Nick Matzke posted Entry 1924 on January 19, 2006 05:53 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1919

Today the DI Media Complaints Division is complaining about being misrepresented about its position on ID in public education. The post goes on at some length, but here is a representative declaration:

Rob Crowther, Discovery Institute wrote:

They [some conservative intellectuals quoted in the Weekly Standard] are cited as being critical of “some” IDers who are trying to shoehorn ID into science curriculum. We completely agree with their underlying concern. At the risk of sounding like a broken record: Discovery Institute has never advocated the mandating of the theory of intelligent design in public school science curriculum.

Unfortunately, this is about as credible as the cdesign proponentsists’ claim that ID isn’t creationism. For example, almost all of the authors of Of Pandas and People, a book aimed at public school ninth grade biology students and originally pushed for statewide adoption in Alabama and Texas, are current DI fellows, and chunks of the book are posted all over the DI website. I suppose Crowther could exclude these facts on the basis that Pandas was written before the DI got into ID. But we also have the Wedge Document. It is fun to search on words like “teach” and “curricula”. For example:

Phase III. Once our research and writing have had time to mature, and the public prepared for the reception of design theory, we will move toward direct confrontation with the advocates of materialist science through challenge conferences in significant academic settings. We will also pursue possible legal assistance in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula

FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES […]
6. Ten states begin to rectify ideological imbalance in their science curricula & include design theory

How could anyone possibly get confused about the DI’s position?

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Comment #73736

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 19, 2006 6:34 PM (e)

I’m always wavering between Disco Institute (the superficial glitter covering up the utter lack of substance) and Deception Institute (deadly accurate, but a tad on the dry side)–neither of which is original with me (hey, how can a pinhead be expected to generate new information?).

But–speaking of information–Disinformation Institute does jave a real ring to it, as well.

Comment #73737

Posted by Corkscrew on January 19, 2006 6:34 PM (e)

It’s just getting ridiculous. These idiots make me [sic]

Comment #73739

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 19, 2006 6:35 PM (e)

“jave”? “have”? Why sweat the details; the DI never does.

Comment #73743

Posted by Tiax on January 19, 2006 6:48 PM (e)

Your methodology used to determine the DI’s stance on the issue is hopelessy lost within materialist dogma.

Comment #73754

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 7:30 PM (e)

Is it possible they’ve changed their position?

Comment #73763

Posted by Kurt on January 19, 2006 7:43 PM (e)

If you toss in a little Mao then you can get materialist running dogma.

Comment #73766

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 7:47 PM (e)

Is it possible they’ve changed their position?

*sigh*

OK, I’ll bite.

Why, oh seeker, would they change their position, eh?

Comment #73768

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 7:50 PM (e)

Interesting name alternatives for the DI. Unfortunately, no such easy spoofs of Panda’s Thumb come to mind…
The Panderer’s Thumb?
The Pandemic Thumb?
The Panda’s Dumb?
The Pandering Dumb?

Must.Get.Coffee.

Comment #73772

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 7:54 PM (e)

Must.Get.Coffee.

drugseeking won’t increase your intelligence quotient sufficiently to repair that lame attempt.

but, after you get that coffee, care to address the question i posed to you?

I’m betting your answer will be far more humorous.

Comment #73773

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 7:56 PM (e)

Is it possible they’ve changed their position?

It’d be irrelevant even if they have. Their original statement was:

Discovery Institute has never advocated the mandating of the theory of intelligent design in public school science curriculum.

Note that verb tense: has never. Demonstrably false.

Alles klar?

That they should lie about that does not make me feel confident that they’ve ‘changed their position’.

Lying kinda does that ya know, makes it so people don’t wanna believe you…

Comment #73775

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 7:57 PM (e)

Organizations change, mature - the page from which the copy above was taken, has it been replaced by different copy? Have they admitted to changing their position, or are they denying that they ever had the previous position?

If they say they’ve changed, maybe you should consider that. I mean, Planned Parenthood says they’ve abandoned the eugenic, racist ideas of Sanger - should I also disbelieve them? Or should I be suspicious.

Sure, that was further in the past, and there are different people at the helm now. But I’m just asking - is it possible that they’ve changed their means and their ends, for either practical or ideological reasons?

Or can we just assume a conspiracy because we don’t like them?

Comment #73778

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 19, 2006 8:01 PM (e)

Re: this dogma thing.

Whose Ma exactly are you calling a “dog”?

Comment #73779

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 8:02 PM (e)

Sure, that was further in the past, and there are different people at the helm now

then answer your own dumb question.

Are the same people at the helm of the DI now as when the wedge document was created?

hmm.

maybe you better drink more coffee.

and yes, we remember you.

Comment #73782

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 8:04 PM (e)

If they say they’ve changed, maybe you should consider that. I mean, Planned Parenthood says they’ve abandoned the eugenic, racist ideas of Sanger - should I also disbelieve them? Or should I be suspicious.

Nice try. To repeat: “HAS NEVER“. Means that at no time did they do it. That was their claim.

But we know they did advocate it. So even if they have changed their position, the statement is still false.

Two possibilities: either they’re too lazy to look up their old position papers, or they’re lying. Given how legendary the Wedge Document is, I think the latter is more likely. Pointing out someone’s falsehood is not a ‘conspiracy’. Aren’t you christian types supposed to oppose dishonesty?

BTW, nice swipe at Planned Parenthood. Classy.

Comment #73783

Posted by shenda on January 19, 2006 8:05 PM (e)

Seeker:

“If they say they’ve changed, maybe you should consider that.”

Here is a useful link for you.

http://www.rhlschool.com/reading.htm

Comment #73784

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 8:06 PM (e)

Well, it looks like they are lying about “never.”

Comment #73786

Posted by Stoffel on January 19, 2006 8:08 PM (e)

seeker, is there proof Planned Parenthood ever espoused those ideas? Sanger is the founder, but (as we heard many times through the Dover trial) does the personal philosophy of a person necessarily taint their work or objectives?

But let’s say I grant you that you can prove at some point Planned Parenthood espoused “the eugenic, racist ideas of Sanger”. If you can prove that, and then the current-day Planned Parenthood said, “We have never espoused those ideas”, they would be liars, whether or not their position had changed.

The statement highlighted in the original post is a lie. It’s provably false. Whether or not DI has changed its position over time, it has just now released a fabrication.

Comment #73788

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 8:08 PM (e)

Hey, Planned Parenthood is worthy of the abuse. They’re a favorite whipping boy, just like ID ;)

Comment #73789

Posted by Stoffel on January 19, 2006 8:09 PM (e)

Damn, your admission totally deflates the impact of my post. Nevertheless, glad you have “seen the light”, so to speak.

Comment #73792

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 8:11 PM (e)

Well, it looks like they are lying about “never.”

Nice, this is progress. Unexpected, but progress nonetheless.

Comment #73793

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 8:11 PM (e)

how can you ride that bike so fast backwards, seeker?

Comment #73794

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 8:13 PM (e)

Nah, planned parenthood has much worse things to criticize than the spectre of Margaret Sanger. But that’s not what this post is about. ;)

Comment #73795

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 8:14 PM (e)

By listening to you, toejam, by listening to you.

Comment #73799

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 19, 2006 8:18 PM (e)

Ya gotta admit, if he can backpeddle and listen at the same time, he must not be quite as dumb as he sounds…

Comment #73802

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 8:22 PM (e)

By listening to you, toejam, by listening to you.

now if only EVERYBODY would listen to me!

plans for world domination, proceeding one person at a time.

muahahhahaha!

*snort*

Comment #73803

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 8:24 PM (e)

he must not be quite as dumb as he sounds…

don’t count your chickens…

Comment #73806

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 19, 2006 8:27 PM (e)

Is it possible they’ve changed their position?

Is it possible they got their ass reamed out in court, and would rather not repeat the painful experience again?

Comment #73808

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 19, 2006 8:28 PM (e)

Hey Seeker, weren’t you about to explain to me how ID is different from creation “science” …. ?

Comment #73809

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 19, 2006 8:30 PM (e)

Well, it looks like they are lying about “never.”

Ahhhhh, a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.

Now … what ELSE have they lied about through the years?

Comment #73810

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 8:32 PM (e)

Hey, ‘Seeker’, I have a question for you. Try and answer it honestly.

Which would you personally prefer:

(a) that the DI really has changed their position, and do not want ID taught in schools;

or (b) that their position is actually unchanged, and that they still do seek to advance the teaching of ID in schools.

I’m not asking you what you think their position is. I’m asking you, deep down, which position would you rather they had. Not their public stance, their real position.

Comment #73811

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 19, 2006 8:33 PM (e)

Sure, that was further in the past, and there are different people at the helm now.

Who.

Who runs DI now that wasn’t there then.

You are either ignorant, or a liar. Which is it?

Comment #73812

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 8:36 PM (e)

Sure, that was further in the past, and there are different people at the helm now.

Lenny, i think Seeker was referring to planned parenthood with that specific statement.

Comment #73822

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 19, 2006 9:01 PM (e)

Lenny, i think Seeker was referring to planned parenthood with that specific statement.

I dunno. It’s not clear.

But I *would* like Seeker to explain to me what the difference is between ID and creation ‘science’.

As someone once said, “A difference is a difference only if it makes a difference”.

Comment #73828

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 9:15 PM (e)

My posts are being caught by the moderator script, so you’ll just have to wait…

Comment #73829

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 9:18 PM (e)

btw, toejam was right, i was talking about PP changing leadesnip - i was admitting that it was an imperfect analogy. my post on the differences between id and cc will show up as soon as the moderator lets it - it must’ve been too long or had too many links in it.

Comment #73831

Posted by Rich on January 19, 2006 9:21 PM (e)

“My posts are being caught by the moderator script [apart from this one], so you’ll just have to wait…”

Lying for Jesus, one post at a time..

Comment #73832

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 9:22 PM (e)

Rich, you aren’t a scholar or a gentleman. I hope you are man enough to apologize when my post shows up.

Comment #73834

Posted by seeker on January 19, 2006 9:26 PM (e)

Arden,

I prefer that the DI admit to the wedge doc, and explain why their publicly stated goals have changed, and how they would respond to the accusation that they’re just putting on a new face for the cameras, while secretly still pursuing those initial goals.

I’d ask them if they believe that ID should be taught in the science or philosophy classes in high schools, and if so, do they plan on partnering with any organizations whose outright goals are such?

How’s that?

Comment #73835

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 9:26 PM (e)

hmm, if your post was going to show up, it would have appeared just before your latest post…

unless it was moved to the bathroom wall?

Comment #73837

Posted by Flint on January 19, 2006 9:27 PM (e)

I admit I haven’t found a single statement made by the DI that has been entirely honest or accurate, ever. I think we can be fairly confident that what we’re seeing here is straight damage control. On the evidence, the DI sees no particular benefit in keeping their statements consistent with prior statemets, or with known facts or anything else. And there are advantages to putting out lots of conflicting statements: no matter how circumstances turn against you, you have a prepared bolthole. Just quote whichever past statement puts you in the best light.

Still, I think the DI’s political objectives are consistent. They dream of using civil authority (police, courts, legislation) to establish and enforce a strict creationist social order and Official Belief and in the process save the country for God. HOW this is brought about really doesn’t much matter, only results matter. Principles can be a handicap; the DI has nothing if not a flexible attitude about principles.

Comment #73842

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 9:39 PM (e)

Arden,

I prefer that the DI admit to the wedge doc, and explain why their publicly stated goals have changed, and how they would respond to the accusation that they’re just putting on a new face for the cameras, while secretly still pursuing those initial goals.

I’d ask them if they believe that ID should be taught in the science or philosophy classes in high schools, and if so, do they plan on partnering with any organizations whose outright goals are such?

How’s that?

Well, that’s not what I asked you. What I asked you was, what do want their position to be?

Comment #73845

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 19, 2006 9:45 PM (e)

I prefer that the DI admit to the wedge doc,

Actually, they did admit to it, but only extremely grudgingly, and after a full year or two of trying very hard to avoid the subject. Then they tried to play it down like it didn’t mean anything, and tried to imply that since it was just a ‘fundraising letter’ it doesn’t matter what it said.

Lenny has this all documented.

Comment #73846

Posted by Rich on January 19, 2006 9:59 PM (e)

I’ll be happy to apologize if your post shows up. You can still write one and get an apology, a better one than you offered with [Well, it looks like they are lying about “never.”]

Comment #73851

Posted by Kevin from NYC on January 19, 2006 10:04 PM (e)

“Organizations change, mature -“

evolve?

Comment #73884

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 19, 2006 11:24 PM (e)

The Disco acknowledges the Wedge Strategy on their own web site. Their reponse?

So what?

Comment #73885

Posted by limpidense on January 19, 2006 11:26 PM (e)

Is it possible (already sounds disingenuous, right?) that “Seeker” is a pandering troll likely spending its time pelting the D.I. with whining mails about what a good, Xian liar it is, and how it would do anything, ANYTHING (“Please, Boss Man! Please I’ll do ANYTHING! I’ll polish your shoes with the oil on my nose. I’ll wash out your dirty condoms!”)to enlist in their campaign against everything admirable and humane?

What sad, but awful, awful people suit up for the Creationist/Xian/Merkin side!

Comment #73886

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 19, 2006 11:27 PM (e)

The Disco acknowledges the Wedge Strategy on their own web site. Their reponse?

So what?

translated that means:

most of our sychophantic supporters actually share those ideals, and that’s our base, so why should we care what anybody else thinks?

Comment #73888

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 19, 2006 11:45 PM (e)

That’s pretty much where the Disco is coming from. And “so what?” are their exact words. They could care less that most people would find their wedge strategy alarming and dangerous.

ps, I have a new design theory - larry is the intelligent designer. Seriously. That explains alot. Prove me wrong!

Comment #73894

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 12:11 AM (e)

He lives in L.A.

why would any intelligent designer do that?

Comment #73903

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 20, 2006 12:39 AM (e)

He lives in L.A.

why would any intelligent designer do that?

Simple! Easy access to the movie industry!

Comment #73904

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 20, 2006 12:41 AM (e)

I have a new design theory - larry is the intelligent designer. Seriously. That explains alot. Prove me wrong!

Yeah, I can just see Larry running a waste disposal system through a recreational system…

Comment #73906

Posted by Tice with a J on January 20, 2006 1:09 AM (e)

Yeah, I can just see Larry running a waste disposal system through a recreational system…

And locating the whole thing inside an OB/GYN unit just to top it off.

Comment #73909

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 1:17 AM (e)

1. regarding my “missing post”, i haven’t the foggiest why that post got a different result when I submitted it, but for now you’ll have to take my word that it took me to a page with some text about it having to be approved by the moderator. I suspect it was because it had a lot of links in it. I can only hope that when/if it does appear, it has the original submission time so that the blabbering fools will shut up.

2. I think that it is fine to push for some simple statements about origins in school textbooks when theories of origins are mentioned, and I think that the statistical questions that ID brings up are worth mentioning. If DI wants to do that as part of their charter and goals, that’s fine with me.

However, it may be smarter to focus on gaining cred within the science community, as well as in the larger academic community before pushing for legislation. However, I think it is also good to sway public opinion to put pressure on scientists and policy makers, and to encourage scientists who are sympathizers but too afraid to speak lest they lose their jobs or credibility.

I don’t care which way the DI goes, as long as they don’t embarrass themselves or Creation Science with more missteps.

3. It’s obvious that many here are more interested in ridicule and winning arguments, and making themselves feel and look smarter than others, rather than, with some modicum of humility (i.e. maturity) answering questions with their “extensive” expertise, or being in dialogue. I’ll have to ignore them (the noise), but am glad to comment with the civil (the signal).

However, it feels like I can hardly change my mind without being called an idiot, a liar, or a hypocrite.

Comment #73911

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 1:23 AM (e)

I suspect it was because it had a lot of links in it.

or the links were long ones, or contained some words that made the filter register.

it’s not personal. happens all the time.

strip the links out (or just refer to the pages without direct links) and repost.

as to the rest of your post, i leave you to the wolves. You have a lot of very strange ideas about reality.

Comment #73912

Posted by Rich on January 20, 2006 1:29 AM (e)

“It’s obvious that many here are more interested in ridicule and winning arguments, and making themselves feel and look smarter than others, rather than, with some modicum of humility (i.e. maturity) answering questions with their “extensive” expertise, or being in dialogue. I’ll have to ignore them (the noise), but am glad to comment with the civil (the signal)” This must be some kind of d*mbskiesque filter. The arbitrary get-out-of-tough-questions filter?

Comment #73921

Posted by droolmonkey on January 20, 2006 3:03 AM (e)

As a lurker, I would like to give seeker some credit. Unlike most of the creationist that frequent PT he has shown the ability to change his mind. One small step, but at least a step. Most just ignore all reason and evidence.

Comment #73948

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 20, 2006 5:50 AM (e)

seeker wrote:

I think that the statistical questions that ID brings up are worth mentioning

There is severe problems with the statistical questions brought up by creationists on the origin of life (please note, too, that those questions predate ID and are only a mathematical statement of the argument of incredulity). The first and foremost is that we don not have enough data on origin of life to make any reasonable statistical analysis about it at this point. The maths presented by creationists assume that the first life form most be the simplest life form around today - which is stupid, since even the most basic creature today has had 3+ billion years of evolution. Thus, it is the old “tornado in junkyard” straw-man with more obscure concepts thrown in to muddle the water.

The first life form might have evolved from basic chemicals in the “soup”, or have been created in space and fallen to earth, or might even have evolved in the volcanic vents or deep underground. Given that we have very little data to go with, the numbers are usually irrelevant.

I suggest you read the talk origins article on the origin of life - you can find it here:

http://talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html

Regarding you missing post - I used to get those too, because my filler email address contained the word “spam”. PT’s filter is a little overzealous.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #73967

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 20, 2006 7:23 AM (e)

Hey Seeker, if you’re finished whining and weeping, would you mind explaining to me the difference between ID and creation ‘science’?

I don’t care which way the DI goes, as long as they don’t embarrass themselves or Creation Science with more missteps.

Oh, wait, NOW you seem to think they are after all one and the same thing.

Explain, please …. ?

Comment #73996

Posted by Raging Bee on January 20, 2006 9:02 AM (e)

My posts are being caught by the moderator script, so you’ll just have to wait.

The latest creationist dodge, after “I’m too busy to prove anything,” “I’m being persecuted,” “I’ll answer your question after I’m done with an amazing scientific break-in…breakthrough…that I can’t describe in any detail,” “Those dastardly dogmatic Darwinians are refuting…oops, I mean suppressing…our brilliant yet misunderstood ideas.”

seeker, do you really need big long links to explain the difference between ID and creationism? You’re the only person who’s complained of trouble posting; and you have trouble only when asked a tough question. Funny, that…

Comment #73998

Posted by Raging Bee on January 20, 2006 9:05 AM (e)

droolmonkey: LaLaLarry also showed a capacity to change his mind: he admitted that biologists might find evolution “useful,” while pretending they didn’t actually have to believe evolution in order to make use of it. Baby steps…

Comment #74003

Posted by Gorbe on January 20, 2006 9:21 AM (e)

You know what ID is about when you “Follow the Noise” after a setback … the most recent being the Dover trial. Who was most upset by ID being struck down? Was it the scientific community? Or was it religious reactionaries? And what have the few ID “scientists” done since their most recent setback? Have they regrouped and reformulated their “theory?” Or have they jacked-up the printing press to continue a PR crusade?

Meanwhile, real scientists the world over are busy observing new phenomenon, forumlating testable hypothesis and testing such hypothesis. And, you will hardly hear a peep from them until they have something useful to say. And, even then, it will be to inform fellow scientists and not the public at large, let alone a subset of the population that is politically religious.

A good scientific theory rises or falls on its own strength. It does not need a public relations firm; or an unending series of press releases; or pandering politicians; or Sunday pulpits; etc. to prop it up.

Comment #74007

Posted by mark duigon on January 20, 2006 9:36 AM (e)

What, never?
“No, never!
What, never?
“Well, hardly ever!

Right, and after Judge Jones referred to Dover school board member Alan Bonsell’s lying, Bonsell told the York Dispatch (12/20/2005) he wasn’t dishonest. “I didn’t lie. Obviously, he’s not talking about me. I wouldn’t do that. It’s not something I would do.”

Comment #74012

Posted by Tyrannosaurus on January 20, 2006 9:50 AM (e)

A good scientific theory rises or falls on its own strength. An that is precisely the reason ID fails, it is not a scientific theory or science at all.
Rest my case your honor.

Comment #74030

Posted by AC on January 20, 2006 10:40 AM (e)

seeker wrote:

I don’t care which way the DI goes, as long as they don’t embarrass themselves or Creation Science with more missteps.

“Creation Science” is self-embarrassing. In fact, the very term is embarrassingly oxymoronic.

However, I think it is also good to sway public opinion to put pressure on scientists and policy makers, and to encourage scientists who are sympathizers but too afraid to speak lest they lose their jobs or credibility.

You think it’s right and proper to politicize science. That’s certainly all I need to know about you in this context.

Comment #74045

Posted by Donald M on January 20, 2006 10:54 AM (e)

Matzke asks:

How could anyone possibly get confused about the DI’s position?

Well, apparently you and several others on this thread are. Crowther’s comment that the DI has never advocated the mandated teaching of ID is correct.

Neither of the quotes offered from the wedge document contradict that. Look carefully at them:

Phase III. Once our research and writing have had time to mature, and the public prepared for the reception of design theory, we will move toward direct confrontation with the advocates of materialist science through challenge conferences in significant academic settings. We will also pursue possible legal assistance in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula.

and:

FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES […]
6. Ten states begin to rectify ideological imbalance in their science curricula & include design theory

In neither statement do I read that the objective is to get states to mandate that ID be taught. Rather the objective is to get to states to allow (i.e. let it be included) ID to be taught by not mandating against it.

Now I know most everyone here takes strong issue with that goal, but that is not the point. The point is that trying to use Crowther’s comment as an example of “lying” by the DI is what is “demonstrably false” and not the other way around.

If you’re going to mis-represent the DI’s position, at least mis-represent it correctly.

Comment #74057

Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on January 20, 2006 11:29 AM (e)

… pursue possible legal assistance in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula.

Using legal force to overcome “resistance” to integration into curricula?  Looks like mandating to me.

Comment #74067

Posted by Greg H on January 20, 2006 11:49 AM (e)

I agree with Eng-Poet - if ID has any scientific merit of it’s own to offer, then all any scientist of ID has to do is:

1) Propose a hypothesis.
2) Test it.
3) Publish the results.
4) Allow others to perform similar expriments and publish their results.

If the results confirm the hypothesis, legal and political assistance is unnecessary. Once confirmed, published, and reviewed, no assistance would be necessary, as the science of the results would mandate their inclusion in science curriculum.

As far as I know, however, ID has yet to complete step 1, much less any of the others. My true problem with the IDiots isn’t that they’re wrong - I can ignore willful ignorance, after all I work in IT. My problem is that they expect the rest of us to believe them, even though we know they’re wrong.

Oh, 2 + 2 = 5 - you’re absolutely right. How silly of me.

Comment #74070

Posted by Glen Davidson on January 20, 2006 12:11 PM (e)

In neither statement do I read that the objective is to get states to mandate that ID be taught. Rather the objective is to get to states to allow (i.e. let it be included) ID to be taught by not mandating against it.

Now I know most everyone here takes strong issue with that goal, but that is not the point. The point is that trying to use Crowther’s comment as an example of “lying” by the DI is what is “demonstrably false” and not the other way around.

If you’re going to mis-represent the DI’s position, at least mis-represent it correctly.

The DI misrepresented what had been said, which was, “They [some conservative intellectuals quoted in the Weekly Standard] are cited as being critical of “some” IDers who are trying to shoehorn ID into science curriculum.” It was misdirection at least, perhaps verging into deception proper, for the DI to bring up the fact that they have not (directly) sought to mandate the teaching of ID.

Perhaps since then people have suggested that they did seek directly to mandate teaching ID, I don’t really know. But accepting DI misdirection as if it appropriately answered the original charge is to let their deviousness have a free rein.

Unfortunately the following is somewhat off topic (but no more than happens in many threads), yet they cut off comments in the “How to falsify ID” thread while I was finishing up my response to Keith Douglas, without warning or even any obvious reason. So here is my response to Douglas’ comments (all of which are reproduced as quotes below):

Glen Davidson, the ontology supported by modern science is *not* the weird phenomenalism Kant espoused.

Modern science does not support ontology. And Kant’s philosophy of science dealt with what we can know based on the impossibility of ever checking out “what really is” against “how we experience things.”

Consider any law statement in physics. Is there reference to a subject in the psychological sense? No.

The fact that there is no reference to a “subject” in your sense does not obviate the fact that “as a subject” is the only way in which we know and experience the world. Of course I don’t really like referring to “the subject” in such a manner, since there is nothing that separates subject from object in any categorical manner, but when in Rome….

Kant’s problem in this area was in supposing that somehow we have privileged knowledge of other beings which is not subject to the problems of knowing anything “in itself” (Nietzsche pointed this out, as well as the problem of supposing that we know our own minds “in themselves”). However, Kant nailed the problems of naive realism. Nothing new there, of course, since Hume and others had dealt with the trouble of knowing something “in itself”, yet Kant went on to recognize that there are ways in which we do know things which clearly could not be due to observations arising in a tabula rasa (lacking an idea of evolution, he did not recognize that the world is best understood as something that gave us, via evolution, a set of senses fairly well correlated with said world–which still is unable to prove in any way that what we observe is what exists).

Hence, the Kantian dogma about never knowing things in themselves is radically and distasterously false. (And was when he wrote, too, for that matter.)

Well then it’s time for you to tell us what “knowing things in themselves” even means. That was Nietzsche’s considered complaint against Kantianism, this notion that “thing in itself” (Ding an Sich) has any actual meaning (to us, at least). God, perhaps, knows things in themselves, we only know what we perceive, and we can check nothing out beyond our senses of them.

I’m afraid that you need to deal a little more closely with philosophical terms if you mean to fault Kant where he almost certainly got things right. There are any number of problems in Kant, however his rejection of naive realism is legitimate and apparently unassailable. Bringing up naive realist objections (no reference to the “subject”, as if ignoring human interpretation will allow us to know things in themselves) hardly answers the well thought out objections to naive realism itself.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #74072

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 20, 2006 12:24 PM (e)

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 01:17 AM (e)

However, it feels like I can hardly change my mind without being called an idiot, a liar, or a hypocrite.

seeker,

I first came to this site as an ID supporter. I am not one now. Be true to yourself. It is not so bad to be a victim of a hoax. It is bad to let yourself be willingly missled.

Follow the evidence. See which side of this argument is willing to lie and deceive. Which side uses hard evidence.

I was conned as well. Pretty annoying when I realised, the whole ID movement is a sham.

Take a long hard look at how the creationists argue. How many creationist/ID sites allow people to disagree like PT does? Most do not even permit people to post. As far as I have seen, no ID site accepts rigorous dissent. Why do you think that might be?

Comment #74077

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 12:51 PM (e)

You think it’s right and proper to politicize science.
Actually, anywhere there is power and money, there will be politics. If you are unwilling to play the game of politics in science, you should get out. Now, there is good politics and dishonest, but if you think it’s bad to use politics to change culture, even scientific culture and politics (which, as I said, are pre-existing), then I think you are blind to how things work.

And Donald, I was going to make the exact same point - from a legal nitpicking point of view, the DI never used the word “mandate”, and as you say, strictly speaking, “allow” is not the same thing. Now I’m sure that those who disagree with DI’s goals can’t or won’t see the difference between these, but of course, they want to paint the DI in the worst possible light, so always assume the worst interpretation. However, I must also admit that the DI should have done a better job of answering this problem - because by simply denying that’s what they “said”, they still haven’t really addressed the complaint that it’s what they actually meant.

Greg, you forgot one step that DI researchers would have to do - overcome the incredible pro-evolution, anti-ID bias of the peer reviewers at most highly regarded publications. Not only that, as we have seen, if anyone *does* give an IDer a chance, they are putting their own reputation on the line - many are not willing to risk their careers for science that doesn’t fit the going religi, er, paradigm.

Stephen - thanks for the encouragement. However, I’m not a big IDer, so losing my “faith” in ID won’t really matter too much. But I am a creationist sympathizer, and have been for years based on the available evidence. Having read most evolutionist ideas for years, I seriously doubt that their vain repetitions will change my mind easily. Maybe a new or better argument could make a difference, but the creationist interpretation of the data, the preponderance of data that conflicts w/ evolution, as well as the gaps in data, and the fact that the analogs of evolution in other disciplines (see http://www.twoorthree.net/2006/01/forever_free_bu.html) seem false to me, all add up to a compelling case against evolution and for creationism, in my mind.

As to the diff between ID and creationism, I am still hoping that my previously filtered post will pass through, because I don’t feel like recreating it. Maybe next week if the post doesn’t show. In the meantime, you can go to answersingenesis, reaasonstobelieve, the discovery institute, and slate magazine to find articles on the diff.

Comment #74084

Posted by Raging Bee on January 20, 2006 1:11 PM (e)

Greg, you forgot one step that DI researchers would have to do - overcome the incredible pro-evolution, anti-ID bias of the peer reviewers at most highly regarded publications.

Name an instance of such “incredible” bias. (By “incredible” I’m assuming you mean blatant and way beyond reason.) How many research papers or experiment reports have the IDers submitted to peer review? To whom were they submitted? What sort of reception did such papers get? Name an evolutionary biologist or institution that acted with “incredible” bias, and specify the incident. Name an “ID theorist” whose career was unjustly hampered due to his dissenting views, and, again, specify the incident.

Real scientists have worked to overcome bias, and have overcome it by producing results, not vague, whiny accusations. “Bias” is no excuse for the IDers’ failure to deliver results.

(If a biologist used ID “theory” to invent a useful drug or medical treatment, do you really think GlaxoSmithKline would pass up an opportunity to market it?)

Comment #74089

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 1:25 PM (e)

Actually, anywhere there is power and money, there will be politics. If you are unwilling to play the game of politics in science, you should get out.

dumbest statement I’ve seen all week.

and here we thought you were capable of learning.

oh well.

Comment #74090

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 1:28 PM (e)

and Stephen -

don’t fall for “seeker’s” lies.

he is an avid antievolutionist and antiscience moron.

we’ve seen his posts before.

all of his backpeddaling is simply meant to make him look more reasonable, but his mission is quite clear.

he’s just another idjut.

Comment #74092

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 20, 2006 1:34 PM (e)

Stephen Elliot said…
I first came to this site as an ID supporter

Stephen that is fascinating, to me at least. Might you start a thread over at AfterTheBarCloses and provide details?

Comment #74096

Posted by Moses on January 20, 2006 1:46 PM (e)

Having read most evolutionist ideas for years, I seriously doubt that their vain repetitions will change my mind easily.

Look in the mirror, Sparky. You’re the one who is striving in vain. Scientists repeat themselves because creationists can’t even think up an original argument anymore and just recycle the same old crap.

Irreducible complexity? Paley’s 200-year-old watchmaker argument all over again.

Intelligent design? Junk science “scientific creationism” all over again and really nothing but the logos argument from the pre-Socratic Greeks around 500 to 475 BCE and re-expressed for Christianity by St. Thomas in the 13th century as his fifth proof for the existence of God.

Fined tuned universe? Pure tautology and a serious lack of imagination.

No transitional fossils? You refuse to allow them and every time one is found, you say “Ah-ha, MORE GAPS in fossil record because we need transitional fossils on both sides of that one now,” instead of “Ooops, that one just got filled.”

The list goes on and on and on. But it’s the same arguments year-in, year-out and constantly refreshed by a new batch of “holy warriors” out to destroy Darwinism. Guess what, EVOLUTION has been getting STRONGER, YEAR AFTER YEAR since the concept became introduced as a scientific concept by Darwin & Russel in 1858.

So we get back to “vain.” If you think YOU’RE going to take down evolution, you’re vain and striving in vain. Evolution is here to stay and gets stronger every year.

Comment #74097

Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on January 20, 2006 1:49 PM (e)

seeker wrote:

I am a creationist sympathizer, and have been for years based on the available evidence. Having read most evolutionist ideas for years, I seriously doubt that their vain repetitions will change my mind easily.

So strange that you claim to have examined “the available evidence”, yet you cling to a conclusion exactly opposite of that reached by the specialists in the field (who have had a lot more time to examine the evidence in more ways than you have, or will).

It’s almost like you were, ya know, prejudiced against evolution or something.

Comment #74099

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 1:59 PM (e)

Ok, here’s my post on the diffs between id and creationism.

http://www.twoorthree.net/2006/01/whats_the_diffe.html

Comment #74100

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 2:01 PM (e)

So strange that you claim to have examined “the available evidence”, yet you cling to a conclusion exactly opposite of that reached by the specialists in the field (who have had a lot more time to examine the evidence in more ways than you have, or will).

It’s called projection. common defense mechanism when one’s ego is threatened.

the refusal to view the evidence presented in a realistic light is called denial.

these folks are messed up, but like most suffering from psychological conditions, they literally are unable to see that they are.

ever meet a schizophrenic? they are absolutely convinced in their own mind that YOU are the one with the problem.

Comment #74108

Posted by Steverino on January 20, 2006 2:17 PM (e)

The underlying question still has yet to be answered truthfully by IDers/Creationist, and that is, why is it necessary to teach ID/Creation in a public school classrooms??? What is the real reason to teach religious tenents as scientific fact??

Comment #74109

Posted by Raging Bee on January 20, 2006 2:19 PM (e)

Okay, seeker, every single one of the paragraphs, from a wide variety of sources, flatly admit that ID differs from creationism on only ONE significant point: ID refuses, or pretends to refuse, to name the unknowable, unseeable, unspecified, supernatural intelligence that it holds responsible for creating all life on Earth. Both ID and creationism postulate the sort of entity that most people routinely call a “god,” and creationists are merely the subset of IDers who believe the entity is named “Yahweh.”

As science, both “schools” of “thought” are equally invalid for the same reasons: both resort to a supernatural agent to explain what evolution allegedly fails to explain, which takes them well outside the bounds of honest, disciplined science. Oh, and, both groups use the same set of mind-games, logical fallacies, diversions, political bullying, and outright lies to cover up the rank emptiness at their core. So for all practical purposes, there really is no difference beyond the name.

And, in fact, creationists have explicitly changed their name to pretend they’re not offering a religious doctrine disguised as science. Just ask any “Cdesign proponentsist.”

Comment #74112

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 2:24 PM (e)

toejam, I think your diagnosis is a projection, and a diagnosis just as easily applied to rabid evolutionists (like those here)

If you are curious about why evangelicals want to put creationism in schools, here’s a primer. It’s about the bible being true, it’s about not promoting lies in the name of science, it’s about being honest about scientific assumptions and methodology, it’s about humanity and ethics that spring out of evolution and it’s philosophic analogs. The schools are important because they are our future - if we teach kids evolution as fact, we’ll have more atheists (and a resulting drop in public morality ;), more bad science, more dehumanizing ethics, and a general malaise in society.
http://www.twoorthree.net/2005/11/why_most_evange.html

Comment #74113

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 2:31 PM (e)

BTW, a comment I made on my site bears repeating here. Have fun with this one.

But those who depend on evolution for their understanding of origins and the nature of the universe and God are not really able to distance themselves emotionally from this belief system, so to them, there is no evidence that could disprove evolution, and every challenge to it is a challenge from the heathen believers ;)

Comment #74115

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 2:38 PM (e)

Actually, the way I look at it, they are proposing a different unprovable assumption about origins - a creation event vs. abiogenesis. Despite the unprovable nature of macroevolution or the creation event, we should be able to look at both the historical evidence and predictions of both models without trying to invalidate them because we don’t like their primary, underlying faith assumption.

So what if we can’t prove abiogenesis or macroevolution? So what if we can’t prove a creation event? The better question is, which model fits the facts and makes better predictions?

Comment #74116

Posted by Raging Bee on January 20, 2006 2:40 PM (e)

“A resulting drop in public morality?” Do you actually believe that Americans were really a more “moral” people before Darwin came along? Do I have to remind you that (to take just one example) chattel-slavery was abolished in the US AFTER Darwin published? Do I have to remind you that many of the abolitionists were the very sort of progressive science-minded liberals today’s fundies despise?

And what about the many Christians, such as the Catholic Church and the Lutherans, who explicitly accept evolution as a valid explanation of certain natural phenomena? Are they less “moral” than you because of it? Was Pope John Paul II less “moral” for saying evolution was fact? At least they’re not violating that commandment against “false witness” like you and your faction are.

Comment #74118

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 20, 2006 2:51 PM (e)

Seeker, slithering along:

The better question is, which model fits the facts and makes better predictions?

And what’s the “better” answer? Heck, if that’s too tough, just give us an honest answer:

Which one lacks any evidence whatsoever? Which one makes no predictions whatsoever?
Which one performs no experiments, lab work, field tests? Which one fails to explain any of the facts, much less has a “model” which might “fit” them?

How do you explain humanity’s broken vitamin C gene, Seeker? How do you explain how the pattern of intact and broken genes fits with the other resemblances and divergencies withing the clade of higher apes.

While you’re at it, Seeker, give us a single “fit” of your supposed ID “model” to any of the facts that evolution explains. Not a critique, not a gap, but a positive, affirmative, this is why we say this species looks like this and that one looks like that fact.

Needless to say, I won’t be holding my breath.

Comment #74119

Posted by Raging Bee on January 20, 2006 2:51 PM (e)

…those who depend on evolution for their understanding of origins and the nature of the universe and God…

Further proof that you have no clue what you’re talking about: evolution is the single valid explanation of the diversity of life on Earth; nothing more. It says nothing at all about the “origins and the nature of the universe and God.”

All science says about God is that His/Her/Their existence has yet to be proven objectively. Most established churches and persons of faith, including myself and many Christians of varying political colors, agree with this: lack of physical evidence does not weaken our belief or devotion. Our gods speak in our hearts, and science helps us to understand the world they created.

Of course, if YOU don’t hear the voice of any god in YOUR heart, then I can see where you’d have trouble with this concept. But that’s not the Darwinists’ fault…

Comment #74120

Posted by Flint on January 20, 2006 2:54 PM (e)

Of course, what seeker has done is regurgitate a list of things he takes on faith, most of them in direct violation of overwhelming evidence. He is at least consistent in this regard - the battle continues to be between evidence and a willful refusal to credit evidence (to the point where all indications are that the nature of what evidence IS, is a complete mytery).

But this pretty much disables all communications. If you use evidence to counter faith-based statements, you are only demonstrating bad faith. What ELSE could you be doing, in the eyes of someone for whom evidence is “whatever I need it to be to support my faith.”

Comment #74122

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 20, 2006 2:57 PM (e)

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 20, 2006 01:34 PM (e)

Stephen Elliot said…
I first came to this site as an ID supporter

Stephen that is fascinating, to me at least. Might you start a thread over at AfterTheBarCloses and provide details?

It is not that interesting really.
I came here convinced there was something to ID. I argued for it. Followed links I was shown, then changed my mind.

It was pretty obvious who was lying and who backed claims with evidence…after a while.

Not everyone who comes here as a “creationist” is a troll. Some of us was conned.

On a side note. It was not the most avid people who persuaded me. Rather it was the posters who used rational and understanding arguments.

Comment #74123

Posted by Dave Mescher on January 20, 2006 3:02 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #74124

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 20, 2006 3:04 PM (e)

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 02:38 PM (e)

Actually, the way I look at it, they are proposing a different unprovable assumption about origins - a creation event vs. abiogenesis. Despite the unprovable nature of macroevolution

Are you aware that evolution is not about the origin of life?

If you accept micro-evolution, what stops you accepting macro-evolution? It is just a matter of time.

Comment #74127

Posted by shenda on January 20, 2006 3:05 PM (e)

Raging Bee:
”“A resulting drop in public morality?” Do you actually believe that Americans were really a more “moral” people before Darwin came along?”

Please keep in mind that the fundies definition of moral is “Belief in the Bible”.

Comment #74128

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 3:06 PM (e)

see?

all it took was a very small poke with a probe to reveal “seeker’s” true nature.

even his handle is a contradiction.

Done preaching at us yet, there “seeker”??

please refer back to my comment about schizophrenics being unable to recognize their own disease.

good luck with that, but don’t expect to find treatment here.

Comment #74129

Posted by Raging Bee on January 20, 2006 3:09 PM (e)

Ah yes, the old “microevolution/macroevolution” dodge. A bit like saying it’s possible to walk from Dallas to Ft. Worth, but not from Dallas to Toronto.

Comment #74130

Posted by noanswersyet on January 20, 2006 3:15 PM (e)

seeker said (#74112)

if we teach kids evolution as fact, we’ll have more atheists (and a resulting drop in public morality ;)

The implication that atheists are immoral is just ethnocentric hubris and bigotry, and has no basis in fact. One needs look no further than the Dover board members testimony, or the Abramoff scandal to see that the “religious” have no sincere grasp on morality.

Comment #74131

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 3:17 PM (e)

I have a question for the fine minds here. (I’m abandoning some of the existing threads out of laziness, weariness, and a sick desire to allow toejam to reveal his “true nature” by giving him the opportunity to accuse me of having no good arguments at my disposal).

Has a mutation ever been shown to create a new, functional protein? Can that mutation be proven to be a truly new protein, rather than a variant on an existing one?

My assumption is that all beneficial mutations (what few there might be) are either variation within an existing genome, or transfer of information from another.

Creationists argue that most, if not all mutations result in a loss of information, not new. How do you answer that?

Comment #74132

Posted by Greg H on January 20, 2006 3:21 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #74133

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 3:22 PM (e)

Go take a look at the standard list of creationist claims over at talk origins and find your questions pre-obliterated there, it’s not like they’ve never been addressed, by “fine minds” before:

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/

good luck with that denial that will kick in as soon as you begin reading.

Comment #74135

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 3:23 PM (e)

“Contrary to the expectations ofthe Enlightenment, freeing individuals from teh shackles of traditional religion does not result in their moral uplift. To the contrary, the evidence now shows clearly that “no socity has yet to be successfull in teaching morality without religion.’”

From Why America Needs Religion by Guenter Lewy

Comment #74136

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 3:30 PM (e)

Thank you toejam - i see you took your oppportunity to make a jab. BTW, in these discussions, I’ve learned that one side seems right until you hear the other. Since the nature of origins is not really provable, I am comfortable with not really knowing for sure, as well as comfortable with poking at the bees’ nest here.

The good thing here is that there is a large community, so no lack of information and opinion, if you can weed it out from the baying dogs.

Comment #74137

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 20, 2006 3:33 PM (e)

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 03:23 PM (e) …
From Why America Needs Religion by Guenter Lewy

“Give those rebellious scum-bags a lesson.”

From “why America needs teaching” by King George

OK, OK, I was only joking.

Comment #74139

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 3:35 PM (e)

the evidence now shows clearly …

be a scientist, seeker, and analyze this “evidence” for us, would you?

did you critically examine all the evidence Lewy presented, or take it on faith (pun intended)?

btw, you really should change your handle, this name doesn’t fit you very well.

perhaps a synonym of narrow-minded might be more appropriate?

how bout “hidebound”? i rather like that one.

Comment #74140

Posted by Greg H on January 20, 2006 3:35 PM (e)

quoth the seeker wrote:

… - if we teach kids evolution as fact, we’ll have more atheists (and a resulting drop in public morality ;), more bad science, more dehumanizing ethics, and a general malaise in society.

Wow. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a logical fallacy take up so many electrons. Does someone have some statistical modelling that indicates a direct relationship between the number of atheists and dehumanizing ethics? I understand the inverse relationship between number of atheists and church coffers, but I’ve yet to see an atheist declare war in the name of God. Or burn people at the stake for their (lack of) religious principles, or take their land, or tell people that by expecting their elected officials to be honest, they’ve caused God to abandon them.

From your two or three post(http://www.twoorthree.net/2006/01/whats_the_diffe.html):

quoth the seeker on twoorthree.net wrote:

Access Research Network (creationists) - “Although intelligent design is compatible with many “creationist” perspectives, including scientific creationism, it is a distinct theoretical position. In fact, there are only two general views that aren’t compatible with intelligent design: 1) a radical naturalism that denies the existence of any non-human intelligence, theistic or otherwise and 2) conventional theistic evolution. It may seem surprising that the second view, conventional theistic evolution, is incompatible with intelligent design, since it clearly embraces the existence of God. But the view we generally associate with “theistic evolution” denies that God’s creative activity can be empirically detected.”

This is a false dichotomy. I can come up with at least one other alternative - you can believe in extraterrestrial intelligence, and still not think that God exists. It’s not 1, and it isn’t 2 - mmmm I love the smell of new alternatives in the afternoon.

Comment #74141

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 3:36 PM (e)

So explain to me these things that I read at toejam’s link, evidences for “new information” in genetic mutations. I am hoping not to have to look these up, since i’m sure there are some here who have read these - there are no links at talk.origins, just references:
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html

increased genetic variety in a population (Lenski 1995; Lenski et al. 1991)
And how is this not just simple recombination as opposed to beneficial mutations?

increased genetic material (Alves et al. 2001; Brown et al. 1998; Hughes and Friedman 2003; Lynch and Conery 2000; Ohta 2003)
Is it functional? Was it transferred from another organism? Did it create something new?

novel genetic material (Knox et al. 1996; Park et al. 1996)
How is this evidence of new information? Same with the last irrefutable example

novel genetically-regulated abilities (Prijambada et al. 1995)

Comment #74142

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 20, 2006 3:38 PM (e)

I trust that all you good folks watching out there noticed that not only is “seeker” not truly seeking answers to his questions, he also failed to even begin answering the questions that were posed to him.

He’s not interested in learning anything new–he’s just another braindead troll “playah.”

Well, we put up with all kinds coming here, but we don’t have to continue paying attention to them once they’ve shown their troglodyte colors.

Unless, of course, they’re very entertaining. So far as seeker is concerned, though, the answer to that is also: “Not.”

Comment #74143

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 3:38 PM (e)

i see you took your oppportunity to make a jab

i give only what is deserving.

you came to preach, and i mocked you.

you set yourself up.

as lenny would “say”

*shrug*

btw, did you manage to find your claims in the list provided? or did you need us to do your homework for you there too?

Comment #74145

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 3:43 PM (e)

Unless, of course, they’re very entertaining. So far as seeker is concerned, though, the answer to that is also: “Not.”

agreed.

we’ve been through this roundabout with “seeker” before, to similar end.

nuff said.

Comment #74146

Posted by geogeek on January 20, 2006 3:43 PM (e)

I know I risk being drowned out by the verbiage directed at “seeker”, but I would like to have an origin of life discussion at some point. Clarification: I am your basic materialist and understand the general outline of evolutionary principles better than your average non-biologist, but am not an evolutionary biologist. My understanding of it has more to do with the fossil record, but I enjoy reading outside of my area of expertise in DNA, molecular, and other biological evidence in modern species.

As a materialist, I have no reason to look for any miraculous beginning of life, and am interested in some of the things I overheard microbiology collegues talking about, like (1) what currently living organism most closely resembles the original living material? (2) can a mineral or other substrate adsorb organic molecules in an orderly fashion and start a self-assembling object? etc.etc. This was all about 5 years ago, so I’m just curious if there are people here with updates on the latest and greatest questions (or answers!) to this stuff. In particular, a biology teacher friend laughed out loud when I asked her if Archea are closer to the bottom of the “tree of life” than Eubacteria (I guess they’re not even called Eubacteria anymore?).

Comment #74147

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 3:43 PM (e)

I’m sorry pinhead, which of the many questions did I fail to answer for you? I’ve answerd many, but not all because, as I said, I have a life outside of this forum. But just to lessen your credibility, I’ll try to answer the questions you think I am avoiding. So shoot.

Comment #74148

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 20, 2006 3:44 PM (e)

Slinker:

I am hoping not to have to look these up

Ah, we have a real hard-working “seeker” here.

He admits he hasn’t read any of the supporting references, but already he’s got “answers” for them.

Let’s see, little buddy. Your computer managed to get you here. What do you think would happen if it surfed you over to, say, Google, and you inserted the author’s name and a couple of key words into the search frame?

Talk about fact-avoidance…

How come none of these “intelligent” design advocates ever display any actual, um, intelligence?

Comment #74149

Posted by j-dog on January 20, 2006 3:45 PM (e)

Over at “seekers” christian website:
(hint that he is NOT really seeking, but reeking BTW)

Posted by me to him -

“seeker” - (Irony is not your strong suit) You really must learn to read… Dembski has backed away from posting on his blog,(to undoubtedly do “actual work” in ID coincidentally, right after the Dover decision was handed down) and turned it over to his sycophonts and apologists like DaveScott - decidedly NOT a Christian by action!

The “How To Interpret Fossils” post you reference is by someone named Patrick, not Buffalo Bill. No known alias or qualifications. The “Latent Library” post is by known wing-nut John Davidson, again not by “Dembski”.

A little more seeking, a little less preaching might be in order.

HTH

Comment #74151

Posted by Flint on January 20, 2006 3:53 PM (e)

even his handle is a contradiction.

btw, you really should change your handle, this name doesn’t fit you very well.

I trust that all you good folks watching out there noticed that not only is “seeker” not truly seeking answers to his questions, he also failed to even begin answering the questions that were posed to him. He’s not interested in learning anything new

“seeker” - (Irony is not your strong suit)

A little more seeking, a little less preaching might be in order.

Apparently I missed the reference. It seems pretty obvious seeker is seeking converts, not knowledge. Indeed, knowledge is his committed enemy.

Comment #74153

Posted by Grey Wolf on January 20, 2006 3:55 PM (e)

seeker wrote:

Has a mutation ever been shown to create a new, functional protein? Can that mutation be proven to be a truly new protein, rather than a variant on an existing one?

My assumption is that all beneficial mutations (what few there might be) are either variation within an existing genome, or transfer of information from another.

Creationists argue that most, if not all mutations result in a loss of information, not new. How do you answer that?

Don’t you realise that if a mutation caused a change as huge as a “new” protein, that would be evidence for purposeful tampering and not for evolution? That evolution works by adding small changes, little by little until at the end of many changes the original and the new are very different? Seeker, it is the second time in a single thread you have used the old, stupid canard of “tornado in a junkyard”. Stop trying to beat the straw-man by asking for evolution to work in huge leaps - it doesn’t work like that. You start with a small urprotein, and mutations allow the following generations to code more and more complex proteins, each their own, until you get the modern set of proteins.

Regarding your mutations, you can find the usual answer in the list of creationist claims, here:
http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html

I like the first: mutations can undo what they do - if one mutation really does “decrease information” the opposite must necessarily “increase” information. And both can perfectly happen.

Read the link. Oh, and since you have for the second consecutive time used the tornado in junkyard, here is the usual answers, too:
http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CF/CF002_1.html

However, are you going to continue to ignore my answers, Seeker? I don’t particularly care if you do, but it would be nice to know since I would then stop doing your homework for you.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #74154

Posted by Flint on January 20, 2006 3:56 PM (e)

geogeek:

You may wish to check out this new book. If you still have questions, they might be specific enough for the biologists here to help you.

Comment #74155

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 20, 2006 3:56 PM (e)

Spelunker:

I’m sorry pinhead, which of the many questions did I fail to answer for you?

Another computer tip: if you roll the little wheel on your mouse in the distal direction (that’s “away from you,” in ID-speak) it will “scroll” the thread back up on your screen, so that you can look at the last few posts all over again. They’re still there! They didn’t go away! Neat-o, huh, “seeker”?

My first post of the day on this thread, the one with the questions you managed to overlook while reading my comments, is about 15 posts above the one you just quoted. It takes about four finger-rolls of the little mouse-wheel to find: see how easy that was?

But just for you, and just because you seem to lack a few basic computer skills, this one time only, I’ll repost them here:

Seeker, slithering along:

The better question is, which model fits the facts and makes better predictions?

And what’s the “better” answer? Heck, if that’s too tough, just give us an honest answer:

Which one lacks any evidence whatsoever? Which one makes no predictions whatsoever?
Which one performs no experiments, lab work, field tests? Which one fails to explain any of the facts, much less has a “model” which might “fit” them?

How do you explain humanity’s broken vitamin C gene, Seeker? How do you explain how the pattern of intact and broken genes fits with the other resemblances and divergencies withing the clade of higher apes.

While you’re at it, Seeker, give us a single “fit” of your supposed ID “model” to any of the facts that evolution explains. Not a critique, not a gap, but a positive, affirmative, this is why we say this species looks like this and that one looks like that fact.

Needless to say, I won’t be holding my breath.

If you just don’t know the answer to some of the questions, guess what the honest response would be (y’know, the “Christian,” “moral” response)? Hint: “I don’t know.”

But if that’s the case, knock off the posturing. You’ll be treated a lot nicer.

Comment #74156

Posted by CJ O'Brien on January 20, 2006 3:57 PM (e)

“Beneficial” mutations could be very very rare indeed, and it wouldn’t really damage the theory of evolution.

First, there is no good way to specify “beneficial.” The vast majority of mutations are consudered neutral. But, to pursue one example, you can have gene duplication. So you get two copies, one with a slight neutral mutation that might even be considered deletrious, were it not for the existence of the working, “original” copy. The duplicate gene can then acquire further mutations until it codes for a novel protein. If the effect of this is beneficial to the chances of survival to reproductive age of the organism, then it will increase in the population.

This process, or one like it, has resulted in the clotting cascade, the supposed irreduceability of which IDers are always on about.

Also, when appealing to probability vis a vis the rarity of “beneficial” mutations, it’s helpful, for the sake of perspective, to try and estimate the number of individuals in, say, a million generations of E. coli. (about 50 years’ worth)

That’s a right smart o’ flagella.

Comment #74161

Posted by geogeek on January 20, 2006 4:21 PM (e)

Flint, thanks, this looks good.

Comment #74164

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 4:39 PM (e)

Well, duplication is not quite new information.

And if you don’t know the creationist reponses to your questions, maybe you should say “I don’t know” instead of posturing like you’ve done your own homework. And stop being such a b*tch.

Some of your questions I will have to research.

Comment #74166

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 20, 2006 4:42 PM (e)

Hmm, we haven’t heard from “seeker” in a while.

Do we really think he’s (1) off doing some background reading and research on evolutionary biology, so that he’ll be prepared to more intelligently (not to mention honestly) discuss the topic when he returns.

Or do we think he’s (2) frantically combing creationist websites so that he can reappear waving a new bunch of recycled slogans?

Or is he (3) just snoozing, all worn out from his computer (and evo) lessons?

Any bets on door number one, number 2, or number 3?

Comment #74167

Posted by CJ O'Brien on January 20, 2006 4:44 PM (e)

Well, duplication is not quite new information.

In isolation, no, it’s not. But my point was that “new information” can arise from successive, slight modifications. And the necessity that each tiny step be unambiguously “beneficial” is obviated in the case of duplication, because there’s a “normal” copy of the gene.

Why do I bother? All that was in my initial comment.
*shrugs*

Comment #74170

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 20, 2006 4:50 PM (e)

Sorry, seeker. We appear to have cross-posted, so I retract the comment about your being absent for a bit.

I’ll eagerly await the results of your “research,” if that turns out to be what you are truthfully doing.

And, if not, I’ll call you on it. If that’s your definition of b**ch-ee, poor baby, so be it (or “How dreadful!” as Lenny might say).

A small piece of advice, though: if I can call myself “pinhead” every single time I post (and many’s the time I’ve earned that distinction), your feeble attempts at name-calling are, um, just perhaps, not too likely to disconcert me. But, hey, by all means, take your best shots–after all, your second shot at “fame” here does depend entirely on your entertainment value!

Comment #74173

Posted by caerbannog on January 20, 2006 4:56 PM (e)


Well, duplication is not quite new information.

Duplication + mutation-induced divergence *is* new information.

Here’s an example (from http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoMutations.html)

Xylitol is also not normally metabolized, but Mortlock and his colleagues were able to develop strains (generally through spontaneous mutations, but sometimes with u.v. ray or chemical induced mutations) that could use it because ribitol dehydrogenase (which is usually present in the cells to convert ribitol to D-ribulose) was able to slightly speed up the conversion of xylitol to D-xylulose, for which metabolic pathways already exist. The ability of the strains to utilize xylitol was increased as much as 20 fold when first production of ribitol dehydrogenase was deregulated (the enzyme was produced all the time, not just when ribitol was present), then duplication of the ribitol dehydrogenase genes occurred, then the structure of the enzyme was changed such that its efficiency at working with xylitol was improved, and finally, in at least one case, a line regained control of the modified ribitol dehydrogenase gene so that the enzyme was only produced in the presence of xylitol. Here we have a complete example of a new metabolic pathway being developed through duplication and modification of an existing pathway.

If you dispute the fact that such duplication/divergence results in new “information”, please provide your working definition of “information”,
along with a details as to how information content is computed.

Please include appropriate mathematical equations and/or source code (C, Python, whatever language suits you is fine) to flesh out your definition.

Comment #74176

Posted by AC on January 20, 2006 5:28 PM (e)

seeker wrote:

Actually, anywhere there is power and money, there will be politics. If you are unwilling to play the game of politics in science, you should get out. Now, there is good politics and dishonest, but if you think it’s bad to use politics to change culture, even scientific culture and politics (which, as I said, are pre-existing), then I think you are blind to how things work.

The ID movement doesn’t seek to use politics to change scientific culture. They seek to use politics to change science; namely, to weaken it to the point that religious “arguments” such as ID are acceptable. That is what is unequivocably bad.

one step that DI researchers would have to do - overcome the incredible pro-evolution, anti-ID bias of the peer reviewers at most highly regarded publications.

There is no such bias. There is simply no ID research.

the diffs between id and creationism

Creationism tends to be up-front about its religious motivations. ID tends to lie about its religious motivations.

The better question is, which model fits the facts and makes better predictions?

Evolution, and it does so regardless of what you believe.

Creationists argue that most, if not all mutations result in a loss of information, not new. How do you answer that?

Let’s say I have a binary code, and I read every 8 bits of it as a hexidecimal value, which is then translated into an ASCII character:

01010011 01000101 01000101 01001011 01000101 01010010
53 45 45 4B 45 52
S E E K E R

Now let’s say I screw up and start reading 4 bits into the sequence:

00110100 01010100 01010100 10110100 01010101 0010

When I encode this (discarding the last 4 bits since they are incomplete), it becomes:

34 54 54 B4 55 (junk)
4 T T ┤ U (junk)

If my reading produces a copy, does that copy represent/contain new information? If not, why not?

if we teach kids evolution as fact, we’ll have more atheists (and a resulting drop in public morality ;), more bad science, more dehumanizing ethics, and a general malaise in society.

I refute it thusly. *points to himself*

shendra wrote:

Please keep in mind that the fundies definition of moral is “Belief in the Bible”.

Oh yeah. Well, see you all in hell!

Comment #74179

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 5:41 PM (e)

While a few atheists may have the beginnings of a morally admirable life ;), basing a society on such would be foolishness - it would depend too much on the goodness of man apart from God, which has NEVER worked wekk on a society wide basis, hence my quote above, as well as the statements of the founders of the U.S., who built the nation with the assumption that no nation could have a moral people without faith.

But of course, modern day atheists are much more enlightened and well-read than those bronze-aged thinkers who founded our country. (and please, no red herrings about slavery).

Those examples of new information are pretty good, I’ll have to look at them in detail when i get more time.

Comment #74180

Posted by geogeek on January 20, 2006 5:43 PM (e)

“I’d prefer Heaven for the climate, but Hell for the company.”

paraphrased from Sam Clemens

Comment #74181

Posted by Shirley Knott on January 20, 2006 5:48 PM (e)

Sorry, Seeker, but the facts are against you.
Every single theistic-based society has been a hell on earth.
Theism leads to monstrousness and inhumanity, never to goodness.

hugs,
Shirley Knott

Comment #74182

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 5:53 PM (e)

“The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions. “

A.W. Tozer

Comment #74183

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 5:55 PM (e)

You mean like Europe and the U.S.? I’m not talking theocracy, I’m talking freedom of religion, and govt based on biblical (not religious) principles.

And tell me of a secular or atheistic society that has done well. Turkey? Communist Russia?

Comment #74186

Posted by Rich on January 20, 2006 6:02 PM (e)

“I’m talking freedom of religion, and govt based on biblical (not religious) principles”

You’re a wind up, right?

The bible, that old non religious tome. Barely mention’s it - its more of a love story.

0_o

Comment #74187

Posted by Eric Murphy on January 20, 2006 6:08 PM (e)

You know, I wonder why the DI even bothers with its “Wedge Strategy,” or cares whether ID or Creationism is taught in the classroom. Supposedly, something like 91% of the American Public already believes that God created Man, and about 45% of the public believes that God created man, and everything else, in a week or so about 6,000 years ago. IS the DI really that concerned with persuading that last eight or nine percent?

Or maybe they’re trying to win over the scientific community. If that’s their aim, they might want to spend less time in front of the microphone, and more time in front of the microscope.

Comment #74188

Posted by caerbannog on January 20, 2006 6:34 PM (e)


And tell me of a secular or atheistic society that has done well. Turkey? Communist Russia?

How about Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, for starters? These are mostly secular nations that are kicking the USA’s butt in the global marketplace. If you look at these nations’ current account balances (a very rough measure of how much they are producing for the rest of the world vs. what they are consuming), this is what you’ll find (figures taken from the CIA World Factbook, http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook ):

Sweden: 2005 Current account balance of +$25,680,000,000. That works out to about $2,800 per-capita. Basically, that means each Swede effectively produced about $2,800 more goods and services for the rest of the world than he/she consumed last year.

Finland: 2005 Current account balance of $5,858,000,000. That comes out to about $1100 per-capita. Each Finn, in effect, produced about $1100 more goods/services for the rest of the world than he/she consumed last year.

Denmark: 2005 Current account balance of $7,019,000,000. That comes out to about $1300 per-capita. Each Dane, in effect produced about $1300 more goods/services for the rest of the world than he/she consumed last year.

And now, how about the United States? Well, the USA’s per-capita current account balance came out to about MINUS$2,800 last year. That is, each American, in effect consumed about $2,800 more goods/services than he/she produced for the rest of the world last year.

By most quality-of-life measures, and by the most important economic performance measures, these largely secular/atheistic nations are cleaning America’s clock. They may be “socialistic” in your eyes, providing all sorts of superfluous “cradle-to-grave” coddling of their citizens, but their current account balances indicate that they are doing so while living within/below their means. The same *cannot* be said for the USA.

Comment #74189

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 20, 2006 6:37 PM (e)

Seeker is so misinformed and out of touch his comments border on being insulting to ones intelligence. In fact most of his comments are in fact insulting to an educated/informed person because he assumes the reader is as ignorant as he is. Or he assumes the reader is ignorant or naive enough to believe what he is suggesting.

Highly insulting. I bet he is well appreciated in religious/creationism circles.

Although I am not sure why anyone wastes their time, I suppose my hats off to the folks who can stomach “sparring” with someone who is so verifiably ignorant on so many (all?) subjects. Myself, I’d rather get a root canal.

Comment #74190

Posted by Moses on January 20, 2006 6:40 PM (e)

Dear Mr. Swift:

The Federal Bureau of Prisons does have statistics on religious affiliations of inmates. The following are total number of inmates per religion category:

Response Number %
—————————- ——–
Catholic 29267 39.164%
Protestant 26162 35.008%
Muslim 5435 7.273%
American Indian 2408 3.222%
Nation 1734 2.320%
Rasta 1485 1.987%
Jewish 1325 1.773%
Church of Christ 1303 1.744%
Pentecostal 1093 1.463%
Moorish 1066 1.426%
Buddhist 882 1.180%
Jehovah Witness 665 0.890%
Adventist 621 0.831%
Orthodox 375 0.502%
Mormon 298 0.399%
Scientology 190 0.254%
Atheist 156 0.209%
Hindu 119 0.159%
Santeria 117 0.157%
Sikh 14 0.019%
Bahai 9 0.012%
Krishna 7 0.009%

—————————- ——–

Total Known Responses 74731 100.001% (rounding to 3 digits does this)

Unknown/No Answer 18381
—————————-
Total Convicted 93112 80.259% (74731) prisoners’ religion is known.

Held in Custody 3856 (not surveyed due to temporary custody) —————————-
Total In Prisons 96968

I hope that this information is helpful to you.

Sincerely,
Denise Golumbaski
Research Analyst
Federal Bureau of Prisons

As a proprotion to their absolute numbers in society (8% - 16% depending on how you count agnositcs), athiests are substantially under-represented as criminals.

Just something to think about when some holy roller talks about morality vis Christianity and atheism.

Comment #74193

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 6:45 PM (e)

Dammit, another post caught by the moderator script. Can’t put more than 3 links in a post.

Comment #74194

Posted by shenda on January 20, 2006 6:49 PM (e)

Seeker:

“While a few atheists may have the beginnings of a morally admirable life ;), basing a society on such would be foolishness - it would depend too much on the goodness of man apart from God, which has NEVER worked wekk on a society wide basis, hence my quote above, as well as the statements of the founders of the U.S., who built the nation with the assumption that no nation could have a moral people without faith.”

Do you have any evidence not based in quote mining or selective sourcing to back up these claims?

Seeker:

“And tell me of a secular or atheistic society that has done well. Turkey? Communist Russia?”

China, the EU, Canada and the United States of America. All of these societies are based on secular governments and legal systems that are not biblically based. Compare these to societies that base their law on Sharia; even though some of those societies have done well economically and socially, I definitely would not want to live there.

Comment #74195

Posted by Irrational Entity on January 20, 2006 6:51 PM (e)

Seeker, might I ask if you lean towards an old earth of around 4.5 billion years or a young earth of around 7 thousand years? If YEC, why are so many scientific fields so very incorrect?

Comment #74196

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 6:56 PM (e)

I think Finland, Sweden, and Denmark all had Protestant revivals, so perhaps you can’t be considered secular. Consider this about Sweden

“The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. The Church of Sweden, formerly the state church, effectively became separated from the State in 1999; however, it still receives some state support.”

Secular? NOT. Do I need to do the same for Finland and Denmark? We should probably also separate the affects of a christian form of govt with the amount of people who subscribe to xianity - both would tend to help a nation, so I might consider either as evidence of xianity at work in making a nation successful.

So sorry, you’ll have to find a nation that has no xians, or disallows it. I guess that makes my claim non-falsifiable ;).

OK, how about one that is mostly made up of atheists? Doh, there I go again, can’t find it - because only a minority of fools are atheists (“the fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”).

Anyway, I’m back to Turkey and Communist Russia as the only purely secular or atheistic countries. Nice track record. You can cry straw man, but unless you come up w/ better examples than finland, sweden, and denmark.

Comment #74197

Posted by noanswersyet on January 20, 2006 7:00 PM (e)

And tell me of a secular or atheistic society that has done well.

Well, France and the USA come to mind. Both have secular governments. They seem to be “doing well”. But then the original argument was about “public morality”, wasn’t it? So, I’m trying to come up with a society that has been successful in teaching morality with religion. Seriously, I don’t think any society has been successful in “teaching morality”, because all the members of any given society cannot completely agree on the definition of what is moral.

Indeed, this seems to touch on the real opposition to the teaching of evolution. The fact that a coherent explanation of what we have observed in biology challenges faith in a literal interpretation of the bible. An observation that Dembski himself has made.

Comment #74198

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 7:02 PM (e)

Regarding criminals, I don’t think you’ve controlled for how many were atheists *before* they entered prison. Maybe there are fewer because they woke up in prison. Sometimes it takes a whack in the head to realize you’re a fool.

I apologize for namecalling, but I just wanted to emphasize that atheism, of all positions on God, is the MOST illogical, the MOST absurd - so bad that the bible just flat out calls atheists “fools.” I’ll stop namecalling now, but just wanted to quote some scripture for your, um, benefit ;) Maybe when you cool down you’ll consider it. Or maybe what the Apostle Paul said will be more clear:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools…”

Comment #74200

Posted by seeker on January 20, 2006 7:06 PM (e)

Now that I think about it, what is important is not that the govt is secular or biblical (that’s a different issue), but whether or not a non-religious or atheistic people have every been a majority in a successful nation.

France is a decent example, but it will be hard to filter out the beneficial affects of xianity (as well as the negative). We should look at how they compare to say, the U.S. where personal faith is doing better (but not well).

Comment #74203

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 20, 2006 7:16 PM (e)

So, let’s see, the Bible tells us to look for God in her works (“For since the creation of the world H[er] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made…”), i.e., the natural world.

Scientists have looked hard at those “works” (nature) and are seeing evolution.

If there is a God, then, the best evidence is that she has “worked” through evolution.

If you don’t have any contrary evidence, then, if you turn away from evolution, you’re turning your back on God.

Just something to consider “seeking” some guidance about tonight, when you say your evening prayers.

Comment #74204

Posted by noanswersyet on January 20, 2006 7:16 PM (e)

just wanted to quote some scripture for your, um, benefit

What makes you think an atheist would consider your scripture in any way authoritative? Or even meaningful? Your verses only have meaning to believers. Not very useful in an argument with atheists.

Comment #74205

Posted by shenda on January 20, 2006 7:18 PM (e)

“Anyway, I’m back to Turkey and Communist Russia as the only purely secular or atheistic countries.”

Turkey is a secular/atheistic country?!? WTF!!!

Comment #74207

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 20, 2006 7:38 PM (e)

According to Wikipedia, “Iceland is one of the ten richest countries in the world based on GDP per capita at purchasing power parity.”

Also according to Wikipedia, although most Icelanders are nominally members of the Lutheran-related state Church of Iceland, “Most Icelanders are very liberal in their religious beliefs and do not attend church regularly.”

Hmmm, from where I’m sitting, I’m seeing some distinct problems with your “secular society=unsuccesful/immoral society” over-simplification.

Of course, you’ll just say, as you did about the increasingly-secular and successful Scandanavian countries, that–if a country was ever Christian–its “morality” will forever be religiously determined, no matter how far its populace may break with its traditional practices.

You are, of course, free to keep dancing about, evading the evidence that is bombarding you from all around, shrugging it off with your personal force-field in an effort to protecting your faith-based view of the world from the world’s reality.

There are realms, however, where the evidence of science is crucial and ignoring it is costly. Do drop us a line if you ever fall seriously ill (not that I would ever wish that, even on a “seeker” as indolent as you): let us know if you turned down the latest antibiotics–continually updated to try to cope with those fiendish and fiendishly-evolving disease-causing organisms–in favor of the powers of faith-based “healing.”

Assuming, of course, that your hands are not trembling too much from unrelieved fever to type.

Comment #74208

Posted by caerbannog on January 20, 2006 7:41 PM (e)


I think Finland, Sweden, and Denmark all had Protestant revivals, so perhaps you can’t be considered secular. Consider this about Sweden

“The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. The Church of Sweden, formerly the state church, effectively became separated from the State in 1999; however, it still receives some state support.”

Secular? NOT. Do I need to do the same for Finland and Denmark? We should probably also separate the affects of a christian form of govt with the amount of people who subscribe to xianity - both would tend to help a nation, so I might consider either as evidence of xianity at work in making a nation successful.

They most certainly *are* secular. Even though for historical reasons those nations still have “state churches”, most of their citizens are *not* religious. And the Scandinavians (as well as most Western Europeans) view USA-style religiosity as strange and kooky. Europeans have been shaking their heads in disbelief over the evolution vs. superstition wars going on in the USA.

The bottom line is, the population of the Scandinavian nations is far *less* religious than is the population of the USA. Yet in terms of economic competitiveness, Scandinavia as a whole is kicking some serious USA butt in the world marketplace. (Note that I’m leaving out Norway, whose large oil reserves would skew things even further – the nations I cited have essentially no oil to export – they have had to “live by their wits” to achieve their economic success).

And then we should look at Japan, Korea, Singapore, etc…. nations that are decidedly *not* Christian. They too are economic powerhouses who are taking the USA to the cleaners in the global marketplace. Christianity has had absolutely *nothing* to do with their success.

The bottom line is, the most successful nations are the ones (historically Christian or not) that have embraced post-enlightenment values, values that are fundamentally incompatible with those who embrace USA-style Christian fundamentalism.

Comment #74210

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 20, 2006 8:05 PM (e)

The Discovery Institute (Intelligent Design Proponents) - “Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design is agnostic regarding the source of design and has no commitment to defending Genesis, the Bible or any other sacred text.

Creation “science” – “There is nothing inherently religious about the terms ‘creator’ or ‘creation’, as used in the context of Act 590. Act 590 is concerned with a non-religious conception of ‘creation’ and ‘creator’, not the religious concepts dealt with in the Bible or religious writings… All that creation-science requires is that the entity which caused creation have power, intelligence and a sense of design.” (Defendant’s Trial Brief, McLean v Arkansas, 1981)

Check.

Intelligent Design’s “Irreducible Complexity” – “By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly (that is, by continuously improving the initial function, which continues to work by the same mechanism) by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional.” (Behe, p. 39)

Creation “science” – “The tiny bombardier beetle could not possibly have evolved. His defence mechanism is amazingly complicated, and could only have been created with all the parts working together perfectly…. Common sense tells us that this amazing little insect cannon which can fire four or five ‘bombs’ in succession could not have evolved piece by piece. Explosive chemicals, inhibitor, enzymes, glands, combustion tubes, sensory communication, muscles to direct the combustion tubes and reflex nervous systems—all had to work perfectly the very first time—or all hopes for ‘Bomby’ and his children would have exploded!” (AIG, Creation Magazine, Dec 1989)

Check.

Intelligent design – The Cambrian explosion represents a remarkable jump in the specified complexity or “complex specified information” (CSJ) of the biological world

Creation ‘science’ – “In the supposedly 600-million-year-old layers of rock designated as Cambrian (the first appearance of multicelled life), sponges, clams, trilobites, sea urchins, starfish, etc., etc., are found with no evolutionary ancestors. Evolutionists don’t even have any possible ancestors to propose.” (John Morris, Dr John’s Q&A, June 1, 1989)

Check.

Hmmm. I’m not seeing any difference here, Seeker – other than your quotes showing that creationists NOW are willing to admit that their view is religious apologetics, while ID still prefers to lie that it’s not.

Care to try again?

I can’t think of one single argument made by ID that wasn’t already made thirty years before by the creation “scientists”. Can you?

Comment #74212

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 20, 2006 8:07 PM (e)

But those who depend on evolution for their understanding of origins and the nature of the universe and God are not really able to distance themselves emotionally from this belief system, so to them, there is no evidence that could disprove evolution, and every challenge to it is a challenge from the heathen believers ;)

Um, hey Seeker, the IDers fell all over themselves in court to deny that ID is religion in any way shape or form.

So why are you dragging your religious opinions into this conversation?

Or are IDers just lying, under oath, when they testify that ID has nothing to do with religion …. .

Comment #74213

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 20, 2006 8:11 PM (e)

Has a mutation ever been shown to create a new, functional protein?

Go google “nylonase”.

By the way, this argument, too, is nothing but rehashed creation ‘science’:

“Natural selection produces or uncovers previously unseen combinations of genes that have always been there and remain unchanged…. If evolution were true it certainly would produce a change in the ratio of the types of genes which were present, because it would be adding new genetic information which previously did not exist. But the converse of this is not necessarily true. You can change the gene frequency or the ratio of the genes that are already present as much as you like, but unless you add new genes you won’t get evolution…. Evolution, if it were to occur, would require the creation of completely new genetic information. “ (John Creeper, AIG, VCreation Magazine, May 1984)

So your argument is at least 20 years old.

Comment #74214

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 8:12 PM (e)

And tell me of a secular or atheistic society that has done well.

China.

remember? they own most of our national debt?

Comment #74215

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 20, 2006 8:16 PM (e)

Hey Donald,

Let me repeat my questions for you once more, just in case you missed them the first dozen times:

What, again, did you say the scientific theory of ID is? How, again, did you say this scientific theory of ID explains these problems? What, again, did you say the designer did? What mechanisms, again, did you say it used to do whatever the heck you think it did? Where, again, did you say we can see the designer using these mechanisms to do … well . . anything?

Or is “POOF!! God — uh, I mean, The Unknown Intelligent Designer — dunnit!!!!” the extent of your, uh, scientific theory of ID …. ?

How does “evolution can’t explain X Y or Z, therefore goddidit” differ from plain old ordinary run-of-the-mill “god of the gaps?

Here’s *another* question for you to not answer, Donald: Suppose in ten years, we DO come up with a specific mutation by mutation explanation for how X Y or Z appeared. What then? Does that mean (1) the designer USED to produce those things, but stopped all of a sudden when we came up with another mechanisms? or (2) the designer was using that mechanism the entire time, or (3) there never was any designer there to begin with.

Which is it, Donald? 1, 2 or 3?

Oh, and if ID isn’t about religion, Donald, then why do you spend so much time bitching and moaning about “philosophical materialism”?

(sound of crickets chirping)

You are a liar, Donald. A bare, bald-faced, deceptive, deceitful, deliberate liar, with malice aforethought. Still.

Comment #74224

Posted by Don Baccus on January 20, 2006 8:48 PM (e)

To reinforce the point that while Scandanavian countries really are secular despite being nominally Christian, with state-funded churches …

About a year ago there was a wonderful story that hit the New York Times from Denmark. The government was trying to decide whether or not it was going to fire the pastor of a church in a small rural village who openly does NOT BELIEVE IN GOD.

The residents lobbied mightily to keep the pastor. They said he does everything a pastor should do - ran services, married people, buried them, visited the sick, etc etc - and that his belief or disbelief in God was irrelevant to his job performance …

Hmmm … googled for the heck of it, and Answers In Genesis picked up the story and wrote a couple of articles about it.

And not surprisingly, in this piece they blame … Darwinism!

Comment #74226

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 20, 2006 9:07 PM (e)

And not surprisingly, in this piece they blame … Darwinism!

of course they do; i assume it eventually gets around to saying something like Darwinism=philosophical materialism = atheism = you’re-gonna-go-to-hell unless you believe like we do.

nice job sniffing out that link tho.

Comment #74229

Posted by Don Baccus on January 20, 2006 9:20 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam wrote:

of course they do; i assume it eventually gets around to saying something like Darwinism=philosophical materialism = atheism = you’re-gonna-go-to-hell unless you believe like we do.

They make a slippery-slope argument. If you accept evolution, then you deny the literal truth of Genesis, and once you accept that the Bible is not literally inerrant, atheism is inevitable, or at least highly likely.

That’s more or less what their preachy piece boils down to.

I suppose an analogy would be … if you never drink, you avoid the risk of alcoholism. If you never accept any bit of science that disproves biblical inerrancy, you avoid the risk of atheism.

Comment #74241

Posted by Mark Decker on January 20, 2006 10:39 PM (e)

Hmmm, it seems to me that seeker’s attack on athiesm is just dripping with thinly-veiled projection. I think he knows that deep down he’s a bad apple, and only the fear of a god keeps him in line. He seems to believe that it’s just this belief in an unseen and unproven god that keeps him moral.

So a hypothetical to you, seeker. Let’s say that tomorrow, it was proven to you beyond a shadow of any doubt that god(s) did not exist and that atheists were, in fact, correct. Which atrocity would you commit first?

Me, I’m sitting here without having to debase myself for any god, and my morality is just peachy. Why, I would even say I’m considered an “upstanding” citizen by any measure.

Comment #74245

Posted by Jim Harrison on January 20, 2006 10:49 PM (e)

Question about whether societies do better or worse for being atheistical or religious assume that these characteristics are what really matters. That’s surely an instance of “facts not in evidence.” I think it would be very surprising if the line between good and evil corresponded to the line between belief and non belief, either for individuals or cultures. Of course, just as it would be very easy to come up with lots of anecdotal evidence that brunettes are malfactors, it’s easy for Christians to identify bad actors who are atheists and atheists to identify bad actors that are among the faithful. In either case, to put it mildly, the methodology needs work.

Comment #74247

Posted by AC on January 20, 2006 10:56 PM (e)

seeker wrote:

While a few atheists may have the beginnings of a morally admirable life ;)…

The beginnings? I take it by that you mean that they could be doing everything right by some standard, except they don’t believe in God. How, then, is God not as superfluous to morality as to everything else?

Tacking God onto evolution to explain the first lifeform adds nothing. Tacking God onto cosmology to explain “fine-tuning” or the Big Bang adds nothing. Tacking God onto virtuous behavior adds nothing. It might make you feel good, but the world does not care how you feel.

…basing a society on such would be foolishness - it would depend too much on the goodness of man apart from God…

Or, like any society, it would merely depend on people following the rules and violaters being punished. God is also superfluous to law and order.

atheism, of all positions on God, is the MOST illogical, the MOST absurd

I see. It is illogical to not believe in something for which there is no evidence, and it is logical to believe in a thing for which there is no evidence because a book says you’re a fool if you don’t.

Comment #74250

Posted by Flint on January 20, 2006 11:39 PM (e)

atheism, of all positions on God, is the MOST illogical, the MOST absurd

I think the problem here is, there are two very distinct definitions of atheism. The first (“strong atheistm”) is the claim that no gods exist. But this is as arbitrary a claim as that gods DO exist: neither is based on ANY evidence at all.

The second definition of atheism is failure to believe in ANYTHING for which no positive (and verifiable) evidence exists, whether it be gods or leprechauns or UFOs or space aliens. This is also known as “weak atheism”, the refusal to accept as real or valid anything lacking any evidential support.

And according to this formulation, strong atheism (belief despite lack of refuting evidence) is as irrational as theism (belief despite lack of any supporting evidence). The “weak” form of athiesm (“I’ll believe it when you can demonstrate it”) is in non-religious contexts the default everyone uses. After all, there’s an infinity of things that MIGHT exist, but for which we have no evidence whatsoever (including gods).

Seeker, of course, assumes there is a god (his own, of course). If this is taken for granted as NOT to be questioned, then of course he has no alternative but to define doubts as illogical.

But we can only chuckle at the arbitrary, and utterly uninformed, dismissal of those who don’t share unsupported and irrational beliefs, as “immoral”. If we’re generous, we can sympathize with such a position as merely misguided. Othersise, we consider it STUPID. Either way, religion perverts and subverts the brain, beyond any yet discovered means of recovery.

Comment #74260

Posted by k.e. on January 21, 2006 12:52 AM (e)

hey seeker good quote from A.W.Tozer

“The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions. “

A.W. Tozer

Is just the same as saying fairness or ‘balance’ to a bad idea is the devils work.

did he not say

The devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still.
A. W. Tozer

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
Joseph Conrad

That counts seeker out right ?

Comment #74276

Posted by Bob O'H on January 21, 2006 3:24 AM (e)

seeker wrote:

I think Finland, Sweden, and Denmark all had Protestant revivals, so perhaps you can’t be considered secular. Consider this about Sweden

“The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. The Church of Sweden, formerly the state church, effectively became separated from the State in 1999; however, it still receives some state support.”

Yes, but Sweden, being Sweden, would probably give money to any organised religion (including FSMism, if you could convince them you were serious).

Secular? NOT. Do I need to do the same for Finland and Denmark?

Yes. Having lived in Denmark, and now living in Finland, I am happy to report that they are both thoroughly secular states. Both allow religious groups to carry out their activities, and everyone else gets on with their lives. I am certainly less aware of religion than I was in the UK.

So sorry, you’ll have to find a nation that has no xians, or disallows it. I guess that makes my claim non-falsifiable ;).

OK, how about one that is mostly made up of atheists? Doh, there I go again, can’t find it - because only a minority of fools are atheists (“the fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”).

Anyway, I’m back to Turkey and Communist Russia as the only purely secular or atheistic countries. Nice track record. You can cry straw man, but unless you come up w/ better examples than finland, sweden, and denmark.

Well, Turkey is less secular than the Nordic countries, so you can’t claim them and not us. But for the real killer, try China. It’s been going as a state much longer than Christianity, which seems a reasonable measure of success. It even managed to survive the worst excesses of Communism, and is coming back strongly.

Bob

Comment #74338

Posted by Moses on January 21, 2006 10:11 AM (e)

You know, Japan is pretty “secular” from the standpoint of Seeker. After all, it is a nation of infidels. And, Japan, besides being an economic powerhouse, has become more progressive over time since it regained it’s self-determination in 1948.

One of the more interesting things to happen in Japan is the decrease in rape frequency from the 70’s to the present day. What has happened in Japan is complex. In part there was a loosening of the interpretations of what is “obscene” in pornography. And what that means to the sexual development of young men. It seems that availability to pornography (something considered “immoral” by most of the hard-core Christians) is a positive influence in developing a NON-DEVIANT sexuality and helps reduce sex crimes.

Another factor is the birth control pill, allowing greater sexual acceptance of men by women. As many of us know, many hard core Christian denominations fought birth control pills, not just the Catholics, and birth control pills (and the sexuality they allow) are seen as immoral. Yet this one of the factors that has lead to a decrease in sexual dysfunction and rape.

Prostitution is a third, “immoral”, yet widely recognized factor in the decrease in rape.

When you look at the US, we’re much worse about rape and other sexual dysfunctions, than Japan. And, if you breakdown the demographics, you’ll find that there is a greater incidence of rape and sexual dysfunction (including child pornography and pedophilia) stemming from the “very religious” demographic and is at about HALF that rate for the “non-religious/barely-religious” demographic.

I have not seen any legitimate, scientific conducted study of pornography, prostitution or sexual permissiveness come to a contrary position. Sure, we have “expert panel” things, like the link found by the Meese Commission under Reagan. But the Meese Commission deliberately refused to conduct any science and only used opinion testimony from people with vested political positions. It was, indeed, a strange sight to see NOW and the Christian Coalition on the same side; neither of which are noted for their honest and complete portrayal of facts regarding social issues.

Additional issues include the Christian right suffers from MORE STDs, more AIDS, more teen pregnancy, more divorce, more adultery and more sexual perversion (fetishes) than do the other groups.

Similar results have been found for Germany, Denmark & Sweden. And increase in pornography, sexual permissiveness by women (birth control) and legitimized (or legalized) prostitution and a substantial drop in the social ills surrounding human sexuality, including STDs, teen pregnancy and rape.

Anyway, the Christian right’s “morality” around sexuality is a load of garbage. It is destructive to the practitioners and the effects spread through-out society. So when some Christian yahoo starts spouting their “morality” will make a better society. And I know the opposite is true in virtually every measurable crime and dysfunction statistic… I just laugh and move along. It’s one of the stupidest claims they make, and one they have a harder time weaseling out of than with their stupid arguments about evolution.

Comment #74395

Posted by BrianF on January 21, 2006 12:53 PM (e)

Delurking for a moment:

Seekers apparent view that religion is necessary for a moral and succesful society does not seem to be quite a obviously true as he might like to think:

A Times newspaper report on a recent study

The Journal of Religion and Society article itself

I particularly like:

“Indeed, the data examined in this study demonstrates that only the more secular, pro-evolution democracies have, for the first time in history, come closest to achieving practical “cultures of life” that feature low rates of lethal crime, juvenile-adult mortality, sex related dysfunction, and even abortion. The least theistic secular developed democracies such as Japan, France, and Scandinavia have been most successful in these regards.”

Comment #74555

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 21, 2006 9:03 PM (e)

I’m waiting for Seeker to explain to me why, if ID is different from creation “science”, all of its arguments are exactly the same.

And why, if ID has nothing to do with religion, Seeker keeps dragging his religious opinions into the conversation.

Or are IDers just lying to us about that?

Comment #74578

Posted by Moses on January 21, 2006 10:00 PM (e)

You know, I’m watching the biography of Lincoln tonight on the History Channel. They down play it, but Lincoln was not a Christian. He’d even written a very long essay denying the bible as divinely inspired and the “Jesus myth” and didn’t even believe in God in the way many other Deists, like Jefferson and Franklin. I think, today, Lincoln would be more properly classified as a “New Age Spiritualist” more than anything else.

Clearly a moral man. Clearly not a Christian. And if it wasn’t for his new-age-like spirituality, we’d have to put him in the atheist category.

Comment #74610

Posted by mynym on January 22, 2006 1:09 AM (e)

“Indeed, the data examined in this study demonstrates that only the more secular, pro-evolution democracies have, for the first time in history, come closest to achieving practical “cultures of life” that feature low rates of lethal crime, juvenile-adult mortality, sex related dysfunction, and even abortion.”

If you choose to examine data in a way that suits a free-lance dinosaur paleontologist and illustrator who is also a member of the Council on Secular Humanism, then you’re likely to see what you want.

I think I’ll make up a Journal of Humanism and Society and cherry pick some data about Gregory Paul, the author. Think it would be picked up by the Old Press? I thought this was the Panda’s Thumb where everything is supposed to be peer reviewed? Gregory Paul does not have any articles published in peer reviewed journals of social science. It’s almost as if he is just some guy who “examined data” in a way to suit his argument, an argument that can be disproved based on data actually published in peer reviewed journals.

E.g.,

This study examines the question [of homicidal tendencies] by relating religious affiliation…to homicide rates in the rural South for 1920, and finds that both Protestant and Catholic affiliations for whites are related to less homicide, while for blacks religious affiliation is unrelated to the homocide rate.

(Religious Affiliations and Homicide: Historical Results from the Rural South
By Ira M. Wasserman
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion Vol. 17, No. 4 (Dec., 1978), pp. 415-418)

While juvenile homicide garnered a tremendous amount of attention from the general public, the media, and policymakers around 1990, macro-level research examining intercommunity variations in juvenile homicide is generally sparse. ]…] This analysis extends prior research by investigating the structural sources of variation in rural juvenile homicide rates and by examining the influence of religion on this phenomenon. […]For comparative purposes, we also perform parallel analyses on a sample of urban areas. The empirical analyses of county-level data using negative binomial regression estimation techniques indicate that the presence of civically engaged religious adherents is inversely associated with juvenile homicide in rural areas (net of the effects of a range of control variables), but that this protective effect is primarily confined to juvenile family homicides.

(Love Thy Neighbor? Moral Communities, Civic Engagement, and Juvenile Homicide in Rural Areas
Matthew Lee; John P. Bartkowski
Social Forces, Vol. 82, No. 3. (Mar., 2004), pp. 1001-1035)

Data from the 1979 and 1983 interviews of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth (NLSY) were used and logistic regression was employed to model the effects of religious affiliation contrasts along with control variables on the dichotomous dependent variable Premarital Sex. For both white females and males, a heritage of Institutionalized Sect membership (primarily Pentecostals, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses) produced the lowest likelihoods of premarital sex. In certain models for the female and male samples, Fundamentalists and Baptists also displayed lower probabilities of premarital sex, compared to the contrast group of Mainline Protestants. These differences generally held up, especially the lower probabilities for the Institutionalized Sect category, even with controls for church attendance and a number of other control variables.

(Religious Heritage and Premarital Sex: Evidence from a National Sample of Young Adults
Scott H. Beck; Bettie S. Cole; Judith A. Hammond
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 30, No. 2. (Jun., 1991), pp. 173-180)

And so on. It’s not clear how religious people who do not have high rates of risky behavior patterns supposedly have higher rates of STDs. Indeed, if they were more like religious hedonists then it would seem that Darwinists would feel the urge to try to support them instead of attack them.

Who knows that the free-lance paleontologist and illustrator would have to say about observations with respect to the lowest likelihoods of premarital sex vs. supposedly higher rates of STDs. But then, given the level of ignorance and stupidity that writers at the Panda’s Thumb often demonstrate the author may well chime in with whatever ignorant argument he had in mind.

Comment #74611

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 22, 2006 1:18 AM (e)

1. don’t confuse commenters on PT with contributers.

2. don’t assume everybody here thinks there is value in statistical studies of “morality”, period, as it is, of course, quite a subjective topic.

3. I doubt you will find anyone interested in your argument when you start off by insulting your target audience.

so, what the hell is your point?

If you just want to throw some insults around, feel free. You don’t need to couch it in some ridiculous feaux op-ed piece.

Comment #74614

Posted by mynym on January 22, 2006 1:19 AM (e)

More ignorance: “Lincoln would be more properly classified as a “New Age Spiritualist” more than anything else.

Clearly a moral man. Clearly not a Christian. And if it wasn’t for his new-age-like spirituality, we’d have to put him in the atheist category.

Vs. his own words:

In visiting with State Senator James Scovel of New Jersey, he shared:

“Young man, if God gives me four years more to rule this country, I believe it will become what it ought to be-what its Divine Author intended it to be-no longer one vast plantation for breeding human beings for the purpose of lust and bondage. But it will become a new Valley of Jehoshaphat, where all the nations of the earth will assemble together under one flag, worshiping a common God, and they will celebrate the resurrection of human freedom.”

On April 14,1865, just five days after the Civil War had ended, Abraham Lincoln went to Ford’s theater with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. recalled his last words as they sat there:

“He said he wanted to visit the Holy Land and see those places hallowed by the footprints of the Saviour. He was saying there was no city he so much desired to see as Jerusalem. And with the words half spoken on his tongue, the bullet of the assassin entered the brain, and the soul of the great and good President was carried by the angels to the New Jerusalem above.”

Abraham Lincoln stated:

“Here without contemplating consequences, before High Heaven, and in the face of the world, I swear eternal fidelity to the just cause, as I deem it, of the land of my life, my liberty, and my love …. Let none falter, who thinks he is right, and we may succeed.”

“I have always taken Counsel of Him, and referred to Him my plans, and have never adopted a course of proceeding without being assured, as far as I could be, His approbation.”

“Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infmite, to exist only for a day. No, no man was made for immortality.”

“Whenever any church will inscribe over its altar as a qualification for membership the Savior’s statement of the substance of the law and gospel, “Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself,” that church will I join with all my heart and soul.”

(America’s God and Country
By William Federer :391)

And so on.

Comment #74618

Posted by mynym on January 22, 2006 1:31 AM (e)

1. don’t confuse commenters on PT with contributers.

They seem to let the commenters do their dirty work for them. But just like you did not take issue with the junk science being spewed here by BrianF and “Moses” they do not tend to take issue with anyone on their “side.” As it seems that they certainly have a side, which has nothing to do with science.

2. don’t assume everybody here thinks there is value in statistical studies of “morality”, period, as it is, of course, quite a subjective topic.

Perhaps I wrote the beginnings of a correction to the standard junk science picked up by the progressives of the Old Press and touted word for word just to inspire you to a little critical writing on such things, that you’re apparently otherwise incapable of.

3. I doubt you will find anyone interested in your argument when you start off by insulting your target audience.

Who did I insult?

so, what the hell is your point?

Besides pointing out that junk science is being touted as evidence that religious people tend to have STDs, you want another? Well, it is an empirical fact that religious hedonists who self-define by their sexual desires as “gay” do actually have higher rates of STDs. That could be a contrasting point.

If you just want to throw some insults around, feel free. You don’t need to couch it in some ridiculous feaux op-ed piece.

Actually, I couched my post in peer reviewed journals for the scientific study of religion and not some hack job written by a a free-lance dinosaur paleontologist and illustrator.

After all, he cites Dawkins, another Leftist that attempts to merge his politics into science.

Comment #74623

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 22, 2006 2:31 AM (e)

Who did I insult?

you’re kidding, right?

But then, given the level of ignorance and stupidity that writers at the Panda’s Thumb often demonstrate…

…let the commenters do their dirty work for them

inspire you to a little critical writing on such things, that you’re apparently otherwise incapable of

mind like a steel trap ya got there, pally.

But just like you did not take issue with the junk science being spewed here by BrianF and “Moses”

ever bother to think that the reason most folks didn’t bother to respond is that it was off-topic?

take a look at the topic of the contibuter post again:

Today the DI Media Complaints Division is complaining about being misrepresented about its position on ID in public education.

the fact that nobody responded to a tangential topic has nothing to do with its merit (or demerit).

I’m sure many here would have been happy to see you make a reasoned presentation that was started as an off topic ridiculous statements by Seeker to begin with.

You had a chance to do just that, but instead chose to stimulate yourself by postulating that everyone here is just ignorant and stupid… oh except yourself, of course.

hence one does get confused about exactly what the point of your post was.

there was lots of crap posted in this thread. Did you just want to pick on the stuff Moses posted, or would you care to analyze the drivel Seeker posted as well?

MY point is that if you want to actually engage in a debate over these issues, you might want to take a more productive tack.

otherwise, if, as I suspect, you are just here to hurl insults about to make yourself feel better, I think you can qualify your mission as “complete”.

feel good about yourself that you put all those nasty darwinist atheist liberal pinkos in their “place”.

You can go now.

oh, and would you mind taking Seeker with you? if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, that is.

Comment #74632

Posted by Anton Mates on January 22, 2006 3:18 AM (e)

mynym wrote:

I think I’ll make up a Journal of Humanism and Society and cherry pick some data about Gregory Paul, the author. Think it would be picked up by the Old Press? I thought this was the Panda’s Thumb where everything is supposed to be peer reviewed? Gregory Paul does not have any articles published in peer reviewed journals of social science. It’s almost as if he is just some guy who “examined data” in a way to suit his argument, an argument that can be disproved based on data actually published in peer reviewed journals.

The Journal of Religion & Society is a peer-reviewed journal of social science.

Comment #74745

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 22, 2006 10:55 AM (e)

Hey Mynym, since ID doesn’t have anything to do with religion, why are you here tossing your religuious opinions around?

Or are IDers just lying to us about that?

Comment #74749

Posted by mynym on January 22, 2006 11:01 AM (e)

The Journal of Religion & Society is a peer-reviewed journal of social science.

Apparently it is little more than a website with editors. And the more it posts excrement like Gregory Paul’s excretions the less it like actual peer reviewed journals of social science, no matter what they claim for themselves. No one could actually check his claims and point out the holes in them, although that’s their job?

At any rate, it’s curious how once an idea or some people have any epistemic standing whatsoever, immediately the intellectual parasites come along and begin to pretend that they or their ideas are somehow similar. It’s reminiscent of the “It’s just like gravity.” argument that Darwinists sometimes feel the need to make, given that they want to pretend that Darwinian narratives about the past are “just like” science.

Comment #74753

Posted by mynym on January 22, 2006 11:07 AM (e)

Hey Mynym, since ID doesn’t have anything to do with religion, why are you here tossing your religuious opinions around?

Maybe it’s because someone brought up the topic of religion and began attacking religious people, which has something to do with religion.

Ah, religion, I suppose you better run for your life now. Theoretically, you shouln’t have any problem with me answering things said about religion here if the only issues you are concerned with have nothing to do with religion.

Or are IDers just lying to us about that?

Or maybe Darwinists are just lying when they argue that Darwinism has nothing to do with religion while they attack religion and then dishonestly insist that their mentally retarded views had nothing to do with religion in the first place.

Comment #74759

Posted by mynym on January 22, 2006 11:16 AM (e)

Quotes from Toejam:
But then, given the level of ignorance and stupidity that writers at the Panda’s Thumb often demonstrate…
…let the commenters do their dirty work for them
..inspire you to a little critical writing on such things, that you’re apparently otherwise incapable of

I don’t care if you find an argument insulting. It is true that writers here almost never bother to correct each other as long as an attack is being made against “religion.” It does not matter how egregrious the example when it comes to basic facts, logic and evidence, as long as the attack is against “religion” then it is seldom corrected. That’s the argument, if you find it insulting when applied to you then very well. But do you have any examples where you have corrected someone making an attack on “religion” here? Almost daily some bit of ignorant drivel like the argument that Lincoln was not a Christian or that religious people have more STDs and so on is posted here, so where are the examples of you and others correcting them? A lot of time is spent attacking the DI based on trivial semantics that border on the disingenuous, yet Darwinists apparently cannot be bothered to stick to facts, logic and evidence in a principled way. Apparently they adhere to facts, logic and evidence only to the degree that it suits their urge to merge, e.g. Richard Dawkins and his shifting attitude towards evidence of specified complexity.

Comment #74760

Posted by mynym on January 22, 2006 11:18 AM (e)

…or would you care to analyze the drivel Seeker posted as well?

I was reading the whole thread but then the usual ignorance and so on became tiresome. So I skipped to the end and began to work back up to make some corrections. So I did not see what drivel Seeker supposedly posted.

What quotes do you have in mind?

Comment #74761

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 22, 2006 11:20 AM (e)

Or maybe Darwinists are just lying when they argue that Darwinism has nothing to do with religion while they attack religion and then dishonestly insist that their mentally retarded views had nothing to do with religion in the first place.

And my daddy can beat up your daddy, so there. Ptttthhhhhtttttttt.

(sticks thumbs in ears and wiggles fingers)

But thanks for making it so clear that ID is just a religious crusade.

Judge Jones agreed with you. Completely.

Comment #74762

Posted by Ron Okimoto on January 22, 2006 11:27 AM (e)

What is sad is that the victims accept the scam artists at the Discovery Institute blaming it’s victims. Why do guys like mynym accept being lied to as if it is just the way things should be? This seems to be something like the Stockholm syndrome that Patty Hearst claimed as a defense. Why do the IDiot/creationists still support the people that abused them?

Comment #74764

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 22, 2006 11:30 AM (e)

yet Darwinists apparently cannot be bothered to stick to facts, logic and evidence in a principled way.

Odd, isn’t it, that in every Federal court case in US history, whenever IDers or creation “scientists” have been forced to “stick to facts, logic and evidence in a principled way”, and were not able to dodge questions or fabricate quotes or flat-out lie — they lost.

Why is that, I wonder? Why is that IDers/creationists have lost every single Federal court case they have ever been involved with, even when they had the opportunity to present all the evidence they wanted, to argue all the logic they needed to, and to cross-examine all the “darwinists”?

Why is that, I wonder?

Wait, let me guess … the judges are all part of the global evil atheist anti-religion plot too, right?

Comment #74798

Posted by Anton Mates on January 22, 2006 12:35 PM (e)

Apparently it is little more than a website with editors. And the more it posts excrement like Gregory Paul’s excretions the less it like actual peer reviewed journals of social science, no matter what they claim for themselves. No one could actually check his claims and point out the holes in them, although that’s their job?

So when you say “Author X has not published in peer-reviewed journals,” what you actually mean is “Author X has published in peer-reviewed journals, but I still don’t like him.” That’s good to know.

Comment #74808

Posted by KhaTzek on January 22, 2006 12:55 PM (e)

mynym wrote:

it posts excrement like Gregory Paul’s excretions

I found this choice of words a little odd, so I did a quick search on mynym’s website, and collected quite a number of interesting quotes…

http://mynym.blogspot.com/ wrote:

It seems that any text that Richard Dawkins writes is the material for satire, almost just matter, little more than his excretions, rather like his own excrement.

Global cooling, global warming and global excrement

For if all that man is or ever will be is an organism, then Darwinism is its excrement. And excrement always gives us a sense of our own humors

The blind man could hear it eating its own excrement in the mud there.

So Nature calls and their usual excrement happens.
Only excrement seems to be selected, naturally…..

All these sons were sorry souls that sat in their own excrement because they had forgotten what they once were.

instead of wading through text that seems to be as excrement, I find some parables with google instead….shew. That is good. You see, I do not like to look at the excrement that comes from the bare butts of all the nice guys.

call the mound of humus you just buried yourself with, humility! When actually, it is as excrement.

Do not sit in your own excrement. Get up, begin the journey and go up the mountain to the next sign!

Note Dawkin’s excretions, these artifacts of his biological feeelings

Then some of them threw their excrement at him. So he dodged it! He was smart like that.

Behold the repetitive banality of evil with its accusatory little finger, as a matter of basic knowledge that is quite simply a bunch of excrement. Yet, once again the Look Machine bows down before its own excrement

Anyway, I have to keep reading this excrement of this blind

note the associations that are drawn as well as what is broken apart epistemically and what is left alone. This bit of metaphoric excrement

For what excretory system for a self-replicating and self-healing automata that runs on plant and animal products would they devise

One of the things they developed was some larva to put in the prison with the evil aliens to make use of even their excrement for good.

As to this last one, they sometimes went so far as to eat their own excrement out of spite.

some of the good aliens had taken a sample of excrement out of the prison

Whoa, whoa, is us! We live in excrement, excrement I say!”

You’d think that they would get a sense that things do not revolve around them, given that they eat excrement.

I have to tidy up the little ends of lil’ words too. And some lil’ words make a lot of excrement!

obscenities are what they are based on excrement and copulation.

If mankind, with all its repulsive faults, is an organism, then the psychoanalyst is its excrement. Psychoanalysis is an occupation in whose very name “psyche” and “anus” are united.

If mankind is nothing more than a physical organism then Darwinism is its excrement. (what isn’t excrememt?)

They hop, hop around. But there’s still always a little trail of excrement behind them.

For they had become rebellious, ungrateful creatures. They made a lot of excrement, some diapers would not be changed.

What I need on a blog is ten Lefists all trying to let out their normal excrement and then it would be fun.

Then, he eats his own excrement again and again. Perhaps in the end, that is so.

a person running down the street naked, pornography, throwing excrement around

Excrement. That is a racist attitude.

fill in the blanks that the artists leaves with the excrement that they want put there.

What is with the poop obsession? :p

Comment #74820

Posted by Arden Chatfield on January 22, 2006 1:22 PM (e)

Wow, mynym really does have a scatological fixation!

Maybe he’s channelling Martin Luther. He had a shit fetish, too.

Comment #74844

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 22, 2006 2:29 PM (e)

Wow, mynym really does have a scatological fixation!

Maybe he’s channelling Martin Luther. He had a shit fetish, too.

Both of them are full of it.

:)

Comment #74959

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 22, 2006 9:55 PM (e)

maybe he’s a coprophagous coprophillic?

Comment #74960

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 22, 2006 9:56 PM (e)

otoh, mayb he just innately realizes that the study of ID is best defined as scatology?

Comment #74971

Posted by Jim Harrison on January 22, 2006 10:24 PM (e)

The obsession with excrement is a Teutonic thing. The Berkeley folklorist Alan Dundes wrote a splendid little book on scatology in German culture–Life is Like A Chicken Coop Ladder. Dundes died last year, a real loss since serious scholars with a sense of humor are thin on the ground.

Comment #74976

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 22, 2006 10:33 PM (e)

oh, btw, nice job there KhaTzek. er, lots of ‘food for thought’….

Comment #74994

Posted by Mark Decker on January 23, 2006 12:33 AM (e)

“Maybe it’s because someone brought up the topic of religion and began attacking religious people, which has something to do with religion.”

Maybe you should read the actual thread first, you dolt. Then you’d see that it was seeker who brought up the topic by claiming that atheists are less moral than religious people. Moses was challenging that assertion, and so far he’s provided a good deal more of evidence for his side than seeker has, or you.

Go fling your doo-doo somewhere else.

Comment #74995

Posted by limpidense on January 23, 2006 12:48 AM (e)

That “mynym” is one seriously weird dude!

Can you imagine your reaction if he (no female on the planet would write that way) expressed admiration and agreement with your own position about, well, ANYTHING?

Comment #75017

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 23, 2006 8:02 AM (e)

Can you imagine your reaction if he (no female on the planet would write that way)

To identify Mynym as a male (and a white male, at that) it is only necessary to point out that he is an IDer.

If you take a look at the photos of all the prominent IDers at Discovery Institute, you will see that they are all, without exception, white males.

The same is true of ICR and AIG’s creation ‘scientists’.

Comment #75023

Posted by k.e. on January 23, 2006 8:28 AM (e)

Ah So…. Lenny.
So they are the lost tribe of the anti-feminists who can always rely on HIM upstairs if they can just prove HE is really THERE.And who can tell those beastly fembots to make babies and keep quite.

Comment #75025

Posted by Raging Bee on January 23, 2006 8:48 AM (e)

Yo, Seeker, I notice you totally refused to address a single point I made, except to call the moral issue of slavery in America a “red herring.”

If you’re really that uninterested in slavery as a moral issue, then your “morality” is crap, and you’re in no position to preach about the moral condition of ANYONE, atheist or not.

If you really want to establish some credibility here, perhaps you can explain how lying to other people’s kids about science protects morality in the US. Perhaps you can also answer another question you have so far ignored: are Christians who accept evolution and oppose ID less “moral” in any demonstrable way than those who support ID?

Arguing only with the atheists’ most pig-ignorant talking-points won’t get you anywhere.

Comment #75128

Posted by Moses on January 23, 2006 3:50 PM (e)

Comment #74614

Posted by mynym on January 22, 2006 01:19 AM (e)

More ignorance: “Lincoln would be more properly classified as a “New Age Spiritualist” more than anything else.

Clearly a moral man. Clearly not a Christian. And if it wasn’t for his new-age-like spirituality, we’d have to put him in the atheist category.”

Vs. his own words:

Silly boy, Lincoln was a politician who, in his own writings and admissions, was clear that he could never let the cat out of the bag. But the everlasting fact is that Lincoln was Deist who was definitely NOT a Christian, did not believe in Jesus, and was, in our day and time, properly classified as a new age spiritualist, if anything.

I mean, use your brain. He’s in his 20’s and writes his work. He gets ADVICE to burn his work because he has political ambitions and he will NEVER GET ELECTED AS A DEIST/ATHEIST. So he HIDES his irreligiousness to a great degree and, on occasion, does the “God talk” because it works!

And you call me ignorant. What a joke.

Comment #75134

Posted by Moses on January 23, 2006 4:10 PM (e)

Oh, mynym, you never managed to rebutt the Japan thing. What I posted wasn’t from some intellectual light-weights who just ramble on in the internet. Rather, I summarized some pretty broad-based work that was published in International Journal of Law and Psychiatry and was a combined survey/research article with all these references and addressed/criticized/incorporated/refuted their claims (many of which, BTW, I’ve read):

Abel, G. G., Mittelman, M. S., & Becker, J. V. (1985). “Sexual Offenders: Results of assessment and recommendations for treatment”. In M. H. Ben-Aron, S. J. Huckle, & C. D. Webster (Eds.), Clinical criminology: The assessment and treatment of criminal behavior (pp. 191-205). Toronto, Canada: M & M Graphic.

Abramson, P. R., & Hayashi, H. (1984). “Pornography in Japan: Cross cultural and theoretical considerations”. In M. N. Malamuth & E. Donnerstein (Eds.), Pornography and Sexual Aggression (pp. 173-183). New York: Academic Press.

Amis, K., Anderson, J. N. D., Beasley-Murray, G. R., et al. (1972). Pornography: The Longford Report. London: Coronet Books: Hodder Paperbacks, Ltd.

Anonymous. (1991a, 31 March). Racy comics a labeled lot now in Japan. Sunday Honolulu Star Bulletin and Advertiser.

Anonymous. (1991b, 5 February). Tokyo Telephone Sex. Honolulu Advertiser.

Anonymous. (1992, 2 October). Police warn magazines over nudes. The Japan Times pp. 2.

Baron, L., & Strauss, M. A. (1987). Four Theories of Rape in American Society: A State-Level Analysis. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Becker, J., & Stein R. M. (1991). “Is sexual erotica associated with sexual deviance in adolescent males?” International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 14, 85-95.

Brannigan, A. (1987). “Sex and aggression in the Lab: Implications for Public Policy? A Review Essay”. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 2, 177-185.

Brannigan, A., & Goldenberg, S. (1986). “Social Science versus jurisprudence in Wagner: The study of Pornography, Harm, and the Law of obscenity in Canada”. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 11:419-431.

Brannigan, A., & Goldenberg, S. (1991). “Pornography, context, and the common law of obscenity”. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 14, 97-116.

Ben-Veniste, R. (1971). Pornography and Sex Crime: The Danish Experience, Technical Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography (pp. 245-261). Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Office.

Burgess, A. W., & Hartman, C. R. (1987). “Child Abuse Aspects of Pornography”. Psychiatric Annals, 17, 248-253.

Burrill, J. (1991). Lowering the Boom on Sex Comics. Limousine City Guide, 33.

Canada. (1985). Report of the special select committee on pornography and prostitution : Ottawa; Supply and Services.

Christensen, F. M. (1990). Pornography: The Other Side. New York: Praeger.

Clifford, W. (1980). “Why is it safer to live in Tokyo? An exploratory symposium”. Paper presented at the Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

Conyers, L., & Harvey, P. D. (1996). Religion and Crime: Do they go together? Free Inquiry, 16(3), 46-48.

Court, J. H. (1977). “Pornography and sex crimes: A reevaluation in light of recent trends around the world”. International Journal of Criminology and Penology, 5, 129-157.

Court, J. H. (1984). “Sex and violence: A ripple effect”. In N. M. Malamuth & E. Donnerstein (Eds.), Pornography and Sexual Aggression (pp. 143-172). New York: Academic Press.

Diamond, M. (1984). SexWatching: The World of Sexual Behaviour. London: Macdonald Co. Ltd.

Diamond, M. (1986). SexWatching: The World of Sexual Behavior (Japanese Version). Tokyo: Shogakukan.

Diamond, M., & Karlen, A. (1980). Sexual Decisions. Boston: Little, Brown.

Diamond, M., & Karlen, A. (1985). Sexual Decisions (Japanese edition). Tokyo: Shogakukan.

Donnerstein, E. (1984). “Pornography: Its effect on violence against women”. In N. M. Malamuth & E. Donnerstein (Eds.), Pornography and sexual aggression (pp. 53-81). New York: Academic Press.

Donnerstein, E., & Barrett, G. (1978). “The effects of erotic stimuli on male aggression toward women”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 180-188.

Dore, R. P. (1958). City Life in Japan. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Dougher, M. J. (1988, Feb.). “Assessment of Sex Offenders”. In B. K. Schwartz & H. R. H. Cellini (Eds.), A Practitioner’s Guide to Treating the Incarcerated Male Sex Offender (pp. 77-84, Chapter 78). Washington, D. C.: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections.

Downs, J. F. (1990). “Nudity in Japanese Visual Media: A cross-cultural Observation”. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 19, 583-594.

Effron, S. (1997) In Japan, even toddlers now attend cram schools. The Honolulu Advertiser, Feb. 16. A-16.

Ellis, L. (1989). Theories of Rape: Inquires into the causes of sexual aggression. New York: Hemisphere Publishing.

Fisher, W. A., & Barak, A. (1991). “Pornography, Erotica, and Behavior: More questions than answers”. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 14, 65-83.

Gebhard, P. H., Gagnon, J. H., Pomeroy, W. B., & Christenson, C. V. (1965). Sex Offenders. New York: Harper & Row.

Giglio, D. (1985). “Pornography in Denmark: A public policy for the United States?” Comparative Social Research, 8, 281-300.

Goldstein, M. J., & Kant, H. S. (1973). Pornography and Sexual Deviance: A Report of the Legal and Behavioral Institute. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Greenfeld, K. T. (1994). Speed Tribes. New York: Harper Collins.

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Groth, N. A., Burgess, A. W., & Holstrom, L. L. (1977). “Rape, power and sexuality”. American Journal of Psychiatry, 134, 1239-1243.

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Zillmann, D. (1984). Connections between Sex and Aggression. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Zillmann, D., & Bryant, J. (1982). “Pornography, sexual callousness and the trivialization of rape”. Journal of Communication, 32, 10-21.

Zillmann, D., & Bryant, J. (1984). “Effects of massive exposure to pornography”. In N. M. Malamuth & E. Donnerstein (Eds.), Pornography and Sexual Aggression (pp. 115-138). New York: Academic Press.

Zillmann, D., & Bryant, J. (1988a). “Effects of prolonged consumption of pornography on family values”. Journal of Family Issues, 9, 518-544.

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Zillmann, D., & Bryant, J. (1989). Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Zillmann, D., & Weaver, J. B. (1989). “Pornography and Men’s sexual callousness toward women”. In D. Zillmann & J. Bryant (Eds.), Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations (pp. 95-125). Hillside, NJ: Erlbaum.

And, in agreement or not with the causality factors of the final conclusions, it’s the way SCIENCE works. Not the assertion-with-out-facts garbage you spew.

Comment #100308

Posted by Allison Trump on May 8, 2006 10:53 PM (e)

This is cool, you have to try it. I guessed 70727, and this game guessed it! See it here - http://www.funbrain.com/guess/