May 2008

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Oi stomper... There are indeed facts that can be used in arguments such as the one you're carefully trying to construct.

In order to illustrate this you mention the "fact" that water is wet. Pity, as this statement gets in teh way of my reading teh rest of what you wrote. To whit - Water isn't wet in it's gaseous or frozen states. If you got that "fact" wrong what else is wrong? Your whole arguement?

Rather than blather on try an convince us of your intelligence, why not be pithy and cut some of the crap out of your arguments.


No, gr8hands, that's fine. I'm not bothered.



Someone needs to make DMD into a hit song, like Macarena, La Bamba, or YMCA...


I'm a mathematician. Most of our arguments go:
"I'm right."
"No, I'm right".
"Here's a proof."

I'd never make it in the sciences.

Adrian D.


Well many of them say they will experience a wonderful afterlife, but they will do anything to extend their lives here on earth -- even if confined to a hospital bed for the rest of their days.

I have several objections to christianity. Failing to meet their desired goals is not one of them.


Seems like tests #6 or #8 would be enough. The rest would be covered by them.


Stomper -- you failed to prove your point, and you are also wrong. Where? I'm too bored with your post to point them all out (or is that too harsh?).


This is a little late and maybe slightly off topic, but it does explain some of the amazing comments I've read here and elsewhere:



I think you're wrong about God, but you're not an idiot.

Regardless of who is right about God, there are a lot of people who are wrong, that seems unavoidable. So with smart people on 7 different sides of that issue, I can admit that my opinion is pretty shaky ground.

For science and foreign policy I find your stuff extremely thought provoking, even if I'm not completely buying.

Your critique of religion in "God's Debris" is one of the best ones I've seen. The "they don't Really believe it" line is one that I think is true and is certainly a valid point.

On that note, an old country preacher I heard as a kid kept saying, "What you really believe, you'll act upon. The rest is just religious talk."

I agree with that, but I don't think the discrepency between what well meaning religious people say and what they do is a reason to set it aside.

I set goals for myself personally in my job on a daily basis, that I don't always meet. That doesn't mean I don't work hard, or conscientiously, or that I suck at my job or that my job or to do list is bogus.

For Christians, I think the discrepency is consistent and maybe unavoidable. By self admission, they are a society of screw ups and need to be forgiven for that. I've met a few who are not arrogant about this and who genuinely want to be loving to people.

I've read your blog for a while. There are consistently people who will disagree, they'll normally have a coherent reason why and will say so articulately. Others, not so much.


I don't read your blog to see if you're right or wrong. I just welcome and enjoy the topic (stuff we don't ususally give too much tought to), like the way you deliver the point (its entretaining), and enjoy reading the reactions (positive/negative there's always some jewels in here.


I don't need to know the truth to know you are wrong.
I don't need to pass those funny tests either.

It would be sufficient that you contradict yourself
or that I find a counterexample to what you say.

You still can say that I understand you wrong and that my counterexamples are irrelevant. That would be solved with restating your ideas in less self-contradictory way (and my next iteration to reflect on what you want to say).

As far as I can say you are IMHO mostly right on foreign policy, a bit NAIVE in the science matters (but not as naive as the christian lot), now you were partialy WRONG with your arguments, but you have THE RIGHT ATTITUDE. You poke a good fun at the religious.

But I came here to say that *I HYSTERICALLY LOVE YOUR TODAYS COMIC*. It brought me pretty much laugh, satisfaction and relieve....


Instead of asserting Scott is wrong, it would be better to assert that Scott has failed to prove his point, and then explain how he has failed. If you cannot understand this distinction, then perhaps you should try to find a less challenging blog.


GR Mark

Its frustrating to see how many people do not know the difference between Knowledge and Belief.
A lot of monkey dance induction is accomplished by simply counting on the monkey not knowing the difference.

Adrian D.


I am not going to claim hoax; but it does fail in my case. (I am predominantly left-brained but see a clockwise spin.)


Many comments demonstrate a logical disconnect. Let's be clear: your failure to pass the 8-part test and prove Scott's opinion wrong does not somehow prove that Scott is right. Scott is not claiming that your failure to prove him wrong means that he must be right.

Scott is not claiming that he is always right, that his opinions are somehow proven right by your failure to pass the 8-step test, or that we should trust the experts to always be right. He is simply challenging all the people who seem absolutely sure he is wrong.

Yes, Scott stated his proposition a little broadly, and there are "facts" (i.e., water is wet, someone's correct name, 2+2=4, etc.) for which an incorrect statement can be proven wrong without resort to Scott's 8-part test. However, I don't recall Scott ever saying water is not wet, your name isn't the one on your birth certificate, or 2+2 does not equal 4.

So understand this: Scott is not proposing his 8-part test as a way to prove any proposition is correct. Scott is not proposing his 8-part test as a requirement for proving someone else wrong (particularly, someone else who says silly things like "Water is not wet").

Reading comprehension, people! So long as Scott refrains from saying anything obviously non-factual, the 8-part test is a perfectly valid set of requirements for anyone who wants to assert Scott is wrong as an absolute proposition.

Is the test impossible? Of course it is! That's the point. You can disagree with Scott, but civilized discourse requires that we recognize the rights of others to hold different opinions than our own.

Even when your opinion is diametrically opposed to mine, that does not mean one is right and the other is wrong. Rather, it is highly possible that BOTH our opinions are wrong. When it comes to policy opinions, however, it is impossible to be absolutely certain that any specific opinion is wrong. The vast majority of Scott's commenters seem oblivious to this little bit of logic, or at least unwilling to apply that logic to Scott's ruminations.



All I know, Adams, is that you like to start shit, and I have tremendous respect for that.

Andy Watt

"1. You have never been sure you were right and later found out you were wrong."

Well, I'm still reading this blog so my initial thoughts about it were probably wrong...

"2. You have deep expertise in all fields relevant to the topic."

I always was fond of hazelnuts (in every bite, that is)

"3. There are no experts disagreeing with you."

At this moment, I'm sitting surrounded by silent geeks. Pass.

"4. You can distinguish, via ESP, my actual opinions from my monkey dancing inducements."

That, and you have a habit of sticking your 3-letter signature in there to give us a hint...

"5. Unlike all other humans, you are immune from cognitive dissonance or bias."

We'll have to disagree on the proper grammar for that one, eh? Oops!

"6. You know what you know, and also everything you DON’T know."

Ah, but you only know what you don't know when someone asks you. What you mean is you're willing to admit something you don't know when presented with a question about it. This is just humility, isn't it? I suppose "You're humble enough to admit when you don't know anything on a subject you're presented with" would make enough Chimpanzee Boogie Juice for you though, would it?

"7. You have sufficient reading comprehension to understand my point."

You ought to filter some of the responses based on their "Singularly Highlighted Intelligent Text" quotient - I'll expect this one to | /dev/null

"8. Your powers of perception and logic are infallible."
Mr Adams, you are turning into Spock...


I can tell when you write DMD at the end of your post Scott that is a not a true opinion... but I could be wrong.

Jeremy Erwin

Personally I have no problem with anybody expressing an opinion, least of all the way you do. It's somebody's choice as to whether or not they read this blog, and if mere dissent from the writer's opinion is enough to cause you to dislike it, then you have no obligation to continue reading it and can't honestly complain. Besides, you are essentially "leaving it to the experts" in that you're a cartoonist writing his own personal blog, not a decision maker.


the topic of this post id curiously in-topic with the today's cartoon.

Did you post after re-reading, or is it [insert here mumbo-jumbo about being pre-programmed] ?


Well, I didn't make it past #1, so I guess I'm not an expert. However, I believe that certain people have insight and knowledge that is valuable to discuss. Most people, on the other hand, only have BS, and know how to regurgitate someone else's mistaken thoughts. If someone has a valid point/question/answer to a comment you make on politics/religion/science, then is should be invited and debated. To the morons that simply spout half a converstation they once overheard in a noisy room 20 years ago, maybe they should keep their comments to themselves. Unless of course, you find those sorts of comments entertaining. Also, watching an ad about a documentary, does not make you an expert.


Hey Scott why exactly do we have to fit the 8 steps for us to be right and you to be wrong? I do not qualify for all 8 but I bet my opinions beat Corky from Life Goes On. Quite simply for any of us to have the benefit of the doubt we just have to be right more often than you, unless of course you qualify for all 8.


In this modern age where information travels at the speed of light and people can network around the world with ease I find it interesting that few people seem to be able to express a point of view beyond their core field of expertise without being written-off by credential junkies. Ironically the foundations for most of the technical advances that we currently enjoy were laid outside the parameters of this restrictive mentality. Just because someone draws cartoons, performs heart surgery, or works at a convenience store does not mean everything they espouse beyond the scope of their measure of success is worthless. To only validate those deemed credentialed as an expert is suffocatingly narrow-minded as so-called “experts” rarely think beyond the confines of the status quo. Perhaps much of today's cognitive dissonance has been fostered by the collegiate notion that you are nothing without a degree.

N L C John

Your test is wrong. You should leave making test to experts.


Wrong, all wrong... my cat told me so my views must be right.

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