1/21/09

The Quadripartite Equine Riders, part 4 of 11

This is part four of an eleven part essay in which is a review of a conversation that took place between Prof. Richard Dawkins, Prof. Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2:
Strident, Arrogant, Vitriolic, and or Shrill?
Part 3:
Amazing Perplexity and Anonymous Confession of an Atheist Clergyman
Part 4:
Tri-Theism? Nice Try
Part 5:
Faith, Evidence and Doubting Thomas and It’s Absolutely Relative
Part 6:
On Scientific Authoritarian Faith
Part 7:
Cosmology and the Pathetic Bible
Part 8:
On Cosmology, Theology and Eternal Regress
Part 9:
Dennett the Mesmerist and Atheism is Humbler and Holier Than Thou
Part 10:
The Universe is All About Me
Part 11:
On Jihad and Abortion

Tri-Theism? Nice Try
Prof. Richard Dawkins claims that the Nicaean Creed states that “there are three gods, not one. The virgin Mary, Jesus died … went to the … what was it? … down for three days, and then came up again?”
No, not one of the other three other Riders corrected him.

I would certainly be willing to believe that it was a mere slip of the tongue. As a dyslexic, I could more than empathize and perhaps the other three did not catch it or did not want to embarrass him. However, I also wonder what that was all about and I would not even mention it if it were not for the fact that Prof. Richard Dawkins wrote, not stated in friendly conversation but wrote in his book “The God Delusion,” that Mormonism is a monotheistic religion and Christopher Hitchens has stated the same. It simply makes me wonder at their lack of knowledge regarding the most basic of theological concepts such as simply knowing in how many gods a certain religion believes.[1] And this is all that I am stating, I am not besmirching them for not being conversant regarding theological minutia.

Prof. Daniel Dennett states that he does not think that many religious people ever ask themselves “What if I’m wrong?” The context of the discussion at this point is the Nicaean Creed with which Protestants, Roman Catholics and the Orthodox Church agree. Therefore, it may be reasonably stated that Prof. Daniel Dennett is here addressing the overwhelming majority of the world’s 2.5 billion Christians. The greater context of the discussion, at this point, is that science is more humble than “religion.”

Yes, imagine that, “Hey, I’m humbler than thou!!!” How is that a scientific statement? Moreover, how is it humble to look at 2.5 billion people (give or take) and claim to know their inner thoughts?
Christopher Hitchens disagrees with Prof. Daniel Dennett and, of course, this is turned into another point against the 2.5 billion Nicaean Creeders. This is because, obviously, they are just sort of hypnotizing themselves with “a mantra,” as Prof. Richard Dawkins refers to it.

Fascinating: you are damned if you do not doubt and also if you do doubt. Speaking of hypnotizing mantras, I cannot help but mention Prof. Richard Dawkins’ recommendation to the effect of: ignore the evidence and maintain your materialism at all cost (The Blind Watchmaker, p. 1),
“Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

Francis Crick likewise wrote (What Mad Pursuit, p. 138),
“Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”

Interestingly, Prof. Daniel Dennett also stated that they, atheists, also should ask themselves “What if I’m wrong?” However, he will later state “Actually I can’t think of anything” when asked if there is “any challenge to your atheism that has given you pause.”

Not tri-theism.
Rather, try theism.

[1] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006), p. 36

31 comments:

  1. Off topic, but sorry, but I just have to laugh at the "academic freedom" day link you have at the top here...the only "controversy" in evolution is a manufactured one, done by ignoring bits of evidence, misquotes, and presenting "problems" for evolution that on further study have already been resolved.


    If there is a real controversy, it should be presented honestly.

    The Dover trial exposed some of the lies of the "intelligent design" people use to manufacture their "controversy" over evolution.

    If those people really cared about "academic freedom" as they claim, then they'd not have gone after Mr. Scopes in the original Scopes trial for daring to teach a theory that went against the bible.


    Nice try.

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  2. Mariano, I didn't know you had dyslexia. Maybe this does not imply anything of relevance here, but you certainly don't seem to have any issues with writing a lot :-) I'm just thinking, knowing about it might add another dimension of understanding to some other things. Or maybe it doesn't.

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  3. I checked out the "academic freedom" link too, and I can only agree with Reynold. Darwin's quote about fairness is typical for his humble approach to science. His insistence that arguments "on both sides" be stated and considered, however, refers to scientific arguments, not religious dogma. If the Bible had said something about God having made the Earth hold us so we wouldn't fly up to the Stars, we would have attacks on "Newtonism" and attempts to "teach the controversy" by recognizing "Intelligent Falling" in public school science classes. Gravity is "just a theory" too, after all.

    By the way, Feb. 12 is Abraham Lincoln's two hundredth birthday also: Darwin and Lincoln were born on the same day. Abe freed the slaves: Chuck freed our minds.

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  4. His insistence that arguments "on both sides" be stated and considered, however, refers to scientific arguments, not religious dogma

    I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized a large problem to me with this whole idea is the definition of science. What you guys want to do is define "science" as something that is purely naturalistic. In other words, as has been stated many times, as soon as you get into anything potentially supernatural, you have gone outside of the bounds of "science".

    But I have two problems with this. Firstly, I'm not sure what basis you have to define science as being unable to suggest a non-natural cause. Science is supposed to take the evidence where it leads. If the evidence suggests that something could not happen naturally, I really don't understand what the problem is.

    But that brings me to my second issue which to me is more significant. Let's just grant that definition of science as dealing only with natural things. Therefore, what science does is it studies the natural world to find out what the natural causes are for things. Thus, it precludes anything that is non-natural. So, even if something was ultimately non-natural, science would not allow for it and would have to come up with a natural explanation, even if that explanation was completely incorrect and contrary to all evidence. In other words, science will not allow for either A) non-natural explanations or B) admitting that there is no way that we can ever know the answer to a certain question. That is, of course, if you define science in that particular way.

    But then that is a limitation of science when defined as such, not some sort of grand freedom of thought. On the contrary, when defined in that way, it's a restriction of thought. Science is great for what it does, but it cannot tell us everything about the world. And some of you might even agree with that - but it would seem that you then assume that if science cannot tell us, there is no way of knowing at all. And with that I would disagree. There is knowledge that can be gained without science.

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  5. Ok, if you want to include supernaturalistic stuff, just how would one go about testing different supernaturalistic explanations for something then? Science goes with what works.

    How can someone test for the existence of supernatural beings or events?

    In the meantime, here's a little more about "academic freedom" day.

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  6. Ok, if you want to include supernaturalistic stuff, just how would one go about testing different supernaturalistic explanations for something then? Science goes with what works.

    How can someone test for the existence of supernatural beings or events?


    I think it's possible that you can make certain theories based upon a supernatural hypothesis that would make predictions or at the very least define expectations which would consist as evidence for the theory. I don't know what kinds, because I'm not a trained scientist. Go check out Hugh Ross or whoever else - they've got some stuff on that specific question.

    But the thing is, even if there is no possible way to test it, that has nothing at all to do with the point I was making. As I said before, even if I give you that definition of science as only being things that are natural, there is still the problem of it forcing explanations. In other words, naturalistic science as we see it today, especially as seen in the neo-darwinian camps or whatever name you like, doesn't just try to study nature and things it can reproduce, but assumes from the outright that everything can be explained by nature (a view which was not made scientifically). So even if all the evidence suggests that a certain phenomenon does not have a reasonable naturalistic explanation, the scientist would rather force the naturalistic explanation upon it simply because he precluded the possibility of anything else.

    All I'm trying to say is, it's likely that there are some things we cannot know the answer to through science, even in regards to questions of how something happens. It's possible that there are things we simply cannot know at all, even with all the scientific equipment in the world; in fact, I would argue that we already see examples of this now. And you cannot disprove that view through science, because neither that view nor its counterpart is based in science, but that does not mean it is therefore foolishness. I repeat my ending to my last comment - There is knowledge that can be gained without science.

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  7. There seems to be this idea that Science is purposely ignoring Supernatural explanations for dogmatic reasons, like a court of law that chooses to ignore evidence obtained without a search warrant. This is simply not the case. Supernatural explanations are ignored for the simple reason that they are not explanations at all. To say that Zeus makes the clouds rain doesn't tell you anything really about the process that produces rain. It is not that the explanation is wrong, it is that it doesn't even rise to level of being wrong.

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  8. What jdhuey said. There is disagreement among scientists about how to consider the supernatural, but most of the viewpoints boil down to some variation on these two:

    1) if the supernatural has measurable effects on the natural, it is not supernatural, but rather some (possibly not yet understood) part of the natural, by definition, and thus comes under the purview of science.

    2) if the supernatural is not measurable in any way, and doesn't explain anything science cannot, then it might as well not exist, and is in any case not under the purview of science.

    I don't see that there's much to choose from these two alternatives: they are equivalent as far as their effect on the practice of science goes. So if someone says that science should not exclude the supernatural, I say: fine. Where's the evidence for the supernatural? What does it explain that science doesn't?

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  9. I assume when you say that the supernatural is not an explanation at all, you are saying it does not actually answer the question of how something happened. I would agree to this. But this is getting down to what I was talking about before - scientists today, and it seems many skeptics along with them, seem to assume that we can understand the how of everything, given enough time or what have you. It is that contention with which I disagree. Let's take the idea of God creating the universe. You might say "well that doesn't really explain how it happened" and I say to that: fair enough. But the fact that it is not an "explanation" in the sense that you desire does nothing to disprove it. In other words, just because I can't know how God might do something does not at all mean that God did not do it or that there is no evidence that God actually did it.

    That is what I'm trying to say about science possibly forcing views that are ultimately incorrect. Before you can do this naturalistic science (of the sort that we are talking about here), you must first assume that the world is understandable in its entirety by naturalistic means, and that is not a contention that you can prove by using science. It's a philosophic argument. And I would disagree philosophically with that contention.

    As for what supernaturalism explains that naturalism does not, I'm not willing to get into it. Not because I don't have any reasons, but because I honestly can't see that discussion being productive. Ultimately I would bring up examples of things that I do not believe science currently explains or can ever explain through naturalistic means, and you would simply disagree with me on it and say that either the current explanation by naturalistic science is good enough or that eventually we will have a solution, if we have enough time to find one. Either way, that conversation would be pointless to me, because it only brings us back to the point at hand - that we both make assumptions about the world and the way we understand it. The question is, whose epistemology is better? I contend that the idea that there is supernatural is better in explaining certain aspects of the world, and the natural science explains other aspects better. I find that to be far more practically and logically sound than I do the opposing view.

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  10. Leslie
    In other words, just because I can't know how God might do something does not at all mean that God did not do it or that there is no evidence that God actually did it.
    It sure as hell isn't evidence that "god" did do it, now is it?

    That is what I'm trying to say about science possibly forcing views that are ultimately incorrect.
    Oh yeah. All that peer-review and experimental testing, and the well-known track record of fixing up its mistakes when they're exposed, as opposed to the infallible and contradictory and untestable religious beliefs.

    Before you can do this naturalistic science (of the sort that we are talking about here), you must first assume that the world is understandable in its entirety by naturalistic means, and that is not a contention that you can prove by using science.
    How's about showing the great "track recored" that supernaturalistic beliefs have in regards to predicting and undertanding things?

    That's right, it's got none. No thanks, I'll go with what's actually been shown to work.

    It's a philosophic argument. And I would disagree philosophically with that contention.
    You want your religious beliefs to have the same legitimacy as something that works. Your supernaturalistic beliefs have to get an established track record first. Until then, there's no reason at all to give them any credence.

    I contend that the idea that there is supernatural is better in explaining certain aspects of the world, and the natural science explains other aspects better. I find that to be far more practically and logically sound than I do the opposing view.
    Alright, show us the wonderful track record of things that supernaturalistic beliefs can explain then.

    If you can't test something, you can't find out if it's true or not. That's the fundamental weakeness of supernaturalistic belief. That's why there's so many religions/superstitions around in comparison to scientific theories. For instance, you don't have hundreds of ideas on how evolution happened, and when they argue over it, they don't resort to violence but rather physical evidence and testing.

    Science weeds out false ideas like biblical geocentrism while supernaturalistic beliefs, since they can't be tested, are still around as is shown by the hundredsd of religions and hundredds of denominations in the xian religion.

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  11. Reynold: what you said.

    Leslie: the only thing I would add is this: you said-

    Ultimately I would bring up examples of things that I do not believe science currently explains or can ever explain through naturalistic means, and you would simply disagree with me on it and say that either the current explanation by naturalistic science is good enough or that eventually we will have a solution, if we have enough time to find one.

    There's a third possibility you've left out, and one that any honest materialist should use often: I don't know how to explain that, and I don't know if we'll ever be able to explain that. I would use this answer for such questions as: how did the Universe come to be? And I find admitting to not knowing something fine. I don't see the point of trying to fill gaps in knowledge with magic that does no explanatory work, but that's just a matter of taste. As long as you don't kill anyone, or try to push your magic on them, that's okay with me.

    cheers from overcast Vienna, zilch

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  12. I wish I had someone to say "what you just said" to ... where are all the other theists? Oh well.

    Reynold, thank you for proving my point about the argument that would ensue if I were to bring up ways in which supernaturalism works better than naturalism. I didn't even have to do my part! That's always nice.

    I'm not trying to say that science somehow doesn't work. All I'm saying is that science has limits and cannot explain everything, and I appreciate you being willing to admit to that Zilch. The difference is that I do not think it unreasonable to look for other explanations that are outside of science, and I think that I can know things without scientific evidence. If all I said was "you don't know how this happened, therefore God did it", then that would less reasonable. But if I find other good reasons to believe the claim that God did it (i.e. various philosophical arguments, Christian evidences, or what have you), and it happens to fit in well with things science does or does not tell us, then I think it's legitimate. But I suspect we will not agree in the end, so I'll just leave it that.

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  13. Scientists today have a great reluctance to conjecture on what can not be known for the simple reason that so many of past proclamations about the limits to knowledge have been proved incorrect. For example, in the 19th century many scientists thought that there was no way that we could ever 'see' an atom. They could not think of a way to gain information about such small things. But science is a communal effort and what is not conceivable by one scientist, no matter how brilliant, is often thought of by others.

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  14. Just as Leslie wrote.

    @Reynold
    How can someone test for the existence of supernatural beings or events?

    How about testing UCD, abiogenesis or macroevolution before teaching it in science classrooms?

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  15. "How about testing UCD, abiogenesis or macroevolution before teaching it in science classrooms?"

    (is abiogenesis taught in schools?)

    If you only accepted knowledge that can be "tested" by hands-on experiments, then your knowledge would reside in a pre-scientific era.

    Since I think you're happy to incorporate knowledge by many other means as well (indirect observations, statistics, consilience, induction, deduction), you're being a hypocrite. Enough with the word games already.

    Events that take place on the scale of millions or billions of years can't be directly tested in real time, is that really so difficult to understand? That does not at all mean that we are powerless to gain insight into such matters. The indirect methods of science and the interlinking between scientific subjects provide the tools of inquiry and solid underpinnings even where direct experiments can not be conducted. No hypothesis confronts the world alone. Instead, it confronts the world as part of an entire world view of linked hypotheses plus statements about the experimental situation (W. V. Quine).

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  16. Leslie,

    If you share the goal of this blog's moderators to show that "atheism is dead", then you'll have to find a convincing way support this "knowledge that can be gained without science."

    But even if you don't have any interest in converting atheists, I hope that you'll at least try not to misrepresent atheism. Atheists DO NOT, in general, believe that, with enough time, science will answer all. We're just okay with saying "I don't know." Several of us keep pointing this out to Mariano, but he repeats this falsehood over and over again. Now I fear that it's contagious.

    I've been begging people on this blog to describe supernatural experiments that they think will succeed, but I haven't gotten any response. I'll check out your Hugh Ross pointer. Maybe he has some ideas.

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  17. How about testing UCD, abiogenesis or macroevolution before teaching it in science classrooms?

    UCD? What's that?

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  18. Evolution being checked.

    abiogenesis

    To quote: As long as the speculations can be tested, they are scientific.

    A bit of progress here

    "UCD"?

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  19. But I suspect we will not agree in the end, so I'll just leave it that.

    Amen to that, Leslie. If there were only more "leaving it at that" in the world! In my view, decisions about what is good and bad are necessarily irrational, to a large extent: for atheists as well as believers. Religion is a framework for making moral decisions that is based on an imaginary entity, God. But all secular systems of morality are also, to some extent, not scientifically justifiable all the way down, so they are also irrational.

    But if we want to enjoy the fruits of culture, and most of us do, then we must embrace some system of behavior to make culture possible. For me, engaging in the kind of behavior that makes culture possible, what I call "nice" behavior, is far more important than the underpinnings of that behavior, however interesting to discuss.

    So- cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

    P.S. Look me up if you're ever in town, or if you're in SF in the summer.

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  20. @all
    UCD = Universal Common Descent

    @adonais
    If you only accepted knowledge that can be "tested" by hands-on experiments, then your knowledge would reside in a pre-scientific era.

    Since I think you're happy to incorporate knowledge by many other means as well you're being a hypocrite.

    Do you really think I'm the one opting for such view?

    Of course you can't test everything and that's exactly my point. If something is not testable AND supernatural (with current understanding which may change in time) it's not science. But something not testable and natural (with current understanging which may change in time) may be valid scientific hypothesis. Conclusion: it's not about testability and repeatability, it's about a priori assumed worldview which science must serve. Dissidents are not not welcomed here.

    The indirect methods of science and the interlinking between scientific subjects provide the tools of inquiry and solid underpinnings even where direct experiments can not be conducted.
    Yes, but this 'solid' is quite subjective. The bigger human factor the less reliable science is.
    And theist side is also using 'indirect methods' and interlinking.

    @Reynold
    Best case science can make for UCD, abiogenesis and RM+NS (random mutations and natural selection) is to show that's possible that those happened which still is to be done.
    We don't know and won't ever know what happened back billions years ago.

    @zilch
    1) if the supernatural has measurable effects on the natural, it is not supernatural, but rather some (possibly not yet understood) part of the natural, by definition, and thus comes under the purview of science.

    Is God (= volative, powerful enough, transcendent being) creating Universe natural or supernatural then? Is it scientific hypothesis?

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  21. I will say this, Leslie is a very respectful guy and I always appreciate his tact, even though I disagree with him so much is sometimes makes my ass ache.

    BUT! I am an artist and you should check out his comic strip:

    http://sethandbuddy.com/

    sorry Leslie, I know you didn't authorize this but, nice stuff!

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  22. "If something is not testable AND supernatural (with current understanding which may change in time) it's not science."

    BS. Such an assertion requires that something like the "supernatural" is known to exist. It is not.

    "Conclusion: it's not about testability and repeatability, it's about a priori assumed worldview which science must serve."

    BS. What do you think came first, science or a science-based world view? Whichever came first shaped the latter, if you believe in causality.

    "Yes, but this 'solid' is quite subjective."

    Not at all, quite the opposite - a fundamental property about nature is that the laws and their manifestations are invariant and the same everywhere, independent of the observer. Science is like a pyramid: the top may be up in the air, but the base is broad and rests on solid ground.

    "And theist side is also using 'indirect methods' and interlinking."

    Sure, but it is based on thin air. Continuing the analogy, religion is like an inverted pyramid hanging from the sky, suspended by a skyhook and not touching the ground.

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  23. Some reading for tremor:

    Seeing and Believing by Jerry A. Coyne. The never-ending attempt to reconcile science and religion, and why it is doomed to fail.

    Some noteworthy excerpts:

    Yet in the end they fail to achieve their longed-for union between faith and evolution. And they fail for the same reason that people always fail: a true harmony between science and religion requires either doing away with most people's religion and replacing it with a watered-down deism, or polluting science with unnecessary, untestable, and unreasonable spiritual claims.

    And neither Miller nor Giberson tell us what circumstances would make them abandon their belief in a personal God. Giberson, in fact, asserts that he cannot be wrong:

    "As a believer in God, I am convinced in advance that the world is not an accident and that, in some mysterious way, our existence is an 'expected' result. No data would dispel it."


    It would appear, then, that one cannot be coherently religious and scientific at the same time. That alleged synthesis requires that with one part of your brain you accept only those things that are tested and supported by agreed-upon evidence, logic, and reason, while with the other part of your brain you accept things that are unsupportable or even falsified. In other words, the price of philosophical harmony is cognitive dissonance.

    (oh do we ever see a LOT of that here...)

    Unfortunately, some theologians with a deistic bent seem to think that they speak for all the faithful. These were the critics who denounced Dawkins and his colleagues for not grappling with every subtle theological argument for the existence of God, for not steeping themselves in the complex history of theology. Dawkins in particular was attacked for writing The God Delusion as a "middlebrow" book. But that misses the point. He did indeed produce a middlebrow book, but precisely because he was discussing religion as it is lived and practiced by real people. The reason that many liberal theologians see religion and evolution as harmonious is that they espouse a theology not only alien but unrecognizable as religion to most Americans.

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  24. Scary Jesus,

    A) Haha, well I know the achy feeling of which you speak ... and as long as it doesn't come from the violence of someone of the opposing view, I can deal with it. :) I appreciate respectful discussion, and I can't really see any benefit in doing it any other way. I'll try to remain that way, though I hope you'll forgive me if every now and then I might get a bit too zealous.

    B) Thanks a lot for the shout out. As long as you're not saying "This is the worst crap I've ever seen in my life - here's a link to see just how bad it is..." then I'm all for linking to my site. Actually even then I might be fine with it, because at least it's exposure (though I'd probably cry a little bit to myself). As the saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

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  25. tremor
    Best case science can make for UCD, abiogenesis and RM+NS (random mutations and natural selection) is to show that's possible that those happened which still is to be done.
    Then I assume you've not bothered to read the links I gave. They give tests and evidence that natural selection is currently happening and has happened in the past. Check out the Observed Iinstances of Speciation on the Talk Orgins site.


    We don't know and won't ever know what happened back billions years ago.
    We can get a pretty good inference from the tests that were mentioned in the links I gave previously.

    As for the book you linked to by Jerry Bergman and recommended by Denyse O'Leary, right!

    The ID people do have academic freedom; the same freedom that any scientist has to do experiemtation, make predictions, do tests, and have others confirm their work. If they won't or can't do that, then they've got nothing to actually teach, and they have no right to complain.

    Note that it's only in biology (where evolution reigns now) that those guys are clamoring for "academic freedom". Note that they don't allow such "academic freedom" in churches or in any creationist institute, and that during the original Scopes trial, no religious right person was talking about "academic freedom" there. That's because in those places, and during the original Scopes trial, it was biblical creationism that was supposed to be taught, and that was it!

    Only once their ideas fell out of favour are they now calling for "academic freedom" and only in cases where their religious belief is challenged.

    Sorry, not buying it.



    By the way, just look up Jerry Bergman in the search engine of the Talk Origins archive and you'll see how honest he really is.

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  26. "Thanks a lot for the shout out. As long as you're not saying "This is the worst crap I've ever seen in my life - here's a link to see just how bad it is..." then I'm all for linking to my site. "

    No I really think you're good.
    Plus everyone needs a shout out everyonce in awhile.

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  27. @adonais
    "If something is not testable AND supernatural (with current understanding which may change in time) it's not science."

    BS. Such an assertion requires that something like the "supernatural" is known to exist. It is not.

    What does 'known to exist' mean? To whom? Generation after generation leaves testimony that God is real.

    Now apply the same criterium to neodarwinism - is it 'known to happen'?

    "Conclusion: it's not about testability and repeatability, it's about a priori assumed worldview which science must serve."

    BS. What do you think came first, science or a science-based world view? Whichever came first shaped the latter, if you believe in causality.


    Don't forget about context of our discussion. What came first, materialism or materialistic science?

    "Yes, but this 'solid' is quite subjective."

    Not at all, quite the opposite - a fundamental property about nature is that the laws and their manifestations are invariant and the same everywhere, independent of the observer. Science is like a pyramid: the top may be up in the air, but the base is broad and rests on solid ground.


    Time after time Darwin's theories fall, yet top of his pyramid shines up in thin air.

    "And theist side is also using 'indirect methods' and interlinking."

    Sure, but it is based on thin air. Continuing the analogy, religion is like an inverted pyramid hanging from the sky, suspended by a skyhook and not touching the ground.


    When I look back in history I found religion successfull and trustworthy. It tells the truth about a man. Whatever I see, whenever I reach within myself - it works.

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  28. tremor wrote:

    "Generation after generation leaves testimony that God is real."

    "Time after time Darwin's theories fall, yet top of his pyramid shines up in thin air."

    "When I look back in history I found religion successfull and trustworthy."


    I just had to quote this for posterity to gawk at.

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  29. @Reynold
    Check out the Observed Iinstances of Speciation on the Talk Orgins site.

    Before you direct me for hundreth time to TalkOrigins, consider that I know about this (a little bit rusty) site and have read some articles there. So please, be more precise and explicitly write what exactly was tested and what are your conclusions.

    "We don't know and won't ever know what happened back billions years ago."
    We can get a pretty good inference from the tests that were mentioned in the links I gave previously.


    Like what? "Since we can make RNA replicate there might had been self-replicating RNA in the past."?

    As for the book you linked to by Jerry Bergman and recommended by Denyse O'Leary, right!

    The ID people do have academic freedom; the same freedom that any scientist has to do experiemtation, make predictions, do tests, and have others confirm their work. If they won't or can't do that, then they've got nothing to actually teach, and they have no right to complain.

    Future they go through educational system where TOE is taught. They have no right to question it as they're teachers as well if they don't want to be fired. Then they want to find a job, secure it when they find it, and get funds for research.

    Note that it's only in biology (where evolution reigns now) that those guys are clamoring for "academic freedom". Note that they don't allow such "academic freedom" in churches
    It's a joke, isn't it?

    or in any creationist institute,
    And second one.

    and that during the original Scopes trial, no religious right person was talking about "academic freedom" there. That's because in those places, and during the original Scopes trial, it was biblical creationism that was supposed to be taught, and that was it!

    Only once their ideas fell out of favour are they now calling for "academic freedom" and only in cases where their religious belief is challenged.

    Sorry, not buying it.


    That's good point. Luckily true science won with a little help from Nebraska Man.

    By the way, just look up Jerry Bergman in the search engine of the Talk Origins archive and you'll see how honest he really is.
    He's a bad guy with agenda and Jim Foley is a good and honest one. I got it. No, I won't read entire discussion to make my mind.

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  30. @adonais
    I'll add some comments, so posterity can understand what I mean, because I have gut feeling that you don't know what I was thinking when I wrote what I wrote.

    "Generation after generation leaves testimony that God is real."
    For example three great prophets of XX century: Faustina Kowalska, Maria Valtorta and Vassula Ryden.

    "Time after time Darwin's theories fall, yet top of his pyramid shines up in thin air."
    since 1859 a fair number of Darwin's ideas have been disproven. Like all sciences, evolution differs from religion because it constantly tests its assumptions, and discards the ones that prove false. - J.A. Coyne - "Seeing and Believing".

    "When I look back in history I found religion successfull and trustworthy."

    I just had to quote this for posterity to gawk at.

    I have to admit - my English is far from perfect and won't get any better.
    I was thinking about Jesus desciples such as St. Francis of Assisi and his spiritual family.

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