NOMA in Ohio, Redux

| 133 Comments

The panel discussion on the intersection of faith and evolution (featuring Francis Collins) that I described last month is now available online, together with video of Collins’ other appearances that day.

RBH

133 Comments

from your commentary last month:

Under those circumstances, examples like Collins, a scientist, evangelical Christian and theistic evolutionist, are very valuable. They can potentially help reassure all but the most fundamentalist parents that learning about evolution does not necessarily set their children on the path to atheism and hence to Hell. Ken Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God was very useful in the skirmish in the local district four years ago, particularly with school board members, and I anticipate that Collins’ The Language of God will be even more useful should another such skirmish arise.

RBH

I won’t bother to repeat myself, other than to post one, simple, link:

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Theistic.cfm

you won’t find your savior in Collins.

Instead, you will rather find relying on Collins’ arguments to further the problem, instead, since he himself violates the entire concept of NOMA repeatedly (and inevitably).

I rather suspect that NOMA, as a point of view, is more useful as a means of declaring that science is not hostile to religion than the other way around. Science is, by definition, concerned only with the objective or, in the words of Philip K. Dick, that which continues to exist when you stop believing in it. Religion, on the other hand, has a different definition of the word “exists,” which leads to the conflict.

Of course, NOMA would go out the window if there actually WAS any kind of scientific evidence supporting any religious claim. If for example that study the Templeton foundation did into the efficacy of prayer demonstrated a measurable positive result, do you think the theists would be talking about NOMA then? Hell no, they’d be spamming every online forum they could find with the results. Personally I find the entire NOMA concept to be ridiculous. It’s just a way to excuse belief in something without any rational reason too. If someone believes there are fairies in there garden I’m free to call them nuts, but if someone says they believe in angels I’m supposed to “respect” that belief because of NOMA? I think not.

Ichthyic wrote

you won’t find your savior in Collins.

As it happens, I’m not looking for a “savior” anywhere. NOMA is either a false doctrine or a vacuous one, depending on the religion put on the table.

Tactically, Collins serves just one useful function: He provides an existence proof for the proposition that there are evangelical Christians who accept evolution. And that’s it.

He provides an existence proof for the proposition that there are evangelical Christians who accept evolution. And that’s it.

except that’s NOT it, since he has explicitly pointed out in the very book you cite that he supports special creation in the case of “moral law”.

read the relevant sections of that book again, or else read the review i linked to, and scroll down to the section reviewing Collins’ “Moral Law”.

how can you say that religion hasn’t affected him when he writes off entire fields of endeavor like animal behavior?

Moreover, he writes as if no research on the foundations of human behavior in the brain have ever been done.

so does Collins “accept” evolution? only up to a certain point, whereupon he then asserts that humans are exceptions.

sorry, but like I said, Collins is NOT a good example to use to further the cause you seek.

Miller?

much better, if not perfect.

… Wes is perhaps an even better example, if not quite as well known as Miller.

Ichthyic wrote

how can you say that religion hasn’t affected him when he writes off entire fields of endeavor like animal behavior?

And where did I say that? Please read what I write, not what you might wish (or fear) I’d written.

Religion has clearly affected him, and he ignores (or is ignorant of) of the literature on the evolution of altruism and mutuality.

Nevertheless, the fact of his existence is very useful in local school curriculum battles in communities like mine. Kenneth Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God was useful back when we had our dispute over it in my local district, but not as useful as an evangelical would have been – many evangelicals around here are suspicious of Catholics’ take on science (and religion, for that matter). See here for an account of what drives the opposition to evolution here at the local level. That’s the issue where Kenneth Miller and Collins and Keith Miller (editor of Perspectives on an Evolving Creation are very useful.

RBH

RBH having been raised in a nice conservative environment I generally agree with your take on fear being a huge motivator. More importantly given the philosophical assumptions (even if they are largely unconscious assumptions) of many evangelicals their fear is a rationale extension of those assumptions. That seems to be an under appreciated point by many who haven’t spent a lot of time in Red areas of the country.

And where did I say that?

when you said this:

Tactically, Collins serves just one useful function: He provides an existence proof for the proposition that there are evangelical Christians who accept evolution. And that’s it.

he doesn’t accept evolution as an explanation for a large part of human behavior. it’s like saying one accepts atomic theory, up until the point where we start talking about electrons.

Nevertheless, the fact of his existence is very useful in local school curriculum battles in communities like mine.

yes, I understand tactics vs. long term strategy, and i understand that Collins might be useful in certain circumstances.

maybe I’m making an argument that is best suited for another time and place, but I worry that anybody who brings up Collins as a supporter of the ToE needs to be aware of the other face he doesn’t even hide all that well.

as it sounds like you are indeed aware of it, I suppose there is little point in dragging the issue out further.

big tents, any port in a storm, and all.

he doesn’t accept evolution as an explanation for a large part of human behavior. it’s like saying one accepts atomic theory, up until the point where we start talking about electrons.

Indeed. It’s like offering up Michael Behe as an example of a Christian who accepts common descent.

Ichthyic Wrote:

except that’s NOT it, since he has explicitly pointed out in the very book you cite that he supports special creation in the case of “moral law”.

While I consider “special creation” to be a weasel word, like “common design,” I have been told that “special creation,” if not “common design,” specifically means an independent abiogenesis of that particular species (or other undefined “kind”). I’d be extremely surprised if Collins believes that. In fact, as Popper’s Ghost noted, even Michael Behe does not believe that.

From what I read, Behe does think (or wants us to think) that some kind of biochemical “intervention” occurred in vivo at some point, not necessarily even at the point of species divergence: his “front loading” hypothesis could mean that the “intervention” was pre-programmed, then actuated “naturalistically” much later (e.g. a gene later turned on). Of course, Behe is a pseudoscientist, and has learned to avoid making any more claims that only show that he refuses to test them. In contrast, if Collins is like any other TE, he may have some faith-based notions of a soul being “specially created,” but doesn’t claim that it translates to anything “biologically unusual.”

More importantly, Behe has spent years misrepresenting evolution, and to my knowledge, Collins has not.

RBH:

Speaking of fear, even if one can’t eliminate their fear of evolution, it might be possible to get some of them (they can’t all be 100% illogical) to realize that they have at least as much to fear about creationism. Just to start with, YEC and OEC (which has its own mutually contradictory subsets) can’t both be right. At least one must be bearing false witness. If anything, ID, with its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should be their biggest fear. These people need to hear that Dembski said that ID can accommodate all the results of “Darwinism.” And that Michael Behe admitted under oath that the designer they all desperately want to be God could even be deceased. Multiple designers, anyone? Is that the alternative to evolution that they want? And what about those people like Schwabe, Senapathy and Goldschmidt, whose alternatives to evolution are just as “Godless”? Where do they fit in their little fundamentalist fantasy?

Yes, I know that most of those fearful people will just “Morton’s Demon” it all away, including any reassuring words of TEs, but a few might take notice, and put some well-needed strain on the big tent.

So what I’m reading here is:

1) It’s possible to understand and accept evolution and be an evangelical Christian at the same time.

2) Unfortunately, to do this, one must necessarily distort parts of evolution, of Christianity, or both.

3) Collins and the Millers are tactically effective if we emphasize 1) and carefully fail to mention 2).

OK, I get it. RBH is engaged in spin, intended to counter creationist spin. In a scientific forum, spin is a no-no, and we should weed it out. In a political forum, spin is the environment, both unavoidable and necessary. Context matters.

Flint, the Panda’s Thumb is a political forum, concerned with the politics of creationist efforts to inject pseudoscience into public school science classrooms. At the high school level, our side is just fighting for the right to teach the basics of evolutionary theory to science students without having to teach them a pack of lies to mollify fundamentalists. At that basic level, Collins, to my knowledge, has no problem with standard evolutionary theory, and to the extent that he can reassure fundamentalists that a high school science textbook with accurate high school level information on evolutionary theory isn’t going to turn their child into an atheist, he aids our cause.

Flint,

In fact, Collins said in response to a question about the apparent God of the gaps character of his argument (a kind of argument he specifically rejected in the book), that were what he calls “Moral Law” to be someday explained by sociobiology and/or evolutionary psychology, he would accept that and it would not affect his evangelical faith. He’s not a Behe.

And, my children, in the very first essay I published on the evolution/creationism question more than 20 years ago, I made the argument that it is a political issue, not a scientific issue. And so it still is.

RBH

Sounds now like Collins agrees to go wherever he accepts that the evidence leads (though what he’ll accept remains to be seen). Meanwhile, he’s trapped within the theological requirement that his god DO something. What good is a god who can’t alter reality in any way? What good is a science that permits reality to be diddled arbitrarily? What’s the difference between an atheist and a follower of the Church of God The Nonexistent?

I have a hard time getting past the idea that a science-compatible god is far too ethereal and less personal than most Faithful parents are comfortable with. Collins may say he’s comfortable with (and faithful to) a god who is ultimately indistinguishable in any way from being imaginary, but I wonder if this is too much for our political opponents to swallow. They want their god to create something, not just kinda hang out there somewhere non-interfering with natural processes.

Now, contra my claim of the political utility of Collins’ (and both Millers’) position, this from Clay Shirkey:

The idea that religious scientists prove that religion and science are compatible is ridiculous, and I’m embarrassed that I ever believed it. Having believed for so long, however, I understand its attraction, and its fatal weaknesses.

One of the key battles is to insist on the incompatibility of beliefs based on evidence and beliefs that ignore evidence. Saying that the mental lives of a Francis Collins or a Freeman Dyson prove that religion and science are compatible is like saying that the sex lives of Bill Clinton or Ted Haggard prove that marriage and adultery are compatible. The people we need to watch out for in this part of the debate aren’t the fundamentalists, they’re the moderates, the ones who think that if religious belief is made metaphorical enough, incompatibility with science can be waved away. It can’t be, and we need to say so, especially to the people like me, before I changed my mind.

Hm.

RBH

RBH,

It appears that Clay Shirkey’s cause is to promote atheism, which is a distinctly different cause than providing public school students a good science education. Obviously Collins’ and Myers’ positions don’t aid in the promotion of atheism, but Shirkey’s position that science is incompatible with religious belief doesn’t help the cause of protecting high school science education.

OK, I get it. RBH is engaged in spin,

now, now, I believe the current PC term is “framing”.

:p

More importantly, Behe has spent years misrepresenting evolution, and to my knowledge, Collins has not.

then read his book and decide for yourself, eh?

that were what he calls “Moral Law” to be someday explained by sociobiology and/or evolutionary psychology, he would accept that and it would not affect his evangelical faith.

bah, that does not resemble the argument he made in his book AT ALL.

if you really want to bring this up here, we can really flesh it out.

I don’t think that would be a good “tactical” move on your part, though.

I was happy to drop it in favor of letting Collins be used in the fashion that appears to have been pragmatic for you, but don’t let your pragmatism blind you to the horrid logic Collins uses in that book, or the gross ignorance he appears to have of the field of behavioral ecology itself.

seriously, are you suggesting you wish to flesh this issue out in THIS thread?

…just to add, I realize the pragmatism that Collins has had for you in your specific battles. If you wish, I have no problems taking this discussion to another forum so you don’t water down his value to you publicly.

if so, feel free just to remove all of my comments to somewhere you think more appropriate; i have no objections.

Now, contra my claim of the political utility of Collins’ (and both Millers’) position

no, you were right to claim expediency for the audience that was the target of your usage of Collins.

they are indeed unlikely (for the most part) to plumb the depths of the logical problems Collins’ arguments of “Moral Law” present.

I can appreciate that; just as you appreciate that a different audience is unlikely to be convinced at ALL of the value of Collins’ arguments.

Frankly, I liked what that McKee guy had to say, in the linked on-line video. I guess I have a bias that way.

But I don’t think that the the focus should be on NOMA. It should be on objective science as being a goal that is not, in the words of ID supporters, materialistic, but my preferred wording, realistic.

I’ll stick strongly by my point that if it were not for the perceived implications of HUMAN evolution, then there would be no problem with evolutionary theory in the science classroom or in the general public’s understanding of basic biology. Therein lies the problem … it involves US!

And, as I pointed out, the fossil record leading to US (humans) is remarkably convincing.

This has little to do with NOMA. It has to do with solid science first. And that is what should be in our classrooms, rather than the personal beliefs of Francis Collins or myself.

That we made such views accessible was one point of the project. That evolution was portrayed as an objective reality of the natural world, that was my goal.

Best, Jeff

Ichthyic wrote

…just to add, I realize the pragmatism that Collins has had for you in your specific battles. If you wish, I have no problems taking this discussion to another forum so you don’t water down his value to you publicly.

if so, feel free just to remove all of my comments to somewhere you think more appropriate; i have no objections.

I have no problem discussing it in public. You’ll see why in a moment.

Let me be as clear as I can about the utility I find in the existence of people like Francis Collins, Kenneth Miller, Keith Miller, and other theistic evolutionists.

The issue that most rouses the apprehension and defensiveness of evangelicals (I’m not speaking of hardcore fundamentalists, who are a lost cause, but of evangelicals) of my acquaintance is the possibility that teaching Darwinian evolution in high school will inevitably set their children on the road to atheism, and they will lose their salvation and go to Hell on account of it. The Millers (Keith and Kenneth) and Collins, among others, demonstrate that’s not necessarily the case. They claim to both accept evolution as the best scientific account of the diversity of life on earth, and in the case of Keith Miller and Collins, also accept Christian evangelical theology/beliefs. Thus they serve as an existence proof of the proposition that there are scientists who are evangelical Christians who claim to accept both, and thus atheism is not the inevitable result of learning evolution.

Now, I myself don’t see clearly how they do it, but that’s not my problem. I’m pretty much color-blind in that range, though I was raised in a Christian home. I can say (and have said) quite honestly to evangelicals to whom I’ve presented those examples (well, not Collins, since he hadn’t yet published his book) that I don’t quite understand how they accomplish the reconciliation, but that they claim to, and I’ve referred those evangelicals to the books – Finding Darwin’s God and Perspectives on an Evolving Creation – to learn how they say they do it. I’ve even loaned out my copies of those books to dubious Christians. They have returned them to me saying things like, “Well, I never thought of it that way. Thanks!” Several that I know of (including one BOE member) later bought one or the other of the books themselves.

So I don’t have to “spin” or “frame” or misrepresent or slip and slide around the issue. I’m quite clear about my own inability to understand how the theistic evolutionists reconcile the two positions, but again, that’s not my problem and I can say that quite cheerfully.

RBH

Jeff McKee wrote

Frankly, I liked what that McKee guy had to say, in the linked on-line video. I guess I have a bias that way.

Yeah, and he’s a handsome devil, to boot! :)

I really do think the focus of the panel turned out to be NOMA-ish, protestations to the contrary. I wrote my first piece here from two week old memory, having taken only fragmentary notes and having no access to a recording, and that was my dominant impression of it. I haven’t yet re-listened to the whole thing (I did skip ahead to the question from the good-looking guy in the red shirt), but I will when I have a free hour.

RBH

I’m quite clear about my own inability to understand how the theistic evolutionists reconcile the two positions, but again, that’s not my problem and I can say that quite cheerfully.

I wonder then why you think Clay Shirky’s argument is relevant, or even contra yours.

I don’t quite understand how they accomplish the reconciliation

the point is, when pushed to elucidate, it becomes quite clear that they actually have not accomplished such a reconciliation as they claim. Collins does an excellent job in the first half of his book showing how all the evidence he personally has observed indeed supports modern evolutionary theory. Then, in the second half, he shows how his religion prevents him from seeing how that same theory applies to basic behavior.

Miller does the same thing, but his arguments are at least better reasoned, if still incorrect.

So I don’t have to “spin” or “frame” or misrepresent or slip and slide around the issue.

you just have the luxury of being able to ignore the problems, as, like i said, your target audience doesn’t care.

yes, it does border on dishonesty at some level, but I can’t argue with results.

Where is the dishonesty?

Where is the dishonesty?

in representing these people who have “reconciled” science with their personal religion in a rational manner.

they have not, actually done so.

that you have the luxury of ignoring that in favor of highlighting their better arguments doesn’t mean that those of us who actually teach evolutionary biology at the University level can, or should.

seriously, you don’t see how misrepresentation is at least dishonest at some level?

really?

I think anyone who both (1) Clearly comes across as a devout Christian; and (2) Clearly understands and endorses evolution as good science, fills the political requirements.

Here I disagree as seen in my earlier comments. If the political requirement is to spread good science and possibly to be moral, whether as “devout” religious or as scientist, Collins isn’t the best and probably not a risk free choice.

Actually, Collins is worse than I understood when I started to comment here. He seems to be ignorant of evolution according to evolutionary biologists. RPM has a recent post where he criticies Matt Nisbet on proposing Collins as the next presidential science advisor:

I think Collins has no academic credibility. What I mean by that is that Collins is unqualified for the position he currently holds. This brings into question using his position as head of the NHGRI as support for appointing him to science advisor. The reason Collins is unqualified for his current position is his public displays of ignorance regarding evolutionary biology. This is important in respect to NHGRI because so much of genomics research relies heavily on evolutionary theory.

Here are a few examples of Collins displaying his ignorance:

* He thinks humans have stopped evolving. The linked post is from June 2006. In the year and half since that post even more evidence has been revealed that goes against Collins’ belief.

* He thinks that the entire human genome is functional, an absolutely absurd idea.

* He wrote heavily about what he calls “Moral Law” in his book. He believes that current research cannot explain human morality, therefore goddidit. This is a god of the gaps argument. However, in making his argument, he disregarded large swaths of research on the evolution of altruism, thereby artificially increasing the gaps.

So now I have to add to the list:
- Collins isn’t a typical evolutionist (which isn’t a problem if he is properly advertized).
- Collins rejects good evolutionary science for dogma, which isn’t the moral behavior of scientists (ie, scientists behavior is generally to not reject verified science for non-scientific reasons).

namely:
- Collins is ignorant of evolutionary science.

If he is ignorant of the science he is supposed to endorse to some degree (as he rejects part of it), is that a risk free figure head that wouldn’t do damage to the public opinion of scientists and/or evolution?

Still, I have nothing factual to come with, only concerns based on personal experience. So I’m prepared to withdraw from this discussion.

Here I disagree as seen in my earlier comments. If the political requirement is to spread good science and possibly to be moral, whether as “devout” religious or as scientist, Collins isn’t the best and probably not a risk free choice.

I don’t think that IS the political requirement, at all. The political requirement is to try to defuse or neutralize fanatical campaigns to stick creationism into public school science classes. The mechanism to accomplish this is to persuade terrified creationist parents that their children are not in danger due to exposure to poisonous ideas. The key idea is that Collins has been intimately connected with a project that would be senseless except for core evolutionary ideas, without losing his evangelical zeal.

However, I’m willing to concede that finding a truly zealous evangelical born-again Jesus-obsessed, yet fully qualified and accomplished evolutionary biologist, might just never be possible. Science and creationism ARE NOT compatible at that level. And so I agree there’s some very real risk that the parents whose concerns we’re trying to pacify, will take note that scientists are reacting with equally zealous rejection of Collins on clearly religious grounds. And thus using Collins will be caused to backfire, demonstrating beyond any hope that evolutionists hate Jesus and reject God and will gladly badmouth even the most respected biologist who dares to be Christian.

And mind you, this is how it will be represented. Remember that your opponent isn’t unscientific ideas at the margin, your opponent is *parents* who don’t know science from Swahili, but who DO know that you evilutionists are out to get good Christians, and kick God out of the schools, and send their kids to hell, and outlaw prayer, and make us all monkeys. What? You think that’s NOT what you are saying? Do you think creationists care, or could understand if they wanted to?

Many of the scientifical types in this discussion seem very much like political libertarians: willing to lose, and lose badly and consistently, rather than compromise on the absolute purity of their ideology. Maybe someday, when our kids come home and tell us that they studied in science class how Jesus POOFED life into being - as required by the Official State Curriculum - we can at least take solace in that we wrecked Collins’ credibility, that damn impure imposter!

The political requirement is to try to defuse or neutralize fanatical campaigns to stick creationism into public school science classes. […]

Many of the scientifical types in this discussion seem very much like political libertarians: willing to lose, and lose badly and consistently, rather than compromise on the absolute purity of their ideology.

It has been noted before in the context of framing science at large, that there is a short and long perspective. It is possible to frame the long perspective as non-compromising, as it looks so when looking at short time constant processes.

Generally I don’t think there is enough measures and models to say which perspective should be dominant at any given time, or even better how to play with controls on both time scales simultaneously.

Btw, self-proclaimed framer Matt Nisbet seems to have given Collins his kiss of death (Nisbet suck at framing) at ScienceBlogs, so currently the points on Collins list as a bad choice in a political position for science comes faster than I can evaluate their value:

he was/is always playing second fiddle to someone else: Craig Venter.

Why was his reaction “OMG STOP SCIENCE!!” and not “OMG STOP PRIVATE INSURANCE!!”? I do not ever want someone in the White House who thinks the answer to a political problem with science is STOP SCIENCE. Ever.

Which leads to my final reason why Collins should not, cannot, be in a political position for science: he is afraid of science. Let me finish the above quote for you:

But potentially powerful in a more frightening way, where this kind of information might get used against you to discriminate, to take away your health insurance or your job, or perhaps used in other ways that violate privacy…or in some way begin to lessen what it means to be human in the full sense of the word by moving us in the direction where everything about us is viewed as being hard-wired as part of our DNA, taking away all of the wonderful aspects of who we are as human beings.

DO NOT WANT.

With a hat tip to PT poster ERV.

It has been noted before in the context of framing science at large, that there is a short and long perspective.

Maybe I should point out that I don’t place my own concerns in the later category, neither by your description (I made a practical argument, not an ideological), nor by a long time scale.

Hmm. And now I’m left to ponder why both RBH and Nisbet promotes Collins in political/policy positions at roughly the same time, and how much it backfired apart from the narrow blog perspective I have seen.

Many of the scientifical types in this discussion seem very much like political libertarians: willing to lose, and lose badly and consistently, rather than compromise on the absolute purity of their ideology.

Typical Flint ad hominem.

PG, is it just possible that these are not dishonest misrepresentations, but honest differences of opinion?

As possible that Casey Luskin has honest differences of opinion with evolutionary biologists, but has never dishonestly misrepresented them.

Rather than talk about what is “possible”, look at the evidence in front of you.

Does the fact that someone disagrees with you make them wrong or stupid?

No, but you are clearly wrong and stupid in this case, since I commented on Flint’s dishonest misrepresentation of my position, not on whether he is wrong or stupid.

You give me the impression that you are just as strident, unyielding, and closed-minded as anyone you argue against.

So what? I noted that Flint dishonestly misrepresented me, and your idiotic tu quoque is irrelevant.

PG has repeatedly, and clearly, pointed out that Collins makes “bad pseudo-scientific arguments in his attempt to prove that God exists.” No question, he does this. I referred to this practice as being scientifically impure, reflecting scientifically impure thoughts. I maintain that PG and I are saying exactly the same thing in different words, and there’s no disagreement.

I will state an obvious truth: anyone who equates those is either incredibly stupid or is being dishonest.

He’s baAAAaack!

Torbjörn wrote

Hmm. And now I’m left to ponder why both RBH and Nisbet promotes Collins in political/policy positions at roughly the same time, and how much it backfired apart from the narrow blog perspective I have seen.

Except that I haven’t done so. My approach is to use the existence of theistic evolutionists like Keith Miller, Kenneth Miller, Collins, and others to demonstrate a proposition to parents of high school kids: That knowing a good deal (though clearly not enough in Collins’ case at least) about evolutionary biology will not automatically lead their kids to atheism and doom them to Hell.

Now, as I’ve read more and thought about what’s been said in this thread and elsewhere recently, I may change my mind about whether Collins himself is as good an example as Keith (not Kenneth) Miller. On the one hand he’s a lot better known and his book sold a lot better than Keith’s. On the other, it is the case that he’s not nearly as knowledgeable about evolution as Keith is. They’re both evangelicals, which is a strong point in favor of using them as examples as opposed, say, to Kenneth Miller.

RBH

Given what we know about our universe today, it’s a good bet that there are no humans on this planet that know anything about the mind of any god. Most of the organized religions tend to discourage any acknowledgment of this, and the most abusive religions instill, from an early age, guilt and terror at the very thought of such an idea.

On the other hand, given human imagination, which has contributed to our understanding of the universe, and given human history, many people are going to continue to wonder about gods of some type. If they are able to speculate and search without dogmatism or without attempts to proselytize, that shouldn’t be a problem. If such a search provides some kind of moral framework for them and gives them some kind of “higher goal”, why be too critical of such an attitude?

The problem comes when attempting to justify one’s sectarian religion and science at the same time. None of the sectarian gods of human history appear to be supported by what we know from science. Any deity or deities that may exist are going to be radically different from anything humans have conceived up to the present, and it is unlikely that any creature within this universe will ever be able to detect, let alone comprehend, such a being. So if a person still tends toward such a search, at least a little humility would be in order.

Unfortunately, politics and religion are more tightly intertwined than humility and religion.

I will state an obvious truth: anyone who equates those is either incredibly stupid or is being dishonest

you are clearly wrong and stupid in this case

This has always been PG’s generic set of epithets for anyone who disagrees with him. Now I see he also deploys them to attack anyone who agrees using different words. Insecurity taken to astounding extremes!

He’s baAAAaack!

And as nuanced and three-dimensional as ever!

Torbjörn– I think RBH and I arent disagreeing. Collins is super for helping Evangelicals begin dealing with science. YAY!

I sure as hell dont want Collins in a position where he is The Voice of science, politically, though. Ironically, because Collins doesnt separate his god and his science, as he has theistic difficulties with basic research (genome sequencing, embryonic stem-cell research, etc)

:)

What whatsername said. :)

I think this thread has run its course. Thanks, folks!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on January 2, 2008 3:48 PM.

Openlab 2007: Winners Announced was the previous entry in this blog.

Information in biology is the next entry in this blog.

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

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter