PvM posted Entry 1995 on February 10, 2006 07:29 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1990

On evolutionnews.org various ID activists show a certain lack of logic. For instance, Bruce Chapman who argues that:

Chapman wrote:

“Evolution Sunday is the height of hypocrisy,” says Bruce Chapman, president of Discovery Institute the nation’s leading think tank researching scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution. “Why do Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious grounds?

”Sunday marks the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin and to celebrate 400 ministers have announced they will deliver pro-evolution sermons in conjunction with “Evolution Sunday.”

“Our view is not that pastors should speak out against evolution, but that the Darwinists are hypocrites for claiming–falsely–that opposition to Darwinism is merely faith based, and then turning around and trying to make the case that Darwinism itself is faith based,” added Chapman.

The issue is not whether or not Darwinian theory is faith based, it obviously isn’t but whether or not Darwinian theory necessarily conflicts with religious faith. A small but important distinction often overlooked by ID activists who have insisted on portraying Darwinian theory as necessarily anti-religious.

Read for instance the Mercury News which gets the issue correct

Also Sunday, ministers of more than 400 churches are scheduled to preach on the compatibility of evolution and religion.

Seems that the DI is threatened by science and religion exposing the flaws in the arguments of Intelligent Design activists. This Darwin Day Website provides links to the many events.

Here we find the original announcement, too bad the DI forgot to link to it

On 12 February 2006 hundreds of Christian churches from all portions of the country and a host of denominations will come together to discuss the compatibility of religion and science. For far too long, strident voices, in the name of Christianity, have been claiming that people must choose between religion and modern science. More than 10,000 Christian clergy have already signed The Clergy Letter demonstrating that this is a false dichotomy. Now, on the 197th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, many of these leaders will bring this message to their congregations through sermons and/or discussion groups. Together, participating religious leaders will be making the statement that religion and science are not adversaries. And, together, they will be elevating the quality of the national debate on this topic.

If your church would like to join this national event, please send a note to mz@uwosh.edu. We welcome your participation.

To examine some of the sermons members of The Clergy Letter Project have delivered on this topic and to view some of the resources they have found useful, click here.

441 Congregations from 49 states and the District of Columbia are participating as of 9 February 2006

Rather than objecting, the DI should embrace the effort to improve people’s understanding of evolutionary theory and the claims that evolutionary theory is incompatible with religious faith. I guess, teaching the controversy is a one way street…

West’s comments are even ‘better’:

West wrote:

“This isn’t science versus religion, it’s science versus science,” added West. “It’s a standard part of science to raise evidence critical of an existing scientific theory or paradigm. That’s what good science is about—analyzing evidence and asking tough questions. Scientists have a duty to raise critical questions about existing scientific theories.”

Asking critical questions about science is indeed scientific but if that is all that ID has to offer than ID is clearly scientifically vacuous. In addition, scientists continuously raise critical questions about evolutionary theory but rather than ID activists, they do not let their ignorance lead to a design inference.

Is the Discovery Institute abandoning Intelligent Design in favor of critcisms of evolutionary theory? It seems inevitable since ID has been shown to be scientifically vacuous.

What does worry me is that so far, the criticisms raised by the Discovery Institute, are mostly strawmen, based on an incomplete portrayal of facts. Since DI seems to be in favor of teaching the controversy, they should surely encourage the efforts by sites like Pandasthumb to expose the major flaws in said criticisms?

Is Intelligent Design on the way out as Elizabeth Pennesi seems to imply?

For some observers, the board’s swift capitulation was further proof that the ID movement has crested. Although the specifics of the cases were different, “the very decisive win in Dover meant [the California board] knew they had no chance of winning this,” says philosopher of science Robert Pennock of Michigan State University, East Lansing, an expert witness in Dover. “ID is on its way out,” agrees evolutionary biologist Joel Cracraft of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, who has been active in defending evolution. “[Creationists] will be avoiding that term.”

Indeed, the leaders of the ID movement prefer a more subtle approach to undermine the teaching of evolution: Urge schools to teach the “controversy” over evolution.

Surely seems to be that way. And that’s a good think for science and for religion. Let’s pray that this shift in approach truly is caused by a desire to improve scientific theory rather than to introduce creationism. Time will surely tell. The Dover decision surely seems to have had a major impact on the Wedge…

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Comment #78828

Posted by PvM on February 10, 2006 7:58 PM (e)

Furthermore, Chapman’s claim that “Why do Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious grounds?” misses the point. Surely people may disagree with evolutionary theory on religious grounds or approve of evolutionary based on religious grounds but such arguments have no place in science or science classes.

What the 400+ ministers show is that the claim that evolutionary theory is inherently incompatible with religious belief, an argument made by quite a few ID activists, is plainly wrong although it does serve to attempt to place a wedge.

Comment #78829

Posted by Corkscrew on February 10, 2006 8:01 PM (e)

Meh, I personally would prefer Intelligent Design to hang around for a while, for two reasons:

1) it’s so damn fun to rebut
2) if ID gets kicked out, what will replace it is likely to be far more evangelical - better the devil you know

Comment #78830

Posted by PvM on February 10, 2006 8:01 PM (e)

Johnson makes little effort to downplay his theological opinions. He tells religious audiences that evolution inherently promotes atheism while outlining his plan to use ID to cast doubt on Darwin’s theory.

Wedge Strategy of the Christian Right: Pushing Religion in the Guise of Science

Johnson wrote:

More than once Johnson had admitted that his crusade really isn’t about science. In an interview with the evangelical magazine World in 1996, he said, “This isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science…. It’s about religion and philosophy.”

Johnson reiterated the religious nature of ID during a 2003 appearance on American Family Radio, a broadcast outlet run by the Rev. Donald Wildmon of the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association. “Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools,” he said.

Comment #78834

Posted by Jeff McKee on February 10, 2006 9:01 PM (e)

“Why do Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious grounds?”

Hmmmm … I thought the DI was criticizing “Darwin” on scientific grounds, and that religion had nothing to do with it. The way Chapman and others speak out of both sides of their mouths is tiresome and dysfunctional.

Here in Ohio the “designists” claim that there is no ID, no religion, in the discredited lesson plan they ardently support. But Ohio Board of Education member Owens-Fink never misses a chance to say that “Darwinists” are atheistic (and paranoid, along with other unprofessional admonitions of the honest scientific community.)

I prefer old-fashioned creationists … they are honest, well-meaning folks who say what they mean. At least we know where we disagree. The smokescreen of the ID creationists at the DI is being lifted by comments such as Chapman’s. We need to point that out to the public.

Comment #78835

Posted by PvM on February 10, 2006 9:07 PM (e)

jeff McKee wrote:

I prefer old-fashioned creationists … they are honest, well-meaning folks who say what they mean. At least we know where we disagree. The smokescreen of the ID creationists at the DI is being lifted by comments such as Chapman’s. We need to point that out to the public.

I agree. And I hope that PT can serve a useful purpose here.

Comment #78841

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 10, 2006 9:57 PM (e)

“Why do Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious grounds?

Why do IDers keep talking about religion, constantly, if, as they claim, ID is science and doesn’t have any religious motives, aims or effect?

Or are IDers just lying to us about that.

Comment #78845

Posted by PvM on February 10, 2006 10:08 PM (e)

From “Bereshit - In Which Beginning?

Mooney details what he calls “science abuse” – an intentional attack upon scientific principals and process. His work, and that of others, claims the Religious Right has been exploiting “a misconception about science common among nonscientists – a belief that uncertainty in findings indicates fatally flawed research.” (Rensberger)

Mooney, “The Republican War on Science.” Scientific American see also his latest Book and a review in Sciam

and

Academics also point to the misuse of the meaning of “theory”:
in the popular culture means an opinion,
but in science means an explanation.
Dr. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, illustrates: “The theory of gravity is not an opinion or an observation, it explains why things fall.” (Kemper) 3

Is this the underlying reason why some insist on teaching the ‘controversy’, namely to capitalize on the confusion amongst nonscientists that controversy means flawed?

Comment #78848

Posted by PvM on February 10, 2006 10:17 PM (e)

Wow talk about timing, on evolutionnews, Casey Luskin just answered my question

Time magazine tells us that science education is broken, but then the critics imply we should retain the cause of the problem: the status quo. Surely science education in America is a complex problem requiring a multi-faceted solution. But one part of the solution could be teaching students about the debate over evolution rather than pretending that there is one, and only one correct viewpoint over Neo-Darwinism. We know that teaching the controversy over evolution will increase student interest in science and make them better critical thinkers. Here’s how it can be done:

Require all biology courses to discuss both strengths and weaknesses of evolution

But do NOT mandate the teaching of alternative theories like ID

Protect teacher academic freedom to present minority scientific viewpoints at their own discretion

Sigh… The goalposts are moving fast but the underlying religious foundation remains, just better disguised.

Perhaps Luskin can explain to us what scientific research shows that teaching the controversy (sic) over evolution makes them better thinkers.

We may want to leverage this re-newed interest by the DI to teach science.

Comment #78850

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on February 10, 2006 10:40 PM (e)

Just out of curiosity, but why is it that teachers should be teaching ‘minority’ scientific opinions to highschoolers to begin with. I fail to see how teaching ideas like the hygeine hypothesis, which hasn’t yet gained full acceptance in the scientific community would be worthwhile (for example). Teachers should be teaching the majority scientific consensus on an issue, because science teachers are not there to determine what is/isn’t science but to prepare students for further science education. If the scientific community doesn’t think that ID or its weak creationist ‘teach the controversy’ idiocy doesn’t hold up as science it shouldn’t be taught as it either. If it ever becomes accepted science then by all means, it should be taught in schools but not beforehand.

Also in this particular case, I don’t buy Luskins argument one bit. I have a hard time believing that if we apply his argument to history, that anyone would agree to teaching the ‘controversy’ about the holocaust.

Comment #78853

Posted by PvM on February 10, 2006 10:58 PM (e)

Why is it that the DI focuses on the “controversy in evolution” rather than on the “controversies in science” ?

Time to move them goalposts a bit further before the religious foundation truly is hidden. Is the Wedge collapsing?

Comment #78857

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 10, 2006 11:03 PM (e)

Require all biology courses to discuss both strengths and weaknesses of evolution

Alas for the IDers, they sooner or later will have to tell us just what the hell these “weaknesses” are.

And when they do, they will then have to explain to us why they are absolutely identical to the same tired old arguments that ID/creationists have already been giving us for forty years now (and already had rejected by the courts in McLean, Aguillard, and Kitzmiller).

Any IDers out there want to take a stab at that?

Comment #78871

Posted by Tulse on February 11, 2006 1:48 AM (e)

What the 400+ ministers show is that the claim that evolutionary theory is inherently incompatible with religious belief, an argument made by quite a few ID activists, is plainly wrong

While that’s a nice, warm sentiment, it just isn’t true, at least not for all religions. For Fundamentalist Christians who believe in the literal truth of the Bible, evolutionary theory is inherently incompatible with their religious beliefs. Ditto for those who believe the literal truth of the sacred books of various other religions (for example, talk to the folks who are fighting against the encroachment of fundamentalist Hindu beliefs into science teaching).

Stephen Jay Gould was a wonderful man, a warm, kind, accepting human being, and one of my personal heroes, but his “non-overlapping magisterium” is simply a edict about what kinds of religions get to count as “good” religions, namely, those that don’t actually make truth claims about the physical world and its history. I’ve heard the sentiment about the compatibility of science and religion spouted many times, but many folks other than Gould, but it always comes back to this – religion as a whole is only compatible with science if you define away those religions that believe God made the physical world a certain way. Such religions have millions of adherents, and the type of claims they make that Gould and others would rule out are the types of claims that historically all religions have made. It is only in relatively modern times that humanity has produced religions that make few specific claims about the way the physical world works and how it originated.

So it would be great if religion and science were compatible, but for a vast number of adherents to legitimate religions, that simply isn’t true. To pretend otherwise might be a good political strategy, but it ultimately is dishonest.

Comment #78872

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 2:03 AM (e)

So it would be great if religion and science were compatible, but for a vast number of adherents to legitimate religions, that simply isn’t true. To pretend otherwise might be a good political strategy, but it ultimately is dishonest.

Which is why the statement said inherently (inseparably). You are right that some reject compatibility but when Johnson says that evolution inherently promotes atheism he is plainly wrong.

Similarly my statement

What the 400+ ministers show is that the claim that evolutionary theory is inherently incompatible with religious belief, an argument made by quite a few ID activists, is plainly wrong

is correct. evolutionary theory is not inherently incompatible with religious belief. Neither is geology inherently incompatible with religious belief, unless you happen to be a young earth creationist. But then it’s not inherently.

Science and religion can be incompatible but that was not the issue here.
The issue is that some ID activists have argued that evolution is inherently atheistic (incompatbile with religion) when they mean that science is incompatible with their personal faith.

Comment #78892

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 6:59 AM (e)

I thought ID was science, and wasn’t about religion.

Or are IDers just lying to us about that?

Comment #78894

Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 7:31 AM (e)

Comment #78834
Posted by Jeff McKee on February 10, 2006 09:01 PM

DI president Bruce Chapman wrote –

“Why do Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious grounds?”

Hmmmm … I thought the DI was criticizing “Darwin” on scientific grounds, and that religion had nothing to do with it. The way Chapman and others speak out of both sides of their mouths is tiresome and dysfunctional.

There is no inconsistency there at all. Even if DI’s criticism of Darwin were entirely based on religion, Chapman would still be right in condemning the hypocrisy of those who use religion to defend Darwin and condemn the use of religion to oppose Darwin.

Chapman is right on the ball. ID was kicked out of Dover public-school science classes because of its association with people’s religious beliefs, so why shouldn’t evolution theory also be kicked out for the same reason ?

Judge Jones kicked ID out of public-school science classes because of its religious associations and not because it is allegedly bogus science. The Constitution separates church and state but does not separate bogus science and state.

Here in Ohio the “designists” claim that there is no ID, no religion, in the discredited lesson plan they ardently support. But Ohio Board of Education member Owens-Fink never misses a chance to say that “Darwinists” are atheistic

Both you and she believe in guilt-by-association.

Comment #78895

Posted by Andy H. on February 11, 2006 7:40 AM (e)

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 06:59 AM

I thought ID was science, and wasn’t about religion.

Or are IDers just lying to us about that?

And I thought that evolution theory was science, and wasn’t about religion.

Or are evolutionists just lying to us about that?

Comment #78901

Posted by k.e. on February 11, 2006 8:15 AM (e)

Larry you need help.
Look up the list of Clergy who signed the The Clergy letter http://www.uwosh.edu/colleges/cols/religion_science_collaboration.htm
find several in your area who share your fears and ask him/her what its all about.

Comment #78923

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 10:45 AM (e)

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 06:59 AM

I thought ID was science, and wasn’t about religion.

Or are IDers just lying to us about that?

To which the best the Crank can come up with is:

And I thought that evolution theory was science, and wasn’t about religion.

Or are evolutionists just lying to us about that?

Snicker. Giggle.

Cranks are amusing, aren’t they.

Comment #78929

Posted by John Marley on February 11, 2006 11:43 AM (e)

I have an idea. Let’s start insisting that Sunday School teachers “teach the controversy” by telling 5 to 10 year old children all about the other religions in the world, and let the children decide what they believe.

Comment #78931

Posted by John Marley on February 11, 2006 11:50 AM (e)

By the way, who are these people condemning religious arguments against the Theory of Evolution?

I thought we were condemning arguments that pretend to be science.

If someone tells me that ToE is wrong because it contradicts the Bible (that happens a lot), I point out that I am not a Christian, and the Bible means nothing to me, so Biblical arguments will not have any effect on me.

People who claim that the Bible is scientificly perfect are another matter.

Comment #78945

Posted by AG on February 11, 2006 1:02 PM (e)

I’ve come up with a few logic statements pertaining to Chapman, his lackeys, and this thread. I use the word “GOD” to include God, gods, or any other supernatural phenomena.

1) If I believe in evolution, then I must believe in a God
FALSE. Plenty of people are atheists and believe in evolution

2) If I believe in a God, then I must believe in evolution.
FALSE. People who believe in a God do not always believe in evolution (Creationists for example)

3) If I believe in a God then I must believe in intelligent design.
FALSE. Plenty of people believe in a God and believe in evolution too

4) If I believe in intelligent design, then I must believe in a God
TRUE. In order to believe that natural phenomena were designed by supernatural phenomena, you must believe in some sort of supernatural power, as the power in God/gods, or whatever designers you choose.

The first three statements show that evolution and the belief in God/a designer are totally separate entities. It is only when you are dealing with the forth one, where in order to believe in ID you must link ID to a supernatural creator being, it is inherently religious. The ministers speaking on “evolution sunday” are not trying to make a religious theory out of a scientific one, they are just proving that my 3rd statement is false. Speaking about evolution, either for or against, in a religious setting does not make evolution “religious” just as speaking about ID in a classroom does not make ID “science”. Evolution is neutral in the face of religion because it does not need it/use it for its reasoning, but ID depends upon a creator/designer to work, making it definitely NOT neutral, and furthermore, it only encompasses some people’s religious beliefs (see statement 3 for why this is).

Comment #78948

Posted by Donald M on February 11, 2006 1:07 PM (e)

PvM writes:

The issue is not whether or not Darwinian theory is faith based, it obviously isn’t but whether or not Darwinian theory necessarily conflicts with religious faith. A small but important distinction often overlooked by ID activists who have insisted on portraying Darwinian theory as necessarily anti-religious.

Of course Darwinism isn’t necessarily anti-religious…as long as one has the “correct” religious worldview. Recall Eugenie Scott’s article DEALING WITH ANTIEVOLUTIONISM where she writes:

Teachers have told me they have had good results when they begin the year by asking students to brainstorm what they think the words “evolution” and “creationism” mean. As expected, some of the information will be accurate and some will be erroneous. Under “evolution,” expect to hear “Man evolved from monkeys” or something similar. Don’t be surprised to find some variant of, “You can’t believe in God” or some similar statement of supposed incompatibility between religion and evolution. Under “creationism” expect to find more consistency: “God”; “Adam and Eve,” “Genesis,” etc. The next step in constructing student understanding of concepts is to guide them towards a more accurate view. One goal of this exercise is to help them see the diversity of religious attitudes towards evolution.

After one such initial brainstorming session, one teacher presented students with a short quiz wherein they were asked, “Which statement was made by the Pope?” or “which statement was made by an Episcopal Bishop?” and given an “a, b, c” multiple choice selection. All the statements from theologians, of course, stressed the compatibility of theology with the science of evolution. This generated discussion about what evolution was versus what students thought it was. By making the students aware of the diversity of opinion towards evolution extant in Christian theology, the teacher helped them understand that they didn’t have to make a choice between evolution and religious faith.

Amazingly, Scott thinks it perfectly okay for a science teacher to guide her students to the “correct” understanding of their religious view. “The next step in constructing student understanding of concepts is to guide them towards a more accurate view” sounds like indoctrination to me! As long as one has the “correct” religious view, then of course there isn’t necessarily a conflict. But apprently this only works if Darwinism gets to “construct the student’s understanding” of what the “correct” religious worldview is.

Chapman’s comment is exactly correct, “evolution Sunday is the height of hypocrisy!”

Comment #78950

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 1:15 PM (e)

Of course Darwinism isn’t necessarily anti-religious…as long as one has the “correct” religious worldview.

But ID isn’t about religion. No sirree Bob.

Hey Donnie, if you’re finished preaching, would you mind answering a few questions for me (before you run away again)?

Thanks.

*ahem*

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 #78951

Posted by Corkscrew on February 11, 2006 1:20 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

There is no inconsistency there at all. Even if DI’s criticism of Darwin were entirely based on religion, Chapman would still be right in condemning the hypocrisy of those who use religion to defend Darwin and condemn the use of religion to oppose Darwin.

If the argument was that lots of clergy accept evolution so it should be taught in schools, I would agree that it’s bollocks. Unfortunately for Chapman’s accusations of hypocrisy, this is not in fact the case. The argument being put forward here is that lots of clergy accept evolution so we shouldn’t undermine it on their account. It’s a counterargument to the idea that you can’t be a Christian and a supporter of evolutionary biology at the same time, not a direct argument for the teaching of evolutionary biology. And it’s extremely misleading to portray it as a direct argument.

Comment #78952

Posted by Amos on February 11, 2006 1:24 PM (e)

Donald M wrote:

“The next step in constructing student understanding of concepts is to guide them towards a more accurate view” sounds like indoctrination to me! As long as one has the “correct” religious view, then of course there isn’t necessarily a conflict.

There was nothing there about changing anyone’s religious views. What are supposed to change are views about religious views. By showing that religion and evolution are not necessarily in conflict, the student can then begin asking herself if her own particular views are in conflict with evolution or not.

It’s hardly indoctrination to point out the need for an analysis of the implications of one’s own views rather than jumping to conclusions.

Comment #78954

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 11, 2006 1:32 PM (e)

I thought the DI were particularly misleading in their latest article. But I already responded, so I’m just going to paste my response in:

> “Evolution Sunday is the height of hypocrisy,” says Bruce Chapman,
> president of Discovery Institute the nation’s leading think tank
> researching scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution.

I have my doubts about deliberately promoting science via religion,
though religion is free to do so if it wishes.

> “Why do
> Darwinists think it is not okay for people to criticize Darwin on
> religious grounds, but it is just fine to defend him on religious
> grounds?”

BS. They’re defending the integrity of Xianity and its obligation to
tell the truth. Why don’t you DI guys learn about integrity?

As far as “defending Darwin in the churches”, that should be as
allowable as teaching creationism in churches, if not more so. Don’t
you IDiots ever get anything right? We’re not faulting Dembski for
telling lies in the churches, only when he turns around and lies again by claiming that ID isn’t religious.

> Sunday marks the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin and to celebrate 400
> ministers have announced they will deliver pro-evolution sermons in
> conjunction with “Evolution Sunday.”
> “Our view is not that pastors should speak out against evolution, but
> that the Darwinists are hypocrites for claiming–falsely–that
> opposition to Darwinism is merely faith based,

Oh, nice bit of misdirection. So you’re claiming that opposition to
“Darwinism” is not “merely faith based”. Tacitly you’re admitting that it is faith-based in large part, thus we may infer that it has no place in American science instruction. What is more, we’re much not troubled by mere “opposition to Darwinism” (though I don’t really like “opposition to Darwinism”, since that would typically be understood to be different from making “objective criticisms of Darwinism”–which are well and good), but rather by your attempts to force religion into the sciences.

Btw, moron, the point is that evolution is not faith-based, but that
some religious folk don’t insist on fighting everything that is not
faith-based. Learn something, dumbass.

>and then turning around
> and trying to make the case that Darwinism itself is faith based,”

Where’ the evidence for the claim above? Oh that’s right, you guys
don’t believe that claims need evidence.

> added Chapman.
> According to Dr. John West, a Discovery Senior Fellow, Evolution
> Sunday is part of a much larger campaign by Darwinists to explicitly
> use religion to promote their theory, a campaign that extends to
> public schools.

Another bit of misdirection. There is something to the earlier claim
that religion is being used to defend “Darwinism”, but no good basis
for claiming that religion is being used to “promote their theory”.
We’re not trying to promote a theory, we’re trying to keep meddling
IDiots from destroying the normal processes of scientific investigation and of the education that would be expected to follow from new and old findings. That we need to counter your lies is your fault.

>”In California, Darwin supporters have spent more than
> a half-million dollars in federal tax money for a website that directs
> teachers to use theological statements endorsing evolution in science
> classes,” said West.

That one might be a bit questionable. Tough call, really, because if
students are making religious objections to evolution, is it really
beyond all reason to use statements of theologians which mostly just
claim that religion and evolution are compatible, and that, for
instance, religious freedom leaves religion out of science classes?
True or not, those opinions are as “objectively reasonable” as the ones claiming otherwise (I base this claim on the fact that there are no “objective standards” that can tell us what religion should or should not agree with or allow).

Of course the lies continue, in that the statements in question are not necessarily regarded as “theological statements” at all, but in many cases are probably saying no more than what any reasonable person would say, only in these cases it is religious authorities saying it. Does the DI really think that statements from religious figures should be stricken from all public education?

My own doubts about it, however, come from the fact that I don’t think it is the government’s role to save religion in science classes, and I prefer teaching the science with a minimum of discussion about the implications (none would be best, but I realize that some discussion may be needed). It is not obviously the government’s place to concern itself with the implications of “objective science”.

>Noting that the website is now the subject of a
> federal lawsuit for violating the separation of church and state, West
> asked: “What secular purpose is served by the government trying to
> convince students what their religious views on evolution should be?”

What business is it for Jonathan Wells to promote religiously-motivated “questions about evolution” among naive students? Is DI religious meddling never to be discussed in religious terms? IOW, why don’t you fools quit injecting religious lies into the educational arena, and then we could forgo religious issues altogether.

> Chapman pointed out that increasingly the only time religion is
> brought up in the debate over evolution is when Darwinists falsely
> charge that anyone criticizing Darwin’s theory is religiously
> motivated.

Again the misdirection. The issue is not “criticizing Darwin’s
theory”, it is religiously-motivated and poorly based attacks on
evolution, plus the promotion of pseudosciences like ID. Try going one day without lying, you vile perverted evildoers.

“Darwin’s theory” is criticized all the time, which is what shows that it is a living scientific theory, and not even really “Darwin’s theory” per se any more. It’s criticized, it stands up to criticism as a whole, and the parts that don’t stand up are changed. Very unlike a religious doctrine like ID, which only changes in order to avoid the falsification that did in Paley’s version of ID.

> “We maintain a list of hundreds of scientists

How many are actually “scientists”, and more importantly, how many of
the actual scientists have degrees and knowledge in evolutionary
biology? Very few, I know.

>who are skeptical of
> Darwinian evolution because of the unresolved scientific problems with
> the theory, not because of any so-called religious motivation,” said
> Chapman.

Bull****. You have vanishingly few non-religious scientists on your
list, and we have every reason to suppose that religion colors the
acceptance of the mindless tripe that you cretins put out.

>The Scientific Dissent From Darwinism is available on the
> Institute’s website at www.discovery.org.
> “This isn’t science versus religion, it’s science versus science,”

Scientific criticism of “Darwinism” is science versus science. The
lies Jonathan Wells puts out, along with the rest of the DI nonsense,
is far from reaching the level of scientific criticism.

> added West. “It’s a standard part of science to raise evidence
> critical of an existing scientific theory or paradigm. That’s what
> good science is about-analyzing evidence and asking tough questions.

Yes, do you have any tough questions? You know, tough questions
actually relating to the evidence, not to your misconceptions of
science. And btw, there are some tough questions out there for
evolution, but even if you use them it was the scientists
(“evolutionists” to you) themselves who actually came up with them.

> Scientists have a duty to raise critical questions about existing
> scientific theories.”

Would that you morons could raise any that don’t already exist in the
scientific literature.

> Discovery Institute, the nation’s leading think tank dealing with
> scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution, seeks to increase the
> teaching of evolution.

Really? Is that what Jonathan Wells’ list of YEC pratts intended to
accomplish?

>It believes that evolution should be fully and
> completely presented to students, and they should learn more about
> evolutionary theory, including its unresolved issues.

How about teaching the scientific method of following the positive
evidence to productive areas of thought? That’s how science is usually taught. One presents the reasons why an idea arose in the first place, and shows how objections were met and how the evidence for, say, evolution continued to mount, from homologies to the vestigial organs predicted by evolutionary theory and predicted not to exist by any reasonable intelligent design theory (later we gained even better evidence through DNA, but the scientific battle for evolution had been long won by that time). The considerable evidence amassed for present scientific theories is the first thing to teach, and then (probably mostly in college) the remaining problems can be put into the context of the overwhelming amount of positive evidence during the relevant courses.

We know the DI, what you want to do is to obscure the positive evidence with a bunch of claptrap, not to put remaining problems into proper context.

>The Institute
> opposes any effort to mandate or require the teaching of intelligent
> design by school districts or state boards of education.

What’s the difference between your “teach the criticisms” from teaching ID anyhow? ID is only really complaints and caviling about legitimate science, so you don’t change anything if you opt for “attacking Darwinism” rather than “teaching ID”. The fact is that lying about Darwinism is what ID is about, so injecting your lies about Darwinism is the teaching of ID in all but name.

Glen Davidson

http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

First posted at: http://tinyurl.com/8v6ax

Comment #78988

Posted by FL on February 11, 2006 3:28 PM (e)

Just a few small notes:

“An evolutionary perspective undermines religious belief by removing some of the grounds that previously supported it. Gould says that science ‘doesn’t intersect the concerns of theology.’ Surely that is wrong; science and theology may have different concerns, but they do intersect. The most important point of intersection has to do with purposive explanations of natural phenomena.

For theology it is no small matter whether nature is interpreted teleologically. When the world is interpreted non-teleologically—when God is no longer necessary to explain things—then theology is diminished.”

— James Rachels, Created From Animals, 1990, p.127.

“(W)e have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanation…that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
—Lewontin, Richard, “Billions and Billions of Demons”, New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997, p. 28.

Also, it should be noted that Douglas Futuyma’s university evolution textbook Evolutionary Biology, 3d ed., on page 342 or thereabouts, describes the process of evolution, the process that supposedly led to the origination of ush humans, as—

“a completely mindless process”

with “no conscious forethought”

nor any “purpose” nor “goal”

**********

All three cited sources are evolutionists, btw. If you’re a religious person or particularly a clergy person), please take serious note of what they said.

Also please note that the force of their statements are NOT diminished nor even slightly rebutted by merely claiming that you’re not a “fundamentalist Christian”.

Nor are their claims diminished or rebutted by arbitrarily (and incorrectly) labeling the Genesis creation account as parabolic, allegorical, symbolic, or any other attempted synonym for “non-historical.”

After all, God, Jesus, and the Bible are chock-full of the teleology that evolution and evolutionists completely and totally deny across the board when scientifically presenting “What Evolution Is” (Ernst Mayr’s phrase, and he also denies teleology in his same-titled book.)
Because the denial of teleology is total, at some point you gotta choose between the Bible and the Darwinists, because for evolutionists, the official scientific position is there’s NO teleology, NO conscious forethought involved with the origin of any life form (including us), period.

********

In addition, the poster Tulse is entirely correct about evolutionist Gould’s “Non-overlapping Magisteria” shpiel that is at the heart of Rev. Michael Zimmerman’s Clergy Letter Project and Evolution Sunday Project:

“….religion as a whole is only compatible with science if you define away those religions that believe God made the physical world a certain way”

That’s ~exactly~ the price tag that comes with NOMA, as presented in Gould’s book Rocks of Ages. That Zimmerman and Company have apparently bought into NOMA as the basis for their attempted “reconciliation” of religion and science, is no small weakness.

Gotta make a choice at some key points there, people of faith. Religion and Science are mondo compatible, but Religion and Evolution clearly ARE NOT.

Don’t let Zimmerman and Co., sincere though they be, snow ya on this one.

FL

Comment #78991

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 3:41 PM (e)

Chapman’s comment is exactly correct, “evolution Sunday is the height of hypocrisy!”

Only to those who hold the opinion that religion and evolutionary science are inherently incompatible. What Evolution Sunday shows is that science and religion (even Christianity) can happily live side by side.
Is this the ‘correct form of religion’? Of course that is a matter of personal faith but much damage is done by those who insist that science and religious faith are in various instances inherently incompatible.

Educating people that this is not the case is hardly hypocrisy, except perhaps to those who hold the intenable position that the two are inherently incompatible.

Similarly your intepretation of the Scott story seems to be at odds with what happened.

Of course Darwinism isn’t necessarily anti-religious…as long as one has the “correct” religious worldview.

I guess you just proved my point. Although the term ‘correct’ is somewhat overdoing it… In other words, Darwinism is not inherently anti-religious or atheistic.

Comment #78995

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 3:54 PM (e)

FL seems to be confusing personal opinions about science and religion with the simple fact that evolutionary science is not inherently anti-religious.

It may be inherently anti-religious to a particular person’s faith but that’s not the argument. When Johnson made his argument that evolution is inherently atheistic, he forgot to include the various religions which have no problem accepting evolution.

FL is right, scientific explanations, which are part of the full set of explanations, cannot deal with external teleology. Although internal teleology, which to some may appear to be external, can be addressed by science.

Comment #78997

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 3:59 PM (e)

Oops

Let’s drop the reference to Johnson and focus on my own claim

“What the 400+ ministers show is that the claim that evolutionary theory is inherently incompatible with religious belief, an argument made by quite a few ID activists, is plainly wrong although it does serve to attempt to place a wedge.”

In other words, there is nothing hypocritical about addressing the common confusion that For far too long, strident voices, in the name of Christianity, have been claiming that people must choose between religion and modern science.

Comment #79008

Posted by Amos on February 11, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

FL wrote:

Also, it should be noted that Douglas Futuyma’s university evolution textbook Evolutionary Biology, 3d ed., on page 342 or thereabouts, describes the process of evolution, the process that supposedly led to the origination of us humans, as—-

“a completely mindless process” with “no conscious forethought” nor any “purpose” nor “goal”

[…] After all, God, Jesus, and the Bible are chock-full of the teleology that evolution and evolutionists completely and totally deny across the board when scientifically presenting “What Evolution Is”

[…] Because the denial of teleology is total, at some point you gotta choose between the Bible and the Darwinists, because for evolutionists, the official scientific position is there’s NO teleology, NO conscious forethought involved with the origin of any life form (including us), period.

Douglas Futuyma is entirely correct to describe the process of evolution as mindless and without goals. But why should the process have goals?

Does a hammer have goals? Does the physics describing its swing at a nail have the goal of building a house? No! I can say this with full confidence that the immediate cause of a nail going into a board–the physics of it–is mindless and without goals while still believing that the ultimate cause–my purpose and my utilizing the hammer–is full of teleology. Science has never denied it.

Comment #79048

Posted by Henry J on February 11, 2006 6:09 PM (e)

Re “Does a hammer have goals? Does the physics describing its swing at a nail have the goal of building a house? No! I can say this with full confidence that the immediate cause of a nail going into a board — the physics of it — is mindless and without goals while still believing that the ultimate cause — my purpose and my utilizing the hammer — is full of teleology. “

Well put! :)

Henry

Comment #79058

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 11, 2006 6:48 PM (e)

Because the denial of teleology is total, at some point you gotta choose between the Bible and the Darwinists,

Hey FL, welcome back.

Thanks for demonstrating so clearly to everyone that (1) ID is nothing but religious apologetics, (2) IDers are just lying to us when they claim ID is not religious apologetics, (3) the judge in Dover was absolutely correct when he ruled that ID was nothing but religious apologetics, and (4) IDers who complain about Judge Jones’ decision are just a bunch of whiny sore-loser crybabies.

Comment #79101

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 11, 2006 10:14 PM (e)

As I have reported here on many occasions, such an approach has successfully been accomplished by various recent scholars, such as Judah Landa’s popular IN THE BEGINNING OF, among others.

are you sure you don’t promote books for a living, Carol?

Comment #79102

Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 10:14 PM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

If the campaign to establish the compatibility of science and religion is to be predicated on the idea that Genesis is meant to be interpreted allegorically or metaphorically, it will achieve pitifully little and certainly not help the cause of science. Such an approach is rightly viewed by millions as based on the evisceration of the words of the Bible of any real meaning and will be rejected. So there is no reason for science to support such an approach.

The campaign is meant to establish that there is no inherent conflict between religion and science.

Advertisement deleted

Comment #79103

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 11, 2006 10:16 PM (e)

lol, I see the same thought came to your mind as well, Pim.

feel free to move this and my other Carol comment to the same place.

cheers

Comment #79144

Posted by FL on February 12, 2006 1:35 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #79146

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 1:41 AM (e)

Excellent point FL :-)

Comment #79172

Posted by FL on February 12, 2006 8:24 AM (e)

Glad you liked it, PvM. I’ll just do some more to go with it.

Amos wrote,

Does a hammer have goals? Does the physics describing its swing at a nail have the goal of building a house? No! I can say this with full confidence that the immediate cause of a nail going into a board—the physics of it—is mindless and without goals while still believing that the ultimate cause—my purpose and my utilizing the hammer—is full of teleology. Science has never denied it.

To which post 79144 intended to reply:

******

In Amos’s physics analogy, “…Science has never denied it (teleology)”, but when it specifically comes to evolution instead of physics, evolution and evolutionists not only HAVE denied it, they deny it to this very day. Out loud, in print, across the board. And with no exceptions at any point.

This is the reality that clergy people and religious people must directly engage. There is no sidestepping it, there is no ignoring it.

Amos’s paragraph seeks to blunt the force of evolutionists’ denial of teleology by sidestepping what Futuyma, Lewontin, etc. said and introducing the distinction of “immediate” cause.

Amos’s idea, apparently, is to imply or suggest some kinda hint of wiggle-room for teleology on an “ultimate cause” basis, despite the finality of Futuyma’s “no” statements. An example might be a deistic God who front-loads the ole cosmic computer, flicks that first switch, and then heads out on permanent vacation.

******

The problem is simply that the evolutionists are NOT saying what Amos is saying. Their wording is not leaving any room at any part of the process for what Amos wants. Not even a hint, as origin-of-life evolutionist Christian De Duve points out:

An important rule in reconstructing the earliest events in life’s history is to assume that they proceeded without the benefit of foresight. Every step must be accounted for in terms of antecedent and concomitant events. Each must stand on its own and cannot be viewed as a preparation for things to come. Any hint of teleology must be avoided.

—-American Scientist, Sept.-Oct. 1995. Highlighted words are De Duve’s own emphasis.

Notice that De Duve echoes Futuyma’s own zero-compromise evolution phrases “A completely mindless process” and “No conscious forethought”. Notice that De Duve makes clear that these restrictions extend all the way to the earliest events in the history of Earth life.

Like Futuyma and Lewontin, De Duve makes sure there isn’t any point on the evolution timeline, no point in Earth history, where even a front-loading or deistic God could squeak in there.

This total denial of teleology, this view of evolution as an unguided undirected process, which Slate.com editor Jacob Weisberg specifically pointed out is “the prevailing scientific view”, hence carries clear and specific consequences:

“Post-Darwinian evolutionary theory, which can explain the emergence of the first bacteria, doesn’t even leave much room for a deist God whose minimal role might have been to flick the first switch.”

http://www.slate.com/id/2124297/

Seems clear enough, don’t it? Not even wiggle room for Amos’s sincere paragraph.
Which means, in Weisberg’s words,

“That evolution erodes religious belief seems almost too obvious to require argument.”

Indeed. Weisberg’s words tempt me to repeat what James Rachels wrote, but you’ve already read it and nobody’s gonna refute it anytime soon.

******

Out of curiosity, I read through about four or five of Zimmerman’s “Clergy Letter Projet Sermons” at the link specified in PvM’s post, at random, just to see if they displayed any awareness of what evolutionists are saying out loud here.
They do NOT. Period. Not surprising at all, but I’ll keep on reading just in case.

In fact, the four or five CLP sermons I’ve read, carry the look, the feel, and the smell of clean crisp freshly-ironed, delicately-starched white flags, waved in the air with sincerity and eloquence by clergy people who seem so very very content to wave them.

Gould would be totally proud of them, because that’s exactly what his book Rocks of Ages demanded (and still demands) of them.

But would the REAL Rock of Ages, the one who “made everything that was made” (John 1:3) and placed His total and complete trust in all of the historical and teleological claims of another Book, be ~equally~ proud of them? You tell me.

In the meantime, here’s one member of the clergy (ooh, did I forget to mention that part of my life to you? I apologize, lemme come outta the closet now), who refuses to respond to Futuyma, Gould, et al. with the happy waving of delicately-starched white flags.

Especially now that Gould, Futuyma, Mayr, De Duve, etc. have told us exactly what sort of non-scientific materialist mess that some clergy are choosing to surrender to.
There is NO conflict between Religion and Science. But as you now see, there’s a conflict between Religion and Evolution.

Rev. Zimmerman is very sincere, but he and his clergy comrades can keep their delicately-starched white flags. My choice will simply be to evolve a backbone, stand up, and fight back.

After all, it’s the Christian thing to do.

FL :-)

Comment #79177

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 12, 2006 9:18 AM (e)

After all, it’s the Christian thing to do.

Hey FL, I thought ID was science, and didn’t have any religious aims, motives, goals or effects.

Or are IDers just lying to us when they claim that?

Comment #79180

Posted by GT(N)T on February 12, 2006 9:54 AM (e)

FL, does your faith require denying science, or at least that part of science dealing with the study of evolution?

Not all people of faith agree with you, nor agree with your assessment that their position is the equivalent of a surrender to materialism. They’re doing their best to reconcile their faith with the reality of the world.

By the way, evolution isn’t the only area of science that espouses materialist explanations. Physics, geology, and other disciplenes can also threaten faith. Faith, when characterized by petrified belief, will always be threatened by materialist explanations of nature.

Comment #79181

Posted by jeffw on February 12, 2006 10:08 AM (e)

“a completely mindless process” with “no conscious forethought” nor any “purpose” nor “goal”

[…] After all, God, Jesus, and the Bible are chock-full of the teleology that evolution and evolutionists completely and totally deny across the board when scientifically presenting “What Evolution Is”

[…] Because the denial of teleology is total, at some point you gotta choose between the Bible and the Darwinists, because for evolutionists, the official scientific position is there’s NO teleology, NO conscious forethought involved with the origin of any life form (including us), period.

Teleology totally violates the idea of a “consistent universe” - in other words, the word “repeatable” in the famous phrase “repeatable observation”, which is at the core of all science. Either we have a consistent physical universe, or a teleological one, but not both. Observation points to the former.

I don’t know, it seems to me that the only way out for religious people is to separate out at least some part of conciousness (a “soul”?), and have it reside in a separate “spiritual” universe. There still remains the problem of how it interacts with physical universe, if at all.

Comment #79182

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 12, 2006 10:09 AM (e)

By the way, evolution isn’t the only area of science that espouses materialist explanations. Physics, geology, and other disciplenes can also threaten faith. Faith, when characterized by petrified belief, will always be threatened by materialist explanations of nature.

Indeed, weather forecasting, accident investigation and medical practice all use precisely the very same “methodological naturalism” that science does. I’ve never yet heard any weather forecaster invoke “god” to explain the weather, nor have I ever heard an accident investigator conclude that “this accident has no naturalist explanation, therefore it must have been the will of Allah”, nor have I heard any doctors deciding that “the best way to treat this particular disease is to sacrifice a goat to Asclepius”.

So why is it just evolution that seems to get the fundies’ undies all in disarray? Why aren’t they out there fighting the good fight against all this OTHER “methodological naturalism”? Why aren’t they tilting valiantly at all those atheistic weather forecasters, accident investigators and medical doctors out there? Why do they accept “atheism” in some areas, but not in others?

What the hell is it, exactly, that they are bitching about?

I’ve asked dozens of IDers this simple question, and never got any coherent answer ….

Comment #79183

Posted by John Marley on February 12, 2006 10:32 AM (e)

What the hell is it, exactly, that they are bitching about?

I think they believe that the Theory of Evolution destroys the pedestal that puts humans above (better than) the rest of the animal kingdom. The other sciences don’t explicitly do that.

Comment #79188

Posted by k.e. on February 12, 2006 11:12 AM (e)

Gee FL your all over the place.
A moving target looking for a bullet.
Your whole premise is based on some amorphous glob or more generously a fixed horizon over which you don’t want to look, that satisfies your current state; AND that human exploration should not be examining? Is that your point ?

On that basis Columbus would never have sailed over his horizon.
Even when he did, at the mouth of the Orinoco river, he was able to taste fresh water miles out to sea and what was his conclusion? The Orinoco was a mighty damn big river that must have come from a mighty high mountain. The only mountain that big to his knowledge was the Mountain of Purgatory vividly described by Dante. Sir Francis Drake, a master mariner, upon finding countless new animals in the new world took back to his homeland the sad news that Noah’s Ark was a physical impossibility.

Lets just have a look at your your blunderbuss of BS

1. A cosmic switch and god in a Hawaiian holiday shirt? huh ? Really? You need a rest. Aside from your obvious ….ah, again generously, literary flourish, what happens IF a testable explanation moves that cute little domestic scene onto ANYTHING else.

2. Evolution is mindless and undirected ? Of course, absolutely right, that’s a killer, purely atheistic, nihilistic in fact, IN THE MINDS of those who have no appreciation for all life on Earth and those who think that their minds and its processes have any bearing on the overpowering urge that every living thing on the Earth experienced over the eons up to the very moment you read this dot. The drive to live and procreate. It ain’t pretty or neatly laid out like your Sunday best but without it there would be NONE of life on Earth we see this present moment. If you must have some sort of scaffolding on which to hang your thoughts how about widening YOUR horizons ,critically examine your lack of self awareness and keep in mind that biblical knowledge, is not, and has never been infallible in the wrong hands.

Comment #79203

Posted by Amos on February 12, 2006 1:04 PM (e)

FL wrote:

Like Futuyma and Lewontin, De Duve makes sure there isn’t any point on the evolution timeline, no point in Earth history, where even a front-loading or deistic God could squeak in there.

Well, first, a front-loading or deistic God would by definition be done with his work before earth’s history, would he not? And an active God could also be involved, as long as natural theology is sacrificed in favor of revelation for this case. Like imperceptible adjustments to the flight of an arrow to insure it hits its target, one needn’t deny that this active God shot the arrow or that we can model the trajectory in equations that do not appeal to divine will. As I said, the only loss is that you can’t use it to support belief in God, only to save it. More egregious ad hoc adjustments have been made in the understanding of a theistic universe. It seems to be the nature of the beast.

As far as “Any hint of teleology must be avoided” I agree with De Duve. As I wrote before, I believe that the “antecedent and concomitant” events that science is necessarily limited to and the will behind such things are orthogonal concepts. His forceful appeal to the seperation and purity of each is just a careful and honest practice.

Naturally, a universe that can be seen as self-contained physicalism, if one chooses to see it that way, creates an alternative to belief. The simple presence of this alternative seems to have you and many others running around in a panic. I often have to choose one thing over another. Some times I must make due with truths I wish weren’t so. Other times I even have to trust someone’s word. If such problems are too great a strain for you, and your beliefs somehow find no support in anything else, accept it and become an athiest or a fideist. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard make for good reading.

Like the man I take my name from, I’m trying to tell it like I see it.

Comment #79224

Posted by Andy H. on February 12, 2006 2:37 PM (e)

The opening comment on this thread conveniently ignored the following item in the quoted evolutionnews.org article –

According to Dr. John West, a Discovery Senior Fellow, Evolution Sunday is part of a much larger campaign by Darwinists to explicitly use religion to promote their theory, a campaign that extends to public schools. “In California, Darwin supporters have spent more than a half-million dollars in federal tax money for a website that directs teachers to use theological statements endorsing evolution in science classes,” said West. Noting that the website is now the subject of a federal lawsuit for violating the separation of church and state, West asked: “What secular purpose is served by the government trying to convince students what their religious views on evolution should be?”

The website described above is scandalous and is far more hypocritical than Evolution Sunday, because this website promotes misusing the public schools to indoctrinate students about the relationship between Darwinism and religion. Comment #78948 by Donald M on this thread notes that Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, also promotes misusing the public schools for this purpose. Even just teaching in public schools that Darwinism and religion are not necessarily incompatible constitutes a government endorsement of religion.

Comment #79227

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 2:53 PM (e)

Andy H wrote:

The website described above is scandalous and is far more hypocritical than Evolution Sunday, because this website promotes misusing the public schools to indoctrinate students about the relationship between Darwinism and religion. Comment #78948 by Donald M on this thread notes that Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, also promotes misusing the public schools for this purpose. Even just teaching in public schools that Darwinism and religion are not necessarily incompatible constitutes a government endorsement of religion.

Huh? How so? Any case law on this? Btw the link to the Website in question

The ‘offensive part’ maybe Evolution And religion

Evolution and Religion

The alleged incompatibility of religion and evolution has been used as a way of persuading people to deny the history of the Earth. The following misconception is dependent on a misunderstanding of the functions of both science and religion.

and

Misconception: “Teachers should teach ‘both sides’ and let students decide for themselves. ”

Response: Given the wide variety of religious views about creation, there are not simply “two sides” to be compared — and, in any case, these views are not science and do not belong in a science classroom. In science class, students should have opportunities to discuss the merits of arguments within the scope of science. For example, students might debate exactly where birds branched off of the tree of life: before dinosaurs or from within the dinosaur clade. In contrast, a debate pitting a scientific concept against a religious belief has no place in a science class and misleadingly suggests that a “choice” between the two must be made. The “fairness” argument has been used by groups attempting to insinuate their religious beliefs into science curricula.

Anything else at the site that may offend :-)

Is now informing the student suddenly indoctrination just because some may disagree? And are you sure that Eugenie Scott promotes ‘misusing the public schools’?

And why the attempt to change the topic :-)

Comment #79228

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 2:55 PM (e)

or is it the following?

For concise statements from many religious organizations regarding evolution, see Voices for Evolution on the NCSE Web site.

Anyone familiar with the details of the lawsuit? The complaint surely must be available somewhere?

Comment #79230

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 12, 2006 2:59 PM (e)

I think they believe that the Theory of Evolution destroys the pedestal that puts humans above (better than) the rest of the animal kingdom. The other sciences don’t explicitly do that.

Well, maybe they should learn a lesson from that whole “Galileo” thingie.

Comment #79232

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 2:59 PM (e)

Seems I found the ‘offense’

But last week, some of those critics filed suit in federal court against the University of California at Berkeley, charging that its views on evolution are leading it to violate the separation of church and state. Berkeley was sued for maintaining a Web site, Understanding Evolution, to help schoolteachers. The site contains a links section that notes the many religious organizations that have stated that faith is not incompatible with evolution, and these links violate the First Amendment, according to the suit.

Insider Higher Education

Ironically there seem to be two caldwells involved, one is suiing the other one (Roy) is defending

“I am a scientist, and I understand what science is. It is fact-based. It involves hypothesis testing. It is not faith-based,” he said. The Web site was designed to help teachers — especially those who may feel pressure because of the current attacks on evolution — better explain the science. The information about religious views was included on the Web site not out of a desire to change anyone’s religious beliefs, Roy Caldwell said, but because many teachers ask for advice on how to deal with this issue, since their students ask them about it.

The information about religious groups is strictly factual, he said. “The fact is that there are many people who recognize that religious faith and science are not necessarily incompatible,” he said.

While the focus of the lawsuit is about evolution, Roy Caldwell said that critics of evolution have a larger agenda. “I think this is a much broader attack on scientific principles in general,” he said.

Comment #79233

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 3:05 PM (e)

Caldwell explains his Position

Comment #79242

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 3:41 PM (e)

Sorry Rilke, I dislike personal attacks especially those who include the word(s) lie, liar, lying…
Take it to the bathroom wall please….

Comment #79243

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 12, 2006 3:59 PM (e)

Ok, PvM, I am reposting my earlier comments sans the offending reference which was meant merely to provide a source for people to check out. You also have not responded to the substance of those comments, so I am hereby addressing them to everyone here.

If the campaign to establish the compatibility of science and religion is to be predicated on the idea that Genesis is meant to be interpreted allegorically or metaphorically, it will achieve pitifully little and certainly not help the cause of science. Such an approach is rightly viewed by millions as based on the evisceration of the words of the Bible of any real meaning and will be rejected. So there is no reason for science to support such an approach.

What the scientific community ought to be supporting is establishing the compatibility of science and religion EVEN IF THE BIBLE IS INTERPRETED LITERALLY. As I have reported here on many occasions, such an approach has successfully been accomplished by various recent scholars.

Now, that is an approach that can and will actually make a difference.

Comment #79246

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 4:25 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

What the scientific community ought to be supporting is establishing the compatibility of science and religion EVEN IF THE BIBLE IS INTERPRETED LITERALLY. As I have reported here on many occasions, such an approach has successfully been accomplished by various recent scholars.

I think what the scientific community should do is do science and show how science and religion need not be inherently at odds. In the end there will always be some who will have to reject science because of their faith. Yes, a literal reading of the Bible need not conflict with science but is it science’s job to present such an interpretation of the Bible?

Carol wrote:

If the campaign to establish the compatibility of science and religion is to be predicated on the idea that Genesis is meant to be interpreted allegorically or metaphorically, it will achieve pitifully little and certainly not help the cause of science.

As I said before, I do not believe that the campaign is predicated on such an idea. It merely points out that science and religion need not be inherently at odds.

Comment #79249

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 12, 2006 4:41 PM (e)

PvM,

With all due respect, if you will read the statement signed by the 10,000 clerics, the document that some in the scientific community, including many in this bolg, seem to be pushing in support of the idea that science and religion need not be inherently in conflict, you will see that the campaign is entirely based on the proposition that the words of Genesis do not mean what they appear to be saying.

My point is that such an approach will not get us very far for the reason I provided above. There is a much more effective approach available.

If you would like the scientific community to just “do science” and crawl into a shell and leave the rest of the world to its devices, fine. Then don’t complain when the consequences are not to your liking. If, on the other hand, there is to be a campaign, I say let it be an effective one, or at least as effective as possible. And much more IS possible than the above anemic campaign.

Comment #79254

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 12, 2006 6:25 PM (e)

PvM wrote:

Sorry Rilke, I dislike personal attacks especially those who include the word(s) lie, liar, lying…
Take it to the bathroom wall please….

My apologies, sir. ‘twill not happen again - though I do reserve the right to question Larry/Andy/etc.

Comment #79255

Posted by Andy H. on February 12, 2006 6:31 PM (e)

Comment #79227
Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 02:53 PM

Andy H wrote:

“The website described above is scandalous and is far more hypocritical than Evolution Sunday, because this website promotes misusing the public schools to indoctrinate students about the relationship between Darwinism and religion. “

Anything else at the site that may offend :-)

No.

Is now informing the student suddenly indoctrination just because some may disagree?

“Informing” the students that Darwinism and religion are not necessarily incompatible (1) is an attempt to change the religious views of students who disagree with that position, (2) is a misrepresentation of the positions of some religions, (3) implies that religions that don’t hold that position are “bad” religions, and (4) promotes religion by telling the students that they don’t have to be atheists to accept Darwinism.

And are you sure that Eugenie Scott promotes ‘misusing the public schools’?

Comment #78948 on this thread makes that abundantly clear.

And why the attempt to change the topic :-)

The basic issue here is the claim that it is hypocritical to use religion or religion-based arguments to promote Darwinism — so I think that the website in question is right on topic.

Comment #79256

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 12, 2006 6:34 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

What the scientific community ought to be supporting is establishing the compatibility of science and religion EVEN IF THE BIBLE IS INTERPRETED LITERALLY. As I have reported here on many occasions, such an approach has successfully been accomplished by various recent scholars.

No, Carol, it hasn’t. Science and a literal reading of the Bible are incompatible; those scholars who have attempted to reconcile them are doing violence to both the language and the sense of Genesis.

In all your dozens of postings, you have never provided a shred of evidence otherwise.

Comment #79257

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 6:53 PM (e)

The basic issue here is the claim that it is hypocritical to use religion or religion-based arguments to promote Darwinism —- so I think that the website in question is right on topic.

The basic issue here is the claim by Chapman and how it lacks in logic. There is nothing hypocritical about churches showing how science and religion can co-exist. I understand why some may think it to be hypocritical because they believed to have a monopoly on religion.
Evolution Sunday seems to have been quite a success and widely promoted and discussed.

The website, which is an excellent website about evolution discussed how teachers can deal with some common objections to evolutionary theory, including claims that evolution and religion are inherently contradictory. The evidence clearly shows that this need not be the case.
Does the website encourage people to change religion because of this? Nope, it merely clears up a common contradiction. One would be hard pressed to make a legal argument. But we shall see how well Caldwell fares in his challenges.

Comment #79258

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 12, 2006 6:55 PM (e)

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 12, 2006 03:59 PM (e)

Ok, PvM, I am reposting my earlier comments sans the offending reference which was meant merely to provide a source for people to check out. You also have not responded to the substance of those comments, so I am hereby addressing them to everyone here.

If the campaign to establish the compatibility of science and religion is to be predicated on the idea that Genesis is meant to be interpreted allegorically or metaphorically, it will achieve pitifully little and certainly not help the cause of science. Such an approach is rightly viewed by millions as based on the evisceration of the words of the Bible of any real meaning and will be rejected. So there is no reason for science to support such an approach.

What the scientific community ought to be supporting is establishing the compatibility of science and religion EVEN IF THE BIBLE IS INTERPRETED LITERALLY. As I have reported here on many occasions, such an approach has successfully been accomplished by various recent scholars.

Now, that is an approach that can and will actually make a difference.

Why not just accept that they might not be compatible?

Maybe they are two seperate spheres.

Does geography and English literature need to be reconciled?

Comment #79259

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 6:57 PM (e)

And about Genie misusing public schools, it seems that Andy may have missed the following

Teachers have told me they have had good results when they begin the year by asking students to brainstorm what they think the words “evolution” and “creationism” mean. As expected, some of the information will be accurate and some will be erroneous. Under “evolution,” expect to hear “Man evolved from monkeys” or something similar. Don’t be surprised to find some variant of, “You can’t believe in God” or some similar statement of supposed incompatibility between religion and evolution. Under “creationism” expect to find more consistency: “God”; “Adam and Eve,” “Genesis,” etc. The next step in constructing student understanding of concepts is to guide them towards a more accurate view. One goal of this exercise is to help them see the diversity of religious attitudes towards evolution.

After one such initial brainstorming session, one teacher presented students with a short quiz wherein they were asked, “Which statement was made by the Pope?” or “which statement was made by an Episcopal Bishop?” and given an “a, b, c” multiple choice selection. All the statements from theologians, of course, stressed the compatibility of theology with the science of evolution. This generated discussion about what evolution was versus what students thought it was. By making the students aware of the diversity of opinion towards evolution extant in Christian theology, the teacher helped them understand that they didn’t have to make a choice between evolution and religious faith.

Misuse indeed… Scott’s article should really be read before describing it as ‘misuse’

Comment #79260

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 12, 2006 7:02 PM (e)

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 06:57 PM (e)

Misuse indeed… Scott’s article should really be read before describing it as ‘misuse’

Shhhh! You are giving IDists clues on why they look like like eejits.
Let them carry on as normal. Makes life simpler.

Comment #79261

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 12, 2006 7:04 PM (e)

Hi Carol.

Why should science give a flying fig about your religious opinions?

And why are your religious opinions any more authoritative than anyone else’s, other than your say-so?

Comment #79264

Posted by Anton Mates on February 12, 2006 7:27 PM (e)

The Andy formerly known as Larry Fafarman wrote:

“Informing” the students that Darwinism and religion are not necessarily incompatible (1) is an attempt to change the religious views of students who disagree with that position,

If you mean students who disagree with the position that Darwinism and religion are not necessarily incompatible, that position is factually correct–it’s a verifiable sociological claim. Students who are unaware of this should be corrected. If you mean it’s an attempt to change the views of students whose own religion is incompatible with evolutionary theory, you’re wrong. I know bio teachers who say something along these, immediately before or after saying, “but if your beliefs are incompatible with evolutionary theory, we don’t ask you to change them. We only ask you to understand the theory and the evidence in favor of it.”

(2) is a misrepresentation of the positions of some religions,

Wrong. “Not necessarily incompatible” is not the same as “not incompatible.” In fact, the site states,”Of course, some religious beliefs explicitly contradict science (e.g., the belief that the world and all life on it was created in six literal days).”

(3) implies that religions that don’t hold that position are “bad” religions,

Wrong. It says nothing about “good” or “bad” religions. See what I said above about what biology teachers will say on this topic. If a biology teacher says something during class like, “So, if you still believe in fundamentalism, you better stop,” then they should be fired. But that’s not what’s being advocated here.

and (4) promotes religion by telling the students that they don’t have to be atheists to accept Darwinism.

Ha! It’s those radical theists pushing evolution again!

Sorry, wrong. It doesn’t tell the students that being a biologically-literate theist is a particularly good idea, merely that some theists who became biologically literate didn’t spontaneously combust.

Comment #79267

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 12, 2006 8:02 PM (e)

Stephen,

English literature and Geography need not be reconciled until you discover that your favorite writer, whom you respect and adore, seems to ba saying that London is in Africa.

Rilke,

Yes it has. I have provided many examples of this on this blog on many occasions, all of which remain unrefuted. And I have provided source materials for folks who wish to engage in further research. Pay attention.

Comment #79270

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 12, 2006 8:25 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

Yes it has. I have provided many examples of this on this blog on many occasions, all of which remain unrefuted. And I have provided source materials for folks who wish to engage in further research. Pay attention.

I have been paying close attention - apparently you haven’t. You have presented nothing other than gross mistranslations, reinterpretations, and abuse of both Hebrew and science.

Do try and present something meaningful.

And no, we’re not intersted in contributing to your personal income through buying your husband’s book. Try another venue for sales.

Comment #79271

Posted by FL on February 12, 2006 8:33 PM (e)

Responding to the question,

What the hell is it, exactly, that they are bitching about?

John Marley wrote,

I think they believe that the Theory of Evolution destroys the pedestal that puts humans above (better than) the rest of the animal kingdom. The other sciences don’t explicitly do that.

Marley’s point is well worth thinking about, since quite frankly, it’s true.

******

First, a necessary bit of historical background: The Bible points out that men and women were and are created in the image of God, and this inherent intrinsic “inage of God” reality, is particularly what sets all humanity “apart and above” from the animals.

Gen. 2: 27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Psalms 8:5
You (God) made him (mankind, humanity) a little lower than the heavenly beings (angels) and crowned him with glory and honor.

8:6
You made him (humanity) ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:

8:7
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,

8:8
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

8:9
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Now, Rachels points out the following inescapable consequences of Darwinism:

“The image of God thesis does not go along with just any theistic view. It requires a theism that sees God as actively designing man and the world as a home for man.

“If, by abolishing the view of nature as designed in substantial detail, Darwinism forces a retreat to something like deism, then we are deprived of the idea that man has a special place in the divine order.

“Even if we can still view nature as in some sense God’s creation, we will no longer have a theism that supports the doctrine of human dignity.”

Now keep in mind that Jacob Weisberg has already pointed out that “the prevailing scientific view”, evolution as an unguided undirected process, doesn’t even leave room for a deistic god to flick the first switch, let alone allow for Rachel’s “something like deism.”

So it’s pretty much a done deal, folks. Marley’s right.

And the poster GT(N)T, or any other evolutionist, will NOT find any parallels to Marley’s point within, say, the field of physics or astronomy or chemistry or meteorology. That’s the difference.

As Ernst Mayr put it:

“The application of the theory of common descent to Man deprived man of his former unique position.”

Again, this is NOT true of physics, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology. That is, you won’t find any similarly far-reaching deprivations being put on the table, via these other disciplines. Survey ‘em yourself and see.

Again, THIS is the kind of thing where Christian clergy need to get off their ecclesiastical hinies and publicly engage, publicly take a stand for the Bibles they are supposed to (let us pray) believe in.
The image of God thesis is very important for understanding who we are and how we relate to God. But evolution denies t.h.a.t one too.

Yet ANOTHER area where Religion and Science are compatible but Religion and Evolution are NOT.

FL

Comment #79272

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 12, 2006 8:34 PM (e)

Rilke,

Would you care to cite any of my so called “mistranslations” and “abuses” of Hebrew and science? Now is the time to put up or shut up.

And for your information, you cannot possibly contribute to my income by buying my husband’s book, since I am not married.

Comment #79273

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 12, 2006 8:44 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

Rilke,

Would you care to cite any of my so called “mistranslations” and “abuses” of Hebrew and science? Now is the time to put up or shut up.

Sure. Let’t take it to the ATBC, however, since it’s not appropriate material for this thread.

And for your information, you cannot possibly contribute to my income by buying my husband’s book, since I am not married.

Congratulations.

Comment #79274

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 8:49 PM (e)

FL wrote:

Again, THIS is the kind of thing where Christian clergy need to get off their ecclesiastical hinies and publicly engage, publicly take a stand for the Bibles they are supposed to (let us pray) believe in.
The image of God thesis is very important for understanding who we are and how we relate to God. But evolution denies t.h.a.t one too.

Thank God countless Clergy and many churches have exactly done what FL hoped (see my evolution sunday posting), other than concluding the evolution does not deny much of anything related to God. Which is hardly a surprising conclusion to me. Why would one object to what science so clearly is telling us?

Even the issue with humans being special, while science does not explain any special position for humans, the specialness (is that even a word) to many Christians is their relationship with God. In other words, its faith that makes humans special, it’s faith that brings them to God. Science has nothing much to say about this one way or another.

Indeed, the prevailing scientific view is hardly necessarily problematic for religious faith. Of course one can always create unnecessary obstacles. But it comes often at a cost to faith and science

Comment #79275

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 12, 2006 8:55 PM (e)

The image of God thesis is very important for understanding who we are and how we relate to God. But evolution denies t.h.a.t one too.

I see. So (1) ID is just religious apologetics, (2) IDers are just lying to us when they claim it’s not, and (3) Judge Jones was perfectly correct when he ruled that ID is religion, not science.

Got it.

Thanks for making that so clear to everyone, FL. I hope we can count on you to testify to this in Ohio and/or Kansas, when the IDers try to lie to us once again by claiming that their crap isn’t about god or religion.

Comment #79277

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 9:01 PM (e)

Lenny wrote:

I see. So (1) ID is just religious apologetics, (2) IDers are just lying to us when they claim it’s not, and (3) Judge Jones was perfectly correct when he ruled that ID is religion, not science.

Got it.

A bit of a stretch to read all this into FL’s statement.

Comment #79278

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 9:03 PM (e)

FL wrote:

Now, Rachels points out the following inescapable consequences of Darwinism:

Seems hardly an inescapable consequence.

Comment #79279

Posted by steve s on February 12, 2006 9:18 PM (e)

IDers can claim that evolution is necessarily incompatible with christianity. However, as we discussed here,

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=43ef7c2e92bbfff4;act=ST;f=14;t=224

this means Bill Dembski is wrong or lying when he says

I could make my peace with Darwinism if I had to, and I’m sufficiently theologically astute to do the fancy footwork, but it’s the science itself that I don’t think holds up, and that’s what motivates me to critique Darwinism and develop intelligent design.

-Bill Dembski (quoted at http://www.antievolution.org/cs/ )

Comment #79280

Posted by FL on February 12, 2006 9:24 PM (e)

Let me throw in a footnote. Rachel’s explanation of what “human dignity” means may be helpful to understanding what he said earlier.

******

“I would never argue that Darwinism entails the falsity of the doctrine of human dignity; rather, I would contend that Darwinism undermines human dignity by taking away its support.

“The idea of human dignity is the moral doctrine which says that humans and other animals are in different moral categories; that the lives and interests of human beings are of supreme moral importance, while the lives and interest of other other animals are relatively unimportant.”

I need to interject here that the lives of ‘other animals’ ARE important to God; see Matt. 10:29-30. Humanity was assigned to be responsible stewards/managers of them (Psalm 8), so that must mean God indeed cares about them. However, Jesus Christ did not make the ultimate sacrifice and die on the Cross to redeem the ‘other animals’ like He did to redeem humanity, so in ~that~ particular sense, they are ‘relatively unimportant’ to use Rachel’s qualifying term.

Okay, back to Rachel:

“That doctrine (of human dignity) rests, traditionally, on two related ideas about human nature: the idea that man is made in God’s image, and the idea that man is a uniquely rational being.

“In chapter 3, I discussed the implications of Darwinism for religion and argued that if Darwinism is taken seriously, the brand of theism that supports the image of God thesis is no longer a reasonable option.

“And now in chapter 4, I have argued that Darwinism must also lead to the rejection of the idea that man is the only rational animal. We may now draw the conclusion that the traditional supports for the idea of human dignity are gone.”

—Created From Animals, p.171

Okay, that’s that. As you can see, Marley’s point is no small point. In fact, it’s very real and very pointed. And like the other points raised earlier, you CANNOT get rid of this one merely by arbitrarily (and quite incorrectly) labeling Genesis 1 & 2 with polite non-historical labels like “parable”, “allegory”, etc.

Marley has identified a negative consequence of Darwinism located within a very important, very vital area relating to God and humanity.

And again, it’s not something that you find the other disciplines (physics chemistry meteorology etc) trying to pull. They don’t do this kind of bizness on humans and God. Only evolution and evolutionists do. Think about it.

******

Finally, Amos wrote:

Naturally, a universe that can be seen as self-contained physicalism, if one chooses to see it that way, creates an alternative to belief. The simple presence of this alternative seems to have you and many others running around in a panic.

No panic here, Amos…..this is stuff I have been exposed to for years on end. All I am pointing out is that my fellow Christian clergy (particularly Zimmerman and Company) really need to wake up quick and start actually dealing with certain things the Darwinists themselves consider non-negotiable, instead of a.l.w.a.y.s pretending that these evolutionists are somehow NOT saying what they are clearly saying out loud.

If these clergy are going to run around playing like there’s no incompatibility between evolution and Christianity, at least let them display a minimal modicum of awareness of what the above evolutionists are saying.
~Anything~ other than ostrich bizness!

This ostrich bizness that I’m seeing among Zimmerman’s clergy homies in their sermons, is NOT how Christian clergy are supposed to be operating in what the Apostle Peter called, “perilous times.”
And THAT is shonuff the gospel truth!

FL :-)

Comment #79281

Posted by steve s on February 12, 2006 9:25 PM (e)

so according to Dembski, FL is not “sufficiently theologically astute” to reconcile the two, I suppose.

Comment #79282

Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 9:34 PM (e)

Lovely, FL accusing fellow clergy of being ostriches. How does Dembski fit in with FL’s viewpoints, which I find poorly supported.

Comment #79284

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 12, 2006 9:38 PM (e)

I see. So (1) ID is just religious apologetics, (2) IDers are just lying to us when they claim it’s not, and (3) Judge Jones was perfectly correct when he ruled that ID is religion, not science.

Got it.

A bit of a stretch to read all this into FL’s statement.

Not at all. FL makes the religious underpinnings of ID crushingly clear.

Of course, we all already knew that, though.

Comment #79302

Posted by Anton Mates on February 13, 2006 12:09 AM (e)

FL wrote:

I need to interject here that the lives of ‘other animals’ ARE important to God; see Matt. 10:29-30. Humanity was assigned to be responsible stewards/managers of them (Psalm 8), so that must mean God indeed cares about them. However, Jesus Christ did not make the ultimate sacrifice and die on the Cross to redeem the ‘other animals’ like He did to redeem humanity, so in ~that~ particular sense, they are ‘relatively unimportant’ to use Rachel’s qualifying term.

Huh. How does evolutionary theory argue against the Christian account of the life and sacrifice of Jesus? Or, for that matter, the covenant between God and the Hebrews? Or pretty much anything after the first few pages of Genesis?

I mean, as an atheist I can see various ways to argue against the above using other sciences. You could invoke physics to claim Jesus couldn’t walk on water because of, I dunno, insufficient surface tension. You could invoke history, archaeology and sociology to argue that there’s little reliable evidence for the various miracles. You could invoke genetics to argue that Jesus should have been female if he resulted from parthenogenesis. (The Christian, of course, has various counterarguments.)

But what do common descent, natural selection, genetic drift, etc. have to do with whether or not there were people with supernatural powers in the Middle East a couple of millennia ago?

Okay, back to Rachel:

“That doctrine (of human dignity) rests, traditionally, on two related ideas about human nature: the idea that man is made in God’s image, and the idea that man is a uniquely rational being.

But I thought it also rested on claims like what you pointed out above–that God’s communicated with us more closely and openly than with any other species, and that Jesus incarnated as a man (rather than a parrot, say) and died for our sins. Some Christians seem to think that’s a pretty significant distinction for us, and something we should be proud of.

“And now in chapter 4, I have argued that Darwinism must also lead to the rejection of the idea that man is the only rational animal. We may now draw the conclusion that the traditional supports for the idea of human dignity are gone.”

How does “Darwinism” reject that idea, whereas ethology and psychology don’t? If your definition of “rational” is such as to rule out all other modern species, I don’t see why it wouldn’t rule out all past species as well, except for the recent ancestors of humanity…and even the YECs don’t seem to have a problem classifying Homo erectus and everything after that as human.

I mean, it’s your religion, you’re welcome to decide what facts are and aren’t compatible with it. I’m just not seeing why you’d expect all other Christians to agree.

And again, it’s not something that you find the other disciplines (physics chemistry meteorology etc) trying to pull. They don’t do this kind of bizness on humans and God. Only evolution and evolutionists do. Think about it.

What about geology, archaeology, history and cosmology? They all, in their various ways, horn in on the Biblical account. Evolutionary theory certainly has a lot to say about human origins, but science would hardly be mute on the subject without it.

Comment #79304

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 13, 2006 12:18 AM (e)

…that God’s communicated with us more closely and openly than with any other species, and that Jesus incarnated as a man (rather than a parrot, say)…

Jesus wanna cracker?

Comment #79360

Posted by Andy H. on February 13, 2006 7:25 AM (e)

Comment #79259
Posted by PvM on February 12, 2006 06:57 PM

From the “Dealing with AntiEvolutionism” webpage of Eugenie Scott –
“After one such initial brainstorming session, one teacher presented students with a short quiz wherein they were asked, ‘Which statement was made by the Pope?’ or ‘which statement was made by an Episcopal Bishop?’ and given an ‘a, b, c’ multiple choice selection. All the statements from theologians, of course, stressed the compatibility of theology with the science of evolution.”

Misuse indeed… Scott’s article should really be read before describing it as ‘misuse’

To me, that is a flagrant example of misusing the public schools to try to influence students’ religious attitudes towards evolution. The above quote noted, “all the statements from theologians, of course, stressed the compatibility of theology with the science of evolution.” Yes, of course there was no statement from Cardinal Schonborn stressing the compatibility of theology with intelligent design.

Incidentally, Eugenie Scott wrote in the above webpage, “people don’t oppose evolution because they disagree with the science but because it offends their religious sensibilities.” That shows just where she is coming from.

I think that the best thing to do is to just tell the students that evolution theory has important applications in science and that scientists can still use the theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue ( regardless of whether the reasons for disbelief are religious or non-religious ). Using evolution theory when that theory is against one’s religious beliefs is generally not a big compromise compared to, say, co-operating with abortion in violation of one’s religious beliefs.

Comment #79365

Posted by GT(N)T on February 13, 2006 8:07 AM (e)

“And again, it’s not something that you find the other disciplines (physics chemistry meteorology etc) trying to pull. They don’t do this kind of bizness on humans and God. Only evolution and evolutionists do. Think about it.”

Astronomers pulled the Earth out of the center of the universe and even out of the center of the solar system. You think the fundamentalists of the day didn’t find this threatening? Ask Galileo. Geology has found the Earth to be billions of years old. This isn’t threatening to those who insist on a literal reading of the Bible? Archaeologists have cast doubt on many of the stories of the Old Testament. This doesn’t bother those who read the Bible as a history text?

Biology isn’t the only science that threatens the Faith.

Comment #79369

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 13, 2006 8:19 AM (e)

Andy H (nee Larry, nee Reed, etc.)

Why, given your obvious concern for ethical issues, do you continue to post in violation of PT’s rule six which prohibits multiple Names?

‘t ain’t cricket.

And, quite frankly, people do oppose evolution on religious grounds - because they (like you, apparently) don’t understand the theory.

Comment #79377

Posted by Russell on February 13, 2006 8:43 AM (e)

FL is right: evolution does conflict with his religion in ways that other aspects of science don’t. And Lenny is right: FL’s objections make the religious basis of the ID movement crystal clear.

While there’s a legitimate state interest, I think, in not nurturing stupid science education, there are specific constitutional prohibitions against doing anything to inhibit stupid religions.

Comment #79394

Posted by steve s on February 13, 2006 9:56 AM (e)

FL wrote:

I need to interject here that the lives of ‘other animals’ ARE important to God;

Yes, they are. I seem to remember that when you set them on fire, it pleases him. Something to that effect.

Comment #79396

Posted by steve s on February 13, 2006 9:59 AM (e)

You know, FL is right. No scientific content, however factual, which goes against a religion should be taught in a public school.

Therefore it is incumbent upon us to search all the textbooks and remove any reference to any medicine or surgery whatsoever lest we step on the toes of the “christian scientists”.

Comment #79403

Posted by Jon Fleming on February 13, 2006 10:29 AM (e)

Incidentally, Eugenie Scott wrote in the above webpage, “people don’t oppose evolution because they disagree with the science but because it offends their religious sensibilities.” That shows just where she is coming from.

It does indeed show just where she is coming from … calling a spade a spade.

Comment #79404

Posted by William E Emba on February 13, 2006 10:36 AM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

Would you care to cite any of my so called “mistranslations” and “abuses” of Hebrew and science? Now is the time to put up or shut up.

The claim that “yom” literally means an indefinite time span bit was a gross abuse of the Hebrew and Rashi. It is so false as to be flat-out treif. It is one thing, as many post-Darwin commentators have done, to point out that “yom” has non-literal meanings and so may be used this way in Bereshis, thereby educing one of the seventy meanings every verse has. It is quite another, and so flagrantly a misreading of Rashi, to claim as Landa has, that I would not be concerned by rabbinical banning of Landa’s book.

Personally, I hold by the Rambam in Moreh Nevukim, where he says that the literal reading of Bereshis is for the simple minded and ignorant, and that given any contradiction between good science and the literal reading of Torah, the literal reading of Torah is to be understood as symbolic.

Guide for the Goyim: Rambam is known in English as Maimonodes, and Moreh Nevukim as Guide of/for the Perplexed. The translation that uses “of”, by Shlomo Pines, is more accurate and more readable and more knowledgeable in every way. “Bereshis”=”In the beginning [of]”=”Genesis”. “Torah”=many things, here, the Pentateuch=the Five Books of Moses. “treif”=literally, torn off part of an animal, and thus forbidden by the dietary laws, but more generally used to mean not acceptable to frum Jews whatsoever.

And for what it’s worth, I am using “literal” here to mean “as written”, not “figurative”, a common non-literal meaning of “literal”.

And for your information, you cannot possibly contribute to my income by buying my husband’s book, since I am not married.

Baruch hashem.

Comment #79415

Posted by MDPotter on February 13, 2006 11:25 AM (e)

To me, that is a flagrant example of misusing the public schools to try to influence students’ religious attitudes towards evolution.

or a flagrant example of using public education to influence students’ knowledge of science regardless of the superstitions they bring with them to the classroom.

The above quote noted, “all the statements from theologians, of course, stressed the compatibility of theology with the science of evolution.” Yes, of course there was no statement from Cardinal Schonborn stressing the compatibility of theology with intelligent design.

because there is no ‘theory of intelligent design’ perhaps?

Incidentally, Eugenie Scott wrote in the above webpage, “people don’t oppose evolution because they disagree with the science but because it offends their religious sensibilities.” That shows just where she is coming from.

Yes, she is saying that people’s opposition to evolution is not based in reason or a rational analysis of data, just emotional kneejerking.

I think that the best thing to do is to just tell the students that evolution theory has important applications in science and that scientists can still use the theory even while believing that all or part of it is untrue ( regardless of whether the reasons for disbelief are religious or non-religious ).

which is why I’m glad you are not in charge of such things.
I think that the best thing to do is to tell your congregation that the bible has important applications in christianity and that christians can still use the bible even while believing that all or part of it is untrue ( regardless of whether the reasons for disbelief are religious or non-religious ).
Let me know how that works out for you.

Comment #79419

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 13, 2006 11:59 AM (e)

“The image of God thesis does not go along with just any theistic view. It requires a theism that sees God as actively designing man and the world as a home for man.

No FL, this (from Rachels) is what undermines human dignity, this idea that humans are machines designed by Engineer/God. Genesis says that God breathed spirit into man (male and female), and the closest to “design” ever suggested in the Bible is the sculpturing of Adam out of “dust” (which in itself did not in the least give life to Adam).

Now keep in mind that Jacob Weisberg has already pointed out that “the prevailing scientific view”, evolution as an unguided undirected process, doesn’t even leave room for a deistic god to flick the first switch, let alone allow for Rachel’s “something like deism.”

You confuse what science says as a consequence of what can be seen, with what others claim about how God acts overall in the universe. We indeed look at evolution as an unguided undirected process, because we see no evidence of guidance either now or in the past.

This has little or nothing to do with very many theistic claims about God. Catholicism and other Christian and non-Christian beliefs have posited a God who at some inaccessible-to-humans point in the past set up the conditions for life and the universe to exist. Or it may not even have been in the past, rather God may be the ground of being of the universe as a being outside of time, and may be the “first cause” in a non-temporal sense. We do not have any business denying theological/philosophical claims such as these. Einstein did perfectly well with a kind of Spinozist doctrine wherein God is responsible in some manner for physics, but hardly an interfering little git like the God of Dembski and Behe.

Frankly, I think that I can show (given a lot of time (more than I will put in here, iow) and using the right philosophies) that these claims are meaningless in the usual sense people understand “meaning”, but anyone who simply chooses to believe these religions without skepticism about the meaning of them is as welcome to them as Einstein is to Spinoza.

And the poster GT(N)T, or any other evolutionist, will NOT find any parallels to Marley’s point within, say, the field of physics or astronomy or chemistry or meteorology. That’s the difference.

Wrong. Chemistry is what rid us of the belief that life was somehow “special” or above the “laws of physics”. Vitalism was done in by chemistry, and this is also why Dembski et al posit the sad little engineer-god, rather than an actually spiritual being who miracled life into being. Pathetically, the miracles are still there, it’s spirituality that is lost in ID. Some people are able to accept poetic/spiritual ideas that combine both God and science together with God still well beyond human understanding, and I think this is the only hope for real religion at this point.

Mayr:

“The application of the theory of common descent to Man deprived man of his former unique position.”

Did he say evolution was the first to do this?

Chemistry, psychology, astronomy, philosophy, and physics all conspired to make us creatures following the laws of physics, at best. Galileo and Copernicus famously ran into trouble for moving humans away from the center of the universe (that it wasn’t a very exalted center doesn’t change the fact that heliocentrism and later ideas removed us from being the focus of the attention of the cosmos). Determinism was the Deistic result of the Newtonian revolution, and it was evolution that at least made us more like free beings (not beings with free will in the theological sense, however) existing according to our own instincts and according to “self-created” concepts and rules.

Again, this is NOT true of physics, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology. That is, you won’t find any similarly far-reaching deprivations being put on the table, via these other disciplines. Survey ‘em yourself and see.

I did, and your thesis fails. Evolution was only the last science to knock us off of the pedestal, and as I noted above, at least it left us more as open and self-determined beings than did the Deistic/mechanistic view of humanity found in Paley and in current IDist conceptions.

The image of God thesis is very important for understanding who we are and how we relate to God. But evolution denies t.h.a.t one too.

The image of God thesis in Christianity (at least in its more sophisticated forms) does not claim that we really look like God. We share God’s image in relation to will, etc., according to much Christian theology. God is a spirit, states the NT, and Jesus “became a man”. It is the IDists who move God away from the center of the universe by claiming that we can infer God via analogies with human-made designs. As such, they quite arguably blaspheme God.

See, this is what we’re up against here. Not only do we have to supply all of the scientific knowledge, we actually have to supply any considerable understanding of theology as well. I guess that’s a given, though, considering how much damage IDists do to religious conceptions.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #79443

Posted by k.e. on February 13, 2006 1:06 PM (e)

Amen to that Glenn.
An inquiring mind does not seem to be a tool the Creationism Intelligent Designtoligist’s have, nor even the most basic power of introspection. And is it going to take people who are naturally blessed with those abilities to waste their time to fix the mess the Creationism Intelligent Designtoligist’s have made, …..against their will?
I wonder ;)
How about Lenny’s questions handed out to every high school teacher esp. the ones about
ahem…why does fill in blank religious opinion etc etc

Comment #79471

Posted by carol clouser on February 13, 2006 2:55 PM (e)

William E Emba,

Your post above is a great demonstration of the adage “a little knowledge is dangerous”. Otherwise stated, you are an “Ahm Ha-Aretz”.

The fact is Rashi would be the first to tell you that “yohm” in Hebrew could literally mean “era” just as well as “day” for he himself so translates the word many times in the Bible, even when used in the same context as in Genesis (see, for example, Hosea 6:2). The fact that he doesn’t explicitely do so in Genesis is due to his not having been alerted, 900 years ago, to the significance of this translations at this location. And Rashi’s choice is not at all binding on anyone else.

Rilke,

Your lame excuse for not putting up demonstrates to all that it is time for you to shut up. This issue is on topic for this thread since it pertains to the reconcilibity of religion and science. Let everyone here see what “abuses” of Hebrew and science you think I have commited. If you have none to offer, have the decency to retract that claim.

Comment #79472

Posted by steve s on February 13, 2006 3:03 PM (e)

Does every last thread on Panda’s Thumb have feature Carol Clouser babbling about Hebrew translation details. Goddam I am sick of that.

Comment #79478

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 13, 2006 3:20 PM (e)

Carol, recitation of the prolonged rationalizations in Landa’s book aren’t germane to the OP of this thread. Why do you have an objection to the Bar? Are you afraid of losing visibility? I doubt anyone on this board takes you seriously enough to pay attention, but I could, of course, be wrong.

I must admit, re-reading your earliest postings, particularly the ones where you demonstrate considerable conflict of interest issues, and generally disingenous behavior doesn’t fill me with much hope that you’d be able to argue seriously about Landa’s book - the very irrational response about ‘yom’ in the posts above would appear to confirm it.

Comment #79495

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 13, 2006 4:18 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

The fact is Rashi would be the first to tell you that “yohm” in Hebrew could literally mean “era” just as well as “day” for he himself so translates the word many times in the Bible, even when used in the same context as in Genesis (see, for example, Hosea 6:2). The fact that he doesn’t explicitely do so in Genesis is due to his not having been alerted, 900 years ago, to the significance of this translations at this location. And Rashi’s choice is not at all binding on anyone else.

Let’s take this simple case as an example. Certainly, the term yohm is capable of sustaining multiple meanings, based as it is on an obsolete root word; but the normal usage is what we consider to be a normal 24-hour day. And the fact is, Genesis uses yom in conjunction with numerals (first day, second day, etc.) Whenever this occurance of ‘yom’ with a numeral occurs in the OT, it refers to an actual 24-hour day.

Now, your friend Mr. Landa may hold a different interpretation, but that’s all it is - an interpretation.

No certainties here, Carol. Just subjective opinion.

And let’s NOT get started on the Flood. Misinterpreting “all” to mean something other than “all” is just showing demonstrable bias.

Comment #79496

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 13, 2006 4:21 PM (e)

Does every last thread on Panda’s Thumb have feature Carol Clouser babbling about Hebrew translation details. Goddam I am sick of that.

seconded.

Comment #79497

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 13, 2006 4:23 PM (e)

Oh, and you were the one who brought Rashi up as an authority in the first place. So which is it? Is he an authority? Isn’t he an authority?

Comment #79502

Posted by carol clouser on February 13, 2006 4:44 PM (e)

Rilke,

Glad we can finally get to some substance.

(1) You claim that whenever “yohm” is used in the OT in conjunction with a numeral it means a day. You say that so confidently, one can actually be led to believe that you have diligently researched the matter. Perhaps you have. In that case you must have missed Hosea 6:2 as just one of many counter examples.

(2) You claim that the “normal” meaning of “yohm” in the OT is day. If by normal you mean majority, you are correct. But that may simply be a reflection of how many times the OT needed to refer to days vs. the need to refer to eras. As such, it is not a meaningful basis for making a selection at any particular location.

(3) I too am not interested in getting into the flood right now. But whenever you are ready and willing, I will be glad to discuss it with you, since you have been so considerate.

Comment #79504

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 13, 2006 4:55 PM (e)

Oh Carol: while you are being so “considerate” in your replies, why not deal with Rilke’s Grandaughter’s last post?

Admitting that Rashi is autoritative when he agrees with your/Landa’s position, and non-authoritative when he disagrees, would be a start.

Admitting that Landa is just another interpretor, however well-founded you may personally believe him to be, and not a source of objectively-demonstrable “scientific” observation, would be another start.

Then we might finally be able to get somewhere in this tiresome non-“debate” about your entrenched meme-complex.

I’m not, of course, holding my breath waiting for you to make either admission. Not your style.

Comment #79505

Posted by carol clouser on February 13, 2006 4:56 PM (e)

Rilke,

Depends how you employ the concept of “authority”.

Rashi is certainly a towering figure in Biblical and talmudic commentary and a great expert in Biblical Hebrew. Which is why his translating “yohm” in so many places as “era” is very significant.

But a human being he was, one who lived 900 years ago, at a time when there existed no reason to assume that the choice of translation of “yohm” in Genesis would attain considerable importance. In other words, he had no reason to give it a second thought.

But neither Rashi nor anyone else can impose or have decisive influence over this matter or any other matter. You see, in the OT and in Judaism there is only ONE God.

Comment #79507

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 13, 2006 5:02 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

Depends how you employ the concept of “authority”.

Rashi is certainly a towering figure in Biblical and talmudic commentary and a great expert in Biblical Hebrew. Which is why his translating “yohm” in so many places as “era” is very significant.

But a human being he was, one who lived 900 years ago, at a time when there existed no reason to assume that the choice of translation of “yohm” in Genesis would attain considerable importance. In other words, he had no reason to give it a second thought.

But neither Rashi nor anyone else can impose or have decisive influence over this matter or any other matter. You see, in the OT and in Judaism there is only ONE God.

I can see this isn’t going to go well if you can’t even answer a simple question.

Rashi regard the yohm of Genesis 1 as days. Get over it. You can’t explain why you’d use him as an authority in some cases and not in others.

A little consistency would be appreciated. So would answering direct questions with something other than babble.

Comment #79508

Posted by Leigh Jackson on February 13, 2006 5:03 PM (e)

The spectacle of various brands and strands of different religions arguing interminably amongst themselves about the compatibility or otherwise of evolution with religion is truly odious.
Clearly for some brands, evolution is necessarily incompatible with their faith, but for other brands it isn’t. So what? Seeing as their real argument is about which is the one and only true faith, the little sub-plot concerning evolution is a fatuous irrelevance. If one of them could just establish that theirs really is the one and only true one, they would thereby establish at the same time the resolution to the compatibility argument.
Until then it’s all doodle-squat.
The evidence for evolution speaks for itself, whether it is compatible with the one and only true faith, if there is one, or whether it isn’t. Biology should stay well clear of this whole sterile argument. It’s not about compatibility, stupid, it’s about the strength of the science and nothing else.

Comment #79509

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 13, 2006 5:04 PM (e)

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

(You may need Landa’s help to translate this unfamiliar term. But please don’t count on him having gotten it right.)

Comment #79510

Posted by carol clouser on February 13, 2006 5:10 PM (e)

Rilke,

While we are on this, may I also point out that Genesis does NOT say, as you have it, first day, second day, etc.
Instead it says, one era, a second era, etc. ONE instead of FIRST, A instead of THE, and ERA instead of DAY. It’s all in the Hebrew. The first two of these is not even a matter of choice; no other possibility exists, period. Any other translation is demonstrably wrong and sloppy.

Comment #79512

Posted by carol clouser on February 13, 2006 5:19 PM (e)

Rilke,

Are you sure Rashi translates “yohm” as you think he does? I am not certain of that at all. Nowhere in Genesis does he explicitely say that.

Can you even read Rashi in the original?

Comment #79513

Posted by William E Emba on February 13, 2006 5:21 PM (e)

carol clouser wrote:

Your post above is a great demonstration of the adage “a little knowledge is dangerous”. Otherwise stated, you are an “Ahm Ha-Aretz”.

And your drivel on Rashi has been a great demonstration of why women shouldn’t study Torah.

The fact is Rashi would be the first to tell you that “yohm” in Hebrew could literally mean “era” just as well as “day” for he himself so translates the word many times in the Bible, even when used in the same context as in Genesis (see, for example, Hosea 6:2).

Use of “era” for “yom” is a non-literal translation. Real simple. Rashi did not engage in lies about what words literally meant versus what words figuratively meant. If the literal meaning was unacceptable, Rashi said so point-blank.

For the record, Rashi did not translate “yom” as “era” or “age” in Hosea 6:2. That is a stretch, based on the usual interpretations. For example, “the third day” in Hosea 6:2 gets the Rashi “the third house”. No more, no less. Does Rashi mean to tell us that “yom” literally means “house”? Of course not. He is referring to the third Temple of the Messianic Era, in the usual rabbinic idiom.

The fact that he doesn’t explicitely do so in Genesis is due to his not having been alerted, 900 years ago, to the significance of this translations at this location.

In other words, Rashi was not promoting a day/age reading of Bereshis. And the fact that he was not doing so did not require explanation, for the simple reason that not one reader in his day thought, for even a microsecond, that “yom” literally meant “era”.

Sometimes, when the literal reading was to be applied and was also unusual (“tavu et haizim”, the women “spun the goats”, usually interpreted as they “spun the goats’ hair” Exodus 35:26), Rashi let his reader know with a quick “mamish”. Again, real simple. And not part of Rashi on Bereshis 1.

And Rashi’s choice is not at all binding on anyone else.

Right. If Rabbi Landa wanted to offer a figurative reading of “yom” as “era”, I wouldn’t have the least concern one way or another. As it is, passing off “yom” as literally meaning “era”, because there are some places where it is used figuratively to mean “era”, is just ignorance piled on top of ignorance.

The bottom line: the book is treif. As ignorant as … as someone telling us that “entropy” is globally defined in relativistic cosmology. As deceitful as … as someone shilling a book and not mentioning her financial connection. As mindless as … as someone confronting knowledgeable refutations with one-liner insults.

I admit, it is possible that Landa’s book is not so blatantly incompetent on these rather obvious issues, considering your abysmal track record in the departments of simple English and simple honesty. But I doubt if I’ll ever make the effort to find out.

Comment #79514

Posted by Andy H. on February 13, 2006 5:22 PM (e)

Comment #79377
Posted by Russell on February 13, 2006 08:43 AM

While there’s a legitimate state interest, I think, in not nurturing stupid science education, there are specific constitutional prohibitions against doing anything to inhibit stupid religions.

There is no constitutional separation of stupid science education and state, so there is nothing that the courts can do to stop stupid science education. Also, contrary to your above statement, there is a specific constitutional requirement for the inhibition of the teaching of stupid religions in public-school science classes – it is called the establishment clause. So the courts should inhibit the teaching of evolution theory in public-school science classes.

Comment #79516

Posted by CJ O'Brien on February 13, 2006 5:29 PM (e)

La-er,Andy opines:

there is nothing that the courts can do to stop stupid science education.

Why does this put me in mind of a cheesy Silver-Age comic book villain, rubbing his hands together and cackling?

*Oh no! We’re doomed! It’s Doctor StupidScience!*

Comment #79518

Posted by PvM on February 13, 2006 5:37 PM (e)

Andy wrote:

There is no constitutional separation of stupid science education and state, so there is nothing that the courts can do to stop stupid science education. Also, contrary to your above statement, there is a specific constitutional requirement for the inhibition of the teaching of stupid religions in public-school science classes — it is called the establishment clause. So the courts should inhibit the teaching of evolution theory in public-school science classes.

Where’s the case law Andy?

If a particular act lacks a valid secular purpose which is neither a sham nor insincere, then it may pass an establishment clause. You are right, teaching poor science may be insufficient for an establishment act violation, but the history of ID, even the ‘teach criticism of evolution’ has been well established. In other words, since plaintiffs and defendants argued that the issue of whether or not ID is science was essential for the Dover ruling, the judge addressed the issue and showed a lack of secular purpose as ID is scientifically vacuous.

The idea that evolution is religious was also tried in court and rejected by the courts.

Your ideas are ‘interesting’ but lack a certain amount of reality.

Comment #79519

Posted by Sir_Toejam on February 13, 2006 5:45 PM (e)

Your ideas are ‘interesting’ but lack a certain amount of reality.

did i miss the memo? Is this “be nice to idiots” week?

Comment #79523

Posted by Paul Flocken on February 13, 2006 5:58 PM (e)

Comment #79102 Posted by PvM on February 11, 2006 10:14 PM

Advertisement deleted

Is Carol still shilling for her company’s book?

Comment #79243 Posted by Carol Clouser on February 12, 2006 03:59 PM

Ok, PvM, I am reposting my earlier comments sans the offending reference which was meant merely to provide a source for people to check out. You also have not responded to the substance of those comments, so I am hereby addressing them to everyone here.

If the campaign to establish the compatibility of science and religion is to be predicated on the idea that Genesis is meant to be interpreted allegorically or metaphorically, it will achieve pitifully little and certainly not help the cause of science. Such an approach is rightly viewed by millions as based on the evisceration of the words of the Bible of any real meaning and will be rejected. So there is no reason for science to support such an approach.

What the scientific community ought to be supporting is establishing the compatibility of science and religion EVEN IF THE BIBLE IS INTERPRETED LITERALLY. As I have reported here on many occasions, such an approach has successfully been accomplished by various recent scholars.

Now, that is an approach that can and will actually make a difference.

Carol last December I had a person in my bookstore turn up her nose at a calender. This calender was just a little desktop page-a-day calender of bible verses, one verse per day. She objected to the calender because it was based on the NIV bible and not the KJV bible. People are quite emotionally, and I’ll add vociferously, attached to THEIR bible.
If you think handing yet another bible to such people, who object to a mere calender based on a different bible, will succeed in educating away the problem, I think you have been cloistered in your academic pigeonholes in New York for too long. You ought to get out and wander around the bible belt for a spell. Then you will realize what Lenny Flank means when he says that these people (obligatory redundant disclaimer: that would be the fundamentalists not the mainstream christians) worship a book. You are not just going to replace it with a simple ‘here, this is mistranslated, you really should be reading MY bible’.

Somebody handed me this book one day at work. It only took me two minutes to flip through it and find a half dozen errors, distortions, and outright lies. When the word lies came out of my mouth that was when I got the incensed reply “but people lie about the bible all the time”, as though that made it alright to publish dishonesty disguised as science. Please understand that you are not going to easily take away their bible. Regardless of the version.

Comment #79249 Posted by Carol Clouser on February 12, 2006 04:41 PM

PvM,

With all due respect, if you will read the statement signed by the 10,000 clerics, the document that some in the scientific community, including many in this bolg, seem to be pushing in support of the idea that science and religion need not be inherently in conflict, you will see that the campaign is entirely based on the proposition that the words of Genesis do not mean what they appear to be saying.

My point is that such an approach will not get us very far for the reason I provided above. There is a much more effective approach available.

If you would like the scientific community to just “do science” and crawl into a shell and leave the rest of the world to its devices, fine. Then don’t complain when the consequences are not to your liking. If, on the other hand, there is to be a campaign, I say let it be an effective one, or at least as effective as possible. And much more IS possible than the above anemic campaign.

Carol, the scientific community is expert at science. Their credibility is not in the ‘this is what the bible means’ dispute. It is in science. Entering that dispute puts that credibility on the line. Staying neutral in that particular dispute is the best policy.

Now, as for doing something, where else besides Panda’s Thumb are you making any arguments? Have you ventured to any fundie sites to advance the debate in your direction? Why are you placing the onus on scientists. If I Google “IN THE BEGINNING OF” and “Judah Landa” I can only find four instances of this thesis being advanced. One was at Stranger Fruit and it was you. The second is by, curiously, DaveScot at In The Agora. The third was over at Uncommon Descent by someone named tulla or tumba or something. The only other place is here at PT. You don’t seem to making the effort that you expect of scientists. BTW, the copy of ItBo that I have IS making its way around my more fundie type friends. Call it my own personal experiment. Prove your contention that this would work. You may get more support. But you shouldn’t demand that science lend its credibility to a nonscientific dispute.

I would still post to Russell’s Bible thread over at AtBC if you would just deign to show up.

Oh, I have since learned why you did not want me to call the published phone number of Jayel Publications. Stupid me, I thought I might actually get to talk to you. Little did I realize that it was Judah Landa’s private home. Don’t worry, I didn’t actually call him. Still, I wonder why Mr. Landa doesn’t choose to speak for himself. He is the authority, after all, isn’t he?

Sincerely,
Paul

Comment #79526

Posted by AC on February 13, 2006 6:21 PM (e)

FL wrote:

Because the denial of teleology is total, at some point you gotta choose between the Bible and the Darwinists, because for evolutionists, the official scientific position is there’s NO teleology, NO conscious forethought involved with the origin of any life form (including us), period.

There’s no evidence of teleology. Faith is belief without evidence. Where is the problem?

Marley’s point is well worth thinking about, since quite frankly, it’s true.

Why does it matter if man is “better than” the rest of the animal kingdom by some metric? Why is it not enough that everyone pondering the issue is a human, so we act out of self-interest? Why is this “dignity” so important?

Carol wrote:

And Rashi’s choice is not at all binding on anyone else.

Does this not speak to the “endless plasticity of religion”?

Comment #79533

Posted by carol clouser on February 13, 2006 6:30 PM (e)

William E Emba,

Apparently you don’t even know what the word “literally” means.

By your use of the term we would be led to the conclusion that when the OT speaks of God’s “outstretched arm” the literal meaning of that is that God has an arm and he stretched it out.

That is not translating literally, that is translating stupidly.

“Literally” refers to the plain meaning of the words used. Have a dictionary? Check it out.

Yohm Kippur literally means “day of atonement” although strictly speaking “kippur” refers to “wiping away”. It is a borrowed meaning based on the idea that atonement leads to the wiping away of one’s sins.

Many Hebrew words have borrowed meanings, and yohm as era is borrowed from the singular day being used to mean a multitude of days. An era, after all, usually consists of a multitude of days. Borrowed meanings are literal meanings, they are based on the plain meaning of the words.

The bottom line is this: The plain meaning (I am intentionally avoiding literal meaning) of the word yohm used in many places in the Bible is, according to Rashi, ERA. And he does not even say otherwise in Genesis. And you are totally wrong about Rashi in Hosea. On the next line in Rashi there, right after the one you quoted, Rashi says: BAYOHM HASHLISHI, IN THE THIRD PERIOD (of time). Now what could more plain and simple than that?

Comment #79544

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 13, 2006 6:58 PM (e)

There is a god, there’s only one god, that god is Carol’s god, and if science can’t get down with that, science is letting itself in for a big whoopin’.

Or, to quote Oh Carol:

Now what could more plain and simple than that?

Sheesh! You eggheads can be so dense!

Comment #79547

Posted by BWE on February 13, 2006 7:20 PM (e)

Math. It’s all in the math. Jesus knew and understood quantum physics, algebra, geometry, calculus, and he knew the truth about evolution. Just ask Jesus.

Comment #79550

Posted by PvM on February 13, 2006 7:31 PM (e)

Lenny, please show some respect. And try to reduce your ad hominems. They become quite tiresome.

Comment #79551

Posted by PvM on February 13, 2006 7:36 PM (e)

did i miss the memo? Is this “be nice to idiots” week?

I try to be nice to everyone with whom I have a discussion. Not always easy…must refrain from temptation to use sarcasm…

Larry’s comments, however misguided or wrong, can benefit from an appropriate response. While the original author may not benefit from the additional ‘wisdom’, others may.

Comment #79552

Posted by BWE on February 13, 2006 7:38 PM (e)

You should try my medication. I’ll sell you some.

Comment #79556

Posted by Anton Mates on February 13, 2006 7:50 PM (e)

By your use of the term we would be led to the conclusion that when the OT speaks of God’s “outstretched arm” the literal meaning of that is that God has an arm and he stretched it out.

That is not translating literally, that is translating stupidly.

…um, no, that would be the literal translation. Possibly translating that literally is stupid, or possibly you’re literally translating the writings of stupid people, but those are separate issues.

Comment #79558

Posted by carol clouser on February 13, 2006 7:52 PM (e)

Paul,

Much of what you write is right on target, but you seem to miss the point in some key areas.

First, I personally am NOT on a mission of any type to improve the world. If I were as altruistic as I should be I would have followed my doctorate in Physics with 25 years doing research or academia work related to science, and getting paid very little for it. I am just a woman in the fast lane primarly interested in advancing my career. I am here because I enjoy talking to intelligent, reasoning people, which scientists indeed are to a significantly greater extent than most people and to a much greater extent than fundamentalists (rather than use derogatory terminology, I press a few extra keys and type it all out). Although, scientists too fall short in this regard, as do we all.

Second, I am not sure that “blogging” is the way to make a difference. Landa does attend many speaking engagements and is quite actively involved in making his case. I have written some pieces in this regard and have also spoken to various audiences.

Third, I am not proposing that scientists take a stand on Biblical interpretation. Others need to do that. But in defending its interests science is in fact already supporting various endeavors, albeit indirectly, as examplified by the 10,000 clerics case. These ought to be made more effective, such as by supporting efforts that go to the heart of the problem. And you know what that is - literal biblical interpretation.

Fourth, I now regularly check ATBC for any comments I might wish to pontificate about. I have not seen anything of interest lately. If you want to elicit a discussion there about anything, by all means do so. I SHALL “deign” to show up. I just need to be reminded occasionally to look over there. It is somewhat off the beaten path, don’t you think?

Fifth, as I told you once before, I have not seen nor have I placed any published numbers for you know what (I don’t want to be accused by some, apparently including you, of advertizing). So I cannot tell you much about anything in this regard.

Comment #79563

Posted by carol clouser on February 13, 2006 8:09 PM (e)

Paul,

I applaud your experiment with your friends. Please let us (and me) know as to its progress and results.

Comment #79573

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 13, 2006 8:38 PM (e)

Lenny, please show some respect.

To IDers? Never.

And try to reduce your ad hominems. They become quite tiresome.

I don’t recall any ad hominems from me. To which are you referring?

Comment #79576

Posted by William E Emba on February 13, 2006 8:42 PM (e)

carol clouser wrote:

Apparently you don’t even know what the word “literally” means.

Apparently I do know what the word means, and you are far dumber than I suspected.

By your use of the term we would be led to the conclusion that when the OT speaks of God’s “outstretched arm” the literal meaning of that is that God has an arm and he stretched it out.

Yes. That is what the “literal” means here. You could look it up in a dictionary.

That is not translating literally, that is translating stupidly.

That is translating literally. Whether it is stupid or not is an entirely different issue.

“Literally” refers to the plain meaning of the words used. Have a dictionary? Check it out.

Sigh. Every dictionary of English agrees with me on this. It’s a no-brainer non-contest.

Oxford English Dictionary wrote:

3. a. Theol. Pertaining to the ‘letter’ (of Scripture); the distinctive epithet of that sense or interpretation (of a text) which is obtained by taking its words in their natural or customary meaning, and applying the ordinary rules of grammar; opposed to mystical, allegorical, etc.

Since “bizroa‘ nituyah” refers, in its natural/customary usage, to an arm that is stretched out, a literal translation will come up with “outstretched arm” or something very close. That we don’t believe in this anthropomorphism is an entirely distinct issue. A translation that incorporates good theology on this point is automatically non-literal. I have nothing against non-literal translations. I have something against someone lying about a non-literal translation being literal.

Yohm Kippur literally means “day of atonement” although strictly speaking “kippur” refers to “wiping away”. It is a borrowed meaning based on the idea that atonement leads to the wiping away of one’s sins.

Strictly speaking, that’s one claim. Granting it, you are just being inconsistent. Either Yom Kippur literally means “day of wiping away” or it doesn’t. This is entirely distinct from the plain, ordinarily understood meaning, which in this case is “day of atonement”.

This really is a simple concept. “Chumash” literally means “five”, but is always understood in appropriate contexts to mean the Pentateuch. Somebody telling me that “chumash” literally means Pentateuch is being an idiot.

Many Hebrew words have borrowed meanings, and yohm as era is borrowed from the singular day being used to mean a multitude of days. An era, after all, usually consists of a multitude of days. Borrowed meanings are literal meanings, they are based on the plain meaning of the words.

First off, “borrowed” refers to foreign languages. You can call them “metaphorical” meanings. Because that’s what they are. We talk about “wings of buildings” all the time, without once thinking about it as being peculiar, yet it remains a metaphor through and through. The literal meaning remains the upper appendages of a bird–see the OED definition: the natural and customary meaning of “wing”, all by itself, is upper bird appendage, not building portion. The easy way to tell is to ask yourself: what would you tell a foreigner learning the language in question? If someone asked me about “wing”, I’d point to a bird. If someone asked me about “yom”, I’d refer to a daily calendar.

The bottom line is this: The plain meaning (I am intentionally avoiding literal meaning) of the word yohm used in many places in the Bible is, according to Rashi, ERA.

Plain meaning is distinct from literal meaning. See my example about “wings of buildings”. The literal meaning would be, as in your case above, quite stupid here. No native speaker thinks of it, it is so incredibly stupid. But non-native speakers sometimes get terribly confused by just such an idiom. They are typically not sure if they heard somebody right, or maybe the book they are reading has a misspelling, or maybe it’s an idiom and they are in for a poetic surprise. That kind of non-native confusion is what I’m talking about: plain meaning is not literal meaning. The foreigner is satisfied when he learns what the intended plain meaning is, and what the poetic metaphor is meant to convey regarding the literal meaning.

And he does not even say otherwise in Genesis.

So what? It never occurred to Rashi that anything other than the literal meaning yom=day was intended, and it never occurred to him that anyone would think otherwise. If Rashi thought there was a question or difficulty, he would have clarified it.

And you are totally wrong about Rashi in Hosea. On the next line in Rashi there, right after the one you quoted, Rashi says: BAYOHM HASHLISHI, IN THE THIRD PERIOD (of time). Now what could more plain and simple than that?

Sigh. Rashi says “Beis hashlishi”: “third house”. Your claim that Rashi on Hosea 6:2 is clear and unambiguous in telling us the literal meaning of “yom” is utter nonsense if one of the readings he offers us is “house”. Nobody, nowhere, understands “yom” as literally meaning “house”. But just like we all accept “wings of buildings” in English as clear, plain, and unambiguous, I have absolutely no problem with understanding Rashi as referring, in two words, to the Messianic Third Temple Era. (To clarify for the Hebrew-challenged, the Holy Temple is called “Beis hamikdash”=the holy house, so just referring to “house” is normally clear enough.) But under no circumstance can anyone intelligently say that Rashi is putting his foot down and telling us that “yom” literally means “house” or “temple” based on that one usage. Similarly for any other equally brief Rashi. Telling us how a Biblical phrase is meant to be understood in the plain sense in no way shape or form is a linguistic commitment by Rashi to whether the explicated meaning is literal or metaphoric.

Comment #79590

Posted by carol clouser on February 13, 2006 9:55 PM (e)

William,

I can only conclude that you either do not read or are deliberately lying. The very definition you cite from the oxford dictionary clearly states that literal meanings are those “obtained by taking its words in their NATURAL AND CUSTOMARY meaning…” Yet you claim that “plain meaning” is not literal.

And Rashi in Hosea clearly says that yohm means period of time. The previous comment by Rashi pertaining to “house” seeks to explain the “third” aspect of it, that it refers to the third temple. Your point is utter, unmitigated nonsense.

No sane person would argue that the literal meaning of yohm kippur is day of wiping. One doesn’t pick a word in isolation in deciding these issues. You look at the phrase in context. And the meaning in which it is ordinarily understood, as opposed to mystical or allegorical meanings, becomes the literal meaning.

Comment #79596

Posted by BWE on February 13, 2006 10:21 PM (e)

Even though I don’t care much about how accurate of a bible translation I have (Have you read Jules Verne in French? Waaaaay more readable)this is a really fun conversation. Congratulations, I think it’s worthy of it’s own thread at AtBC. But, please don’t stop. This has the makings of a very good debate.

Comment #79598

Posted by Anton Mates on February 13, 2006 10:34 PM (e)

carol clouser wrote:

No sane person would argue that the literal meaning of yohm kippur is day of wiping. One doesn’t pick a word in isolation in deciding these issues. You look at the phrase in context.

Picking each word in isolation is exactly what you do, by the definition William quoted and you (partially) requoted.

“obtained by taking its words in their natural and customary meaning, and applying the ordinary rules of grammar….”

Take each word. Take its natural and customary meaning. Assemble via grammatical rules. Fin.

Do you at least understand why more or less everybody here considers you not to be doing a literal translation? It’s not like we have a vested interest in denying your claim of literalism–Biblical literalists aren’t particularly worshipped around here. It’s just that, well, you’re not one.

Comment #79607

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 13, 2006 11:30 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

And Rashi in Hosea clearly says that yohm means period of time. The previous comment by Rashi pertaining to “house” seeks to explain the “third” aspect of it, that it refers to the third temple. Your point is utter, unmitigated nonsense.

Your ignorance of Hebrew is duly noted. And may I point out that in Genesis, Rashi does NOT say that yohm refers to ‘period of time’. Rashi accepts the common and customary usage of ‘day’.

Really, Carol, this will not be debated here. You should stop hijacking threads with irrelevant nonsense and go to the Bar (you’ll find the link on the Panda Home Page) where we can discuss this in comfort.

Though based on your comments so far, your lack of knowledge of the Bible and science are going to be a considerable hinderance.

Comment #79698

Posted by William E Emba on February 14, 2006 9:30 AM (e)

carol clouser wrote:

I can only conclude that you either do not read or are deliberately lying. The very definition you cite from the oxford dictionary clearly states that literal meanings are those “obtained by taking its words in their NATURAL AND CUSTOMARY meaning…” Yet you claim that “plain meaning” is not literal.

The words in their natural and customary meaning. Not the phrase in its natural and customary meaning. You are confusing the two, and coming up with extremely stupid nonsense as a result.

And Rashi in Hosea clearly says that yohm means period of time. The previous comment by Rashi pertaining to “house” seeks to explain the “third” aspect of it, that it refers to the third temple. Your point is utter, unmitigated nonsense.

My point is quite simple. Rashi is not a dictionary. Rashi does not define “yom”. Saying that he does, as you repeatedly do, is a point blank lie.

What Rashi does do is offer readings of Biblical words, phrases, and passages that he either expects his reader will find confusing, or where he feels the standard rabbinic interpretation is essential. Sometimes, he goes further and includes a short grammar lesson. Even when offering nothing more than a translation into Old French, it is still a reach to say that Rashi is doing nothing but serving up a dictionary meaning, since he sometimes translates the same word in two different ways.

In the case of Hosea 6:2, Rashi offers two readings involving yom, one of them being “house”. By your approach, Rashi yoking house with yom is the same as Rashi telling everyone that yom literally means house.

In other words, your approach is utter, unmitigated nonsense. Treif. Sheker. Shtush. Bubbameisa.

No sane person would argue that the literal meaning of yohm kippur is day of wiping.

But you wish to tell everyone that the literal meaning of yom kippur is “era of atonement”? What unmitigated hypocrisy on your part.

One doesn’t pick a word in isolation in deciding these issues.

First off, it is unclear whether “atonement” or “covering/wiping” is the primary meaning of “kipur”. According to BDB, for example, “covering” is figurative, so your example is pretty lousy to begin with.

Ignoring that question arguendo, yes, you do look at words in isolation in order to get at their literal meanings. That’s what literal means. It has nothing to do with sanity: the ordinary meanings of the words are taken, and then combined by the rules of grammar, as the OED2 says. If that delivers “day of covering”, then that is the literal meaning.

The degree to which the result sounds peculiar reflects the degree to which the metaphorical meaning has become taken for granted. That’s all. The literal meaning of “wing” is upper bird appendage. It is not building part. The metaphor has become so standardized that in ordinary speech, no one even notices there is a metaphor anymore.

You look at the phrase in context. And the meaning in which it is ordinarily understood, as opposed to mystical or allegorical meanings, becomes the literal meaning.

Never. For literal meanings, you do not look at the phrase in context. As soon as you do, you are looking at figurative and metaphorical meanings.

But if you really believe in looking at the phrase in context–the “contextual meaning”–you will note that the context for “yom” in Genesis 1 is Genesis 1, not Hosea 6. Simple! “No sane person”, to quote you, would look in Hosea to find the context for Genesis 1. And what do we find in that context? “It was evening and it was yom, the nth yom.” And how does it end, the seventh yom? With Shabbos, the day of rest. (For the Hebrew impaired, Shabbos and Shivii=seventh are two forms of the same word, with “week” being yet a third form.) The context is absolutely clear: evenings and Shabbos, which in the ordinary customary use refer to ordinary time scales, so the only conclusion is that the contextual meaning of “yom” in Genesis 1 is a 24-hour day, plain and simple.

Of course, people in search of figurative meanings look everywhere for interpretations, and taking one by cherry-picking one of two Rashi interpretations from Hosea 6:2 is fine and dandy for that purpose. “No sane person” would pass off this far-reaching ignoring of context, blatant ignoring of multiple interpretations in one verse, and misreading of OED2 as a garden variety literalism, now would they?

Comment #79724

Posted by BWE on February 14, 2006 11:25 AM (e)

Carol,

I wonder.
Do you believe the bible(as you and Landa translate it is literally true?

Do you believe that evolution is established science and that ID has not offered anything to the science yet?

I am serious here and, after going back through a google search of your posts, I can’t tell. I am not sure what point you are trying to make. I know that you say that ordinary bible translations are inadequate.

Do you believe that those who worship god are reading the wrong god? Is the western religious tradition based on a bad translation and thus woefully, hopeless, endlessly lost?

Please answer. This thread is lost anyway.

Comment #79746

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 14, 2006 12:11 PM (e)

William,

Sigh… Your post above is so chock full of nonsense on top of nonsense that I don’t know where to begin to straighten you out. So I will leave you to your ignorance.

Comment #79752

Posted by Shirley Knott on February 14, 2006 12:29 PM (e)

Let’s see if my super-duper CarolClauserTranslator is working…
She says, literally (of course), “I can’t address your points, you’ve made me look foolish, so now I’m going to ignore you. Of course, I’ll start by telling you I’m ignoring you, so that you’ll respond to that and I can once again begin our dance.”
Does that about cover it?
I thought so.

hugs,
Shirley Knott
literally

Comment #79754

Posted by BWE on February 14, 2006 12:35 PM (e)

No Carol, please don’t go. I really want to know the answers to my questions. Don’t worry about William, you are talking about a relative subject- you can both be right. Please answer my questions. I can tell that you do have a lot to offer and that you are much more familiar with the bible than I am.

Sincerely,
BWE

Comment #79812

Posted by William E Emba on February 14, 2006 2:22 PM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

Sigh… Your post above is so chock full of nonsense on top of nonsense that I don’t know where to begin to straighten you out. So I will leave you to your ignorance.

That’s right. Just run away. Standard moron style on PT when decisively refuted.

But it’s public knowledge now that you cherry pick your sources, that you claim “literalism” when you can’t even hack the dictionary definition, and rely on “context” that ignores the actual source but finds something hundreds of miles away. And on top of all this, when it gets abundantly clear what a total idiotic mumpsimus you really are, you declare victory and fool nobody. What a pathetic loser.

So yes, keep pimping your employer’s book, but please, over in the religious nutcase parts of the web, where such gross incompetence in reasoning ability is considered a stellar achievement.

Comment #79820

Posted by William E Emba on February 14, 2006 2:33 PM (e)

BWE wrote:

Don’t worry about William, you are talking about a relative subject- you can both be right.

Uh, no. She was making transparently false textual and lexicographic claims. I don’t care a whit what she believes or why, and I was not commenting on such.

Comment #79840

Posted by Leigh Jackson on February 14, 2006 3:16 PM (e)

PvM wrote:

I think what the scientific community should do is do science and show how science and religion need not be inherently at odds. In the end there will always be some who will have to reject science because of their faith.

Equally there will always be some who will have to reject faith because of their science - Darwin, for example.
How on earth can the scientific community show that science and religion are not inherently at odds, when a great many of them believe that they are at odds? A great many prefer to keep a polite silence on the matter, and just get on with doing what they love, and leave faith to those who need it.
Your opinion PvM, in my opinion, is not the general opinion of science.

Comment #79841

Posted by CJ O'Brien on February 14, 2006 3:16 PM (e)

Indeed, the whole problem with “literalism” of any stripe is that, OED definitions notwithstanding, there really is no such thing as a literal meaning. I rely somewhat on the linguistics of George Lakoff here.

He argues that only the words (linguists would say ‘lexical units’ to be more precise) that represent “embodied” concepts can really be thought of as “literal,” or, again, to be more precise, “non-metaphorical.” “Embodied concepts” meaning –er, literally– nouns associated with the body and the immediate needs of human existence and a few of the most elementary “action verbs.” Beyond these, all of language can be considered an interconnected web of metaphor extrapolated from the most basic terms.

WEE’s example of a “wing” of a building is a perfect example, and highlights the degree to which this effect is amplified when translating between languages. If most of our everyday speech in our native tongue is to some degree “metaphorical,” then how can one hope to even approach the goal of an entirely metaphor-free translation of an ancient text in another language? The whole process, by its nature, is riddled with subjective decisions and personal preferences. Carol’s refusal to come to terms with this betrays a hopeless commitment to an untenable kind of absolutism, and suggests to me that she will never see the sense in what her interlocutors here are trying, in vain, to force her to realize.

Comment #79867

Posted by BWE on February 14, 2006 4:09 PM (e)

Um. Does anybody really care about the quality of our bible translation? How close does it have to be before it is “Close enough”? I am curious to know why Carol posts here. How am I supposed to get what I want if all you ruffians go scaring her away with all this nitpicking over biblew translations. If the bible is literal, science is junk. If science is literal,… Hmmm. Raging Bee says I shouldn’t say nasty things about religion so I will just say once again:

Carol,

I wonder.
Do you believe the bible(as you and Landa translate it is literally true?

Do you believe that evolution is established science and that ID has not offered anything to the science yet?

Do you believe that those who worship god are reading the wrong god? Is the western religious tradition based on a bad translation and thus woefully, hopeless, endlessly lost?

Because, if the bible really says that humans evolved the same way everything else has evolved, through natural selection, but our translations left that part out, I should think that would be big news for the Education Community who is mostly trying to fend off the well financed efforts of the Discovery Institute Core Kernel.

Comment #79870

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 4:17 PM (e)

I am curious to know why Carol posts here. How am I supposed to get what I want if all you ruffians go scaring her away with all this nitpicking over biblew translations

Carol first appeared here to hawk a book by Josh Landa; an attempted demonstration that the Bible was completely compatible with modern science. She was deceitful about her relationship with the book (it appears that she works with Landa at what gives the appearance of being a vanity press publication). There is nothing interesting or unusual in her extremely vague ‘arguments’, and she is both evasive and petulant when challenged.

Comment #79871

Posted by William E Emba on February 14, 2006 4:21 PM (e)

CJ O'Brien wrote:

Indeed, the whole problem with “literalism” of any stripe is that, OED definitions notwithstanding, there really is no such thing as a literal meaning. I rely somewhat on the linguistics of George Lakoff here.

Personally, I lean towards the Quine/Putnam/Kripke school of philosophy, but yes, I’m open to all sorts of views here.

WEE’s example of a “wing” of a building is a perfect example, and highlights the degree to which this effect is amplified when translating between languages. If most of our everyday speech in our native tongue is to some degree “metaphorical,” then how can one hope to even approach the goal of an entirely metaphor-free translation of an ancient text in another language?

It’s worse, in many ways, when two languages have rather disjoint concepts of how and what they are supposed to convey in the first place. Biblical Hebrew, for example, is indifferent to tense as we know it in Romance and Germanic languages. There are perfective and an imperfective moods, and that’s it. Whether it’s meant in the past, present or future is simply not part of the verb in the Hebrew–one usually has cues to identify the timing, but not always. Meanwhile, Hebrew is much more regular in relating words with associated meanings. In Hebrew, “buying” and “selling”, or “learning” and “teaching” are each two forms of the same root. So on the one hand, English forces timing issues to be introduced that are simply not there in the original, and it erases the sense of identity across numerous words, or even just the importance of etymology for individual words.

The whole process, by its nature, is riddled with subjective decisions and personal preferences. Carol’s refusal to come to terms with this betrays a hopeless commitment to an untenable kind of absolutism, and suggests to me that she will never see the sense in what her interlocutors here are trying, in vain, to force her to realize.

Actually, it’s quite possible to have a sensible discussion in English of what Hebrew is literally saying. No one translation can do the trick, but extensive discussion of the grammatical and etymological riffs happening in the original are possible.

Carol’s problem is that she is just another fundamentalist. She has her preordained answers, and she thinks she has reached them through rigorous thinking, when all she has done is assume her conclusions and ignore anything running contrary to them. In other words, she’s here to preach, which in her case has taken the particularly ugly form of shilling.

The idea that there are people eager to learn, eager to be corrected, proven wrong, have their understanding of the world refined, changed, enhanced, is worlds beyond her comprehension. Thus, I’m more than happy to learn that physicists have in fact come up with an accepted notion of total entropy of the universe in modern cosmology. None of the textbooks have such a concept, and some are explicit in warning that so far as we know, the concept is meaningless. Carol just reiterates a pre-Einstein now-crackpot view of the universe, oblivious and impervious to a century of physics in between. Her approach to Hebrew interpretation is equally defective.

Comment #79893

Posted by William E Emba on February 14, 2006 4:46 PM (e)

Rilke's Granddaughter wrote:

Carol first appeared here to hawk a book by Josh Landa; an attempted demonstration that the Bible was completely compatible with modern science.

If that’s all it was, I don’t think anybody would have cared. The claim actually made was that the book demonstrates that if the Bible were only read literally, in ways that all modern commentators across the board have not done in their ignorance of Hebrew, then there would harmony between Science and Religion. Science as in Real Science, not the fake pseudoscience Gish, Morris, Dembski, Behe and the like peddle to their congregants.

Unfortunately, her ideas on “literalness” are deep crackpot doodoo. And her proofs consist of reading things into what traditional commentators have said, and then dishonestly reporting her conclusions as if these were there in the original. And insulting anyone here actually familiar with Hebrew and Rashi.

Comment #79895

Posted by BWE on February 14, 2006 5:00 PM (e)

william wrote:
If that’s all it was, I don’t think anybody would have cared. The claim actually made was that the book demonstrates that if the Bible were only read literally, in ways that all modern commentators across the board have not done in their ignorance of Hebrew, then there would harmony between Science and Religion. Science as in Real Science, not the fake pseudoscience Gish, Morris, Dembski, Behe and the like peddle to their congregants.

Unfortunately, her ideas on “literalness” are deep crackpot doodoo. And her proofs consist of reading things into what traditional commentators have said, and then dishonestly reporting her conclusions as if these were there in the original. And insulting anyone here actually familiar with Hebrew and Rashi.

I am well aware of Carol’s past here. I agree with some of williams assesment though but I am curious if she really thinks that the literal translation of the bible DOES actually jibe with science. If so, please explain:

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/about_the_holy_bible.html

Comment #79902

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 5:10 PM (e)

I suspect that you are correct, Mr. Emba. I note that your attempt to explain to her what literal actually meant produced a strongly emotional and irrational response.

Mote. Beam. Game over.

Comment #79911

Posted by CJ O'Brien on February 14, 2006 5:38 PM (e)

Actually, it’s quite possible to have a sensible discussion in English of what Hebrew is literally saying. No one translation can do the trick, but extensive discussion of the grammatical and etymological riffs happening in the original are possible.

Sure. I’m not espousing mushy relativism. Texts have meaning, and they can be agreed upon by reasonable people. But neither will I admit to absolutism, where the ‘perfect’ translation is possible. Language is just not that kind of animal.

Haw haw.

Comment #79935

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 14, 2006 6:39 PM (e)

BWE,

Please don’t think for a moment that I have been “scared away” by the likes of William and his side-kick Rilke. I just don’t suffer fools easily. I tried to help him (and her) learn a thing or two but he just keeps repeating his childish nonsense ad nauseum. So what more can I do?

The issue here is not a relative one. To William the literal meaning of a word is obtained by isolating it from its neighbors, probing into its roots and history, then arriving at some official definition which may at all not agree with how people use the word. That is a ridiculously extreme reading of the word “literal”. Thus he idiotically insists that the literal interpretation of the phrase “he walked into the west wing of the building” is that “he walked into the part of a bird.” And this he claims is the “normal and customary” meaning of the word “wing”, which is the dictionary definition of “literal”!

I say that words get their meaning by the way they are used by people, by writers, by readers, and so on. The dictionary lists “a section of a building” as one of the definitions of “wing”. That’s one of the meanings people attach to that word. The literal interpretation of “he walked into the west wing of the building” is that “he walked into the western section or extension of the building.”

William’s repeated contention that Rashi in Hosea translates yohm as house is so childishly stupid, it is beyond the pale. Any ten year attending Hebrew school would justifiably laugh his head off at the mere thought of it. And Rashi DOES IN FACT provide the services of a dictionary, despite William’s ignorant assertion to the contrary. There must be ten thousand examples of this, if not more. Rashi always focuses primarily on the “normal and customary” meaning of the words, in other words, their literal meaning (known in Hebrew as PISHAT). When he departs from that out of neccesity he says so. And he clearly and unequivocally interpretes “the third yohm” (sounds like Genesis, right?) there as “the third era”. This is on top hundreds of other examples in the Bible where era instead of day is the best fit for yohm. Clearly that meaning must be admitted as a reasonable possibility in Genesis.

Ask any Hebrew speaking person even today to translate the phrase “the middle ages” for you into Hebrew. You will hear “yimai ha-bainayim” (plural of yohm), thus employing yohm to mean AGE. Yohm as ERA is thus perfectly normal and customary, though by no means is it the only meaning. There actually are three meanings to yohm (era, 24 hour period, dawn to dusk).

I didn’t mean to ignore you earlier, I just ran out of time and refused to address William’s adding ten more items of ignorance on top of repeating the earlier ten stupidities.

Comment #79966

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 14, 2006 7:48 PM (e)

Sigh… Your post above is so chock full of nonsense on top of nonsense that I don’t know where to begin to straighten you out. So I will leave you to your ignorance.

Like I said, Carol doesn’t answer questions. She’s just here to (1) preach and (2) sell books.

Comment #79972

Posted by BWE on February 14, 2006 8:23 PM (e)

Carol,
Good. I’m glad you’re not intimidated.

I wonder.
Do you believe the bible(as you and Landa translate it is literally true?

Do you believe that evolution is established science and that ID has not offered anything to the science yet?

Do you believe that those who worship god are reading the wrong god? Is the western religious tradition based on a bad translation and thus woefully, hopeless, endlessly lost?

Because, if the bible really says that humans evolved the same way everything else has evolved, through natural selection, but our translations left that part out, I should think that would be big news for the Education Community who is mostly trying to fend off the well financed efforts of the Discovery Institute Core Kernel.

Comment #79979

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 14, 2006 8:47 PM (e)

BWE,

“Do you believe the bible(as you and Landa translate it) is literally true?”

My argument is that the Bible is not neccesarily contradicted by science even if interpreted literally (words meaning what they normally and customarily mean) so long as the original, that is the Hebrew, is translated accurately and correctly. In other words, one cannot use science to discredit or refute the Bible.

“Do you believe that evolution is established science and that ID has not offered anything to science yet?”

Evolution most definitely is established science, as established as they come, which is not all that firmly established. ID has not offered anything to science but that does not imply that it did not happen that way.

“Do you believe that those who worship god are reading the wrong god? Is the western religious tradition based on a bad translation and thus woefully, hopeless, endlessly lost?”

There are too many questions wrapped into a package here. I have already stated that the popular translations of the Bible are sloppy and riddled with errors. There is much else to critcize and applaud in “western religious tradition”, whatever that includes, but I am not sure what it is you are focused upon. God and the Bible are two independent entities that you seem to be lumping together.

Comment #79989

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 9:15 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

Please don’t think for a moment that I have been “scared away” by the likes of William and his side-kick Rilke. I just don’t suffer fools easily.

Why then do you demonstrate foolishness so readily? You claimed a “literal” reading. When it was pointed out to you that a “literal” reading produced unacceptable anthropic elements (unacceptable for you, of course) such as ‘out-stretched arms’, you resorted to bluster, avoidance, and a propensity to argue about definitions. In short, you don’t understand what “literal” really means (shocking in someone who claims to be on the ‘fast-track’ at 50+ and serves as an editor).

I tried to help him (and her) learn a thing or two but he just keeps repeating his childish nonsense ad nauseum. So what more can I do?

You can deal with the substance of our posts, rather than just avoiding them. But that would require you to actually provide some substance above and beyond “Landa said so”. Your fixation with Landa’s accuracy is worrying. Perhaps it’s a good thing you’re not a scientist.

The issue here is not a relative one. To William the literal meaning of a word is obtained by isolating it from its neighbors, probing into its roots and history, then arriving at some official definition which may at all not agree with how people use the word. That is a ridiculously extreme reading of the word “literal”.

Then it’s a good thing that’s not what he said, isn’t it? Misstating your opponents arguments so that you can demolish a convenient straw-man is an excellent technique for those who have no real case.

Thus he idiotically insists that the literal interpretation of the phrase “he walked into the west wing of the building” is that “he walked into the part of a bird.”

Nope. Do try again.

And this he claims is the “normal and customary” meaning of the word “wing”, which is the dictionary definition of “literal”!

I truly hope that your claim to be an editor - like your other claims - is highly overblown. Perhaps it’s no wonder that “In the Beginning Of” isn’t selling well.

I say that words get their meaning by the way they are used by people, by writers, by readers, and so on.

The first remotely accurate thing you’ve said. There may be hope for you yet.

The dictionary lists “a section of a building” as one of the definitions of “wing”. That’s one of the meanings people attach to that word. The literal interpretation of “he walked into the west wing of the building” is that “he walked into the western section or extension of the building.”

Wow! You’ve discovered that a word can have more than one meaning! Amazing!

William’s repeated contention that Rashi in Hosea translates yohm as house is so childishly stupid, it is beyond the pale. Any ten year attending Hebrew school would justifiably laugh his head off at the mere thought of it. And Rashi DOES IN FACT provide the services of a dictionary, despite William’s ignorant assertion to the contrary. There must be ten thousand examples of this, if not more. Rashi always focuses primarily on the “normal and customary” meaning of the words, in other words, their literal meaning (known in Hebrew as PISHAT). When he departs from that out of neccesity he says so. And he clearly and unequivocally interpretes “the third yohm” (sounds like Genesis, right?) there as “the third era”. This is on top hundreds of other examples in the Bible where era instead of day is the best fit for yohm. Clearly that meaning must be admitted as a reasonable possibility in Genesis.

This is, more or less, a complete fabrication. Rashi does, in fact, offer ‘house’ as a possible meaning in the context; he also does NOT gloss Genesis in this fashion. In other words, we can argue from his failure to gloss ‘yohm’ as ‘era’ or ‘time’ (which is the more correct translation, Carol) that he means the common and customary usage: a 24-hour day.

You engage in the usual bastardization of meaning common to fundies: you borrow meanings from other parts of the Bible to ‘re-invent’ the meaning of a word in order to suit your particular purpose.

Bad exegesis; bad editing; bad everything.

Are you quite certain you understand Landa?

Ask any Hebrew speaking person even today to translate the phrase “the middle ages” for you into Hebrew. You will hear “yimai ha-bainayim” (plural of yohm), thus employing yohm to mean AGE. Yohm as ERA is thus perfectly normal and customary, though by no means is it the only meaning.

Precisely child. Let’s try this argument out:

1. There are multiple meanings of the word ‘yohm’ in Hebrew.

2. The most common and customary meaning is ‘day’ in the sense of a 24-hour day.

3. Rashi does NOT gloss yohm in Genesis, though he does so in Hosea.

4. The rational argument, therefore, is that Rashi accepts the common and customary meaning of ‘yohm’ - a 24-hour day.

In short, if you pay attention to Rashi (and you’re the one who brought him up), Genesis ‘yohm’ reads day. Particularly since the overwhelming majority of incidents of ‘yohm’ combined with a numeral elsewhere in the Bible mean ‘day’.

There is only so far you can go in shoving a square peg in a round hole, Carol. Perhaps you should stop shaving the edges off of this one.

There actually are three meanings to yohm (era, 24 hour period, dawn to dusk).

Again, amazing! You found that out all by your self, did you? In fact, Strong’s Concordance lists several meanings of ‘yohm’ - of which the first and most common is the diurnal period.

I didn’t mean to ignore you earlier, I just ran out of time and refused to address William’s adding ten more items of ignorance on top of repeating the earlier ten stupidities.

Mote. Beam. Game over.

Comment #79993

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 9:23 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

My argument is that the Bible is not neccesarily contradicted by science even if interpreted literally (words meaning what they normally and customarily mean) so long as the original, that is the Hebrew, is translated accurately and correctly. In other words, one cannot use science to discredit or refute the Bible.

Interesting. I note that Carol continues to misunderstand and misuse the term ‘literal’, that her line is now that the Bible is not necessarily contradicted by science - which is, of course, false, no matter what mangling of meaning one tries to put upon certain passages.

The Bible is metaphor, poetry, and religious instruction - any competent Rabbi will tell you that. It’s not meant as a science text, and is frequently wrong on scientific points.

Landa (through his worshipper, Carol) doesn’t care for that idea, and tries to find translations (however convoluted, metaphorical, or out of place) to ensure that it doesn’t happen.

And Carol then claims such ‘translation’ is ‘literal.’

Carol - the order of creation is wrong; the flood did not occur; etc.

Why some folks can’t accept the metaphorical nature of the Bible is beyond me - an inability to understand the concept of metaphor is one possibility.

Comment #79996

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 14, 2006 9:26 PM (e)

The most important point is that Hebrew is not an exact language - multiple translations are possible, and we have NO WAY WHATEVER to determine the actual sense intended by the authors in a large number of cases. To claim otherwise is a falsehood.

Landa is just insisting that he, and he alone, is correct.

Carol, I’m still curious about your dishonest behavior regarding Landa’s book in the first place: trolling on PT (and other boards); posting anonymous reviews on Amazon, etc.

Do you consider that to be ethical?

Comment #80017

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 14, 2006 11:37 PM (e)

Rilke,

Since you once again repeat the laughable notion that Rashi in Hosea translates yohm as house, an idea that you gleaned from William’s incisive analysis, it is as certain to me as night follows day that you cannot read Rashi in the original, that you are totally out of your element here, and that it is an utter waste of my time talking to you.

The same is the case for William, although he seems to know a bit more about Hebrew and Rashi than you do, which is absolutely nothing.

Comment #80022

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 15, 2006 12:08 AM (e)

Carol wrote:

Rilke,

Since you once again repeat the laughable notion that Rashi in Hosea translates yohm as house, an idea that you gleaned from William’s incisive analysis, it is as certain to me as night follows day that you cannot read Rashi in the original, that you are totally out of your element here, and that it is an utter waste of my time talking to you.

The same is the case for William, although he seems to know a bit more about Hebrew and Rashi than you do, which is absolutely nothing.

Your ignorance of Rashi remains appalling, and your apparent inability to sustain a discussion on the topic most telling. Tell me, do you spend the entirety of your time on message boards threatening to run away from discussions? It doesn’t seem like a very productive way of proceeding, but if it keeps your ego intact, I understand why you try it. Since there are folks here who don’t read Hebrew, let’s look at Rashi’s actual commentary:

2. He will revive us from the two days, on the third day He will set us up, and we will live before Him.
He will revive us from the two days He will strengthen us from the two retributions which have passed over us from the two sanctuaries that were destroyed.
on the third day With the construction of the third Temple, He will set us up.
from the two days From the two times that have passed over us.
on the third day In the third time.

taken from http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=16160&showrashi=true.

As noted, it’s the temple (the “house” context we’ve been discussing) reference which is important. Interestingly enough, we also note that is using ‘yohm’ here also in the sense of passed over events; one could argue (and some have) that he isn’t even glossing as ‘days’ here at all.

More amusingly, I note that you continue to use this issue as a distraction from the real problem: that Rashi does not gloss ‘yohm’ in Genesis; that he says nothing about it; and that he does not support your contention that it should be translated ‘era’.

I find it amusing that you brought up an authority that does not even support your opinion. It’s equivalent to someone arguing that since Einstein disagreed with some philosophical interpretations of QM that involved acausal and/or random events that he would argue that evolution is impossible for the same reason.

It’s hilarious.

1. The customary usage of ‘yohm’ is ‘day’ as in a day/night time-period.

2. Rashi does not gloss any alternate to this customary usage.

3. Therefore Rashi - your own citation - does not support your claims for Genesis.

That’s the bottom line. Deal with it. Certainly you’re not going to sell many copies of Landa’s book if you’re going to make arguments like the ones you’ve made. People will laugh.

Tell me again about the ethical basis of coming here and posing as someone who

found the book on Amazon

but who turns out to be intimately involved in it’s publication? Who posted anonymous reviews in order to boost sales? Who has posted on several forums for the same purpose, apparently?

Ethics, Carol. That’s the problem here. Given the extremely suspicious and dishonest nature of your initial portrayal of your relationship with Landa’s book, and your obvious case of ‘hero worship’, why should we take your commentary seriously? Mr. Emba has already completely demolished your rather tenuous grasp of both English and Hebrew. What more needs to be said?

Comment #80024

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 15, 2006 12:32 AM (e)

There are several reasons I continue to press Carol on these points, despite my recognition that she is unable to discuss these matters seriously.

First, is that this is an excellent example of the ‘fundie-theist’ modus operandi: enter with concealed motive; become argumentative on small points; evade questions or actual challenges to their position; continually threaten to ‘pick up their marbles and go home’; repeated changes of subject and goal-posts; etc.

What is interesting is that we see here that these traits can be displayed by those of any religious affiliation.

Secondly, of course, as a woman, I am embarrassed by Carol’s inability to offer a coherent argument or coherent response to challenges. I mean, we really are better than this.

Comment #80072

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 15, 2006 8:47 AM (e)

To Whom It May Concern,

Having re-read my post above #79533 I realize that I did not express myself as clearly as I should have pertaining to “the outstretched arm” in the OT. I did not want to say that this translation is the literal one, just that the writer’s obvious intentions when using such expressions in connection with God is to render the meaning of the words in the figurative sense of “might and reach”.

The point was that similarly with yohm in Hosea, the writer’s obvious intentions are to refer to era instead of day, as Rashi makes it abundantly clear, whether that is the literal meaning of yohm or not, which it is. In Genesis it is not as obvious as in Hosea, but it still is a perfectly reasonable translation, except to those who desperately neek to create conflict between the Bible and science.

None of this impacts the rest of the above discussion. I stand by everything else I wrote despite the persistant sniping from the peanut gallery by folks who just have no idea what they are talking about.

PvM,

Thanks for your indulgance here.

Comment #80083

Posted by BWE on February 15, 2006 9:43 AM (e)

Since this seems to be an innappropriate place to ask, did any body follow my link above?
http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/about_the_holy_bible.html
Mr. Christopher pointed out this link on a different thread. Fascinating. I made a post on my blog about it.

Comment #80087

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 15, 2006 9:57 AM (e)

Carol wrote:

To Whom It May Concern,

You shouldn’t pout; it doesn’t come over well electronically.

Having re-read my post above #79533 I realize that I did not express myself as clearly as I should have pertaining to “the outstretched arm” in the OT. I did not want to say that this translation is the literal one, just that the writer’s obvious intentions when using such expressions in connection with God is to render the meaning of the words in the figurative sense of “might and reach”.

This doesn’t appear to be a case of not expressing yourself well, you were completely wrong in claiming that a ‘literal’ interpretation would serve. Just as you are completely wrong in claiming that a ‘literal’ interpretation of the Mikra is possible, correct, and completely compatible with science.

The point was that similarly with yohm in Hosea, the writer’s obvious intentions are to refer to era instead of day, as Rashi makes it abundantly clear, whether that is the literal meaning of yohm or not, which it is.

It is entirely reasonable to presume that Hosea 6:2 refers to eras. It is also quite reasonable to presume that Hosea isn’t referring to ‘days’ at all, but rather to incidents. Metaphors are quite flexible constructs, after all.

In Genesis it is not as obvious as in Hosea, but it still is a perfectly reasonable translation, except to those who desperately neek to create conflict between the Bible and science.

And just when I thought you might be trying to be reasonable. It is not a reasonable translation - Rashi certainly didn’t think so or he would have commented on it, as he did in Hosea.

You appear to be unable to consistently deal with textual authority: if the normal translation of ‘yohm’ is ‘day’, and Rashi glossed Hosea because he believed it meant something else, then using Rashi to argue that Genesis ‘yohm’ also referred to ‘era’ even though he didn’t gloss it is editorial idiocy.

Look at the very simple logic you continue to ignore:

1. When Rashi finds a word that is being used in something other than the common and customary fashion, he glosses it.

2. Rashi doesn’t gloss Genesis ‘yohm’.

3. Therefore, Rashi accepted that Genesis ‘yohm’ was being used in the common and customary fashion: to mean ‘day’.

Now you’ve simply taken the position of “well, I can translate a word in the Bible anyway I want to - provided the usage can be found somewhere in the Bible.” A position that is factually incorrect.

This, of course, eliminates your entire argument for using Rashi or any other authority in the first place.

None of this impacts the rest of the above discussion. I stand by everything else I wrote despite the persistant sniping from the peanut gallery by folks who just have no idea what they are talking about.

How interesting that you don’t actually address any of the points that we have raised. I must tell you that failure to address counter-arguments diminishes your already quite low credibility.

PvM,

Thanks for your indulgance here.

There is a very nice spell-checker in the comment posting box. You should use it. You did say you were an editor, didn’t you?

Comment #80088

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 15, 2006 10:05 AM (e)

Oh, and Carol - a word of advice: ad hominems don’t actually constitute an argument. It just makes you look childish.

Comment #80097

Posted by William E Emba on February 15, 2006 10:38 AM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

Having re-read my post above #79533 I realize that I did not express myself as clearly as I should have pertaining to “the outstretched arm” in the OT. I did not want to say that this translation is the literal one, just that the writer’s obvious intentions when using such expressions in connection with God is to render the meaning of the words in the figurative sense of “might and reach”.

Figurative! You got it. Finally. Hint: figurative translations are not perforce literal translations. Passing them off as if they were literal is always deceitful.

The point was that similarly with yohm in Hosea, the writer’s obvious intentions are to refer to era instead of day, as Rashi makes it abundantly clear, whether that is the literal meaning of yohm or not, which it is. In Genesis it is not as obvious as in Hosea, but it still is a perfectly reasonable translation,

Perfectly reasonable translation! You got it. Finally. Hint: perfectly reasonable translations are not perforce literal translations. Passing them off as if they were literal is always deceitful.

except to those who desperately neek to create conflict between the Bible and science.

The conflicts exist, and have been recognized for millennia. Mountains do not, repeat, do not, skip like rams. Why fundamental nutcases freak out on the point-blank conflict that exists between literal readings of Genesis 1 and reality, but under no circumstances blink in the face of the point-blank conflict that exists between literal readings of Psalms 114 and reality, completely escapes me.

As Rambam says, all such conflicts are resolved by figuratively interpreting the Biblical verses in question.

None of this impacts the rest of the above discussion. I stand by everything else I wrote despite the persistant sniping from the peanut gallery by folks who just have no idea what they are talking about.

Carol: zolst vaksn vi a tsibele, mitn kop in drerd. Everyone reading this thread knows exactly what I just wrote, figuratively speaking. Something Yiddish for “Carol is a doodyhead, nyeah nyeah nyeah”. Context makes this abundantly clear. But I suspect some will be curious as to what the literal meaning of what I wrote actually is. You see, context is utterly worthless for that purpose. My doodyhead commentary is no help either, despite it being 100% authoritative (after all, you can’t get more authoritative than the author himself!).

No. The only way to get the literal meaning is to take each word, individually, and then combine the individual meanings according to the rules of the appropriate grammar. In this case, Yiddish and English share Germanic roots, so a word-for-word translation suffices: “you should grow like an onion, with your head in the dirt”.

Simple, right?

Comment #80101

Posted by William E Emba on February 15, 2006 10:51 AM (e)

Rilke's Granddaughter wrote:

What is interesting is that we see here that these traits can be displayed by those of any religious affiliation.

I’m not so clear as to what Carol’s affiliation is. I’ve noticed twice she has referred to the OT. Jews don’t refer to the OT. It’s Tanakh. “Old Testament” is a Christian concept. The books are even arranged in a different order, so that whereas the end of Tanakh is a triumphant summary (1&2 Chron), the end of OT is, if I remember correctly, Zechariah’s plea for Messiah to come. A little creative editing, so to speak.

Secondly, of course, as a woman, I am embarrassed by Carol’s inability to offer a coherent argument or coherent response to challenges. I mean, we really are better than this.

While I, as an observant Jew, was initially embarrassed by Carol’s postings, I now peg her as just a goyisher kop, excuse my Yiddish.

Comment #80189

Posted by William E Emba on February 15, 2006 4:52 PM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

The issue here is not a relative one. To William the literal meaning of a word is obtained by isolating it from its neighbors, probing into its roots and history, then arriving at some official definition which may at all not agree with how people use the word. That is a ridiculously extreme reading of the word “literal”.

It’s the reading the rest of the world’s population of educated English speakers use. The point is that actual usage is quite often at odds with literal meanings, and you are willfully blind to this rather mundane fact of language.

Thus he idiotically insists that the literal interpretation of the phrase “he walked into the west wing of the building” is that “he walked into the part of a bird.”

There is nothing idiotic about it. That’s what “literal” means. As opposed to idiomatic/figurative/metaphoric, when we discover that of course, someone saying that is not actually talking about a bird appendage, but is using a highly standardized metaphor.

Perhaps you can tell us what adjective to use when modifying “meaning” here? Fill in the blanks, please: “Lame duck”=”bird with a broken leg/wing” is the ________ meaning, whereas “lame duck”=”politician whose term is ending” is the ________ meaning.

And this he claims is the “normal and customary” meaning of the word “wing”,

Yes. The normal and customary meaning of the word “wing” is in fact upper bird appendage.

which is the dictionary definition of “literal”!

Your sentence doesn’t make any sense at this point.

I say that words get their meaning by the way they are used by people, by writers, by readers, and so on.

Yes, so? Both literal and non-literal meanings. What’s the big deal? Where did I imply otherwise? You seem unable to grasp the totally trivial concept that much of ordinary language is used idiomatically.

The dictionary lists “a section of a building” as one of the definitions of “wing”. That’s one of the meanings people attach to that word. The literal interpretation of “he walked into the west wing of the building” is that “he walked into the western section or extension of the building.”

Which is a non-literal meaning of the word “wing”. What is so difficult about this usage? Nothing, actually, but your own willful mumpsimus.

William’s repeated contention that Rashi in Hosea translates yohm as house is so childishly stupid, it is beyond the pale.

I never said that Rashi translates yom as house. I said that Rashi provides his commentary, and since it is not a dictionary as such, it requires reader input to decode just what Rashi is telling you. I did point out that under your idiotic Rashi=dictionary assertions one would be forced to conclude that yom=house is just one of the many meanings of yom. Ergo, your Rashi=dictionary assertions are rank gibberish.

Any ten year attending Hebrew school would justifiably laugh his head off at the mere thought of it.

Yes, some ten year olds do have trouble understanding the slightest of complications. Some of them never get past that stage, apparently.

And Rashi DOES IN FACT provide the services of a dictionary, despite William’s ignorant assertion to the contrary.

You’re just lying about what I said. I said Rashi provides multiple services, sometimes clearly of the one sort or another, including sometimes clearly lexicographic or grammar help, but quite often he just provides gloss and the nature of the gloss is not so clear.

There must be ten thousand examples of this, if not more. Rashi always focuses primarily on the “normal and customary” meaning of the words, in other words, their literal meaning (known in Hebrew as PISHAT).

Your statements here are rank nonsense. Utter garbage.

“Pshat” does not mean “literal”, although that is what they tell ten year olds in cheder class.

As I mentioned before–I gave an explicit example–Rashi sometimes emphasizes that a peculiar looking text is meant to be read literally. “The women spun the goats” does not need translation. It is so bizarre, though, that Rashi feels to emphasize that it means exactly what it says: the goats’ hair was not sheared until after spinning was done. (I remembered the exact Rashi wrong–there is somewhere else where Rashi’s sole comment is “mamish”=”literally so”.) Were Rashi doing what you were saying, there would be no examples of this. But Rashi is not doing what you are saying.

Rashi is aiming for the minimal standard interpretation of the text, and provides whatever commentary is needed to get the reader there. The most extreme avoidance of literalism in Rashi is Song of Songs, where the entire commentary is essentially nothing but a free allegoric translation, giving the relationship between God and Israel. No mention of physical body parts, for example.

When he departs from that out of neccesity he says so.

Except when he doesn’t. As far as I can tell, you are simply regurgitating the children’s version of what they learned in cheder about Rashi. It has little resemblance to the actual experience of reading and learning Rashi. Rashi was necessarily extremely cryptic, which means that he usually thinks it is obvious what mode he is operating in, but unfortunately, that is not always true.

And he clearly and unequivocally interpretes “the third yohm” (sounds like Genesis, right?) there as “the third era”.

Rashi glosses “the third yom” twice: the first time he refers to the “third house”, the second time to the “third era”. And to be truly accurate and nitpicky, one has to deal with the fact that the second time, the Hebrew is in fact ambiguous. beth-ayin-tav could be “beth”=in “ayin-tav”=era (Hebrew glues prepositions to their objects), or it could actually be the word for “terror” standalone. The “third terror”?

I of course reject that last reading as ridiculous, but not because Rashi told me one way or the other. He doesn’t. Meanwhile, Rashi is completely silent on whether he thinks “yom”=era the second time around is literal or idiomatic.

I wouldn’t get too excited about “the third yom” echoing Genesis. There are other “third yom”s around. For example, Redak glosses Hosea 6:2 by telling how the third yom of a sickness is the worst, and that is when healing comes, and refers to Abraham being visited by the angels on the third yom of his circumcision.

This is on top hundreds of other examples in the Bible where era instead of day is the best fit for yohm. Clearly that meaning must be admitted as a reasonable possibility in Genesis.

Well, yes, what we’ve been saying for quite some time. You have, in fact, now admitted you were wrong all along, but you are being quite vociferous that you are just engaging in your usual assertions as if nothing has changed. You were saying that this was the real literal meaning of Genesis, and if only the self-proclaimed literalists knew more Hebrew (or at least bought your employer’s book), they would jump on this opportunity to catch up with modern science.

Well, no. The real literal meaning of “yom” in the context of Genesis 1–pay special attention to the fact that nights and days are mentioned together, and that it culminates in the Shabbos, well known day of rest–your literalist has no choice but to conclude Genesis 1 is about 7 24-hour days.

Like Rambam, I am not in the least put off by the blatant contradiction that exists between a literal reading of Genesis 1 and modern science. As he says, the real meaning is not for the ignorant, so they get simple tales instead.

Ask any Hebrew speaking person even today to translate the phrase “the middle ages” for you into Hebrew. You will hear “yimai ha-bainayim” (plural of yohm), thus employing yohm to mean AGE. Yohm as ERA is thus perfectly normal and customary, though by no means is it the only meaning. There actually are three meanings to yohm (era, 24 hour period, dawn to dusk).

There you go yet again, leaving out the grammar effect that the OED2 mentioned. “yom”=era in your example is an example of idiom, not literalism.

Do pay attention that this phrase helps the literalist not one whit in reading Genesis 1, who has to deal with evenings and the Shabbos as part of the textual context. The middle ages are not part of the Genesis 1 context.

I find it extremely telling that, ever since you brought up the importance of context, you have been completely silent about the role of context in reading Genesis 1, and in particular, the other words that all say, loudly and clearly, yom=day here.

In summary, you are making up reasons why you must be right as you go along. But when someone (obviously not you) takes ten seconds to notice that your own arguments actually refute you, you just blither on as if it has never been mentioned. A real onionlady!

Comment #80228

Posted by William E Emba on February 15, 2006 6:29 PM (e)

Rilke's Granddaughter wrote:

The most important point is that Hebrew is not an exact language - multiple translations are possible, and we have NO WAY WHATEVER to determine the actual sense intended by the authors in a large number of cases. To claim otherwise is a falsehood.

It’s actually more interesting than a ten year old in cheder (like onionlady) would ever understand. No human language is an exact language. Things that are taken for granted in one language have to be specified directly in another. Choices that must be made in one language are left unstated in another.

For example, Hebrew uses gender in second person pronouns. If I write a short story in the second person in English, the gender ambiguity really does not translate into Hebrew. It’s not a case of a Hebrew translator has to try and psyche out whether I had meant male or female, and if he succeeds he makes a good translation, and if he fails, he makes a bad translation. The point is I had never meant either one, and the Hebrew language insists on a choice on this question.

Biblical translations often face this difficulty going the other way. Choices that English insists on specifying before a grammatical sentence can be generated are SIMPLY NOT THERE in the original. It’s a difficult challenge to convey this open-endedness, short of writing commentaries.

Comment #80240

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 15, 2006 7:45 PM (e)

William,

I am going to try to respond to your last post without responding in kind to your insults. By now you have insulted women (#79513)and non-Jews (#80101). It is I who should be embarrassed with you as a co-religionist. I shall however be brief because it is time to bring this circus to a close.

First, you distort my position. I never argued that yohm can only mean era in Genesis. Of course it could mean day. But to those who are certain that science refutes the Bible, I say - not so fast. The burden of proof is upon you. It could very well refer to era, as the word is used in the Bible in many areas.

Second, I contend that era actually makes more sense than day in Genesis, for various reasons, among them the fact that it is so used in a few other places in the story of creation. The “and there was evening, and there was morning” you repeatedly cite is not impressive. It could very well refer to a multitude of evenings and mornings, a tactic employed in many other places in the Bible. The seventh ERA of rest which leads God to bless the seventh day of the week also does not settle the matter.

Third, you refuse to face the fact that your own dictionary citation supports my definition of literalism - NORMAL AND CUSTOMARY meanings. Rules of grammar pertain to words strung together by their NORMAL and CUSTOMARY usage. One of yohm’s normal meanings is era.

Fourth, Rashi talks in Hosea about “houses” for one reason only, to define the three eras. He definitely defines yohm there as era, supporting the idea that the word can so be employed in the Bible, in the context of counting yohms, as in Genesis. That he says nothing in Genesis about yohm could be due to the fact that he is ambivalent about the matter. I agree that, more likely, Rashi takes yohm in Genesis as day, but that is his choice, it is not binding on the entire world.

Fifth, Rashi declares multiple times that he wrote ONLY to illuminate the PISHAT, which refers to, again, the ordinary and customary meanings of words. And he frequently elucidates his position by comparing words used in one place to how it is used in other places, sometimes “hundreds of miles away”. So it is a tried and tested method.

Comment #80244

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 15, 2006 8:03 PM (e)

Even the pinheaded know that it is tacky to gloat.

Still [gloat], this pinhead cannot resist nurturing a wee ember of pleasure at the royal roasting the obnoxious CC is deservedly receiving for her rather pathetic mendaciousness, so long on display here, from folks who are calmly and lucidly blowing her little ark out of the spate.[/gloat]

Comment #80247

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 15, 2006 8:10 PM (e)

I never argued that yohm can only mean era in Genesis.

This is really shocking disingenuity, Carol. You have argued repeatedly, from the first moment you arrived on PT, that as “correctly” translated by the impeccable Landa ‘day’ does indeed mean ‘era’ in this crucial passage of Genesis. It’s the entire basis for your claimed pro-scince, pro-evolution, anti-ID stance (which of course has also been eroding steadily the more you comment on other matters).

Comment #80291

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 16, 2006 2:21 AM (e)

William wrote:

“As I mentioned before—I gave an explicit example—Rashi sometimes emphasizes that a peculiar looking text is meant to be read literally. “The women spun the goats” does not need translation. It is so bizarre, though, that Rashi feels to emphasize that it means exactly what it says: the goats’ hair was not sheared until after spinning was done. (I remembered the exact Rashi wrong—there is somewhere else where Rashi’s sole comment is “mamish”=”literally so”.) Were Rashi doing what you were saying, there would be no examples of this. But Rashi is not doing what you are saying.”

Well, the other “mamish” you are thinking of is on “vayishlach yaakov malachim”, where Rashi says “malachim mamish”, meaning Jacob sent angels not human messengers to his brother. As far as I am concerned, both translations of malachim, messengers or angels, qualify as literal, since both meanings are ordinary and customary, to one extent or another. (I have no idea how you would apply your extremist and outlandish concept of literalism here.) And I don’t interpret “mamish” to mean “literally so”. It’s more subtle than that. It’s akin to saying, “really so, believe it”.

Clearly Rashi expects the reader to interpret literally as much as possible. He needs to say something in the case of the goats because it seems so strange, and he needs to say something in the case of malachim because the literal can go either way.

Comment #80310

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 16, 2006 8:31 AM (e)

Pinhead,

Let us see if you can follow this. It’s not rocket science. Ready? Have your seat belt on? I said before and I say now that the KJV and other popular translations are replete with incorrect and inaccurate translations. Some of these are downright illegal, others are the result of a poor choice.

Yohm CAN mean day and is so used many many times in the HB (Hebrew Bible). I never said otherwise, despite the pretensions and protestations of some morons here. Do I sound like the type of person to not know that yohm is used as day hundreds of times in the HB? I have repeatedly stated that yohm has three possible meanings. But “day” is the wrong choice, in my opinion, in Genesis. The correct choice is “era”. And since it is normal and customary for yohm to be employed this way, in the HB and in Hebrew-speaking everyday conversation, this meaning constitutes a literal interpretation of that word.

Got that?

Comment #80319

Posted by William E Emba on February 16, 2006 9:19 AM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

I am going to try to respond to your last post without responding in kind to your insults.

If you don’t want insults coming your direction, you shouldn’t generate them in the first place, onionlady.

By now you have insulted women (#79513)and non-Jews (#80101).

You may find the fact that traditional Judaism generally prohibits women from learning Torah insulting, but you cannot–with any honesty, that is–credit the insult to me. The goyim here will have to speak up as to whether they are insulted by my using the traditional Yiddish expression “goyisher kop”.

I shall however be brief because it is time to bring this circus to a close.

It also enables you to duck all the refutations of the absurdities and lies that I exposed in your statements, and just declare general victory while obviously being refuted to anyone following along.

First, you distort my position. I never argued that yohm can only mean era in Genesis.

At this point, you are just lying, as I have spelled out before. You have caught on that you made a mistake, but you are refusing to admit it.

Of course it could mean day. But to those who are certain that science refutes the Bible, I say - not so fast. The burden of proof is upon you. It could very well refer to era, as the word is used in the Bible in many areas.

Since the usual and customary meaning of “yom” is day, and it only achieves the meaning of “era” in secondary senses, and only when context makes it clear, the burden of proof is on those who claim it means “era” in Genesis 1. As an example, Rashi thought his reader of Hosea 6:2 might think “yom” meant day there, and hence glossed it.

Second, I contend that era actually makes more sense than day in Genesis, for various reasons, among them the fact that it is so used in a few other places in the story of creation.

Huh? Like 2nd yom, 3rd yom, etc? Get real.

The “and there was evening, and there was morning” you repeatedly cite is not impressive. It could very well refer to a multitude of evenings and mornings, a tactic employed in many other places in the Bible.

In other words, you are ignoring context and the ordinary and customary meanings of numerous words in order to maintain your illusion. Anything that point blank contradicts your illusion is “not impressive”. It makes for simple interpretation, yes, but it isn’t convincing to anyone who thinks about the matter.

The seventh ERA of rest which leads God to bless the seventh day of the week also does not settle the matter.

Who said it was an ERA? You? Really, you are just assuming your conclusion, and discovering that if you do so, you get to rewrite the entire Torah! How lucky. How treif.

Third, you refuse to face the fact that your own dictionary citation supports my definition of literalism - NORMAL AND CUSTOMARY meanings. Rules of grammar pertain to words strung together by their NORMAL and CUSTOMARY usage.

You are rewriting what the OED said. Take the words normal and customary meanings, and string those meanings together according to the rules of grammar. Thus, the literal meaning of “lame duck” is “lame”=injured/crippled, an adjective, modifying the noun “duck”=certain bird. Yet the normal and customary meaning of the phrase “lame duck” as a whole is a politician whose term is ending. There is nothing confusing about this. There is simply your obstinate and stupid refusal to admit your egregious blunder. A true onionlady to the core.

One of yohm’s normal meanings is era.

Almost entirely in figurative contexts. Either it is plural, in which case the days could indeed stretch on and on for an era, or it is joined with some other word, in which case the OED2 dictionary meaning of literal kicks in, and explains why the literal meaning of the individual words is in fact discrepant from the idiomatic meaning of the phrase as a whole.

Fourth, Rashi talks in Hosea about “houses” for one reason only, to define the three eras.

It does not matter what Rashi’s reasons are. The fact is that in glossing “third yom”, one of his glosses is “third house”. The instant you delve into trying to figure out what Rashi’s reasons are, you are admitting that Rashi is not a dictionary, that Rashi is not providing literal one-for-one translation, that Rashi is not a free ticket into any reading you like. In other words, you are conceding my point entirely about the interpretative task needed to go from Hosea 6:2 “yom” to Genesis 1 “yom”. But being an onionlady, you are insisting your original claims are still correct, even though you are mutating them day by day to take into account all the errors I have pointed out.

He definitely defines yohm there as era,

This is a point blank lie on your part. Sheer bluff and bluster. Rashi is not a dictionary, and all he has done here is supply multiple glosses. What to make of his glosses is not so obvious. You have chosen one particular reading, cherry picked exactly the one gloss that you can read the way you like, overpromoted it as a final “dictionary” reading, and then accused anyone who actually bothers to look at the Rashi as being ignorant.

and supporting the idea that the word can so be employed in the Bible, in the context of counting yohms, as in Genesis.

Well yes. Which is a far weaker claim than you initially stated. Maybe “day” means “era” in Genesis, so don’t worry about the age of the earth, Mr Biblical Literalist. For what it’s worth, “day” in English already encompasses the notion of vague timespan, like “back in my day, we didn’t have snow days, heck we had to walk six miles through a snowstorm to get to school, and this was after milking the cows and feeding the pigs” or similar geezer blither.

That he says nothing in Genesis about yohm could be due to the fact that he is ambivalent about the matter.

Or it could be that he is not ambivalent about the matter, and more importantly, he can’t even imagine somebody being ambivalent about the matter, and therefore there is no need for a gloss to resolve confusion. Unlike in Hosea 6:2, where a reader might see a three day timetable being laid out, and do no more than wonder if that is perhaps something happening next week, and totally miss the traditional symbolism attached to this verse.

I agree that, more likely, Rashi takes yohm in Genesis as day, but that is his choice, it is not binding on the entire world.

Golly. Your dyed-in-the-wool Biblical literalist is going to be really snowed over by your employer’s book now. Is this going to be slipped in as an errata slip, or what?

Fifth, Rashi declares multiple times that he wrote ONLY to illuminate the PISHAT,

Correct. And that is what he did.

which refers to, again, the ordinary and customary meanings of words.

At times, yes. At other times, it refers to the traditional metaphors and symbolisms and interpretations that Rashi cites. As I mentioned, the entire Rashi on Song of Songs is its allegorical reading. No literalisms whatsoever.

Rashi is giving pshat, though. But unlike what they tell ten-year-olds in cheder, pshat does not mean literal reading.

And he frequently elucidates his position by comparing words used in one place to how it is used in other places, sometimes “hundreds of miles away”. So it is a tried and tested method.

Yes, Rashi does that. In the case of Hosea 6:2, Rashi did not do that. To say Rashi supports your reading when you are doing the great reach is simply a baldfaced lie. Imitate Rashi all you like. I have nothing against that. I have something against being lied to by someone implying Rashi himself made a comparison that he did not.

Comment #80324

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 16, 2006 9:43 AM (e)

Carol wrote:

Yohm CAN mean day and is so used many many times in the HB (Hebrew Bible). I never said otherwise, despite the pretensions and protestations of some morons here.

Now you’re making things up. No one has ever claimed that you said yohm couldn’t mean ‘day’. This is just flat out prevarication on your part.

Carol, this is the internet; this text is saved; you can’t make up statements like that in order to support your own virtue and expect to get away with them. People will point out your failings and errors - which are immortalized in pixels.

Do I sound like the type of person to not know that yohm is used as day hundreds of times in the HB?

Frankly, considering that you think torah means Bible… yes, you do. It’s reasonably clear that you’re simply parroting Landa’s book, and that you’re not actually that well versed in the Hebrew.

I have repeatedly stated that yohm has three possible meanings. But “day” is the wrong choice, in my opinion, in Genesis.

And yet another blatant change of position: you haven’t been claiming ‘opinion’, you’ve been claiming that you’re ‘correct’.

Perhaps you should realize that your ‘opinion’ is not the same thing as ‘truth’.

The correct choice is “era”.

No, it’s Landa’s opinion; that doesn’t make it ‘correct’.

And since it is normal and customary for yohm to be employed this way, in the HB and in Hebrew-speaking everyday conversation, this meaning constitutes a literal interpretation of that word.

You really have no clue what literal means, do you? This is completely incorrect. The usual meaning of ‘yohm’ is day. Reading it literally, that’s the reading we’d use.

Your inability to stick to one story/interpretation/position/etc. makes it difficult to take your points seriously.

Comment #80329

Posted by William E Emba on February 16, 2006 10:14 AM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

As I mentioned before—I gave an explicit example—Rashi sometimes emphasizes that a peculiar looking text is meant to be read literally. “The women spun the goats” does not need translation. It is so bizarre, though, that Rashi feels to emphasize that it means exactly what it says: the goats’ hair was not sheared until after spinning was done. (I remembered the exact Rashi wrong—there is somewhere else where Rashi’s sole comment is “mamish”=”literally so”.)

Well, the other “mamish” you are thinking of is on “vayishlach yaakov malachim”, where Rashi says “malachim mamish”, meaning Jacob sent angels not human messengers to his brother.

I’ve seen it more than once, but the only other “mamish” I can recall on my own is a gloss on a divine anthropomorphism. Very peculiar, and the supercommentators have a lot to say on that one.

As far as I am concerned, both translations of malachim, messengers or angels, qualify as literal, since both meanings are ordinary and customary, to one extent or another.

The first is the literal meaning, the other is the standard metaphor.

(I have no idea how you would apply your extremist and outlandish concept of literalism here.)

You can’t read the OED2 either, so I’m not concerned.

I know of people who grew up thinking “malachim” were a certain Lubavitch splitter group from before the war. Their ordinary use of the word was to their neighbors. They certainly never went around saying “malachim” literally meant such-and-such splitter group.

Tell me, in onionladyland, what’s the literal meaning of “hasid”? No matter how many millions of hassidim there are, it will always remain “pious person”.

And I don’t interpret “mamish” to mean “literally so”. It’s more subtle than that. It’s akin to saying, “really so, believe it”.

In a dictionary or a grammar, it is more akin to “literal”, as defined in the OED2, although you haven’t grasped that concept yet. But Rashi isn’t just a dictionary, so his use of “mamish” here is more like “angels, literally!”, there being no need for him to gloss ordinary messengers.

Clearly Rashi expects the reader to interpret literally as much as possible.

Right. Which is why when he doesn’t gloss something, it’s a good bet he has the literal reading in mind, and assumes the reader will have the same literal meaning in mind also.

Had he not glossed the malachim, the reader would have applied the ordinary Hebrew meaning.

Funny, you just said that both meanings were ordinary. Now you admit that one is the ordinary meaning, the other is the figurative meaning, and Rashi’s gloss is needed to point out that this time around, Rashi does not want the reader to assume the ordinary meaning.

He needs to say something in the case of the goats because it seems so strange, and he needs to say something in the case of malachim because the literal can go either way.

Rashi is able and willing to say something about the goats because he is providing more than a dictionary service. That was my point in mentioning it. Your claims to the contrary were, as you are now admitting, utter nonsense.

He needs to say something about the malachim because the ordinary reader using the ordinary meaning will be mistaken.

Comment #80375

Posted by carol clouser on February 16, 2006 1:49 PM (e)

EMBE QUOTED CLOUSER:

“Had he not glossed the malachim, the reader would have applied the ordinary Hebrew meaning.”

I thought I was done with this discussion since you are essentially repeating ad nauseum the same lies, distortions and stupidities. But the above fabricated “quote” of mine really sets a new low for behavior even by your standards. Coming on top of your insulting all women and gentiles, you are now decidedly on my sewer list.

Comment #80388

Posted by k.e. on February 16, 2006 2:37 PM (e)

Seriously Carol
You are a 5th rate pedant.
Just before you conveniently forget about era not being equal to a day which I predict you will never mention here on PT again, along with anal and oral sex, slavery and all the other ridiculous projections you bring up , however before you do, just how long exactly is your era and how about the sequence of events for each era?
What William seems to have almost done is switch on the light in the dark confines of that thing between your ears you claim is a brain.

Here is a challenge, learn another extinct language, sanskrit
would be perfect for you.
I hazard a guess you would have, shall we say greater difficulty, imposing you cultural prejudices on it, particularly if you sing it.

Comment #80395

Posted by JONBOY on February 16, 2006 3:10 PM (e)

Carol Clouser said to EMBE “Coming on top of your insulting all women and gentiles, you are now decidedly on my sewer list.
Perhaps Carol you should examine your “Good Book” to see how IT views the status of Women and Gentiles?
In both the Old and New Testaments women are assigned a position not appreciably different from that of domestic servants, their status is demeaning, debilitating, and wholly incompatible with self-respect and confidence.To use the vernacular, the Bible is sexist and permeated with male supremacy, as the following verses show only to well: “…and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee (GEN> #:16).” If you are desiring more proof you should read: Duet. 21:10-14, 24:1-4, Judges 5:30, Esther 1:20-22, Rom. 7:2, 1 Col. 3:18, Titus 2:4-5, 1 Peter 3:1, Lev. 12:2, 5, Gen. 3:20.
As for the Gentiles
GOD ORDERS KILLING: “ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put 10,000 to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword” (Lev. 26:7-8). “the Lord said to Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said to the judges of Israel. Slay every one his men that were joined to Baal” (Numb. 25:4-5). “Vex the Mediates and smite them” (Numb. 25:17). “But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breathes. But thou shalt utterly destroy them…as the Lord thy God has commanded thee” (Duet. 20:16-17). “So Joshua smote all the country of the hills…he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded” (Joshua 10:40). “As I listened, god said to the others, ‘Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children….” (Eek. 9:5-6). “And the Lord sent you on a mission, saying ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amaleta’s; make war on them until you have wiped them out.’” (1 Sam. 15:18). “Attack the land of Maratha and those who live in Peaked. Pursue, kill and completely destroy them’ declares the Lord. Do everything I have commanded you” (Ker. 50:21). “Now go, attack the Amaleta’s and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys” (1 Sam. 15:3).

Comment #80398

Posted by William E Emba on February 16, 2006 3:19 PM (e)

carol clouser wrote:

EMBE QUOTED CLOUSER: “Had he not glossed the malachim, the reader would have applied the ordinary Hebrew meaning.”

I thought I was done with this discussion since you are essentially repeating ad nauseum the same lies, distortions and stupidities.

The only reason lies, distortions, and stupidities are being repeated is because you keep defending your lies, distortions, and stupidities.

But the above fabricated “quote” of mine really sets a new low for behavior even by your standards.

No, I just screwed up the html tags and, over the course of the hour or so while I put the article together, my own words got shifted into the wrong pairing and as I continued to edit my response, I took my words as your own. Considering how blatantly you contradict yourself from posting to posting, seemingly seeing you contradict yourself one more time did not strike me as the least bit unusual.

Coming on top of your insulting all women and gentiles, you are now decidedly on my sewer list.

So now you are saying that Torah Judaism and the Yiddish language are part of your sewer list? A real onionlady.

Comment #80456

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

Hey Carol, why, again, should science give a flying fig about your religious opinions?

And why, again, are your religious opinions any more authoritative than anyone else’s, other than your say-so?

Both you and Heddle seem to think you are God’s Spokesperson, yet you both don’t say the same things. One of you must be worng.

Which one?

Comment #80464

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 16, 2006 8:59 PM (e)

By insinuating that his derogatory insults aimed at women and gentiles are somehow sanctioned by wrapping himself in the mantle of “Torah Judaism” and the “Yiddish language”, William E Emba is essentially asserting that these entities are complicit in his callous and bigoted behavior. In so doing he in effect adds them to the list of those he has insulted. That list now consists of: women, gentiles, Torah Judaism and the Yiddish language.

He is nothing but a bigoted, ignorant buffoon.

Comment #80468

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 16, 2006 9:18 PM (e)

What Stevie said:

This is really shocking disingenuity, Carol. You have argued repeatedly, from the first moment you arrived on PT, that as “correctly” translated by the impeccable Landa ‘day’ does indeed mean ‘era’ in this crucial passage of Genesis.
[Bold emphasis added.]

What Oh Carol turned it into:

Yohm CAN mean day and is so used many many times in the HB (Hebrew Bible). I never said otherwise, despite the pretensions and protestations of some morons here. Do I sound like the type of person to not know that yohm is used as day hundreds of times in the HB? I have repeatedly stated that yohm has three possible meanings. But “day” is the wrong choice, in my opinion, in Genesis.
[Bold emphasis added.]

Where O where, gentle readers, did I accuse Oh Carol of making claims about the meaning of “yohm” anywhere else in the Hebrew Bible (or whatever she wants to call it this week) but in the critical creation-of-the-world passages of Genesis that she has been blathering about ever since she showed up on PT in the first place?
Nowhere, of course. Nice strawman, Carol…
And had you simply said that your interpretation of “yohm” was your personal opinion, based on Landa’s interpretation, which was a fairly-debatable scholarly position, then nobody would’ve have particularly cared, one way or another.
But you claimed considerably more than that for Landa’s one-and-only-true-and-“correct” translation, didn’t you, Carol?
I don’t expect you to suddenly drop your disingenuity, but whether you realize it or not, everybody else is already on the same page here.
And, unfortunately for you, it’s NOT a page out of Landa’s book…
Nor, I might add, anybody’s book of ethics.

Comment #80524

Posted by William E Emba on February 17, 2006 8:14 AM (e)

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

Hey, Carol, … why, again, are your religious opinions any more authoritative than anyone else’s, other than your say-so?

She kept citing Rashi as the source for her authoritative reading. But as I have shown, and to which she has agreed with, despite kicking and screaming and lying the whole way, Rashi says nothing quite like she originally said. The cherry picked reading she likes agrees with her assumptions, nothing more.

So if she ever does answer the question again, and says “Rashi”, you and everyone else will know that she’s just lying as usual.

Comment #80527

Posted by William E Emba on February 17, 2006 8:26 AM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

By insinuating that his derogatory insults aimed at women and gentiles are somehow sanctioned by wrapping himself in the mantle of “Torah Judaism” and the “Yiddish language”, William E Emba is essentially asserting that these entities are complicit in his callous and bigoted behavior.

You found insult. No one else apparently has. I quoted standard items from both in your general direction. You resented that. Too bad. If you have problems with the Torah Judaism and what it says about you learning Torah, don’t blame me. I mention it or I don’t mention it, the restrictions are still there. If you don’t like the Yiddish language, whether I use it or I don’t, the words are still there. Take up Sanskrit, as someone else recommended.

I mean, this is a no-brainer. Which I suppose is too much for you to handle.

He is nothing but a bigoted, ignorant buffoon.

You are nothing but a desperate loser of an onionlady. Your lies and stupidities and total lack of ethics have been exposed word-by-word, you have been deceitfully changing your claims when the old ones have in fact been refuted, so you have nothing left to do but lash out. Scream all you want, you will still be as dumb as a brick. And I expect as dishonest as ever.

Comment #80567

Posted by Jim B. on February 17, 2006 12:47 PM (e)

Does anyone know where the universe came from? Science allows us to go back to the first billion billion nanosecond but not earlier. Was there ‘poof’ out of nothing it came? Is matter eternal as the Greeks believed? Any updates on the attempt at, I believe, Temple University, as reported last month, by a famous DNA researcher to take the exact chemical combination of the most simplest life form, put them together in the exact manner and make life? Any updates? Last I heard, he admit in the very same story that he wasn’t sure that even after he put the chemicals in the very same (exact) order that he knew how to ‘turn it on’. What do you think he meant by ‘turn it on’? If we have the exact chemical composition should it not automatically ‘turn on’?

Comment #80572

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 17, 2006 1:20 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

By insinuating that his derogatory insults aimed at women and gentiles are somehow sanctioned by wrapping himself in the mantle of “Torah Judaism” and the “Yiddish language”, William E Emba is essentially asserting that these entities are complicit in his callous and bigoted behavior. In so doing he in effect adds them to the list of those he has insulted. That list now consists of: women, gentiles, Torah Judaism and the Yiddish language.

He is nothing but a bigoted, ignorant buffoon.

I am both female and a gentile. I do not find his remarks either derogatory OR demeaning: he is simply pointing out the strictures of his faith - a faith you do not appear to be familiar with.

Carol, if you are actually going to respond to one of the numerous cricitisms of your assertions, conflations, and obfuscations, it might be better to include some actual content.

Else does it make you appear akin to a petulant child. %:->

And Stevie (and Mr. Emba) have correctly pointed out that your statements are inconsist and occasionally contradictory. Perhaps you could deal with that?

Comment #80582

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 17, 2006 2:35 PM (e)

Rilke wrote:

“I am both female and a gentile. I do not find his remarks either derogatory OR demeaning: he is simply pointing out the strictures of his faith - a faith you do not appear to be familiar with.”

Perhaps you do not read Yiddish, but “a goyisher kop” means “a gentile brain”. So in attempting to insult my intelligence he goes about it by asserting that I have the intelligence of a gentile. Now even you with “literally” a gentile brain can understand the insult. What difference does it make what language he used? And faith has absolutely nothing to do with it.

And all Jewish women, including the most observant, study Torah (with Rashi’s commentary) these days. While some opinions have been expressed in the past by some rabbis limiting the role of women in the study of Torah, they were always supposed to study enough Torah to know the commandments and observances. Which is a lot of Torah. Only bigots like Emba think along the lines of “you are a woman, you should not be studying Torah”.

It is very telling that you defend him. The real reason is clear. The most important thing to you is that the Bible not be reconciled with science. This not only blinds you and Emba to the impeccable logic I presented here and on other threads, it also causes you to crawl into bed with your “enemy”, who insults you on both accounts, your gender and ethnicity.

There is no point in continuing this discussion since both of you deliberately and repeatedly refuse to reason open- mindedly on the matter. You both repeatedly and deliberately distort my position and are blinded to all sense o logic by the desperate imperative of your desired outcome.

Comment #80584

Posted by BWE on February 17, 2006 2:38 PM (e)

Carol, you do know that the bible can’t be reconciled with science dont you?

Comment #80587

Posted by Shirley Knott on February 17, 2006 2:44 PM (e)

I think we need to start keeping count of how many times Carol is going to declare the discussion closed.
Or a betting pool on the resulting number – I suspect it will be in the triple digits.

And Carol, do take note – there are other possible reasons for rejecting the spurious nonsense you continue to dribble here. It need not be driven by an overpowering need or desire to continue to hold the Bible as irreconcilable with science. It may just be that there is on overriding concern for the truth.
And the truth is that Judah Landa, in his silly little self-published tract, has accomplished something which no one (other than you, of course) on any of the threads you’ve polluted with your presence takes even remotely seriously.
Oddly enough, those opposed to your views have been forthcoming about the whats, whys and wherefores of their concerns.
You, on the other hand, have done little more than pout, condescend, shrilly bleat attempts at insults, and have done nothing whatsoever to present a *reasoned* defense of a *solidly staked out* position.

You’re worse than useless, you’re a hysterical, ignorant, shrill poseur.
You would contaminate any compost heap you were tossed upon.

hugs,
Shirley Knott
who really doesn’t care if the bible can be reconciled with science. Science doesn’t need the bible (nor, really, does anyone). If the Bible can be reconciled, so what? If it can’t so much the worse for it. But in either case, there’s plenty of grounds for rejecting it.

Comment #80590

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 17, 2006 3:13 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

Perhaps you do not read Yiddish, but “a goyisher kop” means “a gentile brain”. So in attempting to insult my intelligence he goes about it by asserting that I have the intelligence of a gentile. Now even you with “literally” a gentile brain can understand the insult. What difference does it make what language he used? And faith has absolutely nothing to do with it.

I understand Yiddish; and I know what he said. I also recognize the import and implications of it - unlike you, apparently. For someone who spends so much time defending Landa’s view of the Tanakh, you apparently don’t know much about how Yiddish goes about insulting people.

And all Jewish women, including the most observant, study Torah (with Rashi’s commentary) these days.

They do? Amazing. So what? That’s not what he was pointing out.

Once again, Carol fails to address what was actually said in favor of a straw-man. While this is your usual style, perhaps you would consider abandoning it in favor of a substantive reply. Just for a change? Pretty please?

While some opinions have been expressed in the past by some rabbis limiting the role of women in the study of Torah, they were always supposed to study enough Torah to know the commandments and observances. Which is a lot of Torah. Only bigots like Emba think along the lines of “you are a woman, you should not be studying Torah”.

Straw-man. Get over it. Deal with the substance, and not your bruised ego.

I suspect that Mr. Emba would have no trouble with either your gender or your faith if you demonstrated that your assertions contained any logic or support.

Certainly I would cut you some slack in that case - but you’d have to show that you were capable of supporting your claims. This hasn’t happened so far.

It is very telling that you defend him. The real reason is clear. The most important thing to you is that the Bible not be reconciled with science.

The most important thing is that you are utterly wrong. Why does everything have to be a religious issue with you? I’m defending Emba because his position on the comments you have made is correct, and you have failed to rationally deal with them. May I remind you that repetition and ad hominems don’t constitute an argument?

This not only blinds you and Emba to the impeccable logic I presented here and on other threads,

That has to be the funniest thing you’ve ever said.

Try reconciling your logic: first you claim that the only correct reading of ‘yohm’ is ‘era’; then you claim that reading is only your opinion. Which is it? What’s impeccable about claiming that because Rashi glossed the word in one way in particular instances, that it should be glossed that way all the time, even when Rashi did not so gloss it. What’s impeccable about claiming that the Bible is perfectly compatible with science, and then claiming that 900+ year old men are compatible with science because it’s a miracle?

You have trouble with words (note your trouble understanding what “literal” means); perhaps your understanding of “impeccable’ should be revisited?

it also causes you to crawl into bed with your “enemy”, who insults you on both accounts, your gender and ethnicity.

He hasn’t insulted me; he has insulted you. And not because you’re female and a gentile, but because your logic is crap.

There is no point in continuing this discussion since both of you deliberately and repeatedly refuse to reason open- mindedly on the matter.

I love it when you claim the discussion is over. You do this roughly every three days or so. Why should we take you any more seriously this time than the last dozen or so times you did it?

You both repeatedly and deliberately distort my position and are blinded to all sense o logic by the desperate imperative of your desired outcome.

Perhaps you could show us precisely where we’ve distorted your logic? Because all I can see on your side is shifting goalposts and an essential lack of logic.

Comment #80591

Posted by William E Emba on February 17, 2006 3:16 PM (e)

Carol Clouser wrote:

Perhaps you do not read Yiddish, but “a goyisher kop” means “a gentile brain”. So in attempting to insult my intelligence he goes about it by asserting that I have the intelligence of a gentile. Now even you with “literally” a gentile brain can understand the insult. What difference does it make what language he used?

The phrase “gentile brain” (or “head”, to be accurate) means pretty much nothing. The phrase “goyisher kop” means stupid beyond belief. I’ve not heard it used outside of Jew commenting on Jew, and I’m not sure if it is considered meaningful or not in regards to actual gentiles.

And all Jewish women, including the most observant, study Torah (with Rashi’s commentary) these days.

Your statement is factually false. The amount of Torah study in practice ranges from like the men being common in Modern Orthodox circles, to being virtually nonexistent in many Yeshivish and Charedim communities.

While some opinions have been expressed in the past by some rabbis limiting the role of women in the study of Torah, they were always supposed to study enough Torah to know the commandments and observances. Which is a lot of Torah.

But not to the point of the fine details of Hosea 6:2 versus Genesis 1 and the like.

Only bigots like Emba think along the lines of “you are a woman, you should not be studying Torah”.

I never said anything to that effect. I blatantly implied that you, onionlady extraordinaire, were a poster child for the prohibition in the first place. I was insulting you.

Similarly, Rilke’s GD also insulted you when she said she found you embarrassing as a woman. She was not insulting women in general.

It is very telling that you defend him. The real reason is clear. The most important thing to you is that the Bible not be reconciled with science.

I can’t speak for RGD, but it is neither important nor unimportant to me to make such a reconciliation: it factually is impossible on a literal reading. As I mentioned, I hold by the Rambam, who explained that the literal reading of Torah was false repeatedly, and that given a conflict between good science and Torah literalism, the literalism is to be rejected.

This not only blinds you and Emba to the impeccable logic I presented here and on other threads, …

We’ve only pointed out in massive detail that your logic is trash, gibberish, and lies.

There is no point in continuing this discussion since both of you deliberately and repeatedly refuse to reason open-mindedly on the matter. You both repeatedly and deliberately distort my position and are blinded to all sense of logic by the desperate imperative of your desired outcome.

The onionlady projects. And screeches. And evades.

Comment #80596

Posted by PvM on February 17, 2006 3:38 PM (e)

BWE wrote:

Carol, you do know that the bible can’t be reconciled with science dont you?

Again a faith based claim. Countless Christian and many Christian writers have shown that this argument is just plain wrong.

Perhaps you mean to say that particular interpretations of the Bible are hard to reconcile with science. It all depends on what one expects the Bible to be and not to be.

Comment #80600

Posted by Flint on February 17, 2006 4:02 PM (e)

Again a faith based claim. Countless Christian and many Christian writers have shown that this argument is just plain wrong.

Perhaps you mean to say that particular interpretations of the Bible are hard to reconcile with science. It all depends on what one expects the Bible to be and not to be.

This veers awful close to doubletalk. By this exact reasoning, ANYTHING can be reconciled with ANYTHING. If we interpret a dog’s hair as legs, we can reconcile dogs with trees, if we interpret leaves as legs also. Sheesh.

BWE’s statement was based on something people have been trying to get through to Carol: that words generally have ordinary, everyday meanings that are commonly understood, and that communication is only possible because of this general agreement over what words mean. And by this measure, the bible cannot be reconciled with science.

The giveaway lies in the direction our interpretation must take: FIRST, we must use science to understand how the world actually works. THEN, armed with actual knowledge, we can decide how the words of the bible, which clearly say something very different, must be “interpreted” to fit what we learned by entirely independent (and totally different) mechanisms. This entire site exists to counter the irreducible insanity of those who work in the other direction, trying to reconcile reality with the words of the bible however preposterous these efforts must necessarily be.

Comment #80602

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 17, 2006 4:14 PM (e)

BWE wrote:

“Carol, you do know that the bible can’t be reconciled with science dont you?”

I not only know no such thing, I know that the original version of the Bible HAS ALREADY BEEN reconciled with science by recent scholarship and that this is the case even with a literal reading of the text.

Comment #80605

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 17, 2006 4:27 PM (e)

PvM wrote:

Again a faith based claim. Countless Christian and many Christian writers have shown that this argument is just plain wrong.

Perhaps you mean to say that particular interpretations of the Bible are hard to reconcile with science. It all depends on what one expects the Bible to be and not to be.

Precisely. The “compatibility” of the Bible (tanakh, whatever) with science depends entirely on which Biblical claims are held to be empirically testable and which aren’t. Interestingly, the Bible itself makes no claim that is useful for anything more than “instruction, etc.” of a spiritual nature - on which subject science is silent.

Comment #80606

Posted by Flint on February 17, 2006 4:36 PM (e)

Carol:

I know that the original version of the Bible HAS ALREADY BEEN reconciled with science by recent scholarship and that this is the case even with a literal reading of the text.

In that case, you are much too valuable to be wasting your time here. You should be using this literal reading to be making scientific discoveries that the ordinary scientific process has not yet blundered onto. What *fabulous* insight the literal word of God must be to guide scientific investigation, if only anyone here had the sense to read it through the enlightened eyes of Judah Landa.

Surely you wouldn’t be using any sort of ex post facto process of “discovering what the Bible actually SAYS” after science discovers it, now would you? That would smell suspiciously of a forced (and previously unguessed) interpretation.

Remember, if you are correct, you shouldn’t be using what science learns to “discover” that the bible already said it. You should be using what the bible says to discover something currenly unknown about reality. You could be the very very first person to do this effectively, if your claims are true.

Comment #80607

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 17, 2006 4:38 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

I not only know no such thing, I know that the original version of the Bible HAS ALREADY BEEN reconciled with science by recent scholarship and that this is the case even with a literal reading of the text.

Fascinating. This is the completely false statement that you first made when you came here. It has been demonstrated to be false in several threads.

And yet you simply repeat the same incorrect statement. Why?

Comment #80609

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 17, 2006 4:47 PM (e)

We have already learned that Carol is clueless as to what “literal” means in interpreting the words and phrases that make up a text.

She has also been challenged several times to validate her claim that anything like an “original version of the Bible” remains extant. (She has been informed on more than one occasion of the the likely mythic and cultural precursors for several of the key elements that were drawn into the Genesis creation account, but has chosen to ignore that information.) We can expect, with a high degree of certainty, that Carol will again fail to rise to this challenge, and that she will never show us an “original” Bible.

One can discuss, as PvM and Flint are doing, whether it is possible to reconcile various less-than-literal “interpretations” of the Genesis account with the findings of science, but any attempted reconciliation of the many familiar details of the literal Genesis account with science quickly becomes strained. In this restricted sense, at least, BWE’s statement is hard to argue with.

This is not to say, of course, that the early stories in the Bible may not serve believers and other readers in many valuable ways, but efforts to make it serve as something that had not remotely been conceived as a human enterprise at the time the Genesis accounts were drawn together–that is, as a practical, everyday science manual!–is manifestly silly, on the Ham and Hovind level of cartoonish preposterousness.

It’s worth noting, in this regard, that Carol has never moved past her “era”-not-“day” dictum in her effort to defend her “correctly”-translated literal creation account, even though–on one thread or another–she has been asked to deal with other problematic episodes (Noah and the ark, 900-year-old patriarchs, etc.). Carol’s only response to these inquiries–usually while peering out from behind Heddle’s coattails–has been to retreat into miracle-babble (she’s perfectly entitled to believe in miracles, of course, but not to claim that science is compatible with miraculous explanations).

Thus, even if we were–out of sheer exasperation and exhaustion!–willing to grant her a pass as to her outLANDAish interpretation of this one passage, her adamant refusal to deal with any of the other problems which stand in the way of accceptance of her overall claim leave her in a position which deserves nothing but dismissal.

Comment #80610

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 17, 2006 4:52 PM (e)

Out of amusement - and because it’s actually germane to the OP - let’s deconstruct Carol’s nonsensical statement:

I not only know no such thing,

It is true that she knows no such thing since she won’t listen to anyone but Landa, but it’s also true that such a reconciliation depends ENTIRELY on which statements are considered to be factual and which aren’t. Something that is (as various churches have demonstrated and as CAROL HAS ADMITTED) a matter of opinion.

I know that the original version of the Bible HAS ALREADY BEEN reconciled with science

Another problematic statement: we don’t have the ‘original version’. We don’t know what the ‘original version’ actually looks like. In fact, the very statement makes no sense.

by recent scholarship

A misstatement: Landa makes this claim and Carol (who apparently is very fond of the ground on which the man walks) accepts that. ‘Scholarship’ has done no such thing.

and that this is the case even with a literal reading of the text.

And a literal reading of the text says that God has a nose, walks around on legs, and has arms. Carol doesn’t have the faintest idea of what ‘literal’ means.

No actual content in her post. A pity.

Comment #80615

Posted by argy stokes on February 17, 2006 5:27 PM (e)

Carol,

Why are you here? Seeing as the point of every one of your posts is to state that the bible is completely consistent with science, I can come up with a few reasons. You want all these people to know that since the bible is consonant with science, we should:

(1) Use the bible as a scientific text for generating future hypotheses
(2) Proclaim the authors of the bible as divinely inspired, and we should all convert to monotheism
(3) Stop rejecting science because of our faith in biblical literalism

#1 is ridiculous. For #2, you’ve said that you’re not here to prosletyze. #3 would be a perfectly reasonable position (assuming you and Jay El are right), but seems inappropriate for this forum. Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to take this to one of those Christian Forums, where there are a lot of kids that have “incorrect” views about what the Bible says about natural history?

Or am I missing another consequence of consistency between the Bible and science?

Comment #80617

Posted by Steviepinhead on February 17, 2006 5:50 PM (e)

One can rearrange the letter’s in Larry’s original cognomen to make ARR YL (= “are ill”). Regrettably, we failed to initially interpret this as the veiled admission of multiple personality disorder and evident psychopathology that, in retrospect, it so plainly was(though Sir_Toejam discerned the underlying syndromes in an impressively early fashion).

Carol’s “presentation” gave every appearance of being quite different, leading us to initially “diagnose” ethical rather than psychological disorders. However, as her inability to maintain a personam distinct from that of Landa has become increasingly evident, and as the other more bizarre and delusional aspects of her condition have manifested with greater frequency, we are beginning to see that the ethical difficulties were superficial symptoms of a deeper disorder with disquieting similarities to Larry-ngitis (or, perhaps, Lar-rhythmia).

One troubling limitation of Internet communication is our lack of any reliably effective ways to respond to such cries for help. We can only hope that these troubled individuals prove capable of reaching out to those who are closer to them, and better placed to intervene with appropriate referrals and therapy.

And, of course, it’s necessary to beware the temptation to arrive at too specific a diagnosis on uncertain and insufficient evidence. (Though, in Carol’s case, sufficiency of evidence isn’t so much the problem as that of a distressing redundancy–though even that is of some help in unifying her presentation with Larry’s.) In any event, since there is little we can do–beyond engaging in our usual “talk therapy”–we would hope that our caution in this regard is not misinterpreted by the victims as an invitation for them to continue superfluously modelling the identical rituals.

Comment #80622

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 17, 2006 6:23 PM (e)

And by this measure, the bible cannot be reconciled with science.

Neither can Aesop’s Fables. Foxes and hares and tortoises cannot talk. (shrug)

Which does not, I submit, make Aesop’s Fables worthless or valueless.

Comment #80768

Posted by carol clouser on February 18, 2006 7:27 PM (e)

Argy stokes,

Your chice #3 comes closest to my purposes here, as I have stated many, many times. The science community is engaged in a massive cultural war and I have information they ought to find useful. The reaction here only demonstrates that there is no shortage of closed minded morons on both sides of that war.

Pinhead,

As I have stated on many occassions, don’t ever assume that my not responding to any particular post implies that there exists no response or even that I do not have one. It is amazing how many times I have had posts laden with invective, insults, distortions, fabrications and profanity addressed to me, and when I choose not to respond the posters have the temerity to argue that the absence of a response constitutes refutation. I concede no such point.

You know very well, pinhead, what I mean by “original” Bible because I have addressed the issue in other places. All the phantom issues you raise about the origin of the Bible have NOTHING to do with what I mean by that term and have nothing to do with the argument I am making. It simply contrasts the relatively recent popular translations to the earlir Hebrew version.

As far as the reconciliations becoming “strained”, I completely disagree. As a matter of fact, if one looks at the entire story of creation in Genesis (first eleven chapters) it flows much better, with no straining at all, if the original is translated correectly.

And thank you very much for your concern about my health. But you know what you can do with it.

Comment #80776

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 18, 2006 7:53 PM (e)

The reaction here only demonstrates that there is no shortage of closed minded morons on both sides of that war.

(sniffle) (sob) Boo hoo hoo.

Since we are all closeminded ignorami, Carol, why on earth do you waste your precious time casting pearls before us swine? Why not go somewhere else where your unique genius would be better appreciated?

My hypothesis, Carol? You LIKE being “repressed”. You ENJOY it. You CRAVE it. It enables you to pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself about how horridly unfair the big bad world is to you. It’s just part of that massive martyr complex that all fundies seem to have. (shrug)

Comment #80779

Posted by BWE on February 18, 2006 7:57 PM (e)

Lenny, But no one claims that Aesop’s Fables ought to be reconciled with science because we recognize them for what they are, fiction with an allegorical truth.

Comment #80833

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 19, 2006 1:03 AM (e)

Carol wrote:

Argy stokes,

Your chice #3 comes closest to my purposes here, as I have stated many, many times. The science community is engaged in a massive cultural war and I have information they ought to find useful. The reaction here only demonstrates that there is no shortage of closed minded morons on both sides of that war.

Why do you find inventing complete fictions entertaining? What war? Who are the generals? Who is the enemy?

Your utter ignorance of science and scientists becomes more clear with every post you make.

And we can always demonstrate that the reason you came here was to hawk Landa’s book. Has your presence here made any difference in sales?

Pinhead,

As I have stated on many occassions, don’t ever assume that my not responding to any particular post implies that there exists no response or even that I do not have one. It is amazing how many times I have had posts laden with invective, insults, distortions, fabrications and profanity addressed to me, and when I choose not to respond the posters have the temerity to argue that the absence of a response constitutes refutation. I concede no such point.

True. But you don’t actually concede any points - especially when you have been proven wrong. That’s a very unhealthy attitude.

You know very well, pinhead, what I mean by “original” Bible because I have addressed the issue in other places.

Actually, you haven’t - I went back to find it in your notes. All you ever talk about is the Hebrew Bible. Big deal. The Hebrew Bible talks of a world-wide flood, a world created in seven days, men living to impossible ages, etc.

I admit Landa’s passion on the topic. As an exegesist, he’s an idiot.

As far as the reconciliations becoming “strained”, I completely disagree. As a matter of fact, if one looks at the entire story of creation in Genesis (first eleven chapters) it flows much better, with no straining at all, if the original is translated correectly.

Carol, you’ve admitted that the translation is merely your opinion. You’ve admitted it in black and white. So which time were you mistaken? Now or then?

Oh, and by the way - most editors I know know how to spell. Are you quite sure you’re an editor?

Comment #80854

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 19, 2006 8:12 AM (e)

Lenny, But no one claims that Aesop’s Fables ought to be reconciled with science because we recognize them for what they are, fiction with an allegorical truth.

And most Christians also view the Bible as allegorical truth.

So what seems to be the problem?

Comment #80857

Posted by BWE on February 19, 2006 9:06 AM (e)

Bully for them ! Ha! Allegorical Christians! I know many, I go to church with them. But most?

Still, if you’re trying to be a science, you need scientist heroes. Creationism used to consist mostly of biblical literalism. But since a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision found that the presence of Bible-based “creation science” in public schools violates the separation of church and state, creationists have gradually embraced intelligent design, with its scientific veneer of mathematical precision and handful of well-funded backers with academic titles. Galileo’s willingness to tackle opponents feeds the scrappy-underdog self-image that the ID movement cultivates. Never mind October’s Gallup poll showing that 53 percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form, while just 12 percent think we evolved without divine help: Creationists who complain they cannot get their work published cite Galileo as a fellow desert wanderer.

http://www.slate.com/id/2135415/

Comment #80860

Posted by William E Emba on February 19, 2006 10:12 AM (e)

Flint wrote:

Perhaps you mean to say that particular interpretations of the Bible are hard to reconcile with science. It all depends on what one expects the Bible to be and not to be.

This veers awful close to doubletalk. By this exact reasoning, ANYTHING can be reconciled with ANYTHING. If we interpret a dog’s hair as legs, we can reconcile dogs with trees, if we interpret leaves as legs also. Sheesh.

I can’t speak for Christian interpretation, but in traditional Judaism, this amount of flexibility is inconceivable. One can play mix and match games between words and possible meanings, but only according to a limited set of rules. Carol is in fact playing within these interpretative rules when she refers to Rashi on Hosea as her source. From the Jewish perspective, the only rules she is breaking are those of common human decency and basic intellectual integrity.

As an extreme example, there is a 13th century or so qabbalistic manuscript that takes the verse from Psalms “a day in Your view is like a thousand years”, works out what 5000 years becomes, and then applies the verse again, to conclude the universe is really 15 billion years old.

There are also those who take a relativistic interpretation of yom=day. They point out that while of course yom literally means day, the frame of reference is not specified “in the beginning”–indeed, the earth and sun did not exist yet–so the apparent time scale conflict is resolved by the previously unknown flexibility in the meaning of “24-hour day”.

All three of these interpretations are within the rules. I personally don’t take any of them seriously, but hold by the Rambam, who says Genesis is an allegorical account of the inner qabbalistic meaning of Creation. As such, any attempt to map Genesis to physical reality is pointless.

Comment #80861

Posted by k.e. on February 19, 2006 10:16 AM (e)

Stevepinhead
On the therapy thingy for the delusional maybe a useful project to help Carol with her “literary” problem is to send her a box full of stuffed PT Panda’s with little T shirts. On the front written “Carol I love you” and “God” on the back.

For Larry I suggest another with a Law Degree from the “South of the Border, Cranks School of we deny everything, and willy enlargement research labs” stuck in its paw.

Comment #80865

Posted by Flint on February 19, 2006 10:46 AM (e)

William:

One can play mix and match games between words and possible meanings, but only according to a limited set of rules.

As an outsider, I’m not familiar with the rules you appear to know quite thoroughly. I can only try to deduce them based on what people say. And when people say that everything in the bible, if read literally, agrees with science, I get curious as to how this might be the case. When they say that what does NOT agree with science is a miracle (which is thus exempt from science), and when they get to decide which verses are miracles and which aren’t, things seem pretty damn arbitrary to me.

And that’s why I made the point that Carol can’t work forwards, deriving something yet undiscovered but true and interesting about reality from a literal bible reading. She can only work backwards, taking what science has determined and “discovering” that the bible said it all along. Since she makes the point that *anything and everything* science discovers is compatible with the bible, including what has not yet been discovered, and yet she is operating within “a limited set of rules”, these rules must necessarily be indefinite in scope.

And it strikes me that if this is the case, the bible basically means whatever anyone chooses it to mean essentially without limit. And in that case, it is meaningless; why bother with it, except as a compendium of tales one particular ancient tribe chose to crib from neighboring tribes?

Comment #80867

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 19, 2006 10:50 AM (e)

Bully for them ! Ha! Allegorical Christians! I know many, I go to church with them. But most?

Yes. Most.

You are forgetting that (1) most Christians live outside the US, and (2) creationism is almost exclusively an American phenomenon.

The vast majority of Christians, worldwide, think the fundies are nuts, and view Genesis as allegorical symbolism, not literal history.

Comment #80868

Posted by William E Emba on February 19, 2006 10:57 AM (e)

William E Emba wrote:

carol clouser wrote:

Your post above is a great demonstration of the adage “a little knowledge is dangerous”. Otherwise stated, you are an “Ahm Ha-Aretz”.

And your drivel on Rashi has been a great demonstration of why women shouldn’t study Torah.

This is the exchange that led Carol, with total lack of logic, to accuse me of misogyny. Just to make it clear, I could just as easily say “Madonna is a great demonstration of why men are forbidden to listen to women singing”. Such a crack is obviously an insult towards Madonna, not towards women or women singing in general.

And regarding calling her “goyisher kop” being a sign of prejudice towards the goyim, as opposed to my being Jewish just naturally using the handiest Yiddishism on hand, Carol should consider the phrase “that was mighty white of you” in English. Said by a white man to a black man, it is (ignoring sarcasm or other possible ironies) condescendingly rude of the highest order. Similarly, when said by a black man to a black man, it’s plain meaning is of “race traitor”, “sell out”, “Uncle Tom”, or the like. I have no idea what it means when said to a white person.

More interesting, though, is the hilarious hypocrisy in Carol’s accusations. Of course, it’s obvious to everybody here that Carol is just lashing out in blind stupidity, since she is so totally utterly refuted, and she knows it, and she knows everyone knows it. But calling someone an “am ha-aretz”, although sanctioned by millennia of Talmudic usage as a synonym for an uneducated person, is based on the Biblical idiom for farmer (literally, “person of the earth”). That’s right, Carol called me a farmboy, and she meant it with all the negative implications inherent in city slicker putdowns of rural folk. By her logic, she is engaged in class elitism of the most boorish sort. I, for one, am astounded (and laughing to boot) as the onionlady takes careful aim and shoots her own feet off. Own goal!

For the record, I do not engage in pop culture. My knowledge of music after the Beatles is almost entirely limited to what I can glean from the New York Times’ crossword puzzle and running jokes on slashdot. I singled out Madonna for the above crack solely out of distaste for her involvement with fringe Judaism. I have no basis to even form an opinion regarding her musical ability.

Comment #80871

Posted by Paul Flocken on February 19, 2006 11:08 AM (e)

Comment #80833 Posted by Rilke’s Granddaughter on February 19, 2006 01:03 AM

Carol wrote:

Argy stokes,

Your chice #3 comes closest to my purposes here, as I have stated many, many times. The science community is engaged in a massive cultural war and I have information they ought to find useful. The reaction here only demonstrates that there is no shortage of closed minded morons on both sides of that war.

Why do you find inventing complete fictions entertaining? What war? Who are the generals? Who is the enemy?

RGD,
Don’t be fatuous, it doesn’t become you. Carol is making use of a metaphor. It’s a crying shame she obviously doesn’t know what that is, but she is using one. And ‘Culture War’ is a commonly enough used phrase that you ought to know better.

Comment #80768 Posted by carol clouser on February 18, 2006 07:27 PM

Argy stokes,

Your chice #3 comes closest to my purposes here, as I have stated many, many times. The science community is engaged in a massive cultural war and I have information they ought to find useful. The reaction here only demonstrates that there is no shortage of closed minded morons on both sides of that war.

Carol,
Setting aside the so-called culture war, the people you wish to speak to here doubt the accuracy of your ‘information’, doubt the efficacy of using it, and doubt your motives. The burden of proof is on you. Show us how effective your strategy will be.

Comment #80873

Posted by Flint on February 19, 2006 11:36 AM (e)

Paul:

I find RGD’s response to be entirely reasonable and not fatuous in any way, although I think RGD is being somewhat disingenous in her questions. From the perspective of a truly hidebound creationist (and by now there is little doubt Carol fits that description), what science is doing REALLY IS engaging in a massive cultural war. The Arabs ironically see this same war. Science’s methods and assumptions allow pure wishful thinking little place to hide. Science refuses to compromise - statements about reality are to be based 100% on merit, and 0% on preference. For such as Carol, this is a terrible offense.

And I think I can understand that from a creationist perspective, science’s willingness to follow the evidence, change its mind, and endlessly tinker with explanations of anything is genuinely sinful. Science has assumed away the absolutes on which creationism rests. From the creationist position, one either agrees or one has a closed mind. Black or white.

I don’t doubt Carol’s motives at all. She is looking for something that *holds still*, a pre-packaged collection of absolute truths, a world where those who disagree are to be retrained or rejected, because they are wrong. Her strategy is entirely appropriate (perhaps inevitable) for a creationist: she proclaims “I have the answer!” Challenges along the lines of, what is the answer and what’s it based on and how does it account for X, baffle Carol. The hook, the selling point, is that she has the answer. That it exists, that it’s solid, that it eliminates uncertainty and doubt and confusion.

And by observation, this strategy works very well indeed, in attracting those whose needs are met. Carol is not arguing, she is preaching. The fact that those few who do NOT share Carol’s needs have been so very damn effective must be galling. For a creationist, there is no burden of proof. God has spoken, proof is superfluous. You are called to BELIEVE. If you do not, your mind is closed.

Comment #80874

Posted by William E Emba on February 19, 2006 11:38 AM (e)

Flint wrote:

One can play mix and match games between words and possible meanings, but only according to a limited set of rules.

As an outsider, I’m not familiar with the rules you appear to know quite thoroughly. I can only try to deduce them based on what people say. And when people say that everything in the bible, if read literally, agrees with science, I get curious as to how this might be the case. When they say that what does NOT agree with science is a miracle (which is thus exempt from science), and when they get to decide which verses are miracles and which aren’t, things seem pretty damn arbitrary to me.

The problem is that Carol is cheating, and making preposterous claims that she is not engaged in interpretation.

As an example, I noticed that the Rashi on Hosea that Carol is so fond of can be read as glossing “the third yom” as “the third terror“. Hebrew is normally written without vowels, so a different choice of vowels leads to a different reading. This is entirely within the rules.

And that’s why I made the point that Carol can’t work forwards, deriving something yet undiscovered but true and interesting about reality from a literal bible reading. She can only work backwards, taking what science has determined and “discovering” that the bible said it all along. Since she makes the point that *anything and everything* science discovers is compatible with the bible, including what has not yet been discovered, and yet she is operating within “a limited set of rules”, these rules must necessarily be indefinite in scope.

Again, you are missing the fundamental point: Carol is cheating. I might give a little sermon of sorts some day based on “the third terror” to provide a peculiar and surprising translation of any Biblical “the third day”, and draw all sorts of unusual conclusions. In coming up with my sermon, I would of course be working backwards, only delivering on those cases where this meaning plays well for some particular conclusion. No one who hears me would misunderstood what I have done. I certainly wouldn’t pull a Carol and lie about how “recent scholarship” has justified this new “literal” translation.

Traditional Judaism has always encouraged this sort of interpretation. Every verse, we are told, has 70 meanings, and the men are required to try and discover them.

And it strikes me that if this is the case, the bible basically means whatever anyone chooses it to mean essentially without limit. And in that case, it is meaningless; why bother with it, except as a compendium of tales one particular ancient tribe chose to crib from neighboring tribes?

I know of no way to conclude a dog is a tree, as you first suggested, within the rules. However, the Hebrew for “dog” is “kelev”, the Hebrew for “all” is “kol” and the Hebrew for “heart” is “lev”, so I do know how to interpret “dog” as “all heart”.

Near the end of Deuteronomy, Moses is giving his farewell talk, and he says how the talk is for everyone from the drawers of water to the hewers of wood. After one little sermon where the speaker mentioned how this is traditionally understood to mean everyone of every occupation, a friend commented to me, rather jocularly, that he felt excluded, since he is in computers. And I responded back that water “flows”, so this was just symbolic of drawing flowcharts, i.e., software, and that hewn wood leaves “chips”, i.e., hardware. He was quite happy. This interpretation went way beyond the rules, but it was entirely in the spirit.

Comment #80875

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 19, 2006 11:45 AM (e)

Paul wrote:

Don’t be fatuous, it doesn’t become you. Carol is making use of a metaphor. It’s a crying shame she obviously doesn’t know what that is, but she is using one. And ‘Culture War’ is a commonly enough used phrase that you ought to know better.

I’m sorry it came across that way, but what I meant to respond to was Carol’s implication that this was an intentional activity on the part of the scientific community; that there existed for many, if not most scientists, a goal to destroy religion. This is a very common attitude held by fundies (I think it’s part of their ‘martyrdom complex’), but aside from our good friends like PZ, no scientist that I have met is trying to destroy religion.

Religion is an incidental casualty in the revanche of science against ignorance. But people like Carol want to make out that scientists spend their time sitting around in labs plotting ways to burn Bibles and empty churches. ‘tis absurd.

Comment #80876

Posted by William E Emba on February 19, 2006 11:45 AM (e)

carol clouser wrote:

The science community is engaged in a massive cultural war and I have information they ought to find useful.

The science community is the target of a massive cultural war, nothing else. Scientists, for the most part, push good science, whereever it takes them. You have not provided any information that any scientist would ever find useful, from your gibberish about the total entropy of the universe to your extreme minority Biblical interpretations.

The reaction here only demonstrates that there is no shortage of closed minded morons on both sides of that war.

The reaction here is what all religious nutcases get when they preach.

Comment #80878

Posted by Flint on February 19, 2006 11:59 AM (e)

William,

OK, I think I understand what you mean about the rules, and about Carol cheating on them. This still leaves me curious as to what the creation tales in Genesis are actually good for, beyond historical curiosity. I’ve read that there are literally thousands of creation tales anthropologists have collected, some (perhaps most) of them far less derivative than those in Genesis. But beyond noting that people are curious about their history and willing to make stuff up to satisfy this curiosity, the meaning is lost on me.

I think I can appreciate that it’s a neat game to take some ancient and much-translated and redacted text that lacks vowels, and see how many different ways there are to re-translate this material within a given system of rules (i.e. any vowel can be substituted anywhere, any of various meanings can be attributed to any word thus produced, any reasonably plausible context can be used to project meanings onto the sentences that result, etc.) I can understand that if the rules are not constrained, the game becomes less challenging and entertaining.

But what do you really get out of playing? If the ancient Hebrews had kept no written tales or records, what would anyone today really lose? After all, MOST such ancient tribes didn’t record much (damn those taciturn Neandertals!) but we don’t feel impoverished by this. So from my perspective, the “interpret the Bible game” mostly just causes trouble and inhibits the accumulation of actual knowledge.

Comment #80882

Posted by Paul Flocken on February 19, 2006 12:28 PM (e)

My apology Rilke, read the way Flint showed, you were not off base. I read Carol’s ‘engaged’ as a passive statement, not an active one. My mistake. Thank you Flint. However, I honestly think that Carol is not so fatuous herself as to suggest that science initiated this culture war intentionally, although the first move was science’s rejecting the “methodology” of religion. That x’tian fundies think this way is definitely a given.

Flint, I do doubt Carol’s stated motives. You recognize the motives inherent in her position, but I guarantee that she will deny them. Hell, I don’t think she is even aware of them in the way you are.

Mr. Emba,
Could you comment on the word ‘rakia’. Landa uses it as ‘curtain’ and says that it refers to the atmosphere. I have seen it instead mean a metal plate or dome, a product of beating metal until thin and flat, and thus a suitable representation of the hemispherical vault of the sky. Landa doesn’t dispute this. He simply acknowledges that one definition of ‘rakia’ is ‘beaten’ and then ignores the possible implications in order to harp on his conclusion. I recognize throughout the book that cherry picking, as you pointed out, is going on but without any knowledge of Hebrew I am helpless. 100 miles of atmosphere does not seem like a curtain to me but when I look at the sky I can see where the ancient Hebrews would have thought the sky was a dome of something solid they simply couldn’t reach.

The person I would love to see take down this book died in 1992, but I would be happy to mail you the copy I got. If this interests you my email is:
sfbrulesatcsdotcom

Sincerely,
Paul

Comment #80888

Posted by Carol Clouser on February 19, 2006 1:13 PM (e)

Flint and Paul,

I realize you folks are not into Hebrew and Rashi and all that, so if Emba claims I am cheating and I claim he is downright lying to you, which he in fact is doing, it will be difficult to settle the matter via posts and counter-posts in this forum. But you deserve that I try. So here it goes.

Emba is not only cheating he is deliberately lying to you. Rashi in Hosea cannot possibly be referring to a “third terror” because the prophet is talking about the third yohm as a source of uplifting and new life and vigor. It is meant to be a very positive development, not at all a terror. Besides Rashi NEVER uses that word that way.

Rashi in Hosea also does NOT AT ALL gloss yohm as “house”. That is idiotic, childish nonsense. I am repeating myself here, but the facts have not changed. All Rashi aims to do with his “house” talk is explain the eras. The prophet talks about the “two eras” and the “third era”. That would leave the reader perplexed as to what these eras refer to. So Rashi helpfully explains that the two eras refer to the times of the two destroyed temples and the third era refers to the time of the future third temple. There is no doubt whatsoever that Rashi there translated yohm as era.

Emba is also lying to you when he distorts my position as one of comparing Genesis to Hosea and that I claim Rashi interprets yohm in Genesis to mean era. I never said or did any such thing. As I have stated multiple times before, I am merely picking Rashi’s brain in Hosea, to obtain support for the notion that the word yohm in the Bible can mean era even in conjunction with a numeral, and I apply that knowledge to Genesis where it probably disagrees with Rashi’s silence on the matter. This may be too subtle a distinction for Emba’s bigoted mind to grasp. More likely he is just lying.

Since yohm is used in many places to mean era, I consider that definition to constitute a literal reading. It is certainly one of the three normal and customary meanings of that Hebrew word (the definition of literal). In Genesis the Bible clearly switches back and forth between various meanings for yohm and other words (such as Adam). In this same verse where Emba says yohm means day (Genesis 1:5) the word yohm is also used to mean “daylight” (“and God called the light yohm”), then switches to something else. He says it switches to 24-hours, I say to era. In Genesis 2:4 the definition of era for yohm is a far better fit than day, and the same is true in Genesis 5:1. The word Adam switches meaning from “human” to “man” to the “name of an individual” multiple times. With all this switching going on, who is that bigoted ahm Ha-Aretz to tell you or me that the only correct literal choice is “day”?

Perhaps it’s because it says “the evening, the morning”? And when Jacob informs his brother Esau (Genesis 32:6) “And I have an ox, a donkey…”, does that not refer to very many oxen and donkeys? And “the frog” came upon the land….” (Exodus 8:2) was that one frog? The singular in Hebrew is frequently used to refer to a great plurality. That’s a common Biblical literary device. It may not be literal there, but it clearly is the intent.

Make no mistake about it. There is no proof that science contradicts the plain meaning of the words in Genesis.

Comment #80891

Posted by k.e. on February 19, 2006 1:24 PM (e)

Flint
Perhaps I can help on the creation stories.
They are all a primitive metaphysics (meaning literally “after nature”)
A logical system in its day that explained the cause of life and served the purpose of people not sitting around gazing at their navels trying to work out what it is all about.
Many of them have the earth as the mother and the sky as the father not too much imagination required there.
Genesis is of course based on the Gilgamesh Myth with little bits borrowed from other myths in the region, a pretty safe bet if you just want to get on with it, making war on neighbors and stealing all their women and oxen OR if the need arises just kill ‘em all if they look like they might come back and bite you.
In the culture of the day people heard these oral stories and they would be understood by educated people (priests) as allegorical however one of the main tasks of the priests then, was to organize society for the benefit of the kings. That task required a world view to be created that would benefit the priests first then the kings. Life at the time was full of what we would consider now as “misinformation” for political purposes. Each person in society was subject to unquestioned power, your life was not something that you had control over EVEN for kings. An archaeological dig in Persia revealed a whole court buried in a ceremony that seems was a requirement from ‘above’ -part of their mythology.
One of the Buddhist creation myths I am familiar with has the Buddha meditating at a bhodi tree he first went to the North side of the tree and the heavens tipped down to hell, so he moved to west and again the heavens tipped down to hell, he tried the the south the same result, when he moved to the east he found the center of the universe. This is of course is allegorical in the sense that the Buddha had found his own center
The other word views were not in PSYCHOLOGICAL balance. Note that the Buddha said that heaven and hell are states of mind in the here and now and that he acknowledged all the Buddhas that went before him and all the others that were to come after, in other words a metaphysical non-theistic system. When the Dalia Lama was pressured by the press after a meeting with the Pope some years ago what his views on god were, he replied “God is your business, Dharma is my business”.
This is similar to the the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas where he says Jesus said “split the twig and there you will find me” a Spinozian view if ever there was one, in other words the divine permeates all life and IS life… good, bad and ugly.
Carol I think confuses Metaphysics, a system of rational thought to explain ones position in the universe with Myth where the semiotics must be decoded in a subjective manner to extract meaning. That is a typical problem for slaves to objectivism.
Keep in mind there are Hebrew Gnostics who would have a completely different view to Carol and then there is Howard Bloom who seems to have done some language analysis and thinks Women may have had a part in writing the Old Testament –no wonder there is so much fire and brimstone.

Comment #80892

Posted by Flint on February 19, 2006 1:30 PM (e)

Carol:

Your nose is pressed so close to the bark, perhaps you are missing the tree, much less the forest. I really couldn’t care whether science is compatible with ANYONE’S set of superstitions. Imagine someone spending a great deal of psychic energy here justifying how science is compatible with “Old MacDonald had a farm”. After enough such posts, you might begin to wonder…

I think I recognize a thesis buried in your efforts: That if all those ID creationists would only go out and buy the book you are trying to sell, they would all see the light and recognize that their faith is a bunch of poorly-informed foolishness victimized by incompetent scholarship, and overnight they would drop their resistance to knowledge and join together, Dembski and all, dancing in the streets. Although I get the strong impression that if they stopped this conversion process AFTER buying the book, you’d be nearly as happy.

I would hope you’d answer the same question I put to William Emba: Why bother? Why play the bible game? It seems to cause you grief without bringing you any worthwhile knowledge.

Comment #80893

Posted by k.e. on February 19, 2006 1:32 PM (e)

Carol
Fancy you calling SOMEONE ELSE a liar, your history here has been one of doing NOTHING BUT push your stupid book and creationist apologetics.
And before you say you don’t support Creationism Intelligent Design, you are a creationist like it or not.

Comment #80895

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 19, 2006 1:51 PM (e)

I note that Carol’s reply is highly disingenuous, and relies on attacking subtle details rather than the basic point. I don’t presume that any lurkers (if they are still with us) will be fooled by this evasive and dishonest behavior, but it’s useful to point out as an example of the kind of ‘faith vs. faith’ issues that we’ve got going on.

Carol wrote:

I realize you folks are not into Hebrew and Rashi and all that, so if Emba claims I am cheating and I claim he is downright lying to you, which he in fact is doing, it will be difficult to settle the matter via posts and counter-posts in this forum. But you deserve that I try. So here it goes.

It’s not that difficult to settle; any good book on Torah will do. And since we’ve seen that you’re incapable of settling anything except by reiterating opinions that have already been shown to be false, I doubt that you’re going to make much progress. But let’s see.

Emba is not only cheating he is deliberately lying to you. Rashi in Hosea cannot possibly be referring to a “third terror” because the prophet is talking about the third yohm as a source of uplifting and new life and vigor. It is meant to be a very positive development, not at all a terror. Besides Rashi NEVER uses that word that way.

Classic Carol response form one: Emba points out that Carol is lying by claiming a single ‘correct’ interpretation of a passage; Carol chooses not to respond to that (it wouldn’t be possible since she is, in fact, utterly wrong), but instead focuses on a particular interpretation of a word.

Ironically, this use of a particular interpretation is precisely what Carol has been doing. Carol has done us the favor of showing that she’s not even capable of recognizing when she is applying invalid interpretation.

A very unfortunate quality in an ‘editor’.

Rashi in Hosea also does NOT AT ALL gloss yohm as “house”. That is idiotic, childish nonsense. I am repeating myself here, but the facts have not changed. All Rashi aims to do with his “house” talk is explain the eras. The prophet talks about the “two eras” and the “third era”. That would leave the reader perplexed as to what these eras refer to.

Once again, Carol here is (and I’m sorry to say it) deliberately making false statements. The author is talking about yohms - it is Rashi who is glossing those in a couple of different ways to explain why the passage can be read as non-literal.

This cannot be emphasized strongly enough: Carol is simply making this up. The ‘author’ says ‘yohm’. Rashi glosses it as ‘era’ (among other things - including an indirect reference to ‘house’).

Why make up things, Carol? Do you think it helps your case? Why intentionally deceive folks?

So Rashi helpfully explains that the two eras refer to the times of the two destroyed temples and the third era refers to the time of the future third temple. There is no doubt whatsoever that Rashi there translated yohm as era.

Nor in there; AND NO ONE EVER CLAIMED THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH THAT GLOSS BY RASHI.

You’re making things up to try to confuse the issue. No one is confused.

Emba is also lying to you when he distorts my position as one of comparing Genesis to Hosea and that I claim Rashi interprets yohm in Genesis to mean era.

Another outright falsehood. Emba IS NOT CLAIMING THIS. Emba (and others) have pointed out that Rashi does NOT gloss ‘yohm’ in Genesis as ‘era’, and he would have had he thought the interpretation was anything other than ‘day’.

I never said or did any such thing.

You just accused Emba of lying; but you are the one who is lying about him.

Carol, it’s all in black and white. Your comments are saved on the board. We can demonstrate that Emba never made this claim, and that you are making this up.

Given that, why do you persist in your invention? Why demonstrate such lack of integrity? Think of how much more respect we might have for you if you simply admitted that you (and Landa) were wrong, or merely expressing an opinion.

But you can’t, can you? Your fundie faith renders you incapable of admitting error or suffering correction.

As I have stated multiple times before, I am merely picking Rashi’s brain in Hosea, to obtain support for the notion that the word yohm in the Bible can mean era even in conjunction with a numeral, and I apply that knowledge to Genesis where it probably disagrees with Rashi’s silence on the matter.

In other words, you use Rashi to arrive at an interpretation that Rashi would disagree with!?

This isn’t sloppy editing, this is simply nuts. Landa’s interpretation is not supported by the very authority you brought up; but then you claim that you can use this authority to claim something that you UP FRONT POINT OUT THAT RASHI WOULDN’T AGREE WITH.

Mind-boggling stupid.

This may be too subtle a distinction for Emba’s bigoted mind to grasp. More likely he is just lying.

Stupidity on your part does not constitute ‘lying’ on Emba’s part.

Think of it logically (I know, logic is hard for you, but give it a shot).

P1: If yohm meant ‘era’ in Genesis, Rashi would have so glossed it.
P2: Rashi did not so gloss it.
C1: Yohm doesn’t mean ‘era’ in Genesis.

Simple, right? But what you’re offering us is:

P1: If yohm meant ‘era’ in Genesis, Rashi would have so glossed it.
P2: Rashi did not so gloss it.
C1: Yohm is correctly read as ‘era’ in Genesis.

A completely invalid syllogism: C1 does not follow from the premises.

Basic logic, Carol. That’s why your bluster about Hebrew, etc. doesn’t matter to your case: your fundamental logic is wrong.

I doubt Landa is this stupid. In a way, I feel sorry for him - with you as his spokesperson, no one on this forum is going to even bother looking to see if he has any valid points.

Since yohm is used in many places to mean era, I consider that definition to constitute a literal reading.

And there are several other ‘literal’ readings. Context is, as you point out, important.

It is certainly one of the three normal and customary meanings of that Hebrew word (the definition of literal). In Genesis the Bible clearly switches back and forth between various meanings for yohm and other words (such as Adam). In this same verse where Emba says yohm means day (Genesis 1:5) the word yohm is also used to mean “daylight” (“and God called the light yohm”), then switches to something else. He says it switches to 24-hours, I say to era. In Genesis 2:4 the definition of era for yohm is a far better fit than day, and the same is true in Genesis 5:1. The word Adam switches meaning from “human” to “man” to the “name of an individual” multiple times. With all this switching going on, who is that bigoted ahm Ha-Aretz to tell you or me that the only correct literal choice is “day”?

Excuse me, but YOU ARE THE ONE CLAIMING A SINGLE CORRECT CHOICE FOR YOHM. Only you - no one else.

Once again, you’ve just demonstrated why your own argument is nonsense. Congratulations!

Perhaps it’s because it says “the evening, the morning”? And when Jacob informs his brother Esau (Genesis 32:6) “And I have an ox, a donkey…”, does that not refer to very many oxen and donkeys? And “the frog” came upon the land….” (Exodus 8:2) was that one frog? The singular in Hebrew is frequently used to refer to a great plurality. That’s a common Biblical literary device. It may not be literal there, but it clearly is the intent.

Who cares? Your argument about singular and plurality is TOTALLY NEW ARGUMENT - having nothing to with what you’ve said before; and no supported by the text, either.

Utter fabrications, Carol - offered by you rather than simply admit that you’re offering an ‘opinion’ about a translation of Genesis.

Make no mistake about it. There is no proof that science contradicts the plain meaning of the words in Genesis.

There was no flood; no one can live to be 900 years old; the world was not made in six days; the Exodus never happened; etc.

Science points out all the time that the Bible is wrong.

As a fundie, you simply can’t bring yourself to admit that. You can’t bring yourself to recognize that the Bible contains metaphor, as well as historical truths.

A pity.

Comment #80896

Posted by William E Emba on February 19, 2006 1:59 PM (e)

Flint wrote:

OK, I think I understand what you mean about the rules, and about Carol cheating on them. This still leaves me curious as to what the creation tales in Genesis are actually good for, beyond historical curiosity….

I have never thought of them as being “good for something” beyond themselves. They are what we have, God wants us to study them to the max, and here we are. Indeed, as Rashi comments, the Torah “should” have begun from the first commandment given to Jewish people, in Exodus, in preparation for the Passover. But our being a distinct people embedded in history is an essential part of Judaism.

But what do you really get out of playing?

Heavenly reward!

If the ancient Hebrews had kept no written tales or records, what would anyone today really lose? After all, MOST such ancient tribes didn’t record much (damn those taciturn Neandertals!) but we don’t feel impoverished by this.

Maybe we should.

Comment #80900

Posted by jeffw on February 19, 2006 2:13 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

Make no mistake about it. There is no proof that science contradicts the plain meaning of the words in Genesis.

Hmmm. I wonder if each of these planets had a Flood too. Maybe Jews there too. Perhaps Jesus even made a personal visit to each one.
http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-02-19-voa9.cfm

And what about the other zillions of planets farther away, or in other, perhaps more evil, galaxies? I dunno, seems a bit of a waste to create them all just for us. But of course, I could be wrong, with my simple logic and all.

Comment #80930

Posted by William E Emba on February 19, 2006 7:12 PM (e)

Rilke's Granddaughter wrote:

Carol Clouser wrote:

I realize you folks are not into Hebrew and Rashi and all that, so if Emba claims I am cheating and I claim he is downright lying to you, which he in fact is doing, it will be difficult to settle the matter via posts and counter-posts in this forum. But you deserve that I try. So here it goes.

It’s not that difficult to settle; any good book on Torah will do.

Actually, it’s very easy for spectators see who is believable and who isn’t. Who has a track record of dishonesty and lying? Who lashes out with insult, and then complains and exaggerates when insult comes back? Who clearly is a fundamentalist loonie trying to convert people? Not me, not me, not me.

Emba is not only cheating he is deliberately lying to you. Rashi in Hosea cannot possibly be referring to a “third terror” because the prophet is talking about the third yohm as a source of uplifting and new life and vigor. It is meant to be a very positive development, not at all a terror. Besides Rashi NEVER uses that word that way.

Classic Carol response form one: Emba points out that Carol is lying by claiming a single ‘correct’ interpretation of a passage; Carol chooses not to respond to that (it wouldn’t be possible since she is, in fact, utterly wrong), but instead focuses on a particular interpretation of a word.

More precisely, I am explicitly honest in my rejection of the interpretation of beth-ayin-tav as Rashi intending to mean “third terror”, as opposed to Carol just saying the Hebrew is clear and unambiguous and it has only one meaning. “Terror” is one of the meanings, and by the very fact that Rashi wrote it down, he could have been meaning that. It is not “deliberately lying” to tell everyone that, but “deliberately honest”. I’m not afraid, or even concerned, if intelligent readers weigh the evidence and come to a different conclusion than I do. But in onionladyland, the concepts of “honesty” and “lying” are the exact opposites of what the rest of the world means by them, and the point of education is to gain mindless converts, not spread knowledge, light, and intelligence.

As a matter of fact, there is nothing conceptually problematic about associating terror with the coming of the Messiah. It is frequently described as a time of great troubles and tribulations. So “baas”=terror makes quite reasonable sense by itself. The reason I reject it is I can’t relate it to third terror as such, whereas First Temple Era and Second Temple Era are well-known concepts, as is Third Temple Era=Messianic Era.

But as I mentioned, I could easily give a little sermon based on this alternate reading, but I would not pass it off as anything other than an interpretive reading.

Rashi in Hosea also does NOT AT ALL gloss yohm as “house”. That is idiotic, childish nonsense.

Just like you don’t know what “literal” means, you don’t know what “gloss” means either:

Oxford English Dictionary wrote:

A word inserted between the lines or in the margin as an explanatory equivalent of a foreign or otherwise difficult word in the text; hence applied to a simliar explanatory rendering of a word given in a glossary or dictionary. Also, in a wider sense, a comment, explanation, interpretation. Often used in a sinister sense: A sophistical or disingenuous interpretation.

I assume we can agree that the sinister sense does not apply here. The “otherwise” difficult word here is “yom”: the difficulty is what does it refer to in Hosea’s prophecy?

(Interesting: the OED2 online has a misspelling!)

I am repeating myself here, but the facts have not changed. All Rashi aims to do with his “house” talk is explain the eras. The prophet talks about the “two eras” and the “third era”. That would leave the reader perplexed as to what these eras refer to.

Once again, Carol here is (and I’m sorry to say it) deliberately making false statements. The author is talking about yohms - it is Rashi who is glossing those in a couple of different ways to explain why the passage can be read as non-literal.

The text says “third yom”, and Rashi offers two glosses, one of “the third house” and the other of “in the third time” (which, as I mentioned, is ambiguous with “the third terror”). The “third house” is part of a phrase.

This cannot be emphasized strongly enough: Carol is simply making this up. The ‘author’ says ‘yohm’. Rashi glosses it as ‘era’ (among other things - including an indirect reference to ‘house’).

Not indirect. The word for “beis”, as in “beth-yodh-tav”, is there point blank. What’s indirect is the interpretation–entirely standard and routine, of course, but still an act of non-literal reading–that “beis” is the Temple.

Perhaps it’s because it says “the evening, the morning”? And when Jacob informs his brother Esau (Genesis 32:6) “And I have an ox, a donkey…”, does that not refer to very many oxen and donkeys? And “the frog” came upon the land….” (Exodus 8:2) was that one frog? The singular in Hebrew is frequently used to refer to a great plurality. That’s a common Biblical literary device. It may not be literal there, but it clearly is the intent.

Who cares? Your argument about singular and plurality is TOTALLY NEW ARGUMENT - having nothing to with what you’ve said before; and no supported by the text, either.

It is peculiar. And indeed Rashi comments on the mismatch between singular text and plural meaning. Every time, there’s a reason for it, and it’s a reason worth knowing. Yet Carol would have us believe that Rashi thought the plural meaning of “yom” was not worth sharing? That is seriously so not believable.

Comment #81001

Posted by William E Emba on February 20, 2006 8:13 AM (e)

Paul Flocken wrote:

Could you comment on the word ‘rakia’. Landa uses it as ‘curtain’ and says that it refers to the atmosphere. I have seen it instead mean a metal plate or dome, a product of beating metal until thin and flat, and thus a suitable representation of the hemispherical vault of the sky. Landa doesn’t dispute this. He simply acknowledges that one definition of ‘rakia’ is ‘beaten’ and then ignores the possible implications in order to harp on his conclusion. I recognize throughout the book that cherry picking, as you pointed out, is going on but without any knowledge of Hebrew I am helpless. 100 miles of atmosphere does not seem like a curtain to me but when I look at the sky I can see where the ancient Hebrews would have thought the sky was a dome of something solid they simply couldn’t reach.

According to Rashi, “there was a raqiya‘“ is really an imperative: “firm up, gel, solidify!” being commanded to the heavens, hence the common translation “firmament” if you trace through the Latin roots. They were in an unstable flux until then. According to Ibn Ezra, raqiya‘ refers to the atmosphere, and the separation was of a gas from fluid/solid, which he identifies as a “stretching out”.

Hirsch, a 19th century commentator, says Ibn Ezra’s meaning is secondary, and the primary meaning is of a thin layer of separation. Malbim, another 19th century commentator, identifies the raqiya‘ with the atmospheric cloud layer.

The various commentators point out the word has the same root as vayiraq‘u “and they hammered out” Ex 39:3 and as roqa‘ “it spread out” Is 42:5.

From a modern point of view, I don’t see why you think “curtain” is inappropriate. After all, in the view from deep space, the atmosphere certainly is a thin layer.

The person I would love to see take down this book died in 1992, but I would be happy to mail you the copy I got.

Thank you, but I have no interest in the book either way. In particular, I am not interested in “taking it down”. Whatever positive interest I might have has been negated by the book’s designated spokesperson.