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  Topic: GoP's Christianity, Islam, Race, & The West Thread< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,04:31   

Dave requested that this topic get its own thread, so here it is. Dave will show why the West is fundamentally Christian, and should remain so.

Take it away, Dave!

--------------
Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,05:01   

Quote
Take it away, Dave!


Yes, Dave, please do take it away. It's starting to stink.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,05:45   

Quote
Yes, Dave, please do take it away. It's starting to stink.


Got any evidence, or are you just another drive-by troll?

--------------
Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,05:59   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 23 2006,10:45)
Quote
Yes, Dave, please do take it away. It's starting to stink.


Got any evidence, or are you just another drive-by troll?

Surely Dave is supposed to provide the evidence?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,06:06   

Richard "Matt" Hughes:

 
Quote
Surely Dave is supposed to provide the evidence?


Sure. But why not help him out by describing what the "evidence" should consist of? Outline what you'd like to see, what the relevant definitions are, etc. This seemed to help the Muslim debate enormously. In fact, it helped it so much that the evos fled the thread. I'm just sayin....

--------------
Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,06:12   

Gee, GOP accusing someone else of trollery. You said that Dave will show us "why the West is fundamentally Christian, and should remain so." And you want us to describe the necessary evidence?  Look--we all know exactly what's coming.  There will be no original thinking, a lot of David Barton/D. James Kennedy revisionism and bloviation, and no matter what anyone else says to the contrary, Dave will never admit that he's wrong.  That's why I said it's starting to stink.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,06:41   

Or, more to the point, why the West no longer needs science, as understood and practised by actual scientists, but instead needs to have science redefined by right-wing wing-nuts.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,07:37   

Guys, we need to nail down what 'keeping America a Christian country' would mean in actual practice.

For starters, there are millions of non-Christians in this country. Far more than Dave probably realizes out there in Indiana. What should 'be done' about them them? Governmental pressure? Coerced conversions? Punishment? Expulsion?

Or do GoP and AFD envision a sort of dhimmitude, where non-Christians would be tolerated, but forbidden from holding public office, teaching, voting, or having access to the media? You know, they wouldn't be punished or anything, per sé, but they'd endure a sort of low-level harassment, including paying higher taxes than everyone, until they converted?

Also, would certain non-Christian religions be considered more worthy of governmental pressure than others? Would Jews be higher on the food chain than atheists, Muslims, and Hindus? Also, would groups like Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Scientists be counted as full Christians, or just partial Christians?

Also, would this require outlawing the teaching of evolution in public schools and colleges? If so, what punishments do you envision for people and institutions who refuse to quit teaching it? Fines, loss of jobs, jail time? Would it be a misdemeanor or something more serious? Would secular universities be banned outright?

And what about parts of the country that resisted this? Would a central authority be enlisted to enforce this, or do you envision a sort of 'States Rights' system whereby certain parts of the country could opt out of the theocracy?

Lots of details to work out, guys.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,07:44   

Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Sep. 23 2006,10:01)
Yes, Dave, please do take it away. It's starting to stink.

If only Wynne could stand downwind from his own posts.

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,08:02   

Quote
Richard "Matt" Hughes


The "T" is a clue. The only unconfirmable need for Christianity would be spiritual salvation, *if* it were true. I thinkt that the baggage that comes with it, fundamentalism, anti-intellectalism, etc. make it undesireable.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
mcc



Posts: 110
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,16:49   

Obviously America needs Christianity. If we didn't have Christianity, then what would we do with all the churches?

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,16:52   

Quote (mcc @ Sep. 23 2006,22:49)
Obviously America needs Christianity. If we didn't have Christianity, then what would we do with all the churches?

Very pretty Kwik-e-marts?

   
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,17:01   

Quote
then what would we do with all the churches?


bonfire of the vanities.  (a rather large bonfire)

so sayeth chapter 5, verse 2, in the Church Burning Ebola Boy scout guide.

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,17:03   

Quote (mcc @ Sep. 23 2006,22:49)
Obviously America needs Christianity. If we didn't have Christianity, then what would we do with all the churches?

Growing up in a small town in North Florida--not terribly far from where Robert O'Brien is attempting grad school, if memory serves--a friend and I were puzzled at why there should be so many churches, and so few bookstores. When the B.Dalton in the mall went out of business, we conducted a census of the two businesses. The results:

Churches: ~160
Bookstores: 0

   
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,21:53   

Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 23 2006,22:03)
 
Quote (mcc @ Sep. 23 2006,22:49)
Obviously America needs Christianity. If we didn't have Christianity, then what would we do with all the churches?

Growing up in a small town in North Florida--not terribly far from where Robert O'Brien is attempting grad school, if memory serves--a friend and I were puzzled at why there should be so many churches, and so few bookstores. When the B.Dalton in the mall went out of business, we conducted a census of the two businesses. The results:

Churches: ~160
Bookstores: 0

Is this a USA specific thing? In the UK, Christianity and a book shop inverse relationship has not been noticed by myself.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,22:41   

no, if anything it's locale specific.

in any metropolitan area in california, the exact reverse is the case.

it's all starbucks and Barnes and Noble as far as the eye can see...

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,01:19   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Sep. 24 2006,03:41)
no, if anything it's locale specific.

in any metropolitan area in california, the exact reverse is the case.

it's all starbucks and Barnes and Noble as far as the eye can see...

Which City.

I have been to L.A. and San Diego.

Love San Diego, especially the Gasslamp/Gasslight? area.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,04:07   

Quote
If we didn't have Christianity, then what would we do with all the churches?
In the UK we convert them into indoor climbing walls, housing and bars.

  
pzmyers



Posts: 35
Joined: Sep. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,04:45   

Ah, reminds me of my little town of Morris, Minnesota.

5000 people.

0 bookstores.

2 bars.

14 "restaurants" (using the term very loosely, to include McDonald's and Taco John's and such cheap grease factories. We really only have one place we can take visitors to without making apologies).

18 churches.

What a waste.

Edited by pzmyers on Sep. 24 2006,09:46

   
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,06:18   

Quote (pzmyers @ Sep. 24 2006,09:45)
18 churches.

What a waste.

In the UK, churches are a good source for local history.

I live right next to one. It is the oldest building in Windsor. I do not consider it a "waste".

Here.

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,07:36   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 24 2006,06:19)
Love San Diego, especially the Gasslamp/Gasslight? area.

Yeah, San Diego is great. I also recommend Santa Barbara and San Mateo County (where I'm from).

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,07:41   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 24 2006,11:18)
In the UK, churches are a good source for local history.

I live right next to one. It is the oldest building in Windsor. I do not consider it a "waste".

Here.

Good for you; instead of spending an inordinate amount of time kvetching online about Christianity (in lieu of, say, doing research) it appears that you have developed a healthy attitude toward it.

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,08:29   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 24 2006,12:41)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 24 2006,11:18)
In the UK, churches are a good source for local history.

I live right next to one. It is the oldest building in Windsor. I do not consider it a "waste".

Here.

Good for you; instead of spending an inordinate amount of time kvetching online about Christianity (in lieu of, say, doing research) it appears that you have developed a healthy attitude toward it.

I am not sure we are on the same wavelength here.

In the UK, churches are a great source of local history. They have records of births, deaths and marriages etc. going back hundreds of years (or more).That is what I was refering to.

The record of Christianity is sketchy and churches are not the best source for that history.

Saying that, I am not anti-religion either. I just don't know on that issue.

  
don_quixote



Posts: 110
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,09:42   

Here in Aberdeen (Scotland), several of the city-centre churches have been turned into bars and restaurants. Great buildings, but it's a bit weird to have Jebus looking down at you (from the stained-glass windows) when you're knocking back pints and chatting people up.

In one, the urinal is actually the font!

(okay, I made that last bit up)

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,11:21   

So far, 24 messages, and not a speck of evidence that Christianity has in any way, shape, or form been of any benefit whatsoever to the West.

(I'm not claiming it wasn't; I'm merely pointing out the utter lack of evidence so far. In my opinion, weighing the pros and cons, I'd say it's a wash as to whether Christianity has helped or hindered the West.)

But Bill, I'd guess the chances that AF Dave will actually post anything here are pretty minimal. After all, we gave him an entire extra thread for the sole purpose of posting actual, you know, evidence for his "Creator God Hypothesis" (which evidence is sorely lacking on his own thread), and he never posted a single message there.

I wonder why.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,11:40   

Quote (ericmurphy @ Sep. 24 2006,16:21)
So far, 24 messages, and not a speck of evidence that Christianity has in any way, shape, or form been of any benefit whatsoever to the West.

Well, if you read "How the Irish Saved Civilization", and believe it, there is a start.  :D

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,11:48   

Quote (ericmurphy @ Sep. 24 2006,16:21)
So far, 24 messages, and not a speck of evidence that Christianity has in any way, shape, or form been of any benefit whatsoever to the West.


Except that wasn't the original premise; the original idea was, in fact:

Quote
Dave requested that this topic get its own thread, so here it is. Dave will show why the West is fundamentally Christian, and should remain so.


[my boldfacing]

Quite a different thing.

Quote
(I'm not claiming it wasn't; I'm merely pointing out the utter lack of evidence so far. In my opinion, weighing the pros and cons, I'd say it's a wash as to whether Christianity has helped or hindered the West.)

But Bill, I'd guess the chances that AF Dave will actually post anything here are pretty minimal. After all, we gave him an entire extra thread for the sole purpose of posting actual, you know, evidence for his "Creator God Hypothesis" (which evidence is sorely lacking on his own thread), and he never posted a single message there.

I wonder why.

I would assume any such messages would have to come from AFD or GoP. AFD never posts in new tangential threads designated for him, and GoP probably hasn't seen this thread yet.

This thread might fizzle out in the next couple days at this rate.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
breakerslion



Posts: 4
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,12:11   

Quote
This thread might fizzle out in the next couple days at this rate.


Oh my! Quick! Everyone who believes in Faries, Leprechauns, Angels, or Supreme Beings (not including Diana Ross and Co.) clap your hands! Thanks to the arbitrary nature of cause and effect in the Cartoon Universe, you will save this thread!

(I'm new. Too sarcastic?)

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,12:39   

Surely the question shoudl be:

Which particular flavour of Christianity?

After all, Catholicism today is somewhat different from what it was 600 years ago.  Then a lot of protestants helped advance the same science that their related descendants in the USA seem determined to malign.  Then theres the Gnostics, not to mention everything from Cathars to Wycliffites to Hussites.  

Think about it- in Medieval Europe, your average pleb didnt even get the wine and wafer at mass, and the area beyond the rood screen was out of bounds to them.

  
Arden Chatfield



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 24 2006,13:32   

Quote (guthrie @ Sep. 24 2006,17:39)
Surely the question should be:

Which particular flavour of Christianity?

After all, Catholicism today is somewhat different from what it was 600 years ago.  Then a lot of protestants helped advance the same science that their related descendants in the USA seem determined to malign.  Then theres the Gnostics, not to mention everything from Cathars to Wycliffites to Hussites.  

Think about it- in Medieval Europe, your average pleb didnt even get the wine and wafer at mass, and the area beyond the rood screen was out of bounds to them.

I'm sure AFD and GoP have their own flavor of literalist Protestantism in mind. I think AFD once went so far as to express doubts that Catholics are really Christians.

But this does raise a good point! In this futurist Protestant utopia that AFD and GoP have in mind, where would other Christian sects fit in? In the process of 'assuring that America remains a Christian nation', what would be official policy toward other denominations, such as Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists, etc., or even some of the more outré Protestant groups, such as Pentacostals? Would they, as people who at least think of themselves as Christians be accorded full privileges, the right of males to vote, etc.? Or would full civil rights be contingent on conversion to Christian denominations AFD and GoP are less uncomfortable with?

I guess what I'm asking is, where on the food chain where the different Christian groups fit in? Would they necessarily ALL be higher up than outright non-Christians? Would some be lower than others?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,02:01   

Quote (breakerslion @ Sep. 24 2006,17:11)
Quote
This thread might fizzle out in the next couple days at this rate.


Oh my! Quick! Everyone who believes in Faries, Leprechauns, Angels, or Supreme Beings (not including Diana Ross and Co.) clap your hands! Thanks to the arbitrary nature of cause and effect in the Cartoon Universe, you will save this thread!

(I'm new. Too sarcastic?)

Not sarcastic enough?  :D

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,03:34   

Quote (pzmyers @ Sep. 24 2006,09:45)
Ah, reminds me of my little town of Morris, Minnesota.

5000 people.

0 bookstores.

2 bars.

14 "restaurants" (using the term very loosely, to include McDonald's and Taco John's and such cheap grease factories. We really only have one place we can take visitors to without making apologies).

18 churches.

What a waste.

I live in a growing city on Lake Michigan, midway between Chicago and Milwaukee.  Population is expected to reach 100,000 by the 2010 census, and the number of churches is in three digits, and the number of bookstores, save for one tiny purveyor of used books, is zero.

On a related note, I recently saw a real estate agency's ad for a church property for sale.  One of the features of the building touted in the ad, apparently without a bit of irony, was "cathedral ceilings."

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Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,03:53   

Whereas by contrast, in my little university town of St Andrews, population circa 16,000, plus 6,000 students and lecturers and suchlike, along with maybe a few thousand regular visitor for shopping, we had 2 second hand bookshops, 6 or 7 charity shops selling a mix of mills and boon and good quality 2nd hand and the occaisional gem.  
Not to mention the 30 plus pubs, and maybe 5 or 6 churches.  

Cathedral ceilings?  They need to visit a real cathedral, and be awed at what can be done.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,04:44   

Ok, if Dave doesn't want to do anything, I'll fill in until he's ready. Before I start, one question: does anyone deny that Judeo-Christian culture has contributed more to human knowledge than any other culture?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Shirley Knott



Posts: 148
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,04:52   

Given that you've run away from your vaunted "proof" of geocentrism, why should anyone suppose you'll be more honest or forthcoming here?
But just in case...
Define your terms.
What do you mean by 'judeo-christian culture'?  Why do I suspect you mean "any European culture or society post 100A.D."?
And if that's what you mean, you are assuming your conclusion.
I will cheerfully argue that judeo-christian culture strictly defined has NOT contributed more to human knowlege than any other culture, but is surely in the running for having destroyed and impeded more knowlege than any other culture.

Now, about that geocentric model...

Shirley Knott

  
lkeithlu



Posts: 321
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,04:58   

It's clear that it has contributed but it stands on the shoulders of others, including egyptian, arabian, and chinese, responsible for writing, gunpowder, medicine, agriculture, etc. How can you compare when it is longitudinal?

  
don_quixote



Posts: 110
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,05:03   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,09:44)
Ok, if Dave doesn't want to do anything, I'll fill in until he's ready. Before I start, one question: does anyone deny that Judeo-Christian culture has contributed more to human knowledge than any other culture?

Didn't Christianity retard human knowledge for over a thousand years, i.e. the dark ages?

Imagine where we'd be if humans had ceased being superstitious a few thousand years ago!

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,05:16   

I don't think Christianity per se has damaged things any more or less than other cultures and societies.  But nor am I convinced that there is something inherent in Christianity, despite its variety over the years, that has made "Western culture" something that people celebrate.

So, from GoP, I would be looking for some definitions and pointers, namely:

What is good about "The west"
What is inherent in Christianity that it has uniquely contributed to these good things about "The west".  

Perhaps some sort of points system would help?

On the other hand, the dark ages were not quite as dark as people used to think.  I certainly dont think the dark ages were due to christianity, instead invasions and plagues and the fragmentation of the Roman Empire.  To blame all this on Christianity is silly.

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,05:26   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,09:44)
Before I start, one question: does anyone deny that Judeo-Christian culture has contributed more to human knowledge than any other culture?

And so it begins, predictably, with a logical fallacy: post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

The fact that "B" follows "A" is not, in and of itself, evidence that "A" caused "B."

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Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,05:29   

Quote
It's clear that it has contributed but it stands on the shoulders of others, including egyptian, arabian, and chinese, responsible for writing, gunpowder, medicine, agriculture, etc. How can you compare when it is longitudinal?


Also, when the Greeks and Romans were setting up their templates for European society, they weren't Christian.

 
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,09:44)
Ok, if Dave doesn't want to do anything, I'll fill in until he's ready. Before I start, one question: does anyone deny that Judeo-Christian culture has contributed more to human knowledge than any other culture?


You never proved your geocentric theory, or your theory of a 6,000-year-old earth, or your theory of the stars just being a few thousand miles away. Why don't you go back to your 'research' on that before starting another stupid 'culture wars' thread?

Don't you get kind of embarrassed having this big backlog of abandoned stupid ideas you can't prove? Don't you get tired of having to dodge the question when asked about that?

Besides, as usual, you're changing the question. The original idea was 'the West is fundamentally Christian, and should remain so". The original statement wasn't "gee aren't we Christians superior in our culture to everyone else". To me, AFDave pretty decisively disproves that theory in one shot.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Richardthughes



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,05:53   

Quote
theory of the stars just being a few thousand miles away


For real? I feel genuinely sad for GOP if so.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,06:28   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 25 2006,10:53)
 
Quote
theory of the stars just being a few thousand miles away


For real? I feel genuinely sad for GOP if so.

Correction. Not a few thousand miles. I misremembered. I apologize.

Apparently all the the stars are 4.5 LY away. All of them.

This seems to be what GoP has stated on the subject:

Quote

Now, we know the radius of the sphere of the fixed stars, it is 4.5 light-years. (The Triple Centauri System is something of an anomaly, since it serves as a revolving door for angels to pass in and out of the Empyrean, it protrudes a little.) We also know the value of the permittivity constant  , and the value of ƒàƒ|ƒn(Evolutionists, being basically stupid often need this explained to them.) All that is unknown now is the charge outside the sphere of the fixed stars, Q.  


A few other relevant quotes:

 
Quote
Now, I previously argued that the sun, stars, and galaxies inhabit a crystalline ether, which I dubbed the quintessence.


 
Quote
The stars are whizzing around a stationary earth.


 
Quote
We can calculate a value for Q in the Empyrean to be:

1.46088 X10^46 C

This is a very big number. I bet you're wondering how this much charge can exist. The answer is in the stars themselves. This plasma flow is how the angels keep the stars shining. How this works will be discussed in subsequent posts.


 
Quote
Be careful about dichotomizing the universe into Apollonian baryons and Dionysian dark matter. My condensate aether, while baryonic in structure, possesses many properties that founder Darwin. For example, my condensate can slow light, fiddle with refractive indices, and thwart friction: these properties prevent your feeble attempts at pigeonholing. Of course, the traditional condensate is extremely temperature sensitive, which would seem to preclude its existence in a universe with appreciable background radiation, but I will show that this objection is quite specious. Y'all should feel grateful that I've blessed your board with Nobel-level physics.


 
Quote
When Jesus taught ethical imperatives in parables, the evolutionists of his day responded by demanding they, “Tell us plainly.” Likewise, today’s evolutionists reject non-material realities by demanding “evidence” on materialistic terms. The non-material character of spin statistics and moral imperatives alike can not be adjusted to their demands for “evidence,” but, like Jesus, I shall not let the cup I have been given pass from me.


--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,06:44   

Squirt all the ink you want, Arden, but I'll defend the West if I wish.

     
Quote
Also, when the Greeks and Romans were setting up their templates for European society, they weren't Christian.

But Europe took that culture to a new level. As I will demonstrate.

J. Wynne:
     
Quote
And so it begins, predictably, with a logical fallacy: post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

The fact that "B" follows "A" is not, in and of itself, evidence that "A" caused "B."

Yep, and correlation does not equal causation. Doesn't mean we can't learn from history.

Guthrie:

   
Quote
What is good about "The west"
What is inherent in Christianity that it has uniquely contributed to these good things about "The west".  

Perhaps some sort of points system would help?

This is good: I'll try to hash out some terms tonight. Certainly, math & science will play a part. I'll even assume that all mainstream science is true if that will avoid distractions.

.......


So I understand that you guys don't think the West was all "that". Good....I was counting on most of you being stubborn. <rubs hands>

More later.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,06:46   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 25 2006,12:28)
[quote]
Now, we know the radius of the sphere of the fixed stars, it is 4.5 light-years.

That hasn't been a reasonable thing to say for at least 170 years.

Quote
(The Triple Centauri System is something of an anomaly, since it serves as a revolving door for angels to pass in and out of the Empyrean, it protrudes a little.)

....
Be careful about dichotomizing the universe into Apollonian baryons and Dionysian dark matter. My condensate aether, while baryonic in structure, possesses many properties that founder Darwin. For example, my condensate can slow light, fiddle with refractive indices, and thwart friction: these properties prevent your feeble attempts at pigeonholing. Of course, the traditional condensate is extremely temperature sensitive, which would seem to preclude its existence in a universe with appreciable background radiation, but I will show that this objection is quite specious. Y'all should feel grateful that I've blessed your board with Nobel-level physics.


I'm starting to wonder if GoP is a multi-year sock puppet having a great time with us.

(btw, in case you're wondering how fast such stars, 4.5 ly away, would have to be moving to rotate around us once a day, the answer is about 9,000 times the speed of light.)

   
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,06:49   

Wow. Dark ages meets theasurus!

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"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,06:55   

Hey, Paley, can I get you to defend this statement?

Quote
The Triple Centauri System is something of an anomaly, since it serves as a revolving door for angels to pass in and out of the Empyrean, it protrudes a little


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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
ToSeek



Posts: 33
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,07:10   

Quote (pzmyers @ Sep. 24 2006,09:45)
Ah, reminds me of my little town of Morris, Minnesota.

5000 people.

0 bookstores.

2 bars.

14 "restaurants" (using the term very loosely, to include McDonald's and Taco John's and such cheap grease factories. We really only have one place we can take visitors to without making apologies).

18 churches.

What a waste.

We live in the wrong country. Some years ago I spent a night in the lovely English Cotswold town of Guiting Power, which had its priorities straight: one church, two pubs.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,07:22   

Arfin':
 
Quote
Hey, Paley, can I get you to defend this statement?

 
Quote

The Triple Centauri System is something of an anomaly, since it serves as a revolving door for angels to pass in and out of the Empyrean, it protrudes a little


Why is Newton allowed a spiritual dimension to his mechanics, but not I?

Stick to the topic, guys.....(I think Arfin's just trying to avoid another thrashing)

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,07:33   

Okay, so you're admitting it's just a superstition. Cool.

Can you prove this?

Quote
This plasma flow is how the angels keep the stars shining.


I mean, you DID say you would 'discuss it in subsequent posts'.

Quote
Why is Newton allowed a spiritual dimension to his mechanics, but not I?


Newton had enough brains to make up for it.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,07:55   

Hey Arfin, do you want to debate the topic on this thread? I think you know I'll win this debate, and that's why you're trying to change the subject. If you want to talk geocentrism, bring it up in the appropriate threads.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Ved



Posts: 398
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,08:00   

Quote (guthrie @ Sep. 25 2006,11:16)
On the other hand, the dark ages were not quite as dark as people used to think.  I certainly dont think the dark ages were due to christianity, instead invasions and plagues and the fragmentation of the Roman Empire.  To blame all this on Christianity is silly.

Can't we blame the weather a bit as well? Wasn't the Little Ice Age at about that time? ... Oops, now that I look it up, I see it's not even close, with the DA at ~500-1000 AD and the LIA at ~1550-1850 AD.

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,12:44)
Squirt all the ink you want, Arden, but I'll defend the West if I wish.

Eh, who needs the West? It couldn't even get mankind to the moon!

Oh, and for the puposes of this discussion, are Catholics considered Judeo-Christian?

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,08:09   

Ved:

Quote
Eh, who needs the West? It couldn't even get mankind to the moon!

But it gave us Little Richard and Buddy Holly!  ;)

Quote
Oh, and for the puposes of this discussion, are Catholics considered Judeo-Christian?

Judeo-Christian culture = All Christians + Jews. Not just Protestant Christians.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,08:36   

Quote (guthrie @ Sep. 25 2006,10:16)
What is good about "The west"

A bit out of context yes.

But have you ever lived in the East?

It is not very nice.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,08:36   

OK, I'm satisfied already. The West is responsible for the greatest of all the cultures in all history, namely mine. Since the majority of citizens of the various nations making up this culture have nominally been Christians and Jews, their religious beliefs must necessarily be the underlying cause of this greatness.

Consider the great breakthrough of the scientific method. Somehow, the notion took root that natural phenomena have natural causes that can be analyzed and even manipulated, *whether or not* any intent or purpose lies behind the causes. Science has somehow realized that HOW things work isn't the same question as WHY things work. Could such a breakthrough have happened without the Judeo-Christian philosphy? Hint: It didn't happen anywhere else in the world!

And it's this essential revelation, that the supernatural is utterly superfluous and irrelevant, that has led directly to the very greatness our culture enjoys, to the economic benefit (not to mention lifespan, convenience, and opportunity) of every one of us. We owe this revelation to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Let us pray.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,08:54   

So will any proud champion of multiculturalism take the field? Arfin'?

I demand satisfaction!

<slap>

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,09:17   

Hold on, if your about to post hundreds of links showing that Christians have contributed a great deal to western society, then I should point out that is not the topic of this thread. Granted though I haven't read what Dave said about the topic, but if thats the case it should me more of a 'why the west would be a lot different if Christianity had never existed' thread. Surely multiculturalism is more of a topic for the Muslim thread.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,09:43   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,12:55)
Hey Arfin, do you want to debate the topic on this thread? I think you know I'll win this debate, and that's why you're trying to change the subject. If you want to talk geocentrism, bring it up in the appropriate threads.

Nah, I just wanted to make you look stupid. I think I succeeded.

I do hope you'll offer evidence for your angel theories some day.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,09:46   

C. Hyland:
Quote
Hold on, if your about to post hundreds of links showing that Christians have contributed a great deal to western society, then I should point out that is not the topic of this thread.

Topic(s):

1) The West needs Christianity if it wants to remain healthy. This is partly due to Christianity's role in shaping the West in the first place.

2) The West is the greatest culture of all time, especially the post-Christian West. This justifies the concern over 1).

Arfin':
 
Quote
Nah, I just wanted to make you look stupid. I think I succeeded.

The best way to make me look stupid is to whip me in a debate. Oh well.....

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:04   

*yawn*

Is GOP always this good?

???

Look folks, the west has the enlightenment to thank. It helped us get past these little butt nuggets of "wisdom":


Quote
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." --Proverbs 3:5

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." --Proverbs 16:25

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity
every thought to the obedience of Christ..." --2 Corinthians 10:5


Conflate away, GOP.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:11   

Quote (Shirley Knott @ Sep. 25 2006,09:52)
I will cheerfully argue that judeo-christian culture strictly defined has NOT contributed more to human knowlege than any other culture, but is surely in the running for having destroyed and impeded more knowlege than any other culture.

Now, about that geocentric model...

Shirley Knott

First of all, let's drop this "Judeo-Christian" nonsense. Secondly, you may "cheerfully argue" that Christianity has destroyed or impeded more knowledge than any other culture but it would be an argument you would lose.

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:16   

"Matt" Hughes:
   
Quote
*yawn*

Is GOP always this good?

I know, I know.....you're looking for tardilicious entertainment rather than <cough> enlightenment. If someone has the cojones to debate me you just might get your wish. In any case, I plan on supporting these contentions as time permits. The debate format keeps me focused.


R.O'B.
   
Quote
First of all, let's drop this "Judeo-Christian" nonsense.

I understand what you're implying WRT Ms. Knotts, but we both know the Judeo belongs there.

   
Quote
Secondly, you may "cheerfully argue" that Christianity has destroyed or impeded more knowledge than any other culture but it would be an argument you would lose.

And how....

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
ScaryFacts



Posts: 337
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:18   

To have a healthy society you must have an enduring social contract.  Otherwise people like to be nasty to one another to gain the best mating partner or scarce resource.  Throughout history there have always been voices calling for social reform against the “evil” in society.  Typically these voices have been tied to a particular religious belief system.

In the west the social contract was underwritten by Judeo-Christian Scriptures.  Those scriptures were pointed to for a definition of evil and justice.  There is also innate in those scriptures the idea of Justice—that the universe is always watching and evil, even hidden evil, will be punished.

I suspect all cultures that thrive use some justification for their own social contract.

The real success of the west is likely capitalism, a rather non-Biblical concept.  Christians are taught the “most noble” way to live is with minimal consumption, giving all possible to the common good.  Which seems much more like communism.

I separate my personal faith from institutionalized Christianity simply because the two are very different animals.  “Christianity” as an institution exists to fulfill all sorts of social needs and desires.  It’s a type of civic organization.  It deals mostly with the outward—where we go, what we do.  

Christ taught much more about the quality of a person’s life:  How what is inside causes us to act outside.  Followers of Christ give to the poor not because society or an institution demands it, they give because they see another human in suffering and hope to alleviate that suffering.  It's inside them and they can do no other thing.

Compassion is not unique to Christ’s teachings; I certainly know compassionate atheists.  But compassion was unknown to me personally until I came to know the teachings of Christ.  Maybe many of you are “good” people.  Me, I’m still learning and Christ’s teachings have been the only ones able to make that change in me.

Just ask my wife.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:22   

GOP: I have the Cojones to use my real name, so please use it, eh?

I've offered that it is infact the enlightenment that braught us all these good things. Seems you don't want to debate.

Possible falsification: Pre enlightment Christianity was just as peachy as post, or perhaps we can look at South American Christians untouched by the enlightenment?

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:34   

Richard Hughes:

 
Quote
GOP: I have the Cojones to use my real name, so please use it, eh?


OK. But "Matt" Hughes wasn't meant as an insult. Goodness knows I'd rather have that name than, say, B.J. Penn. :D

 
Quote
I've offered that it is infact the enlightenment that braught us all these good things. Seems you don't want to debate.


And a good point it is; tonight, I will address it. In fact, feel free to add other objections to my hypothesis in the meanwhile. I hope to demonstrate that Christianity was necessary for the development of Enlightenment ideas.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:35   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 24 2006,16:48)
 
Quote (ericmurphy @ Sep. 24 2006,16:21)
So far, 24 messages, and not a speck of evidence that Christianity has in any way, shape, or form been of any benefit whatsoever to the West.


Except that wasn't the original premise; the original idea was, in fact:

   
Quote
Dave requested that this topic get its own thread, so here it is. Dave will show why the West is fundamentally Christian, and should remain so.


[my boldfacing]

Quite a different thing.

Except for the "and should remain so." Presumably, both Bill and Dave believe the West not only is Christian, but also "should remain so," because they believe being Christian bestows some benefit on the West.

I'm confident either Bill or Dave would lose an argument about whether the Founding Fathers intended the U.S. to be a "Christian" nation, given that most of them were deists, not Christians. But I'd be curious to see either Bill's or Dave's argument as to why the West should "remain" Christian, even presupposing arguendo that it is Christian now.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:37   

So we're agreed that the enlightement, not Christainity, is the wellspring of this goodness?

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:50   

Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 25 2006,11:46)
(btw, in case you're wondering how fast such stars, 4.5 ly away, would have to be moving to rotate around us once a day, the answer is about 9,000 times the speed of light.)

I already made Bill do this calculation, which didn't give him a second's pause in his belief in geocentrism.

I also made him figure out the mass of the earth sufficient to hold an object in orbit at that distance and that velocity (assuming that special relativity is only a suggestion, not the law), and the figure came out to an appreciable fraction of the mass of the visible universe. That didn't slow him down either. He claimed he wasn't surprised at the answer, "given the initial assumptions," and said "there's more to the story," but here it is, almost a year later, and we haven't heard the "more" to the story yet.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Mike PSS



Posts: 428
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:50   

Totally OT.  But maybe Robert O'Brian will see this.

I can install Latin signatures too.  At least be clear on your signature block.  Maybe we should argue an "English language, Christian West" instead.

Or maybe these: :O  
Quote

Caeci caecos ducentes
Cur etiam hic es
Cuiusvis hominis est errare; nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare
De asini vmbra disceptare


Mike PSS

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,10:54   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,12:55)
Hey Arfin, do you want to debate the topic on this thread? I think you know I'll win this debate, and that's why you're trying to change the subject. If you want to talk geocentrism, bring it up in the appropriate threads.

Don't bother. Bill has two threads going where he's supposedly supporting his geocentrism "theory" with actual evidence, and they're both belly-up, and have been for months.

Gotta give credit where it's due: even though AF Dave has yet to present any evidence supporting his "hypothesis," he's doing a great job of inducing evidence contradicting it. Bill can't even seem to keep his threads going.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,11:19   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 25 2006,13:36)
Quote (guthrie @ Sep. 25 2006,10:16)
What is good about "The west"

A bit out of context yes.

But have you ever lived in the East?

It is not very nice.

Just now, many parts of it are not nice.  But 600 years ago large parts of China and India were more advanced than much of Western Europe, and nicer places to live.  

Also, some of what makes "The east" a bad place to live right now are imports from "The west", whether its our strains of political dictatorship, or rampant industrialisation that is poisoning part of society.  

Besides, I really dont think you can involve the Greeks in this, insofar as they were not Christians, and IIRC correctly it was a Christian bishop who had the library of ALexandria burnt, which library contained many copies of important texts from the Greeks and ROmans.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,12:08   

Quote (ericmurphy @ Sep. 25 2006,15:50)
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 25 2006,11:46)
(btw, in case you're wondering how fast such stars, 4.5 ly away, would have to be moving to rotate around us once a day, the answer is about 9,000 times the speed of light.)

I already made Bill do this calculation, which didn't give him a second's pause in his belief in geocentrism.

I also made him figure out the mass of the earth sufficient to hold an object in orbit at that distance and that velocity (assuming that special relativity is only a suggestion, not the law), and the figure came out to an appreciable fraction of the mass of the visible universe. That didn't slow him down either. He claimed he wasn't surprised at the answer, "given the initial assumptions," and said "there's more to the story," but here it is, almost a year later, and we haven't heard the "more" to the story yet.

That reminds me, how fast did we figure out the continents had to have moved to make AFD's young earth theory work?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,12:12   

Half the width of the Atlantic in 40 days?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,12:24   

Quote (Henry J @ Sep. 25 2006,17:12)
Half the width of the Atlantic in 40 days?

If you look at the little diagram Dave posted of Dr. Brown's "hydroplate hypothesis," it's apparent that all this continental "drift" (if that's for the word for it) happened in one day. Which on the face of it implies that the Atlantic ocean formed in one day, which means that North America surged away from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at something like 100 MPH. Or more, if it didn't slam to a stop instantaneously when it ran into—what?—the Pacific Plate? Which seems to have escaped unharmed, given the obvious lack of mountains off the California shoreline (at least I've never seen them, from my vantage point on the California shoreline).

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,12:48   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,15:16)
I understand what you're implying WRT Ms. Knotts, but we both know the Judeo belongs there.

No, we do not. I think Judaism is superfluous.

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,12:50   

Quote
1) The West needs Christianity if it wants to remain healthy. This is partly due to Christianity's role in shaping the West in the first place.
I would appriciate if you explained the second part first. That is, I grant the importance of Christianity (as well as other things) in shaping our culture, but I dont see how that affects whether or not it is nessecary now.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,13:03   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 25 2006,17:48)
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,15:16)
I understand what you're implying WRT Ms. Knotts, but we both know the Judeo belongs there.

No, we do not. I think Judaism is superfluous.

Judaism feels the same about you.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,13:10   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 25 2006,18:03)
Judaism feels the same about you.

What Judaism "feels" does not concern me. It is a relic.

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,13:22   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 25 2006,18:10)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 25 2006,18:03)
Judaism feels the same about you.

What Judaism "feels" does not concern me. It is a relic.

What do you think ought to be done about the problem?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,13:26   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 25 2006,18:22)
What do you think ought to be done about the problem?

What problem?

--------------
Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,13:27   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,15:34)
In fact, feel free to add other objections to my hypothesis in the meanwhile. I hope to demonstrate that Christianity was necessary for the development of Enlightenment ideas.

I'd be curious to see how you could go about "demonstrating" this assertion, Bill. Presumably what you're saying is that, if Christianity never existed, Western civilization would not be as dynamic and successful as it is. If that's the case, you need to somehow exclude the possibility that there are other factors (climate, ease of transportation, lack of geographic barriers, access to draft animals, i.e., most of the factors raised in Guns, Germs, and Steel) which have had an equal or greater influence on the success of Western civilization. As you yourself have conceded, correlation != causation. After all, Judeo-Christian culture doesn't seem to have done much for the middle east, and it's been there a lot longer than it's been in Europe.

And, once you've excluded the possibility that other factors are equally or more influential in the success of Western culture, you need to show what it is about Judeo-Christian culture which is a) different from other cultural traditions such as Greco-Roman, Buddhist, Muslim, and Confucian, and b) which is particularly conducive to building a vibrant, successful culture, which Western civilization, for whatever problems it may have, undeniably is.

So, do you agree that that's what you need to prove, Bill? And, more to the point, are you up to the task? Or is this just going to be another uncompleted project to join guts-to-gametes, geocentrism, and scale-free networks?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,13:32   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 25 2006,18:26)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 25 2006,18:22)
What do you think ought to be done about the problem?

What problem?

The problem of this relic religion lying around.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,13:40   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 25 2006,18:32)
The problem of this relic religion lying around.

I do not consider it a problem; Judaism is innocuous enough. (Although, Israel is a problem.)

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,13:41   

ericmurphy:
   
Quote
Gotta give credit where it's due: even though AF Dave has yet to present any evidence supporting his "hypothesis," he's doing a great job of inducing evidence contradicting it. Bill can't even seem to keep his threads going.


While there's a good deal of truth to this, I think you're drifting a little. I haven't begun to support some claims (6000 year-old-Earth, scale-free networks, guts-to-gametes), and I've stalled on the geocentrism threads, but there are some claims where I've debated to the point of mutual exhaustion (Brazeau; crime stats several times), and some threads where I won outright (liberal media bias*, Muslim non-assimilation). So it's not like I bail on everything: in fact, I think I've won every political debate I've ever had on this board.

Robert O'Brien:

Why is the Judeo part superfluous? I really can't wrap my head around this. Would you mind elaborating? And why is Israel a problem?



*even Faid conceded at first that I showed the very piece of evidence he demanded, and Russell had no response to my counterobjections to his feedback loop model

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
breakerslion



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Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,13:50   

Weird. My reply seems to have posted to the wrong thread. I hereby erase it, since "delete" does not seem to be an option. Just pretend I wasn't here.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,13:57   

Quote (breakerslion @ Sep. 25 2006,18:50)
Weird. My reply seems to have posted to the wrong thread. I hereby erase it, since "delete" does not seem to be an option. Just pretend I wasn't here.

It didn't post to the wrong thread at all -- the comment you were responding to was on page 1 of this thread, but since this thread is now 3 pages long, your response posted to page 3.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,14:02   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,18:41)
So it's not like I bail on everything: in fact, I think I've won every political debate I've ever had on this board.

Yes, but AF Dave thinks he's won every debate on this board, too, so that doesn't mean so much.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
breakerslion



Posts: 4
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,14:11   

Quote
It didn't post to the wrong thread at all -- the comment you were responding to was on page 1 of this thread, but since this thread is now 3 pages long, your response posted to page 3.


Ah, so it is. You guys have been busy. I hardly recognized the place.

Oh well, here it is:

****

Quote
Surely the question shoudl be:

Which particular flavour of Christianity?


Speaking for myself, I prefer New England style Christianity over Manhattan style. The tomatoes give me heartburn. Oh wait, that's either clam chowder or cannibalism, I forget which.

The various "flavors" of Christianity are diabolically brilliant. Something for everyone, and them that step over the boundries belong to some other guys. Perfect deniability. The gelatinous "core values" are never to blame.

If the Fundies ever do take over, they will probably allow the other denominations to remain. They will do this in order to prevent the non-white (trash) riff raff from having to attend their church by mandate.

****

If you guys are going to argue with crazy people, I humbly offer my services to make the mental stability "Fair and Balanced (r.)", unlike the "Liberal Media".

  
Tracy P. Hamilton



Posts: 1239
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,15:06   

Quote (ericmurphy @ Sep. 25 2006,17:24)

Quote (Henry J @ Sep. 25 2006,17:12)
Half the width of the Atlantic in 40 days?

If you look at the little diagram Dave posted of Dr. Brown's "hydroplate hypothesis," it's apparent that all this continental "drift" (if that's for the word for it) happened in one day. Which on the face of it implies that the Atlantic ocean formed in one day, which means that North America surged away from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at something like 100 MPH. Or more, if it didn't slam to a stop instantaneously when it ran into—what?—the Pacific Plate? Which seems to have escaped unharmed, given the obvious lack of mountains off the California shoreline (at least I've never seen them, from my vantage point on the California shoreline).


Can anybody calculate the size of the tsunami that would result?  The Flood would pale beside the devastation that would wreak.

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"Following what I just wrote about fitness, you’re taking refuge in what we see in the world."  PaV

"The simple equation F = MA leads to the concept of four-dimensional space." GilDodgen

"We have no brain, I don't, for thinking." Robert Byers

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,15:50   

ericmurphy:
           
Quote
Yes, but AF Dave thinks he's won every debate on this board, too, so that doesn't mean so much.

But has anyone rebutted my stats in the political threads? That's what counts.

........

Let's start with a list:

             
Quote
The  Ten Greatest Mathematicians of All Time   ranked in approximate order of ``greatness.'' To qualify, the mathematician's work must have breadth, depth, and historical importance.

 1. Carl F. Gauss
 2. Sir Isaac Newton
 3. Leonhard Euler
 4. Archimedes  of Syracuse
 5. Euclid  of Alexandria
 6. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
 7. Henri Poincaré
 8. Pierre de Fermat
 9. Augustin Cauchy
10. Bernhard Riemann


This covers the entire history of mathematics, and yet what do most of these men have in common? Hint (note that this list is not exhaustive).

Let's look at a few Christian gentlemen:

Leibniz:
       
Quote
11. Influence
Leibniz's mathematics, in parallel to Newton's, made a significant difference in European science of the 18th century. Other than that, however, his contributions as engineer or logician were relatively quickly forgotten and had to later be re-invented elsewhere.

However, Leibniz's metaphysics was highly influential, renewing the Cartesian project of rational metaphysics, and bequeathing a set of problems and approaches that had a huge impact on much of 18th century philosophy. Kant above all would have been unthinkable without Leibniz's philosophy, especially the accounts of space and time, of sufficient reason, of the distinction between phenomenal and metaphysical reality, and his approach to the problem of freedom. Rarely did Kant agree with his great predecessor--indeed, rendering the whole Cartesian/Leibnizian approach conceptually impossible--but the influence was nevertheless necessary. After Kant, Leibniz was more often than not a mine of individual fascinating ideas, rather than a systematic philosopher, ideas appearing (in greatly modified forms) in for example Hegelian idealism, romanticism, and Bergson.

In the 20th century, Leibniz has been widely studied by Anglo-American "analytic" philosophy as a great logician who made significant contributions to, for example, the theory of identity and modal logic. In Continental European philosophy, Leibniz has perhaps been less commonly treated as a great predecessor, although fascinating texts by Heidegger and, much later, by Deleuze, show the continuing fertility of his philosophical ideas.


Descartes:
     
Quote
Descartes was a major figure in 17th century continental rationalism, later advocated by Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz, and opposed by the empiricist school of thought, consisting of Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. Leibniz, Spinoza and Descartes were all versed in mathematics as well as philosophy, and Descartes and Leibniz contributed greatly to science as well. As the inventor of the Cartesian coordinate system, Descartes founded analytic geometry, that bridge between algebra and geometry crucial to the invention of the calculus and analysis. Descartes' reflections on mind and mechanism began the strain of western thought that much later, impelled by the invention of the electronic computer and by the possibility of machine intelligence, blossomed into, e.g., the Turing test. His most famous statement is Cogito ergo sum (French: Je pense, donc je suis or in English: I think, therefore I am), found in §7 of Principles of Philosophy (Latin) and part IV of Discourse on Method (French).


Pascal:
 
Quote
Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote powerfully in defense of the scientific method.

He was a mathematician of the first order. Pascal helped create two major new areas of research. He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen and corresponded with Pierre de Fermat from 1654 on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science.
[....]
Pascal's development of probability theory was his most influential contribution to mathematics. Originally applied to gambling, today it is extremely important in economics, especially in actuarial science. John Ross writes, "Probability theory and the discoveries following it changed the way we regard uncertainty, risk, decision-making, and an individual's and society's ability to influence the course of future events." [2] However, it should be noted that Pascal and Fermat, though doing important early work in probability theory, did not develop the field very far. Christiaan Huygens, learning of the subject from the correspondence of Pascal and Fermat, wrote the first book on the subject. Later figures who continued the development of the theory include Abraham de Moivre and Pierre-Simon Laplace. [note: Huygens and de Moivre were Huguenots -- Paley]
In literature, Pascal is regarded as one of the most important authors of the French Classical Period and is read today as one of the greatest masters of French prose. His use of satire and wit influenced later polemicists. The content of his literary work is best remembered for its strong opposition to the rationalism of René Descartes and simultaneous assertion that the main countervailing philosophy, empiricism, was also insufficient for determining major truths.


More later, of course.....

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,16:25   

Aw, come on, Paley, that's boring! We wanna hear about the plasma flow that angels use to keep the stars shining! You know, something no one else knows!

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,16:54   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 25 2006,20:50)
Let's start with a list:

                 
Quote
The  Ten Greatest Mathematicians of All Time   ranked in approximate order of ``greatness.'' To qualify, the mathematician's work must have breadth, depth, and historical importance.

 1. Carl F. Gauss
 2. Sir Isaac Newton
 3. Leonhard Euler
 4. Archimedes  of Syracuse
 5. Euclid  of Alexandria
 6. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
 7. Henri Poincaré
 8. Pierre de Fermat
 9. Augustin Cauchy
10. Bernhard Riemann


This covers the entire history of mathematics, and yet what do most of these men have in common? Hint (note that this list is not exhaustive).

Bill, are you trying to prove that Westerners have made great contributions to the arts and sciences (indisputable), or are you trying to prove that Westerners made great contributions to the arts and sciences because they were Christians (so far without evidentiary support)? Because you're wasting your time if you're trying to prove the former (I doubt anyone would disagree), and if you're trying to prove the latter, posting a list of eminent Western mathematicians who happen to be Christian does nothing to prove your case. Also, note that two of the ten mathematicians on your list most certainly were not Christian. They don't help your case, either.

I think a stronger argument could be made that these "Top Ten Mathematicians" were as influential as they were because they all lived in Europe, than that they were influential because they were Christian.

You'll also note that there is a huge gap in your list, ranging from before the beginning of the current era until around the renaissance, a period during which arguably the Christian church was at its most ascendant. The Church essentially ran Europe from the fifth century until at least the fifteenth century, and yet we see a noticeable lack of important mathematicians during that period.

Also, you might want to do a little research into the contributions of some non-Western mathematicians whose existence certainly doesn't disprove your notion, but doesn't exactly support it, either. After all, the system of numbering used in Western mathematics was not, as it happens, even developed by Westerners.

I wonder if there's anything to the notion that the greatest flowering of Arabic mathematics coincides with a long drought in European mathematics. How would your argument account for that coincidence, if it were in fact the case?

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,17:11   

Quote (ericmurphy @ Sep. 25 2006,21:54)
You'll also note that there is a huge gap in your list, ranging from before the beginning of the current era until around the renaissance, a period during which arguably the Christian church was at its most ascendant. The Church essentially ran Europe from the fifth century until at least the fifteenth century, and yet we see a noticeable lack of important mathematicians during that period.

Fibonacci, Nemorarius, Nicole Oresme, etc.

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,18:05   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 25 2006,22:11)
Fibonacci, Nemorarius, Nicole Oresme, etc.

…and how many of these made the top-ten list? So one is left to wonder why, when the church was at its most ascendent in Europe, its mathematicians seemed to be more-or-less second-tier.

And this still begs the question of what is it about Christianity do you think makes it responsible for the quality of Western culture?

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,22:07   

By all means play with Paley, but if you have something more productive to do, like cat hoovering, go and do it.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2006,22:37   

Quote
Dave will show why the West is fundamentally Christian, and should remain so.


Ghost no one is arguing that Christians have not made great contributions to western culture. What is important is the 'remain so' bit. If you start posting huge lists of important people who were Christians it will just be a huge waste of time. Why does the west need Christianity now.

  
thurdl01



Posts: 99
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,02:58   

So here's a question.  Did those mathematicians make their great contributions BECAUSE they were Christians, or did they just happen to BE Christians?  Are you going to sit here and tell us that they wouldn't have made their contributions if they had been Buddhist, Muslim, or *gasp* athiests?  I'm just curious if this is actually the point of view you're coming from, because it's a completely indefensible position (and I mean that quite literally), and reveals an inability on your part to recognize a distinction between coincidence and causality that makes this whole attempt at debate futile.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,03:20   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ Sep. 24 2006,09:07)
In the UK we convert them into indoor climbing walls...

As a climber myself, I think this idea could make me think twice about burning the church.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,05:04   

Why don't we have a "Why the west needs bipeds" thread? When you describe 9x% of the population at that time, you don't describe very much. Although one will note that per capita, atheists do better than modern Christians.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,05:45   

Since Paley refuses to explain how faries keep the stars lit up, maybe he can answer this question, though until now he's been avoiding it.

In the initial post to this thread, he said:

Quote
the West is fundamentally Christian, and should remain so.


This makes it sound like you lack confidence in the ability of the West to remain 'fundamentally Christian' -- aside from keeping Muslims out, which you've talked about at great length, what actions do you see as necessary to 'keep America Christian'?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:07   

Quote
So here's a question.  Did those mathematicians make their great contributions BECAUSE they were Christians, or did they just happen to BE Christians?  Are you going to sit here and tell us that they wouldn't have made their contributions if they had been Buddhist, Muslim, or *gasp* athiests?


There were two reasons for showing the list:

1) To demonstrate how wide the gap is. At least 6 out of these 10 giants were commited Christians! Wow!

2) To indicate that the underlying societies might play a role. Once again, why Christian and not Buddhist societies?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:12   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 26 2006,11:07)
Quote
So here's a question.  Did those mathematicians make their great contributions BECAUSE they were Christians, or did they just happen to BE Christians?  Are you going to sit here and tell us that they wouldn't have made their contributions if they had been Buddhist, Muslim, or *gasp* athiests?


There were two reasons for showing the list:

1) To demonstrate how wide the gap is. At least 6 out of these 10 giants were commited Christians! Wow!

2) To indicate that the underlying societies might play a role. Once again, why Christian and not Buddhist societies?

Hang on, 6/10 in a region where >90% are Christian says 'christianity is an impediment'.

Thanks, GOP.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:27   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2006,11:12)
Hang on, 6/10 in a region where >90% are Christian says 'christianity is an impediment'.

Thanks, GOP.

Non sequitur (The cap really does suit you.)

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:30   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 26 2006,11:27)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2006,11:12)
Hang on, 6/10 in a region where >90% are Christian says 'christianity is an impediment'.

Thanks, GOP.

Non sequitur (The cap really does suit you.)

Run an ANOVA and get back to me.

Please not that in modern society, Atheists tend to be brighter, compose less of the prison population and have much lower divorce rates.*

[adjusts cap]



*Correlation / causation issues noted.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:41   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 26 2006,11:27)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2006,11:12)
Hang on, 6/10 in a region where >90% are Christian says 'christianity is an impediment'.

Thanks, GOP.

Non sequitur (The cap really does suit you.)

Then why aren't 9/10ths of the scientists GoP listed Christians, then?

Why are scientists disproportionately nonreligious? Is the ACLU somehow responsible?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:44   

Oh, the perils of using latin phases you don't understand.

Semper Tard!

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:50   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 26 2006,11:41)
Then why aren't 9/10ths of the scientists GoP listed Christians, then?

LOL. It might have something to do with the fact that Archimedes and Euclid lived before the advent of Christianity.

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:52   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 26 2006,11:50)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 26 2006,11:41)
Then why aren't 9/10ths of the scientists GoP listed Christians, then?

LOL. It might have something to do with the fact that Archimedes and Euclid lived before the advent of Christianity.

Fair enough, and the first time I've ever seen you actually explain something. But why *are* scientists disproportionately nonreligious?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:53   

That's Christs' fault, not theirs.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:56   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2006,11:44)
Oh, the perils of using latin phases you don't understand.

Semper Tard!

I understand the concept of non sequitur quite well, tardcap.

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:56   

Robert O'

You should try penis reduction surgery..

..seriously..

..then whatever cap you chose to wear might fit.

Alternatively if you choose not to ...never fear...the dunce's hat should keep the sun off it.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
REC



Posts: 638
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:57   

Who the heck came up with this list? I'm kind of a history of math and science nerd, and wow is it off....

For one example, it leaves off the founder of algebra and the Algorithm  (Al Jabr) Abu Abd-Allah ibn Musa al’Khwarizmi http://members.aol.com/bbyars1/algebra.html,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Khwarizmi

Without which, the Greek fixation with geometric proofs would have persisted-there is a real revolution in thinking!!

Not to mention Archimedes and Euclid predate Christ.

I'm not sure of the biography of all these gents, but a quick check of two of them shows Cauchy's career was marred by his extreme religious zeal, and support of the Jesuits; and Reimann spent way too much of his short life trying to prove Genesis mathmatically.

So-
1) The list is biased, at best
2) The foundations-geometry and algebra/algorithms lie with the Greeks and Arabs (Newton was an Arian heritic, btw, so calculus is on shaky grounds; interestingly he strongly supported the Church staying OUT of the University) http://www.newton.cam.ac.uk/newtlife.html
3) A sample shows religion interfered with the life and careers of those involved....

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,06:59   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 26 2006,11:56)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2006,11:44)
Oh, the perils of using latin phases you don't understand.

Semper Tard!

I understand the concept of non sequitur quite well, tardcap.

Uh-huh.


It's like Raaaaaaaaiiiiiin, on your wedding day...

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:00   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 26 2006,11:56)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2006,11:44)
Oh, the perils of using latin phases you don't understand.

Semper Tard!

I understand the concept of non sequitur quite well, tardcap.

It seems to work well for you.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:05   

This %*&(&%$& software!

Richard, Euclid and Archimedes didn't have a chance to become Christians, and Fermat could have been a Christian....I just couldn't find the info. That makes 6/7 (Poincare was an atheist I think), and 6/8 at the very worst. The point is that it took Christian societies to produce those giants. What happened to the great Hindu and Muslim mathematics programs? India had a huge head start, and Islamic countries were producing first-rate math from the ninth century at least. Yet Christian societies ended up lapping the field, regardless of a particular mathematician's beliefs. Why?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:10   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 26 2006,12:05)
This %*&(&%$& software!

Richard, Euclid and Archimedes didn't have a chance to become Christians, and Fermat could have been a Christian....I just couldn't find the info. That makes 6/7 (Poincare was an atheist I think), and 6/8 at the very worst. The point is that it took Christian societies to produce those giants. What happened to the great Hindu and Muslim mathematics programs? India had a huge head start, and Islamic countries were producing first-rate math from the ninth century at least. Yet Christian societies ended up lapping the field, regardless of a particular mathematician's beliefs. Why?

Paley, what about wrestlers and boxers? Most of the world's best wrestlers and boxers come from Christian societies. Why is it that it took Christian societies to produce those giants?

'Christian society' has also produced many of the world's worst dictators, but Paley would presumably counter that they were all atheists and thus, magically, no longer the result of their countries' Christian traditions. You're only influenced by Christianity when you're doing something Paley likes.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:10   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 26 2006,12:05)
This %*&(&%$& software!

Richard, Euclid and Archimedes didn't have a chance to become Christians, and Fermat could have been a Christian....I just couldn't find the info. That makes 6/7 (Poincare was an atheist I think), and 6/8 at the very worst. The point is that it took Christian societies to produce those giants. What happened to the great Hindu and Muslim mathematics programs? India had a huge head start, and Islamic countries were producing first-rate math from the ninth century at least. Yet Christian societies ended up lapping the field, regardless of a particular mathematician's beliefs. Why?

look at this and think *really* hard:

http://worldhistorysite.com/population.html

still waiting on your 'enlightenment piece', GoP, old chum.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:11   

Robert, roberto, robertas, robertat

"Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione"

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:18   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 26 2006,11:52)
Fair enough, and the first time I've ever seen you actually explain something. But why *are* scientists disproportionately nonreligious?

With regard to Christianity, perhaps some of them are put off by some of the same things I am, i.e., Old Testament, Trinity, transubstantiation, Mariolatry, chiliasm, and forced clerical celibacy/abstinence.

In any event, modern scientists cannot, in general, hold a candle to the (more) religious scientists of yore, so it don't make no never mind to me why modern scientists tend to be non-religious. (It should be noted, however, that mathematicians are more religious, on the whole, than other scientists.)

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:22   

REC:

Quote
Who the heck came up with this list? I'm kind of a history of math and science nerd, and wow is it off....


No, it's spot on....these are the greatest mathematicians, not a laundry list of great pioneers. Besides, you prove my point for me. Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims had their shot, but it was up to the Christians to actually cash in. What prevented the other societies from making the most of their early achievements?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:26   

Oh, two posts, both vying for 'best unsupported claim / because I say so'

I demand a Tard-off.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:26   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 26 2006,12:18)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 26 2006,11:52)
Fair enough, and the first time I've ever seen you actually explain something. But why *are* scientists disproportionately nonreligious?

With regard to Christianity, perhaps some of them are put off by some of the same things I am, i.e., Old Testament, Trinity, transubstantiation, Mariolatry, chiliasm, and forced clerical celibacy/abstinence.
other scientists.)

That explanation doesn't work. If that was the explanation, we'd see an en masse conversion of scientists away from Catholicism to Protestantism, instead of scientists actually leaving Christianity and religion in general. Besides, the Genesis story is no more emperically supportable than 'trinity, transubstantiation, Mariolatry, chiliasm, and forced clerical celibacy/abstinence.'

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:28   

I assume Robert O'  WAS attempting  humor, with this?

Quote
In any event, modern scientists cannot, in general, hold a candle to the (more) religious scientists of yore,.....



Quick tell the Nobel prize committee...

Headline news.....

"Neutrino's and Penicillan second rate religion free science according to leading science pundit"

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:29   

Quote (k.e @ Sep. 26 2006,12:11)
Robert, roberto, robertas, robertat

"Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione"

Weta:

Ne sutor ultra crepidam

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:35   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 26 2006,12:26)
That explanation doesn't work. If that was the explanation, we'd see an en masse conversion of scientists away from Catholicism to Protestantism, instead of scientists actually leaving Christianity and religion in general. Besides, the Genesis story is no more emperically supportable than 'trinity, transubstantiation, Mariolatry, chiliasm, and forced clerical celibacy/abstinence.'

Some of those doctrines apply equally as well to Protestantism. Anyway, my point was if Christianity were revised somewhat you might see more Christian scientists (but not Christian Scientists.  :) )

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:39   

Musical interlude:

[with apologies to Dean martin]

When a Tard makes a claim, but no book says the same
That's hand-waving
When only Christian fools see ‘self evident’ rules
That's hand-waving
Tards will sing, ‘you just can’t explain, god must be to blame’
With no citations
Inventing things, benefits they bring, glory be the king!
Like ‘Christian nations’

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:39   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 26 2006,12:05)
The point is that it took Christian societies to produce those giants. What happened to the great Hindu and Muslim mathematics programs? India had a huge head start, and Islamic countries were producing first-rate math from the ninth century at least. Yet Christian societies ended up lapping the field, regardless of a particular mathematician's beliefs. Why?

Bill, so far you have demonstrated, at best, and not very strongly, that a lot of eminent mathematicians come from a region of the world that is overwhelmingly Christian. Well, I don't think you would have gotten an argument about that from anyone here.

What you've so far failed to demonstrate is that there is something about being Christian specifically that leads to excellent work in mathematics. Couldn't it just as easily be something else entirely about living in Europe that is conducive to mathematical excellence? Why "Christian" societies? Why not "European" societies? I don't think you've refuted any of the points Mr. Diamond has made yet, Bill.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
REC



Posts: 638
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:43   

Wait! Let's be clear. Your list of 'Top Ten' mathematicians are the personal favorites of: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jamesdow/resume.htm
And is not in any way objective as it seems highly western-centric. You admit Arabs and Hindus had a great lead-where is mention of a single one of them?

So while Arab math is translating, preserving, and extending on the Greek tradition, Christian Europe ain't up to much. At all. So that Christian society failed in comparison to the East. This begs whether 'Christianity' is the key variable. Especially since you fail to demonstrate how the beliefs of any of these individuals CONTRIBUTES to their success.

Lets think of some other variables-the evolution of the middle class, along with the rise of the university. Trade, exploration, and Democracy are followed with cultural imperialism, and domination of the mid-east. Today, Non-Christian societies (India, Japan, China, the 'atheist, secular academy';) and individuals (Einstein) are doing some pretty #### good math and science. So what's your point?

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,07:55   

Ne sutor ultra crepidam

....You're projecting Robert.

OK its been a while ....37 years to be precise....lets see,

Ne = in order not...

sutor  = noun

ultra = farther, over (than),

crepidam= another noun

In order for the sutor not to go farther than his crepidam.

....ah Robert......are you gay?

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,08:05   

Quote (k.e @ Sep. 26 2006,12:55)
....ah Robert......are you gay?

Weta:

No. Why, are you interested?

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,08:17   

Xianity rules OK

I'm now going to take this thread seriously.

1. Western science owes everything to pre-Christian Athens and Rome and not a shekel to Jerusalem.

2. The whole premise of GOP and his stupidity pedlars if they had their way would shift a Eurocentric quality to a Levantine lavatory.

3.The church almost succeeded in completely wiping out centuries of learning by around 500CE, until the Renaissance when commerce outside of the church reduced its power. Art and science carried on from where the pagan Greeks left off 1000 years earlier.

Western science is a triumph of reason over superstition something the Christian church worked religiously to suppress until it's power was reduced.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,08:26   

RO

Ne fellatio ultra Dei

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,08:48   

Quote (guthrie @ Sep. 25 2006,16:19)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 25 2006,13:36)
Quote (guthrie @ Sep. 25 2006,10:16)
What is good about "The west"

A bit out of context yes.

But have you ever lived in the East?

It is not very nice.

Just now, many parts of it are not nice.  But 600 years ago large parts of China and India were more advanced than much of Western Europe, and nicer places to live.  

Also, some of what makes "The east" a bad place to live right now are imports from "The west", whether its our strains of political dictatorship, or rampant industrialisation that is poisoning part of society.  

Besides, I really dont think you can involve the Greeks in this, insofar as they were not Christians, and IIRC correctly it was a Christian bishop who had the library of ALexandria burnt, which library contained many copies of important texts from the Greeks and ROmans.

I was thinking about Pakistan and Afghanistan present day.

As to China you are probably correct if you where male. Wasn't China binding womens feet at the time you quote? I don't think that I would like that to happen to me.

Right now I do not think that the Burkha is a western idea. Do you aprove of that?

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,09:03   

"Why the West needs Christianity" by GoP. Oh the irony.

GoP, you are a perfect example of "why the West doesn't need Christianity". Tell us, Bill...
How old is the Earth ?
Is it at the center of the universe ?
When did the Middle Age end ?

:D

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,10:18   

eric:
 
Quote
Bill, so far you have demonstrated, at best, and not very strongly, that a lot of eminent mathematicians come from a region of the world that is overwhelmingly Christian. Well, I don't think you would have gotten an argument about that from anyone here.

Not many of the best. Most of the best. And all of them are European. (This, of course, would count against my hypothesis, but honesty compels me to admit it, even if it makes the libbies squirm).

 
Quote
What you've so far failed to demonstrate is that there is something about being Christian specifically that leads to excellent work in mathematics. Couldn't it just as easily be something else entirely about living in Europe that is conducive to mathematical excellence? Why "Christian" societies? Why not "European" societies? I don't think you've refuted any of the points Mr. Diamond has made yet, Bill.


Actually, I wouldn't wave Guns, Germs, and Steel around too much if I were you, because some racists believe that Diamond elucidates the selective pressures that shaped the Great White Brain. Diamond's anti-White agenda (all races are equal except for Whites, who are as dumb as lampposts) doesn't help you either.... :D

You do raise a valid point, however: even if one rejects biological differences, how do I tease out the other historical variables? Well, one way would be to point out that the Muslims had recourse to the same Pagan scientists that the Christians had, but the Christians took it to the next level while Muslim mathematics stagnated. Same thing with the Hindus: they, too, had gems like Mahavira, Bramagupta, and Jyeshtadeva. Yet why, for example, did the Kerala school crash and burn, forcing 20th Century greats like Chandrasekhar, Bose, and Ramanujan to lean heavily on Western math? What dissipated the early advantages that these two cultures held over Europe? A peek into the Koran or Laws of Manu might provide a clue.

More later.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,10:31   

Hey, GoP. Isn't Islam largely untouched by the enlightenment? I've braught this up and you never replied.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,10:52   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 26 2006,15:18)
Not many of the best. Most of the best. And all of them are European. (This, of course, would count against my hypothesis, but honesty compels me to admit it, even if it makes the libbies squirm).

Bill, all of the ones on your list are Europeans, but you've made no case, shaky or not, as to why your list should not include non-western mathematicians who have come up with such ideas as an actually-usable notation system, the concept of zero, and algebra.

Out of, say, the top 100 mathematicians of all time, how many are Europeans? Just those ten? Or some other number? And in any event, you still haven't explained what it is about Christianity in particular, as opposed to European culture in general, that makes one excel at mathematics. Without such a showing, all you've got is correlation, with not even a hypothesis as to causation.

Also: I'm a liberal, and I ain't squirmin.' I don't know where you got this idea that "liberals" hate Europeans.

 
Quote
Actually, I wouldn't wave Guns, Germs, and Steel around too much if I were you, because some racists believe that Diamond elucidates the selective pressures that shaped the Great White Brain. Diamond's anti-White agenda (all races are equal except for Whites, who are as dumb as lampposts) doesn't help you either....

Why not? Who cares what "some racists" think? Lots of religious fundamentalists such as yourself believe that Hitler owed an intellectual debt to Darwin (as well as that Hitler was a "liberal"), which even if true has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the merits of Evolutionary Theory.

Diamond is actually saying that accidents of geography, and the availability of domesticable animals, had more to do with the success of Western civilization than any other factors, and is the opposite of a claim that "selective pressures…shaped the Great White Brain." If a few idiot racists want to invert his conclusions, how is that Diamond's fault?

Further, Diamond doesn't argue that white people in particular are less intelligent than, e.g., New Guinean tribesman; he argues that people living in Western cultures are less intelligent because there's less need for intelligence than there is in the environment New Guinean tribesman live in. Have you actually read "Guns, Germs, and Steel," Bill, or are you basing your opinion of it on reviews?

And which do you believe, Bill? That Diamond hates whites, or that he thinks they're superior to the duskier races? You seem to believe both simultaneously.

 
Quote
You do raise a valid point, however: even if one rejects biological differences, how do I tease out the other historical variables? Well, one way would be to point out that the Muslims had recourse to the same Pagan scientists that the Christians had, but the Christians took it to the next level while Muslim mathematics stagnated. Same thing with the Hindus: they, too, had gems like Mahavira, Bramagupta, and Jyeshtadeva. Yet why, for example, did the Kerala school crash and burn, forcing 20th Century greats like Chandrasekhar, Bose, and Ramanujan to lean heavily on Western math? What dissipated the early advantages that these two cultures held over Europe? A peek into the Koran or Laws of Manu might provide a clue.


But they won't help your argument, Bill, at least when it comes to mathematics. What is it specifically about being Christian that allows one to excel in mathematics? That's the part of your argument that's missing.

Meanwhile, I do have a hypothesis as to why Europe produced great mathematicians out of proportion to its population relative to the rest of the world: Europe, for at least the last 500 years, has produced sufficient wealth for at least a portion of the population that some individuals could devote their lives to developing the calculus as opposed to, say, subsistence farming. Why is that prior to the 20th century, famous African mathematicians were virtually unheard of? Could it be because there were no civilizations advanced enough to afford individuals the leisure time to muse on number theory rather than, e.g., animal husbandry?

Maybe Diamond is right, and agricultural techniques have more to do with the rise of mathematics than religion does?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,10:53   

Quote

Actually, I wouldn't wave Guns, Germs, and Steel around too much if I were you, because some racists believe that Diamond elucidates the selective pressures that shaped the Great White Brain. Diamond's anti-White agenda (all races are equal except for Whites, who are as dumb as lampposts) doesn't help you either....


Actually, I don't think Diamond is racist at all, I think that it's just that Diamond refuses to say that White Western Conservative Christians are as well off as they are because of any inherent racial/cultural/religious superiority, basically attributing the success of European culture to geographic and environmental luck. I think the reason you don't like his book is because White Western Conservative Christians like yourself hate not being told they're special. I've seen this reaction to his book a million times.

Certain leftists dislike his book as well because they don't like Diamond's definition of what is essential to a culture to be considered successful, and they think he whitewashes what Europeans did to places like the New World in the colonial period. I disagree with both sentiments, incidentally.

Have you actually read Guns, Germs, and Steel? Or are you just reporting what you've read on rightwing websites?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,11:24   

I'm crazy for even entering this conversation but I can not resist (you guys must be growing on me).

I'd just like to offer two tidbits.

One, we're dealing with a hypothetical.  Christianity has had an impact upon not only western culture but the world so we do not have an appropriate model sans Chritianity with which to compare and so all statements either for or against are supposition.  Attributes that we consider positive could actually be negative ones because we have no objective basis to view the alternative.  For instance, asking the question: How would the world have developed without Christianity?, is pure guesswork.

Two, I heard a commentary on NPR a while back comparing a survey taken in 1958 and in 2004.  The question was asked of biologists, Do you believe in God?  The group answering Yes was 40% in both surveys.  Just thought I'd throw that one out there.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,11:25   

R. Hughes:

     
Quote
Hey, GoP. Isn't Islam largely untouched by the enlightenment? I've braught this up and you never replied.


Hard to establish cause and effect, but I note two things:

1) The Enlightenment arrived in Christian, and not Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist countries;

2) Many of the fathers of the movement (Newton, Leibniz, Descartes, Locke, Pascal, and Berkeley) were commited Christians. So commited, in fact, that they spent a great deal of time defending and interpreting the Christian scriptures. Without these men, and the open and individualistic cultures that produced them, the Enlightenment would not have been so, well, enlightened. Christianity provided the rich soil for the movement's growth, because even its enemies derived intellectual energy from opposing Jesus. Contrast this with the attitude of Islam towards free-thinking Muslims, or Hindus towards uppity Dalits.

Arfin':

   
Quote
Actually, I don't think Diamond is racist at all, I think that it's just that Diamond refuses to say that White Western Conservative Christians are as well off as they are because of any inherent racial/cultural/religious superiority, basically attributing the success of European culture to geographic and environmental luck. I think the reason you don't like his book is because White Western Conservative Christians like yourself hate not being told they're special. I've seen this reaction to his book a million times.


If you read the book, then you must know that Diamond believes that Whites are mentally inferior to at least some groups of non-Whites. So either you didn't read the book, forgot what you read, or are lying. So which is it?

   
Quote
Have you actually read Guns, Germs, and Steel? Or are you just reporting what you've read on rightwing websites?


Ask Eric. Unfortunately for you, I've also read hereditarian reviews of Diamond's work:

   
Quote
As a card-carrying "race-realist" (Rushton, 1995), I should register my objection to Diamond’s claim that Guns, Germs, and Steel is a good faith effort to solve one of the most controversial and enduring controversies in the history of philosophy and social science. However well written, however encyclopedic in scope, and however much truth there may be in this book about 10,000 years of human history, Diamond does not give his readers the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In fact, he gives them much less. Inexcusably for an evolutionary biologist, Diamond fails to inform his readers that it is different environments that cause, via natural selection, biological differences among populations. All of the Eurasian developments he described created positive feedback loops selecting for increased intelligence and various personality traits (e.g., altruism, rule-following, etc.).

Racial differences in brain size and IQ map very closely to the same cultural histories Diamond explains. Although Diamond dismisses such research as "loathsome", he fails to tell his readers what, if anything, might be scientifically wrong with any of it. One hundred years of research has established that East Asians and Europeans average higher IQs than do Africans. East Asians, measured in North America and in Pacific Rim countries, typically average IQs in the range of 101 to 111. Caucasoid populations in North America, Europe, and Australasia typically average IQs from 85 to 115 with an overall mean of 100. African populations living south of the Sahara, in North America, in the Caribbean, and in Britain typically have mean IQs from 70 to 90.


I don't accept Rushton's theories, but the man has a point: even if what Diamond says is true, it doesn't damage the hereditarian point of view at all: on the contrary, it provides a rationale for racist theories. Of course, that was the intention all along, but Diamond aimed at Whites but hit Blacks instead.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,11:30   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Sep. 26 2006,13:48)
I was thinking about Pakistan and Afghanistan present day.

As to China you are probably correct if you where male. Wasn't China binding womens feet at the time you quote? I don't think that I would like that to happen to me.

Right now I do not think that the Burkha is a western idea. Do you aprove of that?

I was thinking about the past 2,000 years.  A difference in scale makes a major difference.
Also, there is little in Christianity that even makes it clear one way or another about oppression of women or not.  
And foot binding was not exactly universal practise across China at any time.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,11:34   

Quote
If you read the book, then you must know that Diamond believes that Whites are mentally inferior to at least some groups of non-Whites. So either you didn't read the book, forgot what you read, or are lying. So which is it?


HAVE you read the book? Yes or no. You're being awfully evasive, which hints very strongly that you have not.

Either way I don't agree with your description of Diamond, nor do I think you're innocent of that kind of thing yourself. So please cite the passage that you think says that. I hope you don't have to look on some wingnut website to find one.

If you haven't read the book, then you have piss-poor qualifications to be calling Diamond 'racist', especially given how indignant you get whenever someone accuses you of racism.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,12:13   

Quote

Ask Eric. Unfortunately for you, I've also read hereditarian reviews of Diamond's work:


'Hereditarian'? Cute. New euphemism?

You mean another one of those racist websites you get so much of your information from. Kind of ironic, given that you're trying to prove that DIAMOND is a racist.

So you haven't read Diamond's book, right? I have, and somehow I'm less of an authority on it.

Impressive, Paley. But consistent for you.

Quote
Diamond aimed at Whites but hit Blacks instead.


Please provide a quote FROM DIAMOND, not some racist's summary, that shows him 'hitting blacks'.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,12:36   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 26 2006,16:25)
I don't accept Rushton's theories, but the man has a point: even if what Diamond says is true, it doesn't damage the hereditarian point of view at all: on the contrary, it provides a rationale for racist theories. Of course, that was the intention all along, but Diamond aimed at Whites but hit Blacks instead.

Bill, he aims at neither, and hits neither. His whole thesis is that accidents of location are largely responsible for the relative advancements of various cultures throughout the world, and relative levels of intelligence have nothing to do with it.

The quote you posted proves my point. The quote accuses Diamond of never even addressing the contention that "different environments cause, via natural selection, biological differences among populations."

So tell me once again how Diamond's writing "provides a rationale" for racist theories?

It sounds to me like you believe that if someone claims environment has an effect on intelligence, he's a racist, and if he denies that environment has an effect on intelligence, he's also a racist. Is it possible to not be a racist, in your view?

As to your larger point, that there's something specific to Christian beliefs that encourages accomplishment in mathematics, and by implication in other fields of human endeavor, you've still gone no further than establishing correlation. Where's the evidence of causation? Do you even have a colorable hypothesis as to causation? I.e., what is it specifically about Christianity that gives its followers a leg up in the civilization rat race?

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,13:09   

Quote
Bill, all of the ones on your list are Europeans, but you've made no case, shaky or not, as to why your list should not include non-western mathematicians who have come up with such ideas as an actually-usable notation system, the concept of zero, and algebra.


First: click on the link and you'll see that the only non-European mentioned is Ramanujan, so it's not like the results are an artifact of razor-close decisions. Despite his luminous mind, Ramanujan doesn't make the cut because his work is just a little too narrow to include him among the very greatest (no one disputes his ability, however). Maybe I'll do a content analysis for some of the non-Western greats, but I think the list is very reasonable.

 
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Out of, say, the top 100 mathematicians of all time, how many are Europeans? Just those ten? Or some other number? And in any event, you still haven't explained what it is about Christianity in particular, as opposed to European culture in general, that makes one excel at mathematics. Without such a showing, all you've got is correlation, with not even a hypothesis as to causation.


I'll have to look up several top-100 lists. I doubt a bigger list will be any less depressing. Please keep in mind that a mathematical community needs more than genius; the larger society must provide a supportive matrix.

Quote
Who cares what "some racists" think? Lots of religious fundamentalists such as yourself believe that Hitler owed an intellectual debt to Darwin (as well as that Hitler was a "liberal"), which even if true has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the merits of Evolutionary Theory.

Diamond is actually saying that accidents of geography, and the availability of domesticable animals, had more to do with the success of Western civilization than any other factors, and is the opposite of a claim that "selective pressures…shaped the Great White Brain." If a few idiot racists want to invert his conclusions, how is that Diamond's fault?


Not to mention the extensive botany lessons. Yes, Diamond makes several excellent points, but as an evolutionist he should have realised the implications of applying differential selective pressures to geographically isolated groups. Why didn't he? I suspect he pondered this issue, but didn't think enough time had elapsed to make an appreciable difference. Recent discoveries, however, have challenged that assumption, and the racists have taken full advantage.

Quote
And which do you believe, Bill? That Diamond hates whites, or that he thinks they're superior to the duskier races? You seem to believe both simultaneously.


I don't think Diamond hates whites; he just resents their (our) success. Hence the great Testicle Study, another endeavor that blew up in his face. But Diamond is a racist, and if you wish I'll show you the evidence.

Quote
HAVE you read the book? Yes or no.


Yes. In fact I own a copy.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,13:58   

Ok, now that the software is happy again, I'll play catch-up.

Shemp:

     
Quote
'Hereditarian'? Cute. New euphemism?

You mean another one of those racist websites you get so much of your information from. Kind of ironic, given that you're trying to prove that DIAMOND is a racist.


But Diamond clearly expresses a racist opinion in the prologue. How ever did you miss it? In any case, I caught it, because I actually read the book.

Now, does it really matter if he's a racist? Not when evaluating his claims, which live or die on the strength of the evidence. But the truth remains that Diamond believes that Europeans are stupider on average than at least one ethnic group. Do you know which one it is?

     
Quote
So you haven't read Diamond's book, right? I have, and somehow I'm less of an authority on it.


In this case you are. And Eric can tell you why.

     
Quote
Please provide a quote FROM DIAMOND, not some racist's summary, that shows him 'hitting blacks'.


You misunderstood my statement, which is a common state of affairs for you. I said that his racism is direct and easily provable; his motives are a matter of debate. Recent research reveals evidence for recent selective pressures on brain-growth and enrichment genes, although several scientists offer other interpretations. Regardless of the outcome, Diamond's assumption of slow selective effects on human intelligence is on shaky grounds. But I'll let you evos worry about that.  :)

eric:

 
Quote
 
Quote
(The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 26 2006,16:25)
I don't accept Rushton's theories, but the man has a point: even if what Diamond says is true, it doesn't damage the hereditarian point of view at all: on the contrary, it provides a rationale for racist theories. Of course, that was the intention all along, but Diamond aimed at Whites but hit Blacks instead.


Bill, he aims at neither, and hits neither. His whole thesis is that accidents of location are largely responsible for the relative advancements of various cultures throughout the world, and relative levels of intelligence have nothing to do with it.

The quote you posted proves my point. The quote accuses Diamond of never even addressing the contention that "different environments cause, via natural selection, biological differences among populations."

So tell me once again how Diamond's writing "provides a rationale" for racist theories?


Because according to Rushton at least, the environmental advantages that Diamond adduces led to the development of agriculture, which in turn drove selection for traits like altruism, intelligence, and self-control. That's what he means by "positive feedback loops". Hey, it's his theory.

Quote
It sounds to me like you believe that if someone claims environment has an effect on intelligence, he's a racist, and if he denies that environment has an effect on intelligence, he's also a racist. Is it possible to not be a racist, in your view?


Diamond opines that whites don't have the mental brainpower of other groups. Are you saying this isn't racist?

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Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,14:08   

Quote

But Diamond clearly expresses a racist opinion in the prologue. How ever did you miss it? In any case, I caught it, because I actually read the book.


Provide the quote, please, with context. I'll line it up against my copy.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,14:17   

Shemp:
Quote
Provide the quote, please, with context. I'll line it up against my copy.


OK, I'll give it to you tomorrow. But until I obtain my copy, would you mind telling me how this revelation, if true, would affect your opinion of his work? I don't care about how politically correct he is, but would you be less inclined to respect his opinion? Just curious.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,14:22   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 26 2006,19:17)
Shemp:
Quote
Provide the quote, please, with context. I'll line it up against my copy.


OK, I'll give it to you tomorrow. But until I obtain my copy, would you mind telling me how this revelation, if true, would affect your opinion of his work? I don't care about how politically correct he is, but would you be less inclined to respect his opinion? Just curious.

Frankly, I haven't thought about it, since I have no idea what this quote you have in mind says, plus I read the whole book two times and never saw anything 'racist' in it. (Moreover, that would also clash with the overall premise of the book as well.) I personally predict that that the quote will be something you're choosing to interpret as racist yet which I don't.

I'd have to see the quote to make any judgement at all.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,16:28   

Re Mathematicians: again, Bill, the most you've demonstrated is that Europeans are over-represented among mathematicians. I don't think anyone's seriously disputing that. But where's the evidence that Christianity has anything to do with that?

 
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 26 2006,18:09)
Not to mention the extensive botany lessons. Yes, Diamond makes several excellent points, but as an evolutionist he should have realised the implications of applying differential selective pressures to geographically isolated groups. Why didn't he? I suspect he pondered this issue, but didn't think enough time had elapsed to make an appreciable difference. Recent discoveries, however, have challenged that assumption, and the racists have taken full advantage.

Diamond's not talking about "selective pressures," Bill. The conditions Diamond points to are providing "selection pressures" on societies, not individuals. Do you think east-west mountain ranges have exerted significant selection pressure on the human brain in the past, say, 1,000 years? Because 1,000 years ago, anyone looking at the whole planet would have reckoned that the great civilizations were all in the East, not the West.

     
Quote
I don't think Diamond hates whites; he just resents their (our) success. Hence the great Testicle Study, another endeavor that blew up in his face. But Diamond is a racist, and if you wish I'll show you the evidence.



Why would Diamond "resent" the success of Whites, Bill? He is White. And before you go about trying to prove Diamond is a "racist," perhaps you should let us know what your definition of a "racist" is.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,16:37   

Quote
perhaps you should let us know what your definition of a "racist" is.


oh why oh why would you really care?

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,16:38   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 26 2006,16:25)
If you read the book, then you must know that Diamond believes that Whites are mentally inferior to at least some groups of non-Whites. So either you didn't read the book, forgot what you read, or are lying. So which is it?

Not "White people." People who live in technologically-advanced societies, as compared with those who live in "primitive" societies. He spells out in detail why he believes this to be so, and his reasons have nothing whatever to do with race.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,20:52   

Quote (guthrie @ Sep. 26 2006,16:30)
I was thinking about the past 2,000 years.  A difference in scale makes a major difference.
Also, there is little in Christianity that even makes it clear one way or another about oppression of women or not.  
And foot binding was not exactly universal practise across China at any time.

I was thinking about present day. There are not many places that I would rather live right now that do not belong in the democracy "western values" camp.

In the time scale you refer to then I would readily concede that women have been opressed in my society. But those are not the times that I live in.

In my lifetime I have lived/stayed in the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, Serbia and Cyprus (to name a fair few). I generally prefer the ones that have the most freedom.

Oh, BTW, I do not think that Christianity has much to do with "the superiority of the West". Although with the exception of Bahrain I have not lived in a muslim country where I liked the laws and even Bahrain appears to supress it's own women. To my eyes anyway. You certainly don't see them out and about enjoying themselves.

Maybe it is liberalism that I enjoy.

I definately believe that every citizen should enjoy equal rights under the law. That is not something that happens universally in this world.

  
guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2006,21:53   

Well thats ok then Stephen.  We have little to disagree about.  

(Though I'm sure we can find something if we try...)

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,09:29   

I've got the book, Arden.

ARDEN'S DOOM

ETA: 8:00pm tonight

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Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,09:36   

Quote
I definately believe that every citizen should enjoy equal rights under the law. That is not something that happens universally in this world.


Its not something that happens under Christianity.

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"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
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Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,10:45   

Quote
Maybe it is liberalism that I enjoy.


bingo.

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Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,11:27   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Sep. 27 2006,15:45)
Quote
Maybe it is liberalism that I enjoy.


bingo.

I can't explain why but that made me laugh.

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,11:44   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 27 2006,14:29)
I've got the book, Arden.

ARDEN'S DOOM

ETA: 8:00pm tonight

Can you summarize the quote?

If not, why not?

Sure you've really read the book?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,12:27   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 27 2006,16:44)
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 27 2006,14:29)
I've got the book, Arden.

ARDEN'S DOOM

ETA: 8:00pm tonight

Can you summarize the quote?

If not, why not?

Sure you've really read the book?

He's got the book. He'll have read it by 8 tonight.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,12:33   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 27 2006,17:27)
 
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 27 2006,16:44)
 
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 27 2006,14:29)
I've got the book, Arden.

ARDEN'S DOOM

ETA: 8:00pm tonight

Can you summarize the quote?

If not, why not?

Sure you've really read the book?

He's got the book. He'll have read it by 8 tonight.

I guess that was the quickest his local library could get it for him.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,14:12   

I see that Shemp n Hughie have put their time to ill use....now it's time to clean Arfin's clock:

From The Book:

p.20, Prologue: Yali's Question:

"My perspective on this controversy [IQ differences] comes from 33 years of working with New Guineans in their own intact societies. From the very beginning of my work with New Guineans, they impressed me as being on the average more intelligent, more alert, more expressive, and more interested in things and people around them than the average European or American is." [He then talks about their superiority in forming a "mental map of unfamiliar surroundings", while blaming their failures elsewhere on a lack of schooling].

He spends the next paragraphs discussing why New Guineans are smarter than Europeans:

1) Europeans lived in densely populated cities that bred epidemic diseases that didn't discriminate between the intelligent and everyone else;

2) New Guinean tribesmen, on the other hand, had to worry about tribal warfare, crime, and accidents, which selected for a higher IQ.

3) He then brings up Westerner's reliance on passive entertainment such as television, which "contributes a non-genetic component to the superior average mental function displayed by New Guineans". He continues in the very next sentence:
"That is, in mental ability New Guineans are probably genetically superior to Westerners, and they surely are superior in escaping the devastating developmental disadvantages under which most children in industrialized societies now grow up."

Now I know that "Europe" and "America" do not equal "white people", but given that he's talking about the dysgenic impact of epidemic diseases throughout these regions's histories, he can't be referring to the relatively recent nonwhite immigrants, and since he spends a lot of time defending Middle and South Americans, he's probably not referring to Amerindians either (especially since Northern Amerindians didn't live in crowded cities). That leaves You-Know-Who.

Still feelin' smug, Arfin?

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,15:02   

eric:

   
Quote
Meanwhile, I do have a hypothesis as to why Europe produced great mathematicians out of proportion to its population relative to the rest of the world: Europe, for at least the last 500 years, has produced sufficient wealth for at least a portion of the population that some individuals could devote their lives to developing the calculus as opposed to, say, subsistence farming. Why is that prior to the 20th century, famous African mathematicians were virtually unheard of? Could it be because there were no civilizations advanced enough to afford individuals the leisure time to muse on number theory rather than, e.g., animal husbandry?


One problem with Eric's proposal is that it assumes that Christianity didn't contribute to wealth-building in the first place. Unfortunately for Eric, the West became wealthy through the influence of capitalism, and there's a good deal of evidence that Christianity inspired capitalism. For example:

   
Quote
Even the most militant enemies of capitalism credit it with creating previously undreamed of productivity and progress. In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels proposed that before the rise of capitalism, humans engaged “in the most slothful indolence”; the capitalist system was “the first to show what man’s activity can bring about.” Capitalism achieved that miracle through regular reinvestment to increase productivity, either to create greater capacity or improve technology, and by motivating both management and labor through ever-rising payoffs.

Supposing that capitalism did produce Europe’s own “great leap forward,” it remains to be explained why capitalism developed only in Europe. Some writers have found the roots of capitalism in the Protestant Reformation; others have traced it back to various political circumstances. But, if one digs deeper, it becomes clear that the truly fundamental basis not only for capitalism, but for the rise of the West, was an extraordinary faith in reason.

A series of developments, in which reason won the day, gave unique shape to Western culture and institutions. And the most important of those victories occurred within Christianity. While the other world religions emphasized mystery and intuition, Christianity alone embraced reason and logic as the primary guides to religious truth. Christian faith in reason was influenced by Greek philosophy. But the more important fact is that Greek philosophy had little impact on Greek religions. Those remained typical mystery cults, in which ambiguity and logical contradictions were taken as hallmarks of sacred origins. Similar assumptions concerning the fundamental inexplicability of the gods and the intellectual superiority of introspection dominated all of the other major world religions.

But, from early days, the church fathers taught that reason was the supreme gift from God and the means to progressively increase understanding of Scripture and revelation. Consequently Christianity was oriented to the future, while the other major religions asserted the superiority of the past. At least in principle, if not always in fact, Christian doctrines could always be modified in the name of progress, as demonstrated by reason. Encouraged by the scholastics and embodied in the great medieval universities founded by the church, faith in the power of reason infused Western culture, stimulating the pursuit of science and the evolution of democratic theory and practice. The rise of capitalism also was a victory for church-inspired reason, since capitalism is, in essence, the systematic and sustained application of reason to commerce—something that first took place within the great monastic estates.

During the past century Western intellectuals have been more than willing to trace European imperialism to Christian origins, but they have been entirely unwilling to recognize that Christianity made any contribution (other than intolerance) to the Western capacity to dominate other societies. Rather, the West is said to have surged ahead precisely as it overcame religious barriers to progress, especially those impeding science. Nonsense. The success of the West, including the rise of science, rested entirely on religious foundations, and the people who brought it about were devout Christians. Unfortunately, even many of those historians willing to grant Christianity a role in shaping Western progress have tended to limit themselves to tracing beneficial religious effects of the Protestant Reformation. It is as if the previous 1,500 years of Christianity either were of little matter, or were harmful.

Such academic anti-Roman Catholicism inspired the most famous book ever written on the origins of capitalism. At the start of the 20th century, the German sociologist Max Weber published what soon became an immensely influential study: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. In it Weber proposed that capitalism originated only in Europe because, of all the world’s religions, only Protestantism provided a moral vision that led people to restrain their material consumption while vigorously seeking wealth. Weber argued that, before the Reformation, restraint on consumption was invariably linked to asceticism and, hence, to condemnations of commerce. Conversely, the pursuit of wealth was linked to profligate consumption. Either cultural pattern was inimical to capitalism. According to Weber, the Protestant ethic shattered those traditional linkages, creating a culture of frugal entrepreneurs content to systematically reinvest profits in order to pursue ever greater wealth, and therein lies the key to capitalism and the ascendancy of the West.

Perhaps because it was such an elegant thesis, it was widely embraced, despite the fact that it was so obviously wrong. Even today The Protestant Ethic enjoys an almost sacred status among sociologists, although economic historians quickly dismissed Weber’s surprisingly undocumented monograph on the irrefutable grounds that the rise of capitalism in Europe preceded the Reformation by centuries. Only a decade after Weber published, the celebrated Belgian scholar Henri Pirenne noted a large literature that “established the fact that all of the essential features of capitalism—individual enterprise, advances in credit, commercial profits, speculation, etc.—are to be found from the 12th century on, in the city republics of Italy—Venice, Genoa, or Florence.” A generation later, the equally celebrated French historian Fernand Braudel complained, “All historians have opposed this tenuous theory, although they have not managed to be rid of it once and for all. Yet it is clearly false. The northern countries took over the place that earlier had so long and brilliantly been occupied by the old capitalist centers of the Mediterranean. They invented nothing, either in technology or business management.” Braudel might have added that, during their critical period of economic development, those northern centers of capitalism were Catholic, not Protestant—the Reformation still lay well into the future. Further, as the Canadian historian John Gilchrist, an authority on the economic activity of the medieval church, pointed out, the first examples of capitalism appeared in the great Christian monasteries.

Though Weber was wrong, however, he was correct to suppose that religious ideas played a vital role in the rise of capitalism in Europe. The material conditions needed for capitalism existed in many civilizations in various eras, including China, the Islamic world, India, Byzantium, and probably ancient Rome and Greece as well. But none of those societies broke through and developed capitalism, as none evolved ethical visions compatible with that dynamic economic system. Instead, leading religions outside the West called for asceticism and denounced profits, while wealth was exacted from peasants and merchants by rapacious elites dedicated to display and consumption. Why did things turn out differently in Europe? Because of the Christian commitment to rational theology, something that may have played a major role in causing the Reformation, but that surely predated Protestantism by far more than a millennium.

Even so, capitalism developed in only some locales. Why not in all? Because in some European societies, as in most of the rest of the world, it was prevented from happening by greedy despots. Freedom also was essential for the development of capitalism. That raises another matter: Why has freedom so seldom existed in most of the world, and how was it nurtured in some medieval European states? That, too, was a victory of reason. Before any medieval European state actually attempted rule by an elected council, Christian theologians had long been theorizing about the nature of equality and individual rights—indeed, the later work of such secular 18th-century political theorists as John Locke explicitly rested on egalitarian axioms derived by church scholars. [Partly because Locke wasn't so secular! -- Paley]

All of this stemmed from the fact that from earliest days, the major theologians taught that faith in reason was intrinsic to faith in God. As Quintus Tertullian instructed in the second century, “Reason is a thing of God, inasmuch as there is nothing which God the Maker of all has not provided, disposed, ordained by reason—nothing which He has not willed should be handled and understood by reason.” Consequently it was assumed that reason held the key to progress in understanding scripture, and that knowledge of God and the secrets of his creation would increase over time. St. Augustine (c. 354-430) flatly asserted that through the application of reason we will gain an increasingly more accurate understanding of God, remarking that although there are “certain matters pertaining to the doctrine of salvation that we cannot yet grasp ... one day we shall be able to do so.”

Nor was the Christian belief in progress limited to theology. Augustine went on at length about the “wonderful—one might say stupefying—advances human industry has made.” All were attributed to the “unspeakable boon” that God has conferred upon his creation, a “rational nature.” Those views were repeated again and again through the centuries.
Especially typical were these words preached by Fra Giordano, in Florence in 1306: “Not all the arts have been found; we shall never see an end of finding them.”

Christian faith in reason and in progress was the foundation on which Western success was achieved. As the distinguished philosopher Alfred North Whitehead put it during one of his Lowell Lectures at Harvard in 1925, science arose only in Europe because only there did people think that science could be done and should be done, a faith “derivative from medieval theology.”

Moreover the medieval Christian faith in reason and progress was constantly reinforced by actual progress, by technical and organizational innovations, many of them fostered by Christianity. For the past several centuries, far too many of us have been misled by the incredible fiction that, from the fall of Rome until about the 15th century, Europe was submerged in the Dark Ages—centuries of ignorance, superstition, and misery—from which it was suddenly, almost miraculously, rescued; first by the Renaissance and then by the Enlightenment. But, as even dictionaries and encyclopedias recently have begun to acknowledge, it was all a lie!

It was during the so-called Dark Ages that European technology and science overtook and surpassed the rest of the world. Some of that involved original inventions and discoveries; some of it came from Asia. But what was so remarkable was the way that the full capacities of new technologies were recognized and widely adopted. By the 10th century Europe already was far ahead in terms of farming equipment and techniques, had unmatched capacities in the use of water and wind power, and possessed superior military equipment and tactics. Not to be overlooked in all that medieval progress was the invention of a whole new way to organize and operate commerce and industry: capitalism.

Capitalism was developed by the great monastic estates. Throughout the medieval era, the church was by far the largest landowner in Europe, and its liquid assets and annual income probably exceeded that of all of Europe’s nobility added together. Much of that wealth poured into the coffers of the religious orders, not only because they were the largest landowners, but also in payment for liturgical services—Henry VII of England paid a huge sum to have 10,000 masses said for his soul. As rapid innovation in agricultural technology began to yield large surpluses to the religious orders, the church not only began to reinvest profits to increase production, but diversified. Having substantial amounts of cash on hand, the religious orders began to lend money at interest.
[Hmmmmm....isn't there a religion that frowns on that? -- Paley] They soon evolved the mortgage (literally, “dead pledge”) to lend money with land for security, collecting all income from the land during the term of the loan, none of which was deducted from the amount owed. That practice often added to the monastery’s lands because the monks were not hesitant to foreclose. In addition, many monasteries began to rely on a hired labor force and to display an uncanny ability to adopt the latest technological advances. Capitalism had arrived.

Still, like all of the world’s other major religions, for centuries Christianity took a dim view of commerce. As the many great Christian monastic orders maximized profits and lent money at whatever rate of interest the market would bear, they were increasingly subject to condemnations from more traditional members of the clergy who accused them of avarice.

Given the fundamental commitment of Christian theologians to reason and progress, what they did was rethink the traditional teachings.
What is a just price for one’s goods, they asked? According to the immensely influential St. Albertus Magnus (1193-1280), the just price is simply what “goods are worth according to the estimate of the market at the time of sale.” That is, a just price is not a function of the amount of profit, but is whatever uncoerced buyers are willing to pay. Adam Smith would have agreed—St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) did. As for usury, a host of leading theologians of the day remained opposed to it, but quickly defined it out of practical existence. For example, no usury was involved if the interest was paid to compensate the lender for the costs of not having the money available for other commercial opportunities, which was almost always easily demonstrated.

That was a remarkable shift. Most of these theologians were, after all, men who had separated themselves from the world, and most of them had taken vows of poverty. Had asceticism truly prevailed in the monasteries, it seems very unlikely that the traditional disdain for and opposition to commerce would have mellowed. That it did, and to such a revolutionary extent, was a result of direct experience with worldly imperatives. For all their genuine acts of charity, monastic administrators were not about to give all their wealth to the poor, sell their products at cost, or give kings interest-free loans. It was the active participation of the great orders in free markets that caused monastic theologians to reconsider the morality of commerce.[I think Paul encouraged economic growth to maximise the amount of charity given to the poor. -- Paley]

The religious orders could pursue their economic goals because they were sufficiently powerful to withstand any attempts at seizure by an avaricious nobility. But for fully developed secular capitalism to unfold, there needed to be broader freedom from regulation and expropriation. Hence secular capitalism appeared first in the relatively democratic city-states of northern Italy, whose political institutions rested squarely on church doctrines of free will and moral equality.

Augustine, Aquinas, and other major theologians taught that the state must respect private property and not intrude on the freedom of its citizens to pursue virtue. In addition, there was the central Christian doctrine that, regardless of worldly inequalities, inequality in the most important sense does not exist: in the eyes of God and in the world to come. As Paul explained: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor fee, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

And church theologians and leaders meant it. Through all prior recorded history, slavery was universal—Christianity began in a world where as much as half the population was in bondage. But by the seventh century, Christianity had become the only major world religion to formulate specific theological opposition to slavery, and, by no later than the 11th century, the church had expelled the dreadful institution from Europe. That it later reappeared in the New World is another matter, although there, too, slavery was vigorously condemned by popes and all of the eventual abolition movements were of religious origins.

Free labor was an essential ingredient for the rise of capitalism, for free workers can maximize their rewards by working harder or more effectively than before. In contrast, coerced workers gain nothing from doing more. Put another way, tyranny makes a few people richer; capitalism can make everyone richer. Therefore, as the northern Italian city-states developed capitalist economies, visitors marveled at their standards of living; many were equally confounded by how hard everyone worked.

The common denominator in all these great historical developments was the Christian commitment to reason.


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ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,17:08   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 27 2006,19:12)
Still feelin' smug, Arfin?

If not, he should be, because the section you quoted doesn't support your position. If he were specifically talking about caucasians, i.e., White people, you'd have a point. He's not. He's walking about "Westerners," regardless of race, and he's talking about environmental factors have worked against Westerners when it comes to race.

And besides, Mr. Diamond certainly doesn't think his own race is superior, does he? So even if he were a racist—so what? In my opinion, anyone is entitled to say whatever one wants about their own race.

And, of course, none of this has anything to do with Christianity's effect on European civilization, does it, Bill? And it certainly has no impact on Diamond's arguments, in favor of environmental factors and against any innate superiority of Europeans.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,17:26   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 27 2006,20:02)
One problem with Eric's proposal is that it assumes that Christianity didn't contribute to wealth-building in the first place. Unfortunately for Eric, the West became wealthy through the influence of capitalism, and there's a good deal of evidence that Christianity inspired capitalism. For example:

Nice big long quote, Bill, but it still doesn't really answer the question: what is it specifically about the tenets of Christianity that creates wealthy and successful societies? You're still talking about correlation without any discussion of causation.

Also, the evidence that Christianity, at least until the Reformation, did not cultivate a respect for reason, is substantial. We could go through the whole list of issues related to Aristotle, Ptolemy, etc. and their  effects on the scientific community of the time, but I'm sure you know the whole story. So: what's your explanation for the trials and tribulations of people like Galileo and Copernicus?

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,19:05   

Quote
Still feelin' smug, Arfin?


Actually, yes.

Don't flatter yourself, people who believe that fairies keep the stars lit up at night don't intimidate me.

And I still don't think you read the book before this, I think you just snagged a copy and grubbed around in the intro since you read a review that discussed that part of the book.

Okay, now I see here your typical, uh, 'debating' style, where you throw out 10 times more information than necessary, in hopes that people will be so overwhelmed, they'll be less inclined to see how unsupported your core point is.

For example, this paragraph is completely irrelevant:

       
Quote
3) He then brings up Westerner's reliance on passive entertainment such as television, which "contributes a non-genetic component to the superior average mental function displayed by New Guineans".


...since he's explicitly not talking about genetics here, but TV making people stupid, which I'm inclined to agree with.

Racist? Um, don't think so.

The following quote is similarly irrelevant, since he's also referring to TV and culture:

       
Quote
and they surely are superior in escaping the devastating developmental disadvantages under which most children in industrialized societies now grow up."


Not race. See the difference? 'INDUSTRIALIZED' does not equal 'white'. Got it?

Likewise, if you're trying to 'prove Diamond is racist', this is also irrelevant:

       
Quote

"My perspective on this controversy [IQ differences] comes from 33 years of working with New Guineans in their own intact societies. From the very beginning of my work with New Guineans, they impressed me as being on the average more intelligent, more alert, more expressive, and more interested in things and people around them than the average European or American is." [He then talks about their superiority in forming a "mental map of unfamiliar surroundings", while blaming their failures elsewhere on a lack of schooling].


...because he's not talking about 'race' there either, but his impressions of the culture. If THAT is your idea of 'racism', than you certainly qualify more than he does by a big margin, since last I heard you had negative opinions about many other cultures.

So that's irrelevant, too.

This starts to get a bit more relevant:

       
Quote
1) Europeans lived in densely populated cities that bred epidemic diseases that didn't discriminate between the intelligent and everyone else;

2) New Guinean tribesmen, on the other hand, had to worry about tribal warfare, crime, and accidents, which selected for a higher IQ.


Now I personally don't find this racist, since I don't consider it prima faciae impossible (tho it's not demonstrated) that thousands of years of survival circumstances can select for intelligence or types of intelligence.

Okay, now onto the only vaguely relevant thing you quoted:

       
Quote

"That is, in mental ability New Guineans are probably genetically superior to Westerners,


Mercifully, you did at least realize this:

       
Quote
Now I know that "Europe" and "America" do not equal "white people",


Good, I wasn't at all sure you understood that. I'm relieved to hear that you apparently don't think 'Western' is a 'race'.

By 'western', I assume he means Eurasia and the Middle East and probably beyond.

Now if that's the best evidence you can muster to support that Diamond is 'racist', 'hates white people', and that his ideas can therefore be dismissed, you're (a) desperate and (b) you didn't read his whole book.

What Diamond is saying is clearly stated here:

       
Quote
"Intelligent people are likelier than less intelligent ones to escape those causes of high mortality in traditional New Guinean societies. However, the differential mortality from epidemic diseases in traditional European societies had little to do with intelligence, and instead involved genetic resistence dependent on details of body chemistry. For example, people with blood group B or O have a greater resistence to smallpox than do people with blood group A. That is, natural selection promoting genes for intelligence has probably been far more ruthless in New Guinea than in more densely populated, politically complex societies, where natural selection for body chemistry was more potent." (page 21)


Okay, now note that he says 'densely populated, politically complex societies', not WHITE PEOPLE.

Again, 'densely populated, politically complex societies' does not equal 'white' or 'European'. The same things he's describing would apply just as well to China or India or Egypt.

And secondarily, are YOU of all people, trying to say that Diamond is 'racist' because he posits that there are genetic differences between different groups of people? What do you find implausible about Diamond's argument? It's no secret that the main genetic selector on heavily populated, Old World agricultural societies for the last few millenia has been epidemics. He then makes a good argument that this natural selection has been absent from New Guinea due to its topography, history, and settlement patterns. So the natural selection pressures shaping New Guinea for millenia have been very different from what we're used to in the agricultural Old World. Does this seem implausible to you? If so, why?

I think the only reason you want to dismiss Diamond is because he's not stroking you and saying that nice white Christian westerners are rich because they're inherently superior in terms of their culture, race, and religion. In fact, the repudiation of that idea is the WHOLE POINT of Diamond's book. In other words, you don't like that he says things like this:

       
Quote
"Sound evidence for the existence of human differences in intelligence that parallel  human difference in technology is lacking" (page 20)


Again, I am not seeing 'racism' in Diamond's book, and the flimsy 'evidence' you're citing does not in my mind cast any doubt on his overall premise.

I would suggest that at this point you actually read his whole book, to understand his real point, rather than just regurgitating sound bytes from right wing reviewers doing nothing but quote mining Diamond's introduction. Since what you're doing here doesn't make it look like you understood or read Diamond's book at all.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,21:53   

wait, *looks at watch*...

did i miss it?

*looks at thread*

nope, just more empty headed promises from gawp.

shocker.

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"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,04:02   

Ummm....guys, Europe is the ancestral home to the vast majority of white people, so arguing that Europeans are genetically inferior to New Guineans is the very definition of racism. If it isn't, then it wouldn't be racist to conclude that "Africans" are genetically stupider than, say, Germans. Arden, your post is one of the most dishonest ones I've ever seen on Panda's Bum; the fact that you have to resort to such bald lies about what I believe indicates a lack of confidence in your worldview. I'll just list the lies for now:

Quote
Okay, now I see here your typical, uh, 'debating' style, where you throw out 10 times more information than necessary, in hopes that people will be so overwhelmed, they'll be less inclined to see how unsupported your core point is.


Quote
Now if that's the best evidence you can muster to support that Diamond is 'racist', 'hates white people', and that his ideas can therefore be dismissed, you're (a) desperate and (b) you didn't read his whole book.


Quote
I would suggest that at this point you actually read his whole book, to understand his real point, rather than just regurgitating sound bytes from right wing reviewers doing nothing but quote mining Diamond's introduction. Since what you're doing here doesn't make it look like you understood or read Diamond's book at all.


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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,04:05   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 28 2006,09:02)
Ummm....guys, Europe is the ancestral home to the vast majority of white people, so arguing that Europeans are genetically inferior to New Guineans is the very definition of racism. If it isn't, then it wouldn't be racist to conclude that "Africans" are genetically stupider than, say, Germans. Arden, your post is one of the most dishonest ones I've ever seen on Panda's Bum; the fact that you have to resort to such bald lies about what I believe indicates a lack of confidence in your worldview. I'll just list the lies for now:

Quote
Okay, now I see here your typical, uh, 'debating' style, where you throw out 10 times more information than necessary, in hopes that people will be so overwhelmed, they'll be less inclined to see how unsupported your core point is.


Quote
Now if that's the best evidence you can muster to support that Diamond is 'racist', 'hates white people', and that his ideas can therefore be dismissed, you're (a) desperate and (b) you didn't read his whole book.


Quote
I would suggest that at this point you actually read his whole book, to understand his real point, rather than just regurgitating sound bytes from right wing reviewers doing nothing but quote mining Diamond's introduction. Since what you're doing here doesn't make it look like you understood or read Diamond's book at all.

Rather a non-response, Paley.

Try reading the book next time.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,04:55   

There has been no substaintial argument as to "Why the West needs Christianity". I think we've agreed, the enlightenment is good and that using time weighted population Christains produce less great mathemeticians than they should.

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Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,04:58   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 28 2006,09:55)
There has been no substaintial argument as to "Why the West needs Christianity". I think we've agreed, the enlightenment is good and that using time weighted population Christains produce less great mathemeticians than they should.

Nah, I'm not a Christian and I suck at math. Clearly Paley's causation has been proven.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,05:42   

Bill, you do realize that Mr. Diamond is, in fact, white, don't you?

Just curious.

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Ved



Posts: 398
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,07:27   

Is it racist to recognize general differences between different races? Or is it only racist if the qualities in question are negative and/or false?

If it is true that Africans have darker skin than Germans would it be racist to say so?

If it is true that Africans are less intelligent than Germans would it be racist to say so?

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,07:33   

Quote (Ved @ Sep. 28 2006,12:27)
Is it racist to recognize general differences between different races? Or is it only racist if the qualities in question are negative and/or false?

If it is true that Africans have darker skin than Germans would it be racist to say so?

If it is true that Africans are less intelligent than Germans would it be racist to say so?

You probably have to put a throw an 'on average' in their and acknowledge that causation may be environmental, eg eductaional opportunities.

On average, Atheists are smarter than Theists. On Average, they also give more to charity, are less likely to divorce and make up proportionatley less of the prison population.


Like that.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,07:45   

Ok, I only have time fer a post n' run, so this will have to do until tonight:

Tard cap:

 
Quote
There has been no substaintial argument as to "Why the West needs Christianity". I think we've agreed, the enlightenment is good and that using time weighted population Christains produce less great mathemeticians than they should.


Since:

(1) Most of the key figures of the Enlightenment were passionate Christians (check the list of names I gave you);

(2) My long quote provided evidence that the so-called Dark Ages were necessary to establish capitalism in the West, which provided that oh-so-necessary wealth formation; and

(3) Regardless of the length of time, the Christian societies were the only societies that didn't punt their early advantages away (check out my link on the Kerala school, and review the history of Islamic mathematicians)

I think I've provided enough material for commentary.

Also note that my paste provides direct quotes from key Christian figures indicating how they anticipated several Enlightenment themes, so there's direct evidence of Christian influence.

eric:

 
Quote
Bill, you do realize that Mr. Diamond is, in fact, white, don't you?


Yes, and here are some follow-up questions:

(1) Suppose a black person says blacks are stupider than whites. Is he a racist or not? If not, is he bigoted?

(2) Suppose an individual says that people from Africa are stupider than Germans due to selection effects or what have you. Is he a racist, or not?

(3) If the answer to number (2) is no, then explain why Rushton's r-strategy vs. k-strategy theory is widely considered racist, since the theory itself only talks about people living in certain climates, and not about whites and blacks specifically.

I look forward to your answers, since unlike Arfin, you have the brains and honesty to provide them.

More later.

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Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,08:05   

First, ‘prominent mathematicians’ is a very esoteric and arbitrary judge of a good society.

Reductio ad absurdum:



from:

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/quarterly/vol_6/6_4/2_2.asp

Wow – look at all those countries better than the US. Look at Korea spank the US! Magic.

please note that the US is below average

Second, you’ve found association not causation and it is very conflated with the enlightenment. Given Christains did bugger all in the dark ages (except darken it a little more) I think that speaks to the enlightenment.

Christainity is up there in "crusades per capita", though.

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"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,08:17   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 28 2006,12:45)
eric:

     
Quote
Bill, you do realize that Mr. Diamond is, in fact, white, don't you?


Yes, and here are some follow-up questions:

(1) Suppose a black person says blacks are stupider than whites. Is he a racist or not? If not, is he bigoted?

More to the point, Bill: does it matter? Is a Black person who thinks Black people are dumber than White people likely to advocate the repression of Black people?

What if I say I find, in general, that I'm more attracted to White women than Black women. Does that make me a racist?

 
Quote
(2) Suppose an individual says that people from Africa are stupider than Germans due to selection effects or what have you. Is he a racist, or not?

Regardless of whether he's racist or not (and if he says exactly that, then he is), he's wrong. There are definitely some people from Africa who are smarter than some people from Germany, which points out the main problem with all of this, which is that generalizations about things like racial characteristics are basically worthless.

Now, if someone wants to argue that, on average, people of African descent are less intelligent than people of European descent, he's got a couple of serious issues to deal with: 1) how does one define intelligence, and how does one devise a test than can accurately and reliably determine intelligence; 2) even if one can prove that, on average, people of African descent are less intelligent than people of European descent, what is to be done with that information? There are still people of African descent who are smarter than people of European descent, so what possible significance is there to the "average"?

 
Quote
(3) If the answer to number (2) is no, then explain why Rushton's r-strategy vs. k-strategy theory is widely considered racist, since the theory itself only talks about people living in certain climates, and not about whites and blacks specifically.

I can only characterize your restatement of Rushton's theory since I'm not familiar with it, but based on what you're saying, then by definition what he's saying is not racist, because he's not dicussing race. If he's talking about climates, then North Asians and Northern Europeans should group together.

But in any event, I'm unimpressed in general with arguments based on "average" intellectual capacity, since there will be huge numbers of exceptions in any event.

What I object to in general, Bill, is judging people by what group they belong to, regardless of how one defines that group.

However, that being said, I still maintain that since people often are judged by the group they belong to, it's a laudable goal to take steps to remedy the disadvantages some of those groups have suffered as a result of those judgments. Now, tell me this, Bill: historically, how much negative treatment have, say, white males of European descent suffered compared to other groups?

And just out of curiosity, Bill: why does it seem that every discussion with you eventually devolves into accusations of racism leveled at "liberals"? What possible relevance does any of this have to your contention that Western civilization owes its advantages to Christianity above all other factors?

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k.e



Posts: 1948
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,08:20   

Geez goop look at all those heathens in China who beat the living daylights out of your 'math edumication' you must be confucian math with counting your tao-es.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,08:28   

Paley, you didn't answer any of the questions in MY post, nor have you even really read the book that you're attacking, so I don't see why you're worth bothering with at this point.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Ved



Posts: 398
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,08:50   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 28 2006,13:33)

[You probably have to throw an 'on average' in there]

You bet. I was just following the sloppy format of our beloved Moonshot.

  
Seizure Salad



Posts: 60
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,09:12   

Just out of curiosity, why does eric murphy keep referring to Paley as "Bill"? Was it established somewhere down the line that his name is Bill, or that he's William Dembski, or something?

It's kind of annoying, since he goes out of his way to do it approximately seven times every post. Also potentially embarrassing if GoP isn't actually named Bill.

Carry on!

(Actually don't; I am also of the opinion that GoP should focus on proving his extensive backlog of insane assertions to be true before taking on a new project. Otherwise credibility and interest are quickly eroded.)

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,09:50   

Ok, Eric, I'm going to try again:
 
Quote
(1) Suppose a black person says blacks are stupider than whites. Is he a racist or not? If not, is he bigoted?


I don't care whether you think a Black person's bigotry is less harmful than a White person's bigotry; that's for another thread. Please just answer the question: is this fella a racist, or isn't he? By the way, I've known a couple of Black people who did claim this, so this isn't hypothetical.

 
Quote
(2) Suppose an individual says that people from Africa are stupider [on average] than Germans due to selection effects or what have you. Is he a racist, or not?


I'm not interested in whether you think this claim is stupid -- just tell me if the claimant's a racist. That's all. After you give a yes or no answer, then fill in the details if you wish. Thanks.

 
Quote
 
Quote
 
(3) If the answer to number (2) is no, then explain why Rushton's r-strategy vs. k-strategy theory is widely considered racist, since the theory itself only talks about people living in certain climates, and not about whites and blacks specifically.


I can only characterize your restatement of Rushton's theory since I'm not familiar with it, but based on what you're saying, then by definition what he's saying is not racist, because he's not dicussing race. If he's talking about climates, then North Asians and Northern Europeans should group together.


Thanks for the straightforward answer. Now could you please answer the other two questions? Thanks again.

Quote
But in any event, I'm unimpressed in general with arguments based on "average" intellectual capacity, since there will be huge numbers of exceptions in any event.

What I object to in general, Bill, is judging people by what group they belong to, regardless of how one defines that group.


But what does this really mean? If someone says Group A is smarter than Group B on average, then it's OK so long as he doesn't judge individuals from Group B? Or is the attempt to rank different groups itself flawed? Or is it flawed only when racial classifications are made?

Quote
And just out of curiosity, Bill: why does it seem that every discussion with you eventually devolves into accusations of racism leveled at "liberals"? What possible relevance does any of this have to your contention that Western civilization owes its advantages to Christianity above all other factors?


None, but I made a smart-alecky comment that Arden challenged me on, and it went downhill from there. But on topic or not, I'd like direct answers to my questions.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,09:51   

Quote (Seizure Salad @ Sep. 28 2006,14:12)
Just out of curiosity, why does eric murphy keep referring to Paley as "Bill"? Was it established somewhere down the line that his name is Bill, or that he's William Dembski, or something?

It's kind of annoying, since he goes out of his way to do it approximately seven times every post. Also potentially embarrassing if GoP isn't actually named Bill.

"Ghost of Paley" = Ghost of the Rev. William Paley, = "Bill."

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,10:01   

I went to UCLA, met Jared Diamond there, had lunch with him a few times, talked to him a LOT about the Anasazi, etc. and a large range of anthro ideas. He is not "racist" in any sense. Nor do the quoted passages indicate that whites are "stupider" than others. His argument is an "absurdam" argument in the truest sense--he is turning the usual racist claims of the mental inferiority of non-whites on its head, in a Swiftian manner that seems to have eluded little GoP entirely. His points are these:
1. Western societies have traditionally branded non-whites as inferior intellectually.
2. The reality is that "intelligence" is a complex topic, not easily amenable to "testing" and subjective, as he demonstrates by saying HE finds non-westerners to be more attentive, alert, expressive and attuned to their surroundings than "the average American or European" is. And this has nothing to do with race, either, it's about culture and environment.
3. As we discussed once (him, me and a bunch of others sitting around a table in the grad lounge), it's easier for an Amazonian tribesman to transition from the jungle to a city than vice-versa. I can teach virtually anyone that isn't brain-damaged to work as a janitor, rent a room with a few other people and get along pretty well in a matter of months. On the other hand, it takes a lifetime of experience to not kill yourself or otherwise wind up dead in specific natural environments. The precariousness of less-complex societies generally forces heightened awareness and increased selection that is absent in "industrialized" nations -- where even people like GoP could make an easy living, if they weren't avoiding it in a library every day.

Seizure: The "Bill" part comes from "William Paley"

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Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,10:09   

GoP, we should change the thread to "what is Racism?" as you've given up on "Why the West needs Christianity".

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Ved



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,10:24   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 28 2006,15:50)
By the way, I've known a couple of Black people who did claim this, so this isn't hypothetical.

Hey, me too!

"Praise White Jesus!"

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,10:35   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 28 2006,14:50)
Ok, Eric, I'm going to try again:
       
Quote
(1) Suppose a black person says blacks are stupider than whites. Is he a racist or not? If not, is he bigoted?


I don't care whether you think a Black person's bigotry is less harmful than a White person's bigotry; that's for another thread. Please just answer the question: is this fella a racist, or isn't he? By the way, I've known a couple of Black people who did claim this, so this isn't hypothetical.


If a person says blacks are stupider than whites, of course he's a racist. If he says, "Of the 10,000 people of African heritage who took this particular Stanford-Benet test, most scored lower than the average of these 10,000 people of European heritage who took the exact same test under the exact same conditions," then he's not a racist. He probably hasn't proven anything, but he's not a racist, either. So what's your point?

   
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(2) Suppose an individual says that people from Africa are stupider [on average] than Germans due to selection effects or what have you. Is he a racist, or not?

Probably, but without additional information, Bill, the question is inherently unanswerable. He may be a racist, or he may not be, but without giving any information as to the grounds supporting the statement, it's impossible to tell. So, again, what's your point?

I've done trials, Bill. I do understand the trap of trying to get someone to answer yes or no to a non-yes-or-no question.

Bill, are you tall, or smart? Yes or no?

     
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But in any event, I'm unimpressed in general with arguments based on "average" intellectual capacity, since there will be huge numbers of exceptions in any event.

What I object to in general, Bill, is judging people by what group they belong to, regardless of how one defines that group.


But what does this really mean? If someone says Group A is smarter than Group B on average, then it's OK so long as he doesn't judge individuals from Group B? Or is the attempt to rank different groups itself flawed? Or is it flawed only when racial classifications are made?


The "flawed assumptions," Bill are as I pointed out, that "intelligence" is an extremely poorly defined term, and "average" means essentially nothing, because even if the "average" intelligence of Africans were 20 points higher than the average intelligence of Europeans, there would still be a significant fraction of Europeans who are smarter than a significant fraction of Africans. So again, what's your point?

(Actually, I know your point. You're taking it personally that Jared Diamond does not think Europeans got to where they are by being inherently more gifted, for whatever reasons, than other peoples.)

   
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And just out of curiosity, Bill: why does it seem that every discussion with you eventually devolves into accusations of racism leveled at "liberals"? What possible relevance does any of this have to your contention that Western civilization owes its advantages to Christianity above all other factors?


None, but I made a smart-alecky comment that Arden challenged me on, and it went downhill from there. But on topic or not, I'd like direct answers to my questions.


Give questions that can be answered directly, and you'll get direct answers.

Here's my question: if I prefer white women to black women in romantic relationships, does that make me a racist?

And in the meantime, your attempt to prove that Jared Diamond is a racist is failing. All Diamond is saying, in the sum total of his book, is that Europeans didn't get to be where they are because they're inherently superior. It gets tiresome, after a while, hearing about how "liberals" are evil racists, when you're tarring someone like Jared Diamond with the same brush that is more appropriately applied to groups like the CCC.

--------------
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Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,12:25   

wow richard!

Finland was in the top two in both of the categories you listed in that table.

http://cc.oulu.fi/~thu/personal/Finland.html

http://www.mwscomp.com/sounds/mp3/finland.mp3

everybody sing along!

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

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Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,12:47   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Sep. 28 2006,17:25)
wow richard!

Finland was in the top two in both of the categories you listed in that table.

http://cc.oulu.fi/~thu/personal/Finland.html

http://www.mwscomp.com/sounds/mp3/finland.mp3

everybody sing along!

Call me Rich.

Or Tardmeister General.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,13:06   

Is this what it's like arguing with Thordaddy?

eric:

     
Quote
   
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(The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 28 2006,14:50)
Ok, Eric, I'm going to try again:
           
Quote
 
(1) Suppose a black person says blacks are stupider than whites. Is he a racist or not? If not, is he bigoted?




I don't care whether you think a Black person's bigotry is less harmful than a White person's bigotry; that's for another thread. Please just answer the question: is this fella a racist, or isn't he? By the way, I've known a couple of Black people who did claim this, so this isn't hypothetical.



If a person says blacks are stupider than whites, of course he's a racist. If he says, "Of the 10,000 people of African heritage who took this particular Stanford-Benet test, most scored lower than the average of these 10,000 people of European heritage who took the exact same test under the exact same conditions," then he's not a racist. He probably hasn't proven anything, but he's not a racist, either. So what's your point?


Ok, we're making some progress here. Now, let's imagine that the person who claimed that blacks were stupider than whites was black himself. Would the comment still be racist? Yes or no, please. I'm talking about this person's belief, not how well he can parrot facts gleaned from The Bell Curve.

   
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(2) Suppose an individual says that people from Africa are stupider [on average] than Germans due to selection effects or what have you. Is he a racist, or not?



Probably, but without additional information, Bill, the question is inherently unanswerable. He may be a racist, or he may not be, but without giving any information as to the grounds supporting the statement, it's impossible to tell. So, again, what's your point?


I think I'm starting to understand your thinking. You implicitly define racism as a belief in group differences without justifiable cause. If the evidence shows a clear difference in, say, the ability to solve algebraic equations, and that this deficit is indeed rooted in biology, then the statement is not racist. Absent clear-cut evidence, the contention is racist. Is that what you're saying? If not, please explain.

Another thing. You state that this belief is "probably" racist. But since "African" does not equal "black", and "German" is categorically different from "white", then how could this statement be definitionally racist? If Mr. Diamond skates on semantic quibbles, then why not our hypothetical gentleman?

 
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I've done trials, Bill. I do understand the trap of trying to get someone to answer yes or no to a non-yes-or-no question.


And yet you assert that the statement "New Guineans are genetically brighter than 'Europeans' and 'Americans'" is clearly nonracist. So by definition, a comparison between "Africans" and "Germans" should be as equally nonracist, no?

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Bill, are you tall, or smart? Yes or no?


Yes to both.  :D  :D (OK, I'm lying about being smart). I don't see why my question is unfair.

Quote
The "flawed assumptions," Bill are as I pointed out, that "intelligence" is an extremely poorly defined term, and "average" means essentially nothing, because even if the "average" intelligence of Africans were 20 points higher than the average intelligence of Europeans, there would still be a significant fraction of Europeans who are smarter than a significant fraction of Africans. So again, what's your point?


Yah, yah, that's great -- but it has nothing to do with what we're talking about. If it did, you could never get offended at any statement about group differences in intelligence, since the concept is too fuzzy for someone to attach any meaning. It's like saying, "Whites are better at gruzzelgrump than blacks". Who would ever be offended by that statement?

In any case, your objection wouldn't apply to Diamond, since he did specify what he meant by intelligence.

Quote
(Actually, I know your point. You're taking it personally that Jared Diamond does not think Europeans got to where they are by being inherently more gifted, for whatever reasons, than other peoples.)


OOOHHHH, I must be rattling your cage, because you're usually not so rude. FWIW, I honestly don't care what Jared thinks about anything....to me, he's just like the other Jared: if he produces an interesting study I'll cite it, otherwise I couldn't care less about him. I get irritated when people can't see the obvious, however.

Quote
Give questions that can be answered directly, and you'll get direct answers.

Here's my question: if I prefer white women to black women in romantic relationships, does that make me a racist?


Let me help you out by giving a straight answer to your question: you're not racist for preferring white women, or even for dating white women exclusively, but you would be racist if you expressed your opinion as a universal truth: "White women are more beautiful than black women". I wouldn't care, understand, but it would be racist nonetheless.

Quote
And in the meantime, your attempt to prove that Jared Diamond is a racist is failing. All Diamond is saying, in the sum total of his book, is that Europeans didn't get to be where they are because they're inherently superior. It gets tiresome, after a while, hearing about how "liberals" are evil racists, when you're tarring someone like Jared Diamond with the same brush that is more appropriately applied to groups like the CCC.


Yes, but he prefaced the book with a statement that "Europeans" and "Americans" are both genetically and culturally stupider than New Guineans. And that's what I quoted. Besides, is the CCC racist so long as they replace "black" with "African"? Not according to this board.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,13:38   

Nine:

 
Quote
I went to UCLA, met Jared Diamond there, had lunch with him a few times, talked to him a LOT about the Anasazi, etc. and a large range of anthro ideas. He is not "racist" in any sense.


Then if I were him, I would sue the #### out of the rascal who authored Guns, Germs, and Steel, since that book makes him look like one.

 
Quote
Nor do the quoted passages indicate that whites are "stupider" than others.


"Stupider"? Perhaps not. "Less intelligent", certainly. If you think the choice of words makes a big difference, then try telling a group of blacks that they are, on average, "less intelligent" than Amerindians. I'll wager they'll put your vaunted scrapping skills to a quick test.

 
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His argument is an "absurdam" argument in the truest sense--he is turning the usual racist claims of the mental inferiority of non-whites on its head, in a Swiftian manner that seems to have eluded little GoP entirely.


There is nothing in the prologue, or anywhere else, to support this interpretation. He seems to be arguing a genuine belief.

 
Quote
His points are these:
1. Western societies have traditionally branded non-whites as inferior intellectually.
2. The reality is that "intelligence" is a complex topic, not easily amenable to "testing" and subjective, as he demonstrates by saying HE finds non-westerners to be more attentive, alert, expressive and attuned to their surroundings than "the average American or European" is. And this has nothing to do with race, either, it's about culture and environment.
3. As we discussed once (him, me and a bunch of others sitting around a table in the grad lounge), it's easier for an Amazonian tribesman to transition from the jungle to a city than vice-versa. I can teach virtually anyone that isn't brain-damaged to work as a janitor, rent a room with a few other people and get along pretty well in a matter of months. On the other hand, it takes a lifetime of experience to not kill yourself or otherwise wind up dead in specific natural environments. The precariousness of less-complex societies generally forces heightened awareness and increased selection that is absent in "industrialized" nations -- where even people like GoP could make an easy living, if they weren't avoiding it in a library every day.


This would be fine, except that he explicitly argues that part of these advantages are genetic:

 
Quote
"That is, in mental ability New Guineans are probably genetically superior to Westerners, and they surely are superior in escaping the devastating developmental disadvantages under which most children in industrialized societies now grow up."


In the context of the passage, it's very clear that "Westerners" means "Europeans" and "Americans". Given his historical arguments, it's equally clear that "European" means "white", since the nonwhite residents are too recent to have their more intelligent members culled by infectious diseases. Even if he meant to include other groups, so what? If Jared Taylor says that "Europeans" are smarter than "Africans" and "South/Middle Americans", would you consider it any less racist? If anything, I'd consider it more racist.

Once again, I don't really care if Jared is racist. I made a smart-a$$ comment to Eric, and didn't expect it to go any further than that. However, Arfin' wanted proof, so I gave it to him.....and you liberals have been tapdancing ever since.

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Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,14:01   

Quote
Is this what it's like arguing with Thordaddy?


funny, whenever I read your posts, that's who I've been thinking of lately.

maybe you should get that self-projection meter checked there, buddy.

Quote
Once again, I don't really care if Jared is racist. I made a smart-a$$ comment to Eric, and didn't expect it to go any further than that.


this is as close as gawp gets to admitting he didn't know didly about the issue when he spouted out on it.

so what else is new?

still looking for that scorched arden gawp promised.

You're such a tease, gawp.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

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The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,14:06   

Quote
 
Quote
 
Is this what it's like arguing with Thordaddy?



funny, whenever I read your posts, that's who I've been thinking of lately.

maybe you should get that self-projection meter checked there, buddy.


At least I'm giving straight answers to people's questions. Can you? If so, take a stab at the ones I gave Eric.


Didn't think you could.

Quote
this is as close as gawp gets to admitting he didn't know didly about the issue when he spouted out on it.

so what else is new?

still looking for that scorched arden gawp promised.

You're such a tease, gawp.


Ummm....dude, I presented that same quote to Eric a long time ago. He couldn't explain it then, and he sure as #### is struggling to justify it now. But at least he's in good company.

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Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,14:10   

Quote
At least I'm giving straight answers to people's questions.


that's exactly what Tdiddy used to say too.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
The Ghost of Paley



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,14:21   

Fishy:

   
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At least I'm giving straight answers to people's questions.



that's exactly what Tdiddy used to say too.


OK, I'll call your bluff. Answer this question:

If a person says that "Africans" are genetically less intelligent than "Germans", and hypothesizes differential selection pressures to explain the discrepancy, is he a racist or not? I say that he is, and that this holds even if his opinion is true (because the morality of an assertion does not imply falsity). What do you believe? Would you excuse him because the word "African" is not synonymous with "black", or "German" with "white"?

This question is very simple, and yet nobody can give a straight answer. Why not?

--------------
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ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,14:23   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 28 2006,18:06)
Ok, we're making some progress here. Now, let's imagine that the person who claimed that blacks were stupider than whites was black himself. Would the comment still be racist? Yes or no, please. I'm talking about this person's belief, not how well he can parrot facts gleaned from The Bell Curve.

No, Bill, we're not getting anywhere, and I'll explain why in a moment.

Anyone who says "Blacks are stupider that Whites" is a racist. Anyone who says "Whites are stupider than Blacks" is a racist. But, more importantly, he's wrong. I already explained why, but in case you missed it: there are always going to be some members of group A who are smarter (prettier, smell better, have better taste in music, are better tap dancers) than some members of Group B, and vice versa, no matter what sort of metric you're using to compare them. This is why it's ultimately stupid to look at people as groups, rather than individuals.

 
Quote
I think I'm starting to understand your thinking. You implicitly define racism as a belief in group differences without justifiable cause. If the evidence shows a clear difference in, say, the ability to solve algebraic equations, and that this deficit is indeed rooted in biology, then the statement is not racist. Absent clear-cut evidence, the contention is racist. Is that what you're saying? If not, please explain.

No. Here's my thinking: it's always going to be wrong to generalize about human beings, no matter what sort of generalization you make about them. There will always be exceptions, and what do you do about the exceptions?

You've got two individuals, Bill, that you've never met and know nothing about. One is white, one is black.

Who's smarter?

Are you starting to get where I'm coming from?

 
Quote
Another thing. You state that this belief is "probably" racist. But since "African" does not equal "black", and "German" is categorically different from "white", then how could this statement be definitionally racist? If Mr. Diamond skates on semantic quibbles, then why not our hypothetical gentleman?

Why the fascination with categorizing some sorts of beliefs as definitely racist, and others as definitely "not racist," Bill? What if your "African" is actually Afrikaans, and your "German" is ethnically African but the child of members of the diplomatic corps and is a German citizen. My brother goes to school with an African woman who is a Swedish citizen and speaks Swedish as her first language.

Diamond doesn't "skate on semantic quibbles," because the issues are not semantic. The issues are environmental, as Mr. Deadman explained so eloquently above. If Mr. Diamond's New Guinean friends were Caucasian and he was comparing them to other Caucasians, would you even have a problem with his statements, Bill?

 
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And yet you assert that the statement "New Guineans are genetically brighter than 'Europeans' and 'Americans'" is clearly nonracist. So by definition, a comparison between "Africans" and "Germans" should be as equally nonracist, no?

Would Diamond's statement be "racist" if his New Guineans (who, by the way, are not "black" as the term is commonly understood) were white, Bill? Why do you have a hangup with this?

 
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The "flawed assumptions," Bill are as I pointed out, that "intelligence" is an extremely poorly defined term, and "average" means essentially nothing, because even if the "average" intelligence of Africans were 20 points higher than the average intelligence of Europeans, there would still be a significant fraction of Europeans who are smarter than a significant fraction of Africans. So again, what's your point?


Yah, yah, that's great -- but it has nothing to do with what we're talking about. If it did, you could never get offended at any statement about group differences in intelligence, since the concept is too fuzzy for someone to attach any meaning. It's like saying, "Whites are better at gruzzelgrump than blacks". Who would ever be offended by that statement?

It has everything to do with what we're talking. And this is what the problem is, yet again: Any statement that "members of group A are better at gruzzlegrump than members of group B" is likely wrong almost half the time.

 
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In any case, your objection wouldn't apply to Diamond, since he did specify what he meant by intelligence.

And again, what do his comments have to do with race, Bill? Are you completely ignoring deadman's explanation of what Diamond was getting at here?

 
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(Actually, I know your point. You're taking it personally that Jared Diamond does not think Europeans got to where they are by being inherently more gifted, for whatever reasons, than other peoples.)


OOOHHHH, I must be rattling your cage, because you're usually not so rude. FWIW, I honestly don't care what Jared thinks about anything....to me, he's just like the other Jared: if he produces an interesting study I'll cite it, otherwise I couldn't care less about him. I get irritated when people can't see the obvious, however.

No, I just find this whole topic irritating. I really do believe, based on your previous posts on numerous topics, that if Diamond's New Guinean friends were genotypically Caucasian, you wouldn't have any problems with his comments at all.

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Here's my question: if I prefer white women to black women in romantic relationships, does that make me a racist?


Let me help you out by giving a straight answer to your question: you're not racist for preferring white women, or even for dating white women exclusively, but you would be racist if you expressed your opinion as a universal truth: "White women are more beautiful than black women". I wouldn't care, understand, but it would be racist nonetheless.

Gee, Bill, you're beginning to see my point here!

 
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And in the meantime, your attempt to prove that Jared Diamond is a racist is failing. All Diamond is saying, in the sum total of his book, is that Europeans didn't get to be where they are because they're inherently superior. It gets tiresome, after a while, hearing about how "liberals" are evil racists, when you're tarring someone like Jared Diamond with the same brush that is more appropriately applied to groups like the CCC.


Yes, but he prefaced the book with a statement that "Europeans" and "Americans" are both genetically and culturally stupider than New Guineans. And that's what I quoted. Besides, is the CCC racist so long as they replace "black" with "African"? Not according to this board.


Again, see deadman's discussion of this. I can't put it any better than he did, and don't see the point of quoting it here. And the CCC is racist no matter how they refer to non-white people.

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ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,14:29   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Sep. 28 2006,19:06)
Ummm....dude, I presented that same quote to Eric a long time ago. He couldn't explain it then, and he sure as #### is struggling to justify it now. But at least he's in good company.

I explained it then, and I'm explaining it now. You don't like my explanation, you don't agree with it, but that doesn't mean I haven't explained it.

In the meantime, you still haven't answered my question: why do these questions of race fascinate you so, Bill? Of all the people on this board, I'd say you're the most susceptible to suspicions of racism, and you're the first to accuse others of racism, especially those of a "liberal" persuasion.

I'm guessing you're trying to demonstrate that "liberals" are just as racist as "conservatives." Good luck.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,15:36   

eric:

         
Quote
No. Here's my thinking: it's always going to be wrong to generalize about human beings, no matter what sort of generalization you make about them. There will always be exceptions, and what do you do about the exceptions?


OK, point taken. But Diamond is generalising about human beings, and on top of that, he even stated that part of the difference is genetic! So according to you, Jared was wrong. Even Jared would concede that some "Europeans" <wink, wink> are smarter than the average New Guinean. Now here's my view:

I think that it's OK to speculate about group differences so long as one gives it as an opinion (as Jared did), and/or backs it up with some evidence. After all, it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. Even if the statement is stupid or defamatory, a mature person should respond with better information instead of taunts, threats, and legal action. So I'm OK with the prologue: he thinks certain groups are smarter than others, and he's giving reasons for his belief. What bothers me is the double standard: express a derogatory opinion towards white Christian men, and it's all good; express a derogatory opinion about anyone else, then you lose your peace, your job, and in some cases your liberty. Plus, I recall passages where Mr. Diamond takes racists to task for their dreadful views; yet as we've seen, he expresses racist views himself. This double standard wouldn't be so bad if no harm is done, but harm does flow from it. That's my take at any rate.

       
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Another thing. You state that this belief is "probably" racist. But since "African" does not equal "black", and "German" is categorically different from "white", then how could this statement be definitionally racist? If Mr. Diamond skates on semantic quibbles, then why not our hypothetical gentleman?


Why the fascination with categorizing some sorts of beliefs as definitely racist, and others as definitely "not racist," Bill? What if your "African" is actually Afrikaans, and your "German" is ethnically African but the child of members of the diplomatic corps and is a German citizen. My brother goes to school with an African woman who is a Swedish citizen and speaks Swedish as her first language.

Diamond doesn't "skate on semantic quibbles," because the issues are not semantic. The issues are environmental, as Mr. Deadman explained so eloquently above. If Mr. Diamond's New Guinean friends were Caucasian and he was comparing them to other Caucasians, would you even have a problem with his statements, Bill?


None of this sounds like an answer to my question. Are you saying that the statement isn't racist by definition? If so, that doesn't square with what you said above; if it is racist by definition, then how is Jared's statement nonracist by definition? Neither assertion mentions race.

     
Quote
You've got two individuals, Bill, that you've never met and know nothing about. One is white, one is black.

Who's smarter?

Are you starting to get where I'm coming from?



I would say there's no way of telling. This means nothing, because I don't believe in racial differences in mental ability. The problem is, Jared Diamond would give a New Guinean individual the presumptive superiority absent other information. It's called "playing the percentages".

 For example, if I was presented with a hypothetical Japanese man and a hypothetical Danish man, I would assume that the Dane is taller. He might not be, but I know that I would win that bet far more than I would lose, so I'd use common sense. This assumes a random sample of course. Or try this: let's say we're competing for a $10,000,000,000 purse. The challenge? See who can train the best American football team from a random selection of 100 healthy men in one of two cities: Moscow, Russia, or Tokyo, Japan. You get to select the first city, and I have to take the other. Which city would you pick? Remember, $10 Billion is on the line.

   
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Would Diamond's statement be "racist" if his New Guineans (who, by the way, are not "black" as the term is commonly understood) were white, Bill? Why do you have a hangup with this?


I realise that N.Guineans are not "black", but they're not "white" either. Obviously the statement would not be racist if they were.

And if I'm the one with a hangup, then why am I the one giving straight answers to questions?

   
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And again, what do his comments have to do with race, Bill?


Well, "Europeans" aren't a race, but then neither are "Africans". So what's OK for one is Ok for the other, correct?

   
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Are you completely ignoring deadman's explanation of what Diamond was getting at here?


Deadman didn't explain anything. He just denied that Jared meant what he said.

   
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And in the meantime, your attempt to prove that Jared Diamond is a racist is failing. All Diamond is saying, in the sum total of his book, is that Europeans didn't get to be where they are because they're inherently superior. It gets tiresome, after a while, hearing about how "liberals" are evil racists, when you're tarring someone like Jared Diamond with the same brush that is more appropriately applied to groups like the CCC.



Yes, but he prefaced the book with a statement that "Europeans" and "Americans" are both genetically and culturally stupider than New Guineans. And that's what I quoted. Besides, is the CCC racist so long as they replace "black" with "African"? Not according to this board.


Again, see deadman's discussion of this. I can't put it any better than he did, and don't see the point of quoting it here. And the CCC is racist no matter how they refer to non-white people.


But why, Eric? The term "African" is no better at racial classification than "European". And what if the CCC cites differential selective pressures between people in warm climates versus people in cold climates, and doesn't refer to "whites" and "blacks"? They're just being like Jared Diamond. Or is Jared Diamond a ^*(&ing aristocrat, or somethin'?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,15:48   

Don't have time for a long reply, but for now, just this: Jared Diamond is not advocating that Europeans be discriminated against in favor of New Guineans. The CCC is most definitely advocating that African Americans be discriminated against in favor of European Americans.

And here's why I don't have a serious problem with people saying mean things about white people, Bill: other races have suffered a great deal as a result of pro-white discrimination. You simply cannot show an equivalent amount of suffering of white people as a result of anti-white discrimination.

Although I'm sure you'll try.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,15:59   

eric:

 
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Don't have time for a long reply, but for now, just this: Jared Diamond is not advocating that Europeans be discriminated against in favor of New Guineans. The CCC is most definitely advocating that African Americans be discriminated against in favor of European Americans.


True enough, the CCC is a dangerous organization. I don't abide by this double standard, but it's nice that you're attempting an answer. That's something.

 
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And here's why I don't have a serious problem with people saying mean things about white people, Bill: other races have suffered a great deal as a result of pro-white discrimination. You simply cannot show an equivalent amount of suffering of white people as a result of anti-white discrimination.

Although I'm sure you'll try.


Now no reason to get uppity, whiteboy.  :D  :D

Ok, I look forward to your reply....but please, please, please try to answer the rest of the questions. You complain about Dave ignoring inconvenient questions, so I'd hope you'd treat me better.*


* I admit I haven't answered a lot of your questions to my model(s), but at least I acknowledge when I'm stuck. Besides, your questions are harder than mine.  :angry:

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,16:56   

GoP.


1) You're a bed bed troll.
2) You been unable to substantiate youre claim:
looking at some of your older posts, you should put some to bed before starting more, eh?

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deadman_932



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,17:45   

GoP claims:
 
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But Diamond is generalising about human beings, and on top of that, he even stated that part of the difference is genetic!

I said "His argument is an "absurdam" argument in the truest sense--he is turning the usual racist claims of the mental inferiority of non-whites on its head, in a Swiftian manner that seems to have eluded little GoP entirely." GoP claims..
 
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There is nothing in the prologue, or anywhere else, to support this interpretation. He seems to be arguing a genuine belief.


False. He uses qualifiers throughout his "Yali's question" chapter to emphasize that it is HIS IMPRESSION, and he states categorically that his conjectures about a genetic component are just that...CONJECTURES.. he does this by saying things like    
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"It's easy to recognize two reasons why my IMPRESSION that New Guineans are smarter than westerners MAY BE  correct. First...New Guineans have been living in societies where human numbers were too low for epidemic diseases ...to evolve. "... "Intelligent people are likelier than less intelligent ones to escape those causes of high mortality in traditional New Guinea societies. However, the differential mortality from epidemic diseases in traditional European societies had little to do with intelligence, and instead involved genetic resistance to [diseases]. "... there is also a second reason why New Guineans MAY HAVE become smarter than westerners. ..Europeans and Americans spend much of their time being passively entertained....In contrast traditional New Guinea children spend almost all of their waking hours actively doing something...Almost all studies of childhood development emphasize childhood stimulation and activity in promoting mental development.
Emphasis mine.

He goes on to say :    
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That is, in mental ability, New Guineans are PROBABLY genetically superior to westerners, and they are surely superior in escaping the devastating developmental disadvantages under which children in industrialized societies now grow up...THUS THE USUAL RACIST ASSUMPTION HAS TO BE TURNED ON ITS HEAD...A genetic explanation isn't the only POSSIBLE answer.


Yali's question is why do non-New Guineans have so much stuff...like guns and planes and axes and steel? The standard response in the PAST has been to assume some inferiority on the part of the New Guineans and other "uncivilized" groups...and Diamond goes on to do exactly what I said he did...he turns the question around in an absurdam argument...USING QUALIFIERS that do NOT state categorically (in contrast to your quote-mining excerpts) that the New Guineans ARE "superior" but they give HIM, DIAMOND, the IMPRESSION of being quicker mentally than idiots like you, GoP -- that can't seem to read anything without imposing your silly little "liberals are bad and hypocrites" games on it.
I realize fully that you want desperately to cast anyone in a bad light that has a view you find unacceptable so you take excepts and try to twist what was actually said -- in a word, you're bullshitting. This is typical of you, when you need a smokescreen to hide behind, and it shows how low you're willing to go.
Diamond is arguing for differential selection, that is all, and he states CATEGORICALLY ( as above) that he is CONJECTURING, liar.

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k.e



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,19:52   

Lets give Diamond's comments some cultural context.

Someone I know fought in the Zimbabwean war of independence in the mid '70's as member of what was then the white minority government of  Ian Smith's Rhodesian Light Infantry.

His part in the war was fought on foot by small teams of men armed with rifles in remote bushland.

Both sides used essentially the guerrilla tactics of ambush and withdrawal in the face of a superior opposition in sparse bushland. A noisy modern army can drive around all day and think they own the land because the enemy is too smart to engage them until the balance is equaled either by nightfall or since that is harder now with the advent of night sights, attack their means of transport with remote controlled bombs.

To be a successful soldier in that environment one had to be extremely fit, able to walk for days carrying a heavy load, resourceful and alert to the slightest sign of danger while using all ones senses including smell.

Early in the conflict the Rhodesian army found that using soap in the field gave their enemy advance warning downwind of an approaching unit because perfume in  the soap carried far in a breeze, so while on tour no one washed.

At that time the war in Vietnam ceased and a few American soldiers of fortune joined up to continue their adrenaline rush.

My friend told me the ones who joined his unit were next to useless and in fact a real danger, they could not actually walk through bush without making a racket and shot at anything that gave them a start thus signaling any enemy for miles around to their presence, plus they thought they were invincible and hence made easy targets.

Ones environment shapes ones awareness just ask city slicker Dick 'shoot me in the face' Cheney.

If gop and I suspect most of us were to be placed in the middle of New Guinea by helicopter without our normal accouterments, but enough native words to survive, we would seem to Mr. Anthropologist to be clumsy, unaware and just plain stupid in some of the normal day to day tasks that those people were engaged in, digging yams with a stick and hunting wildlife with a bow and arrow all the while making sure nothing nasty bit you as you walked through the undergrowth, and not bitching like a pampered tourist.

Once while I was in Sumatra 32 years ago I went into some paddy fields with the family I was staying with. They had spent since sunrise digging up peanuts with small hand tools and their 13 year old daughter was given the task of carrying a large sack of them (weighing from memory around 80lbs)  balanced on her head  for about 1/2 a kilometer along the narrow mud walls of the paddy fields. I was reasonably fit and gallantly offered to carry them for her. Imagine my embarrassment when  I struggled  with this large heavy load without a pack frame, wheelbarrow, ropes or straps to get a purchase on the load and negotiate the 1 foot wide track.
She just popped it on her head and took off without the slightest trouble.

That is what Diamond means by awareness and apparent intelligence, pure and simple.

Had the tables been turned and our (and their)ancestors migrated in different directions his premise is that the Melanesians would have become just as technologically advanced as Europeans are now, given the same natural resources.

Great White Hunter Gop, I have to say in either environment Western or whatever you remain singularly and recalcitrantly stupider than a dumb stone, not because you are unintelligent but because you are simply incapable of seeing what is obvious to everyone else as the result of living in what seems to me, a basement all your life.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2006,07:27   

Alternative hypothesis:
To get the ignorant masses to do what you want / be happy with their lot?

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"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
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k.e



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2006,07:48 &nb