Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Sal Cordova’s Rank Dishonesty

I know we’re all used to seeing creationists dishonestly quoting something written by scientists, but folks I’m about to show you one of the most egregious examples you will ever see of it. This is as bad as Morris and Whitcomb’s famous distortion of Ross and Rezak’s paper on the Lewis overthrust, where they literally quoted a paragraph and stopped just before the sentence that began, “However…..”, to give the impression that the authors were saying the exact opposite of what they actually said. Go read this post by Sal at UD and you will see the following quote:

Charles Darwin, perhaps medicine’s most famous dropout, provided the impetus for a subject that figures so rarely in medical education. Indeed, even the iconic textbook example of evolution–antibiotic resistance–is rarely described as “evolution” in relevant papers published in medical journals. Despite potentially valid reasons for this oversight (e.g., that authors of papers in medical journals would regard the term as too general), it propagates into the popular press when those papers are reported on, feeding the wider perception of evolution’s irrelevance in general, and to medicine in particular.


And then go read the article he is citing, an editorial by Catriona McCallum, the senior editor of PLoS Biology. There you will find the statement he quotes from it, but you’ll also notice that he doesn’t quote the whole paragraph, he leaves out the last sentence. Why? Because the last sentence is the “However….” sentence and it contradicts the story he’s trying to sell. Here’s the full paragraph with the last sentence included:

It is curious that Charles Darwin, perhaps medicine’s most famous dropout, provided the impetus for a subject that figures so rarely in medical education. Indeed, even the iconic textbook example of evolution–antibiotic resistance–is rarely described as “evolution” in relevant papers published in medical journals [1]. Despite potentially valid reasons for this oversight (e.g., that authors of papers in medical journals would regard the term as too general), it propagates into the popular press when those papers are reported on, feeding the wider perception of evolution’s irrelevance in general, and to medicine in particular [1]. Yet an understanding of how natural selection shapes vulnerability to disease can provide fundamental insights into medicine and health and is no less relevant than an understanding of physiology or biochemistry.

After his highly dishonest quote mine, he then provides this absurd analysis:

Darwinists claim how important Darwinism is to science, but MacCallum’s editorial makes an embarrassing admission of Darwinism’s irrelevance to medicine.

Really, Sal? Is that what it says? Let me quote what MacCallum actually says about the importance of evolution to medicine:

The most obvious examples of evolutionary biology’s importance to medical understanding are related to infectious disease [7]. As Jon Laman (Erasmus University, The Netherlands) pointed out at the meeting, the immune system provides the perfect platform to explain the medical relevance of the exquisite evolutionary relationships between pathogens and their hosts. Understanding how virulence evolves, for example, can help predict the potential, sometimes counterintuitive (and controversial) negative consequences of imperfect vaccination [8,9]. But evolution can also tell us that the origin of HIV was precipitated by a jump across the primate species barrier [10] and enables us to predict the imminent arrival of avian flu and the mutations most likely to be responsible for that evolutionary leap from birds to humans [11]. Where epidemiological and population genetic processes occur on the same time scale, the emerging field of “phylodyamics” can also inform us about the timing and progression of pathogen adaptation more generally [12].

The relevance of evolution to medicine is, however, much broader. Participants at the York meeting discussed not only how vulnerability to cancer is an inevitable but unfortunate consequence of imperfect human engineering and natural selection (Mel Greaves, Institute of Cancer Research, UK), but how life history theory can potentially explain patterns of pregnancy loss (Virginia Vitzthum, Indiana University), how a comparative approach applied to different human cultures and different primates can improve rates of breastfeeding (Helen Ball, University of Durham), whether clinical depression has an adaptive origin (Lewis Wolpert, University College London), and if suicide attempts are really just evolutionary bargaining chips in intense social disputes (Ed Hagen, Humboldt University).

The point of MacCallum’s column is emphatically to argue against the idea that evolution is irrelevant to medicine, despite the misconceptions of some clinicians who don’t care much about looking at the big picture. Here is her concluding statement about the need to teach evolutionary biology in medical schools:

The time has clearly come for medicine to explicitly integrate evolutionary biology into its theoretical and practical underpinnings The medical students of Charles Darwin’s day did not have the advantage of such a powerful framework to inform their thinking; we shouldn’t deprive today’s budding medical talent of the potential insights to be gained at the intersection of these two great disciplines.

Sal has completely reversed the meaning of the article and I can’t imagine he did so unintentionally. You simply cannot read his description of the article and the article itself without having the utter dishonesty of his misrepresentation of it hit you in the face. Kiss your credibility goodbye, Sal. This is rank, rank deceitfulness. Tell us again about how evolution undermines morality while you tell lies like this.

Comments

  1. #1 kamimushinronsha
    May 2, 2007

    OK, here is what happened.

    Sal doesn’t actually understand the article and genuinely thought that was the point it was making. So…
    He’s stupid. It’s a complex article with confusing phrases like “The most obvious examples of evolutionary biology’s importance to medical understanding are related to infectious disease”, words like ‘infectious’, ‘obvious’, and ‘examples’ who the hell knows what that means?

    Or
    He is willfully trying to manipulate people to his point of view by lying.
    :-(…WWJD?

  2. #2 Hawks
    May 2, 2007

    You don’t even have to read the missing sentence from that first paragraph to realise that scordova is quote mining. MacCallum never claimed that evolution was irrelevant to medicine but rather that the TERM (evolution) is not always used when it perhaps should be. This feeds the PERCEPTION (notably among ID creationists) that evolution is irrelevant in medicine.

  3. #3 Jim Anderson
    May 2, 2007

    Forgive Salvador’s illiteracy. After all, he’s an engineer–and literacy just isn’t on the engineering curriculum.

  4. #4 THobbes
    May 3, 2007

    Hey–this engineer reazents that.

    Hehe.

  5. #5 Kevin
    May 3, 2007

    David Heddle told me that Sal ALWAYS tells the truth.

  6. #6 ArtK
    May 3, 2007

    “Three yerz ago I culd not speel engunear. Now I are wun.”

    *sigh* what a freaking tool. Thank goodness my employers will never hire Sal — they have intelligence and honesty as two pre-requisites for employment.

  7. #7 Gerard Harbison
    May 3, 2007

    Q: How do you know a creationist is lying?

    A: He’s typing Ctrl-X Ctrl-V

  8. #8 ScottN
    May 3, 2007

    Gerard Harbison:

    Q: How do you know a creationist is lying?
    A: He’s typing Ctrl-X Ctrl-V

    Well said.

  9. #9 Godless McHeathenpants
    May 3, 2007

    Sal “Darwin beat puppies” Cordova ever had credibility? News to me….

  10. #10 RBH
    May 3, 2007

    And again I remind one and all that Sal is the loon who was quoted in Nature as saying

    The critical thinking and precision of science began to really affect my ability to just believe something without any tangible evidence.

  11. #11 Freelurker
    May 3, 2007

    Forgive Salvador’s illiteracy. After all, he’s an engineer–and literacy just isn’t on the engineering curriculum.

    So then, are you disagreeing with Ed that Sal’s problem is dishonesty, or do you have problems with your own reading skills?

    Or is your ability to comprehend overwhelmed by your prejudices? Just felt like taking a cheap shot at engineers, did you?

    There are plenty of engineers on the right side of this debate, and we need all of them (all of us).

  12. #12 Greta Christina
    May 3, 2007

    Oh, for the love of…

    I’ve actually had a similar slimy thing happen to me. I’ve done ego-Google searches, and found that pastors were quoting my essay “Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do With God”… as an example of why atheism has no comfort to offer in the face of death.

    And typically, they do this by quoting the first paragraph of the essay, where I acknowledge how painful it can be to contemplate death… while conveniently ignoring the “However” part. You know, the actual bulk of the essay.

    Let’s hear it for not bearing false witness against your neighbor.

  13. #13 Torbjörn Larsson
    May 3, 2007

    Cordova continues lying on another tack in the remainder of his post.

    He conflates the use of engineering and computer science in biology as “science of design” (study of design) and claims it as “design science” (creationism).

    And again he takes articles that points out the relevance of evolution and portrays it with the reverse meaning. On engineering we can see that the article in fact says:

    Lidstrom, who conducts an elective biology class for engineers, has found that biologists are motivated by the “what,” while engineers are motivated by the “how.”
    [...]
    “So we actually teach biology to engineers using a function-based approach, with the idea of nature as the designer and evolution as the design tool,” Lidstrom says. “That’s real engineering. And that’s the way we feel biology should be taught.”

    To help her engineering students feel comfortable in this strange new territory, she says, “We talk about the functions of life, about information transfer, about adaptability. Engineers understand systems, and ecology is the perfect example of a system.”
    [...]
    “The new research workforce will always need people firmly based in the core disciplines of biology and engineering,” she says, “but it also needs translators who have the understanding and the tools to communicate about the other field.” [Bold added.]

    So the core disciplines of biology is evolution, and nature is the evolutionary designer that uses adaptability, not teleology.

    On computer science, the situation is even worse. If Cordova had taken the time to read the freely available article, he had seen that albeit the article concentrates on computational intensive tasks and gloss over the role of evolution in cells, epidemics and neuroscience, it also suggests attacking questions such as understanding the beginning and fate of the universe and the origin of life:

    Understanding the origin, workings and ultimate fate of the Universe is one of the great questions which has always fascinated mankind. This generation has the audacity to believe that it may be possible to finally answer these questions, but in order to do so, computational tools will need to be brought to bear on an unprecedented scale.

    The challenges to be faced are as difficult,but in many ways complementary, to those facing biologists in their quest for the origin of life.

    Even with this leeway, the challenge for origin of life researchers remains formidable: to demonstrate, in vitro, one or more evolvable self-replicating systems that could serve as feasible hypothetical milestones between innate matter and the primary cell.

    As a result of the improbability of reproducing the evolutionary process resulting in a primary cell in a lab within our scientific lifetime, computer analysis, modelling and simulation are essential to suggest such intermediate evolutionary milestones.

    [The author of the last piece, Ehud Shapiro seems to be a fan of Helmholtz's & Crick's theory of panspermia. He sees it as a possibility for abiogenetic processes on a longer time scale and, I assume, larger space scale.]

    Seems Cordova is an all-around lying bastard.

  14. #14 Torbjörn Larsson
    May 3, 2007

    In the earlier comment a part finishing off computer science went missing:

    Since the article not only is assuming evolutionary biology throughout, but also suggests that the origin of the universe and the origin of life will be explained by natural processes, I don’t think Cordova is aware of what he supports.

    literacy just isn’t on the engineering curriculum.

    This is probably irrelevant. AFAIK when people study literacy among engineers on the university level, they are as generally knowledgeable as the humanists.

    A: He’s typing Ctrl-X Ctrl-V

    A typo? I’m sure they are going CTRL-C CTRL-V most of the time.

    Actually, when trying to find Cordova’s reference to NYT, I saw that he used the same quotation on a KCFS forum…

  15. #15 djlactin
    May 3, 2007

    Creationists (like Sal and his ilk) don’t care whether we spot his error or not; he only needs to feed the dreck to an audience that has been taught to never question authority. Nobody in his target audience will see the rebuttal: that’s their point.

    “Lying for Jehu”: It’s all about increasing the tithe-base.(Odd how “flock” and “fleece” go so well together.)

  16. #16 Matthew Young
    May 3, 2007

    Freelurker – steady on, old chap. I get the impression it was more a shot at people using their engineering qualifications to imply some sort of expertise in unrelated scientific fields.

    Even if it wasn’t, I am an engineer myself and was not offended. No need to burst your gusset. They didn’t teach me reeding and riting in engineer school – just remedial sums and advanced lego skills.

  17. #17 RickD
    May 3, 2007

    Just for fun, a bit of mining at PubMed.

    “influenzae AND evolution” – 264 hits
    “HIV AND evolution” – 4160 hits
    “SARS AND evolution” – 155 hits
    “disease AND evolution” – 23806 hits
    “medicine AND evolution” – 7504 hits

    I agree. It’s not simply that Sal is horribly wrong. He’s lying.

  18. #18 Boo
    May 3, 2007

    Davescot’s comment in the thread is also truly a thing of wonder:

    This is like requiring auto mechanics to study high energy physics so they understand precisely how the iron in our automobiles was formed by fusion in the core of a dying star billions of years ago. No doubt that’s interesting trivia but completely irrelevant to their trade.

    Doctors are mechanics who diagnose and repair problems in the most complex machine on the planet. There’s no possible way any one of them can know everything there is to know about how that machine works, the range of problems that can occur, and all the best ways to fix them. Any additional knowledge worth crowbarring into their heads to make them better doctors is more medical knowledge not hypotheses on how life originated and diversified over billions of years.

    He’s basically just admitted Egnor is unqualified to pontificate on evolution.

  19. #19 Clarissa
    May 3, 2007

    Thank GOD atheists never quote mine scientific or religous writings, like the Bible.

  20. #20 Jud
    May 3, 2007

    clarissa said: “Thank GOD atheists never quote mine scientific or religous writings, like the Bible.”

    Yes, and further thank Him that no Christians ever quote-mined the Good Book for purposes such as justification for slavery, failure to seek medical care for helpless children, or for killing Jews, Muslims, or other Christians….

    Don’t go there, clarissa, it’s a mug’s game.

  21. #21 Clarissa
    May 3, 2007

    But you have already gone there, mug! And Christians certainly have done that, but the good book doesn’t support your claims.

    Read Pauls letter to Philemon on slavery. Never heard of it? Its in the N.T.

    However, I appreciate your admission that atheists have done all those things, and more! Gulags, “re-education” centers, brainwashing camps, mental institutions (a fine use of medice there) etc.

    100 Million dead…not counting injured…, give or take, in the 20th century alone.

    As for the 20th century…they are just getting started!

    “A single death is a tradgedy…a million deaths a statistic.” Uncle Joe S.

  22. #22 nunyer
    May 3, 2007

    Ignore the ‘clarissa’ troll who was just banned . . . again . . . at KCFS.

    [/offtopic]

  23. #23 Clarissa
    May 3, 2007

    Sorry, that would be “As for the 21st century…”

    But what the heck, I am sure they can catch up. There is lots of time.

    Probably.

  24. #24 daenku32
    May 3, 2007

    What amazes me is that Sal’s supporters totally ignore the blatant dishonesty. “Lying for Jesus”, I guess.

  25. #25 Dr X
    May 3, 2007

    A significant segment of the right wing Christian world is sociopathic, pure and simple. I’ve witnessed it first hand… the double lives, preaching one extreme and living the other and the lying… the lying is both epidemic and breathtaking among pillars of the Christian right. The Christian right leadership does not hesitate to lie and their people are eager to hear and believe the lies.

  26. #26 carlsonjok
    May 3, 2007

    It gets better. ATBC regular keiths challenged Sal on this very subject over at Telic Thoughts. Sals response:

    I quoted the accurate part of the editorial. I tossed out the baseless, untrue claims by MacCallum.

    See it here: http://telicthoughts.com/how-not-to-keep-your-rabbit/#comment-100731

  27. #27 Raging Bee
    May 3, 2007

    That last time I got into an argument with Sal “Wormtongue” Cordova, he completely ignored what I actually said, and instead compared my arguments with some incident of surgical mutilation of children — the facts of which, as another respondent pointed out, he couldn’t even get straight. Whenever he appears on PT, I ask whether he’s man enough to apologize for that pointless accusation; whereupon he vanishes from the thread.

    Another favorite Cordova tactic is to pretend to be open to differing views, then try to have a debate accordiong to rules of his choosing, in a forum of his choosing — normally Uncommon Dissembling, where his allies can ban arguments he can’t bear to acknowledge.

    Sal is nothing but a classic “kiss up, kick down” courtier: cravenly suck up to one party in a dispute, and try to use his (apparent) closeness to that party to take potshots at his enemies, all the while pretending he’s the polite one, and gosh his enemies are so mean and uncivil.

  28. #28 Dave S.
    May 3, 2007

    carlsonjok –

    Did you know that Richard Nixon admitted to being a crook?

    “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m … a crook.” (Washington Post, Sunday, November 18, 1973)

    There you go. I know the word “not” appears where I put the ellipses, but apparently it’s OK to simply excise anything you consider baseless untrue claims, and it’s still a valid quote.

    Thanks Sal. I never knew you could do this with a straight face and maintain a shred of integrity. This technique will really come in handy.

    Although if you read the next response, it looks like he’s trying out the ‘its just a bit of street theatre’ approach popularized by the Issac Newton of information theory himself.

  29. #29 Raging Bee
    May 3, 2007

    I just looked at carlsonjok’s link. Sal is now drifting between incoherent and dishonest. I guess this is yet another indicator that the creationist movement is now in “baffle ‘em with bullshit” mode.

  30. #30 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 3, 2007

    Sal Cordova

    I quoted the accurate part of the editorial. I tossed out the baseless, untrue claims by MacCallum.

    Translation: I Tossed out the parts that actually made the point McCallum was trying to make.

  31. #31 Chuck
    May 3, 2007

    Evolution is of utmost importance to medical scientists; as a pharmacologist/medicinal chemst in training, I can tell you that the problem of cancer makes far more sense in light of evolutionary insights and is potentially easier to deal with. For a molecular biologist dealing with cancer on a molecular level, it is clear that the genes promoting cell growth tend to be quite archaic, often pre-dating the emergence of multicellular life, and hence their role is to tell the cell to divide in the manner of bacteria: as much as possible, as a clone, when the conditions permit. Tumor suppressor genes, on the other hand, and genes promoting apoptosis and genes designed to maintain the genome (such as p53: it is no accident that bacterial DNA is small and efficienct – and highly evolved – while eukaryotic DNA is a mass of junk from its evolutionary heritage) are more recent, and are involved in maintaining the great concerts of cells known as multicellular organisms. When the more recent genes go awry, the archaic genes take over, and cancer results. There are also, arguably, evolutionary reasons why the elderly tend to get cancer while the young do not.

    All that is to say that evolutionary biology is very important for the work of medical scientists. However, I don’t think that it is of much use to a practicing physician. The two are different: practicing physicians are mostly like technicians who use scientific knowledge in their work, but they don’t use evolutionary biology because it doesn’t aid in actual therapy. It aids the scientists in designing new therapies, but it does not aid someone who’s job is to look at symptoms, figure out what treatment to try, and then write a prescription – all the while providing emotional and other types of care to patients – and maintaining a profitable business, in many instances. Of course there are many scientists trained as physicians who do absolutely essential clinical research – and I’m willing to bet the farm that these physicians tend to believe quite readily in evolution. But normal doctors just don’t need it. That’s not to say that they’re not remiss in their science, or that it is not ridiculous that someone highly trained in the biological sciences denies evolution; it’s just a statement of sociological fact.

  32. #32 pough
    May 3, 2007

    Salvador wrote:

    I quoted … part of the editorial. I tossed out the … [true] claims by MacCallum.

    Ah. Very revealing. I like this CreQuoting business. Gets you right to the heart of your point much quicker and easier!

  33. #33 Fastlane
    May 3, 2007

    You know, at this point, I think the cretinist IDiots would be better off just making up a bunch of thier own quotes and quoting each other.

    At least then they wouln’t have to lie.

    They’d still be wrong, but they could be honest about it.

    I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. I think that in the long run, this is a good sign. Liars like Sal and most of the sycochants and ignoramuses at UD, AiG, etc. are doing us all a favor. One little lie at a time. Because it’s so blatantly obvious, that only the most die hard, head stuck in the sand evolution denier will keep believing it.

    Also, the underlying theme of all these quotes is that, at its root, science is where all the real authority lies. Science works. Most of these people know that (they are using computers, after all) and they aknowledge it implicitly every time they try to quote a scientist (out of context or otherwise) on whatever subject they are hashing over.

    They are lending the scientist the authority (often undeserved in this particular field) in addition to their legitimate scientific authority by quoting them. All that we have to do is point out the rest of the quote, as is easy to do, and that authority will change the minds of the few honest IDers, and the lurkers and undecideds of the world.

    Cheers.

  34. #34 KeithB
    May 3, 2007

    I know I shouldn’t feed the troll, but…

    Uh, Clarissa, you said:
    “Read Pauls letter to Philemon on slavery. Never heard of it? Its in the N.T”

    Have *you* read Philemon? Where does Paul tell Philemon to free Onesimus because slavery is wrong?

    Paul sends Onesimus *back* to Philemon and simply says don’t punish Onesimus which is within your rights, instead treat Onesimus kindly since you owe a lot to me, Philemon.

    If you think I am mischaracterising it, by all means quote the passage that makes your point about slavery.

  35. #35 mark
    May 3, 2007

    I wonder if Sal “It’s not a sin to lie if you wish it to be true” Cordova goes to church and buys a couple cases (or a truckload) of Indulgences before sitting down at his computer. But perhaps not; that would be the case only if he were ashamed of his lying and realized that his utter lack of honesty was a bad thing.

  36. #36 David C. Brayton
    May 3, 2007

    Oh…my…god…I’ve heard of quote mining but this takes the prize. The way Sal thinks she/he is justified (compelled?) because he took only the parts that supported his point is astonishing. Astonishing. Actions like this oughtta be a crime or at least the quoted should be able to sue for ‘slanderous misrepresentation’.

  37. #37 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    Jud,

    Yes, and further thank Him that no Christians ever quote-mined the Good Book for purposes such as justification for slavery, failure to seek medical care for helpless children, or for killing Jews, Muslims, or other Christians….

    Good point–such blasphemous justifications are indeed quote mines of scripture. You are quite right.

  38. #38 Raging Bee
    May 3, 2007

    I just posted a reply of my own at the thread to which carlsonjok linked. My comment appeared, but with the note “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Let’s see how long it lasts…

  39. #39 franky172
    May 3, 2007

    Now Sal can’t figure out if he’s coming or going. He writes:

    If you are accusing me of suggesting MacCallum is arguing for Darwinism’s irrelevance you are all wrong Jack.

    Really, Sal?

    Then why highlight this:
    feeding the wider perception of evolution’s irrelevance in general, and to medicine in particular.

    And write this:
    Darwinists claim how important Darwinism is to science, but MacCallum’s editorial makes an embarrassing admission of Darwinism’s irrelevance to medicine.

    When MacCallum’s editorial admits no such thing?

  40. #40 Nigel Depledge
    May 3, 2007

    Chuck said:
    “…practicing physicians are mostly like technicians who use scientific knowledge in their work, but they don’t use evolutionary biology because it doesn’t aid in actual therapy. It aids the scientists in designing new therapies, but it does not aid someone who’s job is to look at symptoms, figure out what treatment to try, and then write a prescription…”

    Actually, if a physician writing out a prescription has some knowledge of evolution, he/she can help to prevent the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Whereas if that physician ignores evolution, he/she can inadvertantly increase the rapidity with which new antibiotic resistance arises and spreads.

    For example, I was once prescribed a formulation that contained penicillin and a penicillinase inhibitor, the latter component purely present to target and counteract a common mechanism of antibiotic resitstance.

  41. #41 Glen Davidson
    May 3, 2007

    Has anyone on our side ever had an encounter with Sal in which he wasn’t at least partly dishonest?

    Believe me, I’m not surprised when IDists lie (Paul Nelson, who seems among the most honest, distorts by quote-mining and other forms of crucial omissions), yet it still stuns me how blatant and uncaring Sal is when he does it. Of course he has stated that he means to be the flak/grenade attractor to spare the more careful dishonesty of Dembski (Dembski cannot be unaware that the “bad design” argument relates to the fact that “bad design” (as well as “good design”) happens because of evolutionary possibilities and constraints, yet he steadfastly refuses to write as if he understands what the issues are) and his ilk. Nevertheless, this bald-faced dishonesty does not seem productive for the overall goals and hopes of the IDists.

    I think they lose their already poor abilities at discernment when they wallow in creationism/ID. They become so adept at ignoring all of the problems that they begin to lose their abilities to tell convincing lies, and just preach the lies that the choir wishes to hear. Anyhow, I can’t see any much better explanation for this exposition of Sal’s lack of honesty/comprehension.

    Someone already mentioned how the following doesn’t support his “conclusions”:

    Despite potentially valid reasons for this oversight (e.g., that authors of papers in medical journals would regard the term as too general), it propagates into the popular press when those papers are reported on, feeding the wider perception of evolution’s irrelevance in general, and to medicine in particular.

    I’d like to add, though, that this sentence quite obviously was, by using the qualifiers it did, already suggesting that the “potentially valid” reasons for not mentioning “evolution” that this “potential” led to dire effects, like the perception that evolution wasn’t relevant to medicine. I was going to attack him on those grounds on AtBC, until I read the following sentence and realized that nobody who can read could have honestly missed it and must have been deliberately lying.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

  42. #42 GH
    May 3, 2007

    Gulags, “re-education” centers, brainwashing camps, mental institutions (a fine use of medice there) etc.

    All a result of atheism? Interesting. Such power atheists seem to have in this world.

    Good point–such blasphemous justifications are indeed quote mines of scripture. You are quite right.

    Yes, because any interpretation that uses it to establish slavery just can’t be as good as my predetermined stances on these scriptures. This has been done to death on this blog and each and every time it is painfully obvious that there is no quote mining the bible to support slavery. Religious apologists in regards to slavery in the bible are only slighly better than Cordova and what he is doing above.

  43. #43 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    GH,

    No you are not just wrong, but trivially wrong. There is no way to justify slavery from the bible that doesn’t do tremendous violence to the text. The only way is to quote-mine. Here is how it’s done:

    1) Take the instructions for the Jews, which included slavery, but were for one people at one time (conquering the Promised Land) and quote-mine them as if they applied for all people for all time.

    2) At the same time, willfully ignore the teachings of Jesus, which are to apply for all believers for all time, and which are so obviously in opposition to slavery that a kindergartner in the lower percentiles can see it.

    There are two types of quote-miners. Those who blasphemed scripture to support slavery. And those, like yourself, who have a vested interest in continuing the lie that one has to bend scripture to avoid having it endorse slavery.

  44. #44 Ed Brayton
    May 3, 2007

    Sal’s pathetic justification for his dishonesty only makes him look worse. As quoted above from Telic Thoughts, he says:

    I quoted the accurate part of the editorial. I tossed out the baseless, untrue claims by MacCallum.

    Which would be fine if he had presented it as his opinion about what was right or wrong in the article. But he didn’t. He presented it as what MacCallum said in the article, when she said the exact opposite. He claimed, “Darwinists claim how important Darwinism is to science, but MacCallum’s editorial makes an embarrassing admission of Darwinism’s irrelevance to medicine.” In reality, MacCallum said that while some people perceive that evolution is irrelevant to medicine, it is in fact highly relevant for a variety of reasons and should be incorporated in to the curriculum at medical schools. Not only does MacCallum not “admit” to such irrelevance, she makes a forceful argument that it is NOT irrelevant. Sorry Sal, your excuse only makes your dishonesty worse. I know you like to come here once in a while and play nice, but after this display of outright lying I’d suggest that’s a bad idea.

  45. #45 plunge
    May 3, 2007

    “At the same time, willfully ignore the teachings of Jesus, which are to apply for all believers for all time, and which are so obviously in opposition to slavery that a kindergartner in the lower percentiles can see it.”

    And yet some of the finest (though racist) theologians didn’t? Sorry, doesn’t fly.

    Nowhere in the NT is there any definitive statement against slavery as a practice. The general opinion of Jesus and Paul seems largely to be “the world is going to end any minute now so why bother with any of this bs!” and NOT “free the slaves!” I mean, slavery was pandemic in their society: if they recognized it as a great evil, you’d think they could come up with something better than serving earthly masters and parables about loyal servants.

    The OT dodge doesn’t really fly either. No coherent system of morality, even situational morality, can possibly justify that it was once “ok” to beat a slave nearly to death, or to kill an entire people except the virgins who will be used as sex slaves. The rules for then, rules for now concept is patently ridiculous. Unless of course, you are willing to admit that as far as you know, tomorrow God could send down a third set of laws in which beating your wife is a sacrament, and you’d accept it just as Jews considering Christianity were supposed to accept the idea that all the old laws were just provisional.

  46. #46 franky172
    May 3, 2007

    David Heddle
    There is no way to justify slavery from the bible

    I’m no biblical scholar, but this took all of four seconds to find:

    Ephesians, 6:5: Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ

    Not that the whole bible condones slavery, but to suggest that it is impossible to support slavery using the bible seems a sever overstatement.

  47. #47 GH
    May 3, 2007

    Heddle I’m not going down this rat hole again. You are so totally and completely wrong it isn’t even remotely funny anymore. Nor is it even an interesting debate.

    At the same time, willfully ignore the teachings of Jesus, which are to apply for all believers for all time, and which are so obviously in opposition to slavery that a kindergartner in the lower percentiles can see it.

    Good then we can throw out much of the book then.

    At the same time, willfully ignore the teachings of Jesus, which are to apply for all believers for all time, and which are so obviously in opposition to slavery that a kindergartner in the lower percentiles can see it.

    What makes you think some of what Jesus said didn’t just apply to the culture he lived in?

    I guess all the people who have used the bible to defend slavery had kindergarden educations then. You use of emotional slams on peoples intelligence is mildly amusing and a really juvenile way to express your views.

    Ed, as well as others, have been pretty clear about this topic in the past and I’m pretty sure he and most people reading this blog moved past primary school some time ago.

    this was just funny:

    Those who blasphemed scripture to support slavery. And those, like yourself, who have a vested interest in continuing the lie that one has to bend scripture to avoid having it endorse slavery.

    I think a better view might be that you are blaspheming scripture as the general theme seems to be contrary to your view. I certainly have no vested interest in ‘continuing the lie’. It’s minorly interesting as an internet discussion but thats about it.

    Why would I have a ‘vested’ interest? You are an odd dude.

  48. #48 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    GH,

    Why would you have a vested interest? Well, your vested interested would be to discredit scripture with as little effort as possible.

    It is the same reason that those who think the bible is nonsense, and who have not done any actual research, and who think YECs are the worlds biggest idiots, will nevertheless claim that for two and only chapters of the bible (Gen. 1 and 2) the YECS are exegetical savants. The YEC interpretation, they will argue, is correct. Indeed, they will continue, it is the only possible interpretation–and therefore, by fiat, the desired goal of showing the bible and science cannot be reconciled is achieved, no scholarship required.

    Likewise it’s quite obvious that if you claim the bible supports slavery then you instantly discredit the bible, no further homework required. Your motives are transparent.

  49. #49 GH
    May 3, 2007

    You are as bad as Cordova. Same clothe in any event.

    Well, your vested interested would be to discredit scripture with as little effort as possible.

    I have no desire to discredit ‘scripture’ at all. None. Again you are an odd dude. If the information seems to point a given direction then thats what it does. You are assuming alot about the nature of what people who comment here have or have not studied. You also assume that study somehow makes these issues clear.With 1000′s of possible interpretations out there on every possible subject it’s pretty clear it has limited value.

    It is the same reason that those who think the bible is nonsense, and who have not done any actual research, and who think YECs are the worlds biggest idiots, will nevertheless claim that for two and only chapters of the bible (Gen. 1 and 2) the YECS are exegetical savants.

    Or they are correct in their point of view. Either the bible is enough or it isn’t. Seems to me you discredit the bible far more than they. They accept it as it is. You must use it to fit your own preconceived notions and knowledge.

    Indeed, they will continue, it is the only possible interpretation–and therefore, by fiat, the desired goal of showing the bible and science cannot be reconciled is achieved, no scholarship required.

    This is EXACTLTY what you do and are doing right now. You think your right no matter what.Either the bible is enough by itself or one must ask why it isn’t.

    Likewise it’s quite obvious that if you claim the bible supports slavery then you instantly discredit the bible, no further homework required. Your motives are transparent

    This just shows me you have no interest or understanding of people. You are so completely wrong it’s not even funny, well it is funny. One can be an honest man(as many Christians have done) and say the bible supports slavery. It takes something else to take your stance I think. What I’m not sure.

    This is a R-A-T-H-O-L-E.

  50. #50 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    GH,

    Yes I don’t care to debate here. Why don’t you send me an email demonstrating how the bible supports slavery. It sounds as if it is easy. I’ll post in on my blog. Then I’ll post my response. Then I’ll let you post the last word. Deal?

  51. #51 slpage
    May 3, 2007

    As I just recently discovered that I am “cited” in that latest bit of Cordovism, I wrote a bit on it:

    Here

  52. #52 GH
    May 3, 2007

    David,

    You don’t get it. I’m sure your a good guy in the real world. This topic has been debated here by Ed and many others. Just copy and paste those threads to your blog and post the responses that where here there. End result is the same.

    Seems to me you should be debating people like Falwell and such as your time would be better spent convincing YEC of the error in their ways.

  53. #53 Luna_the_cat
    May 3, 2007

    slpage: Your link doesn’t show. The engine here tends to add a “nofollow” attribute to anchor tags — your only chance is to either do a Preview and edit that out right before you post, or just post the full URL.

  54. #54 Lars Karlsson
    May 3, 2007

    I’m not sure that it can be called quote mining when it is so clear from the quote itself that McCallum didn’t say what Sal claims she said (“oversight”,”perception”). This seems more like a prime example of a combination of desperately wishful thinking and poor reading skills.

    Unless Sal really thinks that his readers are complete idiots (in which case he got vindicated, judging from the reactions at UD).

  55. #55 Alison
    May 3, 2007

    I think it’s pretty obvious that Cordova’s entire purpose for UD, and the ID movement in general, IS to quote mine. He does it effortlessly, and with such assurance that no other quote miner could come close. Unlike Dembski, who sometimes leaves in the parts of a quote that contradict his arguments (or picks entire quotes that leave you scratching your head because they’re unsupportive), Cordova cuts, highlights, and combines his quote fragments so it might actually seem to some that his sources agree with him. Unlike DaveScot, who will backpedal when he can’t defend the quote, or try to reconcile his statements when they contradict one another, Sal resolutely sticks to his version and denies there is any conflict forever and ever. Without Sal, it would be ever so much harder to keep pretending that ID is science, supported by scientists, rather than wishful thinking by biblical creationists.

  56. #56 Luna_the_cat
    May 3, 2007

    slpage: Sorry, never mind — that was a browser glitch on MY end. Whoops.

  57. #57 Ed Brayton
    May 3, 2007

    No, it wasn’t a browser problem. I fixed the link. He left out the quotation marks in the link.

  58. #58 Chuck
    May 3, 2007

    Clarissa,

    If you want to argue that atheists were the great mass murderers of the twentieth century, fine. But don’t blame atheism. Blame fundamentalist ideologies. Philosophical ideas from the nineteenth century became political ideas during and after the Great War, and evolved from there into ideology. No one sent someone to a gulag in the name of atheism; it was in the name of communism – and Jews were sent to concentration camps not in the name of reason, but in the name of the master race. Communism and Nazism were both mythologies, just like Christianity. People don’t kill in the name of scientific atheism. People kill in the name of ridiculous mythologies that cannot be defended by reason; they are driven to kill by hatred and fear of those who don’t share in the myth, not by a desire to convert believers into atheists. Christianity has a spotted record precisely because it is also one of these myths: something irrational but desirable that people will kill for. So stop trotting out this nonsense that “Uncle Joe” Stalin killed millions because he was an atheist. He killed millions because he was a bloodthirsty communist tyrant and monster of a human being – and he was under the delusion that his beliefs in the worker’s Utopia justified his actions. No atheist would ever justify killing someone because his beliefs demand it.

  59. #59 Randi Schimnosky
    May 3, 2007

    David Heddle said “There is no way to justify slavery from the bible that doesn’t do tremendous violence to the text.”.

    Get real David. The bible says its okay to beat your slave to death as long as he doesn’t die for a couple of days, it says slaves should be obedient to their masters, it lays out how slaves should be freed after a certain amount of time, it emplores the Jews to make women sex slaves, and on and on You’re the one doing violence to the text by trying to claim it doesn’t say what it does. And no I’m not interested in listening you make arguments that black is white and down is up as we both know that’s the only way you can twist things to claim the bible doesn’t sanction slavery. Face the facts, your bible is clear about slavery and you’re not man enough to admit it.

  60. #60 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    Chuck,

    Perfect.

    I despise the general tactic of blaming Nazism on evolution, or blaming it on Christianity, etc. But you provide us with an example of a delicious ploy, beautiful in its simplicity–a devastating prove by assertion:

    No atheist would ever justify killing someone because his beliefs demand it.

    Period. End of Story. Game over, man,

    Therefore we must group all mass murderers together into a single group, that bloodthirsty collection most accurately known as “non-atheists.” Stalin and Mao were not “true” atheists–and don’t even dare to mention True Scotsman, as that fallacy is reserved for people who claim someone isn’t a true Christian–they (Stalin and Mao) were high priests in the Religion known as Communism.

  61. #61 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    Randi,

    God instructed the Jews to engage in slavery, and he also instructed them to commit genocide and perform ethnic cleansing. Regardless of what we make of that, the instructions were clearly related to conquering and maintaining control of the Palestine.

    So, as I predicted, you brazenly quote-mined the OT, the instructions therein given for a specific time, place, and purpose–and neglected the NT. The only thing in the NT you can say is that the existence of slavery was acknowledged–while at the same time you (again, as I predicted) ignored the fact that virtually every sentence from Jesus’ mouth is inconsistent with the institution. You know–those marginally important yet inconvenient (for your (And GH’s) position) statements about loving your brother, loving your neighbor, doing unto others, feeding and clothing, etc.

  62. #62 DougT
    May 3, 2007

    David H. Greetings. It’s been a while. I was curious about your assertation that you have to do violence to scripture in order to justify slavery from the bible. The debate about scripture and slavery has raged for a long time. The answers don’t appear to be simple, though your phrasing of it came of that way- to me at least. I’d like to know more about this statement: If I understand you correctly in order to use the bible to justify slavery, you have to quote mine thusly:

    Take the instructions for the Jews, which included slavery, but were for one people at one time (conquering the Promised Land) and quote-mine them as if they applied for all people for all time.

    Let’s say for the sake of argument that you are correct. How did God convey to the Israelites that , because they had conquered the Promised Land, the time for slavery was over? You seem to be claiming that it’s somehow contained within the teachings of Jesus. Yet the conquest of the Promised Land predates the Incarnation by a considerable period. And various epistles, obviously written after Jesus’ time speak of slavery in very matter of fact terms with no hint of condemnation due to its sinful nature. The various epistle writers were surrounded by slave owners, and yet did not condemn slavery in overt terms as they did other sins. God was pretty clear about setting up the conditions for slavery in the Old Testament. If you are correct that this was a time-limited arrangement, the signal that the time was over is much less clear.

  63. #63 GH
    May 3, 2007

    David-

    I’m not sure what your goal is here.

    Stalin and Mao were not “true” atheists–and don’t even dare to mention True Scotsman, as that fallacy is reserved for people who claim someone isn’t a true Christian–they (Stalin and Mao) were high priests in the Religion known as Communism.

    This is what disturbs me about apologists. They always see things that are not there. I’m not an atheist but I think Stalin was one. Is atheism responsible for his actions? I fail to see how. It is the abscense of belief. Period. It has no creed, no dogma, nothing. It can’t be responsible simply because it is nothing.

    He had dogma but it wasn’t of the religious kind. Just because so and so is this or that doesn’t tar an entire group. Nor does that invalidate the True Scotsman fallacy.

    Conversly religion does make claims, does have creeds, and is overrun with dogmas of every size shape and color. There are also many 1000′s of various types all claiming to be the real deal. The True Scotsman applies correctly here.

    Atheism can’t demand anything simply because there is nothing to demand. So yes, game over.

    As the saying goes: A man can be good without religion, a man can do bad without religion but to make a good man do bad things, well, that takes religion.

  64. #64 Chiefley
    May 3, 2007

    You now, an auto mechanic does not really have to acknowledge Thermodynamics in order to tune an engine properly, but neither can anyone claim that Thermodynamics is not central to the operation of an Internal Combustion Engine.

    That there are branches of medicine and even biological research that don’t need to acknowledge modern ToE all the time doesn’t change the fact that it is fundamental to understanding the diversity of life.

    A brain surgeon, for example, is more like an auto mechanic than a biology researcher, in that much of what they do is a highly refined craft (perhaps analogous to the mechanic who builds and tunes Indy 500 engines). That the brain surgeon doesn’t need to acknowledge ToE during every operation is not suprising. But once again, that doesn’t change the fact that it is fundamental to understanding the diversity of life.

  65. #65 GH
    May 3, 2007

    God instructed the Jews to engage in slavery, and he also instructed them to commit genocide and perform ethnic cleansing. Regardless of what we make of that, the instructions were clearly related to conquering and maintaining control of the Palestine

    Moral relativism. I’m ok with that if you are.

    ignored the fact that virtually every sentence from Jesus’ mouth is inconsistent with the institution. You know–those marginally important yet inconvenient (for your (And GH’s) position) statements about loving your brother, loving your neighbor, doing unto others, feeding and clothing, etc

    I have heard this argument I just don’t think it’s particuarly good. It seems to me an apologist two step. It seems odd he wouldn’t make a direct statement regarding slavery. Your flowery wishful thinking above aside. Using this type of thinking one can give a pass to well- just about anything.

  66. #66 kehrsam
    May 3, 2007

    I have heard this argument I just don’t think it’s particuarly good. It seems to me an apologist two step. It seems odd he wouldn’t make a direct statement regarding slavery.

    Why did He need to say anything? Slavery was virtually unknown in both Palestine and Egypt during the period. Greek cities in Syria had slaves, but Jesus clearly avoided Greek cities, assuming His movements in the Gospels are accurate.

    Paul, of course, was very interested in the Greek cities. And while he instructs slaves to accept their lot in life, it is also pretty clear that Philemon is to accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ.

  67. #67 Troublesome Frog
    May 3, 2007

    God instructed the Jews to engage in slavery, and he also instructed them to commit genocide and perform ethnic cleansing. Regardless of what we make of that, the instructions were clearly related to conquering and maintaining control of the Palestine

    I don’t think that anybody is asserting that the Bible says that slavery is always a good thing. Given what you just wrote, it’s hard to deny that slavery is apparently perfectly OK, but only when conquering Palestine. That’s where most civilized people now disagree: Slavery is not OK–not even when you’re conquering Palestine.

    David, I typically enjoy your contributions here, and I think that you take an unfair amount of flak from other posters. Your writing is generally well reasoned and even tempered. I’m kind of surprised to see you engaging in special pleading that somehow slavery used to maintain control over a conquered Palestine doesn’t count.

  68. #68 GH
    May 3, 2007

    kersham-

    And while he instructs slaves to accept their lot in life, it is also pretty clear that Philemon is to accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ.

    I find this an odd statement. He accepts him as a brother albeit a brother who is not free. And I’m not sure about your prior statement(why did he need to say anything?, which sounds like a cop out considering the belief is he was God and slavery existed in the world) either as this seems to differ from what your stating:

    ‘Although slavery was widespread in Palestine during Jesus’ ministry, the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) does not record his opinion of it. Slavery was casually mentioned without criticism in the various books of the Bible. It was accepted as a natural part of life by almost all Christians until the 19th century CE.’

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_slav.htm

  69. #69 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    Killing a non Jew eventually became a crime in Israel–and we can reasonably assume that as that permission ended, so did God’s temporary permission to enslave the Canaanites. The fact that slavery continued would then be regarded as Jewish national sin.

    Regardless, we know that the ceremonial laws were abrogated in the NT. Typically, on this blog, people, people are quick to accept and utilize that point, agreeing that if all the laws regarding food preparation, and the treatment of women having their periods, etc. are null and void, then the Levitical teaching on homosexuality is null and void–a reasonable argument. But add to that “and the OT laws and instructions on genocide and slavery are also null and void” and we hear a chorus of protests. Why–because denying that those are no longer valid makes the bible and hence Christianity an easy target.

    As I have said many times, and as a crushing blow to theonomy in my opinion, in the NT we find neither a social-activism gospel nor a political-activism gospel. Jesus paid both the Roman and the temple tax thereby funding, in part, his own murder. He did not take a stand that the Romans were immoral and therefore he wouldn’t pay taxes. Likewise Paul establishes the primary purpose of mankind in the NT age: preach the gospel to glorify God. Slavery was a legal institution in the empire, and scripture tells us to obey the law. Paul clearly looked at it like this: that Philemon should free Onesimus but, if not, Oneisimus’ testimony would be quite powerful as a slave. Whether Onesimus lived as a free man or a slave was of little importance compared to his being a witness. The fact that Paul didn’t rally all-out civil disobedience against slavery does not mean he endorsed it, it meant his priorities were elsewhere. He also did not organize protests of Roman brothels–but it should be clear that he didn’t endorse them.

    That goes for GH’s comment later–Jesus didn’t make a direct comment about many horrible activities of his day–does the lack of such a comment imply endorsement? I think most of the time we agree–Jesus’ “failure” to condemn the child sex trade did not mean he endorsed it. His overall teachings regarding how we are to treat one another are sufficient to infer a condemnation of any number of human indignities and oppressions, including slavery.

    GH,

    No, atheism is NOT responsible for Stalin’s actions, Stalin is responsible for his actions–that should be clear from when I said about detesting arguments like “evolution is to blame for Nazism.” I am saying that Chuck’s (and maybe yours) strategy of arguing that Stalin is not really an atheist–because real atheists couldn’t commit such atrocities, is asinine.

    Troublesome Frog,

    I am not saying conqueing Palistine “doesn’t count” I am saying that the bible clearly endorses slavery in that instance, and that must be dealt with, (and it, like the genocide of the same period, is not easy to deal with, but there it is.) What I am saying is that the bible does not give its blanket approval for slavery for all people for all time.

    If you think the bible/God evil for endorsing slavery and genocide during Joshua’s campaign, so be it. But limit it to where it occurred. The cheap-out of saying the bible still endorses slavery just doesn’t fit the facts unless, again, you delete the NT all together.

  70. #70 Chuck
    May 3, 2007

    David,

    I recognized that last sentence in my post was horribly worded after I posted it. I’ll absolutely grant you that it amounted to a No True Scotsman argument. What I meant to say was that no atheist kills in the name of his atheism; he might kill in the name of some other belief structure, but not because he doesn’t believe in God. Lack of belief (in God, in the socialist paradise, in the Aryan-dominated world, or whatever), in other words, does not generally motivate people to kill nearly as much as specific belief structures do. A belief that someone is worth killing for is generally one that one is absolutely certain of to the bottom of his core. Most modern-day American scientific atheists aren’t that certain about anything; to scientists, all knowledge is uncertain – an approximation of an inaccesable ultimate truth at best. When you think you’re privy to God’s truth, or any other certain truth, you can make of all kinds of justifications for horrifying behavior.

    That’s what I meant to say. I Hope I clarified my statement.

  71. #71 Chuck
    May 3, 2007

    I’ll add that your argument amounts to, “Belief in the traditional myths of Western civilization affords better outcomes [note: not more accurate] than atheism because all kinds of bad ideas can fill the void left by religion.”

    And you’re right. All kinds of bad ideas can fill the void left by religion. That’s why that void, consisting of a yearning for absolutely certain beliefs based on faith, should simply be left empty. All knowledge, instead, should be subject to verification and reason.

  72. #72 GH
    May 3, 2007

    we know that the ceremonial laws were abrogated in the NT.

    Actually we don’t know this, ‘the not one jot or tittle’ makes it more than a little uncertain.

    am saying that Chuck’s (and maybe yours) strategy of arguing that Stalin is not really an atheist–because real atheists couldn’t commit such atrocities, is asinine.

    I was pretty clear that he was above. ‘I’m not an atheist but I think Stalin was one.’

    But this is what kills me about your style, you say things like:

    Paul clearly looked at it like this: that Philemon should free Onesimus but, if not, Oneisimus’ testimony would be quite powerful as a slave. Whether Onesimus lived as a free man or a slave was of little importance compared to his being a witness

    He clearly this or he clearly that, there is nothing clear about pretending to know what some guy 2000 years ago thought about anything. It’s simply missleading to pretend otherwise. Paul didn’t think he should be freed or he would have plainly said so. And keeping him a slave to enhance a witness is rather piss poor. He would have been an effective witnes either way.

  73. #73 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    Chuck,

    Fair enough, thanks for the clarification.

    I’m not sure what argument I made amounts to “Belief in the traditional myths of Western civilization affords better outcomes [note: not more accurate] than atheism because all kinds of bad ideas can fill the void left by religion” but I’ll just walk by that one.

    Again, thanks.

  74. #74 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    GH,

    Out of laziness I use “clearly” too liberally, you are right. By its use I do not mean I can read Paul’s mind. I mean it as a short cut for “It is my opinion that by good and reasonable inference one can assume…” Thus, when I say Paul clearly meant this or that, I use it when I believe that, should we wish to take the time, I could make a decent scriptural argument for my assertion. So I believe that I could make a sound case that Paul was more concerned with Onesimus’ witness that he was with whether or not Onesimus was a slave–although “clearly” by his plea to Philemon he cared a great deal about that.

    Paul didn’t think he (Onesimus) should be freed or he would have plainly said so.

    Have you read Philemeon? I am not sure how much clearer Paul could make it that he wanted Philemon to free Onesimus, even offering to pay any debt and essentially calling in markers.

    We do know the ceremonial law was abrogated, because Jesus violated it by working on the Sabbath, by the way he treated and handled lepers, and by rescuing the adulteress who by the law should have been stoned (Lev. 20:10). By definition Jesus did not sin, ergo…

    The jot and tittle passage in Matthew then refers to the moral law, which Jesus not only affirmed but strengthened. Not only was adultery a sin–but garden variety lust was elevated to the level of adultery. Not only must you love your brother but also your enemies–hatred toward a brother is murder–etc.

  75. #75 Randi Schimnosky
    May 3, 2007

    David Heddle, you’re lying about your bible, as I’ve regularly seen from Christians.

    There is nothing in the bible that says the old Testament is no longer in effect, and the standard (false) argumement Christians make in any event is that it is just Leviticus which supposedly is no longer applicable, that leaves the rest of the bible’s sanctioning of slavery in effect.

    And don’t give me this “Jesus said to be nice, so that means slavery is no longer in effect” crap. The bible is full of self contradictions, in one place it insists a brother in law must marry a widowed woman, and in another it says that’s a sin.

    Jesus said clearly himself in Matthew 5 17-18 that the old testament remains in effect contrary to your lies:

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. ”

    And again, contrary to your lies, the sanctioning of slavery exists in the new testament as well, see Ephesians 6: 5-7. So much for your “it was only in effect for the Joshua campaign” and “we can assume the permission to have slaves ended”. This is why I didn’t want to discuss this with you, I knew you’d get into twisted lies to defend the indefensible clearly stated in your bible. Now given that you’ve been so dishonest about what’s in your bible (typical of most Christians I know), why should we believe anything else you say about it?

  76. #76 Chuck
    May 3, 2007

    David,

    Perhaps you weren’t making the argument I characterized you to be making. So I’ll tell you what the argument is. Saying that atheists were responsible for the most horrific atrocities of the twentieth centuries is an accurate statement of fact. The bad argument says that, because atheists killed the most people, it is a destructive ideology. Of course, the underlying and mistaken premise is that atheism is an ideology. What I am arguing is that it is not. Lack of belief is not belief. I think the atheism that a lot of theists bring into such arguments is a straw man that I call Theophobism – hatred of God. Atheists just hate God and traditional morality, so they refuse to believe in Him, and they build an ideology around it. Which brings me back to Stalin. Stalin wasn’t ideologically motivated by his lack of belief in God. He was motivated, rather, by Communism and a naked desire for absolute power. Atheism is not a belief, and it is not an ideology, so it is invalid when religious people attack it as such and condemn the moral outcomes of atheism. Atheism is morally neutral.

    So the argument I was talking about is pretending you can attack atheism by pointing to Stalin.

  77. #77 GH
    May 3, 2007

    David-

    I could make a decent scriptural argument for my assertion.

    And anything else.

    We do know the ceremonial law was abrogated, because Jesus violated it by working on the Sabbath

    He’s God he can do as he pleases. If he wishes to not make it a sin forhim to work on the sabbath then it isn’t. Your inconsistent here. Previously you have argued that if God degrees a people murdered then the action cannot be unjust or sinful because he decreed it. Here now you wish to subject God to our rules to make your argument work. If jesus wished to work on the Sabbath it is not sinful in the same way him murdering millions would be ok to you above. Can’t have it both ways.

    The jot and tittle passage in Matthew then refers to the moral law, which Jesus not only affirmed but strengthened. Not only was adultery a sin–but garden variety lust was elevated to the level of adultery. Not only must you love your brother but also your enemies–hatred toward a brother is murder–etc.

    I disagree here. It’s funny to me how you will try and read Pauls mind in your statements above but in what seems to be one of the bibles clearer passages you accept it’s meaning as less than clear. Jesus seems to be unequivically talking about OT law of which there wasn’t the moral variety and other. Just OT law. I think your making distictions to make the apologist in you feel better. Jesus made it clear he wasn’t changing the law.

    My stance is the bible goes on for so long that you are simply seeing the changing of the culture over time. The writings record this change. The bible neither endorses slavery or condemns it simply because it is simply a record of what people felt at the time. Slavery was part of their culture. You won’t see it rebuked because they didn’t think it needed to be.

    Likewise with the jot and tittle above. What is said and what was done requires apologists to use slight of hand to make them work together. There is no mention of distictions within the law -just the law and the prophets. Ergo what they stated previously he affirmed.

  78. #78 DougT
    May 3, 2007

    David- How did we get onto ceremonial law here? The issue of slavery is a moral concern, not a mere ceremonial one. I have fairly serious issue with the following statement:

    Typically, on this blog, people, people are quick to accept and utilize that point, agreeing that if all the laws regarding food preparation, and the treatment of women having their periods, etc. are null and void, then the Levitical teaching on homosexuality is null and void–a reasonable argument. But add to that “and the OT laws and instructions on genocide and slavery are also null and void” and we hear a chorus of protests. Why–because denying that those are no longer valid makes the bible and hence Christianity an easy target.

    I think that your response here is a bit too easy. My rejection of theism is not a result of the fact that some readings of the bible can costrue it as endorsing slavery. It’s the kind of easy answer that you (rightly) resent when others hurl simplistic arguments against you. At the same time, the question of how the bible treats slavery remains a thorny issue for those who wish to portray it as the wellspring of moral teaching. I have been interested in your responses to this question precisely because you have not projected an overly simplistic (and therefore easily refuted) position. I’m still not convinced by your argument here. For example, you state

    Killing a non Jew eventually became a crime in Israel–and we can reasonably assume that as that permission ended, so did God’s temporary permission to enslave the Canaanites.

    God spends a goodly chunk of the Pentateuch spelling out in very precise, minute detail the Law concerning how Jews were to conduct their lives. Nowhere in the Law that I am aware of does God ever say “by the way, this is only temporary.” Nowhere in the Old Testament does he say “My Instructions have changed.” I’m having a very difficult time getting my hands around how one gets from a God who spells out the minutiae to one who allows the Jews to fall into “national sin” for not making “a reasonable assumption.” It’s not computing.

    Oh, and about your question “have you even read Philemon?” Nah, it’s too long ;)

  79. #79 Dave L
    May 3, 2007

    We do know the ceremonial law was abrogated, because Jesus violated it by working on the Sabbath

    Yet if we’re going to be consistent with how believers relate to the OT God, we should put more emphasis on Jesus’s words and commands than his actions. One of the main reasons given for why it’s ‘okay’ that God ordered slavery, genocide, flooded the earth, tormented Job, etc, is that he is God and he is justified in doing essentially anything he wants with his creation; who are we to question? But I don’t think anyone argues that how God interacted with us in these instances is instructive as to how we are supposed to behave with relation to each other; his words override the example he sets. Similarly Jesus is under no obligation to adhere to the OT laws any more than God is obligated to adhere to the commandment to not kill. Neither implies that us sinners are off the hook too, especially when their words say otherwise.

    The ‘jot and tittle’ passage does not specify the ‘moral law’ per your interpretation nor do I see any reference to that in the passages. As a matter of fact I find that ‘jot and tittle’ to be rather strongly phrased and direct; there were plenty of ways that could have been phrased to give some wiggle room for the ‘moral law’ hypothesis, but I’m not seeing much the way it’s written.

  80. #80 doctorgoo
    May 3, 2007

    GH said to Heddle:

    You don’t get it. I’m sure your a good guy in the real world. This topic has been debated here by Ed and many others. Just copy and paste those threads to your blog and post the responses that where here there. End result is the same.

    Here Heddle, I made it easy for you. Here you are on slavery and the Bible:
    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/03/antigay_lies.php#comment-41736

    And here is Ed’s response:
    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/03/slavery_and_the_bible.php

    Oh, and just to throw it in… here’s Heddle’s rather infamous comment on this thread where he says that genocide is “good” as long as it’s being done under God’s direction:
    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/03/slavery_and_the_bible.php#comment-42144

  81. #81 RickD
    May 3, 2007

    I think it’s unfair to quote-miners to accuse Sal of quote-mining. What he’s involved in is more like quote-alchemy.

  82. #82 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    Randi,

    No, Eph 6:5-7

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men,

    acknowledges the reality of slavery and that some slaves are Christians. It does not say: revolt! Nor does it argue that slavery is good. It simply deals with the institution as it exists. That passage, in fact, would form the cornerstone of my argument I alluded to that Paul is “clearly” more concerned about one’s witness that one’s circumstances.

    Furthermore, if you give it a moments thought, you will see this is the reverse of how slavery was approved for Jews. Paul is not telling his own people that it is OK to have slaves, he is telling his own people how to behave as slaves.

    Instead of calling me a liar over and over, would you mind occasionally substituting “idiot” or “fundamentalist” or “creationist” or “bumpkin” since your repetition is a bit boring.

    DougT:

    At the same time, the question of how the bible treats slavery remains a thorny issue for those who wish to portray it as the wellspring of moral teaching.

    Yes indeed! The commands given to Joshua and the Jews are extremely difficult to understand and to come to terms with–among the hardest in scripture. I have never denied that–in fact I can do little more than accept, on faith, that if God said to do it then I believe it was good. (There Dr. Goo, I repeat that infamous comment) I’ll never fully understand it. (There are a lot of things I don’t understand, including why anyone is sent to hell and why God inspired Psalm 53 as a virtual clone of Psalm 14.) But that is a different issue from asserting that those commands are still in effect. They were for Joshua’s military campaign and for clearing Palestine of potential (and ultimately realized) risks of syncretism. I cannot defend the morality of them even though, as a believer, I believe that somehow anything that God commands is good.

    As for “moral” and “ceremonial” law, that does, I admit, cause confusion, but it is the common terminology, and I agree that the slavery laws do not easily fall into ceremonial law. A better distinction would be: Absolute laws for all mankind (the Ten Commandments) and the national laws, the constitution if you will, of the nation of Israel, a nation which ceased to exist with the advent of the NT era. (Figuratively with Christ, and literally 40 years after Christ died.) There is plenty of scriptural support for this, although as you point out no explicit passage, just examples where they were no longer obeyed. I think it helps to think that when Israel ceased to exist, it laws died with it.

    For examples where the laws are disregarded (and hence we can assume void) I already pointed out the adulteress, Jesus’ working on the Sabbath on at least two occasions, and Jesus’ dealing with lepers. We also have extremely explicit abrogation of the food laws:

    For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”) (Mark 17:19) (Note: the parenthetical comment is in the bible, it is not my editorializing.)

    The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 10:15)

    Furthermore the Book of Hebrews goes to great length to explain that everything the OT priests did, on the basis of their role as defined by Jewish law, has been abrogated by Christ in his once-for-all sacrifice. In effect, the whole point of Hebrews is that Levitical law has been set aside. No more priests, no more sacrifices. If the law was not abrogated, we should be sacrificing animals, but we are explicitly told to stop that practice, so it is not simply a matter that our culture has changed. The early Christians instantly ceased sacrficing, even though it would have been culturally acceptable to continue.

    So while you can say there is no single verse stating: “No more of that” there is an enormous amount of scripture that attests to it. It is not pulled out of the air.

  83. #83 GH
    May 3, 2007

    I think this isn’t going anywhere and we should all just refer to doctorgoo’s links above and save seed the bandwidth.

    There is plenty of scriptural support for this

    And virtually anything else which is why debating religion is so pointless.

  84. #84 Randi Schimnosky
    May 3, 2007

    David, any kindergartner in the lower percentiles can see that Ephesians 6: 5-7 means that contrary to your bald assertion the permission to own slaves was not ended – not to mention the unavoidable problem Matthew 5: 17-18 creates for your “permission for slavery was revoked” lie. And hilariously your suggestion that slavery is okay for some peoples, but not others really highlights the untenable “morality” of your bible. Your comment that genocide is “good” if commanded by your god cements the fact that your morality is subjective and evil – what’s good or bad doesn’t depend on the action, it depends on who carries it out. Its sad to see people like you so determined to excuse the evil actions of the god character that you call black white and up down, just as I predicted. Thanks for making it obvious that you’re the one who has to do violence to the text to make the claim that it doesn’t sanction slavery.

  85. #85 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    May 3, 2007

    they don’t use evolutionary biology because it doesn’t aid in actual therapy.

    Well, they could, or possibly should. Mark Chu-Carroll on “Good Math, Bad Math” has a post (on the Egnor-rant, IIRC) where he describes his children’s physician who rotates the ubiquitous antibiotics regularly so not building up resistant populations of bacterias. (And possibly avoid horizontal transfer of it later.)

    Seems reasonable, though I don’t know if it is an evidence based medicinal practice. (You know, we don’t assume that predictions are necessarily correct in the real world. In spite of what creationists thinks.)

    doctorgoo:

    Thank you, most illuminating. And scary.

  86. #86 tinisoli
    May 3, 2007

    Andrew Sullivan brought up the tired old “Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot were atheists” argument today. Anyone piling on Heddle here should go pay Andrew’s blog a visit (it’s his final volley in his debate with Sam Harris), send him an email, and let him know how wrong he is. Since we’re all in the mood.
    I do think these guys are being intellectually dishonest, and I suspect they know that (some of the time); but I also think they are nudged into the Hitler argument and the tedious straw-man construction projects because they are simply incapable of conceiving of morality or goodness in a godless universe. We can tell them a thousand times that citing those three tyrants’ atheism is about as relevant as citing their mustaches or eating habits, but theists can then just go to plan B: say that Stalin wouldn’t have murdered 40 million people if he’d only accepted Christ as his savior. (Sullivan is now doing this with political figures, too, describing Bush as a “closet liberal” and separating himself from his fellow Christians by calling them “Christianists.” Because, you know, Andrew’s the real follower of Jesus and those other Christians aren’t.) It’s all very convenient. (I imagine they get these revisionist skills early on by reading the Bible, which of course can be interpreted any damn well one pleases.) They shriek about “fundamentalist atheists” and “intolerance” when a Harris or a Dawkins writes something aggressive and tough; and then, when the arguments crumble and that pesky old problem of evidence pops up, they can simply fall back on their conviction that even if an atheistic dictator wasn’t made evil by his atheism, he certainly would have been better off if he had only been religious! You know, because “god is love” and “love they neighbor” and all that fluff.
    As always, the onus is on them to support their claims or offer up something more than holy books and miracle stories–just as the onus is on anyone who makes any kind of strange or unbelievable claim. But no. They simply run screaming and then have the temerity to demand all of the proofs and evidence from atheists and science. From science, immediate answers are expected, but then when they come the theist can simply drown it in the murk of “God’s mystery,” or give God credit for the Big Bang. Whatever. It’s a rigged game.
    The irony in all this is that so many of creationists who want to wipe Darwin’s theory from the face of the Earth don’t have much more than an 8th-grade grasp of the ToE, and they characterize science as a godless religion of mean nerds. But then they demand from atheists that we A) read their favorite holy book, B) interpret it only in the way they’ve prescribed (ignoring the inconsistency, violence, etc.), and C) consider this book and this particular mythological character less fictitious than all the other holy books and deities. Zeus and Thor? Oh yes, they’re just myths. Jesus? JESUS IS REAL.

  87. #87 Jud
    May 3, 2007

    Yes, David Heddle, you’re correct about my point – people across the centuries who have counted themselves Christians have selectively quoted Scripture to justify actions or practices most now consider clearly immoral. In other words, my implied response to “clarissa’s” remarks about atheists quote-mining the Bible is that they’d have to get in line behind the religious.

    Now about that Hitler/Stalin/atheism thing: It seems to me the important piece that tends to get left out is if these folks hadn’t had followers, we’d’ve only had to worry about Schickelgruber the watercolorist and Dzhugashvili the rabble-rousing railway worker. Lutherans and Catholics in Germany, Austria and Poland, and the Orthodox in Russia followed these madmen in droves. And if we want to give John Paul II credit for the fall of Communism, who knows what a few well-chosen words from Pius XII could’ve done regarding Polish cooperation in the Shoah? (Though one might justifiably wonder why any such admonitions should have been necessary in the first place to those many declared followers of the Lamb of God.) Whether Hitler really considered himself Catholic or as finishing Jesus’ work, what lessons Stalin took from his study for the priesthood – these seem to me to be essentially beside the point, as the mass murder of millions was surely more than a couple of men’s handiwork.

  88. #88 David Heddle
    May 3, 2007

    Randi,

    David, any kindergartner in the lower percentiles can see that Ephesians 6: 5-7 means that contrary to your bald assertion the permission to own slaves was not ended.

    No, I reckon many kindergarteners could grasp the concept that it teaches no such thing. Some, I am confident, could understand that it explains that slavery existed, some Christians were slaves, and that reality had to be dealt with. Even more to the point, it was Roman Slavery, so it actually says nothing whatsoever about whether or not Jewish slavery was ended–it’s quite independent of the question at hand. It was the simply law of the empire. Paul’s instructions for his fellow believers who were Christians is that they were to be good witnesses even if they happened to be slaves.

    And hilariously your suggestion that slavery is okay for some peoples, but not others really highlights the untenable “morality” of your bible. And hilariously your suggestion that slavery is okay for some peoples, but not others really highlights the untenable “morality” of your bible. Your comment that genocide is “good” if commanded by your god cements the fact that your morality is subjective and evil – what’s good or bad doesn’t depend on the action, it depends on who carries it out. Its sad to see people like you so determined to excuse the evil actions of the god character that you call black white and up down, just as I predicted. Thanks for making it obvious that you’re the one who has to do violence to the text to make the claim that it doesn’t sanction slavery.

    Yes, if you completely missed the boat, either willfully or through ignorance. On the one hand you accuse me of doing violence to scripture for denying that the bible continues to endorse slavery. In the same breath you accuse me, in effect, of not turning against God when I freely admit that in troublesome parts of scripture God does command slavery and genocide. You’re just a garden variety bigot. You want the bible to depict and evil God and to endorse slavery because you hate Christianity. I have to conclude that, because you’ve made no attempt to make your case. Presumably the only way to avoid your small minded Archie-Bunker-like criticism is to declare: “the bible endorses slavery, executing homosexuals, and the God it reveals is an immoral sadist.” That’s your conclusion, and it is also your assumption, so, given that your logic takes you from A to A, reasoned debate is impossible.

  89. #89 Raging Bee
    May 3, 2007

    Well, it’s been over twelve hours since my first post at TT, and my comments are still “awaiting moderation.” Either Sal is ignoring my posts in his usual cowardly fashion, or my posts are still in a limbo where only I can see them. (Later posts are NOT “awaiting moderation.”)

  90. #90 GH
    May 3, 2007

    David-

    That’s your conclusion, and it is also your assumption, so, given that your logic takes you from A to A, reasoned debate is impossible.

    With some respect this is exactly how many feel when you enter a discussion. And this is just unfair:

    You’re just a garden variety bigot. You want the bible to depict and evil God and to endorse slavery because you hate Christianity.

    Oh great now he’s a ‘bigot’. Absurd.The thing I just don’t get with you is that the bible is supposed to be timeless and(in your view) flawless. All your tactics sure seems to make it far, far less than this.

    I often enjoy a little discussion with you if for no other reason you hide the flaws in your arguments under a lot of layers and it’s somewhat entertaining to see how you think. But you really seem to take yourself and this subject matter way, way to seriously. It’s fun not work.

    Some, I am confident, could understand that it explains that slavery existed, some Christians were slaves, and that reality had to be dealt with

    Why? God was walking aorund on Earth and he couldn’t simply say ‘though shalt not own another human being’ or ‘though shall not own slaves’ or ‘it is not brotherly to own your brother’. Why? You make a big deal about it being cultural, which I agree with, BUT then say nothing could be done. I find that fallacious and limited reasoning.

    In the same breath you accuse me, in effect, of not turning against God when I freely admit that in troublesome parts of scripture God does command slavery and genocide.

    A better question is why you persist in trying to explain it away when any sane individual would find genocide unsupportable from any angle. Only superstition can make an otherwise good person go to such a dark place.

  91. #91 Randi Schimnosky
    May 3, 2007

    David Heddle said “Even more to the point, it was Roman Slavery, so it actually says nothing whatsoever about whether or not Jewish slavery was ended.”.

    No, David, it never said anything about whether or not it was Roman slavery, and contrary to all your dancing and assumptions and inuendo, there is no scripture that says slavery was ended. Further showing your lies is 1 Timothy 6: 1-2 which emphasises Christians owning slaves, so once again the scripture itself denies the false claims you make.

    Yes, if you completely missed the boat, either willfully or through ignorance. On the one hand you accuse me of doing violence to scripture for denying that the bible continues to endorse slavery. In the same breath you accuse me, in effect, of not turning against God when I freely admit that in troublesome parts of scripture God does command slavery and genocide. You’re just a garden variety bigot. You want the bible to depict and evil God and to endorse slavery because you hate Christianity. I have to conclude that, because you’ve made no attempt to make your case. Presumably the only way to avoid your small minded Archie-Bunker-like criticism is to declare: “the bible endorses slavery, executing homosexuals, and the God it reveals is an immoral sadist.” That’s your conclusion, and it is also your assumption, so, given that your logic takes you from A to A, reasoned debate is impossible.

    David, the case has been made and its case closed – throughout the old and new testaments it sanctions slavery and nowhere does it say that slavery is no longer permitted or that it was only in effect for the Joshua campaign. You’re like a child having a temper tantrum – you see reality before you and yet you think you can just stick your fingers in your ears and scream “it doesn’t say that” and that it’ll go away, well it won’t. What I want the bible to say or not say is irrelevant, it clearly does depict an evil god who endorses slavery. I don’t want it to say that because I hate Christianity, I hate Christianity because it says that.

    A god who brags about punishing children and grandchildren unto the fourth generation for the sins of the father can only be described as evil. If a mother of two said “Joey was so incredibly bad that I killed Suzy” we’d think her evil and say so, yet your god character tortures and kills the innocent Jesus for the sins of others – his actions are just as evil as the aforementioned mother, but somehow you want to give him a pass for what rational people consider crazy behavior in a human. A god that allows belief in him and his religion of choice to be debatable and who eternally tortures people for innocently believing otherwise can only be considered evil. Its not that I want that to be so, its that logically that IS so.

  92. #92 David Heddle
    May 4, 2007

    GH,

    There is a difference. I don’t expect to persuade anyone, but I provide reasons as passages and try to explain why those passages support my claim. Randi did not do this, instead he asserted that the Eph. Passage supports his claim. There is an alternative to his being a simple bigot–he’s just lazy. Take your pick.

    As to why God didn’t say: “Though shall not own anyone,” again, shall we infer that anything God didn’t explicitly forbid is legal? Or should we assume that anything that is at odds with Christ’s instructions is forbidden? I choose the latter. Killing blasphemers (legal under Levitical law) is at odds with both the manner in which Christ dealt with blasphemers (even when the Pharisees were guilty of the unpardonable sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit Jesus didn’t call for them to be killed) from which I conclude that we are not supposed to execute blasphemers even though Jesus did not say: OK “it’s time to stop that.”

    If someone wants to argue that point, fine. If someone, like Randi, given several chances, simply repeats that it is obvious that the bible endorses slavery and never supports his argument then I conclude he is a bigot (or lazy.)

    A better question is why you persist in trying to explain it away when any sane individual would find genocide unsupportable from any angle.

    Fair enough, but that’s a different question. I thought we were debating whether slavery is still sanctioned, not why a good God could have possibly sanctioned it in the limited case that he did. The two questions should not be confused. Randi made that mistake too.

    Randi,

    You could technically argue, I suppose, that it wasn’t Roman but Greek slavery and I couldn’t object. At any rate, Philemon was a convert and not a Hebrew in Israel living under Israel’s laws.

    A god who brags about punishing children and grandchildren unto the fourth generation for the sins of the father can only be described as evil.

    As I said to GH, such thorny questions are up for discussion, but are red herrings for this discussion, which is whether or not the bible continues to endorse slavery.

    Further showing your lies is 1 Timothy 6: 1-2

    That’s a fair point, bringing in 1 Tim 6, although it is not a new one–Philemon, whom we have been discussing, was also a believer, so I wasn’t hiding (or lying about) the fact that believers owned slaves. A fair reading of Philemon says the same thing as 1 Tim., only in more detail. In Philemon, as stated earlier, you see Paul strongly suggesting that Philemon (a believer) free Onesimus–who was not only a slave but a runaway slave who apparently defrauded Philemon. Had Paul wanted to endorse slavery, here was a perfect opportunity–by all that was legal in the empire Onesimus should have/could have been treated harshly. Instead he suggests that Philemon receive Onesimus as a brother. (Receive your runaway thieving slave as your brother does not, in my view, constitute an endorsement of slavery.) And if Philemon did not free him then (a la 1 Tim and elsewhere) he should treat him with the knowledge the he too has a master in heaven.

    The NT is highly opposed to legalism–which is another reason why theonomy is so wrong. We can deduce from Jesus’ teachings that believers should not own people. However, Jesus did not come with a litany of do’s and don’ts–he came with general principles and the NT promises that through sanctification (often a long process) we will be perfected (the process completed in heaven). A much better way than “do this, don’t do that, don’t ask why.” We can conclude, then, that believers who own slaves would not have instantly been convicted that this legal institution was morally wrong–but over time and growth they should arrive there. And, if not, I expect they are held accountable before God for their lack of sanctification, which we are essentially told is our own fault (work out your salvation with fear and trembling.)

    In the NT, it is our hearts that are judged, not our superficial deeds. For example, we are not required to tithe, and instead are instructed not to give unless it is done joyfully, not from obligation. A similar principle applies here. Philemon should, through spiritual growth, realize the immorality of slavery–and this is the preferred way. Furthermore, as we read in the passage you sited, believing slaves are to assist their masters through their exemplary behavior.

    You are demanding an explicit condemnation of slavery and, though it doesn’t follow, asserting that the lack thereof constitutes an endorsement. I am claiming that the interpretation consistent with the NT as a whole, including Jesus’ teachings, our commands (primarily to spread the gospel and bear good witness) and the abrogation of legalism, is that in general Christians should use whatever their circumstances (even slavery) to give the gospel and a believing slave owner (think along the lines of John Newton) who becomes convicted, through spiritual growth, to understand the evils of slavery, brings more glory to God that one who reluctantly releases his slaves under an imposed legal code.

  93. #93 Ed Hensley
    May 4, 2007

    Sorry for repeating my post on pandasthumb, but if you have not seen this breaking new you need to read it.

    Our friends at UD need to read the following recent article from MSNBC.com.
    DNA mutation hikes heart attack risk

    Anyone who can read this and then claim that Doctor’s should not know about evolution has their head in the sand.
    “This is the single most important discovery made to date about a new finding of what genetic variations can lead to heart attack,” said cardiologist Dr. Christopher Granger of the Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
    “I think this is a stunner,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, told reporters. “It seems like this one place carries all of that weight for two very common and very dangerous diseases.”

  94. #94 Ed Hensley
    May 4, 2007
  95. #95 Grand Moff Texan
    May 4, 2007

    Thank GOD atheists never quote mine scientific or religous writings, like the Bible.

    False analogy. When we quote the bible, our use of texts isn’t any different from common Christian uses of that text. However, what Sal has done is completely unacceptable to those who use another kind of text. I can hang the theocrats using their own pathetic exegesis, but creationist quote-mining violates the practices of science.

    You tried to confuse the two, but you only wound up looking ignorant.
    .

  96. #96 Grand Moff Texan
    May 4, 2007

    You are demanding an explicit condemnation of slavery and, though it doesn’t follow, asserting that the lack thereof constitutes an endorsement.

    I think the early Church practice, especially by missionaries in the west, of buying and freeing slaves should lead us to conclude that the Church had a problem with slavery.

    Since that time, however, there have been other opinions. I should point out that the American theology of slavery was mirrored by the Dual Genesis theory, i.e., the need to rationalize racial pseudoscience contaminated both Church and science.

    Exegesis is a bit like regulation. Which strand of quotes, each of which produces its own doctrines, do you wish to turn on or off? The bible is so full of contradictions and problems of translation that you can turn on any set you want to “justify” a position. After that, it’s all over but the shoutin’.
    .

  97. #97 GH
    May 4, 2007

    not why a good God could have possibly sanctioned it in the limited case that he did.

    I don’t think that this was what it was about either.

    If someone, like Randi, given several chances, simply repeats that it is obvious that the bible endorses slavery and never supports his argument then I conclude he is a bigot

    Or he simply disagrees with you and thinks that it does. Again I don’t see anyway to make a strong case that it doesn’t. I think it is the way that it was, they didn’t see anything wrong with it because well it was taken for granted. Hence no words against it. And to say well Jesus didn’t say anything about child rapists or whatever is a red herring. There are no instructions on how to rape children in the bible but there are instructions on slave care.

    It’s a record of various eras and the thoughts people had at the time. You can make it say anything.

    who becomes convicted, through spiritual growth, to understand the evils of slavery, brings more glory to God that one who reluctantly releases his slaves under an imposed legal code.

    I think this comment above represents selfish thinking. A lack of introspection if you will. From the perspective of the slave and how they feel it doesn’t matter the reason he becomes free just that he is in fact free. Trying to justify the reasons as have been presented above seems to me a display of the lack of intropspection that trying to justify the unjustifiable can lead a person.

    Now I’m off for the weekend. This was my last post to this thread. Have a good weekend.

  98. #98 Done
    May 4, 2007

    I thought you might be interested in this– I started a blog yesterday as a means of exploring current topics in philosophy of science. My first substantial post consisted of my criticism of the Cordova post– only I wrongly attributed the post to Dembski.

    It’s a small blog started in the middle of nowhere by a student, right? Well, my first comment was a correction on my error by DaveScot over at UD. I thought you might want to check out my original remarks and what (hopefully) will be continued discussion over at donescience.wordpress.com . I’d appreciate your comments on my argument.

  99. #99 Tyrannosaurus
    May 4, 2007

    Sal is following the good old tradition of lies and deception. This is not an oversight or the result of ignorance but a willfull act of deception. Sal is nothing but a LIAR.
    Since so many liars are part of the promote-ignorance movement there must be some evolutionary explanation for it. Unless that is all by design!!!!!

  100. #100 Randi Schimnosky
    May 4, 2007

    David Heddle, I am a she, not a he.

    David, no matter how you slice it your convulted rantings aren’t at all convincing. You earlier claimed that the New Testament quotes on slavery showed that it was not Christians who owned slaves, but non-believers. I showed you lied by quoting 1 Timothy 6: 1-2 which shows Christians also owned slaves. I really don’t need to do any further explaining, its obvious from the bible itself that it condones slavery. The idea that people would be instructed to be good slaves while slavery is condemned as an institution simply isn’t credible despite your dancing around the topic – no one’s going to tell someone to be a good slave if they believe the institution is wrong.

    You’ve admitted yourself that you are not objective under any circumstances when it comes to the bible and your god. You’ve stated that regardless of the evidence you will consider your god’s actions as good. That in itself shows you wouldn’t admit the truth about the bible and slavery no matter what.

    The fact that your god brags about punishing children unto the fourth generation for the sins of the father is directly relevant to the discussion on slavery. You claim your god’s actions must always be good, the aforementioned shows he is indisputably not and is an attitude consistent with a god that condones slavery, a god with an evil attitude towards humans.

    Now you can dance and twist some more until the cows come home, but you haven’t made a convincing case that the permission for slavery was revoked and more machinations on your part isn’t going to do it either. Your talk about “sanctification” and “theonomy” puts the lie to your bravado claiming that a lower percentile kindergartner can see what your saying – its far from clear because its dishonest. The idea that slavery is condemned but people are encouraged to be good slaves is as credible as the idea that one could be a member of a group of thieves and encouraged to be a good thief to bring glory to god – its simply nonsensicle.

    Slaves are encouraged to obey their masters in several places in the New Testament (Titus 2:9-10; I Timothy 6:1; Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22, 1 Peter 2:18). The idea that they would repeatedly be encouraged to do so and no one would think to mention that slavery is condemned is absurd in the extreme. That makes the case in and of itself. You don’t encourage someone to be an honourable participant in an institution if you think the institution is dishonourable. Unlike you I don’t need a torturous explanation for that because its obvious on the face of it.

  101. #101 David Heddle
    May 4, 2007

    Randi,

    sorry about the gender mixup.

    I defy you to demonstrate how I ever claimed, or claimed to have shown, that Christians never owned slaves. Possibly, although I’d have to insult you to do so because it implies I counted on your lack of knowledge, I could grant you the benefit of the doubt when I pointed out this was not like the slavery of old where the Jews were the slave owners and not the slaves. However, that’s a streatch because I used, from the very beginning, the example of Philemon, a slave owner and a Christian. If I wanted to argue that no Christians owned slaves, would I have used the Onesimus and Philemon story? Think about it! True, I don’t think I ever shouted: ATTENTION EVERYONE: JUST IN CASE YOU ARE ARGUING FROM TOTAL IGNORANCE, PHILEMON WAS A CHRISTIAN. Of course, the very way I described how Paul spoke to Philemon would indicate that Philemon was a believer–Paul would have no basis to plead as he did if Philemon was an unbeliever.

    And most people on here who know me, even if they disagree with me about everything, know that I know the bible. Do you think you caught me unaware of the 1 Tim passage, or do you think I was just hoping nobody else knew about it?

    What’s the use? There you go again, you responded to none of my arguments, just repeated blah-blah-blah, absurd in the extreme, argument over QED.

    Rarely, and I mean rarely because I surely do love to argue ad infinitum, do I find someone’s rhetorical skills so poor that I finally conclude further debate is of no use–but you have brought me to that level.

    You don’t encourage someone to be an honourable participant in an institution if you think the institution is dishonourable. Unlike you I don’t need a torturous explanation for that because its obvious on the face of it.

    Except for all the evidence to the contrary. The very man who wrote to Philemon was, on several occasions, an honourable participant in a dishonourable institution, the Roman penal system.

  102. #102 386sx
    May 4, 2007

    We do know the ceremonial law was abrogated, because Jesus violated it by working on the Sabbath, by the way he treated and handled lepers, and by rescuing the adulteress who by the law should have been stoned (Lev. 20:10). By definition Jesus did not sin, ergo…

    I think I might see wherein lies the problem. You’re trying to be all logical about a bunch of hooey. Good luck with that!

  103. #103 386sx
    May 4, 2007

    The fact that slavery continued would then be regarded as Jewish national sin.

    Yeah, blame the whole nation for the behavior of individuals inside the nation. What’s a matter, god can’t keep track of each person’s “sins” on a person by person basis? Wow what a dumb god. :-)

    franky172 said:

    I’m no biblical scholar, but this took all of four seconds to find:

    Ephesians, 6:5: Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ

    Not that the whole bible condones slavery, but to suggest that it is impossible to support slavery using the bible seems a sever overstatement.

    And to suggest that it is “blasphemy” and a “quote mine” to point out that verses like Ephesians 6:5 exist quite frankly strains the very limits of absurdity and demagoguery.

  104. #104 386sx
    May 4, 2007

    The fact that Paul didn’t rally all-out civil disobedience against slavery does not mean he endorsed it, it meant his priorities were elsewhere.

    I think he probably thought that “Christ” was coming back any day now, you know, like really really soon. Lol. Anyway, I wish Paul would have told everybody to free their slaves instead of just one guy. That would have made your case a tiny bit more powerful.

    Paul: “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:”

    Yeah, I think I’m beginning to get the picture now. Lol.

  105. #105 Randi Schimnosky
    May 4, 2007

    David Heddle,

    The Roman penal system is a false analogy. Unlike with slavery your god didn’t order the creation of that institution and thus bless it, nor did he seek to destroy it thus confirming his condemnation. Your god created and approved of slavery and there is no rational reason to believe that changed when he hasn’t clearly stated such.

    David, you said “slavery existed, some Christians were slaves, and that reality had to be dealt with. Even more to the point, it was Roman Slavery, so it actually says nothing whatsoever about whether or not Jewish slavery was ended” – you were claming Jewish (and by extension Christian) slavery had ended by the new Testament and that is obviously shown not to be the truth by 1 Timothy 6: 1-2.

    There’s no need to respond to your “arguments” because they aren’t convincing in the slightest. I told you from the very first post I didn’t want to argue with you because I knew you’d call black white and up down and you haven’t disappointed there. The fact of the matter is there is no scripture saying that slavery is wrong and there is plenty of it condoning slavery. Jesus said clearly himself in Matthew 5: 17-18 that the old testament remains in effect, that includes slavery. The case stands perfectly well on that alone.

    You’ve admitted that your not open to considering the possibility that your god does wrong, so its obvious that there is no rational debate to be had with you – your mind’s made up inspite of whatever evidence might be presented to you. You’ve repeatedly demonstrated that in your unjustified denials of the obvious.

  106. #106 David Heddle
    May 4, 2007

    Randi,

    The Roman penal system is a false analogy.

    For once we are in agreement, because it is not an analogy at all, it’s a counter example to your claim. I’ll remind you that you wrote:

    You don’t encourage someone to be an honourable participant in an institution if you think the institution is dishonourable.

    And as a counter-example, not an analogy, I pointed out that Paul was on several occasions an honorable participant in a dishonorable institution. Saying it is a “false analogy” may sound clever, but it is meaningless.

    You’ve admitted that your not open to considering the possibility that your god does wrong,

    That would be valid if we were talking about OT genocide–where I have already admitted that in that case I can do no better that say “I don’t understand it, so I am left with nothing better than God commanded it so it must be good.”

    But we are not arguing that, we are arguing if the bible continues to endorse slavery. And you haven’t, for example, addressed the fact that Paul had the perfect opportunity to show his unambiguous support for slavery when he sent back a runaway, thieving (probably) slave with a plea for his freedom. Does that really sound like an endorsement? Would he not say: here is your slave who stole from you, treat him as the law provides.

    Nor, in your repeated claims along the lines of “and there is no rational reason to believe that changed when he hasn’t clearly stated such.” do you address the other counter example I offered.

    1) Blasphemy was a capital offense under Jewish law.
    2) According to Jesus, the Pharisees committed the worst possible sin, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. (Unlike those bozos in the blasphemy challenge, who did no such thing.)
    3) Jesus did not call for the Pharisees to be executed.

    (Likewise the women caught in adultery.)

    So here are two cases where the bible does not explicitly say: “the death penalty for these offenses is revoked.” Yet from Jesus’ behavior, we infer that it was.

    Likewise, you did not address the proposition, though it may be wrong, that the reason for no such official edict might include that it was understood to be part of Israel’s national law, and Israel ceased to exist. Maybe that’s wrong–but is an argument worth debating. You ignored it, choosing instead to go not further than arguing “heddle you’re an idiot who can’t see the obvious.”

  107. #107 Randi Schimnosky
    May 4, 2007

    David, example or analogy, its the same thing. The roman penal system is an irrelevant “example” because god didn’t create it and bless it and call it good.

    David said “But we are not arguing that, we are arguing if the bible continues to endorse slavery”.

    And if you consider that valid David then by the same token we are not talking about blasphemy, or pharisees or the woman caught in adultery, we’re only talking about slavery. You can’t have it both ways – if you want to make the (absurd) claim that it doesn’t matter that you’ve prejudged all god’s actions to be good then it doesn’t matter about those things either.

    I haven’t been paying much attention to your ramblings about Paul for that reason. If I remember correctly he said to treat the slave as a brother, that’s hardly a condemnation of the institution or a request for freedom – many plantation slave owners claimed to love their slaves as children, same sort of thing, doesn’t mean they had any intentions of letting them go. And of course Paul doesn’t speak for god or Jesus, he was just an imperfect man, so what he said or didn’t say is irrelevant and he didn’t condemn slavery in any event.

    Once again, Jesus said clearly himself in Matthew 5: 17-18 that the old testament remains in effect. Your god created the institution of slavery and no where in the bible does it say that it is no longer permissible. You don’t have a leg to stand on and I’ve heard all your arguments – they are not convincing given the clear blessing and sanctioning of slavery throughout the bible.

  108. #108 tinisoli
    May 4, 2007

    David Heddle wrote: ‘That would be valid if we were talking about OT genocide–where I have already admitted that in that case I can do no better that say “I don’t understand it, so I am left with nothing better than God commanded it so it must be good.”‘

    That last sentence is a perfect example of what is so terrifying about fundamentalism and the magical beliefs on which it is founded. Here we have a literate human being who admits that whatever he doesn’t understand, or whatever he cannot dress up as its exact opposite without feeling like a liar, he will simply ascribe to God’s mysterious plan. And he will respect it and defend it no matter how insane or murderous, and no matter how little evidence is in his favor nor how much is against him. There is literally NOTHING that God could do, nor any words or ideas or commands attributed to him, that David would describe as evil. IT’S ALL GOOD.

    If we keep this in mind, all of this back-and-forth about slavery in the Bible is a total waste of time. All one needs to know about a fundamentalist to accurately forecast where any debate on religion is headed can be found in David’s admission above. Such an approach to sentient existence, in a universe of infinite opportunity for inquiry, is the equivalent of giving yourself a lobotomy.

  109. #109 386sx
    May 4, 2007

    All one needs to know about a fundamentalist to accurately forecast where any debate on religion is headed can be found in David’s admission above.

    Yep. Why would god blame a whole nation for what the individual people inside the nation do, as if the nation were a single person? Well that’s just the way god does things. It’s all goooooooooood.

    3) Jesus did not call for the Pharisees to be executed.

    Yeah, Jesus is just going to throw them in hell forever, that’s all.

  110. #110 splage
    May 7, 2007

    Apparently, my link did not work –

    But Sal ‘cited’ me in his dishonesty fest. I wrote it up here:

    http://all-too-common-dissent.blogspot.com/2007/05/salvador-cordova-cites-me-when-being.html

  111. #111 Raging Bee
    May 7, 2007

    Well, they’ve allowed my posts to actually get posted, but of course, Sal still had absolutely no response to any of them, and another creationist, Bradford, said my claim that ID had produced no peer-reviewed papers was a “factual error” — but offered no subject, title, author, publication or link to prove it. Also, after what appears to be a long diversion to bash Dawkins, the thread is now closed to comments.

    So once again, Cordova has run away from his own assertions.

  112. #112 BWE
    May 8, 2007

    Link to some sick stuff

    It’s a gosh darn cottage industry.

  113. #114 Salvador T. Cordova
    May 8, 2007

    I can’t imagine he did so unintentionally. You simply cannot read his description of the article and the article itself without having the utter dishonesty of his misrepresentation of it hit you in the face. Kiss your credibility goodbye, Sal. This is rank, rank deceitfulness. Tell us again about how evolution undermines morality while you tell lies like this.

    If you are accusing me of suggesting MacCallum is arguing for Darwinism’s irrelevance you are all wrong, Ed.

    The point was to show MacCallum is forced to admit Medical Doctors today find little use for Darwinism. Her article unwittingly demonstrates Egnor’s point.

    I was highlighting the irony of the fact that while MacCallum is saying Darwinism is fundamental to medical science, medical doctors in practice to day find it inessential. Her own article does a good job of refuting the very point she was attempting to make. She unwittingly made and embarrasing admission.

    You totally misunderstood what I was trying to highlight.

  114. #115 Salvador T. Cordova
    May 8, 2007

    Compare, Ed, your mis-reading to how one of the UD readers read my posting and you’ll see you failed to pick up on what I was communicating. I credit Borne for his correct reading of what I wrote:

    borne writes with genius:

    I’m afraid you did not understand in the least what Salvador’s post here is about.

    Perhaps you’re Darwinist prejudice is blinding your discernment of content and purpose?

    You sadly mistake drawing logical conclusions from a pro Darwinist article for mere quote-mining. Salvador is not “falsely interpreting” but drawing logical conclusions from the articles implications – indeed from it’s very existence.

    It is clear that Salvador uses MacCallum’s article to demonstrate exactly what the article implies;(why do Darwinists always fail to see logical implications?) i.e. Darwinism is useless in medicine.

  115. #116 Raging Bee
    May 8, 2007

    Sal: since you refused to respond to any of the points I made in the original TT post, and since you’ve come here to try to keep your credibility alive, would you like to respond to my points here?

    You can start by explaining why you chose to equate my verbal arguments with a particular incident of surgical mutilation of children (an incident of whose specific facts you had to be corrected).

  116. #117 Ed Brayton
    May 8, 2007

    Sal, quoting a UD commenter:

    It is clear that Salvador uses MacCallum’s article to demonstrate exactly what the article implies;(why do Darwinists always fail to see logical implications?) i.e. Darwinism is useless in medicine.

    Sal, this is bullshit and I think you know that. Not only did MacCallum’s article not imply this, it explicitly said the absolute opposite of that. And that is why your distortion is an outright lie. Had you said, “MacCallum thinks that evolution is important to medicine and here’s why she’s wrong”, that would have been honest. But presenting it as an “embarrassing admission” that evolution is irrelevant to medicine when, in reality, the entire article is a set of arguments against the claim that evolution is irrelevant to medicine is incredibly dishonest. If you don’t see that then you truly are hopelessly deluded.

  117. #118 Raging Bee
    May 8, 2007

    Sal: I just reread a bit of Ed’s original post above, and came across this paragraph, which Ed quotes from the MacCallum article:

    The most obvious examples of evolutionary biology’s importance to medical understanding are related to infectious disease [7]. As Jon Laman (Erasmus University, The Netherlands) pointed out at the meeting, the immune system provides the perfect platform to explain the medical relevance of the exquisite evolutionary relationships between pathogens and their hosts. Understanding how virulence evolves, for example, can help predict the potential, sometimes counterintuitive (and controversial) negative consequences of imperfect vaccination [8,9]…

    Clearly, MacCallum is not, as you allege, “forced to admit Medical Doctors today find little use for Darwinism.”

    For a Young-Earth Creationist, you’re surprisingly disdainful of your Creator’s rules of conduct. Is it really so hard to remember that Commandment about not bearing “false witness?” It’s in the same book as your Creation story.

  118. #119 Raging Bee
    May 8, 2007

    Hey Sal, care to explain why the TT post was closed to comments? Guess you and your chums can’t handle being exposed as liars and fools, eh?

    On top of all that, you didn’t have the guts to respond to counter-arguments even in a blog where you can ban them. I notice you vanished from that debate pretty early in the game, then, realizing you STILL weren’t getting away with your usual lies, had to come here to defend yourself.

    Well, now that you’re here, and you know WE won’t ban YOU, you have no excuse to dodge any of the points we’ve made in response to your assertions. Go ahead. We’re waiting…

  119. #120 gwangung
    May 8, 2007

    If you are accusing me of suggesting MacCallum is arguing for Darwinism’s irrelevance you are all wrong, Ed.

    The point was to show MacCallum is forced to admit Medical Doctors today find little use for Darwinism. Her article unwittingly demonstrates Egnor’s point.

    This is a bald-faced lie, given MacCallum’s own words.

    That you continue to lie unashamedly is a disagrace as a person and is a poor witness to the Christianity you claim to hold.

    Deceit and lies are not the fruit you should be proud to claim.

  120. #121 Salvador T. Cordova
    May 8, 2007

    Consider the fictional statement:

    “Phlgiston is essential for chemistry. It’s dissappointment it’s not being taught in chemistry as it’s the most central theory of chemistry”

    Would such a statement, in your mind, be embarrasing admission of phlogiston’s irrelevance to chemistry. You fail to see the there is a comparable situation with MacCallum’s statement.

    The very existence of her editorial refutes the point she was arguing for. It was an unwitting admission of Darwinism’s irrelevance.

    Would it find it more acceptable if instead of “admission” I said, “unwitting admission”.

    I wrote orginially:

    And it turns out, Michael Egnor’s claims are being supported by an uncomfortable admission by Catriona J. MacCallum, the Senior Editor at PLoS Biology.

    would this be better:

    And it turns out, Michael Egnor’s claims are being supported by an uncomfortable (albeit unwitting) admission by Catriona J. MacCallum, the Senior Editor at PLoS Biology.

    I didn’t have to add the qualifier “albeit unwitting” for the benefit of pro-ID UD readers as we’re so used to seeing Darwinists shooting themselves in the foot by arguing how central their ideas are to science, and yet, they have to wage campaigns to persude professionals to include more Darwinism in their curriculums. Don’t you see the irony in that Ed?

    The pro-ID crowd at UD does not have the same reverence for evolutionary biology that you do. We think so ill of evolutionary biology that we veiw most of what Darwinists write as examples of self-incrimination and self-embarrassment. My fans realized I was upholding MacCallum’s article as an example of self-embarrassment and self-incrimination of her field.

    Had you realized that that was the perspective and audience I was writing for, you would not have accused me of lying. Look again at the fictional Phlogiston quote above, and you’ll see that from my perspective. MacCallum was making a similar statement regarding Darwinism [at least in our eyes she was].

    You may not agree with me, but an opinion is not a lie, even if the opinion could be wrong.

    You could of course show why Darwinism is relevant to science by refuting the other essays I provided links for regarding Blyth, Maxwell, and Jerry Coyne. I don’t think however you’ll succeed as Darwinism is not science. You’re greatly mistaken in defending it, but I applaud your valor in defending what you believe is true. But I assert, you are deeply mistaken, and your on the wrong side of debate. Maybe you might consider if you prejudice toward Creationists and ID proponents is clouding your perception of facts. Maybe you’ll come around one day. I hold out hope that you will as I don’t put you in the same category of PZ Myers or Larry Moron.

    Thank you for letting me post my reply.

    regards
    Sal

  121. #122 Salvador T. Cordova
    May 8, 2007

    Consider the fictional statement:

    “Phlgiston is essential for chemistry. It’s dissappointment it’s not being taught in chemistry as it’s the most central theory of chemistry”

    Would such a statement, in your mind, be embarrasing admission of phlogiston’s irrelevance to chemistry. You fail to see the there is a comparable situation with MacCallum’s statement.

    The very existence of her editorial refutes the point she was arguing for. It was an unwitting admission of Darwinism’s irrelevance.

    Would it find it more acceptable if instead of “admission” I said, “unwitting admission”.

    I wrote orginially:

    And it turns out, Michael Egnor’s claims are being supported by an uncomfortable admission by Catriona J. MacCallum, the Senior Editor at PLoS Biology.

    would this be better:

    And it turns out, Michael Egnor’s claims are being supported by an uncomfortable (albeit unwitting) admission by Catriona J. MacCallum, the Senior Editor at PLoS Biology.

    I didn’t have to add the qualifier “albeit unwitting” for the benefit of pro-ID UD readers as we’re so used to seeing Darwinists shooting themselves in the foot by arguing how central their ideas are to science, and yet, they have to wage campaigns to persude professionals to include more Darwinism in their curriculums. Don’t you see the irony in that Ed?

    The pro-ID crowd at UD does not have the same reverence for evolutionary biology that you do. We think so ill of evolutionary biology that we veiw most of what Darwinists write as examples of self-incrimination and self-embarrassment. My fans realized I was upholding MacCallum’s article as an example of self-embarrassment and self-incrimination of her field.

    Had you realized that that was the perspective and audience I was writing for, you would not have accused me of lying. Look again at the fictional Phlogiston quote above, and you’ll see that from my perspective. MacCallum was making a similar statement regarding Darwinism [at least in our eyes she was].

    You may not agree with me, but an opinion is not a lie, even if the opinion could be wrong.

    You could of course show why Darwinism is relevant to science by refuting the other essays I provided links for regarding Blyth, Maxwell, and Jerry Coyne. I don’t think however you’ll succeed as Darwinism is not science. You’re greatly mistaken in defending it, but I applaud your valor in defending what you believe is true. But I assert, you are deeply mistaken, and your on the wrong side of debate. Maybe you might consider if you prejudice toward Creationists and ID proponents is clouding your perception of facts. Maybe you’ll come around one day. I hold out hope that you will as I don’t put you in the same category of PZ Myers or Larry Moron.

    Thank you for letting me post my reply.

    regards
    Sal

  122. #123 franky172
    May 8, 2007

    Would such a statement, in your mind, be embarrasing admission of phlogiston’s irrelevance to chemistry.
    No. It would be an embarrasing admission that the author did not know what chemistry is.

    The very existence of her editorial refutes the point she was arguing for. It was an unwitting admission of Darwinism’s irrelevance.
    I see. So you would agree then that people who say “God is essential for a well-rounded education and morality, it is a shame that God is not taught in grammar schools.” are actually unwittingly admitting that God is irrelevant to education and morality? What an odd conclusion to draw from that statement.

    And it turns out, Michael Egnor’s claims are being supported by an uncomfortable (albeit unwitting) admission by Catriona J. MacCallum, the Senior Editor at PLoS Biology.
    At least this phrasing shows us that your confusion is regarding the actual facts underlying Dr. MacCallum’s claims, and not her claims themselves.

    I didn’t have to add the qualifier “albeit unwitting” for the benefit of pro-ID UD readers as we’re so used to seeing Darwinists shooting themselves in the foot by arguing how central their ideas are to science, and yet, they have to wage campaigns to persude professionals to include more Darwinism in their curriculums. Don’t you see the irony in that Ed?
    I personally do not. For example: IDers constantly argue that ID is central to all of science and you guys have to wage campaigns to get ID taught anywhere. So I suppose this means that ID is actually irrelevant to science? The next time you post an article that argues that ID is central to science and should be taught, will the phrase “Sal Cordova has admitted that ID is irrelevant to science” then be appropriate? Why or why not?

  123. #124 franky172
    May 8, 2007

    Would such a statement, in your mind, be embarrasing admission of phlogiston’s irrelevance to chemistry.
    No. It would be an embarrasing admission that the author did not know what chemistry is.

    The very existence of her editorial refutes the point she was arguing for. It was an unwitting admission of Darwinism’s irrelevance.
    I see. So you would agree then that people who say “God is essential for a well-rounded education and morality, it is a shame that God is not taught in grammar schools.” are actually unwittingly admitting that God is irrelevant to education and morality? What an odd conclusion to draw from that statement.

    And it turns out, Michael Egnor’s claims are being supported by an uncomfortable (albeit unwitting) admission by Catriona J. MacCallum, the Senior Editor at PLoS Biology.
    At least this phrasing shows us that your confusion is regarding the actual facts underlying Dr. MacCallum’s claims, and not her claims themselves.

    I didn’t have to add the qualifier “albeit unwitting” for the benefit of pro-ID UD readers as we’re so used to seeing Darwinists shooting themselves in the foot by arguing how central their ideas are to science, and yet, they have to wage campaigns to persude professionals to include more Darwinism in their curriculums. Don’t you see the irony in that Ed?
    I personally do not. For example: IDers constantly argue that ID is central to all of science and you guys have to wage campaigns to get ID taught anywhere. So I suppose this means that ID is actually irrelevant to science? The next time you post an article that argues that ID is central to science and should be taught, will the phrase “Sal Cordova has admitted that ID is irrelevant to science” then be appropriate? Why or why not?

  124. #125 kehrsam
    May 8, 2007

    Sal: Thanks for the expansion, since I was at a loss following your original statement of the argument. I still happen to think the example is trivial, since evolution is really not implicated in the practice of medicine. Evolution most certainly is implicated in the field of medical research. This is rather like arguing that relativity is in trouble because it is scarcely invoked in Engineering Schools.

    The good news is that science is — over time — a self-correcting field. If evolution really has no clothes, this will be exposed in time. Cheers!

  125. #126 Raging Bee
    May 8, 2007

    The very existence of her editorial refutes the point she was arguing for.

    Even if all her arguments are demonstrably true, and your counter-arguments and misrepresentation have been shown to be transparently false?

    All of your assertions about this article have been shown to be, not merely uninformed, but intentionally false; and now all you can do is pretend that if someone has to say something, the mere fact of his/her saying it proves it must not be true.

    (If the article had never been written, would you take that as proof that evolution is relevant to medicine? Of course not — we all know you would say “No one is saying evolution is relevant to medicine, therefore it isn’t.”)

    We think so ill of evolutionary biology that we veiw most of what Darwinists write as examples of self-incrimination and self-embarrassment.

    So you admit that you and your chums are guided by hatred and not by reason or facts? That’s the most honest thing you’ve ever said.

    …we’re so used to seeing Darwinists shooting themselves in the foot by arguing how central their ideas are to science, and yet, they have to wage campaigns to persude professionals to include more Darwinism in their curriculums. Don’t you see the irony in that Ed?

    We wage such campaigns in response to the lies your chums have been spreading, in the name of a religion that tells its followers not to lie. THAT’S irony.

    You may not agree with me, but an opinion is not a lie, even if the opinion could be wrong.

    Ah, more unintentional honesty slips past the famous Cordova facade: you’re admitting that all you have is an opinion, not actual facts, and you’re further admitting the possibility that your opinion is wrong.

    And yes, a wrong opinion about a factual matter does indeed become a lie if it is repeated after it is proven wrong.

  126. #127 Raging Bee
    May 8, 2007

    Sal, I notice, not only that your arguments are dishonest and easily disproven; but that your very level of discourse has slipped down to a level that can literally be called “childish.” First, you insist that if someone had to go out of their way to prove you wrong, that somehow makes THEM wrong, and makes you relevant (a longer version of “Ha ha, made you look!”); and second, after all your assertions have been shown to be wrong, you fall back on “We’re all entitled to our own opinions.” I remember both of those “argument” tactics well — from grade-school.

    I hope your period of regression is not a long one, and that you get help for whatever trauma caused it. You ARE getting help, aren’t you?

  127. #128 Raging Bee
    May 8, 2007

    You could of course show why Darwinism is relevant to science by refuting the other essays I provided links for regarding Blyth, Maxwell, and Jerry Coyne.

    We’va already shown that evolution is relevant to science; now you’re trying to say we have to show this in a manner of your choosing? Please.

    I don’t think however you’ll succeed as Darwinism is not science.

    We already have succeeded. Do try to keep up, won’t you?

    …I applaud your valor in defending what you believe is true.

    You’d better applaud our valor, since you clearly have none yourself.

    But I assert, you are deeply mistaken, and your on the wrong side of debate.

    You “assert,” but you clearly can’t prove.

    Maybe you might consider if you prejudice toward Creationists and ID proponents is clouding your perception of facts. Maybe you’ll come around one day. I hold out hope that you will as I don’t put you in the same category of PZ Myers or Larry Moron.

    If we’re not in their category, then why do you even mention them? Are you threatening to put us in their category if we don’t stop proving you’re a liar? OMIGOD I’M QUAKING IN MY JACKBOOTS!!! Not.

    Thank you for letting me post my reply.

    As if there was any doubt.

    Were you always such a whiny little suck-up?

  128. #129 Glen Davidson
    May 8, 2007

    I responded to Sal’s further dishonesty in trying to spin his blatant dishonesty, here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/05/lifetime_award_for_sleazy_crea.php#comment-423142

    The crucial facts are in the following paragraph (which is supported by a long quote from Sal’s original dishonest post):

    So now ol’ Slimy wants to claim that MacCallum was admitting that ignorant doctors considered evolution to be irrelevant to medicine. Well that’s not at all what he wrote, he used MacCallum to back up Michael’s egnorant arguments as to “why Darwinism is irrelevant to modern medicine,” stating that “Michael Egnor’s claims are being supported” by MacCallum. Egnor was not claiming that doctors diss evolution, he was claiming that doctors are correct to diss evolution, and MacCallum didn’t in the slightest back up those lies, she refuted them.

    Now I know that it’s easy to see through Sal’s original lies, and the follow-up dishonesty, but I thought it worth documenting how it is dishonest over there on Pharyngula.

    And my sense of how physicians who are practicing medicine find evolution to be useful is in their understanding and ability to provide explanations, as I wrote here:

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/05/why_should_medi.html#comment-173517

    I want to reiterate how it is that Sal was claiming that MacCallum’s article backed up Egnor’s claims, which were that there are good reasons for evolution to be ignored in medicine. Claiming that MacCallum gave any sort of support to Egnor’s stupid claims is an absolute lie, and I showed how it is a lie on the Pharyngula link I gave.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

  129. #130 SteveF
    May 8, 2007

    Clearly there is a distinction between Darwinism not being percieved as relevant for medicine and not especially widely taught in this regard and Darwinism actually being irrelevant to medicine. The article is clearly arguing that evolution is not irrelevant to medicine, yet the opposite case is explicitly presented by Cordova:

    “And it turns out, Michael Egnor’s claims are being supported by an uncomfortable admission by Catriona J. MacCallum, the Senior Editor at PLoS Biology.”

    This couldn’t be a clearer contradition of MacCullum. As it is traditional for people writing English to express themselves by saying what they mean, a plain reading of Cordova’s text would indicate that MacCullum thinks evolution has about as much relevance to medicine as a Young Earth Creationist views on natural science. Or, as Behe would say, if it walks like a duck…..

    This attempt to explain away rank dishonesty is transparent and embarassing.

  130. #131 Ed Brayton
    May 8, 2007

    Sal wrote:

    The very existence of her editorial refutes the point she was arguing for. It was an unwitting admission of Darwinism’s irrelevance.

    Absolute bullshit, Sal. She said that some clinicians and med students don’t think it’s relevant, then gave a list of reasons why they’re wrong. That is an admission of nothing, it is an argument directly against the reality you dishonestly claimed she was “admitting.” This is not a close call, Sal; this is outright lying.

    Maybe you might consider if you prejudice toward Creationists and ID proponents is clouding your perception of facts. Maybe you’ll come around one day. I hold out hope that you will as I don’t put you in the same category of PZ Myers or Larry Moron.

    The one whose perception is clouded here is you, Sal. You got caught flat out lying and you are trying to tap dance around it. Since I’m not one of the folks on my side who has spent years arguing on the message boards at ARN (indeed, I’ve never been there and read them at all) I never really saw first hand just what a dishonest little weasel you could be. Lots of my friends told me about it but I’d never seen it, so I was able to just consider you misguided but honest. It’s the same thing I once thought about Paul Nelson, that while he was wrong he was at least honorable and decent. His ridiculous lie about Keith Miller a few months ago and his refusal to back down from his absurd rationalizations of that lie took him off that list; your ridiculous lie here has removed you from it as well.

  131. #132 gwangung
    May 8, 2007

    The one whose perception is clouded here is you, Sal. You got caught flat out lying and you are trying to tap dance around it.

    Tap dance? More like trying to do a flamenco stomp and Lord of the Dance tromp all at once ON it.

  132. #133 Raging Bee
    May 8, 2007

    Ed: in principle, you have every right to ban Sal “Wormtongue” Cordova from here; he’s been so shamelessly, consistently, and insultingly dishonest as to prove he can’t hold his own in anything resembling honest adult debate.

    In practice, however, I have two objections to your banning him at this time. My admittedly selfish objection is that I had demanded/invited him to respond to points I had made that he had ignored on TT. And my more general objection is that you really don’t have to ban Sal — once his lies are sufficiently exposed, he simply buggers off on his own steam and pretends the argument he lost never took place.

    I really didn’t expect him to rise to any of my little challenges; but banning him only lets him play the persecuted martyr/brave maverick as a means of dodging any questions he can’t answer.

    Oh well, I guess I’ll have to go all Mencia on him at Pharyngula…

  133. #134 Dave L
    May 8, 2007

    I don’t see where Sal was banned, Bee. I think Ed just removed him from the list of people he thought were ‘wrong but at least honorable and decent’.

  134. #135 Ed Brayton
    May 8, 2007

    I’ve not banned Sal from commenting here.

  135. #136 Raging Bee
    May 8, 2007

    Okay, I seem to have misinterpreted the meaning of Ed’s words “removed from that list.” My bad.

    You hear that, Sal? You can still come here and explain yourself. If your Creator gives you the strength to do so, that is…

  136. #137 Raging Bee
    May 9, 2007

    Hmmm…guess the Creator is still resting from that six-day rush-job, and couldn’t spare any strength for his loyal friend Sal…

  137. #138 Sparky
    May 16, 2007

    It seems to me that Sal never said that MacCallum was dissing darwin, but was pointing out MacCallum’s admissions that Doctors were dissing darwin, and that there was good reason for that.

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