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FREE-ISH SPEECH

Is It Fair That Cisco Systems Fired Dr. Turek For The Anti-Gay Articles He Never Mentioned At Work?

Cisco Systems, producers of fine networking technology, fired Dr. Frank Turek for his 2008-2010 anti-gay writings even though Turek never mentioned his anti-gay positions or publications at work.

So on one hand, we’re like “Yay! Good job Cisco!! Fire the bigot!!!” But on the other we’re like, Would you like every word you’ve ever uttered (even on Facebook) used to fire you? Especially if you were a good employee?

So read this tale and tell us: is Cisco a hero or did they needlessly punish a man for his right to free speech on his private time?

Around 1PM on Thursday, Dr. Turek posted the following message on his Twitter account:

“The Cisco Kid: Fired by [Cisco Systems, Inc.] for my political views even though they were never mentioned during work. http://t.co/pwH8UjB via @townhallcom.”

You see:

Dr. Turek was hired by Cisco to design and conduct a leadership and teambuilding program for about fifty managers with your Remote Operations Services team. The program took about a year to conduct, during which he also conducted similar sessions for another business unit within Cisco. That training earned such high marks that in 2010 he was asked to design a similar program for about 200 managers within Global Technical Services. Ten separate eight-hour sessions were scheduled.

Then “one of the managers who attended his seminar Googled Turek’s name and found incontrovertible proof that Turek is a homophobe.”

Wait a second. What do you mean, “incontrovertible proof”?

Here’s a sampling of his hotter “non-fiction” hits:

“Gay Marriage: Even Liberals Know It’s Bad” (May 26, 2008) – in which he says that marriage equality will hurt “children and the rest of society.”

“The Preposterous Premise of Gay Marriage” (Nov 27, 2008) – in which he says that sexual desires shouldn’t guarantee people special legal rights and that “race is irrelevant to marriage while gender is essential to it.”

“Top Ten Gay Marriage False “Facts” (Aug 12, 2010) – in which he disagrees the top ten “facts” in Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision on the unconstitutionality of Prop 8.

What a library!
Fun. Light. Reading.
So sexy!!

So what happened next?:

The manager complained to Cisco’s HR Department, which promptly fired Turek. Bravo, Cisco! Disagreement will not be tolerated. That was the right move to make. Very courageous.

Very courageous.

Did we mention that the writer of the above blockquote has “[gone] on record as a strong supporter of firing all opponents of marriage equality?” So… would he think that Tracy Morgan should be fired?

That same writer also spoke in Turek’s defense in the same article saying:

“[His] writing was an outside activity that has nothing to do with his work at Cisco. He never presented himself as an employee of Cisco when he wrote. Also, his leadership and team-building seminars were excellent, according to the gay complainer who got him fired. He never once mentioned during his seminar that he wrote a homophobic book, and the only reason the perpetually offended homosexual knew about it is because he typed Turek’s name into a search engine.”

But there’s more…

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Jun 17, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,
  • 372 Comments
    • LancerLaw
      LancerLaw

      They absolutely did the right thing. This person is a danger to the company’s reputation and while he may not be espousing his garbage while at work. A company has a fiduciary duty to its stockholders to avoid association with negative extremism. All it would of taken was the news to leak that this bigot was funded by Cisco for them to be associated with him and negatively impacted. Instead, they were proactive in protecting their employees and stockholders. Granted – wing nuts may try to boycott them now (but my guess is far more network engineers who buy their products aren’t bible thumpers).

      Jun 17, 2011 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shawn G
      Shawn G

      As much as I hate to admit it, from the information here, I don’t think they were justified in during him.

      Then again, maybe we’ve come to accept a certain level of hate speech, for lack of a better term, when in reality it should be condemned without question.

      Would he be fired for instance if he were writing about a racial issue instead? Maybe that blacks should be segregated, etc. If so then I change my mind and say they were ok in during him.

      Cisco maybe paving the way to a day when arguments against homosexuality are seen as hate speech.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmy Fury
      Jimmy Fury

      How many times does this have to be explained before people finally figure out how the freedom of speech works? The freedom of speech is NOT a freedom from consequences.

      Your constitutional rights are ONLY protected from GOVERNMENT intervention. That’s it. The freedom of speech ONLY exists to protect you from the government stepping in an telling you what you can and can’t say.
      Private companies and private citizens are not the government.

      If he had been arrested for what he said then yes, it’s a free speech case. If Cisco was entirely funded by tax payer dollars thus making them an extension of state or federal government then yes, it would be a free speech case.

      Neither occurred. It is not a free speech case.

      Most companies, especially those that deal with sensitive information like Cisco, have very strict policies about how employees conduct themselves online in their free time.
      And your patently wrong that there’s “no evidence that Turek’s extracurricular activities affected his work with Cisco and its employees in the least” because the initial complaint was made by someone who attended one of his seminars. An employee complained about another employee. So yes… there is evidence that it affected Cisco employees because that’s where the complaint came from.

      Sorry for getting a bit ranty but I am sick to fucking death of homophobes trying to hide behind free speech as if it’s this magic stupidity shield that makes it ok to be a moron.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmy Fury
      Jimmy Fury

      *you’re.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Oh good grief, I cannot believe I just wasted three minutes of my precious time ploughing through the article above and I am most certainly NOT going to shed tears over some vile sky pixie worshipping bigot’s misfortune.

      I am with Shawn G – would we even be mentioning all this if he was a Klan member, racist, anti semite ?? We gays have become so battered, so wounded, so immured are we in a world of constant homophobia that we often cannot see the wood for the trees. And to be concerned for a vile homophobe is a symptom of that.

      Look guys this is all about cultural change. This is how social and cultural change is implemented – we are social monkeys and if one monkey is dragged off screaming because he transgressed the norms, then the other monkeys watch and learn. So, now other homophobes will learn and be more cautious about their homophobia.

      Another important result from this sacking of this homophobe is that sky pixie worshippers will learn that they cannot plead that their religion entitles them to be bigoted any longer.

      Lesson to be learnt by all the other christian monkeys: anti gay bigotry is bigotry and will get you fired.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shawn G
      Shawn G

      @Jimmy so if the situation were changed and someone was fired for writing pro gay articles and got fired for it would you still support the companies right to fire them?

      Jun 17, 2011 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveC
      SteveC

      Someone who opposes same sex marriage equality is no better than someone who opposes interracial marriage.

      I doubt people would be questioning Cisco’s decision if they had fired a racist bigot.

      I don’t think double standardds should apply to homophobic bigotry.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Shawn G- I assume that you’re deliberately making a fatuous comparison? And are just here to be amusingly ‘controversial’, yes?

      Someone fired for writing pro-gay articles would not be hurting or causing distress to anyone – except for sky pixie worshipping bigots.

      If someone wrote articles that were pro-black, pro-jewish who then would that offend?

      Jun 17, 2011 at 11:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Auntie Dogma
      Auntie Dogma

      His free speech guarantee is that the US government will not infringe on his freedom of speech.

      His employer can do whatever the fuck it wants to do.

      People are free to bring whatever pressure on the company they choose to. The Religious Reich will definitely try to spin Turek as some kind of “religious liberties” martyr (crybaby in today’s usage of the term), but the company is under no obligation to retain the services of a bigot, or a drunk, or a drug addict, or a pedophile, or a crazy person, etc if they choose not to.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmy Fury
      Jimmy Fury

      @Shawn G: Awww… that’s an adorable attempt at a gotcha but sadly it failed.

      Because yes. I would.

      I would question the reason behind the firing. As Tallskin pointed out Dr. Turek’s articles have the capacity to create a hostile working environment in which other employees feel threatened… One would be hard pressed to make the same argument about a pro-gay article.

      However, at the end of the day the issue of free speech would remain exactly the same… in that it’s not an issue that applies to the situation at all. For your information though, since you’re clearly attempting to accuse me of hypocrisy, I also defended the supreme courts decision in regard to the WBC and their right to say whatever hateful disgusting thing they want to say without fear of government intervention.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      I think Cisco did the right thing, but on very narrow grounds. He was supposed to be working on team building programs and I don’t see how you can accomplish that successfully with such venom running through your veins. It’s reasonable to worry that his views would get in the way of his job duties.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dallas David
      Dallas David

      I’d have to see how his writing affected his work.

      For jobs like R&D or accounting where he was off in some dark corner somewhere, I’d give him a lot of lattitude on his off-the-job activities and views.
      But if he’s interacting with a lot of people and his anti-anything views become a problem in his ability to build teams, then he’d need to be replaced.

      Otherwise, I really don’t care if someone that I work with is homophobic or not, so long as it isn’t an issue in the workplace. That’s all that should matter.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Joe – I hope you don’t get fired for your views! And to everyone else – yes, he did all this writing on his own time: BUT it was for public consumption. This was not confined to his own church or group. And most absurd, possibly the most relevant point – but also not mentioned yet (Unless I missed it) how can he expect freedom of speech, freedom of religion and yet deny freedom to marry, freedom to choose your own sexual activity and partners (among consenting adults) to Gays?

      It drives me insane when the straight religious crowd compares hetero (marriage, family, picket fence) with homo (wild, lascivious, naked folks at Pride parades) as if those are the ONLY two expressions of either lifestyle. I would love to ask him why these religious types aren’t advocating removal of children from single mothers (since two parents, one male/one female are so important!) or banning divorce?

      Jun 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caleb
      Caleb

      @Jimmy, You nailed it in Number 3. I am an attorney and have been beating my head against the wall attempting to educate people on the First Amendment. I really loved your quote: “Freedom of speech is NOT freedom from consequences.” I am going to use it . . . often.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      “His employer can do whatever the fuck it wants to do.” (and other similar comments)—Of course they CAN. That isn’t the question at all. The question is whether they SHOULD.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      If Turek signed a contract (and as a vendor, one would expect that he did), then the continuation &/or termination of his relationship with Cisco is dependent on the terms of that contract. If he believes that the contract was wrongfully terminated, then he should sue. Otherwise, he should shut up and enjoy his martyrdom.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      Freedom of speech is not the same thing as freedom from consequences for being a bigoted asshat.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bishop1j
      bishop1j

      Jimmy Fury, thank you so much for your comment in #3. I was going to post something similar, but in no way could I say it better than you did so thank you for the excellent comment.

      The only thing I might add is that Dr. Turek was conducting/designing a leadership and team building program is an important point to consider when discussing his being fired. In this role having the trust and respect of those going through the course is pretty damned important. So even though he wasn’t spouting his beliefs at work the simple fact those going through his course knew his positions likely would lose him their respect and make the course ineffectual. For that reason alone I could see a company firing him.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • William Cress
      William Cress

      Hate and Descrimination are never acceptable. Even in your private life.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sheesh
      Sheesh

      I’m surprised at some of you. Your equality seems to run one-way. Would you want to be fired from your job for you personal or political views that were never espoused at work? No, you’d bitch and moan and make a big stink about it, citing it as another example of how gay men and women are being kept down. You don’t want equality: you want things your way. And it’s that sort of mentality that will continue to hold us back.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin
      Justin

      Was it technically fair to fire him for this? No
      Am I taking pleasure in a sanctimonious asshole losing his job due to his backwards views? Yes

      Jun 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      Of course Cisco was right to fire him. When you’re hired for your ideas, your ideas are fair game.

      Turek was hired for his expertise in human behavior. An examination of Turek’s self-published work demonstrates that his actual understanding of human behavior is deeply, deeply flawed.

      Now if a Cisco janitor who pushes a mean broom got fired because somebody discovered he ran a homophobic blog, that would be different.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Great point as usual crusty….I didn’t read it thoroughly enough – I missed the leadership/teambuilding thing. I would say this firing is completely appropriate. How can you teambuild when you hate?

      Jun 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bob
      bob

      Since California has gay non-discrimination laws, they really had no choice but to fire him. Just like any other protected minority, all it takes is one person who didn’t get hired and a lawyer, and off to court they go. Plus, I imagine that whoever approved Turek’s employment contract didn’t perform due diligence to ensure that Cisco’s inclusive policies were upheld. Finally, I’d point out that the “blog” in question earns money, which brings up all sorts of issues of outside work interfering with his role at Cisco.
      As for those who ask ‘what if the tables were turned?’, I say that if I could, I’d start a business in an area that legally allows people to be discriminated against based on their sexuality, and inform prospective employees that heterosexuality is incompatible with my business model and will not be tolerated at my place of business.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zeus
      Zeus

      LOL, Turok.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      I think that website you referenced–Two Gay Bullies is either an anti-gay satire site, or just anti-gay. It’s clear from the writing that they support Dr. Turek, and are ridiculing LGBTQ people in general.

      Here’s what they wrote in their first post:

      Two Gay Bullies is a dynamic new forum brought to you by the pushiest homosexuals on the web. We will examine gay issues and news items of importance to the LGBTQXYZ community from the perspective of angry homosexual activists.

      Clearly this is an anti-gay site, and clearly they support Dr. Turek, and do not support gay people.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      Checking Queert, I see that the person writing the articles ate the above mentioned website has posted two comments directing people to their website. Maybe Queerty should check the IP on those comments, and find out where this jackass is posting from.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      How does one eat a website?

      Jun 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      No, I disagree. Turek should not have been fired. He has religious beliefs and had the right to exercise those. There are no allegations that he discriminated against anyone at work.

      This is basically religious discrimination. I may find his views unwise/repugnant but as long as he isn’t bringing them to work with the desire to harm LGBT people why should it matter? Does this mean that anyone who is a devout Catholic, Mormon, or Evangelical should be fired?

      This guy is going to sue Cisco and win. He’ll just become a martyr.

      Cisco should have done an investigation into whether Turek had discriminated against anyone at work.

      What’s next, a Christian employee complains because he finds out a colleague is a member of the local atheist organization?

      Jun 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      Isn’t it interesting that the website, http://twogaybullies.wordpress.com/ was opened the day before Dr. Turek posted his firing on his Twitter? And their article about Dr. Turek appeared before his tweet?

      The authors of the website identify themselves as:

      Patrick Fitzmichael and Michael Fitzpatrick,

      which is apparently an old Irish “joke” about gay couples.

      Both times that the website was posted on Queerty by a poster named Michael Fitzpatrick.

      It posted on the June 17 post titled: “NY Archbishop Fears Gay Marriage Will Make Us Asian”, comment #37. And again on June 17 in the post titled: “Christians Who Don’t Speak Against Religious Bigotry Are Part of the Problem”, comment #19

      it’s pretty clear who ever is running that website is either a supporter, or friend of Dr. Turek.

      Go back to the posts where this poster named Michael Fitzpatrick posted his website, and get the IP address and lets track this douchebag down.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shle896
      shle896

      They fired a bigot. Period. Buh-Bye and good riddance to him.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @hyhybt:

      ate the above mentioned website

      I’m sorry you lack the basic cognitive abilities to surmise that dropping the “e” would have given you this:

      at the above mentioned website

      Now get back to your PnP party.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      And I, in turn, am sorry you cannot recognize an attempt (however meager) to inject a bit of humor into the thread.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @hyhybt:

      I apologize then.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @Mr. Enemabag Jones: Me too; admittedly it wasn’t much of a joke, but the mental image of trying to eat a website, which doesn’t even exist physically, strikes me as funny.

      What you point out as suspicious does sound it, though I cannot find any posts by a Michael Fitzpatrick in this thread.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 7:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • beergoggles
      beergoggles

      If you work at a tech savvy company you should try to keep as milquetoast and non-offensive an online presence as possible because private companies can fire you for anything unless the views you profess define you as part of a protected group. Being an xtian won’t get you fired. Being anti-gay could because being a bigot isn’t protected by law.

      So when a bigot gets fired for being a public bigot, good on the company.

      Gay people are still being fired across the country for being gay and ENDA isn’t law yet and it needs to be. I have turned down many jobs over the years because they required me to either work for bigots (one of the offices of the catholic church) or because the company funded bigots.

      Work for a company that matches your values and this wouldn’t be an issue.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 1 · LancerLaw wrote, “They absolutely did the right thing. This person is a danger to the company’s reputation and while he may not be espousing his garbage while at work. A company has a fiduciary duty to its stockholders to avoid association with negative extremism.”

      They may have done the wrong thing and could be risking an expensive lawsuit (it depends on what Turek actually did, and some details may be missing in QUEERTY’s account) – it is illegal in California, where Cisco is located, to discriminate against an employee for his political views and activities, expressed on his own time. See http://www.shawvalenza.com/publications.php?id=78 which in reference to California states:

      “The law also protects employees’ speech outside the workplace to some extent, even from private employers’ actions. For example, the law prohibits employers from taking action against an employee for lawful, off premises activity, at least with respect to matters addressed under the Labor Code. The law also prohibits discrimination against employees based on their political activity. Therefore, for instance, if an employee volunteers time for a political candidate whom the employer does not support, the employer may not sanction the employee for doing so.”

      It’s partly due to Article I, Section 2 of the California constitution: “(a) Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press.” The wording is broader than that in the U.S. Constitution.

      Also try http://www.metnews.com/articles/2007/fash122607.htm for another example.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • manfred
      manfred

      Again, I will restate what someone has already stated. He has every right to say and publish whatever he want. He does NOT have the right to be free of any negative consequences for that speech. The company cannot tell him what to say, but it can certainly take his published views into consideration when hiring for a leadership position.

      Jun 17, 2011 at 10:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      Cisco did the WRONG thing. Not only was it wrong, it was illegal. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in the workplace, and says in section 1:

      (1) To fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

      This is a clear cut case of religious discrimination. Frank Turek has quite a case against Cisco, should he choose to pursue this. And I for one hope he pursues this, as the cockroaches who instigated this sorry affair need to be taught a lesson.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 12:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @Bill: You assume without evidence that Turek was fired for being religious.

      If Turek is, say, a Baptist, and Cisco issued a memo terminating the employment of all Baptists, you’d have a point.

      If Turek’s religious beliefs inspire him to behavior that is incompatible with his professional role, he’s being fired for the behavior, not his underlying religious insanity.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 3:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      They absolutely had the right to do what they did and it was the right thing. Turek was obviously becoming a well known rep of Cisco. If a Google search of his name turned up something that goes against the company’s values, he becomes a liability. Suppose they hadn’t fired him, he developed some software or something for them, became a famous representative to the point where his name was synonymous with Cisco, and someone Googled him and brought this to light? Think about it. Boom! All of a sudden Cisco is a company who employs raging homophobes and religious bigots, and the target of every gay rights group in the country. He was a liability, and successful businesses get rid of liabilities.

      People are free to believe as they choose. But if those beliefs include blatant bigotry of any kind, and they express that in public, they are not free of the potential consequences of exercising their right to free speech.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 5:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tommy Shepherd
      Tommy Shepherd

      Imagine you’re openly gay and have to work closely with this guy and you’ve just found out about his homophobic articles. I don’t know about you, but knowing I had to spend 7 hours a day in his company would make me very anxious and depressed.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 7:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Tommy Shepherd: There is no constitutional right not to be offended by someone’s beliefs. Imagine if you’re a heterosexual who has divorced his wife and mother of his three kids and is currently living with the 22 year old secretary. You’d be just as uncomfortable hanging around Turek. So what?

      Jun 18, 2011 at 8:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      Christians are commanded to go into the world and preach the gospel. And many Christians believe in advocating on issues like protection for the unborn, traditional marriage, and Jesus is the only way to salvation.

      So what you seem to be saying is that its OK to be a Christian (and the 1964 Civil Rights act protects you) as long as you NEVER advocate for Christian issues (even on your own personal time outside of the workplace). HOWEVER, the minute you advocate for an issue that offends someone (perhaps a woman gets offended that a Christian advocates for unborn children, or a Muslim gets offended that a Christian advocates for Jesus being the only way to salvation), the civil rights act no longer applies and they can be fired without legal recourse.

      That is patently absurd, clearly against the civil rights act, and extremely hypocritical. Can you imagine the uproar that would happen if a Muslim had been terminated because a Christian was offended by the Muslim advocating on Islamic issues outside the workplace?

      (And btw, its interesting that no one seems particularly interested in picking on Muslims, despite the fact that they are far more outspoken on secular issues than Christians are. Try being a feminist or a homosexual in an Islamic country…)

      Jun 18, 2011 at 8:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @the crustybastard: One more thing = The subchapter on the 1964 civil rights act defines religion as

      (j) The term “religion” includes ALL ASPECTS OF RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE AND PRACTICE, as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business.

      If Turek pursues this legally and this dismissal holds up in court it will completely redefine the 1964 civil rights act to be completely toothless with respect to protection for religious belief and mean something that the the writers of the act never intended.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 8:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @Bill:

      Christians are commanded to go into the world and preach the gospel.

      Christians are also commanded to mind their own business, Bill:

      1 Thessalonians 4:11 ESV

      And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,

      But I don’t see many Christians minding their own business. In fact, people like Dr. Turek make it their business to stick their nose in everyone else’s business. And by that, I mean he doesn’t give his books away for free, he makes money by selling them.

      And many Christians believe in advocating on issues like protection for the unborn, traditional marriage, and Jesus is the only way to salvation.

      And many more Christians believe in loving their neighbours, and turning the other cheek, and doing unto others. However, they are overshadowed by people like Dr. Turek who make their life’s ambition to take away equality from others.

      So what you seem to be saying is that its OK to be a Christian…as long as you NEVER advocate for Christian issues…

      Dr. Turek isn’t advocating Christian values–he’s advocating legalizing discrimination. He’s advocating anti-gay bias; he’s advocating mistruths about an entire segment of the population who seek the same things he takes for granted as a heterosexual.

      HOWEVER, the minute you advocate for an issue that offends someone…the civil rights act no longer applies and they can be fired without legal recourse.

      Where in the bible does it say to go forth and “protect the unborn”? Where does it say in the Bible to advocate anti-gay bias? Where does it say in the California constitution that one is protected from being fired for spreading anti-gay bias, Bill?

      That is patently absurd, clearly against the civil rights act, and extremely hypocritical.

      What’s hypocritical, Bill, is defending an anti-gay person, on a gay website.

      Can you imagine the uproar that would happen if a Muslim had been terminated because a Christian was offended by the Muslim advocating on Islamic issues outside the workplace?

      I’d personally like to see that. I dislike Muslims even more than I dislike anti-gay Christians. However, considering entire towns and cities in America are turning on Muslims, and actively trying to get them to leave makes your point moot. Mosque in New York, for example?

      (And btw, its interesting that no one seems particularly interested in picking on Muslims, despite the fact that they are far more outspoken on secular issues than Christians are. Try being a feminist or a homosexual in an Islamic country…)

      Either your wantonly ignorant, or you don’t keep up with current affairs, Bill. As far as being feminist, or gay in a Muslim nation, I don’t see many Christians standing up for those people. In fact, many American Christians aid and abet their activities, either with words, or money.

      It was easier to be gay in Iraq under Saddam Husein, than it is now.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @Bill:

      BTW Bill, since you’re so hopped up on Dr. Trek, Muslims, and gays, here’s what the good doctor said about gays and Muslims:

      “You have, for example, the homosexual community and Muslim community joining together to try and call any criticism of their behavior or their religion ‘hate speech’ which would make it illegal, if they could get these laws passed, to criticize homosexuality or to criticize Islam. See it isn’t about truth here, it’s about totalitarianism, it’s about a way to silence the opposition. You can win the debate by just shutting up the opponents here.

      So it’s really strange to me how these two disparate groups can be in concert together, maybe it’s because they both hate Western Civilization, maybe it’s because they both hate Judeo-Christian natural law values that our Constitution and particularly our Declaration of Independence were founded on, ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident,’ maybe they just hate that both those groups hate those values so much that they’re in bed together. But I can tell you one thing, if the Muslims ever takeover, the first people they’re going to go after is the folks on the radical left.”

      This loom has a weekly TV show on DirecTV, which televises out of the megachurch he belongs to.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 10:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @Bill:

      Here’s a PDF file on what Dr. Turek thinks not just about equal marriage, but gays in general:

      Protecting America’s Immune System: A Reasonable Argument Against Homosexual Marriage

      http://www.standfortruthministries.org/pdf_articles/AReasonableArgumentAgainstHomosexualMarriage.all.pdf

      Jun 18, 2011 at 10:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wineheart
      Wineheart

      I had a supervisor at work once that cornered another gay subordinate and told him about how gays choose to be that way and the lifestyle condemns you to hell. All the usual stuff. This man was old and just over a year away from retirement, so we decided not to say anything to the higher ups as a department. It also had a lot to do with that everyone, including the straight people, were very shocked because we had all thought of him as a kind, warm, person and he was working at a company famous for its pro-gay views.

      It was not even 2 months before a department meeting was called by the higher ups to talk about why this man felt all of us were no longer working with him instead of around him. After ten minutes of BS, someone finally mentioned what he had said and how we had all lost respect and had difficulty trusting him now. There was no putting the genie back in the bottle.

      That was his last week.

      He said this at work. This guy did not. But companies are not stupid, they put good behavior clauses in their contracts. I would guess Cisco is going to argue using this or something similar.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 48 · Mr. Enemabag Jones wrote, “@Bill: Here’s a PDF file on what Dr. Turek thinks not just about equal marriage, but gays in general: Protecting America’s Immune System: A Reasonable Argument Against Homosexual Marriage http://www.standfortruthministries.org/pdf_articles/AReasonableArgumentAgainstHomosexualMarriage.all.pdf

      See Comment No. 37 http://www.queerty.com/cisco-systems-fired-dr-turek-for-the-2010-anti-gay-articles-that-he-never-mentioned-fair-20110617/#comment-457258 for why Turek’s person opinion is not relevant. California law prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for expressing religious or political viewpoints outside of work. Now, if Turek was using Cicso’s infrastructure to push his political views, Cisco could do something about it, firing him if necessary or firing him immediately if the rule violation was sufficiently flagrant, but under California law (not federal law), Turek has a right to express a political or religious opinion regardless of whether his employer likes it as long as he does it on his own time with no use of corporate resources. If Turek was running a business on the side to promote his opinions, that could possibly conflict with an agreement regarding his employment at Cisco (i.e., if he was getting a second salary), but the issue would not be the opinion he expressed in that case.

      You may not like this in Turek’s case, but the same laws prevent a Mormon-owned business from firing an employee who writes an op-ed piece in favor of gay rights, including marriage.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @B: I am reasonably sure that Cisco Systems has morality/behavior clauses when it comes to the behavior of high profile/potentially high profile employees.

      I go to a tech school where I am an IT student, and they have contracts to certify in both Cisco and Microsoft. Upon entering the program, if we take funds from said companies in anticipation of potentially working for them, we sign a contract regarding company values/representing the company in public, including online. If Turek signed something like that, he most certainly COULD be fired for it and have no leg to stand on.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @B:

      If Turek was running a business on the side to promote his opinions, that could possibly conflict with an agreement regarding his employment at Cisco (i.e., if he was getting a second salary), but the issue would not be the opinion he expressed in that case.

      Clearly you didn’t read what I wrote in comment #46:

      But I don’t see many Christians minding their own business. In fact, people like Dr. Turek make it their business to stick their nose in everyone else’s business. And by that, I mean he doesn’t give his books away for free, he makes money by selling them.

      He is making money as a writer, and speaker.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph
      Joseph

      First, the article makes it sound like Turek (his doctorate is in religion, which conducts no experiments, has no facts, and presupposes the existence of its subject matter, so I don’t regard his doctorate as real) was really a contract employee and much of the discussion may be moot if Cisco had the option to terminate the contract at any time.

      Second, I’ve had my eye on Turek for years. He’s written a book attempting to make the case using science that god created the world all the way through to proving his vile branch of fundamentalist Christianity. He’s debated folks like Christopher Hitchens (and gets very upset when he’s backed into a logical corner) and given talks to many school groups in an attempt to make kids who don’t know their science think that his religious beliefs are proven by science (the title of his book is “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be an Atheist” – he tries to use every uncertainty in science to trick people into thinking science is faith-based and if they can’t account for everything, god-dun-it.).

      I’ve been involved in a discussion with Turek, detractors and adherents online and while during his presentation he presents himself as charming and self-deprecating, when he’s less guarded he’s… reptilian (the same adjective someone I knew searched for to describe the time he met Saddam Hussein). During this discussion one person was talking about bringing up the real-world consequences of marriage inequality and a fan of Turek’s asked this person to not bring up these emotional, heart-tugging tales (in order to keep the discussion on interpreting Bible verses, of course). Turek got into this and while I can’t remember the sinister quote he used, in response to a question about gay people suffering he stated something on the order of requesting the commentator to prove that how they feel should be relevant or why he should care about what happens to them… I forget the wording, but the way I interpreted what he said was almost on the order of asking the person to demonstrate that these people were fully human and I was shocked given he was so charming in public. Maybe I blocked what this guy said out of my mind, but I’ve been keeping track of what he’s been up to for a few years now and have written to several popular gay or atheist blogs letting them know about a lot of the things he’s been doing “under the radar” and why I think he really should be addressed now.

      To give you an idea of what Frank Turek would do to us if he were in charge, I found an old book he wrote in 1998 called “Legislating Morality: Is it wise? Is it legal? Is it possible?” And yes, he basically does argue for the legislation of (his) morality and would no doubt implement a Christian state if given the chance. He’s made this clear in his Townhall article “Jesus, Christians and Politics” advocating Christians being involved in politics and conflating it with religion (and giving us this gem “Christians should be great protectors of liberty, including freedom of (not from) religion”).

      I don’t blame anyone at Cisco for not wanting to be in the same room with him. When he drops his public persona, he’s a consumed, insecure man (building desperate walls of pseudoscience to try to convince himself of his beliefs) who cannot tolerate dissent. Besides – how can a person create a leadership and teambuilding program when he views certain people as not quite equal to the others and openly advocates for a tyranny of the majority? Would you hire someone to create a nutrition program for your cafeteria if their home cabinets were filled with Twinkies?

      I’m glad that after years of watching Turek carry on virtually unmolested by most of those agents advocating freedom from religion or religious tyranny he’s finally forced to pay a price. The tide is turning and this kind of rhetoric is no longer acceptable in our society.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Joseph: He sounds like a very dangerous man. Thank you for taking the time to tell us what homeboy is all about.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Liberal and proud of it!
      Liberal and proud of it!

      If you work for a company like Cisco you accept the fact you are working for one of the most progressive companies in the nation. A company where LGBT employees are the life blood and not just a group within the gearworks. Cisco is a company in the Bay Area that promotes the ADVANCEMENT of the human race through technology and not Neanderthal backward idiocy. They were correct in firing this extremist.

      If I worked for any company and I created a website blanket condemning Christians and all who worship the Bible I would get my ass canned! No place in the US would tolerate the reverse situation so why should anti-gay bigots get special privilege?

      Image matters and companies do not want to be associated with people who’s public conduct reflects negatively on their PR.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 51 · Shannon1981 · Member · wrote, “@B: I am reasonably sure that Cisco Systems has morality/behavior clauses when it comes to the behavior of high profile/potentially high profile employees. I go to a tech school where I am an IT student, and they have contracts to certify in both Cisco and Microsoft. Upon entering the program, if we take funds from said companies in anticipation of potentially working for them, we sign a contract regarding company values/representing the company in public, including online. If Turek signed something like that, he most certainly COULD be fired for it and have no leg to stand on.”

      If Turek touted himself as a Cisco employee or spokesperson while making some homophobic comment, Cisco could justifiably do something (what depends on Cisco’s policy with termination being one possibility). While all of us disagree with what Turek wrote, however, if he did it on his own time without using any Cisco-owned resources, he is protected by California state law, which forbids employers from retaliating against employees for political/religious statements among other things, and an employer almost certainly cannot force someone to give away a constitutionally protected right – if an employer could, the protections in the California State Constitution would be meaningless in practice. It has to work that way – imagine if an employer could demand that employees vote for a specific political party or make personal contributions to that political party.

      If Cisco is justified in firing him, there is something else going on that was not stated in the articles. That wouldn’t be surprising – Christians trying to claim “persecution for righteousness sake” have been known to gloss over details that would make them look less innocent, and Cisco (like most employers) is not going to talk publicly about a personnel matter. I might add that Cisco’s employement agreement, if it is typical, would not prevent an employee from writing a book, having it published, and getting royalties as long as it did not disclose confidential information. Similarly, if an employee is in the proverbial “right place at the right time,” takes a picture of some event, and all the news services start waving money in front of him to buy the rights to the picture, the employee can probably sell that. If the employee is shopping around on company time for a buyer, that is a different situation.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 52 · Mr. Enemabag Jones wrote, “Clearly you didn’t read what I wrote in comment #46: But I don’t see many Christians minding their own business. In fact, people like Dr. Turek make it their business to stick their nose in everyone else’s business.”

      … which is irrelevant to the question of whether someone can be fired in California for merely expressing a political opinion due to Article I, Section 2 of the California constitution: “(a) Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press.”

      California citizens have free speech rights that are broader than the rights granted by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which merely limits what the U.S. government can do. See No. 37 for more details.

      Jun 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FinanceGuru
      FinanceGuru

      @B: And I don’t think you have enough information to do a sufficient legal analysis to conclude that the CA statute and associated caselaw were somehow now considered by Cisco’s internal and external counsel.

      Unless you’re an employment law attorney — unlikely — your analysis is worth what we’re paying for it.

      Jun 19, 2011 at 2:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 55 · Liberal and proud of it! wrote, “If I worked for any company and I created a website blanket condemning Christians and all who worship the Bible I would get my ass canned! No place in the US would tolerate the reverse situation so why should anti-gay bigots get special privilege?”

      If someone wants to engage in any sort of political activity opposing same-sex marriage in California, which is at least part of what Turek seems to have done, there is nothing an employer can legally do about it.

      http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=4656073283+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve (part of the California Labor Code):

      “1102. No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or
      influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge
      or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or
      following any particular course or line of political action or
      political activity.”

      According to http://www.las-elc.org/factsheets/immigration-protests.html an employer
      who violates California Labor Code Section 1102 “is guilty of a misdemeanor. The violation is punishable, in the case of an individual, by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year or a fine not to exceed $1,000, or both. If the employer is a corporation, the violation is punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000.”

      If Turek wants to engage in any sort of political activity to oppose same-sex
      marriages, Cisco cannot lawfully stop him from doing that, even if he works for Cisco.
      Cisco can stop him from using company resources to support his opinions, and
      can insist that he keep such opinions out of the workplace so as to not harass
      or otherwise discriminate against LGBT employees.

      Jun 19, 2011 at 2:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Miller
      Brian Miller

      Did anyone read his articles? It would be difficult for any gay employee to work with him after reading them, as they advance the notion that gay people were inferior and “sick.” Claiming that is protected political speech is a bit like claiming KKK membership shouldn’t preclude someone from a role within human resources our team building. A silly proposition.

      If you are going to work at a Bay Area tech firm and advocate hate based on race our religion or sexual orientation, you’re not gonna do well, period.

      Jun 19, 2011 at 5:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @B:

      which is irrelevant to the question of whether someone can be fired in California for merely expressing a political opinion

      B, you wrote in comment #50:

      If Turek was running a business on the side to promote his opinions, that could possibly conflict with an agreement regarding his employment at Cisco (i.e., if he was getting a second salary)

      And I pointed out in comment #52:

      Clearly you didn’t read what I wrote in comment #46:

      But I don’t see many Christians minding their own business. In fact, people like Dr. Turek make it their business to stick their nose in everyone else’s business. And by that, I mean he doesn’t give his books away for free, he makes money by selling them.

      He is making money as a writer, and speaker.

      Now you’re writing that his making money on the side promoting his anti-gay agenda is irrelevant.

      I appreciate that you keep moving the goal posts to keep yourself on the “winning” side of this debate, but all you’ve done is make your own opinion irrelevant, B.

      Jun 19, 2011 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • j
      j

      @Jimmy Fury: Word.

      Jun 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      Hate to say this, but I think this sort of thing does more harm to our cause than good. It creates a seething resentment instead of winning the hearts and minds.

      I don’t think you can lawfully fire someone for holding an ‘unpopular’ opinion and writing about it unless they do it in the company’s name and/or in the company’s time. There was a time when our opinions in favour of LGBT rights were ‘unpopular’. Would we have passively accepted dismissal? I very much doubt it.

      I’ve read the analogy of someone writing about inter-racial marriages, but I think even there, he would still have the legal right to hold and disseminate his views if he were against them unless it were Hate Speech. What this man wrote about LGBT is misguided and wrong, but it doesn’t come across to me as Hate Speech. Hate speech is inciting hatred and/or violence against a ‘Suspect Class’ (Google this for definition).

      Not even all LGBT people are in favour of ‘gay marriage’. Some lesbians I know wouldn’t go near it with a barge pole, because to them it is a relic of heterosexual ownership of women by men. Should they be fired from Cisco too?

      Jun 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph
      Joseph

      “There was a time when our opinions in favour of LGBT rights were ‘unpopular’. Would we have passively accepted dismissal? I very much doubt it.”

      We do… in several states it is perfectly legal to fire someone just for being gay – without the expressing of any opinion whatsoever.

      “What this man wrote about LGBT is misguided and wrong, but it doesn’t come across to me as Hate Speech.”

      Then you haven’t read the worst of Frank “[homosexuality is] inherently destructive behavior” Turek and his dreams of a state that legislates morality (a la Saudi Arabia).

      It’s not his political position, but his denigrating characterization of homosexuals and homosexuality, his lies (that there are former homosexuals, seeking of special rights, etc.) and his open advocation for discrimination via twisted pseudo-logic (“…our marriage laws discriminate against the behaviors of homosexuals,polygamists, bigamists, adulterers, and the incestuous among us, but they do not discriminate against them as persons”) that are harmful to any ability for a decent person to work with the man. These aren’t private views… at least up until recently he was a client of a speaker agency and gave talks at many college campuses (attempting to use science to prove fundamentalist Christianity), debated luminaries like Christopher Hitchens, appeared on podcasts and radio programs and published three books and numerous articles for ultra-right-wing and Christian websites.

      You might have a point if the man kept these views to himself or published a comment or two to an article such as this one, but he’s openly seeking media attention for his views so it’s likely they will become known in his workplace whether he personally mentions them there or not via Internet, radio, book store, etc. If these statements would be inappropriate in the workplace, then Cisco needs to deal with this issue now, and they did.

      While there are LGBT people who don’t want to get married, just as there are straight people who don’t want to get married, to the best of my knowledge there aren’t lesbians announcing that LGBT people shouldn’t have the RIGHT to get married, that they choose their behavior, that it is inherently destructive behavior, and that LGBT people getting married will harm children and damage heterosexual marriage. It is these characterizations, all taken from a 20-page outline by Frank Turek you can find at http://www.impactapologetics.com/free/SameSexMarriage.pdf and a rebuttal here http://biblioblography.blogspot.com/2006/09/frank-turek-bigot-and-bully.html that rise to level of creating a hostile work environment. And I’m not even getting into Turek’s logic that LGBT marriage will lead to an increase in children born out of wedlock(!).

      Jun 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      Hello everyone. I’ll be on later this evening to answer the latest messages. But I recently found this article on the NY Times and found it be extremely interesting as it a specific case that undermines the caricature that Christians are just a bunch of mean spirited bigots:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/magazine/my-ex-gay-friend.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=magazine

      Jun 20, 2011 at 6:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Bill – I read the NYT article, and unless you’ve never read anything like that before, I didn’t find anything particularly new or revealing. I found it very disconcerting that Michael “knows” so much, he is so certain he is right about being Christian, about what God wants from him, how we are all really born heterosexual, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. as he was adamant in his younger days as a “Gay activist.” It would have been really interesting if the writer had asked Michael about reliable research that says Gay men’s brains were found to be different at autopsy or pheromone studies which show Gay men respond differently than straight men…

      That said, psychology is the youngest of all the sciences, by far, and there is so much we don’t know. People are in denial, rationalize, suppress; etc. all day long, for years. Still, it is hard to believe that Michael was in a male/male relationship for over 10 years and that it apparently meant nothing. I think it is very telling that he has to “pray away” his urges for a man. Or had to for a while, (how long of a while wasn’t said either) to the present where he supposedly has no more male/male urges…

      I’m half angry and half feel sorry for him. But lastly, if he is talking to Worldnet daily (a very fundy website) and Nicolosi (totally discredited, has a Gay son!) then he hasn’t learned to hate yet. Give him time. If someone wants to convert you to hetero and deny you rights, that is hate just as much as someone holding a poster “die faggots.” Just a different kind.

      Jun 20, 2011 at 8:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney

      This sheds light on why people continue to cherish their prejudice against homosexuality and LGBT, long after it has been proven to be neither pathological nor sociopathic.

      Jun 20, 2011 at 8:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Bill, check out this: http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2010/03/7770/

      Seems Mr. Michael wrote a racist rant about President Obama (some Christian!) and then said that God told him to renounce the spotlight as a spokesman for Ex-Gay but then a few months later, he’s back at it, being on the radio. This Michael Glatze has some screws loose…..

      Jun 20, 2011 at 9:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Sorry to be a comment hog – and with all this swirling around, the “friend” who wrote the article for NTY didn’t think to ask about any of this REALLY controversial stuff, that any of this might make enlightening reading?

      Jun 20, 2011 at 9:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The crustybastard
      The crustybastard

      @Bill: “Religious observance and practice” in that context doesn’t mean what you think it means.

      Jun 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queer Supremacist
      Queer Supremacist

      The fact that it’s against California law to fire unpeople like this makes me sick. To quote Charles Dickens, the law is an ass. Cisco did the right thing. It should not only be legal to fire unpeople like “Doctor” Turd-dreck, it should be mandatory. Not only that, it should be illegal to employ unpeople like that in the first place.

      It’s time we gays started using the free market to our advantage. If they exist, gay Investment Clubs should be buying stock in publicly held corporations to bring attention to gay issues in the business world.

      Jun 20, 2011 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      I’m back as promised and wanted to quickly respond to many of the messages that have been posted since I last had the time to post a longer message:

      It is clear that what Cisco did in firing Turek is against California law as well as the Civil Rights act. Thus they have exposed themselves to a damaging lawsuit from Turek. They have also confirmed what many (including myself) suspect the gay rights movement really is. It’s merely a vehicle used by gay totalitarians to persecute Christians and others who believe in traditional values.

      On the one hand we hear that all homosexuals want is to live in peace and have all the same rights that heterosexuals have. But in society after society, as soon as new laws are passed the new laws are immediately used to persecute and marginalize people of faith and deprive them of THEIR rights. Thus the hypocrisy of the left is exposed. Rather than being agents of “tolerance” they are the thought police of our day, viciously going after any who disagree with their beliefs and ideology.

      Actions speak louder than words. Who was trying to get who fired at Cisco? Was Turek filing any complaints about homosexuals working there or trying to get THEM fired? Was Turek insisting that others at Cisco approve of HIS lifestyle? What hypocrisy!

      Jun 20, 2011 at 11:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Mr. Enemabag Jones: //Christians are also commanded to mind their own business, Bill: 1 Thessalonians 4:11//

      Christian theology is outside of the scope of this discussion. What is relevant is whether or not Cisco had the legal authority to fire Turek for expressing his religious and political views outside of the workplace, which are clearly protected by the Constitution and by law.

      But since you brought it up, let me go ahead and respond. It is indeed true that the apostle Paul commands Christians to mind their own affairs and not be busybodies. For example, in 1 Timothy 5:13 he writes:

      “And if they are on the list, they will learn to be lazy and will spend their time gossiping from house to house, meddling in other people’s business and talking about things they shouldn’t”.

      However, this has nothing to do with the great commission and preaching the gospel. In Mark 16:15 Jesus commands:

      “And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone…”

      Furthermore, Jesus even commands this knowing that many will not receive the gospel and react with great hostility to the message. As He says in Luke 21:17:

      “And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.”

      In fact, when Peter and the other apostles began to preach, they were commanded by the authorities to cease and desist. Look at how they responded in Acts 5:27-33:

      “27Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

      29Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

      33When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.”

      Paul himself was regularly harassed, beaten, taken to court by his adversaries, and eventually put to death for proclaiming the gospel. So what is happening to Turek is nothing new. We Christians have been warned ahead of time that things like this will happen to us, and to rejoice when these things do happen as we will be greatly rewarded for our persecutions.

      Jun 20, 2011 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      Bill, just by being here you are being a busy body. You came here to harass us. Religious homophobes hardly belong on a gay blog.

      Furthermore, you ARE a bunch of mean spirited bigots! What do you care if there are laws made so people can’t kill us without being charged for a hate crime, or so that we can visit our ailing partners in hospitals, get married, have kids, or do any of the things you take for granted? How does it hurt you? hmmm? Would you even KNOW if I got married, or care? If so, why? I bet you can’t even answer those questions, because the truth is, you don’t know me from a hole in the wall, but you’d raise holy hell if I were to get married to another woman, and you’d dance on my grave if someone bashed my head in just for being who I am openly. And that’s fucking sad. You wonder why people think you guys are hateful? What I just said is just the tip of the iceberg as to why.

      Jun 20, 2011 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 58 · FinanceGuru wrote, “@B: And I don’t think you have enough information to do a sufficient legal analysis to conclude that the CA statute and associated caselaw were somehow now considered by Cisco’s internal and external counsel. Unless you’re an employment law attorney — unlikely — your analysis is worth what we’re paying for it.”

      This is a classic example of argumentum ad hominem – rather than address the point, this “FinanceGuru” character attacks the messenger, rather childishly I might add – people should know better than to try such obviously fallacious arguments if they managed to take Logic 101 sometime at college – it is the sort of reasoning error a high school student might make. Facts:

      Article I, Section 2 of the California constitution states: “(a) Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press.”

      Section 1102 of the California Labor Code states, “No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge
      or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.”

      This is not complex legal language that needs an attorney to interpret – it is very simple English and very short in length. If Cisco did what is alleged, Cisco fired the guy illegally. The key word is “alleged” – as I pointed out in other comments, we are not hearing Cisco’s side of the story, and it is certainly possible that Turek was terminated for reasons other than his anti-gay political activities that he engaged in on his own time. He could be in trouble with Cisco if he was using Cisco resources for these activities or for any number of other reasons, but he cannot be legally fired for political activities outside of work under California law.

      I might add that this is not a “defense” of Turek – it is merely a statement of what the law is in California, which provides additional rights beyond those provided in the U.S. constitution. You may not like seeing the law protect people like Turek, but the same laws protect gays and gay-friendly straights who opposed Proposition Eight while having a Mormon boss at work.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 1:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 61 · Mr. Enemabag Jones wrote, “B, you wrote in comment #50: If Turek was running a business on the side to promote his opinions, that could possibly conflict with an agreement regarding his employment at Cisco (i.e., if he was getting a second salary) ….Now you’re writing that his making money on the side promoting his anti-gay agenda is irrelevant.”

      Dude, you need to work on your reading comprehension and need to learn to think: what I was pointing out in No 50 is that he could be fired for reasons other than his anti-gay political activities on his own time. I mentioned making money on the side, but stated it would have to be making money on the side in general for Cisco to fire him without violating the law. If he sued Cisco and I was on the jury, and his attorney trotted out 50 cases in which employees made money on the side similarly and without being fired (but with different politics – no anti-gay agenda), I’d consider that evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that he was fired for his political views, which is illegal. If Cisco fired the lot of them due to some clause in their employment agreements, so that Cisco treated them all equally, I’d consider that to be evidence in favor of Cisco. If it turned out that he was using Cisco’s xerox machines without permission to print out 1000 fliers for his anti-gay talks, I’d side with Cisco. It’s not a question of what I think of Turek – I don’t care for him any more than you do – but there is a responsibility to apply the laws fairly and impartially.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 1:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 71 · Bill wrote, “It is clear that what Cisco did in firing Turek is against California law as well as the Civil Rights act.”

      Not so fast – it is true that firing someone for their political activities or opinions is illegal in California. But, we’ve only heard one side of the story – corporations typically keep personnel decisions private so we do not know with any certainty why Turek is no longer working at Cisco.

      It is fair to criticize the sort of activity that Cisco is accused of, but we only have allegations of that sort of activity, not proof that Cisco actually behaved that way.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 1:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Victor
      Victor

      It is very appropriate that Queerty’s Daniel Villareal would come to the defense of Frank Turek. Both men have done immeasurable harm to gay people and the writings of both are regularly featured on anti-gay websites.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 2:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Victor: You omitted any logic, evidence or reason behind your accusations. This is also your first comment on this thread: so far, it’s not impressive.

      Any of us with a voice in the LGBT media will be quoted in the anti-equality press. That’s not exactly a solid indictment.

      Try harder.

      @Shannon1981: (#73) You got to the heart of the matter. If/when you or I marry someone of the same gender, it has no effect on anyone else’s marriage.
      This isnt a zero-sum game where my rights to marry cause someone else to lose theirs.

      p.s. I hope you’re keeping better track of your, um, possessions these days ! Lol…

      Jun 21, 2011 at 2:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Did some more checking and found http://maxandrews.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/frank-turek-and-cisco-systems-discrimination/ which refers to North Carolina. Also http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2011/06/16/the_cisco_kid/page/full/ (which seems to be an attempt to support Turek via a letter to Cisco’s management) claims that “Turek was fired as a vendor.” That statement suggests that Turek was not a Cisco employee but rather an independent contractor. Laws for contractors are not the same as the ones for employees. While it would be illegal to fire an employee for engaging in anti-gay political activities in California, for example, it is not illegal to dump your dentist if you discovered that your dentist had given $1000 to suppport Proposition Eight.

      That’s all consistent with what I wrote in No 56: “If Cisco is justified in firing him, there is something else going on that was not stated in the articles. That wouldn’t be surprising – Christians trying to claim “’persecution for righteousness sake’ have been known to gloss over details that would make them look less innocent, and Cisco (like most employers) is not going to talk publicly about a personnel matter.”

      Jun 21, 2011 at 2:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @B: I dug around, also, and some reports do say that Turek was an independent contractor… Others say employee. I can’t find any way (yet) to confirm his status, but I’m personally well aware that a contractor has much less protection than an employee. (I’ve signed a bunch of those contracts, after my multiply talented agent / atty goes over them…)

      I hope this gets clarified soon, because lots of people are following the case and making assumptions that may not hold up.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 6:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Shannon1981: //

      //What do you care if there are laws made so people can’t kill us without being charged for a hate crime//

      Is it ever NOT a hate crime to murder someone (I’m not talking about self-defense)? Why should your death be more valuable and punishment worthy than someone else’s?

      //or so that we can visit our ailing partners in hospitals//

      I have no problem with that, nor was I aware that homosexuals were being prevented from visiting their partners in hospitals. My sister is a lesbian, and she has never complained of not being able to visit anyone at a hospital.

      //Would you even KNOW if I got married, or care? If so, why?//

      Lots of reasons. Primarily because of what happens to people like Turek when gay marriage laws are passed. The law is used as a club to persecute people of faith and others who believe in traditional values. I also think children are best served when they have a male and a female role model. I also think that the traditional view of marriage has worked fairly well for centuries and am very reluctant to toy around with it. I’d also like to pass on my moral and religious values to my kids without having the state tell them they are hateful and bigoted, or have my kids forced to swear allegiance to homosexuality in school in order to be accepted.

      You may disagree, but AS AN AMERICAN I have the right to express my views and vote my conscience without being punished. You are perfectly free to vote the other way, and I promise I won’t sue you or try to get you fired from your job.

      //I bet you can’t even answer those questions, because the truth is, you don’t know me from a hole in the wall//

      You don’t know me either, and by the way I just answered all of your questions!

      //Furthermore, you ARE a bunch of mean spirited bigots!…you’d raise holy hell if I were to get married to another woman, and you’d dance on my grave if someone bashed my head in just for being who I am openly. And that’s fucking sad. You wonder why people think you guys are hateful? What I just said is just the tip of the iceberg as to why.//

      This is a classic example of what it is like to try to discuss a point with many liberals. They use baseless, emotional, ad hominem attacks, say all sorts of nasty things about the people who disagree with them, and then congratulate themselves on their logical precision.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 7:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B:

      //“Turek was fired as a vendor.”//

      That’s fine, but if that’s the way you want to interpret the law then it is also fine to fire a vendor because they are a minority race or a woman. That would be weird and I think you could make a good case in court that even if the California statute does not apply the Civial Rights act applies.

      Remember that religious belief is as protected as race and gender in the civil rights protection act. If you marginalize religious belief you have to marginalize the other categories also.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 7:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Bill you fricking troll – get off this site. We all know what religious freedom and protection is. Most of us have been victims of it. Go back and read post #3 by Jimmy – freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. I think there is a difference between personal, private beliefs and posting on a website which is publicly accessible.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 7:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Bill said “The law is used as a club to persecute people of faith and others who believe in traditional values.”

      LOL ‘traditional values’, ie values based on the mad rantings of a misogynistic bronze age prophet who’d eaten too many magic mushrooms .

      Yeah, yeah, poor religious bullies now having to play ball on a level playing field where their absurd views and rights are treated as equal anyone else’s.

      We’ve had all this bullshit from christian nutters over here in the UK, with the bed and breakfast thing, the religious registrar refusing to marry gay couples etc etc etc and each time the law has found the religious nutter to not have a leg to stand on.

      When the law recognises gays as being equal then religious privilege is removed, which is basically what bill is grizzling about. Poor baby, get used to it.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 9:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 82 · Bill wrote, “@B: //“Turek was fired as a vendor.”// That’s fine, but if that’s the way you want to interpret the law then it is also fine to fire a vendor because they are a minority race or a woman.”

      Do you have a reading comprehension problem? The term “fired as a vendor” was a quote from a letter sent to Cisco, and duly cited as such. The issue is that, as a private contractor, Turek has lesser rights than an employee (see Jeffree’s comments in No 80).
      Also, one of the URL’s I provided suggested that Turek was located in North Carolina,
      in which case the applicability of California law is not as obvious (Cisco’s headquarters
      is in California, but Turek and the group that “fired” him are apparently not).

      As to the civil rights act that you bring up, Cisco could claim that Turek was not “fired” because of his religion but because of his behavior, but even then the applicability of the civil rights act is not clear in the case of independent contractors.
      If you look at http://www.phillyhometownlawyer.com/Blog/post/Independent-contractors-now-protected-by-Civil-Rights-Act.aspx (dated February 15, 2010) there was a ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that independent contractors are protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but circuit court rulings do not apply nationwide, only in each court’s jurisdiction. Given how recent the article is, the status nationwide is not clear – the case either has to reach the Supreme Court or the other circuit courts have to come to the same decision. In any case, the use of the civil rights act would be problematic in Turek’s case given that he seems to want to deny civil rights to gays and lesbians. As an extreme example, do you think a “grand wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan could win a civil rights suit by claiming discrimination because a black-owned company refused to give him a contract due to all the racial rantings he published? Suing under those circumstances seems to fit the definition of the word “chutzpah” (the classic example being a guy who asks a judge for leniency after murdering his parents because he is [now] an orphan).

      Jun 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Jaroslaw: //freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. I think there is a difference between personal, private beliefs and posting on a website which is publicly accessible.//

      I am not saying that Turek’s free speech rights protect him from being fired. I am saying that the anti-discrimination law in the Civil rights act protects him from that (and arguably the California statute as well).

      Jun 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Tallskin: //LOL ‘traditional values’, ie values based on the mad rantings of a misogynistic bronze age prophet who’d eaten too many magic mushrooms .//

      Actions speak louder than words. The real misogynists are the secular liberals who fight for abortion rights and then use those rights to abort girls in sex selection abortions:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303657404576361691165631366.html

      Interesting, isn’t it? The pro-choicers are the ones who loudly advocate for women’s rights and accuse pro-lifers of hating women and then they slaughter 163 million female babies because they are not valued…

      //poor religious bullies now having to play ball on a level playing field where their absurd views and rights are treated as equal anyone else’s.//

      It’s so amusing to see people like you demand tolerance and for everyone else to affirm your lifestyle and then see how you act so disrespectful and irreverent to anyone who has a different belief system than you do.

      // christian nutters over here in the UK, with the bed and breakfast thing, the religious registrar refusing to marry gay couples etc//

      You also forgot to mention the couple that had previously fostered several orphans who were denied the opportunity to continue to provide a loving home for orphans because they wouldn’t affirm homosexuality:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8352017/Christian-couple-lose-foster-ruling-over-views-on-homosexuality.html

      The UK is seriously messed up and becoming a joke of a country.

      //Poor baby, get used to it//

      I fully expect for things to get a lot worse. But this is nothing new. Christians all over the world have endured harsh persecution at the hands of atheistic communist regimes, Islamic countries, and now militant secular humanists. Christ predicted that we would be hated and persecuted, and so we are.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 9:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: Hey, thanks for all the information. I’ve always found law to be an extremely interesting topic.

      //In any case, the use of the civil rights act would be problematic in Turek’s case given that he seems to want to deny civil rights to gays and lesbians. As an extreme example, do you think a “grand wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan could win a civil rights suit by claiming discrimination because a black-owned company refused to give him a contract due to all the racial rantings he published//

      Here’s where you are wrong. There is no federal right to gay marriage. Thus you cannot equivocate Turek’s writings against gay marriage to a Ku Klux Klan member’s writings against blacks (who are protected by the racial clause in the Civil Rights Act).

      If anything, your logic would apply to allow the firing of the people on here writing in FAVOR of gay marriage, since:

      A) Turek’s religious beliefs ARE protected by the Civil Rights Act, and
      B) There is already a federal statute on the books (DOMA) that protects states from having to recognize gay marriages made legal in other states.
      c) Several states have amendments in their constitutions prohibiting homosexual marriage. California has already passed such an amendment (although a federal judge recently overturned it but an appeal is pending), and an amendment prohibiting gay marriage is pending in North Carolina, where it is expected to pass:

      http://www.ncfpc.org/stories/110224s1.html

      Thus you would have Turek penalized for advocating against a position that is already illegal in most of the United States. That’s rather strange.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Bill – as a person who struggled with homosexuality for years due to religious and social disapproval almost to the point of suicide (and yes, I prayed every single day for years) you do not know what you are talking about – re: the couple in UK Bed/Breakfast who wouldn’t affirm homosexuality.

      What if one of their charges/children turned out to be Gay?

      What about all the munch more serious sins that we turn a completely blind eye to? Doesn’t the Bible prohibit interest on loans?

      I could go on, but people like you, however sincere, just don’t get it. Yeah, I see a bit of disrespect here, but try very hard to see it from their/my point of view. Religion has been a very destructive force in our lives for the most part, and you don’t really have a lot of proof for it, that is why they call it Faith. Beleive as you will but please give us the same respect.

      As for DOMA, that is plainly unconstituional and I don’t know why it has taken so long to be overturned. The full faith and credit clause of the Constitution clearly says one state MUST recognize rules/marriages/contracts from other states. And remember, marriage laws are left to the states. Then again, so was slavery until the Consitution was amended, ditto for women’s suffrage.

      Well, I hope I’ve helped you to at least see how we feel here, if not agree with it. But as I already asked you, we all grew up with religion etc. We already understand your point of view, having lived it most of our lives. We have few places to call our own, why are you here?

      Jun 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 88 · Bill wrote, “Here’s where you are wrong. There is no federal right to gay marriage. Thus you cannot equivocate Turek’s writings against gay marriage to a Ku Klux Klan member’s writings against blacks (who are protected by the racial clause in the Civil Rights Act).”

      Actually, it is where “Bill” is wrong – the issue was whether Cisco can refuse to choose someone as a contractor because that person published things not to Cisco’s liking. But regardless, Bill’s statement is factually wrong due to making incomplete assumptions about what Turek actually said. See http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/turek-gays-and-radical-muslims-have-united-destroy-western-civilization which states that “American Family Radio host Frank Turek argued that gays and Muslim extremists are allied in their plot to destroy America.” Since Cisco has a number of Muslim employees (if only because of being located in Silicon Valley), it would seem that gay employees are not the only ones who might not like Turek. The URL I gave quoted Turek as saying, “You have, for example, the homosexual community and Muslim community joining together to try and call any criticism of their behavior or their religion ‘hate speech’ which would make it illegal, if they could get these laws passed, to criticize homosexuality or to criticize Islam.”

      Let’s see. You have some guy making anti-gay and anti-Muslim statements. Would you really pick that guy as a contractor to work on a leadership/teambuilding program if you were running a company located in Silicon Valley, where diversity and cultural sensitivity is a necessity? In a highly competitive environment, nobody with half a brain cares if his co-worker is gay, straight, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, atheist, or Wiccan, or what part of the world his parents came from. But there is one thing we do not need – some moron trying to set one group against the others, and that’s just what Turek’s inflammatory rhetoric (as quoted above) does.

      Jun 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Bill, Wow, you really are something! you really do believe that you and your fellow sky pixie worshippers are the victims here!

      How did this come about? How did it come about that the people being bullied, by simply demanding that the bullying stop, now are called bullies by the defanged bully?

      Amazing! I think we have some interesting psychiatric analysis of people like you to do. Phd papers could be written on this!

      Still, I guess that is par for the course, I mean if you can be stupid enough to believe one utterly amazing fantasy about a sky pixie who created the universe then you can make yourself believe anything you want!

      Jun 22, 2011 at 9:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Jeffree: LOL Jeffree you read that? Haha, yeah.

      And Bill here is a troll. He took everything I said and turned it into some attack on Christianity. Done with him. I don’t even know why he is here, other than thread jacking. Then again, that is what trolls do…

      Jun 22, 2011 at 9:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //regardless, Bill’s statement is factually wrong due to making incomplete assumptions about what Turek actually said. See http://www.rightwingwatch.org/…..vilization which states that “American Family Radio host Frank Turek argued that gays and Muslim extremists are allied in their plot to destroy America.” Since Cisco has a number of Muslim employees//

      Talk about moving the goal posts! So we’ve gone from being fired due to writing a book arguing for traditional marriage to now being fired for complaining about Muslim extremists. I guess this is subtle concession that your previous arguments didn’t hold legal water.

      Regarding your latest argument, it too is greatly flawed for several reasons.

      A) Turek made no comments regarding homosexuals or Muslim extremists at work. So to carry your arguments to their ultimate conclusions a company can fire anyone for being guilty of thought crimes that are against the established politically correct atmosphere of the day. This is Orwellian and insane.

      B) The U.S. government has warned against Muslim extremists as a threat to our national security. See this link:

      http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05852.pdf

      Indeed, it is a policy of our war on terror to go after Muslim extremists who are plotting to engage in terrorist attacks. So according to the latest version of your legal argument Turek was fired because

      1) He advocates for traditional marriage, which by the way is the law of the land in North Carolina and was also the law of the land in California until the very recent overruling by the activist judge.
      2) He warns against extremist Muslims, which is the exact same thing that the United States government does.

      C) Finally, another consequence of your argument is that you and everyone else on here can also legitimately be fired from their jobs as a result of criticizing traditional Christianity. If no one is allowed to criticize Islam and can be fired on the spot for doing so, then neither is anyone allowed to criticize Christianity and if they do THEY can also be fired on the spot.

      In fact, someone on this very thread was criticizing both Islam AND Christianity, so according to your legal logic any member of either religion can have him fired on the spot for criticizing these belief systems. This is the result of your thought crime insanity.

      By the way, I read the link you referenced and Turek has a point about getting into bed with Muslim extremists. If they take over, the first people they will go after are the secular humanists. They absolutely do not tolerate homosexuality and women have no rights in their countries. Look at what happened in Lebanon. Be careful what you wish for.

      Jun 22, 2011 at 10:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Tallskin: //you really are something! you really do believe that you and your fellow sky pixie worshippers are the victims here//

      The irrationality of the modern day liberal never ceases to amaze me. It staggers the imagination that someone can mind his own business in the workplace, get consistently good reviews on his performance, and be fired from his job and be perceived as the bully while the person who went after them and had them fired be perceived as the victim.

      //if you can be stupid enough to believe one utterly amazing fantasy about a sky pixie who created the universe then you can make yourself believe anything you want!//

      The scientific evidence strongly affirms that the Universe was created out of nothing and was designed to allow complex life to exist. Top notch atheistic physicists concede this. If you are interested in learning more, I’d recommend reading the book, “Just Six Numbers” by Martin Rees. Thus my beliefs in a transcendent Being Who purposely created the Universe are well grounded and affirmed by our scientific knowledge.

      It is the atheist who has to flounder and come up with fairy tales and ad hoc explanations to explain their worldview. Everything comes from nothing. There is an infinite multiverse out there. Lightning struck a mud puddle and formed the first cell. A bacteria can eventually turn into a human. etc. etc. These are groundless assertions that are desperate attempts to avoid the truth that God does exist.

      Jun 22, 2011 at 10:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Jaroslaw: // as a person who struggled with homosexuality for years due to religious and social disapproval almost to the point of suicide//

      If you need the approval of others in order to feel worthy you will never be happy. And you will always be at the mercy of the people who give you approval. You are essentially giving others power over your happiness and well being.

      //What if one of their charges/children turned out to be Gay//

      There are all sorts of potential conflicts that can occur between parents and children. Parents ultimately have the right to pass on their values to their children. In a foster situation, if there is an inherent incompatibility, the child should go to another home (and this sort of thing happens all the time).

      But ultimately, if Christians cannot foster children in the UK, this opens the door for the state to declare Christian parents unfit to raise their own children, since it becomes a form of child abuse to not affirm homosexuality. And btw, this would also apply to the rather large Muslim population in the UK as well. Decisions like these have far reaching consequences. It’s interesting how all this started with homosexuals having the same rights as everyone else, and has now turned into taking rights away from non-homosexuals who see that lifestyle as incompatible with their religious beliefs.

      //Doesn’t the Bible prohibit interest on loans?//

      Going into debt is discouraged, but it not explicitly forbidden. Although there was apparently a law in the Torah that forbade charging interest to the poor:

      http://www.gotquestions.org/money-debt.html

      //Well, I hope I’ve helped you to at least see how we feel here, if not agree with it. But as I already asked you, we all grew up with religion etc. We already understand your point of view, having lived it most of our lives. We have few places to call our own, why are you here?//

      That’s interesting. I grew up in non-religious household. The reason why I’m here is because I did a google search on the Turek story after it broke and this blog was at the top of the list. I have to admit I was really taken by surprise by the general consensus that its OK to fire someone for advocating a political opinion outside of the workplace. Kinda blows the whole “tolerance” stance out of water, IMO.

      Jun 22, 2011 at 11:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas Aquinas
      Thomas Aquinas

      The bigotry charge is unwarranted for a variety of reasons. Turek’s work focuses on what he believes are appropriate and inappropriate uses of one’s sexual powers. This is a moral question, not a question of the capricious treatment of persons (which is the essence of bigotry). Knowing a bit about Turek’s theological tradition, his moral conclusions are equitably distributed, as they are in the Scripture and the tradition he embraces. Sex–according to this understanding–has a particular end or purpose, conjugal love, that can only be consummated within the confines of marriage. It is not a respecter of persons, for all human beings are required to abide by it. Of course, human desires come in degrees and varieties. But that has no bearing on the principle’s veracity, just as the prohibition of adultery applies to both the dispositionally cadish and the constitutionally chaste. The adultery rule seems more onerous to the former, but that does not make it unfair.

      You may, of course, disagree with all this, but it is a moral judgment, no different than the sorts of judgments we issue against all sorts of other acts that we think are inconsistent with one’s bodily purposes.

      Remember, if there are any consensual activities that you believe ought not to be honored–such as the recent case of the Columbia professor who had sex with his adult daughter–then you are in the same position as Mr. Turek, a bigot concerning those with incestuous desires.

      Jun 22, 2011 at 11:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Bill – The scientific evidence strongly affirms that the Universe was created out of nothing and was designed to allow complex life to exist

      No it fucking doesn’t you half educated baboon

      Jun 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Tallskin: Tallskin, you should know that hurling insults has no emotional effect on me (other than mild amusement), and it makes you look like a complete idiot. If you want to convince me that atheism is true (and believe me I have tried to convince myself of that already – as a former atheist myself I was extremely hostile to the concept of God as you are now) you have to provide some compelling evidence.

      Modern cosmologists agree that our Universe had an absolutely beginning out of nothing, despite numerous attempts to get around this. As recently as 2003, Borde, Guth and Vilenkin formulated a proof that demonstrated that an eternal universe is not possible. As Alexader Vilenkin stated:

      “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).”

      Furthermore,we know from looking at the laws and constants of physics that they are exquisitely fine tuned to allow the existence of complex life. Many of these parameters are so fine tuned that if you changed them by even an extremely discrete amount, no life would be possible in our universe (and in some cases our universe wouldn’t even be possible).

      As just one example, the cosmological constant in our Universe is fine tuned to one part in 10^120. This fine tuning is so extreme that scientific papers have been written speculating on the possibility of an “external agent” inputting this value.

      http://www.reasons.org/astronomy/astronomy-and-bible/vexing-implications

      And this is just one of dozens of parameters that are similarly configured. Mess with any of them by even a minute amount and you destroy the possibility of life. In the book I mentioned in previous post (Just Six Numbers), Martin Rees (an atheist physicist of the top rank) concedes this and admits that theists have legitimate grounds for their beliefs. He appeals to an infinite multiverse to get around this problem, a concept which has no evidence, btw. Antony Flew, a world famous atheist who had written many books promoting atheism, gave up on atheism after studying this evidence.

      Furthermore, scientist today have no explanation for how life began. Origin of life research is woefully lacking for materialistic explanations:

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=pssst-dont-tell-the-creationists-bu-2011-02-28

      Jun 22, 2011 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Mate I have no intention of humouring your by engaging in debate about lunacy

      and saying you are a half educated baboon was intended not so much as an insult but rather as a description

      Jun 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @Thomas Aquinas:

      So now you’re posting as Thomas Aquinas rather than PatrickFitzMichael?

      What is your problem with gay people? What have we ever done to you?

      Jun 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Re No. 94 · Bill :

      Let’s start with the dishonest statement, “Talk about moving the goal posts! So we’ve gone from being fired due to writing a book arguing for traditional marriage to now being fired for complaining about Muslim extremists. I guess this is subtle concession that your previous arguments didn’t hold legal water.” In fact, I had previously pointed out that there is probably more to the story than what appears in right wing propaganda, and rather than “moving the goal post”, I had simply found some additional information about what Turek actually had done, and his homophobic slurs pretty much puts him up on the bigotry scale (not the criminal scale) with a member of the KKK. We have no reason to believe that Turek was even fired, much less “fired due to writing a book arguing for traditional marriage” – it seems (according to some accounts) that he simply lost a contract, whereas to be fired, as the term is commonly used, you have to first be an employee.

      Then Bill makes the bogus claim, “Regarding your latest argument, it too is greatly flawed for several reasons.” Let’s go through them

      “A) Turek made no comments regarding homosexuals or Muslim extremists at work. So to carry your arguments to their ultimate conclusions a company can fire anyone for being guilty of thought crimes that are against the established politically correct atmosphere of the day. This is Orwellian and insane.” This is actually an example of intellectual dishonesty, since I had previously stated that under California law, Cisco can not fire an employee for political activities outside of work. The issue was whether Cisco could terminate an independent contractor’s contract because Cisco didn’t like something about his attitude or other activities.

      “B) The U.S. government has warned against Muslim extremists” This statement is irrelevant given that Turek disparaged Muslims in general – see the quotes in http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/turek-gays-and-radical-muslims-have-united-destroy-western-civilization where Turek literally says, “Well that’s on the way and I’ve mentioned on my show there are strange bedfellows politically in our country today that is the radical left and the radical right in terms of Islam. You have, for example, the homosexual community and Muslim community joining together to try and call any criticism of their behavior or their religion ‘hate speech’ which would make it illegal, if they could get these laws passed, to criticize homosexuality or to criticize Islam. See it isn’t about truth here, it’s about totalitarianism, it’s about a way to silence the opposition. You can win the debate by just shutting up the opponents here. So it’s really strange to me how these two disparate groups can be in concert together, maybe it’s because they both hate Western Civilization, maybe it’s because they both hate Judeo-Christian natural law values that our Constitution and particularly our Declaration of Independence were founded on, ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident,’ maybe they just hate that both those groups hate those values so much that they’re in bed together.”

      Then Bill continues his rhetoric (lies, really) with phrases like “can have him fired on the spot” when it is actually “terminate a contract on the spot.” If you are a contractor and don’t want your contract to be “terminated on the spot” for whatever reason, you better write a clause to that effect into your contract, at least providing penalties like cell-phone companies do if a client decides to end a contract early.

      But whatever you say, let’s not pretend that Turek is no longer working for Cisco due to his opinions on same-sex marriage without proof that this is the actual reason. He’s said a lot of things and Cisco has not commented on why he is no longer working for Cisco (whether as an employee or a contractor).

      Jun 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 99, “Bill” goes off the deep end!

      Let’s just give two examples.

      1. “As just one example, the cosmological constant in our Universe is fine tuned to one part in 10^120. This fine tuning is so extreme that scientific papers have been written speculating on the possibility of an “external agent” inputting this value.” His link
      http://www.reasons.org/astronomy/astronomy-and-bible/vexing-implications is to some web site about “integrating science and faith”, which is most likely a euphemism for religious babble. Of course it is nonsense – we’ve not been able to measure anything to one part in 10^120. I’ll refer readers to http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmo_constant.html which curiously points out that you’d expect the vacuum energy (or mass) density to be more than 10^91 grams/cc, and the measurements suggest that this value is too high by at least a factor of 10^120. So my guess is that “Bill” turned a factor of 10^120 into an accuracy of one part in 10^120, showing either a lack of common sense or a lack of understanding of the subject matter he is trying to talk about.

      The question is simply whether the actual value is zero or not. The link I provided has a relatively simply discussion of the issue. A lot is still unknown, so “Bill’s” “argument” is a variant on the usual, “we can’t yet explain it satisfactorily, so God must exist.”

      T2. hen there’s his, “Furthermore, scientist today have no explanation for how life began. Origin of life research is woefully lacking for materialistic explanation http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=pssst-dont-tell-the-creationists-bu-2011-02-28 ” What the article really says is that there’s a chicken/egg problem we haven’t satisfactorily resolved. DNA is used to manufacture proteins, including ones called enzymes that serve as catalysts and that are necessary for manufacturing proteins, so you need both the enzymes and DNA at the same time to get life. There are some possibilities involving RNA, but a lot more work to be done – we haven’t worked out all the details so far. It’s not “proof” of anything other than that difficult problems can take a long time to solve.

      Jun 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph
      Joseph

      @Bill: “The scientific evidence strongly affirms that the Universe was created out of nothing and was designed to allow complex life to exist. Top notch atheistic physicists concede this. If you are interested in learning more, I’d recommend reading the book, “Just Six Numbers” by Martin Rees.”

      Bill, at least have the guts to go for supreme irony and recommend Frank Turek’s book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist.” :-) :-) :-)

      Funny, I’m not aware of scientists claiming the universe was “designed” at all, much less to allow complex life to exist. Christopher Hitchens smacked down Frank Turek with this idea during a debate when he talked a puddle looking around and feeling the hole it was in was designed just for it. :-) The universe isn’t designed for life; life evolved to survive in this universe. In fact, much of the universe appears quite hostile to life. Hitchens also talked to Turek about most of the planets being either too close or too far from the sun; much of our planet such as the polar regions being unsuitable for life, and the Equator being poorly suited; even the habitable parts are rocked by earthquakes and subjected to tsunamis and hurricanes and droughts. [Let's not even get into the fact that it can't be designed for US as the planet is 75% water and we don't have gills.] Then there’s the occasional asteroid strike and periodic mass extinctions, with 99% of all species that have ever lived having gone extinct. Oh, and eventually our sun will go nova and wipe out all life on earth before it wipes out the planet itself, with the rest of the universe eventually experiencing “heat death” and growing cold. To give the last words to Hitchens, “Some design.”

      Jun 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //it seems (according to some accounts) that he simply lost a contract, whereas to be fired, as the term is commonly used, you have to first be an employee.//

      And here’s version #3. Just to recap, in version #1 Turek gets fired for writing a book defending traditional marriage. In version #2 Turek may have gotten fired for complaining about Muslim extremists, and now in version #3 Turek didn’t actually get fired at all, his contract may have simply expired.

      With each post you are retreating ever further away from the real reason Turek gets fired (writing the book defending traditional marriage). It is as though you are trying to build a case for Cisco to defend themselves in court, realizing that Cisco made an extremely stupid move in firing Turek because of the book on traditional marriage.

      // I had previously stated that under California law, Cisco can not fire an employee for political activities outside of work. The issue was whether Cisco could terminate an independent contractor’s contract because Cisco didn’t like something about his attitude or other activities.//

      I grant that you were once the voice of reason on this thread, but in a desperate attempt to redeem yourself in the eyes of the regulars here you seem to be retreating from your initial common sense arguments and trying to find a way to justify Turek’s firing.

      And unless you know something about the case that I don’t, your explanations are simply ad hoc justifications in an apparent attempt to try to sanitize Cisco’s decision. I’ve gotten my information from this source:

      http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2011/06/16/the_cisco_kid

      which says nothing about Muslim commentary or Turek’s contract expiring and clearly identifies the reason as a gay employee googling Turek and discovering the book on traditional marriage, and then complaining to the HR department.

      //This statement is irrelevant given that Turek disparaged Muslims in general – see the quotes in http://www.rightwingwatch.org/…..vilization where Turek literally says, “Well that’s on the way and I’ve mentioned on my show there are strange bedfellows politically in our country today that is the radical left and the radical right in terms of Islam//

      Turek clearly identifies the Muslims he is specifically talking about when he says, “the radical right in terms of Islam”. Obviously he is not referring to moderate or liberal Muslims. How you can take this very specific description and claim that he is disparaging all Muslims baffles me.

      Furthermore, its incredibly ironic that the very thing Turek is complaining about (militant homosexuals and radical Islamists co-opting the legal system in order to silence their critics) is exactly what ends up happening to him! This isn’t some incoherent rant that has no basis in reality.

      Finally, my previous assertion stands. Since making any type of comment (even outside the workplace) in public criticizing any religious system allows a company to terminate a contractor at will then everyone here who has criticized Turek’s religious beliefs are subject to immediate termination (at least if they are a private contractor, according to your legal reasoning, which is bogus IMHO.)

      Jun 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //some web site about “integrating science and faith”, which is most likely a euphemism for religious babble. Of course it is nonsense – we’ve not been able to measure anything to one part in 10^120. //

      Did you bother to read the article? It seems as though you summarily dismissed it because it was written by a Christian author. This speaks poorly of your open mindedness as you seem unwilling to consider any other point of view than your own.

      The article I referenced discussed a peer reviewed scientific article and gave links. The paper (“Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant”) was co-authored by Leonard Susskind (one of the leading physicists in the world and an atheist) and published by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Here is the link to the paper (which was also referenced in the footlights of the article I referenced):

      http://arxiv.org/abs//hep-th/0208013v1

      Here is a link to the Nature article discussing the paper (also referenced by my quoted article):

      http://www.nature.com/news/2002/020812/full/news020812-2.html

      Even Wikipedia acknowledges the cosmological constant problem:

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

      “Such arguments are usually based on dimensional analysis and effective field theory. If the universe is described by an effective local quantum field theory down to the Planck scale, then we would expect a cosmological constant of the order of . As noted above, the measured cosmological constant is smaller than this by a factor of 10?120. This discrepancy has been called “the worst theoretical prediction in the history of physics!” ”

      And you don’t have to take my word for any of this. Atheistic physicists and cosmologists of the top rank concede the fine tuning of the Universe. Atheistic physicist Martin Rees wrote a whole book about the problem (“Just Six Numbers”) and appeals to a multiverse at the end of his book to explain away the apparent design of the Universe. Leonard Susskind (world leading atheistic physicist who proved Stephen Hawking wrong and re-wrote the theory on black holes) said:

      “I doubt that physicists will see it that way. If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics.”

      //It’s not “proof” of anything other than that difficult problems can take a long time to solve//

      The problem with this line of reasoning is that scientific progress is going the other way. The more we learn about the universe and the complexity of life the less likely it becomes that some simplistic materialistic explanation will emerge to explain it all.

      The Christian’s beliefs, on the other hand, are well grounded by the latest scientific research and continue to be validated by new findings. It’s been less than a 100 years that science has finally discovered that the Universe and time had a beginning. Prior to that, it was assumed that the Universe had eternally existed (the steady state theory) and Christians were laughed out of the room when they claimed that the Universe began to exist.

      Jun 22, 2011 at 10:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Joseph: //Funny, I’m not aware of scientists claiming the universe was “designed” at all, much less to allow complex life to exist//

      In my previous messages I have referenced Martin Rees, Leonard Susskind, and Antony Flew. Here are some things that some other scientists have said:

      Isaac Newton (inventory of calculus and modern physics):
      “‘This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called “Lord God” ??????????? [pantokratòr], or “Universal Ruler”. … The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect.’2
      ‘Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors.’”

      Fred Hoyle (atheist cosmologist and mathematician):
      “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

      Robert Jastrow (agnostic theoretical physicist and chairman of NASAs lunar committee):
      “Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world….the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same. Consider the enormousness of the problem : Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks: ‘What cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter or energy into the universe?’ And science cannot answer these questions.
      “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

      Paul Davies (non-religious British astrophysicist):
      “There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all….It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe….The impression of design is overwhelming…”

      Frank Tipler (Professor of mathematical physics):
      “When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics…”

      Arno Penzias (nobel prize winner in physics):
      “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan.”

      Richard Smalley (winner of 1996 Nobel prize in chemistry for discovering a new form of carbon):
      “Recently I have gone back to church regularly with a new focus to understand as best I can what it is that makes Christianity so vital and powerful in the lives of billions of people today, even though almost 2000 years have passed since the death and resurrection of Christ. Although I suspect I will never fully understand, I now think the answer is very simple: it’s true. God did create the universe about 13.7 billion years ago, and of necessity has involved Himself with His creation ever since. The purpose of this universe is something that only God knows for sure, but it is increasingly clear to modern science that the universe was exquisitely fine-tuned to enable human life. We are somehow critically involved in His purpose. Our job is to sense that purpose as best we can, love one another, and help Him get that job done.”

      //To give the last words to Hitchens, “Some design.”//

      This is a facile argument that does nothing to explain the existence or fine-tuning of the universe. Obviously this Universe wasn’t designed to exist forever. The scriptures make it clear in numerous places that God will eventually create a new heavens and a new earth, where the redeemed will exist for all eternity.

      Jun 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 105 · Bill (basically lying) wrote, “@B: //it seems (according to some accounts) that he simply lost a contract, whereas to be fired, as the term is commonly used, you have to first be an employee.// And here’s version #3. Just to recap, in version #1 Turek gets fired for writing a book defending traditional marriage. In version #2 Turek may have gotten fired for complaining about Muslim extremists, and now in version #3 Turek didn’t actually get fired at all, his contract may have simply expired. With each post you are retreating ever further away from the real reason Turek gets fired.”

      “Bill” is now reduced to lying. In my first comment (No 37) on this article, I wrote, “They may have done the wrong thing and could be risking an expensive lawsuit (it depends on what Turek actually did, and some details may be missing in QUEERTY’s account) – it is illegal in California, where Cisco is located, to discriminate against an employee for his political views and activities,…”

      Note the phrase, “it depends on what Turek actually did, and some details may be missing.” What we are finding out is that the original accounts reflected the “Christian” spin on Turek’s dealings with Cisco, which may have nothing to do with reality.” The phrase “lost a contract” does not mean he just didn’t get some follow-on work. Sometimes a contract is terminated immediately and in midstream for any number of reasons. One may be unhappy with the contractor for some reason, there may be a budget issue, or one may decide to assign an existing employee to handle the task full time, and of course there are other possibilities.”

      “Bill” seems to be assuming that Turek was in fact fired, when he may not even have been an employee. He also is assuming the only issue was same-sex marriage, when in fact Turek had made a number of anti-gay statements, and the examples I gave above were basically defamatory. Would it be any surprise that a company would not want a contractor who publicly made public statements suggesting some sort of gay/Muslim collusion against Western Civilization to be deemed to be inappropriate for “teambuilding” for a company that hires gays and Muslims as part of an extremely diverse workforce?

      Jun 23, 2011 at 1:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 106 · Bill wrote, “@B: //some web site about “integrating science and faith”, which is most likely a euphemism for religious babble. Of course it is nonsense – we’ve not been able to measure anything to one part in 10^120. // Did you bother to read the article? It seems as though you summarily dismissed it because it was written by a Christian author. This speaks poorly of your open mindedness as you seem unwilling to consider any other point of view than your own.”

      What I summarily dismissed was your “one part in 10^120″ which is simply bogus, so you are lying about what I wrote. As to “open mindedness”, my opinions are much better founded than yours, if only as a result of the coincidence that one of the individuals you mentioned was a classmate of mine in graduate school – we were in the same department.

      The article you quoted is essentially wrong in that it assumes some unanswered questions are proof of divine intervention.

      I might add that Einstein introduced the cosmological constant in an attempt to have a static universe and it didn’t really work – and Einstein called it his biggest mistake after Hubble found empirical evidence that the universe is expanding. With additional data, there is some question as to whether we need it after all (but not to make the universe static as Einstein initially assumed), possibly representing the ground-state energy of quantum fields, but what is actually going on is not clear at this point and it will take a while to sort it all out. The article I pointed you to has an explanation in fairly simple terms.

      I might add that in a few years we will have a much better idea of what happened a few microseconds after the big bang: the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is being used to re-create those conditions on a tiny scale.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 1:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 104, Joseph wrote, “Funny, I’m not aware of scientists claiming the universe was “designed” at all, much less to allow complex life to exist. Christopher Hitchens smacked down Frank Turek with this idea during a debate when he talked a puddle looking around and feeling the hole it was in was designed just for it. :-) The universe isn’t designed for life; life evolved to survive in this universe.”

      Not exactly (but close) – I’ll refer you to a paper from the early 1974 by Brandon Carter, “Large number coincidences and the anthropic principle in cosmology” which you can read at http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1974IAUS…63..291C (you’ll probably find a lot of it too difficult since it is written for experts). The basic idea (to quote Carter) is that “what we can expect to observe must be restricted by conditions necessary for our presence as observers.” He was arguing against what he called some “exotic theories”. He used the term “anthropic principle” but in the sense given above – observers exist only in regions of the universe (in both space and time) that can support them. E,g., because biology seems to be chemically dependent on various heavy elements that are created in stars and dispersed when (some) stars reach the end of their lives, that alone means that our species could not exist until enough time had passed to create these elements through nuclear reactions in the interiors of stars and disperse them so that they could end up in newly formed planets. He gives a number of examples of how various physical constants would have to have values similar to what we see for us to exist.

      Of course, nothing in this paper talks about the universe being “designed” in any sense.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 3:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //“Bill” seems to be assuming that Turek was in fact fired, when he may not even have been an employee. He also is assuming the only issue was same-sex marriage, when in fact Turek had made a number of anti-gay statements, and the examples I gave above were basically defamatory.//

      Here you go again, randomly speculating on various reasons why Turek may have been fired. You are really trying very very hard to get as much distance as possible from the actual STATED reasons that we’ve gotten from Frank Turek himself (and other sources like this very article on qweerty) because (as you’ve previously admitted) that would be illegal under California law.

      So I’m not really sure what your point is. You can speculate all day long on possible reasons why Cisco would terminate his contract. Why not throw some other reasons out there too? Maybe he was fired because someone thinks he likes to drown puppies. Or maybe he was fired because the CEO of the company thought he was having an affair with his wife.

      Unless you have direct communication with Cisco and know something that I don’t, your speculations are simply baseless and an attempt to distract from the real (flawed) reaasons Cisco acted. It speaks volumes that Cisco is refusing to answer direct questions on the matter (at least the last time I checked):

      http://www.pointofview.net/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=17452&security=1&news_iv_ctrl=1201

      and I think Turek has a good case in court. Cisco realizes that they have gotten caught with their proverbial pants down and this explains the massive retreat from the initial explanation of Turek’s views on gay marriage.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 8:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: Just in case it takes a while, I wanted you to know that I responded to your last two messages but that comment is awaiting moderation. Hopefully the admins will clear the message to go through.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 8:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #96 Bill – I tried to write a post to help you understand, and you turn into a bigger ass than I thought you were! Social approval? Getting picked on, beaten up and ostracized by almost everyone is not “a need for social approval.” It would have been a blessing if I was just given the ordinary daily respect that is given without question to the majority (conformists? Normal kids?) and otherwise to be left alone. If you grew up in a non religious household, then you can’t possibly know what it feels like but then you are now and I assume you’re not 8 years old so you must know that religion has far reaching positive AND negative effects on people’s lives, knowledged gained by just observing/reading etc. as you go through life.

      Parents do not have absolute rights over their children. You are truly stupid if you don’t know this. Parents must provide medical care for their children, they must have immunizations to attend school, they must sent them to school or home school them etc.- these are examples – do not dissect each one like you did with the interest on loans in the Bible. That too was an example of the MANY things we routinely ignore (such as divorce being prohibited except for adultery).

      Jun 23, 2011 at 8:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LeeF
      LeeF

      Intellectual honesty is the real issue here. Pro-gay or anti-gay perspectives (often under the guise of “pro-religion” or “pro-family” groups) are really a separate issue and should not be the focus of this debate.

      One of the contentions I have with groups such as the AFA (American Family Association) is precisely this type of distortion – in which true thinking perspectives are submerged to more primal fear-induced prejudices. Those of us who are gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered become no better than that when we also embrace such simple-minded tactics. In fact, we do ourselves a disservice and ultimately distort our true aim.

      A hallmark of hate groups is that they argue from a double-standard. Would AFA make such hay out of this issue if Dr. Turek were fired because of pro-gay comments? The lack of an even-handed perspective shows these positions for what they truly are – arguments guided more by fear and agenda than by truth and intellectual reasoning.

      Tolerance works both ways. When we learn to be tolerant of disparate views – to truly respect that those views may emanate from a deep, soul-searching perspective – only then can we demand the same. In fact, when we exercise tolerance, we are in a much stronger position to receive it.

      As a member of the GLBT community, I find it hard to justify Dr. Turek’s dismissal on the grounds promulgated by Cisco. Yet I will not devolve into buying into the simpleton’s argument that this is about sexual preference or religious freedom.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 111 · Bill dissembled again as the following shows, “@B: //“Bill” seems to be assuming that Turek was in fact fired, when he may not even have been an employee. He also is assuming the only issue was same-sex marriage, when in fact Turek had made a number of anti-gay statements, and the examples I gave above were basically defamatory.//
      Here you go again, randomly speculating on various reasons why Turek may have been fired. You are really trying very very hard to get as much distance as possible from the actual STATED reasons that we’ve gotten from Frank Turek himself (and other sources like this very article on qweerty) because (as you’ve previously admitted) that would be illegal under California law.”

      The lie of course is that I’m not speculating on why Turek is no longer working for or with Cisco. I’m simply pointing out that no real proof was presented as to whether Turek was an employee or a contractor. I provided you with a link that claimed he was “fired as a vendor” which is really just loaded language – you don’t “fire” vendors, but rather “fire” employees – but the link to that claim was provided by Turek himself. Also, QUEERTY is not a “source” – it aggregates news from other sites, comments on the issues brought up in those articles, and usually provides links, but does not have people going around trying to find the facts as the Washington Post did for its articles (by Carl Bernstein and Robert Wooodward) that contributed to Nixon’s resignation.

      If you actually read the QUEERTY article carefully, it states that Turek posted the following statement on twitter:

      “The Cisco Kid: Fired by [Cisco Systems, Inc.] for my political views even though they were never mentioned during work. http://t.co/pwH8UjB via @townhallcom.”

      But, when you follow Turek’s own link – http://t.co/pwH8UjB – it states that Turek was “fired as a vendor”. Given Twitter’s 140 character limit, one would suspect that his “tweet” failed to mention some important details if only because of twitter’s constraints, but since he linked to an article stating that he was “fired as a vendor”, it is a pretty good guess that Turek had not been a Cisco employee, but rather an independent contractor (or someone working for one).

      So, maybe “Bill” can explain why he is pretending otherwise.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //The lie of course is that I’m not speculating on why Turek is no longer working for or with Cisco//

      Oh really? Allow me to quote some comments you have made on this very thread:

      “Since Cisco has a number of Muslim employees (if only because of being located in Silicon Valley), it would seem that gay employees are not the only ones who might not like Turek”

      “Let’s see. You have some guy making anti-gay and anti-Muslim statements. Would you really pick that guy as a contractor to work on a leadership/teambuilding program if you were running a company located in Silicon Valley, where diversity and cultural sensitivity is a necessity?”

      “But whatever you say, let’s not pretend that Turek is no longer working for Cisco due to his opinions on same-sex marriage without proof that this is the actual reason. He’s said a lot of things and Cisco has not commented on why he is no longer working for Cisco (whether as an employee or a contractor).”

      “We have no reason to believe that Turek was even fired, much less “fired due to writing a book arguing for traditional marriage” – it seems (according to some accounts) that he simply lost a contract”

      “Sometimes a contract is terminated immediately and in midstream for any number of reasons. One may be unhappy with the contractor for some reason, there may be a budget issue, or one may decide to assign an existing employee to handle the task full time, and of course there are other possibilities”

      //since he linked to an article stating that he was “fired as a vendor”, it is a pretty good guess that Turek had not been a Cisco employee, but rather an independent contractor (or someone working for one).
      So, maybe “Bill” can explain why he is pretending otherwise.//

      You are going on and on and on about the subcontractor issue as though that has anything to do with anything. Turek discusses this situation in his weekly podcast and self-identifies as an independent contractor:

      http://mediaserver3.afa.net/archives/CrossExamined/ft_061811.mp3

      His story essentially corroborates all of the elements reported in the Qweerty article. Turek is an independent contractor that Cisco hired to give leadership seminars. He consistently received good reviews from the attendees of his seminar. A homosexual man googled him and discovered that he had written a book defending traditional marriage, complained about this to HR, and ENDED HIS ASSOCIATION with Cisco (happy now?).

      Whether Turek was a regular employee of Cisco or an independent contractor is a moot point. Cisco cannot terminate Turek’s contract because it doesn’t like his religious views any more than it can terminate a black person’s contract because it hates black people. That is a violation of Turek’s civil rights (whether you like it or not). The fact that Cisco is now dodging and weaving and trying to appear neutral on the homosexual marriage issue is an admission that they realize they are in hot water. I really hope that Turek pursues this legally, as Christians need to start sending a message to the liberal thought police that we will no longer tolerate the blatant discrimination.

      And by the way, I’ve noticed that my previous response has not yet cleared. If it doesn’t clear by tonight I’ll repost my rebuttal in a format that will make it through the screening process.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JohnnyC
      JohnnyC

      Turek wasn’t fired. He was never an employee of Cisco. He was hired as an outside contractor to perform some training seminars. Apparently he only had one more eight hour seminar scheduled, for which he was paid despite not conducting. As such, he has no tangible damages to sue for. Even if he feels that further gigs were likely before his other activities were exposed, there was no contract in place, and as an independent contract, rather than an employee, he has no right to expect continued work after his current contract ends.

      As to whether Cisco should have terminated their association with Turek, frankly I don’t think they ever should have started it. Did no one at Cisco Google this jackass before hiring him? Had they done their due diligence, they would have found that – at least judging from his web presence- Turek’s real job is his anti-gay advocacy and not the leadership training for which Cisco contracted with him.

      As regards Cisco’s diversity policy:
      1. As an independent contractor and not an employee, it doesn’t apply to Turek.
      2. Respecting diversity does not mean one must tolerate attacks on another group.

      Would those attacking Cisco feel the same way, had the complainer been Jewish and Turek’s “outside activities” (which account for 90% of his web presence) consisted of Neo-Nazi apologetics and attacks on inter-racial marriage?

      Jun 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      I’ve searched the internet and I can’t seem to find a “neutral” story about this. I find Gay blog sources and religious blog sources. Was there anything about this in a mainstream newspaper or newsmagazine? Please post a link.

      #114 – LEEF – you have a nice perspective and some good ideas, but I wouldn’t expect the AFA to comment on someone being fired for “pro Gay” comments anymore than I would expect a Gay organization to protest religious persecution in China/Africa you name it. Organizations have a full time job doing what their stated purpose is, soliciting members and raising money to stay afloat. I would hardly expect them to cover every possible topic.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 115 · Bill wrote, “@B: //The lie of course is that I’m not speculating on why Turek is no longer working for or with Cisco// Oh really? Allow me to quote some comments you have made on this very thread: “Since Cisco has a number of Muslim employees (if only because of being located in Silicon Valley), it would seem that gay employees are not the only ones who might not like Turek”.

      Well, that one certainly isn’t speculation as to why Turek no longer has a contract with Cisco – gay and Muslim employees in general do not get to vet contractors. Rather, it is simply an issue that Cisco might consider, and was given merely to point out that Turek’s position on same-sex marriage is hardly the only thing someone might find objectionable. Curiously, one “example” you listed was “But whatever you say, let’s not pretend that Turek is no longer working for Cisco due to his opinions on same-sex marriage without proof that this is the actual reason. He’s said a lot of things and Cisco has not commented on why he is no longer working for Cisco (whether as an employee or a contractor).” Asking for proof is not “speculating”, nor is stating the “Cisco has not commented on [it]“. What “Bill” is doing is obvious: he’s trying to put up a smokescreen to hide the fact that he’s trying to pass off unsubstantiated assertions as facts.

      Then “Bill” states, “Whether Turek was a regular employee of Cisco or an independent contractor is a moot point. Cisco cannot terminate Turek’s contract because it doesn’t like his religious views any more than it can terminate a black person’s contract because it hates black people.” In fact, whether he is an independent contractor is not a moot point because (1) there are many possible reasons for him being dropped, (2) contractors generally get less legal protection than employees, and (3) whether the civil rights act protects independent contractors is not clear – as I pointed out previously, a fairly recent court case in one district court ruled that independent contractors are protected, but that ruling is not binding on other district courts unless the Supreme Court rules on it as well. Regardless, that ruling was not about protecting someone who is using his religious beliefs as an excuse for defaming two minorities (people with a specific sexual orientation and people with a specific religion)

      Jun 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LeeF
      LeeF

      @Jaroslaw: It does indeed seem strange there is no general public press about this. The earliest story I can find seems to be from one “Mike Adams”, a self-described professor, columnist (for Townhall.com) and political author. The first story I can find is his June 16 article at Townhall.com called “The Cisco Kid” (sorry – didn’t link it, but easily googled).

      Why is this? Perhaps – and I can only speculate – Turek went directly to a “special interest” press/columnist with his story. Because of Adam’s decidedly conservative credentials, it would be hard to imagine this story was subject to any real investigative scrutiny by an impartial press. Reader beware – this may be just mere “junk food” for the uncritical mind.

      A quick note about my comments on the hypothetical situation of AFA commenting on someone being fired for “pro gay” comments…

      True, as you put it, I certainly would not expect AFA to give us the current status of, say, the Mars Rover missions. But if they promote a story like Turek’s, then it certainly seems disingenuous to ignore the greater context of the issues they claim it illustrates.

      For example, the fact is that in my state (Pennsylvania), one can be denied employment or housing – legally – for being gay. If AFA is making an issue that this man was denied work or contract for his beliefs, yet ignores the even more egregious results of sanctioned prejudice at the state level, that certainly smacks of selective agenda-driven commentary.

      In other words, I don’t expect them to protest religious persecution halfway around the globe when discussing this particular topic, but to select an item out of an otherwise ignored, yet pertinent, context shows a narrow-minded focus rather than a worldly, educated perspective.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 115 · Bill wrote, “//since he linked to an article stating that he was “fired as a vendor”, it is a pretty good guess that Turek had not been a Cisco employee, but rather an independent contractor (or someone working for one).
      So, maybe “Bill” can explain why he is pretending otherwise.// You are going on and on and on about the subcontractor issue as though that has anything to do with anything.”

      Very curious – the link to my comment didn’t work and I can’t find the comment on the thread any more. It quoted Turek’s tweet and showed that a URL he gave in his tweet ( a compressed URL to http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2011/06/16/the_cisco_kid ) in fact used the phrase “fired as a vendor”. Someone is obviously getting factual comments deleted in order to skew the discussion. I’ll refrain from publicly guessing who might be doing that.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      LEEF – OK persecution in China perhaps not best example – but if (and I’m sure they do) the AFA says flat out in their policy that homosexuality is incompatible with family life and Christian values, then why would you expect them to make a comment about someone getting fired for “pro Gay” comments?

      Yes, that is unfair, and hypocritical; since it assumes ALL heterosexual families are good (demonstrably untrue) and NO ‘homosexual’ headed families are good (demonstrably untrue also). But again, I don’t expect any group to violate their stated as well as obvious mission. Read anything from American’s for separation of church and state organization and you’ll see that AFA and most of the ultra Christian organizations outright lie and more often selectively tell the truth to give the wrong impression but that is a completely different matter than what you are describing. If I’m mistaking what you’re saying, of course, let me know.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @JohnnyC: //Apparently he only had one more eight hour seminar scheduled, for which he was paid despite not conducting. As such, he has no tangible damages to sue for. //

      That may be true. However, the issue is not whether Turek suffered financial damages. I’m sure he will be just fine. The issue is whether or not a company can engage in viewpoint discrimination against employees even if they do not express those views at the workplace. To say that companies can do this completely undermines the free society that America is supposed to represent and creates an Orwellian society where people can be convicted of thought crimes.

      //Turek’s real job is his anti-gay advocacy and not the leadership training for which Cisco contracted with him.//

      As far as I can tell, Turek’s main calling is his Christian apologetics ministry and writing career. As a conservative, he often takes strong stands on the social issues of the day (abortion, homosexual marriage, etc) but this is secondary to his Christian apologetics ministry. NOT that its Cisco’s or anyone else’s business what he does with his free time.

      //Would those attacking Cisco feel the same way, had the complainer been Jewish and Turek’s “outside activities” (which account for 90% of his web presence) consisted of Neo-Nazi apologetics and attacks on inter-racial marriage?//

      As distasteful as I would find such activities to be, I do not think that should disqualify an employee or contractor from having a job. Nor do I think that gay totalitarians who spend their free time saying nasty things about people of faith and advocating for homosexual marriage should be disqualified from having a job either. I fully understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

      On the other hand, if any of these people were harassing others in the workplace, I would have them dismissed immediately. Essentially what you are advocating for is the ability of a company to engage in viewpoint discrimination against views that you personally disagree with. I’m sure you’d have a cow if a company fired a gay rights activist for advocating for homosexual rights on the Internet on his own time.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //What “Bill” is doing is obvious: he’s trying to put up a smokescreen to hide the fact that he’s trying to pass off unsubstantiated assertions as facts//

      The facts in this case (as far as anyone knows) are relatively undisputed. Turek has himself described the situation in a fairly detailed way on his podcast. Cisco is clamming up and refusing to answer direct questions. The only one trying to throw up a smokescreen is you, by speculating that maybe Turek was fired for his comments on radical Muslims, maybe Cisco’s budget ran out, etc etc.

      //that ruling is not binding on other district courts unless the Supreme Court rules on it as well. Regardless, that ruling was not about protecting someone who is using his religious beliefs as an excuse for defaming two minorities (people with a specific sexual orientation and people with a specific religion//

      The Civil Rights Act does not protect homosexuals, so classifying them as a minority group is an egregious legal error on your part. Furthermore, even if you want to claim that Turek disparaged all Muslims during the radio interview (and this is highly disputable) he is merely expressing his personal beliefs and not discriminating against anyone. What you are advocating for is viewpoint discrimination, that it is OK to for a company to terminate an employee or contractor for holding politically incorrect opinions, even if those opinions are never mentioned at the workplace. This is absolutely insane and I’m sure you’d be singing a different tune if Cisco had terminated someone for criticizing Christianity or advocating for homosexual marriage on their own time.

      //fact used the phrase “fired as a vendor”. Someone is obviously getting factual comments deleted in order to skew the discussion. I’ll refrain from publicly guessing who might be doing that.//

      Your comments are getting crazier by the day.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JohnnyC
      JohnnyC

      @Bill

      Whether a company can or cannot engage in viewpoint discrimination is irrelevant in this case because Turek WAS NOT AN EMPLOYEE!! You keep ignoring that simple and relevant fact. Since Turek is not an employee, he has no reasonable expectation of further contracts from Cisco. Since he suffered no monetary damages, he has no cause to sue Cisco.

      The fact that Christian Apologetics/Anti-Gay Advocacy is Turek’s “true calling” puts the lie to claims by Turek and his right-wing sycophants that he was “fired” by Cisco in first place. Mike Adams makes much of the fact that Turek did not identify himself as a Cisco employee while engaging in his anti-gay activities, but this is a red herring, as an independent contractor, Cisco would likely have ended his contract if he identified himself as a Cisco employee in any context, because he was not an employee.

      Had an employee been terminated for outside advocacy, I’d object. But all we have in this case in an independent contractor, who was paid for his last days work despite not having to perform it. Frankly, I have seen no evidence to support any of Turek’s claims. He says the complaint was from a gay manager – who? how does Turek know said manager is gay? Turek claims to have gotten glowing reviews for his seminars, where are they? can we review them for ourselves?

      So far, I’ve seen no proof that Turek hasn’t made the whole thing up.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 105 “Bill” wrote, “I grant that you were once the voice of reason on this thread, but in a desperate attempt to redeem yourself in the eyes of the regulars here you seem to be retreating from your initial common sense arguments and trying to find a way to justify Turek’s firing.”

      Shear nonsense, of course. None of the “regulars” complained about what I had written. Why should they? I mentioned California laws, but said that we may not have all the facts. While I didn’t spell it out (thought it was obvious), since Cisco would be violating California law if it fired an employee for political activities on his/her own time, one might suspect that something else was going on (Cisco’s personnel department is unlikely to make such a mistake). Then I found evidence that Turek was in fact not an employee and simply reported it, noting that the rules for contractors are different than those for employees, with contractors having fewer rights. I also found specific anti-gay and anti-Muslim statements, pretty defamatory ones, that Turek had made, and reported those as well. It seems “Bill’s” idea of what is a “voice of reason” depends on whether he likes what you say, not what the facts are.

      Then in No. 123 · “Bill” goes on to say, “Cisco is clamming up and refusing to answer direct questions. The only one trying to throw up a smokescreen is you, by speculating that maybe Turek was fired for his comments on radical Muslims, maybe Cisco’s budget ran out, etc etc.”

      The reality is that nearly all companies do not make public statements about employees they fire or contractors whose contracts they cancel or decline to renew. I merely listed some of the reason that companies may have for getting rid of a contractor – as examples of why “Bill” has an invalid argument – he’s ignored some the cases he has to rule out.

      In No 123, “Bill” also states that “The Civil Rights Act does not protect homosexuals, so classifying them as a minority group is an egregious legal error on your part.” Not true at all – I was clearly referring to Turek’s defamatory statements about gays and Muslims, and both are in fact minorities in the U.S.: the definition of the word “minority” is independent of whether a particular minority gets protection under the Civil Rights Act.
      Finally, I should point people to http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/09/opinion/la-ed-scrutiny-20100809 which describes an additional implication of Judge Walker’s ruling on Proposition Eight – that a standard of strict scrutiny is applicable to gays and lesbians.

      According to the L.A. Times (URL given above), “What the legalese refers to is that laws affecting certain minority groups are held to a higher standard by the courts — a standard known as strict scrutiny — when they are challenged as discriminatory. The standard applies to laws affecting minority groups that fall within “suspect classifications,” but the courts have not been entirely clear about the criteria for receiving this special protection. They have said, among other things, that such groups must have been historically targeted by discrimination; must be a “discrete” and “insular” community; must be a minority because of an unchangeable characteristic; and must have lacked the power to protect themselves using the political process. Groups don’t necessarily have to meet all four, and other factors could be considered. Among the classifications that have qualified for this protection are race and national origin. Could the same apply to sexual orientation? We think so. There is no doubt that gays and lesbians have historically been singled out for discrimination, to the point that until relatively recently, most were too afraid of the repercussions to reveal information about their sexuality. The vitriol hurled their way during the marriage debate only adds to the evidence. As a result, they have formed a community that is, in many ways, insular and that certainly is seen as a separate, distinctive group.”

      Jun 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @JohnnyC: My previous post to you came across as overly harsh. That was not my intention.

      //Had an employee been terminated for outside advocacy, I’d object//

      That’s good to know. You (and B) may have a point about the civil rights act not applying to independent contractors. I’m not a lawyer and I can’t say if it does or not (although apparently one case has already ruled that it does).

      Personally, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, I find it odious in the extreme that a computer network company wants to play petty politics and reward/punish employees or contractors for having certain political viewpoints. We already have a political process in place to resolve these kinds of issues and people who want to use the work environment (or an activist judge) to push their views on everyone else are obnoxious and repulsive. Frankly, if I were completely neutral on the gay marriage issue something like this would make me vote against it just because of the totalitarian nature of the incident.

      On the other hand, I am sick and tired of reading about people lawyering up and filing petty lawsuits for any little grievance. Nor would I want to continue to work in a poisonous atmosphere like the one that apparently exists at Cisco. I am a computer professional myself, and I have crossed Cisco off the list of places to work as a result of this incident. And I’ll never buy any of their stocks. May they go down in flames and fade into oblivion.

      Maybe the best thing for Turek to do is draw attention to what happened and move on with his life. I’m sure that God will bless his efforts and meet all of his financial needs.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 7:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Shear nonsense, of course. None of the “regulars” complained about what I had written. Why should they?//

      It absolutely astonishes me that you have the audacity to say things like this. In post #75 you yourself complained that:

      “This is a classic example of argumentum ad hominem – rather than address the point, this “FinanceGuru” character attacks the messenger, rather childishly I might add – people should know better than to try such obviously fallacious arguments if they managed to take Logic 101 sometime at college – it is the sort of reasoning error a high school student might make”

      //The reality is that nearly all companies do not make public statements about employees they fire or contractors whose contracts they cancel or decline to renew.//

      You’re really not fooling anyone. The company representative who spoke on the Turek situation was extremely evasive and refused to answer direct questions. Clearly she’s worried about the legal implications and the bad publicity, but its too late to fix it now:

      http://www.pointofview.net/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=17452&security=1&news_iv_ctrl=1201

      “Our culture is very welcoming of all points of view. We don’t have any particular political perspective on the issues of same-sex marriage or any of the other issues.

      I was encouraged to hear this from Ms. Nagel. But if that’s true, as Dr. Turek asked, “How could a Cisco leader and a seasoned HR professional possibly think its right to fire someone for his conservative political or religious beliefs on same sex marriage unless the Cisco culture has become drastically tilted toward political correctness?”

      Ms. Nagel refused to answer the question directly and denied the culture was tilted. Instead, she offered an endless stream of platitudes about how inclusive and diverse the Cisco culture is. ”

      //the definition of the word “minority” is independent of whether a particular minority gets protection under the Civil Rights Act.
      Finally, I should point people to http://articles.latimes.com/20…..y-20100809 which describes an additional implication of Judge Walker’s ruling on Proposition Eight – that a standard of strict scrutiny is applicable to gays and lesbians. //

      So because a liberal activist judge in San Francisco “discovers” that homosexuals really are covered by the civil rights act which says nothing about sexual orientation (in much the same way that the activist judges “discovered” a right to abortion in the constitution which says nothing about abortion) homosexuals are suddenly protected by the Civil Rights act? This interpretation will get tossed if it makes it to the Supreme Court.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //What I summarily dismissed was your “one part in 10^120? which is simply bogus, so you are lying about what I wrote. As to “open mindedness”, my opinions are much better founded than yours, if only as a result of the coincidence that one of the individuals you mentioned was a classmate of mine in graduate school – we were in the same department.//

      My statement on the cosmological constant is accurate and I cite the following sources to back this up:

      http://www.sciencemeetsreligio…..nstant.php

      “Perhaps the most startling “cosmic coincidence” that modern scientists have noted in the structure of our universe is the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant [Vilenkin2006, pg. 121-126]. The paradox derives from the fact that when one calculates, based on known principles of quantum mechanics, the “zero-point mass density’” or the “vacuum energy density” of the universe, focusing for the time being on the electromagnetic force, one obtains the incredible result that empty space “weighs” 1093 grams per cc. The actual average mass density of the universe is 10-28 grams per cc [Susskind2005, pg. 70-78], which is roughly 120 orders of magnitude lower than the predicted value. As Stephen Hawking has quipped, this is arguably the most spectacular failure of a physical theory in history [Davies2007, pg. 147]. The “cosmological constant’” of Einstein’s general relativity equations is linearly related to the zero-point mass density. Einstein originally posited a nonzero value for the cosmological constant, but after the expansion of the universe was discovered, he lamented that this was his greatest blunder and set the constant to zero [Davies2007, pg. 58].”

      http://super.colorado.edu/~mic…../phys.html

      “Such high theoretical calculations of are a real limit to the plausibility of a non-zero cosmological constant. The above was only an example for a single field, and it is possible that the the contributions of all the different fields associated with the particles of the standard model conspire to produce a cosmological constant that is small. This argument, however, leads to the belief that the cosmological constant is exactly zero, for how could the fields conspire to cancel out all but 1 part in 10120?
      Even though theoretical calculations of the cosmological constant are not fully understood, the fact remains that the vacuum energy does exist. Since gravity couples all forms of energy, the cosmological constant remains as a physically plausible part of modern cosmology.”

      http://hanskrause.de/HKHPE/hkhpe_05_05.htm

      “Prof. Steven Weinberg then says in Scientific American, October 1994 page 27: “But one constant does seem to require an incredible fine-tuning: it is the vacuum energy, or cosmological constant, mentioned in connection with inflationary cosmologies. Although we cannot calculate this quantity, we can calculate some contributions to it (such as the energy of quantum fluctuations in the gravitational field that have wavelengths no shorter than about 10-33 centimeter). These contributions come out about 120 orders of magnitude larger than the maximum value allowed by our observations of the present rate of cosmic expansion. If the various contributions to the vacuum energy did not nearly cancel, then, depending on the value of the total vacuum energy, the universe either would go through a complete cycle of expansion and contraction before life could arise or would expand so rapidly that no galaxies or stars could form.
      Thus, the existence of life of any kind seems to require a cancellation between different contributions to the vacuum energy, accurate to about 120 decimal places. It is possible that this cancellation will be explained in terms of some future theory.”

      Jun 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //The basic idea (to quote Carter) is that “what we can expect to observe must be restricted by conditions necessary for our presence as observers.”//

      I’m familiar with the argument. It doesn’t really explain anything and runs into problems. This article addresses the philosophical problems with this line of reasoning:

      http://www.leaderu.com/offices…..arrow.html

      “This can be clearly seen by means of an illustration (borrowed from John Leslie): suppose you are dragged before a firing squad of 100 trained marksmen, all of them with rifles aimed at your heart, to be executed. The command is given; you hear the deafening sound of the guns. And you observe that you are still alive, that all of the 100 marksmen missed! Now while it is true that

      5. You should not be surprised that you do not observe that you are dead,
      nonetheless it is equally true that

      6. You should be surprised that you do observe that you are alive.
      Since the firing squad’s missing you altogether is extremely improbable, the surprise expressed in (6) is wholly appropriate, though you are not surprised that you do not observe that you are dead, since if you were dead you could not observe it. Similarly, while we should not be surprised that we do not observe features of the universe which are incompatible with our existence, it is nevertheless true that

      7. We should he surprised that we do observe features of the universe which are compatible with our existence,
      in view of the enormous improbability, demonstrated repeatedly by Barrow and Tipler, that the universe should possess such features.

      The reason the falsity of (7) does not follow from (3) is that subimplication fails for first order predicate calculus. For (3) may he schematized as

      3?. ~S: (x) ([Fx × ~Cx] É ~Ox)

      where S: is an operator expressing ‘we should he surprised that’, F is ‘is a feature of the universe’, C is ‘is compatible with our existence’, and O is ‘is observed by us’. And (7) may he schematized as

      7?. S: ($x) ([Fx × Cx] × Ox)

      It is clear that the object of surprise in (7?) is not equivalent to the object of surprise in (3?); therefore the truth of (3?) does not entail the negation of (7?).{2 }

      Therefore, the attempt of the Anthropic Philosophy to stave off our surprise at the basic features of the universe fails. It does not after all follow from WAP that our surprise at the basic features of universe is unwarranted or inappropriate and that they do not therefore cry out for explanation. But which features of the universe should thus surprise us?-those which are necessary conditions of our existence and which seem extremely improbable or whose coincidence seems extremely improbable. “

      Furthermore, in Martin Rees’s book “Just Six Numbers” Rees himself addresses the Carter argument in Chapter 11 (Coincidence, Providence – or Multiverse?)

      “…One hard-headed response is that we couldn’t exist if these numbers weren’t adjusted in the appropriate ‘special’ way; we manifestly are here, so there’s nothing to be surprised about. Many scientists take this line, but it certainly leaves ME unsatisfied. I’m impressed by a metaphor given by the Canadian philosopher John Leslie. Suppose you are facing a firing squad. Fifty marksmen take aim, but they all miss. If they hadn’t all missed, you wouldn’t have survived to ponder the matter. But you wouldn’t just leave it at that – you’d still be baffled, and would seek some further reason for your good fortune…”

      Rees continues and says further in the chapter:

      “…Others adduce the ‘tuning’ of the numbers as evidence for a beneficient Creator, who formed the universe with the specific intention of producing us (or, less anthropocentrically, of permitting intricate complexities to unfold). This is in the tradition of William Paley and other advocates of the so-called ‘argument from design’ for God’s existence. Variants of it are now espoused by eminent scientist-theologians such as John Polkinghorne; he writes that the universe is ‘not just “any old world”, but it’s special and finely tuned for life because it is the creation of a Creator who wills that it should be so’….”

      Jun 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 127 · Bill muttered: “@B: //Shear nonsense, of course. None of the “regulars” complained about what I had written. Why should they?// It absolutely astonishes me that you have the audacity to say things like this. In post #75 you yourself complained that: “This is a classic example of argumentum ad hominem – rather than address the point, this “FinanceGuru” character attacks the messenger, rather childishly I might add …”

      Earth to “Bill”: the term “regulars” is plural and refers to the people who post repeatedly. Your browser has a search function. Use it and you’ll see that this “FinanceGuru” guy posted precisely one comment. He does not in any sense qualify as a “regular”, and he did mindlessly post an ad hominem argument.

      Nearly all of “Bill’s” comments seem to consist of similar distortions. This character will say anything that pops into his head.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 128 · Bill wrote, “@B: //What I summarily dismissed was your ‘one part in 10^120′ which is simply bogus,… // My statement on the cosmological constant is accurate and I cite the following sources to back this up: http://www.sciencemeetsreligio…..nstant.php ‘… The actual average mass density of the universe is 10-28 grams per cc [Susskind2005, pg. 70-78], which is roughly 120 orders of magnitude lower than the predicted value. …'”

      Now this is really funny – you just proved that you simply don’t know what you are talking about. The phrase “one part in 10^120″ means you know the value extremely accurately – to the 120th decimal place. “roughly 120 orders of magnitude lower” means you are off by a factor of 10^120.

      Dude, you don’t even know basic terminology used to express measurements. It is obvious that you are cutting and pasting without a clue as to what any of it means.

      Then in No. 129 , you write, “B: //The basic idea (to quote Carter) is that ‘what we can expect to observe must be restricted by conditions necessary for our presence as observers.’// I’m familiar with the argument. It doesn’t really explain anything and runs into problems. This article addresses the philosophical problems with this line of reasoning.” [the link "Bill" gave in No 129 doesn't work].

      Obviously this is yet another example of you not understanding what is being said. I’m not going to waste time on a detailed reply – it would simply go over your [Bill's] head.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JohnnyC
      JohnnyC

      @Bill

      The only thing Cisco can be accused of is responding to the issues raised by their employees. They did not seek out Turek’s views on marriage equality, and they were readily available had they chosen to do so. And that’s only if we take all of Turek’s completely unsupported claims at face value.

      For example, Turek claims to have received lavish amounts of praise for his seminars, where are the emails? I have worked as an independent contractor for several years, and always keep “good job” emails. You never know when they may prove useful.

      Turek fails to explain just how he knows that it was 1 manager complaining about him and that said manager was gay, and thought the seminar was fabulous. Doesn’t all of that seem just a wee bit pat to you? It’s almost as if the most perfect case of discrimination against anti-gay activists – every little detail tweaks a right-wing meme- just fell (kerplop) into the lap of a well connected anti-gay activist. It seems to me you are putting far too much stock into pleasing tales that match your own personal biases, which you display so prominently when you use phrases like “gay totalitarians”.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //FinanceGuru” guy posted precisely one comment. He does not in any sense qualify as a “regular”//

      B, I don’t know who the regulars are on here, as this is a forum I don’t usually go to. If you weren’t trying to appease the regulars by your debating with me then I apologize and retract my previous statement to that effect.

      //Dude, you don’t even know basic terminology used to express measurements. It is obvious that you are cutting and pasting without a clue as to what any of it means.//

      B, the fine tuning of the cosmological constant is well attested to by top notch atheistic physicists. You don’t have to make my word for it. For example:

      http://www.unm.edu/~hdelaney/finetuning.html

      “In any case, there is one constant whose value does seem remarkably well adjusted in our favor. It is the energy density of empty space, also known at the cosmological constant.”
      S. Weinberg, Skeptical Inquirer, Sept./Oct. 2001, pg 67

      At the Nature of Nature conference at Baylor Unviersity, April 2000, Weinberg stated that the cosmological constant appears to be fine-tuned to 1 part in 10^120

      “As far as finely tuning things, there are still two important fine tuning problem that are not solved. One is the problem that’s called the cosmological constant problem. It’s basically the problem of why the energy density of the vacuum is either zero or very close to being zero. Current models of physics require fine tuning in order to make the energy of the vacuum turn out to be either zero or very, very small.”
      Alan Guth, quoted by F. Heeren in “Show Me God”

      “At present it is clearly too early to choose one cosmological model over the other. It is getting increasingly difficult to find accord with a flat universe without a cosmolgocial constant. The question then becomes: Which fundamental fine-tuning problem is one more willing to worry about, the flatness problem or the cosmological constant problem? The latter involves a fine-tuning of over 120 orders of magnitude, if the cosmological constant is nonzero and comparable to the density of clustered matter today, while the former involves a fine-tuning of perhaps only 60 orders of magnitude, if one arbitrarily fixes the energy density of the universe at the Planck time to be slightly less than the closure density.”
      L. M. Krauss, The Astrophysical Journal, 1998

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
      “Steven Weinberg[8] gave an anthropic explanation for this fact: he noted that the cosmological constant has a remarkably low value, some 120 orders of magnitude smaller than the value particle physics predicts (this has been described as the “worst prediction in physics”).[9] However, if the cosmological constant were more than about 10 times its observed value, the universe would suffer catastrophic inflation, which would preclude the formation of stars, and hence life”

      And even if you want to insist that there is nothing uncommon about the CC, there are dozens of other parameters in physics that are also astonishingly fine tuned. And we discovering new ones all the time.

      //I’m not going to waste time on a detailed reply – it would simply go over your [Bill's] head.//

      Fair enough. Thanks for your dialogue. I learned some interesting things about law from you. Take care.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @JohnnyC: //The only thing Cisco can be accused of is responding to the issues raised by their employees//

      Fair enough.

      //They did not seek out Turek’s views on marriage equality, and they were readily available had they chosen to do so//

      Good point.

      //It seems to me you are putting far too much stock into pleasing tales that match your own personal biases//

      Anything is possible, but I don’t have much reason to doubt Turek’s version of the story. Stories like these are becoming commonplace, and they can’t all be exagerations.

      But I respect your views, and promise to never cause any problems for you if we cross paths in the workplace. Farewell.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 10:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 133 · Bill wrote “//Dude, you don’t even know basic terminology used to express measurements. It is obvious that you are cutting and pasting without a clue as to what any of it means.//
      B, the fine tuning of the cosmological constant is well attested to by top notch atheistic physicists. You don’t have to make my word for it.”

      LOL. You said the value was known to 1 part in 10^120, which would make the determination of its value the most precise measurement ever made, when in reality the claim was that our estimates seem to be off by about a factor of 10^120.

      To make the numbers clearer, “to one part in a million” means a measurement accurate enough to tell the difference between 0.544331 and 0.544332. Off by a factor of a million would fit the case where we though a value was 1,654,444 when the actual value was 1.5 (we don’t mean to exactly divide [or multiply] by a million but by a number reasonably close to a million).

      Also, you don’t understand what the term “fine tuning” means. It simply means (as used in your quotes) to adjust parameters (whose values we don’t know a priori) so the model fits the observations. When you talk about moving a value by 120 orders of magnitude, however, the term “fine tuning” obviously does not mean what you think. Hint: for all physical constants that we’ve been able to measure in a laboratory, I could get a hell of a lot closer than 120 orders of magnitude by guessing that the value is 1 in MKS units.

      Given that, what’s the point of even trying to hold a discussion with you. It would be more productive to argue with a brick wall.

      Jun 23, 2011 at 10:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 133, “Bill” wrote, “dozens of other parameters in physics that are also astonishingly fine tuned. And we discovering new ones all the time.”

      … should have pointed out that one!

      This is a reasoning error called “begging the question” – the term “fine tuned” implies some sort of agent fiddling with something. In reality, given that we exist, of course
      you are going to have physical constants with values that make that possible – we
      wouldn’t be there to observe it if those values were different.

      Do you think any creature anywhere ever measured the age of the universe and came up with an accurate value of around 1 million years? No way – there wouldn’t have been enough time to create and disperse the carbon needed for biological processes, much less for intelligent creatures to evolve.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 1:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: Hi B. I’m glad to see that you are still interested in continuing the discussion!

      //Also, you don’t understand what the term “fine tuning” means. It simply means (as used in your quotes) to adjust parameters (whose values we don’t know a priori) so the model fits the observations//

      I’m guessing that you are not bothering to read anything that I write. I’ve been quoting the world’s leading scientists on this subject (many of whom are regarded as the absolute best in the field and who have won nobel prizes) until I’m blue in the face and you summarily dismiss everything they say.

      None of these guys are creationist scientists! The very fact that atheistic physicists are speculating on infinite multiverses, (something that they admit that they have no evidence for) testifies to the magnitude of the fine tuning that we see. This is one reason why I keep begging you to read Martin Rees’s book “Just Six Numbers”.

      These very same atheistic scientists admit that if an infinite or very large multiverse does not exist then the only other plausible explanation is divine providence. Some physicists, like Frank Tipler and John Polkinghorne, have even become Christians in response to the evidence from teleology! In fact, Frank Tipler went from being a strong atheist to being a Christian because of this evidence!

      Allow me to re-quote some of the very telling things that top ranked ATHEISTIC physicists are saying about the fine-tuning:

      Martin Rees’s book “Just Six Numbers” in Chapter 11 (Coincidence, Providence – or Multiverse?)

      “…Others adduce the ‘tuning’ of the numbers as evidence for a beneficient Creator, who formed the universe with the specific intention of producing us (or, less anthropocentrically, of permitting intricate complexities to unfold). This is in the tradition of William Paley and other advocates of the so-called ‘argument from design’ for God’s existence. Variants of it are now espoused by eminent scientist-theologians such as John Polkinghorne; he writes that the universe is ‘not just “any old world”, but it’s special and finely tuned for life because it is the creation of a Creator who wills that it should be so’….”

      Leonard Susskind (world leading atheistic physicist who proved Stephen Hawking wrong and re-wrote the theory on black holes) said:

      “I doubt that physicists will see it that way. If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape [that is the multiverse landscape] turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics.”

      //of course you are going to have physical constants with values that make that possible – we wouldn’t be there to observe it if those values were different.//

      Again, I can only conclude that you are not bothering to read anything I write. I’ve already addressed this issue in one of my recent messages. Philosopher John Leslie describes this line of reasoning and demolishes it with his firing squad example. Martin Rees discusses this as well in his book:

      “…One hard-headed response is that we couldn’t exist if these numbers weren’t adjusted in the appropriate ‘special’ way; we manifestly are here, so there’s nothing to be surprised about. Many scientists take this line, but it certainly leaves ME unsatisfied. I’m impressed by a metaphor given by the Canadian philosopher John Leslie. Suppose you are facing a firing squad. Fifty marksmen take aim, but they all miss. If they hadn’t all missed, you wouldn’t have survived to ponder the matter. But you wouldn’t just leave it at that – you’d still be baffled, and would seek some further reason for your good fortune…”

      Or let’s put it another way. Let’s say that you are in the middle of a major city that gets hit by a nuclear strike. All of the buildings get vaporized and every single person for a hundred miles around you is destroyed except you. Would you just shrug your shoulders and say, “well of course I’m immune to nuclear blasts, otherwise I wouldn’t be here to observe the devastation!” Of course not. You’d rightly wonder what had happened to allow you to survive.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 7:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kathleen
      Kathleen

      It’s very simple. Cisco has every right not to want to be associated with anti-gay bigots, just like it would not want to be associated with KKK members.
      They are under no obligation to buy vendor services from Turek.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • morgus
      morgus

      Is it fair? What if someone wrote similar items in favor of gay marriage? Should that person also be fired? If not then that makes you a hypocrit.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph
      Joseph

      >Is it fair? What if someone wrote similar items in favor of gay marriage? Should that
      >person also be fired? If not then that makes you a hypocrit.

      Never mind the fact that he wasn’t an employee… this is the fallacy of false equivocation. Being in favor of equal rights is not the same thing as being in favor of denying rights to a minority. One is American; the other is evil. Lastly, ignoring the issue of gay marriage… he’s said terrible and hurtful things about gay PEOPLE. That’s not religion, and that’s not a political position. That’s just hurtful lies and slander. Anyone who opposes a man who speaks unfounded ill of another but would defend a man who’s advocated for equality is not a hypocrite.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 137 · Bill wrote, “@B: Hi B. I’m glad to see that you are still interested in continuing the discussion! //Also, you don’t understand what the term “fine tuning” means. It simply means (as used in your quotes) to adjust parameters (whose values we don’t know a priori) so the model fits the observations// I’m guessing that you are not bothering to read anything that I write. I’ve been quoting the world’s leading scientists on this subject (many of whom are regarded as the absolute best in the field and who have won nobel prizes) until I’m blue in the face and you summarily dismiss everything they say.”

      Oh please – you are simply engaged in name dropping and twisting some quotes that you don’t understand in an attempt to justify your religious beliefs. As to not taking you seriously, what do you expect when you confuse a factor of 10^120 (10 to the 120th power) with 1 part in 10^120, a level of accuracy we haven’t been able to approach in our wildest dreams. At another point you tried a childish personal attack about me allegedly “redeem yourself in the eyes of the regulars” and when I discounted the static I was supposedly getting, you gave the name of one guy who posted precisely one comment. Then you said you had no idea who the “regulars” were. What that tells me is that you’ll say anything just to be argumentative with no regard to the facts.

      “None of these guys are creationist scientists! The very fact that atheistic physicists are speculating on infinite multiverses, (something that they admit that they have no evidence for) testifies to the magnitude of the fine tuning that we see.”

      Try again. The original paper on “multiverses” by Everett and Wheeler was published in 1957 in a paper entitled, “Relative State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics”, summarizing Everett’s Ph.D. thesis, “The Theory of the Universal Wavefunction”. It was not about cosmology. You can read a simplified description of the idea at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation (I skimmed through it – no glaring mistakes). The idea was to see if you could formulate quantum mechanics in a way that got rid of certain technical issues involving the collapse of a wavefunction resulting from a measurement in a way that allowed you to derive the rule that gives the probability of a given outcome
      (called Born’s rule).

      I might add that fairly recently (2005) there was an experiment with a macroscopic object (a few microns in size) that showed quantum-mechanical behavior, transitioning between two discrete states while never seeming to be in between the two. http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20050110221715data_trunc_sys.shtml has the details.

      Also, there have been proposals to experimentally test the many-worlds interpretation, but these experiments, or at least some of them, are not yet feasible due to technological limitations. I might add that some of the predictions of General Relativity were verified experimentally for the first time very recently – we didn’t have the technology that made the experiment possible earlier.

      Let me suggest that you keep to two topics. Your health and the weather.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      What an interesting group. So many keep posting how they are “against anti-Gay bigotry” but not one peep about my post #90, Bill’s absurd response in #96….and no response from him or anyone on #113. No it doesn’t 100% correlate with the topic, but how EVERYONE is treated,how the larger society is given “permission” to mistreat Gays; what is permitted of parents to do to their children etc. I would have thought there would have been at least one response.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 142 · Jaroslaw wrote, “What an interesting group. So many keep posting how they are “against anti-Gay bigotry” but not one peep about my post #90, Bill’s absurd response in #96….and no response from him or anyone on #113.”

      I think in those cases (what you wrote), a lack of a response was due to basic agreement and no need to elaborate. “Bill” has so many absurd responses that replying to every one would be a full time job.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Jaroslaw: Jaroslaw, you keep talking about post #113, so here is my response. I haven’t been ignoring you, but I do have a very busy life and it is time consuming responding to all the various people here.

      //I tried to write a post to help you understand, and you turn into a bigger ass than I thought you were!I tried to write a post to help you understand, and you turn into a bigger ass than I thought you were!//

      And here we start with the insults. I find it ironic that you complain about being disrespected and mistreated when you were a kid but you have no problem treating other people who have different points of view with disrespect when you are on a friendly forum and all your friends are cheering you on. That is also social bullying and I doubt you’d be like this if you were in a different venue.

      //Social approval? Getting picked on, beaten up and ostracized by almost everyone is not “a need for social approval.”//

      If people beat you up then I am sorry to hear that. I certainly don’t condone violence or treating anyone with disrespect. I’m assuming you were treated with disrespect because you are a homosexual and this was somehow public knowledge? I don’t really know the details of your situation so I can’t comment on it.

      Kids do and say nasty things. Try being an evangelical Christian who is a virgin (and lets everyone know this) in today’s culture and see how they get treated. I’m not equivocating, I’m just saying that life is not fair and you have to adapt.

      //It would have been a blessing if I was just given the ordinary daily respect that is given without question to the majority (conformists? Normal kids?) and otherwise to be left alone.//

      I guess I’m not relating. If you were attracted to people of the same sex how would anyone even know this? What is it you were wanting from people exactly? To be left alone and to live in peace or for everyone around you to slap you on the back and affirm that same sex attraction is awesome and wonderful? Before I can give you a meaningful response I’d need more information.

      //Parents do not have absolute rights over their children. You are truly stupid if you don’t know this. Parents must provide medical care for their children, they must have immunizations to attend school, they must sent them to school or home school them etc.//

      Again more insults. Just for future reference, I don’t usually waste my time responding to messages like this, so if you want another response from me in the future I’d try a different approach.

      And parents DO have a right to pass on their values to their children. Atheist parents have a right to teach their children that atheism is true. Buddhist parents have a right to train their kids in Buddhism, etc. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim parents have a right to teach their religious beliefs to their kids, including the religious commands on sexuality. This is a constitutionally protected right and I’m certainly not going to give that up, even if an activist judge somewhere calls me a bigot and declares this to be illegal.

      I obviously wasn’t insinuating that parents can starve or beat their children or denying them medical care. Now THAT is a truly stupid conclusion to draw from what I previously wrote.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: @B: //Oh please – you are simply engaged in name dropping and twisting some quotes that you don’t understand in an attempt to justify your religious beliefs.//

      Which quotes did I twist? Please give me the exact quote that I twisted and elaborate on how I twisted it. Feel free to tell me what the scientist REALLY meant and how I took what he said completely out of context.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Try again. The original paper on “multiverses” by Everett and Wheeler was published//

      So I take it that you are throwing in your lot with the multiverse advocates? That’s fine, but I’d like to make a few observations:

      1) It’s weird that at on the one hand you vociferously deny fine-tuning but on the other hand profess belief in the multiverse, WHICH IS DESIGNED TO EXPLAIN THE FINE-TUNING PROBLEM!!!!

      2) You do realize that there is absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever for a multiverse, right? This is pure meta-physics and you are taking a leap of blind faith in some other explanation of existence in a desperate attempt to avoid God.

      3) You still have the problem of the cosmic beginning to deal with. A multiverse doesn’t let you off the hook. In 2003, the Borde Guth Vilenkin Theorem proved that any Universe which is in a state of cosmic expansion (like our Universe is) MUST have originated from a finite point in the past, even if that Universe originated from a wider multiverse. So you still have to believe that nothing created everything.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub6vKrRWGYA

      4) Finally, if you believe in a multiverse you have to deal with some very strange philosophical issues. For example, it is FAR more likely that you are a Boltzmann brain that simply fluctuated into existence imagining that you are a real person who talks to other people than that you really are an advanced primate who evolved on a small blue planet and is blogging on the Internet!

      (From the paper “Boltzmann brains and the scale-factor cutoff measure of
      the multiverse” by Andrea De Simone, Alan H. Guth, Andrei Linde,Mahdiyar Noorbala, Michael P. Salem, and Alexander Vilenkin)

      “To make predictions for an eternally inflating ‘‘multiverse,’’ one must adopt a procedure for regulating its divergent spacetime volume. Recently, a new test of such spacetime measures has emerged: normal observers—who evolve in pocket universes cooling from hot big bang conditions—must not be vastly outnumbered by ‘‘Boltzmann brains’’—freak observers that pop in and out of existence as a result of rare quantum fluctuations. If the Boltzmann brains prevail, then a randomly chosen observer would be overwhelmingly likely to be surrounded by an empty world, where all but vacuum energy has redshifted away, rather than the rich structure that we observe…”

      I assume that you do not want this to be true. So somehow in your imagination you have to believe that a multiverse exists (despite the complete lack of evidence) yet somehow must convince yourself that you ended up as a real person instead of a lonely brain floating in a pocket universe having a conversation with figments of your imagination. How do you do this? And how can you ever be annoyed with me, since I am in all likelihood just a figment of your imagination anyway?

      Jun 24, 2011 at 9:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 145 · Bill wrote, “@B: @B: //Oh please – you are simply engaged in name dropping and twisting some quotes that you don’t understand in an attempt to justify your religious beliefs.// Which quotes did I twist? Please give me the exact quote that I twisted and elaborate on how I twisted it. Feel free to tell me what the scientist REALLY meant and how I took what he said completely out of context.”

      You can start with your statement in No 128 that your opinion about the cosmological constant being “fine tuned” to one part in 10^120 is correct – what you quote states that we can estimate is off by a factor of 10^120, which is a different statement all together:
      changing the cosmological constant by one part in 10^120 — e.g., multiplying the value by (1 + 10^(-120)) — would have no noticeable effect.

      In No 137 you wrote, “These very same atheistic scientists admit that if an infinite or very large multiverse does not exist then the only other plausible explanation is divine providence.” But, what you quote hardly justifies your statement – it merely suggests that multiverse models, or an extremely large universe with different physical constants in different regions, are the only models we currently have that seem to fit. Nobody you quoted would claim that “the only other plausible explanation is divine providence,” since they are all very much aware that we do not have a catalog of all plausible explanations.

      I could go on and on, but I’m going to stop here – it is really a waste of time to try to educate you.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 146 · Bill wrote, “@B: //Try again. The original paper on “multiverses” by Everett and Wheeler was published// So I take it that you are throwing in your lot with the multiverse advocates? That’s fine, but I’d like to make a few observations: …”

      Well, that sort of response shows how impossible you are! Rather than any “throwing” of “lots”, I simply gave you a description of the original paper on multiverses (Everett never used that term as the paper had nothing to do with cosmology), and what the motivation for the research was – to get rid of an “observer” (that causes a wavefunction to collapse) by making the measurement process simply another type of interaction. You can read about the issue at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat . I then pointed out that tests of Everett’s interpretation exist in principle, some needing technological advances to be feasible.

      I also pointed you to a recent experiment that weakly supports Everett’s interpretation – the experiment is consistent with that interpretation but is not the sort of test that could show that that interpretation is wrong.

      So how do you respond? With some drawn out silly rant that included factually incorrect nonsense such as “It’s weird that at on the one hand you vociferously deny fine-tuning but on the other hand profess belief in the multiverse, WHICH IS DESIGNED TO EXPLAIN THE FINE-TUNING PROBLEM!!!!”

      FACT: I did not “profess belief” for or against multiverses. I simply gave you some references. One talked about a particular bias in observations due to our position in the universe in both space and time. The other, provided after you started to rant about multiverses, pointed you to the original research. You statement that the idea of a multiverse was “designed to explain the fine-tuning problem” is simply a lie on your part – I gave you the date for the research (1957 for publication), which is well before anyone said anything about a “fine-tuning problem”. In 1957, we still hadn’t detected the microwave background radiation, which was found by accident in 1964, and that original paper on what was later dubbed the “multiworld” or “many-worlds” interpretation never mentioned cosmology.

      You can find a historical account of Everett’s research (and additional biographical information about him) at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hugh-everett-biography .

      Jun 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: Thanks for your latest messages. My response follows:

      //You can start with your statement in No 128 that your opinion about the cosmological constant being “fine tuned” to one part in 10^120 is correct//

      One of the quotes I used in message 128 was from Steve Weinberg (a well respected atheist theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his contributions to the unification of the weak force and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles) who said in Scientific American, October 1994 page 27:

      But one constant does seem to require an incredible fine-tuning: it is the vacuum energy, or cosmological constant, mentioned in connection with inflationary cosmologies. Although we cannot calculate this quantity, we can calculate some contributions to it (such as the energy of quantum fluctuations in the gravitational field that have wavelengths no shorter than about 10-33 centimeter). These contributions come out about 120 orders of magnitude larger than the maximum value allowed by our observations of the present rate of cosmic expansion. If the various contributions to the vacuum energy did not nearly cancel, then, depending on the value of the total vacuum energy, the universe either would go through a complete cycle of expansion and contraction before life could arise or would expand so rapidly that no galaxies or stars could form.

      Thus, the existence of life of any kind seems to require a cancellation between different contributions to the vacuum energy, accurate to about 120 decimal places. It is possible that this cancellation will be explained in terms of some future theory.

      In the book, “Case for Creator” this is elaborated on in the chapter “THE EVIDENCE OF
      PHYSICS: THE COSMOS ON A RAZOR’S EDGE” by Dr. (of physics) Robin Collins. Allow me to quote the relevant section:

      Nobel-winning physicist Steven Weinberg, an avowed atheist, has expressed amazement at the way the cosmological constant-the energy density of empty space-is “remarkably well adjusted in our favor.” The constant, which is part of Einstein’s equation for General Relativity, could have had any value, positive or negative, “but from first principles one would guess that this constant should be very large,” Weinberg said.
      Fortunately, he added, it isn’t: If large and positive, the cosmological constant would act as a repulsive force that increases with distance, a force that would prevent matter from clumping together in the early universe, the process that was the first step in forming galaxies and stars and planets and people. If large and negative, the cosmological constant would act as an attractive force increasing with distance, a force that would almost immediately reverse the expansion of the universe and cause it to recollapse.

      Either way, life loses-big time. But astonishingly, that’s not what has happened.
      “In fact,” Weinberg said, “astronomical observations show that the cosmological constant is quite small, very much smaller than would have been guessed from first principles.”24
      When I asked Collins about this, he told me that the unexpected, counterintuitive, and stunningly precise setting of the cosmological constant “is widely regarded as the single greatest problem facing physics and cosmology today.”

      “How precise is it?” I asked.

      Collins rolled his eyes. “Well, there’s no way we can really comprehend it,” he said. “The fine-tuning has conservatively been estimated to be at least one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion. That would be a ten followed by fifty-three zeroes. That’s inconceivably precise.”

      He was right-I couldn’t imagine a figure like that. “Can you give me an illustration?” I asked.

      “Put it this way,” he said. “Let’s say you were way out in space and were going to throw a dart at random toward the Earth. It would be like successfully hitting a bull’s eye that’s one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter. That’s less than the size of one solitary atom.”

      Breathtaking was the word that came into my mind. Staggering. “No wonder scientists have been blown away by this,” I said.

      “I’ll tell you what,” Collins said, “in my opinion, if the cosmological constant were the only example of fine-tuning, and if there were no natural explanation for it, then this would be sufficient by itself to strongly establish design.

      Now even if my statement of 1 part in 10^120 was not completely accurate, the gist of what I was saying is true. The vacuum energy of our universe is incredibly fine tuned to allow THE UNIVERSE to exist, let alone life.

      As Dr. Collins said, this value is CONSERVATIVELY estimated to be at least one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion (whatever this works out to).

      I quoted a well respected nobel laureate atheistic physicist who expressed astonishment at, in HIS words the “incredible fine-tuning” of the cosmological constant. If this is the best example you have of me misquoting scientists to misconstrue their position, that is quite pathetic indeed.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //In No 137 you wrote, “These very same atheistic scientists admit that if an infinite or very large multiverse does not exist then the only other plausible explanation is divine providence.” But, what you quote hardly justifies your statement – //

      Well let’s see about this. I’ve quoted atheistic physicist Leonard Susskind who said:

      I doubt that physicists will see it that way. If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape [that is the multiverse landscape] turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics.

      And I’ve mentioned highly respected atheistic cosmologist Martin Rees book several times (“Just Six Numbers”) where in the final chapter of the book he essentially throws out multiverse and divine providence as the only feasible explanations. A review of his book can be found here:

      http://63.134.198.170/visionmedia/page.aspx?id=599

      Unwilling to turn to religion for an explanation of this “cosmic tuning” phenomenon, Rees hypothesizes that a “multiverse” exists—that there are a vast number of universes within which these values may be slightly different. He argues that most of these universes would be sterile, and that just a few, like our own, would be just right for life to exist. However, these user-friendly universes are beyond any kind of direct experiment or measurement by us in our own hospitable universe.

      In the closing pages of his book, the Astronomer Royal concedes that science cannot explain this fine-tuning. The reasons for it lie beyond anything within our universe and therefore beyond anything we can ever measure.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //You statement that the idea of a multiverse was “designed to explain the fine-tuning problem” is simply a lie on your part – I gave you the date for the research (1957 for publication), which is well before anyone said anything about a “fine-tuning problem”//

      You play fast and easy with the lie accusations. That is quite unseemly and rude. You should also know that I don’t really care. I’m used to people saying all sorts of nasty things in online forums whenever I present my case.

      Regarding the 1957 publication. That’s very informative (I genuinely learned something new). Thanks for the link.

      But it’s not accurate to represent my position that just someone invented multiverse theory willy nilly to explain the fine-tuning problem. I realize that multiverse theory has been around for awhile. In fact, there were some old Star Trek episodes in the sixties where the crew of the Enterprise gets transported to an alternate Universe (the ones that have Spock with a beard) so the idea has been out there.

      It’s instead accurate to say that atheistic physicists are grasping at multiverse theory NOW because the evidence for design is so compelling and there is no other reasonable way to explain it (especially now that the oscillating models of the Universe have been debunked).

      If anything, your link validates my position as when multiverse theory was first introduced no one took it seriously (because they didn’t know about the fine tuning of the Universe back then). Now that we know the Universe is fine tuned for life there has to be some materialistic explanation for that and multiverse theory is the only game in town.

      It is well established that atheistic scientists are now promoting multiverse theories to avoid Divine design. Here is a paper that addresses the very subject:

      http://www.asa3online.org/PSCF/2011/02/17/design-or-the-multiverse/

      And atheistic physicist Victor Stenger just wrote a book about this very idea:

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/cosmology/new-book-%e2%80%9cstrong-hints%e2%80%9d-of-a-multiverse-mean-ours-isn%e2%80%99t-fine-tuned/

      And what’s the gist of all this? At the very least it’s safe to say that people who are religious have reasonable scientific evidence that their beliefs may be true. Despite what militant atheists claim when they accuse religious people of being motivated by blind faith against all scientific evidence and believing in “invisible sky fairies” it is instead THEY who are jumping through all kinds of hoops and making untestable outrageous assertions in order to justify their worldview.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 11:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 150 · Bill wrote, “@B: //In No 137 you wrote, “These very same atheistic scientists admit that if an infinite or very large multiverse does not exist then the only other plausible explanation is divine providence.” But, what you quote hardly justifies your statement – // Well let’s see about this. I’ve quoted atheistic physicist Leonard Susskind …”

      Let’s really “see about this” – your obvious intellectual dishonesty in quoting only a portion of a sentence and then pretending the sentence was about something else. The
      full quote is “But, what you quote hardly justifies your statement – it merely suggests that multiverse models, or an extremely large universe with different physical constants in different regions, are the only models we currently have that seem to fit. Nobody you quoted would claim that “the only other plausible explanation is divine providence,” since they are all very much aware that we do not have a catalog of all plausible explanations.”

      Note the last phrase, “we do not have a catalog of all plausible explanations.” You are trying to pretend that these researchers would throw up their hands if we ever found evidence that showed that the “many worlds” interpretation had to be wrong. Instead, they would see it as a research opportunity. Since you mentioned Suskind again, you got his contributions wrong as well. In No. 106, you wrote, described Leonard Susskind as a “world leading atheistic physicist who proved Stephen Hawking wrong and re-wrote the theory on black hole,” which is a complete misrepresentation of the truth. Susskind rather showed problems with one specific idea that Hawking had developed. Other discoveries Hawking made about black holes are just fine.

      Jun 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 151 · Bill wrote, “@B: //You statement that the idea of a multiverse was “designed to explain the fine-tuning problem” is simply a lie on your part – I gave you the date for the research (1957 for publication), which is well before anyone said anything about a “fine-tuning problem”// You play fast and easy with the lie accusations. That is quite unseemly and rude.”

      You may think it is “unseemly and rude”, but it is most likely the truth – the alternative is that you are a fool. The fact is that I showed you (including citations) that the “many worlds” interpretation of quantum mechanics predated any use of the idea in cosmology, that the original authors did not use the phrase “many worlds” or “multiverse” and were simply trying to explain a somewhat arcane area of quantum mechanics. In spite of being given that information, with citations justifying it, you persisted in claiming that ‘the idea of a multiverse was “designed to explain the fine-tuning problem”. Now, either you don’t understand what you are being told (in fairly simple language) or you are lying.

      So what would you prefer? To be called a liar or a fool? Some people prefer one to the other and it can be difficult for an independent observer to distinguish between the two.

      As yet another example, you wrote (in No 150), “And I’ve mentioned highly respected atheistic cosmologist Martin Rees book several times (‘Just Six Numbers’) where in the final chapter of the book he essentially throws out multiverse and divine providence as the only feasible explanations. A review of his book can be found here:
      http://63.134.198.170/visionmedia/page.aspx?id=599 ” Odd that the site has only an IP address and not a fully-qualified domain name in its URL. If you click on that web page’s “about us link, you’ll find http://63.134.198.170/visionmedia/page.aspx?id=115&submenu=77 which states, “What makes Vision.org truly unique, however, is that it examines these topics through the wisdom of an ancient source—the Bible …”. How idiotic can you get? The Bible is useless for discussions of cosmology, if only because the people who wrote it would be amazed by fourth-grade arithmetic. See http://www.jewfaq.org/alephbet.htm for a description of the constraints on what numbers they could express. As an exercise, why don’t you write 10^120 in Biblical Hebrew? Don’t come back until you have finished this exercise.

      Jun 26, 2011 at 12:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Note the last phrase, “we do not have a catalog of all plausible explanations.” You are trying to pretend that these researchers would throw up their hands if we ever found evidence that showed that the “many worlds” interpretation had to be wrong.//

      Not at all, in fact the very statement I quoted contradicts this false accusation:

      I doubt that physicists will see it that way. If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape [that is the multiverse landscape] turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics

      //described Leonard Susskind as a “world leading atheistic physicist who proved Stephen Hawking wrong and re-wrote the theory on black hole,” which is a complete misrepresentation of the truth. Susskind rather showed problems with one specific idea that Hawking had developed. Other discoveries Hawking made about black holes are just fine.//

      Once again you are putting words in my mouth in an attempt to discredit me. I never said that Hawking was wrong about every single thing on black holes, but was referring to a gigantic disagreement between the two that ended up revolutionizing the way we look at them. And I only mentioned this as a way to buttress Susskind’s credibility as a major theoretical physicist so you wouldn’t lightly dismiss his research.

      Susskind and Hawking fought for years on whether or not information was lost when an object entered into a black hole. This long fight is sometimes referred to as the “Black Hole War” and is discussed in this Wikipedia article:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susskind-Hawking_battle#Black_hole_war

      Susskind wrote a book about the debate which is on Amazon:

      http://www.amazon.com/Black-Hole-War-Stephen-Mechanics/dp/0316016403

      Hawking eventually admitted that Susskind was correct and the consequences of Susskind’s work lead to some dramatic new consequences on the way information is stored in our Universe. I saw this subject discussed on Morgan Freeman’s show “Through the Wormhole” (the episode on Black Holes, season 1 I think) and the final 10 minutes just blew me away. I think Susskind’s research has some extremely theistic friendly conclusions but since you have shown yourself to be just another hard-headed, obstinate atheist I will not waste any time discussing that issue with you.

      Jun 26, 2011 at 9:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //You may think it is “unseemly and rude”, but it is most likely the truth – the alternative is that you are a fool//

      B, I honestly don’t care what you say about me. I’ve been debating atheists for years and I’ve been called all kinds of nasty things by an uncountable number of people. It’s water off a duck’s back.

      Usually when the insults start flying that is almost always an indication that the atheist has run out of evidence to support their position and is lashing out or trying to intimidate me into silence. Often I get quite a kick out of it, as some of these people get really comical when they are angry.

      You are actually one of the nicer ones. Every once in a while I’ll find someone who is intelligent, well informed, thoughtful, and polite and it is truly refreshing to have a discourse with them. Sadly, this type of exchange is extremely rare. I can probably count those types of experiences on one hand.

      //As yet another example, you wrote (in No 150), “And I’ve mentioned highly respected atheistic cosmologist Martin Rees book several times (‘Just Six Numbers’)…If you click on that web page’s “about us link….which states, “What makes Vision.org truly unique, however, is that it examines these topics through the wisdom of an ancient source—the Bible …”. How idiotic can you get?//

      Well I actually own the book on Kindle and would love to copy and paste the final chapter but I think that might be illegal (not to mention Kindle doesn’t let you copy and paste). I grabbed this review off of a quick google search to highlight that yes Martin Rees (an well respected atheistic physicist) really says all of these things.

      If you want to dismiss the review because it comes from a Christian source (and once again this shows how wonderfully open minded and tolerant you are) feel free to go to Amazon and read the 55+ reviews on the book over there. The one that is rated as the most helpful says:

      http://www.amazon.com/Just-Six-Numbers-Forces-Universe/product-reviews/0465036732

      He identifies three scenarios. One is the hard-headed approach of ‘we could not exist if these numbers weren’t adjusted in this special way: we manifestly are here, so there’s nothing to be surprised about’. Another is that the ‘tuning’ of these numbers is evidence of a beneficent Creator, who formed the universe with the specific intention of producing us. For those who do not accept the ‘providence’ or Creator arguments, and Sir Martin places himself in this category, there is another argument, though still conjectural. This is that the ‘big bang’ may not have been the only one. Separate universes may have cooled down differently, ending up governed by different laws and defined by different numbers.

      and so it appears that YES I WAS TELLING THE TRUTH when I said that atheistic physicists were throwing out multiverse theory as THE alternative to divine design.

      Jun 26, 2011 at 10:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No. 154 · Bill wrote, “@B: //Note the last phrase, ‘we do not have a catalog of all plausible explanations.’ You are trying to pretend that these researchers would throw up their hands if we ever found evidence that showed that the “many worlds” interpretation had to be wrong.// Not at all, in fact the very statement I quoted contradicts this false accusation: …”

      It really doesn’t matter what you quote as you always ignore what the quote says: for example inNo 151, where you wrote, “It’s instead accurate to say that atheistic physicists are grasping at multiverse theory NOW because the evidence for design is so compelling and there is no other reasonable way to explain it (especially now that the oscillating models of the Universe have been debunked).”

      Your term ‘grasping at multiverse theory” implies just what I said you stated: you aren’t “grasping” at it if you wouldn’t throw up your hands if it didn’t work.

      Then you said, “Once again you are putting words in my mouth in an attempt to discredit me. I never said that Hawking was wrong about every single thing on black holes, but was referring to a gigantic disagreement between the two that ended up revolutionizing the way we look at them.” The reality is that you wrote, “Leonard Susskind (world leading atheistic physicist who proved Stephen Hawking wrong and re-wrote the theory on black holes) said: …” The problem with this is your claim that Susskind “re-wrote the theory on black holes,” which is simply not true: nothing Susskind did disproved any the work Hawking did on black holes prior to 1973, nor the work of other researchers (e.g.. solutions to the field equations for spinning and electrically charged black holes). While there was a long-term disagreement between Susskind and Hawking, it was on one specific point.

      Your best defense would be old-age induced memory problems, but of course I’ve no idea of your actual age.

      Jun 27, 2011 at 1:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 155 · Bill “@B: //You may think it is “unseemly and rude”, but it is most likely the truth – the alternative is that you are a fool// B, I honestly don’t care what you say about me. I’ve been debating atheists for years and I’ve been called all kinds of nasty things by an uncountable number of people. It’s water off a duck’s back. Usually when the insults start flying that is almost always an indication that the atheist has run out of evidence to support their position and is lashing out or trying to intimidate me into silence. Often I get quite a kick out of it, as some of these people get really comical when they are angry.”

      What self-serving nonsense on your part! I decided you were most likely lying when you repeated your claim that multiverses were suggested to explain what at first sight seems to be an extraordinary amount of luck regarding the values of physical constants: the first time might have been because you didn’t know, but you repeated the claim after I gave you a citation to the first paper on multiverses, one written in 1957, that preceded any discussion in cosmology regarding physical constants. The first time could have been due to a lack of understanding on your part. The second time, you didn’t have that excuse – all you had to understand is that X cannot be a cause of Y when Y happened before X.

      Then you say, “If you want to dismiss the review because it comes from a Christian source (and once again this shows how wonderfully open minded and tolerant you are) …”

      But, what I actually said was, “If you click on that web page’s ‘about us’ link, you’ll find http://63.134.198.170/visionme…..submenu=77 which states, ‘What makes Vision.org truly unique, however, is that it examines these topics through the wisdom of an ancient source—the Bible …’. How idiotic can you get? The Bible is useless for discussions of cosmology, if only because the people who wrote it would be amazed by fourth-grade arithmetic.” I then described the ancient Hebrew representation of numbers – the issue was not that they were “Christians” but that the people who wrote the Bible did not have the mathematical sophistication to handle things I could easily do while in middle school.

      You continually misquote people and then wonder why they get a bit tired of you, and then try to “claim victory” because you managed to piss them off – the classic example of a troll.

      Jun 27, 2011 at 1:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: B, thanks for your latest responses.

      //Your term ‘grasping at multiverse theory” implies just what I said you stated: you aren’t “grasping” at it if you wouldn’t throw up your hands if it didn’t work….first paper on multiverses, one written in 1957, that preceded any discussion in cosmology regarding physical constants. The first time could have been due to a lack of understanding on your part. The second time, you didn’t have that excuse – all you had to understand is that X cannot be a cause of Y when Y happened before X.//

      You would if you had a prior commitment to atheism. You would grasp at any other explanation other than divine design.

      I’ve already given you ample evidence that atheists (from Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Victor Stenger) are promoting this theory to in order explain the fine-tuning of the Universe. I even posted a link to a paper that discussed this. Who cares where the theory originally came from? That’s irrelevant to the point.

      This isn’t some crazy conspiracy story. Anyone with some basic google skills can determine the truth of this matter in 2 minutes (and I encourage anyone who has followed this thread to do so). Just for the hey of it, I did another one and found this:

      http://creation.com/multiverse-theory

      Amanda Gefter wrote an article discussing multiverse theory, or the idea that our universe may be only one of many that currently exist. Such speculations attempt to explain away the appearance of design in the universe, because of, as we shall see, the spiritual implications. In an article called What’s God got to do with it she wrote:

      WHAT would you rather believe in, God or the multiverse? It sounds like an instance of cosmic apples and oranges, but increasingly we are being told it’s a choice we must make. Take the dialogue earlier this year between Richard Dawkins and physicist Steven Weinberg in Austin, Texas. Discussing the fact that the universe appears fine-tuned for our existence, Weinberg told Dawkins: ‘If you discovered a really impressive fine-tuning … I think you’d really be left with only two explanations: a benevolent designer or a multiverse.’” (Emphasis in original).2

      Although she may not have realized her opening faux pas right off the bat, Gefter inadvertently states that it is a choice of belief systems. But in the very next sentence she belies the former by writing:

      “Weinberg went on to clarify that invoking a benevolent designer does not count as a genuine explanation, but I was intrigued by his either/or scenario. Is that really our only choice? Supernatural creator or parallel worlds?”2…..”

      …..Quoting an article in Discover magazine, Gefter wrote:

      “‘Short of invoking a benevolent creator, many physicists see only one possible explanation,’ writes journalist Tim Folger. ‘Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multiverse.’ Folger quotes cosmologist Bernard Carr: ‘If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.’”2

      (Atheist Bernard J. Carr is professor of mathematics and astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London, research includes the early universe, dark matter, general relativity, primordial black holes, and the anthropic principle)

      //The problem with this is your claim that Susskind “re-wrote the theory on black holes,” which is simply not true…//

      I’ve already said that I never claimed Hawking was wrong about everything on black holes. I was referring in a very general way to the Black Hole war conflict between the two physicists as a way to establish Susskind’s credentials. It astonishes me that you want to dwell on this one point which has nothing to do with our discussion at large.

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Susskind#The_Black_Hole_War:

      t took 28 years for Leonard Susskind to formulate his theory that would prove Hawking wrong. He then published his theory in his book, The Black Hole War. Like The Cosmic Landscape, The Black Hole War is aimed at the lay reader. He writes: “The real tools for understanding the quantum universe are abstract mathematics: infinite dimensional Hilbert spaces, projection operators, unitary matrices and a lot of other advanced principles that take a few years to learn. But let’s see how we do in just a few pages…

      //…What makes Vision.org truly unique, however, is that it examines these topics through the wisdom of an ancient source—the Bible …’. How idiotic can you get? The Bible is useless for discussions of cosmology, if only because the people who wrote it would be amazed by fourth-grade arithmetic…//

      The Bible describes in a general way the history of our existence and where we came from. It is not technical physics manual (keep in mind that God wanted this writings to be understandable to people throughout history and not just the 20th century), but physics validates its claims.

      “When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.” (Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics))

      “Until the late 1910’s humans were as ignorant of cosmic origins as they had ever been. Those who didn’t take Genesis literally had no reason to believe there had been a beginning.”

      “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.” “ – George Smoot (American astrophysicist and Nobel Prize winner in Physics in 2006 for his work on COBE with John C. Mather that led to the measurement “of the black body form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation)

      “The Hubble Law is one of the great discoveries in science; it is one of the main supports of the scientific story of Genesis.” (Robert Jastrow – God and the Astronomers, second edition)

      “Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.” – (Robert Wilson, American astronomer, 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered in 1964 the cosmic microwave background radiation, An interview with Fred Heeren – Show Me God, What the Message from Space Is Telling Us About God, Day Star Publications, 2000, p. 157)

      Jun 27, 2011 at 8:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Bill – my computer is down at home and I’m at lunch, so I have to be quick – for some reason I can’t find the # of your response above:

      1. Go back and read what you wrote and it should be obvious why I called you an ass. Or ask several people of varying backgrounds for an opinion. In other words, I’m not trying to insult to simply belittle your beliefs. You were incredibly insensitive. That isn’t even the right word. I’m at a loss to describe your incomprehension.

      2. How do people know? they don’t. People assume because you are skinny or unpopular or don’t like sports that you are a fag. Do I really need to tell you this?

      2. Society changes. It wasn’t so long ago in the scheme of things that minorities were not people, women had no rights, could be raped within marriage or that children were minature adults (therefore could work in factories under deplorable conditions). There is much evidence, which I’m sure you would dispute 100% that being Gay is not a choice. Other countries have come to understand this, (much the same as the first four or five things I mentioned) which is why the UK and the EU have the policies they do. I don’t think parents do have a right to “force” children to believe as they do. (do you really think they can???? Did your parents really change YOUR mind when you disagreed with them?) What they can do is make the child give the answers they want or follow the rules when they are home. They can teach the children what they believe but this does not include hating yourself because you are Gay. There is a LONG LONG LONG list of parents who were devout Christian or “You can change from Gay” leaders who ended up with Gay kids.

      Where did I say starve or beat children?

      If you try to use Leviticus to condemn same sex relationships (which it doesn’t really talk about, it talks about SEX)then you have to condemn eating shellfish and all the other “thou shalt not” in the Bible, which I already mentioned, we ignore. Lying with a man as a woman, might even mean trying to get your rocks off without risking reproduction. Notice that women with women isn’t mentioned at all. Very VERY different than a loving, caring same sex relationship. I know two guys that have been together TWENTY YEARS. Might be more by now. This of course, means nothing to y0u, meanwhile on my job, I spoke with a client, her motherinlaw has been married FIVE TIMES.

      Regardless, as others have pointed out, the Bible may be very important to you, but it is just pieces of paper to others. In a pluralistic society we must strive to respect the rights of all people without letting any one group or religion overtake another.

      Jun 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • boywonder3919
      boywonder3919

      Another large part of the legal liability question is whether Turek was in fact an employee or an independent contractor. Employment laws generally treat these two classes of workers differently and independent contractors tend to have fewer rights under employment anti-discrimination laws. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act only covers employees. From everything I’ve read on Turek, it sounds like he was an independent contractor hired for specific projects and training seminars. If that is the case, any claims would likely be controlled by the terms of his contract.

      Jun 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Jaroslaw: Jaroslaw, thanks for your latest message. My response follows:

      //You were incredibly insensitive. //

      I’m just some random guy on the Internet. You shouldn’t be so concerned with what I think.

      //People assume because you are skinny or unpopular or don’t like sports that you are a fag. //

      If you say so. But kids get picked on all the time for all sorts of reasons. When I was in school, I was the scrawny kid who was always picked last for the sports teams in gym class and beaten up by bullies, etc. It pretty much sucked but that’s life. I eventually grew up into a relatively athletic person and the unpleasant experiences I had to endure in school helped me to become a stronger person. (And I’m not condoning kids being picked on and think that adults should always intervene if they see this going on).

      //I don’t think parents do have a right to “force” children to believe as they do. (do you really think they can???? Did your parents really change YOUR mind when you disagreed with them?) //

      I don’t think anyone can force anyone to believe in anything. I think that parents have the right to set certain standards of behavior in their homes and expect their kids to live up to those standards, and also have the right to teach whatever religious or non-religious views they have to the kids and bring them up in that sort of environment. Obviously, the kid can either eventually adopt those views as his own or reject them, but that’s neither here nor there.

      And if you want to be adamant that parents should not push their moral views onto their kids, you should be completely up in arms about people at work pushing their views on co-workers or having them terminated because they have different views.

      //Where did I say starve or beat children? //

      I was responding to the general context of your statement, when you said:

      Parents must provide medical care for their children, they must have immunizations to attend school, they must sent them to school or home school them etc.- these are examples

      It seemed to me (and correct me if I am wrong) that you were implying that it was my position that parents could do whatever the heck they wanted with their kids, which was not was I was I saying at all. I was saying that parents have the right to pass on their values and morality to their children, and the state shouldn’t intervene.

      //If you try to use Leviticus to condemn same sex relationships//

      For me, it’s not so much about condemning same sex relationships, as it is about affirming God’s design for the family, which I believe to be a committed relationship between a man and a woman remaining faithful to each other for life. I think this design can be corrupted in any number of ways, from adultery to having sex before marriage to polygamy, etc. I think that when this design is followed society generally benefits and has fewer problems.

      You may find these views antiquated, and I respect your right to live by another standard and live your life as you see fit. But you shouldn’t demand that I affirm your lifestyle and have me punished for not doing so. That type of behavior is extremely narcissistic and obnoxious, and I will do everything in power to resist it.

      //Regardless, as others have pointed out, the Bible may be very important to you, but it is just pieces of paper to others. In a pluralistic society we must strive to respect the rights of all people without letting any one group or religion overtake another.//

      I completely agree, and I think this includes not having people terminated in the workplace because they have different moral or religious views than you.

      Jun 27, 2011 at 10:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 158, Bill wrote, “I’ve already given you ample evidence that atheists (from Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Victor Stenger) are promoting this theory to in order explain the fine-tuning of the Universe. I even posted a link to a paper that discussed this. Who cares where the theory originally came from? That’s irrelevant to the point. This isn’t some crazy conspiracy story. Anyone with some basic google skills can determine the truth of this matter in 2 minutes.”

      You really are clueless. First of all, these guys aren’t “promoting” this theory in order to explain some “fine-tuning”. They’ve looked at the available theories and noted that the “many-worlds” interpretation handles this question in a nice way. That’s actually an argument in favor of the “many-worlds interpretation” given that it was developed before there was anything to fine-tune: when Everett developed it in the 1950s, many ideas we discuss today had yet to be developed. Everett’s research was an attempt to eliminate the need for an ad-hoc assumption in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics – the idea of a wavefunction collapsing when a measurement occurs. The interest in Everett’s work increased years later when it seemed that it could shed some light on an issue in cosmology, but there is no way that the “many-worlds interpretation” was designed with this cosmological issue in mind – in 1957, nobody had a clue of any physical mechanism that could set physical constants – string theory, for example, did not yet exist. There was far less interest in Everett’s research in the 1950s because it didn’t impact what most people were doing at the time.

      Your statement about “2 minutes using google” is even sillier – google is not a replacement for four or five years in graduate school. But then, we know that you (“Bill”) just make up “facts” when necessary – I caught you at that before when you tried a childish personal attack about “regulars” at QUEERTY, only to see you have to admit that you didn’t have a clue as to who was a “regular” and who was not.

      Of course a lot of what you say is just mindless babbling. For instance, you claim, ‘Discussing the fact that the universe appears fine-tuned for our existence, Weinberg told Dawkins: ‘If you discovered a really impressive fine-tuning … I think you’d really be left with only two explanations: a benevolent designer or a multiverse.’”’ But note what Weinberg actually said: “if you discoverd a really impressive fine-tuning”, indicating that the so-called “fine tuning” is really not all that impressive as far as what we’ve actually discovered so far!

      Then you say, “I’ve already said that I never claimed Hawking was wrong about everything on black holes. I was referring in a very general way to the Black Hole war conflict between the two physicists as a way to establish Susskind’s credentials. It astonishes me that you want to dwell on this one point which has nothing to do with our discussion at large.” But what you are neglecting to admit is that the claim you made was quite different and definitely wrong. You claimed that Susskind had re-written the theory on black holes, which is simply not what he did – the argument was about one specific issue, not the whole theory. There were no caveats – just a simply statement pretending to be a statement of fact (presumably to sound authoritative when in fact you know next to nothing about the subject).

      Then you write, “//…What makes Vision.org truly unique, however, is that it examines these topics through the wisdom of an ancient source—the Bible …’. How idiotic can you get? The Bible is useless for discussions of cosmology, if only because the people who wrote it would be amazed by fourth-grade arithmetic…// The Bible describes in a general way the history of our existence and where we came from. It is not technical physics manual.” The point was that it doesn’t tell you anything particularly useful in any discussion vaguely about cosmology, so there is absolutely no reason to quote some web site that tries to filter things through some biblical point of view.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 12:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 158, Bill wrote, “I’ve already given you ample evidence that atheists (from Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Victor Stenger) are promoting this theory to in order explain the fine-tuning of the Universe. I even posted a link to a paper that discussed this. Who cares where the theory originally came from? That’s irrelevant to the point. This isn’t some crazy conspiracy story. Anyone with some basic google skills can determine the truth of this matter in 2 minutes.”

      You really are clueless. First of all, these guys aren’t “promoting” this theory in order to explain some “fine-tuning”. They’ve looked at the available theories and noted that the “many-worlds” interpretation handles this question in a nice way. That’s actually an argument in favor of the “many-worlds interpretation” given that it was developed before there was anything to fine-tune: when Everett developed it in the 1950s, many ideas we discuss today had yet to be developed. Everett’s research was an attempt to eliminate the need for an ad-hoc assumption in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics – the idea of a wavefunction collapsing when a measurement occurs. The interest in Everett’s work increased years later when it seemed that it could shed some light on an issue in cosmology, but there is no way that the “many-worlds interpretation” was designed with this cosmological issue in mind – in 1957, nobody had a clue of any physical mechanism that could set physical constants – string theory, for example, did not yet exist. There was far less interest in Everett’s research in the 1950s because it didn’t impact what most people were doing at the time.

      Your statement about “2 minutes using google” is even sillier – google is not a replacement for four or five years in graduate school. But then, we know that you (“Bill”) just make up “facts” when necessary – I caught you at that before when you tried a childish personal attack about “regulars” at QUEERTY, only to see you have to admit that you didn’t have a clue as to who was a “regular” and who was not.

      Of course a lot of what you say is just mindless babbling. For instance, you claim, ‘Discussing the fact that the universe appears fine-tuned for our existence, Weinberg told Dawkins: ‘If you discovered a really impressive fine-tuning … I think you’d really be left with only two explanations: a benevolent designer or a multiverse.’”’ But note what Weinberg actually said: “if you discoverd a really impressive fine-tuning”, indicating that the so-called “fine tuning” is really not all that impressive as far as what we’ve actually discovered so far!

      Then you say, “I’ve already said that I never claimed Hawking was wrong about everything on black holes. I was referring in a very general way to the Black Hole war conflict between the two physicists as a way to establish Susskind’s credentials. It astonishes me that you want to dwell on this one point which has nothing to do with our discussion at large.” But what you are neglecting to admit is that the claim you made was quite different and definitely wrong. You claimed that Susskind had re-written the theory on black holes, which is simply not what he did – the argument was about one specific issue, not the whole theory. There were no caveats – just a simply statement pretending to be a statement of fact (presumably to sound authoritative when in fact you know next to nothing about the subject).

      Then you write, “//…What makes Vision.org truly unique, however, is that it examines these topics through the wisdom of an ancient source—the Bible …’. How idiotic can you get? The Bible is useless for discussions of cosmology, if only because the people who wrote it would be amazed by fourth-grade arithmetic…// The Bible describes in a general way the history of our existence and where we came from. It is not technical physics manual.” The point was that it doesn’t tell you anything particularly useful in any discussion vaguely about cosmology, so there is absolutely no reason to quote some web site that tries to filter things through some biblical point of view.

      Finally, you quote an interview with some guy named Fred Heeren. You can find a review of his book at http://katsyfga.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/show-me-god-by-fred-heeren-a-review/ followed by random comments from the public. One states, “I am confident that this IS, in fact, the view of the author, as we have spoken to him in person when we attended the same church. He does not believe that the book of Genesis is true.” Regardless, when someone with a scientific background is quoted by a member of the press or a religious person, what gets quoted does not always match what was actually intended, so I wouldn’t take your quote all that seriously.

      Finally, I should note that not responding to some “point” you are trying to make does not mean I accept it – it means I don’t have time to respond to everything that you write – there’s such an embarrassment of riches when it comes to misstatements on your part.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 12:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: B, thanks for your latest message. You are a riot! I haven’t had this much fun in a long time.

      //these guys aren’t “promoting” this theory in order to explain some “fine-tuning”. They’ve looked at the available theories and noted that the “many-worlds” interpretation handles this question in a nice way. //

      I’ve given ample evidence to back up my position. Anyone who wants to see the dichotomy for themselves should just buy the book “Just Six Numbers” which lays these two alternatives out (design vs multiverse) in the final chapter. It’s the cleanest, most transparent admission from a highly acclaimed atheistic cosmologist that those are the only two alternatives we have.

      And yes, multiverse theory DOES explain all the fine-tuning in a very nice way. In much the same way that it would explain a poker night where your opponent got 99 royal flushes in a row. He could simply say that there is an infinite, or very large number, or universes out there and in one of those universes someone has gotten 99 royal flushes in a row. So OBVIOUSLY he’s not cheating, you moron!

      //…But note what Weinberg actually said: “if you discoverd a really impressive fine-tuning”, indicating that the so-called “fine tuning” is really not all that impressive as far as what we’ve actually discovered so far!…//

      Wait a second, didn’t you just say that the multiverse explains all this in a very nice way? If there is no fine-tuning to explain what does it explain in a very nice way?

      And why not just take Weinberg at his word?

      http://www.counterbalance.org/cq-wein/fintune-frame.html

      There is one constant whose value does seem remarkably well adjusted in our favor. It is the energy density of empty space, also known as the cosmological constant. It could have any value, but from first principles one would guess that this constant should be very large – much too large to allow matter to clump together in the early universe, which is the first step in forming galaxies and stars and planets and people. It’s too early to tell if this is a real problem, or if there is some fundamental principle that explains why the cosmological constant must be this small.

      But even if there is no such principle, recent developments in cosmology offer the possibility of an explanation why the measured values of the cosmological constant and other physical constants are favorable for the appearance of intelligent life. Sidney Coleman has shown how quantum mechanical effects can lead to a picture of the wave function of the universe in which the wave function is the sum of many different terms, each term corresponding to a big (or little) bang in which what we call the constants of nature take all possible values. Also, as you have heard here from Alan Guth, in the `chaotic inflation’ theories of Andre Linde and others our big bang is supposed to be just one episode in a much larger universe in which big bangs go off all the time, each with different values of the fundamental constants.

      In any such picture, in which the universe contains many parts with different values for what we call the constants of nature, there would be no difficulty in understanding why these constants take values favorable to intelligent life. There would be a vast number of big bangs in which the constants of nature take values unfavorable for life, and much fewer where life is possible. You don’t have to invoke a benevolent designer to explain why we are in one of the parts of the universe where life is possible. In all the other parts of the universe there is no one to raise the question.

      //You claimed that Susskind had re-written the theory on black holes, which is simply not what he did – the argument was about one specific issue, not the whole theory.//

      And you are STILL dwelling on the black hole theory statement! As I’ve said before, the point of my statement was to establish Susskind’s credentials as a major player in the physics world, and not to discuss black hole information theory. I have no idea what you or the other readers know about Susskind and I have to operate on the assumption that no one has ever heard of him. And when I quote him or reference his research I don’t want anyone assuming that he’s just some fly by night graduate student that no one’s ever heard of and can be lightly dismissed. Hence my allusion to the black hole war and decades long conflict with Hawking.

      And by the way, the information theory on black holes promoted by Susskind was a major breakthrough that fundamentally redefines the way physics looks at black holes, so it is not to be understated or trivialized.

      But if you want to ascribe some nefarious motivation to me because I didn’t fill in all the gaps and explain in greater detail the nuances of the black hole war, go right ahead! I’m done talking about it.

      It is extremely obvious to see that you, (along with many other atheists), violate the principle of charity when evaluating other’s arguments. Although this is obnoxious and unseemly and says much about you as a person, in a way it is also highly complementary as these tactics usually don’t happen when someone is arguing from a position of strength.

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

      //Finally, you quote an interview with some guy named Fred Heeren….//

      If this isn’t proof that you don’t bother to read though my arguments I don’t know what is. The quote I gave was Frank Heeren interviewing Robert Wilson in his book “how Me God, What the Message from Space Is Telling Us About God”

      http://www.amazon.com/Show-Me-God-Message-Telling/dp/1885849524

      Frank Heeren is just some guy who wrote a book. Feel free to agree or disagree with his conclusions.

      The actually point of my quote was to highlight his interview with Robert Wilson (American astronomer, 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered in 1964 the cosmic microwave background radiation) who said:

      Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.

      Either your reading comprehension skills are embarrassing or you are not bothering to actually read my arguments are are more interested in copying and pasting the latest version of what I left about the Hawking-Susskind conflict or accuse me of being ignorant because I don’t know who the regulars are here.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 7:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Truth
      Truth

      They absolutely did NOT do the right thing. Disagreeing with homosexuality does not mean being prejudiced or bigoted against them as people. If anything, prejudice and bigotry was held against Turek, because despite Cisco’s insistence on diversity, they fire those who think differently than they do.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 8:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Bill Bill Bill #161 –

      What you think is not going to up-end my life or cause me to cry in my beer (oops, I suppose you’re teetotaller too?) cry in my orange juice….but we’re having a discussion and what I meant by incomprehsible insensitivity is that by your comments you are making it very clear that you don’t get it. This does not mean we have to agree, just that you and I have to try to understand each other. If you’re unwilling to do this, then why are you here discussing anything? As I have already said multiple times, almost anyone here on this site over a certain age has grown up with the implicit and explicit Christianity of the culture. Madonna’s on postage stamps, Christmas displays at city hall, what is considered moral and immoral…. We are very familiar with all that, having been raised in Church etc. It is YOU who need to consider (not necessarily adopt!) other points of view!

      Glad your grew into an athletic person and your unpleasant experiences made you a stronger person. That does not work for everyone. First everyone is different and second, there are other things to consider. Am I weak because I took religion seriously, and think I’m going to hell for being Gay? And having to deal with a psychotic mother, who despite me getting excellent grades and not getting in trouble got spanked almost every day? The only thing that saved me was intervention of grandparents, but that was incomplete and random at best. We moved 12 times by the time I reached sixth grade. PLUS all the crap at school. But I guess I just don’t have your intestinal fortitude, Bill. You should give lessons on overcoming adversity for those of us less fortunate.

      //parents pushing their views on children// – as often is the case, you’ve completely ignored the main thrust of my arguments. YOU made the assertion the EU is incorrect in not allowing homophobic persons to foster children or discriminate in their businesses. I give several examples of how society has changed over the recent century and a half – and you completely ignore it. Should women not have the right to vote? Are minorities actually people or shall we regress to the time of our founding document, the Constitution?

      //immunizations & beating/starving children// what I meant here, Bill, should be obvious – parents have very strong beliefs about a lot of things BUT sometimes society overrides them, as in the case of immunizations. Some people don’t believe in going to the doctor or like to handle snakes as a test of faith. What to do? Can we as a society allow anything and everything? What a beautiful segue into a very salient point…. Any cursory view of history (which by the way has often been sanitized of homosexual references – I can’t remember the names just now, but there is a Greek story children learn about a soldier sacrificing for his “brother” but it is actually his male lover!) reveals that homosexuality has always existed. Including in our own society. The question is not “are we going to allow it” but are we going to stop unfairly punishing it by ostracizing people, and denying them benefits. I hate to make this comparison, but life is full of diversity, from the mentally retarded, people born physically handicapped, Downs syndrome – all the various genetic inborn problems – homosexuality is part of the array. NOT an illness per se, but part of the large spectrum of human variation. If you say it is God’s will for a child to have Down’s syndrome and we can’t understand the reason, then you MUST say the same for homosexuality. (You never mentioned what you think of scientific research – the brain scans, pheromone studies, brain differences in Gay men upon autopsy)….

      //firing people who differ// Bill, the problem here is not that you believe an antiquated book or value your religion, it is that you try to push it on people. I am not trying to make any be homosexual. But YOU, but passing Constitutional amendments to make marriage equal one man + one woman are pushing YOUR views onto me. Certainly you must see this. Protect the family from itself – all the divorces and all the people who don’t want to be married and “live in sin!”

      //Leviticus// and the New Testament – what did Jesus say about homosexuality? NOTHING and what of all the multitude of things we ignore in Leviticus?

      One last thought – I often hear people say “children are best served in a household of a mother and father.” Except we’ve never had this. Not for everyone, not even the majority. There have always been wars, deaths, divorces etc. which robbed children of one parent or both. This also assumes, as I’ve already mentioned, that all hetero families are good and no homo families are good, easily proved untrue. The point is just because things sound good, doesn’t make them true, practical or even applicable.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 10:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 164 · Bill wrote, “@B: B, thanks for your latest message. You are a riot! I haven’t had this much fun in a long time. //these guys aren’t “promoting” this theory in order to explain some “fine-tuning”. They’ve looked at the available theories and noted that the “many-worlds” interpretation handles this question in a nice way. // I’ve given ample evidence to back up my position. Anyone who wants to see the dichotomy for themselves should just buy the book “Just Six Numbers” which lays these two alternatives out (design vs multiverse) in the final chapter. It’s the cleanest, most transparent admission from a highly acclaimed atheistic cosmologist that those are the only two alternatives we have.”

      As usual, you are making things up – you’ve done that before regarding some alleged “regulars” on this site when it turns out you had no clue who those people were and admitted it. This “argument” of yours is no different, and your “ample evidence” is by and large a figment of your imagination, followed by random quotes that don’t mean what you think.

      You also wrote, “//…But note what Weinberg actually said: “if you discoverd a really impressive fine-tuning”, indicating that the so-called “fine tuning” is really not all that impressive as far as what we’ve actually discovered so far!…// Wait a second, didn’t you just say that the multiverse explains all this in a very nice way? If there is no fine-tuning to explain what does it explain in a very nice way?”

      LOL – the comment was about the term “impressive fine tuning”, which Weinberg was obviously using as a hypothetical case that has not yet been observed (which is why he
      used the words “if” and “impressive”). What I had pointed out was that the idea of a multiverse can explain any alleged “fine tuning” (which does not have to be particularly impressive) in a nice way, but the concept of a multiverse was not developed for that purpose – it was developed in the 1950s, under a different name, as a way of simplifying how measurements are handled in quantum mechanics. You really don’t seem to understand that the cosomological constant is either – try reading up on the idea first before talking about it.

      Then you write, “And you are STILL dwelling on the black hole theory statement! As I’ve said before, the point of my statement was to establish Susskind’s credentials as a major player in the physics world, and not to discuss black hole information theory.”

      Actually *you* are still refusing to admit that you got it all wrong when you made up the bogus statement that Susskind rewrote the theory on black holes, something you got completely wrong just as you are doing with nearly everything else you say.

      Now, as I suggested before, why don’t you stick to safe topics – your health and the weather – but even then I bet you’d botch it (just like Eliza Doolittle did in George Benhard Shaw’s play Pygmalian).

      Jun 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Jaroslaw: //We are very familiar with all that, having been raised in Church etc. It is YOU who need to consider (not necessarily adopt!) other points of view!//

      I didn’t come here to proselytize and convert people to Christianity. My purpose here is to correct logical errors and be the defender of tolerance, since the majority of folks here were dancing on the rooftops and high fiving each other over the fact that a Christian apologist got fired from a computer company for advocating for his views outside of the workplace.

      As far as your point of view, I think I understand it to some degree. I was raised in a secular home (and politically my parents were strong democrats, btw) and I used to be an atheist who despised evangelical Christianity. Whenever I’d see Jerry Falwell or someone else like him on TV I’d get angry and say nasty things about him. I was primarily concerned with my own enjoyment of life and saw religion as something that would stop me from having fun. I was also very uncomfortable around religious people. During my college years, I was out partying and drinking like everyone else. I only became a Christian at age 26.

      I’m not saying that this is your exact story but your idea of me as some prudish lilly white Christian person who passes out every time someone says the F-word is way off base.

      //Am I weak because I took religion seriously, and think I’m going to hell for being Gay? //

      I don’t know, but I think your theology is off base. God punishes people for refusing to repent and not accepting Christ. It’s not like being a nice heterosexual will get you eternal life.

      //And having to deal with a psychotic mother, who despite me getting excellent grades and not getting in trouble got spanked almost every day?//

      A bit off the subject, but you have ever considered that you might have homosexual attractions because of your mother? I’ve read that problems with the opposite sex parent often lead to homosexuality.

      //parents have very strong beliefs about a lot of things BUT sometimes society overrides them, as in the case of immunizations. Some people don’t believe in going to the doctor or like to handle snakes as a test of faith. What to do?//

      I think parents have the right to set moral standards in their households. I don’t equivocate denying a child medical care or exposing them to a venomous snake to teaching religious beliefs about sexual morality.

      //If you say it is God’s will for a child to have Down’s syndrome and we can’t understand the reason, then you MUST say the same for homosexuality. (You never mentioned what you think of scientific research – the brain scans, pheromone studies, brain differences in Gay men upon autopsy)//

      Well my view on all of that is that its human to have unhealthy attractions. It may very well be that some people are predisposed to being attracted to members of the same sex.

      I don’t think that’s relevant and excuses the behavior though. For example, I am often attracted to pretty women at the workplace even though I am married and they are married. I just choose not to act on those attractions. God is not going to punish me just for having certain attractions, He’s going to judge me on what I do with them.

      Morality is what we do despite our feelings and wants. Suppose that my wife had a terrible car accident and was in a coma for the rest of her life. As her husband, it would be my job to provide care and look after her. And I would still have to stay faithful, even if I had feelings of attraction and my sexual needs were not being met.

      Or suppose that someone was attracted to children. Even if they had those kinds of feelings it would be extremely wrong to act upon them.

      In Matthew 19:12 Christ says:

      For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.

      //But YOU, but passing Constitutional amendments to make marriage equal one man + one woman are pushing YOUR views onto me//

      I’m just trying to keep things the way they are. And I have good reason to. I’ve read about the horror stories on how homosexual marriage is used as a club to persecute people of faith and deprive them of their rights and I’ve seen the research on what happens on a sociological level once homosexual marriage is adopted. As one example, here is an article that I’ve recently stumbled across:

      http://www.drtraycehansen.com/Pages/writings_notinthebest.html

      //what did Jesus say about homosexuality? NOTHING//

      This argument is very unpersuasive. Jesus didn’t say anything about beastiality or rape either. But the New Testament is very clear on the subject of homosexuality:

      Romans 1:

      26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

      I Corinthians 6:9

      Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

      I Timothy 1

      9understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,b liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine

      //Not for everyone, not even the majority. There have always been wars, deaths, divorces etc. which robbed children of one parent or both. //

      Good point. But I think it’s good policy if the state does everything it can to support the two parent nuclear family as much as possible. Decades of undermining this have produced catastrophic results.

      Jun 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: I said:

      Anyone who wants to see the dichotomy for themselves should just buy the book “Just Six Numbers” which lays these two alternatives out (design vs multiverse) in the final chapter

      You responded:
      //As usual, you are making things up//

      I’m not making things up. Martin Rees describes his book in his own words here, where he lays out the options:

      http://www.sciy.org/2006/10/08/recipe-for-the-universe-just-six-numbers-by-sir-martin-rees-britains-astronomer-royal/

      These six numbers constitute a ‘recipe’ for a universe.
      Moreover, the outcome is sensitive to their values: if any one of
      them were to be ‘untuned’, there would be no stars and no life. Is
      this tuning just a brute fact, a coincidence? Or is it the providence
      of a benign Creator? I take the view that it is neither. An infinity
      of other universes may well exist where the numbers are different.

      Most would be stillborn or sterile. We could only have emerged (and
      therefore we naturally now find ourselves) in a universe with the
      ‘right’ combination.

      //followed by random quotes that don’t mean what you think.//

      Which random quotes did I get wrong? Was it the Bernard Carr quote when he said

      If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.

      Or actually I am quote-mining. What he REALLY said was:

      If there is only one universe, you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.

      What do you think he really meant by that? I don’t think I’m smart enough to figure it out. Explain it to me.

      //What I had pointed out was that the idea of a multiverse can explain any alleged “fine tuning” (which does not have to be particularly impressive) in a nice way//

      If there isn’t any impressive fine-tuning why did Martin Rees write a whole book about the subject?

      And are you saying you believe in the multiverse? Since you think my ideas are so stupid give me a better alternative. What is your model of reality? Where did the Universe come from? How did we get here?

      Jun 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #168 – Bill – again, you ignore how society has changed – re: women’s rights, marriage (laws AND practices) and minorities/slavery. You know slavery is sanctioned in the Bible too! I know you won’t answer, but I’m just going to keep reminding you and our readers….

      Lots of people have psychotic mothers and are not Gay, lots of boys are abused by same sex relatives/strangers and are not Gay.

      As to your link to Tracey Hansen, I had a LONG discussion with her and we got to the pheromone/brain stuff, she was going to get back to me and never did. I got her to a draw many times in our discussions so she is not a credible resource to me. I’m not saying “my” studies are valid and “hers” are not. But you can skew the data and find what you want. For example, she claims same sex couples’ children experiement more with same sex stuff. TRUE! Because it is not a shameful thing and they are not beaten over the head with antiquated religious ideas. BUT the children come out heterosexual and/or Gay at the same rate as other children. Better in my book to be an out homosexual than a closeted Gay guy who gets married, but ends up ruining the marriage because he is Gay all along. Remember the big Exodus success story John Paulik (?) Got married to a woman, I think they had kids, and they caught him last year having a drink in Gay bar in Washington! This happens all the time. As to your attractions to women, yes, we can all control our BEHAVIOR but not our basic attractions. Which you admit. So in a free, secular society which respects choices, then you don’t have a case to restrict marriage to a man/woman only.

      As to the Bible, entire books have been written and space here hardly permits everything I could say on the subject….but again, to compare a long history of loving relationships and the many many cultures in which homosexual practices were legitimate, is hardly the same as rape and bestiality. The Bible is anything but clear, and people’s personal prejudices have crept in. The word “Homosexual” wasn’t even invented until 1869 by a German guy so how can this word be in the Bible? Older Bibles use the word “effeminate”? Really.. Now every guy who isn’t a macho football player isn’t Christian? The Romans quote you included talks about lusts, again, not the same thing as a loving committed relationship. The Bible is full of admonitions to be kind, modest, and have self control. And AGAIN Bill, what about all the other rules in the Bible to not wear two fibers, two crops in the same field; women keeping their heads covered in Church? Everyone seems to pick and choose what they want.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 8:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      If you dare, Bill, you might want to read “What the Bible REALLY says about homosexuality” by Fr. Daniel Helminiak. I think I misspelled his last name.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 8:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 169 · Bill is at it again, now saying, “@B: I said: “Anyone who wants to see the dichotomy for themselves should just buy the book “Just Six Numbers” which lays these two alternatives out (design vs multiverse) in the final chapter” You responded:
      //As usual, you are making things up//”

      Here’s the *full* quote I was replying to: ‘I’ve given ample evidence to back up my position. Anyone who wants to see the dichotomy for themselves should just buy the book “Just Six Numbers” which lays these two alternatives out (design vs multiverse) in the final chapter. It’s the cleanest, most transparent admission from a highly acclaimed atheistic cosmologist that those are the only two alternatives we have.”’

      Note the phrase, “I’ve given ample evidence”, The material you are citing does not back up your statements. If you need a better reference to your hangup on the book, “Just Six Numbers”, try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimensionless_physical_constant#Martin_Rees.27s_Six_Numbers : “Any plausible fundamental physical theory must be consistent with these six constants, and must either derive their values from the mathematics of the theory, or accept their values as empirical. The question then arises: how many values of these constants result from purely mathematical considerations, and how many represent degrees of freedom for possible valid physical theories, only some of which are possible in a universe with intelligent observers? This leads to a number of interesting possibilities, such as multiple universes, each with different values of these constants. Multiple universes give rise to selection effects and the anthropic principle.”

      Jun 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #168 – Bill another thing – you perhaps rightly get offended when I call names or whatever, but I just re-read your comment and you are just as insulting, but yours is covert. You write that morality is “about making the right choices” and then you give examples of standing by a disabled spouse, or not acting on attractions towards children. Nothing I have said even would remotely make you think that I would be against standing by a disabled spouse. Nothing I have said indicates I think pedophilia is okay.

      You are naive,at best, where it comes to Tracey Hansen, if you think she is evaluating data impartially without a Christian agenda. We exchanged numerous emails, and I meant to say also; I’ve done this before with “religious conservatives,” and everytime I back them into a corner, they are “going to get back to me” and never do. This does not mean you can’t believe what you want but again and again, writers here are trying to let you know that you cannot impose your views (via passing laws) on others solely based on rules with a religious origin. It is accepted more and more, based on FACTS that Gay people are not the devil incarnate and the source of all evil. The majority of us pay our taxes, work hard, and live pretty mundane lives. We deserve the same rights as everyone else, and that is happening, slowly but surely. It is truly disgusting, in light of the huge problems our country and the world faces with pollution, care for elderly, people losing their homes, military issues, child abuse, starving people, uninsured and underinsured, suffering animals – on and on – that NOM, the Mormons, the Catholics , other religious right groups etc. have Millions to spend to undo marriage equality as if that even holds a candle in significance to everything else I’ve listed.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Re No 169: should have commented on two other examples of Bill’s nonsense as well:

      “If there isn’t any impressive fine-tuning why did Martin Rees write a whole book about the subject?” Read the Wikipedia article I pointed you to. For decades, there’s been some interest in knowing if we could compute numbers like the fine structure constant from first principles or not. Rees simply listed some constants that are interesting, the the basic question being whether these can be derived (at this point we don’t know how to do that) or not. That you can’t change these by very much without the universe looking a lot different is interesting, but not proof of anything – we have only one universe to look at.

      That, BTW, is the flaw in your silly analogy (I’ll ignore – and not bother to quote – your infantile language) in No 164,where you wrote, “He could simply say that there is an infinite, or very large number, or universes out there and in one of those universes someone has gotten 99 royal flushes in a row. So OBVIOUSLY he’s not cheating,” Of course people have a lot of experience with decks of cards and how poker games are played – how the cards are shuffled, etc. While 99 royal flushes in a row is extremely unlikely, it is certainly possible. In a typical case, you’d assume 99 royal flushes in a row is evidence of cheating given how unlikely it is, but suppose you had unwittingly used a selection criteria that resulted in a sample of cases where everyone had at least 98 royal flushes in a row. In that sample, one with 99 is something you’d expect to see with the same probability as a single royal flush in a representative sample.

      What you are doing is trying to tout some nonsense about “intelligent design” and pretending to justify it by quoting people who not not arguing in favor of it: you quote them but essentially ignore what they are actually saying. Then you when your reasoning flaws are pointed out, you say, “but I quoted them”, followed by the usual cutting of pasting.

      How silly can you get?

      Jun 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Rees simply listed some constants that are interesting//

      Why are these constants interesting?

      //That you can’t change these by very much without the universe looking a lot different is interesting, but not proof of anything – we have only one universe to look at.//

      To say things would look different is the understatement of the whole thread. In my previous message to you, I quoted Martin Rees discussing his book where he said:

      if any one of them were to be ‘untuned’, there would be no stars and no life

      Hence its not an issue of things just looking different. It’s an issue of why everything is set to exactly where it needs to be for the Universe to support stars and life.

      //While 99 royal flushes in a row is extremely unlikely, it is certainly possible//

      You previously compared me to a character in fiction (Eliza Doolittle), so allow me to return the favor. Your statement kind of reminds me of the Jim Carrey character in this movie clip:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA

      //What you are doing is trying to tout some nonsense about “intelligent design” and pretending to justify it by quoting people who not not arguing in favor of it//

      I’ve quoted a mix of scientists that are widely acclaimed to be at the top of their fields, some of whom are atheists and others who are not. Some of them started out as atheists or were non-religious but as a consequence of their scientific research became devout Christians.

      For example Frank Tipler(Professor of mathematical physics):

      When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics…

      Richard Smalley (Nobel prize winner in chemistry for discovering a new form of carbon):

      God did create the universe about 13.7 billion years ago, and of necessity has involved Himself with His creation ever since. The purpose of this universe is something that only God knows for sure, but it is increasingly clear to modern science that the universe was exquisitely fine-tuned to enable human life….

      And you still haven’t answered any of my previous questions. Since you think my ideas are so stupid, give me a better alternative. Where did the Universe come from? Why are we here? Are we just a freak accident? And why do you believe what you believe?

      Jun 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Jaroslaw: @Jaroslaw: //again, you ignore how society has changed – re: women’s rights, marriage (laws AND practices) and minorities/slavery. //

      One fact that is generally not known is that the majority of early Christian converts were women, who flocked to the church because they were viewed as equals. (They were not perceived as equals by the pagans in the Roman Empire.) As Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28

      There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

      In fact, Christians were often ridiculed by pagans for allowing women to participate in worship services!

      http://www.chitorch.org/index.php/chm/first-century/early-church-women/

      Celsus, a 2nd-century detractor of the faith, once taunted that the church attracted only “the silly and the mean and the stupid, with women and children.” His contemporary, Bishop Cyprian of Carthage, acknowledged in his Testimonia that “Christian maidens were very numerous” and that it was difficult to find Christian husbands for all of them. These comments give us a picture of a church disproportionately populated by women.

      http://www.rzim.org/usa/usfv/tabid/436/articleid/10813/cbmoduleid/1133/default.aspx

      In his treatise, On True Doctrine, the pagan leader Celsus wrote in alarming terms about the subversive nature of Christianity to the stability of the Empire and regarded the disproportionate number of women among the Christians as evidence of the inherent irrationality and vulgarity of the Christian faith. Historian David Bentley Hart writes of Celsus’s alarm: “It is unlikely that Celsus would have thought the Christians worth his notice had he not recognized something uniquely dangerous lurking in their gospel of love and peace… [A]nd his treatise contains a considerable quantity of contempt for the ridiculous rabble and pliable simpletons that Christianity attracted into its fold: the lowborn and uneducated, slaves, women and children.”(3) Indeed, Christianity attracted women and others deemed on the bottom rung of society because it elevated their status from an often oppressive Roman patriarchy.

      Even a cursory survey of the historic evidence concerning women and early Christianity demonstrates an ineluctable pull. Rather than being another force for oppression, Christianity drew women into its fold. Hart adds; “There is no doubt for any historian of early Christianity that this was a religion to which women were powerfully drawn, and one that would not have spread nearly so far or so swiftly but for the great number of women in its fold.”(4) In a world where women were largely viewed as household property or worse, how could they not be drawn to a figure who elevated their worth and status? Jesus, unlike many in his contemporary world, showed extraordinary kindness and care to women—even women of questionable character. He was often criticized for this by the religious of his day. But he welcomed women into his community of disciples just the same.

      Thus the popular secular view that Christianity somehow oppresses women is patently false. In fact, Christianity protects women. History shows us time and time again that the more paganistic or secular a society becomes, the less women are valued and reduced to mere sexual objects. Even today advocates of abortion rights are disproportionately murdering unborn baby girls:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303657404576361691165631366.html

      there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Jaroslaw: //You know slavery is sanctioned in the Bible too! I know you won’t answer, but I’m just going to keep reminding you and our readers…//

      Slavery is not sanctioned in the Bible (at least not the type of slavery that people think about when they think of the slaves in the civil war). The verses in the old testament that are often used to support this position generally refer to a type of long term contract that a person could willingly enter into to pay off a debt or to gain the security of a wealthy patron.

      In the old testament, forcing a person into slavery was a crime punishable by death:

      Exodus 21:16

      Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.

      In the New Testament Paul encouraged his Christian followers who were slaves to try to become free:

      1 Corinthians 7:12

      “21 Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)

      and lists slave traders as wretched people:

      1 Timothy 1:9-10

      9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine

      Paul also teaches that slaves are equal to free men in the eyes of God:

      Galatians 3:28

      There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus

      Finally, you should also know that Christian activists were in large part responsible for the abolition of slavery in the 1800s.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_on_slavery#Christian_abolitionism

      In particular, the effects of the Second Great Awakening resulted in many evangelicals working to see the theoretical Christian view, that all people are essentially equal, made more of a practical reality. Freedom of expression within the Western world also helped in enabling opportunity to express their position. Prominent among these abolitionists was Parliamentarian William Wilberforce in England, who wrote in his diary when he was 28 that, “God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the Slave Trade and Reformation of Morals.”[82] With others he labored, against much determined opposition, to finally abolish the British slave trade. The famous English preacher Charles Spurgeon had some of his sermons burned in America due to his censure of slavery, calling it “the foulest blot” and which “may have to be washed out in blood.”[83] Methodist founder John Wesley denounced human bondage as “the sum of all villainies,” and detailed its abuses.[84] In Georgia, primitive Methodists united with brethren elsewhere in condemning slavery. Many evangelical leaders in the United States such as Presbyterian Charles Finney and Theodore Weld, and women such as Harriet Beecher Stowe (daughter of abolitionist Lyman Beecher) and Sojourner Truth motivated hearers to support abolition. Finney preached that slavery was a moral sin, and so supported its elimination. “I had made up my mind on the question of slavery, and was exceedingly anxious to arouse public attention to the subject. In my prayers and preaching, I so often alluded to slavery, and denounced it.[85] Repentance from slavery was required of souls, once enlightened of the subject, while continued support of the system incurred “the greatest guilt” upon them.[86]

      Quakers in particular were early leaders in abolitionism. In 1688 Dutch Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania, sent an antislavery petition to the Monthly Meeting of Quakers. By 1727 British Quakers had expressed their official disapproval of the slave trade.[87] Three Quaker abolitionists, Benjamin Lay, John Woolman, and Anthony Benezet, devoted their lives to the abolitionist effort from the 1730s to the 1760s, with Lay founding the Negro School in 1770, which would serve more than 250 pupils.[88] In June of 1783 a petition from the London Yearly Meeting and signed by over 300 Quakers was presented to Parliament protesting the slave trade.

      Jun 29, 2011 at 10:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Jaroslaw: I’ve tried to respond to the remainder of your comments but my response keeps getting flagged. I’ve tried four different times, deleting my response down to just a few paragraphs with no links but it still won’t go through. Sorry, I tried!

      Jun 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Jaroslaw:

      Let me try one last time to get some of my last post through:

      //As to your link to Tracey Hansen, I had a LONG discussion with her and we got to the pheromone/brain stuff, she was going to get back to me and never did.//

      Maybe she just got tired of talking with you? Perhaps your conversation reached a point where it was clear that neither of you was going to convince the other one and she had other things to do.

      //As to your attractions to women, yes, we can all control our BEHAVIOR but not our basic attractions. Which you admit. So in a free, secular society which respects choices, then you don’t have a case to restrict marriage to a man/woman only.//

      I don’t think that simply having physical attractions for something is enough to create a legal ground for marriage. Otherwise, using that logic, laws could be made that would allow adults to marry children or animals, or marry their parents or siblings, etc.

      The state should have a vested interest in promoting a stable society that creates the best possible environment for the next generation. I think it is pretty clear from the research that this is best accomplished in a committed heterosexual marriage.

      For example, the study referenced in this essay demonstrates that homosexual marriages have higher domestic violence rates, more promiscuity, and greater divorce rates than heterosexual marriages:

      http://winteryknight.wordpress…..-marriage/

      //And AGAIN Bill, what about all the other rules in the Bible to not wear two fibers, two crops in the same field; women keeping their heads covered in Church? //

      Many of the Old Testament Judaic laws were intended for the nation of Israel and Christians are not required to follow them in the New Covenant.

      Regarding the head covering command, I think I read somewhere that certain women in the culture who were prostitutes would often have their heads uncovered and have their hair in a certain way to advertise that they were prostitutes, and Paul gave this command to the women in the church so that no one would ever mistake them for a prostitute. I don’t know how accurate this is, and I’ve never looked into it, but I’m fairly certain that whatever the motivation was it was a localized cultural issue.

      //You write that morality is “about making the right choices” and then you give examples of standing by a disabled spouse, or not acting on attractions towards children. Nothing I have said even would remotely make you think that I would be against standing by a disabled spouse. Nothing I have said indicates….//

      No need to be overly sensitive. I wasn’t saying that you thought these things were OK. The point I was making is that just because a person has sexual attractions it is not always OK to act on those attractions. That is where morality comes in.

      Jun 30, 2011 at 7:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Bill –

      1. Tracey Hansen has a blog and is promoting views as a pyschologist or therapist, she has an obligation to tell the truth. Which she was not doing, much like Jeffery (Jeffrey?) Satinower’s book, “Homosexuality and the politics of truth.” Mr. S is an MD, so after 10 or 12 years of higher education, he should be familiar with voluminous research and peer reviewed documents AND politics. Just for one example, he used a book printed in the 80’s based on data from the 70’s to “prove” homosexual male couples were unstable. (therefore, bolstering the preconcieved notion that male/male relationships are of no value, unnatural etc.) Let’s look at what really was going on. The authors of this book said at the very beginning of their book THE DATA PROVIDED IS NOT OBTAINED BY ANY SCIENTFIC METHOD and was given by (men) who chose to voluntarily answer a questionnaire. The 1970s were a period immediately following the sexual revolution of the 60’s, and Gay men, repressed, oppressed and hidden were just beginning to experience sexual freedom. One would not expect them to mimic hetero lifestyles, get married and settle down. In fact many heteros were very free during this time. To ignore all this is to be extremely DISHONEST. Or, if not dishonest, then he is unqualified due to ignorance to advocate for his own position, that homosexuality is unworthy of equal rights.

      I’m not buying the “too busy” or “tired of talking to me” excuse. Pheromone studies and brain scans and anything objective that conflicts with their beliefs is ALWAYS the time they suddenly get “too busy”. If you have time to keep spouting lies, then you have time to investigate that you MIGHT be wrong.

      Speaking of which, I again see no accession from you that society has changed its views on marriage considerably over the centuries or that women now vote or minorities are now people.

      No, we cannot pass laws that people can marry animals or children. Neither can give consent and again, ignores the fact that many societies on earth understand that homosexuality is part of the great variation of humanity. It is almost impossible to take you seriously when you make ridiculous comments like this.

      More violence in homosexual marriages? Bill – look at the big picture. Many people, via religion and culture are taught to HATE homosexuals. Spare me the “love the sinner hate the sin stuff.” Too many families have cut off their Gay sons and daughters in the name of religion, sent them to tortuous ‘change’ therapies….caused unimaginable pain. Contrast this with the heterosexual model that had untold support from tax law, culture, religion, marriage ceremonies, mothers day/fathers day, friends and family, and even with all this, 1000 extra rights available via marriage, look at the divorce rate? It is a miracle ANY Gay couples stay together with ACTIVE negative forces, not neutral.

      You know, there was a sensitivity experiment with some police department in Texas in the 1970s or 1980’s. Plain clothes policemen held hands walking down the street. The amount of abuse they took for something that simple amazed them and changed their perspective forever. You should try it and then talk about some ridiculous study that doesn’t take real life’s incredible pressures into consideration.

      Re: Slavery – I’m aware that centuries ago, one could not go into the local Ace hardware or auto plant and ask for a job. Society was structured in a very different way. Still, for the Bible to sanction slavery in any way, OR for you to ignore that society changes; either one is unacceptable to me and calls the Bible’s standards into question for me. There are hundreds of other examples; I’ve given you some – about lesbianism not mentioned in the O.T., alluded to the fact “nature” as a word means different things at different times in history, natural law as a concept didn’t exist in Bible times; most indisputably, the word homosexual didn’t exist.

      You really aren’t interested in the truth, only finding ways to continue to believe what you already do. Think about this – if society hadn’t changed from BIBLE times, YOU MIGHT BE A SLAVE RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, no rights, no wife, no job, no house of your own.

      I hope someday you find you have a Gay child or relative and this will cause you to “see the light”. I’m done here.

      Jun 30, 2011 at 9:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @Jaroslaw:

      “Why are you here”

      Because people like Bill like to f**k with people’s heads and feel the need to “go out and spread the word” of bigotry, hatred and homophobia that their bible and the interpretors thereof espouse in such copious quantities.

      You cannot win an argument with such people. They’ve already made up their mind and don’t want to be confused with the facts.

      They’re hopeless.

      Jun 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @Bill:

      “http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2011/06/dan-savage-visits-keith-olbermann.html

      Ah yes. This is the point in the discussion where we, the victims of nearly two-thousand years of Christian discrimination, homophobia, bigotry, hatred, passing laws against us, shrinking us, psychological and physical abuse, torture and murder, are supposed to pull out our hankies and dab our eyes in sympathy for our oppressors. Kinda like expecting Jews to be sitting on the Canarsie Line in Brooklyn, reading a copy of Mein Kampf and dabbing their eyes with a hanky. How puzzling it must be to the Christionista to understand why the Stockholm Syndrome does not seem to be working for them?

      The suggestion is that if we (the Christianista) cannot indulge freely in perpetrating all of the above named horrors to LGBT people, we are being deprived our our “freedom of speech” and of our “religions beliefs and rights”. And when they are told that they can no longer do that in a secular world that is becoming increasingly intolerant of medieval thinking, they start whining like little babies whose lollipops or toy have been taken away.

      Little wonder the the crucifix is the symbol of their sick, twisted, intolerant and outmoded belief system. Being nailed to a wooden cross seems to be such a driving need for these sick people.

      If people are capable of self-flagellation and self-bondage, why can’t they learn the fine art of self-crucifixion?

      Jun 30, 2011 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 175 · Bill wrote, “@B: //Rees simply listed some constants that are interesting//
      Why are these constants interesting?”

      … because Martin Rees wanted to talk about them. Others are more interested in the fine structure constant and the g-factor for an electron – a relationship between them is predicted by quantum electrodynamics, so measuring both accurately helps test the theory.
      Read http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CEcQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.astro.caltech.edu%2F~golwala%2Fph135c%2F04HutzlerElectrong-2.pdf&rct=j&q=fine%20structure%20constant%20g-factor&ei=jeEMTt6bEdHSiAL7y_HhDQ&usg=AFQjCNGzDNGqVQKs9rxXzrCw2Qle1P0g6w&cad=rja if you actually want some of the details.

      You are, of course, still not getting it, but there is no point in going through it again as you are simply too dense to understand.

      You also showed that you lack the ability to quote people honestly. For example,
      you wrote, “//While 99 royal flushes in a row is extremely unlikely, it is certainly possible// You previously compared me to a character in fiction (Eliza Doolittle), so allow me to return the favor. Your statement kind of reminds me of the Jim Carrey character in this movie clip”

      Dishonest quote: the whole statement was, “While 99 royal flushes in a row is extremely unlikely, it is certainly possible. In a typical case, you’d assume 99 royal flushes in a row is evidence of cheating given how unlikely it is, but suppose you had unwittingly used a selection criteria that resulted in a sample of cases where everyone had at least 98 royal flushes in a row. In that sample, one with 99 is something you’d expect to see with the same probability as a single royal flush in a representative sample.”

      So, not only do we know that you don’t understand statistics, but that you also don’t seem to appreciate the difference between the literary work of George Bernard Shaw and the sort of Hollywood movies Jim Carey had made!

      Then you repeat your mantra, “I’ve quoted a mix of scientists that are widely acclaimed to be at the top of their fields, …” without acknowledging that what you way has little to nothing to do with what you quote.

      Then you try, “And you still haven’t answered any of my previous questions. Since you think my ideas are so stupid, give me a better alternative. Where did the Universe come from?” If you really want an answer, read a review of the current status of work in cosmology. I’ll give you one hint: all the progress we’ve made would not have been made if everyone “thought” like you and attributed it all to some “intelligent designer.”

      Jun 30, 2011 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @Joseph:

      “Some design”

      Bravo, Joseph. What a terrific smack-down. Flings hat in air.

      Considering that 99% of the species on earth have probably gone extinct, what colossal hubris of man to think that the planet was created just for him. These head-in-the-sand types don’t have a clue as to what is going on around them.

      Love the puddle analogy.

      Jun 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @Bill:

      “Obviously this Universe wasn’t designed to exist forever. The scriptures make it clear in numerous places that God will eventually create a new heavens and a new earth, where the redeemed will exist for all eternity.”

      Then it fairly logical to conclude that God did, indeed, make some major f**k-up with the resent heavens and this tired old earth.

      I am wondering how how God will “design” a new plantet that will prevent molten lava from gushing up out of the bowels of that newly created earth and burying thousands of innocent victims from a horrible firely death, how he will prevent tectonic plates from shifting and causing earthquakes and tsunamis, how he will control the weather to prevent floods and mudslides, prevent sickness and disease, control lightening so that it does not strike people, control asteroid strikes, create a new animal Kingdom that is not dependent on one species eating another in order to survive and a population of “redeemed” that doesn’t replicate and “f**k itself to overpopulation as we have done with this planet?

      But, here is the piéce de resistance. Bill says that,”Obviously this Universe wasn’t designed to exist forever.”

      Yet, he goes on to say that, “where the redeemed will exist for all eternity.”

      Which would indicate that the new heavens and earth will last for eternity as well. Is that not a conflicted statement in and of itself?

      Oh…and will there be those darn pesky, disease carrying mosquitoes to deal with in the new heavens and earth?

      Jun 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 185 · Schlukitz wrote, “I am wondering how how God will “design” a new plantet that will prevent molten lava from gushing up out of the bowels of that newly created earth and burying thousands of innocent victims from a horrible firely death, …”

      As to the firey death, that’s why he’s filling it with fundamentalist Christians, who are so naive that they’ll soak up everything thrown at them, including the fiery lava.

      Jun 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @B:

      Palm to forehead!

      Now why didn’t I realize that? LOL

      Thanks for a good laugh, B.

      Jun 30, 2011 at 10:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Jaroslaw: Jaroslaw, thanks for your recent reply.

      //THE DATA PROVIDED IS NOT OBTAINED BY ANY SCIENTFIC METHOD//

      I’m not sure which study you are referring to but there are plenty of new studies that corroborate the study you are railing against. For example, he paper referenced here uses many studies conducted in the 2000s

      http://www.marriageresourcesforclergy.com/site/Articles/articles011.htm

      //More violence in homosexual marriages? Bill – look at the big picture. Many people, via religion and culture are taught to HATE homosexuals//

      So religious people are to blame for homosexuals perpetrating domestic violence upon each other? Seriously? This has to be the most asinine thing I’ve read on this forum yet (and keep in mind I’ve been going back and forth with B for quite some time, so that’s really saying something).

      //Re: Slavery – I’m aware that centuries ago, one could not go into the local Ace hardware or auto plant and ask for a job. Society was structured in a very different way…if society hadn’t changed from BIBLE times, YOU MIGHT BE A SLAVE RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE//

      That’s true, but in many ways things are very much the same. For example, I work for a company that tells me when to show up for work. While I am there I have to do everything they assign to me promptly and without complaint. If they decide to send me out of town I have to go. If they cut me off and I can’t find another company I will quickly become financially destitute. Is that really so different from being a servant of a wealthy patron in the ancient cultures? I realize that they are different things in many ways but there is also alot of commonality.

      //I hope someday you find you have a Gay child or relative and this will cause you to “see the light”.//

      Actually I have an older sister who is a lesbian and lives with a lesbian partner. My wife also has an aunt who is a lesbian and lives with a lesbian partner. Her partner recently stopped by to visit us after my wife had a baby and we all celebrated Thanksgiving together 3 years ago. We all get along great.

      I’ve also had several friends who are homosexuals. I am able to see these people for who they really are (human beings) and don’t feel the need to demonize or dehumanize them. I don’t approve of their sexual lifestyles, but I also don’t approve of the sexual lifestyles of my older brothers, who are all womanizers. Recently, one just divorced his wife of several decades and ran off with woman more than 20 years younger than him. I see his lifestyle and choices as worse than my lesbian sister.

      I think there is a better way for all of them to live, but they are more interested in pursuing their own pleasures and trying to find fulfillment in sexual relationships. The fact that they keep going through partner after partner really highlights the vanity of their efforts, but they are unable to see this.

      //I’m done here.//

      So long, and thanks for all the fish!

      Jun 30, 2011 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Schlukitz: Schlukitz, I have no interest in engaing your ranting and ravings. Since you have nothing of any substance to say, I will not waste any of my time responding to you.

      Jun 30, 2011 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Rees simply listed some constants that are interesting…Why are these constants interesting?…… because Martin Rees wanted to talk about them. //

      So Rees talks about some constants that are interesting, and they are interesting because Rees wants to talk about them. I think this is a classic example of circular reasoning…

      //Then you repeat your mantra, “I’ve quoted a mix of scientists that are widely acclaimed to be at the top of their fields, …” without acknowledging that what you way has little to nothing to do with what you quote.//

      I know, right? I’m still clueless what Bernard Carr meant when he said:

      “If there is only one universe, you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.

      I keep asking you to explain it to me but you’ve haven’t responded…

      //Where did the Universe come from?” If you really want an answer, read a review of the current status of work in cosmology.//

      Now there’s a copout for you. And whose cosmology do you want me to read? John Polkinghorne’s, or Arthur Eddington’s?

      Philosophically the notion of a beginning of the present order is REPUGNANT to me. I should like to find a genuine loophole.

      – Arthur Eddington

      Jun 30, 2011 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 190, “Bill” goes off the deep end and essentially fabricates the “discussion”.

      Example 1: “So Rees talks about some constants that are interesting, and they are interesting because Rees wants to talk about them. I think this is a classic example of circular reasoning…”

      Reality: In No 175, “Bill” asked a question and in No 183 I gave him the answer, which he didn’t like so he’s now trying to distort the discussion. Here’s the quote – No. 183 · B : “No. 175 · Bill wrote, “@B: //Rees simply listed some constants that are interesting// why are these constants interesting?” … because Martin Rees wanted to talk about them. Others are more interested in the fine structure constant and the g-factor for an electron – a relationship between them is predicted by quantum electrodynamics, so measuring both accurately helps test the theory.”

      Example 2: then (ignoring the large number of people you’ve quoted and ignored), you try ““If there is only one universe, you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.” I keep asking you to explain it to me but you’ve haven’t responded…”

      Simple explanation. First buy a dictionary and look up the meaning of the verb “might”. As to Carr’s quoted opinion about a multiverse, he’s technically wrong – there’s nothing preventing you from having both a deity and a multiverse, although a multiverse makes the alleged deity seem a bit more superfluous. I suspect the quote was an off-the-cuff one or one meant to be a bit humorous, but you’d have to read it in context to tell.

      Example 3: you try another variation of your ‘ignore what was actually said’ ploy. Here’s the quote from No 190: “//Where did the Universe come from?” If you really want an answer, read a review of the current status of work in cosmology.// Now there’s a copout for you. And whose cosmology do you want me to read? John Polkinghorne’s, or Arthur Eddington’s?”

      Reality: Authur Eddington died in 1944 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Eddington ). Exactly what review of the current status of work in cosmology (2011) do you think he could have written when he was still alive? John Polkinghorne changed careers in 1979, where he started to study for the priesthood, becoming an ordained Anglican priest in 1982 (citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Polkinghorne ). What sort of review on the current status of work in cosmology do you think he would write given his career change?

      Now let me ask you a question. Given your behavior, why would you expect anyone to take any opinion of yours seriously?

      Jul 1, 2011 at 12:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      /In No 188, Bill writes, “/More violence in homosexual marriages? Bill – look at the big picture. Many people, via religion and culture are taught to HATE homosexuals// So religious people are to blame for homosexuals perpetrating domestic violence upon each other? Seriously?”

      Seriously? Read http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=nancy_knauer and specifically (see page 330) the statement that “between 25% and 35% of same-sex relationships involve physical or psychological abuse. This is comparable to the estimates of the incidents of violence in opposite-sex relationships.”

      Jul 1, 2011 at 2:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: // As to Carr’s quoted opinion about a multiverse, he’s technically wrong – there’s nothing preventing you from having both a deity and a multiverse, although a multiverse makes the alleged deity seem a bit more superfluous.//

      Wrong again! Actually an infinite multiverse makes the existence of a deity 100% likely! The reason being is that if there are an infinite number of Universes out there, then in one of those Universes a powerful Being has created life on a small blue planet, inspired divine scripture and intervened numerous times in the course of the history of the planet’s sentient inhabitants.

      Given that we have strong evidence of miraculous things in the world (for example, the resurrection of Jesus and the shroud of Turin), it is highly likely that we exist in one of the Universes where the divine Being created life. (Certainly no less likely than the Universe where a card player gets 99 royal flushes in a row, or the universe where lightning strikes a mud puddle and forms the first self-replicating cell on Earth that eventually morphs into a human being!)

      //I suspect the quote was an off-the-cuff one or one meant to be a bit humorous, but you’d have to read it in context to tell.//

      Oh, so THAT’s it. I think you’re right. I looked it up on Google and found the context.

      Those idiotic creationists at Discover magazine had the gall to write an article in the Physics & Math/Cosmology section called “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory“.

      In this article they try to gain credibility and attempt to fool everyone by quoting numerous cosmologists, like John Polkinghorne, Martin Rees and Bernard Carr! (grrrr….)

      http://discovermagazine.com/2008/dec/10-sciences-alternative-to-an-intelligent-creator/article_view?b_start:int=2

      What About God?
      For many physicists, the multiverse remains a desperate measure, ruled out by the impossibility of confirmation. Critics see the anthropic principle as a step backward, a return to a human-centered way of looking at the universe that Copernicus discredited five centuries ago. They complain that using the anthropic principle to explain the properties of the universe is like saying that ships were created so that barnacles could stick to them.

      “If you allow yourself to hypothesize an almost unlimited portfolio of different worlds, you can explain anything,” says John Polkinghorne, formerly a theoretical particle physicist at Cambridge University and, for the past 26 years, an ordained Anglican priest. If a theory allows anything to be possible, it explains nothing; a theory of anything is not the same as a theory of everything, he adds…

      If the life-friendly fine-tuning of our universe is just a chance occurrence, something that inevitably arises in an endless array of universes, is there any need for a fine-tuner—for a god?

      I don’t think that the multiverse idea destroys the possibility of an intelligent, benevolent creator,” Weinberg says. “What it does is remove one of the arguments for it, just as Darwin’s theory of evolution made it unnecessary to appeal to a benevolent designer to understand how life developed with such remarkable abilities to survive and breed.”

      On the other hand, if there is no multiverse, where does that leave physicists? “If there is only one universe,” Carr says, “you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.

      //Reality: Authur Eddington died in 1944….John Polkinghorne changed careers in 1979, where he started to study for the priesthood, becoming an ordained Anglican priest in 1982//

      I’m aware of the times of the careers of both of these men. You still haven’t answered my question. Which type of cosmologist do you want me to read to know what your views are. The Arthur Eddington type (the one who hated the idea of a cosmic beginning so much because it implied that God exists) or the John Polkinghorne type (the one who was so inspired by the scientific evidence for a Creator that he joined the priesthood)?

      //What sort of review on the current status of work in cosmology do you think he would write given his career change?//

      I’m not sure. He’s obviously clueless, despite his work (according the wikipedia article you quoted)

      “…on theories about elementary particles, played a role in the discovery of the quark,[1] and researched the analytic and high-energy properties of Feynman integrals and the foundations of S-Matrix theory

      and someone needs to tell the old fool to quit writing books on quantum physics and science. You seem to know alot more about this stuff than he does. I think you should write him a letter and just tell him to shut up. Or better yet, maybe you should write some books and set the record straight. Maybe then we’ll finally know what your model of reality is. What do you think?

      Jul 1, 2011 at 7:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Seriously? Read http://works.bepress.com/cgi/v…..ncy_knauer and specifically (see page 330) the statement that “between 25% and 35% of same-sex relationships involve physical or psychological abuse. This is comparable to the estimates of the incidents of violence in opposite-sex relationships.”//

      That’s interesting. Thanks for the link. I’ve looked through a number of studies and they all seem to say that same sex relationships either have the same or a far greater rate of domestic violence than opposite sex relationships. For example, the abstract in this study reads:

      http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/vav/1999/00000014/00000004/art00006

      The study found that respondents who had lived with a same-sex intimate partner were significantly more likely than respondents who had married or lived with an opposite-sex partner only to have been: (a) raped as minors and adults; (b) physically assaulted as children by adult caretakers; and (c) physically assaulted as adults by all types of perpetrators, including intimate partners. The study also confirms previous reports that intimate partner violence is more prevalent among gay male couples than heterosexual couples. However, it contradicts reports that intimate partner violence is more prevalent among lesbian couples than heterosexual couples.

      But I’ve also seen other studies that showed that homosexual couples in general and lesbian couples in particular had the highest divorce rate of all couple-types. So it would seem that whether its because of violence or higher divorce rates, homosexual couples are less stable than heterosexual couples.

      http://www.uni-koeln.de/wiso-fak/fisoz/conference/papers/p_andersson.pdf

      We found that divorce risks are higher in same-sex partnerships than opposite-sex marriages, and that unions of lesbians are considerably less stable, or more dynamic, than unions of gay men. In Norway as well as in Sweden, the divorce risk in female partnerships is practically double that of the risk in partnerships of men.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 7:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @B:

      Is it not interesting, B., that a man must labor so hard and so diligently to prove the existence of a creator and creation, when it should be as obvious as a Dafodil poking it’s head through the snow in the spring or the sun rising in the morning.

      Of course, it goes without saying, if the existence of a creator and creation were that obvious, then the religionista would have no further need of convincing anyone or arguing about about their “truths” which would, essentially, put them out of business.

      And that is precisely what these people fear…that they might have to get a real job and start paying taxes like the rest of us working stiffs, instead of depending on the kindness of strangers for their very existence.

      Predators, in order to exist and prosper, always require a willing host.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Richard Bozky
      Richard Bozky

      @William Cress: I just don’t understand. As a gay man I try to love everyone simply because they’re a human being. I know people don’t agree with my lifestyle- I often don’t agree with theirs. But it seems to me that hating Turek and wanting him fired is just as much “Hate and Discrimination”. So, what if he doesn’t agree with us? He has his opinion and we have ours. But he’s not forcing his view on us yet we seem to want to force our opinion on him. It seems like such a double standard. I don’t like it when people think different of me because I’m gay. I’m sure Turek doesn’t like it when people look at him different for being against a homosexual lifestyle either. I just don’t think we’re handling this the right way. I liken it man who kills an abortion doctor. He SAYS he’s all for life yet he kills someone! But WE say we’re all for diversity and tolerance yet we cannot and will not tolerate this man. There’s something very wrong in that. It seems many in the gay community are all for tolerance just as long as you agree with them. That’s not tolerance. I have many Christian and Muslim friends who accept me for who I am. They’ve NEVER hated me or made me feel worthless because I believe in something they don’t. They just don’t agree. I think we need to reexamine our attitude to those who don’t agree with us. It just doesn’t make sense to say, “I can’t believe that person thinks what I am doing is wrong. Fine. Off with their heads. What? Off with MY head? Oh, that’s so wrong! How could you feel that way? How could you say off with MY head? You’re so intolerant. I hate you. Off with HIS head!”

      Jul 1, 2011 at 9:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @B:

      I am sure that you have noticed, as have I, B., that in addition to quoting scripture and verse at the drop of a hat, Bill also throws slew of links at us in a frantic attempt to support his numerous postulations and slanderous, demeaning comments about homosexuals. These links, of course, all support his homophobia, his bigotry and the fact that he considers himself superior to gay people and even members of his own family of which he has elected himself judge and jury. Reading his comments on this thread, he leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that he considers himself one of the “redeemed” who will inhabit a new heavens and planet that will be created by the creator for people exactly like himself.

      Such hubris is mind-boggling. Nor, as long as consciousness remains in this old body of mine, would I even entertain the idea of having to spend an eternity with people of this imbecilic caliber. Hell would look like an attractive alternative by contrast.

      Notice that I did not use the word “prove”, as opposed to “support” because throwing a bunch of links at us that are more than likely biased, does not prove anything. There is always a plethora of information to support one’s theories, wild notions and mad postulations on just about any topic that one might wish to force down someone else’s throat as “Universal truth”, which we all know, is as non-existent as the flying spaghetti monster.

      Just because Fred Phelps has a link on the Internet known as “, does not mean or prove that the material contained therein is factual or have any credence to it.

      John Rekers of NART is another fine example. A self-serving individual with no credentials in the field of psychiatry, he wrote many papers against homosexuals containing similar claims that Bill is throwing at members of the LGBT community. The rent boy scandal that ensued recently proved, as has been the case with many other homophobes who go way out of their way to castigate homosexuals and their behavior, that his hatred of homosexuals came directly out of his own self-hatred for his homosexual urges and desires that he tried to keep under wraps.

      One has to wonder if this is not the prime motivation for Bill to come to a known gay site and hammer away at the “failings” of homosexual people? What is he doing here…and what is he trying to prove.

      Since Bill relies so heavily on information gleaned and harvested on the Internet, it would behoove Bill http://library.nmu.edu/guides/userguides/webeval.htmto take a look at this link entitled “Evaluating Internet Sources”.

      http://library.nmu.edu/guides/userguides/webeval.htm

      Bottom line? Who really give a hoot what Bill has to say? Does it really matter in the scheme of things?

      Jul 1, 2011 at 9:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #188 Bill – I really didn’t think you’d respond to my last post, but your response had such elements of idiocy, I can’t help myself.

      What part of the Bible approves of LYING?

      I proved to you that Tracey Hansen and Jeffrey Satinower are liars (plus are disengenuous)and you can’t condemn them? Discussing anything with you further is irrational, especially since you keep conveniently ignoring major points.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 9:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @Jaroslaw:

      “Discussing anything with you further is irrational, especially since you keep conveniently ignoring major points.”

      As is always the case with people who are, themselves, disingenuous. They conveniently ignore the major points because if they paid any mind to them, it would destroy their entire argument.

      Hence the expression “Cherry picking”.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      I recommend limiting your responses to the likes of Bill to contain only one point per message. Making a comprehensively detailed rebuttal means he can appear to respond, while actually ignoring the contested issues. I learned this approach on YouTube, where responses have to be short anyway. Just hammer away one point at a time until you get either negotiated resolution or capitulation. This discussion is evidently as much about winning the argument as it is pursuit of the truth, for both sides.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 10:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @Derek Williams:

      Excellent advice, indeed, Derek. It’s called focusing.

      As to winning the argument, one should be highly suspect of a person who purports to be heterosexual coming to a known gay site like Queerty, for the purpose of making themselves look good…at the expense of the very community that Queerty serves. Exactly what is it that they hope to gain by indulging themselves this senseless demonizing and excoriation of LGBT people?

      Shouldn’t they be looking girly magazines or some other “normal” heterosexual pursuit instead of concerning themselves and wringing their hands over what is going on in the bedrooms of those naughty gay boys and girls? ;P

      Jul 1, 2011 at 10:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #200 – Derek – I like your advice about one point per post.

      But I would dispute it is about “winning.” You can’t even have a discussion if someone keeps ignoring major stuff.

      For example – I don’t think I have yet heard ANY Christian blogger explain how any Bible contains the word “homosexual” when that word did not exist until 1869.

      Thanks again.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Jaroslaw: This is true. More specifically, homosexual as neither orientation nor behaviour had any direct lexical equivalent in the Ancient Hebrew and Ancient Greek languages. While Bill et al would argue that one could deduce homosexual behaviour from some of the scriptures, that is skating on very thin ice. I’ve flicked through 17 different translations of the Bible to the relevant passages, and some of the more recent ones do indeed contain the word ‘homosexual’. This can only have been ‘creative’ thinking on the part of the translators. The word is not in either of my two bibles, the King James and the Knox versions. There is also a complete absence of biologically unmistakable specificity relating the the mechanics of any sex, let alone gay sex, most of whose activities are, let’s face it, the same as for heterosexuals (kissing, fellatio etc.), and all using the organs of excretion doubling as organs of procreation – hardly something to be too high and mightily precious about.

      Take the oft-quoted Leviticus. Here are three translations of the relevant Leviticus passage:

      King James Version, Leviticus 18:22: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”
      Living Bible: “Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin”
      New Living Translation: “Do not practice homosexuality; it is a detestable sin.”

      The second and third ‘translations’ assume that the source refers to homosexual intercourse, but this is a completely unjustifiable translation of the source, considering that neither the word ‘homosexual’ nor the word ‘homosexuality’ have any equivalence in Ancient Hebrew or Ancient Greek.

      Now let’s go to the Hebrew source:
      In transliterated Hebrew, the verse is written: “V’et zachar lo tishkav mishk’vey eeshah toeyvah hee.”
      meaning:
      “And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman”
      Its precise meaning is ambiguous. The phrase “lay lyings” has no obvious interpretation. For an anthology that is supposed to be the Word of God, it’s pretty astonishing that Scholars have to fill in so many gaps like this in the Bible.

      The closest equivalent I can find in the Ancient Hebrew is the word for ‘Eunuch’ (‘caric’, pronounced ‘saris’), which I am inclined to believe was an umbrella term for LGBT of the day, rather than merely a castrated male, which would have been a far rarer phenomenon. One reason for believing this is a response from Christ himself to a question regarding marriage (Matthew 19:11-12), where he says that some were “born that way”. He also said that not everyone can accept this, but that those that can accept it should accept it. Christ never commented elsewhere on homosexuality. While there has been mention that he never discussed pedophilia either, (mainly from those who are disingenuously unaware there is a difference between consummating a relationship with a consenting adult, and having sex with a baby, or with a horse), there is evidence Christ was interested in the protection of children, “suffer the little children to come unto me”. (Matthew 19:14)

      Now let’s examine Leviticus 19:19 on another matter rated as equivalent:
      New International Version: “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”
      English Standard Version: “nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.”
      American Standard Version: “neither shall there come upon thee a garment of two kinds of stuff mingled together.”
      King James Version: “neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee”

      The words ‘woven’, ‘material’, ‘thread’, ‘cloth’, ‘linen’, ‘woollen’, ‘stuff’ ‘wear’, ‘come upon thee’, are all attempts to translate something that I will bet my bottom dollar is not a requirement of being a Christian despite being in the Bible. Under King James or English Standard Version it is ok to wear a polyester/cotton shirt since it is neither linen nor wool, nor woven, but New International Version forbids such shirts. Which is one to believe?

      “While the people of Israel found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day, the Lord said to Moses, ‘The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him…'” (Numbers 15:32,35). The following should also be of interest: “Women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says.” (1 Corinthians 14:34). “Slaves, obey your human masters in everything; don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.” (Colossians 3:22) “But if … evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones…” (Deuteronomy 22:20,21). When did Bill et al last stone anyone for anything at all? It’s mandatory in the Bible. Do they sacrifice animals? Do they treat their slaves well? Do they prohibit women from being teachers? They will of course say Christ discarded these laws, but kept the ones purportedly about homosexuality, with zero scriptural evidence he did any such thing. They pick and choose really, don’t they?

      Alleged references to homosexual conduct in the Bible are also not supported by any of the chief ‘motherhood’ statements of Christianity, such as the Ten Commandments, Christ’s Two Commandments, the Eight Beatitudes, and so forth. If God had really planed to send all 300 million of us homosexuals living in the world today (4% based on 2004 US Census exit polls) to burn without cease in a lake of fire, he should at least have dictated the whole Bible in the First Person Singular to a reliable scribe, and made it available to 100% of the population from that day forth. Yet here we are arguing over what this and that means. In the absence of proof for or against, I don’t deny the possibility of existence a supreme being, but I do contest reliance on 17 divergent translations of the Bible as the sole source of relevant knowledge about homosexuality.

      There is also evidence that religions, such as the Quakers and the Church of Scotland, having conscientiously and sincerely re-examined scripture are increasingly coming to the realisation the homosexuality is not an intrinsically evil orientation after all. Considering that over 34,000 different denominations already exist, with hundreds more forming every month, each convinced they’ve got the best hotline to God, it’s unsurprising there is no universally authoritative Christian position even on birth control and divorce, let alone homosexuality.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 193 · Bill provides proof that he’s gone off the deep end while not knowing how to swim.

      Example 1: “No. 193 · Bill @B: // As to Carr’s quoted opinion about a multiverse, he’s technically wrong – there’s nothing preventing you from having both a deity and a multiverse, although a multiverse makes the alleged deity seem a bit more superfluous.//
      Wrong again! Actually an infinite multiverse makes the existence of a deity 100% likely! ”

      “Bill” is as out of touch with reality as ever: an ‘infinite’ multiverse requires no such thing. Start with Everett’s original paper from the 1950s. He simply claimed that quantum mechanics works at all scales, and you don’t need to assume some mysterious mechanism that makes wavefunctions collapse. The laws of physics are the same in all of them, but with different values for what we call physical constants (if string theories are correct). There’s no need for a deity and no physical mechanism for creating one.

      Example 2: “Given that we have strong evidence of miraculous things in the world (for example, the resurrection of Jesus and the shroud of Turin), it is highly likely that we exist in one of the Universes where the divine Being created life.”

      Except we do not have “strong evidence” of any such thing, certainly not “the resurrection of Jesus”, and “the shroud of Turin” has not been shown to be miraculous.
      Regarding Jesus, we have some claims in a religious text with no independent verification. If you accept the Bible on face value, then you should accept the claims in ancient Greek religious texts about the existence of Zeus & company.

      Example 3: “//I suspect the quote was an off-the-cuff one or one meant to be a bit humorous, but you’d have to read it in context to tell.// Oh, so THAT’s it. I think you’re right. I looked it up on Google and found the context. Those idiotic creationists at Discover magazine had the gall to write an article in the Physics & Math/Cosmology section called “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory“.

      So, “Bill” actually is quoting not Carr, but a reporter interviewing Carr, and reporters in general are notorious for mangling quotes on technical topics or taking quotes out of context to “spin” a story in some particular direction, if only to make it interesting to readers. At least Bill is now showing us where he gets his quotes from.

      Example 4: “//Reality: Authur Eddington died in 1944….John Polkinghorne changed careers in 1979, where he started to study for the priesthood, becoming an ordained Anglican priest in 1982// I’m aware of the times of the careers of both of these men.”

      If you were aware of that, then you are admitting to being basically a liar as I had suggested that you read a review of the *current status* of work in cosmology, so you started talking about a guy who died in 1944 and one who changed careers in the late 1970s. It was simply a dishonest response on your part. Unfortunately, there seems to be a pattern – you do that way too often for it to be explained as an oversight.

      Example 5: “//What sort of review on the current status of work in cosmology do you think he would write given his career change?// I’m not sure. He’s obviously clueless, despite his work …”

      His “career change” was to become an Anglican priest. Now, how many priests do you think would argue that there is no god even when presented with evidence that indicated precisely that? A priest who argues that there is no god will have a good chance of having to make a forced career change.

      So, as I said, try a reading a review of current work in cosmology – you know, something written by people currently working in that area.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @Derek Williams:

      +1000 on your cogent, intelligent and well-articulated commentary, Derek.

      You have made numerous indesputable points that should be obvious to people like Bill if they would but take the time and the trouble to really read the entire bible, not just bits and pieces of it that support their limited, narrow viewpoints on any number of topics.

      It is obvious that as mankind has evolved and become more civilized toward his fellow man, that many of the dictates of the bible have been discarded, while some still cling to the homophobia, bigotry and hatred that is obviously behind the picking and choosing of verse from Scripture.

      It is no big secret that the marginalization of any minority group is steeped and grounded in fear, hence the many misconceptions, distortions of fact and outright disingenuous lies that are manufactured and propagated by the religionista so that the sheeple will continue to throw money at the church to “defeat” the perceived “enemy” who they “choose” to believe will topple “traditional marriage”, destroy the social fabric of our society and bring civilization as we know it, crashing down on our heads.

      Take away this unfounded irrational fear of homosexuals and what what would religion have left to get the “believers” to part with their money?

      I have said this before and I will say it yet again. Barnum and Bailey may have billed themselves as “The Greatest Show on Earth”, but they would have to go a long, long way to go before they could ever even think of upstaging religion as the greatest show on earth.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 194 · Bill wrote, “I’ve looked through a number of studies and they all seem to say that same sex relationships either have the same or a far greater rate of domestic violence than opposite sex relationships. For example, the abstract in this study reads:
      http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/vav/1999/00000014/00000004/art00006

      That abstract does not contain any quantitative result nor any statement as the study’s statistical significance. So, why don’t you tell us what the study actually says (hint: the link requires forking over $48 to read it).

      There’s a lot of stuff out there that is barely statistically significant, and I’ll note that you are not producing any quantitative results. There’s probably a good reason for that – the numbers most likely aren’t as “impressive” as words such as “higher”, where one’s imagination can suggest a number far greater than the data actually support.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 197 · Schlukitz wrote, “@B: I am sure that you have noticed, as have I, B., that in addition to quoting scripture and verse at the drop of a hat, Bill also throws slew of links at us in a frantic attempt to support his numerous postulations and slanderous, demeaning comments about homosexuals.”

      Yep, he is pretty comical, trying to impress people who know far more than he does.

      One possibility is that he has a psychological/religious need to be abused – the Christian notion of those “persecuted for righteousness’ sake” – so at an emotional level, he might take the negative reactions he’s getting as proof that he is “saved.” If “Bill” is any example, the Christians being “persecuted” were probably overrepresented by tiresome “you’re all going to hell” street preacher types who everyone wished would go away.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: Everyone, I am flattered that there is so much interest in my opinions. Imagining every one of you waiting with baited breath and tuning into this otherwise dead thread every day to rant at me/Christians or weigh in with your various opinions is deeply humbling. My response to some of your comments follows:

      B said:
      One possibility is that he has a psychological/religious need to be abused – the Christian notion of those “persecuted for righteousness’ sake” – so at an emotional level, he might take the negative reactions he’s getting as proof that he is “saved.”

      I don’t need the verbal abuse as confirmation of my salvation. I come on here (and other places) because I find the discussion entertaining. I’m also a person who likes to champion truth, and I don’t let nasty people intimidate me into silence with vicious and insulting comments.

      Derek Williams said:
      I recommend limiting your responses to the likes of Bill to contain only one point per message. Making a comprehensively detailed rebuttal means he can appear to respond, while actually ignoring the contested issues.

      I think this is a great idea, and so from this point on I’m going to focus exclusively on one issue at a time. So as much as I’d like to discuss the Shroud of Turin (which is a fascinating topic), the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, the absolutely horrendous arguments Derek made arguing that the scriptures don’t condemn homosexuality, or the evidence for the high rates of domestic violence and divorce in homosexual relationships, I’m going to stick to cosmology for now. That has the been the main point of most of the arguments I have made, and I don’t think we’ve reached a satisfactory resolution on that topic.

      Even though my discussions of this topic have been limited to “B”, I invite anyone else interested to participate. I’m going to steadfastly ignore any other topics or attempts to divert into another subject until this is resolved, so any messages bringing other topics up will be ignored.

      To recap: my position is that science has shown that our Universe had a distinct beginning point in time, and is exquisitely fine-tuned (against all odds) to allow the existence of carbon based life forms. I also take the position that atheistic scientists who see the fine-tuning turn to the metaphysical argument for a multiverse (that our Universe is one of a very large or even infinite number of other Universes) and that we just happened to luck out by existing in one of the few universes that can support life, as an escape hatch to avoid the obvious theological implications of the fine-tuning.

      “B” has steadfastly denied any impressive fine-tuning of the Universe, and also denies that atheistic scientists invoke the multiverse in order to avoid God.

      Having established all of this, I’ll respond to her latest arguments to this effect in my next post.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //So, “Bill” actually is quoting not Carr, but a reporter interviewing Carr, and reporters in general are notorious for mangling quotes on technical topics or taking quotes out of context to “spin” a story in some particular direction, if only to make it interesting to readers. At least Bill is now showing us where he gets his quotes from.//

      This is in my response to my quotation of atheistic scientist Bernard Carr saying

      “If there is only one universe, you might have to have a ‘fine-tuner’. If you don?t want God, you?d better have a Multiverse.”

      from an article in Discover magazine (November 10, 2008) by Tim Folger entitled “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory

      So originally you implied Carr was just joking when you said

      //Simple explanation. First buy a dictionary and look up the meaning of the verb “might”. As to Carr’s quoted opinion about a multiverse, he’s technically wrong – there’s nothing preventing you from having both a deity and a multiverse, although a multiverse makes the alleged deity seem a bit more superfluous. I suspect the quote was an off-the-cuff one or one meant to be a bit humorous//

      and you are making the bald and completely unproven assertion that the Discover Magazine reporter mangled the quote and completely twisted it in an attempt to make the article more interesting.

      What evidence do you have that the quote was mangled and/or taken out of context? I’d like to see sources, please.

      And now I will present MY case that Bernard Carr actually meant what he said. All you have to do is read Bernard Carr’s essay on his book, “Universe or Multiverse” which is available for free online here:

      http://www.epubbud.com/read.php?g=XQDFQZS2

      In his essay Carr says (keep in mind these are his OWN words I am quoting):

      …Despite the growing popularity of the multiverse proposal, it must be admitted that many physicists remain deeply uncomfortable with it. The reason is clear: the idea is highly speculative and, from both a cosmological and a particle physics perspective, the reality of a multiverse is currently untestable. Indeed, it may always remain so, in the sense that astronomers may never be able to observe the other universes with telescopes a and particle physicists may never be able to observe the extra dimensions with their accelerators…

      [Wait a second, did he just admit that it was untestable?]

      “…Indeed, Paul Davies [25] regards the concept of a multiverse as just as metaphysical as that of a Creator who fine-tuned a single universe for our existence….”

      [What fine-tuned universe?????]

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…

      [So much for your position that atheists don't use the multiverse to explain away God.]

      “…In fact, the dichotomy in attributing anthropic fine-tunings to God or the multiverse is too simplistic. While the fine-tunings certainly do not provide unequivocal evidence for God, nor would the existence of a multiverse preclude God since – as emphasized by Robin Collins [30] – there is no reason why a Creator should not act through the multiverse. Neverethless, the multiverse proposal certainly poses a serious challenge to the theological view, so it is not surprising that it has commended itself to atheists. Indeed, Neil Manson has described the multiverse as ‘the last resort for the desperate atheist’ [31].

      “…it seems unlikely that – even in the extended form required to accommodate the multiverse – science will ever prove or disprove the existence of God. Some people may see in the physical world some hint of the divine, but this can only provide what John Polkinghorne describes as ‘nudge’ factors [36]. 2 It should be cautioned that the concept of ‘cosmic design’ being described here has nothing to do with the ‘Intelligent Design’ movement in the USA. Nevertheless, atheists might hope that the multiverse theory will have the same impact in the context of cosmic design as the theory of evolution did in the context of biological design…”

      Although the focus of this volume is the multiverse rather than the anthropic principle, it is important to recall the fine-tunings which the multiverse proposal is purporting to explain.

      [Checkmate!]

      Jul 1, 2011 at 8:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @Bill:

      “@B: Everyone, I am flattered that there is so much interest in my opinions. Imagining every one of you waiting with baited breath and tuning into this otherwise dead thread every day to rant at me/Christians or weigh in with your various opinions is deeply humbling.”

      A ham, pacing the boards, flattering himself and patting himself on the back. Yep. Yep. Lot of humbleness here. Bill is about as humble as a school bully beating up on a kid half his age. Only he uses his heterosexual superiority and lofty copied and pasted words to do his damage. He readily admits that he finds the discussion entertaining which would seem to suggest that he does not take anything we have to say seriously. To people like Bill, we are just some freaks of nature with which to have sport with. Fail.

      “I don’t need the verbal abuse as confirmation of my salvation. I come on here (and other places) because I find the discussion entertaining.”

      Of course Bill finds the discussions entertaining. And why shouldn’t he? He is certain of his salvation, so that frees him to say whatever he wishes about other, no matter how unflattering and vile. What other blog site could he go onto for the purpose of insulting, demeaning and belittling other posters without being banned from it, thanks to Queerty’s very liberal posting policies. Even the bigots and the haters get to have their say here, which is more than I say for sites like NOM and other notorious anti-homosexual sites that abound on the Internet. Fail.

      “I’m also a person who likes to champion truth.”

      Ah yes…the truth according to the Gospel of Bill, even if he has to resort to copying and pasting links that present a biased view of the subject matter, twist facts, resort to bold, disingenuous lies or baffling us with his bs when he can’t dazzle us with his brilliance. Fail.

      “I think this is a great idea, and so from this point on I’m going to focus exclusively on one issue at a time. So as much as I’d like to discuss the Shroud of Turin (which is a fascinating topic), the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, the absolutely horrendous arguments Derek made arguing that the scriptures don’t condemn homosexuality, or the evidence for the high rates of domestic violence and divorce in homosexual relationships, I’m going to stick to cosmology for now. That has the been the main point of most of the arguments I have made, and I don’t think we’ve reached a satisfactory resolution on that topic.”

      The “evidence for the resurrection of Jesus”? Oh really now. Despite the fact that the infamous shroud of Turin has been the center of speculation for over 600 years, Bill is able to state, with the utmost of confidence, that which the jury is still out on. If If Reverend Bill says it’s the piece of cloth used to wrap Jesus’ dead body in then, by God, it’s what he says it is…just because he says so But what really amazes me most of all, is that people are perfectly willing to give liars like Bill a pass on their lies and would die before they would speak-up and challenge the liars on their disingenuousness. Fail.

      “Even though my discussions of this topic have been limited to “B”, I invite anyone else interested to participate. I’m going to steadfastly ignore any other topics or attempts to divert into another subject until this is resolved, so any messages bringing other topics up will be ignored.”

      Like the priest or Pastor at the local church, Reverend Bill has written his sermon, to be delivered at the Altar of Queerty, and without diversion or interruption. We are to remain in our pews until his “topic” is resolved, to Reverend Bill’s satisfaction, and we will all say Amen in unison after he has beaten us all into submission,much like my recollections of Sunday School when I was a young lad. In other words, all of you queers listen up…or STFU! Nice, considering that he is a guest our our blog…a gay blog at that. Talk about insulting one’s host and wearing his welcome out? Fail.

      http://www.mythsdreamssymbols.com/shroud.html

      “I don’t let nasty people intimidate me into silence with vicious and insulting comments.”

      And the way Bill accomplishes that is by beating them to the punch. The following copy and paste of a parting shot from Bill to B., in his comment no. 208, is a good example.

      ““B” has steadfastly denied any impressive fine-tuning of the Universe, and also denies that atheistic scientists invoke the multiverse in order to avoid God.

      Having established all of this, I’ll respond to ‘her’ latest arguments to this effect in my next post.”

      Bill apparently has no problem with gender-bashing an openly gay man. I do have to wonder, however, how one of his straight friends would take to that kind of insult. Bill, by his own admission is not a gay man, ergo he does not have our permission to take this kind of familiarity any more than a white person has permission to use the “N” word when he is having dialogue with a member of the black community. Bill no doubt thinks that this is, as he put it, “entertaining”. We are not, however, amused, as Bill has clearly crossed the line and as such, is no longer welcome in the LGBT community.

      Bill should take that kind of verbal abuse to NOM where Maggie Gallagher and Bryan Fischer would welcome him with open arms and allow those of us who come to these boards to share our common heritage and experience without uninvited party-crashers like him.

      http://www.mythsdreamssymbols.com/shroud.html

      Jul 1, 2011 at 11:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @Schlukitz:

      Sorry folks…my link somehow got posted twice. Please disregard the second one.

      Jul 1, 2011 at 11:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Schlukitz: I’ve already said that I’m going to focus on one issue at a time. So your attempt to divert into the topic of the Shroud of the Turin will be ignored (and btw, the claims in your link are easily explained by anyone willing to spend 5 minutes researching the topic or just turning on the History channel).

      The rest of your rant will be ignored.

      //Bill apparently has no problem with gender-bashing an openly gay man. //

      I honestly had no idea that “B” was a man and was not trying to be insulting.

      Jul 2, 2011 at 8:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill: Tell me exactly where in the Bible Jesus or God literally says that I will rot in Hell for all eternity for being in a consensual relationship with the man I love?

      Jul 2, 2011 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: Derek, I’m going to follow your excellent advice and stick to one topic at a time.

      And as you can see from the last several dozen posts, my main topic has been Cosmology. This is the branch of science that led me from atheism to Christianity and the topic I am most interested in. (This also led world renowned atheist Antony Flew to give up his atheism and become a Deist.)

      “B” has flat out refused to the acknowledge the overwhelming scientific consensus of physicists that our Universe is fine-tuned for life and that atheistic physicists are invoking the multiverse hypothesis (which has no evidence and is untestable by their own admission) in order to escape the strong theological implications of the fine-tuning.

      Besides, if you are an agnostic, what do you care what the Bible says anyway?

      Jul 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 209 · Bill wrote, “@B: //So, “Bill” actually is quoting not Carr, but a reporter interviewing Carr, and reporters in general are notorious for mangling quotes on technical topics or taking quotes out of context to “spin” a story in some particular direction, if only to make it interesting to readers. At least Bill is now showing us where he gets his quotes from.// This is in my response to my quotation of atheistic scientist Bernard Carr saying ‘If there is only one universe, you might have to have a ‘fine-tuner’. If you don?t want God, you?d better have a Multiverse.'”

      LOL. What you quoted is a reporter’s version of whatever Carr said. I hate to throw in a little reality, but those of us who have been interviewed and quoted by reporters have a much better idea of what goes on than you do. First, it is not uncommon for the quote that appears in an article to really be a paraphrase, not necessarily an accurate one, of what was actually said. Second, reporters have their own agenda – to write a story they think will interest their readers – so you might have had a case of a reporter really doing his best to get Carr to talk about the compatibility (or lack thereof) of cosmology and religion. If Carr actually said that multiverse theories are ones least compatible with the idea of a universe tweaked by some deity, that could easily be turned into the quote you saw.

      It’s not clear where you got the quotes you claim to be providing as you hardly ever provide citations, although you did in No. 209, where you once again got things a bit off.

      In that case – http://www.epubbud.com/read.php?g=XQDFQZS2&p=3 – the cited material actually states, “Convictions about God’s existence must surely come from ‘inside’ rather than ‘outside’ and even those eminent physicists who are mystically inclined do not usually base their faith on scientific revelations [37]. For this reason, theology receives rather short shrift in this volume. The contributors are nearly all physicists, and even those of a theological disposition have generally restricted their remarks to scientific considerations.”

      Also at the start of the preface, it states, “This book grew out of a conference entitled ‘Universe or Multiverse?’ which was held at Stanford University in March 2003 and initiated by Charles Harper of the John Templeton Foundation, which sponsored the event. Paul Davies and Andrei Linde were in charge of the scientific programme, while Mary Ann Meyers of the Templeton Foundation played the major administrative role. The meeting came at a critical point in the development of the subject and included contributions from some of the key players in the field, so I was very pleased to be invited to edit the resulting proceedings.”

      So some of what Carr wrote is of necessity a summary or introduction to the views expressed by others. Also the Templeton Foundation’s web page
      ( http://www.templeton.org/who-we-are/about-the-foundation/mission ) states that “The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. We support research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. We encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights.” It would hardly be surprising if some nod to the sponsor didn’t appear in a preface.

      But let’s look at what “Bill” claims:

      1. “[Wait a second, did he just admit that it was untestable?]”
      No, he didn’t. He said it is currently untestable. When General Relativity was first formulated, it predicted a phenomena called frame dragging and it took about 100 years before we had the technology to measure it.

      2. “[What fine-tuned universe?????]” Bill simply quoted a guy who doesn’t like the idea of a multiverse. OMG! Researchers have a difference of opinion when the work in a particular area is not yet complete. Who would have thought that!

      3. “[So much for your position that atheists don't use the multiverse to explain away God.]” Wrong again. The concept of a multiverse is independent of whether or not a god or multiple gods exist, but some multiverse-based models make a “god” more obviously superfluous.

      4. “Although the focus of this volume is the multiverse rather than the anthropic principle, it is important to recall the fine-tunings which the multiverse proposal is purporting to explain.” What the proposal is purporting to explain has nothing to do with religion.

      If you had read the link you provided impartially, instead of cherry-picking quotes out of context, you would have noted the following statement: “Anthropic claims – at least in their strong form – were regarded with a certain amount of disdain by physicists at the time, and in some quarters they still are. Although we took the view that any sort of explanation for the observed fine-tunings was better than none, many regarded anthropic arguments as going beyond legitimate science. The fact that some people of a theological disposition interpreted the claims as evidence for a Creator – attributing teleological significance to the strong anthropic principle – perhaps enhanced that reaction. However, attitudes have changed considerably since then. This is not so much because the status of the anthropic arguments themselves have changed – as we will see in a later chapter, some of them have become firmer and others weaker. Rather, it is because there has been a fundamental shift in the epistemological status of the anthropic principle. This arises because cosmologists have come to realize that there are many contexts in which our universe could be just one of a (possibly infinite) ensemble of ‘parallel’ universes in which the physical constants vary. This ensemble is sometimes described as a ‘multiverse’, and this term is used pervasively in this volume (including the title). However, it must be stressed that many other terms are used – sometimes even in the same context. These multiverse proposals have not generally been motivated by an attempt to explain the anthropic fine-tunings; most of them have arisen independently out of developments in cosmology and particle physics. Nevertheless, it now seems clear that the two concepts are inherently interlinked. For if there are many universes, this begs the question of why we inhabit this particular one, and – at the very least – one would have to concede that our own existence is a relevant selection effect. Indeed, since we necessarily reside in one of the life-conducive universes, the multiverse picture reduces the strong anthropic principle to an aspect of the weak one. For this reason, many physicists would regard the multiverse proposal as providing the most natural explanation of the anthropic fine-tunings.”

      After more or less botching it, and misrepresenting the actual ideas stated in this book, “Bill” tries the usual tactic of declaring victory by saying, “[Checkmate!]“. What a clown.

      Jul 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 214 · Bill wrote, ‘“B” has flat out refused to the acknowledge the overwhelming scientific consensus of physicists that our Universe is fine-tuned for life and that atheistic physicists are invoking the multiverse hypothesis (which has no evidence and is untestable by their own admission) in order to escape the strong theological implications of the fine-tuning.’

      To set the record straight, what I denied was “Bill’s” claim that the cosmological constant was “fine tuned” to one part in 10^120. In fact, back-of-the-envelope estimates of what its value should be are off by a factor of 10^120 or so. I also pointed out that “impressive fine tuning” is not a synonym for fine tuning and that the use of terms like “fine tuning” depends on the context of a discussion.

      This guy wants to lecture us on cosmology when he doesn’t know the difference between one part in 10^120 and a factor of 10^120 (and he never once tried to explain how he got it wrong, not even claiming a typo or bad editing late in the late evening after one too many glasses of wine).

      Jul 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 210 · Schlukitz wrote, ‘@Bill: … “I don’t let nasty people intimidate me into silence with vicious and insulting comments.” And the way Bill accomplishes that is by beating them to the punch. The following copy and paste of a parting shot from Bill to B., in his comment no. 208, is a good example. “”B” has steadfastly denied any impressive fine-tuning of the Universe, and also denies that atheistic scientists invoke the multiverse in order to avoid God.”

      It’s actually worse than Schlukitz suggested – “Bill” is being completely dishonest about the previous discussion. In No. 158 , “Bill” wrote, ‘Weinberg told Dawkins: ‘If you discovered a really impressive fine-tuning …,” and I simply pointed out what “If” meant – Weinberg obviously did not find the alleged fine-tuning to be all that impressive given the wording he used. It’s not like the value of one of the constants had to be within one part in a trillion of a particular value for life to exist.

      It’s well known that you need constants within some specific ranges for life to exist, but I provided a citation to that in No. 110, replying to someone else and simply commented that this idea did not require any “designer”. Rather, it simply notes that to have critters curious about the universe, you need to be in a region of the universe (in both space and time) where critters can exit.

      The term “fine-tuning” BTW is loaded language. As used by Carr and some others, it simply refers to the specific values needed for life to exist, but not in a sense of needing someone to tune it. When used by “Bill” it is shorthand for a “creator” fiddling with the values. Also a multiverse does not necessarily imply that constants in each one can be different – that comes out of string theory (whose validity is yet to be determined). The original paper from the 1950s did not suggest that the constants varied in any way, but rather was about an alternative to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.

      Jul 3, 2011 at 12:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Bill – your opinion is not the center of the universe, but many hundreds of people if not thousands read this and never comment. It is with them in mind that I don’t want them reading your drivel and thinking it is the uncontested truth.

      Just for one example – since we are sticking to ONE topic per post, I already mentioned that religion and culture uphold heterosexuality and denigrate and bash homosexuality, it would be no surprise that homosexual relationships have much outside pressures to deail with. Translating to a more difficult relationship and possibly more violence. But someone else I forget who already told you that other research shows the levels are the same. You just ignore what you don’t want to believe?

      Jul 5, 2011 at 8:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Second point – There was a consensus among medical “professionals” approximately 1930s through the 1950s that homosexuals had far more mental problems than the general population. Again, considering what we’re up against, this would not be surprising. BUT the great doctors ONLY examined homosexuals that went to (and could afford) to see psychiatrists! Talk about a travesty of the scientific method. That is like going to a milinery shop and concluding ALL women wear hats! And the other point being CULTURAL prejudice blinded the research. They would never take a skewed sample like that to prove a drug did or didn’t work.

      Jul 5, 2011 at 8:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #203 – Derek – I was aware of most of what you said, but I didn’t really want to get into an in depth Bible debate since it NEVER gets one anywhere, however, for the people on the fence or uninformed, that I just mentioned, it was extremely well written and I appreciate that you wrote it.

      In case you missed it, my favorite is the New Testament “…exchanged the natural use of intercourse for the unnatural.” What in the heck is that supposed to mean, PRECISELY now Bible ‘experts’! I think my idea that it could just as likely meant woman on top is as good a guess as any, knowing the male superiority thinking of the day.

      Have you ever read “The Dark side of Christianity?” Very interesting.

      Jul 5, 2011 at 8:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 220 · Jaroslaw wrote, “In case you missed it, my favorite is the New Testament “…exchanged the natural use of intercourse for the unnatural.” What in the heck is that supposed to mean, PRECISELY now Bible ‘experts’! I think my idea that it could just as likely meant woman on top is as good a guess as any, knowing the male superiority thinking of the day.”

      http://www.lionking.org/~kovu/bible/section04.html has a discussion about Biblical references to what are sometimes called “unnatural acts.” Also check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_homosexuality . Let’s just say that translation and interpretation problems are pervasive among fundamentalist Christians.

      Jul 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: B, thanks for your latest replies. My response follows:

      //LOL. What you quoted is a reporter’s version of whatever Carr said. I hate to throw in a little reality, but those of us who have been interviewed and quoted by reporters have a much better idea of what goes on than you do. First, it is not uncommon for the quote that appears in an article to really be a paraphrase, not necessarily an accurate one, of what was actually said//

      Here you go with another bald assertion that the reporter mangled or paraphrased the quote from Bernard Carr. You need to show supporting evidence for your position instead of making baseless assertions. Please provide me with a link that supports your claim. Making baseless assertions to contradict my evidence just makes you look desperate and/or disingenuous.

      Furthermore, I provided additional evidence from Carr’s own paper where he basically repeats himself and says the same exact thing but in greater detail.

      …To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…

      How much plainer does it get? Am I going to need to copy and paste this quote 100 more times?

      //“[Wait a second, did he just admit that it was untestable?]”
      No, he didn’t. He said it is currently untestable//

      Your arguments are so petulant and juvenile that it is becoming extremely obvious that this discussion with you is a complete waste of time. Your purpose here appears to be nothing more that to contradict whatever I say.

      (And by the way, you got this wrong too. If you read the very next sentence of Carr’s essay he writes):

      Despite the growing popularity of the multiverse proposal, it must be admitted that many physicists remain deeply uncomfortable with it. The reason is clear: the idea is highly speculative and, from both a cosmological and a particle physics perspective, the reality of a multiverse is currently untestable. Indeed, it may always remain so, in the sense that astronomers may never be able to observe the other universes with telescopes and particle physicists may never be able to observe the extra dimensions with their accelerators.

      //Wrong again. The concept of a multiverse is independent of whether or not a god or multiple gods exist, but some multiverse-based models make a “god” more obviously superfluous.//

      I agree that the concept of a multiverse is independent of whether or not God exists. I am claiming that atheists are now jumping on the multiverse bandwagon since (they think) it helps them avoid the obvious theistic consequence of a fine-tuned single universe.

      Here it goes. I’m going to keep quoting Carr as long as long as you keep making bald assertions:

      …To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…

      //What a clown.//

      You are following the typical atheistic template perfectly. When your arguments fall short, you resort to ad hominem attacks. Since you can’t deal with the facts or use logic to support your position, you have to try to turn this discussion into a personal one about me, some guy you’ve never met and don’t know anything about. I could care less. My skin is thick and I’ve heard far nastier things from people far more intelligent than you.

      //To set the record straight, what I denied was “Bill’s” claim that the cosmological constant was “fine tuned” to one part in 10^120. In fact, back-of-the-envelope estimates of what its value should be are off by a factor of 10^120 or so. I also pointed out that “impressive fine tuning” is not a synonym for fine tuning and that the use of terms like “fine tuning” depends on the context of a discussion.//

      Is it your position that the there is nothing particularly impressive about the fine tuning of the cosmological constant?

      And several people describe the fine tuning of the cosmological constant in this way. For example, in this link:

      http://www.unm.edu/~hdelaney/finetuning.html

      the author describes the fine-tuning in this way

      At the Nature of Nature conference at Baylor Unviersity, April 2000, Weinberg stated that the cosmological constant appears to be fine-tuned to 1 part in 10^120

      In the book “Reasonable Faith” by William Lane Craig, the cosmological constant is discussed in the chapter on teleology in the following manner:

      “It turns out that string theory allows around 10^500 different possible universes governed by the present laws of nature, so that the theory does not at all render the observed values of the constants and quantities physically necessary. Moreover, even though there may be a huge number of possible universes lying within the life-permitting region of the cosmic landscape, nevertheless that life-permitting region will be unfathomably tiny compared to the entire landscape, so that the existence of a life-permitting universe is fantastically improbable.[8] Indeed, given the multiplicity of constants that require fine-tuning, it is far from clear that 10^500 possible universes is enough to guarantee that even one life-permitting world will appear by chance in the landscape![9]
      [Footnote 7: See Leonard Susskind, The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design (New York: Little, Brown, & Co., 2006). Susskind apparently believes that the discovery of the cosmic landscape undercuts the argument for design, when in fact precisely the opposite is true. Susskind doesn't seem to appreciate that the 10^500 worlds in the cosmic landscape are not real but merely possible universes consistent with M-Theory. To find purchase for the anthropic principle mentioned by Hawking as the third alternative, one needs a plurality of real universes, which string theory alone does not provide.]
      “[Footnote 8: If only one universe out of 10^120 has the life-permitting value of the cosmological constant, then, given 10^500 possible universes, the number of universes with the life-permitting value will be only 10^500 x 10^120 = 10^380. To the novice this may sound as if most of the worlds are then life-permitting, when in fact 10^380 is an inconceivably small fraction of 10^500, so that almost all of the possible universes will be life-prohibiting. To see the point, imagine that we have a million possible universes and the odds of a life-permitting universe are one out of a hundred. So the total number of life-permitting universes will be 1,000,000 x 100 = 10,000. So the total number of life-permitting universes is 106 x 102 = 104. One sees that 104 is a tiny fraction of 106, for only 10,000 out of the one million worlds are life-permitting, while a whopping 990,000 are life-prohibiting.]

      Also, as I mentioned in a previous post:

      In the book, “Case for Creator” this is elaborated on in the chapter “THE EVIDENCE OF
      PHYSICS: THE COSMOS ON A RAZOR’S EDGE” by Dr. (of physics) Robin Collins. Allow me to quote the relevant section:

      Nobel-winning physicist Steven Weinberg, an avowed atheist, has expressed amazement at the way the cosmological constant-the energy density of empty space-is “remarkably well adjusted in our favor.” The constant, which is part of Einstein’s equation for General Relativity, could have had any value, positive or negative, “but from first principles one would guess that this constant should be very large,” Weinberg said.
      Fortunately, he added, it isn’t: If large and positive, the cosmological constant would act as a repulsive force that increases with distance, a force that would prevent matter from clumping together in the early universe, the process that was the first step in forming galaxies and stars and planets and people. If large and negative, the cosmological constant would act as an attractive force increasing with distance, a force that would almost immediately reverse the expansion of the universe and cause it to recollapse.

      Either way, life loses-big time. But astonishingly, that’s not what has happened.
      “In fact,” Weinberg said, “astronomical observations show that the cosmological constant is quite small, very much smaller than would have been guessed from first principles.”24
      When I asked Collins about this, he told me that the unexpected, counterintuitive, and stunningly precise setting of the cosmological constant “is widely regarded as the single greatest problem facing physics and cosmology today.”

      “How precise is it?” I asked.

      Collins rolled his eyes. “Well, there’s no way we can really comprehend it,” he said. “The fine-tuning has conservatively been estimated to be at least one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion. That would be a ten followed by fifty-three zeroes. That’s inconceivably precise.”

      He was right-I couldn’t imagine a figure like that. “Can you give me an illustration?” I asked.

      “Put it this way,” he said. “Let’s say you were way out in space and were going to throw a dart at random toward the Earth. It would be like successfully hitting a bull’s eye that’s one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter. That’s less than the size of one solitary atom.”

      Breathtaking was the word that came into my mind. Staggering. “No wonder scientists have been blown away by this,” I said.

      I’ll tell you what,” Collins said, “in my opinion, if the cosmological constant were the only example of fine-tuning, and if there were no natural explanation for it, then this would be sufficient by itself to strongly establish design.”

      Jul 5, 2011 at 11:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 222 · Bill wrote, “@B: //LOL. What you quoted is a reporter’s version of whatever Carr said. I hate to throw in a little reality, but those of us who have been interviewed and quoted by reporters have a much better idea of what goes on than you do. First, it is not uncommon for the quote that appears in an article to really be a paraphrase, not necessarily an accurate one, of what was actually said// Here you go with another bald assertion that the reporter mangled or paraphrased the quote from Bernard Carr. You need to show supporting evidence for your position instead of making baseless assertions. Please provide me with a link that supports your claim.”

      First, Bill either has a major reading comprehension problem or is simply lying. Saying it is “not uncommon for the quote that appears in an article to really be a paraphrase, not necessarily an accurate one” is not “a bald assertion that the reporter mangled or paraphrased the quote from Bernard Carr.” Rather, it is a plain statement that you can’t really trust a quote that appears in a newspaper or magazine as being completely accurate.

      There’s no need for a link either – just ask anyone with a technical background who has been interviewed by the press. Those of us who have know what goes on – they often get things wrong. It’s not surprising – reporters aren’t experts in most of what they report on and they have tight deadlines, so they have little time to get up to speed.

      But even funnier, “Bill” himself provided proof of a misquote: he wrote, “At the Nature of Nature conference at Baylor Unviersity, April 2000, Weinberg stated that the cosmological constant appears to be fine-tuned to 1 part in 10^120.” Weinberg would never say such a thing. In fact, in No. 133, Bill quoted http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
      “Steven Weinberg[8] gave an anthropic explanation for this fact: he noted that the cosmological constant has a remarkably low value, some 120 orders of magnitude smaller than the value particle physics predicts …” The fact is that “1 part in 10^120″ means something much different that “120 orders of magnitude (10^120) smaller.” And Bill not only don’t know that but he can’t get it through his thick skull even when it was explained to him repeatedly.

      Finally, being that far off on the cosmological constant certainly does not imply any sort of “designed” universe. At most, it indicates there are some things we don’t yet completely understand (no surprise given the difficulty of getting a good quantum theory of gravity). Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_gravity#Candidate_theories for a summary, and in particular, “There are a number of proposed quantum gravity theories.[17] Currently, there is still no complete and consistent quantum theory of gravity, and the candidate models still need to overcome major formal and conceptual problems. They also face the common problem that, as yet, there is no way to put quantum gravity predictions to experimental tests, although there is hope for this to change as future data from cosmological observations and particle physics experiments becomes available.”

      So, as I said, Bill really doesn’t have a clue as to what he is babbling about, so I’ll ignore the rest of his comment – all he is doing is throwing out a bunch of quotes, either out of context or from unknown (and possibly unreliable) sources, and then jumping to conclusions that simply aren’t justified. It takes far more effort to show what is wrong with such statements than to make them, so arguing about it in any detail is simply a waste of time.

      As to No. 212 · Bill wrote “@Schlukitz: //Bill apparently has no problem with gender-bashing an openly gay man. // I honestly had no idea that “B” was a man and was not trying to be insulting.” … I’ll call “Bill” a liar on that one – he was obviously trying to be insulting – if he had no idea of my gender he could have written “him or her” instead of “her”. I think his use of the feminine form is rather telling – it’s use in such a context is typical of prejudiced straight guys who think all gay men are effeminate (and there is no indication on this particular thread of whether I’m gay or straight). So in reality, “Bill” should apologize to all the gay men and straight friends reading his missive, but given his behavior in general, I doubt if he will.

      Jul 6, 2011 at 1:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Queerty is having a technial problem so this is a second try (slightly shortened)…

      Re 222 – more on “Bill’s” flaky citations. Bill wrote, ‘In the book, “Case for Creator” this is elaborated on in the chapter “THE EVIDENCE OF PHYSICS: THE COSMOS ON A RAZOR’S EDGE” by Dr. (of physics) Robin Collins. Allow me to quote the relevant section: …’

      One strange thing about his “quote” is that it contains Collins being quoted (accurately nor not) in the third person, which is rather odd – it is written as if Collins has a split personality and was talking to himself, an indication that something is wrong. So, I took part of the quote attributed to Collins, fed it into Google, and found http://forgodsfame.org/2007/03/26/throwing-darts-at-an-atom/ which says, “Now consider a quote from The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God by Lee Strobel. Strobel interviewed Robin Collins on something called the “cosmological constant.” This constant governs whether matter tends to attract or repel other matter. It’s very important to get this number right…” So, we aren’t seeing a quote of what Collins wrote, but a possible quote (who knows where “Bill” found it) from what someone else thought Collins said or meant.

      A link to Amazon.com shows that the book “The Case for a Creator” was in fact written by some guy named Lee Strobel. Furthermore, it appears that Strobel merely interviewed Collins, so there is no guarantee that Strobel quoted Collins accurately and plenty of reasons to suspect that he didn’t: just check Strobel’s own bio at http://www.leestrobel.com/Bio.php where he bills himself as follows: “theist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel, the former award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune, is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty books and has been interviewed on numerous national TV programs, including ABC, Fox, PBS, and CNN. Described in the Washington Post as “one of the evangelical community’s most popular apologists,” Lee shared the Christian Book of the Year award in 2005 for a curriculum he co-authored with Garry Poole about the movie The Passion of the Christ. He also won Gold Medallions for his books The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, and the The Case for a Creator, all of which have been made into documentaries distributed by Lionsgate.” The bio claims a background in journalism and law, not physics. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see some statements mangled.

      It seems pretty obvious where “Bill” is coming from and what his agenda is, It is also pretty obvious that nothing he says can be trusted.

      Jul 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: B, there’s really nothing new in any of your arguments. Just more baseless assertions that people are being inaccurately quoted. You never supply any evidence for these assertions. The quotes just contradict your worldview and thus you invent any reason out of thin air to dismiss them.

      I’ve asked for proof or evidence that these quotes have been mangled or manipulated, but all you ever do is reiterate that the press misquotes people all the time. I realize that certain unsavory members of the press do in fact misquote people from time to time, but to simply assert that this is what happened in these particular cases without providing any evidence to back up these claims is ludicrous.

      Furthermore, I have provided additional evidence from Bernard Carr’s own paper where he plainly says what he means. And you’ve never responded to it or explained it. I’m going to just start repeating that quote over and over again any time you say something to me, and just use it as a sort of bug spray to drive away the roaches, if you will.

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…
      — Bernard Carr”

      //“Bill” should apologize to all the gay men and straight friends reading his missive, but given his behavior in general, I doubt if he will.//

      Sorry I thought you were a woman.

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…
      — Bernard Carr”

      //So, we aren’t seeing a quote of what Collins wrote, but a possible quote (who knows where “Bill” found it) from what someone else thought Collins said or meant.//

      Robin Collins was accurately quoted. In fact, he has appeared in several videos where he reiterates this point and other points of the fine tuning in great detail. Might I recommend the privileged planet? You can watch it for free here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV5zkifLSbc&feature=related

      Robin Collins gets interviewed at about the 48:25 mark so you can see what he things about the fine tuning of the Universe directly.

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…
      — Bernard Carr”

      At any rate, its pretty obvious that you have checked out of this debate, since you have been reduced to repeating the same baseless assertions over and over again. Since you have nothing further to offer, might I recommend changing the subject?

      Since I picked the first subject, I’ll extend an offer to any of you to mention the next subject you want to discuss. Several things have been brought up, for example the Shroud of Turin, the sociological evidence for the instability of homosexual relationships, the terrible arguments used to assert that the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexual acts, and others. You guys tell me what you want to talk about next, and we’ll do so. If I don’t hear from anyone else by tomorrow night, I’ll pick the topic myself, however.

      @B: B, there’s really nothing new in any of your arguments. Just more baseless assertions that people are being inaccurately quoted. You never supply any evidence for these assertions. The quotes just contradict your worldview and thus you invent any reason out of thin air to dismiss them.

      I’ve asked for proof or evidence that these quotes have been mangled or manipulated, but all you ever do is reiterate that the press misquotes people all the time. I realize that certain unsavory members of the press do in fact misquote people from time to time, but to simply assert that this is what happened in these particular cases without providing any evidence to back up these claims is ludicrous.

      Furthermore, I have provided additional evidence from Bernard Carr’s own paper where he plainly says what he means. And you’ve never responded to it or explained it. I’m going to just start repeating that quote over and over again any time you say something to me, and just use it as a sort of bug spray to drive away the roaches, if you will.

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…
      — Bernard Carr”

      //“Bill” should apologize to all the gay men and straight friends reading his missive, but given his behavior in general, I doubt if he will.//

      Sorry I thought you were a woman.

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…
      — Bernard Carr”

      //So, we aren’t seeing a quote of what Collins wrote, but a possible quote (who knows where “Bill” found it) from what someone else thought Collins said or meant.//

      Robin Collins was accurately quoted. In fact, he has appeared in several videos where he reiterates this point and other points of the fine tuning in great detail. Might I recommend the privileged planet? You can watch it for free here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV5zkifLSbc&feature=related

      Robin Collins gets interviewed at about the 48:25 mark so you can see what he things about the fine tuning of the Universe directly.

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…
      — Bernard Carr”

      At any rate, its pretty obvious that you have checked out of this debate, since you have been reduced to repeating the same baseless assertions over and over again. Since you have nothing further to offer, might I recommend changing the subject?

      Since I picked the first subject, I’ll extend an offer to any of you to mention the next subject you want to discuss. Several things have been brought up, for example the Shroud of Turin, the sociological evidence for the instability of homosexual relationships, the terrible arguments used to assert that the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexual acts, and others. You guys tell me what you want to talk about next, and we’ll do so. If I don’t hear from anyone else by tomorrow night, I’ll pick the topic myself, however.

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…
      — Bernard Carr”

      Jul 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Bill: Sorry for the double post above. I accidentally hit CTRL-V twice.

      Jul 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 225 · Bill throws up a smokescreen by saying, “@B: B, there’s really nothing new in any of your arguments. Just more baseless assertions that people are being inaccurately quoted. You never supply any evidence for these assertions. The quotes just contradict your worldview and thus you invent any reason out of thin air to dismiss them.
      I’ve asked for proof or evidence that these quotes have been mangled or manipulated, but all you ever do is reiterate that the press misquotes people all the time. I realize that certain unsavory members of the press do in fact misquote people from time to time, but to simply assert that this is what happened in these particular cases without providing any evidence to back up these claims is ludicrous.”

      Bill is really lying here. First, his own list of quotes is self-contradictory, as was pointed out to him in No. 223, where I showed him that two of his quotes attributed to Steven Weinberg (wherever the quotes really came from) contradicted each other. He can’t get it right and obviously some of the people he is quoting can’t either. Everyone I and everyone I know who has been interviewed by the press on technical topics will tell you that in their experience, reporters make numerous errors. Given that, what would really be ludicrious is to assume that “in these particular cases” the quotes have to be accurate until proven otherwise. It’s Bill’s job to find citations to articles authored by the people who he pretends to quote where they said what he claims. He isn’t doing that, and I just caught him actually quoting from a book written by an evangelical type with a journalism and law degree trying to make some point about a subject he most likely does not understand very well, if at all, and one in which he has a vested interest in a particular point of view (See No. 124 for details about Collins and Strobel [the actual author]).

      He tries, “Furthermore, I have provided additional evidence from Bernard Carr’s own paper where he plainly says what he means.” Except, it wasn’t Bernard Carr’s own paper – it was transcript of a conference and Carr himself said, “The contributors are nearly all physicists, and even those of a theological disposition have generally restricted their remarks to scientific considerations.” Furthermore I showed that Bill was quoting the writer of some article who presumably interviewed Carr, summarizing what Carr said with an unknown level of accuracy. He blew it, but is simply ignoring that and trying to recycle his previous “argument”.

      The youtube thing he produced is cute, but basically just a collection of images, dialog, and a soundtrack for background music. It’s really a cut-and-paste video job. What you don’t see is the editing – you get enough material from enough people and you can slap it together to give a variety of impressions that have little to do with what the people interviewed said in context. If it’s produced by mainstream media companies, the idea is to attract viewers. A religious group would have a different agenda. The people being interviewed may have little idea as to what the film makers goals actually are.

      As I said, everything this “Bill” character says is suspect. He’s gotten a lot wrong, and I’ve documented it in some detail, but am not qoing to waste a lot of time as this character tries to repeat himself ad infinitum on the theory that shear repetition will get people to believe him.

      Jul 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B:

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…
      – Bernard Carr”

      Jul 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 228 · Bill

      @B:

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…– Bernard Carr”

      You can find the quote at http://books.google.com/books?id=U_Jm2DT_AVAC&pg=PA16&lpg=PA16&dq=%22To+the+hard-line+physicist,+the+multiverse+may+not+be+entirely+respectable,%22&source=bl&ots=JagzouQoHx&sig=btvyOmro3orz7UvfwzcsiRmEGcU&hl=en&ei=7AkVTo-BB-TfiALtsdD4Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22To%20the%20hard-line%20physicist%2C%20the%20multiverse%20may%20not%20be%20entirely%20respectable%2C%22&f=false and there is a footnote, which “Bill” seems to have deleted: “It should be cautioned that the concept of ‘cosmic design being described here has nothing to do with the ‘Intelligent Design’ movement in the USA. Nevertheless, atheists might hope that the multiverse theory will have the same impact in the context of cosmic design as the theory of evolution did in the context of biological design.” Not including that footnote is an example of selected quoting – the sort that distorts the meaning of what the author intended.

      If you scroll back to page 4, you’ll read, “These multiverse proposals have not generally been motivated by an attempt to explain anthropic fine-tunings; most of them have arisen independently out of developments in cosmology and particle physics, ” and “One reason that the multiverse proposal is now popular is that it seems to be necessary in order to understand the origins of the Universe.” [note - transcribed by hand as Google books does not allow copy and paste of text - it's a pain to do, so use the link above for more details]

      In other words, “Bill’s” rantings about multiverses in No 214, “atheistic physicists are invoking the multiverse hypothesis (which has no evidence and is untestable by their own admission) in order to escape the strong theological implications of the fine-tuning,” is shear unadulterated nonsense as should be obvious: “atheist physicists” ignore religion while at work, and probably for most of the rest of their day unless being badgered by some Mormon misssionary, wearing black pants, a white shirt, and a name tag, who knocked on the front door during dinner.

      Jul 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 225, “Bill” writes, “Sorry I thought you were a woman.”

      First, nobody is going to believe you and will figure that you are just
      trying to weasel out of it after being called on it by Schlukitz and me
      (Schlukitz noticed it first).

      Second, if you look though all the cases where a name indicates gender unambiguously,
      you’ll find only one female name. All the others are male or indeterminate (e.g.,
      last names or made-up login names). One is ambiguous, “Auntie Dogma,” but that sounds like a drag name (e.g. Headoflettuce), so it could be a guy but I’m inclined not to guess. So, the alternative to assuming you are lying is to assume that you do not have a clue as to how to analyze data, and have no business trying to talk about cosmology. So which alternative would you prefer?

      Jul 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yoni
      Yoni

      Sooo… if someone say that was a vendor for Cisco wrote a book and/or expressed their opinion online that blacks and whites shouldn’t be allowed to get married and Cisco decided that since this person represents their public and business face, and this person’s publicly expressed views are detrimental to the company image, go against company discrimination policy, have created a hostile work environment, and could possibly become detrimental to business due to bad publicity they shouldn’t be allowed to fire that person? Believe it or not raving against Homosexual equality is seen in the same light if the company’s anti-discrimination policy includes people of different sexual orientations. He signed a document when he went to work for them agreeing to abide by their anti-discrimination policy, by publishing a book that was discriminatory against Homosexuals (be it their acts or ‘lifestyle’ however you like to sugar coat it) he publicly announced his bias leading to a hostile work environment. He might as well have stood on his desk and read his book out loud; I am sure in Cisco’s opinion that is pretty much what he did. He violated his contract with Cisco by violating their anti-discrimination policy… he did it not them. Bigotry has its price.

      Jul 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 231 · Yoni wrote, “Sooo… if someone say that was a vendor for Cisco wrote a book and/or expressed their opinion online that blacks and whites shouldn’t be allowed to get married and Cisco decided that since this person represents their public and business face, and this person’s publicly expressed views are detrimental to the company image, go against company discrimination policy, have created a hostile work environment, and could possibly become detrimental to business due to bad publicity they shouldn’t be allowed to fire that person?”

      Well, it depends on what the law and court decisions are – the uncertainty revolves around contractors/vendors having fewer rights than employees. If a California employee expressed a political opinion that blacks and whites shouldn’t be allowed to get married, the California laws protecting employees against retaliation for expressing a political opinion would apply and that employee could not be lawfully fired.

      Assuming it is legal, however, Cisco certainly had a good reason to not renew Turek’s contract – it is fundamentally no different that Ford pulling an ad from a British newspaper (that has pissed off the whole country including Parliament) for breaking into the cell phone of a kidnapped girl’s phone and deleting messages, giving her family and the police a false indication that she was still alive. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/07/ford-pulls-ads-from-paper-that-hacked-kidnapped-girls-phone/1 has a summary of what went on. Ford apparently wants nothing to do with any company that would behave in such a way.

      “He signed a document when he went to work for them agreeing to abide by their anti-discrimination policy” … it is not clear that he did – employees might have to sign one but it isn’t clear that contractors/vendors do (it is normally the contractors/vendors decision as to what internal mechanisms they will use to comply with anti-descrimination laws). You need a link to justify the statement.

      Jul 7, 2011 at 1:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Yoni: //Believe it or not raving against Homosexual equality is seen in the same light if the company’s anti-discrimination policy includes people of different sexual orientations. //

      Except that defending traditional marriage was the law of the land in both California (marriage amendment which was only recently nullified by an activist judge) and North Carolina (statute on the books and an amendment will soon be pending) at the time that Turek wrote his book. So dismissing Turek for defending those views would be more like dismissing him for writing a book condemning shoplifting and less like dismissing him for writing a book condemning inter-racial marriage.

      It is also a violation of Turek’s civil rights as religious belief is a protected class in the civil rights act and he could argue quite legitimately that he was advocating for his religious views outside of the workplace.

      Jul 7, 2011 at 5:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //In other words, “Bill’s” rantings about multiverses in No 214, “atheistic physicists are invoking the multiverse hypothesis (which has no evidence and is untestable by their own admission) in order to escape the strong theological implications of the fine-tuning,” is shear unadulterated nonsense…//

      “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…
      – Bernard Carr”

      Jul 7, 2011 at 5:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //there is a footnote, which “Bill” seems to have deleted: “It should be cautioned that the concept of ‘cosmic design being described here has nothing to do with the ‘Intelligent Design’ movement in the USA. //

      If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics. One might argue that the hope that a mathematically unique solution will emerge is as faith-based as ID.
      -Leonard Susskind

      Jul 7, 2011 at 6:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //“atheist physicists” ignore religion while at work, and probably for most of the rest of their day unless being badgered by some Mormon misssionary, wearing black pants, a white shirt, and a name tag, who knocked on the front door during dinner.//

      …I think only an idiot can be an atheist. We must admit that there exists an incomprehensible power or force with limitless foresight and knowledge that started the whole universe going in the first place
      -Christian B. Anfinsen (1972 Nobel Prize for Chemistry)

      Jul 7, 2011 at 6:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 234 · Bill wrote, ‘@B: //In other words, “Bill’s” rantings about multiverses in No 214, “atheistic physicists are invoking the multiverse hypothesis (which has no evidence and is untestable by their own admission) in order to escape the strong theological implications of the fine-tuning,” is shear unadulterated nonsense…// “…To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it seems to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design…– Bernard Carr”‘

      Bill is repeating himself. The reply in 229 still applies (and I might note that Carr is almost certainly using “God” in the Deist sense – some entity that supposedly created the universe and then either went on vacation or sat around sipping margaritas while watching the universe run on its own):

      You can find the quote at http://books.google.com/books?id=U_Jm2DT_AVAC&pg=PA16&lpg=PA16&dq=%22To+the+hard-line+physicist,+the+multiverse+may+not+be+entirely+respectable,%22&source=bl&ots=JagzouQoHx&sig=btvyOmro3orz7UvfwzcsiRmEGcU&hl=en&ei=7AkVTo-BB-TfiALtsdD4Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22To%20the%20hard-line%20physicist%2C%20the%20multiverse%20may%20not%20be%20entirely%20respectable%2C%22&f=false and there is a footnote, which “Bill” seems to have deleted: “It should be cautioned that the concept of ‘cosmic design being described here has nothing to do with the ‘Intelligent Design’ movement in the USA. Nevertheless, atheists might hope that the multiverse theory will have the same impact in the context of cosmic design as the theory of evolution did in the context of biological design.” Not including that footnote is an example of selected quoting – the sort that distorts the meaning of what the author intended.

      If you scroll back to page 4, you’ll read, “These multiverse proposals have not generally been motivated by an attempt to explain anthropic fine-tunings; most of them have arisen independently out of developments in cosmology and particle physics, ” and “One reason that the multiverse proposal is now popular is that it seems to be necessary in order to understand the origins of the Universe.”

      Also, the phrase “preferable to invoking a Creator” simply means that there is one less hypothesis you need – basically an Occam’s razor argument.

      Jul 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 235 · Bill wrote, “@B: //there is a footnote, which “Bill” seems to have deleted: “It should be cautioned that the concept of ‘cosmic design being described here has nothing to do with the ‘Intelligent Design’ movement in the USA. // If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. … -Leonard Susskind”

      Bill’s replies now seem to be merely a cut-and-paste of his previous musings. I’ll refer readers to http://www.zpenergy.com/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=1663 which seems to indicate that the quote is actually a reply to a question, and thus probably an off-the-cuff remark. Also, the term “landscape” is used in a technical sense, related to the title of Susskind’s book, “Cosmic Landscape: String theory and the illusion of intelligent design.” Note the title for what Susskind thinks of “intelligent design”.

      Jul 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 236 · Bill wrote, “@B: //“atheist physicists” ignore religion while at work, and probably for most of the rest of their day unless being badgered by some Mormon misssionary, wearing black pants, a white shirt, and a name tag, who knocked on the front door during dinner.// …I think only an idiot can be an atheist. We must admit that there exists an incomprehensible power or force with limitless foresight and knowledge that started the whole universe going in the first place -Christian B. Anfinsen (1972 Nobel Prize for Chemistry)”

      Odd that Bill quotes a chemist, not a cosmologist, but in any case what you find is various people repeating that quote, without citations to the original source, making it impossible to see the context or even the date (if it was decades ago, maybe his opinion today is quite different). Did find the following though: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2011/apr/06/prize-mug-martin-rees-templeton – an article by Jerry Coyne (professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago.) entitled, “Martin Rees and the Templeton travesty”. Rees, who “Bill” has been quoting apparently describes himself as ‘an “unbelieving Anglican” who goes to church “out of loyalty to the tribe”‘

      Jul 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 233 · Bill wrote, “Except that defending traditional marriage was the law of the land in both California (marriage amendment which was only recently nullified by an activist judge)”

      First, Prop 8 did not pass a law requiring “defending traditional marriage.” Rather, it simply prevented same-sex marriages. Second, the judge in question can hardly be called an “activist judge”. In fact, he was sufficiently conservative that it took a couple of tries – by Republicans – to get him appointed. Prop 8 was declared unconstitutional based on the merits of the case as presented in court. If you don’t like the outcome, you can place the blame where it belongs – on an inept defense.

      Bill also wrote, “It is also a violation of Turek’s civil rights as religious belief is a protected class in the civil rights act and he could argue quite legitimately that he was advocating for his religious views outside of the workplace.”

      Unproven conjecture – we found evidence of Turek making disparaging statements about gays and Muslims, accusing them of hating “Western Civilization”, which is not in any way a religious belief. See No 47. Cisco has not stated why Turek’s contract was not renewed.

      Jul 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      B – It doesn’t seem like you’re ever going to get through to Bill – and my home email is overflowing with notifications…..why not give it a break? Thanks!

      Jul 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: Since no one is offering anything new on the topic of Cosmology (other than “B”‘s petty complaints and desperate speculations about scientists being quoted out of context or just having a laugh and not really meaning what they were saying) I’m going to go ahead and answer a previous message from Derek Williams when he claimed that the Bible does not in fact condemn homosexuality.

      I find it interesting that people who claim to not believe in the Bible would be so worried about what it teaches. That being said, lets take a look at his arguments:

      The first thing he does is try to pick apart Leviticus 18:22

      //And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman//

      I’m wondering if Derek got his information from religioustolerance.org, which is a website dedicated primarily to the cause of mainstreaming homosexuality and not really concerned about accurately interpreting scripture.

      The standard translation in virtually all of the mainstream translations is extremely straightforward, and consistent with other verses on male and female behavior in the Torah.

      ESV: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”
      NKJV: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”
      NASB: “You shall not lie with a male as [a]one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
      HCSB: “You are not to sleep with a man as with a woman; (A) it is detestable.”
      Wycliffe: “Thou shalt not be meddled, [(or) mingled,] with a man, by lechery of a woman, for it is abomination. (Thou shalt not be mixed together with a man, like in fleshly coupling with a woman, for it is an abomination.) ”
      Youngs Literal Translation: “And with a male thou dost not lie as one lieth with a woman; abomination it [is].”

      I could list plenty of other translations, but they are extremely consistent. This is a very straightforward reading of the Hebrew.

      Derek’s complaints that the language structure of Hebrew sounds strange in English is irrelevant. Virtually any language that is literally translated will sound strange or unusual in another language. For example, translating a phrase from Spanish to English will often sound strange as in Spanish nouns have masculine and feminine forms and the adjectives are placed at different points in the sentence.

      Additionally, the straightforward translation of Leviticus 18:22 is consistent with other teachings in the Torah. For example:

      Leviticus 20:13: (ESV)
      “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

      Deuteronomy 22:5 (ESV)
      “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak,(A) for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.”

      //Now let’s examine Leviticus 19:19 on another matter rated as equivalent:
      New International Version: “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.”…
      The words ‘woven’, ‘material’, ‘thread’, ‘cloth’, ‘linen’, ‘woollen’, ‘stuff’ ‘wear’, ‘come upon thee’, are all attempts to translate something that I will bet my bottom dollar is not a requirement of being a Christian despite being in the Bible. Under King James or English Standard Version it is ok to wear a polyester/cotton shirt since it is neither linen nor wool, nor woven, but New International Version forbids such shirts. Which is one to believe?//

      Derek shows an extreme lack of understanding of Christian theology. As Christians under the New Covenant, we are no longer required to live by the Torah. As the apostle Paul said, we are not under law, but under grace. Thus the laws regulating diet, holy days, garments, etc are not binding on Christians today. These laws were national laws intended for the people of Israel.

      But even though Christians are not bound by the Torah, they are still obligated to live moral lives. And the New Testament makes it very clear in multiple places that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian life.

      //They will of course say Christ discarded these laws, but kept the ones purportedly about homosexuality, with zero scriptural evidence he did any such thing. They pick and choose really, don’t they?//

      Not at all. The New Testament teaches that:

      Romans 1: 24-31
      “26For this reason(AV) God gave them up to(AW) dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another,(AX) men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

      28And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God,(AY) God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know(BB) God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but(BD) give approval to those who practice them.”

      1 Corinthians 6:9-10

      “9Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:(A) neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[b] 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

      1 Timothy 1:9-11

      “..law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine..”

      //but I do contest reliance on 17 divergent translations of the Bible as the sole source of relevant knowledge about homosexuality.//

      The number of English translations is irrelevant and has no bearing on the original scriptures, which have great support. Furthermore, the vast majority (if not all) of the English translations essentially say the same things on homosexuality.

      Jul 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Seems QUEERTY dropped a comment again.

      In No 242, Bill tried to save face by saying, “Since no one is offering anything new on the topic of Cosmology (other than “B”‘s petty complaints and desperate speculations about scientists being quoted out of context or just having a laugh and not really meaning what they were saying) I’m going to go ahead and answer a previous message from Derek Williams when he claimed that the Bible does not in fact condemn homosexuality.”

      In fact, Bill showed that he was unfamiliar with standard conventions, usually would not provide a valid citation for his quotes, was caught posting contradictory statements attributed to particular individuals, and then tried a “petty complaints and desperate speculations” ploy (argumentum ad hominem) apparently in an attempt to cover up.

      Then he says, “I find it interesting that people who claim to not believe in the Bible would be so worried about what it teaches.” It’s not what the Bible “teaches” but what people who profess to believe it do. [ I previously posted a list of links showing examples but QUEERTY dropped the ball and I'm not going to waste effort looking up the links again. ]

      Then he brings up a long list of Biblical passages, including Leviticus 18:22, but fails to note the last sentence in Leviticus, which says that the book applies to the “children of Israel in Mount Sinai” (Leviticus 27:34, King James version). Leviticus doesn’t apply to those of us who are in that group.

      Jul 8, 2011 at 12:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: B, allow me to quote myself in order to answer your most most recent complaint:

      //Then he brings up a long list of Biblical passages, including Leviticus 18:22, but fails to note the last sentence in Leviticus, which says that the book applies to the “children of Israel in Mount Sinai” (Leviticus 27:34, King James version). Leviticus doesn’t apply to those of us who are in that group.//

      Derek shows an extreme lack of understanding of Christian theology. As Christians under the New Covenant, we are no longer required to live by the Torah. As the apostle Paul said, we are not under law, but under grace. Thus the laws regulating diet, holy days, garments, etc are not binding on Christians today. These laws were national laws intended for the people of Israel.

      But even though Christians are not bound by the Torah, they are still obligated to live moral lives. And the New Testament makes it very clear in multiple places that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian life.

      Jul 8, 2011 at 7:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Rees, who “Bill” has been quoting apparently describes himself as ‘an “unbelieving Anglican” who goes to church “out of loyalty to the tribe”‘//

      BTW, “B”, since your new complaint appears to be that my quotes are coming from atheistic scientists (which I have gone out of my way to quote from since people like you tend to dismiss scientists who are believers on the spot) I’ll throw in some evidence from scientists who became believers due to the scientific evidence at no extra charge.

      Jul 8, 2011 at 7:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B:

      ////Rees, who “Bill” has been quoting apparently describes himself as ‘an “unbelieving Anglican” who goes to church “out of loyalty to the tribe”‘////

      ““When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.” (Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics who ended up converting to Christianity))

      (

      Jul 8, 2011 at 7:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B:

      “Recently I have gone back to church regularly with a new focus to understand as best I can what it is that makes Christianity so vital and powerful in the lives of billions of people today, even though almost 2000 years have passed since the death and resurrection of Christ. Although I suspect I will never fully understand, I now think the answer is very simple: it’s true. God did create the universe about 13.7 billion years ago, and of necessity has involved Himself with His creation ever since. The purpose of this universe is something that only God knows for sure, but it is increasingly clear to modern science that the universe was exquisitely fine-tuned to enable human life. We are somehow critically involved in His purpose. Our job is to sense that purpose as best we can, love one another, and help Him get that job done.”
      Richard Smalley (winner of 1996 Nobel prize in chemistry for discovering a new form of carbon, and given the title “Father of Nanotechnology” by the U.S. Senate who committed to Christianity and was baptized late in life after discussing the theological implications of science with Hugh Ross and Fuzale Rana)

      Jul 8, 2011 at 7:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B:

      ///Rees, who “Bill” has been quoting apparently describes himself as ‘an “unbelieving Anglican” who goes to church “out of loyalty to the tribe”‘////

      These constants regarding the behavior of matter and energy – such as strong and weak nuclear forces, gravity, and the speed of light – have to be precisely right during the Big Bang for life as we know it to exist. To get our universe, with all of its potential for complexities or any kind of potential for any kind of life form, everything has to be precisely defined on this knife edge of improbability…
      – Francis Collins(Director of the National Institutes and leader of the Human Genome project who became an evangelical Christian)

      Jul 8, 2011 at 7:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 244 · Bill wrote, “@B: B, allow me to quote myself in order to answer your most most recent complaint: //Then he brings up a long list of Biblical passages, including Leviticus 18:22, but fails to note the last sentence in Leviticus, which says that the book applies to the “children of Israel in Mount Sinai” (Leviticus 27:34, King James version). Leviticus doesn’t apply to those of us who are in that group.// [Ad hominem argument against Derek snipped] But even though Christians are not bound by the Torah, they are still obligated to live moral lives. And the New Testament makes it very clear in multiple places that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian life.”

      If that is your argument, you shouldn’t have been quoting Leviticus, which was the point I made. Also, the New Testament is not at all clear “that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian life,” due to translation issues and context issues for starters. It’s all been discussed before and there is no reason to repeat that discussion.

      Jul 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 245 · Bill wrote, “@B: //Rees, who “Bill” has been quoting apparently describes himself as ‘an “unbelieving Anglican” who goes to church “out of loyalty to the tribe”‘//
      BTW, “B”, since your new complaint appears to be that my quotes are coming from atheistic scientists (which I have gone out of my way to quote from since people like you tend to dismiss scientists who are believers on the spot) I’ll throw in some evidence from scientists who became believers due to the scientific evidence at no extra charge.”

      Bill seems to have a complete lack of reading comprehension. What I actually wrote was, “Odd that Bill quotes a chemist, not a cosmologist, but in any case what you find is various people repeating that quote, without citations to the original source, making it impossible to see the context or even the date (if it was decades ago, maybe his opinion today is quite different). Did find the following though: http://www.guardian.co.uk/scie…..-templeton – an article by Jerry Coyne (professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago.) entitled, “Martin Rees and the Templeton travesty”. Rees, who “Bill” has been quoting apparently describes himself as ‘an “unbelieving Anglican” who goes to church “out of loyalty to the tribe”‘

      The article I cited is about the Templeton Foundation, which has its own agenda, and merely mentions Martin Rees, who it seems is indicating that any “bones” he is throwing to religious people is an attempt to be polite since he “goes to church ‘out of loyalty to the tribe'” A cynic into politics would claim that Martin Rees is throwing those bones so that the Templeton Foundation will provide him with some funding, although I think that would be a bit of a stretch (it could actually be the converse – the Templeton Foundation could be more likely to fund a guy who is polite regarding others’ religious beliefs.) There’s nothing wrong with being polite, but an attempt to be polite shouldn’t be taken as a factual statement worthy of being repeated ad infinitum, so you really need to know the context of these statements.

      Then in an attempt to show that he is a troll, Bill starts babbling in a string of comments, No. 246, 247, 248 with his usual quotes that are lacking any citation to where he found them – are they actual quotes or paraphrases represented as quotes by some reporter or writer? And even if they are accurate quotes, so what? Bill is just using them as cut-and-paste religious babble. Finally, I might note that Bill’s phrase “atheist physicist” is really a bit odd: I’ve yet to meet one who would describe himself in that way because religion is irrelevant to what you actually do all day long, whether trying to complete a complex calculation, trying to find a ‘plumbing’ leak in an experiment that needs a really good vacuum, or trying to deal with annoying but necessary administrative issues like getting a proposal submitted on time for more funding.

      Jul 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      One thing I should have added. In No 248, “Bill” wrote, “These constants regarding the behavior of matter and energy – such as strong and weak nuclear forces, gravity, and the speed of light – have to be precisely right during the Big Bang for life as we know it to exist. To get our universe, with all of its potential for complexities or any kind of potential for any kind of life form, everything has to be precisely defined on this knife edge of improbability… – Francis Collins(Director of the National Institutes and leader of the Human Genome project who became an evangelical Christian)”

      Unfortunately for “Bill”, Francis Collins got it wrong, thus showing that Bill spews quotes that he finds somewhere and doesn’t have clue as to whether they are factually correct statements.

      Collins’ “knife edge” is an exaggeration, but aside from that, the speed of light part of his statement is bogus: particle physicists typically use units in which the speed of light and “h-bar” (written as h with a horizontal bar though the upper half of the ‘h’ and denoting Planck’s constant divided by 2 pi) are set to 1. If gravity is being considered as well, the gravitational constant G is also set to 1. The coupling constants are what is important.

      The reason for picking units in which these particular constants have the numerical value of 1 is that it simplifies computations – once you have the answers, you can easily convert the results to any units you want.

      Jul 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //If that is your argument, you shouldn’t have been quoting Leviticus, which was the point I made.//

      I’m not the one that brought Leviticus up. I was refuting Derek Williams argument that the Leviticus passage is ambiguous. Besides, its none of your business what I bring up or discuss. If you don’t like what I have to say, then don’t read it.

      //Also, the New Testament is not at all clear “that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian life,” due to translation issues and context issues for starters. It’s all been discussed before and there is no reason to repeat that discussion//

      The New Testament is clear that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian life. Anyone who tries to argue that there is no word for homosexuality is incorrect. Homosexual acts (especially man-boy love acts) were rampant in the ancient pagan Roman Empire and the apostle Paul and his contemporaries were all familiar with homosexual acts.

      Paul provides some compelling insight on the nature of homosexuality in that it begins with a rejection of God and ends with an extreme perversion of nature. I suspect that many people on this forum (perhaps even you) would be prime examples of this description, since you reject God in your heart and now engage in these types of acts.

      For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

      For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

      Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

      For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

      http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6289

      Jul 9, 2011 at 8:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //A cynic into politics would claim that Martin Rees is throwing those bones so that the Templeton Foundation will provide him with some funding, although I think that would be a bit of a stretch (it could actually be the converse – the Templeton Foundation could be more likely to fund a guy who is polite regarding others’ religious beliefs.) There’s nothing wrong with being polite,//

      Your arguments are getting stranger by the day. I haven’t mentioned Rees in a long time. He wrote a book several years ago (Just Six Numbers) where he describes six constants of nature (we have since discovered many more that are) that are remarkably fine tuned to allow the existence of stars, chemistry, and life. In the final chapter he speculates on why this is so and discusses two alternatives, a benevolent Creator or a multiverse.

      But his book has nothing to do with Templeton Foundation. That is, UNLESS you are trying to argue that several years ago he was trying to throw a bone to Christians and wrote an entire book to help them feel better about their beliefs. And if that’s what you are trying to say then by definition you are also admitting that the six constants he describes are fine-tuned for life and Rees wants his Christian friends to feel good about this, so he wrote an entire book to affirm their beliefs. That would be a weird thing for an atheist cosmologist to do, but if that’s what you want to argue I won’t object.

      //And even if they are accurate quotes, so what?//

      They are accurate (feel free to Google them), and they are relevant because in many of these cases atheistic scientists at the top of their fields ended up going from atheism to Christianity based on the scientific evidence.

      Jul 9, 2011 at 8:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Unfortunately for “Bill”, Francis Collins got it wrong, thus showing that Bill spews quotes that he finds somewhere and doesn’t have clue as to whether they are factually correct statements.//

      Well someone needs to tell this to Richard Dawkins too. Collins and Dawkins are friends and have debated each other on the issue of God’s existence.

      http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1555132,00.html

      And Collins recently revealed that Dawkins admitted the fine tuning of the Universe was difficult to explain:

      http://www.anglicansamizdat.net/wordpress/richard-dawkins/richard-dawkins-is-troubled-by-the-fine-tuning-of-the-universe/

      Outspoken evangelical geneticist Francis Collins revealed that combative atheist Richard Dawkins admitted to him during a conversation that the most troubling argument for nonbelievers to counter is the fine-tuning of the universe.

      “If they (constants in the universe) were set at a value that was just a tiny bit different, one part in a billion, the whole thing wouldn’t work anymore,” said Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, during the 31st Annual Christian Scholars’ Conference at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.

      These constants regarding the behavior of matter and energy – such as strong and weak nuclear forces, gravity, and the speed of light – have to be precisely right during the Big Bang for life as we know it to exist.

      “To get our universe, with all of its potential for complexities or any kind of potential for any kind of life form, everything has to be precisely defined on this knife edge of improbability,” said the world renowned scientist.

      “That forces a conclusion. If you are an atheist, either it is just a lucky break and the odds are so remote, or you have to go to this multiverse hypothesis, which says that there must be almost an infinite number of parallel universes that have different values of those constants,” explained Collins to Christian scholars of various disciplines in the audience. “And of course we are here and so we must have won the lottery, we must be in the one where everything worked.”

      Jul 9, 2011 at 8:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 252 · Bill wrote, “@B: //If that is your argument, you shouldn’t have been quoting Leviticus, which was the point I made.// I’m not the one that brought Leviticus up. I was refuting Derek Williams argument that the Leviticus passage is ambiguous. Besides, its none of your business what I bring up or discuss. If you don’t like what I have to say, then don’t read it.”

      You brought Leviticus up in No. 242, where you said, “the straightforward translation of Leviticus 18:22 is consistent with other teachings in the Torah.” It is completely legitimate for me to point out that Leviticus is irrelevant due to the last sentence in it saying that it is applicable to “the children of Israel in Mount Sinai.” As to your “non of your business” garbage, if you post a statement that is irrelevant or misleadiung, don’t whine when others show you why it is irrelevant or misleading.

      Then you say, “The New Testament is clear that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian life. Anyone who tries to argue that there is no word for homosexuality is incorrect. Homosexual acts (especially man-boy love acts) were rampant in the ancient pagan Roman Empire and the apostle Paul and his contemporaries were all familiar with homosexual acts.”

      That statement has been discredited over and over. Try http://www.gaychristian101.com/Romans-1.html and http://www.religioustolerance.org/homarsen.htm (for a discussion of just one translation issue) if you need a refresher.

      Rest ignored.

      Jul 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 254 · Bill wrote, “@B: //Unfortunately for “Bill”, Francis Collins got it wrong, thus showing that Bill spews quotes that he finds somewhere and doesn’t have clue as to whether they are factually correct statements.// Well someone needs to tell this to Richard Dawkins too. [repetition snipped]”

      You can tell it to anyone you like, but repeating your misconceptions over and over and not acknowledging that you picked an inaccurate quote just makes you look like a troll or a fool. You got it wrong in No 248, picking a technically inaccurate quote regarding the speed of light. Why don’t you just admit it instead of trying the “dazzle them with bullshit” ploy?

      In No. 253 · Bill writes, “@B: //A cynic into politics would claim that Martin Rees is throwing those bones so that the Templeton Foundation will provide him with some funding, although I think that would be a bit of a stretch (it could actually be the converse – the Templeton Foundation could be more likely to fund a guy who is polite regarding others’ religious beliefs.) There’s nothing wrong with being polite,// Your arguments are getting stranger by the day. I haven’t mentioned Rees in a long time. He wrote a book several years ago (Just Six Numbers) …”

      Once again Bill is trying the “change the subject” ploy. Here’s the history. In No 239, I wrote, “Odd that Bill quotes a chemist, not a cosmologist, but in any case what you find is various people repeating that quote, without citations to the original source, making it impossible to see the context or even the date (if it was decades ago, maybe his opinion today is quite different). Did find the following though: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2011/apr/06/prize-mug-martin-rees-templeton – an article by Jerry Coyne (professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago.) entitled, “Martin Rees and the Templeton travesty”. Rees, who “Bill” has been quoting apparently describes himself as ‘an “unbelieving Anglican” who goes to church “out of loyalty to the tribe”‘”

      So, Bill responded with a smokescreen, which I pointed out in No. 250, adding, “The article I cited is about the Templeton Foundation, which has its own agenda, and merely mentions Martin Rees, who it seems is indicating that any “bones” he is throwing to religious people is an attempt to be polite since he “goes to church ‘out of loyalty to the tribe’” A cynic into politics would claim that Martin Rees is throwing those bones so that the Templeton Foundation will provide him with some funding, although I think that would be a bit of a stretch (it could actually be the converse – the Templeton Foundation could be more likely to fund a guy who is polite regarding others’ religious beliefs.)”

      So, rather than admit he misread it, Bill is repeating his error and trying to rewrite history. It’s too bad – it is not possible to have a useful conversation with someone who continually misrepresents previous statements.

      Jul 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B:

      //You brought Leviticus up in No. 242, where you said, “the straightforward translation of Leviticus 18:22 is consistent with other teachings in the Torah.”//

      And Derek Williams brought up Leviticus several posts before that which prompted my response. Again, NOT that its any of your business what I discuss.

      //That statement has been discredited over and over. Try http://www.gaychristian101.com/Romans-1.html and http://www.religioustolerance.org/homarsen.htm (for a discussion of just one translation issue) if you need a refresher.//

      Referring to an article from the “gaychristian101″ and “religioustolerance” is laughable as these websites are homosexual activist websites with the main purpose of mainstreaming homosexuality.

      You know exactly what God thinks about homosexuality, and that is why you hate Him so much.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 8:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //A cynic into politics would claim that Martin Rees is throwing those bones so that the Templeton Foundation will provide him with some funding, although I think that would be a bit of a stretch (it could actually be the converse – the Templeton Foundation could be more likely to fund a guy who is polite regarding others’ religious beliefs//

      Well, at least you aren’t saying that Rees was “just joking” when he wrote his book, which is the only thing I’ve referenced from Rees on this whole thread.

      But I’m completely bewildered here. What “bone” is Rees throwing to religious people? Are you talking about his book, or something else? I need some clarification on this latest conspiracy theory. Please provide sources and links.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 8:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: B, as soon as you can write an email to Richard Dawkins and tell him to shut up. He’s completely undermining your position:

      http://tnvalleytalks.hoop.la/displayForumTopic/content/222104193724892283?reply=223793132785838513

      Outspoken evangelical geneticist Francis Collins revealed that combative atheist Richard Dawkins admitted to him during a conversation that the most troubling argument for nonbelievers to counter is the fine-tuning of the universe.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 8:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: Hey B, found another link that discusses the recent admission from Dawkins that the fine tuning argument is difficult to answer for non-believers:

      http://www.christianpost.com/news/francis-collins-atheist-richard-dawkins-admits-universes-fine-tuning-difficult-to-explain-51416/

      Outspoken evangelical geneticist Francis Collins revealed that combative atheist Richard Dawkins admitted to him during a conversation that the most troubling argument for nonbelievers to counter is the fine-tuning of the universe.

      “If they (constants in the universe) were set at a value that was just a tiny bit different, one part in a billion, the whole thing wouldn’t work anymore,” said Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, during the 31st Annual Christian Scholars’ Conference at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.

      These constants regarding the behavior of matter and energy – such as strong and weak nuclear forces, gravity, and the speed of light – have to be precisely right during the Big Bang for life as we know it to exist.

      To get our universe, with all of its potential for complexities or any kind of potential for any kind of life form, everything has to be precisely defined on this knife edge of improbability,” said the world renowned scientist.

      “That forces a conclusion. If you are an atheist, either it is just a lucky break and the odds are so remote, or you have to go to this multiverse hypothesis, which says that there must be almost an infinite number of parallel universes that have different values of those constants,” explained Collins to Christian scholars of various disciplines in the audience. “And of course we are here and so we must have won the lottery, we must be in the one where everything worked.

      There are some serious scientists in the world, however, such as English theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who believe in the multiverse hypothesis.

      And there’s that darn multiverse explanation again even though you’ve so firmly established that atheists never turn to the multiverse to explain the fine tuning!

      Take a look at all the comments from the angry atheists in the comments section. You would fit right in there!

      Jul 10, 2011 at 8:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: B, here is a link discussing the story from Dawkins own website:

      http://richarddawkins.net/articles/641942-francis-collins-atheist-richard-dawkins-admits-universe-s-fine-tuning-difficult-to-explain

      Maybe Dawkins was “just joking” and didn’t mean it though. I’m sure he’s he’s being misquoted and has a great explanation for the fine tuning argument, which is why he’s so bravely running away from the chance to debate William Lane Craig in England this fall!

      Jul 10, 2011 at 8:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill:

      “Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says. And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.” (NASB, 1 Cor. 14:34-35)

      Do your women keep silent in your church? Do they learn only from their husbands?

      With regards to the claim the http://www.religioustolerance.com et al are “homosexual activist websites”, this is no secret.

      It is perfectly reasonable for homosexual activists to challenge error when we see it, just as it was appropriate for black activists to rise up against slavery. There is nothing wrong with people defending themselves. Nevertheless, just as blacks were fortunate in having the support of many whites, we LGBT also enjoy the friendship and support of many straights who have nothing to gain by supporting us, and everything to lose.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 9:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ray Kwok
      Ray Kwok

      Dear members,
      Please help complete the questionnaire for my PhD research in the University of Warwick regarding involvement in online community. The University of Warwick based survey link is: https://wbs.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9skg08mlLtlgDwo
      Once you have completed the survey, you will be entered into a prize draw to win one of thirty £30 (or US$50) Amazon vouchers.
      Research findings will be posted at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/wbs/projects/online-community/ in September 2011 to explain:
      1) what make internet users to join online communities,
      2) what benefits the communities could gain from them and
      3) recommendations about how to run a more successful online community
      You support is very important to this research! Thank you in advance for your support!

      Jul 10, 2011 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 257 · Bill wrote, “@B: //You brought Leviticus up in No. 242, where you said, “the straightforward translation of Leviticus 18:22 is consistent with other teachings in the Torah.”// And Derek Williams brought up Leviticus several posts before that which prompted my response. Again, NOT that its any of your business what I discuss.”

      LOL. “It’s not any of your business” is Bill’s way of saying that nobody should bring up inconvenient facts, like the fact that the last sentence in Leviticus states that the book of Leviticus is applicable “to the children of Israel in Mount Sinai” (King James translation), and not to the rest of us.

      Then Bill tries, “//That statement has been discredited over and over. Try http://www.gaychristian101.com/Romans-1.html and http://www.religioustolerance.org/homarsen.htm (for a discussion of just one translation issue) if you need a refresher.// Referring to an article from the “gaychristian101? and “religioustolerance” is laughable as these websites are homosexual activist websites with the main purpose of mainstreaming homosexuality.”

      This is basically argumentum ad hominem on Bill’s part, coupled with an unsubstantiated assumption about the motives of the “religioustolerance” site (which actually presents both liberal and conservative viewpoints in order to discuss their differences). The translation issues are real, and the fact is that you can’t really understand Paul’s letters without knowing the context and purpose of them. When you have a bunch of separate Christian sects fighting among themselves and you are trying to sell them on a common theological basis for their practices, that’s going to influence what gets said.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 7:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @B: I hereby authorise you to make my posts to this site and any responses thereto, “your business”, as and when you see fit. Please feel entirely free to continue to comment at will on anything I hereafter post, with or without the permission of Bill.

      This permission applies to all users of the site of any colour, creed, gender, political persuasion or sexual orientation.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 7:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 258 · Bill wrotee, “@B: //A cynic into politics would claim that Martin Rees is throwing those bones so that the Templeton Foundation will provide him with some funding, although I think that would be a bit of a stretch (it could actually be the converse – the Templeton Foundation could be more likely to fund a guy who is polite regarding others’ religious beliefs// Well, at least you aren’t saying that Rees was “just joking” when he wrote his book, which is the only thing I’ve referenced from Rees on this whole thread. But I’m completely bewildered here. What ‘bone’ is Rees throwing to religious people? Are you talking about his book, or something else? I need some clarification on this latest conspiracy theory. Please provide sources and links.”

      Actually, *you* made some statement (See No. 239 for my reply) attributing a comment to a specific person, and when I searched for it using Google, the comment didn’t appear anywhere, but I did find an article about Martin Rees and the Templeton Foundation, and I included a couple of sentences describing what I found. Then you flew off the handle.

      It’s not my fault that you have zero reading comprehension and see “conspiracy theories” when there aren’t any. Read the sentence 50 times, draw some syntax diagrams if necessary, and come back when you finally figure out what “throwing those bones” refers to. Also read the article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2011/apr/06/prize-mug-martin-rees-templeton since I merely used the word “bones” to refer Rees’ tendency to be well-behaved when talking to people with strong religious convictions as described in that article.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 259 · Bill wrote, “@B: B, as soon as you can write an email to Richard Dawkins and tell him to shut up. He’s completely undermining your position: http://tnvalleytalks.hoop.la/displayForumTopic/content/222104193724892283?reply=223793132785838513 Outspoken evangelical geneticist Francis Collins revealed that combative atheist Richard Dawkins admitted to him during a conversation that the most troubling argument for nonbelievers to counter is the fine-tuning of the universe.” [Then Bill suggests http://richarddawkins.net/articles/641942-francis-collins-atheist-richard-dawkins-admits-universe-s-fine-tuning-difficult-to-explain which he bills as something on Dawkins' web site, but it is actually a link to an article on christianpost.com]

      More attempts at obfuscation and misrpresentations from “Bill”. First, what I said was that multiverses were proposed for reasons completely unrelated to to trying to explain some “fine tuning” of physical constants, and pointed out to “Bill” that Carr, in a reference that Bill himself provided in an attempt to butress Bill’s silly argument, had stated, “These multiverse proposals have not generally been motivated by an attempt to explain anthropic fine-tunings; most of them have arisen independently out of developments in cosmology and particle physics.”

      Whether Dawkins got it right or not is irrelevant to that. The link Bill provided (some Christian reporter) got it wrong in listing the speed of light as a constant that was somehow tuned. In fact, today we define the meter as follows: “The meter is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second.” (citation: http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/current.html ). That definition defines the speed of light as having a specific value. If you use Planck units, the speed of light has the value of 1 exactly, and Planck units are the obvious choice if you are comparing multiverses. Even “Bill” should be able to see the difficulty in trying to fine tune the number 1.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DawnMuse
      DawnMuse

      I find it unsurprising but disappointing that the response from Cisco after an employee complained about discovering the title of Turek’s book to be offensive to him was to immediately fire Turek. While Cisco had the right to fire Turek, I just don’t feel it was handled the right way. Neither the complainant nor the manager read the document in question which is unacceptable to me. Furthermore the manager never even spoke to Turek before judging him and as an American I find that reprehensible. I seems “Diversity” and “inclusion” have been taken to mean “right- thinking” instead of an atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance of diverse viewpoints and lifstyles. Turek was even praised by his accuser as an “excellent” trainer in group building skills. This isn’t about homophobia so much as it’s about homophobe-phobia.
      The “gay-lifestyle” is something relatively new to world society as an openly accepted practice. Turek felt he had something to say about what he felt was a non-beneficial change in what were the accepted social mores regarding marriage that have existed for several millenia. He wasn’t behaving with hate toward the complainant,who freely acknowledges this,( since Turek’s views came as a complete surprise to the guy.) As of now Turek still has no intention of attempting to sue. He only wants Cisco to live up to it’s own pledge for workplace behavior. Gay or straight, we all want to be treated with due process by our employer.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @DawnMuse: The Catholic Education Office reserves the right to dismiss any person whom they discover to be homosexual. The grounds for dismissal do not have to include any admissions by the teacher, or discussions about homosexuality in the school workplace. The CEO has been known to dismiss teachers because they are openly gay ‘out of working hours’. Their reasoning is that having homosexuals appear to be well adjusted and happy contradicts the dogma that homosexuality is inherently disordered, intrinsically evil and contrary to God’s plan, and thus harmful to the Christian reputation of the school. For this teaching to hold any weight, homosexuals must therefore appear always to be immoral, promiscuous, profligate, irresponsible, unreliable, AIDS-spreading pedophiles with handbags. It just won’t do for homosexuals to be successful, monogamous and happy.

      I see the Cisco situation as being more or less the same in reverse. Turek was dismissed because what he did outside of working hours was damaging to the reputation of the company as an equal opportunity employer, and was reinforcing a norm that openly undermined company policy.

      The question is often asked of people who do get dismissed by the CEO in such circumstances, “Why would you want to work for an organisation that judges your orientation to be inherently disordered and intrinsically evil?” The activist response is to seek to change the organisation so that it no longer discriminates against him/her on the grounds of sexual orientation. Others just get out and leave all the homophobes to wallow in one other’s sanctimonious company.

      One might well therefore ask the same question in reverse. Why would Turek seek to work for an organisation that upholds social values that are diametrically opposed to his own? He clearly dislikes homosexuals, because he dislikes homosexuality and it is a piece of paternalistic nonsense to keep on saying, “I love this sinner, I just hate his sinning”. But if Turek too is an activist, then he will be seeking to change Cisco’s rules so as to condone discrimination against an individual on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

      The interesting paradox is that the greatest support for equal rights for LGBT comes from within the Catholic faithful. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/majority-of-catholics-attending-mass-weekly-support-gay-marriage-or-civil-u

      Go figure!

      Jul 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: //Do your women keep silent in your church? Do they learn only from their husbands?//

      Derek, my personal opinion is that Paul was affirming the role of the men to be the teachers and leaders of the church and to direct the worship services. This was likely necessary because the majority of early Christian converts were women, due to the broad appeal that Christianity had to women in the Roman Empire. (In the pagan Roman Empire, women were second class citizens and had no rights. Christianity saw women as equals in the eyes of God and demanded that its male adherents treat women with respect). See this link for more information:

      http://www.chinstitute.org/index.php/chm/first-century/early-church-women/

      “Celsus, a 2nd-century detractor of the faith, once taunted that the church attracted only “the silly and the mean and the stupid, with women and children.” His contemporary, Bishop Cyprian of Carthage, acknowledged in his Testimonia that “Christian maidens were very numerous” and that it was difficult to find Christian husbands for all of them. These comments give us a picture of a church disproportionately populated by women.”

      So the men in the church were likely vastly outnumbered and it is possible that women were filling leadership roles in the church due to the shortage of men. Even though men and women are equal and have the same standing before God (as St. Paul says in Galatians 3:28 there is neither male nor female) it is God’s design that men fill the leadership roles in the family and the church.

      To answer your question more specifically, in the church I go to we interpret these passages to only allow men to be the head pastor of the church. But women fill several other prominent and important roles, including as teachers in various classes (and there are in fact many more women in our church than men, so the historical pattern continues).

      //It is perfectly reasonable for homosexual activists to challenge error when we see it, just as it was appropriate for black activists to rise up against slavery. There is nothing wrong with people defending themselves. Nevertheless, just as blacks were fortunate in having the support of many whites, we LGBT also enjoy the friendship and support of many straights who have nothing to gain by supporting us, and everything to lose.//

      This is a complete caricature. No one is telling you to keep your opinions to yourself or violating your rights. Indeed, it is the easiest thing in the world to be a promoter of the homosexual agenda as the mainstream media, the academic intelligensia, and various players in the pop culture will all slap you on the back and tell you what a great guy you are for standing up for these values.

      Expressing an opinion in opposition however, will get you excoriated, branded as some kind of weird hater, sued, or fired from your job (as happened to Turek). Thus it takes much more character and bravery to stand up for righteousness than it does to be a spineless jellyfish and go with the popular culture.

      //Please feel entirely free to continue to comment at will on anything I hereafter post, with or without the permission of Bill.//

      In your efforts to caricature me, you have completely got it backwards. “B” was getting on my case for responding to YOUR arguments about the Leviticus passage. But I have been and will continue to follow your advice and comment on anything I like, regardless of whether or not anyone likes it.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 10:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //This is basically argumentum ad hominem on Bill’s part, coupled with an unsubstantiated assumption about the motives of the “religioustolerance” site (which actually presents both liberal and conservative viewpoints in order to discuss their differences). //

      You need to sort this out with Derek Williams, who freely admits that “With regards to the claim the http://www.religioustolerance.com et al are “homosexual activist websites”, this is no secret.” (or maybe he was just joking?).

      I find the whole thing unbelievable. People who work on these sites demand tolerance and acceptance but undermine every person who has a different point of view that they can get their hands on. Certainly no one was tolerating Turek’s religious views, even though he kept those views to himself at work. What a bunch of vile hypocrites!

      Jul 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //since I merely used the word “bones” to refer Rees’ tendency to be well-behaved when talking to people with strong religious convictions as described in that article.//

      The problem is that your statement on Rees has nothing to do with nothing. I read the article you referenced and Coyne (a militant atheist biologist) is ticked off that Rees is nice to religious people. So what?

      That has nothing to do with my constant mentioning of Ree’s book “Just Six Numbers” which was written over 10 years ago, well before he had anything to do with the Templeton Foundation.

      Exactly what is the point you are trying to make? Are you saying that Rees wrote his book to throw a bone to religious people?

      Jul 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dwmusic
      dwmusic

      @Bill: This mutual ‘tolerance’ argument might work if at either end of the spectrum were logical opposites, but that simply doesn’t work when homosexuality is at both ends of the spectrum.

      If a religion teaches that my orientation is disordered and evil, and according to you, I must tolerate that, then what tolerance can they possibly show me in return? By teaching that I am not possessed by Satan after all?

      The only two-way street I see that can have any legitimacy, is that I accept your heterosexuality as natural and fulfilling for you, and in return you accept my homosexuality as natural and fulfilling for me. Anything else cannot possibly be mutual tolerance. I am not trying to change you into a homosexual, but you’re doing your darnedest to try and talk me out of being a homosexual.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 10:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      just to clarify – my logon ID is ‘dwmusic’, but I have logged out now so my real name appears as Derek Williams.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //The link Bill provided (some Christian reporter) got it wrong in listing the speed of light as a constant that was somehow tuned.//

      “B”, you keep harping on the speed of light as though that invalidates everything that Francis Collins says and invalidates the entire fine tuning argument. There are a couple of problems with this:

      1) Even if the speed of light is not fine-tuned, there are plenty of other constants that have been mentioned that are fine-tuned beyond question. Harping on the speed of light value doesn’t lessen the strength of the argument in any significant way. Throw this constant out if you want, there are plenty of other constants out there.

      2) I think you are wrong about the speed of light constant. I did a wee bit a research and found these links which support the idea that c is fine tuned:

      http://aviewfromtheright.com/2011/05/22/living-on-a-razors-edge-part-1-of-2/

      One would have to conclude either that the features of the universe invoked in support of the Anthropic Principle are only coincidences or that the universe was indeed tailor-made for life. I will leave it to the theologians to ascertain the identity of the tailor!

      – Bernard Carr, cosmologist and professor of mathematics & astronomy

      ….

      For instance, if either the strong nuclear force constant or the weak nuclear force constant was a tiny bit larger or smaller, there would either be too much (only?) hydrogen and not enough “heavy elements” (i.e., anything heavier than helium) produced by stars or too little (no?) hydrogen left and too much heavy element material. Stars are very sensitive to gravity, so if the gravitational force constant was a little different, they would either be too hot — and burn up too quickly & unevenly — or too cool for nuclear fusion to even begin — thus, no heavy elements produced.

      Ratios are really important, too. For example, if the ratio of electron to proton mass was a tiny fraction larger or smaller, there would not be sufficient chemical bonding to produce the necessary elements. Even the ratio of the numbers of protons to electrons is crucial. A little bit either way (one part in 10^37), and electromagnetism would dominate gravity, which would mean that galaxies, stars, and planets could not form. Similarly, the expansion rate of the universe and the entropy level of the universe have to be dialed in just so, else galaxies and stars couldn’t form.

      If the velocity of light was just a bit faster, stars would be too bright. A bit slower, and the stars wouldn’t be bright enough. If the age of the universe was a little older, no solar-type stars (i.e., like our Sun) would be left in a stable burning phase in the right region of the galaxy. A little younger, and no such stars would have had time to form or reach stability.”

      Furthermore, the exact value of the speed of light is essential to the electromagnetic force, which is fine tuned to an amazing degree to allow any kind of coherent universe:

      http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Fine-tuning_argument

      …The electromagnetic force is mediated by massless photons which travel at the speed of light, so therefore the strength of this force is likely related to the speed of light…

      https://www.evidenceforchristianity.org/index.php?option=com_custom_content&task=view&id=3600

      The relative magnitude of the gravity force and the electromagnetic force has
      been found to be crucial for multiple reasons. Note from Table 2 that the electromagnetic
      force is 1038 times stronger than the gravity force. It is the force of gravity
      that draws protons together in stars causing them to fuse together with a concurrent
      release of energy. The electromagnetic force causes them to repel. Because the
      gravity force is so weak by comparison to the electromagnetic force, the rate
      at which stars “burn” by fusion is very slow, allowing the stars to provide a stable
      source of energy over a very long period of time. If this ratio of strengths
      had been 1032 instead of 1038 (i.e., gravity were much stronger), stars would
      be a billion times less massive and would burn a million times faster.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: //If a religion teaches that my orientation is disordered and evil, and according to you, I must tolerate that, then what tolerance can they possibly show me in return? By teaching that I am not possessed by Satan after all?

      The only two-way street I see that can have any legitimacy, is that I accept your heterosexuality as natural and fulfilling for you, and in return you accept my homosexuality as natural and fulfilling for me. Anything else cannot possibly be mutual tolerance. I am not trying to change you into a homosexual, but you’re doing your darnedest to try and talk me out of being a homosexual.//

      Christianity doesn’t teach that any particular orientation is evil. It teaches that all humans are intrinsically evil and subject to selfish desires and in need of God’s grace. So you are no worse off than any other person out there.

      I’m not trying to change you from being a homosexual. If that’s how you want to live your life, I believe that’s what you should do. I promise that I won’t lose any sleep over it. I do think that there is a better way for you to live, but that’s for you to decide.

      I don’t think that your lifestyle should be promoted and celebrated any more than I think unmarried people living together and creating kids and splitting up should be promoted and celebrated or divorce should be promoted and celebrated. I think that these are destructive lifestyles with terrible consequences for the next generation and bad for society in general. Nor do I think that people should be punished or branded as hateful bigots for not affirming these lifestyles.

      Jul 10, 2011 at 11:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill: “A better way for me to live” according to you can only mean a choice between either marrying a femaie partner I have no attraction for, or to have no love in my life whatsoever. But why should I listen to you, a stranger who strayed on to Queerty, whom I have never met, and have nothing whatsoever in common with?

      You are avowedly not homosexual yet you see it as your business to wage arguments against an orientation you’ve not experienced and do not understand. You said before of B that our conversation was “none of his business”, but how much of your business is the sexual orientation of total strangers?

      Your rationale is that there is something inherently wrong with 280 million people (4% of 7 billion) on this planet, whom you believe could live “a better way”, in other words all get converted into heterosexuals. If you are not saying this, then what is your motivation for quoting your interpretation of scripture at me? (More of that in a future post) Even if this were practicable, and you know full well it isn’t, it is utterly unsustainable. What’s more you know that we’re invariably born to heterosexual parents and raised to be heterosexuals with all the trauma that connotes.

      My ‘lifestyle’ as you call it, consists of eating, sleeping, going out with friends, working, all very similar I imagine to yours. I don’t just squeeze these things in between 24 hours of rampant homosexual sex every day. There is a lot more to being a homosexual than having sex. A homosexual living with his partner is no more a lifestyle choice than you living with your wife is. All you are doing is making a virtue out of your being born heterosexual. I don’t expect to have more righs than you, but I believe I have the right to demand that I get what I work every day and pay for.

      When I read everything that you write, there’s not a question in my mind that you feel innately superior to me, moreover you have had the good fortune to discover an entire institution in the form of your denomination of Christianity that encourages you to congratulate yourself every day just for being something that you were going to be anyway, a heterosexual.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 12:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 275 · Bill dissembled some more by saying, “@B: //The link Bill provided (some Christian reporter) got it wrong in listing the speed of light as a constant that was somehow tuned.// “B”, you keep harping on the speed of light as though that invalidates everything that Francis Collins says and invalidates the entire fine tuning argument.”

      No, I was pointing out that *you* (Bill) do not know what you are babbling about and are just throwing out quotes with no idea as to their relevance and/or validity. You apparently don’t know that we now essentially set the speed of light to a specific value (for pragmatic reasons – we can measure time extremely accurately, so rather than basing the definition of the SI unit of distance (the meter) to the length of a standard measuring stick, we define a meter as the distance light travels in 1/299792458 of a second, which makes the speed of light precisely 299,792,458 meters/second. In Planck units, the speed of light (and a series of other constants) is exactly 1, and Planck units are very convenient units to use in string theory and various attempts at quantum gravity.)

      http://what-when-how.com/string-theory/quantum-units-of-nature-%E2%80%94-planck-units-string-theory/ has a simple explanation of the units (with some formatting problems that result in numbers like 10 to the 28 being shown as 1028).

      You might also want to look at http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/index.php/t-37830.html
      (it has an example of a multiverse theory that predicts that universes with “our” set of physical constants should be very common and it makes a testable prediction: there should be no neutron stars with a mass of 1.6 solar masses or heavier. It is motivated by loop quantum gravity, which may turn out to be wrong, and a failure of this particular multiverse theory unfortunately does not disprove loop quantum gravity). This theory seems to be capable of explaining why the fine structure constant is roughly 1/137, the value of the cosmological constant, etc.

      In any case, your “arguments” are simply out-of-context quotes from various sources you looked up somewhere (I suspect, on Christian web sites with an agenda, but of course we can’t tell for sure since you rarely produce usable citations to the quotes you use).

      Jul 11, 2011 at 1:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: //You are avowedly not homosexual yet you see it as your business to wage arguments against an orientation you’ve not experienced and do not understand. You said before of B that our conversation was “none of his business”, but how much of your business is the sexual orientation of total strangers?//

      Derek, you may not believe this, but homosexuality is not something that I concern myself with. The primary subjects that I am concerned with as a Christian are proof for the existence of God, protecting the unborn, and the alienation of children from fathers.

      The only time I ever even think about homosexuality is when I read some horror story on the news about someone being persecuted for not affirming the lifestyle. And that’s how I wandered on to this site, since I own one of Turek’s books and occasionally listen to his podcast.

      To this very moment you have never addressed the real issue (was it OK for Cisco to fire Turek for his private beliefs) and are instead fixated on trying to get me to affirm your sexual lifestyle. It is the height of narcissism for someone to a) maintain a particular sexual lifestyle, and b) demand that everyone around them affirm that sexual lifestyle.

      //Your rationale is that there is something inherently wrong with 280 million people (4% of 7 billion) on this planet, whom you believe could live “a better way”, in other words all get converted into heterosexuals.//

      I would have everyone get converted into Christians. (I realize that is not realistic of course.) But again, you are the one who is fixated on the whole heterosexual/homosexual thing, which I find to be kind of weird. There are many heterosexuals who are in awful shape. Being heterosexual isn’t the cure for the human condition.

      //If you are not saying this, then what is your motivation for quoting your interpretation of scripture at me?//

      Others (including yourself) started bringing up scripture and arguing that scripture doesn’t condemn homosexual behavior. I responded to those arguments. Although I do have to admit that I find it somewhat puzzling that people who profess no beliefs in scripture are so concerned about what it says.

      //I don’t expect to have more righs than you, but I believe I have the right to demand that I get what I work every day and pay for.//

      As far as I’m aware, no one is trying to stop you from working, getting paid, or living with your partner. There are several of us who believe that you shouldn’t have access to children and that your lifestyle shouldn’t be promoted in schools (and btw, I would say the same exact thing to two unmarried heterosexuals living together), but other than that I have no interest in harassing homosexuals. I have a sister, an aunt-in-law, and friends who are homosexual and we all get along great.

      //When I read everything that you write, there’s not a question in my mind that you feel innately superior to me, moreover you have had the good fortune to discover an entire institution in the form of your denomination of Christianity that encourages you to congratulate yourself every day just for being something that you were going to be anyway, a heterosexual.//

      Now you are just being silly. I don’t feel superior to you, and if I did, all the more reason for you to have nothing to do with me. You shouldn’t care what other people think.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 6:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: //You apparently don’t know that we now essentially set the speed of light to a specific value (for pragmatic reasons – we can measure time extremely accurately, so rather than basing the definition of the SI unit of distance (the meter) to the length of a standard measuring stick, we define a meter as the distance light travels in 1/299792458 of a second, which makes the speed of light precisely 299,792,458 meters/second. In Planck units, the speed of light (and a series of other constants) is exactly 1, and Planck units are very convenient units to use in string theory and various attempts at quantum gravity.)//

      Strange that you want to bring this up. I saw an episode of “The Universe” just yesterday that talked about the speed of light. This is a fixed speed (186,000 miles per second) and is not some arbitrary value we thought up to make measurements easier. You can see this for yourself on Wikipedia:

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

      The speed of light (meaning speed of light in vacuum), usually denoted by c, is a physical constant important in many areas of physics. Its value is 299,792,458 metres per second, a figure that is exact since the length of the metre is defined from this constant and the international standard for time.[1] This speed is approximately 186,282 miles per second. It is the maximum speed at which all energy, matter, and information in the universe can travel. It is the speed of all massless particles and associated fields—including electromagnetic radiation such as light—in vacuum, and it is predicted by the current theory to be the speed of gravity (that is, gravitational waves). Such particles and waves travel at c regardless of the motion of the source or the inertial frame of reference of the observer. In the theory of relativity, c interrelates space and time, and appears in the famous equation of mass–energy equivalence E = mc2.

      So rather than the speed of light being an arbitrary value adapted for the use of the Planck measurement, I think instead the Planck measurement is based off of the exact speed of light.

      In my previous message I posted some references to other articles that stipulated that the speed of light affects the luminosity of stars, and that if were significantly faster or slower this would be life-prohibiting, and that it is also a major factor of the electromagnetic force, which is astonishingly balanced with the gravitational force to permit a life sustaining Universe.

      I think this is what Collins (and others) are referring to when they mention c as a fine tuned value. If you don’t agree with them, that’s OK, since there are dozens of other parameters out there that are completely undisputed (and even have books written about them by atheistic physicists!)

      So far you have failed to offer any compelling evidence that our Universe is just a common, ordinary Universe and that life permitting Universes are nothing special. All you have done is act as a naysayer who has helped me fine even more compelling evidence that my position is indeed correct. Thanks for doing that!

      Jul 11, 2011 at 7:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill: You portray homosexuality not as an orientation ineluctably wired into a certain percentage of the human race, but instead as a mere ‘lifestyle’. This can only mean that for you at least, sexual attraction is not why you chose your wife, but instead you chose her out of religious obligation to God. I assume she must have been party to this contract, but it is hardly either natural or the norm. Most of my male friends are heterosexual and are madly in love with their partners/wives.

      But if, as according to your religious paradigm, all humans are naturally heterosexual, what is in it for me to choose this ‘lifestyle’, when it places me at odds with the world at large? It would be so very much easier to choose heterosexuality as an orientation, if such a thing were even possible, then I would not be wasting hours of my life arguing with the likes of you on the internet.

      When I was growing up, I believed everyone was heterosexual, not because I’d even heard the word at that time, but because there was no mention of the existence of homosexuality in my church, education or family. The only model presented was Mum, Dad and children.

      When puberty struck, I suddenly had to deal with the fact that my attraction was solely for the same gender. This didn’t fit with anything I’d been told, or anything I saw. If you think back to your own adolescence, I hope you’ll still be able to remember how intense an experience this is for any sentient human being. But at least your natural attractions fitted in with your environment, and were no doubt encouraged. For me it was all too different. For a while, I hoped this to be a passing phase, but as the years rolled inexorably by, I finally had to come to terms with the fact that this was not a passing phase at all. It is what I am.

      When you’re 16, every day is an eternity. Of course I started to read voraciously all the available research of the day to try to understand why I was the way I was, and this included religious references. Eventually at age 22, I suicided via carbon monoxide poisoning using Mum’s car, an act from which I did not expect to survive, and indeed have never fully recovered. After a month long coma, during the next three months in intensive care , I went to a psychiatrist, and to psychodrama sessions. When I came out of hospital, I even moved in with a girl who was attracted to me, and tried to consummate a sexual relationship. The outcome was nothing but tremendous hurt for the poor woman, and for me too, because I don’t like hurting people.

      I must give credit where credit is due and acknowledge that I was never hated or mistreated by anyone because of my homosexual orientation, yet through all these experiences, I was learning from the norms of the day how many different ways there were to hate myself. I was still homosexual, and remain so to this day, but none of this would have happened to me if my homosexuality had been accepted then as it is now, as something just like left handedness, that occurs more or less randomly in a minority of the population.

      I am now 58 years old. I have earned the irrefragable right to know myself, and to declare, “this cannot be changed”. You cannot and do not know because you are not homosexual. I do know because I am and I have experienced pretty much everything there is to be experienced on this issue. Not only can it not be changed, it is really harmful to try to do so. I am not the only one who has been driven into suicide ideation, not by a mile. Below I am listing just 10 very recent cases of children in the USA who were driven to suicide by anti-gay peer bullying. For every one listed there are tens of thousands more going anonymously to their deaths. The school children who egged these gay teenagers on to end their lives, like you, were motivated by a belief in their own intrinsic heterosexual superiority, and some by their religion. “My Dad is a Christian and he says you’re going to Hell because you’re a faggot, you’re evil, you’re an abomination,” being typical of the taunts – the very sort touted by Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptists.

      Make no mistake, it was not homosexuality that extinguished these kids’ tragically short lives, it was homophobia. If you have any interest, you will readily find details through Google. These cases came to my attention after I watched Fort Worth councillor Joel Burns on YouTube.

      Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover 11yo

      Seth Walsh 13yo

      Justin Aaberg 13yo

      Kameron Jacobsen 14yo

      Billy Lucas 15yo

      Cody Barker 17yo

      Asher Brown 13yo

      Raymond Chase 19yo

      Tyler Clementi 18yo

      Brandon Bitner 14yo

      Over the past two thousand years or more, we homosexuals have been ostracised, bashed, murdered, accused of causing earthquakes, exorcised, dismissed from employment, imprisoned, executed, subjected to electric shock aversion therapy and worse. Yet despite such appalling mistreatment, we have remained steadfastly homosexual, and for some reason we have continued to love our families and contribute fulsomely to the very societies that did these horrible things to us.

      You ask why I care what other people think. Everyone cares what other people think, whether they care to admit it or not. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me,” may well be the typical defiant defence given to the bullied child, but we all know it to be a lie. No-one likes being told they’re an abomination, especially not in front of everybody from the pulpit. What really gets up my nose is the religions that set one person against another, driving the vulnerable into a downward spiral of depression and suicide ideation. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Christian Uganda, where homosexuals are driven into ghettos, excoriated in the press, beaten to death without fear of prosecution, and will soon be subject to the death penalty, just as we are on theocratic grounds in Iran and much of the Middle East.

      I work in the music industry. Here, as in politics, public opinion matters hugely, as anyone who puts on a concert, and buys the next morning’s newspapers to read their reviews will attest. If you don’t care what people think, it means you don’t mind if your wife and family don’t love you, and people won’t talk to you. Everyone wants to be liked and respected, it’s part of being human.

      Society has changed unrecognisably since I was that skinny kid going through hell. Homosexuals can now as never before, aspire to lead normal lives in most of the Western world. For me, life is sweet nowadays, despite your continuing attempts to make it otherwise.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 8:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Derek – I mentioned almost committing suicide over 100 posts ago and did you see what Bill wrote? He brings up Glatze as evidence of a “converted” homosexual in a NY TIMES article and then when it is proven Glatze is a nut, ignores it. What exactly do you and “B” hope to accomplish by engaging Bill? I don’t see that either of you have gotten anywhere with him.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 9:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Abirdwillingtobeitself
      Abirdwillingtobeitself

      A lot of long posts to Bill. Why? Homophobes won’t change their views no matter how long you debate them.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 9:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Abirdwillingtobeitself
      Abirdwillingtobeitself

      @Thomas Aquinas: Are you sure you want to sully Aquinas’ name by association with you?

      Jul 11, 2011 at 9:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Jaroslaw: Thanks Jaroslaw, and Abirdwillingtobeitself. You are right of course, and I know all too well that Bill and his ilk will cherish their lifelong repugnance for our orientation till their dying day. To attempt to reason with them is indeed a waste of our time and theirs.

      However it is important to keep in mind that others read these posts too, specifically vulnerable teenagers. I want them to know that we can stand up for ourselves and for each other. We don’t have to accept the lies that are told about us; violence and hate don’t have to be a part of their lives or ours. A lie doesn’t become the truth just because it has kept being told over and over for two thousand years or more, and bashing a gay man will not turn him into a straight man.

      Our debate is giving ammunition also to straight friends seeking help for bullied gay teens, and other straight supporters who understand that homophobia is wrong, but don’t always have all the facts needed to withstand the barrage of evengelical dogma that, let’s face it, is not their primary responsibility anyway.

      I always welcome open and public debate with religious homophobes, because in the end, “The Truth Will Out”.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 10:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      I’m going to coalesce some responses to cut down the number of comments – some readers get
      email notifications when a new comment on a thread is posted, and I’d like to keep those emails to a minimum.

      No. 271 · Bill wrote, “@B: //This is basically argumentum ad hominem on Bill’s part, coupled with an unsubstantiated assumption about the motives of the “religioustolerance” site (which actually presents both liberal and conservative viewpoints in order to discuss their differences). // You need to sort this out with Derek Williams, who freely admits that “With regards to the claim the http://www.religioustolerance.com et al are “homosexual activist websites”, this is no secret.” (or maybe he was just joking?).”

      Really? See http://www.religioustolerance.org/ and note the first thing said: “We welcome evangelicals, secularists, religious conservatives, liberals, Deists, Pagans, progressives, Animists, fundamentalists, Atheists, the undecided, the searching, etc. No matter how you describe yourself, you should find your beliefs and practices accurately represented in this website. Almost all other religious websites explain only the beliefs of the webmaster or sponsoring faith group. We are different: we try to explain accurately the full diversity of religious beliefs, worldviews, and systems of morality, ethics, and values. We hope that you will find our essays helpful and of interest.”

      What “Bill” is really complaining about is that, among the diverse beliefs this web site catalogs, are some in which homosexuality is acceptable.

      No. 272 · Bill wrote, ‘@B: //since I merely used the word “bones” to refer Rees’ tendency to be well-behaved when talking to people with strong religious convictions as described in that article.// The problem is that your statement on Rees has nothing to do with nothing. I read the article you referenced and Coyne (a militant atheist biologist) is ticked off that Rees is nice to religious people. So what? That has nothing to do with my constant mentioning of Ree’s book … Exactly what is the point you are trying to make? Are you saying that Rees wrote his book to throw a bone to religious people?’

      LOL – talk about “Bill” rewriting history! “Bill” provided a quote with no citation. I entered part of it into Google to try to track down the source, and mostly all I could find was religious babble that did not have a citation to the original statement. The article about Rees and the Templeton foundation was simply the most interesting thing I found in this search, so I described it. I’m sure, “Bill” aside, that many readers thought it was cute. The point was simply that Bill is apparently cutting and pasting from fundamentalist Christian sources for the most part, and like Eliza Doolittle, can be taught to speak increasingly well but never really has a clue.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 280 · Bill wrote (misattributing a comment to Derek Williams):@Derek Williams: //You apparently don’t know that we now essentially set the speed of light to a specific value (for pragmatic reasons – we can measure time extremely accurately, so rather than basing the definition of the SI unit of distance (the meter) to the length of a standard measuring stick, we define a meter as the distance light travels in 1/299792458 of a second, which makes the speed of light precisely 299,792,458 meters/second. In Planck units, the speed of light (and a series of other constants) is exactly 1, and Planck units are very convenient units to use in string theory and various attempts at quantum gravity.)// Strange that you want to bring this up. I saw an episode of “The Universe” just yesterday that talked about the speed of light. This is a fixed speed (186,000 miles per second) and is not some arbitrary value we thought up to make measurements easier.”

      You really are in over your head! What is important physically about the speed of light is that the speed of light in a vacuum has the same value in all inertial reference frames, and is the speed at which all zero-rest-mass particles travel. At present, we’ve defined it to have a specific value by defining the meter as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299792458 of a second. You can find the history of how the unit of length, the meter, has been defined at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metre#History and it has changed over time reflecting our technological abilities – each change was made to facilitate more accurate measurements.

      To get back to cosmology, the fact is that in Planck units (the units convenient for string theory and cosmology during the early universe), the speed of light is set to 1 exactly. This simplifies the equations. Multiverse theories in which physical constants vary between universes are conveniently described using Plank units (which set the speed of light, the gravitational constant G, and Planck’s constant divided by 2 pi to 1), so other constants (e.g., the fine structure constant) might vary between universes.

      It turns out that, no matter what values you give to the speed of light, the gravitational constant, and Planck’s constant divided by 2 pi, if all the dimensionless constants (e.g., the fine structure constant) are the same, the physical behavior of the universe doesn’t change. Using Planck units essentially makes all the constants dimensionless quantities, so you have a simple way of comparing different universes in multiverse theories.

      Since “Bill” can’t seem to understand such simple statements (no doubt being blinded by a silly religious belief that gets in the way), he’s shown that he is in completely over his head and should pipe down or stick to safe topics: his health and the weather.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Derek – I also said the same thing (about others reading this) 100 posts ago also – after a point, it doesn’t matter. And I doubt if too many people, Gay, Straight, allies or esp. teens are going to meander through all this for 3 hours. But….have at it and good luck.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //What “Bill” is really complaining about is that, among the diverse beliefs this web site catalogs, are some in which homosexuality is acceptable.//

      According to religioustolerance.org own statement of beliefs, which you can reference here:

      http://www.religioustolerance.org/statbelief.htm

      We are a multi-faith group. As of mid-2011, we consist of one Atheist, Agnostic, Christian, Wiccan and Zen Buddhist

      We do believe:
      …In working towards a culture that is relatively free of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, physical disability, language, age, body shape, etc.,”

      Thus by their own admission their editorial staff is largely composed of non-Christians and they all promote the homosexual agenda.

      So sorry if I don’t see these people as unbiased experts on ancient Biblical languages and hermeneutics! (and don’t even get me started on your “gaychristian101″ source).

      //I entered part of it into Google to try to track down the source, and mostly all I could find was religious babble that did not have a citation to the original statement.//

      Often when I post multiple links on this forum the message gets flagged as spam and doesn’t go through. But I’ll be happy to provide citations for any of my quotes. Please give me the quote(s) in question and I’ll provide links.

      //The article about Rees and the Templeton foundation was simply the most interesting thing I found in this search, so I described it. I’m sure, “Bill” aside, that many readers thought it was cute. The point was simply that Bill is apparently cutting and pasting from fundamentalist Christian sources//

      So you were just trying to be “cute”? And how does it follow from your Rees and Templeton foundation link that I’m cutting and pasting from Christian sources?

      Jul 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill: Please define and enumerate the ‘homosexual agenda’ as you see it enacted both in general, and on the religioustolerance website. Then I will tell you if it matches my homosexual agenda.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //What is important physically about the speed of light is that the speed of light in a vacuum has the same value in all inertial reference frames, and is the speed at which all zero-rest-mass particles travel//

      Thanks for the essay on the speed of light. You still haven’t undermined the argument that the speed of light affects the luminosity of stars or the strength of the electromagnetic force and this is what Francis Collins (and others) are referring to when they claim that the speed of light is fine tuned for life. (And just so you know, I’m more inclined to believe him than you.)

      The truly hilarious thing about all of this is that you are attacking Francis Collins, one of the biggest promoters of Darwinism in the United States, and a person whom I don’t even like all that much. You atheists really are willing to throw anyone under the bus who doesn’t completely buy in to the whole agenda!

      But what you are really doing is throwing up a red herring and trying to dodge and weave. I’ve never based any of my arguments on the speed of light. There are plenty of constants out there that are far more compelling than the value of c.

      Martin Rees discusses 6 of the most dramatic examples in his book “Just Six Numbers”. If you want to try to undermine my confidence in the fine tuning of the universe, I’d start with those and work from there.

      BTW, here is another essay I read which describes the effects of the speed of light:

      http://informationaboutgod.com/articles/misc_religion/AgeofEarth_speedoflight.php

      As more data accumulate, it becomes more evident that the speed of light is not slowing. In fact, experiments by one group of astronomers indicated light has not slowed in at least 14 million years.11 Furthermore, significant differences in the speed of light would greatly disturb the luminosities of stars or abundances of elements created so as to make life impossible.12

      Jul 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      Hold on a moment, though: in order for that last paragraph to be meaningful, there would have to be some reason to *expect* the speed of light to change. But why would it?

      Jul 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: //You portray homosexuality not as an orientation ineluctably wired into a certain percentage of the human race, but instead as a mere ‘lifestyle’.//

      I don’t think that homosexuality is ineluctably wired into the majority of homosexuals. I think that many homosexuals are attracted to the same sex because of childhood molestation or bad experiences with one of their parents. (My sister is a lesbian and was raped as a young girl as one example of this).

      I’m not saying that certain people aren’t born with a tendency to homosexual attractions. I don’t know one way or the other (I haven’t really looked into it to be honest) but its irrelevant to me either way. I know that certain people (including myself) are genetically prone to alcholism:

      http://alcoholism.about.com/od/genetics/a/genome_map.htm

      but this doesn’t make alcoholism moral, nor should it make alcoholics a special minority group with minority protections.

      My dad was an alcoholic and there was a time in my youth when I began the crave the taste of alcohol. I realized what was happening and I stopped drinking immediately.

      //what is in it for me to choose this ‘lifestyle’, when it places me at odds with the world at large?//

      Lots of immoral behaviors place the perpetrator at odds with the world at large. Merely having a compulsion to do something does not make the desire moral.

      //I must give credit where credit is due and acknowledge that I was never hated or mistreated by anyone because of my homosexual orientation, yet through all these experiences, I was learning from the norms of the day how many different ways there were to hate myself. I was still homosexual, and remain so to this day, but none of this would have happened to me if my homosexuality had been accepted then as it is now, as something just like left handedness, that occurs more or less randomly in a minority of the population//

      Very sorry to hear about your troubled childhood. By your own admission no one mistreated or hated you. But to demand that they check their personal morality and deeply held religious convictions at the door to affirm your lifestyle so that you feel more accepted is narcissistic in the extreme.

      //Below I am listing just 10 very recent cases of children in the USA who were driven to suicide by anti-gay peer bullying.//

      Christianity does not condone the mistreatment of children (or anyone else). Jesus commanded us to love even our enemies and to pray for the people who persecute us. I’m sorry that these kids you listed were mistreated but we shouldn’t fall into the trap of legitimizing an alternative lifestyle to compensate. Kids all over the world are mistreated all the time for all sorts of reasons. Some kids are picked on because they are overweight. Some kids are picked on because of their religious beliefs.

      In fact, here is one example of children who were picked on by militant homosexuals while at church!

      http://conservapedia.com/Hamilton_Square_Baptist_Church_Riot

      The documentary film A Nation Adrift chronicles some of the events that took place during the Hamilton Square Baptist Church riot in San Francisco on the date of September 19, 1993 in which a angry group of male homosexuals and lesbians vandalized church property, assaulted church members, terrorized church congregants, screamed profanity, threw rocks, harassed and scared children, and disrupted a church service.[1][2] [3][4] During the riot the rioters pounded on the church doors and attempted to kick them down. When the rioters saw church children standing in the lobby, they shouted “We want your children. Give us your children.” [2] During the riot an eight year old mentally handicapped girl was verbally accosted when exiting through the front entrance of the church and was so traumatized that she fell down the church steps.[2] In addition, a nine year old boy, was hysterically crying and said “They are after me. It’s me they want.” The nine year old boy did not calm down until the family was several miles from the building.[2]

      According to Pastor David Innes, Senior Pastor of Hamilton Square Baptist church, the protesters denied people entrance to the church and in some cases did it by physical contact. [1]

      //Make no mistake, it was not homosexuality that extinguished these kids’ tragically short lives, it was homophobia.//

      See my comment above about bullying. Also, you should keep in mind that innocent children have died as a result of being infected with blood from homosexual men. Prior to the mid 80s AIDS was primarily spread through the sexual activities of gay men. And unfortunately many children who needed blood transfusions were infected with AIDS from blood donated by homosexuals. Actions really do have consequences. Life is not all about your pleasure and your rights.

      //Over the past two thousand years or more, we homosexuals have been ostracised, bashed, murdered, accused of causing earthquakes, exorcised, dismissed from employment, imprisoned, executed, subjected to electric shock aversion therapy and worse.//

      The irony of your statement is remarkable.

      //Please define and enumerate the ‘homosexual agenda’ as you see it enacted both in general, and on the religioustolerance website. Then I will tell you if it matches my homosexual agenda.//

      http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexual_agenda

      The Homosexual Agenda, or homosexual ideology, consists of a set of beliefs and objectives designed to promote and even mandate acceptance and approval of homosexuality, and the strategies used to implement such. This article notes that the goals and means of this movement include indoctrinating students in public school, restricting the free speech of opposition, obtaining special treatment for homosexuals, distorting Biblical teaching and science, and interfering with freedom of association. Advocates of the homosexual agenda seek special rights for homosexuals that other people don’t have, such as immunity from criticism (see hate speech, hate crimes). Such special rights will necessarily come at the expense of the rights of broader society.

      Among all the liberal belief systems, the homosexual ideology is the most self-centered or selfish. Liberals generally give much less than conservatives to charity, but gay charity work in particular is virtually non-existent.

      Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia referred to the “so-called homosexual agenda” in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) (dissenting opinion).

      Jul 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Hyhybt: //Hold on a moment, though: in order for that last paragraph to be meaningful, there would have to be some reason to *expect* the speed of light to change. But why would it?//

      Some young earth creationists try to explain away the apparent age of the Universe by arguing that the speed of light has changed.

      The authors of the paper are not arguing that the speed of light has changed (nor do I believe that it has).

      Jul 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 289 · Bill wrote (ignoring the quote from the religioustolerance.com home page that it presents a variety of viewpoints): “@B: //What ‘Bill’ is really complaining about is that, among the diverse beliefs this web site catalogs, are some in which homosexuality is acceptable.// According to religioustolerance.org own statement of beliefs, which you can reference here: http://www.religioustolerance.org/statbelief.htm “We are a multi-faith group. As of mid-2011, we consist of one Atheist, Agnostic, Christian, Wiccan and Zen Buddhist …W e do believe: …In working towards a culture that is relatively free of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, physical disability, language, age, body shape, etc.’ Thus by their own admission their editorial staff is largely composed of non-Christians and they all promote the homosexual agenda. So sorry if I don’t see these people as unbiased experts on ancient Biblical languages and hermeneutics! (and don’t even get me started on your “gaychristian101? source).”

      This is not a “homosexual agenda” – it is a civil rights agenda. The term “working towards a culture that is relatively free of discrimination” refers to how people are treated when they walk down the street, apply for a job, try to rent an apartment or buy a home, etc. It does not mean a religious group can’t proscribe gay sex for its members, just as Jews and Muslims are not supposed to eat pork and Muslims and Mormons are not supposed to drink wine. Such religious practices (giving something up) do not constitute discrimination. Making it difficult for gays to get jobs or housing, beating them for holding hands in public, or denying them hospital visitation rights for loved ones is discrimination and should be opposed. As to your other claims, those really amount to “I don’t like what they say, so they must be unreliable.”

      “//I entered part of it into Google to try to track down the source, and mostly all I could find was religious babble that did not have a citation to the original statement.//
      Often when I post multiple links on this forum the message gets flagged as spam and doesn’t go through. But I’ll be happy to provide citations for any of my quotes. Please give me the quote(s) in question and I’ll provide links.”

      Sigh. This was brought up over and over. Go backprovide links to the original sources (not some article where someone else quoted someone) for each of the quotes you attributed to various individuals. I’m not going to to that work for you – you should have provided citations in the first place, so it is unreasonable for you to try to create a “make work” project for others, simply to waste their time.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 8:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 291 · Bill wrote, “@B: //What is important physically about the speed of light is that the speed of light in a vacuum has the same value in all inertial reference frames, and is the speed at which all zero-rest-mass particles travel// Thanks for the essay on the speed of light. You still haven’t undermined the argument that the speed of light affects the luminosity of stars or the strength of the electromagnetic force and this is what Francis Collins (and others) are referring to when they claim that the speed of light is fine tuned for life. (And just so you know, I’m more inclined to believe him than you.)”

      Your “inclination” just shows that you are a fool. What determines the strength of the electromagnetic force is the fine structure constant, roughly 1/137. I’ll refer interested readers to http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Constants/alpha.html (this is the web site for a U.S. government agency, The National Institute of Standards and Technology, not some flaky web site put up by religious types and similar amateurs): “The fine-structure constant is of dimension 1 (i.e., it is simply a number) and very nearly equal to 1/137. It is the ‘coupling constant’ or measure of the strength of the electromagnetic force that governs how electrically charged elementary particles (e.g., electron, muon) and light (photons) interact.” If you change the speed of light while keeping the fine structure constant at its measured value, the strength of the electromagnetic force does not change.

      When comparing multiverses, the most convenient units to use are Planck units, where the speed of light, Planck’s constant divided by 2 pi, and the gravitational constant G are all set to 1 (which gives you a natural set of units for time, distance, and mass or energy). It avoids some awkward issues such as “how do you transfer a measuring rod 1 meter long between multiverses so you can do a meaningful comparison of various physical quantities”. Now the fine structure constant is proportional to the charge of an electron squared, and inversely proportional to the speed of light and Planck’s constant, so you can’t change the speed of light without also changing some other numbers if the the other constants are to remain the same, but all the “fine tuning” arguments are based on the values of dimensionless constants,

      What’s really funny though is that the official value for the speed of light, exactly 299,792,458 meters per second by definition of the meter in terms of how far light travels in 1/299792458 of a second, is in fact anthropomorphically selected: we chose a second to be at the time scale over which we do simple tasks (e.g., picking up a small object). If you stretch your hand and arm out horizontally to the side, the tip of your fingers will be about 1 meter from the centerline of your body. Physically, of course, this sort of selection is simply not interesting: the definition of the meter and the second (and hence the speed of light) simply reflect a human scale in our sense of time and space in our everyday lives.

      Then “Bill” provides evidence of his intellectual dishonesty by saying, “The truly hilarious thing about all of this is that you are attacking Francis Collins, one of the biggest promoters of Darwinism in the United States, and a person whom I don’t even like all that much. You atheists really are willing to throw anyone under the bus who doesn’t completely buy in to the whole agenda!”

      The funny thing of course, is that the only “agenda” I have in this discussion is to describe physical principles accurately. I wasn’t “attacking” Francis Collins in general, but rather I was pointing that “Bill” does not have the intellectual abilities to critically review the sources he is using. But what does Bill’s statement above tell us about Bill? It seems he thinks that being factually accurate is being “willing to throw anyone under the bus who doesn’t completely buy in to [sic] the whole agenda!” Given that statement, the obvious corollary is that Bill thinks it is OK to misrepresent the facts to protect people supporting your own personal agenda, a not very complementary trait to say the least.

      Oh, and you might want to read http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Cosmo/FineTune.pdf for an explanation of why your whole argument is a flaky one.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 10:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 294 · Bill wrote, “@Hyhybt: //Hold on a moment, though: in order for that last paragraph to be meaningful, there would have to be some reason to *expect* the speed of light to change. But why would it?// Some young earth creationists try to explain away the apparent age of the Universe by arguing that the speed of light has changed. The authors of the paper are not arguing that the speed of light has changed (nor do I believe that it has).”

      Bill is once again in over his head (no surprise). See http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/9811018v2 for an example (citation: Phys.Rev.D59:043516,1999). This is a real physics paper, so unless you’ve studied the subject in graduate school, don’t expect to understand the details. The basic idea was to see if a time varying speed of light in the early universe would solve the same problems that models based on inflation do. In the Conclusions section, the authors state, “We have shown how a time varying speed of light could provide a resolution to the well known cosmological puzzles. These ‘VSL’ models could provide an alternative to the standard Inflationary picture, and furthermore resolve the classical cosmological constant puzzle. At a technical level, the proposed VSL picture is not nearly as well developed as the inflationary one, and one purpose of this article is to stimulate further work on the unresolved technical issues. We are not trying to take an ‘anti-inflation’ stand, but we do strongly feel that broadening the range of possible models of the very early Universe would be very healthy for the field of cosmology, and would ultimately allow us to state in more concrete terms the extent to which one model is preferred.”

      Jul 11, 2011 at 10:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 293 Bill wrote, “Also, you should keep in mind that innocent children have died as a result of being infected with blood from homosexual men. Prior to the mid 80s AIDS was primarily spread through the sexual activities of gay men. And unfortunately many children who needed blood transfusions were infected with AIDS from blood donated by homosexuals. Actions really do have consequences. Life is not all about your pleasure and your rights.”

      Of course, if the virus was transmitted far more readily from female to male than it is, it would have spread like wildfire among heterosexuals, and “Bill” would have no convenient target to blame.

      “Bill” is as confused as usual. You can find a time line for the AIDS epidemic at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_AIDS and http://library.ups.edu/research/angelsinamerica/aids_timeline.htm . Before 1983, it wasn’t even clear that the relatively few AIDS cases seen were due to a virus. One hypothesis was that AIDS was triggered by exposure to drugs such as amyl nitrite that were commonly used by some early victims. If the experts hadn’t yet figured it out, you can hardly blame homosexual men for not knowing what was going on either.

      But, if we are going to start a blame game, let’s not forget to mention what the Catholic Church had done over the years with its inquisitions and persecutions of anyone suspected of thinking for himself or herself, and that inhibited progress in science and technology
      (for example, the Catholic Church’s treatment of Galileo). They had it in for Johannes Kepler as well. Who knows how much that set us back. Then throw in all the damage done by numerous wars. the loss of many talented individuals who never had a chance due to racism, and various other ways we go about shooting ourselves in the foot.

      So what does that have to do with AIDS? Well, if we had the technology we do today in 1980, the rate of progress in responding to the AIDS epidemic would have been much higher and countless lives would have been saved. If you give the Catholics a break and figure they only set us back 40 years through their repressive tactics in the Middle Ages, that alone would have resulted in countless additional deaths.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 3:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //This is not a “homosexual agenda” – it is a civil rights agenda. The term “working towards a culture that is relatively free of discrimination” refers to how people are treated when they walk down the street, apply for a job, try to rent an apartment or buy a home, etc.//

      Yet another astonishingly ironic statement given the topic of this thread…

      And religioustolerance.org is free to pursue whatever agenda it wants, but this does not turn them into experts on Biblical translations.

      //It does not mean a religious group can’t proscribe gay sex for its members, just as Jews and Muslims are not supposed to eat pork and Muslims and Mormons are not supposed to drink wine. Such religious practices (giving something up) do not constitute discrimination.//

      The Biblical commands on sexual purity are not in the same category as the commands to refrain from eating pork or Catholics eating only fish on Fridays. Paul makes it extremely clear what is truly important in his epistles:

      1 Corinthians 6:9-10

      Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
      10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God

      //you should have provided citations in the first place, so it is unreasonable for you to try to create a “make work” project for others, simply to waste their time.//

      No, what is unreasonable is for you to make a baseless accusation and then refuse to provide evidence for it. Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) and you follow in his footsteps nicely.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 8:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Your “inclination” just shows that you are a fool!!!! What determines the strength of the electromagnetic force is the fine structure constant, roughly 1/137//

      I’m starting to think that you are not bothering to read any of my arguments. I provided evidence for this hypothesis that the speed of light affects the electromagnetic force here:

      http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Fine-tuning_argument

      In order for the probability argument to be valid, the fundamental constants under consideration have to be independent. That is, one cannot claim that the gravitational constant and the speed of expansion of the universe were individually tuned, since they are clearly related. The electromagnetic force is mediated by massless photons which travel at the speed of light, so therefore the strength of this force is likely related to the speed of light. Similar relationships may yet emerge between other constants.

      and threw that out as a possible explanation of what Francis Collins was talking about when he referred to the speed of light. If you have a problem with this, take this up with Francis Collins. I’m not an apologist for Francis Collins and I don’t even like him all that much.

      I’ve already stated that I’ve based none of my arguments on the speed of light. If you want to debunk the Fine Tuning argument, start with the six constants of physics in Martin Rees books “Just Six Numbers”.

      You are simply being a petulant naysayer and unless the quality of your arguments begins to improve dramatically I will not waste any more time responding to you. Consider this your last warning.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 8:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //But, if we are going to start a blame game, let’s not forget to mention what the Catholic Church had done over the years with its inquisitions and persecutions of anyone suspected of thinking for himself or herself, and that inhibited progress in science and technology//

      “B”, I’m not a Catholic and see the Catholic church as an apostate church, so if you think you are getting under my skin by attacking them, you are not. They have killed many true saints and exposed innocent children to homosexual priests who have abused them.

      But having said all this, I completely reject your assertion that the Catholic church slowed the pace of science. The Catholic church required its clergy to be trained in science and enabled many scientific experiments.

      I’m not going to waste any time arguing this point with you, because honestly I don’t care what you think about the Catholic church. But if you ever want to get beyond the talking points and learn the truth, you can start with books like this:

      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0691119503/ref=nosim/catholiceduca-20

      Jul 12, 2011 at 8:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 299 · Bill wrote, ‘@B: //This is not a “homosexual agenda” – it is a civil rights agenda. The term “working towards a culture that is relatively free of discrimination” refers to how people are treated when they walk down the street, apply for a job, try to rent an apartment or buy a home, etc.// Yet another astonishingly ironic statement given the topic of this thread… And religioustolerance.org is free to pursue whatever agenda it wants, but this does not turn them into experts on Biblical translations.’

      First, it is not an “ironic” statement given that Turek, who was not a Cisco employee, merely didn’t get a follow-on contract with Cisco, and we have not heard Cisco’s side of the story (companies typically do not publish such statements for liability reasons.) All we know is that some Christian groups are making some unsubstantiated claims, that Turek published articles defaming gays and Muslims that went beyond merely expressing a religious point of view, and that Turek claims to have not gotten a follow-on contract (with the phrase “fired as a vendor” used in one letter regarding him).

      Second, just because some people associated with the religioustolerance.org web site oppose discrimination does not mean that what the site posted is wrong. You quoted one page on it ( http://www.religioustolerance.org/statbelief.htm ) as saying, the authors believed “In working towards a culture that is relatively free of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, physical disability, language, age, body shape, etc.)” but that same bulleted list included “In the generally positive influence that most religions have had on their followers and on society,” and “In the importance of education. We believe that people are not truly educated unless they have studied the world’s major religions and ethical systems. They need to learn of both the good and evil impacts that each has had on society throughout history.” If you read their pages on homosexuality, you’ll find numerous citations for the sources they used. Providing real citations for the statements you are copying and pasting is a habit you should learn to emulate (but given your likely sources, I can see why you would want to hide it).

      BTW, if you look at http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibx.htm , entitled “How Christians interpret biblical passages on homosexuality,” it simply states the viewpoints of various classes of Christians (fundamentalists, “mainline”, liberal, and non-fundamentalist evangelicals), with a list of 14 citations to source material. It’s hardly an example of bias.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 300 · Bill ‘@B: //Your “inclination” just shows that you are a fool!!!! What determines the strength of the electromagnetic force is the fine structure constant, roughly 1/137// I’m starting to think that you are not bothering to read any of my arguments. I provided evidence for this hypothesis that the speed of light affects the electromagnetic force here: http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Fine-tuning_argument .’

      Your link is to a web site about religion, and it simply got the physics wrong. So you went for that instead of the link I gave you – to a web page maintained by the National Institute for Standards and Technology. As to paying attention to you, why should I? You know nothing about a subject I studied in graduate school.

      Whether you like it or not, in multiverse models, different universes are characterized by various dimensionless constants, and the speed of light is not dimensionless.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 301 · Bill wrote, “‘B’, I’m not a Catholic and see the Catholic church as an apostate church, so if you think you are getting under my skin by attacking them, you are not. They have killed many true saints and exposed innocent children to homosexual priests who have abused them. But having said all this, I completely reject your assertion that the Catholic church slowed the pace of science. The Catholic church required its clergy to be trained in science and enabled many scientific experiments.”

      Your opinion of the Catholic Church is mostly irrelevant, but you are lying about “homosexual priests” – there is no correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia. Part of the reason that these priests abused more boys than girls was simply ease of access.

      Aside from that, the Catholic Church most certainly did delay scientific progress (which differs from the “pace of science”) through its persecution of Galileo and anyone similarly inclined because it delayed the initial work that led to Newton’s theory of gravity, and celestial mechanics (the motion of planets and moons) was at just the right level of complexity for us to make some real progress – it needed the development of calculus, and the idea that the gravitational force is G m_1 m_2 / r^2 has an analog for electrostatics, leading eventually our current understanding of electromagnetism. In addition, celestial mechanics in the pre-computer era benefited from the development of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation (and increased the interest in this equation), which provides a transformation into a coordinate system in which both momenta and positional coordinates are constants. The use of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation allowed the effects of the sun to be removed from the calculation, leaving only the relatively small interactions between planets, allowing the small corrections to planetary orbits due to this to be calculated relatively easily. But, it also turns out that the Hamilton-Jacobi equation has a wave interpretation and is similar (not identical) in mathematical form to the Schroedinger equation, providing a heuristic model that allowed the Schroedinger equation to be developed, which was a key development for quantum mechanics, and we needed to understand quantum mechanics to have even a small chance of developing our current semi-conductor-based technologies – the computers and other devices so useful in medical research.

      So, when you trace through the history, the threats in the Middle Ages against anyone who claimed the earth revolved around the sun really set us back. As I said, if you want to place some blame for deaths due to AIDS, you can go back to what the Catholic Church did in the Middle Ages for the reasons outlined above.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill:

      It is offensive and inaccurate to imply that those homosexuals who donated blood that contaminated the supply with HIV/AIDS early on in the onset of the epidemic did so with malice aforethought, with the intention of deliberately infecting others. People who donate blood wish to help others, not kill them, but I’m not in the least surprised that you believe us to be incapable of having any good intentions or ever acting for the public good. You’ve already said so. I am not HIV positive and have no STI’s past or present, yet the agencies refuse to accept my blood because I am homosexual.

      HIV/AIDS is no respecter of heterosexuality. Globally it remains a predominantly heterosexual problem, and in the US is also heavily biased on racial lines.

      Latest statistics of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic published by UNAIDS in Nov 2010 show 68% of HIV to be in sub-Saharan Africa, the region carrying the greatest burden of the epidemic. Of 33.3 million living with HIV, 15.9 million are women and 2.5 million are children. In India, 85% of HIV/AIDS transmission is heterosexual, with 2.5 million currently infected, so globally it’s not exactly a ‘gay disease’. Your heterosexuality does not make you immune from HIV/AIDS and it is grossly irresponsible to tell kids that they won’t get the disease so long as they’re heterosexual.

      Moreover, to date, over 230,000 African Americans have died of AIDS – nearly 40% of total deaths? – and of the more than 1 million people living with HIV in the United States of America today, around half are black. And yet, as a racial group, African Americans represent just 13% of the US population. (http://www.avert.org/hiv-african-americans.htm)

      It makes no more sense to state that a person should not be homosexual in order to avoid succumbing to HIV/AIDS, than it does to suggest that a person should not be black, so as to avoid succumbing to HIV/AIDS.

      What is needed is a concerted effort to improve the general health of LGBT people and of African Americans, first and foremost by valuing our contributions as good citizens. Racism and homophobia play an enormous role in sending people on a downward spiral, drowning them in feelings of worthlessness, too often leading to substance abuse and self harm. I believe that if we are successful in eliminating these types of prejudice, the health problems should gradually disappear along with them.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Derek Williams: A monogamous gay couple have no more chance of transmitting HIV than do a heterosexual couple. Monogamy, safer sexual practice and not sharing needles remain the best ways to limit HIV infection.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @B: The Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Giordano Bruno (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno) suffered an even worse fate than Galileo, at the hands of Roman Catholic Inquisition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Inquisition

      His tongue was pierced with an iron spike, he was burned alive and had his ashes flung into the Tiber.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 299 “Bill” wrote, “//you should have provided citations in the first place, so it is unreasonable for you to try to create a “make work” project for others, simply to waste their time.// No, what is unreasonable is for you to make a baseless accusation and then refuse to provide evidence for it. Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) and you follow in his footsteps nicely.”

      Should have replied to that one earlier, just for fun. Of course, Christians call “Satan” “The Prince of Lies”, which fits Bill’s comment above perfectly.

      Anyone can scan through the numerous comments above and find many where Bill quoted someone and did not provide a citation to the original material. If he provided a citation at all, it was to what someone else said someone said. So, after screwing up, Bill wants me to do the work for him of listing all of these cases, and when I basically tell him to do the work himself, he tries to drag in “Satan” as an excuse. You know, “Satan ate my homework.” How lame can one be?

      Jul 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //All we know is that some Christian groups are making some unsubstantiated claim.//

      Wrong, Turek (the man who was fired by Cisco and was there) has told the complete story. Anyone can go to his website and listen to the podcast.

      Unless you can prove that he is lying and making the details up, there really are no disputable facts here. Dancing around the issue and speculating on other reasons in an attempt to justify the actions taken by Cisco is an admission, of sorts, that they were clearly in the wrong.

      //It’s hardly an example of bias.//

      Again, there are no disputable facts here. I provided a link from their own website where they admitted what their goals were.

      And you’ve done absolutely nothing to establish that this group of five bloggers (only one of which is a self-professed Christian, and likely from a liberal mainline denomination at that) are experts in ancient Biblical languages. The original article you referenced used a hodgepodge of sources that are from clearly biased sources.

      For example, if you check the footnotes of your original article it uses information from “http://www.christianlesbians.com” to weaken the text of the original Greek.

      Listen, there are literally DOZENS of major English translations out there that have been translated by the best scholars in ancient Greek from a wide variety of denominations (liberal and conservative). I guarantee you that if there was a legitimate alternate translation of the homosexual passages in the New Testament it would be in these translations and seized upon by apologists for homosexuality.

      There is no need to turn to christianlesbians.com or gaychristian101.com to find conspiracy theories that all of these scholars completely missed the boat.

      “B”, you can keep repeating this argument until your blue in the face, but it convinces no one. No one, that is, that doesn’t already want to be convinced. I’m done talking about this issue.

      If you can find a legitimate source of information arguing that the thousands of scholars who have translated the main versions of the Bible have completely messed up with the homosexual verses I’ll look into it. I will not waste any time answering arguments that use sources like “christianlesbians.com” (as your religioustolerance article used) or “gaychristian101.com”. So you can save your breath.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Your link is to a web site about religion, and it simply got the physics wrong.//

      Well, maybe should write Francis Collins and tell him that. This whole disagreement about the speed of light is between you and him. Personally I think he is right and you are wrong, but that’s neither here nor there as I don’t mention the speed of light in the examples of the fine tuning of the Universe.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 7:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //So, when you trace through the history, the threats in the Middle Ages against anyone who claimed the earth revolved around the sun really set us back. As I said, if you want to place some blame for deaths due to AIDS, you can go back to what the Catholic Church did in the Middle Ages for the reasons outlined above.//

      Your reasoning is wrong on so many levels.

      1) The church did much more good than harm for the cause of science. This is empirically observable when you look at the pace of scientific discoveries in Christian Europe vs Asia or the Middle East. Universities were originally created by the church and the church sponsored scholars and academic research, and had its priests trained in science. Western European nations dominated most of the world until the twentieth century, aided in no small part to their superior technology.

      2) You are trying to establish a chain of causality that is wild speculation. I can use those same kind of speculations to prove that the Catholic church saved the world. Here is one example off the top of my head.

      a) The Catholic church stifled scientific research in the middle ages.
      b) As a result, the atomic bomb was developed decades later than it could have been.
      c) Had the atomic bomb been available to Hitler and/or Stalin, we would have had a nuclear second world war and humanity would have been extinguished.

      3) I can establish a much more likely reason to blame the Catholic church for the AIDS infections to children through blood transfusions.

      a) The Catholic clergy is disproportionately populated by homosexuals. This is well established. For example:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/24/catholic-church-gay-priests-exposed

      ..A member of the clergy quoted by the magazine put the proportion of gay priests in the Italian capital at “98%”….
      A former Italian MP and gay activist, Franco Grillini, said: “If all the gays in the Catholic church were to leave it at once – something we would very much like – they would cause it serious operational problems.”

      http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2011/01/catholic_church_full_of_gay_pr.php

      Catholic Church Full of Gay Priests, Claims Father Cutié

      http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/27/the-vatican-s-gay-priests.html

      Bertone’s comments, admitting that 90 percent of sex-abuse cases do involve priests and adolescent boys, but changing the verbiage from “homosexual” to “same-sex attraction” when talking about the cases. But Abbate’s tell-all expose that launched the current scandal has nothing to do with the priest-to-young-parishioner relationship. In fact, the two sex scandals are vastly different. The gay priest problem is about celibacy, church law, and hypocrisy. The pedophile problem is about child abuse, criminal behavior, and abuses of power….

      http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=2297

      Among them is a topic that has bedeviled many discussions about the state of the priesthood, that is, the high number of priests with a homosexual orientation….

      b) Many of these priests engaged in risky homosexual behavior in the eighties.

      c) Some of these homosexual priests donated blood, as they sometimes do:

      http://catholicfriendsofisrael.blogspot.com/2006/07/catholic-educators-priests-donate-blood.html

      d) The contaminated blood from the homosexual priests infected innocent children, causing their deaths.

      This would be a much more legitimate example of the Catholic church contributing to the AIDS problem, IMHO.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: //A monogamous gay couple have no more chance of transmitting HIV than do a heterosexual couple. Monogamy, safer sexual practice and not sharing needles remain the best ways to limit HIV infection.//

      The problem is that homosexual men are very likely to have a high number of partners, so it may be unrealistic to expect the majority of homosexual men to live monogamously.

      http://conservapedia.com/Homosexuality_Statistics

      …A new study by a group of University of Chicago researchers reveals a high level of promiscuity and unhealthy behavior among that city’s homosexual male population. According to the researchers, 42.9 percent of homosexual men in Chicago’s Shoreland area have had more than 60 sexual partners, while an additional 18.4 percent have had between 31 and 60 partners…As a result, 55.1 percent of homosexual males in Shoreland — known as Chicago’s “gay center” — have at least one sexually transmitted disease, researchers said.”[6]

      In September of 2006, the Agape Press reported the following:

      A survey by The Advocate, a homosexual magazine, revealed that promiscuity is a reality among homosexuals. The poll found that 20 percent of homosexuals said they had had 51-300 different sex partners in their lifetime, with an additional 8 percent having had more than 300.
      Unprotected homosexual sex is also a concern among health professionals. A survey in Ireland by the Gay Men’s Health Project found that almost half of homosexuals said they were having unprotected sex….

      The fact that many homosexuals appear to live their lives in sexual overdrive does not seem to concern leaders in the movement. In an editorial from the same issue (August 15) in which the survey results were published, The Advocate said: “[Homosexuals] have been proud leaders in the sexual revolution that started in the 1960s, and we have rejected attempts by conservatives to demonize that part of who we are.”[7]

      Jul 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Bill wants me to do the work for him of listing all of these cases, and when I basically tell him to do the work himself, he tries to drag in “Satan” as an excuse. You know, “Satan ate my homework.” How lame can one be?//

      I don’t want you to do any work for me. I don’t owe you anything, and nothing needs to be done. I’m just asking you to put your money where your mouth is when you insinuate that I am making up quotes or taking people out of context. Give me an example, if you can. Since you are the one making the accusation the burden of proof is on you, not me.

      Liberals are very much like Satan in that their main strategy in presenting their ideas is to demonize and tear down their opposition. You have been no exception to this as you take every opportunity to smear me in some way or another. But please don’t take this the wrong way. I’ve really enjoyed our discussion.

      When you are not busy spinning wild tales about how the persecution of the Catholic church caused the invention of the computer to be 40 years late or claiming that scientists are “just joking” when they make some statement that contradicts your worldview, you find some new creative way to tear me down.

      It’s because at the end of the day you have no logical basis for your positions, and this is the only arrow in your quiver. So demonize away, my friend. It’s really entertaining!

      http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&load=5709&mpid=84

      Jul 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 313 · Bill lied by writing “@B: //Bill wants me to do the work for him of listing all of these cases, and when I basically tell him to do the work himself, he tries to drag in “Satan” as an excuse. You know, “Satan ate my homework.” How lame can one be?// I don’t want you to do any work for me. I don’t owe you anything, and nothing needs to be done. I’m just asking you to put your money where your mouth is when you insinuate that I am making up quotes or taking people out of context.”

      What I actually said is that Bill has produced a number of quotes with no citations to original material – material written by the person who allegedly made the quote. It’s not necessarily a question of Bill himself “making up quotes” or “taking people out of context” but of the sources he uses botching quotes and taking people out of context/ Without citations to the original material nobody can check. It’s sloppy and thus not credible. Anyone can scan through his comments above and find numerous examples, and was pointed out previously (Bill simply ignored any statement about the need for proper citations).

      Jul 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 309 · Bill dissembled some more by writing, “@B: //All we know is that some Christian groups are making some unsubstantiated claim.// Wrong, Turek (the man who was fired by Cisco and was there) has told the complete story. Anyone can go to his website and listen to the podcast. Unless you can prove that he is lying and making the details up, there really are no disputable facts here.”

      This was covered before in No 80, where I wrote, “Did some more checking and found http://maxandrews.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/frank-turek-and-cisco-systems-discrimination/ which refers to North Carolina. Also http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2011/06/16/the_cisco_kid/page/full/ (which seems to be an attempt to support Turek via a letter to Cisco’s management) claims that ‘Turek was fired as a vendor.'” “As a vendor,” not “as an employee.” Ergo, he was not fired in the usual sense of the word. And you knew about it: in comment Number 83, you replied to that specific statement, “fired as a vendor” and did not deny it, instead arguing that the civil rights act applies to vendors in some way.

      Frankly, you seem to post whatever comes into your head at the moment and don’t seem to remember what you said before. Why is that?

      Jul 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 311 · Bill wrote, “@B: //So, when you trace through the history, the threats in the Middle Ages against anyone who claimed the earth revolved around the sun really set us back. As I said, if you want to place some blame for deaths due to AIDS, you can go back to what the Catholic Church did in the Middle Ages for the reasons outlined above.//
      Your reasoning is wrong on so many levels. ”

      Well, that’s his first lie. Then,
      “1) The church did much more good than harm for the cause of science. This is empirically observable when you look at the pace of scientific discoveries in Christian Europe vs Asia or the Middle East.” … the pace of scientific discoveries in “Christian Europe” increased substantially due to the discoveries of Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and some others, and followed the start of the Protestant Reformation, the point at which the Catholic Church began losing influence. The term “atheist” was an insult before the 18th century, and became a more positive statement during or shortly after Isaac Newton’s lifespan. Progress accelerated after that, particularly in the 19th century where we finally understood electromagnetism (classical theory – quantum electrodynamics was discovered later) and developed thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. So, progress increased as religious influence decreased.

      “2) You are trying to establish a chain of causality that is wild speculation.” No it isn’t, but then you don’t understand the importance of various discoveries since you have more or less zero knowledge of physics.”

      “3) As a result, the atomic bomb was developed decades later than it could have been. Had the atomic bomb been available to Hitler and/or Stalin, we would have had a nuclear second world war and humanity would have been extinguished.” LOL. Stalin had an atomic bomb and didn’t use it. Hitler got into power because economic conditions in Germany were so bad that people were desperate (the Nazis got about 36% of the vote in 1932, but the other parties were more interested in fighting among themselves, not realizing the seriousness of the threat). Technological improvements could have mitigated the economic problems that the Nazis used to get elected (they formed a dictatorship after getting control of the government).

      “a) The Catholic clergy is disproportionately populated by homosexuals. This is well established. For example: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/24/catholic-church-gay-priests-exposed ‘..A member of the clergy quoted by the magazine put the proportion of gay priests in the Italian capital at “98%”….'” So, Bill trusts the wild-ass guess of some random member of the clergy, and then takes a statement about the Italian capital as representative of the rest of the world. Hint: in some cultures, the only excuse a man had for not getting married was to become a priest. Those cultures ended up with a fair number of gay priests, but other cultures don’t see such a pronounced increase. But, the best research we have shows that gays are no more likely to be child abusers than straights, and maybe less likely (citation: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html ).

      So, to be blunt, you really don’t know what you are talking about.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 12:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 312 · Bill wrote, “@Derek Williams: //A monogamous gay couple have no more chance of transmitting HIV than do a heterosexual couple. Monogamy, safer sexual practice and not sharing needles remain the best ways to limit HIV infection.// The problem is that homosexual men are very likely to have a high number of partners, so it may be unrealistic to expect the majority of homosexual men to live monogamously.”

      Bill is repeating his sloppy-citation tactic: he lists a University of Chicago study, allegedly claiming that “According to the researchers, 42.9 percent of homosexual men in Chicago’s Shoreland area have had more than 60 sexual partners,” but gives http://conservapedia.com/Homosexuality_Statistics as a source, which in turn cites
      http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=17458 (the Baptist press). That in turn refers to a
      book “The Sexual Organization of The City” (not published when the article was written), but it will cost you $37.50 to get a copy via Amazon. You can find excerpts from the book at http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/470318.html (Chapter 1, “the theory of sex markets”) and http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/470318chap2.html (chapter 2, “The Chicago Health and Social Life Survey Design”) but in Chapter 2, the book claims, “The choice of community areas rested on several factors. The primary criterion was the relative degree of group concentration. An area characterized by its gay-male concentration was selected first because there is only one such neighborhood in Chicago. This neighborhood is interesting because it is also a singles’ scene, drawing people from around the metropolitan area to its restaurants, clubs, theaters, and other social venues.” The web page for Chapter 1 refers to “A webpage for the Chicago Health and Social Life Survey”, but when you click on that link, you get a “page not found” error.

      So, it appears (from this limited information) that we have a case of a survey of in a “gay” area of Chicago known for its singles’ scene! Hint: you survey any single’s scene, gay or straight, and you are going to find people who are getting a lot of sex compared to the general population.

      Then Bill quotes one of the yearly sex surveys in The Advocate, and pretends that Advocate readers who respond to sex surveys are representative of all gay men. Such a survey in magazines such as The Advocate are for entertainment and are not serious research in any sense because these surveys use a non-representative sample. Reading the Advocate, much less bothering to respond to some sex survey in it, is not a requirement for being gay, and it is certainly plausible that the people most likely to respond are the ones who think their sex lives are something to brag about.

      Bill is true to form – spouting whatever he thinks supports his preconceptions regardless of the validity and regardless of what the original material actually contains.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 1:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill:

      Gays are attracted to men
      Lesbians are attracted to women
      Pedophiles are attracted to children.

      It’s that simple.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 3:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //So, Bill trusts the wild-ass guess of some random member of the clergy, and then takes a statement about the Italian capital as representative of the rest of the world. Hint: in some cultures, the only excuse a man had for not getting married was to become a priest. Those cultures ended up with a fair number of gay priests, but other cultures don’t see such a pronounced increase.//

      You’ve got this completely wrong. The Catholic church is literally infested with gay priests. This is not just a problem in Rome.

      http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=2297

      …recent book by the Rev. Donald B. Cozzens, The Changing Face of the Priesthood, has brought to the fore a number of important issues facing the church in the United States. Among them is a topic that has bedeviled many discussions about the state of the priesthood, that is, the high number of priests with a homosexual orientation…

      Although apparently this is a real problem in Rome, as this article discusses:

      http://gawker.com/5595501/catholic-priests-filmed-at-gay-nightclub-church-upset

      …an Italian magazine owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi caught three Catholic priests inside a gay nightclub and having sex inside a church building. The local diocese is now calling on gay priests to come out…

      And apparently this behavior from Catholic priests is so pervasive that the HIV rate among priests is 4 times higher than among the population at large:

      http://www.gaytoday.com/garchive/events/013100ev.htm

      HIV-Antibody Tests Now Given before Catholic Ordinations….
      ….analysis of health statistics by the Kansas City Star titled “Catholic priests are dying of AIDS, often in silence” reveals that hundreds of U.S. Roman Catholic priests have died of AIDS-related illnesses. The newspaper says it appears “priests are dying of AIDS at a rate at least four times that of the general population.”

      Six out of every 10 Roman Catholic priests in the United States know at least one priest who has died of an AIDS-related illness, and 33% know HIV-positive priests….

      In summary, the Catholic church is literally infested with gay clergy, and likely has been for centuries. The ban on marriage for priests and close contact with other members of the same sex has likely turned the church into a welcome location.

      With the phenomenally high rate of homosexuals all throughout the Catholic clergy, the actions and scandals coming out of the church are completely unpredictable. Literally anything is possible. One can even surmise the persecution of medieval scientists by the church as a way for homosexuals to exact revenge upon a society that had rejected them and forced them into hiding in the clergy.

      Saint Paul, in his writings, clearly condemns the environment that leads to the homosexuals in the priesthood. He says:

      Titus 1

      An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.

      1 Timothy 3:2

      A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach

      1 Timothy 4

      The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 7:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: ////So, it appears (from this limited information) that we have a case of a survey of in a “gay” area of Chicago known for its singles’ scene! Hint: you survey any single’s scene, gay or straight, and you are going to find people who are getting a lot of sex compared to the general population.//

      http://epiphanybaptist.homestead.com/relevantarticles_weighingitout.html

      …There is no validity to the statement that most men are able to be in a long-term committed relationship. Seventy-nine percent of men in a homosexual lifestyle in a long-term, committed relationship in 1990 reported “at least one incident of nonmonogamy [sic] in the previous year” (2). Seventy-nine percent! I found this statistic to be outrageously higher than the infidelity in committed heterosexual marriage. More statistics on married heterosexual couples or heterosexual “cohabiting” partners showed only twenty-three percent of males reported infidelity within the past year (3). There is quite a leap in numbers between a male homosexual’s and a male heterosexual’s lifestyle in committed, long-term relationships.
      More research presented in Rosik’s article exposed that men living a homosexual lifestyle will undoubtedly be more promiscuous; therefore, same-sex marriage would be an unlikely benefit for males especially considering their search for multiple sexual partners (2). Rosik went on to explain that women’s sexual nature complements men by confining men’s natural desire for sexual variety in a strict bond in a heterosexual marriage relationship (2). This is one thing only women can do. Women can help build men into a one-woman man by confining their sexual needs to only them. By putting into action same-sex marriage and completely overlooking the statistics of this social ideal, Rosik claims same-sex marriage in males could further weaken male sexual nature (3). A quote by Rosik explains how we still love the homosexual community, but our love drives us to lovingly correct what is blatantly wrong, at least for the sake of the rest of the community [] “Yet an action that appears compassionate for an individual does not always translate into compassionate results for a society

      Jul 13, 2011 at 7:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill:

      All this information ultimately confirms is that men are more promiscuous than women.

      Hardly the news of the century, it’s found throughout Nature.

      Roughly half of heterosexual marriages end in divorce.

      Using your “bottle is half empty” logic, I would conclude from this that you’re in no position to lecture homosexuals. Using my own “bottle is half full” logic, I would encourage all couples, gay and straight, to work on solidifying their relationships, but in the end it’s really none of my business.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 8:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: Derek, that’s a pretty good explanation (that men are much more sexually primed than women are). I agree with that hypothesis. I recently read a study that evaluated same sex marriages and it found that lesbian marriages had the highest divorce rate by far over homosexual male marriages and heterosexual marriages.

      So essentially homosexual marriage takes the worst aspects of each gender (men’s promiscuity, women’s willingness to divorce) and magnifies it. In any case, both gay men and lesbian’s marriages were less stable than heterosexual marriages were.

      It’s refreshing to talk to someone like you, who is at least honest with the facts and thoughtful, after being hectored by “B” for the past 200 posts. What a character. “B”s only purpose is to monitor what I say and find some way to contradict it. I could say “the sky is blue” and that guy would find a way to shoot it down. It’s pretty entertaining though, and his propensity for this behavior gives me a great opportunity to go down some very interesting rabbit holes…

      Jul 13, 2011 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill:

      On the contrary, marriage by and of itself limits, rather than exapnds male promiscuity because it invokes the solemn promise between two partners to be faithful to each other.

      That heterosexual men nevertheless cheat on their wives is a truism as old as Time itself – in heterosexual marriage, vows are defaulted upon at least 50% of the time, yet I see this as no reason to discontinue it, just because some people can’t stick to their vows.

      However marrying homosexual men off to heterosexual women would have the opposite effect to what you’re proposing. Heterosexual men cheat on their wives after they become bored with them. A homosexual man would be bored with his wife from day one, and therefore would be far more, not less likely to cheat on a woman for whom he felt nothing in the first place. One might also spare a thought for the poor woman, being used as a device to straighten out a gay man who doesn’t even love her. I’ve been there – it doesn’t work.

      Whether same-sex marriages are more or less stable than opposite sex ones is irrelevant to the case for allowing monogamous gay couples to solemnify their commitment and thereby obviate discrimination.

      If marital stability is your pre-requisite for allowing people to enter into matrimony, then you might not even allow heterosexual marriage to occur given how unstable it is, and you certainly would not permit marriages between people of different race or religion.

      Mixed race marriages are less stable than white-white marriages, and so are mixed religion marriages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce#Religion_and_divorce). If you want to use your current rationale of stability as a basis for discouraging gay couples from solemnizing their relationships by marriage, you’re also making the case for the elimination marriages between people of different race, or of different religion.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 10:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams:

      //If marital stability is your pre-requisite for allowing people to enter into matrimony, then you might not even allow heterosexual marriage to occur given how unstable it is, and you certainly would not permit marriages between people of different race or religion//

      Derek, you bring up some really good points about mixed race or mixed religion marriages being less stable. There are a whole host of other factors as well, for example people who have been previously divorced who remarry also have more unstable marriages, or people who marry at a very young age, etc.

      But while this evidence alone may not be sufficient to disallow homosexuals to legally marry, it should certainly be a factor in giving homosexual couples access to adopt children. Orphans should only be placed in the most stable of environments, and things like the stability of the couple, race, religion, etc should all be taken into account.

      For example, in my own situation my wife and I were previously interested in adopting a little girl from China, but we were denied the ability to apply because we had not been married long enough. Even though we have ended up being a stable couple and I knew we would be at the time, I am by no means offended at this requirement as the people who place children in homes have to be extra careful where they send the children. (In the end we ended up having a child of our own. We may yet adopt but those plans have been placed on hold for the time being).

      The point I am making is rather that scream that my rights were being violated, we respected the caution and care of the Chinese government and adoption agency because they were looking out for the best interest of the children. And since homosexual couples are demonstrably less stable than heterosexual couples, this fact alone should disqualify them from having access to adopt children.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 10:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve Basile
      Steve Basile

      @Jimmy Fury: I’ve been a gay activist since my 20s (I’m 52) and spent 18 years as a technology executive and diversity trainer. Cisco made a mistake in not vetting this guy’s background BEFORE they hired him for team building exercises and training. Shame on them. They should have crossed him off their preferred consultant list and never hire him again AFTER this engagement. Firing him for the antigay crap he has written in the past (provided it never came up in any company setting) is just nuts. He was doing the job for which he was hired and firing him is petty and foolish.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Derek Williams:

      When it comes to adoption, I don’t consider that my rights or your rights are relevant. It is the child’s rights first and foremost that are important. I’ve never believed that anyone has ‘adoption rights’.

      So how does a child come to be up for adoption in the first place? Specifically through heterosexual intercourse, all too often resulting in the accidental conception of a baby, not within a stable relationship. Such a child’s heterosexual parents either did not want it, or they were unable to bring it up as their own, so they surrender ‘ownership’ to an agency, thereby irrevocably rescinding any ‘rights’ to it. All too often the heterosexual mother doesn’t even know who its heterosexual father is.

      I agree completely that stability in the adoptive home is of paramount importance when considering couples offering. However on this basis, you would immediately rule out half of the heterosexually married population which has already proven that it cannot keep its marriage vows. Heterosexuality does not confer automatic stability upon a relationship.

      Moreover. until recently, homosexual couples could not get married, no matter how long-lasting or stable their relationships might have been, although in most parts of the West it is nowadays possible to enter into some sort of civil union. I know a great many same-sex couples who have been faithfully together for decades. The relativity of stability from one demographic to another is not at issue here, one has to take each offer on a case by case basis.

      I have a great deal of faith in the ability of adoption agencies to be able to vet potential homes for stability and moral rectitude. As I’ve already argued above, heterosexuality by and of itself is no qualification for parenthood. Commitment to the best interests of the child, and the ability to deliver on that commitment are what’s important. If a same-sex couple can in all sincerity offer this, then I’m 100% for it. I want to stress that ‘moral rectitude’ as I see it, is not evinced by having a particular sexual orientation. Moral behaviour is fostered through setting the best example possible to children: be honest, be truthful, respect others, work hard and always do your best, and so forth. A little bit like the Ten Commandments.

      Anyone, irrespective of their gender, religion, marital status, race or sexual orientation is giving up most of their freedoms and financial wealth when they decide to bring up a child. It is an huge responsibility, and in the end, as many parents will attest, it’s not always appreciated.

      Your sexuality does not make you a good or a bad person, it is how you treat others that counts.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill: Response to you above wrongly sent to myself by accident.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      So long as there are more children up for adoption than there are couples wanting to take them in, the question, for sane people, is not whether a gay couple makes as ideal a home as a straight couple, but whether the gay couple is better than the no parents at all that the child has now.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      @Derek Williams:

      Hear. Hear. As the father of an adopted son, I can attest to that. What agency protected me from being used as an ATM by a selfish person who is now middle aged and still believes that it is his father’s responsibility to bail him out of one financial crisis after another until I finally put a stop to the guilt trip he kept trying to lay on me?

      Jul 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 319 · Bill wrote, “@B: //So, Bill trusts the wild-ass guess of some random member of the clergy, and then takes a statement about the Italian capital as representative of the rest of the world. Hint: in some cultures, the only excuse a man had for not getting married was to become a priest. Those cultures ended up with a fair number of gay priests, but other cultures don’t see such a pronounced increase.// You’ve got this completely wrong. The Catholic church is literally infested with gay priests. This is not just a problem in Rome. http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=2297 …recent book by the Rev. Donald B. Cozzens, The Changing Face of the Priesthood, has brought to the fore a number of important issues facing the church in the United States.”

      Oh please. It is well known that, like any large institution, the Catholic Church is going engage in damage control so it wouldn’t be surprising if a priest wrote a book trying to shift the blame to homosexuals, but the web site you yourself quoted (an article about the book, not the book itself, again showing that you cannot cite properly) claims an estimate of 23 to 58 percent for the fraction of Catholic priests who are gay. With that range of error – it suggests a standard deviation of 18%, and you need a margin of several standard deviations to have any confidence in the results. Regardless, his estimate seems to be much, much lower than the 98% you gave in No. 311. That shows the point I was making is completely valid – you are pulling numbers out of your ass and throwing with no thought behind them beyond, “it sounds good to support my opinion”.

      Then you cite gawker.com (a gossip site) quoting another article (on a newsfeed) quoting and/or talking about an article in an Italian magazine. Again, you are showing that you don’t know how to cite properly – you are not going to the original source.

      Then you cite an article from Gay Today ( http://www.gaytoday.com/garchive/events/013100ev.htm ) but the real story there is that Catholic priests with AIDS are “4 times more likely than others” to die from it. This article states, “Church officials treat priests with AIDS compassionately, says The Star, caring for them until they die. But critics inside the church complain that sex education is either inadequate or non-existent among seminarians, implying that the would-be celibate clergymen have therefore become the victims of their own ignorance.” Again, this shows that you can’t cite properly: the article on Gay Today was about an “Analysis of Health Statistics made by The Kansas City Star” so once again, you cited an article about an article rather than going to the original source, and what you cited does not back up your claims about what it says – the article has no indication of the fraction of priests who are gay.

      Then you quote a number of Biblical passages emphasizing phrases like “faithful to his wife” and “the husband of one wife” (which actually suggests that Paul objected to cheating on one’s wife and to polygamy, which has nothing to do with gays.

      Finally, you quote 1 Timothy 4 as saying, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.”

      Note Paul’s phrase, “They forbid people to marry”, which is just what the religious right wing is doing to gays and lesbians by spending umpteen millions to get laws (including initiatives) passed to do just that. According to Paul, the religious right wing appears to be infested with “deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” Now, that is funny!

      Jul 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 320 · Bill wrote, “@B: ////So, it appears (from this limited information) that we have a case of a survey of in a “gay” area of Chicago known for its singles’ scene! Hint: you survey any single’s scene, gay or straight, and you are going to find people who are getting a lot of sex compared to the general population.// http://epiphanybaptist.homestead.com/relevantarticles_weighingitout.html …There is no validity to the statement that most men are able to be in a long-term committed relationship.”

      LOL. Bill was figuratively caught with his pants down – he tried to pass off data about the singles’ scene in a gay part of Chicago, mentioned in the book “The Sexual Organization of The City”, as being typical of gay men in general. Then Bill repeats his opinion by quoting an anti-same-sex-marriage Baptist web site ( http://epiphanybaptist.homestead.com/relevantarticles_weighingitout.html ) but that site claims, “The American Psychological Association reported in June 2004 that between forty and sixty percent of men in a homosexual lifestyle and between forty-five and eighty percent of women in a homosexual lifestyle are currently involved in a committed, long-term relationship (“What Does” 1). These percentages seem to have a large gap in numbers to be considered as a reliable source.” So, Bill’s own source considers a range of 20% as an indication that the numbers are unreliable, while Bill himself in No 319 cites http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=2297 as evidence of a high number of gay priests when that site claims, “Estimates in his book range from 23 percent to 58 percent,” a range of 35%. Bill’s own sources state criteria that implies that Bill is using unreliable information, putting Bill at the bottom of that humorous employee evaluation form that I once saw: Communication Skills – (1) Talks with God …. (4) Argues with himself (5) Loses arguments with himself.

      There’s no need to comment on Bill’s quote beyond that – he is using an obviously biased source, no doubt because he is unable to write most of his own drivel.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No 322, Bill write, “It’s refreshing to talk to someone like you, who is at least honest with the facts and thoughtful, after being hectored by “B” for the past 200 posts. What a character. “B”s only purpose is to monitor what I say and find some way to contradict it.”

      LOL. Bill, posted one inaccurate statement after another and then whines when the facts are pointed out. When presented with the facts, Bill incessantly argued about it in spite of him obviously having gotten things really, really scrambled. So, rather than blame himself, he blames me!

      Jul 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B:

      //Then you cite gawker.com (a gossip site) quoting another article (on a newsfeed) quoting and/or talking about an article in an Italian magazine. Again, you are showing that you don’t know how to cite properly – you are not going to the original source//

      http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/23/world/main6706927.shtml

      Catholic Church Lashes Out at Gay Priests
      By CBSNews

      (AP)  The Catholic Church in Italy, still reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandal, lashed out Friday at gay priests who are leading a double life, urging them to come out of the closet and leave the priesthood.

      The Diocese of Rome issued the strongly worded statement after the conservative Panorama newsweekly said in a cover story and accompanying video that it had interviewed three gay priests in Rome and accompanied them to gay clubs and bars and to sexual encounters with strangers, including one in a church building.

      One of the priests, a Frenchman identified only as Paul, celebrated Mass in the morning before driving the two escorts he had hired to attend a party the night before to the airport, Panorama said.

      In a statement Friday, the Rome diocese denounced those priests who were leading a “double life,” said they shouldn’t have been ordained and promised that the church would rigorously pursue anyone who is behaving in a way that wasn’t dignified for a priest.

      It insisted that the vast majority of Rome’s 1,300 priests were truthful to their vocations and were “models of morality for all.”

      Those who aren’t faithful to their vows “know that no one is forcing them to remain priests, taking advantage of only the benefits,” the diocese said. “Coherency would demand that they come forward. We don’t wish any ill-will against them, but we cannot accept that because of their behavior the honor of all the others is sullied.”

      No one knows the exact number of gays in the priesthood. Estimates of the number of gays in U.S. seminaries and the priesthood range from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a review of research by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, an author of “The Changing Face of the Priesthood.”

      Jul 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B:

      //Bill was figuratively caught with his pants down – he tried to pass off data about the singles’ scene in a gay part of Chicago, mentioned in the book “The Sexual Organization of The City”, as being typical of gay men in general.//

      http://www.marriageresourcesforclergy.com/site/Articles/articles011.htm

      Research indicates that the average male homosexual has hundreds of sex partners in his lifetime:

      ·  The Dutch study of partnered homosexuals, which was published in the journal AIDS, found that men with a steady partner had an average of eight sexual partners per year.[12]

      ·  Bell and Weinberg, in their classic study of male and female homosexuality, found that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having one thousand or more sex partners.[13]

      ·  In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101-500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.[14]

      ·  A survey conducted by the homosexual magazine Genre found that 24 percent of the respondents said they had had more than one hundred sexual partners in their lifetime. The magazine noted that several respondents suggested including a category of those who had more than one thousand sexual partners.[15]

      Jul 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //Note Paul’s phrase, “They forbid people to marry”, which is just what the religious right wing is doing to gays and lesbians by spending umpteen millions to get laws (including initiatives) passed to do just that. According to Paul, the religious right wing appears to be infested with “deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” Now, that is funny!//

      Here’s a classic example of the absolutely asinine arguments that the petulant naysayer hectors me with. If he only knew how much of a kick I get out of reading his messages. Money can’t buy entertainment like this!!!

      Anyway, Paul is obviously talking about things that God created to be received with Thanksgiving (foods and marriage). Obviously this wouldn’t apply to immoral sexual relationships, which are clearly prohibited in the Bible. This are forbidden all through the scriptures.

      For example:

      Ezra 10

      Then Shekaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. 3 Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law.

      Mark 6

      For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to.

      I Corinthinans 7

      A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but —>HE<— must belong to the Lord

      2 Corinthians 6

      Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      Yet another in a long string of grizzly murders of LGBT people by religious lunatics who claim that God told them to do it.

      http://georgetown.komonews.com/news/crime/kalebu-i-was-told-god-attack-my-enemies/650061

      This is what comes of the constant discrimination, denigration, demonizing and demoralizing of the LGBT community by homophobes of all stripes who spend all of their waking hours muck-raking and harvesting biased and homophobic links on the Internet to back-up their anti-homosexual rhetoric and fan the flames of bigotry and hatred in the absurd belief that they are “serving their God” by doing so.

      A Google search entitled “How many homosexuals were murdered during 2010?” revealed the following data.

      “The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs said on Tuesday, July 12, that the rate of reported anti-LGBT murders increased 23 percent in 2010.

      NCAVP affiliates told reporters that the coalition documented 27 anti-LGBT murders last year-versus the 22 that were reported in 2009. NCAVP said the 2010 statistic is the second highest yearly total the coalition has ever documented.

      Furthermore, the NCAVP found that 70 percent of known victims of anti-LGBT violence in 2010 were people of color. And 44 percent of them were transgender women.”

      http://www.edgeboston.com/?122125

      Given the religiously generated climate of hostility and hatred for LGBT people in the U.S., one has to wonder how many of these murders are committed in the name of God as justification for their heinous deeds?

      Interestingly, a similar Google search entitled “How many heterosexuals were murdered by LGBT people in 2010″ did not produce one single, solitary link. That is not to say that LGBT people never commit lethal crimes, but I would defy anyone to come-up with a list of 27 heterosexuals that have been murdered by LGBT people in the space of just one year.

      And as for gay-bashings…we won’t even go there because the statistics are just too grim and sickening to wallow-through.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      From the headline: California Bishops Want to Extend Closet to Include History Books.

      “Say this for the California Catholic Conference: They don’t want to rewrite history. They just want to hide it. With dreary predictability, the bishops’ policy arm is condemning a bill that would require social studies texts to include the contributions of LGBT Americans. The mere acknowledgment in print of our existence, let alone our positive role in history, is apparently enough to send the bishops into a tizzy.”

      Kinda makes one feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?

      Gimme s’more of that ole-time religion, brother.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      Child Abuse in America:

      “Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States; however, those reports can include multiple children. In 2009, approximately 3.3 million child abuse reports and allegations were made involving an estimated 6 million children.”

      http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics

      3 million children suffering from child abuse and neglect. That’s roughly 10% of the US population.

      If gays only represent 3 to 4 percent of the US population, according to all the religions “studies”, that would translate to between 9 to 12 million LGBT people.

      That raises several interesting questions?

      1) How many of those abused and neglected children were sired by homosexuals?

      2) How did those children become abused and neglected in the first place? In other words, where were they when the abuse and neglect was happening?

      3) How many of those children came from the homes of same-sex partnership and marriages?

      Given the numerical correlation of 3 million abused and neglected children in the U.S. each year against a total of 12 million LGBT people and even assuming that each and every one of them adopted a child, that would make one in four of these kids finding their way into a same-sex household, leaving the other three-quarters in the homes of the “traditional marriage” folks.

      Now, would someone, pray tell me, how this supports the notion and the postulation that homosexuals do not make good adoptive parents and that a relationship of one woman and one man is a better environment for a child to grow-up in?

      The numbers simply don’t support it.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 6:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 335 · Bill wrote, “@B: //Note Paul’s phrase, “They forbid people to marry”, which is just what the religious right wing is doing to gays and lesbians by spending umpteen millions to get laws (including initiatives) passed to do just that. According to Paul, the religious right wing appears to be infested with “deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” Now, that is funny!// Here’s a classic example of the absolutely asinine arguments that the petulant naysayer hectors me with. If he only knew how much of a kick I get out of reading his messages. Money can’t buy entertainment like this!!! Anyway, Paul is obviously talking about things that God created to be received with Thanksgiving (foods and marriage).”

      Looks like our know-nothing “Bill” is trying to “go on the attack” to cover up the fact that the quote he used clearly speaks ill of those who “forbid marriage”. He’s now making a failed attempt to put what Paul said in some context, something he refuses to do when he twists some passage to make it seem anti-gay.

      As I recall, one of the problems early Christians faced is that in some cases, to be legally married, they would have had to participate in pagan religious practices (e.g., a sacrifice to various gods as part of the marriage ceremony). Since they wouldn’t do that, they were de facto forbidden to marry (unless they were willing to violate their religious beliefs). Paul didn’t like that (no surprise), so he railed against people who “forbid marriage”, and what he wrote ends up being a statement that castigates the religious right wing for what they want to do to gays and lesbians.

      BTW, http://www.romanarmy.net/marriage.htm has a description of Roman marriage, and some of the restrictions (slaves, for example, could not marry, but an second-class marriage, not legal but widely recognized, was available for them if they both had the same master).
      It appears that sacrifices to Roman deities were part of the ceremonies.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 333 · Bill wrote, “@B: //Then you cite gawker.com (a gossip site) quoting another article (on a newsfeed) quoting and/or talking about an article in an Italian magazine. Again, you are showing that you don’t know how to cite properly – you are not going to the original source// http://www.cbsnews.com/stories…..6927.shtml Catholic Church Lashes Out at Gay Priests ….The Diocese of Rome issued the strongly worded statement after the conservative Panorama newsweekly said in a cover story and accompanying video that it had interviewed three gay priests in Rome and accompanied them to gay clubs and bars and to sexual encounters with strangers, including one in a church building.”

      So, now we are down to three gay priests who are causing all the drama? Even funnier, near and at the end of Bill’s quote, it said, “It insisted that the vast majority of Rome’s 1,300 priests were truthful to their vocations and were “models of morality for all, ” and “No one knows the exact number of gays in the priesthood. Estimates of the number of gays in U.S. seminaries and the priesthood range from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a review of research by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, an author of “The Changing Face of the Priesthood.”

      So, Bill’s own quotes now contradict the quote he presented as fact in No 311, i.e., “.A member of the clergy quoted by the magazine put the proportion of gay priests in the Italian capital at ‘98%’.” And he still can’t bring himself to admit that his 98% number is more than a tad suspect.

      Then in No. 334, Bill writes, “@B: //Bill was figuratively caught with his pants down – he tried to pass off data about the singles’ scene in a gay part of Chicago, mentioned in the book “The Sexual Organization of The City”, as being typical of gay men in general.// http://www.marriageresourcesforclergy.com/site/Articles/articles011.htm Research indicates that the average male homosexual has hundreds of sex partners in his lifetime”

      … but Bill’s link is to an article written by someone named Timothy J. Dalley affiliated with the Family Research Council, an anti-gay group known for its habit of lying. Again no credible source for his statements.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //So, now we are down to three gay priests who are causing all the drama?//

      http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=20565

      The Gay Priest Problem June 03, 2002

      AIDS has quietly caused the deaths of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in the United States although other causes may be listed on some of their death certificates, the Kansas City Star reported today. The newspaper said its examination of death certificates and interviews with experts indicates several hundred priests have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the mid-1980s. The death rate of priests from AIDS is at least four times that of the general population, the newspaper said.
      ….
      By the same token, when we are urged to pretend that there is room for doubt as to how most priests contract AIDS, we can be sure that our gaze is being intentionally diverted from the ugly and indisputable facts: a disproportionately high percentage of priests is gay; a disproportionately high percentage of gay priests routinely engages in sodomy; this sodomy is frequently ignored, often tolerated, and sometimes abetted by bishops and superiors.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 7:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //He’s now making a failed attempt to put what Paul said in some context, something he refuses to do when he twists some passage to make it seem anti-gay.//

      http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/06/st-pauls-argument-from-nature-against.html

      Romans 1:26-27:

      [26] For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, [27] and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

      St. Paul mentions “dishonorable passions.” To what does he refer? The next word “for” implies that what follows is an example of what Paul calls “dishonorable.” So what does he present as an example?:

      For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones,

      Paul is saying, then, that there is such a thing as “natural sexual relations” and its contrary, “unnatural [sexual relations].” This brings it down to the matter of natural law and God’s created order, and all that that entails. Some things are natural, some are not.

      So far, I have merely followed the syntactical and grammatical logic of the passage (at least in its translation). I don’t think anything I have stated thus far could be argued differently, regardless of one’s stance on homosexuality. What follows in the next verse is clearly related to what came before it:

      and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another.

      This is very clear-cut. The “likewise” and the “also” inescapably imply that the men, too, have abandoned “natural relations” for “unnatural ones” (since it is an analogy). In other words, the contrast is between natural and unnatural, and also between heterosexual and homosexual sex. Paul is not merely saying that the “inflamed passions” are what is sinful, but the very concept and practice of homosexual relations, which goes against nature. The documented medical consequences of engaging in such unnatural and unhealthy sexual practices bear this out.

      Since it is “unnatural” for men to be (sexually) with men, and women with women, according to the Apostle (and God, since the Bible is God-breathed), he describes the sexual acts as “shameless” and “error.” There is no qualification here for things like rape or promiscuity or uncommitted, manipulative sex (that is the desperate eisegesis of those who already believe the Bible is neutral on the issue – itself an absurd proposition, in my opinion).

      St. Paul makes an argument from nature. He is saying that the very notion of homosexuality is disordered and unnatural. Perhaps his phrase “received in themselves the due penalty for their error” refers to the medical and physiological consequences of these abnormal acts, but that is just speculation on my part.

      There were plenty of negative repercussions for health with regard to sodomy before AIDS came around. AIDS is just one more confirmation that unnatural sex is physically dangerous (we know, e.g., that AIDS spread rapidly in Africa even among heterosexuals. Why? Because heterosexual anal sex is prevalent among many Africans – hence the spread of the disease). Sin is always dangerous. God tries to spare us of its consequences, but we are too dense and rebellious to accept Him at His word, and we insist on playing with fire, defying even nature itself, if need be.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: By the way, in case anyone is wonder what the Quran says about homosexuality:

      http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/026-homosexuality.htm

      Abu Dawud (4462) – The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.”.

      Abu Dawud (4448) – “If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death.” (Note the implicit approval of sodomizing one’s wife).

      Bukhari (72:774) – “The Prophet cursed effeminate men (those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners of women) and those women who assume the manners of men, and he said, ‘Turn them out of your houses .’ The Prophet turned out such-and-such man, and ‘Umar turned out such-and-such woman.”

      al-Tirmidhi, Sunan 1:152 – [Muhammad said] “Whoever is found conducting himself in the manner of the people of Lot, kill the doer and the receiver.”

      Reliance of the Traveller, p17.2 – “May Allah curse him who does what Lot’s people did.” This is also repeated in three other places.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 7:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Schlukitz: //Yet another in a long string of grizzly murders of LGBT people by religious lunatics who claim that God told them to do it. //

      http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=15294

      And even though the case received a flurry of publicity after first being brought to the attention of the nation in WorldNetDaily, the number of articles written pale in comparison to those written about the murder of Matthew Shepherd – an adult homosexual brutally murdered in Wyoming by heterosexuals. In fact, a Nexis search shows a disparity in story counts of 18-1.

      Dirkhising suffocated to death during the early morning hours of Sept. 26, 1999, after being bound, drugged, gagged and brutally sodomized by Davis Don Carpenter, then 38, and Joshua Macabe Brown, then 22, at the men’s apartment in Rogers, Ark.

      Earlier that summer, Jesse – with the permission of his mother and stepfather, Tina and Miles Yates – had begun spending weekends with the homosexual couple.

      Carpenter, who had known Miles Yates for several years and was considered a “family friend,” made a 60-mile round trip on weekends to pick up Jesse at his trailer park home in Prairie Grove and take him back to Rogers, where he earned $45 helping to sweep the Regis Hairstylists beauty salon that Carpenter managed. Dirkhising planned to use the money to fix up a truck.

      During the five-hour assault that began around midnight in the couple’s bedroom, Brown, acting on written instructions from Carpenter, bound the seventh-grader with nylon rope, placed a T-shirt blindfold over his head, and gagged his mouth with a pair of dirty underwear secured by a bandana and duct tape.

      After propping pillows beneath Dirkhising’s abdomen, Brown sodomized him with three fingers, his penis, a frozen banana, and a urine enema laced with the sedative drug amitryptiline while Carpenter watched, masturbating, in the bedroom doorway.

      Midway through the assault, Carpenter went to an all-night grocery store to purchase additional rape implements. A receipt later found by police, time-stamped 3:07 a.m., showed “Eckrich” sausage, cucumbers, “tape” and “deli” sandwiches.

      Upon Carpenter’s return from the store, Brown continued sodomizing Jesse with the sausage and cucumber, using Vaseline. He then left the room to eat a sandwich. When he returned, the boy was no longer breathing. Frantic, he woke Carpenter who by that time had fallen asleep on the living room sofa.

      After the men attempted unsuccessfully to administer CPR, Carpenter called 911. When police arrived at the apartment, they found Dirkhising naked and near death on the bedroom floor. His face was blue, there was blood in his mouth, and his body was smeared with feces.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill:

      OK it’s easy to find examples of freaks and weirdos and then to try to present them as mainstream. but this is really an act of desperation.

      Try this one for size. Here is an avowedly heterosexual man:
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-562377/Pictured-Inside-cellar-father-locked-daughter-24-years-repeatedly-raped-her.html

      He is as typical of self-identifying heterosexuals as your sodomizing rapist murderers are of homosexuals. Since you claim to be heterosexual, then on the basis of this comparable evidence of the way heterosexuals treat their offspring, it’s reasonable to assume you’re keeping your child locked up in the cellar as a sex slave.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 341 · Bill wrote, ” @B: //So, now we are down to three gay priests who are causing all the drama?// http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=20565 The Gay Priest Problem June 03, 2002 …”

      From the web page Bill just provided to back up his uninformed opinions: “Just how widespread is homosexuality among priests and bishops? For obvious reasons, no reliable statistics are available.” I.e., the 98% figure he posted (and has yet to retract), is unreliable, just as I said.

      No. 342 · Bill wrote, “@B: //He’s now making a failed attempt to put what Paul said in some context, something he refuses to do when he twists some passage to make it seem anti-gay.// http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/06/st-pauls-argument-from-nature-against.html …”

      Bill is quoting a web page: “Biblical Evidence for Catholicism”, yet in No 301, Bill wrote, “I’m not a Catholic and see the Catholic church as an apostate church.” If you follow the link to http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/12/dave-armstrong-catholic-apologetics.html (the “My Books” link), it bills itself as the Catholic Apologetics Bookstore,” hardly an unbiased source, touting a religious viewpoint that Bill himself called “apostate.”

      Bill can’t get his story straight, and his link is using a biased translation (for reasons described in previous comments).

      No. 343 · Bill wrote, “@B: By the way, in case anyone is wonder what the Quran says about homosexuality: …”

      Yawn. It’s not like anyone here hasn’t read about gays being flogged in Saudi Arabia for being gay. It will change eventually and they’ll find an excuse. In fact, one has already been provided according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_topics_and_Islam : ‘Abu Bakr Al-Jassas (d. 981 AD/370 AH) argued that the hadiths on killing homosexuals “are not reliable by any means, and no legal punishment can be prescribed based on them.”‘

      Curiously, this URL also claims that, ‘In a tradition from the Arabian Nights, a collection of myths and folk tales, Muhammad was said to have warned his followers against staring at youth because of their beauty: “Be careful, do not gaze at beardless youth, for they have eyes more tempting than the houris.”‘ I’ll let others speculate as to what that might mean.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //The Gay Priest Problem … From the web page Bill just provided to back up his uninformed opinions//

      http://www.trosch.org/ant/gay_priests.html

      Pedophile Protection Observations
      Index relating to Homosexuality

      In a conversation with a well qualified school teacher who is a convert to Catholicism, she stated that she believes that as many as 75% of priests may be homosexual. Later, in consideration of what she had said, I reflected upon a number of priests in the archdiocese and had to admit the possibility that a high percentage of them might at least be homosexually oriented. I told her that I had considered the possibility that 40% of priests might be homosexual but found it hard to believe that the numbers she suggested could be correct. In using the term homosexual I am not distinguishing between those who are chaste and those who are active / practicing homosexuals.

      Shortly after ordination I had reflected that it would be terrible that if as many as 2% of priests were homosexual. Perhaps a year later in a conversation with a highly placed priest of the archdiocese he stated that approximately 35% of priests were homosexuals. It was most disconcerting to read the following article in which Fr. Cozzens, the head of a Catholic seminary, says that estimates range as high as 60% of American priests are homosexual.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      Mr. Bill has stated several occasions that he will ignore my rants. Nevertheless, he breaks his own word and responds to them…despite the fact that I did not address him directly.

      Then he lectures us and lays the law down, as a guest on our site no less, on how we should stick to one topic at a time…and which is all he will address himself to.

      I post a commentary on the number of LGBT murders that occurred during 2010 and Mr. Bill disingenuously ignores his own rules and posts a commentary about a heterosexual murder, in lurid detail no less and as sensationalized by the homophobic site WorldNetDaily…an event I might add, that happened 10 years ago, while totally ignoring the 27 LGBT murders that took place just in 2010 alone. In Mr. Bill’s warped mind, that apparently evens the score.

      Good sports that we are, however, we will give him credit for having come up with one isolated, dated crime against heterosexuals, perpetrated by homosexuals.

      Only 26 more to go, Mr. Bill.

      Oh..and then there are nine more years before that to take a graphic look at. That should keep Mr. Bill burning the midnight oil and combing the Internet for another isolated incidence of homosexual brutality inflicted on the heterosexual community for many nights to come.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      The correct comparison is not cases where homosexuals kill heterosexuals, but instead cases where they do so BECAUSE THE VICTIM IS STRAIGHT.

      I also don’t see why it would be a problem for priests to be gay. They’re not supposed to have sex anyway, so what difference does that make? Yes, surely some of them do break their vow of celibacy…. but then, just as surely, the straight ones do too so that’s a wash. (for that matter, there is NO good reason for your church to require celibacy to begin with. Yes, I know you’ll list a dozen or so explanations, none of them reasonable or rational… and yes, people ought not take vows they’re not willing to live by whether they’re reasonable or not, but that doesn’t make it right.)

      Jul 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schlukitz
      Schlukitz

      In his inimitable and always disingenuous fashion, Mr. Bill tosses another biased, red herring, Christian link at us, penned by the quill of one Father David C. Trosh of the Feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal on August 18, 2000, which is a little like the fox giving us a discourse on the proper care and handling of the hens in the hen-house. A wood-be pedophile lecturing the queers on morality. It’s so quaint.

      Hardly cutting-edge news, Mr.Bill resorts to proving his “point?” with ancient history (a twelve-year old article) and scripture…the same dreary manner in which Christians always prove their point, with yet more ancient history from the “inerrant word of God” buy-bull that is used as a Godwin’s Law tool. This is a little like clobbering a Muslim over the head, over and over and over with the good book until he yells “I’ve got it!”

      “In a conversation with a well qualified school teacher who is a convert to Catholicism, ‘she’ stated that ‘she’ believes that as many as 75% of priests may be homosexual.”

      In the inimitable words of Harold of Boys in the Band…

      Who is “she”?

      Who was “she”?

      Who does “she” hope to be?

      And where does “she” get “her” statistics from? I am not interested in what she believes.

      I am only interested in immutable facts and empirical evidence.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 347 · Bill wrote, “@B: //The Gay Priest Problem … From the web page Bill just provided to back up his uninformed opinions// http://www.trosch.org/ant/gay_priests.html ‘Pedophile Protection Observations’ ‘Index relating to Homosexuality'”

      “Bill” is going off the deep and again using sources with zero credibility. The link he gave has a link (“Index relating to Homosexuality” http://www.trosch.org/in-leu-o.htm#homo ) and that has a link (Item 14, “The ANTICHRIST is he Karol Wojtyla?” http://www.trosch.org/jpi/antichrist.html#homosexual ) For the start of that web page, go to http://www.trosch.org/jpi/antichrist.html and you’ll see some an article pushing the idea that Pope John Paul II was an “anti-Christ”.

      Now, many people reading QUEERTY have unfavorable opinions of the current pope and his predecessor due to some of their policies regarding gays and lesbians. But calling those guys the “anti-Christ”? Get real. That’s so far off the deep end as to be ludicrous. It’s the sort of statement that would result in derisive laughter from both sensible Christians and atheists (obviously for different reasons).

      Bill is desperate – he’s run out of material and is now scraping the bottom of the barrel (as Schlukitz noted in No 348, although not in those words). Regarding Schlutkitz’s comment, it might be worth pointing out that, not only did that incident involving that Jesse kid happen in 1999 (i.e., 12 years ago) but that the kid was hanging out with the perpetrators regularly on weekends. It’s possible the sex was consensual (who knows) in which case it would be a case of statutory rape involving some BDSM and apparently unintentional mistakes that lead to a fatality. Being consensual does not excuse it – we have laws regarding the age of consent – but if it was consensual, these guys were not a threat to every kid in the general area.

      http://freedomisknowledge.com/otw/jesse.htm has a copy of the police report. While ambiguous, it does not sound like they selected a victim at random and the report hints at prior sexual activity (the wording is a bit vague regarding that, with the vagueness no doubt reflecting what the suspects told the police). Regardless, the two perpetrators got zero support from any gay organization, nor any sympathy in the gay press. The right wing, however, tried to claim some conspiracy because the case was not national news – hardly a surprise if it was simply consensual BDSM leading to an accidental death and given that isolated cases of statutory rape in general do not get national coverage.

      Jul 14, 2011 at 12:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill:

      Below are the proportions of Roman Catholic priests you’ve claimed over your various postings to be gay:
      98%
      75%
      40%
      36%
      60%

      You’ve not so far disclosed exactly how these hugely divergent samples were originally obtained.

      There are only two ways that I know of getting accurate statistics about the percentage of a given demographic who are gay:
      1. statement by the actual individuals themselves that they are gay
      2. observing ongoing homosexual behaviour by an individual, no matter whether they state they’re gay or not.

      I did a quick Google myself. At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_and_Roman_Catholic_priests one might expect to find such a survey, but the best evidence that even this site dedicated to the topic can come up with is “anecdotal”, and “It has been estimated that at least 33 per cent of all priests in the RC Church in the United States are homosexual.” (Dr Elizabeth Stuart Roman Catholics and Homosexuality quoted by Kate Saunders in Catholics and Sex)

      “Estimated”? By whom? Out of what size sample?

      To be honest, it would not surprise me if 100% of priests were gay in ages past, because it would be an honourable excuse for not having to get married to the opposite sex, which would otherwise have been demanded by their families. In the past, it was impossible to be openly gay without risking violence, estrangement by society at large and prosecution at law.

      In general terms I don’t see the relevance of a person’s innate sexual orientation in the execution of their job, nor do most Western governments who have enacted anti-discrimination legislation, and nor does most of liberal Protestant Christian America: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordination_of_LGBT_Christian_clergy

      I do see it as having more relevance in the case of the Catholic priesthood however, not because of homosexuality itself, but because of the inherent hypocrisy of an institution preaching one thing while doing another.

      I think it’s no less relevant to ask “what percentage of homophobes are homosexual?” Here are some tidbits: (I had to remove the dots from the URL’s below, because Queerty keeps flagging comments with links as spam)

      www youtube.com/watch?v=t7ukdrPSE7g&NR=1
      news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8556852.stm
      www youtube.com/watch?v=-fUU0evTWQI&NR=1
      www ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8772014

      Jul 14, 2011 at 2:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @B: //It’s possible the sex was consensual (who knows) in which case it would be a case of statutory rape involving some BDSM and apparently unintentional mistakes that lead to a fatality//

      The 12 year old kid was brutally murdered. The police found the boy naked and smeared with feces. It’s unbelievable (though not surprising) that you are attempting to whitewash this heinous act. It really says everything that anyone needs to know about you as a person.

      Jul 14, 2011 at 6:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill:

      The fact that you believe that we homosexuals could possibly support raping a child, smearing him with faeces, then murdering him says everthing we need to know about you as a person.

      Jul 14, 2011 at 6:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: //Below are the proportions of Roman Catholic priests you’ve claimed over your various postings to be gay: 98% 75% 40% 36% 60%//

      Derek, I haven’t “claimed” anything. I’ve quoted multiple sources to support the position that the percentage of homosexual clergy in the Catholic church is phenomenally, fantastically, unbelievably high compared to the population at large.

      The Catholic church is a magnet for homosexuals because of their doctrines forbidding marriage to their clergy and the close contact with multiple members of the same gender that the clergy has access to.

      Thus it is no surprise to me at all when the Catholic church becomes involved in various scandals and persecutes and abuses innocent people.

      Jul 14, 2011 at 6:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      @Derek Williams: //The fact that you believe that we homosexuals could possibly support raping a child//

      You’re putting words in my mouth again. I didn’t say “support”, I said “whitewash”, and I quote “B” to demonstrate this:

      …the kid was hanging out with the perpetrators regularly on weekends….

      …It’s possible the sex was consensual….

      …case of statutory rape involving some BDSM and apparently unintentional mistakes that lead to a fatality…

      …these guys were not a threat to every kid in the general area….

      …report hints at prior sexual activity…

      “B”s insinuations and attempts to at least partially blame the 12 year old are ugly revelations of his wicked and corrupt heart. He is an absolutely vile human being who will have to someday give a complete account of all of his words and actions to a Supreme Being and unless he repents it will be an extremely unpleasant experience.

      Jul 14, 2011 at 6:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @Bill:

      I do not in any way condone the excusing or whitewashing of statutory rape or murder of anyone of any age or sexual orientation, and from what I can tell, the perpetrators are behind bars, so it’s clear that nor do the prosecuting authorities.

      However I don’t believe ‘B’ was condoning this either. It is by no means uncommon for an underage person to seek and consent to unlawful sexual contact with an