Evolutionary Christianity

| 84 Comments

I just got an announcement to the effect that “The Clergy Letter Project has just become a co-sponsor of a free on-line series hosted by Michael Dowd and entitled ‘The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity: Conversations at the Leading Edge of Faith.’ This exciting series begins this Saturday, 4 December.” As a Nice Jewish Boy, not to mention a nonbeliever, I doubt I will participate, but I noticed several panelists of whom I think highly – not least John Shelby Spong, John Haught, and Ian Barbour. Additionally, biologist Ken Miller is on the panel, as are physicists Charles Townes and my former colleague at NIST, Bill Phillips, and astronomer Owen Gingerich. In case any of our readers are interested, I will post the gist of the announcement, which I got from Michael Zimmerman, below the fold.

Specifically, Professor Zimmerman writes,

This tele-series (telephone & computer, not television) will feature Michael Dowd and 30 other leaders in the nexus of science and religion (a number of whom who are Clergy Letter Project members), including two Nobel laureates, three Templeton Prize-winners, and more than two dozen others who exemplify by word and deed that religious faith can be positively strengthened and enriched by a science-honoring, evolutionary view of the world.

Some of the things that will be discussed include:

• How scientific and historical evidence, interpreted meaningfully, can enhance our lives and faith;

• Compassionate responses to both those who reject science and those who reject religion;

• How an evolutionary view of human nature can validate and deepen our appreciation of scriptural and traditional wisdom;

• And much more . … [ellipsis in original]

Your involvement will help make this event a catalyst for furthering public awareness of a religious approach to life that celebrates the findings of science and that transcends the polarizing voices of scriptural literalists at one extreme and the “new atheists” at the other.

In fact, one of the goals of this series is to show America and the world that those and other combative perspectives, which often garner all the media attention, are actually in the minority. Rather, those who embrace both evolution and faith, share values and perspectives crucial for these times – even while acknowledging (indeed, celebrating) our differences. There is more that unites us than divides us.

Organizers expect more than 20,000 people to register for this landmark series. You can listen and participate live or experience the online audios later at your convenience.

Before anyone gets his or her knickers in a twist, let me state that I am not endorsing this teleconference, just announcing it.

84 Comments

This seems like a good idea, regardless of which side you represent, the only way to educate and try to win people to either side is to have all sides present their ideas and let each individual decide, what the evidence will them to. Each side evolution or creation, or God or no god, each side is believing and putting their faith in something. Which there has yet to be concrete proof of. That is why it is called faith. You either need to have faith that God does exist and that God decided to create this planet and the universe for a purpose. Or you believe that it was all random chance and just by accident things aligned to spark life here on earth. Either way faith is needed. Now each side will artfully show evidence that they claim supports their sides.

jamesrogers said:

[SNIP]

You either need to have faith that God does exist and that God decided to create this planet and the universe for a purpose. Or you believe that it was all random chance and just by accident things aligned to spark life here on earth.

False dichotomy.

jamesrogers said:

Or you believe that it was all random chance and just by accident things aligned to spark life here on earth.

Where did you learn that this is the way science looks at the issue?

Why do you think it is true?

jamesrogers said: Each side evolution or creation, or God or no god, each side is believing and putting their faith in something. Which there has yet to be concrete proof of.

This is the fallacy upon which creationism founders. There IS concrete proof of evolution, it’s easy to find it in the fossil record. Evolution is visible in many studies, such as the study of fruit fly mutations. Evolution happens constantly with bacteria, which evolve resistances to antibiotics over many (short) generations. It’s real, not an article of faith, so saying that evolution and creationism are just competing ideologies is not even wrong. It’s just misinformed.

Don’t you guys ever get tired of seeing ignorant people come here and repeat the same bull$#it that we’ve refuted a bazillion times before.

jamesrogers, please don’t return. We have enough trouble with your kind already and you just make us laugh with your stupidity.

jamesrogers said:

This seems like a good idea, regardless of which side you represent, the only way to educate and try to win people to either side is to have all sides present their ideas and let each individual decide, what the evidence will them to. Each side evolution or creation, or God or no god, each side is believing and putting their faith in something. Which there has yet to be concrete proof of. That is why it is called faith. You either need to have faith that God does exist and that God decided to create this planet and the universe for a purpose. Or you believe that it was all random chance and just by accident things aligned to spark life here on earth. Either way faith is needed. Now each side will artfully show evidence that they claim supports their sides.

This seems like a good idea, regardless of which side you represent, the only way to educate and try to win people to either side is to have all sides present their ideas and let each individual decide, what the evidence will them to.

Uh - both sides have presented their ideas; it’s all over the internet, not to mention in books, and for technical subjects, written material is better than oral debates for learning the subject matter.

Henry J

Before anyone gets his or her knickers in a twist, let me state that I am not endorsing this teleconference, just announcing it.

Hmmm. That it was considered necessary to include such a disclaimer, provides an interesting hint of the huge, chasm-like incompatibility between evolution and Christianity.

That chasm is astonishingly deep and multifaceted, and Christians must take it seriously. Meanwhile, thanks to Matt Young for the heads-up about this latest Zimmerman scheme.

FL

Fl said:

Before anyone gets his or her knickers in a twist, let me state that I am not endorsing this teleconference, just announcing it.

Hmmm. That it was considered necessary to include such a disclaimer, provides an interesting hint of the huge, chasm-like incompatibility between evolution and Christianity.

That chasm is astonishingly deep and multifaceted, and Christians must take it seriously. Meanwhile, thanks to Matt Young for the heads-up about this latest Zimmerman scheme.

FL

At least Matt Young is far more honest than you have ever been, Foolish Liar. The chasm only exists to you because you say so. Others need not bother with it.

Well, there is the problem posed by cretins like Floyd, contrasted with potentially educable people.

I don’t recall that jamesrogers habitually denies easily confirmed facts, or lies about easily falsified non-facts. In that regard, he is not to be taken as the equal of FL.

Fl said:

Before anyone gets his or her knickers in a twist, let me state that I am not endorsing this teleconference, just announcing it.

Hmmm. That it was considered necessary to include such a disclaimer, provides an interesting hint of the huge, chasm-like incompatibility between evolution and Christianity.

That chasm is astonishingly deep and multifaceted, and Christians must take it seriously. Meanwhile, thanks to Matt Young for the heads-up about this latest Zimmerman scheme.

FL

And yet, you refuse to state where in the Bible Jesus specifically stated that He would deliberately deny Salvation to any of His followers who didn’t believe that the Flood literally happened, or don’t happen to have any problems with accepting the validity of Evolution and Science.

Hey, there is something else I need to mention, because I visit this site quite a bit.

I will be absent from PT from tomorrow to about Feb. 1, with the probable exception of Christmas Day. I hope to have the opportunity to do some extra study and such, regarding the incompatibility between Evolution and Christianity.

I don’t know yet, but I might even sign up for Zimmerman’s tele-gig, just to see what the professional TE’s have got cooking (if anything).

FL

I hope to have the opportunity to do some extra study and such, regarding the incompatibility between Evolution and Christianity.

My natal mainline, old, Protestant denomination has no problem with evolution. They say so right on their website and this has been their official policy for most of the last century.

The Catholic church doesn’t either. As Pope Pius XII said in the 1950’s, “One Galileo in 400 years was enough.”

I’ve been following the decline of US xianity for a while. Seeing as how I was a lifetime moderate xian who ended up leaving the religion myself.

IMO, the moderates really made a mistake in not opposing the War on Science. I was one of the few that did and looked around and didn’t see anyone else. I was a moderate xian. I am also a scientist. Oddly enough, the only people fighting against the forces of ignorance and bigotry were.…the atheists.

Huh? What? Who? I’d barely even heard of them and had no idea there were more than a few dozen here and there. That was the beginning of the end.

If one looks at which sects are declining the most, it is the mainline Protestants and the Catholics. Numbers are hard to come by because the churches tend to be secretive about such things but there is a lot of evidence for that.

My impression is that people go both ways. Some moderates join fundie churches and some end up some variety of No Religions.

The moderate xians are looking squarely at their future disappearance about now. I know my natal sect isn’t doing so well because some of my family still belong. The numbers aren’t too bad but when you go into a church, the people are mostly old and there are very few young people and fewer children.

And to be fair. 1. What could they have done? The days when sects fire up their tanks and launch fighter planes to settle disputes are over with for now.

2. Some moderates like Zimmerman, Collins, and Spong have spoken up. They’ve got the death threats to prove it.

It probably is too little too late, but we will just have to see. I’ve always been nationalistic and optimistic about the USA but lately, it is starting to look pretty hopeless.

RBH said:

jamesrogers said:

[SNIP]

You either need to have faith that God does exist and that God decided to create this planet and the universe for a purpose. Or you believe that it was all random chance and just by accident things aligned to spark life here on earth.

False dichotomy.

Very false dichotomy . It results in unneccessary conflict.

I was unaware that there were “two sides” until I came across Creationists who said there was. But then my father was an unbelieving research biochemist and my uncle was an ex-physics prof turned clergyman

I do not see my Christian faith and my science being two sides.

Gary Hurd said:

Well, there is the problem posed by cretins like Floyd, contrasted with potentially educable people.

I don’t recall that jamesrogers habitually denies easily confirmed facts, or lies about easily falsified non-facts. In that regard, he is not to be taken as the equal of FL.

I hope you’re right. But just to be sure I hope that jamesrogers returns to tell us whether he agrees with those who think that “God decided to create this planet and the universe for a purpose,” and also conclude that life is billions of years old, with humans sharing common ancestors with other species. And whether he is aware that “evolutionists” and many anti-evolutionists agree on those points.

The difference of course is that anti-evolutionists who hold those opinions are unlikely to challenge, or be challenged by other anti-evolutionists who have radically different opinions regarding “what happened when.”

Michael Roberts Wrote:

Very false dichotomy.

And one that, intentionally or not, confuses evolution with abiogenesis, and misrepresents both as “random/chance/accident” when they are not, at least in the connotation that most people infer.

jamesrogers the driveby troll lying:

Each side evolution or creation, or God or no god, each side is believing and putting their faith in something.

False, and the routine Big Lie of creationists. Evolution does not equal atheism.

1. Evolution is a scientific theory. It has nothing to do with religion. People who accept evolution are from all religions on the earth and none.

In fact, the majority of xians worldwide have no problem accepting evolution.

2. Creationism is a religious idea, the invention of a few xian death cults in the south central USA. It is also a lie and wrong.

Next up. The other Big Lie. Evolution is a theory in crisis and about to fail. LOL

Fl said:

Hmmm. That it was considered necessary to include such a disclaimer, provides an interesting hint of the huge, chasm-like incompatibility between evolution and Christianity.

That chasm is astonishingly deep and multifaceted, and Christians must take it seriously. Meanwhile, thanks to Matt Young for the heads-up about this latest Zimmerman scheme.

FL

Correction: the incompatibility is between your specific and particular beliefs and science. Until such a time as you can clearly and compellingly demonstrate that your particular brand of Christianity is the One and Only Truth, the inclusion of all Christian sects in your claims is hollow.

jamesrogers said: Each side evolution or creation, or God or no god, each side is believing and putting their faith in something.

It is not faith when one shows how observed processes can explain observed phenomena. And as others have pointed out, “no god” is not at all the same as “evolution.” Look up deism if you don’t believe me.

Or you believe that it was all random chance and just by accident things aligned to spark life here on earth.

Phil Plait just put up a blog post describing how scientists have not just discovered rocky planets orbiting distant stars, but they’ve now detected a planet that has steam in its atmosphere.

The more we observe about the universe, the more it looks like life is about as accidental and random as a casino winning money at craps - its just a matter of enough bets being placed.

I think you are forgetting something FL:

Fl said: Hmmm. That it was considered necessary to include such a disclaimer, provides an interesting hint of the huge, chasm-like incompatibility between evolution and Christianity.

In 1973, a devout Russian Orthodox Christian, the great Russian-American evolutionary geneticist - and a leading “architect” of modern evolutionary theory - Theodosius Dobzhansky observed, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”. We don’t need videos like “Evolving Christianity” to stress that point home. It’s too bad you’re so pathetically intellectually-challenged that you are completely incapable of understanding this.

FL said:

Hey, there is something else I need to mention, because I visit this site quite a bit.

I will be absent from PT from tomorrow to about Feb. 1, with the probable exception of Christmas Day. I hope to have the opportunity to do some extra study and such, regarding the incompatibility between Evolution and Christianity.

I don’t know yet, but I might even sign up for Zimmerman’s tele-gig, just to see what the professional TE’s have got cooking (if anything).

FL

Can’t wait to read your explanation as to how Intelligent Design cretinism does a much better job than modern evolutionary theory in accounting for the complexity, history and current composition of Planet Earth’s biodiversity.

Raven, I continually hear the comment that evolution is a scientific theory and not a religion, but you will have to agree that a theory is the rejection – or at least disagreement – with a belief. Creation is a religious belief that God created the universe from nothing. There is no doubt that creation continues to evolve, but also certainly had a Causer. Those who subscribe to the belief that the universe evolved from matter are believing in a theory that cannot be absolutely proven beyond any doubt. Is that not the same accusation hurled at creationists? If then, creationist are religious because of their faith in Christ, aren’t evolutionist religious because their faith is in science?

You can be a devout Christian or Jew or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu, etc. and still recognize biological evolution as sound, quite valid, mainstream science. I don’t “believe” in evolution. Instead, I accept it, based on the overwhelming data that supports it, in much the same fashion I support the evidence for the Periodic Table of the Elements in Chemistry or gravity in Physics.

Those who subscribe to the belief that the universe evolved from matter are believing in a theory that cannot be absolutely proven beyond any doubt. Is that not the same accusation hurled at creationists

Another voice arguing that if we don’t know everything, therefore we don’t know anything.

Scientific theories are not hunches, guesses, or ideological preferences. They are explanations that best fit all known observations, and consistently predict future observations with great accuracy.

This sort of confusion strikes me as purely semantic. Kind of like if one person says “I believe in Leprechauns” and another says “I believe it’s raining”, that because the same WORD is used, the same MEANING is intended. One does not become religious by observing that dropped bricks fall, and is therefore some sort of “convert” to a “faith” in gravity. Instead, one tries not to drop bricks by accident.

And of course, in all that time, you will not be able to answer the questions you’ve been dodging for months or years, you will not even make an attempt to research or formulate a response, because you know you’re full of shit. You will keep insisting that everything in the world is full of some magical property you call “specified information” or some such bullshit that can’t exist without your magical invisible sky daddy, but you will not ever even try to show your work, describe what this “information” is, how it can be measured, recognized, or calculated short of screaming GODDIDIT!!!!!!, nor will you address in any way any of the questions you’ve been fleeing in abject terror from. You’ve got nothing, you know it, we know it. And when you come back, you’ll STILL have nothing. You’ll keep spewing the same bullshit from a moldy book of myths and worshiping your own willful ignorance.

FL said:

Hey, there is something else I need to mention, because I visit this site quite a bit.

I will be absent from PT from tomorrow to about Feb. 1, with the probable exception of Christmas Day. I hope to have the opportunity to do some extra study and such, regarding the incompatibility between Evolution and Christianity.

I don’t know yet, but I might even sign up for Zimmerman’s tele-gig, just to see what the professional TE’s have got cooking (if anything).

FL

lamar another liar:

Raven, I continually hear the comment that evolution is a scientific theory and not a religion, but you will have to agree that a theory is the rejection – or at least disagreement – with a belief.

No, I don’t have to agree that a theory is a rejection. That is nonsense that doesn’t even make grammatical much less logical sense.

And don’t tell me what to agree with or not agree with, a cheap and dishonest rhetorical trick I outgrew in high school.

Your real battle and enemy is with reality. A lot of religious mythology is contradicted by the real world. I suggest you take it up with the world as it is. We scientists are just messengers, discovering what the universe is like and how it works.

Evolution contradicts a lot of religious mythology and not just xian. So does all of modern science. That is religion’s problem, not sciences. BTW, religious kook, most of science up until recently was discovered by people who happened to be…xians. We just follow the data and evidence where it goes in a search for the truth.

And lastly, we scientists created modern Hi Tech 21st century civilization and are responsible for the leadership role of the USA in the world. What have you death cult fundies ever done except sponsor xian terrorism and assassinate a few MDs here and there.

Nothing at all good. Fundies are just baggage being dragged along and holding our society back.

lamar lying some more:

If then, creationist are religious because of their faith in Christ, aren’t evolutionist religious because their faith is in science?

No. Religion is about the supernatural.

Science is about the objective reality we can study, the material world.

About half of all US scientists describe themselves as religious, mostly xians. You can be a scientist and be religious and I was both for almost all my life.

It was the fundies BTW, that made me drop the religion. A religion that produces evil and stupid religious kooks like lamar and jamesrogers started looking pretty questionable.

You are simply wrong but you already knew that. The science is a religion claim is a century old lie of creationists.

There is one other major difference between science and religion. Science works. Even if you don’t believe in it, it works anyway.

You can be a devout Christian or Jew or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu, etc. and still recognize biological evolution as sound, quite valid, mainstream science. I don’t “believe” in evolution. Instead, I accept it, based on the overwhelming data that supports it, in much the same fashion I support the evidence for the Periodic Table of the Elements in Chemistry or gravity in Physics.

Exactly.

I never understand the satisfaction these drive-by posters apparently get. They never support their claims, or even discuss them. I wonder if they even bother to show up and read the responses they get. Maybe they’re too busy driving by too many other unenlightened rationalists who need a demonstration of why rationality works?

To this nice Evangelical Christian Canadian yec’er I welcome this effort. It is a need of the evolution huggers because they are taking, and expecting more, lumps. They are losing as more attention is brought upon the merits of these ideas that oppose God or Genesis. Publicity is the friend of truth. so creationisms gain from the discussions and that there needs to be discussion. In our time North Americans are entrenching ideas about origins from creationists models or they are dripping away from the old ideas of evolutionism and company pushed in small obscure circles. Let the games commence and let the better idea win. Then onto public schools of coarse. Its illogical to ban to kids what the adults talk about.

YAWN!!! YAWN!!!! Nothing new here tomh:

tomh said:

harold said:

Just out of curiosity, what would the NCSE have to do to NOT have “pro-Christian policy”, in your mind?

Jerry Coyne covered it quite well in NCSE becomes BioLogos.

Yes, I did read that risible excuse of self-serving nonsense, matched only by Jerry’s public condemnation - also there - over a year ago in which he snubbed physicist Brian Greene and journalist Tracy Day’s (Brian’s wife) offer to appear at a World Science Festival panel discussion on science, faith and reason. For someone whose intellect and logic I have the utmost respect for, he always manages to lose it whenever he sallies forth online on his ongoing “war” against “accomodationism”.

Since Jodie Foster is interested in portraying Leni Riefenstahl, I’ll take seriously, your latest pronouncement in intellectual superficiality, should I ever see Ms. Foster as Riefenstahl standing alongside Genie Scott in some informercial devoted to the NCSE and its mission:

tomh said:

harold said: No, I asked YOU.

Bully for you. I answered you - you would prefer if repeated everything Coyne said? Go read his article.

If they really want to be recognized as being neutral on religion, they could start by not promoting events whose core values include ridiculous statements like, “Studying evolution is like following cosmic breadcrumbs home to God,” or, “Evolutionary Christianity points to those who value evidence as divine communication.”

tomh said:

If they really want to be recognized as being neutral on religion, they could start by not promoting events whose core values include ridiculous statements like, “Studying evolution is like following cosmic breadcrumbs home to God,” or, “Evolutionary Christianity points to those who value evidence as divine communication.”

Ridiculous according to whom? You? Who made you the supreme judge of what is logical, honorable, or true?

harold said:

Kris -

I said -

Some people can learn and grow, others have artificially inflated yet fragile egos, and become defensive when challenged, even in a positive way. I only mention this because the latter sort of people are so common on the internet. I hope you belong to the former category. We will now find out.

I found out.

If you want to explain precisely what science you don’t “buy” or “dig” or whatever it was, that would be interesting.

That’s pretty funny Harold, especially since you and some others have been nothing but defensive ever since my original “food for thought” post.

Now, who has the fragile ego??

Kris said:

harold said:

Kris -

I said -

Some people can learn and grow, others have artificially inflated yet fragile egos, and become defensive when challenged, even in a positive way. I only mention this because the latter sort of people are so common on the internet. I hope you belong to the former category. We will now find out.

I found out.

If you want to explain precisely what science you don’t “buy” or “dig” or whatever it was, that would be interesting.

That’s pretty funny Harold, especially since you and some others have been nothing but defensive ever since my original “food for thought” post.

Now, who has the fragile ego??

Do not conflate “getting tired of repeatedly asking you to clarify your statements” with “defensiveness”

Stanton said:

Kris said:

harold said:

Kris -

I said -

Some people can learn and grow, others have artificially inflated yet fragile egos, and become defensive when challenged, even in a positive way. I only mention this because the latter sort of people are so common on the internet. I hope you belong to the former category. We will now find out.

I found out.

If you want to explain precisely what science you don’t “buy” or “dig” or whatever it was, that would be interesting.

That’s pretty funny Harold, especially since you and some others have been nothing but defensive ever since my original “food for thought” post.

Now, who has the fragile ego??

Do not conflate “getting tired of repeatedly asking you to clarify your statements” with “defensiveness”

Oh please.

Nice misrepresentation of reality.

harold said:

“There is no scientific theory that is intended as a rejection of a religious belief. Science ignores religious beliefs.”

Are you sure about that Harold? Would you like to revise those statements?

Are you sure about that Harold? Would you like to revise those statements?

no, he need not. It’s an absolutely accurate statement.

I think you might be confusing the intent and content of a scientific theory with whether or not the results of testing that theory provide evidence that contradict specific claims made of religions.

Evolutionary theory does not, and is not intended to, address any religious statement.

We have, however, in testing the theory over decades, found that many specific religious claims are unsupported.

likewise with relativity theory, the theory of gravity, the theory of heliocentrism, etc, etc, etc.

your understanding of science seems relatively poor to be trying to play “gotchya” games.

Ridiculous according to whom? You?

just how many people would it take to convince you it is?

add me, for one.

Ichthyic said:

Are you sure about that Harold? Would you like to revise those statements?

no, he need not. It’s an absolutely accurate statement.

I think you might be confusing the intent and content of a scientific theory with whether or not the results of testing that theory provide evidence that contradict specific claims made of religions.

Evolutionary theory does not, and is not intended to, address any religious statement.

We have, however, in testing the theory over decades, found that many specific religious claims are unsupported.

likewise with relativity theory, the theory of gravity, the theory of heliocentrism, etc, etc, etc.

your understanding of science seems relatively poor to be trying to play “gotchya” games.

It’s not a game, and you’re not Harold, or are you?

Just to be accurate, which one of Harold’s statements (that I quoted) are you referring to?

one, this quite obviously IS a game to you, and has been since you first started posting here.

two, you don’t get to control who responds to your posts.

three, it was quite clear to anyone with half a brain exactly what I was responding to, based on what I posted.

man, the nutters here are getting too damn thick.

Are you sure you’re a scientist and not yet another delusional creo stopping by here:

Kris said:

harold said:

“There is no scientific theory that is intended as a rejection of a religious belief. Science ignores religious beliefs.”

Are you sure about that Harold? Would you like to revise those statements?

As Harvard University physicist Lisa Randall and Vatican Astronomer - and Jesuit brother - Guy Consolmagno have noted, science and faith are different ways of knowing. As different ways, then they are not dependent upon either one for their own validation. So harold is absolutely right to have made that statement (above).

Well I suppose it is physically possible that some misguided scientist somewhere might actually do an experiment just in order to demonstrate that some know-nothing religious nut job was once again completely wrong about the science. I mean, it’s just as likely that a single shark could survive the magic flood for more than a day.

Of course, no matter what the intent, any real scientist would only address the scientific issues and leave the devastating consequences for religion to those more qualified to evaluate fairy tales. Why would a scientist care what some religious nut case believed? If they didn’t try to interfere with real science, they would most like be completely ignored.

Kris said:

harold said:

“There is no scientific theory that is intended as a rejection of a religious belief. Science ignores religious beliefs.”

Are you sure about that Harold? Would you like to revise those statements?

You are welcome to provide a counterexample. I’m sure you have a specific scientific theory in mind that you can demonstrate was intended to be a rejection of a religious belief.

Kris said:

Stanton said:

Kris said:

harold said:

Kris -

I said -

Some people can learn and grow, others have artificially inflated yet fragile egos, and become defensive when challenged, even in a positive way. I only mention this because the latter sort of people are so common on the internet. I hope you belong to the former category. We will now find out.

I found out.

If you want to explain precisely what science you don’t “buy” or “dig” or whatever it was, that would be interesting.

That’s pretty funny Harold, especially since you and some others have been nothing but defensive ever since my original “food for thought” post.

Now, who has the fragile ego??

Do not conflate “getting tired of repeatedly asking you to clarify your statements” with “defensiveness”

Oh please.

Nice misrepresentation of reality.

Fixed that for you.

That’s pretty funny Harold, especially since you and some others have been nothing but defensive ever since my original “food for thought” post.

Now, who has the fragile ego??

This style of “discussion” is always frustrating. There are, I have found, people with whom you cannot disagree on the merits. If you disagree, it’s because YOU have a character flaw - you are “in denial” or you are “being defensive” or you are “arguing just to hear yourself” or you “haven’t bothered to make the effort to inform yourself” or you “haven’t thought it through” or you are “making stuff up” or you have a “fragile ego” or you are having an allergic reaction to something or your momma raised you wrong or whatever. Even neutral requests for clarification provoke this response.

But I see it a lot. There’s MY view, and there is unreasonable. And thus, the only meaningful focus can be on whatever character flaw is causing you to be unreasonable. Let’s talk about what’s wrong with you as a person, because that’s ALL that’s worth talking about.

John Kwok said: (to Kris)

Are you sure you’re a scientist and not yet another delusional creo stopping by here:

There’s actually not enough evidence to tell at this point. Since there’s also not enough information to tell if Kris is a man or a woman, please take all the male pronouns that follow as meaning “he or she”.

Kris has asserted that he is a scientist but won’t tell us what his field is. His writing does not suggest to me that he is in fact a scientist. He does not appear to be inclined to give us the explanation needed to understand his position.

On the other hand, Kris has not, to my recollection, actually advocated any traditional creationist positions (for example, YEC or OEC) and his writing suggests that he thinks the Noah narrative is not historical. He has made a limited endorsement of evolutionary theory, but I don’t recall anything from him with enough depth to distingush him from some ID proponents. (If so, he would be in a minority of ID proponents since he has rejected the God of the Abrahamic religions.)

Another option is that he is simply a concern troll out to disrupt the discussion. His behavior is certainly consistent with that, but we’ve seen more than one concern troll here eventually reveal an explicit creationist message in contradiction to earlier posts.

Kris, of course, has the power to resolve these questions simply by articulating his position clearly. I don’t see any signs that the people responding to him understand his position completely. I know I don’t, despite the multiple requests for clarification … a lot of very bright people here have asked for the same clarifications I’d like to see.

SWT said:

John Kwok said: (to Kris)

Are you sure you’re a scientist and not yet another delusional creo stopping by here:

There’s actually not enough evidence to tell at this point. Since there’s also not enough information to tell if Kris is a man or a woman, please take all the male pronouns that follow as meaning “he or she”.

Kris has asserted that he is a scientist but won’t tell us what his field is. His writing does not suggest to me that he is in fact a scientist. He does not appear to be inclined to give us the explanation needed to understand his position.

On the other hand, Kris has not, to my recollection, actually advocated any traditional creationist positions (for example, YEC or OEC) and his writing suggests that he thinks the Noah narrative is not historical. He has made a limited endorsement of evolutionary theory, but I don’t recall anything from him with enough depth to distingush him from some ID proponents. (If so, he would be in a minority of ID proponents since he has rejected the God of the Abrahamic religions.)

Another option is that he is simply a concern troll out to disrupt the discussion. His behavior is certainly consistent with that, but we’ve seen more than one concern troll here eventually reveal an explicit creationist message in contradiction to earlier posts.

Kris, of course, has the power to resolve these questions simply by articulating his position clearly. I don’t see any signs that the people responding to him understand his position completely. I know I don’t, despite the multiple requests for clarification … a lot of very bright people here have asked for the same clarifications I’d like to see.

Kris has claimed to be a man, but his honesty is doubtful.

Kris said:

“There is no scientific theory that is intended as a rejection of a religious belief. Science ignores religious beliefs.”

Are you sure about that Harold? Would you like to revise those statements?

Of course he’s sure. To claim otherwise would be to say that the scientific theory rests on any basis but its merits in the evidence.

Even hardcore atheist scientists, even Richard Dawkins, would indignantly reject such a claim: “Nobody came up with some scientific theory to give religion a hotfoot; we came up with the scientific theory because the evidence at our disposal demanded it.”

Now if it DOES make life uncomfortable for religions, Dawkins and company will certainly feel that’s all for the good, but even they would admit that’s just an incidental benefit.

Sigh, I go away for a while, I drop in, same old Panda stuff. Preoccupied with the JFK assassination these days – conspiracy theorists are as crazy as creationists, but at least conspiracy theorists don’t use theological arguments, much less cite scripture in my face: “You’re just doing that to be obnoxious, aren’t you?”

Flint said:

That’s pretty funny Harold, especially since you and some others have been nothing but defensive ever since my original “food for thought” post.

Now, who has the fragile ego??

This style of “discussion” is always frustrating. There are, I have found, people with whom you cannot disagree on the merits. If you disagree, it’s because YOU have a character flaw - you are “in denial” or you are “being defensive” or you are “arguing just to hear yourself” or you “haven’t bothered to make the effort to inform yourself” or you “haven’t thought it through” or you are “making stuff up” or you have a “fragile ego” or you are having an allergic reaction to something or your momma raised you wrong or whatever. Even neutral requests for clarification provoke this response.

But I see it a lot. There’s MY view, and there is unreasonable. And thus, the only meaningful focus can be on whatever character flaw is causing you to be unreasonable. Let’s talk about what’s wrong with you as a person, because that’s ALL that’s worth talking about.

You might want to look a few posts up to see who first brought up fragile egos. Shouldn’t your gripe be with Harold instead of me? And what about all the other personal attacks on me, including the ones from you?

Merits? Yeah, right, that’s a good one. Pfft.

SWT said:

Kris said:

harold said:

“There is no scientific theory that is intended as a rejection of a religious belief. Science ignores religious beliefs.”

Are you sure about that Harold? Would you like to revise those statements?

You are welcome to provide a counterexample. I’m sure you have a specific scientific theory in mind that you can demonstrate was intended to be a rejection of a religious belief.

Well, now that you mention it I do have some examples in mind. Let’s start (and maybe finish) with this one:

Harold actually made two statements. The second one can be thought of as a reinforcement of the first or it can be taken separately since it is a definitive statement on its own. The example I use below should cover both of his statements, whether joined or separated.

Now, read the following excerpt from Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (first edition), and then see if you can reasonably say that Darwin ignored religious beliefs, and/or that he had no intention of rejecting religious beliefs when he wrote this.

“Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. Judging from the past, we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity. And of the species now living very few will transmit progeny of any kind to a far distant futurity; for the manner in which all organic beings are grouped, shows that the greater number of species of each genus, and all the species of many genera, have left no descendants, but have become utterly extinct. We can so far take a prophetic glance into futurity as to foretel that it will be the common and widely-spread species, belonging to the larger and dominant groups, which will ultimately prevail and procreate new and dominant species. As all the living forms of life are the lineal descendants of those which lived long before the Silurian epoch, we may feel certain that the ordinary succession by generation has never once been broken, and that no cataclysm has desolated the whole world. Hence we may look with some confidence to a secure future of equally inappreciable length. And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection.”

phantomreader42 said:

SWT said:

John Kwok said: (to Kris)

Are you sure you’re a scientist and not yet another delusional creo stopping by here:

There’s actually not enough evidence to tell at this point. Since there’s also not enough information to tell if Kris is a man or a woman, please take all the male pronouns that follow as meaning “he or she”.

Kris has asserted that he is a scientist but won’t tell us what his field is. His writing does not suggest to me that he is in fact a scientist. He does not appear to be inclined to give us the explanation needed to understand his position.

On the other hand, Kris has not, to my recollection, actually advocated any traditional creationist positions (for example, YEC or OEC) and his writing suggests that he thinks the Noah narrative is not historical. He has made a limited endorsement of evolutionary theory, but I don’t recall anything from him with enough depth to distingush him from some ID proponents. (If so, he would be in a minority of ID proponents since he has rejected the God of the Abrahamic religions.)

Another option is that he is simply a concern troll out to disrupt the discussion. His behavior is certainly consistent with that, but we’ve seen more than one concern troll here eventually reveal an explicit creationist message in contradiction to earlier posts.

Kris, of course, has the power to resolve these questions simply by articulating his position clearly. I don’t see any signs that the people responding to him understand his position completely. I know I don’t, despite the multiple requests for clarification … a lot of very bright people here have asked for the same clarifications I’d like to see.

Kris has claimed to be a man, but his honesty is doubtful.

Hey Flint, where are you when others are attacking me personally? Don’t bother to answer, I already know the answer.

To phantomreader42, maybe you could explain what my gender has to do with anything? And maybe you could also explain how my “honesty is doubtful”, in your opinion?

So here’s the concern troll schtick in a nut shell:

1) Nitpick some statement and ask an ambiguous question implying that it’s totally wrong without ever specifying why.

2) When asked to clarify your position, tell people that it’s obvious what you meant, they just have to reread your original crap more closely.

3) When people point out that they still have no idea what you are talking about, blame them for their lack of comprehension.

4) When they begin to realize that you are doing nothing but deliberately taunting for no apparent reason, ridicule them for the personal attacks that are sure to come, since you have failed to provide any substantive issues to discuss.

5) If no one buys your crap, make up some more crap that is obviously just a smoke screen and try to get people to argue with you.

Now the thing about Darwin was that everyone with half as brain knows that he didn’t develop the theory of evolution in order to prove religion wrong. He was a christian when he developed the theory. He delayed publishing his ideas because he was afraid that he would offend religious beliefs. He probably died still believing in god, having not even lost his own faith. This has got to be the worst argument ever. Now where have I heard this argument before?

And even if a scientific theory is deliberately developed in order to disprove some outrageous religious claims that are obviously contrary to reality, so what? Is there really anything wrong with that? Is there anything wrong with supporting reason over superstition? Is there really anything wrong with learning how the real world works, regardless of fairy tales and myths? Only a religious zealot would have any problem with the science, no matter why it was developed.

If anyone thinks that I am wrong about the concern troll, just ask yourself, why does he always come down on the side of creationists if he supposedly supports evolution? Why are his positions, examples and tactics decidedly creationist? Why is he so insulted by being identified as a male, when he is the one who made the claim in the first place? Oh well, at least he finally clarified his views. I’m sure it is only a coincidence that he used an old creationist argument.

Kris said:

Now, read the following excerpt from Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (first edition), and then see if you can reasonably say that Darwin ignored religious beliefs, and/or that he had no intention of rejecting religious beliefs when he wrote this.

The question is which of two statements he was making:

“My examination of the evidence has led to a conclusion which has incidentally contradicted somebody’s religious doctrines, but I would have come to the same conclusion whether it did or not.”

– OR:

“I have come to conclusions with no concern for the evidence just for the purpose of dumping on religions.”

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on December 1, 2010 6:00 PM.

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