Tyson lecture on YouTube

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Ask and yea shall receive. A kindly tech wizard did stop by and post Neil deGrasse Tyson’s lecture on YouTube (part 1, part 2), so now you can watch it without any tedious downloading. Virtually all of the lecture is there, the last few seconds seem to have been cut off.

The original thread has become yet another holy war thread (my fault, I acknowledge), so I will focus here simply on why Tyson’s lecture turned me into a fawning Tyson fanboy. Highlights:

* The potential importance of the humanities to a scientist (spaces between the pumpkins). * The similarities between a religious pilgrimage to a mountaintop, and an astrophysicist’s similar pilgrimage. * The real problem isn’t the feeling of one’s size in the universe, it’s the prior size of one’s ego. * “I don’t so much care whether they abandon previous [religious] feelings. I’ve got an offering [science], that keeps going, that keeps getting more majestic.”

2 TrackBacks

Take a few moments and listen to a talk (in two parts) given by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist and the Frederick P. Rose Director at the Hayden Planetarium. The talk is not on Thanksgiving but it will enrich any day... Read More

Since Nick Matzke has become a fanboy, and Larry Moran has never heard of him, I thought I'd mention that I've liked Neil deGrasse Tyson's column (titled "Universe") in Natural History for a long time. It is generally on... Read More

168 Comments

Fixed a code error.

I see what you’re seeing, Nick. Tyson is a very effective “science evangelist.”

Heh heh.

but, Nick, you stated in the previous thread that Tyson has “an approach”…

I think it would be worthwhile if you detailed that, and how you view it’s potential from a pragmatic standpoint.

I will focus here simply on why Tyson’s lecture turned me into a fawning Tyson fanboy.

so get to it!

We’ve seen the “highlights”??

let’s see the details.

so get to it!

We’ve seen the “highlights”??

let’s see the details.

Surely you can watch it as well as I. Tyson’s approach is

(a) positive and upbeat, (b) doesn’t focus on hunting down and killing every whiff of religion that dares to exist in the general vicinity of science, as if doing this were both possible and would solve the major problems this world faces if it were achieved, (c} appeals to everybody, not just in-your-face atheists, and (d) shows that science and nature are amazing and inspirational, not some kind of program to drain life of meaning.

There are other points one could analyze, but basically I would like people to just sit back and enjoy.

Surely you can watch it as well as I. Tyson’s approach is

(a) positive and upbeat, (b) doesn’t focus on hunting down and killing every whiff of religion that dares to exist in the general vicinity of science, as if doing this were both possible and would solve the major problems this world faces if it were achieved, (c} appeals to everybody, not just in-your-face atheists, and (d) shows that science and nature are amazing and inspirational, not some kind of program to drain life of meaning.

There are other points one could analyze, but basically I would like people to just sit back and enjoy.

I already had watched it, which is why i was puzzled you call simply discovering a personal ability to utilize one’s “right brain” to apply abstract concepts to observation an “approach”

you and i must have seen different videos. what I saw was Tyson detailing his discovery of the value of abstract concepts. Whee! same thing happened to me in high school english class, when I was forced to read a ton of poetry for an AP english class.

I really think you are reading far too much into what you heard Tyson say. This is why I’m puzzled as to how you see an “approach” here. he didn’t even address any of the specific issues, rather he simply related the value of abstract conceptualization to our understanding and enjoyment of science.

that’s all very nice, but it doesn’t relate to resolving any of the issues addressed by the impacts of creationism on education in the US.

Nick (Matzke) Wrote:

(a) positive and upbeat,

It is that, certainly, although it’s a trifle repetitive for my taste. He has a very engaging presence.

(b) doesn’t focus on hunting down and killing every whiff of religion that dares to exist in the general vicinity of science, as if doing this were both possible and would solve the major problems this world faces if it were achieved,

It didn’t really address the issue of science and religion at all. Which is fine, of course, but it’s not as if Tyson invented the idea of talking about science without mentioning religion. Heck, even Dawkins has been known to discuss things like evolution and genetics for extended periods.

(c} appeals to everybody, not just in-your-face atheists, and

Inasmuch as Richard Dawkins has sold millions of books and is possibly the best-known science writer alive (maybe Stephen Hawking? but he hasn’t been that high-profile in a while), it’s fairly obvious that he doesn’t just appeal to in-your-face atheists. He doesn’t much appeal to me, and I think I am an in-your-face atheist, but I have to acknowledge his popularity.

Now maybe Tyson’s appeal is even wider, and in five or ten years he’ll be the reigning kind of pop science. If so, terrific. The more science educators using more approaches to reach more people, the better. And if you want to prove Dawkins’ approach deficient, don’t try to hold him back–just do the science outreach job better than he does! To his credit, that’s what Tyson seems to be aiming for here. He’s providing an alternate approach without attacking other ones.

(d) shows that science and nature are amazing and inspirational, not some kind of program to drain life of meaning.

My goodness…what was the last scientist you heard who said that science and nature did drain life of meaning in a talk? Bouncing up and down and gushing about how incredibly cool and fascinating and awe-inspiring the natural world is and how rewarding it is to study it is pretty standard behavior for scientists at public talks, so far as I’ve seen.

Maybe I saw a different Tyson video, but how did you get more out of that that just a few interesting personal anecdotes? What did anything he had to say have anything to do with religion and science? The whole “we are star stuff” routine, much better articulated by Carl Sagan, was actually a little corny in that video. Based on the fawning in the previous threads, I expected a truly impressive speaker. Are scientists’ public speaking standards really that low that he stood out so much?

Tyson certainly stands out way above some of the evangelical atheists/creationists. Moran recently called for flunking those who ‘do not believe in evolution’, PZ seems to be on a war path and then we have someone like Allen McNeill who is patiently educating those on UcD. What a difference…

evangelical atheists

this is getting idiotic.

you guys need to take a DEEP breath, step back and refocus.

then we have someone like Allen McNeill who is patiently educating those on UcD

Is that what’s happening? More likely the one-eyed midget is handing somebody a bone.

Tyson is not terribly interesting. A hot blonde atheist female Ph.D. with a Southern accent and a wicked sense of humor would be interesting.

Tyson is not that. I’ll wait patiently.

I believe that as a site dedicated to science, we should be vigilant against any evangelical abuse of science and reason. Especially since I see few differences between both evangelical extremes. At best they are uninteresting philosophical positions.

PvM Wrote:

Tyson certainly stands out way above some of the evangelical atheists/creationists. Moran recently called for flunking those who ‘do not believe in evolution’,

Uh, flunking evolution-deniers is neither evangelical nor atheist. Don’t you start telling us evolution is inherently atheistic, Pim.

Especially since I see few differences between both evangelical extremes. At best they are uninteresting philosophical positions.

You see few differences between “Adopt my made up religious garbage or you will personally suffer in hell for infinity” and “America would be a better country with fewer religious idiots”?

I can see two possible explanations for this apparent blindness.

Especially since I see few differences between both evangelical extremes.

deeeeeep breath, Pim.

your dissonance is showing.

I swear the constant attempts to mischaracterize people in the name of “balance” is getting out of hand.

“appeals to everybody, not just in-your-face atheists”

As I recall, the discussion of Tyson’s merits started because The Science Network held a meeting discussing science and religion. So I don’t recall any in-your-face behavior. Except from a PT poster who pushed his ‘criticizing religion is evangelical atheism’ position in our faces.

When free discussion and critique is attacked, a society becomes polarized. Is that what we want here?

It is obvious that a secular state and secular science brings freedom for religion. And personal religion should be free and personal. Not every person is a christian, and science should indeed appeal to everybody.

When free discussion and critique is attacked, a society becomes polarized. Is that what we want here?

Of course not. I am all in favor of free discussion and critique. It’s when evangelists are starting to call for flunking students for not believing in evolution that’s when I start to worry.

As I said, I do not see much difference between the evangelists from either side.

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i agree with nick about tyson …but im a bit errrr “right-brained” to begin with and i had no trouble with organic chem BECAUSE im a quilter and a dancer (my degree is biology).… it’s all about movement/rotation in space

i agree with nick about tyson btw

im a bit “right-brained” and i passed organic chem BECAUSE im a quilter and dancer (my degree is in biology ).…it’s all rotations/movement thru space

i know about that overwhelming sense of awe he describes .…in biology -every organisms a, a, a… RELATIVE .…..makes me go hug my dog

the universe is too large and scary for people who can’t see past an ignorant, usually, fundie worldview

“It’s when evangelists are starting to call for flunking students for not believing in evolution that’s when I start to worry.” Then you should not worry, since no one is discussing beliefs. For example, Moran said “If students entering university have already made up their minds that evolution should be rejected, then that’s a serious problem. It’s not a question of ignorance.” He wants to flunk those who actively reject science. I would want that too, if I was a science teacher.

“As I said, I do not see much difference between the evangelists from either side.” Technically, evangelists exists only on the religious side. :-) More seriously, few atheists are advocating atheism, most are rejecting religion. Science is, and should remain, a secular domain. Religion is, and should remain, a personal domain.

“It’s when ‘[atheist]evangelists’ are starting to call for flunking students for not believing in evolution that’s when I start to worry.”

i don’t worry too much …frankly, those students fully deserve to flunk

the alternative for not understanding evolution isn’t atheism…the real alternative is DEATH for billions .….….the entire history of modern medicine is based on evolution /common descent ..starting with jenners 18th century smallpox vaccination .…that only worked because cowpox is a non-lethal, close relative of smallpox .…..the common descent of those 2 viruses directly saved billions of lives

ask your neighborhood cardiologist about why they use dogs to test stents or an orthopedist about surgical techniques perfected on other mammals

evolution/common descent isnt, merely, ivory-tower knowledge …we really do USE it

Been reading here for awhile, first time I’ve commented. For reference, I’m an atheist. I come here to learn fascinating new tidbits and be entertained by the endless debate. For almost the entire duration of this lecture I was confused. I’m not sure I understand. After skipping back through on youtube, I feel a major problem is that much of the lecture seems to be composed of extremely subjective statements.

Some are mundane though somewhat out of place- those first minutes describing his childhood seem unnecessary, a sentence or two detailing his tendencies towards rationality would seem to suffice.

The description of his inability to comprehend inarticulate instructions regarding ‘drawing the energy in the music’ seems strange to me. The goal is poorly stated but seems obvious- interpretation of a work of art using a different medium. I recall being required to decode such confusing and irrational instructions in art class during the 6th grade.

His frustration with drawing pumpkins resulting in a life-changing epiphany (apparently dealing with the basic artistic concept of the interpretation of form?) reminds me strongly of religious fervor. The description of his emotional state seems out of proportion to the subject at hand. Either the repeated drawing of pumpkins heightens one’s grasp of spacial relations, or there is an emotional component I fail to see.

His statements about ego I take issue with. Some may well feel belittled or insignificant when presented with the realities of the universe. This may be due to a mismatch with their previous beliefs- a conflict with their ego. Conversely, a feeling of reduced size or significance may be a rational result of observation of the scale of the universe as compared to all reasonable frames of reference.

The commonality of physical origin on a cosmic scale is an obvious fact. Personally I feel this fact is fascinating but of no grand significance. He mentions commonality with new-age belief systems, but does not elaborate. Personally his viewpoint reminds me very strongly of a ‘new-age’ belief system based on the interconnected nature of earthly life, modified slightly to encompass a larger scale.

His claim of commonality between one’s neural activity when pondering the interconnected nature of the universe as compared to religious enlightenment may well be true. While any such commonality between neural responses to two distinct stimuli is interesting, I see no significance to it.

Near the end I managed to extract some meaning- he seems to be requesting someone establish a study involving electroencephalography in order to test the above claim of commonality.

Equating spiritual pilgrimage with astronomical observation based on a few points of commonality strikes me as very odd.

In short, I found his lecture extremely hard to follow for what was apparently a vast introduction to a brief and poorly explained description of a desired EEG experiment.

Been reading here for awhile, first time I’ve commented. For reference, I’m an atheist. I come here to learn fascinating new tidbits and be entertained by the endless debate. For almost the entire duration of this lecture I was confused. I’m still not sure I understand. After skipping back through on youtube, I feel a major problem is that much of the lecture seems to be composed of extremely subjective statements.

Some are mundane though somewhat out of place- those first minutes describing his childhood seem unnecessary, a sentence or two detailing his tendencies towards rationality would seem to suffice.

The description of his inability to comprehend inarticulate instructions regarding ‘drawing the energy in the music’ seems strange to me. The goal is poorly stated but seems obvious- interpretation of a work of art using a different medium. I recall being required to decode such confusing and irrational instructions in art class during the 6th grade.

His frustration with drawing pumpkins resulting in a life-changing epiphany (apparently dealing with the basic artistic concept of the interpretation of form?) reminds me strongly of religious fervor. The description of his emotional state seems out of proportion to the subject at hand. Either the repeated drawing of pumpkins heightens one’s grasp of spacial relations, or there is an emotional component I fail to see.

His statements about ego I take issue with. Some may well feel belittled or insignificant when presented with the realities of the universe. This may be due to a mismatch with their previous beliefs- a conflict with their ego. Conversely, a feeling of reduced size or significance may be a rational result of observation of the scale of the universe as compared to all reasonable frames of reference.

The commonality of physical origin on a cosmic scale is an obvious fact. Personally I feel this fact is fascinating but of no grand significance. He mentions commonality with new-age belief systems, but does not elaborate. Personally his viewpoint reminds me very strongly of a ‘new-age’ belief system based on the interconnected nature of earthly life, modified slightly to encompass a larger scale.

His claim of commonality between one’s neural activity when pondering the interconnected nature of the universe as compared to religious enlightenment may well be true. While any such commonality between neural responses to two distinct stimuli is interesting, I see no significance to it.

Near the end I managed to extract some meaning- he seems to be requesting someone establish a study involving electroencephalography in order to test the above claim of commonality.

Equating spiritual pilgrimage with astronomical observation based on a few points of commonality strikes me as very odd.

In short, I found his lecture extremely hard to follow for what was apparently a vast introduction to a brief and poorly explained description of a desired EEG experiment.

If as some suggest this is scientific evangelism, I find it distasteful and irresponsible.

If it isn’t, I find it a confusing and overall unproductive exercise.

Been reading here for awhile, first time I’ve commented. For reference, I’m an atheist. I come here to learn fascinating new tidbits and be entertained by the endless debate. For almost the entire duration of this lecture I was confused. I’m still not sure I understand. I feel a major problem is that much of the lecture seems to be composed of extremely subjective statements. Some are mundane though somewhat out of place- those first minutes describing his childhood seem unnecessary, a sentence or two detailing his tendencies towards rationality would seem to suffice.

His frustration with drawing pumpkins resulting in a life-changing epiphany (apparently dealing with the basic artistic concept of the interpretation of form?) reminds me strongly of religious fervor. The description of his emotional state seems out of proportion to the subject at hand. Either the repeated drawing of pumpkins heightens one’s grasp of spacial relations, or there is an emotional component I fail to see.

His statements about ego I take issue with. Some may well feel insignificant when presented with the realities of the universe. This may be due to a mismatch with their previous beliefs- a conflict with their ego. Conversely, a perception of reduced significance may be a rational result of observation of the scale of the universe as compared to all reasonable frames of reference.

The commonality of physical origin on a cosmic scale is an obvious fact. Personally I feel this fact is fascinating and potentially useful to interest young children in astronomy, but otherwise of little significance. He mentions commonality with new-age belief systems, but does not elaborate. Personally his viewpoint reminds me very strongly of a ‘new-age’ belief system based on the interconnected nature of earthly life, modified slightly to encompass a larger scale.

His claim of commonality between one’s neural activity when pondering the interconnected nature of the universe as compared to religious enlightenment may well be true. While any such commonality between neural responses to two distinct stimuli is interesting, I see no significance to it. Near the end I managed to extract some meaning- he seems to be requesting someone establish a study involving electroencephalography in order to test the above claim of commonality.

In short, I found his lecture extremely hard to follow for what was apparently a vast introduction to a brief and poorly explained description of a desired EEG experiment. If as some suggest this is scientific evangelism, I find it distasteful and irresponsible. If it isn’t, I find it a confusing and overall unproductive exercise.

I keep trying to post my thoughts on the lecture, and the page consistently times out. Therefore, a test post.

and yes it is nice that he is a black guy. since nobody else mentioned it… it does matter especially for a public figure involved in educating public about science. Imagine how much more effective he is for reaching out to NYC public school kids. great cross cutting secondary (after the science) message for both african-americans and everybody else too.

PvM Wrote:

It’s when evangelists are starting to call for flunking students for not believing in evolution that’s when I start to worry.

Pim. Listen to yourself. You are saying, again, that excessive zeal for defending evolution equals atheist evangelism. You are saying that evolution equals atheism.

I’m an atheist, and I don’t believe that. How can you believe it as a Christian supporter of science?

And if you don’t, why do you keep saying that Larry Moran’s “flunk creationists” crack is in any way promoting atheism? Attack it as a very poor approach to science education if you want–I think it was pretty stupid the way he phrased it the first time, which tends to make me think he was later telling the truth about having been joking. But it had absolutely nothing to do with atheism, and your insistence on making it something to do with atheism is shedding very little light on Larry and rather more on yourself.

For the briefest moment after I submitted the test post I saw I’d managed to post all three previous times, despite the timeout error. As before, when I go back to the main page and view comments I see nothing of my posts. Assuming my ethereal vision is accurate, I apologize profusely for the multiple posts. If someone could kindly kill the duplicates I would be most grateful. Again, apologies.

“It’s when evangelists are starting to call for flunking students for not believing in evolution that’s when I start to worry.”

Then you should not worry, since no one is discussing beliefs. For example, Moran said “If students entering university have already made up their minds that evolution should be rejected, then that’s a serious problem. It’s not a question of ignorance.” He wants to flunk those who actively reject science. I would want that too, if I was a science teacher.

People who reject evolutionary science based on their faith can still be good scientists and even apply that which they believe is flawed. and what did Moran say

I agree with the Dembski sycophants that UCSD should not have required their uneducated students to attend remedial classes. Instead, they should never have admitted them in the first place. Having made that mistake, it’s hopeless to expect that a single lecture—even one by a distinguished scholar like Robert Pennock—will have any effect. The University should just flunk the lot of them and make room for smart students who have a chance of benefiting from a high quality education.

And the students did not reject evolution but rather Darwinism…

Just read Moran’s ‘scientific opinions’

Ed Brayton has declared himself one of the leading members of the Neville Chamberlain School. And now, John Lynch and Pat Hayes have joined the Ed Brayton team.

Me and PZ are on the side of science and rationalism.

Evangelical fundamentalism at its best… Not to mention the pathetic strawmen… This is not about science anymore…

PvM Wrote:

People who reject evolutionary science based on their faith can still be good scientists and even apply that which they believe is flawed.

Holy…you’re repeating Larry Fafarman’s arguments now?! Is this Bizarro Pim?

And the students did not reject evolution but rather Darwinism…

Ah, and the famous “I believe in evolution but not Darwinism” line of the ID crowd.

Ed Brayton has declared himself one of the leading members of the Neville Chamberlain School. And now, John Lynch and Pat Hayes have joined the Ed Brayton team.

Me and PZ are on the side of science and rationalism.

Evangelical fundamentalism at its best…

Uh, Pim, this was in response to Ed declaring that there were “two groups,” and John and Pat both declaring that they’re on Ed’s team. Or did you miss that?

Ed Brayton Wrote:

To be honest, I’m rapidly becoming convinced that there are two very different groups involved in fighting against the ID public relations campaign to distort science education. The distinction between the two groups is that one is fighting to prevent ID creationism from weakening science education while the other is fighting, at least in their minds, to eliminate all religious belief of any kind, even those perspectives that have no quarrel with evolution specifically or science in general, from society.

If you think that dividing the pro-science forces into the Good Guys and the Bad Guys is “evangelical fundamentalism,” then please–take it up with Ed.

some have raised atheism to the status of a religious concept despite claims that atheism should not be treated as such.

Perhaps you are referring to Dawkins claim that gods are improbable. I haven’t read The God Delusion, but I have also not seen anyone discuss and debunk this argument of his.

ID seems strongly motivated by the atheist influence on science and religion

If you mean the idea that science and religion should be separate, that isn’t an atheist idea but a secular idea. It is made for practical reasons (science doesn’t work with supernatural assumptions), to give freedom for religions, and pushed by several advocates such as skeptics and humanists.

As such a secular state is hardly sufficient for religious freedom.

That isn’t the claim. It is necessary, since otherwise a religion would be prefered. Possibly also secular activities like science could be damaged.

While I’m glad that you see the practicality of a secular state, I think the above confusion about the claim cuts right to your conflations of the secular and the atheist on one side, and the atheist and the religious on the other. You do excel in conflations. (Religion = religiosity, evolution = atheism.)

Science rejects the supernatural because it has to do so. Atheists reject the supernatural because they choose to do so. One support is of course that science benefits from the rejection. Be what it may, neither secular activities or groups nor atheist groups are religious, and the reasons for that can vary.

There is indeed a lot of controversy as to the relative importance of the many mechanisms of evolution.

But the fact of evolution is incontrovertible, and some mechanisms must be accepted to be a theory of evolution. You are erecting a straw man.

A more apt (though still not perfect) term might be “proselytising atheist”.

Which is fine, except that it is still mostly misused. For example, what Dawkins is doing is criticizing religion, not advocating atheism as such. He would be as glad if people chooses to be humanists or skeptics.

But when we need those labels, I suggest that “proselytizing priest” (i.e. theist) and “advocating atheist” has a certain symmetry to it. ;-)

Usually-Reliable Lenny:

Well, I’m pretty sure that I understand what PZ and Dawkins are saying and not saying.

You keep saying this. People keep disagreeing with you. You keep repeating yourself. This works great with unthinking Creatoids, who lack the evidence to refute you. Your ceaseless repetition isn’t working so well here, where you are being asked to produce the quotes that would support your understanding, and failing to find them.

You don’t need to mischaracterize these positions to make your strategic point, that we shouldn’t unnecessarily antagonize our theistic allies. If you’d stuck with that arguably-valid point, you wouldn’t have lost me on all this over-the-top “evangelistic atheist” razzmatazz.

Okay, then, Pim.

Lay it out in your own words: why is it that you are spending your time attacking Dawkins and PZ, instead of focusing all your efforts on our mutual opposition, the IDers.

Why should I be focusing all my efforts on our mutual opposition? Under the assumption that a enemy of my enemy must be my friend? Sure, I fully appreciate the scientific contributions by Myers, his postings are some of the best in the online world. So how does this relate to me speaking out against Myers when I believe he resorts to inappropriate arguments or name calling

About whom, of course, we should say only civil things, not indulge in personal attacks, etc.

On can say uncivil things without resorting to personal attacks. I thought you understood these differences?

Explain your seeming inconsistencies in these regards, and I’ll be happy to retract any inappropriate mischaracterization in which I may have pinheadedly indulged.

What inconsistencies are you referring to?

Perhaps you may want to start with your fallacious claim

The claim that evolution somehow leads to the evil of atheism is a pretext that the anti-science forces have seized upon.

Having good guys like Nick and confused people like Pim buy into this hoax isn’t going to boost science.

There is indeed a lot of controversy as to the relative importance of the many mechanisms of evolution.

But the fact of evolution is incontrovertible, and some mechanisms must be accepted to be a theory of evolution. You are erecting a straw man.

The question of course is how is a the question “do you believe in evolution” interpreted since as you point out there is a difference between the fact of evolution and mechanisms of evolution. Assume that one were an ID proponent who believes that the mechanism involves some undeterminate design? Even though the same person may very well accept Darwinian theory although considers it to be insufficient if not irrelevant? When someone states that evolution is not controversial, one easily runs the risk of bait and switch. As I pointed out myself, evolution defined as a change in allelic frequencies is far less controversial than some of the other definitions that exist. One cannot presume, without further clarifications that the 40 percent were somehow speaking out against the former, instead of the latter. To state that evolution is uncontroversial requires some context and the constraints often reduce the relevancy of the ‘unremarkable’ fact of evolution on the discussion. Certainly, a disbelief in a vaguely defined concept of evolution as asked in a university poll hardly seems to qualify as a justification for flunking someone who has expressed such an opinion?

You keep saying this. People keep disagreeing with you

Well, Maoists keep disagreeing with me whenever I point out that they are ideologues who can’t poop without consulting the Little Red Book first. (shrug)

From another one of these stupid religious-war threads:

Pim: It’s hard to deny that Dawkins has been instrumental in generating much concern amongst Christians and other religious groups, motivating them to get involved in shaping public policy to defend Christianity against Atheism.

Stevie: It’s hard to deny that this is yet another evidence-free assertion from Pim.

Pim: Of course, if the question is can I back up my assertion, which seemed self evident to anyone who has read the literature by Intelligent Design proponents, then I will be more than happy to do so.

In short, Pim believes that Dawkins’ advocacy of evolution and critique of evolution are motivating “Christians” to fight against evolution. Pim’s evidence: what the ID literature says. Explain to me again, Pim, how this is not the same as your buying into the pretextual claim of the anti-science forces that “evolution = atheism.” Instead of taking their word for it, for goodness sake, why does it not occur to you that the Creationists’ are reacting as strongly as they do against Dawkins because he scares the pants off them? Or, instead of joining them in their happy little campaign against Dawkins, why not work at refuting their claim, you know, the one that you deny having bought into? You’ll do better in your response, Pim, if you’ll step back, take a breath, focus on the little technical things, like correct quoting, correct attribution of quotes, and correct handling of html. And not contradicting yourself from one line to the next. And finding better evidence for your propositions than Creationist propaganda.

PvM Wrote:

Perhaps you may want to start with your fallacious claim

The claim that evolution somehow leads to the evil of atheism is a pretext that the anti-science forces have seized upon.

Having good guys like Nick and confused people like Pim buy into this hoax isn’t going to boost science.

Wait…the above is fallacious? You mean it’s not a hoax, and evolution does lead to atheism?

Certainly, a disbelief in a vaguely defined concept of evolution as asked in a university poll hardly seems to qualify as a justification for flunking someone who has expressed such an opinion?

Oh, most certainly. So, since PZ has agreed with this, and Moran says he was only joking in the first place…where’s the argument, exactly? And where’s the atheism?

Lenny, if you were claiming over and over again that you were sure what PZ was up to, I’d just shruy too.

But you seem to be claiming–unlike your usually-unpretetntious self–that you know waht everybody else thinks about what PZ say:

Dude, their message comes shining through loud and clear. No one here mistakes it.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. I simply pointed out that it wasn’t shared by “everyone” here. You’re just a man, Lenny, just a man. Maybe you just need to ask the pizza kid to whisper it in your ear a little more often…

I do normally know how to spell “shrug” and “unpretentious.”

Must be time to step slowly away from the keyboard, pick up the phone, and dial for the pizza.

Gosh, maybe PvM and Nick can remind me what Carl Sagan’s attitude toward religion was.

He was skeptical about religion and said so, but he didn’t go around accusing pro-science religious people of being allies of the creationists, and he didn’t go around calling those who are happy to work with pro-science religious people “appeasers” and “Neville Chamberlins” for not taking a sufficiently hard line on religion.

Oh, most certainly. So, since PZ has agreed with this, and Moran says he was only joking in the first place…where’s the argument, exactly?

Larry’s ‘explanation’ that he was just joking sounds quite hollow as others have already shown.

As to your erroneous claim about Nick and me, can we expect a retraction/apology or supporting evidence?

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PvM Wrote:

Larry’s ‘explanation’ that he was just joking sounds quite hollow as others have already shown.

Well, if Larry ever advances it seriously again, we can certainly call him on it.

As to your erroneous claim about Nick and me, can we expect a retraction/apology or supporting evidence?

What? The quote you called “fallacious” was from Steviepinhead, I think.

But if you want some supporting evidence that “evolution = atheism” is a creationist hoax, I suggest starting with Charles Darwin.

Y A W N

(Seen it all before, several times…)

My misparsed answer again:

To state that evolution is uncontroversial requires some context and the constraints often reduce the relevancy of the ‘unremarkable’ fact of evolution on the discussion.

This doesn’t burn the straw man. There is a qualitative difference between rejecting all of evolution and accepting it for study.

But as I have said, I’m not saying that Moran’s sneer is a solution.

Certainly, a disbelief in a vaguely defined concept of evolution as asked in a university poll hardly seems to qualify as a justification for flunking someone who has expressed such an opinion?

As none of M&M suggested this, your straw man seems to have got a brother.

Matzke Wrote:

(a) positive and upbeat, (b) doesn’t focus on hunting down and killing every whiff of religion that dares to exist in the general vicinity of science, as if doing this were both possible and would solve the major problems this world faces if it were achieved, (c} appeals to everybody, not just in-your-face atheists, and (d) shows that science and nature are amazing and inspirational, not some kind of program to drain life of meaning.

Same old cretinous strawmen.

PvM Wrote:

Tyson certainly stands out way above some of the evangelical atheists/creationists. Moran recently called for flunking those who ‘do not believe in evolution’

What’s atheistic about that? You seem to have bought the creationist equation.

PZ seems to be on a war path

Evangelical strawman-bashers like you and Matzke need to stare into the mirror.

Holy…you’re repeating Larry Fafarman’s arguments now?! Is this Bizarro Pim?

PvM is “Bizarro Pim”. This is the same realization that STJ came to – or rather, resisted coming to, persisting for a long time in thinking that someone had stolen PvM’s identity. It’s cognitive dissonance – he’s so critical of ID, how can he be so intellectually dishonest? Well, he can be, and he is, as are Matzke, Flank, and plenty of others on “our side”.

If Normie and Puppy’s Ghost had the authority to do so, they’d do it in a second.

If you shat in my living room, I’d ban you from my house. That you treat that as equivalent to fundie theocracy shows what a disgustingly dishonest little turd you are, and I’m delighted that more and more people here have come to realize it.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on November 22, 2006 6:46 PM.

Tangled Bank #67 was the previous entry in this blog.

The Holy Wars, part MMMCXXVII: a small correction on Scopes is the next entry in this blog.

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