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A hundred people walked out of Darwin/evo psych indoctrination lecture at Oxford?

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No, never thought it would happen. But here’s principal witness, Darwin and Dawkins follower Sue Blackmore:

I was invited to give a lecture on memes by the “Oxford Royale Academy”, an institution that has nothing to do with the University of Oxford but hosts groups of several hundred 17-18 year-olds for two weeks of classes and, I guess, some kind of simulation of an ‘Oxford experience’. I was told they were of 45 nationalities and I assumed many different religions. So I prepared my lecture carefully. I tried it out the day before on my husband’s grandson, a bright mixed-race 16 year-old from Paris, and added pictures of the latest craze for ‘Fatkini posts’ and more videos, including my favourite Gangnam Style parody (Python style), but I wasn’t going to avoid the topic of religious memes – religions are an example, par excellence, of memeplexes that use wicked tricks to ensure their own survival. I simply made sure that my slides included many religions and didn’t single one out.

Looking back I should have seen trouble coming early on. I began with a pile of stuffed animals on the desk that I use to illustrate natural selection. Many laughed at my ‘dangerous predator’ eating them but at the word ‘evolution’ a young man in the second row began swaying side to side and vigorously shaking his head. I persevered, trying to put over the idea that evolution is inevitable – if you have information that is copied with variation and selection then you must get (as Dan Dennett p50 puts it) ‘Design out of chaos without the aid of mind’. It is this inevitability that I find so delightful – the evolutionary algorithm just must produce design, and once you understand that you have no need to believe or not believe in evolution. You see how it works. So I persevered.

Yes, she should have seen the trouble coming. Stuffed toys are not life. She was offending people in what followed.

She basically trotted out all the usual stuff but with—here I speak partisanly, perhaps—twisted messages.

The Canadian free speech movement – to which I proudly belong – is not against the Muslim religion (some of our number are Muslims). We just say people must have the legal right under English Common Law to discuss and criticize its teachings without fear.

But that isn’t an academic lecture, either, let alone a serious theological argument.

Instead of offending people with her ridiculous evo psych theories, Blackmore should defend her ideas against a Christian, Muslim, or Hindu apologist.

William Lane Craig?

Added: Isn’t the real takeaway message of this story that media-friendly Darwinbabble no longer sells like it used to? Did those people riot or beat the speaker up? Tell me if this is wrong, but they just walked out.  Like you or I would walk out of a dull  show or change the channel. – O’Leary for News.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose

Comments
"It is this inevitability that I find so delightful – the evolutionary algorithm just must produce design, and once you understand that you have no need to believe or not believe in evolution. You see how it works. So I persevered." This is one of the most clueless statements every made. Shame on her. Unfortunately she is not alone. I've seen many died-in-the-wool materialists make this absurd claim. Embarrassing. I'm not sure I could have standed to sit through her lecture either, religion aside. The level of confusion and bluster and cluelessness about the "inevitability" of design emerging from chaos is breathtaking.Eric Anderson
August 21, 2014
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By the way, a powerful response to Blackmore's kind of thinking can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxFmkg5dcyk&list=UUw-kYN6wWXWDyp_lB0wnlxw Fans of CS Lewis will enjoy this youtube channel.Collin
August 21, 2014
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I looked at the article. It sure appears that the reason the people walked out was because they felt it insulted the religion of Islam. The "walking out," e.g., began right after she talked about religions having a particular view and then showing Muslims at prayer. I'm sure it was a slide showing rows upon rows of Muslims on their prayer rugs and bowing toward Mecca. Christian students are, I would suspect, not so easily offended. This is about Muslims, not about evolution.PaV
August 20, 2014
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Dionisio, Thanks for sharing a little about your journey from smug atheism to a humble trust in Jesus, and the joy you've experienced. What a delight, brother! -QQuerius
August 20, 2014
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In extension to my comment #36, it appears that Dennett did not directly suggest that information + duplication + variation + selection = ‘Design out of chaos without the aid of mind’. He only provided the expression: ‘Design out of chaos without the aid of mind’. That said, the former algorithm is fundamentally implied by the theory. It is clear that the simple application of the formula is incorrect. The question is whether there is any circumstance where the formula in any realistic way works. The problem with such a statement is that there are likely to always be those who say that if they twiddle the parameters a little bit, it'll start working. So far, um, nope.Moose Dr
August 20, 2014
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Yarrgonaut @ 38
Is it natural selection selecting for traits by death and reproduction, or is it epigenetic changes and epigenetic inheritance? “These differences in bill shapes are not due to their differential usage or other external factors; rather, the differences are genetically and developmentally regulated and can be observed and studied during embryogenesis. Therefore, Darwin’s finches are becoming a very useful non-model animal and avian system in which to investigate the molecular basis of morphological changes during evolution.”
Can somene explain how we got those genetic and developmental regulation mechanisms that produce the morphological changes? How did those mechanisms start and evolve?Dionisio
August 20, 2014
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DavidD 25 Yes, I've noticed how open-minded and tolerant the materialists tend to be... See from 0.49 to 1:20 on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dqh2OfsIHQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=49anthropic
August 20, 2014
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"Yes, it works… to change the size of finch beaks by a few percent back-and-forth." But does it really do that, or have we just assumed it does that? Is it natural selection selecting for traits by death and reproduction, or is it epigenetic changes and epigenetic inheritance? "These differences in bill shapes are not due to their differential usage or other external factors; rather, the differences are genetically and developmentally regulated and can be observed and studied during embryogenesis. Therefore, Darwin's finches are becoming a very useful non-model animal and avian system in which to investigate the molecular basis of morphological changes during evolution." http://www.researchgate.net/publication/41421478_Darwin's_finches_analysis_of_beak_morphological_changes_during_evolutionYarrgonaut
August 20, 2014
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I read the article and I was bemused to see her complaining that she was hurt by them calling her not open minded. She doesn't seem to realize that she had just barely called THEM closed minded a moment before and that just before she did that she was mocking their most cherished beliefs. But she wants to be the victim.Collin
August 20, 2014
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"if you have information that is copied with variation and selection then you must get (as Dan Dennett p50 puts it) ‘Design out of chaos without the aid of mind’." This, I see, as the first tenet of neo-Darwinism. If this statement is true, then neo-Darwinism is very credible. If this statement is false, then neo-Darwinism is, well, wrong. As a software developer, I would love to see software that results from a world where this statement is true. We have information. Every time a piece of data is loaded off of a hard drive, and into active memory, we have duplication. All too often we have computers making copy errors -- much more so 30 years ago than today. We even have selection, it is called "operators cursing computers". Yet with these three principles plugged together, the only improvement we have seen is that the intelligent designers have worked really hard to reduce copy errors. What we have instead is numerous attempts by computer programmers to simulate duplication, variation, selection algorithms. When these algorithms haven't failed (most times) they have produced very small marvels. If Dennett's algorithm, "information copied with variation and selection = evolution" is ever validated, well, I will have to have a major rethink of my position on this topic.Moose Dr
August 20, 2014
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Dionisio channels Pink Floyd- Can I play too? "HEY, ATHEISTS, Leave those kids alone" :)Joe
August 20, 2014
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LoL! Evolutionary algorithms must produce design yet design is seen in living organisms yet evolution doesn't start until AFTER living organisms have arrived. That said unguided/ blind watchmaker evolution is not analogous to an algorithm.Joe
August 20, 2014
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CalvinsBulldog @ 32
Why are atheists always such fools?
Where does true wisdom come from?
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. [James 3:13-18 (ESV)]
Dionisio
August 20, 2014
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Quote from the full article: I staggered up the High Street confused and upset – both at what had happened and at what I had said, and not said. What should I have done? They are ignorant aren’t they? Isn’t that why they’ve come to this city of learning, even if not Oxford University itself – to learn? Was I a coward to apologise? Were my attempts to be reasonable the best way of engaging them or just plain cowardice? Should I have said that the Koran, like the Old Testament, is a foul book full of hatred and violence; that they hold the beliefs they do only because they were infected with this horrible religion when they were too young to object? That they could escape … ? Er, no. You weren't there to teach anything meaningful about memes, but to use your platform as a soapbox to proselytise your atheistic faith by laughing at the beliefs of others without giving them an opportunity to intelligently respond. When they exercised their right to walk quietly out of the room without a fuss, you heckled them from the podium. You later languished into gloom because other people did not uncritically suck up your prejudices and "see through" religion as you believed they ought. And you call THEM ignorant? Why are atheists always such fools? (...At least, that's what I would have liked to have said to Blackmore!)CalvinsBulldog
August 20, 2014
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News @ 11
Dionisio at 9, I won’t ask you who that guy was because I wouldn’t risk wrecking his career, and the people who removed the paragraph have a financial interest, so … But they have to cater to you know what.
My wife and I married in Moscow during the so called 'cold war' years. On some of the wedding pictures a bust of V. I. Lenin can be clearly seen behind us. There was no visible cross anywhere around. I was a strong atheist. I had to pass the official exam on scientific materialism and dialectic philosophy, along with Das Kapital and other major books of that time, before I could get my engineering diploma. But that didn't bother me at all, because I liked it and was convinced that it was true. Maybe this is an alert to some vociferous atheists out there who might think that all Christians were raised in Christian environments, hence they have not been exposed to other kinds of information. In my case it was exactly the opposite. Back then I shared my strong belief in the universe without beginning that did not require a Creator. What a fool! Shame on me! Here’s part of the lyrics of the famous rock band Pink Floyd's 1973 song “Time” ———————————————————- Ticking away the moments That make up a dull day Fritter and waste the hours In an off-hand way Kicking around on a piece of ground In your home town Waiting for someone or something To show you the way ———————————————————- That’s a reflection of the depressed and confused state of the human soul in its natural condition, lacking the saving faith in the eternal promise of our Maker. I’ve been there, done that. Pretty sad, isn’t it? :( But God pulled me out of that misery. I was blind, but now I see. Christ showed me the way. Amazing grace. :) Sing hallelujah and rejoice!Dionisio
August 20, 2014
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News @ 11
Dionisio at 9, I won’t ask you who that guy was because I wouldn’t risk wrecking his career, and the people who removed the paragraph have a financial interest, so … But they have to cater to you know what.
Apparently the authors of the referred textbook are publicly known for their theological beliefs. It's not a secret that I revealed here. However, perhaps it was not known to all until after the 7th edition of the book was out. Once the censorship police learned about the authors' theological beliefs, the offending paragraph got removed from the following editions. This is speculation, because I don't know the real story behind this obvious censorship case.Dionisio
August 20, 2014
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"Nonsense remains nonsense, even when talked by world-famous scientists." - John Lennox http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/08/nonsense_remains_nonsense_oxfo049641.htmlDionisio
August 20, 2014
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DavidD, I may tolerate a persons particular view / belief but if it is nonsense it is nonsese. I can't be open-minded about nonsense, after all, nonsense is exactly that, nonsense. Students are walking out because they can see through the Darwinian codswalop these fumblewits (stole from Dawkins) are trying to peddle.humbled
August 20, 2014
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Here is a hilarious, yet putrid take on both these men's thinking on Darwinism in Medical field. This Nesse uses the same flawed a creator wouldn't have done it this way schtik https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcnCJqDa1usDavidD
August 20, 2014
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Sorry, here is the link to the article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13839-comment-putting-evolutionary-theory-into-practice.html#.U_RW1vnXl8E .DavidD
August 20, 2014
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TSErik - "The comments section on her post is so vainglorious and arrogant that their smug began to coalesce and ooze through my computer screen.I had to clean it off with pages of “The God Delusion”. Yes, I noticed the stench of the comments section as well. Even Dicky-D piped in a rather hypocritical comment of his own. First he referenced another incident, noting a trend [we can only hope] Dicky-D "Steve Jones told me the same thing happens to him (not on the same scale) when he lectures to medical students at University College, London. Muslim students walk out as soon as he starts talking about evolution." But then his hypocrisy oozed out all over the floor at the end with his "Open Mindedness" insistence, which BTW is not characteristic of even his own arrogant personality. Dicky-D "In his case, let me stress again, these are medical students, aspiring to become doctors in Britain. I don’t know about you, but one of the qualities I value in my doctor is open-mindedness." These are some of the least open minded people on the planet. My way or the Motorway. These are the Tree Thinkers or Free Thought people. You are free to think openly or independently as long as it conforms to the Borg Collective. This is classic degenerate behavior which is generally characteristic of the "Septic Zone" or "After the Bath House Closes" His rant about Medical Students wanting to be doctors who are not open minded about evolution reminded me of his conversation and interview with Randolph Nesse & also an article with the same subject in New Scientist, where Nesse is a huge fan of inserting "Evolutionary Applications" into the Medical field. The Mr Nesse actually stated this: "Nesse says that progress is being hampered by the fact that many medics still think of the body as a machine designed by an engineer, when in fact it is a "bundle of compromises ... designed to maximize reproduction, not health" I hope Dicky-D gets a doctor who views his body as a bundle of compromises, instead of one who views the human body as something designed by an engineer. I know which one I'd prefer. But then at the end of the science article in New Scientist, they sum up in the last paragraph under the final sub-heading what the true motive is all about. Power and control over others. "There is no question about the importance of applied evolution. The trouble is, if biologists themselves are only just waking up to how relevant and crucial evolution can be, what hope is there of educating the leaders and policy makers who need to understand and act upon this research? Not much, I fear." .DavidD
August 20, 2014
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Most interesting. I thought it might be an occasional event. Thanks for sharing that, Laszlo. -QQuerius
August 19, 2014
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To Querius: Actually two boulders on top of each other in an open field would be extremely unlikely to be the result of a natural process. I have spent a lot of time rummaging through talus fields in the Columbia Gorge and it took four years before I encountered one small rock perfectly perched atop another. (A bunch of rocks in a pile didn't count.) Seems like ti should be a common occurrence yet it is vanishingly rare.Laszlo
August 19, 2014
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musing...I wonder. Is contriving & employing the term "appearance of design" a clever attempt to bypass Occams Rasor?JGuy
August 19, 2014
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Actually we know it started out with much less entropy. One of the mysteries of the universe is why it started out so ordered.Collin
August 19, 2014
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TSErik, LOL. Yeah I tried that too, but everything I did just got smeared. You know, ad hominems and the usual unsupported accusations. -QQuerius
August 19, 2014
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TSEric: "The comments section on her post is so vainglorious and arrogant that their smug began to coalesce and ooze through my computer screen.I had to clean it off with pages of “The God Delusion”." Not unlike the comments section on UD. Let's be honest. Comments on Dawkin's sight are going to be mostly supportive of his views. And comments on UD are going to be largely supportive of intelligent design. I don't comment on Dawkin's sight because I find him uninteresting at best, offensive at worst. But don't fool yourself. Many commenters at UD are just as arrogant and smug.Acartia_bogart
August 19, 2014
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Q@16 :)bornagain77
August 19, 2014
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The comments section on her post is so vainglorious and arrogant that their smug began to coalesce and ooze through my computer screen.I had to clean it off with pages of "The God Delusion".TSErik
August 19, 2014
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Bornagain77, One boulder sitting in the middle of a meadow raises no particular interest. Two boulders stacked on top of one another can still be natural. Three or four boulders are controversial. 40 boulders stacked in a pattern with carved decorations are obviously the ruins of a man-made structure, but 400 million boulders combined into a complex working city are obviously natural again. :-/ -QQuerius
August 19, 2014
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