Palindrone

More on the psychosis front. Forget the “uterine activity”, mother and daugther, forget the sexism fightback. It’s hard to dig out from front line comment but it’s in there somewhere.

Is everybody happy with this then?

Creationism

“It is hard to tell whether Palin herself is a creationist or not and, frankly, that’s far less important than the policy positions she holds in the matter. (Though, of course, having a Vice President who is deluded about basic aspects of reality would not be exactly reassuring).”

“Palin said during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign that if she were elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum, or look for creationism advocates when she appointed board members.”

Global warming
“Q What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?

Palin A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.”

  • Tazia Doll

    So God is to blame for global warming? I think that is a bit harsh, he doesn’t even use an SUV.

  • SamGraham

    “having a Vice President who is deluded about basic aspects of reality would not be exactly reassuring”

    Of course in the world of the intellectual pygmies of village philosophers, Brian Walker and Richard Dawkins.

    Brian would you prefer a VP that believed that billions of planets, all matter, time and space exploded by nothing and from nothing in less than a nanosecond in an Uncaused Big Bang? That is the current prevailing view amongst physicists.

    Now, who is the crazy one?

    Perhaps you also would object to Isaac Newton, Kepler, Boyle, Faraday, and Boyle throwing in their views about Science and Creationism?

    Thought so…better keep your little mind focused on other crazy views that you are obsessed with such as “yuman rights” and “UFOs.”

    When you are able to string a coherent and rational argument on Slugger then come back. Until then your amateur scientific theories should be parked at the kindergarten door.

    Mick Fealty – can you transfer some of these Darwin Fundamentalists out to some Humanist Society for a while so they can grow beards, worry about polar bears, and eco-friendly fuels? The majority of us on planet earth would simply like to get on with our lives and engage in rational debate with people who can think. Brian Walker has not even graduated beyond the cheap jibes of the playground and “illiberal liberal” concept of immediately questioning anyone’s sanity who dares to disagree with him.

  • Pete

    The hubris of people like Brian Walker is astonishing. Today the Daily Mail have an interesting piece showing how limited we are all in our knowledge of even the basic atomic structures.

    “The ordinary ‘stuff’ that we see around us – the atoms and molecules of water, carbon, iron, oxygen and the rest that make up our bodies, the planet Earth, the Moon, the other planets, the Sun and all the stars – actually accounts for only about one part in 25 of the total ‘ingredients’ of the cosmos.

    Astronomers know that something else, invisible and mysterious, must pervade every inch of space, its subtle gravity affecting the movements of the galaxy.

    This material – no one really has a clue what it is – has been dubbed ‘dark matter’ and it is hoped that the collider just might shed some light on what it is, perhaps uncovering a new type of particle.

    Perhaps more embarrassingly, we don’t know what it is that gives even ordinary matter its mass.

    In the 1960s, British physicist Peter Higgs proposed the existence of a new particle, now known as the ‘Higgs Particle’, which effectively lends ‘weight’ to the stuff of the universe.
    So important and fundamental is this hypothetical entity that it has been dubbed the ‘God particle’.”

    Brian Walker would be well advised to seek some humility in his embarassingly crass and stupid generalisations!

  • Brian Walker

    sam and Pete, I’m flattered to be compared to Richard Dawkins but I don’t think he’s got all the answers. He’s too dogmatic for my taste. If you read my pieces you’ll realise I accept and respect the power of religion. An open mind is the key to all understanding and scientific knowledge is expanding all the time. But I’m afraid the fundamentalism you espouse is – fundamentally – unreason – and sucks you into a black hole. I grant you that part of prosperous America shares these views, but Palin’s caution about pushing them forward – and McCain’s indifference to them – shows they are currently in retreat. All- consuming fundamentalism can only be opposed, like communism, another ideology that has all the answers. I submit that it’s certain fundamentalists who are arrogant, not I. But if they recognise that mainstream views overwhelmingly dominate debate, normal politics can take place.

  • SamGraham

    Brian

    If you are someone who respects religion then dear help us all when Slugger has an ardent atheist posting on here!

    “An open mind is the key to all understanding and scientific knowledge is expanding all the time.”

    Sorry, you shot yourself in the foot when you refused to allow creationism/ID through the door in your first post. It is a bit late now in screaming your putative liberal credentials of tolerance. An open mind is not necessarily the key thing as our Western Civilization is built on the principles of absolute linear logic. If we deny the Scientific Principle and Laws of logic then we will collapse into the world of Brian Walkerism! I do not need to have an open mind about maths or the laws of logic!

    “But I’m afraid the fundamentalism you espouse is – fundamentally – unreason – and sucks you into a black hole.”

    My beliefs do not suck me into any such thing. Thanks for the patronising gross misrepresentation. If I am in a black hole with Newton, Faraday, Boyle, Norman Nevins etc then I am in pretty good company! They all managed to contribute enormously to the forwarding of scientific advancement despite according to Brian’s World of being from “unreason.”

    “I submit that it’s certain fundamentalists who are arrogant, not I. But if they recognise that mainstream views overwhelmingly dominate debate, normal politics can take place.”

    This is a classic piece of fascism that is a recycled Plato’s Philosopher Kings doctrine. Brian who are the “mainstream” – you and your mates at the pub? The Guardianistas who believe cutting to pieces babies with knives in the womb, saving whales, and gay rights is “normal” as opposed to the unenlightened who dare to disagree.

    I will say no more as your own words condemn you – what objective source have you for your mainstream opinions and why should we believe your interpretation of what constitutes it?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Brian Walker, what is your position on the possibility of life in some other part of space?

    Do you believe that because space is so huge that the chance of life elsewhere becomes greater, or do you believe that the probability of the conditions needed to support life being recreated in another section of space is so slim that it virtually becomes impossible for life to exist elsewhere?

    Which theory is more Scientific?

  • Sarah

    “having a Vice President who is deluded about basic aspects of reality would not be exactly reassuring”

    Had you a problem with AL Gore?

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Brian,

    “But I’m afraid the fundamentalism you espouse is – fundamentally – unreason – and sucks you into a black hole.”

    Whatabout “scientific” fundamentalism from the likes of Dawkins? Dawkins has faith that science will one day explain the start of life. However, it certainly does not at the moment. Evolution is a theory of how things evolved. Not how they started. To make the jump from evolution to creation requires faith which in effect turns Dawkins science into a form of religion. Dawkins derides the other “religions” and sees his as the only form worth practising – the others are even evil. Sound familiar? Who’s the real fundamentalist?

  • Brian Walker

    My critics here seem to represent creationism as of equal merit and status with scientific rationalism. That is not accepted by the corpus of learning endorsed by every state in the western world. (Some commentators here would exclude the Papacy, which I see co-existing uneasily with scientific rationalism). Those states and societies live in general harmony with an attested body of mainstream religion. They are used to each other. The fundamental rights which guarantee religious freedom ensure that religion doesn’t dominate or control. Both religion and anti-religion have their fringes of which strains of fundamentalism is one. So are lines of inquiry into UFOS. They should be left in peace unless they make claims to equality of treatment which society cannot endorse. The present rise of creationism is unsettling because it threatens to disturb the implicit concordat in society that the propagation of religious belief is confined to the private (not the same as individual) sphere. Ms Palin is wise to keep it there: her new fans please note.

    Dawkins is not the accredited spokesman of learning. It is a whole universe bigger than any particular controversialist. Today creationists have re-emerged perhaps because of the lack of answers in an increasingly diverse world and a natural longing for stability. It causes some people to veer off into left field. At least they are a lot more benign – at present – than the race theorists of the 19th century, who were indeed a corrupt development of scientific thought. It’s a free society and they’re free to campaign as stridently as they like. They’re not alone there!

  • Driftwood

    I think we’ve already had several threads on the reason v creation subject recently. Dawkins usually gets thrown in. The real debate centres around whether people accept the very real evidence for evolution, all living things currently on earth having a common ancestor. This is science. The “God of the gaps” model being espoused here by some posters is not science. In political terms it would be suicidal for any US candidate for high office not to hedge their bets though and throw away the votes of many millions of ignorant citizens.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Brian,

    “Scientific rationalism” cannot explain the existance of life or the existance of the universe. That Dawkins et al suggest it can puts them in the same league as faith based belief. There are quite a few scientists who believe in a supernatural creator BECAUSE of where science has taken them. The demand from certain scientists for religion to retreat from the debate are the works of fundamentalists.

  • Driftwood

    On subject
    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/sep/03/opinion/oe-harris3

    Congal, Is that the best the Scripture Union could come up with. Putting scientific rationalism in quotation marks does not detract from its power to explain.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Driftwood,

    I tend to believe in evolution. However, there is not a wild amount of info to support it scientifically speaking. Evolution only attempts to explain how animals evolve not how they existed are were created in the first place. Natural selection is used as the mechanism to explain how evolution procedes. However as the name suggests it requires attributes to select from. Therefore, if long necked horses have some advantage over short necked horses the long necks tend to dominate or vice versa. However, both had to be present for selection to take place. Natural selection does not create anything.

    “The god of the gaps” is thrown about by Dawkins to suggest that religion is mumbo jumbo dreamt up to fill the void in current knowledge. But that this knowledge will eventually be known. This isn’t true. There are many scientists who hold religious beliefs because where science has taken them and it is a God needed to explain the whole not the gaps. Consider that the universe is even intelligible. Consider then that not only is it intelligible but can be expressed through mathematics. Many of the mathematical theorems dreamt up by humans many centuries before their application in science. To many fundamental physicists it is remarkable that the universe is knowable and expressed in mathematics. To them it hints at design. If you then look at the laws that govern the universe these are very precise for life to exist. Odds in the order of 10^130. To Dawkins et al they just attribute this to remarkable luck against unimaginable odds. At present the best argument that science comes up with is that we are one universe in trillions of multiverses. All the others devoid of life. Luckily enough these other universe are undetectable by us. So, it comes down to believing in 1 creator or trillions of undetectable universes. Neither of which is proveable.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Driftwood,

    “Congal, Is that the best the Scripture Union could come up with. Putting scientific rationalism in quotation marks does not detract from its power to explain.”

    I was never in it. I also agree that science does explain quite a bit about our universe – just not all. To many scientists and philosphers the fact that it can is remarkable. To many of them the fact that it can be explained mathematically almost hints at a creator.

    The bottom line is that there is a faith aspect to believing in a wholly scientific explanation of everything. More or less what religion boils down to.

  • Driftwood

    Yes Congael
    But who or what created the creator?…ad infinitum.
    As for evolution of life on earth, right up to apes like ourselves, I think the vast majority of scientists, and all the evidence points to it being true.
    Oh, and I believe it took a bit longer than 6000 years.
    But maybe not?

  • SamGraham

    Driftwood,

    This question has been asked continually on Slugger by anti-Theists yet the answer is ridiculously easy to give.

    God does not need a Creator as He is the First Cause of all time, space, and matter as set out in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. If God created time in what is called the Big Bang by physicists then it follows that He must be outside time as a creator of time cannot be controlled by what He created. That being so He therefore has no beginning and ergo needs no creator.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Driftwood,

    “But who or what created the creator?…ad infinitum.”

    Whereas you seem to believe it was created from nothing by nothing???

    “As for evolution of life on earth, right up to apes like ourselves, I think the vast majority of scientists, and all the evidence points to it being true.”

    As I said, I believe evolution does take place. However, there is not a wild amount of evidence for it. Or can you provide it? The fossil record provides very few possibly in between examples. Mainly, there’s big jumps but stasis within species. If it was gradual change – the Darwinian view – you’d expect loads.

    “Oh, and I believe it took a bit longer than 6000 years.
    But maybe not?”

    You’ll be pleased to hear I also agree. Being a scientist is not incompatible with holding religious views – despite what Dawkins thinks.

  • SamGraham

    Brian,

    You keep retreating behind this mythical body of what you believe is the “mainstream” or “the corpus of learning.”

    Scientific rationalism is based upon the same faith-based pre-supposition as creationism as the Scientific Method cannot be proven by the Scientific Method! Secondly, please do not insult our intelligence by trying to equate scientific rationalism with science as they are not synonymous terms.

    If you are wise, you would heed the warning of history that often the greatest of scientists have been proven radically wrong within their own generation before throwing your lot and surrendering your intellect so easily. The universe is designed and controlled by laws that we all innately know (save those like you who live in denial) must result from a Law Giver and a Law Maintainer. The alternative explanation which you and Dawkins et al rather incredulously promote is that all of the order, design, laws, morals, etc that we observe every day came out of nothing from nothing in less than a nanosecond.

    Who do you think has the right to regard himself as more rational?

    No one here is advocating that evolutionists are persecuted like the Papacy did to scientists in the past so please do not play that card. What we are arguing for is that the religion of rationalism and evolution is not accorded a greater status than the Theistic alternatives. No more and no less.

    What is so worrying about that? As a pinkish liberal I thought you would be all for keeping an open mind and tolerating such diversity.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Driftwood,

    To add to what Sam has said, the big bang is a bit of a problem to anti-theists. It suggests creation. Which went against the thinking of the anti-theists who believed in a steady state type universe. The discovery of the background microwave radiation then confirmed the theory.

  • Brian Walker

    samgraham I do tolerate diversity, I made that clear. However I do not regard Ussher’s chronology of the earth starting in 4004 BC and the like as equal to evolution. Darwin was not a prophet, he was a scientist and his findings can be reviewed. Incidentally Darwin, a known agnostic, was buried in Westminster Abbey. The Bishop of Carlisle, Harvey Goodwin, in a memorial sermon preached in the Abbey on the Sunday following the funeral, said “I think that the interment of the remains of Mr Darwin in Westminster Abbey is in accordance with the judgment of the wisest of his countrymen…It would have been unfortunate if anything had occurred to give weight and currency to the foolish notion which some have diligently propagated, but for which Mr Darwin was not responsible, that there is a necessary conflict between a knowledge of Nature and a belief in God…”

    I have no firm view about the origin of matter. There may be even a “God” in it somewhere. The dogma is not on my side, it’s on the fundamentalists’. The “literal” interpretation of the Bible cannot be weighed against a rational approach to life. For many, it sits alongside; life for them is binary. Problems start when fundamentalists wish to assert their views over the rational. That will not do.

  • Brian Walker

    P.S. And stop lumping me in with Dawkins. It’s a weak debater’s trick to pick an extreme position and identify your opponent with it – despite my already having repudiated it.

  • Driftwood

    Big difference between postulating a creator of the universe, and a being who listens to prayers, needs constant adoration etc
    Because most religions offer no valid mechanism by which their core beliefs can be tested and revised, each new generation of believers is condemned to inherit the superstitions and tribal hatreds of its predecessors.
    So it goes

  • Driftwood

    Congael
    What sort of scientist are you? Biologist/Chemist/ Physicist/ Mathematician.
    Your personal beliefs are none of my concern, but promoting Creationism in the science curriculum is.
    I am aware you went to a good school 🙂 so i’d be interested in your response.

  • SamGraham

    “Darwin was not a prophet, he was a scientist and his findings can be reviewed”

    Brian

    Please stop twisting words now to squirm out of the hole you dropped yourself in from your original posting. The problem with you and your ilk is that you will not accept legitimate reviewing of the Darwinian model (which has no credibility). You lambast ID as not a science despite the fact that it has the very mathmatical testings to review the Darwinian Fairy Tale.

    To paraphrase Geoffrey Howe – it is a bit like going out to bat but when you get to the wicket to discover the captain has broken your bat!

    “The “literal” interpretation of the Bible cannot be weighed against a rational approach to life.”

    Why ever not? I have proven that they both rely on faith based pre-suppositions and both have to be tested according to the available evidence of nature’s design and complexity.

    I repeat for the slow learners here – no one is asking for Brian Walker’s preferred model to be discarded just that it is given no more right to “truth status” than the prevailing views of the majority of the Western World for the past 2000 years, including arguably the greatest scientific minds of that era.

  • latcheeco

    “God created man because he found momkeys a disappointment” Mark Twain

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Driftwood,

    Physics was my primary degree. BTW, I’m not arguing that any particular religion is correct on this. There are a lot of anti-theists who do not recognise that there is a faith aspect to their beliefs, as science has no explanation yet for life or the universe. I’m not dismissing their/your view. Perhaps you are correct. However, for anti-theists to believe so firmly that they’re correct and everyone else is wrong smacks of fundamentalism.

    For me personally I find it just too much of a coincidence that the laws that govern the universe are so fine tuned to support belief. These are mind boggling odds. Then, life started so quickly on earth and beat the odds in a remarkably quick time. Just recently estimated to at least have started within about 300 million years from the formation of the earth based on C13 studies of diamond within quartz. It seems amazing to me that other life, more advanced than ourselves wouldn’t have formed perhaps billions of years before, assuming the universe to be about 15 billion years old, and surely we would have detected something of their intelligence? Or do you think that no other lifeforms on any planet, etc has advanced to our level?

  • Driftwood

    I have a lot of time for Dr Carl Sagan, Congael, who i’m sure you have heard of, if not read. I doubt we’ll get the answers in our lifetime, though we’ll see what happens with the results from the super collider.
    But your views would be a bit different from Iris Robinsons or Sarah Palin would they not?
    I don’t suppose my views/opinions on anything to be the only true ones, and they often change. That’s part of the value of forums like this and Brian’s thread here.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Driftwood,

    Watched his series as a child. My main memory of it is the guy on the vespa to show relativistic doppler effect. I don’t agree that the earth was formed 6,000 years ago if that’s what you mean. If their is a God or creator or whatever I’d imagine they act through natural processes. If their is a god who wants you to have faith that also means that we should never be able to prove their existence. Otherwise faith wouldn’t be needed.

    However, I do not think that science proves there is no God. Which is what Dawkins tries to push along with the lazy-thinking sheeple who follow without ever researching the subject. Which, on the other side, is probably your opinion of Iris/Sarah…

  • Driftwood

    I’m not sure about Palin, she seems to take a pragmatic approach unlike Iris.
    Dawkins is a Biologist, a very good read, but I wouldn’t take his views as ‘gospel’. On Physics, I’ve read Richard Feynman and tried to read Steven Weinberg- “The First Three Minutes”, but I couldn’t grasp it, way above my level.
    My main point is that ‘God’ should have no place in a science class. Whatever people believe outside that arena is their business. Philosophy would be a better arena for that discussion, including Allister McGrath and Daniel Dennett.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Driftwood,

    “My main point is that ‘God’ should have no place in a science class”

    Depends on the topic I’d say. If you’re talking about the start of life or the start of the universe, for which there’s no scientific explanation that is proven, you’d have little to talk about.

    On the other hand do you think there’s a place for science within the RE class?

  • Driftwood

    Straight from your bugbears site Congal, but they could talk about this:
    http://www.richarddawkins.net/article,2285,Fleabytes,Paula-Kirby#letter6
    I see no reason why science should be discussed in an RE class, any more than than it should be discussed in a French class.
    BTW I have no reason to challenge anything you believe in, it’s just that most people seem to follow the faith of their parents. I would consider myself atheist/agnostic, but I was brought up CoI, which is pretty much the same thing 🙂

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Driftwood,

    There’s no aspect French or any other language that suggests that there may be a creator as far as I’m aware. Whereas there are aspects of science that do suggest there may have been a creator. Stephen Hawking has expressed that view. He then qualifies it to say he stays on the side of science. If science lessons stray onto the topic of creation I think it should be up for discussion.

    Remember, I’m not arguing from a scriptural point of view or for any one religion. I’m arguing from a science point of view. There are many leading edge physicists who see the “need” for a creator to explain the seeming design in the universe.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Driftwood,

    Just read your link above. On the fine tuning aspect which they seem to dismiss and think that life is almost to be expected… how come we have not detected any sign of this life? Surely we would have picked up some radio transmissions. Or are we to believe that out of an untuned universe, teaming with life that we are the most advanced lifeforms?

  • Steve

    On the other hand do you think there’s a place for science within the RE class?

    Posted by Congal Claen on Sep 05, 2008 @ 01:52 PM

    Yeah Psychology springs to mind, mass hysteria should be investigated

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Steve,

    Wow, with a capital p. I wonder why that sprung into your mind.

  • Steve

    Because believing that an all encompassing jew that lives in the clouds and dispense life seems like a mental disorder to me

  • bfB

    seems like a mental disorder to me
    not to the rest of the adult world…
    Get it?

  • Driftwood

    Congal
    Check out Carl Sagans work on the SETI project.
    Maybe we are the most advanced lifeforms? Scary thought when you read the recent thread on Stoneyford?
    If people believe in a creator, in a scientific manner, It’s up to them to prove it.

  • Greenflag

    ‘believing that an all encompassing jew that lives in the clouds and dispense life seems like a mental disorder to me’

    What do you mean mental disorder ? God was not a Jew only part of him was – the eh Jesus part – the other two parts were the Holy Ghost and himself the father . Jesus was God’s only son by Mary . And NO -God was not married to Mary – Mary was married to Joseph after she became pregnant kinda like Bristol Palin . And NO that does not mean Jesus was a B*****d . And he was crucified because of you and everybody else because we were’nt around in AD 30 and anyway it’s a long story and that’s why you see the plaster statue with red painted stains stuck to the big plus sign in your schoolroom 🙁

    See how simple it is . Would you be wanting some eternal elixir of everlasting life which you can get for 20% off if you come and join the church of the Most Holy Silent Collections , P.O Box 666 , Snakeoilsville , Texas ! Send for 10 bottles and you will have enough to last you through the imminent Rapture and the battle of Armageddon which will only start if John McCain and his Archangel Palin are defeated by the forces of Satan Obama /Biden .

    jayzus wept

  • Steve

    not to the rest of the adult world…
    Get it?

    Posted by bfB on Sep 05, 2008 @ 05:44 PM

    Which is why it is mass hysteria, sheesh simple enough concept for one as simple as you

  • Driftwood

    Steve
    Kicking against an open door is futile.
    Ignorance is bliss, leave them knocking at heavens door, they are fighting a losing battle.
    And they know it, which is why they are so afraid.

  • BfB

    steve–drifty

    No bother, I’m accustomed to victory..
    Please keep trying.. It’s halftime.