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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  07:53:34  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Talk about obfuscation! In today's New York Times, Presidential long-shot Sam Brownback tries to defend his admission during a recent debate that he doesn't believe in evolution. He notes, for instance, that
The question of evolution goes to the heart of this issue. If belief in evolution means simply assenting to microevolution, small changes over time within a species, I am happy to say, as I have in the past, that I believe it to be true.
Anyone familiar with the anti-evolution crowd should already spot the huge red flags. Not said, but certainly intended, is but I do not believe in anything that says that humans evolved from a non-human primate. He continues directly with this false dichotomy:
If, on the other hand, it means assenting to an exclusively materialistic, deterministic vision of the world that holds no place for a guiding intelligence, then I reject it.
Got that? Later on, we see some more frightening statements:
Biologists will have their debates about man's origins, but people of faith can also bring a great deal to the table. For this reason, I oppose the exclusion of either faith or reason from the discussion. An attempt by either to seek a monopoly on these questions would be wrong-headed. As science continues to explore the details of man's origin, faith can do its part as well.
And with that, we can all just hope that this guy isn't the next President.

Edited by - Cuneiformist on 05/31/2007 09:10:08

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  08:32:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Note also that he, like so many others, tacitly admits that his faith stands opposed to reason.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1888 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  09:47:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I firmly believe that each human person, regardless of circumstance, was willed into being and made for a purpose.
Stalin, Hitler, de Torquemada made for a purpose? Or is that free will? Christian apologetics can be so hard to pin down.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  10:09:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by moakley

I firmly believe that each human person, regardless of circumstance, was willed into being and made for a purpose.
Stalin, Hitler, de Torquemada made for a purpose? Or is that free will? Christian apologetics can be so hard to pin down.
Also, is "willed into being" a conservative euphemism for sexual activity? Do you think newlywed fundamentalist Christian couples say "yes, we're trying to will a child into being" when asked about such things.
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  10:41:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by moakley

I firmly believe that each human person, regardless of circumstance, was willed into being and made for a purpose.
Stalin, Hitler, de Torquemada made for a purpose? Or is that free will? Christian apologetics can be so hard to pin down.

Apologetics change with the context to suit the situation. And can at times seem contradictory for those who aren't used to engage in Double-think.

Medicine is a science very much connected to biology, so my question is this: How many medical discoveries has been made through religious revelation, and how many through science?

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
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"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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furshur
SFN Regular

USA
1536 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  11:05:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send furshur a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From the article:
While no stone should be left unturned in seeking to discover the nature of man's origins, we can say with conviction that we know with certainty at least part of the outcome. Man was not an accident and reflects an image and likeness unique in the created order. Those aspects of evolutionary theory compatible with this truth are a welcome addition to human knowledge. Aspects of these theories that undermine this truth, however, should be firmly rejected as an atheistic theology posing as science.

What and idiot. So he will accept any scientific data that supports his preconceived notions and reject the data that doesn't. Why pay any attention to science at all then?

These religious right nuts are going to eventually ham string the republican party. It may take a few years though...




If I knew then what I know now then I would know more now than I know.
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  11:24:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You guys are way overreacting to this, changing the deepest seeded views will take a long time. At least this guy isnt going to try to gut evolution like some of them.

Though it seems like a simple notion to us, you are essentially asking them to say "the religion I believe in is bullshit" and many people arent willing to do that, particularly politicians.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  11:44:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

At least this guy isnt going to try to gut evolution like some of them.
No, he just insists on battling the whole of science with some sort of non-material hoodoo.

I wouldn't ask him to say his faith is baloney, nor would I ask him to give it up. I would ask him to stop saying that science is opposed to his faith, because that's not true.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  12:47:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave_W said:
I wouldn't ask him to say his faith is baloney, nor would I ask him to give it up. I would ask him to stop saying that science is opposed to his faith, because that's not true.


Well, science has demonstrated beyond any doubt that a literal interpretation of the various holy books is impossible.

Plenty of people see that as science being opposed to faith.

Science also seeks to unseat supernatural explanations of all kinds. Many people also see that as science being opposed to their faith.

In fact I would say that science is opposed to any faith-based explanation of anything. Science requires evidence to assign a value of true, faith is the idea of assigning a value of true in the absence of evidence.

I'm not sure how science can't be opposed to faith.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  13:14:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by moakley

I firmly believe that each human person, regardless of circumstance, was willed into being and made for a purpose.
Stalin, Hitler, de Torquemada made for a purpose? Or is that free will? Christian apologetics can be so hard to pin down.

Population control, God style?

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  13:38:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Siberia
Population control, God style?

He tried that once with a flood, but seeing the state of the world today, I'd say he failed miserably. If he had been omipotent and omnisciet, he wouldn't have failed.

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

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Boron10
Religion Moderator

USA
1265 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  13:46:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Boron10 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

He tried that once with a flood, but seeing the state of the world today, I'd say he failed miserably. If he had been omipotent and omnisciet, he wouldn't have failed.
Or, he wouldn't have tried, eh?
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  14:08:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

In fact I would say that science is opposed to any faith-based explanation of anything. Science requires evidence to assign a value of true, faith is the idea of assigning a value of true in the absence of evidence.

I'm not sure how science can't be opposed to faith.
Because faith is not the assignment of a value of true to something simply because science says it's false. People don't develop faith in something only in opposition to science's findings about it. And the questions science attempts to answer are largely not because scientists are trying to disprove God or destroy faith.

The very idea is ludicrous when faced with an allegedly omnipotent god, anyway. With a god that can change the laws of physics on a whim and wishes to remain untested by mere mortals, only faith would suffice because no scientific test could possibly distinguish the "god exists" and "god doesn't exist" states.

And if people wish to believe that divine miracles have occured, and that God covered his tracks afterwards, that's fine. They relinquish their place at the science table. The actual conflict comes when they try to claim that such reasoning is scientific.

As for science wiping out a literal interpretation of the Bible, as far as I can tell that's only an issue with those of extremely weak faith who aren't worshipping God so much as they're worshipping the book. Eighteenth century Protestant geologists went looking for evidence of Noah's Flood, couldn't find it, and even though it greatly pained many of them, they accurately reported that the Flood must have been allegorical. Those who cling to the Flood as real are those who reject the central tenets of the New Testament while hypocritically claiming to embrace them. Science can't possibly deny the resurrection story (because all the evidence has vanished), so to say, "science says Noah's Ark wasn't real so science denies my faith," is to state no less than "having faith that Jesus died for my sins isn't enough for me."

Sure, some people will claim that science opposes their faith, but my point was and is that it's not true. Saying that science stands in opposition to faith is like saying that hammers stand in opposition to screws. Yes, if you try to drive a screw with a hammer you'll usually end up with a frustrating mess that doesn't hold together well, but my point is that hammers don't try to drive screws on their own. Hammers are versatile tools that can be used in many ways. Driving screws isn't one of them, but it's not because hammers are out to prove screws to be useless. They can't do so.

(Continuing that analogy, whether or not screws have any redeeming qualities is a separate issue.)

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  17:56:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok, I agree with the majority of that.

Perhaps what I'm saying is that an evidence based naturalistic worldview is opposed to a faith-based worldview.

The two seem, to some degree, mutually exclusive.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2007 :  23:46:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm reading Dawkins now, The God Delusion. I gotta go with Darwin's Dawg on this one. Dawkins explains the "NOMA" notion, (Non-Overlapping Magesteria), which Gould supported. Basically, the idea is that religion and science occupy two exclusive realms, and neither has anything to say or prove about the other. Dawkins points out that this is nonsense, as religion is constantly making statements about the nature of the universe which are either scientifically shit-canned already (Creationism), or may someday be potentially testable (a universe made and operated by an omipotent, omniscient God).

Scientific reason and religious magical thinking coexist together like smallpox and smallpox vaccinations.

The fact, that so far, relatively few scientists have taken on religion is not an indication of religion's falsehood. I agree with Dawkins that religion is traditionally given a special license to promote humbug that is not tolerated in other areas of "knowledge."


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 06/01/2007 05:53:18
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dv82matt
SFN Regular

760 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2007 :  09:29:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dv82matt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.
Because faith is not the assignment of a value of true to something simply because science says it's false. People don't develop faith in something only in opposition to science's findings about it. And the questions science attempts to answer are largely not because scientists are trying to disprove God or destroy faith.

Even if science does not try to destroy faith it often does so. Whether it is intentional or incidental is beside the point.

The very idea is ludicrous when faced with an allegedly omnipotent god, anyway. With a god that can change the laws of physics on a whim and wishes to remain untested by mere mortals, only faith would suffice because no scientific test could possibly distinguish the "god exists" and "god doesn't exist" states.
True, but people seem to have a need to rationalize that there is evidence for their beliefs. If the evidece is in fact lacking, science tends to expose the delusion, often to the detriment of religion.

And if people wish to believe that divine miracles have occured, and that God covered his tracks afterwards, that's fine. They relinquish their place at the science table. The actual conflict comes when they try to claim that such reasoning is scientific.
Since the religious, for the most part, do not relinquish their place at the science table, it seems that you are tacitly admitting that there is in fact a conflict between science and religion.

As for science wiping out a literal interpretation of the Bible, as far as I can tell that's only an issue with those of extremely weak faith who aren't worshipping God so much as they're worshipping the book. Eighteenth century Protestant geologists went looking for evidence of Noah's Flood, couldn't find it, and even though it greatly pained many of them, they accurately reported that the Flood must have been allegorical.
So in fact these Protestant geologists had their faith of the Bible story of Noah's Flood, destroyed. This would seem to show that science can indeed damage religious faith.

Those who cling to the Flood as real are those who reject the central tenets of the New Testament while hypocritically claiming to embrace them. Science can't possibly deny the resurrection story (because all the evidence has vanished), so to say, "science says Noah's Ark wasn't real so science denies my faith," is to state no less than "having faith that Jesus died for my sins isn't enough for me."
I'm not sure why you make an allowance for faith in the Resurrection but not for the Flood. Science can't deny anything absolutely but I don't think that Jesus being the son of God, dying for the sins of the world and rising again on the third day is any more plausible than the story of the Flood. Both require faith in an omnipotent god that "works in mysterious ways" and if you believe that then there's no reason not to believe in Noah's Flood.

Sure, some people will claim that science opposes their faith, but my point was and is that it's not true. Saying that science stands in opposition to faith is like saying that hammers stand in opposition to screws. Yes, if you try to drive a screw with a hammer you'll usually end up with a frustrating mess that doesn't hold together well, but my point is that hammers don't try to drive screws on their own. Hammers are versatile tools that can be used in many ways. Driving screws isn't one of them, but it's not because hammers are out to prove screws to be useless. They can't do so.
The analogy emphasises the incompatability between science and religion but glosses over the point that the success of one is often to the detriment of the other. Science does not need to explicitly seek the destruction of religion in order for this to be the case.

(Continuing that analogy, whether or not screws have any redeeming qualities is a separate issue.)
Incidentally the analogy is also marred by not comparing like with like. Hammers and and screws have seperate functions.
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