Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Kitzmas!


It's been ten years since the landmark decision of Kitzmiller v. Dover was handed down, the case that exposed the religious fraud of that absurd pseudoscience, "intelligent design". The ID movement, and especially its "think tank", the Discovery Institute, has never recovered.

I had the honor of meeting the lead plaintiff, Tammy Kitzmiller, a few years ago at one of the trial reunion parties. (I played an extremely minor role in the case, meeting with the lawyers for the plaintiffs and preparing as a possible rebuttal witness, but I never appeared in court because one person on the other side never testified.) A more pleasant and modest (yet determined!) person you can't imagine. In fact, all the people involved in the case in various ways, including Eric Rothschild, Nick Matzke, Steve Harvey, Kenneth Miller, Wes Elsberry, Genie Scott, and Lauri Lebo are about the nicest and most interesting people I've ever met. The contrast with the other side couldn't be more stark.

Ten years later, what's happening? Well, the Discovery Institute and their friends continue to churn out lies pretty much unabated, but nobody's listening any more. Even the "academic wing" of intelligent design seems to have given up. Bill Dembski just threw in the towel. At the same time Casey Luskin tries to boast about all the scientific work published by ID advocates, the flagship scientific journal for the movement has only published a single paper in calendar year 2015, despite getting a new editor and having an editorial board with 29 members.

There's just so long you can keep up this charade.

Meanwhile, the same nasty, deplorable tactics that renamed the Discovery Institute the "Dishonesty Institute" continue unabated. When one of the Kitzmiller team recently got a paper accepted to Science, one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals, all the Discovery Institute (and their slavering friends) could do is make ridiculous and groundless insinuations about misconduct. Truly, they have no shame at all.

Why do the ID folks behave so reprehensibly, over and over again? Of course, it has nothing at all do with science. They behave this way because they are motivated solely by their conservative religious beliefs. Recently a window opened on the ID world view, when one creationist was so disillusioned by their behavior that he posted a private e-mail message from ID advocate Barry Arrington that clearly revealed their motives. Arrington wrote

"We are in a war. That is not a metaphor. We are fighting a war for the soul of Western Civilization, and we are losing, badly. In the summer of 2015 we find ourselves in a position very similar to Great Britain’s position 75 years ago in the summer of 1940 – alone, demoralized, and besieged on all sides by a great darkness that constitutes an existential threat to freedom, justice and even rationality itself."

When you view your opponents this way, then no tactic is off limits. Lying is permissible because otherwise the "great darkness" will win. Insulting, making insinuations, likening your opponents to Nazis or Communists or fascists are all perfectly fine tactics, because your opponents constitute "an existential threat to freedom" and "justice". Treating your opponents as subhuman is ok, because after all, they threaten "rationality itself". And of course, they never, ever, admit they were wrong about anything.

I feel sorry for the ID folks today, I really do. Ten years after Kitzmiller, ID advocates are like the Millerites on October 23 1844, when their predicted triumphal ascent into heaven didn't happen. They are wandering around feeling puzzled and alone, and it's natural that they will lash out against any available target in an effort to cure their misery. It won't work, I'm afraid. Intelligent design is, for all practical purposes dead. Prop up the corpse all you want -- it won't work.

Meanwhile, science and evolutionary theory continue unabated. Those of us who enjoy and respect science (and there are lots!) continue to think about and solve interesting problems. The joy of discovery is genuine for us. May you find it, too.

So, to you and yours, I wish you a very merry Kitzmas.

197 comments:

Gingerbaker said...

I don't feel bad for them. For people who can't think very well, a lot of them have earned a living well above their pay grade by scamming the suckers for donations.

And that is what most religionists are all about - the kale, the do-re-mi, the cabbage, the Cheddar, the Long Green. Look at Bill Donohue - the eternally outraged spokesman for the Catholic 'League' - the man makes over $400,000 per year salary alone.

Casey Luskin et al are carnies, carnival barkers, spielers. That they believe their spiel doesn't make their spiel any less dishonest, ironically it actually makes it easier to fleece the sheep.

mregnor said...

A 'scientist' celebrating a judicial decision that censors scientific inquiry.

Quite a commentary on the current state of science.

Question, Shallit: what part of the Constitution did Dover's one minute statement to students violate?

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/12/a_reflection_on101661.html

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Egnor, how can such a smart person like you be so consistently full of shit?

Dover didn't censor anything at all; it prevented the government from endorsing religion. No scientist was affected by the decision in the slightest; it was about the captive audience of a high school. You know pefectly well what part of the Constitution was violated by the Dover policy: the part about "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Stop being coy; you're not fooling anyone.

Why can't your flagship 'scientific' journal publish more than one article in the year 2015? Because the whole thing is a charade.

mregnor said...

[Dover didn't censor anything at all]

Of course it was censorship. Jones ruled that any teacher or administrator who read the paragraph to the students, or who endorsed ID, or who "disparaged' Darwinism, would be guilty of a federal crime (US Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 21, section 401). Violation of a federal court injunction carries fines and prison time. What part of that isn't censorship?

[it prevented the government from endorsing religion.]

Where in the Constitution is endorsement of religion by government forbidden? What religion did the Dover paragraph endorse? Episcopalianism? Catholicism? Judaism? Wicca? Be specific.

[No scientist was affected by the decision in the slightest; it was about the captive audience of a high school.]

The audience is captive regardless of the paragraph. Which religion were they now captive to? Since the paragraph was read, which students were converted to the new religion via their captivity?

[You know pefectly well what part of the Constitution was violated by the Dover policy: the part about "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion".]

An establishment of religion is a federal church, like the Anglican Church in England.

Did reading the paragraph establish a federal church? Which church? Where was the church located? When were worship services? Do American history books now have to say that for a period of time circa 2005 America had a federal established church, with its headquarters in Dover, Pa?

The actual First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Did Congress meet at the school board meeting in Dover? Was the paragraph a federal law?

I'm fascinated that establishing a federal religion is so easy. Anyone can do it. Just tell a class of high school kids that Darwin's theory is a theory, and that ID is another theory, and by doing so you are now acting as Congress and have passed a law and we now have a new federal church. Amazing.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

What part of that isn't censorship?

You know perfectly well what part; quit pretending that you don't. You know perfectly well the decision relates to speech of teachers or school officials acting in their official capacity, not as private citizens. Quit lying.

Where in the Constitution is endorsement of religion by government forbidden?

You know perfectly well where it is forbidden and I quoted the relevant part to you. Quit lying.

What religion did the Dover paragraph endorse?

Read the decision. It's spelled out in detail there, page 26. Quit lying.

Was the paragraph a federal law?

You know perfectly well that the 1st amendment was applied to the states through the 14th amendment. Quit lying.

You're behaving in a really unhinged fashion. You've asked these questions over and over again in various fora, and actual lawyers have explained the answers to you multiple times, yet you don't learn anything. It is the definition of insanity. Get help, seriously.

I know you're all hurt over how badly your side lost in Kitzmiller, but get over it. You guys lost. Get a life.

mregnor said...

[You know perfectly well the decision relates to speech of teachers or school officials acting in their official capacity, not as private citizens. Quit lying.]

I see. So a federal judge ordering a government employee not to criticize a scientific theory on the job, on pain of fine or imprisonment, isn't censorship. That's a relief.

[You know perfectly well where [endorsement of religion] is forbidden and I quoted the relevant part to you]

Where? After all, the government employs chaplains, writes "In God We Trust" on money, inhabits federal and state buildings with religious inscriptions all over them (eg The Lincoln Memorial is full of religious inscriptions), the President holds prayer breakfasts, and he says "God Bless America" at the end of his speeches. The Declaration of Independence, which the Supreme Court ruled is the basis for our Constitution, explicitly credits Our Creator for our inalienable rights. The First Amendment is an endorsement of religion--it guarantees free exercise of religion, which is obviously an endorsement.
So again, I ask: where in the Constitution does it prohibit endorsement of religion by a government employee?

[You know perfectly well that the 1st amendment was applied to the states through the 14th amendment.]

The incorporation clause has been subject to various interpretations. It was never ruled to extend to religion until Everson, a century later. That interpretation has been subject to intense criticism, including from Justice Thomas. The problem is that the Establishment Clause is inherently an anti-incorporation clause--it forbids the federal government from establishing federal "rules of religion". Therefore it can't be "incorporated" to the states, because it denies the federal government the power of "incorporation" on religious matters. You can't incorporate an anti-incorporation clause.

[I know you're all hurt over how badly your side lost in Kitzmiller]

When you need a judicial ruling to protect your myth from scrutiny you admit defeat. Is you theory so fragile that it will not withstand a single paragraph and the scrutiny of schoolchildren?

Dover was a victory for ID, because it showed that you could not defend Darwin's theory in an open forum, but instead had to resort to judicial censorship to insulate your ideology from scrutiny. ID "lost" in Dover like Galileo "lost" in the Inquisition. When scientific theories have to be protected by courts, the theory is already in free-fall. It has already led to a plethora of Academic Freedom laws.

Censorship never succeeds, ultimately. You showed your hand. You're terrified of ID, and you know your atheist creation myth can't withstand scrutiny, so you fight your science battles in court.

And the fact that you personally participated in the censorship, however peripherally, is shameful. You are a disgrace to the scientific profession.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

ordering a government employee not to criticize a scientific theory on the job

You know very well that intelligent design is not a scientific theory. Quit lying.

So again, I ask: where in the Constitution does it prohibit endorsement of religion by a government employee?

You can ask all you want, but you already know the answer because I and actual lawyers have told you over and over. Quit lying.

Therefore it can't be "incorporated" to the states, because it denies the federal government the power of "incorporation" on religious matters.

You know very well that this is an unsupported minority viewpoint, held only by a tiny fraction of extremists. Quit lying.

You're terrified of ID

How can I be terrified of a phony charade that can't even publish more than 1 article per year in its own flagship journal? Quit lying.

You are a disgrace to the scientific profession.

Egnor, your unhinged and dishonest disapproval is a badge of honor I wear proudly. You're wrong so consistently about everything, so defiantly ignorant, that if you ever agreed with me I would have to reconsider my position on whatever it was.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Oh, and I forgot to say, Egnor is also lying when he says Dover "led to a plethora of Academic Freedom laws". You can read here about the status of these misnamed bills. Egnor-clones lost in Alabama, Oklahoma, Maryland, New Mexico, Florida, Missouri, Michigan, South Carolina, and Iowa. They won in Louisiana and Tennessee. Two wins don't constitute a "plethora".

Egnor, can't you tell the truth about anything?

MNb said...

Dear Mr. Egnorance,

thanks for not answering this question:
"Why can't your flagship 'scientific' journal publish more than one article in the year 2015?"
It's a fine example of how not answering also provides an answer.

Mr. Shallit is a tiny bit wrong on one point. Over at the Sensuous Curmudgeon folks remain interested in IDiocy. The humurous value remains recognized.

"Egnor, can't you tell the truth about anything?"
Superfluous question. IDiocy (like all creacrap) and honesty don't go together.

mregnor said...

Your "victory" is pyrrhic.

Dover drew massive attention to ID, and made the Darwinist fear of ID obvious to all. You wouldn't waste your time taking it to federal court unless you feared it.

Court-imposed censorship never succeeds ultimately. You can't silence us. We will keep telling the truth, and eventually your atheist creation myth will be in the trash, like the two other atheist myths (Marxism and Freudianism) of the 19th century. I suspect that you're pretty torn up about the demise of Marxism, so you've put your hopes on Darwinism. Life as an atheist is one catastrophe after another, as your silly little myths fall apart like cheap toys. Too bad.

Nature is designed, and all the censorship you can muster can't conceal it.

The whole truth said...

Theocratic IDiot catholic cult member egnor drooled:

"Dover was a victory for ID, because it showed that you could not defend Darwin's theory in an open forum, but instead had to resort to judicial censorship to insulate your ideology from scrutiny."

Hey egnor, when are you two-faced censors going to open all of the discotoot sites/pages to comments and make it all an "open forum"? You and the other mouthpieces of the discotoot preach lots of dishonest, accusatory, IDiotic sermons there but you don't let anyone respond. You cowards are obviously terrified of challenges to your theocratic agenda in an "open forum". Oh, and can I and anyone else say anything that I or they want to on your "Egnorance" blog? Anything at all with no "censorship" by you?

Your comments above are just more examples of your chronic lying, projection, and trolling, and your massive butthurt over the Dover outcome is obvious as well.

Bert Brouwer said...

[ID "lost" in Dover like Galileo "lost" in the Inquisition. When scientific theories have to be protected in courts, the theory is already in free-fall.]
-Mr.Egnor

I believe with Galileo it was the other way around and it was religious truth that needed protection by court. So based on Mr. Egnor's words one could assume that religious truth is in free-fall since then. But in fact Catholic Church has adapted. Just to mention one name: George Lemaitre, the man behind the Big Bang theory, who based his calculations on Einstein's theories.

Mikkel Rumraket Rasmussen said...

Well Jeffrey to be fair, Egnor is blind to relative frequencies. He cannot meaningfully distinguish between 20% and 100%. In the absolutist mindset, words like rare or likely have no meaning.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

You wouldn't waste your time taking it to federal court unless you feared it.

I didn't take anything to court. It was the parents of Dover who brought the suit, parents who objected to religion masquerading as science shoved down the throats of their kids. Another lie by you. At this rate you're going to have purchase a lot of indulgences.

You can't silence us.

Who would want to? You, personally, are about the best advertisement for our side one could think of. The lies, the consistent personal nastiness, the ignorance about nearly every single subject, the extremist viewpoints that you pretend are mainstream, the routine character assassination (even applied to 14-year-old girls!), the sheer craziness on display: you discredit yourself so effectively with every single post. Please, post some more.

I suspect that you're pretty torn up about the demise of Marxism

You suspect incorrectly. Marx was very wrong about many things; for one thing, he didn't anticipate what the rise of technology would achieve. And have you ever read his mathematical works? He was a charlatan and a poseur.

Life as an atheist is one catastrophe after another, as your silly little myths fall apart like cheap toys.

And yet - we won in Dover. Handily. More people are questioning religion every day: in the US, the percentage listing "atheism" or "agnosticism" or "no religion" is growing. People like Richard Dawkins and Bill Maher are saying things about religion that no one would have dared to say even 25 years ago, and being applauded for it. A major US newspaper makes fun of relying on prayer to solve problems. Areligious societies in Europe are thriving. With catastrophes like that, I hope there are a lot more.

Your commentary unwittingly displays exactly the point I was making. People like you and Arrington behave so badly because you view this as some Manichaean struggle. This prevents you treating your opponents as if they were people, and forces you to adopt strategies like lying and character assassination as everyday tools. I suspect you have become so enmeshed in your lies that you no longer even see them when they are pointed out. I feel sorry for you; you are so filled with hate and yet you still think you are a good Christian.

mregnor said...

[It was the parents of Dover who brought the suit, parents who objected to religion masquerading as science shoved down the throats of their kids.]

You make my point for me. "Shoved down their throats" means a one minute paragraph read once to the class, that states that both Darwinism and ID are theories and both should be evaluated according to the evidence.

For having their kids exposed to a paragraph and the concept that Darwinism and ID are theories, the parents sued their neighbors for $2,000,000 dollars in federal court.

What the parents could have done is this: they could have told their children when they got home: "Johnny and Sally, that paragraph they read to you today is mistaken. ID isn't a theory. Now let's go to soccer practice."

But there is something about ID that terrifies Darwinists. They can't tolerate even its utterance, and will sue for millions of dollars in federal court if even the name ID is mentioned in a classroom.

You don't react that way to something you don't fear.

Darwinists showed their hand. They are so terrified of ID--so terrified that the obvious fact that nature is designed will be explained to schoolchildren--that they fanatically censor and sue and silence anyone who even reads an innocuous paragraph.

That's why ID won in Dover. You fear it so much you can't bear to have it spoken in public in a school.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

What the parents could have done is this:

Some parents respect the Constitution, and think its principles are important to defend. If you don't think so, why are you so upset that they took the case to court and won so decisively?

They can't tolerate even its utterance

On the contrary, utter all you want -- even in a religion class. Just don't lie and call it science and present it as science in a science class.

That's why ID won in Dover.

Said the Black Knight in Monty Python.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Oh, and by the way, I've met Tammy Kitzmiller. She is not a fanatic. Many of the plaintiffs and those who supported them are theists.

The truth is that the fanatics were -- like you-- all on the other side. Here's what one of your buddies in Dover wrote to Ms. Kitzmiller:

TAMMY KITZMILLER: One letter was pretty disturbing. I think this was the one with the passage that...the last sentence especially: "Madeline Murray was found murdered for taking prayer and Bible reading out of schools, so watch out for a bullet." This was a letter that I made sure my lawyers got a copy of, and it was forwarded to the FBI.

You're in good company, Egnor.

mregnor said...

[TAMMY KITZMILLER: One letter was pretty disturbing...]

Poor lamb. Such a victim.

By the way, who got the $1,000,011 they sucked out of their neighbors in court?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Poor lamb. Such a victim.

So, you think sending death threats is fair play? Good to know.

As I said, keep posting stuff like that. You are the best argument for atheism and science ever invented.

By the way, who got the $1,000,011 they sucked out of their neighbors in court?

What, are you unable to use Google? I didn't realize your incompetence extended so far. Is it infinite?

The real question is, when everyone told them they would lose, why did the Dover Area School District continue to pursue a losing cause and saddle their city with a huge bill? I guess it couldn't have been because those in charge were fanatics, could it?

The whole truth said...

A few minutes ago while looking at some other stuff I followed some links and looky what I came across:

http://expelledexposed.drupalgardens.com/the-truth/egnor

http://expelledexposed.drupalgardens.com/background/dissenters

The discotoot (egnor is a discotooter) and their ilk are STILL promoting that dishonest, two-faced piece of crap ("Expelled") in their attacks on evolution/evolutionary theory and other aspects of reality, science, and education, and in their malicious attacks on Judge Jones and his decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover.

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/12/the_day_a_judge101791.html

Also see this: http://ncse.com/news/2011/06/expelled-block-006695

mregnor said...

[those in charge were fanatics''']

One side: read a paragraph in school.

Other side: took the kids and families to federal court, sued them for $2,000,000 for reading paragraph and got federal court order silencing any criticism of their favorite scientific theory.

Guess which side has "fanatics".

[everyone told them they would lose, why did the Dover Area School District continue to pursue a losing cause and saddle their city with a huge bill? ]

Short version: "Nice school district ya' got there. Shame if something happened to it."

Jeffrey Shallit said...

One side: dishonestly lied and claimed creationism was science. Religious (not scientific) motivation of policy proved in court testimony. Had witnesses who lied so unconvincingly that the judge (a conservative Christian) said in his decision "the Dover School Board members' testimony, which was marked by selective memories and outright lies under oath....". Had supporters who issued death threats. Had supporters -- like you -- who apparently think death threats are fair game. Had prospective witnesses who pocketed large fees for their testimony.

Other side: parents who were concerned about the constitution. Science teachers of the school who uniformly refused to follow the creationist orders of the school board, citing Pennsylvania state code 235.10(2), which requires that "The professional educator may not ... Knowingly and intentionally misrepresent subject matter or curriculum." (WIkipedia) Many plaintiffs were Christians, some were heavily involved in their local churches. When they won, plaintiffs took only $1 each for their trouble. Those who testified did not take any fees (just had travel expenses reimbursed).

You're right: the contrast is clear. Unless you're insane.

mregnor said...

Let's peel the layers off the crap. Let's sort this out.

Is there evidence for intelligent design in nature?

Bert Brouwer said...

Our Black Knight here doesn't go quietly into that good night nor does he go down without a fight, so based on his high spirits I say: let's call it a draw.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

It's your crap, Egnor. Peel it yourself.

I have pointed out lie after lie of yours. Some are simply not contestable, like your claim about a "plethora" of laws. I understand you hate having your lies exposed, so you have to derail from the main topic.

mregnor said...

Is there evidence for intelligent design in nature?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

First admit you lied and apologize and withdraw your false claim.

mregnor said...

Is there evidence for intelligent design in nature?

mregnor said...

I know you're afraid of a paragraph about ID.

Now it seems you're afraid of a sentence about ID.

Such fear. Please don't sue me in federal court for asking.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Proven liars have to reform themselves and prove a commitment to honest discussion first.

Your move.

mregnor said...

You prove my point.

You're terrified of ID, and you know you can't prevail in open debate.

Just like the Darwinist thugs in Dover.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

You prove my point.

You're a liar who cannot admit he is wrong about anything.

Just like the religious fanatics who lost in Dover.

NickM said...

Wow, egnor down in flames. Try defending your previous statements before changing topics.

mregnor said...

@NickM:

You should be less concerned about me, and more concerned about criminal misuse of public funds intended for scientific research to advance a political agenda.

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/12/did_nick_matzke101761.html

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Egnor, you lie about everything. There was no "criminal use of public funds" and you know it.

How can you lie so shamelessly?

And you did exactly what Nick said you would: try to change the subject again. Anything to avoid addressing the question about your previous lies.

Bert Brouwer said...

Mr. Egnor isn't debating the theory of evolution, but is fighting a holy war against the (im)morality of 'evilution', paradoxically hoping that he and ID will be the fittest to survive.

Bert Brouwer said...

Moreover, although Mr. Egnor believes in God, he paradoxically doesn't have much faith in God, since he thinks that he himself and ID are the last hope for mankind.

William Spearshake said...

In five years it only published ten "research" articles. As a professor, would you achieve tenure status with that publication record? And this is the publication record for an entire field of "science".

William Spearshake said...

I like Egnor. In the same way that I like Archie Bunker. No matter how stupid I am, I can take solace in the fact that I am smarter than Archie and Egnor. The bar is low, but you take what you can get.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

To make things even worse, Spearshake, most of the "work" that Bio-Complexity has published had an author on the editorial board. Egnor seems so concerned about research misconduct, but of course he says not a word about that.

mregnor said...

The vast majority of published biological research is design research. Understanding biological systems without inference to purpose/design is impossible.

Purpose in nature means goal-directedness. Goal directedness means foresight, which means a mind, which means design. This is the core argument in Aquinas' Fifth Way.

Purpose is inherent to biological research--a biological structure or activity can be described in any number of ways. We choose its purpose to study, not incidental non-purposeful aspects.

Biological research depends on the inference to design. The challenge facing Darwinists is to obfuscate the design, to lie about the obvious design in nature. That's why Darwinists are so afraid of paragraphs or even sentences about intelligent design. They can't maintain the Darwinian lie if the dam holding back the design inference has a leak and begins to break.

The reason for the Darwinists' fanatical response to ID is that design is their bete-noire. Design in biology is obvious, and, once it is understood and acknowledged, Darwinism is in the garbage.

Darwinists need trigger warnings when design is mentioned.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

The vast majority of published biological research is design research.

How would you know? You're not a biologist, and you don't publish in or read the biological literature. My cursory search turns up one publication in a medical journal in the last 5 years (two if you count Journal of History of Medicine and Allied Sciences).

Goal directedness means foresight, which means a mind

Asserted, but not proved. Uses vague, undefined words like "goal".

This is the core argument in Aquinas' Fifth Way.

Nobody in science today gives a crap about some 13th century theologian who was entirely ignorant of science.

Biological research depends on the inference to design.

This will be news to every biologist I know.

The reason for the Darwinists' fanatical response to ID

The only fanatic here is you. That's why you fail to condemn death threats made by your side, why you lie about everything (there was no "plethora" of academic freedom laws passed), and why you constantly change the subject.

Your own flagship journal could not find more than one article to publish this year, despite having an editorial board of 29 people. Your side is a complete failure and an embarrassment. No amount of lies, threats, or derailing can change this simple fact, which you refuse to address.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Oh, look! Now Bio-Complexity has published a second paper!

The authors are Axe (who is the Managing Editor) and Gauger (who is on the editorial board).

No, Bio-Complexity is certainly not a vanity journal! How could you say such a thing?

No, publishing in your own journal is certainly not a conflict of interest! How could you say such a thing?

No, Egnor will not address this! Why should he? It's pefectly acceptable behavior.

mregnor said...

[How would you know? You're not a biologist...]

I'm a academic neurosurgeon, undergraduate major biochemistry, published in PNAS age 25,tenured full professor, research track. My tenure was based on my research on hydrocephalus and cerebral blood flow. If you're gonna use ad-hominem attacks, you will have to do better.

[Uses vague, undefined words like "goal"]

Nothing vague about it. Biology manifests purpose, which is goal-directedness. Obfuscation is your only recourse, because the logic is so clear.

Question: does the heart have a purpose? Does its activity have a goal?

[... some 13th century theologian who was entirely ignorant of science.]

But he was damn good at logic. Goal-directedness/purpose in nature implies foresight, which implies mind.

I repeat: does the heart have a purpose?

Answer it.

Bert Brouwer said...

If ID is true then what does this say about its designer, who in that case not only designed the plants, trees and furry animals, but also its predators and things like snake venom and viruses. Also in that designed nature, still only the strong survive (without ever evolving if you like) while the weak still die.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

If you're gonna use ad-hominem attacks

You don't know what "ad hominem" means, clearly. I repeat, you're not a biologist. You haven't published anything in a biology journal in years. You're a surgeon.

Nothing vague about it.

Prove it. What units are goals measured in?

Answer it.

No, you don't get to demand anything at all from me, until you forthrightly admit your lies I pointed out above. I have standards about who I speak with.

mregnor said...

[What units are goals measured in?]

The units are "obviousnesses". For example, that the purpose of the heart is to pump blood is 1,000,000 obviousnesses, or "mega-obvious" for short.

That you are afraid to answer my question is giga-obvious.

[No, you don't get to demand anything at all from me...]

Ok.I demand that you don't answer my question. Defy me.

Here's my question you must not answer: what is the purpose of the heart?

Don't you dare answer it.

mregnor said...

@Bert:

[If ID is true then what does this say about its designer...]

Design is a scientific inference, not a theological inference, as you nicely demonstrate.

Design is design, irrespective of the implications about the designer.

We can't discuss theology here, however, because a schoolkid might read this thread, and therefore your question is unconstitutional. Actually, it's already unconstitutional, because you discussed ID in a forum which could be accessed by schoolchildren. You can pay me the $1,000,000 now, or I'll have to take you to federal court.

Bert Brouwer said...

In nature the hearts of the weak serve as food for the strong.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

That you are afraid to answer my question is giga-obvious.


Funny, I thought it was you who was afraid to answer my question. I ask it again: what units is "purpose" measured in?

What is the purpose of the Sun?

What is the purpose of the rock I hold in my hand?

What is the purpose of Mercury?

We can't discuss theology here, however, because a schoolkid might read this thread, and therefore your question is unconstitutional.

Egnor knows even less about the constitution than he does about evolution. Is his egnorance infinite?

mregnor said...

[What is the purpose of the Sun?]

Purpose is teleology, and teleology applies to change, the actualization of potencies.

The Sun undergoes change (solar radiation) by emitting heat and light via nuclear fusion. The emission of heat and light are the purposes of solar radiation. There are four causes of change--material, formal, efficient, and final. Teleology is final cause, and it is "the cause of causes", in that it directs the process.

Teleology refers to change, so for solar radiation, the material cause is the Sun itself, the efficient cause is the fusion reaction going on within the sun, the formal cause is the quantum mechanical state of the photons that are emitted, and the final cause is also the qm state of the photons that are emitted. In nature, formal causes are often identical to final causes, and final causes always imply a mind.

Teleology implies mind, because teleology means a goal not reached, which presupposes a mind in which the goal exists prior to its actualization.

[What is the purpose of the rock I hold in my hand?]

Teleology refers to change (again), so if you drop the rock, the material cause is the rock itself, the efficient cause is your hand that opens, the formal cause is the rock in its new position on the ground and the final cause is your decision to drop it. Note that your decision to drop it entailed a mind--yours--in which the decision was made. Final cause always implies a mind.

[What is the purpose of Mercury?]

Assuming that we're talking about the change in Mercury entailed in its motion around the sun, the material cause is the planet itself, the efficient cause is the energy in the original stellar dust from which mercury formed, the formal cause is the gravitational field in accordance with which Mercury moves, and the final cause is the same as the formal cause. Note that in nature formal causes and final causes are often the same, and of course, final cause always implies a mind.

See. Metaphysics isn't all that hard, and there's nothing to be afraid of.

mregnor said...

[I ask it again: what units is "purpose" measured in?]

I should clarify. "Obviousnesses" are Imperial units.

The modern system of purpose measurement is in SI units, which are "duhs"

An obvious purpose is a "duh".

A really obvious purpose is a "duuh"

A damned obvious purpose is a "duuuh".

It's a log scale, so each "u" is ten times the previous "duh".

Biology manifests purposes. Duuu...uuh.

"..." means "mega"

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Purpose is teleology, and teleology applies to change, the actualization of potencies. '

Philosophical gobbledygook for weak minds. What units are "potencies" measured in?

You know you can't answer, so quit blustering.

Bert Brouwer said...

Mr. Egnor says we can't discuss theology here after he talked about Aquinas' Fifth Way to proof that God exist. I myself on the other hand only came up with the logical implication that if there is a design, there also has to be a designer.

So my not theological question still stands. The answer, if Mr. Egnor preferes not to answer it, can of course be derived from what he already has mentioned: Aquinas' Fifth Way.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Yeah, the ID crackpots are not very consistent. On the one hand, they claim they can detect design, but the identity of the designer is not studiable by science. (Even though it is studiable by science in every other field where we suspect agency.)
On the other hand, if we try to infer characteristics of the designer by studied supposedly designed things (which we do routinely in archaeology, forensics, etc.) they complain we are trying to do theology.

It would be interesting to examine the brain of an ID advocate. Maybe we could figure out the pathology that results in such inconsistency and confusion.

mregnor said...

[...weak minds]:

Aristotle, Boethius, Avecinna, Averroes, Albertus Magnus, Aquinas, Maimonides, Duns Scotus, Ockham, Suarez, Copernicus, Descartes, Bacon, Wolff, Kant, Hegel, Brentano, Hiesenberg,Maritain, Coppelston,Gilson, which are just the ones that come to mind. The Aristotelian paradigm and the Four Causes are the ground for all modern metaphysics and science.

[... Luddites]:

Jeff Shallit

[What units are "potencies" measured in?]

Potencies are not actual, so they cannot be measured. When they are actual, some potencies can be measured, but then they are no longer potencies but are actualities.

Some, but not all, actualities can be measured. Quantity is one of nine accidents posessed by a substance, and quantity can be measured (by definition). Other accidents, such as quality, relation, location, time, position, posessing, doing or being affected are less amenable to measurement.

You really need to stop measuring everything, Jeff. The insistence that things that exist (purpose) and things that don't exist (potencies) must have units of measurement is seriously abnormal thinking. It's not uncommon among mathematicians and computer types, and if you find yourself rocking a lot, or developing an unusual interest in shiny things, seek help.

mregnor said...

[On the one hand, they claim they can detect design, but the identity of the designer is not studiable by science.]

Much can be inferred about the designer scientifically, by also using logic. The designer in nature is omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent, one and not many, acts in ways that are somewhat analogous to human acts, among other things.

Of course I believe that the designer is God, understood in the Catholic Christian sense. Some of my belief is based on science, some on logic and philosophy, and some on theology, and some on personal experience.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

The Aristotelian paradigm and the Four Causes are the ground for all modern metaphysics and science

Metaphysics I don't give a crap about. But, of course, it's a lie that they are the basis for all modern science. Open any modern textbook of chemistry, physics, and so forth and you won't see a single mention of them.

You lie about everything.

Aristotle, Boethius, Avecinna, Averroes, Albertus Magnus, Aquinas, Maimonides, Duns Scotus...

Yup, the list of dead people whose view of science and philosophy has long been superseded is rather lengthy, isn't it?

Potencies are not actual

Gnorfflies are not actually fnordled. Makes about as much sense.

The designer in nature is omnipotent

But he couldn't stop Hitler, or viruses, or you from lying. So much for omnipotence.

You need to move out of the 13th century, Egnor. Your thinking is about 8 centuries out of date.

mregnor said...

[Metaphysics I don't give a crap about]

That's true.

[Open any modern textbook of chemistry, physics, and so forth and you won't see a single mention of them.]

Metaphysics is to science as grammar is to literature. Neither science nor literature refer to metaphysics or grammar routinely, but metaphysics and grammar are the foundation on which the inquiry is built.

[Gnorfflies are not actually fnordled. Makes about as much sense]

Ironically, you choose one concept--potency--that does have an explicit mainfestation in science. "Potential" energy is to kinetic energy as potency is to act. That is where the concept came from.

[But he couldn't stop Hitler, or viruses, or you from lying. So much for omnipotence]

Theodicy is a big topic. God permits human freedom. Natural evil is more difficult, and I have no easy answer.

I point out that if there is no God, then there is no Source of moral law, and your implicit assertion that Hitler did evil things is a mere opinion, not a claim about something that can be true.

Theodicy is hard, but atheists don't even have standing to comment about good and evil. For you, it's all just meat robots with opinions.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Metaphysics is to science as grammar is to literature.

Bullshit. Few if any scientists use metaphysics at all.

"Potential" energy is to kinetic energy as potency is to act. That is where the concept came from.

Potential energy can be measured in units. "Potency" -- a vague term that is not used by scientists at all -- cannot. You confuse origins of terms with the way they are used today.

your implicit assertion that Hitler did evil things is a mere opinion, not a claim about something that can be true.

Ahh, but my claim that you are a liar is not an opinion!

mregnor said...

[Bullshit. Few if any scientists use metaphysics at all.]

Everyone uses metaphysics. No exceptions. The question is whether you understand the metaphysics you're using, and whether your metaphysics is cogent and coherent.

All people flying on an airplane use aerodynamics. Only a few of them understand it, but all use it and depend on it.

All people who use language use grammar, even if only a few understand it well.

Same with computer science. All computer users use it. Only a few understand it.

The simple belief that nature is intelligible is metaphysics. The belief that the laws of physics are uniform in differnt locations is metaphysics. Inductive reasoning is metaphysics. The belief that we are not brains in vats is metaphysics.

Life is metaphysics, Jeff. You can't hide.

[Potential energy can be measured in units.]

Only indirectly. PE can be measured by measuring the energy put into the system or by measuring the energy released by the system. In other words, the PE can only be measured by extrapolating from the energy into or out of the system in actuality, not while it is in potency.

That's why it's called potential energy.

If I show you a rock on a desk, you can't determine its PE unless you know how high off the floor it is, etc.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Everyone uses metaphysics.

Nope. Much of metaphysics has been replaced by science; the rest is of no interest to most of us except philosophers (whose musings are pre-scientific and can be safely egnored.)

If I show you a rock on a desk, you can't determine its PE unless you know how high off the floor it is, etc.

Completely irrelevant to the question of whether it can be measured in units or not. Your make-believe "potency" can't.

Egnor is still in the Middle Ages.

Bert Brouwer said...

It's really rather silly, this obsession for intellegent design in nature, since there's so much inspired design in culture for christians to promote, which I think would help to convey their ideals in a much better way.
Let me give just one example:
Beethoven's 9th symphony with Bruckner's "Te Deum" as substitute finale.
I hope Mr. Egnor can appreciate it.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

your implicit assertion that Hitler did evil things is a mere opinion

Egnor has brought this up before and it's been answered before, but I want to answer it again.

No, it's much more than a mere opinion. Systems of ethics arise from three different sources: first, our evolutionary history. This is not in question (read the work of Frans de Waal). Second, cultural traditions. This is also not in question, as different cultures impose different taboos that seem ridiculous to others (many North Americans find burkas silly and unwarranted, while some pre-Christian cultures in Africa would have said the same thing about bras). Third, experimentation. Pace Sam Harris, we know that some systems (e.g., totalitarianism) work worse than others.

In this respect, ethical systems are like engineering. We know enough to say what is likely to work to achieve our purpose, but that doesn't mean that everyone will agree to adopt our rules.

Unlike Egnor, the lack of a rigorous logical foundation for ethics doesn't bother me at all. The vast majority of our lives are ruled by non-logical calculations about things -- which is to be expected, since we have arisen by the higgledy-piggledy process of evolution. All the time that people have spent trying to create a logical foundation that doesn't exist has been completely wasted.

Yarwain said...

Jeffrey Shallit responded to Michael Egnor's claim that "Everyone uses metaphysics":

"Nope. Much of metaphysics has been replaced by science; the rest is of no interest to most of us except philosophers"

The ignorance and shallowness of human being displayed in Shallit's comment is astonishing. One *cannot* 'replace metaphysics' by 'science.' That's absurd. But, apparently, one can be so soulless (or hyper-rationalistic) as to deny metaphysics in their worldview, which in Shallit's case is (evangelical) atheism.

I'm not a proponent of Egnor's Discovery Institute variety of 'intelligent design' theory. Egnor doesn't seem to realise his insult to Catholicism (see Beckwith, Ryland and Feser) and Christians around the world who reject the ugly 'scientistic' approach of the DI. Egnor thus seems rather shallow and also ignorant in his own way of the damage his support of ID causes to people of faith and the faith they sustain.

This atheist vs. IDist dance is simply pathetic to watch.

Yarwain said...

Jeffrey Shallit responded to Michael Egnor's claim that "Everyone uses metaphysics":

"Nope. Much of metaphysics has been replaced by science; the rest is of no interest to most of us except philosophers"

The ignorance and shallowness of human being displayed in Shallit's comment is astonishing. One *cannot* 'replace metaphysics' by (progressive) 'science.' That's absurd. But, apparently, one can be so soulless (or hyper-rationalistic) as to deny metaphysics (and reduce ethics to engineering!) in their worldview, which in Shallit's case is (evangelical) atheism. A sad, flat-faith computer scientist, number theorist from USA living in Canada during these 'spiritual' holidays!

I'm not a proponent of Egnor's Discovery Institute variety of 'intelligent design' theory; such an absurd 'movement' based in Seattle. Egnor doesn't seem to realise his insult to Catholicism (see Beckwith, Ryland and Feser) and Christians around the world who reject the ugly 'scientistic' approach of the DI. Egnor thus comes across as rather (theistically) shallow and also ignorant in his own way of the damage his support of ID causes to people of faith and the faith they sustain.

This atheist vs. IDist dance is simply pathetic to watch, while both Shallit & Egnor think they are great dancers everyone appreciates.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Yarwain: there is no need to post multiple copies of the same comment.

One *cannot* 'replace metaphysics' by (progressive) 'science.' That's absurd.

Proof by assertion?

It already has been replaced by science. Many of the questions debated by medieval philosophers have been resolved by modern science: the nature of matter, the nonexistence of the soul, and so forth.

A sad, flat-faith computer scientist, number theorist from USA living in Canada during these 'spiritual' holidays!

Sad? No, au contraire, I'm rather happy. And as for "spiritual holidays", why do you think I must share your view of this time of year. For a Buddhist, Hindu, or any one of a number of other religions, tomorrow is just another day. You are not the focus of the world.

while both Shallit & Egnor think they are great dancers everyone appreciates.

Say what? I can't dance at all.

Yarwain said...

"It already has been replaced by science." - Shallit

Nonsense. Oh, so all of the philosophers of metaphysics around the world today don't *actually* exist or have no *real* topic left? It's as if physicalism were a widely accepted view: nothing other than physics (or naturalism: nothing other than nature) as Gospel truth.

You seem totally disconnected, Jeffrey, with how most people actually think, believe and practically live their lives (or at least have secluded yourself in atheist congeries that disallows rational faith). It likely means you will not enjoy the holidays because you do not personally consider them (nor anything else) 'holy.' Exaggerated self-importance doesn't seem to bother this compsci/mathematician.

Well, Jeffrey, having had a relative attend your classes at Waterloo, who professionally studies 'happiness', it's not uncommon that claimed 'happiness' by egoists is actually closer to sadness of soul. Obviously, 'rather happy' on a pathetically small scale is not worth much in the bigger picture.

I never suggested either you or Egnor were good dancers; just that you have chosen to 'dance' (dialogue) together and ideologically forced others to watch your combined blundering. Egnor is forgivable in his naivety; you otoh simply distribute atheistic mathematical/compsci despair as if no other choice were possible. :(

Are you not officially on holiday at UoW now, Jeffrey? If you are, then it is a spiritual holiday in Canada, as the Prime Minister just expressed in his holiday wishes. Going 'global religion' defense in such a case as yours is rather ridiculous (but sadly common amongst atheists these days). :(

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Oh, so all of the philosophers of metaphysics around the world today don't *actually* exist or have no *real* topic left?

Theologians exist, too, but that doesn't mean a god exists.

You seem totally disconnected, Jeffrey, with how most people actually think, believe and practically live their lives

So what? Lots of people in Canada like CĂ©line Dion, too. Why should their opinion be binding on me?

It likely means you will not enjoy the holidays because you do not personally consider them

Why the amateur psychologizing when you know nothing about me?

having had a relative attend your classes at Waterloo

Hope they enjoyed them! Most of my students seem to.

it's not uncommon that claimed 'happiness' by egoists is actually closer to sadness of soul.

Souls don't exist. I'm sorry you are living in a prescientific world view.

ideologically forced others to watch your combined blundering

Really? I somehow forced you to read this? How did I gain such power?

Going 'global religion' defense in such a case as yours is rather ridiculous

You completely missed the point, sadly.

Yarwain said...

“Souls don't exist. I'm sorry you are living in a prescientific world view.”

The lead of the Human Genome Project believes in souls, as do many other (contemporary) natural scientists, along with upwards of 85-90% of the 7+ billion human beings on the planet, according to surveys. Your hot air arrogant (compsci/mathematics) attitude does not change this in the slightest.

It’s not a problem that you are in the minority, Jeffrey, God bless you, but that you make claims as above with such certainty as if SCIENCE supports you, when it actually doesn’t. Scrooge against humanity and the divine! :(

Please do present the positive ‘scientific’ evidence for this 'no souls' wild claim of yours, atheist Shallit. Based on your rabid invective ideology, I will continue to think you are amongst the saddest of human beings, a person who has no faith, no sense of the sacred and no recognition even of their own soul.

Why not try to be merry this holiday season, Jeffrey, even if you think you can’t possibly?

mregnor said...

@Yarwain:

[Egnor doesn't seem to realise his insult to Catholicism (see Beckwith, Ryland and Feser) and Christians around the world who reject the ugly 'scientistic' approach of the DI. Egnor thus comes across as rather (theistically) shallow and also ignorant in his own way of the damage his support of ID causes to people of faith and the faith they sustain.]

Of course I agree with your assessment of Shallit.

I differ with you about my "insult" to Catholicism. I'm quite aware of the metaphysical/theological problems with the most popular versions of ID. Acceptance of the Cartesian/Platonic/Paleyan worldview by many ID advocates is, indeed, a serious error. Design is not the best way to describe God's work of creation. St. Thomas' hylemorphism is a far better metaphysical framework.

That said, ID is a big tent, and my hylemorphic perspective is welcomed there. Design can be understood in a variety of ways, and teleology is one of them. I have always been received enthusiastically and openly by my friends at the DI, and there is much sympathy in the ID ranks for the Thomist perspective.

The reason I stand by my ID friends is this: they are taking the fight to the bastards. They're not right about everything, but they're right about what matters most--that nature is replete with evidence for intelligent agency. Thomists (with whom I identify) and other devout Catholics are more right about the theology, metaphysics and science than the Paleyan folks, but I like people who fight the good fight. They don't have to be perfect. And I don't like cowards, especially supercilious ones, and especially when they are ostensibly on my side.

I have friends in ID who have lost their careers, or had their careers badly damaged, who have put up with decades of personal abuse and ostracism. They have bled in order to fight Darwinists and materialists.

Curiously, I don't have Thomist friends who have made such sacrifices. All of my Thomist friends are comfortable, some are a bit smug, and I can't think of one who would risk his career to take on the Darwinists openly.

Only a few Thomists--Ed Feser comes to mind--have fought the Darwinists with anywhere near the same ferocity and courage as the ID folks.

It is the ID crowd that is bleeding on Omaha beach, not the "proper" Catholics in the rear echelons who wouldn't think of endangering their chance for tenure or their invitation to the holiday party in the biology department. I call them Vichy Thomists. They profess love for Christ and His Church, but when it comes time to face down the Church's worst enemy in modern times, they prefer safety and supercilious critiques of lesser imperfect minds who don't yet understand their subtle theology.

Sounds like you're one of them. The droppings you've left on comboxes imply that you come from a Leftist perspective, so your accommodation with the purveyors of Leftism's creation myth is no surprise. Criticizing ID is a sure way to get that pat on the back from your Darwinist colleague, and maybe a wink of approval.

I agree with some of your criticism of capitalism--it has many perils for the soul. I await your critique of socialism, whose perils are considerably more tangible and much more lethal. You and I might agree on quite a bit metaphysically and theologically, but I'll stick with my friends at the DI.

Like Lincoln said of Grant--we can't spare these people. They fight.

Here's a post of mine on Vichy Thomists:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/01/dissecting_a_de081591.html

Jeffrey Shallit said...

The lead of the Human Genome Project believes in souls, as do many other (contemporary) natural scientists, along with upwards of 85-90% of the 7+ billion human beings on the planet, according to surveys.

Why is their opinion important? Where can I read papers in scientific journals where the existence of souls is proved? Oh, that's right, there aren't any such papers.

Please do present the positive ‘scientific’ evidence for this 'no souls'

You seem confused. The burden of proof is on the person making the existence claim. But, if you like, read Musolino's book. I doubt that you will, since your mind is already made up.

I will continue to think you are amongst the saddest of human beings

Who cares what you think?

And which is sadder, a person writing a blog about what interests him, or a pseudonymous commenter who has delusions that he is somehow forced to read the blogger?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I have friends in ID who have lost their careers, or had their careers badly damaged, who have put up with decades of personal abuse and ostracism. They have bled in order to fight Darwinists and materialists.

Is that the same Michael Egnor who apparently condones death threats? No, it can't be!

mregnor said...

[Is that the same Michael Egnor who apparently condones death threats?]

This is the template:

1) A nasty Darwinist does something cruel and ugly.
2) People react to the nasty Darwinist, and a few people (supposedly) overreact with threats.
3) Darwinists, when confronted with their cruelty and ugliness, retreat to "But I've had death threats" so people will feel sorry for them.

I don't play the game. Darwinists aren't victims, and people who sue their neighbors so they can protect their atheist creation myth are scum.

Whining about "death threats" is a cowardly manipulative way to evade accountability for silencing your neighbors in federal court and other Stasi tactics.

I don't give a shit about their "death threats" , and in fact, I don't believe them. There is a long history of Leftists (of which Darwinists are a subset) lying about threats. Darwinsists lie like rugs.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I am very glad to see the real Michael Egnor so nakedly on display. Your hatred for people who disagree with you is clear. Your comparison to the "Stasi" would be ludicrous, if it weren't so obvious that you genuinely believe this is an accurate comparison. Something has really gone wrong inside your brain. Get some help.

But stuff like this is great for adding to the "invidious comparison" thread!

I met most of the people involved in Kitzmiller. Every single one is a decent and honorable person. Many are not "Darwinists" or "Leftists" or any other imagined bogeyman. Many of the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller were Christians, so how could they be "protect[ing] their atheist creation myth"?

I've met many of the people on the ID side, too. I disagree with almost all of them, but most of them are nice people, too (there are some exceptions).

As for lying, in this thread I have extensively documented numerous lies of yours, so it's pretty rich that you are now complaining about the imagined lies of your opponents.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Fake death threats by those on the political right:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/former-congressional-candidate-admits-she-faked-death-threats/

http://evolvepolitics.com/tory-mp-should-resign-after-faking-death-threat-email-from-constituent/

http://www.prwatch.org/node/12599

That's after 1 minute of searching.

Clearly, fake allegation of death threats has been used by extremists on both the left and the right. To pretend that this is a disease of "Leftists" alone is clearly dishonest.

Rolf Aalberg said...

mregnor said "I have always been received enthusiastically and openly by my friends at the DI, and there is much sympathy in the ID ranks for the Thomist perspective. As the saying goes, "in case of distress the devil eats flies." Of course the DI is happy for whatever support they get whether from from YEC, fundamentalist and other quarters no matter how ignorant, absurd or out of touch with reality they are. Creationists huddle together it their big tent complaining about the evilness of science and scientists.

Yarwain said...

Thanks for the link, Dr. Egnor. I'm so glad you chose that one (re: occasionalism). Bless your Catholic bleeding heart sympathies for low-brow evangelicalist Seattle propaganda! Will come back to that and your above post in a couple of days.

Dr. Shallit, if you're only interested in 'scientific papers' re: spirituality, that's a rather sad life to live. And surely you are not only interested in science. That Musolino book sounds like a howler, in a nihilistic sense. Thanks.

If you both wish, you can refer to me as Dr. Yarwain (since I too am a PhD), but it won't bother me if you don't.

Do try to be merry for the holidays (which Shallit apparently complains & denies history & culture about), despite your IDist & atheist afflictions. :D I just watch you intentionally dancing together ... and smile (or chuckle). :D

mregnor said...

@Rolf:

What unites us ID folks is the acknowledgement that nature manifests evidence for intelligent design. Hence, the moniker "Intelligent Design movement".

No mystery as to who and why we are.

How to understand the design, and the designer, is an interesting question, and we discuss it a lot.

I am not in any way a spokesman for the movement, but personally (and many share my view) I respect all people who infer design in nature, YEC's, OEC's, Thomists, agnostics and atheists who admit intelligent agency in nature (eg Tom Nagel). I have good friends who are YEC's, and they are very smart and thoughtful people. I don't share all of their theological or scientific views, but I respect them greatly.

A YEC who thinks dinosaurs walked with cavemen is orders of magnitude closer to the truth than the most sophisticated evolutionary biologist who is an atheist and denies design.

The denial of design in nature is utter stupidity--all other error pales in comparison.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

that's a rather sad life to live.

I'm always amused by people who know nothing about me insisting that my life is "sad". Why the obsession with my happiness?

That Musolino book sounds like a howler,

Well, I could have guessed you would judge it without reading it. Don't let other points of view enter your fragile mind!

you can refer to me as Dr. Yarwain (since I too am a PhD)

Let's see. Which field did you get your Ph. D. in?

- Being Patronizing;
- Missing the Point;
- Failing to Substantiate Your Claims; or
- Amateur Psychologizing?

Oh, and please let me know which institution, so I can be sure to avoid it in the future.


Jeffrey Shallit said...

. I have good friends who are YEC's, and they are very smart and thoughtful people. I don't share all of their theological or scientific views, but I respect them greatly.

It figures. The thing that distinguishes young-earth creationists is a lack of intellectual integrity and a complete failure to honestly consider the evidence. Why should we not be surprised that you -- an evolution-denier and global warming denier, and separation of church and state denier -- find common ground with them?

The denial of design in nature is utter stupidity--all other error pales in comparison

Yup. That's why Darwin is celebrated worldwide and everyone just laughs at you.

mregnor said...

[an evolution-denier]

Evolution happens. It's teleological and "natural selection" isn't a level of explanation.

[global warming denier]

Pure hoax. There has been no warming for 18 years, despite rise in CO2.

[and separation of church and state denier]

"Separation of church and state" isn't Constitutional doctrine. It was introduced into Constitutional law by Hugo Black, who learned it from his KKK days, when he was chief recruiter for the Alabama Klan and used it in the KKK initiation oath (against Catholics). Breaking News: The contents of Tom Jefferson's letters are not Constitutional law, and it's unwise to pretend that the KKK initiation oath is a credible source for Constitutional interpretation.

http://egnorance.blogspot.com/2011/10/hugo-black-and-real-history-of-wall-of.html

Natural selection, AGW and "separation of church and state": I deny 'em all.

Yarwain said...

“It is the ID crowd that is bleeding on Omaha beach” – Egnor

The ‘ID crowd’ is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds in a way dishonourable to their faith and counterproductive to the mission they have claimed. But they can’t see this because Thomas Kuhn has his ‘scientific revolution’ hands wrapped around their little brains and its choking their thoughts. And they mainly enjoy acting pompous and dilettantish as revolutionaries, as Colson (2004) called Dembski (the most recent retired deserter of IDT!).

“what matters most – that nature is replete with evidence for intelligent agency.” – Egnor

What is usually called ‘intelligent agency’ by normal people is the design of human beings, e.g. engineers, artisans, writers, programmers, etc. But the Intelligent Design Movement (IDM) doesn’t study such things; their ‘design theory’ is religiously motivated. Instead, it is a highly speculative origins of life movement in the neo-creationist American (fundamentalist) tradition.

If this were not true, then the IDM would have already at least reviewed Adrian Bejan’s “Design in Nature” (2012) book. But they won’t because it is written by and for atheists!

Aside from Egnor’s evangelical fixation with Charles Robert Darwin’s theory of evolution, nothing much constructive is coming from the lips of this MD. And no honor is there displayed in his corrupt Catholicism. It’s all just bluster talking in fields about which Egnor knows too little.

“I'm quite aware of the metaphysical/theological problems with the most popular versions of ID.” – Egnor

It does not seem that you have the philosophical sense to see the bigger picture of the IDM’s insults to Christian faith, Michael. And it seems you’re jealous of Meredith’s erudition in fields beyond ‘simply science.’

Egnor aims his anger at what he calls ‘Vichy Thomists.’ He says: “At the sight of the unstoppable tide of materialism and Darwinism, Vichy Thomists take not to the redoubts and ramparts but to the endowed chairs. They collaborate.”

Here’s a Catholic sell-out who doesn’t seem to know or want to publically acknowledge fellow Catholics who aren’t materialists or Darwinists.

Egnor calls IDT biblical, Thomist and empirical, but the Bible does not countenance IDT (nowhere in the Douay-Rheims Bible is the term ‘design’ a Scientific issue), serious contemporary Thomists thinkers have rejected it, and the DI hasn’t yet put forth an ‘empirical’ answer (which is not simply probabilistic) to when, where, how and who did the supposed ‘Designing’ as normal science would require. There’s no ‘there’ there in IDT regardless of Egnor’s pleas.

“I have friends in ID who have lost their careers, or had their careers badly damaged” – Egnor

That’s really, really sad for them! ;) They were agitators and there were very few of them and they were mostly jerks (e.g. John G. West). It’s about time your ‘side’ started to own up to its guilt in the social bargain, Michael; the DI is not nearly as innocent as you parade it.

“I have always been received enthusiastically and openly by my friends at the DI, and there is much sympathy in the ID ranks for the Thomist perspective.” – Egnor

So, perhaps the rejection of IDT by Catholic scholars, including natural scientists might give Egnor pause? Might the team of Chapman, Richards, and Behe pale grossly in comparison to better minds and persons within the Catholic Church, like the head and counsel of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences? Apparently no anti-IDT rationale could possibly sway Dr. Egnor because of the incompetent, rebellious ‘friends’ he has chosen.

Yarwain said...

Egnor might read Michael Tkacz’s “Aquinas vs. Intelligent Design” http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/aquinas-vs-intelligent-design or Stephen Barr’s “Evolution, Darwin and Catholic Belief” www.ksm.ka.edu.pl/tresc/2-2011-Barr.pdf

But it seems he prefers to live in a world too black and white for most people, due to a missionary marriage. Instead of consummation, Egnor got into bed with the Discovery Institute and simply cannot get enough of their scientistic ideology. It doesn’t matter at all if Pope Francis rejects the IDM because Egnor can missionier any excuse to rebel against Darwin.

Though charitable readings of Dembski, Meyer, Behe, Wells, et al. enable a simple recognition of scholars fighting against atheists (Egnor apparently worships the ‘martyr complex’ of the ‘expelled’ IDist, shedding blood as he calls it), a more insightful and balanced interpretation is that these wanna-be revolutionaries were damaged spiritually before embracing a ‘science-first’ attitude to change.

Meredith is entirely correct in his request: “let the biological chips fall where they may.” It is the IDM that is viciously anti-intellectual in its PR, which Egnor unwisely continues to propagate.

“I differ with you about my "insult" to Catholicism.” – Egnor

But you didn’t pay attention to the rest of the sentence, which included “Christians around the world who reject the ugly 'scientistic' approach of the DI.”

“Design is not the best way to describe God's work of creation.” – Egnor

Yes, of course that should be obvious. Actualising Design in Creation is not a ‘scientific’ topic.

The Discovery Institute is “losing the Catholics”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-farrell/intelligent-design-losing_b_790527.html

Dr. Egnor may choose not to acknowledge this. He is also in no position to contribute scientifically, but only ideologically as an MD.

“you come from a Leftist perspective” – Egnor

Ah, the defensively little-minded life of the self-professed ‘conservative’ Republican in the USA! :( And a doctor too? Sadly, Dr. Egnor, you have become tainted with the radical right-wing poison of the IDM, the DI and its ideology. I’ll drive by you going right or going left, while you’ll be stuck looking backwards to Paley and Plato. And the Catholic Church won’t be dragged into the DI’s disgusting mud, but will move forward beyond IDT.

“A ‘sound philosophy’ of science and religion, to begin with the obvious, should result from a discussion, not a war.” – Stephen Meredith

Amen.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

It's teleological

Pure assertion. In what units is teleology measured?

"natural selection" isn't a level of explanation.

Except that it has been observed in nature and there are dozens of papers confirming this. I'm sorry you flunked evolutionary biology. Furthermore, it can be modeled mathematically and when we do that, we see exactly what we expect.

Pure hoax. There has been no warming for 18 years, despite rise in CO2.

Another lie. All Egnor can do is lie. This one has been debunked over and over and over.

"Separation of church and state" isn't Constitutional doctrine. It was introduced into Constitutional law by Hugo Black, who learned it from his KKK days, when he was chief recruiter for the Alabama Klan and used it in the KKK initiation oath (against Catholics). Breaking News: The contents of Tom Jefferson's letters are not Constitutional law, and it's unwise to pretend that the KKK initiation oath is a credible source for Constitutional interpretation.

You got soundly thrashed by commenters the last time you made this insane claim. The separation of church and state was not "introduced into Consttutional law by Hugo Black"; it was part of the Constitution beginning in 1789, with the 1st amendment. The concept has much older roots, including the work of Locke. Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists was not the only use of the exact phrase; it was also used by Madison himself in 1819. You know, the Madison who wrote the constitution and Bill of Rights. Maybe you've heard of him.

Natural selection, AGW and "separation of church and state": I deny 'em all.

Isn't that what I said? I wonder, could this be some manifestation of a mental disease? Have you had yourself checked recently for signs of early dementia? That could explain it.

mregnor said...

[The separation of church and state was not "introduced into Consttutional law by Hugo Black"]

It was intoduced by 'Kladd of the Klavern' Black. Aside from a brief tangential reference in Reynolds in 1878, it a appears nowhere in Supreme Court jurisprudence until Black's opinion in Everson.

[it was part of the Constitution beginning in 1789, with the 1st amendment.]

Nonsense. The first public use of "separation of church and state" in the US was by Roger Williams in the mid-17th century. The phrase was well known and debated in colonial times. It appears nowhere in the voluminous minutes of the debate on the Bill of Rights, and it appears nowhere in the text of the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

Let me explain to you what this means:

1) "Separation..." was a widely known phrase and concept at the time of ratification of the Bill of Rights
2) It was not even mentioned in the minutes of the debate on the Bill of Rights
3) It was not in the Constitution or in the Amendments as ratified.

I know you're scratching your head--"how to make sense of all this...?"

Here's the answer: the ratifiers of the Constitution knew about "separation..." and deliberately discarded it, conspicuously avoiding even mention of it in the deliberations and conspicuously leaving it out of the Constitution.

What they did ratify was an Amendment prohibiting Congress from making a federal church, and prohibiting Congress from restraining free exercise of religion in any way. At the time of the Amendment (and into the mid-19th century) a number of states had established churches, so obviously "separation of church and state" was not Constitutional law in any sense.

[The concept has much older roots, including the work of Locke.]

Much older. It is of course a reference to "render unto Caesar...", first uttered in the 1st century by that Guy you hate.

[Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists was not the only use of the exact phrase; it was also used by Madison himself in 1819.]

So what? Their personal opinions have nothing to do with the law. What a stupid argument.

[You know, the Madison who wrote the constitution and Bill of Rights. Maybe you've heard of him.]

The elected delegates in the Constitutional Convention 'wrote' the Bill of Rights, using Madison as a scribe to draft proposals. Madison's opinion counted as one vote, the same as every other delegate, and, curiously, he never argued for "separation..." during the Convention according to the minutes.

What Madison says about "separation..." several decades later has no legal relevance.

mregnor said...

Yarwain:

I dislike fights with fellow Christians. I'll pray for you. Please pray for me.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

It was intoduced by 'Kladd of the Klavern' Black.

No, it wasn't. You seem so confused that I will try to explain it in tiny words. The concept of separation of church and state precedes Black by centuries and its embodiment appears in the First Amendment. The insistence on the occurrence of that particular phrase is insane. If you insist on this, then you have to say there is no right to a fair trial in the constitution, because the phrase "fair trial" doesn't appear there, either. Even you cannot be this idiotic. (Or can you?)

Their personal opinions have nothing to do with the law.

You know even less about constitutional interpretation than you do about biology and climate science. Of course the opinion of the author of document is relevant, and it's cited all the time in court decisions.

Read The Godless Constitution, Egnor. (Of course, I know you won't, since you have no interest in facts.)

Did you get that early dementia evaluation yet? It seems kind of important.

Yarwain said...

I’m not interested in Shallit’s outdated Kuhnian view of ‘scientific progress’, since better views are available.

“Why the obsession with my happiness?” - Shallit

Your happiness or lack thereof is your own business. My observation is a social acknowledgement of ultimate sadness and despair according to the general principles of an atheist worldview. Claiming ‘happiness’ as an atheist is disingenuous tripe.

It doesn't matter how ‘happy’ one claims to live in the moment on the surface. The worldview ends with death and meaninglessness for the atheist (whether or not empirical evidence or scientific proof to the contrary is possible is beside the main point). It's like dancing naked in a shopping place with your panties on your head claiming you are a sane person.

And the vast majority of people view atheists as immoral or amoral despite their protests otherwise. Does Shallit know this? This is a rather simple conclusion that only atheists themselves seem not to admit or understand.

“I could have guessed you would judge it without reading it” - Shallit

Strange to say I’ve ‘judged’ it. Reading an interview with the author and a review shows at least something. You like it, Shallit, because it is ‘anti-spiritual,’ i.e. fitting with your worldview. It’s not a ‘scientific’ conclusion.

The author is an atheist so you endorse it. But there’s no scientific proof that souls don’t exist, just like it is absurd for a compsci/mathematician to pooh on metaphysics simply because it personally scares them to believe otherwise. That doesn’t stop you from doing it like a fool.

Note: I’m not backing Egnor with this line; just exposing the arrogant ignorance of your conservative scientistic worldview.

“Which field did you get your Ph. D. in?” - Shallit

Thank goodness it wasn’t in mathematics/compsci, otherwise I could, like you seem to do, simply make excuses for being a shallow, egotistical human being and care nothing about social reality or religion. Instead, I got my PhD in exposing the emptiness of atheists and sharing the love and awareness of our Creator. Won’t you have some love and awareness, Shallit? Or are you just an American-Canadian Scrooge, ready to die in the mud?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

My observation is a social acknowledgement of ultimate sadness and despair according to the general principles of an atheist worldview.

I don't give a damn about "social acknowledgment". Until recently, it was the social consensus that gays were immoral. Before that it was interracial marriage. Society has been wrong about lots of things.

Claiming ‘happiness’ as an atheist is disingenuous tripe.

The general principle of debate is that you should assume your opponent is being honest unless proven otherwise (e.g., Egnor).
Certainly one's own internal state is even more off-limits than that, since you have essentially no access to it for me. So shove it.

The worldview ends with death and meaninglessness for the atheist

I've got news for you. The world ends in death for you, too. As for "meaning", it ends for me but not for others.

It's like dancing naked in a shopping place with your panties on your head claiming you are a sane person.

So let me get this straight. My not accepting your claims, for which you have provided your evidence, is like that? Actually, it's just the opposite. The atheists are the ones pointing at you dancing with panties and saying, "Why should we agree to do that?"

It’s not a ‘scientific’ conclusion.

So you say without reading it!

there’s no scientific proof that souls don’t exist

Science doesn't deal in proof. You, a Ph. D., don't know that? It must have been a 5th rate place. The whole point of the book is to provide a scientific argument that they don't.

I got my PhD in exposing the emptiness of atheists and sharing the love and awareness of our Creator.

Oh, I see. It wasn't even a real Ph. D., then. That figures. Take your mail-order diploma and go bother someone else that gives a damn.

Yarwain said...

“I dislike fights with fellow Christians.” - Dr. Egnor

That’s a bit presumptuous & aggressive, Michael. As an IDist, you likely dislike 'fights' (discussions, debates, etc.) that you intuitively know you can’t win (which are common among challenges by theists). As for me, showing the pretentiousness of the Discovery Institute and IDist ideology is good, responsible practise.

If you had more theological integrity, Michael (which, perhaps you do?), then you’d carefully and responsibly abandon the DI and move instead towards BioLogos, where theists (even a few Catholics) who you like to pretend don’t exist, continue to work tirelessly against anti-science and who support Christian theology.

But you seem to be the kind of person who is easily duped by the rhetoric & PR of the DI and who prefers militant anti-atheism as their missionary marriage duty. You *want* to be a revolutionist, don't you? So your promotion of IDT as obviously against Christian theology is rather sad, even if still less sad than Shallit’s atheism. Prayers are welcome and given.

mregnor said...

Yarwain:

But I do dislike fights with fellow Christians. I have great respect for BioLogos, as I do for the DI folks, and for Thomists.

The only thing on our side I can't abide is collaborators with the bad guys, of which there are a few, mostly Christians (like Ken Miller) who curry favor and strive for acceptance in the atheist swamp. You're clearly not of that ilk.

For the life of me I don't understand the fratricide among folks on the anti-atheist side. We have a nasty and lethal common enemy, and I don't understand why we fight each other. The DI is a courageous organization fighting the good fight. They're right about a lot of stuff, and where I think they're wrong, they're very willing to listen to and consider other views.

My sense of you (I don't know much about you) is that your antipathy may arise in part from political differences, as the DI often expresses conservative positions on some issues.

My fundamental critique of BioLogos, aside from their coolness to ID, is their embrace of natural selection and the basics of Darwinian theory (sans the atheism). Darwinism is junk science and junk metaphysics from beginning to end. Natural selection isn't a level of explanation. Even the DI doesn't repudiate it as they should, and BioLogos drinks deep of it.

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/08/natural_selecti_2075991.html

Do keep me in your prayers, and I'll keep you in mine.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I know Kenneth Miller personally. He has no interest in "acceptance in the atheist swamp"; he's just a professional biologist who understands evolution and the evidence for it much better than you. This is another fantasy of yours.

We have a nasty and lethal common enemy

Well, there's your problem. You are probably the single nastiest person in the debate. As for lethal, let's examine the number of atheists in prison versus the number of Christians.

Darwinism is junk science

Says the guy who denies global warming.

mregnor said...

[As for lethal, let's examine the number of atheists in prison versus the number of Christians...]

Lethal atheism:

Soviet Union
Communist China
North Korea
Khmer Rouge Cambodia
Vietnam
East Germany
Romania
... etc.

100 million deaths as a result of State Atheism in the 20th century.

Every instance of State Atheism has been a totalitarian hellhole.

"There is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader in the 20th century would murder a noticeable percentage of the population over which he rules..."

http://egnorance.blogspot.com/2012/11/there-is-is-58-percent-chance-that.html

That's what I mean by a lethal enemy.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Oh, not this silly slur again. North Korea and the USSR under Stalin were essentially religious states with the totalitarian dictator as the supreme being.

In the past, Christian states have murdered millions, too, but I wouldn't say that is a characteristic of Christianity.

Name a single American atheist who is in favor of an "Atheist State". I can't think of a single one. We are in favor of freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

And of course you avoided the question (as usual). Why are there so many more Christians in American prisons than atheists?

mregnor said...

[Oh, not this silly slur again. North Korea and the USSR under Stalin were essentially religious states with the totalitarian dictator as the supreme being.]

They were (are) atheist states. State Atheism imitates and perverts the very worst aspects of religion. It is astonishing intellectual dishonesty to refuse to acknowledge the real-world outcomes of atheism-in-power. Every single officially atheist nation has been totalitarian, without exception. You have some explaining to do. It's a scandal that you (and your godless buddies) refuse to man up and admit that atheism in power has been a catastrophe.

[In the past, Christian states have murdered millions, too, but I wouldn't say that is a characteristic of Christianity.]

Christian atrocities are very much a part of Christianity--anti-Semitic pogroms, the Inquisition, the sack of Jerusalem are all sins Christians have to account for, and no honest Christian denies the need to understand these transgressions, to admit that they are ours as a faith, and to work to prevent them from happening again. Atheists have a history too. The difference is that atheists don't have the integrity to admit it and face it.

[Name a single American atheist who is in favor of an "Atheist State". I can't think of a single one. We are in favor of freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.]

You celebrate "Kitzmas" and throw parties with plaintiffs to celebrate censorship of any alternative to atheism's creation myth in schools. Your behavior in Dover and everywhere that you hatefully attack Christians in litigation makes your claim to support freedom of conscience and religion ridiculous. You are anti-Christian bigots who use the machinery of the State to suppress Christianity wherever you can.

[And of course you avoided the question (as usual). Why are there so many more Christians in American prisons than atheists?]

Bullshit statistic. If it is true (I have doubts), it's because religiosity is more common among blacks and hispanics, who are a demographic more likely to end up in jail. Also, people in jail are generally spiritually quite devastated, and understandably may seek God in ways that prosperous happy free people don't.

In addition, atheism is a phenomenon primarily of white males, often upper class or intelligentsia, who are inherently less likely to commit crimes that land them in jail than undereducated black males.

Comparing teenage dropout black male Baptists and Hispanic male Catholics to middle aged highly-educated white male atheists is a comparison fraught with complexities, and the fact that one group is more likely to end up in prison than the other is likely due to factors other than religious observance.

Surely you can make better arguments.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

It is astonishing intellectual dishonesty to refuse to acknowledge the real-world outcomes of atheism-in-power. Every single officially atheist nation has been totalitarian, without exception.

You're just playing word games. There are many nations that are effectively atheist today, such as the Czech Republic, but they are not totalitarian. The thing that is common to the states you name is totalitarianism, not atheism. Religion is often an obstacle to totalitarians, so it is often (but not always) a target. Many Nazis were Christians and by far the vast majority of killing in the Holocaust was done by Christians.

You have some explaining to do.

No, I don't. I had nothing to do with any of regimes you name. I condemn them. Neither have I ever argued for an "Atheist State". This is again, a fantasy of yours. Did you get that check for dementia yet?

Christian atrocities are very much a part of Christianity

Do they explain why you are such a thoroughly nasty and dishonest person?

Your behavior in Dover and everywhere that you hatefully attack Christians in litigation makes your claim to support freedom of conscience and religion ridiculous.

You're like a parrot. All you do is repeat your baseless and ridiculous claims with no change. I have never "hatefully attack[ed] Christians in litigation". For Chrissake, Egnor, as I've pointed out over and over, many of the plaintiffs in Dover were Christians. I would think this relentless dishonesty on your part would unhinge you. Maybe it already has.

The issue in Dover was separation of church and state. We won, in a decision made by a Christian and Republican judge appointed by a Republican president. To claim that this was some sort of hate against Christians is insane. Get that check for dementia soon, please.

Surely you can make better arguments.

It doesn't surprise me that you dismiss this so quickly. It doesn't fit with your world view, so you have to find some way to excuse it.

There are lots of arguments for the ethical superiority of atheists over religious people, in the mean. You can start with this paper: R. E. Smith, G. Wheeler, and E. Diener, Faith without works: Jesus people, resistance to temptation, and altruism, J. Applied Social Psychology 5 (1975), 320-330. I don't claim that all atheists are ethically superior to all Christians, but there is definitely an effect.

I have nothing but respect for the good Christians I know who live nearby. Many of them are honorable and better people than I am. You are about the worst example of a Christian I've ever seen. But please, keep talking -- with every word you discredit your own religion.

mregnor said...

[You are about the worst example of a Christian I've ever seen.]

You know nothing about my past, my personal life, my family or friends, and know only the rudiments of my professional life. You've never met me, and you wouldn't know me if you passed me on the street.

Yet I am "the worst example of a Christian [you've] ever seen"-- because I disagree with you online.

What a shallow way of looking at the world.

[Many Nazis were Christians and by far the vast majority of killing in the Holocaust was done by Christians.]

The vast majority of killing in the Soviet Union and Communist China and Khmer Rouge Cambodia was done by atheists.

And the Nazis were pagans much more than they were Christian. While ordinary German soldiers were often Christian, Nazi party members and the SS were much less so. "Got mit uns" was an old Prussian motto on the belt buckle of ordinary German soldiers, but SS soldiers were not permitted to wear it, and instead were issued "Meine Ehre heisst treue" (My honor is loyalty) insignia.

Germany was culturally Christian, but Nazis were Pagan--they worshiped race and soil, with a nice contemporary sprinkling of Darwinian selection of superior races. Obviously Nazism owed little or nothing to Christianity, except it inherited some of Luther's crude anti-Semitism.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

you wouldn't know me if you passed me on the street.

Nonsense. I've seen your schlubby face on a documentary. I would certainly recognize you.

because I disagree with you online.

No, not at all. I've had lots of pleasant discussions with Christians and non-Christians. It is your sneering and arrogance, your relentless ignorance, your inability to admit you are wrong about anything even when indisputable statistics are offered, your endless repetition of long-debunked arguments, your relentless personal attacks and smears, even against teenage girls, that make you a lousy person. But you are a great advertisement for Christianity! Please keep it up. Every word just makes more people realize what Christianity can do to people.

The vast majority of killing in the Soviet Union and Communist China and Khmer Rouge Cambodia was done by atheists.

That is a tu quoque defense. Both atheists and Christians have behaved badly. But as you yourself admit, bad behavior is a consequence of some forms of Christianity, why atheism per se entails no such behavior as a consequence.

While ordinary German soldiers were often Christian

I can understand completely why you are compelled to make excuses for Catholic Germans, but the truth is that many Catholics were Nazis and were enthusiastic killers of Jews. The Christian roots of Nazism are clear and widespread, despite efforts of some dishonest modern evangelical historians to absolve them. Read, for example, Hastings' book or Steigmann-Gall's. Hitler said Jesus was the true god, and that Nazis "intend to raise the treasures of the living Christ". But I was not speaking specifically of Germans. You do know that a large numbers of Jews in the Holocaust were killed by Christian Ukrainians, don't you?

Obviously Nazism owed little or nothing to Christianity

Another falsehood. All you can do is lie. Read the books above.

Ken Phelps said...

Fascinating exchange, Jeffrey. The sheer lack of self-awareness and the transparent abuse of language by the two believers is all too familiar to me. I was assisted in my transition from faith to rationality (at a Christian college in the pre-internet era) by just such behavior.

The abuse of logic, the twisting and evasive imprecision of meaning, the utter inability to sustain a train of thought or a level of abstraction, have changed not at all in four decades. My deconversion did not come about because of any external argument. In fact, I don't recall having read any overtly atheistic material. Rather, it was driven by the utter lack of internal coherence or consistency in those around me. In short, the more I listened to Christian apologists, the less I wanted to be the guy who thought like that.

So thanks, I guess, for letting these guys ramble. Perhaps they will help some younger version of me to see a shadow of what they could become, and flee.

KP

mregnor said...

@Ken:

[The abuse of logic, the twisting and evasive imprecision of meaning, the utter inability to sustain a train of thought or a level of abstraction, have changed not at all in four decades.]

Then this should be an easy question--one that Jeff is afraid to answer:

Is there evidence for design in nature?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I'm very happy to answer. (I'll give you a clue: the answer is one short word.)

First, admit that you lied about the "led to a plethora of Academic Freedom laws" claim. This should not be difficult to do, as I have already pointed out in detail why it is false.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

So thanks, I guess, for letting these guys ramble. Perhaps they will help some younger version of me to see a shadow of what they could become, and flee.


Glad to help. I don't know why Egnor is so unable to see how his behavior undermines his claim for the philosophical superiority of Christianity. His arguments get soundly thrashed time and again, and he just keeps trotting them out unchanged, year after year.

mregnor said...

Jeff:

I'll assume your answer is no.

But to deny that there is evidence for design necessarily means that design is something that could be discovered if it existed. Which means that the search for design in nature is a scientific process, capable of investigation and confirmation/refutation.

In short: if ID is wrong, then ID is testable, and ID is science.

Thus ID is a scientific theory, and it is constitutional to discuss it in classrooms.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

No, that's not correct. But I'm not going to discuss it further until you admit you lied.

Why are you so afraid to admit something that is obvious to everyone reading this page?

Shane Norman said...

Jeffery

I would refer our little triple godhead here over to Sandwalk. Open some popcorn and watch them get shredded by Larry...

By the way what the heck is a Darwinist? Have they never heard of the modern Synthesis?

Oh probably not. Arguing against 150 year old research is far easier.

Bert Brouwer said...

Let's summarize for a moment:

- organisms are self-organizing products of natural growth and development
- organs (like the heart ) have no purpose, goal or aim, but have functions
- E=mc^2DV (where DV stands for 'Deo Volente') isn't science, but religion
- ID products are from Monsanto and Mary Shelley's monster of Frankenstein

mregnor said...

@Shane:

Actually, Larry believes that ID is science, and supports teaching it in school. He thinks the Dover decision was a terrible decision.

He thinks ID is wrong, but he agrees with the DI that it is a scientific inference, and it should be open to discussion in schools.

You don't even understand the viewpoints of your fellow Darwinists. Perhaps I should take the debate to Larry-- you guys certainly ain't up to the job.

Yarwain said...

“collaborators with the bad guys” – Michael Egnor

What if people at the DI are the ‘bad guys,’ Michael? Not because they are predominantly religious, but rather because they intentionally pervert natural science (don’t forget it was Wheaton College professor de Vries who coined the term ‘methodological naturalism’). That would make you just such a collaborator with the ‘bad guys.’

Rather than ally yourself with the top Catholic voices of natural science, you’ve instead chosen to side with a highly political (check out their board members), largely evangelical Protestant institute in Seattle to teach you truths about nature. What a strange Catholic! : (

Compared with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, with which you might more appropriately associate, the DI is a low-rent, shallow, sensationalist US ‘think tank’ based on politicking, quasi-apologetics and PR propaganda, not good science. They employ scare tactics to young people and feast on anti-religious fears with their ‘cultural renewal’ rhetoric. Excusing them as you do for ‘fighting’ what you believe is a just ‘culture war’ does no justice or grace to your faith or its witness. You pathetically (invoking pathos) mimic the DI’s aggressive ‘style’ in the little I have read from you here. That’s the impression of your words.

Dr. Egnor, have you produced anything significant in a journal on the topic of ‘teleology’? You just don’t seem fitted to the task, as likewise DI people are unfit (including Meyer & West, since Dembski already vacated). Just take Wells & Nelson as bizarre cranky fantasy examples.

[‘Sans’?! Did you learn that word in a movie or on Sesame Street to try to appear intelligent (using a second language)? Most likely you don’t actually speak French, do you Michael? That is called imposture.]

There’s no need for you to attack fellow Catholic Ken Miller simply for his careful defence of good science against the Discovery Institute’s posturing. He is much closer to the views of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (which you appear to know nothing about) than you are in your bellicose ID promotion. Yet it does not appear that you even care what the top scientists in the Catholic Church around the world have to say because your supposed devotion to the DI is always superior. Do you wish to say otherwise?

“The DI is a courageous organization fighting the good fight” – Michael Egnor

The DI is hardly courageous. It is full of angry, pompous, wannabe ‘revolutionaries’ who are trying to sell their ‘science’ to creationist evangelicals, whilst they are also chiefly funded by them. It’s a money-making enterprise (at least in principle), as co-founder Gilder knows. They are neo-creationists who earn their donated salaries from or playing political tunes with the likes of backwards, undereducated fools. Are these the primary Americans you wish to associate your 'intelligence' with, duping evangelicals to stop thinking?

“Darwinism is junk science and junk metaphysics from beginning to end.” – Michael Egnor

“Darwinism is...” apparently something according to you. But that’s all. Marxism is an ideology; it is not ‘science’ or ‘metaphysics’. The same is true of Darwinism, your personal bogeyman, Michael. Dembski used to make the same mistake and never wizened up. But maybe you can eventually...

Yarwain said...

Regardless of anything you ever think or do in your life, Michael Egnor, the fact is that Charles Robert Darwin made a significant and important contribution to natural science and the words of no creationist (or IDist) will change that. Let him rest in peace in Westminster Abbey without your scandalous jealousy and petty revolutionizing tactics. BioLogos does not worship Darwin, but at least they afford him the dignity and respect he earned, along with Wallace, Boyle, Faraday, et al. that only foolish MDs associated with the DI do not give.

“BioLogos drinks deep of [natural selection]” – Michael Egnor

Darwin himself regretted that metaphor (autobiography), but didn’t disavow altogether the reasonable ‘environmentalist’ argument. Neither should you, Dr. Egnor, because you (as all of us) are impacted by your environment, the one in which you were raised and the one in which you live now (even if you seem intent to ignore the Catholic rejection of ID as if the Catholic Church is not an ‘environment’ that shapes you when it comes to good science). None of us can escape this on a society-individual level. If you wish to argue this obvious truth, then attempt to publish your rebuttal in a scholarly journal instead of throwing up the trivial pro-DI twaddle you have shown so far.

The totally absurd desire you display to believe that “Darwin was wrong, so Christianity is saved” is simply distorted (don't cross your heart and hope to die). It distorts science. It distorts theology. And it distorts philosophy ... perhaps like MDs (and lawyers, like Phillip Johnson) do best.

“Thus ID is a scientific theory, and it is constitutional to discuss it in classrooms.” – Michael Egnor

ID is a faith-based hypothesis (as Edward Feser, Steve Fuller & many others have shown), sure. But it is not a credible or pragmatic scientific theory and has given no tangible results in 20+ years.

In which (public) classrooms do you really think ID should be taught? As Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora suggested and as the Dover Judge Jones made clear, sure, include ID in philosophy and social sciences classrooms, if you must. The DI refuses this because of their petulant scientism. But do *NOT* include ID in natural science classrooms, since it has shown no empirical natural evidence of where, when, how or who, as science requires.

You are making a simple category error, Michael, which is what makes ID SCIENTISTIC. But as an MD, with no philosophical training, it does not seem that you have yet begun to understand what that means. And your affiliation with the DI seems to indicate you can't think independently on the matter. :(

At the end of the day, you also have a choice to make as an MD; do you speak (neurologically) about religious faith with your patients or not, ever? If you don’t, then you’re what you unwisely call a ‘collaborator’ too. If you do, then you’re breaking U.S. law. So, which is it? Or don't I wish to know...

You say you don’t understand why people of faith disagree (what you call ‘fratricide’) with each other re: evolutionary (natural) history, Michael. To me it should be very clear. I suggest you try reading Catholic scientists and scholars (as 5 I mentioned above, including 2 links, now will add 3 more: Ken Kemp, Dennis Bonnette and Christopher Morrissey) who haven’t sold out to the DI as have Richards, Behe and Chapman. And if you indeed have the courage of your Catholic convictions, then try Michael Augros’ “Who Designed the Designer?” (Ignatius Press 2015). Maybe you’ll rediscover your Catholic faith is not as fragile as they keep telling you it is.

p.s. Jeffrey Shallit, you come across as having a grave, pitiful self-importance atheist issue, which gives me little reason to visit your blog. ;) “God only knows what I’d be without you.”

Confused said...

@mregnor, yes he supports that, just like he supports discussing astrology in class. Not because he thinks it has actual scientific merit, but mostly for laughs and thinking skills. Still, it is clear such an approach to education is impossible since for every fact we know that is correct there are hundreds we know are incorrect and discussing them all is impossible.

Please, do take the debate to Larry. Amuse us.

Shane Norman said...

Really egnor?

Are you even seeing the same words?

http://sandwalk.blogspot.com.au/2015/12/intelligent-design-explanations-and.html



Intelligent Design Creationism is a movement based on bad science. Every single one of their positive, science-like, claims about ID have been refuted, or discredited, or shown to be completely unnecessary in the face of robust evolutionary explanations. Some of them have the distinction of being unnecessary AND refuted AND discredited (e.g irreducible complexity).


And you still dont understand that modern evolutionary biology is not darwinism the term does not exist in the context of evolutionary biology.

Its clear you can only hand wave dismissals you have no real scientific argument.

Shane Norman said...

An example of your tortured logic to which you have to resort.

Jeff:

I'll assume your answer is no.

But to deny that there is evidence for design necessarily means that design is something that could be discovered if it existed. Which means that the search for design in nature is a scientific process, capable of investigation and confirmation/refutation.

Design is obviously present in nature, however modern evolutionary biology has clearly demonstrated that no intelligent agent is required to achieve this. At present no contrary theory has successfully challenged this thats consistent with how science works.

In short: if ID is wrong, then ID is testable, and ID is science.

Again wrong. Science is a methodology. ID is a simple hypothesis implausible because it relies on unspecified agents contrary to the laws of nature as we understand them. However in addition it has not been supported by any evidence which meets the rigorous standards of 21st century science.

At present evolutionary biology has stood the test of 150 years of rigorous challenge so ID stands as just another failed hypothesis along with spontaneous generation and phlogiston.

Thus ID is a scientific theory, and it is constitutional to discuss it in classrooms.

No it is not see above. ID has no credible evidence so will never become a theory.
We dont teach spontaneous generation in classrooms for the same reasons.




mregnor said...

@Shane:

[Science is a methodology.]

Science is the systematic study of nature. It has had many methodologies, and will have many in the future.

[ID is a simple hypothesis implausible because it relies on unspecified agents contrary to the laws of nature as we understand them.]

Agency is detectable, even if the agent is not known. See "SETI", cryptography, archeology, etc.

All new science is "contrary to the laws of nature as we understand them"--that's what makes it new. If we understood it already, it wouldn't be new.

In fact, "laws of nature" rely on unspecified agents. Where do the laws of nature come from? If you say "they just are", then you deny the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which is the principle on which science depends. If laws of nature just happen, why don't species just happen?

[However in addition it has not been supported by any evidence which meets the rigorous standards of 21st century science.]

"Rigorous standards of 21st century science" What a joke.

Whether Darwinism or design is a better explanation for biological adaptation is what the debate is about. You don't get the last word on it. The evidence for design is massive.
\
[At present evolutionary biology has stood the test of 150 years of rigorous challenge]

Evolutionary biology is a discipline, moron, not a theory.

Darwinism is a theory.

If design isn't science, then Darwinism hasn't been challenged at all. You can't logically claim that design isn't a scientific challenge to Darwinism and at the same time claim that Darwinism has withstood the scientific challenge of design.

[so ID stands as just another failed hypothesis along with spontaneous generation and phlogiston.]

Darwinism, not ID, is the phlogiston of biology. 'Survivors survive'!

[ID has no credible evidence so will never become a theory.]

"No credible evidence" presumes that ID is a theory against which evidence has been tested. You contradict yourself.

[We dont teach spontaneous generation in classrooms for the same reasons.]

Darwinists already teach spontaneous generation--that's what origin of life research presupposes.

Overall, a pretty remarkable comment you're made there, Shane. Abject stupidity in every sentence. No mean accomplishment.

mregnor said...

@Shane:


[Intelligent Design Creationism is a movement based on bad science.]

You admit it's science. "Bad science" is science.

[Every single one of their positive, science-like, claims about ID have been refuted, or discredited, or shown to be completely unnecessary in the face of robust evolutionary explanations.]

You mean "robust Darwinian explanations". ID is an evolutionary explanation, too. It's just one you don't like.

[Some of them have the distinction of being unnecessary AND refuted AND discredited (e.g irreducible complexity).]

"Unnecessary" is what the debate turns on. I think the inference to design is necessary. You don't.

"Refuted" means that ID is a scientific theory that is testable. Thanks for admitting that.

"Discredited" means that Darwinists are furiously trying to shut ID down, and will use crap arguments, like yours, to "discredit" it.

[And you still dont understand that modern evolutionary biology is not darwinism the term does not exist in the context of evolutionary biology.]

Of course evolutionary biology is not Darwinism. Evolutionary biology is a discipline, and Darwinism is a theory within that discipline.

You're not really a very bright guy, are you Shane?

mregnor said...

@Yarwain:

Those Darwinists are pretty great guys. Especially the Catholic ones. And Charles was a secular saint. And nothing is more important than genuflecting to the most powerful engine of atheism in modern times. And Darwin-forbid that a conservative think tank could be right about anything.

Don't let me interfere with your worship of Baal, Yarwain.

The whole truth said...

egnor drooled:

"And the Nazis were pagans much more than they were Christian. While ordinary German soldiers were often Christian, Nazi party members and the SS were much less so. "Got mit uns" was an old Prussian motto on the belt buckle of ordinary German soldiers, but SS soldiers were not permitted to wear it, and instead were issued "Meine Ehre heisst treue" (My honor is loyalty) insignia.

Germany was culturally Christian, but Nazis were Pagan--they worshiped race and soil, with a nice contemporary sprinkling of Darwinian selection of superior races. Obviously Nazism owed little or nothing to Christianity, except it inherited some of Luther's crude anti-Semitism."

See these:

http://www.nobeliefs.com/hitlerchristian.htm

http://www.nobeliefs.com/hitler.htm

http://coelsblog.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/nazi-racial-ideology-was-religious-creationist-and-opposed-to-darwinism/

http://coelsblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/hitler-despised-atheism-as-much-as-pope-benedict-does/

http://home.uchicago.edu/~rjr6/articles/Was%20Hitler%20a%20Darwinian.pdf

The whole truth said...

egnor huffed and puffed:

"And I don't like cowards, especially supercilious ones, and especially when they are ostensibly on my side."

"The DI is a courageous organization fighting the good fight. They're right about a lot of stuff, and where I think they're wrong, they're very willing to listen to and consider other views."

So any minute now the discotoot, which you are a part of, will 'courageously' open all internal documents and everything on its websites/pages to comments and listen to other views, right? And any minute now the catholic cult, which you are a part of, will 'courageously' open all of its records and publicly admit all of its past and current perverted, abusive, murderous, thieving, lying, culture and mind destroying actions and crimes, and listen to other views, right?

"I am not in any way a spokesman for the movement..."

So someone else writes and posts the IDiot-creationist-movement sermons with your name on them at ENV, and you're not being a spokesman for "the movement" here, your egnorance blog, and other sites?

Yarwain said...

"But I do dislike fights with fellow [theists]."

That's probably because you do it so poorly. I've provided you with several resources that could help you, Michael, both from Protestants and Catholics. You made no comment to any of it. Because of this, it does not seem to me that you wish to participate in 'discussions' about evolution and creation in good faith. You appear to think you have all the knowledge you need (simply because you've read IDists in your non-professional spare time?!).

As for your comments about 'Darwinists' being 'great guys' (no offence to the ladies), Darwin being a 'secular saint' and "the most powerful engine of atheism in modern times," this is all so silly. Atheism is the most powerful engine of atheism. Blaming Darwin for so many modern social evils is typical DI bluster (right out of John G. West's manipulative, ideological playbook); they don't even trace mechanistic worldview to Newton and Descartes! Darwin himself wasn't an atheist, in his own words (perhaps for the love of his wife - you do allow that Darwin could love, don't you?!). This anger, arrogance and fighting angst you seem to carry in your heart does not reflect well on your character, at least not via your on-line persona.

Again, to repeat: Darwinism is not a scientific theory. It is an ideology. Evolutionary biology, you are correct, is a scientific discipline and Darwinian evolution is a scientific theory, the most efficacious so far, in biology (as well as the general outline of natural history for other natural sciences). This doesn't mean it can't be superseded as some biologists are currently attempting (e.g. http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/).

Hating on Darwin, however, is doing little good in US society, Dr. Egnor, despite all of the Darwin haters at the DI and among YEC organizations, mainly from (fundamentalist) evangelical Protestants. It just shows fear ("the path to the dark side"), not courage.

"Don't let me interfere with your worship of Baal"

ROTFL! ;) That's quite a far-fetched conclusion. It sounds so black & white, like Bush's 'you're either with us or you're against us.' Protestant fervor a la Egnor: "You're either an IDist/creationist or you worship Baal"!

Have fun 'debating' your atheist 'enemies' on sites like this one, Egnor. The vitriol flying back and forth here between atheists and IDist/creationist theists is rather disturbing. I am done with Michael Egnor, MD & IDist/creationist, more evangelical Protestant than Catholic. Farewell & happy new year.

Bert Brouwer said...

A happy and awe-inspiring new year, and may the Scientology Force that surrounds and penetrates us, that binds the galaxy together, be with you all.

The whole truth said...

egnor opined:

"I think the inference to design is necessary."

What, exactly, is "the design inference" besides 'it looks designed to me' and 'my chosen god-did-it'? What productive difference would "the design inference" make in the practice and results of science? What would be done differently? What new avenues of scientific research would "the design inference" open? Be very specific.

And one more question for now: Would it be okay with you. egnor, if the "design" (i.e. creation) that you're so eager to promote were attributed to a so-called 'god' other than the so-called 'god' that you believe in, such as Make-make, Zeus, Ra, Viracocha, Ikenga, Izanagi, Tengri, Lelwani, Anu, Odin, etc., etc., etc.?

mregnor said...

@NoTruth:

[What productive difference would "the design inference" make in the practice and results of science?]

What an intelligent question.

Consider: you are studying a computer to understand what it is.

If you don't presume design, you might weigh it, determine its specific gravity and specific heat, melt it down and analyze its elemental composition.

If you presume design, you plug it in, start it up, explore its utilization of energy, analyze its information content, analyze the functions of its components, etc.

Now consider this: which is more like biological science?

All biology is design science, moron. You are just too ignorant to see it.

Re: Zeus, Ra, Viracocha, etc:

I only answer one stupid question a day. You had your quota.

The whole truth said...

egnor, you conveniently ignored the fact that I referred to "the design inference", or as you put it "the inference to design", and that what I referred to is "the design inference" or "inference to design" that you IDiot-creationists push. That "design inference" or "inference to design" has nothing to do with computers, which are already known to be invented, researched, designed, manufactured, distributed, sold, bought, understood, and used by humans. Again I ask: What productive DIFFERENCE would "the design inference" make in the practice and results of science? What would be done DIFFERENTLY? What NEW avenues of scientific research would "the design inference" open? Be very specific.

And you also haven't answered these (your cowardice is showing):

What, exactly, is "the design inference" besides 'it looks designed to me' and 'my chosen god-did-it'?

Would it be okay with you. egnor, if the "design" (i.e. creation) that you're so eager to promote were attributed to a so-called 'god' other than the so-called 'god' that you believe in, such as Make-make, Zeus, Ra, Viracocha, Ikenga, Izanagi, Tengri, Lelwani, Anu, Odin, etc., etc., etc.?

mregnor said...

@Notruth:

One stupid question per day. That includes follow-ups.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Shall we assume, Dr. Egnor, that although the number of stupid questions per day is bounded, the number of lies you can produce per day is unbounded?

mike83 said...

I have a number of questions for Dr Egnor;

Judge John Jones claimed to have received death threats after his decision in the Dover case. Do you think he was lying? Do you think making such threats is a reasonable reaction in the circumstances?

What is your precise disagreement with conventional biology? Do you disagree that all organisms share common descent? If so, you are at odds with Michael Behe, a Discoveroid 'fellow'!

Do you agree that the Earth was created within the last ten thousand years? Bill Buckingham, who initiated the events at Dover, has stated that all Christians must necessarily be of this view.

You complain about 'censorship'. If a school science teacher is forbidden to assert that the Earth is flat, is that unacceptable censorship?

Just a few thoughts. Happy New Year!

mregnor said...

@Mike:

[Judge John Jones claimed to have received death threats after his decision in the Dover case. Do you think he was lying? Do you think making such threats is a reasonable reaction in the circumstances?]

Your effort to garner sympathy by invoking "death threats" is execrable. I don't give a shit about Jones' personal problems.

[What is your precise disagreement with conventional biology?]

Precisely, I believe that "conventional" biology has wrongly embraced atheism's creation myth.

[Do you disagree that all organisms share common descent?]

The evidence is mixed. I think it favors the view the universal common descent is wrong. The phyletic 'tree' is a bush, which is not a pattern of common descent.

[If so, you are at odds with Michael Behe]

I don't know Behe's view on this.

[Do you agree that the Earth was created within the last ten thousand years?]

Of course not, moron.

[Bill Buckingham, who initiated the events at Dover, has stated that all Christians must necessarily be of this view.]

Why should I care what he said?

[If a school science teacher is forbidden to assert that the Earth is flat, is that unacceptable censorship?]

A science teacher is rightly held to his curriculum. He is not permitted to teach things contrary to the curriculum, and rightfully so.

Federal judges are not a part of the curricular process, and federal court injunctions to remain silent on specific topics under penalty of law are censorship.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Your effort to garner sympathy by invoking "death threats" is execrable. I don't give a shit about Jones' personal problems.

And that, my readers, sums up Egnor's ethical world view in a nutshell:

A 14-year-old girl sticking up for the Constitution: fascism.

A Federal judge getting death threats: who cares?

If there's not a better indictment of the sick, depraved world view of some creationists and right-wing religionists, I can't think of one.

Ken Phelps said...

"
Federal judges are not a part of the curricular process..."

So the body that is constitutionally mandated to hear and decide matters of disagreement between parties vis a vis that constitution isn't supposed to actually do that when so petitioned? Have you somehow gotten the notion into your pretty little head that the existence of a decision making process intended to define the normal functioning of an organization renders that organization beyond the bounds of federal law if there is a disagreement regarding the legality of an action taken by the organization's employees?

Keep your day job.

On the plus side, if nothing else, at least you spell better than Rob't Byers.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Yeah, Egnor's understanding of constitutional law is about the same as his understanding of climate science and evolution.

mregnor said...

Atheists who hide behind teen drama-queens: hilarious

Atheists who use alleged "death threats" to justify censorship: pitiful

Atheists who have no other arguments: priceless.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Keep digging your hole, Egnor. We love it!

Ken Phelps said...

More helpful perhaps if you explained your quaint notions re the scope of the federal court. I'm waiting with bated giggles.

mregnor said...

@Supreme Court Justice Ken:

[So the body that is constitutionally mandated to hear and decide matters of disagreement between parties vis a vis that constitution isn't supposed to actually do that when so petitioned?]

Just how reading a paragraph describing Darwinism and ID as theories establishes a federal religion remains unclear. "Vis a vis the Constitution" is the key, Justice Ken.

Jones' decision was 'vis a vis' the ACLU, which he copied virtually verbatim. In case you are surprised that Jones' ruling was cribbed, here are Jones' qualifications for the federal bench (Wiki):

"In 1992, Jones unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives for the Sixth Congressional District seat and then was co-chair of the transition team for Governor-elect Tom Ridge. Jones was the chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board from 1995 to 2002, a period marked by some controversy. He was part of a failed attempt to privatize state stores, and he banned Bad Frog Beer after determining that its label (a frog giving the finger) was in bad taste. He briefly considered running for Governor in 2001."

Jones'expertise in biological sciences derives from his expertise on Bad Frog Beer.

"[A] new analysis of the text of the Kitzmiller decision reveals that nearly all of Judge Jones’ lengthy examination of “whether ID is science” came not from his own efforts or analysis but from wording supplied by ACLU attorneys. In fact, 90.9% (or 5,458 words) of Judge Jones’ 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU’s proposed “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” submitted to Judge Jones nearly a month before his ruling. Judge Jones even copied several clearly erroneous factual claims made by the ACLU. The finding that most of Judge Jones’ analysis of intelligent design was apparently not the product of his own original deliberative activity seriously undercuts the credibility of Judge Jones’ examination of the scientific validity of intelligent design."

http://www.discovery.org/f/1186

mregnor said...

[Have you somehow gotten the notion into your pretty little head that the existence of a decision making process intended to define the normal functioning of an organization renders that organization beyond the bounds of federal law if there is a disagreement regarding the legality of an action taken by the organization's employees?]

Oh my goodness. "Federal law"? Courts have jurisdiction under law. Their jurisdiction is predicated on the courts' conformity to law.

What "federal law" was violated by reading the paragraph? (Hint: none)

In what way did the paragraph establish a federal church? (Hint: it didn't)

As there was no violation of either "federal law" or the Establishment Clause by the school board, the court had no basis for allowing the case to proceed. As such, the violation was that of the court, which deprived the citizens of Dover of their constitutional right of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and of due process.

Kitzmiller has the same moral and legal credibility as Dred Scott, Plessy, and Buck vs Bell. It's a garbage ruling by an judge acting in disregard of the law.

[...if there is a disagreement regarding the legality of an action taken by the organization's employees?]

There has never been any disagreement about the legality of the school board's action. There is no law prohibiting the assertion that Darwin's theory and ID are theories. The disagreement is about the constitutionality of the board's action. (inter alia, Ken--do read up on the difference between statutory law and constitutional law). Given that reading a paragraph describing Darwinian theory and ID theory as theories is obviously constitutional, the court ruled in error.

[Keep your day job]

Actually, I had been thinking of becoming an expert on Bad Frog Beer and sucking up to my local politicians so that I too can get a plum sinecure on the federal bench. I mean, how hard can it be to copy ACLU briefs? Just Cut and Paste and call it a "ruling" and you're on the NCSE lecture circuit and you become an icon to atheist imbeciles pretending to have legal acumen.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Egnor the energizer bunny! Debunk his misunderstandings about the Constitution and in the very same thread he just repeats them again, as if you hadn't said anything.

Talking to creationists is like talking to brick walls. They simply cannot absorb new information.

which he copied virtually verbatim

Another lie, debunked long ago. How stupid do you think we are?

Egnor, how about for the New Year, you resolve to repeat one fewer lie a day than usual? I know it'll be a struggle, but honestly, you'll be a better person.

mregnor said...

Shallit:

If Judge Jones didn't get his biological acumen from the ACLU, it must have been his research on Bad Frog Beer. (he has no other discernible scientific education or credentials).

Having realized that Bad Frogs arise by heritable variation and natural selection, Jones naturally applied his rarefied biological knowledge to his decision on the Demarcation Problem, which was finally solved in his courtroom, after centuries of debate by philosophers and scientists.

It's noteworthy that you cite Jones' decision as decisive in the ID/Darwinism debate. I'm sure you and Kitzmiller had a few Bad Frog Beers at your victory party.

Jones' decision makes sense, when you're drunk.

mregnor said...

And Shallit, Sandefur admits that Jones cribbed the ACLU, he just says it's ok because everyone does it, which makes me feel a lot better about Constitutional law.

I feel more secure when I know that judges crib opinions from their favorite side, rather than apply independent legal analysis to the ruling.

Given that Jones' only prior brush with biology came from his ruling on Bad Frog Beer, he must have felt that the ACLU had a deeper well of beers from which to draw.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Egnor, surely even you understand it was the "virtually verbatim" lie I was addressing.

We already know you know nothing at all about how law is actually done. We understand completely that you have no idea that it's common legal practice for a judge to adopt the reasoning of the side that wins.

You remember that part about how your side lost, right?

Please, keep it up, I haven't laughed so hard since I listened to Perry Marshall today on "Unbelievable".

Bobsie said...

I just got here but I'll will take Dr Egnor up on his questions.

Is there evidence for design in nature? - Dr. Egnor
No, there is no credible empirical evidence that supports a hypothesis of design in nature. Incredulity is not credible empirical evidence. I think all scientists would be open to evaluating any credible empirical evidence otherwise.

Understanding biological systems without inference to purpose/design is impossible. - Dr. Egnor
Not factual or supported by the evidence. Again your incredulity is not credible empirical evidence and this assertion demands compelling credible empirical evidence.

I dislike fights with fellow Christians. I'll pray for you. Please pray for me.
- Dr. Egnor
I understand you are enmeshed in and charmed by your personal theology but truly, your most challenging and intimidating opponent is your fellow Christians, not atheists or scientists.

Bobsie said...

Is you [sic] theory so fragile that it will not withstand a single paragraph and the scrutiny of schoolchildren? - Egnor
Aren't you skipping a step? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to read this statement in all our university and college biology courses; entry and advanced?

If our primary and secondary schools are to prepare their students for college science majors, shouldn't they be limited to the science that is presented at the college level? Isn't that the most "level playing field" for the scrutiny of scientific claims and assertions? Plate tectonics did not get introduced in primary and secondary education until well established as credible science at the university level.

Why are you so hell bent on skipping this? If ID is credible, it will stand on its own without you and others political shoehorning where it doesn't yet belong. ID must earn its legitimacy the old fashioned way, earn it.

Ken Phelps said...

What's kind of funny/sad is the way the DI talking points alternate between "Jones made a bad decision" and "We bailed on the case because we knew it was a loser". Compartmentalization, it's not just for the Titanic anymore.

mregnor said...

@Boobsie:

[No, there is no credible empirical evidence that supports a hypothesis of design in nature.]

Therefore, the inference to design is a testable inference, and thus it is a scientific inference. I'm glad you agree that there is no problem discussing it in school.

[(Purpose in biology) Not factual or supported by the evidence. Again your incredulity is not credible empirical evidence and this assertion demands compelling credible empirical evidence.]

Ok. Describe the biology of the heart, without reference to its purpose.

[your most challenging and intimidating opponent is your fellow Christians, not atheists or scientists.]

There's truth in that. Christians are smarter than atheists, and thus more formidable opponents.

mregnor said...

@Boobsie:

[Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to read this statement in all our university and college biology courses; entry and advanced?]

Read it everywhere. Why does it scare you?

[If our primary and secondary schools are to prepare their students for college science majors, shouldn't they be limited to the science that is presented at the college level?]

Good question for a school board to answer. Federal judges have no business answering it.

[Isn't that the most "level playing field" for the scrutiny of scientific claims and assertions?]

So allow the legal discussion of ID in schools, just as it is legal to do so in colleges. Let school boards set curricula, like colleges set curricula, without federal judicial injunctions and multimillion dollar litigation.

[Plate tectonics did not get introduced in primary and secondary education until well established as credible science at the university level.]

I'm a little rusty on my plate-tectonics-in-elementary-school history. i'll take your word for it. Like plate tectonics, ID should be legal to discuss anywhere.

[Why are you so hell bent on skipping this? If ID is credible, it will stand on its own without you and others political shoehorning where it doesn't yet belong.]

The DI opposes teaching ID in schools.

http://www.discovery.org/a/3164

It's nice to see that you agree with them. Consider joining.

[ID must earn its legitimacy the old fashioned way, earn it.]

Legitimacy in science is earned by open unfettered debate about evidence. Court rulings do not confer legitimacy on science, Kitzmiller notwithstanding.

mregnor said...

@Justice Ken:

Thinking is hard. Focus now:

"Jones made a bad decision" is true. There is nothing unconstitutional about teaching that Darwinism and ID are theories.

'We bailed on the case because we knew it was a loser' is true. The DI did not want precedent set on crap jurisprudence. The result bears them out. Kitzmiller is precedent and it's crap.

The DI is 2 for 2.

mregnor said...

@Justice Ken:

[More helpful perhaps if you explained your quaint notions re the scope of the federal court.]

Here's one example of scope: federal courts are not part of curriculum committees in school districts in southern Pennsylvania. I'll think of others...

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Therefore, the inference to design is a testable inference, and thus it is a scientific inference.

The single dumbest argument ever made on this blog! Congratulations, Egnor.

Suppose I claim that invisible and by-their-very-nature-undetectable tiny demons push particles around, and this accounts for Brownian motion. However, there is no credible empirical evidence for these demons. Therefore, by your reasoning, the lack of evidence means the inference to these demons is testable and therefore scientific.

I'm still laughing at that one. Keep it up!

mregnor said...

@Justice Ken:

Oh, and how did the DI know that the ruling in Dover would be crap?

My guess: they read Judge Jones' c.v.

mregnor said...

@Jeff:

If a cause is undetectable, it cannot be a scientific inference.

If it is detectable, it is a scientific inference.

If it is detectable and detected, it is good science.

If it is detectable and is not detected, it is bad science.

Is design detectable?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

There is nothing unconstitutional about teaching that Darwinism and ID are theories.

Repetition does not constitute an argument.

My guess: they read Judge Jones' c.v.

Which party did Jones belong to? Which president appointed him? Yep, I guess the answers to those questions should have tipped you off that his appointment was a mistake. Thanks for admitting that Republicans are not to be trusted!

Jeffrey Shallit said...

If a cause is undetectable, it cannot be a scientific inference.

Oops! I guess your previous deduction was wrong, then. Thanks for admitting it.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Get a clue: "There is no evidence for design in nature" doesn't mean "I have tested for design, and the test failed".

mregnor said...

@Jeff:

[Thanks for admitting that Republicans are not to be trusted!]

This is my shocked face:

:0

mregnor said...

@Jeff:

["There is no evidence for design in nature" doesn't mean "I have tested for design, and the test failed".]

Duh.

You need to be more clear when you say stupid things.

Try this: say either

"Design is not something that can be detected"

or

"Design is something that could be detected but hasn't been"

Debating atheists is like trying to nail jello to a wall.

Which of the above do you believe to be true?

(takes nail out of pocket...)

Bobsie said...

[Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to read this statement in all our university and college biology courses; entry and advanced?]

Read it everywhere. Why does it scare you? -Dr Egnor

Nothing scary about it, it's all about earning legitimacy. You don't earn legitimacy by getting kindergarteners to listen to your scientifically unsupported by credible empirical evidence stories.

Bobsie said...

Therefore, the inference to design is a testable inference, and thus it is a scientific inference. I'm glad you agree that there is no problem discussing it in school. - Dr Egnor

You missed the part about presenting credible empirical evidence. Got any other than your incredulity?

[(Purpose in biology) Not factual or supported by the evidence. Again your incredulity is not credible empirical evidence and this assertion demands compelling credible empirical evidence.]

Ok. Describe the biology of the heart, without reference to its purpose. - Dr Egnor

A description of what the heart does biologically is not evidence of purpose. But you may "believe" there's a purpose and attribute it to your theology if you like. But that's merely your story, not science.

Bobsie said...

I'm respecting your name, you could do the same for mine.

ScienceAvenger said...


[Egnor: There has been no warming for 18 years, despite rise in CO2]

I'm so glad Egnor brought this up. It makes perfectly clear that he's just parroting partisan arguments without understanding them, or he really is that ignorant of basic principles of statisical analysis, because nobody with even a basic understanding would do what it takes to draw that conclusion. It's not just cherry picking, its BAD cherry picking.

[Egnor: ...if there is no God, then there is no Source of moral law, and your implicit assertion that Hitler did evil things is a mere opinion]

Notice how Egnor bravely ran away when this little bit of sophistry was tossed back in his face. Of all his arguments, it's the most empty. Human beings have been getting along without *A* source of moral law for millenia. I always find it amusing when some pseudointellect decides that we suddenly need one, and that's generously assuming its even meaningful to talk about such a thing. There's no there there, and its time people started saying so.

ScienceAvenger said...

[Shallit: It is your sneering and arrogance, your relentless ignorance, your inability to admit you are wrong about anything even when indisputable statistics are offered, your endless repetition of long-debunked arguments, your relentless personal attacks and smears, even against teenage girls, that make you a lousy person]

Or Donald Trump.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Come on, Egnor, you know the ground rules. First, you have to admit what I have demonstrated: that you lied about your "plethora" claim. Then you get to hear my analysis.

Who here is shocked, shocked, that Egnor would try to cheat?

mregnor said...

@stupidityavenger:

[Human beings have been getting along without *A* source of moral law for millenia. I always find it amusing when some pseudointellect decides that we suddenly need one, and that's generously assuming its even meaningful to talk about such a thing. There's no there there, and its time people started saying so.]

People have been saying so. Every time someone is raped, someone (the rapist) says "there's no moral law". In the Holocaust, lots of people (who ran the gas chambers) said "there's no moral law".

It's not hard to find people who say "there's no moral law". Wherever atrocities are committed, the perpetrators are saying "there's no moral law".

If you believe there's no moral law, you are not alone. Do you like the company you keep?

mregnor said...

@Boobsie:

[I'm respecting your name, you could do the same for mine.]

Earn it.

mregnor said...

@Boobsie:

[A description of what the heart does biologically is not evidence of purpose.]

A description of what the heart does presumes purpose.

The heart does many things: fills the pericardial sac,keeps the lungs from rubbing, serves as a symbol for Valentine's Day, pumps blood, makes sounds, fills the hole between the sternum and the spine, etc.

What's its purpose?

A description of the heart as a pump, which is a scientific description, presupposes purpose in nature. Science can't be done without inference to purpose.

Where does purpose come from?

mregnor said...

@Boobsie:

[it's all about earning legitimacy. You don't earn legitimacy by getting kindergarteners to listen to your scientifically unsupported by credible empirical evidence stories.]

So you agree with the DI. They don't advocate teaching ID in schools either. They advocate questioning Darwinism, which Judge "Bad Frog Beer" Jones ruled unconstitutional (he ordered that Darwinism not be "disparaged" in the classroom).

But Judge Bad Frog Beer is wrong. There's nothing unconstitutional about teaching ID or Darwinism, anywhere.

Whether it is good didactics to teach ID in school is another question. Most IDers don't think it is a good idea, but some do.

But here's the point: that is a decision to be made by school boards, teachers, educators, etc, not by some fucking judge.

ScienceAvenger said...

[Yarwain: Claiming ‘happiness’ as an atheist is disingenuous tripe. ]

Oh kindly fuck off. By any measure atheist are as happy, or nearly so when balanced against cultural biases*, as anyone else. That it poses a problem for your worldview is a problem for you, not a problem for us. Pretending to be psychic only erodes your credibility, as does ignoring easily verified reality when it conflicts with your biases.

= = = = = =

*It's the definition of chutzpha to denigrate atheists and then take any resulting reduction in their happiness relative to other groups as evidence that your denigrations were correct. That's right up there with beating the shit out of a gay person and pointing to his hospital stay as evidence that the gay lifestyle (whatever the hell that is) is unhealthy.

The whole truth said...

egnor dishonestly spewed:

"Just how reading a paragraph describing Darwinism and ID as theories establishes a federal religion remains unclear."

It was not just about "reading a paragraph", and "ID" is not a scientific theory. You are well aware that there was a lot more to the Dover situation than "reading a paragraph", and your assertion that ID is a 'theory' (especially in the scientific sense) is laughable.

"Let school boards set curricula, like colleges set curricula, without federal judicial injunctions and multimillion dollar litigation."

Well then, it would be okay with you if school boards set curricula in public schools, including kindergarten, as teaching the 'theory' (LOL) of astrology, Wicca, Voodoo, Satanism, Fifi the Pink Unicorn God, islam (especially the ISIS version), all of the myths at the link below, and anything else that school board members may conjure up, right?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mythologies

You and other god pushers really should stop using the "Darwinism" label. Evolutionary theory has changed a lot since Darwin put forth his ideas and evidence, and constantly bashing Darwin just shows that you IDiot-creationists are way behind the times and jealous of Darwin's accomplishments. And since Wallace gets joint credit with Darwin for discovering, promoting, and publishing some of the evidence and processes of evolution (e.g. natural selection), why don't you IDCs bash him like you do Darwin? Why does the discotoot, that you are a part of, glorify Wallace and adopt him (posthumously) as an IDiot (without his permission)?

The whole truth said...

In regard to a heart, egnor asks:

"What's its purpose?"

"Where does purpose come from?"

Are you claiming that your chosen, so-called god directly causes a heart to fill the pericardial sac, keep the lungs from rubbing, serve as a symbol for Valentine's Day, pump blood, make sounds, fill the hole between the sternum and the spine, etc.?

You sure do like to play childish games. There's a HUGE difference between the "purpose" of a heart and the allegedly 'divine' "purpose" that you thumpers push. Is it your chosen, so-called god that STOPS hearts from doing all of the things that you listed when people die and decompose? If so, what's the "purpose" of that? My oldest brother died at birth. Did your chosen, so-called god stop his heart?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

egnor vomited this bile:

"Every time someone is raped, someone (the rapist) says "there's no moral law"."

Hogwash. And is that what catholic priests and other 'men of god' say when they rape little boys and girls?

"In the Holocaust, lots of people (who ran the gas chambers) said "there's no moral law"."

Reference please to "lots of people (who ran the gas chambers)" and said the words "there's no moral law".

"It's not hard to find people who say "there's no moral law". Wherever atrocities are committed, the perpetrators are saying "there's no moral law"."

You spend too much time with child rapists in the catholic cult.

"If you believe there's no moral law, you are not alone. Do you like the company you keep?"

Do you like the company you keep, egnor, as a member of the raping, lying, thieving, destructive, oppressive, murderous catholic cult? Tell me, egnor, how much money has the catholic cult had to pay out so far for raping children, lying about it, and protecting the rapists?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

egnor lied again:

"So you agree with the DI. They don't advocate teaching ID in schools either."

What. A. Crock.

"They advocate questioning Darwinism, which Judge "Bad Frog Beer" Jones ruled unconstitutional (he ordered that Darwinism not be "disparaged" in the classroom)."

If you and the rest of your ilk at the discotoot aren't trying to push ID into schools, why are you so butthurt about Judge Jones's ruling? If I weren't trying to push something into schools and a Judge ruled that I can't push it into schools it wouldn't bother me at all.

Bobsie said...

Dr Egnor, I answered your questions, could you be so kind as answer some of mine?

1) What ID does propose actually happened, when, where, how? Without empirical evidence for that, all you really have is pseudoscience to read to the kindergarteners.
2) What confirmed empirical evidence could ever convince you that you are wrong? If nothing, then that exposes your bias. If you can articulate an actual test, then why not run it in your lab and publish and “earn” the ultimate respect of your peers?

BTW, I have earned respect for my name. Have you? Or were you belly aching about ID earning its legitimacy the old fashioned way not by mere unsupported assertion?

Bobsie said...

A description of the heart as a pump, which is a scientific description, presupposes purpose in nature. – Dr Egnor.

A description does not presuppose any purpose. That it is a pump provides an advantage to the organism. An advantage improved upon over the millennia.

Science can't be done without inference to purpose. – Dr Egnor.

Merely your belief. Still with empty pockets for empirical evidence, eh? Truly, that's all you really need. I wonder why you have put that off for so long.

Where does purpose come from? – Dr Egnor

Condensing matter does not have a purpose; it’s automatic and inevitable when presented specific environmental conditions.

mregnor said...

@Boooobsie:

It's funny how so many of you Darwinists get into a snit over stuff like making fun of your names. It makes it worth doing.

@holetruth:

One of the most common atheist seques, after having their argument demolished, is to spew some pea soup about the Catholic Church raping children. It's like pulling the string on one of those talking toys.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

It's funny how so many of you Darwinists get into a snit over stuff like making fun of your names. It makes it worth doing.

Honestly, you can't make this kind of stuff up. This is what Christian love turns some people into.

Confused said...

@mregnor

You keep ignoring the most important questions here:

How exactly do you actually detect design? Is "Its obvious" your whole argument for it?

What empirical evidence do you have for you claim and what evidence could change your mind?

The whole truth said...

Hey egnor, who brought up "moral law" and "rapist[s]" in the first place? Hint: It wasn't me.



Rolf Aalberg said...

We are many 'confused' people here, and we all want to know: How do you detect design?
I have yet to see that any biological object is marked by a designers logo, nor have I seen any signs about who and how the design was brought to the market, so to speak.

Design alone is the easist thing (although in biology it is the most difficult thing in the universe) but don't forget that life has a 4+ billion years history on our planet, so there's a looong way from design to a human toddler. How,where and when was the design and implementation done?

I think you've got a lot to explain before you are through.

Bobsie said...

Dr Egnor, if ID is a legitimate science as you think, where is the body of knowledge? …the authoring papers? …the active research laboratories brimming with empirical studies?

Anyone familiar with science research, and heaven knows, you have every opportunity to get familiar with how science works, will come up empty looking for ID in the science literature.

All DI has done is bellyache that they’re disrespected. But any unbiased observer would know, ID has not earned any respect for its science. Only the corner preachers give it respect for the “story” they’ve been looking for all along.

Isn’t that right, Dr Egnor?

Bobsie said...

@Boooobsie: - Dr Egnor.

Doubling down I see. What childish behavior you have sir.

Is this childish behavior of yours the primary reason that you can’t present any ID empirical evidence at any accredited professional and academic institutions for science? You know, where cutting edge science takes place?

Or is it that the DI emperor has no clothes to begin with and you want the kindergarteners to just "believe"?

Rolf Aalberg said...

mregnor, From our tolerant and secular corner of Europe, we are watching the campaign to propagate ID as if it has anything of value to contribute to the world. It has nothing of the sort! It is a useless and failed ruse, designed to make people distrust science and return to old time religion.

It didn't work and you better accept the fact. Whining won't get you anywhere. As far as science is concerned, the case is closed. We know that ID is dead - but it won't stay down so we have to be on the look out for when it raises its ugly head again. But time is on our side, people are getting fed up with you. You have failed in your mission but refuse to acknowledge it. ID the future, it didn't come true. Now it is buried in the past. Smart people don't wait to abandon ship.

Dembski read the writing on the wall, why don't you?

It was good to learn that the wonderboy of information theory dropped out of the game. A game, that's what you have been playing and now you are sore you lost.

mregnor said...

@Rolf:

[From our tolerant and secular corner of Europe...]

Not for long, Fritz. You're gonna learn Arabic soon. You'll still be able to blog against ID, but you'll have to do it in between your five daily prayers to Mecca.

"Tolerant/secular" is a suicide wish, which will come to fruition sooner than you think. There is some justice it. You spat on Christianity. Now you'll serve the the darkness that Christianity held at bay for 1400 years.

ScienceAvenger said...


[Egnor: If you believe there's no moral law, you are not alone. Do you like the company you keep?]

Absolutely, it includes most intelligent informed people on the subject. You've got it exactly backwards, as usual. The people killing Jews in the gas chamber were in your camp, not mine. They believed in objective moral law too, and just like the vast majority of people like that, they can't seem to agree on what that objective law is. Amazing thing isn't it? So you guys get together and decide on what the objectve moral law is, THEN you can come bother the rest of us about it. Until then, you're obviously full of it.

ScienceAvenger said...


[Egnor: It's funny how so many of you Darwinists get into a snit over stuff like making fun of your names. It makes it worth doing. ]

It's comments like that that make me expect you one day to confess to being a 12 year old boy pretending to be a surgeon and punking us all.

mregnor said...

[... being a 12 year old boy pretending to be a surgeon and punking us all.]

All surgeons are kids at heart.

I've been compared in this thread to Donald Trump, and now to a 12 year old boy.

Perhaps I'm a 12 year old Donald Trump.

Rolf Aalberg said...

What's the matter with you? I don't spit at any religion. They are all equal. What says Christendom is the right one? We might as well have Mithraism, we'd have the same sacraments and everything else of what we now have. You of course knows everything about the birth of Jesus, including the three Magi that came to see him. The Magi were priests in the religion of Mithraism. There are more similarities between Mithraism and Christendom than can be explained as mere coincidental, so much that

"The Church father Tertullian writes of the Devil's diabolical mimicry in creating the Mysteries of Mithras:

The devil, whose business is to pervert the truth, mimics the exact circumstances of the Divine Sacraments. He baptizes his believers and promises forgiveness of sins from the Sacred Fount, and thereby initiates them into the religion of Mithras. Thus he celebrates the oblation of bread, and brings in the symbol of the resurrection. Let us therefore acknowledge the craftiness of the devil, who copies certain things of those that be Divine.

Studying the myths of the Mysteries it becomes obvious why these early Christians resorted to such a desperate explanation. Although no single Pagan myth completely parallels the story of Jesus, the mythic motifs that make up the story of the Jewish godman had already existed for centuries." (From 'The Jesus Mysteries, London 1999.)

You certainly are a person that I cant't like. I know more about religions than you could imagine. I have studied both science and religions for most of my 85 years. I know the religions and what's more: I understand them! I know the secrets, the mysteries. Do you?

BTW, if Xerxes had not been defeated at the Hellespont, Mithraism would have been your religion today!

mregnor said...

@Rolfie:

[the mythic motifs that make up the story of the Jewish godman had already existed for centuries." (From 'The Jesus Mysteries, London 1999.)]

As astrology preexisted astronomy. Truth is often heralded by mimetic falsehood.

The Christian revelation is unique, as countless authors have demonstrated, most recently in Wright's Resurrection of the Son of God and all of Rene Girard's work.

[I know more about religions than you could imagine. I have studied both science and religions for most of my 85 years. I know the religions and what's more: I understand them! I know the secrets, the mysteries. Do you?]

It's Islam you'll get to know best, thanks to your secular imbecility. You exemplify a type I find particularly repugnant: you dabble in profound matters like religion, amass reams of facts, and emerge without a shred of wisdom.

[You certainly are a person that I cant't like.]

Despite all of my efforts to please.

Rich Hughes said...

Happy new year everyone! We'd like to invite Dr. Egnor over to 'The Skeptical Zone', all are welcome: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/

Thanks!

Ken Phelps said...

"'Tolerant/secular' is a suicide wish, which will come to fruition sooner than you think. There is some justice it. You spat on Christianity. Now you'll serve the the darkness that Christianity held at bay for 1400 years."

Yeah, because I've found that the best policy when you run across two drunk assholes duking it out on the street is to get really drunk myself and pick a side. Do you even know how to think?

Rolf Aalberg said...

I am more concerned about the dark ages in Europe that Xtianity brought down on us.

And Egnor's 'Fritzing' of me p***ed me off.

So "The Christian revelation is unique, as countless authors have demonstrated, most recently in Wright's Resurrection of the Son of God and all of Rene Girard's work."?

Nonsense. The Dying-and-Resurrecting God-Man is a recurrent theme in religions from Osiris-Dionysos thru Mithras and Jesus.

They are all one and the same. Simply because there is only one God but he is not the God of the literalists. Tha latter is a fiction.

The whole truth said...

Hey egnor, why do you have a problem with islam? After all, the same imaginary sky daddy as yours is worshiped by muslims, the so-called 'Abrahamic God'. What makes your chosen version of religious BS better than other versions of religious BS, especially when you are a member of the despicable catholic cult?

The whole truth said...

egnor, do a Google search for catholic atrocities, catholic rape, catholic sexual abuse, catholic lawsuits, christian atrocities, christian serial killers, and similar search keywords, and follow the links below:

http://www.evilbible.com/

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

At the Skeptic's Annotated bible website there are links to the koran and the book of mormon.

Also read this:

http://www.skepticfiles.org/american/prison.htm

Your religion is rotten to the core, just like the others.

ScienceAvenger said...


[Egnor: It's Islam you'll get to know best, thanks to your secular imbecility]

Wanna bet? Your kind has been making wrong predictions consistently for almost a decade (Obama still hasn't imposed martial law, or taken your guns, or put you in FEMA camps, etc., ad nauseum) so what reason do we have that the streak will change?

Obviously from the content of your posts your vaunted objective morality doesn't include prohibitions on lying about, misrepresenting, or insulting people. Jesus would be so proud. I'll take my subjective morality any day, thanks.

mregnor said...

@Rich:

It looks like a great website, where Darwinism/design issues are discussed intelligently. Thanks!

Mike

mregnor said...

@soberKen:

[the best policy when you run across two drunk assholes]

You misunderstand secularism, as you misunderstand Christianity and Islam.

Secularism, in its self-absorbed, consumerist, contracepting, gay marrying and latte-sipping modern iteration, is a Christian heresy, a distant relative of Pelagianism. You live in a culture saturated with Christian ethics and metaphysics, but drained of a relation with Christ. You're too stupid to understand your own cultural and spiritual origins, and you have the delusion that your narcissistic little heresy is self-sustaining.

Secularism is a death spasm of the West, and it will not last. It will be replaced either by a return to Christianity, or by Islam, or by one of the toxic variants of Paganism (eg Nazism).

Secularism is like an AIDS virus on civilization, destroying a culture's immunity to evil, and opening the door to all manner of disease.

My hunch is that much of European secularism will be absorbed by Islam, within a century, with some Nazi pockets here and there (and of course a few Christians trying to keep the faith). Islam is obviously rising in Europe, and the Nazi stuff too, like Golden Dawn in Greece. Christianity still has some cache in parts of France, Italy, Poland and Hungary and in the Balkans.

You secularists are causing the destruction of the West, and the eclipse of all that is good about it (i.e. Christian culture).

Secularism is a civilizational suicide belt. The explosion is gonna be messy.

Bobsie said...

As astrology preexisted astronomy. Truth is often heralded by mimetic falsehood. –Dr Egnor

True. Biblical Creationism preexisted modern science. It is an excellent example of another mimetic falsehood.

…you dabble in profound matters like religion, amass reams of facts, and emerge without a shred of wisdom. – Dr Egnor

Wisdom is in the eye of the beholder. And wisdom in the sciences derives from the empirical evidence. Without evidence you’re just a noisy gong. Got any Dr Egnor?

Rich Hughes said...

@Dr. Egnor -
No problem, and welcome. I'm sure we can set you up with author privileges if you'd like to write posts.

Rich

Jeffrey Shallit said...

The Christian revelation is unique, as countless authors have demonstrated

You've topped yourself in imbecility. Every religion is unique, otherwise it would be the same religion as something else.

If I had to rate religions in terms of benefits minus drawbacks, Bahais would be near the top, and Christianity and Islam would be near the bottom. Especially your kind of Christianity.

William Spearshake said...

Ignorance: " Now you'll serve the the darkness that Christianity held at bay for 1400 years."

Yes, the inquisition, witch burning, crusades, forced conversions, cultural genocide of native Americans, child molesting priests and Vatican coverup, and the horror that was the Canadian residential school system was very enlightening. Please spare us from any more enlightenment.

ScienceAvenger said...

[Egnor: Secularism is a death spasm of the West, and it will not last.]

IOW, the end of the world is nigh. [yawn] If I had a dime every time I've heard that...

Rolf Aalberg said...

According to Dr. Egnor: You secularists are causing the destruction of the West, and the eclipse of all that is good about it (i.e. Christian culture).

Secularism is a civilizational suicide belt. The explosion is gonna be messy.


Dr. Egnor, a prophet?

It looks more like religionism is about to cut all our throats, how do we stop it?

Secular Europe has become the life raft of messy Middle East and North/Sahelian Africa. If they only would leave their cultural religious shackles behind.