Well, the good folks from P. Z. Myers blog have shown up here in force, and I wanted to make sure that our regular readers understood why the level of discourse seems to have experienced a noticeable decline. I felt the need, you see, to make special accommodations for the atheist crowd in order for them to be able to give full vent to their emotions by temporarily suspending the normal posting rules having to do with name-calling and questioning of motives.
This is important for a number of reasons. For one thing, it is probably good for them. Repressing your emotions can result in sometimes unhealthy neuroses. We don't want to see them hurt themselves, so I think it would be best to let them get it out of their systems.
Secondly, we want them to be able to adequately make their point and it would be unfair to dogmatists not to allow them to engage in what dogmatists always do when you question their cherished orthodoxies: lash out emotionally at those who disagree with them.
But I also wanted our loyal readers to understand the causes behind this behavior. What we have here, after all, are a group of presumably higher level hominids who--despite their pretensions of occupying the highest branch on the evolutionary tree--seem not to have developed any noticeable system of manners.
Note the litany of epithets and questioning of intentions, along with accusations of moral turpitude. Then there are the accusations of a lack of courage (and hypocrisy)--made, ironically, by people who refuse to identify themselves.
There are other things we have noticed as well. In fact, we have watched them, clipboard, stopwatch, and other scientific instruments in hand (in the scientific attitude) and made some very important empirical observations, the most significant of which seems to be that there are two varieties of atheist species: the consistent ones and the inconsistent ones.
The inconsistent atheists are the ones who still unaccountably cling to rationality, despite the fact that their own materialistic view of the world precludes it (truth and validity both being metaphysical concepts). They still make the attempt to make rational arguments despite the fact that their largely materialist assumptions rule out the very procedure they try to employ.
The consistent ones (which our observations indicate are far more numerous) are the ones who either don't bother to argue at all, but simply use taunts or epithets to make their case--or who attribute their opponents position, not to some mistaken chain of reasoning, but to some underhanded motive. Rationality being impossible in their worldview, they must attribute people's word and actions, not to a rationale, but to a cause--usually some form of intellectual dishonesty.
Among these latter individuals, the correct position on any scientific matter is intrinsically bound up with morality to the extent that truth and good are completely indistinguishable. Since the two cannot be separated, this means that if you believe someone to be incorrect on an issue, they must also therefore be evil. No one can be honestly wrong, This accounts for the penchant (typical of dogmatists of all varieties) to impart some sort of intellectual dishonesty to their opponents.
Furthermore, these characteristics make them indistinguishable in many ways from the religious fundamentalists they profess to scorn, living in a similar black and white world where there exists only the one morally correct position, and all others are to be scorned.
So, while we spend a few days disentangling the arguments from the epithets in order to answer them, please take these things into account and be patient with them.