The designer’s identity solved: It’s Pixies!

| 56 Comments

In BBC blog comments I find this:

Let me repeat it for you, because you seem to be determined to misunderstand. NO-ONE is a priori excluding the presence of some sort of Primary Intelligent Cosmic Creator (PICC, pronounced “pixie”). There is no need to either include or exclude such a beastie; the only way of addressing that question is NOT by cod philosophy, but by scientific evidence.

I love the British way with words.

Hat tip to Heliopolitan, who coined the phrase.

56 Comments

I don’t get how a tube of flavored sugar could Create anything. Sounds like that there atheist Spontaneous Abiogeneration to me!

PICC is actually a programming language for microcontrollers.

So the Pixies created the universe? Kinda makes sense.

If Man is 5, then the Devil is 6 And if the Devil is 6, then God is 7 This monkey’s gone to heaven.

Klaus Hellnick said:

PICC is actually a programming language for microcontrollers.

More proof that all “evolutionist” simulations in the computer are front-loaded!

On that same thread, in comment 23, we see this:

Logica_sine_vanitate Wrote:

How we interpret scientific data depends on the presuppositions that we bring to that data. The idea that “the scientific evidence demands that we rule out any possibility that the emergence of life could have depended on the actions of an external organising influence (i.e. intelligence)” is a truly laughable proposition. There is not one shred of empirical evidence that demands such a thing. Not one. There is not one shred of empirical evidence that demands that we should be naturalists.

He then goes on to quote C.S. Lewis as some kind of authority on science.

So here we see the same conflation of philosophical presuppositions with evidence and data. This is the same shtick the “scientists” at the Creation “Museum” and the rest of Ken Ham’s army are using.

What philosophical presuppositions would allow us to reinterpret the evidence or data that say the Hawaiian Islands exist into affirming that the Hawaiian Islands do not exist?

What philosophical presuppositions would allow one to say that dropping an anvil on his bare toe didn’t break it and cause considerable pain?

So where does one draw the line in separating “philosophical presuppositions” from evidence? Where along such a continuum do our “philosophical presuppositions” allow us to reject data and evidence that hit us in the face like a two-by-four?

This is another example of word-gaming that is so prevalent among these die-hard creationists.

the only way of addressing that question is NOT by cod philosophy, but by scientific evidence.

Ruling out “cod philosophy” is unfair to people from the North Atlantic coastal countries.

Does cod philosophy just mean lots of floundering?

When I read that I can’t help but recall Peter Cook as the PM in “Woops Apocalypse” blaming Britain’s problems on the pixies.

What philosophical presuppositions would allow us to reinterpret the evidence or data that say the Hawaiian Islands exist into affirming that the Hawaiian Islands do not exist?

Oh, that’s easy.

All you have to do is get a creationist and a scientist on a California cliffside overlooking the Pacific ocean (or, the Botany bay cliffs, for the loyal Aussie following that reads this blog).

The scientist says that Hawaii is out there, over the horizon.

The creationist says “Show me”.

The scientist stammers, taken aback by this weird request, then fumbles around, pulling out maps, and satellite photos and a copy “Hawaii for Dummies” and last years vacation pictures of him and the kids in Maui.

And the creationist says “But you can’t actually show me Hawaii, can you?”

And the scientist explains that it’s not a “show me” thing, being as one cannot actually see the other side of the earth, but here’s an entire pile of evidence that Hawaii actually exists.

And the creationist says “Well, that’s great, but the Bible makes no mention of Hawaii, and you haven’t really shown me Hawaii, which is what I asked for. All this stuff is just other people’s opinions”

And the creationist smugly smiles and walks off, secure in the knowledge that he has beaten science once again.

stevaroni said:

What philosophical presuppositions would allow us to reinterpret the evidence or data that say the Hawaiian Islands exist into affirming that the Hawaiian Islands do not exist?

Oh, that’s easy.

All you have to do is get a creationist and a scientist on a California cliffside overlooking the Pacific ocean (or, the Botany bay cliffs, for the loyal Aussie following that reads this blog).

The scientist says that Hawaii is out there, over the horizon.

The creationist says “Show me”.

The scientist stammers, taken aback by this weird request, then fumbles around, pulling out maps, and satellite photos and a copy “Hawaii for Dummies” and last years vacation pictures of him and the kids in Maui.

And the creationist says “But you can’t actually show me Hawaii, can you?”

And the scientist explains that it’s not a “show me” thing, being as one cannot actually see the other side of the earth, but here’s an entire pile of evidence that Hawaii actually exists.

And the creationist says “Well, that’s great, but the Bible makes no mention of Hawaii, and you haven’t really shown me Hawaii, which is what I asked for. All this stuff is just other people’s opinions”

And the creationist smugly smiles and walks off, secure in the knowledge that he has beaten science once again.

The scientist might suggest an actual visit to the islands to confirm they exist. The creationist would of course say he accepted the obvious existence of very short boat trips, but say there was no evidence whatsoever that these small trips could ever add up to a transoceanic journey.

stevaroni said:

And the creationist smugly smiles and walks off, secure in the knowledge that he has beaten science once again.

This is a nice metaphor for what I had in mind.

It illustrates nicely the stone wall creationists set up to avoid any thought of looking beyond their noses; in this metaphor, by actually taking a plane flight to Hawaii.

If such a flight were proposed by the scientist, further mud wrestling would ensue as the creationist started arguing about the “theory of flight” and where it would take a person who submits to such a “theory. He would also claim that one would have no way of being assured that the pilot of such a flying device was actually taking you to Hawaii, that the pilot was in on the deception.

ben said:

The scientist might suggest an actual visit to the islands to confirm they exist. The creationist would of course say he accepted the obvious existence of very short boat trips, but say there was no evidence whatsoever that these small trips could ever add up to a transoceanic journey.

And when the scientist buys the creationist a round trip airplane ticket for a tour of Hawaii, the creationist promptly has the scientist arrested for kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Mike Elzinga said:

He would also claim that one would have no way of being assured that the pilot of such a flying device was actually taking you to Hawaii, that the pilot was in on the deception.

Don’t forget … HITLER believed in the existence of Hawaii.

ben said: The creationist would of course say he accepted the obvious existence of very short boat trips, but say there was no evidence whatsoever that these small trips could ever add up to a transoceanic journey.

Ah, yes - the old micro-boat-trips versus macro-boat-trips controversy. I liken that to creationists’ believing in teaspoons but not gallons, or inches but not miles.

And Obama claims to come from there. And since we all know that he’s the antichrist, and we all know where the antichrist comes from, therefore Hawaii is satanist/atheist/secularist/evolutionist code for HELL.

And Obama claims to come from there. And since we all know that he’s the antichrist, and we all know where the antichrist comes from, therefore Hawaii is satanist/atheist/secularist/evolutionist code for HELL.

But isn’t Hell reputed to have bad weather most of the time? ;)

Henry

Whilst Hawaii is reputed to have nice weather a whole lot of the time.

Paul B.

Milli-leatres, not leatres, and milli-metres, not metres, perhaps?

Hey, Richard, I’m Irish! ;-)

Heliopolitan said:

Hey, Richard, I’m Irish! ;-)

And I’m an O’Brien on my mother’s side. I should know better! The Irish have a still better facility with language. :)

Well, technically I’m *Northern* Irish, so I’m British too :-)

If any of the PT readership feel like tackling a few creationist misconceptions on that blog (BBC Will & Testament: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni ), we could do with your help!

In particular, the issues of “metaphysical presuppositions” and the “we interpret the same data and reach different conclusions” nonsense need firmly addressed; anyone who can put across those concepts in clever and crystal clear ways?

[Just in case you’re not all too busy over here!]

Thanks,

-Heli O’Politan

What is cod philosophy? I’ve not heard of this before.

Mike- especially amazing, considering Lewis was actually *in favor* of evolution, to the extent that he considered it or understood it (it being outside his field).

Heliopolitan said:

Well, technically I’m *Northern* Irish, so I’m British too :-)

Ah, well. I’ll zip my lips. :)

If any of the PT readership feel like tackling a few creationist misconceptions on that blog (BBC Will & Testament: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni ), we could do with your help!

In particular, the issues of “metaphysical presuppositions” and the “we interpret the same data and reach different conclusions” nonsense need firmly addressed; anyone who can put across those concepts in clever and crystal clear ways?

You’re welcome to my I want AIG creationists on my jury! post:

Now, the presupposition of the U.S. justice system is (purportedly) that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But if we adopt the AIG/ICR philosophical/apologetic position regarding presuppositions, no amount of evidence that seems to support guilt can alter the presumption of innocence. Hence if I’m ever charged with a crime, I want AIG creationists on the jury: I’m guaranteed an acquittal, because, you see, evidence doesn’t count in evaluating presuppositions! And doing CSI becomes infinitely easier: Decide who’s guilty beforehand and simply interpret the evidence appropriately.

Aha! So this must be the Holy Trinity.

Heliopolitan said:

If any of the PT readership feel like tackling a few creationist misconceptions on that blog (BBC Will & Testament: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni ), we could do with your help!

In particular, the issues of “metaphysical presuppositions” and the “we interpret the same data and reach different conclusions” nonsense need firmly addressed; anyone who can put across those concepts in clever and crystal clear ways?

[Just in case you’re not all too busy over here!]

Thanks,

-Heli O’Politan

Basically the “philosophical or metaphysical presuppositions” shtick is an attempt to make a dumb idea look “respectable”, and to transport rubes to imagined euphoric intellectual heights from which they fantasize they can look down upon the crass philosophy of “naturalists”.

But it is all word-gaming on old sectarian apologetics. They must keep dogma and bend everything else to fit, while appearing rational and respectable. Instead of admitting that dogma trumps evidence and data, they want to sound sophisticated by suggesting that the same evidence and data can be interpreted differently.

The key is that they must bend everything to fit dogma. Every scientific concept, from physics, chemistry, biology (and now philosophy), must be shaded and graded into something that appears to justify their religious dogma. By ignoring most of the fill-in evidence known to science, they leave themselves with a kind of Rorschach test of what remains. This is what they foist onto everyone else in any attempts at discussion.

“Philosophical or metaphysical presuppositions” is a blending of post-modernist clap-trap with sectarian apologetics. It falls apart instantly when applied to obvious cases such as dropping anvils on one’s foot, or to the existence of places and phenomena which anybody can check, verify and agree upon.

The issue then gets into just how far one goes to justify such an argument to support different conclusions about the same data. There are basically two prongs to this shtick; (1) argue about the data, and (2) argue about how the data should be interpreted. These are related but also conflated in the process of argumentation. Basically, the fundamentalists appear to be justifying ignoring data, not reinterpreting it. They can only “reinterpret” the small amount that remains after they refuse to look at the rest.

So we need to determine from them, by traversing a chain of examples involving data and evidence, just where their “interpretations” begin to trump reality. Does shooting a bullet into one’s head make one dead? Can “philosophical presuppositions” convince us otherwise? Does the Earth revolve on its axis? Does it orbit the Sun? Do atoms exist? How about electrons? What about the nuclei of atoms? How about quarks and gluons?

As we move into biology, just where do “philosophical or metaphysical presuppositions” begin to play the dominant role in deciding what the data and evidence mean and whether or not they are to be ignored?

Wherever that point lies, they have to be able to justify that dominant role of “metaphysics.” Somewhere along this line sectarian dogma plays the role it always has. They will deny this; but then, how did they convert this to “philosophy” in their own minds?

“Evidence” is anything that, through misrepresentation and special pleading, can be force-fit into the mold of Received Truth. If it can’t, it’s not evidence and is ignored.

The key, to me, is that creationists cannot tell the truth because their faith prohibits it. So when they say “same data, different interpretation” you can be sure that it’s not the same data and their approach isn’t an interpretation as we might understand it.

Here’s an example. Let’s say we collect data, plot it and find that it’s essentially random. Let’s say doctrine requires a strong linear trend. Is doctrine wrong? No, you draw a line representing the required trend, select all the points on or very near that line, and these “prove” the trend, because the other points are not data. They are (pick as many as you like) misinterpretations, fabrications, human error, or not there.

Note that the surviving data DO represent a strong linear trend, and ARE genuine documentable observations. They fit the doctrine because the doctrine is Truth, known in advance.

Mike Elzinga said:

Somewhere along this line sectarian dogma plays the role it always has. They will deny this; but then, how did they convert this to “philosophy” in their own minds?

I might add that their frequent refusal to engage on this point is because they usually argue with people who don’t have enough depth of knowledge to know just how badly the science has gone wrong (ID/creationists try to control these venues).

But the ID/creationist science has gone wrong egregiously; and the ID/creationists should be held to account on this. They were the ones who did it. What “philosophical or metaphysical presuppositions” permitted them to do that?

I have never seen an ID/creationist who will give an honest answer to that question.

I have never seen an ID/creationist who will give an honest answer to that question.

You can’t. There simply is no honest way to defend a falsehood. Even Kurt Wise cops out, saying he knows the combined and applied intellect of the cream of the human species for centuries conclusively demonstrates that his faith is false on the merits. But he says that doesn’t matter. Faith in falsehoods brings him personal comfort; facing reality undermines that comfort. So he deliberately chooses not to face it.

What makes Wise “honest” is that he makes no attempt to misinterpret or twist the facts to fit his emotional needs. He simply dismisses them. Would you be satisfied with an ID/creationist who said “I was indoctrinated from birth to KNOW things beyond any possible reversal, which I now can’t emotionally afford to examine honestly, so I dont.” Where would you go from there? To a lobotomist?

Flint said:

What makes Wise “honest” is that he makes no attempt to misinterpret or twist the facts to fit his emotional needs. He simply dismisses them. Would you be satisfied with an ID/creationist who said “I was indoctrinated from birth to KNOW things beyond any possible reversal, which I now can’t emotionally afford to examine honestly, so I dont.” Where would you go from there? To a lobotomist?

I’m not sure what Wise is attempting to do with this particular shtick; he may perhaps be trying to draw sympathy from real scientists who might cut him some slack for his “honest humility” and fidelity to his sectarian religion.

But, if that is the case, I certainly don’t cut him any slack. I suspect there has been much more revealed here than Wise or any of his ID/creationist cohorts realize. I believe most of these guys know how badly they have to mangle the science to keep such sectarian dogma.

Now it becomes a matter of figuring out their reasons for doing so. One possibility is that they don’t know the sciences as well as they think they do, and so they feel they have stumbled on things that real scientists have overlooked with their “prejudices”.

I don’t buy any of that crap. They have been exposed to frequent and repeated corrections from the scientific community for something like 40 years now; yet they keep repeating and further mangling the same concepts. And they always choose venues in which they cannot be effectively challenged.

So any remaining reasons seem to fall into the realm of conscious deceptive practices, either for enhancing their positions within their sects, or for cynical exploitation of a lucrative rube market.

Ken Ham certainly belongs within the latter. Others are willing to sell their souls to whomever pays them well. For others, it’s a lust for power and a worshipful following, or at the very least, the kind of respectful deference they expected and didn’t get from the real science community.

I don’t see any of these leaders as being deeply or honestly religious. Their motives and behaviors appear to be about as base as they can get.

The rubes are simply feisty and clueless warriors who are being used as point men in the culture wars that keep sectarian demagogues in political power.

I don’t see any of these leaders as being deeply or honestly religious. Their motives and behaviors appear to be about as base as they can get.

OK, we disagree. I see them as manipulative and deceitful, to be sure. BUT I see them sincerely believing the idiocy that was drilled into them before they were old enough to know better, carving neural pathways which have “set up” and can no longer be altered.

Kind of like knowing that a certain sort of woman is very wrong for you, but unable to become interested in or aroused by any other sort. You have no more control over this than you could wet the bed in your sleep if someone held a gun to your head and promised to shoot you if you didn’t. These things (as I see it, of course) are conscious, but not voluntary.

I read all these testimonies by people who “used to be an atheist but they found Jesus and are now saved.” Turns out every one of these folks, without exception, was the victim of the sort of early religious indoctrination that they can TRY to rebel against as a teenager, but they can never really succeed. Like an embedded cultural value system, it’s something you can’t escape by the age you’re old enough to realize it’s there.

What Wise is doing is admitting he can’t shake that toilet training. He can learn that it’s total rubbish from every possible perspective EXCEPT personal insecurities, but it’s a hindbrain thing. Like a drug addiction, it’s permanent. You can quit the drug, but can NOT quit the addiction

Flint said:

OK, we disagree. I see them as manipulative and deceitful, to be sure. BUT I see them sincerely believing the idiocy that was drilled into them before they were old enough to know better, carving neural pathways which have “set up” and can no longer be altered.

When I was saying that I don’t see them as being religious in any way, I was comparing them with people who seem to me to be religious without displaying all the angst we see among these fundamentalist ID/creationists. Admittedly, such people that I know don’t subscribe to any of the common sectarian organized “religions” we call churches. They have no particular dogma that is being threatened by science, nor do they seek to be religious gurus of any sort. And they are not dismayed by the prospects of changing their minds when they learn something new.

I have certainly known and observed the kinds of people you describe. They are self-righteous meddlers in the lives of others; moralistic without any morals, vindictive, judgmental and preachy.

But these are not what I would call leaders or people who have any particular education in any of the sciences that would call into question their sectarian beliefs. These people draw their cues about any of that stuff from the leaders of their sects. These I would place more in the rube category, but perhaps looking to lord it over some of their neighbors.

I don’t pretend to be a psychologist, but when it comes to someone who is articulate enough, apparently intelligent enough, and who has had plenty of exposure to science, yet rejects it along with objective data and evidence, I have to suspect mental illness and/or conscious deceitfulness. I would not be the first person to suspect that fundamentalism is another manifestation of mental illness.

And when they do this publicly as persons assuming positions of leadership and authority while publicly flaunting their distain for objective data and scientific evidence, it could be megalomania or some other form of mental dysfunction; but it seems unlikely that they don’t know they are distorting reality to gain what they want.

I think many of us have had exposure to fundamentalist proselytizing when we were kids or young teens. I was fortunate in not falling for it or being swept up in it to the point of not being able to walk away from it. So I cannot claim to understand the grip it may have on some. But what you describe is what I would categorize as mental illness, perhaps of an obsessive/compulsive type; maybe even schizophrenia.

In particular, the issues of “metaphysical presuppositions” and the “we interpret the same data and reach different conclusions” nonsense need firmly addressed; anyone who can put across those concepts in clever and crystal clear ways?

That is easy. It is a flat out lie.

They don’t use or have the same evidence or data. They ignore, misrepresent, and usually just ignore the vast amount of facts and data accumulated over the last few centuries.

Creationism is not consistent with all sciences or history. geology, paleontology, biology, astronomy, physics,archaeology, or history, Evolution is.

It isn’t a different worldview at all. It is just 2 pages of primitive mythology.

I’ve dealt with a few rank and file fundies. They aren’t educated but they really don’t care about whether something like evolution is true or not. It has no direct effect on their lives and they are far too busy trying to keep their lives together to worry about it.

People like Caroline Crocker, Wise, Lisle, Nathenial Jeanson, and so on are puzzles. They may indeed be mentally ill or not. No one knows. There are 1/2 million biology and related fields scientists in the USA. 1% of them, 5,000 will be schizophrenic. The creationist ones are a small handful of the total.

Scientists are just as susceptible to mental illness (or more so) as the general population. You can find more scientists in drug and alcohol detox programs or mental hospitals than are creationists.

BUT I see them sincerely believing the idiocy

This is the point I keep coming back to. Humans (for some unfathomable reason) seem to regard “sincere belief” as a *virtue*. It is anything but - indeed, it is no more than narcissism, and an argument-from-one’s-own-authority. What we need to do is inculcate in society in general the view that the *real* virtue is not sincere belief, but systematic doubt.

Maybe then we can help our populaton a/ deal with uncertainty without collapsing into a dribbling heap like so many folks seem to do, and b/ develop a real interest in and engagement with science and free thought.

Doubt is GOOD. Feel it. Embrace it. Use it. Love it!

-H

Flink Wrote:

OK, we disagree. I see them as manipulative and deceitful, to be sure. BUT I see them sincerely believing the idiocy that was drilled into them before they were old enough to know better, carving neural pathways which have “set up” and can no longer be altered.

The remaining (and IMO ultimately unanswerable) question is “Exactly which parts of the idiocy do the evolution activists (as opposed to the rank and file) believe?” I for one have no reason to doubt that they sincerely believe that the “masses” must deny evolution to behave properly. IOW, the activists are not completely snake oil salsemen but have one component of sincerity.

But what does the typical DI fellow privately believe that the evidence supports regarding what the designer did, when, and how? Given their incessant evasion - the only DI fellow (Behe) to offer any substantial clues to what he believes has conceded almost everything (old earth, common descent) to evolution - I find it hard to believe that any of them truly think that “kinds” arose independently. Especially the absurd “6 days, ~6000 years ago” version (IIRC Johnson even ridiculed that in ID’s early days). Maybe some (Nelson?) take that (or an OEC version) “on faith”, but they are smart enough to avoid calling attention to any “supporting” evidence. Unlike a Ken Ham or Hugh Ross they don’t seem to be using Morton’s Demon on themselves. But that doesn’t stop them from encouraging the “masses” to use it.

Heliopolitan said:

BUT I see them sincerely believing the idiocy

This is the point I keep coming back to. Humans (for some unfathomable reason) seem to regard “sincere belief” as a *virtue*. It is anything but - indeed, it is no more than narcissism, and an argument-from-one’s-own-authority. What we need to do is inculcate in society in general the view that the *real* virtue is not sincere belief, but systematic doubt.

Maybe then we can help our populaton a/ deal with uncertainty without collapsing into a dribbling heap like so many folks seem to do, and b/ develop a real interest in and engagement with science and free thought.

Doubt is GOOD. Feel it. Embrace it. Use it. Love it!

-H

Excellent point. Note the irony how those who whine most about “moral relativism” are among the most “morally relativistic.” To avoid making it sound like they are the authority, they simply defer to some sacred text, then choose only those parts and particular interpretations that suit them, then do what “feels good” anyway.

Frank J worte:

“I find it hard to believe that any of them truly think that “kinds” arose independently.”

I agree. If they really did believe this then they would be doing real science. They would be hunting for fossils, they would be sequencing genomes, they would be publishing their results.

They certainly know that the only way to convince real scientists of anything is with evidence. If they ignore all of the evidence it certainly is because they know it does not support their claims. If they don’t even look for evidence, then they must realize somewhere deep down inside that they really don’t believe they can ever find any evidence to support their claims.

This is why Ham is so careful to denigrate what he calls “human reason”. He desperately needs an excuse not to examine any evidence, ever. If he does, he knows he will lose. This is why his efforts are ultimately doomed. He must use convoluted reasoning in order to disparage reasoning! He must claim that one does not need to interpret the Bible and then proceed to enforce one narrow interpretation. In the words of Matt Dillion: “There’s lots of words in that book you ain’t readin”.

I just disagree with the general depiction of the DI fellows and guys like Hovind and Ham as non-believers who see the opportunity for money and power by grabbing rubes by their jesus and manipulating them.

Whether or not fundamentalism is a mental illness, it seems to be something that just seems to infect some people without any possibility of any cure. They can be smart and educated enough to see that the evidence refutes their beliefs, but they have no control over their beliefs. Far easier to believe that the evidence is somehow wrong, or being misunderstood, or hopelessly incomplete, or whatever it takes to defend the inaccessible.

And, as the vagaries of personality distribution would have it, SOME of these people are going to be inclined toward gaining power, becoming leaders, enjoy fame and spotlights, etc.

But I think these, and all the other fundamentalists, “know” that the evidence must be wrong, as sincerely and completely as I might “know” that the status of women in the Muslim world is wrong. Something I might be forced at gunpoint to tolerate, but could never agree with.

Flint Wrote:

I just disagree with the general depiction of the DI fellows and guys like Hovind and Ham as non-believers who see the opportunity for money and power by grabbing rubes by their jesus and manipulating them.

I doubt that anyone thinks that any of them are nonbelievers of “the designer is God, and He did something which makes it not ‘Darwinism’.” But it’s the “what happened when” questions that make me suspicious - of DI folk, if not the Hovinds and Hams. If any of them think that Behe is wrong, why don’t they just challenge him directly? It could only help their standing with YEC and OEC rubes. In fact YEC and OEC leaders have criticized (ever so quietly and politely) Behs’s admissions and the DI’s general policy of not taking a position on any “whats and whens.”

Flint Wrote:

But I think these, and all the other fundamentalists, “know” that the evidence must be wrong…

I’ll go as far as to say that I suspect that even Behe sincerely believes that the evidence (for his caricature of “Darwinism”) is “wrong.” But what he believes the evidence does support in terms of general “whats and whens” at least is virtually indistinguishable from mainstream science’s version. Even Dembski admitted that ID can accommodate “all the results of ‘Darwinism’.” Elsewhere I recall him even admitting that the “designs” could have been inserted at (before?) the Big Bang, with everything occurring “naturalistically” thereafter. That would be an even bigger concesstion than Behe’s “designed first cell” were it not for the fact that Behe and Dembski were careful not to speak of them as any more than possibilities.

Mike Elzinga said:

I don’t see any of these leaders as being deeply or honestly religious. Their motives and behaviors appear to be about as base as they can get.

The rubes are simply feisty and clueless warriors who are being used as point men in the culture wars that keep sectarian demagogues in political power.

Quite so, though I will say (along with what Flint noted) that I do think the leaders, such as Ken Ham and Dembski, are religious. I just don’t think they have any faith in their religion. They certainly have no faith that their God will bring down the justice they think their bible indicates should occur and they have no faith that their God will correct things to their liking. Makes you kind of wonder what the point of their brow beating is…

Robin said:

(along with what Flint noted)

My bad…attribution should have been to Frank J. Sorry Frank. Not enough sleep of late apparently.

Robin said:

Robin said:

(along with what Flint noted)

My bad…attribution should have been to Frank J. Sorry Frank. Not enough sleep of late apparently.

Gaaaah…Apparently it would be better if I didn’t try to second guess myself. I’ll stop posting now until I’ve gotten a full night’s sleep…

DS said:

Frank J worte:

“I find it hard to believe that any of them truly think that “kinds” arose independently.”

I agree. If they really did believe this then they would be doing real science. They would be hunting for fossils, they would be sequencing genomes, they would be publishing their results.

This is another message that we should be trumpeting to the public: science welcomes hypotheses from all sources, including religious ones, but you have to be willing to do the scientific work to back them up. We care a lot more about how you test your idea than whether it came from sitting in the bathtub, a dream, an apple tree, a book, or whatever.

I don’t think most of the public understands this, and its one of the reasons the creationist community seems to get away with facetious claims of persecution. They want to send the public message that they are being persecuted for having a non-mainstream idea. We have to remind the public that science involves more than just having an idea; it involves testing that idea. ID fails as science is because of the testing issue, not because the idea came from a religious book.

Mike Elzinga said:

Do atoms exist? How about electrons? What about the nuclei of atoms? How about quarks and gluons?

Gluons are a made-up dream. No one has seen or even measured them… they don’t exist! It’s a desperate theory to explain away the truth!

Gluons are a made-up dream. No one has seen or even measured them… they don’t exist! It’s a desperate theory to explain away the truth!

Right. It’s really tiny pieces of duct tape that hold the nuclear particles together.

Right. It’s really tiny pieces of duct tape that hold the nuclear particles together.

Cue Red Green.…

The article to which Frank linked is a nice summary of some of the arguments used by conservatives and neoconservatives to justify pushing religious dogma in society.

Certainly many people use religious notions as a template for how to go about their lives; and that may not be all bad. People start with different knowledge, progress at different rates, and have only a short life span in which to make any progress. Other things may intrude that make thinking about such issues impractical in the press of daily events. It is one of the reasons I don’t presume to tell people how to deal with religion in their own lives.

I think the issue we are dealing with, however, is; what are we to think of those supposedly educated people who keep mangling the science right in front of the scientific community while setting themselves up as authorities on science? What do they hope to accomplish by misinforming, by any political and marketing means possible, the entire population of this planet?

The agonizing mental gymnastics and “philosophical” wrangling in order to conflate and confuse doesn’t come from nowhere. These ID/creationist leaders must certainly be aware of what they are doing; especially since this has been pointed out to them for about 40 years by now.

The “philosophical or metaphysical presuppositions” shtick that is the subject of this thread just didn’t pop out. It is a carefully crafted deception. It took the thought and planning of more than one person. Considerable discussion of its use and dissemination has taken place as evidenced by the scripted way in which it is being used. This has been true of most of the slogans and “philosophical” arguments emerging from the ID/creationist crowd.

These are not scrambled irrational thought processes by insane people.

Henry J said:

Gluons are a made-up dream. No one has seen or even measured them… they don’t exist! It’s a desperate theory to explain away the truth!

Right. It’s really tiny pieces of duct tape that hold the nuclear particles together.

Duct tape is like “The Force”; it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together. :-)

Mike Elzinga said:

The article to which Frank linked is a nice summary of some of the arguments used by conservatives and neoconservatives to justify pushing religious dogma in society.

5,000 words which Feynman answered in 16: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

eric, my namesake, I think you are absolutely right.

eric said:

This is another message that we should be trumpeting to the public: science welcomes hypotheses from all sources, including religious ones, but you have to be willing to do the scientific work to back them up. We care a lot more about how you test your idea than whether it came from sitting in the bathtub, a dream, an apple tree, a book, or whatever.

Any idea is welcome, no matter what the origin or the terminology might be. ‘Dark energy’ is no more scientific than ‘Fingerprint of God’. Hypotheses always boil down to finding out, how well the predictions of a hypothesis agree with observations.

Another aspect is that physical entities are often defined by their observable effects. In many cases, one is not very interested in what that entity is, but what that entity does (e.g. an electron, which is a hypothetical particle with electric charge and mass, and which obeys electromagnetic and gravitational interactions). Thus, assuming a hypothesis involving supernatural entities (e.g. angels) turns out to be successful, then angels will be re-defined according to observable effects they produce in the framework of the hypothesis.

eric said:

Mike Elzinga said:

The article to which Frank linked is a nice summary of some of the arguments used by conservatives and neoconservatives to justify pushing religious dogma in society.

5,000 words which Feynman answered in 16: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

Feynman’s closing sentence to his Appendix to the Challenger Disaster Report; one of the best and most succinct reasons why getting the science right is important. As long as we have to use it to survive, we need to get it right.

The article to which Frank linked raises some thoughts about what the neoconservatives must fear; a 7 billion human population, exceeded carrying capacity for the planet, and the consequences that could very well follow. The questions about how to keep order loom large.

But at the expense of getting the science wrong? Somehow I don’t think that will work.

Robin said:

Quite so, though I will say (along with what Flint noted) that I do think the leaders, such as Ken Ham and Dembski, are religious. I just don’t think they have any faith in their religion.

Flint raises a valid point, and I cannot dismiss it.

It may simply be the case that I don’t have any insights into how they do their mental gymnastics or what emotional or psychological blocks make them do what they do.

But I can tell when the outcomes of their thinking processes result in the wrong conclusions; that part is not so hard. But why they have convinced themselves and/or their rubes? Others with more experience with the inner workings of the fundamentalist mind may have better insights than I.

Robin wrote:

“I just don’t think they have any faith in their religion.”

Correct. If they had any real faith in what they supposedly believe, they would be out searching for evidence. The fact that they do not is all you need to know about their faith and their motivation. They cannot be sincere seekers of truth if they refuse to even attempt to do real science and ignore all of the real science that has been done. By their works ye shall know them.

Well, does “faith” mean “confidence” now? If so, then I think many of us here could be counted as among the “faithful”. There is something seamy and insecure about creationists. Almost like they are vehemently arguing with themselves. They must consume Omeprazole by the ton.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on August 19, 2009 10:40 AM.

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