Science versus science or religion versus religion

| 224 Comments

On evolutionnews.org various ID activists show a certain lack of logic. For instance, Bruce Chapman who argues that:

Chapman Wrote:

“Evolution Sunday is the height of hypocrisy,” says Bruce Chapman, president of Discovery Institute the nation’s leading think tank researching scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution. “Why do Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious grounds?

“Sunday marks the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin and to celebrate 400 ministers have announced they will deliver pro-evolution sermons in conjunction with “Evolution Sunday.”

“Our view is not that pastors should speak out against evolution, but that the Darwinists are hypocrites for claiming–falsely–that opposition to Darwinism is merely faith based, and then turning around and trying to make the case that Darwinism itself is faith based,” added Chapman.

The issue is not whether or not Darwinian theory is faith based, it obviously isn’t but whether or not Darwinian theory necessarily conflicts with religious faith. A small but important distinction often overlooked by ID activists who have insisted on portraying Darwinian theory as necessarily anti-religious.

Read for instance the Mercury News which gets the issue correct

Also Sunday, ministers of more than 400 churches are scheduled to preach on the compatibility of evolution and religion.

Seems that the DI is threatened by science and religion exposing the flaws in the arguments of Intelligent Design activists. This Darwin Day Website provides links to the many events.

Here we find the original announcement, too bad the DI forgot to link to it

On 12 February 2006 hundreds of Christian churches from all portions of the country and a host of denominations will come together to discuss the compatibility of religion and science. For far too long, strident voices, in the name of Christianity, have been claiming that people must choose between religion and modern science. More than 10,000 Christian clergy have already signed The Clergy Letter demonstrating that this is a false dichotomy. Now, on the 197th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, many of these leaders will bring this message to their congregations through sermons and/or discussion groups. Together, participating religious leaders will be making the statement that religion and science are not adversaries. And, together, they will be elevating the quality of the national debate on this topic.

If your church would like to join this national event, please send a note to [Enable javascript to see this email address.]. We welcome your participation.

To examine some of the sermons members of The Clergy Letter Project have delivered on this topic and to view some of the resources they have found useful, click here.

441 Congregations from 49 states and the District of Columbia are participating as of 9 February 2006

Rather than objecting, the DI should embrace the effort to improve people’s understanding of evolutionary theory and the claims that evolutionary theory is incompatible with religious faith. I guess, teaching the controversy is a one way street…

West’s comments are even ‘better’:

West Wrote:

“This isn’t science versus religion, it’s science versus science,” added West. “It’s a standard part of science to raise evidence critical of an existing scientific theory or paradigm. That’s what good science is about—analyzing evidence and asking tough questions. Scientists have a duty to raise critical questions about existing scientific theories.”

Asking critical questions about science is indeed scientific but if that is all that ID has to offer than ID is clearly scientifically vacuous. In addition, scientists continuously raise critical questions about evolutionary theory but rather than ID activists, they do not let their ignorance lead to a design inference.

Is the Discovery Institute abandoning Intelligent Design in favor of critcisms of evolutionary theory? It seems inevitable since ID has been shown to be scientifically vacuous.

What does worry me is that so far, the criticisms raised by the Discovery Institute, are mostly strawmen, based on an incomplete portrayal of facts. Since DI seems to be in favor of teaching the controversy, they should surely encourage the efforts by sites like Pandasthumb to expose the major flaws in said criticisms?

Is Intelligent Design on the way out as Elizabeth Pennesi seems to imply?

For some observers, the board’s swift capitulation was further proof that the ID movement has crested. Although the specifics of the cases were different, “the very decisive win in Dover meant [the California board] knew they had no chance of winning this,” says philosopher of science Robert Pennock of Michigan State University, East Lansing, an expert witness in Dover. “ID is on its way out,” agrees evolutionary biologist Joel Cracraft of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, who has been active in defending evolution. “[Creationists] will be avoiding that term.”

Indeed, the leaders of the ID movement prefer a more subtle approach to undermine the teaching of evolution: Urge schools to teach the “controversy” over evolution.

Surely seems to be that way. And that’s a good think for science and for religion. Let’s pray that this shift in approach truly is caused by a desire to improve scientific theory rather than to introduce creationism. Time will surely tell. The Dover decision surely seems to have had a major impact on the Wedge…

224 Comments

Furthermore, Chapman’s claim that “Why do Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious grounds?” misses the point. Surely people may disagree with evolutionary theory on religious grounds or approve of evolutionary based on religious grounds but such arguments have no place in science or science classes.

What the 400+ ministers show is that the claim that evolutionary theory is inherently incompatible with religious belief, an argument made by quite a few ID activists, is plainly wrong although it does serve to attempt to place a wedge.

Meh, I personally would prefer Intelligent Design to hang around for a while, for two reasons:

1) it’s so damn fun to rebut 2) if ID gets kicked out, what will replace it is likely to be far more evangelical - better the devil you know

Johnson makes little effort to downplay his theological opinions. He tells religious audiences that evolution inherently promotes atheism while outlining his plan to use ID to cast doubt on Darwin’s theory.

Wedge Strategy of the Christian Right: Pushing Religion in the Guise of Science

Johnson Wrote:

More than once Johnson had admitted that his crusade really isn’t about science. In an interview with the evangelical magazine World in 1996, he said, “This isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science.… It’s about religion and philosophy.”

Johnson reiterated the religious nature of ID during a 2003 appearance on American Family Radio, a broadcast outlet run by the Rev. Donald Wildmon of the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association. “Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools,” he said.

“Why do Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious grounds?”

Hmmmm … I thought the DI was criticizing “Darwin” on scientific grounds, and that religion had nothing to do with it. The way Chapman and others speak out of both sides of their mouths is tiresome and dysfunctional.

Here in Ohio the “designists” claim that there is no ID, no religion, in the discredited lesson plan they ardently support. But Ohio Board of Education member Owens-Fink never misses a chance to say that “Darwinists” are atheistic (and paranoid, along with other unprofessional admonitions of the honest scientific community.)

I prefer old-fashioned creationists … they are honest, well-meaning folks who say what they mean. At least we know where we disagree. The smokescreen of the ID creationists at the DI is being lifted by comments such as Chapman’s. We need to point that out to the public.

jeff McKee Wrote:

I prefer old-fashioned creationists … they are honest, well-meaning folks who say what they mean. At least we know where we disagree. The smokescreen of the ID creationists at the DI is being lifted by comments such as Chapman’s. We need to point that out to the public.

I agree. And I hope that PT can serve a useful purpose here.

“Why do Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious grounds?

Why do IDers keep talking about religion, constantly, if, as they claim, ID is science and doesn’t have any religious motives, aims or effect?

Or are IDers just lying to us about that.

From “Bereshit - In Which Beginning?

Mooney details what he calls “science abuse” – an intentional attack upon scientific principals and process. His work, and that of others, claims the Religious Right has been exploiting “a misconception about science common among nonscientists – a belief that uncertainty in findings indicates fatally flawed research.” (Rensberger)

Mooney, “The Republican War on Science.” Scientific American see also his latest Book and a review in Sciam

and

Academics also point to the misuse of the meaning of “theory”: in the popular culture means an opinion, but in science means an explanation. Dr. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, illustrates: “The theory of gravity is not an opinion or an observation, it explains why things fall.” (Kemper) 3

Is this the underlying reason why some insist on teaching the ‘controversy’, namely to capitalize on the confusion amongst nonscientists that controversy means flawed?

Wow talk about timing, on evolutionnews, Casey Luskin just answered my question

Time magazine tells us that science education is broken, but then the critics imply we should retain the cause of the problem: the status quo. Surely science education in America is a complex problem requiring a multi-faceted solution. But one part of the solution could be teaching students about the debate over evolution rather than pretending that there is one, and only one correct viewpoint over Neo-Darwinism. We know that teaching the controversy over evolution will increase student interest in science and make them better critical thinkers. Here’s how it can be done:

Require all biology courses to discuss both strengths and weaknesses of evolution

But do NOT mandate the teaching of alternative theories like ID

Protect teacher academic freedom to present minority scientific viewpoints at their own discretion

Sigh… The goalposts are moving fast but the underlying religious foundation remains, just better disguised.

Perhaps Luskin can explain to us what scientific research shows that teaching the controversy (sic) over evolution makes them better thinkers.

We may want to leverage this re-newed interest by the DI to teach science.

Just out of curiosity, but why is it that teachers should be teaching ‘minority’ scientific opinions to highschoolers to begin with. I fail to see how teaching ideas like the hygeine hypothesis, which hasn’t yet gained full acceptance in the scientific community would be worthwhile (for example). Teachers should be teaching the majority scientific consensus on an issue, because science teachers are not there to determine what is/isn’t science but to prepare students for further science education. If the scientific community doesn’t think that ID or its weak creationist ‘teach the controversy’ idiocy doesn’t hold up as science it shouldn’t be taught as it either. If it ever becomes accepted science then by all means, it should be taught in schools but not beforehand.

Also in this particular case, I don’t buy Luskins argument one bit. I have a hard time believing that if we apply his argument to history, that anyone would agree to teaching the ‘controversy’ about the holocaust.

Why is it that the DI focuses on the “controversy in evolution” rather than on the “controversies in science” ?

Time to move them goalposts a bit further before the religious foundation truly is hidden. Is the Wedge collapsing?

Require all biology courses to discuss both strengths and weaknesses of evolution

Alas for the IDers, they sooner or later will have to tell us just what the hell these “weaknesses” are.

And when they do, they will then have to explain to us why they are absolutely identical to the same tired old arguments that ID/creationists have already been giving us for forty years now (and already had rejected by the courts in McLean, Aguillard, and Kitzmiller).

Any IDers out there want to take a stab at that?

What the 400+ ministers show is that the claim that evolutionary theory is inherently incompatible with religious belief, an argument made by quite a few ID activists, is plainly wrong

While that’s a nice, warm sentiment, it just isn’t true, at least not for all religions. For Fundamentalist Christians who believe in the literal truth of the Bible, evolutionary theory is inherently incompatible with their religious beliefs. Ditto for those who believe the literal truth of the sacred books of various other religions (for example, talk to the folks who are fighting against the encroachment of fundamentalist Hindu beliefs into science teaching).

Stephen Jay Gould was a wonderful man, a warm, kind, accepting human being, and one of my personal heroes, but his “non-overlapping magisterium” is simply a edict about what kinds of religions get to count as “good” religions, namely, those that don’t actually make truth claims about the physical world and its history. I’ve heard the sentiment about the compatibility of science and religion spouted many times, but many folks other than Gould, but it always comes back to this – religion as a whole is only compatible with science if you define away those religions that believe God made the physical world a certain way. Such religions have millions of adherents, and the type of claims they make that Gould and others would rule out are the types of claims that historically all religions have made. It is only in relatively modern times that humanity has produced religions that make few specific claims about the way the physical world works and how it originated.

So it would be great if religion and science were compatible, but for a vast number of adherents to legitimate religions, that simply isn’t true. To pretend otherwise might be a good political strategy, but it ultimately is dishonest.

So it would be great if religion and science were compatible, but for a vast number of adherents to legitimate religions, that simply isn’t true. To pretend otherwise might be a good political strategy, but it ultimately is dishonest.

Which is why the statement said inherently (inseparably). You are right that some reject compatibility but when Johnson says that evolution inherently promotes atheism he is plainly wrong.

Similarly my statement

What the 400+ ministers show is that the claim that evolutionary theory is inherently incompatible with religious belief, an argument made by quite a few ID activists, is plainly wrong

is correct. evolutionary theory is not inherently incompatible with religious belief. Neither is geology inherently incompatible with religious belief, unless you happen to be a young earth creationist. But then it’s not inherently.

Science and religion can be incompatible but that was not the issue here. The issue is that some ID activists have argued that evolution is inherently atheistic (incompatbile with religion) when they mean that science is incompatible with their personal faith.

I thought ID was science, and wasn’t about religion.

Or are IDers just lying to us about that?

Comment #78834 Posted by Jeff McKee on February 10, 2006 09:01 PM

DI president Bruce Chapman wrote –

“Why do Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious grounds?”

Hmmmm … I thought the DI was criticizing “Darwin” on scientific grounds, and that religion had nothing to do with it. The way Chapman and others speak out of both sides of their mouths is tiresome and dysfunctional.

There is no inconsistency there at all. Even if DI’s criticism of Darwin were entirely based on religion, Chapman would still be right in condemning the hypocrisy of those who use religion to defend Darwin and condemn the use of religion to oppose Darwin.

Chapman is right on the ball. ID was kicked out of Dover public-school science classes because of its association with people’s religious beliefs, so why shouldn’t evolution theory also be kicked out for the same reason ?

Judge Jones kicked ID out of public-school science classes because of its religious associations and not because it is allegedly bogus science. The Constitution separates church and state but does not separate bogus science and state.

Here in Ohio the “designists” claim that there is no ID, no religion, in the discredited lesson plan they ardently support. But Ohio Board of Education member Owens-Fink never misses a chance to say that “Darwinists” are atheistic

Both you and she believe in guilt-by-association.

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 06:59 AM

I thought ID was science, and wasn’t about religion.

Or are IDers just lying to us about that?

And I thought that evolution theory was science, and wasn’t about religion.

Or are evolutionists just lying to us about that?

Larry you need help. Look up the list of Clergy who signed the The Clergy letter http://www.uwosh.edu/colleges/cols/[…]boration.htm find several in your area who share your fears and ask him/her what its all about.

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 06:59 AM

I thought ID was science, and wasn’t about religion.

Or are IDers just lying to us about that?

To which the best the Crank can come up with is:

And I thought that evolution theory was science, and wasn’t about religion.

Or are evolutionists just lying to us about that?

Snicker. Giggle.

Cranks are amusing, aren’t they.

I have an idea. Let’s start insisting that Sunday School teachers “teach the controversy” by telling 5 to 10 year old children all about the other religions in the world, and let the children decide what they believe.

By the way, who are these people condemning religious arguments against the Theory of Evolution?

I thought we were condemning arguments that pretend to be science.

If someone tells me that ToE is wrong because it contradicts the Bible (that happens a lot), I point out that I am not a Christian, and the Bible means nothing to me, so Biblical arguments will not have any effect on me.

People who claim that the Bible is scientificly perfect are another matter.

I’ve come up with a few logic statements pertaining to Chapman, his lackeys, and this thread. I use the word “GOD” to include God, gods, or any other supernatural phenomena.

1) If I believe in evolution, then I must believe in a God FALSE. Plenty of people are atheists and believe in evolution

2) If I believe in a God, then I must believe in evolution. FALSE. People who believe in a God do not always believe in evolution (Creationists for example)

3) If I believe in a God then I must believe in intelligent design. FALSE. Plenty of people believe in a God and believe in evolution too

4) If I believe in intelligent design, then I must believe in a God TRUE. In order to believe that natural phenomena were designed by supernatural phenomena, you must believe in some sort of supernatural power, as the power in God/gods, or whatever designers you choose.

The first three statements show that evolution and the belief in God/a designer are totally separate entities. It is only when you are dealing with the forth one, where in order to believe in ID you must link ID to a supernatural creator being, it is inherently religious. The ministers speaking on “evolution sunday” are not trying to make a religious theory out of a scientific one, they are just proving that my 3rd statement is false. Speaking about evolution, either for or against, in a religious setting does not make evolution “religious” just as speaking about ID in a classroom does not make ID “science”. Evolution is neutral in the face of religion because it does not need it/use it for its reasoning, but ID depends upon a creator/designer to work, making it definitely NOT neutral, and furthermore, it only encompasses some people’s religious beliefs (see statement 3 for why this is).

PvM writes:

The issue is not whether or not Darwinian theory is faith based, it obviously isn’t but whether or not Darwinian theory necessarily conflicts with religious faith. A small but important distinction often overlooked by ID activists who have insisted on portraying Darwinian theory as necessarily anti-religious.

Of course Darwinism isn’t necessarily anti-religious…as long as one has the “correct” religious worldview. Recall Eugenie Scott’s article DEALING WITH ANTIEVOLUTIONISM where she writes:

Teachers have told me they have had good results when they begin the year by asking students to brainstorm what they think the words “evolution” and “creationism” mean. As expected, some of the information will be accurate and some will be erroneous. Under “evolution,” expect to hear “Man evolved from monkeys” or something similar. Don’t be surprised to find some variant of, “You can’t believe in God” or some similar statement of supposed incompatibility between religion and evolution. Under “creationism” expect to find more consistency: “God”; “Adam and Eve,” “Genesis,” etc. The next step in constructing student understanding of concepts is to guide them towards a more accurate view. One goal of this exercise is to help them see the diversity of religious attitudes towards evolution.

After one such initial brainstorming session, one teacher presented students with a short quiz wherein they were asked, “Which statement was made by the Pope?” or “which statement was made by an Episcopal Bishop?” and given an “a, b, c” multiple choice selection. All the statements from theologians, of course, stressed the compatibility of theology with the science of evolution. This generated discussion about what evolution was versus what students thought it was. By making the students aware of the diversity of opinion towards evolution extant in Christian theology, the teacher helped them understand that they didn’t have to make a choice between evolution and religious faith.

Amazingly, Scott thinks it perfectly okay for a science teacher to guide her students to the “correct” understanding of their religious view. “The next step in constructing student understanding of concepts is to guide them towards a more accurate view” sounds like indoctrination to me! As long as one has the “correct” religious view, then of course there isn’t necessarily a conflict. But apprently this only works if Darwinism gets to “construct the student’s understanding” of what the “correct” religious worldview is.

Chapman’s comment is exactly correct, “evolution Sunday is the height of hypocrisy!”

Of course Darwinism isn’t necessarily anti-religious…as long as one has the “correct” religious worldview.

But ID isn’t about religion. No sirree Bob.

Hey Donnie, if you’re finished preaching, would you mind answering a few questions for me (before you run away again)?

Thanks.

*ahem*

What, again, did you say the scientific theory of ID is? How, again, did you say this scientific theory of ID explains these problems? What, again, did you say the designer did? What mechanisms, again, did you say it used to do whatever the heck you think it did? Where, again, did you say we can see the designer using these mechanisms to do … well . . anything?

Or is “POOF!! God — uh, I mean, The Unknown Intelligent Designer — dunnit!!!!” the extent of your, uh, scientific theory of ID .… ?

How does “evolution can’t explain X Y or Z, therefore goddidit” differ from plain old ordinary run-of-the-mill “god of the gaps?

Here’s *another* question for you to not answer, Donald: Suppose in ten years, we DO come up with a specific mutation by mutation explanation for how X Y or Z appeared. What then? Does that mean (1) the designer USED to produce those things, but stopped all of a sudden when we came up with another mechanisms? or (2) the designer was using that mechanism the entire time, or (3) there never was any designer there to begin with.

Which is it, Donald? 1, 2 or 3?

Oh, and if ID isn’t about religion, Donald, then why do you spend so much time bitching and moaning about “philosophical materialism”?

(sound of crickets chirping)

You are a liar, Donald. A bare, bald-faced, deceptive, deceitful, deliberate liar, with malice aforethought. Still.

Larry Wrote:

There is no inconsistency there at all. Even if DI’s criticism of Darwin were entirely based on religion, Chapman would still be right in condemning the hypocrisy of those who use religion to defend Darwin and condemn the use of religion to oppose Darwin.

If the argument was that lots of clergy accept evolution so it should be taught in schools, I would agree that it’s bollocks. Unfortunately for Chapman’s accusations of hypocrisy, this is not in fact the case. The argument being put forward here is that lots of clergy accept evolution so we shouldn’t undermine it on their account. It’s a counterargument to the idea that you can’t be a Christian and a supporter of evolutionary biology at the same time, not a direct argument for the teaching of evolutionary biology. And it’s extremely misleading to portray it as a direct argument.

Donald M Wrote:

“The next step in constructing student understanding of concepts is to guide them towards a more accurate view” sounds like indoctrination to me! As long as one has the “correct” religious view, then of course there isn’t necessarily a conflict.

There was nothing there about changing anyone’s religious views. What are supposed to change are views about religious views. By showing that religion and evolution are not necessarily in conflict, the student can then begin asking herself if her own particular views are in conflict with evolution or not.

It’s hardly indoctrination to point out the need for an analysis of the implications of one’s own views rather than jumping to conclusions.

I thought the DI were particularly misleading in their latest article. But I already responded, so I’m just going to paste my response in:

> “Evolution Sunday is the height of hypocrisy,” says Bruce Chapman, > president of Discovery Institute the nation’s leading think tank > researching scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution.

I have my doubts about deliberately promoting science via religion, though religion is free to do so if it wishes.

> “Why do > Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on > religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious > grounds?”

BS. They’re defending the integrity of Xianity and its obligation to tell the truth. Why don’t you DI guys learn about integrity?

As far as “defending Darwin in the churches”, that should be as allowable as teaching creationism in churches, if not more so. Don’t you IDiots ever get anything right? We’re not faulting Dembski for telling lies in the churches, only when he turns around and lies again by claiming that ID isn’t religious.

> Sunday marks the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin and to celebrate 400 > ministers have announced they will deliver pro-evolution sermons in > conjunction with “Evolution Sunday.” > “Our view is not that pastors should speak out against evolution, but > that the Darwinists are hypocrites for claiming–falsely–that > opposition to Darwinism is merely faith based,

Oh, nice bit of misdirection. So you’re claiming that opposition to “Darwinism” is not “merely faith based”. Tacitly you’re admitting that it is faith-based in large part, thus we may infer that it has no place in American science instruction. What is more, we’re much not troubled by mere “opposition to Darwinism” (though I don’t really like “opposition to Darwinism”, since that would typically be understood to be different from making “objective criticisms of Darwinism”–which are well and good), but rather by your attempts to force religion into the sciences.

Btw, moron, the point is that evolution is not faith-based, but that some religious folk don’t insist on fighting everything that is not faith-based. Learn something, dumbass.

>and then turning around > and trying to make the case that Darwinism itself is faith based,”

Where’ the evidence for the claim above? Oh that’s right, you guys don’t believe that claims need evidence.

> added Chapman. > According to Dr. John West, a Discovery Senior Fellow, Evolution > Sunday is part of a much larger campaign by Darwinists to explicitly > use religion to promote their theory, a campaign that extends to > public schools.

Another bit of misdirection. There is something to the earlier claim that religion is being used to defend “Darwinism”, but no good basis for claiming that religion is being used to “promote their theory”. We’re not trying to promote a theory, we’re trying to keep meddling IDiots from destroying the normal processes of scientific investigation and of the education that would be expected to follow from new and old findings. That we need to counter your lies is your fault.

>”In California, Darwin supporters have spent more than > a half-million dollars in federal tax money for a website that directs > teachers to use theological statements endorsing evolution in science > classes,” said West.

That one might be a bit questionable. Tough call, really, because if students are making religious objections to evolution, is it really beyond all reason to use statements of theologians which mostly just claim that religion and evolution are compatible, and that, for instance, religious freedom leaves religion out of science classes? True or not, those opinions are as “objectively reasonable” as the ones claiming otherwise (I base this claim on the fact that there are no “objective standards” that can tell us what religion should or should not agree with or allow).

Of course the lies continue, in that the statements in question are not necessarily regarded as “theological statements” at all, but in many cases are probably saying no more than what any reasonable person would say, only in these cases it is religious authorities saying it. Does the DI really think that statements from religious figures should be stricken from all public education?

My own doubts about it, however, come from the fact that I don’t think it is the government’s role to save religion in science classes, and I prefer teaching the science with a minimum of discussion about the implications (none would be best, but I realize that some discussion may be needed). It is not obviously the government’s place to concern itself with the implications of “objective science”.

>Noting that the website is now the subject of a > federal lawsuit for violating the separation of church and state, West > asked: “What secular purpose is served by the government trying to > convince students what their religious views on evolution should be?”

What business is it for Jonathan Wells to promote religiously-motivated “questions about evolution” among naive students? Is DI religious meddling never to be discussed in religious terms? IOW, why don’t you fools quit injecting religious lies into the educational arena, and then we could forgo religious issues altogether.

> Chapman pointed out that increasingly the only time religion is > brought up in the debate over evolution is when Darwinists falsely > charge that anyone criticizing Darwin’s theory is religiously > motivated.

Again the misdirection. The issue is not “criticizing Darwin’s theory”, it is religiously-motivated and poorly based attacks on evolution, plus the promotion of pseudosciences like ID. Try going one day without lying, you vile perverted evildoers.

“Darwin’s theory” is criticized all the time, which is what shows that it is a living scientific theory, and not even really “Darwin’s theory” per se any more. It’s criticized, it stands up to criticism as a whole, and the parts that don’t stand up are changed. Very unlike a religious doctrine like ID, which only changes in order to avoid the falsification that did in Paley’s version of ID.

> “We maintain a list of hundreds of scientists

How many are actually “scientists”, and more importantly, how many of the actual scientists have degrees and knowledge in evolutionary biology? Very few, I know.

>who are skeptical of > Darwinian evolution because of the unresolved scientific problems with > the theory, not because of any so-called religious motivation,” said > Chapman.

Bull****. You have vanishingly few non-religious scientists on your list, and we have every reason to suppose that religion colors the acceptance of the mindless tripe that you cretins put out.

>The Scientific Dissent From Darwinism is available on the > Institute’s website at www.discovery.org. > “This isn’t science versus religion, it’s science versus science,”

Scientific criticism of “Darwinism” is science versus science. The lies Jonathan Wells puts out, along with the rest of the DI nonsense, is far from reaching the level of scientific criticism.

> added West. “It’s a standard part of science to raise evidence > critical of an existing scientific theory or paradigm. That’s what > good science is about-analyzing evidence and asking tough questions.

Yes, do you have any tough questions? You know, tough questions actually relating to the evidence, not to your misconceptions of science. And btw, there are some tough questions out there for evolution, but even if you use them it was the scientists (“evolutionists” to you) themselves who actually came up with them.

> Scientists have a duty to raise critical questions about existing > scientific theories.”

Would that you morons could raise any that don’t already exist in the scientific literature.

> Discovery Institute, the nation’s leading think tank dealing with > scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution, seeks to increase the > teaching of evolution.

Really? Is that what Jonathan Wells’ list of YEC pratts intended to accomplish?

>It believes that evolution should be fully and > completely presented to students, and they should learn more about > evolutionary theory, including its unresolved issues.

How about teaching the scientific method of following the positive evidence to productive areas of thought? That’s how science is usually taught. One presents the reasons why an idea arose in the first place, and shows how objections were met and how the evidence for, say, evolution continued to mount, from homologies to the vestigial organs predicted by evolutionary theory and predicted not to exist by any reasonable intelligent design theory (later we gained even better evidence through DNA, but the scientific battle for evolution had been long won by that time). The considerable evidence amassed for present scientific theories is the first thing to teach, and then (probably mostly in college) the remaining problems can be put into the context of the overwhelming amount of positive evidence during the relevant courses.

We know the DI, what you want to do is to obscure the positive evidence with a bunch of claptrap, not to put remaining problems into proper context.

>The Institute > opposes any effort to mandate or require the teaching of intelligent > design by school districts or state boards of education.

What’s the difference between your “teach the criticisms” from teaching ID anyhow? ID is only really complaints and caviling about legitimate science, so you don’t change anything if you opt for “attacking Darwinism” rather than “teaching ID”. The fact is that lying about Darwinism is what ID is about, so injecting your lies about Darwinism is the teaching of ID in all but name.

Glen Davidson

http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

First posted at: http://tinyurl.com/8v6ax

Just a few small notes:

“An evolutionary perspective undermines religious belief by removing some of the grounds that previously supported it. Gould says that science ‘doesn’t intersect the concerns of theology.’ Surely that is wrong; science and theology may have different concerns, but they do intersect. The most important point of intersection has to do with purposive explanations of natural phenomena.

For theology it is no small matter whether nature is interpreted teleologically. When the world is interpreted non-teleologically—when God is no longer necessary to explain things—then theology is diminished.”

— James Rachels, Created From Animals, 1990, p.127.

“(W)e have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanation…that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” —Lewontin, Richard, “Billions and Billions of Demons”, New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997, p. 28.

Also, it should be noted that Douglas Futuyma’s university evolution textbook Evolutionary Biology, 3d ed., on page 342 or thereabouts, describes the process of evolution, the process that supposedly led to the origination of ush humans, as— “a completely mindless process”

with “no conscious forethought”

nor any “purpose” nor “goal”

**********

All three cited sources are evolutionists, btw. If you’re a religious person or particularly a clergy person), please take serious note of what they said.

Also please note that the force of their statements are NOT diminished nor even slightly rebutted by merely claiming that you’re not a “fundamentalist Christian”.

Nor are their claims diminished or rebutted by arbitrarily (and incorrectly) labeling the Genesis creation account as parabolic, allegorical, symbolic, or any other attempted synonym for “non-historical.”

After all, God, Jesus, and the Bible are chock-full of the teleology that evolution and evolutionists completely and totally deny across the board when scientifically presenting “What Evolution Is” (Ernst Mayr’s phrase, and he also denies teleology in his same-titled book.) Because the denial of teleology is total, at some point you gotta choose between the Bible and the Darwinists, because for evolutionists, the official scientific position is there’s NO teleology, NO conscious forethought involved with the origin of any life form (including us), period.

********

In addition, the poster Tulse is entirely correct about evolutionist Gould’s “Non-overlapping Magisteria” shpiel that is at the heart of Rev. Michael Zimmerman’s Clergy Letter Project and Evolution Sunday Project:

”.…religion as a whole is only compatible with science if you define away those religions that believe God made the physical world a certain way”

That’s ~exactly~ the price tag that comes with NOMA, as presented in Gould’s book Rocks of Ages. That Zimmerman and Company have apparently bought into NOMA as the basis for their attempted “reconciliation” of religion and science, is no small weakness.

Gotta make a choice at some key points there, people of faith. Religion and Science are mondo compatible, but Religion and Evolution clearly ARE NOT.

Don’t let Zimmerman and Co., sincere though they be, snow ya on this one.

FL

Chapman’s comment is exactly correct, “evolution Sunday is the height of hypocrisy!”

Only to those who hold the opinion that religion and evolutionary science are inherently incompatible. What Evolution Sunday shows is that science and religion (even Christianity) can happily live side by side. Is this the ‘correct form of religion’? Of course that is a matter of personal faith but much damage is done by those who insist that science and religious faith are in various instances inherently incompatible.

Educating people that this is not the case is hardly hypocrisy, except perhaps to those who hold the intenable position that the two are inherently incompatible.

Similarly your intepretation of the Scott story seems to be at odds with what happened.

Of course Darwinism isn’t necessarily anti-religious…as long as one has the “correct” religious worldview.

I guess you just proved my point. Although the term ‘correct’ is somewhat overdoing it… In other words, Darwinism is not inherently anti-religious or atheistic.

FL seems to be confusing personal opinions about science and religion with the simple fact that evolutionary science is not inherently anti-religious.

It may be inherently anti-religious to a particular person’s faith but that’s not the argument. When Johnson made his argument that evolution is inherently atheistic, he forgot to include the various religions which have no problem accepting evolution.

FL is right, scientific explanations, which are part of the full set of explanations, cannot deal with external teleology. Although internal teleology, which to some may appear to be external, can be addressed by science.

Oops

Let’s drop the reference to Johnson and focus on my own claim

“What the 400+ ministers show is that the claim that evolutionary theory is inherently incompatible with religious belief, an argument made by quite a few ID activists, is plainly wrong although it does serve to attempt to place a wedge.”

In other words, there is nothing hypocritical about addressing the common confusion that For far too long, strident voices, in the name of Christianity, have been claiming that people must choose between religion and modern science.

Flint Wrote:

One can play mix and match games between words and possible meanings, but only according to a limited set of rules.

As an outsider, I’m not familiar with the rules you appear to know quite thoroughly. I can only try to deduce them based on what people say. And when people say that everything in the bible, if read literally, agrees with science, I get curious as to how this might be the case. When they say that what does NOT agree with science is a miracle (which is thus exempt from science), and when they get to decide which verses are miracles and which aren’t, things seem pretty damn arbitrary to me.

The problem is that Carol is cheating, and making preposterous claims that she is not engaged in interpretation.

As an example, I noticed that the Rashi on Hosea that Carol is so fond of can be read as glossing “the third yom” as “the third terror”. Hebrew is normally written without vowels, so a different choice of vowels leads to a different reading. This is entirely within the rules.

And that’s why I made the point that Carol can’t work forwards, deriving something yet undiscovered but true and interesting about reality from a literal bible reading. She can only work backwards, taking what science has determined and “discovering” that the bible said it all along. Since she makes the point that *anything and everything* science discovers is compatible with the bible, including what has not yet been discovered, and yet she is operating within “a limited set of rules”, these rules must necessarily be indefinite in scope.

Again, you are missing the fundamental point: Carol is cheating. I might give a little sermon of sorts some day based on “the third terror” to provide a peculiar and surprising translation of any Biblical “the third day”, and draw all sorts of unusual conclusions. In coming up with my sermon, I would of course be working backwards, only delivering on those cases where this meaning plays well for some particular conclusion. No one who hears me would misunderstood what I have done. I certainly wouldn’t pull a Carol and lie about how “recent scholarship” has justified this new “literal” translation.

Traditional Judaism has always encouraged this sort of interpretation. Every verse, we are told, has 70 meanings, and the men are required to try and discover them.

And it strikes me that if this is the case, the bible basically means whatever anyone chooses it to mean essentially without limit. And in that case, it is meaningless; why bother with it, except as a compendium of tales one particular ancient tribe chose to crib from neighboring tribes?

I know of no way to conclude a dog is a tree, as you first suggested, within the rules. However, the Hebrew for “dog” is “kelev”, the Hebrew for “all” is “kol” and the Hebrew for “heart” is “lev”, so I do know how to interpret “dog” as “all heart”.

Near the end of Deuteronomy, Moses is giving his farewell talk, and he says how the talk is for everyone from the drawers of water to the hewers of wood. After one little sermon where the speaker mentioned how this is traditionally understood to mean everyone of every occupation, a friend commented to me, rather jocularly, that he felt excluded, since he is in computers. And I responded back that water “flows”, so this was just symbolic of drawing flowcharts, i.e., software, and that hewn wood leaves “chips”, i.e., hardware. He was quite happy. This interpretation went way beyond the rules, but it was entirely in the spirit.

Paul Wrote:

Don’t be fatuous, it doesn’t become you. Carol is making use of a metaphor. It’s a crying shame she obviously doesn’t know what that is, but she is using one. And ‘Culture War’ is a commonly enough used phrase that you ought to know better.

I’m sorry it came across that way, but what I meant to respond to was Carol’s implication that this was an intentional activity on the part of the scientific community; that there existed for many, if not most scientists, a goal to destroy religion. This is a very common attitude held by fundies (I think it’s part of their ‘martyrdom complex’), but aside from our good friends like PZ, no scientist that I have met is trying to destroy religion.

Religion is an incidental casualty in the revanche of science against ignorance. But people like Carol want to make out that scientists spend their time sitting around in labs plotting ways to burn Bibles and empty churches. ‘tis absurd.

carol clouser Wrote:

The science community is engaged in a massive cultural war and I have information they ought to find useful.

The science community is the target of a massive cultural war, nothing else. Scientists, for the most part, push good science, whereever it takes them. You have not provided any information that any scientist would ever find useful, from your gibberish about the total entropy of the universe to your extreme minority Biblical interpretations.

The reaction here only demonstrates that there is no shortage of closed minded morons on both sides of that war.

The reaction here is what all religious nutcases get when they preach.

William,

OK, I think I understand what you mean about the rules, and about Carol cheating on them. This still leaves me curious as to what the creation tales in Genesis are actually good for, beyond historical curiosity. I’ve read that there are literally thousands of creation tales anthropologists have collected, some (perhaps most) of them far less derivative than those in Genesis. But beyond noting that people are curious about their history and willing to make stuff up to satisfy this curiosity, the meaning is lost on me.

I think I can appreciate that it’s a neat game to take some ancient and much-translated and redacted text that lacks vowels, and see how many different ways there are to re-translate this material within a given system of rules (i.e. any vowel can be substituted anywhere, any of various meanings can be attributed to any word thus produced, any reasonably plausible context can be used to project meanings onto the sentences that result, etc.) I can understand that if the rules are not constrained, the game becomes less challenging and entertaining.

But what do you really get out of playing? If the ancient Hebrews had kept no written tales or records, what would anyone today really lose? After all, MOST such ancient tribes didn’t record much (damn those taciturn Neandertals!) but we don’t feel impoverished by this. So from my perspective, the “interpret the Bible game” mostly just causes trouble and inhibits the accumulation of actual knowledge.

My apology Rilke, read the way Flint showed, you were not off base. I read Carol’s ‘engaged’ as a passive statement, not an active one. My mistake. Thank you Flint. However, I honestly think that Carol is not so fatuous herself as to suggest that science initiated this culture war intentionally, although the first move was science’s rejecting the “methodology” of religion. That x’tian fundies think this way is definitely a given.

Flint, I do doubt Carol’s stated motives. You recognize the motives inherent in her position, but I guarantee that she will deny them. Hell, I don’t think she is even aware of them in the way you are.

Mr. Emba, Could you comment on the word ‘rakia’. Landa uses it as ‘curtain’ and says that it refers to the atmosphere. I have seen it instead mean a metal plate or dome, a product of beating metal until thin and flat, and thus a suitable representation of the hemispherical vault of the sky. Landa doesn’t dispute this. He simply acknowledges that one definition of ‘rakia’ is ‘beaten’ and then ignores the possible implications in order to harp on his conclusion. I recognize throughout the book that cherry picking, as you pointed out, is going on but without any knowledge of Hebrew I am helpless. 100 miles of atmosphere does not seem like a curtain to me but when I look at the sky I can see where the ancient Hebrews would have thought the sky was a dome of something solid they simply couldn’t reach.

The person I would love to see take down this book died in 1992, but I would be happy to mail you the copy I got. If this interests you my email is: sfbrulesatcsdotcom

Sincerely, Paul

Flint and Paul,

I realize you folks are not into Hebrew and Rashi and all that, so if Emba claims I am cheating and I claim he is downright lying to you, which he in fact is doing, it will be difficult to settle the matter via posts and counter-posts in this forum. But you deserve that I try. So here it goes.

Emba is not only cheating he is deliberately lying to you. Rashi in Hosea cannot possibly be referring to a “third terror” because the prophet is talking about the third yohm as a source of uplifting and new life and vigor. It is meant to be a very positive development, not at all a terror. Besides Rashi NEVER uses that word that way.

Rashi in Hosea also does NOT AT ALL gloss yohm as “house”. That is idiotic, childish nonsense. I am repeating myself here, but the facts have not changed. All Rashi aims to do with his “house” talk is explain the eras. The prophet talks about the “two eras” and the “third era”. That would leave the reader perplexed as to what these eras refer to. So Rashi helpfully explains that the two eras refer to the times of the two destroyed temples and the third era refers to the time of the future third temple. There is no doubt whatsoever that Rashi there translated yohm as era.

Emba is also lying to you when he distorts my position as one of comparing Genesis to Hosea and that I claim Rashi interprets yohm in Genesis to mean era. I never said or did any such thing. As I have stated multiple times before, I am merely picking Rashi’s brain in Hosea, to obtain support for the notion that the word yohm in the Bible can mean era even in conjunction with a numeral, and I apply that knowledge to Genesis where it probably disagrees with Rashi’s silence on the matter. This may be too subtle a distinction for Emba’s bigoted mind to grasp. More likely he is just lying.

Since yohm is used in many places to mean era, I consider that definition to constitute a literal reading. It is certainly one of the three normal and customary meanings of that Hebrew word (the definition of literal). In Genesis the Bible clearly switches back and forth between various meanings for yohm and other words (such as Adam). In this same verse where Emba says yohm means day (Genesis 1:5) the word yohm is also used to mean “daylight” (“and God called the light yohm”), then switches to something else. He says it switches to 24-hours, I say to era. In Genesis 2:4 the definition of era for yohm is a far better fit than day, and the same is true in Genesis 5:1. The word Adam switches meaning from “human” to “man” to the “name of an individual” multiple times. With all this switching going on, who is that bigoted ahm Ha-Aretz to tell you or me that the only correct literal choice is “day”?

Perhaps it’s because it says “the evening, the morning”? And when Jacob informs his brother Esau (Genesis 32:6) “And I have an ox, a donkey…”, does that not refer to very many oxen and donkeys? And “the frog” came upon the land.…” (Exodus 8:2) was that one frog? The singular in Hebrew is frequently used to refer to a great plurality. That’s a common Biblical literary device. It may not be literal there, but it clearly is the intent.

Make no mistake about it. There is no proof that science contradicts the plain meaning of the words in Genesis.

Flint Perhaps I can help on the creation stories. They are all a primitive metaphysics (meaning literally “after nature”) A logical system in its day that explained the cause of life and served the purpose of people not sitting around gazing at their navels trying to work out what it is all about. Many of them have the earth as the mother and the sky as the father not too much imagination required there. Genesis is of course based on the Gilgamesh Myth with little bits borrowed from other myths in the region, a pretty safe bet if you just want to get on with it, making war on neighbors and stealing all their women and oxen OR if the need arises just kill ‘em all if they look like they might come back and bite you. In the culture of the day people heard these oral stories and they would be understood by educated people (priests) as allegorical however one of the main tasks of the priests then, was to organize society for the benefit of the kings. That task required a world view to be created that would benefit the priests first then the kings. Life at the time was full of what we would consider now as “misinformation” for political purposes. Each person in society was subject to unquestioned power, your life was not something that you had control over EVEN for kings. An archaeological dig in Persia revealed a whole court buried in a ceremony that seems was a requirement from ‘above’ -part of their mythology. One of the Buddhist creation myths I am familiar with has the Buddha meditating at a bhodi tree he first went to the North side of the tree and the heavens tipped down to hell, so he moved to west and again the heavens tipped down to hell, he tried the the south the same result, when he moved to the east he found the center of the universe. This is of course is allegorical in the sense that the Buddha had found his own center The other word views were not in PSYCHOLOGICAL balance. Note that the Buddha said that heaven and hell are states of mind in the here and now and that he acknowledged all the Buddhas that went before him and all the others that were to come after, in other words a metaphysical non-theistic system. When the Dalia Lama was pressured by the press after a meeting with the Pope some years ago what his views on god were, he replied “God is your business, Dharma is my business”. This is similar to the the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas where he says Jesus said “split the twig and there you will find me” a Spinozian view if ever there was one, in other words the divine permeates all life and IS life… good, bad and ugly. Carol I think confuses Metaphysics, a system of rational thought to explain ones position in the universe with Myth where the semiotics must be decoded in a subjective manner to extract meaning. That is a typical problem for slaves to objectivism. Keep in mind there are Hebrew Gnostics who would have a completely different view to Carol and then there is Howard Bloom who seems to have done some language analysis and thinks Women may have had a part in writing the Old Testament –no wonder there is so much fire and brimstone.

Carol:

Your nose is pressed so close to the bark, perhaps you are missing the tree, much less the forest. I really couldn’t care whether science is compatible with ANYONE’S set of superstitions. Imagine someone spending a great deal of psychic energy here justifying how science is compatible with “Old MacDonald had a farm”. After enough such posts, you might begin to wonder…

I think I recognize a thesis buried in your efforts: That if all those ID creationists would only go out and buy the book you are trying to sell, they would all see the light and recognize that their faith is a bunch of poorly-informed foolishness victimized by incompetent scholarship, and overnight they would drop their resistance to knowledge and join together, Dembski and all, dancing in the streets. Although I get the strong impression that if they stopped this conversion process AFTER buying the book, you’d be nearly as happy.

I would hope you’d answer the same question I put to William Emba: Why bother? Why play the bible game? It seems to cause you grief without bringing you any worthwhile knowledge.

Carol Fancy you calling SOMEONE ELSE a liar, your history here has been one of doing NOTHING BUT push your stupid book and creationist apologetics. And before you say you don’t support Creationism Intelligent Design, you are a creationist like it or not.

I note that Carol’s reply is highly disingenuous, and relies on attacking subtle details rather than the basic point. I don’t presume that any lurkers (if they are still with us) will be fooled by this evasive and dishonest behavior, but it’s useful to point out as an example of the kind of ‘faith vs. faith’ issues that we’ve got going on.

Carol Wrote:

I realize you folks are not into Hebrew and Rashi and all that, so if Emba claims I am cheating and I claim he is downright lying to you, which he in fact is doing, it will be difficult to settle the matter via posts and counter-posts in this forum. But you deserve that I try. So here it goes.

It’s not that difficult to settle; any good book on Torah will do. And since we’ve seen that you’re incapable of settling anything except by reiterating opinions that have already been shown to be false, I doubt that you’re going to make much progress. But let’s see.

Emba is not only cheating he is deliberately lying to you. Rashi in Hosea cannot possibly be referring to a “third terror” because the prophet is talking about the third yohm as a source of uplifting and new life and vigor. It is meant to be a very positive development, not at all a terror. Besides Rashi NEVER uses that word that way.

Classic Carol response form one: Emba points out that Carol is lying by claiming a single ‘correct’ interpretation of a passage; Carol chooses not to respond to that (it wouldn’t be possible since she is, in fact, utterly wrong), but instead focuses on a particular interpretation of a word.

Ironically, this use of a particular interpretation is precisely what Carol has been doing. Carol has done us the favor of showing that she’s not even capable of recognizing when she is applying invalid interpretation.

A very unfortunate quality in an ‘editor’.

Rashi in Hosea also does NOT AT ALL gloss yohm as “house”. That is idiotic, childish nonsense. I am repeating myself here, but the facts have not changed. All Rashi aims to do with his “house” talk is explain the eras. The prophet talks about the “two eras” and the “third era”. That would leave the reader perplexed as to what these eras refer to.

Once again, Carol here is (and I’m sorry to say it) deliberately making false statements. The author is talking about yohms - it is Rashi who is glossing those in a couple of different ways to explain why the passage can be read as non-literal.

This cannot be emphasized strongly enough: Carol is simply making this up. The ‘author’ says ‘yohm’. Rashi glosses it as ‘era’ (among other things - including an indirect reference to ‘house’).

Why make up things, Carol? Do you think it helps your case? Why intentionally deceive folks?

So Rashi helpfully explains that the two eras refer to the times of the two destroyed temples and the third era refers to the time of the future third temple. There is no doubt whatsoever that Rashi there translated yohm as era.

Nor in there; AND NO ONE EVER CLAIMED THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH THAT GLOSS BY RASHI.

You’re making things up to try to confuse the issue. No one is confused.

Emba is also lying to you when he distorts my position as one of comparing Genesis to Hosea and that I claim Rashi interprets yohm in Genesis to mean era.

Another outright falsehood. Emba IS NOT CLAIMING THIS. Emba (and others) have pointed out that Rashi does NOT gloss ‘yohm’ in Genesis as ‘era’, and he would have had he thought the interpretation was anything other than ‘day’.

I never said or did any such thing.

You just accused Emba of lying; but you are the one who is lying about him.

Carol, it’s all in black and white. Your comments are saved on the board. We can demonstrate that Emba never made this claim, and that you are making this up.

Given that, why do you persist in your invention? Why demonstrate such lack of integrity? Think of how much more respect we might have for you if you simply admitted that you (and Landa) were wrong, or merely expressing an opinion.

But you can’t, can you? Your fundie faith renders you incapable of admitting error or suffering correction.

As I have stated multiple times before, I am merely picking Rashi’s brain in Hosea, to obtain support for the notion that the word yohm in the Bible can mean era even in conjunction with a numeral, and I apply that knowledge to Genesis where it probably disagrees with Rashi’s silence on the matter.

In other words, you use Rashi to arrive at an interpretation that Rashi would disagree with!?

This isn’t sloppy editing, this is simply nuts. Landa’s interpretation is not supported by the very authority you brought up; but then you claim that you can use this authority to claim something that you UP FRONT POINT OUT THAT RASHI WOULDN’T AGREE WITH.

Mind-boggling stupid.

This may be too subtle a distinction for Emba’s bigoted mind to grasp. More likely he is just lying.

Stupidity on your part does not constitute ‘lying’ on Emba’s part.

Think of it logically (I know, logic is hard for you, but give it a shot).

P1: If yohm meant ‘era’ in Genesis, Rashi would have so glossed it. P2: Rashi did not so gloss it. C1: Yohm doesn’t mean ‘era’ in Genesis.

Simple, right? But what you’re offering us is:

P1: If yohm meant ‘era’ in Genesis, Rashi would have so glossed it. P2: Rashi did not so gloss it. C1: Yohm is correctly read as ‘era’ in Genesis.

A completely invalid syllogism: C1 does not follow from the premises.

Basic logic, Carol. That’s why your bluster about Hebrew, etc. doesn’t matter to your case: your fundamental logic is wrong.

I doubt Landa is this stupid. In a way, I feel sorry for him - with you as his spokesperson, no one on this forum is going to even bother looking to see if he has any valid points.

Since yohm is used in many places to mean era, I consider that definition to constitute a literal reading.

And there are several other ‘literal’ readings. Context is, as you point out, important.

It is certainly one of the three normal and customary meanings of that Hebrew word (the definition of literal). In Genesis the Bible clearly switches back and forth between various meanings for yohm and other words (such as Adam). In this same verse where Emba says yohm means day (Genesis 1:5) the word yohm is also used to mean “daylight” (“and God called the light yohm”), then switches to something else. He says it switches to 24-hours, I say to era. In Genesis 2:4 the definition of era for yohm is a far better fit than day, and the same is true in Genesis 5:1. The word Adam switches meaning from “human” to “man” to the “name of an individual” multiple times. With all this switching going on, who is that bigoted ahm Ha-Aretz to tell you or me that the only correct literal choice is “day”?

Excuse me, but YOU ARE THE ONE CLAIMING A SINGLE CORRECT CHOICE FOR YOHM. Only you - no one else.

Once again, you’ve just demonstrated why your own argument is nonsense. Congratulations!

Perhaps it’s because it says “the evening, the morning”? And when Jacob informs his brother Esau (Genesis 32:6) “And I have an ox, a donkey…”, does that not refer to very many oxen and donkeys? And “the frog” came upon the land.…” (Exodus 8:2) was that one frog? The singular in Hebrew is frequently used to refer to a great plurality. That’s a common Biblical literary device. It may not be literal there, but it clearly is the intent.

Who cares? Your argument about singular and plurality is TOTALLY NEW ARGUMENT - having nothing to with what you’ve said before; and no supported by the text, either.

Utter fabrications, Carol - offered by you rather than simply admit that you’re offering an ‘opinion’ about a translation of Genesis.

Make no mistake about it. There is no proof that science contradicts the plain meaning of the words in Genesis.

There was no flood; no one can live to be 900 years old; the world was not made in six days; the Exodus never happened; etc.

Science points out all the time that the Bible is wrong.

As a fundie, you simply can’t bring yourself to admit that. You can’t bring yourself to recognize that the Bible contains metaphor, as well as historical truths.

A pity.

Flint Wrote:

OK, I think I understand what you mean about the rules, and about Carol cheating on them. This still leaves me curious as to what the creation tales in Genesis are actually good for, beyond historical curiosity. …

I have never thought of them as being “good for something” beyond themselves. They are what we have, God wants us to study them to the max, and here we are. Indeed, as Rashi comments, the Torah “should” have begun from the first commandment given to Jewish people, in Exodus, in preparation for the Passover. But our being a distinct people embedded in history is an essential part of Judaism.

But what do you really get out of playing?

Heavenly reward!

If the ancient Hebrews had kept no written tales or records, what would anyone today really lose? After all, MOST such ancient tribes didn’t record much (damn those taciturn Neandertals!) but we don’t feel impoverished by this.

Maybe we should.

Carol Wrote:

Make no mistake about it. There is no proof that science contradicts the plain meaning of the words in Genesis.

Hmmm. I wonder if each of these planets had a Flood too. Maybe Jews there too. Perhaps Jesus even made a personal visit to each one. http://www.voanews.com/english/2006[…]-19-voa9.cfm

And what about the other zillions of planets farther away, or in other, perhaps more evil, galaxies? I dunno, seems a bit of a waste to create them all just for us. But of course, I could be wrong, with my simple logic and all.

Rilke's Granddaughter Wrote:
Carol Clouser Wrote:

I realize you folks are not into Hebrew and Rashi and all that, so if Emba claims I am cheating and I claim he is downright lying to you, which he in fact is doing, it will be difficult to settle the matter via posts and counter-posts in this forum. But you deserve that I try. So here it goes.

It’s not that difficult to settle; any good book on Torah will do.

Actually, it’s very easy for spectators see who is believable and who isn’t. Who has a track record of dishonesty and lying? Who lashes out with insult, and then complains and exaggerates when insult comes back? Who clearly is a fundamentalist loonie trying to convert people? Not me, not me, not me.

Emba is not only cheating he is deliberately lying to you. Rashi in Hosea cannot possibly be referring to a “third terror” because the prophet is talking about the third yohm as a source of uplifting and new life and vigor. It is meant to be a very positive development, not at all a terror. Besides Rashi NEVER uses that word that way.

Classic Carol response form one: Emba points out that Carol is lying by claiming a single ‘correct’ interpretation of a passage; Carol chooses not to respond to that (it wouldn’t be possible since she is, in fact, utterly wrong), but instead focuses on a particular interpretation of a word.

More precisely, I am explicitly honest in my rejection of the interpretation of beth-ayin-tav as Rashi intending to mean “third terror”, as opposed to Carol just saying the Hebrew is clear and unambiguous and it has only one meaning. “Terror” is one of the meanings, and by the very fact that Rashi wrote it down, he could have been meaning that. It is not “deliberately lying” to tell everyone that, but “deliberately honest”. I’m not afraid, or even concerned, if intelligent readers weigh the evidence and come to a different conclusion than I do. But in onionladyland, the concepts of “honesty” and “lying” are the exact opposites of what the rest of the world means by them, and the point of education is to gain mindless converts, not spread knowledge, light, and intelligence.

As a matter of fact, there is nothing conceptually problematic about associating terror with the coming of the Messiah. It is frequently described as a time of great troubles and tribulations. So “baas”=terror makes quite reasonable sense by itself. The reason I reject it is I can’t relate it to third terror as such, whereas First Temple Era and Second Temple Era are well-known concepts, as is Third Temple Era=Messianic Era.

But as I mentioned, I could easily give a little sermon based on this alternate reading, but I would not pass it off as anything other than an interpretive reading.

Rashi in Hosea also does NOT AT ALL gloss yohm as “house”. That is idiotic, childish nonsense.

Just like you don’t know what “literal” means, you don’t know what “gloss” means either:

Oxford English Dictionary Wrote:

A word inserted between the lines or in the margin as an explanatory equivalent of a foreign or otherwise difficult word in the text; hence applied to a simliar explanatory rendering of a word given in a glossary or dictionary. Also, in a wider sense, a comment, explanation, interpretation. Often used in a sinister sense: A sophistical or disingenuous interpretation.

I assume we can agree that the sinister sense does not apply here. The “otherwise” difficult word here is “yom”: the difficulty is what does it refer to in Hosea’s prophecy?

(Interesting: the OED2 online has a misspelling!)

I am repeating myself here, but the facts have not changed. All Rashi aims to do with his “house” talk is explain the eras. The prophet talks about the “two eras” and the “third era”. That would leave the reader perplexed as to what these eras refer to.

Once again, Carol here is (and I’m sorry to say it) deliberately making false statements. The author is talking about yohms - it is Rashi who is glossing those in a couple of different ways to explain why the passage can be read as non-literal.

The text says “third yom”, and Rashi offers two glosses, one of “the third house” and the other of “in the third time” (which, as I mentioned, is ambiguous with “the third terror”). The “third house” is part of a phrase.

This cannot be emphasized strongly enough: Carol is simply making this up. The ‘author’ says ‘yohm’. Rashi glosses it as ‘era’ (among other things - including an indirect reference to ‘house’).

Not indirect. The word for “beis”, as in “beth-yodh-tav”, is there point blank. What’s indirect is the interpretation–entirely standard and routine, of course, but still an act of non-literal reading–that “beis” is the Temple.

Perhaps it’s because it says “the evening, the morning”? And when Jacob informs his brother Esau (Genesis 32:6) “And I have an ox, a donkey…”, does that not refer to very many oxen and donkeys? And “the frog” came upon the land.…” (Exodus 8:2) was that one frog? The singular in Hebrew is frequently used to refer to a great plurality. That’s a common Biblical literary device. It may not be literal there, but it clearly is the intent.

Who cares? Your argument about singular and plurality is TOTALLY NEW ARGUMENT - having nothing to with what you’ve said before; and no supported by the text, either.

It is peculiar. And indeed Rashi comments on the mismatch between singular text and plural meaning. Every time, there’s a reason for it, and it’s a reason worth knowing. Yet Carol would have us believe that Rashi thought the plural meaning of “yom” was not worth sharing? That is seriously so not believable.

Paul Flocken Wrote:

Could you comment on the word ‘rakia’. Landa uses it as ‘curtain’ and says that it refers to the atmosphere. I have seen it instead mean a metal plate or dome, a product of beating metal until thin and flat, and thus a suitable representation of the hemispherical vault of the sky. Landa doesn’t dispute this. He simply acknowledges that one definition of ‘rakia’ is ‘beaten’ and then ignores the possible implications in order to harp on his conclusion. I recognize throughout the book that cherry picking, as you pointed out, is going on but without any knowledge of Hebrew I am helpless. 100 miles of atmosphere does not seem like a curtain to me but when I look at the sky I can see where the ancient Hebrews would have thought the sky was a dome of something solid they simply couldn’t reach.

According to Rashi, “there was a raqiya‘“ is really an imperative: “firm up, gel, solidify!” being commanded to the heavens, hence the common translation “firmament” if you trace through the Latin roots. They were in an unstable flux until then. According to Ibn Ezra, raqiya‘ refers to the atmosphere, and the separation was of a gas from fluid/solid, which he identifies as a “stretching out”.

Hirsch, a 19th century commentator, says Ibn Ezra’s meaning is secondary, and the primary meaning is of a thin layer of separation. Malbim, another 19th century commentator, identifies the raqiya‘ with the atmospheric cloud layer.

The various commentators point out the word has the same root as vayiraq‘u “and they hammered out” Ex 39:3 and as roqa‘ “it spread out” Is 42:5.

From a modern point of view, I don’t see why you think “curtain” is inappropriate. After all, in the view from deep space, the atmosphere certainly is a thin layer.

The person I would love to see take down this book died in 1992, but I would be happy to mail you the copy I got.

Thank you, but I have no interest in the book either way. In particular, I am not interested in “taking it down”. Whatever positive interest I might have has been negated by the book’s designated spokesperson.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on February 10, 2006 7:29 PM.

Darwin Day in New Mexico - Sun. 12th at 2 PM was the previous entry in this blog.

Do the Kansas standards say “Teach ID?” I say “yes” is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter