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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Teh Internet Hookup!

So I'm flying down to Chicago early tomorrow to meet Ed Brayton, Rich Hughes, J-Dog, and others for lunch (Ed and Rich) and to visit (with Rich, J-Dog, and the merry gang at AtBC) the Darwin Exhibition at the Field Museum.

The irony is, I was never really banned at Uncommon Descent. But nevertheless, I feel proud.

I thought of it!

UPDATED: It's 11:45 p.m. on Monday and I'm finally home. No lunch with Ed, though we chatted over the phone, but I did meet Rich, J-Dog and his wife and daughter, and Nomad for the museum visit and a good Irish meal (solid and liquid) afterward. For the first time in years (can't seem to get it in Minneapolis, not that!) I had a black-n-tan, my way - a glass of Bass Ale, followed by a glass of Guinness. Grace O'Malley's pours a Guinness properly, mind you! (In Minneapolis I think they shoot it from a soda nozzle.)

On Saturday, I spent time at the Oriental Institute Museum, the Joseph Regenstein Library, and walked around the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry, then went to John's brother-in-law's aunt and uncle's home for ribs. *Yum* And today, we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo. All around a fabulous trip! I love Chicago!

I don't have all the photos yet but here's Professor Steve Steve and a relative that he met.

And here we are posing next to the "No Photography" sign - that's a hell of an inconvenience, huh? Sorry that I broke the camera.

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Blogger Bob O'Hara said...

I hope you'll post photos - I want to see what these guys look like, so I can avoid them in real life.


August 04, 2007 2:38 AM  
Anonymous Banned by KCFS, RSR, TFK, PZ MYERS et al. said...

Acutually, your idea is quite derivative.

August 04, 2007 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Bannned One said...


Good one Bob, a real collecton of dorks.

I wouldn't date one of those fossils if you paid me!

August 04, 2007 1:19 PM  
Blogger Crandaddy said...

I've never been banned anywhere. Maybe it's because I'm such a nice guy. I could be nasty, of course, but I never visit forums wherein the temptation would be too great for me to bear. I place a high value on humility, civility, and open-mindedness and never comment at any place where these are not prominently displayed. You are a rarity among your materialist brethren, Kristine.

BTW, I trust (and hope) that you and yours are all safe after the bridge collapse up there.

August 04, 2007 2:25 PM  
Anonymous JanieBelle said...

I see Legion wastes no time.

It's not like you'd have the option, Slick.

"I wouldn't date..." is a rather meaningless beginning to any statement you'd make under the circumstances.

August 04, 2007 7:55 PM  
Anonymous JanieBelle said...

Hi Crandaddy!

Since Kristine is car-free, I'm guessing (and hoping) that she flew or rode the train. I haven't heard anything re: coach busses, but I haven't been able to keep track very well, tbh.

Kristine, please let us know about your safety at your earliest convenience.


August 04, 2007 7:59 PM  
Blogger Forthekids said...

"I could be nasty, of course, but I never visit forums wherein the temptation would be too great for me to bear."

Oh, if only I could avoid that temptation. Sigh... I try and try to keep myself out of those situations, but alas, I'm very weak.

But, I'm with you, Crandaddy. I feel comfortable here at Kristine's place. I think she's one of those who, if you treat her with the respect she deserves, she'll return the favor.

August 04, 2007 8:29 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Aw, Legion, we're all happy members of the Future Fossils of America League.

Welcome to the club. Everyone, Legion is a new pledge. He has to go through the hazing ceremony.

Hi, Crandaddy! Hi, JanieBelle! Yes, I and John are fine. Thank you. I never take that bridge - unfortunately, others do. (It kind of got ugly at this blog when someone made a joke without realizing how bad the bridge thing was and Borat went bananas - well, it's all good now, everyone forgives everyone. It can get dicey here though.)

Hey, Ftk you missed a good time. I don't have photos of Rich - my camera is shot (honest! Did anyone notice the UFO that seems to follow me around the Galapagos in my pics?), but I think he's a handsome devil. -) Someone else took pics of Steve Steve - he says that I'm a good conversationalist.

August 04, 2007 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Banned by KCFS, RSR, TFK, PZ MYERS et al. said...
Acutually, your idea is quite derivative.

August 04, 2007 1:18 PM

Sez the dear troll who has only one idea. This also needs to be said, you have been banned from so many places because you add nothing to the content of the blog. Not because anyone is scared of you. But I guess you feel the need to pretend you a martyr.

And guess what, martyrs are in no position to date. Not that any self respecting woman would do such a thing with you.

On a more cheerful note, hope you Kos types are enjoying yourselves. Just remember, you are all the moral equivilants to Nazis. Just ask Billo.


August 04, 2007 10:07 PM  
Anonymous JanieBelle said...

Thanks for letting us know Kristine.

The more I thought about it, the more I worried.


(Janine, you should add "man" to your comment about self-respecting people who wouldn't give Legion the time of day as well. In fact, you can add Golden Retrievers to that list. I inquired of mine, who tucked his tail and scurried off to the bathroom.)

August 05, 2007 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologize for my oversight. I really do need to expand my horizons.
I hope your Golden Retriever is doing better.


August 05, 2007 9:31 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

You are a rarity among your materialist brethren, Kristine.

This comment has haunted me for a couple days. It has take me this long to formulate an answer. I am not a "rarity." I just met some other very nice "materialists," one of whom (guess who - guess who - yes, it was Rich Hughes) told me, "Aw, if you and DaveScot met up you'd get along - most people are nice in person." Well, actually after he made the diet comment I think I'd throttle DaveScot, but I concede Rich's point.

You break my heart, Crandaddy. You're too young to have drawn these conclusions about people - and I'm too old to trust categories of people. "Materialist," what does that mean? That there is a process to an outcome? That we can observe and learn from the interactions of matter, which at its base is information, is quantum potentialities? That matter came before mind? Why this distresses people to the point that they would imagine all sorts of horrible motives of "materialists" is beyond me.

I had a "spiritual" experience watching a penny roll down the gravity well at the science museum when I was twelve. It taught me something fundamental about the universe - one would expect dull, stupid matter to just fall right into the hole, but the penny whirled and whirled in that well for five minutes. Even at the very brink of the hole it revolved wildly and a man came up to me and explained, "The penny won't disappear until it gives up all its energy." And I thought, Matter isn't what it seems to be. It isn't what it seems to be at all. We insult matter with our ideas about it. I cannot remember who said this (I'll find it when I get home): "The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."

Ftk: Here's a quote for you: "If you would know the age of the earth, look upon the sea in a storm." - Joseph Conrad

August 06, 2007 9:55 AM  
Anonymous J-Dog said...

I would vote "NO!" to DaveScot, but FTK and Crandaddy would have been welcome.

Hey it was FUN everyone, Kristine and Richard are just as cool and as smart in person. We had a smashing time!

August 06, 2007 3:42 PM  
Anonymous JanieBelle said...

Aww J-Dog...

But we had such a great time when Davey used to come to UDoJ.



August 07, 2007 9:14 AM  
Anonymous JanieBelle said...


He's doing much better, thanks.


August 07, 2007 9:15 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Okay, just catching up...

Acutually, your idea is quite derivative.

That's the idea you dork. Parody is derivative. Duh.

I wonder what exciting thing Legion did over the weekend? Probably stripped down to his shorts *ugh* and watched golf.

And I can drink any man under the table! Just letting everyone know. ;-)

August 07, 2007 9:15 AM  
Blogger Crandaddy said...

Maybe I shouldn't have said that. It's just the impression I get from most atheists/materialists is that they think they're somehow intellectually superior to people with other beliefs and would sooner engage in ridicule, mockery, and condescension than polite, reasonable discourse with a corresponding humble sense of proportion in their outlook upon their own worldview. I by no means intend to generalize the whole. There are certainly notable exceptions such as yourself.

August 08, 2007 1:58 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, I do not have a problem admitting that I simply cannot, at this point, answer the questions about the emergence of consciousness that you posed to me so long ago, because I simply don't know enough about it. So I can't call you names without deserving the same myself! ;-)

I had to look up words like "qualia" and such, and I got lost even trying to understand neuron's not an area that I know much about.

At some point, one just has to set aside one's particular viewpoint and just learn. Learn how things work - that's all I ask of anyone. I never conquered calculus and I never even tried statistics (avoided it as long as I could but now I'm in grad schoo), and at present I'm teaching myself both - and I'm not thinking about supporting or refuting the Kabbala, for example, in doing so, or competing with Dembski (who I understand learned calculus in a summer), but just trying to become more literate in an area in which people agree that we have some knowledge.

I made that suggestion to Ftk at one point: Look, just learn some geology - learn what we know about strata, plate tectonics, etc. without getting into the Flood waters being ejected by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge! Set the creationism-vs.-evo aside for now and learn about elements and compounds - learn some chemistry - make sure you understand the periodic table before you get into this "how did abiogenesis happen" speculation. My high school chemistry teacher was a wonderful teacher and a devout Christian.

So, I can't answer your questions - I need to learn more first, without an agenda. It takes a lot of learning even to arrive at the place where a controversy exists.

But I think we have to agree on what we know, before we can discuss what we can or cannot know, and what does or does not have a "materialist" origin.

However, I do know quite a bit about geology and chemistry, and I can never quite say what I mean when I talk about matter - the word has too much baggage that I do not ascribe to it - at this point, all I can say is, when one theorizes as I do that mental states arise from material origins, that should elevate our concept of matter, rather than degrade our mental experiences. I don't want to take anything away from people - I love art, poetry, music, cute kitties, I believe in love, romance, adventure, heroism, etc. And when one believes, as I conditionally do, that we share common ancestry with all forms of life, that should elevate our opinion of animals, not make man into some kind of "beast." But I never seem to get this idea across very well.

August 08, 2007 9:52 AM  
Blogger Rich Hughes said...

Hi Crandady.

On average, Atheists have higher IQ's, I belive the delta of the two means is almost six IQ points. I am making no comments with regard to causation.

IQ or indeed intelligence is a poor way to measure a person, IMHO, though. You seem quite a likeable chap.

August 08, 2007 1:33 PM  
Blogger Forthekids said...

I like the cute little picture of Steve Steve, but WHERE IS MY PICTURE OF RICHARD HUGHES??!!!?

Although, after that comment he just made, I'd like to give him a good swat. He's just solidifying the fact that atheists feel they are intellectually superior (which is exactly what Crandaddy was saying).

It's almost impossible to go to an evolution site that is primarily run by atheists and not be reminded ~continually~ that you're a complete uneducated, pig-ignorant, hick *unless* you adhere to all aspects of the ToE. Their egos are quite something to witness.

The way Crandaddy describes ~most~ posters in those environments is spot on. But, like he said, there are exceptions.

Kristine, Rich, and J-Dog, I really like all three of you. But, I'm not sure if you realize how counter productive and really harmful to society it is for everyone to be degrading each other day in and day out.

August 08, 2007 3:32 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I don't have a photo of Richard, Ftk, as I said. Tall, dark, goatee - good looking my book.

But I have to wonder if somebody obsessed with appearances (his own especially), and with bolded all caps, is putting you up to this? C'mon, we tease each other all in good fun, but aren't you married after all?

And your comment is unfair. I know some ignorant people who adhere to the ToE but don't know why. They know the earth goes around the sun but don't know why that's true. They drive me nuts. Some people are liberals without knowing why. Drives me up the wall.

IQ measures what Stephen Jay Gould says it does - socialization. You're not being fair to Gould here, or to me. I never got into Mensa but some theists I know did. (At least now I can properly answer any questions about qualia.)

But, I'm not sure if you realize how counter productive and really harmful to society it is for everyone to be degrading each other day in and day out.

I don't understand. Am I doing that here? Is "everybody" "degrading each other day in and day out" here? My nasty comments are directed at Legion - an alarming old fart with multiple names and one IP account, who follows me around the internet, calling me a "cunt" and such, telling me I'm ugly and then proposing marriage. I'm certainly not doing anything half as mean as this. Am I degrading people at your blog? What are you yelling at me suddenly for?

Why don't you ever respond to what I write, instead of what other people write?

If you're asking me if I expressed doubt in a subtle way about DaveScot's ability to cure formedehyde-caused cancer in FEMA trailors, I guess the answer is yes.

August 08, 2007 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Missouri said...

Stop it, Ftk! You are being unreasonable and bullying and you know it. You don't like being called pig-ignorant, so don't do a good imitation.

I don't see Kristine having said any of those things and I don't believe it. (If anything, she seems to compare herself unfavorably to Dembski and Crandaddy.) Or perhaps you could supply a link to her offenses?

As a Christian myself, I have a vague recollection of Christians being called to charity, and forgiveness, though I don't see anything Kristine has said to require it. If anything, ask for it yourself. You ought to be ashamed.

August 08, 2007 8:13 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...


Well, we're a happy bunch. I'm tired of these recriminations.

Blog mod is off, too. I hate it. That's one thing that Larry Fafarman and I agree on.

I don't believe in IQ tests, Rich. I wish you hadn't said that.

August 08, 2007 9:01 PM  
Blogger Forthekids said...


I'm not specifically talking about your blog, although I've seen you write plenty that alludes to the ignorance of those who are considered anti-science (a term that irritates me to no end). You just did it at my blog a bit ago, and in one of your comments above you wrote in reference to me:

"Look, just learn some geology - learn what we know about strata, plate tectonics, etc. without getting into the Flood waters being ejected by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge!"

You’re insinuating here, again, that ignorance is (of course) the problem, and that all I need to do is go get a textbook and read about plate tectonics again, and then I’ll surely discard my silly notion that Brown’s hydroplate theory is an interesting alternative to what current scientific consensus offers. You’re also saying that Dr. Brown is either ignorant in regard to plate tectonics, or that he is a liar. What you ought to do is give Brown a call and talk with him personally about plate tectonics a bit. He shares some interesting history with one of it’s theorists (they were actually friends). Honestly, the man in no moron, so I expect that would make him a liar in your book.

Back to what you wrote earlier at my blog - here is a portion:

“Beware of astronomers and language; they're like physicists. "Fluffy" planets is somewhat of a joke, like "charmed" quarks – don’t take it literally. In many sciences but in astronomy especially, we're starting with the cake and trying to describe the ingredients in terms of that. In other words, we begin with our limited view of the world, our thin slice of the electromagnetic spectrum, etc., and have to come up with words to describe new elements, states of matter, new astronomical objects, etc., with which we have no everyday interaction.”

Do you have any idea how that sounds to me? It’s sounds like you’re talking down to a 6th if I believe “fluffy” describes some new planet made of marshmallow fluff or something other than what many other planets are composed of. I’m not sure why you chose to post something like that. Regardless of whether we know little or a lot about various aspects of our universe, I still find it all fascinating and strongly believe that the probabilities are against the notion that it was initially the result of an accident which occured from nothing other than a blurp in a sea of nothingness.

And, for goodness sakes....I'm teasing in regard to Richard. Good grief, I've seen you do the same thing with Dembski. It's just all in good fun and helps loosen things up just a tad. Lord knows, sometimes walking into a forum like AtBC can be like walking into a mine field. It can't hurt to try to find something to laugh about. I just extended that silliness here. Obviously, it's not coming across that way, so I'll give it a rest.

August 08, 2007 9:24 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, I'm very sorry to have come off as condescending - I didn't intend that at all.

But you come off as very condescending yourself. I don't know what you do know, because you won't talk about it, because you keep saying you're not interested in discussing the science, anyway. I am - and since we're bringing up the past, I tried to talk to you on your own thread at AtBC - and you stomped on me, remember? "It [Wes's paper] sucked, filter that"? You teach people how to treat you when you don't respond to honest questions. Is Wes a moron, in your opinion, then?

In this particular case, all you had to do was say, "You know, Kristine, you're being condescending and disrespectful, and here's why" instead of launching into a tragic aria full of sarcasm. People have asked me if quarks were really "charmed." I honestly did not mean to come off as nasty.

At any rate, I'm not advocating anything I'm not doing myself. I think I said I was working on calculus, that I was learning stats, that I could not refute anything Crandaddy said because I'm not at his level of philosophical understanding. It's humiliating to struggle when you're used to learning new subjects very quickly.

And I haven't talked about Dembski - who I honestly think is attractive - since his inexcusable rant about Dawkins only having one peer-reviewed paper published. There I was in the Galapagos with Dawkins at the time, looking right at a bibliography of Dawkins' papers, both alone and in collaboration. It's in the back of one of his books, for pity's sake. It doesn't take a librarian to find that stuff and I am absolutely sickened by Dembski's obvious hatred of a man who does not hate him. I read through Dembski's "Christian Theodicy in the Light of Genesis and Modern Science" and even abstracted it for a class - I didn't say that it "sucked," in fact I shocked those guys at AtBC with my level of analysis of the paper. Dr. Brown does not strike me as the thinker that Dembski is, and could be, if he ever truly ran with his own ideas instead of reigning himself in for orthodoxy's sake.

So, what in particular about plate tectonics supports Dr. Brown's thesis?

Again, I'm sorry.

August 08, 2007 10:12 PM  
Blogger Rich Hughes said...

The IQ delta is a fact. I'm not claiming it's an objective measure of intelligence, but whatever IQ measures, theists on average have less, by just under 6 points.

Also, mean IQ's for enthicities:

Asian > White > Black.

This is a fact. If it is racist, then life is racist.

Again, I don't speculate on causation.

But I do agree with this:

August 08, 2007 10:16 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Also Men > Women

Which you know I can't accept.

And The Mismeasure of Man was the first book I read by Gould - however, while I share his attitude toward IQ tests, I now understand that some of his methods were faulty. (I can't cite specifics.)

So here's your answer, Ftk - people can also be wrong. I have had to accept this about Gould. He was wrong about some things.

He mischaracterized Dawkins' theories and I did not read Dawkins' books because of it. In fact, it is due to the Dembski-Behe duo that I started reading Dawkins at all, in 2005.

Life is strange.

August 08, 2007 10:38 PM  
Blogger Rich Hughes said...

Men > Women is because your brains are small, like squirrels.

August 08, 2007 11:11 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Gaa. No fair making me laugh.

Fine. Factor this!

y=√4x3 - 5

Whips and chains rule.

August 08, 2007 11:47 PM  
Blogger Rich Hughes said...

y = 2 * 3 - 5
y = 9-5
y = 4


y= -2 * 3 -5
y= -9 -5
y= -14


or summin.

*Hands Kristine an acorn*

August 09, 2007 12:19 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, it looked all right in the comment window - but that's a square root sign over (4x[to the third power] - 5). Hey, I'm not that much of a twit! I rawk at algebra!

*Throws acorn at Rich*

August 09, 2007 12:22 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Whips and chain rule!

August 09, 2007 12:23 AM  
Blogger Rich Hughes said...

Phhh goalpost mover..

Kristine: what's 3 + 4
Rich: 7?
Krsitine: erm, it said "can a box contain itself?" in the comment window.

*Hands kristine some crackers*

August 09, 2007 12:25 AM  
Blogger Rich Hughes said...

Ps.. do you really think 2 * 3 = 9, math queen?

August 09, 2007 12:34 AM  
Anonymous missouri said...

You’re insinuating here, again, that ignorance is (of course) the problem, and that all I need to do is go get a textbook and read about plate tectonics again, and then I’ll surely discard my silly notion that Brown’s hydroplate theory is an interesting alternative to what current scientific consensus offers.

~incredulous laughter~ Ftk, are you serious?

YES, if you were to crack open a textbook, you WOULD discard the very silly notion that Brown’s hydroplate theory is an interesting alternative to what current scientific consensus offers!

I am sick to death of the idolatry and loathsome ignorance that passes for Christian faith today in America.

The Flood account is a reworking of an ancient Babylonian myth based on a localized flooding.

Don't go there, Kristine. Don't waste your time with "Dr." Brown - you're an educated woman, a scholar - and as far as I'm concerned you're more of a Christian than these confused little emotional blackmailers who think they have any faith at all.

I see you falling for their tricks tiem and again and I wish you would protect yourself from these tactics. Let's you and I talk via e-mail re calc.

August 09, 2007 8:50 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well… I know that Christians think the highest compliment is to call someone who’s not a Christian a Christian, so…

I’ll take you up on that calc chat, but first I must survive this weekend’s dance recital at the Farmer’s Market. And some other things are coming up this weekend. Next week, okay?

Yes, I hear all the time that “materialism is dead,” but guess who’s got to drag a new stereo and CDs and a costume to the parking lot for the Market, figure out how to change in and out of a spandex-and-metal costume (because I can’t even sit down in it) without attracting pervs, and stand around waiting to go on in between sets without any real schedule nailed down? Guess who dragged that new flipping stereo home on the bus and up the block in my high heels? Hint: It wasn’t Jesus.

Maybe next time I’ll just flap my arms and fly.

August 09, 2007 10:21 AM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitor said...

That has got to be one of the nicest pictures of you I have seen yet.

Even the panda looks happy.

August 10, 2007 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristine, speaking as an other who does not drive, (It has been sixteen years without a driver's licence.) I would use a cab. As for the heels, I have always hated them. (But I can get away with not wearing them. Yet I love clunky shoes. Go figure.) You have to change costumes, I am assuming the heels are a part of that.

Other then that, good luck and have fun. And may the Big Sky Daddy keep the pervs away. Well, that won't work. So I hope you can find a secluded spot.


August 10, 2007 10:58 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

That has got to be one of the nicest pictures of you I have seen yet.

Thank you! *Shimmy!* I have my moments.

I received a card from Pat at CFI (who put together the Galapagos trip) saying, "You're photogenic, we have lots of photos of you." Photogenic? Moi?

Professor Steve Steve is a dear.

Kristine, speaking as an other who does not drive, (It has been sixteen years without a driver's licence.) I would use a cab.

Awesome, fellow car-free sistah! But I hate cabs. I love trains. Once I figured out how the hell to get out of Midway Airport, I felt quite the urban sophisticate stepping onto the train with my heels and my roller-luggage.

As for the heels, I have always hated them.

I only wear comfortable shoes. My heels are almost ten years old and still kicking! I marched in them in the Pride Parade and everything.

August 10, 2007 11:17 AM  

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