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August 2014: Events that made a difference to ID


Further to July 2014 (and to Barry’s suggestion that readers kindly remember Uncommon Descent in their year end giving tax receipt) – via the Donate button (our Christmas stocking) on the main page):

My sense is that we are making some headway against what Leon Wieseltier has referred to as Darwinist dittoheads, and I’d like to point to some more stories, this time from August 2014, that explain why:

August is what old time newsies call the “hot weather stories”* season, and August 2014 certainly did not disappoint!

– a famous Darwin follower, Jerry “Why evolution is true” Coyne, was really mad that information theorist William Dembski is allowed to speak at his fort, Fort Chicago University:

Creationist Dembski gives academic talk at MY university!

(And, gee, that cat is sitting in MY chair too. – News)

An outraged alumnus of the University of Chicago called my attention to an upcoming “Computations in Science” Seminar.

(On conservation of information theory. – News)

It will  likely obliterate Coyne’s narrow Darwinism.

If you didn’t know anything was wrong with academic evolutionism before, Coyne’s performance should tell you as much.

Because (and by now we should all be so totally used to this): Coyne compares Dembski to a Holocaust denier. We could get him on violating Godwin’s law, but yawn, onto other stuff, right? Anyway, here’s Dembski’s talk:

Oh, and before we forget, if anyone cares, BioLogos (Christians for Darwin) decided to actually review Darwin’s Doubt, on the problems the Cambrian explosion presents for naturalist evolution theory. Steve Meyer’s book has been a market leader in the field ever since it was published in 2013. This time, their reviewers may actually have read the book before pronouncing themselves ritually unconvinced.

But like we said at the time, who cares what they think now?

– We knew the Cosmos remake, promoting the multiverse, had struggled in the ratings, but didn’t fully realize how big a flop it is.

Those guys basically wrecked the Sagan brand (something we’d never succeeded at):

No. Cosmos II never achieved the cultural importance of Cosmos for two basic reasons:

1. It’s just not the cultural event Cosmos was. In an era where we haven’t been to the moon in 40 years, anyone can just speculate about the cosmos. No one is expected to suit up and go into space. And as long as their ramblings support the correct causes, it’s all contradictory but fine.

2. Much of the program is a shopping list of secular atheist causes, of little interest to people who expected to hear about new findings on the cosmos.

Currently, the remake is safely headed for the captive audience of the compulsory school system.

Yes, school kids can be forced to watch the show, but people watched Sagan’s Cosmos voluntarily. It tells us a lot that voluntary interest  does not matter any more.

Meanwhile, Cosmos II host, astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, has announced that philosophy can mess us up, prompting a slap on the wrist even from Massimo Pigliucci, a guy who is currently all steamed up about denialism (= noticing that bull excrement stinks).

We also heard that Cosmos II sent the religious right off the deep end – but never heard the splash.

If the contest is the Cosmos remake vs. the universe (fine-tuned for life), well, Cosmos II had indeed better get a court order to show it to school kids in a compulsory system. That’s the only strategy that works now for that kind of thing.

– Okay people, remember this was the hot weather season so, on the continuing implosion of “new atheism” front:

Richard (who any more?) Dawkins was said to be at the heart of a “civil war” among new atheists (Darwin’s shock troops). Andrew Brown complained to no effect at The Spectator about the bizarre, costly cult of Richard Dawkins.

We would have slept through the six-alarm snore except for when Dawkins claimed that it was immoral that a baby with Down syndrome should live. Even P.Z. Myers rebuked him.

Please God, if You really exist, like people say, can’t they both just lose?

And anyway, why should Richard Dawkins even live?:

People who have Down syndrome do very little harm in the world. If someone made a list of the 100 most dangerous people in the world, no one with Down syndrome is likely to be on it. See the vid below [at link] for why.

Every pregnant woman is now co-opted for the relentless search and destroy mission for people with Down syndrome.

Yet some of the women live with people who pose genuine risk. Violent abusers, drug dealers, would-be terrorists, apocalyptic crackpots …

So lemme get this straight:

That’s no problem. But the guy who can’t really be much of a threat to anyone, that’s a big problem. And he is condemned to death?

Just makes so much sense, I should sign up tomorrow for a course in a completely new way of thinking about risk and threat.

But then, priceless: A mother insisting to her son, Trig, who has Down syndrome, that he be tolerant of Dawkins. Then there’s the misogyny.

You still here? Sure, New Year’s is still a pup yet.

Meanwhile, on the new atheist front, evolutionary psychologist Sue Blackmore no longer believes religion is a virus of the mind. So she presumably won’t be ordering a God helmet then? Look the only reason her hatware matters to us is that our moral and intellectual superiors expect us to take theories like hers seriously— instead of running outdoors to decently suppress guffaws. Risk is, they’ll try to enforce compulsory seriousness.

Earlier, a hundred people who apparently had nothing to fear walked out of her Darwin/evo psych indoctrination lecture at Oxford.

New atheism maybe has answers for another universe?

Hey, all we have is September. But before we move on:

– a lighter moment: Epigenetics is oppressive to women? Bummer!

– Worth seeing: Physicist Jim Al-Khalili on the science of the Islamic golden age


Riveting 14 minute documentary on Darwinism as one of the root causes of WWI

– History note: Memories: Letters that clarify C.S. Lewis’s dismissal of evolution (“central and radical lie”) donated to Belfast U

See also: January 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  (My sense is that we are making some headway against what Leon Wieseltier has referred to as Darwinist dittoheads.)

February 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  We are definitely past having to care what Christians for Darwin think.

March 2014: Events that made a difference to ID   Old, taken-for-granted “truths” are collapsing; an information theory approach may help us forward.

April 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Despite these developments, naturalists would prefer chaos and nonsense to signals that point away from naturalism.

May 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  BUT then things took a really odd turn: It turned out that everyone who doubts Wade’s race theories is a creationist. Hey, is “creationist” the new “think for yourself”?

June 2014: Events that made a difference to ID   In June we began to think seriously about William Dembski’s then upcoming Being as Communion, a more philosophical look at design in nature

July 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Among many other events, a UD Post where a famous chemist says no scientist understands “macroevolution” passed 200,000 views.

September 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  It was becoming obvious that no one who knows the facts need be defensive about doubting the naturalist spin.

October 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Even establishment science media are now moving to recognize the problems with Darwinian evolution theory.

November 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Not only has the kill-ID bomb not exploded, but lots of people besides us are beginning to notice that fact.

December 2014: Events that made a difference to ID  Fake Facebook pages started in an attempt to discredit ID theorists. (People fake Rolexes, not Timexes.)

* Hot weather stories: Stories that gain traction principally because the fan is bust. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that those people don’t mean what they say. In cooler weather, they just would not say it.

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