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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2009 :  10:43:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Originally posted by Kil

Actually, I wouldn't say that PZ is one of the assholes I speak of, but I may be defining the term differently than you are. But hey, whatever. Mooner, enjoy your war.


You guys started it.
You guys???

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  16:53:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, Kenneth Miller has gone from simply being an accomodationist to being a dirty, rotten liar.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  18:18:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave. Calling Miller an "accomodationist" is nonsensical. He is, after all, a theist. It seems to me that even by the "new atheist" definition of the term, it's atheists and agnostics who seek to accommodate or themselves promote "theistic evolution" or NOMA who are the "accomodationists." Are we now going to call all scientists who happen to be theists, accomodationists?

As for the lying part, he's all yours.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  19:12:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Dave. Calling Miller an "accomodationist" is nonsensical. He is, after all, a theist. It seems to me that even by the "new atheist" definition of the term, it's atheists and agnostics who seek to accommodate or themselves promote "theistic evolution" or NOMA who are the "accomodationists." Are we now going to call all scientists who happen to be theists, accomodationists?
Well, yeah, you got me there. How about "Poster Boy for the Accomodationists?" After all, being a "poster boy" for, say, Feed the Children doesn't mean that you are the organization. It means you're an iconic underfed child that the organization uses to get sympathy. And Miller is, if nothing else, iconic within the accomodationism "debate" as someone who successfully compartmentalizes (even if many don't call it that), and we're often asked if we want to toss Miller out of the science club because of it (an attempt to generate sympathy for accomodationist views).
As for the lying part, he's all yours.
Gee, I thought calling him "dirty" and "rotten" would be pretty harsh. I'm coming more and more to wish that he would take his ball and go home, like he so childishly threatened a couple months ago. With friends like these...

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2009 :  09:21:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave:
Gee, I thought calling him "dirty" and "rotten" would be pretty harsh.

Well, yeah it is. Probably he isn't exactly lying. He is probably filtering the information through a bias that has him not thinking clearly about it. Of course, that doesn't make him right. But I would argue that the intent to lie is what makes a person a liar. And I am not privy to his thinking processes. Being self deluded, and seeing what you want to see is not exactly the same as lying, even if the resulting conclusions look identical to lies.

But I suppose I'm doing a bit of nit picking here. For all I know he really is lying. But given what I know about Miller, I doubt it.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not letting him off the hook for his misrepresenting other peoples statements. Not being self critical and considering ones own biases, which information is always filtered through, is a huge problem that us skeptics must deal with in others (and sometimes in ourselves) when arguing for reason. But it's an across the board problem that we face with almost everything that is of concern to us.

The great leveler is critical thinking. But we both know that even some great critical thinkers have blind spots and can become downright irrational on some subjects.

What just cracked me up as I reread what I wrote are the two possibilities that I have left for Dr. Miller. He is either a liar or he is irrational. I doubt that he would be very happy with either description of his recent behavior.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2009 :  08:19:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Greg Laden says (in part):
OK folks, listen. There is no significant national organization involved in the evolution-creation debate that bends over backwards more to be "nice" to religion than the National Center for Science Education. But here, in Luskin's critique, we see two important things:

1) It is not good enough. In order for Genie's philosophy or the position of the NCSE to be considered "ok" by the Discovery Institute, the contrast that Genie talks about in her quote would have to go away. Human exceptionalism would have to be incorporated into the science or the science teaching. Evolution would have to be taught along side creationism in the classroom.

2) Luskin practices out of context interpretation and quote mining here. Strangely, he is providing the fuller context and the quote mined in the same place, so we see Genie's
de facto statement of the relationship between religion and science being converted before our very eyes as "Religious people, Evolution is threatening to you!!!"

It is hard to say that one can win under these circumstances. It is hard to support a be nice to the creationists philosophy under these circumstances. Genie Scott must be some kind of saint.

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2009 :  13:49:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the link, Dave.

Laden goes (by showing Luskin's reaction) straight to the largely-undiscussed heart of the matter. Nothing but full-scale Creationism incorporating the purely religious dogma of "human exceptionalism" in science education is good enough for the likes of the Disco Toot.

Instead of simply piling hard onto the incredibly vulnerable theocratic position of the fundamentalist enemies of science education, Genie's program is to "make nice" with the rapidly drying-up base of so-called Christian moderates, some of whom go on to use NCSE auspices to promote unscientific "quantum" trickery and a version of "human exceptionalism" to sneak God into the act of evolution. Why not instead simply lead a "united front" coalition based upon real, sound science, while promoting neither Christian nor atheist views on religion?


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 08/05/2009 13:52:51
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2009 :  20:17:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sam Harris offers a lengthy critique of Francis Collins' religious/anti-scientific views.
It is widely claimed that there can be no conflict, in principle, between science and religion because many scientists are themselves “religious,” and some even believe in the God of Abraham and in the truth of ancient miracles. Even religious extremists value some of the products of science—antibiotics, computers, bombs, etc.—and these seeds of inquisitiveness, we are told, can be patiently nurtured in a way that offers no insult to religious faith.

This prayer of reconciliation goes by many names and now has many advocates. But it is based on a fallacy. The fact that some scientists do not detect any problem with religious faith merely proves that a juxtaposition of good ideas/methods and bad ones is possible. Is there a conflict between marriage and infidelity? The two regularly coincide. The fact that intellectual honesty can be confined to a ghetto—in a single brain, in an institution, in a culture, etc—does not mean that there isn't a perfect contradiction between reason and faith, or between the worldview of science taken as a whole and those advanced by the world's “great,” and greatly discrepant, religions.

What can be shown by example is how poorly religious scientists manage to reconcile reason and faith when they actually attempt to do so. Few such efforts have received more public attention than the work of Francis Collins.

"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 08/05/2009 20:17:39
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astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2009 :  11:30:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Go get him Sam! Of the four horsemen Sam is my favorite.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2009 :  19:10:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mooney and Kirshenbaum have left reality (and their book) behind in their latest screed, "Must science declare a holy war on religion?," an op-ed in The LA Times. The short summary is that M&K 1) criticize Dawkins for writing a book on evolution despite criticizing him earlier for not writing a book on evolution; 2) once again assure the world that the out-and-loud atheists (OLAs) want to purge the ranks of science of all religion, and the first target of their militantism is the NCSE, and 3) dig up Charles Darwin's corpse and pretend that 100+ years later, he would agree with them. It's sheer, unadulterated lunacy.

Of course, Jason Rosenhouse, Jerry Coyne and PZ Myers have already chimed in on this latest attack piece by M&K. Coyne claims he's not even going to blog about M&K anymore, since they're so far out of touch.

Me? M&K are squarely inside my "point and laugh at them" category, now. They are, quite literally, ridiculous.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2009 :  16:46:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Winning the Internet in one glorious blog post:
Those poor people in Sedalia, MO. Just minding their own business, maintaining a respectful distance between church and state, not wasting much emotional energy on the minutiae of modern scientific theories. Until that day a few of them strolled down to the local bookstore and noticed a copy of The God Delusion on the front kiosk. They could hardly miss it, what with its shiny silver cover calling to them like Homer's sirens. Curious, a few opened the book and scanned some pages. And then they were gone....

Pandora had nothing on the horrors that were unleashed. The seeds that came to fruition in the great band shirt scandal were planted by Dawkins himself the moment he used the word, “faith-head.” How could the townspeople not recognize the obvious syllogism: Richard Dawkins is an atheist. Richard Dawkins defends evolution. Therefore we must summon forth the sort of single-minded humorlessness that leads us to get bent out of shape over a freakin' band T-shirt, so as to oppose this massive atheist assault on our schools.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2009 :  18:21:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Winning the Internet in one glorious blog post...
Now, that some fine writing!


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2009 :  10:48:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Joshua Rosenau, whom I respect less and less the more I read from him, has now taken to calling "non-accommodationists" (those who find the methods of religion and science incompatible) enablers, I'm guessing because he is sticking to the unevidenced assertion that any general criticism of religion "enables" the more extreme elements of religion to ramp up the crazy under the clarion call of universal persecution. So much for civility.

Rosenau has also written a new post on the subject of "other ways of knowing," addressing some criticisms first offered by Jerry Coyne on a talk on the subject given at this year's DragonCon by Eugenie Scott.

It's a mishmash of bad arguments, shifting definitions, and a defense of religion not actually practiced by most of the people who would claim to be religious. Jason Rosenhouse ably shreds it apart:
Josh's defense of religion, such as it is, comes at a very high price. We religion-bashing types take religious claims seriously, consider the evidence for them, find them wanting, and argue that they ought to be dismissed on that basis. We do not strip Judaism and Christianity of all their most interesting assertions, and cherry-pick the most liberal folks we can find as representative of the religion generally.

"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 09/18/2009 10:49:57
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2009 :  12:07:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

Joshua Rosenau, whom I respect less and less the more I read from him, has now taken to calling "non-accommodationists" (those who find the methods of religion and science incompatible) enablers, I'm guessing because he is sticking to the unevidenced assertion that any general criticism of religion "enables" the more extreme elements of religion to ramp up the crazy under the clarion call of universal persecution. So much for civility.
Nope. He says,
...a clique of atheists who seem intent on enabling creationists in their muddling of the nature of science (enablers)...
What he's trying (and failing) to criticize is an alleged attempt by these unnamed atheists to redefine science as scientism, just like the creationists try to do (but the other way 'round). Rosenau clearly wishes that there were parts of the natural world which couldn't possibly be studied scientifically (like human behavior), but the examples he quotes (he hasn't come up with anything original) are easily empirical questions. He's trying to put artificial limits on what constitutes a scientific question in order to preserve his failed-before-it-starts hypothesis that not only can literature and art convey truth, but that they can also discern truths that science cannot.

I made some other points, too.

Working for the NCSE, it's tough to see how Rosenau could possibly think of science as just another "way of knowing," except that he has quite obviously jumped off the NOMA deep-end and refuses to resurface.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2009 :  13:09:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ophelia Benson has also commented on Rosenau's post, as I found out from Jerry Coyne's response, in which Coyne rather cruelly chides Rosenau for losing Prof. Steve Steve. Man, that's a low blow.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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