Intelligent Design

Casey Luskin Editorial

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Check out this editorial in the Washington Examiner by Casey Luskin. The title is “Let’s restore civility to the debate on evolution and intelligent design.”

Casey was superbly rational, reserved and eloquent, as usual. But check out the comments, which reveal trademark, frothing-at-the-mouth, apoplectic, near-convulsive, Darwinian-fundamentalist hysteria — which validates Casey’s thesis.

Why such hysterical, vulgar passion? I’ll let UD readers reach their own conclusions.

34 Replies to “Casey Luskin Editorial

  1. 1
    CannuckianYankee says:

    What’s interesting about the comments to the article, is that few called Luskin a “denier,” since he pointed this out. No, they much prefer to call him a moron and a “liar for Jesus.” It’s an easy accusation to make, but not any easy one to back up with facts. Luskin in my view has always been civil.

    “Hey Luskin, you call us uncivil again and we’ll ring your neck.”

    Another observation – many of the responders seem to believe that pointing out incivility is itself uncivil.

  2. 2
    gleaner63 says:

    I had my introduction to this debate over at “The Friendly Atheist” website. I was simply unprepared for the amount of hostility that I encountered. I tend to believe that at least some of that anger is nothing more than wanting to live a life without rules and that extends even to casual conversation. Nothing, absolutely nothing, gets under the skin of an atheist quicker than telling them they are “bad” people (in the context of an ultimate law-giver). I say this from the viewpoint of having once been an outspoken atheist.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    gleaner63, I couldn’t help but notice you said “I say this from the viewpoint of having once been an outspoken atheist.”
    I was just wondering, if you don’t mind me asking, what finally was the straw that broke the camel’s back that ushered your change of heart?

    I am genuinely interested in your answer.

  4. 4
    Frost122585 says:

    Glean writes,

    “nothing, gets under the skin of an atheist quicker than telling them they are “bad” people (in the context of an ultimate law-giver)”

    What an excellent point. I think it results from the fact that they refuse to own up to objective reality. That is simply put, “reality”. They want to be able to do what ever they want whenever and not face any consequence for it. And change their views on morality and so forth as it suits them. Which is the opposite of a scriptural based morality which is static. So when you begin to challenge them- and hold them to a universal standard it points out how flimsy they really are and that exposes their lack of authority on any such issues. Basically it shows the reality of their world view which is that they are very small while your world view (if religious) is one which see’s man and life as absolutely important.

  5. 5
    Frost122585 says:

    I was listening to a radio show tonight on the AM- I am not sure who’s show it was but i caught it when I just happened to be flipping though the stations- and it had Stephen Meyer and Johnathan Wells talking about ID and some of the various book and movies. They answered call in questions- and they both did a really good job on the universal common ancestry question talking about some of the new developments in genomics. I just thought i would bring it up since I just finished listening to it.

  6. 6
    osteonectin says:

    BTW, since we are discussing his incivility article. Will there be a 2009 “Casey Luskin Graduate Award”?

  7. 7
    gleaner63 says:

    BA77,

    Two things probably made the difference. The first was that I realized how worthless life was if it had no ultimate meaning (as opposed to a temporary meaning). When I joined the navy in 1985, and was sent 3000 miles from home for boot camp, I was able, for the first time, to view my life from a distance, and in everything I looked at, the good times and the bad, it suddenly dawned on me that nothing I had ever done or would ever do was worth the effort if only oblivion awaited me. The second was finally coming to grips with the fact that I wasn’t a very good person and *needed* salvation. I remember telling a Christian that before I got “saved”, she should at least prove to me that I needed to be saved. I was in serious denial.

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    hehe. That’s close to what did it for me too, I realized I needed to get saved. And I grew up a Christian, had been one all my life.

    I wonder which is more difficult.

    Neat how God can convert both the sinner and the “saint.”

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    I wonder how many of those responding to Casey’s post actually live in Washington. I mean, just look at the folks who showed up to pile on. Someone must have been beating the drums.

    It’s not just the incivility. It’s the pack drowning out any dissenting voice. Dangerous.

  10. 10
    Nakashima says:

    Mr Mung,

    I think the drum was beaten by our own Mr Dodgen!

    Since Mr Luskin’s op-ed is still at the top of the page, I don’t think his voice is being drowned out.

  11. 11
    steveO says:

    Perhaps the Darwinist Rabblement view civility and related ideas as vestigal-like and of no use in their great ideological struggle.
    The commanding heights of our culture must be taken and held at any price and it’s survival of the fittest and all that.
    Well at least putting the situation in terms of their own ideology allows me to feel less guilty about laughing at them. But there certainly is the tragedy as well as the comedy.

    the rabblement hooted and clapped their
    chapped hands and threw up their sweaty night-caps and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked Caesar; for he swooned and fell down at it: and for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.

    — Casca in Julius Caesar, Shakespeare.

  12. 12
    hummus man says:

    Mung at 9:

    wonder how many of those responding to Casey’s post actually live in Washington.

    The Washington Examiner is based in Washington DC, not Washington State.

  13. 13
    Prof_P.Olofsson says:

    Sorry for a seemingly irrelevant comment, but does anybody know what happened to the “search for a search” article by Dembski and Marks? All the links to it are broken.

  14. 14
    Mung says:

    The Washington Examiner is based in Washington DC, not Washington State.

    That’s pretty obvious from just looking at the page. So what’s your point?

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Mung, Here is a song that reflects the straw that broke my camel’s back.

    Sara Groves Ultimate Gift Track
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcqFZV8UJMs

  16. 16
    hummus man says:

    That’s pretty obvious from just looking at the page. So what’s your point?

    Well, Casey Luskin is, of course, based in Washington state and I assumed that is what you meant when you were questioning whether any of the commenters actually lived in Washington. And it really doesn’t make much of a point to question whether the commenters actually live in DC, since Casey doesn’t either.

  17. 17
    NZer says:

    Nice piece Casey. Not very pleasant however being in the front row with a bunch of hate-filled nasties like Bobxxxxx. What is it about ID that brings on the hate in such large doses? I have never heard Christians react violently like these people. So much for scientists and their ilk being open minded and skeptical — these people appear more as ideologues who would place us in gas chambers at their first opportunity. ExPELLED anyone?

  18. 18
    avocationist says:

    gleaner63,

    But why would you tell an atheist that they are a bad person, or why would you think it?

  19. 19
    gleaner63 says:

    avocationist at #18,

    I don’t think most atheists are “bad” people in the normal way the term is used. Most are probably “okay” by what you and I would probably accept as normal standards of human behavior. The “bad” comes into play when an atheist makes the argument that their idea of morality is equal to, or even superior to that espoused by Christians. So, I wasn’t using the term as a put down or anything. Before I became a Christian, I certainly took offense when a Christian told me I didn’t meet the mark. Most atheists are good by everyday standards, not so much by God’s standards. Of course I apply the same standards to myself. I am only a saved sinner. That’s the only difference.

  20. 20
    gleaner63 says:

    avocationist…didn’t mean to offend you and I my apologies if I did :).

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    gleaner63, I’m sorry I meant this song for you:

    Here is a song that reflects the straw that broke my camel’s back.

    Sara Groves Ultimate Gift Track
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcqFZV8UJMs

  22. 22
    EndoplasmicMessenger says:

    Hello All,

    I am not that familiar with the Washington Examiner. So I took a look at the other Op-Ed pieces listed on their Opinion page. On the day I looked, there were 11 other pieces listed. These eleven piece had a total of 24 comments between them. Casey’s piece alone had 116 comments.

    Controversy? What controversy?

  23. 23
    avocationist says:

    gleaner,

    No, you’ll have to try harder than that. It’s just that it is easy for people to follow labels rather than reality. The assumption that a Christian is more moral doesn’t seem to match my experience in the world.

    Why would an atheist who behaves morally not be pleasing to God? Might it not actually make such a person even more triumphant?

  24. 24
    gleaner63 says:

    avocationist said at #23:

    “…It’s just that it is easy for people to follow labels rather than reality.”

    I agree at least in part. But, if the ultimate reality is the God of the bible, it doesn’t much matter what you or I may think, God makes the rules. I’m not saying you have to believe that and of course you are free to reject it, but if it’s true, you can’t alter that reality.

    “The assumption that a Christian is more moral doesn’t seem to match my experience in the world.”

    I agree. Most Christians, or at least those that make a claim to that title, fall wide of the mark. But even if that is the case, where does that leave the atheist? It’s not a valid argument to reject Christianity based on the failings of those who claim to adhere to its laws.

    “Why would an atheist who behaves morally not be pleasing to God? Might it not actually make such a person even more triumphant?”

    I have a small background in the legal system as does my wife. One of the things that always stands about people who commit a crime and who are then brought before a judge is that suddenly they will say “no man is my judge”, “the law is not fair”, or the sentence they got was undeserved. But the point is, if a real God is the final judge of morality, being a “moral” atheist is not sufficient. Again, I believe that are many “moral” atheists out there, plenty in fact, but, ultimately, it is useless. Just an opinion of course.

  25. 25
    GilDodgen says:

    gleaner63: Most Christians, or at least those that make a claim to that title, fall wide of the mark.

    I do too, and that is why I go to church every Sunday and am involved in music ministry.

    Church is AA for recovering sinners, and I’m one of them. I’ve lived an exemplary life by secular standards. But that is not enough.

    I examined my soul with brutal honesty, and the analysis was not comforting.

    I would encourage others to do the same.

  26. 26
    avocationist says:

    gleaner,

    “But, if the ultimate reality is the God of the bible, it doesn’t much matter what you or I may think, God makes the rules.”

    Well, I will admit that is not quite the God I believe in. I don’t think the Bible as a whole presents a single, coherent God.

    “But even if that is the case, where does that leave the atheist?”

    I don’t know…where does it?

    “It’s not a valid argument to reject Christianity based on the failings of those who claim to adhere to its laws.”

    It’s not what I was saying. I am saying I don’t see that much difference. We all have a soul and a conscience and a spiritual life, whether we acknowledge it as such or not. Why should we assume God only cares about outward things and not inward things?

    “But the point is, if a real God is the final judge of morality, being a “moral” atheist is not sufficient. Again, I believe that are many “moral” atheists out there, plenty in fact, but, ultimately, it is useless.”

    So you are saying that God does not actually care about the substance of a person, their good conscience or good actions? If out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and if sins of thought (lust, anger) are more subtle forms of adultery or murder, then it would seem that a person who is kind and compassionate and honest has a good heart or soul. If the soul comes from God and behaves well, even though they do not have a dogma which tells them what to do, does that not indicate that they are sensitive to that still, small voice within? Doesn’t that deserve praise? Why would God be indifferent to that? Hasn’t their soul done well with less support to go on than the religious person?

  27. 27
    gleaner63 says:

    “Well, I will admit that is not quite the God I believe in. I don’t think the Bible as a whole presents a single, coherent God.”

    If you would be kind enough to further explain what you believe the Bible teaches about the nature of God, man’s salvation and how we obtain it, that would help me to understand better what you are saying :).

  28. 28
    avocationist says:

    Hi Gleaner,

    I see a big divide between the Old and New Testaments. In the first five books, linguists find that there was more than one version and it was at a couple of points woven together, but they disagree on many important details because each author had a separate agenda. The disagreements are large in number. The OT God is almost entirely concerned with worldly conquest, cares little about any other people than his own, and engages in many activities which we would consider morally abhorent. I don’t find that the OT speaks with one coherent voice, and there are indeed a few good things in it as well.
    But Jesus’ teachings and much of the New Testament are a radical break. Jesus teaches that God loves unconditionally, forgives without number, that his perfection is his unconditional love and that we are to achieve this ourselves. Jesus teaches specifically against sacrifice, but the OT says God demands it and unfortunately this idea has been incorporated into much of Christianity. Jesus teaches forgiveness, not payment.

    I believe that Jesus taught that salvation is of the Holy Spirit and that this is a vitally necessary spiritual awakening that will set us free and teach us truth.

    I believe that the New Testament, for the most part (some errors) teaches that God is absolutely good, and that this goodness is irreconcilable with the OT God and also with some Christian beliefs.

    God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

  29. 29
    gleaner63 says:

    Hi avocationist:

    Okay, I understand what you are saying. It makes sense that, depending on what we think about the bible, from that will flow what we feel about the nature of God and salvation, and so that further explains the positions that you hold. Thank you for sharing that with me.
    I am working the graveyard shift here at a radio station in SC. Where are you posting from?

  30. 30
    Mung says:

    Well, Casey Luskin is, of course, based in Washington state and I assumed that is what you meant when you were questioning whether any of the commenters actually lived in Washington.

    ok, I grant that’s a reasonable assumption.

    And it really doesn’t make much of a point to question whether the commenters actually live in DC, since Casey doesn’t either.

    But I think it does, as that’s the basis of my point. Did they all just happen to be reading that article because it appeared in the local paper? I think not.

    Perhaps they all, by force of habit, do a daily google search on “Casey Luskin” to see if he’s written anything interesting to which they might wish to post an intelligent counter-argument. I think not.

    If anyone in the U.S. these days believed in witchcraft, Casey Luskin would stand accused, condemned, and executed, if these radicals had their way.

    If rabid, frothing at the mouth, attacks were met with a bullet, well, figure it out.

    Would you trust the education of your children to a bunch of raving lunatics who’s best response to a reasoned argument is “YOU STARTED IT”?

  31. 31
    Mung says:

    I examined my soul with brutal honesty, and the analysis was not comforting.

    My soul was so black and dark.

    It could not be examined, without the light.

    When the light came, all darkness fled.

    Now that my soul lives in the light.

    My soul’s far reaches, the light illumes.

    No longer my soul, doth live in dread.

  32. 32
    avocationist says:

    Hi Gleaner,

    “It makes sense that, depending on what we think about the bible, from that will flow what we feel about the nature of God and salvation,”

    Well often that is the case, but it need not be. The OT turns a lot of people off, and sometimes Christian theologies turn people away, but that need not be. A lot of people reject the Bible but continue to believe in God and remain spiritually active and aware. It is a shame when people reject God along with the Bible or church. That’s known as throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    This is (IMO) where the Holy Spirit comes in. The Holy Spirit can teach a person directly about the nature of God so that they don’t depend on the teachings of others so much.

    I’m in North Carolina.

  33. 33
    PaulT says:

    Hi Mung (@30)

    Well, Casey Luskin is, of course, based in Washington state and I assumed that is what you meant when you were questioning whether any of the commenters actually lived in Washington.

    ok, I grant that’s a reasonable assumption.

    And it really doesn’t make much of a point to question whether the commenters actually live in DC, since Casey doesn’t either.

    But I think it does, as that’s the basis of my point. Did they all just happen to be reading that article because it appeared in the local paper? I think not.

    Perhaps they all, by force of habit, do a daily google search on “Casey Luskin” to see if he’s written anything interesting to which they might wish to post an intelligent counter-argument. I think not.

    Actually, you’re pretty close there, at least in my case. Google News allows you to customise content, and I have chosen “Intelligent Design” as a news topic. I check Google news every day and that’s how I found the article – and I live in the South Pacific!

  34. 34
    waterbear says:

    I find Casey Luskin to be an excellent writer and I’ve started listening to the ‘ID the Future’ podcast which he often presents. He’s recently written exposes of common darwinist misrepresentations of the ID research movement:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ommon.html
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....awkin.html
    In the latter of the two Mr Luskin also shows up another terrible example of darwinist incivility.

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