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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.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Open Gripe Thread

I sense an argument brewing in the blether (blogosphere + ether).

Okay, everyone, let's get it out in the open. Come on, put it out there. ;-)



Anonymous Teh Intelligent Designer said...

Well, for one thing I am so sick of your pracing around saying, “Who designed the Designer’s terrible wardrobe?” You know perfectly well that I get things second-hand, missy.

September 07, 2007 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whut argyment? It cain't brew in the ether, since they ain't no ether.
Ah'm an a-etherist.
The Missourian what ain't no troll.

September 07, 2007 10:39 AM  
Blogger Cat's Staff said...

I would like to take this opportunity to gripe about the fact that Hershey has discontinued their "Cookies 'n' Mint Nuggets".

September 07, 2007 12:08 PM  
Anonymous AJ Milne said...

Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, toffee-nosed, malodorous pervert!

... oh. Wait. You say you wanted an argument?

Erm... Sorry.

This is abuse. You want room 12A. Next door.

September 07, 2007 12:27 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Scotius, you crack me up! :-D Eek, I'm not fond of mint, Cat's Staff, so I sympathize but don't feel your pain.

And speaking of cracking up, looks like the Chief Cupcake of the Cupcake Brigade is boo-hooing again. Oh my God, God! Who do you think you are – God? Who died and made you God? After all those times you leaned your head on my shoulder, I gotta worship your wardrobe, too?

Spill the beans and tell everyone that you also got this universe second-hand. C’mon, let’s hear it. Everyone, there is something called the Planck Era, which existed before the Big Bang. That’s when Zeus confided to Hermes, “When He wakes up, He’ll remember how drunk He was but don’t let Him come bitching to you.” ;-)

September 07, 2007 12:32 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

... oh. Wait. You say you wanted an argument?

*Laugh* Considering what happened yesterday, this comment is so friggin' appropriate! Thank you!

September 07, 2007 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm peeved that you haven't posted YOUR dancing.....

September 07, 2007 1:25 PM  
Blogger vjack said...

Open gripes, huh? Okay, I'll play. It pisses me off when I encounter a woman who deliberately acts less intelligent than she really is because she thinks that is what guys like. No matter how attractive she is, if she acts like a moron, I'm out of there.

September 07, 2007 1:39 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I'm peeved that you haven't posted YOUR dancing.....

I know, lots of people are.

I need to learn the technology. What I have isn't working. In addition, I broke up with my boyfriend of 20 years, and we're negotiating the house we own in common.

I just started school again. Work is more hectic than ever.

Give me some more time.

Vjack, I agree, but you don't know the pressures that face we women out there. Some guys do like that - some guys act like they like that because they think they should. I'm lucky in my situation.

September 07, 2007 2:09 PM  
Blogger Forthekids said...

Okay, I have a bit of a gripe.

What is it that you find so compelling about Dawkins? You mention him frequently, and he seems to be someone you really look up to. You seem to love his book....

Just wondering what in particular draws you to him.

[...runs to hide from the fall out of asking that question...]

September 07, 2007 2:12 PM  
Blogger vjack said...

Yes, there is no denying that women face insane pressures and that we men will forever be limited in our understanding. It is sad that so many men still feel threatened by this sort of realization or by empowered women. Sometimes I think our culture is making progress, but then I hear about another rape or make the mistake of landing on Fox "News" while flipping channels.

Ack! Now I have to go complain about Christians to make myself feel better.

September 07, 2007 2:28 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well said, Vjack. Ftk, don't run away, geez. No fallout…

I don’t know how much you know about before I started reading Dawkins – in 2005, in response to hearing about Dembski and Behe et al. Before then I read Stephen Jay Gould, who vehemently opposed Dawkins’ ideas and in my opinion mischaracterized them. When I finally read The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker I was, first and foremost, capitivated by the style of a truly gifted writer. That comes first, before any agreements or disagreements about ideas or opinions. However, the fact remains that Gould, himself a wonderful writer, was wrong about many things. Surely Dawkins too will be shown to be wrong in some respects, although I must say that The Selfish Gene has held up much better than Rock of Ages, say.

From The Blind Watchmaker:

As an adult in Panama I have stepped aside and contemplated the New World equivalent of the driver ants that I had feared as a child in Africa, flowing by me like a crackling river, and I can testify to the strangeness and wonder. Hour after hour the legions marched past, walking as much over each others' bodies as over the ground, while I waited for the queen. Finally she came, and hers was an awesome presence. It was impossible to see her body. She appeared only as a moving wave of worker frenzy, a boiling peristaltic ball of ants with linked arms. She was somewhere in the seething ball of workers, while all around it the massed ranks of soldiers faced threateningly outwards with jaws agape, every one prepared to kill and to die in defence of the queen. Forgive my curiosity to see her : I prodded the ball of workers with a long stick, in a vain attempt to flush out the queen. Instantly 20 soldiers buried their massively muscled pincers in my stick, possibly never to let go, while dozens more swarmed up the stick causing me to let go with alacrity.

It’s interesting, though, that you would list as a gripe that you have a writer than I enjoy. I mean, I don’t care if you like Behe – for all I know he’s a good writer too (but good scientist?). For that matter, I have enjoyed some of Dembski’s work despite everything.

Are you asking if I had something of a crush on Dawkins? Certainly! I love men; I love their company, and I understand and appreciate them. But if you have been paying attention, you’ll notice that I’ve forgotten about Dawkins lately, because of someone else who is much, much more to me than a crush. :-)

September 07, 2007 3:23 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

My gripe? 1. I hate moderating comments.
2. I support literally 400 volunteers and hundreds of teachers and talked to no less than 30 people on the phone today, and I’m an honest person – I do my job, go to school at night, and don’t ask anything from anyone, and I hate classist attitudes from people who had everything handed to them (fifth from bottom).

September 07, 2007 4:37 PM  
Blogger Cat's Staff said...

Oops, I meant Cookies 'n' Creme Nuggets... I don't remember there being a Cookies 'n' Mint Nuggets. Cat would like to lodge a grip that I haven't been home for the last week and she's been all alone. I think you have better grips then us though.

September 07, 2007 5:03 PM  
Blogger Kevin Scott said...

Kristine and FTK,

Let's face it...Kristine and I think Dawkins is ONE HOT PIECE OF MAN MEAT. There, I said it. It's now in the public record.

Kristine, stop hiding behind your slightly veiled intellectualism and admit it--like me, you have a crush on him.

September 07, 2007 9:28 PM  
Blogger Forthekids said...

Elegant writing prose doesn’t always deem a person particularly admirable. I guess I just don’t understand your support for Dawkins, PZ, etc.

What do you think about this review of Dawkins book that was written by an atheist? Just curious.

But, on to another topic....

So, you broke up with your long time boyfriend. Sorry about that...or maybe not? I have been paying attention, and I remember you saying something about an internet crush. So, it seems that this “crush” is turning into something much more juicy. Are you going to let us know who it is you having developed this crush on?? Can we guess? Sorry, but I’m a sucker for internet gossip....

September 08, 2007 8:24 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Of course I have a crush on him, Kevin! I have hidden nothing.

Ftk, check my "Anti-Flapdoodle" links, top one. It is more juicy than a crush - it's very serious - the one, and I never thought I'd find myself saying that.

September 08, 2007 11:34 AM  
Blogger Forthekids said...


OMgosh, I guessed it! I SWEAR I did not see anything, nor did I hear anything about it.

I just remember you talking to him or about him in various comments or posts. But nothing revealing...

Dang, I'm good. Does he live in MN?

September 08, 2007 12:16 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

He hasn't been. I am moving to Cloud Nine, the Apesphere.

September 08, 2007 12:22 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

What do you think about this review of Dawkins book that was written by an atheist? Just curious.

Ftk, thank you for the link.

Actually, I agree that The God Delusion is Dawkins’ least interesting book. I was glad that he wrote it, for it’s his personal statement on the issue and intended to be a polemic, but after reading it I wanted to get back to reading about science, animal behavior, the difficulties of defining a “replicator,” etc. Ironically, at a certain point I’d rather read about religion than read arguments against religion, because religion is a subset of anthropology and I don’t need further convincing regarding atheism; I’m simply not a religious person but I am interested in religious behavior, being that I consider it human-created, not supernatural. Human beings interest me, whether I agree with them or not.

From the link: Until the Elizabethan Sir Roger Bacon (not the monk, the other one), nobody, anywhere, divided the cosmos into our contemporary conception of natural and supernatural. Up until that point, everyone, everywhere, thought the cosmos was governed by supernatural personalities or forces whose actions depended in whole or in part on the moral choices of human beings.

This statement raises a red flag for me, though. What about Socrates? I don’t agree with the critic there – I do agree that it’s simplistic to judge earlier cultures according to modern sensibilities, and yet I don’t see how anyone can completely avoid doing so – Christians did and do so when they regard pagan cultures as “false.” We are moral animals, so we cannot divorce ourselves entirely from imposing some moral judgements. However, I’m not sure about drawing such a clear demarcation at Francis Bacon’s time – how about the discovery of Pompeii? That gave rise to our modern idea of history, which is different than that of ancient peoples, whether Roman, Greek, or Hebrew…these are ongoing scholarly questions with multiple and often competing answers. A book that I never finished: Did the Greeks Believe their Myths? Now I’m in grad school again, no time for it…

It’s dangerous to make such absolutist statements – and I think that Dawkins was railing more against unquestioning faith than religion – but certainly this person should object to the same in Dawkins if s/he perceives similar absolutism. I wish that those who object to Dawkins’ arguments would write out their own arguments, so that I could better see what they envision. Dawkins is not the end-all-be-all spokesman for atheism. Ultimately he is just a person as I am; I have my own opinions (and my opinions are a series of “if…then” statements rather than beliefs anyway); atheists are all individuals; aside from not believing in God we are incredibly diverse and I think Dawkins’s job was to start, not end, our own conversation within the atheist community, as well as with the larger culture.

September 10, 2007 4:03 PM  

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