Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A New Foundation for Positive Cultural Change: Science and God in the Public Square
Human Events ^ | September 15, 2000 | Nancy Pearcey

Posted on 10/28/2006 3:22:14 PM PDT by betty boop

Moral conservatives were shocked to read a thinly veiled defense of infanticide in the New York Times a few years ago by MIT [now of Harvard] professor Steven Pinker. But they would be even more disturbed if they saw Pinker’s justification for his views in a book that appeared about the same time.

In How the Mind Works, Pinker argues that the fundamental premise of ethics has been disproved by science. “Ethical theory,” he writes, “requires idealizations like free, sentient, rational, equivalent agents whose behavior is uncaused.” Yet, “the world, as seen by science, does not really have uncaused events.”

In other words, moral reasoning assumes the existence of things that science tells us are unreal. Pinker tries to retain some validity for ethics nonetheless by offering a “double truth” theory: “A human being,” he says, “is simultaneously a machine and a sentient agent, depending on the purposes of the discussion.”

It’s astonishing that anyone, especially an MIT professor, would be capable of sustaining two such contradictory ideas. But in fact, it is quite common, says Phillip Johnson in The Wedge of Truth. Since the Enlightenment, knowledge has split into two separate and often contradictory spheres: “facts” (science) versus “values” (ethics, religion, the humanities).

The trouble with this division is that eventually one side comes to dominate. This is the key to understanding why America is embroiled in a culture clash today, Johnson argues — and why moral and religious conservatives are losing. The direction in intellectual history since the Enlightenment has been to grant science the authority to pronounce what is real, true, objective, and rational, while relegating ethics and religion to the realm of subjective opinion and nonrational experience.

Once this definition of knowledge is conceded, then any position that appears to be backed by science will ultimately triumph in the public square over any position that appears based on ethics or religion. The details of the particular debate do not matter. For, in principle, we do not enact into public policy and we do not teach in the public schools views based private opinion or tribal prejudice.

Johnson gives a rich description of how the fact/value dichotomy operates. Its origin is generally traced to Descartes, who proposed a sharp dualism between matter and mind. It was not long before the realm of matter came to be seen as more certain, more objective, than the realm of mind. The subject matter of physics is indeed much simpler than metaphysics, and hence yields far wider agreement. This was mistakenly taken to mean that physics is objective while metaphysics is subjective. The result was the rise of scientism and positivism — philosophies that accord naturalistic science a monopoly on knowledge and consign all else to mere private belief and fantasy.

Today, Johnson writes, “the dominance of the scientific naturalist definition of knowledge eventually ensures that no independent source of knowledge will be recognized.”

Darwin, Buddha, Jesus, Fairies
Yet, depending on how scientists judge the public’s mood, they are more or less blunt about this epistemological imperialism. When feeling secure in their role as the cultural priesthood, they insist that naturalistic science has completely discredited the claims of religion. Tufts philosopher Daniel Dennett, in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, says Darwinian evolution is “a universal acid” that dissolves all traditional religious and moral beliefs. He suggests that traditional churches be relegated to “cultural zoos” for the amusement of onlookers.

I witnessed the same attitude at a conference last April at Baylor University: Nobel prize-winner Steven Weinberg lumped together all spiritual teachings, whether of Buddha or Jesus, as talk about “fairies.” A few months earlier he had told the Freedom From Religion Association, “I personally feel that the teaching of modern science is corrosive to religious belief, and I’m all for that.” If science helps bring about the end of religion, he concluded, “it would be the most important contribution science could make.”

Using a sports metaphor, Johnson calls these outspoken scientists “the offensive platoon,” brought out as needed to “invok[e] the authority of science to silence any theistic protest.” At other times, however, when the public shows signs of restlessness at this imposition of naturalistic philosophy under the guise of science, “the defensive platoon takes the field. That is when we read spin-doctored reassurances that many scientists are religious (in some sense) . . . and that science and religion are separate realms which should never be mixed.”

But separate-but-equal in principle invariably means unequal in practice. For example, a report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) says, “whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.” But a survey of NAS members by Larry Witham and Edward Larson in Scientific American found that 90% of scientists don’t believe in a supernatural God. Witham and Larson conclude: “The irony is remarkable: a group of specialists who are nearly all unbelievers — and who believe that science compels such a conclusion — told the public that ‘science is neutral’ on the God question.”

Or perhaps worse than an irony, Johnson comments; it may be a “noble lie” that the intellectual priesthood tells to the common people to conceal their own nihilism.

Keep the Public In the Dark
Similarly, Harvard’s Stephen J. Gould proposes a peacemaking formula he calls NOMA (“non-overlapping magisteria”), granting science and religion each its own distinct authority. This sounds fair enough — but it all depends on where one draws the line. Consider Gould’s assessment of the 1996 statement by John Paul II, in which the pope tentatively supported evolution while emphatically rejecting any theories that “consider the spirit as emerging from the forces of living matter or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter.”

How did Gould treat this affirmation of the reality of the spiritual realm? He condescendingly granted that such a quaint notion might have some “metaphorical value,” but added that he privately suspected it to be “no more than a sop to our fears, a device for maintaining a belief in human superiority within an evolutionary world offering no privileged position to any creature.”

In other words, Gould reduced religion to mere emotion at best — at worst, to the sin of speciesism. This was a bit much even for John Haught of Georgetown University, himself an ardent evolutionist: He complained that Gould “never concedes the slightest cognitive status to religion” — that for Gould religion merely “paints a coat of ‘value’ over the otherwise valueless ‘facts’ described by science.”

Precisely. For the modern Darwinist, Johnson explains, the only role left for the theologian “is to put a theistic spin on the story provided by materialism.” Theology does not provide an independent source of knowledge; all it can do is “borrow knowledge to put a subjective interpretation on it.”

Clearly, the function of the defensive platoon is merely to keep religious folk content with their subordinate status. Darwinists understand that it is sometimes more effective not to press the logic of the fact/value split to its unpalatable conclusions too adamantly, lest the public catch on and raise a protest. Instead of arguing that religion is false, by relegating it to the “value” realm, they keep the question of true and false off the table altogether. As Johnson says, religion is consigned “to the private sphere, where illusory beliefs are acceptable ‘if they work for you.’”

Thus the fact/value split “allows the metaphysical naturalists to mollify the potentially troublesome religious people by assuring them that science does not rule out ‘religious belief’ (so long as it does not pretend to be knowledge).”

Once this division is accepted in principle however, Johnson warns, the philosophical naturalists have won. “Whenever the ‘separate realms’ logic surfaces, you can be sure that the wording implies that there is a ruling realm (founded on reality) and a subordinate realm (founded on illusions which must be retained for the time being).” Hence, “the formula allows the ruling realm to expand its territory at will.”

Epistemological Imperialism
The expansion of the “fact” realm into theology can be traced in the work of scientists such as Harvard’s E.O. Wilson, who seeks to explain religion itself as a product of evolution. Religion is merely an idea that appears in the human mind when the nervous system has evolved to a certain level of complexity.

In Consilience, Wilson says religion evolved because belief in God gave early humans an edge in the struggle for survival. Today, he says, we must abandon traditional religions and develop a new unifying myth based squarely on evolution — a religion that deifies the process itself, where no teaching, no doctrine, is true in any final sense because all ideas evolve over time.

A similar expansion can be traced in ethics, where sociobiology and evolutionary psychology now presume to answer moral questions. In the notorious New York Times article mentioned above, Pinker argues that since infanticide is widespread in human cultures, it must be a product of evolution. As he puts it, the “emotional circuitry of mothers has evolved” to include a “capacity for neonaticide.” It is simply part of our “biological design.”

Accept this logic, Johnson warns, and you will be pressed to the conclusion that killing off babies is not a moral horror but a morally neutral act, a genetically encoded evolutionary adaptation, like wings or claws.

Pinker does not draw this conclusion — yet. But when the time seems ripe to overthrow the traditional moral view, Johnson predicts, doctrinaire naturalists “will complete the logic by observing that the moral sphere is as empty as the religious realm,” and therefore has no power to stand against the conclusions of “science.”

Shortly after Johnson finished his book, his forewarnings were confirmed by the appearance of a book titled The Natural History of Rape, which argued that, biologically speaking, rape is not a pathology; instead, it is an evolutionary strategy for maximizing reproductive success: In other words, if candy and flowers don’t do the trick, some men may resort to coercion to fulfill the reproductive imperative. The book calls rape “a natural, biological phenomenon that is a product of the human evolutionary heritage,” akin to “the leopard’s spots and the giraffe’s elongated neck.”

The book roused sharp controversy, but as one of the authors, Randy Thornhill, said on National Public Radio, the logic is inescapable: Since evolution is true, it must be true, he said, that “every feature of every living thing, including human beings, has an underlying evolutionary background. That’s not a debatable matter.” Every behavior that exists today must confer some evolutionary advantage; otherwise, it would not have been preserved by natural selection.

The “fact” realm has even expanded into the philosophy of mind, where consistent Darwinists tell us there is no single, central “self,” residing somehow within the body, that makes decisions, holds opinions, loves and hates. Instead, in the currently popular “computational” theory, the mind is a set of computers that solve specific problems forwarded by the senses. The notion of a unified self is an illusion, Pinker says — an illusion selected by evolution only because our body needs to be able to go one direction at a time.

Of course, computers operate without consciousness, so the question arises why we are conscious beings. Some neuroscientists conclude that we aren’t — that consciousness too is an illusion. Philosopher Paul Churchland says mental states do not exist, and suggests that we replace language about beliefs and desires with statements about the nervous system’s physical mechanisms — the activation of neurons and so on.

Piling example upon example, Johnson illustrates the epistemological imperialism of the “fact” sphere. This explains why moral and religious conservatives seem to have little effect in the public square: Their message is filtered through a fact/value grid that reduces it to an expression of mere emotional attachment and tribal prejudice. To turn the tide of the culture war, conservatives must challenge this definition of knowledge, and make the case that religion and morality are genuine sources of knowledge. We must “assert the existence of such a cognitive territory,” Johnson writes, “and be prepared to defend it. ” [Emphasis added.]

Of course, others have offered philosophical arguments to undercut the fact/value dichotomy, notably Michael Polanyi and Leo Strauss. What makes Johnson’s approach unique is that he takes the battle into science itself. He proposes that Darwinian evolution itself can and should be critiqued, since it functions as the crucial scientific support for philosophical naturalism. For if nature alone can produce everything that exists, then we must accept the reductionist conclusions described above. If, to take the last example, the mind is a product of material processes at its origin, then we must concede that it consists of nothing more than material processes — that our thoughts are reducible to the firing of neurons.

How Information Changes Everything
In science itself, the cutting-edge issue is information, Johnson says. Any text, whether a book or the DNA code, requires a complex, nonrepeating arrangement of letters. Can this kind of order be produced by chance or law? The answer, he argues, is no. Chance produces randomness, while physical law produces simple, repetitive order (like using a macro on your computer to print a phrase over and over). The only cause of complex, nonrepeating, specified order is an intelligent agent. [Emphasis added.]

Ordinary laboratory research implicitly assumes the reality of intelligent design, Johnson notes. Biologists talk of “molecular machines” and evaluate their “engineering design.” They conduct experiments that are described as “reverse engineering” to determine what functions biological structures perform. They talk about “libraries” of genetic information stored in DNA, and about how RNA “translates” the four-letter language of the nucleotides into the 20-letter language of proteins.

All this implies that information is real — and information in turn implies the existence of a mind, a personal agent, capable of intention and choice. Thus purposes and ends [e.g., formal and final causes, to use the Aristotelian language] are real and objective, and the “value” realm is restored to the status of genuine knowledge.

Johnson only hints at what this would imply for a revival of traditional theology and ethics. But he suggests that it would begin with the many-layered verse in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word,” the Logos — reason, intelligence, information. “These simple words make a fundamental statement that is directly contradictory to the corresponding starting point of scientific materialism,” Johnson writes, and they open the door to a much richer definition of knowledge and of reason itself.

This conclusion is certainly suggestive, though not well developed. Johnson’s greatest accomplishment is to give a deft analysis of the imperialism of the “fact” sphere. Unfortunately, he barely touches on the opposite dynamic — the incursion of the “value” sphere into the “fact” realm — which is well advanced in many fields. It is called postmodernism, and it reduces all knowledge claims to social constructions at best, to power plays at worst. Johnson devotes a chapter to the impact of postmodernism on the humanities, but it is the thinnest chapter in the book, and it is clear that his greatest concern is with the scientific fields where the older Enlightenment rationalism still reigns.

For the rationalist, Johnson is no doubt correct that the only approach that carries weight is a scientific one. Only a demonstration that the scientific data itself has theistic implications bridges the sphere of objective, public, verifiable knowledge. Johnson includes clear and readable discussions of standard anti-Darwinian arguments. (There has long been skepticism within the scientific community about the enormous extrapolation from minor variations within living things to explain the origin of living things.) He also gives a deliciously witty account of the Kansas controversy.

The strength of the book, however, is to show the wide-ranging implications of intelligent design theory in other fields, and to trace its relevance for nonscientists — indeed, for all who are concerned about preserving a free and humane society.

Copyright 2000. Human Events. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. File Date: 10.23.00

* * * * * * *

This data file may be reproduced in its entirety for non-commercial use. A return link to the Access Research Network web site would be appreciated.

[URL -- http://www.arn.org/ with gratitude.]


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: darwinism; intelligentdesign; moralabsolutes; nancypearcey; phillipjohnson; religionisobsolete; stevenpinker
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 301-349 next last
To: Liberty Wins
"With God--everything is possible." -- Jesus

As for me and my house, I would much rather put my trust in God than in what Erich Heller, in his excellent work on existentialism entitled The Disinherited Mind, calls "the vast lovelessness of a chance constellation of energy."

51 posted on 10/28/2006 5:44:21 PM PDT by milagro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Liberty Wins

I spell how I want to.

I'm Irish.


52 posted on 10/28/2006 5:46:16 PM PDT by Central Scrutiniser (Creationism: 5000 years of young earth stupidity, and growing more ignorant daily)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

Thanks!


53 posted on 10/28/2006 5:53:10 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Liberty Wins; Dimensio; hosepipe; TASMANIANRED
Maybe he was. But the real problem is an advantage: Dimensio says, "The theory of evolution has no inherent political bias." In his view, the fact is evolution. Since evolution is science, voila! ergo-propter-hoc, evolution is without bias or prejudice. And you know, Dimensio is right, as much as Wolf Blitzer was right in his apology for CNN terrorist tapes: "Just the facts ma'am."

But facts are advantageous to a party in cooperation with supressed information. When a kind of scientific thinking is raised so high (no doubt for its amorality, nonmorality, content neutrality, etc.) then it becomes exclusive. It will turn a blind eye to all else. Religious dogmatists are not exempt.

What we end up with is an old office joke:

Rule #1 A cause is what we say it is?
Rule #2 If another cause is found, see rule number one.

54 posted on 10/28/2006 6:01:59 PM PDT by cornelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: milagro

Okay, the atheists argue that morality is the result of blind evolutionary forces rather than an omnipotent Creator.

This view is flawed because it cannot explain motive and intent, it denies rather than explains morality, and it cannot account for the "oughtness" of morality. (Most of us know what "ought" to be right or wrong.)

Given the widespread existence of moral concepts in humanity regardless of race, creed or religion, as well as the obviously negative results of immorality, the existence of a Higher Intelligence seems to be the best explanation for morality.


55 posted on 10/28/2006 6:06:12 PM PDT by Liberty Wins (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of all who threaten it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

The point is the ongoing fragmentation of conservatism. It's not enough to be a socon, ie, social conservative. Now we have the newly-coined MORAL conservatives. It's looking like the fragmented splinter groups in Monty Python's Life of Brian, which I assume a MORAL conservative would have refused to watch.


56 posted on 10/28/2006 6:21:09 PM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: tpaine; cornelis
Now if we can just keep Voegelin out of the discussion maybe I can keep up ---

LOL tpaine! I'll really, really try, I promise!

57 posted on 10/28/2006 6:31:44 PM PDT by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

You're most welcome, oh wise one!


58 posted on 10/28/2006 6:33:33 PM PDT by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 53 | View Replies]

To: betty boop; Amos the Prophet; Alamo-Girl
Thanks for the ping, BB!

As you (and A-G) know, I am both a physical scientist and a Christian who believes that all that is was created by God. I was mentally preparing a statement for this thread when I read this:

"My relationship with Christ, however, is intensely personal and subjective. I cannot objectively prove that this relationship even exists. I can, however, stand on it absolutely and accept it as the unequivocal Truth in my life, before which all other truth must stand or fall."

beautiful and apropos proclamation by Amos the Prophet.

It is so fitting that, Amos, I hope you wil permit me to adopt (and adapt) it to describe my own position.

Thanks to you both!

59 posted on 10/28/2006 6:37:53 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: Liberty Wins
Amen!

And, in Defeating Darwinism, Phillip Johnson points out the difference between "matter" and "information." He even quotes George C. Williams, who Johnson describes as having done "more than anyone to develop the gene selection theory". Johnson offers the following quote from Williams:

"Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter....The gene is a package of information, not an object. The pattern of base pairs in a DNA molecule specifies the gene. But the DNA molecule is the medium, it's not the message. Maintaining this distinction between the medium and the message is absolutely indispensable to clarity of thought about evolution."

When I first read this quote from Williams, I immediately thought of the Apostle John's words, "In the beginning was the Word". Then--a few paragraphs later, Johnson mentioned that same Gospel passage!

VERY interesting!

60 posted on 10/28/2006 6:47:14 PM PDT by milagro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]

To: gcruse
The point is the ongoing fragmentation of conservatism. It's not enough to be a socon, ie, social conservative. Now we have the newly-coined MORAL conservatives.

Oh jeepers, gcruse, I gather you mean we have to be vigilent against the emergence of the boogy-man hiding under the bed!

Yet if MORAL is what makes a free, prosperous, and peaceful civil society, then what, exactly, is wrong with MORAL?

Not that I in the least imagine that the American civil order is in any way, shape, or form a CHURCH. I leave that construct to the Wahabbis (Islamofascist jihadists).

The point is you cannot deny -- assuming you've read the Declaration of Independence -- that the American civil order -- our very Constitution -- is established on the basis of the specifically Christian view of man, and of the Creator God who endues him with his inanlienable rights. And that all men are "created equal" precisely because each is equally the child of God. That is ineffably a MORAL insight.

FWIW. Thank you for writing!

61 posted on 10/28/2006 6:47:42 PM PDT by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 56 | View Replies]

To: betty boop; tutstar; duckbutt; Fiddlstix; somniferum; WKUHilltopper; DieHard the Hunter; ...

Baptist Ping


62 posted on 10/28/2006 6:51:08 PM PDT by WKB (I Refuse To Have A Battle Of Wits With An Unarmed Person.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: milagro

Well, here's what gets me. An evolutionary explanation for all moral conduct requires that such conduct be genetically determined. Morality rides on the genes, as it were, and one generation passes on favorable morality to the next, according to the evolutionists.

If moral virtues are genetic — a random combination of molecules, why do we see fluctuations from generation to generation in moral standards? Why have we seen an explosion of illegitimate births and single parenthood in the current generation - - is that the result of inherited genes or the result of a change in moral standards?

If illegitimate births have increased through the process of natural selection, then evolutionary forces have "selected" rather odd behavior patterns to effect the survival of the species. I mean, don’t those dunderhead genes know two parents are better than one?


63 posted on 10/28/2006 6:52:27 PM PDT by Liberty Wins (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of all who threaten it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 60 | View Replies]

To: WKB

Thanks for the Ping.


64 posted on 10/28/2006 6:54:11 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 62 | View Replies]

To: Amos the Prophet
Jesus taught us that we, His followers, will always be at war with the world. It is simply our willingness to stand in the breech and demand Truth over truth that expresses the God who lives within us. His is the victory. There is no other.

Amen, dear Amos. This is the "unpleasant truth" that utopians and doctrinalists of all persuasions would most dearly love to ignore. But they simply can't, at least not in the long run. To fall afoul of that truth is to set oneself up for the day when the Truth "bites one on the butt." So to speak.

Man did not make this world, nor give it its rules. God did. And we cannot evade our accountability to Him for the "truth" of the way we live.

Thank you so much for writing, Amos!

65 posted on 10/28/2006 6:55:25 PM PDT by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: milagro
"...But the DNA molecule is the medium, it's not the message. Maintaining this distinction between the medium and the message is absolutely indispensable to clarity of thought about evolution."

So very true.... Thank you so much, milagro, for this "indispensible" insight!

66 posted on 10/28/2006 6:57:46 PM PDT by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 60 | View Replies]

To: betty boop
[ So my dearest friend hosepipe, when did you decide to be given over to the proposition of "moral equivalency" in arguments that purport to deal with essential Truth? ]

Some not believing "essential truth" may be NOT BE from a negative motive.. Could be they must believe as they do according to the 2nd reality they live in.. I do not fault them for that..

The competition between truth and UNtruth proves the truth.. and challenges the UNtruth, always.. I believe it is a Holy Drama.. And Free Republic highlights that drama.. After all whom has total truth among us.. I appreciate the reparte'...

Almost universally I agree with you(so far), at least that that I can understand that you transcribe.. Sometimes you go over my head.. Spiritual merging might cure that(BookOFWorms).. but that is for a future time.. Same with me to you but I appreciate your spirit..

Morals observed, is observed, in different ways.. which is a drama all its own.. Free Republic has been beautifully preserved (by Jim Robinson) to allow that drama.. I relish his wisdom.. It takes a boatload of UNtruth to cover up ONE truth.. As the EVOS (and other closet liberals) prove daily..

67 posted on 10/28/2006 6:59:48 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Liberty Wins
If illegitimate births have increased through the process of natural selection, then evolutionary forces have "selected" rather odd behavior patterns to effect the survival of the species. I mean, don’t those dunderhead genes know two parents are better than one?

Now there's a brilliantly asked question! Thank you for asking it!

68 posted on 10/28/2006 6:59:55 PM PDT by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 63 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe
Could be they must believe as they do according to the 2nd reality they live in.. I do not fault them for that..

I try very hard myself not to "fault them" for that. But to the extent that I value Truth above all else, I find forgiveness very difficult under the circumstances. Fortunately, I am no man's judge.... That's God's job.

May the Lord forgive me my shortcomings.

FreeRepublic really is a "microcosm" in its diversity of opinion, isn't it? And JimRob affords hospitality to all points of view -- provided the respondents observe the rules of civil, rational, good-faith debate....

Thanks so much for writing, dear hosepipe!

69 posted on 10/28/2006 7:09:39 PM PDT by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 67 | View Replies]

To: betty boop
[ May the Lord forgive me my shortcomings. ]

OH! God.. me too... Guard me from arrogance and hubris..

70 posted on 10/28/2006 7:15:14 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 69 | View Replies]

To: betty boop
I have to say FR isn’t “anti-science” at all; it’s “anti abuse of science”

Cling to that false belief if you really can after all that has transpired here in the past year, but don't expect those of us who have been paying attention and been deeply involved in this issue to be naive enough to fall for it.

Once again, I must insist that you respect my oft-repeated statement that I have no desire to have you ping me to any of your through-the-looking-glass posts or threads, at any time, for any reason. You have burned that bridge too thoroughly, and then been so disingenuous as to pretend not to know the reason why even after it has been explained to you more than once. Whatever you choose to say, I have no interest in it. Do not ping me.

71 posted on 10/28/2006 7:15:56 PM PDT by Ichneumon (Ignorance is curable, but the afflicted has to want to be cured.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

Some people just need a good dose of peroxide


72 posted on 10/28/2006 7:18:41 PM PDT by 1000 silverlings (stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the Cross)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DaveLoneRanger

ping


73 posted on 10/28/2006 7:19:34 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: milagro
"Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter....The gene is a package of information, not an object. The pattern of base pairs in a DNA molecule specifies the gene. But the DNA molecule is the medium, it's not the message.

That is a very interesting paradox, and it seems one that is apparently invisible to the evolutionary biologists.
74 posted on 10/28/2006 7:23:37 PM PDT by RunningWolf (2-1 Cav 1975)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 60 | View Replies]

To: betty boop
Once this definition of knowledge is conceded, then any position that appears to be backed by science will ultimately triumph in the public square over any position that appears based on ethics or religion.

That sure states it clearly. The accusations of people with certain religious views as being *pig ignorant* and other more derogatory terms, is all part of the strategy. Try to make them look so stupid that others will not want to be associated with them and pull back and lend their support to the *scientific* view. All that'll do is hasten the day when Christian morals are no longer considered valid and anything goes.

A freeper, whose screen name I unfortunately do not remember, commented that right now, we are still riding on the coat tails (so to speak) of the moral hertitage we inherited and so that although, there is moral compromise now, there is still enough to protect us. But in a couple generations, our grandchildren will be reaping what we are now sowing and it just may be too late to do anything about it then.

75 posted on 10/28/2006 7:27:21 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: metmom
"But in a couple generations, our grandchildren will be reaping what we are now sowing and it just may be too late to do anything about it then."

Yes, you are so right, Metmom. We used up the interest a long time ago and we are right now living off the principal, which is disappearing fast.

76 posted on 10/28/2006 7:36:57 PM PDT by Liberty Wins (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of all who threaten it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 75 | View Replies]

To: metmom; betty boop

I heard a minister preach a sermon to that effect, said we were living "off the fumes" of our parents and grandparents


77 posted on 10/28/2006 7:39:02 PM PDT by 1000 silverlings (stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the Cross)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 75 | View Replies]

To: little jeremiah; betty boop
In other words, moral reasoning assumes the existence of things that science tells us are unreal.

Thanks betty boop, for the great thread.

It's even more than that. There is reality that exists beyond which science can know or measure. To try to reduce everything to merely it's physical properties,to act like anything that's not physical is not real but a fairy tale or delusion, is what's being *intellectually dishonest*.

It's like a horse with blinders on, they can only see a small part of reality, it gives a distorted view of the world around them and to say that that's all there is and it's accurate is incorrect. For them to pontificate about things they have no knowledge of because they have deliberately excluded them from their consideration, is deceptive.

Just because science cannot measure or record it, doesn't mean it's not real.

78 posted on 10/28/2006 7:43:24 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: cornelis; TASMANIANRED

There's a difference between amoral and immoral. I agree the science in and of itself is amoral. It's what's done with it that has the morality attached to it.


79 posted on 10/28/2006 7:46:28 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Ichneumon
Cling to that false belief if you really can after all that has transpired here in the past year, but don't expect those of us who have been paying attention and been deeply involved in this issue to be naive enough to fall for it.

Oh, pul-eeze dude. Haven't you found a half-decent rational argument so to engage in serious rational discourse in support of your position, after all this time? And so I see that what you do instead (as usual seemingly) is to insist that I never speak with you again? Well, that solves everything: That helps to illuminate the public discourse regarding thorny public issues in science, technology, ethics, et al. NOT!!!

And pul-eeze stop crying like that in public: It's embarrassing to at least some of the rest of us....

Thanks a lot.

Truly I hope you will do better on your next outing.

80 posted on 10/28/2006 8:08:34 PM PDT by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 71 | View Replies]

To: metmom
Partially blind and distorted yes.
But maybe for some of them it is really not dishonest nor deceptive, but they simply are not able to see beyond those horizon's.

In their world; as science cannot measure or record it, does mean it has no reality.

W.
81 posted on 10/28/2006 8:21:56 PM PDT by RunningWolf (2-1 Cav 1975)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 78 | View Replies]

To: betty boop
the American civil order -- our very Constitution -- is established on the basis of the specifically Christian view of man,

________________________

The authority for creating this nation was not human law but the laws of God in Nature - actual God and actual Nature. This is precisely why any attempt to remove God from Nature is so outrageous. It distorts reality and attacks the foundation of our nation.
82 posted on 10/28/2006 8:24:01 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (Here come I, gravitas in tow.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 61 | View Replies]

To: Liberty Wins

" == However, isn't there an ethical code attached to the practice of each discipline? And when this ethical code is breached, isn't the science therein in danger of becoming "perverted" science? == "

Yes, and we have a very topical example of the perversion in the form of the professional "bioethicist." I believe that the more accurate rendering of the vast majority of these people is more like "bio-DEATH-ASSIST," because they all seem to me to be an incredibly bloodthirsty lot, both at the beginning and the end of life.


83 posted on 10/28/2006 8:34:02 PM PDT by MainFrame65
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: metmom
Yes, of course. But science is the doing. There is no science in and of itself. Science in and of itself is an old dusty something in a basement, practically non-existent.
84 posted on 10/28/2006 8:38:45 PM PDT by cornelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 79 | View Replies]

To: metmom
For them to pontificate about things they have no knowledge of because they have deliberately excluded them from their consideration, is deceptive.

HAMMER MEETS NAIL!

85 posted on 10/28/2006 8:45:35 PM PDT by little jeremiah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 78 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

Bookmark, and bump.


86 posted on 10/28/2006 8:47:34 PM PDT by JCEccles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WKB

Thank you!


87 posted on 10/28/2006 11:31:58 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators. ~~ Will Rogers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 62 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

placemarker bump


88 posted on 10/29/2006 1:26:36 AM PDT by mitch5501 (typical)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

And thank you all for this thread. A breath of fresh air after being attacked on certain recent threads!


89 posted on 10/29/2006 1:36:14 AM PDT by Mom MD (The scorn of fools is music to the ears of the wise)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: betty boop
welcome to the party

I've entered the room...give me a few minutes to mingle!

90 posted on 10/29/2006 6:15:45 AM PST by .30Carbine (My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: megatherium

Which of the three books you mention explains the soul ?


91 posted on 10/29/2006 8:14:50 AM PST by aumrl (voting against dims - not 4 reps!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: megatherium

Which of the three books you mention explains the soul ?


92 posted on 10/29/2006 8:15:03 AM PST by aumrl (voting against dims - not 4 reps!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

I would like to recommend a wonderful book, "The Privileged Planet" by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards. I recently saw the TV documentary based on it and was deeply impressed. The main thesis is fascinating: that the Earth is situated in a "galactic habitable zone," an area of the universe that is protected from the deadliest cosmic dangers. They provide an endless array of mathematically improbable, but favorable factors that allows Earth to support complex life. It would appear that advanced life may be much, much more rare than has been suggested by Carl Sagan, et al.

Earth is also in a unique position in the galaxy to allow a clear view of the heavens so mankind can study and discover its secrets. Not only are there no cosmic dust or gas clouds surrounding us, we have been given an unusually transparent atmosphere, a rare thing in itself.

This was a new idea to me. I had always taken for granted that other star systems would be just as good a vantage point for observation of the rest of the universe. Not until you see the documentary do you realize how strange and mysterious (and lucky) our planet's location is.


93 posted on 10/29/2006 8:15:18 AM PST by Liberty Wins (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of all who threaten it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 80 | View Replies]

To: Liberty Wins
They provide an endless array of mathematically improbable, but favorable factors that allows Earth to support complex life. It would appear that advanced life may be much, much more rare than has been suggested by Carl Sagan, et al. ... Earth is also in a unique position in the galaxy to allow a clear view of the heavens so mankind can study and discover its secrets.

It's difficult to argue chance causation under these circumstances. The confluence of so many mathematical improbabilities is serendipitous, to say the last.

Thanks for the excellent post, Liberty Wins, and for the book recommendation! "The Privileged Planet" sounds fascinating.

94 posted on 10/29/2006 8:35:31 AM PST by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 93 | View Replies]

To: Amos the Prophet
The authority for creating this nation was not human law but the laws of God in Nature - actual God and actual Nature. This is precisely why any attempt to remove God from Nature is so outrageous. It distorts reality and attacks the foundation of our nation.

This bears repeating! Excellent, Amos. Thank you so very much!

95 posted on 10/29/2006 9:11:03 AM PST by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 82 | View Replies]

To: Cicero; betty boop

Enjoyed this conversation in the corner by the window with Cicero very much! More champagne, anyone? (;


96 posted on 10/29/2006 9:16:03 AM PST by .30Carbine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe; betty boop

Also delighted in my chat with hosepipe on the red couch by the fire! (; Pass that man a cigar!


97 posted on 10/29/2006 9:16:45 AM PST by .30Carbine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: gcruse; betty boop

There's at least one good joke teller at every party, thank God!


98 posted on 10/29/2006 9:17:31 AM PST by .30Carbine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: cornelis
You're just right, cornelis: No thought or action - and science falls into both categories - is amoral. There is no vacuum where life is present - something will indeed fill the void left by the removal of right morality - whether in science, public schools, politics...name the venue.
99 posted on 10/29/2006 9:24:13 AM PST by .30Carbine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: .30Carbine

LoL...


100 posted on 10/29/2006 9:29:41 AM PST by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 97 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 301-349 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson