She Sure Is Pretty

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Via Jonathan Blanks.

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

73 Responses to “She Sure Is Pretty”

  1. #1 |  Johnstank | 

    What?

  2. #2 |  Sydney Carton | 

    Meh. Most religions don’t see a conflict between evolution and religion. Only the more literalist religions, like Islam or fundamentalist Baptist religions, see a conflict.

    However, most everyday Joes don’t get into the nitty-gritty about the arguments. They see it as a proxy attack on their beliefs. Notwithstanding that Catholicism and the large protestant denominations don’t have any religious conflicts with evolution, often this debate IS a proxy attack on religious belief, because it’s an easy target to attack the literalism of the Koran or the Bible. It’s much harder to attack religion when a religion doesn’t have a problem with evolution.

    So if people see evolution as an attack on their beliefs, of course they’re going to respond the way you’d expect.

  3. #3 |  MassHole | 

    ….and dumb as a rock

  4. #4 |  Tim C | 

    #2 Sydney: “Most religions don’t see a conflict between evolution and religion.”

    Just because they don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there (by “it” I mean a fundamental implied conflict between reason and faith, between science and religion, not just the example provided by evolution vs. religion).

    Religious people who accept some science/reason must to some extent evade or rationalize this behavior against the fundamental nature of religion itself, even if their particular branch is one of the allegedly more tolerant ones.

  5. #5 |  Jaybird | 

    My personal opinion is that I don’t care, particularly, if my carpenter or baker believes in Creationism, or Intelligent Design, or Evolution, or whatever.

    Does the shelf hold? Does the bread taste good?

    Now when it comes to my GP or, to a lesser extent, my pharmacist, give me the guy who believes in evolution, please.

    But, for the most part, the debate strikes me as about as relevant as the whole “Is Pluto A Planet?” debate. Both sides shouting at the tops of their lungs because they are parroting what they have been told by people they trust… rather than because they’ve looked at the data, did some light testing of hypotheses, and settled on a theory that fits, coherently, the rest of their theories.

    At the end of the day, I don’t care if my carpenter or my baker is a Planetist or a Dwarfist.

    Does the shelf hold? Does the bread taste good?

  6. #6 |  Rick Caldwell | 

    Ryan Frederick update.

  7. #7 |  OneByTheCee | 

    Judge Arrington also denied another defense request to withhold the original warrant, due to the illegality of the way it was obtained ….

    I don’t understand this Mr. Caldwell. Can you explain?
    Is the Judge denying the defense from procuring the original warrant issued?

  8. #8 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    I like how some people think those who believe in creationism are dumb. Nothing like intellectual elitism to get your day going. In that short clip, she didn’t explain how she thought the universe was designed, like Bible Adam-and-Eve or God-before-Big-Bang or something esle…

    I cannot fault her for believing in something if she is honest about it. Beliefs cannot be argued, so logic and reason cannot be used to sway them. What gets me is how “educated” folks just like to jump up and down, pointing out how foolish those “simpletons” are.

  9. #9 |  Dr X | 

    You may recall that they visited this before along with question of whether the earth is flat.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNC117UYsHs

  10. #10 |  Sydney Carton | 

    Tim,

    I guess you’re one of those atheists who doesn’t think that religion has anything to do with reason. Gee, I guess that means the the Suma Theologica is nothing more than nursery rhymes, or that Sir Thomas Moore was an idiot.

    Like I said, people use evolution as a means to bash people’s beliefs. If it weren’t evolution, it’d be something else. People are religious. Deal with it.

  11. #11 |  Zeb | 

    You are right, Mike, they are not dumb or stupid. Just ass ignorant and often willfully so.

    There is no conflict between religion and science. Too many people just fail to understand what science is (scientists included).

  12. #12 |  Rick Caldwell | 

    OneByTheCee,

    Fixed it. It was poorly worded.

  13. #13 |  Zeb | 

    Sydney, some people who are not religious like to bash other people’s religious beliefs. Deal with it.

  14. #14 |  James D | 

    Your wasting your breath around here Mike … its sad that libertarians have become so interwined with atheists ….. to me, the 2 viewpoints couldn’t be further apart.

    People who believe completely in evolution (speciation, not micro-evolution/adaptation) and the ‘big bang’ believe that: (with evolution) something with less complexity ‘magically’ becomes more complex (which modern/measurable science actually shows is the opposite – in many ways we are DEvolving if anything) and that (with the big bang) – everying came from literally ‘nothing’. How is that NOT religion.

    Anyone who supports that and then defends it by saying “but it’s in a ‘peer-reviewed’ science journal” or such is no different to me than the nut waving his bible on the corner telling you that you’re going to hell.

  15. #15 |  Dr X | 

    And a history lesson:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psGLXqW1kUs&feature=related

  16. #16 |  Zeb | 

    James,
    I find plenty of religious libertarians in various online forums. You seem to be one of those who deeply misunderstands science, though. An (honest) scientist will say “I don’t know what came before the big bang” and does not claim that everything came from nothing. Any reasonably thoughtful (and honest) scientist will admit that the big bang theory leaves many questions unanswered and does not address the question of the initial cause of it all. The massive difference between science and religion is that while a good scientist will say “I don’t know” a religious person will say “God did it” and will actually believe that that means something other than “I don’t know”.
    If being religious is your preferred way of describing the universe, please, carry on, but don’t come out with this nonsense about science just being another religion. You are mis-characterizing science and scientifically minded people and mis-understanding what science is and does.

  17. #17 |  Les | 

    People who believe completely in evolution (speciation, not micro-evolution/adaptation) and the ‘big bang’ believe that: (with evolution) something with less complexity ‘magically’ becomes more complex (which modern/measurable science actually shows is the opposite – in many ways we are DEvolving if anything) and that (with the big bang) – everying came from literally ‘nothing’. How is that NOT religion.

    That would be like religion if that’s what evolutionary biologists believed. But it’s not what they believe, so your question is moot.

    The fact is that macro-evolution and the big bang are as firmly established as the age of the earth.

    Whether or not these things happened by design or accident is unknowable to science, because science deals with the observable. But it’s important to remember that a good percentage of scientists who accept that macro-evolution and the big bang are as firmly established as the age of the earth also believe in God. And most of them believe that “intelligent design theory” is not scientific. Maybe because they understand the difference between science and faith and know that both suffer when mixed.

  18. #18 |  Kwix | 

    People who believe completely in evolution (speciation, not micro-evolution/adaptation) and the ‘big bang’ believe that: (with evolution) something with less complexity ‘magically’ becomes more complex (which modern/measurable science actually shows is the opposite – in many ways we are DEvolving if anything) and that (with the big bang) – everying came from literally ‘nothing’. How is that NOT religion.

    James,
    You clearly do not understand evolution or the scientific effort that goes into discovering exactly what it is and how it works. Speciation is no different than adaptation except in degree of comparison. A crocodile is closer to a caiman than a bald eagle is. They are definitely different species yet very closely related (the avians and reptiles). Scientists long suspected this, and recent DNA testing has enabled them to delve further into the changing of species.

    Saying that “we are not 100% sure” how a thing like life from the big bang occurs or exactly how a species differentiates itself is not the same as saying “it magically happened”. Science strives to answer the questions, religion simply says “because it is”.

  19. #19 |  OneByTheCee | 

    #12 | Rick Caldwell
    OneByTheCee,
    Fixed it. It was poorly worded.

    Mr. Caldwell:

    Thank you for your efforts but now the link isn’t working.
    Sorry :)

  20. #20 |  angulimala | 

    James D,

    You are 100% wrong if you think that belief in the Big Bang means belief that something came from nothing.

    It’s not that we know “nothing” existed before the big bang, it’s that we have no way of knowing what may have existed. The big bang is the oldest event we can “observe” indirectly. Anything that may have been around before then is, as of now, completely hidden from our observations and, therefore, completely worthless to speculate about. We can speculate that the universe was filled with Mayonaise for all the good it does it … there is no way to prove or disprove it.

    It is NOT at all a “religion” to say “There is no way to know what caused the big bang and I’m not going to waste my time pulling idle speculations from my nether regions just to satisfy people who want answers to unanswerable questions”.

  21. #21 |  Rick Caldwell | 

    http://ifaq.us/2008/12/15/preliminary-hearing-ryan-frderick-case

    I fixed a spelling error in the title, and the URL changed with it. :-p

  22. #22 |  Sydney Carton | 

    Zeb,

    People who like to “bash” other people’s religious beliefs are called bigots. I deal with them by laughing at them or ignoring them.

    Do you really think it’s a good idea to link libertarianism to atheism? I mean, really? How much more marginalized do you want to become?

  23. #23 |  Les | 

    People who like to “bash” other people’s religious beliefs are called bigots.

    No, no. People who judge other people based on their religion are bigoted. But if I “bash” the belief that God sends good people to Hell to suffer for an eternity, or that God killed millions of men, women, and children in a flood, or that the penalty for working on the Sabbath is death, that’s not bigotry. That’s simply criticizing specific beliefs.

  24. #24 |  Former Army | 

    The Big Bang Theory says absolutely nothing about what came before the Big Bang. It most definitely has nothing to say about gods. In fact, the theory was originally proposed by a Catholic priest, and it was supposedly mocked by Einstein for its Creationist undertones (though he probably had a bigger issue with the fact that it conflicted with his idea of a steady-state universe). And anybody who says a thing of lesser complexity cannot become a thing of greater complexity has obviously never heard of a snowflake. It is by no means a rare occurrence.

  25. #25 |  Radley Balko | 

    People who like to “bash” other people’s religious beliefs are called bigots. I deal with them by laughing at them or ignoring them.

    Do you really think it’s a good idea to link libertarianism to atheism? I mean, really? How much more marginalized do you want to become?

    Do you see what you did there?

    Apparently it’s not bigoted to mock people for their lack of religious belief, eh?

  26. #26 |  Michael | 

    I love it how cruel, both professing Christians and non-Christians can be. Some things would be better off un-said. But, no! Lets get on here and run our mouths about how stupid we think people who are different than us are! This is one of the few times I am disgusted with this site! Too many Christians are judgmental! (against everything their religion calls for). What do the athiests think about being judgemental. Nothing! They, all, think OJ deserves his imprisonment because he “killed his wife”! I don’t know about that, since I was not there and it was not recorded on video tape!. The entire society is going to hell in a handbasket and maybe this earth and its population will soon self-terminate anyway! People with faith have to be smart enugh to know that science and “faith” are not interchangable. Blind faith is letting go of all preconceptions. Science is fact. Evolution and global warming still argued by scientists. So much for facts! Its all screwed up!

  27. #27 |  angulimala | 

    I think this calls for a paraphrase of the Parable of the Poison Arrow

    Science: “I have not taught that the world is eternal. I have not taught that the world is not eternal. I have not taught that the world is finite. I have not taught that the world is infinite. I have not taught that the soul and the body are the same. I have not taught that the soul and the body are different. I have not taught that the liberated/saved person exists after death. I have not taught that he does not exist after death. I have not taught that he both exists and does not exist after death; that he neither exists nor does not exist after death.

    “Why have I not taught all this? Because all this is useless, it has nothing to do with the practical world, it does not lead to useful knowledge, to technological advancement, to a better world. That is why I have not taught all this.

  28. #28 |  Kevin Carson | 

    I’m fairly familiar with many of the creationist arguments. James D.’s reference to a belief that complex systems “magically” evolved from less complex systems sounds like what he has in mind is the creationists’ comically bowdlerized misreading of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    Evolution doesn’t contradict the Second Law, any more than the growth of a flower from a seed. Everyone agrees that, absent new inputs of energy, the universe as a whole is governed by entropy. Examples of negative entropy, like evolution, occur in special local circumstances like the energy inputs from a sun.

    From what I’ve seen, the creationist argument takes a “kitchen sink” approach based on grasping at all the anomalies as yet not fully explained by science, along with a gross misreading of what science actually does say (the Second Law is a case in point).

  29. #29 |  OneByTheCee | 

    #21 | Rick Caldwell
    http://ifaq.us/2008/12/15/preliminary-hearing-ryan-frderick-case
    I fixed a spelling error in the title, and the URL changed with it. :-p

    Thank you.

  30. #30 |  claude | 

    Another Ryan Frederick link from todays hearing:

    http://www.wvec.com/news/topstories/stories/wvec_local_121508_frederick_testimony.6663ea23.html

  31. #31 |  James D | 

    I love how everyone here is so high-minded and speaks of scientists that admit “I don’t know”. But that is not the realist of modern science. Just like with the Global Warming nonsense, the debate is ‘over’ to most in the scientific community. There is no science or discussion. You make it sound like everyone is open to talk about it, but that simply isn’t true. There are a lot of ‘in the closet’ scientists who believe in some sort of ID but can’t dare mention it because of their job (my wife, a former biochemist was one of them).

    The fact that 20 people jumped down my throat immediately just proves how indoctrinated our school systems have made us all too. I too was once a mindless public school drone. Talk to someone who IS open-minded and has truly studied some of this stuff. Human beings are Devolving …. we are ‘lesser’ creatures than our ancestors.

    And Kevin, I was NOT talking about the Second Law of Thermodynamics … I was referring to the fact the measurable differences in our human ancestors actually shows our DNA to be inferior.

  32. #32 |  angulimala | 

    I was referring to the fact the measurable differences in our human ancestors actually shows our DNA to be inferior.

    What do you mean by “inferior” and what, specifically, in the DNA shows this?

  33. #33 |  Benjamin | 

    Why can’t atheists “bash” the religious? It’s okay to come on here and bash socialists. It’s okay to bash any political party. Why not religion? It’s socially acceptable to bash political or economic theories, but not the theories of creation or the supposed word of God. What gives?

    They all seem fair game to me.

  34. #34 |  angulimala | 

    I love how everyone here is so high-minded and speaks of scientists that admit “I don’t know”….. You make it sound like everyone is open to talk about it, but that simply isn’t true.

    I don’t know what color shit some guy in China is wearing but I’m also not open to talking about it because it would be a giant waste of my time.

    Same with talking about what was before or may have “caused” the Big Bang.

  35. #35 |  angulimala | 

    I meant to say “shirt”.

    Sorry for the accidental expletive. :)

  36. #36 |  James D | 

    I’ll also add that, to me, it seems pretty ignorant when everyone equates an ID talk with bible-thumping, fundamentalist christians who are here to take away your music/porn/sex toys/etc ….. I’ll keep ‘religion’ out of the discussion if you can too. I happen to be an admitted Christian, but I don’t need goverment to force someone else to follow me in any way. I think someone with a little more power will deal with people when they are ready (and we are all just sinners anyways).

    I just have a problem with science ‘thoery’ being treated as fact.

  37. #37 |  Ted | 

    “I just have a problem with science ‘thoery’ being treated as fact.”

    Ahh the classic straw man. A theory is a tested hypothesis. It describes expected outcomes that can be tested/measured against. To try and some how belittle it because it isnt a fact is a favorite tactic of the creationist/ID people. Look do you think gravity is a “theory being treated as a fact”?

    One of the best things to remember about science is this. If you test something and it comes out as predicted you have made an observation/measurement. If however the results turn out to be contrary to what you have predicted, you have made a discovery. Scienetists love discoveries because it means there is something more going on then they supposed.

    Contrast this with creationist/ID/Religious people who are not at all open to ideas that dont jive with their view of the universe.

  38. #38 |  chancelikely | 

    James D:”I just have a problem with science ‘thoery’ being treated as fact.”

    So do I. Theories are better than facts. Theories explain facts. Saying that an overarching explanation for the diversity of life like the modern synthesis of the theory of evolution is on the same level as a fact is doing a grave disservice to the ToE.

    The real problem is people taking the layman “wild ass guess” definition of theory and pretending that it’s the same thing as the scientific definition.

  39. #39 |  Jeff | 

    “it seems pretty ignorant when everyone equates an ID talk with bible-thumping, fundamentalist christian”

    Who do you think is pushing the ID talk. ID is creationism with a better sounding name. ID instead of saying I do not know how something came about states that some mysterious designer did it. That is not science, that is making stuff up to justify your ignorance.

  40. #40 |  Les | 

    James, you need to look up the words “theory” and “bigotry.”

    (and we are all just sinners anyways)

    And please, speak for yourself.

  41. #41 |  angulimala | 

    ID is creationism with a better sounding name.

    Thats not entirely fair.

    Its true that the ID Movement is a front for Biblical Creationism. However, a lot of people don’t really know that and when they hear ID on the news think of themselves as “ID supporters” because they do kind of believe that there is a God somewhere behind the creation of the universe and life on earth.

    That is, of course, partly why the movement picked the term.

  42. #42 |  Sydney Carton | 

    Les,

    It’s fine to criticize beliefs, but most people involved in “bashing” are in fact making various assumptions about religious people.

    Radley,

    Who’s mocking? I asked a legitimate question. A marginalized political philosophy won’t have much success if it’s tied to atheism. That’s just a fact of life. People don’t like their religious beliefs being attacked, by atheists and certainly not by a political party. Last I checked, small government had nothing to do with whether you went to Church or not. Why anyone would want to deliberately tie a governing philosophy to a religion or lack of one is beyond me, especially if it’s a philosophy that has limited success at the ballot box.

    But go ahead. Go proclaim that only atheists can be libertarians. Good luck.

  43. #43 |  Les | 

    It’s fine to criticize beliefs, but most people involved in “bashing” are in fact making various assumptions about religious people.

    But that’s a quality hardly unique to atheists or agnostics. I mean, aren’t you assuming that bashing a religious belief means judging people with those beliefs? Aren’t you making an assumption about non-religious people?

    But go ahead. Go proclaim that only atheists can be libertarians. Good luck.

    Has Radley or anyone else here ever suggested such a thing?

  44. #44 |  Robin | 

    #25-Our gracious host–“Apparently it’s not bigoted to mock people for their lack of religious belief, eh?”

    Yeah, well, we’re all a bunch of bigots, aren’t we? The term doesn’t necessarily have to carry such a severe connotation, especially when it comes to “mocking” a belief or a lack thereof. And that’s the trouble with atheism: it is a lack of religious belief, really masquerading as something affirmative, wholly and sadly dependent on this fundamentally political dialectic. Anything Richard Dawkins and his British accent have to say about the giant spagetti monster is equally inane as to this re-hashing of William Paley’s childish watchmaker analogy.

  45. #45 |  Warren | 

    The Universe was created by gay marriage in seven [I]just fabulous[/I] days.

  46. #46 |  Robin | 

    Evolutionary theory likes to take credit for what is necessarily presupposed by science–that there is a causal explanation for how things change in the world. The only real discovery in this regard, if you can call it that, is that a “species” is not exempt from this. The Theory of Natural Selection made absolutely no contribution to discovering how this actually occurs, constructing a working theory of inheritance, which Mendel was tirelessly working at contemporaneously, laying the groundwork for modern genetics. If you think that taking “evolution” out of the classrooms is going to cost our children something in terms of their scientific education, then, well, you’re wrong. What they perhaps will miss out on is a bit of materialist indoctrination, which of course they’ll still receive elsewhere, perhaps in History when learning about the farce that was the Scopes Monkey trial. The problem with creationists is that instead of attacking this propaganda on its merits they try and replace it with something equally misleading and inappropriate. I believe that instead of all this nonsense we could give kids a philosophy class, at the time when they’re most curious about such things, and present theism and atheism, and materialism, and idealism, all these ideas in the light of day to be discussed with a good nature and genuine curiosity. For the record I’m not religious. And I know that I sound like a nut.

  47. #47 |  Rationalist | 

    Cognitive intelligence is just a tiny part of the universe. It’s obviously the center of our own observable universe, but I see no more reason to project a human-like intelligent creator/manager as behind the universe as a whole than there is to assume there’s a human-like intelligence behind anything else non-human.

  48. #48 |  The_Chef | 

    The transcendental argument for a higher being has yet to be dealt with by the atheist philosophical movement. It still stands and it’s a powerful statement when the likes of Anthony Flew a noted anti-theist philosopher actually walk away from their former views and say, “No, something else has to be out there.”

    I believe in something bigger, we can call it “God” if you’d like, but I’m not going to pick a religion and it’s associated dogma.

  49. #49 |  Former Army | 

    And that’s the trouble with atheism: it is a lack of religious belief, really masquerading as something affirmative, wholly and sadly dependent on this fundamentally political dialectic.

    What type of dressing would you like on your word salad?

  50. #50 |  supercat | 

    To my mind, the diversity of life on this planet could not have resulted merely from currently understood causal mechanisms, nor even from anything close to them; the most logical explanation is that there exists or existed some causal factor which is quite unlike anything that has been understood and analyzed. Whether that causal factor is a god or other deity, a corporeal extra-terrestrial entity, or something completely ineffable is at this point a matter of pure speculation.

    In many systems, analysis of the present state may suggest that the system previously held some other identifiable state. In some cases, the inference is strong enough to be regarded as a certainty. In far more cases, it may be regarded as likely correct, but hardly definite. If there are multiple initial conditions which could all result in the observed state, then unless further observations would eliminate some of the possibilities, proving that a particular state existed will be impossible.

    Those who suggest that evolution is a mechanism that contributes to biodiversity can point to modern evidence that it has done so even within recorded history. Those who would suggest that it is the sole mechanism behind biodiversity, however, are extrapolating far beyond what the evidence would justify.

  51. #51 |  Robin | 

    #48–former army
    2 hard cooked egg yolks
    1/2 cup peanut oil
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest (lemon peel)
    1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
    1/8 teaspoon paprika
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (or black)
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced

  52. #52 |  Ted | 

    The_Chef, finding a single case (and one that the creationist community has latched onto with a vengenace) at best offers, well not very much. Its a single case of one person, in their old age changing their mind. Whatever, he is free to do so.

    But that doesnt change anything. Let me ask you a question (this is to anyone). Do you believe in ghosts? Why? What evidence has been produced to support their exsistence? Do you believe in vampires? Why? What evidence has been produced to support their exsistence? Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy? Why? What evidence has been produced to support their exsistence?

    Now if they are all just stories, what evidence is there to believe in a god that isnt of the exact same nature as the above? If you do believe in a god, and lets say its the Christian one, why dont you belive in say the Allah or the Hindu pantheon or maybe some Norse Paganism? If you are going to belive in 1 god why dont you belive in them all, and again, what tangible evidence have you for their exsistence.

    An important point to remember, athiests propose there is no god because there is no evidence to support one. But if he showed up tomorrow or hard evidence was found they would be willing to change their tune. They are based on evidence. Faith whoever when confronted by a refutation of their claims simply switches to a different arguement.

  53. #53 |  Nando | 

    Wow, I don’t log on for a few hours and this is what I come back to.

    First of all, let me put out a bit about myself so that my “belief” becomes clear.

    I grew up Roman Catholic.
    I attended Catholic school for 11 years (2-12th grades)
    I was baptized, confirmed, and married in the Catholic Church.
    I am an agnostic (not an atheist, an agnostic).

    Both the words “atheist” and “agnostic” come from the greek. Obviously, an a-theist is someone who denies any form of god exists (a as in “anti” or not and theos from the geek for god) and an a-gnostic is someone who just doesn’t know one way or the other (a as in “anti” or not and gnostos from the greek for knowledge).

    I don’t claim to know what came before the big bang or if there is a god who designed everything (intelligently or not). I just don’t think there is enough evidence either way to sway my decision.

    That being said, why can’t people just accept a compromise. Yes, there was a big bang and everything evolved from a single cell 4.5 billion years ago but it was all God’s plan for it to happen this way. I see no reason to deny that God (again, not that I believe in one) had a plan and it was for everything to evolve and become rather than be created a single way and then never change. To me, it just increases the grandeur of that God. I would certainly think more highly of an entity who planned it all out than of one who just snapped his fingers and everything was created the way it is now. As a matter of fact, as imperfect as our world is, it stands to explain how a perfect being didn’t create a perfect world (which is philosophically impossible since creating something imperfect would make that being not perfect). If God created it to eventually end in perfection through trials, changes, and tests, then that would give the religious people more comfort in this world.

    As for “devolving,” that is nothing more than evolution. Movement doesn’t always have to be forward. It would explain the ToE much better if we were adapting to our environment, even if that meant going back to where we started.

    Anywho, those are just my .02 cents.

  54. #54 |  Nando | 

    Ted, see my post for what an atheist and an agnostic is. Atheists deny a god, agnostics simply don’t know because there is no proof either way.

  55. #55 |  Bronwyn | 

    I see James D never read any of the reading assignments I gave him months ago.

    Give it up, friends. People can’t have a decent debate when one party doesn’t even have a decent command of the pertinent vocabulary or a comprehensive familiarity with the data.

    Once again, whether you like Dawkins or hate him, The Ancestor’s Tale is a must-read for anyone who wants to have this argument about the evidence for the evolution of species.

  56. #56 |  Sam | 

    “magic”
    http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoMutations.html

    I don’t really care if god did it or not. Science is only about observing. Religion is about tying the observable to the invisible. They’re only related if you’re trying to prove a point with bullshit.
    Time frames are the only place religion and science clash. Science says “our observations show that x should take about 6 billion years”, religion says “our book says it took a couple of thousand years”. Other than that there ain’t really an argument, people just like being idiots. Science could be wrong in that the baselines we use (like the decay rate of radioactive nitrogen) might change over the span of a billion years or so (pretty freaking unlikely, but hey) and religion could be wrong in that people have this nasty habit of writing things that ain’t true.
    When I did research I didn’t get to say “god decides” when trying to determine the exponent of Arrhenius’ law for icosahedral boron crystal evolution, and when I talk about a soul I don’t get to say “I can’t observe it, it doesn’t exist!” (yes, I know idiots on the ‘science’ side who use that argument, they’re as bad as the idiots on the religious side using the ‘god decides’ argument).

    If god exists, he did it how the hell he wanted to and science gets to observe what’s left. If he doesn’t, science still observes what’s left. Could we please move the dumbass religion v. science debate back to the smoky room on usenet?

  57. #57 |  mike | 

    First define God. After we agree on that we can move on to discuss his/her/its role in creating the universe.

  58. #58 |  Nando | 

    That’s exactly right, Sam. The problem is that some people think that because we can’t prove one thing doesn’t exist then we have proven that it does. No, all we’ve done is proven that it MIGHT exist. The same goes the other way. If you cannot observe something, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t real, merely that we don’t know HOW to observe it yet. We might learn how to observe it 10, 50, or 100 years hence, but we cannot say something doesn’t exist or cannot happen merely because we cannot observe it.

    However, the good thing about science is that if someone walks in with proof (and a few valid experiments) that long-held beliefs were wrong and founded on erroneous evidence, all scientists would observe the data, do some tests, and redraw their conclusions. This cannot happen in the religious world because we just don’t have definite proof. One of the great mysteries of life is that we cannot explain some of it’s mysteries.

  59. #59 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “Beliefs cannot be argued…”

    Dogma is one of the most destructive characteristics of mankind. And, it is real hard to evade if you don’t have any tools between the ears.

    ================================================

    Ron Burgundy: Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale’s vagina.
    Veronica Corningstone: No, there’s no way that’s correct.
    Burgundy: I’m sorry, I was trying to impress you. I don’t know what it means. I’ll be honest, I don’t think anyone knows what it means anymore. Scholars maintain that the translation was lost hundreds of years ago.
    Veronica: Doesn’t it mean Saint Diego?
    Burgundy: No. No.
    Veronica: No, that’s – that’s what it means. Really.
    Burgundy: Agree to disagree.

  60. #60 |  James D | 

    Nando, you’re wasting your time … there’s too much arrogance around here.

  61. #61 |  Nick T | 

    People, People!!?

    Can’t we all just agree that Elizabeth Hasslebeck is f#!@ing moron?

  62. #62 |  The_Chef | 

    Ted, there are no philosophical arguments that support the idea of ghosts or vampires. There are plenty of them to support a “God”.

    Jesus, first time I’ve ever gotten a few (-) votes here. I’m not going to take the time to go over the arguments pro and con. If you don’t want to believe in a god, by all means believe what you want. I simply find it impossible that the world is only matter. Materialism has some very … anti-libertarian implications anyway.

    There’s no evidence for dark matter either. It’s only the actions of Matter and absence of matter in certain locations that cause scientists to assume that such “matter” must exist.

  63. #63 |  Robin | 

    If the word “God” doesn’t have any meaning for you, then don’t use it. Don’t cry out over a lack of evidence of something, that you think is senseless to begin with. And don’t presume that someone who feels differently is referring to a Santa Clause with lazer beam eyes; you don’t have much evidence of that either. When athiests do this they are being disrespectful, not because they don’t believe in God, but because they don’t make an allowance for anyone else believing in it without being some kind of moron. Because the athiests’ conception of God is most often pretty moronic e.g., akin to vampires, ghosts, etc. Ha, negative feedback here we go!

  64. #64 |  chancelikely | 

    Robin: Atheists probably got the conception of god from theists. Vampire? Nah, Jesus isn’t a vampire, it’s the other way around. People eat his blood. Ghost? Well, there goes trinitarian doctrine.

    I would love to see a non-moronic version of God that isn’t a variation on “you don’t know either” or “turned the crank on the Rube Goldberg machine of existence”.

  65. #65 |  Robin | 

    #64–Chancelikely

    Well, there are mystical conceptions of God, including the neo-platonists for whom God was a re-ified conception of the nothingness, or non-being, which is all that can be outside of the entirety of Being, or the universe, all that could give rise to it. There are many different pantheistic notions of God, held by Leibnitz and others, equating it with the unchanging whole of reality, the ontological Being. God is a word that often comes up when we face the limits of what we can conceptualize, and some people use it in a thoughtful way, while acknowledging its failings. Soul and God are terms that I, at least, am tempted to use when trying to describe a sense of mystery and beauty that is in my experience pertaining to what and where I am, but can’t be quantified in such a way as to provide sound evidentiary support. Scientific materialism doesn’t have a monopoly on ideas, and its important to recognize that there are other authentic ways of thinking about the world. I recommend reading some Kierkegaard as a substitute for the circular debates you like to get into with church going religious people.

  66. #66 |  chancelikely | 

    Robin #65:

    It seems when you define God that way, you’ve moved a good distance away from the god that a) people worship and b) interacts in any discernible way with observable reality. Perhaps that’s your point.

    But an awful lot of people are worshiping that Santa-vampire-ghost and (to bring it back to Hasselbeck) trying to take steps to guarantee that children in public schools mentally search-and-replace every “We don’t know” with “God did it”. Given what we know of the ID movement (wedge document, assorted chicanery), they’re only this close to your version of God because the version they want to teach fails the establishment clause.

  67. #67 |  Robin | 

    #66 Chancelikely–

    Agreed. Religion is made up of both superstition and belief; some people latch on to one more than the other. Sorry about the snide remark at the end of my last comment. You see, I’m in love with myself.

  68. #68 |  Rationalist | 

    Atheist or theist is a binary choice. “Agnostic” is not some third way between the two, because it answers a completely different question- whether or not you think the existence of a deity is *knowable*. Once you answer that question, you still have to decide whether or not you *believe* in a supernatural deity. If you do not actively believe- because belief is an affirmative action- then you are an atheist, regardless of of whether or not you think it’s theoretically possible that there is a deity.

  69. #69 |  Kwix | 

    #60 | James D | December 16th, 2008 at 11:51 am
    Nando, you’re wasting your time … there’s too much arrogance around here.

    Huh, that’s funny. You seem to love telling people they are wasting their time. I, like Nando, am agnostic. I happen to agree with just about everything he has so far posted on this thread.

    You, not so much. You started laying into your strawman of Atheists and by extension those who hold stock in the scientific method and the theory of evolution. You belittled the work of the entire scientific community by claiming that those who believe in evolution were the “magic” believing equivalent of a bible thumping fundamentalist.

    Lastly, and most importantly, you stated that atheism is the antithesis of libertarianism, a charge you have yet to demonstrate because you know it to be false.

    I see, based on other comments on this thread, that this is not the first time you have played the obtuse zealot card, nor do I expect it will be the last. So, enough of this. I call an end to your shenanigans. Per Radley’s request this will be my last comment directed at a fellow reader of this blog. From now on, my comments will be strictly directed to the owner of this blog and no others. I request that everyone else do the same so that we may keep these comments open in the future.

  70. #70 |  Jim | 

    I don’t think Radley requested anything like that, but just to keep the conversations civil, right?

  71. #71 |  Warren | 

    I don’t believe in agnostics, but it is possible that there might be atheists.

  72. #72 |  Danno49 | 

    So God is Donna Karan? Who knew?

  73. #73 |  Gabriel | 

    My complaint about those who try to distinguish ID from creationism is that ID doesn’t do anything except push the question back a generation.

    If the complexity of human life could not have arisen spontaneously by natural processes, then it requires that there be some agency which designed it. But where did this agency come from? Either it arose spontaneously, or it was designed. If it was designed, then there’s yet another agent behind it… which either arose spontaneously or was designed. The end result of this logic chain is that the first agent arose spontaneously. Either that first agent arose through natural processes, or it is supernatural.

    If the first agent arose through natural processes, then there are no religious implications: life began randomly on some other planet, via some method that the ID types won’t find “irreducibly complex”, and then seeded life on Earth. That would be interesting, but hardly worth the zealotry we see on both sides of the argument. The reason people get worked up is because they agress and assume that the first cause under discussion is supernatural… in which case ID is philosophically identical to creationism.

    And, since it’s a logical certainty, given that humankind exists, that either we or some ID forbear arose spontaneously, there’s no compelling reason to believe that we could not have been the spontaneous phenomenon. If it’s impossible for human life to have arisen spontaneously, then it’s even more impossible for a god to have arisen spontaneously, since gods are more complex than people.

Leave a Reply