Dave Thomas posted Entry 1366 on August 18, 2005 12:13 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1364

Writing in the August 18th Palm Beach Post, editorial writer Jac Wilder VerSteeg sees right through the “Intelligent Design” fog to the heart of the matter.

While writing about God, evolution and morality in general, Wilder Versteeg notes:

I bring all this up because of something Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said this month in an interview on National Public Radio. Sen. Santorum was asked about intelligent design, which some — including President Bush — believe should be taught as an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution. Essentially, intelligent design advocates say life is so complex that it could not have emerged from chaos. Therefore, there must be some intelligent plan behind it all.

Most of the controversy has been about whether intelligent design has earned a place in the classroom alongside evolution. It is not, after all, a scientific alternative. The “proof” for it is that nothing else explains life on Earth. Of course, such “proof” is nothing of the sort. Evolution explains life as we know it pretty well.

But never mind all that right now. Sen. Santorum, a fundamentalist Christian, has offered a different reason to promote intelligent design. He says it “has huge consequences for society, and it’s where we come from. Does man have a purpose? Is there a purpose for our lives? Or are we just simply, you know, the result of chance? If we’re the result of chance, if we’re simply a mistake of nature, then that puts a different moral demand on us. In fact, it doesn’t put a moral demand on us.”

With that argument, Sen. Santorum effectively pulls the rug out from under all the intelligent design proponents who deny that they are peddling a form of creationism. The view that God created the universe as described in the Bible at least sails under its own colors. But courts correctly have ruled that teaching creationism is unconstitutional governmental advocacy of religion. The fallback, intelligent design, is creationism with the Christian God winking in the background. Sen. Santorum spoils the ruse by shining a spotlight on the wink.

Sen. Santorum’s central claim is that if humans were created by “a mistake of nature,” they can’t be obligated to behave according to “moral demands.” But that’s just an echo of the non-proof for intelligent design: Humans couldn’t possibly invent morals on their own, so God must do it. That’s an assertion, not proof.

People who don’t believe in God can make bad moral decisions, but so can people who do. And people who don’t believe in God — or who don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God Sen. Santorum worships — are perfectly capable of advocating behavior that all of us would recognize as moral, for example by practicing charity, kindness, tolerance and honesty.

To which I can only say, “Well said!”

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Comment #43746

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 18, 2005 1:20 PM (e)

I like the untrained spokesmen, since they read the IDist writings as the latter are intended to be read by believers, then they just go ahead and speak their minds without the careful DI censorship. Of course we can do the same, but we’re automatically disregarded by those who swallowed the lies of DI whole because we’re committed to “naturalism”.

Bush was great in that regard as well, frankly comparing ID to creationism when recounting how he dealt with creationism while a governor.

BTW, I don’t think it has been adequately appreciated how Bush’s science advisor has denied that Bush intended ID to be treated as science. Not to say that it’s all right now (Bush appears to be trying to have it both ways), but we do have the ammunition to undercut his earlier nod toward ID©ism.

Comment #43747

Posted by Grand Moff Texan on August 18, 2005 1:22 PM (e)

http://www.theonion.com/news/index.php?issue=4133&n=2

Comment #43751

Posted by Greep on August 18, 2005 1:33 PM (e)

One quibble with the piece is describing Santorum as “a fundamentalist Christian.” This is wrong. He is a very devout Catholic, and would probably call himself as such. No Catholic I know of or have heard of describes himself as “a fundamentalist Christian,” as that denotes a type of Protestantism.

Comment #43754

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on August 18, 2005 1:39 PM (e)

Jac Wilder VerSteeg wrote:

And people who don’t believe in God — or who don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God Sen. Santorum worships — are perfectly capable of advocating behavior that all of us would recognize as moral, for example by practicing charity, kindness, tolerance and honesty.

Just a small quibble; I would have highlighted that last word for irony’s sake. Santorum is another Christian willing to obliterate the 9th commandment in defense of its author.

Comment #43758

Posted by SEF on August 18, 2005 2:01 PM (e)

And another one [post] bites the dust.

Comment #43768

Posted by Gerard Harbison on August 18, 2005 2:34 PM (e)

Note to Bayesian Bouffant: if he’s Catholic, it’s the eighth commandment. Catholics and Prods have different numbering schemes.

Comment #43771

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2005 2:46 PM (e)

Gerard -

never heard that before. do you know why that particular difference exists? just curious.

Comment #43772

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on August 18, 2005 2:47 PM (e)

Thanks to whichever intelligent designer fixed my quote tags.

Comment #43776

Posted by Arden Chatfield on August 18, 2005 2:53 PM (e)

This is the age-old dilemma of the ID’ers – they have to say one thing for fundraising, and a totally different thing for the courts. Small wonder they can’t stay ‘on message’.

Comment #43783

Posted by lamuella on August 18, 2005 3:32 PM (e)

Finally, a use for Santorum outside of the Dan Savage definition

Comment #43789

Posted by neurode on August 18, 2005 4:05 PM (e)

This Versteeg person dosn’t seem to have a very good grasp of his topic, does he.

“Evolution explains life as we know it pretty well.”

But not quite well enough. For example, evolution fails to explain the origin of life, which would seem to be an integral part of any explanation of “life as we know it”. I’m certainly aware of no competent biologist who would make this claim, or support Versteeg in making it.

“Sen. Santorum effectively pulls the rug out from under all the intelligent design proponents who deny that they are peddling a form of creationism.”

A rug can be pulled out from under only those who are standing on it. Many of those sympathetic to ID are not standing on Santorum’s rug; hence, despite Versteeg’s gloating, they feel no loss of equilibrium. In fact, they don’t know what Versteeg is talking about. (They are apparently in good company, for neither, apparently, does Versteeg.)

“Sen. Santorum’s central claim is that if humans were created by “a mistake of nature,” they can’t be obligated to behave according to “moral demands.” But that’s just an echo of the non-proof for intelligent design: Humans couldn’t possibly invent morals on their own, so God must do it. That’s an assertion, not proof.”

I’m not aware of anybody seriously offering this as a “proof” of ID. In any case, human invention (or calculation) of morals would be insufficient to maintain or improve the condition of mankind. That would require the inculcation, dissemination, and enforcement of morals.

“And people who don’t believe in God — or who don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God Sen. Santorum worships — are perfectly capable of advocating behavior that all of us would recognize as moral, for example by practicing charity, kindness, tolerance and honesty.”

Advocating morals is one thing; upholding them in one’s personal behavior is quite another. For example, crooked politicians and other hypocrites are notorious for their (oftimes passionate) advocacy of moral behavior. A bit closer to home, it is far from uncommon to see ID critics sanctimoniously bemoaning the immorality of ID supporters while engaging in deliberate prevarication, vicious and disgusting ad hominem attacks, and outright character assassination against people with whom they disagree. For example, what kind of malignant freakazoid is attracted to the above-linked filth regarding Senator Santorum, and how can this be characterized as an instance of “charity, kindness, tolerance and honesty”?

I’m not saying that ID people are perfect; far from it. What I’m saying is that when one hears a person complain or express trepidation about being victimized in his or her secular life due to his or her position on the ID-evolution controversy, one can be reasonably certain that he or she is an ID proponent. This alone suggests that the frequency of immoral behavior is skewed around the controversy in question.

Comment #43794

Posted by Dave Thomas on August 18, 2005 4:20 PM (e)

As regards Neurode’s comment

what kind of malignant freakazoid is attracted to the above-linked filth regarding Senator Santorum, and how can this be characterized as an instance of “charity, kindness, tolerance and honesty”?

may I remind you that

Linked material is the responsibility of the party who created it. Commenters are responsible for the content of comments. The opinions expressed in articles, linked materials, and comments are not necessarily those of PandasThumb.org.

[see disclaimer above]

As regards

What I’m saying is that when one hears a person complain or express trepidation about being victimized in his or her secular life due to his or her position on the ID-evolution controversy, one can be reasonably certain that he or she is an ID proponent. This alone suggests that the frequency of immoral behavior is skewed around the controversy in question.

I’m not sure if Neorode is suggesting that ID opponents are immoral, or if ID proponents complain about being “victims.”

If it’s the latter, I agree with Rob Garver on this one:

History warns us that when large religious groups start imagining themselves to be oppressed by a pernicious and cunning minority, bad things can happen. So it was with a growing sourness in my stomach that I watched the luminaries of the Christian right take the stage at a Tennessee “megachurch” Sunday evening for “Justice Sunday II.”

-Dave T

Comment #43796

Posted by Russell on August 18, 2005 4:23 PM (e)

This alone suggests that the frequency of immoral behavior is skewed around the controversy in question.

Let me see if I understand this correctly. You’re saying that, not knowing anything else about persons A and B, other than their positions on ID, you believe that one is more likely to be involved in more immoral behavior than the other?

Comment #43801

Posted by Flint on August 18, 2005 4:44 PM (e)

You’re saying that, not knowing anything else about persons A and B, other than their positions on ID, you believe that one is more likely to be involved in more immoral behavior than the other?

Prima facie self evident, Watson. Rejecting ID IS immoral. Ipso facto, QED (as the Nowhere man said).

Comment #43802

Posted by neurode on August 18, 2005 4:46 PM (e)

OK then, Dave T. Kindly direct our attention to a single “reverse Sternberg” situation in which the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, or comparable body of secular authorities, has deplored the treatment of an ID critic by those vicious, bloodthirsty ID proponents.

I know the con, Dave. I’ve been reading these boards for a long time now, and I know exactly where one is likely to find the nastiest brand of commentary. Hypocrisy notwithstanding, so does everybody else, and it sure isn’t at “Uncommon Descent”. So kindly give us all, and me in particular, a break.

(No, Russell. That bears no resemblance to what I actually said. However, it is true that a randomly chosen ID critic is more likely to be engaged in immoral activity toward somebody on the opposite side of the controversy, and that’s a fact known to everybody with a browser.)

Comment #43803

Posted by Russell on August 18, 2005 4:56 PM (e)

(No, Russell. That bears no resemblance to what I actually said.

OK. I see the distinction. But “no resemblance”? come now.

However, it is true that a randomly chosen ID critic is more likely to be engaged in immoral activity toward somebody on the opposite side of the controversy, and that’s a fact known to everybody with a browser.)

If it’s a “fact”, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to prove it. Possibly it’s just your opinion. I, for instance, am skepticalof the claim.

Comment #43804

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 18, 2005 5:01 PM (e)

Boy, neurode, where to begin.

One is certainly unlikely to find “nasty” commentary at Uncommon Descent, if by that you mean actual disputation, give and take, rough and tumble, disagreement, and debate, since ch*ckensh*t Dembski, the Fig Newton of Information Suppression, regularly deletes any comments critical of his position.

While your comments are tolerated here.

Too tough for you to figure which “side” of the “debate” is more integritous?

Comment #43806

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 18, 2005 5:04 PM (e)

Perakh deals with a specific situation relating to one of the most prominent ID spokesmen, and Neurode simply attacks ID critics with a broad brush and in a completely general manner. I expect it is such lack of honesty in dealing with the issues that does wear on us, and also make us suspect that very few IDers on these boards are concerned about honest discussion (that, and their typical lack of scientific knowledge–or regard for the latter).

Comment #43809

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2005 5:08 PM (e)

@neurode:

Hey, i’ll choose honest vitriol over deceitful backstabbing any day. The ID side of this “debate” has been shown over and over again to be duplicitous in almost everything it does, and every debate participated in. This is not hard to track, you can check the archives on this very site if you will but open your eyes.

Comment #43810

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 18, 2005 5:08 PM (e)

Oops, I guess it’s not the Perakh thread, but it’s all the same, no more regard for the specifics of a given situation than of the specifics of the evidence.

Comment #43813

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2005 5:16 PM (e)

hell, for that matter, check the discovery institute site as well… look at their archives and see how clearly thier “spin” has changed over the last year, even.

your eyes are so closed i wonder if you need a braile keyboard in order to type?

Comment #43820

Posted by Glen Davidson on August 18, 2005 5:29 PM (e)

Since all “ah-ha’s” related to IDer duplicity are only mildly interesting (you know, the communists might have lied too), I’ll just post a link to something I alluded to previously:

http://www.physorg.com/news5618.html

I think there may be some “wink, wink” regarding the “clarification” as well, but I’ll take it.

Comment #43822

Posted by Jaime Headden on August 18, 2005 5:38 PM (e)

Neurode, what do you mean in stating:

“However, it is true that a randomly chosen ID critic is more likely to be engaged in immoral activity toward somebody on the opposite side of the controversy, and that’s a fact known to everybody with a browser.”

In this case, what issue of immorality are you implying? And similarly, “more likely” than what?
It should also be true, therefore, that “a randomly chosen ID proponent is more likely to be engaged in immoral activity toward somebody on the opposite side of the controversy[.]”

Indeed, if we did do a random sample, and for the sampling to randomly be correct, the sample pool must be 100% guilty for this premise to be accurate. Does this mean neurode is also guilty?

Comment #43830

Posted by mark duigon on August 18, 2005 6:14 PM (e)

In today’s York (PA) Daily Record, a Letter complains that Santorum’s “flip-flop” on teaching ID was just a ploy to win votes from moderates. I guess this guy doesn’t follow the Discovery Institute’s guidelines. He does, however, note the contradiction of this statement versus the Senator’s statement of March 14, 2002 in the Washington Times.

Comment #43840

Posted by Dave Thomas on August 18, 2005 6:52 PM (e)

Neurode, I consider lying and spreading falsehoods to be extremely immoral.

Not every ID proponent lies with every breath - however - I have seen, time and again, creationists and ID proponents say things which are demonstrably false.

Some examples:

From Talk.Origin’s “Index to Creationist Claims” :

CA001:Evolution is the foundation of an immoral worldview

CA110:Evolution is a theory in crisis; it will soon be widely rejected.

CC301. Cambrian explosion contradicts evolutionary “tree” pattern

CB300. Complex organs couldn’t have evolved

CC201. We should see smooth change through the fossil record, not gaps.

CF011. Evolutionary algorithms smuggle in design in the fitness function

and thousands more!

For a recent example of ID proponents from the Discovery Institute making conflicting statements for political effect, consider these DI statements made in August 2005:

Discovery Institute’s William Dembski, August 4, 2005

President Bush is therefore completely on target
in wanting intelligent design taught in the public school science curriculum.

Discovery Institute’s John West, August 8th, 2005

Discovery Institute opposes any effort to mandate the teaching of design. All it is asking for is the teaching of scientific criticisms of modern Darwinian theory as well as the best evidence for the theory.

What fuels my interest in the intelligent design/creationism controversy?

My passion for the truth.

Comment #43866

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on August 18, 2005 8:33 PM (e)

Sir Toejam: do you know why that particular difference exists?

Theology just doesn’t have any simple answers, but the short answer is that Catholics don’t have much use for that “no graven images” stuff (imo a Good Thing, on balance, or we wouldn’t have Michelangelo’s statuary). So they dropped that rule, and split what the Protestants count as # 10 in two so as to Enron the final count.

Comment #43870

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 18, 2005 8:49 PM (e)

“Theology just doesn’t have any simple answers”

lol. too true, that.

hmm. intersting. so how much of the vitriol between american protestants and catholics is due to this difference? funny, i can’t reacall any mention being made of it. for those that consider it worthwhile to take a fight all the way to the supreme court in order to maintain a copy of the “ten commandments” in front of their courthouse… one has to wonder just how important of an issue this would be. should catholics complain when protestant versions of the ten commandments are placed outside of courthouses…

curioser and curioser.

Comment #43903

Posted by bcpmoon on August 19, 2005 1:36 AM (e)

neurode wrote:

A bit closer to home, it is far from uncommon to see ID critics sanctimoniously bemoaning the immorality of ID supporters while engaging in deliberate prevarication, vicious and disgusting ad hominem attacks, and outright character assassination against people with whom they disagree. For example, what kind of malignant freakazoid is attracted to the above-linked filth regarding Senator Santorum, and how can this be characterized as an instance of “charity, kindness, tolerance and honesty”?

Excuse me, but I could´t help thinking that you were having a jolly good time writing this. “ID critics engaging in ad hominem attacks”, followed by “malignant freakazoid”? Huh?
Really, I follow the discussion with an open mind, but carefully considered, the only people engaging in these tactics are the creationists/IDists. Really.
And, regarding your

when one hears a person complain or express trepidation about being victimized in his or her secular life due to his or her position on the ID-evolution controversy, one can be reasonably certain that he or she is an ID proponent.

I can only mention that most of the people complaining about being put in jail are criminals.

Comment #43908

Posted by AlanDownunder on August 19, 2005 4:12 AM (e)

Someone should wise Santorum up to this Vatican document, paragraph 69 of which contains this:

A growing body of scientific critics of neo-Darwinism point to evidence of design (e.g., biological structures that exhibit specified complexity) that, in their view, cannot be explained in terms of a purely contingent process and that neo-Darwinians have ignored or misinterpreted. The nub of this currently lively disagreement involves scientific observation and generalization concerning whether the available data support inferences of design or chance, and cannot be settled by theology. But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation.

Comment #43912

Posted by Frank J on August 19, 2005 5:35 AM (e)

Bayesian Bouffant wrote:

“Santorum is another Christian willing to obliterate the 9th commandment in defense of its author.”

Assuming you mean the “bear false witness” Commandment, I am still giving Santorum the benefit of the doubt that he is being scammed, and not one of the scammers. But my doubt is fading fast. Either way, the scammers are not defending the author(s) of the Commandments, but Leo Strauss:

http://reason.com/9707/fe.bailey.shtml

Comment #43914

Posted by Russell on August 19, 2005 6:04 AM (e)

I am still giving Santorum the benefit of the doubt that he is being scammed, and not one of the scammers. But my doubt is fading fast

As in the case with televangelists, I’ve long since concluded that, more often than not, there’s no meaningful distinction between the two.

Comment #43915

Posted by Rupert Goodwins on August 19, 2005 6:12 AM (e)

The trouble with morals is that they break the rule of the twin magisteria. The Judaic religions are hot on the idea that God gave us morals, is very keen that we follow them and is liberal with both carrot and stick to keep us in line. Evolution says that humans are part of a continuum of biological development, that the morals we exhibit are part of our nature, and that they confer survival advantages. Morality - or if you prefer, social behaviour - is most definitely within the remit of primate biology, anthropology and so on.

The origins, purpose and nature of morals is going to be a battleground between science and religion, while they remain distinct fields. Theology is a subset of anthropology, and eventually that’ll be universally agreed, but until then the defenders of the gods will be forced to make remarkable (and prima face false) statements such as “without religion, we’d have no morals” and “atheists are less moral than believers”.

I might be an old hippy - scratch that: I am an old hippy - but I feel all morality flows from compassion, and compassion comes from smarts and mirror neurons.

Peace, love and neurotransmitters, man!

R

Comment #43921

Posted by SEF on August 19, 2005 7:11 AM (e)

there’s no meaningful distinction between the two

Pragmatically, it doesn’t make much difference. It’s his responsibility to check he isn’t being scammed. He’s either too incompetent to do that, too lazy to do that or too dishonest to do that (because he’s a willing accomplice to the scam). None of these possibilities make him a person whose opinion is worth having. Especially when more competent, more thorough and more honest people are available, eg scientists (on this particular matter anyway).

Comment #43924

Posted by David Wilson on August 19, 2005 7:27 AM (e)

Gerard Harbison wrote:

Note to Bayesian Bouffant: if he’s Catholic, it’s the eighth commandment. Catholics and Prods have different numbering schemes.

Sir_Toejam wrote:

never heard that before. do you know why that particular difference exists? just curious

The article on the Ten Commandments in the on-line Catholic Encyclopaedia contains some information about this.

Comment #43929

Posted by Greep on August 19, 2005 8:22 AM (e)

Pierce R. Butler wrote “[T]he short answer is that Catholics don’t have much use for that “no graven images” stuff (imo a Good Thing, on balance, or we wouldn’t have Michelangelo’s statuary). So they dropped that rule, and split what the Protestants count as # 10 in two so as to Enron the final count.

LOL. Actually, the Catholics were here first, so you have your chronology exactly backwards…

It’s not that the Catholics have no use for the “no graven images” stuff, but they see it as simply a specific application of the Commandment against worshipping false gods. The protestants see the “no graven images” as being separate from the first commandment. So they chose to make them two separate Commandments, but they then had to combine the 9th & 10th Commandments into one so as to avoid having “The Eleven Commandments.”

So, if anyone here had to “Enron” the final count, it was the protestants.

Comment #43935

Posted by SEF on August 19, 2005 9:41 AM (e)

Actually, the Catholics were here first

No, they weren’t. I’ve been to the early Christian catacombs at Rome. Those people weren’t Catholics ™. They still obeyed the older no imagery Jewish law. Hence no Jesus pics either. It was a couple of centuries on before someone decided to start including images - possibly ignorant of the original culture being effectively Roman with that Roman tradition of paintings and sculpture.

Comment #43940

Posted by Fatmop on August 19, 2005 10:33 AM (e)

I’ve always wondered about the Jesus pics. Whenever I see someone with one of those little bronze crucifix statues in their home, or a picture of Jesus anywhere, I have to control the impulse to ask how they know he looked like that. I mean, if heaven exists, and most of these Christians go to it, they might be in for a surprise regarding their savior’s appearance.

Comment #43949

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on August 19, 2005 11:27 AM (e)

Greep: …the Catholics were here first, so you have your chronology exactly backwards…

The Hebrews were on the field even earlier. St. Jerome and Martin Luther, in their respective translations of (already somewhat garbled) Jewish texts, each rendered the version which best suited their circumstances. Jerry worked for a Church which had been taken over lock, stock, & chalice by an Empire with a typical imperial craving for big showy monuments; Marty was trying to streamline that same Church, grown even more obese. Their successors extracted versions of commandments to be arranged & numbered accordingly, just as the Jews had already done for their own purposes, giving us three variants today. (Four, if you include the Roy Moore version, truncated to fit on a marble idol the size of a washing machine.)

Comment #43960

Posted by Greep on August 19, 2005 12:43 PM (e)

SEF & Pierce R. Butler:

My point was simply that Pierce’s post read to me as if the Catholics took what the Protestants already had and edited it. But that is impossible, seeing as how the Protestants came after the Catholics. Nothing more.

Comment #43963

Posted by NDT on August 19, 2005 12:49 PM (e)

SEF wrote:

Pragmatically, it doesn’t make much difference. It’s his responsibility to check he isn’t being scammed. He’s either too incompetent to do that, too lazy to do that or too dishonest to do that (because he’s a willing accomplice to the scam). None of these possibilities make him a person whose opinion is worth having. Especially when more competent, more thorough and more honest people are available, eg scientists (on this particular matter anyway).

I agree. And it applies just as well to bogus intelligence on weapons of mass destruction as it does to bogus evidence for creationism. For a person in a position of power, being exceedingly gullible is just as bad as lying.

Comment #43964

Posted by NDT on August 19, 2005 12:53 PM (e)

neurode wrote:

In any case, human invention (or calculation) of morals would be insufficient to maintain or improve the condition of mankind. That would require the inculcation, dissemination, and enforcement of morals.

Advocating morals is one thing; upholding them in one’s personal behavior is quite another.

True. But, just as in the advocacy of morals, there is no discernible difference in the personal behavior (with regards to morality) between people who believe in a creator God and those who do not. Santorum’s argument falls flat, and is insulting to non-believers.

Comment #43967

Posted by Intelligent Design Theorist Timmy on August 19, 2005 1:04 PM (e)

Comment #43964

Posted by NDT on August 19, 2005 12:53 PM (e) (s)

neurode wrote:

In any case, human invention (or calculation) of morals would be insufficient to maintain or improve the condition of mankind. That would require the inculcation, dissemination, and enforcement of morals.

Advocating morals is one thing; upholding them in one’s personal behavior is quite another.

I would also like to point out that not only are we ID supporters more ethical, we are better looking than you atheists. That’s a fact, Jack.

Comment #43969

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 19, 2005 1:26 PM (e)

ID Theorist Timmy said:

“I would also like to point out that not only are we ID supporters more ethical, we are better looking than you atheists. That’s a fact, Jack.”

I appreciate this was intended to be humorous. If it had been intended to be taken seriously, however, a maligned evolutionary science supporter might respond as follows: “better looking” is a largely subjective measure, but even if it were not, and even if some valid comparison of representative samples had been appropriately performed, and some “representative” ID figurehead (for example, the fairhaired and immodest Mr. Bill D.) had indeed been determined to be superficially more attractive than some champion of science (our cute and cuddly panda friend, for instance–you see how very unlikely and unrealistic this thought experiment has already become)……then I would still say that the surface appeal would not withstand any extended acquaintance: it’s like the villain played by the good-looking young star of Wes Craven’s new movie thriller Red Eye, any attraction rapidly palls as soon as one took character and behavior into account.

Comment #43970

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 19, 2005 1:32 PM (e)

ID Theorist Timmy said:

“I would also like to point out that not only are we ID supporters more ethical, we are better looking than you atheists. That’s a fact, Jack.”

I appreciate this was intended to be humorous. If it had been intended to be taken seriously,” however, a maligned evolutionary science supporter might respond as follows: better looking” is a largely subjective measure, but even if it were not, and even if some valid comparison of representative samples had been appropriately performed, and some “representative” ID figurehead (for example, the fairhaired and immodest Mr. Bill D.) had indeed been determined to be superficially more attractive than some champion of science (our cute and cuddly panda friend, for instance–you see how very unlikely and unrealistic this thought experiment has already become)……then I would still say that the surface appeal would not withstand any extended acquaintance: it’s like the villain played by the good-looking young star of Wes Craven’s new movie thriller Red Eye, any atrraction rapidly palls as soon as you take his character and behavior into account.

Comment #43972

Posted by Steviepinhead on August 19, 2005 1:38 PM (e)

Very sorry for the double post, but the comment frame is behaving strangely–each time it in fact posted, I was taken to the “Page Cannot Be Found” negative zone…

Comment #43992

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 19, 2005 4:37 PM (e)

david - i couldn’t get to that link. is the site down?

Comment #44003

Posted by Frank J on August 19, 2005 5:50 PM (e)

To Russell and SEF:

No argument here that it is Santorum’s responsibility to avoid being scammed. And he’s had over 4 years of opportunity to figure it out. The fact that science-literate mainstream Christians and conservatives overwhelmingly oppose all anti-evolution strategies, including the designer-free phony “critical analysis,” should have been the first clue.

Comment #44029

Posted by David Wilson on August 19, 2005 8:24 PM (e)

david - i couldn’t get to that link. is the site down?

Sorry; I dropped the “h” off “http” when cutting and pasting the link, and forgot to check that it worked before posting. Try this .

Comment #44059

Posted by Sara on August 20, 2005 3:38 AM (e)

Santorum is a conservative Catholic. The Pope has okayed evolution. All is well with it in Santorum’s world.

Comment #44092

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 20, 2005 12:35 PM (e)

sure about that? the previous pope ok’d evo too; didn’t stop ‘ol Santy from trying to ram through changes to the education act to encourage the teaching of creationism.

Comment #44095

Posted by Ruthless on August 20, 2005 12:46 PM (e)

This Versteeg person dosn’t seem to have a very good grasp of his topic, does he.

“Evolution explains life as we know it pretty well.”

But not quite well enough.

I believe you left out the words “for me.”

For example, evolution fails to explain the origin of life, which would seem to be an integral part of any explanation of “life as we know it”.

A particular theory is not required to explain what you want it to explain.
Abiogenesis theories, however, DO cover that part nicely.

I’m certainly aware of no competent biologist who would make this claim, or support Versteeg in making it.

I’d be surprised if you knew a competent biologist.

“Sen. Santorum effectively pulls the rug out from under all the intelligent design proponents who deny that they are peddling a form of creationism.”

A rug can be pulled out from under only those who are standing on it. Many of those sympathetic to ID are not standing on Santorum’s rug; hence, despite Versteeg’s gloating, they feel no loss of equilibrium. In fact, they don’t know what Versteeg is talking about. (They are apparently in good company, for neither, apparently, does Versteeg.)

And yet this doesn’t matter. Even if some ID supporters are not so because of religion (and there are a very few who fit that description), they are still not going to see their pet superstition wind up in school science classes for the same reasons that the majority of ID supporters (who support ID for religious reasons) will not see it there: (1) ID is not science (2) ID is just a watered-down version of creation “science”, which is not legal to be taught, certainly not as science.

What I wonder is: Creationists have already made their pet superstitious about as vague as they possibly can in the attempts to circumvent the law, to the point that now they aren’t really saying ANYTHING with ID (except for the illogical “evolution is wrong -> designer”) So what will they do when ID is ruled impermissible, as well?

{snipped}
In any case, human invention (or calculation) of morals would be insufficient to maintain or improve the condition of mankind. That would require the inculcation, dissemination, and enforcement of morals.

Errr…so far in history, that’s exactly what has happened. Our system of morals AND laws is completely man-made.

Advocating morals is one thing; upholding them in one’s personal behavior is quite another.

Are you saying that non-Christians can’t have the same morals that Christians have?
My experience, frankly, is that the more religious a person is, the more they will lie (that doesn’t mean all religious folks are liars, but there’s definitely a causal relationship between the two. I’m quite certain, though, that “fundies” will ALL lie. They will deny all of reality if necessary to defend their particular superstition.)
And that there is no evidence that being religious makes any difference to acting morally.
And, in many cases, it causes people to act quite immorally.

For example, crooked politicians and other hypocrites are notorious for their (oftimes passionate) advocacy of moral behavior.

Are you talking about George W?

A bit closer to home, it is far from uncommon to see ID critics sanctimoniously bemoaning the immorality of ID supporters while engaging in deliberate prevarication, vicious and disgusting ad hominem attacks, and outright character assassination against people with whom they disagree.

I think you have that quite backwards.
I’ve seen virtually zero lying done by the anti-ID side, as well as a very good record of admitting errors.
OTOH, the pro-ID side is about as dishonest as a person can be.
And they certainly are not above “character assassination”; just check out Dembski’s attacks on his critics, for starters.

For example, what kind of malignant freakazoid is attracted to the above-linked filth regarding Senator Santorum, and how can this be characterized as an instance of “charity, kindness, tolerance and honesty”?

I can’t speak for the authors of that website, but for myself, as an atheist, I have no personal rule that says I should be charitable, kind, or tolerant to people who are not that way themselves. In my belief system, a’holes don’t get a pass.
However, what about that website is not honest?

I’m not saying that ID people are perfect; far from it.

Quite right. They are liars.

What I’m saying is that when one hears a person complain or express trepidation about being victimized in his or her secular life due to his or her position on the ID-evolution controversy, one can be reasonably certain that he or she is an ID proponent. This alone suggests that the frequency of immoral behavior is skewed around the controversy in question.

This is some flawed logic: You believe that proof of ID proponents’ moral superiority is that they whine more about being attacked and oppressed? I have news for you: Christians ALWAYS whine about being oppressed, which is, of course, dishonest.

Comment #44101

Posted by Ruthless on August 20, 2005 12:51 PM (e)

OK then, Dave T. Kindly direct our attention to a single “reverse Sternberg” situation in which the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, or comparable body of secular authorities, has deplored the treatment of an ID critic by those vicious, bloodthirsty ID proponents.

What do you think you are showing here?
This is just another case of whiny Christians.

I know the con, Dave. I’ve been reading these boards for a long time now, and I know exactly where one is likely to find the nastiest brand of commentary.
Hypocrisy notwithstanding, so does everybody else, and it sure isn’t at “Uncommon Descent”.

That’s because any sort of debate is not allowed there.
Try ARN instead.
I’m sure you’ll find some nasty commentary.

(No, Russell. That bears no resemblance to what I actually said. However, it is true that a randomly chosen ID critic is more likely to be engaged in immoral activity toward somebody on the opposite side of the controversy, and that’s a fact known to everybody with a browser.)

No, that isn’t a fact. If it is a fact, you should have no trouble offering proof of that fact.

Comment #44157

Posted by Eva Young on August 20, 2005 8:20 PM (e)

I think Santorum is a conservative catholic. He certainly is wacky - and it’s good to call him out on this stuff.

Comment #44250

Posted by Henry J on August 21, 2005 6:03 PM (e)

Re “but they then had to combine the 9th & 10th Commandments into one so as to avoid having “The Eleven Commandments.””

Besides, the eleventh commandment is “thou shalt not get caught”.

Re “For a person in a position of power, being exceedingly gullible is just as bad as lying.”

If not more so.

Henry

Comment #44366

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 22, 2005 6:30 PM (e)

Santorum is a conservative Catholic. The Pope has okayed evolution. All is well with it in Santorum’s world.

Ever read any of Mel Gibson’s, uh, thoughts?

Comment #44380

Posted by Sir_Toejam on August 22, 2005 8:06 PM (e)

I’ve seen postings of Mel’s pop, indicating his thoughts on the holocaust, among other things… is there actually a site that documents the musings of the younger gibson?

Comment #44385

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on August 22, 2005 8:21 PM (e)

I’ve seen postings of Mel’s pop, indicating his thoughts on the holocaust, among other things… is there actually a site that documents the musings of the younger gibson?

Well, I recall reading some of his drivel praising creationism and dissing evolution. It was, IIRC, in a Playboy interview. (I only read the articles, ya know.)