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In Explaining Life's Complexity, Darwinists and Doubters Clash
NY Times ^ | August 22, 2005 | KENNETH CHANG

Posted on 08/22/2005 3:29:51 AM PDT by Pharmboy

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To: b_sharp
How is it that you can say the same thing I say, but in half the words? I must babble.

I'm seldom accused of terseness. Thanks! :)

251 posted on 08/22/2005 6:51:45 PM PDT by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: VadeRetro; All
They almost never encounter each other in the wild anymore (although they probably used to before humans restricted their ranges).

Before anyone pounces to say that lions are in Africa and tigers are in Asia, there's a tiny forest preserve in India containing the last ragtag band of the Indian lion subspecies. I simply don't know if this area still has any tigers.

Lions used to roam southern Europe and much of the Near East. Tigers were once more widespread than now as well.

252 posted on 08/22/2005 6:56:01 PM PDT by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: philetus

There are puh-lenty. Check out human evolution, fer instance. Ask patrickhenry and he can direct you to sources.


253 posted on 08/22/2005 7:07:32 PM PDT by Pharmboy (There is no positive correlation between the ability to write, act, sing or dance and being right)
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To: philetus
Where are the millions of fossels, skeletons, and mummified bodies of animals and humans in transition?

Post 661: Ichneumon's post on transitionals.
More information here: The List-O-Links.

254 posted on 08/22/2005 7:13:40 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas. The List-O-Links is at my homepage.)
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To: atlaw
The concept of alienable rights was the product of the Enlightenment, not legalities, and the Enlightenment if not directly animated by, at least reflects the most simple, and thus the most beautifully elegant, teachings of Christ, a philosopher of great creativity and insight, who taught that the least as among us have certain rights every bit as alienable as the most among us. The Enlightenment was more immediately the product of experience and education.

In any event, most of us just "know" what is ennobling to the human spirit, and allows each to be allowed to seek their full potential. That is all that matters. It does not matter where it came from; all that matters is that it is true. Why get bogged down in trivial irrelevancies, blinding us from seeing the forest through the trees as it were?

The legalities simply followed the thinning of the fog of ignorance, in a slow process which eroded away entrenched interests, animated by more parchochial and selfish, and exploitive concerns.

That is how I see it.

255 posted on 08/22/2005 7:15:04 PM PDT by Torie
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To: philetus
"Where are the millions of fossels, skeletons, and mummified bodies of animals and humans in transition?

What do you believe is an animal in transition?

Have you ever worked out the probability of finding a specific fossil?

256 posted on 08/22/2005 7:16:31 PM PDT by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: JohnnyM
America has taken land and property from foreign enemies countless times....

Not to mention a few dozen Indian tribes. Many non-Americans consider this one of America's defining traits.

257 posted on 08/22/2005 7:19:16 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: b_sharp

You can bet your Cabridoux on in.


258 posted on 08/22/2005 7:23:54 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: VadeRetro

Don't worry, it probably won't happen again.


259 posted on 08/22/2005 7:24:41 PM PDT by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: Doctor Stochastic

Ibex you don't have a goat to stand on.


260 posted on 08/22/2005 7:35:19 PM PDT by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: b_sharp

But they are easier to beard than a lion.


261 posted on 08/22/2005 7:37:19 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: b_sharp

What do you believe is an animal in transition?"

I don't.


262 posted on 08/22/2005 7:38:47 PM PDT by philetus (What goes around comes around)
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To: philetus

Well, that settles it.

You know, I don't believe in transitional fossils either... because every animal is always in transition all the time. We're the ones that set the boundaries. Every animal might as well be one big species.


263 posted on 08/22/2005 8:06:55 PM PDT by Vive ut Vivas
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To: philetus
OK.

Let me rephrase that. What do you think an animal in transition should look like? Half formed wings? Some aquatic adaptation, some terrestrial adaptations? Describe one for me.
264 posted on 08/22/2005 8:29:10 PM PDT by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: Doctor Stochastic

Ewe doe-n't expect me to believe ewe've tried that?


265 posted on 08/22/2005 8:33:11 PM PDT by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: b_sharp
We're still on the Topic of Capricorn?
266 posted on 08/22/2005 8:57:13 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: b_sharp

How about a unicorn with monkey paws and a blowhole?


267 posted on 08/22/2005 11:27:55 PM PDT by philetus (What goes around comes around)
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To: Kevin OMalley

I can just picture an (evo) "teacher" nodding his/her head and saying "Absolutely" when a student asks, "Does that mean (one race is superior to another?" or "Does that mean Social Darwinism is true?")

Disingenuous. Darwin made no such claim.

268 posted on 08/23/2005 4:30:46 AM PDT by ml1954
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To: ml1954

I can just picture an (evo) "teacher" nodding his/her head and saying "Absolutely" when a student asks, "Does that mean (one race is superior to another?" or "Does that mean Social Darwinism is true?")

Disingenuous. Darwin made no such claim.
---
Maybe so concerning Darwin, but my professor (the department head) had no problem teaching Social Darwinism.


269 posted on 08/23/2005 5:25:59 AM PDT by Stark_GOP
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To: philetus
Close as I could come.


270 posted on 08/23/2005 5:36:49 AM PDT by js1138 (Science has it all: the fun of being still, paying attention, writing down numbers...)
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To: Stark_GOP

Maybe so concerning Darwin, but my professor (the department head) had no problem teaching Social Darwinism.

If he's teaching this in a biology class he should be fired.

271 posted on 08/23/2005 6:00:55 AM PDT by ml1954
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To: ml1954

It was a geography class. He was just using Social Darwinism as a springboard for evolutionism. Which he did.

And he attempted to embarrass in class anyone that posed a question about it. Even if you were in agreement with him, you kept your mouth shut for fear of your grade.


272 posted on 08/23/2005 6:17:24 AM PDT by Stark_GOP
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To: Gumlegs; All
FYI:

You claimed:

The book is not titled “The Origin of Life.”

I never claimed that it was; please reread my post, and try to comprehend the message I was trying to convey by taking all of it into context.

As you point out, Darwin credits the origin of life to a Creator, which ought to make you feel better about the whole thing.

I feel fine about my posistion on the matter. All I am doing is stating 'factual evidence' about what Darwin himself wrote concerning the theory that is frequently discussed on FR. Yet, even though this part of his theory is recorded in Darwin's own book, "The Origin of Species", it is never acknowleged by those of you who claim to be the "experts" in the field of evolutionary insight and defense.

But creation is outside the theory, no matter how devoutly you wish it were part of it.

How can you arrive at that conclusion after the quote I posted taken directly from the scientist who gave the TOE it's status in the scientific community? Darwin clearly entertained the acceptance of a Creator, as well as life being placed here by the Creator, whether in one form or two.

And anytime anyone questions posts by pro TOE advocates, we are immediatly labeled as crevos or religious facatics trying to push our agenda.

Do you not realize how weak this makes all of you look in trying to argue your point of view regarding the TOE?

Instead of directly addressing the points raised and giving detailed reasoning of why science has disregarded said certain part/parts of Darwin's original entertained thoughts on the TOE concerning how the things that inhabit this earth came to be, in which he credits it's beginning to a "Creator", it is readily dismissed in the scientific field. All I am asking, as well as a lot of others, is:

WHY???

273 posted on 08/23/2005 6:47:13 AM PDT by BedRock ("A country that doesn't enforce it's laws will live in chaos, & will cease to exist.")
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To: Zhangliqun
This ignores, indeed craps on, the memory of Martin Luther King and the Abolitionists before him.

Are you suggesting that the only way to honor the memory of Martin Luther King and the abolitionists is to ignore, or perhaps conveniently revise, history? My precise words were "in a great many cases," and you cannot ignore the fact that "aggressive, scripturally based arguments to the contrary" were indeed mounted in connection with, for example, the institution of slavery and the extension of voting rights to women. These arguments were not instantly dismissed or easily rebutted.

You can pretend that such arguments were not made, just as you can pretend that the institution of slavery was swiftly and painlessly abolished as patently anti-Christian, but that would be, of course, nothing more than convenient fiction.

The Biblical arguments of the abolitionists were mounted in large part as a direct response to easily articulated (if patently superficial) Biblical pro-slavery arguments. The abolitionists arguments are to this day a case study in hairsplitting apologetics and hermeneutics.

Indeed, I think it is a fair argument that social norms derived from non-Biblical concepts of justice and equality informed and shaped the carefully constructed Biblical interpretations employed by the abolitionists much more than did explicit Biblical language.

274 posted on 08/23/2005 7:24:46 AM PDT by atlaw
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To: BedRock
Darwin most certainly DID comment on the "Origins of Life".

Yes, he did comment on the origin of life.

And 150 years later, the origin of life is still unexplained.

What Darwin did not do is invoke the Creator to explain the process of evolution. He did not invoke the Creator to make fine tuning adjustments after the fact of creation.

275 posted on 08/23/2005 7:31:39 AM PDT by js1138 (Science has it all: the fun of being still, paying attention, writing down numbers...)
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To: BedRock
"Instead of directly addressing the points raised and giving detailed reasoning of why science has disregarded said certain part/parts of Darwin's original entertained thoughts on the TOE concerning how the things that inhabit this earth came to be, in which he credits it's beginning to a "Creator", it is readily dismissed in the scientific field. All I am asking, as well as a lot of others, is: "

Actually the reason the study of evolution does not include abiogenesis, or any other explanation for the start of life, has been addressed by us many times. The reason science does not include the supernatural has been addressed by us many times. If you missed those explanations, that is unfortunate, but not every thread will contain every explanation.

There is no rule of science that says all hypotheses that make up a theory need to be retained, nor is there a rule that states one science cannot be divided into many to facilitate specific pursuits.

276 posted on 08/23/2005 7:46:32 AM PDT by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: philetus
"How about a unicorn with monkey paws and a blowhole?

its obvious from that request that you misunderstand what the ToE says. There will never be such a fossil or animal, nor is there a need for one.

What the ToE says we should find are gradual morphological changes from one species to the next. This is what we find. We find a gradual change from a land dwelling mammal to an ocean dwelling animal, including a gradual change in ear configuration and function, nostril location, ability to drink salt water, shape of head, length of limb, rigidity of spine, length of vertebrae, and form and function of teeth. All of the fossils containing these gradual changes have been found in the expected order. The extant aquatic mammals have been found with residual hind legs.

If you are wondering, the lineage I am talking about is the line of arteriodactyl to cetacean fossils that document whale evolution over the past 50,000,000 years.

If you want animals that show obvious transitional features, consider penguins, flying fish, mud-skippers, lungfish, hippos, or any of the sirenians or pinipeds.

277 posted on 08/23/2005 8:06:46 AM PDT by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: VadeRetro

If ID only has vague mumblings, then how did it get this far?

How did astrology?
***Astrology did NOT get this far. The president is not pushing to have astrology taught side by side in a science class. Reagan's wife was a dippy astro-believer, but that's as far as it got.




So astrology is finally gone now? Good. It just needed Kevin OMalley to dispense with it. No more of those silly horoscopes in newspapers from now on.
***Astrology is not being proposed by the president to be taught to our kids in classrooms. As far as I can tell, we'll never get rid of those silly horoscopes but that is not the issue. I guess you really did need Kevin OMalley to show you that ;-)



My frustration is, where is the simple, straightforward refutation?

Have you ever looked? Did you read the lead article to this thread? Where is the science in ID?
***I'm looking now. There are some great threads at Patrick Henry's home page. There is a ton of material, suggesting that there has been a rather large, ongoing scientific dispute for some time now. If that were not true, the president wouldn't have waded into these waters. I myself have stayed away for the most part on the crevo threads because the flame wars are too contentious and mean-spirited.


And what part of ID do you need dissected, anyway?
***My interest is in those probabilities, the protein thingie, which seems well covered in the abiogenesis link provided.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html



As just shown, it's been done and done and done and done and done.
***Not on this thread. The game has changed now that GWB has stated a position. You'll attract mainstream intellectuals into this debate. All your hard work in compiling information will now come to fruition. But if the abiogenesists continue in an arrogant attitude, it will work against them because arrogance is a sign of someone defending their own religion.

The thing is, when you're dealing with Holy Warriors, they're going to keep coming back dumb as a stump because that's what they do.
***I can see that you folks are frustrated, but it also appears that there is still some work to be done. First of all, calling them dumb doesn't work -- the strategy got turned on its head when the libs used it against GWB and they misunderestimated him. Secondly, it is simply not true -- looking at that article by Ian Musgrave shows that the creationists have been using finer points of science to generate their positions. That is not dumb. If it IS disingenuine or a lie, then the advantage goes to the abiogenesists. Thirdly, the game is now on for what will be taught to our children in schools, and criticizing sincere believers as Holy Warriors just makes you look like a Holy Warrior for your own side, defending your own philosophy/religion. As long as the debate can be framed in that manner, the advantage goes to creationists. 4th, this is a suggestion: The SETI folks have their own Drake Equation calculator at http://www.seti.org/site/pp.asp?c=ktJ2J9MMIsE&b=179074
There should be one that includes the Drake Equation stuff alongside the Musgrave information and a person could see what their own assumptions would generate in terms of probabilities of life both here and on other planets.


278 posted on 08/23/2005 8:49:40 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: From many - one.; VadeRetro

Good stuff, guys... thanks.


279 posted on 08/23/2005 8:57:05 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: From many - one.

The problem for the interested non-scientist is that much of the work doesn't translate well into popularese.
***Yes, you got that right, that describes well how I viewed this stuff. Now that it's becoming a public policy issue, that particular problem will be magnified.


280 posted on 08/23/2005 9:04:11 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: b_sharp

I'm glad to see someone posting the classic fallacies. Cool. Does that fallacy apply when people say, "the majority of scholars" or "most scientists" or "the great majority of Islamic Imams" hold to such & such belief?

My problem is that I still need to rely upon some level of authority because I'm not a PhD biologist/chemist/astronomer. So how do I determine which folks are reliable authorities? My benchmark is usually to see who is acknowledged as an authority on BOTH sides of a conflict. In this case, it appears that the abiog's don't hold ANY of the creat's as a legitimate authority. But that doesn't fly because the president of the U.S. has a stated position on this matter in terms of public policy. So I'm stuck with finding out what the real numbers of scientists are, whether they are on the order of fruitcakes who believe in astrology, and whether they really do have a leg to stand on.

My suspicion is that the president was in the same position. But when he sends out an invitation to a PhD astronomer to answer some questions, that guy shows up and spends the time to explain things to him. I don't have that kind of authority. So I have to ask myself whether the president went through that kind of exercise before he came out with such a position. From what I've seen about how he operates, the answer is yes, he did deliberate on it with some acknowledged authorities on both sides.


281 posted on 08/23/2005 9:16:52 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: jwalsh07
I think a much better case can be made that the preamble is non specific and universal in its scope and tone. It can easily be compared to other more specific sections of the DOI and I don't think one can come away with the impression that it was not intended to be universal.

Well, you're certainly in good company with that argument. Lincoln's view is perhaps best indicative of the relative swiftness with which notions of a universally equal citizenry took hold.

His view was that the signers "meant simply to declare the right so that enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances might permit. They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which would be familiar to all and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere."

But I still tend to agree with the view that the preambles to both the declaration and the constitution were compromises of the day, believed to be either effectively toothless or restricted by the specificity of particular constitutional provisions and anticipated enabling legislation. That view is, I confess, a fairly cynical one, but I have great difficulty getting past the realities of the contemporary conflicts between the federalist and anti-federalist positions which necessitated some form of anti-federalist placation, and the contemporary and subsequent realities of disenfranchisement.

But then, interpreting the intentions, or motivations, of the drafters has always been exceedingly difficult, and as you very aptly point out: "That they didn't practice what they preached doesn't make the preaching wrong."

Regarding my statement that "the progressive expansion of rights and the progressive inclusion of the deliberately disenfranchised in the US has, in a great many instances, been achieved despite aggressive, scripturally based arguments to the contrary," I think you may have misinterpreted my point.

Biblically based arguments in support of slavery and against universal suffrage were fairly common, and they were not inconsiderably persuasive in their day. That contrary arguments were made does not extinguish their existence or the sway they carried.

You say that "[t]he people at the forefront of practicing what the founders preached were religious in nature," and I certainly do not disagree. But their opponents wore the mantel of Christianity as well.

Comparing the Biblically based arguments of the opposing sides on the slavery issue is quite fascinating. The ideas of Montesquieu, Hobbes, and indeed Lycian confederacy had deeply infiltrated the discussions of the day, and I am persuaded that the abolitionist arguments, with their careful re-interpretations and dismissals of explicit Biblical language regarding slavery, were more informed by the "organic" or "natural" law concepts common at the time than they were by inherent Biblical precepts.

This is not to say that Biblical concepts lacked influence (indeed, I view the Biblical abolitionist arguments of the 19th century, despite their convolution, as critical to the pull of public opinion and the consequent acceptance of the elimination of slavery).

But my point is simply that the Bible is a highly malleable argumentative tool, and its rather effective historical employment against universal equality and for some decidedly unsavory institutions renders questionable any notion that it is singularly responsible for what we view today as governmental givens.

282 posted on 08/23/2005 9:20:42 AM PDT by atlaw
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To: b_sharp

Cool, thanks for posting that.

In other words, it all depends. Borel himself stated that it is not possible to apply any probability calculation to the appearance of life on our planet.
***For purposes of public policy, this number seems to have become the one that defines possibility. If it isn't a good number, that means it's time to develop a new one that makes sense on a scientific level.


Without knowledge of the initial conditions at the beginning, any probability calculation made is meaningless.
***I've heard that we have samples of the air from hundreds of millions of years ago due to molecules captured in buckyballs formed by meteorites that fell during that time. That would be a good starting point. And as far as the probability calculation being meaningless, that may be true scientifically but it does not necessarily mean that it is meaningless for public policy. When someone needs to hang his hat, he'll put it on your candlestick if it's close to the door.


283 posted on 08/23/2005 9:25:09 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: ml1954

Disingenuous. Darwin made no such claim.
***It doesn't matter that Darwin made no such claim, the evo teachers make the claim for him. I once had a college writing teacher tell me that christianity was a myth. What did that have to do with writing? Nothing. Does it mean that teachers will make the jump in logic that you claim is disingenuous? I think it does.


284 posted on 08/23/2005 9:30:45 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: Kevin OMalley

If a college writing teacher behaves in such a manner you get a good idea as to their general thinking skills.

Change classes, adjust responses to fit need (to be a martyr or to get out with a good grade) and complain when you are safe or ready to go down with your ship..


285 posted on 08/23/2005 10:01:48 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: atlaw
Are you suggesting that the only way to honor the memory of Martin Luther King and the abolitionists is to ignore, or perhaps conveniently revise, history?

No, of course not. I want only to blunt your attempt at distorting history by presenting only the dark side of it, and to use this as a means of belittling and minimizing Christianity and its profound influence on the abolitionist movement.

My precise words were "in a great many cases," and you cannot ignore the fact that "aggressive, scripturally based arguments to the contrary" were indeed mounted in connection with, for example, the institution of slavery and the extension of voting rights to women.

I am keenly aware of what your precise words were, which is the problem. You did indeed choose your words very carefully. You chose them ("in a great many cases") in such a way that to someone unfamiliar with history it would appear that the majority of American Christians in 19th century favored slavery -- and you did this without actually using the word "majority" so you could get off on a technicality with someone like me who knows a little history so you can say, 'Hey, I didn't say "majority" did I? You're putting words in my mouth.'

Your general point seems to be that because you can always find in history some who called themselves Christians who favored any bad thing, no matter how evil, Christianity is on the whole worthless at best. (Yet even you admit that the pro-slavery arguments given by Christians were 'patently superficial'.)

These arguments were not instantly dismissed or easily rebutted.

For the reasons given above, these arguments are a red herring.

You can pretend that such arguments were not made, just as you can pretend that the institution of slavery was swiftly and painlessly abolished as patently anti-Christian, but that would be, of course, nothing more than convenient fiction.

I am pretending no such things. You seem to be trying to propagage the fiction that because some Christians used scripture to argue in favor of slavery, then therefore all of Christianity is bad.

It would have been impossible to stop the South from seceding if the majority of Christians in the North saw no problem with slavery. Again you're setting up a straw man -- slavery was in fact abolished as patently anti-Christian, but the fiction you're accusing me of is that I said it was "swift and painless". Four years and 600,000 dead is neither swift nor painless, even leaving aside the many decades of the American abolitionist movement prior the the war.

The Biblical arguments of the abolitionists were mounted in large part as a direct response to easily articulated (if patently superficial) Biblical pro-slavery arguments.

That's true, and the abolitionists won, so what does that tell you?

The abolitionists arguments are to this day a case study in hairsplitting apologetics and hermeneutics.

Please give an example. That great word mincer, John Brown maybe?

Indeed, I think it is a fair argument that social norms derived from non-Biblical concepts of justice and equality informed and shaped the carefully constructed Biblical interpretations employed by the abolitionists much more than did explicit Biblical language.

You are putting the cart before the horse. The influence of the Bible is abundantly clear in the very wording of the Declaration of Independence and its natural law arguments that justice and equality stem from God and not from social norms.

Moreoever, the history of my own denomination, American Baptists, directly contradicts this notion. It split off from the Baptist denomination well before the Civil War over slavery:

The issue of slavery reached a peak in 1845 when the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society determined that it could not appoint any candidate for service who held slaves and when the American Baptist Home Mission Society decided separate northern and southern conventions were necessary. The Southern Baptist Convention was formed in response.

(We were the Northern Baptists for awhile before the name was changed to American Baptists.)

This was not anything peculiar to Baptists and shows that the motivation of abolitionists had nothing to do with secular "social norms", which is a silly notion anyway when you consider that slavery was the social norm throughout world history up to that point.

Of course, even if you insist on pursuing the pop psychology angle, no-one gets fired up and passionate enough to risk life and property over some vague, fuzzy notion of "social norms" -- they catch on fire when they see what they perceive to be a wrong so horrible that letting it continue is a price too high to keep even their own lives.

286 posted on 08/23/2005 10:01:54 AM PDT by Zhangliqun (Hating Bush does not count as a strategy for defeating Islamic terrorism.)
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To: b_sharp
Actually the reason the study of evolution does not include abiogenesis, or any other explanation for the start of life, has been addressed by us many times. The reason science does not include the supernatural has been addressed by us many times. If you missed those explanations, that is unfortunate, but not every thread will contain every explanation.

There is no rule of science that says all hypotheses that make up a theory need to be retained, nor is there a rule that states one science cannot be divided into many to facilitate specific pursuits.


Interesting...

Not all hypotheses that make up a theory need to be retained...

In other words, if part of a theory is proven wrong through scientific methods, it can be discarded.

And likewise, if science cannot prove a part of a theory incorrect, yet doesn't like that part of said theory, it can be changed or completely discarded as well...
287 posted on 08/23/2005 10:24:07 AM PDT by BedRock ("A country that doesn't enforce it's laws will live in chaos, & will cease to exist.")
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To: BedRock
"And likewise, if science cannot prove a part of a theory incorrect, yet doesn't like that part of said theory, it can be changed or completely discarded as well..."

Nope. As long as that part of the theory is amenable to scientific study, if there is no sound reason to discard it, it won't be discarded. Other scientists would not allow a researcher that just willy-nilly discarded parts of a theory to get very far without those actions being debunked.

288 posted on 08/23/2005 10:49:48 AM PDT by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: Kevin OMalley
"I'm glad to see someone posting the classic fallacies. Cool. Does that fallacy apply when people say, "the majority of scholars" or "most scientists" or "the great majority of Islamic Imams" hold to such & such belief? "

If you want to use the authorities on a subject to back your position that is fine, it isn't a fallacy then. If however you do what both DI and the originators (NCSI I believe) of Project Steve* have done and include authorities that really aren't authorities, then that is using a fallacy. There *are* authorities in the fields of evolution; when comparing, compare only them. I'm not discounting the possibility of the minority being correct, it has happened in the past, but as a general rule the majority of authorities, when they agree, should be taken as support of the theory. Usually, if an idea has any validity, the majority of authorities will, through their own investigation of the primary research, come to accept it. ID has been around, in one form or another for more than 200 years. It is still not accepted by the vast majority of evolutionary scientists.

"My problem is that I still need to rely upon some level of authority because I'm not a PhD biologist/chemist/astronomer. So how do I determine which folks are reliable authorities? My benchmark is usually to see who is acknowledged as an authority on BOTH sides of a conflict. In this case, it appears that the abiog's don't hold ANY of the creat's as a legitimate authority.

There is a difference in the way IDists and scientists work. You will seldom find an IDist publishing a paper critical of other IDists. In science, those that come up with novel approaches, or ideas, that end up having an impact on our knowledge, are given money, and influence. Because of this you will find arguments happening all through science. This may sound like a bad thing, but it isn't, in fact it is the best way to make sure as many ideas as possible are put forward, that published papers use correct methodology and bogus ideas are debunked. An adversarial system is necessary. ID does not have this. The reason for this is the intense push to find facts to prove the point. In ID, as in creation science, the idea is paramount, the evidence for it is not.

Look at the evidence. Look at the problems, and proposed solutions. Compare what is expected, and what is found.

"But that doesn't fly because the president of the U.S. has a stated position on this matter in terms of public policy. So I'm stuck with finding out what the real numbers of scientists are, whether they are on the order of fruitcakes who believe in astrology, and whether they really do have a leg to stand on.

Your president not only considers what scientists say but what his advisers say. Find out the beliefs of his advisers and how much impact and influence on those advisers the two factions have.

" My suspicion is that the president was in the same position. But when he sends out an invitation to a PhD astronomer to answer some questions, that guy shows up and spends the time to explain things to him. I don't have that kind of authority. So I have to ask myself whether the president went through that kind of exercise before he came out with such a position. From what I've seen about how he operates, the answer is yes, he did deliberate on it with some acknowledged authorities on both sides.

He probably did. He probably also took the advice of his closest advisers, none of whom would be considered an authority. The president doesn't have the time to look into the issue fully, so would make the most politically expedient decision.

No matter what the president said, there will be those that jump at any support they can read into the statement, from both sides.

289 posted on 08/23/2005 11:31:27 AM PDT by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: From many - one.

If a college writing teacher behaves in such a manner you get a good idea as to their general thinking skills.
***Exactly. And it is these people who teach our kids about science and evolution. The issue before us is whether they should be teaching ID, and a side issue to that is that they don't seem competent to be teaching in the first place.


Change classes, adjust responses to fit need (to be a martyr or to get out with a good grade) and complain when you are safe or ready to go down with your ship..
***Very well put. My response at the time was full of cowardice, I decided to get out with a good grade. Now I am "complaining when I am safe. " I may have as much impact on policy as she did. When teachers overreach their authority, they're wrong. I see evolution as a philosophy based upon science. It is more suitable for a philosophy class, where ID could be taught as well, and astrology too, if it has enough basis. At this point I don't see the harm of teaching them side by side.


290 posted on 08/23/2005 11:31:45 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: Stark_GOP

It was a geography class. He was just using Social Darwinism as a springboard for evolutionism. Which he did.

He should be fired for trying to teach to teach Social Darwinism in a geography class.

291 posted on 08/23/2005 11:38:06 AM PDT by ml1954
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To: Kevin OMalley

It doesn't matter that Darwin made no such claim, the evo teachers make the claim for him.

You paint with a very, very wide brush. Since when do "evo teachers" advocate and teach Social Darwinism? I doubt if any but a small renegade fringe of "evo teachers" advocate Social Darwinism.

Such generalizations make a reasonable discussion impossible. But it's about what I've come to expect.

292 posted on 08/23/2005 11:43:25 AM PDT by ml1954
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To: Kevin OMalley
There is no plausible number for a thing happening if it only happened once and you don't have much information about how. Get it straight. There is no plausible number. No model, no math. Any attempt to just whip up some numbers is pure mental masturbation.
293 posted on 08/23/2005 12:26:08 PM PDT by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Kevin OMalley
***So, you seem to have access to the number of scientists who a are convinced -- where did you get that number and how do we verify it?

You have apparently 70 biologists worldwide. This is what you consider as ID having "gone far," but probably that many biologists were and perhaps still are Young Earth Creationists. There are an awful lot of biologists in the world and the NCSE is easily keeping pace with DI with "Project Steve."

I see you as dodging the issue. The point of citing the authority of a biologist agreeing with you is to imply that biology itself, its text and data, agrees with you. That can hardly be true if you can't muster a whole percent of the profession, never mind those on the leading edge of research.

294 posted on 08/23/2005 12:34:48 PM PDT by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: b_sharp

Good post. I'm still having some trouble with the authority thingie.

If however you do what both DI and the originators (NCSI I believe) of Project Steve* have done and include authorities that really aren't authorities, then that is using a fallacy.
***Is there a list of creat authorities that the abiogs accept? Or are there simply none? If there are none, then how did we get this far such that a president thinks there IS some scientific basis for the position? I understand the concept of "vast majority", so that means we're really talking about a very small, vocal minority. It shouldn't be impossible to pin down the number.

You will seldom find an IDist publishing a paper critical of other IDists.
***Those types of guys must be the authorities that I am looking for. someone who won't blow the whole thing out of proportion (220 orders of magnitude difference between 2 camps!). Seldom does not mean never. Where are these guys?

Usually, if an idea has any validity, the majority of authorities will, through their own investigation of the primary research, come to accept it.
***One idea which certainly had validity but found no acceptance in its own generation was tectonic plate theory. It took several decades for the old generation of scientists who didn't accept it to die off, and a new, more open minded generation replaced them.

Your president
***Yikes, he's your president, too.

not only considers what scientists say but what his advisers say. Find out the beliefs of his advisers and how much impact and influence on those advisers the two factions have.
***Like the pres, I don't have the time but unlike him I don't have the authority. I might have to trust that he did it properly. Some of his advisers are scientists, some are authorities in politics and domestic policy. There is certainly no lack of authority on the policy side. The only open question is what kind of scientific authority did the president listen to? There must be at least some, or his request would have fallen on deaf ears.

He probably also took the advice of his closest advisers, none of whom would be considered an authority.
*** I would presume for your statement to make sense that you mean these guys aren't scientific authorities. Is there any basis for that statement?

The president doesn't have the time to look into the issue fully, so would make the most politically expedient decision.
***Yup, like I said, when a guy needs to hang his hat he'll hang it on your candlestick if it's near the door. I'm not so sure that the president needed to be expedient on this one. He's 5 years into his administration, no need to worry about re-election, he's starting to think about his legacy, he's on vacation. It doesn't have the look & feel of an expedient decision.


295 posted on 08/23/2005 12:44:04 PM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: Zhangliqun
"I want only to blunt your attempt at distorting history by presenting only the dark side of it"

"I am keenly aware of what your precise words were, which is the problem. You did indeed choose your words very carefully. You chose them . . . in such a way that to someone unfamiliar with history it would appear that the majority of American Christians in 19th century favored slavery"

Oh brother. If you had bothered to step down off your soap box for a minute, you'd have realized that I am the least likely candidate for "anti-Chrisitan crusader" that you are likely to find around these threads. Believe it or not, some of us discuss issues here without presuming that the other is the spawn of satan or a conspirator against the Church.

"Your general point seems to be that because you can always find in history some who called themselves Christians who favored any bad thing, no matter how evil, Christianity is on the whole worthless at best. (Yet even you admit that the pro-slavery arguments given by Christians were 'patently superficial'.)"

So my general point is that Christians are wrong and bad, except when they're right and good, which even I admit. You see the problem here?

"You seem to be trying to propagage the fiction that because some Christians used scripture to argue in favor of slavery, then therefore all of Christianity is bad."

Except when I'm not, right?

Me: "The Biblical arguments of the abolitionists were mounted in large part as a direct response to easily articulated (if patently superficial) Biblical pro-slavery arguments."

You: "That's true, and the abolitionists won, so what does that tell you?"

It tells me that the abolitionist arguments are correct. It apparently tells you, inexplicably, that I am anti-Christian.

Me: "The abolitionists arguments are to this day a case study in hairsplitting apologetics and hermeneutics."

You: "Please give an example. That great word mincer, John Brown maybe?"

I suggest you pick up a copy of the following: A House Divided: The Antebellum Slavery Debates in America, (edited by Mason J. Lowance, Jr Princeton, NJ) (Princeton University Press, 2003). It is an excellent analysis of the positions advanced by the two sides in the debate, and contains numerous examples of my point. And John Brown was probably the least articulate (though undoubtedly the loudest) in the debate.

"Of course, even if you insist on pursuing the pop psychology angle, no-one gets fired up and passionate enough to risk life and property over some vague, fuzzy notion of "social norms" -- they catch on fire when they see what they perceive to be a wrong so horrible that letting it continue is a price too high to keep even their own lives."

In the future, I will by all means endeavor to avoid those "pop-psychologists" Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Paine, Blackstone, etc., when discussing the genesis of our laws and government. After all, those trendy guys just spouted "vague, fuzzy notion[s] of '"social norms'" and silly junk like that.

296 posted on 08/23/2005 12:44:39 PM PDT by atlaw
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To: Kevin OMalley
***Astrology did NOT get this far.

Astrology has been around a lot longer than ID and has at least the potential to generate testable predictions (which would of course be instantly falsified by testing). It thus has a leg or two up on ID.

***As far as I can tell, we'll never get rid of those silly horoscopes but that is not the issue. I guess you really did need Kevin OMalley to show you that ;-)

So you didn't dispense with diddly as far as making anything go away. Your wave-aways are breezy, but nothing you're saying bears up under examination as true or logical or sensible.

***I'm looking now.

So your "frustration" before was in never bothering to Google? Your frustration was in never having been on a crevo thread before in your life or made the tiniest effort to see what mainstream science thinks of ID? Here's what you said:

My frustration is, where is the simple, straightforward refutation?
So now you say ...

There is a ton of material, suggesting that there has been a rather large, ongoing scientific dispute for some time now. If that were not true, the president wouldn't have waded into these waters. I myself have stayed away for the most part on the crevo threads because the flame wars are too contentious and mean-spirited.

New story! OK. Now your frustrations are over. BTW, the President is the head politician, not the head scientist.

But let's skip ahead to where you answered this from me:

As just shown, it's been done and done and done and done and done.

Your answer was:

***Not on this thread. The game has changed now that GWB has stated a position.

Jaw-dropping. You were claiming that mainstream science has not been answering ID. That was wrong. Understand? Wrong. Mainstream science thinks ID has no claim to being science and it has a very good set of arguments for its position. I was linking a sample of that material.

"Not on this thread?" It's on there now and it shows ID is a crock. The President putting his foot in it doesn't change anything. You're either clueless or desperate.

Does it matter for the purposes of science class whether a thing is science or not? Why are there no valid ID arguments? Why is there no theory of ID? The only material the prestigious Discovery Institute can suggest for HS classes is something called "the controversy," a grab-bag of squawks that somehow evolution has not occurred or is not important if it did occur whether or not common descent is true.

"The controversy," BTW, is a political phenomenon quite outside the science journals. No, there has not been a raging controversy inside science. There still isn't, unless you call 70 nutcases worldwide a raging controversy. How many "Steve"s do you know?

297 posted on 08/23/2005 12:57:56 PM PDT by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: BedRock
Gumlegs: The book is not titled “The Origin of Life.”

BR: I never claimed that it was; please reread my post, and try to comprehend the message I was trying to convey by taking all of it into context.

All you’re trying to do is miss the point. Evolution is about speciation, not the origin of life. They’re not the same thing.

G: As you point out, Darwin credits the origin of life to a Creator, which ought to make you feel better about the whole thing.

BR: I feel fine about my posistion on the matter. All I am doing is stating 'factual evidence' about what Darwin himself wrote concerning the theory that is frequently discussed on FR. Yet, even though this part of his theory is recorded in Darwin's own book, "The Origin of Species", it is never acknowleged by those of you who claim to be the "experts" in the field of evolutionary insight and defense.

Is your problem that Darwin said he believed in “the Creator,” or that you think creation is part of the theory of evolution? I can’t tell. It seems to me that if Darwin believed in “the Creator,” (his use of the uppercase “C,” is telling, by the way), his theory of evolution should be utterly unobjectionable to upstanding Christians because that would make evolution specifically outside the event of creation.

To sum it up, Darwin’s passing remarks on the Creator don’t make creation part of the theory. He never said it was, and no one else does, either … outside of the group of people who have some agenda that requires evolution to include creation. "Origin" has page numbers, too, are they part of the theory? (That’s a rhetorical question; don’t bother to respond).

BR: How can you arrive at that conclusion after the quote I posted taken directly from the scientist who gave the TOE it's status in the scientific community? Darwin clearly entertained the acceptance of a Creator, as well as life being placed here by the Creator, whether in one form or two.

I’m not impressed; I’ve sampled far too many creationist quote salads to nibble at this one. Darwin mentions “the Creator.” We can infer from this that he believed in God and evolution (which makes him no different from many religious people, btw). What’s amusing about this is when you find Darwin crediting “the Creator,” you take this as evidence not that Darwin was religious, but that the theory of evolution somehow requires the lack of a creator.

BR: And anytime anyone questions posts by pro TOE advocates, we are immediatly labeled as crevos or religious facatics trying to push our agenda.

Do you not realize how weak this makes all of you look in trying to argue your point of view regarding the TOE?

You overstate your case. Off the top of my head, I can think of two posters who consistently (and intelligently) criticize the theory of evolution. Neither is attacked; their arguments are addressed and countered, but they are treated with respect because they make thoughtful points. But you will garner a derogatory label pretty fast if you keep insisting the theory of evolution includes creation. It doesn’t. If you want to be treated with respect, try to understand the theory you’re attempting to critique.

BR: Instead of directly addressing the points raised and giving detailed reasoning of why science has disregarded said certain part/parts of Darwin's original entertained thoughts on the TOE concerning how the things that inhabit this earth came to be, in which he credits it's beginning to a "Creator", it is readily dismissed in the scientific field. All I am asking, as well as a lot of others, is:

WHY???

Again, Darwin’s musings on the Creator were not and have never been part of the theory. In the passage you quoted, he implies his belief in “the Creator.” You don’t want to accept the plain meaning of his statement.

More generally, science drops any part of any theory, or entire theories, when facts come to light that don’t fit the theory in question. (It’s called “falsification.” For any theory to be considered science, it must be capable of falsification. “If you find “A” then this theory is wrong,” is a general statement of falsification. A theory that can't be faslified isn't scientific). Science, by definition, also excludes any factor for which it cannot test. There is no known test for the supernatural, so the supernatural can’t be part of science.

298 posted on 08/23/2005 1:13:45 PM PDT by Gumlegs
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To: Kevin OMalley
"***Is there a list of creat authorities that the abiogs accept? Or are there simply none? If there are none, then how did we get this far such that a president thinks there IS some scientific basis for the position? I understand the concept of "vast majority", so that means we're really talking about a very small, vocal minority. It shouldn't be impossible to pin down the number.

I have no idea. Pretty much every scientist that I've read concerning ID is in it for the religion. The movement was given legs by Phillip Johnson who was very forthcoming with his reasons for restarting ID - he wanted to get rid of evolution. Since then, pretty much all of the ID backers have been religious. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but most of us have experience with Creation Science proponents who twist things as basic as thermodynamics in order to prove Genesis correct. The same kind of twisting (and shouting) is used by the most vocal of the IDists.

If you find any IDists that aren't interested in just denouncing evolution but in actually proving ID, let us know.

I notice you keep referring to the evo side as abios. That isn't a fair label, there are a number of evos that believe abiogenesis had a helping hand.

"***Those types of guys must be the authorities that I am looking for. someone who won't blow the whole thing out of proportion (220 orders of magnitude difference between 2 camps!). Seldom does not mean never. Where are these guys?

First go to the Discovery Institutes's web site. There are some authors there that are just over the top, others that are more reasonable.

"***One idea which certainly had validity but found no acceptance in its own generation was tectonic plate theory. It took several decades for the old generation of scientists who didn't accept it to die off, and a new, more open minded generation replaced them.

That is quite true, although they were fighting against faith as well. It also happened with Quantum Physics. However in Quantum Physics, there was some initial acceptance but little understanding. It took new minds just to understand the concept. Even Einstein, who was a big part of QP, didn't accept parts of it.

"***Yikes, he's your president, too. "

Nope. I'm Canadian.

"*** I would presume for your statement to make sense that you mean these guys aren't scientific authorities. Is there any basis for that statement?

I have no concrete evidence because I do not know all the advisers. Rove is anti-evolution. Chaney is anti-evolution, Others I just don't know. I do know that his science adviser is against ID.

As Dr. Shermer in eSkeptic magazine notes:

In fact, Bush’s science adviser, John H. Marburger 3rd, said in a telephone interview with the New York Times that “evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology” and “intelligent design is not a scientific concept.” It's interesting that the prez ignored his Science adviser on a matter of science.

You are right, at least from my point of view, waiting would have been a good idea.

299 posted on 08/23/2005 1:46:39 PM PDT by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: longshadow

300


300 posted on 08/23/2005 4:59:34 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas. The List-O-Links is at my homepage.)
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