11 Replies to “Two Mass Murderers Open Fire on Darwin Day

  1. 1
    WinglesS says:

    This doesn’t really have any relation to science does it?

  2. 2
    rockyr says:

    WinglesS, it does have. I pointed out the Princeton Noosphere, or Global Consciousness, project in a previous thread. It would be interesting to see what sort of data they receive related to these incidents.

    I am not a big fan of Teilhard de Chardin, and his pseudo-Catholic evolutionary theory, but this project intrigues me. Just like their PEAR project pointed out by tribune7. I don’t think this is all just a bunch of nonsense. Spiritualism, ghosts, ESP, police psychics, even some fortune tellers and people with similar abilities are not all frauds. (Although there is a lot of fraud and quacks in those areas.) For theists this would justify their belief in angels and devils and similar supernatural occurrences religions are full of, such as levitation of saints and other miracles.

  3. 3
    DaveScot says:

    wingless

    It’s not filed under science, is it?

    One of the kids in the Columbine massacre was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with “Natural Selection”. It’s reasonable to ask about connections between Darwinism and individuals that are taking it upon themselves to thin the herd.

    So, what’re the odds?

  4. 4
    Fross says:

    I’d blame it on being a monday 😉

  5. 5
    ofro says:

    “Any day in the U.S. with a mass murder is unusual. But two in one day – what’re the odds?

    I did a quick Google and found reports for similar shootings on Aug 6, Sept. 13 and Oct 12. Let’s say this was all there was for six months (could easily be more). So if the probability was about 1 in 60 days, the chances of that occurring on the same day is about 1 in 3600 or about ten years. Not that unlikely, is it?

  6. 6
    tribune7 says:

    This doesn’t really have any relation to science does it?

    Neither does Darwin Day.

  7. 7
    tribune7 says:

    I’d blame it on being a monday

    I can see no reasons. Cos there are no reasons. What reasons do you need to be shown?

  8. 8
    DaveScot says:

    ofro

    I’m afraid I’ll need you to source your data on mass murders better than throwing out a few dates with no descriptions of the events and then extrapolating that into a statistic. That’s unacceptably vague and sloppy.

    Mass murders (defined as 4 or more victims at one time/place) are rather rare and most of those are people who wipe out their own families which is a separate class unlike either of the two mass murders that ocurred on Darwin day.

  9. 9
    ofro says:

    OK, here is a list.:

    01-31-2006
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories.....9522.shtml

    02-05/2006
    http://broadcast.organicframew.....24886.html

    3-27-2006
    http://www.indianz.com/News/2006/013175.asp

    5-22-1006
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/n.....ting_x.htm

    6-26-2006
    http://www.thedenverchannel.co.....etail.html

    7-28-2006
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....own28.html

    9-13-2006
    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/Arti.....TopStories

    10-03-2006
    http://www.vpc.org/press/0610pa.htm

    12-08-2006
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/.....r_shooting

    I presume that you will protest that I am including several incidents where fewer than 4 people were killed. However, each incident left several people injured, so it was not for lack of trying, just of good luck for the people who survived. But even if you leave out these incidents, I am still pretty much on target with my estimate.

    For a more detailed analysis see also
    http://hsx.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/6/4/271.pdf
    for a detailed study of mass public shootings with more than 4 dead from 1977 to 1999. I didn’t have time to work through all the tables, but I suspect that the data in that paper contain a similar message (not the conclusions, which deal with a different aspect).

  10. 10
    DaveScot says:

    ofro

    A mass murder is defined as four or more killed in the same time/place. Furthermore I also excluded killings that were motivated by love or passion (family related). Whittling down your list I get:

    01-31-2006
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories.....9522.shtml

    02-05/2006
    http://broadcast.organicframew.....24886.html
    Less than four dead.

    3-27-2006
    http://www.indianz.com/News/2006/013175.asp
    Killing own family (crime of passion).

    5-22-1006
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/n.....ting_x.htm
    Kidnap/killing of own family (crime of passion).

    6-26-2006
    http://www.thedenverchannel.co.....etail.html

    7-28-2006
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....own28.html
    Less than 4 dead.

    9-13-2006
    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/Arti.....TopStories
    Less than 4 dead.

    10-03-2006
    http://www.vpc.org/press/0610pa.htm

    12-08-2006
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/.....r_shooting
    Less than four excluding the gunman.

    It’s illustrative that you need to change the definition of “mass murder” to include wounded. And I specifically aid that family related killings don’t count as those are not in teh class I’d consider to be possibly inspired by Darwinian lack of respect for the sacredness of life. I specifically DID compare to Columbine where one of the shooters was wearing a Darwin t-shirt and none of the victims were family of the perps.

    Trimming your list down to meet the specifications leaves 3 good instances. So the chance of 2 happening on any given day is 120×120 or 14400:1. I’ll accept the rest of your logic (given that 2006 is a typical year) and concede that the chances of that happening on Darwin Day due to bad luck and nothing related to celebrating the purposelessness of human life are 14000 to 1. Maybe it was just bad luck. But a betting man wouldn’t bet on it.

    Thanks for playing “What’re the Odds?”. There’s a consolation prize waiting as you exit stage left. It’s a lovely framed picture of a Darwin plush toy with its head in a vise.

  11. 11
    DaveScot says:

    At the peanut gallery Occum’s Toothbrush observes:

    Lee Harvey Oswald was a Marine. It’s reasonable to ask about connections between service in the Marine Corps and individuals that are taking it upon themselves to assassinate world leaders.

    Right, Tard?

    Yes, plaque monkey, that is right. Marines and their rifles are deadly weapons and they aren’t always playing with a full deck, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Oswald fired three shots in five seconds with cheap Italian bolt action rifle from a distance of one hundred yards at a moving target and scored one head shot. Awesome. Marines should be monitored closely after release back into the wild. And don’t forget Charles Whitman, another awesome Marine sharpshooter. He was an Eagle Scout too and I know how you Church Burnin’ Ebola Boys (and girls) want to do away with scouting too, or at least make sure it’s wide open to flaming homos.

    By the way, I take it as a compliment when an asshat like you calls me “Tard”. Thank you.

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