Casey’s Creationist Christmas

| 64 Comments

This guest post is written by Paul Braterman and Mark Edon, and appears courtesy of the British Centre for Science Education.

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BCSE has long maintained that the Seattle-based Discovery Institute (DI), of which Glasgow’s own Centre for Intelligent Design (C4ID) seems to be a satellite, is a religiously motivated Creationist organisation. Casey Luskin has now demonstrated this with great clarity in his response, in the misleadingly titled Evolution News and Views (“Serving the Intelligent Design Community”), to the recent opinion piece “Anti-Creationists need to think about tactics”, which we recently posted on our site. Thanks Casey.

As our title and opening words make clear, our piece is addressed by us, as individual nonbelievers, to other nonbelievers, giving our reasons for cooperating with believers in defending science against Creationism. It does not even mention DI, or C4ID, or Intelligent Design. Nonetheless, Casey seems to find our piece relevant to his mission. Perhaps his concern with religion is not surprising, since the foundation document of DI’s Centre for Science and Culture gives the restoration of a “theistic understanding” as a core objective. As for Intelligent Design, few people can still believe the pretence that it is anything more than a cover for Creationism (in the strict sense of the term as applied to biological diversity), but it is good to see our thoughts on these matters so authoritatively confirmed.

There are many more reasons why being attacked by Casey has been compared to being savaged by a dead sheep. Here are a few of them (remember here that Casey is a trained lawyer, and has published on law in an internationally recognised journal, so presumably he has read what he refers to and means what he says about it):

  • He describes the two of us as spokesmen for BCSE, although the very first words of our article are “We write here as individual non-believers” [ emphasis added]. We are not spokesmen for BCSE, although we serve on its committee.
  • The spokesman for BCSE is a distinguished historian of geology and theology, the Rev Michael Roberts, Vicar of Cockerham, Glasson and Winmarleigh.
  • Casey selects BCSE as an example (his only example) of British secular and Humanist groups. Yet BCSE takes no position on matters of religion, a fact that he himself acknowledges later, nor on matters of Church and State relationships in general [1].
  • This is clear from the BCSE website, and indeed from the very piece he criticises.
  • He describes BCSE as a participant in “the ‘fight’ to teach evolution”, although such teaching has been, as it must be, part of the standard curriculum for decades.

(Incidentally, he didn’t link to our piece properly - he just linked to the blog front page. The kindest interpretation is oversight.)

For those of you unfamiliar with the background, here are a few pointers. The Discovery Institute is a religiously driven Crypto-Creationist group pushing a stripped down and camouflaged version of Creationism called Intelligent Design. This approach was hastily adopted for legal reasons in the US, where schools in the public sector are not allowed to promote religion, when Creationism and later Creation Science were ruled in the courts to be religious, not scientific, doctrines.

Creationist tactics rest upon three pillars. The first of these is that Evolution is in fact Atheism and that this whole political fight is one of Christians versus Atheists. No wonder Casey refers to BCSE as secular and humanist.

We talk about this fact in the very piece that Casey is attacking. We mention that there are two reasons Creationists adopt this tactic. First of all the conflict narrative is effective for the recruitment and retention of Creationists to their cause, as to any cause that involves a conspiracy theory. Secondly the conflict narrative is used to move the public debate away from “Creationism is daft” to genuine Atheist versus Christian issues. Creationists know that by framing the debate in such terms, they have a far greater chance of obtaining mainstream support.

So you can see why the BCSE really do get up Casey’s nose. We are helping to stem his flow of recruits and we are making sure he fights on weak territory where he is very much outgunned.

The second pillar of Creationism is to argue that Evolution (and by implication most modern science) is bad science. One basic technique here is quote-mining, taking words out of context, so that debate among scientists is misrepresented as rejection of the agreed foundations of the science. Casey’s commentary on our piece is a fine example of such quote-mining. As you can see, he uses it to pretend that our discussion of why we [2] support BCSE is an admission by BCSE of what would, if true, be gross hypocrisy. This technique works well when leavened with lies, since the only rebuttal is a potentially tedious analysis of the actual texts. Creationists regularly do this with scientific papers, and their fake textbook, the misleadingly named Explore Evolution, is based on this strategy.

The third pillar of Creationism is an appeal to fairness. Usually Creationists need to stack the deck a little by lying about their opponents to make this approach seem reasonable. Just as Casey did in this case where he lies about our roles in the BCSE, the nature of the BCSE, the very existence of a respected Christian as our spokesman, our stated goal and the fact that we have already put this into practice. We ran a successful lobbying campaign that united notable scientists, atheists, Christians, secular and religious groups and contributed to a change in the way UK Free Schools are set up. Again this is actually described in the piece he is attacking.

The main thrust of our article is actually advice from two atheists aimed at anti-theists and points to evidence that working with the religious through the BCSE is a very effective tactic for fighting Creationists. Casey has chosen to misrepresent this as a plot by BCSE to lure the religious into supporting an atheist agenda, and this forces him to lump his fellow Christians, when they defend evolution science, together with atheists.

Perhaps now you can see why Casey is frightened of the BCSE approach. He needs to create a whole world of straw-men, if he is to avoid the truth. The truth is that his Creationist position is based on theology, and minority theology at that, and has no basis in science.

PS Dear Casey,

We would really like to know, from your point of view; our article didn’t mention Intelligent Design at all, so, if the Discovery institute is not a Creationist organisation, why did you even bother with it?

Merry Christmas

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Footnotes:

  1. Church and State issues are very different in the UK from what they are in the US. See this post on the Panda’s Thumb.
  2. Throughout this piece, as in our original piece, “we” and “our” refers to Mark Edon and Paul Braterman as individuals.

This is cross-posted at BCSE.

64 Comments

Casey Luskin–the gift that keeps on grifting.

Glen Davidson

If Casey wants to give us a present, he could start with set of experiments to test intelligent design. I’ll be checking my stocking!

And, as always, the Dishonesty Institute’s attack gerbil’s lies, disinformation and distortions cannot be refuted on the website, because the mis-named “Evolution News and Views” website doesn’t allow comments.

“Like being savaged by a dead sheep …” In case anyone cares, said by combative UK Labour politician Dennis Healey (he of the famous eyebrows*) on being criticized by the mild mannered Tory minister Geoffrey Howe in the UK House of Commons in June 1978.

*For example: http://britainisnocountryforoldmen.[…]nd-says.html

alanbagain

“non-believers in support of the ‘accommodationist’ position”

1. Can someone who advocates the use of the term ‘accommodationist’ please define it for me, precisely?

2. Currently, I find that term stupid, and dislike its use, for three reasons -

a) If it means admitting that some people can understand and contribute to science and yet also hold scientifically unverifiable religious beliefs, then it’s a no-brainer that everyone should concede that - some people do do that, whatever you think of their unverifiable private religious beliefs.

b) If it means advocating for a ‘scientific’ position that in some way ‘accommodates’ ID/creationism as even partly valid, then it’s a no-brainer that no-one should ever do that, because ID/creationism is empirically wrong and logically incoherent, and plenty of religious people can see that.

c) Either way, the term itself reeks of authoritarian purity testing and sounds like the type of word that fanatics would hurl at rival fanatics.

In short, I find the word ‘accommodationist’ to be intensely ambiguous, and to carry unpleasant overtones, and I personally wish people would stop using it.

Does anyone who likes to use the term wish to address my critiques?

harold said: …I find the word ‘accommodationist’ to be intensely ambiguous, and to carry unpleasant overtones…

Yeah, it’s right up there with “collaborator” in the WW II context of “Vichy” or “Quisling.”

The Dishonesty Institute’s “big tent” concept is the other side’s “accommodationist” concept - they’ll let almost* anybody in who shares their hatred of evolution and biology and science and 21st century civilization.

I don’t like the term or the concept - either you accept the fact of evolution and the theory of evolution, or you don’t. If you don’t, why should we “accommodate” you?

*Non-fundagelical Christians need not apply.

Matt G said:

If Casey wants to give us a present, he could start with set of experiments to test intelligent design. I’ll be checking my stocking!

My request is far more modest, and will cost nothing to fulfill. I just want to know Casey’s personal conclusion of how many years life has existed on Earth, and which if any other species share common ancestors with H. sapiens. To make it easier still, he can start by saying whether he agrees with his colleague Michael Behe or not. And if not, why not. In case any new readers are unaware, Behe’s answers are “~4 billion years” and “all of them.”

harold Wrote:

Does anyone who likes to use the term wish to address my critiques?

I dislike it for all that plus the fact that, technically, nearly all anti-evolution activists and their evolution-denying fans are themselves “accommodationist.” The great majority accommodate a round earth and heliocentricity. At least half accomodate an old earth. Some even accommodate common descent.

For even more irony, consider that Michael Behe and Kenneth Miller believe virtually the same account of the history of life. Aside from Behe’s obvious caricaturing of “RM + NS” the only big difference is that Behe claims to be unsure of the designer’s identity, while Miller freely admits that it’s God. Yet anti-evolution whiners call Miller an “accommodationist” but not Behe.

Paul Burnett Wrote:

*Non-fundagelical Christians need not apply.

Sure they can. As long as they go along with the DI’s word games and radical paranoid authoritarian worldview, they’ll be be greeted with open arms. The DI’s own David Berlinski openly admits to being agnostic.

Frank J said:

harold Wrote:

Does anyone who likes to use the term wish to address my critiques?

I dislike it for all that plus the fact that, technically, nearly all anti-evolution activists and their evolution-denying fans are themselves “accommodationist.” The great majority accommodate a round earth and heliocentricity. At least half accomodate an old earth. Some even accommodate common descent.

For even more irony, consider that Michael Behe and Kenneth Miller believe virtually the same account of the history of life. Aside from Behe’s obvious caricaturing of “RM + NS” the only big difference is that Behe claims to be unsure of the designer’s identity, while Miller freely admits that it’s God. Yet anti-evolution whiners call Miller an “accommodationist” but not Behe.

That is of course, completely true. (I notice no defenders of “accommodationist” have come by to precisely define the term and address my critiques of it, but the thread is young.)

As we have both noted, the primary characteristic of the evolution denial movement is that it is an evolution denial movement. It isn’t a movement to promote some specific, detailed dogma, it’s a movement to deny evolution. Rare people with florid mental problems that express as unfocused anger can get themselves banned from the ID/creationist sites even while denying evolution, but that’s rare. In general, denying evolution and having the right kind of underlying motivation (see below) is good enough. Internal coherence of evolution denying statements is not sought. It’s good enough that all evolution denying statements deny evolution. This may be why no slogan ever dies. From “second law of thermodynamics” to “why are there still monkeys” (which has many variants), they keep coming back. It makes sense. They’re all equally good. They’re all just slogans that seem to deny evolution, but are in some way empirically and/or logically false.

On the other hand, there is an area of coherence - the association of ID/creationism with right wing authoritarian politics is incredibly high. They may make mutually contradictory or deliberately ambiguous comments about the age of the earth or who the designer is, but they all know which political party is on “their” side.

harold said: As we have both noted, the primary characteristic of the evolution denial movement is that it is an evolution denial movement. It isn’t a movement to promote some specific, detailed dogma, it’s a movement to deny evolution.

I’ll go along with that observation. (Although I don’t know how Behe belongs, as he obviously does.) And especially it is a denial of human evolution. (I’d bet if you ask for a definition of evolution, the most frequent response would be something like, “man descended from monkeys”.)

Frank J said:

Paul Burnett Wrote:

*Non-fundagelical Christians need not apply.

Sure they can. As long as they go along with the DI’s word games and radical paranoid authoritarian worldview, they’ll be be greeted with open arms.

I was thinking of Harun Yahya* and other Islamic evolution-denialists.

*See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adnan_Oktar

Here’s something defining accommodationism; http://sandwalk.blogspot.co.uk/2008[…]-affair.html

harold said:

“non-believers in support of the ‘accommodationist’ position”

1. Can someone who advocates the use of the term ‘accommodationist’ please define it for me, precisely?

2. Currently, I find that term stupid, and dislike its use, for three reasons -

a) If it means admitting that some people can understand and contribute to science and yet also hold scientifically unverifiable religious beliefs, then it’s a no-brainer that everyone should concede that - some people do do that, whatever you think of their unverifiable private religious beliefs.

b) If it means advocating for a ‘scientific’ position that in some way ‘accommodates’ ID/creationism as even partly valid, then it’s a no-brainer that no-one should ever do that, because ID/creationism is empirically wrong and logically incoherent, and plenty of religious people can see that.

c) Either way, the term itself reeks of authoritarian purity testing and sounds like the type of word that fanatics would hurl at rival fanatics.

In short, I find the word ‘accommodationist’ to be intensely ambiguous, and to carry unpleasant overtones, and I personally wish people would stop using it.

Does anyone who likes to use the term wish to address my critiques?

Yeah, I’ll do that.

In my world, an accommodationist is one who argues that there is no fundamental intellectual conflict between methodological naturalism and religious conviction. It seems to me that such conflicts not only exist in abundance, but are not rationally defensible from the religious side.

For example, see More dreadful accommodationism at HuffPo at Why Evolution is True.

harold doesn’t like this definition of the term because he declares, authoritatively, that no one should ever be an accomodationist. Yet, of course, people do exactly what he says they shouldn’t. What should we call this behavior, if not accommodationism?

I’ll add that the reek of authoritarianism harold detects in the word does not reach my olfactory system. Perhaps that smell doesn’t come from the word itself. harold thinks that the term stinks, but that is not a valid argument against using it.

TomS said:

harold said: As we have both noted, the primary characteristic of the evolution denial movement is that it is an evolution denial movement. It isn’t a movement to promote some specific, detailed dogma, it’s a movement to deny evolution.

I’ll go along with that observation. (Although I don’t know how Behe belongs, as he obviously does.) And especially it is a denial of human evolution. (I’d bet if you ask for a definition of evolution, the most frequent response would be something like, “man descended from monkeys”.)

You don’t know how Behe belongs? He’s literally the most classic example of pure evolution denial I can think of. The whole point of his work is that something or other - bacterial flagellum, clotting cascade, whatever - “could not possibly” have evolved (therefore evolution is disproven and fill in the blanks with whatever authoritarian deity system you want).

You couldn’t be more right about human evolution, though. I’ll have to remember to mention that. One thing I found, during the 1999-Dover glory days of ID, was that whenever I set out to patiently explain why ID was wrong to some relatively neutral person who had heard that it was a “dynamic new idea” somewhere, I didn’t have to go very far. As soon as I started explaining that prominent ID advocates used the bacterial flagellum as an example of something that could not have evolved, they started laughing. The same phenomenon was played out at the Dover trial, where the rural Pennsylvania jury was eventually literally laughing at “experts” who mentioned the bacterial flagellum. I used to have access to old poll results that showed the same thing - Americans don’t want to deny that “God created man”, but large super-majorities agree that plants and bacteria evolved.

Now we have two definers of “accommodationist”, and they offer contradictory definitions.

Michael B. Roberts and Phhht, would you mind arguing it out between yourselves, and getting back to me when you agree?

Michael B. Roberts links to an article in which Dawkins, that once lordly figure whose pronouncements had been repeated verbatim as slogans of loyalty by “movement atheists” - before he was unthroned and disgraced by his defense of 4 AM elevator coffee invitations - says…

The official line of the US National Academy, the American equivalent of the Royal Society, is shamelessly accommodationist. They repeatedly plug the mantra that there is ‘no conflict’ between evolution and religion.

Okay, I’m an accommodationist. Evolution doesn’t provide any evidence for any religious claims, but there are plenty of religious claims that don’t have any special conflict with evolution, Ken Miller, etc, etc.

But wait -

For example, see More dreadful accommodationism at HuffPo at Why Evolution is True.

Now I’m not an accommodationist, again. I’ve stated above - I’m completely opposed (intellectually opposed that is; politically I support everyone’s right to make any inference they want) to illogical supernatural inferences from scientific data, such as the ones critiqued at that link.

a) If it means admitting that some people can understand and contribute to science and yet also hold scientifically unverifiable religious beliefs, then it’s a no-brainer that everyone should concede that - some people do do that, whatever you think of their unverifiable private religious beliefs.

b) If it means advocating for a ‘scientific’ position that in some way ‘accommodates’ ID/creationism as even partly valid, then it’s a no-brainer that no-one should ever do that, because ID/creationism is empirically wrong and logically incoherent, and plenty of religious people can see that.

Designer almighty, which is?

harold said:

Now we have two definers of “accommodationist”, and they offer contradictory definitions.

Michael B. Roberts and Phhht, would you mind arguing it out between yourselves, and getting back to me when you agree?

Michael B. Roberts links to an article in which Dawkins, that once lordly figure whose pronouncements had been repeated verbatim as slogans of loyalty by “movement atheists” - before he was unthroned and disgraced by his defense of 4 AM elevator coffee invitations - says…

The official line of the US National Academy, the American equivalent of the Royal Society, is shamelessly accommodationist. They repeatedly plug the mantra that there is ‘no conflict’ between evolution and religion.

Okay, I’m an accommodationist. Evolution doesn’t provide any evidence for any religious claims, but there are plenty of religious claims that don’t have any special conflict with evolution, Ken Miller, etc, etc.

But wait -

For example, see More dreadful accommodationism at HuffPo at Why Evolution is True.

Now I’m not an accommodationist, again. I’ve stated above - I’m completely opposed (intellectually opposed that is; politically I support everyone’s right to make any inference they want) to illogical supernatural inferences from scientific data, such as the ones critiqued at that link.

a) If it means admitting that some people can understand and contribute to science and yet also hold scientifically unverifiable religious beliefs, then it’s a no-brainer that everyone should concede that - some people do do that, whatever you think of their unverifiable private religious beliefs.

b) If it means advocating for a ‘scientific’ position that in some way ‘accommodates’ ID/creationism as even partly valid, then it’s a no-brainer that no-one should ever do that, because ID/creationism is empirically wrong and logically incoherent, and plenty of religious people can see that.

Designer almighty, which is?

I agree with Dawkins. His alleged disrepute is an ad hominem fallacy when it is used, as it is here, to criticize his position on accommodationism.

To argue that because some religious people can do science, it must be true that science and religion are intellectually compatible, is a non sequiter. The fact has no bearing on the issue of their intellectual incompatibility.

Harold says

Evolution doesn’t provide any evidence for any religious claims, but there are plenty of religious claims that don’t have any special conflict with evolution, Ken Miller, etc, etc.

As far as I know, there are no religious claims - claims based on “faith,” on unverifiable religious beliefs - which are compatible with methodological naturalism. Of course evolution does not provide any evidence for religious claims, and neither does any other scientific theory. In this sense, and in others, science is in conflict with religious belief. To argue that this is untrue or unimportant is, in my view, an unjustified accommodation of religious conviction.

I agree with Dawkins.

The Dawkins definition of “accommodationist” is different from the one you offered. Is the one you offered now retracted?

His alleged disrepute is an ad hominem fallacy when it is used, as it is here, to criticize his position on accommodationism.

Except that it was not used for that.

By the way, should religious people be allowed to be employed as scientists? If not, how can we test scientists to make sure they aren’t secretly religious?

To argue that because some religious people can do science, it must be true that science and religion are intellectually compatible, is a non sequiter.

What does “intellectually compatible” mean?

By the way, should religious people be allowed to be employed as scientists? If not, how can we test scientists to make sure they aren’t secretly religious?

The fact has no bearing on the issue of their intellectual incompatibility.

What does “intellectually compatible” mean?

By the way, should religious people be allowed to be employed as scientists? If not, how can we test scientists to make sure they aren’t secretly religious?

harold said:

One thing I found, during the 1999-Dover glory days of ID, was that whenever I set out to patiently explain why ID was wrong to some relatively neutral person who had heard that it was a “dynamic new idea” somewhere, I didn’t have to go very far. As soon as I started explaining that prominent ID advocates used the bacterial flagellum as an example of something that could not have evolved, they started laughing. The same phenomenon was played out at the Dover trial, where the rural Pennsylvania jury was eventually literally laughing at “experts” who mentioned the bacterial flagellum.

Very dramatic! But actually the Dover trial was before a judge, without any jury. Whether a jury would have laughed or not is hard to say.

Of course evolution does not provide any evidence for religious claims, and neither does any other scientific theory. In this sense, and in others, science is in conflict with religious belief.

So science is in conflict with everything that science doesn’t provide evidence for?

To argue that this is untrue or unimportant is, in my view, an unjustified accommodation of religious conviction.

Why is it important?

Joe Felsenstein said:

harold said:

One thing I found, during the 1999-Dover glory days of ID, was that whenever I set out to patiently explain why ID was wrong to some relatively neutral person who had heard that it was a “dynamic new idea” somewhere, I didn’t have to go very far. As soon as I started explaining that prominent ID advocates used the bacterial flagellum as an example of something that could not have evolved, they started laughing. The same phenomenon was played out at the Dover trial, where the rural Pennsylvania jury was eventually literally laughing at “experts” who mentioned the bacterial flagellum.

Very dramatic! But actually the Dover trial was before a judge, without any jury. Whether a jury would have laughed or not is hard to say.

Sorry, it was the courtroom audience that laughed.

harold said:

His alleged disrepute is an ad hominem fallacy when it is used, as it is here, to criticize his position on accommodationism.

Except that it was not used for that.

Riiiight. You mentioned it to support Dawkins,

By the way, should religious people be allowed to be employed as scientists?

Of course, if they can do the work.

By the way, should religious people be allowed to be employed as scientists?

Of course, if - wait a minute. Didn’t you just ask me that?

By the way, should religious people be allowed to be employed as scientists?

You seem to have some sort of stuttering tic, harold.

Dear General Audience:

It Should Be Known that Darwinists Paul Braterman and Mark Edon, in behalf of the British Centre for Science Education, failed to mention in their piece on so called “Creationist” Casey Luskin, that Luskin accepts ALL OF THE MAIN CLAIMS OF DARWINISM TO EXIST IN NATURE; this would include conceptual existence of natural (non-supernatural/Intelligent) causation, natural selection, microevolution, macroevolution and common descent.

If fact, ALL Discovery Institute fellows accept conceptual existence of these main claims.

Yet Braterman, Edon and all other Darwinists completely reject Intelligent causation and design to exist in nature.

The point: Luskin the Evolutionist is a deceiver. He fails to make it perfectly clear, each and everytime he writes on the subject of evolution, that he accepts all of the main claims of his ALLEGED enemy (Darwinism).

This is what you get in the world of evolution: deception by pseudo-Creationists/IDists who are really Evolutionists conducting the same business as the Atheists on the other side of the street.

Real Creationists/IDists reject evolution in its entirety because it starts with a pro-Atheism assumption about nature and evidence (Naturalism-Materialism). Rejection of this assumption means no evidence exists supporting any of the claims of Darwin and his converts. Real Creationists/IDists accept supernatural/Intelligent assumptions about nature and evidence. This means the debate bewteen Creation and Evolution is mutually exclusive: one view absolutely true, the other absolutely false. This is seen in the fact that the Darwinists completely reject ALL of the claims of Creation-ID. Yet Casey Luskin, and those whom he represents, accept all of the conceptual claims of Darwinian evolution, which renders him and his kind to be ignorant fools and buffoons in bed with Darwin and the Atheists.

Just thought you should know.

Ray Martinez (Old Earth, Paleyan IDist, anti-selectionist/species immutabilist)

You seem to have some sort of stuttering tic, harold

Repetition tends to make questions harder to ignore. Thank you for your answer.

Harold said: “… It isn’t a movement to promote some specific, detailed dogma, it’s a movement to deny evolution.”

I disagree, but I think it’s both. The specific, detailed dogma is simply the literal interpretation of the Bible. However it is cloaked in anti-evolution talk, the objective is to elevate the Bible to the forefront as the “scientific” explanation of everything.

And yes, it’s a movement clearly aided at denying evolution, particularly human evolution, which contradicts the biblical interpretation of creation. But this is necessary for them to discredit science in any form or fashion, thus clearing the stage for the biblical deniers of evolution to come to the fore. There can be no other detailed dogma in their minds than the Bible. That is in essence what the objective of the Dishonesty Institute is, for example. Otherwise they’d be arguing in a vacuum.

Ray Martinez said:

Dear General Audience:

It Should Be Known that Darwinists Paul Braterman and Mark Edon, in behalf of the British Centre for Science Education, failed to mention in their piece on so called “Creationist” Casey Luskin, that Luskin accepts ALL OF THE MAIN CLAIMS OF DARWINISM TO EXIST IN NATURE; this would include conceptual existence of natural (non-supernatural/Intelligent) causation, natural selection, microevolution, macroevolution and common descent.

If fact, ALL Discovery Institute fellows accept conceptual existence of these main claims.

Yet Braterman, Edon and all other Darwinists completely reject Intelligent causation and design to exist in nature.

The point: Luskin the Evolutionist is a deceiver. He fails to make it perfectly clear, each and everytime he writes on the subject of evolution, that he accepts all of the main claims of his ALLEGED enemy (Darwinism).

This is what you get in the world of evolution: deception by pseudo-Creationists/IDists who are really Evolutionists conducting the same business as the Atheists on the other side of the street.

Real Creationists/IDists reject evolution in its entirety because it starts with a pro-Atheism assumption about nature and evidence (Naturalism-Materialism). Rejection of this assumption means no evidence exists supporting any of the claims of Darwin and his converts. Real Creationists/IDists accept supernatural/Intelligent assumptions about nature and evidence. This means the debate bewteen Creation and Evolution is mutually exclusive: one view absolutely true, the other absolutely false. This is seen in the fact that the Darwinists completely reject ALL of the claims of Creation-ID. Yet Casey Luskin, and those whom he represents, accept all of the conceptual claims of Darwinian evolution, which renders him and his kind to be ignorant fools and buffoons in bed with Darwin and the Atheists.

Just thought you should know.

Ray Martinez (Old Earth, Paleyan IDist, anti-selectionist/species immutabilist)

Thanks Ray. Good to know. You are not only the only true christian, you are the only true creationist as well. Must be mighty lonely for you.

Merry christmas Ray.

DavidK said:

Harold said: “… It isn’t a movement to promote some specific, detailed dogma, it’s a movement to deny evolution.”

I disagree, but I think it’s both. The specific, detailed dogma is simply the literal interpretation of the Bible. However it is cloaked in anti-evolution talk, the objective is to elevate the Bible to the forefront as the “scientific” explanation of everything.

And yes, it’s a movement clearly aided at denying evolution, particularly human evolution, which contradicts the biblical interpretation of creation. But this is necessary for them to discredit science in any form or fashion, thus clearing the stage for the biblical deniers of evolution to come to the fore. There can be no other detailed dogma in their minds than the Bible. That is in essence what the objective of the Dishonesty Institute is, for example. Otherwise they’d be arguing in a vacuum.

The important thing to remember is that for now, they will say anything that they think will result in the denial, distortion, or censorship of evolution in public schools.

Of course the ultimate motive is an authoritarian society justified by an arbitrary interpretation of the Bible, claimed to be “literal”, although as Frank J mentions here and as has been brought up many times in this venue, their interpretation is not really literal and the Bible cannot be interpreted completely literally.

But for now, they are focused on evolution denial, by any means necessary, as an obsession.

It’s important to recognize what their tactics will be.

For example, lately there have been hints of flirtation with latter day Lamarckist James Shapiro. Yet at other times, Lamarckism is thrown out as a straw man caricature of evolution, and then “disproven”. It doesn’t matter. Lamarckism, an intuitive but incorrect interpretation of the mechanism of evolution, means nothing to them. They will support Lamarckism when a Lamarckist is “attacking Darwinists”, or attack it as “Darwinism”, whichever seems to be most likely, at a given moment, to interfere with the correct teaching of evolution in public schools.

It is important to understand this. It is important to understand the ruthless, no-holds-barred nature of their tactics. If you don’t recognize that, you won’t be able to respond efficiently.

harold said:

“non-believers in support of the ‘accommodationist’ position”

1. Can someone who advocates the use of the term ‘accommodationist’ please define it for me, precisely?

2. Currently, I find that term stupid, and dislike its use, for three reasons -

a) If it means admitting that some people can understand and contribute to science and yet also hold scientifically unverifiable religious beliefs, then it’s a no-brainer that everyone should concede that - some people do do that, whatever you think of their unverifiable private religious beliefs.

b) If it means advocating for a ‘scientific’ position that in some way ‘accommodates’ ID/creationism as even partly valid, then it’s a no-brainer that no-one should ever do that, because ID/creationism is empirically wrong and logically incoherent, and plenty of religious people can see that.

c) Either way, the term itself reeks of authoritarian purity testing and sounds like the type of word that fanatics would hurl at rival fanatics.

In short, I find the word ‘accommodationist’ to be intensely ambiguous, and to carry unpleasant overtones, and I personally wish people would stop using it.

Does anyone who likes to use the term wish to address my critiques?

Hi Harold,

For my part, to answer part 1 I would give part 2. A) with the further addition that the non religious should not hesitate to join with the religious in fighting ID/Creationism who support modern biology and not is/Creationism.

This is the kind of activity that anti-theists have both criticised BCSE for and refused to join in with in the past.

I agree different people use it for different things. Which is unhelpful.

I tried to clarify my own views on WEIT recently and suggested that if someone stated they supported the anti ID/Creationism movement we shoul link hands with them. The response was that people who are religious are not doing science properly. This doesn’t sound like a way of working effectively with them.

Despite what some anti-theists and ID/Creationists have suggested I’m not advocating any changes to the way science is, or any theologies that accept the science are, currently practiced :-)

I’m not using the term to suggest that I can personally square anyone’s beliefs about God and science. Merely that I am happy to work with anyone that can.

Perhaps we need a term for this?

Mark Edon said:

harold said:

“non-believers in support of the ‘accommodationist’ position”

1. Can someone who advocates the use of the term ‘accommodationist’ please define it for me, precisely?

2. Currently, I find that term stupid, and dislike its use, for three reasons -

a) If it means admitting that some people can understand and contribute to science and yet also hold scientifically unverifiable religious beliefs, then it’s a no-brainer that everyone should concede that - some people do do that, whatever you think of their unverifiable private religious beliefs.

b) If it means advocating for a ‘scientific’ position that in some way ‘accommodates’ ID/creationism as even partly valid, then it’s a no-brainer that no-one should ever do that, because ID/creationism is empirically wrong and logically incoherent, and plenty of religious people can see that.

c) Either way, the term itself reeks of authoritarian purity testing and sounds like the type of word that fanatics would hurl at rival fanatics.

In short, I find the word ‘accommodationist’ to be intensely ambiguous, and to carry unpleasant overtones, and I personally wish people would stop using it.

Does anyone who likes to use the term wish to address my critiques?

Hi Harold,

For my part, to answer part 1 I would give part 2. A) with the further addition that the non religious should not hesitate to join with the religious in fighting ID/Creationism who support modern biology and not is/Creationism.

This is the kind of activity that anti-theists have both criticised BCSE for and refused to join in with in the past.

I agree different people use it for different things. Which is unhelpful.

I tried to clarify my own views on WEIT recently and suggested that if someone stated they supported the anti ID/Creationism movement we shoul link hands with them. The response was that people who are religious are not doing science properly. This doesn’t sound like a way of working effectively with them.

Despite what some anti-theists and ID/Creationists have suggested I’m not advocating any changes to the way science is, or any theologies that accept the science are, currently practiced :-)

I’m not using the term to suggest that I can personally square anyone’s beliefs about God and science. Merely that I am happy to work with anyone that can.

Perhaps we need a term for this?

I too am interested in anyone who “can personally square [his] beliefs about God and science.” I am intensely interested in how he manages that trick.

For example, I want to know how a religious believer can distinguish his holy stories from, say, Harry Potter. I want to know what reason he has for postulating the existence of gods in the first place. Of course I want empirical evidence to justify his conviction that gods are real.

I also want truth, justice, and the American Way.

My experience leads me to think that neither God nor Superman is real. I am extremely interested to know how the religious believer manages to reach a different conclusion - and I want to know that well before he and I hold hands.

It seems that there are people with two different priorities here:

1. People who want to defend the teaching of evolutionary biology, and are OK with having allies among those religious people who don’t see their religions as reason to object to the teaching of evolutionary biology. (In the U.S. that’s almost half of all Christians, and higher among self-identified believers on other faiths, except lower among Muslims).

2. People whose primary objective is to spread skeptical critical thinking. When they object to the teaching of creationism, and some Christian shows up and agrees with that objection, they immediately ask “Oh yeah? What about the Virgin Birth? Is that consistent with science?”. This is less likely to result in an alliance to defend the teaching of evolution, but the primary objective of these people is to argue with believers about religion, not to make alliances to defend the teaching of evolution.

The latter sometimes call the former “accommodationists”.

EvoDevo said:

Luskin is ignorant

Correction: Actually, Luskin is not ignorant, he is deliberately stupid, and is paid a disgustingly large salary to remain deliberately stupid. To describe Luskin as “ignorant” is to incorrectly imply that he does not know better.

bring better arguments Luskin.

Why don’t you wish for the moon, then? It would be far more feasible to bring home the Moon in a paper cup than to wait for the Discotute’s personal attack-vermin to one day, some day present a “better argument.”

Ray Martinez sez:

Dear General Audience:

It Should Be Known that Darwinists Paul Braterman and Mark Edon, in behalf of the British Centre for Science Education, failed to mention in their piece on so called “Creationist” Casey Luskin, that Luskin accepts ALL OF THE MAIN CLAIMS OF DARWINISM TO EXIST IN NATURE; this would include conceptual existence of natural (non-supernatural/Intelligent) causation, natural selection, microevolution, macroevolution and common descent.

If fact, ALL Discovery Institute fellows accept conceptual existence of these main claims.

Yet Braterman, Edon and all other Darwinists completely reject Intelligent causation and design to exist in nature.

The point: Luskin the Evolutionist is a deceiver. He fails to make it perfectly clear, each and everytime he writes on the subject of evolution, that he accepts all of the main claims of his ALLEGED enemy (Darwinism).

This is what you get in the world of evolution: deception by pseudo-Creationists/IDists who are really Evolutionists conducting the same business as the Atheists on the other side of the street.

Real Creationists/IDists reject evolution in its entirety because it starts with a pro-Atheism assumption about nature and evidence (Naturalism-Materialism). Rejection of this assumption means no evidence exists supporting any of the claims of Darwin and his converts. Real Creationists/IDists accept supernatural/Intelligent assumptions about nature and evidence. This means the debate bewteen Creation and Evolution is mutually exclusive: one view absolutely true, the other absolutely false. This is seen in the fact that the Darwinists completely reject ALL of the claims of Creation-ID. Yet Casey Luskin, and those whom he represents, accept all of the conceptual claims of Darwinian evolution, which renders him and his kind to be ignorant fools and buffoons in bed with Darwin and the Atheists.

Just thought you should know.

Ray Martinez (pathological liar, bigot, and all around idiot who is totally full of himself.)

(Dale Husband: Fixed. Now his description is accurate.)

Thread’s starting to show necrosis, going to take it off life support soon…

get your final CPR moves in stat!

Calling it, 8:26 AM MST.…

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This page contains a single entry by Dave Thomas published on December 22, 2012 1:55 PM.

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