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The Intelligent Design Controversy Heats Up

Posted on 11/23/2004 12:45:29 PM PST by truthfinder9

BreakPoint with Charles Colson Commentary #041123 - 11/23/2004

You Can't Have It Both Ways The Intelligent Design Controversy Heats Up

This summer, the Intelligent Design movement achieved an important goal. For years, evolutionists have been saying that the theory couldn't be taken seriously, because no articles explicitly advocating it had been published in any peer-reviewed scientific journal. Well, now one has been.

And evolutionists are still crying foul.

In August, Dr. Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture published an article in a peer-reviewed journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Meyer's article argued that materialistic theories of evolution can't account for the "origination of new biological forms" during the period known as the Cambrian Explosion, and suggested intelligent design as an alternative.

This article had to go through the same peer-review process as any other scientific paper. But that wasn't enough for many Darwinists. Members of the Biological Society of Washington, as well as the National Center for Science Education, wrote to the journal protesting that the article was "substandard"—before they'd even read it. Even the Biological Society's governing council distanced themselves from the article, saying that had they known about it beforehand, they "would have deemed this paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings."

And it gets better. The statement went on to declare that "Intelligent Design … will not be addressed in future issues of the [journal]." The whole subject is just off-limits. As Dr. John West of the Discovery Institute says, "Instead of addressing the paper's arguments or inviting counterarguments or rebuttal, the society has resorted to affirming what amounts to a doctrinal statement in an effort to stifle scientific debate."

How can a respected scientific organization get away with that kind of censorship? Simple: by portraying the subject as non-scientific. Never mind that three scientists approved Meyer's article, as did the journal's editor, who is an evolutionary biologist.

You see, materialistic evolutionists can't afford to think that Intelligent Design could possibly explain life. They can't even acknowledge it, for fear it would turn their whole philosophy—yes, philosophy, not science—upside down. To believe in design means believing in a Designer, and that belief wouldn't fit at all with the closed universe that's essential to the naturalistic worldview.

So they take what they see as the only possible answer—cut off debate, forget about academic freedom. It's frightening to see scientists deliberately decide that a line of scientific inquiry doesn't deserve to be pursued because it doesn't fit their beliefs. Who is putting dogma before science here?

The scientists who complained about Meyer's article need to learn that you can't have it both ways. You can't, on the one hand, maintain that a scientific movement must publish a peer-reviewed article in order to be considered legitimate, and then turn around and claim that it wasn't legitimate for a journal to publish any peer-reviewed article from that movement. If this is the kind of argument our Ph.D.s are coming up with, I think we'd better start requiring that all science majors take a few courses in logic.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Religion & Culture; Religion & Science; Skeptics/Seekers
KEYWORDS: apologetics; creation; design; evolution; science

1 posted on 11/23/2004 12:45:30 PM PST by truthfinder9
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To: truthfinder9

It's Groundhog Day again!


2 posted on 11/23/2004 12:53:15 PM PST by Oztrich Boy ("The true character of liberty is independence, maintained by force". - Voltaire)
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To: truthfinder9

Inteligent design is a challenge to the most basic assumptions of deterministic materialism.

They cannot defend or maintain their assumptions in the face of new evidence that the Universe is obviously designed, so, in a sort of reverse-Gallileo scenario, are resorting to simple dogma and ostracism to maintain the status quo.

They have become the New Inquisition trying to rein-in new scientific inquiry that does not share their paradigm lest it go where they wish it not to.


3 posted on 11/23/2004 12:54:44 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib
In other news, the "Intelligent Design In Our Time" movement (IDIOT for short), demands medical schools teach mighty powerful exorcism for the curing of disease.
4 posted on 11/23/2004 1:13:09 PM PST by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (Booo Hooo Hooo ... The new liberal battle cry!)
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Compared to some of the stuff they teach that might be a good idea. At least it would "do no harm".


5 posted on 11/23/2004 1:25:40 PM PST by old3030 (Religion would not have enemies if it were not an enemy to their vices.-- Massillon.)
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget
Do you insist on having an acronymn for yourself as well?

Moron.

That's a word.

Glad you dropped in for an intelligent discussion.

6 posted on 11/23/2004 1:38:07 PM PST by Lakeshark (Whatever...................................................................:-)
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

"In other news, the "Intelligent Design In Our Time" movement (IDIOT for short), demands medical schools teach mighty powerful exorcism for the curing of disease."


Heheh, is that a 'scientific response'?

Can you sense the shift in the public debate? People are not so easily buying the deterministic materialism that so many of you try to pass off as 'evolutionary science'.

I believe that biological evolution is how God brought about life and that this universe is hugely old, in the tens of billions of years old.

And I see nothing about ID that contradicts that belief at all on my part, because I believe that God used an evolutionary process and so I am not bothered to see plenty of elements of design therein.

But the materialists ahve been using bilogical evolution for decades now to brow-beat theists into regarding their observations of desing as so much coincidence.

Those days are ending now, and people like you who have a vested interest in a nihilistic universe are being plainly shown to be wrong.

But the debate is not between biological evolution vrs Creationism, it is between materialists trying to maintain a monopoly on the public forums and denying the right to b e heard to anyone who believes we are not here by some cosmological accident.

Step aside, and let science move on into the 21st century, why dont you?


7 posted on 11/23/2004 1:57:56 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

LOL, she was just another drive-by-troll, apparently.


8 posted on 11/23/2004 7:25:16 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: truthfinder9
Thanks for posting. I need to bookmark for my daughter. She is taking a senior-level high school science class called "Opposing Viewpoints", in which they (supposedly) debate evol. vs. intelligent design.

The teacher set up the class to teach his own liberal views, so naturally my daughter who does not take so easily to his dribble is sometimes hammered, or spoken to in a condescending way by the teacher. Its good college prep for what she will unavoidably face there. Many of us were taught evolution as fact, so much so that many now believe it, but they don't realize that after years and years of fossil research and all the many thousands of fossils examined, there is no evidence of ONE species turning into another. Yes, they have changed, but there is no common trunk to the many branches. The closer science is able to get to examine the universe, it does not look like a random event....which is what evolution is based.
9 posted on 11/24/2004 6:00:08 AM PST by Taggart_D
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To: JFK_Lib
"Can you sense the shift in the public debate?"

Over 40% of the 'public' in the US thinks the earth is 5000 years old, hardly a task to convince them of anything...

"And I see nothing about ID..."

I agree with you here, I see nothing about ID either! In that I mean ID is not an alternative to evolution since ID /has/ no theory. Id is a collection of attacks against evolution, this in no way constitutes a scientific theory!

If god made all this, then why does ID not explain anything. How long ago did he make everything? How do you explain the fossil record? How old is man? Essentially, what is the ID answer for all the questions evolution answers? There are none! Why? Because providing data and doing actual science means creating hypotheses that are falsifiable and reproducible. This is something ID'ers cannot do. ID is not considered science by anyone who actually does real science.

ID is defined by it's opposition to evolution. Without evolution, ID has no scientific merit. Essentially distorting the work of legitimate scientists and using it against science. 'Magic' is not an acceptable alternative to the huge explanatory model of evolution. Cite a couple of hypotheses from the ID model of natural diversity for us? But do it independently of evolution. That means no mention of evolution. You cannot, because ID is not science!

Of course there are gaps in evolution. There are gaps in the theory of gravity too, I find it interesting that uneducated christians don't seem to have a problem with gravity... History has shown that gaps in theories get filled in with time (as is expected in science as research continues), so pointing at gaps in evolution and saying 'it must be magic!' is the height of intellectual dishonesty.

Even this ridiculous article is a good example. This paper published, was it a paper on ID? NO! It was a paper attacking evolution!!! Do you see the difference? I realize that to people who have no idea how science works, this is easy to miss.

ID relies on the false premise that if evolution is proven wrong, then god musta gone dunnit. Well, sorry folks, even if tomorrow an archaeologist finds a cat skeleton beside a t-rex skeleton and evolution is falsified, that does not mean the answer is MAGIC!!!

Time to change the lead plumbing.
10 posted on 11/24/2004 3:30:01 PM PST by Alacarte
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To: Alacarte

JFK_Lib(quoted) - "Can you sense the shift in the public debate?"

Alacarte - Over 40% of the 'public' in the US thinks the earth is 5000 years old, hardly a task to convince them of anything...

JFK_Lib - Ahhh, nothing like opening your argument by insulting the intelligence of nearly 150 million people - right out of the Shout-down Handbook.

You must be proud of having such fine analytical skill.


JFK_Lib(quoted) - "And I see nothing about ID..."

Alacarte - I agree with you here, I see nothing about ID either! In that I mean ID is not an alternative to evolution since ID /has/ no theory. Id is a collection of attacks against evolution, this in no way constitutes a scientific theory!

JFK_Lib - And then you procede to deliberately misquote me to set up a broad disavowal of there being any possible evidence behind ID. Juding from your ability to correctly understand your opponents claims and respond fairly and open mindedly, I am forced to suspect that your evaluation of ID is similarly incomplete, distorted and twisted to suit your predispoistions rather than oriented to exploring the facts for any Truth in the subject.

Surely the fact that some evolutionists find ID to be worthy of concideration must mean that they are similarly as gullible as those who think the Earth 5000 years old?

Oh, I guess they must be Christian fundamentalist evolutionists?


Alacarte - If god made all this, then why does ID not explain anything. How long ago did he make everything? How do you explain the fossil record? How old is man? Essentially, what is the ID answer for all the questions evolution answers? There are none! Why?

JFK_Lib - ID is a search for evidence of design. Why does it warrant dismissal simply because it doesn't answer the questions that you prefer it to? You might as well reject Quantum Mechanics because it doesnt explain the origin of gravity, LOL!

Again, there is no necesary conflict between ID and biological evolution as it addresses the question of design vrs nondesign, which is irrelevant to the question of whether we have had evolution or not.


Alacarte - Because providing data and doing actual science means creating hypotheses that are falsifiable and reproducible. This is something ID'ers cannot do. ID is not considered science by anyone who actually does real science.

JFK_Lib - Oh, bosh! Behe and others have made solid argumetns with evidence. Go read it if you want to know it; your claim is preposterous bombast.


Alacarte - ID is defined by it's opposition to evolution. Without evolution, ID has no scientific merit. Essentially distorting the work of legitimate scientists and using it against science. 'Magic' is not an acceptable alternative to the huge explanatory model of evolution. Cite a couple of hypotheses from the ID model of natural diversity for us? But do it independently of evolution. That means no mention of evolution. You cannot, because ID is not science!

JFK_Lib - You dont even understand ID. It is not opposed to evolution, but to Darwins notion that evolution is necesarily random and unguided. There is too much evidence for the evolution of species for any serious biologist to challenge it. FYI, Darwinism <> evolution.


Alacarte - Of course there are gaps in evolution. There are gaps in the theory of gravity too, I find it interesting that uneducated christians don't seem to have a problem with gravity... History has shown that gaps in theories get filled in with time (as is expected in science as research continues), so pointing at gaps in evolution and saying 'it must be magic!' is the height of intellectual dishonesty.

JFK_Lib - LOL, they are not making an argument based on gaps in knowlege but on the nature of design and how random mutation simply cannot account for an increase in the order, information and organization found in various biological systems. Read Behe.


Alacarte - Even this ridiculous article is a good example. This paper published, was it a paper on ID? NO! It was a paper attacking evolution!!! Do you see the difference? I realize that to people who have no idea how science works, this is easy to miss.

JFK_Lib - You must have read a different article. IT did explain ID and breifly mentions some of its stronger points. I cannot, nor can ID, account for your inability to read comprehensivley.


Alacarte - ID relies on the false premise that if evolution is proven wrong, then god musta gone dunnit. Well, sorry folks, even if tomorrow an archaeologist finds a cat skeleton beside a t-rex skeleton and evolution is falsified, that does not mean the answer is MAGIC!!!

JFK_Lib - ID does not at all address who/what gave nature its design as that is in other realms of knowlege, and not for scientific investigation. But your dismissive equation of God with mere magic is simply more evidence of your closed minded bigotry and irrationalism. You label something without addressing its claims and then dismiss your opposition because they are what you label them as. There is no finer example of hysterical closed mindedness even in the anals of the Inquisition, the Stalin Trials or the Cultural Revolution. You must be proud of that.


Alacarte - Time to change the lead plumbing.

JFK_Lib - Maybe you shouldnt have lead plumbing in your home at all?


11 posted on 11/24/2004 3:59:49 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib
D does not at all address who/what gave nature its design as that is in other realms of knowlege, and not for scientific investigation.

No, but it still manages to include 'Intelligent' in its very title. Perhaps it's indicative of the intelligence of its proponents and their transparent assumptions.

But your dismissive equation of God with mere magic is simply more evidence of your closed minded bigotry and irrationalism.

As opposed to the self-delusion required to assume that Alacarte was commenting within your own paradigm that mandates god is the intelligence behind a design. The statement that you have mischaracterized assumes nothing that you have attributed to it.

A You label something without addressing its claims and then dismiss your opposition because they are what you label them as.

The very foundation of the ID 'theory' is unquantifiable and unverifiable, and hence outside the realm of evidence and science.

There is no finer example of hysterical closed mindedness even in the anals of the Inquisition, the Stalin Trials or the Cultural Revolution. You must be proud of that.

I'd recommend you actually understand history before commenting on it, and pick up a spelling primer on your way home tonight.

12 posted on 11/24/2004 4:48:47 PM PST by Pahuanui (When a foolish man hears of the Tao, he laughs out loud)
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To: truthfinder9
The problem with the Meyer paper is that it was not peer reviewed in the manner established by the Biological Society of Washington (the governing body for the periodical). This is confirmed in a statement they issued on September 7 last.

In other words, the ID proponents cheated. Is anyone surprised?

A fairly long demolition of the paper can be found here.

13 posted on 11/24/2004 5:06:17 PM PST by John Locke
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To: Pahuanui

JFK_Lib(quoted) - ID does not at all address who/what gave nature its design as that is in other realms of knowlege, and not for scientific investigation.

Pahuanui - No, but it still manages to include 'Intelligent' in its very title. Perhaps it's indicative of the intelligence of its proponents and their transparent assumptions.

JFK_Lib - In sequential logic, one does not avoid apparent decisions merely because of difficult questions that may follow. If design is present in the structure of a cell, it is irrelevant what the origen of that design is in terms of any scientific inquiry. That opponents of ID obsess with the 'who' instead of the 'what' is a reflection on their preoccupation with consequences instead of the question at hand. And that ishardly proof of any inadequacy of ID, but only of the critics.


JFK_Lib(quoted) - But your dismissive equation of God with mere magic is simply more evidence of your closed minded bigotry and irrationalism.

Pahuanui - As opposed to the self-delusion required to assume that Alacarte was commenting within your own paradigm that mandates god is the intelligence behind a design. The statement that you have mischaracterized assumes nothing that you have attributed to it.

JFK_Lib - That Alacarte was obviously commenting on the concept of God in his overly broad and sweeping generalization regarding magic is apparent, and hardly an unusual tactic or slur for typical uber-secularists.

If I have mischaracterized Alacartes statement, then show me specifically how, and stop it with the labels, though they do seem to be the Darwinists forte these days.



JFK_Lib(quoted) - A You label something without addressing its claims and then dismiss your opposition because they are what you label them as.

Pahuanui - The very foundation of the ID 'theory' is unquantifiable and unverifiable, and hence outside the realm of evidence and science.

JFK_Lib - Why must the presence of 'design' be unverifiable? It is something that has been ill-defined until recently, but the ID proponents claim to have an objective method of determining what we all recognize instinctively. We all know that a poker dealer that deals himself seven hands of Royal Flushes in a row is 'designing' his deck, even without 'scientific' proof. Why cant science have caught up to common sense in this regard?

And what makes you an authority to pontificate on the subject anyway? If you cant explain it in laymans terms persuasively, then I doubt there is much substance in your assertions to begin with.


JFK_Lib(quoted) - There is no finer example of hysterical closed mindedness even in the anals of the Inquisition, the Stalin Trials or the Cultural Revolution. You must be proud of that.

Pahuanui - I'd recommend you actually understand history before commenting on it, and pick up a spelling primer on your way home tonight.


JFK_Lib - HAHAHAH, the classic concession in discussion on the internet; you have resorted to grammar and spelling critique as though it matters to the discussion.

Oh, obviously you simply *must* be right because of your superior brain and high-IQ, proven because you can spellcheck a text, LOL! </sarcasm>

Why dont you save your arrogant and condescending advice for someone who needs it?

I have forgotten more history than you will ever know, mugwump.


14 posted on 11/24/2004 7:03:23 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: John Locke


John Locke - The problem with the Meyer paper is that it was not peer reviewed in the manner established by the Biological Society of Washington (the governing body for the periodical). This is confirmed in a statement they issued on September 7 last.

JFK_Lib - YEs, the statement says in part:

BS Wash - We endorse the spirit of a resolution on Intelligent Design set forth by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (www.aaas.org/news/releases/2002/1106id2.shtml), and that topic will not be addressed in future issues of the Proceedings. We are reviewing editorial policies to ensure that the goals of the Society, as reflected in its journal, are clearly understood by all.

JFK_Lib - In other words, they refuse to discuss the merits of ID at all and rely on a dogmatic approach instead. Any future submissions we can only imagine will be dead on arrival if they deem it tainted by ID, and the author submitting it will be tried for heresy and burned at the stake.


John Locke - In other words, the ID proponents cheated. Is anyone surprised?

JFK_Lib - Ummm, the BS WAsh failed to spike an ID paper that went through the normal process, or the BS Wash failed to properly peer review an article submitted to their own publication, and yet all this proves that the ID proponents *cheated*? LOL! Talk about a predetermined judgement!


John Locke - A fairly long demolition of the paper can be found here.

JFK_Lib - Yes, all quite one-sided. Where is the ID response? None at all, which is hardly a *discussion* of anything, but merely Darwinists carrying on a monologue that they call 'debate'? YEah, and some of the fair and balanced remarks from the comments show the hysterical and shrill 'review' of Meyer:

"My favorite example which shows what a moron Mr. Meyer is can be found..."

Ah, yes, Meyer is obviously a moron. How positively scholarly.


"I wish people would spend as much effort trying to debunk my theory as they do with these obviously flawed inferiors."

Heh...


"I moved a bunch of comments not directly related to the content and criticism of Meyer 2004 to the “Bathroom Wall”."

Heheheheh.....well, he seems to have missed quite alot of it....


15 posted on 11/24/2004 7:18:31 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: Oztrich Boy

Ummm, that academia is rather monolithic in various ways at odds to the general wisdom is hardly news to anyone.

It is only in academia that Marxism still reigns in the humanities, and that Darwinism is unchallenged despite many advances. It is sort of like physicists had kept the Bohr atom and merely relegated QM to the margins if one cares to bother. Spontaneous Equilibrium, doesnt that contradict Darwinist gradualism? And what of catastrophism? Is that still heresy? Or other means of selection induced by changes in regard to the fitness of ones rivals and predators? Or simple dumb luck? Or deliberate handicapping behavior?

Bah, Darwin is now Moses, and Jesus and Marx all wrapped up into one and it is galling to consider how much science has been buried by Darwinists able to do so because his materialistic determinism gives so many an excuse for their ....well differences.

But this too will pass as the faith of Abraham conquors all the Earth.


16 posted on 11/24/2004 7:27:05 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: Alacarte

Nice naturalist evangelist talking points, but that's all that they are. When you write things like "ID relies on the false premise that if evolution is proven wrong then god musta gone dunnit" it is obvious you haven't studied the subject. Of course you porbably have no porblems with naturlists who say "yeah, the fossil record is against us, but someday it will prove us right because we are right." Good luck with that.


17 posted on 11/25/2004 6:43:00 AM PST by truthfinder9
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To: truthfinder9
truthfinder9 - "...it is obvious you haven't studied the subject."

If you are referring to evolution, you are sorely mistaken, I have developed single-handed stochastic computer models based on pikaia (google for the website) to minimize functions based on evolutionary models. They work better than deterministic models, which is an amazing mathematical feat.

If perhaps you were referring to ID, then you are correct, I do know nothing about the specifics, because there are no specifics. It makes no positive assertions, only eliminative assertions targetting gaps in evolution such as irreducible complexity. Perhaps there is not enough evidence currently within evolution to convince everyone that reducible complexity is possible, but to suggest that scientific advancement is going to somehow stop now and we'll never know, is just plain stupid. Furthermore, to argue that not only will progress stop, but the answer must be magic(ie, a higher power), is even dumber.

truthfinder9 - "you porbably have no porblems with naturlists who say "yeah, the fossil record is against us, but someday it will prove us right because we are right." "

You will have to help me out on this one. What are you talking about, the fossil record is very consistent with evolutionary theory. Just because a couple people with Phd's who don't do any actual research say it's not consistent does not make it so. When discussing science, we must concede authority to scientists, in this case archaeologists. Archaeologists have no problem with the fossil record.

JFK_Lib - ID does not at all address who/what gave nature its design as that is in other realms of knowlege, and not for scientific investigation. But your dismissive equation of God with mere magic is simply more evidence of your closed minded bigotry and irrationalism.

Alacarte - Oh please, ID is just creationism 2.0. What do you mean by 'mere magic?' If it wasn't magic, then there would be a natural explanation and ID could expound on how exactly it was done. Or is it the semantics you object to?

JFK_Lib - You label something without addressing its claims and then dismiss your opposition because they are what you label them as.

ID makes no claims of its own! It has NO body of research, it makes NO predictions, and it is not falsifiable.

JFK_Lib - LOL, they are not making an argument based on gaps in knowlege but on the nature of design and how random mutation simply cannot account for an increase in the order, information and organization found in various biological systems. Read Behe.

Alacarte - There you go! You just said ID argues that evolution cannot explain blah blah. How on earth does proving one hypothesis wrong (evolutionary diversity) somehow prove another (ID)? Of course it does not, which is why ID is nothing more than an attack on evolution and an impediment to progress. If ID actually had an hypothesis for how all this diversity, which wasn't 'magic,' then we could take it seriously. Until then there is nothing to test. Also, attacking evolution's ability to account for diversity IS exploiting a gap in the theory. 80 years ago christians were arguing against ALL of evolution. It's funny how not they only have a problem with the few parts that we are still a little fuzzy on. Evolution will conclusively fill all these gaps (and make new ones), including diversity eventually, same as any field of research. I am not going to read Behe, there are too many real science books waiting on my list.

The bottom line is that without evolution's science to attack, there is absolutely nothing scientific about ID. Google for what the National Academy of Sciences (the authority on science) thinks of ID. If scientists say it is not science (which the NAS does), then it is not science!
18 posted on 11/25/2004 7:46:52 AM PST by Alacarte
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To: Alacarte

I wrote: " ...in this case archaeologists"

That should be Paleontologists, oops.

ERROR: Out of coffee - shutting down


19 posted on 11/25/2004 9:44:14 AM PST by Alacarte
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To: Alacarte

Alacarte - I do know nothing about the specifics, because there are no specifics. It makes no positive assertions, only eliminative assertions targetting gaps in evolution such as irreducible complexity.

JFK_Lib - Eliminative assertions are specifics. To assert that A cannot do B is assertive, good greif. You're just slinging the polemic around like rich fertilizer, no?


Alacarte - Oh please, ID is just creationism 2.0.

JFK_Lib - No, it is not or else evolutionists would not find it compatible. It is compatible with evolution, but not materialism as expressed in Darwinistic evolution. Again, Darwinism <> evolution.



Alacarte - What do you mean by 'mere magic?' If it wasn't magic, then there would be a natural explanation and ID could expound on how exactly it was done. Or is it the semantics you object to?

JFK_Lib - Not everything that goes beyond the natural is 'magic'. And you deliberately use a pejorative phrase in order to further muddy the subject and lower the level of calm consideration. It is this type of hyperbole that makes it plain that you really do suspect that you are in the wrong, or else you would not engage in such obstructive semantics.


Alacarte - ID makes no claims of its own! It has NO body of research, it makes NO predictions, and it is not falsifiable.

JFK_Lib - Hahahah, yeah, right. You admit that you have not read up on the issue, so why dont you either educate yourself on the issue or just shut up and get out of the way of progress?



Alacarte - You just said ID argues that evolution cannot explain blah blah.

JFK_Lib - *Random mutation* does not account for EVERYTHING. And that is not synonymous with asserting that evolution does not account for 'blah, blah.'



Alacarte - If ID actually had an hypothesis for how all this diversity, which wasn't 'magic,' then we could take it seriously. Until then there is nothing to test.


JFK_Lib - So you again imply that without a completely natural, materialistic explanation, there can be nothing 'taken seriously'. You admit to such bias and then try to pose as though you are open minded on the subject!

Your paradigm is coming to an end, and I look forward to it. The Twentieth century was dominated by deterministic, materialism and it nearly destroyed mankind. Thank God that point of view is being eclipsed by new scientific Truth.



Alacarte - The bottom line is that without evolution's science to attack, there is absolutely nothing scientific about ID.

JFK_Lib - The bottom line is that you still dont have a clue about what ID is about as you continue to confuse it with Creationism, which it isnt. Your view of 'science' is loaded, prejudicial, irrational with presumption, and obsolete.


20 posted on 11/25/2004 12:24:19 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib
JFK_Lib - Eliminative assertions are specifics. To assert that A cannot do B is assertive, good greif. You're just slinging the polemic around like rich fertilizer, no?

Alacarte - You are reiterating my point, criticizing one theory does not make another, separate theory valid. ID presupposes that if evolution cannot account for all the diversity (which it can), then there must have been some higher power that did it. This logic is terribly flawed and the furthest thing from science possible. If other realms of science took the position that whatever we cannot currently explain cannot possibly have a natural explanation and must therefore have been caused by magic, progress would stop. Why is there no movement to stop physicists from trying to figure out why all atoms in the universe are attracted to one another? Well? According to your logic, since we currently don't know the answer, it is obvious the answer is god, so just stop all physics research now, we got all the answers!

JFK_Lib - No, it is not or else evolutionists would not find it compatible. It is compatible with evolution, but not materialism as expressed in Darwinistic evolution. Again, Darwinism <> evolution.

Alacarte - Irreducible complexity is just the watchmaker argument dressed up in a pretty gown. And who are these evolutionists you speak of? Possibly there are a few evolutionists who question the power of selection pressure and mutation to cause speciation. But I assure you they don't throw their hands in the air and say we should give up, it must be magic. They think there may be another, better, natural explanation.

JFK_Lib - Not everything that goes beyond the natural is 'magic'.

Alacarte - What do you call it then? There is nothing in the natural world that is not natural, there are only things we have yet to explain. The supernatural, whether it be ghosts, gods or leprechauns exist only in people's heads. What would you have me call the unnatural power of your great designer then, if not magic? Divine intervention? If ID really were a theory it would explain exactly this sort of thing in its own model.

JFK_Lib - Hahahah, yeah, right. You admit that you have not read up on the issue, so why dont you either educate yourself on the issue or just shut up and get out of the way of progress?

Alacarte - No, I asserted there is nothing within ID that constitutes a theory. Irreducible complexity is tantamount to saying we should stop all scientific research right now since we've obviously discovered all we are going to discover. We'll just fill in all the unknowns with 'magic.'

JFK_Lib - *Random mutation* does not account for EVERYTHING. And that is not synonymous with asserting that evolution does not account for 'blah, blah.'

Alacarte - Why can't it? Your 'magic' explanation isn't exactly convincing either. Regardless, surely this is a decision for evolutionists, the people who study the effects of random mutation and selection pressure (BTW, there is nothing RANDOM about diversity other than the genetic anomalies during cross-over), and they say it is possible. But let us say for a second that evolution doesn't account for all the diversity, what bizarro world do you live in that the answer must be magic (or divine intervention, or rogue leprechauns, whatever 'intelligence' implies...)? Wouldn't the logical conclusion be that the answer is a different natural explanation?

JFK_Lib - So you again imply that without a completely natural, materialistic explanation, there can be nothing 'taken seriously'. You admit to such bias and then try to pose as though you are open minded on the subject!

Alacarte - In what other part of life do you apply faith instead of science? Really! Would you get on a plane if your pastor said god will protect you, but that engineers had told you was not safe? Of course not! Would you eat meat that the meat inspectors said had ecoli, assuming you said grace beforehand? No... Being open-minded is one thing, being stupid is another. Why don't you leave cookies out for santa at christmas? Don't believe in him? You that closed minded!?!?

JFK_Lib - Your paradigm is coming to an end, and I look forward to it. The Twentieth century was dominated by deterministic, materialism and it nearly destroyed mankind. Thank God that point of view is being eclipsed by new scientific Truth.

Alacarte - We tried what you are referring to, it's nick-named the "dark ages." It ended with the enlightenment, when the west told christianity to sit down and shut-up, then embraced secularism. What you want is a christian version of iran.

JFK_Lib - The bottom line is that you still dont have a clue about what ID is about as you continue to confuse it with Creationism, which it isnt. Your view of 'science' is loaded, prejudicial, irrational with presumption, and obsolete.

Alacarte - The few proponents for ID who are not fundamentalist christians are orthodox jews. I don't have to ask you if you are religious or not, only someone driven by an ideology would persist in arguing something is scientific, after scientists say it is not (see NAS website). If ID really was an alternative to evolution rather than just an attack on the gaps, it would have its own explanations for how life came about the way it is today. It does not. It merely says that one specific part of evolution is wrong, therefore deism must be true. The mere fact that ID proposes a higher power eliminates it from being scientific, since the supernatural cannot be tested, otherwise it would be natural...

The evolution/creationism debate was ALWAYS a debate over the validity of evolution. As if it was a given that should evolution be proven false, god musta dunnit. There was never ANY debate about creationism itself. Why? Because there was nothing to debate! All creationism said was, 'god dunnit.' Well, ok, the 6 day story, which can be summarized into one page. This scenario sound familiar? It should, because creationism 2.0 (ID) uses the same tactic. Irreducible complexity is just the defunct watchmaker argument rehashed. Evolution can stand on its own as a theory, but without evolution, intelligent design is left with 'god dunnit,' hardly a theory of anything.

BTW, why do you keep saying "Darwinism <> evolution."? Without self-replication/inheritance/variation/selection (darwinism specifically), evolution would fall apart.

Again, if we want to know what colour pants god wears, we'll consult the theologists. If we want to understand the natural world, we will consult scientists. Scientists overwhelmingly accept evolution, and reject ID (google for what the NAS says about ID). Case closed.
21 posted on 11/25/2004 3:24:42 PM PST by Alacarte (Real swords cannot kill imaginary dragons)
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To: JFK_Lib
Pahuanui - No, but it still manages to include 'Intelligent' in its very title. Perhaps it's indicative of the intelligence of its proponents and their transparent assumptions.

JFK_Lib - In sequential logic, one does not avoid apparent decisions merely because of difficult questions that may follow.

In other news, the sun rose in the east this morning.

If design is present in the structure of a cell, it is irrelevant what the origen of that design is in terms of any scientific inquiry.

Perhaps it has escaped you that, by definition, design in this case requires intelligence. IOW, confirmation of design requires that designer is an intelligent entity or agency, or there would be no design.

That opponents of ID obsess with the 'who' instead of the 'what' is a reflection on their preoccupation with consequences instead of the question at hand.

That is a transparent mischaracterization. 'Who' or 'what' amount to exactly the same thing when talking about some inherently intelligent force that has purposefully designed the universe.

And that ishardly proof of any inadequacy of ID, but only of the critics.

No, it is patently obvious proof of an agenda on the part of proponents of ID that pre-exists any evidence or arguments that they have ever produced. Sorry you missed that.

Pahuanui - As opposed to the self-delusion required to assume that Alacarte was commenting within your own paradigm that mandates god is the intelligence behind a design. The statement that you have mischaracterized assumes nothing that you have attributed to it. JFK_Lib - That Alacarte was obviously commenting on the concept of God in his overly broad and sweeping generalization regarding magic is apparent, and hardly an unusual tactic or slur for typical uber-secularists.

Just because you want Alacarte to have plainly and openly said so won't make it come 'magically' true, Sport. The only thing obvious here is your projection of what isn't there.

If I have mischaracterized Alacartes statement, then show me specifically how, and stop it with the labels, though they do seem to be the Darwinists forte these days.

Simply point out exactly where Alacarte said what you attributed to him/her.

Pahuanui - The very foundation of the ID 'theory' is unquantifiable and unverifiable, and hence outside the realm of evidence and science.

JFK_Lib - Why must the presence of 'design' be unverifiable?

Because the term design implies a designer, whose presence and/or nature are themselves not proveable.

It is something that has been ill-defined until recently, but the ID proponents claim to have an objective method of determining what we all recognize instinctively.

Yes, and I can claim that I'm Richard Petty or Gautama Buddha, but I'm not. The very fact that we are having this discussing disproves your trite assertion that ID's innate veracity is something 'we all recognize instinctively'.

We all know that a poker dealer that deals himself seven hands of Royal Flushes in a row is 'designing' his deck, even without 'scientific' proof.

.How charmingly irrelevant.

Why cant science have caught up to common sense in this regard?

I know it will come as an almost systemic shock to you, but science (I hope you're sitting down) relies on evidence. Common sense has precious little to do with it.

And what makes you an authority to pontificate on the subject anyway?

I'm actually familiar with the scientific method, the rules of evidence and logic, and understand that an apple is not an orange.

If you cant explain it in laymans terms persuasively, then I doubt there is much substance in your assertions to begin with.

I am not making an assertion in the positive about ID, professor. I have no obligation to argue on it's behalf. What I have been doing is pointing out the flaws inherent to it.

JFK_Lib - HAHAHAH, the classic concession in discussion on the internet; you have resorted to grammar and spelling critique as though it matters to the discussion.

no, I have already addressed the flaws in your arguments quite sufficiently. The point, since you seem to run screamingly from it, is the the 'anals' of the Inquisition would actually have some humor in it, if one were familiar with some aspects of the Inquisition. Your posts have demonstrated to me that you lack this ability and knowledge and, hence, it could not have been a conscious pun on you part, but rather a simple spelling mistake. Duh.

Oh, obviously you simply *must* be right because of your superior brain and high-IQ, proven because you can spellcheck a text, LOL!

No, I make no claims about my own brain or IQ.

Why dont you save your arrogant and condescending advice for someone who needs it?

I did. I'll make sure to phrase it even more simply for you next time.

I have forgotten more history than you will ever know, mugwump.

Yawn.

22 posted on 11/25/2004 4:26:29 PM PST by Pahuanui (When a foolish man hears of the Tao, he laughs out loud)
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To: Alacarte

"It makes no positive assertions"

Wrong. Some ID scientists have formulated a testable model. The NAS obviously isn't advertising that fact.

"Perhaps there is not enough evidence currently within evolution to convince everyone that reducible complexity is possible"

Logical fallacy: "It's not true now, but hopefully it will be someday"


"to argue that not only will progress stop"

Logical fallacy.

"What are you talking about, the fossil record is very consistent with evolutionary theory."

Really? Is that why evolutionists came up with punctuated equilibrium to explain it away?

"Archaeologists have no problem with the fossil record."

Archaeologists don't study fossils. Paleontologists do.

"National Academy of Sciences (the authority on science) thinks of ID. If scientists say it is"

Logical fallacy/appeal to authority. Who gave the NAS the last say on reality? When did this come about?


23 posted on 11/26/2004 3:49:59 AM PST by truthfinder9
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To: Alacarte

Alacarte, there simply isnt time in the day enough for me to respond to each of the points you bring up. So I am going to respond by looking at the higher level issues involved which are the genuine source of the dispute, and also the root cause of why you and others insist ID should be 'shunned' and not debated.

The general objection to ID boils down to an objection to what you keep refering to as 'magic'. To materialists, no intrusion from 'outside' the material universe is an acceptable response to any anamoly in science. And no matter what the research is behind theories that leave the conceptual door open to 'outside' answers, like ID, you reject it out of hand because you consider it the equivalent of old Creationist theories/critiques that you believe science rightly rejected years ago, and hence the continued confusion between ID and Creationism. (I agree with you up to this point because I agree that science cannot prove as 'reality' those things that lie outside its parameters of investigation, ie outside the material universe. But I do believe that science can find 'footprints' that suggest that there are things outside the universe, such as the Weak Anthropic Principle does.)

This debate between the materialists (closed universe) and theists (open universe) has raged on many levels for centuries, as I am sure you know, and it is the theists who have now become locked outside the halls of power of the scientific community. Outside those stale old halls alot of theistic scientists have had the freedom to think freely for some time now and they have different theories that do not make the same mistakes the earlier generation of theists made.

ID is one such theory, and it deserves to be considered purely on its merits and not whether it violates philosophical presumptions (like materialism) that do NOT underly science itself. Science is a systematic method of investigating our universe, and it is not capable of evluating philosophical issues that support it or that some would like to append to it artificially, hence materialism CANNOT be something that science either supports or denies. Materialists today like to presume that materialism is part of sciences foundation, but it isnt and most engineers are aware of this.

The predisposition of materialists like yourself to reject ID out of hand because to you it is indistinguishable from 'magic' points to your underlying presumption that everything in the physical universe is explainable by purely natural means. Thus anything that critiques such a set of presumptions is outside of your ability to mentally digest it, as you begin with the concept that these things simply cannot be. No one will ever be able to explain it to you sufficiently because as long as it 'violates' your materialistic framework you cannot accept it as anything other than 'magic' from the very start.

But to theists who accept the *possibility* of an open universe, it is not a presumption that there is a natural explanation of everything in the physical universe. (Kant's dichotomy is fundamentally static and thus flawed and simply does not work.) So when ID claims that there are limits to Darwinistic natural selection that cannot explain *some* anomolies today, it is not a problem for the theist that must be glossed over with some naturalistic explanation. That is the hobgoblin of the materialist mind; theists are content with leaving the facts to speak for themselves.

But more and more the scientific evidence for the 'fine tuned' nature of our universe pushes the materialists into greater and greater presumption and naturalistic explanation bordering on the absurd or unprovable, hence we have the Weak Anthropic Principle that there are universes outside our universe. While these materialistic scientists can reject any notion of God immediately as 'magic', but somehow accept a 'nearly' infinite number of paralel alternate universes as just dandy, everyone outside the halls of institutional science can see the hypocrisy that the scientists are blind to.

So, as a theist and someone who believes that Darwin's theory explains the vast majority of biological diversity, I am willing to entertain ID as a theory. I see nothing inherently unscientific about it, but I do see the purge of theists from the institutions of science, the dogmatic refusal to debate theories coming from a theistic perspective (like ID), and the predominate preference of materialists to use distortion, pejoratives and censorship in place of open debate, all this is clear evidence that the materialists have run out of alternative answers to the mounting number of anamolies (for the materialists) that seem to point to an open universe. Far too often there is denial by materialists that ID has any possible validity and the response is not to debate, with ID proponents allowed to participate, but to instead shut the ID people out and carry on an intellectually incestuous discussion where the conclusions are predetermined. That is NOT open, honest discussion, but the equivalent of a philosophical monologue with all the conclusions predetermined before the first word is uttered.

When I teach my children science and math at home (to augment their teaching in public schools) I sometimes find that they get misconceptions that I have to explain. I enjoy doing this as it gives me the opportunity to refresh my mind on some of the basics that I have not considered for years. But I NEVER have to make a claim of authority with them in my explanations, because that is NOT an explanation of anything. I realize that if I cannot explain something for them, they will get their answers elsewhere. And of course, I might be wrong about something and they are getting the latest facts and it serves me the favor of sweeping away the old cobwebs and getting the latest and greatest 'truth' that the teaching proffession proffesses today. To learn is to truly live, no?

But the materialists today are not finding answers or even understanding the actual questions anymore. They are making assetions based on authority (really presumption) and using their institutional power to suppress debate and purge 'offenders' with loss of career, position, income and recognition. Materialists have become what they have long despised as the boogeyman of early modern science, today's Torquemadas determined to burn out heresy root stem and branch from their 'holy' view of the universe.

But it is all to no avail; Truth will win out though all the world try to suppress it. You see, Alacarte, this shunning of theists is the adult equivalent of the childs game of 'pretend'. Though you and your buds will keep telling each other that you are right and theism is wrong-headed 'magic', the people who have the habit of looking at the reality around them and forming a set of facts independent of institutions of science, the engineers whose success depends on actually acheiving results in the real world unprotected by tenure, will simply find/create other institutions where they can discuss these questions. It is the engineers that drive further science and investigation with their earned donations and part time investigations into questions that intrigue them. If institutions of science wont continue to provide solid inquiry, then that inquiry will be found elsewhere.

Evolution suggests that those things which do not adapt will die, and materialism is dying. That is why 'The Passion of the Christ' was such a run-away success and why the Abrahamic faiths have actually become the majority of the worlds population despite the exterminations of theists by atheist regimes in the last century and despite the population explosions ongoing in China and India.

It is fine with me that you keep ignoring theistic points of view, slandering them as irrational and using persecution to purge us from your ivory towers. Today these institutions belong to you, but tomorrow they will belong to us or they will have been replaced by more robust institutions willing to engage in honest daring inquiry.

Either way, tomorrow belongs to us and Darwinism will be put on the shelf along with the Bohr atom and Newtonian physics.


24 posted on 11/26/2004 9:01:51 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: truthfinder9

truthfinder9 - Wrong. Some ID scientists have formulated a testable model. The NAS obviously isn't advertising that fact.

Alacarte - I mention the NAS only because I want to be specific without naming every top science organization and journal, so I chose the most prestigious. But I want to be clear that when I say NAS, all other real science organizations agree 100%, and examples can be cited. What the NAS says about science is the most competent, educated opinion on science at man's disposal. Inifintely mroe so than that of christians.

truthfinder9 - Archaeologists don't study fossils. Paleontologists do.

Alacarte - I corrected myself yesterday as soon as I re-read my post, thanks for doing it again.

truthfinder9 - Really? Is that why evolutionists came up with punctuated equilibrium to explain it away?

What is wrong with punctuated equilibrium? There has to be a natural explanation for the distribution of fossils, and this is one. Maybe it's not right, in which case SCIENTISTS will figure it out and come up with the right answer. This is an important point. If punctuated equilibrium is found to be wrong, or a better theory is found, it will be SCIENTISTS who discover it, not ID propogandists.

EVERY field of scientific study is like this, so why is this one an exception? Why aren't christians pointing to the gaps in germ theory? Or relativity? Why don't you all have a problem with gravity?

Let's say that tomorrow we find a cat skeleton beside a pterodactl, evolution as a viable theory is put into serious jeopardy and found to wrong. How does that in ANY way lend credence to god doing it(and ID does imply god, drop the pretense already)? The death of evolution would mean exactly the same thing the death of a theory in ANY field means - there is another natural explanation.

The simple fact that ID takes a conclusion (god made the universe), then selectively collects real scientific data to support that conclusion is unscientific. The mere fact that it mentions the supernatural disqualifies it! The whole point of science is to explain our NATURAL world. If you want to have an invisible friend, more power to you, but that has absolutely NOTHING to do with science. So stop trying to sell it as such.

truthfinder9 - Logical fallacy/appeal to authority. Who gave the NAS the last say on reality? When did this come about?

Hey good, you managed to qualify your accusation of fallacy this time. This time you are right, I am appealing to authority, but it is no logical fallacy! The scientific community (not just the NAS) says ID is not science, and that evolution, as it stands, is the best model to explain diversity of life on earth. Science is NOT a democratic system! We never voted on whether gravity was caused by atomic attraction or invisible leprechauns, science is dictated by the facts.

The simple fact that christians are so SELECTIVE about which science you question is pathetic. Planes occassionally crash, where's the christian outrage over the theory of flight? If, as you say, the scientific community does NOT have the last say on reality, then why don't you just run off a cliff, flap your arms and fly next time you want to go somewhere? Well? Why not? Hmmm, those engineers and scientists aren't such fascists bad guys anymore?

Faith has nothing to do with reality, if it did, you wouldn't need 'faith' to believe it. You don't need faith to know that planes are safe, engineers and scientists tell you it is ok. You don't need faith to tell you the food you eat is ok, scientists at the FDA tell you it is. Don't pretend you use your 'faith' for anything useful, because you don't. You use science as much as anybody. Science DOES have the last word on reality, that is its job. And the people know science, are the scientists (ie. NAS).

If Michael Behe wants to productively contribute to science by honestly criticising evolution, that's great, it will only make the theory stronger by more testing. Or it may even expose its weaknesses and lead to a better theory. But as soon as science starts allowing people to hypothesis ghosts or gods as causes, it ceases to be scientific.

You people must drive evolutionary biologists up the wall.


25 posted on 11/26/2004 9:57:36 AM PST by Alacarte (Real swords cannot kill imaginary dragons)
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To: Alacarte

Alacarte - Faith has nothing to do with reality, if it did, you wouldn't need 'faith' to believe it.

JFK_Lib - So faith in my coworkers to do their job right has nothing to do with reality? Or my faith in my wife to handle her responsabilities, or in the people alongside me driving to work to.....ah, you get the idea by now, surely.


Alacarte - You don't need faith to know that planes are safe, engineers and scientists tell you it is ok.

JFK_Lib - Oh, and when was the last time I got on an airplane and some scientist came forward and told me that he had personally checked out the plane? Ummm, never happened.

Scientists tell few people anything in their personal lives, almost nothing at all.



Alacarte - You don't need faith to tell you the food you eat is ok, scientists at the FDA tell you it is.

JFK_Lib - And when did the FDA stop short-order cooks from preparing food without washing their hands? When did the FDA stop hot dog venders downtown from re-using the same old hotdogs left over from yesterday? They didnt.

You confuse policy that may have had some input by some scientist somewhere with the actual enforcement of those policies and guidelines which is left to anonymous strangers in some municipal bureacracy, kind of like your scientists too, come to think of it.

Yes, we all operate by faith in each other each day of our lives.


Alacarte - Don't pretend you use your 'faith' for anything useful, because you don't.

JFK_Lib - How on Earth could you even *possibly* *know* that?

You cant, but it is in step with all your other anti-religious polemic so far. Really, are you just an anti-Christian bigot, or what?


Alacarte - You use science as much as anybody. Science DOES have the last word on reality, that is its job.

JFK_Lib - No, science really doesnt have the last word on anything at all, as 'science' is not an entity that has a voice. Yes, there are some people who claim to speak on behalf of 'science' as though it were some form of deity, but really it is just a collection of concepts that express a view of reality derived by consensus among some tenured people cushioned from expectations by the political chicanery common to Universities and colleges competing with each other for more funds at the federal research trough, but thats about it. It is being constantly updated, revised and modified but it is no more the final word on a subject than anything else.

I cant recall the last time that 'science' had anything useful to say about beauty, why I feel love for my wife and daughter, or why the stock market rises and falls or why the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburg Steelers look like Super Bowl favorites this year.

IF science was really the last word on everything, then scientists would have the prettiest wives (from their absolute wisdom on what love is and how to control it), the most money (from their absolute knowlege of how stock markets work), and be hired for coaching positions in all the top sports who could possibly afford them.

Instead we see scientists mostly performing minimal University services sometimes teaching class when the TA cant do it for them, maybe doing something that can tossed down on paper for some minimally peer-reviewed journal no one actually bothers to read, and playing a lot of politics amongst the faculty and wishing they were better looking, had more sense and could learn to sell used cars.

Some scientists actually do make and design things for use in the real world, but we call them 'engineers'.

Alacarte - And the people know science, are the scientists (ie. NAS).

JFK_Lib - Hah, yeah, sure. Whatever.



26 posted on 11/26/2004 5:48:50 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

You know the funny thing is, I actually wanted to be a scientists till I had the good fortune of meeting a few of them while working on my degree.


27 posted on 11/26/2004 6:12:27 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

Hearty ole in-your-eye bumpage!


28 posted on 11/27/2004 10:33:59 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

Hi JFK,

JFK_Lib - So faith in my coworkers to do their job right has nothing to do with reality? Or my faith in my wife to handle her responsabilities, or in the people alongside me driving to work to.....ah, you get the idea by now, surely.

Alacarte - There is more than one definition of faith, the one you speak of is not the one I refer to. Faith in your co-workers is not the same as faith is the supernatural.

JFK_Lib - Oh, and when was the last time I got on an airplane and some scientist came forward and told me that he had personally checked out the plane? Ummm, never happened.

Alacarte - Not scientists per se, but the planes are always safety checked according to scientitifc methods. Whether or not these methods were applied by a scientists is irrelevant. The point is that there is no room for the supernatural when applying safety procedures. It's not like they can forego safety procedures and just tell everyone on board that if an engine fails, everyone pray real hard and it'll be ok. That doesn't work.

JFK_Lib - You confuse policy that may have had some input by some scientist somewhere with the actual enforcement of those policies and guidelines which is left to anonymous strangers in some municipal bureacracy, kind of like your scientists too, come to think of it.

Yes, we all operate by faith in each other each day of our lives.

Alacarte - Again, faith in each other is not the same thing. When I said, 'your faith,' I meant the one pertinent to this discussion, which is faith in the supernatural. You have faith in your wife, but it is certainly not blind faith. You have faith in her for empirical reason, ie. she has proven you can trust her. Faith in the supernatural is completely unverfiable. Having faith that a ghost will clean up your room for you is blind faith, having faith in someone you know is actually trust.

JFK_Lib - No, science really doesnt have the last word on anything at all, as 'science' is not an entity that has a voice. Yes, there are some people who claim to speak on behalf of 'science' as though it were some form of deity, but really it is just a collection of concepts that express a view of reality derived by consensus among some tenured people cushioned from expectations by the political chicanery common to Universities and colleges competing with each other for more funds at the federal research trough, but thats about it. It is being constantly updated, revised and modified but it is no more the final word on a subject than anything else.

Alacarte - Your first sentence is correct, then you contradict yourself. You are correct that science is not an entity and science makes no moral or ethical judgements, that is for us to do. But science is NOT simply a concensus of intellectuals. As I said before, science is NOT a democracy, and that goes for scientists too. No matter how much scientists wish they could make cold fusion work, until they actually make it work, it is a dream! If science really were controlled by a bunch of cronies as you say, scientists would just say cold fusion works, and that would be the end. Unfortunately that is not how science works. Anything that is scientific has been peer reviewed and independently tested. Science is inherently self-correcting, and no one body controls it. Science is the last word on reality, if you believe in the supernatural, that's fine, but that is not real, it is only in your head. The natural world is reality, the reality we all share. No matter what we believe in our heads, we are ALL subject to natural laws, and that is defined by our science. The supernatural is the realm of feelings and emotion.

JFK_Lib - I cant recall the last time that 'science' had anything useful to say about beauty, why I feel love for my wife and daughter, or why the stock market rises and falls or why the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburg Steelers look like Super Bowl favorites this year.

Alacarte - Beauty and love are very much scientific, they are subject to brain chemistry. Love is a physiological state that lasts just long enough to keep couples together until the female is capable of taking care of a child on her own. What do you think emotions are?
There are simply too many variables to predict the future for your other examples, but it is theoretically possible. Just because science can't do it does not make it impossible, and it most certainly does not make it the realm of the supernatural.

JFK_Lib - IF science was really the last word on everything, then scientists would have the prettiest wives (from their absolute wisdom on what love is and how to control it), the most money (from their absolute knowlege of how stock markets work), and be hired for coaching positions in all the top sports who could possibly afford them.

Alacarte - Wow, you are way off here. Science cannot explain everything, I said it was the last word on reality, not that it explains, and can consequently control all reality.

JFK_Lib - Some scientists actually do make and design things for use in the real world, but we call them 'engineers'.

Alacarte - Incidentally, I am one of those engineers. Science does not equate to scientists. We practice science everyday. When you go to sit on a chair, do you say 'god will keep that chair from breaking on me?' No, you say 'that chair looks safe, I think it will hold me (hypothesis), you sit on it (test), it does hold me (conclusion: hypothesis is true). The scientific method, simplified since the impact of a false hypothesis is low (fall on the floor), but it is science nonetheless.

We used to say pray to protect us from evil spirits (getting sick), now we have meat inspectors who assure sanitary slaughter/butcher techniques. Given the mortality rate now using science (medicine, sanitation) compared with when we just prayed people would get better, I think there is little question things have been good lately.

I like your other post much better so I'll reply to it now.


29 posted on 11/29/2004 9:24:24 AM PST by Alacarte (Real swords cannot kill imaginary dragons)
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To: Alacarte

alacarte - The supernatural is the realm of feelings and emotion.

alacarte - Beauty and love are very much scientific, they are subject to brain chemistry. Love is a physiological state that lasts just long enough to keep couples together until the female is capable of taking care of a child on her own. What do you think emotions are?


Umm, I suspect that your use of 'supernatural' and 'science' are not consistent. At some points you seem to imply that they are exclusive of each other, but in the statements above you seem to make them almost synonymous. Perhaps this is part of the reason for our not agreeing.

I am simply saying that science is not the only source of knowlege that we have, nor is it the most reliable as what is rpesented as 'science' to the public is often mangled in the reporting, spun by people with a cause or stated without much concern for the limits of sciences realm.

When I do most things in day to day life, it has little to do with science as a process. That chair I sit in could have as easily been designed by someone using astrological charts, whim or Biblical reference, as long as they used their personal experiences as to what works and does not I am fine. Chairs were used long before modern science was devised.

And hence my complaint with those who dismiss concepts out of hand for bein contrary to or unscientific. Good ole trial and error and experience in life teaches us most of what we know in a practical matter. IF that to you is 'magic' then so be it.

But from what I have seen in other peoples lives and experienced in my own, I have no reasonable doubt about the reality of God, magic or not, and I regard it as quite rational whether scientific or not.


30 posted on 11/29/2004 10:08:54 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

I agree, this issue is not a technical one, it is a high-level ideological issue that has nothing to do with science.

JFK_Lib - This debate between the materialists (closed universe) and theists (open universe) has raged on many levels for centuries, as I am sure you know, and it is the theists who have now become locked outside the halls of power of the scientific community. Outside those stale old halls alot of theistic scientists have had the freedom to think freely for some time now and they have different theories that do not make the same mistakes the earlier generation of theists made.

This paragraph is very telling. This exclusion of religion from science is what is called the enlightenment, and subsequently secularism. It is important to note that what you seek to return to (before the enlightenment) is negatively referred to today as the 'dark ages.' During the dark ages, all knowledge had to be qualified through religious doctrine. This meant that science was subject to arbitrary censorship based on religious, not scientific principles. After the enlightenment, science was free to adopt a truly scientific approach, coupled with the humanistic social changes brought about by secularism, ended the dark ages. The dark ages are a reminder of what happens when we allow the supernatural back into science and politics.

JFK_Lib - ID is one such theory, and it deserves to be considered purely on its merits and not whether it violates philosophical presumptions (like materialism) that do NOT underly science itself. Science is a systematic method of investigating our universe, and it is not capable of evluating philosophical issues that support it or that some would like to append to it artificially, hence materialism CANNOT be something that science either supports or denies. Materialists today like to presume that materialism is part of sciences foundation, but it isnt and most engineers are aware of this.

Alacarte - Well I'm an engineer, and materialsm, naturalism and science are inextricable as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps I don't understand yoru definition of materialism.

ID is like a pork bill being passed through congress, it has some good stuff, just enough to get it passed, but it also has some bad stuff. The good stuff is its participation in peer review by questioning existing scientific theories (actually its dishonest distortion of data and 'conclusion first' approach actually make it bad for science, but...) are good. But suggesting that there is no natural explanation, despite there not being a precedent, is very bad. Which is why I assume you disagree with materialism, because suggesting we stop empirical research and apply an unverifiable, 'absolute truth' as an answer is incompatible with materialism.

JFK_Lib - But to theists who accept the *possibility* of an open universe, it is not a presumption that there is a natural explanation of everything in the physical universe. (Kant's dichotomy is fundamentally static and thus flawed and simply does not work.) So when ID claims that there are limits to Darwinistic natural selection that cannot explain *some* anomolies today, it is not a problem for the theist that must be glossed over with some naturalistic explanation. That is the hobgoblin of the materialist mind; theists are content with leaving the facts to speak for themselves.

Alacarte - Two things. One, your argument ignores time. You are essentially saying that, since CURRENTLY there is no rock solid argument for diversification, there never will be, so we must assume there is some other force at work. This is not the case. There was a time when lightning was unanimously thought to be angry retribution from the gods, what else could it possibly be? Well, in fact, it is not a product of the supernatural, it is a sudden discharge of electrons. But of course they knew nothing of electrons, or current, or atoms at the time. This is exactly the same thing we are currently experiencing with ID. Theists are saying the lightning is punishment from god (god made the universe), materialists are saying that lightning must be a natural phenomena, and we should study it more to understand it (diversity has a purely natural explanation). In terms of the lightning example, the theists look like idiots, why do you not see how ID'ers look like idiots? At the time, there was just as much evidence that lightning was supernatural rather than natural, but it isn't, just like everything else in the universe.

Two, let us say you succeed in redefining science to allow for the supernatural. You suddenly change science from being the realm of the objective, to the subjective. Now everyone and their dog can make ludicrous, unscientific claims and call it science. But that is not what you want is it? You want arbitrary, selective power over which particular fields of science get theocratic scrutiny, while the ones that do not directly oppose your dogma remain unscathed. The scientific community knows your agenda, which is why it is important to point out that all ID'ers are fundamentalist christians or orthodox jews. Essentially ID is a method to get leverage so the church can stop research that conflicts with its antiquated dogma. If someone in Tehran claimed they had scientific proof that Allah is the one true god, you would be the first person to dismiss him.

JFK_Lib - But more and more the scientific evidence for the 'fine tuned' nature of our universe pushes the materialists into greater and greater presumption and naturalistic explanation bordering on the absurd or unprovable, hence we have the Weak Anthropic Principle that there are universes outside our universe. While these materialistic scientists can reject any notion of God immediately as 'magic', but somehow accept a 'nearly' infinite number of paralel alternate universes as just dandy, everyone outside the halls of institutional science can see the hypocrisy that the scientists are blind to.

Alacarte - Wrong, until string theory or parallel universes can be proven, they are just as much the realm of fantasy as your leprechauns. So yes, right now string theory is not much better than magic as an explanation, but your temporally challenged argument is flawed. The difference here is that those theories have a scientific approach, and research may one day lead to them becoming substantial (just like germ theory 100 years ago). Leprechauns and deities are supernatural, hence not real, and not subject to scienctific testing. Very different than string theory.

JFK_Lib - So, as a theist and someone who believes that Darwin's theory explains the vast majority of biological diversity, I am willing to entertain ID as a theory. I see nothing inherently unscientific about it, but I do see the purge of theists from the institutions of science, the dogmatic refusal to debate theories coming from a theistic perspective (like ID), and the predominate preference of materialists to use distortion, pejoratives and censorship in place of open debate, all this is clear evidence that the materialists have run out of alternative answers to the mounting number of anamolies (for the materialists) that seem to point to an open universe. Far too often there is denial by materialists that ID has any possible validity and the response is not to debate, with ID proponents allowed to participate, but to instead shut the ID people out and carry on an intellectually incestuous discussion where the conclusions are predetermined. That is NOT open, honest discussion, but the equivalent of a philosophical monologue with all the conclusions predetermined before the first word is uttered.

Alacarte - The scientific community does not object to people questioning existing theories, they invite help in peer review. They object to the non-sequitur that if evolution cannot account for the diversity of life, the conclusion must be the supernatural. Allowing things like ID into scientific debates would deprecate science back to being philosophy, nothing but talk, with no progress, no results. Science owes everything it is today to its materialistic approach. If theists want to change that paradigm, they will need to take very militant action. The scientific community is not your average trailer-park dwelling theist, they know that what you seek is the greatest threat to progress today.

Also, there has been no 'purge of theists' from the scientific community, unless you speak of the enlightenment. Many scientists are christians, so in fact there has been no purge of anybody. There has been a purge of dumb, and consistently wrong supernatural explanations for natural problems. Look back through history, sneezing is caused by evil spirits, natural disasters are god-sent, if you got sick it was god's will... The list is endless, and all those supernatural explanations have been proven wrong, and a natural explanation has been established. So now you want to displace a naturalistic explanation, cease research ont he subject and defer the conclusion to the supernatural? Despite the "0 for 10'000+" batting record for supernatural explanations? That's insanity. Materialism and science are inextricable if we wish to continue the pace of progress today.

JFK_Lib - When I teach my children science and math at home (to augment their teaching in public schools) I sometimes find that they get misconceptions that I have to explain. I enjoy doing this as it gives me the opportunity to refresh my mind on some of the basics that I have not considered for years. But I NEVER have to make a claim of authority with them in my explanations, because that is NOT an explanation of anything. I realize that if I cannot explain something for them, they will get their answers elsewhere. And of course, I might be wrong about something and they are getting the latest facts and it serves me the favor of sweeping away the old cobwebs and getting the latest and greatest 'truth' that the teaching proffession proffesses today. To learn is to truly live, no?

Alacarte - I'm afraid you do appeal to scientific authority whether you know it or not. When you tell your children the earth revolves around the sun, you appeal to authority. For all I know, the sun orbits the earth, have you ever manually mapped the stars? Traced their trajectories and empirically concluded the earth orbits the sun and not vice-versa? I haven't, because if every person re-discovered all mans knowledge for themselves, we'd never have time for progress. We pick and choose our battles and for the rest, we digress to authority.

JFK_Lib - It is fine with me that you keep ignoring theistic points of view, slandering them as irrational and using persecution to purge us from your ivory towers. Today these institutions belong to you, but tomorrow they will belong to us or they will have been replaced by more robust institutions willing to engage in honest daring inquiry.


Alacarte - Other than the US, christianity has been on the decline in the western world. And is islam not the fastest growing religion?

JFK_Lib - Either way, tomorrow belongs to us and Darwinism will be put on the shelf along with the Bohr atom and Newtonian physics.

Alacarte - The Bohr model and newtonian physics were not proven wrong, they were improved upon. They were stepping stones in their fields. More importantly they were replaced by other NATURALISTIC explanations. There is absolutely no correlation between them and ID.

I think you explain the debate nicely here though, despite our being ideologically opposed on the subject. To summarize, you oppose the current paradigm for science, not because it hasn't served us well for 300 years, but because it leaves no room for your beliefs. Fortunately, although there is massive public support for your side, the scientific community is less persuaded by emotion and mythology.

BTW, did you write this? Not that I think you are incapable, it is just different than your other posts. Regardless it is very good.


31 posted on 11/29/2004 11:47:47 AM PST by Alacarte (Real swords cannot kill imaginary dragons)
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To: Alacarte

alacarte - This exclusion of religion from science is what is called the enlightenment, and subsequently secularism.

JFK_Lib - Ah, dont put words in my mouth! Heheheh. I did not say that. The reference is to the *institutions* of science, and not science itself (also known previously as 'natural philosophy'). I completely subscribe to Descartes model of giving science primacy in the natural world, but not a singular dictatorship.

New scientific theory is being developed that examines the 'footprints' of things beyond science that science cannot pursue beyond noting the 'footprint' itself. The footprint is not 'magic' and is completely within the realm of scientific investigation while its implications are not. I am comfortable with that since I am open to the idea of an open universe. If you are not, then that choice was a philosophical one and not a scientific one as science in all its interpretations is incapable of self-validation but must rest on philosophical axioms.


alacarte - But suggesting that there is no natural explanation, despite there not being a precedent, is very bad.

JFK_Lib - Well, I would say that a negative cannot be proven easily. How long did it take to prove that one does not need more than 4 colors for a flat 2 dimensional map or that trisecting an angle with only compass and straight edge was not possible?

I find the entire topic fascinating and want to read more about it and see it discussed by people frar more knowlegable than I am, but the critics seem determined to handle the controversy via censorship rather than open discussion involving all sides. What a shame.


alacarte - You are essentially saying that, since CURRENTLY there is no rock solid argument for diversification, there never will be, so we must assume there is some other force at work.

JFK_Lib - No, I am saying that *I* think that not all diversification is completely explicable by Darwinistic Evolution. It is not uniform, gradual and without catastrophic events. Maybe it is also not entirely free from some other forces as well, but I agree it drives the vast majority of speciation from what I can tell, and most creationists I know accept this as 'micro evolution'.

I think it very likely that God stacked the cosmological deck for human life from the first instant of the Big Bang and hasnt touched a thing since, in terms of natural process. I do believe He has intervened in the material universe for specific purposes entirely unrelated to the development of life, but not to sustain an ongoing process.


alacarte - Two, let us say you succeed in redefining science to allow for the supernatural. You suddenly change science from being the realm of the objective, to the subjective. Now everyone and their dog can make ludicrous, unscientific claims and call it science.

JFK_Lib - Perhaps I am not expressing myself well. I am not saying that I think that science can prove the supranatural. I think that it can prove 'footprints' of things supranatural (beyond this natural universe) and the Weak Anthropic Principle is one such theory as it posits parallel universes that are plainly 'supranatural to this universe.

But can scientific method be used to prove the supranatural? I would say no as such is beyond the repeatability that proper science demands.

Secondly, I do not think that concieving of the supranatural as 'real' is counter to science at all. Much of what we know is not derived from science but by eye-witness testimony, experience, empathy, etc. So it is easily comprehensable to imagine how one can have knowlege that is beyond the ability of science to affirm or deny. Therefore, Scientists should be willing to tolerate theists in their midst if the theists methodology is indeed valid.


alacarte - Wrong, until string theory or parallel universes can be proven, they are just as much the realm of fantasy as your leprechauns. So yes, right now string theory is not much better than magic as an explanation, but your temporally challenged argument is flawed.


alacarte - The difference here is that those theories have a scientific approach, and research may one day lead to them becoming substantial (just like germ theory 100 years ago). Leprechauns and deities are supernatural, hence not real, and not subject to scienctific testing. Very different than string theory.


JFK_Lib - So is string theory fantasy or not? The definition of fantasy I am familiar with says that it pertains to things that can never be real, so we again have semantic differences as well as philosophical ones.

Also, what is the difference in hypothesizing the existance of a parallel universe in which all is peace and joy and love, and a parallel universe where everything is dead and fallen into one great big huge black hole and yet another where some species ahs evolved into a single nearly omnipotent being, a singular consciousness that is virtually omniscient as well?

Which if these three are 'supernatural' to you?

I dont think the concept of an eternal Creator is 'supernatural' or 'magic' at all but very logical and conforms with my life experiences quite well. He is supranatural (beyond our universe), but not supernatural (alien to our universe). Leprachauns are supernatural as they are admited by just about everyone to be alien to the real world, but not so God.


alacarte - They object to the non-sequitur that if evolution cannot account for the diversity of life, the conclusion must be the supernatural. Allowing things like ID into scientific debates would deprecate science back to being philosophy, nothing but talk, with no progress, no results.

JFK_Lib - My understanding is that ID does not assert that there must be a supranatural explanation, but that there must be apparent design. I think it is possible to have 'apparent design' without having a designer for the immediate case. We can have design flow from higher level design in a quite natural way, for example, when we have a secondary process on a surrounding environment form any man-made system. That secondary process may have every feature of a designed process and yet not be specirfically designed.


alacarte - Also, there has been no 'purge of theists' from the scientific community, unless you speak of the enlightenment.

JFK_Lib - No I am talking about an increasing intolerance of theists whether they are old Earth Creationists fully subscribing to biological evolution or theistic evolutionists that completely concede natural truth to science but still believe in God. There was such a case of an editor at Scientific American and I know of an evangelical Marxist (believe it or not) who is better known at the university as a Marxist than an evangelical because he does not want to be subjected to the persecution that he witnesses against Christians on a regular basis. He has told me that sometimes it makes him upset to hear all the remarks along the line of 'He is a Christian; what a moron!' But he feels that he is serving a purpose just to remain in academe.


alacarte - Many scientists are christians, so in fact there has been no purge of anybody. There has been a purge of dumb, and consistently wrong supernatural explanations for natural problems. Look back through history, sneezing is caused by evil spirits, natural disasters are god-sent, if you got sick it was god's will... The list is endless, and all those supernatural explanations have been proven wrong, and a natural explanation has been established.

JFK_Lib - Providence has not been disproven, but only the notion that there were no natural explanation has been. God sends the rain by a totally natural process, but it is still He who sends it.

But lets not for get that other naturalistic theories have been similarly disproven, like the spontaneous generation of life, that atheists at one time subscribed to for purely Epicurean reasons.


alacarte - So now you want to displace a naturalistic explanation, cease research ont he subject and defer the conclusion to the supernatural?

JFK_Lib - Not at all, I simply want to get uber-secular scientists to recognise the limits of scientific knowlege and back off the censorship on new theories untill more debate and evidence have come in.



Alacarte - I'm afraid you do appeal to scientific authority whether you know it or not. When you tell your children the earth revolves around the sun, you appeal to authority. For all I know, the sun orbits the earth, have you ever manually mapped the stars? Traced their trajectories and empirically concluded the earth orbits the sun and not vice-versa? I haven't, because if every person re-discovered all mans knowledge for themselves, we'd never have time for progress. We pick and choose our battles and for the rest, we digress to authority.


JFK_Lib - That is called 'prejudice' and it is helpful in most cases. Why should anyone have to re-invent the wheel? But also it is a preconcieved limit that we place on our minds, that sometimes prevents us from seeing the larger picture. So, yes, I have explained in detail to my children why we believe the Earth is round, the sun is the center of the earths orbit as well. If I had the time I could fly them to the Tropic of Cancer on the Summer Solstice and show them the suns shadow at noon, then fly them north to make new observations and then calculate the Earths diameter. But understanding the concept is the key and going to such effort is unnecesary.


Alacarte - Other than the US, christianity has been on the decline in the western world. And is islam not the fastest growing religion?

JFK_Lib - Other than the US and Europe, what is left of the Western world? Maybe Australia and New Zealand? It suffices to say that religion of every variety is in decline in Europe and why shouldnt it be when the population of Europe itself is in decline and apparently can find no reason to survive anyway?

But in the Third World Christianity is booming,and of course here in the US as well. AFter a short crisis in the near future, I think Christianity in Europe will have a sudden revival. And Islam is the second fastest growing religion in the Third World, behind Christianity, IIRC. When one brings Europe, that Sick Continent, into the calculations, then Islam is first.

But Europe isnt much good for anything these days, and they are about to experience some serious unemployment, maybe 25%+ as the Euro becomes the currency of choice and this drives European exports way up in price and their industries into the ground. Also, as the US withdraws, Europe is going ot have to start shouldering the costs for its own defense a lot more, and this will drive yet more unemployment for them. This econoimic crisis, coupled with a crisis of single men in China will be devastating to the world economy, methinks.

alacarte - To summarize, you oppose the current paradigm for science, not because it hasn't served us well for 300 years, but because it leaves no room for your beliefs.

JFK_Lib - As a theistic evolutionist, it leaves plenty of room for my beliefs, I promise you. It is only since the aberation of secular supremacism became totally dominant in science over the last few decades and have begun to purge theists of any stripe that I differ. Science can only affirm the natural, repeatable and objective; it cannot affirm or deny that which lies beyond its scope, nor even its own philosophical foundations.

alacarte - Fortunately, although there is massive public support for your side, the scientific community is less persuaded by emotion and mythology.

JFK_Lib - Oh, I think we can make that statement much stronger (scientific community is blind to...) and still be within the realm of validity. Also, I think some of this generations best minds are being divirted into other disciplines because of this hatred of all things Christian. What a shame.


alacarte - BTW, did you write this? Not that I think you are incapable, it is just different than your other posts. Regardless it is very good.


JFK_Lib - Thank you. I wrote it all, but the themes are kind of general and I would not be surprised if similar things have not been written before by many others.


32 posted on 11/29/2004 2:50:29 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

JFK_Lib - New scientific theory is being developed that examines the 'footprints' of things beyond science that science cannot pursue beyond noting the 'footprint' itself. The footprint is not 'magic' and is completely within the realm of scientific investigation while its implications are not.

Alacarte - Here rests the crux of this entire debate. The scientific community rejects this notion of 'footprints,' where ID'ers do not.

JFK_Lib - How long did it take to prove that one does not need more than 4 colors for a flat 2 dimensional map or that trisecting an angle with only compass and straight edge was not possible?

Alacarte - Are you suggesting there is something unnatural about the albeit interesting, but purely mathematical problems you mention? Just because it is not logical to our simple minds does not make it any less natural than 2+2.

JFK_Lib - I think it very likely that God stacked the cosmological deck for human life from the first instant of the Big Bang and hasnt touched a thing since, in terms of natural process. I do believe He has intervened in the material universe for specific purposes entirely unrelated to the development of life, but not to sustain an ongoing process.

Alacarte - Lot's of people 'think' they were abducted by aliens, without proof, it is just their opinion, no matter how many of them there are.

JFK_Lib - I think that it can prove 'footprints' of things supranatural...

Alacarte - What you call footprints, scientists simply call gaps in our current understanding.

JFK_Lib - Much of what we know is not derived from science but by eye-witness testimony, experience, empathy, etc.

Alacarte - I think we should define 'real.' Real is something we all share, an element of the natural world. NOT an individuals 'perception' of that reality. The things you mention, eye-witness testimony, experience and empathy are not objective 'reality,' they are the subjective reality of one individual. ie, eye-witness testimony can be completely different for two people who witnessed the same event. But if those two same people run into a brick wall, they will get hurt whether they believe the wall exists or not. Hence, the wall is 'real,' their memory of events are their own reality. Same with empathy, something I think is funny, you might think is sad. Our emotional responses were different, and highly subject to our individual persons. Science defines our natural world, the things that everyone shares, regardless of their own prejudices.

JFK_Lib - So is string theory fantasy or not? The definition of fantasy I am familiar with says that it pertains to things that can never be real, so we again have semantic differences as well as philosophical ones.

Alacarte - For now it is fantasy, yes. It is possible unicorns and goblins exist too. And yes, it is possible that god designed all this. Right now, all these ideas fall under the category of fantasy. The difference is that currently there is valid scientific research going into string theory, and maybe someday it will be reality. Or, it will be decided it is not possible and it will remain fantasy, like cold fusion. ID has NO body of research. You are complaining that the scientific community won't take you seriously. Well if the theory is so truly scientific, why aren't you working on it? Why are there no predictions or tests? Why do you need the scientific community? If your solution to the origin of life is so great, why are you so eager to share the glory? Why not publish your own work elsewhere? I think we both know the reason there is no body of research for ID is the same reason there is no body for unicorns.

JFK_Lib - Also, what is the difference in hypothesizing the existance of a parallel universe in which all is peace and joy and love, and a parallel universe where everything is dead and fallen into one great big huge black hole and yet another where some species ahs evolved into a single nearly omnipotent being, a singular consciousness that is virtually omniscient as well?

Alacarte - There is no difference! They are all possible, and they are all currently theory (in the conversational sense). The difference is that one of them has a legitimate body of research, and may one day become reality. What is so hard about this? Christians know that no matter how much research they do, god will never be anything more than a possibility. Which is why the ID movement is nothing more than a mob trying to coerce scientists into making an exception and accepting an irrational theory. If there was anything 'scientific' about ID, you wouldn't be trying to redefine science!

JFK_Lib - Leprachauns are supernatural as they are admited by just about everyone to be alien to the real world, but not so God.

Alacarte - Let me get this straight, leprechauns don't exist because most people agree they don't. But god does exist because most people agree he does? Then you wonder why you are shunned by scientists?

JFK_Lib - Providence has not been disproven, but only the notion that there were no natural explanation has been. God sends the rain by a totally natural process, but it is still He who sends it.

Alacarte - Providence? I'm pretty good with christianity, but I have no idea what you refer to. But I am sure that it was not 'proven' that there are no natural explanations, since that is impossible.

JFK_Lib - ...subjected to the persecution that he witnesses against Christians on a regular basis. He has told me that sometimes it makes him upset to hear all the remarks along the line of 'He is a Christian; what a moron!'

Alacarte - It is unfortunate he gets treated that way. But given that he thinks they all deserve to burn in a lake of fire for eternity, it only seems fair. Like I said, lots of scientists are christians. But whether a scientist came up with "leprechauns musta dunnit," or "god musta dunnit" as a conclusion, he would get run out of the building, and rightfully so! I know you agree with the leprechaun scenario, and I see no difference between the two.

Ok, your next 4 paragraphs are just a rant on how crappy europeans are, so I'm not going to respond to them. You should consider laying off the fox news for a bit...

JFK_Lib - It is only since the aberation of secular supremacism became totally dominant in science over the last few decades and have begun to purge theists of any stripe that I differ. Science can only affirm the natural, repeatable and objective; it cannot affirm or deny that which lies beyond its scope, nor even its own philosophical foundations.

Alacarte - I assume you mean secular humanism, I am proud to tell you those are my boys. ;) I get the impression secular humanists are the only group of people on the planet fundy christians hate more than muslims...

What do you mean last couple of decades? You make it sound as though before now, we were accepting the supernatural as a possible cause for natural phenomena, not true. Perhaps this 'purge' you speak of has been happening, but I suspect it's more the fact that people who understand how the world really works are less susceptable to believe in mythology. Certainly the proportion of atheists in my engineering department compared to back home in rural hicks-ville is off the chart.


33 posted on 11/30/2004 3:08:35 PM PST by Alacarte (Real swords cannot kill imaginary dragons)
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To: Alacarte
alacarte - The scientific community rejects this notion of 'footprints,' where ID'ers do not. JFK_Lib - The 'scientific community' rejects it due to ideology and philosophical choices but not due to scientific method. For example, the evidence continues to mount that the Shroud of Turin is in fact evidence of the Resurrection, and many scientists from all over the world are discovering more and more evidence to support this idea. They cannot prove the resurrection, but only that something supranatural is likely to have occured because of the nearly impossible evidence left, like the second image that has now been found on the back of the Shroud with no intervening change to the middle layers of fibers. But the 'scientific community' continues to reject the Shroud as anything more than a hoax because their minds were made up before even looking at it. That is why the radio carbon datings that were done ona mended section of the Shroud were not double checked at the time. The scientists got the results that they expected and that was enough for them. But the principles and methods of science do not dissallow supranatural events, it is merely limited from proving such. It is the philosophy of materialism that you slander the term 'science' with that is hostile to the supranatural. Alacarte - What you call footprints, scientists simply call gaps in our current understanding. JFK_Lib - YEs, and like the Big Bang theory, if such a footprint is discovered and proven then you will declare it to be completely natural. The Big Bang is a proven miracle in which the entire universe simply popped into existance in a moment, exactly as the Bible describes (God spoke) and completely contrary to atheisms favorit theory of a Steady State Universe. So materialists simply adopted the theory and totally ignore that a miracle has essentially been proven, and now come up with all manner of speculation that they know they cannot repeat in a lab to account for how this took place ina completely normal way. YEah, like universes just burst into existance every day of the week and you can buy a 'Big Bang' lab kit to verify it yourself! LOL! The same thing is happening with the Shroud of Turin. Already some Brittish scientists are accepting it as a fact and are claiming that whatever happened there it was not a miracle but a natural event! LOL! On one level, of course it is true, as anything God wills is entirely natural as He is natures author in the first place. Alacarte - For now it is fantasy, yes. It is possible unicorns and goblins exist too. JFK_Lib - No, it is not possible as they are known to be fictitious in their conception as elements of childrens fairy tales, hahah. You confuse not only 'science' and 'materialism' but also apparently 'fantasy' and 'fiction'. I cannot remedy this for you over the internet, but perhaps you should read up on these topics. Alacarte - Let me get this straight, leprechauns don't exist because most people agree they don't. But god does exist because most people agree he does? Then you wonder why you are shunned by scientists? JFK_Lib - People agree that leprachauns do not exist as they were openly concieved as fantastic ideas, not related tot he real world - total fantasy like Tolkiens Noldor. But God was NEVER in this category, but instead has been feared and dreaded precisely because He was believed to be not only totally real but the Inventor of all that is real. Another dichotomy that seems to challenge your conceptual abilities. Alacarte - It is unfortunate he gets treated that way. But given that he thinks they all deserve to burn in a lake of fire for eternity, it only seems fair. JFK_Lib - And by what scientific method do you leap to that conclusion? First, I said he does not let his Christian faith be known to the other proffessoriate, so he is not enduring their persecution. Secondly, he believes in Universal Salvation (and I might agree with him on this) so even if it were known that he were Christian, it would warrant no such persecution and bigotry. They would just have to hate himfor no reason at all other than he affirms what they hope is not true. Alacarte - Ok, your next 4 paragraphs are just a rant on how crappy europeans are, so I'm not going to respond to them. JFK_Lib - So, without counting immigrants, which of Europes Western nations has a population growth over 3%? Any at all? Europe is sick, its power is waning and ithas taken on the role of the old Ottoman Empire of 1900, the sick man of Europe is Western Europe and everyone outside of Europe (save places culturally tied to it like Canada and Australia) realize it is dying. That is why the muslims are so emboldened as the statistics show that they will dominate Europe by the end of this century and will be 90% of the poulation there by 2200. What makes that a 'rant' to you is nothing more than the fact that you dont like it, or what? Alacarte - I assume you mean secular humanism, I am proud to tell you those are my boys. JFK_Lib - No, I mean secular supremacism, as that is all it is anymore. The popularity of men like Castro, Stalin and Mao shows any claim to 'humanism' to be a fatuous lie. It is 'Secular Supremacism' because that is the one guiding principle now; 'if it affirms secularity, then it may be right, but if denies sexularity then it is wrong.' That's really all you materialists have left any more.
34 posted on 12/01/2004 4:46:01 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

I appologize for the text coming out all in one block. I had plenty of line breaks, sometimes this just seems to hppen to postings for some reason unknown to me.

I will email this to my office and try to repost it later.


35 posted on 12/01/2004 4:47:15 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

This is so bizzare. No matter what I do, using multiple line breaks, etc, my post keeps coming out one solid block.

I guess I will have to email the admin folks, but it would appear something is quite different from how it was yesterday and I cant make line breaks now when pasting in text.


36 posted on 12/01/2004 6:46:58 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib
HTML Sandbox might be helpful.

Look down a few lines for info on paragraph breaks.

37 posted on 12/01/2004 6:56:27 AM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: Admin Moderator
Ah, yes, thats the ticket!

Thank you Mr Moderator!

alacarte - The scientific community rejects this notion of 'footprints,' where ID'ers do not.

JFK_Lib - The 'scientific community' rejects it due to ideology and philosophical choices but not due to scientific method. For example, the evidence continues to mount that the Shroud of Turin is in fact evidence of the Resurrection, and many scientists from all over the world are discovering more and more evidence to support this idea. They cannot prove the resurrection, but only that something supranatural is likely to have occured because of the nearly impossible evidence left, like the second image that has now been found on the back of the Shroud with no intervening change to the middle layers of fibers.

But the 'scientific community' continues to reject the Shroud as anything more than a hoax because their minds were made up before even looking at it. That is why the radio carbon datings that were done ona mended section of the Shroud were not double checked at the time. The scientists got the results that they expected and that was enough for them.

But the principles and methods of science do not dissallow supranatural events, it is merely limited from proving such. It is the philosophy of materialism that you slander the term 'science' with that is hostile to the supranatural.

Alacarte - What you call footprints, scientists simply call gaps in our current understanding.

JFK_Lib - YEs, and like the Big Bang theory, if such a footprint is discovered and proven then you will declare it to be completely natural. The Big Bang is a proven miracle in which the entire universe simply popped into existance in a moment, exactly as the Bible describes (God spoke) and completely contrary to atheisms favorit theory of a Steady State Universe. So materialists simply adopted the theory and totally ignore that a miracle has essentially been proven, and now come up with all manner of speculation that they know they cannot repeat in a lab to account for how this took place ina completely normal way. YEah, like universes just burst into existance every day of the week and you can buy a 'Big Bang' lab kit to verify it yourself! LOL!

The same thing is happening with the Shroud of Turin. Already some Brittish scientists are accepting it as a fact and are claiming that whatever happened there it was not a miracle but a natural event! LOL! On one level, of course it is true, as anything God wills is entirely natural as He is natures author in the first place.

Alacarte - For now it is fantasy, yes. It is possible unicorns and goblins exist too.

JFK_Lib - No, it is not possible as they are known to be fictitious in their conception as elements of childrens fairy tales, hahah. You confuse not only 'science' and 'materialism' but also apparently 'fantasy' and 'fiction'. I cannot remedy this for you over the internet, but perhaps you should read up on these topics.

Alacarte - Let me get this straight, leprechauns don't exist because most people agree they don't. But god does exist because most people agree he does? Then you wonder why you are shunned by scientists?

JFK_Lib - People agree that leprachauns do not exist as they were openly concieved as fantastic ideas, not related tot he real world - total fantasy like Tolkiens Noldor. But God was NEVER in this category, but instead has been feared and dreaded precisely because He was believed to be not only totally real but the Inventor of all that is real. Another dichotomy that seems to challenge your conceptual abilities.

Alacarte - It is unfortunate he gets treated that way. But given that he thinks they all deserve to burn in a lake of fire for eternity, it only seems fair.

JFK_Lib - And by what scientific method do you leap to that conclusion? First, I said he does not let his Christian faith be known to the other proffessoriate, so he is not enduring their persecution. Secondly, he believes in Universal Salvation (and I might agree with him on this) so even if it were known that he were Christian, it would warrant no such persecution and bigotry. They would just have to hate himfor no reason at all other than he affirms what they hope is not true.

Alacarte - Ok, your next 4 paragraphs are just a rant on how crappy europeans are, so I'm not going to respond to them.

JFK_Lib - So, without counting immigrants, which of Europes Western nations has a population growth over 3%? Any at all?

Europe is sick, its power is waning and ithas taken on the role of the old Ottoman Empire of 1900, the sick man of Europe is Western Europe and everyone outside of Europe (save places culturally tied to it like Canada and Australia) realize it is dying. That is why the muslims are so emboldened as the statistics show that they will dominate Europe by the end of this century and will be 90% of the poulation there by 2200.

What makes that a 'rant' to you is nothing more than the fact that you dont like it, or what?

Alacarte - I assume you mean secular humanism, I am proud to tell you those are my boys.

JFK_Lib - No, I mean secular supremacism, as that is all it is anymore. The popularity of men like Castro, Stalin and Mao shows any claim to 'humanism' to be a fatuous lie. It is 'Secular Supremacism' because that is the one guiding principle now; 'if it affirms secularity, then it may be right, but if denies sexularity then it is wrong.'

That's really all you materialists have left any more.

38 posted on 12/01/2004 7:42:53 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

bumpagery


39 posted on 12/01/2004 2:20:20 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

JFK_Lib - They cannot prove the resurrection, but only that something supranatural is likely to have occured because of the nearly impossible evidence left, like the second image that has now been found on the back of the Shroud with no intervening change to the middle layers of fibers.

Alacarte - The shroud is evidence of the ressurection? Good grief man! How exactly does some strange (to christians) old piece cloth provide evidence that a supernatural event occurred 2000 years ago? Wow. If your all powerful deity wanted us to know he existed, he would just do it. He wouldn't leave inane artifacts around for us to extrapolate from.

JFK_Lib - YEs, and like the Big Bang theory, if such a footprint is discovered and proven then you will declare it to be completely natural. The Big Bang is a proven miracle in which the entire universe simply popped into existance in a moment, exactly as the Bible describes (God spoke) and completely contrary to atheisms favorit theory of a Steady State Universe.

Alacarte - God spoke? The existence of the universe proves god, because god made the universe? In that case, I submit that I made the universe, so since the universe exists, I am the all powerful deity. Please send all your money to... Please tell me you understand why you get ridiculed by scientists?

JFK_Lib - No, it is not possible as they are known to be fictitious in their conception as elements of childrens fairy tales, hahah. You confuse not only 'science' and 'materialism' but also apparently 'fantasy' and 'fiction'. I cannot remedy this for you over the internet, but perhaps you should read up on these topics.

Alacarte - Your logic is really inconsistent. There was a time when people believed in witches and goblins. According to your logic then, since at one time they were commonly thought to exist, then they did exist. I presume then that they all died out from our non-belief?

JFK_Lib - People agree that leprachauns do not exist as they were openly concieved as fantastic ideas, not related tot he real world - total fantasy like Tolkiens Noldor. But God was NEVER in this category, but instead has been feared and dreaded precisely because He was believed to be not only totally real but the Inventor of all that is real. Another dichotomy that seems to challenge your conceptual abilities.

Alacarte - You are being terribly amusing now. So before the invention of christianity... let's choose greece. In ancient greece, everyone believed and feared the gods, does that mean that zeus and athena were real? But now they aren't? What of the other 6000 religions man has invented? Why is your god special?

You realize the mullahs in iran make the exact same arguments for their god? The universe exists, only some great power could have done it, therefore allah must exist. If you explain to me why you don't believe in other religion's gods, you'll understand why I don't believe in yours.

JFK_Lib - And by what scientific method do you leap to that conclusion? First, I said he does not let his Christian faith be known to the other proffessoriate, so he is not enduring their persecution. Secondly, he believes in Universal Salvation (and I might agree with him on this) so even if it were known that he were Christian, it would warrant no such persecution and bigotry. They would just have to hate himfor no reason at all other than he affirms what they hope is not true.

Alacarte - I'm not interested in debating theology with you. The christian religion has about a thousand different ways to get into heaven, depending on who you talk to. You'd think the almighty deity would have a better communications department.

JFK_Lib - So, without counting immigrants, which of Europes Western nations has a population growth over 3%? Any at all?

Alacarte - Since when is the ability to procreate a virtue? People in the third world spawn like rabbits, does that make them better than the west? Sheesh.

JFK_Lib - No, I mean secular supremacism, as that is all it is anymore. The popularity of men like Castro, Stalin and Mao shows any claim to 'humanism' to be a fatuous lie. It is 'Secular Supremacism' because that is the one guiding principle now; 'if it affirms secularity, then it may be right, but if denies sexularity then it is wrong.'

Alacarte - What do Castro, Stalin and Mao have to do with humanism? They were/are about as interested in humanistic values as the inquisition. Atheism is not a religion, bad people are bad people. We are all atheists when we are born. Religion is taught to us, just like any other social construct. If you had been born in Lebanon, you would likely be a muslim right now. Just because Stalin killed people and was an atheist is different from him killing people in the name of atheism. He was a fascist dictator (see the roman catholic church circa 500-1500). Besides, if the national religion has some culpability for atrocities committed by that country, the christian religion has no where to point fingers!

This conversation has deteriorated into what any real conversation about religion eventually does, philosophy. Things like: "The universe exists, therefore my god did it. If you can't prove I'm wrong, then I must be right."

As for science, religion needs to be kept where it belongs, in the realm of pointless philosophy. I was raised a christian and my parents are still christian. I know how powerful the brainwashing is, it took years to de-program myself.

People who challenge science the way you do frighten me. Science doesn't care about religion, so leave it alone. There is no 'conspiracy' against christianity among scientists. What you object to is that they refuse to tow your line and validate your beliefs.

This conversation has reached the point of "my invisible friend is real - no he's not." I'll read your reply, but won't post again, take care.


40 posted on 12/02/2004 3:06:23 PM PST by Alacarte (Real swords cannot kill imaginary dragons)
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To: Alacarte

Alacarte - The shroud is evidence of the ressurection? Good grief man! How exactly does some strange (to christians) old piece cloth provide evidence that a supernatural event occurred 2000 years ago?

JFK_Lib - Well, that is for forensic investigation to uncover. A good site for such information is: http://www.historicaljesusquest.com/

A quote from them:

"If the Shroud of Turin is fake, then many centuries ago someone forged these pictures of Jesus on the cloth. With forensic science, we should be able to figure out how it was done. If the Shroud is the real burial cloth of Jesus, as many believe it is, then with a bit of CSI-style thinking we should be able to figure out how the pictures of Jesus came to be on this cloth?

.....
Until recently the prima facie CSI-like case for forgery seemed strong. Now, for the first time, we have new forensic science data. Much of it didn't come to light until 2004. And because of this new information, the enigma of the pictures of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin becomes even more intriguing and perhaps more difficult to solve. The fan of CSI, the student of forensic science, and all of us should be challenged to try and figure out what is going on here.

Let's be clear. Let's be clear in forensic science and CSI terms. No one has figured out how these pictures came to be on the cloth; not if it was faked and not if it is real.

Let's also be clear in a forthright CSI way of thinking, the carbon 14 testing has been so challenged by modern forensic science (as recently reported by National Geographic News and PBS) that is fails the test of reasonable doubt. The honest CSI is left with no option but to admit that there is no evidence from forensic science that the cloth is medieval."

Apparently some investigators have had some theories of how the images could have naturally formed on the cloth, and this would be an example of scientifically established material evidence of something that may quite likely have been supranatural.

But a materialist could never accept such a hypothesis and thus enters the investigation with his mind already made up that the Shroud is a fake despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This same kind of prejudice is at work in dismissing ID as Creationism in sheeps clothing.



Alacarte - Wow. If your all powerful deity wanted us to know he existed, he would just do it. He wouldn't leave inane artifacts around for us to extrapolate from.

JFK_Lib - What arrogance to imagine that if the Creator of the universe is not behaving the way you think, in all your infinite wisdom no doubt, then He is not valid!

LOL! ! !



Alacarte - God spoke? The existence of the universe proves god, because god made the universe? In that case, I submit that I made the universe, so since the universe exists, I am the all powerful deity. Please send all your money to... Please tell me you understand why you get ridiculed by scientists?

JFK_Lib - Hohum, it is so sad to see ones opposite in a debate resort to mischaracterization and straw man arguements. That is not what I claimed, so why do you waste your time with such absurdity?



Alacarte - Your logic is really inconsistent. There was a time when people believed in witches and goblins. According to your logic then, since at one time they were commonly thought to exist, then they did exist. I presume then that they all died out from our non-belief?

JFK_Lib - Witches do in fact exist, their faith is called 'Wicca', and whether or not they can genuinely cast a spell ot not is what is debatable, not that they exist - that is a fact.


Alacarte - You are being terribly amusing now. So before the invention of christianity... let's choose greece. In ancient greece, everyone believed and feared the gods, does that mean that zeus and athena were real? But now they aren't? What of the other 6000 religions man has invented? Why is your god special?

JFK_Lib - The ancient 'gods' were demonic in nature, though their concept had been originally quite likely based on a universal God and then degenerated from there. Their gods were idols, and impotent. What makes my God real is that he is not some image but is universal and HE has promised results that I have seen in my life and this is a phenomenum that many others have seen also.

That is why the Abrahamic faiths have not remained restricted to merely tribal/ethnic limits but now have grown to cover all the Earth and now it is safe to say a majority of the worlds population believes in Abrahams God. One day it will be just about everyone.

Zeus never approached anything of this nature as he was far more symbol than substance and what there was of the latter was evil.


Alacarte - I'm not interested in debating theology with you.

JFK_Lib - Ah, so now it is not something to debate; I guess this only follows from the lack of thought given by you on the subject at any scale.


Alacarte - The christian religion has about a thousand different ways to get into heaven, depending on who you talk to. You'd think the almighty deity would have a better communications department.

JFK_Lib - God reaches out to us as we are; beings limited by our life experiences, language, intelligence, and will to seek Truth. Who are you to judge Him for His Mercy and Tolerance?


Alacarte - Since when is the ability to procreate a virtue? People in the third world spawn like rabbits, does that make them better than the west? Sheesh.

JFK_Lib - Well according to Darwin it does. They will survive us and prove our less fitness for continuing.


Alacarte - What do Castro, Stalin and Mao have to do with humanism? They were/are about as interested in humanistic values as the inquisition.

JFK_Lib - According to their own claims they were humanists, the only difference is that they were willing to break a few eggs. But they are materialistic atheists everyone and the proof of the badness of an amoral view of life and humanity, even supposedly humanistic views. Without God their is nothing good that can endure.


Alacarte - Atheism is not a religion, ....

JFK_Lib - Of course it is, just as the number '0' is still a number though void of quantity. Atheism makes religious assertions and is thereby a religious faith, and its lack of a formal organization is no more relevant than it is for Primitive Baptists.



Alacarte - This conversation has deteriorated into what any real conversation about religion eventually does, philosophy. Things like: "The universe exists, therefore my god did it. If you can't prove I'm wrong, then I must be right."

JFK_Lib - But philosophy is what the debate has ALWAYS been about, despite your refusal to engage in rational discussion on it. Science is built upon philosophical axioms, such as that the universe is governed in some since by forces that are capable of being modeled in the form of human concepts and expressed in human language.

That is a huge presumption, but was once based on the Christian faith that states the Universe reflects the orderly Mind of God. This is why Christianity alone accepted science at a populare level because it was accpted in principle by the general population.

By comparison the Greek Atomists were generally ignored in favor of the mystery religions and the ancient world saw no point to the Atomists speculations and if they gbecame inconvenient they were killed without a second thought.


Alacarte - As for science, religion needs to be kept where it belongs, in the realm of pointless philosophy. I was raised a christian and my parents are still christian. I know how powerful the brainwashing is, it took years to de-program myself.

JFK_Lib - No, scientists need to be reminded of the limits of science; it is not the sole source of knowledge and Truth but only one of many. And when materialists like you try to piggy-back your atheistic materialism on science you do it a disservice.

I am glad to know you have Christian parents, as this suggests that there maybe hope for you. But I doubt it as you are too proud to even try to comprehend what your opposites are verbally claiming, much less what the entire mysteries of a silent unviverse are about.

And yes, the prejudice and bigotry of materialists keep Christians from moving openly among the ranks of scientists and are purged when discovered. ID will eventually get its day, but it may be only at the cost of existing scientific institutions becoming replaced.

Merry Christmas and take care.


41 posted on 12/03/2004 8:09:25 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

"Alacarte - Atheism is not a religion, ....

JFK_Lib - Of course it is, just as the number '0' is still a number though void of quantity. Atheism makes religious assertions and is thereby a religious faith, and its lack of a formal organization is no more relevant than it is for Primitive Baptists."

Atheism makes no assertions at all. It is a lack of theism. A lack of something is not something in itself. Or can you explain to me what apathy asserts?

Here is a better analogy: The number zero is not a positive number.

"And yes, the prejudice and bigotry of materialists keep Christians from moving openly among the ranks of scientists and are purged when discovered."
I can see that anyone who bases science on untestable assumptions will be purged sure. A raelian scientist who bases a theory on the untestable assumption that aliens created humans will be "purged" too. People can have these beliefs but they can only be included in science if they can be tested. Abuse of the scientific method in science, not personal beliefs, leads to degraded reputation.

"ID will eventually get its day, but it may be only at the cost of existing scientific institutions becoming replaced."

ID has had over 100 years to "get its day". Modern ID arguments are essentially the same as creationist arguments 100 years ago. "It's really complicated! I don't see how it could happen!". This is a nice argument for personal disbelief in natural mechanisms - the same kind of argument cavemen probably used to explain lightning and rainbows as the product of magic.

ID is best supported when we know nothing about nature. That says it all. If scientists have a natural tendancy to support their own pre-conceptions then ID scientists would be by far the worst kind. Naturalistic scientists would at least be spurred to seek natural mechanisms. ID scientists have no drive to study anything, as any natural mechanisms found can only weaken ID.


42 posted on 01/01/2005 6:07:57 AM PST by bobdsmith
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To: bobdsmith
Atheism makes no assertions at all. It is a lack of theism. A lack of something is not something in itself.

Atheism makes an assertion, oh yes it does. It is agnosticism that says there is no persuasive evidence and so no evaluation is made, and it is the 'negative' form of atheism that says 'there is insufficient evidence, therefore I disbelieve the claims for God.'

Just as there is a difference between 0 and NULL, there is a difference between agnosticism and negative atheism and that is that negative atheism has formed a judgement, a value that other judgements and values are based on, constituting a values system that is the negative of a theistic values system that we refer to as a 'religion'. Yes, atheism is a religion, it certainly is, much as the Democratic Party is to politics, according to Bob Wills, IIRC.

ID has had over 100 years to "get its day". Modern ID arguments are essentially the same as creationist arguments 100 years ago.

LOL! No, they obviously are not, but go ahead and keep telling yourself that. MEanwhile the ID proponents are going to continue to gain ground and theism will triumph. Even Antony Flew agrees now that the evidence is on the side of theism (not against scientific evolution, but for creationism in the philosophical sense).

As a theist it warms my heart to see materialistic atheists put their hands over their ears and close their eyes and tell the world that there is no evidence for philosophical creationism.

Keep up the good work, all you monkeys, heheh.

43 posted on 01/01/2005 8:02:05 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

"Atheism makes an assertion, oh yes it does. It is agnosticism that says there is no persuasive evidence and so no evaluation is made, and it is the 'negative' form of atheism that says 'there is insufficient evidence, therefore I disbelieve the claims for God.'"

agnostics do not believe in God. Agnostics lack theistic belief and are therefore a-Theist. In my opinion most atheists are agnostics.

The remaining atheists make an assertion that they know there isn't a God. That is faith based atheism and those people are..ahem..irrational..often rebellious kids.

"MEanwhile the ID proponents are going to continue to gain ground and theism will triumph"

I often hear an argument from ID proponents that ID is fit for schools because it is not based on religious belief. We are told that ID doesn't mention who the Designer is, it could be aliens, God, anything apparently. But everyone knows that in reality the Intelligent Design movement is the old Creationist movement in disguise. So it is quite funny that you accidently (?) reveal this by saying "theism will triumph" in reference to ID.

"Even Antony Flew agrees now that the evidence is on the side of theism"
Who?

"As a theist it warms my heart to see materialistic atheists put their hands over their ears and close their eyes and tell the world that there is no evidence for philosophical creationism."
The only evidence for supernatural design has always been a lack of knowledge. Thousands of years ago we could easily have considered *everything* to be a product of the supernatural. If with limited knowledge of nature we cannot comprehend how something like a rainbow can form then that has always been treated by many people as evidence that its formation is not natural.

The theory of evolution is currently strongest at the large scale level of fossils, species and populations and the general mechanisms for how they can evolve. This is essentially the kind of stuff Darwin produced. It is what convinces me.

How evolution occurs is smaller level stuff like genetics and molecular evolution. Despite over half a century of work these areas are still no way near fully understood yet, I don't believe it is evidence for evolution. ID locks onto this lack of knowledge to claim it is evidence of intelligent design. But the lack of natural explaination is possibly due to the lack of understanding of the ties between genetics and embyronic development. People ask what are the genetic stages of say eye evolution, but noone is in a position to answer that yet. A lack of an answer now doesn't mean a lack of an answer ever. If noone can explain how unchanged DNA works to develop an eye in a fetus then how can they be expected to know how slight changes to that DNA will affect eye development?
I expect that when scientists can actually simulate every step of expression of a DNA strand into an organism and can easily modify DNA to see the developmental effects it has, figuring whether structures can evolve or cannot evolve can actually be done.
Although I would find it bizarre if it turned out they cannot evolve as so much at the large scale convinces me that it has.


44 posted on 01/01/2005 12:19:21 PM PST by bobdsmith
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To: bobdsmith
agnostics do not believe in God. Agnostics lack theistic belief and are therefore a-Theist. In my opinion most atheists are agnostics.

That sounds like a semantic argument that I dont care to waste our time with. The definitions I use I think are more accurate, for what that is worth, but I think they have more 'symetry' if you will.

To me the first questionis whether one 'believes there is a God; Theists say 'yes', Atheists say 'No' and Agnostics say 'maybe, maybe not'.

The Fideist says 'yes' to God no matter what possible evidence one provides (evidence is by its nature insufficient to address the question of God existing), while the Apologist says he believes in God for reason of evidence (evidence relevant). The Theistic Existentialist claims no evidence, but chooses to believe in God because it suits him to (evidence irrelevant).

The Negative Atheist says that he disbelieves in God because of a lack of evidence (evidence relevant and wanting), while the Positive evidence asserts knowledge that God does not exist (evidence relevant and affirms a negative). MEanwhile the Agnostic says there is not sufficient evidence to warrant a decision in either direction. I think the Negative Atheist and Agnostic often seem squishily similar, but are different in the conclusions drawn from the void of evidence they claim is there.

The remaining atheists make an assertion that they know there isn't a God. That is faith based atheism and those people are..ahem..irrational..often rebellious kids

I suspect you are right in most cases, and I think there is a similar immaturity or insecurity on the part of many strident Theists.

I often hear an argument from ID proponents that ID is fit for schools because it is not based on religious belief. We are told that ID doesn't mention who the Designer is, it could be aliens, God, anything apparently. But everyone knows that in reality the Intelligent Design movement is the old Creationist movement in disguise. So it is quite funny that you accidently (?) reveal this by saying "theism will triumph" in reference to ID.

Maybe I misunderstand ID, but I thought it was more than the old argument from ignorance. My concept of their claim is that design is testable and that there are cases where it is necesary and not simply the best WAG for what happened. For instance, Irreducable Complexity is more than an argument based on ignorance, it is asserting that there are cases where complexity CANNOT be reduced, which is qualitatively different from asserting that there is 'no known method' to accomplish complexity.

I know that I am not sufficiently trained to thoroughly evaluate this claim, but I see that more people are coming to accept it as time goes on, and so I am wanting to see more debate on the issue and not see it stifled by some ideological process based on philosophical presumptions science cannot appropriately address.

The theory of evolution is currently strongest at the large scale level of fossils, species and populations and the general mechanisms for how they can evolve. This is essentially the kind of stuff Darwin produced. It is what convinces me.

Agreed, though I think as time goes on, Darwins original idea will be qualified and further defined much as Newtons physics were.

For example, I think Punctuated Equilibrium is a better model than a theory of uniform development, etc.

ID locks onto this lack of knowledge to claim it is evidence of intelligent design. But the lack of natural explaination is possibly due to the lack of understanding of the ties between genetics and embyronic development. People ask what are the genetic stages of say eye evolution, but noone is in a position to answer that yet. A lack of an answer now doesn't mean a lack of an answer ever.

Agreed, but this is not the case with ID *if* they are asserting a provable inability to randomly acheive a type of complex order that they have found in nature that is a small fraction of the cases known.

45 posted on 01/01/2005 6:38:44 PM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: JFK_Lib

"Irreducable Complexity is more than an argument based on ignorance, it is asserting that there are cases where complexity CANNOT be reduced, which is qualitatively different from asserting that there is 'no known method' to accomplish complexity."

Yes you are right, I think I over simplified ID. There are interesting concepts in it that make sense and have potential applications such as irreducible complexity.

Science is going to have to continue for years to come figuring out how structures work while looking for natural paths for origin. There is a finite amount of knowledge to be found about biology so the work will be completed eventually. If it produces fruitless results to support the theory of evolution then intelligent design is the only remaining conclusion and only it will be intellectually impossible to deny intelligent design.

But until then all an Intelligent Design theory can do is comment on the lack of natural paths found so far. There is no way to conclude that a specific structure is not evolvable until all knowledge of biology concerning that structure is obtained and can be looked at. Even if Intelligent Design was accepted as a scientific theory, it is hard to imagine what kind of scientific pursuits it would encourage that are not already being done.


46 posted on 01/02/2005 7:26:02 AM PST by bobdsmith
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To: bobdsmith

Hmm, I am still not communicating myself well.

The mathematical theory that an angle cannot be trisected by a straight edge and compass only is a proven fact now (so I guess I shouldnt refer to it as theory, I suppose, but it is habit). For the longest time it was simpley that no one could find a way to do it, and the presumption was that it was because it was impossible, but it wasnt proven to be impossible. Now it has been proven, a few years ago, IIRC.

I think that is what Irreducable Complexity is trying to establish, that some sets of ordered things can bew of such a nature that one cannot derive it from its components going through a sort of 'ramp-up'. Like some bees and plants begin independent bu have become exclusively dependent on each other. That is reducable complexity, but if I understand ID right, it is claiming that some complexity simpley cannot be reduced in that way.

I dont mean to be condescending, but I dont communicate nuances well at times and this seems to be one of those.


47 posted on 01/02/2005 10:49:55 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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