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 Darwinism: Sorcery in the Classroom
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2006 :  20:52:00  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
This thread is for posting comments about the SFN article “Darwinism: Sorcery in the Classroom.” Please try to keep posts on topic. Only registered users may post comments.

marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2006 :  23:29:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
I just read that whole thing - how friggin' disappointing and depressing! I think Kil talked a bit over the guy's head. I think the reason he didn't address the false dichodimy (no, I will not look up how to properly spell that word; it's 2AM and I'm tired!) or the "basic logic" of why the burden of proof was on him to prove evolution is a hoax was not because he was being dishonest or shifty, but rather, he really didn't understand what Kil was talking about. I'm convinced of this because of statements and phrases like: You're trying very hard with a lot of silly words to comply with the evolutionist creed, and a lot of meaningless words. It reminded me of this time I tried to explain to this fundamentalist in my class how my worldview was different from his because as my positive beliefs were shared by pretty much all other people. He just didn't get it, and kept trying to say that my negative beliefs were positives. But I digress.

Kil started off so well. One of the most clear and concise statements was:
quote:
It is your own arrogance that you think you know the mind of God and how God does his work. And while your faith in God may remain undiminished, your lack of faith in your fellow man's ability to gain knowledge of the natural world without losing sight of God, in my view, shows the true weakness of your way of thinking.
Again, too bad the guy never really understood what Kil was saying.

But soon after it sort of descended into the two of them repeating themselves over and over, and never seeing eye to eye. The guy not "calling the bluff" was a real disappointment. Oh well.

There was also some side issues that got brought up that interested me. My favorite statement from Kil was:
quote:
If there are lessons to be learned from the Bible, and I'm sure that there are, one of those lessons is to not presume to know the mind of God.
It was my favorite because I've never heard anyone put it that way. (and too much in this exchange was the same old same old. Yawn indeed!) Because fundamentalism is so on the rise, and because my lifestance/"religion" (Humanism) is so closely related to humanistic Christianity, I've lately become interested in Christian theology. Sam Harris laments in his book The End of Faith that religion has not seen progress in the way that other intellectual disciplines have. But this is not completely true as we see with Reform Judaism, Unitarianism, and Universalism, which were all progressive theological reactions to the barbarism of the past, and how modernization and science was beginning to change life and our view of the natural world.

So anyway, it just drives me crazy when fundies quote the same old tired Bible passages like:
quote:
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
and
quote:
"whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
and then interpret them literally when highly mysterious and spiritual concepts are being invoked. What does it mean to come to Jesus or God? This has been interpreted all kinds of ways over history. How born again Christians reduced it to a personal ritual of "asking Jesus Christ to ent

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 04/29/2006 23:33:21
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2006 :  04:30:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Simply put, Kil killed Schroeder. Schroeder demonstrated nothing but contempt for logic, bigotry toward anyone who doesn't share his narrow interpretation of scripture, intellectual dishonesty, and cowardice. Kil offered a perfectly flat playing field for a structured online debate, but Schroeder, like all his Creationist ilk, refused.

To my mind, Schroeder was not in any manner Kil's intellectual inferior. He was not confused, but simply very deliberate about his obfuscations. He did a remarkable job with words, at least for someone who demonstrably had absolutely no leg to stand on. Schroeder's not stupid, just crazy.

This may not have been the long-hoped-for the "Big Debate" to prove or disprove evolution -- but it was the next best thing. Kil, you cleaned this smarmy jerk's clock for him. With Schroeder's assistance, you showed that science is open-minded, and Creationism is a closed Book for narrow, dishonest, closed minds.

Schroeder, like all the Creationist loonies, was scared shitless of having a fair debate, so he ran for the hills.




Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 05/01/2006 16:22:23
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2006 :  05:17:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
In Shroeder's last message:
quote:
You have a really nasty habit of trying to put words in people's mouths
that were not uttered.

Now who's the pot calling the kettle black? Kil's refuse to engage in a private e-mail debate rather than an open-for-everyone-to-see debate results in Kil getting called Card-Carrying Darwinist.

John Schroeder is claiming the cat in his box is alive by the Grace of God, but refuse to open to box to show us.


Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2006 :  21:12:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
Thanks all! The feedback is great.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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JohnOAS
SFN Regular

Australia
800 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2006 :  22:54:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit JohnOAS's Homepage Send JohnOAS a Private Message
Great stuff Kil. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have stayed as civil as you for anywhere near as long. While nothing earth shatteringly new was posited either way, it was still a good read, perhaps more so because of this.

Just as an aside, how did he respond to your publishing of the interaction? Did he seem aware of the "All correspondence received by Skeptic Friends Network or its staff becomes the property of Skeptic Friends Network, and may be printed without the consent of the author. notice? I admit I hadn't really paid much attention to it until now, where I was looking for something to that effect.

John's just this guy, you know.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2006 :  09:01:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
While nothing earth shatteringly new was posited either way, it was still a good read, perhaps more so because of this.

Well, after I failed in my attempt to get him to see the weakness in his either/or position, my goal was to get this author of creationist books into a structured written debate. The last thing I wanted to do was argue creation vs. evolution with him in email. Of course, I failed at that too. But I sort of knew that I would. Never the less, one can only hope. I tried from as many angles as I could think of… One day, perhaps, we will land one of these fish. But I wouldn't hold my breath for that to happen…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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leoofno
Skeptic Friend

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2006 :  12:33:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send leoofno a Private Message
I suspect the debate, had it happened, would have been disappointing. These statements of his make me think his book has nothing new:

...nor how all the organisms that evolved into another organism are still with us.

...scientists haven't even been able to identify one favorable mutation

One of the most ignorant of the creationist arguments is the old "If aped evolved into humans, why are there still apes around?". If he's using that one, then his book probably a collection of old recycled nonsense and any debate would have been more of the same.

"If you're not terrified, you're not paying attention." Eric Alterman
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Chippewa
SFN Regular

USA
1496 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2006 :  13:01:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Chippewa's Homepage Send Chippewa a Private Message
The amount of Mr. Schroeder's Bible quotes and "Jesus loves you" slogans seems to increase a bit as the Kil's responses clear the smoke and mirrors. These are Schroeder's little fortresses of obfuscation for him to hide behind. The strengths of Kil's responses serve as a good example of critical thinking in the face of Schroeder's superstitions.

Diversity, independence, innovation and imagination are progressive concepts ultimately alien to the conservative mind.

"TAX AND SPEND" IS GOOD! (TAX: Wealthy corporations who won't go poor even after taxes. SPEND: On public works programs, education, the environment, improvements.)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2006 :  13:25:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
I already spoke to Kil about this as I was editing this particular Fan Mail article, and I'm sure he's going to loooove me for bringing it up here, but Chippewa's "good example of critical thinking" comment nearly forces me to point out one little spot where Kil missed a good opportunity.

Kil wrote:
You have a God belief. And correct me if I have this wrong, but your version of that belief holds that God is omnipotent. God can do anything. And if that's the case, God could be directing the whole shebang. So, if God chose evolution as his method for getting us to where we are today, and directed each and every mutation that eventually leads to speciation, he could do it and do so and without detection.
And Schroeder quoted only the "directed each and every mutation that eventually leads to speciation" bit and then responded (in part):
Surely you jest, David. Beneficial mutations? Don't make me laugh.
Kil's small mistake, in my opinion, was to let Schroeder get away with changing the subject like that. Had I been in Kil's shoes (of course, hindsight is 20/20), I would have written something like:
Surely you're not saying, John, that your God is incapable of creating beneficial mutations?! That is, after all, what I was talking about: God-directed beneficial mutations. If your God can't do what our genetic scientists can do right now, then why would I want to worship him? Is this really how you want to proselytize, John?
Or something like that.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2006 :  17:39:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
Yeah, I missed that one. It was a big one to miss too. I'm sort of kicking myself now about it now. But not too hard…


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1880 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2006 :  05:18:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
I enjoyed reading the exchange although John Schroeder really had nothing new to say.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2006 :  08:27:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by moakley

I enjoyed reading the exchange although John Schroeder really had nothing new to say.

I agree. But here is the thing. These guys will not enter into a structured written debate. Arguing evolution on forums and live or in email is all fine and dandy, but it seems to me that the real test of what they think they have would be to set up the kind of debate that would force them into a position of having to defend their claims formally. And that's the key. They are loath to actually having to defend their claims in a format that might expose the smoke and mirror act that they depend on…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Boron10
Religion Moderator

USA
1259 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2006 :  10:11:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Boron10 a Private Message
The problem here is that both side walk away thinking the other couldn't defend his position. Kil says, above, that “these guys [creationists] will not enter into a structured written debate.” He presents this as evidence that they know their position is untenable. Unfortunately, John Schroeder seems to feel the same about “evolutionists.”
quote:
My proofs already are in writing. You have said evolution "happens" but to every challenge I have sent your way to prove [molecule]-to-[man] evolution has taken place all I have gotten from you is a lot of meaningless words.
This tells us that he feels Kil has copped out of the burden of proof. John Schroeder continues:
quote:
A formal debate? What can you say in a formal debate that you cannot say in an email?
He will show this interchange to all his friends as evidence that “evolutionists” refuse to provide proof of evolution; instead, there is just a bunch of hand-waving about a “formal debate.”

Here is the fundamental problem as I see it. Both sides walked away feeling the other couldn't “put up,” and present any evidence for his view.

So, while we are all congratulating Kil on his great commentary, John Schroeder's friends are all doing the same for him.
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2006 :  15:40:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
Boron, I think that no matter what Kil did, Schroeder would have come out patting himself on the back.

I think Kil was wise to not go down that road. As soon as you do, you end up spending a lot more time looking up sources for evidence and examples of evolution. And there's no turning back. If you go down that road, then after a bit you realize the entire thing is going no where and decide to stop, then the creationist claims victory.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2006 :  16:16:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
Yeah, read any of "the Bill threads" to see where that goes...

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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