The Intolerance of Evolution

Evolutionary scientists, and atheists alike, have long fooled themselves into believing that they are neutral.  This belief in their own neutrality has led to an overall disgust for worldviews that are considered non-neutral.  In fact, evolutionists, and atheists in particular, have long derided Christians for their “intolerance”.  Not only is this an erroneous accusation since there is no partiality with God, it’s a hypocritical one.  The myth of evolutionary neutrality is so staunchly defended, that it brings me no small amount of joy when a leading evolutionary proponent exposes their true agenda.  The following is an example evolutionary proponents being intolerant of any other religion except their own.

 The Creation Museum

The Creationist organisation, Answers in Genesis, has their very own Creation Museum.  This museum is a privately funded Christian entity.  They entered into a business arraignment with another entity, the Cincinnati Zoo, to provide tickets to both the zoo and the museum at a reduced price if purchased in a “bundle”.  The idea was to bring more tourism to the city and to both the museum and the zoo.

However, on Monday Dec 1st, about 48 hours after the deal was finalized, the Cincinnati zoo pulled out.  The zoo was inundated with emails and phone calls regarding their affiliation with the Creation Museum.  The cries all had the same message, the zoo should not be affiliated with Christianity. 

 Don’t Be Fooled; Atheists Have a Leader, and They are Organized

But how did they anti-Christian forces mobilize so quickly?  Once P.Z. Meyers over at Pharyngula makes a point of something, it becomes common knowledge in the atheistic community within 24 hours.   Fortunately for us, Meyers displays his intolerance for Christianity proudly.  His rant began:

The Cincinnati Zoo is promoting an anti-science, anti-education con job run by ignorant creationists. . . . I believe the Cincinnati Zoo has betrayed its mission and its trust in a disgraceful way, by aligning themselves with a creationist institution that is a laughing stock to the rest of the world, and a mark of shame to the United States. I urge everyone to contact the zoo; write to their education and marketing and public relations departments in particular and point out the conflict between what they are doing and what their goal as an educational and research institution ought to be.

Wait, “anti-science”?  “Anti-education”?  Talk about strawmen of epic proportions.  Answers in Genesis has, on staff, dozens of Ph.D’s in biology, microbiology, genetics, nuerology, physics, geology, archaeology and many other fields.  These guys aren’t “scientists” just because they disagree with Dr. Meyers?  Apparently, P.Z. defines what a “scientist” is.   Also, at no time has AiG supported Creationism being taught in public schools.

To accomplish this intolerance P.Z. continues:

While you’re at it, it might be even more effective to contact the newsroom at the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Cincinnati weekly, City Beat. Let’s raise a stink and give these guys the bad PR they deserve.

This is religious zealotry at it’s best.  A call to arms to stand up for their common religous cause! 

Atheism is a Religion That Doesn’t Tolerate Any Other Viewpoint

To give more examples of this intolerance, not to mention ignorance, one only has to quickly scan some of the comments on Pharyngula.

 Also smells very strongly of the typical creationist “what can we do to make people think we’re mainstream science educators?” principle

Ah, yes, Christians aren’t mainstream educators so we have to try and fool people.  I love it. 

Yes, the Cininnati [sic] Zoo has betrayed science, and common sense. There are people who take a literal interpretation of a something that is over 2000 years old without questioning it. If these people want to keep their believes [sic] private that is their right. However, to pollute the public sphere is just wrong.

The atheists believe they have the monopoly on science and what is considered “common sense”.  This campaign against the Creation Museum was exactly designed to berate any other viewpoint that isn’t their own into submission.  This is tolerance?

THIS MAY BE CREATION MUSEUM FRAUD Before everyone begins slamming the Cincinnati Zoo, let’s verify this.

Atheists are taught that Christian’s modus operandi is to lie in order to further our cause. 

Well I smell a lawsuit coming up. If the zoo really is part of the public school system and it really is promoting creationism, then they are in blatant violation of the constitution. This will be a good case to establish precedent and if persued [sic], should cause everyone to realize what a deceitful bunch of hypocrites the creationists really are.

This individual is mistaken.  A private zoo is NOT part of the public school system.  This individual also buys in to the P.Z. Meyers canard that if an individual doesn’t believe in molecules-to-man evolution they are either ignorant or lying.  However, the implication contained within this comment is much more troubling.  This individual wants any entity in the scientific, governmental, or educational realms to be legally barred from dealing with Christian organizations.  The only religion the government would be then able to deal with would be evolution.  This is not an isolated sentiment.

The best example of the power of the intolerant atheistic leadership, is a quote by a Dr. Leach who wrote an email to the Cincinnati Zoo.  The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that:

“They seem like diametrically opposed institutions,” said Dr. James Leach, a Cincinnati radiologist who e-mailed zoo officials about his concerns. “The Cincinnati Zoo is one of this city’s treasures. The Creation Museum is an international laughingstock.”

Where do you think Dr. Leach got that terminology, “international laughingstock”?  Pharyngula anyone?  If the atheists don’t think they follow leadership, they’re fooling themselves. 

The Creation Museum is an international laughingstock according to whom?  The secular academic community?  Is this the same academic community that calls for any mention of Intelligent Design to be soundly and immediately squelched, dare I say, expelled?  That have decided, a priori and prima facie, that Intelligent Design is impossible?  Forgive me if I don’t consider them the nuetral party the atheists portray them to be. 

This post wouldn’t be complete without my favorite comment found on the Cincinnati Enquirer website:

What idiot would believe the earth was 6000 years old? The zoo has shamed itself. It will next be promoting with witches, neo nazis, KKK members and other neanderthals like those running the creation museum…I guess the folks that go to the creationist museum had trouble giving up their beliefs in santa claus, the easter bunny, and the fairy tale too. let these morons believe what they want, but put them in their own state (seems like they are already living in a state of denial) or send them to guantanamo.

The atheists and evolutionists who moved to block the business relationship between a Christian entity and a privately owned zoo, are organized and motivated to shut down any other viewpoint besides their own.  Christians should be confined so that we cannot explore our beliefs in any other venue except inside our homes and churchs.  Doesn’t this sound eerily like certain “ghetto’s” that were set up some seventy years ago in some distant European country?  Send them where they can’t be seen, heard or bother anyone else.  Now, how’s THAT for tolerance?

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68 Comments on “The Intolerance of Evolution”

  1. Jason Says:

    PZ and everyone who mindlessly does his bidding are thugs. They gang up, overwhelm their chosen targets and force them to comply.

  2. dwilli58 Says:

    The best way to silence the truth is to make use of the enemy’s world system to suppress it! PZ, is a fool to God, and somewhere, deep inside, PZ knows it and resents it. Atheists are like stubborn children who, having been caught in a lie, will resort to anything, no matter how despicable, to not be found out. This is true of material scientists and their fairy tales disguised as scientific theories also!

    The atheist’s father, as you know, is “the father of lies,” so should we really expect anything better from PZ and his FEW, little friends?

    Great post! God’s truth, in the end, will become reality! This is our hope and future!!!!

  3. pricegutshall Says:

    “ERIC KEMP: Evolutionary scientists, and atheists alike, have long fooled themselves into believing that they are neutral. This belief in their own neutrality has led to an overall disgust for worldviews that are considered non-neutral. In fact, evolutionists, and atheists in particular, have long derided Christians for their ‘intolerance’. Not only is this an erroneous accusation since there is no partiality with God, it’s a hypocritical one. The myth of evolutionary neutrality is so staunchly defended, that it brings me no small amount of joy when a leading evolutionary proponent exposes their true agenda. The following is an example evolutionary proponents being intolerant of any other religion except their own.”

    Perhaps a justified position since the most vocal members of the Christian community in the U.S., the Christian Right, condemn homosexuals (applying Nazi-like phrases such as ‘homosexual agenda’) and have been thus far successful in denying rights to ordinary citizens, blame the apparent ‘moral decay’ of our nation as well as national crises on secularism and homosexuality, and call for the eradication of non-Godly individuals from the public arena. The group is quite ‘intolerant’ of the beliefs of even their fellow Christians who, they believe, do not follow Christ correctly. The efforts of Intelligent Design and Creationism advocates continue to devalue the fundamental philosophy of ‘science.’ With outspoken opponents exhibiting no less than fundamental misunderstandings of the Theory of Evolution alongside radical disrespect for the accepted scientific model, establishments such as the Creation Museum are easily considered attacks on proper scientific inquiry.

    “ERIC KEMP: The Creationist organisation, Answers in Genesis, has their very own Creation Museum. This museum is a privately funded Christian entity. They entered into a business arraignment with another entity, the Cincinnati Zoo, to provide tickets to both the zoo and the museum at a reduced price if purchased in a “bundle”. The idea was to bring more tourism to the city and to both the museum and the zoo.
    However, on Monday Dec 1st, about 48 hours after the deal was finalized, the Cincinnati zoo pulled out. The zoo was inundated with emails and phone calls regarding their affiliation with the Creation Museum. The cries all had the same message, the zoo should not be affiliated with Christianity.”

    The cries are that the zoo should not advocate false science.

    “ERIC KEMP: Don’t Be Fooled; Atheists Have a Leader, and They are Organized
    But how did they anti-Christian forces mobilize so quickly? Once P.Z. Meyers over at Pharyngula makes a point of something, it becomes common knowledge in the atheistic community within 24 hours. Fortunately for us, Meyers displays his intolerance for Christianity proudly. His rant began:
    Wait, “anti-science”? “Anti-education”? Talk about strawmen of epic proportions. Answers in Genesis has, on staff, dozens of Ph.D’s in biology, microbiology, genetics, nuerology, physics, geology, archaeology and many other fields. These guys aren’t “scientists” just because they disagree with Dr. Meyers? Apparently, P.Z. defines what a “scientist” is. Also, at no time has AiG supported Creationism being taught in public schools.”

    Antagonists of evolution often disregard the near full consensus of scientists on the theory of evolution, yet argue that their story is validated by the fact that a few members of the academic community are working busily to make their hypotheses worth something. I believe that Meyers, though a bit aggressive in his speech, is justified in calling such efforts ‘anti-science,’ since, again, the ID and creation model undermine the fundamental tenets of scientific investigation.

    “ERIC KEMP: This is religious zealotry at it’s best. A call to arms to stand up for their common religous cause!”

    Religion is defined as a system of beliefs in supernaturalism and moral absolutism. Science, by definition, disregards supernatural explanations for phenomenon and is certainly indifferent as well as logically inhibited to moral inquiry. That is, science, by definition, is not a religion. Normative value cannot be derived from naturalistic claims (as David Hume proved, see the Naturalistic Fallacy), and the failure of modern sociobiology and evolutionary ethics to do so is evidence of that fact. However, science can investigate the naturalistic and behavioral phenomenon associated with normative ethics.

    The irony in your statement is dangerous indeed. With the growth of movements such as BattleCry—where teenagers chant ‘We are God’s Warriors’—and the prevalent ‘call to arms’ of dominionist organizations to literally take over the American government and instill Christian values into all corners of the public sector, is much more ‘real’ than your assertion, since it is actually happening. Answers In Genesis, the organization you mentioned, holds seminars where children as young as 2 years old repeat in sync that ‘evolution is wrong. God is our creator.’ Family value organizations promote homeschooling where students are taught obedience to their ‘Christian’ God, where questioning and critical thought are viewed as sinful and dangerous. They are then pumped into radical evangelist universities that mold them into anti-homosexual and anti-secularist advocates, prepared to do what it takes to claim America as theirs.
    David Barton and WallBuilders actively rewrite American history, painting a picture of some ideal evangelical Christian past of the nation. This movement is unique to the United States and foreshadows a disturbing world where, if these individuals are successful, children can be put to death for talking back to their parents, women slain if virginity is sacrificed prior to marriage, slavery justified, and homosexuality, dissent, and belief in other religions punishable by death.

    To believe that ‘secularism’ and the movement away from ‘Biblical values’ is the cause of moral decay (which I believe does not exist), then the Middle Ages and earlier periods of colonization are the most ideal and moral times in human history. Secularism has placed value in humanity that no religion has been capable of doing. We live in a time where the ethical treatment of our enemies is considered, where minorities and oppressed people are given the same rights as the ruling class, and scientific inquiry, the one despised by religious radicalism, has generated medical and technological advances that make our lives easier, healthier, and more productive.

    “ERIC KEMP: Ah, yes, Christians aren’t mainstream educators so we have to try and fool people. I love it.”

    These individuals are trying to maintain the integrity of their practice, which is under assault by creationist propagandists who want to equate their beliefs with scientific theories. While it is not a conscious attempt—at least I hope it is not—to ‘fool’ people, it is blatantly a method to devalue the scientific model by equating a story written by people who didn’t know anything about creation. Answers in Genesis advocates a story that suggests that the light on Earth preceded the birth of the Sun. A story where the names of all the animals were given by Adam (an explanation for how such words came to be); it is a story where Noah built an arc and included two members of each species of animal (all several millions of them) so that they may survive (as scientific observation has shown us, it is impossible for a population of 2 to survive extinction). To equate Genesis to the theory of evolution, especially as a rebuttal, devalues the project of science altogether.

    “ERIC KEMP: The atheists believe they have the monopoly on science and what is considered “common sense”. This campaign against the Creation Museum was exactly designed to berate any other viewpoint that isn’t their own into submission. This is tolerance?”

    No. If the Creation Museum were simply to market itself as a representation of Genesis, then criticism would not be deserved. It is the fact that it promotes itself as a valid explanation against the theory of evolution that deserves it the criticism hence received.

    “ERIC KEMP: Atheists are taught that Christian’s modus operandi is to lie in order to further our cause.”

    By whom are they taught? Furthermore, at least for atheists such as myself, I do not identify anti-truth movements to all Christians. I associate it with Bible literalists who can somehow believe that both accounts of the nativity were true, and that all three presentations of the Ten Commandments are valid despite not only contradictions between them, but by other actions demanded by God after its introduction. It is attempt by radical Christians to hold on to their beliefs of Biblical ineffability, and they identify those who do not share their beliefs (including Christians AND non-Christians) as enemies of God, and therefore their own foes.

    “ERIC KEMP: This individual is mistaken. A private zoo is NOT part of the public school system. This individual also buys in to the P.Z. Meyers canard that if an individual doesn’t believe in molecules-to-man evolution they are either ignorant or lying. However, the implication contained within this comment is much more troubling. This individual wants any entity in the scientific, governmental, or educational realms to be legally barred from dealing with Christian organizations. The only religion the government would be then able to deal with would be evolution. This is not an isolated sentiment.”

    You should restrain your tendency to exaggerate, as it is misleading and quite aggressive. As atheists and Americans, we believe that it is the duty of the United States government to refrain from associating itself with religious organizations insofar that it advocates, endorses, or shows preference to one belief system over others. It must maintain itself as religiously neutral in order to protect the individual rights granted by our Constitution. When the government allocates funding to a religious sect, as George W. Bush has done with ‘faith-based initiatives,’ it consequently favors one religion over others.

    The government would not operate based on the principles of evolution (and I do not know how that could even be done), but it should respect the sanctity of scientific inquiry. In regards to education, science should be taught as science. Since evolution is the most accepted theory of biology, the underlying principles from which modern biology is derived, why shouldn’t evolution be taught? If it were not, then it would deny students any understanding of derivative biology. The anomalies of evolutionary theory do nothing to discredit what it has already proven, and furthermore has no relation to the biology that has since been built upon the theory, so why should evolution’s anomalies be taught? They are irrelevant to studying biology unless you continue studying the field in higher education, where then the anomalies are taught as unanswered inquiries pending further investigation (which is, of course, all that they are). Why teach ID as an opposing theory? Or creationism? Neither “theory” has been validated by evidence or experimental results. They do not answer those inquiries such that biology can continue to progress. They fail to represent proper science, and are best considered default appeals by those who cannot separate their spirituality from science.

    “ERIC KEMP: The best example of the power of the intolerant atheistic leadership, is a quote by a Dr. Leach who wrote an email to the Cincinnati Zoo. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that:“They seem like diametrically opposed institutions,” said Dr. James Leach, a Cincinnati radiologist who e-mailed zoo officials about his concerns. “The Cincinnati Zoo is one of this city’s treasures. The Creation Museum is an international laughingstock.”
    Where do you think Dr. Leach got that terminology, “international laughingstock”? Pharyngula anyone? If the atheists don’t think they follow leadership, they’re fooling themselves.”

    No. He got it from the fact that non-American academic institutions, foreign governments, and citizens of other countries refer to the creationist movement as an “American phenomenon,” one that stunts scientific progress and indoctrinates the masses with ideas written by men during the Bronze Age. Unlike the United States, much of the developed world celebrates its religious past by resuming the rituals instilled in their culture, but recognize that human progress has explained worldly phenomenon more efficiently and more powerfully than religious texts, written by people who had not yet developed better methods of explanation. Understandably, people do find it comical that many Americans still grasp onto mythical stories that invoke talking snakes, a world created with light before the Sun, and where men apparently shared the land with dinosaurs.

    “ERIC KEMP: The Creation Museum is an international laughingstock according to whom? The secular academic community? Is this the same academic community that calls for any mention of Intelligent Design to be soundly and immediately squelched, dare I say, expelled? That have decided, a priori and prima facie, that Intelligent Design is impossible? Forgive me if I don’t consider them the nuetral party the atheists portray them to be.”

    Modern science, a product of the enlightenment, is a departure from the ‘a priori’ method. A priori asserts that knowledge is embedded in man, by God or nature, before experience. Descartes argued that experience allowed us to apply the knowledge, allocate its meaning somewhere. It is the a posteriori paradigm— that knowledge is obtained through experience and empirical observation— that dominates scientific investigation. Intelligent Design has been refuted so many times among scientists, namely because it is not a conclusion based on observations of biological mechanics but rather a claim under which its advocates rationalize ‘complexity’ and anthropomorphize its origins, that it is often cast out when a member of the community suggests it. They are a neutral party insofar that if evidence or an experiment results in the refutation of a hypothesis, then that hypothesis is abandoned.

    “ERIC KEMP: The atheists and evolutionists who moved to block the business relationship between a Christian entity and a privately owned zoo, are organized and motivated to shut down any other viewpoint besides their own. Christians should be confined so that we cannot explore our beliefs in any other venue except inside our homes and churchs. Doesn’t this sound eerily like certain “ghetto’s” that were set up some seventy years ago in some distant European country? Send them where they can’t be seen, heard or bother anyone else. Now, how’s THAT for tolerance?”

    While I don’t agree with the statements to which you refer, and quite rare of a response, it is understandable that they would be reduced to offensive suggestions given the complete assault on scientific integrity brought forth by the groups whom he cites. We are constantly painted as enemies, subjected to hateful language, falsely accused of being anti-American and fascist conspirators, and blamed for the harms of society. It is a defensive response, I should hope, that he would imply such actions occur. But, you should keep in mind that the powerful and ever-growing Christian right, an organized coalition set out to implement the aforementioned and familiar Nazi-like policies against their opposition, are much more well-funded, more strongly supported, and more politically and socially influential than an atheist in Cincinnati. Your tense language and accusations are evidence of that very perspective, and I along with the few others who see this fascist movement taking place am unsettled.

  4. morsec0de Says:

    What PZ did was perfectly correct and legal. He protested and complained. He didn’t try and make a law to outlaw Christianity. He didn’t firebomb the Creation Museum or the zoo. He complained, and expressed his complaint to others, and they complained as well. And the zoo decided it would better be served by not affiliating itself with the museum.

    What’s wrong with that? Nothing. Nor would it be wrong if Christians were protesting and complaining something as well.

  5. krissmith777 Says:

    To Eric Kemp,

    This quote caught my interest: “What idiot would believe the earth was 6000 years old? The zoo has shamed itself. It will next be promoting with witches, neo nazis, KKK members and other neanderthals like those running the creation museum.”

    So basically if you believe the earth is 6,000 years old you are an idiot.
    I’m a Creationist that is actually open-minded to the age of the earth. But all the same I guess I would be placed in the same major generalization.

    I’ve started to read some of Pharyngula posts in the past and I stopped pretty quickly. The man has a real habbit of using personal insults and ad honinum attacks against both Creationists and Intelligent Designers.

    I remember in one post, even though he did give a detailed refutation of one paper written by the Discovery Institute’s Casy Luskin, he also went all out with personal attacks on his character and called him an ignoramous (which Casey is not, though the paper he wrote could have been better argued.)

    He also has done the same with AiG’s Ken Ham. And now he is calling the runners of the Creation Museum Neanderthals which is an insult cuestioning their intelligence.

    I really do not pay attention to the charges that we Creationists are “Anti-Science” because we know that charge is a bunch of bullcrap.

    Anyone who would put us in the same category as the KKK, and Neo-Nazis really doe not warrent refutation. The man is Fundamentalist (and I mean “Fundamentalist”) Neo-Darwinist that cannot stand people having a differing view than he.

    Just ignore him, like I have been doing. He isn’t worth your time.

  6. Matt Says:

    Well said, pricegutshall.

  7. Eric Kemp Says:

    Morsecode

    I wasn’t saying it was wrong, I just said it was intolerant.

  8. dwilli58 Says:

    Eugenics, the “Branch Davidian” of evolution was responsible for the Nazi atrocities in WW II, so, pricegutshall , I would stay away from those types of arguments, since you’re wading through moral quicksand!

    As an evolutionist, you of all people should be against homosexuality, since it is against the “nature” of things and smacks survival of the fittest right in the mouth! There are those far right fanatics that seek to do harm, but most Christians (the ones who are never heard) only state, when asked, that homosexuality is an illness of mind and heart, because that is what we believe. God, loves all people, but not all people, who profess God, love!

    You guys have a real persecution complex, yet you are always the ones who are attacking! I don’t go to atheist sites and troll around, but I’m constantly assaulted by atheists on my site. You guys are winning! The school systems, the government and science research are all under your control, so what’s your beef really. Or would you like to do away with all people of faith?

  9. Eric Kemp Says:

    Kris

    Yea, I’m not saying P.Z. isn’t a smart guy. I’m saying that P.Z. is a religious zealot who will use ANY means necessary to not only defend his faith but to squelch ANY opposition to it. P.Z., while belligerent and offensive, is actually a great thing for Creationists. When an atheist claims they are tolerant, or neutral, or aren’t a religion, all we have to do is point at P.Z.’s behavior and the argument ends. Despite his best efforts, Pharyngula is a great resource to the Christian community if they know what to use it for.

    Eric

  10. morsec0de Says:

    But you implied it was wrong.

    Intolerant is not always bad. I am intolerant of murderers, criminals and child abusers. I think that’s a good quality I have.

  11. morsec0de Says:

    Oh, and atheism isn’t a religion, nor is it based on faith of any kind.

    Now, go ahead and ignore that like I’m sure you will.

  12. Eric Kemp Says:

    Are you equating the business relationship between two private entities with murder, crime and child abuse? As in, therefore the intolerance shown to the Christian organization was a good thing?

    And I implied that I disagree with P.Z.’s, and the atheist communities’ actions, which I obviously do.

    So wait, just to clarify, being an atheist doesn’t take ANY faith?

  13. morsec0de Says:

    No. I’m also intolerant of people who cut their nails in public, but I wouldn’t say they were equal to murderers.

    I do find being intolerant of anti-science organizations trying to pass themselves off as scientific a good thing.

    And yes, using the religious definition of the word, being an atheist takes zero faith.

  14. Matt Says:

    Eugenics, the “Branch Davidian” of evolution was responsible for the Nazi atrocities in WW II, so, pricegutshall , I would stay away from those types of arguments, since you’re wading through moral quicksand!

    Eugenics and Social Darwinism both existed and were practised long before Darwin went on his little sailing trip. I suggest you brush up on your history a little.

    As an evolutionist, you of all people should be against homosexuality, since it is against the “nature” of things and smacks survival of the fittest right in the mouth!

    Homosexual behaviour has been observed throughout nature, across numerous species. There is nothing terribly unnatural about it.

  15. Eric Kemp Says:

    Pricegutshall

    “blame the apparent ‘moral decay’ of our nation as well as national crises on secularism and homosexuality, and call for the eradication of non-Godly individuals from the public arena.”

    Absolutely false. If you want to make generalizations about Christians, then at least be honest about the difference between Christians who are tolerant and those who aren’t. I made no such generalizations about ALL atheists being intolerant (although the vast majority of atheists DO fool themselves into thinking that they are nuetral). The article is about single instance of intolerance that I have concluded is part of a growing trend. If you want to bring to me a instance of Christian intolerance, I’ll probably agree with you. Standing up for the definition of marriage and attempting to squelch homosexual business relationships are completely different. The former is merely standing up for what you believe while the latter is what the atheists did to AiG.

    “The efforts of Intelligent Design and Creationism advocates continue to devalue the fundamental philosophy of ‘science.’”

    Can you tell me, specifically please, how and why Creationism is contrary to the “fundamental philosophy of science”; you could start by explaining what that is in the first place.

    “The cries are that the zoo should not advocate false science.”

    According to whom? P.Z. Meyers? So you’re saying that because the Creation Museum doesn’t follow your definition of science, they can’t do business with anyone? Also, are you suggesting that the academic community has a complete consensus on what “science” is? Give me a break.

    “Antagonists of evolution often disregard the near full consensus of scientists on the theory of evolution, yet argue that their story is validated by the fact that a few members of the academic community are working busily to make their hypotheses worth something.”

    “Full consensus” is over stating it, just a bit. Ok, so it’s overstating it alot. Creationists don’t claim that their model is valid based on numbers, nor does numbers make your position “more” true. The Creationist position is that your atheistic presuppositions are no more valid than our Christian presupposition.
    So at least get the argument right.

    “Religion is defined as a system of beliefs in supernaturalism and moral absolutism.”

    Um, you’re going to have to do a bit more comparative religion research. Moral absolutes are not a requirement to be a religion. I agree that a religion is a system of beliefs, based in the supernatural. Atheism, and evolution, fit this perfectly. You claim to only believe in the natural in order to cover up your believe in the supernatural. I have written two major posts on this topic, “Abiogenesis: The Atheistic Creation Story” and “Forknowledge, his Brother, and Their Belief in the Supernatural“.

    “Science, by definition, disregards supernatural explanations for phenomenon . . .”

    Honest question. How do you know that the supernatural isn’t an explanation for some phenomena? And did scientific inquiry tell science to disregard the supernatural? I mean to ask, how do you know that this is the correct definition of science? What told you this?

    “That is, science, by definition, is not a religion.”

    True, but atheism is.

    “The irony in your statement is dangerous indeed. With the growth of movements such as BattleCry—where teenagers chant ‘We are God’s Warriors’—and the prevalent ‘call to arms’ of dominionist organizations to literally take over the American government and instill Christian values into all corners of the public sector”

    Yup, the difference is that you’re fooling yourself into thinking that the secularists aren’t doing the same thing. The Christians are just honest about it.

    “Answers In Genesis, the organization you mentioned, holds seminars where children as young as 2 years old repeat in sync that ‘evolution is wrong. God is our creator.’ Family value organizations promote homeschooling where students are taught obedience to their ‘Christian’ God, where questioning and critical thought are viewed as sinful and dangerous.”

    Yup, and you are trying to indoctrinate children as well, just as young, in telling them that the Genesis account is nothing more than myth, and that it is an absolute fact that we all came from pond scum. That these children are descendents of apes. Yes, Christian values such as honesty, humility, love, respect, etc, those are definetly things that we don’t want kids learning anything about. Also, your assertion that questioning isn’t allowed is straight up ridiculous. Here is the difference. When I say “critical thought” I am meaning reasoning through what God is telling us through His Word, and the evidences for that God, scientific and non-scientific, and not taking it at face value what a teacher tells me. When YOU say “critical thought”, you mean to come to a wholehearted belief that science is the only way to true knowledge and any religion is just hogwash. So yes, YOUR kind of critical thinking is frowned upon in Christian circles, why are you surprised?

    “This movement is unique to the United States and foreshadows a disturbing world where, if these individuals are successful, children can be put to death for talking back to their parents, women slain if virginity is sacrificed prior to marriage, slavery justified, and homosexuality, dissent, and belief in other religions punishable by death.”

    LOL, the ridiculous crap you atheists are fed all in the name of rejecting God is simply amazing. AT no point is any of this expressed in orthodox Christianity. But, if this is what you must believe to justify your intolerance of Christianity, then I can’t stop you.

    “Secularism has placed value in humanity that no religion has been capable of doing.”

    How so? Human beings are nothing more than evolved animals that have no choice but to be annihilated when they die? Love is nothing more that chemical interactions in the brain that trick you into passing on your DNA. Any “meaning” you give your life is pure self delusion that disappears when you die, just like your soul. Oh wait, you don’t have one. You are nothing but chemical interactions in your cerebral cortex, fed by the responses for electrical impulses in the brainstem. Christianity tells you that God loves you, you have a soul and a purpose that is bigger than yourself, and our viewpoint doesn’t value humanity? Come again?

    “scientific inquiry, the one despised by religious radicalism, has generated medical and technological advances that make our lives easier, healthier, and more productive.”

    Funny, I was under the impression that science was begun in the 18th century by Bible believing YEC’s like Descartes, Newton, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Bacon etc, and that creationists and organizations like AiG fully embrace scientific enquiry. But that would destroy your argument so you can just ignore that.

    “While it is not a conscious attempt—at least I hope it is not—to ‘fool’ people, it is blatantly a method to devalue the scientific model by equating a story written by people who didn’t know anything about creation.”

    The atheistic “creation” of abiogenesis and molecules-to-man evolution is no less a “story” than Genesis is.

    “Answers in Genesis advocates a story that suggests that the light on Earth preceded the birth of the Sun.”

    Here’s the point, you have no scientific evidence that such a thing is impossible. Especially if God DID create the sun, light preceding is not unlikely at all, God is all-powerful remember? All honest science can say is that “all light in the cosmos comes from stars now”. Any kind of extrapolation of this evidence into the unobserved past is nothing but conjecture full of naturalistic bias.

    “To equate Genesis to the theory of evolution, especially as a rebuttal, devalues the project of science altogether.”

    Creationists merely pit the Genesis account against the unscientific, philosophical conclusion of “therefore we all have a common ancestor”. “Evolution” is obvious and not the point, it’s extrapolating out observed evolution to heights no one has ever see it go that AiG puts Genesis up against.

    “By whom are they taught?”

    Atheistic leadership such as P.Z. Meyers, Richard Dawkins, that one guy that looks like he needs a hug (I forget his name), and the writers of several popular blogs (The Panda’s Thumb is one of them). These are your teachers.

    “It is attempt by radical Christians to hold on to their beliefs of Biblical ineffability, and they identify those who do not share their beliefs (including Christians AND non-Christians) as enemies of God, and therefore their own foes.”

    That’s so funny. It’s only the Christians that deviate from what you think they should believe that you have a problem with. Yup, that makes you less intolerant and your position more reasonable.

    “As atheists and Americans, we believe that it is the duty of the United States government to refrain from associating itself with religious organizations insofar that it advocates, endorses, or shows preference to one belief system over others. It must maintain itself as religiously neutral in order to protect the individual rights granted by our Constitution.”

    Uh, “seperation of church and state” contrary to popular belief, is NOT in the constitution. It’s an interpretation OF the constitution. Furthurmore, you are flat deluding yourself into thinking that the atheistic community is mobilizing to keep the government from favoring any belief system. What they’re really doing is mobilizing to force the government to only deal with their own belief system. There is no such thing as religiously neutral, and the only way you get away with saying that with a straight face is to fool yourself into thinking that atheism isn’t a belief system as well.

    “The government would not operate based on the principles of evolution (and I do not know how that could even be done), but it should respect the sanctity of scientific inquiry”

    Yup, that’s what Christians want, an end to scientific enquiry. You’ve got it all figured out.

    “Since evolution is the most accepted theory of biology, the underlying principles from which modern biology is derived, why shouldn’t evolution be taught?”

    No one, including AiG, has ever said evolution shouldn’t be taught. Your run of strawmen arguments and just straight false beliefs is honestly incredible.

    But don’t you think it’s dishonest to teach a scientific theory as absolute fact (as it is)? Also, no theory about origins has ever been, or ever will be proven. That’s the point. You can claim all you want that evolution, the molecules-to-man kind, has been proven, but that’s just false.

    “It is the a posteriori paradigm— that knowledge is obtained through experience and empirical observation— that dominates scientific investigation.”

    While I agree with you, atheism throws out this a posteriori method when it comes to it’s own origins stories, because there can be no empirical experience regarding the beginning of the universe and life. And yet, when God is postulated, they go “Nope! The supernatural isn’t empirical so therefore we can’t believe it!”, it’s all very convenient.

    And please, don’t fake being the martyr. If a radical religious right is growing, and I’m a part of it, it’s only in response to a growing and powerful group of
    militant atheists. To pretend that you guys are the underdogs against the big bad powerful church, is just ridiculous. My snark and admitted frustration evident in this article is 1. only returned at the same level it is given and 2. due not to any disagreement I have with any other individual or entity, but with the atheistic canard of neutrality while at the same time attempting to expell all disagreement in the scientific, academic and public realm. It’s hypocritical and it forces smoke out of my ears. If we disagree, then let’s talk about it, but don’t do everything to get me be quiet, it will only make me louder.

  16. Eric Kemp Says:

    morsec0de

    “I do find being intolerant of anti-science organizations trying to pass themselves off as scientific a good thing.”

    Ah yes, you are intolerant of everyone that doesn’t come to a conclusion that YOU deem “scientific”. Sounds about like what I was saying in the article.

    “And yes, using the religious definition of the word, being an atheist takes zero faith.”

    The religious definition? How about we just use the American Heritage Dictionary. “Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.” and “A set of principles or beliefs.” Just so we’re on the same page, still sticking by that your atheism doesn’t take any faith?

  17. Eric Kemp Says:

    Matt

    “Homosexual behaviour has been observed throughout nature, across numerous species. There is nothing terribly unnatural about it.”

    Come on man, you of all people know that just because it’s been observed in nature doesn’t make the trait biologically fit. In fact, homosexuality is the opposite of the definition of biological fitness, which leads to a trait being selected, because there IS NO reproduction that can take place in a homosexual union. How do you get around this, believing in evolution yet still believing that homosexuality is “ok”?

  18. morsec0de Says:

    I’m intolerant of everyone who ignores the scientific method and tries to support than anti-science. My personal opinion has nothing to do with whether they are using real science or not.

    Still sticking by the AH definition, atheism does not require faith. It is neither a set of principles or beliefs (it is, at most, a single belief…a lack of belief in this case), nor something that doesn’t rest on logic or material evidence. It rests on the lack of material evidence and the lack of logic of religious claims.

  19. morsec0de Says:

    “How do you get around this, believing in evolution yet still believing that homosexuality is “ok”?”

    Evolution is not about what is “ok” or “not ok”. It’s about what IS.

    And while I’m not Matt, the simple act of population control seems to be more than enough of a reason for homosexuality to be a trait that exists in most species.

  20. Eric Kemp Says:

    morsec0de

    “Evolution is not about what is “ok” or “not ok”. It’s about what IS.”

    Fair enough.

    “And while I’m not Matt, the simple act of population control seems to be more than enough of a reason for homosexuality to be a trait that exists in most species.”

    Ok, so would say then that homosexuality is a genetic mutation that is selected for in only over-populated areas? And would be unselected for if not over-populated?

    I’ll tackle our “faith” conversation later tonight or tomorrow, I have somewhere to be tonight. Thanks for your patience.

  21. krissmith777 Says:

    Hey Eric Kemp, How’s it going?

    I just finished part 8 of my refutation of the “Jesus Myth” crowd.

    It’s a refutation of the idea that the Genesis flood of Noah is copied off Gilgamesh. So in case you’re interested, here’s a link:

    http://explanationblog.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/the-myth-of-jesus-a-refutation-of-the-zeitgeist-part-8/

    PS. It turned out much more easy to refute than I thought.

  22. House Says:

    Pricegutshall that was a well written post. It was clear, concise, and logical, it will also completely fail.

  23. krissmith777 Says:

    To Eric Kemp,

    You say: “I was under the impression that science was begun in the 18th century by Bible believing YEC’s like Descartes, Newton, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Bacon etc, and that creationists and organizations like AiG fully embrace scientific enquiry. But that would destroy your argument so you can just ignore that.”

    And Louis Pasteur. Wouldn’t want to forget him. And also Gregor Mendel.

  24. Thomas Says:

    Eric, it seems you want to expose atheists as intolerant by citing this example of protest by Meyers. You admit, though, that Christians do the same thing. A pastor may call for a boycott of Disneyworld because of their support for homosexuals. A church may call for a protest against a certain business for allying with a business of questionable values. Like them, Meyers is expressing his opinion and trying to get others to protest alongside with him. It seems to me that you portray this method in a negative light; your first two commenters portray this as ganging up and suppressing. But there is nothing wrong with using this method. It’s simply about making yourself heard in an organized way.

    As has already been said in previous comments, there is nothing wrong with intolerance, per se. There are certain sinful acts that no one tolerates, like murder or stealing. Within religions, there are certain beliefs that no one of that particular religion can tolerate. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is when one member of a religion does not tolerate another’s existence and kills him, or when different points of view are not tolerated in a discussion that is supposed to be an open discussion.

    So it seems that you are saying that Meyers’ intolerance is wrong because he is against another group with its own scientific perspective from forming a business partnership with another entity. I do not think, however, that Meyers would object to the creation museum’s right to form a business alliance, but he does find it wrong that an entity that is supposed to be teaching accurate science (the zoo) is giving implicit approval to a group that is not teaching good science (the creation museum), from his perspective. From his perspective, creationism is bad science, and within that framework, his actions are right. He is simply saying to the zoo, “If you choose to support this museum, I will choose to take my business elsewhere.”

    As offensive as Meyers and his supporters may come across, I think his method was fine, and I think he is not being intolerant in a bad way.

    Another note, you portray this particular conflict as one between atheistic forces and Christian forces, but you should note that Meyers and the others’ quotes only address creationism, not Christianity. At least in the quotes on your blog, they are expressing intolerance for a scientific perspective, not a religious one. I think it is dangerous to equate attacks on YECers as attacks on Christians, and likewise, I think it dangerous to equate the YEC movement with Christianity.

  25. Eric Kemp Says:

    Thomas

    Welcome back!

    For the record: By no means am I holding up tolerance as some ineffable good. In fact, I believe this society has elevated tolerance far higher than it should go.

    That being said, I do believe there is a difference between standing up for your worldview, which is what this blog is all about, and attempting to suppress all those that disagree with you. Meyers, and all his militant atheistic buddies, are doing the latter. Follow Pharyngula for about a week and the truth of this will become obvious to you. You say: ” . . . but he does find it wrong that an entity that is supposed to be teaching accurate science (the zoo) is giving implicit approval to a group that is not teaching good science (the creation museum), from his perspective.” This is exactly the point. Atheism has decided that they have the monopoly on what is science and anyone who disagrees with their definition absolutely cannot be practicing science. And since they can’t be practicing science, we will do everything in our power to stop them from pretending to do science. This is their presupposition, and this is how they behave. They don’t want to have an honest conversation where they stand up for their worldview, they want the Christians to shut their mouths and stick to their churchs and homes.

    “I think it is dangerous to equate attacks on YECers as attacks on Christians, and likewise, I think it dangerous to equate the YEC movement with Christianity.”

    Well, as you don’t begrudge Meyers working within his framework, you can’t begrudge me working within mine. It is my position that if someone calls themselves a Christian then they should believe the words of Jesus, who took Genesis literally. You and I have already gone over such material, and you say you are working on it.

    But, Thomas, I think this comment speaks to your overall position on Christianity. Let me ask you a question: Should you stand up for Word of God or not offend secularism? You can’t have both, you have to choose. So far, it seems, you have chosen the latter.

  26. Eric Kemp Says:

    Kris

    I know! I’ve been seeing every post you’ve made on the subject in my blogsurfer and kick myself for not yet finding the time to read them. But I will, and I look forward to it. Thanks for the update.

    Eric

  27. dwilli58 Says:

    Eugenics and Social Darwinism both existed and were practised long before Darwin went on his little sailing trip. I suggest you brush up on your history a little.

    So what? Does that dismiss what Hitler and the other atheists did in Europe? Same old atheistic, intellectualizing banter, which amounts to arrogantly avoiding the issue at hand by questioning the knowledge and intellect of those who oppose you.

    I won’t even respond to your blatant dodge on homosexuality!

  28. Matt Says:

    So what? Does that dismiss what Hitler and the other atheists did in Europe?

    It doe not and obviously was never meant to. But it does mean that the Theory of Evolution had nothing to do with it.

    Hitler was also not an Atheist, he was a self professed (both publically and privately) catholic. At the very, very least he was a solid deist.

    Same old atheistic, intellectualizing

    Oh, we couldn’t possibly have any intellectual banter now, could we? I know, let’s sit back, turn off our collective brains and repeat the same old silly arguments shall we? You know, like Hitler being an atheist…

    I won’t even respond to your blatant dodge on homosexuality!

    By that I have to assume you can’t. Concession accepted.

  29. Eric Kemp Says:

    Matt

    I’m pretty sure that no one said that Hitler was an atheist. I mean, he wasn’t completely daft (sorry, couldn’t help myself). However, what I’m pretty sure dwilli was saying, and is historical fact, is that evolution wasn’t unique to Darwin, so to say that Hitler wasn’t then using evolution because “social darwinism” preceded Darwin is a cop out. The ideas of eugenics and social darwinism came from evolution, and Hitler saw himself as doing God’s work in weeding out the weaker peoples from the human race to help, not only speed up the evolution of humanity but, to keep his Aryan race pure. This was Hitler’s mission and you can attempt to explain it away as much as you want, but you can’t get away from it.

    Oh, and Matt, if you’d like to tackle my question to morsec0de (since he disappears whenever the going gets tough) and my question to you, then you could redeem your homosexuality dodge. If you’d like me to repeat the question, I’ll have no problem doing that, but all you have to do is scroll up a bit.

  30. Thomas Says:

    “Let me ask you a question: Should you stand up for Word of God or not offend secularism?”

    The word of God, of course. :> But not everyone agrees on how to interpret it.

    The dichotonomy is not always true. Sometimes the word is offensive, sometimes not. But what one should never do is add to the offence.

  31. pricegutshall Says:

    “ERIC KEMP: Absolutely false. If you want to make generalizations about Christians, then at least be honest about the difference between Christians who are tolerant and those who aren’t. I made no such generalizations about ALL atheists being intolerant (although the vast majority of atheists DO fool themselves into thinking that they are nuetral). The article is about single instance of intolerance that I have concluded is part of a growing trend. If you want to bring to me a instance of Christian intolerance, I’ll probably agree with you. Standing up for the definition of marriage and attempting to squelch homosexual business relationships are completely different. The former is merely standing up for what you believe while the latter is what the atheists did to AiG.”

    I’d like to put my quote back into context: “the most vocal members of the Christian community in the U.S., the Christian Right, condemn homosexuals (applying Nazi-like phrases such as ‘homosexual agenda’) and have been thus far successful in denying rights to ordinary citizens, blame the apparent ‘moral decay’ of our nation as well as national crises on secularism and homosexuality, and call for the eradication of non-Godly individuals from the public arena.”

    Does that sound like a generalization? No, I’ve identified the group who is most vocal in the community. My parents are Christians and my grandmother radical, but they do not maintain the same beliefs as the Christian Right. That is the group with whom I associate notable Christian intolerance in the nation. I also mentioned elsewhere in my post that this movement also attacks other Christians who do not share their same theological perspective.

    “ERIC KEMP: Can you tell me, specifically please, how and why Creationism is contrary to the “fundamental philosophy of science”; you could start by explaining what that is in the first place.”

    The fundamental philosophical theories of modern science are: empiricism, positive realism, naturalism, and materialism. Empiricism is a branch of epistemology that suggests knowledge and truth can only be obtained through experience. Naturalism asserts that the laws and mechanics of the universe, that is, causal relationships are natural and observable. Materialism is a metaphysical theory arguing that all the substance of experience is purely material (that is, there is no nonmaterial substance such as the soul, angels, God, etc.). And, positive realism is an epistemological theory concerning the relationship between objective truth and experience, and argues that claims we make about the phenomenal world actually represent the reality of the world with or without humans. Empiricism, naturalism, and materialism were all products of the enlightenment and positive realism is a product of science philosophy.

    Creationism is immediately rejected by materialism since it denies the existence of nonmaterial substances. Naturalism also denies the possibility of creationism because it holds that the universal phenomena are products of purely natural causes (no supernatural). Finally, empiricism grants that that which can be known must be experienced, and we have neither observed nor experienced supernatural causation of any kind. And, positive realism is the justification used by some scientists to suggest that what we observe in our world is the reality of the universe. Given the fundamental philosophy of good science, creationism just doesn’t fit.

    “ERIC KEMP: According to whom? P.Z. Meyers? So you’re saying that because the Creation Museum doesn’t follow your definition of science, they can’t do business with anyone? Also, are you suggesting that the academic community has a complete consensus on what “science” is? Give me a break.”

    No, according to the fathers of modern science, actually. As I showed before, creation doesn’t work with modern science. And, yes, there is a complete consensus on what “science” is, which is why scientists are able to distinguish pseudo-science and bad science from good science. Good science depends greatly on the consensus of individuals sharing knowledge on the subjects they investigate. Science is an attempt to avoid subjectivity of perspectives; if any ‘definition’ of science was good to go, it would have no meaning and therefore no justification for its principles.

    “ ERIC KEMP: “Full consensus” is over stating it, just a bit. Ok, so it’s overstating it alot. Creationists don’t claim that their model is valid based on numbers, nor does numbers make your position “more” true. The Creationist position is that your atheistic presuppositions are no more valid than our Christian presupposition.
    So at least get the argument right.”

    You’d be hard stretched to find more than 2% of biologists who deny evolution. When I speak of consensus, I do not mean that everything that has been built upon evolution has obtained consensus yet; disputes in genetics over the relationship between proteins and DNA have not received full consensus, but that doesn’t mean there is no consensus concerning the fundamental theory of evolution.

    Atheistic ‘presuppositions’ are more valid because they have less to defend. My atheist argument may simply be that I have not ever seen God or anything that I can attribute to God that cannot be attributed to something that I have experienced. The theist position has to find reasonable premises for his belief in a God, develop his conception of God, justify the conception, and defend its justification. There is much to do when ‘presupposing’ the existence of God, and there is a lot that must be done to validate each premise of that argument. Atheists limit their justification to that which they can actually show to someone else: if I do not believe in God because I have no way of justifying the existence of nonmaterial beings, I am not required to show that nonmaterial beings do not exist. Both atheists and theists have to justify what they believe does exist, not what they believe does not exist. The atheist believes that there is only material substance, knowledge can only be obtained through experience. I can also show you why I believe that: because all of my knowledge that I now present has been obtained through my experience, and I can show you material things but I cannot show you immaterial. Because I cannot experience that which is nonmaterial, I also believe that I cannot know something that is nonmaterial. Because I have no justification that nonmaterial substance exists in and of itself, then I have no reason to proactively believe that nonmaterial substance exists. My presupposition is that knowledge is obtained through experience. I have yet to see that it does not. That’s all the justification I need for my beliefs. That’s that.

    “ERIC KEMP: Um, you’re going to have to do a bit more comparative religion research. Moral absolutes are not a requirement to be a religion. I agree that a religion is a system of beliefs, based in the supernatural. Atheism, and evolution, fit this perfectly.”

    You must misunderstand the word “supernatural.” The word implies an active causal force that transcends natural causes, or is not subject to the natural laws. For example, the Biblical God by his very nature is supernatural: omnipresent, immaterial, uncaused, capable of intervening in the natural world while remaining free of the natural laws, etc. On the other hand, abiogenesis, which is merely a hypothesis that has not yet reached any consensus or been confirmed by experimental data, asserts that organic matter was derived from chemical and molecular relationships (which we would call inorganic.) There is no suggestion that it might have happened via supernatural causes; the hypothesis is an investigation into how natural causes converted elements and molecules into the beginning of life. It is a hypothesis grounded in naturalistic causes. How is that supernatural? I think you are confusing your words here—do you mean, impossible?

    “ERIC KEMP: Honest question. How do you know that the supernatural isn’t an explanation for some phenomena? And did scientific inquiry tell science to disregard the supernatural? I mean to ask, how do you know that this is the correct definition of science? What told you this?”

    I have no reason to believe that there are supernatural causes for anything. Why should I believe that anything happens that transcends the natural laws of the universe? I have never seen anything that would suggest that there is. I hope that my answer earlier in this response will answer your latter questions. But, I know that it is the correct definition of science because that is what modern science is, that is how it is practiced. I think what you mean, or what you are challenging, is whether the fundamental theories of science are the best for identifying universal truth, or the most efficient at explaining the universe. And, if that is your question, that is a GOOD question. I cannot give you a good response. That is a subject of much dispute in the philosophy of science; for example, the corpuscular perception of material (the idea that all material is composed of smaller bit of material, i.e., a soda can is made of a mixture of metals, which are made of molecules, molecules which are made of elements, elements made of atoms, atoms made of subatomic material, etc…) has been challenged by quantum mechanics where subatomic particles share the same characteristics as waves. That is the beauty of human reason; when an old model begins to fall apart, a new model arises and the old one is cast out.

    “ERIC KEMP: True, but atheism is.”

    How?

    “ERIC KEMP: Yup, the difference is that you’re fooling yourself into thinking that the secularists aren’t doing the same thing. The Christians are just honest about it.”

    The difference, however, is that radical Christians (NOT all Christians) cannot justify an explanation where the Christian model is more efficient and carries more explanatory power than the scientific models. I do agree there are militant atheists, and I don’t like them. But they are not as powerful as the Christian militants. There were communists in Germany but they weren’t as powerful as the Nazis.

    “ERIC KEMP: Yup, and you are trying to indoctrinate children as well, just as young, in telling them that the Genesis account is nothing more than myth, and that it is an absolute fact that we all came from pond scum.”

    Please give me an example.

    “ERIC KEMP: That these children are descendents of apes.”

    In order to refute an argument, you should know what that argument is. I don’t recall the theory of evolution, or any theory thereof derived, that suggests humans are descendents of apes. I believe what you mean is that we have common ancestors. But even if the theory suggested that we were descendents of apes, what’s wrong with that? We’re not apes now. We’re still humans. Really, what’s wrong with that?

    “ ERIC KEMP: Yes, Christian values such as honesty, humility, love, respect, etc, those are definetly things that we don’t want kids learning anything about. Also, your assertion that questioning isn’t allowed is straight up ridiculous. Here is the difference. When I say “critical thought” I am meaning reasoning through what God is telling us through His Word,”

    But, don’t you think that is a problem? A good theologian knows that doubt, skepticism, and critical thinking of his beliefs allow him to make the best use of his faith. Otherwise, you will not know how to justify those beliefs. Why do you think there are so many different denominations? People should always be critical of their opinions and beliefs. That does not mean you will lose your faith; most often it will lead to having a better understanding of your relationship with God.

    “ and the evidences for that God, scientific and non-scientific, and not taking it at face value what a teacher tells me.”

    Believe me, I do not take what a teacher tells me at face value. I do believe that it was the Catholic Church who did not allow Biblical criticism (the practice of studying the historical background of the Bible) until the 20th Century. Why? Because it would no longer dominate the ‘truth.’ Bible literalism certainly prohibits one from questioning the consistencies of the Bible. Those who fall for Bible literalism are those who, obviously, ‘take it at face value.’

    “ERIC KEMP: When YOU say “critical thought”, you mean to come to a wholehearted belief that science is the only way to true knowledge and any religion is just hogwash. So yes, YOUR kind of critical thinking is frowned upon in Christian circles, why are you surprised?”

    No. When I say ‘critical thought’ I mean thinking critically about arguments, opinions, truths, and experience. I mean developing opposing arguments to claims, and testing one against the other. I am as critical of science as I am anything else, but I do believe it is more efficient a model for phenomenal explanation than any other that I have engaged. I do not argue that it is absolute truth, and I am not a positive realist.

    I admire several Christian theologians and critical thinkers including Alvin Plantinga, C.S. Lewis, St. Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas. Perhaps you should read a bit more of them?

    “ERIC KEMP: LOL, the ridiculous crap you atheists are fed all in the name of rejecting God is simply amazing. AT no point is any of this expressed in orthodox Christianity. But, if this is what you must believe to justify your intolerance of Christianity, then I can’t stop you.”

    Oh? Perhaps you should take a look back in the history of the Catholic Church, where women were burned at the stake for premarital intercourse. Twins were killed because one was good and one was evil. Heresy, have you heard, is a belief contrary to those of Orthodox Christianity. Heretics, throughout Christian history have been slaughtered, drowned, and burned at the stake for their actions. Copernicus was punished for his heresy of suggesting a solar system (where we revolve around the Sun) and Galileo imprisoned for his scientific advancements. Or, take a look back at our own history where slavery was justified in the South by the Bible. Puritans killed many women because they were ‘witches.’ Hitler justified his hatred for homosexuals with the Bible in Mein Kampf (whether he believed the Bible or not is unknown, but believers followed him). It is not crap…it is very much real. And those ‘laws’ I mentioned are throughout the Bible. Do you think a Bible literalist would not believe that it is true?

    “ERIC KEMP: How so? Human beings are nothing more than evolved animals that have no choice but to be annihilated when they die? Love is nothing more that chemical interactions in the brain that trick you into passing on your DNA. Any “meaning” you give your life is pure self delusion that disappears when you die, just like your soul. Oh wait, you don’t have one. You are nothing but chemical interactions in your cerebral cortex, fed by the responses for electrical impulses in the brainstem. Christianity tells you that God loves you, you have a soul and a purpose that is bigger than yourself, and our viewpoint doesn’t value humanity? Come again?”

    Modern science has nothing to do with morality and it is certainly not a moral theory. Do you know what secularism is? I don’t think you do.

    Secularism preceded modern science, so it seems clear to me that you do not know what secularism is. Secularism is a theory of rights that values human endeavor, individualism, and strength. It’s growing influence, thanks to John Locke, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, and John Stuart Mill, resulted in Nietzsche’s claim “God is Dead,” which was a metaphor for how moral authority had been given back to man and no longer dependent on God (a phenomenon he was witnessing in an increasingly secular Europe). The movement encouraged scientific progress. It encouraged man to develop his talents. It encouraged man to hold himself responsible. It encouraged man to value other men as themselves. It encouraged praise for man’s capacity for reason. It condemned the Churches for their oppression and demand for silent obedience. It encouraged human expression. It gave authority of the will to BACK to the man. The concept that every man had the right to life, liberty, and property (John Locke) was born out the secularist movement. And those ideas resulted in the backlash from the colonies against the supposed ‘authority’ of divine rule. It inspired the French Revolution. That concept gave value to human life.

    The Church, and the Bible do not argue that every person has the right to life, liberty, and property. In the Bible there are ‘chosen people.’ In the Bible there are unworthy people who will be damned and destroyed. Secularism trashed those notions and gave rise to capitalism in the spirit of individualism, utilitarianism, and more. It was a movement that broke from the chains of obedience and embellished the notion of human achievement. I believe you need to learn more about secular humanism.

    “ERIC KEMP: Funny, I was under the impression that science was begun in the 18th century by Bible believing YEC’s like Descartes, Newton, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Bacon etc, and that creationists and organizations like AiG fully embrace scientific enquiry. But that would destroy your argument so you can just ignore that.”

    Have you read Descartes? Have you read the writings of Newton? Both Copernicus and Galileo were imprisoned for their work. If you read the work or words of those whom you seem to think are Young Earth Creationists, you’d see the opposite was true. These individuals knew that if their work discredited the common teachings of the Church they would be charged with heresy, punished or killed. Descartes’ weakest argument is for “knowledge of God” in his Meditations; it is apparent that he would have to do such a thing after suggesting that God might not exist.

    “ERIC KEMP: The atheistic “creation” of abiogenesis and molecules-to-man evolution is no less a “story” than Genesis is.”

    Yes it is. It is based on empirical, testable, and falsifiable evidence. Genesis transcends possibility. It takes much more justify the truth value of Genesis than it does the observed biological mechanisms of evolution. Genesis is a book written by people the preceded the Romans. We don’t even know much about those who wrote the book, other than they were tribal nomads.

    “ERIC KEMP: Here’s the point, you have no scientific evidence that such a thing is impossible.”

    When the earth is not facing the Sun, why is there no light? When a solar eclipse happens, why is their less light? So, what would make me think that light doesn’t come from the Sun? Or, that if the Sun did not exist, there would still be light, day and night? Light comes from a constant source, such as the Sun. It doesn’t just stand alone.

    “ERIC KEMP: Especially if God DID create the sun, light preceding is not unlikely at all, God is all-powerful remember? All honest science can say is that “all light in the cosmos comes from stars now”.”

    And we also understand why light comes from stars: nuclear fission releases wave energy, and wave energy is characterized by several types of radiation, such as light, ultraviolet light, x-rays, gamma rays, microwaves, radio waves, sound waves, etc. So, there is a big problem with light on Earth preceding the existence of the Sun. I find it interesting that in your posts, as you argue that abiogenesis and evolution are ridiculous because they are impossible, you can claim that the light we experience on earth preceded the Sun. And, since we have no reason to believe that that could be possible, you default on the idea that ‘God can do whatever, whenever, however.” How do you know he can do whatever, whenever, however? Why should you believe that? And why does that make more sense than what we observe, see, and experience to be actually happening?

    Besides, science doesn’t just say that all the light in the cosmos comes from stars now. It also says that all the elements of the universe, the building blocks of life, are products of supernovas. Why do we believe that to be true? Because we’ve (1) observed the phenomenon in an actual supernova, (2) we observe it in the radiation of our sun, (3) we’ve observed it from nuclear explosions. How does it happen? Since stars are actually explosions of compacted hydrogen (atoms contained one electron), it literally heats up these electrons to the point where the nucleus collapses and free electrons are attracted to other nuclei. The distinguishing feature of the elements is the number of electrons the atom contains. We know this happens because we’ve actually reproduced it with the hydrogen bomb.

    “ERIC KEMP: Any kind of extrapolation of this evidence into the unobserved past is nothing but conjecture full of naturalistic bias.”

    Of course its bias. We don’t have any other reason to believe that the world was once not subject to the natural causes. Why should we believe otherwise? And, how does your argument gain any validity from the naturalistic bias? It doesn’t. You only validate your argument by pointing out flaws in another argument.

    “To equate Genesis to the theory of evolution, especially as a rebuttal, devalues the project of science altogether.”

    “Creationists merely pit the Genesis account against the unscientific, philosophical conclusion of “therefore we all have a common ancestor”.”

    Common descent is not unscientific. It has been observed in the real world, and it has been observed in our DNA. It has also been observed in the genome, and the hypothesis is heavily supported by similar anatomical structures, genotypes, and phenotypes between species. How is that not scientific? Genesis doesn’t explain those similarities. It also doesn’t explain why God needed to make DNA or any system as complex as it is. Why aren’t we just shells simple shells not subject to disease or infections? Why are there so many horrific and tragic deformities? You can’t explain that, but evolutionary theory, from which the theory of genetics was discovered, from which the hypothesis that DNA exists was discovered. Did you know that evolutionary biologists first hypothesized that proteins were the building blocks of traits? When they tested the hypothesis, they found it was wrong and discovered DNA. That is how science works. We abandon old paradigms that go unsupported or proven wrong, and adopt new ones. Genesis just doesn’t answer anything anymore. Common descent was a conclusion based on the evidence of observable phenomenon.

    “ERIC KEMP: “Evolution” is obvious and not the point, it’s extrapolating out observed evolution to heights no one has ever see it go that AiG puts Genesis up against.”

    What heights? AiG is against the theory of evolution. I’ve seen their seminars. They argue that “dogs produce another generation of dogs. Then the next generation of dogs produces, what? More dogs! Evolution is false!” What?! That is complete disregard for the theory of evolution.

    “ERIC KEMP: Atheistic leadership such as P.Z. Meyers, Richard Dawkins, that one guy that looks like he needs a hug (I forget his name), and the writers of several popular blogs (The Panda’s Thumb is one of them). These are your teachers.”

    Hm. Never heard of P.Z. Meyers. Richard Dawkins is a positive realist, so I don’t agree with everything he says. Dawkins also argues that normative value can be derived from evolutionary principles, which I argue commits the naturalistic fallacy. I do agree with Dawkins’ rebuttal to Dembski’s argument from probability (Dembski’s argument is elementary at best, and completely unjustified). But, I also do not believe that religion keeps the door open for fundamentalism, as he argues. I believe that leaders of a religion should be critical of their beliefs, which limits one from becoming fundamentalist. I do believe that Biblical literalism, however, is absurd and intellectual suicide.

    “ERIC KEMP: That’s so funny. It’s only the Christians that deviate from what you think they should believe that you have a problem with. Yup, that makes you less intolerant and your position more reasonable.”

    Again, you are pitting the outside world against you. 97% of Americans believe in God, a majority (over 50%) believes in creation, and a plurality believes in the rapture. Furthermore, historically it has been the religious who have condemned, imprisoned, and killed those who deviated from Church’s beliefs. Remember heresy? Remember the Inquisition? And, today, the outcry against an atheist poster in the halls of the Washington Capitol standing alongside numerous religious displays? How about George H. W. Bush saying that he didn’t believe atheists should be given rights, and they should not be considered citizens? I haven’t heard a President say such a thing about Christians. And, haven’t all the U.S. Presidents been religious? And, I don’t think they should believe what I believe. That is not my calling, unlike the Christian tradition of missions, spreading the gospel, and conversion. Unlike the Christian tradition of viewing those who do not believe what they do as being grasped by Satan, heretics, immoral, and damned by the Almighty God. Give me break, you must at least sacrifice your position here. I have a feeling you simply look for examples of a person saying negative things about Christianity, or religion, and thus develop your worldview.

    “ERIC KEMP: Uh, “seperation of church and state” contrary to popular belief, is NOT in the constitution. It’s an interpretation OF the constitution. Furthurmore, you are flat deluding yourself into thinking that the atheistic community is mobilizing to keep the government from favoring any belief system.”

    The atheist movement to which you are referring is based on freedom FROM religion. To not be subjected to religious endorsements by the Government. The separation of Church and State is part of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” How else do you interpret that? It is as simple as day: (1) Congress, our government, shall make no law that respecting an establishment of religion (that is called religious neutrality, no laws can endorse, favor, or respect one religion over another, also known as freedom FROM religion being imposed upon the people by the government), and (2) prohibiting the free exercise thereof (freedom OF religion).

    “ERIC KEMP: What they’re really doing is mobilizing to force the government to only deal with their own belief system. There is no such thing as religiously neutral, and the only way you get away with saying that with a straight face is to fool yourself into thinking that atheism isn’t a belief system as well.”

    Atheism is not a belief system. You are simply wrong about that. And the atheist movement is not pushing for an atheistic nation, unlike the Christian Right who want a Christian Nation. Religiously neutral means that the government is not in the business of religion. Plain and simple. Separation of church and state.

    “ERIC KEMP: Yup, that’s what Christians want, an end to scientific enquiry. You’ve got it all figured out.”

    They like science that they can use to support their beliefs. They don’t like science that goes against their beliefs.

    “ERIC KEMP: No one, including AiG, has ever said evolution shouldn’t be taught. Your run of strawmen arguments and just straight false beliefs is honestly incredible.”

    Do you know what a straw man argument is? It is where you set up an opposing position in its weakest form and make it look ‘stupid.’ Have I set up a straw man argument? And yes, AiG does say evolution should not be taught: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0131education.asp. Who has false beliefs?

    “ERIC KEMP: But don’t you think it’s dishonest to teach a scientific theory as absolute fact (as it is)?”

    No, it’s not taught as fact. It is taught as a scientific theory, from which scientific laws have been derived.

    “ERIC KEMP: Also, no theory about origins has ever been, or ever will be proven. That’s the point. You can claim all you want that evolution, the molecules-to-man kind, has been proven, but that’s just false.”

    But if those theories help us build better systems for explaining the world, help us find new things, then what’s wrong with it?

    “ERIC KEMP: While I agree with you, atheism throws out this a posteriori method when it comes to it’s own origins stories, because there can be no empirical experience regarding the beginning of the universe and life.”

    Despite your claim, I don’t think there is any consensus by science or atheists as to how life on earth began. Yes, there are hypotheses, combating ones at that. But, no, there is no single ‘story.’ And, the hypotheses are based on a posteriori methods. Just like all science is.

    “ERIC KEMP: And yet, when God is postulated, they go “Nope! The supernatural isn’t empirical so therefore we can’t believe it!”, it’s all very convenient.”

    Don’t you think that an Almighty God who can transcend all possibility is a little bit more convenient? Didn’t you make that your convenient answer to something I asked earlier? But, see, this God concept does nothing for advancing our knowledge of the universe; rather, it asks us to cease our inquiries and only adopt inquiries based on the Bible. What is not in the Bible, we certainly cannot know.

    “ERIC KEMP: And please, don’t fake being the martyr. If a radical religious right is growing, and I’m a part of it, it’s only in response to a growing and powerful group of
    militant atheists. To pretend that you guys are the underdogs against the big bad powerful church, is just ridiculous. My snark and admitted frustration evident in this article is 1. only returned at the same level it is given and 2. due not to any disagreement I have with any other individual or entity, but with the atheistic canard of neutrality while at the same time attempting to expell all disagreement in the scientific, academic and public realm. It’s hypocritical and it forces smoke out of my ears. If we disagree, then let’s talk about it, but don’t do everything to get me be quiet, it will only make me louder.”

    There is plenty of disagreement in science, how do you think progress happens? And, the radical religious right is not a response to militant atheists; they are really not concerned about them yet. They are more concerned about pornography, homosexuality, sexual freedom of women, abortion and such. They don’t really talk much about atheists; they have bigger fish to fry right now.

  32. Eric Kemp Says:

    Thomas

    So do you believe that there is no correct interpretation? And if there is, by what criteria do you decide what is the correct interpretation? If there isn’t one, why not?

    “Sometimes the word is offensive, sometimes not. But what one should never do is add to the offence.”

    True enough, but should you separate the offensive doctrines from the non-offensive because they are offensive? Should you decided which doctrines you get to subscribe to and which you get to ignore? Is one Biblical doctrine MORE true than another?

  33. Matt Says:

    The ideas of eugenics and social darwinism came from evolution

    Not at all. Social Darwinism, for example, was first posed as a proper concept .. oh the heck with it, I’ll just copy/paste from wikipedia to save myself some time:
    “social Darwinism commonly refers to ideas that predate Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species. Others whose ideas are given the label include the 18th century clergyman Thomas Malthus, and Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton who founded eugenics towards the end of the 19th century.”

    So no, evidence disagrees with your stance.

    I’m pretty sure that no one said that Hitler was an atheist.

    dwilli58 did when he/she said: ‘Hitler and other atheists’ which grammatically labels Hitler as an Atheist.

    This was Hitler’s mission and you can attempt to explain it away as much as you want, but you can’t get away from it.

    There’s little to try to ‘get away from’ as what Hitler was doing had nothing to with the Theory of Evolution which is all about natural selection, not eugenics. To look at it from another perspective, it’d be like someone running around killing people through electrical shocks and blaming the existence of electricity for it. Absurd.

    Oh, and Matt, if you’d like to tackle my question to morsec0de (since he disappears whenever the going gets tough) and my question to you, then you could redeem your homosexuality dodge.

    What dodge? I thought it was already explained.
    But, of course, if you want some more detailed explanations then I suggest the following links:
    http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2000-06/960498851.Ev.r.html
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13674-evolution-myths-natural-selection-cannot-explain-homosexuality.html

  34. pricegutshall Says:

    “Eugenics, the “Branch Davidian” of evolution was responsible for the Nazi atrocities in WW II, so, pricegutshall , I would stay away from those types of arguments, since you’re wading through moral quicksand!”

    No, it wasn’t. The Holocaust was a consequence of fascist principles; the concept of ‘cleansing’ the country or population from a ‘named enemy’ and the disobedient. Keep in mind who carried out those actions: Christians.

    “As an evolutionist, you of all people should be against homosexuality, since it is against the “nature” of things and smacks survival of the fittest right in the mouth! There are those far right fanatics that seek to do harm, but most Christians (the ones who are never heard) only state, when asked, that homosexuality is an illness of mind and heart, because that is what we believe. God, loves all people, but not all people, who profess God, love!”

    The theory of evolution, and science, are not in the business of morality. Normative value cannot be derived from naturalistic premises (it’s called the naturalistic fallacy). I do not value survival as the supreme principle of morality, and you’d be hard stricken to find anyone who successfully does so. Homosexuality has no moral value in any system. The reason why it is probably condemned in the Bible is because at some point in history, when a population needed more warriors, homosexual activity was considered ‘wasteful’ because they needed to produce more males. Or, it may be as simple as a King who needed to produce a male heir, but did not. Who really knows why, but there is no real justification or immorality associated with homosexuality in any rational moral system. It’s really bizarre to be honest.

    “You guys have a real persecution complex, yet you are always the ones who are attacking! I don’t go to atheist sites and troll around, but I’m constantly assaulted by atheists on my site. You guys are winning! The school systems, the government and science research are all under your control, so what’s your beef really. Or would you like to do away with all people of faith?”

    Heads have been rolled for having dissenting beliefs with your religion. Unfortunately, Christianity is plagued with a history of intolerance, suffering, and censorship. The reason why I come onto these pages is not to “assault” or “attack,” but hopefully to provide thoughtful opposition to your arguments while receiving thoughtful opposition to mine. I am not hostile, yet it appears you are? I don’t get my jollies from ‘attacking,’ and I certainly don’t feel ‘smarter.’ I can learn from your worldview as much as I hope you would learn from mine; not out of hate, but out of understanding and becoming as intellectually honest as I can. It bothers me when people make such rabid and unjustified allegations (like you have with your ‘eugenics’ position) when they haven’t actually looked into it. It also bothers me when people argue or deny something that, when doing so, express an honest misunderstanding of the topics at hand.

  35. pricegutshall Says:

    I should clarify: Christianity is plagued with a history of intolerance, suffering, and censorship imposed on others.

  36. Eric Kemp Says:

    Matt

    ““social Darwinism commonly refers to ideas that predate Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species. Others whose ideas are given the label include the 18th century clergyman Thomas Malthus, and Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton who founded eugenics towards the end of the 19th century.” ”

    You are dogding and twisting in an attempt to avoid a point. Evolution, as an idea, pre-dates Darwin, he was just the first to come up with a legit theory for it. So to say that since eugenics and Social Darwinism ALSO pre-dates Darwin so therefore Hitler couldn’t have been getting his values from evolution is ridiculous. I know that perhaps you are probably sincere in your belief that Hilter’s agenda didn’t partly come from evolution, but the connection is undeniable. And it wasn’t just Hitler, AMERICA was practicing eugenics.

    But look, what I’m NOT saying is that Hitler understood evolution correctly, or acted according to how any legit evolutionary scientist would have anyone act. But I’m saying that his agenda of purifying the aryan race and furthering the evolution of human was based upon evolutionary theory. It just was.

    “dwilli58 did when he/she said: ‘Hitler and other atheists’ which grammatically labels Hitler as an Atheist.”

    Well then I missed that party, and I apologize. It’s definetly true that you don’t have to be an atheist to commit atrocities, in fact it probably helps you if you’re not.

    “There’s little to try to ‘get away from’ as what Hitler was doing had nothing to with the Theory of Evolution which is all about natural selection, not eugenics.”

    Uh, eugenics IS about natural selection. You weed out the bad genes so that they won’t get SELECTED.

    “To look at it from another perspective, it’d be like someone running around killing people through electrical shocks and blaming the existence of electricity for it. Absurd.”

    Not even close to the same thing. These men were going around trying to make sure bad genes leave the human race. This isn’t trying to better the natural selection of the race? Of course it is. And again, no one is BLAMING Natural Selection. That IS absurd, to blame a process. However, you are attempting to say that these men, including Hitler, weren’t motivated by Natural Selection when they performed their atrocities. Equally absurd.

    “What dodge? I thought it was already explained.”

    I had asked how you homosexuality is biological fit if homosexuality excludes reproduction (which Natural Selection needs). I asked morsec0de if homosexuality is a genetic mutation only selected for in over-populated society.

  37. pricegutshall Says:

    Homosexuality does not need to be a selected trait, it can be a product of selected traits. I think you should really read up on evolution theory so you at least know what you are arguing against.

  38. Eric Kemp Says:

    A product of selected traits? Explain. *sigh*, I’m not going to explain to you how much I know about evolutionary theory. If you’d like to point out a certain defect in my knowledge, then we could continue rationally.

  39. pricegutshall Says:

    Yes, a byproduct of selected traits. Not all expressed traits are selected. For example, that you maintain vestiges is a byproduct of selected traits that have outsourced it. Homosexual tendencies could be a byproduct of selected sexual traits, such as an increase in testosterone at a young age.

  40. morsec0de Says:

    When did I disappear? I’m waiting you to explain why you think atheism is or uses faith. You have not.

    If I’ve ‘disappeared’ in the past, it’s because I’ve grown tired of repeating myself.

  41. krissmith777 Says:

    pricegutshall Says:

    “I should clarify: Christianity is plagued with a history of intolerance, suffering, and censorship imposed on others.”

    And I shoulf clarify, Christianity itself gives no justification for any of that.

  42. Eric Kemp Says:

    Morsec0de

    Yea, I had a bunch of other comments that I had to respond to and was waiting for you to respond to my homosexuality question. But that wasn’t expressed, so I apologize. I’ll get to it now.

    Ok, so to rehash a bit, the definition of faith according to the American Heritage Dictionary is: “Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.” and “A set of principles or beliefs”. You are saying that atheism doesn’t take any faith because in fact it is only a lack of a belief.

    This is one of the most popular atheistic canards. It is something you have been taught and, frankly, fooled into believing is possible. Let me explain. In essense, you are saying that atheism is confined to just not finding enough evidence to believe in an all-powerful creator of any sort. You are trying to say that you can disbelieve on a singular cause for the universe and life (saying that God did not do it) yet remain neutral on how the universe really did come about. This is impossible.

    Let me use one of the favorite atheistic examples against you to explain. Atheists are fond of saying that Christians are atheists towards any other god except their God. The question they are fond of asking sounds something like this, “Must you consider wether or not Ra the Sun God exists or that ‘Zeus did it’?” The problem is that the answer is the one they disregard at the outset. YES! If I believe in the Christian God then that means I necessarily do believe that Zeus and the gods of Olympia didn’t win a fight against the Titans and that’s how the Earth was created (my mythology is a bit shaky but you get the idea). By believing in the Christian God I AM believing that Ra is not going across the sky in his chariot right now.

    In the same way, when an atheist believes in no gods, he is necessarily and by default believing that the universe began itself, that matter either created itself or always existed, and that life can create itself (“create” is used there for lack of a better word). To be an atheist, you must believe that these things took place. Science doesn’t have to have the “how” yet in order for you to have to believe they happened. No belief is independent. You are attempting to say that your non-belief in God can stand on it’s own with no effect on what you DO believe. It’s a cop out, and it’s impossible.

    How does this relate to faith? That matter created itself, or the universe always existed, or that life can create itself are beliefs that do not rest on logical proof or evidence. There is no evidence that these things happened, yet you must believe them in order to be an atheist. This is what you have faith in.

  43. Eric Kemp Says:

    Pricegutshall

    To what purpose would these traits be selected? I guess I’m asking why they’re “selected for”?

  44. morsec0de Says:

    “You are saying that atheism doesn’t take any faith because in fact it is only a lack of a belief.”

    Not at all. That wasn’t my point. My point was that, if you want to call atheism a belief (and depending how liberal our definitions are, you can), then it is only ONE belief. Your own quoted definition says faith must be a “set” of principles or beliefs. Atheism is just one.

    Now, I am also a secular humanist. That is a set or principles and beliefs. You could reasonably call it a ‘faith’. I think calling it a worldview, an ideology, or even a religion might be more accurate. But if you wanted, you could call secular humanism a faith and I wouldn’t object too much.

    But secular humanism isn’t atheism.

    “You are trying to say that you can disbelieve on a singular cause for the universe and life (saying that God did not do it) yet remain neutral on how the universe really did come about. This is impossible.”

    No it’s not. For you, perhaps. But not for me.

    I don’t believe any of the stories that religious people have come up with for the explanation of the universe. But I could be wrong. Or they could be wrong, but there is some kind of god that no one has hit on yet. No idea. But the evidence doesn’t support your story, so I won’t believe it.

    “You are attempting to say that your non-belief in God can stand on it’s own with no effect on what you DO believe. It’s a cop out, and it’s impossible.”

    No I’m not. But I am saying that my atheism, by itself, does not contain any faith.

    My atheism does effect the other things I do believe. But those other things aren’t atheism. Those other things are other things.

    And I also don’t use faith for the other things I do believe, but that may be a lengthy and separate conversation.

    “There is no evidence that these things happened”

    Sure there is.

    We’re here, and that’s the start of evidence.

    That matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed certainly suggests that it always existed in some way. And that’s more evidence.

    Perfect, irrefutable evidence? No. But good enough to start with. And that’s what humans are doing…starting.

  45. pricegutshall Says:

    I’ll respond to your questions shortly; but given the discussion concerning atheism and faith, I thought you all may be interested in my blog post about why atheism does not take faith. http://bittersweetdistractions.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/atheism-and-faith/

  46. Thomas Says:

    Eric,

    “So do you believe that there is no correct interpretation? And if there is, by what criteria do you decide what is the correct interpretation? If there isn’t one, why not?”

    I do believe that there is a correct interpretation of the Bible, but no one should never claim to have THE interpretation, and one should always have a degree of humility with one’s one understanding. Some issues are more certain than others, and some are very unclear indeed. And there will be disagreement over which texts are clearer or have room for alternate interpretations. Responsible interpretation of scripture requires putting the passage in its immediate context within the book, understanding the author’s intent, understanding the interpretation of other scriptures, and taking note of the culture and times.

    “Should you separate the offensive doctrines from the non-offensive because they are offensive? Should you decided which doctrines you get to subscribe to and which you get to ignore? Is one Biblical doctrine MORE true than another?”

    My answers are no, no, and no.

  47. Eric Kemp Says:

    morsec0de

    “Your own quoted definition says faith must be a “set” of principles or beliefs. Atheism is just one.”

    I understand that this is your position, and my position is that you’re fooling yourself. Of course, you are able to describe a single belief at a time, but to say that that belief is completely unassociated with any other belief that you have, or that belief doesn’t necessarily impact, decide or is a product of other beliefs is ridiculous. For instance, if I say, “That car is mine”, I must first assume, metaphysically, that cars exist, that I am able to possess items. I cannot, rationally, pull my belief that the car is mine OUT of my belief that cars exist. In the same way, you cannot pull your belief in no god, out of your belief that the universe began itself, that matter can create itself or has always existed and that life can create itself. In order to have a none-belief in God, you must necessarily believe those concurrently.

    “You could reasonably call it a ‘faith’. I think calling it a worldview, an ideology, or even a religion might be more accurate. But if you wanted, you could call secular humanism a faith and I wouldn’t object too much.”

    I think that “worldview” is more accurate. Perhaps it’s just my preference, but I like worldview. In fact, I PREFER Christianity to be described as a worldview but I know that’ll never happen. But I blame Christians and their holy huddle for that one.

    “But secular humanism isn’t atheism.”

    Secular humanism is a system that INCLUDES atheism. Just as atheism includes faith in naturalism, materialism and uniformitarianism.

    “No it’s not. For you, perhaps. But not for me.”

    Oh, nice. If I had meant to say that it was impossible for me to do it, I would have said so. What I mean to say is that if you think you can pull out atheism as singular belief, absent of any other, you are deluding yourself.

    “I don’t believe any of the stories that religious people have come up with for the explanation of the universe. But I could be wrong. Or they could be wrong, but there is some kind of god that no one has hit on yet. No idea. But the evidence doesn’t support your story, so I won’t believe it.”

    The part you’re missing is that your naturalistic stories are no less fanciful. More on this in a bit . . .

    “No I’m not. But I am saying that my atheism, by itself, does not contain any faith.”

    Your atheism cannot be by itself. Sure, you could pull it out if you wanted to, but you’re being irrational when doing so. Atheism, by default, must include the beliefs in materialism, naturalism and uniformitarianism, leading you to the beliefs I’ve already described. These are necessary to believe in atheism. Sorry, it just is.

    “My atheism does effect the other things I do believe. But those other things aren’t atheism. Those other things are other things.”

    Right, the word atheism, by definition, is a belief in no God. However, someone who believes atheism CANNOT separate it rationally from the others.

    On to evidence: I made the statement that there can be no evidence for the naturalistic beginning of the universe or life. I should clarify. There can be no empirical evidence for such things. As I’m sure you know, empiricism is that only true knowledge is gained through our senses and experience. Also known as science. You hold to this principle because you’re an atheist and you must.

    Now, on to your statements:

    “We’re here, and that’s the start of evidence.”

    That we’re here is only evidence that we’re here and that matter exists. It can say nothing about where matter came from.

    “That matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed certainly suggests that it always existed in some way. And that’s more evidence.”

    This shows your naturalistic bias. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed within the known laws of physics. Certainly an all powerful creator that created those laws can supercede them!

    But more to the point, there can be no empirical evidence for origins. Why not? Because we can never use any of our senses to experience the beginning of the universe, matter or life. We can’t experience anything even close to it to compare it to. Any attempt to explain the origin of any of those things is a naturalistic story equal in myth-value with any religious origins story. Any empirical evidence you give only begs the question. So, since empiricism can’t tell you about the naturalistic origins of all things, you must believe, with blind faith, that it happened in order to be an atheist. The beliefs are inseparable, you can’t have one without the other.

  48. Eric Kemp Says:

    Thomas

    “I do believe that there is a correct interpretation of the Bible, but no one should never claim to have THE interpretation, and one should always have a degree of humility with one’s one understanding.”

    Sure. But we also shouldn’t take this “never claim to have THE. . .” position to any extreme. It makes it an easy cop out for anyone to say “Well, no one can say they have the correct interpretation” which allows them to believe whatever they want to believe absent of the text. If the context is clear, the Greek is clear and the Bible as a whole is clear on a certain issue, and if we prayerfully allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, why can’t we confidently and boldly say that certain doctrines in Scripture are rock solid? That is my point in all of the articles I’ve written on the subject.

    “Responsible interpretation of scripture requires putting the passage in its immediate context within the book, understanding the author’s intent, understanding the interpretation of other scriptures, and taking note of the culture and times.”

    Absolutely.

    So let’s give this treatment briefly to Mark 10:6. “6”But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.'” Go to http://www.biblegateway.com and look up Mark 10 and go through this with me (I’m using the NIV just for ease, I actually prefer the NASB). What does Jesus mean here by “But . . .”. What’s going on in this conversation? Jesus is being asked about divorce; the Pharisees are trying to trap Him into blasphemy so that they can bring him in front of the rulers. The Pharisees point out that Moses told them they could give a woman a certificate of divorce and send her away. Jesus confirms this, but then says that it was only because of the hardness of their hearts that Moses allowed them to have divorce.

    The true heart of God, is that a man and a woman should stay together because “Therefore what God has joined together let man not separate” v. 9. But how did God join them together? v. 6 “But at the beginning of Creation God made them male and female.” So, the entire doctrine of marriage is based on Christ’s understanding of a literal Creation.

    Now, go to http://www.searchgodsword.com and look up Mark 10:6, and once you get the verse up, there will be a place to click and see the original Greek used (this site is nothing more than a reference for Strong’s Concordance to the Bible). Let’s look at the important Greek words used in v. 6. “Beginning” is the Greek word Arche which means “beginning, origin” and can also be used as “the person or cause the begins the beginning”. “Creation” is the Greek word Ktisis which means “the act of creating, creation” and can also be used to describe a created thing.

    So you’re going to have to dig deep to come up with another interpretation besides the one supported by the context and the Greek, speaking to Jews about their Law, which states that the entire purpose for marriage is based on God literally creating humans male and female. Like you said, some things are more clear than others, this one is as clear as it gets. It isn’t MY interpretation, it’s only what the text itself says. What “other” interpretation do you find viable here Thomas?

  49. Price Says:

    I’m surprised I haven’t gotten a response from you Eric yet on my essay; what gives?

  50. matt Says:

    Organizing atheists is like herding cats. Not very easy. It’s just that most atheists agree on certain things, like the falsehood of the 6 day creation.
    There is no national leadership, and PZ only “controls” a faction of atheists, and many of us, like myself, would probably not care two bits about him if he wasn’t everything that he is. For example, I’m not a fan of Ayaan Hirsi Ali because she’s a conservative, and moreso, she’s vehemently anti-muslim almost to the point of asking for the very violence she condemns.
    We only ask for a world where we can discuss and disagree on real issues like political ideologies and not have to bother with society-stalling issues like creationism.
    As Dawkins has said, it wouldn’t take much to disprove evolution – a mere fossil in the wrong stratum – , yet it continues to chug along because… it hasn’t been disproven yet.

  51. morsec0de Says:

    “I understand that this is your position, and my position is that you’re fooling yourself.”

    Well, you’re wrong. Don’t know what to tell you.

    “ut to say that that belief is completely unassociated with any other belief that you have, or that belief doesn’t necessarily impact, decide or is a product of other beliefs is ridiculous”

    I didn’t say that. In fact, I specifically said it did effect those other beliefs I have. But those other beliefs go beyond atheism.

    Now, we can talk about the set of beliefs, the worldview, that everyone has, all of which are slightly different…or we can talk about atheism, one specific part of several different worldviews. They aren’t one in the same, and yet you seemed determined to make them so. Sorry, but they aren’t.

    “Just as atheism includes faith in naturalism, materialism and uniformitarianism.”

    Incorrect. Evidence backs up naturalism and materialism. I don’t feel like looking up the last at the moment, but if it requires faith then this atheist, anyway, doesn’t believe it.

    “What I mean to say is that if you think you can pull out atheism as singular belief, absent of any other, you are deluding yourself.”

    No, sorry, but I’m not.

    Again, if you want to talk about “the beliefs held by various atheists, including but not limited to atheism”, then we can do that. But if you want to talk about “atheism”, then we’re talking about one single lack of belief/belief.

    “Atheism, by default, must include the beliefs in materialism, naturalism and uniformitarianism, leading you to the beliefs I’ve already described.”

    Not really. I could, hypothetically, believe in spirits and demons and ghosts and all sorts of supernatural stuff, but no gods. Then I would still be an atheist, but not believe in materialism and naturalism. Some Buddhists would fall in this category.

    “As I’m sure you know, empiricism is that only true knowledge is gained through our senses and experience.”

    Be specific when you use the term “through our senses”. What do you mean by that? The knowledge I gain from a thermometer is not knowledge I gain from my senses, but from a tool. I would call that scientific evidence. Likewise are the mosquitoes in the London underground being unable to breed with their above-ground relatives evidence for evolution, and the expanding universe we can see through telescopes evidence for the big bang. These aren’t “through our senses” but they are completely scientific and not faith based in the least.

    Perhaps you’re confusing “faith” with “could be wrong”? Because there are many things I believe that I acknowledge could be wrong. But as I acknowledge that, I don’t consider it faith. I consider it belief based on the current evidence.

    You should also stop saying “you’re an atheist and so you must do this/that/the other.” Mostly because, not being an atheist, you don’t know these things. But you’re also almost always wrong when you say those things, so I recommend that you don’t use it as an argument if you want us to take you seriously.

    “Matter can neither be created nor destroyed within the known laws of physics. Certainly an all powerful creator that created those laws can supercede them!”

    Certainly it could have. And a universe-creating dragon could have sneezed the universe into existence. The question is, is there evidence for it or isn’t there? If there isn’t, then I won’t believe it. I won’t completely rule it out, that dragon may exist, but if there’s no evidence I have no good reason to consider it as a good answer.

    Your next point is only partly wrong. There is no way that has been shown that ANYONE in ANY WAY can understand how the universe came into existence. You have your stories, but they’re only stories. I don’t pretend to know, but unless there is some sort of evidence to back them up, I won’t believe it.

    I don’t take anything on faith.

  52. Eric Kemp Says:

    Price

    Dude, that wasn’t an essay, that was a novel! All jokes aside, I’ll try to get to you tomorrow, but as you can see I’ve been a bit inundated and I’ve got a final monday. But I WILL get back to you. Thanks for your patience.

  53. Thomas Says:

    Eric, what in the world are you doing here when you’ve got finals hanging over you? :> These days, I am the one giving the midterms, and it is almost just as bad as taking them. The coming week does not look to be a fun one.

    I am with you on your concern about cop-outs, such as “Well, that’s YOUR interpretation.” I agree that the Bible is crystal clear on many things. On many other things it is not, as I am sure you will agree. Many people, however, claim that issues belonging to the latter group ARE in fact crystal clear, and hold this position sincerely. In their minds, they see absolutely no room for any other interpretation whatsoever, but they are wrong. I think anyone can find himself or herself in this same condition, and we ought to therefore be humble and watchful.

    Martin Luther put himself in this position when he attacked Galileo’s idea of heliocentricity. Some Baptists do this on the issue of baptism, some Presbyterians on the issue of predestination, some Penticostals on tongues, etc. I think young earth creationists are doing this by insisting that the Bible must be 6000 or so years old.

    I don’t know that I can add much more to the previous discussion on your blog about Jesus’s comment on marriage (the one that you and airtightnoodle had). You place a lot of emphasis on the words “from the beginning of creation.” As well as you may argue your points, I just don’t see that his phrasing does that much for your case. To me, it simply means, “when God first created.” I don’t think that Jesus is saying “AT the beginning of creation,” i.e., “when God first began to create.” He is saying “FROM” the beginning of creation. (I am no expert, but my Greek Bible’s dictionary defines the preposiiton “apo” as “from.”) The words of Jesus seem to hold true regardless of how long God took to create: God created man as male and female.

    Another way of looking at the issue might be this. When Jesus told a parable about the mustard seed, he said that it was “smaller than all other seeds.” We now know that there are in fact seeds smaller than the mustard seed. The correct reply to someone who might object to Jesus’ authority would be to say that to Jesus’s audience, who were familiar with agriculture, the mustard seed WAS the smallest seed that they used in planting. Jesus wasn’t making a categorical statement about all seeds, period; he was speaking to his audience. I could, however, argue from this phrase that Jesus was wrong; it is what he literally said, after all. But such an argument, as technically accurate as it is, is nonsense.

    I think Jesus is doing the same thing in Mark. He tells them that from the beginning of creation God made mankind male and female. His audience probably thought of the creation week literally. There is no problem in speaking with them in such terms.


  54. […] Posted by Price under Uncategorized   The following is from a discussion I am having on this blog. I really enjoy the guy’s posts because he actually engages some serious issues on both sides […]

  55. House Says:

    “You should also stop saying “you’re an atheist and so you must do this/that/the other.” Mostly because, not being an atheist, you don’t know these things. But you’re also almost always wrong when you say those things, so I recommend that you don’t use it as an argument if you want us to take you seriously.”

    Take a Young Earth Creo-Tard seriously.

    Why?

  56. Eric Kemp Says:

    House

    Well my friend, you’ve reached the point where I’m going to begin deleting your comments. This is a place of open discussion, no matter how big the disagreement. However, this is not a place where anyone gets insulted. Not that you care, but you’ve been warned.

  57. Eric Kemp Says:

    morsec0de

    I responded to many of the points in the most recent article. That which I didn’t cover, I’ll respond to here or where ever they get brought up again when I have the time. Thanks for your patience.

  58. Outside Says:

    LOL you mean you are only “now” going to start deleting them, as you have been doing in the past?

    no wonder you are so stupid not remebering what you’ve done before.

  59. Eric Kemp Says:

    That’s funny coming from the guy who changes his name every other time he posts, hasn’t been around in a few weeks and expects me to remember him. All I know is that I’m deleting some insults, and if the person keeps coming back, that I should inform them that they’ll be censored. I didn’t realize, until your most recent comment, that it was my old ninja Troll the whole time.

  60. Eric Kemp Says:

    morsec0de

    “Again, if you want to talk about “the beliefs held by various atheists, including but not limited to atheism”, then we can do that. But if you want to talk about “atheism”, then we’re talking about one single lack of belief/belief.”

    Right, what you’re doing is describing the singular belief of atheism by itself. In a conversation, we can describe what atheism is without mentioning anything else. However, in the real world, beliefs cannot come alone. I showed this clearly in my article.

    “Not really. I could, hypothetically, believe in spirits and demons and ghosts and all sorts of supernatural stuff, but no gods. Then I would still be an atheist, but not believe in materialism and naturalism.”

    I mention this in the article, but to be more specific here, if you believed in the spiritual realm yet don’t believe in any god, then you’ve got another set of assumptions besides naturalism and materialism, so your atheism still cannot stand alone. For instance, you must believe that the spiritual realm created itself, can exist absent of any higher power, and can direct itself without intelligence. Since these beliefs don’t have ism‘s I can’t be concise in using them, but it’s the same idea.

    “Be specific when you use the term “through our senses”. What do you mean by that? The knowledge I gain from a thermometer is not knowledge I gain from my senses, but from a tool.”

    Empiricism would include a tool in “sense experience”. You have to read it with your senses after all. Empiricism is basically used to describe the belief that only science leads to true knowledge.

    “Perhaps you’re confusing “faith” with “could be wrong”? Because there are many things I believe that I acknowledge could be wrong. But as I acknowledge that, I don’t consider it faith. I consider it belief based on the current evidence.”

    Yea, perhaps we’re having a bit of semantical problem here. I would consider something you believe in, something that you must have at least some amount of faith in. I mean, if you don’t KNOW it, you must believe it, and if you must believe it, then there is some faith associated with that. Perhaps you are asserting that you don’t believe anything with “complete and total blind” faith? While I disagree with this, it would make your position more rational, defensible and understandable.

    “You should also stop saying “you’re an atheist and so you must do this/that/the other.” Mostly because, not being an atheist, you don’t know these things. But you’re also almost always wrong when you say those things . . .”

    Like I said in the article, don’t tell me, show me. Show me how you don’t have to believe in those things.

    Anyway, those are the points I don’t think were covered specifically in the article. Feel free to respond to these points in that discussion section as it will allow us to combine both threads. I look forward to your response.

  61. Eric Kemp Says:

    Matt

    “We only ask for a world where we can discuss and disagree on real issues like political ideologies and not have to bother with society-stalling issues like creationism.”

    Who are you to decide what is “society-stalling”? Also, if creationism is so ridiculous, why are you trying to censor it? Why not show the world how idiotic it is in the public sector by allowing creation research all access in the scientific sector? Let them do their research, peer review everything, have the conversation, engage in open and honest discussion. What are you afraid of? Aren’t creation scientists just a bunch of nincompoops anyway?

    “As Dawkins has said, it wouldn’t take much to disprove evolution – a mere fossil in the wrong stratum – , yet it continues to chug along because… it hasn’t been disproven yet.”

    Don’t delude yourself into thinking that Dawkins is being honest here. I mean, they found T-Rex soft tissue! 65 million year old soft tissue? Yet, was the evolutionary paradigm challenged? Of course not. Instead, it was “well, we must be wrong about how long soft tissue can survive”. Really? Do you have any evidence to support that conclusion? “No, it just must be . . .” Why? “Because molecule-to-man evolution is absolutely true.” I thought that might be your answer.

  62. Matt Says:

    Evolution, as an idea, pre-dates Darwin, he was just the first to come up with a legit theory for it. So to say that since eugenics and Social Darwinism ALSO pre-dates Darwin so therefore Hitler couldn’t have been getting his values from evolution is ridiculous. I know that perhaps you are probably sincere in your belief that Hilter’s agenda didn’t partly come from evolution, but the connection is undeniable. And it wasn’t just Hitler, AMERICA was practicing eugenics.

    What you’re utterly failing to see is that the Theory of Evolution has nothing to with social darwinism or eugenics. It’s like trying to blame the existence of electricity when some nutter goes about shocking people with a taser.

    But I’m saying that his agenda of purifying the aryan race and furthering the evolution of human was based upon evolutionary theory. It just was.

    Thankfully, your ignorance is not evidence.

    Uh, eugenics IS about natural selection. You weed out the bad genes so that they won’t get SELECTED.

    No, eugenics is about ARTIFICIAL selection – you purposefully intercede to wipe out certain traits in the (idiotic) hope it improves future generations.

    I had asked how you homosexuality is biological fit if homosexuality excludes reproduction (which Natural Selection needs). I asked morsec0de if homosexuality is a genetic mutation only selected for in over-populated society.

    I provided scientifically backed links which provided an in-depth answer to that question, far better than I could in the time available.

    Who are you to decide what is “society-stalling”?

    A critically thinking person who has actually looked up and checked the available evidence and seen that it checks out. Just like witch burnings, astrology, and trying to cure people with cancer by slapping them with a fish is society stalling.

    Also, if creationism is so ridiculous, why are you trying to censor it?

    Who’s trying to censor it?

    Why not show the world how idiotic it is in the public sector by allowing creation research all access in the scientific sector?

    Oh, just off the top of my head:
    a) It’s not science.
    b) It’s got no evidence to support it.
    c) Scientists have a lot better things to do with their rather limited resources already.

    Using your logic, we should proclaim palm reading, goat intestine based prophecy and tarot cards in as science and demand they get equal footing within the scientific arena. Absurd.

    Let them do their research, peer review everything, have the conversation, engage in open and honest discussion. What are you afraid of? Aren’t creation scientists just a bunch of nincompoops anyway?

    Yes, they are. They’re welcome to do their research but they almost never actually submit it for peer review … though when they do, it gets torn to shreds pretty quickly. Sadly, entering into debates with such people tends to lend them credibility they’re really not due.

    Don’t delude yourself into thinking that Dawkins is being honest here.

    Why not? I’ve seen no proof he’s been otherwise.

    I mean, they found T-Rex soft tissue! 65 million year old soft tissue? Yet, was the evolutionary paradigm challenged? Of course not. Instead, it was “well, we must be wrong about how long soft tissue can survive”. Really? Do you have any evidence to support that conclusion? “No, it just must be . . .” Why? “Because molecule-to-man evolution is absolutely true.” I thought that might be your answer.

    Trying to set up a strawman there, are we? Typical.
    I suggest you read up on the actual research instead of jumping to irrational and wrong conclusions.
    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2008/07/dinosaur_soft_tissuejust_bacte.php
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2008/07/the_seductive_siren_of_soft_ti.php

    Possibly the best one:
    http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2008/07/a_closer_look_at_dinosaur_soft.php

    talkorigins.org has a lot more about it but it seems they’re having problems with their main server at the moment.

  63. Eric Kemp Says:

    Matt

    This is my third attempt at entering a reply to you, the other two were lost due to wordpress ridiculousness. Here we go:

    There is something you should know about me. Only under certain conditions will I read a link provided by someone I am arguing against. They must, at the very least, provide a short summary/explanation of the link and why it specifically refutes my argument (instead of just claiming it does). The majority of the time I have found that the link is provided because the person either doesn’t understand the argument, doesn’t know how to refute it, or is too lazy to do so. However, I’m open to you being the exception to the rule. Please, provide the link as support for your argument instead of the link being your argument itself.

    For instance, with the T-Rex soft tissue: My point isn’t that evolution doesn’t have an answer for it, of course it does. T-rex soft tissue doesn’t refute evolution at all, however it does show Dawkin’s “evolution is easily disproved” canard to be nothing more than an artful, purposeful falsehood. The proof is in the pudding. Just as a fossil in a different geological stratum would be “unexpected” so would finding 65 million year old reptile soft tissue. So when the “unexpected” soft tissue is found, all the evolutionary scientist has to say is, “Well, I guess it’s not as unexpected a find as we thought, obviously, because we found it.” They don’t question the evolutionary paradigm, they only question the “soft tissue can’t survive for 65 million years” paradigm. Why? Because molecules-to-man evolution is absolute fact, not open to the “easily refuted” position that Dawkins hopes it is. I have previously provided an argument in this direction regarding the Cambrian explosion as well.

    So, taking into account my link reading criteria, I will only respond to the points you formed an argument against.

    “What you’re utterly failing to see is that the Theory of Evolution has nothing to with social darwinism or eugenics.”

    I agree with you! But for some reason you feel the need to go about doing a song and dance attempting to argue that social darwinism and eugenics aren’t based on evolution. The connection is so apparent that to argue otherwise is just plain daft. I honestly don’t understand why you argue so. All you have to do is say, “Those people used evolution incorrectly” and I’ll agree with you and we can move on. It would be like me trying to argue that the Crusades weren’t based upon Christianity, it’s ridiculous.

    “No, eugenics is about ARTIFICIAL selection – you purposefully intercede to wipe out certain traits in the (idiotic) hope it improves future generations.”

    Correct, but you’re attempting to argue that they didn’t get the idea of “artificial” selection from Darwin’s idea of Natural Selection. It’s preposterous.

    “A critically thinking person who has actually looked up and checked the available evidence and seen that it checks out. Just like witch burnings, astrology, and trying to cure people with cancer by slapping them with a fish is society stalling.”

    Ah yes, the mandatory insult on the Christians critical thinking skills just because they believe in God. Well done. How about instead of attributing every evil act done by a Christian to Christianity itself, we could talk about what the Bible says, since that is what Christianity SHOULD be following. Does the actions of Polpot represent atheism? Of course not. So neither does the actions of witch burners represent Christianity. So I’ll ask again, how is Christianity society stalling?

    “Oh, just off the top of my head:
    a) It’s not science.
    b) It’s got no evidence to support it.
    c) Scientists have a lot better things to do with their rather limited resources already.”

    Wait, which is it? Is it “not science” or does it have “no evidence to support it”? It can’t be both. Also, could you tell me specifically what tenets of science the creation model is violating that disqualifies them from being called “science”.

    “Using your logic, we should proclaim palm reading, goat intestine based prophecy and tarot cards in as science and demand they get equal footing within the scientific arena. Absurd.”

    And? What’s to fear? And why exclude at the outset? Isn’t science the search for truth no matter where it leads? Let palm readers be put under the scientific microscope (so to speak), if they dare, and if it proves reliable then we just learned something about the universe, and if it doesn’t then we just learned something about the universe. Again, what’s to fear?

  64. Matt Says:

    For instance, with the T-Rex soft tissue: My point isn’t that evolution doesn’t have an answer for it, of course it does. T-rex soft tissue doesn’t refute evolution at all, however it does show Dawkin’s “evolution is easily disproved” canard to be nothing more than an artful, purposeful falsehood.

    Not at all. It’s just in this case the so called soft tissue (which turned out to be nothing of the sort) wasn’t evidence of it at all.

    I have previously provided an argument in this direction regarding the Cambrian explosion as well.

    Well, you tried to. It wasn’t a very good effort, sorry.

    Correct, but you’re attempting to argue that they didn’t get the idea of “artificial” selection from Darwin’s idea of Natural Selection. It’s preposterous.

    Um, no. Since ancient people like the Spartans were doing more or less the same thing centuries ago…

    Ah yes, the mandatory insult on the Christians critical thinking skills just because they believe in God.

    If the shoe fits…

    How about instead of attributing every evil act done by a Christian to Christianity itself, we could talk about what the Bible says, since that is what Christianity SHOULD be following. Does the actions of Polpot represent atheism? Of course not. So neither does the actions of witch burners represent Christianity.

    Never said it was. What an odd tangent you’ve gone off on.

    So I’ll ask again, how is Christianity society stalling?

    Constantly we see religious groups (of all kinds, so please don’t get your underwear in a knot) holding back important research and generally being very silly. We see stem cell research protested against despite the incalculable benefits it could bring mankind just as one example. We see the study of proven scientific fields messed with because of people’s religious beliefs. That sort of thing holds society back from proper progress.

    Wait, which is it? Is it “not science” or does it have “no evidence to support it”? It can’t be both.

    Of course it can, don’t be silly.
    Astrology is not science AND there’s no evidence to support it’s accuracy.

    Also, could you tell me specifically what tenets of science the creation model is violating that disqualifies them from being called “science”.

    Improper use of the scientific method (reach conclusion and worked to find evidence for it, not the other way around).
    Doesn’t engage in peer reviewed research.
    Makes no testable predictions.
    etc etc etc

    And? What’s to fear? And why exclude at the outset?

    Because, in case you hadn’t been able to work it out and it seems you haven’t, there is only so much time and only so many resources available. Why waste time trying to tell the future with goats testicles instead of trying to find the cure for cancer? That really would be a way to stall the progress of humanity by endeavouring in a ridiculous waste of time, wouldn’t it?

    Creationism has been looked at, by the way, despite it’s non-scientific status – mainly because certain people kept jumping up and down and wouldn’t shut up until someone shut them up. Scientists have, on occasion, debated creationists on radio or in lecture theatres (yeah, a waste of time but sometimes scientists can do it for a laugh) and … well, I can’t think of a single incident of a creationist not being revealed as an ignorant person, not even knowing about the most basic research that’s already been done and is easily findable.

    So there is nothing, as I said, to fear. It’s just already been shown to be a waste of time.

  65. Young Says:

    “That’s funny coming from the guy who changes his name every other time he posts, hasn’t been around in a few weeks and expects me to remember him. All I know is that I’m deleting some insults, and if the person keeps coming back, that I should inform them that they’ll be censored. I didn’t realize, until your most recent comment, that it was my old ninja Troll the whole time.”

    Just trying to give you the illusion of a readership Kemp. If I didn’t it would be you and your cheerleader kris and the few Don Quixotes charging your windmill of stupidity.


  66. Fortunately for us, Meyers displays his intolerance for Christianity proudly.

    Well, that’s something we agree on, at least. PZ can be quite ridiculous at times.


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