Evolution/Creationism Debates

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MarkA

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Jul 11, 2006, 6:12:43 PM7/11/06
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I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
understand the point, I disagree.

In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough
people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.

The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive. The
emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.

The central difference between creationism and evolution is the fuzzy
concept of "kinds". The creationist believes that God created each kind,
and one kind can't change into another. There can be "microevolution"
within a kind; that much is undeniable.

To the biologist, however, there is no such thing as a "kind". A human
and a microbe are different only in what their DNA codes for. In fact,
evolution is *inevitable*. Duplication of the DNA is not 100% accurate;
therefore, mutations will occur. Natural selection will decide if those
mutations get propagated or not. Over time, the genome diverges more and
more, and evolution MUST occur. The burden of proof is on the
creationists to identify a mechanism whereby macroevolution is prevented.

The current invocation of a mystical "kind" that is immune to
macroevolution reminds me of the situation that existed before Newton
identified gravity as a universal force. At that time, it was believed
that there was an inherent difference between the way things moved in the
Heavens versus movement on Earth, due to the fact that the Earth had been
tarnished by Adam & Eve's original sin. Newton showed that everything on
Earth and in the sky moved the same way, due to gravity.

The Creationists want to continue that "divine difference" mentality,
despite the fact that science moves forward very nicely without it.

--
MarkA
(still caught in the maze of twisty little passages, all different)

UC

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Jul 11, 2006, 6:56:00 PM7/11/06
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MarkA wrote:
> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> Guy.

What is that?

> One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> debate creationists.

'Debate' is not what science does, and scientists are not necessarily
good debaters. Science basically compiles data. That's really all there
is to it.

>Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> understand the point, I disagree.

I would say that it depends on the skills of the individual. I would
hate to have to debate someone as oratorically skilled as Hitler.

> In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
> exert pressure on various state legislatures.

Credibility? They have some influence, but no credibility whatsoever.

>To avoid debating them is
> to let them run free with no meaningful opposition.

I say to counter them, with no 'debating' as such.

> There are enough
> people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
> not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.

I cannot imagine anyone being "on the fence" who has actually been
instructed in science.

> The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
> of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
> always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive.

Depends on what you mean.

> The
> emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.

Not at all.

> The central difference between creationism and evolution is the fuzzy
> concept of "kinds". The creationist believes that God created each kind,
> and one kind can't change into another. There can be "microevolution"
> within a kind; that much is undeniable.
>
> To the biologist, however, there is no such thing as a "kind".

'Species' and 'kind' are both ordinary English words that means
essentially the same thing. 'Species' is a word that predates
evolutionary theory by millennia, and is actually a term of logic, not
biology.

>A human
> and a microbe are different only in what their DNA codes for.

????

> In fact,
> evolution is *inevitable*.

Depends on what you mean. 'Progress' is certainly NOT inevitable.

> Duplication of the DNA is not 100% accurate;
> therefore, mutations will occur. Natural selection will decide if those
> mutations get propagated or not. Over time, the genome diverges more and
> more, and evolution MUST occur.

Not is there is insufficient selection pressure. There are still
bacteria, right? There is no inevitability about multi-cellular
organisms at all.

>The burden of proof is on the
> creationists to identify a mechanism whereby macroevolution is prevented.

WTF?

Mike

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Jul 11, 2006, 7:03:45 PM7/11/06
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MarkA wrote:
> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> understand the point, I disagree.
>
> In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
> exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
> to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough
> people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
> not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.

You're probably right that it is necessary to debate the less
insane half of the intelligent design people, but it probably makes
sense to avoid debating the Genisis crowd. One may as well debate the
flat earthers.

>
> The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
> of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
> always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive. The
> emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.

The evidence that evolution has occurred is about as compelling
as the evidence that the earth is round. The scientist can win that
debate hands down. The harder problem is to debate the intelligent
designers who agree that evolution has occurred and that natural
selection plays a role (perhaps large) in directing the course of
evolution, but argue that natural selection alone is not an adequate
explanation for the complexity that has evolved. Here it is true that
the scientist is at a disadvantage since the paucity of the fossil
record will probably leave us forever ignorant of many important
details of evolutionary history. As you say, any version of
intelligent design theory is not science.


>
> The central difference between creationism and evolution is the fuzzy
> concept of "kinds". The creationist believes that God created each kind,
> and one kind can't change into another. There can be "microevolution"
> within a kind; that much is undeniable.

That is only one variant of creationism. There are more
sophisticated versions of intelligent design as I mentioned above.


>
> To the biologist, however, there is no such thing as a "kind". A human
> and a microbe are different only in what their DNA codes for. In fact,
> evolution is *inevitable*. Duplication of the DNA is not 100% accurate;
> therefore, mutations will occur. Natural selection will decide if those
> mutations get propagated or not. Over time, the genome diverges more and
> more, and evolution MUST occur. The burden of proof is on the
> creationists to identify a mechanism whereby macroevolution is prevented.
>
> The current invocation of a mystical "kind" that is immune to
> macroevolution reminds me of the situation that existed before Newton
> identified gravity as a universal force. At that time, it was believed
> that there was an inherent difference between the way things moved in the
> Heavens versus movement on Earth, due to the fact that the Earth had been
> tarnished by Adam & Eve's original sin. Newton showed that everything on
> Earth and in the sky moved the same way, due to gravity.
>
> The Creationists want to continue that "divine difference" mentality,
> despite the fact that science moves forward very nicely without it.

Let us not paint them all the same. Possibly a minority of
intelligent design believers are redeemable and the people on the fence
can be persuaded by reason.

Budikka666

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Jul 11, 2006, 7:58:12 PM7/11/06
to
MarkA wrote:
> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> understand the point, I disagree.

I agree with you for nations other than the US, but as you indicate, in
the US, things are getting out of control, and having Bush slavishly
kow-tow to the religious right has only made things worse.

> In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
> exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
> to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough
> people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
> not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
>
> The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
> of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
> always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive. The
> emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.

No, the emphasis needs to be on the utter vacuity of the creationist
position. Their entire armamentarium consists of attacking evolution
by lying about it. If you ask them for some positive *science*
supporting their position, they are completely and utterly lost.

Offering a debate about the difference between science and religion is
not going to cut it, because to the creationist, there is no
difference, and the ID camp isn't far behind that, either.

I'm guessing that there are many more "theistic scientists" (that is,
scientists who have religion of some sort) who support evolution than
there ever are creationist "scientists" or ID scientists. All of these
would be on board if the requirement were that the creationists and
ID-ers (Creidiots) were forced to scientifically support their claims.

The first item on the agenda ought to be to have a law passed that as
far as science teaching goes, only science which has a body of
published work in the professional journals can be taught in schools.
That would permanently keep them out of education.

> The central difference between creationism and evolution is the fuzzy
> concept of "kinds".

Not at all. The central difference is that creidiots have zero
scientific support for their claims.

> The creationist believes that God created each kind,
> and one kind can't change into another. There can be "microevolution"
> within a kind; that much is undeniable.

That's easily trashed by asking them to *scientifically* define "kind"
which they have failed to do. Do not let them get away with trying to
turn the question around so it depends on a definition of "species".

Ask them also to define what it is which prevents one "kind" (if they
ever define it) from evolving into another "kind" - what is the
scientific explanation for the genetic or biochemical mechanism which
prevents it?

That silences them every time.

> To the biologist, however, there is no such thing as a "kind". A human
> and a microbe are different only in what their DNA codes for. In fact,
> evolution is *inevitable*. Duplication of the DNA is not 100% accurate;
> therefore, mutations will occur. Natural selection will decide if those
> mutations get propagated or not. Over time, the genome diverges more and
> more, and evolution MUST occur. The burden of proof is on the
> creationists to identify a mechanism whereby macroevolution is prevented.

Evolution, by deifnition, is simply a change in allele frequency in a
given gene pool. Everything else follows from this, as the study of
genomes in modern organisms strongly indicates.

[Rest snipped]

Budikka

hbar...@troy.edu

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Jul 11, 2006, 8:16:17 PM7/11/06
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Debating a Creationist is sort of like wrestling a pig. You're going to
get dirty and the pig loves it!

HB

Budikka666

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Jul 11, 2006, 8:16:40 PM7/11/06
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UC wrote:
> MarkA wrote:
> > I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> > Guy.
>
> What is that?

http://www.infidelguy.com/

> > One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> > debate creationists.
>
> 'Debate' is not what science does, and scientists are not necessarily
> good debaters. Science basically compiles data. That's really all there
> is to it.

No, it's a lot more than that. Scientists are not databases, nor are
they essentially statisticians. Science is the observation of the
natural world (read: "universe"), the gathering of information about
it, and the attempt to understand and explain it.

> >Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> > creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> > understand the point, I disagree.
>
> I would say that it depends on the skills of the individual. I would
> hate to have to debate someone as oratorically skilled as Hitler.

He probably wasn't any good at debating either. Although he would have
been as inanely wooden-headed as the fundies are.

> > In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
> > exert pressure on various state legislatures.
>
> Credibility? They have some influence, but no credibility whatsoever.

Not among the real scientists and those with a decent intellect,
although they're all but worshipped among the religious wingnuts.

> >To avoid debating them is
> > to let them run free with no meaningful opposition.
>
> I say to counter them, with no 'debating' as such.
>
> > There are enough
> > people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
> > not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
>
> I cannot imagine anyone being "on the fence" who has actually been
> instructed in science.

Instructed and had an open mind!

> > The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
> > of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
> > always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive.
>
> Depends on what you mean.
>
> > The
> > emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.
>
> Not at all.
>
> > The central difference between creationism and evolution is the fuzzy
> > concept of "kinds". The creationist believes that God created each kind,
> > and one kind can't change into another. There can be "microevolution"
> > within a kind; that much is undeniable.
> >
> > To the biologist, however, there is no such thing as a "kind".
>
> 'Species' and 'kind' are both ordinary English words that means
> essentially the same thing. 'Species' is a word that predates
> evolutionary theory by millennia, and is actually a term of logic, not
> biology.

"Species" is a useful convention, but not rooted in anything steadfast.
For sexually reproducing organisms, "species" can be defined as any
group of such organisms in which individuals can successfully
reproduce, but outside of which it does not occur. It's tougher to
define outside that limited set.

This is perfectly understandable in terms of evolution - species ought
to be difficult to define! If there were a creation of immutable
"kinds", "kind" ought to be the easiest thing in the world to
scientifically define.

> >A human
> > and a microbe are different only in what their DNA codes for.

And how it's regulated. Many genes code for the same thing no matter
which species they're in, and are interchangeable between species.

> ????
>
> > In fact,
> > evolution is *inevitable*.
>
> Depends on what you mean. 'Progress' is certainly NOT inevitable.
>
> > Duplication of the DNA is not 100% accurate;
> > therefore, mutations will occur. Natural selection will decide if those
> > mutations get propagated or not. Over time, the genome diverges more and
> > more, and evolution MUST occur.
>
> Not is there is insufficient selection pressure. There are still
> bacteria, right? There is no inevitability about multi-cellular
> organisms at all.

Evolution does not require that a species change into another species.
The bacteria and other organisms alive today are just as "evolved" as
humans are, and all continue to evolve. Evolution has not stopped.
Changes in allele frequency in a gene pool are inevitable given the
errancy in genetic control and duplication mechanisms.

> >The burden of proof is on the
> > creationists to identify a mechanism whereby macroevolution is prevented.
>
> WTF?

He's right. Since mainstream scientists cannot find any mechanism
which would prevent evolution, and the creationists/ID crowd implicitly
claim that there is such a thing, then it is incumbent upon them to
scientifically determine what it is. Since they actually do no
science, we need not concern ourselves with them doing the requisite
work or obtaining a favorable result

Budikka

Larry Moran

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Jul 11, 2006, 7:05:30 PM7/11/06
to
On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 22:12:43 GMT, MarkA <mant...@stopspam.net> wrote:
> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists
> to debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives
> the creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although
> I understand the point, I disagree.

Which Creationists do you think Richard Dawkins should debate?

Larry Moran

UC

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Jul 11, 2006, 8:44:40 PM7/11/06
to

Budikka666 wrote:
> UC wrote:
> > MarkA wrote:
> > > I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> > > Guy.
> >
> > What is that?
>
> http://www.infidelguy.com/
>
> > > One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> > > debate creationists.
> >
> > 'Debate' is not what science does, and scientists are not necessarily
> > good debaters. Science basically compiles data. That's really all there
> > is to it.
>
> No, it's a lot more than that. Scientists are not databases, nor are
> they essentially statisticians. Science is the observation of the
> natural world (read: "universe"), the gathering of information about
> it, and the attempt to understand and explain it.

Science without data is nothing. Data gathering is 99.9% of science.


>
> > >Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> > > creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> > > understand the point, I disagree.
> >
> > I would say that it depends on the skills of the individual. I would
> > hate to have to debate someone as oratorically skilled as Hitler.
>
> He probably wasn't any good at debating either. Although he would have
> been as inanely wooden-headed as the fundies are.

You would be wrong there. He was a great speech-maker. he knew how to
get his audience to believe in him.

Correct. It is a Greek term, I believe.

> work or obtaining a favorable result.

The statement was unintelligible.
>
> Budikka

Dick

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Jul 11, 2006, 8:50:04 PM7/11/06
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On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 22:12:43 GMT, MarkA <mant...@stopspam.net> wrote:

It is so unfortunate that Creationism and Intelligent Design have come
to mean Christianity. I am an agnostic. I find the concept of
"Irreducibal Complexity" a useful idea. If nothing else, it is a
convenient way to isolate some of the most intriguing questions.

How could feather evolve?

How does a cell membrane evolve?

How does one evolve DNA without proteins?

So many great questions and IC provides a way to talk about them.

As to Designers, there is a whole other fascinating realm of
exploration once we shake off Christianity. If Evolution cannot
answer our questions then we need not say "Science failed," it is the
process that can be applied to any question.

Science cannot be attacked, only dogmas defended. Once one says all
evolution can be explained by mutation versus environment, the battle
is engaged. However, accepting that there may be "Intervention" opens
doors to dialogue. I would gladly refute Genesis, but never the
possibility of Intelligent Design.

dick

guscubed

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Jul 11, 2006, 9:58:58 PM7/11/06
to

Bull. No one has been able to define IC, apart from 'I know it when I
see it' *wave hands*. How exactly do you find the concept of IC a
useful idea?

> How could feather evolve?

Current theories favour several stages starting with reptillian scales

>
> How does a cell membrane evolve?
>
> How does one evolve DNA without proteins?
>

I don't know, I'm not a professional scientist, someone else might have
a better idea. However throwing up our hands and saying "It's
Irreducably Complex, it can't be explained by natural means" is not a
useful conclusion.

> So many great questions and IC provides a way to talk about them.

How exactly does IC help us understand the answers to the questions you
just asked? Several biological structures, processes and mechanisms
have appeared to be 'Irreducably Complex' in the past and yet we can
now state with a certain degree of confidence how they might have
evolved.

Using the label 'Irreducably Complex' to describe a system that we
don't YET understand
seems an easy way out of asking any more questions. That is not a
healthy mindset to have if you wish to find answers.

>
> As to Designers, there is a whole other fascinating realm of
> exploration once we shake off Christianity. If Evolution cannot
> answer our questions then we need not say "Science failed," it is the
> process that can be applied to any question.
>
> Science cannot be attacked, only dogmas defended. Once one says all
> evolution can be explained by mutation versus environment, the battle
> is engaged. However, accepting that there may be "Intervention" opens
> doors to dialogue.

OK, there might have been "intervention" - a designer, if given enough
theoretical powers, could do anything including hiding all physical
traces or evidence that points to their existence. Dialogue started,
your turn.

> I would gladly refute Genesis, but never the
> possibility of Intelligent Design.

Sure it's possible just like the Omphalos fallacy, it's just not very
useful.

>
> dick

Pithecanthropus Erectus

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Jul 11, 2006, 11:25:48 PM7/11/06
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MarkA wrote:

In political arenas, not scientific ones, should the debate take place.
The whole concept of "teaching the controversy" is a political one;
one that pulls over this concept of "fairness" and "free speech." The
creationist idea is not to convince scientists that they are following
the wrong path, but to convince voters and parents that science is out
of touch with religion.

They "debate" in churches, on campuses and on the floor of legislatures,
in front of school boards. If scientists wish to stem the tide in the
U.S. of the invasion of God concepts in science classes, then they need
to hire lobbyists and counter this stupidity trend.

Scientists don't need to debate creationists for precisely the reason
that Dawkins states. Politicians need to wake up and protect science.
Especially wrt the ToE.

--
Freeper:

"We need to change the law and make it legal to hunt liberals with dogs. "

Me:

I understand you are being flippant, but you are coming across as stupid.

Freeper:

I wasn't being flippant. I mean it.

Dave Oldridge

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Jul 12, 2006, 1:55:50 AM7/12/06
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MarkA <mant...@stopspam.net> wrote in
news:pan.2006.07.11....@stopspam.net:

> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the
> Infidel Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for
> scientists to debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a
> Creationist gives the creationist credibility that he would not
> otherwise have. Although I understand the point, I disagree.
>
> In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility
> to exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating
> them is to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are
> enough people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why
> creationism is not science, and does not belong in the science
> classroom.

THEY will not debate scientists unless THEY get to set the rules. What
scientists need to do is set up a venue where the creationist who lies
gets booted ignominiously and where there is no time limit on refutations
of glib lies.

Perhaps some sort of courtroom-style debate.

Set it up, organize it debating real scientific issues until the kinks
are worked out, then start inviting professional, loud creationist
apologists to debate their nonsense in a truly FAIR forum. Make sure
everyone knows they have backed down.

> The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in
> support of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the
> creationist can always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the
> defensive. The emphasis must be on the difference between science and
> religion.

Or, alternatively, the creationist side should be challenged to produce a
SCIENTIFIC theory of creation and suggest how it can be tested, using the
scientific method.

> The central difference between creationism and evolution is the fuzzy
> concept of "kinds". The creationist believes that God created each
> kind, and one kind can't change into another. There can be
> "microevolution" within a kind; that much is undeniable.

The word being mistranslated here is the Hebrew miyn. I would venture to
say that the authors of scripture had the same thing in mind as we do
when we say "species."


--
Dave Oldridge+
ICQ 1800667

Westprog

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Jul 12, 2006, 3:58:00 AM7/12/06
to

"Larry Moran" <lam...@bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca> wrote in message
news:slrneb8blq....@bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca...

Dawkins is counterproductive because he agrees with the creationists on the
fundamental point that religious belief is incompatible with science.

The people who should be aggressively debating the creationists are
Christians who accept that evolution is factually true. They should do it
with reference to the dishonesty of the creationists, and the warped version
of God that they believe in.


J/

jimme...@sbcglobal.net

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Jul 12, 2006, 4:41:52 AM7/12/06
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MarkA wrote:
> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> understand the point, I disagree.
>
> In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
> exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
> to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough
> people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
> not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
>
> The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
> of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
> always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive. The
> emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.

Do you say that because you want to defend evolution, or because you
would prefer to attack religion? I notice that you have posted to two
newsgroups. Personally, I wish that evangelical atheists would take
their crusade somewhere else and leave evolution alone. I speak as
a non-evangelical atheist.

The thing that I find most distasteful about the talk.origins newsgroup

is that it is filled with anti-religious bigots who know nothing about
the
theory of evolution, but find this a convenient place to make their
sophomoric comments and pretend they have Science behind them to
back them up.

One reason the religious people are beginning to attack science is
that there are too many people (like Dawkins) using science as a
staging ground for attacks on religion. Enough already. Let science
stay neutral. The middle ground is full of people who respect both
science and religion. Zealots like you and Dawkins may be advancing
the cause of atheism, but you are alienating potential allies for the
cause of evolution and science.

Richard Forrest

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Jul 12, 2006, 4:59:18 AM7/12/06
to

MarkA wrote:
> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> understand the point, I disagree.
>
> In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
> exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
> to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough
> people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
> not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
>
> The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
> of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
> always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive.

Only by lying through their teeth.

> The
> emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.
>

No, the emphasis must be on honesty.

> The central difference between creationism and evolution is the fuzzy
> concept of "kinds".

No it isn't.

The central difference is that creationists are not bound by the same
rules as scientists when it comes to presenting evidence. The
creationists are unfettered by such concepts as truth and honesty, and
feel free to misrepresent, distort and lie in support of their cause,
and are encouraged to do so by their creationist peers.

Scientists on the other hand are bound to base their arguments on the
evidence, and if they resort to misrepresentation, distortion and
falsehood to argue their case, other scientists will be the first to
condemn them for doing so.

> The creationist believes that God created each kind,
> and one kind can't change into another. There can be "microevolution"
> within a kind; that much is undeniable.

"Kinds" is pretty well irrelevant. It is one of a large number of
examples of words used by creationists in the pretence that they have
some sort of scientific validity, and which are impossible to define in
any meaningful way.

>
> To the biologist, however, there is no such thing as a "kind". A human
> and a microbe are different only in what their DNA codes for. In fact,
> evolution is *inevitable*. Duplication of the DNA is not 100% accurate;
> therefore, mutations will occur. Natural selection will decide if those
> mutations get propagated or not. Over time, the genome diverges more and
> more, and evolution MUST occur. The burden of proof is on the
> creationists to identify a mechanism whereby macroevolution is prevented.
>

"Micro/macro" evolution is just another one of the instances in which
creationists are using scientifically valid terms, but used in a way
which is not that of evolutionary biologists, and in a way which cannot
be defined in a meaningful way.

> The current invocation of a mystical "kind" that is immune to
> macroevolution reminds me of the situation that existed before Newton
> identified gravity as a universal force. At that time, it was believed
> that there was an inherent difference between the way things moved in the
> Heavens versus movement on Earth, due to the fact that the Earth had been
> tarnished by Adam & Eve's original sin. Newton showed that everything on
> Earth and in the sky moved the same way, due to gravity.
>
> The Creationists want to continue that "divine difference" mentality,
> despite the fact that science moves forward very nicely without it.
>

If the creationists want to do that, it's fine by me. I have no
argument with anyone who wishes to believe that.

I have no argument with anyone because of what they believe. I do have
an arugment with people who wish to present their religious convictions
as science, and then built their whole argument on a misrepresentation,
distortion and outright falsehood.

This "debate" is not between "evolutionists" and creationists, or
between religion and science.

It's about honesty.

Science is a system which makes it very hard to get away with
dishonesty, and destroys the careers of those found to be dishonest in
their science.

Creationism encourages dishonesty, and rewards richly those who use
dishonesty to forward the cause.

RF

Westprog

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Jul 12, 2006, 5:00:41 AM7/12/06
to

<jimme...@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:1152693712....@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com...
> MarkA wrote:
...

> One reason the religious people are beginning to attack science is
> that there are too many people (like Dawkins) using science as a
> staging ground for attacks on religion. Enough already. Let science
> stay neutral. The middle ground is full of people who respect both
> science and religion. Zealots like you and Dawkins may be advancing
> the cause of atheism, but you are alienating potential allies for the
> cause of evolution and science.

I've no objection to atheists making their case for atheism - but when they
deliberately confuse the case for evolution with the case for atheism, they
make it far more easy for the creationists.

A central plank of the creationist case is that evolution is anti-religion,
and that "evolutionists" are pushing an atheist, communist, anti-american
agenda. The way to counter such an argument is not to agree with it.

J/


Budikka666

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 5:17:51 AM7/12/06
to
UC wrote:
> Budikka666 wrote:
> > UC wrote:
> > > MarkA wrote:
> > > > I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> > > > Guy.
> > >
> > > What is that?
> >
> > http://www.infidelguy.com/
> >
> > > > One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> > > > debate creationists.
> > >
> > > 'Debate' is not what science does, and scientists are not necessarily
> > > good debaters. Science basically compiles data. That's really all there
> > > is to it.
> >
> > No, it's a lot more than that. Scientists are not databases, nor are
> > they essentially statisticians. Science is the observation of the
> > natural world (read: "universe"), the gathering of information about
> > it, and the attempt to understand and explain it.
>
> Science without data is nothing. Data gathering is 99.9% of science.

Go ahead and blindly believe whatever you want. Make up whatever
unsupported assine "statistic" you care to. It won't change reality.
Hey, I've got an idea: get Stephen Hawking on the phone and tell him
he's not doing science because he doesn't blindly accumulate data.

> > > >Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> > > > creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> > > > understand the point, I disagree.
> > >
> > > I would say that it depends on the skills of the individual. I would
> > > hate to have to debate someone as oratorically skilled as Hitler.
> >
> > He probably wasn't any good at debating either. Although he would have
> > been as inanely wooden-headed as the fundies are.
>
> You would be wrong there. He was a great speech-maker. he knew how to
> get his audience to believe in him.

Now all you have to do is show how staticly parotting a speech
translates to thinking on your feet in a debate environment.

Not to people who can think, as I explained.

Budikka

Budikka666

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 5:30:12 AM7/12/06
to

You mean "dumb" questions.

> How could feather evolve?

A feather is nothing more than a complex hair. We find different forms
of feathers in the fossil record.

> How does a cell membrane evolve?

Proto cells:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/239787.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1142840.stm

Factories of life:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/275738.stm

Lab molecules mimic life:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/217054.stm

> How does one evolve DNA without proteins?

Mechanism for evolution described:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/222096.stm

Smallest genome a lot smaller than smallest modern cell:
http://mednews.stanford.edu/news_releases_html/2001/febreleases/bioet...


> So many great questions and IC provides a way to talk about them.

You think evoltuion scientists didn't already talk about these things
long before creationism and ID started muddying the water? They did
and they do, and the difference is that while all ID "scientists" do is
talk, evolution scientists investigate and resolve issues.

ID and creationism have contriobuted not a thing to science. They're a
vacuous waste of time and resources.

> As to Designers, there is a whole other fascinating realm of
> exploration once we shake off Christianity. If Evolution cannot
> answer our questions then we need not say "Science failed," it is the
> process that can be applied to any question.

Lie. Let's take you literally and say there was a designer. Where did
the designer originate? Was the designer designed by a earlier
designer? And where did *that* designer originate - another designer?
In short, the design "argument" goes nowhere, because unless the
designer is supernatural, it also had to evolve. Design solves
nothing, it merely begs the question.

> Science cannot be attacked, only dogmas defended. Once one says all
> evolution can be explained by mutation versus environment, the battle
> is engaged. However, accepting that there may be "Intervention" opens
> doors to dialogue. I would gladly refute Genesis, but never the
> possibility of Intelligent Design.
>
> dick

Appropriate name.

Budikka

Budikka666

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 5:41:04 AM7/12/06
to

"...atheist, communist, anti-american agenda..."?

You just lost even a pretence at credibility.

And since when is atheism, or science, or religion solely an American
thing? Did you forget you live on planet Earth and the USA is only a
tiny portion of it?

Budikka

Budikka666

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 5:38:29 AM7/12/06
to
jimme...@sbcglobal.net wrote:
> MarkA wrote:
> > I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> > Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> > debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> > creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> > understand the point, I disagree.
> >
> > In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
> > exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
> > to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough
> > people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
> > not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
> >
> > The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
> > of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
> > always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive. The
> > emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.
>
> Do you say that because you want to defend evolution, or because you
> would prefer to attack religion? I notice that you have posted to two
> newsgroups. Personally, I wish that evangelical atheists would take
> their crusade somewhere else and leave evolution alone. I speak as
> a non-evangelical atheist.

Well you can sit quietly in the corner and do nothing, or you can speak
up when lies are told. Your choice. But what you should not do is
confuse what happens in the news groups with real life. The two are
not the same.

> The thing that I find most distasteful about the talk.origins newsgroup
>
> is that it is filled with anti-religious bigots who know nothing about
> the
> theory of evolution, but find this a convenient place to make their
> sophomoric comments and pretend they have Science behind them to
> back them up.

And what evidence do you have to support this claim?

> One reason the religious people are beginning to attack science is

That they are ignorant and/or stupid. And the creationist ID
fill-court press to dirty the water isn't helping anyhtign or anyone.
They started this, not the scientists, so if they're getting a bloody
nose now, they have no one to thank but themselves.

> that there are too many people (like Dawkins) using science as a
> staging ground for attacks on religion.

And your support for this claim is?

> Enough already. Let science
> stay neutral.

How can scientists stay neutral when they're being insulted and
attacked and lied about on a regular basis by the ID crowd? What you
propose is bullshit and will blow up in your face. You cannot give an
inch to fanatics. Otherwise you end up with Nazi Germany or you get
Iran.

> The middle ground is full of people who respect both
> science and religion. Zealots like you and Dawkins may be advancing
> the cause of atheism, but you are alienating potential allies for the
> cause of evolution and science.

Anyone who respects science will support the slamming of those who lie
about it and try to distort it. Complicity with or limp tolerance of
those who do these things makes you no better than those who do these
things.

Budikka

Westprog

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Jul 12, 2006, 6:03:19 AM7/12/06
to

"Budikka666" <budi...@netscape.net> wrote in message
news:1152697264.3...@p79g2000cwp.googlegroups.com...

> Westprog wrote:
> > <jimme...@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
> > news:1152693712....@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com...
> > > MarkA wrote:
...
> > > One reason the religious people are beginning to attack science is
> > > that there are too many people (like Dawkins) using science as a
> > > staging ground for attacks on religion. Enough already. Let science
> > > stay neutral. The middle ground is full of people who respect both
> > > science and religion. Zealots like you and Dawkins may be advancing
> > > the cause of atheism, but you are alienating potential allies for the
> > > cause of evolution and science.

> > I've no objection to atheists making their case for atheism - but when
they
> > deliberately confuse the case for evolution with the case for atheism,
they
> > make it far more easy for the creationists.

> > A central plank of the creationist case is that evolution is
anti-religion,
> > and that "evolutionists" are pushing an atheist, communist,
anti-american
> > agenda. The way to counter such an argument is not to agree with it.

> "...atheist, communist, anti-american agenda..."?

> You just lost even a pretence at credibility.

Not too quick, eh? One of the tricks of the creationists - as can be easily
seen right here on TO - is to confuse science and religion and nationhood.
The way to combat this is to insist on rigid boundaries between science and
religion.

Who crossposts between alt.atheism and talk.origins? Who benefits from the
interaction? Why assist a dishonest claim?

> And since when is atheism, or science, or religion solely an American
> thing? Did you forget you live on planet Earth and the USA is only a
> tiny portion of it?

Creationism used to be an American thing, which is bad enough, but there are
signs of it creeping into Europe now.

The way to oppose this is not to marginalise the majority who accept both
religion and evolution. This is both intellectually dishonest and highly
counterproductive. An honest scientist and atheist would say "I don't
believe in God myself - but there is nothing in evolutionary theory which
conflicts with religious belief." That undercuts their case. Demanding that
the creationist produce scientific proof of God is not only anti-scientific,
it's handing the argument to the creationists on a plate.


J/

BOTW: "Consciousness" - Jeffrey Gray


Michael Gray

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 7:04:46 AM7/12/06
to
On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 11:03:19 +0100, "Westprog" <west...@hotmail.ie>
wrote:
- Refer: <e92hcn$s7i$1...@news.datemas.de>

Creationism used to be a European thing well before it became an
"American" thing, whatever that means.

>The way to oppose this is not to marginalise the majority who accept both
>religion and evolution. This is both intellectually dishonest and highly
>counterproductive. An honest scientist and atheist would say "I don't
>believe in God myself - but there is nothing in evolutionary theory which
>conflicts with religious belief." That undercuts their case.

It is also false.
Evolutionary theory says much that is in conflict with many religions.

An honest scientist could not utter it, atheist or otherwise.

>Demanding that
>the creationist produce scientific proof of God is not only anti-scientific,

So, you consider proof to be anti-scientific??
Are you joking?
Is this a temporary abberation on your behalf?

>it's handing the argument to the creationists on a plate.

What "argument"?

--

Michael Gray

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 7:05:58 AM7/12/06
to
On 12 Jul 2006 02:38:29 -0700, "Budikka666" <budi...@netscape.net>
wrote:
- Refer: <1152697109....@i42g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>

Here, here.
This particular scientist agrees wholeheartedly.

--

TomS

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 7:13:44 AM7/12/06
to
"On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 05:55:50 +0000 (GMT), in article
<Xns97FDE94331A2A...@64.59.135.159>, Dave Oldridge stated..."
[...snip...]

>The word being mistranslated here is the Hebrew miyn. I would venture to
>say that the authors of scripture had the same thing in mind as we do
>when we say "species."
>
>

That is possible, but there are other possibilities.

One is that different breeds of cattle would be different kinds.

Another is that it has no reference at all, but when saying "after their kind",
it means something like "in all their variety", or "as they are".

Remember that the concept of "fixity of type" is a quite late development.


--
---Tom S. <http://talkreason.org/articles/chickegg.cfm>
"... have a clear idea of what you should expect if your hypothesis is correct,
and what you should observe if your hypothesis is wrong ... If you cannot do
this, then this is an indicator that your hypothesis may be too vague."
RV Clarke & JE Eck: Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers - step 20

Westprog

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Jul 12, 2006, 7:22:47 AM7/12/06
to

"Michael Gray" <fle...@newsguy.spam.com> wrote in message
news:thl9b2h2v14a40g9g...@4ax.com...
...

> >Creationism used to be an American thing, which is bad enough, but there
are
> >signs of it creeping into Europe now.

> Creationism used to be a European thing well before it became an
> "American" thing, whatever that means.

It largely died out, however. The creationism seen now in Europe comes from
across the Atlantic.

> >The way to oppose this is not to marginalise the majority who accept both
> >religion and evolution. This is both intellectually dishonest and highly
> >counterproductive. An honest scientist and atheist would say "I don't
> >believe in God myself - but there is nothing in evolutionary theory which
> >conflicts with religious belief." That undercuts their case.

> It is also false.
> Evolutionary theory says much that is in conflict with many religions.

However, I didn't say that. I said that it doesn't conflict with religious
belief. Which it doesn't. It conflicts with a particular literal reading of
certain religious texts.

> An honest scientist could not utter it, atheist or otherwise.

He could if he read it carefully.

> >Demanding that
> >the creationist produce scientific proof of God is not only
anti-scientific,

> So, you consider proof to be anti-scientific??
> Are you joking?
> Is this a temporary abberation on your behalf?

Investigating metaphysical and philosophical issues has nothing to do with
science. Science has nothing to say on the issue.

I may be mistaken about this, and if anyone wants to point me in the
direction of scientific publications dealing with the existence or
non-existence of God, I'd be interested to read them. N.B. A publication by
a scientist is not the same thing as a scientific publication.

> >it's handing the argument to the creationists on a plate.

> What "argument"?

Their argument that evolution is anti-religious doctrine. I see this on a
regular basis. There are numerous threads here where a piece of creationist
nonsense about some spurious easily refuted claim become sidetracked into
metaphysical debates about the fundamental nature of the universe that
amount to nothing more than swapping prejudices.

That kind of thing is appropriate for alt.atheism. It is not appropriate or
helpful in the debate over evolution. And when scientist switch from
reasoned arguments about science to amateur arguments about religion, they
allow the bystander to think that the scientific arguments - which are often
difficult to follow - are as dubious as their religious assertions.

The fundamental argument against the teaching of ID and creationism is that
religion should be kept seperate from science. So it should.

J/


Christopher A. Lee

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 7:58:07 AM7/12/06
to

Not really. You can't compare the default belief before science became
generally understood, with the today's fundamentalists who deny
science and actively try to replace it with myth.

The Victorians didn't have today's creationist attitudes, apart from a
few high-ups in the church. It was science that had given the progress
and prosperity of Western Europe, and people embraced it. Even those
who took religion seriously. They had a sort of mental disconnect
between god-mode and science mode, and could think outside the box.
Today's creationists can't do that, they are entirely in god-mode.

Richard Forrest

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 8:06:55 AM7/12/06
to

Nonsense.

> Evolutionary theory says much that is in conflict with many religions.
>

No more than does any other branch of any other science.

> An honest scientist could not utter it, atheist or otherwise.

There are plenty of honest scientists who hold strong religious
convictions.

>
> >Demanding that
> >the creationist produce scientific proof of God is not only anti-scientific,
>
> So, you consider proof to be anti-scientific??

Offering scientific proof of God is bad science and bad religion.

Science does not offer proof. It offers provisional explanations for
phenomena which can be observed and measured.

Proof is for alcohol and mathematics.

Belief in God is faith, which does not require proof. If it demands
proof, it isn't faith.

RF

Christopher A. Lee

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 8:23:29 AM7/12/06
to
On 12 Jul 2006 05:06:55 -0700, "Richard Forrest"
<ric...@plesiosaur.com> wrote:


>Offering scientific proof of God is bad science and bad religion.

Then they shouldn't beg the question, especially in an area where
everything has to be backed up.

>Science does not offer proof. It offers provisional explanations for
>phenomena which can be observed and measured.
>
>Proof is for alcohol and mathematics.
>
>Belief in God is faith, which does not require proof. If it demands
>proof, it isn't faith.

That's not our problem. They shouldn't bring it up in the real world
outside their religion - at which point it becomes subject to the same
tools, methodology as anything else.

>RF

Michael Gray

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Jul 12, 2006, 8:28:20 AM7/12/06
to
On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 12:22:47 +0100, "Westprog" <west...@hotmail.ie>
wrote:
- Refer: <e92m1m$4aq$1...@news.datemas.de>

>
>"Michael Gray" <fle...@newsguy.spam.com> wrote in message
>news:thl9b2h2v14a40g9g...@4ax.com...
>...
>> >Creationism used to be an American thing, which is bad enough, but there
>are
>> >signs of it creeping into Europe now.
>
>> Creationism used to be a European thing well before it became an
>> "American" thing, whatever that means.
>
>It largely died out, however. The creationism seen now in Europe comes from
>across the Atlantic.
>
>> >The way to oppose this is not to marginalise the majority who accept both
>> >religion and evolution. This is both intellectually dishonest and highly
>> >counterproductive. An honest scientist and atheist would say "I don't
>> >believe in God myself - but there is nothing in evolutionary theory which
>> >conflicts with religious belief." That undercuts their case.
>
>> It is also false.
>> Evolutionary theory says much that is in conflict with many religions.
>
>However, I didn't say that. I said that it doesn't conflict with religious
>belief. Which it doesn't. It conflicts with a particular literal reading of
>certain religious texts.

You said this:
"...there is nothing in evolutionary theory which conflicts with
religious belief."

I can cut the philoso-crap by providing a concrete counter-example.
(Thereby proving the statement to be false.)

Vis: Evolutionary theory asserts (quite rightly) that favourable
genetic change is accumulated over time through natural selection,
such that speciation occurs.
This conflicts with the religious belief of millions of people.
These people explicitly say that this bit of evolutionary theory
conflicts with their religious belief.

Which conflicts precisely with what you did write.

Quod erat demonstrandum.
:

--

MarkA

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 8:39:18 AM7/12/06
to
On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 01:41:52 -0700, jimmenegay wrote:

> MarkA wrote:
>> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
>> Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists
>> to debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives
>> the creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although
>> I understand the point, I disagree.
>>
>> In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
>> exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
>> to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough
>> people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
>> not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
>>
>> The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
>> of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
>> always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive. The
>> emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.
>
> Do you say that because you want to defend evolution, or because you would
> prefer to attack religion? I notice that you have posted to two
> newsgroups. Personally, I wish that evangelical atheists would take their
> crusade somewhere else and leave evolution alone. I speak as a
> non-evangelical atheist.
>

I have no desire to "attack religion", except when it attacks evolution.
I generally hang out at alt.atheism, but thought this topic would be of
interest on TO as well.

> The thing that I find most distasteful about the talk.origins newsgroup
>
> is that it is filled with anti-religious bigots who know nothing about
> the theory of evolution, but find this a convenient place to make their
> sophomoric comments and pretend they have Science behind them to back
> them up.
>
> One reason the religious people are beginning to attack science is that
> there are too many people (like Dawkins) using science as a staging
> ground for attacks on religion. Enough already. Let science stay
> neutral. The middle ground is full of people who respect both science
> and religion. Zealots like you and Dawkins may be advancing the cause of
> atheism, but you are alienating potential allies for the cause of
> evolution and science.

The point is that religion is attacking science in the Creationism
crusade. The policy of ignoring creationists does not seem to be working.
Promoting science may have some value, but religion is intrinsicly more
appealing than science. As scientists, regardless of our religious
beliefs, we must be willing to stand up to the creationists.

--
MarkA
(this space accidentally filled in)

.

MarkA

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 9:06:53 AM7/12/06
to
On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 15:56:00 -0700, UC wrote:

>
> MarkA wrote:
>> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
>> Guy.
>

> What is that?

Podcast - an audio file downloaded from the Internet
Richard Dawkins - a British scientist, advocate of Evolution.
Infidel Guy - a radio program/web site that distributes podcasts of
previous shows.


>
>> One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
>> debate creationists.
>

> 'Debate' is not what science does, and scientists are not necessarily
> good debaters. Science basically compiles data. That's really all there
> is to it.

Science is about discovering facts. Debating is about winning arguments.
They are not always the same thing.

Science does more than compile data; it looks for explanations for the
data. As Darwin said, without theories, science is little more than
cataloging all the pebbles in a quarry.

>
>>Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
>> creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
>> understand the point, I disagree.
>

> I would say that it depends on the skills of the individual. I would
> hate to have to debate someone as oratorically skilled as Hitler.
>

Dawkins feels that just by having a debate, the creationists have won,
because it gives them the appearance of legitimacy. I disagree, because
avoiding a debate gives the creationist the appearance of having a strong
position.

>> In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility
>> to exert pressure on various state legislatures.
>

> Credibility? They have some influence, but no credibility whatsoever.
>

>>To avoid debating them is
>> to let them run free with no meaningful opposition.
>

> I say to counter them, with no 'debating' as such.
>

To avoid debating is to appear afraid to debate them. The problem with
a debate is that science thrives on hard data, facts, and theories.
Though I am not a debater, I have heard that one tactic used by successful
debaters is to avoid committing yourself to a definite position, because
as soon as you do, your opponent can attack that position.

Scientists naively assume that by citing the evidence, people will be
convinced. This plays right into the hands of the creationists, because
they can then attack the evidence, while presenting no positive evidence
in support of creationism. Hence, the scientist is constantly on the
defensive, and the overall impression is that the creationists have a
strong position, because they were on the offensive for the entire debate.

>> There are enough
>> people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
>> not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
>

> I cannot imagine anyone being "on the fence" who has actually been
> instructed in science.
>

I cannot imagine an American high school student who can't find the USA on
a globe, but many are out there. The vast majority of lay people don't
really know the difference between science and creationism. Science is
inherently counter-intuitive, and creationists have worked hard to craft
attractive sounding arguments.



>> The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in
>> support of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the
>> creationist can always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the
>> defensive.
>

> Depends on what you mean.
>

>> The
>> emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.
>

> Not at all.


>
>> The central difference between creationism and evolution is the fuzzy
>> concept of "kinds". The creationist believes that God created each
>> kind, and one kind can't change into another. There can be
>> "microevolution" within a kind; that much is undeniable.
>>
>> To the biologist, however, there is no such thing as a "kind".
>

> 'Species' and 'kind' are both ordinary English words that means
> essentially the same thing. 'Species' is a word that predates
> evolutionary theory by millennia, and is actually a term of logic, not
> biology.
>

Ah, but that is my point: to creationists, a "kind" has some divine
property that scientists do not acknowlege when they talk about "species".



>>A human
>> and a microbe are different only in what their DNA codes for.
>

> ????
>

I mean, there is no devine difference between a man and a microbe, as
the religionists will claim.

>> In fact,
>> evolution is *inevitable*.
>

> Depends on what you mean. 'Progress' is certainly NOT inevitable.
>

>> Duplication of the DNA is not 100% accurate; therefore, mutations will
>> occur. Natural selection will decide if those mutations get propagated
>> or not. Over time, the genome diverges more and more, and evolution
>> MUST occur.
>

> Not is there is insufficient selection pressure. There are still
> bacteria, right? There is no inevitability about multi-cellular
> organisms at all.
>

Then why do they exist? Clearly, there are niches for multi-cellular
organisms, else the world would still be covered by a giant mat of
blue-green algae.


>>The burden of proof is on the
>> creationists to identify a mechanism whereby macroevolution is
>> prevented.
>

> WTF?

We can prove that mutations occur, and natural selection occurs. The
reason that cumulative mutations do not eventually produce a new species,
or allow one "kind" to become another, is because:

(waiting for Creation Scientist (an oxymoron, I know) to fill in the blank).

>>
>> The current invocation of a mystical "kind" that is immune to
>> macroevolution reminds me of the situation that existed before Newton
>> identified gravity as a universal force. At that time, it was believed
>> that there was an inherent difference between the way things moved in
>> the Heavens versus movement on Earth, due to the fact that the Earth
>> had been tarnished by Adam & Eve's original sin. Newton showed that
>> everything on Earth and in the sky moved the same way, due to gravity.
>>
>> The Creationists want to continue that "divine difference" mentality,
>> despite the fact that science moves forward very nicely without it.
>>

>> --
>> MarkA
>> (still caught in the maze of twisty little passages, all different)

--

er...@swva.net

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 9:09:52 AM7/12/06
to
jimme...@sbcglobal.net wrote:
> MarkA wrote:
> > I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> > Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> > debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> > creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> > understand the point, I disagree.
> >
> > In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
> > exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
> > to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough
> > people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
> > not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
> >
> > The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
> > of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
> > always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive. The
> > emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.
>
> Do you say that because you want to defend evolution, or because you
> would prefer to attack religion? I notice that you have posted to two
> newsgroups. Personally, I wish that evangelical atheists would take
> their crusade somewhere else and leave evolution alone.

Me too.

> I speak as
> a non-evangelical atheist.
>
> The thing that I find most distasteful about the talk.origins newsgroup
>
> is that it is filled with anti-religious bigots who know nothing about
> the
> theory of evolution, but find this a convenient place to make their
> sophomoric comments and pretend they have Science behind them to
> back them up.

That can't be, because, while there are a few anti-religious bigots
with an agenda on t.o, you are simply wrong in saying that it is
"filled with" them.

>
> One reason the religious people are beginning to attack science is
> that there are too many people (like Dawkins) using science as a
> staging ground for attacks on religion.

It is not "religious people" in general who are attacking science, it
is fundamentalists, who are not only attacking science, but also modern
religion with its tendency to study the Bible from a scholarly
viewpoint, as a fallible document like many others.

> Enough already. Let science
> stay neutral. The middle ground is full of people who respect both
> science and religion. Zealots like you

You have a hornet in your helmet. The original poster showed no
zealotry at all, and here you are, foaming at the mouth.

> and Dawkins may be advancing
> the cause of atheism,

Where does the OP do anything to advance the cause of atheism?

> but you are alienating potential allies for the
> cause of evolution and science.

You are alienating people who might otherwise think your head isn't,
erm, is on your shoulders.

Eric Root

er...@swva.net

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 9:10:10 AM7/12/06
to
jimme...@sbcglobal.net wrote:
> MarkA wrote:
> > I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> > Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> > debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> > creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> > understand the point, I disagree.
> >
> > In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
> > exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
> > to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough
> > people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
> > not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
> >
> > The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
> > of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
> > always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive. The
> > emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.
>
> Do you say that because you want to defend evolution, or because you
> would prefer to attack religion? I notice that you have posted to two
> newsgroups. Personally, I wish that evangelical atheists would take
> their crusade somewhere else and leave evolution alone.

Me too.

> I speak as
> a non-evangelical atheist.
>
> The thing that I find most distasteful about the talk.origins newsgroup
>
> is that it is filled with anti-religious bigots who know nothing about
> the
> theory of evolution, but find this a convenient place to make their
> sophomoric comments and pretend they have Science behind them to
> back them up.

That can't be, because, while there are a few anti-religious bigots
with an agenda on t.o, you are simply wrong in saying that it is
"filled with" them.

>
> One reason the religious people are beginning to attack science is
> that there are too many people (like Dawkins) using science as a
> staging ground for attacks on religion.

It is not "religious people" in general who are attacking science, it


is fundamentalists, who are not only attacking science, but also modern
religion with its tendency to study the Bible from a scholarly
viewpoint, as a fallible document like many others.

> Enough already. Let science


> stay neutral. The middle ground is full of people who respect both
> science and religion. Zealots like you

You have a hornet in your helmet. The original poster showed no


zealotry at all, and here you are, foaming at the mouth.

> and Dawkins may be advancing
> the cause of atheism,

Where does the OP do anything to advance the cause of atheism?

> but you are alienating potential allies for the


> cause of evolution and science.

You are alienating people who might otherwise think your head isn't,

Richard Forrest

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 9:26:06 AM7/12/06
to

Well, no. It isn't our problem.
As I keep saying, the problem is not "evolutionist" v. creationist or
science v. religion.

I don't care what someone believes on faith. If they want to believe
that the world was created 6,000 years ago, I won't argue with that.

It's when such beliefs are presented as science that I care, as in
every single instance I have ever come across that presentation is
founded on misrepresentation, distortion and outright falsehood.

Scientists are by no means morally superior to the rest of the world.
However they work in a strong discipline which relies on the honesty of
scientists in matters of science, and destroys the careers of those who
propogate falsehoods.

Creationists have no such control, and no matter how often their lies
are exposed, they not only keep on repeating them, but gain influence
and finanical rewards by doing so.

It's all about honesty.

I despise dishonesty, especially when it is used to exploit the genuine
desires and fears of decent people for political and financial gain.

RF

>
> >RF

UC

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 9:39:25 AM7/12/06
to

But that's simply false.

UC

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 9:38:15 AM7/12/06
to

Budikka666 wrote:
> UC wrote:
> > Budikka666 wrote:
> > > UC wrote:
> > > > MarkA wrote:
> > > > > I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> > > > > Guy.
> > > >
> > > > What is that?
> > >
> > > http://www.infidelguy.com/
> > >
> > > > > One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> > > > > debate creationists.
> > > >
> > > > 'Debate' is not what science does, and scientists are not necessarily
> > > > good debaters. Science basically compiles data. That's really all there
> > > > is to it.
> > >
> > > No, it's a lot more than that. Scientists are not databases, nor are
> > > they essentially statisticians. Science is the observation of the
> > > natural world (read: "universe"), the gathering of information about
> > > it, and the attempt to understand and explain it.
> >
> > Science without data is nothing. Data gathering is 99.9% of science.
>
> Go ahead and blindly believe whatever you want. Make up whatever
> unsupported assine "statistic" you care to. It won't change reality.
> Hey, I've got an idea: get Stephen Hawking on the phone and tell him
> he's not doing science because he doesn't blindly accumulate data.

Perhaps "doing science" is source of the issue. Most scientists DO NOT
formulate theories. They gather data and publish findings. Most
scientists would not know how to formulate a theoy to save their lives.
I know lots of scientists, and I know exactly what they do. Theorizing
is not part of their work in the vast majority of cases. Research is.

>
> > > > >Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> > > > > creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> > > > > understand the point, I disagree.
> > > >
> > > > I would say that it depends on the skills of the individual. I would
> > > > hate to have to debate someone as oratorically skilled as Hitler.
> > >
> > > He probably wasn't any good at debating either. Although he would have
> > > been as inanely wooden-headed as the fundies are.
> >
> > You would be wrong there. He was a great speech-maker. he knew how to
> > get his audience to believe in him.
>
> Now all you have to do is show how staticly parotting a speech
> translates to thinking on your feet in a debate environment.

Maybe you have a point.

Perhaps the syntax is contorted.
>
> Budikka

chris.li...@gmail.com

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 9:40:51 AM7/12/06
to

Budikka666 wrote:
> Dick wrote:
> > On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 22:12:43 GMT, MarkA <mant...@stopspam.net> wrote:

snip

> >
> > It is so unfortunate that Creationism and Intelligent Design have come
> > to mean Christianity. I am an agnostic. I find the concept of
> > "Irreducibal Complexity" a useful idea. If nothing else, it is a
> > convenient way to isolate some of the most intriguing questions.
>
> You mean "dumb" questions.
>
> > How could feather evolve?
>
> A feather is nothing more than a complex hair. We find different forms
> of feathers in the fossil record.

YIKES! Feathers are not "complex hairs". Feathers and hairs have
completely different evolutionary histories. Feathers are probably
derived from epidermal scutes. Hair arises from follicles deep in the
dermis. I am sure John Harshman or r norman can provide a considerably
more detailed explanation if you're interested.

Chris

TCE

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 9:42:27 AM7/12/06
to

MarkA wrote:
> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the

> creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> understand the point, I disagree.
>
> In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to
> exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
> to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough

> people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
> not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
>
> The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
> of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can
> always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive. The

> emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.
>
> The central difference between creationism and evolution is the fuzzy
> concept of "kinds". The creationist believes that God created each kind,
> and one kind can't change into another. There can be "microevolution"
> within a kind; that much is undeniable.
>
> To the biologist, however, there is no such thing as a "kind". A human
> and a microbe are different only in what their DNA codes for. In fact,
> evolution is *inevitable*. Duplication of the DNA is not 100% accurate;

> therefore, mutations will occur. Natural selection will decide if those
> mutations get propagated or not. Over time, the genome diverges more and
> more, and evolution MUST occur. The burden of proof is on the

> creationists to identify a mechanism whereby macroevolution is prevented.
>
> The current invocation of a mystical "kind" that is immune to
> macroevolution reminds me of the situation that existed before Newton
> identified gravity as a universal force. At that time, it was believed
> that there was an inherent difference between the way things moved in the
> Heavens versus movement on Earth, due to the fact that the Earth had been
> tarnished by Adam & Eve's original sin. Newton showed that everything on
> Earth and in the sky moved the same way, due to gravity.
>
> The Creationists want to continue that "divine difference" mentality,
> despite the fact that science moves forward very nicely without it.
>
> --
> MarkA
> (still caught in the maze of twisty little passages, all different)


I know this wasn't the point you were trying to make, but just to
nitpick ;-)

The creationists manifesto isn't 'credible', regardless how many
people mistakenly believe in their cause. Any public group, (or
individual), can screw up the education system by voting members to
school boards and wasting money and the court's time. That isn't
'credibility'; it's simply a large group of silly people. The
flying spaghetti monster folks are also active in the public arena now
- this year they have more funding and say they'll begin their
first court cases and also involve themselves in more school boards
than just Kansas... they're just as incredible as the creationists,
and that's the whole point :-)


---
Strange

UC

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 9:53:38 AM7/12/06
to

MarkA wrote:
> On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 15:56:00 -0700, UC wrote:
>
> >
> > MarkA wrote:
> >> I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> >> Guy.
> >
> > What is that?
>
> Podcast - an audio file downloaded from the Internet
> Richard Dawkins - a British scientist, advocate of Evolution.
> Infidel Guy - a radio program/web site that distributes podcasts of
> previous shows.

I know who Dawkins is. I don't know what "Infidel Guy" is.

> >
> >> One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
> >> debate creationists.
> >
> > 'Debate' is not what science does, and scientists are not necessarily
> > good debaters. Science basically compiles data. That's really all there
> > is to it.
>
> Science is about discovering facts. Debating is about winning arguments.
> They are not always the same thing.

Right, and that's what I said.

>
> Science does more than compile data; it looks for explanations for the
> data. As Darwin said, without theories, science is little more than
> cataloging all the pebbles in a quarry.

Most scientists are researches who do not formulate new theories.

>
> >
> >>Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the
> >> creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
> >> understand the point, I disagree.
> >
> > I would say that it depends on the skills of the individual. I would
> > hate to have to debate someone as oratorically skilled as Hitler.
> >
>
> Dawkins feels that just by having a debate, the creationists have won,
> because it gives them the appearance of legitimacy.

I agree.

> I disagree, because
> avoiding a debate gives the creationist the appearance of having a strong
> position.

Instead, ask them to bring data.

>
> >> In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility
> >> to exert pressure on various state legislatures.
> >
> > Credibility? They have some influence, but no credibility whatsoever.
> >
> >>To avoid debating them is
> >> to let them run free with no meaningful opposition.
> >
> > I say to counter them, with no 'debating' as such.
> >
>
> To avoid debating is to appear afraid to debate them.

Not true.

>The problem with
> a debate is that science thrives on hard data, facts, and theories.
> Though I am not a debater, I have heard that one tactic used by successful
> debaters is to avoid committing yourself to a definite position, because
> as soon as you do, your opponent can attack that position.

Only the most skilled can do that.

I repeat, 'species' is a term of logic borrowed by biology.


>
> >>A human
> >> and a microbe are different only in what their DNA codes for.
> >
> > ????
> >
>
> I mean, there is no devine difference between a man and a microbe, as
> the religionists will claim.

Divine?

>
> >> In fact,
> >> evolution is *inevitable*.
> >
> > Depends on what you mean. 'Progress' is certainly NOT inevitable.
> >
> >> Duplication of the DNA is not 100% accurate; therefore, mutations will
> >> occur. Natural selection will decide if those mutations get propagated
> >> or not. Over time, the genome diverges more and more, and evolution
> >> MUST occur.
> >
> > Not is there is insufficient selection pressure. There are still
> > bacteria, right? There is no inevitability about multi-cellular
> > organisms at all.
> >
>
> Then why do they exist?

They happened. They did not HAVE to happen. It was contingent, not
necessary.

> Clearly, there are niches for multi-cellular
> organisms, else the world would still be covered by a giant mat of
> blue-green algae.

It was (I guess), for many millions of years.

>
> >>The burden of proof is on the
> >> creationists to identify a mechanism whereby macroevolution is
> >> prevented.
> >
> > WTF?
>
> We can prove that mutations occur, and natural selection occurs.

Quite true.

Dick

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 10:05:12 AM7/12/06
to
On 11 Jul 2006 18:58:58 -0700, "guscubed"
<james.pr...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
>Dick wrote:


>> On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 22:12:43 GMT, MarkA <mant...@stopspam.net> wrote:
>>
>> >I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel

>> >Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists to
>> >debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives the


>> >creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although I
>> >understand the point, I disagree.
>> >

>> >In the USA at this time, creationists already have enough credibility to

>> >exert pressure on various state legislatures. To avoid debating them is
>> >to let them run free with no meaningful opposition. There are enough


>> >people "on the fence", who need to be educated as to why creationism is
>> >not science, and does not belong in the science classroom.
>> >

>> >The focus of the debate, however, must not be on the evidence in support
>> >of evolution. No matter what evidence is presented, the creationist can

>> >always shot holes in it, and put the scientist on the defensive. The


>> >emphasis must be on the difference between science and religion.
>> >

>> >The central difference between creationism and evolution is the fuzzy
>> >concept of "kinds". The creationist believes that God created each kind,
>> >and one kind can't change into another. There can be "microevolution"
>> >within a kind; that much is undeniable.
>> >

>> >To the biologist, however, there is no such thing as a "kind". A human
>> >and a microbe are different only in what their DNA codes for. In fact,
>> >evolution is *inevitable*. Duplication of the DNA is not 100% accurate;


>> >therefore, mutations will occur. Natural selection will decide if those
>> >mutations get propagated or not. Over time, the genome diverges more and

>> >more, and evolution MUST occur. The burden of proof is on the


>> >creationists to identify a mechanism whereby macroevolution is prevented.
>> >

>> >The current invocation of a mystical "kind" that is immune to
>> >macroevolution reminds me of the situation that existed before Newton
>> >identified gravity as a universal force. At that time, it was believed
>> >that there was an inherent difference between the way things moved in the
>> >Heavens versus movement on Earth, due to the fact that the Earth had been
>> >tarnished by Adam & Eve's original sin. Newton showed that everything on
>> >Earth and in the sky moved the same way, due to gravity.
>> >
>> >The Creationists want to continue that "divine difference" mentality,
>> >despite the fact that science moves forward very nicely without it.
>>

>> It is so unfortunate that Creationism and Intelligent Design have come
>> to mean Christianity. I am an agnostic. I find the concept of
>> "Irreducibal Complexity" a useful idea. If nothing else, it is a
>> convenient way to isolate some of the most intriguing questions.
>>
>

>Bull. No one has been able to define IC, apart from 'I know it when I
>see it' *wave hands*. How exactly do you find the concept of IC a
>useful idea?
>
>> How could feather evolve?
>
>Current theories favour several stages starting with reptillian scales

I find your acceptance a shredded membrane even approaching the
complexity of the feather's construction, un believeable. Perhaps you
could provide a list of gene functions which could accidentally mutate
the membrane and change the muscular arrangement not to mention the
lung and heart modifications needed to make this change.
Identification of specific genes and an explanation of the timing and
sequencing of such changes might make it understandable.


>
>>
>> How does a cell membrane evolve?
>>

>> How does one evolve DNA without proteins?
>>
>

>I don't know, I'm not a professional scientist, someone else might have
>a better idea. However throwing up our hands and saying "It's
>Irreducably Complex, it can't be explained by natural means" is not a
>useful conclusion.
>
You use "natural means" as though such means are understood. In
Darwin's day mutation was seen as a finished product, but today we
have to be able to explain how DNA changes that are acceptable by RNA
and proteins can change whole organs and skeletal arrangements.
Darwin didn't have to consider such mechanisms.

>> So many great questions and IC provides a way to talk about them.
>

>How exactly does IC help us understand the answers to the questions you
>just asked? Several biological structures, processes and mechanisms
>have appeared to be 'Irreducably Complex' in the past and yet we can
>now state with a certain degree of confidence how they might have
>evolved.
>
>Using the label 'Irreducably Complex' to describe a system that we
>don't YET understand
>seems an easy way out of asking any more questions. That is not a
>healthy mindset to have if you wish to find answers.


>
>>
>> As to Designers, there is a whole other fascinating realm of
>> exploration once we shake off Christianity. If Evolution cannot
>> answer our questions then we need not say "Science failed," it is the
>> process that can be applied to any question.
>>

>> Science cannot be attacked, only dogmas defended. Once one says all
>> evolution can be explained by mutation versus environment, the battle
>> is engaged. However, accepting that there may be "Intervention" opens
>> doors to dialogue.
>

>OK, there might have been "intervention" - a designer, if given enough
>theoretical powers, could do anything including hiding all physical
>traces or evidence that points to their existence. Dialogue started,
>your turn.


>
>> I would gladly refute Genesis, but never the
>> possibility of Intelligent Design.
>

>Sure it's possible just like the Omphalos fallacy, it's just not very
>useful.
>
>>
>> dick
More useful than denial.

dick

Westprog

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 10:19:57 AM7/12/06
to

"Michael Gray" <fle...@newsguy.spam.com> wrote in message
news:oaq9b29bd38ccmkha...@4ax.com...
...

> You said this:
> "...there is nothing in evolutionary theory which conflicts with
> religious belief."

> I can cut the philoso-crap by providing a concrete counter-example.
> (Thereby proving the statement to be false.)

> Vis: Evolutionary theory asserts (quite rightly) that favourable
> genetic change is accumulated over time through natural selection,
> such that speciation occurs.
> This conflicts with the religious belief of millions of people.
> These people explicitly say that this bit of evolutionary theory
> conflicts with their religious belief.

> Which conflicts precisely with what you did write.

> Quod erat demonstrandum.

However, there are plenty of people who manage to combine a religious belief
with an acceptance of the fact of evolution.

Do you want to play with words or address substantive issues?

J/


Westprog

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 10:22:57 AM7/12/06
to

"MarkA" <to...@nowhere.com> wrote in message
news:pan.2006.07.12....@nowhere.com...

> On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 01:41:52 -0700, jimmenegay wrote:
...

> The point is that religion is attacking science in the Creationism
> crusade.

No, it isn't. Certain people are attacking a scientific theory from a basis
of a particular religious belief.

> The policy of ignoring creationists does not seem to be working.

The police of bypassing the science and attacking religious belief doesn't
seem any more likely to work.

> Promoting science may have some value, but religion is intrinsicly more
> appealing than science. As scientists, regardless of our religious
> beliefs, we must be willing to stand up to the creationists.

The way to stand up to them is no to cede half the argument before we start.

The creationists have to be confronted both by scientists and by rational
Christians who accept that faith cannot be based on irrationality and lies.

J/


Westprog

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 10:34:39 AM7/12/06
to

"UC" <uraniumc...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:uranium-11527115...@h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
...

> > The way to oppose this is not to marginalise the majority who accept
both
> > religion and evolution. This is both intellectually dishonest and highly
> > counterproductive. An honest scientist and atheist would say "I don't
> > believe in God myself - but there is nothing in evolutionary theory
which
> > conflicts with religious belief."

> But that's simply false.


As I've clarified elsewhere, any scientific fact can impinge on any given
religious belief. What it doesn't do is interfere with religious belief as
such.

In particular, there is nothing in evolutionary theory which conflicts with
Christianity. There are minority sects of Christians who have a problem with
evolutionary theory.

J/


UC

unread,
Jul 12, 2006, 10:46:48 AM7/12/06
to

Westprog wrote:
> "UC" <uraniumc...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:uranium-11527115...@h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> ...
> > > The way to oppose this is not to marginalise the majority who accept
> both
> > > religion and evolution. This is both intellectually dishonest and highly
> > > counterproductive. An honest scientist and atheist would say "I don't
> > > believe in God myself - but there is nothing in evolutionary theory
> which
> > > conflicts with religious belief."
>
> > But that's simply false.
>
>
> As I've clarified elsewhere, any scientific fact can impinge on any given
> religious belief. What it doesn't do is interfere with religious belief as
> such.

What do you mean by 'interfere'?

>
> In particular, there is nothing in evolutionary theory which conflicts with
> Christianity.

That is simply false.

Westprog

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Jul 12, 2006, 11:38:37 AM7/12/06
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"UC" <uraniumc...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:uranium-11527156...@i42g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

...
> > > > The way to oppose this is not to marginalise the majority who accept
> > > > both
> > > > religion and evolution. This is both intellectually dishonest and
highly
> > > > counterproductive. An honest scientist and atheist would say "I
don't
> > > > believe in God myself - but there is nothing in evolutionary theory
> > > > which
> > > > conflicts with religious belief."

> > > But that's simply false.

> > As I've clarified elsewhere, any scientific fact can impinge on any
given
> > religious belief. What it doesn't do is interfere with religious belief
as
> > such.

> What do you mean by 'interfere'?

In the sense that one belief impinges on another.

> > In particular, there is nothing in evolutionary theory which conflicts
with
> > Christianity.

> That is simply false.

In order to demonstrate that it is true, I'd have to be able to point to
Christians who believe in evolution. There's a stretch.

'the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams expressed his thought that
"creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible
were a theory like other theories. Whatever the biblical account of creation
is, it's not a theory alongside theories.... My worry is creationism can end
up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it." His view is
that creationism should not be taught in schools.'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution


> >There are minority sects of Christians who have a problem with
> > evolutionary theory.

They are quite noisy though. The kind of people who don't think archbishops
are Christians.

J/


UC

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Jul 12, 2006, 11:46:14 AM7/12/06
to

It is possible to drive a car while not knowing a thing about the
internal combustion engine too.

One does not "believe in" evolution. One accepts the facts or one does
not.

The fact that people claim to be Christians while accepting evolution
does not make them (the positions) <<<actually>>> compatible.

Westprog

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:03:25 PM7/12/06
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"UC" <uraniumcommi...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:uranium-11527191...@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
...

> > > > In particular, there is nothing in evolutionary theory which
conflicts
> > with
> > > > Christianity.

> > > That is simply false.

> > In order to demonstrate that it is true, I'd have to be able to point to
> > Christians who believe in evolution. There's a stretch.

> It is possible to drive a car while not knowing a thing about the
> internal combustion engine too.

> One does not "believe in" evolution. One accepts the facts or one does
> not.

If one accepts the facts, that leads to a belief

> The fact that people claim to be Christians while accepting evolution
> does not make them (the positions) <<<actually>>> compatible.

No, and it doesn't make them <<<actually>>> incompatible either. It would be
necessary to point out where the incompatibility lies. Naturally a
sufficiently restricted definition of Christianity will do the trick as
well.

I like the archbishop's idea that Creationism is a category mistake.
Claiming that accepting Christ as a living saviour is incompatible with a
common origin for all life on earth is like saying that apples are
incompatible with starlight.

J/


Gordon Hill

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:11:59 PM7/12/06
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Larry Moran wrote:
> On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 22:12:43 GMT, MarkA <mant...@stopspam.net> wrote:
> > I was recently listening to a podcast of Richard Dawkins on the Infidel
> > Guy. One of the questions concerned whether it was good for scientists
> > to debate creationists. Dawkins felt that debating a Creationist gives
> > the creationist credibility that he would not otherwise have. Although
> > I understand the point, I disagree.
>
> Which Creationists do you think Richard Dawkins should debate?
>
> Larry Moran

Not Larry Moran ;-)

Mybe Kent Hovind or Ken Ham

UC

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:16:01 PM7/12/06
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Westprog wrote:
> "UC" <uraniumcommi...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:uranium-11527191...@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> ...
> > > > > In particular, there is nothing in evolutionary theory which
> conflicts
> > > with
> > > > > Christianity.
>
> > > > That is simply false.
>
> > > In order to demonstrate that it is true, I'd have to be able to point to
> > > Christians who believe in evolution. There's a stretch.
>
> > It is possible to drive a car while not knowing a thing about the
> > internal combustion engine too.
>
> > One does not "believe in" evolution. One accepts the facts or one does
> > not.
>
> If one accepts the facts, that leads to a belief.

'Faith' is a big part of the Christian creed. "Blessed is he who has
not seen, yet has believed."

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rsposse/rescomptable.htm

> > The fact that people claim to be Christians while accepting evolution
> > does not make them (the positions) <<<actually>>> compatible.
>
> No, and it doesn't make them <<<actually>>> incompatible either.

It's obvious that there is no 'job' for gods if evolution is true. It
also shows that was formerly believed to be evidence for the existence
of gods is not such.

Westprog

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:23:32 PM7/12/06
to

"UC" <uraniumcommi...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:uranium-1152720...@h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
...

> > > One does not "believe in" evolution. One accepts the facts or one does
> > > not.

> > If one accepts the facts, that leads to a belief.

> 'Faith' is a big part of the Christian creed. "Blessed is he who has
> not seen, yet has believed."

> http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rsposse/rescomptable.htm

Yes, religious belief is established on a different basis to scientific
belief. What I said.

...

> It's obvious that there is no 'job' for gods if evolution is true.

It may be obvious to some people. That seems to me to be another category
error.

> It
> also shows that was formerly believed to be evidence for the existence
> of gods is not such.

Former beliefs modified by new data. Good lord.

J/


UC

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Jul 12, 2006, 12:50:33 PM7/12/06
to

Yes, creating 'conflict', eh?

>Good lord.

No, "Good Lord".

Westprog

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Jul 12, 2006, 1:05:42 PM7/12/06
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"UC" <uraniumcommi...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:uranium-1152723...@m79g2000cwm.googlegroups.com...
...

> > > It
> > > also shows that was formerly believed to be evidence for the existence
> > > of gods is not such.

> > Former beliefs modified by new data.
>
> Yes, creating 'conflict', eh?

The birth of modern science led to lessons about scientific and religious
belief.

J/


UC

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Jul 12, 2006, 1:08:42 PM7/12/06
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Like how to write reversed....

jimme...@sbcglobal.net

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Jul 12, 2006, 1:49:47 PM7/12/06
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Michael Gray wrote:
> On 12 Jul 2006 02:38:29 -0700, "Budikka666" <budi...@netscape.net>
> wrote:
> - Refer: <1152697109....@i42g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>
> >jimme...@sbcglobal.net wrote:
> >> ... there are too many people (like Dawkins) using science as a

> >> staging ground for attacks on religion.
> >
> >And your support for this claim is?

You are asking for evidence that Dawkins uses science as a staging
ground for attacks against religion? Get serious!

Or perhaps you are asking for evidence that there are many people like
Dawkins. Just look around the talk.origins newsgroup. And presumably
alt.atheism is similar; I haven't checked.

But maybe what you are looking for is evidence that there are TOO MANY
such people. De gustibus, non disputandum est.

VoiceOfReason

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Jul 12, 2006, 2:45:33 PM7/12/06