"He isn't violating the site's ToS. Just about the only thing that gets people banned around here is lying about the one big requirement of the site. We occasionally get a theist who probably thinks he's going to come to…"
"Heh heh heh. See what I meant? He's way the hell out on the fringe of cosmology, but he doesn't want to make anything but sweeping assertions and run away when we ask for a credible source.
I mean, for fuck sake. He…"
"You claim that migrating birds "choose a route as if informed by a guidance system." They indeed do have such a guidance system. Birds have an extra organ in their brains that senses magnetic fields, and the Earth's magnetic…"
"The night sky repeats its appearance of patterns because stars exist and the Earth rotates and revolves. The birds flock based on many things, but chief among them is timing; i.e. seasonal changes. We have seasons because the Earth is tilted on its…"
"Wow. Such an enormous pile of excrement. For a single sentence of this post to be true, black holes would have to be nonexistent. Black holes have been observed. And if you're gonna dispute the lifetime efforts of Hawking, you'd better…"
"I have awaited this announcement for quite some time. this is terrific news, and thanks for delivering it. Every time someone suggests that we'll never be able to "witness" the Big Bang, I remind them to never be stupid enough to rule…"
He isn't violating the site's ToS. Just about the only thing that gets people banned around here is lying about the one big requirement of the site. We occasionally get a theist who probably thinks he's going to come to where the heathens are and show them the error of their ways.
I've exposed a few, myself, and once exposed, you can drop a line to the site mod, and he'll ban them. The most recent one was a few years ago, and it took a bit of repeated questioning to unmask him. He posted a discussion thread about one of the usual theistic arguments:
"All of these brilliant scientists believed in God." (commence list of names and descriptions of scientists from hundreds of years ago, going back at least as far as Isaac Newton)
Initially, the guy claimed to just be curious what everyone thought about the argument, since we're all logical people. It took several repetitions of my questions before he finally stopped dodging and admitted that he believes that that many scientists must be right, and he believes a god must exist.
Individual group moderators can kick people out of their groups, but Terence definitely isn't inclined to kick anyone. Don't bother asking him.
Aggressive harassment or threats would be a sufficient violation to ban someone from the site, but we pretty much never have that happen. We're pretty good about self-policing. Tom hasn't moved even one step in that direction. If anything, you and I are being more aggressive with him than he is with anyone.
He's been around for years; not as long as I have, but a good while. He gets the benefit of the doubt. Anyway, he's definitely an atheist, so he's good.
Besides, he isn't trolling. By definition, you aren't trolling if you believe the bat-shit insane things that you espouse.
We occasionally get completely irrational people around here. Just being an atheist doesn't mean that you're rational or a skeptic. We had one woman around here many years ago, Claudia ... Mancuso, I think it was. She didn't believe in a god, but she believed in every other spiritualist, new-age woo woo bullshit that you can imagine.
But she didn't believe in a god or gods, so she was within the bounds of the ToS. She didn't fit in at all, of course, since pretty much everyone around here is of the atheist/skeptic variety. We mocked her whenever she would post something about her spiritualist nonsense, and she eventually went away on her own.
Tom only claims authority that has nothing to do with his actual degree. And what additional authority that he claims from his extracurricular reading doesn't have much to do with the subject at hand, and it wouldn't matter if it did, since he has no experience, work history, community-recognized expertise, or anything else that has a damned thing to do with cosmology. I can't remember exactly what expertise he claims, which he brought up in the discussion thread in which I argued with him, but it's crap. He's just an armchair crank.
It isn't as if he's a flat-Earther, moon-landing hoaxer, or something of similar conspiracy insanity. His rejection of the existence of black holes blows my mind a bit, but there are far more insane people out there.
Heh heh heh. See what I meant? He's way the hell out on the fringe of cosmology, but he doesn't want to make anything but sweeping assertions and run away when we ask for a credible source.
I mean, for fuck sake. He entered the conversation by quoting from Edwin Hubble, from something he said in 1937. If the only meaningful support someone is going to provide is from more than 8 decades ago, in matters regarding a scientific field, and he expects us to take him seriously ... I just don't know what to say.