Ben Stein: Front Man for Creationism’s Manufactroversy

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banner.jpgYet another scathing review, this time from the Huffington Post’s Valerie Tarico. The meme of a “Manufactroversy” combined with meme of ‘flunked’ seem to be catching on.

How long have creationists been talking about “Darwinism” as if no one but Darwin had noticed the fossil record or the DNA code in the last 100 years? It does get tiresome, responding to their ever evolving anti-evolutionary rhetoric. But we need to expose the bizarre supernaturalist agenda behind all the sudden whining about academic freedom. And somebody needs to gently remind Stein and his creationist cronies that they haven’t been expelled from school, they flunked.

But that is but a mild criticism compared to what else Valerie is telling us.

Read all about how Expelled ‘Flunked’ at ExpelledExposed.com

It starts with an accurate description of Ben Stein’s most marketable asset

Now the creationists have taken a new approach that they hope will help them achieve their goal of teaching religious beliefs in our schools as science. That approach can be summed up in one simple word: whining.

Whining is becoming the new meme of the creationist movement

One week from today, the new movie, Expelled, attempts to turn creationist complaints into mainstream media. Featuring Ben Stein, one of the conservative right’s biggest whiners, the film makes several plaintive appeals: There’s a conspiracy among big government and big science, and it’s not fair! All we ask is for our perspective to get equal time! (Read: we lost, so let’s split the prize.) All we want is for teachers to “teach the controversy”! This is all about academic freedom. Americans like freedom, right?

And thus a new word is born “manufactroversy”

University of Washington professor, Leah Ceccarelli has pointed out that their “teach the controversy” strategy depends on a very specific sleight of hand: blurring the difference between scientific controversy and manufactured controversy or Manufactroversy.

Noting the similarities between the creationist movement, tobacco and global warming

Scientific controversy exists only when the jury of relevant experts is out on whether a new finding meets the standard of evidence. The debate and evidence gathering still are in process. A manufactroversy is when someone motivated by profit or ideology fosters confusion in the public mind long after scientists have moved on to the next set of questions. Think tobacco and lung cancer. Think Exxon and global warming. Now think Ben Stein and evolution.

The fact is, there is no scientific controversy about evolution, just like there is no scientific controversy about whether tobacco causes lung cancer or whether human activity causes global warming. However, in all three examples, someone powerful and well established loses out when and if the scientific mountain of evidence becomes common knowledge and widely accepted.

Wow.

89 Comments

Wow, indeed. Also cowabunga.

Funny how the ‘design inference’ may be finally successfully applied to a case involving copyright infringement by ID creationist…

Of course, pattern matching is a trivial example but still fascinating…

Mr Wallace? Mr Wallace? Keith? Keith? Anyone? Anyone?

Check out this blatant B S:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/0[…]richard.html

Dawkins Outraged at Exposure of Link Between Darwinism and Nazi Ideology

Richard Dawkins has been ranting that he’s outraged (I’ll just bet he is) that Expelled exposes for all to clearly see the connection between Darwinism and Nazi ideology.

According to Dawkins:

The alleged association between Darwinism and Nazism is harped on for what seems like hours, and it is quite simply an outrage. We are supposed to believe that Hitler was influenced by Darwin.

Actually the discussion of the influence of Darwinism on the Nazis in Expelled lasts only about ten minutes, and outside that segment of the film there’s no references at all to the Nazis.

Dawkins of course has said he would hate to live in a Darwinian society. Jerusalem Post columnist Jonathan Roseblum explained back in December that maybe we already do. He wrote about Richard Weikart’s meticulously researched book From Darwin To Hitler, which proves the point and then some.

As Professor Richard Weikart chillingly details in From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, Mengele’s experiments on “inferior” Jewish children for the benefit of the Master Race have to be viewed in the context of German Social Darwinism in the seven decades leading up to the Nazi takeover.

In Weikart’s estimate, a majority of German physicians and scientists subscribed to the naturalistic Darwinian world view and ideas that constituted a sustained assault on the traditional Judeo-Christian concept of the sanctity of life. Among those ideas are the claim that there is no fundamental distinction between humans and animals; human beings do not possess a soul that endows them with any rights or superiority to any other species; within the species homo sapiens, there are “inferior” and “superior” individuals, and inferior and superior races; and it is the iron will of nature that the species should evolve through the survival of the superior members and the death of the inferior.

Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton founded the modern eugenics movement on the basis of Darwinian arguments, and nowhere did eugenics catch on with greater enthusiasm than in Germany (though many prominent intellectuals in the United States, England and France were also enthusiastic supporters.) In Germany, many took the next step - from eugenics to involuntary euthanasia for the mentally ill and other defectives.

Read it all here. http://www.jewishmediaresources.com/article/1166/

The Darwindidit theory isn’t what most Jews accept as the cause of the Holocaust. Below is one Jewish view from a website called myjewsishlearning.

Mathis is following Goebbels strategy, JG:““If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Got to wonder about someone who acts like a Nazi.

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/ide[…]l_Porton.htm

Jews & Non-Jews ATTITUDES TOWARD NON-JEWS | CHRISTIANITY | AFTER THE HOLOCAUST

Judaism and Christianity: After the Holocaust In the wake of the Holocaust, Jewish theologians have challenged Christian thinkers to rework Christianity’s traditional pictures of the Jews. By Gary G. Porton This article suggests that Christians must confront their complicity in the Holocaust before Jewish-Christian relations can be normalized. Such reflection has taken place in the work of many Christian, especially Catholic, theologians. The declaration Nostra Aetate, often referred to as Vatican II, called for “fraternal dialogue” between Jews and Christians. The Church explained that this document, “finds its historical setting in circumstances deeply affected by the memory of the persecution and massacre of Jews which took place in Europe just before and during the Second World War.” Reprinted with permission of The Continuum International Publishing Group from The Encyclopedia of Judaism, edited by Jacob Neusner, Alan Avery-Peck, and William Scott Green.

The events of the twentieth century dramatically changed the relationship between Jews and Christians. Christian Sins The Holocaust forever altered the way in which Jews of the second half of this century would view non-Jews. While Christianity did not cause the Holocaust, many of its myths and images supported European anti‑Judaism and justified the Nazis’ murder of Europe’s Jews. There were many Christians and Church leaders who endangered themselves in order to protect Jews. But many more supported and executed the Nazis’ plans, and many did so in the name of Jesus and Christianity.

While the Nazis also killed many Christians, many, even most, of the murderers of the Jews were baptized followers of Christ. Contemporary Christians struggle with this truth, as do current Jewish thinkers.

Two other events have proven important for Jews attempting to comprehend the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 challenged medieval and modern Christian doctrine concerning the superiority of Christianity and the divine rejection of Jews and Judaism. From the Jewish point of view, the failure of the Vatican, the World Council of Churches, and other international Christian organizations to support Israel in the Six Day War was also significant. continues

Dawkins.

That was funny on the Evo News site.

They had “Dawinks” for several days. I’m amazed how poor their spelling is. Don’t they use computers?

I thought “Dawinks” was an intentional slam, but realized it was just Crowther being his usual careless self. Pitiful.

Panic has set in among the evo commmunity and I am laughing so hard I may have to stop reading this stuff for a day or two.

Looks like the pimp lawyer and the xvivo crowd tell them to chill out as their compliant gave frivolous a bad name in legal terms.

Poor evos… the rope to the dock is still available.

re Keith: There’s stupid, and then there’s BLIND stupid.

And then there’s Keith.

Meds. Take ‘em.

keith wrote:

“their compliant (sic) gave frivolous a bad name in legal terms.”

Maybe he took spelling lessons from Crowther or he is merely just as careless.

Sorry if this is a repeat post, but I don’t know if this went through…

PvM:

I know this is off topic, but I didn’t see any live threads discussing this issue surrounding Expelled, so I wanted to get your take on this (perhaps you post another thread where comments can be made). My question is this:

Do you think that Darwinism, and the spirit of the science that it embraces, has any logical connection with Nazism, eugenics, or anything of that nature that the movie Expelled claims it does?

I can guess what you will say–no. Darwin didn’t make anyone bad, the person is to be held accountable. It was a perversion of Darwin’s theory and a shame that Stein would try to pin such a horrible act on a perfectly legitimate theory instead of an evil man.

Close enough?

Well, quite frankly, you, and PZ, and Richard, and Wesley, and everyone else promoting this opinion is wrong. It is Richard Dawkins who has argued that evolutionary biology whitewashes all of this wickedness. Don’t believe me? Who do you think made this statement:

“As scientists, we believe that human brains, though they may not work in the same way as man-made computers, are as surely governed by the laws of physics. When a computer malfunctions, we do not punish it. We track down the problem and fix it, usually by replacing a damaged component, either in hardware or software.…But doesn’t a truly scientific, mechanistic view of the nervous system make nonsense of the very idea of responsibility, whether diminished or not? Any crime, however heinous, is in principle to be blamed on antecedent conditions acting through the accused’s physiology, heredity and environment.…Presumably because mental constructs like blame and responsibility, indeed evil and good, are built into our brains by millennia of Darwinian evolution. Assigning blame and responsibility is an aspect of the useful fiction of intentional agents that we construct in our brains as a means of short-cutting a truer analysis of what is going on in the world in which we have to live. My dangerous idea is that we shall eventually grow out of all this and even learn to laugh at it, just as we laugh at Basil Fawlty when he beats his car. But I fear it is unlikely that I shall ever reach that level of enlightenment.”

http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_9.html

This is evolutionary biology at its finest. Hitler was not bad–just broken. DARWINIAN EVOLUTION has imbibed us with the sense of right and wrong–it is not something grand an external and Platonic and real but simply a changeable convention that was useful for surviving–if not, we would be at each others throats. You and the whordes of internet atheist are going to try and say that it is the producers of Expelled who are ‘sinister’ in trivializing Hitler–here Dawkins justifies Hitler with evolutionary biology.

Look, everyone like to say that the spirit of methodological naturalism is essential for science, and science is compatible with religious thought. It’s just learning about math, or engineering, or baking. But do you really think WORKING WITH THE ASSUMPTION THAT ALL EXPLANATIONS SHOULD BE MATERIAL–OUR ORIGINS, OUR THOUGHT LIFE, OUR PRAYER LIFE, OUR SENSE OF MORALITY, ETC.–has no effect on religious thought or lends a person to atheism? Look, there are evolutionary biologists out there who try to justify all sorts of things by pinning it on evolution–racism, rape, etc. If you learn in a neurophysiology class that you do not have a free will–as Will Provine has argued for–then you are going to look at the world through a different lens and it is certainly not going to be one very helpful to religion. Methodological Naturalism, the spirit which is infused with Darwinism, is a necessary but not sufficient condition for atheism…but it does have a logical path towards atheism. And if atheism is the case, and everything (including our sense of right and wrong, decency, respect, free will, etc) is just an outgrowth matter in motion, then Hume may be right. There are not ought’s, only is’s. And if someone–say Hitler–feels that Darwinian principles are at work and that his race needs to suceed at the expense of others, who are you to say that he ought not do that? Or that his behavior is not Darwinian? After all, he is using a competitive advantage (his mind, speaking skills, etc) to propogate his genes and the similar genes of a race that is very much like him, rather like kin selection.

So no, evolution by itself does not get you to the place of killing 6 million Jews, but the spirit of evolution–Darwinism, methodological naturalism–says that we are not special and that the hardy survive and that we, our lives, our morals, are nothing more than a material process that might not have happened or could have gone the other way. That in itself is a factor, among many others, that could have been necessary for the extermination of the Jews at that time and place in history (it might have been impossible without rallying the scientists under some banner–and darwinism served that purpose).

Ideas have implications, and I think it is a shame that you and everyone else think that it is okay for us to openly talk about faith being a wicked virtue leading to travesty and ignorance and a necessary component in the slaughter of many, but not a theory belying an ideology that treats all morals as relative and all life as nothing more than matter and energy.

I think the producers of Expelled may have gotten it right…

Looks like Keith’s perceptual difficulties aren’t limited to just science. They also apparently apply to our emotional states. I wonder what color the sky is in his world.

Personally I am absolutely salivating at the potential for disaster here for the lying dipshits in the ID movement. No one, NO ONE, with an ounce of intelligence who is anywhere near the fence on this issue is buying their bullshit this time. The Fox pan was the ultimate indication of that. You can only fool so many people with the same script a finite number of times before everyone will catch on, and thanks to the internet, and sites like this, that number is getting smaller by the day.

Panic my dear delusional man? I am so giddy I am having a hard time sleeping, as I anxiously wait to see what new idiotic way the IDers will have found to shoot themselves in the foot today. Their sloppiness and dishonesty shows more and more, and to more and more, every day, and it just couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of intellectual pussies.

Mathis is following Goebbels strategy, JG:“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Got to wonder about someone who acts like a Nazi.

Person is another Goebbellian Nazioid. They just repeat the Big Lie over and over. Still a lie. Most historians, Jewish and Xian, blame Martin Luther, a rabid antisemite who proposed to exterminate the Jews 400 years ago and his influence on German Xianity. Yeah, that is right, Xianity albeit a German version. Deal with it, it is the truth.

Wikipedia says it all.

wikipedia: Luther and antisemitism:

Influence on modern antisemitism

The prevailing view[31] among historians is that his anti-Jewish rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of antisemitism in Germany,[32] and in the 1930s and 1940s provided an ideal foundation for the National Socialist’s attacks on Jews.[33] Reinhold Lewin writes that “whoever wrote against the Jews for whatever reason believed he had the right to justify himself by triumphantly referring to Luther.” According to Michael, just about every anti-Jewish book printed in the Third Reich contained references to and quotations from Luther. Heinrich Himmler wrote admiringly of his writings and sermons on the Jews in 1940.[34] The city of Nuremberg presented a first edition of On the Jews and their Lies to Julius Streicher, editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, on his birthday in 1937; the newspaper described it as the most radically anti-Semitic tract ever published.[35] It was publicly exhibited in a glass case at the Nuremberg rallies and quoted in a 54-page explanation of the Aryan Law by Dr. E.H. Schulz and Dr. R. Frercks.[36] On December 17, 1941, seven Lutheran regional church confederations issued a statement agreeing with the policy of forcing Jews to wear the yellow badge, “since after his bitter experience Luther had already suggested preventive measures against the Jews and their expulsion from German territory.”

So no, evolution by itself does not get you to the place of killing 6 million Jews, but the spirit of evolution–Darwinism, methodological naturalism–says that we are not special and that the hardy survive and that we, our lives, our morals, are nothing more than a material process that might not have happened or could have gone the other way. That in itself is a factor, among many others, that could have been necessary for the extermination of the Jews at that time and place in history (it might have been impossible without rallying the scientists under some banner–and darwinism served that purpose).

And Martin Luther’s view of Jews as sub-human Christ-killers had nothing to do with it? Perhaps you should find the moral courage to face up to your own church’s sordid history of Jewish persecution before you try to blame modern science with your own moral failings.

Person said:

Do you think that Darwinism, and the spirit of the science that it embraces, has any logical connection with Nazism, eugenics, or anything of that nature that the movie Expelled claims it does?

Only in the sense that Einsteinism had a logical connection to Hiroshima, and that is being kind. Darwin did not introduce the notion of “culling the heard”, which when applied to humans is all eugenics is. And there is nothing even slightly related to government control of industry in The Origin of the Species. This is why there is so little time spent discussing this topic. It is absurd on its face, and clearly self-serving. I can, with far better facts and logic, argue that Einstein is responsible for Hiroshima, than you can argue that Darwin was responsible for Auschwitz.

In the end, no science can ever be held responsible for our decisions, because science is an “is”, and our decisions are based on “ought”s, and you cannot derive one from the other.

No, person: the producers of Expelled got it very wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Among other things, the idea, the essence of Evolutionary Biology is that because organisms tend to be imperfect copies of their parents, changes accumulate with each passing generation. If these accumulated changes help those populations of organisms possess them survive better, these populations survive: if these changes do not benefit those populations that possess them, these populations tend to die off.

Hence the gist of “On the Origin of Species” being “descent with modification.”

Secondly, the gist of Nazism, and the madness that Adolf Hitler embraced was that “The Aryans are the pinnacles of God’s creations: all other peoples are flawed monsters that ultimately deserve to be scoured from the Earth.”

Learn how to read. If you did, you would realize that Hitler’s speeches never touched on “Evoluton” or even “Darwinism,” save once when he briefly lambasted it as being a false science. Furthermore, Hitler’s speeches made use of more medical metaphor, such as “removing tumors,” and that Hitler’s anti-Semitic speeches tended to read as plagiarisms of Martin Luther’s “Of the Jews and Their Lies.” Unless, of course, you have evidence that Charles Darwin was able to travel through time in order to influence Martin Luther, too. Speaking of Hitler and medical metaphors, he was responsible for shutting down the bloodbanks of Germany because he was afraid that his beloved Nazi soldiers may run the risk of becoming “Jewish by injection,” in that he believed that inheritance was through blood, rather than gametes or chromosomes.

Thirdly, the producers of Expelled are shameless liars and shameless hypocrites, given as how they lied to the scientists they interviewed, given as how they never bother to describe what sort of positive benefits Intelligent Design “theory” would make if the so-called “persecuted” were allowed to engage in research, given as how the producers never bother explain exactly how “Darwinism” gave rise to Nazism when there exists no evidence whatsoever among Hitler’s notes, memoirs, speeches, or the notes, memoirs or speeches of his aides, staff or servants of Hitler ever so much as coming within 15 feet of any of Charles Darwin’s books, and given as how the producers never bother to explain why the noted German Jewish paleontologist and “evolutionist” Rudolf Kaufman was murdered by Nazi guards.

So, in other words, person, grow up, go study Biology for Dummies, or go away.

Person is another creo spambot, a meat robot. They’ve been crawling the web for days posting their Goebbels spam wherever they can.

Let me ask everyone, what do you think about the Richard Dawkins comment that absolves Hitler of personal responsibility? No one seems to want to bite on that bit. And no one wants to bite on the bit about our morals–you know, the ones that say we shouldn’t kill Jews–are outgrowths of a mindless evolutionary process and that in Hitler’s case “…assigning blame and responsibility is an aspect of the useful fiction” (Richard Dawkins words)?

Is Darwin in this case not justifying Hitler and trivializing his evil?

I don’t know how much Darwin influenced Hitler. He may not have bought into common descent–he made comments both ways. He certainly bought into the part about species and races clawing for survival, and this in a BIOLOGICAL context–the rights to live and reproduce (so don’t give me this business about Adam Smith being equally to blame). I do know that Darwin was used as a rallying banner for German scientists to justify themselves…we are material species, we are using our wits to oust other less related genes for competing for our resources…as detailed by Weikart. This much is clear from his writing.

So, for those of you tuning into my comments, here is my questions:

1. For proponents of atheism and evolution, what is wrong with Richard Dawkins sentiments, and is he using evolution to absolve Hitler of moral responsibility?

2. If he is, why aren’t you jumping down his throat like you are Mark Mathis?

3. Are you aware that there are books and articles promoting our morality as an outgrowth of a material process…if so, via Hume, how do you get an is from an ought? How do you tell Hitler he ‘ought’ not have done what he did?

4. Finally, be honest here, can’t you look at this situation and explain it like you do any other biological issue…this was just a case of an organism trying to oust the competition and propogate his genes? Morality is just like a nose or a feather or a tooth…a convenient adaptation that can be useful in one context but is not permanent and certainly not transcendentally fixed or warranted…what is right today may be wrong tomorrow, etc.? If you accept this reasoning, how is Hitler any different from a tiger or a mole or a slug trying to use their adaptations for their own ends? Tell me evolution doesn’t justify that…

I concur with Science Avenger that science consists of tools that are value neutral and can only be made good or bad by the decision (values beliefs) of the person or persons who use them. Theories are not good or evil but the people who use them choose good or evil.

This again shows a basic misunderstanding of the nature of science by ID proponents. Evolution becomes evilution when you use it to produce a biological weapon or to justify genocide. It can also be used to save lives. A friend who works to cure cancer in children has told me that he sees more of his patients survive every year because of the designer drugs and therapies of biotechnology whose practices rest on the theory of evolution.

How has the debate gotten so far away from discussion of how to use the tools of science in a n ethical, positive way? In this endeavor the religious community should be our allies not our enemies. How sad!

At Nuremberg, some Nazis said they were just carrying out Martin Luther’s plan. Martin Luther never read Darwin, living 2 centuries before Darwin was even born.

wikipedia:

Luther advocated an eight-point plan to get rid of the Jews either by religious conversion or by expulsion:

“First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. …” “Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. …” “Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. …” “Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. …” “Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. …” “Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them. … Such money should now be used in … the following [way]… Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed [a certain amount]…” “Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow… For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.” “If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews’ blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country” and “we must drive them out like mad dogs.” [31]

Person (who shall apparently remain nameless) wrote: This is evolutionary biology at its finest. Hitler was not bad–just broken. DARWINIAN EVOLUTION has imbibed us with the sense of right and wrong–it is not something grand an external and Platonic and real but simply a changeable convention that was useful for surviving–if not, we would be at each others throats. You and the whordes of internet atheist are going to try and say that it is the producers of Expelled who are ‘sinister’ in trivializing Hitler–here Dawkins justifies Hitler with evolutionary biology.

Dawkins is making a suggestion that causality for any given act can be traced back farther than the act itself. In other words A decides to rob B because A wants or needs something B has. Modern legal and moral conventions assign the blame for the robbery on A. Dawkins says the totality of circumstances is greater than that. The root cause of the robbery is all the circumstances leading up to the act. Presumably these circumstances include all possible factors from the socioeconomic to the hereditary to a plethora of other factors extending back deep into time.

To me this actually sounds a lot like watchmaker deism, the theological notion that the universe was wound up like a great clock and then left to run, and everything that has happened since then is just ticking along according to the watchmaker’s plan. In such a universe, good and evil are meaningless concepts because there is no free will.

It just so happens I’m an atheist, and I don’t agree with Dawkins on this one. Yep, we atheists argue and disagree with each other on subjects like good/bad/free will just as eagerly as you religious folks do. Admittedly, our arguments tend to be a bit less theatrical than yours, because we’ve only got the material universe to work with (and “I curse you to the last decimal place of pi” just doesn’t have the oomph of condemming someone to Hell), but we do our best.

Yet for all that, Dawkin’s isn’t making the argument you think he’s making. What he actually says is this.

Why do we vent such visceral hatred on child murderers, or on thuggish vandals, when we should simply regard them as faulty units that need fixing or replacing?… My dangerous idea is that we shall eventually grow out of all this and even learn to laugh at it, just as we laugh at Basil Fawlty when he beats his car. But I fear it is unlikely that I shall ever reach that level of enlightenment.

He’s not saying child murders are good or that we (society) should let thuggish vandals run amok. He suggests repairing or replacing these broken people. He states that the visceral hatred we have of these people is an evolutionary response, but what he’s ultimate driving at is the rather zen notion that, to see the world clearly, we need to get past our anger, fix the problem, and move on.

Sounds a lot like “turn the other cheek” to me.

Oddly, his point is very nearly congruous with the philosophy of the modern penal system. (Disclaimer: I work in the penal system and know of what I speak) Criminals who enter our penal system are supposed to be rehabilitated so they do not recidivate. In other words, we are supposed to fix them so that when we release them, they don’t reoffend.

Sadly we don’t do a very good job of it. Pedophiles, in particular, are nearly impossible to rehabilitate. But what if we could? What if we could chemically fix that which is wrong with a pedophile so that he never re-offends? What then would be the point of putting him on the sex-offender registry? Can we as a society forgive a repaired evil-doer?

If we can fix the problem there is no point in continuing to hate and punish the offender. That’s the proposition Dawkins is making.

Richard Dawkins never once attempted to absolve Adolf Hitler of anything.

Adolf Hitler was a lunatic, and he did not understand Biology, and he did not accept Evolutionary Theory.

And as such, I beseech the Administration to purge person’s comments from this thread, as he is doing nothing but spamming the thread in order to to squeeze an erroneous connection between Evolutionary Biology and Nazism, and is not at all interested in reading any counter-arguments.

Kmlisle- Good points. And the evils that “person” ascribes to a scientific theory would also apply perfectly well to just about any religious belief. Not that religion has ever been used to justify evil acts. Oh no.

Tell us, “person”- is it the religion, or the individuals?

As any scientists here know, the truth of a scientific theory is independent of what anyone thinks of it or how it is used.

Gravity kills countless people every year and is a nuisance requiring people to buy cars to move around.

Believing that gravity is evil and costing us big bucks in oil imports won’t make it go away. Reality doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

“person” brings up my favorite logical fallacy of the creotards- “Evolution leads to ‘moral relativism’”. The punchline is that moral relativism is at the heart of all the ‘teach all viewpoints as equal’ Academic Freedom Bills were seeing of late.

For creationists, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are only absolutes when they need them to be.

Person,

Evolution doesn’t justify that.

There I told you.

And you can’t say you asked me not to tell you that.

Why in the world would anyone ever think that any scientific theory would ever justify any moral decision? Has this defense ever been used successfully in court? That is like saying:

Your honor, I heard that nature abhors a vacuum and I really abhor this guy, so I put him in a vacuum. See, I’m innocent!

Person just bundled up a bunch of lies, and the big one, Darwin killed the Jews. Demonstrably false.

Evolutionary biology is common and commonly accepted in both the USA and Israel and has been for many decades. Acceptance in the general US population runs around 40%, it is I believe higher in Israel. Among the scientific communities it runs over 99%. Same is true for Western Europe.

Seen any death camps in either Western Europe, the USA, or Israel lately? Anyone rounding up Jews here. The fact is the USA has been one of the few countries where Jews have assimilated and are just normal citizens pursuing their lives. And BTW, some of the US evolutionary biologists are Jewish and probably the vast majority of Israeli evolutionary biologists as well.

Evolutionary biology is irrelevant to rascism and antisemitism. What is relevant, are Xian Death Cult fanatics such as “person” who lie and are sometimes violent. These are religious bigots and we all know what religious bigots did for Germany in the mid 20th century.

person Wrote:

I don’t know how much Darwin influenced Hitler.

This seems like such a disingenuous statement. You know damned well there is no connection. You are simply attempting to spread a big lie on the instructions of your religious handlers.

How much do you know about the influence of Darwin on the Crusades? How about Darwin’s influence on the atrocities of the Inquisition?

Did Darwin have anything to do with forcing Galileo to recant? Did Darwin have anything to do with Bruno being burned at the stake? How about those Salem witch trials? Did Darwin have anything to do with the current abuses of women and children in the fundamentalist cult in Texas?

Did Darwin have anything to do with the internal wars of sectarian religions that have been going on for thousands of years before he was born? What about all the splits and proliferations of mutually suspicious sects that point fingers at each other and accuse each other of being false religions? Did Darwin do that? Did Darwin stoke the sectarian wars among Muslims in the Middle East? Did Darwin teach religious sects how to kill and exterminate each other?

Why is it so important to deflect attention from the stupidity and atrocious behaviors of sectarians who lie repeatedly in court, attempt to force their sectarian views on others who are not interested, and attempt to use the powers of secular institutions to interfere with the secular educations of strangers?

Did Darwin tell you to lie? Did Darwin tell you that you have to distort history? Did Darwin write all the propaganda coming from the Discovery Institute?

What do you really have against Darwin?

Why can’t you think and investigate and cross-check for yourself? Did Darwin make you a slavish, unquestioning follower of a sectarian cult?

It wasn’t Darwin who has paralyze you when it comes to searching through independently verifiable information that exists outside your sectarian dungeon.

I strongly disagree with Stanton. Whoever person is, and however fallacious his arguments - and they are fallacious - they were expressed politely and cogently. They were a contribution, allowing thought about the subject. They have been adequately refuted, however.

Nazism owed far more to Wager and Luther, and a generalised cultural antisemitism in Europe that predates even the latter, than to Darwin, but it owed most of all to Hitler’s personal psychopathology. As Robert Waite demonstrated in his definitive psychological biography of Hitler, “The Psychopathic God”, (Basic Books, New York, 1977, ISBN 0-465-06743-3) the inspiration of the rabid hatred of Jews that was the most salient of Hitler’s many pathological traits are the tawdry pamphlets of Lanz von Liebenfels and others that he read in Vienna before World War 1; but even these are not the actual “fons et origo”. Hitler needed to believe in some such construct, as a psychological defence. Other circumstances conspired to produce a situation in which the psychopathology of an individual could produce the Nazi state and ignite what we all hope (and pray, if we pray) was the last great European war and all the hideous, barbarous crimes that were part and parcel of it.

Waite chased down the references in “Mein Kampf”, the “Tabletalk” documents and all the recorded speeches to specific ideas. (Better him than me.) He went through Hitler’s own library, which was captured intact. (Hitler went in far more for yellowback westerns, the product of a minor German writer named Karl May, than for philosophy. He had no copy of Darwin’s works.) Waite documented all the identifiable sources of these ideas, and concluded that they consisted entirely of intellectually despicable works by racist polemicists - there is a long list of these - plus Luther, Wagner, snippets from Nietzsche (found only in abstracts), and the long-exploded “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. Darwin doesn’t get a look-in. There is no evidence - none - that Hitler was ever influenced by Darwin’s works. There is no evidence that he ever read Darwin, or even heard of his ideas except in the most casual anecdotal way.

Hitler was a lapsed Catholic who never, so far as can be known, attached any importance to his nominal religion, except insofar as it was sometimes useful to his politics. He was interested in Wagnerian paganism, but only really in its symbols and potential for political use. He used Christianity, sure, and there were, to the shame of the Church and its enduring guilt, many so-called Christians who were only too willing to be used. The Church did little to abjure, prevent and correct them, as it was obviously called to do. For that fact alone, it should be ashamed and remorseful. Some evidence of that shame and remorse has surfaced in fairly recent times. Let us hope that it will long be remembered.

Nevertheless, the monster that was Nazi Germany was not the creation of Christianity any more than it was the creation of Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution, the motto on German soldiers’ belt buckles notwithstanding. Nothing is that simple.

But you guys are biologists. Of course you already know that nothing is that simple.

Except for the mistake of modeling science as a democratic instead of a market (elitist) process, Leah Ceccarelli’s article, introducing the concept of “manufactroversy”, is IMO an equally interesting text. She really goes to town on the sophistry behind the whining.

The Darwindidit theory isn’t what most Jews accept as the cause of the Holocaust. Below is one Jewish view from a website called myjewsishlearning.

Hmm. Even worse for creationists the site doesn’t just propose that most christians in the populace supported and executed the Nazis’ plans. It relates jewish theologians that sees christianity in the role that creationists paint biologists in:

Berkovits focuses on the previous centuries of Christian anti‑Jewish teachings: “Without the contempt and hatred for the Jews planted by Christianity in the hearts of the multitude of its followers, Nazism’s crime against the Jewish people could never have been conceived, much less executed.”

At the very least one can ask why we should trust christian creationist theologians any more as experts here than jewish theologians on the history of the atrocities perpetrated on jewish populations.

I was watching one of those evolution shows on cable the other night. It portrayed the history of the species leading up to the dinosaurs. It occurred to me that a theme that comes up in evolution is repeated mass extinctions. Sounds pretty bad like Hitler maybe?

But wait! It seems like every time there is a mass extinction who survives? Not the bullies, not the T. Rexes not the baddest guys. It is the cute little guys hiding out in their dens.

This seems very biblical to me. There is definitely a precedent of the meek inheriting, over and over again.

The Hitler theme just does not fit.

Since it’s only a few days util the movie opens on some 1,000 screens, I prefer to see how long it takes until the American people press their legislators to enact laws enabling a more open view of scientific understanding and a less dogmatic evolutionary based view.

I expect many will insist on curtailing the neo-nazi tactics of the evo establishment and permit people of faith to participate fully in academic disciplines without fear of persecution.

I expect the excellent research, intellectual honesty, careful documentation, accurate scientific depictions, case studies of neo-nazi attacks on scientists questioning darwinism, and the factual historical research linking evolutionary dogma to the worst sorts of human behaviors, will shock the American people into action against this parasite on real science.

April 18th , 2008 the day of the great awakening.

Keith Eaton Wrote:

I expect the excellent research, intellectual honesty, careful documentation, accurate scientific depictions, case studies of neo-nazi attacks on scientists questioning darwinism, and the factual historical research linking evolutionary dogma to the worst sorts of human behaviors, will shock the American people into action against this parasite on real science.

ROTFL, I knew you were a troll. Well done though

If dark matter and dark energy can ever be detected by the senses through some analogue, as the behaviour of atomic particles can be detected and studied by observing the tracks in a cloud chamber, then they are material. If they are never anything more than what they are now, that is, accounting values plugged into an otherwise excellently predictive theory in order to make the theory consistent with all observations, then I suspect that they are one with phlogiston and the aether, and we will someday know better. But I do know that for them to be the subject of science, the former must be true.

Henry J Wrote:

Are dark matter and dark energy “material”? ;)

Dark matter definitely has large, easily measurable gravitational effects; larger than the effects of visible matter. Its existence has been known for some time. There is a distribution of some kind of matter that affects the velocities of stars in galaxies and bends light from distant galaxies traversing near it on its way to our telescopes. For example, the distribution of velocities of stars as their distances from the center of their galaxy increases deviates enormously from what would be predicted from the mass distribution seen in visible matter.

Maps of the distribution of dark matter are currently being made using the effects of gravitational lensing.

The precise nature of this matter is still unknown because it cannot be seen. It could be lots of mundane things such as normal, cold baryonic matter, or it could be some other kind of matter made up of other known particles such as neutrinos. Non-baryonic matter makes up about 85% of all matter. It is comprised of particles that do not interact with radiation, but would still have gravitational effects.

The existence of dark energy has been recently verified by measurements that show the universe is currently expanding at an accelerated rate. Dark energy appears to make up the largest proportion (over 80%) of the matter/energy in the universe (E = mc^2). There are current, partially confirmed theories that predict this effect and show it to be repulsive. The Higgs field could be connected with this. But at the moment, very little is know about dark energy.

The new accelerator at CERN is to be brought on line later this year. It is hoped it will find the Higgs. There are already tantalizing hints at Fermilab.

Some of the upcoming satellite telescopes should give a better handle on this.

Exciting times in physics and cosmology.

Tyler DiPietro:

“I disagree with you, raven. Methodological naturalism is not required for science. It is merely a practical choice.”

Could you clarify? Are there any specific instances of scientific reasoning that do not involve methodological naturalism?

Just to make sure there is an agreed upon defintion, by methodological naturalism, I mean the reduction of observable phenomena to natural mechanisms which accurately predict their behavior and properties. If you use a different defintion, elaboration would be appreciated.

A scientific theory, e.g. the theory of relativity or the theory of evolution, unites a class of observations and allows one to anticipate, what is going to happen under given circumstances. Scientific theories do make predictions, as you said. Naturally, we are interested in finding out how accurate those predictions are. We make experiments using very materialistic equipment and do not rely on intuition or revelation (well, intuition may help on occasions). I presume you agree with me this far.

My claim is that there is no reason a priori to limit the concepts used in the hypotheses to only materialistic explanations. If a hypothesis makes good predictions (verified materialistically), then it is a good hypothesis and it might become a scientific theory. Thus, we are fully allowed to use concepts such as “dark energy”, while building our hypotheses, even though all we know about that concept is that it is something very different from all we know of. In the end, we do expect to get predictions that we can understand using the concepts that we are already familiar with.

I further claim that if I managed to get gods in my equations, and those equations predicted consistently experimental outcomes, then scientists would consider my hypothesis very seriously.

The problem with e.g. Intelligent Design is that it does not make any predictions, whatsoever. The use of concepts that some might find dubious is not a problem of any kind, in my opinnion.

Regards

Eric

Eric Finn:

A scientific theory, e.g. the theory of relativity or the theory of evolution, unites a class of observations and allows one to anticipate, what is going to happen under given circumstances. Scientific theories do make predictions, as you said. Naturally, we are interested in finding out how accurate those predictions are. We make experiments using very materialistic equipment and do not rely on intuition or revelation (well, intuition may help on occasions). I presume you agree with me this far.

Science is about studying the Natural world. By positing the presence and influence of supernatural beings and or forces, which by their own definition, places them outside the Natural world, you have officially left the realm of Science.

By demanding that scientists not exclude supernatural explanations, which can not be studied by any scientific means, you are doing the philosophical equivalent of forcing a scientist to measure specifically how many angels can dance on the head of a pin at gunpoint.

My claim is that there is no reason a priori to limit the concepts used in the hypotheses to only materialistic explanations. If a hypothesis makes good predictions (verified materialistically), then it is a good hypothesis and it might become a scientific theory.

Then please provide us with a specific demonstration of how using “GODDIDIT” as an explanation is a superior explanation than any of the “materialistic” explanations scientists have been using since the start of the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, five hundred years ago.

Thus, we are fully allowed to use concepts such as “dark energy”, while building our hypotheses, even though all we know about that concept is that it is something very different from all we know of. In the end, we do expect to get predictions that we can understand using the concepts that we are already familiar with.

One important problem with your reasoning is that dark matter is not a supernatural substance, given as how we can detect it through scientific means. Another problem with your reasoning is that the actions and abilities of supernatural forces and entities are wholly unconstrained by natural laws, doing whatever it is they please. In fact, the only thing that can constrain supernatural forces and entities is human imagination. Thus, Occam’s Razor is rendered dull, and this is exactly why you can’t do any science with supernatural explanations, because all you wind up doing is “GODDIDTHIS” and “GODDIDTHATTOO,” and nothing more.

I further claim that if I managed to get gods in my equations, and those equations predicted consistently experimental outcomes, then scientists would consider my hypothesis very seriously.

No one is going to take you seriously until you actually do science. Creationists and Intelligent Design proponents can not get the message that idle boasting does not equal science. It’s like an incurable disease.

The problem with e.g. Intelligent Design is that it does not make any predictions, whatsoever. The use of concepts that some might find dubious is not a problem of any kind, in my opinnion.

The fatal flaw of Intelligent Design “theory” and all other “theories” that rely on supernatural causes is that the natural world can not be scientifically described in terms of the supernatural.

And so, until you stop boasting, and actually produce a repeatable experiment that involves supernatural forces and or entities, you are wasting all of our time.

Stanton:

And so, until you stop boasting, and actually produce a repeatable experiment that involves supernatural forces and or entities, you are wasting all of our time.

I am very sorry having wasted your time. Please, ignore this reply, if you have better things to do.

You state that “the Natural world” does not contain anything supernatural. I agree with you that one of the definitions for supernatural is that it is not limited by any laws or patterns, and thus it is impossible to predict its behaviour. As a whole, I find your comment supporting ontological naturalism (philosophical naturalism), which is a religious or a philosophical belief not derivable from science.

I tried to be explicit in stating that the predictions are always verified in experiments using natural (materialistic) means. Your example of counting angles on a pinhead does not meet the criteria. However, if an angel theory predicted e.g. a change in the resonant frequency of the pin, then it would be a perfectly valid theory. We would be able to detect angles, quite the same way we think we are able to detect dark energy.

Regards

Eric

Eric Finn:

We would be able to detect angles, quite the same way we think we are able to detect dark energy.

Yes, we can measure angles.

I meant angels this time, through.

Recards

Eric

Seeing as Person seems so keen on John Cleese’s Basil Fawlty, I think his whole case merely echoes another of his creations. When faced with the Spanish Inquisition the ultimate response was “It’s a fair cop but society is to blame.” Whilst this answer, might, in that fairy-tale world, have led to an escape from the Comfy Chair, I doubt Dawkin’s musings would absolve anyone (such as Hitler) of personal responsibility for their own acts, let alone damn Evolution with ultimate responsibility for the whole of the Nazi edifice. Except in creoland maybe.

Rather it seems likely that in desperation some are quote-mining for anything containing “Darwin” or “evolution” and “Nazi” or “Hitler” and hoping that this will do the trick. Dream on.

Dang. That was the Dead Bishop sketch, Not the spanish inquisition! Nobody expects that!

person Wrote:

This is evolutionary biology at its finest. Hitler was not bad–just broken.

At the very least Dawkins makes some ethical and theological views problematic, as he notes that some of the concepts may turn out to be simple consequences of models of intentional agents, which in turn may depend on how evolution shaped our brains. If so, facts are facts. Deal with it.

Greg du Pille Wrote:

Dang. That was the Dead Bishop sketch, Not the spanish inquisition! Nobody expects that!

LOL! Nice save!

Keith said:

Since it’s only a few days util the movie opens on some 1,000 screens, I prefer to see how long it takes until the American people press their legislators to enact laws enabling a more open view of scientific understanding and a less dogmatic evolutionary based view.

I sincerely hope you hold your breath in anticipation.

My money says it doesn’t last in more than a handful of screens for more than a week, if it ever hits anything close to 1,000 screens at all.

April 18th, 2008 the day of the great snooze.

keith:

April 18th …the Great Awakening.

“A wager a wager, I’ll lay you a wager, I’ll lay you my gold to your brass!”*

Here it goes Keith, a chance to step up. I say that one or the other or both of the following will occur:

A. Expelled does not open April 18.

and/or

B. XVIVO sues Premise Media and wins.

I ask the crew to enforce the bet by banning the loser. (somehow perserving this bet on the main page until it is resolved would be nice).

Personally, Keith, I don’t think you have the stones to accept the bet, even though it would be easy enough for you to weasel out of it with another ID.

For my part, as a Christian and gentleman I will pledge both the letter and spirit of the wager.

So, what’s it to be, child? In your court now.

*Extra points for anyone who identifies the quote. P.S. Remainder of your post deleted to conserve space. As it it dreary and predictable blather, it needs no further comment. dpr

Eric Finn:

Stanton:

And so, until you stop boasting, and actually produce a repeatable experiment that involves supernatural forces and or entities, you are wasting all of our time.

I am very sorry having wasted your time. Please, ignore this reply, if you have better things to do.

I don’t want your apologies: they are as useless and hollow as your boastings-cum-navel contemplations. If you really, really wanted to show us that you didn’t want to waste our precious time with your boasting, then please produce the specific, detailed means of how to scientifically test for the supernatural.

You state that “the Natural world” does not contain anything supernatural. I agree with you that one of the definitions for supernatural is that it is not limited by any laws or patterns, and thus it is impossible to predict its behaviour.

This is specifically why the supernatural CAN NEVER BE SCIENTIFICALLY TESTED. So, unless you take the time to cough up a way to accurately gauge, measure, and most importantly, detect the supernatural, your prattle is meaningless.

As a whole, I find your comment supporting ontological naturalism (philosophical naturalism), which is a religious or a philosophical belief not derivable from science.

Spare me your philosophical bullshit. Trying to shame me into accepting supernatural explanations is an extraordinarily incompetent way of convincing. The onus is on you to back up your empty boasts with actual evidence, and the evidence suggests that you are physically incapable of doing this.

I tried to be explicit in stating that the predictions are always verified in experiments using natural (materialistic) means. Your example of counting angles on a pinhead does not meet the criteria. However, if an angel theory predicted e.g. a change in the resonant frequency of the pin, then it would be a perfectly valid theory. We would be able to detect angles, quite the same way we think we are able to detect dark energy.

Bullshit. Nothing but bullshit. You have not made even the most paltry attempt to show us how to scientifically verify the supernatural. So, please do so immediately, or please go out and take a course in introductory science at your local community college.

Perhaps a better analogy would be that this is akin to me being forced to sell my car and use your “Nuclear Chariot,” which is nothing more than a crude drawing of a soapbox racer being towed by a stick figure drawing of the Incredible Hulk, or me being threatened at gunpoint into accepting your artificial kidney, which is nothing more than an empty beer can with a whistle glued to its side.

And no, I’m not being rude: I have very little patience in having to be a witness to the “never-ending parade of stupid” where its participants constantly shame and ridicule me because I refuse to accept the idea of teaching faerie tales as scientific fact, especially since these same participants have neither the idea nor the inclination to demonstrate how teaching faerie tales as scientifically verified fact is better than teaching scientifically verified facts as fact.

Stanton, very well said.

dpr

WTF?

Eric said:

You state that “the Natural world” does not contain anything supernatural. I agree with you that one of the definitions for supernatural is that it is not limited by any laws or patterns, and thus it is impossible to predict its behaviour.

OK …

I tried to be explicit in stating that the predictions are always verified in experiments using natural (materialistic) means. Your example of counting angles on a pinhead does not meet the criteria. However, if an angel theory predicted e.g. a change in the resonant frequency of the pin, then it would be a perfectly valid theory. We would be able to detect angles, quite the same way we think we are able to detect dark energy.

Huh? Are you saying that you can prove angels? Show us … show all of us. (This should be pretty exciting!)

“Supernatural” intervention in a system involves changes to the state of the system that cannot occur as a result of the operation of the laws that govern the system.

For instance, as I noted elsewhere, as the (external, supernatural) operator of a complex ballistic simulation, I can halt the simulator, make arbitrary changes to mass, position, velocity and quantity of objects, and resume the simulation. The result is a new state that has no basis in the previous “natural” history of the system. A new planet with twice the mass of Jupiter suddenly appears between Mercury and Sol, for instance.

This is consistent with the claims of the IDistas: the operation of natural laws cannot produce the new state of the system when some novel complexity (appears to have) popped into existence.

We could detect supernatural events, in the most spectacular cases, but we could not study the cause(s) since they would be, by definition, beyond any natural observer’s reach. The only hope for understanding that a natural observer could possess would be if the supernatural perpetrator of the illegality chose, by some means, to reveal such information by some supernatural means. Thus science has no warrant (and in fact no means) to introduce “supernatural” or “non-material” elements.

Thus far, to the best of our ability to observe, measure and experiment, no unambiguously supernatural events have occurred – observed events and conditions previously believed to be supernatural have proven to be consistent with the rules that govern the system.

This is consistent with the claims of the IDistas: the operation of natural laws cannot produce the new state of the system when some novel complexity (appears to have) popped into existence.

The problem is that IDistas have not shown that natural law processes cannot explain the new state of the system. Since ID creationists also focus mostly on Darwinian theory, they can at best argue that Darwinian theory cannot explain ‘X’ but evolutionary theory has evolved beyond just natural selection, almost from the day Darwin himself proposed natural selection as one of various mechanism.

Shebardigan:

“Supernatural” intervention in a system involves changes to the state of the system that cannot occur as a result of the operation of the laws that govern the system.

Your examples of a bullet being stopped and trajectory reversed, and a new planet being suddenly introduced into the Solar system illuminate well non-scientific explanations.

My claim was that it is an unnecessary constrain to exclude non-materialistic explanations a priori. Any hypothesis is judged by its predictions only.

We could detect supernatural events, in the most spectacular cases, but we could not study the cause(s) since they would be, by definition, beyond any natural observer’s reach. The only hope for understanding that a natural observer could possess would be if the supernatural perpetrator of the illegality chose, by some means, to reveal such information by some supernatural means. Thus science has no warrant (and in fact no means) to introduce “supernatural” or “non-material” elements.

A truly point-like entity with mass is not what we see around us. However, if such a concept helps making verifiable predictions, then it is a justifiable concept. We can study the indirect consequences of this entity. If the predictions turn out to be accurate, we are inclined to think that this hypothetical entity truly exists. We think that black holes and electrons are real objects. I do not know, how many people think that a wave function is a “materialistic” element.

Thus far, to the best of our ability to observe, measure and experiment, no unambiguously supernatural events have occurred – observed events and conditions previously believed to be supernatural have proven to be consistent with the rules that govern the system.

This is very true, and there is a strong historical case to prefer materialistic explanations to supernatural explanation. The supernatural explanations have (this far) failed to make accurate predictions. An explanation that thunderstorms are acts of god(s) is not really an explanation at all, just another name for an observed phenomenon and does not help to predict thunderstorms.

We need to be able to assign at least one property to be able to make predictions, which has turned out rather problematic with supernatural. If you wish to redefine “materialistic” as an entity with at least one assigned property, then we might be able to exclude non-materialistic elements. Accordingly, a wave function would be a clearly materialistic entity.

Regards

Eric

PvM:

This is consistent with the claims of the IDistas: the operation of natural laws cannot produce the new state of the system when some novel complexity (appears to have) popped into existence.

The problem is that IDistas have not shown that natural law processes cannot explain the new state of the system. Since ID creationists also focus mostly on Darwinian theory, they can at best argue that Darwinian theory cannot explain ‘X’ but evolutionary theory has evolved beyond just natural selection, almost from the day Darwin himself proposed natural selection as one of various mechanism.

While it is perfectly all right to try to point out weaknesses in scientific theories, ID has failed to do so. Moreover, they claim to have an alternative theory that would explain some observations better. Nothing of the sort, they have failed to make any predictions, whatsoever. ID does not fail because it uses a concept of an unnamed intelligent agent, but because it fails the most important task of any scientific hypothesis, i.e. to make verifiable predictions.

Regards

Eric

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person:

Just so that the point is not missed, Darwinism can serve to justify, retrospectively, the Holocaust, or at very least provide enough of an excuse to get Hitler off the hook.

(snippage)

Death and embarassment for those who don’t. Pitiful.

Please please I say this to you honestly as a man of faith and as a mature person please seek help. You are wishing death to people on an internet message board. Step away from your internet facade for a second and ask yourself if that’s healthy.

Look to Jesus or whoever is your guidance and please talk to someone because your actions are distressed and unhealthy.

Please also stay away from children. I mean that in all honesty.

Eric Finn:

While it is perfectly all right to try to point out weaknesses in scientific theories, ID has failed to do so. Moreover, they claim to have an alternative theory that would explain some observations better. Nothing of the sort, they have failed to make any predictions, whatsoever. ID does not fail because it uses a concept of an unnamed intelligent agent, but because it fails the most important task of any scientific hypothesis, i.e. to make verifiable predictions.

Actually, Intelligent Design does make predictions, in that 1) biological systems are too complex to have arose through natural means, and are the hallmarks of an unknowable “Intelligent Designer,” and 2) Darwinism is ultimately wrong.

Only problem is that both predictions have been proven wrong hundreds of times over.

And having said that, so, when are you going to produce your fabulous, testable hypothesis that posits supernatural causes?

Stanton:

And having said that, so, when are you going to produce your fabulous, testable hypothesis that posits supernatural causes?

You are misinterpreting my position quite intentionally. My claim was that it is not necessary to reject non-material explanations in hyphoteses a priori. Hyphotheses are judged based on their predictive power only.

I never claimed claimed I have an example of a testable hypothesis that posits supernatural causes.

Regards

Eric

Eric Finn:

Stanton:

And having said that, so, when are you going to produce your fabulous, testable hypothesis that posits supernatural causes?

You are misinterpreting my position quite intentionally. My claim was that it is not necessary to reject non-material explanations in hyphoteses a priori. Hyphotheses are judged based on their predictive power only.

I never claimed claimed I have an example of a testable hypothesis that posits supernatural causes.

Scientists reject non-material supernatural explanations out of hand because all hypotheses that invoke supernatural explanations have been proven to have absolutely no predictive power at all.

So, unless you do plan on producing a testable hypothesis that invokes supernatural explanations, all you are saying is useless sophistry. Furthermore, you are not helping your case at all by bringing up the corpse of Intelligent Design “theory,” as it happens to be the most popular hypothesis that involves supernatural causes.

My claim is that there is no reason a priori to limit the concepts used in the hypotheses to only materialistic explanations. If a hypothesis makes good predictions (verified materialistically), then it is a good hypothesis and it might become a scientific theory.

Indeed and some supernatural claims of prayer can and have been tested (and rejected). Which is why science does not reject the supernatural a priori but rather a posteriori.

Stanton, listen to PvM. Eric is 100% right on this, and I’d say you missed his point by a country mile. Science doesn’t reject supernatural claims a priori, which would be what every ID-creationist accuses “big science” of doing. No, science looks at supernatural claims, finds they fail every conceivable test thrown at them, and so reject the claims a posteriori after careful consideration.

Supernatural claims fail to be science not because of some bias on the part of scientists, but because of shortcomings inherent in the individual supernatural claims themselves. Each one is examined and rejected separately. There is no conspiracy to exclude god.

Perhaps you would benefit from reading this TalkReason article: “Does Science Unfairly Rule Out Supernatural Processes.” http://www.talkreason.org/articles/unfair.cfm

person:

Just so that the point is not missed, Darwinism can serve to justify, retrospectively, the Holocaust, or at very least provide enough of an excuse to get Hitler off the hook.

(snippage)

Death and embarassment for those who don’t. Pitiful.

How many people have justified their crimes because of the Bible? Indeed, the book of Joshua depicts acts of conquest and genocide at least as bad as those committed by the Nazis. And it’s a safe bet that the ancient Hebrews were not evolutionists. That alone discrdits person’s long, long diatribes.

Oh, how I HATE pseudo-intellectuals! An idiot with a huge vocabulary is still an idiot.

It seems to me that the natural/supernatural distinction is redundant and ambiguous in a defintion of scientific method. The important criteria are testability and consistency of results; once that’s been stated adding “natural” doesn’t add anything to the meaning even if a non-circular definition of “natural” vs. “supernatural” is also given.

If “natural” is defined as anything having consistent testable consequences, then it’s meaning changes as the limits of technology change, which makes the concept of “natural” ambiguous.

Henry

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on April 11, 2008 4:24 PM.

David Bolinsky: ‘Expelled’ ripped off Harvard’s ‘Inner Life of the Cell’ animation was the previous entry in this blog.

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