies will develop new technologies no matter what, since if they don't, their competitors will take their market away (or get the jump on them for a new market). Pretending that patents are required for innovation is just the rationalization that patent holders & patent trolls use to justify using patents to stifle competition.

Comment Re:bankrupt then what? (Score 1) 492

Government exists for one reason: To deprive individuals of the freedom of choice.

One of government's proper roles is to prevent individuals from depriving OTHER individuals of their freedom of choice. Which can sometimes require using force to prevent some asshole from insisting that it's his "freedom of choice" to go around raping little kids or something equally heinous.

I personally think that the current form of government has bloated way, way beyond what it needs to be to provide a stable healthy society, but sometimes the libertarian "don't-want-to-pay-for-anything" and "don't-want-anybody-to-be-able-to-stop-me-from-doing-anything" rants (more anarchist than libertarian it seems to me) really reinforce my opinion that the libertarian "fundies" are just as moronic as the hardcore communists.

Comment Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (Score 1) 489

Intelligent Design, and a world like the one the Matrix, are scientifically the same.

You mean neither scenario is scientific, so your example is irrelevant to this discussion. (Although if you want to get into a geek-nitpick battle, it could be argued that the Matrix as it was portrayed in the movie has imperfections in it which could probably be tested to reveal that it is a simulation rather than a physical reality.)

Many scientists speculate whether the world is best described as a simulation (remember I gave you a link?) - they're not less scientists or no less able to apply the scientific method in their work because of that.

If they don't propose a way of testing whether they are in a simulation or not, then they're not proposing scientific theories - they are merely spouting philosophy. Just because they are scientists doesn't make everything they say scientific, especially if they (like Spencer) are willfully lying for some reason or other.

Now, why is it important for you to attack the messenger instead of the message? That IS what you are doing, if you haven't realised it yet.

  • I can tell Spencer chooses to be (at least occasionally) willfully disingenuous because of his support for ID.
  • I don't have the professional qualifications to argue about climate science with someone like Spencer, who knows the jargon & the "weak spots" of current scientific theory. It would be pretty easy for him to bullshit me, and I wouldn't be able to easily refute his statements without spending a huge amount of time digging up & understanding the counterarguments. It is much more time-effective for me to look at the character of the people working all sides of the issue & make a decision about whose opinion I should trust.
  • Between Spencer, who I know is willing to lie for his cause, and the large majority of climate scientists who are screaming at the top of their academic lungs that the planet is heading for a major climate transition, I choose to ignore any information from the guy who has demonstrated he's willing to lie for his cause.

You might be giving Spencer a "chance" out of sincere desire to hear all sides, but if you're not an experienced climate scientist, and you don't have a mechanism to filter out "information" being given to you by charlatans and demagogues, you are making it MUCH more difficult for yourself to determine the truth of this issue.

It's perfectly okay to ignore information sources where you know the data is unreliable or deliberately misleading. Such data doesn't provide any useful information (since you can't easily tell the good data from the bad), so its to your own benefit to ignore such data.

Comment Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (Score 1) 489

Supporting Intelligent Design DOES make anything else such a person says worthless, since it indicates that they either don't understand the scientific method, or are willfully misrepresenting it. Either way, the information they provide can't be trusted, and therefore should be ignored. The fact that you aren't ignoring this person even after knowing he supports Intelligent Design extends that conclusion to you and your arguments.

Comment Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (Score 1) 489

No, I understood your post; I'm just not coming to the conclusion that you want me to.

All I need to read from Spencer is that he's an apologist for Intelligent Design. That immediately invalidates anything else he might say as being useful information. Some of the arguments he makes might be valid, but since I'm not qualified to distinguish between his lies and truth, I have to completely ignore everything he says and look for truth in the words of people who actually seem to respect the scientific method.

There _is_ a consensus on climate change. It's only people like you who are desperately trying to sow doubt in the minds of the public so that you don't have to deal with the consequences of the conclusions.

The only people saying "climate change is anything we say it to be" are the people who are trying to discredit the results of mainstream research.

Comment Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (Score 1) 489

Feel free to address the science, not the messenger, whenever you want to.

No, that's almost useless for a non-climatologist to do with a guy like this. He'll run verbal rings of BS around anyone who doesn't have the professional background to refute him on the spot.

As a non-climatologist, if you want to reduce the noise margins of who to believe, you've pretty much got to ignore guys like this who are obviously full of BS. (Pushing Intelligent Design is the one clear signal that this particular guy is full of it.)

All of those hypothesises are as scientific as "Intelligent Design" (and the simulation argument - you know, Matrix and the like, are actually exactly that)

And being unfalsifiable, you mean that all those theories are as equally unscientific as ID? This line of argument doesn't make Spencer any less full of BS.

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Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!