Thursday, June 14, 2012

Are the Gnus spreading creationism

According to this article, they are. HT: Bob Prokop.

I remember a friend of mine complaining about people who called you an evolutionist if you, for example, didn't accept YEC. Is this the flip side of that, from those who believe in the Religion of Evolution?

94 comments:

Matt DeStefano said...

This quote, by pico_bmd, is spot on:

I find this post really confusing. I know you say it's "highly conjectural", but surely Dawkins and Myers' work - at least their public advocacy and high profile - postdates the string of court cases that began in the 80s to challenge public school teaching of evolution. It wasn't the first, but McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education (1982) ended up being one of the major fuses that eventually led to the explosion of Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) and the SCOTUS decision that creationism was in fact not a science. From that decision came the birth of "intelligent design", and the more concerted movement to "teach the debate" instead of leaving science to science. Dawkins first rose to prominence during these debates: he postdates them, not vice-versa.

So you're welcome to conjecture all you want, but I think your history is very confused here. The idea that there was a nonaggression pact before PZ Myers began speaking out doesn't wash. This fight was all over the South two decades before Myers began blogging.

Karl Grant said...

Matt,

And Wright's update answers it:

Some commenters have convinced me that, in saying that people like Dawkins and Myers "violated the nonaggression pact," I made the violation sound more unilateral than it was. I don't doubt that some creationists had already amped up their assault on the curriculum (and sometimes succeeded not just in a formal sense but more subtly). Still, my main points are (1) even if this is what provoked Dawkins, Myers, et. al., their gratuitously insulting reaction (IMHO) was still counter-productive, fueling the anti-evolutionism fires; (2) their reaction may well have abetted anti-scientism in areas unrelated to evolution, such as climate change.]

And this is not the first time I have seen an article like this. Micheal Ruse, who is an atheist, says the same thing here:

Secondly, I think that the new atheists are doing terrible political damage to the cause of Creationism fighting. Americans are religious people. You may not like this fact. But they are. Not all are fanatics. Survey after survey shows that most American Christians (and Jews and others) fall in the middle on social issues like abortion and gay marriage as well as on science. They want to be science-friendly, although it is certainly true that many have been seduced by the Creationists. We evolutionists have got to speak to these people. We have got to show them that Darwinism is their friend not their enemy. We have got to get them onside when it comes to science in the classroom. And criticizing good men like Francis Collins, accusing them of fanaticism, is just not going to do the job. Nor is criticizing everyone, like me, who wants to build a bridge to believers – not accepting the beliefs, but willing to respect someone who does have them.


I agree with both Wright and Ruse. Atheists have been trying to co-opt evolution as their own personal intellectual club to beat theists over the head with. Sooner or later, the people you're attacking are going to think about ways they can destroy said weapon.

Matt DeStefano said...

Karl,

His update merely says "Sure, commenters have shown me that 'scientific denialism' was in full stride long before Dawkins came along, but I still think he's added to the pile."

That's about the least useful (and unsubstantiated) causal claim one can make. He has absolutely no justification for putting Dawkins and Myers as the cause rather than the immense popularity of organizations like Answers in Genesis and the like.

He openly admits that it's just a "hypothesis", but his hypothesis doesn't fit the data. Scientific denialism in America was quite fervent in decades past, and perhaps even more vocal in the courts.

Crude said...

He has absolutely no justification for putting Dawkins and Myers as the cause rather than the immense popularity of organizations like Answers in Genesis and the like.

He has some justification - Myers, Dawkins, Coyne and the rest have explicitly been touting evolution as atheistic, mixing metaphysical and religious claims with the concept, while calling out individuals and organizations that argue compatibility with the ideas as quislings and accommodationists. "Evolution as an apologetics tool for atheism" has been a forefront tactic with the Cult of Gnu, apparently with the belief that if people are forced to choose between religion and the Cult's abused version of science, the latter is what everyone will go for. That may not be the case.

Of course, if that's what happened, then it would appear - from the perspective of those who accept evolution, that is - that Dawkins, Myers and company did considerable harm to science education in the US.

Good job, fellas. ;)

rank sophist said...

It's worth mentioning that, even though I'm no Creationist, I might pick the first option over the second. This is because it sounds closer to the viable explanations that people like Feser have given regarding evolution and human creation. They accept both simultaneously. The second option reeks of ID, which I in no way endorse. If others have had this reaction, then the data from this poll may be off. Not that Creationism isn't rampant.

Karl Grant said...

Matt,

He has absolutely no justification for putting Dawkins and Myers as the cause rather than the immense popularity of organizations like Answers in Genesis and the like.

Funny you bring up Answers in Genesis because they have a couple of little articles about Dawkins on them.

Exhibit A:

But what is also very sad, is that Christians who compromise with millions of years do not stand on God’s Word in Genesis and can never be the real Christian witness to Dawkins they need to be—and one day they will have to answer for that to the God of Creation who gave us His infallible Word!

Exhibit B:

I want you to note two things in particular:

For Richard Dawkins, who professes to be an atheist, evolution is his justification for rejecting the God of the Bible.
Richard Dawkins understands the Bible’s account of origins more than many theologians. He does see that there is an irreconcilable conflict between the Bible and evolution. In fact, in other statements he has made in books and interviews, Dawkins says that the next step for these theologians is to reject the Bible totally. He applauds the theologians for believing in evolution, but he says “the writing is on the wall”—meaning that the next step is to realize the Bible can’t be true.


I could go on like that for a while since typing Dawkins and evolution into Answers in Gensis search box will provide you with something like two hundred articles. If that isn't proof that Dawkins is adding fuel to Ken Ham's fire I don't know what is.

Scientific denialism in America was quite fervent in decades past, and perhaps even more vocal in the courts.

Matt, atheists have been going on about Evolution proves there is no God! for over one hundred and fifty years, ever since Darwin published his little book. They share a considerable amount of responsibility for the current state of affairs.

BenYachov said...

The Gnus are spreading creationism largely because they can't intellectually deal with any more sophisticated & or historic forms of Theism and Christianity.
That would actually require they do some learning and some thinking.

Their narrow skill set is limited to a bunch of sects that got started in the early 19th century.

The Church Fathers had a diverse understanding of Genesis when it came to the particulars. Many took Genesis One literally, others took the days of creation to be Thousand Year time periods.

Many like Augustine took Genesis One as an allegory since it didn't taken at face value jive with a literal interpretation of Genesis 2:4 onward & developed the theory of simultaneous or instantaneous creation.

In the area of Thomistic philosophy evolution is a non-starter since the 5th way has nothing to do with Paley's horse shit.

At the turn of the 19th century nobody at the Vatican was bugged by the idea of an Old Earth or lower animals evolving. They where concerned with the creation of man vs the evolution of man.

After all it is metaphysically impossible for a spiritual soul to evolve. After batting it around they eventually concluded you could believe Adam's body came from pre-existing living matter but the soul must be immediately created by God.

BenYachov said...

Of course if I might take this opportunity to bash liberal Protestant forms of Theistic Evolution that deny a real Adam.

They pretty much fuel YEC just as much as the Evolution=Atheism crowd.

If you accept the Existence of God, the resurrection of Jesus and evolution there is no logical, philosophical, metaphysical, scientific or biblical reason to reject a real Adam.

rank sophist said...

After all it is metaphysically impossible for a spiritual soul to evolve. After batting it around they eventually concluded you could believe Adam's body came from pre-existing living matter but the soul must be immediately created by God.

This is what I was getting at earlier. These beliefs may cause a hidden, Creationist-looking bias in that poll--one invisible to most people unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs of theology. So drawing conclusions from it might not be wise.

unkleE said...

For what it's worth, I agree with the article, and have thought the same thing for some time. If scientists tie their science to their atheism too much, they will push some people away from science.

Scientists like David Sloan Wilson (atheist) and Martin Rees (agnostic) have criticised Dawkins et al on this, because they value the science enough to be willing to put aside the religion. The fact that the others refuse to do this suggests they value being anti-religion more than being pro-science. After all, while pushing people towards YEC is bad for science, it is good for anti-religious rhetoric.

cl said...

Ah, you gotta love it when people like Andrew Sullivan freak out because not enough people swallow the Darwinian narrative. "Oh no, the whole country's going to hell in a hand basket, er, I mean... getting fossilized in some strata," or whatever. Get real.

Crude,

"Of course, if that's what happened, then it would appear - from the perspective of those who accept evolution, that is - that Dawkins, Myers and company did considerable harm to science education in the US."

There's another angle to this as well. Think of how many religiously-inclined students and individuals would probably have more interest in science if these Gnu loons didn't act like such immature dweebs. Does it really not occur to them or anyone else that *THEY* might be partly to blame for the alleged waning interest in science?

cl said...

Scientific denialism in America was quite fervent in decades past, and perhaps even more vocal in the courts.

Yawn... I also find it funny how Gnus love to equate evolutionary skepticism with scientific denialism. I'll go toe-to-toe with any Gnu on this. The reason I'm skeptical of evolution is because I understand and enjoy science, with the added bonus of knowing how to keep it in check with logic (something neither Dawkins nor Myers understands). I know how to isolate science from metaphysics, and I know a thing or two about the history of science. Roll all that into one and we have, in my opinion, justified, reasoned, informed skepticism.

Cale B.T. said...

"Paley's horse shit."

Ben Yachov, I must ask: Have you read Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity collected from the Appearances of Nature?

As of late, Paley seems has become the whipping boy not only for scientific naturalists, but Thomists.

Very few people read beyond the watchmaker metaphor, and Paley does at least attempt to answer objections like:

"Ha, well what about if the watches stumbled on reproduce with variation?"

and

"Here is something science hasn't yet explained: probably God is the explanation"

I apologise if you have in fact read it, but perhaps you ought to refrain from using such language if your only exposure to Paley is through TLS.

Matt DeStefano said...

cl,

Not that you would have bothered to read the article, but the equivalence between "scientific denialism" (Wright's phrasing) and evolutionary skepticism was Wright's, not my own.

Cale B.T. said...

*Paley seems to have become

cl said...

Matt DeStefano,

"Not that you would have bothered to read the article, but the equivalence between "scientific denialism" (Wright's phrasing) and evolutionary skepticism was Wright's, not my own."

C'mon man, don't smart off, I read the article. Thanks for the "charity" though. At any rate, did I say the phrasing was your own? No. So chill out.

Although, on a side note, you *HAVE* called me "anti-science" before, right?

BenYachov said...

>Ben Yachov, I must ask: Have you read Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity collected from the Appearances of Nature?

>As of late, Paley seems has become the whipping boy not only for scientific naturalists, but Thomists.

Mostly I've read his successors in the modern ID movement. I find Thomism more plausible, philosophically consistent & elegant.

Plus as Crude once said to Paps & I loosely paraphrase from memory.

We Catholic Theists are coming to take away all your Atheist Toys. Evolution will serve the Church.

The Evolution=Atheism model is not scientific it's a philosophical claim. It's rather a very poorly thought out one by a bunch of philosophically incompetent scientist Gnus. At best Evolution is an attack on Paley's view of teleology. But we sons of the 5th way laugh at Darwin loudly and with great cruelty.

"All his Bases be belong to us!"

Cale B.T. said...

"Mostly I've read his successors in the modern ID movement."

I am taking that as an admission that you haven't read Paley.

"The Evolution=Atheism model is not scientific it's a philosophical claim. It's rather a very poorly thought out one by a bunch of philosophically incompetent scientist Gnus. At best Evolution is an attack on Paley's view of teleology."

If you haven't actually read Paley, how would you know?

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

Cale BT

>I am taking that as an admission that you haven't read Paley.

Pretty much, now is what he teaches on philosophy of nature substantially different then what the modern ID people teach?

Is it possible he was closer to scholasticism then his modern successors? Well I wouldn't be surprised. Even Descartes and Kant where closer to scholasticism then their successors.

Big deal.

>If you haven't actually read Paley, how would you know?

Should I have reason to doubt Paley's teleology is not the same as Aquinas'.

Paley's book is online.

http://books.google.com/books/about/Natural_theology.html?id=PccZAAAAMAAJ

Point me to a chapter(since I assume you read it) any chapter that might show me TLS characterization of Paley is incorrect.

BenYachov said...

@Cale BT

Based on my own readings I have always been partial to the Theory that the accused heretic Nestorious was not himself a Nestorian. But that being said the heresy of Nestorianism(Christ is two persons, a human and Divine) is still false.

If you are trying to tell me Paley wasn't himself a true Paleian. That he really was a scholastic in terms of teleology I'd be open to hear the evidence as I was with Nestorious.

But I would still reject Paleian Natural Theology. I would still reject mechanistic metaphysics even if you showed me Paley didn't hold too it.

Them's the breaks.

Cale B.T. said...

"Point me to a chapter(since I assume you read it) any chapter that might show me TLS characterization of Paley is incorrect."

I will be posting on this subject on my blog sometime in the near future.

As much as this promissory note may seem like a cop-out and plug, I genuinely do want to try and make a really substantial "go" at this subject, so I may be some time.

I apologise if I seemed a little "short and sharp" but the main point I'm trying to make is that, in popular science and philosophy, Natural Theology [the book] is often made out to be some sort of 18th century street preacher's tract.

While I can't currently provide the kind of criticism of TLS you have asked for, I nevertheless maintain that it is ungracious for you to dismiss this work as horse shit.

BenYachov said...

I am dismissing the Philosophy of Nature attributed to Paley as horse shit and I don't apologize for it.

Just as I would dismiss Nestorian Christology as horse shit even if it turns out Nestorious himself wasn't a Nestorian.

It's the philosophy and it's content I am concerned with. Let God & History judge individual men.

Quick Joe Smith said...

The Gnus are spreading creationism largely because they can't intellectually deal with any more sophisticated & or historic forms of Theism and Christianity.

I see this sentiment a lot, and I take issue with it because it appears to obligate the "Gnus"/atheists/skeptics/whoever to oppose all views within of Christianity, even if it does not clash with their own.

Why would an evolutionist feel the need to "intellectually deal with" Christian theologies that are compatible with evolution?

Perhaps the focus on creationism is precisely because it clashes so egregiously with observable reality, and it is this form of religious zealotry that is doing the most harm.

B.L.T. said...

I do find it interesting that it is only in the 20th century that the evolution vs creationism debate has heated up to the point of going political. In the 19th century it seems to me the issue was not nearly as pronounced as it is today. During that time and long before many if not most Christians took Genesis to be a non-literal piece of literature.

Crude said...

Perhaps the focus on creationism is precisely because it clashes so egregiously with observable reality, and it is this form of religious zealotry that is doing the most harm.

It doesn't clash with observable reality - it clashes with very reasonable extrapolations of knowledge into the past.

And what harm do you speak of? That's the problem, because as near as I can tell, the apparent perceived 'harm' of creationism seems to be (especially for the Cult of Gnu) "it allows a person to remain a believing Christian" and little else.

If getting people to "accept evolution" was assumed to have no affect on their core religious beliefs, or made them more likely to be Christian, the interest in evolutionary theory would for many disappear overnight. Even, I'm convinced, for some scientists - that would be the point where they would transition from being officers in the war against the great Christian Scourge to "guys figuring out what made some particular species of flying insect get laid more millions of years ago".

Quick Joe Smith said...

We can indeed conclude that Biblical creationism is wrong (as a literal historical account) from observations of reality. There is no firmament, the earth was not formed before the sun (nor were the plants that rely on the sun for photosynthesis to work).

The harm comes when people invest in religion extol faith in fables over hard-won knowledge. This causes people to refuse life-saving medical procedures in favour of prayer, vote (which affects everybody) and generally make ill-informed decisions.

Evolutionary theory has many practical uses in medicine and biology in general. Interest would most certainly not disappear because it is useful. It would cease to become a ridiculous battle between the advancement of knowledge and people who feel uncomfortable with the idea that we are every bit a part of the animal kingdom as anything else.

Papalinton said...

There is simply no easy way for christian theists to come to the realisation that a belief in superstitious supernaturalism is anathema to good science, particularly evolution, one of the greatest scientific discoveries with unparalleled explanatory power. Few other discoveries has resulted in the enormous and widespread impact underpinning the massive advances in cell biology, cell mapping, the understanding if not the treatment [yet to be realised] of every disease imaginable, gene therapy, general medicine, to say the least.

To claim Gnus as spreading creationism is just to externalize the problematic nature of christian theism. No Gnu is responsible for the tripe that constitutes religious belief. And if diehard believers agree with the sentiment of Wright's article then I say, "Knock yourself out". The longer unwarranted and indiscriminate belief continues to blight the road to learning and understanding of the natural world, the longer the quite unnecessary self-inflicted angst continues. Asked why the Irishman continued to repeatedly smack his head against a brick wall, his reply is that it felt soooo good when he stopped.

Believers need to stop blaming others when the unsupported nonsense of their belief system has been pointed out to them. To even suggest Dawkins and Myers are in any way responsible for driving reasonable Christians into the creationist camp speaks volumes about believers refusing to accept responsibility for their own actions and decisions, together with their congenital inability to distinguish fact from fantasy. Any believer who imagines he/she was forced into the creationist camp by Dawkins is doing none other than telegraphing to the community the weak and enfeebling nature of their character.

Karl Grant said...

Paps,

Any believer who imagines he/she was forced into the creationist camp by Dawkins is doing none other than telegraphing to the community the weak and enfeebling nature of their character.

Hmm, interesting statement. Let's do a little editing to see what else it can apply to:

Just as any atheist who is forced into the Gnu camp by ridicule and peer pressure by Dawkins and company is doing nothing but telegraphing to the community the weak and enfeebling nature of their character.

There, that's much better don't you think?

rank sophist said...

We can indeed conclude that Biblical creationism is wrong (as a literal historical account) from observations of reality. There is no firmament, the earth was not formed before the sun (nor were the plants that rely on the sun for photosynthesis to work).

You do realize that this kind of literal reading of Genesis is a pure anachronism, correct? Basically only hardcore fundamentalists--if that--are still doing this. And no, this is not a case of "science" pushing back "faith"--the tradition of allegorical rather than literal readings of Genesis goes back to some of the Church Fathers. Possibly earlier.

The harm comes when people invest in religion extol faith in fables over hard-won knowledge. This causes people to refuse life-saving medical procedures in favour of prayer, vote (which affects everybody) and generally make ill-informed decisions.

There is a difference between superstition (what you're describing) and religion (what people actually believe).

Evolutionary theory has many practical uses in medicine and biology in general. Interest would most certainly not disappear because it is useful. It would cease to become a ridiculous battle between the advancement of knowledge and people who feel uncomfortable with the idea that we are every bit a part of the animal kingdom as anything else.

Aristotle, a huge influence on the early Church, defined humans as "rational animals". Who argues that humans aren't animals except for the most extreme fundamentalists?

Now, if you want to say that the rational aspect doesn't really separate us from other animals, and that it's reducible to physical phenomena, then you've opened a whole new can of worms.

Karl Grant said...

Rank Sophist,

You do realize that this kind of literal reading of Genesis is a pure anachronism, correct? Basically only hardcore fundamentalists--if that--are still doing this. And no, this is not a case of "science" pushing back "faith"--the tradition of allegorical rather than literal readings of Genesis goes back to some of the Church Fathers. Possibly earlier.

No, he doesn't. The possibility of Pap knowing things like Augustine of Hippo argued that the six-day structure of creation presented in the book of Genesis represents a logical framework, rather than the passage of time way back in the 4th Century AD would require actual research on his part and actual research that requires more than Ctrl-V + Ctrl-P is very much against Paps' character.

BenYachov said...

>I see this sentiment a lot, and I take issue with it because it appears to obligate the "Gnus"/atheists/skeptics/whoever to oppose all views within of Christianity, even if it does not clash with their own.

Why equivocate between Gnus vs other non-Gnu Atheist? I don't. Gnus are fundies without belief in any gods. They read the Bible in a hyper-literal manner ignoring Tradition and Church much like religious fundies.

>Why would an evolutionist feel the need to "intellectually deal with" Christian theologies that are compatible with evolution?

You missed my point. You can't logically claim evolution refutes God & or the Truth of the Bible. An evolutionist would strictly be concerned with the science of Evolution. A philosopher would be the logical person to deal with the existence or non-existence of God. The Gnus is across the board a philosophical incompotent. Who would rather argue with people who believe in a Flat Earth then make a philosophical case against the existence of God.

>Perhaps the focus on creationism is precisely because it clashes so egregiously with observable reality, and it is this form of religious zealotry that is doing the most harm.

Even Church Fathers who could be called "Creationists" in the modern sense of taking literally the concept the universe was created in 144 hours didn't take the whole of Chapter One literally. When God said in Genesis 1:1 "Let there be light" many interpreted the passage to mean spiritual light not literal electomagnetic phenomena.

>Evolutionary theory has many practical uses in medicine and biology in general. Interest would most certainly not disappear because it is useful. It would cease to become a ridiculous battle between the advancement of knowledge and people who feel uncomfortable with the idea that we are every bit a part of the animal kingdom as anything else.

We are part of the animal kingdom but we are also radically different from the lower animals. Even Atheist Philosopher David Stove knew humans are in a class by themselves. We have the power of intellect & conceptual thought. No animal does. We are unique.

Don Jindra said...

BenYachov,

"Point me to a chapter(since I assume you read it) any chapter that might show me TLS characterization of Paley is incorrect."

I believe I did that for you about a year ago.

Crude said...

We can indeed conclude that Biblical creationism is wrong (as a literal historical account) from observations of reality. There is no firmament, the earth was not formed before the sun (nor were the plants that rely on the sun for photosynthesis to work).

Creationists don't hold to the firmament, the earth being formed before the sun is sketchy even on creationist terms, and that's still not "clashing with observations" but very reasonable extrapolations.

The harm comes when people invest in religion extol faith in fables over hard-won knowledge. This causes people to refuse life-saving medical procedures in favour of prayer, vote (which affects everybody) and generally make ill-informed decisions.

C'mon, you're equivocating here. I asked you what harm comes from accepting creationism, your 'harm' is "well believing in creationism is harm itself!", vagueness and unrelated issues ('medical procedures', and rejecting things like blood transfusions or mandating prayer to cure sickness is about as mainstream in Christianity as believing Joseph Smith was a prophet).

Evolutionary theory has many practical uses in medicine and biology in general. Interest would most certainly not disappear because it is useful.

The 'practical uses' of evolutionary theory in medicine and biology are A) extremely limited, and B) happen to involve an aspect of 'evolution' even the most hardened creationists accept - hence their repeated arguments over macroevolution and microevolution. Hence baraminologists actually employing natural selection in their own ideas.

Just look at Jerry Coyne complaining that whenever he does a straight-up post on evolution without religion-bashing, interest drops. Look at PZ Myers, who pretty much gave up research science to be dorky little atheist advocate. Look at Dawkins, who did much the same.

Crude said...

and that's still not "clashing with observations" but very reasonable extrapolations.

I'll make it clear what I mean here. There's a difference between something that can be confirmed by direct observation (Does Ohio have police? Let's go there and see) or even a direct experiment, and accepting what happened in the past based on a lot of predictive knowledge we have now, extrapolated into the past. Yes, said knowledge will involve observations insofar as they involve modern experiments, but you're still dealing with a gulf.

BenYachov said...

>I believe I did that for you about a year ago.

Did you? I have no memory of that. Besides what have you done for me lately? Nothing! So what good are you?

Don Jindra said...

Robert Wright cites the latest Gallup Poll which finds 46% believe humans weren't created by evolution. I believe the same poll claimed a similar surge in anti-abortion views. Those two findings are probably related but I doubt "New Atheists" are behind either. If "New Atheists", why now? They've been around for years. Probably both surges are the result of bad sampling. Baring some catastrophic event, people don't change their minds in large numbers within a year. If there is a real change I think it's more likely the politicization of religion in advance of the election is a bigger factor than "New Atheists."

I really don't understand how Wright can claim there existed some unstated truce on the evolution issue until recently. The anti-evolutionists have been complaining about Darwin in the classroom as long as I can remember. Like Wright, I too was raised in Texas surrounded by Southern Baptists. We had school prayer every morning over the loudspeaker. I was three years ahead of Wright. As I recall we barely covered evolution. The so-called truce had more to do with the times -- early 70s -- than anything else. Religion then -- at least among my friends -- was non-combative. It was seen as a personal Jesus Christ, Superstar, a joyous "Spirit in the Sky" (and a way to meet girls), not as an angry political movement. Issues were non-existent. I first saw the change with the religious infiltration of the Texas Republican party which started just prior to Reagan's election. My wife and I were very active in the party and saw first-hand the new breed of Christian activists. Did Wright really not know about people like Mel and Norma Gabler? Those people didn't care what the target was. And let's face it, those kinds of activists are the ones making the noise. Even the godless neocons jumped onboard to appease them. "New Atheists" are a convenient target but not a necessary target. One would have been found anyway.

Papalinton said...

KG: Hmm, interesting statement. Let's do a little editing to see what else it can apply to:
Just as any atheist who is forced into the Gnu camp by ridicule and peer pressure by Dawkins and company is doing nothing but telegraphing to the community the weak and enfeebling nature of their character.
There, that's much better don't you think?

But earlier:
Karl Grant: "I agree with both Wright and Ruse. Atheists have been trying to co-opt evolution as their own personal intellectual club to beat theists over the head with. Sooner or later, the people you're attacking are going to think about ways they can destroy said weapon."

Externalising the problem? You betcha! Strung high on his own petard.

Papalinton said...

"The anti-evolutionists have been complaining about Darwin in the classroom as long as I can remember.

The Scopes trial of the 1920s comes to mind.

Karl Grant said...

Paps,

That is all you got? On the comeback rating I give that a score of -1.0 out of ten. Those two statements are not contradictory nor is chuckling Look he is externalizing the problem an effective rebuttal. Considering the lack of substance in your reply I am going to assume that your little brain (bless your heart, you still keep trying despite your obvious disability) lacked the capability to come up with something truly effective and original and that Google and Wikipedia failed to provide something even remotely suitable to cut and paste.

Papalinton said...

Digging oneself deeper each passing moment.

Papalinton said...

Further on the Scopes trial:

"The Scopes Trial is one of the best known in American history because it symbolizes the conflict between science and theology, faith and reason, individual liberty and majority rule."
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=448

Karl Grant said...

Digging oneself deeper each passing moment.

How unoriginal. If you bring nothing to playing field why don't you just quit the game?


And, oh, the Scopes trial was a publicity stunt. According to your beloved Wikipedia:

On April 5, 1925, George Rappleyea, who worked as a local manager for the Cumberland Coal and Iron Company, happened to meet county superintendent of schools Walter White and local attorney Sue K. Hicks at Robinson's Drug Store and convinced them that the controversy of such a trial would give Dayton much needed publicity. According to Robinson, Rappleyea said, "As it is, the law is not enforced. If you win, it will be enforced. If I win, the law will be repealed. We're game, aren't we?" The men then summoned 24-year-old John T. Scopes, a Dayton high school science and math teacher. The group asked Scopes to plead guilty to teaching the theory of evolution....Scopes became an increasingly willing participant, even incriminating himself and urging students to testify against him.

And this little humor site has some more about it:

Which is to say it all began not as a court case, but as a ploy for the city of Dayton, Tenn., to bring in tourists and money. After the Butler Act was passed, making it illegal to teach evolution, the ACLU put ads in every newspaper in Tennessee in the hopes that some city would take up a legal challenge. After Dayton business leaders read it, they decided that a trial would not only bring thousands of people to their small town, but also that it should be broadcast worldwide. Now they just needed somebody to get arrested. The head of the group asked his friend John Scopes, a football coach and substitute biology teacher, to go into class and start teaching up some evolution. Scopes did so, turning himself in and even telling his students to testify against him.

After the ACLU joined up, the trial of John Scopes quickly grew out of control. The people arguing the case were selected almost entirely based on how famous they were. In defense of Scopes would be famed attorney Clarence Darrow (who had made headlines as the defense in the Leopold and Loeb murder trial -- the O.J. Simpson trial of its day), and they tried to get H.G. Wells, the famed British author, to join the team.
The prosecution, led by a Christian fundamentalist organization, was not to be outdone, and got the three-time former Democratic nominee for president William Jennings Bryan to be their lawyer. (This would be like having evolution proponent Richard Dawkins fight a legal case against Al Gore.) For the city of Dayton, the stunt was working beautifully.

In the end, Dayton's push for a huge media circus and worldwide attention on their small town worked. Complete with colorful reporting (one journalist dubbed the whole affair "the monkey trial"), the resulting trial made money for many local businesses, and still brings in people today to the courthouse and museum dedicated to the only thing mildly interesting ever to happen in Dayton. In 1960, a movie was even made about the case.

Karl Grant said...

So let's recap: tired old cliches and referencing a publicity stunt. How do you expect to win this game Pap? What's next, you're going to read us a little of your Dawkins/Loftus fanfiction?

Karl Grant said...

And to add insult to injury, John Scopes was Protestant at the time of the trial and latter became Roman Catholic. See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Scopes

The article is at your grade level and is from one of your favorite online sources so happy reading!

Quick Joe Smith said...

rank sophist: I get that mouth-breathing YECs and hardline literalists represent an overall minority of Christians worldwide, and their views don't find much scholarly support.

My concern, and this is the concern that is shared by new/gnu/whatever atheists, is the disproportionate amount of political influence and media representation they weild in the US, which they are currently using to, among other things, pollute the public education system with their brand of nonsense.

There is a difference between superstition (what you're describing) and religion (what people actually believe).

This reeks of conceited dishonesty, and I won't let its pomposity slide. You do realise that religion is the very definition of superstition, unless you remove miracles, divine revelation, angels, demons, virgin births and so on. And when you do that, what are you left with?

Quick Joe Smith said...

BenYachov: I'm not equivocating; I see this accusation levelled at non-theists of all stripes. So I'm addressing it in its most common form.

You can't logically claim evolution refutes God & or the Truth of the Bible.

Once you reduce the Bible to a collection of stories with little historical consequence, sure. Then it may as well be put in the same category as Aesop's fables, and then we wouldn't be in this situation.

The Gnus is [sic] across the board ... would rather argue with people who believe in a Flat Earth then [sic] make a philosophical case against the existence of God.

So you have a problem because they're prioritising greater levels of ignorance? Whatever, dude.

We are part of the animal kingdom but we are also radically different from the lower animals. Even Atheist Philosopher David Stove knew humans are in a class by themselves.

Oh, confirmation bias and quote mining in one! William Lane Craig would be very proud of you.

We have the power of intellect & conceptual thought. No animal does. We are unique.

The fastest animal on earth is also unique. So is the largest, and the deepest-diving. Some animals can shoot their own teeth at velocities comparable to a handgun. That's pretty unique. Humans excel in one particular aspect. Everything else follows from that.

Quick Joe Smith said...

I'll make it clear what I mean here. There's a difference between something that can be confirmed by direct observation (Does Ohio have police? Let's go there and see) or even a direct experiment, and accepting what happened in the past based on a lot of predictive knowledge we have now, extrapolated into the past. Yes, said knowledge will involve observations insofar as they involve modern experiments, but you're still dealing with a gulf.

crude: If the Bible's creation story itself is protected by this gulf then there's not much more I can say. But I don't mean that it is only challenged by scientific extrapolations about what the origins of the universe might have been like.

I mean that, and have said previously, that you can directly observe that most plants require sunlight to live. That's one example.

What's your choice here? To step back from any and all specific creation claims made in the Bible and hide behind "god made everything in some undetermined way, some amount of time ago in spite of what recorded revelation in the Bible says"?

Quick Joe Smith said...

I asked you what harm comes from accepting creationism, your 'harm' is "well believing in creationism is harm itself!"

If you deliberately misrepresent me once more, this discussion is over. You are on notice. To restate my point in simpler terms for your benefit, the harm is in accepting myth over reality, dogma over reason: of which creationism is one particular form.

rejecting things like blood transfusions or mandating prayer to cure sickness is about as mainstream in Christianity as believing Joseph Smith was a prophet

You asked for examples. I don't care if they're not mainstream enough for you.

Crude said...

If the Bible's creation story itself is protected by this gulf then there's not much more I can say.

Who said it's "protected by this gulf"? I just pointed out that no, determining that creationism is false - certainly insofar as it relates to evolution - is not a simple manner of observation. I'm a theistic evolutionist, but yes, you do need to extrapolate findings backwards and make some reasonable assumptions.

I mean that, and have said previously, that you can directly observe that most plants require sunlight to live. That's one example.

And it's an example that flops. It doesn't touch OECs straightaway, and YECs have interpretations that either forgo the issue altogether, or explain how plants can go a single day without sunlight.

What's your choice here?

Are you asking what the YEC choice is? I'm a theistic evolutionist. My point with regards to them was that no, simple observation does not dispute flat out creationism. And you haven't shown that it does.

You are on notice.

Kiss my ass, dork. There's your notice. ;)

Pulling out is your prerogative, but it's not my fault you're doing a bad job of beating up on YECs and creationists generally. That falls on your shoulders.

To restate my point in simpler terms for your benefit, the harm is in accepting myth over reality, dogma over reason

In other words, it's exactly what I said: the 'harm' that belief in creationism doles out is just the belief in creationism. Which, frankly, is "pretty much no harm at all".

You could have saved yourself a lot of time by agreeing with me from the start. ;)

I don't care if they're not mainstream enough for you.

Your examples flop, because they aren't even tied to freaking creationism to begin with. The fact that they're adhered to by some vanishingly small subset of Christianity - and condemned by the vast majority of Christians, even the sternly orthodox - delivers quite the assbeating to your claims.

I know, I know. You're worked up and don't want to let the theist win one here. But take my advice: hush up, retreat, and study this more while thinking it over. Stay away from the Cult of Gnu for a while, because the echo chamber will not help you.

Karl Grant said...

Quick Joe Smith,

You do realize that the vast majority of Christians on this blog are Progressive Creationists/Theistic Evolutionists?

Papalinton said...

KG"So let's recap: tired old cliches and referencing a publicity stunt. How do you expect to win this game Pap? What's next, you're going to read us a little of your Dawkins/Loftus fanfiction?


"Though William Jennings Bryan famously testified to some questions about Biblical creation in the 1925 Scopes v. State trial, that Court, like this one, was asked only to judge whether or not teachings about human evolution could be prohibited in the public schools. Even in that case Bryan, who opposed the evolution instruction, never argued that the teaching of Biblical creation belonged in the school. This quickly changed after Epperson. The precedent set in Epperson, in which the Court concluded the sole motive behind the ban against evolution teaching in Arkansas was to protect a particular religious view, effectively nullified all other related evolution education prohibitions throughout the United States. Within a short time of the Epperson decision, religious opponents of the teaching attempted through other means to lessen its influence in the curriculum, including requiring schools to teach biblical creation alongside evolution or forcing schools to provide disclaimers that evolution was "only a theory". Many of these attempts also resulted in precedent setting court decisions.
These include:
Epperson v. Arkansas—1968
Wright v. Houston Independent School District (1972)
Willoughby v. Stever (1973)
Daniel v. Waters (1975)
Hendren v. Campbell (1977)
Segraves v. California (1981)
McLean v. Arkansas (1982)
Edwards v. Aguillard (1987)
Webster v. New Lenox School District (1990)
Bishop v. Aronov (1991)
Peloza v. Capistrano School District (1994)
Hellend v. South Bend Community School Corporation (1996)
Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education (1997)
Edwards v. California University of Pennsylvania (1998)
LeVake v. Independent School District 656 (2000)
Selman v. Cobb County School District (2005)
Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005)


Since the Scopes trial christian anti-evolutionists have had their asses kicked purple from here to kingdom come.

"If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools and next year ... to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and newspapers ... ignorance and fanaticism are ever busy and need feeding."
Clarence Darrow, [1857-1938] Scopes Trial defense lawyer.

The litany of attempts is testimony to the voracious metastatic nature of this sociologically malignant brain disease.

Karl Grant said...

Paps,

None of that changes the fact that the Scopes trial was a publicity stunt nor does it have anything to do with the original post.

Since the Scopes trial christian anti-evolutionists have had their asses kicked purple from here to kingdom come.

Then why does 46% of the United States' population disbelieve in evolution with about 10-20 more being undecided? And by the way, what was the outcome of the Scopes trial again? I seem to remember something about Darrow failing to make his case, a guilty verdict and losing on the appeals too.

The litany of attempts is testimony to the voracious metastatic nature of this sociologically malignant brain disease.

Wow, you are finally using big words. If you didn't copy-and-paste this maybe we ought to frame it as a sign you are a big boy now.

Quick Joe Smith said...

You do realize that the vast majority of Christians on this blog are Progressive Creationists/Theistic Evolutionists?

That's nice. So what?

Karl Grant said...

Smith,

That's nice. So what?

So beating up on YECs doesn't impress us nor does it cause us to lose much sleep. Most of us attack the YEC ideology ourselves.

BenYachov said...

>Once you reduce the Bible to a collection of stories with little historical consequence, sure. Then it may as well be put in the same category as Aesop's fables, and then we wouldn't be in this situation.

You have the either or mentality of a Fundamentalist. Either the Bible is a-historical collection of fables or hyper-literally true. Comical, considering the ancient Christians didn't think that way. Some Christians like St Basil took Genesis One literally. Some like St Justin took the days of creation as Thousand year periods of Time. Others like St Augustine or St Athanaus believed in instantaneous creation based on Genesis 2:4 and other passages in Pslams and Sirach.

What it never occured to you the Bible contains history told in allegory? What you never heard the Song "AMERICAN PIE"? The later is a modern example of the history of Rock and Roll told in allegory.

What a narrow perspective you have.

>The fastest animal on earth is also unique. So is the largest, and the deepest-diving. Some animals can shoot their own teeth at velocities comparable to a handgun. That's pretty unique. Humans excel in one particular aspect. Everything else follows from that.

Sorry but there are many species of fast animals but only one species with the power of conceptional intellect. Only one species here on Earth that can comprehend the Universe via science and Being via Philosophy.

Quick Joe Smith said...

So beating up on YECs doesn't impress us nor does it cause us to lose much sleep. Most of us attack the YEC ideology ourselves.

I thought that's what you meant, but I wanted to be sure. In response, I was answering the allegation that atheists target fundamentalists instead of more "sophisticated" Christians. I can only speak for myself, but the majority of Christians don't bother me in the slightest: I have no issue with them or their views at all.

They're also not the ones who want to legislate their idiotic, bigoted views into law and dictate to the rest of society how they should live their lives. The ones who do, however, tend to overwhelmingly fit a certain profile.

This is why the majority of the atheist/theist debate is framed the way it is: over things like the age of the earth and evolution, because that's what a lot of Christians in the US and other countries are trying to suppress, over sex education for the same reason, over equal human rights because some Christians are bigots and want to treat others like second class citizens over a handful of Old Testament verses.

I agree that a lot of atheists are not well-versed in Christian literature and tradition outside Protestantism and its idolatry of the Bible. Somebody suggested it was because they're not smart or sophisticated enough to deal with it. I would counter by saying that educated and nuanced views on theology that accept mainstream science are of no "threat" an no reason for conflict at all.

Personally, my only interest is the views of people who want to claim that the country I live in is a Christian country and that their warped view of Christian morality ought to be law. Those people are overwhelmingly Protestant, YEC, and often literalist.

I'm not interested in debating the finer points of Christian theology because it doesn't matter to me. I also don't see much call to focus much attention on the views of the majority of Christians who just want to get on with their own lives.

As always, YMMV, but that's my perspective from the other side.

Quick Joe Smith said...

BenYachov: Sorry Ben, but this projection reeks of desperation, especially when combined with your ignoring my main point to focus on a couple of perhipheral issues.

I take it, then, based on your lack of response or rebuttal that you accept the reason why the majority of atheists focus on the more ignorant Christian positions. Good, then we're pretty much done here because that was the main issue I wanted to address.

BenYachov said...

You had a point?

Seriously?

BenYachov said...

>I would counter by saying that educated and nuanced views on theology that accept mainstream science are of no "threat" an no reason for conflict at all.

Are you sure about that? I don't believe the world was likely created in 144 hours but I still believe Abortion is murder, artificial birth control perverts the sex act & is sinful. I believe gay marriage so called is irrational and against natural law.

You left out the political angle.

Cale B.T. said...

"anti-evolutionists have had their asses kicked purple"

Papa linton, do you mean donkeys, or do you not speak Strine? ;)

Papalinton said...

Cale B.T.

Donkeys or strine?
Tomahto, Tomato?
Potahto, potato?
Asses, arses"

"But oh! If we call the whole thing off,
Then we must part.
And oh! If we ever part,
Then that might break my heart!
So, if you go for oysters and I go for ersters
I'll order oysters and cancel the ersters.
For we know we need each other,
So we better call the calling off off!
Let's call the whole thing off!"

Quick Joe Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quick Joe Smith said...

Are you sure about that? I don't believe the world was likely created in 144 hours but I still believe Abortion is murder, artificial birth control perverts the sex act & is sinful. I believe gay marriage so called is irrational and against natural law.

Don't worry Ben, I never accused you of having a sophisticated view on anything, so you're off the hook.

You left out the political angle.

Deliberately, because it's an entirely different discussion. These are matters of opinion and have nothing much to do with science or creationism.

Papalinton said...

KG
None of that changes the fact that the Scopes trial was a publicity stunt nor does it have anything to do with the original post.

In legal parlance it's called a 'test case'. Example:
"A test case is one in which an individual or a group intentionally violates a law in order to bring a case to court. The purpose is to test the constitutionality of the law. For example, in 1989 Congress passed a law against flag burning. Soon afterward, protesters broke this law because they wanted to bring a test case to the courts. Thus, the case of United States v. Eichman (1990) was tried and eventually taken to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court decided that the federal flag-burning law was unconstitutional and overturned it–-exactly the outcome desired by those who initiated the test case." http://www.answers.com/topic/test-case#ixzz1y2hVKDQQ

The Scope Trial was one such trial.

KG
"Then why does 46% of the United States' population disbelieve in evolution with about 10-20 more being undecided? And by the way, what was the outcome of the Scopes trial again? I seem to remember something about Darrow failing to make his case, a guilty verdict and losing on the appeals too.'

Let me hazard a guess ... Totally unedumacated? Religious obscurantism? Ignorance is next to godliness? Religion is not cognition?
Far from it. Darrow made the case but it took to 1968 to bring it before SCOTUS. "In 1968, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Epperson v. Arkansas 393 U.S. 97 (1968) that such bans contravene the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because their primary purpose is religious.[8] Tennessee had repealed the Butler Act the previous year." [Wiki]

Further:
"When the case went to appeal before the Tennessee Supreme Court (commencing May 31st, 1926) they rejected all of the reasons offered by Scopes' lawyers for contesting the "guilty" verdict, but ruled that it was wrong for the judge to have set the amount of the fine and reversed the decision (January 17th, 1927).
It is worth noting that this was a majority decision - 3 for, 1 dissenting. (Normally there would have been 5 judges involved in the voting, but Judge Swiggart had been appointed after the appeal hearing, so didn't take part.)
On this basis Scopes had not been found "guilty", and therefore didn't have to pay the $100 fine. On the other hand he hadn't been found "not guilty" either, so he could, in theory, have been tried all over again on exactly the same charge. On the Court's advice, however, Attorney-General Frank M. Thompson, who was appearing with Ed. T. Seay and K.T. McConnico for the defense (that is - Scopes was now the plaintiff!), took the court's advice and entered a "nolle prosequi", meanining (in Latin/legalese) that he was giving notice that the prosecution no longer wished to proceed with the case."
http://www.bradburyac.mistral.co.uk/tenness1.html

Cale B.T. said...

Ben Yachov: "We are part of the animal kingdom but we are also radically different from the lower animals. Even Atheist Philosopher David Stove knew humans are in a class by themselves."

Quick Joe Smith: "Oh, confirmation bias and quote mining in one! William Lane Craig would be very proud of you."

Stove did write a book entitled "Darwinian Fairytales". Please show how us how BenYachov has misrepresented him. Regarding confirmation bias, I fail to see how BenYachov's post displays this.

Also, Craig is a non-Aristotelian-Thomistic ID-sympathetic Protestant, so I suspect BenYachov is scarcely likely to be offended by your jibe.

Karl Grant said...

Paps,

I work in a law office, I know what a test case is. And if it was a test case it was a poor one for evolution since A) the guilty verdict and B) it took 43 years for the Supreme Court to overrule it. And the Scopes trial was still a publicity stunt.

Let me hazard a guess ... Totally unedumacated? Religious obscurantism? Ignorance is next to godliness? Religion is not cognition?

Can't spell educated right? And you a former school teacher? For shame!

And I know all about Epperson v. Arkansas and it still doesn't change the fact that Darrow lost the Scopes Trial. Now if you had half-a-brain you would realize Epperson v. Arkansas was the definitive evolution case not the Scopes Trial but you and most atheists wouldn't know Epperson v. Arkansas from a hole-in-the-ground without Google.

Karl Grant said...

Joe Smith,

Okay, I guess I can understand that.

BenYachov said...

>Deliberately, because it's an entirely different discussion. These are matters of opinion and have nothing much to do with science or creationism.

Not bad. There is some hope for you.

Peace.


and Peace to you Cale.

HyperEntity111 said...

Papa posted: "Let me hazard a guess ... Totally unedumacated?"

Paps this is a genuine question. Why do you continue to post here? From what I've read in your posts you appear to regard yourself as a rational and intelligent man defending science and reason against the superstitious hordes of religion. But if your aim is to convince anyone you're doing a pretty bad job.

Most commentators here regard you as incompetent in the strongest sense of the word and some appear to think that you are suffering from genuine delusions. You are frequently subjected to personal attacks and you are an object of ridicule. Your writings are not taken seriously and it is clear that most people here see you as a liar, a sophist and a fanatic.

In fact it seems that overwhelming majority of times someone responds to you is not to because your ideas merit response but because you are regarded as a source of entertainment. The publication of your thoughts on profound topics on the Internet is actually a source of amusement for many people here. When you display the inner workings of your mind on this forum the majority of commentators detect neither rationality nor intelligence. They see a confused man with delusions of rationality.

I apologise if the above comments seem harsh but I think it's important to make explicit the views held about your status as a thinker here. I think it's important because I'm genuinely curious. You are frequently insulted and derided. You are failing to convert anyone here to your worldview and you are held in very low regard by almost all commentators here. So why do you keep posting here?

Don Jindra said...

BenYachov,

"You left out the political angle."

I don't make that mistake. But in the past you've attacked me specifically because I don't make that mistake.

Crude said...

The fastest animal on earth is also unique. So is the largest, and the deepest-diving. Some animals can shoot their own teeth at velocities comparable to a handgun. That's pretty unique. Humans excel in one particular aspect. Everything else follows from that.

Actually, humans trump animals at most of their games even now. Fastest animal? Put it up against our vehicles. Largest? Do so again. Shooting their teeth? Remember that handgun.

We're the master of the uniques too, Smithy. ;)

Incidentally, when the atheist response to creationism is to mangle evolutionary science specifically and science generally, it's clear that "getting people to believe the truth!" or even "believe in science!" is quite far down the list of priorities.

Of course, the fact that the Cult of Gnu attacks Christians who accept evolution - and that is, even now, quite a sizable portion of the population in the US - should have been the giveaway.

BenYachov said...

>I don't make that mistake. But in the past you've attacked me specifically because I don't make that mistake.

djindra your acting like a little puppy. Pay attention to me! Pay attention to me!

I am taking to Quick Joe. He doesn't do the political angle so that is cool.

You OTOH......

Papalinton said...

HyperEntity111
"Paps this is a genuine question. Why do you continue to post here? "

That is a really good question. I sometimes wonder myself. The best answer that I can elicit from myself is that I genuinely enjoy it. I gave up the idea of converting christians to rationality long before I even entered Dangerous Idea. Clearly, trying to convert anyone who advocates the physical reality of a parthenogenetic birth, the revivification of a dead putrescent corpse and the bodily levitation of the said corpse into the atmosphere, is simply way beyond my paygrade.

Christianity represents the last vestigial link to our deeply tribal and primitive past. The character of the eucharist, eating flesh and drinking blood of the sacrifice as propitiation to the gods clearly draws from the time when humans indeed believed that participants in the killing ritual took on the powers of the cannibalized sacrifice. Historically documented cases of this practice are numerous.

I am happy you have taken the time out to list my failings. Impressive, aren't they? There is little doubt that my contribution on this site has been cause for thought and reflection. Your discomfort and anxiety is palpable. And for me, that is a good thing. I know in my heart of hearts, that for someone who firmly believes that an incorporeal spirit actually and physically impregnated a woman, the overwhelming sense of irony is simply lost, wasted in the mire of the delusion. I know in my hearts of hearts that for someone who firmly believes that a man physically walked on water, that belief deserves to be ridiculed, satirized and lampooned for the delusion that it is. "A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary." [All Reference Libraries]


"Most commentators here regard you as incompetent in the strongest sense of the word".
"You are frequently subjected to personal attacks and you are an object of ridicule."
"Your writings are not taken seriously and it is clear that most people here see you as a liar, a sophist and a fanatic. "
"You are frequently insulted and derided."
"[Y]ou are held in very low regard by almost all commentators here."


I welcome being enjoined by Christian love and compassion on this site.
One more delusion. One more occasion of that sense of irony utterly wasted.

"Theology [christianity] is but the ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system."
Paul Henri Thiry; French philosopher and Encyclopediariste

Karl Grant said...

Pap,

I welcome being enjoined by Christian love and compassion on this site.

Paps, everybody here tried to be nice to you to begin with. Everybody here tried to have a civilized, reasonable debate with you. You would have none of it. In fact, your reply to Hyper can be summed up in one sentence: Because I am an egotistical attention-whore who gets off on belittling people who have different opinions than me.

Also enough with the "Christian love and compassion". A man who spends his time arguing against an ideology's teachings does not get to hide behind said teachings whenever he feels like it. And I believe have told you on multiple occasions that if you quit posting insulting, disrespectful bullshit like The litany of attempts is testimony to the voracious metastatic nature of this sociologically malignant brain disease or someone who firmly believes that a man physically walked on water, that belief deserves to be ridiculed, satirized and lampooned for the delusion that it is that I would be polite and respectful to you.

Yet you don't. Fine, you wanna play that game (even though you suck at it) so be it.

Karl Grant said...

Now to commemorate our little game comes a little diddy from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry for our good friend Paps, with all rights going to the Little River Band:

Here is Paps, the atheist loser
Beaten by the Christians every time
Have you heard about the atheist loser
He's a loser, but he still keeps on tryin'

Oooooooh-hooooooo-hooooooo
Oooooooh-ooooooh-hoooooooo

Sit down, take a look at yourself
Always losing the Debate
Because you’re a dumbass reprobate
You have to face up, you can't run and hide

Here is Paps, the atheist loser
Beaten by the Christians every time
Have you heard about the atheist loser
He's a loser, but he still keeps on tryin'

Cuts-and-Pastes
Least that's what they say
He lost his sanity
And he gambled his brain away
He still keeps searching
Because he has got nothing left
Shot his mouth off and lost
Now he has to pay the cost

Here is Paps, the atheist loser
Beaten by the Christians every time
Have you heard about the atheist loser
He's a loser, but he still keeps on tryin'

"It's okay", he smiles and says
Though his idiocy is slowly driving him crazy
He don't show what goes on in his head
Because frankly there is nothing going on at all

Sit down, take a look at yourself
Don't you want to be somebody
Someday somebody's gonna see inside
You have to face up, you can't run and hide

Here is Paps, the atheist loser
Beaten by the Christians every time
Have you heard about the atheist loser
He's a loser, but he still keeps on tryin'

Have you heard about the atheist loser
Have you heard about the atheist loser
Have you heard about the atheist loser
Now tell me have you heard about the atheist loser

rank sophist said...

This reeks of conceited dishonesty, and I won't let its pomposity slide. You do realise that religion is the very definition of superstition, unless you remove miracles, divine revelation, angels, demons, virgin births and so on. And when you do that, what are you left with?

Good one. You beg the question, and then proceed to act like you've made an argument. In what way, exactly, are these things superstitions? And how can they be compared to the refusal to accept medical aid in favor of faith healing?

Don Jindra said...

BenYachov,

I'm paying attention to you alright. I've noticed you take different positions according to the issue of the day.

Cale B.T. said...

Papalinton wrote: "the revivification of a dead putrescent corpse"

Isn't revivification when a person is miraculously returned to life only to die again? As I understand it, this is a very different thing to resurrection.

Crude wrote:
"Actually, humans trump animals at most of their games even now. Fastest animal? Put it up against our vehicles. Largest? Do so again. Shooting their teeth? Remember that handgun."

Have you read The Extended Phenotype, Crude? One of Dawkins' more interesting books.

BenYachov said...

No djindra I have done no such thing.

How is it you can be rational and ask serious philosophical questions one minute(& I have noticed that lately. It's a vast improvement) & then turn into a paranoid troll the next?

Strange.

Are you fighting your dark side? Seeing the folly of being a mindless Gnu? But part of you just doesn't want to give up the Gnuness?

I wonder?

Crude said...

Cale,

Have you read The Extended Phenotype, Crude? One of Dawkins' more interesting books.

I haven't, though I admit, the summary strikes me as interesting.

One of the more common criticisms of Creationism I come across is "If God is the Creator how come eagles see better than we do?" style moves. It's as if the whole 'microscopes and binoculars' thing would be news to them.

Syllabus said...

"One of the more common criticisms of Creationism I come across is "If God is the Creator how come eagles see better than we do?" style moves. It's as if the whole 'microscopes and binoculars' thing would be news to them."

Which presupposes that the intent of the quip is criticism rather than ridicule, n'cest pas?

Papalinton said...

Cale T.B.
"Isn't revivification when a person is miraculously returned to life only to die again? As I understand it, this is a very different thing to resurrection."

Yes we could go down that road. It's called 'trial by definition'. Or perhaps 'obfuscation by definition'. Whatever is understood by you or me, going down the definitional road doesn't make much of a contribution to the debate. It's the substance of the claim that is central. Any and every English dictionary will include under the word 'resurrect/resurrection' reference to :
• restore (a dead person) to life : he queried whether Jesus was indeed resurrected.
• revive the practice, use, or memory of (something); bring new vigor to : the deal collapsed and has yet to be resurrected, or
• the revitalization or revival of something : the resurrection of the country under a charismatic leader | resurrections of long-forgotten scandals.

The reference to 'ressurrect' doesn't even uniquely refer to jesus. The word resurrection does have a fullblown definitional history of its own [as you can see by the outline presented below]:

RESURRECTION
Contents
1 Ancient religions in the Near East
2 Ancient Greek religion
3 Judaism
4 Christianity
4.1 Resurrection of Jesus
4.2 Resurrection miracles
4.3 Resurrection of the Dead
4.4 Platonic philosophy
5 Islam
6 Zen Buddhism
7 Disappearances (as distinct from resurrection)
8 Zombies

[Taken from All references Libraries]

The inclusion of 'resurrection' in reference to a jesus character is not in the dictionary per se, that is, because of the truth, fact or related otherwise of the substance of the claim. Rather it is included per accidens, by virtue of cultural and historical assertion only.
[per se / per accidens: Latin phrases meaning "through itself" and "by accident," used by medieval philosophers to distinguish essential and accidental features of substances.]

There would be few people remaining in the world, given the state of today's communications [the ubiquity of the mobile phone (for Americans, read 'cell phone') is evident everywhere], who would not have heard about jesus and christianity? And yet 5 out of 7 billion on the planet couldn't give a shtick about jesus. Christians claim of the rise in christianity in Africa and China. But these seem generally counterbalanced by the fall of religiosity in the West.

My revivification, your resurrection.
My tomahto, your tomahto [as well]

You get the drift.

Papalinton said...

Karl
I am honoured that you would write a poem of/for me.
Seriously.

I very much appreciate that I have been able to touch you deeper down than one would have thought, right in among all the real emotional stuff. And to me that is a pleasing insight. Yes I know the emotions that I have plucked inside you have largely been of the negative variety, but your response is no less for that, a very genuine emotional reaction to my commentary and perspective.

The issue of fame or infamy, is really only a matter of degree.

To take out some of your time to put pen to paper is personally appreciated. Do you mind if I borrow it and report it on other sites if the occasion merits?

Joke:
Question: What's the difference between the Catholic Eucharist and the Mayan blood sacrifice?
Answer: Only the location.

;o)

Karl Grant said...

Paps,

Don't flatter yourself.

1) If you had bothered to Google Little River Band you would have come across the song Lonesome Loser. It took me three minutes, tops, to change the lyrics to describe you. I spend more time installing a video game on my computer; and frankly, a hack job like you is not worth even that little effort but it is was a way to pass the time while Hearts of Iron III downloaded off of Amazon and installed on my computer.

2) The emotion you have stirred most in me is amusement. Normally, I would have to pay to watch comedic stupidity of this magnitude but you dish it up for free in large quantities.

3) If you had half-a-brain or actually paid attention to my postings you would realize I am Protestant, not Catholic (the fact that I don't usually back Ben or Bob up on defending Catholic theology should have raised a few little red flags), so you copying-and-pasting some little derogatory joke about Catholicism that has been told roughly 5,000 times on Meyers' blog isn't going to impress me. And the only emotion that little joke is going to get out of me is contempt because you are too stupid or too lazy or both to pay enough attention to actually come up with an appropriate insulting joke for your opponent. Or is that too complicated for you to understand, you shit-for-brains wannabe cyberbully?

Now to answer copy-and-paste with copy-and-paste:

Here is Paps, the atheist loser
Beaten by the Christians every time
Have you heard about the atheist loser
He's a loser, but he still keeps on tryin'

Papalinton said...

Karl
No amount of macho, 'tough christian love' in your follow-up comment is going to lessen the fact that I have had an impact on you, "... and frankly, a hack job like you is not worth even that little effort". And the evidence is there, in front of all to see, contrary to your own advice, you didmake that effort. There was sufficient worthiness in the cause to overcome even the greatest of reluctance on your part, and even in spite of you own 'god-given' free will not to respond, but respond you did.

I actually stirred the beast [Karl Grant] within against his own free-will. And not only did I get him to do something against his 'god-given' free will, he then proceeds to give an account for the reasons he was not able to exercise his free-will. I am truly chuffed.

Re Protestant vs Catholic,
or Tomato vs Tomahto, or Potato vs Potahto, any distinction is moot and irrelevant.
Bible crazies are all fruits in a vegetative state.

As Paul Valéry [1871-1945], French Symbolist poet so sensitively and poignantly noted:
"God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through."

Cale B.T. said...

Papalinton "It's called 'trial by definition'. Or perhaps 'obfuscation by definition'. Whatever is understood by you or me, going down the definitional road doesn't make much of a contribution to the debate."

The 'definitional road',as you call it, helps us make important distinctions and clear up misunderstandings, and this really is not a "tomato, tomahto" case.

For example, one sees an awful lot of stuff about "Zombie Jesus" on the net nowadays. Whether one thinks it happened or not, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is not very similar to a Haitian magician making a mindless valet.

Cale B.T. said...

Mr Grant, did you ever play "Victoria, An Empire Under the Sun : Revolutions"?

If you liked HOI III, I can thoroughly recommend it.

Karl Grant said...

Pap,

No amount of macho, 'tough christian love' in your follow-up comment is going to lessen the fact that I have had an impact on you, "... and frankly, a hack job like you is not worth even that little effort".

Whatever Paps, keep telling yourself that. You know, there's not much difference between what you do here and an angry, alienated teenager spray-painting profanities on a wall. The teenager wants attention, so do you; he wants to shock the community and earn a reputation as a rebel, so do you. Yet, he also wants respect from the community for his boldness and iconoclasm. And so do you. And both you and that teenager are not making an argument; you're just hoping to get a reaction from the appalled, but (you hope) secretly admiring, authority figures in his life. Hence your desire to believe you have had a major impact on me despite me telling you otherwise and any evidence to the contrary. Like Hyper pointed out, we don't view you as a bold free thinker we view you as a dumbass and an incompetent dumbass at that. Get used to it.

I actually stirred the beast [Karl Grant] within against his own free-will. And not only did I get him to do something against his 'god-given' free will, he then proceeds to give an account for the reasons he was not able to exercise his free-will.

What have you been drinking? I told you specifically you are an amusement, you are something I play with when I get bored. I have gone for months not talking to you and the only reason I am still talking to you now is because it has been a slow week, not because you are exercising some irresistible pull against my desire to do otherwise. But as far as I am concerned you can keep telling yourself otherwise, keep believing you have earned my respect and admiration when you haven't, that I consider you a worthy adversary when I don't. Whatever makes you sleep at night.

And quiet frankly, you are boring me right now. Wow, some French atheist said God doesn't exist just like some Oxford zoologist. I am so impressed . Would it kill you to come up with something original instead of relying copy-and-paste?

Karl Grant said...

Cale,

I have been enjoying Hearts of Iron III. I got Victoria II, been thinking about getting the original Victoria along with its expansion pack.

B. Prokop said...

Karl,

I think the best analogy to Papalinton on this website is Norm on the old Cheers sitcom. He breezes in, and everybody yells "Norm!"

Nobody actually listens to anything Norm has to say (it's all bullshit), but it's all "Hail Fellow, and Well Met".

Same here.

Karl Grant said...

B. Prokop,

Never seen an episode of Cheers but that does sound like good old Paps. Anyway, patch 7.4 came out for World of Tanks and Paps is proving too predictable to be any fun so I going to pretty much forget about this thread.

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

Cale B.T.
"The 'definitional road',as you call it, helps us make important distinctions and clear up misunderstandings, ...."

Absolutely right. I was not clear in explanation. The definitional road is an important process in pinning down what is meant by proponents and antagonists alike. In most other spheres of human endeavour that is an acknowledged first step to resolution. In matter of supernatural superstition, the case is not so compelling. But let us start. Give me a definition for the following which will resonate as an accepted start point on both sides of this debate going forward:

. God
. Allah
. Ganesha
. resurrection
. reincarnation
. trinitarianism
. sola scriptura
. theodicy
. the problem of evil
. bodily ascension

Just a very small list, and not a very important list. Once you begin to define them, do I need to agree with your definition for the sake of argument or do we continue to negotiate to an agreed definition? Mindful of 2,000 years of passed [transitive] history, what will be new in the negotiation process that hasn't been tested before and has not been through this revolving door incalculable times since jesus was but a cheeky vixenish twinkle in Mary's eye?

You will note that I purposely broadened out the scope somewhat so as not to restrict the wider problematic nature of theism, by adopting a thoroughly myopic single-lens view that a christo-centric perspective would bring to the conversation. We must be thoroughly versed in history and not egregiously suppose that christian theism is the alpha and the omega of religious belief. Such arrogance would be universally wrong. Indeed christianity is but only one of some tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of competing claims to the same universal truth.

And yes, .... "For example, one sees an awful lot of stuff about "Zombie Jesus" on the net nowadays. Whether one thinks it happened or not, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is not very similar to a Haitian magician making a mindless valet."

And nobody is alluding to Zombie jesus as being similar Haitian mindless valet. But there is significant talk of Zombie jesus. And that is a very good thing. Finally, after two millennia of religious hegemony, reason and good sense is beginning to prevail and society is now understanding and appreciating for the first time the strong mythological and superstitious underpinnings of the christian resurrection memeplex. Zombie jesus ridicule has played its small part in exposing the shamanic fraud.