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The main mission of BioLogos is to convert evangelical Christians from evolution-deniers to evolution-accepters. That's also the goal of many accommodationists, though the smarter ones, recognizing the futility of confronting Biblical literalists, concentrate on more liberal Christians.

My sentiments exactly.

. . .if a taboo word cannot appear even in a classroom, subject to analysis and study, then we have granted it a power beyond our control, and that cannot be a good thing.

How Nietzsche gets misunderstood by Jared Loughner types.



John McEntyre is right as usual.

though the smarter ones, recognizing the futility of confronting Biblical literalists, concentrate on more liberal Christians.

I said the same thing about the Islamic inspired comic books that TED promoted last year. I think this stuff actually does as much harm as good. Ideas seem to have a gravity about them and pull down as much as up.

For every kid reading an islamic comic book and being exposed to a few secular ideas, there are probably thousands not getting to read secular comic books and losing out on a lot of exposure to moderating forces.

Similarly for every extremist BioLogos convinces that God worked through Evolution, It probably convinces several science minded people that Their Scientific belief are compatible with their God and angels and so on

re: Dr. Bowdler's heir

What Norm said. "if a taboo word cannot appear ... then we have granted it a power beyond our control, and that cannot be a good thing."

It's true. Words can get all out of hand when granted power. I know because I have a covered butter dish. It's a pretty little thing, the cover is shaped with the head of a duck, the dish and duck cover are decorated all around with little flowers and such. And, to it's credit, a perfectly formed and hard chilled cube of butter straight from the fridge, will sit every so nicely under the lid. It's just that as soon as you actually start USING the butter, it covers the groove for the duck lid, spreading onto the narrow lip. The darn thing needs a napkin wipe several times a day and is still a mess. I doubt I've ever encountered so ergonometrically defective a device as this.

Why, you may well ask, does it still sit all gross and greasy on the kitchen counter? There is but one reason. One time, ages ago, I asked one of the children to fetch "Duckybutter" to the table. How now can I "off" something named "Duckybutter"? I'm paralyzed by the power of the name. I dare not even give it away lest someone else fall under it's spell.

All shall love Duckybutter, and despair!

The solution to your slippery problem is clear, Butterfingers.

re: Are you Prescriptive or Descriptive?

The Language Log "The odds of X are arge":likely or unlikely?" was fun.

So the term "the odds" is on the rise. Oh dear. I share the author's suspicion that few using the term share any serious common understanding of probability.

We underestimate the extent to which contextual meanings facilitate our modern shortcut language. Take the term "OK". The first time we attached a big farm implement to the back of the tractor, we discovered serious linguistic ambiguity when it turned out that "OK" meant "GO" to one person, and "STOP!" to another, with both a bit uncertain whether it also might mean "Continue as you were".

And then, this whole deal about the white writing on black background on "Popular Linguistics" It is really rather annoying on a computer screen. But, have you noticed that on those tiny little buttons on our electronics, with their tiny little writing, white on dark black is the only chance we have of reading the script. Now, of course, some marketing person has decided that pale gray is trendier, so we get white writing on pale gray background which is, of course, hopeless.

Just as "Thousand to One" might equally be interpreted as long odds or short ones, the absence of context disables reason.

Not much space for context in a twitter...

Maybe THAT's the problem with this country. As Mr Liberman says in "The odds of X are large..." article: "For, if interpreters are confused about what it is they are interpreting, the odds of their producing incoherence are enormous."

Boy Howdy. Isn't that the truth.


Feeny's Nietzsche:

The congresswoman was far too conservative, too "blue dog". As was Nietzsche.

Besides the fact that the assassin is practically next door neighbors with me (and by the way,Becker, he shot a congresswoman, not "a senator", to kill Kyl, or McCain, would have been well, much LESS insane), it "creeps" me out I saw Loughner play at the high school jazz concert. The ensemble was as good as top professionals back in the 70's. But the stand up solos were a joke. I believe jerrod was one of the few who actually had some "thing" to say. It creeps me out. Also his name. I have recently developed an obsession with certain cliches of Jerry Lee Lewis (stand-up piano technique) etc,( and Led Belly, and the Boys of the Lough (symmetrical pentatonic Caledonian scales, etc,). Anyway Miles, McCoy, Bird, they do lead one down a path of hypnogogic associational thinking, a sort of hip gnosis that squares think of as stream of conscious, ... crazy.

But a gun is the squarest invention, instrument of all. Stupid. Beyond belief.


Jerry Lee Led Belly Lough-boy is not a Nietzschean at all,

he is a Dostoyevskyan, a bad character out of the gloomy Russian nihil-sphere.

This is the squarest part of a square town, built with the very street names celebrating Reagan's "revolution". I believe Lough-boy was perhaps unconsciouly trying to join the squares, the American "revolution". Draw a line from Nietzsche to Ayn Rand to Jerry Lee Loughner, connect Jimmy Swaggert too, and you have... Americana.

The last neighborhood I lived in in this town had the case at the beginning of Sheriff Dupnik's career, the mega-killer "the Pied Piper of Tucson", who was half Elvis and Half Marilyn Monroe. There may be something in the water around her. Something

crazy ugly. Ugly crazy.

thanks for the correction re: congresswoman/senator. please remember that, while born and bred an american, i haven't lived there for well over 20 years, while you (apparantly) live in, and actually knew personally, the killer. i appreciate the "inside perspective" you so generously provided, and apologize for my mistake, a result of the exact opposite of an "insiders perspective", even on u.s. politics and "who's who" there, since i've had my own, now different country for all these years to try to understand and "disentangle" the political makeup of. which is also not a simple job, believe me...

correction: you apparently "live in" the hometown of the killer, not, as i typo'd, the killer himself. i hope. :)


Mr. Becker,

I certainly do not know the assassin personally. But via 2 degrees of separationm which are all that separate me from Spielberg, Lucas "skywalker", Asimov, anyone in the small town of Hollywood, , etc., etalia.

It's a Rube-Goldberg contraption of Indra-jewelnetwork simplexity.

The band teacher who taught is married to the clarinet professor who taught Loughner to jazz the saxophone, which might have Led him to romanticize drugs or the other way around. Also the elementary school Loughner went to fed into the same middle and high school as numerous nieces and nephews of mine.

But why do the actors, the great bold "doers" always assasinate the wrong person? The homeless artist Schicklgruber and the lazy cop who pulls over the slowest of the ubiquitous speeders,because they are easier to catch to fill his quota have this in common.


It's easier to play guns than to master even a ridiculously easy instrument like the Saxophone.

What if Liberals took a page from the conservative playbook, and started carrying axes, or flamethrowers, or just beakers full of acid to townhall meetings? Or just having a nude in: Just say "no" to cloths. The Tea-bagpipes are so colorful loud and plaid they get all of the attention.

John Stewart can't compete with tumor-brain. Concussionhead, whatever the hell it is got into him. The assassin.

American Indian witch doctors can get anyone to do anything. As can Islamic mono-intoning Mullahs.

What made the white-boy crazy? The cracker cracked himself?

Nietzsche is off the hook for Schiclgruber, Hitler, so his is off for Lough-boy, Q.E.D. (?)

I don't think Giffords will ever come back here though. The Gov., Napolitano left a hell of a void. We are doomed. Doomed to be another Utah.

Or worse.

Do you ever fear that writing crazy comments might lead to or mean that you are currently crazy?

no, i don't care if anyone thinks i'm crazy. i do "suffer" a bit from pity that some may think so. but i do fear truly inciteful (not just crazy) comments in public,like on a blog (even a small one like this) might lead to some actual crazy person doing some crazy,violent thing. and i think it's happened, and will continue to happen, more and more and i try to limit my comments to "crazy" without being "inciteful".

the world is full of crazy people, and i may be one of them. but i am sane enough not to be "incited" to actual action by any of them, and i do my best not to make comments that might lead to some nutjob taking the law (such as it is) into their own hands in a violent way. thanks, as always, for your concern. :)

sorry, red, thought you were talking to me. whatever. my comment still stands. i don't know if you're question is actually applicable to "20throot"- you usually have to be pretty crazy, and bright, and interested enough, even to understand what he's talking about most of the time.

and yes, i have now expressed publicly my own concerns that some people here might consider me, as well as "20throot", crazy.

well, fwiw, it ain't so, in either of our cases. we just like, and know how to write interestingly for a very small group of people who may care or understand what we're talking about.


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