Dealing with creationists

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Richard Carnes

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Mar 8, 2002, 11:43:49 AM3/8/02
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One significant reason, I suspect, for the protracted stalemate in the
political battle between evolution and creationism is that those with
the strongest interest in defending evolution tend to be those who are
trained in the natural sciences and who have no particular
professional interest in understanding human beliefs and behavior.
Perhaps as a result, many if not most pro-evolution responses to
creationists have been comparatively ineffective or counterproductive.
I'd like to offer a few suggestions, for what they're worth, for
dealing with creationists effectively:

- Remember that creationists are not the enemy; the enemies are fear,
ignorance, and the human ego. Reply to creationists as if you were
responding to a friend or someone who you would like to be a friend.

- Righteous indignation is no more appropriate in response to
creationists than it is in response to mosquitos. This is not a
battle between Good Guys (us) and Bad Guys (them). Just as the
behavior of mosquitos can in principle be explained scientifically, so
can that of creationists, and a scientific understanding of why
creationists think and act as they do would be (it seems to me) of
great interest, even from the standpoint of evolutionary theory;
nevertheless there seems to be relatively little interest in this
topic on TO. But science does not stop at the blood-brain barrier.
Note that attributions of moral inferiority of some sort do not
qualify as scientific explanations.

- If reason, logic, and the facts are all on your side, why do you
need the rhetorical heavy artillery of sarcasm, insults, and the like?
Such tactics are almost always counterproductive; it's much more
effective to simply state your facts and reasons. It doesn't matter
if the other side was the first to fling the insults. "They started
it" has justified every war in history, for both sides.

In short, I would like to see some sophistication in responding to
creationists that approaches the scientific sophistication of many
contributors to TO.
--
Richard

Adam Marczyk

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Mar 8, 2002, 12:03:44 PM3/8/02
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Richard Carnes <car...@quip.eecs.umich.edu> wrote in message
news:a6apnt$k2$1...@quip.eecs.umich.edu...

I think the biggest mistake evolutionists make is thinking that this is a
scientific debate and not a religious one. If we could get a strong force of
qualified theistic evolutionists to speak out publicly and repeatedly on our
side, I bet creationism would die off before long, without even needing to refer
to the evidence.

--
And I want to conquer the world,
give all the idiots a brand new religion,
put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil,
promote equality in all of my decisions...
--Bad Religion, "I Want to Conquer the World"

http://www.ebonmusings.org ICQ: 8777843

Michael Altarriba

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Mar 8, 2002, 12:04:05 PM3/8/02
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Richard Carnes wrote:

<snip>


> - If reason, logic, and the facts are all on your side, why do you
> need the rhetorical heavy artillery of sarcasm, insults, and the like?
> Such tactics are almost always counterproductive; it's much more
> effective to simply state your facts and reasons.


<snip>

Actually, sarcasm and insults aren't "heavy artillery"... they are
blanks. They -sound- like live rounds, but don't actually do anything.

Jonathan v.d. Sluis

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Mar 8, 2002, 5:03:20 PM3/8/02
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Adam Marczyk <ebon...@hotmailNOTexcite.com> schreef in berichtnieuws
u8hrnea...@corp.supernews.com...
<snip>

> I think the biggest mistake evolutionists make is thinking that this is a
> scientific debate and not a religious one. If we could get a strong force
of
> qualified theistic evolutionists to speak out publicly and repeatedly on
our
> side, I bet creationism would die off before long, without even needing to
refer
> to the evidence.

I agree that a large part of the debate is about religion. Indeed, beliefs
are at the core of the issue. But there are definite scientific parts that
can be dealt with by referring to published research. Like the age of the
earth, the presence of 'intermediate forms' in the fossil record and the
possibility of variation and natural selection as a mechanism for changes in
species. Creationists always deny it, but these issues can be resolved
scientifically in favor of evolutionary theory, without resorting to
religious belief. That is the strength of the theory of evolution: it has an
overwhelming amount of favorable studies.

If someone claims that there are 'structural gaps' in the fossil record, it
will not do to reply that such a claim is just born from (dogmatic) belief.
The only credible reply is one that actually refers to fossils, not to
religion.

Jonathan.

Rubystars

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Mar 8, 2002, 5:09:59 PM3/8/02
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"Jonathan v.d. Sluis" <jonath...@planet.nlnospam> wrote in message
news:a6bcev$n9h$1...@reader08.wxs.nl...

I think that the main problem that a lot of people have is emotional. If you
can get over the emotional hurdle then people will be open to evidence.

-Rubystars


Jonathan v.d. Sluis

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Mar 8, 2002, 5:14:29 PM3/8/02
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Richard Carnes <car...@quip.eecs.umich.edu> schreef in berichtnieuws
a6apnt$k2$1...@quip.eecs.umich.edu...

> One significant reason, I suspect, for the protracted stalemate in the
> political battle between evolution and creationism is that those with
> the strongest interest in defending evolution tend to be those who are
> trained in the natural sciences and who have no particular
> professional interest in understanding human beliefs and behavior.
> Perhaps as a result, many if not most pro-evolution responses to
> creationists have been comparatively ineffective or counterproductive.
> I'd like to offer a few suggestions, for what they're worth, for
> dealing with creationists effectively:

<snip>

I would add one, which is perhaps difficult for some:

- Structural doubt towards scientific theories. Theories, unlike beliefs,
should matter little. We should not care if evolution is true - science is
not concerned with defending any viewpoint, but with finding out what is
right. So when defending evolution, make it clear that you are willing to
criticize or test any aspect of the theory. Creationists assume that
scientists defend evolution like a belief. This should not be the case. It
is important to tell creationists that accepting the theory is not a choice,
born out of preference for a certain worldview or anti-religious feelings,
but an inevitable result, that follows from logical interpretations.

Jonathan.


johns

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Mar 8, 2002, 5:39:50 PM3/8/02
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"Rubystars" <windst...@nospamhotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a6bcrn$d1tml$5...@ID-63471.news.dfncis.de...

>
> I think that the main problem that a lot of people have is
emotional. If you
> can get over the emotional hurdle then people will be open to
evidence.
>
> -Rubystars
>
>

I venture to guess that you've never had the pleasure of having an
online discussion with Ted Holden.

--
JCS

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god
than you
do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will
understand why I dismiss yours."
-­ Stephen Roberts

Max Phillips

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Mar 8, 2002, 5:42:11 PM3/8/02
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in article a6apnt$k2$1...@quip.eecs.umich.edu, Richard Carnes at

Excellent post. -Max

Rubystars

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Mar 8, 2002, 6:00:11 PM3/8/02
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"johns" <sto...@oco.net> wrote in message
news:u8ifdi8...@corp.supernews.com...

> "Rubystars" <windst...@nospamhotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:a6bcrn$d1tml$5...@ID-63471.news.dfncis.de...
> >
> > I think that the main problem that a lot of people have is
> emotional. If you
> > can get over the emotional hurdle then people will be open to
> evidence.
> >
> > -Rubystars
> >
> >
>
> I venture to guess that you've never had the pleasure of having an
> online discussion with Ted Holden.
>
> --
> JCS

I don't remember everyone I've talked to in here. The group is so full of
people :)

-Rubystars


jeffery joel bezaire

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Mar 8, 2002, 6:10:55 PM3/8/02
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In article <a6bfpr$d9c18$5...@ID-63471.news.dfncis.de>,

Rubystars <windst...@nospamhotmail.com> wrote:
>
>"johns" <sto...@oco.net> wrote in message
>news:u8ifdi8...@corp.supernews.com...
>> "Rubystars" <windst...@nospamhotmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:a6bcrn$d1tml$5...@ID-63471.news.dfncis.de...
>>
>> I venture to guess that you've never had the pleasure of having an
>> online discussion with Ted Holden.
>>
>> --
>> JCS
>
>I don't remember everyone I've talked to in here. The group is so full of
>people :)
>
>-Rubystars
>
>

you'd remember... ;-)

--

Ferrous Patella

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Mar 8, 2002, 6:27:30 PM3/8/02
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In article <a6bd41$npt$1...@reader08.wxs.nl>, Jonathan v.d. Sluis says...

Yeah, and the theory of gravity, too!
--
Ferrous Patella
"Jimmy, go to the chalkboard and write 'Rote memorization is the lowest form
of learning.' a hundred times."

johns

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Mar 8, 2002, 6:30:33 PM3/8/02
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"Rubystars" <windst...@nospamhotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a6bfpr$d9c18$5...@ID-63471.news.dfncis.de...

> I don't remember everyone I've talked to in here. The group is so
full of
> people :)
>
> -Rubystars
>
>

Even if there were "... 1 to 10 raised to the 167,896 power..." people
in this group, you'd remember Ted Holden. Believe me :)

Thomas Griffin

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Mar 8, 2002, 6:52:56 PM3/8/02
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Creationists are not opponents in an intellectual debate. They
do not hold their views because the evidence they have available
to them supports creationism. Many of them will outright admit that
their position is emotion based and not grounded in evidence. They will
not
revise their beliefs in light of any amount of evidence or rational
argument presented.
Thus, to engage them as a mere intellectual adversary is a fruitless
endeavor.
So why engage them at all? Because, despite your claim, they are the
enemy. They are political enemies of anyone who values intellectual
freedom,
which is the only true freedom there is.
They must be fought, and trying to reason with them will be useless to
this end.

Ridicule is also useless towards defeating this enemy and I suspect most
TO members realize this.
TO regulars mock and deride creationists for 2 reasons:
1. It is good fun. Creationism is inherently funny b/c it is so
pathetically absurd and the desire to cling to this worldview is also so
sad as to be funny.
2. Creationists are a real threat as outlined above, and as such they
evoke a warranted angry backlash from those with the sense to realize how
close we are
to loosing all the political and intellectual ground gained in the last
few centuries.

The solution to dealing with creationists is to treat them like the
biggest threat to
democracy and scientific advancement that exist, since this is exactly
what they are.
Dealing with them directly in any form is probably a waste of time. They
must
be fought in the political arena and that of public opinion.

Thomas

Max Phillips

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Mar 8, 2002, 7:38:15 PM3/8/02
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in article 3C894FC5...@uic.edu, Thomas Griffin at tgri...@uic.edu

While both Richard and Thomas have valid points to make, I think Richard is
closer to the truth. I was once a literal-tradition anti-evolutionist, and
it took me 20 years of gradually accepting "new light." But I finally got
here, and I am a thoroughgoing Darwinian evolutionist today. But
evolutionists who ridiculed me and nothing to do with convincing me. Quite
the opposite: they made me dig my heels in more deeply. By far the biggest
inducer: hard, cold fact presented in a emotionally neutral atmosphere. Such
as the presentations made in visitors' centers in such places a the Grand
Canyon, Crater Lake, Yellowstone (stacked fossil forests), etc. I would buy
the books in the bookstores and read them. Eventually I started visiting
bookstores and libraries reading everything I could get my hands on,
beginning with Isaac Asimov, as I remember. And the more I read the more
convinced I became. -Max

Frank J

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Mar 8, 2002, 8:35:03 PM3/8/02
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"Richard Carnes" <car...@quip.eecs.umich.edu> wrote in message
news:a6apnt$k2$1...@quip.eecs.umich.edu...

Frank J

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Mar 8, 2002, 8:43:28 PM3/8/02
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"Richard Carnes" <car...@quip.eecs.umich.edu> wrote in message
news:a6apnt$k2$1...@quip.eecs.umich.edu...

One thing evolutionists should watch out for in debating the "intelligent
design" creationists is to not fall into their trap and promote an "argument
against design." Even evolutionists who believe in design often sound like
they are trying to disprove it. I know they know better, but finding the
right words is a talent that scientists often lack, and even among
scientists, I will admit to having a harder time than most with words. One
thing is that I have learned is to stop using the word "Darwinism."

Frank J

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Mar 8, 2002, 8:49:24 PM3/8/02
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"Rubystars" <windst...@nospamhotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a6bfpr$d9c18$5...@ID-63471.news.dfncis.de...
In ~5 months of regular visits to t.o I have only seen him post once, and I
thing someone suggested that it was not really him. In any case I understand
that he is a Velikofsky advocate like Ed Conrad. Ed does not reply to me
because I ask him to admit that he disagrees with young-earthers.

Max Phillips

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Mar 8, 2002, 8:53:56 PM3/8/02
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in article fPdi8.148740$pN4.7...@bin8.nnrp.aus1.giganews.com, Frank J at

You might also stop using the word "creationist" and substitute
"anti-evolutionist" in its place. When you say "creationists" are wrong her,
wrong there, etc., literal-tradition anti-evolutionists think you are the
devil talking and they shrink back in horror. Also stop using the word
"myth" to refer to the Genesis creation story. For the same reason. Use
"metanarrative" instead. Nothing is lost, and everything is to be gained.
-Max

Pat James

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Mar 8, 2002, 9:03:09 PM3/8/02
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On Fri, 8 Mar 2002 18:00:11 -0500, Rubystars wrote
(in message <a6bfpr$d9c18$5...@ID-63471.news.dfncis.de>):

Ted is... unique.

<http://www.bearfabrique.org/>

<http://www.ediacara.org/ted.html>


--
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

Frank J

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Mar 8, 2002, 9:56:49 PM3/8/02
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"Max Phillips" <obscu...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:B8AEAA9A.2529%obscu...@earthlink.net...

I actually find myself in the process of doing this. Too many people think
that "Creationist" means simply "one who believes in a Creator." This is the
too-broad Johnson definition, which includes ~1/2 of evolutionists. Others
think it means only "young-earthers" This is the too-narrow Behe definition.
In fact, we need a new word for "evolutionist" because evolution is not an
"ism."


When you say "creationists" are wrong her,
> wrong there, etc., literal-tradition anti-evolutionists think you are the
> devil talking and they shrink back in horror. Also stop using the word
> "myth" to refer to the Genesis creation story.

I rarely talk about Genesis, but when I do I call it an "allegory," and I
make sure to note that it is common for Judeo-Christians to also interpret
it that way.

Max Phillips

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Mar 8, 2002, 10:10:47 PM3/8/02
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in article URei8.154309$7a1.13...@bin5.nnrp.aus1.giganews.com, Frank J at

Thanks, Frank. I wasn't using the word "you" to appy to you specificially. I
would rather use the word "one" ã as in "one should stop using the word
'myth' to refer to the Genesis creation story" ã but that sounds too
stilted. -Max

Lisa Star

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Mar 8, 2002, 10:49:14 PM3/8/02
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"Jonathan v.d. Sluis" <jonath...@planet.nlnospam> wrote in message news:<a6bcev$n9h$1...@reader08.wxs.nl>...
> Adam Marczyk <ebon...@hotmailNOTexcite.com> schreef in berichtnieuws
> u8hrnea...@corp.supernews.com...
> <snip>
> > I think the biggest mistake evolutionists make is thinking that this is a
> > scientific debate and not a religious one. If we could get a strong force
> of
> > qualified theistic evolutionists to speak out publicly and repeatedly on
> our
> > side, I bet creationism would die off before long, without even needing to
> refer
> > to the evidence.
>
> I agree that a large part of the debate is about religion.

There can be no debate about religion. Religions are based on
doctrines, that is a teaching the acceptance of which is required for
admission to the religious group. This isn't true of all religions
but it is true of christian religion. You must believe in christ as
saviour to be a christian. Nothing else matters. This happens to be
in direct conflict with scientific facts.

Indeed, beliefs
> are at the core of the issue. But there are definite scientific parts that
> can be dealt with by referring to published research.

no, really, they can't. These people don't believe you because they
are not allowed to believe you. Doubting their church's doctrine is,
itself, a sin. They are not allowed to sin and they are afraid of the
consequences of sinning, for their immortal souls. This is what you
are up against.

>Like the age of the
> earth, the presence of 'intermediate forms' in the fossil record and the
> possibility of variation and natural selection as a mechanism for changes in
> species. Creationists always deny it, but these issues can be resolved
> scientifically in favor of evolutionary theory, without resorting to
> religious belief. That is the strength of the theory of evolution: it has an
> overwhelming amount of favorable studies.

You mention "published research" above, but anyone could get this
information out of a Little Golden Guide to Geology or Astronomy or
whatever. Creationists deny the facts of the world as it stands, and
they are most certainly not going to look up "published research."

> If someone claims that there are 'structural gaps' in the fossil record, it
> will not do to reply that such a claim is just born from (dogmatic) belief.
> The only credible reply is one that actually refers to fossils, not to
> religion.

No, really, religion is the issue. It's the only issue, really.

But the point I really want to make is that all of you folks shouldn't
be so hard on yourselves. I don't think there is any way you can win
with a confirmed creationist so don't bother to beat yourselves up
about it, and anyway I like to think the arguments convince lurkers
who may be less put off by the artillery, since it is not, strictly
speaking directed at them. And personally I enjoy TO for what I learn
about science from anyone posting here who has specialized knowledge
or who argues well. And I appreciate the humour/sarcasm. Go with it.

> Jonathan.

Lisa Star

Max Phillips

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Mar 8, 2002, 11:12:13 PM3/8/02
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in article e4c2daf9.02030...@posting.google.com, Lisa Star at

Religion (root "to tie back") is not based on doctrine. Doctrine is based on
religon. I did not accept Christ because of a stated church proposition or
creed, but because of my personal experience with God. Following that I came
to see the doctrine -- "the kingdom of God is within you," for instance
(Luke 17:20) -- to be true. I see no contradiction with scientific facts,
direct or indirect. In debate on this T.O website, beliefs are not the
issue, facts are. Not, is a statement to be believed, but is it measurable,
testable, confirmable, repeatable, etc. Faith has absolutely nothing to do
with it. This is one of the beauties of science: Hindus can do it, Jews,
Buddhists, atheists, Christians, agnostics, Taoists, pantheists,
panentheists, animists, wiccans -- none of their personal beliefs matters if
a beam of starlight actually bends when measured passing by the sun during a
total eclipse. Personal religious beliefs are irrelevant when doing real
science. -Max

Rubystars

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Mar 9, 2002, 12:05:45 AM3/9/02
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"Pat James" <patj...@newsguy.com> wrote in message
news:01HW.B8AED7770...@enews.newsguy.com...

Does he really think other planets did fly bys?

-Rubystars


Jonathan v.d. Sluis

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Mar 9, 2002, 5:11:12 AM3/9/02
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Ferrous Patella <mail1...@pop.net> schreef in berichtnieuws
3c8948db$0$5328$724e...@reader2.ash.ops.us.uu.net...

> Yeah, and the theory of gravity, too!

Do you mean that theory is completely correct? Is everything known about
gravity correct? Saying that we should not doubt the theory (is there only
one?) of gravity seems ridiculously presumptuous. What are physicists who
concern themselves with gravity supposed to do, take all accumulated
knowledge at face-value? It is exactly this kind of short-sighted reaction
that distorts the creation-evolution debate. It shows that there is still a
long way to go.

Jonathan.


Jonathan v.d. Sluis

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Mar 9, 2002, 5:45:24 AM3/9/02
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Lisa Star <aml...@hotmail.com> schreef in berichtnieuws
e4c2daf9.02030...@posting.google.com...

<snip>

> There can be no debate about religion. Religions are based on
> doctrines, that is a teaching the acceptance of which is required for
> admission to the religious group. This isn't true of all religions
> but it is true of christian religion.

<< You must believe in christ as saviour to be a christian. Nothing else
matters. This happens to be in direct conflict with scientific facts. >>

What? Trust me: I am an atheist and very critical of christianity. But this
is completely untrue. How can the belief in Christ as a saviour be ever in
'direct conflict with scientific facts'? You want to prove he really died
and stayed down, and therefore cannot save anyone? Do you really think that
is anywhere near the point? You are very ignorant of what christianity
actually entails.


>
> Indeed, beliefs
> > are at the core of the issue. But there are definite scientific parts
that
> > can be dealt with by referring to published research.
>
> no, really, they can't. These people don't believe you because they
> are not allowed to believe you. Doubting their church's doctrine is,
> itself, a sin. They are not allowed to sin and they are afraid of the
> consequences of sinning, for their immortal souls. This is what you
> are up against.

I was not talking about the people. Perhaps you did not read very thoroughly
but I said: 'Creationists always deny it, but these issues can be resolved
scientifically in favor of evolutionary theory...'. With this I mean that
the topics themselves, as scientific topics, can be resolved. Very easily,
in fact. Denying this means stating that science has no arguments against
claims that 'the earth is 6.000 years old' and 'there are strucutural gaps
in the fossil record'. We know these claims to be untrue and can prove it,
or do you think they cannot be proven? In that case, you should join the
creationists' ranks. Remember: I do *not* mean that creationists can be made
to accept the theory of evolution. That is not what I claimed, even though
you seem to be reading my post as such.

<snip>

>
> You mention "published research" above, but anyone could get this
> information out of a Little Golden Guide to Geology or Astronomy or
> whatever. Creationists deny the facts of the world as it stands, and
> they are most certainly not going to look up "published research."

I do not care if they are willing to look it up or not, that is completely
beside the point. This is not a debating game. We are not out to convince
others of the error of their ways. We are discussing actual issues. The
psychology and worldview of creationists is not my concern. You seem to be
very concerned with what they hold true - why? The only thing we should be
concerned about is what they try to contribute to scientific knowledge. That
can be debated. If they are not willing to look it up, that is not our
problem. The facts still stand.

<snip>

> No, really, religion is the issue. It's the only issue, really.

Do you really have no response to the claim that the earth is 6.000 years
old, other than: 'That is religion'? That is very sad indeed. If something
is religious, it is not necessarily untrue. Try referring to the dating of
chondritic meteors. That's a better idea.

Claiming that religion is the only issue leads to ignorance of creationists'
factual claims and biologists making theological statements. This will only
work to the advantage of creationism, because biologists would not be doing
what they are good at.

>
> But the point I really want to make is that all of you folks shouldn't
> be so hard on yourselves. I don't think there is any way you can win
> with a confirmed creationist so don't bother to beat yourselves up
> about it, and anyway I like to think the arguments convince lurkers
> who may be less put off by the artillery, since it is not, strictly
> speaking directed at them. And personally I enjoy TO for what I learn
> about science from anyone posting here who has specialized knowledge
> or who argues well. And I appreciate the humour/sarcasm. Go with it.

Try to remember this: this is not about 'winning'. And lurkers are
intelligent people, they know a good argument when they see it. If someone
does not want to be convinced by research results, there is little we can
do.

If you really think the debate is about religion, you should learn more
about religion, or at least its relation to science (try A. McGrath's
excellent 'Science and Religion - an introduction'). Stating that science
refutes the belief in Christ as a saviour is lousy theology, as well as
pretty crappy science.

Jonathan.
--
aa #1993


Pat James

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Mar 9, 2002, 9:20:52 AM3/9/02
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On Sat, 9 Mar 2002 0:05:45 -0500, Rubystars wrote
(in message <a6c572$cqpdv$5...@ID-63471.news.dfncis.de>):

ooh, yes. He went into great detail about it, over a period of at least 15
years. He was one of the reasons why the old original net.origins newsgroup,
with became t.o, was created, way back when. I wasn't around then, but I
understand that the battles between Ted and people like Tim Thompson were
titanic, shaking the very foundations of usenet.

Quick guide to TedBallistics:

The Earth was in Saturn orbit, departed, swung by Mars which deployed,
somehow (he explained but it's been a long time and I forget) a Magic
Mountain which caused a similar Magic Mountain to erupt on the Earth, and
Neanderthals flew on the backs of tetrahorns (either pteradactyls of some
kind or giant eagles) between the two Magic Mountains (yes, the tetrahorns
flew through space...) and carved the Face On Mars out and flew back. Venus
erupted from Jupiter, made a flyby of Earth and caused the Plague of Flies
(Venus is home to a lot of vermin, apparently...) then made another flyby and
caused the Parting of the Red Sea, made yet another flyby and delivered the
Manna In The WIlderness. (Venus, like Jupiter, is apparently full of
hydrocarbons. Some of the Venerian atmosphere scrapped off on that flyby and
transmuted itself to carbohydrates on the way down. Exactly what the vermin,
such as the flies deposited in the first flyby, breathe given the hydrocarbon
atmosphere, is unclear.) I _think_ that yet another flyby both stopped the
Earth's rotation for Joshua and knocked down Jericho's walls, but I'm not
certain. It's been a while.

Ted's My Hero. I figured that if _he_ could post what he did, then _anyone_
could post _anything_ and it would look sane in comparison.

You might want to do a Google search for 'felt effect of gravity' and 'Ted
Holden and the Flying Arctic Shark' and for 'unkillable mammoths'.

I still say that his very best effort was the time that he said that the P-51
Mustang proved that evolution can't work.

Those were the days, the days when the wild creationist herds thundered
across t.o in all their massed glory, the days when a Zoe or a Dave Pee would
be ignored because of the presence of Ted, Ed (before he lost it), Karl in
his Woodpecker Wackyness phase, even nameless when he was finding chariot
wheels in the Red Sea... There were Hindu creationists (who're _really
different_ from run-of-the-mill Xian creationists) and Jewish creationists
and Muslim creationists, and even one or two flat-earthers. We shall not see
the like again.

Oh, yeah... Ted's the only creationist to attend a HowlerFest. Fitting, as he
was the one who first called evilutionists 'Howler Monkeys'. Apparently he
doesn't look deranged in person.

Frank J

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Mar 9, 2002, 7:13:53 PM3/9/02
to

"Max Phillips" <obscu...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:B8AEBC95.254A%obscu...@earthlink.net...
> would rather use the word "one" < as in "one should stop using the word
> 'myth' to refer to the Genesis creation story" < but that sounds too
> stilted. -Max
>
>
Thanks. I didn't take it personally. I have to add that I find the process
of avoiding the use of the words "creationist" and "creationism" more
difficult than that of avoiding the use of the words "Darwinist" and
"Darwinism."

Max Phillips

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Mar 9, 2002, 8:27:35 PM3/9/02
to
in article 4zxi8.399694$eS3.29...@bin3.nnrp.aus1.giganews.com, Frank J at

Tough, yes, tough for me too, and for all of us. When I first started
applying the word creationist to myself, I felt almost nauseated. But I
stuck with it, and I'm not sorry I have. The thing is, literal-tradition
anti-evolutionists (LTAs) have turned a perfectly good word, "creationist,"
into a garbage word. But I still think it is necessary not to give LTAs the
advantage of thinking and preaching that anyone who disagrees with them
doesn't believe that God created. They have hijacked the term, and I
believe it should be rescued from them and restored to its honorable status.
-Creationist Max

Adam Marczyk

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Mar 9, 2002, 9:01:39 PM3/9/02
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Max Phillips <obscu...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:B8AFF5E3.2650%obscu...@earthlink.net...

> in article 4zxi8.399694$eS3.29...@bin3.nnrp.aus1.giganews.com, Frank J at
> fn...@comcast.net wrote on 2002.03.09 4:13 PM:

[snip]

> > Thanks. I didn't take it personally. I have to add that I find the process
> > of avoiding the use of the words "creationist" and "creationism" more
> > difficult than that of avoiding the use of the words "Darwinist" and
> > "Darwinism."
> >
> Tough, yes, tough for me too, and for all of us. When I first started
> applying the word creationist to myself, I felt almost nauseated. But I
> stuck with it, and I'm not sorry I have. The thing is, literal-tradition
> anti-evolutionists (LTAs) have turned a perfectly good word, "creationist,"
> into a garbage word. But I still think it is necessary not to give LTAs the
> advantage of thinking and preaching that anyone who disagrees with them
> doesn't believe that God created. They have hijacked the term, and I
> believe it should be rescued from them and restored to its honorable status.
> -Creationist Max

As much as I sympathize with this, I have to say that for better or for worse
the anti-evolutionists *have* hijacked the term "creationist". If you use it to
refer to a religious person who accepts evolution without specifically
explaining why, lots of people are likely to get confused. I think, at least for
the moment, "creationist" is an acceptable term to use when referring to the
young-earthers, the IDers, and the like. People will understand what you mean.

--
And I want to conquer the world,
give all the idiots a brand new religion,
put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil,
promote equality in all of my decisions...
--Bad Religion, "I Want to Conquer the World"

http://www.ebonmusings.org ICQ: 8777843

Frank J

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Mar 9, 2002, 9:12:58 PM3/9/02
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"Max Phillips" <obscu...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:B8AFF5E3.2650%obscu...@earthlink.net...

> in article 4zxi8.399694$eS3.29...@bin3.nnrp.aus1.giganews.com, Frank J
at
> fn...@comcast.net wrote on 2002.03.09 4:13 PM:

(snip)

> Tough, yes, tough for me too, and for all of us. When I first started
> applying the word creationist to myself, I felt almost nauseated. But I
> stuck with it, and I'm not sorry I have. The thing is, literal-tradition
> anti-evolutionists (LTAs) have turned a perfectly good word,
"creationist,"
> into a garbage word. But I still think it is necessary not to give LTAs
the
> advantage of thinking and preaching that anyone who disagrees with them
> doesn't believe that God created. They have hijacked the term, and I
> believe it should be rescued from them and restored to its honorable
status.
> -Creationist Max

It's a field unto itself how words get coined. Although I would prefer that
your definition of creationist would be the common one, I doubt that that
will happen anytime soon.

Here's an anecdote: Back in '98, when I was just beginning to learn the
details of the debate (as well as the web) I clicked on a talk.origins link
to a criticism of Michael Behe's "Darwin's Black Box." by a "self-described
creationist." I expected to hear a young-earther complain about Behe's
acceptance of an old earth and common descent. Was I wrong! Perhaps you have
seen this:
http://www.asa3.org/evolution/irred_compl.html

Max Phillips

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Mar 9, 2002, 9:30:14 PM3/9/02