When Egos Go Before Brains

| 99 Comments

I know that SUNY Stony Brook has a great evolutionary biology program. That being said, the ignorant rantings of neurosurgery professor Dr. Michael Egnor have to be an embarrassment to Stony Brook. Orac, a surgery professor himself, gives Egnor another drubbing over the incredulous comments he made on a recent Discovery Institute pod cast.

Just when I thought I could put the paper bag away…

…That all around evolution-ignorant but nonetheless eager lapdog of the Discovery Institute, SUNY Stonybrook Professor of Neurosurgery Dr. Michael Egnor, is back.

Rats. I thought that the utter drubbing he took at the hands of myself and my fellow ScienceBloggers (in particular PZ Myers) might have given him the message that he needs to lay low for a while. Apparently not. I guess he must have the monumental ego that more than a few neurosurgeons are famous for. (After all, it takes supreme confidence in one’s own abilities to be able to cut into the human brain and believe that the patient will come out OK.) It’s not enough this time for him to show up in the comments of PZ’s blog to make a fool of himself and embarrass scientific surgeons everywhere. This time around, he’s appearing on the Discovery Institute podcast, to be interviewed by fellow DI lapdog and sometimes attack poodle Casey Luskin in a a truly nauseating lovefest entitled, One Doctor’s Journey to Becoming a Darwin Doubter:

Not surprisingly, basically all Dr. Egnor’s “critique” of “Darwinism” boils down to is his personal incredulity that biological complexity could ever possibly have evolved from more simple elements without the input of intelligence, his anthropomorphizing the genetic code, and his concluding that, because the genetic code functions like a human language and because human language is created only by the “intelligent design” of humans, then the genetic code must have been intelligently designed. That’s it. No data supporting his position, just his “doubts.” His propensity to equate “randomness” with “meaninglessness” also strongly suggests the religious, not scientific, roots of Egnor’s “skepticism” about “Darwinism.”

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99 Comments

I can’t help noticing how extremely angry scientific materialists get when anyone dares to question the standard mechanistic theory of evolution. It’s even worse when the skeptic is obviously not uneducated or unscientific.

What are you so afraid of? Never mind, I know. Instead of dying out slowly, religion will stubbornly continue to exist and continue destroying the world. Or, just as bad, everyone will start believing in new-agey pseudoscience.

Just the idea makes you want to throw up.

Now it seems to me that whenever an idea elicits such strong emotional reactions, something very important is at stake. We don’t become violently nauseated just because an idea seems wrong. That only happens if the idea threatens something we value. More is going on here than just a scientific quest for truth.

I can’t help noticing how extremely angry scientific materialists get when anyone dares to question the standard mechanistic theory of evolution.

When one hears blatant lies told about one’s work; when one hears a scientific theory blamed – with no evidence or cause-and-effect link – for some of the most vile atrocities in human history; when one hears of – or is a victim of – outright bullying by hateful idiots (speaking of anger) for supporting honest education or questioning an established religious doctrine; then anger is a very appropriate response. If your fellow creationists have a problem with that, perhaps they should stop doing, and encouraging, the things that make us rightly angry.

And speaking of anger, where’s the justification for the anger and hatred directed at parents, teachers, scientists, and even innocent children, who happen not to accept the majority religion of their community? What did they do to deserve it?

And who elected you the emotion-police anyway? Given your dogged ignorance of the subjects of which you speak here, and your mindless repetition of already-discredited creationist talking-points, what right can you possibly have to tell us whether our emotions are justified?

realpc whinnied Wrote:

I can’t help noticing how extremely angry scientific materialists get when anyone dares to question the standard mechanistic theory of evolution. It’s even worse when the skeptic is obviously not uneducated or unscientific.

What are you so afraid of?

You mean aside from the efforts of a group of people to supplant reason with a bunch of unproven, unevidenced assertions pulled out of their collective rectums and/or favorite holy books?

Yes, I become “violently nauseated” at the idea of folks, such as yourself, attempting to overturn all of human progress since the Enlightenment in favor of tinfoil-lined “orgone boxes” and strings of “goddidit” non-explanations. And yes, more is going on than a scientific quest for truth. What’s also going on is a basic and blatant attack on the underlying principle upon which scientific progress is founded: reason. I, for one, value reason, particularly in light of what I see you, and others of a similar bent to yourself, attempting to substitute for it.

I can’t help noticing how extremely angry scientific materialists get when anyone dares to question the standard mechanistic theory of evolution.

Actually, we’re angry about lies and the attempt to use law to change science in order for it to accept religiously-based metaphysics as science. See, you can’t even tell the truth about this, no matter that many of us are unapologetic over anger at snake oil salesmen like yourself.

It’s even worse when the skeptic is obviously not uneducated or unscientific.

In what way is one a “skeptic” when one is uneducated about what he is being “skeptical” about? Mere contradiction is not the same as skepticism, another failure of words in your incapable hands.

What are you so afraid of?

Gee, we tell you idiots constantly that we’re afraid of the corruption of science education that you wish to inflict upon others, and you can’t even understand such a simple answer.

Never mind, I know. Instead of dying out slowly, religion will stubbornly continue to exist and continue destroying the world.

Uh-huh. I know that stereotyping and other offenses against language and humanity are not off-limits to your mindless attacks upon others, but RB is a theist who frequently defends religion. I do too, sometimes, if I think that someone is egregiously attacking religion.

I suppose it wouldn’t occur to you that we don’t want so many scientific illiterates like yourself around, both for their sake and for ours.

Or, just as bad, everyone will start believing in new-agey pseudoscience.

That is one of our concerns, yes. Why didn’t I realize that people being bamboozled by uneducated morons like realpc is just as good as any other fate?

Just the idea makes you want to throw up.

Every dishonest and uneducated post by you makes one concerned for those you might influence.

Now it seems to me that whenever an idea elicits such strong emotional reactions, something very important is at stake.

Yes, we told you idiots that truth (not “Truth”) is at stake. You really can’t comprehend much, can you?

We don’t become violently nauseated just because an idea seems wrong.

The great nausea is your projection, although Nietzsche was not one to deny nausea over the various faults of the herd (which makes sense considering that he had an illness which caused him frequently to become nauseous, cretins like realpc hardly assuaging it). And yes, we have studied wrong ideas which are not disturbing, but it is a different matter when people are deliberately propagandizing against good science and the Enlightenment, as does realpc.

That only happens if the idea threatens something we value. More is going on here than just a scientific quest for truth.

Why yes, thanks for noticing. The IDiots are very much opposed to even the standards which allow for the routine search for truth, as recognized in science and in the courts. We are strenuously opposed to the dishonesty and anti-intellectualism involved in the attempt to subvert even the well-founded standards used to get at truth.

Indeed, we are not fighting merely over scientific truth, we’re fighting to maintain civilization against the know-nothings (and yes, the attack on reason and science might stop without going all the way down the slope, but there is no guarantee, and the responsibility to teach children honestly is important regardless of the end result).

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

Exactly – you, Vyoma, are on the side of reason and enlightenment. You and your crowd can bring peace on earth and justice for all, and a cure for all diseases. But the raving ignoramouses, who still live in the dark ages, threaten to undo everything you have done and block further progress.

It’s a clear question of good vs evil. No wonder you’re angry.

we’re fighting to maintain civilization against the know-nothings

Yes, and it must feel good to know you are a know-something!!

realpc Wrote:

Exactly — you, Vyoma, are on the side of reason and enlightenment. You and your crowd can bring peace on earth and justice for all, and a cure for all diseases. But the raving ignoramouses, who still live in the dark ages, threaten to undo everything you have done and block further progress.

It’s a clear question of good vs evil. No wonder you’re angry.

And again, realpc’s complete lack of understanding of what science, and even reason, is makes itself apparent.

Peace on earth and justice for all are the domain of politics, not science. Science can be a tool to facilitate those ends; by learning how to better utilize resources, by better understanding how the mechanisms that drive our world works, science does open the door to those ends. It’s up to politicians to implement those possibilities and make them realities, or to use them perversely and turn them into weapons. I find it very telling that you conflate science and politics, both here and elsewhere.

As far as curing disease, show me something outside of science that has ever cured a disease. Did the New Testament cure leprosy? Did the work of Wilhelm Reich ever end a single plague? Did Martin Luther come up with something to relieve athlete’s foot? No; every sickness that has ever been cured has been cured due to the fruits of scientific inquiry.

As far as the rest of it, yes, that’s just about the jist of it. But go ahead, demonstrate how this is incorrect. Show me a cure for a disease, a treatment for an illness, that actually worked and wasn’t produced by science. Illustrate an instance in which spirituality increased the yield of food (as opposed ideology causing starvation — Lysenko, anyone?)

You’re very fond of making assertions and then vanishing when you’re called upon to provide evidence instead of personal opinion. Do it or be decent enough to admit you’re just a troll making appeals to emotion.

Yes, and it must feel good to know you are a know-something!!

Actually, it’s a lot easier, and it feels better, to be a know-nothing.

Keep plugging your ears and going “La la la la!!” as you seem to do in every thread here - really, you’ll continue to be much happier that way.

RealPC: “You and your crowd can bring peace on earth and justice for all, and a cure for all diseases. But the raving ignoramouses, who still live in the dark ages, threaten to undo everything you have done and block further progress.”

Anybody in your family die of smallpox lately?

While we may be coming to understanding a bit too late to help, we *might* be able to prevent a catastrophe like the influenza outbreak of 1918. This will be thanks to Tara and her cohorts, *not* religious leaders.

Have you read “Good Omens” by Gaiman and Pratchett? Pestilence is no longer one of the four horseman (well, bikers) of the apocalypse. He is replaced by Pollution.

You’re very fond of making assertions and then vanishing when you’re called upon to provide evidence instead of personal opinion. Do it or be decent enough to admit you’re just a troll making appeals to emotion.

Unfortunately, Charlie Wagner (realpc) is a troll who only vanishes to appear and lay waste to yet another thread, making the same baseless assertions that have already been thoroughly debunked elsewhere. Charlie, who is similar in many ways to Larry (an infamous PT troll), is even more annoying in my opinion.

Like Larry, he’s too dumb to realize that failure to respond to accusations of being a sockpuppet is very strong evidence that you are one.

Exactly — you, Vyoma, are on the side of reason and enlightenment. You and your crowd can bring peace on earth and justice for all, and a cure for all diseases…

So, realpc, what has YOUR “crowd” contributed to any of these causes?

what has YOUR “crowd” contributed to any of these causes?

I don’t belong to a crowd, I just try to understand things I consider important, such as evolution.

Since I don’t need crowd membership to justify my existence, I don’t vomit all over everything or explode in sputtering rages every time someone disagrees with me.

Science is great, and I believe in the scientific method. I happen to disagree with scientific materialism, which is an ideology, not a method, and which is unrelated to the scientific method.

I believe in evolution, but I don’t like the ideological dogmatism of certain aspects of the currently accepted theory.

My worldview is holistic, or systemic, instead of mechanistic/reductionist. I realize that tends to irritate scientific materialists. I don’t care, as long as they can’t throw up on me over the internet.

realpc:

Raging Bee Wrote:

When one hears blatant lies told about one’s work; when one hears a scientific theory blamed — with no evidence or cause-and-effect link — for some of the most vile atrocities in human history; when one hears of — or is a victim of — outright bullying by hateful idiots (speaking of anger) for supporting honest education or questioning an established religious doctrine; then anger is a very appropriate response.

Vyoma Wrote:

You mean aside from the efforts of a group of people to supplant reason with a bunch of unproven, unevidenced assertions pulled out of their collective rectums and/or favorite holy books?

Glen Wrote:

Actually, we’re angry about lies and the attempt to use law to change science in order for it to accept religiously-based metaphysics as science.

Yet you still write:

Since I don’t need crowd membership to justify my existence, I don’t vomit all over everything or explode in sputtering rages every time someone disagrees with me.

Based on the above facts, the following must be true: You fail at reading comprehension.

I’d respond to your misuse and misunderstanding of terminology you use to describe yourself, but I think the troll’s been fed more than enough today.

Um, I’d hate to be the one to tell Egnore but only one language has been invented by intelligent design of humans, and that’s Esperanto. Few people regard Esperanto as more than a historical footnote and it was never widely adopted. Some even feel it lacks appeal because it lacks the “accidents” and idiosyncrasies that naturally evolved human languages possess. Language, like DNA, evolves. How sad that Egnor’s whole conversion to ID should be based on an untruth. How odd that a supposedly accomplished neurosurgeon needs to place his error and conjecture on display.

I don’t belong to a crowd…

Really? Your talking points are exactly the same as those of the creationist crowd, with no modification of your own, or any indication that you’ve done anything other than repeat what that crowd have already said thousands of times, with no input from any other source.

Not only that, but you refused even to acknoledge a single one of the injustices cited here, by several respondents, as cause for that anger you so self-righteously condemn. Since you condemn our anger, but not the injustices that caused it, I therefore conclude that you do, in fact, condone said injustices. Just like the creationist crowd.

Science is great, and I believe in the scientific method. I happen to disagree with scientific materialism, which is an ideology, not a method, and which is unrelated to the scientific method.

This paragraph is self-contradictory: you say you believe in something, then misrepresent it into something you say you don’t believe in – and again, your behavior is exactly like that of the creationists.

I believe in evolution, but I don’t like the ideological dogmatism of certain aspects of the currently accepted theory.

First, “ideological dogmatism” is completely separate from the actual science. Second, the “aspects” you’ve questioned here, have nothing whatsoever to do with any “ideology;” it’s all been the same ignorant misrepresentation of the basic underlying science. Just like the creationist crowd.

My worldview is holistic, or systemic, instead of mechanistic/reductionist…

Your worldview is muddled and uninformed, probably because you consider learning things in detail too “mechanistic/reductionist” for your taste.

Ok, so the value of NOT booting this RPC troll is?

what exactly?

Ok, so the value of NOT booting this RPC troll is?

what exactly?

Added entertainment value?

What are you so afraid of?

We’re afraid that misunderstandings, misinterpretations, out-of-context-quotations, and outright lies will be taught to children as if they were true. And we are afraid that those sadly mis-educated children will grow up, and vote for morons who will lead our country into needless wars, push policies that degrade the Earth and its resources, and cause an overall decline in civilization.

We are not afraid of honest discussion of the science of evolution. But that’s not what Egnor and his ilk are engaged in.

I can’t help noticing how extremely angry scientific materialists get when anyone dares to question the standard mechanistic theory of evolution.

That this is what you “noticed” shows how intellectually dishonest you are. When you’re capable of honest characterization, let us know.

Added entertainment value?

hardly.

we’ve had far more entertaining trolls before, and this guy sidetracks just about every new thread that comes into being of late.

I say toss ‘em and leave room for somebody who actually IS entertaining.

If it really is Charlie Wagner, and some of the quotes above strongly indicate that it is, then yeah, it’s fruitless to waste any more time on him. Time and again he’s shown that he will not budge a single inch over his cherished beliefs, and will weasel out of every single attempt to challenge them.

It’s pointless and you can’t even say it’s “for the benefit of the lurkers” because he only ever speaks in generalities, offering little to no opportunity to offer concrete information in rebuttal.

Ok here’s some psyc for you.

IDists refuse to acknowledge defects in their approach and therefore cannot make improvements. Then, in 10 years from now when its clear that ID has been thouroughly rejected they’ll sit there and blame everyone but themselves. Sure after failing so miserably they might make a few adjustments but abandon a failed approach? Not a chance because that would involve valuing truth to much, and of course they could never do that.

And a few basics too.

Look at the EF. It’s just a flow chart and that’s it!

Look at their coveted information theory. It has nothing to do with meaningful content and is absolutely useless to their cause.

Look at forensic science and archeology etc. These try to identify HUMAN causation because we have an idea of what humans are capable of. That’s it, no application to biological structures.

Look At SETI. If ET’s exist they would still be physical and at least observable in principle same as humans in the past. Again, no application to biological structures and a category error when they try.

So yes, naseau towards ID is justified irrespective of one’s philosophical position.

We’re afraid that misunderstandings, misinterpretations, out-of-context-quotations, and outright lies will be taught to children as if they were true.

I once tried to reason with a Marxist on a political blog and got that reaction. Terrified that the next generation might escape indoctrination.

I already know that I can’t reason with Marxists, Christian fundamentalists, or scientific atheists.

But there might be some readers of this blog who appreciate balance and like to consider more than one angle.

Scientific atheists sincerely believe in human intelligence and the ability of smart people to solve the important mysteries and problems. This belief rests on the assumption that nature is not intelligent. If nature is smarter than we are, it is not likely we can “fix” it or bend it to our fit our needs. If we are mere components of something infinitely greater than ourselves, our power to understand and control must be limited.

That’s why scientific atheism is so attractive. It promises a future world designed by and for humans. Without disease or war, possibly without death. It’s similar to the kingdom of heaven on earth promised by Christianity.

In the five hours since I challenged “realpc” to cite examples, he has not done so. On the other hand, he has posted several other replies. I feel safe in concluding, therefore, that he cannot cite any examples as was asked. Thus, he is, indeed a troll, whether or not he is someone using an alternate screen name.

In reading his last reply on this thread, and taking him at his word, I also conclude that realpc’s position can best be described as nothing more than solipsism. As a solipsist, it would, indeed, be useless to communicate with him, since he’s ultimately interested only in talking to himself in order to maintain his redefinition of every single word he uses. He isn’t part of a “crowd” because, as far as he knows, he’s the only person who makes the points he makes… mainly because he never pays attention to what anyone else says. It doesn’t matter that he hasn’t been able to support any part of any of his arguments; he believes what he believes solely on the basis of his believing it, and that is the only criterion he would ever accept.

I think he’s telling the truth when he states that he’s not part of a “crowd,” exactly because he has no interaction with anyone other than himself on these subjects. He’s a lot like the client of a person who defends himself in court that way.

Ok, so the value of NOT booting this RPC troll is?

Well, he does provide an opportunity for people to express why they are troubled by Egnor and by DI’s parading him around. I suggest that realpc’s lack of concern about intellectual dishonesty and misrepresentation helps explain why he engages in so much of it. Meanwhile, the thread has been hijacked.

because the genetic code functions like a human language and because human language is created only by the “intelligent design” of humans, then the genetic code must have been intelligently designed

Aside from the stupidity of failing to notice, as greylady pointed out, that human language evolved rather than being designed, there’s the complete lack of logic here. Consider Egnor’s actual words:

We have no experience in nature whatsoever with representational codes or languages except in biology, and the only experience we have in our lives is with such languages that are intelligently designed by people.

Accepting for the sake of argument that DNA really is a “representational code or language”, this is the same utter question begging behind every version of the design argument: because everything we know of that looks designed is designed, biological systems must be designed. But but but … we know of biological systems, and whether they are designed is the question at hand; the conclusion only follows by assuming it. It’s like arguing that, because every car you ever drove ran on gasoline, all cars must run on gasoline. Except that in this case it’s like arguing that, because cheetahs run on gasoline, horses must run on gasoline too.

Wow, realpc. Don’t think I’ve ever seen so many incoherent, illogical leaps in a summary of anyone’s worldview. That in itself would be interesting, but basic assumptions and definitions are flat-out wrong…so it’s basically a mess built upon a mess. A meta-mess!

As a solipsist, it would, indeed, be useless to communicate with him, since he’s ultimately interested only in talking to himself in order to maintain his redefinition of every single word he uses.

Agreed…probably not worth feeding him any more, then.

I already know that I can’t reason with Marxists, Christian fundamentalists, or scientific atheists.

he calls it “reason”.

bwahahahahaha.

If nature is smarter than we are, it is not likely we can “fix” it or bend it to our fit our needs.

So the idiot writes via solid state circuitry.

If we are mere components of something infinitely greater than ourselves, our power to understand and control must be limited.

Our power to understand and control is limited regardless of whether the universe that we are mere components of is infinite or not, fallacy-breath.

Sorta makes you miss ole Jon Davison, eh Sir T?

How do you like them kumquats?

We are all to blame, we are all ignorant.

Anyone who really believed this would shut the fuck up already and no longer bore us with what even he understands to be ignorance.

As a resident of former communistic country, I just wanted to point out that while it WAS atheistic and anti-religious in theory, it had also its own ideology which actually wasn’t far from religion.

Lenin, and others, were considered faultless - nothing in their writings could be ever wrong. Christmas were transformed in accordance with the new belief, just like Christians did two thousand or so years before. New holidays were introduced, with mandatory celebrating - I remember the celebration of Russian Revolution, or the mandatory parades on 1st May.

And of course, we were all taught about Soviet Union, the eternal friend who was better than us in all things, and who had to be revered for all the things they did to us (like selflessly giving up large amount of soldiers just so they could go over here and keep us under occupation).

Most people didn’t actually BELIEVE all this, but if they wanted no trouble, they had to go through their lives behaving as if they did. As for whether the higher-ups believed it… I’m not sure. Probably not, as they knew better. Who HAD to believe it, were the people in the middle, the ones who did all the unpleasant tasks of the lower classes without the reward of the higher classes.

I think that the evils of communism stemmed not from atheism. It stemmed from dogmatic belief that “my way” is the right way, the only way, the true way. I think that people become atheists because they are anti-dogmatism. They see (at least I do) absolute belief as form of arrogance, as belief in flawlessness and perfectness of our own opinions. But when you mix atheism and dogmatism, you can get as bad results as when mixing religion and dogmatism. Maybe the difference is that religion had lots of experience with dogmatism of its type, while atheism as philosophical position is still relatively new?

In other words, maybe ANY ideology can lead to great evils, once it’s universally adopted by a government?

But when you mix atheism and dogmatism, you can get as bad results as when mixing religion and dogmatism. In other words, maybe ANY ideology can lead to great evils, once it’s universally adopted by a government?

Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. I am not blaming atheism for anything. Atheism is an intellectual position which, like theism, can’t be scientifically proven or disproven.

But certain atheists, like Dawkins, are trying to create an ideological movement. He would like to stamp out not only traditional religion, but spiritual beliefs in general. Of course he won’t succeed, and I’m not worried about Dawkinites taking over the world.

I am not scape-goating atheists, and I don’t blame them for any of the world’s problems. I am just criticizing the defects in some of their logic. And I am pointing out that Dawkins, and many extreme atheists, equate religion with ignorance and intolerance.

Ignorance and intolerance are part of being human. Dawkins is intolerant of religion. In fighting intolerance he becomes exactly what he hates.

In fighting intolerance he becomes exactly what he hates.

a) What’s it matter to you? b) By that logic, so are you. But then, you were already, you dishonest troll.

Marek said:

I think that the evils of communism stemmed not from atheism. It stemmed from dogmatic belief that “my way” is the right way, the only way, the true way. I think that people become atheists because they are anti-dogmatism. They see (at least I do) absolute belief as form of arrogance, as belief in flawlessness and perfectness of our own opinions. But when you mix atheism and dogmatism, you can get as bad results as when mixing religion and dogmatism.

As you rightly point out, atheists tend to be anti-dogma, so talk of mixing the two borders on oxymoronic. It is dogmatic belief in the flawlessness of another that is the problem. Whether it is God or Stalin matters little, as the Soviet Union and Pol Pot demonstrated all too vividly. They were not atheists, they (at least the SU) declared themselves as such for intellectual cover. Totalitarian worship of Stalin, or Mao, is every bit as religious as worship of the Pope.

Any suggestion that what people like Dawkins have in mind is anything remotely similar is rooted in ignorance, or religious bigotry, or both.

Marek said:

Maybe the difference is that religion had lots of experience with dogmatism of its type, while atheism as philosophical position is still relatively new?

Atheism is not a philosophy, any more than a-unicornism is a philosophy, any more than not collecting stamps is a hobby. Atheism is a conclusion people draw about a particular topic based on whatever philosophy they hold. If said atheists commit atrocities, it is because of that underlying philosophy, not their atheism. To claim otherwise is akin to claiming that people going swimming causes the mercury in the thermometer to rise.

Atheism would be rather empty as a philosophy, which is a big reason it does not engender the social bonding that religions and political ideologies do. There is literally nothing to rally around.

atheists tend to be anti-dogma

When you whole-heartedly believe in a dogma, it is your Truth, and you can’t see that it is a dogma.

Contemporary atheists, like James Randi, go way beyond atheism into dogmatic materialism. Sam Harris, an atheist, has expressed some open-mindedness regarding the parapsychology research of Sheldrake and Radin, and also regarding eastern mysticism.

He does not believe in an personal god or gods, but he does not deny the possible reality of things not yet explained by science.

Randi’s argument against Harris’ open-mindedness is, as always, the million-dollar prize:

if the Radin and Sheldrake declarations were really true and properly derived, then they would stand as good evidence for the reality of parapsychology, and would incidentally make the writers eligible for the JREF million-dollar prize. As we know, Sheldrake has directly refused to apply for that prize, and Radin has made the same decision by choosing to ignore it.

So no matter how convincing evidence may be, Randi can always dismiss it, because the prize has not been claimed.

If Sheldrake or Radin believed Randi was honest and open-minded, they probably would have agree to his tests.

Why do you think Sheldrake and Radin believe in their own evidence? Are they crazy? Stupid? Liars? Experts at self-deception? Harris, an atheist, looked at their evidence and did not think it could be easily dismissed. Randi describes this as Harris’ “romance with woo-woo.”

No, Randi does not have an open mind regarding unexplained phenomena. If it can’t be explained within the limits of materialism, he won’t consider the evidence.

His argument is always the same – no one has claimed the prize.

Radin says this is why the prize has never been won:

… the so-called prizes offered by skeptics are open-ended. They amount to “show me a miracle,” but without specifying in advance what would constitute the miracle. This means the prize can always be revised to make it impossible to win. Such open-ended prizes are simply moving goal-posts and publicity stunts. They are not genuine prizes for scientific achievement.

Realpc trolled:

When you whole-heartedly believe in a dogma, it is your Truth, and you can’t see that it is a dogma.

Gee, and being ignorant often makes one ignorant of being ignorant. That doesn’t mean everyone is as ignorant as you are. Likewise, the fact that lying comes so naturally to you that you don’t seem to realize you are lying doesn’t mean everyone else is a liar.

I’m closing this post to comments, since there is new Egnor post.

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This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on March 8, 2007 10:15 AM.

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