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Pro-Darwin Biology Professor...Supports Teaching Intelligent Design
Discovery Institute ^ | June 22, 2007

Posted on 06/23/2007 12:21:46 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts

Pro-Darwin Biology Professor Laments Academia's "Intolerance" and Supports Teaching Intelligent Design

Charles Darwin famously said, "A fair result can be obtained only by fully balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question." According to a recent article by J. Scott Turner, a pro-Darwin biology professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, modern Neo-Darwinists are failing to heed Darwin's advice. (We blogged about a similar article by Turner in The Chronicle of Higher Education in January, 2007.) Turner is up front with his skepticism of intelligent design (ID), which will hopefully allow his criticisms to strike a chord with other Darwinists.

Turner starts by observing that the real threat to education today is not ID itself, but the attitude of scientists towards ID: "Unlike most of my colleagues, however, I don't see ID as a threat to biology, public education or the ideals of the republic. To the contrary, what worries me more is the way that many of my colleagues have responded to the challenge." He describes the "modern academy" as "a tedious intellectual monoculture where conformity and not contention is the norm." Turner explains that the "[r]eflexive hostility to ID is largely cut from that cloth: some ID critics are not so much worried about a hurtful climate as they are about a climate in which people are free to disagree with them." He then recounts and laments the hostility faced by Richard Sternberg at the Smithsonian:

It would be comforting if one could dismiss such incidents as the actions of a misguided few. But the intolerance that gave rise to the Sternberg debacle is all too common: you can see it in its unfiltered glory by taking a look at Web sites like pandasthumb.org or recursed.blogspot.com [Jeffry Shallit's blog] and following a few of the threads on ID. The attitudes on display there, which at the extreme verge on antireligious hysteria, can hardly be squared with the relatively innocuous (even if wrong-headed) ideas that sit at ID's core.

(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)

Turner on the Kitzmiller v. Dover Case

Turner sees the Kitzmiller v. Dover case as the dangerous real-world expression of the intolerance common in the academy: "My blood chills ... when these essentially harmless hypocrisies are joined with the all-American tradition of litigiousness, for it is in the hand of courts and lawyers that real damage to cherished academic ideas is likely to be done." He laments the fact that "courts are where many of my colleagues seem determined to go with the ID issue” and predicts, “I believe we will ultimately come to regret this."

Turner justifies his reasonable foresight by explaining that Kitzmiller only provided a pyrrhic victory for the pro-Darwin lobby:

Although there was general jubilation at the ruling, I think the joy will be short-lived, for we have affirmed the principle that a federal judge, not scientists or teachers, can dictate what is and what is not science, and what may or may not be taught in the classroom. Forgive me if I do not feel more free.

(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)

Turner on Education

Turner explains, quite accurately, that ID remains popular not because of some vast conspiracy or religious fanaticism, but because it deals with an evidentiary fact that resonates with many people, and Darwinian scientists do not respond to ID's arguments effectively:

[I]ntelligent design … is one of multiple emerging critiques of materialism in science and evolution. Unfortunately, many scientists fail to see this, preferring the gross caricature that ID is simply "stealth creationism." But this strategy fails to meet the challenge. Rather than simply lament that so many people take ID seriously, scientists would do better to ask why so many take it seriously. The answer would be hard for us to bear: ID is not popular because the stupid or ignorant like it, but because neo-Darwinism's principled banishment of purpose seems less defensible each passing day.

(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)

Turner asks, “What, then, is the harm in allowing teachers to deal with the subject as each sees fit?” ID can't be taught, he explains, because most scientists believe that "normal standards of tolerance and academic freedom should not apply in the case of ID." He says that the mere suggestion that ID could be taught brings out "all manner of evasions and prevarications that are quite out of character for otherwise balanced, intelligent and reasonable people."

As we noted earlier, hopefully Turner’s criticisms will strike a chord with Darwinists who might otherwise close their ears to the argument for academic freedom for ID-proponents. Given the intolerance towards ID-sympathy that Turner describes, let us also hope that the chord is heard but the strummer is not harmed.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: academicfreedom; creationscience; crevo; darwinism; fsmdidit; intelligentdesign
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To: RightWhale
Please do. Or do I have to wait for your book?

I must leave now, but will check back later.

1,351 posted on 07/19/2007 12:14:53 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

Kant already took care of that. He said it would be easy to extend his results, although he said his insight wasn’t all that deep either. Just the simple (once you see it) method of mathematics, and later physics. Pure dogmatism.


1,352 posted on 07/19/2007 12:21:29 PM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: RightWhale
It's one thing to act like a rocket scientist and another to actually be one. AI will fail, although it will provide a few toys for the amusement of children and other consumers of entertainment product.

I tend to agree in the short run. Nature tends to solve problems with genetic or evolutionary algorithms, and this is very difficult to emulate in current hardware. Efforts are, however, beginning to be commercially useful, and this will start driving research.

1,353 posted on 07/19/2007 12:26:47 PM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
Nature tends to solve problems with genetic or evolutionary algorithms

This points out one of the fundamental roadblocks to AI. First, nature doesn't have problems. Second, nature doesn't use mathematics. The AI theorists are trying to build on the Turing machine, but nature doesn't use the Turing machine. We'll make more progress by continuing to work on battery technology for our iPhones and iCars.

1,354 posted on 07/19/2007 12:33:08 PM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: ok_now; tacticalogic; GourmetDan; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MHGinTN; RightWhale; hosepipe; ...
You might want to try real physics books - much more real information.

*real* physics? Is that like *real* science? What exactly is *real* science?

tacticalogic asked what *real* time is. Doesn't science have an answer? They should considering its critical nature in things like physics.

This charge is thrown at non-evos with such regularity that it's become a joke. Anything that doesn't agree with them and their world view is not *real*. So what is real?

Thanks for the pings everyone. Following this thread has been intriguing.

1,355 posted on 07/19/2007 1:05:29 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: RightWhale

Interesting. I have friends whose son is working with AI and some interesting progress is being made.


1,356 posted on 07/19/2007 1:07:30 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

Both mathematics and physics are dogmatic systems. Other sciences try to emulate that but haven’t reduced their fundamental premises sufficiently so they can have a self-contained coherent system. Time is a synthetic a priori concept. So is space.


1,357 posted on 07/19/2007 1:09:11 PM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: metmom

I have many acquaintances in AI, went to school with some. Have had relatives in AI since 1950. They are doing some amazing things, although they will never produce artificial intelligence. They could put a fly’s nervous system in a robot and get more done, or like Snowcrash put a dog’s nervous system in a robot and get something that barks and moves 300 mph autonomously.


1,358 posted on 07/19/2007 1:13:09 PM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: pieceofthepuzzle
I think the issue for many in the ID camp is that scripture is rather specific in its description of creation. Some do "spiritualize" what is stated, meaning it is an allegory rather than a literal account of factual information, but that position can present problems. What parts of scripture are accurate and what parts are meant only as stories to illustrate a point?

Perhaps the parts that condemn homosexuality don't really mean what they say. Some seem to think that issue is misrepresented. Maybe that whole “thou shalt not steal” statement doesn’t apply – how sure are we that it restricts one from “borrowing permanently”? Or maybe that whole salvation thing is a problem – a lot of people have trouble with that. Would a loving God really condemn someone to hell for not accepting His son’s sacrifice of Himself as payment? If I prefer not to believe that – hey, no big deal, right?

Now please don't misunderstand, I am not giving the same weight of importance to creation and salvation. But if Gods word is accurate and trustworthy for the salvation of my soul why is it not to be believed regarding the origin of humanity?

I readily state that I think ID is an end run around the wrong headed application of the establishment clause. But that is where we are left because of the reaction of so many on both sides of this debate. I am confident God is able to withstand the truth and I am secure enough in my faith that I am pleased to see it brought forward in comprehensive debate. It seems the article’s author is secure enough in his faith as well. It is just a shame that there are so many on both sides who are not secure enough.

1,359 posted on 07/19/2007 1:22:50 PM PDT by 70times7 (Sense... some don't make any, some don't have any - or so the former would appear to the latter.)
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To: Alamo-Girl
would that all correspondents in the crevo debate would reflect on what real time "is" because the common presumption that absolute time is real fuels all kinds of disagreements.

Do you think that will stop anyone from arguing one against the other, knowing it's out of context?

1,360 posted on 07/19/2007 2:04:16 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: metmom
Anything that doesn't agree with them and their world view is not *real*. So what is real?

No.

Good, peer-reviewed, well-tested, tried-and-true science is "real", or at least as close to "real" as can be found.

Poorly rendered apologetic scripts that lack logical consistency and don't even get basic technical details right are not "real science".

To paraphrase Churchill, science is the worst way of doing things, except for every other way of doing things. Science may not be able to clearly, lucidly define "what time is", but then again, neither can anyone else. Science can't answer everything, but everything that can be explained definitively, here and now, can be explained by science.

You can't just pick and choose what facts you like the best, and unless you're willing to put in the years, even decades of hard work necessary to comprehend the finer details involved in scientific work, you have little choice but to defer to the consensus of others - and the organized body of scientific work provides the most reliable consensus available. Yes, details change, the way leaves fall from a tree, but new branches grow out that eventually become solid pillars of reliability.

To think that one can rely on mystical experiences, divine revelation, and intuition to knock down mountains of cumulative knowledge that took centuries for hundreds of thousands of brilliant men and women spending millions of hours to build is nothing more than arrogance of the highest extent.

1,361 posted on 07/19/2007 2:48:06 PM PDT by ok_now ((Huh?))
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To: ok_now
"I'll only spend time reading something if comes from a reputable source, and I see no case that this is such. A brief skim of the source didn't reveal anything resembling science."

Well, that's too bad because your mistake is in there. That's why I asked you to read it.

"Again, a heliocentric model is the only inertial system containing the earth, sun and planets."

Ahh, you're getting closer to admitting your mistake. That's good.

"Then, the question still stands, which you keep dodging: How does one determine the "Real" coordinate system? If that question can't be answered, the jury has no option but to include that there's no reason to believe such a thing exists."

Haven't been dodging it at all. As I have said over and over and over and over, you have to go outside the universe and look back to answer it. And, if the question can't be answered; that applies equally to heliocentric models.

"No, but celestial mechanics on the scale of the galaxy certainly accounts for these things. At that point a heliocentric system is worthless, too - you get the idea."

Ooh, you're almost there. If you can just open your mind up a wee bit more. :-)

1,362 posted on 07/19/2007 3:50:34 PM PDT by GourmetDan
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To: ok_now

To denigrate those of Science is an insult to the memory and work of so many inquiring minds. Having an inquiring mind is a gift from God for the rest of us who haven’t the equipment (mental and physical). Many of those previous Scientists were god-fearing because of their wisdom, not because of a failing in them.


1,363 posted on 07/19/2007 3:55:15 PM PDT by MHGinTN (You've had life support. Promote life support for those in the womb.)
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To: Coyoteman
I didn’t go through a decade of college scrupulously avoiding economics, sociology, psychology and other squishy subjects just to start reading that stuff now! Life is too short!

Then you've really missed out on a lot, Coyoteman. BTW, how do you know that life is "short?"

1,364 posted on 07/19/2007 3:57:03 PM PDT by betty boop ("Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -- A. Einstein)
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To: ok_now
Good, peer-reviewed, well-tested, tried-and-true science is "real", or at least as close to "real" as can be found

Daubert decision?

1,365 posted on 07/19/2007 3:59:17 PM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: 70times7
“I am confident God is able to withstand the truth and I am secure enough in my faith that I am pleased to see it brought forward in comprehensive debate. It seems the article’s author is secure enough in his faith as well. It is just a shame that there are so many on both sides who are not secure enough.”

I agree, although I think we all need to be empathic to all those who are going through a ‘crisis of faith’, irrespective of the specifics of that faith. God is, in my opinion, much, much, much too complex to be defined in any book or scripture, and painting God into a corner can sometimes, in my opinion, contribute to the crises of faith experienced by those who don’t identify with the specific ‘God’ description as defined by others. They therefore feel estranged from God, or doubt God’s existence, or become more agnostic and decide the issue is too complex for them to come to any meaningful answer. In this manner, those who are adamant that they ascribe to the one and only true definition of God actually contribute to the crises of faith of others.

I do, however, believe that there are absolutes. One of them, in my faith, is that God is love, and that God abhors hate. Another is that God wants us to voluntarily give of ourselves to others and be as selfless as we can be (emphasis on voluntary, so that it comes from our own mind and heart). Another is simply that God wants us to live by the Golden Rule. These things define God as forgiving, loving, understanding, and charitable.

You make an outstanding point regarding the ‘picking and choosing’ of what God is, and what God wants, based on what some would call God’s word. God’s words to us are evident every day of our lives, in the smile of a child, the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset, the sincerity of a true friend, the sacrifices people make to strangers, etc. etc. etc. Those daily ‘words’ are much, much, much more powerful than a collection of written words that represent only a selected translated portion of those works that are the basis of current ‘scripture’.

Further, in my opinion, if God were to tell us exactly how the universe was created, we could never understand. That’s why, to some extent, God did give us allegory. It’s what we could understand. Think of the most arcane and difficult to understand astrophysical mathematics, and think about how indecipherable it would be to the untrained person. The complexity of God is so very, very, very much more than anything any of the most brilliant but human scientists, engineers, etc. could understand, so how is God going to put into words, in any human language, all the specifics of what God is and what God thinks?

Sorry for the long response. To be honest, I really think that these kinds of interactions are what we should be spending more time on as human beings. The more we share views and think about things, the more we will all know and understand.

1,366 posted on 07/19/2007 4:06:13 PM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: GourmetDan
Haven't been dodging it at all. As I have said over and over and over and over, you have to go outside the universe and look back to answer it. And, if the question can't be answered; that applies equally to heliocentric models.

Ok. I never claimed the sun was the center of the universe. It's clearly not. In fact, on the scale of the whole universe, according to GR, there is no center.

The earth isn't any sort of special reference system, at all, though, unless you're on earth. It's not the 'center' of anything, in any sort of physical sense.

Calling the Coriolis force and centrifugal forces on earth real, though? That's ridiculous - these forces appear in any rotating reference system. We can see the Coriolis effect on Jupiter from here. From Jupiter, one could observe the Coriolis effect on a rotating earth. The earth is just as relative a coordinate system as any other, in a physical sense.

Haven't been dodging it at all. As I have said over and over and over and over, you have to go outside the universe and look back to answer it.

So there's no reason to consider an earth-centered reference system as any more "real" than any other, then. Not really any point in any of this.

1,367 posted on 07/19/2007 5:03:10 PM PDT by ok_now ((Huh?))
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To: betty boop
I didn’t go through a decade of college scrupulously avoiding economics, sociology, psychology and other squishy subjects just to start reading that stuff now! Life is too short!

Then you've really missed out on a lot, Coyoteman. BTW, how do you know that life is "short?"

Are you trying to lure me into a discussion of theology or metaphysics?

I've spent the day dealing with the real world; dust, sun, wind, hard dirt, tractors and other loud noises. I don't think this is a good time to deal with the squishy subjects.

1,368 posted on 07/19/2007 5:47:27 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: RightWhale; Alamo-Girl; hosepipe; marron; cornelis; Diamond; Texas Songwriter; tacticalogic; ...
His work still holds up and is in the direct line of development of modern psychology.

When I read him, RightWhale, I am fully sensible that I am in the immediate presence of great mind and beatific spirit (if I might put it that way).

Aristotle had a description for a man like William James: spoudaios, the mature man, the virtuous man, the man of intellect; and not least of all, the public man.

By the usage of the term "public man," I infer Aristotle had read Heraclitus. The "public man" on Heraclitus' account is the man who lives for something beyond his own mere self. "Private men," in contrast, withdraw into their own "dreamworlds": They are as sleepwalkers in life.

These are the very people that Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle warn us against, so that they should never become "rulers," socially, culturally, or politically.

Thank you ever so much, RightWhale, for acknowledging the sheer excellence of William James.... If you were to ask for my opinion, I'd say: Modern psychology is still playing "catch-up ball," James set the standards so high.

1,369 posted on 07/19/2007 6:00:01 PM PDT by betty boop ("Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -- A. Einstein)
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To: Coyoteman
I don't think this is a good time to deal with the squishy subjects.

This is an exercise in sheer pointlessness, Coyoteman. I tried; but all I got back in response was "squishy."

If, however, you really do want to seriously engage the problem of how to eradicate the "squishy," you know where to find me.

I won't be holding my breath in the meanwhile. But I'd be ever so glad to see you again, anytime.

1,370 posted on 07/19/2007 6:05:29 PM PDT by betty boop ("Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -- A. Einstein)
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To: MHGinTN
Having an inquiring mind is a gift from God for the rest of us who haven’t the equipment (mental and physical).

Of course. Nobody has the equipment or intellect to understand it all, though. We're all idiots at something - such are the cases when we must defer to the opinion of experts, or in lieu of an unwillingness to do that, maintain some humility about what we don't know.

Many of those previous Scientists were god-fearing because of their wisdom, not because of a failing in them.

Agreed - so long as we can admit the fact that the nature and will of God is not a subject about which we have a scientific level of certainty.

1,371 posted on 07/19/2007 6:57:38 PM PDT by ok_now ((Huh?))
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To: Coyoteman; betty boop
I've spent the day dealing with the real world; dust, sun, wind, hard dirt, tractors and other loud noises. I don't think this is a good time to deal with the squishy subjects.

I'm a fan of your posts, C-man, but I wouldn't call theology (or art, philosophy, etc.) 'squishy'. Learning is a fine cuisine - science supplies the raw calories, but you need flavor, too. (Just so you long as one remembers that eating too much tasty food in lieu of good nutrition will kill you.) : )

1,372 posted on 07/19/2007 7:06:45 PM PDT by ok_now ((Huh?))
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To: cornelis; tacticalogic; betty boop; Alamo-Girl
[.. You can think about . [!?!]. . / Yes, thinking is sequential. Consciousness cannot be conflated with thinking. ..]

Fiction must be logical to make sense... Reality need not be logical or make sense..

1,373 posted on 07/19/2007 7:11:13 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop
[.. So while we are yet in the flesh, bound to the brane, moving through space/time, we may also be affecting the whole, i.e. the hypercube - and conversely, the whole may be affecting our brane. ..]

The hypercube?.. Hmmm... The House of Mirrors again?..
Dimensions and Realms/Kingdoms of Light.. and Dark Energy/matter..

Damn I love fiction.. its got to be so logical and sensical..
Must be why I like Star Trek.. in all its iterations..

1,374 posted on 07/19/2007 7:21:19 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: ok_now
I've spent the day dealing with the real world; dust, sun, wind, hard dirt, tractors and other loud noises. I don't think this is a good time to deal with the squishy subjects.

I'm a fan of your posts, C-man, but I wouldn't call theology (or art, philosophy, etc.) 'squishy'. Learning is a fine cuisine - science supplies the raw calories, but you need flavor, too. (Just so you long as one remembers that eating too much tasty food in lieu of good nutrition will kill you.) : )

Thanks for the reminder, and the nice compliment. Both are much appreciated.

As regards to your comment, "eating too much tasty food in lieu of good nutrition will kill you" -- I would only suggest that basic science is the "good nutrition" while philosophy and the other topics, about which folks have been arguing for 2500+ years with little agreement on methods, let alone results, are the tasty foods.

Science provides the staples, philosophy and the other of what I call "squishy" subjects are the desert: nice, if you can afford them.

1,375 posted on 07/19/2007 7:31:28 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Alamo-Girl
[.. And my response to that question is altogether Christian plain and simple: Reality is God's will and unknowable in its fullness. / But trying to understand is great fun - and we Christians are expected to do exactly that. (Psalms 19:1-3, Romans 1:20) ..]

So true.. Its grooovey baby -(persona Austin Powers..

1,376 posted on 07/19/2007 7:34:42 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: metmom; Alamo-Girl; betty boop
[.. This charge is thrown at non-evos with such regularity that it's become a joke. Anything that doesn't agree with them and their world view is not *real*. So what is real? ..]

Exactly What IS real?.. said while observing observers observing observation.. hampered by the "observer problem"..

1,377 posted on 07/19/2007 7:38:48 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: hosepipe
Fiction must be logical to make sense... Reality need not be logical or make sense..

BS only needs to be specious.

1,378 posted on 07/19/2007 7:50:31 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tacticalogic; betty boop; Alamo-Girl
[.. BS only needs to be specious. ..]

Handled correctly it(BS) must also be "warm".. Scientific dung beetles roll it into nice neat little balls.. and roll it up the Hills of Sisyphus.. to the applause of the other beetles..

Very entertaining..

1,379 posted on 07/19/2007 7:58:04 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: Coyoteman

Actually the *squishies*, things like morals, are what gives us a civilized society. Simply compiling facts and data isn’t what life is all about and not even the basics of what life is all about. Those things are just as real as the matter you deal with every day.

Life is about relationships and concepts, things that can’t be reduced to a formula or experiment. Studies have found that babies who are simply provided with nutrition and shelter, but no human companionship, end up dying anyway, even though their basic physical needs are met and there’s no reason for them to die. They were healthy. It’s those squishy things, like family, society, love, nurture, that is essential for the babies survival. In those cases, it is the *squishies* that were critical to the baby’s survival, not something incidental.

There is a lot of reality out there that you are missing if you relegate yourself to merely the physical aspect of the world. Just because it isn’t *scientific* (as used these days) doesn’t mean that it isn’t real or relevant or true.

Science is a useful tool for improving the lot of mankind, but when it becomes an end in itself, instead of a means to an end, that’s when problems come up.


1,380 posted on 07/19/2007 7:58:38 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: hosepipe
Handled correctly it(BS) must also be "warm".. Scientific dung beetles roll it into nice neat little balls.. and roll it up the Hills of Sisyphus.. to the applause of the other beetles..

It flows better when warm, and serves as a vehicle for epithets and perjoratives.

1,381 posted on 07/19/2007 8:01:13 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: metmom
There is a lot of reality out there that you are missing if you relegate yourself to merely the physical aspect of the world. Just because it isn’t *scientific* (as used these days) doesn’t mean that it isn’t real or relevant or true.

If it is not physical, and observable, how do you know "it" even exists? How do you know it's "real or relevant or true" if you can't observe it?

I disparage these "squishy" subjects because I do not see rational method of deciding among competing claims. Philosophy appears to be more opinion than anything else (with lots of verbiage but a backlog of 2,500+ years of unanswered questions). Theology depends on divine revelation. That brings up the question of whose revelation is the most divine. And how do you judge in a non-subjective way between multiple claims of "my divine revelation is TRVTH while your is tripe?" The normal answer is "my belief is logical, straightforward and true; your belief is a silly cult." That gets us nowhere.


Science is a useful tool for improving the lot of mankind, but when it becomes an end in itself, instead of a means to an end, that’s when problems come up.

And when philosophy and the other squishy subjects become the end in themselves, where do you find yourself? Arguing over philosophy, going around and around in circles for 2,500 years without defining a method, let alone getting any real answers. Arguing over theology, when there is no evidence on any side of the issue--its all belief and divine revelation. The one with the most believers, the most vociferous believers, or the most vicious believers, is likely to win.

No thanks. I'll stick to science. At least science has a method that has been shown to work, and has a way of discarding marginal or outdated ideas.

1,382 posted on 07/19/2007 8:31:03 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: tacticalogic
[.. It flows better when warm, and serves as a vehicle for epithets and perjoratives. ..]

I'm in the presence of an artist.. ;)~.,.,.

1,383 posted on 07/19/2007 8:46:03 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: metmom
This charge is thrown at non-evos with such regularity that it's become a joke.

It's a backhanded compliment.

If the correspondent has ammunition, he uses it - if not, he throws spitwads. LOL!

1,384 posted on 07/19/2007 9:38:29 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: tacticalogic
Do you think that will stop anyone from arguing one against the other, knowing it's out of context?

The correspondents I enjoy most would care about such things.


1,385 posted on 07/19/2007 9:47:39 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
Thank you so much for that excellent essay-post! Very informative.
1,386 posted on 07/19/2007 9:50:30 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: hosepipe
Truly, the concept of a hypercube does seem like a house of mirrors.
1,387 posted on 07/19/2007 9:53:47 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: hosepipe
Thank you so much for your encouragements, dear brother in Christ!
1,388 posted on 07/19/2007 9:56:51 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: ok_now
"Ok. I never claimed the sun was the center of the universe. It's clearly not. In fact, on the scale of the whole universe, according to GR, there is no center."

I never said you did. I am speaking of the heliocentric model that ignores the rest of the universe. You know, the commonly accepted heliocentric model.

"So there's no reason to consider an earth-centered reference system as any more "real" than any other, then. Not really any point in any of this."

The point has always been to show that the geocentric model is just as acceptable as the heliocentric model. People think that the heliocentric model has been 'proved' and that the geocentric model is therefore invalid. All I have been saying all along is that is not the case. The heliocentric model has not been 'proved' and the geocentric model is still valid.

1,389 posted on 07/20/2007 5:38:13 AM PDT by GourmetDan
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To: pieceofthepuzzle
Thank you for the long response. There is obviously a lot we agree on. I appreciate your description of how we limited humans get into trouble. There is the saying that God created us in His own image and we returned the favor. Unfortunately it’s true, and those who build themselves a straw-man have their faith shaken when it is knocked down based on precepts that have no logical continuity.

In some cases I think the issue is a lack of effort. The teachings that are provided in many Sunday worship services and on television usually go only a little beyond milk. Regardless of whether this is appropriate the responsibility rests with the individual (after a point) to obtain solid food. Scripture is specific in calling us to study. This study, first and foremost should be of Scripture, but I believe we are also called to study all kinds of other areas in support of our faith. It is maddening to see the debates on FR where it is obvious that the Christian doesn’t even have a rudimentary knowledge of evolutionary theory. To be fair, it seems by comparison that those who support the evolution side are completely unfamiliar with scripture, but the debate is almost never on that side of the issue. When Paul (I’m going on memory here so I hope I have it correct) spoke from Mars hill in Athens his comments indicate that he had spent time studying the religion of the people there. He brought them the gospel of Christ with their view as the starting point. Too many Christians are ignorant of science because they have not the faith to tackle an opposing viewpoint. And they lack the faith because they have not studied scripture so that they can provide anything beyond a rudimentary understanding of what they believe. Why they believe it is not there.

God, in His entirety, is incomprehensible to us, but that does not mean we can set aside what He has revealed about Himself. I think it is very dangerous, specifically in the way I described in my initial post, to place more weight on what we experience, such as children’s smiles and sunsets, than on the inspired word of God. Nor is it at all safe to conclude that since the details of creation are beyond our comprehension, the account that God built Adam from the dust of the earth must be allegorical; it does not follow logically. I can tell my four year old that when I mix the stuff that looks like water (but smells funny) with white powder it bubbles and foams. That doesn’t nullify the fact that acidic vinegar and baking soda react together on a molecular level to release co2 gas and form a salt.

God does have many attributes including love and justice. It is because of God’s love that He came to us in human form and allowed Himself to be sacrificed on the cross as a payment for our sin debt. But if God were not also just why would the debt need to be paid in the first place? You mention that in your faith God absolutely abhors hate. I am curious as to where you obtained that attribute. If it is supported in scripture then it should be an easy reference. If it is supported simply in your experience then why isn’t it completely valid for someone else with different experiences to conclude that God is hate?

I am concerned that you are on a very slippery logical slope. I am convinced that you are sincere, but (please forgive the comparison) so were the pilots of the airliners on 9/11, and they were sincerely wrong. I urge you to take a good hard look at what you base your faith upon. Do some research into scripture regarding the original Hebrew and Greek texts and how we have what we have now. Jewish scholars have claimed that Isaiah 53 is in error – that it does not belong in the book. But when ancient copies of Isaiah were found guess what was there? Go on the internet and read about a man named Simon Greenleaf – who he was, what his occupation was, what he did and what he concluded. Here is one place to start: http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/jesus/greenleaf.html . God bless you my friend.

To everyone else…We now return your thread to its regularly scheduled flaming. Tell Jack hi for me!

1,390 posted on 07/20/2007 6:18:53 AM PDT by 70times7 (Sense... some don't make any, some don't have any - or so the former would appear to the latter.)
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To: betty boop

I wouldn’t go that far. He would have been interesting for a while at a Mensa party, maybe good for a twenty minute talk after dinner.


1,391 posted on 07/20/2007 7:49:49 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: RightWhale
I wouldn’t go that far. He would have been interesting for a while at a Mensa party, maybe good for a twenty minute talk after dinner.

You are definitely hard to impress, RightWhale, if you don't find William James impressive.

1,392 posted on 07/20/2007 8:35:42 AM PDT by betty boop ("Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -- A. Einstein)
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To: Coyoteman; metmom
If it is not physical, and observable, how do you know "it" even exists? How do you know it's "real or relevant or true" if you can't observe it?

To ask the question is to answer it. Does your question itself has mass or extention into space? If not, you are have already presupposed that things exist that are not physical. Propositions, numbers, laws of logic, morality, meaning, etc are all examples of real things that are not physical things, yet, if such things did not exist your question would be unintelligible.

Cordially,

1,393 posted on 07/20/2007 8:40:07 AM PDT by Diamond
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To: betty boop

Kant though, Kant could have held the dinner spellbound for thirty minutes. Very popular speaker. Schopenhauer, maybe five minutes before somebody said, ‘we get it already! what’s for dessert?’


1,394 posted on 07/20/2007 8:41:40 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: Diamond

You are on the right track, but terminology will be an insuperable barrier to further progress of that train, as it is to all discussion on this BBS.


1,395 posted on 07/20/2007 8:44:15 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: Diamond
To ask the question is to answer it. Does your question itself has mass or extention into space? If not, you are have already presupposed that things exist that are not physical. Propositions, numbers, laws of logic, morality, meaning, etc are all examples of real things that are not physical things, yet, if such things did not exist your question would be unintelligible.

These things are human constructs; they may not be physical (language itself, for example), but there is no doubt that they are observable. Otherwise what would linguists do? (I always did like linguistic prehistory.)

What I consider the squishy subjects deal in the "why" of things. The squishy subjects to me are those fields where opinion and other intangibles (e.g., revelation) serve the same function as evidence does in the physical sciences.

1,396 posted on 07/20/2007 9:04:15 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman
squishy subjects deal in the "why" of things

We have the habit of often asking 'why' when we should be asking 'how.' 'Why' questions presuppose purpose. Purpose implies all kinds of fundamental structure that these threads are supposedly trying to find without presupposition, so can sidetrack the thread instantly.

1,397 posted on 07/20/2007 9:16:05 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: RightWhale

LOL!!!! Whatever floats your boat RightWhale!


1,398 posted on 07/20/2007 9:16:42 AM PDT by betty boop ("Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." -- A. Einstein)
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To: Coyoteman; betty boop; Alamo-Girl
[.. What I consider the squishy subjects deal in the "why" of things. The squishy subjects to me are those fields where opinion and other intangibles (e.g., revelation) serve the same function as evidence does in the physical sciences. ..]

Your opinion is noted..

1,399 posted on 07/20/2007 9:36:02 AM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: Coyoteman
"What I consider the squishy subjects deal in the "why" of things. The squishy subjects to me are those fields where opinion and other intangibles (e.g., revelation) serve the same function as evidence does in the physical sciences."

Apparently you consider evolution to be a 'squishy' subject since you believe your 'opinions' to be scientific in the area of 'interpreting skull series'. Any other 'squishy' areas where your opinions are equal to evidence, Coyoteman?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1685030/posts?page=493#493

"I follow the scientific method, which has outlined a procedure for dealing with different kinds of evidence. I have studied those skulls at some length in grad school, as well as evolution (two of my four fields for the Ph.D. exams were human osteology and fossil man). Accordingly, I do not regard my opinions in this area as metaphysical but scientific."

1,400 posted on 07/20/2007 9:47:09 AM PDT by GourmetDan
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