Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Extremists" shaping the future.

Lord Rees (Professor Martin Rees, Lord Rees of Ludlow Kt PRS) was interviewed by John Humphreys on the Today programme this morning.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/

Lord Rees was speaking in advance of his 2006 Anniversary lecture celebrating 346 years of the Society’s existence and outlining the challenges facing science and society today and in the future.

He has warned that “we may be sleep walking into a future shaped by extremists.”
Asked by John Humphreys to name the extremists he refused to do so. Amongst his concerns however is the matter of “creationism” of any sort.

In the discussion he says:

“All I would say about this is that I'm a scientist...I feel that science is part of our culture and anyone is culturally deprived (my emphasis) who can't appreciate how our universe evolved from a mysterious beginning to creation of atoms, stars, planets, biospheres and eventually brains who could wonder about it all and share the wonder and the mystery, and I think that that is a marvellous story which is part of our culture and those who can't share it are impoverished.

JH: And those who argue otherwise are extremists?

MR: No, I would say they are impoverished (my emphasis). And the view that I am taking I think is shared not just by scientists but by most people including most mainstream religious people.

It is a small step between calling any kind of creationist education “cultural deprivation” and “cultural impoverishment” to calling it “child abuse” as Richard Dawkins maintains.

39 Comments:

Anonymous ah_mini said...

No, Dawkins does not call religion, or even modern reactionary creationism, "child abuse". His actual statement was that lecturing to a child about specific worldviews before they were old enough to understand was child abuse. He was including atheism in that context. In other words, he wouldn't label a child as a Christian, Hindu, atheist, etc before they could comprehend the arguments for/against said positions. Please be careful to avoid misrepresentation.

Regards

Andrew

1:28 pm  
Anonymous ah_mini said...

PS: Wasn't it DaveScot on Dembski's blog who posted that all objections to common descent were religious (i.e. extremist) in nature? Oddly enough, after an enormous poo-storm of angry creationist postings at such betrayal, the post was pulled. Shame ;)

Andrew

1:43 pm  
Anonymous klapp said...

I'm totally confused. It sounds like Lord Rees has become a Eastern mystic about origins. I guess he's only opposed to the Western creation myths that presume nature to be intelligible for the very get-go. Not the sort of irrationalism I would have expected from the head of the Royal Society.

2:06 pm  
Anonymous ah_mini said...

I'm totally confused. It sounds like Lord Rees has become a Eastern mystic about origins. I guess he's only opposed to the Western creation myths that presume nature to be intelligible for the very get-go. Not the sort of irrationalism I would have expected from the head of the Royal Society.

Hmmm, I don't know about that. Scientists can often talk in whimsical tones. For example, Einstein often referred to the workings of the universe as "god" (resulting in endless misquotes), even though he utterly rejected the idea of a personal deity. Just because someone uses the word "mystery" doesn't mean they're an eastern relgious convert. Rather, mystery in the scientific sense is the notion that there is still much to discover. Mystery is what motivate scientists.

2:20 pm  
Anonymous klapp said...

Hmmm, I don't know about that. Scientists can often talk in whimsical tones. For example, Einstein often referred to the workings of the universe as "god" (resulting in endless misquotes), even though he utterly rejected the idea of a personal deity. Just because someone uses the word "mystery" doesn't mean they're an eastern relgious convert. Rather, mystery in the scientific sense is the notion that there is still much to discover. Mystery is what motivate scientists.

You're very generous. But under the circumstances -- scare-mongering about creationists -- he committed an own goal.

2:56 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

ah_mini,
You said:
"No, Dawkins does not call... modern reactionary creationism, "child abuse".

Here is a quotation from this page

Q--Are you saying if parents belong to a particular church, they should not teach their children about that religion?

Richard Dawkins:
I would say that parents should teach their children anything that's known to be factually true -- like "that's a bluebird" or "that's a bald eagle." Or they could teach children that there are such things as religious beliefs. But to teach children that it is a fact that there is one god or that God created the world in six days, that is child abuse.

My comment...
So I think it is fair to say that he believes that creationist education is child abuse.

(Incidentally he also believes that teaching children the orthodox Christian doctrine of hell to be worse child abuse than child sodomy... presumably worthy of a greater penalty too???)

5:55 pm  
Anonymous ah_mini said...

I tend to use this quote where Dawkin's discusses a Nativity play:

"What is not sweet and touching is that these children were all four years old. How can you possibly describe a child of four as a Muslim or a Christian or a Hindu or a Jew? Would you talk about a four-year-old economic monetarist? Would you talk about a four-year-old neo-isolationist or a four-year-old liberal Republican? There are opinions about the cosmos and the world that children, once grown, will presumably be in a position to evaluate for themselves. Religion is the one field in our culture about which it is absolutely accepted, without question — without even noticing how bizarre it is — that parents have a total and absolute say in what their children are going to be, how their children are going to be raised, what opinions their children are going to have about the cosmos, about life, about existence. Do you see what I mean about mental child abuse?"

Dawkins has also stated elsewhere that he would not refer to his children as atheists until they were mature enough to make that decision for themselves. Note also that evolution is not taught until the mid-teens (and then only very briefly). You can bet your bottom dollar that creationist parents have been banging into their children about how Genesis is literally true and that "evolutionists" are the tools of Satan long before that!

Andrew

6:18 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew

picture the scene:

Parent A to child a:

"The world is a wonderful place. You have been given a powerful brain. As you grow, use your intelligence and experience to understand and explain its mysteries and wonders".

Parent B to child b:

"The world is a wonderful place. God has given you a powerful brain, but you don't need to use it, because God has told me everything you need to know, and now I am telling you. All of these mysteries and wonders have one answer: goddidit. So grow up, but don't use your brain too much. It contradicts faith, and if you do that you will go burn in Hell forever".

Which of these approaches would you say is likely to produce an open-minded, clear-sighted adult?

And which is nearer to abusing the child's trust?

10:18 am  
Blogger Paul (probably - maybe Liz) said...

Allygally: But what did Dawkins actually say??????

3:09 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"You've said that raising children in a religious tradition may even be a form of abuse.

What I think may be abuse is labeling children with religious labels like Catholic child and Muslim child. I find it very odd that in our civilization we're quite happy to speak of a Catholic child that is 4 years old or a Muslim of child that is 4, when these children are much too young to know what they think about the cosmos, life and morality. We wouldn't dream of speaking of a Keynesian child or a Marxist child. And yet, for some reason we make a privileged exception of religion. And, by the way, I think it would also be abuse to talk about an atheist child.
"
http://www.btinternet.com/~musicweaver/salon.interview.dawkins.htm

4:51 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Paul (probably - maybe Liz) said... "Allygally: But what did Dawkins actually say??????"

Hrafn and Ah_mini have provided quotes from Dawkins. Why don't you reply to my point about parent A and parent B, and which is abusing their child's trust? It seems clear to me: the religious position is dishonest and damaging. Do you agree? if not, why not?

10:00 pm  
Anonymous Farshad said...

allygally says:
picture the scene:

Parent A to child a:
"The world is a wonderful place. You have been given a powerful brain. As you grow, use your intelligence and experience to understand and explain its mysteries and wonders".


I think you misrepresented Parent A .

Here is my version:

Picture the scene (#2):

Parent A to child a:

"The world is a place that your kind came into existence as a natural product of random interaction of natural forces. Actually in this sense you are an accident. You own no spirit or soul and there is no afterlife.

There is no universal intelligence, no guiding spirit and no God with an infinite love. The universe is purposeless. It has no creator. Science has proved that God is an illusion.

You did not walk into this reality to fulfill a mystical purpose. No one is watching upon you. The purpose of life is whatever you may decide for it.

There is no metaphysical justice system to judge you after your death. There is no mystical karmic system in reality to punish you for your evil deeds. I hate to expose this fact to you but there is no reward, no promotion system and no spiritual ascension in any form for all constructive and good things you do in your whole lifetime. It may sound to you that living on this planet is actually a waste of time. Yes correct, but what can we do about it?

I'm not sure how to convince you to live a purposeful life in this purposeless universe. Whatever you do, learn, experience and gain in this short lifetime will cease to exist at the time death embraces you. Death is the ultimate end to everything. Your consciousness, the invaluable experiences you gained in this lifetime, your intellect, your wisdom, your learnings and all things that make you an individual will vanish at the time you die. In the same way, you were not existing until we decide to replicate ourselves. As an inevitable consequence, our selfish genes forced us to replicate ourselves and finally you came into existence. It may sound horrible to you, but in reality you come from nothing and you'll become nothing at the end. You stand on a bridge that actually leads you to a total nothingness. The only reason that we exist on this planet is those cruel selfish genes which use us as vehicles to replicate themselves.

Moreover, keep it in mind that you are nothing but an evolved animal. Of course, there are things that make you superior to other animals but technically you are a just a member of a species in animal kingdom. Also..."

Child a to Parent A:

"...Hey dad! sorry to interrupt you, but I think what you are preaching here is nothing but what we call Naturalistic/Atheistic Dogma! Stop abusing my mind! My heart, my spirit, my mind, my feelings and my common sense tell me that the reality is much different than what you're trying to impose upon me!!"

Parent A to his spouse:

"Lucy!...Help! Our kid suffers a serious psychological disorder! I think we need professional help from a psychologist."

Wife:

"Don't worry! I'll call Dr. Dawkins who is a specialist for these kinds of mental disorder"
.
.
.

1:00 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

On the "child abuse" thread, the following post from PZ Myers is interesting:
"This cute kid makes a nice rant that I completely agree with, but yeesh—those aren't her words. She's playing dress-up and prancing in front of a camera, and reciting with child-like enthusiasm words someone else wrote for her. That bugs me."
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/12/the_most_disturbing_8_year_old.php

I think this is exactly the sort of thing that Dawkins was arguing against. (Incidentally, I'm on a fairly slow connection, so have not viewed the video.)

3:51 am  
Blogger allygally said...

Farshad said..."Here is my version:

Picture the scene (#2):

Parent A to child a:

"The world is a place that your kind came into existence as a natural ..... There is no universal intelligence, ....The universe is purposeless. It has no creator. Science has proved that God is an illusion......on you. The purpose of life is whatever you may decide for it....... It may sound to you that living on this planet is actually a waste of time. Yes correct, but what can we do about it?

....in reality you come from nothing and you'll become nothing at the end. You stand on a bridge that actually leads you to a total nothingness. The only reason that we exist on this planet is those cruel selfish genes which use us as vehicles to replicate themselves....there are things that make you superior to other animals but technically you are a just a member of a species in animal kingdom."

That's exactly what I think Dawkins was getting at - from his quotes I believe that he would call it child abuse to tell a 4 year old this stuff. I certainly would, just as indoctrinating children in any world-view before they have the ability to make up their own mind. That includes religion, don't you agree?

So there is no such thing as a Christian, child, Muslim child, atheist child?

Agreed?

10:07 am  
Blogger allygally said...

Farshad

From your "Parent A, child a" example I see that you, like me and Prof Dawkins, are against indoctrinating children.

So where is the argument? Or do you think its ok to indoctrinate children with Christian beliefs, but not other beliefs? Surely not. That would be child abuse, as you say.

1:23 pm  
Anonymous Farshad said...

allygally said:
That's exactly what I think Dawkins was getting at - from his quotes I believe that he would call it child abuse to tell a 4 year old this stuff. I certainly would, just as indoctrinating children in any world-view before they have the ability to make up their own mind. That includes religion, don't you agree?

From your "Parent A, child a" example I see that you, like me and Prof Dawkins, are against indoctrinating children.


I wanted to demonstrate that there are versions of Parent A who represent themselves as open minded anti-religions/atheists but their only goal is to impose their own world view on their kids. In general, I agree with you that children must be left free to choose whatever fits best in their perspective. However, I don't think that Dawkins is against introducing Atheistic philosophy to the children. For him teaching religious doctrines to children is equal to "child abuse" but I don't believe that he has any problem with Atheistic indoctrination.

In reality Dawkins' point is totally different. Even if he claimed that he is against Atheistic indoctrination of children, I don't believe that he was honest regarding this issue. His whole effort is to spread his atheistic world view by all means. He wants to ban religious teaching so the converting process of kids to his atheistic world view can be easier. Dawkins is cheating. He falsely promotes that Atheism has been proven by science. He wants to use science to spread his atheistic world view in society. It means that children will also be affected from this atheistic propaganda disguised as science. For example in many preliminary biology textbooks for kids it implies that Origin of Life is a problem that is completely solved by science and naturalistic methods can successfully explain the origin of life on this planet. Don't you think that this also can be considered as an abusive act? Do you accept that promoting Atheism to kids by misusing science is also child abuse?

7:47 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Farshad

Never mind what Dawkins would or would not do.
Dawkins is a red herring. The important thing is that you and I agree that indoctrinating children is child abuse. So Christian parents should avoid it. Correct?

So no faith schools, no teaching kids at home to tell them heaven and hell myths and avoid them meeting the real world. Agreed?

And evolution is the dominant scientific theory of the development of life. And ID is theology disguised as politics, masquerading as science. Agreed?

11:15 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Farshad said "For example in many preliminary biology textbooks for kids it implies that Origin of Life is a problem that is completely solved by science and naturalistic methods can successfully explain the origin of life on this planet."

I would be surprised if this is the case. Can you provide any examples?

If, on the other hand, the textbooks are saying that the the ToE is the best explanation and the dominant scientific theory of the DEVELOPMENT of life, then they are, of course, perfectly correct. A position which is accepted by everybody, including the major Christian denominations, e.g. the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, leading Christian theologians,the many scientists who are also Christians,,,.

9:26 am  
Anonymous ah_mini said...

Farshad...

Claiming that Dawkins is some kind of cheating boogeyman is a ridiculous waste of time. Whatever you think of his (anti)religious opinions, he is internally consistent. He is also endlessly misquoted and it saddens me to see Christians using falsehoods to discredit someone (intentionally or otherwise). It doesn't take a lot to check up and see what Dawkins actually thinks.

Dawkins has never said that he has any "disproof" of any supernatural deities, or "proof" of atheism. Any atheist with anything between their ears know that such arguments cannot be supported by science. What Dawkins did effectively say was that science has made God unnecessary for intellectual fulfilment in the mind of the atheist. That is a pretty big difference from what you were saying.

The textbook complaint is common, but I have yet to see one that discusses the origins of life in the kind of concrete manner you describe. Could you perhaps highlight one? Furthermore, I must point out, that said textbooks are not read by children until a much later age than the sort of indoctrination that Dawkins was equivocating with child abuse is carried out at.

Most scientists will happily concede that there are multiple, weakly-supported abiogenesis theories. All suffer from a lack of knowledge about Earth's early conditions, so must be considered tentative as a result. I have no issue with textbooks stating this. However, that's not what the ID lobby appears to want. There are textbooks already in existence that address your concerns in that they have little or no mention of abiogenesis (or highlight its tentativeness). Why not simply campaign for their selection and be done with it? No, instead what you want is for an intellectually vacuous statement (an unknown designer, at an unknown time, using unknown methods and for an unknown reason, did some designing) to be inserted into a science class. I must ask, "Why?"

I'm also interested to know where you got your ideas about Dawkins from. Have you read any of his material? I'm no atheist, but I think it pays to at least be aware of the actual arguments they use, rather than strawman claims heard second or third hand.

9:40 am  
Anonymous wandering jew said...

Ah_mini_ said:

Claiming that Dawkins is some kind of cheating boogeyman is a ridiculous waste of time....

I'm also interested to know where you got your ideas about Dawkins from. Have you read any of his material? I'm no atheist, but I think it pays to at least be aware of the actual arguments they use, rather than strawman claims heard second or third hand.


It’s also a waste of time to patronise your opponent. Dawkins gets on so many people’s nerves because he is The Great Equivocator. He wants to talk ‘designer without a designer’ and ‘selfish genes without selves’ and when pressed, he simply pleads metaphorical usage. But metaphors must be metaphors of something, and here Dawkins falls silent.

Here’s a little exercise: Why not just drop all agency-laden terms, used literally or not, from biology textbooks and see how far you get. Not very far, I imagine. People like Dawkins seem to think that calling something a metaphor absolves you from having to come up with a literal account what you're talking about that actually works (not a just-so story!). That’s the intellectual equivalent of having your cake and eating it – and it’s not unreasonably seen as intellectually dishonest.

12:00 pm  
Anonymous wandering jew said...

I meant ‘design without a designer’

12:01 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

From my experience the only texts I have read that mentioned 'origins' in terms of definitive knowledge were in defense of a relious position and 'our importance' in this universe. I don't ever recall seeing such comments in science books (real science books). We are what we are!

4:21 pm  
Anonymous Farshad said...

ah_mini:
Claiming that Dawkins is some kind of cheating boogeyman is a ridiculous waste of time.

No, it is not!

Dawkins and other like minded fellows cheat when they misuse science to promote their atheism. They falsely claim that science can prove that God is an improbable being (which is totally absurd).
I'm not sure if we're both referring to same Richard Dawkins. I think you dismiss the fact that many atheists are disturbed by the way he attacks religions and they're aware that it damages the public understanding of science. A lack of common sense manifests itself each time he attacks religions and religious people. In a recent interview he misrepresents religious people as lesser beings with an IQ level below those who are non-believers/atheists. He constantly uses his pseudo-scientific hypothesis to convince us that believing in God is not sane. His latest book "The God Delusion" is full of such pseudo-scientific assertions. I think you should pay more attention to his public appearances, interviews and debates.

10:10 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Farshad; you seem to have missed my post. Any response would be appreciated.

Never mind what Dawkins would or would not do.
Dawkins is a red herring. The important thing is that you and I agree that indoctrinating children is wrong. So Christian parents should avoid it. Correct?

So no faith schools, no teaching kids at home to tell them heaven and hell myths and avoid them meeting the real world. Agreed?

And evolution is the dominant scientific theory of the development of life. And ID is theology disguised as politics, masquerading as science. Agreed?

agreed?

10:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

long silence......

11:10 pm  
Anonymous Farshad said...

Farshad; you seem to have missed my post. Any response would be appreciated.

Never mind what Dawkins would or would not do.
Dawkins is a red herring. The important thing is that you and I agree that indoctrinating children is wrong. So Christian parents should avoid it. Correct?


I think the important point here is not to impose a specific ideology on kids. However, this way or that way kids will become familiar with their parents world view and it's quite natural. You can't avoid this. There is difference between introducing a particular world view and imposing that world view. Parents should raise their chidlren open-minded and allow them to explore the world freely. I don't think there is any harm for parents to introduce their belief system to their kids. An atheist parent may share their disbelief with their kids but also should allow them to become familiar with other faiths and world views. However, I believe it must not happen any earlier than age of 7 or 8. Child abuse starts when parents start punishing their children for not sharing the same world view and disallowing them from exploring the alternative belief systems.


So no faith schools, no teaching kids at home to tell them heaven and hell myths and avoid them meeting the real world. Agreed?


The problem here is that who's going to decide about what is myth and what is not. What is myth in your reality can be fact for others. However, I agree that it doesn't make sense to take a 5 yrs old and discussing with him/her about heaven & hell in a serious manner. OTOH, I don't believe that introducing them the concepts of heaven & hell in form of tales and stories needs to be avoided . Keep it in mind that kids are fond of mythology. I disagree that it may avoid them meeting the real world. Don't worry! They will have enough time in future to deal with misfits of this world.

In general, what we should avoid is trying to shape their mind in a unilateral way. What we should do is introducing them whatever we have and give them freedom to choose among them. i.e. we must respect their free will.

And evolution is the dominant scientific theory of the development of life. And ID is theology disguised as politics, masquerading as science. Agreed?

No, I totally disagree with you here. Being a dominant theory in scientific mainstream doesn't make something an empirical fact. ID is about alternative theories regarding origins of life and mankind on this planet. So you may want to consider that believing in a flat earth was also a dominant theory in past ages, agreed? Consensus on something doesn't make something a fact, agreed? Science is responsible for discovering facts not fabricating them according to any specific world view. Agree? If you claim that ID is theology then I'll advocate that Darwinism is Atheism disguised as science.

There is a paradox here. Through many of your comments here in this thread you defended open-mindedness and emphasized on importance of allowing kids to shape their own world view regardless of the dominant view in their family. But, when it comes to ID/Evolution controversy you defend the notion that we shouldn't defy the Neo-Darwinian theory simply because it is the dominant theory and the only alternative. So where did all your open-mindedness go?

1:27 am  
Blogger allygally said...

Farshad said:

"Allygally said - And evolution is the dominant scientific theory of the development of life. And ID is theology disguised as politics, masquerading as science. Agreed?

Farshad: No, I totally disagree with you here. Being a dominant theory in scientific mainstream doesn't make something an empirical fact."

I didn't say it was empirical fact. I said it was the dominant scientific theory of the development of life on Earth. Which it is. Why do you find it so difficult to accept that?

"ID is about alternative theories regarding origins of life and mankind on this planet."

Evolution is NOT about the origins of life! Evolution is about the DEVELOPMENT of life AFTER it has been created. So if ID is about OOL (not evolution), there should be no clash. Agreed?

"So you may want to consider that believing in a flat earth was also a dominant theory in past ages, agreed? Consensus on something doesn't make something a fact, agreed?"

Agreed, if all inexpert people believe in something which they know little about, that doesn't make it a fact. But if all scientists believe ID is not science, and evolution is the dominant theory of the DEVELOPMENT (not OOL) of life, then I would tend to believe them. Wouldn't anyone?

"Science is responsible for discovering facts not fabricating them according to any specific world view. Agree?"

Agreed. Any proof of the opposite?

"If you claim that ID is theology then I'll advocate that Darwinism is Atheism disguised as science."

Not just me. All scientists, the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, anyone who understands science. And the judge at a trial in Pennsylvania last year.

see here

http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/?page_id=5

You will see that the evidence showed clearly that ID is creationism in disguise - that is , if you want to believe that evidence... which will be unusual for a creationist..

7:43 pm  
Anonymous harry b said...

Allygally said:

(Farshad said: "If you claim that ID is theology then I'll advocate that Darwinism is Atheism disguised as science.”)

Not just me. All scientists, the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, anyone who understands science. And the judge at a trial in Pennsylvania last year.

see here

http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/?page_id=5

You will see that the evidence showed clearly that ID is creationism in disguise - that is , if you want to believe that evidence... which will be unusual for a creationist..


Frankly, I find it amazing that an evolutionist who makes such a big deal about competence believes a judge in one US state can have the final word on what ID is. I bet had he ruled in favour of ID, you would have huffed and puffed about how these matters shouldn’t be left to scientifically illiterate judges.

7:53 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Farshad said: "Frankly, I find it amazing that an evolutionist who makes such a big deal about competence believes a judge in one US state can have the final word on what ID is. I bet had he ruled in favour of ID, you would have huffed and puffed about how these matters shouldn’t be left to scientifically illiterate judges."



It's not just the judge in the Dover trial. All of the judgements which have been made at legal or local political level in the USA have said that ID, scientific creationism, or whatever you want to calll it, is not science. The Pope says ID is creationism and evolution is the best explanation of the DEVELOPMENT odf life. And the Archbishop of Canterbury. And the mainstream Christian community (about 1 billion people). 99% of scientists. That's 99% of scientists. That's real scientists, not Discovery Institute stooges.

Do you think it should be left to scientifcally illiterate creationists?

And of course all the scientific evidence of the last 150 years shows that evolution is the best explanation of the DEVELOPMENT of life (NOT ORIGINS). Don't get confused with origins. Evolution is not about origins. Get it?

So there you go. Believe the evidence and accept that ID is not science or don't. But remember, the evidence makes it science. And the lack of evidence, as with ID, makes it not science (at least yet).

10:02 pm  
Anonymous harry b said...

Earth to Allygally:

Farshad and I aren’t the same person. It’s possible that two sane people find the presumptive (or is it pre-emptive?) evolutionary consensus faulty.

First of all, why are you even bothering listing religious leaders who oppose ID? Had they supported ID, you’d be dismissing their opinions as ‘merely religious’. In other words, what they think is irrelevant to your argument, since you don’t take religious leaders’ views of science seriously. I’m not an idiot.

As for the alleged ‘99% of scientists’ who believe evolution over ID, I’d really like to see some hard evidence on this point. In fact, I’d like to see even soft evidence that doesn’t presuppose that ‘evolution’ means just about anything that doesn’t involve God and ‘ID’ means young earth creationism. Rigged surveys are, as the Americans say, ‘a dime a dozen’.

Oh, by the way, why do we need different explanations for the origins and the development of life? Is this the way you hedge your bets in case God exists?

5:58 am  
Blogger allygally said...

harry b: sorry I got you mixed up with farshad. I hope you are not too offended.

you said "First of all, why are you even bothering listing religious leaders who oppose ID? Had they supported ID, you’d be dismissing their opinions as ‘merely religious’."

Because you said "Frankly, I find it amazing that an evolutionist who makes such a big deal about competence believes a judge in one US state can have the final word on what ID is."

Of course I didn't say that. I said "Not just me. All scientists, the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, anyone who understands science. And the judge at a trial in Pennsylvania last year."

I also said "It's not just the judge in the Dover trial. All of the judgements which have been made at legal or local political level in the USA have said that ID, scientific creationism, or whatever you want to call it, is not science. The Pope says ID is creationism and evolution is the best explanation of the DEVELOPMENT of life. And the Archbishop of Canterbury. And the mainstream Christian community (about 1 billion people). 99% of scientists. That's 99% of scientists. That's real scientists, not Discovery Institute stooges."

"First of all, why are you even bothering listing religious leaders who oppose ID? Had they supported ID, you’d be dismissing their opinions as ‘merely religious’. In other words, what they think is irrelevant to your argument, since you don’t take religious leaders’ views of science seriously. I’m not an idiot."

Glad to hear you're not an idiot.

I listed the legal, scientific and religious views to show that it isn't just what you call "evolutionists" who think ID is religion. Everybody does, except a very very very few creationist Christians (and maybe creationist Muslims). And I thought that, as you don't accept scientific opinion or legal opinion, you might respect the views of your own religious leaders and the 99% of your co-religionists who agree with me...

As for the figure of 99% of scientists who accept the ToE. The only evidence to the contrary that I have seen is the DI's list of 700 "scientists" who "question evolution". This list contains lawyers, engineers, architects, inactive science Phd s and a very few scientists working in relevant disciplines. Even some people on the list have protested that they shouldn't be on it...

Nobody really knows how many sciemtists are active in the world, but the ACS has about 60,000 registered members, there are about 100,000 in the EU and (I guess) a comparable number across the world. This is probably an under estimate... If you do the maths, it is probabaly more than 99% who accept evolution, but I decided to be generous and give you some margin. Was I wrong to do so?

"Oh, by the way, why do we need different explanations for the origins and the development of life?"

Becase they are different phonomena. Evolution describes the development of life on Earth. Abiogenesis attempts ( not very successfully so far) to suggest how life might have arisen. They are different theories and areas of research.

"Is this the way you hedge your bets in case God exists?"

The existence of god has nothing to do with evolution. It has a lot to do with ID, which is why ID is religion not science.

9:05 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...


Ministers to ban creationist teaching aids in science lessons

"The government is to write to schools telling them that controversial teaching materials promoting creationism should not be used in science lessons."

10:03 am  
Blogger allygally said...

ACS has about 60,000 registered members

should be AAS

10:18 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Just realised that I posted the above to the wrong thread. Sorry. :(

12:00 pm  
Anonymous harry b said...

Allygally said:

As for the figure of 99% of scientists who accept the ToE. The only evidence to the contrary that I have seen is the DI's list of 700 "scientists" who "question evolution". This list contains lawyers, engineers, architects, inactive science Phd s and a very few scientists working in relevant disciplines. Even some people on the list have protested that they shouldn't be on it...

Nobody really knows how many sciemtists are active in the world, but the ACS has about 60,000 registered members, there are about 100,000 in the EU and (I guess) a comparable number across the world. This is probably an under estimate... If you do the maths, it is probabaly more than 99% who accept evolution, but I decided to be generous and give you some margin. Was I wrong to do so?


Duh...I think you were wrong, unless you equate wishful thinking with genuine science. Do you even have first hand knowledge of the questions that were asked in the survey you mentioned?

By the way, I'm not a religious believer -- just someone who believes in thinking through issues for himself and not easily cowed by blowhard bloggers (I don't necessarily mean you!).

1:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IN that case Harry, if you want to think through the issues yourself, would you like to have a go at the science behind evolution, and compare it to the lack of science behind ID/ creationism?
guthrie

9:42 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

"In that case Harry, if you want to think through the issues yourself, would you like to have a go at the science behind evolution, and compare it to the lack of science behind ID/ creationism? guthrie "

No, Harry would not like to have a go. Of course not, that would require effort and thinking..
Right Harry?

9:14 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Is this blog still operational?

8:41 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,

Depends what you mean by operational...

I am pretty busy atm and haven't had much time for blogging... but I am still here and hope to put some pieces up soon.

9:46 am  

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