New York Times: Opponents of Evolution Adopting a New Strategy

| 390 Comments

NYTLogo.jpgIn Opponents of Evolution Adopting a New Strategy , Laura Beil explores the tactics by Intelligent Design Creationists to undermine the teaching of science. This time, their focus is on Texas where Creationists have a close majority on the State Education Board.

Opponents of teaching evolution, in a natural selection of sorts, have gradually shed those strategies that have not survived the courts. Over the last decade, creationism has given rise to “creation science,” which became “intelligent design,” which in 2005 was banned from the public school curriculum in Pennsylvania by a federal judge.

As usual creationists are inconsistent and expose the true motives behind ‘teaching the controversy’

McLeroy Wrote:

The chairman of the state education board, Dr. Don McLeroy, a dentist in Central Texas, denies that the phrase “is subterfuge for bringing in creationism.”

“Why in the world would anybody not want to include weaknesses?” Dr. McLeroy said.

versus

McLeroy Wrote:

Dr. McLeroy, the board chairman, sees the debate as being between “two systems of science.”

“You’ve got a creationist system and a naturalist system,” he said.

Seems that ID Creationists are insisting on looking ‘foolish’ undermining both science and religious faith. As Augustine (A.D. 354-430) in his work “The Literal Meaning of Genesis” observed:

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

McLeroy however, foolishly maintains that

Dr. McLeroy believes that Earth’s appearance is a recent geologic event — thousands of years old, not 4.5 billion. “I believe a lot of incredible things,” he said, “The most incredible thing I believe is the Christmas story. That little baby born in the manger was the god that created the universe.”

And yet, he maintains, following the talking points of the ID movement, that ID has nothing to do with his personal faith.

Yes, McLeroy surely knows how to make us Christians look foolish.

390 Comments

There are some interesting quotes in an article from the San Antonio Express-News recently (http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/ed[…]3a526e4.html note: I had to scroll down to the bottom of the screen to see the actual article when I viewed it) about the coming fight on the SBOE about the science standards. Lot’s of “it’s just a theory” talk.

Luckily the creationists on the board are doing everything to undermine the claim that this is about a standard developed by committee when they saw fit to replace the proposal with one they shoved under the door of hotel rooms in the early morning hours.

I can’t wait to hear them explain themselves in court.

The dishonesty institute has posted a response.….

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

As someone said on Pharyngula, a short version of the article would be “this is not new, we have been using this dishonest tactic for 10 years.”

We are going to have a rough time in Texas getting rid of “strengths and weaknesses”, as it stands now, the state board has the votes to put whatever they want into the revised standards.

We fully expect an “Academic Freedom” bill next spring. A court case might result over the standards, but Texas is not the best place for that. DI has laid some good ground work in Texas, with willing board members.

Yes, McLeroy surely knows how to make us Christians look foolish.

But really, what separates Christianity from generic deism is plain foolishness. The core of Christianity is that some god impregnated a mortal woman, giving birth to a demigod who copied all the mythical characters of the time doing nothing original, who just happened to be his own father somehow, and whose exploits weren’t “discovered” for a couple of generations, by people speaking a different language a thousand miles away. Uh huh, right. How are the tales of Christ any less preposterous as history than the tales of Adam or Noah?

What McLeroy has NOT done is to cherry-pick which tales to take literally and which tales to regard as fictional. You know, like a REAL Christian would. McLeroy is at least consistent - he knows that you swallow them all or none.

Flint Wrote:

What McLeroy has NOT done is to cherry-pick which tales to take literally and which tales to regard as fictional. You know, like a REAL Christian would. McLeroy is at least consistent - he knows that you swallow them all or none.

Self-proclaimed Christians that you (& creationist Ray Martinez) do not consider “real” Christians, are free to disagree with this non-Christian, but from what I can tell, they “cherry-pick” only that which does not necessarily refute mainstream science, such as those one-shot events that are virtually impossible to falsify (e.g. resurrection), and ultimate causes for which science takes no position anyway. As for the other “tales,” it is *by definition* impossible to “swallow them all” because they simply come in mutually contradictory interpretations. Once anti-evolutionists, Christian or othewise, realize that, they have no choice but to either agree with mainstream science or to play “don’t ask, don’t tell” games.

Of course the process of realization may take some time, during which there could be plenty of compartmentalization. But McLeroy is well past that. He even used the phrase “big tent” to virtually admit that he is in on the scam, and not one of the clueless rubes. If you want to see how “consistent” he is, ask him who is right, Gish, Ross or Behe.

“The most incredible thing I believe is the Christmas story. That little baby born in the manger was the god that created the universe.”

He’s got that right. It is in-credible, which is why I don’t accord it one shred of credibility at all.

I don’t know what to call someone who believes all kinds of incredible things, except maybe seven kinds of fool…

I wrote an essay review about the efforts of the Creationists on the Texas State Board of Education to keep anti-science “weaknesses” (http://www.texscience.org/reviews/weaknesses.htm) in the Texas science standards. The seven radical religious right members of the Texas SBOE want to keep the “strengths and weaknesses” language currently in the Texas science standards and add specific alleged but bogus “weaknesses of evolution” to further undermine science education in the state. The essay reviews two long and important news reports just published about the forthcoming Texas science standards revision and provides valuable context and historical information about the “weaknesses” language. It also looks at the humorous responses by Discovery Institute officers who apparently based their critiques of one of the news articles on only its headline.

This last item is particularly funny. The DI is up to its old tricks of accusing others of not reading the article when they themselves are guilty. Here’s the significant passage:

Finally, in two weird blogs by Robert Crowther and John West of the Discovery Institute on June 5, both harshly criticize Laura Beil for trying to falsely make it appear that the “strengths and weaknesses” language in Texas is a “new, post-Dover innovation,” “a brand new idea cooked up by Discovery Institute,” and “implying that support for covering the ‘strengths and weaknesses’ of evolution is supposedly a new strategy on the part of Darwin critics.” Crowther says Beil’s premise was “flagrantly false” and West says she “botched” the story. Wow. The DI is certainly not trying to curry favor with the New York Times. But perhaps this language is a product of a past DI grievance with the Times. Naturally, as always, the DI is wrong. If they had bothered to read the story, the article states quite clearly and correctly that

The “strengths and weaknesses” language was slipped into the curriculum standards in Texas to appease creationists when the State Board of Education first mandated the teaching of evolution in the late 1980s. It has had little effect because evolution skeptics have not had enough power on the education board to win the argument that textbooks do not adequately cover the weaknesses of evolution.

When I read the article, I thought its theme was that the next battle between scientists and anti-evolution critics would be in Texas, and that the topic of controversy would be “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution. All true, and exactly what I have been saying and writing for the past year. If Beil had bothered to access the TCS website or interview me, she could have found this information easily. Nowhere did I get the impression that Beil was claiming that the “strengths and weaknesses” language was a new DI idea or innovation. I admit that the headline suggested that: “Opponents of Evolution Adopting a New Strategy.” This was written by an editor, of course, not by Beil, so I must agree with the DI folks that here their criticism has merit. But only for the headline, which is perhaps the only part of the article the DI writers read before jumping to a conclusion. The headline is certainly in error, since the DI used the same strategy in 2003 in Texas. They lost then, but now the battle goes into a second round, and the outcome is unsure. The vote could go 8-7 either way.

Seems to me the focus is all one-sided - discuss the strengths & weaknesses of Evolution. What exactly are the strengths of the “Theory of Intelligent Design?” We know it abounds in weaknesses - in fact it brings nothing to the table. And no strengths have ever been advanced, have they? A previous PT article quoted Phillip Johnson stating that ID had nothing comparable to evolution. Why isn’t the scientific community taking off the gloves and counterattacking instead of bearing the brunt of these attacks and politely turning the other cheek, only to be whipped again?

It is interesting to discuss whether otherwise science-accepting, constitutional-rights-respecting Christians are still deluded for being Christian at all, but that discussion is not germane to the topic at hand.

What is relevant about McLeroy is that, first of all, he seeks to distort and sabotage the teaching of science in public schools, which would be bad under any circumstances, and second of all, that he seeks to do it in order to falsely teach children of all backgrounds, in an underhanded way, at taxpayer expense, that one particular religious dogma or set of religious dogmas is more “scientifically correct” than others, which is a violation of human rights in general, and the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States in particular.

His comments about Baby Jesus in a manger are relevant only in that they reveal a religious bias. (*Actually, I personally think they reveal manipulation of religious imagery in the service of what is, consciously or unconsciously, an authoritarian agenda unrelated to any spiritual concerns, but whatever…*).

However, plenty of people believe that Baby Jesus lay in a manger, yet also accept scientific reality in the present day, and respect the rights of others.

And plenty of people who aren’t traditional Christians seek to violate rights and sabotage science and science education.

C’mon now PvM, McLeroy (like most fundie creationists) knows that the Augustine quote carries no weight. Augustine was after all a Catholic, and according to the Chick tract that fundies are so fond of Catholics are not Christians.

Flint said:

What McLeroy has NOT done is to cherry-pick which tales to take literally and which tales to regard as fictional. You know, like a REAL Christian would. McLeroy is at least consistent - he knows that you swallow them all or none.

Then how come McLeroy has yet to advocate that unruly children, wearers of polyester, people who work on Saturdays/Sundays, or people who eat pork, cheeseburgers, shellfish and or lasagna be publicly executed by death by stoning, as the Bible prescribes?

DavidK said: What exactly are the strengths of the “Theory of Intelligent Design?”

wait, i know this one

warm fuzzies, right?

DavidK Wrote:

Seems to me the focus is all one-sided - discuss the strengths & weaknesses of Evolution. What exactly are the strengths of the “Theory of Intelligent Design?” We know it abounds in weaknesses - in fact it brings nothing to the table.

The “strength” of ID, and of the specific “kind” of creationism that is directly ancestral to it (via “cdesign proponentsists”), is the “don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy. YEC and OEC at least make testable, albeit easily refutable, claims about what happened and when (if not “how”) in biological history. So even before it became imperative to avoid words like “creation” or the identity of the creator/designer, at least one group of anti-evolution activists knew that it was also imperative to avoid making those easily refutable - and mutually contradictory - claims. And to just keep the focus on what’s “weak” with evolution - and caricaturing it as “Darwinism” whenever necessary.

Then how come McLeroy has yet to advocate that unruly children, wearers of polyester, people who work on Saturdays/Sundays, or people who eat pork, cheeseburgers, shellfish and or lasagna be publicly executed by death by stoning, as the Bible prescribes?

Good point. He really should advocate all this. Maybe he isn’t a Real Christian either.

What is relevant about McLeroy is that, first of all, he seeks to distort and sabotage the teaching of science in public schools…

Also relevant is that he is in a position to do so, and how he managed to get into that position. He is as much the product of the kind of education he wants to see, as perhaps a qualified educator would be. Education, both good and bad, is a positive feedback process.

The Augustine quotation has been copied onto this blog so many times, one might just wish to provide a link instead of the full text.

Lying and deception are new strategies? Since when?

There’s a passage in the New Testament where Jesus says it’s not what goes in a man’s mouth that makes him unclean, it’s what comes out, followed by the passage “In so saying Jesus made all foods clean”. So you can’t really use that argument.

Mark 7:18ff

Still, a lot of silliness abounds in the fundie circus.

Minor amendment:

The prohibition is against “mixed” fabrics. If you want to be very specific, Deut 22:11 forbids wearing of a mixture of wool and linen. Some translations say not to wear cloth of “divers sorts” of which the wool-linen mix is only an example. Either way, polyester is not a mixture of wool and linen, nor is it of divers sort. So it’s perfectly OK, biblically speaking, to wear it. The point remains valid, however, that many people advocating a literal interpretation of the Bible go about wearing mixed threads.

Either way, polyester is not a mixture of wool and linen, nor is it of divers sort. So it’s perfectly OK, biblically speaking, to wear it.

HAH!!! This is blashemy and heresy. While polyester itself may not be a mixed fabric, the thread used for stitching, buttons, etc. may well be cotton, nylon, silk or wool. In addition, a lot of polyester clothing is actually a blend of one sort or another, cotton polyester blends are common for T shirts.

Real Xians™ wouldn’t jeapordize their immortal souls and earthly existence by running the risk of making a mistake. You could be walking down the street wearing a shirt made of polyester with buttons attached by cotton thread one minute and end up dead under a pile of stones the next in a hardcore Xian neighborhood.

It always seems the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution are intended to be taught the way Caroline Crocker approached it, all weaknesses and no strengths:

Before the class, Crocker had told me that she was going to teach “the strengths and weaknesses of evolution.” Afterward, I asked her whether she was going to discuss the evidence for evolution in another class. She said no. “There really is not a lot of evidence for evolution,” Crocker said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy[…]0822_pf.html

Laura Beil: Over the last decade, creationism has given rise to “creation science,” which became “intelligent design,” …

Eh? Didn’t the “creationism” -> “creation science” speciation event occur more than three decades ago?

Well this is reasonably interesting timing. The past week or two I’ve been wondering what was going to be the next move from the creationists. “Intelligent design is real science” has gone the way of its predecessors, and Expelled has achieved much the same for the “we’re all victims of an evil conspiracy that keeps us from doing real science” argument.

Strengths and weaknesses fails to impress me. The answer to that is simple. The strength is that evolution has proven to be a useful framework to base the study of biology on for over a hundred years. The weaknesses are that it is not perfect, a weakness shared by every scientific discipline. In that it is interesting, the question can be asked whether the writers of this bill would suggest that other scientific disciplines be subjected to the same treatment. Are teachers expected to teach the strengths and weaknesses of Pi? The Bernoulli Equation? Of course I know the answer. But it’s still a question worth asking, in public forums, to those who feel that such bills are worthwhile.

Unless the bill provides language to allow fictional weaknesses it does nothing to allow people to follow in Crocker’s footsteps. A fabrication invented to further a religious agenda is not a weakness.

I’m sure it can still be used to harm the education of our country’s children, but it feels like a rather limp attempt to spring back from the previous failures.

Apologies.. I don’t know how I posted that twice. I must have impatiently hit submit twice.

Apologies.. I don’t know how I posted that twice. I must have impatiently hit submit twice.

What a great feeling to see the postings being flushed down the bit bucket.

Let’s be clear about this. Such a move by the Texas BOE sets a precedence that is NOT restricted to the domain of science. Despite its focus on evolution, it gives any teacher the right to speculate on anything, to argue against anything in the current curriculum, WITHOUT FEAR OF PUNISHMENT OR RETRIBUTION. For instance, the DI’s movie “Expelled” is an outright fraud, the narrator Ben Stein, a Jew, is simply trying to cover up for the Jewish political efforts to unseat the Nazis. Much evidence can be produced to bear this out, and teachers would/should be able to freely express themselves and their views in presenting this evidence to make their case in the classroom.

As Sun Tzu said, seek out the enemies weaknesses and capitalize on them. This is one argument that can be used against these creationists. I’m sure the Jews would not like to see something like this come about. The DI/creationists focus on the narrow, but broaden the scope of the argument and its inclusiveness. Turn the tables on them.

Who let the crazies in?

The Times article refers to a group called Texans for Better Science Education. A quick perusal of the website reveals the one-sided nature of their efforts. The subtitle of the home page says “ Open Minds Teach Both Sides Teach Strengths & Weaknesses of Evolution” with “Weaknesses” in red letters. There is also a link to a page full of quote mines about the alleged weakness of evolution.

There is also this interesting quote from C.S. Lewis:

I wish I were younger. What inclines me now to think you may be right in regarding [evolution] as the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs our lives is not so much your arguments against it as the fanatical and twisted attitudes of its defenders.

Basically an ad hominem against certain evolutionists not a critique of evolution (which in other writings, Lewis didn’t seem to have much problem with).

By the way, what’s with that “manger” comment? I mean, is there anything in the Bible about manger? I thought that part appeared later…

So Bigbang, why do you reject that which God is revealing to us through science namely that evolution (and more specifically Darwinian evolution) is how He has created life on our planet? What makes you foolishly misinterpret (quote mine) statements by Mayr?

Concerning the idea that faith and science are different,

bigbang said:

I mean all the Darwinians and atheists here are buying into it

Not to mention all the Popes …

bigbang said:

Stanton asks why it’s “so terrifying” that a genuine belief in Christianity could be reconciled with a genuine belief in Mayr’s Darwinism that rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations.

Well Stanton, it’s not “terrifying” at all, and I’m sorry if you yourself find it terrifying. It’s simply intellectually dishonest and/or inconsistent, and/or it’s delusional. Between you and me, I don’t find PvM’s laughable inconsistency on this terrifying at all; it’s merely, well, laughable. Regarding what you guys should call you Darwinism (that rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations) hymn book, well, I’d call it: The Darwinism That Rejects All Supernatural Phenomena and Causations, Including First Cause, Hymn Book.

Bigbang still fails to understand Mayr’s statement in context. There is nothing dishonest or delusional about my position. Any science rejects supernatural phenomena since they fall outside the view of science. That is why any science is fully reconcilable with faith in principle at least. Mayr is not saying that Darwinism disproves the existence of a God, in fact he is very clear that even though Darwinian theory replaced, and rightly so, an appeal to the supernatural, it does not prove/disprove the supernatural.

What is so hard to understand here?

1. Science removes the supernatural as a valid scientific explanation since it lacks explanatory power and replaces it with an explanation of ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘what’ and ‘where’ 2. Science does not remove the supernatural as a legitimate philosophical position since science cannot prove or disprove the existence of a God.

The Pope and Mayr would surely get along quite nicely since they say essentially the same thing.

Typical creationist dodge: make glaringly idiotic, uninformed, illogical and flat-out dishonest assertions; get criticized for your idiocy, ignorance, illogic and dishonesty; then completely ignore the substance of the criticism, while smugly pretending we’re all such “uncivil” inferior beasts, doing absolutely nothing but name-calling, and how can we expect anyone to listen to us etc. etc. Demagogues and con-artists of the far right have spent more than eight years hiding behind this diversionary nonsense; and no one is fooled anymore, except for others on the far right who would rather choose to be fooled than face a reality they never even bothered to understand.

And on top of all that, banging bigot, you’re a hypocrite: you’ve done nothing here but spout lies and call us “dishonest” without backing up any of your assertions. That doesn’t strike me as an example of “honey instead of vinegar.” Hell, even vinegar is more pleasant – and more useful – than the shite you dump here.

PvM said:

bigbang said:

Stanton asks why it’s “so terrifying” that a genuine belief in Christianity could be reconciled with a genuine belief in Mayr’s Darwinism that rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations.

Well Stanton, it’s not “terrifying” at all, and I’m sorry if you yourself find it terrifying. It’s simply intellectually dishonest and/or inconsistent, and/or it’s delusional. Between you and me, I don’t find PvM’s laughable inconsistency on this terrifying at all; it’s merely, well, laughable. Regarding what you guys should call you Darwinism (that rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations) hymn book, well, I’d call it: The Darwinism That Rejects All Supernatural Phenomena and Causations, Including First Cause, Hymn Book.

Bigbang still fails to understand Mayr’s statement in context. There is nothing dishonest or delusional about my position. Any science rejects supernatural phenomena since they fall outside the view of science. That is why any science is fully reconcilable with faith in principle at least. Mayr is not saying that Darwinism disproves the existence of a God, in fact he is very clear that even though Darwinian theory replaced, and rightly so, an appeal to the supernatural, it does not prove/disprove the supernatural.

What is so hard to understand here?

1. Science removes the supernatural as a valid scientific explanation since it lacks explanatory power and replaces it with an explanation of ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘what’ and ‘where’ 2. Science does not remove the supernatural as a legitimate philosophical position since science cannot prove or disprove the existence of a God.

The Pope and Mayr would surely get along quite nicely since they say essentially the same thing.

To put this as succinctly as possible - “Darwinism” (Evolutionary Theory) rejects all all supernatural phenomena and causations [as concepts that can be used to explain evolution]. Unless Evolutionary Theory has suddenly been elevated to the status of authority on ALL domains in human society, evolutionary stance on the supernatural can affect ONLY those items evolution covers. As noted, just because the science applied to the study of evolution MUST reject all supernatural phenomenological explanations and/or concepts, this does not mean that the scientists who study evolution must reject such *OUTSIDE* of the boundaries of evolution.

Seems to me that BigBang is elevating “Darwism” to a status of ‘Overarching Philosophy Concerning ALL Things’ rather than its more modest (and actual) status of theory governing life’s development and common ancestry.

Seems to me that BigBang is elevating “Darwism” to a status of ‘Overarching Philosophy Concerning ALL Things’ rather than its more modest (and actual) status of theory governing life’s development and common ancestry.

Yes, Bigbang is granting atheists too much power over his thought and logic. Weird…

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 17, column 22, byte 1367 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Oh, bigot’s complaining about how mean people are for calling him on his general asshattery. After spending all those pages flinging around strawmen, quote-mining,attacking PvM’s faith, and outright lying, he thinks he gets to pretend to have some kind of moral high ground.

bigot’s first post in this thread: 20th century history clearly shows us that that atheism is by far the greater threat to civilization and freedom, that when there are no religious/spiritual values to serve as a mitigating factor against the excesses of state power and human behavior, things tend to get brutal and bloody very quickly.

Yep, promting the old “atheists have no morals” lie, thus proving he’s not only a bigot, but a sociopath.

Anyone who actually believes that a lack of religion leads to immorality or violence is merely demonstrating that they have no morals of their own, and the only reason they aren’t engaged in mass murder is that their imaginary god hasn’t given them permission. Yet.

Now, of course, it could be that bigot doesn’t actually believe what he’s saying. It’s not like lying is anything new for him. But either way, it just puts his own lack of morals on display.

Let’s see what other lies bigot has for us:

bigot wrote: Although Luther could be a schmuck at times, it’s fairly obvious that Hitler and the Nazis weren’t getting their cues from the teachings of Jesus, but rather they were getting their ideas regarding survival of the fittest and racial superiority from Darwinian thinking of the time, from their understanding of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”

Ah, the Darwin = Hitler lie! The same as the Expelled blood libel, already shown to be false countless times. This is, at best, one step up from Holocaust denial. Defiling the graves of millions for a cheap attack on “Darwinism”.

What does bigot mean by “Darwinism”? When a creationist (and IDiots ARE creationists) uses the word “Darwinism”, they aren’t really referring to anything in the real world. They’re just referencing a pile of strawmen in their own hollow heads. They never bother to define the term, or explain what they’re so viciously attacking. They just keep babbling meaningless garbage using definitions they change whenever it’s convenient.

And then bigot went on for pages, repeating the title of a book he hasn’t read, after it was pointed out that the word “races”, as used there, didn’t mean anything close to what he so desperately wanted it to mean, and ignoring the actual statements of Hitler himself, and his followers. Just further proof bigot’s a liar.

Go fuck yourself, bigot. You don’t get to spread blood libel and then act like you’re all sweetness and light. You don’t get to parrot known frauds and then pretend to be the only honest man on Earth. You don’t get to lie and call people Nazis and then whine when you’re called on the lies. That bullshit doesn’t work around people with brains. Though I guess you wouldn’t know what it’s like to have a brain, would you bigot?

bigbang said:

Regaring PvM’s “accepting both the facts of evolution and Jesus Christ as Savior without having any brain-melting nervous breakdown”—-

.

Undoubtedly life evolves. Whether Jesus is “Savior” is a matter of religious faith—-yet PvM sees both things as “facts.” That PvM doesn’t see or make a distinction is telling. And explains why he and many other Darwinians don’t grasp, or refuse to acknowledge, the blatantly obvious difference between—-

.

No, Mr “bigbang”, all you have demonstrated is the inadequacy of your parsing of PvM’s statement. As he wrote it, it says both that he accepts “the facts of evolution” and that he accepts “Jesus Christ as Savior.” For the statement to read as you claim it to, a second “of” is required after the “and”.

The only question is whether this reveals malicious intent on your part or is merely a reflection of your competence (or lack of it) in English comprehension.

Mayr’s (and PvM’s) Darwinism: “First, Darwinism rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations [including, obviously, first cause divine causation, duh],”

And the Pope’s “natural evolution”: “the theory of natural evolution, understood in a sense which does not exclude divine causality, is not in principle opposed to the truth about the creation of the visible world as presented in the book of Genesis.”

.

You Darwinians are doggedly faithful to your Darwinian philosophy.

What the Pope is saying is that evolution is OK as long as you don’t try to use it to prove that God doesn’t exist. Since (pace Dawkins) science is debarred from attempting such proofs, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Note that the converse is also true - science cannot prove that God exists. This won’t bother the Pope either - he’s got a definitive ruling from Head Office that Supreme Being existence proofs are forbidden. See chapter 20 of the Gospel according to St John (the doubting Thomas episode.)

Stanton asks: “Why is keeping one’s personal faith separate from one’s intellect laughable?”

.

That’s like asking why a lack of intellectual honesty, rigor, and consistency is laughable. It’s been said that there are no dumb questions, Stanton, but I think you’ve disproved that. Sweet dreams.

And kudos to PvM—-you seem to have convinced Stanton, and apparently other Darwinians here, that your intellectual suicide and/or delusion is somehow not laughable, although DJD seems to have seen through your nonsense.

And although, PvM, I find your (delusional) belief in your so-called “Christian God” to be little more than a belief in an inconsequential, cosmic teddy bear, I suppose it’s an improvement over the militant atheism/anti-theism of uber-Darwinian Dawkins and his disciples.

bigbang said:

Stanton asks: “Why is keeping one’s personal faith separate from one’s intellect laughable?”

.

That’s like asking why a lack of intellectual honesty, rigor, and consistency is laughable.

And if anyone knows about a lack of intellectual honesty, rigor, and consistency, it’s bigot!

bigbang said:

Stanton asks: “Why is keeping one’s personal faith separate from one’s intellect laughable?”

.

That’s like asking why a lack of intellectual honesty, rigor, and consistency is laughable. It’s been said that there are no dumb questions, Stanton, but I think you’ve disproved that. Sweet dreams.

And kudos to PvM—-you seem to have convinced Stanton, and apparently other Darwinians here, that your intellectual suicide and/or delusion is somehow not laughable, although DJD seems to have seen through your nonsense.

And although, PvM, I find your (delusional) belief in your so-called “Christian God” to be little more than a belief in an inconsequential, cosmic teddy bear, I suppose it’s an improvement over the militant atheism/anti-theism of uber-Darwinian Dawkins and his disciples.

Denial is the first step towards recovery and I hold out some hope for my deeply confused Christian pal. I am surprised that you find my position to be an improvement over Dawkins, whom you seem to admire as you quote him so often approvingly. That you call my Christian faith to be delusional is because you have chosen to misinterpret and misrepresent my claims and despite my efforts to rectify your mistakes, you have chosen to continue to misrepresent my position and my statements.

That’s sad, very sad to see a fellow Christian make Christianity look so foolish.

PvM said:

What is so hard to understand here?

1. Science removes the supernatural as a valid scientific explanation since it lacks explanatory power and replaces it with an explanation of ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘what’ and ‘where’ 2. Science does not remove the supernatural as a legitimate philosophical position since science cannot prove or disprove the existence of a God.

Science works by presenting hypotheses, from which verifiable predictions can be made. If the predictions fail, then that particular hypothesis is rejected. There are virtually no limitations, what kind of hypotheses one is allowed to make, the only requirement is the ability to make verifiable predictions.

Scientific theories do not claim to be complete. In fact, a major part of the work by scientists is spent on checking the current knowledge, and maybe even refining the current theories.

This far, supernatural entities have not been implemented successfully in any hypothesis with verifiable consequences.

As scientific theories do not use (at present) supernatural entities as their elements, they are unable to state anything, as regard to the possible existence of supernatural.

As scientific theories do not claim to be complete, they do not state anything about concepts, apart the ones used in the theory.

Thus, logically one may have various beliefs about entities outside a scientific theory, while at the same time accepting the said theory.

In my opinnion, contradictions may (and often do) arise, when one tries to make predictions, based on those beliefs, that contradict the predictions of the theory in question.

Regards

Eric

Bigot said:

Stanton asks: “Why is keeping one’s personal faith separate from one’s intellect laughable?”

.

That’s like asking why a lack of intellectual honesty, rigor, and consistency is laughable. It’s been said that there are no dumb questions, Stanton, but I think you’ve disproved that. Sweet dreams.

Simply because you are projecting your own lack of intellectual honesty, rigor and consistency on PvM does not make it so, or are you forgetting about how you had your pathetic arse handed to you when you insisted that Adolf Hitler’s Antisemitism was inspired by Charles Darwin, and not Martin Luther, especially since the only proof you gave was an incredibly sloppy quotemine of Charles Darwin?

And kudos to PvM—-you seem to have convinced Stanton, and apparently other Darwinians here, that your intellectual suicide and/or delusion is somehow not laughable, although DJD seems to have seen through your nonsense.

You have yet to demonstrate how this is intellectual suicide, Bigot. FL is a perfect example of how allowing one’s faith to override reason is intellectual suicide, though.

And although, PvM, I find your (delusional) belief in your so-called “Christian God” to be little more than a belief in an inconsequential, cosmic teddy bear, I suppose it’s an improvement over the militant atheism/anti-theism of uber-Darwinian Dawkins and his disciples.

So, are you going to provide yet another sloppy quotemine to support your ridiculous assertion that Dawkins is out to destroy religion and the religious, Bigot?

Kevin B declares: “science cannot prove that God exists.”

.

Neither you nor anyone knows what science can, or will eventually, “prove,” discover, provide evidence for.

Science currently provides convincing evidence that the universe had a beginning, having inexplicably low entropy—-a universe that Hoyle (an atheist) and various other scientists in the first half of the 20th century found philosophically troubling b/c it implied a cause, a creator; and yet today science provides much evidence for the BB model.

Will science eventually be able to determine, study, and provide evidence for the cause of the universe? I think so, since causes are real and exist (or existed), even if that cause happens to be first cause; which you Darwinians, unfortunately, would have to reject, b/c, as Mayr states: “First, Darwinism rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations [which includes, obviously and unfortunately, first cause].”

Why would low entropy right after the big bang be considered inexplicable? Presumably entropy has been increasing since then, so just from that consideration we’d expect it to have been a lot less then than it is now.

Henry

And nope, we have NOT exhausted the list of known incompatibilities between evolution and Christianity. Good ole evolutionist Daniel Dennett gives us yet ANOTHER one:

“First, we had God … making Adam and making every creature with his hands, plucking the rib from Adam and making Eve from that rib.

Then we trade that God in for the God who sets evolution in motion.

And then you say you don’t even need that God–the lawgiver–because if we take these ideas from cosmology seriously then there are other places and other laws and life evolves where it can.

So now we no longer have God the lawfinder or God the lawgiver, but just God the master of ceremonies.

When God is the master of ceremonies and doesn’t actually play any role anymore in the universe, he’s sort of diminished and no longer intervenes in any way.”

—-Daniel Dennett

Here’s the deal: evolution is incompatible with Christianity. Jesus accepted and even quoted the literal Genesis claims about God creating Adam and Eve the first humans, evolutionists REJECT those claims. The Bible says the Fall happened in actual literal history, but theistic evolutionist Jerry Korsmeyer says the Fall NEVER happened in actual literal history.

And now you see what evolutionist Daniel Dennett has clearly stated. Dudes and dudettes, this stuff adds up FAST, don’t it?

And don’t forget that Griffin and Provine study (quote earlier) that shows the HUUUUGGGGE lack of theistic religious faith among the evolutionary biologists. Clearly THEY understand what Dennett, Futuyma, Mayr, and others are talking about, and THEY understand that the theistic evolutionists are too weak to reconcile these many known areas of incompatibility between evolution and Christianity.

Christians just gotta make some choices concerning this evolution hooly-magoo!!

FL

bigbang said:

Kevin B declares: “science cannot prove that God exists.”

Will science eventually be able to determine, study, and provide evidence for the cause of the universe? I think so, since causes are real and exist (or existed), even if that cause happens to be first cause; which you Darwinians, unfortunately, would have to reject, b/c, as Mayr states: “First, Darwinism rejects all supernatural phenomena and causations [which includes, obviously and unfortunately, first cause].”

Still misrepresenting Mayr I notice. How foolish. Will science be able to show a ‘first cause’, not in the sense you hope for.

May I suggest you stop repeating your foolish misinterpretations of Mayr and other scientists.

Here’s the deal: evolution is incompatible with Christianity. Jesus accepted and even quoted the literal Genesis claims about God creating Adam and Eve the first humans, evolutionists REJECT those claims. The Bible says the Fall happened in actual literal history, but theistic evolutionist Jerry Korsmeyer says the Fall NEVER happened in actual literal history.

Since both interpretations are valid interpretations of the Bible, why insist on the one which is so clearly at odds with science? You have basically been given the choice and rejected what God is showing you as scientific facts.

Too bad that some lack faith in these matters.

PvM declares: “science cannot prove or disprove the existence of a God.”

.

I agree that science, nor anything else for that matter, will ever prove, discover, or find PvM’s so-called “Christian God” that is “hidden” in a “permanent gap of ignorance, which is essentially nothing more than PvM’s private, imaginary cosmic teddy bear, a delusion.

But will science eventually be able to determine and study the cause of the universe, the BB? I think so, since causes are real and exist (or existed), even if that cause happens to be first cause.

Neither PvM nor anyone knows what science can, or will eventually, “prove,” discover, provide evidence for. A hundred years ago most scientists would have laughed at the idea that our universe had a beginning, from a point, and that there would be a lot of evidence supporting that model.

Chuck asked for a summary of “the list.”

Chuck, to summarize, I’ve prepared a small list of posts I’ve made in this thread. You just scroll to each page, each entry, as given. Don’t worry about “short words”: you’ll understand what’s being said, it’s very clear.

Each entry contributes something to the known list of incompatibilities between evolution and Christianity.

Page 4 June 8 10:05 pm.….…..incompatibility between evolution and Christianity based on DP Robin’s definition of Christianity

Page 4 June 8 10:38 pm.….…..same thing, based on Stanton’s definition of Christianity

(Hence showing that incompatibilities exist across more than one definition of Christianity). Continuing:

Page 5, June 9 10:31 am.….…..NOMA’s first commandment as dictated directly from His Materialistic Majesty SJ Gould. (A response to Joel, demonstrating that NOMA reinforces the incompatibility between evolution and Christianity.)

Page 8, June 11 1:27.….….…extended response to Henry; giving important example(s) of incompatibility

June 11th, two more responses to PvM, and one response to Raging Bee (a very important question which shows why these incompatibilities are a serious matter for Christians.)

Okay, there you go Chuck. If you’re interested, please scroll back and look them over.

FL

Well let me state clearly that there are no known incompatibilities between science and Christianity, unless one takes a faith based position that is clearly at odds with facts and science. As such it is safe to state that millions of Christians have no problem reconciling the two and that thus any claims that the two are irreconcilable have been shown fallacious.

It’s really that simple.

Bigot said:

But will science eventually be able to determine and study the cause of the universe, the BB? I think so, since causes are real and exist (or existed), even if that cause happens to be first cause.

Moron, you refuse to realize that Evolutionary Biology concerns itself only with life, not what caused the origin of the Universe.

Neither PvM nor anyone knows what science can, or will eventually, “prove,” discover, provide evidence for. A hundred years ago most scientists would have laughed at the idea that our universe had a beginning, from a point, and that there would be a lot of evidence supporting that model.

Moron, you refuse to realize that the Big Bang theory was accepted because its proponents presented evidence that they had gathered. If the Big Bang proponents had presented nothing but lies, quotemines and bigotry, like you have done, they would have been laughed out of the scientific arena.

Having said this, please explain why Evolutionary Biology must explain the cause of the origin of the Universe.

And yet, FL has yet to explain why 3 Popes have been able to reconcile their faith with evolution, even though FL loves making the false dilemma of having to choose between accepting evolution, and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior.

It makes one wonder if FL is lying about when he claimed that he is not out to excommunicate those Christians, including the last three Popes, who accept both Jesus Christ and evolution, or if he’s simply out to tempt people into committing apostasy.

After all, FL has repeatedly stated, with great glee, even, that a Christian has to choose between accepting Jesus or evolution, and yet, still claims to consider the last 3 Popes, all of whom made song and and dance out of accepting the facts of evolution, as being Christians, too.

So, is FL a liar, a hypocrite, or an instigator of apostasy?

bigbang said:

Science currently provides convincing evidence that the universe had a beginning, having inexplicably low entropy—-a universe that Hoyle (an atheist) and various other scientists in the first half of the 20th century found philosophically troubling b/c it implied a cause, a creator; and yet today science provides much evidence for the BB model.

You’re referring to 1950’s science. We’ve made a bit of progress since then. Hawking describes in “Brief History of Time” how a highly dense, curved space-time eliminates the need for an outside event creating the universe because it eliminates even the concept of “beginning.” And he’s way smarter than you.

But I’ll bet Torbjorn could explain it a lot better than I. And hey, I’m referring to 1980s science myself, so maybe the explanation has changed.

Anyway I’m conceding defeat on this thread. I must’ve read the exact same misquote from BB about ten times (the actual Mayr quote is only 2 lines long! Why would you cut the second line?), so my wall-banging has come to an end.

Since both interpretations are valid interpretations of the Bible.…

Really? You honestly believe that Korsmeyer’s claim that the Fall never happened in actual literal Earth history, is JUST AS VALID as the extremely clear and foundational claim of both the Old and New Testaments, that the Fall did actually literally happen in Earth history?

Wow, man. On the one hand, I do appreciate your being willing to state what you believe. Ain’t always easy, no matter what the forum. And yes, you say you’re a Christian, and no, I ain’t here to excommunicate nor judge anybody.

On the other hand.….….…Wowwwwww, man. THAT is what God has shown you via evolution??

Surely Daniel Dennett was (temporarily) given the gift of prophecy when he came up with the term “The Universal Acid” to describe evolution’s effects upon religious belief.

You will disagree with my position, but your paragraph just re-affirms in an unexpected way that evolution is incompatible with Christianity.

FL

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 19, column 2, byte 1795 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

bigbangbigot, after being defeated on his prior point that Darwin==>Hitler resort to character assassination without admitting his mistakes or apologizing for his bigoted remarks.

Who is more Christ-like here? PVM or biggangbang?

I concede nothing. I know what I believe and why I believe it. That position i s clearly stated in this thread. I can’t help the incredulity of FL, bigbang, etc. In fact, any further discussion on these lines seems to me to be futile, and certainly outside the scope of Panda’s Thumb.

With all due respect, I’d like to ask you, PvM, to end comments. We’ve flatlined and the plug needs to be pulled.

dpr

PvM said:

FL said:

Since both interpretations are valid interpretations of the Bible.…

Really? You honestly believe that Korsmeyer’s claim that the Fall never happened in actual literal Earth history, is JUST AS VALID as the extremely clear and foundational claim of both the Old and New Testaments, that the Fall did actually literally happen in Earth history?

From the intro Korsmeyer’s book

In contemporary theology, the relationship between religion and science remains one of the more contentious subjects. Korsmeyer (God-Creature-Revelation, Univ. Pr. of America, 1994) bravely and successfully tackles one of the thorniest issues–evolution and theology–offering a theological reintepretation of the Catholic doctrine of original sin in light of evolutionary scientific evidence. The Church’s acceptance of the literal truth of the story of humanity’s fall in Genesis provides the starting point for this discussion. Korsmeyer uses a combination of historical, philosophical, theological, scriptural, scientific, and magisterial ideas in his reinterpretation of original sin. In the final chapter, Korsmeyer bases his reinterpretation on a neoclassical evolutionary understanding of the cosmos and humanity and their developing relationship to God. This book makes a significant contribution to our theological understanding of original sin and helps to bridge the gap between theology and science.

You will disagree with my position, but your paragraph just re-affirms in an unexpected way that evolution is incompatible with Christianity.

Again you are sounding foolish because I have shown that this is not true.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on June 6, 2008 11:31 AM.

Dembski on the Consequences of Non-Design was the previous entry in this blog.

Dinner and a presentation: An evening with PZ 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