If you live in the OKC area, youve got a problem. Sure, you want to go see the TARD parade at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, you can always count on Creationists for a good time. But the problem is, Wells and Meyers are incredibly stupid. While recreational exposure to Creationists Claims can induce euphoria and irrepressible giggles (aka, ‘the lulz‘), long-term exposure to pure TARD from DI fellows can cause seemingly irreversible brain damage.

Good news! September 29th, the museum will be extending their hours! Instead of closing at 5, theyre going to be open from 6 pm to 11 pm– FREE ENTRY!

BONUS! Dr. Stephen Westrop, curator of invertebrate paleontology at the museum, will be giving a FREE lecture on ‘The Cambrian Explosion and the Burgess Shale: No Dilemma for Darwin’ from 5 pm to 5.45 pm:

The Cambrian Explosion was one of the most important episodes in the history of life. Over some 20 to 25 million years, beginning about 543 million years ago, life in the oceans diversified. Today, we find abundant fossils of hard-shelled animals of this age in many parts of the world. The famous Burgess Shale of western Canada formed after the Cambrian Explosion but its unusually preserved fossils give paleontologists a glimpse of a nearly complete Cambrian community. These extraordinary fossils also show the wide range of animals that must have evolved earlier in the Cambrian Period. In this presentation, Westrop takes a look at recent research that gives us a new understanding of this evolutionary “explosion” of ocean life.

The museum’s Paleozoic Gallery showcases the science behind this amazing diversity of life from Earth’s Cambrian Period. Highlights include fossils, models of many of the bizarre animals of the Burgess Shale, and animated features showing how these animals may have moved and hunted.

“We invite everyone interested in an accurate description of how life developed over the last four billion years to come hear Dr. Westrop’s lecture and visit our galleries,” said museum Director Michael A. Mares. “These well-organized and scientifically accurate exhibits illustrate – through real specimens and scientific methods – the fact of evolution by natural selection as first described by Charles Darwin and continually supported by all branches of science ever since that time. Dr. Westrop is recognized internationally as an expert on the Cambrian Period, and his presentation will provide insight into the latest scientific research regarding the impact of this time period on the evolution of life on Earth.”

BONUS #2! Ill be around, completely uninvited, lol, to answer Qs about HIV-1 evolution at the Explore Evolution exhibit! Ill even talk to Johnny Wells about HIV-1 evolution, since he thinks neither of my research topics exists!

So if youd like to laugh at Darwins Dilemma’/Wells/Meyer, there will be plenty of guilt-free science activities to help you get over your TARD hangover! YAY!

Comments

  1. #1 StGJM
    September 18, 2009

    Hey there.
    Will there be an open floor dialogue between you and Wells for the audience? That would be legit.

  2. #2 Optimus Primate
    September 18, 2009

    Please tell me someone is going to be filming this.

  3. #3 ERV
    September 18, 2009

    I think the term ‘dialogue’ would be a bit generous, considering Wells knows as much about HIV-1 as any Average Joe/Jane on the street. He and I couldnt have a dialogue on HIV-1 any more than someone could have a dialogue with me in Russian. I dont speak Russian. Itd all be gobbledygook to me.

    But I certainly wouldnt mind answering specific questions he (or anyone!) has, in the interest of science outreach/education! And if Wells actually agrees to a ‘dialogue’ with me, I wouldnt decline.

  4. #4 Rhology
    September 18, 2009

    Would you be so kind, in your talk, to explain how you make good on your question-begging connection between the presence of ERVs and what actually happened in history?
    Y’all keep avoiding the question over here, and I’d love to see your answer.

  5. #5 StGJM
    September 18, 2009

    Other than being a Mooney and an AIDS denialist, Wells isn’t THAT bad…wait.

  6. #6 The Curmudgeon
    September 18, 2009

    I thought I detected a disturbance in the Force. Abbie, you li’l darlin’, you’ve linked to my humble blog. I love you madly!

  7. #7 Travis
    September 18, 2009

    I really wish I was closer, this is shaping up to be one fun night!

  8. #8 Tommykey
    September 18, 2009

    Y’all keep avoiding the question over here, and I’d love to see your answer.

    Hooray! He’s back!

  9. #9 Aaron
    September 18, 2009

    Should probably get some good anti-apologists / counter-creationist folks on-call for Westrop’s lecture. Is he prepared to deal with burning stupid?

  10. #10 Rhology
    September 18, 2009

    Hooray! Tommykey still refuses to answer simple questions!

  11. #11 Tyler DiPietro
    September 18, 2009

    “Would you be so kind, in your talk, to explain how you make good on your question-begging connection between the presence of ERVs and what actually happened in history?”

    Once again you demonstrate that your understanding of logic and exposition is about as deep as mud. I doubt you even have the foggiest idea what “question-begging” is, given that you used it to assail something that is most assuredly not question-begging.

  12. #12 Beamstalk
    September 18, 2009

    Dammit Abbie, you may force me to try and make it there for this now.

  13. #13 TheSlat
    September 18, 2009

    If only I was a little closer.

    Does TARD stand for something? Because if it is an actual ID catch phrase that would make my day. Given the rights amazing record for picking ironic names for their causes (tea baggers, 2M4M…) I would not be surprised at all.

    I’m going to go with Theists Against Recognizing wisDom.
    (best I could come up with, back to work…)

  14. #14 chris
    September 18, 2009

    Total A-holes Renouncing Darwin?

  15. #15 Lledowyn
    September 18, 2009

    TARD stands for The Argument Regarding Design

  16. #16 Rhology
    September 18, 2009

    OK Tyler, then what’s the connection? What is your evidence that things you see in observation NOW necessarily denote what you say happenED in the past?

  17. #17 BGT
    September 18, 2009

    TARD (from the folks @ AtBC)= Teh Argument Regarding Design

  18. #18 Amplexus
    September 18, 2009

    Some of you here should show up and ask them to name any gene that doesn’t have an apparent evolutionary origin. Ask them to present a single gene that isn’t copied and pasted elements of other genes filling out gene families. Because that’s all there really is. Genes don’t just appear in lineages and all these branching patterns can be independently verified, experimentally and repeatably each time.

    Prediction: they will use the same designer same, exons argument. *sigh* : (

  19. #19 Amplexus
    September 18, 2009

    У нас багато розробок, які доведені до практичного використання і які ми усіляко продаємо за кордон. Нещодавно з Голландії приїздили купувати у нас роботи з біокорозії (це про ті бактерії, що пошкоджують метал). Свого часу продали антибіотик для рослин – фітоспорин. Він “лікує” бавовник від дуже небезпечного захворювання – гомозу. Оскільки у нас бавовник уже не вирощують, ми продали фітоспорин Китаю, ведемо переговори з Єгиптом.

  20. #20 ERV
    September 18, 2009

    (side note: Rho– ERV thinks youre spam, I dunno why. I think I added ‘Rhology’ to the ‘safe’ list, but it might be your email or something, but keep trying and Ill figure it out. Hope this helps your stuff getting caught in mod.)

  21. #21 Tyler DiPietro
    September 18, 2009

    “OK Tyler, then what’s the connection? What is your evidence that things you see in observation NOW necessarily denote what you say happenED in the past?”

    I’m game if you want to argue about the problem of induction, but it’s not “question-begging” to draw inferences from multiple observations. Question-begging is when an analytical deduction (note: not an induction) has its conclusion contained within its premises. Try to bone up on technical details before trying to argue with knowledgeable people, son.

  22. #22 Badger3k
    September 18, 2009

    ERV, Rhology is pretty much spam. I’m not sure what his latest “argument” is, but it sounds like he’s questioning how we know anything happened in the past. I have no clue as to what he is asking, as I’m not that knowledgeable about ERVs. I did have a thought – Rhology, are you an AIDS denialist?

  23. #23 phantomreader42
    September 18, 2009

    Rhology, denying reality @ #16:

    What is your evidence that things you see in observation NOW necessarily denote what you say happenED in the past?

    So, Rhology, I assume if your house is robbed, you would make no effort whatsoever to contact the police, as you think it is impossible to draw any conclusion whatsoever about past events based on the evidence left behind.

    Or do you just PRETEND to think that as an excuse for denying science? Are you stupid or a liar? My money’s on both.

  24. #24 Fallsroad
    September 18, 2009

    Wow! Well done.

    Wish I still lived in Norman.

    Up here in Green Country we get all the crazy with no hope for redemption, so to speak. It’s all crazy, all the time.

  25. #25 Paul Lundgren
    September 18, 2009

    BONUS #3! Abbie has a HAWT new haircut she’ll be showing off. It might even make Dembski’s heart melt! (Ok, I got a little carried away with that one…)

  26. #26 Rhology
    September 18, 2009

    Thanks ERV. It always tells me my msg is flagged for approval but nothing has been eaten so far.

    Life’s so funny – I just ran into Dr Charles Jackson in the parking lot at Homeland in Norman. Talked to him a few minutes.

    #23, phantomreader,

    No, I do value evidence. B/c the Bible lays out a worldview in which evidence is important and makes sense, and b/c humans are made in God’s image, we can properly interp evidence and understand it. I see no reason, otoh, if naturalism is true, to think that evidence is understandable. Further, “I believe in whatever there’s evidence for” is not a sustainable worldview, for the simple reason that it’s not self-justifying. You can’t provide evidence that evidence is a good way to discover truth. Etc.

    Tyler,
    I say “question-begging” b/c when I ask that question, all I get is circular references back to the “obvious fact” that common descent is true. Then when I ask for evidence for CD, I get pointed to ERVs. Etc.
    If I’m not technically right in my labels, fine, I concede that. Now, will you please answer the real question at hand?

    Peace,
    Rhology

  27. #27 Tyler DiPietro
    September 18, 2009

    “I say “question-begging” b/c when I ask that question, all I get is circular references back to the “obvious fact” that common descent is true. Then when I ask for evidence for CD, I get pointed to ERVs. Etc.”

    ERV’s are one of multiple lines that establish the hypothesis of common descent. This has explained to you multiple times, by multiple posters. You simply disregard the explanations by misapplying terminology from logic and exposition 101.

  28. #28 Tyler DiPietro
    September 18, 2009

    “You can’t provide evidence that evidence is a good way to discover truth. Etc.”

    And once again, if you want to argue about the problem of induction, that’s all well and good. But don’t act like the broader issue of whether induction is justified only pertains to the evidence of common ancestry. If one accepts inductive skepticism, then all conclusions obtained via observation are unjustified.

    By the way, that problem can’t be solved simply by postulating that some supernatural beings wants things to be a certain way. That would be assuming your conclusion within your premises, or in other words….begging the question.

  29. #29 386sx
    September 18, 2009

    I believe in whatever there’s evidence for” is not a sustainable worldview, for the simple reason that it’s not self-justifying. You can’t provide evidence that evidence is a good way to discover truth.

    So therefore it’s better to have another different “worldview”, even if it’s false. So long as you don’t have a not self-justifying worldview, then that’s all that matters, even if it means having a false worldview in order to not have a not self-justifying worldview.

    Is that about right? Because if that isn’t what your point is, then your point is completely irrelevent. But yet you keep harping on it. And then people tell you it’s irrelevant. And then you harp on it some more.

  30. #30 vhutchison
    September 19, 2009

    Heh folks, I respectfully respect that you cease feeding the fundamentalist missionary troll Rhology (check his blog). All you are doing is feeding his ego that he is really saying something meaningful or important and the threads he enters go wildly astray. His ‘question begging’ and other supposed philosophical meanderings add almost nothing to the types of discussions herein. I know it often gives pleasure to put down such trolls even though you will NEVER convince them, but we can do better with our efforts. If I am incorrect, forgive me, and continue to feed him. He would be pleased.

  31. #31 Stephen Wells
    September 19, 2009

    I think Rhology’s claim that the Bible provides a consistent world view is even funnier than his claim that evidence isn’t evidence.

  32. #32 Tommykey
    September 19, 2009

    So, Rhology, I assume if your house is robbed, you would make no effort whatsoever to contact the police, as you think it is impossible to draw any conclusion whatsoever about past events based on the evidence left behind.

    Rhology wouldn’t need to call the police, because the person who robbed his home will burn in hell for all eternity after he dies unless he repents of his sins.

  33. #33 Tommykey
    September 19, 2009

    Hooray! Tommykey still refuses to answer simple questions!

    Sorry, I didn’t see that one earlier. Must have gotten held up in moderation.

    Anyway, maybe it’s because you haven’t asked me any questions, simple or otherwise, lately.

  34. #34 Optimus Primate
    September 19, 2009

    Rhology,

    I know as well as everyone else here that you’re a troll, but just for fun I’m going to pretend that you’re not and actually answer your question.

    And you’ll forgive me if it’s a very simple answer, but of all the regular readers here (the ones here to actually learn, that is), I’m almost certainly one of the most ignorant when it comes to virology. But really, all that means is that if I get you, you have no excuse not to get it, except for willful ignorance. So here goes:

    DNA evidence alone does a great job of demonstrating common descent. If it didn’t, paternity tests would be worthless. The more closely related two individuals are, the more closely their DNA resembles one another. That’s why chimpanzee DNA and human DNA is so similar. It’s why gorilla DNA resembles chimp and human DNA a bit less. And so it goes down the line. Elephant DNA and mouse DNA are more similar than either is to dandelion DNA, because they share a more recent ancestor.

    “But wait,” the creationist says, “the DNA of species that resemble one another is simply a result of the fact that god used a similar recipe to make similar creatures.” I don’t mean to caricature; that’s pretty much your argument, right? The DNA of chimps and humans is so similar because god built them out of similar bits, right? That’s what you believe.

    The thing is, you can’t really make such an argument about ERVs. We know how ERVs become part of the genome: reverse transcription into germ cells. The thing is, there’s no selection pressure directing the location at which ERVs are inserted into the genome. So if you see the same ERV at exactly the same place in the genome, it’s very, very safe to assume that there’s a simple reason for such: common descent.

    There are simply too many ERVs and too many locations in which they could be inserted into the genome for it to be a mere coincidence that the exact same ERV ends up at exactly the same spot. Okay, maybe you could write off one or two ERVs being found in the same spot in two different individuals (or species) as mere coincidence. But when you start seeing nested hierarchies, any reasonable person has to step back and recognize how staggeringly improbable any explanation other than common descant really is.

    Especially when those nested hierarchies paint the same family trees as old-school DNA comparison.

    Again, it may not be a good argument, but at least there is a creationist argument for why some species share similar genomes. It may not stand to scrutiny, but at least you could fool a child with the argument that chimps and humans don’t have to be related for us to have similar genomes, because, hey, just look at us! We look so much alike, of course we have similar recipes! You can fool a kid or a bible-thumper with “logic” like that.

    There simply isn’t a creationist argument — not even a bad one — for the nested hierarchy of ERV insertions across the tree of life. And there simply isn’t a creationist argument for why the tree of life we glean from ERV evidence matches the tree of life gleaned from other DNA evidence. Nor is there a creationist argument for why the tree of life gleaned from ERV evidence and other DNA evidence matches the tree of life gleaned from comparative anatomy.

    Unless, that is, you’re willing to posit a prankster god who wanted any reasonable person to look at the evidence and conclude that he had nothing to do with the diversity of life, just for shits.

    I’m not under any delusion that any of this is going to change your mind, but your question has been answered, so either drop your little act or fuck off.

  35. #35 vhutchison
    September 19, 2009

    Optimus Primate: An excellent summary! Wanna bet that the troll will come back with more of his delusions? Although you are still feeding him, the post does serve a more important service to help educate others with that have open minds, and you do it with FACTS.

  36. #36 Stephen Wells
    September 20, 2009

    Hey, remember when Wee Willy Wallace claimed that ERVs always insert in a few predictable locations, and cited a paper showing that they insert at random at any one of thousands of locations? Good times.

  37. #37 Rhology
    September 21, 2009

    Optimus Primate,

    Thank you for at least attempting to make the connection. Thing is, we’ve got two competing explanations – common descent vs God did it. I’m looking for an argument why the former is better than the latter. What I see here, though, is some pretty serious violations of the normal and oft-proclaimed Darwinian scientist principles – we accept what we observe. You haven’t observed common descent. You didn’t observe these ERVs come to be. You don’t have a time machine. What you do have is some pretty big assumptions, and assumptions that are tied to naturalism. On the other hand, the alternative – God created them that way – is obviously a non-naturalistic answer. It’s a theistic, supernaturalistic answer. So I look at your answer and say that you’ve arrived at your conclusion through inconsistent means – you say usually that you accept what you observe, but in fact a great deal of this you haven’t observed. Further, I know naturalism is bunk.
    You look at mine and say “prankster god” and “God doesn’t exist”. Isn’t that where the real question lies? Of course, maybe they’re a coincidence. Maybe God created these genetic sequences in such a way that some ppl look at them with naturalist eyes and see one thing and others with theistic eyes and see another. So doesn’t it come down to whether naturalism is true? (That’s why I keep asking ppl around here, when I comment, for evidence that naturalism is true, given that it has such gaping holes.)

    Now, you said:
    There simply isn’t a creationist argument — not even a bad one — for the nested hierarchy of ERV insertions across the tree of life.

    Um, yes there is. God made them that way. What’s hard about that?
    I’m sure there will be commenters who mock, but who cares about mockery and foul language? Give an ARGUMENT.

    Nor is there a creationist argument for why the tree of life gleaned from ERV evidence and other DNA evidence matches the tree of life gleaned from comparative anatomy.

    B/c you got some of it right and some of it wrong? Again, I don’t see the problem for my side.

    you’re willing to posit a prankster god who wanted any reasonable person to look at the evidence

    That’s just it, though – if you deny that God exists, you’re NOT being reasonable. Naturalism is bunk. Atheism is irrational. Once you come to the facts with those very important truths in mind, the “problem” you’ve posed here goes away. It’s not God’s fault that you look wrongly at the facts and interpret them thru a worldview grid that doesn’t match reality.

    Hope that helps. Thanks for the interaction.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  38. #38 LanceR, JSG
    September 21, 2009

    Naturalism is bunk. Atheism is irrational.

    See, those are called “Bald Assertions”. In a real discussion, those are useless as argument points.

    We *have* observed common descent. To state otherwise is to ignore years of published research on just that.

    You may want to check out the Talk Origins faq before you embarrass yourself further. http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.html

  39. #39 Tyler DiPietro
    September 21, 2009

    “Thank you for at least attempting to make the connection. Thing is, we’ve got two competing explanations – common descent vs God did it. I’m looking for an argument why the former is better than the latter.”

    Then what you’re looking for is minimum description length, the hypothesis that accomplishes maximal compression of the data encoding past observations and predictions of future observations. You may be interested in the discussion going on EvolutionBlog right now, if you can follow it.

  40. #40 Tommykey
    September 21, 2009

    Thing is, we’ve got two competing explanations – common descent vs God did it.

    Actually, the two competing explanations you’ve got are common descent (or more broadly, physical evidence) vs a literal interpretation of the Bible.

    BTW, if I don’t address the issue of ERVs or science in general, it’s because my background is more in history than science. By referring to a discrepancy between the Bible and the available physical evidence created by humans, my aim is to show that if the Bible can’t get early human history right, then I surely can’t trust that it got right the stuff that happened before that.

    The picture that Genesis paints post-Flood (you will have to forgive me for not having the chapter and verse committed to memory) is one of humanity radiating outwards from Mesopotamia after the Tower of Babel story. As such, you would expect that the archeological record would demonstrate the spread of people from the Middle East into Africa through the Sinai peninsula and thence into Egypt and throughout the African continent. But the archeological record in fact shows the reverse, that settlement of the Nile Valley came from the west when the Sahara region dried out.

    Please see here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/07/060720-sahara.html

    We also have eyewitness accounts of the change in climate over time in the Sahara from rock art drawings. In conjunction with the physical evidence of the transition from the wet to the dry phase, the animals depicted in the drawings also change.

    http://www.livius.org/ga-gh/garamantes/garamantes_rock_art.html

    If you want to look at the facts with a “worldview grid” that matches reality, then one must come to the conclusion that the Tower of Babel story does not explain how humanity spread out the way it did and therefore should be considered a myth.

    Best wishes and hope your baby girl is healthy and doing well.

    TK

  41. #41 Reed
    September 21, 2009

    Thing is, we’ve got two competing explanations – common descent vs God did it. I’m looking for an argument why the former is better than the latter.

    No, they aren’t competing explanations, because only one of them explains anything. God, by definition, can do whatever the fuck he wants. All conceivable universes are equally “explained” by “god did it”. Since this doesn’t allow us to determine anything about the universe we actually live in, it doesn’t explain anything.

    Unlike your “Maybe god just made it that way”, common descent makes testable predictions. As it turns out, those predictions are overwhelmingly supported by available evidence.

  42. #42 phantomreader42
    September 22, 2009

    Rhology @ #37:

    we’ve got two competing explanations – common descent vs God did it. I’m looking for an argument why the former is better than the latter.

    The former is supported by evidence. Not only is there no evidence that “God did it”, there is no evidence that any god even exists, much less that it’s YOUR version of god. If you are incapable of understanding why an explanation backed up by evidence is superior to an explanation with no evidence that it actually happened, no evidence that its causative agent even exists, and no rational way to support the attributes you assign to that agent even if the lack of evidence were completely ignored, then you’re either an idiot, or in deep, deep denial. But then, denial is what your cult demands of you, because your beliefs can’t survive any contact with reality.

    More idiocy from Rhology:

    That’s just it, though – if you deny that God exists, you’re NOT being reasonable. Naturalism is bunk. Atheism is irrational.

    And your evidence to support these absurd assertions would be…?

    Oh, yeah, you don’t have any, evidence is against your religion.

    Are you really stupid enough to seriously argue that it is irrational to NOT believe that an all-powerful invisible sky tyrant exists when there is not the slightest speck of evidence that it does? Or are you just throwing out lies and hoping nobody calls you on them?

  43. #43 LanceR, JSG
    September 22, 2009

    Are you really stupid enough to seriously argue that it is irrational to NOT believe that an all-powerful invisible sky tyrant exists when there is not the slightest speck of evidence that it does? Or are you just throwing out lies and hoping nobody calls you on them?

    Yeah, I’m gonna have to go with #2. That’s been his usual pattern, anyway. I suppose it may be a “little from column A, a little from column B”, too.

  44. #44 Joshua White
    September 22, 2009

    He fell back on the old “you have to observe it for it to be science” garbage? I just accidentally a whole facepalm.

    I don’t post here very much, but I have lurked here long enough to see some of you argue with this person WAYYYY past the point of usefulness. I have to assume its for the lulz. He can not have been arguing with evolution supporters this long and avoided seeing a response to the “you have to be able to observe it” crap. It is one of the dumbest arguments I have ever seen.

    There are observations dumb-ass, you just place them in the wrong point of the process. I hope you never have a family member murdered. In order to maintain intellectual honesty you will have to say that you can’t determine who did it, or how it was done, or if it was even a murder because it was in the past and the event can’t be observed. You know with forensics being a science and all.

  45. #45 Stephen Wells
    September 22, 2009

    Rhology now thinks that “an unexplained omnipotent wizard put the genes in exactly the arrangement you’d expect from common descent” is a simpler explanation than “common descent”.

  46. #46 Optimus Primate
    September 22, 2009

    Rhology now thinks that “an unexplained omnipotent wizard put the genes in exactly the arrangement you’d expect from common descent” is a simpler explanation than “common descent”.
    Posted by: Stephen Wells | September 22, 2009 11:01 AM

    Stephen, thank you! That’s exactly the point I was about to make. I think you made it more eloquently, though.

    Rhology, what’s most frustrating about you, I think, is that irony is completely lost on you. You play semantical games and refuse to subject your own beliefs to your own standards.

    You ask for evidence of common descent, and people give you evidence of common descent, which you ignore. You then proclaim that no one has observed anything, but when asked for evidence for special creation, you merely proclaim by fiat that the alternative is ridiculous.

    You say God made them that way. What’s hard about that? The problem with that is that God (if he exists) had no reason to do so, unless he wanted reasonable people to believe he doesn’t exist or had nothing to do with the diversity of life.

    Imagine you come across a dead body with a knife in it. You find fingerprints on the knife. You locate the person to whom those fingerprints belong. He has blood on his hands. The blood matches the victim’s. There was a bloody shoe print at the scene of the crime. It matches the suspect’s. The suspect’s shoe has blood on it. Again, it matches the victim’s.

    My argument is this: it’s reasonable to believe that the suspect did the stabbing and should be put on trial. Your argument is that there’s no way we can have any idea what happened in the past by looking at the present, therefore we must assume that God planted the body, the knife, the fingerprints, the shoeprints, the blood… but no! No, he doesn’t want anyone to believe that there was a murder! That’s just the way he created those two people. And if this whole thing goes to court, we should believe you, not the evidence, because you feel in your heart of hearts that it’s true, and that forensics is flawed and smells poopy.

    If you want people to respect you (which I don’t, and I’m sorry if I gave that impression), stop playing little-boy games with big-boy words.

  47. #47 GIllette
    September 22, 2009

    As someone correctly pointed out earlier, if this Rho is a missionary for Jesus, he is actually sending people screaming for the exits of Christianty.

    If everything he says about science is nonsense, why shouldn’t we assume everything he says about God and Jesus is ALSO rank nonsense?

  48. #48 Rhology
    September 22, 2009

    Hi all,

    What we have going on here is a difference of worldview. You accept naturalism, and on naturalism, you think there’s evidence for CD. I say that’s crap, b/c of all the massive assumptions you have to lay on top of your data to get you there. So that’s one issue.
    I accept Christianity, and on Christianity, my explanation is 100% rational and is the only possible explanation, and there’s no evidence for CD.

    So mainly what we need to do is first find out whether naturalism is true. I’ve asked for evidence that naturalism is true many, many times here and gotten very little in the way of response. But better late than never – go for it!

    “The patient typically finds himself impelled by some deep, inner conviction that something is true, or right, or virtuous: a conviction that doesn’t seem to owe anything to evidence or reason, but which, nevertheless, he feels as totally compelling and convincing. We doctors refer to such a belief as ‘faith’.” –Richard Dawkins

    Now, a few details along those lines.
    #40, Tommykey –
    If the Bible is true, then it’s the Word of God and there is no higher authority, no stronger source of evidence or truth. So geological studies done millennia after the fact shouldn’t hold much water for any thinking person when compared to it.
    There’s the question that that is what the Bible does indeed mean, but I don’t see a good reason to think it’s not expressing a young earth.

    #41, Reed -
    God, by definition, can do whatever the fuck he wants. All conceivable universes are equally “explained” by “god did it”.

    Right on the 1st, wrong on the 2nd. And it’s not my fault that God has revealed Himself to be all powerful and all knowing and the one who decreed everythg that comes to pass. That’s just the way it is; I’d say it’s YOUR problem for denying it.
    But only universes that fit what God has revealed are explained by “God did it”. And this universe just happens to be that one.

    Unlike your “Maybe god just made it that way”, common descent makes testable predictions.

    Sorry, “it’s true b/c it works” isn’t a viable means of determining truth.

    #42, phantomreader42 -
    The former is supported by evidence.

    Like what? What’s your evidence for naturalism?
    And the Christian view is 100% supported by the evidence. The evidence for God is everywhere, b/c He made everything. Just b/c you refuse to accept it b/c you have an a priori commitment to naturalism isn’t my problem. Prove naturalism.

    denial is what your cult demands of you, because your beliefs can’t survive any contact with reality.

    Haha, that’s why I blog the way I blog and engage ppl here and at the Atheist Experience and the Non-Prophets and spend hours talking to CFI people. Sure. Talk about denying evidence! Take a look at my sidebar, at the “Extended and Interesting Convos I’ve Had”.
    Plus, if you want to talk about avoiding contact with reality, look at Professor Hutchison in #30 or Joshua White in #44. They exhibit a far more cult-like mentality than I have. Ever.

    #45, Stephen Wells –
    Rhology now thinks that “an unexplained omnipotent wizard put the genes in exactly the arrangement you’d expect from common descent” is a simpler explanation than “common descent”.

    1) Mockery does not an argument make.
    2) God is plenty explained. The Bible is very long.
    3) It’s so crazy how hands fit into gloves. It’s like hands were made for gloves! A common Darwinian critique of ID is ironically what you’re doing here.

    #46, Optimus Primate –
    You ask for evidence of common descent, and people give you evidence of common descent, which you ignore.

    Didn’t give me any. You gave me some facts that fit your already-formed assumptions, if you look at ‘em just right. Why should I accept your assumptions? That’s why you need to provide evidence for naturalism.

    The problem with that is that God (if he exists) had no reason to do so

    How do you know anything about what God would or wouldn’t have reason to do? Explain yourself.

    dead body

    No one’s arguing that God supernaturally killed the guy. Nor am I arguing that evidence is useless. Next!

    Peace,
    Rhology

  49. #49 phantomreader42
    September 22, 2009

    No, Rhology, you aren’t arguing that evidence is useless. You’re baldly asserting that the very idea of evidence is utterly meaningless!

    You’re saying that, because you believe in god, absolutely everything is evidence not only for god but for your specific version of god. You’re saying that simply believing something magically makes it true (but this only applies to YOUR beliefs). You’re saying that reality is determined by a cosmic prankster and his magic book, and any observations that contradict that are invalid.

    That is pure, unadulterated BULLSHIT!

    You don’t get to just make up your own reality. But that is exactly what presuppositionalism is, making shit up and declaring that whatever you just pulled out your ass is absolute and unquestionable truth, while ignoring evidence to the contrary. You do not live in the real world. To even acknowledge the real world would kill you. All you can do is whine that your delusions are the only truth, and keep denying every fact in the world until the day you die.

  50. #50 Tommykey
    September 22, 2009

    If the Bible is true, then it’s the Word of God and there is no higher authority, no stronger source of evidence or truth.

    Thank you for your reply, Rho.

    But that’s just the thing, “IF the Bible is true…”

    Genesis presents a story about post-human migration after the Tower of Babel incident. I can’t presuppose that it is true. I have to look at it and say, “Well, does the archeological record support it? Let’s take a look and see.” Now, if tangible evidence such as pottery, artwork and other things demonstrate a migration of people from Mesopotamia into Africa, I would have to concede that Genesis is accurate in that regard. But since the evidence available to us tells us the opposite, that human migration went in the other direction, then I cannot accept a literal interpretation of bands of humans running off in different directions from Babel to spread all over the Earth because they could no longer understand each other (with the god imposed linguistic breakdown apparently conveniently breaking down across racial lines as well, what with no black Chinese speakers settling in Scandinavia.)

    As for evidence whether naturalism is true or not, it would probably help if I knew what you think it means before I take a stab at it.

  51. #51 Optimus Primate
    September 22, 2009

    I still haven’t decided if I find this amusing or highly frustrating. Seriously, Rhology, trying to converse with you is like trying to reason with really crude AI. I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but you would fail a Turing Test. You’re completely and utterly incapable of actually holding up one side of a conversation.

    What I was doing with the whole dead body thing is called “analogy.” I’m not saying you’re actually advocating the special creation of a supposed murder scene. It’s one of those whatchacall “metaphors.” Remember those from elementary school?

    On reflection, I think I will keep toying with you. You amuse me for now. I’ll warn you, though: I tend to get bored with your sort of goal-post shifting rather quickly.

  52. #52 Rhology
    September 22, 2009

    Optimus, I haven’t shifted any goalposts. I’m simply asking for evidence for naturalism.
    There are no substantive responses in these last 3, #49-51. Here’s a more direct hint for y’all – please present your evidence for naturalism.
    Hopefully you won’t miss it this time.

  53. #53 Tommykey
    September 22, 2009

    As for evidence whether naturalism is true or not, it would probably help if I knew what you think it means before I take a stab at it.

    Uh, I think you glossed over that part.

  54. #54 Optimus Primate
    September 22, 2009

    Rhology, given your standards for evidence, providing such is easy, but pointless. I’ll just give the same evidence for naturalism you gave for God, how’s about that?

    The evidence for naturalism is everywhere, because natural processes made everything. Just because you refuse to accept it because you have an a priori commitment to spooky magic isn’t my problem. Prove spooky magic.

    There. I’m rubber; you’re glue.

  55. #55 Mobius
    September 22, 2009

    Hey, is anyone from the Tulsa area going down to Norman for this? If so, maybe we can work out sharing expenses.

    If yes, maybe ERV can put us in touch.

  56. #56 ERV
    September 22, 2009

    Oh no, Mobius! You dont want to drive all the way to Norman for these IDiots! I promise, if they do anything lulz-worthy I will repeat it here (or record it on my new iPod nano– 7 hours of video!).

    But I will pass on emails to any interested parties, if you really want to come!

  57. #57 Tyler DiPietro
    September 22, 2009

    Rhology, I really am interested in seeing if you can give a coherent definition of “naturalism”. I’m betting in the negative.

  58. #58 Tommykey
    September 22, 2009

    Rhology, I really am interested in seeing if you can give a coherent definition of “naturalism”. I’m betting in the negative.

    I asked him @ #50 above for his definition of naturalism before I answer his question, and in #52 he lumps me in with those who haven’t presented evidence for naturalism yet.

    Hopefully he won’t miss it this time. ;-)

  59. #59 Mobius
    September 22, 2009

    Oh no, Mobius! You dont want to drive all the way to Norman for these IDiots! I promise, if they do anything lulz-worthy I will repeat it here (or record it on my new iPod nano– 7 hours of video!).

    But I will pass on emails to any interested parties, if you really want to come!

    Posted by: ERV

    I was thinking more of a chance to see the museum for free. Watching the IDiots wasn’t really part of my agenda…though it might be fun to ask a question if they have a Q&A. But sitting through their movie probably wouldn’t be worth it.

  60. #60 Stephen Wells
    September 23, 2009

    Rhology: the Bible is not that long, I’ve read it, God is not explained anywhere in it, and the biblical god is a fictional character. Sorry you wasted your life believing in Santa Claus.

  61. #61 Rhology
    September 23, 2009

    Hi all,

    Sorry I missed the request to define naturalism.
    The IEP is your friend: Naturalism is an approach to philosophical problems that interprets them as tractable through the methods of the empirical sciences or at least, without a distinctively a priori project of theorizing…Naturalism often assigns a key role to the methods and results of the empirical sciences, and sometimes aspires to reductionism and physicalism.

    I’ve been using the most recently-conventional definition, wherein that which is in nature is all that exists. It’s closely tied to physicalism and materialism.

    #54, Optimus Primate –
    The evidence for naturalism is everywhere, because natural processes made everything.

    How do you know that?
    (I know God made everything b/c He revealed Himself. Where did nature do that?)
    What preceded these natural processes? Or is the universe eternal? If so, how do you solve the problem of infinite regress and of the fact that, if the universe were infinite, we’d’ve already entered heat death thru entropy? If it began, how did it begin? What acted to cause it to begin?
    (This is no problem for Christianity, b/c God is immaterial, volitional, and intelligent. He has always been and created all matter and energy.)
    Go for it. You’ve got some work ahead of you.

    #60, Stephen Wells –
    the Bible is not that long, I’ve read it, God is not explained anywhere in it,

    Ah, the famous and well-heeled argument from ignorance, willful or otherwise.
    Gosh, let’s see, there’s only Genesis 1-3, Gen 50, Exodus 3-5, the entire Law of Moses, the first few and last few chapters of Job, virtually the entirety of the Psalms, Ephesians 1-2, the entire Gospel of John, much of Romans, Philippians 2, Isaiah 40-65…ummm, yeah that’s a good start. Let me know if you’d like to know other things about God that weren’t addressed in those excerpts.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  62. #62 Tommykey
    September 23, 2009

    Thank you, Rho. At least now I have a starting point, though I regret I can’t get into it now, as I am at work and have to at least attempt to justify my paycheck.

    Regards,

    TK

  63. #63 phantomreader42
    September 23, 2009

    Rhology @ #61:

    (I know God made everything b/c He revealed Himself. Where did nature do that?)

    Oh, so now you’re citing the sworn testimony of the voices in your head?

    Where did your god “reveal himself” Rhology? When? How? To whom? Under what circumstances? How do we know you’re not hallucinating or just making all this shit up?

    Your standard for “Evidence” is indistinguishable from making shit up, but the instant someone else tries to use that same standard, you whine about some mystical revelation that magically makes the shit YOU make up valid, and everyone else’s made up shit invalid. As usual, you reject the very idea of evidence, in favor of a ridiculous double standard that everyone but you sees right through.

    If you really are hearing voices in your head, that’s not a sign of some deep spiritual connection to the invisible sky fairy. It just means you need psychiatric help. Do yourself and the world a favor, and get that help before you go on a shooting spree or end up wandering the streets aimlessly in shit-stained clothes and a tinfoil hat, babbling about alien conspiracies and Underpants Gnomes.

  64. #64 phantomreader42
    September 23, 2009
  65. #65 dNorrisM
    September 23, 2009

    …you would fail a Turing Test.

    Lots of LOLworthy quotes here, but this is my pick.

  66. #66 DJD
    September 23, 2009

    This is one of those questions I know I shouldn’t bother asking since I’ll likely wind up banging my head into my desk at the answer, but…

    Rhology, even if you were to somehow get everyone here to concede that naturalism is false, how exactly does that invalidate all the evidence supporting evolution?

  67. #67 phantomreader42
    September 23, 2009

    DJD:

    Rhology, even if you were to somehow get everyone here to concede that naturalism is false, how exactly does that invalidate all the evidence supporting evolution?

    Easy. Without naturalism, everyone would have to worship Rhology’s personal interpretation of the magic invisible sky tyrant (no fair mentioning the millions of deities other frauds and madmen have made up throughout history, somehow only Rhology’s version counts). And the will of Rhology’s magic invisible sky tyrant invalidates all evidence everywhere ever!

  68. #68 Rhology
    September 23, 2009

    Hi all,

    #63, phantomreader –

    No, the Bible is not a voice in my head. I’ve never heard God speak or heard a voice in my head.
    God has revealed Himself to the authors of the Bible (as well as others, but who didn’t write or whose books didn’t transmit to modern times), over the course of history. There are numerous good books on the origin of the Bible. I can recommend one if you want.

    My standard for evidence keeps evidence in its proper place. Facts must be interpreted through a worldview. Further, a useful definition for evidence for our purposes would be facts that, when properly interpreted, support one worldview over and against another.
    But the thing is,
    1) no one here has yet offered evidence to support their worldview (except me), and
    2) you in fact barely even understand the challenge.
    I’ll be happy to entertain your evidence for your worldview. Bring it forward, please.
    To help, I’ll give you a hint – start thinking about what is logically impossible about the claim that I make – that these things you reckon to common descent are just as easily cited as evidence for God. What is the logical problem with making that statement?

    #66, DJD –
    Rhology, even if you were to somehow get everyone here to concede that naturalism is false, how exactly does that invalidate all the evidence supporting evolution?

    Keep in mind the definition of evidence I just offered above. What “evidence supporting evolution” do you have in mind that would logically be irreconcilable with the God of the Bible?

    #67, phantomreader42 –
    Without naturalism, everyone would have to worship Rhology’s personal interpretation of the magic invisible sky tyrant (no fair mentioning the millions of deities other frauds and madmen have made up throughout history, somehow only Rhology’s version counts).

    What’s the logical problem with that? “I don’t like it” isn’t a logical problem.

    And the will of Rhology’s magic invisible sky tyrant invalidates all evidence everywhere ever!

    You’re still not understanding. If the God of the Bible is, then everything is evidence for Him. It’s not that He invalidates evidence; all evidence points to Him, and if some little mind like phantomreader42 thinks that he’d prefer to believe in sthg else, that doesn’t change anything. It’s best to understand the other side before assailing it, ph42.

    Cheers!

    Peace,
    Rhology

  69. #69 phantomreader42
    September 23, 2009

    rhology, celebrating his total lack of self-awareness:

    “I don’t like it” isn’t a logical problem.

    But “I don’t like it” is YOUR entire reason for rejecting every other religion besides your own. You think your imaginary friend revealed himself to a bunch of dead guys who didn’t even know the world was round, and you expect people to take that seriously, but you yourself refuse to take other claimed “revelations” seriously. You worship one mistranslated book of mythology, but disdain all others. You don’t take holy texts of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Scientology, Mormonism, or Greek or Norse mythology at their word, for entirely arbitrary reasons, but you declare that the holy text of YOUR cult is the magical source of all truth, for equally arbitrary reasons.

    Rhology makes a circular argument so deep he can never stop running up his own ass:

    If the God of the Bible is, then everything is evidence for Him.

    Again, you have utterly failed to substantiate the existence of the god of the bible from any source other than the bible. What you’re saying is, “if the bible were true, then god would exists, and he would make everything in the bible true if he existed, so obviously the bible must be true, so god must exist, because if god existed the bible would be true and if the bible were true then god would exist.” If you really can’t see any problem with this, then you just don’t live in the real world. But then, we knew that already.

  70. #70 Tyler DiPietro
    September 23, 2009

    I asked you to give a coherent definition of naturalism, Rho, and instead you gave two. At least you indicated which one you were actually using (I think).

    So assuming the definition of naturalism you’re actually using is “nature is all that exists”, you still haven’t explained how the inductive conclusion of common descent based on the evidence is dependent upon such a notion.

  71. #71 phantomreader42
    September 23, 2009

    Rhology, you want evidence that “nature is all that exists”? Of course, we all know you’ll whine and apply your idiotic double standards to hide from it, but here goes.

    Nature exists. This is obvious from any observations of the real world, and your determination to deny it makes no difference.

    Nothing beyond nature has ever been conclusively demonstrated to exist. Many people claim to have seen supernatural things, but their claims are mutually exclusive, their stories disagree so profoundly that it is obvious that they cannot all be right, and as none of them have objectively verifiable evidence to support their claims, they can safely be assumed to all be wrong.

    Therefore, either there is nothing beyond nature, or whatever there is beyond nature is so totally irrelevant as to have no effect whatsoever on anything at all.

  72. #72 Optimus Primate
    September 23, 2009

    I love that Rhology says, “Just b/c you refuse to accept it b/c you have an a priori commitment to naturalism isn’t my problem,” and then defines naturalism as “an approach to philosophical problems that interprets them as tractable through the methods of the empirical sciences or at least, without a distinctively a priori project of theorizing.” (Whatever the fuck that last bit of mangled English means.)

    Am I missing something, or is that a new low for Rho?

  73. #73 Reed
    September 23, 2009

    Right on the 1st [god can do anything], wrong on the 2nd [all possible universes are equally "explained" by god].

    Epic fail.

    By acknowledging that your god can do whatever the fuck he wants, you’ve admitted there is no evidence which we could perceive that your god couldn’t create. Since “god did it” is equally compatible any observation, it is indistinguishable from last Tuesdayism, and just as useful. Even if it could be “true” in some sense, it would be completely irrelevant to understanding the observable world.

    The fact that you choose to believe a book which says it’s own contents are true is completely irrelevant. However, I do invite you to explain why your revelation is more believable than the revelation of hank.

    Sorry, “it’s true b/c it works” isn’t a viable means of determining truth.

    That’s rich, considering your alternative is “it’s true cuz teh bible sez so!!!”

    I agree we don’t have any a priori reason to believe that methodological naturalism is correct (that’s why it’s methodological!) One can make a good argument that it is the only rational way to investigate the universe, but it’s usefulness depends on to what degree the universe is consistent. The fact that it turns out to be spectacularly successful suggests* that the universe is reasonably consistent. Science doesn’t need absolute truth, “it works” is good enough to keep moving forward until something better is found.

    You say “naturalism is bunk”, but it is objectively a better way to make predictions about the universe than appeals to ancient superstition. Naturalism gives us vaccines and cars and airplanes and space ships. “god did it” doesn’t give us shit.

    * This appearance could all be supernatural slight of hand, e.g. last Tuesdayism again or your “maybe god just made it look like ERVs form a nested hierarchy that looks like the ones obtained by other evidence, just cuz I sez so!”, but it should be obvious these ideas don’t add anything to our understanding.

    ERV: If you want us to stop nomming the troll, just say the word.

  74. #74 DJD
    September 23, 2009

    Rhology:

    Facts must be interpreted through a worldview. Further, a useful definition for evidence for our purposes would be facts that, when properly interpreted, support one worldview over and against another.

    Um… did you notice the contradiction in there? If facts have to be interpereted through a worldview, they can’t be used as evidence for that worldview. And if facts are evidence of a worldview, they don’t need to be interpereted by the worldview they support.

    And even if you say “everything is evidence for God”, then all that means is “evolution is evidence for God”

    Why do you deny God?

  75. #75 Tyler DiPietro
    September 23, 2009

    “Sorry, “it’s true b/c it works” isn’t a viable means of determining truth.”

    Uh…yeah it is, the fact that something “works” is predicated on it having some correspondence to reality. Even deduction with purely monotonic consequence relations relies on antecedence/consequence relations that can be said to “work” in some way.

  76. #76 titmouse
    September 23, 2009

    Rho,

    What evidence might convince you that the Bible is not the word of God?

  77. #77 Stephen Wells
    September 24, 2009

    Rhology, I have read the entire Bible. Repeatedly. And nowhere does it _explain_ anything about its god. It makes various claims about his actions and emotional states, which are no more plausible than, say, the Iliad; but nowhere does it actually specify what a “god” is, what the origins of a “god” are, or how a “god” does what it supposedly does. Genesis just kicks off with this magician making stuff by magic. It’s a fairy story, not a world view.

    Your claim that “God revealed himself to the authors of the Bible” is utterly unevidenced. God actually revealed himself only and uniquely to Nigella Lawson in the form of a really great recipe for roast potatoes.

  78. #78 Rhology
    September 24, 2009

    #69, ph42 –

    But “I don’t like it” is YOUR entire reason for rejecting every other religion besides your own.

    How would you know that? You’ve never asked me.
    Just FYI, I reject other religions for the same reason I reject naturalism – they’re internally inconsistent, so I never even have to ask the question whether they correctly represent reality.

    #70, Tyler DiPietro –
    If you read them with a little care, you’ll see that they’re the same. My paraphrase is meant to summarise.

    you still haven’t explained how the inductive conclusion of common descent based on the evidence is dependent upon such a notion.

    I don’t see what’s so hard about this. Let me repeat myself from above.
    Thing is, we’ve got two competing explanations – common descent vs God did it. I’m looking for an argument why the former is better than the latter. What I see here, though, is some pretty serious violations of the normal and oft-proclaimed Darwinian scientist principles – we accept what we observe. You haven’t observed common descent. You didn’t observe these ERVs come to be. You don’t have a time machine. What you do have is some pretty big assumptions, and assumptions that are tied to naturalism. On the other hand, the alternative – God created them that way – is obviously a non-naturalistic answer. It’s a theistic, supernaturalistic answer. So I look at your answer and say that you’ve arrived at your conclusion through inconsistent means – you say usually that you accept what you observe, but in fact a great deal of this you haven’t observed.

    #71, ph42 –
    Nature exists. This is obvious from any observations of the real world, and your determination to deny it makes no difference.

    1) I don’t deny nature exists. Your foaming hatred of anything Christian is getting in the way of your reason. Seriously, take a deep breath, go for a jog, have a glass of wine or sthg, then come back and let’s talk.
    2) How do you know your cognitive faculties are reliably aimed at producing true thoughts, if nature is all there is? If you’re a bunch of chemical reactions, much like a shaken-up can of Coke? An animal evolved from a lower primate? A bag of molecules in motion? What’s special about the human brain?

    Nothing beyond nature has ever been conclusively demonstrated to exist.

    Demonstrated by what means? What means do you accept to demonstrate things exist?

    Many people claim to have seen supernatural things, but their claims are mutually exclusive

    You do realise that mutually exclusive claims do not necessarily mean that both are wrong, but simply that both can’t be right?

    #72, Optimus –
    love that Rhology says, “Just b/c you refuse to accept it b/c you have an a priori commitment to naturalism isn’t my problem,” and then defines naturalism as “an approach to philosophical problems that interprets them as tractable through the methods of the empirical sciences or at least, without a distinctively a priori project of theorizing.” (Whatever that last bit of mangled English means.)

    1) The “mangled English” is from a philosophy encyclo, in case you can’t see hyperlinks.
    2) And I’d fully expect an entry like that to be EXPRESSING a view, not pointing out its obvious weaknesses. This is in fact a problem for YOU and also illustrative of the kind of reductionistic thinking in which you engage. Naturalists, who say that only the natural exists, make a big deal out of demanding evidence for all questions. And yet what they never stop to think about (and which I’m trying to help you see) is that there’s no way to get evidence that evidence is a good way to discover truth, beyond circular inductive “well, it’s always worked for us!”-es.

    #73, Reed -
    By acknowledging that your god can do whatever the fuck he wants, you’ve admitted there is no evidence which we could perceive that your god couldn’t create.

    Correct. It is in fact my position that the God of the Bible created everything. It is perfectly distinguishable from last Tuesdayism b/c lT-ism is absurd; if God is lying to us, then we have no way to discover truth. About anything.
    It’s very helpful in understanding our world. Even if I granted that it doesn’t say anythg about science (which I don’t grant), there’s far more to real life than science, and the Bible has tons to say about the human condition, society, morality, love and hate, good and bad, etc.

    I do invite you to explain why your revelation is more believable than the revelation of hank.

    How does the philosophy of hank account for the existence of the universe and of the laws of logic?

    You say “naturalism is bunk”, but it is objectively a better way to make predictions about the universe than appeals to ancient superstition.

    Not if it’s false.

    Naturalism gives us vaccines and cars and airplanes and space ships. “god did it” doesn’t give us shit.

    No, scientific endeavor and study gave you those good things, and while naturalism cannot solve the problem of induction or justify the operation of physical laws into the future, Christianity does both. God holds the world and physical laws in the state they’re in now, reliably and consistently so that things like airplane flight, ships’ buoyancy, and vaccines work. How does naturalism ensure that those will be reliable one second from now? (Hint – it doesn’t.)

    #74, DJD -
    If facts have to be interpereted through a worldview, they can’t be used as evidence for that worldview.

    Good question, but hopefully you’ve been paying attention when I’ve more than once referred to seeking internal consistency in worldviews.

    even if you say “everything is evidence for God”, then all that means is “evolution is evidence for God”

    You have no evidence that evolution occurred in the way you say it did. You can’t observe it. Your own ppl say the fossil record is useless in determining that question (and Gee’s argument is sound). Further, God has told us how it went down; I see no reason to trust your pitiful “evidence” that begs the question for naturalism.

    #75, Tyler DiPietro,
    yeah it is, the fact that something “works” is predicated on it having some correspondence to reality.

    I call assumption.
    1) Science has gotten many things wrong when it thought to have nailed the cause for some event. Only to discover later it had it wrong.
    2) If Joe Caveman runs away from a tiger, it could be from any number of reasons. Sure, it serves to keep him alive, but maybe he thought he was playing hide-and-seek with it. Or he wanted it to give him money, and he believes that the tiger will give it to him if he runs away from it at full speed and climbs a tree. The list could go on and on for these conceivable defeaters for this idea.

    #77, Stephen Wells -
    You read the whole Bible, that’s nice. I told you exactly where to read; if you miss it AGAIN, that’s no one’s fault but yours.

    but nowhere does it actually specify what a “god” is, what the origins of a “god” are, or how a “god” does what it supposedly does.

    1) John 4:24, and all those other psgs.
    2) God has no origin. He has always been. Isaiah 40-44.
    3) He does it supernaturally. That’s all throughout the Bible. Colossians 1.
    Seriously, if you’re gonna argue, don’t use this willful ignorance. Who are you trying to impress?

    Peace,
    Rhology

  79. #79 LanceR, JSG
    September 24, 2009

    Rhology, I’ve said it before, and I was hoping to avoid having to say it again…

    You’re a dishonest liar.

    We have observed common descent. We have observed evolution. We have observed speciation. You keep repeating that we have not, and it’s just not true.

    “Your character flaws do not constitute a philosophy.”
    -S. Adams

  80. #80 Stephen Wells
    September 24, 2009

    Rhology, those are not explanations. They are _claims_. You are still stuck at “magician did it by magic”. It’s not an answer. The fact that _you don’t know what an explanation is_ is mildly amusing, but not a philosophical position.

  81. #81 eddie
    September 24, 2009

    Why should rhology, who’s too cowardly to take his nonsense to a more relevant forum, such as pharyngula, be allowed to continue stupiding all over what he seems to see as a softer target? Is he here as sal’s byatch?
    Not that the smackdown he’s getting here is less comprehensive.just that the fun might be spread around more.

  82. #82 phantomreader42
    September 24, 2009

    rhology criticizing me for making reasonable assumptions:

    How would you know that? You’ve never asked me.

    rhology, in the very same post declaring his magical ability to read my mind:

    Your foaming hatred of anything Christian is getting in the way of your reason

    So, in your delusional mind, *I’M* not allowed to speculate on your reasons for rejecting every cult other than your own, but *YOU’RE* allowed to just make shit up about *ME*.

    Now, doesn’t a blatant double standard like that make your worldview “internally inconsistent”? Or does babby jeebus magically make the inconsistency go away?

    Of course, everyone here knows you don’t really give a flying fuck about “internal consistency”. You’re just a lying sack of shit grasping frantically at any straw you can find to prop up your bullshit cult.

    rhology the “consistent”:

    Just FYI, I reject other religions for the same reason I reject naturalism – they’re internally inconsistent, so I never even have to ask the question whether they correctly represent reality.

    OH, so you reject all other religions because they’re “internally inconsistent,” unlike your cult’s myth of a cosmic jewish zombie who was his own father, who promises to make you immortal if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that’s only there because a rib-woman ate a magic fruit at the behest of a talking snake. Oh, and the zombie said, two thousand years ago, that the world would end within the lifetime of his audience, but it didn’t. And his mini-zombie uprising was attended by one woman or three women or an unspecified number of people or no one at all depending on which mutually contradictory account you read. And the zombie’s daddy (who’s also the zombie, but somehow also isn’t) said not to kill people, but ordered genocide repeatedly and once drowned damn near every living thing on the planet. Yeah, great example of internal consistency. But we all knew you didn’t actually care about that at all, it’s just something you can whine about to pretend your absurd cult isn’t quite as absurd as an arab riding into the sky on a magic horse or some guy translating golden plates that no one’s allowed to see with a magic rock in a hat, or a galactic overlord blowing up criminals with nukular weapons in volcanos, or a flying monster made of pasta.

    But the real key in that quote is that you just don’t care whether an explanation of reality is actually consistent with observed reality. No religion is, not even yours. But that doesn’t matter to you, you only pretend it does. What really matters to you is to find some way, any way, that you can pretend for one more day that your cult’s bullshit actually makes sense. Your faith is too weak to survive reality, so you have to twist and pervert and distort and lie.

    Of course, I am under no illusion that any of this will actually breach the wall of delusions you have erected around your mind. You are simply unreachable. Reality does not exist for you.

  83. #83 phantomreader42
    September 24, 2009

    rhology’s presuppositionalist bullshit:

    How do you know your cognitive faculties are reliably aimed at producing true thoughts, if nature is all there is? If you’re a bunch of chemical reactions, much like a shaken-up can of Coke? An animal evolved from a lower primate? A bag of molecules in motion? What’s special about the human brain?

    Ah, I see it now. Rhology worships Alvin Plantinga!

    Rhology, are you really so stupid as to think that, without a magic man in the sky to somehow make brains work by magic, people would be equally likely to believe that fire is hot, and that it’s cold?

    If Joe Caveman runs away from a tiger, it could be from any number of reasons. Sure, it serves to keep him alive, but maybe he thought he was playing hide-and-seek with it. Or he wanted it to give him money, and he believes that the tiger will give it to him if he runs away from it at full speed and climbs a tree. The list could go on and on for these conceivable defeaters for this idea.

    Yep, you ARE that stupid.

    Seriously, this is bullshit, complete and utter idiocy pulled out of your ass (or Plantinga’s ass). You’re just trying desperately to imagine up the most absurd shit you can, and use it as mortar to reinforce the walls of delusion you use to keep out icky icky facts.

    And here’s another question that I’m sure you’re too much of a coward to answer. If, as you claim, brains don’t actually work and all knowledge has to be put in place by your magic invisible friend, how do *YOU* know that *YOUR* cognitive faculties are reliably aimed at producing true thoughts? How do you know this god of yours isn’t making you believe ridiculous bullshit just for laughs? I mean, this is the same being that used to love the smell of burnt sacrifices and thought turning rivers to blood was a fun thing to do. What possible reason would you have to trust it?

  84. #84 Optimus Primate
    September 24, 2009

    1) The “mangled English” is from a philosophy encyclo, in case you can’t see hyperlinks.

    Umm, yeah, I was aware of the source. It’s still mangled English. The fact that it comes from a philosophy encyclopedia doesn’t make it well written. In fact, the opposite is almost always true.

    But this is a beautiful example of your sort of thinking. You’re making an appeal to authority, which is really the only sort of argument you’ve ever demonstrated an ability to make, whether the subject is the diversity of life or the nature of morality. If there’s not an authority to appeal to, you struggle and gasp like someone drowning in a sea of scary ambiguity.

    Appeals to authority don’t work with me. Sorry. I don’t care who wrote it, the sentence I quoted is poorly written.

  85. #85 Rhology
    September 24, 2009

    Wow, phantomreader42 has taken ERV’s combox to a new low. Only a few things worth replying to in this rant. First, yes, I like Plantinga. And no, I wouldn’t recommend going to PZ Myers for tips on good philosophy, especially given how badly he’s whiffed on Plantinga’s point in this article.

    Anyway,
    If, as you claim, brains don’t actually work and all knowledge has to be put in place by your magic invisible friend

    That’s not my claim. ON NATURALISM, I don’t see why I should think that human cognitive faculties are reliably aimed at producing true beliefs. Myers failed. Why don’t you give the question a shot? Or you could just keep slinging obscenities; whatever.
    Of course, I *do* think that our cognitive faculties are generally reliably aimed at producing true beliefs, b/c we’re made in the image of God. God has communicated some of His attributes to us. But you don’t think that, so I want to know how you account for intelligibility.

    how do *YOU* know that *YOUR* cognitive faculties are reliably aimed at producing true thoughts?

    B/c of the impossibility of the contrary. God is and has spoken; that’s my fundamental axiom. And everything I know flows from that. Deny it and we face the morass of absurdity in which you find yourself.

    I mean, this is the same being that used to love the smell of burnt sacrifices and thought turning rivers to blood was a fun thing to do.

    Do you have a problem with that on some moral level? Or do you just think it’s silly? Why should I agree that it’s silly? What standard for silliness are you using? Or are you just trying to pull some kind of one-man authority act?

    #84, Optimus –

    I just cited the IEP to be helpful. Guess I learned my lesson about trying to help ppl around here.
    The argument, OP. Answer the argument. You know, what you’re always telling IDiots. I’m asking you to actually deal with an argument. Get to it.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  86. #86 Prometheus
    September 24, 2009

    Rho has declared victory over you all at his blog.

    Since it is written by Rho and Rho is inspired by God, it must be true in a much better than empirical evidence “worldview grid” sort of fashion.

    Hail Rho! Master of post modern Christian apologetics and buggerer of the infidel, long may you wave.

    Surely his conquest will be the subject of song around the rice crispies squares the wife whipped up for adult couples round robin Bible discussion group.

    HUZZAH!

  87. #87 Prometheus
    September 24, 2009

    P.S. “The Morass of Absurdity: In which you find yourself.” is now the title of a love song I am writing in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan or the title of a self help book about puberty (one of these…..I haven’t decided yet…feel free to vote).

    .

  88. #88 LanceR, JSG
    September 24, 2009

    So, RhoBot, when are you going to face MY argument?

    In short, you are a liar. You deny the evidence people have placed in front of you. You lie like a cheap rug. You wouldn’t know truth if it jumped up and bit you on the nose.

    Your morals are pinin’ for the fjords, if ya know what I mean.

  89. #89 Eric Saveau
    September 24, 2009

    The argument, OP. Answer the argument. You know, what you’re always telling IDiots. I’m asking you to actually deal with an argument. Get to it.

    What argument? Nowhere in any of this has RhoBot made anything even vaguely resembling an argument. He’s thrown out a lot of assertions and declarations (at sharp right angles to reality) but never an argument to be had. He’s David Mabus without the death threats.

  90. #90 Cubist
    September 24, 2009

    sez rhology: “God has told us how it went down…”
    He certainly has, Rho. In particular, God has told us that He, himself, was not *directly* involved with creating life, because He *delegated* that job to mindless natural forces.
    “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” — Gen 1:11
    “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” — Gen. 1:20
    “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.” — Gen. 1:24
    It’s there in black and white: “Let the Earth bring forth”… “Let the waters bring forth”… “Let the earth bring forth” again. Natural forces done it, Rho. And that means God *used* evolution.
    Why do you deny the Word of God, Rho?

  91. #91 Reed
    September 24, 2009

    What a delusional kook.

    How does the philosophy of hank account for the existence of the universe and of the laws of logic?

    Exactly the same way you do. By “nah nah nah nah my book sez so!!!!11111111″

    Hanks letter is true. Item #5 says Hank dictated the letter himself, and Item #7 says everything Hank says is right!

    No, scientific endeavor and study gave you those good things

    Epic fail. Hint: what’s the scientific method based on ?

  92. #92 Tyler DiPietro
    September 24, 2009

    “Science has gotten many things wrong when it thought to have nailed the cause for some event. Only to discover later it had it wrong.”

    That’s why I mentioned monotonic consequence relations. In the real world we use consequence relations that are not monotonic but are nonetheless justified tentatively. You’re not up on your formal logic. Might I suggest some reading on defeasible reasoning?

  93. #93 DJD
    September 24, 2009

    Rhology:

    I’m tardy in responding as I was pretty busy today. Apologies.

    I pointed out a contradiction in your stand on facts and you responded with:

    Good question, but hopefully you’ve been paying attention when I’ve more than once referred to seeking internal consistency in worldviews.

    But you didn’t answer the question. And you need to answer the question if you want to convince me you have a consistent worldview.

    It’s either:
    a) facts provide evidence for a particular worldview
    or
    b) the meaning of facts is dependent on one’s current worldview

    It can’t be both.

    You might claim that what I quoted above answered the question as “a”. However, I have also seen you claim that evolution proponents see evidence for evolution because of their worldview, whereas you deny evolution because of your worldview. In other words you believe “b”.

    So I don’t know where you stand. Please answer the question “a” or “b”. If you can’t answer the question, you can’t claim to have a consistent worldview.

  94. #94 phantomreader42
    September 25, 2009

    It’s actually quite simple, DJD. Rhology believes “a” when it is convenient for him to do so. When “a” ceases to be convenient, he switches to “b”. When “b” in turn becomes inconvenient, he switches back to “a”. If both are simultaneously inconvenient, he throws up a smokescreen to hide his frantic lying.

    In the final analysis, rhology doesn’t really believe anything except that the magic man in the sky wants him to keep spewing the same bullshit, and will reward him for it by letting him watch everyone who dares call him on his lies tortured without end. The very concept of honest, like the very concept of evidence, is alien to him.

  95. #95 Oakes
    September 25, 2009

    Dearest Rhology,

    What does “internal consistency” have to do with truth, and how can we prove that anything that is “internally consistent” is true?

    I’m a writer by trade, so I can think up lots of scenarios that are “internally consistent” but still impossible in the real world. Have you ever read/seen any fantasy or sci-fi novels/movies?

    Shit, “Star Wars” is “internally consistent,” but that doesn’t mean I can use the Force to wash the dishes or walk the dog. Believe me, I would if I could.

  96. #96 Stephen Wells
    September 25, 2009

    Rhology’s attempt to use Plantinga’s attempt to claim that naturalism doesn’t necessarily lead to truth has amusing consequences. Firstly, since the example concedes that under naturalism people can _accurately perceive the existence and location of tigers_, it’s already given away the farm. Secondly, the example concedes that _beliefs which entail that you don’t need to run away from tigers are selected against_, which nicely illustrates a scientific point about falsification: you may never know if you were _right_, but sometimes you can find out you were wrong in short order. Thirdly, all the example shows in the end is that _naturalistic beliefs about hard-to-observe things like a mental or emotional state might be wrong_. And we know from experience that our beliefs about hard-to-observe things like other people’s mental or emotional states are sometimes wrong. Therefore naturalism is correct, and presuppositionalism with Big Sky Daddy putting correct knowledge into our heads is not correct. Ho ho.

  97. #97 Dr Funkenstein
    September 25, 2009

    To be fair to Rhology, Plantinga’s argument is actually quite clever in parts (I think some of the examples Plantinga uses to illustrate his points are actually supposed to be slightly tongue in cheek, but I’m sure people could think of more realistic ones if they prefer).

    Where it falls down for me is the fact that most of the same criticisms could be applied to Christianity:

    It affirms the existence of sin, which is notorious for leading people to faulty conclusions/beliefs

    It affirms the existence of the devil and various other evil supernatural agents that frequently attempt to mislead or trick us (believers and non-believers alike) – how could anyone trust anything they believed these sorts of beings could be active at any time?

    The particular variant of Christianity Rhology subscribes to believes in an elect chosen by God and the rest of us he’ll quite happily lie to, torment and mislead, so we really couldn’t trust anything if he (God) existed – of course, proving that your name is actually on the list is a bit trickier than doing the same thing to get into the VIP section of a fancy nightclub.

    As for the presuppositionalism nonsense, which trumpets internal coherency as proof of a given worldview (despite the fact internal consistency is not the same thing as truth) and tries to claim Christianity is the only one that stands up to scrutiny (usually based on some absurdly subjective and biased set of rules for what counts as consistent or inconsistent for Christianity vs anything else), it doesn’t take long to find a ton of internal inconsistencies in the presuppositionalist literature.

    I’ll give a few examples to save everyone unfamiliar with this the bother of wading through that crap:

    it claims that the only worldview that can account for the eg uniformity of nature, or laws of logic such as the Law of Identity is Christianity. Yet its most famous proponent Cornelius van Til says:

    God may at any time take one fact and set it into a new relation to created law. That is, there is no inherent reason in the facts or laws why this should not be done. It is this sort of conception of the relation of facts and laws, of the temporal one and many, embedded as it is in the idea of God in which we profess to believe, that we need in order to make room for miracles. And miracles are at the heart of the Christian position. (Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith, p. 27) (emphases mine)

    Of course, unless you were omniscient, you’d have no way of knowing when any given fact about the world was about to change since it can apparently happen at any time without warning (seeing as God doesn’t need to wait for the nod from any of his followers before taking action as affirmed by the bible in Psalms 115:3).

    Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.

    and therefore there is no justification in believing that nature is uniform, or that A=A if Christianity is true. It’s also a problem for anyone advocating Plantinga’s argument, given that you couldn’t trust anything you believed if God could just suddenly rearrange the neurones in your brain at any time into ‘new relation to created law’ resulting in you believing any old thing whether its true or not.

    Or you can take the idea that Jesus was all God and all man at the same time – although how one can be both mortal (man) and immortal (God) at the same time with running into a contradiction is anyone’s guess.

    Of course, don’t expect any acknowledgment any time soon that the above sort of thing invalidates the presuppositionalist worldview…

  98. #98 Tommykey
    September 25, 2009

    Shit, “Star Wars” is “internally consistent,” but that doesn’t mean I can use the Force to wash the dishes or walk the dog.

    Actually, “Star Wars” is not internally consistent. Before Darth Vader even meets Luke Skywalker, he senses that the Force is strong in Luke just by tailing him in the trench of the Death Star, and yet Darth Vader knows Princess Leia personally and gives no indication that (1) he senses the Force in her, and (2) she is his daughter.

    Personally, I think Lucas botched the whole saga in “Return of the Jedi” and then drove it into the ground with the 3 prequels. I felt like such a sucker after having paid to see “The Phantom Menace” in the theater that I resolved never to pay to see any future films in the series in the theaters. Then I rented “Attack of the Clones” just to see if I was being too cynical. The movie lost me within the first 5 minutes when Amidala’s body double says to Amidala after being mortally wounded in an explosion that was meant to kill Amidala, “I’ve failed you.” I was like “No you didn’t! You succeeded perfectly! You got killed instead of Amidala!” Then I just scene-skipped to the big battle at the end.

  99. #99 Eric Saveau
    September 25, 2009

    Actually, “Star Wars” is not internally consistent. Before Darth Vader even meets Luke Skywalker, he senses that the Force is strong in Luke just by tailing him in the trench of the Death Star, and yet Darth Vader knows Princess Leia personally and gives no indication that (1) he senses the Force in her, and (2) she is his daughter.

    That just indicates that “The Force works in mysterious ways”. Since the Force surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the Galaxy together it can make anything work in any way at all. That’s the fundamental axiom of the Star Wars universe, and everything we know flows from that. Deny it and we face the morass of absurdity in which you find yourself. Your foaming hatred of anything Jedi is getting in the way of your reason.

  100. #100 Rhology
    September 25, 2009

    Sorry, didn’t have time today. Hopefully back soon.

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