Truly my career has reached the next phase of its evolution. I have been published at The Huffington Post. Go have a look and let me know what you think!

Comments

  1. #1 Chris Laraia
    March 21, 2012

    Good job Jason! Well done. :)

  2. #2 Savage
    March 22, 2012

    Very good article, Jason. (I very much enjoyed your Monty Hall book and will certainly read your latest one.)

    “..my time with the creationists has shown me that the task of reconciling science with faith is far more difficult than is sometimes pretended.”

    My experience is that it is impossible to reconcile science with faith. Another firsthand experience is that science journalists and scientists, in general, are drifting apart because the number of students taking higher mathematics at school, are diminishing. And mathematics is the language science speaks in, but it seems to me journalists are blaming scientists for the poor communication.

  3. #3 JimR
    March 22, 2012

    “…a method of creation which rewards any behavior, no matter how cruel or sadistic, so long as it inserts your genes into the next generation.”

    I thought survival of the fittest applied to between species, not within species and does not automatically imply violence, just survival. Better Finch beaks in the Galapagos Islands, fancier plumage on male birds to attract a mate, etc.

    I thought the violence was the confused construction by Social Darwinists (mostly conservative) by misapplication of the Survival concept to within species conflict. One could try to convince a creationist that their understanding is flawed and evolution does not imply conflict although it does imply impersonal selection of survivors.

    There appear to be some people who are immune to AIDS, but they are descendants of the Black Death survivors. There was no conflict between people to survive the plague, but there was an awful cost to find them. The creationists horror at the implied waste is warranted.

  4. #4 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    March 22, 2012

    Truly my career has reached the next phase of its evolution. I have been published at The Huffington Post.

    So you’ve peaked and are on the way down already?

  5. #5 eric
    March 22, 2012

    Very nice. You do a great job of balancing two difficult journalistic needs; to write in a reasonably objective manner, but also inform the reader of your own background and position. I honestly think you do a better job of this (balancing act) than the more prominent sceptical writers.

    And that bit about armchair philosophy seems directly applicable to one of your regular posters. :)

  6. #6 johnm55
    March 22, 2012

    Excellent article, but you do realise that you have in the process acquired the life long enmity of Jerry Coyne.

  7. #7 JimV
    March 22, 2012

    I agree that probably the strongest objection (based on my anecdotal evidence from relatives and internet commenters) which creationists have to evolution is that it is inconsistent with their world view that humans are the number one species in the universe and in fact the reason the universe was created. One might argue that this world view itself came from the Bible, but since we agree the Bible was written by creationist humans, in fact that supports your thesis.

    So what I think is, you’re right about that, but I wonder why the Monty Hall book is not listed at the end of the article along with the Creationist and Sudoku books?

  8. #8 Lenoxus
    March 22, 2012

    Sorry for the upcoming epic. I would have written a shorter post but I didn’t have the tme.

    JimR wrote:

    I thought survival of the fittest applied to between species, not within species and does not automatically imply violence, just survival.

     

    While there’s a lot less violence involved in selection than many people assume, the amount of violence in selection is not zero (although there are principles which constrain most animals from outright murdering their own kin). Most obviously, predation is an often violent selective event. Still, it’s true that the role of things like sexual selection and cooperation are overlooked in the popular understanding.

    That said, I think you may be a little confused about selection. Most biologists today understand the “competition” between organisms to be mostly within and not between species. So rabbits unknowingly “compete” with other rabbits, and the fastest ones (almost by definition) win by passing on their genes. Foxes likewise compete with foxes. But rabbits and foxes do not really compete. (There is some competetion between species if they share a niche, such as gray versus red squirrels in my backyard. These competitions usually result in the two species taking on slightly different specializations rather than, say, one of them wiping out the other. But now I’m starting to speak outside my area of knowledge, so I’ll stop.)

    I thought the violence was the confused construction by Social Darwinists (mostly conservative) by misapplication of the Survival concept to within species conflict.

    In my humble opinion, the real problem with social darwinism is twofold.

    One, it fixates on only certain sorts of selection, while failing to consider the sense in which whatever survives to reproduce has in fact been selected for. (The types of selection fixated upon pretty much conform to one’s biases, of course.) For example, a eugenecist would argue that if a blind man were left to “fend for himself”, he would likely die, and therefore we should let him die to prevent his “maladaptive” genes from speading. This ignores the fact that humans have not been left to fend for themselves since before we were mammals (so to speak). Our social nature is itself just as much a part of “the environment” as anything else. If someone’s nature is such that other people help him out and he goes on to reproduce, it doesn’t really make much sense to call his blindness maladaptive.

    (Plus, the human ancestral environment was rather different than the various more recent environments of most humans alive today. To be consistent, social darwinists would argue for the extermination of all whites, asians, and others not recently descended from sub-Saharan Africa, because after all, all of those people would be less likely to pass on their genes in that environment.)

    Two, far more importantly, social darwinism commits the naturalistic fallacy. Really, that’s all that needs to be said there.

    Either way, eugenics is a bit like dropping people off cliffs because otherwise they are “defying gravity”. Not only is that bullshit, but even if it were scientifically correct, so what? What actual bad thing is going to happen if we ignore the requests of Dame Gravity? I might even go so far as to call it an odd sort of religious thinking. “The universe is worthy of worship and we must obey its commands!” Sorry, not my idea of a good time.

  9. #9 Naysayer of the Kingdom of Hoodopia
    March 22, 2012

    So your article was carried on the Huff and Puff Pust. Woopty Doo. It must be a great honor to be associated with morons, liars, globalists. I wouldn’t know. I tend to avoid mock journalists like these newbie secular dperessive reporters we have these days. They report their opinion instead of fact. They should be fired for such.

    At any rate Mr. Rosenhouse creationists are an endangered species and should be protected from the wolves and predators of this evil world.

    Evolution makes no sense. Creation makes perfect sense. Evolution is mathematically impossible, but the liberal agenda needs the idea of there beoing no God to further their secular and immoral cause. As long as God is in control, the rules are written in stone. Once God is gone there are no rules and immorality becoomes whatever an individual deems it to be. Secular depressives need evolution to carry on the degradation of the world and to justify their sexual perverseness and immoral stances on all nor mal subject. it justifies their thirst for killing babies in the womb, their hunger for reversing gender roles, and their eager desire to tear down the foundation of civilization. Without the mud to man theory it would be impossible for these evil things to be justifiable.

    In short, when liberals kill God, they can become perverts without consequence and willingly convert everyone else into become perverts and criminals as well.

    Little do they know evolution is a satanic ideal and judgement day will come just the same. So, go aaead reverse gender roles, advocate sodomy, kill babies, have sex out of wedlock, etc. Go ahead and justify your sins in the name of an old man. Judgement day will come just the same.

  10. #10 ichy
    March 22, 2012

    Or not.

  11. #11 eric
    March 22, 2012

    As long as God is in control, the rules are written in stone. Once God is gone there are no rules and immorality becoomes whatever an individual deems it to be.

    In religion, immorality becomes whatever a religious individual deems God says it is.

    Either way, its the claims of individual humans you are stuck assessing.

  12. #12 Wow
    March 23, 2012

    Tell you what, fatheists, if God wants to tell me what’s moral, how about he pop over here and tell me, rather than tell you to tell me.

    After all, there’s a guy outside who says that the world is going to end soon and that god told him this. He’s been wrong three times that I know about so far, so I’m not sure if god’s having a laugh or this guy is just making it up.

  13. #13 Wow
    March 23, 2012

    “In short, when liberals kill God, they can become perverts without consequence”

    I believe you have liberals and the Roman Catholic Church mixed up.

    Oh, and one of your saints was sainted for the brutal rape and murder of a woman who taught geometry, maths, physics and philosophy in Alexandria: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypatia

    Apparently when Glod lovers become perverts, it’s not only without consequence, but with great rewards in the afterlife.

  14. #14 Salvador Cordova
    March 23, 2012

    Hey, I want an autographed copy of your book!

    http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/ReligionTheology/SociologyofReligion/?view=usa&ci=9780199744633

    I thought it was a great article.

    You were correct, but there is a nuance. Among the ID community, even in private interaction, scripture is de-emphasized if not altogether unmentioned (example Behe’s book).

    Among Old Earth creationists, it is mentioned a bit more, but mostly in passing, i.e. Spetner, Schreoder.

    Among YECs scriptures is considerably more prominent.

    To answer your question:
    “What do you find so objectionable about evolution?”

    1. it is scientifically indefensible as evidenced by dissent even among athiests and agnostics (Hoyle, Foder, Piatelli, Denton, etc.). It hardly warrants status as scientific theory. To quote Coyne: “in sciences pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics.”

    2. the advocates of evolution who are generally nasty toward creationists. Larry Moran is an example.

    I actually thought evolution was cool. Symbolic of that was the scene, “the dawn of man”, in 2001 a space Odyssey. If God wanted to create things, that would have been a cool mechanism, but the mechanism doesn’t agree with the facts. That is what objectionable. But on a personal level, seeing creationst biology students (some at the graduate level) being publicly name-called “idiots” (by the likes of Moran) is distasteful. Such hostility is hardly collegial.

  15. #15 Raging Bee
    March 23, 2012

    So Salvador “Wormtongue” Cordova has crawled back out from under his rock to give us a “tone” argument. Coming from just one of the many little sleazeballs who routinely equated evolution with eugenics and Nazism, such shameless hypocricy is…not at all surprising, really.

    Oh, and speaking of nastiness, now might be a good time for you to apologize for equating my arguments with the surgical mutilation of children. It would certainly go a long way to proving your point about how much more civil and “collegial” you creationists are.

  16. #16 eric
    March 23, 2012

    @14 – Coyne’s pecking order comment is clearly understood as referring to the degree to which some exact outcome can be reproduced in a controlled, laboratory setting. We cannot reproduce the evolution of current organisms in the lab due to the many historical contingencies involved, thus, low on that particular pecking order. Coyne’s comment has nothing whatsoever to do with the strength of evidence for evolutionary theory.

    Your comment about it is equally clearly a quote mine.

  17. #17 SLC
    March 23, 2012

    Re Raging Bee @ #15

    Slimy Sal Cordova, who, thank the flying spaghetti monster no longer haunts the halls at George Mason Un., is the slime off the bottom of the cesspool.

    It’s interesting how clowns like him link evolution to Nazism, even though both Nazi ideology and Frankenberger in “Mein Kempf” rejected common descent. Just goes to show that creationists are born liars.

  18. #18 Salvador Cordova
    March 23, 2012

    So Salvador “Wormtongue” Cordova has crawled back out from under his rock to give us a “tone” argument. Coming from just one of the many little sleazeballs who routinely equated evolution with eugenics and Nazism, such shameless hypocricy is…not at all surprising, reall.

    whether or not I’m all the things you say, doesn’t change the point. The pro-Darwin lobby has the likes of Larry Moran villifying science students that disagree with Darwin. That will never endear the Darwinists to the Creationist. Never. Dr. Rosenhouse asked what is objectionable about evolution — that demonization of these aspiring students is one thing that won’t be forgotten and though not directly related to the arguments for or against evolution, it does make it objectionable.

  19. #19 SLC
    March 23, 2012

    What slimy Sal the schmuck fails to inform the readers here is that Prof. Moran disagrees with Darwin and most modern day biologists over the importance of natural selection vs random genetic drift as the mechanism of evolution. He refers to folks like Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins as adaptationists who, all too ofter, are telling just so stories in his opinion. And just to make it perfectly clear so that there be no misunderstanding, his sobriquet of IDiots for ID creationists is right on target.

  20. #20 NJ
    March 23, 2012

    “Naysayer of the Kingdom of Hoodopia” aka Rob Hood @ 8:

    Secular depressives need evolution to carry on the degradation of the world

    Howyadoin Rob! I was starting to think that Greg Laden had scared you away by posting an IP address for you when you started offering comments under my ‘nym. But it’s reassuringly consistent to see that even when you know that you give away your true identity when you post stuff about ‘secular depressives’ or ‘flouride’ or HAARP, your undertreated mental illness won’t let you stay away…

    So, want to insult my (non-existent) Canadian background next?

  21. #21 Raging Bee
    March 23, 2012

    whether or not I’m all the things you say, doesn’t change the point.

    The point is, you’re a proven liar, quote-miner and hypocrite, and nothing you say can be trusted unless it’s independently corroborated.

    The pro-Darwin lobby has the likes of Larry Moran villifying science students that disagree with Darwin.

    “The likes of” meaning how many people? You only named one name. Also, since you’ve proven yourself a quote-miner and a liar, this anecdote of yours has no credibility, even as an anecdote — especially since you didn’t provide any citation to back it up.

    Furthermore, your incessant harping on “tone” only reaffirms that you and your fellow creationists are nothing but con-artists, using smooth flattery and manipulation to misdirect your marks and make your lies more palatable.

  22. #22 Salvador Cordova
    March 23, 2012

    sobriquet of IDiots

    See, Dr. Rosenhouse, right there is an example of what makes evolution objectionable! There is a tribal dimension of this conflict that has little to do with the facts…

  23. #23 Raging Bee
    March 23, 2012

    Yeah, when one tribe conspires to lie to us, lie about us, and incite hatred against us by accusing us of all manner of atrocities, we do tend to get a little tribalistic in uniting against such attacks.

    Seriously, you stupid hypocritical crybaby, it was YOUR side that made this a tribalistic political fight.

  24. #24 Salvador Cordova
    March 23, 2012

    you stupid hypocritical crybaby, it was YOUR side that made this a tribalistic political fight.

    Even if true, it only underscores the conflict has dimesions of tribal warfare, not scientific arguments, nor even religious motivation!

    Dr. Rosenhouse wondered why creationists despise evolution. I suggest its partly because creationists despise certain evolutionists. It may have more to do with personalities than relgious or scientific ideas, imho.

    And from what I can gather from this thread already, the dislike between the two camps is mutual. It remains even after evolutionary theories keep getting obliterated by empirical observation, i.e. most evolution happens through neutral processes, not natural selection (Motoo Kimura and Masotoshi Nei).

  25. #25 Raging Bee
    March 23, 2012

    “Wormtongue” Cordova’s hypocritical BS here is another data-point that strongly suggests that the whole “evolutionists are nasty” argument isn’t really a reason why some people choose to reject evolution; it’s a scam crafted to reinforce prejudice and solidify preexisting divisions between diferent groups of people.

    Most of the people who call themselves “creationists” have probably never met or conversed with any actual evolutionists, let alone been mistreated by one; they just heard career liars like Cordova, Falwell, Dembski, Behe, etc. SAYING evolutionists are mean, and having it driven into their heads that evolutionists are atheists, commies, eugenicists, abortionists, radical homosexual activists, etc., and want to destroy their cherished way of life and create a commie atheist dictatorship. Once evolutionists are portrayed as attacking Christian America’s cherished beliefs and worldview, that in itself is seen as a “mean” and “nasty” act, whether or not anyone actually said anything mean or nasty to them. And if that’s not enough, the creationists are always lying and saying stupid shit, so they’ll always have plenty fo examples of those mean atheists calling them idiots and liars.

    Short answer: the cultural divide came first, the perceived instances of “meanness” and “nastiness” followed.

  26. #26 Raging Bee
    March 23, 2012

    Even if true…

    So you’re not denying the truth of what I say. Duly noted.

    …it only underscores the conflict has dimesions of tribal warfare, not scientific arguments, nor even religious motivation!

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying, and I’m pleased that you admit I’m right. There is a solid concensus that evolution is both sufficiently proven and not diputed by any credible alternative theory; and certain right-wing religious extremists, Christian and Muslim, are knowingly spreading defamatory lies in order to attack everyone who doesn’t kowtow to their identity-religion.

  27. #27 Jason Rosenhouse
    March 23, 2012

    Raging Bee –

    You are no longer welcome to comment here. I have asked you repeatedly not to comment so frequently and to be more civil when you do, but you have ignored me. I will delete any further comments from you as soon as I become aware of them.

    SLC –

    Whatever you think of Salvador, the fact remains that you responded to a comment that was actually pretty civil with insults and name-calling. I have always appreciated your comments here, but please tone it down.

    Salvador –

    I’m sure you realize that not liking certain evolutionists is hardly a reasonable justification for dismissing evolution.

  28. #28 dean
    March 23, 2012

    “Evolution is mathematically impossible,…”

    Tell you what NOTKOH, my semester ends at the end of April. I turn in grades first week of May. I’m not teaching this spring. Write up your argument and post it someplace we can retrieve it. I’m sure it will be interesting reading.

  29. #29 Naysayer of the Kingdom of Hoodopia
    March 23, 2012

    Dean, I assume you are some professor at some left wing univeristy brainwashing more youth for your future crappy world government garbage. You are probably very intelligent but I’ll tell you like I have witnessed first hand. The smartest college professors are usually only smart in the one subjet that they harp on all the time. When it comes time to use common sense they are as lost a bat at the bottom of the ocean. Example:

    I had a brilliant physics professor that once worked for NASA. He was absolutely brilliant in math and science. However one day his car would’t start becuase his battery went dead from leaving the lights one all day. He was brilliant in his own field but was a complete moron. The idiot didn;t even know how to jump start his car with a pair of jumper cables. What a moron. Any 6 year old could do that. So, being smart as you think you are knowing how the universe created itself and everything that exists serves no purpose other than taking up space, I leave with knowing that you are probably smart in math but stupid at everything else that matters so much more. I could be wrong. But probably not. I have never seen a brilliant college professor that has the common sense of the average person around him. Oh, and by the way. I bet you work problem s totally backwards as well. When I was in school a teacher taught several of us how to shorten how problems are worked. The stupid math profesor had everyone doing it the hard way. Whta does it matter how we do it as long as the end result if the same? I do things my own way from then own. Sovereignty and freedom never felt so great.

    Yes NJ I wish to insult your non-existant fouride overdosed background. FIFTY!

  30. #30 NJ
    March 23, 2012

    I is easily recognizable. All ya gotta do is recognize mine’s style, out me and probe me a little bit. And out comes a torrent of looney. The truly funny thing is that I doesn’t realize that I is making a permanent record of my being unhinged.

    Viewed objectively, it’s a sad testament to the failure of my ma and pa to teach me wrongs from right.

    I has a few obvious fetishes – Robin Hood, men in tights, is one, as are discussions of SB, Orac, (my personal favorite) puppeteered socks and underwear.

    Once outed, I tends to rant a bit (search SB for examples) in dazed flouridated confusion, so if our gracious host has a policy against such behavior, he may want to keep an eye out.

    Clearly, I is living rent-free in a dirty old man’s basement. The furnishings are out of date and the place needs badly to be foomigated and the crapper stopped working years ago. Oh well. Dat’s how social justice works.

    FIFTY.

    Don’t calls me by dat slave name NJ no mo neither. Calls me Willie Flowers, from Canada.

  31. #31 Salvador Cordova
    March 24, 2012

    “I’m sure you realize that not liking certain evolutionists is hardly a reasonable justification for dismissing evolution.”

    Absolutely agree, but there is an important destinction. You pointed out: “they flatly despised evolution, usually for reasons having nothing to do with the Bible.”

    I depise the 911 terrorists. But despising them does not mean I disbelieve their existence.

    By way of contrast, I disbelieve that the character in Star Wars like Obi-wan Kenobi really existed, but I don’t despise Obi-wan. Quite the contrary!

    Despising a claim is not the same as disbelieving it. Creationists despise evolution because they see the evolutionist industry as using false claims to undermine what creationists hold valuable.

    It’s entirely possible people can despise something yet recognize it is true. The fact is we are running out of natural resources and polluting the world. I despise that fact, but it doesn’t mean I disbelieve it. Quite the contrary.

    You asked why evolution is despised, and that is a separate question from why it is disbelieved. It is despised because it is threatening to what some people value. You got that part right. But it’s a bit of a stretch to say that’s the reason it is rejected as untrue. That is not the case. If I rejected as true everything I didn’t like, I’d start believing I had no bills to pay!

    Evolution is rejected as untrue by creationists partly because it simply seems unbelievable to them. Atheists and agnostics like Hoyle, Trevors, Yockey, Denton, Fodor, Piatelli, etc. have articulated many arguments that echo creationist arguments. Whether creation is right or wrong, it is too simplistic to say creationists reject something merely because they don’t like it. They simply think it unbelievable.

    They despise evolutionism because the industry is viewed as hostile their values and threatening in some cases to their livelihood (such as in the case of Caroline Crocker). The Larry Moran’s of the world only reinforce the belief that evolutionism is the enemy of creationists. Moran advocated denial of admission and graduation to creationists. It ought to be easy to see why creationists would find that despicable, and Moran’s ideas proceed directly from his belief evolution is fact, fact, fact.

  32. #32 Onkel Bob
    March 24, 2012

    Moran advocated denial of admission and graduation to creationists. It ought to be easy to see why creationists would find that despicable, and Moran’s ideas proceed directly from his belief evolution…

    It is also reasonable (as opposed to the the confirmation bias laden I agree with it and so find it easy) to understand Dr. Moran’s position as one of enforcing integrity among the group. Evolution is a fact; it is directly observable and has immediate unquestioned affect on our lives. As the old Doonesbury cartoon goes, do I want the antibiotic regime that accounts for the evolution of bacteria, or do I go with the creationist all life is static model. Demanding that graduates and instructors demonstrate the ability to understand the facts and act accordingly is hardly despicable. It has nothing to do with the fact of evolution, it has more to do with the need for members of a select group (College professors and graduates) to demonstrate intellectual integrity. I suspect that Dr. Moran would be as demanding that business professors not present Ponzi schemes as acceptable financial strategies.

    Your argument why creationists dismiss evolution, is poorly researched at best, downright disingenuous at worst. (And given your reputation and behavior, it is easy to understand why many suspect the latter.) That certain notable figures find it hard to discard their prejudices, and that those prejudices parallel a subset of the ignorant populace, doesn’t strengthen their arguments, it weakens them. The facts, which you either refuse to acknowledge or gallop past, are that there are no credible arguments for creation. However, it does offer that wonderful emotional crutch that places humanity in the center, and provides solace to that frightened child as to what happens when our individual existence ends. OTOH, evolution has extensive lines of evidence, but offers no emotional satisfaction or condolences.

    BTW – reply if you wish, but do not expect a dialog. In the words of the late great Grouch Marx: “Hello, I must be going.” I shan’t be back, as this blog (and site, ScienceBlogs overall) no longer appeals to me. As Groucho also observed, I don’t want to be part of a club that would have me as a member.

  33. #33 Salvador Cordova
    March 24, 2012

    or do I go with the creationist all life is static model.

    That is a misrepresentation of creationist ideas. Blyth was a creationist, he pioneered the notion of natural selection before Darwin, and Darwin mentioned him in Origin of Species. This fact was finally recognized by Provost Loren Eisley of an Ivy League school.

    Creationists accept blyth’s notion of natural selection which describes accurately the evolution of anti-biotic resistance.

    You sir, don’t even demonstrate accurate knowledge of the history of evolutionary thought nor represent creationist ideas accurately. And you wonder why your discipline is despised?

  34. #34 dean
    March 24, 2012

    “Evolution is rejected as untrue by creationists partly because it simply seems unbelievable to them.”

    It is equally fair to say that for many creationists evolution is rejected because they see it as removal of power: “You’d better do as my god says or you’ll really pay in the end” can be seen as a real tool – so are those who wield it, in my opinion. Any system centered purely on faith, with no proof or supporting data to be found, as creationism/intelligent design is, that requires you to reject facts – and, as Onkel Bob and others point out, evolution is indeed a fact – in order to be in good standing is a poor system.

    NOTKOH: I assumed that you had nothing to support your “mathematically impossible” schtick; none of the people who say it up ever have it. I would also say that, given as wrong as you are in your suppositions about me and statements about reality, your whole

    I had a brilliant physics professor that once worked for NASA. He was absolutely brilliant in math and science. However one day his car would’t start becuase his battery went dead from leaving the lights one all day. He was brilliant in his own field but was a complete moron.

    and beyond is completely unbelievable as well.

  35. #35 Valhar2000
    March 24, 2012

    that demonization of these aspiring students is one thing that won’t be forgotten and though not directly related to the arguments for or against evolution, it does make it objectionable.

    Funnily enough, I agree with Sal here. However, the interpretation of this idea that he is clearly going for differs very much from my own: I perceive this tendency as a very regrettable fundamental flaw in the psychology of most human beings, unintelligent design, if you will.

    It does, however, fit right in with Jason’s thesis, as I understand it.

  36. #36 SLC
    March 24, 2012

    Re Sal Cordoba @ #31

    Evolution is rejected as untrue by creationists partly because it simply seems unbelievable to them.

    I have a flash for Mr. Cordoba. Quantum Mechanics is far more unbelievable then evolution.

    Richard Feynman: If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t understand quantum mechanics.

    Steven Weinberg: Quantum mechanics is a totally preposterous theory which, unfortunately, appears to be correct.

    Lawrence Krauss: Nobody understands quantum mechanics.

  37. #37 SLC
    March 24, 2012

    Re Sal Cordova @ #31

    Just a minor correction. It is my information that Dr. Michael Denton, who now accepts common descent, based on a 2002 interview with the California Extension Service, is not an atheist.

  38. #38 NJ
    March 24, 2012

    “Naysayer of the Kingdom of Hoodopia” @ 29 & “NJ” @ 30, aka Rob Hood the undertreated mentally ill character who haunts various blogs at SB:

    As if the nonsensical rant aimed at Dean’s calm and sensible post wasn’t enough, in his second try he cuts and pastes a few snippets of posts I’ve made in the past identifying him. Of course, his attempts at assembling them are so disjoint only he can imagine them mess as having any coherency.

    So, Rob, when Greg Laden posted that IP address for you it resolved to someplace in Wisconsin. Maybe that explains your OCD regarding Canada! At least it gives us some idea of which mental health services department your family needs to get in touch with.

    And on a related topic, since our gracious host has seen fit to police the place with regards to Raging Bee, I’m sure all would be curious about his policy with respect to trolls who morph continuously or borrow the ‘nyms of other posters.

  39. #39 JN
    March 24, 2012

    As if the nonsensical rant aimed at Naysayer of the Kingdom of Hoodopia calm and sensible post wasn’t enough, in his second try he cuts and pastes a few snippets of posts I’ve made in the past identifying him. Of course, his attempts at assembling them are so disjoint only he can imagine them mess as having any coherency.

    So, NJ, when you were in Canada driniking flouride the rst of us were laughing at you. Maybe that explains your OCD regarding Robin Hood men in tights! At least it gives us some idea of which mental health services department your family needs to get in touch with.

    And on a related topic, since our gracious host has seen fit to police the place with regards to Raging Bee, I’m sure all would be curious about his policy with respect to NJ who slurps trolls continuously and likes posters.

  40. #40 NJ
    March 24, 2012

    “JN” aka Rob Hood @ 39:

    bizarro copy pasta rant

    And the funny thing is, he imagines that this is annoying me, that I find this anything but a humorous demonstration of my point about him.

  41. #41 Daran
    March 24, 2012

    “JN” aka flouride overdosed canadian @ 40

    the funny thing is, he imagines that this is annoying me, that I find this anything but a humorous demonstration of my point about him.

  42. #42 NJ
    March 25, 2012

    “Daran” aka Rob Hood @ 41:

    Do we really need any more proof that this character is suffering from mental illness?

  43. #43 eric
    March 25, 2012

    @31:

    Evolution is rejected as untrue by creationists partly because it simply seems unbelievable to them.

    And yet, many creationists claim that the rationality and sensibility of the universe is evidence for God.

    Seems a bit of “bad pool,” eh? If one is going to reject all the bits of science that don’t seem sensible, one can’t very well claim that “universe is sensible to me” is evidence for God.

    …Well, at least one can’t do that without demonstrating to the world that one is completely biased and reasoning back from a conclusion, rather than forward from evidence…

  44. #44 Stephen
    March 26, 2012

    In the Religion section. This really is religion. I’ve made attempts to talk religion with ID people, with limited success. It turns out to take hours to convince them that you agree with anything they believe. So i’ve never been able to get to the part about what awful religion Creationism (or ID) really is. If the IDer is to cherry pick science data, it’s nothing to how the Bible is cherry picked. And ignorance of Science appears to be nothing compared to ignorance of their own faith. The Bible is hard to read – dead languages, obsolete references, and so on. But the Bible just isn’t that big a book.

    If the issue is that a loving God that wouldn’t create a world as cruel as Evolution seems to demand then perhaps the right argument isn’t, “but look around, that’s what we have” isn’t the right way to go. They’ll just burn down the forests along with all the naughty animals.

    Perhaps the right way to go is to come up with some good ideas for why the Universe that we live in is really a good place. For example, the atoms in your body are traceable to the creation of the Universe and processes in stars. So, you are a way for the Universe to know itself. Start studying. That’s purpose.

    Faith is belief without evidence. The knee jerk reaction is that there is no reasonable justification for faith of any kind. But it takes faith to wake up in the morning and go about your business. There’s no evidence that your efforts will make any difference. There could be a tsunami (pick a disaster – my favorite is asteroid strike – literally “bad star”), and wipe you and your children and everything else you may care about out at any time. But with faith, you can make it through the day. Many won’t be able to make it with statistical arguments that such an event is as unlikely as winning the lottery. In fact, you can count them by checking how many play the lottery.

  45. #45 Reynold
    March 28, 2012

    Congrats on your book. It seems that the Christian Post people are talking about it, including one rather interesting fellow, Bob Sorensen.

    Now, considering that Bob is only just boasting about having been contacted by the CP today, I can’t imagine he’s had much time to read Rosenhouse’s book, but that hasn’t stopped him from opining on it…

    For more, just search for that “Bob Sorensen” name on that blog. You’ll find more information. Or on the FSTDT site!

  46. #46 Wow, God
    March 29, 2012

    “Creationists despise evolution because they see the evolutionist industry as using false claims to undermine what creationists hold valuable.”

    Do you have an example of such a false claim?

  47. #47 RDLANDRY
    April 9, 2012

    Deductively, evolution is flawed and creationism is flawed, the problem is simply that human observation no matter how extensive it is will never produce “knowledge.” The issue stems from the “The Problem of Induction” (research it on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). This philosophical issue will always be here and it will always discredit scientific “knowledge.” C. D. Broad said it like this “Induction is the glory of science and the scandal of philosophy” The sciences should stop now; the fact that they preach their weak at best inductive reasoning as “knowledge” is blasphemy to the philosopher, and takes advantage of the naiveté of modern man.
    That’s Reason.

  48. #48 NJ
    April 9, 2012

    RDLANDRY@46:

    That’s Reason.

    No, that’s word salad.

    human observation no matter how extensive it is will never produce “knowledge.”

    My observations of the thermal and deformational history of a sequence of sedimentary rocks produces the knowledge that there is a high likelihood of finding oil in a particular geographic location at a particular depth. The subsequent drilling program demonstrates that my knowledge was accurate.

    I’d ask if you have further questions, but it’s likely you were just another drive-by “intellect” with training from Google U.

  49. #49 eric
    April 10, 2012

    RD – call the product of science something other than knowledge if it makes you feel better. People will still want it.

    Labels only have power when people can understand what they assure. “100% fruit juice” assures people their drink comes from fruits. “Intel inside” assures people their processor chip comes from Intel. But when philosophers slap their “knowledge” sticker on some factoid or threaten to rip it off of all science, practically nobody cares, because nobody knows what the heck you are assuring.

  50. #50 Wow
    April 10, 2012

    “human observation no matter how extensive it is will never produce “knowledge.””

    Says the drive-by who says: “Deductively, evolution is flawed”

    How was this deduction made? By reading ““The Problem of Induction” (research it on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)” saying it is so.

  51. #51 Kuire
    April 10, 2012

    “More than anything else, my time with the creationists has shown me that the task of reconciling science with faith is far more difficult than is sometimes pretended.”

    I thought the point of our debates was to dissuade people of faith, not reconcile their nonsense with facts. The reconciliation or, as you suggested, merging of religion and science where evolution serves as the engine of creationism, will brings us to the wrong conclusion again because/if there is no god.

    I am not even sure if knowing their story actually helps a non-religious person in convincing them that they are deeply mistaken and dangerously misguided. Some people misinterpret the internal logic of their belief system with the truth, without knowing or realizing that logic alone is insufficient as many logical things turn out implausable.

  52. #52 teois
    April 10, 2012

    Evolution does not need to be either loved or despised. It’s something that occurs naturally, and, unfortunately, people’s feelings cannot change it, whatever it is.

    It actually makes me feel much better to realize that the reason why women give birth, this excruciatingly painful ugly process, or go to the bathroom, is because that’s how they evolved. It would feel much worse to think that there is this loving perfect biblical creator that intentionally created you like this.

  53. #53 Wow
    April 12, 2012

    “It would feel much worse to think that there is this loving perfect biblical creator that intentionally created you like this.”

    Worse, according to The Good Book, God did this DELIBERATELY as punishment. Monthly cramps and bleeding for most of your adult life? Because of some bint 6000 years ago ate an apple???

    What a loving god he is!

  54. #54 RDLANDRY
    April 19, 2012

    @48 …

    “drive-by “intellect” with training from Google U”
    Or degrees in history, philosophy, and religion along with an MBA but who’s counting.

    “My observations of the thermal and deformational history of a sequence of sedimentary rocks produces the knowledge that there is a high likelihood of finding oil in a particular geographic location at a particular depth. The subsequent drilling program demonstrates that my knowledge was accurate.”

    And what happens if you don’t find it what happens when the oil is there… Because inductive reasoning is based on logical probability there always a chance for failure and therefore always doubt concerning the conclusion. In the case of evolution and creationism many contradictory points have been brought forward but science and the faith blindly march forward.

    @49…

    “Labels only have power when people can understand what they assure… But when philosophers slap their “knowledge” sticker on some factoid or threaten to rip it off of all science, practically nobody cares, because nobody knows what the heck you are assuring.”

    So in short you have just said… human ignorance defines human knowledge, because we don’t understand or are unwilling to be critical of the status-quo we should accept it as knowledge. That sounds good. Really.

    @50…

    “How was this deduction made? By reading ““The Problem of Induction” (research it on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)” saying it is so.”

    I really questioned responding to this comment, but this group could use a lesson in logic.

    Although my reading “The Problem of Induction” was an observation and you could challenge whether or not the event I experienced warranted knowledge, deductively the argument still stands outside of my observation. Deduction is not dependant on experience or observation. Deductive arguments are based on logical necessity, therefore if the argument form is valid and the premises are true the conclusion must be true, whether or not the argument has been reported or observed. Inductive arguments are based on logical probability and therefore cannot be evaluated on validity or invalidity but only in strength or weakness. In other words 2 plus 2 equaled 4 before anyone applied it but observing a billion black ravens only lends credibility to the next one being black. The first white raven discredits the conclusion. Which brings me back to my original point… science has too many white ravens.

    V/R

    The Drive-By Intellect

  55. #55 Wow
    April 19, 2012

    “And what happens if you don’t find it what happens when the oil is there…”

    Then you find that you need to refine your methodology. However, if you have two methods one of which is right 90% of the time and one that is right 0% so far, then you would be daft pretending they’re both wrong.

    “In the case of evolution and creationism many contradictory points have been brought forward”

    This then means that the one explaining things best is “right”.

    That would be evolution.

    “So in short you have just said… ”

    No, you said that. Eric, not so much. He said that philosophers wondering about the definition of knowledge is pointless except for and between philosophers.

    “I really questioned responding to this comment”

    Go with your git feeling, why not? You did for every other thought you had.

    “but this group could use a lesson in logic.”

    Yes, this is the problem of dunning-kruger. You think that your incorrect logic is right therefore anyone whose logic isn’t equally wrong must be in error.

    “Deduction is not dependant on experience or observation.”

    If you have neither experience nor observation, what are you deducing your conclusion from? Feelings?!?!?

    Drive on bye.

  56. #56 NJ
    April 19, 2012

    RDLandry@54:

    Or degrees in history, philosophy, and religion along with an MBA but who’s counting.

    Sit down right now, write each of the schools, and tell them you need to get your money back, as their attempts to turn you into an educated person failed. Badly.

    And what happens if you don’t find it what happens when the oil is there…

    My original comment:

    My observations of the thermal and deformational history of a sequence of sedimentary rocks produces the knowledge that there is a high likelihood of finding oil in a particular geographic location at a particular depth.

    Emphasis added in an attempt to aid your comprehension.

    More capable people recognize that the statement of probability is based on an incomplete data set and that the more complete the data, the better we are at defining high and low probabilities.

    Still clinging to your perverse interpretation? Try this one then: Ascend to the top of a tall building, and step off the roof. Our knowledge of gravity and human physiology suggests an exceedingly high probability that you will accelerate towards the ground and the subsequent impact will cause your vital bodily functions to cease catastrophically. Or perhaps our “knowledge” obtained by “observation” is “false”.

    Do tell us when and where you will try this experiment; we wouldn’t want to interfere by being underneath you.

    In the case of evolution and creationism many contradictory points have been brought forward but science and the faith blindly march forward.

    Please describe in detail for both. Or are you going to continue on the path of argument by assertion?

    I really questioned responding to this comment, but this group could use a lesson in logic.

    Dunning-Kruger. U haz it.

  57. #57 NJ
    April 19, 2012

    Wow @ 55:

    Go with your git feeling

    Was this meant to say “gut”? In this case, I think your phrasing is more appropriate…

  58. #58 Wow
    April 19, 2012

    Aye, a propitious typo…

    Oddly enough, I had another one today too.

  59. #59 RDLANDRY
    April 23, 2012

    “then you would be daft pretending they’re both wrong.”

    Really? Who would ever suppose there were multiple wrong answers to a question? Even if one is 99.99999999% more likely doesn’t the possibility of it being wrong still exist? Maybe not in your world? But continue on dogmatically, never challenging anything; it’s what your professors would want.

    “This then means that the one explaining things best is “right”.”

    The earth is flat…. If I accept your line of reason then it was flat until someone proved otherwise. Truth or knowledge is a constant it doesn’t change at the whim of the scientific community.

    @ Gravity

    Sir Newton a mathematician. He is respected for the “Law” of Gravity i.e. his induction ceased with the apple and hence deduction began. The Law doesn’t stand because he saw the apple or a million apples but because he deductively proved the forces at play on the apple. But if you really want too, we can see that his Law takes into account a given set of assumptions and if those assumptions can be brought into question then his said Law can be brought into question as well. In other words, I could deconstruct human existence and perceptual knowledge for you but you probably wouldn’t grasp the point there either. Stop Stop Stop, I know where you want to go, but know one’s jumping off any buildings, just challenging some dogmatists to think skeptically.

    Argument by Assertion nice… did you Google that?
    It’s funny because I’ve not argued for anything other than the inability of inductive reasoning to determine truth. Which is a point validated through 100s of years of philosophical inquiry. You in fact have seemed to agree with the point: “there is a high likelihood “ You Sir, have been the one with the Argument by Assertion, assuming that no one should question the sacred cow of evolution or scientific methodology, because they simply are true!! God forbid anyone call into question science.

    And as for Dunning-Kruger, add this to your Google vocabulary: argumentum ad hominem. Believe me, my ego remains unmarred. Simply because you have yet to grasp a single word I’ve said. You assume I’m attacking the sacred cow of evolution, I’m not, believe me I am far too pretentious to dabble in that minutia. I simply love to play the devil’s advocate; so don’t make me drink the hemlock simply because you’re unwilling to face obvious contradictions in your methodology.

  60. #60 Kevin NYC
    April 24, 2012

    “The conference keynoters all hailed form Answers in Genesis, an advocacy group that endorses creationism.”

    sigh…. from. bottom second paragraph..

  61. #61 NJ
    April 25, 2012

    RDLANDRY@59:

    And as for Dunning-Kruger, add this to your Google vocabulary: argumentum ad hominem.

    This is a good place to start, as it is telling about your background.

    As anyone can check on Wikipedia, an ad hominem argument is a logical fallacy. It is of this form:

    Because person X is an idiot, their arguments are wrong.

    What makes it fallacious is that the arguments are not being addressed; they are being assumed to be wrong because of who is arguing them.

    However, an argument of this form is not an ad hominem:

    Because of (insert reasons here), person X’s arguments are wrong, therefore they are an idiot.

    Since the arguments are being addressed, the statement of idiocy is a conclusion.

    That you have completely screwed up this concept is strongly suggestive that your claims of education are false.

    This hypothesis is supported by the rest of your closing paragraph:

    Simply because you have yet to grasp a single word I’ve said. You assume I’m attacking the sacred cow of evolution, I’m not, believe me I am far too pretentious to dabble in that minutia. I simply love to play the devil’s advocate; so don’t make me drink the hemlock simply because you’re unwilling to face obvious contradictions in your methodology.

    which is effectively an outright admission that you are nothing but a Google U educated troll. As I diagnosed earlier.

    As for the rest of your post, it is mostly word salad (again); there is one points to discuss, though.

    Even if one is 99.99999999% more likely doesn’t the possibility of it being wrong still exist?

    Did anyone say anything different anywhere? Please quote it directly. Your statement brings to mind both the joke “The first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club” as well as Gould’s famed comment about gravity and apples.

    And that really is the ballgame. Put another way, it is an actual thermodynamic possibility that all of the oxygen atoms in this room will diffuse into a far corner and leave me gasping. But in practical terms, no one anywhere plans on sudden spontaneous suffocation because the probabilities are so tiny they are not worth worrying about.

    You imagine yourself a towering intellect because you made it through a book with big words. You’re just another Internet crank like those with perpetual motion machines or proofs that relativity is wrong.

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