Culture Darwinism Intelligent Design

John West has updated Darwin Day in America (read free excerpt!)

Spread the love

Darwin Day In America From Marvin Olasky:

When John G. West’s Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science (ISI Books) came out in 2007, I called it “a superb overview of what happens once we start seeing man as an overachieving worm. John West shows how a Darwin Day worldview affects everything from sex and philanthropy to crime and euthanasia.” So it’s great news that a new edition is coming out on Monday, with an update on recent developments.

Well, they do want to make it a national holiday.

Book.

Highlights

Excerpt at worldmag: From science to scientism in the Obama era

Our culture is witnessing the rise of what could be called totalitarian science — science so totalistic in its outlook that its defenders claim the right to remake every sphere of human life, from public policy and education to ethics and religion,” says West. “Science is a wonderful enterprise, but in the Obama era, it’s being twisted in ways that are unhealthy for both science and society.

Just how far some [Obama] administration officials were willing to take the idea that science should override ethical concerns became apparent with the disclosure of a multiyear experiment funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) involving more than 1,300 premature infants. As part of the experiment, premature infants were randomly assigned to receive higher or lower levels of oxygen. Those receiving lower levels of oxygen were more likely to die, while those receiving higher levels of oxygen suffered serious eye damage that could lead to blindness. Parents were not informed of the possible increased risk of death for infants enrolled in the study. Nor were most of them informed that researchers recalibrated oxygen equipment to generate false readings, thus preventing medical staff from adjusting oxygen levels based on the individual needs of the infants in their care.

Medical ethicists were appalled. “The word ‘unethical’ doesn’t even begin to describe the egregious and shocking deficiencies in the informed-consent process for this study,” said Michael Carome, MD, the director of the Health Research Group at the nonprofit (and politically liberal) group Public Citizen. “Parents of the infants who were enrolled in this study were misled about its purpose. … They were misled to believe everything being done was in the ‘standard of care’ and therefore posed no predictable risk to the babies.” Carome, who previously served in the Office for Human Research Protections in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, helped lead the effort to expose the misconduct of researchers and to ensure that the abuses did not recur.

And get this:

Chief among the defenders of the premature-infant study was NIH head Francis Collins. One of Obama’s key science appointees, Collins was known for his work as head of the Human Genome Project as well as for being an outspoken evangelical Christian. Unlike most evangelicals, however, Collins had supported Obama for president in 2008, and many of his views were out of sync with those of other evangelicals. He was among the NIH officials permitted to review the OHRP’s second compliance letter, and according to Public Citizen, he led a public relations campaign to undermine the OHRP’s initial findings. Citing e-mail messages, Public Citizen accused Collins of seeking to have the second OHRP compliance letter issued the day before an article coauthored by Collins was to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine defending the premature-infant study. Public Citizen found it “disturbing” that Collins and his coauthors “essentially leaked” to journal editors “the fact that OHRP soon would be issuing a compliance oversight letter to UAB putting on hold all compliance actions related to the investigation.”

Hey, wait a minute. Francis Collins founded BioLogos, that Christians for Darwin outfit:

BioLogos invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.

And sure enough, there’s Francis Collins’ face grinning away at BioLogos Basics.

Recall,

Medical ethicists were appalled. “The word ‘unethical’ doesn’t even begin to describe the egregious and shocking deficiencies in the informed-consent process for this study,” said Michael Carome, MD, the director of the Health Research Group at the nonprofit (and politically liberal) group Public Citizen.

So that’s what “the language of God” really means! Glad someone spelled it out.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

17 Replies to “John West has updated Darwin Day in America (read free excerpt!)

  1. 1
    humbled says:

    Just purchased the Kindle version. I look forward to reading it.

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    ‘Just how far some [Obama] administration officials were willing to take the idea that science should override ethical concerns became apparent with the disclosure of a multiyear experiment funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) involving more than 1,300 premature infants. As part of the experiment, premature infants were randomly assigned to receive higher or lower levels of oxygen. Those receiving lower levels of oxygen were more likely to die, while those receiving higher levels of oxygen suffered serious eye damage that could lead to blindness. Parents were not informed of the possible increased risk of death for infants enrolled in the study. Nor were most of them informed that researchers recalibrated oxygen equipment to generate false readings, thus preventing medical staff from adjusting oxygen levels based on the individual needs of the infants in their care.’

    Come back, Dr Mengele. all is forgiven. The accounts of lynching/drawing and quarterings, castrations and other forms of mutilation, burning alive over fires, hot pokers down their African American victims’ throats, etc – all in combination, of course – by the good folk in the Southern States of the US make much more sense, now.’

    Not to mention the other horrors inflicted on the health of African Americans and doubtless destitute whites, by the US authorities, such as infecting them with syphilis.

    The use of our service people by the UK authorities, as guinea-pigs to test the effects on their health of atomic radiation, during the fifties, and perhaps other such imaginative, truth-seeking endeavours, seems more plausible too, though one would be a fool to have doubted it.

    What I want to know is: Why are not the gaffers who authorise these research trials awarded Nobel prizes for science? At least nominated..?

  3. 3
    Zachriel says:

    John G. West: Just how far some [Obama] administration officials were willing to take the idea that science should override ethical concerns became apparent with the disclosure of a multiyear experiment funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) involving more than 1,300 premature infants.

    All babies in the study received oxygen within the recommended levels. The babies in the study had *better* survival rates than those not in the study. The only ethical question was whether the consent form provided enough information on the dangers of the study. The consent form had been reviewed by several agencies, and as the oxygen levels were all within the recommended levels, the consent was considered sufficient. In addition, the guidelines were not entirely clear, as the OHRP (Office for Human Research Protections) has admitted. The OHRP is in the process of reviewing those guidelines.

    Axel: Come back, Dr Mengele. all is forgiven.

    The NIH is Hitler.

  4. 4
    Brent says:

    I’d had an urge to kick Francis Collins in the face quite a while back. Now it’s uncontrollable.

  5. 5
    JohnGWest says:

    In my book, I provide copious reference notes documenting my critique of the NIH-funded study of premature babies. I encourage people who want to know the truth to check the sources I cite. But let me just reiterate here that in my view falsifying oxygen monitor readings so doctors and nurses can’t provide individualized care to babies is unethical. It’s even more so when the parents who “consent” to this non-standard treatment aren’t adequately informed about what they are supposedly consenting to on behalf of their children. For those who want a much more detailed summary of the problems with this particular study (including the actual experimental outcomes of the babies involved), I would suggest visiting http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=5971. Again, there is even more information and documentation to be found in the source notes to my chapter.—John West

  6. 6
    MiddleStMan says:

    Hello Folks, this evening I will go to hear James Moore speak about “Fuegians, not ?nches: the meaning of Darwin’s ?rst contact” at the Cambridge University Charles Darwin Society, 19:30, Tilley Theatre. Anybody will be there?

  7. 7
    Diogenes says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me. John West, who works for the Discovery Institute, a right-wing think tank whose secret documents reveal that they do in fact plan for Intelligent Design to control all aspects of politics, society and culture— “the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities [and] the fine arts”, is here accusing Darwinists, or the Barack Obama, or both, of “the rise of totalitarian science.” Now John West’s think tank, indeed the whole ID movement, is devoted to the rise of totalitarian antiscience, so in the “totalitarian science” accusation it can’t be the “totalitarian” part that bothers them, because they’re actually for totalitarianism as long as conservative Christians dominate every part of politics and culture– therefore, it must be the “science” part that enrages them, hence their proposed substitute of totalitarian antiscience.

    And let’s be clear that the ID movement if not outright fascist, has indisputable fascist tendencies, on display on every post at Uncommon Descent. In this very thread we see the ubiquitous thread of thuggish, fascist violence which not merely de rigeur but mandatory for all UD posts. Above Brent emits the standard skinhead threat of jackboot head-stomping:

    Brent:

    I’d had an urge to kick Francis Collins in the face quite a while back. Now it’s uncontrollable.

    If you ID skinheads can’t control your urge to stomp scientists in the head with your Nazi jackboots, you belong in prison.

    And what is John West’s evidence of Barack Obama’s “rise of totalitarian science”? A scientific study in which the parents signed a consent form, and the premature babies who were targets of research had a higher survival rate than premature babies not used in the research. How, pray tell, is this TOTALITARIAN?

    YOU PROMISED US TOTALITARIAN SCIENCE, JOHN. NOT UNETHICAL SCIENCE. NOT BAD SCIENCE. NOT INSUFFICIENTLY DETAILED CONSENT FORMS. BUT TOTALITARIAN SCIENCE. YOU DID NOT DELIVER.

    So you lied, right? No totalitarianism here. Move along.

    Everybody actually involved in research on people knows that the scientists must fill out a mountain of onerous paperwork to protect the test subjects. That’s a good thing, but it sure as hell disproves any claims of “totalitarian science.”

    If scientists who research on humans are filling out mountains of paperwork, which they are, they are not “totalitarian.” If they are subject to complex byzantine rules, which they are, scientists are not “totalitarian.”

    Do any of you ID proponents know or care what “totalitarian” means?

    So your main complaint is what?– that the paperwork demands made on scientists by bureaucrats should be more enormous than they already are? A good case could be made for that, but if your solution is more rules, you’re not fighting for freedom, you’re fighting for bureaucracy.

    The Discovery Institute and the ID movement, in their secret documents, have clearly laid out their plan for totalitarian control of all aspects of politics, society and culture, even down to people’s sex lives. From the Wedge Document, section “20 year goals” (three years, left on that, BTW):

    Twenty Year Goals

    To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science. To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its influence in the fine arts. To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

    Totalitarianism, nicely spelled out, clear and honest for once! In your SECRET, internal documents anyway! Not so much in front of the public. But totalitarian ANTIscience never bothered you, did it– and in every thread at UD we get threats of thuggish fascist skinhead violence, threats of mass prosecution, imprisonment, etc.

    What precisely is John West’s complaint about this baby research? Is West’s complaint that the mountain of rules placed on scientists are flawed, or that the scientists didn’t follow every one of the mountain of rules to which they are subject? Which one, A or B?

    Answer the question, John! Either the scientists didn’t follow the rules, or the rules are flawed. Either possibility cannot be evidence of “the rise of totalitarian science.”

  8. 8
    Zachriel says:

    “Public Citizen are at it again, repeating and expanding their idiotic criticisms of the SUPPORT trial.”
    http://neonatalresearch.org/20.....y-thought/

  9. 9
    Timaeus says:

    Diogenes:

    Some questions for you, if I may:

    1. Why do you assume that a document that is more than 10 years old, and was even then only a broad outline paper for in-house discussion, never official policy, represents the current policy of The Discover Institute?

    2. Even if the statement you quote did represent current Discovery aims, on what grounds do you infer that the permeation of science and society by a design perspective was meant to be accomplished *by force* and *by the state* — which is usually what is meant by “totalitarian” policies?

    I don’t claim to speak for UD, or Discovery, or anyone but myself, but I will say that I’m against totalitarian in its standard political forms, but also against a “velvet totalitarianism” which has effective powers of coercion without actually having to resort to legislation, police power, etc.

    For example, feminism exercises a quiet totalitarianism in the academic and publishing world, over what words and phrases may be used, and what ideas may be advocated, in classroom teaching, publications, research grant proposals, etc. A job interviewee who does not perform appropriate genuflections to feminism has no chance of being hired in the vast majority of academic Arts departments on this continent.

    The AGW lobby, which is very much tied in with left-wing politics, and which is funded to the tune of billions with public money (professors’s salaries, and research grants) has attempted to exercise a totalitarianism over public environmental policy (with implications for economic and foreign policy), and in internet discussions AGW advocates have regularly demonized those who honestly disagree as “deniers” and have tried to shout them down rather than meet their arguments. (And shouting down rather than persuading is the method of the totalitarian.)

    And in the 1960s and afterward, those “educators” who hated the systematic teaching of spelling and grammar exercised a totalitarian control over parents, students, and dissident teachers, in abolishing such teaching from the schools — and punishing teachers (by firing, or eternally blocking their promotion) who bucked the liberal party line.

    I’m against all these forms of non-state or indirect state coercion. I wouldn’t support them even if they were used in favor of ID.

    There is nothing the Discovery Institute or anyone else can do to *force* conclusions of intelligent design upon scientists or school systems or society in general. All it can do is attempt to *persuade*. And it has far less in the way of financial and institutional resources to accomplish that persuasion than the powerful institutional forces that are arrayed against design.

    No one is going to force you or children at gunpoint to confess the truth of intelligent design, my friend. But in the meantime, many scientists have either lost their jobs due to public statements of support for ID, or are currently concealing their support for ID, i.e., are self-censoring out of fear of massive and painful consequences for their lives, i.e., lifelong unemployment in their chosen field of training. If someone’s employment in a state office depended on denouncing Catholicism, or at least concealing one’s Catholic sympathies, everyone would scream that such power over the person’s career was totalitarian and unconstitutional. If someone’s job depended on being heterosexual, or at least concealing one’s homosexuality, all the liberals would scream that this was totalitarian (totalitarian domination of sexual life by heterosexual ideology) and unconstitutional. But when a competent biologist who has published many good papers and articles that have nothing to do with ID, and would under normal circumstances be rewarded with a permanent scientific job for such performance, is blocked from a scientific career for expressing an opinion in favor of ID, totalitarianism is operating. And it makes no difference that the totalitarianism is not written down in any law. If the effect is exactly the same as if there *were* a law against endorsing ID, then the effect is totalitarian.

    No university has to pass a regulation that an ID sympathizer may not be hired or given tenure in a biology department. All the university has to do is “look the other way” — not scrutinize the hiring and tenure process too closely — and the prejudices of existing faculty will achieve the desired result. University hiring is subjective enough that no one will ever be able to prove prejudice. The back-room talk that shapes every hiring is never written down, so there is no paper trail for a civil rights lawyer to follow up. So the reign of one idea — that there is no design in biological systems and that any attempt to argue for it is unscientific and must not be allowed — exercises a de facto totalitarianism in biology departments. If a similar situation existed in political science departments regarding the hiring and tenure of professors leaning toward socialism, the left would be screaming foul at the top of its lungs; it would claim the university was controlled by a right-wing totalitarian ideology.

    In the Dover Trial, while it is obvious that the school board was religiously motivated and that the policy was rightly thrown out, when we analyze the substance rather than the legal form of what was at stake, we see this: the school board wanted the students to know there was a movement called intelligent design and that there were books in the library about it. The opposition to the policy, though partly principled (the school board’s Christian motivation was unconstitutional), was partly unprincipled: Eugenie Scott, Kevin Padian, Ken Miller, Barbara Forrest, Rob Pennock, etc., did not want ninth-grade biology students, anywhere in the USA, hearing that there were scientists with Ph.D.s and publications who disagree with neo-Darwinism on purely scientific (not Biblical) grounds. In other words, one of the key motivations of the powerful forces behind the Dover prosecution was intellectual totalitarianism: guaranteeing that the school curriculum of Pennsylvania (and by extension the USA) would promote neo-Darwinism and only neo-Darwinism as *the* explanation of origins.

    Behe published something like 30 peer-reviewed publications before advocating ID. He had tenure. If he had not had tenure when *Darwin’s Black Box* appeared, I am quite certain that there would have been a very strong movement in his department and at his university to deny him tenure, and it is very possible that he would have been denied it. Others with the same views, who spoke out in favor of ID *before* getting tenure, have not been so fortunate. Behe can feed his family; I know of many ID proponents who cannot, because they cannot find the permanent job that would enable them to do so. Preventing someone from pursuing a career and earning necessary income is a form of totalitarianism. If you disagree with someone, you should do it on the plane of ideas, not by threatening him with a gun or taking away his livelihood.

    Anyone who fears that Discovery will one day rule the USA from its Seattle offices is fantasizing recklessly. Feminism, socialism, scientism, reductionism, materialism — all of these movements have far more power today than ID. When they can stop the name of Michael Behe from even being mentioned by a high school biology teacher — and in most cases they can — the threat of totalitarianism is all on the other side.

  10. 10
    MiddleStMan says:

    < 20 people came. Moore agrees human zoology is Darwin’s subject not psychology. Epifany not Revelation in Good Success Bay 1832. Provocative speculation.

    "scientists are not “totalitarian.”" – Diogenes

    Yes, mostly that seems accurate. But the scientists John West doesn’t like are totalitarians because that’s simply John West definition of totalitarian. Government according to Tuna Fish. Fear & trembling drives that pussy cat Discovery Institute activist.

    Movement of Intelligent Design is so OPENED for definitions that there are 10s of 10s of 10s definitions of ID currently exist, no one of them has traditional (normal) ‘empirical’ evidence that would CLOSED usual peoples minds around it.

    Argument to the best explanation = neo-creationist ID theories lose with

    Timeas – “on what grounds”

    Ground example of cybernetics, much larger than chaos theory – Dembski says Chaos Revolution (and papas biology) inspired him go rogue – means guidance, steering. People guide & steer:: systems guided & steered. Where, how, when are guidance and steering in theory of ID actually codified & instantiated by I_________t D_____er?

    Science means giving specific examples, which ID fails to give so far.

    Usually religious believers just say faithfully the Creator (in various language names) acts in world. Nothing can see ID quasi-science adds to historical design argument of natural theology. But John West says ID only real science, not like theology. Intellectual Totalitarian among ID definitions? Can let people who don’t insist ID is totally science also call themselves ID proponents? Slippery definitions.

    Timeas – “powerful institutional forces that are arrayed against design”

    What moon you living on loafer or what small isolated town view? You read only creationist newsites with analogy for dancing tunes?! Oh, please ‘forces are against us’, help, donate!! Do you expect sympathy for not seeing clearly what you are defending against institutional knowledge? Ok, everyone pause and cry for/with this person, Timeas.

    Pause.

    Back to discussion. INSTITUTIONS ARE DESIGNED and MADE. People in institutions therefore obviously not just against themselfs! Design everywhere, many people, many, MANY TALK DESIGN, just nothing coherent “ID Science” names it. Why not you talk about them? Abort mission neocreationism?

  11. 11
    Timaeus says:

    MiddleStMan:

    Are you incapable of so simple an intellectual task as correctly *copying* the name “Timaeus” when it is right in front of you?

    When you learn the rules of English syntax (right now your sentences sound like the utterances of Tarzan — are you aware of the existence of the verb “to be”?), and when you have acquired enough reading comprehension skill to follow an argument placed in front of you (you certainly have failed to follow mine), maybe we can have a conversation.

    I would guess, from the quality of your English prose and your inability to understand what I have written, that you do not have a university education. That would explain your lack of familiarity with the modern university, and hence your lack of awareness of the totalitarian tendencies in modern academic thinking.

    By the way, I never read creationist news sites. I read works of evolutionary theory, theologians such as Aquinas, philosophers such as Aristotle and Descartes, and world-class scholarship in the history of science and history of ideas. What do you read? By all means, let us know. Tell us, for example, the names of the ten best books that you ever read all the way through. I like to know the intellectual background of the people I’m debating with.

  12. 12
    skram says:

    Timaeus:

    I read works of evolutionary theory, theologians such as Aquinas, philosophers such as Aristotle and Descartes, and world-class scholarship in the history of science and history of ideas. What do you read? By all means, let us know. Tell us, for example, the names of the ten best books that you ever read all the way through. I like to know the intellectual background of the people I’m debating with.

    You crack me up sometimes, Timaeus. Just to remind you, this here is Barry Arrington’s forum of cdesign proponentsists, not a faculty lounge. 🙂

  13. 13
    Axel says:

    For goodness sake, even the Fine Arts world has been imposing its own Orwellian inversion of truth on a hapless and helpless public, with what now seems characteristically atheistic, totalitarian malfeasance and bad faith!

    http://www.wnd.com/2015/02/vin.....orig=faith

  14. 14
    MiddleStMan says:

    “awareness of the totalitarian tendencies in modern academic thinking”

    Perhaps patient, wise department Head once upon time fired Timeas for protesting his bloated (designed) intelligence, not faith, against a scholar superior. Need someone or something (the system, modernity, et al.) to blame if get no tenure (Gonzalez’ giddy-up)? Liberals, foreigners and ‘academics I don’t like or who above me professionally’ are 3 common answers.

    Not surprise get no tenure, also not so uncommon these days, even can trace descent. Now Timeas makes into only victim and villain – whatever vision of “modern academia” he dreamed up as if we should/must see things that way too. Timeas echoes victim seeking sympathy or empathy. So is John West. Pause for them. Give sympathy. Victim cannot be wrong in this philosophy of mind-frame. No game.

    But next is funny. Faculty Lounge of honest, kind, actually quite clever IDproponentsists who want become mainstream. So they blame everything and aynone else other than themselves for their isolation despite they admit ID minimalism =P

    PR Cheerleaders – Give us a ‘D’!

    “I never read creationist news sites”

    Good rule. Creationist advocates of ID – loud minority among protestants evangelical non-clergy fanatics of ID – and other braggadocio barbarian believers from USA, especially undereducated, should consider that as advice: Helpful Tip of Day from Timeas – “never read creationist news sites.” Hope most are really not like that in USA as global scholar news says.

    My eyes not perfect, Timeas’ ears same, another persons taste, and then of touch, all imperfect. At first it read was Timeass, strange name. Then it could have rhyme with vegetable peas or please. Now I understand it properly. I like my choice due to his/her reaction. Plato too (vs. fanatic ID diehards) and Western tradition, including contemporary, etc.

    Hokey dokie, as they say, Timaeus. Go freshen up. Stop following Discovery Institute claim ID only concerns science, not religion. Understood? Transparent propaganda.

    Chorus of very nice, kind, empathetic ID sympathetics, big sigh collective of oppression witness for poor John West – burdened by ID self-consumption. So worried of “powerful institutional forces that are arrayed against design” (even though they are not, despite Timeas groundless claim) that he can’t produce anymore outside of his Discovery Institute costume of cdesignproponent revolutionary minimalism. West is basically playing (eg. people for donations to built super team rid world of evil ideology new Darwinism) instead of working.

    My view is Diogenes more accurate showing this Wests costume than Timeas, who simply spew crafty guesses.

    Site that let such person, even if member, post with such anger to guest, condescend to question man’s language & education, while avoid content (many, many, many definitions of ID, cybernetics guiding/steering, design is already widespread in appropriate fields, institutions are designed) not seem healthy place. Here not long will stay.

    Why ID person show hatred & belittlement in communication with guest? Unfreindly outgroup thinking because ID largely failed both among scientist and non-USA non-protestants? Evidence much to show this (2ond part even Dembski knows. If Timeas does not know this sorry for that ignorance.

    “world-class scholarship”

    Show me one thing you published, please, in your ‘world-class scholar’ name, who posts on Uncommon Descent. Or is that not you? Big talkers many on Internet; also empty voices, cannot to back up their talk. Timeas seems this way.

    Several people curious of some kind of cult following look into movement of ID USA, where sacrifice for few leaders. Money give as collection plate pass for pseudo-science new creationism. In this case, no giant figure of ID theory to portray. Philipp Johnson no even. Not make sacrifice for only anti-Darwin cult theory, but for Science proves/infers Creator (Intelligent Design). They say ‘best explanation’ because already all theists. Vast majority, including devout religious, says: Bunk, boys & girls. For goodness sake, please stop selling your junk.. Being led blindly by Discovery Institute.

    Diogenes cynically walked through the online villages in the daytime with a lantern. At UD, he was met with a barking Timeas chained in a kennel, cowering, unbehaved. Not a human free did Diogenes see in ID at UD. (The site must be ‘designed’ like that.)

    And by the way Timeas, since you ask what I read; how have you lived?

  15. 15
    Timaeus says:

    MiddleStMan:

    Don’t try to blame your eyes for your wretched spelling and grammar.

    Regarding your generally bad spelling, every internet browser has a Zoom function, and you can make the letters as big as you like, until you can read them all clearly. So you should be able to determine how others are spelling words, and how your own spellings come out on the computer screen, without any problem, even with the worst eyes (short of blind ones).

    Regarding my own name, it doesn’t matter how “strange” the name is; even if you can’t guess how to *pronounce* it, you should be able to *copy* it correctly. You simply rewrite each letter, one at a time, from left to right. But you are too lazy, apparently, to do even that. In any case, if you knew anything at all about the history of doctrines of creation, the name “Timaeus” would be very familiar to you, as the title of the most important writing on creation in Western civilization after the Bible.

    Regarding your horrid grammar, that has nothing to do with your eyes. It’s a product of lack of instruction (or lack of learning from instruction) in the English language

    On some questions of content:

    You dishonestly misrepresent my words. I never advised anyone not to read creationist web sites. I said I don’t read them myself. There’s a difference.

    Also, I said that I *read* the work of world-class scholars, not that I was a world-class scholar myself. But at least I read *something* before offering an opinion on a subject — which is more than can be said for you.

    I’m not showing “hatred” for you, MiddleStMan. I’m showing “irritation.” There is a difference. You are irritating, and not because you are barely literate (after all, that might be due to something beyond your control, such as poverty, non-English-speaking background, or a brain dysfunction of some sort), but because you, being barely literate, are nonetheless aggressive and combative, arguing in a sarcastic manner about fields you don’t understand and about books you haven’t read. It’s your aggression and attention-seeking behavior I’m rebuking. You need to grow up a bit, and learn to adopt the pose of a learner instead of a swaggering knight in armor. Until you do that, you will never grow even an inch in understanding.

    I don’t intend to carry on further conversations with you. You haven’t learned the language skills and you haven’t learned the art of constructive dialogue. I suggest you get some help in both these areas, and return at a future date.

  16. 16
    MiddleStMan says:

    Wait, ID #4 is justified by ID #15?! C’mon, seriously!?!

    Pseuding after “the most important writing on creation in Western civilization after the Bible”! = ))A bit on ‘full of oneself’ side, Timeas?

    Timeas – “not that I was a world-class scholar myself”

    It is obvious that you are posing as one with your ‘what do you read’ question. You know ZERO (not even a decimal place) about what I read, yet unscholarly talk as if you do. Why?

    Diogenes theory proved as correct in each Timeas’ response, mostly ‘ad-hom’ as pop philosophers and arm-chair psychologists often like to observe. Timeas has victoriously, triumphantly ‘diagnosed’ me like a living genius prophet in 4 blog posts, due to the brilliance of his use of ID methods! What he won’t do, however, is face the content, actual criticism or vulnerability of his precious ID ingrained in the character as I have made & gathered.

    I’m ready to go deeper and closer than Timeas or West or Behe or Demski on design as more people interpret it – real, not fantasy people or pigeon-holed US evangelical lower class majority. Silly Seattle ID need not attend the party. Stay away unless transformed.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    Diogenes (& attn:
    MiddleStMan),

    please.

    Kindly, turn down the rhetorical voltage and volume to reasonable levels conducive to serious discussion.

    I suggest to you that you are swallowing a conspiracist agit-prop talking point narrative intended to poison the atmosphere rather than promote serious discussion; probably by way of Wikipedia and/or various agit-prop sites. A look at the Weak Argument Correctives, under the resources tab top of every UD page, will help you — if you really want to be helped.

    As it is, you indulged a classic trifecta fallacy, red herring distractors led away to strawman caricatures soaked in oil of ad hominem and set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise.

    As has become all too sadly familiar for ever so many years.

    If you wish to instead pursue a serious discussion of design theory, go straight for the central matter: if functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information can be actually empirically shown per observation to arise by blind chance and mechanical necessity instead of what a trillion example base of observations supports — intelligently directed configuration (aka design) — then design theory collapses.

    Period.

    The sort of conspiracism you echo is a result of failure to show such a sound counter example after many attempts, fed by the increasing polarisation and breakdown of the US political landscape through radical secularism, a priori evolutionary materialist scientism, anti-theist hysteria and fellow travellers.

    A classic summary is this, from Lewontin in his 1997 NYRB article, Billions and Billions of Demons:

    the problem is to get them [hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [[–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [[–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [[–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [If you think this is “quote mined” cf the fuller annotated cite etc here.]

    Philip Johnson’s reply in First Things, Nov that year, is a classic rebuke and corrective to all such:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    And as we stand accused — for no good reason — of scientific totalitarianism, I strongly suggest that you may find the discussion of science and methods from a design perspective here at my Origins Sci 101 site, IOSE helpful; especially this outline of science as an ideal:

    . . . let us give a “rough working definition” of science as it should be (recognising that we will often fall short):

    science, at its best, is the unfettered — but ethically and intellectually responsible — progressive, observational evidence-led pursuit of the truth about our world (i.e. an accurate and reliable description and explanation of it), based on:

    a: collecting, recording, indexing, collating and reporting accurate, reliable (and where feasible, repeatable) empirical — real-world, on the ground — observations and measurements,

    b: inference to best current — thus, always provisional — abductive explanation of the observed facts,

    c: thus producing hypotheses, laws, theories and models, using logical-mathematical analysis, intuition and creative, rational imagination [[including Einstein’s favourite gedankenexperiment, i.e thought experiments],

    d: continual empirical testing through further experiments, observations and measurement; and,

    e: uncensored but mutually respectful discussion on the merits of fact, alternative assumptions and logic among the informed. (And, especially in wide-ranging areas that cut across traditional dividing lines between fields of study, or on controversial subjects, “the informed” is not to be confused with the eminent members of the guild of scholars and their publicists or popularisers who dominate a particular field at any given time.)

    As a result, science enables us to ever more effectively (albeit provisionally) describe, explain, understand, predict and influence or control objects, phenomena and processes in our world . . .

    I suggest to you that in no wise can that view be fairly characterised as scientific totalitarianism.

    KF

    PS: As regards my general views on politics, it will help you to understand that the first political view I absorbed — literally at mother’s knee — was anti-fascism. Where, I find that the generalisation, political messianism, is a deadly idolatry (as is playing out in election chaos next door as I write). Here in context are my thoughts on modern liberty and democracy, including a fair quantum of things you probably never heard in school.

Leave a Reply