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Where’s the Dialogue? (Theistic Evos OK with "dialogue" in theory, but NOT IN PRACTICE)
Discovery Institute ^ | June 3, 2009 | John West, Ph.D.

Posted on 06/03/2009 8:26:25 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts

When talking with friendly journalists, theistic evolution proponent Francis Collins typically insists that he wants to initiate a “dialogue” about faith and evolution.

But Collins and his colleagues at the Biologos Foundation seem curiously averse to engaging in real dialogue.

A case in point is a cranky blog entry posted this week by theistic evolutionist Karl Giberson, Francis Collins’ colleague at Biologos. Giberson, whom I debated at Biola University a few months ago, denounces Discovery Institute’s new Faith and Evolution website as “slick, well-resourced, rhetorically clever, profoundly misleading, and almost completely devoid of any real science.” Whew! Giberson’s own post might be charitably described as “almost completely devoid of any real substance.” Giberson goes on to claim:

At BioLogos, we present solid evidence in favor of evolution… We do not simply offer anti-design arguments and assume that we win by default. At Faith+Evolution, they produce no evidence for their position, nor do they even describe the “design model” they supposedly all embrace; all they present are arguments against evolution, with the supposed inference that “design” wins if evolution is defeated. In the final analysis, the site is little more than a exercise in rhetoric—how can we frame what looks like a compelling argument for a position that we can’t even articulate to ourselves.

I wonder how much of the Faith and Evolution site Giberson actually read. Our website certainly presents the scientific challenges to modern Darwinian theory—the sort of information you won’t find on Giberson’s Biologos site. But, contrary to Giberson, the Faith and Evolution site also presents the positive evidence for intelligent design. If you doubt this, go to the site’s topic page about intelligent design. There you can read this summary of the scientific evidence supporting design, along with links to additional articles that provide a more detailed discussion (links to some of these articles can also be found here). As for a thoughtful presentation of the overall evidence and logic of the theory of intelligent design, philosopher of science Stephen Meyer’s 33-page scholarly article is a great place to start. Unlike the completely one-sided Biologos site, Faith and Evolution also highlights articles by those with different views: just look at the Debates section.

Giberson’s broadside against Faith and Evolution is a remarkable example of projection. Giberson attacks a website with which he disagrees as “profoundly misleading, and almost completely devoid of any real science,” when it’s his own article that makes patently false claims with no evidence to back them up. Giberson’s basic approach is to insinuate that intelligent design proponents are insincere or disingenuous (hence our “slick” and “profoundly misleading” website). But Giberson never bothers to respond to the actual arguments offered throughout our website. To borrow a metaphor from our critics, this is intellectual exchange “in a cheap tuxedo.” It has the appearance of debate without its substance.

All in all, this is a strange way to do “dialogue”: Smear the integrity of the other party, rather than respond to his or her arguments. For myself, I don’t doubt that Giberson sincerely believes that the evidence supports Darwinian theory, or that he sincerely thinks that intelligent design is wrong. But it would be nice if he would return the favor and treat intelligent design proponents as sincere. In a good dialogue, both parties typically at least assume the good faith of each other and try to respond with arguments based on evidence, not specious attacks on motives.

Maybe Giberson and his colleagues hope that intelligent design proponents will disappear so they don’t have to engage them. But that’s not going to happen. The debate over design in nature has been one of the great debates in Western civilization reaching back as far as Plato, and it’s not about to go away. The accumulated evidence for intelligent design supplied by discoveries in physics, cosmology, astronomy, chemistry, biology, mathematics and related fields is simply too great.

Interestingly, the folks at Biologos essentially acknowledge the evidence for design in physics and astronomy. They just want to build a wall between those disciplines and biology: Outside of biology, reasonable people are allowed to discuss the evidence for design; inside biology, it’s verboten. The Biologos position might be called “designer lite.” But there is no good reason why evidence for design cannot be considered in whatever area it is found. When one discovers the same fine-tuning inside the cell that one finds in the universe as a whole, why shouldn’t one be able to draw the same inference? More to the point, why shouldn’t reasonable people be able to discuss the evidence for design in biology without having their motives questioned? Are the proponents of theistic evolution at Biologos so insecure that they don’t want to allow an open discussion that includes anyone who disagrees with them?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: creation; evolution; goodgodimnutz; intellientdesign; science

1 posted on 06/03/2009 8:26:25 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: editor-surveyor; metmom; Alamo-Girl; betty boop; GourmetDan; MrB; valkyry1; DaveLoneRanger; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 06/03/2009 8:28:20 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts
I've heard Francis Collins speak a couple times-- he's a nice guy, and I think he's sincere in his desire to integrate science and religion, but his theology is just wacky. It's no wonder that he endorsed Obama and that he was considered for a cushy job with the NIH.
3 posted on 06/03/2009 8:31:52 PM PDT by sthguard (The problem isn't Islamic terrorists; it's terroristic Islam!)
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To: sthguard

Libs are never satisfied with the revealed truth in the Bible. Like Jefferson, they cut out all the stuff out of the Bible they don’t like and then say, “now here’s a god I can worship!” There is seriously something wrong with these people.


4 posted on 06/03/2009 8:36:52 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Well, let’s think this through.

“Dialog” means you have to have a common vocabulary and basis for discussion.

Sadly, there is no common basis for discussion for people who (those who understand TToE and other science) do and those who don’t understand science.

It is like having a “dialog” between people who know 1+1=2 (and understand the entire logic behind that proposition) and those who say “1+1=3” (because there is a supernatural force that supplies the missing part of the equation).

It is like the people of science are speaking English and the people of belief are speaking Swahili.

Of course, on these threads, the Swahili-speakers don’t bother to address the science (since their vocabulary can’t) and goes straight to ancestor insults.


5 posted on 06/03/2009 8:40:41 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: GodGunsGuts
Libs are never satisfied with the revealed truth in the Bible. Like Jefferson, they cut out all the stuff out of the Bible they don’t like and then say, “now here’s a god I can worship!” There is seriously something wrong with these people.

Standard "cannot argue so call everyone who we disagree with a lib" response.

We don't even need Hari Seldon for this.

It is not so much it is so slovenly -- it so silly.

6 posted on 06/03/2009 8:43:45 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Corp Klinger

I know! The Evos are as braindead as they come.


8 posted on 06/03/2009 8:44:52 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


9 posted on 06/03/2009 8:46:03 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: freedumb2003

How many pages have you cut out of the Bible, FreeDumb?


10 posted on 06/03/2009 8:50:12 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: Corp Klinger
When I look at the whole thing I'm immensely glad it's all available on the internet. It's much like the first century church and the belief that the return would happen then. I think that with the internet that shortly every person will have the opportunity to at least read about Christianity.

I don't think he's disappointed he also gave them free will though some seem to run amuck.

11 posted on 06/03/2009 8:56:58 PM PDT by Taskmaster Cyning
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To: GodGunsGuts

>>How many pages have you cut out of the Bible, FreeDumb?

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin, ggg?


12 posted on 06/03/2009 8:58:19 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: GodGunsGuts

>>I know! The Evos are as braindead as they come.<<

IOW, “I don’t understand what they are saying so I will just spit at them.”


13 posted on 06/03/2009 8:59:53 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: freedumb2003

I don’t spit at Evos. However, I have noticed that a growing number of Evos have a penchant for spitting into the wind.


14 posted on 06/03/2009 9:11:11 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: freedumb2003

That’s a lot of pages FreeDumb.


15 posted on 06/03/2009 9:13:12 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

I share my love equally.


16 posted on 06/03/2009 9:16:09 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: GodGunsGuts

>>I don’t spit at Evos. However, I have noticed that a growing number of Evos have a penchant for spitting into the wind.<<

You merely spit at people who understand things you do not. This is normal and you should not feel bad about it. To be feeble is always frustrating and to have that pointed out objectively must really suck.


17 posted on 06/03/2009 9:18:45 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: freedumb2003

You sound like you are speaking from personal experience. You really shouldn’t assume everyone has the same comprehension problems and ill temper as you do.


18 posted on 06/03/2009 9:24:52 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Good night my mentally blind friend.

What happened in your childhood that required you to use God as a crutch to make you “special” and to attack standard science I will never know.

It is clear that your Mom or Dad or cousin or someone messed with you badly and now has put you where you need to be “One Of The Chosen” since no one actually ever chose you.

Enjoy your “special” relationship with whatever or whomever it is you need to make it so.

You’re not the first, you’re not the last. You’re just the most pitiful.

Remember to forgive your parents. They did the best they could.

I will say a prayer for them as well as you tonight.

Have a blessed night.


19 posted on 06/03/2009 9:28:51 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: GodGunsGuts

>>You sound like you are speaking from personal experience. You really shouldn’t assume everyone has the same comprehension problems and ill temper as you do.<<

Ill temper? Perhaps. Comprehension? The irony almost requires me to go the clinic to read our posts to remove it all.


20 posted on 06/03/2009 9:30:47 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: freedumb2003

Wow, projecting on others, and talking to yourself...it’s much, much worse than I thought.


21 posted on 06/03/2009 9:33:11 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: Corp Klinger

From what God has said it’s pretty clear what sort of wisdom and intellectual prowess He values.

I expect it’s not the same as what you have in mind when you say “brain”.


24 posted on 06/03/2009 10:55:19 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: GodGunsGuts
That's probably the only thing you have in common with Jefferson.
25 posted on 06/04/2009 4:16:50 AM PDT by starlifter (Sapor Amo Pullus)
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To: GodGunsGuts

“Interestingly, the folks at Biologos essentially acknowledge the evidence for design in physics and astronomy. They just want to build a wall between those disciplines and biology: Outside of biology, reasonable people are allowed to discuss the evidence for design; inside biology, it’s verboten.”

—Actually, their positions on design in cosmology and biology are entirely consistent. Planets, stars, galaxies, species all formed because of the designed laws of nature.

“Are the proponents of theistic evolution at Biologos so insecure that they don’t want to allow an open discussion that includes anyone who disagrees with them?”

—No, just not with those whose arguments are “slick, well-resourced, rhetorically clever, profoundly misleading, and almost completely devoid of any real science.” It’s interesting how through the whole article they have the attitude that unless someone wants to converse with them that they aren’t interested in dialogue - and that apparently the Discovery Institute IS the “intelligent design” movement.

“Maybe Giberson and his colleagues hope that intelligent design proponents will disappear so they don’t have to engage them. But that’s not going to happen. The debate over design in nature has been one of the great debates in Western civilization reaching back as far as Plato, and it’s not about to go away.”

—Wow, so not only is the Discovery Institute THE voice of the ID movement, but unless one believes that an intelligent Creator was involved in creation just as the ID proponents (i.e the Discovery Institute) say, one doesn’t believe there’s design in nature at all.
And they wonder why others (including many Christians who believe in an intelligent Creator) are reticent to converse with them.


26 posted on 06/05/2009 7:37:02 AM PDT by goodusername
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