I get email

June 28, 2014 • 9:55 am

We haven’t had a posting of crank email for a while, and since I’ll soon be leaving for the big game (baseball), I’ll do a quick rundown. Besides, if you’re smart you’ll be watching footie today and won’t have time to read anything weighty.

The first batch are all comments on the post “Another creationist drops by to show that there’s no evidence for evolution“. Since that post was put up in late 2012, I have no idea why I got some comments about it in the last two weeks. Here are three:

From reader Nick (I love this one!):

How does evolution explane the existence of Angles and Demons .???

Nick contributed a second comment as well (as always, I preserve the original spelling):

I don’t clame to have a brain like God or even a scientist . If everlution is real it must be (in my apionion ). By the hand of God . And I do not believe in God through blind faith or superstition , but by very real and vivid spiritual experiences . God is not a fairy tail ! Nick !

From reader Jonas:

I am sorry. The evidence is not enough for me to make evolution a closed case. It is still a theory, albeit a logical and likely one. To condescend creationists is very myopic, close minded and not a great way to convince them. It is better to admit that evolution is a theory based on a totally secular (not spiritual) perspective.

I think Tim White took care of that yesterday.


Some responses to my anti-gun post, “Imagine no guns“.

From reader John Doesky:

By all means feel free to overturn the 2A by the process enumerated by the founding fathers.

In the meantime leave existing gun owners alone.

And BTW, self defense is a natural right and even if the 2A is overturned I won’t be turning mine in.

And from reader Allen, who shouldn’t be trusted with a gun:

You people are more dangerous to society than any lunatic with a gun.


Finally, from the good Christians of Lebanon, Missouri, writing in about my posts about how the principal of that town’s high school prayed at graduation. (By the way, the school board has not yet answered the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s original letter, an act of defiance which, unless they give in, will bring them plenty of trouble):

From reader Jim q:

Here’s an idea… You outsiders and non believers rally around each other and push your anti-god liberal agenda on anyone and everyone. Cry foul when someone doesn’t think and believe as you do… Yet scream tolerance and unification at every event or news story you can scrape up… Here’s the idea, keep your f@#$%n noses in your own affairs and there will be tolerance. Your to busy meddling in everyone else’s lives to realize how f@#$%&d up you all are and how INTOLERANT you’ve become. So basically…. Mind your own damn business

From reader Caterina:

Do you not have anything better to do than whine and moan and stalk a page you’re obviously against. Its people like you that have started a huge deal about his speech. I’ve said this once before and I’ll say it again. If you do not like what someone has to say then simply DO NOT LISTEN, or in your case, look at. Find a day job or something else to do.

From reader proudlebanite:

He didn’t lead a group prayer, he asked for a moment of silence and then told the crowd what he did during his moment of silence. That isn’t the same thing.

No, that’s not leading a group prayer, but this benighted reader doesn’t realize that “telling the crowd that you prayed to God” is still unconstitutional.

Another reader, Adam Benn, also fails to understand the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Note the phrase “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

There are no restrictions, period. He was well within his rights to do that.

The only possible answer to that is, “No he wasn’t. Do you even know how the law has been interpreted?”

From reader Danielle:

People forget this country was founded on religious freedoms. Christians have the right to believe in god and so on and so forth. Just because you don’t like what you hear, doesn’t mean you have to listen. Believe in what you want, i’m not going to push anything on you. but if you don’t like what you hear, IGNORE it!!

From reader Jim Carver, who also commits a Roolz violation (but he is polite):

I would suggest that your time and effort might be better spent pursuing a different topic.

I would suggest that helping enforce the law is a good way to spend one’s time.

Finally, reader Insectman, in a comment on a Lebanon post, manages to get in some licks against evolution:

Evolution is more impossible than the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Headless Horseman. See http://www.lifescienceprize.org/ for a list of bluffing evolutionists.

There were a lot more comments about evolution and the Lebanon case, but the margins of this website are too small to contain all of them. Both topics have one thing in common: defense of religion.







83 thoughts on “I get email

          1. It’ll pass the snell test …


            PS. Surprised that snell (uncapitalised) wasn’t autocorrected, I find that “snell” means: a short line of gut or horsehair by which a fishhook is attached to a longer line.

  1. Since some of these people can’t put a coherent sentence together or think rationally, how did they manage to turn off their spell checkers?

    Tell Nick that the Angles either come from France or from mathematics.

    1. Since it was “Angles and Demons”, I think mathematics wins. I can’t find a Demons close to the french Angles, but I have seen many Demons-trations in geometry.

      1. As has already been explained, angles come from a branch of mathematics commonly known as geometry.
        Demons however are actually found within both physics (Maxwell’s Demon [1]) and creationism (Morton’s Demon [2]), or somewhat more generally, psychology.
        If on the other hand, the original semiliterate poster really meant “Angels and Demons” then the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) people would be the appropriate group that he should contact for a scientific view [3].
        In any case, none of the three above possibilities would seem to fall into the category of biology, so the original poster’s idiot question is obviously misdirected.

    2. I assume they have just given up trying to figure out why most of the words they type are underlined by red squiggly lines.

      Perhaps they change the few that aren’t underlined, until all their words are underlined, thinking that is how it works?

      It would explain a great deal.

  2. I like the 2nd Amendment guy, who wants Jerry to follow the legal process that he declares he will ignore if it means surrendering his peni… I mean gun.

  3. So, with all these Christians urging non-Christians to “just ignore” their public displays of raving lunacy…one would reasonably conclude, no, that they have no objection to installation of Muslim, Hindu, and even Satanic relics next to a courthouse display of the Ten Commandments, no? After all, if they don’t like it, they’re free to “just ignore” those as well.


    Well, how ’bout a Jewish edition of the Ten Commandments beside the Protestant one already there?

    You mean all y’all’re just a bunch of hypocrites who don’t give a flying fuck about anybody’s religious freedom but your own?

    Color me surprised, ‘cuz that’s the only way I’m going to look that way.


  4. Yes Prof, I too want to know how evolution explanes the existence of angles. I don’t think it’s too obtuse to ask, is it?

    1. I don’t think it would contribute to the cosines on this site sines it isn’t considered right-angled etiquette to advise our host on what to post.

    2. Evolution explains the existence of the Angles the same way it explains the existence of Saxons. Not too sure about Demons.

  5. Imagine what the room would be like if these yo-yos had free run in the comment threads?

    Thanks be to Ceiling Cat that this crap is usually filtered out.

  6. If you don’t like what you’re about to see, you can close your eyes.

    Unlike eyes, you cannot close your ears (even though Christians seem deaf to reason)

    My advice to people who have been told this and are then subjected to unwelcome prayer is to stick your fingers in your ears and scream-sing “la la la I can’t hear you” because that’s essentially what they advise. Even earplugs don’t drown out all sound.

    1. The creationists have you beat though. When they don’t like what they’re about to think, they close their minds.

  7. I was watching the CNN special on the 60s last night. This particular episode was about the Freedom March in the deep South, and I have to remark on the similarity between the level of ignorance and stupidity betrayed by the good ol’ boys of the South in the 60s and the comments in the emails posted by Jerry.

  8. Jonas: To condescend creationists is very myopic, close minded and not a great way to convince them.

    We have all tried patient explanations vs. their perceived refutations of evolution. They don’t come back with anything new, just the same tired, simplistic arguments whose deep flaws have already been exposed.

    This is known as willful ignorance. As Thomas Jefferson said, “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.”

  9. I wonder if Nick was home schooled. Plenty of people struggle with spelling, but it looks to me like he learned punctuation from someone who doesn’t know how to teach it.

    1. Punctuation can be learned by reading – books, magazines, newspapers, even the internet. Not the KJV though.

  10. As long as the topic is relevant to ignorance I need to express the disgust I felt this morning. Anyone ever seen the show “Awesome Science?” Here’s the intro, “Host Kyle Justice explores the globe discovering evidence to support the accuracy of the Bible.”

    I wasn’t familiar with the NRB network, but while channel surfing this morning at work (I have a lot of free time) I was looking for a science show. Well, I found one that claimed to be. The short of it is that it distorted the science to fit Noah’s flood mythology, claimed evolution was “just a theory”, and what was most disgusting is it was a KIDS science show!

    My main thought was just how badly religion is poisoning the education of our youth. These people should be ashamed. It’s no wonder we’re lagging the rest of the industrialized world in math and science.

    A commenter at the end of the show even went so far as to admit that “secular science” was getting in the way of evangelism.

    Did you know that the only plausible explanation for the extinction of dinosaurs and the Grand Canyon are Noah’s flood? The same old tripe. Shows like this are the reason JC receives so many ignorant comments.

      1. That’s snark I’m sure 🙂 And yes, I should just turn it off and ignore the damage that is being done to young and impressionable minds, minds that will one day make important decisions, vote, run for office, address environmental issues, etc.
        Just ’cause I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s hurting anyone, right?

        1. I absolutely share your concern for how such dis-information damages the minds of children. Many educators discover that they can give the most interesting and airtight cases for the age of the earth, gradualism in geology, and for biological evolution; only to get a YEC party-line question from a student who clearly did not let a single bit sink in. Its like pitching rocks against a stone wall. The magic of reality is lost on them, and we can blame early religious indoctrination of children.

          1. That’s actually a case where a bit of ridicule would be perfectly called for. “Aren’t you a bit old to be getting your science from faery tale books about enchanted gardens with talking animals and an angry wizard?”

            Alas, that would not pass Constitutional muster in a public school, and it would have the parents descending wrathfully upon the principal’s office.

            But I guarantee you that it would get the students’s attention, and snap many out of the insulation of communal delusion.


              1. “perhaps it is an optional cable channel for a certain variety of home-schooled children.”

                Not at all, the NRB Network (National Religious Broadcasters) is a 24/7 evangelical channel, available on DirecTV, through many local affiliates, and streamed on Roku. They claim to reach 40 million people. They show the 700 club and the like, but also have much original programming, such as described above.

          2. A good initial question to ask of whatever age group/grade is, “Is something true simply and solely because someone SAYS so?” E.g., what if I say, “I can fly around the classroom over your heads, right? After all, I SAID so.” One is met with a boisterous denial of that claim.

            1. There is a story about a New Zealand “prophet”, Rua Kenana, that he claimed to be able to walk on water. He and his followers went down to the sea, and he asked them
              “Do you believe that I can walk on the water?”
              “You’re absolutely certain?”
              “Then I don’t need to.”
              And they went home.

              (Maybe that’s what Jesus did, too.)

    1. I seriously start to think that some religious people hate and fear knowledge. Starting with the forbidden tree in the garden, passing through the people who only read one book, and culminating in the recent “science” textbook for religious schools that actively played up ignorance, with statements like “Nobody knows what electricity is” without touching on the great deal we do know about electricity, I am taking that as a working hypothesis and will check how it plays out.

  11. The 2nd Amendment guarantees that all citizenry have the freedom to worship any religion they choose as well, if the are so inclined, to freely criticize any and all religions.

    1. Not if the ones they are freely criticising have more or bigger guns. In any case not too many people are going to storm a church where everyone is armed, even if they are better armed. Explosives seem to be the favoured method for such cases, but most gun lovers don’t push for a right to open carry C4.

      This is weird and subtle humour unless you meant the 1st Amendment.

  12. Statistically there is a strong correlation between a country’s religiosity and income per capita. The higher the religiosity, the lower the per capita income. There are two outliers: the USA and China. China’s per capita income is rising steadily, which is bringing it slowly closer to the trend line. The rise in fundamentalism in the USA and the effect it’s having on education could see the same thing happening in your country.

    1. I think there are also regional differences in the U.S. along those lines. That is, that regions of the U.S. with lower average incomes tend to be the more religious regions.

      1. Yes, I have see statistics that confirm that, although I can’t recall the source.

        I also remember some about education level in states vs income. As you would expect, the better the average education level, the higher the average income.

  13. Evolution is more impossible than the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Headless Horseman. See http://www.lifescienceprize.org/ for a list of bluffing evolutionists.

    It is notable that the list on that creationist crackpot site is not of “bluffing” evolutionists but a claim that evolution is a bluff, contending that there are at least “374,000” of them (that would be 10 000 biologists/nation, doubtful), and a list of “evolutionists”. Last added is Tyson, no doubt for “Cosmos”. The claim devolves on one (1!) reference publication that can’t be found by googling…

    It may enjoy Jerry to know that he is #165 on that list. That’s right, Insectman indirectly or directly claims Jerry is a “bluffing evolutionist”!

    1. So, who is this Mastropaolo guy? He makes claims that to anyone not familiar with the science, i.e. the religious, would seem rock solid. But, this is the first I’ve seen or heard of him, his claims, or his challenge. Much like the big debunking by Ben Stein, the claim is made and then the claimant pretty much disappears?

  14. Dr. Coyne? A spelling correction is necessary in your post, here: “Finally, from the good Christians of Lebanon, Missouri, writing in about my posts about how the principal of that town’s high school prayed at graduateion.”

    it’s amazing on the lies and nonsense that TrueChristians must rely on. Poor Caterina “If you do not like what someone has to say then simply DO NOT LISTEN, or in your case, look at. Find a day job or something else to do.”

    Hmmm, I do love how you try to tell us not to listen and try to tell graduates not to listen at something celebrating *all* of them, not just the Christians you agree with. I however have no problem in listening to what someone says and then considering it. If it’s full of lies, like your words and the words of your principal, then I will speak out against it. Just like I would speak out against any one else who was a liar and who tried to tell others to sit down and shut up. Yours is the way of a coward who has nothing to support her claims. You cannot stand anyone questioning what you say and you want no one to look at what you are doing and thus determining you are wrong.

    1. It’s an interesting question if the principal could have in a later venue (such as a letter to a local newspaper) stated that he used his moment of silence for prayer. I’m inclined to say this would be entirely legal. His personal freedom is not being impinged upon.

      1. “It’s true that every time you hear a bell ring, an angel gets his wings. But what they don’t tell you is that every time you hear a mousetrap snap, an angel gets set on fire.” –Jack Handy

        1. I like Jack Handey’s concept of truth. It reminds me of how believers see it sometimes:

          To me, truth is not some vague, foggy notion. Truth is real. And, at the same time, unreal. Fiction and fact and everything in between, plus some things I can’t remember, all rolled into one big “thing”. This is truth to me.

  15. It’s ironic how many say “shut up, if you don’t like it, don’t listen”, never willing to follow their own advice when it comes to those who say anything they don’t agree with.

    Of course the big difference is we are not breaking the law or murdering the English language.

    1. “but if you don’t like what you hear, IGNORE it!!”

      I love those folks who lead with advice they, themselves, don’t follow. It shows how much thought went into their writing.

  16. I’ve always wondered where all those rabid 2nd amendment defenders go when the 1st amendment comes under attack.

  17. OK, OK, Jonas; you got me- I ADMIT that evolution is a theory based on a totally secular perspective; there’s not a hint of spirituality in it! Sorry…… NOT!

    And then there’s those “good Christians” of Lebanon:

    ” Here’s the idea, keep your f@#$%n noses in your own affairs and there will be tolerance. Your to busy meddling in everyone else’s lives to realize how f@#$%&d up you all are and how INTOLERANT you’ve become. So basically…. Mind your own damn business.”

    ” If you do not like what someone has to say then simply DO NOT LISTEN, or in your case, look at.”

    ” Just because you don’t like what you hear, doesn’t mean you have to listen. Believe in what you want, i’m not going to push anything on you. but if you don’t like what you hear, IGNORE it!!”

    It’s amusing to see how, if they only read and thought about what they’d wrote, they’d see that they are committing the same “sin” of intolerance they accuse Jerry of; why don’t they just “not listen” to HIM? “That little city-boy radical atheist college professor said something that offended mah beliefs- somebody needs ta shut that lil’ sum-buck up!”

    I suspect the reason is that they realize, albeit in many cases on a subconscious level, that beliefs turn into actions. What has REALLY pissed them off (and frightened them) is that Jerry and the FRF have dared to ACT on their belief in the constitution- at the same time, these people would love to see everyone forced to kowtow to their own belief system, constitution be damned.

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