World Malaria Day brings out the DDT-poisoned claims – Beware the ill-informed cynics.


World Malaria Day is April 25, every year.  It’s not a big deal in the U.S. (but there were several activities this year).  One thing you can count on, however, is the unthinking, often irrational reaction of dozens of columnists and bloggers* who like to think all scientists and health care professionals are idiots, and that government policy makers never consider the lives of their constituents when environmental issues arise.

Here’s a good example:  At a blog named Penraker, in a post cynically titled “Beware the ‘compassionate’ people,” the author suggests that churches around the world are foolish for sending bednets to Africa to combat malaria, since, the blogger claims, DDT would be quicker, more effective, cheaper, and perfectly safe.

So  much error, so little time, and even less patience with people who don’t bother to get informed about an issue before popping off on it.

Penraker wrote:

Today the loopy “On Faith” pages of the Washington Post reminds us to be compassionate about malaria in Africa.

It urges the churches of the world to come together and join a campaign that would spread the use of mosquito nets in Africa so that the incidence of malaria can be gradually reduced.

Nets are a great idea.  They work to reduce malaria by 50% to 85%.  Nets are a simple solution, part of a series of actions that could help eliminate malaria as a major scourge of the world.  The Nothing But Nets Campaign has the endorsement of several major religious sects and the National Basketball Association.  It offers hope.

Churches uniting to save lives — what could be more spiritual?

Currently 750 children die EVERY DAY in Nigeria. So the great hearts on the left want to organize another conference. The conference will demonstrate their compassion for this needless death, and it will urge that mosquito nets be distributed more widely in Africa.

There is only one problem. Nowhere in the article do they mention DDT. DDT is far and away the most effective way to get rid of malaria.

Why should the article “mention” DDT?  DDT is a deadly poison, an environmental wildcard that once upon a time was thought to offer hope of severely reducing malaria, if it could be applied in enough places quickly enough, before mosquitoes developed resistance to it.  The campaign, coordinated by the World Health Organization, failed.  Agricultural and business interests also latched onto DDT, but they over-used it in sometimes trivial applications.  Mosquitoes quickly developed new genes that made them resistant and immune to DDT.

DDT can once again play a limited role in fighting malaria.  It can be used in extremely limited amounts, to spray the inside walls of homes, to kill mosquitoes that still land on the walls of a hut after feeding on a human.  But DDT is not appropriate for all such applications, and it is nearly useless in some applications, especially where the species involved is completely immune to DDT.

DDT was discovered to be deadly.  First European nations banned its use, and then the U.S. banned it.  Continued use after those bans increased the difficulties — manufacturing continued in the U.S. resulted in many nasty Superfund clean-up sites costing American taxpayers billions of dollars when manufacturers declared bankruptcy rather than clean up their plant sites.  The National Academy of Sciences studied DDT, and in 1980 pronounced it one of the most beneficial chemicals ever discovered — but also one of the most dangerous.  NAS said DDT had to be phased out, because the dangers more than offset its benefits.

The cessation of use of DDT, to protect wildlife and entire ecosystems, proved wise.  In 2007 the bald eagle was removed from the list of endangered species, a recovery made possible only with a ban on DDT.  DDT weakens chicks, especially of top predators, and damages eggs to make them unviable.  Decreasing amounts of DDT in the tissues of birds meant recovery of the eagle, the brown pelican, the peregrine falcon, and osprey.

Though it was not banned for ill effects on human health, research since 1972 strengthened the case that DDT is a human carcinogen (every cancer-fighting agency on Earth lists it as a “probable human carcinogen”).  DDT and its daughter products have since been discovered to act as endocrine disruptors, doing serious damage to the sexual organs of birds, fish, lizards and mammals.  Oddly, it’s also been discovered to be poisonous to some plants.

After DDT use against malarial mosquitoes was reduced, malaria stayed low for a while.  Unfortunately, the malaria parasites developed resistance to the pharmaceuticals used to treat humans.  Malaria came roaring back — DDT, an insecticide, was of no use to fight the blood parasite.  Newer, arteminisin-based pharmaceuticals offer hope of reducing the human toll

Still, with some improvements in delivery of pharmaceuticals, improvements in diagnosis, and improvements in education of affected populations about how they can reduce exposure and prevent mosquito breeding, world wide malaria deaths have been kept below 3 million annually.  Recent programs, helped by munificent organizing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and from other charities, have reduced malaria considerably.  With no magic drug on the horizon, with no magic vector control, efforts have been redoubled to use the time-tested methods for beating the disease — reducing exposure to mosquitoes, improving health care, stopping mosquito breeding.  These methods, which ridded the U.S. of the disease very much prior to the discovery of DDT’s insecticidal properties, appear the best bets to beat malaria.

Once South Africa started using it, the death rate went way down.

South Africa used DDT constantly from 1946 through about 1996.  Other efforts to control mosquitoes worked until changing climate and political turmoil in nations adjoining South Africa produced malaria and mosquitoes that crossed borders.  South Africa turned to DDT as an emergency  measure; but the other, non-pesticide spraying methods, are credited with helping South Africa reduce malaria.

It turns out that DDT is much less harmful than we had been led to believe by scare reports early on. People at the Monsanto plant in California worked around the stuff for years with no discernible effects.

That’s not quite accurate.  Whether DDT seriously crippled workers is still in litigation, a quarter of a century after DDT stopped being manufactured in the U.S. Residual and permanent health damage keep showing up in studies done on workers in DDT production facilities, and on their children.  The Montrose plant in California is a Superfund site, as is the entire bay it contaminated.  In fact, three different bays in California are listed as cleanup sites (was there a Monsanto DDT plant in California?  Which one?).

To say there were “no discernible effects” simply is unsupportable from research or litigation on the matters.  Such a claim is completely misleading and inaccurate.

No matter. The compassionate ones don’t dare to mention it. They are ready to let 750 kids die every day, in Nigeria alone. That’s 273,000 a year.

273,000 kids a year are dying in Nigeria alone. Think about it.

Rachel Carson warned us that would happen if we didn’t control DDT use to keep it viable to fight malaria.  I’ve been thinking about it for more than 40 years.  The “compassionate” ones you try to ridicule have been fighting malaria in Africa for that entire time.  You just woke up — when are you going to do something to stop a kid from dying?  By the way, slamming environmentalists doesn’t save any kid.

The CDC says:

The World Health Organization estimates that each year 300-500 million cases of malaria occur and more than 1 million people die of malaria, especially in developing countries. Most deaths occur in young children. For example, in Africa, a child dies from malaria every 30 seconds. Because malaria causes so much illness and death, the disease is a great drain on many national economies. Since many countries with malaria are already among the poorer nations, the disease maintains a vicious cycle of disease and poverty.

Still the compassionate ones call for the use of bed netting to keep the kids from getting bit. There is only one obvious problem – kids aren’t in bed all day. Mosquitoes can bite them all day long, and the nets have no effect. So, they are proposing a massively stupid remedy.

First point on that section:  Did you bother to read the CDC document?  Nowhere do they call for DDT to be used.  Quite the contrary, they note that it doesn’t work anymore:

Wasn’t malaria eradicated years ago?

No, not in all parts of the world. Malaria has been eradicated from many developed countries with temperate climates. However, the disease remains a major health problem in many developing countries, in tropical and subtropical parts of the world.

An eradication campaign was started in the 1950s, but it failed globally because of problems including the resistance of mosquitoes to insecticides used to kill them, the resistance of malaria parasites to drugs used to treat them, and administrative issues. In addition, the eradication campaign never involved most of Africa, where malaria is the most common.

So, where do you get the gall to claim CDC support for your inaccurate diatribe?  CDC’s documents do not support your outrageous and inaccurate claims for DDT at all.

Second point, mosquitoes don’t bite all day long, and bednets have proven remarkably effective at stopping malaria.  Mosquitoes — at least the vectors that carry malaria — bite in the evening and night, mostly.  Protecting kids while they sleep is among the best ways to prevent malaria.

It appears to me that this blogger has not bothered to learn much about malaria before deciding he knows better than the experts, how to fight it.

Their outrageous and horribly unscientific “religious beliefs” are a firm block to their humanity. No, they just don’t care. No DDT can be used.

Every “ban” on DDT included a clause allowing use against malaria.  In the U.S. we allowed manufacture of DDT for export after the ban on use in the U.S. (and the ban on use in the U.S. had exceptions).  DDT was never banned for use in any African nation I can find.  DDT is manufactured, today, in India and China.  DDT can be used, even under the POPs treaty.  This blogger, Penraker,  just doesn’t have the facts.

You get the impression that their compassion is not about solving the problem. Their compassion seems to be about themselves – about proving they are good people by having compassion, rather than eradicating the problem. In fact, it looks like they have a desire to have the malaria epidemic continue, so they can organize little conferences and wring their hands, put together action plans, and call on somebody else to do something about the problem.

Actually, I get the idea that this blogger wants to whine and pose, and isn’t really concerned about kids with malaria.  He’s getting way too many facts dead wrong.

Nick Kristof of the New York Times, God bless him, is one of the few liberals to react reasonably to reality:

Mosquitoes kill 20 times more people each year than the tsunami did, and in the long war between humans and mosquitoes it looks as if mosquitoes are winning.

One reason is that the U.S. and other rich countries are siding with the mosquitoes against the world’s poor – by opposing the use of DDT.

“It’s a colossal tragedy,” says Donald Roberts, a professor of tropical public health at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. “And it’s embroiled in environmental politics and incompetent bureaucracies.”

In the 1950’s, 60’s and early 70’s, DDT was used to reduce malaria around the world, even eliminating it in places like Taiwan. But then the growing recognition of the harm DDT can cause in the environment – threatening the extinction of the bald eagle, for example – led DDT to be banned in the West and stigmatized worldwide. Ever since, malaria has been on the rise.

…But most Western aid agencies will not pay for anti-malarial programs that use DDT, and that pretty much ensures that DDT won’t be used. Instead, the U.N. and Western donors encourage use of insecticide-treated bed nets and medicine to cure malaria

Yeah, go read that Kristof article.  He’s a bit off about DDT — but notice especially the date.  It’s the Bush administration he’s complaining about. I thought Penraker was complaining about environmentalists and silly “compassionate” types — but he’s complaining about Bush?  What else isn’t he telling us, or doesn’t he know?

But isn’t it dangerous?

But overall, one of the best ways to protect people is to spray the inside of a hut, about once a year, with DDT. This uses tiny amounts of DDT – 450,000 people can be protected with the same amount that was applied in the 1960’s to a single 1,000-acre American cotton farm.

Is it safe? DDT was sprayed in America in the 1950’s as children played in the spray, and up to 80,000 tons a year were sprayed on American crops. There is some research suggesting that it could lead to premature births, but humans are far better off exposed to DDT than exposed to malaria.

Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) is endorsed even by Environmental Defense, the group that first sued to stop broadcast DDT spraying in the U.S.  It’s not environmentalists who oppose the practice, but businessmen, tobacco farmers and cotton farmers in Africa.  Who is Penraker to substitute his judgment for the judgment of Africans, the people on the ground, the people who suffer from malaria?

Alas, IRS, done right, is expensive.  A treatment with DDT is required twice a year, at about $12 an application when costs of the analysis of the mosquitoes and other circumstances are figured in.  That’s $24/year.  DDT spraying is more than 50% effective in preventing the disease.

Bednets cost $10, last five years at least, and are about 85% effective at preventing the disease.

Maybe Africans just want the cheaper, more effective methods used.  Doesn’t that make sense?

The piece in the Washington Post’s On Faith section is called “Religion from the Heart”

How ironic.

All the Washington Post and the New York Times would have to do is highlight that the use of DDT could save a million lives – most of them children, and they would be saved within a year.

That’s all they would have to do. Keep the spotlight on it, and save a million lives. Instead, they expunge the very idea from their pages, (witness this from the heart stuff)

I will never understand people who are willing to let millions of people die for the sake of their ideology.

And I will never understand people who get in a dudgeon, blaming people who are blameless, or worse, blaming people who are actually trying to fix a problem, all while being blissfully misinformed about the problem they complain about.

Yes, millions of lives could be saved — but not with DDT.  DDT won’t work as a magic potion, and it’s a nasty poison.  Why would anyone urge Africans to waste money, and lives, instead of actually fighting malaria?  Penraker fell victim to the hoaxers who want you to believe Rachel Carson was not accurate (her book was found accurate by specially-appointed panels of scientists), that DDT is a panacea against malaria (it’s not), that environmentalists are stupid  and mean (while they’ve been fighting against malaria for more than 40 years), and that everything you’ve heard from science is wrong.

Malaria gets a lot of deserved attention from people serious about beating the disease, for millions of good reasons.  Those who are serious about beating malaria don’t whine about DDT.

And then he brags about his intolerance for the facts.  Whom God destroys, He first makes mad.

_____________

Update: Blue Marble isn’t as offensive and obstreperous as others, but equally in error.  How can people be so easily misled from the facts of the matter?

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63 Responses to World Malaria Day brings out the DDT-poisoned claims – Beware the ill-informed cynics.

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Not funny how the Mad Bluebirds of the world make wild, inaccurate claims, then run like a scared rabbit when called to defend the claims.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Can you list for us a couple of the inaccuracies you say are in Silent Spring? It’s available, still, in the 40th anniversary edition — I’m sure you won’t have any difficulty finding the errors, if they are there.

    However, I’ve offered this challenge to more than 20 people. None have been able to find anything she wrote which has been contradicted by later research. Can you be the first, Mad Bluebird?

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  4. Mad Bluebird says:

    The facts are that RACHEAL CARSON lied big time in her book SILENT SPRING the facts were that DDT wasnt harming their birds as she had claimed and all those green freaks opposing the use of DDT to control mosqetos have the blood of inocent malaria on their green hands

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  5. Neil says:

    Even Planned Parenthood agrees that unborn kills an innocent human being ( http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2007/09/15/planned-parenthood-vs-planned-parenthood/ ):

    Is it [birth control] an abortion?

    Definitely not. An abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it. Birth control merely postpones the meaning of life.

    Now I’ll grant that they made that statement in 1964, but what scientific discovery did they make after that that changed their minds? Nothing, of course. Ultrasounds made their pro-abortion claims that much more ridiculous. The only change is that they learned how much money they could make through abortions. And tools like anti-science Ed are only to happy to prop them up.

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  6. Neil says:

    That says nothing. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate why miscarriages would be murder on God’s part any more than an infant who died after being born with any disease would involve God murdering her. A short trip down the birth canal does nothing to change the properties of the human being in question. It is wrong to destroy her on either side (unless you are Obama and you think it is ok to destroy her on either side).

    How does pointing to embryology textbooks for a definition of when life begins qualify as obsession?

    MODERN TEACHING TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

    “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”

    Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

    “Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the femal gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote.”

    T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11.

    “[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being.”

    Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.

    “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”

    Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

    “Human embryos begin development following the fusion of definitive male and female gametes during fertilization… This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”

    William J. Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1998. pp. 1, 14.
    OLDER TEACHING TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitues the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.”

    Clark Edward Corliss, Patten’s Human Embryology: Elements of Clinical Development. New York: McGraw Hill, 1976. p. 30.

    “The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops.”

    “The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life.”

    J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Friedman, Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1974. pp. 17, 23.

    “Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.”

    E.L. Potter and J.M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3rd edition. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975. p. vii.
    GENERAL AUDIENCE TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “Every baby begins life within the tiny globe of the mother’s egg… It is beautifully translucent and fragile and it encompasses the vital links in which life is carried from one generation to the next. Within this tiny sphere great events take place. When one of the father’s sperm cells, like the ones gathered here around the egg, succeeds in penetrating the egg and becomes united with it, a new life can begin.” – 13

    Geraldine Lux Flanagan, Beginning Life. New York: DK, 1996. p. 13.
    PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT VIDEOS

    “Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization.”

    The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic, 2006.

    “The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”

    In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005.
    EXPERT TESTIMONY RELATING TO LIFE’S BEGINNING

    “When fertilization is complete, a unique genetic human entity exists.”

    C. Christopher Hook, M.D.
    Oncologist, Mayo Clinic, Director of Ethics Education, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine

    “Science has a very simple conception of man; as soon as he has been conceived, a man is a man.”

    Jerome Lejeune, M.D., Ph.D.

    In 1981, a United States Senate judiciary subcommittee received the following testimony from a collection of medical experts (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981):

    “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive…It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”

    Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
    Harvard University Medical School

    “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.”

    Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni
    Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania

    “After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”

    Dr. Jerome LeJeune
    Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes

    “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

    Professor Hymie Gordon
    Mayo Clinic

    “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception.”

    Dr. Watson A. Bowes
    University of Colorado Medical School

    The official Senate report reached this conclusion:

    “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”

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  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Neil, death at the end of a natural life generally doesn’t count as murder. One more indication that the truly obsessed will drop all pretenses of logic and reason to defend a bad chunk of theology. Dropping one’s standards doesn’t increase morality nor make the stand correct.

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  8. Neil says:

    Re. ensoulment and “being human” — those aren’t scientific arguments. Like many pro-abortionists you pretend to be pro-science until you can’t deny the obvious: The unborn are human beings at a particular stage of development — e.g., human fetus, human newborn, human teenager, etc.

    Then you have to shift to philosophical arguments — albeit really bad ones — that the unborn aren’t “persons” yet, so it is OK to do this to them — http://www.abort73.com/index.php?/abortion/abortion_pictures

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  9. Neil says:

    Try again, Ed. Saying that miscarriages are murder on behalf of God just because of the scientific fact that life begins at conception would make him a mass murderer for everyone who dies for any reason, including natural causes.

    If you weren’t trying to rationalize abortion you would never make the ridiculous anti-science claim that life doesn’t begin at conception.

    Oh, now you have lessons about God and his ire? Indeed.

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  10. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed, God is in control of all life, so if you want to use the pagan “God is a mass murderer” line then go ahead. Really, why lie and call yourself a Christian? Why keep blaspheming like that?

    That’s not my claim, Neil. About half of all conceptions end in miscarriage. If, as you allege, life begins at conception and ensoulment, too, then that makes God a mass murderer, doesn’t it? That’s 4 million murders a year in the U.S. alone.

    There’s a chance that God is not a mass murderer, of course — if your definition of when ensoulment and “being human” are not quite right, then God remains just God.

    It’s one more indication that in the real world, hard and fast claims of moral clarity tend to raise God’s ire, and get smacked down by God. I can’t admit I’m not Christian when I am. But I do worry about the nastiness in your quick judgment that anyone who raises an argument you can’t answer is somehow evil. Why not admit that you’re struggling with Christianity yourself?

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  11. Neil says:

    The next time you make some claim you will be expected to provide actual proof to back it up. Do so or don’t bother making the claim.

    Really now. Where’s your proof that I wanted creationism taught in schools? You seemed to think you had enough to spout all sorts of vicious lies about me. Oh, you relied on what Ed said? When will you learn?!

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  12. Neil says:

    Ed & Nick, using your reasoning slavery was perfectly moral before the Civil War. After all, it was legal and legal = moral. How very Christian of you to fall back on human laws when 3,000 innocent human beings are destroyed each day in the name of choice.

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  13. Neil says:

    Ed, God is in control of all life, so if you want to use the pagan “God is a mass murderer” line then go ahead. Really, why lie and call yourself a Christian? Why keep blaspheming like that?

    You could not be more mistaken in denying science regarding the humanity of the unborn. In a weird way I’m glad to see your stubbornness and rebellion. It helps explain why you can be so wrong about evolution and other topics yet be so shrill about thinking you are right.

    Here are some images of the non-human beings impacted by abortion (in Ed’s fantasy world, that is) — http://www.abort73.com/index.php?/abortion/abortion_pictures/

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  14. Neil says:

    But why do you want to reduce abortions? If they don’t kill an innocent human being, as Ed The Liar claims in opposition to scientific fact, then they are a cost effective mehtod of birth control.

    Go read the Exodus link I provided and tell me where it is wrong. How about some proof?

    And then explain why you claim the Bible is just written by men and then you pick one verse that when misinterpreted supports your view and why you ignore all the verses that oppose it (Don’t murder, John the Baptist reacting when in the womb, etc.).

    Your bit about murder is a joke. So you are saying that abortion was murder before Roe v. Wade and not murder after it? Please.

    You are lying again about religion. You are just another faux Christian like Ed. I’m using secular arguments: Abortion kills an innocent human being.

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  15. Nick Kelsier says:

    THe problem with your argument, Neil, is that I’m not pro-abortion. I am for reducing the number of abortions.

    I just came to the realization that the so called “pro-life” crowd isn’t interested in actually doing anything about abortion. They say they want it made illegal but that would create a bigger bloodbath where both the babies and the mothers would be dying. And then they turn around and oppose measures that would reduce the number of abortions..like contraception, sex ed and such. In fact more often then not the so called “pro-life” crowd supports measures that do nothing but raise the number of abortions.

    And since outlawing abortion would only spill more blood and wouldn’t stop abortion and wouldn’t end the argument at all then outlawing abortion isn’t the answer. The answer is doing everything possible to reduce the number of abortions. That particular djinn is out of the bottle and attempts to put it back in the bottle is nothing more than wasting time, wasting money and indeed…wasting more and more lives.

    So I realized that the so called “pro-life” crowd is really intent on controlling other people…telling them that they have to live by the religious dictates of the so called “pro-life crowd” and that is all they are really interested in. I’m not the “anti-religious” one here. It’s you and the other so called “pro life crowd” who are using religion as justification for your own desires to control and that you will stop at nothing..not even whoring out God in order to do so.

    Because let me point out to you, Neil, that nothing in the Bible actually outlaws abortion. Oh and please don’t spout that “it says not to kill” because no..that’s not what it says. It says not to commit murder. Murder is the illegal taking of a life. Since the courts, religion and science can not agree on whether abortion is murder or not despite your delusions to the contrary your argument is dead in the water. And you can argue religion all you want but since we are talking about the laws of the United States and the laws of the United States answer to the US Constitution and not the Bible…any religious argument you make is irrelevent.

    And I have not misinterpretd the Bible at all. Exodus 21:22 is very clear on what it says.

    And as for what I said about ad hominen attacks, take it as a warning. I said what I did to make you understand that if you engage in ad hominen attack that I will treat you the same. In other words I would not quail to your normal bullying. As long as you act civil then you have nothing to worry about.

    However, you crossed the line with your “anti-religious” bit and that is the last time you get a pass on that. My opposing you does not make me “anti-religious” no matter how much you want to pretend otherwise.

    The next time you make some claim you will be expected to provide actual proof to back it up. Do so or don’t bother making the claim.

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  16. Ed Darrell says:

    My views are pretty simple and don’t require religious reasoning: If abortion kills an innocent human being — and scientifically speaking it most certainly does — then 99% of the reasons behind it don’t rise to the level of adequate justification (the exception being for the life of the mother).

    If a fetus is an innocent human being — and scientifically and legally and religiously speaking it is not — let it press its case in court. That’s where legal rights are defended. If a fetus is a human being, God’s murdering of 4 million American babies last year qualifies Him as the greatest mass murderer of all time (that’s a conservative estimate for the number of miscarriages last year).

    I’m astounded at the way Neil uses an axe where cutting is not even desirable. Now watch, he’ll completely misinterpret my reductio ad absurdum argument.

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  17. Neil says:

    Oh, and your bit about me wanting to control people, dictate to them, force religous beliefs on them, etc.: What a pathetic ad hominem attack. But at least I won’t threaten verbal violence on you for it.

    I’ll just point out how your fallacy is just part of the anti-religious bigotry perpetrated by pro-abortionists. You claim to be a Christian and referred to Jesus and the Bible yourself. I think you have wildly misinterpreted it, but regardless of that why doesn’t that qualify as you “forcing” your religious views on me?

    My views are pretty simple and don’t require religious reasoning: If abortion kills an innocent human being — and scientifically speaking it most certainly does — then 99% of the reasons behind it don’t rise to the level of adequate justification (the exception being for the life of the mother).

    Like

  18. Neil says:

    Nick, try again. Pointing out a moral wrong doesn’t mean you have to take responsibility for the situation. You can protest the death penalty without having to let the murderers live in your house. You can protest child abuse without having to adopt all the abused children. You can protest animal abuse without having to adopt the dogs. And so on. And you can protest abortion and destructive research on human beings without having to adopt all the children.

    Nick, do your own homework. Go find out how much private money goes to ESCR (hint: not much. ASCR is the proven choice). But even if a lot of money went to ESCR, that would defeat your point as well.

    No, I haven’t protested at the fertility clinics. I only have so much time. But according to that logic, you must tacitly support whatever you don’t actively protest. So do you protest outside abortion clinics? You must support abortions then, right? Do you protest spousal, child and animal abuse? I guess you favor those as well. Really, Nick, stick to the facts and logic.

    And personally, I’m against abortion. I wish it didn’t exist.

    But why are you against it? I’m against it because it is immoral to destroy innocent human beings. If you are against it for that reason, why should it be legal?

    But that is an ideal and this is not an ideal world. Abortion has always existed, Neil.

    Can you see how those arguments would justify making murder outside the womb legal, as well as theft, perjury, etc.? After all, they’ve always existed and it isn’t an ideal world. I would abandon that reasoning if I were you.

    And if you and your fellow “pro-lifers” succeed in making abortion illegal all you will accomplish is creating an even bigger blood bath.

    The number of deaths to mothers from abortions pre-Roe v. Wade was 39 (according to the last year of CDC stats). It was not the many thousands trumpeted by the pro-abortion marketing material.

    Oh, and current abortions aren’t as safe as you might think — http://realchoice.blogspot.com/

    And next time, child, that you dare try an ad-hominen attack against me, Neil, I will tear your head off. The ignorant one about history is you. And that is only surpassed by your ignorance about science. You really don’t want to get into a ****ing match with me. You will keep your tone civil and you will lay off the ad hominen attacks. Or I’ll bounce your head off the floor, metaphorically speaking.

    Bring it on, little man. And thanks for the lesson in civility. Seriously, do some research. Facts are your friends. You make one ad hom after another at me and I don’t cry about it.

    And as for your claim that “ESCR takes human beings and destroys them in the name of science. Try finding Biblical support for that.” I don’t have to. Last time I checked, this country is not a theocracy. What the Bible says or supposedly says or supposedly doesn’t say isn’t legally relevent in this country. I however would point out that the Bible treats the death of an unborn as a property crime. So by that token we are way ahead of the people who wrote the Bible on that score.

    Now there’s a cute two-step. You were the one who brought Jesus into this and said that He wouldn’t put
    religious ideology over something so insignificant as destroying human beings for research.

    And you make some odd statements for a Christian. It isn’t just “people” who wrote the Bible, it was the Holy Spirit.

    And if you are referring to Exodus 21 regarding the “property crime” bit that is a misreading of the text — http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1523_Exodus_212225_and_Abortion/%22 . It also ignores the vast number of clear pro-life verses such as, “Don’t murder.”

    And sorry, your claim that science all agrees that life begins at conception is a nonsense lie. You can’t prove it, you have no evidence of it. And not even the world’s religions can agree on that topic.

    Nonsense lie? Heh. Just keep ignoring the embyrology textbooks. I’ve already provided evidence. And why do you keep bringing religion into this?

    You are condeming actual people who have been born to suffering diseases and painful deaths because you have put your religious ideaology above their lives, Neil. I have an uncle who is suffering from Parkinsons. Tell me, Neil, why is his life of less value than an embryo that will never be born?

    You make a false dichotomy with your uncle and trying to demonize me in the process (sorry to hear about his Parkinsons, btw). You act like it would be a moral good to destroy one embryo to heal his disease. That is false on the surface. Why shouldn’t the embryo get to live? If you want to sacrifice yourself for your uncle, that would be noble. But sacrificing a human being you don’t know is hardly altruistic. And finally, you are begging the question and assuming that ESCR will be successful. It hasn’t been, but ASCR has.

    Here’s another example: Why don’t you donate your body to science today so your organs can help other people live? You could save many lives right now. What are you waiting for?

    Oh, and it isn’t just religious ideology. As I’ve said, I save religious reasoning for Christians. I’m all science and logic with non-Christians. You keep bouncing back and forth between religious and secular arguments then you try to gig me either way. How about picking a path and sticking to it?

    But again..those embryos are going to be destroyed regardless of ESCR. But somehow that escapes your supposed moral outrage.

    The amount of embryos to be destroyed is vastly overstated. Do your homework.

    Like

  19. Nick Kelsier says:

    Neil, no it’s not about abortion rights. Want to prove to me that it is? Tell me…has your wife volunteered to have those embryos implanted in her so she can carry them to term? If not then you’re a hypocrite. And the argument is entirely valid. Because it shows that you can speak the words but that you can’t actually follow them. It shows that you want other people to live according to your beliefs but that you can’t live according to your beliefs.

    Those embryos are going to be destroyed whether ESCR takes place or not. Or has that fact escaped your notice? I haven’t seen you protesting the fertility clinics. And you can prove that all private funding has gone to ASCR instead of ESCR?

    And as for your claim that “ESCR takes human beings and destroys them in the name of science. Try finding Biblical support for that.” I don’t have to. Last time I checked, this country is not a theocracy. What the Bible says or supposedly says or supposedly doesn’t say isn’t legally relevent in this country. I however would point out that the Bible treats the death of an unborn as a property crime. So by that token we are way ahead of the people who wrote the Bible on that score.

    And personally, I’m against abortion. I wish it didn’t exist. But that is an ideal and this is not an ideal world. Abortion has always existed, Neil. And if you and your fellow “pro-lifers” succeed in making abortion illegal all you will accomplish is creating an even bigger blood bath.

    So really no…this is not about being “pro life” for you. This is about you wanting oh so much to control other peoples lives. That you want to dictate to them, that you want to control them. That you want to force feed your religious beliefs down their throats.

    You are condeming actual people who have been born to suffering diseases and painful deaths because you have put your religious ideaology above their lives, Neil. I have an uncle who is suffering from Parkinsons. Tell me, Neil, why is his life of less value than an embryo that will never be born?

    And next time, child, that you dare try an ad-hominen attack against me, Neil, I will tear your head off. The ignorant one about history is you. And that is only surpassed by your ignorance about science. You really don’t want to get into a ****ing match with me. You will keep your tone civil and you will lay off the ad hominen attacks. Or I’ll bounce your head off the floor, metaphorically speaking.

    And sorry, your claim that science all agrees that life begins at conception is a nonsense lie. You can’t prove it, you have no evidence of it. And not even the world’s religions can agree on that topic.

    But again..those embryos are going to be destroyed regardless of ESCR. But somehow that escapes your supposed moral outrage.

    Like

  20. Neil says:

    Nick, ESCR is a joke. It is about abortion rights, not curing diseases. If it is so wonderful and full of promise, why does private money chase ASCR instead of ESCR? You know, of course, that there was no ban against ESCR, just no Federal gov’t funds were to be used for it. You are free to donate to its use or invest in operations using it.

    And ESCR takes human beings and destroys them in the name of science. Try finding Biblical support for that.

    You’re against abortion? Why? Do you think it should be legal?

    Like

  21. Neil says:

    Nick, you are as ignorant about history as you about science. Really, do a little homework and you’ll find the truth. There are plenty of sources outside the Bible regarding Jesus’ life and death. Jesus’ existence and death on a cross are historical facts.

    Nice diversion with the statistical games, as if those had anything to do with whether destroying the unborn is a moral good.

    Re. the number of children I’ve adopted: That is a common “Pro-lifers don’t care about kids after they are born?” sound bite used by pro-abortionists. The ad hom is designed to imply that we don’t really care about the unborn or those outside the womb.

    It ignores a couple rather obvious logical points. First, pointing out a moral wrong does not obligate you to take responsibility for the situation. If your neighbor is beating his wife, you call the police. The police don’t say, “Hey, buddy, unless you are willing to marry her yourself then we aren’t going to stop him from beating her.” Get the idea?

    So if abortion kills an innocent human being — and it is a scientific fact that it does — then I can protest that all day every without having to adopt however many children you think I should.

    Second, pro-lifers do lots for women and children before and after birth. There are more Crisis Pregnancy Centers than abortion clinics. They help women in their time of need instead of encouraging them to have abortions that will haunt them for life. They provide life skills training, post abortion trauma counseling, food, diapers, clothes and more, all for free (unlike the billions charged by the abortion industry). There are more pregnancy centers than abortion clinics.

    So while I don’t have a moral obligation to help women and children just because I object to crushing and dismembering innocent human beings, I actually do quite a bit to support them. I am a donor, volunteer and board member at a local CareNet pregnancy center, among other things. That’s just for starters.

    You should visit a crisis pregnancy center — which are almost all funded by donations and staffed mostly with volunteers — and see what they do. Then you might reconsider your opinion that they aren’t interested in doing a damn thing about abortion.

    Oh, and we report statutory rapists to the police, unlike Planned Parenthood — http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/stop-me-if-youve-heard-this-before/ .

    Re. religious beliefs — I only reference those when dealing with people who claim to be Christians. I can address every pro-abortion argument without even opening the Bible.

    Like

  22. Nick Kelsier says:

    Oh and before you engage in your normal ad-hominen attack against me, Neil, do keep in mind the fact that I am Christian and have been all my life.

    And that I’m against abortion. I just happen to realize that the so called “pro-life” crowd isn’t going to accomplish what they’re supposed goals are because they aren’t actually trying to do so. And that they’re by and large a bag full of hypocrites.

    Take embryonic stem cell research as an example. They wail and gnash their teeth against it. And yet all those embryos are going to be destroyed whether embryonic stem cell research takes place or not. But instead of acknowledging that fact and therefor protesting what they should be protesting…the fertility clinics that create all those embryos..they ignore them. In fact they cheer them on because the pro-life crowd just can’t help but cheer on mothers who have 10, 12, 15+ kids because it somehow fulfills some mandate from God.

    So what we have is a group of people protesting embryonic stem cell research while ignoring the fact that the embryos are going to be destroyed irregardless while simutaneously condemning people who have been born, are living and are suffering from illnesses that can be cured to painful deaths because somehow someway the religious ideaology became more important then the people around them.

    Gee, I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover and I don’t remember Jesus once putting religious ideaology above those around Him.

    Like

  23. Nick Kelsier says:

    Virtually all historians agree that Jesus was a real person? That He died on a cross? And all the rest you said?

    Oh really? Then you must be talking about an real small cross sections of historians, Neil. You chide us not to lie and then you come up with that whopper.

    I would suggest to you that you jettison this apparent notion of yours that the theory of evolution is somehow anti-Christian or anti-God. It’s not.

    And as for your “pro-abortionists” charge that can more accurately be laid at the feet of you and your fellow “pro-lifers.” I’ll buy you a clue.

    When Bill Clinton gets into office he raises the funding of family planning services. And the number of abortions goes down. Bush gets into office and he cuts that same funding…and the number of abortions goes up.

    Furthermore, there was a Republican President for 8 years, a Republican Congress for 6 of those 8 years and a conservative dominated Supreme Court…and not one thing is done to lessen the number of abortions much less stop it.

    That’s because the “pro-life” crowd really isn’t interested in doing a damn thing about abortion. What they’re interested in doing is dictating how other people live and forcing those people to abide by the “pro-life” crowd’s supposed religious beliefs.

    But tell me, Neil, how many children have you adopted?

    Like

  24. Matt says:

    Keep digging, buddy, but I’m tired of refuting lies.

    How can you be tired of something you’ve yet to do? Bit nihilistic of you.

    I always love it when pro-abortionists quibble about Miss Manners blogging guidelines

    Oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve ever expressed my views on abortion on any blog ever. You can read my mind now?

    Like

  25. Ed Darrell says:

    Sorry, one more thought. I had to point you to Ed’s January 14 comment on this link — http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/peppered-moths-and-evolution/ .

    One more post loaded with facts, with references and links, to which Neil has not a single coherent response. You ought to read the post, Neil, and take it to heart. I was complaining about sinners. In your blind hatred of me, you’ve joined ‘em.

    Like

  26. Ed Darrell says:

    Guess what? Ed said to a commenter that, “Joseph Stalin agreed with you about Darwin — I’m surprised you haven’t cited Stalin.” Oh, Ed, you are too much. I’m probably just one person in a long line who Ed couldn’t handle so he had to trot out his little fallacy. Pathetic, to be sure, and more evidence against him and his approach.

    Except it’s accurate, Neil. It’s really sad to see you sputter around so. This question must haunt you greatly, judging by the eruption we’ve seen here: How does your position on Darwin differ from Stalin’s?

    Don’t know? Maybe you should pause and reflect. It was a bit of a throw-away line, until you went all Joe Stalin on me. Good heavens, man! If you’re so offended at the off-handed comparison to Stalin, stop acting like Joe Stalin! This isn’t rocket science.

    Here, let me give you a clue (free of charge!). Stalin thought Darwin too bourgeois; you don’t find Darwin quite bourgeois enough. Other than that, your positions are pretty much indistinguishable. Stalin banned Darwin’s books, called his theory “wrong,” and worked to ban the teaching of evolution theory, substituting a pseudo-science mash-up that ultimately led to the starvation deaths of about 4 million people. You’d like to ban Darwin, you call his theory wrong, and you substitute pseudo-science mash-ups that could lead to the deaths of millions of people, but haven’t yet. Maybe that should be your slogan: “None dead yet.”

    Am I in error? Where? I’m from Missouri (where Churchill made the famous “Iron Curtain” speech): Show me.

    If your position differs from Stalin’s, please tell us how, and where. And for fun, try it without calling anyone a name.

    Like

  27. Ed Darrell says:

    Neil said:

    “Inherit the Wind” was not about evolution? The movie about the Scopes trial was not about evolution? Sure. Just watch the videos and see the lies.

    It was about witch hunts, about small-minded people who wish to cling to outmoded ideas and block progress, about people who wish to dictate religion to others. It won the Pulitzer as a work of fiction. You could read about it at the Great Trials site at the University of Missouri-Kansas City:

    Playwrights Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee wrote Inherit the Wind as a response to the threat to intellectual freedom presented by the anti-communist hysteria of the McCarthy era. Lawrence and Lee used the Scopes Trial, then safely a generation in the past, as a vehicle for exploring a climate of anxiety and anti-intellectualism that existed in 1950.

    Inherit the Wind does not purport to be a historically accurate depiction of the Scopes trial. The stage directions set the time as “Not long ago.” Place names and names of trial participants have been changed. Lawrence and Lee created several fictional characters, including a fundamentalist preacher and his daughter, who in the play is the fiancé of John Scopes. Henry Drummond is less cynical and biting than the Darrow of Dayton that the Drummond character was based upon. Scopes, a relatively minor figure in the real drama at Dayton, becomes Bertram Cates, a central figure in the play, who is arrested while teaching class, thrown in jail, burned in effigy, and taunted by a fire-snorting preacher. William Jennings Bryan, Matthew Harrison Brady in the play, is portrayed as an almost comical fanatic who dramatically dies of a heart attack while attempting to deliver his summation in a chaotic courtroom. The townspeople of fictional Hillsboro are far more frenzied, mean-spirited, and ignorant than were the real denizens of Dayton.

    So I’m really curious: How did Neil determine that a work of fiction is “inaccurate?” I think this is one more case of Neil going off on a tangent knowing much less about his topic than he thinks he does. Shouldn’t the changed names, the changed town name, the added characters, and the dozens of other changes, have been a clue?

    Like

  28. Neil says:

    Keep digging, buddy, but I’m tired of refuting lies.

    I always love it when pro-abortionists quibble about Miss Manners blogging guidelines (yet ignore the exact same things done by people on their side) but sit idly by while 3,000 innocent human beings get crushed each day. And they have petty blogs and do chapter-length posts trying to ignore the evidence for God (methinks they doth protest too much). They even make up pretend gods, as if that somehow negates the overwhelming evidence that there is a God — http://rationalperspective.wordpress.com/theism/

    And the most amazing thing is how their beloved Darwinian evolution, if true, would be the sole cause for all my religious beliefs. Completely material reactions created life and developed it to such a stage that my brain has no choice to see the evidence for Jesus, such as the fact that virtually all historians agree on the following:

    - Jesus was a real person who died on a cross.
    - his disciples believed He rose from the dead.
    - that the Apostle Paul converted from persecuting Christians to becoming Christianity’s greatest advocated, including writing Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and more. These put essential Christian doctrines and beliefs in writing within 20-30 years of the crucifixion.
    - After the crucifixion, Jesus’ brother James went from being a skeptic to a believer, a leader in the early church and a martyr.

    Isn’t that odd how Darwinian evolution led me to believe those things you insist aren’t true? I used to think they weren’t true, but somehow the chemical reactions in my brain led me to believe the “evidence” was reliable. I have no choice. Go figure!

    Have nice lives! And remember, you shouldn’t lie.

    Like

  29. Matt says:

    You are still failing to grasp the point I am making. Your initial post was nothing but a personal attack which was backed up by absolutely no evidence.

    It does not matter in the least who did it first.
    It does not matter if you supplied said evidence later.

    Like

  30. Neil says:

    No, it is completely relevant: Ed’s post linked to mine with no facts behind it. You ignored his personal attacks.

    Actually, I’m quite good at exposing liars. I have a feeling that Ed won’t be linking to me any time soon, though I’ll be glad to welcome his guests with copies of his lies I’ve found on multiple threads today.

    Like

  31. Matt says:

    You lied again. You didn’t show up until the thread was fleshed out.

    And that is not relevant in the least, it would only be if I was talking about your overall response. But, as I have previously noted, I am referring only to your introductory comment.

    It seems you’re not really very good at this.

    Like

  32. Neil says:

    Cute attempt to dig yourself out of a hole, Matt.

    You lied again. You didn’t show up until the thread was fleshed out.

    Face it, Matt, you are as bad as Ed. You pretend to care about something but only if it is against your ideological enemy.

    Like

  33. Matt says:

    Matt, you are a liar or a very poor reader.

    Not at all. There is no evidence in your initial comment. Not one shred.
    While you provided links to websites (which I assume is your evidence load), this did not occur until later.

    And you should have noted that my comments were in regard to your opening comments. First impressions count, after all, and you did yourself no favours by opening your communications via personal attacks and no evidence.

    Like

  34. Neil says:

    Sorry, one more thought. I had to point you to Ed’s January 14 comment on this link — http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/peppered-moths-and-evolution/ .

    Guess what? Ed said to a commenter that, “Joseph Stalin agreed with you about Darwin — I’m surprised you haven’t cited Stalin.” Oh, Ed, you are too much. I’m probably just one person in a long line who Ed couldn’t handle so he had to trot out his little fallacy. Pathetic, to be sure, and more evidence against him and his approach.

    Matt, you are a liar or a very poor reader. I displayed extensive evidence of my claims against Ed. I realize you must be embarrassed that you look so thoroughly ridiculous switching teams mid-thread but really, give it a rest.

    Like

  35. Matt says:

    Such a good thing your opinion does not set what is credible and what is not. The simple fact remains, you opened up your comments with personal attacks without backing up a single thing you said.

    I see EDarrell is still at it with his silliness, ad hominem attacks and lies.

    Yet you provide no evidence for this.

    Be sure to visit my site for adult conversation.

    I went and looked but sadly couldn’t find any.

    He was the first person ever banned at my site and still holds the title of most ridiculous commenter ever.

    I don’t see how that’s possible. I have seen a lot who can’t even articulate what they’re trying to say or come up with any sort of credible evidence. Sirius Knotts, Graemebird, Garret Olden all spring to mind.

    Then again, he’s a pro-abortion “Christian” so I don’t expect a lot of reasoning from him.

    That part seems to be approaching ‘true Scotsman’ fallacy ground.

    Like

  36. Neil says:

    No, you have lost your credibility, just like Nick. You made a claim about an alleged offense, then after realizing you blamed the wrong person you changed course. And you’re still trying to wiggle out of it. Really, guys, stop digging! I’m trying to do you a favor here.

    This has gotten repetitive, but I must say it has been fun. This thread is a keeper. It will save me a lot of time when Ed links to me again with a petty ad hom.

    All the best,
    Neil

    Like

  37. Matt says:

    you’ve never demonstrated that I’ve done anything wrong.

    You did that yourself when you resorted to personal attacks. I don’t need to demonstrate anything else.

    As soon as you found out it was Ed you completely changed course.

    a) I have not changed course in the least; I have noted that the personal attacks launched by you have damaged your own credibility. That is the sole thing I have commented on and I stand by my assessment still.
    b) I have not conceded that Ed is at fault either. The only thing I did was construct a hypothetical situation. Huge world of difference.

    Like

  38. Neil says:

    You’re basically saying that anyone who disagrees with you has to be intellectually dishonest. A rather dogmatic and uncompromising stance to say the least.

    That’s not what I said at all. I just pointed out that if you are intellectually honest you’d be equally offended at Ed’s opening comments in his post (not to mention his other inanities). But here we are, and you’re still fixated on me and not Ed. Hmmmmm.

    What I am commenting on is personal behaviour and how that reflects on credibility.

    We agree on that. That’s what brought me here to begin with: Ed’s behavior and lack of credibility (though the three of you have made my points better than I could have.)

    Like

  39. Neil says:

    Neil, you don’t get this. Ed wasn’t linking evolution to Stalin.

    Oh, really? You came on the scence with the clear message that any Stalin / evolution link was spurious and now you are completely backtracking. I read all of Ed’s comments multiple times. You backtracked before reading them all and I seriously doubt if you’ve read them even now.

    Let’s assume, just for the sake of argument, that you’re correct in saying this. Do two wrongs make a right?

    Matt, you’ve never demonstrated that I’ve done anything wrong. Ed took the time to reference a post of mine with personal attacks and I stopped by to remind Ed just how little credibility he has.

    You just asserted that I was out of line and only felt it necessary to criticize the offender when you thought it was me. As soon as you found out it was Ed you completely changed course.

    What I am commenting on is personal behaviour and how that reflects on credibility.

    Sure. Only you thought I needed the manners lesson and not Ed, and when you realized it was Ed first, you changed the subject. How convenient.

    Oh and since you advocate the use of DDT, Neil, it is you that is advocating death.

    There’s a cute question begging ad hominem. You are well trained by Ed.

    Neil, life does not begin at conception. Life began billions of years ago, and it continues at conception. Both the egg and the sperm are alive prior to conception.

    Cute equivocation, Ed. So we’re all 5,000,000,000 years old in your view? I can’t believe you are using that as a pro-abortion argument. A unique human being is formed at conception.

    And you’re forgetting that an abortion ends that life, forever.

    Again, you have taken a distinctly anti-science position and are in contradiction to mainstream embryology textbooks. One has to do that to justify murder of the unborn, I suppose. Just please quit pretending that science is your guide, and quit pretending that Christianity condones murder.

    Perhaps you can view these images and then try to convince me that no living human beings were destroyed? http://www.abort73.com/index.php?/abortion/abortion_pictures/

    Viability doesn’t occur at conception, either.

    Ed, you just tipped your hand. Viability isn’t a scientific argument. Lots of people outside the womb aren’t viable without care, but most of us don’t use that as justification for open season on murder.

    Here’s a bonus link for you guys: http://atheismisdead.blogspot.com/2009/03/expelled-exposed-exposed.html — a thorough set of rebuttals to the criticisms of the Expelled! documentary. It highlights some of Richard Dawkins’ lies about the making of the movie, among other things (though to his credit he sort-of apologized, albeit rather late).

    The best part of the movie was when the evolutionists mocked the “Christians” who so gladly spout the pro-Darwin talking points. Their contempt for their “allies” was unmistakable. What tools. Poster boy = Ed.

    You are going to quote Romans 1:18-20 to me?! Talk about out of context. Save that passage for yourself and your atheist friends.

    Romans 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    Like

  40. Ed Darrell says:

    Gee, Ed, you found an anti-God person to deny the scientific fact that life begins at conception?

    If you call all major embryologists “anti-God,” then, yes, I did.

    You don’t have any response, so again you reach for what you hope is mud to throw.

    Neil, life does not begin at conception. Life began billions of years ago, and it continues at conception. Both the egg and the sperm are alive prior to conception.

    Viability doesn’t occur at conception, either.

    Do you have any understanding of life as it exists at all? Do you think you can simply dismiss the facts because they come out of the mouth of an unbeliever? Romans 1.18-20 warns us against making such broad, unjustified, contrary to the facts dismissals.

    Do you have any reasons to dispute Dr. Myers, or only your attempt at ad hominem?

    And you accuse me?

    It’ll take an army of loggers to help you see.

    Like

  41. Nick Kelsier says:

    Oh and since you advocate the use of DDT, Neil, it is you that is advocating death. DDT causes cancer or did you miss that fact?

    Like

  42. Nick Kelsier says:

    Neil, you don’t get this. Ed wasn’t linking evolution to Stalin. He was linking the attempts to suppress the teaching of evolution to Stalin. Because that’s what stalin did…suppressed info he didn’t like.

    And as for that website you linked about evolution, it’s so full of lies and nonsense that it’s laughable.

    Like

  43. Ed Darrell says:

    This was Ed’s post and he started by saying I was unthinking and irrational.

    I was being kind, and assuming you bear no real animus to Africans or the truth, Neil.

    Here are a couple of problems with your post — some in quotes, to be sure, but you don’t take corrections easily:

    You quote Steve Forbes, I assume for political reasons, since he’s no expert on either DDT or malaria:

    there’s an easy, proven and cheap way to eradicate most of the globe’s malaria–DDT. Yet in one of history’s more murderously myopic ongoing actions, most advanced countries and international agencies discourage its use. Why? Blame Rachel Carson’s seismically influential–and now largely discredited–book, Silent Spring, first published in 1962. In it she blames DDT for imperiling birds and people, portraying it as a blight of almost biblical proportions. It ain’t so. As Dr. Elizabeth Whelan of the American Council on Science & Health once put it, there “has never been a documented case of human illness or death in the U.S. as a result of the standard and accepted use of pesticides.” The British medical journal The Lancet similarly notes that after 40 years of research no significant health threat from DDT has been found.

    Here are the problems that you have yet to face up to:

    1. DDT is no longer cheap, if used wisely — it costs $12.00 per application, necessary twice a year. Compare that with $10.00 for a bednet, which works for five years.
    2. DDT was not the agent for the eradication of malaria in most of the world where it has been eradicated. The U.S. counted malaria as gone as an epidemic problem in 1939 — seven years before DDT became available for use. Malaria has been eradicated wherever incomes are high enough that people can afford homes with windows, and screens on the windows; and where health care can act quickly and surely against infections. This includes the U.S. and most of Europe. Nowhere that DDT was a key tool in the hoped-for eradication of malaria, was malaria eradicated. DDT alone cannot eradicate malaria — no malaria fighting agency is calling for DDT to be a panacea. None are calling for more than severely limited use in huts.
    3. Rachel Carson urged DDT use on cotton be cut back, to keep it useful against malaria. Malaria fighting programs that you endorse use Rachel Carson’s methods. You impugn a good woman, a good scientist, who is also dead — why? You steal her arguments and pass them off as your own, while impugning her reputation. Isn’t there a Bible story about a similar circumstance? You call her “murderously myopic?” Shame on you.
    4. Carson accurately blamed DDT for killing birds. There is no study ever done which contradicts any of her findings (and if you cite Steven Milloy, we’ll know that you do, in fact, bear animus to the truth; he is at best a secondary source, but in all cases, a source of falsehood on DDT).
    5. Carson accurately wondered whether DDT couldn’t also harm people. Studies have confirmed her fears, though DDT has not proven yet to be a powerful carcinogen. It kills people acutely (it is a favorite suicide potion in Asia), and the lawsuits for health damage to DDT workers in the U.S. continue, nearly four decades after we stopped spraying it, three decades after we stopped making it.
    5. Dr. Whelan, a well-established shill for the poison-manufacturing industry, was misleading when she said pesticides had never killed anyone in the U.S. when properly applied. The labels to which she refers were the extremely-limited-use labels the pesticide manufacturers tried to implement in 1972, after two courts had already ruled DDT too dangerous to wildlife to use. Whelan knows that DDT was not banned due to claims of human health hazard; it was not that decision makers ignored the information on human health hazards as she claims, but rather that such information was irrelevant to their decision. No study has ever found DDT to be completely safe, however, and many studies have linked it to many health hazards. Neil, you should study endocrine disruption. DDT is a key culprit. I cannot believe that you would defend such a chemical that damages the sexual organs and functions of children.
    Health effects of DDT are serious enough that almost every DDT manufacturing site in the U.S. is now a Superfund site. Studies continue across the nation, and none have suggested DDT is harmless to humans.
    6. Lancet didn’t say no health hazards have been found. What it said was DDT might be useful if used under tightly controlled conditions, in minuscule amounts — as Rachel Carson had urged. The National Academy of Sciences was more forceful, perhaps, in 1980, when it noted DDT as one of the most useful chemicals ever discovered — while calling for a cessation of its use because it is also one of the most dangerous ever discovered, and a chemical whose dangers outweigh its benefits.

    Six major errors in eight sentences. Bill Clinton was disbarred for much less.

    Now, were you thinking when you quoted the irrational Forbes? What in the world could you have been thinking?

    You quote Forbes:

    Yet Carson’s book has made DDT taboo–with ghastly results. Some 30 million to 60 million people have perished unnecessarily. In 1996, for example, South Africa stopped using DDT, and its malaria cases increased tenfold.

    Really? You claim that Carson’s book has the force of law in Africa? What were you thinking then?

    Or do you merely claim that the ban on agricultural use of DDT in the U.S. somehow, miraculously, crossed the Atlantic? You claim that a ban on spraying cotton fields in Texas, implemented in 1972, somehow caused Africans to stop spraying DDT in 1965? Can you read a calendar? Do you have a map of the world?

    That’s not rational, it’s not thinking. You may retract it, and I’ll shout hosannahs. But until you come around to rationality and good thought on the issue, that’s not ad hominem, and it’s not name-calling in any way. My description was factual only. Sadly. That’s the point.

    Like

  44. Matt says:

    This was Ed’s post and he started by saying I was unthinking and irrational. Now, Matt, tell me again who launched straight into personal attacks?

    Let’s assume, just for the sake of argument, that you’re correct in saying this. Do two wrongs make a right? No, so you have no excuse or good reason to launch into personal attacks – even if Ed did it first (that’s something that’s taught in every primary school I know of, I’d thought adults would know it).

    can see that for you both it is more important for you to agree with Ed than to maintain your intellectual integrity.

    I think statement is actually surprisingly telling. You’re basically saying that anyone who disagrees with you has to be intellectually dishonest. A rather dogmatic and uncompromising stance to say the least.

    As I’ve said previously on the subject, I have no opinion on DDT. I simply have not looked into the subject to any degree to speak with confidence on the subject. What I am commenting on is personal behaviour and how that reflects on credibility.

    Like

  45. Neil says:

    Gee, Ed, you found an anti-God person to deny the scientific fact that life begins at conception?

    Go read the embyrology textbooks I cited. They are all mainstream. And quit pretending to care about life and humanity. You are the one in favor of the legalized destruction of 3,000 human beings today and tom’w.

    Like

  46. Ed Darrell says:

    This is the comment I made that originally sent Neil off; I think it’s eminently reasonable. Neil somehow reads ad hominem arguments into it. To me, it seems that any argument Neil can’t answer, he labels as “ad hominem” or finds some other way to accuse the author of misfeasance which then gets the author banned from Neil’s board.

    Anyway, I don’t see any problem with this, except Neil can’t honestly rebut it with fact, nor rebut it at all and stay within the boundaries of Christian behavior:

    edarrell, on August 19th, 2006 at 9:31 pm Said:

    All experts agree that peppered moths are examples of natural selection in action. No one has ever argued that the different variants are different species. For speciation, look to bovines, where the modern cow is a completely different species from the aurochs from which they were bred, or look to the American apple maggot, which did not exist prior to the introduction of European apples to America, or look to the radish, or to broccoli, or to grapefruit.

    The beaks of the finches do indeed indicate speciation — but for anyone skeptical, the Grants have the complete history of more than 37,000 individuals in three different species — every individual to have lived in those species since 1973, through more than 40 generations. Evolution is verified in every possible way — beak form, coloration, song, morphology — and DNA. It’s clever to dismiss it as “mere beaks,” but such cleverness again ignores the bulk of the evidence. Ignoring the facts does not change them, or make them go away.

    Big Bang is a topic for cosmology. It’s physics, with some chemistry thrown in. Interesting, and so far as we can tell from every piece of evidence God has given us, including the photographs, accurate. But it has nothing to do with evolution. Darwin, of course, knew nothing of Big Bang. He thought life started when God breathed it into forms on the Earth. Evolution is what is observed after life gets started.

    If you want to argue Big Bang, I suppose we could — but that’s rather a red herring in a discussion of evolution. Big Bang has nothing to do with Darwin’s observations, nor do Darwin’s observations affect cosmology.

    Life from non-life? We know how it works now. My lawn, for example, converts water, air and a few minerals from the ground into green grass. If life could not come from non-life, you’d never have to mow your lawn.

    Now, it is a more interesting question to wonder how the first cells started out. That question has nothing to do with evolution again — evolution is what is observed once life gets going — but there is a lot of solid data that suggest that life arises only after certain large hydrocarbon molecules are present. What the final spark is, we cannot say. Every step of “life from non-life” has been replicated in the lab, with the exception of the spontaneous creation of cells with nuclei, and especially cells with replicating DNA. The work of James Ferris and his colleagues at NASA, Andrew Ellington at the University of Texas, and many others, has provided an enormous body of information about small leaps and how they can be made, in nature, in the wild, “spontaneously.” If one banks on these studies never producing a living cell in order to preserve a domain for God, one is limiting God to a tiny, dwindling, and perhaps vanishable place.

    If one refuses to read the science of evolution until another branch of science comes up with a link that may be years, or decades, or centuries or longer, in the future, one chooses ignorance over sure knowledge. I’ve always thought ignorance rather akin to darkness, and intentional ignorance tantamount to evil. Oppressors nearly always try to stifle information — the way Stalin tried to stifle evolution, for example, shooting a few Darwinists, banning a few others to death in Siberia, demoting the rest, and banning publication of anything based on evolution theory. If one chooses not to read the information Stalin tried to destroy, doesn’t one run the risk of advancing Stalin’s agenda?

    Ken Miller, by the way, is a life-long Christian, an every-Sunday in church, prayerful man. Why would any Christian refuse to read his book?

    Bible Answer Man is entertaining, but he falls victim to some of the worst perpetrators of disinformation since Lysenko. Phillip Johnson is no biologist, by his admission. He has little clue what he’s talking about. Henry Morris’ manifold errors of science are well documented. He means well, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions after all — Morris seems to have forgotten his compass. His outright fabrications of geology would mean that oil doesn’t exist. Yet your auto runs on oil. Either your car’s running is a figment of your imagination, or Morris’ geology is in error. There are many places to get good information on real geology. Gary Parker’s work is no better in accuracy. Parker has fallen a long way from his brief internship with the National Academy of Sciences. His science output, similarly, has been stuck on zero for well over a decade. Crank science has difficulty making headway in the real world.

    So if you’re pointing me to Hanegraaff’s “THEISTIC EVOLUTION AND THE GOSPEL,” please be aware that I’ve read his sources, and I (and others, principally scientists) find them lacking in integrity.

    That was my point. We have a duty to tell the truth. Hanegraf’s work is well-intentioned perhaps, but contrary to the facts.

    Either God is correct in what God manifests in His creation, or Hanegraaff is right. I don’t see any difficulty in choosing between them.

    What of Darwin’s “worldview and motives?” He sought the truth, he told what he found. Surely you’ve not also fallen victim to the many hoaxes that claim Darwin had a grudge against a church, have you?

    So much error! So much fact to rebut it! Where to begin?

    Like

  47. Neil says:

    This was Ed’s post and he started by saying I was unthinking and irrational. Now, Matt, tell me again who launched straight into personal attacks?

    Re-read the thread carefully. I listed fact after fact and link after link with evidence and scientific facts. Ed is too proud to apologize so he mumbles something about how “maybe” he was the first to bring up Stalin. Yes, “maybe.”

    Then there’s Nick, who correctly surmised the foolishness of the Stalin / evolution link but was only brave enough to criticize it when he thought I had made the claim. Then he realized it was actually Ed so he’s trying to reposition himself.

    Nick & Matt, I can see that for you both it is more important for you to agree with Ed than to maintain your intellectual integrity. I think you have chosen unwisely, but that’s your call.

    Like

  48. Ed Darrell says:

    I hope they accept your invitation! They’ll find a link to a list of mainstream embryology textbooks that all teach that human life begins at conception.

    Here, Neil: This was intended for you, but I’ll wager you haven’t seen it yet:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/03/the_fertilized_egg_is_not_a_hu.php

    Like

  49. Matt says:

    Neil, you started this wrong. Instead of listing while Ed may (or may not) be wrong in this entry you launched straight into personal attacks.

    This hurt your own credibility to a huge degree. I suggest you stop with the emotional responses and go, point by point, why Ed is wrong in his statements.

    Like

  50. Nick Kelsier says:

    Oh you mean where it’s said that those who try to suppress the teaching of evolution are acting akin to Stalin?

    Like

  51. Neil says:

    Then you really need to get to know Ed better. Go to this thread and search for “Stalin” — http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2006/08/17/don%e2%80%99t-discuss-evolution-until/

    He even quit denying that he was the one who brought it up.

    Like

  52. Nick Kelsier says:

    Knowing Ed, I very much doubt he’s linked evolution to Stalin.

    Like

  53. Neil says:

    Nick, I think you’ve misunderstood the thread. I never made a evolution / Stalin link. Ed is the one who did that over and over. Perhaps he can answer your Christianity / Hitler question.

    Like

  54. Nick Kelsier says:

    Tell me, Neil, since you want to link evolution to Stalin…does that mean that I can link Christianity to Hitler?

    Like

  55. Neil says:

    “Inherit the Wind” was not about evolution? The movie about the Scopes trial was not about evolution? Sure. Just watch the videos and see the lies.

    And, as if to make my point, I’ll invite readers to scroll back through your arguments here, and see if they can find a single argument backed by anything other than vitriol.

    I hope they accept your invitation! They’ll find a link to a list of mainstream embryology textbooks that all teach that human life begins at conception. That demonstrates that to be pro-science one should be pro-life. Now is that vitriol? It seems fact-based to me.

    I linked directly to the quotes you made to demonstrate that your assertion was incorrect. Vitriol or facts?

    I linked to a post which shows actual clips of a pro-evolution movie that has been shown to countless children in the name of “science,” yet was full of lies. Vitriol or facts?

    Then lets view your comments. Your post said I was unthinking and irrational. Then you repeated your triple-play fallacy that I’m like Joseph Stalin just because I have the nerve to question evolution (what was that about witch hunts and silencing dissent?). Vitriol or fact-based?

    Like

  56. Ed Darrell says:

    Okay, you’ve got your licks in, Neil. You’re still woefully ill-informed about Darwin, and wrong about evolution. And, as if to make my point, I’ll invite readers to scroll back through your arguments here, and see if they can find a single argument backed by anything other than vitriol.

    No? Nor could I.

    By the way, “Inherit the Wind” wasn’t a play about evolution. It was a play about witch hunts, political witch hunts like the one Joe McCarthy was conducting.

    But don’t ever let the facts get in the way of your rant. You’d not have much to post if you did.

    Like

  57. Neil says:

    And in the end, it is your inability to defend your unreasoned, not-even-Christian views against Darwin that got me banned.

    No, once again you are lying. Really, Ed, it isn’t like this was from a conversation where no one was listening. Your bizarre anti-science / pro-abortion views were just as ridiculous as your Stalin arguments. I’m too pro-science to be pro-choice, but you are too anti-God to be pro-life.

    Oh, and here’s a link with some great videos highlighting the heinous lies told in your favorite movie, “Inherit the Wind” — http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/lights-camera-blasphemy/

    Like

  58. Neil says:

    Was I the first to name Stalin? Maybe so.

    You see, the nice thing is that we don’t have to ponder “maybe’s” at this point. You made a claim that I brought it up. That is demonstrably false. You claimed that “It’s not the truth we’re fearful of — we instead work to get the facts right, so we can function better in the world.” But once you were shown the facts you did a little sidestep. Not very manly.

    Then, in keeping with your pathology, instead of admitting the idiocy of your triple-fallacy you repeat it over and over. Really, Ed, when you find that you’ve dug yourself a hole the first thing to do is stop digging.

    Hey folks, if this isn’t clear what Ed did, let me give an example. It would be the equivalent of me saying that Darwin was a racist (“On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life), Hitler agreed with his foundations, Ed supports Darwin, so therefore Ed is just like Hitler! Isn’t that a fun way to debate? Or I could find any other topic that Ed and Stalin would have agreed on and make the link.

    Or I could say, “Ed is obviously a racist because he supports legalized abortion, which blacks use at a rate of 3x of whites. Ed thinks it is better to kill unborn black human beings then let them live.”

    Pretty foolish way to debate, eh?

    On evolution, you offer specious arguments.

    Thanks for the grins. Ed “agree with me or I’ll say you are like Stalin” Darrell thinks I offer specious arguments. Heh.

    Like

  59. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed, you aren’t too clear on the facts, are you?

    I know this Neil: On evolution, you are ill informed. On evolution, you offer specious arguments.

    Was I the first to name Stalin? Maybe so. You never did answer the question, though, about why you agree with Stalin about Darwin. I suppose it was just such a shock to your system that you couldn’t deal with it.

    Neil, I hope people take the link and visit your blog. It won’t help your case in the slightest for anyone of any reason to see your claims against evolution. If there is a falsehood against evolution and science that you missed, it would be only because time is finite. And in the end, it is your inability to defend your unreasoned, not-even-Christian views against Darwin that got me banned. Complaining about Darwin’s “world view,” and offering Hank Hanegraff as support, neither make your case against Darwin, nor make a case that any person of faith should be proud of.

    Like

  60. Neil says:

    That’s how reasoning, Christian people work, Neil. It’s not the truth we’re fearful of — we instead work to get the facts right, so we can function better in the world.

    If you want facts, then check out the scientific facts that life begins at conception and that abortion kills an innocent human being — http://abort73.com/index.php?/abortion/medical_testimony

    You don’t even have to be a Christian to see that abortion is a moral evil. But under no circumstances should Christians deny science and the word of God and support the crushing and dismemberment of innocent human beings.

    Like

  61. Neil says:

    Ed, you aren’t too clear on the facts, are you? It is a good thing a quick search on the comments section of my blog reveals that you brought up the Stalin non-sequitor / ad hominem / straw man attack — http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2006/08/17/don%e2%80%99t-discuss-evolution-until/ . Wow, three fallacies in one! That’s a lot even for you. But as you say, we want the truth and the facts right to function better in the world. Now you have the truth about who brought up and perpetuated the Stalin bit.

    Let’s see, in Ed’s world a blogger banning someone who makes repeatedly ridiculous fallacious arguments is akin to someone who killed tens of millions of people and eliminated free speech. Check. Ed, you are beyond hyperbole. I banned you from commenting for the same reason I’d avoid a neighbor or co-worker who repeatedly wasted my time with ridiculous claims. If you think I violated your First Amendment rights then go get a lawyer and take it to the Supreme Court.

    The most ironic thing is that whenever I point out your Stalin silliness you repeat the same mistake and try to equate me with him again (as in your last paragraph). You repeat mistakes so reflexively it is amusing.

    A few choice Ed comments from my blog (sorry, no time to find the ones you posted on other blogs):

    “Well, I apologize. I was stating fact. I fail to understand why you advocate Stalin’s doctrine against Darwin. Were you unaware that you are?”

    “Well, can you explain how your view differs from Stalin’s?”

    “And, I’m still waiting for you to explain how your views on Darwin differ from Stalin’s.”

    “If one chooses not to read the information Stalin tried to destroy, doesn’t one run the risk of advancing Stalin’s agenda?”

    Like

  62. Ed Darrell says:

    Gee, thanks for dropping by, Neil. Regret to see you’re still promoting that old “poison Africa” stuff. I’ve never banned anyone at this site — even when they disagree with me, and especially if they simply provide the links that refute my claims. I make corrections instead.

    That’s how reasoning, Christian people work, Neil. It’s not the truth we’re fearful of — we instead work to get the facts right, so we can function better in the world.

    I must say I was happy to see you support the Nothing but Nets campaign, but since they disagree with all your other claims about malaria and DDT, there’s some high irony there.

    By the way, you were the one who introduced the Stalin meme, as I recall, in your making false claims against Darwin. Stalin was a key proponent of shutting off discussion by banning people. It was unfair and unwise when Stalin did it, too.

    Like

  63. Neil says:

    I see EDarrell is still at it with his silliness, ad hominem attacks and lies. Be sure to visit my site for adult conversation. He was the first person ever banned at my site and still holds the title of most ridiculous commenter ever. Just be careful not to expose his idiocy and irrational arguments or he’ll find something you have in common with Joseph Stalin and imply you are a mass-murdering commie.

    Then again, he’s a pro-abortion “Christian” so I don’t expect a lot of reasoning from him.

    Like

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