Weekend update

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Allow me to recap. Jerry Coyne set a few people on fire with a post arguing that national science organizations have gone to far in blithely conceding the compatibility of science and religion. He strongly suggests that they stick to complete neutrality on the topic, something they all promise to do, but then ignore what they say to tout a philosophical accommodation that doesn't really exist. He does not argue that they should go the other way and advance an atheistic position (even though we know that that is the only correct stance), but wants them to back off on the misleading happy religion stuff.

Richard Hoppe fired back with a claim that nuh-uh, they aren't pushing a particular religious view, and besides, we need concessions to religion in order to get along politically…and then he threw in a lot of tactless and politically self-destructive accusations about how ivory tower atheists don't know a thing about politics or tact.

Of course I responded to that, pointing out in the NCSE's defense that they are an indispensable element in protecting our classrooms, but that the US is currently deadlocked in the evolution/creationism struggle, and has been for a long time…and that central to the stalemate is our constant abasement to religion. It's time to stop, and the atheists are the ones who are working to break that logjam. At the same time, I agree that the NCSE, to be politically useful, needs to be neutral on the issue of religion. The problem is that they are not.

Then there was lots of piling on. Check out Russell Blackford's take, or Wilkins' mild disagreement. Taner Edis takes a strange position: the incompatiblists are completely right, but we can't say so. You can guess that Larry Moran didn't waffle. Unfortunately, Chris Mooney gets it all completely wrong, accusing Coyne of claiming that the national organizations are "too moderate on the extremely divisive subject of religion", when what he and I are actually saying is the exact opposite — that they aren't moderate enough, and have drifted too far towards appeasing religious views. I shall repeat myself: no one is demanding that the NCSE and NAS go all rabidly atheist, and we can even agree that a neutral position is more productive towards achieving their goals. The problems arise when they get so entangled with the people they should be arguing with that they start adopting some of their views, and suddenly the science is being compromised to achieve a political end.

Now to make it even more interesting, Richard Hoppe has put up a partial retraction. He concedes that in some cases the NCSE has drifted too far into promoting a particular religious view.

In its Faith Project, then, I think that NCSE has gone beyond its remit and past where it can be effective. I now think — in agreement with Coyne, PZ, and others — that it should back off from describing particular ways of reconciling science and religion. Pointing to religious people and organizations who have made their peace with science and evolution is appropriate, but going past that to describing particular ways of making that peace is a mistake. NCSE ought not wade into theological swamps.

It's good to see some progress in the argument (and Jerry Coyne sends his regards, too). The ultimate point, I think, is that we all think the NCSE is a marvelous organization — you should join if you haven't already — but that does not mean it is above criticism, and some of us are seeing signs of the incipient Templetonization of the group, something we'd rather not see happen. If it is to be useful to both the religious and the infidels, it can't wander too far to one side or the other.

313 Comments

PZ Myers said: …the US is currently deadlocked in the evolution/creationism struggle, and has been for a long time…and that central to the stalemate is our constant abasement to religion. It’s time to stop, and the atheists are the ones who are working to break that logjam.

Point of major contention. You seem to be framing religion ITSELF as the enemy. The NCSE, on the other hand, seems to be framing the battle…correctly…as a battle against religion that pretends to be science, or mischaracterizes science, or tries to change the definition and methodology of science.

This is an important distinction which you are mucking up. And you do not speak for all atheists. There are atheists inside and outside NCSE who see the proper distinction, who see that religion ITSELF is not the enemy, and are willing to engage the full gamut of the secular AND religious communities to fight junk science AND clandestine religion (often the same thing).

You are again speaking the language of culture war, of cultural transformation. It is the same rhetoric of the creationists who attempt to redefine science. Who made you Culture Czar?

@1: it’s really horrifying how PZ is trying to, er, state his point in the course of a free and open debate. You must be all of a flutter at such rudeness.

Here we go again.

Yes, it is a culture war, and I am cheerfully engaged in it. Religion is the enemy. I am in opposition to the creationists, so your attempts to claim equivalence are pathetic and silly.

What you foolishly refuse to recognize is that I do not claim to speak for all atheists, and that you take this particularly stupid stance in response to posts where I plainly say that organizations like the NCSE (that DO NOT share my views) have an important place in the efforts to improve science education.

But go ahead, keep on railing against claims I do not make. And I’ll henceforth simply ignore your inanity. Flail away.

PZ Myers Wrote:

The ultimate point, I think, is that we all think the NCSE is a marvelous organization — you should join if you haven’t already — but that does not mean it is above criticism…

I second that. NCSE will appreciate constructive criticism from all POVs. But please give them the courtesy of joining.

jfx Wrote:

Who made you Culture Czar?

Apparently the “Expelled” producers, who chose him over Dawkins. ;-)

PZ Myers said:

Yes, it is a culture war, and I am cheerfully engaged in it. Religion is the enemy.

PZ Myers is engaged in a culture war.

NCSE, NAS, and AAAS are not.

…and the atheists are the ones who are working to break that logjam.

Get over yourself, boy, and take a good look at the people in your trench: we’re not all atheists. In fact, even on the pro-science, anti-theocracy side, atheists are still a minority; so quit insulting our intelligence by claiming credit for work you haven’t done.

Most, if not all, of the plaintiffs in the mind-bendingly crucial Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial were Christians, not atheists. Judge Jones, author of an opinion that we rightly shout from every housetop, is a Lutheran – and a Shrub-appointee to boot. Obama is not an atheist, and neither were most of the Founders. And you still haven’t backed up your oft-repeated claim that evolution generally leads to atheism.

There is not one single battle for honest education or religious freedom that has been won solely by atheists. You’ve needed the help of non-extremist persons of faith every step of the way, and you’ll continue to need our help well into the foreseeable future. If a Pagan like me, or Selena Fox, can acknowledge the help of conservative evangelical Christians in the cause of religious freedom (yes, some fundies do indeed support religious freedom for Pagans), I really don’t see why you can’t do the same for people far closer to you ideologically.

PZ Myers said: Yes, it is a culture war, and I am cheerfully engaged in it. Religion is the enemy. I am in opposition to the creationists, so your attempts to claim equivalence are pathetic and silly.

But the creationists do not speak for all religion. Religion is not the enemy. ID and fundie creationism are parasites that hijack religion on their way to hijacking science. How do you not get this?

The real enemy WANTS your culture war. And you are giving it to them on a silver platter, with extra sauce. It’s right there in their wedge document. Have you drawn up your own manifesto?

Science and philosophy are very old brothers who have grown up together. Tell me, what will you gain by killing your brother?

If you want to talk about war, and use war analogies, then let me jon in with a quote from Sun Tsu: “On ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies.”

There’s also lots of good bits about getting good intel and knowing both yourself and your enemy. If you don’t care enough to bone up on any of it, then you don’t care enough.

If you’re calling it a war, then you should treat it like a war, and start fighting smart.

You, and Dawkins for that matter, are starting to sound like George W. Bush: fighting the wrong war for the wrong reasons, with no regard for tactical competence, for no benefit to your allies, acting on prejudice and bad intel, wasting resources that should go to more relevant conflicts, and destroying nothing more thoroughly than your own credibility.

Here we go again.

“We?” Yo, no one’s forcing you to keep up this idiotic fight.

…central to the stalemate is our constant abasement to religion.

More demagoguery. We suspect creationists for cherry picking on evolution as a proxy for the ills of science. May we not equally suspect the atheists who cherry pick on the same topic to blame the ills of religion? Anyone who thinks that the cultural attitudes toward science can be boiled to a “central” argument is simply ignorant. PZ conveniently excuses himself for the failures of ivory tower atheists. He thinks that cranking up the volume is the solution to a nation that has grown deaf to academics. He thinks that if we call them all stupid enough times, people might actually pay attention. Clearly, he has lived too long in his own echo chamber.

To advocate explicit antagonism towards a majority viewpoint and to call it a “moderate” approach as PZ has done above is to be engaged in delusional thinking. What is derided as “appeasement” is actually the efforts to engage fellow travelers with similar causes rather than alienating them. PZ certainly does not want to speak for all atheists because he cannot handle that moral responsibility. Again, he has a clever out. But such is the cowardice of demagogues. He gleefuly paints all atheists by association as intolerant dumbasses, and then he retreats pathetically behind his words.

By seeking union with religious people, and emphasizing that there is no genuine conflict between faith and science, they are making accommodationism not just a tactical position, but a philosophical one. By ignoring the significant dissent in the scientific community about whether religion and science can be reconciled, they imply a unanimity that does not exist.

Who gave the scientists the final authority on the relationship between science and religion?

I shall repeat myself: no one is demanding that the NCSE and NAS go all rabidly atheist, and we can even agree that a neutral position is more productive towards achieving their goals. The problems arise when they get so entangled with the people they should be arguing with that they start adopting some of their views, and suddenly the science is being compromised to achieve a political end.

It would be a tremendous help in countering creationism in public school science if some imprecise language could be cleared up. You’ve state, after all, that you want to be precise. What group are you referring to by “we”? Are you trying to focus a consensus of scientists and educators working against degradation of our public education, or are you concerned only with the new atheist scientists and their supporters?

It’s annoying to find myself on the opposite side of P Z Meyers on a debate about science education, because I love his blog and think of him as an excellent science educator, albeit at the university or near-university level of sophistication.

I also agree with a lot of what he has to say about obnoxious implicit pandering to religion in general US society and media. I believe we strongly agree on a vast array of social and political issues.

But I disagree with him here.

P Z Meyers doesn’t like it when the NCSE makes the neutral observation that some religious people have no problem with evolution.

He doesn’t like that, even though making that neutral observation is the most, if not only, effective, honest way to rebut the common false creationist claim that evolution is essentially identical to atheism, and even though creationists advance that claim solely to disrupt science education at the public or individual level, and it behooves the NCSE to strongly rebut it.

He doesn’t like it because a neutral statement about religion is a statement about religion that isn’t negative.

He doesn’t like people whose views on religion are different from his own.

This emotional bias appears to be sufficient to make him object to neutral, factual statements about religion.

His emotional attitude is “if you can’t say something negative and derogatory about ‘religion’, undifferentiated, you can’t say anything about ‘religion’ at all”.

His emotional reaction is sufficient that he wants the NCSE to hamstring itself, and refrain from a particular type of neutral, factual statement about religion, which it is clearly valuable for the NCSE to make. Because a neutral, factual statement isn’t negative enough.

While I strongly sympathize that this emotional bias was forged in the oven of obnoxious, discriminatory behavior BY some, indeed many, religious people, I still oppose it.

I also strongly suspect that at some level, he wishes to agree with the creationists that “evolution proves atheism”. Because, as an atheist who knows a lot about evolution, this would imply that his own religious views are “scientifically proven”. But the creationists are wrong.

In short, for emotional reasons, he wants the NCSE to abandon a neutral stance and pander to him.

He presents this, ironically, as the abandonment of pandering by the NCSE.

He seems to have browbeaten Richard Hoppe into what I perceive as a very ill-advised and fearful retreat from what was an initially logical position. Too bad. It isn’t “progress”, it’s a case of successful application of emotional pressure.

This is my definitive last comment. I’ve said it all now.

I wrote this in response to PZ’s earlier post, but it might as well go here:

Here’s our big problem: we have had no offense at all, and we’re never going to make any progress without one. Keeping the other team from scoring is important but doesn’t win us any games if we can never carry our arguments forward one.

The problem with the above, and your approach generally, PZ, is that your “our”, “we” and “us” include only atheists (and agnostics, but there’s no point repeating that everywhere) and excludes all supporters of science who aren’t atheists. The “offensive” you want to go on is against religion and evolution is just one battle in your campaign.

we’re always being told to stop at the point where we are drawing the logical implications of science and evolution

The source of your frustration is that the implications of science and evolution that you wish to rely on are reasonable but not necessary implications, which leaves you fighting for a choice that can be made but on which not all others will follow your choice.

If true,

A rather large caveat.

this means that our so-called allies in this fight are actually not — they don’t ultimately want to support science as it actually is, but are instead fishing for scientists willing to use their authority to support the continued dominance of religious thought.

Again you are deliberately vague. It is clear by “this fight” that you mean the fight against religion. You’re as reliable a witness as to the motivations of folk like Miller and Collins as Ben Stein is of yours. It’s not like you simply want to to support science as it actually is. You want to have science accepted as the sole mode of thought.

Collaborating with our opponents is not the same as making allies.

Who are “our opponents” that NCSE is ‘collaborating with’ if not everyone who isn’t an atheist, including folk whose views on the science of evolution itself do not differ from yours.

And when real allies in the cause of science do show up and try to make a difference, we are misrepresented in order to discredit us.

What “allies”? You’ve ruled all but atheists to be “opponents”, so you have no possible allies, there are only atheists and opponents (since atheist creationists are a negligible factor).

I’ve also told them that one factor in my loss of faith was the promulgation of bad interpretations of the Bible that contradicted the evidence of science,

Seems rather disingenuous with that intro not to mention that you now consider anyone who accepts the evidence of evolution and remains religious is dishonest or deluded to think that he can have both. Why don’t you be honest and tell them that accepting evolution requires that you become an atheist, since it is your view. You trim your own sails to suit the winds and kvetch that the NCSE does the same when at least the NCSE is being honest.

That often seems a more effective and pragmatic approach than pretending they can believe whatever they want and still remain true to science.

You have just outlined that you give the impression that the churchgoers you address can remain religious and yet accept the evidence for evolution, which is not in fact your view at all.

Francis Collins and Ken Miller can build reputations as public speakers on pronouncements of their faith, yet somehow the atheists in their audiences don’t go running for the doors when they mention god.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Collins and Miller insist that understanding and accepting evolution means you must give up your atheism, while you and Dawkins do insist on just that point. The reason Collins and Miller are regarded differently is that they have a foot in the camp of those who need to be persuaded to support good science education by accepting evolution. You and Dawkins pretty much preach to a choir that already accepts evolution.

I have specifically said that the theistic compatibilitist view can be represented, as long as it isn’t the only view represented …

Do you really think the NCSE needs to reach out to those whose opposition to evolution stems from a belief that evolution is incompatible with their atheism?

Nowhere have I called non-atheists “enemies”.

You did call them “opponents”, as above, so your claim above is literally true, but only by a technicality. You may feel the distinction between “enemies” and “opponents” is a big one here, but I’m afraid that from what you consider the “opponent” side, it sure doesn’t look like that. Unremitting hostility on your part has that effect.

harold said: He doesn’t like that, even though making that neutral observation is the most, if not only, effective, honest way to rebut the common false creationist claim that evolution is essentially identical to atheism, and even though creationists advance that claim solely to disrupt science education at the public or individual level, and it behooves the NCSE to strongly rebut it.

Not just NCSE, but any organization, including NAS, that wants to defend good science education. I’ve been following the evolution wars since 1979, and THE most annoying thing about the controversy has always been, and still is, how the grand majority of the people who should care the most, the scientists, really can’t be bothered to help. It has taken decades to drag professional organizations into getting serious about this (not that I think my own complaining has made much difference). And now, we have some highly vocal minority opinion leaders telling them to back off because its interferring with their culture war! Insane.

The “we” in that quoted paragraph is rather obvious, isn’t it? All of us. Everyone here. We all agree, I thought, that remaining neutral on religion was the practical approach. Are you telling me now that you don’t want them to be neutral?

P Z Meyers doesn’t like it when the NCSE makes the neutral observation that some religious people have no problem with evolution.

Completely wrong. I make that observation all the time myself, and go further and point out that there are religious people who are even very good scientists, and some who were even extremely influential in formulating the neo-Darwinian synthesis.

And Mike from Ottawa…even wronger. When you say “It is clear by “this fight” that you mean the fight against religion” you’ve completely distorted my meaning: I am talking about the fight for better science education. When you people keep sticking your weird-ass interpretations into the premises, you come out with utter garbage – and you don’t even notice, or care.

I am talking about the fight for better science education.

Except when you’re saying “Religion is the enemy” on the very same thread where you insist you’re only talking about better science education.

Once again, you’re stealing Cordova’s schtick: say one thing, have your ass handed to you on it, then insist you said something else, and then question OUR honesty. This could be one reason why Sal Cordova himself just explicitly endorsed you on the previous thread. Birds of a feather and all that – or should I say worms of a tongue?

Actually, I think PZ’s attack has been quite effective. This has been some of the best clarifications of various positions I have seen in years. It is a quite an encouraging “love fest”. :-)

Frame the question, win the arguement.

“Yes, it is a culture war, and I am cheerfully engaged in it. Religion is the enemy.”

Congratulations. The Creationists have now framed the question.

PZ Meyers has done wonderful work, and I respect his contributions, and his right to argue his point of view.

I disagree with that point of view. To win the battle for good science education, the question should be

1. evidence vs. lack of evidence

not

2. science vs. religion

To frame the arguement as question 1, we must deny the Creationists the arguement from question 2. We can do so by pointing out that they do not speak for, or represent, ‘Religion’, but are instead only a well-funded, disingenuously vocal subset, and that the many other religious organizations in the US disagree with them. This undercuts their claim to question 2 - and this is what several science organizations have done by promoting talks and discussion with theists who support the evidence for evolution, thereby allowing us to frame the arguement as question 1.

“Religion is the enemy.”

Wow. Johnathan Wells would have PAID Mr. Meyers to make this statement. If I were a spokesman for Creationists, I would take this clip and supply it at every lecture where Mr. Meyers is speaking or is quoted. By conflating a personal crusade - regardless of merit - with evolution, the focus is diluted and the opportunity opened for opponents to reframe the question to their liking.

Mr. Meyers, I wish you success. I share the concern regarding religious extremism. But I suggest (as others have), and it is a suggestion only, that you carefuly reconsider the honest, likely result of having evolution argued from a point such as “Religion is the enemy”.

And thank you for your continued contributions to scientific understanding.

- K.

In recap: “to far” should be “too far”

I’ll just pop in here to say that if anyone has any doubt that Coyne and PZ’s approach is correct, they should rewind the clock about five to ten years and read the posts on this blog where, among other inanities, allegedly serious people who supported science thought the Worst Thing Ever would be to call a creationist a liar or an idiot.

In fact, as many of us maintained at the time, that is exactly what needed to be done and what still needs to be done. Particularly now, when the idea that creationists are lying idiots is being mainstreamed.

P Z Meyers doesn’t like it when the NCSE makes the neutral observation that some religious people have no problem with evolution. He doesn’t like that, even though making that neutral observation is the most, if not only, effective, honest way to rebut the common false creationist claim that evolution is essentially identical to atheism

The most effective and honest way to rebut the common false creationist claim that evolution is essentially identical to atheism is to point out that the claim is false. The claim is equivalent to saying that erosion is identical to atheism. The only people who make such claims are liars who know nothing of science and are interested in pushing a religious agenda.

Never forget this: creationists and “ID proponents” are anti-science and pro-religion (whatever their religion is). That’s it. The two go hand in hand from their perspective. They will tell any lie imaginable if the reaction it produces is perceived by them to be “positive”. If they can tell a lie that results in scientists professing their religious beliefs, that is a goal for their side. And just so nobody is confused, I will remind you again: “their side” is anti-science and pro-religion, intertwined.

Those most comfortable with their religious beliefs will readily admit that their religion is merely a mind game that they play with themselves to make their lives more enjoyable, and also something they occasionally exploit for political purposes to the extent the habit is shared by others.

As for those unwilling to make this admission: grow up already.

Even if I were to agree with PZ that “religion is the enemy” (and I do think it necessary to constantly question religion), I would still say that he’s fighting an inexcusably incompetent war. For starters, every time he over-generalizes about “religion,” he only drives home the fact that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Instead of blindly attacking an amorphous moving target like “religion,” he really ought to be focusing attention on specific evil acts of specific religions; and let religious people either try to defend them, or figure out for themselves what such acts imply about their faith and/or mindset.

Treating all “religion” as the same only encourages them to act the same, both in your own mental picture and in their real response. Attacking specific evil acts, OTOH, causess division in the “religion” camp, as people of different beliefs either make excuses, pretend hey don’t know what was going on, or try to say “yes, but WE don’t do that!” This is a political as well as philosophical conflict, and divide-and-rule is a valid strategy, especially when it’s done using the truth.

Again I’ll quote Sun Tsu: “The second best way to win a war is by preventing your enemy from joining his forces.” The creationists are trying to get other religious people to support their theocratic campaign; and offering to reconcile science and religion helps to divide religious people on the relevant issues, thus preventing the enemies of honest science from assembling a winning coalition.

The real enemy WANTS your culture war.

Yes, I know. Please tell the real enemy to bring it on. It seems to me that we have been winning this war – and by we I mean those of us who make no attempt to hide our contempt for religious asshattery and all the bigotry and ignorance that inevitably accompanies the asshattery.

You may recall the Republican Party and their engagement in ths “culture war”? How is that working out?

These people are marginalized and wounded. Now is the time to crush them. But instead we’ve got the same hand-wringers worrying about a “backlash” and other garbage. Get on the offensive. Stop responding to pathological liars and sociopaths like Luskin and his cohorts at the Discovery Institute and start working actively to eliminate the damage they are doing AT THE SOURCE. Destroy the enemey instead of building a wall. I can’t think of a better time to do this than right now, frankly.

Raging Bee Treating all “religion” as the same only encourages them to act the same, both in your own mental picture and in their real response.

This is a self-serving lie or an admission that religious people are idiots.

Which is it?

For starters, every time he over-generalizes about “religion,” he only drives home the fact that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Really? Give an example of a religion that isn’t a mind game.

PZ Myers said:

Yes, it is a culture war, and I am cheerfully engaged in it. Religion is the enemy.

Coming soon to a creationist powerpoint presentation near you… and they won’t even have to quote mine for it.

A while back I had an interesting discussion with some commenters on Pharyngula about how how listening to certain atheists reminded me a lot of certain YECs.

Your average YEC said:Yes, it is a culture war, and I am cheerfully engaged in it. Evolution is the enemy.

Nah, must just be my imagination.

gabriel said:

PZ Myers said:

Yes, it is a culture war, and I am cheerfully engaged in it. Religion is the enemy.

Coming soon to a creationist powerpoint presentation near you… and they won’t even have to quote mine for it.

A while back I had an interesting discussion with some commenters on Pharyngula about how how listening to certain atheists reminded me a lot of certain YECs.

Your average YEC said:Yes, it is a culture war, and I am cheerfully engaged in it. Evolution is the enemy.

Nah, must just be my imagination.

Yeah, but look at is as getting experience with recognizing flack and diversions while being able to sort out the real targets that need attention.

gabriel listening to certain atheists reminded me a lot of certain YECs

And listening to certain commenters here reminds me of a lot of certain self-described “centrists” who are always sure that the “extremists” on both sides must be wrong and a “compromise” position is always best.

But more importantly, your statement that certain atheists reminds you of certain YECs demonstrates an amazing oversight on your part: the indisputable fact that ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of all YECs are pathological liars and, as far as I can tell, none of the atheists here suffer from that problem.

In my mind, that’s a very important distinction that should never be forgotten or trivialized.

But go ahead and forget it and trivialize it because some atheists say things about religion that religious people can’t deny but which interferes with their self-therapy.

PZ Myers said:

Here we go again.

Yes, it is a culture war, and I am cheerfully engaged in it. Religion is the enemy. I am in opposition to the creationists, so your attempts to claim equivalence are pathetic and silly.

What you foolishly refuse to recognize is that I do not claim to speak for all atheists, and that you take this particularly stupid stance in response to posts where I plainly say that organizations like the NCSE (that DO NOT share my views) have an important place in the efforts to improve science education.

But go ahead, keep on railing against claims I do not make. And I’ll henceforth simply ignore your inanity. Flail away.

Then I must be as stupid as the others who see what YOU are doing as pointless ranting.

If “religion is the enemy”, then your other statement that “there are religious people who are even very good scientists, and some who were even extremely influential in formulating the neo-Darwinian synthesis,” cannot be valid.

When people contradict themselves like that, they are failing in logic. Yet you would slam devout Christians who are supporters of evolution? Physician, heal thyself.

Registered User said:

gabriel listening to certain atheists reminded me a lot of certain YECs

But more importantly, your statement that certain atheists reminds you of certain YECs demonstrates an amazing oversight on your part: the indisputable fact that ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of all YECs are pathological liars and, as far as I can tell, none of the atheists here suffer from that problem.

In my mind, that’s a very important distinction that should never be forgotten or trivialized.

I happen to know many YECs who are nothing of the sort - they are decent, honest folks who you would be very happy to have as a neighbour. Ignorant of biology, yes - willing to listen to science, possibly - hindered in their acceptance of science by the likes of Myers who would claim atheism as the only logical consequence of evolution, absolutely.

Ray Martinez said:

Why are most adults anti-evolution?

Answer: Because there is no evidence of evolution. Evolutionists are recognized to be liars.

Ray Martinez, Protestant Evangelical, Old Earth-Young Biosphere Creationist-species immutabilist, Paleyan Designist and pathological liar and lunatic.

Why should we beleive YOU when you claim to be a Christian? Your constantly equating evolution with atheism is funny, considering that the Bible also teaches that the Earth is flat, and all Atheists beleive the Earth is a sphere. Therefore, I can deny your being a Christian too.

Dale Husband said:

Why should we believe YOU when you claim to be a Christian? Your constantly equating evolution with atheism is funny, considering that the Bible also teaches that the Earth is flat, and all Atheists believe the Earth is a sphere. Therefore, I can deny your being a Christian too.

Prominent Christian, Martin Luther, pointed out that one can not be a Christian if one also accepted that the Sun, and not the Earth, is the center of the known Universe.

Does Ray Martinez believe the Sun, and not the Earth, is the center of the known Universe?

Dave in CA said:

Perhaps the most important issue between religion and science is the “origin” problem: “Why is the Universe here?” (Not to mention, intelligent life forms.) Religion’s inclination is to say “Goddidit”, as if that explains anything. The First Cause continues to evade and recede.

My view is that “God” is an emergent property rather than a cause – created by us rather than the other way around. But that is not to deny that there may be something there, something ineffable, something metaphysical shared, with possibly unknown or surprising properties. On that issue, I am agnostic.

Applause.

Can I follow this logic - which seems to me to be solid - one further step? If that last deduction stands, then it would follow that its conclusion must be admitted as possible. Not confirmed, not by any means, but admitted as possible.

And if it be admitted as possible, then theism is possible. Not affirmed. Admitted as possible.

gabriel said:

Ray, it matters not a whit whether you think me a believer or not, because what you think has no bearing on my membership in God’s covenant community. The evidence that I am a Christian is the indwelling Holy Spirit, who bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God (see Romans 8), and the fruit of my works (see Matthew 7).

In short, you say that because I accept a extremely well-tested and supported theory that undergirds all of my chosen field of study that I am apostate.

The reason I accept evolution is because of (a) the evidence, and (b) because I take natural revelation seriously. God reveals Himself in nature; the study of nature is no less a sacred task than theology. What we learn about God’s creation in nature through science is a form of revelation.

To hold a view that orthodox Christian faith requires rejecting well-tested science would be humorous if it weren’t so dangerous to the faith. You would have us all check our brains at the church door, and deny the evidence in favour of your preferred reading of Genesis: and when someone dares question your view you wield the cry of “Apostate!” with ease and vigor.

Well, not so. To my own Master I stand or fall, as it is with you. You might ask Him why you deny His works as revealed in His creation. You are a pot declaring to its Maker: “You may not make me thus!”

Flail as you will, your days of influence are numbered.

The only question is: why did Gabriel completely ignore everything said, failing to quote and answer anything? All honest, objective and intelligent persons know that this indicates the inability to address and refute.

General Reader: please see for yourself. Here is the link to my message to Gabriel:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]mment-185232

Please compare with his “reply” above.

The general conclusion is: When put on the spot the “Christian” evolutionist is exposed to not have a leg to stand on. They are speechless.

Out of curiosity, why are Raging Bee’s comments consigned to the Bathroom Wall because he simply played Devil’s Advocate too much, while Ray Martinez is allowed to repost the exact, same old, very tired fire and brimstone nonsense with impudence?

A very unfair double standard, yes?

jfx said:

In that boundary region between all the relative knowledge we have about the universe, and absolute understanding of the universe’s true nature, we have this extremely volatile patch of metaphysical ambiguity. And since most humans do not have much stomach for metaphysical ambiguity, we are always going to have this or that non-rational ideology aggressively squirming out of that patch.

I particularly like your phrasing here. Thanks!

Dave Luckett said:

Can I follow this logic - which seems to me to be solid - one further step? If that last deduction stands, then it would follow that its conclusion must be admitted as possible. Not confirmed, not by any means, but admitted as possible.

And if it be admitted as possible, then theism is possible. Not affirmed. Admitted as possible.

One conclusion that emerges from that view is that we humans are responsible for the quality of our theology and of its contribution to our lives. A concept that even the old-fashioned historical God would have likely approved of.

A related mystery is whether there is truth to metaphysical notions like extrasensory perception. Being of a naturalistic turn of mind, I find that very difficult to accept. Yet I have had personal experiences, and read of others, that seem rather inexplicable otherwise.

One point that Terence Witt argues in his book, Our Undiscovered Universe, is that every point in the Universe is a hologram of the Whole, and that this is necessary for the universality of physical laws. I wonder whether consciousness participates in that somehow?

The late Oriana Fallaci (one of the greatest heroines of our time IMO) had an interview with Pope Benedict. She remarked afterward, surprised, how deep the understanding and agreement were between herself (an atheist) and the Pope.

Ray Martinez said:

The only question is: why did Gabriel completely ignore everything said, failing to quote and answer anything? All honest, objective and intelligent persons know that this indicates the inability to address and refute.

General Reader: please see for yourself. Here is the link to my message to Gabriel:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]mment-185232

Please compare with his “reply” above.

The general conclusion is: When put on the spot the “Christian” evolutionist is exposed to not have a leg to stand on. They are speechless.

Says the hypocrite who doesn’t address the issue of the Bible teaching that the Earth is flat and stationary.

Dave in CA said:

The late Oriana Fallaci (one of the greatest heroines of our time IMO) had an interview with Pope Benedict. She remarked afterward, surprised, how deep the understanding and agreement were between herself (an atheist) and the Pope.

OK, gotta “unlazy” myself and dig up the actual quote:

“I feel less alone when I read the books of Ratzinger.” I had asked Ms. Fallaci whether there was any contemporary leader she admired, and Pope Benedict XVI was evidently a man in whom she reposed some trust. “I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It’s that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion.” (Interviewed by Tunku Varadarajan / Wall Street Journal Opinion Archives)

Stanton’s usual lies. The Bible (which isn’y true, btw) doesn’t say the earth is flat or stationary.

Senyor Martinez - s/he also wants me to be banned. You get used to her/his lies.

novparl moron with poor reading comprehension said:

Stanton’s usual lies. The Bible (which isn’y true, btw) doesn’t say the earth is flat or stationary.

Senyor Martinez - s/he also wants me to be banned. You get used to her/his lies.

I wasn’t the one who said that the Bible said that the Earth is flat and stationary, that was Dale Husband.

I was the one who said that Martin Luther stated that one can not be a Christian and accept a heliocentric, and not a geocentric view of the Universe.

That, and the Bible really does speak of the Earth being flat and stationary, such as the way the world is described as a flat disc when Jesus address the kingdoms of the world, or when the sun stood still on behalf of the prophet Joshua.

Dave in CA said:

Dave Luckett said:

Can I follow this logic - which seems to me to be solid - one further step? If that last deduction stands, then it would follow that its conclusion must be admitted as possible. Not confirmed, not by any means, but admitted as possible.

And if it be admitted as possible, then theism is possible. Not affirmed. Admitted as possible.

…snip… One point that Terence Witt argues in his book, Our Undiscovered Universe, is that every point in the Universe is a hologram of the Whole, and that this is necessary for the universality of physical laws. I wonder whether consciousness participates in that somehow? …snip…

The problem is that Terence Witt’s book, Our Undiscovered Universe, is a mess of bad mathematics and worse physics. See this review of “Our Undiscovered Universe” by Terence Witt from a professional physicist: http://web.mit.edu/~bmonreal/www/Nu[…]_Review.html

Also see my review at http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~fiski/[…]_review.html

The flaws of this crackpot book are many and include:
* Redefining the concept of infinity as a length with magnitude.
* Defining a line as a series of points written as zeros, treating them as numbers so that they add up to zero and then treating the number zero as a point again!
* A really bad atomic model “proving” that a electron orbiting a proton has a ground state that it cannot decay from by creating a new physical law.
* Using the high school description of a neutron as a proton plus an electron and not realizing that this is just his atomic model!
* Postulating that galaxies have “galactic cores” which are super massive objects that are not quite black holes and not realizing that the centre of the Milky Way is well observed. These recycle stars into hydrogen. Oddly enough astronomers have not noticed dozens of stars vanishing from the galactic centre in the many images that they have taken over the last few decades.

Dave in CA said:

Dave Luckett said:

Can I follow this logic - which seems to me to be solid - one further step? If that last deduction stands, then it would follow that its conclusion must be admitted as possible. Not confirmed, not by any means, but admitted as possible.

And if it be admitted as possible, then theism is possible. Not affirmed. Admitted as possible.

…snip… One point that Terence Witt argues in his book, Our Undiscovered Universe, is that every point in the Universe is a hologram of the Whole, and that this is necessary for the universality of physical laws. I wonder whether consciousness participates in that somehow? …snip…

The problem is that Terence Witt’s book, Our Undiscovered Universe, is a mess of bad mathematics and worse physics. See this review of “Our Undiscovered Universe” by Terence Witt from a professional physicist: http://web.mit.edu/~bmonreal/www/Nu[…]_Review.html

Also see my review at http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~fiski/[…]_review.html

The flaws of this crackpot book are many and include:
* Redefining the concept of infinity as a length with magnitude.
* Defining a line as a series of points written as zeros, treating them as numbers so that they add up to zero and then treating the number zero as a point again!
* A really bad atomic model “proving” that a electron orbiting a proton has a ground state that it cannot decay from by creating a new physical law.
* Using the high school description of a neutron as a proton plus an electron and not realizing that this is just his atomic model!
* Postulating that galaxies have “galactic cores” which are super massive objects (not quite black holes) that recycle stars back into hydrogen and not realizing that the centre of the Milky Way is well observed. Oddly enough astronomers have not noticed dozens of stars vanishing from the galactic centre in the many images that they have taken over the last few decades.

Conclusion: Bad mathematics and even worse physics. Conclusion: Bad mathematics and even worse physics.

* Using the high school description of a neutron as a proton plus an electron and not realizing that this is just his atomic model!

It would also need either a neutrino or antineutrino to make all the quantum numbers come out balanced.

Henry

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on April 28, 2009 10:07 AM.

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