Intelligent Design

Where does disbelief in Darwin lead?

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A commenter to my article about John McCain supporting the teaching of ID in public schools replies that he won’t vote for McCain because of it. The stated reason is the United States is falling behind other industrialized countries in science literacy.

Piffle! The notion that science literacy in the U.S. is substandard is rooted in the results of science surveys that include questions about evolution. Without doubt a much larger fraction of the US populace doesn’t believe in mud to man evolution than compared to any other industrialized nation. So in those surveys they give the “incorrect” answer to questions about the origin of life. In all other category of science questions Americans score as well as or better than non-Americans. But the weight of the “wrong” answers about evolution pulls down the average and makes it appear a few other countries are doing a better job of science education.

Be that as it may I’m a results oriented guy. Instead of presuming that “poorer” science education leads to poorer scientific output I instead look at what America actually produces in the way of science and engineering. Without question America’s output in science and engineering leads the world. Not just a little but a lot. We don’t steal nuclear technology secrets from China, they steal ours. We don’t use European GPS satellites for navigation, they use ours. The list can go on and on. We put a man on the moon 40 years ago while to this day no one else has. America has almost 3 times the number of Nobel prize winners as the next closest nation. That doesn’t support the notion that disbelief in Darwin is causing any problems. In fact it supports just the opposite. Disbelief in evolution makes a country into a superpower – militarily, economically, and yes even scientifically.

Education in America is working just fine, thank you, judging by the fruits of American science and engineering. Disbelief in Darwinian evolution, if anything, leads to greater technological achievements not lesser. If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.

200 Replies to “Where does disbelief in Darwin lead?

  1. 1

    Disbelief in Darwinian evolution, if anything, leads to greater technological achievements not lesser.

    I was just having a debate about this today. Belief or disbelief in Darwinian or any other evolution, or any metaphysical or scientific theory, or any religion, is completely orthogonal to performance. Some atheists behave well, and some Christians behave poorly. Some scientists are superstitious, while some homeopaths are rational.

    Performance depends on what you do not what you believe.

  2. 2
    godslanguage says:

    I agree with DaveScot, how has Darwinian Evolution helped in developing the transistor (or semi-conductor technology), for that matter, how has it done anything in terms of technological advances before or after that? Not only has it done nothing to improve the way society functions technologically, it hasn’t contributed a iota of knowledge to medical science and its practitioners. Who in they’re right mind would want to take `just so` stories and attempt to apply them. It seems that it would be a big risk if anyone implemented Darwinian framework in any field.

  3. 3
    Upright BiPed says:

    I wonder how the views of several promonent Chinese paleontologists would fit into your readers’ scenario.

    They claim they are seperated from the Darwinian dogma of the West, and able to look at alternative reasoning – design.

    http://www.fredheeren.com/boston2.htm

  4. 4
    DaveScot says:

    Upright

    The Chinese paleontologist who started all that said (my recall so the quote isn’t exact):

    “In China we are free to question Darwin but we can’t question the government. In American you are free to question the government but you can’t question Darwin.”

    It’s true enough but that doesn’t mean there is more belief in an intelligent designer in China than in America. The overwhelming majority of Chinese are Buddhist or Taoist. Darwinian evolution fits very well within those philosophies. So while they have the freedom to consider alternatives to Darwin they also have little inclination to do so. Maybe that will change but I wouldn’t hold my breath. The long and the short of it is that there’s no practical benefit for science in belief or disbelief in macroevolution by chance & necessity because it works too slowly to have any consequences measured in human lifetimes. The question can be ignored and science will march on without missing a beat.

    That said I strongly believe there are other consequences to presenting a godless narrative account of the origin of man as legally unquestionable scientific fact in public schools. It isn’t a fact at all and is supported by rather flimsy circumstantial evidence. While I don’t personally have any strong faith in the divine revelations of Christian scriptures I do strongly feel that Christianity as practiced in modern western culture has a very positive influence. For that reason I strongly object to the questionable science underlying the neo-Darwinian narrative having the legal authority to be beyond criticism or question in public education. It deserves criticism and when that criticism is objectively presented it becomes apparent just how flimsy the case for neo-Darwinian evolution actually is. That’s why the godless pundits of it are so up in arms about it. The emperor has no clothes and they don’t want that to become widely known amongst the unwashed masses lest the number of people who swallow the story become even smaller than it already is. Many decades of teaching Darwinian evolution as scientific fact in public schools hasn’t caused a majority to believe it. Imagine what would happen if it was legally allowed to be criticized.

  5. 5
    Flannery says:

    A nice and pertinent post, DaveScot.

    Godslangauge suggests little benefit to medicine or its practitioners and writes, “It seems that it would be a big risk if anyone implemented a Darwinian framework in any field.” You bet! They tried it under the banner of “progressive” social policy; it was called eugenics. In medicine it gave us forced, state-sponsored sterilizations; lobotomies; “mercy killings” of the retarded; state-sponsored human breeding programs; and other assorted efforts a “giving nature a helping hand.” All under the guise of Darwinian “science” as crafted by his cousin, Francis Galton. I wonder if people who fret over science standards and evolution really know what they’re fretting about. As DaveScot points out, proably not!

  6. 6
    Daniel King says:

    Lobotomies?

  7. 7
    Flannery says:

    Yes, Daniel. In the words of Robert Whitaker in Mad in America (2002), “In the United States, eugenics led to a different end [From Nazi Germany], but one clearly consistent with eugenic beliefs. It led to a quartet of therapeutics, applied regularly without the patient’s consent, that filled the mentally ill with terror, broke their bones, robbed them of their memories, and, in the manner of a partial euthanasia, ‘relieved’ them of the very part of the mind that makes us human. The path to lobotomy, it becomes clear, began not with Moniz [Portuguese physician who introduced perfrontal lobotomy] but with Charles Davenport [America’s leading eugnics spokesman] and his scorn for the ‘unfit.’ . . . Metrazol [a drug used to stimulate convulsion in shock therapy], forced electro-shock, and lobotomy were medical solutions consistent with a eugenics concept of the mentally ill” (p. 137).

  8. 8
    Jack Krebs says:

    Dave writes,

    Piffle! The notion that science literacy in the U.S. is substandard is rooted in the results of science surveys that include questions about evolution. Without doubt a much larger fraction of the US populace doesn’t believe in mud to man evolution than compared to any other industrialized nation. So in those surveys they give the “incorrect” answer to questions about the origin of life. In all other category of science questions Americans score as well as or better than non-Americans. But the weight of the “wrong” answers about evolution pulls down the average and makes it appear a few other countries are doing a better job of science education.

    I really find this hard to believe. Do you have a source for this statement, or any evidence, Dave.

    First of all, I doubt there are very many questions about “the origin of life” or evolution on those tests: certainly not enough questions that getting them wrong would make a significant difference in our scores.

    Furthermore, for the questions about evolution that are there, I seriously doubt that the right and wrong answers are such that evolution non-believers would get them wrong just because they don’t believe in evolution.

    And I doubt that most high school kids would choose the anti-evolution answer to a question, even if there was one, just because they don’t believe in evolution.

    I’m quite familiar with the high school science curriculum, standardized tests, and high school kids, and I just don’t think Dave is correct.

    So, Dave, can you provide any evidence that what you claim in the above paragraph is true?

  9. 9
    Timaeus says:

    I agree with DaveScot’s argument that science achievement has nothing to do with the acceptance or rejection of Darwinism. However, I am doubtful about some points made in his post #4. He writes:

    “The overwhelming majority of Chinese are Buddhist or Taoist. Darwinian evolution fits very well within those philosophies.”

    Historically speaking, China was heavily Buddhist and Taoist, but I don’t know whether those traditions are represented in large numbers in the China of today. 60 years after the Communist revolution there, and all the religious repression which came with it, is there much Buddhism or Taoism left?

    As for whether Darwinian evolution fits in well with these philosophies, that’s debatable. Buddhism is not a monolithic block, but has many variations. Classical Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese Buddhism are all quite different from each other. My impression of the Classical Chinese variation of Buddhism was that it wasn’t at all oriented to explaining the laws of nature, physical or biological, but to adjusting one’s inner attitude towards the world. As for Taoism, the fundamental principle of nature (including inanimate nature) is an interplay between masculine and feminine principles, which is not the motive power of Darwinian evolution.

    I think that Hinduism is likely more compatible with evolution than any view from classical China. However, even there, it is doubtful that specifically Darwinian evolution could be fit into the framework. Notions of evolution in classical Hindu thought would have to be based on either Samkhyan spirit/matter dualism or on some version of Vedantic monism, and so any evolutionary theory in Hindu biology would resemble the notions of evolution found in Bergson or in Hegel, not in Darwin. The mainstream of Hindu thought always rejected pure materialism, and Darwinism is pure materialism.

  10. 10
    FtK says:

    “The idea that religion is the enemy of science is a remarkably silly one when examined in scientific terms. Consider that Christian nation and the hostility to science that it supposedly harbors due to its extraordinary religiosity. And yet the United States of America accounts for more than one-third of the global scientific output despite representing only 4.5 percent of the global population. The scientific overperformance of religious America is a factor of 7.89, representing 28.7 percent more scientific output per capita than the most atheistic nation in Europe, France.

    “The Irrational Atheist”, Vox Day

  11. 11
    FtK says:

    Here’s the source for those numbers:

    “33 Braun, Tibor, Wolfgang Glänzel, and András Schubert. “A Global Snapshot of Scientific Trends,”
    The UNESCO Courier, May 1999.”

  12. 12
    Mats says:

    Where does disbelief in Darwin lead?

    It leads to good science, better societies, and less materialism (both philosophical and financial).

    Darwin’s theory has helped absolutly nothing in the development of true empirical testable science.

  13. 13
    larrynormanfan says:

    And yet the United States of America accounts for more than one-third of the global scientific output despite representing only 4.5 percent of the global population. The scientific overperformance of religious America is a factor of 7.89, representing 28.7 percent more scientific output per capita than the most atheistic nation in Europe, France.

    That’s Numberwang!

  14. 14
    DaveScot says:

    Jack

    I really find this hard to believe. Do you have a source for this statement, or any evidence, Dave.

    Of course I have a source, Jack. You should know by now I always do.

    You can find it here in the this article I wrote 13 months ago:

    US Leads in ID Belief, Trails in Astrology Belief

  15. 15
    Patrick says:

    It’s urban legend that the U.S. is falling behind in science literacy. It’s based on science questionaires

    My understanding was that the “falling behind” had more to do with the percentage/number of science-related degrees being produced annually? And that there has been a growth in the demand for such people but there are not enough people to meet demand? It’s the next generation of US scientists and engineers that’s supposed to be the problem, not the current generation (which will start retiring eventually).

    http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/p.....id=2008016

    This report summarizes the performance of U.S. students on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), comparing the scores of U.S. 15-year-old students in science and mathematics literacy to the scores of their peers internationally in 2006. PISA, first implemented in 2000, is sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental agency of 30 member countries. In 2006, fifty-seven jurisdictions participated in PISA, including 30 OECD jurisdictions and 27 non-OECD jurisdictions. The results show the average combined science literacy scale score for U.S. students to be lower than the OECD average. U.S. students scored lower on science literacy than their peers in 16 of the other 29 OECD jurisdictions and 6 of the 27 non-OECD jurisdictions. Twenty-two jurisdictions (5 OECD jurisdictions and 17 non-OECD jurisdictions) reported lower scores compared to the United States in science literacy. On the mathematics literacy scale, U.S. students scored lower than the OECD average. Thirty-one jurisdictions (23 OECD jurisdictions and 8 non-OECD jurisdictions) scored higher on average, than the United States in mathematics literacy in 2006. In contrast, 20 jurisdictions (4 OECD jurisdictions and 16 non-OECD jurisdictions) scored lower than the United States in mathematics literacy in 2006. Differences in student performance based on the selected student characteristics of sex and race/ethnicity are also examined. Following the presentation of results, a technical appendix describes the study design, data collection, and analysis procedures that guided the administration of PISA 2006 in the United States and in the other participating jurisdictions.

    http://www.businessweek.com/te....._tc166.htm

    Already, “we have developed a shortage of highly skilled workers and a surplus of lesser-skilled workers,” warned Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan in a Mar. 12 address at Boston College. And the problem is worsening. “[We’re] graduating too few skilled workers to address the apparent imbalance between the supply of such workers and the burgeoning demand for them,” Greenspan added.

    As a result, “the future strength of the U.S. science and engineering workforce is imperiled,” the National Science Board warned in a sweeping report issued last year.

    For a specific example, the average age of NASA’s workforce now is over 45. Within the science and engineering department, the over-60 population outnumbers those under 30 by nearly 3 to 1. Now it’s possible there are other factors like a lack of motivation and negative PR is what is scaring away young people. I know someone who works in NASA’s HR so I could ask.

    Of course, a large part of the overall issue probably has to do with the establishing of universities and growth of localized job markets in overseas areas. People used to desire to come to the US for their education, but now they can stay at home.

    Another issue is the increase in national security. It’s now very difficult for people overseas to come into the US. For example, I am friends with a married couple with Chinese heritage. Sam is from Hong Kong but Silvia’s family is from Canada. Both have degrees and work as web developers. They’ve lived in the US for almost 10 years. A little over a year ago Silvia went to visit her family, but on the way home she was denied entrance and interrogated for several days. The short version is that Sam still lives in the US trying to sell their house in a declining housing market and Silvia is in Canada. Silvia CAN visit but cannot stay. This last Christmas she was stopped again and interrogated for days. Merry Christmas. Sam and Silvia are still not sure what triggered these actions. My guess is that it’s partially due to their Chinese heritage and they live in an area with a fairly heavy concentration of defense contractors. But they don’t work for any of those companies so…

    (BTW, in general I do support good national security but this particular situation is just nuts!)

    Finally, I personally think the youth in the US have a feeling of entitlement and a major lack of personal motivation. They don’t realize it takes hard work to maintain their cushy lifestyle. In contrast, a good number of people overseas are highly motivated. And even if these people represent a smaller percentage compared to the US their overall population numbers still results in them outnumbering us in highly motivated people.

  16. 16
    larrynormanfan says:

    Here’s an interesting tidbit from the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which studied fourth and eighth graders. The report is by the National Center for Education Statistics.

    In 2003, U.S. fourth-grade students scored 536 in science, on average, exceeding the international average of 489 for the 25 participating countries. U.S. fourth-graders were outperformed in science by their peers in 3 Asian countries—Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Singapore. On the other hand, U.S. fourth-graders outscored students in 16 countries.

    And for eighth grade:

    In 2003, U.S. eighth-grade students scored 527 in science, on average, exceeding the international average of 473 for the 45 participating countries. U.S. eighth-graders were outperformed by their peers in seven countries, including five Asian countries (Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Korea, and Singapore) and two European countries (Estonia and Hungary). On the other hand, U.S. eighth-graders outscored students in 32 of the 44 other countries.

    So, better than average, but not the best. And more countries beat the US as the children grow older.

    Here is the link.

  17. 17
    Patrick says:

    More on topic:

    http://www.stanfordreview.org/.....res4.shtml

    Young people going into the physical and biological sciences are greeted with an atmosphere of great hostility toward the design proposition; not just by their professors but by fellow students, so many students choose to change what it is that they’re going to do—who wants to live their life working in an area where they are going to be a pariah if they actually speak their mind? And so you’ve got a lot of students who are choosing to do other things, and not go into the sciences.

    That hits home. I started my career in software engineering before I became an ID proponent. I’ve always had an interest in biology and teaching. I was considering pursuing them. But honestly I pretty much chickened out. Who wants to put up with that stress?

  18. 18
    DaveScot says:

    Timaeus

    Why don’t you did what I did before I wrote anything about China and google

    china religion

    then when you discover that China is still 80% or more Buddhist/Taoist then you can google

    buddhism evolution darwin

    I’m growing a little tired of people who question me and are too lazy to perform a small amount of research to discover that I’m correct. Don’t pull your foot out of your mouth too fast. You could cut yourself badly coming through the spots where ignorant hillbillies usually have missing teeth.

  19. 19
    Jack Krebs says:

    Interesting data, Dave, and at least that survey supports your statement. Also, other data from larrynormanfan supports the conclusion that we don’t do as bad on science tests as public opinion thinks we do.

    I also think (but I could be wrong) that some of these international comparisons are skewed because we educate everyone in the same public education system, and most other countries have a tiered system where students are segregated by ability at about high school age. (That wouldn’t skew 4th and 8th grade data, though.)

    One possible explanation for the data in Dave’s chart is that the reason we don’t get questions right about evolution and the Big Bang is because teachers shy away from teaching those subjects due to public pressure.

  20. 20
    DaveScot says:

    Patrick

    The scientific literacy of American 15 year-olds compared to non-Americans is meaningless. American primary education has much less focus on math & science than industrialized Europe or Asia and much more focus on team sports. There are only so many hours in a day and they must be prioritized. That said, accelerated math & science programs are available as electives to any American high school student who has the ability & desire to undertake them. Most of those who have high math & science aptitude and are college bound for science or engineering degrees are in the accelerated programs. Those who want to be entrepreneurs or businessmen, tradesmen, liberal arts majors, and things of that nature don’t sign up for physics and calculus classes in high school. And why should they – they’ll never have any practical need for it. Better to spend any extra time they have on the athletic field where they learn about discipline and teamwork and fitness which will help them succeed in their chosen path through life.

    Furthermore, we have enormous recruiting abilities when it comes to having the best & brightest from around the world choosing to live in America if they can. You don’t hear about many American citizens breaking down the doors to become citizens of Europe or Asia but there’s no shortage of Europeans and Asians who breaking down our doors to become US citizens. If fewer natural born Americans want to become scientists and engineers it’s not a problem as there’s no shortage of science and engineering talent from around the world that will jump at the chance to become American scientists and engineers.

    And, by the way, if Sylvia was in the United States legally to begin with there would have been no problem with her returning. Undoubtedly she was working here with no legal right to be working here. Canadians can’t just walk across the border and legally work here forever. You might think they can but they can’t and if they get caught they get the boot. There’s probably just more scrutiny on border crossings these days which is why she got busted now and never had in the past. American employers who can show they can’t fill a job because of a lack of qualified candidates in the US get a pass to import qualified candidates from abroad. There’s no shortage of American web developers. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one.

    As long as we’re trading anecdotes I’ll give you one of mine. I happen to have a 15 year-old who’s in accelerated math & science at our public high school. She gets exceedingly good grades but I happened to ask if her test scores are the highest in her class. She said “No dad, a few students beat me.” I said “Why is that?” She said “Because I’m competing with Asians. Those people are inhumanly smart. All they do is study, study, study and I have a life outside science & math. You liked seeing me play on the team that won the Texas state soccer championship didn’t you? That takes a lot of work too and I can’t very well give up sleep to be the very best at everything.” I conceded the point to her. Unlike the Patriots her team had a perfect season last year. 20 games and not a single defeat right up through winning the state championship and I loved seeing every last one of those games.

  21. 21
    bFast says:

    Upright BiPed (4) Thanks for the link. It really deserves its own thread. ‘Seems that the cambrian explosion has been reduced to 2-3 million years. Further, I like that they discuss precambrian fossils.

  22. 22
    DaveScot says:

    bFast

    Et tu, Brutus?

    There have been a number of articles on UD about what’s been found in the abundant Chinese cambrian and pre-cambrian fossil beds. Here’s a link to find them:

    China, Darwin, and Cambrian

    or try this one which is a bit more focused

    Chengjiang site:uncommondescent.com

  23. 23
    jerry says:

    Just to show how much a science degree is worth, my son in law has a Ph.D. in physics and when he graduated in the mid 90’s the best job he could find in his field paid $18,000 a year. There was a glut of Ph.D.’s in science. After a year he almost tripled his salary by going into industry helping to design children’s toys such as “Speak and Spell.” He then went into a defense industry job that paid much more but essentially he is not using his physics degree so much as his programming skills.

    Given, these factors it is not hard to understand why many do not consider science. It just doesn’t pay much. I was a mathematics major in college but saw only boring low paying jobs for my math skills and decided to go into business instead where salaries were higher and there were more interesting jobs.

    I also think we should separate science from other technical fields such as engineering and computers. Pure science just does not pay the rent as well as the other areas. When I was at the Stanford Business School there was about a third of the class who had come from some form of technical area and science and were trying to get out of it for higher paying and more interesting jobs that a MBA provided.

    This does not mean that I think science uninteresting. I often thought what I would do if I had to do it all over. For many years I thought I should have majored in economics but now I wish I had majored in biology since it turned out to be the most fascinating of the sciences to me. But I still do not know how much it pays compared to other fields. Paying the bills for your family is important.

  24. 24
    Patrick says:

    American primary education has much less focus on math & science than industrialized Europe or Asia and much more focus on team sports. There are only so many hours in a day and they must be prioritized. That said, accelerated math & science programs are available as electives to any American high school student who has the ability & desire to undertake them.

    That was another aspect I was meaning to discuss. For those with motivation, there’s also the issue of choosing the focus. It may simply be that the youth of today are not as interested in science and engineering. I’ve read that during the 80s (or was it the 70s?) there was a shift toward law degrees and then during the 90s a shift toward business degrees. I’m not sure what the current trend is.

  25. 25
    DaveScot says:

    jerry

    I became a senior engineer at Dell Computer with no degree at all and had incentive compensation on the order of major league basketball players. However, I hit a glass ceiling. If I’d an MBA I could have gone up to senior vice president and those guys got incentive pay on the order of Michael Jordan.

    Patrick

    The road is usually easier with a degree. When I was going to college in the early 1980’s I was supplementing my GI Bill college assistance by moonlighting part time as an electronic technician. When I was ready to enter Cal State Fullerton as a junior with a computer science major I went looking for a job near the university. On a related note I was a computer hobbyist and had learned far more computer science on my own than in college at that point. Anyhow, I interviewed for a job as an engineering technician at place that was designing and manufacturing portable computers. They were so impressed at the interview they offered me a full time job at a salary far above the average for freshly minted BSCS graduates. I couldn’t work full time and go to school full time so I abandoned college to accept the job. It worked out pretty well but if I had it to do over again in the 20-20 clarity of hindsight I’d have gotten myself an MBA and then went to work as computer design engineer. I couldn’t have NOT gotten into computer engineering as that was a passion pursuit for many years. Having an MBA however would have allowed me to sail straight into upper level engineering management when I finally got sick to death of being chained to a lab bench slaving over hot oscilloscopes, in-circuit emulators, and digital logic analyzers.

  26. 26
    DaveScot says:

    Jack

    One possible explanation for the data in Dave’s chart is that the reason we don’t get questions right about evolution and the Big Bang is because teachers shy away from teaching those subjects due to public pressure.

    Another explanation might be that the U.S. has a larger percentage of rebels and cowboys who aren’t afraid of telling self-annointed scientific “authorities” to take a long walk on a short pier and take their heathen dogma about the universe and our place in it with them. 🙂

  27. 27
    DaveScot says:

    jerry

    A physics PhD is great credential for a wide range of science and engineering jobs. After all, everything in science and engineering boils down to physics. If you can get a physics PhD then you’re demonstrably one very smart cookie who is likely able to quickly learn anything else on a need-to-know basis. The problem is unless you’re applying for a job in rocketry or particle accelerators you’re going to be getting entry level pay with a physics PhD until you can demonstrate some expertise in any particular science or engineering work that requires more specific knowledge than just physics.

  28. 28
    Mapou says:

    DaveScot: Another explanation might be that the U.S. has a larger percentage of rebels and cowboys who aren’t afraid of telling self-annointed scientific “authorities” to take a long walk on a short pier and take their heathen dogma about the universe and our place in it with them.

    LOL. You crack me up, man. But seriously, there’s nothing like a bunch of rebels and renegades to keep self-appointed authorities on their toes. So watch out, Darwinistas. Natural selection has a tendency to breed badass rebels.

  29. 29
    FtK says:

    Ditto, Mapou. Good one, Dave! Go get ’em, rebel cowboy!!!

  30. 30
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Calling all Berlinski fans!
    Calling all Berlinski fans!

    The Devil’s Delusion by David Berlinski. A new book.

    http://www.amazon.com/Devils-D.....0307396266

  31. 31
    jerry says:

    We can define a new shortest unit of time as that between the moment the Berlinski book is available for sale and the first 1 star review appears on the Amazon website.

  32. 32
    Timaeus says:

    DaveScot:

    Re #19:

    No need to bristle. I posed the material about current religion in China as a question, not as a declarative statement, and I’m quite delighted by the fact (if it is a fact, which you still haven’t shown me by reference to a specific reliable source) that Buddhism and Taoism are alive and kicking despite Communist tyranny.

    As for the relations of Eastern religion and evolutionary theory, I based my remarks on a certain degree of familiarity with the classical versions of the Eastern religions. I did my Ph.D. minor comprehensive exams in Eastern philosophy, in the 5th-ranked religion department in North America, and I have a shelf full of scholarly books by world-class authorities on Eastern religion. The internet is so full of unrefereed articles and false “information” about religion written by undergraduate students, cranks, hobbyists, and other people who don’t know what they are talking about (e.g., Wikipedia), that I rarely rely on the internet as a major source for anything I write or say, especially if I already have independent knowledge of the subject.

    I have no doubt that many modern writers have suggested that Buddhism is compatible with evolution, and it may well be. However, as one who has studied primary texts in Buddhism and other Eastern traditions, I advise you to take such notions as speculative, and check them against primary sources and leading works of scholarship.

    Try reading Edward Conze’s classic study on Buddhism. You won’t find any discussion of evolution. And have a look at the Pali Dhammapada, or the Chinese Platform Sutra, two foundational texts of Buddhism. Not much of evolution or biology of any kind there. This is not surprising, as Buddhism, like all the religions originating in India, is ahistorical in orientation. It is less concerned with where we came from than with where we are going (spiritually speaking). Its emphasis, to put it in Western terms, is soteriological rather than historical or cosmological.

    As for Taoism, I’d be glad to be enlightened. If you know one or two primary Taoist texts from Classical China, or one or two books written by scholars of Taoism, which show that Taoist cosmology is even compatible with Darwinian evolution (let alone ‘fits in very well’ with it, to use your phrasing), I’d like to know what they are. Generally speaking, I prefer to check the sources myself, rather than accept an internet writer’s interpretation of them, as relayed through a third party (even an intelligent third party such as yourself).

    I’m also of an older school of thought regarding the relation between writer and reader. In the intellectual tradition I was raised, it is expected that writers will give sources for their claims, and not, when challenged on them, ask readers to go do research to confirm them, as if it is the reader’s fault, not the writer’s, that no sources have been provided. So when someone makes a large and sweeping statement in my field of graduate study, i.e., religion, I’m accustomed to asking the person who made the statement to document it, not to being told I am lazy because I haven’t gone out to dig up the supporting evidence that the writer should have himself provided.

  33. 33
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Berlinski, has no known religious motivations for critiquing Darwinian Evolution. He is also blessed with the ability to deflate
    Darwinist claims in a way that makes Dennett and Dawkins look very silly.

    I suggest, to anyone interested in the ID controversy, that they read his articles on the Discovery Institute Website.

    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....Posts=true

  34. 34
    Frost122585 says:

    IMOP, all of this “education is substandard” stuff is just an echo from the teacher’s unions that want more power and funds and a higher salery and fear the right wing of the country which amount to the largest part of the ID movement advocates.

    You often see and hear people saying things like “look at all these Chinese people and Indians that come here and are smarter and better educated than our kids”

    -but the fact that most people miss is that those foreigners that come to the US to work in most cases are not representative of the average citizen of their home land but are in fact the best that their country has to offer.

    Most Chinese people have no education at all as poverty is widespread due largly to their communist government-

    People come to this country because we have jobs- and we have jobs because we are free and capitalistic (well more so then any other country that comes to mind).

    The lesson we need to learn is that freedom and competition breed the best results possible—whether it’s into in an economy or an education system- It is about time that the intellectually competitive theory of ID be free to be taught in schools. Until then we will have to settle for a less intellectually robust science curriculum at the cost of the unholy yet accepted radical religion of politics and its brain child PC.

  35. 35
    Aaron says:

    DaveScot,

    Thanks for addressing my response to your post about the pro ID statement John Sidney McCain made in 2005. I’d be happy to know my fears that the US is falling behind other countries in science and technology are unfounded. The arguments you made in response to my comments rely heavily on certain information which I’m sure you sought out before replying. To put my mind at ease I hope you could provide me where you found this information so that I can know your arguments are logically sound.

    “Without question America’s output in science and engineering leads the world. Not just a little but a lot. We don’t steal nuclear technology secrets from China, they steal ours. We don’t use European GPS satellites for navigation, they use ours.”

    To know this argument to be sound I will have to know what percentage of working nuclear scientists and satellite and GSP software engineers in the US were born and educated in the US and not the products of foreign education systems. The same goes for the men and women who worked on the technologies you mentioned in the comment you left to mine: aircraft, communications, military hardware, medical technologies, particle accelerators, etc.

    “We have…more Nobel prizes…”
    Again your argument relies on the percentage of Nobel prize winners in science categories were brought up in the American education system. Could you please provide that information?

    I’m sure you understand the reliance your arguments have on these statistics and I trust your intellictual honesty, therefore, I’m sure you had this information on hand when you made those claims and so I assume it wouldn’t be much of a bother for you to provide sources.

    “Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”

    I don’t smoke.

    Finally, could you please explain the following which IS based on a National Science Board report in 2004:

    In 2000, 38% of U.S. jobs requiring a PhD in science or technology were filled by people who were born abroad, up from 24% in 1990, according to the NSB. Similarly, doctoral positions at the nation’s leading universities are often filled with foreign students.

    http://www.businessweek.com/te....._tc166.htm

  36. 36
    jerry says:

    Aaron,

    you said

    “In 2000, 38% of U.S. jobs requiring a PhD in science or technology were filled by people who were born abroad, up from 24% in 1990”

    Read the comment I made about my son in law. Ph.D. positions don’t pay as well as most private sector jobs. But they pay better than what foreign students can get at home so they come here. Meanwhile my son in law designed children’s toys which paid a lot more than any offers he had to use his Ph.D. degree.

    Also Ph.D’s do not have much prestige in this country while in many foreign countries educational success is at the top of the social scale. I cannot tell you the number of Ph.D’s I have met who do not want to be called Doctor.

  37. 37
    FtK says:

    Probably a stupid question, but if it’s true that other countries better educate their science students, why are they then flocking to the US? If the US is so backwards in science, technology, and output, why don’t they stay in their own countries? Money? We must have something to offer in the field of science if we attract those from around the world.

  38. 38
    FtK says:

    Thanks, Jerry. You answered my question as I was posting it.

  39. 39
    leo says:

    I think it is also worth noting that the majority of people working in the sciences, and therefore winning all the Nobel Prizes that you so covet (really a terrible gauge of the scientific literacy of a country) are the ones who have looked at the data and fall overwhelmingly on the side of evolution. That is apart form the many foreign born scientists who work in the US due to the huge amount of funding and resources, like our good friend Steve Pinker.

  40. 40
    larrynormanfan says:

    jerry, I don’t know what field your son was in, but physics is among the hardest in science to find a job. The biological sciences, where the action is, is much, much different.

  41. 41
    larrynormanfan says:

    FtK, jerry is right about the prestige issue. you also have to distinguish between undergraduate and graduate schools. You can get a superb undergraduate science education throughout the world, but most of the best science Ph.D. programs are in the States. Hence the problem of the foreign graduate student TA’ing in halting English to a group of American undergraduates.

  42. 42
    PannenbergOmega says:

    I agree with Frost, let’s allow the two theories to compete. That would include ‘teaching the controversy’ in public schools.

    It should be mentioned that there are many highly intelligent people (Denton, Schutzenberger, Von Neumannm, Polanyi, Godel) that thought Darwinian Evolution was absolutley rediculous. These people should be mentioned, because they are a far cry from Biblical Fundamentalists. Rather than bringing religion into the classroom, just mention the fact, that alot of legit scientists and mathimiticians sneer (or sneered) at Darwin’s theory.

  43. 43
    DaveScot says:

    Aaron

    Since you were the first to make an unsubstantiated claim I think it’s only fair that you be the first to spend time backing it up.

    You stated that you wouldn’t vote for McCain because he supports teaching ID in public schools and that U.S. students were already falling behing the world in science. I take it you meant to imply that teaching ID would worsen the scientific literacy of high school students exposed to it.

    What is the basis of your implied claim that teaching ID in a public school would cause science students to perform more poorly?

    Keep in mind correlation is not causation so make sure the linkage is direct between exposure to ID and declining scientific acumen. Good luck.

    I’m quite certain you’re a troll but in all honesty I’m not so certain that no controlled study of ID exposure and scientific literacy has been done so I’m willing to give you a chance to show you didn’t make an unsubstantiated claim based on your personal bias and agenda. What I’m looking for from you is a controlled study where, all other variables being controlled as well as possible, one group of HS biology students was taught ID and the other not which was then followed up by testing both groups for general scientific literacy. Again, good luck.

  44. 44
    DaveScot says:

    Timeaus

    How about if I defer to your expertise and ask you to explain to me how Darwinian evolution is at odds with Buddhist and Taoist philosophies.

    I think we can probably agree that it’s at odds with Christian beliefs, particularly beliefs in biblical inerrancy and the 7-day account of creation in Genesis and backed up by the large number of practicing Christians who object to it being taught as scientific fact. Are there parallels in Buddhism – i.e. revealed religious accounts in opposition to Darwin and practicing Buddhists who object to the Darwinian account?

    My source for number of Buddhists and Taoists in China was wikipedia article Religion in China and it provides links to sources. I won’t belabor the quality of those links which is easily questionable. China doesn’t keep statistics on religious practices so there’s probably no authoritative source to back up the numbers wiki gives. The CIA World Factbook doesn’t supply any percentages, lists Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity in declining order and does give a 3-4% estimate for Christians in China. It also notes that atheism is the “official” religion of China. Darwinian evolution fits quite well with atheism so my point that the Chinese are disinclined to dispute Darwin, even though they are free to do so, still stands.

  45. 45
    GilDodgen says:

    Jack:

    One possible explanation for the data in Dave’s chart is that the reason we don’t get questions right about evolution and the Big Bang is because teachers shy away from teaching those subjects due to public pressure.

    DaveScot’s reply:

    Another explanation might be that the U.S. has a larger percentage of rebels and cowboys who aren’t afraid of telling self-anointed scientific “authorities” to take a long walk on a short pier and take their heathen dogma about the universe and our place in it with them.

    This is the primary thing I like about you Dave. You tell it like it is, and don’t care what others think. This is particularly interesting since it is obvious that you have no religious agenda — just following the evidence where it leads.

    Gil

  46. 46
    jerry says:

    leo,

    You have used the argument from authority to back acceptance of Darwinian processes in evolution. That means you bow to the experts even if you do not know what the experts actually know.

    Yet when the experts are questioned they frequently do the same thing. They often bow to other experts and never themselves present relevant empirical support.

    There are many books written by the experts. I suggest you go to any of them and bring their arguments here for us to discuss. it shouldn’t be hard and then you won’t have to rely on the argument from authority which is by the way is a fallacy.

    Also an expert on evolutionary biology named Allan MacNeill from Cornell has said that Darwinian processes are nonsense. He has said it to us here on this blog. So what are we to think when experts disagree.

  47. 47
    bFast says:

    PannenbergOmega, thanks for the list of non-Darwinian thinkers. I looked up Von Neumann, and found interesting stuff about his attempts to create artificial life, but I found no support for your position that he questioned Darwinism. The others clearly have.

    I think that Denton, raised in a Christian home and clearly on a pursuit to integrate biology and his faith, is hardly a prime example of one who has no religious motives. That said, I find Denton to be a very honest, searching individual.

  48. 48
    Mapou says:

    bFast: I looked up Von Neumann, and found interesting stuff about his attempts to create artificial life, but I found no support for your position that he questioned Darwinism.

    I have heard only Berlinski mention in one of those YouTube videos that Von Neumann laughed at the idea of Darwinian evolution. Not that I doubt that it’s true but I searched everywhere and could not find a single quote or article to corroborate Berlinski’s claim. It’s kinda strange.

  49. 49
    DrDan says:

    In Post 36, Aaron asks the question:

    “To know this argument to be sound I will have to know what percentage of working nuclear scientists and satellite and GSP software engineers in the US were born and educated in the US and not the products of foreign education systems”

    I can tell you from personal experience. I work at a large nuclear weapons lab. Very few of the nuclear scientists are foreign born simply because it is very difficult to obtain the security clearance required to do their job if they are foreign born. Also, most of the ones that were foreign born, actually got their PhD’s in this country. Same goes for other defense related tech jobs like GPS software engineers. The high school’s in this country do not compare well with the high school’s in some other countries for the many of the reasons already mentioned: many countries have a “tiered” system and their is a stronger tendency in this country to focus on breadth early on rather than depth. However, the U.S. colleges and universities are the best in the world.

  50. 50
    DrDan says:

    I want to ask a question directly related to this post that I don’t think has been addressed. Just what kind of questions are typically asked on these international surveys? My experience is that they rely on facts and very little critical thinking. For example, the question “what percentage of the air is nitrogen” is meaningless. Its just a number. It may be an important number in the right context, but as a science question, on a standardized test, it means nothing. However, the question ” how would the boiling point, with all other things being equal, change if the percentage of oxygen was doubled? ” is more meaningful. However, most science tests focus on facts, which admitidly, Americans would probably do worse on than Asians.

  51. 51
    Timaeus says:

    DaveScot:

    I never disputed the notion that atheists in China would be well-disposed towards evolution. I was only wondering how many living Buddhists and Taoists there are in China these days. If they represent only a very small percentage of the population, it is doubtful that their beliefs, however compatible with evolution, would be the main cause of the overall acceptance of evolution in China.

    The CIA factbook is presumably a reliable source. Wikipedia is not (though sometimes it links to sources which are). In any case, I am no expert on the demography of religion, so I was merely asking the question whether Buddhism and Taoism are still powerful forces shaping the Chinese mind.

    As for your question, it’s not up to me to show how Darwinian evolution is at odds with Taoism or Buddhism. I’m not the one who made any claim. It’s up to your sources — who affirmed that Darwinism ‘fit quite well’ with Buddhism and Taoism — to explain why they affirm that. My question to the writers of your sources would be: what specific doctrines of Taoism and Buddhism are a good fit for, not “evolution”, in some broad general sense, but Darwinian evolution specifically? If your sources don’t specify, then my guess is that they are merely repeating hearsay, or that they are speaking “off the cuff”. If they know what they are talking about, they will be able to cite texts and explain doctrines.

    “Evolution” in the broadest sense isn’t necessarily incompatible with Christian belief. It may be incompatible with certain forms of Protestantism which insist on Biblical literalism, but those forms, while they get lots of press, aren’t representative of most of Christianity. It’s possible to be Christian and not take Genesis as a scientific or historical account. On the other hand, evolution in the narrow sense of Darwinian evolution is incompatible with any form of Christianity, to the extent that it denies any role at all for a divine mind in the origin of the natural world. For the same reason, rigorous Darwinism would be incompatible with Judaism, Islam, and most schools of Hinduism.

    Buddhism and Taoism have no concept of “God” as we know it, so they don’t have that barrier to Darwinian evolution (which is probably the point your sources are keying in on), but they have other barriers. For one thing, the Taoist cosmology is alien to the Western, atomistic one upon which Darwinism is built. Buddhism, on the other hand, MIGHT be able to be twigged in a Darwinian direction; Buddhists, Indian Buddhists anyway, could conceivably allow that the body, and even most aspects of what we call the mind, were evolved via blind mechanical processes; however, it would be hard to imagine how to relate Darwinism, for which biological survival is the ultimate good, to the Buddhist goal of Nirvana, which affirms the joy and bliss of release from the bonds of the organic. Thus, I’d say that anyone who believes that Buddhism and Darwinian evolution go together has to prove it, with some detailed discussion.

    Finally, whatever the truth about “Buddhist Darwinian biology”, we can say with certainty that no Buddhist would support a Darwinian system of ethics!

    Now, if y’all will excuse me, I have to check to see if the moonshine is ready. We’re havin’ an old-time hoedown tonight, up in them thar hills, and cousin Jethro sure does like his moonshine with his fiddle music!

    Cousin Jed.

  52. 52
    gpuccio says:

    Timaeus:

    I completely agree with your post. In brief, my simple idea is that darwinian evolution, in its mechanical and purely “naturalistic” approach, is vastly incompatible with any spiritual view of reality, of any kind. The only general view of reality compatible with, and supported by, darwinian paradigm is strict materialism.

  53. 53
    DaveScot says:

    Timaeus

    I already gave you the means to discover the sources I used to determine that Buddhism is not incompatible with Darwinism. Google

    buddhism evolution darwin

    The second hit, for example, is

    http://www.lakehouse.lk/budusa.....Budu14.pdf

    Buddhism and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
    by D. Amarasiri Weeraratne

    Where he goes into much detail about why Darwinism fits within the Buddhist philosophy. If you have any disagreements you should take them up with Weeratne, not me. I’m pretty far removed from being an expert on Buddhist philosophy so I must rely, rather uncritically as it doesn’t hold much interest for me, on the expert opinion of others.

    So again, if you think that Darwinism is not compatible with Buddhism, or for that matter any other philosophy embraced by a majority of Chinese, then please feel free to say why and if I find your argument compelling I’ll gladly retract my assertion that Darwinism is compatible with predominant philosophical beliefs in China whether that be Buddhism, Taoism, atheism, or whatever.

  54. 54
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Hi bFast and Mapou,

    I read in Nature’s Destiny that Denton was an Agnostic. That the Designer of life could be the Hebrew God or just as likely the Greek World-Soul. Dr. Dembski takes the same position, when he says that ID can appeal to Platonists, Deists, Classical Unitarians, Jungians, Stoics, Emersonian Trascendentalists…

    Here is some hard data, that Denton is an Agnostic.
    http://www.researchintelligent.....ael_Denton

    I seem to remember Von Neummann being mentioned in Berlinski’s THE ADVENT OF THE ALGORITHM: THE IDEA THAT RULE’S THE WORLD.

    Also, I should have included Dave Scot among those notable skeptics of Darwinian evolution. Skeptics

  55. 55
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Those might not be the exact groups, Dr. Dembski listed. But you know what I mean. Anyone who see’s purpose in the cosmos is a potential friend to ID.

  56. 56
    DaveScot says:

    DrDan

    re comment #50

    Exactly right. I’d written a rather detailed response to Aaron describing how the GPS system is defense related and that defense related technology workers must have a security clearance and FBI background check that is difficult for foreign born and foreign educated workers to obtain. I had a secret clearance in the past and GilDodgen (another UD author) I presume has one now. But I thought that would lead to further demands for proof of the security clearance claims which I didn’t feel like searching for so I didn’t post the comment and instead decided to make him do the legwork by asking how he arrived at the claim that exposure to ID in a high school biology class leads to a reduction in general scientific literacy. That’ll stop him cold without burdening me any further as I’m fairly confident there’s been no controlled study of ID exposure’s effect on scientific literacy and thus Aaron’s claim is without substance.

  57. 57
    leo says:

    jerry,

    The point of my post was not to back one side or the other, but merely to point out that, for the most part, it is those who believe in a Darwinian based evolution, and not those who express disbelief, that are responsible for the scientific output and the Nobel Prizes. And I think this point directly contradicts the main thrust of this thread, being DaveScot’s statement that:

    Disbelief in Darwinian evolution, if anything, leads to greater technological achievements not lesser.

    This has nothing to do with an argument for authority. Though I certainly admit that I relay on the expertise of others when my knowledge on a particular subject is scant. For instance, I am a biologist and have taken only introductory astronomy and physics courses, and any little philosophy that I my pretend to know is self taught, and my background in religious matters is nil. Therefore, in a discussion of those issues I feel no shame in listening and giving greater credence to those whose knowledge in such matters outweighs my own.

    Now, of course there are multiple experts in every field and those experts disagree in every field. I suggest, that if this disagreement occurs on a matter which you feel strongly about or have a great interest in, that you study up independently and with respect for all points of view (at least to start with) and make up your own mind.

  58. 58
    bFast says:

    PannenbergOmega, If I recall I got my insight into Denton’s spiritual journey in his article in the book “Uncommon Dissent”. In that text you clearly see in him a yearning to validate Christianity.

  59. 59
    Aaron says:

    DaveScot,

    I haven’t noticed too many bloggers comment in his their own blog posts, let alone responding this often and quickly. All the attention given to my comments is starting to make me feel like a celebrity…lol.

    You said:
    “…in all honesty I’m not so certain that no controlled study of ID exposure and scientific literacy has been done…”

    Contrary to the statement’s actual meaning, I assume you meant to say you don’t believe a controlled study of ID exposure and scientific literacy has been done. I’ve never heard of such a study so I make the same assumption but I think both you and I would find such a study interesting although difficult as there are so many variables to control. Regardless of whether or not such a study exists my claim has base in the how invoking an supernatural causal agent puts a limit on the discoveries made by even the greatest minds in history. In an article called “The Perimeter of Ignorance” (http://research.amnh.org/~tyso.....orance.php) Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson cites a few examples. One such example which I find to be the most pertinent to our discussion is that of Sir Isaac Newton. Tyson writes:

    “Newton’s law of gravity enables you to calculate the force of attraction between any two objects. If you introduce a third object, then each one attracts the other two, and the orbits they trace become much harder to compute. Add another object, and another, and another, and soon you have the planets in our solar system. Earth and the Sun pull on each other, but Jupiter also pulls on Earth, Saturn pulls on Earth, Mars pulls on Earth, Jupiter pulls on Saturn, Saturn pulls on Mars, and on and on.

    Newton feared that all this pulling would render the orbits in the solar system unstable. His equations indicated that the planets should long ago have either fallen into the Sun or flown the coop-leaving the Sun, in either case, devoid of planets. Yet the solar system, as well as the larger cosmos, appeared to be the very model of order and durability. So Newton, in his greatest work, the Principia, concludes that God must occasionally step in and make things right:

    ‘The six primary Planets are revolved about the Sun, in circles concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. . . . But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions. . . . This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.’
    Looking at the last sentence of the Newton quote we can see he invoked the same intelligent and powerful Being at the limit of his understanding that is invoked by ID proponents at theirs. Was Newton limited in any way from continuing his explanations of the orbits in the solar system? The next step in doing so was taken by LaPlace a century later by developing perturbation theory which Newton could have easily done if he hadn’t thought the explanation had reached its end by attributed the stability of the solar system to the intervention of an intelligent designer.
    Based on this example and others cited in Dr. Tyson’s presentation (plus even more throughout history not cited here) we can see explanations that invoke an intelligent designer have been merely placeholders used until somebody comes along and makes a new discovery that gives a natural explanation. If our students are taught to invoke an intelligent designer as adults they’ll continue to do so which will give their foreign competition the chance to make the next discovery.

    I’m having fun with this discussion and look forward to continuing it.

  60. 60
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Hi bFast, you are no doubt right. I have yet to get around to reading Uncommon Dissent. Please pardon, my know-it-allness.

    Is Denton still a Christian?

  61. 61
    StephenB says:

    Dave: Rather than write ten pages of insufferable prose, I will provide the bottom line:

    Darwinism and Buddhism are compatible in the sense that they agree on those things which each thinks ought to be denied, and they are incompatible in the sense that they disagree on the things which each thinks ought to be affirmed.

  62. 62
    DaveScot says:

    Aaaron

    Thanks for making an excellent point about why ID should be taught in HS science classes.

    You wrote:

    Regardless of whether or not such a study exists my claim has base in the how invoking an supernatural causal agent puts a limit on the discoveries made by even the greatest minds in history.

    ID makes no claim that the causal agency of organic evolution is supernatural. It only makes the claim that the agency is intelligent – capable of forming abstract thoughts and then manipulating matter to turn thought into reality. Humans have this ability (genetic engineering) and I trust neither you nor I regard humans as supernatural intelligent agents.

    You thus make a strawman definition of ID then use that as proof of your claim. If ID was taught in HS biology there wouldn’t be this commonly held strawman definition of it where a supernatural entity is required by it. You’re living proof of the need to teach both sides so that the controversy may be properly understood.

    I’d dispute your claim that belief in the supernatural is an impediment to science but there’s no need as the presumption that ID requires supernatural agency is fallacious to begin with but I’ll make a brief pass at it nonetheless. Science is the logical extension of the religious belief that a supernatural intelligence created an ordered universe that can be comprehended and understood by rational man who was gifted with reason in order that he may understand it. If the universe is just a big accident we shouldn’t expect it to have rhyme and reason behind it. Yet we do have that expectation and it’s a religious expectation as much as or more than any other kind of expectation. It is no impediment to methodological naturalism but rather an inspiration that methodological naturalism leads to understanding the detailed working of God’s creation.

    I don’t know about other authors here but the usual intent of my articles is to be a springboard for spontaneous commentary in something that holds interest for me.

  63. 63
    gpuccio says:

    Why not assume, for instance, that intelligence is “supernatural”? After all, nobody has ever defined in an ultimate way what is “natural” and what isn’t.

    That would leave darwinists in dire difficulties: if they want to stay natural, and be consistent with their theory, they should admit that they are not intelligent. (probably true, but difficult for anybody to admit!).

    After all, in love and science wars everything is fair… 🙂

  64. 64
    StephenB says:

    —–gpuccio: “Why not assume, for instance, that intelligence is “supernatural”? After all, nobody has ever defined in an ultimate way what is “natural” and what isn’t.

    —-“That would leave darwinists in dire difficulties: if they want to stay natural, and be consistent with their theory, they should admit that they are not intelligent. (probably tru, but difficult for anybody to admit).”

    Although your tongue is halfway in your cheek, there is something very useful in this idea, as you have obviously figured out. It is remarkable how often Darwinists will suggest that intellectual activity is a natural process because it occurs “in nature.”

    When you think about it, the Darwinist’s most potent weapon is the calculated misuse of the language and the perceived right to use undefined words at exactly those times when precision is most needed.

  65. 65
    StephenB says:

    —–Aaron: “Based on this example and others cited in Dr. Tyson’s presentation (plus even more throughout history not cited here) we can see explanations that invoke an intelligent designer have been merely placeholders used until somebody comes along and makes a new discovery that gives a natural explanation. If our students are taught to invoke an intelligent designer as adults they’ll continue to do so which will give their foreign competition the chance to make the next discovery.”

    Aaron, forgive me for pling on, but Dave is right about the importance of learning the ins and outs of ID. If you were acquainted with ID methodology, you would know that the explanatory filter can produce false negatives (failing to detect design when it is there) but does not produce false positives (detecting design when it isn’t there). You are assuming that the explanatory produces false positives. It doesn’t. If that were the case, ID would be just another “God of the gaps” argument. It isn’t.

  66. 66
    bFast says:

    PannenbergOmega, “Is Denton still a Christian?”

    I really don’t know if he considers himself Christian or not. What is clear from his writings, however, is that he has a bent towards ID with in anterest in finding the faith of his fathers to be valid.

    I would say that he is less “pure” than the guy who discussed his experience here a few months ago. He was an athiest through grad school, but became convinced that there is a designer, though he has no sense of who that designer is, while doing his Ph.D. thesis. This fellow, rather than presenting a hope of finding ID, presents a hope and expectation of not finding it. Such a story is much more compelling to those of us who question a person’s religious bias.

  67. 67
    Parmenides says:

    StephenB, Darwinist use of language is a quagmire of vague, equivocal, ill defined and twisted terms. They really have no definition of basic terms like science, natural physical laws, reason etc. Anthony Flew is right in pointing out that many questions they are dicussing are more questions of philosophy than science and for this they have little background or training. One of my favorite aphorisms is: “The mark of an educated person is to know what they are doing when they are doing it.”(Shih Tzu).

  68. 68
    tribune7 says:

    The stated reason is the United States is falling behind other industrialized countries in science literacy.

    It’s how those awful creationist fundies run our public schools. It’s the only explanation right? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

  69. 69
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Writing as a person of faith, I must confess that I want ID to be true for religious and moral reasons. So it’s always encouraging to see someone who is not religious, criticizing Darwinian theory.

    As for where Darwininism leads…
    hell probably. I don’t think any of us can deny the horrific effects Darwininism has had on our culture and society.

  70. 70
    PannenbergOmega says:

    *Darwinism

    I should be wearing my reading glasses, when at the computer! 🙂

  71. 71
    jerry says:

    leo,

    Thank you for your comment and I apologize for misunderstanding the point you were trying to make. Since you are a biologist, I hope you stick around to give your two cents worth when we discuss biological issues.

    My re-evaluation of evolution started when I first read about Dean Kenyon being restricted by San Francisco State. I had never heard of him but read he was a well known biologist who was questioning Darwinian processes. Up to that point I never thought too much about the topic but having an expert censored caught by interest. I had generally accepted Darwin’s theory but in truth never read much about it. Natural selection seemed obvious to me and still does so I had no reason to doubt the theory. But then I found out there was more important things about the theory that were not so obvious.

    I am glad you have decided to comment at least a little and maybe you will add more as time goes on.
    We need more technical expertise in certain discussions.

  72. 72
    Timaeus says:

    DaveScot:

    The internet search string you give turns up 405,000 hits. I don’t suppose you read all 405,000 items, and I certainly don’t intend to. I didn’t ask how to locate thousands of sources; I asked you which specific sources your statement was based upon, and what specific ideas you took from those sources. Be that as it may, since you’ve provided one of those specific sources, I’ve looked at it.

    The article makes a good point about the parallel between Darwinian and Buddhist impermanence, though it doesn’t demonstrate that Buddhism ever systematically taught the impermanence of types, as opposed to individuals. The one example he gives of “evolutionary” change, from a single sutra (for which he uses the Pali term “sutta”), is vaguely compatible with the modern notion of “the origin of species”, but hardly counts as a clear formulation of it.

    This Buddhist also appears to be an apologist. He tries to give the impression that Christianity has been falsified by Darwinian evolution, whereas Buddhism remains standing. Of course, purely Darwinian evolution conflicts with Christianity, but purely Darwinian evolution hasn’t been proved; at best common descent has been proved, and the causes of the fundamental structural changes are as yet unknown. The parts of evolution that have been proved (microevolution, natural selection) can easily be made compatible with all but the most literalist Protestant forms of Christianity.

    Further, if pure Darwinism is true, not only Christianity but Buddhism as well is false. If Darwinism is true, there is no point or goal of life, not even of human life, beyond naked organic survival. But for the Buddhist there is such a goal — nirvana, which is the utter negation of organic survival.

    In the referenced sutra, he finds some analogies with Darwinism. But you can find them in Genesis, too: the water creatures precede the land creatures, as in Darwinism. Yet this Buddhist doesn’t conclude that Christianity is therefore compatible with Darwinism. No, Christianity is out for him. Then, after admitting that not everything in his sutra fits with Darwinism, he picks and chooses, leaving out the “superstitious” parts that don’t fit. If the sutra is sacred, what gives him the right to accept only those parts which fit with modern science, and reject the others? This is not devout textual interpretation; it’s apologetics aimed at showing how modern Buddhism can be. Liberal Christians do this all the time, with those elements of the Bible and the tradition that they don’t like.

    All that he really proves is that you can take isolated doctrines and themes out of Buddhism, and show their compatibility with certain aspects of Darwinian evolution. He doesn’t show that Buddhism overall is compatible with Darwinian evolution overall. In fact, Buddhism is compatible with Darwinism in that both are formally atheistic, and that both allow for an extended materialist interpretation of nature; however, Buddhism is incompatible with Darwin insofar as Darwinism is radically non-anthropocentric, and Buddhism is narcissistically anthropocentric. For Darwin, though man is the highest evolved creature so far, he was not planned or intended by nature, and he might become extinct, or superseded by something higher. For the Buddha, the most important thing in the universe is man — in particular, the liberation of man from pain and suffering, by attaining the state of nirvana.

    Evolutionary theory of some kind may be compatible with Buddhist notions of impermanence and materiality. A Buddhist might well accept that animal bodies have evolved, and that the spirit of man inhabits an animal frame that was developed by materialistic processes. This, by the way, is a permitted speculation within Catholicism. But just as Catholicism insists that the human spirit within the animal body has a supernatural origin and destiny, so the Buddhist insists that there is something within man, more subtle than either body or soul, which has a destiny of ultimate bliss. Man cannot be exhaustively explained by matter in motion.

    An orthodox Buddhist teacher, while accepting much of Darwin’s materialism as a good description of the phenomenal world, would regard Darwin himself as a spiritual ignoramus of the highest order, and would point to the evident suffering of Darwin’s soul (as witnessed in his letters) as evidence that Darwin did not understand what was ultimately real. The Buddhist writer of this article fails to mention this, which makes me think that he is more concerned to make Buddhism look good in the eyes of modern science, than to remain true to the essence of Buddhist teaching. But that’s not uncommon in just about every religious tradition these days.

    I don’t have time to keep taking apart weak articles, so that will have to do. For Taoism, I recommend giving the internet a pass, and going to a good university library and picking up some scholarly books on Taoism, then comparing Taoist cosmology with Darwinism. I think the difference will be evident.

    That’s all this hillbilly has to say on this topic.

    Yours,
    Buddha of the Ozarks.

  73. 73

    Greetings, D. Scot and friends of UD!

    One heck of a rountable here.

    Disbelief in Darwin might stimulate some scientific prowess, but it seems not for the Everyman. This is different from saying “for society as a whole”, which as D. Scot points out the US still has the nice lead in discovery. How mhy of those discoverers, though, have latched onto contrarian positions like ID? well….Hmmmmm.

    AS to the NEA and the American educrat establishment, from them you can demonstrate anything. But overall the consensus is that we spend the most on public education and usually get the least out of it. Certainly no study to date correlates teacher performance and student achievement aligned with certification and money.

    At the higher levels in science (ie–college, post graduate, doctorate) the mess hits the fan and we still lead the world for reasons that need not detain us for now….

    Unlike what Matt said, we are not coming off looking and smelling rosy here.

    The article below demonstrates other problems the US has compared to our Euro cousins. As far as sex issues, it might be that high abortion rates in those nations contribute to lower teen birthrates. Even so, his larger point is that the states point to more peaceable societies than the US. And those societies are indeed more SECULAR. Of course the Chinese live in relative peace too under duress of communism and so his input about handgun control and socialized healthcare might be a pitch for ideology. Of course Europe is a homogenous society and that might contribute to a more peaceful and common bond for citizenry. That is worth consideration. Also, it is probably also the case that while many Americans profess a generalized belief in God, this is not the same thing as being a believer in the full monty of Christianity and active in the faith. One person called this “provisionally atheistic”—they might believe in God but live their lives as if He is not present in life one way or another.

    But the main thing is that he charges that Faithful look inward and don’t care about their society as a whole. Europe DOES seem to have at least in economics a more communal atmosphere than the US.

    I know this is not true across the board with all believers, and don’t know this Martin guy or his full intentions here, but his main point even without some agenda on his own is that he feels that faith makes people turn inward to the point that they neglect higher social responsibilities. Of course I know this is an easy charge to make and in point of fact numerous of the faithful are positively engaged in making a better world. One supposes at this Foreman would just say why doesn’t God just make things right and why do we have to suffer, etc.

    Still, I looked up the stats on this and he seems right on the part about Europe and Japan overall. This is not to say they don’t have their own sets of problems. I’ve blogged before that Europe might be heading down a dark path of PC nanny-statism. Japan, I know little about. Certainly both Germany and Japan in their Imperial ages past were some of the most sadistic proprietors of death. But that was yesteryear.

    And of course I can attest that many people who’re professing Christians don’t show any extraordinary curiosity about science and do say some asinine and cockamamie things that they think are cute and clever but look stupid on the whole.

    I think the author might be British but not sure.

    COLUMN By MARTIN FOREMAN
    From God would be an atheist website…….
    First published Nov. 12, 2005

    Several weeks ago, a ground-breaking study on religious belief and social well-being was published in the Journal of Religion & Society. Comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand, author Gregory S Paul quietly demolished the myth that faith strengthens society.

    Drawing on a wide range of studies to cross-match faith – measured by belief in God and acceptance of evolution – with homicide and sexual behavior, Paul found that secular societies have lower rates of violence and teenage pregnancy than societies where many people profess belief in God.

    Top of the class, in both atheism and good behavior, come the Japanese. Over eighty percent accept evolution and fewer than ten percent are certain that God exists. Despite its size – over a hundred million people – Japan is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation.

    (Teenage pregnancy has less tragic consequences than violence but it is usually unwanted, and it is frequently associated with deprivation among both mothers and children. In general, it is a Bad Thing.)

    Next in line are the Norwegians, British, Germans and Dutch. At least sixty percent accept evolution as a fact and fewer than one in three are convinced that there is a deity. There is little teenage pregnancy , although the Brits, with over 40 pregnancies per 1,000 girls a year, do twice as badly as the others. Homicide rates are also low — around 1-2 victims per 100,000 people a year.

    At the other end of the scale comes America. Over 50 percent of Americans believe in God, and only 40 percent accept some form of evolution (many believe it had a helping hand from the Deity). The U.S. has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Japan.

    All this information points to a strong correlation between faith and antisocial behavior — a correlation so strong that there is good reason to suppose that religious belief does more harm than good.

    At first glance that is a preposterous suggestion, given that religions preach non-violence and sexual restraint. However, close inspection reveals a different story. Faith tends to weaken rather than strengthen people’s ability to participate in society. That makes it less likely they will respect social customs and laws.

    All believers learn that God holds them responsible for their actions. So far so good, but for many, belief absolves them of all other responsibilities. Consciously or subconsciously, those who are “born again” or “chosen” have diminished respect for others who do not share their sect or their faith. Convinced that only the Bible offers “truth”, they lose their intellectual curiosity and their ability to reason. Their priority becomes not the world they live in but themselves.

    The more people prioritize themselves rather than those around them, the weaker society becomes and the greater the likelihood of antisocial behavior. Hence gun laws which encourage Americans to see each other not as fellow human beings who deserve protection, but as potential aggressors who deserve to die. And hence a health care system which looks after the wealthy rather than the ill.

    As for sex… Faith encourages ignorance rather than responsible behavior. In other countries, sex education includes contraception, reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancies. Such an approach recognizes that young people have the right to make their own choices and helps them make decisions that benefit society as a whole. In America faith-driven abstinence programs deny them that right — “As a Christian I will only help you if you do what I say”. The result is soaring rates of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

    Abstinence programs rest on the same weak intellectual foundation as creationism and intelligent design. Faith discourages unprejudiced analysis. Reasoning is subverted to rationalization that supports rather than questions assumptions. The result is a self-contained system that maintains an internal logic, no matter how absurd to outside observers.

    The constitutional wall that theoretically separates church and state is irrelevant. Religion has overwhelmed the nation to permeate all public discussion. Look no further than Gary Bauer, a man who in any other Western nation would be dismissed as a fanatic and who in America is interviewed deferentially on prime time television.

    Despite all its fine words, religion has brought in its wake little more than violence, prejudice and sexual disease. True morality is found elsewhere. As UK Guardian columnist George Monbiot concluded in his review of Gregory Paul’s study, “if you want people to behave as Christians advocate, you should tell them that God does not exist.”

    I might express that another way. The flip side of Monbiot’s argument is that God would be an atheist…

    Martin Foreman is the author of “God would be an atheist,” a syndicated print column an d website.

  74. 74
    John says:

    Wakefield,

    Gregory Paul is neither a scientist, a statistician nor a sociologist. He is however a devout secular humanist with an axe to grind and select statistics to mash.

    A debunking of Gregory Paul.

  75. 75
    StephenB says:

    S. Wakefield Tolbert:

    Gregory Paul has been pushing his secularist agenda for years, and it is evident that he always stacks the deck when he does his research. He tries to pass himself off as a disinterested researcher, but he clearly has his own ax to grind, and oh how he grinds it. He writes about Christianity’s role in the rise of Hitler, slanders pope Pius XII, and regularly stumps for anti-religious causes. Most important, he has been debunked many times for his proclivity to draw his conclusions before the research begins.

    As someone once put it, “there are liars, damn liars, and then there are statisticians.” It is very easy to cherry pick data to produce a certain, very specific outcome. It is also easy for unscrupulous researchers to make things up. I don’t think Paul is above it. His so-called research is little more than anti-Christian bigotry masquerading as disinterested sociology. Frankly, I don’t understand why you would go with this guy and ignore George Gallup, the internationally respected researcher, who has already shown the positive effects of religion on society.

    Or, if you are more inclined to go with institutionally based researchers try this:

    From the Princeton Religion Research Center, we get the following conclusions about the close connection between religion and individual/ social health.

    1. Religious feelings have spurred much of the volunteerism in our nation. Members of a church or synagogue, as revealed in a Gallup Poll, tend to be much more involved in charitable activity than non-members.

    2. Seventy-four percent of adults say religion in their homes has strengthened family relationships, while 82 percent say that religion was important in their homes when they were growing up.

    3. Eight in ten Americans report that religious beliefs help them to respect and assist other people.

    4. While only 4 percent say their beliefs have little or no effect on their lives, 63 percent state that their beliefs KEEP THEM FROM DOING THINGS THEY KNOW THEY SHOULD NOT DO. (My emphasis)

    Again, from the report:

    “In sum, the religious liberty most Americans cherish and celebrate has enabled religion to flourish in many forms and to become a profound shaper of the American character.”

    By the way, whatever happened to the sacrosanct standard of appealing to “peer reviewed journals?”

    Bueller? Anyone? S. Wakefield Tolbert? Anyone?

  76. 76

    StephenB writes, in part:

    Frankly, I don’t understand why you would go with this guy and ignore George Gallup, the internationally respected researcher, who has already shown the positive effects of religion on society.

    Or, if you are more inclined to go with institutionally based researchers try this:

    From the Princeton Religion Research Center, we get the following conclusions about the close connection between religion and individual/ social health.

    I “went” with this guy for exactly the reason I had little knowledge about him but nevertheless this oft quoted study for some reason shows up again and again and again and again in numerous places–not just the Net. Whereas I’ve never heard of the Princeton study.

    The main point of Paul’s study seems relatively intact:

    If religion makes us better–why are the secularists living better lives with fewer social malaise and malignant welfare roles?

  77. 77
    PannenbergOmega says:

    “If religion makes us better–why are the secularists living better lives with fewer social malaise and malignant welfare roles?”

    What about all the unborn children whose lives are tragically snuffed out every year in this country?

    I highly doubt it is the religious believers. It is the result of a secular society, influenced by Darwinian nihilism.

  78. 78
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Darwinism has eroded the belief in the sanctity of human life. Noone can deny that.

    Where is Mike Huckabee? I’m sure he could express what I’m trying to say more articularly.

    Also, if you want to see where society is going to go, if the Darwinists get there way, read about Peter Singer. He is one scary dude.

  79. 79
    hrun0815 says:

    Darwinism has eroded the belief in the sanctity of human life. Noone can deny that.

    I don’t know if no one can deny that. Do you think you can show more actions against the ‘sanctity of human life’ occurred after Darwinism came about? For example were there more wars, more murders, less charity, more abuse than in the days prior to Darwin?

    I don’t think it can even be shown that Christians commit less crimes or have a lower divorce rate than atheists. In the same manner I doubt that it can be shown that the advent of Darwinism has ‘eroded the sanctity of human life’ by any reasonable metric.

  80. 80
    tribune7 says:

    If religion makes us better–why are the secularists living better lives with fewer social malaise and malignant welfare roles?

    I guess it really depends on where they are living. I mean the ones in North Korea don’t seem to be doing so hot.

  81. 81

    I have to come clean here, StephenB and Pannen:

    I just wanted to see what would happen if I posted the Paul thesis.
    Glad to see you stepped up to the plate.

    touche on Singer.

    But very few people sing the praises of Singer. He’s a nut.

    Though interestingly unlike many of religion’s detractors he dosen’t take the tack that religion has BAD morals from some mean deity.

    He simply criticizes (contradicting their take on things, it might seem) Christianity for bequeathing to us morals that are too numerous and invalid for a changing world.

    Like….well…our “outdated” notions of human and individualist rights and “dignity.”

  82. 82
    StephenB says:

    —–SWT: “The main point of Paul’s study seems relatively intact:

    —–“If religion makes us better–why are the secularists living better lives with fewer social malaise and malignant welfare roles?”

    You can’t be serious. Paul’s judgment call on the quality of life is based on his quantitative data. If the numbers can’t be trusted, then the qualitative interpretation that follows can’t be trusted. As I pointed out earlier, he is a fierce anti-ID opponent who is ready to cook the books to get the results he wants.

    Our own culture has been studied thoroughly through what has been known as “the index of cultural indicators,” publicized years ago by Bill Bennett. Our decline can be traced very easily. We weren’t like this 50 years ago when children were praying in school. What is missing here is what is called “lag time.” It takes a long time for a cultures behavior to catch up to the ideologies that are imposed on them. Our secularist chickens are coming home to roost. There is simply no doubt that we are less religious and more secular than we were fifty years ago. That is because of the vertical assault of the anti-religious barbarians.

    It began when secularists took hold of all the important institutions and convinced too many of our children that they were nothing but animals. Before long all too many of them started acting like animals.

    First, they created the conditions for violence through race baiting. They cheated blacks out of a decent education even as they provide in them a false sense of self esteem. Then when urban blacks arrived at the university unprepared, these same race baiters told them that racist white educators were giving them low grades because of the color of their skin. But it didn’t stop there. They aggravated the problem by offering special privileges to blacks, enraging whites and causing unnecessary resentment, unnatural rage that would not have been there without the meddling. That doesn’t come from religion; that comes from secularism.

    It’s the same problem with the young and their problems with sex. Secularists have convinced them that sexual activity is for sport. They ridicule and lampoon religious leaders who insist that sex has a nobler purpose. Then they tell the young that the motive of the religious educators is to cheat them out of the good time that they are “entitled to.” That doesn’t come from religion; that comes from secularism. I know. I watched it happen.

    I suspect that one of the reasons that things are so peaceful in some parts of Europe is because secularism has taken all the fight out of its citizens. Steeped in moral relativism, they no longer think that anything is worth fighting for—not even their own culture. That is why they are just sitting around waiting for the Muslims to impose Sharia law on them. If you want to get a taste of the negative effects of religion, just wait until that dreary little scenario plays out.

  83. 83
    StephenB says:

    S Wakefield Tolbert: “I just wanted to see what would happen if I posted the Paul thesis.

    Ya got me pardner. But it was a good thought stimulator.

  84. 84
    Atom says:

    They aggravated the problem by offering special privileges to blacks, enraging whites and causing unnecessary resentment, unnatural rage that would not have been there without the meddling.

    Yeah, because historically whites have never been known to harass blacks without just cause…

  85. 85

    John, thanks for Verum link.

    Most interesting. I suspected as much and my instincts usually serve me, but that was some good insight on stat crunching there.

    StephenB:

    Your commentary on the “what else” in Western Europe is suspected by others.

    And then there is the ultimate laugh in Darwinian terms for secular hedonism:

    EXTINCTION:

    http://wakepedia.blogspot.com/.....arwin.html

  86. 86

    Meant to also add:

    http://wakepedia.blogspot.com/.....urope.html

    Which flows nicely with StephenBs commentary on W. Europe.

  87. 87
    Parmenides says:

    Tolbert, “why are the secularists living better lives…etc.” This seems like a prime example of the unexamined life fallacy. How interesting that that ethics, properly understood by real thinkers as proceeding from an underlying metaphysical foundation, should turn out to be so utterly simplistic. Is peace an unmitigated Good, especially at any price? Is the low crime rate a product of superior virtue or the fact that “Big brother is watching you!”? What about the socialistic, de facto, reintroduction of serfdom and in some instances, slavery(read Hayak)? What about the birth rates of 1.1 to 1.5? The last time I checked, the DoDo Bird was dead. I’m not sure the muslims need to aggressively take over, why don’t they just wait for European self extinction?

  88. 88
    Parmenides says:

    Atom, if you think racism is a bad thing, surely you must be an “anti-evolutionist”. Evolution is a religious belief which is intrinsically racist. Darwin said that Black people were little more intelligent than Chimpanzees and because of their inherant inferiority we should look forward to their extinction. This tenant was taken up by world Socialism. See Orwelle’s 1984, where the three great superpowers were fighting over the slave labor in Africa.

  89. 89
    mike1962 says:

    Education is not the problem in the U.S., it’s the glut of entertainment and lack of parental management of their kids’ progress.

  90. 90
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Have any of you guys read the Design of Life yet? If not, you should.

    In the first chapter, which I believe you can read online for free, it describes how our cooperative nature, intellectual and moral abilities seperate us from apes. This is true.

  91. 91
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Parmenides, racism is bad.
    You know it was us religious types were involved in the American Civil Rights Movement.

    It was religious people who were involved in the abolitionist movement in both Britain and America.

    The claim that we must somehow drop our ‘traditional’ views to fit into a changing world is absurd, and dangerous. I’m what you might call a Burkean Conservative, and I think it is not wise to mess around with the ‘pillars’ of our society. Namely religion and the family.

  92. 92
    larrynormanfan says:

    StephenB,

    Gregory Paul has been pushing his secularist agenda for years, and it is evident that he always stacks the deck when he does his research. He tries to pass himself off as a disinterested researcher, but he clearly has his own ax to grind, and oh how he grinds it. He writes about Christianity’s role in the rise of Hitler, slanders pope Pius XII, and regularly stumps for anti-religious causes. Most important, he has been debunked many times for his proclivity to draw his conclusions before the research begins.

    I don’t know anything about Paul’s work. But pretty much all these charges have been made about prominent ID proponents. If I substitute “Darwin’s” for “Christianity’s,” “Darwin” for “pope Pius XII,” and “religious” for “secularist” and “anti-religious,” I see a pretty good image of John G. West. I don’t see a lot of “distinterested research” from any angle.

  93. 93
    StephenB says:

    —–Atom: “Yeah, because historically whites have never been known to harass blacks without just cause…”

    Well, sure. Vice looks bad from any angle. Do you think I am not aware of the other extreme? I know that racism was once a horrific problem, and that we still have some of it with us. But that doesn’t excuse race baiting by demagogues.

  94. 94
    larrynormanfan says:

    StephenB, this is the second time in a few days that I’ve seen a completely whacko version of racial history in America. The first was by another commenter, who explained the freakish worldview of an old girlfriend’s father. The second is yours. What’s in the UD water these days? Holy cow.

  95. 95
    Atom says:

    I know that racism was once a horrific problem

    I’m sorry, but study after study shows that racism is STILL a very deeply-rooted problem in the US. And again, I doubt that “race-baiters” or “black privilege” (whatever that is!) are responsible.

    Some reading: What Kind of Card is Race?

  96. 96
    Atom says:

    Some gems from the article:

    How many have heard that persons with “white sounding names,” according to a massive national study, are fifty percent more likely to be called back for a job interview than those with “black sounding” names, even when all other credentials are the same (5)?

    How many know that white men with a criminal record are slightly more likely to be called back for a job interview than black men without one, even when the men are equally qualified, and present themselves to potential employers in an identical fashion (6)?

    How many have heard that according to the Justice Department, Black and Latino males are three times more likely than white males to have their vehicles stopped and searched by police, even though white males are over four times more likely to have illegal contraband in our cars on the occasions when we are searched (7)?

  97. 97
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Hey Larry David Fan….

    Isn’t this blog supposed to be about Intelligent Design.

    Yes, race and ethnicity issues are still problems in the USA.

  98. 98
    StephenB says:

    —–larrynormanfan: “I don’t know anything about Paul’s work. But pretty much all these charges have been made about prominent ID proponents. If I substitute “Darwin’s” for “Christianity’s,” “Darwin” for “pope Pius XII,” and “religious” for “secularist” and “anti-religious,” I see a pretty good image of John G. West. I don’t see a lot of “distinterested research” from any angle.”

    LNF: the true history of Pope Pius XII is easy to verify and the false histories are easy to refute. He was very helpful to the Jews and he certainly was an opponent to Hitler.

    With regard to John G. West, I am not sure what you mean. Clearly, he has a strong point of view, but that doesn’t mean his research is dishonest. The standards for reliability and accuracy are the same for everyone. Do you have any particular study in mind that you think may not have been conducted in a professional manner?

    The Darwinist academy says a great many things about ID advocates that are not true. My favorite example is the ridiculous notion that we want to usher in some kind of theocracy undergirded by Biblical Law. Surely, you don’t believe that one. And if you don’t, then why do you take those who do believe it seriously when they make up other things?

  99. 99
    StephenB says:

    —–larrynormanfan: “StephenB, this is the second time in a few days that I’ve seen a completely whacko version of racial history in America. The first was by another commenter, who explained the freakish worldview of an old girlfriend’s father. The second is yours. What’s in the UD water these days? Holy cow.”

    Well, what exactly did I say that you disagree with? Are you forever content to criticize without providing substantive examples? Good grief. I can’t provide a whole history in two paragraphs. I was simply talking about some of the tricks that secularists use to foment violence. If you disagree with my assessment, then take it up with Thomas Sowell, because he is the expert I am drawing from. Which expert are you drawing from?

  100. 100
    PannenbergOmega says:

    “we want to usher in some kind of theocracy undergirded by Biblical Law”

    I agree with you StephenB. I think statements like the this are attempts by the Darwinist community to slander ID. This may be speaking out of turn, but I think that at most, you might say that there is a hint of social conservatism in the Discovery Institute. So what though?

    It’s not like ID equals Theonomy.

  101. 101
    StephenB says:

    —–Atom: “I’m sorry, but study after study shows that racism is STILL a very deeply-rooted problem in the US. And again, I doubt that “race-baiters” or “black privilege” (whatever that is!) are responsible.”

    Why does everyone always miss the point. I am well aware that racism is still with us. Why are you implying that I disagree with that. The point is, that racism is not the reason that blacks are flunking out of school. The other point is that special preferences INCREASE RACISM. Even Bill Cosby is wise enough to know that if you blame all your failures on racism in this culture, you are doomed to poverty. The larger point is that it is secularists that are encouraging blacks to USE racism as an excuse not to give their best.

  102. 102
    larrynormanfan says:

    StephenB, a couple of things.

    No, I don’t think ID advocates as such want to institute a theocracy. Some probably do, but it’s not like it’s part of ID.

    John West. Here is a takedown of West by historian of science Mark Borrello.

    On the history of race, the whole paragraph beginning “First, they created the conditions for violence through race baiting” makes no sense. “They” seems to refer to “secularists” throughout the passage. What in the world? In what sense could this possibly even be meaningful, much less true? The paragraph doesn’t get any better after that.

    I don’t really care whether that’s from Thomas Sowell, who is a fine economist (within the limits of a certain school) but a lousy historian. Frankly, I can’t imagine Sowell writing something that strange.

  103. 103
    larrynormanfan says:

    Also on West, here’s a response by population geneticist James W. Curtsinger.

  104. 104
    PannenbergOmega says:

    larrydavidfan, if you don’t like intelligent design, why do you come to uncommon descent? just to argue?

  105. 105
    larrynormanfan says:

    PanerabreadAlpha 🙂

    I’m attracted to the idea of intelligent design. I’ve read a fair amount about it and don’t dismiss it, but I’m still on the evolution side. I’m a Christian, so maybe that would make me a theistic evolutionist. I’m trying to figure out how ID fits with how I understand science. Also, I’m trying to figure out why we come to believe what we believe, as far as historical events go.

    Most of my arguments here have not been about ID, but about politics. Not the major subject of the blog, but hey — I didn’t start the political discussions. I’ve just been drawn into that.

    Probably I should have resisted the temptation. It distracts me, and at the end I’ll get labeled as some sort of pinko.

  106. 106

    Larry,

    Links are fine, but I wish those two articles had their hypertext markup a little more solidly shored up.

    That was painful.

    Elsewhere, while I’m quite sure there are numerous articles purporting to have Darwin disavow (or his adherents) any connection real or imagined from the brave new world of eugenics, it is fact that he himself made many remarks about minorities that today would only ordinarily be taken as offensive.
    Others later, like Haekel, followed up with some charming racial insights of their own. As did Margaret Sanger in her day with notions about the unfit of the world needing to be culled back to make room for the strong.

    So while I’m sure the authors are correct in their intentions that Darwinism explains only the “facts, Ma’am”, it is fascinating to see how others reacted. We have this even today with men like the above mentioned Singer who has another version of eugenics in his noggin and accuses Christianity with all its prohibitions on killing the feeble as halting our progress. Simliar notions are hurled at believers over embryonic stem cell research being not federally funded yet, etc.

    The point is not that ALL Darwinists say this or that about eugenics or other racial or squeamish topics, but that the philosphical and hostile (to faith and traditional morals) climate created by Darwinian and/or atheistic thought allows for much of this.

  107. 107
    StephenB says:

    larrynormanfan:

    You can begin your research with John Dewey, the man who secularized and revolutionized education. If you don’t think there is a secularist agenda in education, then you are simply misinformed. If you don’t think that secularists have cheated blacks out of an education and set them up for failure, then you are further misinformed. If you don’t think they promote racial conflict then you are, once again, misinformed.

    Also, you may not be aware of it, but John West is not the first author to show a link show a link between Darwin and eugenics, nor is Richard Weikert. Didn’t you know Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was a big fan of Darwin’s theory? Didn’t you know that Francis Galton, Darwin’s cousin, systemized eugenic philosophy? Why would I pay attention to any of your sources if they don’t know that?

    Here is an example of the Curtsingers slopping reading:

    He offers this quote from Darwin:

    “No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

    Curtsinger then says this: “West and his actor leave out ‘EXCEPTING IN THE CASE OF MAN HIMSELF.’ Re-read the quotation with and without that phrase to see how much difference it makes to the perception of Darwin’s role in eugenics. DARWIN EXPLICITLY EXEMPTS HUMANS FROM THE BREEDING PRESCRIPTION, BUT THAT DOESN’T FIT WEST’S AGENDA.” (emphasis mine)

    Darwin is doing no such thing here. He is saying that only man is stupid enough to breed badly. Surely, you can see that. This is not even close.

    I would appreciate it if you would stop googling anti-ID websites for support. Most of them are not dependable. Just make your case.

    In our first encounter, you insisted that you were a Christian and that you were not a Darwinist. You are free to be anything you wish to be, of course, but all your arguments are anti-Christian and pro-Darwin. Whether you are pro ID or not I don’t know; it doubt it. Again, you are free to be whatever you choose, but you certainly appear to be something other than what you claim to be. Where exactly are you coming from anyway?

  108. 108
    Mapou says:

    In our first encounter, you insisted that you were a Christian and that you were not a Darwinist. You are free to be anything you wish to be, of course, but all your arguments are anti-Christian and pro-Darwin.

    I wouldn’t put it past an atheist or a Darwinist to fake being a Christian or an IDer on the web just to make Christians and IDers look bad or as a way to sneak into a discussion under false pretenses. We should all be fully cognizant of the fact that the enemy is vicious and has no moral backbone.

  109. 109

    StephenB said, in part:

    You can begin your research with John Dewey, the man who secularized and revolutionized education. If you don’t think there is a secularist agenda in education, then you are simply misinformed. If you don’t think that secularists have cheated blacks out of an education and set them up for failure, then you are further misinformed. If you don’t think they promote racial conflict then you are, once again, misinformed.

    I have generally found this to be the case. Don’t know if its that intentional, but I think a better phrase would be that government as nanny-state via secularist ideas always fails in its much bandied claims of altruism.

    This might be why many secularists hate religion and tend (TEND) to be on the LEFTER side of the political spectrum. I collect the quotes of these educrat “remolders” of children for fun. And whether its Dewey, or Paul Blanchard, or Richard Rorty, or M. Sanger, EO Wilson, Dawkins, Stephen Weinberg, William Provine, or numerous others who see or saw their sacred secularist mission to use education as the anvil upon which to smash “superstition”–they are numerous. And go well beyond Dewey in personal hatred and nastiness to religion.

  110. 110
    larrynormanfan says:

    StephenB, I see we’re getting nowhere. I’m a Christian, yes, and I’m an evolutionist, but I’m not a “Darwinist,” because I don’t think that term is really meaningful. Nobody is a “Darwinist” today in the sense Darwin was. I’m not even a “neo-Darwinist,” in the sense of adhering to a strict version of the Modern Synthesis. I’m probably more of a Gould/Lewontin type — multiple mechanisms, of which natural selection is one.

    Thanks for telling me what information I’m allowed to read. I’ll keep that in mind while you continue to question my faith. I hope you’ll be comforted to know that I’ve read a fair amount of ID literature too, including two books of Dembski, Wells’s Icons of Evolution, and Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box. I’ve even read Of Pandas and People. So I’ve been trying to come to terms with ID for a long time.

    To my knowledge, I haven’t made a single argument that’s anti-Christian. Find one and I’ll retract it.

    As for Curtsinger, he’s a bit sloppy by concentrating on that phrase. But you’re being sloppier, and if you read later in Curtsinger, you’ll see why. Darwin is not “saying that only man is stupid enough to breed badly.” He’s saying that denying such sympathy would lead to “the deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.” In other words, he’s not saying that we’re too stupid to follow the narrow dictates of that line of reasoning; he’s saying that we’re too noble. In other words, we’re better than that. Ending sympathy demonstrates our nobility, not our stupidity. So Curtsinger is being inelegant by focusing on West’s willful distortion of Darwin’s text. But his basic point is correct, and West is wrong. West is the one who distorts the plain sense of the text.

  111. 111
    larrynormanfan says:

    We should all be fully cognizant of the fact that the enemy is vicious and has no moral backbone.

    I love you too, Mapou.

  112. 112
    StephenB says:

    —–“StephenB, I see we’re getting nowhere. I’m a Christian, yes, and I’m an evolutionist, but I’m not a “Darwinist,” because I don’t think that term is really meaningful. Nobody is a “Darwinist” today in the sense Darwin was. I’m not even a “neo-Darwinist,” in the sense of adhering to a strict version of the Modern Synthesis. I’m probably more of a Gould/Lewontin type — multiple mechanisms, of which natural selection is one.”

    The modern synthesis is neo-Darwinism insofar as it relies primarily, but not exclusively, on RM+NS to explain biodiversity. The purpose of the word Darwinism is to highlight the fact that it is a non-directed process. No word can completely capture every nuance of what every person believes. If you believe in a non-directed evolutionary process, then you are a Darwinist. If you believe that the design in nature is illusory, then you are a Darwinist or neo-Darwinist if you like. The theistic position is that God directed evolution and that design is real. Thus, if you are a Darwinist, you must reject the Christian teaching that God reveals himself in nature.

    —–“Thanks for telling me what information I’m allowed to read. I’ll keep that in mind while you continue to question my faith. I hope you’ll be comforted to know that I’ve read a fair amount of ID literature too, including two books of Dembski, Wells’s Icons of Evolution, and Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box. I’ve even read Of Pandas and People. So I’ve been trying to come to terms with ID for a long time.”

    I am not questioning your faith so much as your synthesis of a purposeful, mindful God (Christianity) who uses a purposeless, mindless process (Darwinian non-Directed evolution). Inasmuch as you have read some of the ID literature, I will try to be less critical. Also, I promise not to criticize you for using anti ID websites for support. But I can’t promise to take time out to read them all. Fair enough?

    —–“Ending sympathy demonstrates our nobility, not our stupidity. So Curtsinger is being inelegant by focusing on West’s willful distortion of Darwin’s text. But his basic point is correct, and West is wrong. West is the one who distorts the plain sense of the text.”

    Curtsinger is being either naïve or disingenuous. Have you read much Darwin? Darwin always couches his controversial statements in the language of empathy. He speaks most loudly of our noble nature only when he is about to blur the distinction between man and animal. You have ignored all my points about the history of eugenics and the sensibilities of those who originated it. They were all Darwinists. Do you think they were misreading the text? Do you think Haeckel misunderstood? Do you think Galton misunderstood? Do you think Sanger misunderstood?

  113. 113
    DaveScot says:

    aaron

    You produced no study linking teaching ID with any reduction of science literacy. You ignore the definition of ID posted on our sideboard which makes no reference to anything supernatural.

    Your trolling days here are over. Troll elsewhere.

  114. 114
    DaveScot says:

    Timaeus

    Thank you for explaining how Darwin does and doesn’t fit in with Buddhism. You seem very objective about it and certainly far more knowledgable than I. I defer to your expertise and concede the point. Say hi to Jed and Granny for me and give Ellie May a pinch on the rear.

  115. 115
    DaveScot says:

    Wakefield

    “faith makes people turn inward to the point that they neglect higher social responsibilities”

    Whoever said that never attended any of the Christian churches I’ve been to. They’re always deeply involved in a plethora of programs to help the poor, the sick, the old, the young, and the distressed. They turn outward in number and in force.

    “Japan is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world”

    It’s also one of the most racially and ethnically pure countries in the world. Try correlating cultural, ethnic, and racial purity in the population with violence. The United States is called “The Great Melting Pot”. It’s nation of immigrants from all over the world – all races, cultures, and ethnicities. Of course there’s going to be friction generated when those clash in close proximity. Japan is nothing like that. I’ve been there. All you see is a sea of people who look alike and act alike. China? Been there too. Samo samo. Anyone without jet black hair stands out like a streetlight in a dark forest and is almost certainly a foreigner.

    Yet the bottom line remains that the U.S. is the single most successful nation in the world by the metrics of economic and military superiority and it arrived there in an eyeblink compared to how long other industrialized nations have been in existence. How is that explained? My theory has to do with what’s called hybrid vigor in biology and botany. Inbreeding within restricted gene pools brings out the worst while cross breeding in a large gene pool brings out the best. I reckon’ that hybrid vigor applies to nations as it does to species.

  116. 116
    DaveScot says:

    When I evaluate how a new friend is going to influence my daughter there are three questions I ask in order of decreasing priority.

    1) Does she get good grades in school? This relates to good sense in setting priorities in life and being able to acheive them.

    2) Does she participate in any sports? This occupies kids in a way where they don’t get into much trouble and is indicative of habits which promote health, fitness, and working well with others.

    3) Does she go to church? This is indicative of good grounding in moral behavior.

    More often than not these three things travel together in the same individual and when they do it’s a reliably good influence in my opinion. That’s not to say that any deviations are automatically a bad influence it’s just a red flag that warrants closer scrutiny in what they get up to together.

  117. 117

    Well Dave I actually agree.

    Like I told StephenB above that post of mine was a draw out–to see what the gang here knew. I’d heard of the Paul study. It’s all over the Web. Everywhere. Presumably Paul’s supporters in the “God belief” makes you mean and nasty prefer to cling more to this than Paul’s apparent detractors.

    I was curious here.

    And AYE–I can attest to hybrid vigor, though I never heard that term applied to cultural mixes but rather genetic mixes in animals that actually make them even more powerful, those who breed crocodilians or have caimans as pets generally end up with something even bigger and healthier than the mommy and daddy crocs.

    (I have a pet caiman named Alexandra, a mix of yacare and spectacled caiman. Not a maneater by reputation but nasty if you turn your back. She doesn’t mess with me, but for other people……well…)

    As to church, well, the leader of the abstinence movement in my nephew’s home town is…well….about 6 months pregnant.

    Church is not a panacea

  118. 118
    Joseph says:

    Where does disbelief in Darwin lead?

    To a rational and logical view of reality.

  119. 119
    larrynormanfan says:

    DaveScot,

    Japan is nothing like that. I’ve been there. All you see is a sea of people who look alike and act alike. China? Been there too. Samo samo.

    Ahem. I’ll grant that Japanese people all look alike to you. Chinese too. But that says more about you than about the Japanese or Chinese. “They all look alike” is not a winning line.

    But as long as we’re talking Asia, how about Singapore? Really low crime rate, really high population density, a mixture of Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, European, Japanese, Indian ethnicities. Religiously a mix of secular, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and secularist. Extraordinarily diverse society.

    Of course there are a lot of reasons for its low crime rate. But it’s not like ethnic and racial diversity always leads to conflict.

  120. 120
    Atom says:

    StephenB,

    Again, you should read the article.

    But the fundamental flaw in Taranto’s argument is its suggestion–implicit though it may be–that prior to the creation of affirmative action, white folks were mostly on board the racial justice and equal opportunity train, and were open to hearing about claims of racism from persons of color. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. White denial is not a form of backlash to the past forty years of civil rights legislation, and white indifference to claims of racism did not only recently emerge, as if from a previous place where whites and blacks had once seen the world similarly. Simply put: whites in every generation have thought there was no real problem with racism, irrespective of the evidence, and in every generation we have been wrong.

  121. 121
    DaveScot says:

    Wakefield

    “Church is not a panacea”

    Of course it isn’t. But it’s better than no indicator at all.

  122. 122
    DaveScot says:

    larry

    Of course they’re not all clones but compared to any random crowd in the states they do all look quite alike – dark brown eyes and straight jet black hair. If you haven’t been there after living in the states all your life you have no idea of what it’s like.

    Singapore? You think a small notorious nanny state where the goverment dictates everything is comparable to the United States? I understand that Singapore recently softened the laws against chewing gum. George Bush made it a condition of a trade agreement, which Singapore wanted more than it wanted no gum chewing, at the behest of Bush supporter W.M. Wrigley Company. Singapore still however publically canes teenagers for minor offenses and it seems to work pretty well. Maybe we should be more like Singapore. Good point. 😆

    If you want to convince me I’m wrong, which is difficult but not impossible (see Timaeous convincing me above that I was wrong about Buddhism’s compatibility with Darwinism), then give me an example comparable to the United States in several critical aspects:

    1) It must be large and have people of all races, cultures, ethnicities, and religious belief living elbow to elbow and have strict laws against discrimination in housing and employment based upon any of those.

    2) It must have constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and private ownership of guns.

    3) It must have a judicial system where one is innocent until proven guilty, one has a right to trial by a jury of peers, and where private property and effects cannot be searched or seized without documented probable cause.

    4) Travel within the nation’s borders is unrestricted in any way.

    If you can find such a nation and then show me that it has a higher per capita income (a proxy for standard of living) and a lower rate of both violent and property crime then I’ll admit the U.S. isn’t the best example of a shining city on a hill that I believe it is.

  123. 123
    larrynormanfan says:

    DaveScot, you’re right. No country that is not the US exhibits all the qualities of the US. My bad. 🙂 However, [3] doesn’t exist even for the US: see Guantanamo for suspension of rights and warrantless wiretaps for sanctioned invasions of privacy.

  124. 124
    StephenB says:

    —–Atom: “Again, you should read the article.”

    Atom: I did read it. I don’t understand what you think that I don’t understand. I know racism is always an issue to some extent. What we are talking about here, a least what I was talking about until everyone distorted it, is the fact that secularists USE racism and, to some extent, cause it.

    Racism in the 1990’s was not as bad as racism in the 1950’s. To some extent, the laws made it happen and to some extent the culture allowed it to happen. However, racism is on the rise again because it is being artificially escalated by those whose fortunes are helped by it.

    Many young blacks in urban areas are not being educated for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that secularists allow bad teachers to teach. That means that the young blacks under that bad teachers care cannot compete in higher education. Even so, politically correct meddlers insist that they be given a chance to compete at places where they have no chance, sometimes at Ivy League schools.

    When they arrive unprepared and fail to compete, secularists lie to them and tell them that they are failing because their white racists teachers are giving them lower grades than they deserve. This causes blacks to resent whites and reopens old wounds of the past. Further, to aggravate the problem, these same secularists try to compensate for the failures by offering blacks special privileges. This causes whites to resent blacks. Thus, secularists are setting up an artificial environment in which blacks resent whites and whites resent blacks.

    The larger point is, (I guess I will have to make it again) if blacks BELIEVE that racism is the reason for their academic failures, they have no chance. If, for example, a university professor returns a badly written paper to a student explaining to him that his nouns and verbs do not agree, and the student refuses to accept that assessment on the grounds that his professor is racist, the black student will end up talking gibberish for the rest of his life. Further, he will help sustain a black culture that buys in to the same idea. That fact that SOME racism really does exist will make the thing even more plausible.

    None of this has anything to do with the fact that yes, 1) white denial still exists, 2) police frisk blacks more often than whites, or 3) that employers are sometimes racist in their hiring practices. I grant all of these things. It is also true that a black man has about a 40% chance of becoming the next president of the United States and you can be sure that if he could not match his nouns with his verbs, he would not be in the running.

  125. 125
    DaveScot says:

    larry

    Private communications that cross international borders has never been interpreted as a constitutionally guaranteed right. The wiretaps of which you speak only apply to international channels but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Moreover, the constitution guarantees the rights thereunder to U.S. citizens not to foreign nationals although reasonable effort to extend these rights as a courteousy to foreign nationals legally within our borders is the rule rather than exception.

    Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868.

    1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    It’s probably tempting to you to interpret the equal protection clause as applying to non-citizens but that’s clearly not the case. Foreign nationals can be non-judiciously deported which is a law that doesn’t apply to citizens. Foreign nationals cannot vote in our elections, another law that is different for citizens and non-citizens. They are indeed granted equal protection under the law but the law can be different for citizens than they are for foreign nationals as laws regulating voting rights and freedom to leave and enter the country demonstrate. Citizens can serve in the U.S. armed forces, voluntarily or involutarily, while non-citizens cannot. Another aspect of the military, just as an aside, is that upon enrollment or conscription one gives up one’s rights under the constitution and becomes subject instead to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. What you might expect wouldn’t fly under the 14th amendment is treating some foreign nationals differently than other foreign nationals but that’s not the case either. An example is someone wanting to visit the United States who is a citizen of Canada is treated much differently than a visitor who is a citizen of Syria. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. We have a right to control our borders and that extends to international communications, international import and export, and international travel.

    No country that is not the US exhibits all the qualities of the US.

    Right. Your challenge is to choose which things about the U.S. that makes it unique in the world you are willing to change in order to raise standard of living and/or reduce crime. Another great thing about the U.S. is that if you can get enough people citizens to agree with you there is a process by which the constitution of the United States can be changed to accomodate your desires.

    For instance, maybe you’d like to see Hillary-care (mandatory enrollment in health insurance) become the law of the land. Fine, but in my generally libertarian point of view that’s a rather egregious violation of personal liberty in not being allowed to choose whether or not you want to participate in the health insurance racket industry. Or perhaps you want to see private gun ownership outlawed. Again, in my generally libertarian POV this deprives me of the right of protecting my home and property against invaders. I think it’s an overall good thing that the police can expect to be greeted by a rain of bullets should they bust down my door without first identifying themselves and their intent and it’s a good thing that any other unlawful offense against the sanctity of my home and property can be defended against with personal use of deadly force. I’m of the opinion that prevents more crime than it causes and since people citizens with a different opinion can’t muster a sufficient majority to change the constitution or even get a majority of supreme court justices to interpret the 2nd amendment differently then it remains the law of the land.

  126. 126
    Atom says:

    StephenB,

    Glad you read the article. Take what it says to heart

    When they [blacks] arrive unprepared and fail to compete, secularists lie to them and tell them that they are failing because their white racists teachers are giving them lower grades than they deserve.

    Please provide some sort of study or documentation that this is actually occurring in significant numbers. It sounds like just anecdotal generalization.

    On the other hand, Racism in both the judicial and eductaion systems has been DOCUMENTED and continues to be a real problem. Are blacks and other harassed groups supposed to keep quiet about it and just chug along? Should IDers just shut up about the discrimination they face? Maybe they’re just not trying hard enough to get peer-reviewed, as the Darwinists claim? (The victim can always be blamed…)

    This causes blacks to resent whites and reopens old wounds of the past.

    Believe me, the wounds are not just from the past. They continue to be added and made worse when people tell blacks to just shut up and not speak up over the thoroughly documented discrimination they face currently.

    Further, to aggravate the problem, these same secularists try to compensate for the failures by offering blacks special privileges. This causes whites to resent blacks. Thus, secularists are setting up an artificial environment in which blacks resent whites and whites resent blacks.

    Again, you echo the point mentioned before, that somehow the blacks are responsible for the discrimination they face and white hatred of them. Let me quote both you and the article together, and you can see how your point is exaclty what is being written about:

    StephenB:

    First, they created the conditions for violence through race baiting. They cheated blacks out of a decent education even as they provide in them a false sense of self esteem. Then when urban blacks arrived at the university unprepared, these same race baiters told them that racist white educators were giving them low grades because of the color of their skin. But it didn’t stop there. They aggravated the problem by offering special privileges to blacks, enraging whites and causing unnecessary resentment, unnatural rage that would not have been there without the meddling. That doesn’t come from religion; that comes from secularism.

    Article:

    But the fundamental flaw in Taranto’s argument is its suggestion–implicit though it may be–that prior to the creation of affirmative action, white folks were mostly on board the racial justice and equal opportunity train, and were open to hearing about claims of racism from persons of color. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. White denial is not a form of backlash to the past forty years of civil rights legislation, and white indifference to claims of racism did not only recently emerge, as if from a previous place where whites and blacks had once seen the world similarly. Simply put: whites in every generation have thought there was no real problem with racism, irrespective of the evidence, and in every generation we have been wrong.

    This kind of thing is why the race problem is still such an open wound for people of color. It is one thing to be discriminated against; it is another thing entirely for people to deny your situation, even when study after study confirms it.

    Just look at how angry IDers get over their discrimination and how Darwinists always do what you do and blame the victim: “Gonzalez didn’t bring in enough money, didn’t mentor PhD candidates…”, “Sternberg broke protocol…”, “ID articles can’t pass scientific muster to get peer-reviewed…”.

    You think you would be aware of the game and not play it yourself.

  127. 127
    StephenB says:

    —–larrynormanfan writes to Dave Scot: “Ahem. I’ll grant that Japanese people all look alike to you. Chinese too. But that says more about you than about the Japanese or Chinese. “They all look alike” is not a winning line.”

    Oh, come on. That was a statement about homogeneousness of the culture and the obvious demographics of the situation. Your politically correct sensibilities are mind boggling.

  128. 128
    Atom says:

    Another point. You wrote:

    Then when urban blacks arrived at the university unprepared, these same race baiters told them that racist white educators were giving them low grades because of the color of their skin

    Number one, you have to show that blacks are really arriving at the university “unprepared”. I’d like to see documentation of this.

    Secondly, you imply that it is a lie that “racist white educators were giving them low grades because of the color of their skin.” If there was documented evidence (multiple studies done on this issue, for example) that a student could recieve lower grades or be treated as “less able” simply due to skin color and teacher pre-conceived notions, wouldn’t you agree that the “race baiters” (as you call them) were correct in that situation?

    I am all for peace among races and groups; I am just not willing to get it by turning a blind eye to the documented oppression and discrimination happening in my own country.

    Again, “black privilege” is not the reason for white discrimination and anger; it never was and to imply that it was or is is simply closing your eyes to the reality of the situation.

    And blacks don’t have any privilege I know of, other than being passed up for jobs and opportunities based on people’s pre-judgments.

  129. 129
    StephenB says:

    Atom: I am not going to keep belaboring the same points over and over again. The article you cite is simply not comprehensive enough or informative enough to address the point I am making. Nor do you, I must say, still acknowledge or even seem to understand the point I am making. You continue to emphasize that racism exists as if that point has not already been dramatically agreed to by both of us.

    You are simply looking at only one side of a two side argument, and until you understand the other side, you will just keep repeating yourself and you will have no idea of how to help resolve the situation.

    You can begin by doing a Wikipedia search on Thomas Sowell. I provides a quick overview of his philosophy. He has examined this situation in far more detail than any other scholar.

  130. 130
    DaveScot says:

    Atom

    You’re one of the smartest members of this blog so I’m sure you’ll appreciate the following.

    Several years ago the Austin American Statesman (largest circulating local newspaper) promoted a big public gathering of black business owners where the public was invited to attend. The stated purpose of it was so that black people could be made aware of and patronize black-owned businesses. No one batted an eye in protest.

    Now imagine the reaction from blacks and whites alike if you replaced the word “black” with “white” in that public announcement. A gathering of white business owners promoting patronage of white owned businesses by white people. Imagine the hue and cry that would arise throughout the land if something like that appeared in the newspaper.

    Racism goes both ways my friend but it sure isn’t treated the same in both directions. I’m a proponent of color blindness. That’s how it is in the Marine Corps (Marines are all the color of their uniforms not the color of their skin) and that’s how it should be everywhere. Skin color should never be a factor anywhere at any time. We should all be treated by the color of our flag not the color of our skin. We are bound in brotherhood by being citizens of the United States, no more and no less. I realize that’s idealistic and difficult to make true but nonetheless I think any law which mentions skin color, including affirmative action quotas, only serve to undermine approaching that ideal. I refuse to make any prejudicial judgement by skin color but reserve the right judge anyone based upon their merits, actions, and willingness to embrace the common bond of being Americans.

    In this regard I find it distasteful that Obama doesn’t protest being considered a black American. He’s exactly half white for crying out loud so it isn’t even true. I’m reminded of a favorite comic, Chris Rock, saying “I’ll run for president and I’m sure as hell black enough“. Funny but sadly true.

  131. 131
    larrynormanfan says:

    StephenB, I’ll admit to being politically correct enough that I don’t say things like “they all look alike” even in a hamhanded attempt to make some other point. I also don’t say “racism was once a horrific problem” when I mean that racism is still a horrific problem. I kind of think it’s good to be sensitive to that kind of language.

  132. 132
    StephenB says:

    —-Atom: “Number one, you have to show that blacks are really arriving at the university “unprepared”. I’d like to see documentation of this.”

    This one statement alone convinces me that you are the one in denial here. Begin googling, “The Poverty in Black Education is Not Due to Racial Discrimination or Lack of Money in D.C.” by Walter Williams. While you are at it, just google Walter Williams and black education in general. By the way, both Williams and Sowell are black.

  133. 133
    StephenB says:

    —-“I also don’t say “racism was once a horrific problem” when I mean that racism is still a horrific problem. I kind of think it’s good to be sensitive to that kind of language.”

    Well, I suppose that if you wanted to dissect every word and phrase that I wrote in an attempt to summarize a complex point in two or three paragraphs, you could probably find expressions that could have been more judiciously formulated. That way you can always avoid confronting the main points, which you have a real talent for doing.

    In fact, racism is not nearly as bad as it was fifty years ago. In those days, a black man dating a black women was the kiss of death for both, if you will excuse the insensitive language. Today, very few people even notice it when races mix in marriages.

    Now, why don’t you completely ignore that point and obssess over my phrase, “kiss of death.”

  134. 134
    StephenB says:

    134 was written for larrynormanfan.

  135. 135
    DaveScot says:

    larry

    You quote-mined me. I said they all look alike and act alike. Do you consider racial, cultural, and ethnic purity inside national borders to be a good thing, a bad thing, or neither good nor bad? Do you think it has no influence, a little influence, or a lot of influence on how easily people get along with each other? The facts on the ground, while acknowledging that correlation doesn’t equal causation, speaks to it having quite a large effect.

    Just to put this in the proper context I’ve been to Norway too. I’m of northern European descent myself and Norwegians, to me, all look alike and act alike too. I couldn’t pick myself out of a crowd of Norwegians.

    Interesting factoids about Norway which I encountered just now at wikipedia in search of why I came away from Norway thinking they all look and act alike:

    Nearly 83% of Norwegians are members of the state Church of Norway, to which they are registered at birth. Many remain in the state church to be able to use services such as baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial, rites which have strong cultural standing in Norway. As few as 10%, however, regularly attend church.[25] About 17% do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force.[26]

    Norway is usually held out as having the highest standard of living in the world today by per capita income. I question whether living somewhere where summer weather where you can go to the go to the beach without warm clothing is 21 days long is a high standard of living but since I’m accepting per capita income as a proxy for living standard it’s just my personal opinion. What I want to highlight is Norway has a state Church and it’s a Christian church were everyone is born into it. A 17% disbelief in the supernatural is probably less than those with disbelief in the United States or at least comparable in any case. Interesting that Norway has a state Christian Church and also the highest standard of living the world, eh? Or maybe you don’t find that interesting at all. Probably not since it doesn’t support your belief about Christianity and high standards of living.

  136. 136
    larrynormanfan says:

    DaveScot, I think “racial, cultural, and ethnic purity inside national borders” is neither good nor bad in itself. Probably bad in the long run for modern states. I also think that such purity is usually exaggerated by so-called pure societies.

    StephenB, you may be right that I am oversensitive on such issues. I wonder why that is?

    On your claim that Thomas Sowell “has examined this situation in far more detail than any other scholar,” I’ll see your Sowell and raise you John Hope Franklin.

  137. 137
    larrynormanfan says:

    DaveScot, I’d pick you out of a crowd of Norwegians any day. You’d be the one speaking English and carrying a gun. 🙂

  138. 138
    DaveScot says:

    Everyone I encountered in Norway speaks english and if I carry a gun you won’t see it unless the business end is pointed at you for a damn good reason.

    Private ownership of guns in Norway is likely more than in the United States. The gun control laws are quite comparable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....owned_guns

    Types of civilian owned guns
    Norway is a nature loving country, and has a large population of hunters. Shotguns and semi-automatic and bolt action rifles make up the better part of the guns in civilian homes.

    There is a total ban on automatic weapons for civilians, unless they fall under the collector category. Modification of semi-automatic guns into fully automatic without the consent of the police is a felony crime.

    Handguns, however, are allowed in all calibers as they are used in sports shooting. Norway has long traditions of high-end sports shooting competitions, specially with rifle shooting. Each caliber must be used in a type of competition to be allowed. Also, there is a restriction on the number of weapons an owner can have for each caliber. For recreational shooters, only one gun is allowed in each caliber. For professional and semi-professional shooters, a spare gun is allowed. A recreational shooter is only allowed to own four different handguns. To obtain more, documentation on extensive sports shooting activities is needed.

    The first sentence in the same wiki entry:

    While having a large amount of civilian owned guns, Norway has a rather low gun crime rate. The reason for this is disputed, but a consensus leans toward the long hunting and wildlife traditions of Norway which made guns an everyday object.

    Gee whiz. What is it you think that makes Norway so different from the U.S. in gun crimes? Hint: It isn’t the hunting tradition. You can’t swing a dead cat in the states without hitting a hunter. I already gave you the real reason.

    Let me give you a bit of sage advice at this point. If you’ve dug yourself into a hole the first thing to do is stop digging.

  139. 139
    Atom says:

    Thank you DaveScot for the compliment, even when you disagree with me. I can respect that.

    As for you point, I agree it is a very important to bring up. I actually wrote an entire article on it a while back:

    White Pride

    StephenB,

    I am glad we both agree that racism is a present problem that can have negative impacts on current educational systems. Anyway, the main beef that prompted my first reply was your mistaken assertion that “black privilege” was the casue of anti-black discrimination. You still have not withdrawn that point, hence why I keep pointing you to the evidence that you’re mistaken.

  140. 140
    DaveScot says:

    larry

    Another thing I noted about Norway when I was there is that alcohol is taxed so prohibitively that use is not very common despite having the highest per capita income in the world. If I had my way marijuana use would be legal in the United States and alcohol would be prohibited instead, or in the spirit (pun intended) of libertarianism neither would be prohibited. There are a rare few things I find myself agreeing with Bill Maher about and that’s one of them.

  141. 141
    larrynormanfan says:

    DaveScot, I’m with you on the legalization issue, though I would not prohibit alcohol: we’ve seen how well that went last time.

  142. 142
    Mapou says:

    DaveScot: If I had my way marijuana use would be legal in the United States and alcohol would be prohibited instead, or in the spirit (pun intended) of libertarianism neither would be prohibited.

    I agree. And I don’t think taxes should be used to manipulate or engineer, if you will, society’s behavior. In fact, very few things should be prohibited and there should be very few laws. I would not mind living in a society where the only law is “think and do the the right thing”. Citizens would be taught from an early age to respect the welfare of others by following society’s established guidelines.

  143. 143
    larrynormanfan says:

    Mapou, I agree in general. But alas, we cannot go back to a state before the Fall.

  144. 144
    StephenB says:

    —–Atom: Anyway, the main beef that prompted my first reply was your mistaken assertion that “black privilege” was the casue of anti-black discrimination. You still have not withdrawn that point, hence why I keep pointing you to the evidence that you’re mistaken.”

    I think we may be coming together a little bit on this, so that is a good thing. I do believe you are confused about something, though. I didn’t say black privilege was THE cause of racism, obviously that would be ridiculous. I was saying that isolated cases of black affirmative action can be A cause of racism. Please don’t oversimply. Are you denying the latter statement? If so, then check out some of the authors I gave you and get back to me.

  145. 145
    StephenB says:

    Atom: You have made one point that I am willing to acknowledge: It is probably the case that an invocation of “white pride” is more likely to be racist than a call for “black pride.” Quite often, those appeals are made from a Nazi-like mentality, in which racists use perceived black privilege as a PRETEXT for their racism.

    That, however, is not what I mean when I discuss what happens on college campuses. These reactions to affirmative action are not of that texture, although, in some cases, they can be and are exploited.

  146. 146
    StephenB says:

    —–larrynormanfan: On your claim that Thomas Sowell “has examined this situation in far more detail than any other scholar,” I’ll see your Sowell and raise you John Hope Franklin.

    Well, you might be able to call my bet with Franklin, but I don’t think you can afford to raise. He is certainly a voice that deserves to be heard, and he is incredibly prolific writer. Ideologically, he would not be compatible with Sowell, as you probably know. I would not concede that he knows more about American education as Sowell or Williams, but I would be open to someone making a case for it.

    I do know that he opposed the nomination of Clarence Thomas, another black, to the Supreme Court, so that pretty much tells you where he is coming from.

  147. 147
    Clarence says:

    DaveScot (136) you wrote:

    “What I want to highlight is Norway has a state Church and it’s a Christian church were everyone is born into it. A 17% disbelief in the supernatural is probably less than those with disbelief in the United States or at least comparable in any case. Interesting that Norway has a state Christian Church and also the highest standard of living the world, eh? Or maybe you don’t find that interesting at all. Probably not since it doesn’t support your belief about Christianity and high standards of living.”

    In fact, there is no connection at all. Norway’s high standard of living is primarily due to the fact that it has a very large income from its North Sea gas and oil fields – and as you are no doubt aware, the prices of these commodities have risen enormously these last few years.

    You might ask why Norway has such a high standard of living compared with other North Sea nations wil oil fields, such as Britain, but the simple answer is that Norway has a much smaller population (of the order of 5 million or so) compared with 60 million for Britain.

    So the real reason is that Norway has a very high per capita GDP because (a) it has high income from oil and gas, (b) it has a very small population to spread it around.

    It’s Christianity doesn’t enter into the equation. It’s simple economics.

  148. 148
    PannenbergOmega says:

    I am sad to report that there has been another school schooting. This time in northern Illinois.

    I can’t help but think, that this is a symptom of our secular-nihilistic culture. Where Darwinian theory had undervalued human life.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/02/.....index.html

  149. 149
    PannenbergOmega says:

    So when all you Darwinist Atheist types extol the virtues of non belief in God and attack Christians for outdated morality.

    I guess you can see where this leads to tragically.

  150. 150
    vesf says:

    Alas, Omega. It can be expected when atheist Lawyers remove any and all mention of our blessed Lord from schools.

    Sadly, this is an event that will probably repeat itself constantly, as long as materialist humanism is taught instead of principles based on real science and eternally held Truths. We now see where athiestic naturalism leads. We need to look closely at what colleges are teaching. Darwinism is nothing to embrace in a moral society.

    Surely at this time we take a few moments and offer our prayers to the families.

    Fatal shootings like this tragedy are happening with an alarming frequency. I am almost terrified of reading the paper in the morning.

  151. 151

    PannenbergOmega said, in part:

    So when all you Darwinist Atheist types extol the virtues of non belief in God and attack Christians for outdated morality.

    First, how many Darwinist/Atheist types do you think hover here?

    I am not one for full disclosure, though I have some pointed questions for IDists.

    But for now, to be fair here, I don’t personally know any atheists who extoll the virtues of death and killing. They might have some disagreeable notions on various topics, but advocacy of outright murder is not among them. Perhaps you mean the uncomfortably loose mores of men like Peter Singer?

    And they will be more than happy to point out that while many atheists lean to nihilism, most do not, and that compared to the God of the bible are not as bloodthirsty, don’t wipe out entire peoples like the Amelekites or the Flood victims, advocacy for rape among Israel’s victims in war, slavery, etc, etc.

    Now of course I know there is an historical context to all this that most will ignore. But just to get you prepped….

  152. 152
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Hi vesf,

    “Fatal shootings like this tragedy are happening with an alarming frequency. I am almost terrified of reading the paper in the morning.”

    I very much agree with you my friend.

    Hi S.W. Tolbert,

    Religion, as Dave Scot pointed out earlier, may not be panacea, but it does provide a moral anchor in our confused society.

    It’s better than nothing.

    A system of ethics and meaning in life, that Darwinian theory just can’t provide. Unless you count Social Darwinism.

  153. 153
    PannenbergOmega says:

    There is a quote by G.K. Chesterston, that from what I remember, goes like this..

    “The doctrine of original sin, is the best evidence that Christianity is true”

    And I agree. I think Christianity, has a very realistic view of human nature, sin, right and wrong.

    To discard centuries of tradition (Judeo-Christian values), as people like Dawkins want to do. I feel is a bad idea, because an atheistic society feeds into man’s baser impulses.

    Not sure, if you will agree with me. But like I said, I’m a conservative.

  154. 154
    leo says:

    Religion, as Dave Scot pointed out earlier, may not be panacea, but it does provide a moral anchor in our confused society.

    It’s better than nothing.

    Is it better than truth?
    Is this all you base your views on, that you believe it’s better than nothing?

  155. 155
    jerry says:

    leo,

    People believe religion is truth. Maybe not all that profess believe, but most do. I am sure that there are some people who go through the motions because they think it is better for their family than any alternative but most believe.

    The one thing I am fairly sure of is that the lack of religion will not lead to anything positive. This is not to say that those who do not profess a religious belief lead immoral or purposeless lives. At this moment most of those in the West who do not profess a religious belief are living off Christian morality. We are essentially in the first generation of the abandonment of religion in the West by large numbers of people. After two or three generations of not passing any systematic way of living to their children the system will collapse, or religion will be reaffirmed or some other proscription will have to be implemented. The third options is unlikely as far as I believe.

    If it is the first scenario, then our society will be replaced by one that has a purpose and the only candidates around today are religious ones.

    Throughout history ti was not necessarily religion that has to be passed along, but a code of living such as found in Homer or Vergil or in other traditions. In the West Christianity has been that tradition that has been the glue for over 1500 years. When it is gone, there will be nothing formal to pass along and your children’s children will be rudderless. Each will have a different view of life and that cannot last. It will have to be superseded by some system that will provide guidance.

    One thing for sure, atheism will not be the system. You complain about the truth but atheism is intellectual bankruptcy and leads no where. So what will it be besides religion which is closer to the truth than non religion?

  156. 156
    leo says:

    jerry,

    I have not doubt that most, likely the vast majority, of people who profess belief think that it is the truth. This includes not only theists but atheists as well. However, my response was meant to tackle the quote from PannenbergOmega which implies that (to my mind) even if it was shown not to be true, it is best to believe because it is good for you This is, of course, only my interpretation of the remark, but I think that is the worse kind of thinking, and can only lead to trouble. Who is anyone to impose on me their idea of good.

    I cannot agree with you when you state that lack of belief “cannot lead to anything positive” however. I also think the Christian morality you speak of is a cobbling together of the mores of many disparate people brought under the Christian umbrella over many years and not something inherent to the Christian system itself. To my mind these morals existed prior to the rise of Christianity and will persist if Christianity ever fades to myth. The “code of living” will go on, passed in another form. It was not passed to me in any religious connotation, simply in a moral one.

    I believe lack of religion can lead to something positive (and likely some negatives as well). I think there is nothing more important than the search for truth, whatever that truth may end up being. If it happens to lead to a lack of religion, than perhaps that is a system for unification as opposed to division.

    Can atheism or agnosticism may be the system, only time will tell. Certainly it will not lead to “intellectual bankruptcy” as you claim, evidenced by the wide and disparate writings, thoughts, ideas of past and current atheists.

    “So what will it be besides religion which is closer to the truth than non religion?”

    I don’t know what is closer to the truth, I have my own ideas but what I think has no bearing on what the truth is. So I cannot tell you what it will be, whether this religion or that, or none at all. However, I can only hope that the system that remains allows people to question and pursue ideas, even if they deviate from the accepted dogma.

  157. 157
    jerry says:

    leo,

    For a culture to endure it must have a formal system which it shares and each in the culture must know what it is. Atheism or the just passing on what one thinks is moral does not pass the test. It has no basis in anything concrete.

    The formal system does not have to be religion but it has to be internalized and consistent over the culture and make sense to its members. Every Roman knew what it was to be a Roman even if they were recently conquered. The Greeks, even though there were several hundred city states knew what it was to be Greek. For over 1500 years Christianity served that purpose in the West. Quibbling over the origin of its prescriptions is a meaningless reply. Nothing is on the horizon that can replace it, certainly not just passing on “to do what is moral” which is changing like the wind these days.

    Up till a few years ago these morals were based on Christianity but there is no prescribed set to replace it. It is unlikely anything will coalesce to replace it and definitely not what is PC or correct at the moment which is determined purely by power and what is expedient at the moment for those in power.

    Atheism ignores the obvious and that is why it is intellectually bankrupt. It also says that there is nothing to believe in which is a prescription for a culture based on power. It makes up preposterous scientific claims to justify itself. That does not mean the evidence in science points to Christianity or any organized religion but science certainly obviates atheism.

    If by agnosticism you mean one who claims not to know the nature of the intelligence behind the universe, I can understand that. But if by agnosticism you mean one who claims there isn’t information to determine if there is an intelligence behind the universe, then that is also intellectually bankrupt. Both this type of agnostic and the atheist are what Freud would call “in denial.”

    If you do not believe there is an all out assault on the culture today, then I believe you are in denial too. When the glue that was Christian morals dissolves away there will be nothing to replace it. It has been tried in the 20th century as the communists implemented a system for about 25% of the world with such remarkable results.

    Oh, I actually believe there is a natural law that is inscribed in us. It will lead people generally in the same direction but no further than applying it to our own tribe. To go further than this, there is needed some formal explication of this inscribed predilections that extends pass our tribe to everyone and that is what religion does. As I said communism tried to do that in the 20th century but it essentially ignored these internal predilections.

  158. 158
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Hi guys,

    I think Jerry very eloquently conveys what I was trying to get across.

  159. 159
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Leo, I understand what you are saying too. Let me assure that I am a religious believer, a Lutheran.

    My views vary on the 100% factuality of the Bible. Though, I am very willing to become more orthodox, if new evidence emerges.

    The same with my conservatism, I look more to Edmund Burke and Peter Verieck than to Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley. Though I love Ronald Reagan!

    If you, Leo, or anyone else is interested in a good read. Check this out. Conservative Thinkers: John Adams to Winston Churchill.

    http://www.amazon.com/Conserva.....1412805260

  160. 160
    PannenbergOmega says:

    But Christianity has a great message, and does alot of good in the world. Other religions too.

    I wish, we would see more people from other faiths on this blog.

  161. 161
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Now if ID turns out to be correct.
    Then the God revealed through Intelligent Design might not be the trinitarian God of the Bible.

    Maybe the Freemasons have the right idea about God. A non-denominational Great Architect of the Universe.. who is also personal.

  162. 162
    leo says:

    jerry,

    Cultures never endure. Our culture (or the mix of cultures that is called “Western”) is nothing like it was 100 years ago, nor 100 years before that, etc. It is related, it is similar, is is evolved from, but not the same. The myth of enduring cultures is a ploy to make history books easier to write. Do you really believe that the Chinese culture hasn’t changed in 5000 years as is usually stated?

    Similarly, there was no one Roman culture, nor Greek, nor Christian. These ideas had influences on the culture, but they did not define them outright. Atheism has been an influential part of Western culture for over centuries, and far from corrupting it has lead/participated in significant upheavals that produced our present culture.

    To say that current thinking is defined only by power is to ignore the role that power played and still plays in history as a whole and religion specifically. Even those who strove most for the rights of men bought into the myth:

    …the supreme lord of the universe has, in his wisdom, rendered the various conditions of mankind necessary to our individual happiness: some are rich, other poor-some are masters, and other servants,”

    -Samuel Adams, The Complete Servant, 1825

    but the Enlightenment undermined this myth eventually lead to a new culture. Certainly some of these men, Thomas Paine, Samuel Adams, John Locke, etc. were religious men, but it wasn’t their religion that drove then is reject the divine right of kings or Great Chain of Being, it was their reason. Reason is an idea that a culture can be built upon.

    You say Atheism ignores the obvious: what is the obvious, for I must be ignoring it also? It certainly does not say there is nothing to believe in, and in no way does it lead to a culture based on power. Perhaps it will lead to one not based on power for once. And again, I have to disagree about you assertion that science points away from atheism/agnosticism, though I suppose it is best left to other threads to discuss this.

    As for the obligatory remark about communists, I will make the obligatory reply that communism was/is a religion, based no more on reasoned thought and evidenced based ideas than any other, certainly much less than some.

    History show us the religion is as tribal as any other idea. It can be used to increase the tribe, either violently or peacefully, but in doing so it requires servitude to the powerful. Reason requires servitude to no one and leads to respect and rights for all.

  163. 163
    leo says:

    PannenbergOmega

    My views vary on the 100% factuality of the Bible. Though, I am very willing to become more orthodox, if new evidence emerges.

    I am glad to know that you will follow the evidence, where ever it may take you. I wonder, does this also mean you would become less orthodox?

    For my part, if ever I am convinced that the Christians, Jews, Hindus, Taoists, or whomever, are correct, than I think will find myself part of said group – not so much a desire to fit into that group, but because my thought’s happen to place me there.

    I truly believe the Christianity and others do have great messages, I happen to think that those messages can be preserved in a form that does not promote division and does promote reasoned discourse.

  164. 164
    StephenB says:

    Leo:

    In a healthy culture, the core values endure while personality features change texture in a natural way. An unhealthy culture can be found at on either side of this “golden mean”– two extremes–two ways of violating justice–either of which can lead to cultural death. If, on the one hand, the core values change, unity is lost and the culture dies from internal corruption. If, on the other hand, the personality features are not allowed to develop and change in a natural way, diversity is lost and the culture has all the life choked out ot it.

    At one extreme the, United States is being corrupted by too much diversity at the expense of unity. We have lost our core. At the other extreme, most Islamic countries are already corrupt from too much unity at the expense of diversity. They have no personality. The difference is that the United States has a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution that was established just so these proper proportions could be maintained, and if need be, restored. The founding fathers established the “natural moral law” as a unifying core that allows for a healthy diversity, characterized by the phrase, “out of many one.” Islam imposes “Sharia law” on its citizens, strangling the culture and retarding its natrual development. They have the “one” but they don’t have the “many.” We have the “many,” but we have lost the “one.”

    The question is, then, is the United States going to continue dying from too much diversity, or is it going to restore its unity. If we do not gain control of our borders, language, and culture, we will die. It is as simple as that. In 1947, the Supreme Court abandoned the natural moral law and supplanted it with popular opinion as the standard for jurisprudential justice. What followed was a gradual cultural decline. Today, we are a divided nation with no moral core, and we are indeed dying. A few years ago, William J. Bennett, established what he calls the “index of cultural indicators.” It is an objective measure of our cultures overall health. I will not provide the numbers, but suffice it to say, we are falling fast. Unless we get back to and agree on our basic core values, we will soon be out of business. The only real question is, will our enemies destroy us before we commit suicide?

  165. 165
    leo says:

    bililiad,

    Thank you, I appreciate that.

  166. 166
    jerry says:

    leo,

    Why atheism is intellectually bankrupt has to do with the fine tuning of the universe. Such a thing could not happen by any means of chance and must be directed by an intelligence.

    The laws of nature are extremely precise and any small variation from them leads to chaos. No other explanation except an intelligent designer makes sense. If you are not aware of this argument you should look into it and see what explanation you buy into.

    The fine tuning says nothing about the nature of the designer(s) but only that an immense intelligence must exist to cause the universe to exist as it is.

    If one invokes a multiple universe scenario, then one runs into another roadblock in the origin of life. So the atheist must subscribe to one implausible fairy tale after another to maintain their position.

    Yes it is intellectually bankrupt.

  167. 167
    leo says:

    Jerry,

    I am surprised that you would relegate an idea to ‘intellectual bankruptcy’ based on Barrow and Tipler’s SAP (among other adaptations). I know that there are many varied responses to said point of view, but I think the most straightforward and easiest to understand would be that all evidence points to life adapting to physics, not physics to life. The sausage was not made to fit the bun, in the words of Dr. Gould. I find it to be a rather weak argument in all truthfulness.

    As for multiple universes, I see no evidence for that either. Though they may exist and/or there may be an Intelligence at work in creation, until I see any real evidence, not tautology, I will refrain from commitment to the cause. If the current body of evidence and arguments convinces you, and you believe fully in the choice you have made, more power to you. But, believe me, I’m quite sure that I have heard all that you have and I am not prepared to follow down your path, at least not yet, maybe never.

  168. 168
    jerry says:

    leo,

    It is not just Barrow and Tippler. I said nothing about the Anthropic Principle. Forget about them and follow the arguments that small changes in any of several key constants leads to absolute chaos in the universe. Gould’s statement is incredibly naive given a universe of just a few elements that is rapidly expanding or rapidly collapsing as the result of these changes. He expects life to appear naturalistically in such a condition? What a sad commentary.

    What Gould said and I assume you are correct, defies reason but is explained by the mind of an ideologue and not one governed by reason. You claim that reason will win the day but when atheists base their conclusions on ideology and not reason they are not to be trusted in anything they conclude.

  169. 169
    StephenB says:

    leo:

    I think Jerry is right about atheism being intellectually bankrupt. To his point about fine tuning, I would add the problem of “infinite regress.” It’s an old philosophical problem that dates all the way back to Aristotle and his “prime mover” argument. As we reflect on the reality of causal chains, we come to understand that the chain cannot go on to infinity. There must be a causeless cause. I don’t know any way out of that. Do you?

  170. 170
    leo says:

    jerry,

    Gould (nor I) expect life to appear at all, that it has in no way presupposes that it has to.

    The fact is, the constants are what they are. As we have no idea how a universe forms, we have no idea as to the values they are able to take. Nor do we know whether this is the only universe or our type of life the only possible. Therefore, if one is to draw a conclusion between the universe being created by an intelligent designer or not, the reasonable answer is that we don’t know and we have nothing to base conclusion on. However, if I was forced to make a choice, I would say that no designer is simpler choice.

    StephenB,

    In the same vein, why must the causeless cause be the designer (or something deeper into the regress), why not the universe itself? Furthermore, our laws of cause and effect apply in this universe, but do we know that they apply outside?

    Adding a designing cause seems to me to be adding a further layer of complexity to a situation so complex that it is already far outside our sphere of knowledge. Furthermore, it seems a way of projecting human traits and experiences to a circumstance that shows no need nor reason to have them.

  171. 171
    jerry says:

    leo,

    As i said one has to subscribe to infinitely low probabilities that certain events have happen to be an atheist. And then to say the simpler choice is that no designer exists is one of the more disingenuous statements I have ever heard. I would not call that the product of a reasonable person.

    What is happening here is a game where atheists tries to figure what kind of half assed rationales we can dream up that will support our beliefs because there are some uncomfortable facts out there. Then the atheist insist that these low probability beliefs be taught as dogma in science classes. I find this incredibly arrogant.

    Believe what you want and keep the faith. But please do not give the hypocritical lecture again on reason being the wave of the new culture.

  172. 172
    leo says:

    jerry,

    And as I said, you cannot ascribe probabilities to an event when you do not have the faintest clue as to how that event occurs. Where do you get your numbers from? How do you define the parameters? Do you take the broadest possible values for each constant and decide that there is an equally likely chance that any of those values could exist? It’s a preposterous notion to apply statistics to a situation where virtually everything is an unknown. I suppose I should take it from you when you call me disingenuous, you seem to have a broad experience with the notion.

    I’m not trying to convince you of anything. I have no vested interest in you, what you think, or why. Try to pass this off as a grand atheist conspiracy if you must, but it is in fact the most simple, straightforward explanation that we have at this time. It may turn out to be totally and completely wrong, and if we continue to use reason, evidence, and sound logic we may get closer to what the real truth is. It certainly beats angry diatribes based on faulty arguments that add nothing to the debate.

    Here’s hoping that culture based on reason arrives some day, the sooner the better.

  173. 173
    StephenB says:

    —-leo: In the same vein, why must the causeless cause be the designer (or something deeper into the regress), why not the universe itself? Furthermore, our laws of cause and effect apply in this universe, but do we know that they apply outside?”

    We know that the laws of cause and effect begin with the causesless cause and know that there are a finite number of causes in the causal chain; that is all we need to know. Aristotle’s prime mover argument is just a legitimate now as if was over two thousand years ago. Anyone who does not believe that is not a rational person.

  174. 174
    bFast says:

    leo:

    you cannot ascribe probabilities to an event when you do not have the faintest clue as to how that event occurs.

    I don’t have the faintest clue as to how the big bang event occurs. It sounds like you don’t either. However, I have listened to mainstream physicists discuss the topic. They seem to have much better sense that I have. It is possible that physicists actually do have a clue, but you don’t?

    I understand that if the four fundimental forces had slightly different values, our universe would either collapse on itself very quickly, or spread apart so broadly that everything would cool to near absolute zero in no time. It may be a huge presumption on my part, but absolute zero is a very unlikely place to find life, and a certain fairly significant amount of time is required to produce intelligent life via natural mechanism (most here would argue that the amount of time extends well beyond infinity.)

    (172)

    Nor do we know whether this is the only universe or our type of life the only possible.

    We don’t know if this is the only universe. That is true. However, we do know something about whether our type of life is the only one possible. We know that there are some very interesting characteristics, flexibilities, in the protein molecule. These flexibilities allow this one molecule to play a plethora of different roles in our bodies. It is the majic of this molecule that makes life as we know it possible.

    What we also know is the nature of a lot of chemical reactions — a lot! No other chemical reaction we have found yet comes anywhere close to offering the range of properties that protein does.

    Further, the difference between proteins is totally based upon the order of the amino acids that make it up. If we were to locate another molecule that had the variety of properties that protein has, if it did not obtain its properties from a digital organization, then the other life you propose would be very different from ours indeed.

    I am pretty darn sure that super-cold, approaching absolute zero, is no place for life. Everything of necessity must move very slowly in such environments, or heat happens. We have had some opportunity to explore “really cold, but not super-cold” here on earth, and in comet tails. We haven’t found a unique form of life in these environments.

    The most noteable remaining possibility is really hot. What we know, however, about really hot is that matter decomposes to plasma. As such, it does not produce molecular bonds. Further, if there were life in the most proximate hot place — the sun — we would probably have figured that out by now.

    So, while it is conceivable that there are other forms of life, science has examined millions of hypothetical possibilites, and eliminated all but the one we know (and possibly a variant, the RNA world.)

    You can pin your hopes on an alternative universe, or a different form of life if you wish. However, the view that our kind of life is the only kind possible is a pretty darn respectable theory.

  175. 175
    ericB says:

    Disbelief in the grand Neo-Darwinian claim (i.e. that Darwinistic mechanisms explain the diversity of life) leads to the freedom to scientifically evaluate the actual limits of Darwinian evolutionary change (cf. Behe’s Edge of Evolution).

    It is only through a hard nosed understanding of those limits that we will be able to evaluate the susceptibility of proposed disease treatments to being defeated by Darwinian change.

  176. 176
    StephenB says:

    —–leo writes, “To my mind these morals existed prior to the rise of Christianity and will persist if Christianity ever fades to myth. The “code of living” will go on,”

    No government ever took the natural moral law seriously until the Catholic Church first applied it as its own standard for the “code of Canon law.” Without Christianity, the natural moral law would not have gained currency; as Christianity fades, institutionalized morality goes with it. That is why, in 1947, our own government, having abandoned faith in God, supplanted the natural moral law with public opinion as the standard of jurisprudential wisdom. Even if the people believe in objective morality, that doesn’t mean that the government will use it as the standard for jurisprudential wisdom.

  177. 177
    jerry says:

    The real question is why does anything exist? And why does it exist with such exquisite precision. To suggest this is an accident is something that boggles the mind.

    No one is suggesting that further exploration is out of the question but to a priori exclude an intelligent cause is a folly and the only reason is to stack the decks into one possible improbable explanation.

  178. 178
    chuckhumphry says:

    jerry,

    I completely agree.
    Any event as unlikely as the formation of the universe must obviously be the result of an intelligence. There is no other logical alternative.

  179. 179
    jerry says:

    chuckhumphry,

    leo is the poster child for atheist irrational thinking which he claims are rational. A rational person would have discussed the pro and cons of each side and if there were chinks in each side would have discussed them.

    The shame is that leo is biology professor and there are plenty of chances to discuss biology here and inform us where we stray from the facts. That would be another chance to learn more about leo’s rational approach to life.

  180. 180
    chuckhumphry says:

    jerry,

    Of course.
    A rational person has to admit that any astronomically unlikely event is far more likely the result of design. I don’t see how dogmatic athiests like leo can honestly believe such nonsense.

  181. 181
    leo says:

    gentlemen,

    I’m glad you have both figured me out. Though, thankfully, I’m not a biology professor (shudder at the thought), just a biologist. At least I get my own posters now, so that’s pretty exciting – much better than business cards you know.

    If you would be so kind as to peruse the previous posts, you will notice that the one who was trying to discuss both sides and come to a rational conclusion was me, however, you thwarted me at every turn so congratulations. I suppose it comes down to this:

    Any event as unlikely as the formation of the universe must obviously be the result of an intelligence.

    You say must obviously, I say -What do we know for sure at this point and what are the likely possibilities that can be derived from that? I don’t think any conclusion is obviously the right one and I have said as much above.

    you say

    A rational person has to admit that any astronomically unlikely event is far more likely the result of design.

    and I say – Design would require a designer which would be at least unlikely perhaps more so (though, of course we cannot know for sure as probabilities cannot be done on this sort of thing) so why add a middle man when there is no evidence to, why cannot the universe itself be the causeless cause? By your twisted logic, there could never be a causeless cause – now maybe there is and maybe there isn’t, but I’m not willing to settle on one position just yet.

    Of course you use the word dogma on me to secure in your own mind a semblance of balanced thought where none seems to exist. Fine. I’m dogmatic, I’m crouching in my dark little corner, hiding from the light. Strange though, I seem to be the only one questioning all sides. Suppose I have a lot of time in that corner to sit and think.

  182. 182
    leo says:

    bFast,

    It is very likely that physicists do have a much sense of what occurred than me (I should certainly hope so, in fact) and I certainly agree that the universe as we know it and life as we know it seems to be a pretty good fit and may be the only type possible. However, in and of itself, that is not an argument for design. To be circular about it (and somewhat facetious), would not the designer be another form of life, likely different than ours and therefore capable perhaps of living in a different sort of universe… (I repeat, facetious)

    I’m not pinning any hopes on alternative universes. Alternative universes may or may not exist, I find it to simply be interesting speculation. As I said, I don’t know how things started or why we are anything at all and I’m not pretending that the answer is obvious.

  183. 183
    chuckhumphry says:

    leo,

    Tell me, have you ever read Dr. William Dembski’s Arguments Not To Use? A short quote from the page should clarify what I mean:

    This argument points out that, by inferring a designer from complexity in machines, the designer must also be complexity. Why? Well just because it seems like he/she/it would. This of course then plunges into an infinite loop of who designed the designer. This infinite loop makes Intelligent Design somehow impossible. The really weird part is the argument is broadcast to us using a computer that was the result of intelligent design. Intelligent design does not speak to the nature of designers anymore than Darwin’s theory speaks to the origin of matter.

    Really, do you think IDists are so stupid as to not have thought things through? Don’t patronize us.

    The work of Dr. Dembski and other ID scientists have shown time and again the numerous lines of evidence that support ID theory. Are you not familiar with their work? Read their papers and their books. Download their lectures and debates: ID theory is sceince.

  184. 184
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Is anyone here interested in Dr. Dembski’s philosophical writings?

    They are very interesting, maybe even groundbreaking. Perhaps someone should start a website, devoted to discussing them.

    http://www.designinference.com/

    I mean, he makes more sense then many of the other theologians I’ve read. Pannenberg for instance.

  185. 185
    chuckhumphry says:

    PannenbergOmega,

    Thank you for posting the link. I can’t wait to read them!
    Dr. William Dembski is clearly the “Isaac Newton of information theory”; I believe that in time, if his work is as revolutionary in philosophy and theology as it is in information theory, then Dr. Dembski may be the Isaac Newton of theology as well.

  186. 186
    PannenbergOmega says:

    My pleasure, chuckhumphry.
    If there are more people out there who frequent this website, and are interested in Dembski’s philosophical and religious works. Maybe we can form
    a discussion group.

  187. 187
    PannenbergOmega says:

    >Dr. Dembski may be the Isaac Newton >of theology

    I agree, I think Dembski may be up there with people like Aquinas or Calvin.

    They are shaping the future of the church. Maybe.

  188. 188
    leo says:

    chuckhumphry,

    Did you even read my post?

    Let me repeat:
    -though, of course we cannot know for sure
    -now maybe there is and maybe there isn’t

    What I am saying is, it may be more complex, it may be less complex, it may be the same. We don’t know, and apparently have made no effort to attempt to find out.

  189. 189
    PannenbergOmega says:

    “They are shaping the future of the church. Maybe.”

    Let me elaborate a little on this statement. If we believe (as I do) that God interacts with His creation, then we should all recognize that the nihilistic implications of full fledged Darwinism, are totally incapable of being reconciled with Christian theology. Obviously ID is very much intertwined with the future of Christianity.

  190. 190
    chuckhumphry says:

    PannenbergOmega,

    I agree, but I’d go even one step further. ID science may be connected with Christianity, but the Intelligent Design movement – in addition to being an excellent scientific theory with tons of evidence in its favor – is the first step towards the eventual overthrow of the atheistic, nihilistic, amoral culture that surrounds us today.

  191. 191
    PannenbergOmega says:

    I agree with you, completely.

    Hopefully, and this is a big hope, the movie Expelled will help matters.

  192. 192
    PannenbergOmega says:

    It’s not something that is going to change over night thought. There has been about 50 (more or less, this is subject to modification) years of increasing secularization in the USA.

    So it may take a generation or two, in my humble opinion, to undo the damage done to our society from social liberalism. This is an optimistic approach to the matter. Things very well might get worse.

  193. 193
    ericB says:

    leo: “In the same vein, why must the causeless cause be the designer (or something deeper into the regress), why not the universe itself?”

    Because the universe had a beginning. To suggest that it is the uncaused cause violates the causal principle (which also appears in the Kalam argument) that

    Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

    As David Hume wrote, “But allow me to tell you that I never asserted so absurd a Proposition as that anything might arise without a cause”.

    This principle implies that the uncaused cause is eternal, i.e. without a beginning.

    leo: “Furthermore, our laws of cause and effect apply in this universe, but do we know that they apply outside?”

    We don’t know that they apply outside any more than we know whether they will apply inside next week.

    Nevertheless, since they certainly could be true, it is not unreasonable to consider the implications of ideas such as these.

  194. 194
    PannenbergOmega says:

    All this stuff about a cyclical universe and multiverses in a bunch of horse crap. Put forth by the secular-‘progressive’ bloc, because they don’t want to believe in God.

  195. 195
    PannenbergOmega says:

    “ID science may be connected with Christianity”

    I agree with this Chuck. But you don’t need to be a Christian to be an ID theorist.

    What I mean is Christianity needs ID, but ID doesn’t necessarily need Christianity.

  196. 196
    chuckhumphry says:

    PannenbergOmega,

    Good point.
    I’d say that Christianity – to remain relevant in today’s world – is dependent on the continued sucess of Intelligent Design’s influence in politics, ethics, religion, and science.

  197. 197
    bFast says:

    PannenbergOmega:

    What I mean is Christianity needs ID, but ID doesn’t necessarily need Christianity.

    ID definitely does not need Christianity. There is nothing I have seen yet in ID that needs a God that seeks relationship with man. Biological ID doesn’t even need a God. Cosmological id certainly requires an intelligent agent that is outside of our universe — as such, in a way there is a requirement of “supernatural”, or at least “superuniversal”, to coin a phraise.

    Does Christianity need ID? Well, that depends on how big the ID tent is. I do not see Christianity being steiffled by a single ID event, a the moment of the big bang, that set up a set of laws which, by their nature unfolded into man. This is very much a TE position.

    I honestly think that nature calls out for ID. Certainly science is by no means far enought down the road to rule ID out. The fact that the scientific mainstream has written ID off without ever having achieved first life in a test-tube is utterly rediculous.

  198. 198
    allanius says:

    ID provides encouragement to people of faith because the reality of design in nature is irrefutable. Modernists and lovers of theory have spent the past hundred years relentlessly browbeating believers with the notion that science disproves faith; that believers are naive, deluded, and, worst of all, unscientific. In that sense ID simply confirms what the senses have been telling us all along. The goodness of nature does not comport well with the excessive love of theory seen in Darwin. Nature does not justify the attempt to negate “the good” for the sake of the unifying theory of the survival of the fittest. Life is more complex than our modern philosophers would have us believe.

  199. 199
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Hi Bfast,

    I honestly, think that much of the criticism ID faces is not to due to the supposed evidence against it.

    In fact that is alot of evidence in favor of ID. I think some people actually may want there to be no God,and no purpose in the universe.

    Let’s all take a moment to think about what Darwin’s theory is actually saying. It’s crazy.
    If it were true, there would be no order or rationality in the world.

  200. 200
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Hi allanius,

    I agree with you.

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