Richard B. Hoppe posted Entry 2634 on October 10, 2006 02:00 PM.
Trackback URL: http://degas.fdisk.net/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/2628

Promoted from the comments:

Though the Achievement Committee skated, dipped and twirled, the full Board finally took it out of the Committee’s hands. This is promoted from the comments.

At today’s board meeting, under new business:

Motion by Martha Wise, second by Rob Hovis.

RESOLVED, That the Achievement Committee of the State Board of Education, having recommended no response to Board Resolution 31 referred to it in February 2006, is hereby discharged from further consideration of Resolution 31 and anything arising therefrom, including the template for teaching controversial issues.

As new business the resolution would normally have to wait 30 days before it could be considered by the board. There was a motion to consider the resolution immediately, as an emergency measure. That passed 13-4.

The motion itself passed 14-3. Cochran, Ross and Westendorf voted No. Owens-Fink and Baker were absent.

This kills Resolution 31 and the template. It effectively answers the question whether anything should replace the deleted lesson plan, benchmark and indicator with a resounding NO.

The remainder of my original post is below the fold, but it’s moot now. The Disco Institute took it in the teeth yet again. As one of our people remarked leaving the meeting, “This is the first time in years that the Disco Institute doesn’t have its hooks in the Ohio State BOE.”

In February of this year the Ohio State Board discarded the ID creationist “critical analysis of evolution” lesson plan and benchmark. The motion to discard charged the Achievement Committee of the Board to (1) determine whether replacement was desirable, and (2) if so, propose a replacement.

Since then, the Achievement Committee under the “leadership” of co-chairs Father Michael Cochran and Jim Craig has dithered, stalled, and put off debate and action. In particular, the committee has not yet even got around to considering the first part if its charge, to determine whether replacement language is necessary. Yet now there’s a “Framework for Teaching Controversial Issues” floating around the Board. In its original incarnation, that “Framework” named specific issues – stem cell research, cloning, global warming, and (of course!) evolution. In its current form it’s been scrubbed to eliminate mention of specific issues.

Now the Canton Repository is reporting that the Committee has skated yet again. Until last week, the Committee’s agenda said that Resolution 31 (the resolution passed in February) was to be discussed. But late last week that item was excised from the agenda, and at yesterday’s meeting of the Committee it was not discussed. In spite of Committee Member Eric Okerson’s attempt to bring it up, the Committee adjourned without considering the charge the Board gave it. Some “Achievement” Committee.

According to the Repository story, the failure of the Committee to act yesterday constituted a betrayal on the part of Jim Craig, co-chair of the Committee. Two weeks ago Craig and Colleen Grady (proposer of the “Framework”) assured the Ohio Academy of Science that the critical analysis effort would be killed. Craig said the same thing to the Columbus Dispatch on Friday: “It’s dead.”

However, Craig’s co-chair and one of the creationist thought leaders on the Board, Father Cochran, disagrees. According to people who attended the Committee meeting, Cochran remarked that discussion would continue next month or the month after. So much for “dead”. Perhaps Father Cochran, in his capacity as rector of a breakaway Episcopal parish, raises the dead in his spare time.

For a month the defenders of science held their fire in Ohio, their forebearance based on Craig’s assurances that the issue would be killed in this Achievement Committee meeting. In spite of Craig’s assurances to the Ohio Academy of Science, that didn’t happen, so there’s no longer any reason for us to hold back.

Interestingly, the Disco Institute weighed in just last Friday in a podcast by John West. West’s podcast is full of platitudes and snide remarks about Darwinists’ “shrill rhetoric” and “hypocrisy and paranoia”. But we remember the history of this effort in Ohio. We remember that in 2000, Deborah Owens Fink, who first mentioned global warming in this context at a board meeting, offered a “two models” motion to the board – teach both intelligent design and evolution. We remember that in 2002 Stephen Meyer and Jonathan Wells of the Disco Institute, invited to speak to the board about why the Board should require teaching intelligent design, switched horses at the last moment and offered the critical analysis of evolution “compromise”. Accepted in its essence by the Board, that “compromise” directly enabled the insertion of Wellsian trash into the biology model curriculum. That’s what was discarded in February of this year after three years of controversy.

Now we have this “Framework” riding the same tired Trojan Horse into the Board. Meanwhile, school funding in Ohio is in disarray, achievement is hurting, and teachers are more and more demoralized. But the Board is once again preoccupied with ID creationist garbage pushed by socio-religico culture warriors to whom science is just another vehicle for political games. Do Cochran, Owens Fink, Craig, Grady, and West think we don’t remember the history of this in Ohio? Or do they expect us to rewrite it, as ID rewrites its history ad libitum?

I’ll have an update if anything substantial happens in the full Board meeting today.

RBH

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Comment #138439

Posted by David vun Kannon on October 10, 2006 03:10 PM (e)

Perhaps the Michigan story on standards will motivate them. Nothing like state rivalry!

Comment #138440

Posted by Coin on October 10, 2006 03:14 PM (e)

Are any of these people up for reelection next month?

Comment #138445

Posted by RBH on October 10, 2006 03:39 PM (e)

Coin asked

Are any of these people up for reelection next month?

Craig and Owens Fink are. Cochran was re-elected in a three-way race last year. Grady was appointd to fill out the term of a deceased elected member, IIRC.

RBH

Comment #138448

Posted by Anton Mates on October 10, 2006 04:03 PM (e)

Craig and Owens-Fink are running for reelection. Also Sam Schloemer, who’s been consistently pro-science AFAIK.

Martha Wise, who’s been a very strong ally of good science education, is unfortunately leaving (and couldn’t come back anyway, thanks to term limits). I believe several Ohio science education groups have supported John R. Bender as her replacement; Bender was formerly on the state Education Committee and (unsuccessfully) opposed adding governor-appointed members to the Board of Education.

Comment #138449

Posted by RBH on October 10, 2006 04:09 PM (e)

Yup, Martha will be a loss to the BOE. However, she’s running for the State Senate now, which is a good place to have a friend of honest science.

Comment #138450

Posted by Jeffrey K McKee on October 10, 2006 04:10 PM (e)

The situation in Ohio is actually worse that portrayed here … Dick let the Board off easily.

Starting in the April meeting of the Achievements Committee there was discussion of replacement language for the standards that might earmark certain topics as being “controversial.” Some committee members were dubious, but Mike Cochran, Colleen Grady, and Debbie Owens-Fink all wanted “something.” Stan Heffner of the ODE (Dept. of Ed, not Board of Ed.) then suggested a “framework” on teaching controversial issues, without identifying them, that would be simply a link on their web site using existing materials such as the AAAS Education site. It sounded innocuous at the time, and who could complain if teachers were linked to the AAAS? (Note - none of us have been able find any such framework there.)

The May meeting was more interesting. Grady brought some possible replacement language with her, to add to a Nature of Science indicator. Current the indicator reads “Describe that scientists may disagree about explanations of phenomena, about interpretations of daya or about rival theories, but they do agree that questioning, response to criticism and open communication are integral to the process of science.” She wanted to add the following line: “Demonstrate this as it applies to the following areas of science: evolutionary theory, global warming, and the chemical origins of life.” Her argument was that none of the wording was new, and came from other parts of the existing standards, so there should be no problem. (Never mind that all of the words were lifted from their context and put in a new context and a new order – that’s not “new language” in her book.)

As the tv commercials say, “But wait, there’s more!”

As the committee discussed the wording, she said it was “just an idea” and other controversial issues could be added. Her list included “plate tectonics.” (I unfortuantely laughed out loud when she said that … a snorty canthisbeforreal type laugh.)

That was only half of the proposal. The other was to elevate the indicator to be a benchmark. This is kind of like going from sub-species to species level, in Ohio Standards taxonomy. Why? Because then it can be fodder for the Ohio achievement tests (although that nuance was not discussed at the meeting.)

Steve Millett, Board member suggested an alternative approach: “Do nothing.” He went on to suggest that no changes were necessary to the standards, and that teachers could decide how to deal with these issues. But note his words … they were prophetic.

Meanwhile, Heffner said they were still working on the “Framework” and promised it by July. (Two points: it finally surfaced in September, and if it had been as advertised – links to supposedly existing materials – why was it taking so long?)

I was not at the June meeting, which was a retreat where suspicious things were going on. I also could not make the July meeting, but that is when Grady had the replacement language for the standards that included stem cell research, cloning, evolution, and global warming. And presumably Heffner was still working on the “framework” (also sometimes called a “template”)

So here is where we stand before the August recess: There has been discussion of changes in the standards to include controversial issues, elevate them to benchmarks (for testing purposes), and, in the word of Owens-Fink, “operationalize” them with a seemingly innocuous framework/template.

In September, the Achievements committee started out with historical revisionism, in which Grady rewrote the July minutes to deny that stem cell, etc had been part of her proposal. (I recorded that, and it is available on the Ohio Citizens for Science web site.) The committee then conviently ran out of time before they could get to that issue, which was last on the agenda. There was no motion or vote to adjourn. It just ended, immediately after the ODE passed out their long-awaited Framework (also on the OCfS web site).

Yesterday’s meeting was similar, except that a few days before the meeting of the Achievement Committee, the topic mysteriously disappeared from the agenda. In Dick Hoppe’s post, he recounts how Jim Craig had been quoted as saying that the issue was dead. Yet he had promised to have vote to end discussion on the issue and effectively kill both the replacement language and the framework. At-large Board member Ockerson brought up the topic at the end of the meeting. I have a recording, which I hope to have put up on OCfS later, in which Cochran said that, he hoped the topic (resolution 31) would come up either next month or the following month, as time allows. There was no motion or vote to adjourn.

But wait, there’s more!

Okerson and Steve Millett had wording for a motion that would have quashed further discussion of this nonsense, and allowed the Board and the ODE to get back to more important business. They assured fellow a fellow board member of like mind that they would do so. They also had the votes, especially because Owens-Fink wasn’t there (she strode in after the meeting from across the road, for the meeting of the full Board – she wasn’t there on purpose.) What you won’t notice on the recording, and what few people saw, was that Steve Millett subtely waved his hand up and down to stop Okerson from making the motion, and let it ride.

“Do nothing” indeed.

Jim Craig went back on his word, but I hold the entire Achievement Committee complicit in perpetuating this nonsense upon the Board, and upon the Ohio education system. If nothing happens today, and something could quite literally as I write this, then I hold the entire Board complicit in this mess.

If nothing happens today, we Ohioans have our votes in November.

sincerely,
Jeff

Comment #138457

Posted by Anton Mates on October 10, 2006 04:58 PM (e)

RBH wrote:

Yup, Martha will be a loss to the BOE. However, she’s running for the State Senate now, which is a good place to have a friend of honest science.

While I wish she was running on a Democratic ticket, I have to say it’s a good day when the worst outcome is Martha Wise winning. You don’t get races with multiple high-quality candidates that often.

Comment #138458

Posted by Henry J on October 10, 2006 04:59 PM (e)

Re “(Never mind that all of the words were lifted from their context and put in a new context and a new order – that’s not “new language” in her book.)”

And all of those words can be found in an English language dictionary, right? Ergo, not new. Uh huh. [rolling eyes]

Henry

Comment #138464

Posted by Brian McEnnis on October 10, 2006 05:30 PM (e)

At today’s board meeting, under new business:

Motion by Martha Wise, second by Rob Hovis.

RESOLVED, That the Achievement Committee of the State Board of Education, having recommended no response to Board Resolution 31 referred to it in February 2006, is hereby discharged from further consideration of Resolution 31 and anything arising therefrom, including the template for teaching controversial issues.

As new business the resolution would normally have to wait 30 days before it could be considered by the board. There was a motion to consider the resolution immediately, as an emergency measure. That passed 13-4.

The motion itself passed 14-3. Cochran, Ross and Westendorf voted No. Owens-Fink and Baker were absent.

This kills Resolution 31 and the template. It effectively answers the question whether anything should replace the deleted lesson plan, benchmark and indicator with a resounding NO.

Comment #138467

Posted by HG on October 10, 2006 05:36 PM (e)

I am coming to some conclusions about science based in part on my time spent here.

1. Science is a tool limited by its PRACTICE of methodological naturalism.

2. If the supernatural exists science can never prove it. So science may not know when it has missed evidence of the supernatural. Therefore, the possibility exists that in a scientific investigation where supernatural evidence may be present, the investigation may not consider all the evidence. This means science may find itself in an investigation which is beyond the limits of science – if the supernatural exists and is present.

3. Theories of science reached in investigations described in #2, cannot rule out the possibility of other means of explanation, except to say they are not scientific. (E.g. if evidence of supernatural intelligence exists, a scientific investigation of origins may theorize naturalistic causes but cannot rule out the possibility of supernatural causes.)

4. A scientist who does not accept naturalism as a world-view may still be able to practice methodological naturalism as required by science. Likely, only those who do hold to a belief in naturalism will outright dismiss #2 & #3. This would also likely hold true for those of other philosophical perspectives such as materialism. They will not only likely dismiss #2 & #3, but believe the scientific results of such investigations to be absolute truth.

5. (This one is based upon my limited knowledge of ID, and is more an observation) Until such time that science can include phenomena currently labeled supernatural, science should remain in its current form and practice with those studying it having a good grasp of #1-4. Other forms, such as ID must continue outside of science as currently defined and practiced.

Of course these are my conclusions and subject to revision as I follow this debate.

I posted this here the second time to be sure all those hammering me yesterday could see I was truthful about my objectivity. By the way I do believe the biblical account of creation.

Comment #138489

Posted by Anton Mates on October 10, 2006 06:18 PM (e)

Brian McEnnis wrote:

This kills Resolution 31 and the template. It effectively answers the question whether anything should replace the deleted lesson plan, benchmark and indicator with a resounding NO.

The motion itself passed 14-3. Cochran, Ross and Westendorf voted No. Owens-Fink and Baker were absent.

Marvelous! I take it Craig was in favor of killing it when the vote actually came down?

What a nice way to end Wise’s tenure on the Board.

I do wish someone would propose a real critical analysis lesson, examining the science/pseudoscience interface…N-rays, Piltdown, Martian canals, parapsychology and so forth. High school seniors would probably get a kick out of it. Alas, not too likely.

Comment #138490

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 10, 2006 06:20 PM (e)

HG, could you show us how a “supernatural science” would work? Please cite an example?

Comment #138492

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 10, 2006 06:24 PM (e)

…so long as whatever “theoretical” effects the “supernatural” might have on whatever situation science is studying don’t actually leave the slightest trace of detectable “evidence,” one supposed you are left to dream on, HG.

You are certainly welcome to whatever “philosophical” satisfaction you are able to derive from such an unevidenced “theoretical” entanglement of the “supernatural” with the real world that science so successfully studies.

Still, I gotta say it beats me how you can claim “objectivity” when you are apparently blithely ignoring all the mountains of actual, physical, reproducible, and independent lines of evidence that indicate that your delusionary, er, deluge ever happened.

Comment #138505

Posted by HG on October 10, 2006 07:06 PM (e)

HG, could you show us how a “supernatural science” would work? Please cite an example?

No. I am not a scientist. I am simply making up my own mind based on the information I have been exposed to.

Comment #138506

Posted by HG on October 10, 2006 07:13 PM (e)

Still, I gotta say it beats me how you can claim “objectivity” when you are apparently blithely ignoring all the mountains of actual, physical, reproducible, and independent lines of evidence that indicate that your delusionary, er, deluge ever happened.

Before I would accept the “mountains of evidence”, I looked at the method of investigation. Based on that information I reached the conclusions I posted.

Comment #138510

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on October 10, 2006 07:30 PM (e)

1. Science is a tool limited by its PRACTICE of methodological naturalism.

Yes, it is. Like all human activities, science is limited.

2. If the supernatural exists science can never prove it. So science may not know when it has missed evidence of the supernatural. Therefore, the possibility exists that in a scientific investigation where supernatural evidence may be present, the investigation may not consider all the evidence. This means science may find itself in an investigation which is beyond the limits of science – if the supernatural exists and is present.

No. There is no “supernatural evidence”. Evidence is evidence - physical, natural, empirically detectable. There could conceivably be evidence of phenomena caused by supernatural agents/mechanisms, however.

3. Theories of science reached in investigations described in #2, cannot rule out the possibility of other means of explanation, except to say they are not scientific. (E.g. if evidence of supernatural intelligence exists, a scientific investigation of origins may theorize naturalistic causes but cannot rule out the possibility of supernatural causes.)

Correct. For every phenomenon explained naturalistically by science, there can be an infinite series of potential supernatural explanations that science cannot discriminate: e.g. gravity pixies, gravity angels, gravity as an expression of Cosmic Love between physical particles, etc. That’s why science excludes those explanations - it cannot investigate them and rule any of them out.

4. A scientist who does not accept naturalism as a world-view may still be able to practice methodological naturalism as required by science. Likely, only those who do hold to a belief in naturalism will outright dismiss #2 & #3. This would also likely hold true for those of other philosophical perspectives such as materialism. They will not only likely dismiss #2 & #3, but believe the scientific results of such investigations to be absolute truth.

No, no scientist, whether a philosophical naturalist or not, believes that scientific results are absolute truth. And materialist and non-materialist scientists alike will (should) reject supernatural explanations as bad science.

5. (This one is based upon my limited knowledge of ID, and is more an observation) Until such time that science can include phenomena currently labeled supernatural, science should remain in its current form and practice with those studying it having a good grasp of #1-4. Other forms, such as ID must continue outside of science as currently defined and practiced.

Science can already study “phenomena currently labeled supernatural” (ghosts, demonic possession, intercessory prayer, etc). It cannot, however, provide supernatural explanations for them. So far, it has usually found natural explanations for most of those it has investigated (or shown that they are not real phenomena, e.g. intercessory prayer doesn’t work). In the cases in which a natural explanation is not found, the scientific answer is: “We don’t know yet what the explanation is, but we are working on it.”

Comment #138513

Posted by gwangung on October 10, 2006 07:44 PM (e)

No. I am not a scientist. I am simply making up my own mind based on the information I have been exposed to.

Perhaps you should consider whether your understanding is imperfect.

If you can’t point out how to conduct science using the supernatural, perhaps making up your mind is not a good thing to do.

Comment #138517

Posted by Jeffrey K McKee on October 10, 2006 08:58 PM (e)

The Board, as a whole, finally came around today.

Our rejoice must come with caveats:

I stick my my earlier comment today that many Board members, not all, are complicit in prolonging this assault against honest science education in Ohio.

Apparently Cochran has vowed to bring it back to the Achievement Committee under a different aegis. I’ll be there, again, to monitor the committee.

Apparently there was a lot of bad blood floating around the room, from Grady and others, despite their sensible votes.

This is over for now, but it is a long way from being completely over.

But rejoice … this was a huge step forward. We must keep the honesty-in-science-education momentum going.

Cheers,
Jeff

Comment #138518

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 10, 2006 08:59 PM (e)

No. I am not a scientist. I am simply making up my own mind based on the information I have been exposed to.

I see. So there’s no reason for anyone to listen to your bitching, then, is there.

Comment #138519

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 10, 2006 09:03 PM (e)

Before I would accept the “mountains of evidence”, I looked at the method of investigation.

And what would you change about that method of investigation?

You apparently don’t like it that science doesn’t investigate the supernatural, but are unable to offer a way for it to investigate the supernatural.

You apparently think the mountains of evidence are wrong because the method of investigation is wrong, but seem quite unable to offer any alternative method of investigation.

What, exactly, is it that you are bitching about?

Comment #138522

Posted by Flint on October 10, 2006 09:51 PM (e)

Lenny:

What, exactly, is it that you are bitching about?

Do you want the right answer, or do you want a clear answer? I can offer the latter: HG is unhappy because he can’t any longer help but believe in the historical reality of fables the enterprise of science has rendered entirely fictional. However, to his great satisfaction, he finds he CAN believe that the fault must necessarily lie with science, since his belief cannot possibly be wrong.

Now, where does science fall short: Ah, by restricting itself to a cribbed and impoverished method, which narrows what’s visible to science to only a tiny subset of all that is “real” (not coincidentally including the content of his preferred fables). And why does science cripple itself this severely? Why, because scientists have fallen victim to an Evil Philosophy of philosopical naturalism.

The sad result of this victimization is that the sum total of all scientific evidence is nowhere near sufficient to ratify his beliefs. Nothing wrong with the beliefs themselves, as I said. If only the method of science could be born in Christ again and see the light (i.e. use the standard of evidence where facts lead FROM faith, rather than TO it), the “real” evidence would (ta-daa!) confirm HG’s preferred fables.

The key phrase, I think, is the “belief in naturalism” he talks about. When everything is a belief, you know the Religious Method is being applied full force.

Comment #138523

Posted by Sounder on October 10, 2006 10:00 PM (e)

HG, unfortunately, science cannot investigate the supernatural. Indeed, it could be argued that no human method of investigation could reliably research that which is outside of nature. Should there be a supernatural being or beings out there, they made it downright impossible for us to learn anything about them. Mysterious and all that.

‘Course, this is coming from an agnostic, though I think I’ve thought it out pretty well. If there is a method for looking into the existence of and traits of supernatural entities, I have yet to hear about it. A small mountain of Nobel prizes are waiting for the man who can think one up.

We are left to look at the world we can see for answers (scientific ones, not necessarily philosophical ones), and oddly enough we’ve come a long way by doing so.

Comment #138524

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 10, 2006 10:09 PM (e)

Hg, using ANY method of investigation that you like, please explain the evidence that seems to be against creationism.

Start with fossil sorting, then we’ll move to the really hard stuff.

You know, I’ve been asking creationists to explain fossil sorting for two decades now. Isn’t it strange none of them seem to be able to answer? Now, why would that be…

Comment #138546

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 01:53 AM (e)

The sad result of this victimization is that the sum total of all scientific evidence is nowhere near sufficient to ratify his beliefs. Nothing wrong with the beliefs themselves, as I said. If only the method of science could be born in Christ again and see the light (i.e. use the standard of evidence where facts lead FROM faith, rather than TO it), the “real” evidence would (ta-daa!) confirm HG’s preferred fables.

The key phrase, I think, is the “belief in naturalism” he talks about. When everything is a belief, you know the Religious Method is being applied full force.

Flint,

Funny. You need to read my 5th conclusion again.

It strikes me as odd that you all here seem more concerned with bashing my religous belief than you were interested in discussing the limits of science. I thought religion has no place in science. By the way, I don’t think naturalism is evil. It seems to be a useful tool for scientific investigation which stays within its limits.

It’s sad this whole debate is so contentious. I know the ID folks are after science. I’m not versed in ID enough to say what there motive is. I’d like to believe it is to open up science to intelligent causes, but I think there is a chance it is to get ID into the schools and to overthrow darwinism. To me personally darwinism is no threat especially in light of the method of investigation science employs.

Start with fossil sorting, then we’ll move to the really hard stuff.

Michael,

I’ll try to do that real soon.

Comment #138556

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 02:28 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'blockquote'

Comment #138559

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 02:40 AM (e)

No. There is no “supernatural evidence”. Evidence is evidence - physical, natural, empirically detectable. There could conceivably be evidence of phenomena caused by supernatural agents/mechanisms, however.

Andrea,

I stand corrected. Thank you.

Comment #138581

Posted by Darth Robo on October 11, 2006 06:48 AM (e)

HG says:

“Andrea,

I stand corrected. Thank you.”

Soon to say:

“Lenny,

I stand corrected. Thank you.”

“Steviepinhead,

I stand corrected. Thank you.”

“gwangung,

I stand corrected. Thank you.”

“Flint,

I stand corrected. Thank you.”

“Sounder,

I stand corrected. Thank you.”

“Michael Suttkus II,

I stand corrected. Thank you.”

:-)

Comment #138587

Posted by Flint on October 11, 2006 08:02 AM (e)

HG:

It strikes me as odd that you all here seem more concerned with bashing my religous belief than you were interested in discussing the limits of science.

I don’t think there is anything anyone here needs to discuss, about the limits of science. Science is inherently limited to finding natural causes of natural phenomena. If there is anything “supernatural” involved, science can’t even notice it (and nobody can define it either.) Raising “the supernatural” in a discussion, therefore, means we are no longer discussing science at all. Not even a little bit. “Supernatural” is a keyword that indicates this is a religious discussion. Always.

I thought religion has no place in science.

But as I said, you wish to speak about the supernatural. And so you’re not talking about science anymore. Now, all that remains to talk about is your religious beliefs. Not science.

By the way, I don’t think naturalism is evil.

I can only point out that “naturalism” is a label attached to an emergent phenomenon - science is limited to finding natural causes of natural phenomena. “Naturalism” is not a philosophy, it’s a description of the fact that the scientific method is limited to what works and can be tested.

You seem to be reifying something here. Like watching people run footraces with prizes given to those who finish first, and deriving that you have found a cult of people who “believe in fastism” as a philosophy. But no, there’s no philosophy here. There’s only an organized activity.

It’s sad this whole debate is so contentious.

I doubt you’ll find any disagreement here. But of course, the debate is contentious not because of any limitations of science, but because science has either been unable to find any evidence to support a priori beliefs of some contentious people, or found extensive evidence refuting those beliefs. In a very real sense, what creates a debate in the first place is the inability of the Faithful to admit error. What makes it contentious is the zeal these people display to spread error.

I know the ID folks are after science. I’m not versed in ID enough to say what there motive is.

No, you simply do not wish to admit what is stone obvious. The ID folks are anti-science, plain and simple. Their sole purpose is to find a mechanism to enlist the aid of the government in proselytizing their religious doctrine. “Creation science” didn’t fly.

But how can this obvious stuff be communicated to you? If you read what these people write, you’ll find it’s entirely religious. If you look at their “science”, you find none of it - no hypotheses, no studies, no research, no research budget, no papers published even in their own creationist journals. Consider these two factors once again: LOTS of religion. NO science. Does this not even penetrate? Every leader of the ID PR effort is a devout fundamentalist, claiming that no science can be trusted that isn’t based on Jesus. Doesn’t that suggest anything to you?

I’d like to believe it is to open up science to intelligent causes, but I think there is a chance it is to get ID into the schools and to overthrow darwinism.

Science IS open to intelligent causes, and indeed several scientific disciplines study exactly that. But of course, the kind of “intelligent causes” the ID people wish to preach suffer two problems: The evidence is against them (and they aren’t producing ANY of their own!), and science cannot draw conclusions without supporting (and tested) evidence.

You may wish to visit this site:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_…

and click on any of the links to download this paper. It’s clear, comprehensive, and very readable. It will also clarify what you claim you’re not sure about.

Meanwhile, if any evidence of any gods should arise, science will devise tests to weigh and measure those gods. Lots of scientists will win big prizes. Knowing this (and I hope you also realize many scientists are personally convinced there ARE gods out there somehow, and are predisposed to look for them), science is entirely wide-open to intelligent causes. All that’s lacking is evidence.

The ID people are essentially saying, “we are so sure our particular god exists that we don’t NEED any evidence. What we need is the leverage civil authority can provide, to FORCE people to at least behave as we claim our god says they should. Which isn’t going to happen until enough people share our beliefs-without-evidence to vote for the right people. Which means we better find some way to get to these potential voters young enough to forge their beliefs before they have the knowledge necessary to defend themselves. By observation, once Belief takes hold, knowledge can no longer penetrate.”

Let me quote from the document I referenced above:

Students at a public school may discuss the various religious traditions of the world, different cultures’ conflicting perspectives on deities, and even traditional philosophical proofs of God’s existence, but only in classes where it is clear the government is not putting forth a set of religious ideas as true. Thus, these concepts may be relevant to history, philosophy, or comparative religion courses in a public school, and may be taught in these contexts without running afoul of the Constitution. But teaching intelligent design in a science class is different; in that context students are presented with a package of conclusions that has at its core the notion that God created the world in more or less its present form. In this context God is not being presented as a “theoretical postulate”; rather, He is being presented as the Lord your God, who created the world and presumably still controls it and is therefore worthy of deference.

Comment #138593

Posted by gwangung on October 11, 2006 09:44 AM (e)

It strikes me as odd that you all here seem more concerned with bashing my religous belief than you were interested in discussing the limits of science.

No.

We know quite well the limits of science.

It’s that you try to stuff those limits into your rather narrow beliefs, which you try to PORTRAY as religious.

Other Christians, with similar doctrinal beliefs, don’t have the same problems.

Comment #138595

Posted by gwangung on October 11, 2006 09:50 AM (e)

It’s sad this whole debate is so contentious. I know the ID folks are after science. I’m not versed in ID enough to say what there motive is.

When I read this, I think that A) You are too lazy to bother doing even minimal research, or B) You are a blatant liar.

Given the copious quotes GIVEN to you by ID supporters, I tend to think the latter.

And THAT’S why you are given the well deserved roasting you are receiving here; intellecutal dishonesty such as yours should receive nothing but contempt. And trying to cloak yourself in “religious” protection is hypocritical and subversive to the spiritual qualities you claim to hold.

Comment #138608

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 11, 2006 10:22 AM (e)

I’m going to try this again…

HG, your problem here is you’ve taken the fact that science cannot reach supernatural conclusions from the evidence, and jumped to an inaccurate conclusion, that science must be biased because it ignores possibilities.

But science isn’t biased by this because of the null conclusion possibility.

To go back to my former example of the tree being erased from my front yard by God, if a scientist investigated the phenomena, he would be left with no answers. He would not make up a mysterious force to account for it, at least not one that couldn’t be tested for, and since God did it, whatever force he hypothesized and tested for wouldn’t exist and he would again return to the null answer.

Evolutionary theory is not the result of science being biased against God and coming up with an explanation, any explanation to fill in a hole. Evolutionary theory is the product of multiple lines of evidence, supported by all known evidence, and capable of making robust predictions about evidence we have not yet found, such as telling us not only what fish/amphibian transitions would look like, but where to look for their fossils!

If it was simply a case of God having made the world per Genesis and science being unable to fathom the “god theory”, science would be saying, “I don’t know” about the origin of the world. Science is NOT saying “I don’t know” because the evidence doesn’t lead to “I don’t know”, it leads to evolution, common descent, and chemical abiogenesis.

Comment #138613

Posted by Alan Bird on October 11, 2006 10:42 AM (e)

Mr Suttkus, I read your wiki article on fossil sorting with relish. I look forward to HG’s refutation of what seem to me to be unassailable points presented simply, clearly and elegantly. Whenever it appears, that is (“Michael, I’ll try to do that real soon”).
But I’m particularly interested in your remark that you’ve been challenging creationists to counter your arguments for some 20 years. Have you kept a record of whom you challenged, and what their response was (“Michael, I’ll try to do that real soon”)? I’d love to see a list of what they actually said (“Michael, I’ll try to do that real soon”), followed by what they actually did (“ “).

Comment #138618

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 11:20 AM (e)

Well. I stick by my 5 conclusions.

You all have a nice day.

Comment #138624

Posted by Doc Bill on October 11, 2006 11:59 AM (e)

And so HG sails into the sunset, predictably and right on schedule. I have observed this behaviour enough that I have captured it in a simple life-cycle:

The Life Cycle of a Creationist

The Introduction
quote:

Hi! I just stumbled on this website and my, oh, my what a lot of good information there is here! Y’all seem like very nice folk maybe you could help me out.

The Bait

quote:

Ya see, I fell asleep during Science Day and I have a question. Try not to be too technical ‘cause, you see, I’m just a good old country boy.

The Non Sequitur

quote:

It seems to me that all this common descent stuff misses the point of the Hox-Gamma Quadrant gene transmogrifying through Hoximosynthesis to become the Hox-Alpha Quadrant derivitive, twice removed in mildly acidic solutions. I don’t see how the primordial soup could have provided enough spice to make that happen.

The Reply

quote:

Hi. I’m Josh. What follows is a 900-page comment detailing…

The Reply to the Reply

quote:

Thanks. That was helpful but it seems to me that all this common descent stuff misses the point of the Hox-Gamma Quadrant gene transmogrifying through Hoximosynthesis to become the Hox-Alpha Quadrant derivitive, twice removed in mildly acidic solutions. I don’t see how the primordial soup could have provided enough spice to make that happen.

The Reply to the Reply to the Reply

quote:

Hey, I just answered your question. What more do you want?

The Hook

quote:

That’s a bunch of b******t! You miserable, low down, athiest liberal. You’re all a bunch of liberals. You even have a town in Kansas named Liberal. What’s up with that? Huh? And that Tasty Freeze in Lawrence still owes me four cents. The Founding Fathers would have been ashamed of ALL of you!

The End, er, Repeat Forever

The conclusion of HG:

It seems to me that HG’s beef was that we would not allow him to connect a scientist’s “world view” (whatever that is and I’ll assume it’s creationist code words for religious beliefs) to one’s interpretation of data.

What HG has described, however, is the current state of creation science. Because of individual “world views” and bias you have Old Earth Creationists, Young Earth Creationists, Flood Geologists, Pan-spermians, intelligent designers, etc, all of whom put forth “theories” about the same physical reality, although none of the “theories” fit with each other. Is HG suggesting that all of science should adopt that model?

Could we have Texan Science where all of the universal constants are just a little bigger than other sciences? Yeah, I could go with that!

And people wonder why science standards are so important. Well done, Ohio.

Comment #138635

Posted by Flint on October 11, 2006 12:43 PM (e)

I wonder if these people understand that “conclusion” and “preconception” are different words, with different meanings? All I can say is, they are treated as interchangeable. I wonder if it even could occur to HG that all of the information provided to him has not served to change his preconceptions a bit. The learn-proofing capabilities of religious belief are truly impressive.

Comment #138636

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 11, 2006 12:45 PM (e)

An official record? No. I should probably start, it would be fun. But I can estimate.

I only wrote the article itself a few months ago, so mostly I’m referring to much shorter versions of the challenge.

The majority answer is: {Insert sound of one hand clapping}

This would include variations like, “I’ll get back to you on that… {Insert sound of one hand clapping}“. So far, this is the one and only kind of response the article has gotten.

The next most common answer is to plug “fossil sorting” into the search feature on their favorite creationist website and regurgitate whatever comes up. This produces some entertaining results, like, “How do you explain the sorting of fossil mangroves (which should be the lowest of fossils in a YEC world) over fossil plants like Rhynia?” Answer: “Some species can outrun rising flood-waters better than others.” I have gotten this exact answer to queries about fossil plants at least five times simply because the creationists put “fossil sorting” in and got “differential of escape” back. No thought, no paying attention to see if it makes any sense as a response, just repeat. Even if the result is less surreal (jokes about Jurassic racing mangroves and runner beans abound), I then point out that the explanation doesn’t make sense (which it never does, my examples are chosen because they confound every creationist explanation I’ve ever heard of) and we’re back to either repeating this answer or moving on to one of the others (usually the first).

Next up we have, “Then explain {insert your choice of Precambrian pollen, fossil fingers, squashed trilobites, Paluxy tracks, Paleozoic human teeth, etc.}.” This not only invariably refers to falsified “evidence”, but also fails at all to answer the question I asked.

I suppose I should include total non-sequitur on the list somewhere. It’s probably second most common, if you count repetition from a single source given that it’s the favored response of the truly insane creationists who hang around on forums forever. For instance, Laurie Appleton responded to a question about the sorting of Amphicyon (the dog/bear transition fossil) with a quote from Darwin about circus bears, followed by a line like, “Is this what you were thinking of?” Laurie also gets “credit” (debit?) for one of my favorite answers: Amphicyon isn’t mentioned in his library (a dozen books, by his own estimate), so not important! He also claimed to have tried the word in “the” Internet search engine (there’s only one, you know) and found nothing! He was then buried in links to search results for Amphicyon from dozens of search engines and asked to point out which one he used which found nothing. Laurie refused to provide us any information about this mythical search engine that didn’t have it.

Laurie, incidentally, is very nearly if not actually the stupidest creationist in existence. Yes, I know, it’s a hotly contested title, but there you go. His primary competition is a total loon named “Jabriol”. I can rant about both of them for hours. Laurie gets extra points for mocking my grandfather’s funeral, and being the only creationist I was dealing with to do so.

Also popular is “You’re going to HELL!” and variations like, my personal favorite, “I hope I’m mature enough not to laugh AS YOU BURN IN HELL.”

I had one creationist actually argue that mangroves lived on mountain tops before the flood. Yes, the platform roots designed to resist hurricanes in sandy soil would be perfect for resisting flash floods on rocky mountains! The salt glands on their leaves were due to saltier pre-flood air. (How did other plants survived without them? What are you asking me for?!) Humans also only lived on mountain tops to be closer to God. Pine trees are found in lowlands, so it “roughly matches” their distribution beneath flowering plants, nevermind flowering plants are found in ALL levels of the world now, it’s a rough match! You have to almost admire the amount of creative thinking that goes into something like this.

So, in short, I haven’t gotten a single actual answer to my fossil sorting queries. Unless you think mangroves could live on mountain sides, along with all the fish that got sorted to the top and aren’t found in the lower layers.

Comment #138638

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 11, 2006 12:54 PM (e)

HG wrote:

Well. I stick by my 5 conclusions.

You all have a nice day.

You know, if some creationist doesn’t actually try to deal with the evidence soon, I’m going to be an EVILutionist my entire life and burn in Hell for it! What’s the matter, creationists? Don’t you want to save my soul? All you need to do is just deal with some persnickety evidence! Why won’t you explain fossil sorting?!?!

Oh, right. Because creationism is a lie and they have no explanation for fossil sorting. I almost forgot.

Comment #138641

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 12:58 PM (e)

Mr Suttkus,

I quickly read through your article. It appeared you had two objectives. First, to establish that fossil sorting is evidence of, and consistent with evolution. Second, to discredit the biblical record of a global flood. I haven’t read a rebuttal or examined any other evidence the other side might offer, but you did explain the opposing position in your article so I’ll take your word for it.

This may be an opportunity to practice my five conclusions – I’ll give it a try.

You looked at the natural evidence scientifically and concluded it supported evolution. I do not disagree with you on that point. The argument you present seems perfectly logical and sound. Based solely on your article, I think science did its job and the conclusion that the evidence supports evolution is obvious.

As far as your attempt to refute and discredit the biblical record of a global flood I would disagree. You seem to refute the arguments of the creationists rather than the biblical record. The biblical record states that the world prior to the flood was different than today; and that the flood was not only from above, but also from beneath; and that the world that then was, perished. The language of the record might be examined to better know the conditions that were present. However, being that we only have a biblical record of the world prior to the flood, there is no way to observe the conditions pre-flood or duplicate them. There is no way to observe or know with certainty the exact conditions of the flood or what effect such an event would have. This is especially true since the biblical record claims the global flood was caused by what science calls the supernatural. These things seem to put the biblical record global flood beyond the reach of science. However, the claims of creationist who attempt to prove the flood scientifically are fair game, and you seem to have done a good job of calling them on it. Personally, I don’t think science can confirm or deny the biblical record of a global flood.

Comment #138643

Posted by Flint on October 11, 2006 01:12 PM (e)

Michael,

I’m kinda surprised you didn’t list the response “God did it that way on purpose for mysterious reasons/to create the appearance of age/just because.” What emerges from your listed responses is ironic - all of those people are trying to find natural explanations for natural phenomena, which somehow sidestep any contradiction with their favorite fables. You don’t list any efforts to find *supernatural* explanations. Why not?

What we’re seeing here is a boundary condition, I think. These people, to survive any ordinary day, must necessarily have internalized the presumption and rather intimate understanding that natural causes produce natural results, because that’s the only way to walk, eat, and avoid fatal errors moment to moment. But their Matters Of Faith are bounded into a special reserve in their minds, where doubt is not allowed.

Fossil sorting violates this careful boundary. On the one hand, it’s a natural phenomenon daily lifelong experience says has a natural cause. On the other hand, if it DOES have a natural cause, it permits evidence to violate the boundary and threaten Matters Of Faith.

I think creationists intuitively recognize that simply ascribing something as pervasive and consistent as fossil sorting to magic and miracle, would necessarily push the boundaries of their Matters Of Faith much too far out, forcing them to include matters as fundamental as eating, walking, and avoiding fatal errors. So the boundaries aren’t permitted to move, nor are they permitted to be erased. They must be finessed. Doing so requires true creativity.

Comment #138645

Posted by Flint on October 11, 2006 01:29 PM (e)

HG:

OK, time to have a little more fun with this stuff.

However, being that we only have a biblical record of the world prior to the flood,

Quite the contrary, we have an absolutely enormous record of conditions over the duration of the last few hundred million years at the very least. This record establishes beyond rational doubt that the “biblical record” is a work of fiction.

there is no way to observe the conditions pre-flood or duplicate them.

Depends on what you count as ‘observation’. Whole large fields of science ‘observe’ geologically historical conditions, and do so with full consistency. Or do your “five conclusions” somehow tell you that scientific disciplines that contradict your flood fable don’t count?

There is no way to observe or know with certainty the exact conditions of the flood or what effect such an event would have.

Are you kidding? Floods have been common occurrences throughout human history and indeed for the last few billion years. The dynamics and consequences of floods are as well understood as anything in all of geology.

This is especially true since the biblical record claims the global flood was caused by what science calls the supernatural. These things seem to put the biblical record global flood beyond the reach of science.

To try to rescue this from special pleading, let’s make it less roundabout. You are making the claim that there was a magical flood, whose consequences were magically erased. True enough, science can’t evaluate such a claim. But it’s pretty thin entertainment to imagine an imaginary flood with imaginary consequences.

However, the claims of creationist who attempt to prove the flood scientifically are fair game, and you seem to have done a good job of calling them on it. Personally, I don’t think science can confirm or deny the biblical record of a global flood.

Huh? Scientifically, there was no such flood. This is WHY it’s possible to call them on it - because according to absolutely enormous bodies of verified evidence, no such flood happened. Science has, without any possibility of doubt, used the methods of science to establish that there was no such flood in reality. Science has fully addressed and refuted that any *actual* flood happened. No, science can’t address the question of whether there was a magical, imaginary flood whose imaginary consequences were cleaned up magically so no evidence of them of any kind remains, while the evidence existing at the time was also magically put back exactly where it was before the imaginary flood. Science is simply not in the business of conjecturing how things might have been if things had by magic been different from the way they were.

Hey, if you wish to believe a flood happened that left NO geological traces anywhere, not even indirectly, because it was a miracle, go right ahead. What do any “conclusions” about science have to do with that?

Comment #138661

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 02:03 PM (e)

Are you kidding? Floods have been common occurrences throughout human history and indeed for the last few billion years.

Not global floods. Not under the circumstances described in the biblical record, and not that resulted in the previous earth perishing.

What do any “conclusions” about science have to do with that?

Absolutely nothing. This is my point.

Regarding your previsous post:

Faith is quite a powerful phenomenon isn’t it.

Comment #138664

Posted by GuyeFaux on October 11, 2006 02:09 PM (e)

Faith is quite a powerful phenomenon isn’t it.

A nit-pick: matter’s of faith don’t count as phenomena. A phenomenon is by definition detectable by the senses and therefore by science. Global magical floods that left no evidence don’t count as phenomena then.

Comment #138668

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 02:13 PM (e)

Quite the contrary, we have an absolutely enormous record of conditions over the duration of the last few hundred million years at the very least. This record establishes beyond rational doubt that the “biblical record” is a work of fiction.

Flint,

Put ‘world’ into the context of which I wrote. The world described in the biblical record prior to the flood. That world, that according to the biblical record perished, so the biblical record is all we have of it.

Comment #138669

Posted by Flint on October 11, 2006 02:14 PM (e)

GuyeFaux:

So long as you’re not confusing the fact of faith, with the claims made in faith. Clearly, HG has faith. Granted, what he takes on faith is entirely imaginary, but that’s why it’s a matter of faith. Otherwise, it would be a matter of evidence, and silly claims about global floods would be honestly labeled as fiction.

If only faith (belief-despite-evidence) were NOT a phenomenon, and people were rational, at the very least our living standards would be wonderful. One might almost label them phenomenal.

Comment #138670

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 02:21 PM (e)

A nit-pick: matter’s of faith don’t count as phenomena. A phenomenon is by definition detectable by the senses and therefore by science.

Matters of faith may not be but faith itself is. Faith is as real as love or any other human phenomenon. Besides, Flint seemed to sense it, read his post again.

Comment #138671

Posted by Flint on October 11, 2006 02:27 PM (e)

HG:

The world described in the biblical record prior to the flood. That world, that according to the biblical record perished, so the biblical record is all we have of it.

I don’t understand what you’re asking. I have a great many works of science fiction which describe worlds that never existed. I suppose you could say that these novels are “the only record we have” of these worlds, but the word “record” is in such a case highly misleading. The biblical accounts of the flood, and the world before the flood, are not a “record” of anything according to any evidence we have. They are works of fiction, no better-attested than anything in science fiction.

Hey, I’m willing to grant that in creating fiction, one is free to abandon even the pretense at plausibility, and ring in any sort of magic. It doesn’t even need to be consistent. But not one of these works has any purchase on reality, much less enough purchase to be considered a “real” possibility. Making Stuff Up is fun, but let’s not pretend it’s anything else.

Comment #138672

Posted by GuyeFaux on October 11, 2006 02:33 PM (e)

This is not lost on me:

If only faith (belief-despite-evidence) were NOT a phenomenon…

Flint I’m sure would say that faith is psychological/sociological phenomenon, people see ghosts, people believe in all sorts of thing, etc. I would agree.

However, coming from someone who has faith:

Matters of faith may not be but faith itself is [a phenomenon.

I’m not sure this is credible. Namely, if you can experience your faith with your senses, then certainly it’s a phenomenon. Though I doubt you would say that: if you did, you would be aknowledging the primacy of your senses over your faith. If, on the other hand, faith is something that you do not sense with your five senses, then it fails to be a phenomenon.

Comment #138673

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 02:34 PM (e)

Flint,

I am not asking anything. I am stating that the biblical record is could not be subject to scientific investigation for the reasons I stated. One of which was that
science cannot investigate the world prior to the flood because it doesn’t exist.
You say it doesn’t exist because it is imaginary, the biblical record says it perished. Either way it doesn’t exist.

By the way, thanks for putting up with me. I appreciate your civility, for the most part.

Comment #138674

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 11, 2006 02:34 PM (e)

Flint wrote:

I’m kinda surprised you didn’t list the response “God did it that way on purpose for mysterious reasons/to create the appearance of age/just because.”

As you go on to suggest, creationists prefer to avoid those kinds of answers. Every miracle needed to prop up “theory” is a weak spot. Enough miracles and even creationists start to realize they’ve propped their argument up with nothing.

Part of the problem is that fundamentalists not only need to be correct, they need to be OBVIOUSLY correct. It’s not enough that they can make a sufficiently circuitous explanation for anything with cascading miracle theory, they need the truth of God and the Bible to be near undeniable. Any act of denying God needs to be an act of willful stupidity. Anything less and unbelievers might have an excuse. God is obvious to them so must be obvious to everyone. If it isn’t, well, then it suggests that God shouldn’t be obvious to them, and that cuts to the heart of their entire world view.

I honestly can’t remember any efforts to just label fossil sorting as purely supernatural. Maybe it’s happened, like I said, I’m not keeping notes. However, it would be a direct act of divine deception, which most of them try to avoid. Magical acts are more common in salvaging the Noah’s Ark aspect because the miracles have a purpose (Flood would destroy the ark? Miracle saves the ark. Eight people take care of millions of animals with special needs? Miracle saves the animals.) while fossil sorting… why? There’s no obvious purpose, so “God miracled the fossils in that order” just comes off hollow. Magical thinking ascribes purpose to everything that happens. There’s no purpose here, so even magical thinking doesn’t want to shove a miracle into the fossil sorting issue.

It’s one of the reasons I love using Fossil sorting as my primary argument.

HG wrote:

I quickly read through your article. It appeared you had two objectives. First, to establish that fossil sorting is evidence of, and consistent with evolution. Second, to discredit the biblical record of a global flood.

Correct. Well, I’d say my second purpose is to reveal that the flood *has been* discredited rather than claiming to do it myself, but that’s purely semantics.

HG wrote:

I haven’t read a rebuttal or examined any other evidence the other side might offer, but you did explain the opposing position in your article so I’ll take your word for it.

Basically, every fossil sorting argument I’ve ever heard from creationists appears somewhere in there.

HG wrote:

This may be an opportunity to practice my five conclusions – I’ll give it a try.

Please do!

HG wrote:

You looked at the natural evidence scientifically and concluded it supported evolution. I do not disagree with you on that point. The argument you present seems perfectly logical and sound. Based solely on your article, I think science did its job and the conclusion that the evidence supports evolution is obvious.

Fair enough.

HG wrote:

As far as your attempt to refute and discredit the biblical record of a global flood I would disagree. You seem to refute the arguments of the creationists rather than the biblical record.

“The Biblical Record” comes through the creationist arguments. Simply put, a flood WOULD NOT sort the fossils that way. The creationist arguments encapsulate how a flood would sort fossils (though they go further into things floods wouldn’t do).

HG wrote:

The biblical record states that the world prior to the flood was different than today; and that the flood was not only from above, but also from beneath; and that the world that then was, perished.

Arm waving. How was it different? What effect on fossil sorting would those differences have produced? What does the source of the waters have to do with fossil sorting?

HG wrote:

The language of the record might be examined to better know the conditions that were present.

Creationists have been doing that for years. That’s how they came up with the arguments they’ve presented.

HG wrote:

However, being that we only have a biblical record of the world prior to the flood, there is no way to observe the conditions pre-flood or duplicate them.

Translation: You have nothing except blind (very blind) faith that, somehow, somewhere, there’s an explanation. The world was different somehow that makes it consistent with what happened.

That’s not an answer; that’s an admission of defeat.

You’re welcome to define any way, any way at all, that the world might have been different to account for the differences in fossil sorting.

HG wrote:

There is no way to observe or know with certainty the exact conditions of the flood or what effect such an event would have.

But we can observe the world and see it’s inconsistent with a flood having happened at all.

If the physical evidence of the world is inconsistent with a global flood, shouldn’t we admit that it didn’t happen? Other than “The Bible says so”, is there any reason at all to conclude that a global flood happened?

HG wrote:

This is especially true since the biblical record claims the global flood was caused by what science calls the supernatural. These things seem to put the biblical record global flood beyond the reach of science.

Again, NO they do not. They put it beyond the reach of scientific explanations, but not science overall. The history of the world is not beyond science’s power to examine. Having examined that history, we conclude that there has been no global flood.

If there had been a global flood, we would see evidence of it. We really, really don’t. Now, IF there had been a global flood, certain questions would be unanswerable. Where did the water come from? Where did the water go? These are reasonably attributed to miracles. Science would have a big freaking hole in it that could not be answered scientifically, BUT THERE WOULD STILL BE PLENTY OF EVIDENCE THAT THERE WAS A GLOBAL FLOOD.

There is none.

All the evidence suggests that there was no global flood.

I say again. If there had been a flood, the explanation for the flood would be beyond science, but there would still be evidence of the flood itself.

You keep missing this point. Science’s limitations would not in any way prevent it from recognizing that a global flood happened. All that prevents us from recognizing that a flood happened is the evidence that it did not happen.

Comment #138676

Posted by Doc Bill on October 11, 2006 02:45 PM (e)

Yet another thread hijacked by The Flood.

How many times, how many times…

Comment #138677

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 11, 2006 02:47 PM (e)

One last time…

IF God made the oak tree in my front yard disappear, there would be evidence of this. The plants in my yard are adapted to shade. There are oak leaves everywhere. There are pictures of my yard with an oak tree in it. There’s a hole in the ground consistent with an oak and it’s roots.

Scientists looking at my yard in this condition would conclude that there HAD been an oak there, and that the oak had vanished. They could not explain this vanishing, but the conclusion of the vanishing would be obvious. All the evidence points to an oak tree having existed and no longer existing.

In exact parallel, IF there had been a miraculous global flood, scientists would have no explanation for the flood, but would still conclude from the evidence that there had been such a flood.

IF.

There is no evidence that there was a global flood, miraculous or otherwise. There is much evidence that there was no flood.

If there was a flood, science would recognize it’s existence, but have no explanation for it’s origin or cause.

IF

Science does not recognize the existence of the flood not because of a bias against the supernatural, but because every scrap of evidence denies it.

Comment #138678

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 02:49 PM (e)

Arm waving. How was it different? What effect on fossil sorting would those differences have produced? What does the source of the waters have to do with fossil sorting?

The biblical account was not detailed only generally described. The source of waters suggests the earth was broken up, and the result was the earth perished. There is no way from this general description to fully know or duplicate the conditions. The biblical record claims only 8 people were alive who could have known what the previous earth was like compared to the earth after the global flood. They didn’t record anything to help science investigate the account.

I say again. If there had been a flood, the explanation for the flood would be beyond science, but there would still be evidence of the flood itself.

Point noted and well taken.

I would have to look at ID or creationism to see the evidence they use to support a global flood before I could accept your claim that “no evidence” exists.

Comment #138680

Posted by Flint on October 11, 2006 03:06 PM (e)

GuyeFaux:

If, on the other hand, faith is something that you do not sense with your five senses, then it fails to be a phenomenon.

I find your notion of what constitutes a phenomenon to be excessively narrow. By your definition, memory wouldn’t qualify. Neither would (for example) creativity, imagination, comprehension, preference, etc.

I admit I’m uncomfortable with purely psychological issues, though. The mirrors in the hall are a bit too close together for me. Maybe we could say that the above list of, uh, whatever you choose to call them, are emergent, uh, whatever you choose to call them (the word phenomena fits perfectly, in my opinion). Clearly, your brain is doing something in there, which produces effects we subjectively experience as thoughts, beliefs, convictions and the like.

HG:

I am stating that the biblical record…

Hold it right there. The Biblical fables are not records. They are fables. Calling them “records” *presumes* that something is being recorded. This is not the case. Something is being Made Up. Making Stuff Up is emphatically not the same as “recording” it. Your vocabulary has tricked you.

Comment #138682

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 03:10 PM (e)

Flint,

I’ll refer to the biblical ‘record’ as the biblical ‘account’ on this site from now on. Please substitute ‘account’ for ‘record’ whenever reading my previous posts.

Comment #138683

Posted by GuyeFaux on October 11, 2006 03:29 PM (e)

I find your notion of what constitutes a phenomenon to be excessively narrow. By your definition, memory wouldn’t qualify. Neither would (for example) creativity, imagination, comprehension, preference, etc.

Well, I would argue that indeed those items are detectable in the brain by the senses. As in, when somebody stores something in memory, there’s a detectable change in her brain which I could detect with various machines. So as long as we’re claiming that creativity, memory, etc. are artifacts of the brain, then surely they are phenomena by definition.

On the other hand, people who posess it claim that faith is not a psychological artifact (presumably HG’s positions). I’m trying to point out that I think faith is a phenomenon, whereas HG should thinkg that faith is not a phenomenon.

(I have the creepy feeling the I obfuscated the issue even further)

Comment #138685

Posted by Richard Simons on October 11, 2006 03:31 PM (e)

I noticed HG has made absolutely no attempt to answer the original question on fossil sorting. The nearest he comes to it is ‘science cannot investigate the world prior to the flood because it doesn’t exist’ which I find to be an unusual, if not unique, argument.

Comment #138688

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 03:42 PM (e)

I noticed HG has made absolutely no attempt to answer the original question on fossil sorting.

Wrong Richard. I agreed with Mr. Suttkus that fossil sorting supports evolution.
Please go back and read the thread.

Comment #138691

Posted by RBH on October 11, 2006 03:48 PM (e)

Doc Bill wrote

Yet another thread hijacked by The Flood.

How many times, how many times…

But the conversation is civil and I find it interesting and some excellent points have been raised, so I’m not unhappy with it. Else I’d have moved it all to the Bathroom Wall.

RBH

Comment #138696

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 03:53 PM (e)

The nearest he comes to it is ‘science cannot investigate the world prior to the flood because it doesn’t exist’ which I find to be an unusual, if not unique, argument.

.

Richard,

Read it for yourself in II Peter chapter 3. The old world was said to have perished. Maybe if someone had checked the biblical account instead of just
taking the creationists argument on face value, it might have been known. It’s amazing what a little reading can turn up.

Comment #138698

Posted by GuyeFaux on October 11, 2006 03:55 PM (e)

I would have to look at ID or creationism to see the evidence they use to support a global flood before I could accept your claim that “no evidence” exists.

You are encouraged to do so. But please, check the sources. If scientific claims are made (as in, X years ago Y happened, as supportex by Z), please check that this claim is backed up by valid research and accepted in the scientific community.

Just begin your research from a skeptical position, as you have demonstrated here.

Comment #138703

Posted by Flint on October 11, 2006 03:59 PM (e)

HG:

I’ll refer to the biblical ‘record’ as the biblical ‘account’ on this site from now on

I trust you understand that this sidesteps, rather than addresses the substance of my complaint? Genesis is not an ‘account’ either. It is fiction. If you wish me to substitute “fictional account” for every use of the word “record”, I can do this, but it makes my wonder why you have picked this work of fiction, rather than any other, to cite.

Returning to my post about science fiction, I suppose the authors of those works could claim they were “guided by the FSM” to write them. And I have every reason to expect that if this were presented as Truth to infants starting at birth, a good number of them would believe it. As you make clear, sheer preposteroisty (by which I mean, the absence of even a wink in the direction of plausibility) is no impediment to Belief. In contrast, science fiction authors are by the conventions of the genre restricted to both plausibility and consistency. This set of restrictions has become necessary because their readership tends to be old enough to be rational.

Comment #138706

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 04:16 PM (e)

I trust you understand that this sidesteps, rather than addresses the substance of my complaint? Genesis is not an ‘account’ either. It is fiction. If you wish me to substitute “fictional account” for every use of the word “record”, I can do this, but it makes my wonder why you have picked this work of fiction, rather than any other, to cite.

I cannot agree with you here. I will not refer to the biblical account of the flood as fiction. That is your choice and your doing so does not offend me. My doing so would be dishonest on my part.

Comment #138707

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on October 11, 2006 04:16 PM (e)

Out of curiosity, what was the basis for calling for an emergency vote? Obviously, the January emergency vote (which failed) was spurred by the FOIA request, and the February vote (successful) was spurred by the ACLU’s “cease and desist” notice in the papers the morning of the vote. The AG of Ohio has stated that an “actual or imminent lawsuit” is a proper reason for holding an emergency vote. But I don’t see any obvious reason this vote had to be done as an emergency, other than for political reasons (the next meeting is after the elections, right?).

Comment #138711

Posted by Flint on October 11, 2006 04:41 PM (e)

I will not refer to the biblical account of the flood as fiction. My doing so would be dishonest on my part.

I understand, that’s why I said “sheer preposteroisty (by which I mean, the absence of even a wink in the direction of plausibility) is no impediment to Belief.” Just because ALL evidence (which is stonkingly extensive and consistent) refutes this story, and because no known mechanism can possibly support it even in principle, and because appeals to Pure Magic are all you have available to you, are in combination helpless even to provoke you to wonder about these things. The bible says it, you believe it, that settles it.

I admit, it would be dishonest of me (not to mention impossible) not to feel very very sorry for you. What a terrible evil (and I mean that. Evil.) has been done unto you. I do not want you to be dishonest. I just want you to understand that those of us restricted to Mere Evidence can only shake our heads at your ‘record’ or ‘account’ or whatever euphemism you choose. It would take yet another Act Of Magic to overcome our bias in favor of reality. We probably should resign ourselves to mutual unintelligibility.

Comment #138725

Posted by Doc Bill on October 11, 2006 06:22 PM (e)

Another victim of The Flood.

And a demonstration of why solid science standards are so important.

Comment #138726

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 11, 2006 06:23 PM (e)

Well. I stick by my 5 conclusions.

You go right ahead and do that. (shrug)

You all have a nice day.

And you do the same.

Bye.

Comment #138731

Posted by Corkscrew on October 11, 2006 06:44 PM (e)

Put ‘world’ into the context of which I wrote. The world described in the biblical record prior to the flood. That world, that according to the biblical record perished, so the biblical record is all we have of it.

HG: I’m not sure you understand quite how hard it is for a world to “perish” in such a way that no evidence of it could be found. For a thorough coverage of this question, I refer you to this detailed and carefully-researched website.

More seriously, consider for a moment how much kinetic energy the water would have to have to demolish every building, every artefact, every possible trace of the previous world’s existence. Now think of the effect that that water would have on an oversized, overloaded, undercrewed wooden boat. We’re talking a matchstick in a blender here.

And then consider: this Flood is supposed to have laid down a complex pattern of geology and palaeontology that precisely matches what we’d expect from depositions over millions of years. The similarity is carried to the point that there are actually animal burrows halfway down the column in some places! This pattern completely fails to resemble any fast flooding process - for example, my understanding is that flash-floods tend to shatter shells rather than burying them whole. These effects could only be expected to worsen with a full-sized catastrophic Flood.

If you accept the evidence, and understand that the current scientific model is superior to the creationist alternatives with respect to pretty much every test we can throw at them, and still choose to believe in the Flood story on the basis of personal faith then hey, that’s your right, and I for one respect that. Just as long as you’re not misleading yourself (or others) about the weight of evidence here. I personally would not be first in line to worship a God who was that deceptive, but it takes all sorts.

Incidentally, the existence or otherwise of a distinct prior world would have pretty much no effect on the deposition process during the Flood.

Comment #138743

Posted by RBH on October 11, 2006 07:40 PM (e)

W. Kevin Vicklund asked

Out of curiosity, what was the basis for calling for an emergency vote? Obviously, the January emergency vote (which failed) was spurred by the FOIA request, and the February vote (successful) was spurred by the ACLU’s “cease and desist” notice in the papers the morning of the vote. The AG of Ohio has stated that an “actual or imminent lawsuit” is a proper reason for holding an emergency vote. But I don’t see any obvious reason this vote had to be done as an emergency, other than for political reasons (the next meeting is after the elections, right?).

The rules of the Board allow suspending the normal procedure of making a motion at one meeting and then waiting until the next meeting to vote. If a majority of the Board votes to do so, an emegency can be declared, in which case that one-month waiting period can be set aside and a vote on the main motion can occur the same day it’s made. That’s what happened. Various Board members gave various reasons for voting for the motion to suspend the rules and declare an emergency, and an MP3 of that discussion will be posted one of these days. I’ll flag it here when it’s posted. Note that the vote to declare an emergency passed by a large margin, 13-4. Basically, the whole board less 4 members wanted to get the charade over with.

RBH

Comment #138750

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 11, 2006 08:49 PM (e)

HG wrote:

The biblical account was not detailed only generally described.

Describe *any* circumstance that could account for the evidence. Use your imagination, but be warned, people have been trying to do this for nearly 400 years at this point, people well acquainted with the evidence as well as being Biblical scholars, and all without any hint of success.

HG wrote:

The source of waters suggests the earth was broken up, and the result was the earth perished.

Then the surface would be a jumble of broken pieces. It isn’t.

HG wrote:

There is no way from this general description to fully know or duplicate the conditions.

Do we have to fully duplicate it? that’s not a standard applied to any other human endeavor. Mathematical modeling will do fine (which, of course, shows us the flood waters would have destroyed the Ark).

HG wrote:

The biblical record claims only 8 people were alive who could have known what the previous earth was like compared to the earth after the global flood.

Eight people sick with every known disease, taking care of the largest zoo in history, on a staff smaller than any zoo I’ve ever been to.

HG wrote:

They didn’t record anything to help science investigate the account.

As the above should suggest, they recorded enough to make the whole thing seem preposterous. Did you look over Problems with a Global Flood?

HG wrote:

I would have to look at ID or creationism to see the evidence they use to support a global flood before I could accept your claim that “no evidence” exists.

Go ahead. I’d encourage it. But, please, check their arguments out on science sites and vice versa. I’ll let you find your own creationist sources (I can’t really recommend any over any other), but two good general science sources are:

http://www.talkorigins.org/
http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Main_Page

Comment #138751

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 09:05 PM (e)

HG: I’m not sure you understand quite how hard it is for a world to “perish” in such a way that no evidence of it could be found.

I never said no evidence of the perished world exists. The point I was trying to make is that the world, as it existed prior to the flood, is not knowable because it perished. Not that absolutely no trace of it remains. Read again the thread and I think you’ll get the context.

More seriously, consider for a moment how much kinetic energy the water would have to have to demolish every building, every artefact, every possible trace of the previous world’s existence. Now think of the effect that that water would have on an oversized, overloaded, undercrewed wooden boat. We’re talking a matchstick in a blender here.

Again, the biblical account claims this event was caused by direct intervention of the supernatural. Please read again the thread beginning specifically at Comment #138641.

Just as long as you’re not misleading yourself (or others) about the weight of evidence here.

I have not done that here, nor do I have any intention of doing so. My position is laid out in the 5 conclusions I posted here. Like I said, the natural evidence may clearly support evolution as in the case of Mr. Suttkus article on fossil sorting. However, given the method of investigation, science cannot prove or deny supernatural intervention in events such as creation or a global flood.

Comment #138753

Posted by Doc Bill on October 11, 2006 09:18 PM (e)

However, given the method of investigation, science cannot prove or deny supernatural intervention in events such as the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus.

Am I missing something here?

Keep it up, HG. You’re a poster child for strong science education.

Comment #138756

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 09:24 PM (e)

Then the surface would be a jumble of broken pieces. It isn’t.

Mr. Suttkus,

Not necessarily. The language suggests that, but nobody saw it. The language also suggests a re-ordering of the earth since it was destroyed during the flood (Gen. 8:22). It could be the earth was in pieces, a slurry, or both. Read Gen. 7&8; II Peter 2&3 for the majority of the biblical account.

I will take your advice and check out the links you posted.

Comment #138757

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 09:29 PM (e)

Doc,

Dishonesty seems to be your strategy of debate. First you group a couple of my quotes with those of someone else in a weak attempt to characterize my visit here. Then you attempt to put words in my mouth. Keep it up. I don’t mind you making a fool of yourself.

Comment #138758

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 11, 2006 09:45 PM (e)

Hey HG, both the creation “scientists” and the intelligent design ‘theorists” testified, in court, under oath, that neither creation “science” nor design “theory” had anything to do with the Bible or religion.

Were they just lying to us when they testified to that?

Oh, and would you mind explaining to me why we should care any more about your religious opinions than we should to, say, those of my car mechanic or my veterinarian or the kid who delivers my pizzas?

Comment #138759

Posted by Doc Bill on October 11, 2006 09:52 PM (e)

HG,

What debate? Scientifically you’re wrong. It’s that simple.

Regarding a matter of faith, however, I respect your opinion and belief. In fact, the ultimate believer with a science background is Kurt Wise, PhD, who has said something to the effect that even if the entire Universe presented data to the contrary, he would still believe. I won’t argue with that and I defer to Dr. Wise’s strength of faith.

However, to attempt to contort science to support beliefs is where I object. That’s where creation science and “intelligent design” are in direct opposition to science education, and I will oppose any attempt however minor to water down science education, whether it be code words like “teach the controversy” or the recent attempt in Ohio to institute “controversy frameworks” or blatent attempts as in Dover and Louisiana decades earlier.

Personally, I am honored to be at the tip of my little evolutionary twig knowing that all my ancestors, all of them, through 3.5 billion years of evolutionary trials and tribulation survived so I could write these words. That, to me, is more marvelous than your supernatural flood. I am blessed by the perseverance, and luck, of my ancestors and I respect their success.

As for making a fool of myself, I’ve done that all my life. It’s my trademark.

Once again, congratulations to Michigan and Ohio for standing firm for strong science standards.

Comment #138760

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 10:00 PM (e)

Were they just lying to us when they testified to that?

I couldn’t say for certain. I do not know enough about ID, or creationism, nor do I know the context of the answer they gave. Sorry.

Oh, and would you mind explaining to me why we should care any more about your religious opinions than we should to, say, those of my car mechanic or my veterinarian or the kid who delivers my pizzas?

Judging by your posts, you shouldn’t. Others here have either brought it into the discussion or asked questions about it.

Comment #138761

Posted by HG on October 11, 2006 10:10 PM (e)

What debate? Scientifically you’re wrong. It’s that simple.

However, to attempt to contort science to support beliefs is where I object.

Doc,

I know *scientifically* I am wrong. I already admitted that. Read my five conclusions and my response to Mr. Suttkus’ article.

I am not attempting to contort anything. I am saying the exact same thing Kurt Wise, PhD, is saying in your post.

As for making a fool of myself, I’ve done that all my life. It’s my trademark.

You could avoid being a fool by not mischaracterizing or misquoting people just because you disagree with them. It only destroys your credibility.

Comment #138762

Posted by Chiefley on October 11, 2006 11:08 PM (e)

“Are any of these people up for reelection next month?”

Yes, Deborah Owens-Fink is one of them. She has been the biggest ringleader for Creationism over the last few years. Her proposals for changing the curriculum come right out of the Disco play book. If you are sufficiently motivated to help us out here in Ohio, please visit http://www.votetomsawyer.com and drop a few bucks. This is Ohio Board of Ed candidate Tom Sawyer running against Ms. Owens-Fink.

Tom Sawyer is a well respected longtime Ohio statesman, having been everything from an educator to mayor to US Representative. He is running for Ohio school board because he is disgusted with the decline of education in Ohio. As a side note, he comes with glowing recommendations from the scientific community. Although not a single issue candidate, he understands the history and the nuances of this cultural war on science very well. Help us out in Ohio if you can so we can rejoin The Enlightenment. Remember, as Ohio goes, so goes the nation.

Comment #138775

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on October 12, 2006 03:44 AM (e)

HG writes:
I am coming to some conclusions about science based in part on my time spent here.

“1. Science is a tool limited by its PRACTICE of methodological naturalism.”

That is an assertion, yet you state it as fact. There is no objective evidence for any superor extra-natural phenomena.
Science studies what can be measured. Come up with objective evidence for the existence of supernatural phenomena, and develop a metric
for it, than your statement has some validity.

“2. If the supernatural exists science can never prove it. “

Another assertion. If the supernatural has measurable effects then science can demonstrate its existence.
“But so far, nobody has come with any objective evidence for the supernatrual.

“So science may not know when it has missed evidence of the supernatural. Therefore, the possibility exists that in a scientific investigation where supernatural evidence may be present, the investigation may not consider all the evidence.”

What evidence? You’ve put the cart before the horse. Show us this objective evidence for the super-natural.

“This means science may find itself in an investigation which is beyond the limits of science – if the supernatural exists and is present.”

If ifs and butts were candies and nuts…

“3. Theories of science reached in investigations described in #2, cannot rule out the possibility of other means of explanation, except to say they are not scientific. (E.g. if evidence of supernatural intelligence exists, a scientific investigation of origins may theorize naturalistic causes but cannot rule out the possibility of supernatural causes.)”

We can never rule out unseen, unmeasurable super-natural causes. Thats why they are not science. I can’t rule out the existence of unicorns either.
So far you have nothing to offer.

4. “A scientist who does not accept naturalism as a world-view may still be able to practice methodological naturalism as required by science. Likely, only those who do hold to a belief in naturalism will outright dismiss #2 & #3. This would also likely hold true for those of other philosophical perspectives such as materialism. They will not only likely dismiss #2 & #3, but believe the scientific results of such investigations to be absolute truth.”

So?

5. “(This one is based upon my limited knowledge of ID, and is more an observation) Until such time that science can include phenomena currently labeled supernatural, science should remain in its current form and practice with those studying it having a good grasp of #1-4. Other forms, such as ID must continue outside of science as currently defined and practiced.”

First you need to demonstrate the existence of super or extra-natural phenomena.

“Of course these are my conclusions and subject to revision as I follow this debate.

I posted this here the second time to be sure all those hammering me yesterday could see I was truthful about my objectivity. By the way I do believe the biblical account of creation.”

You think you’re objective? LOL

Here’s my conclusion about you. You have no evidence for any supernatural phenomena. You wish science to incorporate phenomena which have no objective evdience for
their existence. But you want science to support your biblical literalist hallucinations.

Is that about right?

Comment #138776

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on October 12, 2006 03:50 AM (e)

HG writes:
“Well. I stick by my 5 conclusions.

You all have a nice day.”

Ah yes… fundy in…. fundy out.

Comment #138778

Posted by Darth Robo on October 12, 2006 05:03 AM (e)

“I don’t mind you making a fool of yourself.”

said - wait for it… HG!!!!!!!!!!

“I know *scientifically* I am wrong. I already admitted that.”

Then your argument is moot, yes?

“Well. I stick by my 5 conclusions.”

And I’ll stick by my six. You stand corrected. Or sit.

Blast my internet connection, why does all the funny stuff happen while I’m away? :(

Comment #138793

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 12, 2006 07:10 AM (e)

I couldn’t say for certain.

So you don’t know how to tell when someone is lying about something?

When someone testifies under oath that creationism has nothing to do with the Bible, and then goes on at length about how creationism depends on the Bible, you don’t know how to tell whether they’re lying about it????????????

Or you just don’t care if they are lying or not …. ?

I do not know enough about ID, or creationism

And naturally, that doesn’t prevent you from talking about it anyway, right?

Here’s a suggestion for you, Your Holiness – if you, uh, don’t know anything about something, perhaps you shouldn’t, uh, talk about it.

But since you’re a Bible expert, and all, perhaps you could answer the simple questions that Doc Martin seems unable to answer:

(1) do supernatural witches exist, and if so, should they be killed?

and

(2) should women be allowed to speak in church?

Do give us the benefit of your divine knowledge, Your Holiness.

Comment #138799

Posted by Shaffer on October 12, 2006 07:58 AM (e)

Having lurked and occasionally posted here for up unto a year now, I have to say that HG represents one of the most purely distilled victims of Creationist propaganda that I’ve ever seen bother to post here. It’s interesting to be reminded of just how simplistic and predictable these arguments are when unhampered by the political rhetoric and pseudo-scientific obfuscation that clouds and pollutes the ID movement in general. As best as I can tell, the thinking follows:

1) Every story in the Bible is literally true.
2) Any evidence that suggests otherwise is false and/or incomplete.
3) Any way of thinking (science, in particular) that may potentially lead people to come to other conclustions is flawed and/or suspect.

Is that pretty much it? It’s amazing to me what the human brain is capable of when it tricks itself into starting with the conclusion, and molding the interpretation of evidence to fit it. In this light, I propose a haiku to give a basic overview of an important part of the Scientific Method:

First comes evidence
From there, conclusions follow
Simple one-way street

Comment #138800

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 12, 2006 08:00 AM (e)

HG wrote:

Then the surface would be a jumble of broken pieces. It isn’t.

Mr. Suttkus,

Not necessarily. The language suggests that, but nobody saw it. The language also suggests a re-ordering of the earth since it was destroyed during the flood (Gen. 8:22). It could be the earth was in pieces, a slurry, or both. Read Gen. 7&8; II Peter 2&3 for the majority of the biblical account.

I’ve read both.

The earth isn’t covered in a slurry either.

The earth isn’t covered in salt deposits.

The ice caps show 10,000+ years worth of varves, but couldn’t possibly survive the flood as ice floats.

Then there’s the fact that the flood myth makes no sense from a religious perspective. Marine life couldn’t have survived the flood, but got no ark. Sure, you can say God miracled them to safety, but that begs the question, what was the point of the ark to begin with? You have a boat. A boat that couldn’t possibly survive the flood. Eight people who couldn’t possibly take care of all the animals on board. But God makes Noah build the impossible ark and try to perform the impossible task, all while He’s miracling plants and marine animals to safety.

Why? Was God worried Noah would be bored? Why not just miracle Noah to safety? Why waste time with a flood to begin with? Why not just *poof* all the bad people go away? The whole tangled mess makes God out to be somewhat incompetent or at least actively malicious.

The whole thing depends on an unending series of miracles to make it plausible. Loading the ark alone would have required dozens of animals to be entered every minute. Yet, it also depends on God NOT doing the most reasonable miracles: Just directly miracling the solution rather than going the round about way through a flood and then saving animals (only animals) with a boat that can’t possibly do the task without YET MORE MIRACLES!

I have more respect for God than this story allows.

Comment #138801

Posted by Flint on October 12, 2006 08:05 AM (e)

I know *scientifically* I am wrong. I already admitted that.

I think most of us are missing the point here. The question is, what do you the fundie do when (a) honesty prohibits you from even thinking about questioning your beliefs; but (b) your beliefs are so prima facie ludicrous you realize that any conceivable attempt to justify them will make you look like an idiot?

Well, you ring in magic. It was “supernatural”. It was not “scientific”. If you just declare your beliefs to be outside the realm of science, then you need no longer be troubled by evidence. Then you babble about how science is too limited, and how it’s laboring under philosophical naturalism. It MUST suffer these shortcomings; the alternative would be to question your beliefs.

Oh yes, never forget that conclusions and preconceptions are the same thing, circling your arguments tightly enough so there’s no chance evidence can find anywhere to sneak through.