Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Western subscription to the Theory of Evolution.


1/3 of Americans firmly reject the notion of evolution via natural selection, and only 14% think that the scientific theory of evolution is true.

But before we Canadians get too high and mighty about what's going on south of the 49th, let us not forget that only 37% of Albertans purportedly think that humans evolved from a less advanced form of life. A staggering 40% of Albertans also (if the poll is accurate) think that humans were greated by god within the last 10,000 years.

Whatever it is that's "wrong with Kansas", Wild-Rose country seems to have caught it.

UPDATE: Welcome "Assholery" readers. If you've arrived here from an "endless, largely meaningless rant" arguing that the age of the respective polls renders the attitudes they uncovered to no longer be relevant, consider that Bill 44 passed not that long ago, and many Albertan parents now are able limit their children's access to education in new ways. Groups like "United Families Canada" are increasingly flexing their political muscles in an effort to stem the generational exodus away from religious fundamentalism.

The attitudes and ignorance that the various polls uncovered didn't simply evaporate the day after they were conducted, nor is any good served by attempting to stifle discussion of the phenomenon or frame the drawing of attention to the problem as "stirring up hostility against an entire province". If anything, I actually feel sorry for those reasonable Albertans who unfortunately have to live surrounded by the effects of widespread fundamentalism and rejection of science. I think that if there's anything that's "hostile towards the province", it's the notion that Alberta cannot do any better and that we should all just not discuss it because of the age of the poll.


18 comments:

Patrick Ross said...

Audrey, Audrey, Audrey.

The "rant" that you are referring to didn't claim that the age of the poll makes it meaningless.

Rather, the post in question is criticizing you for digging up old news for the sole purpose of stirring up hostility against an entire Province of this country.

I think this is one case in which one can actually say,

Reading comprehension, for the win!

Patrick Ross said...

And, by the way, regarding Bill 44?

The Nexus already has that covered, in a far more intelligent and thoughtful manner than here.

Audrey II said...

You addressed the age of the poll no less than 3 times in your 5 sentence post, and you expect others to now believe that you didn't intend it to speak to relevance? I hope that turns out for you as well as the "The octagons are really triangles" routine did. Ironically, my post didn't mention (much less advocate) "hostility" even once.

I think it's "hostile" to Alberta as a province to attempt to stifle discussion about the problem or frame the calling of attention to it as an "stirring up of hostility". The problem isn't going to solve itself or be rectified by attacking others for drawing attention to it.

Ironically enough, your above-linked blog post didn't deal one bit with the interaction of Alberta's problem with religious fundamentalism/anti-science and the relationship between it and Bill 44. Oopsies.

Given the "attack the messenger" nature of your post, and the shiny object you dangled above, it almost seems as if you'd prefer to find ways of derailing discussion of the topic than actually address it.

Why does this seem so familiar?

Patrick Ross said...

Why does what seem so familiar, Audrey? Losing?

It's because you always lose.

I addressed the age of the poll to demonstrate a rather simple point: that there's no reason at all to bring this up at the present time, aside from your attempt to stir up hostility against an entire province (population 3,632,483).

If there were some kind of news story right now to which this particular poll is pertinent, that would be one thing. But brining it up out of the blue? For these purposes?

It just reminds everyone what kind of person you are. Ugly, ugly, ugly on the inside.

(And as for Bill 44, Audrey, I'm not surprised that you missed the point -- being that intelligent people discuss such matters in more deliberative and constructive ways, not as another piece of your provoking-hostility house of cards.)

Audrey II said...

Posted about it because I came across a reference to it in something that I was reading recently. Ironically enough, the piece that prompted me to blog about the poll was authored by an Albertan. I blog regularly about the issue of Evolution and religiously fundamentalist pushback against science. This didn't "come out of the blue", nor is it part of some "hostility provocation" conspiracy. Yes, there are some out there in cyberspace that engage in dishonest provocateurism and outright trolling, but it would simply be an inaccurate exercise in projection for such individuals to glean such intent from my original post.

Your thoughts about me and your blogging advice are, as always, appreciated and will be appropriately filed under "If I ever want Patrick Ross' reputation".

Might you have anything at all to contribute to the matter of the high degree of religious fundamentalism and anti-science sentiment that exists in Alberta? It was, you know, the topic of this thread.

Patrick Ross said...

Right, Audrey.

So perhaps an Albertan wrote the piece. The difference is that he wrote about it when it was still news, instead of dredging it back up for no discernable purpose other than to provoke hostility against Alberta.

You dug this story out again when it was... what would be the opposite of news... olds? With no identifiable context for it, other than to simply slag Alberta.

And we're well aware that you regularly blog about evolution. You also indulge yourself in writing portions of the theory that don't support your argument out of the theory.

As for the idea of an anti-Alberta conspiracy, Audrey, how could this be a conspiracy? A conspiracy requires more than one person. And on that note, when I'm not in here spanking you for self-degrading stupidity and poor character you tend to exhibit on your blog, almost no one reads you.

Christ. I'm promoting you right now.

Not to mention that this really is your second attempt at an argument, isn't it Audrey? Your first assertion -- posited with no deliberate link to the post in question, by the way -- was to claim I'd argued that the poll in question isn't relevant.

Very different from what was actually written.

But I guess it's funny how badly you want to be Robert Peter John Day. Now you're even emulating his no-linky-then-lie act.

Just a terrible, terrible person.

Audrey II said...

"The difference is that he wrote about it when it was still news..."

He posted about it on Dec 7th, 2009. One week ago. Are you a liar, illiterate, or just going off half-cocked again?

"...instead of dredging it back up for no discernable (sic) purpose..."

I've been quite upfront about what my purpose was: to draw attention to western subscription to the theory of evolution (see the title of my post) and the influence of fundamentalist opposition to science (see the body of my post). Oddly enough, neither my title nor body mentioned, much less advocated "hostility".

As has become predictable, the topic isn't something that you want to discuss. So instead, you've tossed out half-baked and unsupported accusations, appealed to your own ignorance, amusingly dispensed blogging advice, chest-thumped over blog traffic, gone on about your opinions regarding me personally, and engaged in self-unaware fantasies like "promoting" me (do you have any idea how little traffic you create here?)... anything but address the topic I originally broached. You can't even be internally consistent in your rhetoric, denying that you think the topic is irrelevant while simultaneously maintaining that there could be "no discernable (sic) purpose for posting" what I did other than something you've invented out of whole cloth. You've even had to resort to posting outright falsehoods with respect to others who have recently posted on the topic to maintain this bizarro narrative that you've constructed to attack me (again, noting that the topic of the post still stands completely without comment from you). Do you really think there are significant numbers of people out there who will find what you've written in response here the slightest bit compelling?

If at any point in the future, you do decide that you have something you'd like to contribute on the high degree of religious fundamentalism and anti-science sentiment that exists in Alberta and the U.S., please let us know. In the mean time, I'm more than happy to let readers here draw their own conclusions from the rhetoric you've employed in lieu of such a response.

We now return our reading audience to the gift that keeps on giving.

Patrick Ross said...

"He posted about it on Dec 7th, 2009. One week ago. Are you a liar, illiterate, or just going off half-cocked again?"

Ooooh. Touchy.

First off, Audrey, you're the one with a history of going off half-cocked. You're also the one with a history of lying for rhetorical advantage.

(In this particular thread, you declined to link to a blog post in order to cover your own deliberate lies.)

"
I've been quite upfront about what my purpose was: to draw attention to western subscription to the theory of evolution (see the title of my post) and the influence of fundamentalist opposition to science (see the body of my post). Oddly enough, neither my title nor body mentioned, much less advocated 'hostility'.
"

And, oddly enough, you did so without any kind of context whatsoever. Perhaps offering your source the simple courtesy of a hat tip would have sufficed.

Then again, you can't offer anyone who disagrees with you the courtesy of simply not arguing disingenuously in the course of virtually any debate. So, no, we don't expect that from you.

So now you want to whine about being called on your efforts to stir up hostility against an entire Province of this country. Yawn.

In case you hadn't figured this out yet, Audrey, I'm mocking you for your ignorance -- a lot of people still remember your clumsy attempts to write natural selection out of evolutionary theory -- and calling you on the contemptible content of your character.

If I were to give you any blogging advice, Audrey, it would be this:

Stop. Just stop.

You have consistently shown that you have nothing to say, and when you do seem to have anything to say it's either so incredibly insipid that it's worthy of nothing other than mockery, or simply born of such incredibly vicious intent that it simply has to be brought to the attention of as many people as humanly possible, so anyone with a rational mind does the wise thing and simply declines to take you seriously.

So seriously. Stop blogging. It isn't as if there are a whole lot of people who'll miss you. And for those who might, they'll find the amount of intellectual satisfaction offered by Enormous Thriving Plants in a meal of paint chips and formeldahyde.

Audrey II said...

"Ooooh. Touchy."

Not at all. You made a demonstrably false claim. I'd like to know whether you were lying, cannot read, or were so anxious to go on the attack that you didn't bother to conduct sufficient investigation prior to posting.

"In this particular thread, you declined to link to a blog post in order to cover your own deliberate lies"

What "lie" did I cover with a lack of link? A link to what you posted automatically appeared in the "links to" section almost immediately after you posted it. Are you really attempting to suggest that a lack of redundant posting on my part was some sort of nefarious scheme to hide a yet to be disclosed lie? These narratives of yours get more and more bizarre by the hour.

"Then again, you can't offer anyone who disagrees with you the courtesy of simply not arguing disingenuously in the course of virtually any debate."

There's two problems with the above. You're assuming disingenuity to assert it (circular reasoning) and you didn't merely "disagree with me". In fact, multiple replies later, you haven't addressed the topic that I posted on at all.

"So now you want to whine about being called on your efforts to stir up hostility against an entire Province of this country."

No, I'm calling attention to the inaccuracy of it. I actually find utility in the contrast that exists between your "hostility against an entire Province" rhetoric and my original post, to say nothing of the ongoing refusal to comment at all on the original subject. The "I win"/"you lose again" adolescent, schoolyard bluster is just icing on a deflection-from-the-original-topic cake that has been growing with each additional response.

"If I were to give you any blogging advice..."

If you had any degree of self-awareness, you'd understand that blogging advice from "Kid Cash" is much like foreign policy advice from Dick Cheney: It's hardly the indictment that the author intends.

"You have consistently shown that you have nothing to say"

I'm quite happy with the traffic trends here. Its been consistently increasing (unlike the single digit referrals from "The Nexus").

"and when you do seem to have anything to say it's either so incredibly insipid that it's worthy of nothing other than mockery, or simply born of such incredibly vicious intent that it simply has to be brought to the attention of as many people as humanly possible"

The distance between the above and the topic of religious fundamentalism promoting anti-science stances speaks for itself. You just can't help yourself, can you Pat?

Sparky said...

Well, at least Patrick is not commetning on the Wall threads now. He has hopefully finally come to the conclusion that offering excuses--"but.. but.. but the NDP!!!"--for the current gov't was completely idiotic.

Patrick Ross said...

"Not at all. You made a demonstrably false claim. I'd like to know whether you were lying, cannot read, or were so anxious to go on the attack that you didn't bother to conduct sufficient investigation prior to posting."

Oh, Audrey. Incoherent irony is thy name.

"What 'lie' did I cover with a lack of link? A link to what you posted automatically appeared in the 'links to' section almost immediately after you posted it. Are you really attempting to suggest that a lack of redundant posting on my part was some sort of nefarious scheme to hide a yet to be disclosed lie? These narratives of yours get more and more bizarre by the hour."

Well, Audrey, let's take a look at what you claimed was argued:

"Welcome "Assholery" readers. If you've arrived here from an "endless, largely meaningless rant" arguing that the age of the respective polls renders the attitudes they uncovered to no longer be relevant"

Compared to what was actually argued:

"It shouldn't be pretended that the number of Albertans who reject such basic science as evolution isn't troubling. But dredge the matter out of the 'old news' box for the sole purpose of stirring up hostility against an entire Province?"

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the difference between what you claimed was argued -- in absence of a deliberate link, and the link you refer to would have remained unseen by anyone who didn't open the "Links to" page -- and what was actually written.

In other words, Audrey, you lied, and declined to post a link in order to more easily conceal that lie.

But it's not at all shocking that you would do that, Audrey -- it's what's come to have be expected of you.

You want to be Robert Peter John Day so badly. Now you're a liar, just like he is. I know this actually makes you feel good about yourself (I've always been amused at how reprehensible people get such insolent pleasure out of lying), but fortunately, irrational lunatics like yourself are an extreme minority in Canada.

You may have Sparkles -- and your loyal lapdog doesn't even seem to pop by here unless it's to try to cushion whatever spanking you're receiving at any given time -- but, quite frankly, that's a good example of a worthless human being. You're welcome to his mindless adoration.

Audrey II said...

Patrick, the line you just cited as evidence of a cover-up addressed specifically readers coming from your blog post, who would have already read your post and who would have arrived on a page where a trackback link already appeared. No one attempted to hide anything at all, much less a lie.

You yourself can't even make up your mind whether the poll is relevant or "would have no reason to post about except a desire to promote hostility". You've not pointed to any evidence of said intention, but have inferred it from thin air. You can't even consistently apply your own logic, as this invented nefarious motive that you've been squealing about somehow doesn't exist for another blogger who posted about the poll a mere seven days prior to mine. Not only that, but you posted an outright falsehood in an attempt to justify the inconsistency.

Once again, you've managed to go on for reply after reply not once addressing the topic, but staging an argument between yourself and the things you've invented on behalf of someone else, culminating in you being unable to post anything except personally directed invective. As repetitive as this game has become, I'm actually quite happy with the contrast that it continues illustrate.

So by all means, please post as more of these Stirring-up hostility-towards-Alberta-lying-covering-it-up-reprehensible-lunatic replies or posts on your own blog. I think they're as damning as the increasing number of replies that fail to speak one iota to the topic of religious fundamentalism and anti-science sentiment in Alberta. Each successive reply just adds to the evidence that you're here to troll, not discuss or debate. It's almost as if you can't help yourself.

David said...

Audrey,

If I may offer some unsolicited advice...when someone shits in your pool, the polite thing to do is to scoop it out and never invite them to another pool party. Trying to get them to admit ownership of the offending turd is a waste of your time.

Audrey II said...

I appreciate the advice, David, and I think what you've posted above has merit. I've struggled for a long time with the question of potential comment moderation.

I'd really like to keep the comments completely open, but I understand this seriously limits the available options for dealing with trolls. I've always been of the opinion that the light of exposure is the best solution, but that involves the existence of a degree of self-awareness and shame that sometimes just does not exist.

Given the persistent trolling that's been occurring here, are there any constructive ideas out there on how one might achieve both objectives?

David said...

I'm not a fan of moderation. Shunning is best in my opinion. That, or a pat on the head and a glass of milk before you shuffle them off to bed (see: Cindy Loo Who). It just seems that some people don't want to engage, and they can't be talked out of their "The sky in my world is plaid!" way of thinking. It's not like you waste time debating that guy down the street who screams at the clouds for stealing his brain waves; so once the crazy starts, just back away and move on.

All this terrible advice should be tempered by the fact that I mostly don't follow it and use every opportunity afforded me to vent my spleen.

Audrey II said...

I don't think that's terrible advice at all. In fact, I think the suggestion is a great one and will try to employ it more in the future. Thanks again!

Patrick Ross said...

Ugh.

Audrey, dealing with you is utterly hopeless.

Sometimes, I forget how difficult it is to figure out if you're disingenuous or just stupid.

Frankly, I think it's a bit of each. Your inability to be honest really just serves as a constant reminder.

David said...

Audrey, could you grab the skimmer? There's another floater over in the shallow end.

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