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The End of Intelligent Design?
First Things ^ | February 9, 2010 | Stephen Barr

Posted on 02/09/2010 3:15:53 PM PST by cornelis

It is time to take stock: What has the intelligent design movement achieved? As science, nothing. The goal of science is to increase our understanding of the natural world, and there is not a single phenomenon that we understand better today or are likely to understand better in the future through the efforts of ID theorists. If we are to look for ID achievements, then, it must be in the realm of natural theology. And there, I think, the movement must be judged not only a failure, but a debacle.

Very few religious skeptics have been made more open to religious belief because of ID arguments. These arguments not only have failed to persuade, they have done positive harm by convincing many people that the concept of an intelligent designer is bound up with a rejection of mainstream science.

The ID claim is that certain biological phenomena lie outside the ordinary course of nature. Aside from the fact that such a claim is, in practice, impossible to substantiate, it has the effect of pitting natural theology against science by asserting an incompetence of science. To be sure, there are questions that natural science is not competent to address, and too many scientists have lost all sense of the limitations of their disciplines, not to mention their own limitations. But the ID arguments effectively declare natural science incompetent even in what most would regard as its own proper sphere. Nothing could be better calculated to provoke the antagonism of the scientific community. This throwing down of the gauntlet to science explains not a little of the fervor of the scientific backlash against ID.

(Excerpt) Read more at firstthings.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: creation; firstthings; gagdadbob; godsgravesglyphs; id; intelligentdesign; onecosmos; scientism
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Derbyshire linked this at NRO
1 posted on 02/09/2010 3:15:53 PM PST by cornelis
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There is an eager discussion at the original site.


2 posted on 02/09/2010 3:16:51 PM PST by cornelis
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To: cornelis
The goal of science is to increase our understanding of the natural world, and there is not a single phenomenon that we understand better today or are likely to understand better in the future through the efforts of ID theorists.

If it turns out life is designed rather than come about via a series of impossible coincidences, I'd say ID has increased the understanding of nature quite a bit.

Or if design was involved in the occurrence of biodiversity rather all being explained by random genomic changes fixed by natural selection, that would be another big benefit of ID.

ID does not reject evolution. It rejects pointlessness.

3 posted on 02/09/2010 3:20:30 PM PST by Tribune7 (Obama Is An Obstructionist)
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To: cornelis

“Very few religious skeptics have been made more open to religious belief because of ID arguments.”

Really? Maybe in the scientific community, but there are thousands of people who find faith in Christianity and therefore believe in ID. I don’t think the scientific community is the arbitor of truth. There are many that do good work, but just look at the so called fear mongers in the GW movement. I will keep my faith in what the good book says.


4 posted on 02/09/2010 3:20:34 PM PST by Bruinator (People are.............Stupid)
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To: cornelis
Hey look, the atmospheric pressure just created a hamburger wrapper!
5 posted on 02/09/2010 3:21:46 PM PST by Mark was here (The earth is bipolar. ---- "OBAMA: THE GREAT MISTAKE OF 2008")
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To: Bruinator

Amen!


6 posted on 02/09/2010 3:28:15 PM PST by doc1019 (To call Obama a bumbling idiot would be an insult to bumbling idiots worldwide.)
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To: cornelis
It is time to take stock: What has the intelligent design movement achieved? As science, nothing. The goal of science is

I was hesitant to respond to this thread, since the straw man is so clumsily (and shamelessly) constructed.

I do, however, note with amusement that the retard didn't take the obvious next step of asserting that evolution was also a science.

7 posted on 02/09/2010 3:28:54 PM PST by Publius6961 (You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do)
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To: Mark was here
The atheist have no idea where or how life originated. They rule out God but not magic crystals or aliens spreading seeds.
8 posted on 02/09/2010 3:32:38 PM PST by peeps36 (Democrats Don't Need No Stinking Input From You Little People)
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To: cornelis

Don’t look for an end to the ID movement because Philip Anschutz, and others, will continue to funnel big, big bucks into the Discovery Institute.


9 posted on 02/09/2010 3:33:56 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: cornelis

I think we’re at the end of intelligence.

Look around.


10 posted on 02/09/2010 3:34:36 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (Liberal Massachussetts says: "FUBO!")
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To: cornelis

I am an evolutionist and also a believer in intelligent design. I have yet to see how they are incompatible.
In fact one can argue that the universe has an obvious evoltionary attractor as its future driven by the second law.
I guess I r stupid.


11 posted on 02/09/2010 3:40:38 PM PST by FastCoyote (I am intolerant of the intolerable.)
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To: Publius6961

You’re not allowed to use the word “retard” anymore. Or maybe it’s “f***ing retard”, it’s hard to keep up.


12 posted on 02/09/2010 3:41:01 PM PST by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck.)
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To: Bruinator
"faith in Christianity"

Faith in fundamentalist Christianity.

13 posted on 02/09/2010 3:41:18 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: cornelis

This is a pretty dumb article. There’s nothing “scientific” about Darwin’s General Theory of Evolution. Intelligent Design theory has been chiefly valuable in identifying the problems with nailing down Darwinist theory as fact.

Barr must be aware that “young earth” theology is not the same as ID, but he seems to confuse the two.

Father Neuhaus, the founding editor of First Things, is dead. I have been wondering how it would survive in his absense. It’s still a bit early to tell, but this article, and a couple of others, leave me rather doubtful.

I’m disappointed in Stephen Barr and First Things, frankly.


14 posted on 02/09/2010 3:41:51 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: cornelis

Simply put, science is based on the scientific method and reproducible statistical analysis. It is a closed system, in which, if you play by the rules of science, *all* you have done is just that, played by the rules.

An analogy is the game of chess. If you play by the rules, you have played a game. That is all. How the game was played, and who won and lost cannot be interpolated or extrapolated, as if they were magical.

Science, however, can be interpolated and extrapolated. But the further away from the original experiment and analysis, the less likely that the interpolation or extrapolation are correct.

But Intelligent Design has no place in this, because it is neither a control nor variable to the experiment, and it is statistically irreproducible.

Therefore, even if it exists, it has to be ignored, because it cannot be integrated into the system. Again, using the chess analogy, the white knight has put the black king into check, and at this point, some intelligence other than the players intervenes and does something to determine if the king escapes or is mated.

Both players can just sit there for an hour, yet even if they both believe that some intelligence will intervene and complete the game, it will not do so reliably, every time. In fact, it probably won’t at all, ever.

So even taking it into account as part of game play accomplishes nothing. And even if a waiter stumbles into the table and the black king falls over, the players disregard that action, because it is not part of official, recognized game play.

Science has tremendous credibility precisely because it follows rules, is statistically verifiable, and can be reproduced. If something else is integrated into that, in an effort to capitalize on its credibility, its credibility is lost.

Look what harm Al Gore and his company of scoundrels has done to science, in the effort to glom on to its credibility for their own sordid purposes. The study of our climate has been set back decades because of this corruption.

And no matter what its motivation, Intelligent Design would have the same effect.


15 posted on 02/09/2010 3:42:25 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
Science has tremendous credibility precisely because it follows rules, is statistically verifiable

Like the surety of the Science of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

16 posted on 02/09/2010 3:56:02 PM PST by arthurus ("If you don't believe in shooting abortionists, don't shoot an abortionist." -Ann C.)
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To: arthurus

then there is the tale of Noah


17 posted on 02/09/2010 3:58:52 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Tax the poor. Taxes will give them a stake in society)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
Science has tremendous credibility precisely because it follows rules, is statistically verifiable, and can be reproduced.

How does Geology and Paleontology fit into this? Yes, certain rules are followed, but how is it statistically verifiable and reproduceable?

I agree that the natural world should be studied as a closed system even though I don't believe it is, however, if scientists are going to refrain from drawing conclusions of ID, they should also refrain from drawing conclusions of not ID, based on these studies. ID exists precisely because of the latter. Also, science needs to admit that it knows very little, compared to all that there is to know, and it will always be that way. A little humility would help credibility.

18 posted on 02/09/2010 3:59:56 PM PST by HerrBlucher (Jail Al Gore and the Climate Frauds!)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

So if I come upon a beautiful house, built next to a desert oasis .. It just ‘happened’ to build itself .. by accident?

Wait .. a human being Must be much simpler to ‘accidentally’ come together. (I understand now) /sarc


19 posted on 02/09/2010 4:00:05 PM PST by plinyelder ("I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born." -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: arthurus
Like the surety of the Science of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

Disingenuous for you to link science with AGW. Nay, dishonest.

20 posted on 02/09/2010 4:00:09 PM PST by Misterioso (To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion. -- Ayn Rand)
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To: cornelis

ID was always a theory in search of evidence, Evolution is a theory that has shoe horned incomplete evidence into a entire system that is then demanded that complete belief be placed into.

ID is needed if only to sharpen Evolutionary Theorists work, the more ID demands “prove it” the more searching takes place.


21 posted on 02/09/2010 4:02:48 PM PST by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: cornelis

“This throwing down of the gauntlet to science explains not a little of the fervor of the scientific backlash against ID.”

More, it’s their sense of entitlement and arrogance that anyone would challenge them. Look at the the response of the global warming crowd to any variation from the “consensus dogma”.


22 posted on 02/09/2010 4:04:45 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Tribune7
How does one, scientifically, determine the difference between a random occurrence that was a coincidence and a random occurrence that was directed by God? Obviously one cannot. And random is in no way synonymous for ‘out of God's control’ or ‘not directed by God’. Not, that is, if you believe the Bible.

Prov 16:33 The dice are cast into the lap, but every result is from the Lord.

23 posted on 02/09/2010 4:05:12 PM PST by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: Ben Ficklin
Faith in fundamentalist Christianity.

Chuckles - Ok I'll bite.

My guess is that for you 'fundamentalist' is a bad word - only when attached to systems of thought or belief to which you are not an adherent.

How about a fundamentalist constitutionalist? Or maybe a fundamentalist 2nd Amendment proponent? Either one sounds to me like a badge of honor.

Bottom line: if the fundamentals are worthless, then I would submit that the entire line of thought is as well.

Are you a meat-eater - or one of those who eat vegetarian steak?

24 posted on 02/09/2010 4:05:14 PM PST by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: Ben Ficklin

Don’t look for an end to the ID movement because Philip Anschutz...

I really like what little I have gleaned about this man. I love “The Foundation for a Better Life” ads. He owns two movie studios and several (thousands) of theaters. I would love to see him do “Atlas Shrugs”.


25 posted on 02/09/2010 4:06:32 PM PST by Josephat
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To: Eagles6
You’re not allowed to use the word “retard” anymore. Or maybe it’s “f***ing retard”, it’s hard to keep up.

I would apuligize, but I don't think I can spel the wurd.

26 posted on 02/09/2010 4:06:47 PM PST by Publius6961 (You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do)
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To: Bruinator

“but there are thousands of people who find faith in Christianity and therefore believe in ID.”

Whoa there, hoss. I’m not for evolution or this new ID thing. Everything I’ve read, ID goes to a lot of trouble at explaining the how. How I got where I am is not that important to me. Whether some Bible thing is literal and the universe is 12 years old or it’s figurative and it’s as old as our national debt is large, makes no difference to me. Who put me here and why is another ordeal altogether.

Y’all can give yourselves aneurysms about all this junk and when you’re done you’ll have called each other all kinds of heretic about something that couldn’t even change my wife’s choice of which dress to wear to a wedding; and my wife changes her opinions on dresses by the second.

So knock yourselves out. As it says in Mathew 25, when you’re done and the Good Lord splits us apart and says, “Y’all did good,” I don’t recall signing on to ID as being a part of that checklist. When he says, “Sucks to be you,” I’m pretty sure not believing in ID wasn’t on that list either. But hey, who needs the Good Lord to tell us what’s important when we have internet theologians.

Go at it, folks. It won’t make a bit of difference.


27 posted on 02/09/2010 4:06:55 PM PST by cizinec
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To: HerrBlucher

Amen.


28 posted on 02/09/2010 4:10:55 PM PST by Josephat
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To: cornelis
Hogwash. ID has achieved a very great result. It put the focus on Darwinism and allowed the argument to become about that flawed theory, instead of allowing evolutionists to dodge the debate by focusing on Biblical faith (which we all agree isn't provable). In addition, the hypocritical argument that ID is not "falsifiable" allowed for evolutionary theory's own problem with that aspect of the scientific method to be exposed. It's been nothing short of incredible the way the debate has shifted.
29 posted on 02/09/2010 4:13:31 PM PST by Timmy
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To: cornelis

Bump for later.


30 posted on 02/09/2010 4:16:42 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: Publius6961

know problum!


31 posted on 02/09/2010 4:22:37 PM PST by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck.)
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To: cornelis

Derbyshire linked it because it comforts him in his atheism, but it isn’t much of an article. Like most scientists, the author is undoubtedly good at working within a model in his field, but not so good at thinking about issues of methodolgy and sociology of science. Implicit in his writing is a 1950ish Popperian understanding of scientific method, which has long since been abandoned in its naive form as a result of work by Kuhn, Imre Lakotos, and others. In his response to someone commenting on Anthony Flew’s abandonment of atheism Barr incredibly says it had nothing to do with intelligent design, but rather had to do with the Anthropic Principle. Yet, the whole point of Wheeler’s long ago paper (1973) on the Anthropic Principle was that the physical constants in the universe give rise to a reasonable inference that the universe was designed to support human life. Fred Hoyle has said the same thing, just to name another prominent physicist.

Oddly, Barr, a physicist, is trying to write an obituary on a theory (ID) that, in the form he is discussing it, has to do with biology. While I don’t know whether ID will eventually be vindicated or not, I think that it is clear that Darwinism is only supported by group think in the universities. Random mutation won’t bear the burden of the work it has to do in the theory. Gould and others have recognized this, as well as other problems, but Richard Lewontin has been the most outspoken in demanding that Darwinism be defended - at least to the public - because he doesn’t want God to get a foot in the door. People need to understand that while science has always been subject to agendas and politics, the politicization is more intense now than ever, largely because of the massive amounts of government money that flows through the system, IMHO.

I can’t believe I am posting on this because these threads are virtually always an annoying waste of time...


32 posted on 02/09/2010 4:29:49 PM PST by achilles2000 (Shouting "fire" in a burning building is doing everyone a favor...whether they like it or not)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
Science has tremendous credibility precisely because it follows rules, is statistically verifiable, and can be reproduced.

No problem with that except there is a double standard wrt how science views evolution and ID.

33 posted on 02/09/2010 4:30:44 PM PST by plain talk
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To: padre35
ID was always a theory in search of evidence,

"Well, there's your problem"

You're not supposed to look for the data that supports a speculation. The theory has to explain all the data you already have.

34 posted on 02/09/2010 4:35:20 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (It is always tempting to impute unlikely virtues to the cute.)
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To: Timmy
ID has achieved a very great result. It put the focus on Darwinism

You make a good point . . . as the ancients have already said, nothing will come from nothing. But they make quite a stir for being debacles and failures.

35 posted on 02/09/2010 4:46:10 PM PST by cornelis
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To: Bruinator

Too many people on both sides of the issue don’t understand that cosmology, evolutionary biology, paleontology should never be considered arbiters of metaphysical truth. These sciences are a process, not a conclusion.

If they’re honest, the best they can do it give us “Our our best educated guess given the current state of knowledge in this field happens to be...”


36 posted on 02/09/2010 4:46:45 PM PST by UK_Jeffersonian
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To: cizinec

Dude you took away much more from my comment than I could imagine. I have a faith in Jesus Christ, and that was my point.


37 posted on 02/09/2010 4:48:12 PM PST by Bruinator (People are.............Stupid)
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To: cornelis
There is an instructive passage in What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848- about the American intellectual consensus of the early 19th century, at the very time we began our ass-kicking world-historical ascent (and bear in mind that this is a secular scholar with no religious agenda whatsoever):

"As this chapter is written in the early twenty-first century, the hypothesis that the universe reflects intelligent design has provoked a bitter debate in the United States. How very different was the intellectual world of the early nineteenth century! Then, virtually everyone believed in intelligent design. Faith in the rational design of the universe underlay the worldview of the Enlightenment, shared by Isaac Newton, John Locke, and the American Founding Fathers...."

Continued here: The Fractured Fairy Tale of Darwinian Evolution

<>

"....for example, in the words of our founders, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights. Under the terms of Darwinism, such a statement is unalloyed nonsense, because there is no "Creator" and no "rights" that are unalienable. Thus, metaphysical Darwinism has its own kind of absolutism, but I think a better word is "totalism," which has the intended association with "totalitarian." It is a total explanation that is anything but liberating, if for no other reason than it renders spiritual freedom an illusion. Or, you could say that it can only be total at the cost of excising what is most dear to us -- eg., freedom, truth, unity, etc. ..."

Continued here: Absolutist Philosophy and Totalist Necrophilia

38 posted on 02/09/2010 4:50:26 PM PST by Matchett-PI (Sowell's book, Intellectuals and Society, eviscerates the fantasies that uphold leftist thought)
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To: Josephat

Anshutz is also known for buying the SF Examiner(2004) on which he built all the other Examiners. He also bought the Weekly Standard from Murdoch last year for practically nothing.


39 posted on 02/09/2010 5:01:37 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: cornelis; All

“What has the intelligent design movement achieved? As science, nothing. The goal of science is to increase our understanding of the natural world, and there is not a single phenomenon that we understand better today or are likely to understand better in the future through the efforts of ID theorists.”

Well if that statement was in fact the litmus test for all science, and all funding for scientific inquiry, then funding for continued work and development of “string theory” in physics would have to end, because it has never produced anything that can be empirically tested and proven and all work on it remains exploration of no more than a theory.


40 posted on 02/09/2010 5:01:59 PM PST by Wuli
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To: jonno
I was using the dictionary definition: a Protestant movement emphasizing the literal infallibility of the Bible.

But you are right, there does seem to be some negative connotations what with the speaking in tongues and handling snakes.

41 posted on 02/09/2010 5:02:13 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Tribune7
ID does not reject evolution. It rejects pointlessness.

I agree with you...most YEC...uhm...types...would not.

42 posted on 02/09/2010 5:37:16 PM PST by NucSubs ( Cognitive dissonance: Conflict or anxiety resulting from inconsistency between beliefs and actions)
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To: FastCoyote

Amen brother. The canard that evolution = atheist is asinine and counterproductive.


43 posted on 02/09/2010 5:38:32 PM PST by NucSubs ( Cognitive dissonance: Conflict or anxiety resulting from inconsistency between beliefs and actions)
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To: Ben Ficklin
...speaking in tongues and handling snakes...

Wow - if you think those are "odd", then holding to a "creator of the universe" or a "raiser of the dead" must be off the charts - right?

8^)

44 posted on 02/09/2010 5:41:08 PM PST by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: Oztrich Boy

“You’re not supposed to...”

That was the point of “Theory in search of evidence”.

Wereas Evolution makes wild assumptions based on incredibly impossible odds all breaking in favor of the theory and all occuring across a innumerable manner of species.


45 posted on 02/09/2010 5:46:50 PM PST by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: Ben Ficklin

As for speaking in tongues or handling snakes, in my view they are just an exploration of various people’s faith.

Of course when the snake bites the handler one has to wonder what message that sends..:>)


46 posted on 02/09/2010 5:49:14 PM PST by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: jonno
"if you think those are odd"

It not what I think, it is what society thinks. And you just don't find many churches where they are speaking in tongues and handling snakes.

47 posted on 02/09/2010 6:04:03 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: Ben Ficklin
It not what I think, it is what society thinks

So society thinks thinks that "speaking in tongues and handling snakes" is odd, but creating the universe and raising the dead are within the realm of possibility?

48 posted on 02/09/2010 6:10:44 PM PST by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: cizinec

Best post I’ve ever read on an ID/CREVO thread. Bravo.


49 posted on 02/09/2010 6:23:13 PM PST by NucSubs ( Cognitive dissonance: Conflict or anxiety resulting from inconsistency between beliefs and actions)
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To: jonno
Well sure, everyone believes in raising the dead. That is why that movie, Night of the Living Dead, was so popular.

Since you seem to be an authority, maybe you can explain why those that have been raised from the dead drag one foot and hold their arms out in front as they slow walk?

50 posted on 02/09/2010 7:05:27 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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