Threats to Judge Jones and “Challenges” Teaser

| 268 Comments

Via Red State Rabble, we learn that Judge Jones was protected by the US Marshalls back in December, after his Kitzmiller Decision pulled back the curtain from ID and identified it for the warmed over creationism that it is. The reason for that protection? Threatening emails he received following his decision about ID creationism.

More details below the fold…

Clearly, there was a lot riding on that trial to intelligent design. People had invested countless hours, for one example, trying to advance ID creationism as some sort of legitimate science or as a reason to “unshackle” science from the requirement that its practicioners must test their hypotheses. ID creationism was their wedge and Judge Jones followed the evidence the only place it could have led: identifying it for the retitled creationism of old that it was.

But Judge Jones received threatening emails. Although the article linked above left open the matter of what exactly were the nature of the threats he was describing, the Marshalls felt sufficiently concerned to provide him protection back in December. Judge Jones said “We’re going to get a judge hurt.”

If it was creationists who stood to lose the most from Judge Jones’ decision, then it’s not too much of a stretch to think that angry creationists were the ones who concerned the US Marshalls so. Was it a creationist to whom Judge Jones referred when he said that someone was going to get a judge hurt? Anyone, on this weekend day so far under the influence of mind-altering substances, as to think it was disgruntled atheist creationists who sent those emails?

Christians sending threatening letters to judges. Christians lying on the witness stand. I’ll have a few more thoughts on this issue, and the topic of misplaced faith and why science is greatly threatened by it, tomorrow. For now, follow the link for the scoop from Pat Hayes.

BCH

PS - Tune in tomorrow.

268 Comments

Well, now. This certainly makes Mirecki’s story more plausible, doesn’t it? After all if someone can feel strongly enough to threaten a federal judge, how much more effort does it take to motivate oneself to assault a lowly professor?

Well, now. This certainly makes Mirecki’s story more plausible, doesn’t it? After all if someone can feel strongly enough to threaten a federal judge, how much more effort does it take to motivate oneself to assault a lowly professor?

[ann coulter] And if Judge Jones and Prof Mirecki don’t get over their America hatred right-quick, they just might find themselves in adjoining chain-link pens down in Gitmo… [/ann coulter]

According to an article in the New York Times,

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/19/p[…];oref=slogin

Justice [Ruth Bader]Ginsburg also revealed that she and Justice [Sandra Day] O’Connor, who retired in January, had been the targets of an Internet death threat over their practice of citing the decisions of foreign courts in their rulings.…

The threat, passed to the justices by a court security officer, was a February 2005 posting on an Internet chat site addressing unnamed “commandos.”

“Here is your first patriotic assignment,” the message said. “Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg and O’Connor have publicly stated that they use foreign laws and rulings to decide how to rule on American cases. This is a huge threat to our Republic and constitutional freedom. If you are what you say you are, and NOT armchair patriots, then those two justices will not live another week.”

A United States Senator, John Cornyn of Texas, is also quoted as making what you might consider a veiled threat concerning the Terry Schiavo case:

Senator Cornyn said afterward that political rulings from judges had fueled public frustration. “It builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence,” he said. “Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have.”

Just so you know, the first link to the article isn’t working. You need to put the “l” on the end of the URL.

Fixed. Thanks for the head’s up.

BCH

Senator Cornyn said afterward that political rulings from judges had fueled public frustration. “It builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence,” he said. “Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have.”

Hmm. I wonder how likely he would be to describe the origins of radical Islamic violence in similar terms.

Anyone, on this weekend day so far under the influence of mind-altering substances, as to think it was disgruntled atheist creationists who sent those emails?

Under the influence – check. Enough to imagine a fellow atheist was responsible – uncheck

I would have guessed christians anyway, because christians are not as ethical as atheists: http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/20[…]s_and_t.html

off topic, but Seed magazine has an article on the Clergy Letter project:

http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/20[…]dfellows.php

It turns out that many of the pastors who signed the letter, when interviewed later, didn’t really understand evolution and what they were supporting.

“it seems that many of the pastors who signed the letter…”

Many? The article quotes one, and goes on to say:

“Several other clergymen interviewed echoed this notion. The responses of these clergy members—while hardly a statistically significant sub-population—cast some doubt as to whether the 10,000 Clergy Letter signers are all the whole-hearted supporters of science, as the Alliance for Science claims.”

Several? How many other of the clergymen interviewed did not echo that notion? Let’s see some numbers. I don’t know Seed, but if that’s typical of its journalism I’m not sure I’m inclined to make its aquaintance.

R

RupertG wrote:

Several? How many other of the clergymen interviewed did not echo that notion?

They didn’t put up numbers on that, or on how many they interviewed to find them. But it does call into question whether all 10,000 of the signers understood what they were signing.

It’s not the answer – it’s just the question. And it’s a very valid question.

If you want the answer you’ll have to conduct a more rigorous survey.

My experience with people who post here is that not all who fight for evolution understand exactly what they’re fighting for.

My experience with people who post here is that not all who fight for evolution understand exactly what they’re fighting for.

Perhaps they are simply fighting for something different than you are.

That has always, of course, been a concept that has been extremely difficult for fundies (of all sorts) to understand.

Lenny Flank wrote:

Perhaps they are simply fighting for something different than you are.

You might want to read the article: http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/20[…]dfellows.php

The quote they used was:

—one of only two Mormons to sign the letter—said he believes that God works through science, and he would believe anything that good science “proved” but would have a very hard time accepting that man evolved from another species. Furthermore, Black said he believes Darwinian evolution hasn’t yet met the burden of proof.

“We believe in creation, and we can also believe in some of the aspects of Darwinism, but not all of them,” he said. “We don’t necessarily believe that the stages of man are actually what science is saying they are, because there hasn’t been a proof yet to substantiate them.”

Several other clergymen interviewed echoed this notion.

That’s something an ID advocate would say and he shouldn’t be signing a letter that’s anti-ID.

It’s not the culture-influences-genes argument I had with you awhile back.

Posted by normdoering on March 25, 2006 10:19 PM (e)

… My experience with people who post here is that not all who fight for evolution understand exactly what they’re fighting for.

That is true. I am one of them. But then again, why does anyone need to understand evolution exactly, to recognise it as science?

It does not take too long to recognise: 1. ID as a religious/political movement. 2. Evolution holds itself to scientific methodology while ID does not. 3. The most prominent ID supporters are either dishonest or ignorant (often both).

I would conclude that it is not important to thoroughly understand evolution to support it as science. To argue against it as science, people require far more of an understanding (at least they should do, to be honest).

Posted by Lurker on March 25, 2006 01:53 PM

Well, now. This certainly makes Mirecki’s story more plausible, doesn’t it? After all if someone can feel strongly enough to threaten a federal judge, how much more effort does it take to motivate oneself to assault a lowly professor?

They must have been fairly serious threats too. I would be surprised if the authorities hand out armed protection lightly.

Sheeesh! What a World we live in.

Jones mentions the threats and comments on the rhetoric that may lead to them late in this interview broadcast on March 24. (Link is to the audio file.) He also comments extensively on Kitzmiller – the interview is a hour long.

RBH

I don’t understand evolution exactly, but then again I don’t understand anything exactly. I can still say what I believe on the balance of probabilities to be the closest to the truth, while leaving open the option that I’m wrong. I’ve got what I think is a good grasp of the fundamentals of Christianity and scientific thought, and that’s one of the reasons I’m so confident which camp ID falls into.

If you want to find large numbers of people who really don’t have an idea what they believe but are prepared to defend it vociferously, religion has more than just an edge. If you took an average congregation of a Christian church (doesn’t matter what denomination) and asked them all separately whether they believed in dogma such as the Trinity, the resurrection and redemption, they’d say yes. Ask them what they thought the Trinity actually was and why it mattered theologically, and why God had his son killed and how that helped things, and I bet you’d get a different answer each time. (For real fun, ask where the concept of the Trinity comes from. For even more real fun, ask someone nice and cuddly like a Episcopalian priest what they’re actually taught in theological college about the Bible, and why they never preach that side of things from the pulpit. I’ve seen what happens when they do, and it ain’t pretty.)

But I digress.

One of the things that came through clearest from Kitzmiller was that the _opponents_ of evolution often cannot describe in the simplest terms what it is. Indeed, some seem to take pride in ‘I don’t know the details, but I know it’s wrong’, and I’d be hard pushed to find equivalent ‘I don’t know the details but I know it’s right’ evolution-minded people actually involved in the debate.

R

Christians sending threatening letters to judges. Christians lying on the witness stand.

$text =~ s/Christians/fundamentalist Christian fanatics/;

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 9, column 245, byte 905 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

I meet these types every week as an escort for a Planned Parenthood clinic for which about 5% of the patients come for abortions. They (the picketers) call us escorts and the patients “evil”, “murderers,” “baby killers,” and other choice names. The women normally threaten us with damnation in hell (which I regard as theoretical and therefore immaterial) and the men with not so subtly veiled threats in this world. No one has yet tried to shoot anyone, but the potential is sufficient that the clinic employs an armed guard (a retired policeman around 50) and has bullet proof windows that incorporate seven layers of plate glass interleaved with some kind of heavy plastic sheet (about 1-1/2” thick). The religious right, including those opposed to evolution, has within it as much potential for violence as any group on the world, including Islamic fanatics. Anyone who publicly opposes them needs to be careful.

As an aside, several years ago, after a long but dispassionate letter of mine supporting evolution appeared in the local paper as a “guest column”, I had a rock thrown through a window in my house and a number of “heavy breathing” phone calls (I’m listed in the phone book). Nothing further has happened, but my wife worries about my willingness to publicly bait the fundies.

I see Bill Buckingham still doesn’t get it (http://www.ydr.com/doverbiology/ci_3641366). He seems to be typical of the rest of them.

Regarding the clergy letter project: If a “high priest”* from the Mormons has difficulty with evolution but signs the letter, so what? At least he doesn’t preach against his church’s theology by saying Darwin is definitely in error.

If all the other signatories of the clergy letter also come from faiths where preaching against Darwin is false doctrine, that’s exactly the point.

Fact is that a small minority of Christian sects have serious theology statements that question the science of Darwin’s theory. Most of the flapping against Darwin and evolution is extra-theological, not part of the faith.

* In the Latter-day Saints structure, there are no professional clergy. Local wards are headed by lay clergy. Men become priests at about the age of 12, and advance through different priesthoods. Most Mormon men would be a high priest.

As a legal strategy during the trial, attorneys with the Thomas More Law Center essentially separated Buckingham from the rest of the board members. Numerous times, they mentioned his addiction to painkillers and said the other board members, who voted in favor of intelligent design, shouldn’t be held accountable for his remarks.

In his closing arguments on the last day of the trial, Dover attorney Patrick Gillen summed up the lawsuit by saying it was “built on a molehill of statements by one board member (Buckingham) fighting OxyContin addiction.”

Always nice when your lawyer has to invoke your drug habit to explain your statements.

AHAHA! When I posted that I hadn’t read the very next part:

Buckingham said he doesn’t understand why the district’s attorneys did that, “unless they thought I did something along the way that was detrimental to the case.”

Must still have the monkey on his back.

Sort of makes you wonder why people distrust atheists, while seeming to naturally trust God-believers. That’s not to say a militant atheists would never be capable of sending threatening emails. But, how many crazy religionists does it take until people stop equating religiosity with being good? I’d suggest that ANYONE (secular or religious) who thinks they are in possession of The Truth, is capable of violence towards others.

When I was invited to debate the existence of God at a Minneapolis area church (for the non-theist side), the nice churchy Christian couple that sat IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN’S PEW said that if they “had a gun, they’d shoot [me] in the head right now” for my presentation. Which, by the way, was as gentle and respectful a presentation of non-theism I can imagine. So Christians turning homicidal because they’ve heard something they don’t like no longer surprises me in the least.

On another topic, Seed Magazine is actually quite good, generally. It’s not perfect–what is–but it does a nice job of addressing the “third culture” aspect of science and society. I read the latest issue over the weekend, and if nothing else, a review in Seed led me to advance-order the book “Intelligent Thought” coming out on May 9. It’s a collection of essays on intelligent design from the likes of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Stephen Pinker, and it’s only $14, so I’m expecting it to be a worthwhile purchase. Just a heads up.

Greg Peterson wrote:

… debate the existence of God at a Minneapolis area church (for the non-theist side), the nice churchy Christian couple that sat IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN’S PEW said that if they “had a gun, they’d shoot [me] in the head right now” for my presentation.

From Andrew Sullivan’s blog: http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/

Atheist Email of the Day 24 Mar 2006 07:04 pm A reader writes:

“In regards to the whole idea of atheists being untrustworthy, you may find this reviling experience worth relating. My ex-wife and I recently had a nasty custody dispute. In this dispute, I recently came very close to losing serious ground in my ongoing battle to be a central part of my son’s life. The entire case for the opposing side had nothing to do with how I am as a parent; in fact, every witness for the other side could say nothing but good about my son’s psycholigical health and good about my parenting. Instead, the entire objective of the other side was to smear me in court for being an atheist, or at the very minumum, not attending church regularly. To make a long story short, the judge took away Sunday visitation from me permanently (I have my son every other week rather than every other weekend, so the change could have been much worse), so that the child “could get the religious instruction he needs” via my ex-wife. Similar verbiage actually appears in the court order. The repulsion I felt about all of this can never be described coherently. I was verbally lambasted by a judge in the United States of America for my religious beliefs, and suffered punishment for it (or perhaps, my son did, depending on viewpoint)… This happened in Mississippi, and I know better than to fight it - given that the original lawsuit aimed to reduce my visitation to every other weekend, I could have fared much worse, and the judge rightly guessed I would not wish to appeal and risk losing more ground when the case is sent back for reconsideration. But still, I have never, never felt so violated.”

I wonder if more of this goes on than we are aware of.

You might want to email your experience to Sullivan.

If you want to find large numbers of people who really don’t have an idea what they believe but are prepared to defend it vociferously, religion has more than just an edge.

“Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.” GEORGE SANTAYANA (1863-1952)

Its a sad bit of irony that fundies argue that atheists are evil because they lack any sense of morality.

A good atheist would not resort to violence when there belief is challenged because it is ethically wrong.

On the other hand a good fundie may resort to violence because they do not consider it morally wrong, even if it is clearly ethically wrong.

To be clear I am using ethical to mean right and wrong as determined by society and moral to mean right and wrong as defined by religion.

While the majority of most religions openly oppose any form of violence (For Christians: If you read the new testament, Christ clearly refused to resort to violence even in the face of imminent death). There are still many religious groups which either tacitly or openly support violence in the name of God.

(For Christians: If you read the new testament, Christ clearly refused to resort to violence even in the face of imminent death).

But Jesus did get violent once. He started kicking over the tables of the “money changers” in the temple calling it a den of theives.

Alan said;” If you read the new testament, Christ clearly refused to resort to violence even in the face of imminent death)”Not so

Jesus condemns entire cities to dreadful deaths and to the eternal torment of hell because they didn’t care for his preaching. Jesus says that God is like a slave-owner who beats his slaves “with many stripes” In the parable of the talents, Jesus says that God takes what is not rightly his, and reaps what he didn’t sow. The parable ends with the words of Jesus: “bring them [those who preferred not to be ruled by him] hither, and slay them before me.” Those who do not believe in Jesus will be cast into a fire to be burned. Jesus is unqualified to act as the perfect light to lead mankind on the road to morality and is not worthy of the emulation accorded him by millions.

Jesus is unqualified to act as the perfect light to lead mankind on the road to morality and is not worthy of the emulation accorded him by millions.

Truer words were never spoken.

Posted by normdoering on April 1, 2006 11:27 AM (e)

If you liked it so much — what made you stop believing? Why don’t you just decide to believe in Santa now?

Because I can’t norm. It has been well proven to me (mostly by myself) that it is not true. I can’t just willy-nilly decide what to believe. Can you?

Lenny asked:

And that isn’t your complaint about them, is it.

No, my complaint is with you and Bee and Elliot. Your arguments against Intelligent Design become counter productive and encourage DIers when you use that ignorant post modern relativism to justify religion.

Why don’t you just decide to believe in Santa now?

Let’s assume that he does.

What’s it to you?

Why the hell should you care?

What on earth makes you think that it’s your duty to stamp out his belief?

Who appointed you God?

No, my complaint is with you and Bee and Elliot. Your arguments against Intelligent Design become counter productive and encourage DIers when you use that ignorant post modern relativism to justify religion.

(sigh)

Norm, maybe you’re hard of hearing. Maybe you’re just not terribly bright. Or maybe you’re just another fundie ideologue who only hears what he wants to hear. So I will say this again, one more time, just for you, and I’ll say it vveerrryyy ssslllooowwwllllyyyy.

Pay attention:

*ahem*

I do not grant the Bible any authority at all whatsoever in any way shape or form. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. None at all.

I do not assert or accept the existence of any god, gods, goddesses or any supernatural entities whatsoever. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Not a single one. None.

Is there any part of that which you don’t understand, Norm? If so, I’ll repeat it again, and I’ll try to use smaller words next time.

Geez.

Posted by normdoering on April 1, 2006 11:31 AM (e)

No, my complaint is with you and Bee and Elliot. Your arguments against Intelligent Design become counter productive and encourage DIers when you use that ignorant post modern relativism to justify religion.

Do you seriously believe I am a post-modernist?

I do not believe every single argument has equal validity just because someone believes it.

I do believe everyone is entitled to a POV. That is not the same thing.

I do not want religion taught as science. There are obvious differences.

I do not want every single POV treated equaly in science classes.

I just want people to be able to live as they want. Not impose stuff onto others.

Your arguments against Intelligent Design become counter productive and encourage DIers

That’s pretty funny, Norm.

Would all the IDers here who have been encouraged by my posts to them, please raise your hands?

Norm, I’m not the one telling the fundies that their view – the Bible must be correct in every jot and tittle or NONE of it is correct – is right, and thus encouraging them to continue that view.

That would be, uh, YOU, Norm.

Stephen Elliott wrote:

Because I can’t norm. It has been well proven to me (mostly by myself) that it is not true. I can’t just willy-nilly decide what to believe. Can you?

Not really. I can suspend my disbelief long enough to play with my sister’s kids and act as if Santa were real.

You’re not the only one who can’t just willy-nilly decide what to believe. IDers and fundamentalists can’t do that either (at least the ones that aren’t bald faced liars).

The question is why can’t they?

Posted by normdoering on April 1, 2006 11:40 AM (e)

Not really. I can suspend my disbelief long enough to play with my sister’s kids and act as if Santa were real.

You’re not the only one who can’t just willy-nilly decide what to believe. IDers and fundamentalists can’t do that either (at least the ones that aren’t bald faced liars).

The question is why can’t they?

That answer surprised me. TBH I had you pegged as somebody who would just tell them the truth and banish any idea of “Santa”.

Now, why do you consider me a post-modernist?

The 2nd part of your 2nd paragraph following into the 3rd is hard to answer. I do not know.

Lenny wrote:

Norm, I’m not the one telling the fundies that their view — the Bible must be correct in every jot and tittle or NONE of it is correct — is right, and thus encouraging them to continue that view.

No, what you do is say ignorant post modern relativit crap like this:

Can Raging Bee call himself a Christian (or defend Christians) by claiming that one can interpret demons any way he wants?

Sure he can. Who the hell are YOU to tell him he can’t? After all, you’re not the arbiter of who is or isn’t a True Christian©™ (though, like the fundies, you certainly TRY to be).

I’m curious —- can John McCain call himself a Republican (or defend Repbulicans) by claiming he can interpret “torture” any way he wants?

And Bush can call himself a conservative and then spend us into bankruptcy and increase the size of government. Calling yourself something doesn’t make you into that something. I can call myself a god – who are you to argue with me?

Your argument is in Alice in Wonderland: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean” – Humpty Dumpty.

No it doesn’t not when you want to communicate shared ideas in a culture.

Elliot wrote:

I do not know.

Do you want to know? If so, how do you propose to learn?

I offered my take: http://www.totse.com/en/religion/ch[…]otcrst1.html http://www.totse.com/en/religion/ch[…]otcrst2.html

And no one has a good argument against it – just pomo crap.

I propose that my early experiences with being raised Christian are similar to any fundies and you can learn something about what being a fundy means from that.

But you’re on your own now – I’ve wasted too much time here today.

Bye all.

Calling yourself something doesn’t make you into that something.

What does, Norm.

I propose that my early experiences with being raised Christian are similar to any fundies

When do you plan on giving it up, Norm?

Posted by normdoering on April 1, 2006 12:07 PM (e)

Elliot wrote:

I do not know.

Do you want to know? If so, how do you propose to learn?

I offered my take: http://www.totse.com/en/religion/christianity/nohttp://www.totse.com/en/religion/christianity/no

And no one has a good argument against it — just pomo crap.

I propose that my early experiences with being raised Christian are similar to any fundies and you can learn something about what being a fundy means from that.

But you’re on your own now — I’ve wasted too much time here today.

Bye all.

Sorry If I have offended you. I did not intend to. Those links you gave sound exactly like what I was saying a few years ago.

Sorry If I have offended you.

Norm, of course, would not be sorry for offending YOU.

Those links you gave sound exactly like what I was saying a few years ago.

Sounds to me like Norm just traded one religion for another, and is still just as eager as before to lead everyone down to the river. Same river, even – just the other bank. (shrug)

I see the pointless, off-topic religious flamewar is still going on. Since I don’t care to waste my time reading through another 75 posts of this stupidity, can someone tell me if Burt has given us his promised update yet?

I now return you to the breathtaking inanity.

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on April 1, 2006 12:31 PM (e)

Sorry If I have offended you.

Norm, of course, would not be sorry for offending YOU.

Well I was assuming he was deliberately trying to offend at some points.

No big deal. I was once exactly the same. Just phases of life.

Back one more time… I missed something relatively important when I was frustrated by you all this morning:

Stephen Elliott wrote:

I wrote: Bee seems to think you can just ignore whatever the original authors meant and invent your own interpretation and it would be as valid as any…

Is that how you read RB’s response? I read it a bit different. I thought RB was saying that the people who wrote about “demons” believed in them. But they was mistaken. What the authors considered demons (as they saw it) was actually something else.

You actually make an important point about what Bee’s views might be (not that I think Bee meant what you said): What the authors considered demons (as they saw it) was actually something else. Yes. I agree with that. It was something else. What pissed me off about Bee’s take on the demons was that he was trying to put a positive spin on the demon story. “Just think of it as metaphor.”

No. You shouldn’t think about it as a metaphor. It’s bad as a metaphor. It was not meant as a metaphor. What you should do, if you’re interested in the truth, is ask what the hell is going on here? Are there really demons or is something like mental illness involved… or even something else.

I think it’s important to think about what that “something else” is and not brush it off. The something else looks to me like a very nasty bit of psychological manipulation that happens when you accept the Bible’s supernatural structure.

Think about what it means to feel and believe there is another personality inside you, driving you. That sounds like a personality that is disintegrating, splitting apart. What was once a part of you is rejected and no longer a part of you, it has become alien and evil.

And who gets possessed – believers. So what is really happening?

I offer the fact that demons are literal to some Christians as evidence that the Bible’s supernatural structures might be psychologically unhealthy. Saying you can ignore that and call them metaphors or symbols is a way to not see an obvious bit of evidence.

Does belief in the Bible’s supernatural structures cause a psychological phenomena that resembles demonic possession? If so, then are those Christian beliefs damaging to your psyche?

If you ignore such questions – are you an enabler of the psychological poison?

You shouldn’t think about it as a metaphor. It’s bad as a metaphor. It was not meant as a metaphor.

The Great Oz has spoken, huh.

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank wrote:

The Great Oz has spoken, huh.

Lenny, can you offer a case with evidence and facts that would suggest the demon possession stories in the New Testament are metaphors?

Can you refute any of the historical evidence I presented earlier?

If you can’t, might I humbly suggest you shut-the-fuck-up?

Does belief in the Bible’s supernatural structures cause a psychological phenomena that resembles demonic possession? If so, then are those Christian beliefs damaging to your psyche?

that’s an interesting question.

The STEP research program recently published an article on the study of the efficacy of prayer, and perhaps the only significant detraction that reviewers had was that the study of the efficacy of prayer also should include the study of the efficacy of curses.

Interestingly, the reviewers focused on the part of the study that showed an INCREASE in surgical complications after heart surgery when the patients KNEW they were being prayed for.

they chastised the authors for not pursuing the obvious; that these belief structures might actually be psychologically damaging.

I started a thread on this topic over on ATBC; I thought you specifically might be interested Norm.

cheers

Lenny, can you offer a case with evidence and facts that would suggest the demon possession stories in the New Testament are metaphors?

Who cares if they are or aren’t, Norman? Why on earth do you think everyone is under some sort of obligation to accept every single jot and tittle of a 2000 year old book?

Can YOU offer a case with evidence and facts that would suggest Newton’s writings about angels pushing the planets into proper orbits are metaphors?

No?

Does that mean the Newtonian laws of motion are wrong?

It’s just a book, Norm. No need to get so obsessed about it. Looks like you still have some work to do to get rid of all your fundie upbringing.

If you can’t, might I humbly suggest you shut-the-fuck-up?

I can always tell when I’m getting a fundie’s goat.

And I rather enjoy it.

When one reads into scientific data and draws conclusion X, thereby rejecting arbitrary conclusion Y by (some) religious sects, the person is a open-minded scientist and deserves our support.

When one reads into biblical data and draws conclusion X, thereby rejecting arbitrary conclusion Y by (some) religious sects, the person is a close-minded fundamentalist and deserves our contempt.

Eugene Lai wrote:

When one reads into scientific data and draws conclusion X, thereby rejecting arbitrary conclusion Y by (some) religious sects, the person is a open-minded scientist and deserves our support.

When one reads into biblical data and draws conclusion X, thereby rejecting arbitrary conclusion Y by (some) religious sects, the person is a close-minded fundamentalist and deserves our contempt.

I trust you are being satirical because what you say means that if someone claims the “Bible never said Jesus cursed a fig tree” and then I point to a passage where Jesus did curse a fig tree I would, according to your categorical syllogism, be a a close-minded fundamentalist for pointing out the error.

Sorry the satire isn’t obvious after reading some really mind blowingly dumb comments here.

norm Wrote:

I trust you are being satirical

Your trust has not been misplaced.

The truly mind-blowing thing is the number of people on this board who do this way day after day without blinking, and think they are intelligent and fair minded.

I used to think they belong to UD.

To summarize: still more off-topic inanity.

Lenny,

Did you not “close the door and walk away” on this conversation some 100 posts ago (#90632)? Why are you still here?

Also, please stop bringing up my name in vain, particularly if you continue to deliberately and repeatedly misrepresent what I have been saying.

Also, please stop bringing up my name in vain

Are you God now, Carol . … . ?

Eugene Lai Wrote:

When one reads into scientific data and draws conclusion X, thereby rejecting arbitrary conclusion Y by (some) religious sects, the person is a open-minded scientist and deserves our support.

When one reads into biblical data and draws conclusion X, thereby rejecting arbitrary conclusion Y by (some) religious sects, the person is a close-minded fundamentalist and deserves our contempt.

In either case, I think you’d need to know what kinds of conclusions are being drawn. If one has an ulterior motive (which may or may not be malicious), he may draw a conclusion that is not reasonable based on the data - a practice which undermines serious study and understanding of any subject.

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This page contains a single entry by Burt Humburg published on March 25, 2006 1:07 PM.

Should Science Pursue Methodological Supernaturalism? was the previous entry in this blog.

Scientists Find Skull of Human Ancestor is the next entry in this blog.

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