“We found the comments hurtful..”

I know, I know.. they’ll just get ideas.. ANYhoo.. a bit of variety in our cultural exposé.. and it’s worth noting what Richard Dawkins had to say before that resignation. As Will Crawley notes here a Turkish court has ordered the state telecoms company to bar access to Richard Dawkins official website following a legal action taken by muslim creationist Adnan Oktar, who writes under the pen name of Harun Yahya. Oktar published a creationist text, Atlas of Creation, and then forwarded it, unsolicited, to many scientists, including Dawkins [Crooked Timber got hold of a copy – Ed], who responded on his website by saying “I am at a loss to reconcile the expensive and glossy production values of this book with the breathtaking inanity of the content”. As several commenters on Dawkins website point out, the ban is ineffectual to determined users. But it’s worth noting why the complaint was made, and why the supposedly secular courts upheld that complaint. From the Guardian report.

According to Oktar’s office, Istanbul’s second criminal court of peace banned the site earlier this month on the grounds that it “violated” Oktar’s personality. His press assistant, Seda Aral, said: “We are not against freedom of speech or expression but you cannot insult people. We found the comments hurtful. It was not a scientific discussion. There was a line and the limit has been passed. We have used all the legal means to stop this site. We asked them to remove the comments but they did not.”

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  • Pete

    I’d rather stick with my ECHR Article 10 freedom of expression thank you very much!

    Whilst from a western european perspective this seems ridculous, we in Northern Ireland have our own well meaning but silly law banning insulting or offensive speech in a religious context.

  • Ann the anorak

    Ah offence. Censorship of the many because Adnan Oktar is offended.

    Poor wee man, I hope his feelings are ok now.

  • Driftwood

    Excellent. The religious nutcases are running scared. Scared that intellect and reason might jeapordise their voodoo hold on society. And boy are they scared.

  • 6countyprod

    I’m trying to figure out the connection between voodoo and Islam. Did I miss something?

  • Driftwood

    What is the difference between Voodoo and Islam? Or Christianity or any other cult for that matter?
    Voodoo possibly has more ascetic value?

  • Ann the anorak

    Islam is good for a bad hair day, or if you have face acne, but not good on hot days, whereas voodoo gets me all excited…

  • Doctor Who

    I know it´s slightly off the the topic of the thread but I would like to share with you an incident I had at work.

    On Tuesday during a long break I sat down in the back of the office while reading “God Is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens. My colleague who I have since found out is a devout christian asked me what I was reading. I explained and told her a little about the subject matter. Later that evening my boss informed me that she had made a complaint and that even the title of the book in her opinion was obscene and worse than pornography. He informed her that he could not censor what I chose to read, but asked me not to bring such texts to the work place.

    Well I chose not to make a song and dance about it, so this afternoon again I sat down in the back of the office and began to read, soon I was in fits of laughter, again the same person asked the question: what are you reading? “it must be hilarious”, I replied it was the funniest book I had ever read. I wish you could´ve al seen the expression on her face when I held the book upwards for her to read the title which was of course “HOLY BIBLE”.

  • Ann the anorak

    Gwan doc you’re having us on!

    Does Islam have weekly collections? Do they pass the plate every friday?

  • joeCanuck

    Doctor Who. Love that. Wish I was there.

  • Sam Graham

    I don’t agree with barring anyone but Dawkins and his ilk have no grounds for complaining after the naked censorship of Prof Seiss this week.

    Dawkins is a clown who has achieved what exactly? He is a joke compared to giants of Creationism Isaac Newton, Faraday, Boyle etc. He is hardly a Nobel Prize winner in uncovering the mysteries of the universe! Dawkins writes village idiot philosophy of poorly rehashed arguments of Paine and Ingersoll. Bit like a Jeffrey Archer book of Theology.

    I have read Hitchens book recently and I think he makes some great points on Islam and the Mormons and their blatent plagarisim from the texts of the Christian/Jewish Scriptures.

    That said, the rest of his thesis is a joke and consists of the usual sleight of hand tricks in ad hominen and straw man arguments. If you fall for this, then please remove your brain as it is no longer required.

    Hitchens cannot account for why the universe had a beginning, offers no solution to the classic problems of consciousness, freewill/determinism, intellect, rationality and like all the puerile evolution fundamentalists waxes lyrical about how clear the evidence for his fairy tale is despite not being able to posit anything more than we share common building blocks of DNA and the species are generally adapting as they encounter different environmental challenges. Big Wow! May just as easily explained by a clever creator setting up the DNA mechanism to allow nature to survive for thousands of years.

    I go back to my original challenge which no one on Slugger or Dawkins, Hitchens et al will answer. Some believe the brain evolved despite the fact that it cannot be replicated and is more complex that the world’s fastest computer (and all agrees it is designed). I argue the brain is prima facie evidnce for design and a Creator and my opponents reject this. However, to do this they clearly are able to detect design in order to reject my argument or else they are just whistling in the wind in rejecting ID. So here is the challenge: please give us the scientific objective apparatus that you have used to determine the brain is not designed so we can apply your methodology to the natural world and determine who is telling the truth.

    Readers will not that this question will never be answered as the whole anti-ID case will collapse.

  • Rory

    While holding no credibility in the creationist argument I must say that I do so much enjoy it as a mythical tale well told and to be valued as such. Which is why perhaps I find Driftwood’s assertion that “Voodoo possibly has more ascetic value” than Islam just plain silly.

    However unappealing one may find its teachings (many of which are quite inspirational and common to all cultures and societies) it would be ridiculous to compare the Alhambra to a bamboo hut covered in chicken-shit and find the latter more ascetically pleasing. Besides which astronomy, mathematics and medicine among other sciences owe a great debt to early work carried out by Muslim scholars when the rest of the world was mired in ignorant, superstitious belief. Credit where credit is due, please.

  • TAFKABO

    Rory.

    I know people often refer to advances made during the enlightenment and the times of great Muslim scholars but I don’t buy the argument. It was the case that in those times one could only pursue such a career through religion, so it is a little disingenuous to suggest religion contributed something that otherwise wouldn’t have happened, we don’t know what advances were delayed because of religion.
    Similarly those who claim that people like Newton were creationists are conveniently forgetting that Darwin hadn’t yet been born and creationism was the only show in town.

  • Rory

    TAFKABO,

    I don’t advance the argument that science developed as a result of Islamic faith. I do however observe that science was able to develop under the aegis of Islam. We cannot really say whether or not it would have developed had not the stability that Islam provided been absent.

    My point was really that it would be wrong to ignore the development of great science and art that did occur and to lump all that was magnificent in Islamic culture (or indeed in Christian or the great pagan cultures of Egypt and Rome)) along with something like voodoo which gave us nothing except perhaps the inspiration for the Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer number, That Old Black Magic – “You do that voodoo/that you do so well”- which I presume to be a favourite of Anorak Ann’s.

  • Mustapha Mond

    “Similarly those who claim that people like Newton were creationists are conveniently forgetting that Darwin hadn’t yet been born and creationism was the only show in town.”

    Creationism was’nt the only show in town, a number of Newtons peers were openly atheist or at least agnostic, and no, none of them got torched.

  • Rory

    Speaking of Christopher Hitchens, I have never really seen the point of his book, God is not great. What exactly is he trying to prove? Who is he attempting to influence? Woo-oo! look at me – I’m an atheist. Aren’t I a naughty boy?

    Does he really expect that devout christians or muslims are rushing to buy it in droves so that they can all be alerted to how stupid they are and how smart dear Christopher is?

    And what need do those who are at ease with their lack of faith have of reassurance from a neo-Trotskyist turned neo-con that Big God does not really exist and won’t someday come to hurl them all into a fiery pit? I see them brandishing copies on the tube, nervously peering through their little designer specs, hoping that some well-fit babe sitting opposite will take note of how intellectually ungodly they are.

    The poseurs were much better off in my day. All a guy needed was a black polo-neck, a Gauloise dangling from the lips, a glass of red wine (careful to remove the fag before raising the glass to the mouth) and a copy of On the Road or Nausea. Of course they never pulled either but they gained iconic status after their time had passed.

  • Driftwood

    Rory
    I’m afraid my only experience of the aesetics of voodoo was good. But it was from “Live and Let Die”. My point is separating one set of superstitions and rituals from another is futile.
    Anyway, this sort of censorship smacks of fear rather than ‘hurtful’. If anyone has a strong belief system, fine, they have nothing to fear from science. Or have they?

  • Doctor Who

    Rory

    “Speaking of Christopher Hitchens, I have never really seen the point of his book, God is not great. What exactly is he trying to prove? Who is he attempting to influence? Woo-oo! look at me – I’m an atheist. Aren’t I a naughty boy?”

    Are you a bit smug Rory.

    I can only asume you have not read “god is not great”. Hitchens argues from a philosophical side, using science and the barbarity of religion to back his points up. If anyone is likely to be influenced by this book it may be social christians who go to church out of habit but really don´t believe the nonsense served to them.

    Sam Graham

    “So here is the challenge: please give us the scientific objective apparatus that you have used to determine the brain is not designed so we can apply your methodology to the natural world and determine who is telling the truth.”

    Sam this of course works both ways, however given the brain´s many faults and latent space it makes an intelligent designer look not very intelligent.

    Science has always tried to find the answers to the big questions, religion belongs to a time when scientific research didn´t exist. To survive the Catholic Church has actually adopted evolution as fact, with inteligent design placed at the dawn of man. Of course everything that came for millions of years before then was just larks.

    The challenge is for creationists to prove their completely unfounded and irrational beliefs.

  • Rory

    Funnily enough, Driftwood, your voodoo comment conjured up images from a James Bond movie in my head as well. I do realise that your intention was only to liken differing unlikely belief systems and I have no beef with that. I would however take issue with any argument that the cultures that sprang from the great religions did not create much that was good and lasting and much of that inspired by the very religious beliefs of those cultures.

    It would be a strange soul indeed that would not wonder at the majesty of the Sistine Chapel or the Taj Mahal or, as I have already mentioned, the Alhambra.

  • Doctor Who

    Rory

    “It would be a strange soul indeed that would not wonder at the majesty of the Sistine Chapel or the Taj Mahal or, as I have already mentioned, the Alhambra”

    Absolutely Rory, man has constructed some outstanding buildings in the name of religion. It has also destroyed many for being in the name of the wrong religion.

    The Alhambra was one of the lucky ones to escape vandalism by the christians when the Moors where sacked from Spain.

    Beautiful architecture aside there is not much positive input from religions. Art and literature would have happened if religion had not, and although god was an inspiration for art and literature during the enlightenment, you also have to remember that in Europe these works where commissioned by the Vatican and remained in control of the Church.

  • TAFKABO

    Rory.

    I’m not surprised you don’t understand what Hitchens is trying to do with the book God Is Not Great You ask what is he trying to prove?
    Its about the lack of proof, not proof.
    Besides, the fact that the book was a best seller ought to indicate that a lot of people did understand what he was getting at.

    Oh, and don’t try and give us that old guff about how the bookish types never got the ladies, that’s certainly not my experience.

    😉

  • Pete

    Rory,

    I’ll back up Tafkao, especially on his last point! (Although I do get some rather disdainful looks sometimes)

    Believe in a supernatural deity, don’t you doubt the existance of God, don’t you dare try and develop critical thought of established dogma… get your end away! Good line I say.

    Clearly belief in God has something to do with pulling well fit babes!

    Hmm.

  • Driftwood

    TAF
    I actually agree with Rory about Chris Hitchens somewhat. He isn’t a scientist, more a polemicist. That said he is very enteraining to read, whatever his politics.
    Rory
    I watched “Live and Let Die” at the Grand cinema, Downpatrick, circa 1973. Sex, zombies and speedboat chases beat the hell out of parochial hall dances with orange juice and biscuits to my impressionable mind. And the girls were more interested in what car you drove???. I always assumed you Catholic boys were getting laid more than us, until I discovered Assumption Grammar girls. Reader, I married one.
    So it goes…

  • I appreciate the irony of someone who felt Reiss should go because of what he said now deploring creationist censorship in Turkey. Personally, I think both the campaign against the Rev’d Prof and the Turkish lawsuit were misguided.

    But Sam… can you explain “Some believe the brain evolved despite the fact that it cannot be replicated”. I don’t get the connection you are suggesting between whether we [scientists?] can replicate something, and whether it could have evolved.

    Besides, isn’t a brain replicated inside each new human’s skull? Though I accept that may be not exactly what you were intending to say.

  • Sam Graham

    TAFKABO – you clearly have a rather unenlightened background when you posit the Dawkinite line that if Newton, Faraday, Boyle et al had just read Darwin they would have been evolutionists. You forget conveniently that Faraday was in his prime in 1859 and did not die until 1867 yet he rejected evolution! William Thomson Kelvin lived until 1907, Mendel until 1884, and even Max Planck who was a theist until 1947. This does not take into account some of the great minds of our own day such as arguably the greatest scientific mind of our generation in Northern Ireland, Prof Norman Nevins a Christian Brethren elder and world renowned geneticist of QUB.

    Another point you need to understand is that evolution did not begin in 1859. The Egyptians taught the same theory 2000 BC when they were the world’s leading empire. Darwin just rehashed this mythical story with an enhanced narrative and threw in some impressive sounding titles.

    “Besides, the fact that the book was a best seller ought to indicate that a lot of people did understand what he was getting at.”

    Errr..think you are caught in your own logic here TAF mate. The best seller week on week for the past 400 years is guess what – BIBLE. This year about 400 million copies. Hitchens book will be selling for a pound in charity shops next year.

    DR Who

    “Sam this of course works both ways, however given the brain´s many faults and latent space it makes an intelligent designer look not very intelligent.”

    I never said we had optimality of design as Genesis 3 provides the evidence why this is not. However, I am glad you are conceding in your remarks that the intelligent designer who designed the human brain is a LOT LOT more intelligent than the collective wisdom of all neurosurgeons as He can design something that they cannot even understand or replicate today.

    “Science has always tried to find the answers to the big questions, religion belongs to a time when scientific research didn´t exist. To survive the Catholic Church has actually adopted evolution as fact, with inteligent design placed at the dawn of man.”

    Again factually inaccurate. The greatest scientific minds and advances happened during the hey day of the rise of the Protestant Reformation. The reality is since the West has adopted the post-Christian mentality since the 1960s we have strugggled to make any great advances. Hence the fact that we are still using much of the basic technology from this time such as the Boeing engines.

    This should also teach you not to trust the Catholic Church who are the masters of assimilating the trends in vogue in order to forward their interests.

    Notmy opinion,

    “I don’t get the connection you are suggesting between whether we [scientists?] can replicate something, and whether it could have evolved.
    Besides, isn’t a brain replicated inside each new human’s skull? Though I accept that may be not exactly what you were intending to say.”

    The basic point is this – if you believe the complex computer on earth could evolve from nothing by nothing by the “spooky force” of natural selection which is an irrational source then surely it is not unreasonable for me to demand that what this “force” produced should be able to be replicated by rational scientists who claim they understand the mechanism of how it was produced.

    You are right a new brain is being reproduced which is a marvel itself. Not only did the creator create the first brain which clearly is so powerful that it cannot be replicated but He also cleverly built a blueprint in the DNA for it to be replicated un unimaginable scales (7 billion right now)perfectly. You have got to admit that is an awesome work of engineering.

    All I ask is that the collective wisdom of modern science produce one brain to at least challenge my basic thesis. But in fairness I should have demanded they construct a mechanism from nothing to replicate this process also!

    Am still waiting for my original question to be answered by TAFKO and his Dawkinite troll friends…..

  • Rory

    Driftwood,

    I agree that those with a strong belief system really haven’t anything to fear from science. Why a devout man need not fear the Devil himself I would have thought. But my issue with Hitchens is the corollary of that if you like – what is there to fear from religion by one who is secure in his agnosticism?

    Doctor Who says that Hitchens book may be aimed at “social christians who go to church out of habit but really don´t believe the nonsense served to them”. But if they “don’t believe the nonsense” in the first place why bother preaching to them. Is Hitchens on some kind of atheistic evangelical crusade trying to save souls from religion? The religious will disdain his views and the irreligious have no need of them.

    As to me being “smug” – I suppose, like the rest of us, I am betimes, but I’d have a hell of a long way to go to rival the King of Smug himself whose book we have just been discussing. He’s bad enough on television but, Jeez, you don’t want to meet him in the flesh (of which there is rather a lot) – you’re likely to be smugged to death.

    By the way, Driftwood, your attraction for the Assumption girls displays good taste. I did like the girls of Down High meself especially those not over-impressed with the bookish type – “Is that a copy of Das Capital in your pocket, Rory, or are you just pleased to see me?”

  • TAFKABO

    Sam, I stopped reading after the first line of your last post. I’ve no intention of defending myself against something you imagine I have said.

  • HP

    Dawkins, like many aggressive secularists, is stood too close to the scientific blackboard to comprehend what religion offers. In the past such extreme views were attractive to the religious zealots, as they “knew” they were right. Nowadays it seems the zealots and lazy thinkers are equally attracted to the blinkered secular opinions.

    On balance and after much consideration, I find the argument for intelligent design a convincing one. I remain unconvinced by the arrogant inference by secularists that somehow an absence of proof equates to a proof of absence. Furthermore, I find no logical reason to assume that we can understand everything. Just as the goldfish in the bowl is limited to what it can be aware of then we, in our own little goldfish bowl, should equally make the logical conclusion that some things may be bigger than us and beyond our comprehension. Such humility of course is at odds with the aggressive secularism of people like Dawkins. After all over the past 40 years here, we have been forced to suffer at the hands of the extremists who “know” they are right.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sam:

    TAFKABO – you clearly have a rather unenlightened background when you posit the Dawkinite line that if Newton, Faraday, Boyle et al had just read Darwin they would have been evolutionists.

    You’re a joke. These people, great scientists that they were, were wrong many times in their lives. I very much doubt that they were creationists. Creationism is a relatively modern idea; it is a reaction to the modern science describing our origins. I’d like to see some evidence that the scientists above named rejected science concerning origins. You probably don’t have any.

    I go back to my original challenge which no one on Slugger or Dawkins, Hitchens et al will answer.

    It has been answered many times. You just keep ignoring it. Here we go again.

    Some believe the brain evolved despite the fact that it cannot be replicated and is more complex that the world’s fastest computer (and all agrees it is designed).

    This is a common point of view from people who understand neither computer science nor neurology. Show me a human who can do a billion mathematical calculations per second ? This is a stupid comparison, and it does not either prove nor disprove the creationist case.

    The day that we understand the brain fully is the day that we can replicate it. I have no doubt that that day will eventually arrive. I also have no doubt that when that day does arrive, it will not change your argument, so I don’t know why you’re even bringing it up.

    I argue the brain is prima facie evidnce for design and a Creator and my opponents reject this.

    What Creator ? The Flying Spaghetti Monster ?

    However, to do this they clearly are able to detect design in order to reject my argument or else they are just whistling in the wind in rejecting ID. So here is the challenge: please give us the scientific objective apparatus that you have used to determine the brain is not designed so we can apply your methodology to the natural world and determine who is telling the truth.

    We have been through this argument so many zillions of times. Why don’t you read the talk origins FAQ ? The answers to all these things have been done to death many times.

    Have you ever looked at a snowflake under a microscope ? It’s a remarkably complex structure. Does it have a creator ?

    I do not know how the human brain came to exist. The best available theory is evolution. No available evidence supports the existence of a creator. I am happy to replace evolution with a better theory that best explains the available facts. No such theory yet exists.

    Are we done ?

  • TAFKABO

    It’s worth standing back and taking a look at the arguments from a distance.

    From the biblical tale of the serpent and the tree of knowledge or the Promethean myth all the way to Frankenstein (alternative title duly noted), right the way through to the commonly held view in Northern Ireland that “no one likes a smart arse” via Bill Hick’s great comic sketch about being caught reading (“what you reading for ?)
    We can see a common theme which is fear of intellectualism and knowledge.

    Rory voices it here with his claim that the poseurs don’t get laid, HP explains it through his claim that there are somethings man wasn’t meant to know and Sam bizarrely boasts about the complexity of the human brain yet rails against the idea of actually using that very same brain to discover anything worthwhile knowing.

    We live in a world where anti intellectualism and ignorance are celebrated.

  • Sam (arguing for a connection between whether scientists can replicate something, and whether it could have evolved), said: The basic point is this – if you believe the [most] complex computer on earth could evolve from nothing by nothing [but] the “spooky force” of natural selection which is an irrational source then surely it is not unreasonable for me to demand that what this “force” produced should be able to be replicated by rational scientists who claim they understand the mechanism of how it was produced.

    It’s not reasonable to portray the [lack of] evolution of a conventional computer as in any sense equivalent to the [proposed] evolution of a human or animal brain.

    A significant difference between a computer, and the organism of which the human brain is a part, is this – the computer is not self-replicating. It lacks the possibility to produce another instance produce another one, with the possibility that it may be more or less well adapted to the environment.

    I’m not convinced that natural selection, mutation, and the rest is sufficient to explain the entire world of life that we see – but your comparison is unfair, and does not really address the argument you are making here.

    Nor is it reasonable to make it a test of “evolvability” that something be reproducible by early 21st Century scientists (or those of any other arbitrary period):

    Sam: All I ask is that the collective wisdom of modern science produce one brain to at least challenge my basic thesis. But in fairness I should have demanded they construct a mechanism from nothing to replicate this process also!

    Isn’t that argument a bit like demanding that “science” produce a typhoon before you’ll believe that such complex and chaotic (yet ordered) weather systems are anything but a special design job by some Great Architect?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Splendidly put and absolutely right, TAFKABO 🙂

    There may be things that are beyond our comprehension; the workings of the mind being among them. But I don’t think that means we shouldn’t try. I would love to understand more about how the mind stores and recalls memory. It’s a fascinating subject.

    I read an article a couple of years ago about some scientists who were working on ways to restore sight in blind people. They found a point in the spinal cord (near to where it enters the brain) where they could place an electrode, and by stimulating that electrode in certain ways they could cause the observer to perceive “cones” or fuzzy shapes. It should not surprise anyone that this type of thing is possible, but nonetheless, it’s still quite an amazing thing.

  • pauljames

    Ah the argument from authority, glad to see Newton get a mention Sam, after all the great alchemist poisioned himself with mercury in his search for transmutation. Prof. Nevins? you’re not by any chance a friend of the former sluggerite Sam Hanna? certainly your failed arguments sound the same. The development of the Brain, give me a break, but I suppose it makes a change from the eye or bacterial flagellum or some other of the icons of irreducible complexity which proper scientists have flattened.

  • Rory

    TAFKABO,

    I cannot in fairness claim that “poseurs don’t get laid”. Salman Rushdie and even Christopher Hitchens seem to manage quite well. It is just that the ladies tell me that, in this regard, as in their published works, they do rather disappoint. But then success in such minor accomplishments do not amount to what’s important in life. Does it?

    It is being nice, like Turgon, or Sir Cliff Richard. Isn’t it?

  • Comrade Stalin: There may be things that are beyond our comprehension; the workings of the mind being among them. But I don’t think that means we shouldn’t try. I would love to understand more about how the mind stores and recalls memory. It’s a fascinating subject.

    Absolutely!

    If you’re interested in the subject, the BBC Reith lectures for 2003 by Vilayanur Ramachandran on the Emerging Mind are very accessible, and fascinating. The BBC site has transcripts and streaming audio.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2003/

  • Driftwood

    Ah, Rory
    The Down High girls always loved a bad boy, eh?
    Remember Hawkwind? This song had great lyrics:-

    einstein was not a handsome fellow
    nobody ever called him al
    he had a long moustache to pull on
    it was yellow
    i don’t believe he ever had a girl
    one thing he missed out in his theory
    of time and space and relativity
    is something that makes it very clear he
    was never gonna score like you and me
    he didn’t know about

    quark strangeness and charm
    quark strangeness and charm
    quark strangeness and charm
    quark ssenegnarts and charm

    i had a dangerous liason
    to be found out would have been a disgrace
    we had to rendezvous some days on
    the corner of an undiscovered place
    we got sick of chat chat chatter
    and the look upon everybody’s face
    But all that does not not anti-matter
    now we found ourselves a black hole in space
    and we’re talking about

    quark strangeness and charm
    quark strangeness and charm
    quark enessgnarts and charm
    quark strangeness and charm

    here it comes it goes quark quark
    ……………………………
    quark now
    ……………;;;;………?

    copernicus had those renaissance ladies
    crazy about his telescope
    and galileo had a name that made his
    reputation higher than his hope
    did none of those astronomers discover
    while they were staring out into the dark
    that what a lady looks for in her lover
    is charm strangeness and quark

    quark strangeness and charm

    Mind you Ricky Dawkins looks quite spruce for 67. But then he didn’t spend his formative years in The De Courcy Arms or Laverys.

  • Comrade Stalin

    notmyopinion, thanks for that. I’ll take a look at it some time.

    pauljames, yes I think this Sam is the same as the other Sam. The other one who dares that Slugger contributors refute his points, and then when they do so, runs away. Presumably to the comfort of the pages of a made-up dusty old book. We are dealing here with the same arguments that have been presented, off and on, for a few years now. The talk origins FAQ does all of them to death, especially the “argument by authority” one, but that doesn’t stop him coming up with the same old “Professor Nevin believes it, and therefore it must be true, because there’s no way a respected geneticist could possibly be wrong ever”.

    It reminds me once again about how the people who peddle this nonsense do not understand science. Isaac Newton is regarded as a great scientist not because of the theories he proposed at the time, but the way – using his great intellect – he arrived at them and documented them, and laid them out in such a way that they were testable and falsifiable. Subsequently some of this theories were indeed found to be imperfect and superceded by better ones (eg gravitation). The fact that his theories have been superceded do not mean that he was an idiot or that they were or are useless. Science is a process of continuous improvement and refinement.

    There are great underlying dangers to the idea of argument by qualification. This happened in the Soviet Union, where scientific process and theories were dismissed as “bourgeois” and entirely new theories were dreamed up in order to better fit Marxist theory; criticism of those theories was illegal. The Soviet Union is a good idea about what can happen if you start with a book and take it beyond a set of ideas by trying to turn it into a way of life.

  • NP

    “Creationism was’nt the only show in town, a number of Newtons peers were openly atheist or at least agnostic, and no, none of them got torched.”

    Newton also believed in Demons & Alchemy.

  • Rory

    Driftwood,

    I cannot retire to bed without saying that the hope that Chelsea might score another and secure your bet trumped my lifelong detestation of Chelsea and love for Arsenal. Now science may allow for such common confusion and contradiction that human emotion displays but scientists tend not to have the elegance of language to render an explaination that satisfies the human heart. Which is not to say that all do not and of those who do so write most elegantly (and most tenderly) of the strengths and weaknesses of the human physique and the human condition I would most heartily recommend (getting a bit ‘hearty’ here) the lovely works of the Mexican pathologist, F. Gonzales-Crussi.

    I watched this man man once perform an autopsy on the body of an eight year old female child that to appearances was as a curly blond-haired angel as depicted by Bottecelli and had yet died from an AIDS related condition.

    No greater respect had ever a priest for the sacred Host than had this man for the holiness with which he removed and observed the inner organs of this dead child’s body. But Gonzales-Crussi is not a preacher and I do not wish to preach on his behalf. Find him for yourself and read him if you like. I like On the Five Senses and On the Nature of Things Erotic (despite it failing to be dead dirty as the title might promise), but this is a good start: http://www.alibris.com/search/books/isbn/1585674494

  • Colm

    No-one can conclusively claim to know the causes of our creation. We are humans and our knowledge will always be limited purely by the boundaries we reach at any give time. The easiest option that has been followed by most of humanity is to believe in a conscious ‘creator’ who has powers we cannot explain . That may be the right explanation but unless that creator makes ‘himself’ know to us, then all our arguments about the existence or not of god and the triggers that sparked life on our planet will always be inconclusive. As humans we do not have the ability and almost certainly never will have, to know for sure.

  • Sam Graham

    Comrade Stalin,

    “You’re a joke. These people, great scientists that they were, were wrong many times in their lives. I very much doubt that they were creationists. Creationism is a relatively modern idea; it is a reaction to the modern science describing our origins. I’d like to see some evidence that the scientists above named rejected science concerning origins. You probably don’t have any.”

    You would best be advised to engage brain before mouth. A quick google search would help. Here is a very useful story about Newton which answers a few of our sceptical friends here,

    Newton’s atheist-scientist friend came by for a visit. Seeing the model, he was naturally intrigued, and proceeded to examine it with undisguised admiration for the high quality of the workmanship. “My, what an exquisite thing this is!” he exclaimed. “Who made it?” Paying little attention to him, Sir Isaac answered, “Nobody.” Stopping his inspection, the visitor turned and said, “Evidently you did not understand my question. I asked who made this.” Newton, enjoying himself immensely no doubt, replied in a still more serious tone, “Nobody. What you see just happened to assume the form it now has.” “You must think I am a fool!” the visitor retorted heatedly, “Of course somebody made it, and he is a genius, and I would like to know who he is!” Newton then spoke to his friend in a polite yet firm way: “This thing is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer or maker; yet you profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker! Now tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?”

    Notmyopinion.

    “A significant difference between a computer, and the organism of which the human brain is a part, is this – the computer is not self-replicating. It lacks the possibility to produce another instance produce another one, with the possibility that it may be more or less well adapted to the environment.I’m not convinced that natural selection, mutation, and the rest is sufficient to explain the entire world of life that we see – but your comparison is unfair, and does not really address the argument you are making here.”

    I beg to differ – if a computer takes in information, stores it and gives it out as a mechanised machine that works with information and the brain does the exact same function only much more successfully and in hugely reduced volume then that creates the deductive logical argument that the brain must have an even more intelligent designer and creator. To try and hold on to the argument that some day science may discover the answer is flying in the face of all credulous thinking. At best, all the sceptics here could argue is that ID is the most likely solution. However, all of the critics here like the laughable Pauljames and Stalin dont realise how puerile their position is.

    Your typhoon argument is silly also as it is a product of natural laws that we can anticipate by studying their previous implementation. That does not explain who designed these natural laws or maintains them in place. It is also not fair to compare inorganic matter with that of organic mechanized systems such as the brain. No one argues that a typhoon is a mechanised system but anyone with a modicum of inteelect can see the brain is the most brilliant mechanized piece of engineering on earth today.

    “Sam bizarrely boasts about the complexity of the human brain yet rails against the idea of actually using that very same brain to discover anything worthwhile knowing.”

    TAFKO – please answer my original question which you have run away from for 3 days now. Please note I am all for using the rational orderly brain that you have to search out the origins of the orderly rational and supremely intelligent source of it. As far as we can comprehend, the world has a rational structure, which mirrors the rationality of the human mind. If the world evolved by chance it would be highly unlikely that human experience would replicate the reality of the world the way we conclude it does.

    The hypothesis of absolute personality to explain the formation of the universe explains the data far better than the hypothesis of ultimate impersonality. An absolute personality can make a rational universe and his plan for creation and providence is therefore rational. The absolute personality is able to make man in His image and to equip him to understand the universe as much as he needs to. Why should we prefer a hypothesis of ultimate impersonality when that creates such an enormous gap between the nature of the Creator (non-rational) and the nature of the universe including human beings (rational?

  • HP

    TAFKABO

    “…HP explains it through his claim that there are somethings man wasn’t meant to know…”

    Wrong. No such claim was made.

    There was no inference that man was meant or wasn’t meant to know anything; merely that it is not a logical assumption to make that man is capable of understanding everything that exists. I remain convinced of intelligent design theory through clear and coherent logic.

  • pauljames

    From an unknown source
    “If we do decide to teach Intelligent Design along with evolution, let’s at least be consistent and give equal time to other supernatural theories. Here are a few suggestions:
    The theory of relativity will be taught alongside the theory of divinity, which maintains that E = whatever God good and well pleases.
    Gravitational theory will be taught alongside the theory of Deliberate Motion, which proposes that celestial bodies do not move as a result of gravitational force, but as a result of an Intelligent Mover pushing them around.
    The germ theory of disease will be considered, but so will the Divine Retribution theory, which posits the existence of an intelligence who distributes diseases in order to punish sins. Of course, this will necessitate that medical schools give time to traditional pharmaceutical approaches to healthcare, as well as “faith-based” approaches, which will rely on prayer and the sacrifice of baby rams.”
    Sorry Sam but whatever way IDists want to dress it up the god of the gaps fallacy still comes down to an argument from incredulity or if all else fails “goddidit”

  • sean

    All science is said to be theory laden so it seems more than just a little hypocritical for secular believers to ridicule the ID believers when all is based on “belief”. For some the belief is born out of the spiritual and for others it is limited to the sensory information, but all is belief. Ever heard of solipsism? I would imagine that for many the secular and the religious are not two distinct camps as some would have us believe. Evolution is not at odds with most theistic beliefs and science should learn from the mistakes that religions made in the past.

    It wasn’t that long ago that arrogant belief manifested itself in religious extremism; today in can just as easily seen in the mentality of aggressive secular belief that “knows” it is right.

  • Driftwood

    I have a proposal.
    Anyone who believes in a religious or spritual power should not partake of any modern medicine if they fall ill. No blood pressure tablets, no anti biotics , no going to hospital if they break a limb or get injured in a car accident. Thet should rely on prayer and/or spells to heal them and free the NHS up for those of us who prefer science as the better medicine. Let the ‘believers’ really have faith.

  • michael

    ‘aggressive secular belief that “knows” it is right’

    ‘science’ does not claim to know that it is ‘right’, it is simply a method that has been demonstrably shown to be the best way of acquiring applicable knowledge to date.

    People that hold to this opinion generally are not pushing any particular form of anti-theism, simply refusing to accept (scientifically) baseless claims, like ID, as self evident. As such, the claim that ‘absence of proof is not proof of absence’ although true is meaningless in the context of a scientific conversation. That would obviously been true due to the fundamental reality that science is based, guess what, PROOF!

    So heres one for the theists, if we accept all scientific discourse is to be made on the basis of PROOF, how can we have a SCIENTIFIC conversation regarding the existence of a designer when we have no basis for that assertion. The pocket watch isnt enough, we need to see some of the watchmakers tools!

    To date we have no evidence of the watchmakers tools, all we have are 2000 year old books relaying nth hand claims of a Jewish guy who claimed to be the watchmaker.

  • HP

    Michael, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever claimed that ID theory is “scientific”, merely that it is logical. The assumption that we should be having a “scientific” debate is yet another sign of the arrogance of aggressive secularism. Driftwood’s disdainful tone is further evidence of this where by an ignorant assumption of what religious belief means to many is taken as a fact. Many (if not most) people of faith have no problem with science, however they are of the opinion that science does not and can not answer all the questions they have that relate to the human condition.

  • Driftwood

    HP I’m not sure where to start with your post since it contains so many contradictions. If people ‘of faith’ have no problem with science, why are they trying to ban websites which promote science.You mean science is ok except when it contradicts whichever creation myth you happen to have been spoonfed. Christianity? Cargo Cult? Voodoo? Islam? Ju Ju monster? Zeus?
    As for ID being logical…Evidence?

  • TAFKABO

    ID and Creationism are not logical, they try to explain that which exists by positing something which does not exist.

  • Sam Graham

    “If people ‘of faith’ have no problem with science, why are they trying to ban websites which promote science.You mean science is ok except when it contradicts whichever creation myth you happen to have been spoonfed.”

    Driftwood,

    No one is trying to ban science. The Modern Scientific Age and discoveries came out of the pre-suppositions and work of intellectual giants who were fervent creationists like Newton, Mendel, Faraday etc. It is really exasperating debating with someone like you who clearly has a kindergarten knowledge of the history of science. HP is absolutely right to point out your gullibility in swallowing a largely unproven theory and then trying to make it a worldview to explain everything when it patently cannot explain determinism, consciousness, emotions, freewill, rationality, design etc.

    You are entitled to your worldview that you have built into by FAITH but stop trying in a childish way screaming that anyone who differs from you that they are “against science.”

    “ID and Creationism are not logical, they try to explain that which exists by positing something which does not exist.”

    Here we have our superior TAFKABO the darling of rationality. How do you know a Creator and Designer does not exist TAF mate? Did you eat pickles and cheese last night for supper and dream this? What rational, objective and scientific evidence have you to back up this claim?

    Lets assume that there is a Designer/Creator (I know just humour me for a few sentences from your superior mind)and we cannot see Him. If He wanted us to reveals Himself through His handiwork in creation what way do you think He would do this? The most logical way is surely by making it clear that the natural world shows evidence of design and creation i.e. leave His fingerprints all over it.

    BTW, TAFKO the next time you are in court try arguing that your fingerprints are not evidence of your presence as that is not logical or science and see where it gets you!

    “Sorry Sam but whatever way IDists want to dress it up the god of the gaps fallacy still comes down to an argument from incredulity or if all else fails “goddidit”

    pauljames, We are not arguing that we turn to God as a last resort but from first principles ie. we have a creator and designer so lets search out His wonderful creation to understand how His mind made us. Clearly, you have never heard of Nanotechnology as it is exactly predicated on this principle and is one of the most cutting edge areas of modern science.

    BTW, it is no disgrace to admit there are clearly boundaries for our knowledge for modern science. That is not a fallacy but a reality. You are like the Japanese soldier in the jungle of Indonesia still fighting his war and believing that the Emperor will one day be declared god. There are huge areas on life that science cannot help us so please expand your world view. As William Lane Craig cited in his debate with atheist Peter
    Atkins, science cannot explain:

    1. Mathematics and logic (science cannot prove them because it pre-supposes them),
    2. Metaphysical truths (such as, there are minds that exist other than my own),
    3. Ethical judgments (you can’t prove by science that the Nazis were evil, because morality is not subject to the scientific method),
    4. Aesthetic judgments (the beautiful, like the good, cannot be scientifically proven)and, ironically
    5. Science itself – the belief that the scientific method (i.e. searching for causes by
    observation and repetition) discovers truth can’t be proven by the scientific method itself. Science itself is simply a product of the mind.

    Agnostic Robert Jastrow gives a good explanation why so many atheistic scientists like you blindly refuse to bow to the inevitable:

    “Scientists cannot bear the thought of a natural phenomenon which cannot be explained, even with unlimited time and money. There is a kind of religion in science; every event can be explained in a rational way as the product of some previous event; every effect must have its cause. Now science ….asks, “What cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter into the universe?’And science cannot answer these questions.”

  • HP

    TAF’/Driftwood,

    Let’s be clear, though many aggressive secularists would like to think that logic as a discipline is the sole property of science, it is not. It is a tool that we employ to help further our reasoning and, in turn, our understanding. As I have previously pointed out, insisting on a scientific debate only serves to highlight the blinkered arrogance of aggressive secularism. After all, logic is not without it’s own paradoxes and for this reason I would argue that great effort should be made to see it in a context where it may not deliver all the answers we would wish.

    Inductive reasoning is the basis for which ID theory is seen as logical with nature itself underlying a teleological argument for the existence of a creator being. Such an argument may be viewed as unscientific but not illogical.

    The hypocrisy of Drift’s disdainful tone and lack of understanding can be seen in an apparently poor attempt to group all religion into one amorphous group. This is certainly not the case. It is true that all religions do not agree, in the same way that there is mush discord and disagreement amongst scientists. However we should maybe call to mind people like George Lemaitre and Gregor Mendel amongst others for their contribution to various spheres of scientific advancement before such ill informed and brash generalisations are made.

  • michael

    Sam

    ‘BTW, TAFKO the next time you are in court try arguing that your fingerprints are not evidence of your presence as that is not logical or science and see where it gets you’

    This again goes back to what i said about needing to see the watchmakers tools. We can logically and rationally (the two are not the same) suppose that someone was at the scene of the crime if there fingerprints are there, because we know that the process by which their prints appeared at the scene usually requires the persons presence (though not always as this can be faked).

    The same CANNOT be said about the apparent designed nature of the universe. Though it may be logical (in a way) to think that a highly complex system is designed, because in our experience this is usually the case, It is not however rational. To further your analogue, if we find a 24 year old known heroin addict dead in an apartment block, would we prefer that the police take a logical (kind of) approach and assume that the person died of an OD, because this is usually the case, or should they take the rational approach and assume nothing so they can carry out a full investigation to make sure of (to the best of their ability) the events surrounding the individuals death.

    pauljames, We are not arguing that we turn to God as a last resort but from first principles ie. we have a creator and designer so lets search out His wonderful creation to understand how His mind made us.

    Again the assumption. What if your discoveries show you that all (or parts) of your initial assumption, that first principle of yours, is wrong? I ask that honestly, i cant figure out how one could LOGICALLY get around that problem.

    Also, you critisize ‘aggressive secularists’ for not being able to explain love or aesthetics, yet you fully expect to be able to understand this creator GOD’s mind. Give me a break! The example is also totally flawed as human emotions, morals and aesthetic preferences are comprised of countless (figure of speech) elements. Each of these elements we understand or have a relatively good idea of how they work, it makes not sense to quantify these various variable into a single quotient. Like there are many aspects to air quality including relative humidity, temperature, elemental composition, smell, etc. But we don’t consider air quality (in our everyday lives in this way), we simply say that the air is comfortable or stuffy etc.

    Science itself – the belief that the scientific method (i.e. searching for causes by
    observation and repetition) discovers truth can’t be proven by the scientific method itself. Science itself is simply a product of the mind.

    Poor argument, most individuals of a secular disposition are perfectly aware of the self defeating rationale of rationalism as well as the limitations of our ability to know ‘truth’ (think Descartes – Cogito ergo sum). I’ll refer you to Karl Popper’s (one of the first to articulate the importance of falsifiability in science) discussion on critical rationalism.

    Also, Sam Graham you should note that people like TAFKO or Driftwood have addressed your points, yet in order to try and win the argument you try and paint them as aggressive, arrogant and ‘smarter than everyone’. Why should secularists apologise for their opinions, god forbid they should think they are right. Or is thinking that your own opinion is the best (the definition of having an opinion) the reserve of the theists of this world.

  • neil

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Steve
    http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/3541_project_steve_2_16_2003.asp

    There is NO scientific support for creationism. But don’t let that stop Sam etc. spreading lies. Yeah sure, Newton’s one of yours obviously. Being dead before a theory is around probably means you’re an enemy of said theory. Any other dead scientists you’d like to have on your side Sam? Because project Steve, (you’ve seen it before) represents 1% of the scientific community, approximately two thirds of the 800+ names are biologists. That works out at approximately 80,000 scientists who think you’re talking shit. Two thirds of that figure having studied biology to degree level. Pity they weren’t all geniuses like Sam the bullshitting preacher.

    Word of advice to those scientifically minded folks out there, you can not best someone who relies on magic to make their argument, when they can invoke “God did it” as a central part of their argument that means they can not be cornered. The only thing that gives these people any credibility is when good folk like you and me argue with them. By arguing with them, we lend them a scintilla of credibility, which by ignoring them we deny them. As such I’m going to take my own advice now, and put Sam on ignore where he belongs.

  • Mayoman

    Sorry if someone has already said this. Man can make as many brains as he likes. Its called cloning. Legal constraints rather technology stops ‘man’ doing this. If you mean, Sam, from the very building blocks, man will eventually be able to make a brain. Would 15th century man have been able to make a computer? Does this mean the computer (in the sense Sam is talking about) could never have been made? I sorta think the proof is out there somewhere! 🙂 The whole premise is answerable and silly.

  • Sam Graham

    “Though it may be logical (in a way) to think that a highly complex system is designed, because in our experience this is usually the case, It is not however rational. To further your analogue, if we find a 24 year old known heroin addict dead in an apartment block, would we prefer that the police take a logical (kind of) approach and assume that the person died of an OD, because this is usually the case, or should they take the rational approach and assume nothing so they can carry out a full investigation to make sure of (to the best of their ability) the events surrounding the individuals death.”

    Michael, you are positing an absurd argument which leads us nowhere. Try reading Occams Razor rule which deals adequately with your point. Following your logic, we can never come to any certainty about anything even own existence as their may be other possible explanations notwithstanding how absurd they are.

    “What if your discoveries show you that all (or parts) of your initial assumption, that first principle of yours, is wrong?”

    I agree, we are all working by pre-suppositional faith here. Yours is that rationalism can account for everything and that rationalism is even rational! Mine is that my rationality must come from a rational source and the leading candidate for that is God. Your explanation for your own rationality is what exactly..?

    “I do not expect to be able to fully understand God’s mind” – where did you get that idea? The finite created entity cannot understand the infinite uncreated First Cause.

    BTW, Popper admitted that evolution was not falsifiable once though he later backtracked. He was right as it is a tautology. Also, it demands theoretical conditions that cannot be replicated in experiment today.

    Neil, you write like someone just out of Purdysburn for the weekend! Listing scientific numbers as evidence you are correct is a joke. This is especially true this week of all weeks when we see the blatant intimidation of Prof Seiss for hinting at creationism. Most of Western Science now acts like the old Soviet Union Communist Committees where only those on “message” can speak.

    You are right – do not debate as my genes have predetermined me to believe in God. But you do? Why does that make me suspicious that you do actually believe that our consciousness is more than materialism (which is the core of your worldview)!

    The ultimate irony of this is that any one reading it, whether atheist or not, has conceded the argument merely by studying it in a logical and rational manner. In order to review this evidence as a real exercise in truth finding, and not merely a chance encounter between bundles of genetic matter, the reader assumes: that the universe is coherent, consistent, and orderly; that there is genuine rational thought (and communication of ideas)and that truth, design, predictability and natural law actually govern the processes of the universe.

    Put simply, the reader has assumed a theistic worldview (despite not acknowledging it) that God exists, created mankind, and created the world in which we find ourselves. For, to say the universe is not designed, atheists must know what design is. To say theism is not true, atheists must know what is true and so on. This would be like using the laws of science to prove that the laws of science cannot be trusted.

  • neil

    Neil, you write like someone just out of Purdysburn for the weekend! Listing scientific numbers as evidence you are correct is a joke.

    Wipe the shite of your chin Sam. Listing scientific numbers (what kind of numbers are they Sam? Oh scientific ones ok) as evidence you are correct is a joke eh? I suppose spouting barely coherent shite at anyone who dares disagree with you is the more evidential of correctness? I reckon that’s the Paisleyite in you, he who shouts loudest wins the argument – the old Christian approach. Just for giggles let’s see an example of where using numbers, (scientific or otherwise) as evidence you are correct is a joke, (your fractured grammar, not mine).

    Western Science now acts like the old Soviet Union Communist Committees where only those on “message” can speak.

    Yes, and we can see in black and white how accomodating you are to those who don’t agree with you. You’re an inspiration to us all. Well those of us that want to be complete dickheads anyway. We’re laughing at you Sam, ’cause there’s nothing else to do.

  • michael

    Michael, you are positing an absurd argument which leads us nowhere. Try reading Occams Razor rule which deals adequately with your point.

    Sam, thats just meaningless noise! Occams Razor relies on knowing Aall of the available facts THEN making a conclusion. You have your conclusion first (like concluding that the heroin addict died from an OD) and selecting the evidence to support that assumption. Thats a terrible way to approach the world IMHO.

    Also, evolution is obviously not falsifiable (as a whole)! Thats like saying meteorology isnt falsifiable, which it isnt BTW. The numerous elements of evolutionary theory ARE falsifiable, CAN make predictions and are MEASURABLE!

    What Popper said was entirely consistent with the principle of falsifiability and science, and it in no way diminishes the scientific nature of evolutionary theory (please read up on the scientific definition of theory).

  • TAFKABO

    Sam, when it comes to presenting a logical cohesive argument, you’re so far out of your depth you’re practically the fucking Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

    Where are your fingerprints?

  • HP

    Taf’, michael, neil et al are showing themselves to be great examples of what has been termed ‘aggressive secularism’.

    The watch requires a watchmaker. It’s that simple. Though some wish to keep the blinkers on, it remains that simple, “the watch requires a watchmaker.”

    Maybe the reason for the disrespectful, disdainful tone of the aggressive secularist is best explained by Robert Jastrow when he said :-

    “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

  • Sam Graham

    Well done Neil/TAFKABO for proving why people who spend weekends in straitjackets should not write on blogs. Any connection between your reality and the rest of ours is purely coincidental!

    Michael, Occam’s Rule does come into play as we have the prima facie evidence for design in the brain structure. It is not conditional on knowing all the facts.

    By application this principle posits that “the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory.” If design can explain the phenomenon and it can then we don’t need to spend our lives scrabbling around in the hope that we can somehow discover the answer.

    Your heroin argument is also misguided. CID officers start with the most likely cause and work outwards. They do not see a human fingerprint and then decide that it may have been caused by a UFO monster but apply the Occam logic once again.

    The key elements of evolution are not falsifiable and that is why it is not science. All that is observable is that species have the inbuilt capacity (I will resist the urge to say the obvious that this is a design feature) to adapt to changing environmental conditions. This mechanism appears to work successfully over time. THAT IS ALL IT SHOWS – NO MORE AND NO LESS. Now, how you can say we have falsifiable evidence that this can be stretched to mean a monkey can given enough time produce you is neyond me. You are either ignorant or how incredible and miraculous a series of events would have to be to do this or you have a vivid imagination.

  • Driftwood

    Taf
    Neils advice, point 2 on this page, seems sound.
    Empty vessels…

  • michael

    Sam

    Im afraid that TAFKABO was right,

    ‘Sam, when it comes to presenting a logical cohesive argument, you’re so far out of your depth you’re practically the fucking Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.’

    I (and others) have explained several times that complex systems are not prima facie evidence for design, to say so requires an assumption of the existence of a god and then a leap of faith that it was said god that created the complex system. Strangely though, you use this ‘evidence’ of designed systems as proof that god exists, if you use circular logic you’ll always be right!

    It would appear that you are either incapable or unwilling to engage in rational debate, preferring to use pejorative terms like ‘aggressive secularists’ in a vain attempt to diminish and dominate your opponent.

    Perhaps this is the reason why people like Dawkins (please don’t assume I’m a Dawkinite, thats just ignorant) and others in the Royal Society don’t think that engaging in debate with people like yourself is a good idea. I.e. there is no debate, just shouting. It would give credence to such a mystic world view whilst achieving nothing.

  • HP

    To the secularist(s) posting on here I would draw your attention to that fact that constant repetition of a single viewpoint does absolutely nothing to strengthen your argument. In fact, I would suggest it only serves to highlight it’s inadequacies. The fact remains that the theological nature of the ID theory is clear, concise and above all else logical. The fifth of Thomas Aquinas’s proofs for the existence of God in his Summa Theologica is testimony to this.

    Reading this blog, people will judge for themselves who has made the strongest and most coherent argument. However it is clear that the disdainful and arrogant tones have in deed all come from ‘aggressive secularism’. I take know delight in you proving my point for me. It is clear that your understanding of “respect” amounts to little more than a patronising condescension. Your extreme secular views are clearly no different from the extreme religious views that justified flying a plane in to the Twin Towers. The world has nothing to fear from science or religion, just arrogant extremism in any guise.