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More Warfare Thesis Lies, This Time From CNN

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When nineteenth century evolutionist Andrew Dickson White constructed a false history of science, casting evolutionists as the latest in a long history of heroic truth seekers who faced religious intolerance and opposition at every turn, he set in motion a powerful genre that would be difficult to stop. From White’s A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom to the mythical Inherit the Wind, a fictional account of the famous 1925 Monkey Trial that evolutionists use to indoctrinate students such as Judge Jones, to today’s pundits and even President Obama, the false Warfare Thesis, which pits religion against science, is too powerful and alluring to allow the truth to get in the way. And so it is no surprise that with all the news surrounding the new Pope taking charge, evolutionists would be sure to reinforce and remind everyone of their whig history we are supposed to believe. Enter Florence Davey-Attlee and her recentCNN piece where she wrote, among other things that:  Read more

Comments
Gregory at 75: I intend to end on a peaceful note, but first I will respond to what has been said above. First, I don't answer irrelevant questions. We were talking not about what I have *written* but about what I have *read*. In your post 72 you made a claim about what I had *read*. You wrote: "First, what is called ‘the books’ he refers to are mainly published by a right-wing funded American think-tank – the Discovery Institute Press." And I showed that this is false, and that in fact all of the books that I have repeatedly cited have been published by other publishers. You wouldn't retract, and still won't retract, and now you try to cover up your failure to admit error by (once again) changing the subject to my identity. This is a very minor point you have been asked to concede. It doesn't involve retracting any major position you have taken on any issue. It just involves admitting that you spoke in haste and said something that was not true, and that you now stand corrected, and won't repeat the false statement again (even if you think you can get away with it somewhere else). One can't have a good-faith conversation with someone who *never* admits that he is wrong on anything, even on minor and inessential points. And since you won't admit you are wrong about my sources, when the evidence is visible for all to see, it is clear that you don't want a good-faith conversation with me. So I will stop requesting one. By the way, before I go, another correction to a new false statement of yours: I have never failed to directly deal with any of your arguments *where they concern what ID is actually about, i.e., detecting design in nature*. But you hardly ever talk about detecting design in nature. You generally talk about "IDism" or other things which don't interest me in the slightest. If you would offer me statements concerning the arguments for design in any of the books on my list above, you would find me very direct and generous in my replies. Nor have I "put words into your mouth" except where, due to your evasive and indirect habits of writing, you have left the reader guessing what your actual position is, and I've had to draw inferences. And if I've drawn the wrong inferences, the fault is with the person who writes evasively and ambiguously, who could easily prevent the misinterpretation by saying straight out what he thinks. For example, on Feser and Fuller, you could easily prevent me from drawing wrong inferences or "putting words into your mouth" by clearly stating your position: is Feser *right*, and Fuller *wrong*, about the Christian God (re univocal predication)? All you have to do say what you think, and my inference-drawing will stop. But you are unwilling to say what you think; you prefer to leave your readers with an ambiguous position. Don't blame me for that. But let us end these quarrels and close with good will. Best wishes, Gregory. I know you will be a successful academic. You have the right set of qualities to go far in the profession. And in that context, I offer my sincere hope that all your scholarly life (and that of all other academics) will be constantly illuminated by the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. For the ultimate goal of all academics must be knowledge of these things. I could not wish you, or any thinker, a higher blessing.Timaeus
June 24, 2013
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Stalking me again on another thread is 'timaeus.' Let's make a deal, since you seem to like trying to bully people who are anti-IDism as a 'rhetorician without a position'. You have put words into my mouth, distorted my words, ommitted directly dealing with my arguments instead preferring tangents and impugned my well-informed views of 'Intelligent Design Theory' and the IDM too many times (as again several times in this thread) for you to garner much of any trust at all from me. You answer my question and I'll address your charge of error. Yes or no: Have you or have you not, personally, in your 'first life,' i.e. in your real birth name, published anything with the Discovery Institute Press? No answer, no deal. Thanks, GregoryGregory
June 24, 2013
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Gregory: I see that you have failed to admit error regarding your claim about the publishers of ID books. (See your 72 above for the error, and my 73 above for the correction.) It is interesting that under another column you claim (falsely) that it is extremely rare for to me admit errors or accept corrections; but in fact, I find it is you who will rarely or never grant even small points to ID folks. Here is a chance for you to turn over a new leaf, and acknowledge that most of the books I've cited aren't published by Discovery. Then, with the "Discovery excuse" for not reading those books removed, you could undertake to read them, and withhold further criticism of ID until you have done so. That would do a great deal to transform the discussion from one that is constantly ad hominem to one that is oriented to intellectual contents.Timaeus
June 9, 2013
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All right, Gregory, so you don't "hate" ID. I'll retract the word. But it seems fair to say that you are "obsessed" with showing the worthlessness of ID. The amount of time and energy you put into the task would appear to warrant that term. You wrote: "First, what is called ‘the books’ he refers to are mainly published by a right-wing funded American think-tank – the Discovery Institute Press." This is a typical "fact-free" statement on Gregory's part. The books I have referred to most often, when asking Gregory to respond to ID claims, have been: Denton, Nature's Destiny (Free Press) Behe, Darwin's Black Box and The Edge of Evolution (Free Press) Dembski, No Free Lunch (Rowman and Littlefield) Dembski, The Design Inference (Cambridge) Dembski and Ruse, Debating Design (Cambridge) Dembski and Wells, The Design of Life (Foundation for Thought and Ethics) Meyer, Signature in the Cell (HarperOne) Does anyone see "Discovery Institute" among any of those publisher references? And which of those books has Gregory read from cover to cover? (Not skimmed, not read a couple of chapters from, not formed an opinion of based on reviews, but read from cover to cover.) And which of those books is Gregory willing to debate me on, regarding its arguments for design in nature?Timaeus
June 1, 2013
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“You hate ID, because you have personal resentment against some of the people at Discovery.”
You’re a real a#%hole, timaeus. You intentionally put words into peoples’ mouths simply when they get the best of you. I find this behaviour disgusting and petty. Worse, because you could try to do better but won’t because or your myopic defense of IDism. I don’t “hate ID.” However, I think it is a foolish theory that only survives in the shadow of American fundamentalism and creationism. And this is true, which you too would find if you studied the IDM carefully. That’s why ‘neo-creationism’ is an accurate label for IDism and why creationists are more than happy to call themselves IDists. And I don’t ‘resent’ people at the DI. They’re generally kind, goodhearted, decent people ... who just happen to have become deluded by an ideology that has by now grown out of their control! They’re on a sinking ship, timaeus, which is why their supporters so desperately defend them here, trying to bail water after Dover and many other debacles. What is more, gasp! – IDT unnecessarily discriminates against atheists! ;) Why? Because one cannot accept an (uppercase) Intelligent Designer ‘Designed’ the universe and still be an atheist, by definition. IDists (double-talk) say this need not be so, but that is part of the swindle they are attempting; i.e. to apologetically attract atheists who don’t believe in a Designer or in a divine Intelligence to think that a probability argument requires it to be so. And with up to 16% of American citizens openly declaring themselves ‘non-religious’ according to recent surveys, it would therefore be impossible to introduce IDT in public schools because of this (reverse) discrimination. Indeed, in this sense, as some scholars in Eastern Europe have already recognized, the USA is a ‘pre-atheist’ nation-state, just as the Russian Federation and other Eastern European countries are ‘post-atheist.’ But since timaeus “doesn’t insist” (that’s his gem of non-committal, folks!) on forcing IDism into public (American or Canadian) schools, his views are irrelevant on this topic.
“ID, as a movement, should not be promoting any particular religious view.”
Yes. But that is exactly what it does, timaeus. Go figure, eh?! So what are you going to do about that fact? Bury your head and feel no shame for your association with the Movement? Whether there is ‘design in nature’ is actually *not* a crucial question for our time. There are many, many more important questions. That’s your ideology of wish-fulfillment talking, timaeus. Rev. Paley already faced that question two centuries ago (!!) and it later faded away because it (‘the design argument’) is too easily swept up as apologetics. Whether or not nature is Created, however, is still a crucial feature of the Abrahamic worldview and even of most Native American worldviews/religions. But subsuming it into ‘strictly scientific’ is not what mature Abrahamists or Native Americans want. The IDM is tricksy (obvious reference to LoTR’s Gollum) because it wants to have its cake and eat it too wrt ‘the design argument’ (lowercase id) and ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ (uppercase ID), the latter which depends for its implied value on being (as Casey Luskin repeats) ‘strictly scientific.’ In Adrian Bejan’s case, author of “Design in Nature” (2012) – which has yet to be reviewed on UD – ‘design in nature’ is scientific apologetics, with no ‘Designer’ of nature necessary. In the IDM’s case, ‘Design in nature’ is also scientific apologetics, but it is based on the past-tense analogy of (mundane) intelligent design with (transcendent) Intelligent Design. It relies heretically on univocal predication of the notion that human beings make things as the Abrahamic God makes things. Whereas STA writes: “Univocal predication is impossible between God and creatures.” Iow, IDism represents a particularly non-catholic, i.e. protestant Christian theology and it does this consciously and on-purpose. But because the DI is so stubbornly wedge-oriented, there is thus far no leader in the IDM who has given a non-forked-tongue answer about this, which is why ID leaders (and even a few activists at UD) have been roasted by Catholic thinkers (e.g. Stephen Barr, Francis Beckwith and Ed Feser), who have exposed IDism for what it really is as a protestant-oriented scientistic ideology. That a small few Catholics have swallowed it and that M. Behe speaks for it at school board trials is really no more than a ‘drop in the bucket.’
“What ID is about is the arguments in the books of the ID theorists.”
That’s only a portion of it. timaeus probably knows this, but conveniently ignores the reality for his personal fantasy (as if I take him seriously enough to think he might know the difference between them!). First, what is called ‘the books’ he refers to are mainly published by a right-wing funded American think-tank – the Discovery Institute Press. Much of it doesn’t or wouldn’t pass a legitimate peer review process. Just like timaeus himself cannot publish anything on IDism unless at the DI Press. And this is where the movement and networking with fellow ideological IDists comes into play. But timaeus likely won’t talk openly about that, since he is attempting to be an objective, impersonal observer, a man who supposedly has no motivational investment in IDism’s truth or falsehood.
“I couldn’t care less about the sociological peculiarities of ID as a social entity. That’s your interest, not mine. You have every right to criticize ID folks on their religious culture if you like, but I equally have every right to ignore their religious culture — which has nothing to do with me — and concentrate on design arguments.”
Why does he wish to be ignorant of facts and knowledge regarding IDism? If timaeus was sincere in what he says, he would easily come up with a list of ‘non-IDists’ who have put forth ‘design arguments.’ But where’s timaeus’ list? He hasn’t got one. There are lots and lots of ‘design theories’ and many ‘design arguments’ that cannot be properly called ‘Intelligent Design Theory.’ But IDists, who are stuck in their pseudo-apologetic ‘strictly scientific’ claims, pay no attention to them. This shows how uninterested in reality and documented, available scholarship they really are.
“I defend irreducible complexity and fine-tuning, not prayers in summer courses, not apologetics films, and not a renewal of culture along fundamentalist lines.”
Well, timaeus, it is true and obvious that you are not a responsible person and not an actual player in the IDM. That you’ve admitted that is at least truthful. It is likewise true that the IDM is stained by the problematic features mentioned above. And sadly, it is evident that you continue to try to persuade ‘innocent’ readers at UD that your views are ‘orthodox’ with ID leaders’ views of uppercase ID, when they are not, and that your views are compatible with Abrahamic faith (which does not require ‘scientific proof’ of a ‘Designer’), which it does not seem that they are. And I would take Feser, Beckwith and Barr, who are superior in your own fields than you are, over you on just about any topic, including IDism that can be imagined. That’s why I don’t trust you, timaeus and why others, regulars or readers here should think twice before succumbing to your rhetorical wizardry with black-and-white words on a blog (that's what the guy does for a living, folks - play with words!). In voice or on video/TV, you wouldn’t last 5 minutes as an opponent, timaeus; your game would be up as hollow talk. And if you'd like to display the courage to try, I've already offered you space for such a challenge.Gregory
June 1, 2013
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Gregory @ 68: If we ignore all the personal flak (which always seems to make up a considerable part of your posts), we are in agreement. ID, as a movement, should not be promoting any particular religious view. As for whether I am only a "marginal figure" in the ID movement, that is something I don't lose any sleep over. I have never said that I'm an important ID figure. I'm a commenter on an ID blog site. The important ID figures, to me, are Behe, Dembski, Meyer, Nelson, Wells, Axe, Gauger, Sternberg, Minnich, Sanford, Gonzalez, Denton, etc. I certainly don't put myself up in these people's class, because I don't have the necessary scientific training. I'm certainly not a "minion" of the Discovery Institute, nor do I wish to be. Nor am I an ID theorist. I'm an academically-trained *ally* of ID -- I pretend to nothing more. My contribution is my ability to write about religion and science, history of science, philosophy, theology, etc. I'm trying to show the open-minded public the merits of ID as a general position, one that is compatible with good empirical science and (for those interested in the religious implications) with traditional Christian theology. You hate ID, because you have personal resentment against some of the people at Discovery. I look at the bigger picture. The bigger picture is the question whether there is detectable design in nature. That's the question I'm interested in. I think it's a crucial question for our time. I'm not going to let the petty failings of some Discovery personnel derail me. Would you cease to vote for the political left because a few individuals on the left were guilty of some misdemeanors? The Discovery summer course, whatever its flaws, is a drop in the bucket, in the grand scheme of things. What ID is about is the arguments in the books of the ID theorists. I think the arguments in those books are, overall (not in every detail) persuasive, and I defend those conclusions. I couldn't care less about the sociological peculiarities of ID as a social entity. That's your interest, not mine. You have every right to criticize ID folks on their religious culture if you like, but I equally have every right to ignore their religious culture -- which has nothing to do with me -- and concentrate on design arguments. And that's what I do. So please, take your complaints about ID behavior to Discovery or somewhere else. Stop making me responsible for others. I defend irreducible complexity and fine-tuning, not prayers in summer courses, not apologetics films, and not a renewal of culture along fundamentalist lines.Timaeus
May 31, 2013
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p.s. the evangelical-Protestant Christian 'sales pitch' of the DI is rather obvious, it is not even disguised "a movement that was setting the world on fire." N.B. a 'movement' that timaeus has said he does *not* want to be part of... "The Rather Obvious Demise of Intelligent Design http://thebenshi.com/2012/04/06/207-the-rather-obvious-demise-of-intelligent-design/Gregory
May 31, 2013
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“a straight-up sales pitch for a particular Christian view” – timaeus Strobel’s film is exactly that. Understanding the ‘context’ changes nothing in this case. 'A straight-up sales pitch for a particular Christian view' is exactly what the DI does to (unsuspecting) students. And they orchestrate (evangelical Protestant) Christian prayers before meals too. This reflects the evangelical 'renewal of culture' message found in the original 'centre for the renewal of science and culture' that was later changed to try to be more palatable (i.e. more religiously 'neutral') to American society. That's part of the DI's documented history. Such is the ‘context’ of DI ‘culture’ and it is why M. Denton left the DI – it was reportedly ‘too Christian’ for him. He's just back for the evangelical-networked money, as a Fellow. I've studied this stuff and spoken to ID leaders more than probably any other sociologist alive. But, of course, don't believe it, folks, if it offends you as simply contrarian to your 'honest' and 'impartial' advocacy of IDist ideology. timaeus doesn't want people questioning or even thinking (it'll hurt your minds! ;) about why M. Denton chose to leave the DI. He just wants people focussed on so-called 'scientific' ideas devoid of their humanity. Instead, I'm interested in putting the pieces of Humpty Dumpty back together again from timaeus' and the IDM's repetitive dehumanisation attempts. "I wouldn’t show a Lee Strobel film if I were running the Discovery summer program in the social sciences...I wouldn’t." Right, that's noted. But then again, because you don't actively defend the exclusively 'scientific' meaning of 'Intelligent Design Theory,' timaeus, you sadly have no appropriate place in the Discovery Institute's minions. You are thus a marginal figure who the DI can't really embrace as a 'brother in arms,' for their movement. Perhaps just as their editor, since you can't (or as you said here, just haven't 'yet') publish anything about IDism in your own real, personal, professional name. Nevertheless, since you have said the above, it means that admitting publically that IDT is properly understood as not just 'natural science-only' or as 'strictly scientific' (Luskin), but as a 'science, philosophy, theology/worldview' conversation as I have done for about 8 years really shouldn't be that hard for you. Yet for some unknown reason, however, you cannot bring yourself to say it. Frankly, you're not even (real name) listed among the editors of the new 'ID-friendly' Salvo magazine, timaeus, which is made up of many 'courageous' IDists. And you said here that you haven't published anything 'professional' apparently since 2006. This makes me wonder if you think your embrace of timaeusean-IDism is hindering your prospects (like it has done to Behe's)? It would be sad if 'warfare thesis' ideologues, such as expressed in the OP have got the best of you via IDism. Why not rise up, without a protestant evangelical sales pitch, timaeus? small-id, as you well know, is the catholic/orthodox view. Why would you put your anonymous reputation behind trying to defend scientism cum IDism?Gregory
May 31, 2013
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I hope that satisfies him.
Oh yes! Finally something to satisfy Gregory. :|Upright BiPed
May 28, 2013
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For Gregory and others interested in his comments above: Sorry, I have been away for a while. Let me answer some of the comments in 64: Gregory: 'So, let’s say that the DI showed a film by Lee Strobel called “The Case for Christ” at its Summer Program. You would be against that, would you not timaeus? That year, in the Humanities and Social Sciences section an A. Hitchcock film was also shown. But that could not be as easily called ‘apologetics’ as “The Case for Christ.” ' Whether I would be against the Strobel film's being shown would depend on context. If it was shown as a straight-up sales pitch for a particular Christian view, I would of course be against it in an ID context. But the mention of a Hitchcock film -- and I'm sure that most people at Discovery would not think very highly of Hitchcock (probably they would see him as one of the greatest perverters and debasers of modern morality) -- suggests to me that perhaps they were showing films representing a wide variety of perspectives on modern life, in which case there might be justification for the Strobel film. (I add that I have not seen the Strobel film, and know nothing of its contents, beyond what I might be able to guess from the title.) Gregory: ' Do not be naive, folks, in thinking that IDism is not inevitably, unmistakeably and irrevocably intertwined with religion, specifically, with American Protestant Christian theism. ' Ummm ... Behe, Sternberg, Torley, StephenB, O'Leary, Richards, Gage, Chapman -- all Catholics, last I heard. Klinghoffer, a religious Jew, last I heard. Berlinski, a secular Jew, last I heard. Wells, a follower of Moon, last I heard. Denton, a Deist of some sort, last I heard -- and not an American. Surely Gregory's is a very one-sided description of ID? Does ID enjoy strong support from American conservative evangelicals? Of course; I don't deny it. Are many of its leaders American conservative evangelicals? Of course; I don't deny it. Does that make ID per se an American conservative evangelical project? No, it does not. Are some conservative Protestants merely using ID as an apologetic tool to defend their traditional creationism? Of course; I've never denied that. But that doesn't mean I endorse such tactics. I'm as much against intelligent design being hijacked by narrow fundamentalists as I'm against theistic evolution being hijacked by shallow Christian liberals (which is what has happened at BioLogos, in many American Christian colleges, in parts of the British scientific world, and elsewhere). Still, just as Gregory does not abandon Christianity because of the Crusades and the Inquisition, I'm not about to abandon intelligent design because of some misdemeanors of some of its proponents. The point is: if "design detection" is an intellectually valid project, then the motives of the people involved in it shouldn't matter. I'm against the sort of motive-mongering that Gregory is constantly engaged in. So if a Lee Strobel film proves that the Discovery Institute has a Christian bias, I say, so what? That doesn't make the ID arguments of Behe or Meyer or Dembski invalid. And nothing that Gregory has said in many years of internet posting suggests that he has dealt with, or intends to deal with, the substantive arguments for design in nature. Apparently he doesn't care whether they are valid or not. But the rest of us here do. What does Gregory want me to say? That I wouldn't show a Lee Strobel film if I were running the Discovery summer program in the social sciences? Well, then, I'll say it: I wouldn't. I'd have the students read Allan Bloom instead. I hope that satisfies him.Timaeus
May 28, 2013
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Is it worth repeating here? Who knows? I don't count ideological IDists as enemies, only as (usually less than worthy) opponents in the field of ideas. They are ideologically on the losing side globally-socially, as sadly as it will sound to the majority of IDist supporters here. Perhaps one or two will take up the call for change. So, let’s say that the DI showed a film by Lee Strobel called “The Case for Christ” at its [2008] Summer Program. You would be against that, would you not timaeus? Consider it speculative if you wish. The history of the DI's summer program is not 'untouchable'. What is timaeus' answer? Would that be an acceptable film to show at the DI's Summer Program or not? This is asked because timaeus said:
“I for one have always been against mixing ID theory with Christian apologetics, and I don’t think the DI should be doing any Christian apologetics at all — in its summer courses or anywhere else.”
Ohh, tentative timaeus who ignores the politicking of the Discovery Institute and how it desperately tries to hide *any* trace of its religious/theological/conservative evangelical dominant agenda. How little does timaeus seem to realise of what spiritual-PR-propaganda goes on there! vjtorley, otoh, says openly and in public, using his birth name, writing 'safely' as an English teacher in Japan:
“I hold that science can and should leave room for the supernatural, and that God-talk has a legitimate place in science.” / “To hold, as the Intelligent Design movement does, that there can be scientific evidence for a Designer of Nature is perfectly orthodox. I for one refuse to be bullied into keeping the search for a Designer within a purely natural framework. I don’t hold that science can take us to the God of classical theism, as such, but I think it can take us to the supernatural, at least in principle” Vincent Torley
As vjtorley is an 'evangelical' Catholic (incidentally, one who Edward Feser has demolished regarding 'IDism', as far from "perfectly orthodox") it sure does appear that vjtorley would be opposed to timaeus' timid compartmentalisation of knowledge/experience. He claims "scientific evidence for a Designer of Nature" and is theologically unfraid to capitalise 'Designer' and 'Nature.' Otoh, timaeus calls the wise capitalisation of 'Designer' worthless and distracting, while departing from ID-leaders' insistence on the 'scientificity' of IDT. Who should people trust? Probably neither of them, at least, not on a scholarly level! But hey, at the end of the day, so far UD-IDists have tended to conveniently and intentionally forget about their mutually exclusive views (e.g. Young Earthism vs. normal 'old' Earth science) in order to try to give the appearance of being cohesive - one cultural renewal, revolutionary 'Science' Movement under the 'disembodied, perhaps alien, designer' - in their protesting attacks against their elusive foe of '(neo-)Darwinism' and their dancing partner of Dawkins and the 'brights.' The vast number of balanced, sane, responsible critics of IDism, the majority of Abrahamic believers who do not wish to sell their faith to 'scientism' in the name of "strictly [natural] scientific in its approach," are well advised to ignore the fanaticism of IDists like timaeus and vjtorley. It would be preferable not to even have to acknowledge people like timaeus and stephenb as fanatics. But given the reality of 'Expelled Syndrome' having spread so widely among IDists and the sociologically huge percentage of pseudonyms taken by IDists, one isn't left much reason to trust them.Gregory
May 23, 2013
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Wait, so Salvador T. Cordova has also attended the DI’s Summer Program?
I never said I did, I said I missed the opportunity to see you in 2008, which means I wasn't there in 2008. I've never attended the seminars, but I know a few who did. In fact I was at another conference on the other side of the USA that summer with 3 other guys from UD (bevets, johnnyb, Walter ReMine): http://www.creationicc.org/proceedings/ICC08_TOC.htmscordova
May 19, 2013
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"I for one have always been against mixing ID theory with Christian apologetics, and I don’t think the DI should be doing any Christian apologetics at all — in its summer courses or anywhere else." So, let's say that the DI showed a film by Lee Strobel called "The Case for Christ" at its Summer Program. You would be against that, would you not timaeus? That year, in the Humanities and Social Sciences section an A. Hitchcock film was also shown. But that could not be as easily called 'apologetics' as "The Case for Christ." Do not be naive, folks, in thinking that IDism is not inevitably, unmistakeably and irrevocably intertwined with religion, specifically, with American Protestant Christian theism. If you don't realise this, then there's an elephant looking over your shoulder that you think isn't in the room. That's the reality. Why not face it? "Now that I found out he was at the 2008 seminar, I’m glad I missed him and never had the displeasure of meeting him personally..." Wait, so Salvador T. Cordova has also attended the DI's Summer Program? If so, why don't you folks ask him to share his dirty laundry (what he calls 'sensitive information') with you? I've already said I'm not willing to provide any answers that would promote, support or spread positive info about IDism, nor to help it in any way. Did they show Strobel's "The Case for Christ" when Salvador was at the Seattle Pacific University for the DI's Summer Program too? My guess is yes! An 'axe' to grind? Yes, Doug Axe and his ideological IDism. That's an axe that needs grinding - the blunt truth will tell. ;) In answer to "which of those people he actually received instruction from" - all of them, except Sternberg and Wells (I had an excused absence). Luskin was sick and couldn't speak, though I ate lunch with him and asked necessary questions. And Chapman didn't teach; he just spoke at the opening banquet as a politician. West was the main 'Expelled Syndrome' victimising reminder, which is obviously still visible here at UD. Someone call a doctor! Returning to the OP, 'warfare thesis lies' just takes on a different name at the DI.Gregory
May 19, 2013
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SC: Thanks for sharing, and for highlighting the phenomenon of web stalking, outing (which includes family members) etc. I have linked your comment and the onward discussion of CL's experience, here. KFkairosfocus
May 16, 2013
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The point, of course, is that it is quite possible that Gregory is misrepresenting what happened in the Summer program, not necessarily out of malice aforethought (though that cannot be ruled out, given his visible animus against ID and many individual IDers), but perhaps only out of misunderstanding; he simply may not have “got” what the Summer program teachers were trying to convey to him.
I don't know Gregory personally, but known him through the net since about 2004, that's 9 years ago. He was extremely nasty to me, all the garbage he spews out here on Eric, he spewed out on me times 10 while piling on with the Darwinists and bloviating about my religious motivations and insinuating it distorted my ability to do science. He dished out abuse just like a Pharyngulite. When I was at Telic Thoughts it felt like I got an obsessed stalker following me around. The risk that he'll out people I consider real, and I really would prefer he remain silent about the summer seminars lest he inadverdently disclose sensitive information. It is hard to express how frightening the behavior of Darwinists is. When we had pro-ID meetings at GMU, the anti-ID bio profs and even Pandas Thumbster would show up. I feared for the students, and I finally had to take the meetings off campus. At Cornell, reporter Celeste Biever lied trying to infiltrate the IDEA club. Read this frightening account of how Wesley Elsberry tried to destroy Casey Luskin while Casey was a grad student: http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1428 Gregory has shown a pattern of hostility toward those in the ID community, and it's disconcerting he had access to senstive information such as the identities of grad students or possibly some of the research projects back in 2008 (which thankfully some are now in the public Domain now that Dembski, Marks, and Ewert are published). These summer seminars are where the future Jonathan Wells, Casey Luskins, Doug Axe's, Michael Denton's, Ben Carson's, Richard Sternberg's get in contact with others in ID community. Their identities and privacy are extremely important, and the NCSE's Glen Branch, people like Barbara Forrest, etc. actively encourage getting pro-ID students and faculty identified and tossed out of academia and even other institutions. Look what happened to Sternberg at NIH, David Coppedge at JPL, etc. Gregory has never comprehended ID for the last 9 years, he never will and questions you pose about the summer seminar will not be a reliable account of what he's learning because he's never shown he can fairly and accurately what is discussed here at UD, TT, and ARN... Don't try to straighten out him out, he's had 9 years to learn, he seems to disdain the scientific technicalities and prefers to couch ID in terms of a sociological, psychological, philosophical, and theological phenomenon. You can see that in the way he treats Eric Anderson, and I can see that in the way he treated me while he joined Artur Hunt, Andrea Botarro, and Richard Hoppe in piling on at ARN while I was trying to learn ID for years. I never forgot his tactics of attempted intimidation to knock me out of the discuss. Now that I found out he was at the 2008 seminar, I'm glad I missed him and never had the displeasure of meeting him personally... My criticism of him is harsh, but well, if you get stalked on the interenet for a few years by someone with an axe to grind, you'll have a different perspective of them which you'll never forget.scordova
May 16, 2013
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Timaeus is right. It may very well be that Gregory was there but after having argued the point for so long, insulting just about everyone who has asked him for more information on it, he should now take his notes and fire them up here for us all to see so that we can at least get a better handle on how he came to his conclusions. Would that be fair enough Gregory? In fact why don't you create a post about it on your blog, giving us a run down of the classes you took, backed up with the notes you took, and under each one stipulating the reason as to why you came to the conclusion that you did? Admittedly this might take you a while, but then again you have spent months here trying to defend yourself without giving us a shred of evidence, so why not have a stab at it?PeterJ
May 16, 2013
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scordova: Just to be clear, those "quotations" I gave from Gregory were presented only as near-quotations -- though they did not falsify the spirit or intended meaning of the real quotations they were derived from. I accept your point about the need not to "out" people who have attended Discovery activities. I would not want Gregory to do that without consulting the people involved. But if Gregory first sought permission from the people he named before naming them, and they consented, no harm would be done. The point, of course, is that it is quite possible that Gregory is misrepresenting what happened in the Summer program, not necessarily out of malice aforethought (though that cannot be ruled out, given his visible animus against ID and many individual IDers), but perhaps only out of misunderstanding; he simply may not have "got" what the Summer program teachers were trying to convey to him. If he would specify the sins of the program, it would be easy to ask the teachers and other students for the other side of the story. But I don't think that is going to happen. I don't think he wants to make the charges specific enough that they can be checked out. I believe that Gregory did attend the Summer program. I find it extremely hard to believe that he listened to the biological and mathematical arguments with a genuinely open mind, and it sounds (from his reminiscences) that he may have behaved in a combative manner in more than one classroom or non-classroom situation, which of course is not conducive to learning. I don't believe he is a credible witness to the overall character of the program. But if I'm wrong, he can show that by being very specific in his criticisms, naming the teachers whose presentations were inadequate and demonstrating why they were inadequate.Timaeus
May 15, 2013
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Imagine having such a uncontrollable personality at the head of an project. Good bye data.Upright BiPed
May 15, 2013
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what other students were in the course who could confirm his statements of fact and his judgments
I would ask the names of other students at those courses not be mentioned in a public forum. Some students who attended the DI summer seminars are in PhD programs and if they are outed, it could be the end of their career. FWIW, I'll accept Gregory was there, if so, what a waste... I think he owes Eric and others an apology for his insults. And finally he says this of himself and others:
“I crushed Bruce Gordon in argument” and “I was far more theoretically advanced in social science than John West” and “I met Sternberg and he’s no angel.”
Such statements strike me as someone trying to get attention because they have nothing of substance to offer. The only way they get noticed is to show up in discussion and bloviate and pontificate and accuse falsely. His tirade against Eric was way over the line.scordova
May 15, 2013
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correction -- "that is why [no one] knows what his terms "Abrahamic" or "little id" mean.StephenB
May 15, 2013
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Timaeus, Timaeus, I don’t think Gregory is very well informed about holistic thinking or the interaction between specialized disciplines. It has likely never occurred to him that the university, as its name implies, was originally designed to teach universal knowledge. Putting aside a few glorious exceptions, that vision has been lost. Gregory’s generation has been steeped in the post-modern notion that college courses are like individual bottles on a shelf, each having little or nothing to do with the other. The first semester, they may choose a bottle of sociology, a bottle of philosophy, and a bottle of political science; the next semester they may choose four or five bottles of something else. They are unaware of the vertical hierarchy of truths or the fact that higher sciences, like physics and chemistry, illuminate lower sciences, like biology. Likewise, they are ignorant of the horizontal knowledge continuum or that fact that each specialty overlaps with another, just as social-psychology overlaps with sociology, which, in turn, overlaps with anthropology. As a victim of his compartmentalized training, Gregory cannot conceive of a harmonic relationship between science and theology that would preserve the integrity of each discipline. If one suggests, for example, that science’s Big Bang Cosmology could also be understood in terms of the Biblical passage, “let there be light,” or that ID Theory could relate to the Logos Theory of the Gospel, Gregory would interpret those explanations as equivocations or “flip-flops.” Like Barbara Forrest, Gregory interprets any such analysis as proof that ID proponents allow their religious faith to leak into their scientific methodology, even though neither could describe ID methodology on a bet. (To honestly describe ID’s methodology is to refute the uninformed anti-ID rationale that drives the partisanship). In that sense, Gregory's posture is very strange since he also insists that Steve Fuller, his intellectual hero, is right to say that ID should be an amalgamation of Theology, Philosophy, and Science. If, as Gregory asserts, ID is already what Steve Fuller thinks it should become, why doesn’t he celebrate it? At this point, then, we have to ask ourselves the following question: What is the true nature of the partisan ideology that drives Gregory’s anti-ID rants? Here we have to read between the lines because Gregory always argues by insinuation, never by logic. Among other things, he seems to hold (he has never denied the charge) that God’s designs are, and must be, accessible only through the lens of religious faith. Theistic Evolutionists also tend to think this way, which may explain why he often joins hands with them. Compounding this error, he holds that the entire Judeo-Christian tradition defines itself by this same faith-first approach, rejecting any observation-based reasoning process (such as natural theology or origin’s science) that would cause us to discover the existence of God (or a designer) apart from a faith commitment. In Gregory’s mind, faith and reason are enemies and must never be allowed to influence each other. This is the classic definition of fideism and I think it is the driving force. When you break it down, his formula is simple: On matters of creation and evolution, apriori reasoning is good (little id), and aposteriori reasoning is bad (Bid ID). It is the latter formula that Gregory refers to when he uses that dubious phrase “natural-science only.” At this point, any well-educated person would stop and ask the definitive question: “Wait a minute, aren’t we leaving something out?” It isn’t just ID science (or what Gregory calls Big ID) that uses aposteriori reasoning. Quite the contrary. Aristotle, the pagan philosopher, Aquinas, the Scholastic, and Paley, the Natural Theologian, all observed the order of nature and inferred the existence of an ordering intelligence. They were not, in any way, relying on faith to arrive at that conviction. Indeed, that is the whole point of the aforementioned passage in Romans 1:20, which is also an observation-based exhortation: “ For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” From the Judeo-Christian perspective, which is clearly a part of the “Abrahamic” element, we don’t need to believe that God exists at all; we can know it by simply observing and thinking. Believing is for things that we cannot know, not for things that are self-evident. Contrary to his claims, Gregory’s position, insofar as he has one, is at variance with the Judeo-Christian world view. It is ridiculous for him to assert that all Abrahamic religions take design on faith when the Judeo-Christian doctrine explicitly and dramatically describes itself in the opposite way. Because Gregory seems to disdain that long tradition of rational thinking, he finds himself abandoning rationality altogether. His most important categories remain undefined, which is why one knows what his terms “Abrahamic” or “little id” means. In fact, he doesn’t know what they mean. His only real position is that he has no position. He insists that he does not embrace Neo-Darwinism, Theistic Evolution, Creation Science, or Intelligent Design. What else is left? Only undisciplined and unarticulated fideism. In the end, Gregory’s “little id and it’s faith-first restriction,” which is supposed to be the definitive perspective embraced by all “Abrahamic” believers, is either radically incomplete and unrepresentative of Judeo-Christianity, insofar as it ignores natural theology, or else it is totally meaningless, insofar as its boundaries have never been defined.StephenB
May 15, 2013
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Eric: Good question! Gregory is not the most coherent of critics. He tends to be "all over the map," so one rarely feels that his criticism is coming from a stable position that is easily identifiable. When ID folks won't talk about theology *enough* to suit his tastes, he accuses them of being naively or stupidly "science-only" people, interested only in cells and probability theory and information theory etc. when they should be linking up their scientific discussions with their theological discussions. When ID folks tall about theology *too much* to suit his taste, discussing the interpretation of Genesis or the thoughts of Calvin or Augustine or Aquinas or Paley, he accuses their science of being secretly theologically driven, as if mingling science and theology is a bad thing. I can't resolve this contradiction. If I had to take a stab at it, I'd say that Gregory actually thinks that scientific ideas about origins *should* be mingled with theological ideas about origins, but that the theological ideas about origins should be *liberal* theological ideas rather than conservative ones. Based on Gregory's many obvious attacks on Bible-based Protestantism in America, and his more subtle snide remarks against Calvinism, and his reading of plainly conservative Catholic texts in a ludicrously liberal way (even when his exegesis is demolished for all to see by StephenB), it seems to be not *theology* that Gregory hates, but any form of *conservative* theology -- meaning not just American fundamentalism but also conservative Calvinism, conservative Catholicism, etc. (He makes a big deal out of his allegiance to Orthodoxy, which might give the impression that he is conservative, but then he recommends the thought of Berdyaev -- certainly heretical and modern and liberal by Orthodox standards.) And this fits in with his constant digs at me, telling me that I should stop studying classical texts in philosophy and theology and "get with it" and embrace the world of Facebook and Twitter and "texting" and popular culture, relegating Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Luther, Augustine, etc. to the wastebasket as irrelevant to modern life and modern people's tastes and wishes. The idea that modern life and modern people's wishes might be perverse, ignorant, frivolous, shallow, self-contradictory, irrational, or sinful, and that this might be an age which stands under divine judgment for its departure from the truth, doesn't seem to occur to Gregory as even a remote possibility. For Gregory, the modern, the latest, the academically avant garde -- that is the way the world should go, and anyone who counsels otherwise is a hopeless, backwards reactionary who deserves to be jobless, incomeless, and barred from social decision-making. Gregory appears to worship the current and the fashionable. But of course this is not uncommon among modern Ph.D.s.Timaeus
May 15, 2013
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Timaeus:
. . . his complaint that the DI was promoting Christian theology rather than science . . .
Yeah, but the weird thing is that he has also complained that intelligent design theory is a "natural science" theory. I'm trying to understand what his complaint is there, but he has failed to clarify. Is he complaining that ID doesn't go into theology?Eric Anderson
May 15, 2013
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But to make the charges, and then not substantiate them, is both academically and ethically unacceptable.
This seems to be a rather recurrent theme where Gregory is concerned.Upright BiPed
May 15, 2013
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In #17, Gregory gives a list of names of ID people who were present (i.e., on the site) during his summer seminar. He does not say *which of those people he actually received instruction from*. (For example, there might have been two or three sections going at a time, so that one could not attend all the sections. This is especially likely, given that the program was only something like 9 days long.) Nor does he say what each person taught. Did he not take notes? His reports of the event, which are scattered over his various posts to UD, consist of statements like "I crushed Bruce Gordon in argument" and "I was far more theoretically advanced in social science than John West" and "I met Sternberg and he's no angel." Gregory offers no description of the contents of any of the courses or lectures or seminars, only boasting and bravado. One gets the impression that he walked into the program and started criticizing its entire purpose and method from Day 1, and never stopped until the course was over. As if he thought he was there as an intellectual peer rather than as a student. If he had that kind of chip on his shoulder, it's no wonder if he didn't get along with people there. He also gives an incomplete list of entries from a sourcebook used in the program. Of the 24 chapters he says were in the book, he lists the titles of only 7. The first 6 concern theology. The 7th concerns Darwin. How do we know that 8 through 24 aren't about methodology in natural science, methodology in social science, biochemistry, information theory, evolutionary algorithms, origin of life research, etc.? Gregory has suppressed the information. In any case, the work in question is listed as a "sourcebook." That means the passages were to be used as reference or discussion material. We don't know from the list of sources that there were lectures devoted specifically to Christian theology (as opposed to lectures on design in nature which made historical references to Christian doctrine concerning God and creation). Still less can we tell that the lectures actually promoted Christian theology. They may have; but Gregory has not said so. And if he does say so, he should specify which teachers tried to promote Christian theology. In any case, of the people he listed, Sternberg and Chapman are Catholics, and Wells is from the Unification Church, so it wouldn't be Protestant fundamentalism that was being taught by those people, if they were teaching any religion at all. I would guess that Sternberg was teaching hard-core biological theory. But maybe Gregory skipped all the sessions that had to do with biology; he's already indicated that he isn't interested in that sort of thing. What Gregory doesn't realize is that, if he could offer real substance to back up his charges against the DI -- if he could produce fellow-students would would verify his facts and join him in his complaint that the DI was promoting Christian theology rather than science -- many of us here would be sympathetic with him. I for one have always been against mixing ID theory with Christian apologetics, and I don't think the DI should be doing any Christian apologetics at all -- in its summer courses or anywhere else. (Of course, ID proponents have every right to do Christian apologetics in their private lives, write books on the subject, etc. But in their capacity as members of the DI, they should be religion-neutral.) By not providing evidence to back up his claims, Gregory gives us the impression that he has no evidence, or at least that he is giving us only a very partial and biased account of what happened at the summer school. He thus loses the chance to enlighten us and win us over. The ball's in Gregory's court. He should either make specific charges of religious bias against specific individuals, and back those charges up with information that can be checked by an impartial investigator, or he should withdraw the charges. But to make the charges, and then not substantiate them, is both academically and ethically unacceptable.Timaeus
May 15, 2013
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Gregory, I thought you had better things to do than debate here on UD? Seeing as how you are sticking around how about providing evidence of your week at the DI camp? I don't know how many times you have been asked for it. Look I have answered every question you have thrown at me, even those at a very personal level. So I think it only polite for you to do the same. Show us the relevant information Gregory, or please, go and be busy where ever it is your expertise has been called upon. And may the Lord bless you in it.PeterJ
May 14, 2013
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Gregory, You are a bush-league critic. And you couldn't demolish your way out of a wet paper bag.Joe
May 14, 2013
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"Intelligently Designed windmills" Add 'Joe' to the capitalisation camp? He'll flip-flop back to uncapitalised 'id' as soon as he can. Jump outside of an IDist-happy site and Joe's 'arguments' are demolished. This is the kind of 30 second comentator that makes IDT look like a bush-league theory, like neo-creationism. timaeus should not be proud to defend the moronic IDist attitude of 'Joe,' but for some reason he likes to do it ;)Gregory
May 14, 2013
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Gregory, the foresaken wannabe, tilting at Intelligently Designed windmills. Eric would have to get a lobotomy to be on a level playing field with you, Gregory. He shouldn't risk it.Joe
May 14, 2013
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"I’ve read many ID books" Obviously too many to realise that you've been indoctrinated with IDist 'scientism.' IDT = 'scientific'! This is primitive American PoS showing us the Emperor has no clothes. It's time to face reality, Eric. "I’m happy to discuss it" No, I don't think you're telling the truth and you have demonstrated you are not willing to face it. The communication offer is open. You've avoided it thus far. Come into my lair, Eric. Your voice is much more powerful than your black & white blogger text. Your IDist lair stinks of evasion and deception. Honest people risk contamination from Expelled Syndrome here. Abrahamic believers are wise to avoid IDism like a post-modern plague. Will you 'cowboy-up' and risk a level playing field?Gregory
May 14, 2013
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