The lengths creationists will go to…

| 47 Comments

Speaking of bathroom walls...check out this long thread on Creationist genetics. It's an enlightening peek into the mind of a creationist. I had originally commented on the curious tale of Jacob and Laban in the book of Genesis, in which Jacob is able to modify the coat color of sheep and goats by having them mate in front of appropriately colored sticks. I pointed out that this is nonsense—genetics doesn't work that way.

We then got many overwrought comments from a creationist, Susan Williams, defending the Bible. Confronted with a story that contradicts plain, simple, observable biology, she resorts to the Rush Limbaugh defense: it's just a joke, you aren't supposed to take it literally.

That's fine with me. I wonder, though, why creationists insist on defending as literally true other tales from the Bible that contradict the scientific evidence? As long as they are willing to give God a sense of humor and a willingness to illustrate his lessons with allegory and jokes, why not carry that to it's logical conclusion and recognize that the Bible is not a scientific document?

47 Comments

The fundamentalist-creationists get to say which parts of the Bible are literally true and which are figurative. It’s their book; they can read it any way they want. And they do. Oh, and by the way, it’s the King James Version. That’s the one that’s God’s revealed literal truth.

Wow, that is a long thread.

I think there is a lesson there for people who can’t avoid the temptation to argue with creationists or other troublemakers in weblog comment sections. Keep the topic narrow. Ideally, sick to arguments related to the subject of the main post. If you follow the argument down every tangent, and get at try to poke holes in the core beliefs of the antagonist, the thread can become an overstuffed mess.

I quite agree. But that’s rule #1 from the creationist strategy book: throw out a zillion bogus bits of nonsense at a rapid fire pace, knowing that anyone who tries to deal with them honestly and in some depth will never be able to keep up.

We’re seeing the same thing here on the Thumb – anti-evolutionists who babble insensibly and are completely refractory to reason, but are very, very good at throwing up a smokescreen of incessant noise to cover their ignorance. The strategy even has a great name, “squinking”, in reference to the opaque cloud of ink a squid will squirt out to cover its escape.

A long thread, but I don’t really see what it is that either Susan or yourself are getting worked up about.

One can simply point out that the events associated with Jacob’s sheep and goats involved the element of miracle, which, to me, would be the most straightforward reading of that passage anyway. True, you can accurately say that what we currently know of genetics “doesn’t work that way”, but that’s as far as you can go.

If you try to say that this story is “nonsense” as you claimed, or even if you try to say something like “Genetics doesn’t work that way, and therefore this particular event could never have actually occurred in real history”, then you got a pretty tough job on your hands, PZ, in terms of supporting your claim.

You would have to show me why a miracle, (which I would define as a superseding of the known physical or genetic laws via an act of God), can be ruled out in this case.

If you say that miracles simply do not exist, then you have to ~~show~~ why they do not, despite numerous historical testimonies, both ancient and modern, both biblical and non-biblical, that they have apparently taken place at various times and places.

And as philosopher Winfried Corduan has suggested, ruling out miracles is really tough, like just about impossible, UNLESS you can also find a way to rule out the existence of a theistic universe. Which I do not believe you nor anyone have yet accomplished.

So, honestly, a Christian doesn’t need to deny the historicity of this Jacob story, not even slightly, in order to try to escape your “genetics doesn’t work that way” objection. Susan is wrong to even attempt to do so.

(See, PZ, here’s the real deal. The biggest problem in Christianity is NOT that atheist evolutionists like you don’t trust the Bible’s historical and factual reliability, nor that materialism dominates the scientific, academic, and political realms. Those ain’t problems at all, relatively.

The biggest problem is that professing CHRISTIANS don’t trust and believe in the Bible’s historical and factual reliability. Christians are not following the example of Christ in totally trusting the Bible’s historical and factual claims. THAT’s where the stink is hittin’ the fan. THAT’s ultimately why materialism dominates science and education, despite occasional shining counterexamples like peanut researcher Dr. George Washington Carver and Los Alamos geophysicist Dr. John Baumgartner}. And no, the problem isn’t always limited to “liberal” Christians, though for sure that’s part of the problem.)

But I digress. PZ,I believe you also suggested in the Pharyngula thread that Jacob had somehow cheated his father-in-law. If that’s true, may I suggest that you can’t have it both ways? After all, by your own admission, Jacob did nothing that, genetically, would have caused the sheep and goats to turn out in a way advantageous to Jacob. So whatever happened can’t be pinned on Jacob, right?

Indeed, even Laban, the employer, initially claimed that God had caused livestock-prosperity to come to Laban because of Jacob’s work (Gen. 30.29,30). Even Laban saw a supernatural source at work.

“But this whole thing just ain’t science!” somebody might claim. Well, miracles ain’t science. Fine.

But if you try to claim or even suggest slightly, that ~~only~~ that which is known to current science corresponds to reality as we know it, then YOU are the one stepping outside the boundaries of science. You are the one stepping into the realm of philosophy and religion–the religion of materalism and/or atheism. And THAT’s not science, either, so you’d be the pot calling the kettle black.

FL

Andy Groves is my hero.

…miracles ain’t science.

Exactly.

If creationists want to say, “X was a miracle,” there’s nothing we can do to argue with it. When they say “here is the scientific evidence for X,” then we can rip them apart.

…the religion of materalism and/or atheism

Exactly wrong. Atheism isn’t a religion.

I’ll also add that my article focused on one incredible claim made by a creationist:

Micro-evolution has been known for thousands of years, with the first documented case occurring in Genesis, when Jacob [manipulated] his father-in-law’s sheep and goat herd so he could get more striped and spotted livestock. Any examples of evolution we observe today fall into this category.

Note that he is claiming that the story in Genesis is 1) legitimate ‘microevolutionary’ genetics, and 2) that this is precisely what biologists are studying today. Your simple “miracle” excuse doesn’t salvage those two arguments at all.

Note that he is claiming that the story in Genesis is 1) legitimate ‘microevolutionary’ genetics, and 2) that this is precisely what biologists are studying today. Your simple “miracle” excuse doesn’t salvage those two arguments at all.

And I would respond that, unless this particular creationist can show how ‘genetics’ rather than ‘miracle’ could account for this particular colored-stick transformation of the sheep and goats, you are indeed correct to disagree with this creationist’s two points, PZ. I have no problem with that.

However, should you attempt to demonstrate your claim that this Genesis story is “nonsense” via attempting to rule out the possibility of the existence of the miraculous, I suspect you will quickly find that the existence of miracle is no mere “excuse.”

FL :-)

If creationists want to say, “X was a miracle,” there’s nothing we can do to argue with it.

Actually, there are ways:

- If you can explain the event as a natural phenomenon ( e.g.the explanation in the thread under discussion that Jacob knew the basic principles of Mendelian genetics )

- If the same story is described in different ways in the bible (e.g.the various creation tales)

- If the same story can be found in pre-biblical tales (e.g.the similarities between Noah’s flood and the Gilgamesh epic )

Basically, any way that provides a non-miraculous explanation for a biblical passage is a counter-argument. Whether it is convincing enouhg is a different issue.

It is in principle impossible to prove to a believer that his/her belief is nonsense, in particular it is in principle impossible to prove that miracles do not happen. The mind of a believer is completely impervious to arguments based on reason - as Tertullian said, “I believe because it is absurd.” A person who relies on evidence has a completely different mental make-up compared to believers. Such person may only say, “I see no good reason to believe in your story,” which means nothing to a believer. A good example is the Bible code story. All statistical arguments in favor of the codes’ authenticity have been shown to be wrong, by the most accomplished mathematicians. This made no impression on the code proponents - they simply believe in the codes and no amount of arguments to the contrary can make them abandon their belief. Beliefs are based mainly on an emotional need, so attempting to argue against belief, say, in miracles, is a waste of time. That Susan, like Bauer on this site, floods the site with her lengthy discussions, whose main purpose seems to be to make the site unusable. Better to let such posts unanswered.

Andy Groves is my hero.

Smooch.

in the Inbox today:

“Dear Steve, Greetings. My name is Casey Luskin and I am the co-founder and current community advisor for the IDEA Club at UC San Diego. I was looking at PandasThumb.org recently and I saw your post at “http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archi[…]/000203.html” regarding the IDEA Club at UCSD which intrigued me. You wrote: “What would particle physicists say if a religious club got together, studied the evidence, and said that Quantum Field Theory is bad science? They’d say, sorry you don’t understand it, but that’s not our problem.” I have a few brief questions for you regarding your comment: 1) What made you think we are a religious club? 2) You seemed to imply that the IDEA Club doesn’t understand the science of evolutionary biology. Can you please elaborate on what led you to believe that? Thanks so much for your time. Sincerely, Casey Luskin” ([Enable javascript to see this email address.])

I’m not going to spend time arguing with someone who thinks (or at least says) that ID is science. It’s religion. I post this here in case anybody wants to argue these topics with him. I don’t, but some people do.

I’m not going to spend time arguing with someone who thinks (or at least says) that ID is science. It’s religion.

I seeeeee. Steve, this is not an attack, but can we talk about this? Dude, the remarks you made, created a couple of rather clear insinuations about the IDEA club in particular. IDEA spokesman Casey Luskin caught what you were pitchin’, and now he’s asking a couple of respectful and sincere questions to you about it.

Besides, neither question looks all that difficult for a person of your intellect and scientfic commitment to respond to. Therefore…

Do you have the scientific gazoomies to offer some straight answers in response to Luskin’s straight questions which ~your own~ remarks generated, or are you just gonna whimp-out on this thing now that you started it?

FL :-)

Normally, at this point, I would ask Steve. to explain and defend his or her specific claim that ID (particularly in Dembski’s simple 3-point form I quoted in another thread) is “religion.”

Shoot, I’m gonna ask it anyway. Steve, I’ll

Oops, sorry about that, I failed to preview before hitting post button. Apologies.

Anyway, I withdraw my own question for Steve asking him to show me why ID is “religion.” I meant to delete that part anyway.

I’m just curious to see if he’ll answer Luskin’s questions, that’s all.

FL :-)

The problem of this sort of discourse is that personality overrides arguments, time after time. Susan’s odd need to not only score debate points, but proselytize and throw out “blessings” as well, ends up trumping whatever reasonable hermeneutic position she might have.

Or, should I say that Susan-style?

The PROBLEM of this sort of discourse is that personality overrides arguments, “Time After Time” (sing along!) :>). Susan’s odd need to not only score debate points, but PROSELYTIZE and throw out “blessings” as well, ENDS UP TRUMPING whatever reasonable Herman-You-Tick position she might have!!! :>)

See what I mean?

1) By their own admission, the club was inspired by a Philip Johnson seminar sponsored by the UCSD intervarsity fellowship and the Campus Crusade for Christ. None of those influences are scientific in nature, and in fact are anti-science.

They state “The leadership of IDEA believes that a personal God does exist, and that this God played an active role in the processes which formed the universe, earth, and life.”

Their topmost mission statement is to “promote, as a scientific theory, the idea that life was designed by an intelligence.” Their premise is a purely religious idea lacking in scientific support. Sticking in the adjective “scientific” does not change the fact that their goal is religious.

Foundation is religion, goal is religion…it’s a religious group.

2) Browsing through the IDEA site, http://acs.ucsd.edu/~idea/, I sure didn’t see any science presented. There are links all over the place to Dembski, Schwartz, Johnson, ARN, Biola conferences, but nothing that looks like even an attempt to address worthwhile science. Luskin himself was an earth sciences major who is now a law student.

IDEA is not a scientific organization. It is a propaganda arm, or perhaps an “ID Youth” indoctrination program, for the intelligent design creationism movement.

Susan is fond of IDEA clubs, perhaps you could get her to expound.

Just a note about fundies and their use of the Bible:

When you are arguing with a fundie and cite scripture to make your point, if the fundie thinks you are an agnostic or atheist, they will never pay attention to you. You can make much more progress if they think you are a Christian.

If two verses contradict each other and you say that, in your opinion, one verse is vague or superseded (e.g., verses in Genesis where God “mandates” the death penalty compared to Jesus statements re: love and forgiveness), the fundie will accuse you of “picking and choosing” which parts of the Bible are “God’s words” which is “not permitted” because the “entire Bible is the Word of God.”

If all this fails, a pointy-headed scholar can be trotted out to explain what the passage REALLY means, in light of the “original Greek,” or said pointy-headed scholar will point out that certain passages are only intended to apply to Jews or only intended to apply to a specific church at a particular time (e.g., Paul’s writing in Corinthians that women should not be allowed to speak inside of churches).

I have found that the greatest point of confusion for fundies concerns the history of their own interpretations of the Bible. That is, the views of fundies are continually evolving, as the religion itself evolves in response to political issues. For example, the clever fundie will trot out rather baroque and nuanced interpretations of certain biblical passages but will have no clue when that interpretation was first set forth or who set it forth or why. They just spit it out as if their baroque interpretation was obvious to anyone who “really reads the Bible.”

Of course, not all fundies fit this description. I just haven’t met one yet that doesn’t.

In response to Casey Luskin’s questions:

(1) At some point, Luskin or some other higher-up at IDEA made it clear that to be an officer in an IDEA club, one had to be a Christian.

(2) Reading the IDEA FAQs.

For example, let’s take the IDEA FAQ on the fossil record, for instance, and its treatment of ‘punctuated equilibria’. This “FAQ” attributes Eldredge and Gould’s approach as looking at the fossil record and dodging a lack of transitional fossils. Eldredge and Gould tell us, though, that they worked from studies of living populations and derived what the implications of observed speciational change implied for the fossil record. The FAQ claims that PE predicts that no data will be found to support it, yet Eldredge and Gould presented two transitional sequences supporting transitions via PE in their original essay, and cited further examples in their 1977 paper.

When screeds like the IDEA FAQ are presented as if they were science when they fail to meet even the lowest of standards of scholarly conduct, I think it is quite fair to point out that the authors do appear to have a certain lack of familiarity with evolutionary biology.

James-

Your biblical knowledge qualifies you as a potential coauthor of my proposed title “The Secrets of Literal Interpretation”. Your name should be a drawing card.

Les –

The knowledge revealed in my post is just the tip of the iceberg.

“Just the tip” … now why does that sound so familiar?

“When screeds like the IDEA FAQ are presented as if they were science when they fail to meet even the lowest of standards of scholarly conduct, I think it is quite fair to point out that the authors do appear to have a certain lack of familiarity with evolutionary biology.”

Zing.

1) What made you think we are a religious club? 2) You seemed to imply that the IDEA Club doesn’t understand the science of evolutionary biology. Can you please elaborate on what led you to believe that?”

Dear Pub Dwellers, Casey’s questions are an intelligence gathering exercise. Don’t answer them. You’re playing right into the hands of the enemy! They only want to know what it is that blew their cover so they can refine their propaganda machine.

Casey,

I for one welcome your presence here and I have a question for you. Michael Behe does not identify the designer when proposing ID. He allows for the possibility that the designer was/is an alien, which means that ID does not necessarily contradict naturalism. Your site promotes ID as contradicting naturalism. Does your club propose that the designer has to be supernatural?

“A person who relies on evidence has a completely different mental make-up compared to believers. Such person may only say, “I see no good reason to believe in your story,” which means nothing to a believer.”

Boy, is that ever true. Boy oh boy oboyoboy is that ever true. I keep running into that. I say, precisely (over and over again), ‘I see no good reason to believe in [the deity] [miracles] [a higher authority] [God’s will] [that you know what ‘God’s will’ is] [etc] - and in return I get endlessly long, prolix, unfocused comments telling me that there is no authority, or that naturalism is fallible, or that religion is a source of meaning. In other words totally irrelevant to what I said. Nibbled to death by moths.

(following on from Ralph…)

.…and if so, why is it unreasonable to think you are a religious club?

Ugh. Another email. I’m sending it along, because you guys like to argue with these people and I don’t. I’m glad you guys like to argue with these morons. I don’t have the stomach or time for it. I’m not going to debate it any more than I’ll try to tell someone their tinfoil hat doesn’t stop Mars rays (not my line, but I like it). When I see people arguing that religion is science, it just makes me ill:

[Casey Luskin’s personal email, with a specific request to keep it private, deleted. – WRE]

I’m glad you Panda’s Thumb guys are around, or I’d be tempted to argue back, and I have enough to do as it is (trying to finish up my second paper for Langmuir, first one for an undetermined biophys journal). If your goal is to promote ID, which is religion whether or not you comprehend that, and convince people it is science, I think your activities are harmful and stupid. And I’ll direct your messages to people who can give you a learned beat-down. Not because it’ll do any good, but because they enjoy doing it, and I don’t. And in general, if you don’t know someone, and you want to initiate a private conversation with them, you should specify that to begin with. And if you think unsolicited emails must legally be kept private, on top of being a creationist you’re crazy. I used to spend some time debating people about religion and evolution. But it got too frustrating because if someone’s magic book says the sky is plaid, you can argue with them that it’s blue until you’re blue in the face. After awhile, people’s capacity for self-delusion in the service of fairy tales just repulsed me.

Maybe my new email address will help.

Steve,

I suppose the tone of Casey’s prayers for you will change somewhat now that you’ve spurned his subtle requests to keep his communications to you confidential. ;)

I will make a sacrifice to Ploink Ploink tonight in an effort to offset the bad vibes. I’ll even clean out my pipe first.

Ralph, I have no problem with life on earth having been brought about by aliens. The problem for ID is that that stopgap answer answers nothing. It only delays the final answer by one step. Who was the Designer who designed the aliens? Obfuscations remain obfuscations, and denial remains denial.

Yeah, now they probably have words like ‘smite’ and ‘unbeliever’ in them. When the anger turns to jihad, then I’ll be concerned.

Steve,

If someone explicitly requests that you not forward an email, you really shouldn’t post it here. Similarly, if someone writes you a seemingly polite and inoffensive message, you should not in response call him/her a moron. It just makes you look like a jerk.

I too will make an offering to Ploink Ploink, in hopes that you will see the error of your ways.

Steve,

You could at least read the email to see that you were requested to keep it a private communication. I disagree with Casey on a lot of things, but I agree that if something is labelled a private communication it should not then be posted publicly. I’ll be removing Casey’s text from your comment posthaste.

Don’t post private stuff here in the future.

Hide the lies if you want, it’s your site. I’ll put it up on mine. I don’t give dangerous liars the same amount of courtesy.

Steve

What is the url for your site?

Quite an interesting thread. Setting aside the questions of etiquette and copyright for the moment, it has not escaped my attention that the non-creationists around here fall more or less into two camps.

The first camp includes people like Steve (and myself) who consider ID apologists like Casey to be “dangerous liars” and who don’t hesitate to say so.

The other camp includes people who consider ID apologists like Casey “dangerous liars” but who treat them as if they were merely confused.

For better or worse, the moderators of this blog appear to fall in this second camp.

I am guessing that one of the benefits of the second camp’s approach is that ID apologists can be drawn in to the intellectual fist of the Panda’s Thumb and squeezed dry by the repetitive recitation of data archived here and elsewhere.

And I suppose that there is some “higher ground” to be staked out by not giving voice to the loathing of ID apologists that many of us harbor.

But I do find it intellectually dishonest to feign naivety about the intentions of folks like Casey. I have no reason to believe he is only interested in the science of evolution and every reason to believe he looks forward to the day when women who have abortions are quickly executed (God has mandated the capital punishment for murderers, didn’t you know?).

The fact that ID is completely bogus is not a terribly difficult conclusion to reach. I came to this blog naive about the details and very curious about the status of ID claims, but it took about a day and a half of reading the posts to figure out what a sickening crock of crap it is and what a horrifying bunch of charlatans ID proponents are.

ID has no more substance to it than the statement that “Al Gore Claimed to Have Invented the Internet.” Any person with a decent high school science education who needs more than a week of reading the posts here to come to that conclusion is surely a lost cause, and such a person most likely had her mind made up about “the Designer” a long time ago.

Evidently I’m in a rambling mood, tonight. Forgive me. Less talk, more Ploink Ploink.

I agree, Marty. But what is ploink ploink? The sound effect from old Law and Order reruns?

Well, fwiw, THIS thread has certainly been instructive for me.

I am inclined to agree with Marty that there are indeed two evolutionist camps hanging out here at Panda’s Thumb.

I know which one I have respect for, and which one I don’t.

But I’m done with this particular thread anyway. PZ, thank you for an interesting initial exchange of opinions there.

FL :-)

Steve and Marty,

I agree with you both on the status of ID (not science, potentially dangerous), but I disagree with you on the manner in which you are confronting it. Slinging insults and accusations is not conducive to open debate and engagement. Is a given ID apologist a “dangerous liar” or just confused and ill-informed? I don’t know, but the answer to that question probably depends on context. There was nothing in the emails steve posted from Casey which would indicate an answer either way, aside for his self-identification as an ID supporter. Other than that, he came across as polite, inquisitive, and, at least on the surface, interested in the other side’s views.

Marty says:

But I do find it intellectually dishonest to feign naivety about the intentions of folks like Casey. I have no reason to believe he is only interested in the science of evolution and every reason to believe he looks forward to the day when women who have abortions are quickly executed (God has mandated the capital punishment for murderers, didn’t you know?).

What reason, exactly, do you have for believing this? Was it written between the lines in his emails to steve? Has he said this in private communications to you? I know a lot of very religious people, including some who believe in design, but I know none who hold the reprehensible position you so blithely (even if it is tongue-in-cheek) attribute to all IDists. Isn’t it intellectually dishonest to ascribe to someone a position whch they haven’t actually articulated?

Yes, ID as a movement is dangerous. There are many IDists out there who have no interest in science, and just want to push their religious beliefs into public schools. But that doesn’t mean we can automatically paint all ID supporters with the same broad brush. As an analogy, I think the Republican Party is driving the country down a ruinous path, but it doesn’t follow that all Republicans are evil. I still love my parents, and I refrain from shouting epithets at them and my other relatives. Until IDists show themselves to be dangerous liars by, you know, lying, they deserve to be treated with at least a modicum of respect. It’s not an intellectual matter, it’s simple etiquette. If you wish to insult someone like JDB, please, go ahead. He’s earned it. But I don’t think Casey or FL have.

BTW, steve, Ploink Ploink comes from a post by Syd on the Welcome to the Panda’s Thumb thread.

Mark –

Oh, and by the way, it’s the King James Version.

KJV? No, NSR! But wait, Good News! Naw… The Learner’s Bible! Hmmm… all these Bibles with different interpretations… how do I reconcile them? Ah, I know, I’ll settle on Y Beibl Cysegr-Lân – Sef Yr Hen Destament A’r Newydd. The one true interpretation is in Welsh, the “Language of Heaven!”

Re: Steve, Marty, Smokey, Wes:

There are plenty of websites where creationists bash “Darwinists” and vice versa. I think I’ve pretty much seen all I need to see in that vein. I hope Panda’s Thumb is a place where we more calmly, logically, scientifically analyze the latest model of creationist argument.

None of their arguments do I find persuasive in the least, but I don’t like to hear them for the first time at a school board meeting. Perhaps I’m slower than some of my fellow “Darwinists”, but I want to have thought it through before John Q. Creationist presents the latest “thermodynamic” proof of Genesis for the edification of the board.

Secondly, those same school board members are probably going to remember much more clearly screamed obscenities than a solid grasp of science and math.

(Not that we need to confine ourselves to pure science; the political and other “extra-scientific” activities of the IDCer’s are certainly fair game, too.)

Smokey,

As I said, I understand the point about etiquette generally. The worst offense you can commit nowadays, at least according to Fox News, is to appear “shrill.” Never mind if you are telling the truth and that you are passionate aobut it. For etiquette purposes, we must pretend that every one’s opinion is like a tiny baby to be gently caressed, stroked and admired.

What reason, exactly, do you have for believing this? Was it written between the lines in his emails to steve? Has he said this in private communications to you? I know a lot of very religious people, including some who believe in design, but I know none who hold the reprehensible position

To which I must respond: are you joking? Written between the lines?

The belief that abortion is murder and that God has mandated capital punishment is hardly an unusual belief among fundamentalist Christians. Let me know if you doubt that.

What kind of Christian do you suppose Casey Luskin is? An Episcopalian?

On the Organizers page of the IDEA club website, Casey links to this http://www.jewsforjesus.org/answers/index.htm and states

Casey also believes that the Intelligent Designer happens to care about people, and that there is ample evidence He is the God of the Bible, who has shown the world His love and offered forgiveness through His Son, the predicted Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ.

So now you know what Casey considers “ample evidence” to look like. Have fun debating this “well-intentioned” and “polite” sack of Bible verses about “science.”

In your opinion, Smokey, at what point am I entitled to conclude that Casey is completely full of shite about his “interest” in evolutionary biology. He obviously is (note present tense) an intellectually dishonest and deeply religious snake oil salesman. To the extent you engage a guy like Casey in any sort of “friendly” argument about the scientific merits of ID, you are either deluded in your belief that the person you are debating with gives a crap about anything you say, *OR* you are being just as dishonest with Casey as he is being with you.

When a person insists on saying 2+2=5 after they’ve been shown that 2+2=4 a hundred different ways, they are either lying or ill. How can it be otherwise UNLESS their position is purely a matter of faith???? Note that I have no problem with faith-based beliefs in the abstract (as long as they don’t end up being legislated) but Casey will never admit to us that the reason he wants to “promote ID” is because he has “ample evidence” that Jesus is the Messiah.

Nope. According to Casey Luskin, a college science graduate and now a law student (therefore most likely not mentally handicapped), ID is solid science and evolutionary biology is riddled with devastating inconsistencies which scientists want to prevent the “rest of us” from learning about.

By virtue of the website statements alone, Casey has earned ANY insults as to his integrity and as to his world views, IMHO.

As to FL, I could waste some time showing clearly where he/she is obviously playing the same pathological lying game with us all but I don’t feel like doing that right now. I’ll wait until he/she trips over his/her shoelaces and falls on his/her face before I unzip my fly.

Marty,

I never said that I thought Casey was a reasonable person. What I said was that his conduct towards steve did not warrant the response it received. If someone politely asks you not to share an email, you do not have license to ignore the request merely because you think he’s a schmuck. Similarly, based upon what was in the emails, or even on the IDEA website, you do not have license to assume that he is a reactionary evangelical who thinks abortionists should be executed. Maybe he does, I don’t know. But until you produce a statement by him to that effect, leave off the accusations. As I said, I know some evangelicals and creationists, and they’re not all abortion clinic bombers.

I’ll wait until he/she trips over his/her shoelaces and falls on his/her face before I unzip my fly.

That’s all I’m asking.

you do not have license to assume that he is a reactionary evangelical who thinks abortionists should be executed

Smokey, if I were Steve I would not have posted Casey’s email after Casey’s request.

But as I explained above, I certainly DO have the license to assume that Casey believes that WOMEN who intentionally murder their unborn babies should be executed by the state. Any other assumption, frankly, would contradict what

Do you think that Casey Luskin is Episcopalian? Roman Catholic? Do you really believe that you no basis on which to make any assumptions about Casey Luskin’s religious views based on what you find on IDEA club website?

I do not know what a “reactionary” evangelical Christian is (but it sounds awful).

I highly recommend spending a few weeks reading www.evangelicaloutpost.com and similar sites which, frankly, represent typical political views of evangelicals. Joe Carter will be more than happy to answer your questions about what the laws in this country would look like if people with his views controlled the three branches of government.

Smokey, if you don’t think that the goal of ID apologists is not to ultimately influence the views of people who occupy the three branches of government in our country, then again I respectfully suggest that you have your head buried deeply in the sand.

As I said, I know some evangelicals and creationists, and they’re not all abortion clinic bombers

Fine. I never said that all evangelicals were abortion clinic bombers. I said that it is a commonly held view of evangelicals that, in addition to having evolution disparaged in schools, they would like to have abortion criminalized (becuase it’s murder) and they believe that God has mandated capital punishment for murderers. I’ll let you put two and two together, Smokey, to see where those principles get us.

My apologies for the misprint. My statement above should read:

Any other assumption, frankly, would contradict what most evangelicals freely admit are fundamental Biblical principles.

Hey, while I’m busy double-checking my shoelaces and otherwise preparing for the Memorial Day holiday, Casey Luskin has given me permission to invite y’all to view his response to recent comments on PandasThumb.org at http://acs.ucsd.edu/~idea/pandasresponse.htm

If you’re interested, check it out. If you ain’t interested, check it out anyway!

FL :-)

FL invites us to check out http://acs.ucsd.edu/~idea/pandasresponse.htm in which

Casey Luskin Wrote:

Wesley Elsberry then wrote in response to the questions I first asked Steve (not Wesley): (1) At some point, Luskin or some other higher-up at IDEA made it clear that to be an officer in an IDEA club, one had to be a Christian.

We do have that currently have that requirement but that doesn’t mean that our group isn’t committed to scientific investigation.

OK. Does anyone still have any questions?

No questions from me. Too sleepy. But I might as well quote Casey’s next two sentences that directly follow the portion you quoted, Ben:

Having leaders who are religious does not mean that the group therefore has a religious emphasis. The emphasis of every IDEA Club meeting I’ve ever been to has been to discuss science.

That’s it for me. Good weekend, all!

FL :-)

Virge wrote

Dear Pub Dwellers, Casey’s questions are an intelligence gathering exercise. Don’t answer them. You’re playing right into the hands of the enemy! They only want to know what it is that blew their cover so they can refine their propaganda machine.

Just for clarification, my earlier comments were made with my tongue placed firmly in my cheek. At the time I thought my use of the word “enemy” made it clear that I was playing the role of a crackpot conspiracy theorist. It seems my intent was lost.

I know enough evangelical Christians to understand that Marty’s extreme caricature of them is not based on fact but on an unfair generalization. It’s easy to draw the wrong conclusions when the extremists are the ones who make the most noise.

It is fair, though to accuse the IDEA club of having science as a secondary consideration and religion as a primary consideration.

At some point, Luskin or some other higher-up at IDEA made it clear that to be an officer in an IDEA club, one had to be a Christian. We do have that currently have that requirement but that doesn’t mean that our group isn’t committed to scientific investigation. Having leaders who are religious does not mean that the group therefore has a religious emphasis. The emphasis of every IDEA Club meeting I’ve ever been to has been to discuss science.

Casey, if you’re still reading, here’s my suggestion. If you want the IDEA club to be a science club and not so obviously religious, change the requirements for being an officer. Drop the religious requirement. Have a required pre-reading list that includes books other than those written by ID proponents.

Despite my earlier lampooning, I had given you the benefit of the doubt. While your current rules are in place you can protest all you like that it’s really all about science, but you’ll just end up convincing us evilutionists that you’re lying.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on May 27, 2004 5:23 AM.

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