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This time, it’s PZ Myers and Sam Harris facing off at Twitter


A friend sent me an interesting series of tweets from last month, which raise a number of questions, at least for me. I’ll just present them, then ask the questions:


Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg)

9/24/14, 12:04 AM


How is it that I have @DeepakChopra and @pzmyers sniping at me simultaneously? Either I’m doing something right, or this is hell.

PZ Myers (@pzmyers)

9/24/14, 12:07 AM


.@SamHarrisOrg In my case, because you took a few potshots at me, & made a few dishonest sneers. Or are you that self-unaware?

Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg)

9/24/14, 12:22 AM


@pzmyers Potshots? I haven’t engaged you in years. But there you were in my Twitter feed. Now I will ignore you again. Enjoy it.

There is a bit of backstory here:

Jordan Grey (Jack) (@two_smokes)

9/22/14, 6:40 PM


@SamHarrisOrg @GretaChristina @mboorstein Did you not recently criticize P. Z. Meyers for what his readers to say about you?

Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg)

9/22/14, 9:33 PM


@two_smokes He moderates his comments (i.e. decides to publish them) and does nothing to correct obvious lies. Not comparable.

PZ Myers (@pzmyers)

9/23/14, 1:32 PM


@SamHarrisOrg Not true. You could comment on my site — and it would appear without any action on my part. What was that about obvious lies?

PZ Myers (@pzmyers)

9/23/14, 1:33 PM


It’s really weird to see a complaint that I moderate my site, but don’t moderate it to suit @SamHarrisOrg.

Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg)

9/23/14, 10:34 PM


@pzmyers My complaint is pretty simple: You publish defamatory lies about my work. Inviting me to comment on your blog is no remedy.


The new atheist movement seems to be breaking up into a series of private fights, in this case Myers vs. Harris, but then there is Shermer vs. Myers, Myers vs Dawkins, and on top of that, everybody vs. Dawkins and Brian Leiter. Oh yes, and the increasingly frequent charges of misogyny/putting down women.

Some might defend the matter saying that intellectuals are notorious for fighting among themselves in the grand world of history-making ideas. Fair enough, but these fights do not seem to be intellectual squabbles so much as accusations against the characters of others.

Now, the best-known defenders of Darwinian evolution today are the new atheists. True, there is the U.S. Darwin in the schools lobby, but we haven’t heard much from them since Eugenie Scott retired and they decided to divide their energies by getting into climate change advocacy as well.

There is BioLogos , but they are mainly aimed at getting Christian evangelicals to accept evolution, which in the context means Darwinism. (The evangelicals will mostly just stop going to church first, because average Christians are not as stupid as some theologians think.)

And there are assorted regional and national groups. But there has not been any group as widely known for advocacy of Darwinian evolution in a variety of forums and disciplines as the new atheists.

Now my question: Will these explosions in the Twitterverse and on blogs impact the intellectual status of Darwinian evolution? Readers? – O’Leary for News

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Can't we just give them both a time out? Barb
Thing is, you have to destroy Evolution in the multiworld for it to stick. Axel
as to: "Will these explosions in the Twitterverse and on blogs impact the intellectual status of Darwinian evolution?" No! and this because Darwinism is not an 'intellectual' result from the unbiased examination of evidence in the first place, but is primarily a emotional conclusion wrought by bad theological argumentation: Darwin's Use of Theology in the Origin of Species - May 2011 Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes: I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation): 1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind. 2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern. 3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the 'simplest mode' to accomplish the functions of these structures. 4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part's function. 5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms. 6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter. 7. God directly created the first 'primordial' life. 8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life. 9. A 'distant' God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering. 10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/05/charles_darwin_theologian_majo046391.html Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of theology? - Dilley S. - 2013 Abstract This essay analyzes Theodosius Dobzhansky's famous article, "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution," in which he presents some of his best arguments for evolution. I contend that all of Dobzhansky's arguments hinge upon sectarian claims about God's nature, actions, purposes, or duties. Moreover, Dobzhansky's theology manifests several tensions, both in the epistemic justification of his theological claims and in their collective coherence. I note that other prominent biologists--such as Mayr, Dawkins, Eldredge, Ayala, de Beer, Futuyma, and Gould--also use theology-laden arguments. I recommend increased analysis of the justification, complexity, and coherence of this theology. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23890740 If Darwinism were a 'real' science, with a rigid mathematical basis, instead of bad Theology, it would have been refuted long ago: HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY – WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that,, E. coli contain(s) over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance. http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/Encyclopedia/20hist12.htm bornagain77
Hehe, a good chuckle with my morning coffee Vishnu

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