Intelligent Design

My interview at Skeptiko – a bit of a wild ride!

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This is the transcript of the interview I did with Alex Tsakiris at Skeptiko. It got a bit testy at times. Here’s a snatch on the subject of reincarnation. In the context, I was trying to explain that the fact that some children know what happened to a deceased adult is not necessarily obvious, slam dunk proof of reincarnation: [were these people trying to set me up? Wow!]

Denyse O’ Leary: … there’s probably more than one model that might explain what was happening responsible research is that the mind is not as closely link to the brain as has been formerly thought. So that way, one can move out into an area that’s well-sourced without attracting a whole bunch of [c]ranks because we do need to admit that this sort of research; any sort of research like this and I include that in the Christian community as well as others could attract [c]ranks. So that’s why some of us tend to try to be fairly based on.

Alex Tsakiris: I really have to take issue with that because I think it’s a strategy that folks in the parapsychology and in the other alternative conscious community have tried to do. Have tried to kind of bow to the altar of materialism and say, “No, we just want our little peace over here” and I think it’s a failed strategy. I think the accounts…

Denyse O’Leary: You’re the first person who has ever suggested that I was bowing to anyone like that but you go on.

Hey, the interview was a lot of fun, actually, and I hope you enjoy it.

(Note: I switched “pranks” in the quoted transcript above to [c]ranks. “Cranks” is what I said, and what I meant. Some of the rest of the transcript could do with editing for sentence flow and grammar, but I am not getting involved with that …

I am in no way responsible for the obviously bad transcript. Despite all my – widely attested – other faults, I speak perfect English. I probably could not make a significant grammar error if I tried. I would correct myself in mid-sentence.

Also just up at The Mindful Hack:

Animal minds: One way that animals teach

Society and values: Forget teaching about right and wrong where sex is concerned?

Spirituality and popular culture: Amazon’s #1 atheist book wasChristian?

At MercatorNet: Why women love shopping, and other myths (“Come to think of it, why does social neuroscience only tell us what we keep hearing from that high school drop-out cousin who listens to a lot of TV while shooting pool down in the rec room, between his split shifts at the loading dock?”)

8 Replies to “My interview at Skeptiko – a bit of a wild ride!

  1. 1
    nullasalus says:

    Interesting interview, though the interviewer’s understanding of Christianity (not to mention Catholicism in particular) was kind of odd. The idea that heaven is segregated such that christians are here and everyone else is over here is just unusual to me.

    Though to his credit, I like that someone will take on the mantle of ‘skeptic’ and not be an obnoxious new atheist, which seems to be the usual routine. And he seemed more open minded than I’d normally expect. (I recall him interviewing Michael Behe and being pretty laid back as well, which is a plus.)

  2. 2
    tragic mishap says:

    It’s an interview, Denyse, not an article. No one would blame you for making a few mistakes. I’m sure we all would make more than you would.

  3. 3
    tragic mishap says:

    Alex Tsakiris seems a little pre-occupied with the idea that “near-death” experiences are equal to entering heaven, therefore this means there is universal salvation.

    Excuse me, but I think God is just a little smarter than Miracle Max, and even Max can tell when someone is all-dead or only mostly dead.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BRI0NtQ1DU

  4. 4
    tragic mishap says:

    Alex Tsakiris: “Alex Tsakiris: Yes, maybe. It’s just kind of sounds like you’re again maybe letting your religious doctrine kind of drive some of that.”

    Well, gee Alex, it’s quite obvious you’re not ever letting religious convictions influence your interpretation of science.

    Alex Tsakiris: “But the Christian position should just be whatever science, whatever real science tells us that’s the direction we go because that’s as closest we can get to truth.”

    Is that a scientific statement? Because if it’s not, then it cannot be as close to the truth as a scientific statement is, and therefore could be wrong. This guy has logic issues.

    As per usual, the people who cry the most about listening to science aren’t really in it for the science at all. Their primary intent is to attack Christianity.

    Mark 13:13:
    “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

    “That Hideous Strength” anyone? Denyse have you read that one by C.S. Lewis? The bad guys in the book revive a dead guy’s brain so that it starts talking to them. They form a cult that treats the brain as god and do whatever it says.

  5. 5
    O'Leary says:

    Hi all, I make mistakes, but the transcript appears to have been produced by someone without a good ear for conventional English.

    I must obviously have said “cranks,” not “pranks,” for example. That isn’t even a mistake I could make because “cranks” is the conventional word for the context. There would be no reason for me to use an unconventional word that didn’t even convey what I was trying to say. (= beware cranks who can discredit your project)

    I enjoyed the interview with Alex and hope he continues to pursue and think about these subjects.

    Re That Hideous: Yes, it is my second favourite CS Lewis novel. He deals adequately with the growth of a science-based cult. But what is even more interesting to me is the general indifference of the public -unfortunately.

    My favourite scene is when N.I.C.E. has displaced a number of peop[le from their homes and passersby assume they must be bad people or it wouldn’t be happening.

    People are too ready to attribute virtue to people who show no sign of it, and vice to people who haven’t done anything especially wrong.

    We are neck deep in that right now in Canada – but we are beginning to wake up.

  6. 6
    tragic mishap says:

    DaveScot reminds me a lot of Mr. MacPhee. 😀

  7. 7
    absolutist says:

    These resources also offer an intelligible defense of Christian dualism and human personhood:

    Consciousness and the Existence of God by J.P. Moreland.

    Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview by J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig.

    Body & Soul by J.P. Moreland and Scott B. Rae.

  8. 8
    jjcassidy says:

    On the linked topic of sexual mores in Britain, it’s quite ironic that after you have kids–based on your “own views” of right and wrong–the government doesn’t want to let you exercise your “own views” on what to tell the kids.

    Pretty telling that the government intends to become the ultimate moral authority, they’ve just decided that sexual mores are neutral as an absolute.

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