Thursday, May 29, 2008

Does science make faith obsolete?

Yes, if by ...
No, and yes.
Absolutely not!
Not necessarily.
Of course not.
No.
No, but it should.
No.
Yes.
No, not at all.
It depends.
Of course not.
No, but only if ...

Each of these is the title of an essay in a booklet published by the John Templeton Foundation. Thirteen contributors from the realms of science, theology, academia and journalism answered the question "Does science make belief in God obsolete?"

Perhaps you can guess what atheist Christopher Hitchens or the lead editor of the Catholic Church's catechism would say (although you might be wrong). But what about William D. Phillips, a Nobel laureate in physics? Or Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine? Or Jerome Groopman, a professor of medicine at Harvard? Or philosopher Mary Midgley?

You can read their thought-provoking essays and/or order a copy of the booklet at the foundation's Web site, which also offers debates between the contributors. You can leave your own comments, there as well as here.

I was particularly struck by this excerpt from the piece by Keith Ward, a Fellow of the British Academy, an Anglican priest and the author of "Pascal's Fire: Scientific Faith and Religious Understanding":

"Some modern physicists routinely speak of realities beyond space-time (e.g., quantum fluctuations in a vacuum from which this space-time originates). And some physicists, such as Henry Stapp, Eugene Wigner, and John von Neumann, speak of consciousness as an ultimate and irreducible element of reality, the basis of the physical as we know it, not its unanticipated by-product. ...

"It is not science that renders belief in God obsolete. It is a strictly materialistic interpretation of the world that renders belief in God obsolete, and which science is taken by some people to support. But science is more ambiguous than that, and modern scientific belief in the intelligibility and mathematical beauty of nature, and in the ultimately 'veiled' nature of objective reality, can reasonably be taken as suggesting of an underlying cosmic intelligence. To that extent, science may make a certain sort of belief in God highly plausible."

Thoughts?

139 comments:

Gamecock said...

Jane, you would have aced the LSAT. Why, because one of the main skills the law school entrance exam tests is the ability to discern the legally relevant facts out of a convoluted scenario.

I totally agree with the quote you highlighted, as does the man that I think is the best Christian apologist out there today, Dinesh D'Souza.

Below I have posted links to a debate he had with Hitchens, a speech he made to the YAF, and a column.

His book, "What's so great about Christianity" is brilliant, and one of the things that makes his arguments against atheists and anti-theists so powerful is that he never quotes scripture.

I must add that while I am a very great fan of Christopher Hitchens, consider him a brilliant man and one of the best rhetoriticians on Earth, his anti-theism arguments are very lame. He never deals with the great arguments of Christian scholars over the centuries.

One of the main battles today is that darwinists and fed courts are making darwinism and atheism an established religion.

more later

http://www.tkc.edu/debate/

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DineshDSouza/2008/04/14/atheism_masquerading_as_science

http://www.townhall.com/TalkRadio/Show.aspx?RadioShowID=22&ContentGuid=05432cd3-98cd-4468-9c54-9845e901d470

Iztok said...

Gamecock, what great arguments Hitchens didn't address?

Which arguments you consider lame?

D'Souza: I've read his article here: http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2007/10/a-christian-fou.html

And find it full of nonsense. How can one even consider him of any value after reading this one?

Gamecock said...

Iztok

Watch the debate and listen to the speech, and if you still see no merit, I will dig out transcripts and get the book from the library and teach you.

I love you after all. (I have to, to get to Heaven! - smile)

Anonymous said...

Seriously, now, people have been trying to read way too much into quantum mechanics, consciousness and the universe (probably a reference to the Anthropic Principle), and "God".

People have tried to make the same connection between physics and so-called "psychic" phenomenon for decades as well.

There is a tremendous gap between this kind of talk in physics and religious talk about telekinesis or JeezusChristAsOurLordAndSavior.

That's why they refer to a "certain sort of belief" in God
being more plausible.

Nothing is said about the "God" of the Bible or his "Son" which is the stuff most Christians who read this stuff want it to be.

Iztok said...

Gamecock: "I love you after all. (I have to, to get to Heaven! - smile)"

Hm... this sounds like those who say "Love the sinner hate the sin." Or Love homosexual hate homosexuality.

Sounds just like "love Christian, hate Christianity", doesn't it?

Iztok said...

"Watch the debate and listen to the speech, and if you still see no merit, I will dig out transcripts and get the book from the library and teach you."

I did watch the debate. I've lost respect in Dinesh at the point when he says matter obeys the laws. When in fact laws are mere descriptions of what we see around us. It happens that they describe what we see very well. Matter doesn't act like it does because of the laws but laws just describe how it acts. Simple as that. I could go on on this but his speech is just full of half truths. I wonder if Dines is deliberately lying or he really believes what he is saying.

Gamecock said...

Iztok

I guess the smile didn't make a sound you could mischaracterize.

Oh well, I still love the tok from Iz. That you come here to debate shows that God won't let you alone. Same with Hitchens and Maher.

God says be hot or cold. He spues the lukewarm out of his mouth.

What Dinesh is saying is that atheism requires as much or more faith that theism.

And that it is false to suggest a moral equivalence between religions in terms of their effects on people and history.

ps

Nothing you say can stop me from loving you.

just saying

and btw, God does not require that you love "Christianity". He does require that you love Christians and all men and that you love his son, if you want the gift.

Iztok said...

"What Dinesh is saying is that atheism requires as much or more faith that theism."

Yet he doesn't provide any real evidence for it.

You don't address one of his principal opening bs statements requiring lawgiver.

BTW: Again the difference, I don't see evidence of "his son" ever existed. I've been to Jerusalem and Bethlehem and no credible evidence there either. (Lot of fake things however!)

Danbo59 said...

Science doesn't make faith obsolete -- science complements faith beautifully because both were created by the one true God. Science can't lead us all the way to God, but it can help us unravel the beauty of His Creation.

pornstudent said...

The Templeton Foundation awards the Templeton Prize ($2 million) to a "living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension."

This explains their loaded question, "Does science make faith obsolete?" The definition of obsolete is, "no longer in use or no longer useful." Since many people have faith and it is useful in keeping people's anxieties and depressions manageable, the correct answer is, "No, science doesn't make faith obsolete;" which gives the appearance of faith having more value than it does.

A better question might be, "Does science need faith?" Or "Does science make faith unnecessary for understanding reality?" Or "Does science answer many questions that were once answered through faith?"

D.J. Williams said...

Iztok said...
"BTW: Again the difference, I don't see evidence of "his son" ever existed. I've been to Jerusalem and Bethlehem and no credible evidence there either. (Lot of fake things however!)"

Iztok, when you try to make the "Jesus never existed" argument, you lose a lot of credibility, because scholarship is overwhelming in its affirmation of the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Leaving aside the unparalleled textual consistency of the NT accounts, I suppose Thallos, Pliny the Younger, Seutonius, Tacitus, Mara bar Serapion, Lucian of Samosata, and Celsus all made him up too. For an overview of these other sources, see Robert Van Voorst's Jesus Outside the New Testament. Here's Biblical scholar Dr. Craig Blomberg's summary of what we can know from extra-canonical sources...

"Jesus was a first-third of the first-century Jew, who lived in Israel, was born out of wedlock, whose ministry intersected with that of John the Baptist, who became a popular teacher and wonder-worker, who gathered particularly close disciples to himself, five of whom are named (though some of the names are a bit garbled), who consistently taught perspectives on the Law that ran afoul of the religious authorities’ interpretations, who was believed to be the Messiah, who was eventually crucified under Pontius Pilate, Roman procurator in Judea (which enables us to narrow the date for that event to somewhere between A.D. 26 and 36), and who was allegedly seen by many of his followers as bodily resurrected from the dead. Instead of dying out, the movement of his followers continued to grow with each passing decade and within a short period of time people were singing hymns to him as if he were a god."

Since you claim to be a man who values evidence above all, I would encourage you to follow it here.

Soli Deo Gloria

pornstudent said...

Leading scientists still reject God

pornstudent said...

I started watching the Dinesh D’Souza & Christopher Hitchens Debate.

Dinesh starts his opening remarks saying he doesn't understand why a nonbeliever would be a "militant." First thing that came to my mind is the desire of many believers to have creationism taught in public schools' science classes. Whether you are a believer or not, this is significant. An atheist would likely see this as awful thing to happen to education as much as believers would think it a good thing. The second thing that comes to my mind is that many Christians look forward to the end of the Earth (Armageddon?). This thinking isn't good for the Earth. So, is Dinesh stupid for not seeing these issues, or is he lying about not understanding why an atheist would care? Either way, I may not get around to watching the rest of the debate.

Danbo59 said...

pornstudent offers, "Leading scientists still reject God."

Thank God I'm not following their 'lead.'

It's ironic; even in light of that title, God doesn't reject them.

Iztok said...

"Dinesh starts his opening remarks saying he doesn't understand why a nonbeliever would be a "militant.""

Good thing we don't fly airplanes into the buildings and blow up car bombs.

Iztok said...

DJ: "Iztok, when you try to make the "Jesus never existed" argument, you lose a lot of credibility, because scholarship is overwhelming in its affirmation of the existence of Jesus of Nazareth."

We do have lots of hearsay. No one who actually lived during his time wrote a thing. At best was second hand info.

D.J. Williams said...

Iztok said...
"No one who actually lived during his time wrote a thing."

Well, except for the most textually attested documents of antiquity, also known as the four gospels. There are those.

Also, I should point out that by the rule of criteria Iztok has just pointed out, Alexander the Great and Pythagoras never actually existed either.

Soli Deo Gloria

Chris said...

Science does not complement faith at all, in my opinion. Science doesn't try to answer the 'why'of the world such as "why are we here?". Instead, it answer the 'how' -- how does the universe and the world work.

Looking at the evidence, using science, I discredited what I was taught (Catholicism) growing up. The Earth wasn't created in six days. There is no evidence for a omnipotent, omniscient being. So believing in this stuff (particularly the ritual and superstituion that goes on behind it) is a waste of my time.

At an individual level, I think some people NEED faith because they could not mentally handle life without it. They probably feel like they have to have some sort of belief that there is someone guiding them and particularly something for them after death.

I don't think we're ready as a society to throw faith out the window just yet, unfortunately.

Chris said...

I think Iztok is referring to the fact that Bible, the New Testament, in particular, was written over ~40-100 years after Jesus died. Even what we have, IIRC, is somewhat incomplete (Dead Sea scrolls, New Testament Apocrypha). Furthermore, the translations and culling make it a questionable historical document -- at best.

Personally, I think there's enough historical documents that can corroborate that Jesus was a real person. However, I don't think he was the Son of God and a miracle worker. People used that stuff for their own purposes to gain followers. To put him in the modern equivalent, he'd be a Warren Jeffs or David Koresh or something.

Gamecock said...

Chris

Some people deny God's existence because they want to be their own God.

bigcock said...

"Does science make faith obsolete?"
Absolutely not! We'll alway have and need faith.

Iztok said...

DJ: "Also, I should point out that by the rule of criteria Iztok has just pointed out, Alexander the Great and Pythagoras never actually existed either."

Sure and I have no problems with that.

As far as gospels are concerned. Can you actually tell me who wrote them? Obviously not Mark, Luke and the gang.

JED1013 said...

Science doesn't make faith obsolete.

In fact, you have to have faith that the science is true and factual. Unless you collect, study and conduct the experiments yourself, you have to have faith that person giving you the information is stating the facts.

For most of us, we have never stood in a lab and watched a scientist research or study anything, yet we have faith he/she is correct in what they say.

Why is faith in the Bible or God looked at any different?

Faith is putting your trust in something that you choose to belive to be true.

Iztok said...

Gamecock: "Some people deny God's existence because they want to be their own God."

I am sure that your statement is correct, however it doesn't apply to most atheists/agnostics/non-religious.

What you do is blaming the victim here.

D.J. Williams said...

Iztok said...
"As far as gospels are concerned. Can you actually tell me who wrote them? Obviously not Mark, Luke and the gang.

Care to explain why that's so obvious?

Chris, I dont' want to get off topic here, but I'd suggest you take a look at some of the data presented here on the NT texts...

http://assets.theresurgence.com/files/pdf/mark_driscoll_2007-01-09_pastoral_reflections_on_bible_translations.pdf

Pages 3-5 should be of interest.

Soli Deo Gloria

Anonymous said...

Science does not tell us everything. Religion does not tell us anything.

Gamecock said...

Iztok

You lost me there. Who is the victim? What are they a victim of? And what am I blaming them for?

Gamecock said...

One who is still studying smut

If you would study non-filth, you would know that the main issue in science classes is that fed cts have established darwinism as a religion and make it an actionable offense to question it in the temple of science class.

Iztok said...

Gamecock: "If you would study non-filth, you would know that the main issue in science classes is that fed cts have established darwinism as a religion and make it an actionable offense to question it in the temple of science class."

This is not true. Darwinism gets questioned every day. In fact theory of evolution through natural selection has been "under attack" every single day. Problem is that ilk like you have not come with any scientific theory that would explain world around us better.

Iztok said...

DJ: "Care to explain why that's so obvious?"

Matthew and Mark:

The identification of Christian tradition of Matthew and Mark as the authors of respective Gospels attributed to them seems to come from an unreliable claim from early second century Christian writer Papias. Eusebius (fourth century Church historian) wrote ab out it. He even calls Papias a man "of very limited understanding" (Eusebius, 3.39.14-16). In essence we have beginning of second century unidentified source giving Papias an oral tradition alleging that there were Gospels written by Matthew and Mark.

Papias wrote: "Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoeverhe remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teachings to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord's discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some thins as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the thins which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely." (Also from Eusebius 3.39.15)

Papaias also mentiones that Matthew wrote in Hebrew while other sources claim Aramaic.

Gamecock said...

Iztok

From ilk

Teachers are afraid to answer HS students' questions that come up in science class due to fear of lawsuits, hence the Cobb County, GA "sticker" case.

'tok, you are exhibit A for how anti-intellectual most anti-theists are, yet you claim to be all about just the facts.

Plus, where is all the anger coming from?

God won't leave you alone. Heed his call, because the day you lose the anger without surrendering to God, is the day God turns his back on you.

pornstudent said...

See what I mean, Playful Cock? The courts, free speech, marriage, education, capital punishment, abortion, nature, pollution, war, etc.. Of course atheists have strong feelings about the way we think religion influences policies affecting the world, just as you have strong feelings about how liberalism and atheism affects the world. How could Dinesh D’Souza not know this?

Gamecock said...

smut on the brain

Must be affecting said brain. I can't decide if your "response" is an attempt at a strawman, bait and switch or is simply an incoherent non sequitur.

Leaning towards the latter.

Come on guys, my time is valuable.

Do betteror this ContestPhallus will take his balls and go to redstate.com.

Chris said...

Jed, the Scientific Method accounts for documentation and testing of hypothesis, experiments, etc.., There's no "faith" to be had because everything is peer reviewed, tested, and replicated as part of the process. Many an experiment has been found faulty. Often, things get improved or changed as we learn more. Science is open to change based on facts, evidence, and data unlike religion where the blanket of "faith" is required for belief.

There's a HUGE difference between the two.

bigcock said...

Killing Cock,
Too bad you can't understand.

Masturbation Saves Lives
masturbationsaveslives.blogspot.com

Gamecock said...

visions of grandeur poultry

understand what?

Iztok said...

Gamecock, what questions are not being answered?

Seriously I still fail to see any scientific theory you brought up that better explains evolution as theory of evolution through natural selection.

Feel free to educate us on better theory. I'll be happy to read articles you point out in scientific magazines about better theory.

Iztok said...

JED1013, "Why is faith in the Bible or God looked at any different?"

Here is why. Scientists compete to make better explanations of the world we see every day. Scientists are not upset when it turns out that their theory was corrected or replaced in fact many are quite happy when it happens. No scientist is "protecting" Evolution Theory with Natural Selection in fact there is great fame to be had if someone comes with proof that it is wrong and better theory.

Do you see now how science and religion are different? Science thrives on improvements and corrections, religion does not. Just look at latest stint from Roman Catholic Church where they threaten with punishment to those who dare to suggest women would be just as good being priests as men are. (Just because someone named Jesus didn't name any women as apostles!)

Science is propelled by change within itself while religion changes only through pressure from outside.

Gamecock said...

Iztok

You just don't listen or purposefully bait and switch or have ADD.

Yes, evolution/darwinianism/transmogrification of darwinianism gets questioned everyday, BUT

AND THIS TIME LISTEN TO LAWYER DEVINE

FEDERAL JUDGES HAVE RULED AGAINST FREE SPEECH IN HS SCIENCE CLASSES FOR CHALLENGES FROM STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ANSWERS. SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE LOST A LOT OF MONEY DEFENDING SUCH SUITS.

ITS NOT ABOUT TEACHING GOD. ITS THAT FED CTS HAVE SHUT OFF DEBATE AND MANY TEACHERS TEACH THAT SCIENCE DOES PRECLUDE GOD.

SEE TRASMOGRIFICATION.

SEE ALSO BEN STEIN'S "EXPELLED". SCIENTISTS ARE IN THE MOVIE.

AND READ COULTER'S CHAPTER ON THIS IN "GODLESS". FPPTNOTES REFER TO SCIENCE JOURNALS.

Iztok said...

Gamecock, what did I switch? You are the one claiming things and not backing them up. Show me alternative better theory and we'll discuss if it belongs to science classes or not.

Expelled is a joke (so is Ben Stein). The movie was a flop. No to mention it didn't bring any alternatives to evolution theory. It tried to imply there are some but never produced any. Just like you.

There is nothing scientific in ID to teach in science classes. It is creationism attempt and that simply is not science. It should be discussed in some other classes together with other mythology.

BTW: Caps key can be found on the left side of the keyboard just left of letter A.

Anonymous said...

In our church, we believe that creation was designed, but not intelligently.

Iztok said...

"In our church, we believe that creation was designed, but not intelligently."

Given the "design" of human eye one would certainly agree if evolution wouldn't explain it just fine.

Trick is that not all things need a designer and even if it would one would be hard pressed to figure out which specific designer considering so many options.

Gamecock said...

Iztok

1 - "Gamecock, what did I switch? You are the one claiming things and not backing them up. Show me alternative better theory and we'll discuss if it belongs to science classes or not."

You switched from Jane's topic re obsolescence and my related topic of fed ct rulings that restrict local self government and free speech and that essentially allow an anti-theist est of rel in the temple of science classrooms.

2 - "Expelled is a joke (so is Ben Stein). The movie was a flop. No to mention it didn't bring any alternatives to evolution theory. It tried to imply there are some but never produced any. Just like you."

Did you see the movie? Do you favor firing scientists that question some of the claims of Darwinism that also cannot be proved?

Iztok, the problem is that transmogrifiers of Darwinism set up Darwinism as true unless disproved. And they claim what Darwin never claimed, i.e. where did that first cell come from.

Problem: no eye witnesses at creation. But, when I see a toaster, I say to myself, self, that was designed. When I see dog poop, I say, there must have been a dog here. And when I see a cell under a microscope...(see toaster).


3 - "There is nothing scientific in ID to teach in science classes. It is creationism attempt and that simply is not science. It should be discussed in some other classes together with other mythology."

Iztok, who should decide what is discussed within the four walls or a building with the word science on the door? Should students be free to ask questions and the teacher discuss same without fear of being sued?

Science class is the temple of the anti-theists. You and your "ilk" (you seem to like that word) are establishing a religion with a Jewish type holy of holies room!

Local schools should decide what's discussed in rooms.

4 - "BTW: Caps key can be found on the left side of the keyboard just left of letter A."

Another pajamas nerd whose sensitive ears "hear" all caps.

You emphasize your points with "ilk", me with all caps. Deal with it.

Iztok said...

Gamecock,

which actual scientist was fired? (Name one from Expelled and we can together figure out what truth is.)

Evolution and abiogenesis are two different things. (Abiogenesis deals with how life came to be while evolition takes it from there.)

You really don't understand how science works, do you? People come up with hypothesis that describes natural phenomenons and then the hypothesis is tested against all known and future facts (every time new facts crops up it is tested against it). If it passes the test it becomes known as a theory. Theory is mere description of things around us. It holds true if it explains the facts and falls when it doesn't. By design it is falsifiable. Something you can't claim for creationism. So in an essence you are right that it is true until disproved. There is great honor and respect to be made if it is replaced by better one. Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is the best we have right now and is tested daily and attempts are made to falsify it. Yet no facts are found (new or old) that would do that.

So when you see how eye is "designed" you assume designer? Do you assume a human eye is perfectly designed? Or do you think human eye is sloppy work of evolution? I don't know much about design but when I see a human eye I could think of at least one or two easy improvements on it that would dramatically improve its quality. For example light detecting cells are "inside out" so nerves block light somewhat before it reaches photo sensitive area. Process has been shown how eyes could evolve from less complex to more complex. We have to explain more complex things with less complex as it is the only natural way.

Design in case of your toaster requires a more complex designer which itself requires design (by your definition) and so on ad infinity. BTW: Even toaster evolved through time (so did mouse trap).

Gamecock said...

Iztok

You really don't know how the english language works, do you?

You have no idea who you are playing with.

See Ben Franklin re memorization of obscure facts games and your "name a fired professor" challenge.

Look under a microscope (assuming you understand how it works) at a single cell and compare the complexity to a toaster and report back.

On second thought, don't. Continue the conversation you have been having with yourself, while trying to use GC as a prop.

The prop grows tired of proping.

But I still love you in Christ.

Anonymous said...

I read that Dinesh Souza article.

What a dimwit. He actually quoted a famous ATHEIST physicist, Richard Feynman, on MIRACLES.

Gawd, how stupid can these Christian apologists get?

Will they not stop at anything to promote their lies?

Are Christians that f-cking desperate?

Does the brillliant Dinesh Souza have any articles on intellectual integrity that I could read for a good chuckle.

Gamecock said...

Very impressive rebuttal anon

I especially appreciated the plethora of facts you presented and logical arguments as opposed to unsupported conclusions and profanity.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, lamecock, you've got problems. Do you need a link to the CIA World Factbook so we can discuss economic growth in China.

Maybe you should start with simple numbers, addition, subtraction, and multiplication before jumping into advanced physics where you might need to crack open a book on differential equations.

Maybe Dinesh Souza has written an article on that, too. After all, if that dimwit thinks the universe obeys the "laws" of mathematics, then he must have studied it really hard.

Or maybe just hard enough to convince your typical Christians...

Anonymous said...

You mean like the undeniable fact that Richard Feynmann was an atheist?

Care to dispute that, lamecock?

Feynman wrote a lot of fairly simple books to read that even someone as mentally impaired as Dinesh Souza could have taken the time to read.

Gamecock said...

Anon-Trembling in the fetal position fearing anyone may discover he is not Joe Klein-ymous

Go get the numbers on China v US GDP for the last 20 years and I will submit them to a phi beta kappa summa cum laude econ major. His name is Mike DeVine. And then we will study lameness v Rooster strutting.

Based on your avoidance of both Jane's and my hypotheses, I take it your answers to same are no.

btw, the hens can vouch for non-lameness...

just saying

Anonymous said...

C'mon lamecock. Do you just swallow everything the Christian apologists write, or can you actually do any research on your own.

Pick up a few of Feynman's popular books. See if you can find the passages where he says he's an atheist.

I dare you.

Then e-mail the passage to that Dimwit D'Sewer guy you think is one of the best Christian apologists out there today.

Anonymous said...

You made the claim about China, moron, so back it up. I'm not doing any more research for dimwitted Christians such as yourself.

Use the CIA World Factbook if you want an officially sanctioned US
source for economic data. Check out those GDP numbers and growth numbers.

A reasonably intelligent high school graduate could figure this out.

Of course, you will probably need a friend to help. If nothing else, maybe he could be a neuron donor.

But, I'll have to let you know I also have a math degree and an MBA, so go ahead and strut, lamecock.

Do your own research for the numbers, if you know what numbers actually look like.

I gave you a source, now go, boy, do some homework.

Gamecock said...

If I were you, I wouldn't reveal my identity either. One day you might pi*s off a non-Christian unconcerned with cheek turning.

Gamecock said...

The US economy is five times that of China's. At a rate of growth of 3.5% per year, the US replicates China's whole economy every 5 and 1/2 years.

approximately, And, our poor are obese, millions are trying to move here, not China and we rescue their disaster victims and our own.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

Anonymous said...

Is that a veiled threat, lamecock?

Did you do your research yet?

Come back when you do.

Bring a friend.

Even a non-Christian non-cheek-turning friend if you have one.

But I'm not in a smiting or kissing mood.

Just the facts. Get the facts.

Read Feynman.

Read the CIA World Factbook entries on the US and China.

I said a high school graduate could figure this out. But maybe I overestimated a bit.

What I meant to say is that a Chinese eighth grader could easily figure this out.

Anonymous said...

If you find a watch in the woods, did someone leave it there by accident? Think about that!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, gamecock. Found a source. It even has the CIA numbers if you look down the right column.

I won't even bother asking you
to figure out why the official exchange rate makes Chinas GDP look smaller.

You can ask your econ buddy that question, I don't have time to teach you economics or why some countries might choose to control their official exchange rates, (even if it makes their GDP look lower).

Now look at the growth rate of China and tell me how you EVER got
the US growing a new China every 3 years, now will ya?

(It can't be done, but thanks for the effort.)

bigcock said...

"Disbelief in God and immortality among National Academy of Sciences (NAS) biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both, with few believers. We found the highest percentage of belief among NAS mathematicians (14.3% in God, 15.0% in immortality). Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality)." - Nature, Vol. 394, No. 6691, p. 313 (1998)

"The Academy membership is composed of approximately 2,100 members and 380 foreign associates, of whom nearly 200 have won Nobel Prizes. Members and foreign associates of the Academy are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research; election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer."
- About the NAS

Masturbation Saves Live
masturbationsaveslives.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I once found a green poop stain in my sons diaper that looked like a Christmas Tree.

I'm pretty sure it was put there by accident.

Gamecock said...

Good one on the diaper! Mouse

The 3 yr number was from a few years ago. I stand corrected. So, therefore, a nation 234 yrs old has an economy that dwarfs that of a nation that is 5000 yrs old. The older nation is now experiencing its greatest growth ever by emulating us, and still, we duplicate their whole economy every few years.

You are an un civil bore. You obviously weren't spanked enough as a child, or aren't presently being spanked enough during your childhood.

God help you

Anonymous said...

Is there more than one person here named "Anonymous"? Because I seem to be saying a lot of mean things and I'm getting ready to punch myself out!

Anonymous said...

Not spanked enough, eh? You mean I don't fear "authority" enough?

If so, then I agree. Authority should be questioned, even when they beat you.

Currently China's GDP is about half of the US. China has been growing at about a 9% clip over the last decade or so while the US has been around 3%.

At those rates (and projecting the future using economics is a lot like religion, IMHO), we will see equality between the two economies in about 15 years.

Of course, economics is not exact. You might be able to find a time in the past when the US created a "new" China every 3 years, but that hasn't been true lately and doesn't appear to be the trend for the near future.

If you look back historically at relative GDPs in the world, it wasn't until the 20th century that the US became larger than China (with China shrinking and the US growing), but in the last 15 years or so that trend has changed with China and the US both growing, but China at a much faster rate, about triple.

This is a far cry from the US creating a "new" China every 3 years as you claimed.

China is simply growing a lot faster than the US and has a lot more growing to do.

Whether you think this is because China is "emulating" the US or not is irrelevant because I don't think you've done the research on that either.

But, glad you enjoyed the diaper quip. I couldn't resist.

And it's true. He really did poop a Christmas tree image. I should have saved it and auctioned it on E-bay.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm your evil twin. Glad to meet ya.

Anonymous said...

Gamecock, the US doesn't duplicate China's economy every few years because China is not standing still for the same period.

Sure, they may duplicate the Chinese economy of 1950 every few years, but so does China, but at an even faster rate than the US does.

Don't you understand that 9% growth of 50% of something is STILL greater than 3% growth of 100% of the same thing?

You really don't understand simple arithmetic, do you?

And I'm really trying my best to keep the numbers simple.

I swear, one of the main reasons countries like China are kicking our butts is that simple stuff like this is apparently considered rocket science in the US.

Anonymous said...

Oh, btw, gamecock, since you apparently consider yourself an expert in english, I'm sure you really meant that I'm an uncivil "boor".

Unless, of course, you were being clever by referring to my recent use of numbers and facts as "boring".

I probably was a bit uncivil and boring, but I'm watching Tom and Jerry cartoons out of the corner of one eye, so the devil made me do it.

Iztok said...

gamecock, sorry English is just my 5th language I've learned. So I might not be as good in it as you.

You never addressed things. Just like Dinesh, bunch of half truths.

Yes cell is complex. I've known then since biology class in 7th grade. That is not proof of design.

You didn't address so called design of a human eye which would give you many answers.

You didn't address which scientists portrait in Expelled were actually fired.

You never addressed your apparent lack of how scientific theories work.

Gamecock said...

Anonymous

Rapprochement accepted, even if you are depriving your green pooping of better cartoons like: Bugs, Daffy, Foghorn Leghorn, Bullwinkle, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Roadrunner, Pink Panther and Droopy.

Boor, bore, any old b word after uncivil, but considering that liberal cartoon letting a mouse!!!(tale off the "e" and add anony before "m") survive in their utopian vision, you are forgive in a DeVine Gamecock way.

btw China is about to run up on some demographic barriers to further rapid growth, and after a review of more numbers and articles on present GDP, nominal and real, China's is no more that 20% of the US as we speak.

see Kudlow & Co

This cock is tired and I didn't even have a date on my birthday, so

more later

and tell Iztok to write a blog asking the question he wants answered and direct it someone who cares.

Iztok said...

Gamecock: "and tell Iztok to write a blog asking the question he wants answered and direct it someone who cares."

Typical apologetic, first it utters some half truths and when challenged to back them up nothing happens.

Gamecock, you are just like Dinesh D'Souza and Ben Stein, a liar.

Anonymous said...

Lamecock, please give us a reference source for your claim that China's GDP is 20% of the US's.

Just saying "Kudlow & Co" isn't quite enough for me (coming from you, for sure).

You just can't stop this unsupportable crap from coming out, can you?

Have you been brainwashed into believing that repeating something
long enough makes it true, or what?

Anonymous said...

OK, lamecock, so now you're an expert on demographic barriers to further economic growth in China.

Well, duh, ain't you the smart one now?

OK, Mr. "Grow a China in 3 Years or Your Money Back"...

US growth prospects aren't all that great, either, and 3% is being pretty damned optimistic.

The main demographic barrier the US faces is the increase in general ignorance here.

And you aren't helping things.

What's the matter, is the CIA World Factbook too "liberal" for you, so you need other, more biased sources?

Did you manage to learn some arithmetic, too, in your late night studies to help you understand the situation in China?

Or did Jeezus send you a vision, or what?

Anonymous said...

Gamecock, you are a prime example of exactly why countries like India and China are kicking our butts.

To say nothing of the rest of the world which isn't sitting around twiddling its thumbs, either.

You are living in a world that
only existed in Reagan's brain
and obviously has little room for growth in Dubya's.

That world does not exist, Gamecock, it is a lie.

You drank the koolaid and now YOU believe, but it is still not real.

If you understood basic arithmetic, fractions, proportions, or anything at all about the relative growth of damned near anything...

You would KNOW that as long as US growth is less than China's growth, the US can NEVER grow another multiple of CHINA's GDP.

That's NEVER, NEVER, NEVER.

Not in 3 years, not in 5 years, not in 50 years, not in 100 years
and not in 1000 years and absolutely not for any positive number of years less than, equal to, or greater than any of the examples I used.

That is not OPINION, that is ARITHMETIC.

Anonymous said...

MATH GEEK/FINANCIAL DISCLAIMER:

Oh, I want to emphasize that I mean US growth less than China's growth as it is now (3% vs 9%) at their current relative sizes and not just some arbitrarily chosen numbers.

I know you geeks understand how to calculate what the growth numbers would have to be for the US to do that with a GDP half its size, so I want to make that clear for the pocket protector crowd out there.

I hope, by now, we all know we can't predict the future and that we could come up with some rather
bizarre numbers for which this would not hold true.

But for this discussion, I am holding to what the last decade or so of actual numbers were, not all possible values they could have been.

And remember. All forward looking statements are likely to be bogus. Actual results may vary.

END OF MATH GEEK/FINANCIAL DISCLAIMER.

Gamecock said...

Anon

I sent the link yesterday showing the gdp rankings. Why should I send it again? You either didn't read the link yesterday, can't do division/percentages, can't read or are lying.

moving on

Anonymous said...

Oh, so you're "moving on", eh?

Off to another spate of lying and ignoring reality, no doubt.

Oh, please lamecock, show me exactly where to look based on all your careful research into the matter.

You need a new link to support your new lie. Your earlier lie has been disproven.

You specifically mentioned Kudlow & Co. Was that a lie, too?

Do you just namedrop like that ignorant dimwit Dinesh Souza did with Richard Feynman without understanding what people actually mean?

BTW, by "moving on", I hope you mean you are looking into what Richard Feynman really thinks.

Anonymous said...

Gamecock, having a little problem with the concept of PPP?

I'll be generous and let that ride, even though it is considered a more accurate measure.

After all, I am trying to work with someone who is reality-impaired, so I am willing to meet you half way.

Do you need to change those growth numbers, too? Like make China not grow at all. sau 0%, while the US moves along at it's overly optimistic growth rate of 3%?

It will still take twice as long as you claimed for the US to "grow" another China.

Again, keep trying. Maybe you can get the numbers your presonal reality requires by postulating NEGATIVE growth for China.

Maybe you have a Kudlow & Co source for that.

Gamecock said...

anon

siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GDP.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

Gamecock said...

I am quite aware of the debate over PPP. I did mention that I was a phi beta kappa summa cum laude curve breaker econ BA holder? Even accepting PPP, China is only 40% as large an economy as the US. But the data from China has been increasingly unreliable.

We have exhausted this subject. You prefer your facts, I prefer mine.

I don't begrudge you declaring victory over evil chicken and the evil USA if it will give you some pink glow of pleasure as you manage green poop and lame cartoons!

smile

Anonymous said...

Now, to get back to topic...

How can people who don't understand arithmetic ever hope to understand modern science well enough to talk about whether science makes faith obsolete?

If people won't do even the most basic research, then how do they know that people like Dinesh Souza aren't lying out their butts?

Is that what "faith" is all about?

Is verything just reduced to one unsubstantiated opinion over another?

Are soundbites and namedropping now accepted as sufficient supporting evidence for any lie?

And is the the one who repeats a lie the most , or the loudest, or who can get the biggest crowd of dimwits to shake their heads in agreement now telling the truth?

Anonymous said...

Big deal. Phi Beta Kappa and Econ degree and you still can't divide?

Come on, 40% on PPP? Getting
closer to 50%, but still not what I'm seeing.

The latest CIA World Factbook PPPs
are:

US 13.8
CHINA 7.0

Whoops. Looks like a little OVER 50%. My bad.

But I'm using the CIA data not some pinko commie International numbers from some "world" or "international" organization with potential links to SATAN.

Give me the PPP trillions to one decimal point and where you got them and I'll pull up the calculator, if you need help.

It's not in the Wikipedia PPP links.

Claiming that the data from China is becoming increasingly unreliable is a copout.

I will give you your own facts, but NOT your own arithmetic.

Even pinko commies use the same arithmetic we do. They're just better at it.

Anonymous said...

So did science make God obsolete or what? I'm only asking because my prayer group meets on Tuesdays and, as usual, they will expect me to have all the answers.

Pete said...

I agree with the Keith Ward comment "It is not science that renders belief in God obsolete.”

Science has explained many natural phenomena to my satisfaction, whereas the Bible has perpetuated myths. But only when Science can tell me how we got here, what’s the purpose of our being here and where we are going after death will it render my belief in God obsolete.

Yet Ward doesn’t go far enough in stating “It is a strictly materialistic interpretation of the world that renders belief in God obsolete…”

I think if you ask many Christians what happens after they die, they’ll tell you that they’ll be going to “heaven” to be with Jesus. That may be, but I think many see themselves there very much the way they are now: Same physical body (except whole for those who were disabled on earth), same friends and relatives. In fact I heard one minister claim that he looked forward to heaven so he could see his deceased parents again, and they’d all ride their bicycles together like they did when he was a kid!

Although the New Testament tells us that flesh and blood can’t inherit the kingdom of God, many of us still have a strictly materialistic or physical interpretation of heaven, as well as of the world. Our assumption that God is but the operator of a vast amusement park in which the faithful will re-experience all the “good times” they had in this world makes God-belief more attractive, not obsolete. It denigrates the real message.

Jesus was very vague about the nature of death and heaven, which speaks well of Him as truly being the Son of God. God created a material world for purposes known but to Him. Only God would know that the materialistic could never truly understand the spiritualistic Kingdom of God.

Anonymous said...

I don't see where science makes belief in anything exactly "obsolete".

As long as you can find people who agree with you, you'll at least have somewhere to go on Tuesdays.

Anonymous said...

Obsolescence is a funny thing.

If you still have a use for something it isn't obsolete.

And what's obsolete for me may be just exactly what you're looking for.

The car didn't make the bicycle obsolete and the airplane didn't make the car obsolete.

And I still have to walk to my car
and drive my car to the train station to catch the train.

Same goes for:

microwaves/stoves/grills/campfires
lightbulbs/candles
Pens/pencils/typewriters/computers
paper/plastic/canvas bags
instant/fresh ground coffee

And the list goes on...

Anonymous said...

So, perhaps surprisingly, this atheist (aka the evil twin of the other anonymous) says "no" to the question posed, but for slightly different reasons.

Just my 2 cents worth...

(which BTW, if no one has noticed, is worth more today as scrap metal than US currency)

Iztok said...

"But only when Science can tell me how we got here, what’s the purpose of our being here and where we are going after death will it render my belief in God obsolete."

How we got here as in humans or life in general? As in humans, we've evolved from our ancestors.

Purpose: Who says we really need purpose? Beyond moving genes down the line.

Where we go after death? We decompose and feed other living organisms.

Heaven: Why would heaven be any different then here (if exists)? Humans would still have free will right? Thus they will still be sinners thus still same old as "down here". Unless someone is going to change its claim about free will thing.

Gamecock said...

Pete

This is a great book, with scriptural support, exploring what life in Heavan may be like:

A Travel Guide to Heaven
By Anthony Destefano

http://www.amazon.com/Travel-Guide-Heaven-Anthony-Destefano/dp/038550988X

Anonymous said...

Iztok, you wonder why things would be different in heaven than they are here?

Well, for starters, in fantasy land, you can have it any way you want.

As the state motto of Ohio says, "With God, All Things Are Possible".

Iztok said...

"Well, for starters, in fantasy land, you can have it any way you want."

Thought God had this power already. So that is not different either.

Some people blame evil on "free will" so that is a reason why we see suffering. Now I guess either God suspended "free will" in Heaven or somehow got more powerful and kept Satan out of it (something he is not able or wanting to do on Earth) - for those who blame all bad things on Earth to Satan.

Nick said...

The very presuppositions necessary for science cannot be sustained from a materialistic worldview. Science alone is an impossible concept. It needs the queen of the sciences.

Anonymous said...

Iztok, by "fantasy land", I also meant "this world" as well, when you postulate a "God".

Anything could happen. ANYTHING.

Even the most elaborate lies, coverups and deceit by that "God".

He can jerk us around and cover his trail, write books full of lies that say he would never do that, and then have a big cosmic chuckle at our confusion.

What we think of as "reality" could be a total scam and we'd never know.

"God" is THAT powerful.

Which is why debates with theists can be so entertaining...

Gamecock said...

Nick

That is much the point of D'Souza and the scientists in Expelled.

Scientific theories require leaps of faith as large or larger than the faith required to believe in God.

amen

Nick said...

Yep. Dinesh D'Souza was here on April 24th and spoke. He'll be debating Michael Shermer at the Apologetics Conference. I got his book back in November and devoured it. I could hardly put it down.

Expelled did say the same. I think I saw it the day it came out.

bigcock said...

Scientists are gravely concerned about attempts to mandate the teaching of intelligent design in our nation’s science classrooms.

bigcock said...

Expelled "Insults the life-affirming work of millions of scientists worldwide." - The American Association for the Advancement of Science

bigcock said...

The National Science Teachers Association said, "Policy makers and administrators should not mandate policies requiring the teaching of 'creation science' or related concepts, such as so-called 'intelligent design,' 'abrupt appearance,' and 'arguments against evolution.' Administrators also should support teachers against pressure to promote nonscientific views or to diminish or eliminate the study of evolution."

Nick said...

Pray do tell this. I would think if you're so sure of your side, you'd welcome ID into the classroom. It'd be a chance to show the students how dumb ID really is in the face of naturalistic evolution.

Personally, I welcome ID and evolution being taught side by side and letting the students decide. Let them hear the case presented by both sides.

I can't imagine why one side would be scared of both sides being presented....

Unless.....

bigcock said...

"NSTA [The National Science Teachers Association] also recognizes that evolution has not been emphasized in science curricula in a manner commensurate to its importance because of official policies, intimidation of science teachers, the general public's misunderstanding of evolutionary theory, and a century of controversy. In addition, teachers are being pressured to introduce creationism, “creation science,” and other nonscientific views, which are intended to weaken or eliminate the teaching of evolution." - The National Science Teachers Association

bigcock said...

"The National Science Education Standards note that, 'explanations of how the natural world changes based on myths, personal beliefs, religious values, mystical inspiration, superstition, or authority may be personally useful and socially relevant, but they are not scientific'" - The National Science Teachers Association

bigcock said...

"The intelligent design movement is exceptionally good at creating false controversies and misconceptions." - Science, Evolution, and Intelligent Design

bigcock said...

"Michael Behe, a founder and leading proponent of the Intelligent Design movement...completely misrepresents the intent of my statement. This is a common tactic among those who are attempting to introduce religious views of the origins of life into the public schools -- or who are trying to undermine the teaching of evolution because of purported "weaknesses" in the theory...

"The New York Times and Education Week report that even where the controversy is not overt, teachers are quietly being urged to avoid teaching about evolution -- or have decided not to do so because it engenders so much rancor from a subgroup of students, parents, and members of the school board or local community. As a result, one of the foundations of modern science is being neglected or banished outright from science classrooms in many parts of the United States." - Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences

Nick said...

Sorry BC, but I'm interested in someone who wants to dialogue and not simply ramble off their own opinions. (Or in this case, the opinions of others. Inability to think for oneself maybe?)

mtee42 said...

My own feelings on the matter would seem to be closest to those of the last two essayists, Kenneth Miller and Stuart Kauffman, as they argue for a more abstract God than what most people usually mean by that term.

The most persuasive arguement I have read that touches on this subject is the 50-year old article by the Protestant theologian Paul Tillich, published at the time in the Saturday Evening Post. It was titled "The Lost Dimension in Religion."

Tillich was known as the theologian who claimed that "God does not exist" and he did in fact say that -- and meant it -- but that of course is not the whole story. He argued that making God a being existing along side other beings and objects leaves God's existence a valid subject of scientific inquiry, and that science is perfectly justified in attacking such a contention.

Rather, Tillich used the term God to mean "the foundation (or ground) of existence", but not any sort of supernatural being.

He put the majority of blame for the current state of religion on organized religion itself. To quote: "The first step toward the non-religion of the Western world was made by religion itself. When it defended its great symbols, not as symbols, but as literal stories, it had already lost the battle."

I'm no authority on Tillich, who outside of the article mentioned above was often difficult reading at best. I don't have any answers myself, but I think that what he expesses in that article sounds like a good starting point for whatever reconciliation between science and religion is possible.

Iztok said...

"Scientific theories require leaps of faith as large or larger than the faith required to believe in God."

You just don't understand how science works. No faith required.

Iztok said...

"Personally, I welcome ID and evolution being taught side by side and letting the students decide."

What is there to teach about ID?

You need only few seconds to sum up: "God did it."

Not much else to it. But for some of us we actually need more then that. We don't take things on faith. We require evidence and explanations.

Nick said...

There's much to discuss in ID. We ask the same questions. How does this work? What purpose does this serve? Etc. A Christian approaches many areas in science the same way an atheist does.

The difference is ID brings back the concept of teleology. Keep in mind there are agnostics in the ID movement.

And for those who say science requires no faith, can you demonstrate science gives an accurate picture of the world without using science, the point raised by D'Souza?

Iztok said...

Nick, can you let us know how one can falsify ID? As far as Evolution Theory of Natural Selection is concerned it is simple. One just need to find out fossils out of time. Like fossil of human in pre-Cambrian era.

"And for those who say science requires no faith, can you demonstrate science gives an accurate picture of the world without using science, the point raised by D'Souza?"

Where is there a point? Science builds from simple things and explains how more complex items arise. Example using math. It starts with 1+1=2 then from there it is easy to deduct that 2+2=4 etc... What ID does is to assumes more complex being to explain less complex. Which is utter nonsense as one would end up needing to explain more complex with even more complex.

You can't say "God did it" until you are able to explain God.

Nick said...

Can you show me how to falsify falsification?

And what's the point of D'Souza? It's Kant's point. How do you know you are seeing the noumena themselves? Can science demonstrate that.

And to say ID is just "God did it!" is a straw man. There are agnostics supporting ID.

bigcock said...

John Rennie, of the Scientific American writes:

"When Charles Darwin introduced the theory of evolution through natural selection 143 years ago, the scientists of the day argued over it fiercely, but the massing evidence from paleontology, genetics, zoology, molecular biology and other fields gradually established evolution's truth beyond reasonable doubt. Today that battle has been won everywhere--except in the public imagination.

"Embarrassingly, in the 21st century, in the most scientifically advanced nation the world has ever known, creationists can still persuade politicians, judges and ordinary citizens that evolution is a flawed, poorly supported fantasy. They lobby for creationist ideas such as 'intelligent design' to be taught as alternatives to evolution in science classrooms... Some antievolutionists, such as Philip E. Johnson, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley and author of Darwin on Trial, admit that they intend for intelligent-design theory to serve as a 'wedge' for reopening science classrooms to discussions of God.

"Besieged teachers and others may increasingly find themselves on the spot to defend evolution and refute creationism. The arguments that creationists use are typically specious and based on misunderstandings of (or outright lies about) evolution, but the number and diversity of the objections can put even well-informed people at a disadvantage."

The 15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense rebuts some of the most common 'scientific' arguments raised against evolution."

Iztok said...

Nick: "Can you show me how to falsify falsification?"

Wow, so this is how ID supporters work? You ask them about an important point in any scientific theory and they don't have an answer. They they want equal time in science classes. So tell us, what safeties are built in ID? What would make ID false? What evidence (or lack of there of) would make it false? Does it explain the designer?

"And to say ID is just "God did it!" is a straw man. There are agnostics supporting ID."

So what does ID say? How does it explain raise in complexity? Does it explain it with less complex answer or with more complex? If later, how does it explain more complex?

bigcock said...

"Overall, the nation has a big problem... Approximately half of the U.S. population thinks evolution does (or did) not occur. While 99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution, 40 to 50 percent of college students do not accept evolution and believe it to be 'just' a theory." - Dr. Brian Alters, National Institutes of Health

LBE said...

For the life of me I cannot understand why it is NECESSARY for people to believe in evolution. What is the difference? If people are aware of the existence of the theory of evolution and know the basics of what evolution purports to explain, isn't that enough? Why must there be anger and hatred toward people who don't find the claims of evolution persuasive?

bigcock said...

"Teachers are quietly being urged to avoid teaching about evolution -- or have decided not to do so because it engenders so much rancor from a subgroup of students, parents, and members of the school board or local community. As a result, one of the foundations of modern science is being neglected or banished outright from science classrooms in many parts of the United States." - Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences

Nick said...

Iztok: Wow, so this is how ID supporters work? You ask them about an important point in any scientific theory and they don't have an answer. They they want equal time in science classes. So tell us, what safeties are built in ID? What would make ID false? What evidence (or lack of there of) would make it false? Does it explain the designer?

No Iztok. I'm simply questioning your presupposition. Before I accept it, I need a basis for it. Your presupposition is that if a belief cannot be falsified, then that belief cannot be true. I merely asked you to demonstrate that.

Please note you could have evolution and ID both, you just can't have naturalistic evolution and ID both. The attempts to show naturalistic evolution have not been successful from my reading on the topic. They assume evolution is an efficient cause of all while it can work just fine as an instrumental cause as well.

Please note also the first question to ask is not "What is the designer like?" but "Is there a designer?" Do you think that's an illegitimate question to raise? If you think there is no designer, then please demonstrate this using science alone.



Iztok: So what does ID say? How does it explain raise in complexity? Does it explain it with less complex answer or with more complex? If later, how does it explain more complex?

Less complex and more complex doesn't bother me. I'd say the less complex species have been put here to prepare the Earth for the more complex ones. Can you falsify that since falsification is so important to you?

I also think it's valid to question the hypothesis of naturalistic evolution. If it raises some questions that are difficult, then why not re-examine the theory? Especially when it relates to issues on the origin of life.

bigcock said...

"The Discovery Institute, a pro-intelligent design lobby group claims that because there is a significant lack of public support for evolution, that public schools should, as their campaign states, 'Teach the Controversy'".- Wikipedia

bigcock said...

"Teach the Controversy is the name of a Discovery Institute intelligent design campaign to promote intelligent design, a variant of traditional creationism, while discrediting evolution in United States public high school science courses. A federal court, along with the majority of scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, say the Institute has manufactured the controversy they want to teach by promoting a false perception that evolution is 'a theory in crisis' due to it being the subject of purported wide controversy and debate within the scientific community. McGill University Professor Brian Alters, an expert in the creation-evolution controversy, is quoted in an article published by the NIH as stating that '99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution' whereas intelligent design has been rejected by the overwhelming majority of the scientific community." - Wikipedia

bigcock said...

"Despite the claims of the movement, intelligent design is not a scientific theory because the influence of an “intelligent” agent in the origin and evolution of life can neither be tested nor falsified." - UCS

bigcock said...

"This anti-evolution movement claims that it is only 'fair' to teach alternatives to evolution. But a science classroom is not a place where all ideas are given equal weight. Science is a process in which ideas are ultimately accepted or discarded based on rigorous observation and testing. While discussions of intelligent design and creationism may have a role in other parts of the curriculum, they do not have a place in the science classroom." - UCS

Anonymous said...

Would the people who welcome the teaching of "ID" into the classroom also welcome the teaching of Astrology in the classroom?

After all, a lot of people apparently "believe" in astrology, too.

So as long as we're equating all kinds of "leaps of faith" whether in science or religion, shouldn't Astrology get a fair shot?

bigcock said...

"Scientists have considered the hypotheses proposed by creation science and have rejected them because of a lack of evidence. Furthermore, the claims of creation science do not refer to natural causes and cannot be subject to meaningful tests, so they do not qualify as scientific hypotheses." - National Academy of Sciences

Anonymous said...

Now that I think about it, Astrology could be combined with Intelligent Design to give us a better understanding of the "purpose" of the Universe.

After all, if the universe was created, then Astrology is just another tool for understanding the "purpose" behind the heavenly bodies.

Surely they weren't put there for us to just look at, were they?

How stupid would that be? So if we are to assume "Intelligent Design", there must be SOMETHING more to the planets and stars than just random clumps of matter floating in space.

Surely an Intelligent Designer must have had a reason for creating all those extra planets and stars.

We should seriously investigate this "purpose" and Astrology provides a logical and cohesive framework for doing so.

bigcock said...

"Teachers' organizations such as the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Education Leadership Association, and many others also have rejected the science and pedagogy of creation science and have strongly discouraged its presentation in the public schools.

"Some argue that 'fairness' demands the teaching of creationism along with evolution. But a science curriculum should cover science, not the religious views of particular groups or individuals.

"Some religious groups deny that microorganisms cause disease, but the science curriculum should not therefore be altered to reflect this belief. Most people agree that students should be exposed to the best possible scholarship in each field. That scholarship is evaluated by professionals and educators in those fields. Scientists as well as educators have concluded that evolution--and only evolution--should be taught in science classes because it is the only scientific explanation for why the universe is the way it is today." - National Academy of Sciences

Nick said...

If an astrologer wants to come forward and make his case, let him. I have no problem with it. That's the great thing when you're sure you have truth. You can let the other side speak.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that I'm re-kindling some interest in the "neglected" sciences.

Of course funding may get tight, but if we get creative, we can always find room for more.

If we really need to get funding for these projects, I suggest that we seriously re-consider Alchemy.

Just as the rising price of oil will fuel research into energy alternatives, the rising price of gold should make Alchemy a much more profitable pursuit.

In fact, if we were to have just a single breakthrough in Alchemy we could take all the lead in that paint those Chinese have been putting on our children's toys to really help America get back on her feet again.

Yeah, let's add Alchemy to our list of "faith-based" initiatives in education.

Nick said...

If I have evidence to back my idea that there is a designer behind the universe, shouldn't that be listened to? If someone thinks they have evidence that astrology is true, I'll have no problem sitting down and listening to their case. I just hope they'll answer some questions and I do have them. The same for alchemy. I'd like to know their stance on the idea of primary matter for instance.

If someone wants to question ID, GREAT! I have no problem with that. If I'm wrong, I'd want it pointed out to me and the way to do that is to open the floor up to questions. The same applies for naturalistic evolution.

And what is meant by faith-based? Faith in the biblical sense is not blind. It is trust based on evidence that has shown itself to be reliable. I do not take a blind leap and say "Maybe Christianity is true." I believe it's true because I think there's sufficient evidence to warrant that claim.

Of course, if you want no opinions heard than your own, that tells me plenty about you and your worldview.

Iztok said...

"Your presupposition is that if a belief cannot be falsified, then that belief cannot be true."

Nick, we are not talking about belief here. You want ID in science classes. In order to do that it has to be a valid scientific theory. Every scientific theory has to be falsifiable. This is how science works. It is a fail safety. One proposes hypothesis, tests it against known facts and if it describes all the facts (not just some!) good then it becomes a valid theory. Once valid theory then it is still subject to testing and possible falsification based on existing and new facts that emerge. It is a constant process.

Now tell us what predictions does ID "theory" have? How do you test it?

Also, please explain what makes ID a theory vs. just failed hypothesis?

Here is what we expect from scientific theory:

* Consistent
* Parsimonious (sparing in its proposed entities or explanations, see Occam's Razor)
* Useful (describes and explains observed phenomena, and can be used predictively)
* Empirically testable and falsifiable
* Based on multiple observations, often in the form of controlled, repeated experiments
* Correctable and dynamic (modified in the light of observations that do not support it)
* Progressive (refines previous theories)
* Provisional or tentative (is open to experimental checking, and does not assert certainty)

ID lacks consistency, violates principle of parsimony, it is not useful, it is not falsifiable, not emirically testabke, and is not correctable, dynamic, tentative or progressive.

So please do tell us how ID demonstrates any above qualities in order to be considered topic in science class?

Even if I would give you that Evolution Theory through Natural Selection is false (which I am not) you would still need to find out better theory that fits the criteria above and better describes what we observe around us. For discussion about ID the whole Evolution Theory is not important at all so stop saying what issues it has or doesn't have your ID "theory" has to stand on its own merit in order to be considered a valid theory.

So bring forth the answers, not excuses. Show us how ID explains evolution better then current Evolution Theory. (Mind you that Evolution Theory doesn't deal with origin of life but merely with evolution so let's focus on this first.)

Iztok said...

Nick: "If I have evidence to back my idea that there is a designer behind the universe, shouldn't that be listened to?"

Sure you should!

Could you point out to us where was your evidence and theory was published in a peer reviewed scientific publication and we'll listen.

Gamecock said...

Darwinism/Evolution claims life evolved from a single cell (some say aliens, but not God, could have seeded Earth). The single cell theory is not falsifiable.

I'm sure you atheists will join me in damning that theory from the classrooms?

bigcock said...

Evolution is Falsifiable

"Some Creationists/IDers say evolution is unscientific because it is not testable or falsifiable and that it makes claims about events that were not observed and can never be re-created.

This blanket dismissal of evolution ignores important distinctions that divide the field into at least two broad areas: microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution looks at changes within species over time--changes that may be preludes to speciation, the origin of new species. Macroevolution studies how taxonomic groups above the level of species change. Its evidence draws frequently from the fossil record and DNA comparisons to reconstruct how various organisms may be related.

These days even most creationists acknowledge that microevolution has been upheld by tests in the laboratory (as in studies of cells, plants and fruit flies) and in the field (as in Grant's studies of evolving beak shapes among Gal?pagos finches). Natural selection and other mechanisms--such as chromosomal changes, symbiosis and hybridization--can drive profound changes in populations over time.

The historical nature of macroevolutionary study involves inference from fossils and DNA rather than direct observation. Yet in the historical sciences (which include astronomy, geology and archaeology, as well as evolutionary biology), hypotheses can still be tested by checking whether they accord with physical evidence and whether they lead to verifiable predictions about future discoveries. For instance, evolution implies that between the earliest-known ancestors of humans (roughly five million years old) and the appearance of anatomically modern humans (about 100,000 years ago), one should find a succession of hominid creatures with features progressively less apelike and more modern, which is indeed what the fossil record shows. But one should not--and does not--find modern human fossils embedded in strata from the Jurassic period (144 million years ago). Evolutionary biology routinely makes predictions far more refined and precise than this, and researchers test them constantly.

Evolution could be disproved in other ways, too. If we could document the spontaneous generation of just one complex life-form from inanimate matter, then at least a few creatures seen in the fossil record might have originated this way. If superintelligent aliens appeared and claimed credit for creating life on earth (or even particular species), the purely evolutionary explanation would be cast in doubt. But no one has yet produced such evidence.

It should be noted that the idea of falsifiability as the defining characteristic of science originated with philosopher Karl Popper in the 1930s. More recent elaborations on his thinking have expanded the narrowest interpretation of his principle precisely because it would eliminate too many branches of clearly scientific endeavor."- Scientific American

bigcock said...

The Episcopal Church Accepts Evolution:

"All living things—bacteria, archaebacteria, protists, fungi, plants and animals, including human beings—are descendants of other life forms, most of which are extinct. The evidence for evolution shows that all life on earth is related and interconnected, and is often depicted as a great "Tree of Life." Evolution happens gradually, sometimes at a rapid rate and sometimes slowly, but never with discontinuities. Evolution happens because of natural selection; in the face of environmental pressures, some organisms will survive at higher rates than others. Charles Darwin was the first to bring together all these ideas." - episcopalchurch.org/

The Catholic Church Accepts Evolution:

"Before offering a few more specific reflections on the theme of the origin of life and evolution, I would remind you that the magisterium of the Church has already made some pronouncements on these matters ... In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII has already affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith ...Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory." - Pope John Paul II

Anonymous said...

Aw, man! I just got everyone in my prayer group to start wearing the "Darwin Was Monkey" t-shirts I had printed up. And now it turns out we believe in evolution? I hope somebody talks to the Pope about abolishing Purgatory, too, because this does not look good for me at all!

Jane Pope said...

I'm receiving a lot of complaints about the name "bigcock." I've tried to be tolerant of sophomoric names, but I agree that this one crosses the line -- especially in a blog about faith. It and the name-calling it has inspired have lowered the discourse of this discussion.

Fair warning: Any future posts by anyone calling himself "bigcock" (or any other name that I find unacceptable) will be deleted. Find yourself a new nickname and rejoin the debate.

And for those who are wondering if there is a double standard, "gamecock" is the name of the sports team at the University of South Carolina, not a crude reference to body parts.

Iztok said...

cock: "Darwinism/Evolution claims life evolved from a single cell (some say aliens, but not God, could have seeded Earth). The single cell theory is not falsifiable."

You need to separate evolution (fact) vs. theory of evolution with natural selection (theory).

What you are describing is theory of evolution not evolution itself. So I will answer it.

Of course theory of evolution with natural selection is falsifiable.

First lets write down 3 points of what theory really claims:

1) Organisms resemble their parents (i.e. characters are inherited).
2) All organisms vary (even in asexual reproduction, offspring are often slightly different to their parents).
3) As there is variation, some offspring will (on average) survive better than others and pass on those beneficial traits to their offspring.

In order to shoot down evolution therefore, you would have to find a fatal flaw in one of those arguments, and after 150 years we have a colossal amount of evidence to back them up. We have never found anything that disputes this model. Organisms vary, when they reproduce, some of those characters will be inherited, others will change a little, some of those changes might be beneficial and these individuals will survive better in the long run. (source: http://www.askabiologist.org.uk/punbb/viewtopic.php?id=1129)

So all you need to do is show how any of these 3 points is wrong and you have successfully falsified the theory of evolution.

Your "single cell" thing is simply not what evolution theory asserts. However even if it were some creationists claim that since one can't test the "single cell theory" it is not scientific. This is similar to claiming one drank 3 cups of water 5 months ago. If no one was there then according to criterion set by creationists this assertion is not scientific.

Peter said...

"According to Stein [Creationism promoter and co-writer and star of Expelled], science leads you to 'killing people.' Not to cures and vaccines, not to a deeper understanding of nature, not to wonders like computers and cellphones, and certainly not to a better life. Nope. Science is murder." - Biology professor at Brown University, Kenneth R. Miller

baalam's ass said...

It was for me. In high school.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot UFOlogy as another "faith based" challenge to science.

Gotta put aside some extra cash for that, too.

Is Erich Von Daniken still alive?

If so, he's done all the research we should need on the topic for a while. At least enough to hold the attention of the average high schooler for a few years.

Put that in the schools and let the kids vote on which theory they like best, creation, evolution, or ancient astronauts.

After all, we have to prepare the voters of the future, and what better time than as they are learning the basics.

Let them learn that THEY control the FACTS through the power of the vote, and don't have to rely on pointy-headed intellectuals.

I'm putting my bet on the ancient astronauts to win by a landslide.

They're just so cool...

Anonymous said...

Oh Gawd, there goes Dimwit D'Sewer again. You Jeezus Bleebers really need to back away from that guy.

So Dimwit thinks he has confounded the world of science by proclaiming that "science cannot prove science".

BFD (and what a moron).

What did Dimwit do, read about Goedel's Incompleteness Theorems and unleash a bombshell that the scientific world has known about for at least 80 years?

Wow, are these the kind of deep philosophical breakthroughs we can expect from the creationists,
er, IDers?

And, of course, Goedel's Incompleteness Theorems did absolutely nothing to stop the use and advancement of mathematics.

But I guess mathematics doesn't offend the religious as much as biology, so they apparently aren't the least bit interested in "creation mathematics.

I wonder why?

Really, it's not that your brilliant "ID"eas haven't been heard. They have been heard and found to be irrelevant.

You guys have billions of dollars and thousands of pleasure palaces, and even a few schools.

You even have lackeys of various religious "leaders" running the country.

Both leading Presidential candidates have had to turn their backs to wacko religious nuts because everyone found out what those nuts really thought.

Why not use your own resources to teach whatever you wish.

Wow the world with your creativity and insight. Maybe make a few real discoveries. Then the scientific world won't have much choice but to let you in.

Trying to get in through politics has been a failure, even with damned near all the political cards stacked in your favor.

Iztok said...

Here is good example on how evolution can be observed in lab:

http://scienceblogs.com/loom/2008/06/02/a_new_step_in_evolution.php

Iztok said...

Story of a Christian finding reason:

http://richarddawkins.net/article,2732,n,n

"– How did you react personally to the loss of faith?

– It was no sad experience. Absolutely not. It felt liberating. Suddenly I was free to use my energy on better things than defending self-contradictory religious dogmas and justify that I still called myself "Christian". It was a relief to let go of this, he says "

Gamecock said...

Story of a Christian teaching reason

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/sep/15/religion.uk