Friday, January 18, 2008

I dont like Ed.

We just seemed to disagree a lot.

But he just wrote an excellent expose on 'private security firms', and now he is going to be sued (should the lawyers ever find him, heh).

I dont particularly like Ed. But I hope he tells us how we can support him, if he needs any help.

48 comments:

Gary S. Hurd said...

It is hard to say if I dislike Ed more than Ed doesn't like me.

But, when I was a private investigator, I specialized in locates. The best money was stolen children. Criminal cases paid suckall because we only worked defense.

Later, when I did taphonomy expert witness work, the money got quite nice, but then I would go and volunteer for something. Ruined my hourly average.

I'd volunteer to serve Ed papers. Honest. Expenses only.

Gary S. Hurd said...

OK, I read the article Ed wrote.

I won't serve papers on him for free.

Two years ago he was defending goons. Maybe he has changed.

I wouldn't work for those a$$holes anyway.

Gary said...

Well, Ed and I don't agree on some things, like religion, but I will help him if he needs it, cuz we proabably agree on more than we disagree on, and he posts early, so I can drink coffee when I read him in the morning.

Some of my OTHER favorite bloggers, sleep in - every morning - you know who you are - and I can't read them till later.

J-Dog

Ian said...

I like Ed, even when I disagree with him. And definitely in this case he deserves support.

Rich Hughes said...

I've met Ed, and we got along okay. That being said, I like Gary too, and ERV is apparently a hot kickboxing chick. JDog is a beer spilling-buffoon, though! (*wink*).

People can change and can be right about somethings and wrong about others. You can also like people but not their viewpoints.

I like Dave Heddle, even though I think his religious views are a bit out there. Enjoy the differences folks, it at least makes us think and re-asses, if only for a moment.

op99 said...

What's the history on Ed that some folks don't like him? Is he like that guy John Cole at Balloon Juice who used to be an asshole and then came over to the light? Seems like he's on my side now. I like you, Ed, and I read you daily. I don't care who you killed.

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD said...

I don't know if I like Ed, but I certainly respect him.

James Hanley said...

I like Ed and you. For the most part you both make sense--so rare in the blogosphere.

vhut said...

I too have met and like Ed, although I sometimes disagree with him, but his posts are worth reading and considering. I appreciate his stands on individual civil and religious rights as guaranteed by the constitution. I certainly support him in this case!

Torbjörn Larsson said...


What's the history on Ed that some folks don't like him?


Speaking for myself and with a limited experience, I can't trust him to deliver a balanced view. Too often (for my taste) he has gone off on a rant, and then he forgot to bring his brain with. Now, you can say that rants should be all emotion and is a fun spectator sport, but if it happens often I like to see some motivation in there. Else I start thinking of childs and ego trips, and wonder why I waste my time on such a tenous rant.

That said, he certainly makes up for it when he has the cool on. So I still read him at times.

Ed Brayton said...

Imagine my surprise to find out I am not liked by someone I've never really had any interaction with (other than linking on occasion to her excellent work debunking ID). Not that I care much; being liked has never mattered much to me. Being liked by first class fucking assholes like Gary Hurd would be a badge of dishonor, so I'm happy to bear his disapproval, but perhaps it's not too much to wonder if one day he'll even crawl out of his bottle long enough to discover what intellectual honesty is and stop lying about me "defending thugs." What a piece of shit you are, Hurd.

ERV said...

LOL

Sorry, Ed, I just havent forgiven you for giving David Mills the 'Robert O'Brien' trophy.

David is a really nice guy, and I love how hes brought atheism 'to the people'-- not every atheist has a PhD in Philosophy or Biology-- The majority of atheists are Average Joes like David.

He didnt deserve that.

Ed Brayton said...

If "bringing atheism to the people" requires behaving like that guy behaves, atheism has serious problems. I'm still laughing at being called "pretentious" for making fun of a guy who used a Bible to clean up dog shit and put the video online. If that isn't pretentious, that word has no meaning. Perhaps he should have used it to pick up Gary Hurd instead.

ERV said...

THAT VIDEO WAS FOR HIS DAUGHTER!! "LOOK! DAD CAN PICK UP DOG SHIT WITH THE BIBLE AND NOTHING HAPPENS! ITS NOT A MAGIC BOOK!"

ARG!

**stomps off in a huff, again**

Ed Brayton said...

That the video was for his daughter is all the more sad. I'm all for religious satire. I'm a huge fan of religious satire, from Voltaire to Monty Python to Kevin Smith. Picking up dog shit with the Bible is just childish and idiotic.

Matt Penfold said...

Of course the real problem people have with Ed is that he pretends to be this rational person. I say pretend because occasionally he lets slip his true identity.

I can give an example. Recently on his blog he said he did not consider religious belief to be delusional. Now the delusional has a number of meanings but in the context of religious belief, and given Ed's attacks on Dawkins, it is fair to conclude he was using the word as Dawkins' used it in "The God Delusional". Dawkins in that book makes it clear that he using delusion meaning the acceptance of something for which there is no evidence. As an aside Ed admits to not having read that book. So either Ed really does think there is evidence for the existence of god or he is not using delusion in the context that has become associated with this debate, in which case he is being dishonest. Neither option reflects well on him.

So it would seem Ed is not on the side of rationality and reason, or he is a liar. Takes you pick.

Bad said...

I can't tell if you're all joking or what. Needs a disclaimer.

"Dawkins in that book makes it clear that he using delusion meaning the acceptance of something for which there is no evidence. "

Yes yes, and Jonah Goldberg makes clear that the "Fascism" in Liberal Fascism is a more complex usage than it seems. What a nice, thoughtful guy, right?

Matt Penfold said...

Bad,

I am not sure what your point is.

Delusion has a number of meanings listed in dictionaries. One of the meanings is the meaning Dawkins uses in "The God Delusion". He makes it very clear how he is using the word.

After mentioning that the term has a special meaning within psychiatry and that he is NOT using the term in that sense he goes on to say "The Penguin English Dictionary defines a delusional as 'a false belief or impression'", and it is that sense of the word he is using. Others are of course free to use other meanings but if they do in the context of "The God Delusional" they need to make it very clear that they are not using the meaning Dawkins uses. Now Ed has not the book, but of course that does not excuse him. Either his knew he was using the word in a different meaning to the one Dawkins or he did not. If it is the former then he was being dishonest, it he was using it the way Dawkins used it then he really does think that there is evidence for god.

Orac said...

"I'm still laughing at being called "pretentious" for making fun of a guy who used a Bible to clean up dog shit and put the video online. If that isn't pretentious, that word has no meaning."

Abby, FWIW, I happen to agree whole-heartedly with Ed on this one. That video was idiotic, sophomoric, pretentious, and in horribly bad taste. In short, it was about as dumb a thing as I've ever seen from an atheist or religious person and not in the least bit amusing. I'd happily tell the guy who made it that that was my opinion to his face.

I guess that means you won't like me much anymore. ;-(

Matt Penfold said...

I have not seen this video everyone is going on about, and to be honest I am not sure I want to.

However for it to be one of the dumbest things someone as ever seen coming from either an atheist or religious believer then either this video makes "Pop Idol" look intelligent or this person has not come across Denyse O'Leary's lasted pile of scatological musings.

ERV said...

LOL @ Orac-- Unless you devote an entire post to how stupid David is while you contribute nothing to atheist activism...

Ill have a post up tonight on atheist activism and why your opinion is completely wrong :P

Raging Braytard said...

I agree with Ed a lot, but goddamn can he be annoying. Or his blog can be annoying. There are some good posts between putting up his lame musical tastes or making bad out of date jokes (hey tell us the one about Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold again). And a lot of his posts make you click the read more link only to get 1 more paragraph(ch-ching!).

And sometimes he just acts like a school yard bully when he is dealing with something PZ or Dawkins writes.

Matt Penfold said...

You know, something strikes me as odd about Ed's position on the "new" atheists. He claims that way Dawkins, PZ et al put across their message alienates "moderate" theists and that atheists need to reach out those "moderates" in order to fight creationism/ID. Quite who these "moderates" are I do not know. The catholic church opposes the teaching of creationism but it seems Ed does not really want to cuddle up to them as he says nasty things (quite rightly) about their stance on homosexuality. I suppose he might mean the Anglicans, but then they are riven with arguments over homosexuality that threaten to split the church.

So who are these "moderate" theists Ed wants us to be friends with. And why does he not practice what he preaches. Dawkins is far more civil to people he disagrees with than Ed is.

Bad said...

My point, Matt, is that titles of books are where one might wish to take the most care in avoiding connotations one doesn't want to convey, not the least care. If I entitle a book "Justice Scalia like Young Boys" I thing that would have a rather sour ring to it even if I went on to explain in the book that all I meant was that he loves his children.

Likewise, I can't rightly let Dawkins entirely off the hook for "Delusion" when I don't let Goldberg off the hook for his "Fascism" title. In both cases, carefully explained and delineated definitions within the book really don't cut it in making up for the obvious first-glance connotation in the title. The psychiatric use is precisely what anyone would immediately think of in the first place. Since titles are meant to communicate the thrust of a work, using a word that you don't mean in a way that most people will read it is, really, the author's failing as a communicator and advocate.

Bad said...

My point, Matt, is that titles of books are where one might wish to take the most care in avoiding connotations one doesn't want to convey, not the least care. If I entitle a book "Justice Scalia like Young Boys" I thing that would have a rather sour ring to it even if I went on to explain in the book that all I meant was that he loves his children.

Likewise, I can't rightly let Dawkins entirely off the hook for "Delusion" when I don't let Goldberg off the hook for his "Fascism" title. In both cases, carefully explained and delineated definitions within the book really don't cut it in making up for the obvious first-glance connotation in the title. The psychiatric use is precisely what anyone would immediately think of in the first place. Since titles are meant to communicate the thrust of a work, using a word that you don't mean in a way that most people will read it is, really, the author's failing as a communicator and advocate.

Matt Penfold said...

Bad,

I think you are missing the point. The books was not written for theists, it was written for atheists and the title reflects that, and yes it is intended to somewhat contentious. If, as you seem to think, Dawkins is such a poor communicator it becomes hard to understand how the book has managed to top the best seller lists all over the world in both hardback and paperback. It becomes even harder to explain why the book has helped spark a renewed debate in the mainstream media over the role of religion in society. If that is an example of bad communication I would like to see an example of good communication.

What I suspect is that you, like Ed, just looked at the title and decided you did not need to bother reading the book. Ed tried that and came unstuck when it became clear he did not know what Dawkins was actually saying. I rather suspect you did the same.

H. Humbert said...

Bad said: "The psychiatric use is precisely what anyone would immediately think of in the first place."

Well, no, that's not true. The word delusion is most often used and understood in its colloquial sense. Same with crazy and insane. Unless you really want to argue that "Girl you so crazy!" is best understood in the context of professional medical vocabulary.

If you misunderstood the title to represent a book arguing for a medical diagnosis, then I can quite confidently inform you that you are in a very small minority. However, if you're just pissed that he used the word at all to describe theism, and thus presenting this misplaced criticism to grind a personal ax of yours, then you'll find yourself in much more numerous company.

Bad said...

"I think you are missing the point."

Nah, I don't think I am.

"The books was not written for theists, it was written for atheists and the title reflects that, and yes it is intended to somewhat contentious."

So, wait, now your argument is that I'm correct after all, but it's okay, because the idea was to fire up _atheists_ with a reference to something more insulting than the book actually went on to be? I don't see how that makes things better.

"If, as you seem to think, Dawkins is such a poor communicator it becomes hard to understand how the book has managed to top the best seller lists all over the world in both hardback and paperback."

Poor communication is not the same thing as unpopular communication. This is why Ann Coulter sells plenty of books (far more than Dawkins). In fact, provocative titles are great at helping to move books (i.e. "Liberal Fascism," or "The Party of Death" which I presume you think are justified titles as well, no?)

"It becomes even harder to explain why the book has helped spark a renewed debate in the mainstream media over the role of religion in society. If that is an example of bad communication I would like to see an example of good communication."

Your point seems to be that because the book is successful and inspiring (which I agree it is) it is beyond all criticism. That's just silly.

"What I suspect is that you, like Ed, just looked at the title and decided you did not need to bother reading the book."

I bought the audiobook, actually. And I have all of Dawkins other books and consider myself something of a fan. But not a slavish one.

"Ed tried that and came unstuck when it became clear he did not know what Dawkins was actually saying."

While I have no idea what Ed thinks, I'm pretty sure that you're about the last person I would trust to give an accurate evaluation of it.

"Anonymous H. Humbert said... Well, no, that's not true. The word delusion is most often used and understood in its colloquial sense."

It's colloquial sense is: "mentally out of it." There's no way around this. That's just what the vast majority of people think of when they call someone delusional or say that they have a delusion, or are deluded. They don't think of a dry definition: they think of an insulting accusation of mental condition.

Try it on a street corner and see.

"If you misunderstood the title to represent a book arguing for a medical diagnosis, then I can quite confidently inform you that you are in a very small minority."

I don't have any reason to trust your confidence or that you can inform me of anything.

Dawkin's choice of titles rather pointlessly pissed a lot of people off quite needlessly, and made his book weaker as a whole without making it stronger.

Shrug. Not the end of the world, but not beneath comment either.

Matt Penfold said...

"Poor communication is not the same thing as unpopular communication. This is why Ann Coulter sells plenty of books (far more than Dawkins). In fact, provocative titles are great at helping to move books (i.e. "Liberal Fascism," or "The Party of Death" which I presume you think are justified titles as well, no?)"

Let's see your data on book sales. Note that worldwide data is required. I rather suspect books like "The Selfish Gene" and "The Blind Watchmaker" have way outsold Coulter but I could be wrong. Never having read "Liberal Facism" or "The Party of Death" I cannot comment on the suitability of the titles, or indeed the books themselves.

"Your point seems to be that because the book is successful and inspiring (which I agree it is) it is beyond all criticism. That's just silly."

No, my point is that it suggest that Dawkins is not the poor communicator you claim he is.

"t's colloquial sense is: "mentally out of it." There's no way around this. That's just what the vast majority of people think of when they call someone delusional or say that they have a delusion, or are deluded. They don't think of a dry definition: they think of an insulting accusation of mental condition."

I disagree. Its colloquial sense is rather as Dawkins used it. The sense in which Dawkins used it certainly appears in every dictionary, both large and small, i have checked. If people have trouble understanding the word then maybe the argument Dawkins put forward will be too much for them as well.

A book is not the same thing as a street corner. I suspect that your problem may be that you think the communication techniques used in a street corner oration apply equally to a book that develops a cogent argument.

"Dawkin's choice of titles rather pointlessly pissed a lot of people off quite needlessly, and made his book weaker as a whole without making it stronger."

Well it does not seem to have been the problem you think it is here in the UK. The ABC welcomed the book, whilst making it clear he did not agree with the argument Dawkins was making. The title it seems was a total non issue for him. I suspect that is because he knew the title was intentionally somewhat provocative but had the intelligence to see past that. If some people got pissed off at the title then I rather suspect they deserved to be. If people get upset because they get told their beliefs are without any evidence to support them then the problem is theirs, not Dawkins'. He did not inculcate a belief in the supernatural in them after all.

Bad said...

"If people have trouble understanding the word then maybe the argument Dawkins put forward will be too much for them as well."

Good grief you're pretentious.

If only your arguments made sense, that might even be charming. You keep conceding the point, insisting that it doesn't matter because only the stupids would be bothered by it, and then denying it all over again.

And I didn't say that Dawkins was on the whole a poor communicator. I said that this instance was a "the author's failing as a communicator and advocate." You're the one who developed the straw man position that this meant that somehow the book was on the whole lousy. I don't think it's lousy. I think the choice of the title, and then whining about how it was misunderstood, is lame.

Matt Penfold said...

Bad,

You said:

"And I didn't say that Dawkins was on the whole a poor communicator. I said that this instance was a "the author's failing as a communicator and advocate." You're the one who developed the straw man position that this meant that somehow the book was on the whole lousy. I don't think it's lousy. I think the choice of the title, and then whining about how it was misunderstood, is lame."

That you have poor comprehension skills is your misfortune. It is not one you can blame either myself or Richard Dawkins for.

You have the gall to call me pretentious when in reply to H. Humbert you said, and I quote you directly, "I don't have any reason to trust your confidence or that you can inform me of anything.".

Also please note I am still waiting for you to supply the data that shows Coulter has sold more books that Dawkins. The fact you have not done so leads me to conclude you cannot. The fact you have not admitted as much leads me to conclude honesty is not something you hold in much esteem.

I do not think I need to add anymore do I ?

Adrienne said...

Larsson, boasting of being awarded by OM by PZ Myers, accuses Ed of ranting without having his "brain on"? Well, presumably you're a fan of PZ Myers, and he rants way more than Ed does.

Ed is really much more level-headed than PZ, which is why I generally prefer Ed's blog (though my religious views are somewhat closer to PZ's).

I'm with Orac (another wonderfully rational, reasoned scienceblogger) on this one.

Matt Penfold said...

Adrienne,

I think it is a bit much to accuse Torbjörn of hubris over his award of a Molly, well deserved as it was. Nowhere in his post does he mention the fact.

Is there something about being an Ed supporter that makes you start twisting the truth ?

Bad said...

Blah blah blah.

"That you have poor comprehension skills is your misfortune."

Oh, please sir, you wound with your incoherent, poorly reasoned accusations!

"You have the gall to call me pretentious when in reply to H. Humbert you said, and I quote you directly, "I don't have any reason to trust your confidence or that you can inform me of anything."."

I'm not sure how that's pretentious: it's a low estimation of him, not a high estimation of me. I'm not sure how I could ever compare in pretension someone who named himself after a character from Lolita who ever-so literately rapes a young girl and tries to justify it with absurdly lofty language.

"Also please note I am still waiting for you to supply the data that shows Coulter has sold more books that Dawkins. The fact you have not done so leads me to conclude you cannot. The fact you have not admitted as much leads me to conclude honesty is not something you hold in much esteem."

Give me a break. According to wikipedia, Delusion has sold 1.5 in the English language edition. I can't find online Coulter sales figures to cite, but her books are (unfortunately) huge bestsellers that have traditionally sat at the top slots for weeks. I will happily retract the point until I can find such figures, as it was utterly irrelevant to anything I argued. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong and sorry for misjudging book sales, but again, pretty far from relevant to anything I argued.

But it is interesting to note how excited and obsessed you got about the matter, as if you believed I was trying to show Dawkins up and this hurt your pride and so this tossoff was suddenly the focus of your response, to the neglect of most else.

Lost Ones said...

So does anyone know what kind of science degree Ed has?

Bad said...

"Is there something about being an Ed supporter that makes you start twisting the truth?"

Oh good grief.

This has to be just about the stupidest and most pointless tribal squabbling I've ever seen. Two guys who agree on virtually everything are mortal enemies because they think the other is a jerk. Everyone must choose sides! Vile PZ curs! Disgusting Brayton dogs! Have at thee!

It's almost as eyeroll-worthy as the Clinton/Obama ado over nothing.

Matt Penfold said...

"Give me a break. According to wikipedia, Delusion has sold 1.5 in the English language edition. I can't find online Coulter sales figures to cite, but her books are (unfortunately) huge bestsellers that have traditionally sat at the top slots for weeks. I will happily retract the point until I can find such figures, as it was utterly irrelevant to anything I argued. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong and sorry for misjudging book sales, but again, pretty far from relevant to anything I argued."

"The God Delusion" is only the latest book Dawkins has written. You may recall he has written some seminal works explaining evolution to the lay person including "The Selfish Gene" and "The Blind Watchmaker". Both have sold very well and are still in print. In addition Dawkins sells worldwide, in both English and in translation. I doubt Coulter has much of market outside the US. The point clearly was not irrelevent to you since you brought the matter up.

Unless you are willing to honest I see little point in further discussion with you.

Matt Penfold said...

"So does anyone know what kind of science degree Ed has?"

As far as I know Ed does not have a science degree, and has not contributed to science in anyway.

Nothing wrong with that of course. I haven't either, unless you count either a computer science degree (I don't) or writing some programs to help a geologist evaluate their data.

SteveF said...

PZ and Ed are two of my favourite bloggers. They both talk a lot of sense. They also occasionally talk crap. Pretty much like me and a substantial number of other people.

Ed does have pretty crappy tastes in music though!

Ian said...

Steve: Now that's stepping over the line! :)

But seriously, the point of this post is getting lost. Regardless of whether you like Ed or loath him, he took a brave stance - on an important issue - and it's getting him sued. He deserves our support.

Bad said...

""The God Delusion" is only the latest book Dawkins has written."

Which is especially irrelevant since at no time was this ever a discussion of "who is cooler, Dawkins, or Ann Coulter?" It was about whether or not aggressive and/or seemingly insulting titles inflate book sales. Do you agree that they do so, or do you disagree? Are you looking for excuses to avoid this discussion, or are you just not able to follow it?

"The point clearly was not irrelevent to you since you brought the matter up. "

No, I mentioned it offhand in a larger point about the way titles draw big book sales. Who has actually sold more is irrelevant to my argument, and irrelevant to me: I've already said that I'm happy to retract the point, which is precisely what honesty requires. Dawkins probably sells far more books than Ann Coulter, I was wrong. Again, it doesn't change anything I've argued.

But its a bit of a sore subject for you though, it seems. Or perhaps you are just over-eager for any excuse to beg out of having to make cogent arguments?

Matt Penfold said...

"But seriously, the point of this post is getting lost. Regardless of whether you like Ed or loath him, he took a brave stance - on an important issue - and it's getting him sued. He deserves our support."

I am not sure he wants it.

Matt Penfold said...

"Which is especially irrelevant since at no time was this ever a discussion of "who is cooler, Dawkins, or Ann Coulter?" It was about whether or not aggressive and/or seemingly insulting titles inflate book sales. Do you agree that they do so, or do you disagree? Are you looking for excuses to avoid this discussion, or are you just not able to follow it?"

Hardly irrelevant when it comes to book sales. Remember you are the one who claimed Coulter sold more books that Dawkins, especially when you consider Dawkins has had books in print since the 1970s.

"No, I mentioned it offhand in a larger point about the way titles draw big book sales. Who has actually sold more is irrelevant to my argument, and irrelevant to me: I've already said that I'm happy to retract the point, which is precisely what honesty requires. Dawkins probably sells far more books than Ann Coulter, I was wrong. Again, it doesn't change anything I've argued."

If you write a book you want it to sell, else why bother. You seem to agree the title chosen helped the book sell. It seems it did the job it was meant to do. And yet somehow you think that is a failing.

What an odd person you are. Still. nice of you to admit you lied.

Bad said...

"Hardly irrelevant when it comes to book sales."

Totally irrelevant to any substantive matter in this discussion.

"Remember you are the one who claimed Coulter sold more books that Dawkins, especially when you consider Dawkins has had books in print since the 1970s."

Again: you're really the only one that cares about this issue in the slightest, so have fun with that. Nothing I've argued has the slightest bit to do with who has sold more books than who. It was a tossoff comment (based on, in fact, my irritation that Coulter sells any books at all), and and a wholly irrelevant one which I've already retracted. Twice.

"If you write a book you want it to sell, else why bother. You seem to agree the title chosen helped the book sell. It seems it did the job it was meant to do. And yet somehow you think that is a failing."

Are you like the guy from Memento? Every time I see you post it's like you've completely lost track of the entire thread of the discussion. I never said that Dawkins didn't sell a lot of books, or that his title helped via controversy. In fact, I agreed with this from the start.

"What an odd person you are. Still. nice of you to admit you lied."

Ah, gracious to a fault, you.

Orac said...

"This has to be just about the stupidest and most pointless tribal squabbling I've ever seen. Two guys who agree on virtually everything are mortal enemies because they think the other is a jerk. Everyone must choose sides! Vile PZ curs! Disgusting Brayton dogs! Have at thee!"

Gotta agree here wholeheartedly, and I absolutely refuse to take sides in this.

I really have no idea what the origin of this extreme animus between PZ and Ed was. It must have started before I became involved in the science blogosphere and knew of either of them, but since the two of them have been on ScienceBlogs, from time to time it's bubbled up in most unpleasant ways, including at least one all-out flame war, full of profanity-laced tirades, mutual accusations of lying flying back and forth, etc. Whatever its origin was, it's led both of them into truly despicable and childish arguments that make me just want to grab each of them by the lapels in turn, give them a good shake, and yell into their faces at the top of my lungs, "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?????"

A little more than a year ago, the argument over "appeasers" versus "militants" got so bad that for a brief time I seriously considered leaving SBs because I didn't want to be associated with the embarrassment of it all anymore. Fortunately, lately they seem to be ignoring each other, but I'm sure it would only take one incident to cause it to bubble up to the surface again.

From my perspective it just goes to show that sometimes the nastiest fights are over the smallest of differences in beliefs.

Gary S. Hurd said...

I see that Ed posted a comment here, and wasted more bandwidth at his cash blog. I was tempted to write some sort of longish reaction- but why? Nothing I could write would make Ed look more batshit insane than his own words.

I will confess to a bit of elitism. I value contributions to science and education. Further, I tend to judge people a bit on their relative contributions to those areas relative to my own modest achievements. Dealing with Ed is a dilemma though. How do we treat the well known “division by zero” problem?

Two years ago Ed was pounding the back channel at Panda’s Thumb about how he created the site, and that I had better watch out. As Wes Elsberry has shown out, history is not Brayton’s strong point.

Ed is just a leech.

Ed Brayton said...

Yet another baldfaced lie from Gary Hurd. Now for the truth: in the middle of his slide into lunacy 2 years ago, when he was lying about me "defending thugs", someone else - not me - sent an email to the Panda's Thumb contributor's list saying something to the effect of "Ed is one of the founders of this weblog." I never said one word about it, much less "pound my chest" or suggest that he "better watch out." This is just another example of the bizarro world Gary Hurd inhabits, the world in which reasonably saying that we should wait until we have the facts before we make accusations turns one into a ""libertarian, fundamentalist, Republican crypto-facist." Gary Hurd wouldn't know reality if it crawled up his pantleg, perched on his ass and yodeled the Ave Maria.

Chris Noble said...

From my perspective it just goes to show that sometimes the nastiest fights are over the smallest of differences in beliefs.

Johnathon Swift got it right in Gulliver's Travels with the Big-Endians and Little-Endians.

There's more than one way to crack an egg. You can start from the big end (Dawkins,PZ,ERV) or the little end.

I personally think there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.