Creationism dismissed as ‘a kind of paganism’ by Vatican’s astronomer

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Ian Johnston reports in Creationism dismissed as ‘a kind of paganism’ by Vatican’s astronomer how Guy Consolmagno rejects creationism as a form of superstitious paganism.

Brother Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a “destructive myth” had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies.

Showing the dangers of letting religious faith dictate science, Guy points out that

Brother Consolmagno argued that the Christian God was a supernatural one, a belief that had led the clergy in the past to become involved in science to seek natural reasons for phenomena such as thunder and lightning, which had been previously attributed to vengeful gods. “Knowledge is dangerous, but so is ignorance. That’s why science and religion need to talk to each other,” he said.

And yet ID wants to do exactly that, attribute that which we do not understand to God(s).

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It's not often that science gets ups from religion, so it's worth noting that the Vatican's astronomer, Brother Guy Consolmagno, says that creationism is a form of paganism or nature worship and should not be accepted by Catholics. He goes on to say t... Read More

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i don’t think the average creationist will care: Catholocism is considered a fallen, degraded form of Christianity. My time in fundamentalism was spend getting earfuls about how evil catholics are and how poorly they represent the christian ideal. Really sad.

On the other hand, Brother Consolmagno is quite right: while the Old Churches have all moved on to the belief in the Great Clockmaker: a supernatural god which made a purely natural universe, and set it in motion, with rules that can be analyzed, predicted, and quantified. American evangelicals, on the other hand, have still kept to the belief of an interventionist God, one who’s always dabbling, and has always dabbled. Sad thing is, I think the evangelical interpretation of the biblical Elohim is the more accurate one.

Brother Consolmagno

“Knowledge is dangerous, but so is ignorance.

And lying to ignorant people is like throwing gas on a fire.

In that regard, Casey Luskin and his fabricatin’ friends are akin to meth-addicted pyromaniacs.

Ouch. It’s a pity they don’t try freebasing while fying in stormy weather…oh right they did that at Dover

Just noticed this

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/vi[…]iscoMainPage

“The mainstream science establishment and the courts tell us, in censorious tones that sometimes sound a bit desperate, that intelligent design is just a lot of fundamentalist cant. It’s not,” said Steven D. Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego and author of Law’s Quandary (Harvard University Press, 2004). “We’ve heard the Darwinist story, and we owe it to ourselves to hear the other side. Traipsing Into Evolution is that other side.”

Actually, Perfusser Smith, we all heard “the other side” ad nauseum by virtue of the inane Discovery Institute propaganda program. “The other side” even got scientifically illiterate rubes like President Bush and John McCain to recite their script for the cameras.

Judge Jones heard “the other side”, too. And he wrote all about it his decision.

You should read it sometime, Perfesser Smith. Then you’re welcome to come here and talk about it and the whole world can learn that USD Law School – like Boalt Hall – employs some truly asinine bloviators who care more about stroking their own holier-than-thou egos than they do about teaching law.

Oh wait – I forgot that your child friend Casey Luskin has advised you not to comment here.

Oops. Follow the leader, Perfesser Smith.

As an atheist, I think any religious faith is misplaced. However, any christian sect that’s willing to stand up and denounce the idiocy that is creationism/ID deserves a round of applause in my book. It’s about time reasonable people retook their faith from the extremists.

Sounder Wrote:

i don’t think the average creationist will care: Catholocism is considered a fallen, degraded form of Christianity.

Michael Behe, who is arguably the world’s #1 scientist devoted to promoting anti-evolution, is a Catholic. Yet Protestants whith a prior commitment to pseudoscience rave about him.

“And science needs religion in order to have a conscience, to know that, just because something is possible, it may not be a good thing to do.”

On what basis is the catholic church, or any other church, qualified to be our moral authority? Just because they say so?

I think their track record speaks for itself.

Father George V. Coyne, head of the Vatican Observatory has written;

“I have Catholic friends who tell me they pray that scientists will not find answers to certain questions so that they can continue to believe in God. In other words, their faith hangs on a degree of ignorance that allows God to come in to explain things. The Great God of the Gaps, as it were. It’s the strangest mentality. God gave us brains, or rather he gave us a universe out of which our capacity to think and to self-reflect has come. We should use that capacity to its fullest.”

I don’t think the astronomer made his point, namely not that creationism is wrong – the easy part – but that creationism is pagan. There are several differences between the two concepts of a Christian and pagan God(s):

1. Monotheism vs. polytheism 2. Individual gods imminent in individual phenomena vs. one God imminent in the entire Universe (this is what Brother Consolmagno is focusing on) 3. A transcendent God vs. a non-transcendent one 4. A God of order vs. chaos the most ancient of the Greek gods

Given the “god of the gaps” theology one could effectively argue that there are pagan elements but because it denies 4 rather than 2, namely God as the great cosmic hacker rather than truly a designer. The “designer” posited by intelligent design is more pagan than Christian. But, it goes too far to say “at the end of the day is a kind of paganism” because as we see above supernatural intervention in and of itself does not make the theology pagan.

Furthermore, I don’t think the name calling is helpful. A better point could be made is that methodological naturalism can be rooted in Christian theology because both posit order in the Universe. The evidence found from that method lead us to conclusions that contradict young earth creationism, such as an old earth and descent with modification. This contradicts a specific, non-necessary, interpretation of the Bible, but this evidence in no way contradicts the Christian concept of God outlined above. Note: I understand what I had above is a description of a theistic God and is not unique to Christianity but Christianity does believe it also.

On what basis is the catholic church, or any other church, qualified to be our moral authority? Just because they say so?

I think their track record speaks for itself.

Be quiet or we’ll burn you at the stake/forcibly convert your population to our religion/pass laws enforcing our morality on you/damn you to eternal torture in hell.

Here is Paul Taylor’s assessment of Consolmagno’s mess:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/doc[…]09pagans.asp

FL

Richard -

I think you are concentrating too much on Euro-Asia history, and ignoring other areas, like Egypt, for example

your entire list is countered by Ra, the sun god.

-monotheistic -omniscient (even tho the sun god, the sun was considered the source of all things, and thus all encompasing) -transcendent -and DEFINTELY “designed” as a god of order.

well before the idea of a christian god existed, and perhaps one of the precursors.

There’s other examples, but this one comes immediately to mind.

…and as to this:

A better point could be made is that methodological naturalism can be rooted in Christian theology because both posit order in the Universe

science hasn’t posited direct order in the universe for quite some time now.

think chaos theory, Heisenberg, etc, etc.

good science makes no pre-judgement as to whether the universe is constructed on principles of order or chaos.

And here is my own somewhat spicier analysis of the Consolmagno story, which I offered some time ago on another forum.

***********************

You know, folks, these Vatican astronomer types are employed in very privileged, very exciting positions of discovery, positions of potentially great service to God and their fellow Christians. Yet some of them talk like they’re moonlighting (I edited out the specific job description in the interest of ecumenical dialog) for Old Scratch and his boys. That’s totally messed up, amigos. And it’s not a matter of science versus religion, but religion versus religion. Pope Benedict simply needs to git himself some bug spray (preferably something the FDA was forced to ban) and remove some materialist leeches off the Christian payroll, starting with some of the folks manning the Vatican telescopes.

:::::

Now, this Conso guy is correct that science and religion need each other and vice versa; who in the Christian community would dare argue with that?

But as with Vatican astronomer George Coyne, you can see the late materialist SJ Gould’s dead hand in this, turning Conso into just another materialist puppet. Conso’s supposed to be a Christian, but he’s showing his butt and doing commercials for the religion of Materialism. Most unsanitary arrangement, mamacita!

For Conso, (as with Gould previously), science and religion co-existing in peace, automatically means Biblical religion getting thrown out the window, whenever the Bible makes a historical claim that doesn’t match up with the demands of the materialist religion.

Such as the Biblical historical claim that God fully formed and populated the earth within one single normal Earth week of 7 normal 24-hour-based evenings and mornings.

Conso not only rejects that historical claim, but openly labels the Bible claim as “paganism”. (A flatly ~~wrong~~ labeling, of course; see below).

:::::

Sure, that Genesis 7-day account would require multiple high-octane miracles literally happening all over the place.

But—and this is so mondo important–there’s nothing within SCIENCE or REASON that eliminates that possibility of those miracles happening. (In brief, Conso or RF Brady would have to rationally and/or scientifically rule out a theistic universe first, and ~nobody whatsoever~ has succeeded on that project).

Of course, there’s nothing in the Bible that negates the possibility of miracles, either. So, Conso COULD at least ratinally defend the Biblical claim on that basis at least.

But noooooo, he refuses to. Why? Because to accept a miraculous 7-day creation as a historical factual event, is to publicly reject the unsupported non-scientific anti-theistic anti-supernaturalist faith-commitments of the religion of materialism, expressed so very well by Gould, Lewontin, etc. etc. A scary proposition–if you’re moonlighting for the wrong boss!

So THERE’s the rub. Let’s be clear here: Conso is NOT defending the necessity of science by denying Genesis’s specific 7-day historical claim; for as I’ve shown, Conso could at least have claimed that God acted miraculously in history, and that nobody, no science, has ruled out miracles. That argument would easily preserve and support his apparent concern about science and religion acknowledging that they need each other.

Instead, Conso is merely preaching the religion of Materialism as superior to the Bible. Selling Gould’s and Dawkin’s philosophical snake oil. (Without any rational or scientific support for doing so, I might add.)

Therefore Conso is effectively therefore pooping on his own alleged Christianity, in front of the media, just like his fellow pooper Fr. George Coyne.

:::::

You know, Conso could have just said “Hey, I don’t believe the Genesis historical account because I am a materialist like Gould, and I agree with him that religious people must give up all supernatural historical interventions wherever they clash with materialism’s historical claims.”

But nope, that would be too honest (and probably force Benedict to trim the Vatican Payroll quick!)

So, this Conso fellow tries to criticize the Biblical historical account instead of criticizing his own materialist beliefs, accusing the Scriptural historical claim of being “paganism” and painting God as a “nature god.”

Which is utterly, astonishingly incorrect.

:::::

You see, the Genesis historical account is special precisely because it DOESN’T go along with the creation myths of some other folks; it doesn’t depict God as ‘a nature god’ at all.

In the Bible, God comes BEFORE nature, and God is the powerful, transcendant, purposeful Creator of all that we call nature.

In other ancient religions’ creation accounts, NATURE COMES FIRST. Nature comes first, and the gods then somehow evolve from Nature or else are identified totally with Nature.

An example is Disney’s tree-spirit “Grandmother Willow” that Pocahontas (in that movie) was scripted to seek love-life advice from.

(They didn’t even have the honesty to let moviegoers know that Pocahontas became a Christian, relying on the true transcendant Creator God instead of some penny-ante pagan devil stuck in a tree trunk!)

Anyway, in Genesis and the Bible, the true eternal and infinite God exists before all else, and all else (including nature) is derived solely from His creative, purposeful, powerful hand AND continues to depend upon His sustaining power (Heb. 1:3 for example) to this day.

He is not limited to nature nor is identified with nature; and as Creator, He can supersede known natural laws via supernatural intervention (miracles) anytime at His sovereign discretion.

:::::

I’m not trying to be lengthy, and I apologize for that. I’m just saying that honestly, Conso should have at least known THAT much about God and God’s Word already, and especially believed it already, instead of attacking God’s Word like this.

Pope Benedict is, as always, mondo cool and I’m sure he’ll do a lot for Catholic Christianity like his extremely cool predecessor John Paul 2. But just as the late Pope JP2 ultimately found it necessary in the course of things, to put some Pest Control on certain theological leeches within the ranks, it may be necessary for Pope Benedict to dial up some DDT as well.

(Quickly, sir, quickly!)

**************************

FL

This is still a very good thing, since Creationists always like to posture as tho the only alternative to being a Fundamentalist Protestant Creationist is to be an atheist evolutionist. That is, they need to make people believe there’s no middle ground, you can’t be a Christian and believe in evolution. As much as the Fundies revile the Catholic church, when the ‘main office’ of a church of a billion Christians comes out against Creationism, it makes the Fundies’ lies much tougher to maintain.

Same old stuff, really. The Bible (fundamentalist interpretation) says one thing, reality says another. Who you gonna believe, the evidence or the biblical interpretation indoctrinated into you. Well, the thing about indoctrination is, you really don’t have any control over this. So Consolmagno struggles to rectify the real-world evidence with the bible, while FL has no struggle. Bible 1, reality 0, next!

I admit I’m always struck with the towering arrogance of this position. What’s regarded as infallible and inerrant isn’t the bible, it’s someone’s *interpretation* of the bible. Consolmagno illustrates that it’s possible for them to change their mind about the infallibility of their own interpretation without the bible changing at all. But here we have FL insisting that HE is infallible. Not the bible, not God, not the Church, but FL as a person.

And we’re supposed to accept this? Well, as Carl Sagan wrote, you can’t *talk* someone out of a physical disorder.

Good news: the Vatican (including Pope JP-II) flatly state that creationism is bad science AND bad religion. No disagreement there.

Bad news: As a Pagan, I am truly fed up with Vatican bigwigs misusing words like “pagan” or “neo-pagan” to mean “anything that differs with our official doctrine, or for which we want to dodge responsibility.” The worst manifestation of this was when Pope Palpadict blamed “neo-paganism” for the Holocaust that took place in the overwhelmingly Christian nations of Europe.

During the Reformation, Catholic practices and beliefs were labelled “pagan” as an excuse to treat Catholics as alien enemies. Now the Catholics are doing the same thing themselves, and for the same reasons. It’s called scapegoating, and it’s wrong, whether it’s done out of laziness (as I suspect is the case with the Vatican astronomer) or out of malice.

Modern Paganism is generally “defined” as “nature-based spirituality;” this generally entails LEARNING ABOUT NATURE, and none of the Pagans I’ve known have any problem doing so. Some of us are actual scientists, and the rest of us are okay with science as a means of describing – and finding ways to preserve – the natural world our Gods created.

Besides, we Pagans can’t even agree on our own creation-stories (Greek? Norse? Celtic? Native-American? Hindu?), let alone organize to get them into any science curriculum. Our internal squabbles are bad enough without that sort of campaign, thankyouverymuch.

PS: The Vatican has a meteor collection? Is it open to the public? I see a “DaVinci Code” sequel here…

One more thing: FL’s post, pasted from elsewhere, is simply too stupid to deserve a response. As his idiotic invocation of JP-II shows, he clearly knows nothing about the RCC’s official take on evolution – or anything else, for that matter.

I believe they’re using the term “paganism” less in the sense of “Neopaganism, a comprehensive religion” than “a belief that god(s) interfere directly in the affairs of men and nature, such as might be found in the mythologies of older cultures and, for some reason, Pat Robertson’s head.”

FL,

An yet, ID/creationism is all about science and has nothing to do with religion. Right?

FL comment is too stupid to pay any attention. Troll go crawl into a hole where the sun never shines.

Actually, the fact that FL gets his panties in a bunch over this is pretty much exactly the sort of evidence that is useful to prove religious purpose.

Otherwise, why would he be upset?

I vote we archive it for the next beating! Er… Trial!

I think it’s kind of funny that the best FL can do is to respond with some silly gibberish from Answers in Genesis, given that absolutely no one except other American Protestant fundies exactly like himself takes that site seriously…

So Consolmagno struggles to rectify the real-world evidence with the bible,

Umm, there is NO real-world evidence that the 7-day Genesis creation account is “pagan”, as Conso alleges.

Unless, of course, you’d like to provide such real-world evidence, here and now.

if we cared what AIG had to say about ANYTHING, we certainly wouldn’t need morons like yourself to point the way.

Thus Paul Taylor’s response to Conso, remains unchallenged. Not surprising, Sir T.

Back to Flint for a moment:

But here we have FL insisting that HE is infallible. Not the bible, not God, not the Church, but FL as a person.

So, Flint, you should be able to quote the exact portions of my assessment, that match what you’re accusing me of here. Please do so?

Raging Bee: since you and I are aware of John Paul II’s statement on evolution, you must naturally be aware that there’s absolutely nothing in JP2’s statement that even remotely supports Conso’s accusation of paganism.

And you are probably aware that JP2 was willing to get proactive on some Catholics who took things too far theologically. Or maybe you aren’t aware of that.

GT(N)T: The Conso story is about Conso’s accusation against the biblical account. My response is about Conso’s accusation against the biblical account. I think somebody is trying to shift the ground a little, given the mondo mondissimo difficulty of defending Conso’s poop.

FL

FL wrote:

Raging Bee: since you and I are aware of John Paul II’s statement on evolution, you must naturally be aware that there’s absolutely nothing in JP2’s statement that even remotely supports Conso’s accusation of paganism.

Um…that’s kinda my point: NOTHING supports ANYONE’s “accusation of paganism.”

Come to think of it, your reference to “paganism” as something one is “accused” of, further proves your ignorance on the subject – an ignorance you seem to share with certain Vatican officials.

Sir_Toejam Wrote:

good science makes no pre-judgement as to whether the universe is constructed on principles of order or chaos.

While I agree with the spirit of you comment, I think this issue needs a little clearing up.

There’s a lot confusion about the presumption of “order” vs “chaos” in the universe and what that does or does not imply about God or nature. The main problem is that the word ‘order’ is almost completely ambigious by itself and requires strong contextual queues and background assumptions in virtually any usage instance to have a clear and unambiguous interpretation. This makes it what I call a birdshot weasle word. That means it can easily be used to produce a false sense of common understanding or agreement among a group of individuals who interpret its intended meaning in any given usage instance very differently. The same is true of ‘chaos’. Many words in common political and philosophical usage are birdshot weasle words, for obvious reasons. (This is commonly used to produced political or religious unity around narrow issues among groups subscribing to differing ideological assumptions that are nontheless predictable in terms of the likely interpretation of certain words. Consider the language framing debates in modern politics, for example.)

So, although we should acknowledge Wittgenstein’s cautions about trying to define everything, this is a clear case in which, without some specific meaning agreed upon in advance, philosophical debates about the ‘order’ or ‘chaos’ of the world truly are meaningless. When relgious people use the term ‘order’ as in the quote you posted, I take it to mean what is commonly refered to as the “rational order” of the universe. But this clearly presumes too much. To make it clearer and less presumptive, I think it really means that science presumes on or more of the following:

(1) Regularity - “Lawfullness” or, better, predicability or describability via repeateable “natural laws”. We can take these to be anything from deterministic or semi-deterministic covering laws (ala Hemple) to simple causal rules. In the classical limit this includes the deterministic laws that still largely dominate large-scale behavior, even chaotic behavior. (Classical chaos theory, the context in which it was developed, is in fact strictly deterministic. It’s just not practically predictable because initial uncertainties propagate exponentially.)

(2) Structural Order - The existence of detectable and invariant, or predictable structures in space and/or time (eg, periodicity) and/or space-time. (The reason I made that separation is because the bulk of the spatial or temperal structures we see are not covariant per se. That doesn’t mean the laws of physics are non-covariant - just that almost all of the stable and interesting strutural entities studied in science are neither relativistically covariant or invariant constructs. They appear different in different reference frames. Physcially, they correspond to solutions of the equations describing physical laws and soltutions almost never have the same symmetries as their equations. Physically interesting solutions never do.)

(3) Causality - This is perhaps redundant with (1), but it is worth listing seaprately because there can be “sui generis” causes and teleological or agent causality, which do not obviously follow the same logic as covering laws or are not obviously regularities.

Others may think of some other senses of ‘order’ to add to the above list that didn’t occur to me, but that seems like a good basic starting point. Now, having spelled out the amount of order that I will concede that science indeed presumes, I don’t see any way that implicates a supernatural designer. Science indeed presupposes given structural entities and law-like regularities. And scientific materialsim (not the same thing as science, per se) includes the same presupposition but goes further in denying a creator/designer. In other words, materialism assumes that the order of the universe - regularity, existence of structure - is simply a given fact. Therefore, to argue, as some have done, that assuming ‘order’ in the above sense presupposes design is to beg the question. Clearly, science’s presupposition of order is consistent with a beleief in a creator/designer God, but that presupposition alone does not include and does not imply or suggest any such belief or require it to be consistent.

Similar considerations apply to the word ‘chaos’. There are several possible meanings so, again, what do mean in this instance? Here it is contrasted with ‘order’. So taking ‘order’ to mean the things I have listed ‘chao’ can only mean the complete absense of structure and regularity. We may call this ‘pure chaos’. If pure chaos were the true condition of the universe we could not be having this discussion. So, yet again, we see that this framing of the issue is leading. If we are to be clear about ‘order’ and ‘chaos’ in the sense in which ‘order’ is presumed by science, we immediately see that there is no way to charge science with requiring theistic or non-materialistic presumptions or underpinnings without falling into an absurdly question-begging argument.

Gloom raider Wrote:

I believe they’re using the term “paganism” less in the sense of “Neopaganism, a comprehensive religion” than “a belief that god(s) interfere directly in the affairs of men and nature, such as might be found in the mythologies of older cultures and, for some reason, Pat Robertson’s head.”

That doesn’t fit all that well with historical pagans, though. I mean, Plato and Aristotle were pagans but they weren’t much for divine meddling in nature. Conversely, I’d guess that most modern Christians around the world agree with Pat Robertson to an extent–not that hurricanes are necessarily God’s wrath toward gay folks or whatever, but that God occasionally sends angels down to help people out of a tight spot and that sort of thing.

Historically, “paganism” covered 99% of the religious positions ever espoused, so I don’t think it’s all that meaningful to use it as a label for other people except as (if you work for the Vatican) an insult. (People can obviously call themselves pagans or neo-pagans and define it however they like.)

Raging Bee Wrote:

The worst manifestation of this was when Pope Palpadict blamed “neo-paganism” for the Holocaust that took place in the overwhelmingly Christian nations of Europe.

Wait, pagans were responsible for that? I thought that was atheists, Darwinists, Marxists or possibly Freudians. Or Nietzche. Oh well, they’re all partners in crime.

Ah the ‘Paganism’ that the Astronomer is referring to is the one with the God in the leaves and the sand and whizzy thingies that started off the life on the Planet with all the people on it. The one that does all the gnashing of the teeth and the flooding of the arks and striking down of the false temples and waging of the wars and the making barrenness of the sheep. Naturalistic theology or some such with f(G)>=1

The one that ISN’T that …is the one that they’re club has a direct link to.… through the telescopes I suppose, but whatever .…the one that flicked the cosmic lighter to start the cosmic fuse that caused the bang that came from the dynamite with all the mesons in it and globulated into the 3rd rock which scientifically self produced life. (Could be retired)

maine yankee Wrote:

Father George V. Coyne, head of the Vatican Observatory has written;

“I have Catholic friends who tell me they pray that scientists will not find answers to certain questions so that they can continue to believe in God.…”

Wow. And to whom do they believe they are praying?

How can your annihilate your capacity to grasp reason without annhilating you entire mind? Psychologists would probably call me naive for saying that, but I think in the long term we are generally forced to come to terms with our most morally significant inconsistencies. So that quote of Coyne’s seems to me to merely express a desparate last gasp of some people’s dying faith. Either believe or don’t believe. But if your belief is truly contingent on any question science can answer, and back up with evidence and far-reaching explanations, then you’re already kidding yourself.

So FL claims to believe in a god. Evidence for gods: zero He claims to be a creationist. Evidence for creation: zero He claims to accept a literal Genesis. Evidence for a literal Genesis: zero

And NOW, when someone disagrees on the grounds that there is overwhelming evidence for a *supported* explanation, he demands (wait for it)…evidence! Show me evidence that Genesis is pagan. Show me evidence that I consider my interpretation of Genesis infallible. Suddenly, evidence matters. When the rules favor you, insist they be followed. When they do not, ignore them. Typical creationist tactics, but who else is fooled?

I also notice that FL is once again playing the “invalid default” game - that nonsense somehow becomes gospel unless someone with any knowledge wastes time refuting it. Otherwise, it is “unchallenged” and must be true.

What ever happened to “the bible says it, I believe it, that settles it”? Do creationists get more eternity-points if they can lie themselves into their faith, rather than simply accept it?

When he used the term “pagan” Brother Consolmagno simply meant that creationism treats God as an old-style god who existed only to bring about natural phenomena, as Zeus and Thor did with thunder, Demeter did with agriculture, etc. Creationism in particular and Biblical fundamentalism in general actually serve to limit God and his works, which is why they’re theologically dangerous.

The difference between FL and BC is that FL believes that every single word of the Bible is literally true. Any scientific finding that contradicts the Bible (e.g. 7-day creation) directly threatens his faith. He fails to understand that such things don’t threaten BC at all. BC (and Catholics in general) interprets the Bible in the historical context it was written, and understands that a lot of the material in it is myth. I mean that while they may reveal the truth (God as creator) in some way, they aren’t literally true (no real Adam and Eve). So no threat to faith. Now if everyday facts threaten the faith of creationists, it simply shows that their faith isn’t any stronger or longer lasting than a cardboard hammer. Who’s the better Christian?

It’s really interesting that Fundamentalists consider Catholicism as “Fallen Christianity”. After all, The Catholic Church is the very first Christian Church and is 2000+ years old. All other Christian Churches are derived from the Catholic Church.

Actually the first Christian church was simply the Christian Church. The Orthodox and Catholic churches split early on and so one really can’t be said to predate the other.

But you’re right that it’s the (Protestant) fundamentalists that are the fallen Christians. I mean, getting your knickers in a twist over bingo halls- get some perspective!

…I guess these Fundamentalists have trouble counting and also have trouble with remembering historical facts?

My guess is that they have the most trouble with wiser people and institutions telling them that life isn’t as simple as they insist on thinking it is. Previous generations of radical “Christians” have also attacked the older branches of Lutheranism and Anglicanism as “too popish.” And many born-agains are filled with more arrogance than spirituality, often bragging about their ability to question and ridicule elders in THEIR OWN CHURCHES. I remember Children of God pamphlets saying that all you needed to get to Heavan was their own extremely simple message of salvation and forgiveness; all that education, experience, hard work, helping others, tough choices, adult behavior and civilization stuff was not only unnecessary, but OF THE DEVIL!!!

I see the same tone in the entire anti-science movement: the terminally stupid rebelling against everyone who ever tried to teach them anything complicated.

Stephen Uitti Wrote:

For young Earth ID, the simple argument is: God created the Universe, including dinosaur fossils, about 6,000 years ago. So, God created misleading evidence. This is inconsistent with the loving God of the Bible.

Not to hear some of them tell it. You see, God put the “fake evidence” there to test our faith, and of course those whose faith is weak enough to believe what they see over what God said deserve what they get - i.e. it is a form of divine justice, which is consistent with divine love even as the offenders roast in eternal hell.

People can rationalize anything to their favor; e.g.:

FL Wrote:

Thus Paul Taylor’s response to Conso, remains unchallenged.

So “Being ignored is victory” in the same sense that “Ignorance is strength”.

I also continue to be curious as to whether FL’s writing style is also his speaking/thinking style, or if it’s mere affectation. Either way, the combination of cornpone religiosity and awkward surfer dude hip lingo always makes me smile.

It’s really interesting that Fundamentalists consider Catholicism as “Fallen Christianity”. After all, The Catholic Church is the very first Christian Church and is 2000+ years old. All other Christian Churches are derived from the Catholic Church.

Not to defend Fundamentalism in any way, but the Roman Catholic Church of today is hardly the same as the church of 1900 or even 500 years ago. (And, BTW, it’s only 2006, Christ was a child 2000 years ago, and the church didn’t “start” really until after his death.) I suspect the “fallen” part goes all the way back to Martin Luther’s 99 Theses, and the Vatican has never been forgiven by some people for selling indulgences, even though it has not done so for centuries. And, besides, the first split of the Church was Catholic vs. Orthodox, in Constantine’s time, and who is to say, when an organism or an organization splits in two, which is the “original”?

Bill Gascoyne Wrote:

Not to defend Fundamentalism in any way, but the Roman Catholic Church of today is hardly the same as the church of 1900 or even 500 years ago.

I… would agree with this, but it isn’t like the Protestants resemble the church of 1900 or 500 years ago any more than the Catholics do, either. I also in many ways think the Catholic church of today is far more similar to the Protestant church of today, than the Catholic church of today is similar to the Catholic church of 500 years ago.

Raging Bee Wrote:

Wheels: you’re generally right about Hitler’s personality cult, and his appropriation of Norse mythology, symbolism, etc. I suspect, however, that the current Pope is using this talk of “neo-paganism” to conceal, deny or ignore the complcity of Christians in the regime — and the mind-set — that eventually perpetrated the Holocaust.

As far as I can tell the participation or lackthereof regarding the Catholic Church and WWII is, like Hitler’s religious views, something that can go either way. Pius ex-aye-aye wanted the Church to remain neutral in the war, which probably had something to do with the fact that it was seated right in the middle of fascist Italy. There were times when the Church alternately helped Jews escape persecution and argued for their fair treatment, and times when it turned a blind eye. In cases of both actions you can argue for and against pragmatism vs. morality as motivations. The whole thing is a messy bit of history full of compromise, but also interspersed with acts of defiance. Maybe I’m just sloppy, but I haven’t been able to sort it out into a coherent picture personally.

So does anybody have a link to this neopagan popetalk?

Wheels: here’s a link to my commentary on the “neopagan popetalk,” with more links to more of my commentary…but you should find at least one link to an actual news source in there somewhere…

http://motherwell.livejournal.com/49762.html

Enjoy…

I… would agree with this, but it isn’t like the Protestants resemble the church of 1900 or 500 years ago any more than the Catholics do, either. I also in many ways think the Catholic church of today is far more similar to the Protestant church of today, than the Catholic church of today is similar to the Catholic church of 500 years ago.

No disagreement with anything there at all.

My point is that Mr. Murray seemed to be implying that the Roman Catholic Church of today could not be “fallen” because it’s antecedent self “spawned” all the other churches of today. Apart from dismissing all Orthodox denominations, this does not logically follow. The alleged “fall” in fact was a major impetus of the Protestant Reformation in the first place. Logically, the “fall” could have happened after the split. I do not hold that the allegation are in any way true, and I certainly don’t hold to the notion of Catholics being any less Christian than any fundamentalist denomination that so accuses them, it’s just that the logic of whose denomination preceded or was derived from which has nothing to do with it, if for no other reason because of the amount of time that has passed.

Raging Bee Wrote:

Wheels: here’s a link to my commentary on the “neopagan popetalk,” with more links to more of my commentary…but you should find at least one link to an actual news source in there somewhere…

Finally tracked down the original, which is no longer up on Yahoo! I can’t find anything in the context of the news reports to indicate a reference to neopaganism in anything other than the sense of the tripe Hitler swallowed, namely the pseudohistory and psuedomythology he adopted and worked into his Nazi state religion.

Guys, clean up your act

One wonders what Bro. Consolmagno’s opinion is of St. Peter. Or of the Vatican’s past opinions and actions re. scientific advance. Back in the days when we were all State - sponsored believers. (St. Peter certainly wasn’t state - sponsored.) This Page has a message somewhere.

One last obligation, it seems: I did promise Lenny I’d respond to this latest flavor-or-the-month question. Let’s get it out of the way.

*******************

Quoting from comment 102329:

You claimed, rather stridently, that ID isn’t creationism and that DI doesn’t support creationism.

Ummm, do you mean “rather strident” as opposed to yourself? Better think about that one a little. I’m waaay behind you on the ole strident-o-meter there, trust me.

Let’s continue. ID is definitely NOT creationism. You already know that.

How do you already know that? Because both the young-earth creationism of ICR and AIG, and the old-earth creationism of Hugh Ross and his RTB ministry, base their origins models on a ground-floor, completely overt, prior assumption that the historical and origins claims of Scripture are true. Everything follows from that.

IOW, creationism doesn’t start with empirical observation as the scientific method demands, creationism starts clearly and openly, with the Bible’s claims, and then creationists develop their claims/models from there.

ID however, (particularly the 3-point ID hypothesis that I’ve shared with you before), starts ENTIRELY from empirical observation and does not assume, nor invoke, nor involve any claims of anybody’s sacred texts whatsoever, either tacitly or overtly.

Therefore ID is not creationism. There ya go. (And that’s on top of the fact that you evolutionists have not been able to collectively arrive at a standard definition of creationism, as Mike Gene pointed out. Even Kenneth Miller got labeled a creationist after his book Finding Darwin’s God. Since you’re collectively not able to get on the same page regarding a definition of creationism, how can you guys credibly tell anybody what is creationism and what is not?) Mike Gene also points out, creationists necessarily accept that God is an Intelligent Designer, but not all Intelligent Design proponents are creationists. That’s quite true, and very important, as you’ll see further down.

Speaking of Mike Gene, you should read this excellent essay next time you git a hankerin’ to conflate ID and creationism:

http://www.idthink.net/back/idc/index.html

**************************

Now, as for the DI, they do NOT as an organization advocate for either YEC or OEC, but instead they advocate for ID. You already know that too.

And as John West has suggested, the fact that the creationists on both sides (YEC and OEC) have at times criticized the DI for not doing things ~their~ way, should tell you something. ID is not creationism. The DI does not, as an organization, advocate creationism.

***********************

Okay, let’s continue. You asked,

In the Wedge Document, under “Five Year Objectives”, the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture lists:

“Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation”

What, precisely, is this “traditional doctrine of creation” that DI lists as one of its “objectives”, and why, exactly, do they want “mainstream christian denominations” to “defend” it?

Well, like you said, it’s a simple question. Let’s look at the context there for a minute, though. From the Wedge document, here are the “Five Year Goals” that the “Five Year Objectives” derive from:

1. To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences, and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.

2. To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science. (emphasis mine)

3. To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Goal #2 provides the context for your question, Lenny. Now, let’s look at your “Objectives” quote again.

Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation and repudiates Darwinism.

Well, it should be clear to you that the major Christian denominations ALL have “a traditional doctrine of creation”–indeed, we call it Genesis chapters One, Two, and Three.

Creationism, with its undeniable biblical roots, necessarily accepts the concept of an Intelligent Designer.

So by defending their own traditional creation accounts found in their own Bibles, (instead of acting like that messed-up Conso dude and trashing their own Bibles,) the major Christian denominations would also hasten the influence of the Intelligent Design concept “in spheres other than that of natural science”, which, after all, was the DI’s stated goal that formed the context fo your question.

(Besides, since these faith groups’ own Bibles already posit the doctrinal claim of God as an Intelligent Designer, why not encourage members of these faith groups to accept what their own Bibles say? Couldn’t hurt, and instead would greatly help their religious cause.)

Does all this mean that ID is creationism? Nope, not at all. Why not? Because, once again, creationism necessarily involves intelligent design, but the 3-point intelligent design hypothesis functions without ivolvining the tenets of creationism.

So here’s your bottom line: ID is not creationism, and upon closer examination in context, your DI snip there honestly doesn’t change a thing. Nor does the DI advocate creationism; it instead encourages churches to believe (and learn how to explain and defend) their own traditional biblical creation accounts, because simply doing that much would help hasten ID’s influence in cultural spheres outside those of the natural sciences (since creationism necessarily involves the concept of ID but not vice versa.) There’s the deal.

**************************

Okay, Lenny. Your latest question is answered. You now know why the DI said what it said in that one snip of the Wedge document. You can agree with my answer, disagree with it, or ignore it if you want.

What matters to me, is that once again, the “lurkers” have seen me answer your persistent questions.…again.

I will probably not be answering questions from you for a while unless they are on topic and directly relevant to whatever response I’ve already given to the thread topic. No more off-topic changing-the-subject stuff, dude.

If you attempt to complain about my silence, btw, I’ll simply post a simple one-line link to this thread along with a couple previous links, just to make clear to the readers/lurkers that your complaints about not being answered, are baseless.

Meanwhile, thanks for asking your question. It’s answered now.

FL

Thankyou F.L.

F.L. stated Because, once again, creationism necessarily involves intelligent design,blah blah blah.

Perhaps you could call Nancy at the DI and tell her that she could save herself a lot of trouble by just saying teaching creationism in science classes is illegal and to re-read the Dover decision (giggle). Oh and tell her don’t worry about the jesuits they don’t know anything about Christ, we got our own shroud.

Ooookay… So, creationism is not ID, it just helps ID, and that’s why the ID movement must help creationist beliefs gain ground?

…Like the way that, say, SETI should promote and help UFO cults, because, well, UFO cults are all about extra-terrestrial intelligence, and therefore help SETI in some way to gain more scientific merit?

LOL

Thanks for playing, FL.

You know F.L. just to make things easier for yourself just forget about ID …its dead, but creationism, now that’s the real deal, run with it. There must be somewhere where no one has heard about the Dover decision, the moon?, how about cockroaches? they don’t read papers, or watch TV, trailer parks should be a good place to look. Have you tried FOX news only 3% of their viewers think, that leaves 97% available to YOU.

Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation and repudiates Darwinism.

Well, it should be clear to you that the major Christian denominations ALL have “a traditional doctrine of creation”—indeed, we call it Genesis chapters One, Two, and Three.

Creationism, with its undeniable biblical roots, necessarily accepts the concept of an Intelligent Designer.

No kidding.

So by defending their own traditional creation accounts found in their own Bibles, (instead of acting like that messed-up Conso dude and trashing their own Bibles,) the major Christian denominations would also hasten the influence of the Intelligent Design concept “in spheres other than that of natural science”, which, after all, was the DI’s stated goal that formed the context fo your question.

Hang on there, young Jedi — I thought IDers were fallign all over themselves to ell us that ID is

*******SCIENCE****.

If it’s ****SCIENCE****, then how does one apply it to areas OTHER THAN “science”?

Unless, of course, it’a an ideology, a wqorldview or an outlook. Like, perhaps, one based on this “traditional doctrine of creation” that DI wants to “defend”. Like, say, creationism.

(Besides, since these faith groups’ own Bibles already posit the doctrinal claim of God as an Intelligent Designer, why not encourage members of these faith groups to accept what their own Bibles say? Couldn’t hurt, and instead would greatly help their religious cause.)

Whose religious cause, DI’s? That’s the first thing you’ve said so far that’s correct.

Does all this mean that ID is creationism? Nope, not at all. Why not? Because, once again, creationism necessarily involves intelligent design, but the 3-point intelligent design hypothesis

WOOOOAAAHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOLD THE PHONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ID has a “hypothesis”? Wow, when the hell did THAT happen? Was it before or after DI declared that (1) it has no scientific theory and doesn’t want to teach one and (2) all it wants instead is to teach the “controversy” with EVOLUTION?

Please by all means go ahead and (1) show us this ID “hypothesis” and (2) show us how to test it using the scientific method.

functions without ivolvining the tenets of creationism.

Says you. (shrug)

So here’s your bottom line: ID is not creationism, and upon closer examination in context, your DI snip there honestly doesn’t change a thing.

I think the bottom line looks more like this, FL:

(1) ID is nothing but creationism renamed (just read the drafts of the Pandas book)

(2) DI needs support and money from YEC’s if it wants to have any politicla strength

(3) therefore DI needs to embrace YEC to whatever extent necessary

(4) but DI can’t embrace YEC openly since it’s illegal

therefore

(5) DI lied to everyone publicly by denying any creationism, while privately, in documents not intended for publication, acknolwedge to all the YEC’s that defending them is their goal.

Nor does the DI advocate creationism; it instead encourages churches to believe (and learn how to explain and defend) their own traditional biblical creation accounts

Why. I thought ID wasn’t about religion. …

, because simply doing that much would help hasten ID’s influence in cultural spheres outside those of the natural sciences

How does one apply a “natural science” like ID to “areas outside of natural sciences”?

What matters to me, is that once again, the “lurkers” have seen me answer your persistent questions.…again.

And I like your answer. It shows the lurkers just how decpetive, evasive and dishonest creationists like you really are.

I will probably not be answering questions from you for a while

I don’t blame you. Even an idiot learns not to sit on stove after his ass gets burned a few times.

If you attempt to complain about my silence, btw, I’ll simply post a simple one-line link to this thread along with a couple previous links

I’ll be happy to do it for you. I want every lurker who comes here to see your, uh, “answers”.

In the meantime, I will simply continue to point out, every time some IDiot denies that ID is creationism, that DI itself lists “defending creationism” as one of its goals.

Ooookay… So, creationism is not ID, it just helps ID, and that’s why the ID movement must help creationist beliefs gain ground?

Weeks of evasion, and THAT is the best FL could come up with, huh.

(snicker) (giggle)

Lenny Flank Wrote:

WOOOOAAAHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOLD THE PHONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ID has a “hypothesis”?

Same ol’ same ol’ CSI/IC crap. See http://tinyurl.com/lb55c .

FL Wrote:

IOW, creationism doesn’t start with empirical observation as the scientific method demands, creationism starts clearly and openly, with the Bible’s claims, and then creationists develop their claims/models from there.

ID however, (particularly the 3-point ID hypothesis that I’ve shared with you before), starts ENTIRELY from empirical observation and does not assume, nor invoke, nor involve any claims of anybody’s sacred texts whatsoever, either tacitly or overtly.

Therefore ID is not creationism. There ya go.

Let’s see:

Based on logic and empirical observation, I hypothesize that the universe has a divine creator. Moreover, sociological and historical considerations suggest that this being once incarnated as a human being, probably around 2,000 years ago in the Middle East. Since this being has a clear interest in material creation, it’s likely that its mortal incarnation was an artisan of some sort, perhaps a carpenter.

Now it’s possible that some sacred texts make similar claims, but I can’t be sure; you see, I swear on a stack of–uh–Principia Mathematicas that I’ve never read any of them. So let’s start teaching this in public schools!

Is FL arguing that the the world was designed but not necessarily created? How would anyone know?

How would anyone know?

How COULD anyone know?

that IS kinda the crux of the whole thing, ain’t it.

It’s basically the question we have been asking them for decades now.

Dembski’s explanatory filter?

nope. can’t make logical testable predictions in the real world; only in dembski’s mind.

Irreducible complexity? completely subjective and so again, no way to produce a testable hypothesis to begin with.

we keep asking, but they don’t seem to be able to fundamentally recognize that their current position won’t even ALLOW them to answer.

feel free to pile your voice on tho. Maybe someday the combined voices behind the question will crack their skulls, like in that movie “scanners”.

I lost count of how many times FL insisted that “ID is not creationism;” but then I realized it didn’t really matter, because he completely undermined this feverishly repeated assertion by admitting that lots of “Christians” used ID to support their own (creationist) beliefs, and IDers thrived by finding common cause with said “Christians.”

And if ID is really SCIENCE, then why this emphasis on “help[ing] hasten ID’s influence in cultural spheres outside those of the natural sciences?” I don’t remember any partisan campaigns to enhance the influence of quantum physics in “cultural spheres outside those of the natural sciences;” ditto the germ theory, heliocentrism, or any other major scientific breakthrough.

ID however, (particularly the 3-point ID hypothesis that I’ve shared with you before), starts ENTIRELY from empirical observation and does not assume, nor invoke, nor involve any claims of anybody’s sacred texts whatsoever, either tacitly or overtly.

WHICH “empirical observation” was that, specifically? (Clarification: “I can’t possibly comprehend how [insert really interesting biological process or system here] could possibly have evolved, therefore poof-goddidit” is NOT an “empirical observation.”)

And, while we’re at it, how does FL explain the empirical observation of the phrase “cdesign proponentists” in early drafts of Pandas?

Oh, wait, FL isn’t gonna be “answering” questions for awhile; so I guess the debate is over.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on May 24, 2006 11:38 PM.

NEJM: Intelligent Judging — Evolution in the Classroom and the Courtroom was the previous entry in this blog.

Selman v. Cobb County School District is the next entry in this blog.

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