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  Topic: Heddle's Half-Dissent, with special guest Salvador Cordova< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,13:36   

Quote
But the failed ID political movement, with its built in hero worship of rather unaccomplished non-scientists, has totally poisoned the well. I may be a minority of one, but I have to say that, as an IDer, I am embarrassed by the ID movement: its tactics as well as the lack of intellectualism of many (though not all) of its leaders.




http://helives.blogspot.com/2006/09/color-me-id-cynical.html

   
snoeman



Posts: 109
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,15:14   

Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 19 2006,18:36)
   
Quote
But the failed ID political movement, with its built in hero worship of rather unaccomplished non-scientists, has totally poisoned the well. I may be a minority of one, but I have to say that, as an IDer, I am embarrassed by the ID movement: its tactics as well as the lack of intellectualism of many (though not all) of its leaders.




http://helives.blogspot.com/2006/09/color-me-id-cynical.html

Salvador Cordova wrote:

 
Quote
Perhaps you could help out rather than shooting your wounded and embattled comrades in the back. Maybe a word of encouragement rather than rebuke would be the better course of action for someone of your stature in the community.


Is that Sal, in, dare I say it, a bit of a snit?.  I thought his M.O. was a wholly transparent and insincere politeness.  Or does that only apply when he's busy mischaracterizing evidence or outright lying to evolution supporters and those who are learning about it?

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,16:03   

Quote
"Design can be mathematically demonstrated" except that nobody has ever actually done it, although there are plenty of excuses as to why it hasn't happened "yet." The irony here is multifaceted. Dembski's mathematics, which is touted as putting ID on solid mathematical footing, actually does nothing of the sort. His work says some interesting things applicable to genetic algorithms, but genetic algorithms resemble actual evolution (the way it is supposed to work) in only a superficial way. However, in a move analogous to leaning into rather than away from a left hook, evolutionists often proclaim genetic algorithms as a sort of proof of evolution. This lunacy then plays into Dembski's hands by extending the shelf life of his arguments which should, by now, be dead. It's all kind of crazy, when you think about it.


It's like half of that boy's brain is really smart and the other half is really dumb. What an odd position to put yourself in.  

Quote
The whole state of ID is in such utter disrepair the leaders of the movement should fall on their swords. (But that would necessitate abandoning a cottage industry, so that's not going to happen.)


Wow. As much as I hesitate to say it, I couldn't have put it better myself.

--------------
"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

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,16:09   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 19 2006,22:03)
Quote
"Design can be mathematically demonstrated" except that nobody has ever actually done it, although there are plenty of excuses as to why it hasn't happened "yet." The irony here is multifaceted. Dembski's mathematics, which is touted as putting ID on solid mathematical footing, actually does nothing of the sort. His work says some interesting things applicable to genetic algorithms, but genetic algorithms resemble actual evolution (the way it is supposed to work) in only a superficial way. However, in a move analogous to leaning into rather than away from a left hook, evolutionists often proclaim genetic algorithms as a sort of proof of evolution. This lunacy then plays into Dembski's hands by extending the shelf life of his arguments which should, by now, be dead. It's all kind of crazy, when you think about it.


It's like half of that boy's brain is really smart and the other half is really dumb. What an odd position to put yourself in.  

 
Quote
The whole state of ID is in such utter disrepair the leaders of the movement should fall on their swords. (But that would necessitate abandoning a cottage industry, so that's not going to happen.)


Wow. As much as I hesitate to say it, I couldn't have put it better myself.

Let me make a few minor corrections. I'll just cross out the bits that are completely wrong

 
Quote
"Design can be mathematically demonstrated" except that nobody has ever actually done it, although there are plenty of excuses as to why it hasn't happened "yet." The irony here is multifaceted. Dembski's mathematics, which is touted as putting ID on solid mathematical footing, actually does nothing of the sort. His work says some interesting things applicable to genetic algorithms, but genetic algorithms resemble actual evolution (the way it is supposed to work) in only a superficial way. However, in a move analogous to leaning into rather than away from a left hook, evolutionists often proclaim genetic algorithms as a sort of proof of evolution. This lunacy then plays into Dembski's hands by extending the shelf life of his arguments which should, by now, be dead. It's all kind of crazy, when you think about it.

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,17:13   

I'm trying to be nice to poor old Heddle. For example, this is fairly perceptive:

   
Quote
"Evolution is just a theory" stickers in the text books. The purpose of which was--I don't even know. I'll speculate on their effectiveness: as for changing anyone's opinion one way or another on evolution: infinitesimal. As for pissing off the opposition, giving them something to rally around, and making Christians look like fools: very. This is independent of whether or not there is merit in the "evolution is just a theory" criticism. The tactic, in any case, was boneheaded.


However, as for this,

   
Quote
The only thing, in my opinion, that can save ID is to acknowledge that it is not science but a science-based apologetic.


I wouldn't even go that far.

And I can't even imagine what 'saving ID' would even look like. How can you 'save' something fundamentally fraudulent, with no substance?

I guess the bizarre thing is that half of Heddle's brain knows ID is a load of shit, but the other half has to stay loyal to it, and spends a lot of its energy suppressing the other half.

--------------
"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

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,17:26   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 19 2006,23:13)
And I can't even imagine what 'saving ID' would even look like. How can you 'save' something fundamentally fraudulent, with no substance?

I guess the bizarre thing is that half of Heddle's brain knows ID is a load of shit, but the other half has to stay loyal to it, and spends a lot of its energy suppressing the other half.

Heddle's argument is not anymore science, if it once was. It's a philosophical non-sequitur. "The universe is not something that it isn't, therefore god. Even if it has to be like this because of the laws of nature, still therefore god."

It's one of the most broken arguments ever deployed. There's no logical form to it. It's hard to believe that even the most deluded, AFDave-class zealots could promote it.

In any case, it doesn't help sneak creationism into the public schools, so it's worthless to the ID crowd.

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,17:57   

Thus spake Mr. Cosmo Konstant.
Quote
As for pissing off the opposition, giving them something to rally around, and making Christians look like fools:


And in his case.....a bigger one never existed.

Heds up prof. have you considered it is a REQUIREMENT?


Bwhawhawhahwhwhwhwwhahahahaha.

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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. 19 2006,18:29   

Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 19 2006,21:09)
Let me make a few minor corrections. I'll just cross out the bits that are completely wrong

   
Quote
"Design can be mathematically demonstrated" except that nobody has ever actually done it, although there are plenty of excuses as to why it hasn't happened "yet." The irony here is multifaceted. Dembski's mathematics, which is touted as putting ID on solid mathematical footing, actually does nothing of the sort. His work says some interesting things applicable to genetic algorithms, but genetic algorithms resemble actual evolution (the way it is supposed to work) in only a superficial way. However, in a move analogous to leaning into rather than away from a left hook, evolutionists often proclaim genetic algorithms as a sort of proof of evolution. This lunacy then plays into Dembski's hands by extending the shelf life of his arguments which should, by now, be dead. It's all kind of crazy, when you think about it.

No, David Heddle was right about that, too.

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,18:32   

Quote (k.e @ Sep. 19 2006,22:57)
And in his case.....a bigger one never existed.

Heds up prof. have you considered it is a REQUIREMENT?


Bwhawhawhahwhwhwhwwhahahahaha.

That's just nonsense. Are you trying to make some sense?

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,18:39   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 20 2006,00:29)
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 19 2006,21:09)
Let me make a few minor corrections. I'll just cross out the bits that are completely wrong

   
Quote
"Design can be mathematically demonstrated" except that nobody has ever actually done it, although there are plenty of excuses as to why it hasn't happened "yet." The irony here is multifaceted. Dembski's mathematics, which is touted as putting ID on solid mathematical footing, actually does nothing of the sort. His work says some interesting things applicable to genetic algorithms, but genetic algorithms resemble actual evolution (the way it is supposed to work) in only a superficial way. However, in a move analogous to leaning into rather than away from a left hook, evolutionists often proclaim genetic algorithms as a sort of proof of evolution. This lunacy then plays into Dembski's hands by extending the shelf life of his arguments which should, by now, be dead. It's all kind of crazy, when you think about it.

No, David Heddle was right about that, too.

By 'too', do you mean Heddle's sentence "Dembski's mathematics, which is touted as putting ID on solid mathematical footing, actually does nothing of the sort." was correct?

   
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,18:47   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 19 2006,22:13)

Quote
I wouldn't even go that far.

And I can't even imagine what 'saving ID' would even look like. How can you 'save' something fundamentally fraudulent, with no substance?


Teleology ain't "fundamentally fraudulent," Ardo.

Quote


I guess the bizarre thing is that half of Heddle's brain knows ID is a load of shit, but the other half has to stay loyal to it, and spends a lot of its energy suppressing the other half.


Ardo, you should take your clairvoyance on the road with Dionne Warwick.

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

    
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,18:47   

BTW folks, Heddle might presage a trend, here's what O'Brien says on Heddle's blog:

Quote
I am also disillusioned with the Discovery Institute.

By way of contrast, I am not disillusioned with Panda's Thumb because I had a pretty low opinion of them from the start.
Robert O'Brien | Homepage | 09.20.06 - 12:41 am | #



   
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,18:51   

Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 19 2006,23:39)
By 'too', do you mean Heddle's sentence "Dembski's mathematics, which is touted as putting ID on solid mathematical footing, actually does nothing of the sort." was correct?

Nah, I was seconding his criticism of computer simulations being touted as evidence for speciation.

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,18:52   

Quote
Nah, I was seconding his criticism of computer simulations being touted as evidence for speciation.


and who is doing that?

nobody i have seen on PT.

somebody on UD?

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

-CC

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,18:58   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 20 2006,00:51)
Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 19 2006,23:39)
By 'too', do you mean Heddle's sentence "Dembski's mathematics, which is touted as putting ID on solid mathematical footing, actually does nothing of the sort." was correct?

Nah, I was seconding his criticism of computer simulations being touted as evidence for speciation.

So what's the 'too' reference?

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,19:12   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Sep. 19 2006,23:47)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 19 2006,22:13)

 
Quote
I wouldn't even go that far.

And I can't even imagine what 'saving ID' would even look like. How can you 'save' something fundamentally fraudulent, with no substance?


Teleology ain't "fundamentally fraudulent," Ardo.

 
Quote


I guess the bizarre thing is that half of Heddle's brain knows ID is a load of shit, but the other half has to stay loyal to it, and spends a lot of its energy suppressing the other half.


Ardo, you should take your clairvoyance on the road with Dionne Warwick.

Once again we see the best kind of arguments ROB can muster. "No, you're wrong". Period.

Way to go, Bob.

I can see why you got that award named after you. Bravo.

PS: I see Robert's honor goes way back. Glad to see he's pretty much unchanged for the last two years.

--------------
"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
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,19:26   

I especially found this response by Ed appropriate:

Quote
RO
Quote
Ed responded to my message with all the wit of a schoolyard taunter (I refer interested parties to his blog for the full exchange) complete with schoolyard back up.



I'll take psychological projection for $1000, Alex.


yup.

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

-CC

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,19:31   

Where it all began:

 
Quote
 
Quote
Mr. Brayton,
After reading your opining here and on PT, the most charitable description of you I can come up with is "a pompous ass, intoxicated with the sound of his braying." You frequently make my pretentious idiot list.

Sincerely,

Robert O'Brien


The "sincerely" was a nice touch, don't you think? And all this because I dared to call a guy who wants to ban all books with gay characters from libraries in his state an idiot.


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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. 19 2006,19:38   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Sep. 20 2006,00:26)
I especially found this response by Ed appropriate:

 
Quote
RO  
Quote
Ed responded to my message with all the wit of a schoolyard taunter (I refer interested parties to his blog for the full exchange) complete with schoolyard back up.



I'll take psychological projection for $1000, Alex.


yup.

I find Ed's frequent Jeopardy! allusions insipid and annoying. (It is no wonder that he failed as a comic; he gets his hands on an idiom and runs it into the ground.)

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,19:45   

Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 19 2006,23:58)
So what's the 'too' reference?

Ah, I see what you are getting at. I agree with David Heddle that Bill Dembski's mathematical arguments have yet to deliver from what I have seen. (I guess my answer to your question should have been 'yes.' )

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Robert O'Brien



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Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,20:20   

Addendum:

Even a couple of years ago, when I was knocking heads for Bill, I thought it odd that he said (in an e-mail to me) that he left it up to Wolpert to fill in the details of his (i.e., Bill's) argument. Why would Wolpert do that? Anyway, I would like to try that on one of my exams; I will just give a sketch of a proof and then write the instructor a note saying, "I leave it to you to fill in the details."--Robert O'Brien

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Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 19 2006,22:10   

Quote
I find Ed's frequent Jeopardy! allusions insipid and annoying.


and you should know.

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

-CC

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 20 2006,05:45   

Hey Wobert Obrien are you single like Heddle .....?

it might be time to change your motto

Brevior saltare cum deformibus viris est vita

If his blog picture is acurate, You and Him would would be the last word in those bon mots.



I'm sure he appreciates help from intellectual giants such as yourself...or not...but anyway keep up the good work of confirming his premise....ID has brought ridicule on his little cult of REPROBATION.


From the Devils Dictionary


REPROBATION, n. In theology, the state of a luckless mortal prenatally damned. The doctrine of reprobation was taught by Calvin, whose joy in it was somewhat marred by the sad sincerity of his conviction that although some are foredoomed to perdition, others are predestined to salvation.


Enjoy...... I rarely cast pearls to swine...it won't happen again..... in your case. Twit.

--------------
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

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 20 2006,06:24   

We should start a list of IDers who dissent from ID and see if Heddle would like to be the first one to sign it.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
stevestory



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 20 2006,06:28   

He believes in ID, he's just pissed that morons like Salvador and Luskin etc have brought great shame upon it.

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 20 2006,06:31   

Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 20 2006,11:28)
He believes in ID, he's just pissed that morons like Salvador and Luskin etc have brought great shame upon it.

Right -- he's smart enough to realize how full of shit ID 'experts' are, yet not smart enough to realize that this fact is inevitable.

--------------
"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. 20 2006,06:31   

Quote (k.e @ Sep. 20 2006,10:45)
Hey Wobert Obrien are you single like Heddle .....?

it might be time to change your motto

Brevior saltare cum deformibus viris est vita

If his blog picture is acurate, You and Him would would be the last word in those bon mots.



I'm sure he appreciates help from intellectual giants such as yourself...or not...but anyway keep up the good work of confirming his premise....ID has brought ridicule on his little cult of REPROBATION.


From the Devils Dictionary


REPROBATION, n. In theology, the state of a luckless mortal prenatally damned. The doctrine of reprobation was taught by Calvin, whose joy in it was somewhat marred by the sad sincerity of his conviction that although some are foredoomed to perdition, others are predestined to salvation.


Enjoy...... I rarely cast pearls to swine...it won't happen again..... in your case. Twit.

Dude, lay off the chronic.

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

    
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 20 2006,06:55   

I think the entire post is worthy of a copy and paste here, Heddle is right on with his criticisms of the ID movement and Sal is nothing but a weasle.

Quote
Color Me ID Cynical


I am reading Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt's new ID book: A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, (Intervarsity Press, 2006) More on this when I give a complete review later. But I will say that in an overcrowded genre full of ponderous gobbledygook, this book is a breath of fresh air.

Which is just what I need, being so deeply soured on the ID "movement." (Though not on the idea that God has left evidence of His design.) The movement, as a political enterprise, has made so many mistakes you wonder its proponents don't just disband and go home. A quick review of a very unsuccessful campaign:
"Evolution is just a theory" stickers in the text books. The purpose of which was--I don't even know. I'll speculate on their effectiveness: as for changing anyone's opinion one way or another on evolution: infinitesimal. As for pissing off the opposition, giving them something to rally around, and making Christians look like fools: very. This is independent of whether or not there is merit in the "evolution is just a theory" criticism. The tactic, in any case, was boneheaded.


The "ID is science" mantra. Except that by ordinary standards of science it isn't. The Irreducible Complexity "experiments" are really challenges: We dare evolution to explain the flagellum. This is reminiscent of a "refutation" of the four-color theorem I once saw in (I think) Scientific American for one of their famous April Fool's spoofs. A hugely complicated map was printed, and readers were challenged to try filling in the myriad of tiny, twisted shapes using only four colors. Can't do it? Q.E.D. Even the falsification experiments in the The Privileged Planet, which in my opinion is the ID book on the most solid scientific ground, don't smell like real experiments: Search for intelligent life on a planet without a large moon. This is not to say that experiments cannot be ID inspired, I believe they can be and are--in fact all experiments are ID inspired in the sense that they presuppose two facts in evidence: i) nature is orderly, i.e., governed by laws and ii) although we have no reason to expect it, it would appear that humans are able to uncover and understand these laws.


"Design can be mathematically demonstrated" except that nobody has ever actually done it, although there are plenty of excuses as to why it hasn't happened "yet." The irony here is multifaceted. Dembski's mathematics, which is touted as putting ID on solid mathematical footing, actually does nothing of the sort. His work says some interesting things applicable to genetic algorithms, but genetic algorithms resemble actual evolution (the way it is supposed to work) in only a superficial way. However, in a move analogous to leaning into rather than away from a left hook, evolutionists often proclaim genetic algorithms as a sort of proof of evolution. This lunacy then plays into Dembski's hands by extending the shelf life of his arguments which should, by now, be dead. It's all kind of crazy, when you think about it.


"ID has nothing to do with God." Yeah, right. Perhaps one place where Dembski's filter might actually work is that, just maybe, it could detect design in the composition of the ID movement. This shouldn't be all that difficult, given that the overwhelming majority of IDers are theists. Oh, the argument has a milli-ounce of merit: it's just about the design, not about the designer (and in truth is not much different from evolution saying: we don't care about abiogenesis) but this clumsy posturing looses out to the "looks, walks, and quacks like a duck" test.


"Let's get school boards to put ID in the curriculum, then fight the battle in the courts, and argue that ID is not religious (nod, nod, wink, wink) but, even if it is, then atheism is a religion too." Brilliant! That's worked real well. Not only are many scientists antagonized, but now many nonscientists are too. Perhaps the only saving grace is that these efforts have pushed enough loudmouths to Dawkinsian extremism and fundamentalism that the opposition is wasting its time fighting internal skirmishes.
The whole state of ID is in such utter disrepair the leaders of the movement should fall on their swords. (But that would necessitate abandoning a cottage industry, so that's not going to happen.)

The only thing, in my opinion, that can save ID is to acknowledge that it is not science but a science-based apologetic. Its purpose is to demonstrate that science is not incompatible with the bible and that Christians have nothing to fear: science is not the enemy anymore than archeology. Neither physics experiments nor Holy Land excavations are going to disprove God or the bible. ID, like all apologetics, should have as its primary audience believers, not unbelievers.

I have said this many times, but here is the truth, and it's worth pondering. Before the ID movement, ID ideas were discussed in classrooms. I hardly remember a physics class in college where a rabbit trail discussion about how the beauty of nature might point to a creator did not come up. The typical attitude of the professor was such that even if he wasn't a believer, he could understand how science, given that what it revealed was so amazing, might cause someone to consider that God was behind it all. Since that time, only additional marvels (such as the ever-more-rapidly-expanding universe) have been discovered. But the failed ID political movement, with its built in hero worship of rather unaccomplished non-scientists, has totally poisoned the well. I may be a minority of one, but I have to say that, as an IDer, I am embarrassed by the ID movement: its tactics as well as the lack of intellectualism of many (though not all) of its leaders.


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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
snoeman



Posts: 109
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 20 2006,09:43   

Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 19 2006,23:47)
BTW folks, Heddle might presage a trend, here's what O'Brien says on Heddle's blog:

   
Quote
I am also disillusioned with the Discovery Institute.

By way of contrast, I am not disillusioned with Panda's Thumb because I had a pretty low opinion of them from the start.
Robert O'Brien | Homepage | 09.20.06 - 12:41 am | #



Wish I could remember where I read this: "If a ship really is sinking, then maybe the rats have a point."

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 20 2006,12:51   

Salvador Cordova wrote:


Quote
Perhaps you could help out rather than shooting your wounded and embattled comrades in the back.






Sal, as usual is wrong.  ID isn't "wounded and embattled" ---- it's dead.  Dead, dead, dead.  The IDers can hold it up and walk it around, a la Weekend at Bernie's, but i's still dead.  Even if the IDers swat all the flies, the stink will still fill the room.

Time for the IDers to bury the rotted corpse.

As for the ID luminaries, it's time for them to do as ICR did after THEY lost --- retire to their religious organizations, and make their living by selling religious tracts to the faithful.  And let the next generation of liars try to push some NEW scam onto everyone.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 20 2006,12:58   

<quote>Its purpose is to demonstrate that science is not incompatible with the bible and that Christians have nothing to fear: science is not the enemy anymore than archeology. Neither physics experiments nor Holy Land excavations are going to disprove God or the bible.</quote>



Well, since this is precisely what most Christians say about EVOLUTION, it makes one wonder just what the #### Heddle has been bitching about for all this time.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 20 2006,16:49   

Quote
Even a couple of years ago, when I was knocking heads making a fool of myself toadying  for Bill...


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

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 21 2006,05:35   

In Heddle's latest post, he has an interesting thing to say. No, not the part where he says ID can save you from eternal damnation, the part where he's not insane:

Quote
ID must stop stating it can prove design, especially since people like Mr. Dembski have never proved anything. You [Salvador] are confident, you write, that those in information science and engineering find his critique scientifically sound. I will wait for any published demonstration of a proof that a biological component was designed. And keep in mind, this challenge is from someone who believes that life was designed. ID can convince, but it never proves. You’ve been sold, in my opinion, a bill of goods.


http://helives.blogspot.com/

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 21 2006,06:26   

Blink blink...rubs eyes....

....Oh that's right Heddle knows something about what a proof might actually be.

That's the smartest thing he's said,  short of calling Dembski a duplicitous scam artist.

Sal already knows it's a crock, he just likes the smell of the grease paint and the curtain calls.

--------------
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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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 21 2006,06:35   

Quote (k.e @ Sep. 21 2006,11:26)
Sal already knows it's a crock,

I disagree. I think Sal is plenty dumb enough to believe everything he says.

Sal, unlike Heddle, is nowhere near smart enough to be suffering from Heddle's amazing level of cognitive dissonance.

--------------
"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



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 21 2006,07:00   

Agreed Arden, Harlequin Sal is no where near Heddle in the neuron stakes, he seems to have given up running shotgun for Dembski's pseudo science,  but in my opinion he is just media whore, he would be happy promoting rungless ladders, as soon as he gets a sniff of some other scam he'll be off.

--------------
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

   
Alan Fox



Posts: 1391
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 21 2006,11:55   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Sep. 20 2006,06:55)
I think the entire post is worthy of a copy and paste here, Heddle is right on with his criticisms of the ID movement and Sal is nothing but a weasle.

 
Quote
Color Me ID Cynical


I am reading Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt's new ID book: A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, (Intervarsity Press, 2006) More on this when I give a complete review later. But I will say that in an overcrowded genre full of ponderous gobbledygook, this book is a breath of fresh air.

Which is just what I need, being so deeply soured on the ID "movement." (Though not on the idea that God has left evidence of His design.) The movement, as a political enterprise, has made so many mistakes you wonder its proponents don't just disband and go home. A quick review of a very unsuccessful campaign:
"Evolution is just a theory" stickers in the text books. The purpose of which was--I don't even know. I'll speculate on their effectiveness: as for changing anyone's opinion one way or another on evolution: infinitesimal. As for pissing off the opposition, giving them something to rally around, and making Christians look like fools: very. This is independent of whether or not there is merit in the "evolution is just a theory" criticism. The tactic, in any case, was boneheaded.


The "ID is science" mantra. Except that by ordinary standards of science it isn't. The Irreducible Complexity "experiments" are really challenges: We dare evolution to explain the flagellum. This is reminiscent of a "refutation" of the four-color theorem I once saw in (I think) Scientific American for one of their famous April Fool's spoofs. A hugely complicated map was printed, and readers were challenged to try filling in the myriad of tiny, twisted shapes using only four colors. Can't do it? Q.E.D. Even the falsification experiments in the The Privileged Planet, which in my opinion is the ID book on the most solid scientific ground, don't smell like real experiments: Search for intelligent life on a planet without a large moon. This is not to say that experiments cannot be ID inspired, I believe they can be and are--in fact all experiments are ID inspired in the sense that they presuppose two facts in evidence: i) nature is orderly, i.e., governed by laws and ii) although we have no reason to expect it, it would appear that humans are able to uncover and understand these laws.


"Design can be mathematically demonstrated" except that nobody has ever actually done it, although there are plenty of excuses as to why it hasn't happened "yet." The irony here is multifaceted. Dembski's mathematics, which is touted as putting ID on solid mathematical footing, actually does nothing of the sort. His work says some interesting things applicable to genetic algorithms, but genetic algorithms resemble actual evolution (the way it is supposed to work) in only a superficial way. However, in a move analogous to leaning into rather than away from a left hook, evolutionists often proclaim genetic algorithms as a sort of proof of evolution. This lunacy then plays into Dembski's hands by extending the shelf life of his arguments which should, by now, be dead. It's all kind of crazy, when you think about it.


"ID has nothing to do with God." Yeah, right. Perhaps one place where Dembski's filter might actually work is that, just maybe, it could detect design in the composition of the ID movement. This shouldn't be all that difficult, given that the overwhelming majority of IDers are theists. Oh, the argument has a milli-ounce of merit: it's just about the design, not about the designer (and in truth is not much different from evolution saying: we don't care about abiogenesis) but this clumsy posturing looses out to the "looks, walks, and quacks like a duck" test.


"Let's get school boards to put ID in the curriculum, then fight the battle in the courts, and argue that ID is not religious (nod, nod, wink, wink) but, even if it is, then atheism is a religion too." Brilliant! That's worked real well. Not only are many scientists antagonized, but now many nonscientists are too. Perhaps the only saving grace is that these efforts have pushed enough loudmouths to Dawkinsian extremism and fundamentalism that the opposition is wasting its time fighting internal skirmishes.
The whole state of ID is in such utter disrepair the leaders of the movement should fall on their swords. (But that would necessitate abandoning a cottage industry, so that's not going to happen.)

The only thing, in my opinion, that can save ID is to acknowledge that it is not science but a science-based apologetic. Its purpose is to demonstrate that science is not incompatible with the bible and that Christians have nothing to fear: science is not the enemy anymore than archeology. Neither physics experiments nor Holy Land excavations are going to disprove God or the bible. ID, like all apologetics, should have as its primary audience believers, not unbelievers.

I have said this many times, but here is the truth, and it's worth pondering. Before the ID movement, ID ideas were discussed in classrooms. I hardly remember a physics class in college where a rabbit trail discussion about how the beauty of nature might point to a creator did not come up. The typical attitude of the professor was such that even if he wasn't a believer, he could understand how science, given that what it revealed was so amazing, might cause someone to consider that God was behind it all. Since that time, only additional marvels (such as the ever-more-rapidly-expanding universe) have been discovered. But the failed ID political movement, with its built in hero worship of rather unaccomplished non-scientists, has totally poisoned the well. I may be a minority of one, but I have to say that, as an IDer, I am embarrassed by the ID movement: its tactics as well as the lack of intellectualism of many (though not all) of its leaders.

Seconded. Dr. Heddle should be commended for his conversion "on the road to Damascus"

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 21 2006,13:23   

Well, while reading Heddle's rant, I recalled an old Italian proverb:  "After the ship has sunk, everyone knows how it might have been saved."

Most rats, of course, are smart enough to jump off the ship BEFORE it sinks, though.  Not the IDers.  They prefer to wait till the ship has already gone down, the survivors have all already drowned, and the sharks have already eaten half the bodies.

THEN, one of them pipes up and says "Hey, maybe we should get off this ship?"

(shrug)

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 21 2006,13:44   

Salvador says Dembski's claims are modest, and the Discovery Institute isn't political.

   
Steviepinhead



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 21 2006,15:15   

C'mon, guys, there's no problem with Sal being both a maroon and a mouthpiece-for-hire.

Heck, just through the screen, one can watch him drool and mangle the possessive apostrophe, all within the span of a few keystrokes...

The guy's a regular multi-tasker!

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 21 2006,15:26   

Quote (Steviepinhead @ Sep. 21 2006,21:15)
C'mon, guys, there's no problem with Sal being both a maroon and a mouthpiece-for-hire.

Heck, just through the screen, one can watch him drool and mangle the possessive apostrophe, all within the span of a few keystrokes...

The guy's a regular multi-tasker!

A friend of mine got so angry about the mangling of the possessive apostrophe, that for a while, he just started putting an apostrophe in front of every s. as in,
Quote
When in the Cour'se of human event's, it become's nece's'sary for one people to di's'solve the political band's which have connected them with another, and to a's'sume among the power's of the earth, the 'separate and equal 'station to which the Law's of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent re'spect to the opinion's of mankind require's that they 'should declare the cau'se's which impel them to the 'separation.

   
keiths



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 21 2006,18:00   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Sep. 21 2006,11:35)
Sal, unlike Heddle, is nowhere near smart enough to be suffering from Heddle's amazing level of cognitive dissonance.

Quote
I've personally examined and debunked the nonsense being promoted by Dembski's critics like Elsberry, Perakh, Shallit, Thomas, Lenski, Adami, and others. I plead you reconsider who is closer to the truth in terms of valid deductive methods....
Salvador T. Cordova | 09.21.06 - 5:17 pm
 
Quote
Salvador writes

"The hatred toward Christianity will not be soothed."

Consider this, Sal: David's last three posts here have made this atheist feel LESS antagonistic and more hopeful that Christians and atheists can behave decently and get along in the world and even ork together towards a greater scientific understanding of our universe.

Your comments have the polar opposite effect.

And I can assure you that I am not alone.

Think about it.
Altamont Alan | 09.21.06 - 5:48 pm | #

 
Quote
Oh and doug, you're even a worse representative for Christ than Sal and I didn't think that was possible.
Altamont Alan | 09.21.06 - 5:49 pm


--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
k.e



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 22 2006,05:24   

Quote

I've personally examined and debunked the nonsense being promoted by Dembski's critics like Elsberry, Perakh, Shallit, Thomas, Lenski, Adami, and others. I plead you reconsider who is closer to the truth in terms of valid deductive methods....
Salvador T. Cordova | 09.21.06 - 5:17 pm


Oh well .....it looks like I've given Sal too much cedit.

The guy is a regular intellectual black hole.

Nothing, including what might be considered reason in some circles, escapes the gravity of his own brain which considering it's lightness is truly indicative of magnitude of the vacant space he calls his brain.

He just won't tell anyone who can add 1 and 1 how he debunked Dembski's critics.

As I recall on PT, he ran off with his tail betwen his legs everytime he popped up.

I guess he must be saving it for the cleaning lady at the DI.

--------------
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

   
stevestory



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,05:40   

Quote
David,

If you find the time (perhaps a follow-up post?) can you address where and why you think Dembski's mathematics is deficient?

Is design like pornography (it's solely in the eye of the beholder), or is it possible to mathematically describe properties of design?
wrf3 | 09.21.06 - 11:06 pm | #

wrf3,

Arggh. I was afraid someone would ask me that, after I declared I was done with this topic. However, it's a fair question, so I'll post on it in the near future, including how I reluctantly came to examine his mathematics in detail--when for the longest time I was comfortable hiding my gut instincts behind "I never read Dembski's work" when asked about it by friend or foe.
heddle | 09.22.06 - 6:39 am | #


What's Salvador gonna do when he reads ID-supporter Heddle's explanation of Dembski's mathematical failure? Is his head going to explode? Is Dembski going to freak out and put up a big 'refutation' post at UD? And has Heddle found any interesting flaws not uncovered by Perakh, Elsberry, Shallit, Chu-Carroll, etc etc etc?

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

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

Quote (stevestory @ Sep. 23 2006,10:40)
Quote
David,

If you find the time (perhaps a follow-up post?) can you address where and why you think Dembski's mathematics is deficient?

Is design like pornography (it's solely in the eye of the beholder), or is it possible to mathematically describe properties of design?
wrf3 | 09.21.06 - 11:06 pm | #

wrf3,

Arggh. I was afraid someone would ask me that, after I declared I was done with this topic. However, it's a fair question, so I'll post on it in the near future, including how I reluctantly came to examine his mathematics in detail--when for the longest time I was comfortable hiding my gut instincts behind "I never read Dembski's work" when asked about it by friend or foe.
heddle | 09.22.06 - 6:39 am | #


What's Salvador gonna do when he reads ID-supporter Heddle's explanation of Dembski's mathematical failure? Is his head going to explode? Is Dembski going to freak out and put up a big 'refutation' post at UD? And has Heddle found any interesting flaws not uncovered by Perakh, Elsberry, Shallit, Chu-Carroll, etc etc etc?

Don't worry about Sal. He'll be fine. His ability to hold contradictory notions in his head simultaneously is unlimited.

--------------
"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

  
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 23 2006,22:03   

David Heddle is a pretty #### inteligent guy.

I am surprised it took him so long to realise just how dishonest these people (ID leadership) are.

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,10:15   

Heddle slams Jonathan Wells at UD:

Quote
I am so anachronistic. I remember those days when we settled scientific debates by actually going into the lab (you know, those places where people where the long white coats and use equipment) and doing science. I know, it does seem rather ridiculous by the methods championed here. Clearly the modern way is to write op-ed pieces or popularized books that declare victory anytime a new record that may be problematic, or at least can be cast as problematic, is added to the experimental database. In days of yore what we used to do (you’ll get a kick out of this) is to see if the current theory can explain the new data and if it could not we would either modify it or, if it was beyond saving, we would jettison it. Is that a gas or what? But I understand that since this takes time and work it is much more efficient just to accumulate short-term political mileage while we can.

Comment by David Heddle — September 27, 2006 @ 2:01 pm


--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,10:18   

Quote (keiths @ Sep. 27 2006,15:15)
Heddle slams Jonathan Wells at UD:

 
Quote
I am so anachronistic. I remember those days when we settled scientific debates by actually going into the lab (you know, those places where people where the long white coats and use equipment) and doing science. I know, it does seem rather ridiculous by the methods championed here. Clearly the modern way is to write op-ed pieces or popularized books that declare victory anytime a new record that may be problematic, or at least can be cast as problematic, is added to the experimental database. In days of yore what we used to do (you’ll get a kick out of this) is to see if the current theory can explain the new data and if it could not we would either modify it or, if it was beyond saving, we would jettison it. Is that a gas or what? But I understand that since this takes time and work it is much more efficient just to accumulate short-term political mileage while we can.

Comment by David Heddle — September 27, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

WOW! I am amazed that post got on the board.

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2006,10:44   

The IDiots are well-practiced at dismissing essentially all scientists as either anti-jesus conspirators or their rubes. But Heddle, an ID supporter, calling them out on their sleazy lies,  has actually got to sting.

   
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,03:31   

Quote (keiths @ Sep. 27 2006,15:15)
Heddle slams Jonathan Wells at UD:

 
Quote
I am so anachronistic. I remember those days when we settled scientific debates by actually going into the lab (you know, those places where people where the long white coats and use equipment) and doing science. I know, it does seem rather ridiculous by the methods championed here. Clearly the modern way is to write op-ed pieces or popularized books that declare victory anytime a new record that may be problematic, or at least can be cast as problematic, is added to the experimental database. In days of yore what we used to do (you’ll get a kick out of this) is to see if the current theory can explain the new data and if it could not we would either modify it or, if it was beyond saving, we would jettison it. Is that a gas or what? But I understand that since this takes time and work it is much more efficient just to accumulate short-term political mileage while we can.

Comment by David Heddle — September 27, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

Yeah, and he's been banned for it.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,08:49   

Quote (GCT @ Sep. 28 2006,09:31)
Yeah, and he's been banned for it.

Really? They banned David Heddle?

Quote
23. William Dembski  // Sep 27th 2006 at 4:51 pm

David Heddle: I don’t like your attitude. I recently booted you off a listserve that I moderate. I’m now booting you from this blog. Goodbye.

Comment by William Dembski — September 27, 2006 @ 4:51 pm


 
Quote
30. William Dembski  // Sep 27th 2006 at 7:59 pm

David H.: It’s a pain to remove people by hand, so I instructed my research assistant to do it. Since he hasn’t gotten around to it yet, I went ahead and did it myself.

I’m frankly surprised that you have problems with my time management inasmuch as you’ve never given any evidence of having read or understood my technical work. Beyond that, what I do in the way of public lecturing and popular work is aimed at recruiting talent to the ID movement. For the record, it’s working!

Comment by William Dembski — September 27, 2006 @ 7:59 pm


Dang.

I'll repost here Heddle's last comment from UD:

Quote
27. David Heddle  // Sep 27th 2006 at 5:13 pm

Oh brother. Prevailing theories are not supplanted by mantra. You can say “Darwinism is doomed” a gazillion times but there is only one way ID (or anything else) will displace it as a scientific theory: when ID proposes experiments, performs them, obtains results that support the ID hypothesis, and publishes their findings. Until then it is just preaching-to-the-choir playtime. If all this energy were invested in actually doing science then, regardless of the outcome, at least something of value would have resulted.

If you really think ID is science then abandon the lecture circuits, abandon legal tactics, stop showing up on places like CSPAN, write much less for the nonscientific press and nonscientific audiences than for professional journals, stop whining about conspiracies in the funding agencies and among atheistic scientists in general, and get off your butts and do some science.

Of course, if ID is really a powerful apologetic for theism, as I think it is, then some of these activities make perfect sense—but even then they should only be done if ID is accurately portrayed as an apologetic, and not a science under siege.

Comment by David Heddle — September 27, 2006 @ 5:13 pm

   
guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2006,09:49   

I'm impressed- Heddle has finally gotten it.  Should we send him some flowers or a t-shirt or a test tube or something?

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2006,11:24   

Quote
I have to read other critiques (eventually) but I would be surprised if I offered anything new. I am working on a first paper, one that deals with the Design Inference. The problems with that are not very subtle, so I am guessing everyone has the same criticism. However, like I told others, I want to be systematic, so it won't appear soon.

heddle | 09.29.06 - 3:58 pm


Heddle's apparently writing a set of papers to explain to the ID crowd why Dembki's arguments fail. This is redundant. But I suppose he can't bring himself to say "Read Panda's Thumb".

   
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2006,12:11   

Heddle Lays Into Dembski

   
Ichthyic



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2006,11:25   

when Dembski says:

Quote
For the record, it’s working!


what he really means is that he is still making enough money doing so for it to be worth spending his time on.

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

-CC

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 02 2006,20:24   

Heddle's been pretty quiet the last few days. I have a feeling he's about to launch a big shell at the S.S. Dembski. The tiny speedboat Cordova will try to throw itself in the way, but in the end, both are headed for Davy Jones's Locker.

   
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,05:00   

Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 03 2006,01:24)
Heddle's been pretty quiet the last few days. I have a feeling he's about to launch a big shell at the S.S. Dembski. The tiny speedboat Cordova will try to throw itself in the way, but in the end, both are headed for Davy Jones's Locker.

Steve you prophet.

http://helives.blogspot.com/
It's long, so I won't quote the whole thing.
Quote
The first time Dembski booted me


When Dembski booted me from his blog, he wrote:
David Heddle: I don't like your attitude. I recently booted you off a listserve that I moderate. I'm now booting you from this blog. Goodbye.
Several people asked me to comment on the list from which Dembski booted me prior to banning me from Uncommon Descent. I didn't respond, deciding instead to think about how I could answer carefully. You see, the list asks members not to reveal posts (unless the author grants permission) and not even mention the list by name. I want to respect that.

Simply acknowledging the existence of the list is not revealing anything, especially since Dembski already announced that he threw me off.....

Apparently ID has a fight club.

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,05:14   

Quote

Several people asked me to comment on the list from which Dembski booted me prior to banning me from Uncommon Descent. I didn't respond, deciding instead to think about how I could answer carefully. You see, the list asks members not to reveal posts (unless the author grants permission) and not even mention the list by name. I want to respect that.


I assume that 'Overwhelming Evidence' is the List That Dare Not Speak Its Name?

I've never seen this, where does Dembski ask people "not to reveal posts (unless the author grants permission) and not even mention the list by name"? What rationale do they give for that?

I assume that's to try to prevent embarrassing shit from coming up in Google searches. Nice.

That's funny that Dembski tells people not to mention it in their blogs, since only pro-ID people would honor that rule, which essentially means that only anti-ID people will mention it. Which will, of course, influence Google searches...

--------------
"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

  
Chris Hyland



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,05:22   

Quote
I assume that 'Overwhelming Evidence' is the List That Dare Not Speak Its Name?
Isn't that a website for students?

  
GCT



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Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,05:25   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 04 2006,10:14)
Quote

Several people asked me to comment on the list from which Dembski booted me prior to banning me from Uncommon Descent. I didn't respond, deciding instead to think about how I could answer carefully. You see, the list asks members not to reveal posts (unless the author grants permission) and not even mention the list by name. I want to respect that.


I assume that 'Overwhelming Evidence' is the List That Dare Not Speak Its Name?

I've never seen this, where does Dembski ask people "not to reveal posts (unless the author grants permission) and not even mention the list by name"? What rationale do they give for that?

I assume that's to try to prevent embarrassing shit from coming up in Google searches. Nice.

That's funny that Dembski tells people not to mention it in their blogs, since only pro-ID people would honor that rule, which essentially means that only anti-ID people will mention it. Which will, of course, influence Google searches...

I don't think this is a public site he is talking about.  It sounds like a private site that only pro-ID people get invited to.

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,05:48   

Quote (GCT @ Oct. 04 2006,11:00)
Apparently ID has a fight club.

LOL yeah what is up with that cloak-and-dagger secret listserv nonsense?

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,05:55   

That whole essay is worth reading.

Heddle's road-to-Damascus journey continues to amaze:

     
Quote
I first got into trouble on the forum before Dembski was the moderator. Unaware that it was the third-rail of ID, I posted something mildly negative about young earth creationism. I soon found out that some members of the list are extremely sensitive about this topic. I also learned about the "big tent." The big tent is this: ID welcomes all views on the age of the earth. Furthermore, to prevent internal squabbles, the topic of the age of the earth is verboten.

Welcoming all views is reasonable--after all science (and this list is supposed to be about science) welcomes all views. But what science never does is place views "off limits." How, I asked in subsequent posts, can we be "about science" if a scientific topic, namely the age of the earth, is off the table? A handful of people replied by email (I flew below most everyone's radar on this list) to say they agreed with me, but on the list the argument against my position was that the age of the earth was not relevant in the domain of ID. I pointed out that for cosmological ID it is extremely relevant, since fine-tuning arguments make no sense for a YEC position-


This is very interesting for someone sympathetic to ID (in some form) coming out and admitting that the age of the Earth is the Big Touchy Subject that you AREN'T supposed to mention in ID polite society. (A good reason for the rest of us to mention it constantly.)

Heddle goes on:

   
Quote
Here's the thing: there is no such animal as a "big tent" (as the term is used on this list) in science. Science is the ultimate meritocracy. A fragile persona will not survive. Apart from a gentleman's agreement to treat young students with kid gloves--and even then only for a short while--nobody gets a free pass. In my novel Here, Eyeball This! I describe the dynamic this way, explaining why a professor in the story didn't act "hurt" when he was accidentally placed in an embarrassing social situation:
By necessity, physicists develop thick skins. A great deal of professional activity involves giving and attending talks and seminars. These often degenerated into one physicist insulting another over his deplorable lack of acumen. Many times Aaron had heard this same Mike Jacob say to another professor, or even a visitor, in regard to some subtle physics argument, 'Hey man, that’s just plain stupid.' After some discussion, the target of the jibe would either concede that he had indeed presented a stupid argument, or Jacob would retract his comment and admit that he was 'both a jackass and a fool'. Then they would go on as if nothing had happened, no hard feelings whatsoever.
Put more succinctly: there's no crying in science. You present your ideas--you defend them--and you try to persuade, but nothing is sacred.


Well, uh, yes.

I think what Heddle is realizing -- but can't quite come out and say, yet -- is that ID not being science, does not have scientific customs. It has religious customs. In science when you criticize opposing POV's, you have to prove your case, and emotionalism won't go far. And when it's over, it's over, no big deal. But when you criticize ID, you're actually criticizing SOMEONE'S RELIGION, and so you get people freaking out, open hostility, holding grudges, etc. In other words, it's precisely because ID isn't and never has been science that they never act according to scientific customs -- and Heddle keeps hoping against hope that someday they will, since, after all, ID claims it's science. I personally think that's less likely than ever now.

And maybe I'm just in a sentimental mood this morning, but I thought this anecdote was kind of touching:

 
Quote
It also made me think of the times I met real greatness in real scientists who actually were within their rights to list themselves among the leaders of a research field. Once I wanted to hear Hans Bethe give a talk, and I wanted a good seat. I arrived at the seminar room an hour early and there was a old man with liver-spotted hands sitting at the conference table eating Sun Maid raisins from a box. After offering to share, he asked me if I was a student and what I was studying. He was kind and humble--I thought he was either a Pitt professor (I went to Carnegie Mellon; Pitt was down the street and often we attended one another's seminars) or one of those peculiar people who are not associated with the department but show up for interesting seminars. We talked for about thirty minutes about physics--and then one of my professors arrived. You know the ending: I was chatting with Hans Bethe. What did he not say? He did not say: "the default view for nuclear physics is the one hammered out by Rutherford, ..., myself, ..."


He's referring to this particular piece of hilarity:

Quote
It bears repeating that the default view of ID for this list is the position hammered out over a fifteen year period starting with Phil Johnson and moving through to Behe, myself, Wells, Meyer, Nelson, Pearcey, Gonzalez, Richards, and O'Leary. Any of you who have a fundamental problem with that position need to consider carefully whether you should be on this list at all.

Best wishes,
Bill Dembski


(The inclusion of O'Leary as an ID great there is especially funny.)

Anyway, Heddle's essays are especially interesting in that he's the only clear-thinking person I know of who has one foot in ID and one foot in real science who can clearly describe the disconnect between the two. Try imagining something like that from, say, Gil Dodgen or Sal Cordova.

     
Quote

[from GCT:] I don't think this is a public site he is talking about.  It sounds like a private site that only pro-ID people get invited to.


Anyone here have any idea what it's called?

And when will it make the leap to its own Project Mayhem? *GULP*

 
Quote

LOL yeah what is up with that cloak-and-dagger secret listserv nonsense?


Easy, they can't handle criticism, so they make it secret. Plus, that way it won't come up on searches when they say something really tardalicious. Doesn't all real science progress that way?

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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

  
argystokes



Posts: 766
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,06:25   

When I read that little essay, a beautiful scene emerged in my mind:
Quote
Dembski stood beneath the oak, smirking and delighting in the admiration of his young apprentices.  Just as he was about to recommend his latest book for purchase, he saw a short man wearing sunglasses and a dark blue T-shirt approaching.

"Away with you, Heddle," said Dembski.  "You do not belong amongst these ID luminaries."  Dembski, upon seeing that he was in fact only surrounded by the likes of Salvador Cordova and Gil Dodgen, quickly pulled out his personal mirror to stare at his reflection.

Heddle cast aside his sunglasses, revealing a light of determination in his aging eyes.  But he did not reply.

Dembski became wary, and he thought he could hear music coming from the skies.  As the silent Heddle stalked closer, the music became louder.  Dembski recognized it as The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  It grew louder.

"Don't you dare approach me," Dembski admonished.  "Please take your message to my research assistant."

"That's me!" an eager Joel chimed in.  Dembski glared.

As Heddle grew near Dembski, he reached behind himself.  Sparkling in the sunlight, a golden cross the length of a golf club and as thick as Dembski's wrist appeared in the now upraised hand of Heddle.  The music became thunderous, and a chorus of angels could be heard singing, "MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE COMING OF THE LORD!"

Dembski went pale.

HE IS TRAMPLING OUT THE VINTAGE WHERE THE GRAPES OF WRATH ARE STORED

Heddle raised the cross above his head with both hands.

HE HATH LOOSED THE FATEFUL LIGHTNING OF HIS TERRIBLE SWIFT SWORD

Heddle swung the cross.  Gil, Joel, Sal, and the others looked on in horror, but could not move.

HIS TRUTH IS MARCHING ON!

The blow connected with Dembski's face, lifting him from the ground.  As he flew through the air, the voices thundered:
GLORY, GLORY HALLELUJAH!


OK, it's a little violent, but keep in mind that all these people are two-dimensional images to be, so it should be imagined as cartoon-like.

--------------
"Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?" -Calvin

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,06:34   

Oh, Heddle, you just get cooler every day:

 
Quote
Well, being the hothead that I am, I immediately composed and submitted what would be my last post:
Bill,

Your response seems to be more appropriate for scolding an apostate member of a fan club rather than moderating a list ostensibly existing for exchanging ideas on ID. For those of us who would like to see ID change direction, who feel that the approach taken by some (by no means all, for example I greatly admire how Gonzalez, for one, continues to perform actual scientific research) of the titans you mention has been hugely counterproductive (just try talking ID in a public school, it is now but a distant memory for me)--we should keep our mouths shut or else the big boys will take their ball and go play elsewhere?

Thus far, that's the message I take from your moderating. And the rather odd (so they seem to me) explanations you have posted (on *****) thereof, which included, to *****:

"Have you read Behe, Johnson, or my own work? -- I'm not asking this question rhetorically. It's precisely comments like this that have led a number of my senior colleagues to want to jump ship from ***** and start a new list. But that's not going to happen. The level of discussion on this list needs to improve. Please don't post anything so unreflective again."

Which I interpret as: be careful, or the really important folk--who have discussed it but, so far, have agreed to continue to be gracious-- might just start another list with only really smart people invited.

And when you wrote:

"I have no problem calling ID philosophy if by philosophy one understands it broadly and as originally conceived, which always included metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, logic, and natural philosophy. The latter in the 1800s was changed to "science.""

Which, with its little history lesson that nobody needed, I interpreted as: it's OK if you don't think ID has reached the level of science as long as you acknowledge that is philosophy, and that philosophy, gotcha, includes science.

And I might as well go for the trifecta and admit that I was also troubled when you wrote:

"What I'm concerned about are sneering critics who think that ID's claims to science are dishonest, confused, ignorant."

Since it leaves you with broad powers to define what reaches the level of sneering.

Oh yeah, and then there was the pledge of allegiance when we renewed our membership. I still don’t know what's up with that.

David Heddle


(Again, my boldfacing.)

Can't help but wonder what that 'pledge of allegiance' he's referring to is...

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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: Oct. 04 2006,07:35   

hehehehehehehe

ahhh

I can't count the number of times the "Rev Dr" Lenny tried to get Heddle to ping Carol on those long PT threads when all the while all we needed to do was get him to talk to the Wizard of ID under the Big Top.

All that wasted politeness Heddle, see you gotta feel better now right?

BTW the field is open for an honest campaigner, put your thinking hat on and come up with a new catchy term for ID, pull on the red shoes and spandex and write a few books, fame could be yours...if you do a deal with the..... Devil.....BWHHHahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Argy where did the 'super hero' piece with Heddle come from?

--------------
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

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,07:46   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 04 2006,11:55)
Quote
It bears repeating that the default view of ID for this list is the position hammered out over a fifteen year period starting with Phil Johnson and moving through to Behe, myself, Wells, Meyer, Nelson, Pearcey, Gonzalez, Richards, and O'Leary. Any of you who have a fundamental problem with that position need to consider carefully whether you should be on this list at all.

Best wishes,
Bill Dembski


(The inclusion of O'Leary as an ID great there is especially funny.)

I know. I actually took a second to try to think of some other O'Leary he might be referring to.

"It bears repeating that the default view of ID for this list is the position hammered out over a fifteen year period starting with Phil Johnson and moving through to Behe, myself, Wells, Meyer, Nelson, Pearcey, Gonzalez, Richards, O'Leary, that kid who delivers my paper, and Hepatits Larry, a local homeless person who claims he went to college with Stephen Hawking."

   
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,08:00   

Don't forget Sal Cordova, DaveScot, Larry Fafarman, etc.  C'mon, we can't leave those luminaries out.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,08:15   

I can't recall who Mr. Skippy is. Seems familiar. I'm going to presume he's an IDer, rather than one of us.

From OE:

Quote
Why don't athiests understand?

mrskippy

I have noticed that athiests don't understand that they are deeply religious. Athiesm is a religious point of view, after all. Why don't they realize that they feel as strongly about God as Christians or muslims do, (albiet on a different side)?


Why don't atheists understand that they are deeply religious? Hmm...good question. And I wonder why Shi'ites don't understand that they are Methodists?

   
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,08:18   

I think Mark might really be Anne Elk.

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

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,08:21   

I just wish all those Christians would simply admit they're simply Satanists, albeit on a different side.

--------------
"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

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,08:21   

Wesley has some very good info on this secret list business on the UD thread:

Quote
David Heddle posted something that made me go, "Wow!".

This is an apparent glimpse into the innermost circle of protean antievolution, the "Phylogenist" email list. Named so because of a weak pun on Phillip Johnson's name ("phil-a-johnist"), the list has been operating since the early 1990s. Johnson had decreed that there should be such a list to permit the coordination of effort among those pushing (then) "intelligent design". Around 2002, it moved from the servers at UC Berkeley to a private host.

Heddle relates that William Dembski is its current moderator. He further relates that the "third-rail" of the list is any criticism of young-earth creationism, the topic that led to Heddle getting booted first from this inner sanctum of the movement, and also contributed to his departure from UD.

This sheds some light on commentary Dembski made upon a question I posed to Paul Nelson at the 2002 4th World Skeptics Conference. Nelson had said that science had reached a decision about UFO phenomena, and no, we were not being visited by extraterrestrial aliens. I asked, given that statement that science can decide things, if high school science teachers could legitimately tell their students that science had decided that the earth was 4.5 billion years old, and not 6 to 20 thousand years old. Nelson said, yes, they could. Massimo Pigliucci, the moderator, took it further, asking Nelson for his personal view on the age of the earth. Nelson, after some clear signs of not wishing to answer Pigliucci, said that he believed that the earth was thousands and not billions of years old. The audience was, to say the least, electrified. Both Nelson and Dembski immediately stated that the only reason I could have for having posed the question I did was to obtain the socio-political embarrassment of Nelson. That was untrue then and now. I was satisfied with the answer I got, which was fully sufficient for the purpose of answering those who would insist upon mealy-mouthed equivocation by science teachers when the topic of the age of the earth came up in classes.

Heddle's experience related at the link shows that there is far more to the status of the question of the "age of the earth" than the asserted convenience of critics in impeaching spokesmen for ID. A consistent compartmentalization of science's inquiry into the age of the earth is still a guiding principle of antievolution organization, as well.


In other news, this is curious:

Quote
ow, it is obvious that not everything I wrote was commendable. There is, however, one point that I want to make clear: my criticism of Dembski's mathematics came before I got kicked off this list or his blog. It would not be fair to say that suddenly I was a Dembski critic because of vengeance. A search of my blog and Panda's Thumb (and even Uncommon Descent) will reveal a uniform response on my part over the last three years: I have not read Dembski. Now my gut feeling was that what he was claiming, or at least what his champions were claiming, was impossible, but as long as I hadn't read his books I could evade questions about whether I thought he was correct. That all changed a little less than a year ago for a rather remarkable reason. I was exchanging emails (on quantum mechanics) with a Nobel Laureate quality physicist who is also a strong Christian. (I'm not going to tell you his name, you can simply choose to believe me or not.) In passing I asked him what he thought of ID. I meant cosmological ID, but only asked about "ID." He responded as if I had asked about biological ID. He words were polite (he's not a beast like I am) but they were also very clear: he thought Dembski's mathematics were, shall we say, not very laudable. That email prompted me to start reading Dembski's work, concentrating at first on the Design Inference monograph and, in that weird way that unintended consequences are, well, unintended, to this post which is now concluded.


(from heddle's blog)

Now, reading the above, I can't help but wonder--Heddle started going to pandas thumb very soon after it started. I remember him being there at least by summer 2004 IIRC. Here he's saying he wasn't motivated to look into Dembski's work for a year and a half? He ignored 500 PT posts along the lines of "Why Dembski's mathematics are wrong #73", and only looks into it when a devout christian personally tells him this? This is a sign of a highly-biased mind. At least, that's how it looks to me.

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,08:42   

Huxley in his "Doors of Perception" posited that one of the side effects of religion was to allow the brain to function by closing off 'unwanted' information.

Neuroscience which as Dr.V.S.Ramachaderan (may be mis-spelt) says is at the same stage as Darwin was 150+ years ago, I can see will unravel why the brain chooses to believe certain plainly ..well unbelievable things

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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

   
argystokes



Posts: 766
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,08:47   

k.e,

it came from my brain, but I put it in a quote box to separate it from my, um, commentary on my own commentary.

--------------
"Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?" -Calvin

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,09:02   

Argy

Bastard ....so that's how you can talk about yourself in the 3rd person and NOT APPEAR like Berlinski.

(snootily) well k.e doesn't quote himself in his own posts..er exept when he's talking about himself..shut up..hey I'll quote you on that..no you can't..why not..because you don't quote yourself remember? ..bah smart arse.

--------------
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

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,09:38   

Quote (argystokes @ Oct. 04 2006,11:25)
When I read that little essay, a beautiful scene emerged in my mind:
Quote
Dembski stood beneath the oak, smirking and delighting in the admiration of his young apprentices.  Just as he was about to recommend his latest book for purchase, he saw a short man wearing sunglasses and a dark blue T-shirt approaching.

"Away with you, Heddle," said Dembski.  "You do not belong amongst these ID luminaries."  Dembski, upon seeing that he was in fact only surrounded by the likes of Salvador Cordova and Gil Dodgen, quickly pulled out his personal mirror to stare at his reflection.

Heddle cast aside his sunglasses, revealing a light of determination in his aging eyes.  But he did not reply.

Dembski became wary, and he thought he could hear music coming from the skies.  As the silent Heddle stalked closer, the music became louder.  Dembski recognized it as The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  It grew louder.

"Don't you dare approach me," Dembski admonished.  "Please take your message to my research assistant."

"That's me!" an eager Joel chimed in.  Dembski glared.

As Heddle grew near Dembski, he reached behind himself.  Sparkling in the sunlight, a golden cross the length of a golf club and as thick as Dembski's wrist appeared in the now upraised hand of Heddle.  The music became thunderous, and a chorus of angels could be heard singing, "MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE COMING OF THE LORD!"

Dembski went pale.

HE IS TRAMPLING OUT THE VINTAGE WHERE THE GRAPES OF WRATH ARE STORED

Heddle raised the cross above his head with both hands.

HE HATH LOOSED THE FATEFUL LIGHTNING OF HIS TERRIBLE SWIFT SWORD

Heddle swung the cross.  Gil, Joel, Sal, and the others looked on in horror, but could not move.

HIS TRUTH IS MARCHING ON!

The blow connected with Dembski's face, lifting him from the ground.  As he flew through the air, the voices thundered:
GLORY, GLORY HALLELUJAH!


OK, it's a little violent, but keep in mind that all these people are two-dimensional images to be, so it should be imagined as cartoon-like.

That was the most beautiful prose I have ever read here.  I went through a whole box of Kleenex.  Onward Christian soldiers!

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,11:28   

Quote
Bastard ....so that's how you can talk about yourself in the 3rd person and NOT APPEAR like Berlinski.


Bob Dole says Bob Dole was doing that long before any pretenders.

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

-CC

  
Shirley Knott



Posts: 148
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,11:37   

True, but he couldn't keep it up.

hugs,
Shirley Knott
:p

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,12:23   

Quote (Shirley Knott @ Oct. 04 2006,16:37)
True, but he couldn't keep it up.

hugs,
Shirley Knott
:p

youch!

Viagra commercials:

the only time Bob Dole doesn't refer to himself in the third person.

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

-CC

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2006,13:50   

Call me cynical, but I think Heddle's sudden "change of heart" over Dembski and the others is entirely self-serving. He was, after all, nowhere to be found PRE-Dover.  

And now Dover killed anti-evolution for the forseeable future.  Heddle knows that.  So now he is attempting to position his "cosmological ID" crapola (which is every bit as religious and unscientific as the biological ID he is now ranting against) as The Next Big Thing.  

Now he can argue to all and sundry that since biological ID fell flat, it embarrassed itself so badly that the entire field is now radioactive, as is everyone associated with it.  Hence, Heddle has never been happy wiht biological ID, no sirree Bob, and everyone should leave it and jump over to his "cosmological ID", which -- not being about evolution at all (and avoiding the subject entirely) -- wasn't touched by Dover (as he sees it), and can therefore serve as The Next Big Strategy for getting fundie religion into classrooms.

Heddle knows that he must cut down Dembski in order to BECOME the next Dembski.  Which is all he's really wanted.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2006,05:10   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Oct. 04 2006,18:50)
Call me cynical, but I think Heddle's sudden "change of heart" over Dembski and the others is entirely self-serving. He was, after all, nowhere to be found PRE-Dover.  

And now Dover killed anti-evolution for the forseeable future.  Heddle knows that.  So now he is attempting to position his "cosmological ID" crapola (which is every bit as religious and unscientific as the biological ID he is now ranting against) as The Next Big Thing.  

Now he can argue to all and sundry that since biological ID fell flat, it embarrassed itself so badly that the entire field is now radioactive, as is everyone associated with it.  Hence, Heddle has never been happy wiht biological ID, no sirree Bob, and everyone should leave it and jump over to his "cosmological ID", which -- not being about evolution at all (and avoiding the subject entirely) -- wasn't touched by Dover (as he sees it), and can therefore serve as The Next Big Strategy for getting fundie religion into classrooms.

Heddle knows that he must cut down Dembski in order to BECOME the next Dembski.  Which is all he's really wanted.

THAT would be a huge improvement.  I'd take Heddle leading the ID pack over D*mbski in a heat beat.  

Heddle may be many things but he does not seem to be a lying, dirty, rotten, scheming, sack of shite liek D*mbski, and he knows more about legitimate science than D*mbski ever will.

Self serving?  Who cares.  Someone put Heddle in charge of the ID cult and remove Dembski please!

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2006,05:30   

I'm sure we'd all like to see his scientific evidence for cosmological design.

i.e. meaning that you dont have to believe it is right for it to work.

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2006,05:39   

Quote (guthrie @ Oct. 05 2006,10:30)
I'm sure we'd all like to see his scientific evidence for cosmological design.

i.e. meaning that you dont have to believe it is right for it to work.

Not trying to argue or defend Heddle, but why would you need to see the evidence?  I don't think Heddle is trying to peddle his ID notions to school boards and high school science classrooms.  Who cares what sort of evidence he uses to support/compliment his faith?

Sure he's come here and to PT to argue his case with notions that are fuzszy, but is he writing dishonest books to be used in high school curricula?  Is he pretending the designer could be a space alien (wink wink)?  

But most importantly is he tring to manipulate what is considered science in public school rooms?  If the answer is he's doing none of those Dembski/DI tactics than who cares what his evidence is.

Seriously.  From reading his blog he seems to be a devout Christian who thinks there is something to this ID stuff and enjoys talking about it and often argueing about it.  Where's the crime?

Yeah, I'd take a thousand Heddle's over one lying Dembski.

Chris

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2006,06:00   

Quote (guthrie @ Oct. 05 2006,10:30)
I'm sure we'd all like to see his scientific evidence for cosmological design.

i.e. meaning that you dont have to believe it is right for it to work.

Agreed. Science describes what's true even if you don't 'believe in it'. Ideally.

I've seen Heddle drop some serious hints that there isn't any 'scientific evidence' for cosmological ID. I think he actually knows that. But unlike Dembski, he doesn't lie about it, defining 'lie' as 'a deliberate, knowing attempt to deceive'.

But: one issue I've never quite seen addressed by Heddle, the main remaining issue I think, is why a non-Christian should care about cosmological ID. That is, since it's obviously a residual attempt to reconcile his religion with the scientific origins of life, why should any non-Christian think it holds anything of interest? Why should it be any more important to us than, say, an attempt to reconcile Hindu cosmology with science? Or even Scientology?

At least he freely admits it's philosophical and not scientific. Tho a more apt word might actually be 'theological'.

But I agree Heddle is a huge breath of fresh air after a parade of slimeballs like Dembski, Springer, Wells, et al. I don't see Heddle trying to destroy science at all, unlike those 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

  
argystokes



Posts: 766
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2006,06:03   

Quote
But: one issue I've never quite seen addressed by Heddle, the main remaining issue I think, is why a non-Christian should care about cosmological ID.


Heddle has called cosmo ID an apologetic.
Heddle has said apologetics are only useful in defense of Christianity, but will be unconvincing to skeptics.
Therefore, he'd probably agree that non-Christians shouldn't care.  But he sure does seem to be compelled to spread the Good Word.

--------------
"Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?" -Calvin

  
Glen Davidson



Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2006,08:31   

I applaud Heddle's recent comments, of course, and wish him well with any self-interested attacks against the egregious Dembski.  However, let's not forget all of the weaselly defenses of cosmic ID, and even of bio-ID, that he has made on PT.  Here's the usual lame defense via non-specificity against those who treat ID as if it should make some reasonable predictions:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archive....-114797

I responded on that thread, and his response to me was rather less than intellectually honest, I would say.  Misdirection, strawman attacks, and the usual IDist non-response to important questions, characterized the BS that he wrote.  I responded here, taking him to task for a number of fairly egregious "responses" to legitimate questions:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archive....-114834

One of his most weaselly tactics was to fob off any remarks I made about what ID would be like if it were science by stating that he himself was not pro-ID, in the biological sense.  Yes, that was obviously stated, but he can hardly be defending ID, which claims to be science, by responding with his particular claim to not favor bio-ID to what I write about ID as a "science" .  It either showed his own lack of understanding of science, or a willingness to utilize sleazy ID tactics to defend those with whom he had cast his lot.

Many others have experienced similar tactics from Heddle.  


The truth of Heddle's recent turn is not certain at this point.  Heddle no doubt would like to be the Newton of cosmological ID, but I'm not sure that he could have any real hope for it, since he's never had anything (IIRC) original to say about it.  

So it may not be (though it certainly could be) as Lenny writes.  Heddle may simply have an eye to retaining some respect among physicists.  This would, of course, be self-interested, but hardly beyond what is expected for any reasonably intelligent person.  I mean really, how long can one support the appalling ignorance of the ID "intellects"? 

Heddle would be particularly put out by the non-acknowledgement of the age of the universe.  One can't really be an astronomer while believing in a young universe, at least not without unwieldy contrivances to explain away the masses of evidence that the universe is really old.  OK, sure the IDists don't say that the universe is young, but they can't even take a stand in favor of something as solid as the ancient age of the earth and universe, a stance which might suggest that they care sometimes about what the evidence shows.

Heddle is not an astronomer, however physics runs too close to cosmology and astronomy for ID waffling about the universe not to bother him.  And as noted previously, it does play into the cosmic ID claims that he favors.

Heddle cannot be praised too much, then.  He tolerated censorship in "science" for a long time, and he defended bio-ID using the typical disregard for science standards that we get from the DI.  But that's to be expected, since no one could have survived among the IDists for as long as he did without having considerable intellectual flaws.  Yet his recent actions, however motivated, are worthy of some praise on their own merits.

For, most of all we must encourage any flicker of intellectual honesty among the IDists.  Only that is capable of bringing down ID among the committed.  And no matter how rare any measure of intellectual honesty is among IDists, it has some possibility as a contagion.  Dembksi and Cordova appear to be immune, but Heddle gives us hope that all are not.

Glen D

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2006,15:24   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 05 2006,10:39)
I don't think Heddle is trying to peddle his ID notions to school boards and high school science classrooms.

Not yet.

Give him some followers who want exactly that, and we'll see how "honorable" he is then . . . .

My bet is that he will do just what Dembski did.  Despite his self-righteous holier-than-thou-ness, Heddle is no saint.

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stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2006,05:58   

I'm waiting for Robert O'Brien to go tell Heddle that as a non-mathematician, Heddle lacks the qualifications necessary to question Dembski's work.

(I'm not really waiting)

   
guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2006,08:37   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 05 2006,10:39)
Quote (guthrie @ Oct. 05 2006,10:30)
I'm sure we'd all like to see his scientific evidence for cosmological design.

i.e. meaning that you dont have to believe it is right for it to work.

Not trying to argue or defend Heddle, but why would you need to see the evidence?  I don't think Heddle is trying to peddle his ID notions to school boards and high school science classrooms.  Who cares what sort of evidence he uses to support/compliment his faith?

Sure he's come here and to PT to argue his case with notions that are fuzszy, but is he writing dishonest books to be used in high school curricula?  Is he pretending the designer could be a space alien (wink wink)?  

But most importantly is he tring to manipulate what is considered science in public school rooms?  If the answer is he's doing none of those Dembski/DI tactics than who cares what his evidence is.

Seriously.  From reading his blog he seems to be a devout Christian who thinks there is something to this ID stuff and enjoys talking about it and often argueing about it.  Where's the crime?

Yeah, I'd take a thousand Heddle's over one lying Dembski.

Chris

Well, thats a godo point Mr Christopher.  I guess I wasnt really thinking about the dangers of getting ID etc into the classroom, more expressing a general desire for such people to put up and shut up when they are preaching to us, rather than trying to bash him with regards to schools and ID.

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2006,10:54   

Heddle was all

Quote
The next time I got into trouble (with the same people as it turns out) on the list was fairly recently, at the beginning of September, but still before Dembski became moderator. Ironically, I got in trouble along with Dembski.


I wonder who was moderating the list before Dembski took over those duties....Who in the ID movement is authorized to publicly (well within a secret society) scold the IDiot Savant of Design Detection?

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guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2006,12:15   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 06 2006,15:54)
I wonder who was moderating the list before Dembski took over those duties....Who in the ID movement is authorized to publicly (well within a secret society) scold the IDiot Savant of Design Detection?

His mother?

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2006,01:15   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 06 2006,15:54)
Heddle was all

Quote
The next time I got into trouble (with the same people as it turns out) on the list was fairly recently, at the beginning of September, but still before Dembski became moderator. Ironically, I got in trouble along with Dembski.


I wonder who was moderating the list before Dembski took over those duties....Who in the ID movement is authorized to publicly (well within a secret society) scold the IDiot Savant of Design Detection?

The Designer was moderating.

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2006,08:26   

Looks like one of ID speeches got cancelled when they realized he would be talking about, well, intelligent design.

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stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2006,10:29   

The link to what Mr. Christopher is referring. To.

   
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,01:23   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 16 2006,13:26)
Looks like one of ID speeches got cancelled when they realized he would be talking about, well, intelligent design.

I'm not surprised.  What surprises me is that they wanted him to talk at all.  His argument is non-sensical and really just boils down to a god of the gaps argument.  Why the NHAS would want to hear a talk about god of the gaps is beyond me.

  
heddle



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,04:40   

GCT,

I don't get you. A while ago you came on my blog and we engaged in, if I recall correctly, reasonable discussion. Then you came over here and reported how stupid I was. Then you come back to my blog and complained that I no longer seem to want to debate with you. A while ago you downloaded the church-version of my cosmological ID talk and declared something to the effect that it was "pretty good" or "not bad" and then come here and engage in trash-talk.

Now, why would the NHAS want to schedule my talk in the first place? Well because the officers of the club thought it would be interesting. Not all talks at scientific venues are about hardcore science. Check any seminar or colloquium schedule at any physics department and you'll typically find one or two talks a year that are not hard core science. My talk has to do with cosmology, there is a lot of science in it, especially in the higher-level version—the only thing that makes that part of it not a "real" science talk is that none if it is my research, I'm just reporting it.

Secondly, you would have thought that, if they were so sure that my talk was easily refuted rubbish, then for amusement purposes it would have been fun to send me whimpering away in defeat.

But to the point—I dispute that you can support your assertion that the cosmological ID I talk about is "God of the Gaps."

"We don’t know how a flagellum could evolve therefore God did it" is God of the gaps.

"We don't know how stars work therefore God did it" is God of the gaps.

"We know a lot about how stars would, to the point where we know it is extremely dependent on the levels of various nuclear excited states and on the instability of Be[8] and also on the ratio of the electromagnetic to gravitational force strength" is either right or wrong, but it is not God of the gaps. And if it is right, my stating that for me it points to a creator is also not "God of the gaps" but a theological conclusion, one that is based on the existence of data, not the absence of data.

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Ogee



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,05:31   

Quote
"We know a lot about how stars would,to the point where we know it is extremely dependent on the levels of various nuclear excited states and on the instability of Be[8] and also on the ratio of the electromagnetic to gravitational force strength" is either right or wrong, but it is not God of the gaps.

True.
Quote
And if it is right, my stating that for me it points to a creator is also not "God of the gaps" but a theological conclusion, one that is based on the existence of data, not the absence of data.

False.

  
heddle



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,05:52   

Ogee,

How is "I see the details of stellar evolution as pointing to God," which is not a scientific statement at all, a form of "God of the Gaps?" What gap is being filled?

It is no different that if I sit at the beach and say: "that beautiful sunset reaffirms my faith that God created the universe." It may be nonsense, but it is not filling in missing scientific data with God. In both cases it is a non-scientific interpretation of beauty observed in creation. If merely interpreting the beauty of creation as faith-affirming evidence is "God of the gaps," then that term is so broad as to have little meaning.

--------------
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,05:59   

I don't know why the aparent fine tuning of the Universe is dissmissed so casually by posters here. As far as I am aware this is an aspect of the Universe that bothers plenty of Astronomers/Cosmologists and Physicists.

The puddle shape analogy/comparison does not seem apropriate. A small change in the shape of the hole would lead to a different shaped puddle. A small change in any one of the forces in physics would lead to no real universe. At least that is what Stephen Hawking and Brian Greene seem to be saying.

AFAI am aware the problem is so disturbing that this is what has encouraged String/M and brane theories. IIRC, they are not based on any observation or evidence other than the Universe appears fine tuned.

I could be completely wrong here as I have only read their popular books and couldn't for the life of me atempt the hard science they reffer to.

Guess my point is that the aparent fine tuning seems to bother very prominent scientists in the relevant fields; Yet here, a lot of commenters just blow it off. ???

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,06:11   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Oct. 18 2006,10:59)
I don't know why the aparent fine tuning of the Universe is dissmissed so casually by posters here. As far as I am aware this is an aspect of the Universe that bothers plenty of Astronomers/Cosmologists and Physicists...

I am inclined to attribute it to a knee jerk reaction which is understandable when you think about how long science has been in the cross hairs of creationists/IDers.

Most of my friends are believers and the foundation of their faith does not concern me in the least.  It is the wingnuts who want to inject their religion in our public schools that give me the willies.  Too often I think people confuse believers with crackpots out to ram their religion down the throats of everyone else.

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Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,06:29   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 18 2006,11:11)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Oct. 18 2006,10:59)
I don't know why the aparent fine tuning of the Universe is dissmissed so casually by posters here. As far as I am aware this is an aspect of the Universe that bothers plenty of Astronomers/Cosmologists and Physicists...

I am inclined to attribute it to a knee jerk reaction which is understandable when you think about how long science has been in the cross hairs of creationists/IDers.

Most of my friends are believers and the foundation of their faith does not concern me in the least.  It is the wingnuts who want to inject their religion in our public schools that give me the willies.  Too often I think people confuse believers with crackpots out to ram their religion down the throats of everyone else.

You are probably correct.

I can easily see why a kneejerk reaction might occur after years of dealing with the likes of Dembski and his ilk.

Personally, I find the aparent fine tuning fascinating and am at a loss by people who will not even acknowledge it.

This is something that is acknowledged by very respected scientists. It seems to have inspired lots of work to atempt to explain it (by real scientists), yet here, virtually nobody seems to want to engage. ???

EDIT:
Example:- Gravity, slightly stronger=Universal collapse before a single star could form. Gravity slightly weaker=No atoms in the Universe, totally empty.

That is the one I remember best. But it seemingly applies to the other forces also.

  
Jim_Wynne



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,06:33   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Oct. 18 2006,10:59)
I don't know why the aparent fine tuning of the Universe is dissmissed so casually by posters here. As far as I am aware this is an aspect of the Universe that bothers plenty of Astronomers/Cosmologists and Physicists.

In the same way, and pretty much to the same extent, that any unanswered question "bothers" curious people. Heddle's argument is a classic attempt at shoving God into a gap and making impotent appeals to authority: It's all very puzzling, an highly unlikely, and prominent scientists think so too, so God must have done it.

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Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,06:45   

Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Oct. 18 2006,11:33)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Oct. 18 2006,10:59)
I don't know why the aparent fine tuning of the Universe is dissmissed so casually by posters here. As far as I am aware this is an aspect of the Universe that bothers plenty of Astronomers/Cosmologists and Physicists.

In the same way, and pretty much to the same extent, that any unanswered question "bothers" curious people. Heddle's argument is a classic attempt at shoving God into a gap and making impotent appeals to authority: It's all very puzzling, an highly unlikely, and prominent scientists think so too, so God must have done it.

Could we ignore the God side?

This is not like the "flagelum" argument. This is causing scientists to rethink the entire theory about how the Universe works.

For all I know you might be doing research about this. So I will ask, do you know why the Universe appears to be fine tuned?

I will readilly admit that I don't understand. I am just accepting authority from people who should.

EDIT:
BTW. The people I am talking about do not inject God into the answer. They wish to avoid that. So are considering explanations that are not based on evidence or observation.

  
Ogee



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,07:03   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 18 2006,10:52)
It is no different [than] if I sit at the beach and say: "that beautiful sunset reaffirms my faith that God created the universe." It may be nonsense, but it is not filling in missing scientific data with God. In both cases it is a non-scientific interpretation of beauty observed in creation.

Of course, this sort of formulation is quite inoffensive.  I was under the impression that you were arguing that the fine-tuning was evidence that God (1) existed, and (2) had fiddled with the constants to produce our universe, in which intelligent life is (just) possible.  It seems that you have softened your stance significantly on the strength of "cosmological ID".  If you truly feel that it is more akin to an affirmation of faith by warm and fuzzy feelings, you'll have no further argument from me.

  
Ogee



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,07:21   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Oct. 18 2006,10:59)
I don't know why the aparent fine tuning of the Universe is dissmissed so casually by posters here. As far as I am aware this is an aspect of the Universe that bothers plenty of Astronomers/Cosmologists and Physicists.

There is no questioning the 'fine-tuning problem' (except to the extent that the term implies a tuner).  The issue is with the logic; the ID assertion that this is evidence of divine intervention in the creation of the universe(s) is a non-sequitur.

  
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,08:52   

Quote (Ogee @ Oct. 18 2006,12:21)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Oct. 18 2006,10:59)
I don't know why the aparent fine tuning of the Universe is dissmissed so casually by posters here. As far as I am aware this is an aspect of the Universe that bothers plenty of Astronomers/Cosmologists and Physicists.

There is no questioning the 'fine-tuning problem' (except to the extent that the term implies a tuner).  The issue is with the logic; the ID assertion that this is evidence of divine intervention in the creation of the universe(s) is a non-sequitur.

That is why I used the qualifier "aparent".

It does look tuned. Admitting/allowing a designer is unscientific. So lets look for naturalistic explanations.

Science should look only for naturalistic explanations. Otherwise it stops being science.

What I consider a problem is the denial shown here about the aparent fine tuning not looking like a problem in the first place.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,12:05   

Quote
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guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,12:51   

Stephen, theres lots of things that I consider to be problems, but, like most people, I recognise ones that I can deal with just now, and ones that will have to wait a bit longer.  Apparent cosmic fine tuning- well, sure, that could be a problem, but we dont have enough evidence relaly.  We've got plenty of belief, and a variety of hypotheses.  I'm quite happy for someone to say {deity of choice} did it, but as you have already said, that isnt exaclty scientific.  Plus, if we did find a note at the other end of the universe saying which {some other deity} did the creating, I think the believer might be in a bit of trouble.

  
Mike PSS



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,18:08   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Oct. 18 2006,14:52)
Quote (Ogee @ Oct. 18 2006,12:21)
Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Oct. 18 2006,10:59)
I don't know why the aparent fine tuning of the Universe is dissmissed so casually by posters here. As far as I am aware this is an aspect of the Universe that bothers plenty of Astronomers/Cosmologists and Physicists.

There is no questioning the 'fine-tuning problem' (except to the extent that the term implies a tuner).  The issue is with the logic; the ID assertion that this is evidence of divine intervention in the creation of the universe(s) is a non-sequitur.

That is why I used the qualifier "aparent".

It does look tuned. Admitting/allowing a designer is unscientific. So lets look for naturalistic explanations.

Science should look only for naturalistic explanations. Otherwise it stops being science.

What I consider a problem is the denial shown here about the aparent fine tuning not looking like a problem in the first place.

The cosmic fine tuning argument is the fate versus chance argument.

Is it fate that the numbers work out for us to exist?
Is it chance that we exist at all?

Eventually you are led to either an endless OR repetitious string of IF-THEN-ELSE statements.

The only scientifically sound observation I've seen in the fine tuning argument is invoking the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and other QM "observation versus actual value" suppositions.  But science ends there and doesn't go further.

It's all philosophy after that.  Unless someone can give a specific scientific observation (no, not talking about Be[8] uncertainty) that encompasses a trend of ALL the constants.  Picking and choosing one constant at a time doesn't help support fine tuning since, like the scientific method states, you have to account for ALL the evidence.

Mike PSS

  
heddle



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2006,23:58   

Some of you are ignoring a point that I have made ad nasueum and which, in these circles, is mostly ignored. However, since one of your own (Stephen Elliott) made it, I thought it might be taken more seriously. That is: virtually the entire professional physics community agrees that there is a substantive fine tuning problem. You can call that an appeal to authority if you like (it’s actually not), but when there is nearly universal acknowledgement from experts one ought to at least take notice. For example, cosmologist (and non IDer) Leonard Susskind has explicitly stated that, because of fine tuning, it's either multiple universes or  it's ID.

So you can dismiss it with the puddle analogy, but I really don't know how a thinking person can. A thinking person should at least ask himself: if all the experts take it seriously, maybe it really is something that can't be dismissed so trivially. Maybe I should look into it a bit.

As you know, some people who don't even bother to think dismiss evolution with simpleminded statements: if man descended from apes, why are there still apes? You recognize that their form of dismissal is a low as it gets, one in which the person confidently "destroys" a claim held by many professionals without even bothering to understand it on the most basic level. I would suggest that if you dismiss fine-tuning with a simple "gotcha" argument, you are exhibiting the same kind of laziness.

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guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,00:37   

It's more that since we cannot get a proper scientific grip on the possibilities an dexistences of other universes etc, the "problem" is generally put aside for now.  I can live quite happily not knowing whether there are an infinite number of other universes, or there are none.

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,02:11   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 18 2006,09:40)
GCT,

I don't get you. A while ago you came on my blog and we engaged in, if I recall correctly, reasonable discussion. Then you came over here and reported how stupid I was. Then you come back to my blog and complained that I no longer seem to want to debate with you. A while ago you downloaded the church-version of my cosmological ID talk and declared something to the effect that it was "pretty good" or "not bad" and then come here and engage in trash-talk.

Trash talk?  I spoke the truth.  If your talk is nothing but apologetics, which you claim your ID to be, then why would a scientific organization want to have you speak?  Do they need to be saved?

Further, I said the same thing on your blog where you would see it and be able to respond.

I thought your talk was not bad for the good visuals and the fact that you would be speaking to a church.  Apologetics for a church is the correct location.
Quote
Now, why would the NHAS want to schedule my talk in the first place? Well because the officers of the club thought it would be interesting. Not all talks at scientific venues are about hardcore science. Check any seminar or colloquium schedule at any physics department and you'll typically find one or two talks a year that are not hard core science. My talk has to do with cosmology, there is a lot of science in it, especially in the higher-level version—the only thing that makes that part of it not a "real" science talk is that none if it is my research, I'm just reporting it.

That and your apologetics where you say that all this leads to god.
Quote
Secondly, you would have thought that, if they were so sure that my talk was easily refuted rubbish, then for amusement purposes it would have been fun to send me whimpering away in defeat.

Maybe because it isn't worth the time to defeat such easy arguments?
Quote
But to the point—I dispute that you can support your assertion that the cosmological ID I talk about is "God of the Gaps."

And I've pointed out to you many times why you are wrong, but oh yeah, you don't debate me on your own blog, so you just run away every time I point it out.
Quote
"We know a lot about how stars would, to the point where we know it is extremely dependent on the levels of various nuclear excited states and on the instability of Be[8] and also on the ratio of the electromagnetic to gravitational force strength" is either right or wrong, but it is not God of the gaps. And if it is right, my stating that for me it points to a creator is also not "God of the gaps" but a theological conclusion, one that is based on the existence of data, not the absence of data.

It's semantic word games.  "We know a lot about the values of the constants and how they interact.  But, we don't know the why at all.  Well, since we don't know, it must be god."  Hence, god of the gaps.  It's just a different gap.  You can play your little semantic games, but it doesn't change the fact that that is what you are doing.

Oh, and why are you slumming over here?  I thought we were all liars, illogical idiots, and godless PZ worshippers.  I notice you still haven't stepped back from that nice little attack of yours.  How very Xtian of you.

  
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,02:50   

I don't know.  Seems to me that this whole "fine tuning" thing rests on the assumption that this is the only way it could possibly work.

"Why is the universe the way it is?" is a lot different than "Why is the universe in the only possible configuration in which it could be?".

Again, I'm just the son of a carpenter.  I didn't even finish my physics degree, so my tuppence is worth exactly what you just paid for it.

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heddle



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,03:27   

GCT,

   
Quote
We know a lot about the values of the constants and how they interact.  But, we don't know the why at all.  Well, since we don't know, it must be god."  


But using God to answer the why question is perfectly reasonable—because you are answering a question that is outside of science. In other words: If the universe is fine tuned and if this is the only universe the answer for "why are the constants tuned?" will be "because God wanted a habitable universe" for theists and other explanations for atheists. In either case, the why question is beyond science—so it is not subject to the God of the gaps criticism which, as I understand it, is injecting God as an explanation into something that is in the realm of science but which, at the present time, has no satisfactory explanation.

As I said, "we don’t know how stars work therefore God did it" would be God of the gaps. "We know how stars work and it requires [apparent] fine tuning" is pure science and the extension "therefore I believe it is evidence God designed the universe to support life" is not science at all, nor is it claimed as such.

As for my bashing irrationality when I see it demonstrated by PTers, no apologies. Get over it, or simply don’t bother to read the crap that I write.

--------------
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
Ogee



Posts: 89
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,04:38   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,08:27)
As I said, "we don’t know how stars work therefore God did it" would be God of the gaps. "We know how stars work and it requires [apparent] fine tuning" is pure science and the extension "therefore I believe it is evidence God designed the universe to support life" is not science at all, nor is it claimed as such.

This is just a semantic shell game, as GCT has already pointed out.  You are essentially saying "We don't know how fundamental laws and constants are determined, therefore God did it".  Since this is a question still quite open to science, it is a classic God-of-the gaps.

  
Ogee



Posts: 89
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,04:55   

Even in the absence of any direct experimental validation of multiverses (or other, as yet not conceived, naturalistic explanations), it is still preferable to ID, thanks to parsimony.  Given the observation that there exist X universes (where X¡Ý1), we are given:

Multiverse:  X>>1.
ID:  X=1, extra-universal being capable of creating and/or "tuning" universes (and motivated to create carbon-based life) required.  

Cosmological ID has further problems: it is unfalsifiable, even by the existence of multiverses.  As far as ID goes, there is absolutely no difference in principle between a single finite universe in which an infinitesimal fraction is hospitable to life and a multiverse in which an infinitesimal fraction of the universes are hospitable to life.  Just as IDers argue that the fundamental physical laws of our observable universe were deliberately set to permit human-like life, they can argue (with no change in logic) that the meta-laws governing the multiverse were deliberately set to allow for such a universe.

  
heddle



Posts: 124
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,05:10   

Ogee,

Nope. Suppose, after painstaking theoretical analysis from the best theoretical physicists, it was determined that some constant S had to be within .001% of its measured value for life to be possible.

The cosmological ID argument is: if there is just one universe, then it's amazing that the actual value falls in that range.

Note: it says nothing about the source of that value, be it a possibly from a low probability random draw or of unit probability resulting from a fundamental theory. As I have said elsewhere, the fundamental theory that predicts the value of the constants doesn't make it any less remarkable that they fall in the lucky range—in fact it is a more elegant design argument.

You do notice that Susskind, for example, doesn't list three possibilities for explaining fine tuning: (1) its multiple universes or (2) its ID or (3) a future theory that predicts the values of the constants. He correctly offers only the first two possibilities.

You are also wrong about multiple universes not falsifying [not used in a rigorous sense] cosmological ID as I argue for it. If you detect another universe, I would immediately have to stop arguing that the fine tuning of our universe is evidence for design. Clearly the better explanation is that  we just, quite naturally, arose in one of the fertile universes and so we expect ours to look fine tuned. That would be a slam-dunk rebuttal of cosmological ID.

You are correct, not doubt, that theists would invent variants of the design argument--but the present one, for which I am a proponent, would be dead in the water.

And the critcism isn't really very strong anyway--if evolution were falsified, biologists wouldn't suddenly become YECs--they would work for a new naturalistic explanation of life's diversity. So it really isn't a valid complaint that IDers would seek a new ID argument--but whether they could find one as good (in my opinion) as the current cosmological ID seems doubful.

--------------
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,05:40   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,08:27)
    But using God to answer the why question is perfectly reasonable—because you are answering a question that is outside of science.

This is exactly where Heddle and rationality part company. It is not "perfectly reasonable" to invoke a god as a catch-all for anything that we don't understand. How many times must this be proven?

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

  
Ogee



Posts: 89
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,06:06   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,10:10)
The cosmological ID argument is: if there is just one universe, then it's amazing that the actual value falls in that range.

Note: it says nothing about the source of that value, be it a possibly from a low probability random draw or of unit probability resulting from a fundamental theory.

Ummm... what?!?  Cosomological ID does not argue for design (and thus a designer)?  What exactly does the ID part stand for?  
Quote
You do notice that Susskind, for example, doesn't list three possibilities for explaining fine tuning: (1) its multiple universes or (2) its ID or (3) a future theory that predicts the values of the constants. He correctly offers only the first two possibilities.

That you defend one fallacy (false dilemma) with another (argument from authority) is perfect.  That you and Susskind (assuming he would agree with your interpretation of his words) cannot conceive of even the possibility of an alternate theory accounting for the fine-tuning problem (and not just the values themselves) is irrelevant.
 
Quote
You are also wrong about multiple universes not falsifying [not used in a rigorous sense] cosmological ID as I argue for it. If you detect another universe, I would immediately have to stop arguing that the fine tuning of our universe is evidence for design. Clearly the better explanation is that  we just, quite naturally, arose in one of the fertile universes and so we expect ours to look fine tuned. That would be a slam-dunk rebuttal of cosmological ID.
You are correct, not doubt, that theists would invent variants of the design argument--but the present one, for which I am a proponent, would be dead in the water.

It's encouraging that you would stop arguing it, but this doesn't address the flaws in the underlying logic, which applies as much to a multiverse that gives rise to life as it does to a universe that gives rise to life.  Given that it's an apologetic, you're free to accept or reject it on a purely subjective basis, but why should it be at all persuasive to anyone else?
 
Quote
And the critcism isn't really very strong anyway--if evolution were falsified, biologists wouldn't suddenly become YECs--they would work for a new naturalistic explanation of life's diversity.

Of course, because they are not beholden to a false dichotomy, and because YEC is falsified across a variety of scientific disciplines outside evolutionary biology.
Quote
So it really isn't a valid complaint that IDers would seek a new ID argument--but whether they could find one as good (in my opinion) as the current cosmological ID seems doubful.

The problem isn't that they could find a new argument following the discovery of other universes, it's that they could use the same argument regressed one step:  the multiverse was designed to produce universes fine-tuned for life.  It may be a weaker version of an already weak argument, but that's typical of what happens when science intrudes upon those gaps God thrives in.

  
ScaryFacts



Posts: 337
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,06:32   

Someone correct me if I am wrong here, but it seems to me the fine tuning argument falls apart pretty quickly.

The only way we can observe this universe to be fine tuned to produce us is because if it was just slightly different we wouldn't be around to observe it.

i.e.: Any universe producing intelligent life would, by definition, be "fine tuned" to produce that particular life form.  If it were different either no life would be around to observe it or the life forms it produced would be different than we are.

True?

Edit:  After reading this it didn't seem clear.  I am really asking why this argument is illogical--obviously brighter minds with lots of letters after their names see this as a huge issue.  I'm just not seeing the why.

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,06:49   

Quote (Ogee @ Oct. 19 2006,12:06)
The problem isn't that they could find a new argument following the discovery of other universes, it's that they could use the same argument regressed one step:  the multiverse was designed to produce universes fine-tuned for life.  It may be a weaker version of an already weak argument, but that's typical of what happens when science intrudes upon those gaps God thrives in.

LOL

(fast forward to the year 2040)

David Heddle Jr: No no no no no. You've got it all wrong. The whole point of DHeddle's UPDATED Cosmological ID Hypothesis is very simple. We now know that the multiverse is real and there are 10^500 universes. This is proof of Intelligent Design! If there were only one universe, we probably wouldn't be here! Our being here is sensitive to the fact that there were enough universes to have one with the right values.

Steve Story Jr: (rolls eyes)

JAD Jr: Got that Stevie Jr? WRITE THAT DOWN!

   
JohnW



Posts: 2767
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,06:52   

Quote (ScaryFacts @ Oct. 19 2006,11:32)
Someone correct me if I am wrong here, but it seems to me the fine tuning argument falls apart pretty quickly.

The only way we can observe this universe to be fine tuned to produce us is because if it was just slightly different we wouldn't be around to observe it.

i.e.: Any universe producing intelligent life would, by definition, be "fine tuned" to produce that particular life form.  If it were different either no life would be around to observe it or the life forms it produced would be different than we are.

True?

Edit:  After reading this it didn't seem clear.  I am really asking why this argument is illogical--obviously brighter minds with lots of letters after their names see this as a huge issue.  I'm just not seeing the why.

Seems clear to me, Ms or Mr Facts, and I agree with you.  

If intelligent life exists in the universe, what's the probability that intelligent life is possible in the universe?

If intelligent life is impossible in the universe, what's the probability of intelligent life existing to observe the universe?

--------------
Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
heddle



Posts: 124
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,06:56   

Jim_Wynee
 
Quote
This is exactly where Heddle and rationality part company. It is not "perfectly reasonable" to invoke a god as a catch-all for anything that we don't understand. How many times must this be proven?


No, it is perfectly reasonable to invoke God for questions outside the domain of science. You may wish to invoke purely secular philosophy or to ignore such questions, but I think most people would agree that such questions are in the domain of religion. So suppose the constants are determined from a theory. And suppose someone asks you why do think the theory just happened to produce the values in the life-supporting range. How would you answer? And why would it be irrational to invoke God in answering this non-scientific question?

Ogee,

I’m too bored to comment beyond one observation: do not invoke the fallacy of “appeal to authority” unless you know what it means. It is not: “look what an expert says.” That is a perfectly reasonable approach and in fact is one of the reasons why we have experts. The fallacy demands an additional unsupportable step, e.g.: “Susskind is smart, this it what he says, I agree, and since he,being Susskind is right therefore I am right too.” I am not saying that, I am merely pointing out what he wrote was relevant for this discussion and for your consideration. That is not a logical fallacy.

It may be a false dilemma. In fact, one possibility that Susskind did omit was “blind luck.” That is certainly a possible explanation for the fine tuning. Perhaps there are more, but even there the onus is on you to provide the missing alternatives, not just assert that surely they exist.

ScaryFacts,

False. The argument is not that the universe is fine tuned for life as we know it, but life at all, under the very modest assumptions that any complex life requires galaxies and stars and elements beyond helium. If it is remarkable that our universe contains these bare minimum requirements for life, then the fine tuning is non-trivial, which is exactly why people view it as a serious problem. Now if there are multiple universes, then you are correct—it is obvious that ours would appear fine tuned for life.

SteveS

Perhaps I would have an new cosmological ID in that case, but it would not be the one I champion now. That one would be dead.

--------------
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
Ogee



Posts: 89
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,06:56   

Quote (ScaryFacts @ Oct. 19 2006,11:32)

What you describe is a form of the weak anthropic principle: we should not be surprised to find ourselves in conditions amenable to our existence.  

The WAP does not in itself do away with the fine-tuning problem, which concerns just how narrow a range of conditions is amenable to any sort of life at all, and how those conditions came to exist not just here, but anywhere.  The issue here is the extent to which it's reasonable to answer that "how" with "God did it".

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,07:00   

I'll throw another two cents in the pot: besides having (depending on who you're reading at the time) qualities that verge on or are fallacies, the fine-tuning argument has the problem of not knowing what parameters are required for "life" or even an agreed-upon definition of life.

Here's one I've used at times: " living systems may be defined as open systems maintained in steady-states, far-from-equilibrium, due to matter-energy flows in which informationally-rich autocatalytic cycles extract energy, build complex internal structures, allowing growth even as they create greater entropy in their environments."

I'm sure lots of people would disagree with that one, given that I didn't specify " information needed to construct the next generation of organisms is stabilized in nucleic acids." Besides, it's jargon-ridden and blah. I think the question of fine-tuning is interesting, too, but I'm content to say I simply don't know.

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
ScaryFacts



Posts: 337
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,07:15   

Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 19 2006,12:52)
Ms or Mr Facts

(Scary gets up, farts, belches, chugs his beer, adjusts his package and responds...)

They call me MISTER Facts.

Gee, I’ve got to testosterone up my posting style.

Thanks for the explanations.  Let’s see if I get this right…if the number of universes approaches infinity then the probability of one of those universes having the particular configuration for the development of life would approach 1.

If there is a single universe the probability would be almost zero.

But we know there are multiple universes—remember that Star Trek where there was a parallel universe and Spock had a goatee?  I’m pretty sure that settles it.

   
Ogee



Posts: 89
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,07:26   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,11:56)
I’m too bored to comment beyond one observation: do not invoke the fallacy of “appeal to authority” unless you know what it means.


Oh, don't worry, Dave, I know exactly what it means, and anyone who has discussed these matters with you (or read the discussions) will be well aware of the frequency and manner in which you invoke Susskind.

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,11:56)
It may be a false dilemma. In fact, one possibility that Susskind did omit was “blind luck.”


Your admission of a third possibility renders the issue moot, but to be fair to Susskind, he never explicitly stated the "multiverses or ID" false dilemma:
 
Quote
Q:  If we do not accept the landscape idea are we stuck with intelligent design?

Susskind: I doubt that physicists will see it that way. If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent - maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation - I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature's fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics. One might argue that the hope that a mathematically unique solution will emerge is as faith-based as ID.

  
Ogee



Posts: 89
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,07:47   

Quote (ScaryFacts @ Oct. 19 2006,12:15)
Thanks for the explanations.  Let’s see if I get this right…if the number of universes approaches infinity then the probability of one of those universes having the particular configuration for the development of life would approach 1.

If there is a single universe the probability would be almost zero.

That's basically correct, but no one knows what range of values are possible for these parameters, nor what their distributions might be.  Attempting to assign a priori probabilities to such things is dodgy, to say the least.

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,08:52   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,11:56)
Jim_Wynee
     
Quote
This is exactly where Heddle and rationality part company. It is not "perfectly reasonable" to invoke a god as a catch-all for anything that we don't understand. How many times must this be proven?


No, it is perfectly reasonable to invoke God for questions outside the domain of science. You may wish to invoke purely secular philosophy or to ignore such questions, but I think most people would agree that such questions are in the domain of religion.

Shorter Heddle: Many people are irrational, so what they think must be rational.

 
Quote
So suppose the constants are determined from a theory. And suppose someone asks you why do think the theory just happened to produce the values in the life-supporting range. How would you answer?

"I don't know, but we're working on it"?

 
Quote
And why would it be irrational to invoke God in answering this non-scientific question?

It wouldn't be, so long as you agree that invoking the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn't irrational either.

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

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,09:26   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,10:10)
Ogee,

Nope. Suppose, after painstaking theoretical analysis from the best theoretical physicists, it was determined that some constant S had to be within .001% of its measured value for life to be possible.

The cosmological ID argument is: if there is just one universe, then it's amazing that the actual value falls in that range.

So, any value that is within .001% would make life possible?  So, a value that is .0005% off of the current value would be OK?  A value that is .0005000001 would also be OK?  Gee, that sort of leaves us an infinite amount of values to choose from.  That doesn't sound like it's too selective to me.

Quote
Note: it says nothing about the source of that value, be it a possibly from a low probability random draw or of unit probability resulting from a fundamental theory. As I have said elsewhere, the fundamental theory that predicts the value of the constants doesn't make it any less remarkable that they fall in the lucky range—in fact it is a more elegant design argument.

Weren't you just bashing Dembski for the same thing?
Quote
You are also wrong about multiple universes not falsifying [not used in a rigorous sense] cosmological ID as I argue for it. If you detect another universe, I would immediately have to stop arguing that the fine tuning of our universe is evidence for design. Clearly the better explanation is that  we just, quite naturally, arose in one of the fertile universes and so we expect ours to look fine tuned. That would be a slam-dunk rebuttal of cosmological ID.

Apart from the fact that you have trouble with the meaning of the word "falsify" weren't you just arguing on your blog that the designer could be an alien from another universe?

  
heddle



Posts: 124
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,11:35   

GCT,

     
Quote
So, any value that is within .001% would make life possible?  So, a value that is .0005% off of the current value would be OK?  A value that is .0005000001 would also be OK?  Gee, that sort of leaves us an infinite amount of values to choose from.  That doesn't sound like it's too selective to me.


Are you really making that argument? I certainly hope you are joking. If I said that a constant had to be within 1 part in 10^100 of its measured value, would you really argue that "that's not so selective because an infinite number of values could fit in that range.¨  Is that really what you are saying? If so I can hardly believe it.

     
Quote
Weren't you just bashing Dembski for the same thing?


Nope. In either case I say the designer is God. It's just a question of whether he picked the right constants or imposed the fundamental law that produced the constants. What I bashed the IDers for was some combination of  a) calling it science when it isn't b) not doing any science given that you claim it is c) hiding behind the argument that the designer doesn't have to be God--which is hiding behind a technicality and d) using unsavory methods for getting ID into the public schools. And maybe some other things that I don't recall at the moment.

Yes I was saying the designer could be an alien from another universe--that just a special case of saying fine tuning could be explained by multiple universes. Short of the alien announcing himself, it would be the worst possible explanation, because why invoke an alien (or God) when you can just let the large sample size of universes explain why some are fine tuned. In any case, cosmological ID as I preach it is dead. As I'll describe it (for the gazillionth time) fine tuning + one universe --> God designed the universe. Multiple universes negates that argument, and if you find an alien who designed the universe, it would negate it even more brutally.

I think you are confused by the different approaches. Biological ID says: the flagellum looks designed so that someone designed it, God or a super alien. Cosmological ID (as I preach it) says: God designed the universe.

Jim_Wynne

As I expected, you are actually begging the question. Your argument is really that any invoking of God is irrational-- it really has nothing to do the specifics of our discussion.

BTW "But we are working on it¨ is an irrational answer. The question was based on the premise that a theory of everything predicted the constants. There is no physics left to do--but we are left with the metaphysical question why the constants are in the necessary range. The problem cannot be "worked on"¨ in the sense of physics. So exactly how would you be working on it?

Ogee,

I will check Susskind's book. I can't recall if he states it more explicitly that in that interview you quoted. However, the quote you provided is good enough. He is merely saying if the landscape fails then of course scientists will look for a different answer --but it will be very hard to answer the ID critics. Futrhermore, he describes such a search for a unique String theory solution as as faith based as ID. There may be an little bit of wiggle room in that quote, but not much.

EDITED some typos

--------------
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,12:24   

While the discussion on cosmological ID is keeping me on the dge of my seat, I am far more interested in this secret ID list serv you wrote about on your blog, Heddle.

I realize you were sworn to secrecy when you joined that list but can you shed any more light on it (without breaking your "pledge")?  

Like what is the purpose, why the secrecy, and do they really require a "pleadge" of some sort?  

And BTW, my hat's off to you for standing up for what is right and standing up to people who do not like anyone standing up to them.  Dembski seems to be drunken with power and he's obviously trigger happy happy when it comes to open discussion.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,12:33   

Hey Heddle, what do you think about my objection to the Ikeda-Jeffries Theorem?

 
Quote
Our main theorem
Having understood the previous discussion, and with our notation in hand, it is now easy to prove that the WAP does not support supernaturalism (which we take to be the negation ~N of N). Recall that the WAP can be written as P(F|N&L)=1. Then, by Bayes' theorem [see footnote 2] we have

P(N|F&L) =  P(F|N&L)P(N|L)/P(F|L)

        =  P(N|L)/P(F|L)

        >= P(N|L)


I think that they're using Bayes' theorem inconsistently because they don't include the fine-tuning portion of the WAP in P(F/N&L) even though it's observed, but are then smuggling in fine tuning by letting P(N/F&L) ->0 after the cancellation. This equivocates the definition of F in my opinion. See here for more detail.

If you don't like my approach, how would you respond?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,12:46   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 19 2006,18:24)
Dembski seems to be drunken with power and he's obviously trigger happy happy when it comes to open discussion.

I'm drunk on power.

No wait. That's whiskey.

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,12:58   

Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 19 2006,17:46)
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 19 2006,18:24)
Dembski seems to be drunken with power and he's obviously trigger happy happy when it comes to open discussion.

I'm drunk on power.

No wait. That's whiskey.

Just keep your finger off the trigger and we'll all get along nicely....

And pass the whiskey you ####, dirty darwinist.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,13:21   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,16:35)
As I'll describe it (for the gazillionth time) fine tuning + one universe --> God designed the universe.

That is not a reasonable (i.e. based on reason) or rational argument.

I'm willing to accept that fine tuning is an observation in need of explanation. Your argument would be reasonable if there were only two possible explanations: multiple universes, or God did it. Unfortunately, there is one more explanation: "something else caused it." Just because we can't currently imagine what that something might be doesn't mean we can reasonably reject it and conclude God did it.

Of course, it's your perogative to reach that conclusion if you wish, but it's not a reasoned conclusion.

  
Ogee



Posts: 89
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,16:11   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 19 2006,17:33)
I think that they're using Bayes' theorem inconsistently because they don't include the fine-tuning portion of the WAP in P(F/N&L) even though it's observed, but are then smuggling in fine tuning by letting P(N/F&L) ->0 after the cancellation. This equivocates the definition of F in my opinion.

As has been clarified (twice now) in the other thread, this is not an equivocation on their part but a misunderstanding on yours .  F is always "The universe is life-Friendly", never "The universe is fine-tuned".  And where are they saying P(N|F&L) ->0 ? They are clearly stating that P(N|F&L) cannot be less than P(N|L).  I strongly suggest re-reading it for comprehension before any further embarassing attempts at rebuttals.

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,04:15   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,16:35)
Jim_Wynne

As I expected, you are actually begging the question. Your argument is really that any invoking of God is irrational-- it really has nothing to do the specifics of our discussion.

BTW "But we are working on it¨ is an irrational answer. The question was based on the premise that a theory of everything predicted the constants. There is no physics left to do--but we are left with the metaphysical question why the constants are in the necessary range. The problem cannot be "worked on"¨ in the sense of physics. So exactly how would you be working on it?

At about this point in any discussion with Heddle, it can be mildly entertaining to go back through the posts and count his uses of logical fallacies and his denials of invoking them.  At a glance, so far I can see the time-honored argument from personal incredulity (without which Heddle would be stuck in church), appeals to authority (Heddle: "You don't know what 'appeal to authority' means.") and now the obligatory false dilemma.

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

  
Glen Davidson



Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,05:27   

Quote
Some of you are ignoring a point that I have made ad nasueum and which, in these circles, is mostly ignored. However, since one of your own (Stephen Elliott) made it, I thought it might be taken more seriously.


And who has ignored the fine-tuning problem?  I realize that some have, but the history on PT is generally people agreeing that why the universe "appears to be fine-tuned" remains a problem, while disagreeing with Heddle's pet "reason" for it.  

   
Quote
That is: virtually the entire professional physics community agrees that there is a substantive fine tuning problem. You can call that an appeal to authority if you like (it’s actually not), but when there is nearly universal acknowledgement from experts one ought to at least take notice. For example, cosmologist (and non IDer) Leonard Susskind has explicitly stated that, because of fine tuning, it's either multiple universes or  it's ID.


And this is exactly what is wrong with these discussions.  The moment "fine-tuning" is acknowledged, Heddle's off talking about the severely limited choices that he considers, never mind the endless metaphysical possibilities that could be conjured up.

   
Quote
So you can dismiss it with the puddle analogy, but I really don't know how a thinking person can.


I know I'm late to this discussion, but it was this that made me decide to jump in now.  Heddle doesn't seem to recognize what the puddle analogy is getting at.  

It isn't that there is no specific set of reasons that the puddle is shaped as it is.  It's that the water in the depression is amazed at its fit within the depression, and supposes that the depression is shaped to fit it.  The water is sure that the shape is purposefully shaped for its own shape, not realizing it simply fits what is there.

So go ahead and ask why the puddle is shaped as it is.  We do that in cosmology and in biology.  However there is no reason in the first place to suppose that the current forms of matter, including life, are the reason the universe is as it is, anymore than that lifeless universes (should these exist) are specifically designed not to produce life.

Maybe more to the point, was this universe configured so that so much of the universe would be unsupportive of life?  Or might we ask, does the universe support life as much as it does simply in order to wipe it out with various disasters?  That is to say, do the gods create us so that they may kill us for their sport?

There are a lot of things that fit in our universe, including life-destroying asteroids and supervolcanoes, diseases, tyrants and genocidists.  The supposition that  life is the purpose of our universe, and not the death-dealing supernovae and assorted geological catastrophes, seems to be a peculiarly anthropocentric point of view.

So again, ask away why the universe is as it is.  Just don't go privileging life's existence as an especial fit to the universe when one of the most obvious aspects of this universe is its utter indifference to our existence and our extinction.

   
Quote
A thinking person should at least ask himself: if all the experts take it seriously, maybe it really is something that can't be dismissed so trivially. Maybe I should look into it a bit.


Here is the problem once again.  Heddle will tell us that he's doing apologetics and/or coming up with an explanation outside of science.  But never mind that many of us know about the "fine-tuning problem" and thus should be known to have looked into it at least to some extent and found that there are no satisfactory answers, he suggests that we ought to look into it a bit.  

Why?  Is it because we might find a good answer?  Or just because it is a gap in knowledge that many want desperately to fill with God, despite having no evidence of a connection ("causal" or otherwise) between fine-tuning and God?

The experts do take fine-tuning seriously, and they try to find evidence-based answers to it.  There isn't any especial reason for most people to "look into it" any more than they ought to be looking into the problems existing between quantum gravity and relativistic gravity.  People raise the former issue primarily in order to suggest that "god did it" without any sort of evidence of how and why an unevidenced God might have made this particular puddle.

So far as we know, puddles are shaped as they are through physical interactions.  Any serious answer as to why the puddle we call our universe is as it is will almost certainly also have a physical explanation.  

Presumably it is because Heddle doesn't propose a serious physical explanation for a serious physical question that his invitation to speak at a physics conference was withdrawn.

Glen D

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http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

   
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,06:22   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,16:35)
GCT,

       
Quote
So, any value that is within .001% would make life possible?  So, a value that is .0005% off of the current value would be OK?  A value that is .0005000001 would also be OK?  Gee, that sort of leaves us an infinite amount of values to choose from.  That doesn't sound like it's too selective to me.


Are you really making that argument? I certainly hope you are joking. If I said that a constant had to be within 1 part in 10^100 of its measured value, would you really argue that "that's not so selective because an infinite number of values could fit in that range.¨  Is that really what you are saying? If so I can hardly believe it.

That's part of the argument.  The other part is that neither you nor I know the restraints of the value at all.  Making a probabilistic argument when you know jack is what is a joke.  One could say that a value of some constant can range between 1 and 100, but it has to be between 1 and 1.00000001 in order to allow life, and that makes it sound like life is rather unlikely.  There are, however, infinite values still allowed in infinite universes where life would be allowed.  To make it even worse, we don't know whether the value is really between 1 and 100 or whether there are limits to the values at all.  Your argument is worthless.

Quote
       
Quote
Weren't you just bashing Dembski for the same thing?


Nope. In either case I say the designer is God. It's just a question of whether he picked the right constants or imposed the fundamental law that produced the constants. What I bashed the IDers for was some combination of  a) calling it science when it isn't b) not doing any science given that you claim it is c) hiding behind the argument that the designer doesn't have to be God--which is hiding behind a technicality and d) using unsavory methods for getting ID into the public schools. And maybe some other things that I don't recall at the moment.

Right, but when you say that the best inference is to Cosmo ID, and that Cosmo ID says nothing about the source of the fine tuning...well, it's basically what Dembski is saying.
Quote
Yes I was saying the designer could be an alien from another universe--that just a special case of saying fine tuning could be explained by multiple universes. Short of the alien announcing himself, it would be the worst possible explanation, because why invoke an alien (or God) when you can just let the large sample size of universes explain why some are fine tuned. In any case, cosmological ID as I preach it is dead. As I'll describe it (for the gazillionth time) fine tuning + one universe --> God designed the universe. Multiple universes negates that argument, and if you find an alien who designed the universe, it would negate it even more brutally.

DH:  Yes, Cosmo ID demands one universe, but it could also be an alien from another universe that did it and Cosmo ID explains that too, and no I don't see the contradiction in that.
Quote
I think you are confused by the different approaches. Biological ID says: the flagellum looks designed so that someone designed it, God or a super alien. Cosmological ID (as I preach it) says: God designed the universe.

Then, why hide behind such things as, "It's the best inference we have based on the evidence."  What you really mean to say is, "I believe in god, therefore I believe god designed the universe."  By shrouding everything in a scientific veneer, you try to give credence to your beliefs, and end up doing the same as Dembski.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,09:21   

Quote
   
Quote

That is: virtually the entire professional physics community agrees that there is a substantive fine tuning problem. You can call that an appeal to authority if you like (it’s actually not), but when there is nearly universal acknowledgement from experts one ought to at least take notice. For example, cosmologist (and non IDer) Leonard Susskind has explicitly stated that, because of fine tuning, it's either multiple universes or  it's ID.


And this is exactly what is wrong with these discussions.  The moment "fine-tuning" is acknowledged, Heddle's off talking about the severely limited choices that he considers, never mind the endless metaphysical possibilities that could be conjured up.


Precisely. Thank you. That's exactly something that's always bothered me about all discussion of 'fine tuning', yet I hadn't been able to articulate.

It's like designing a joke to fit a pre-existing punchline you've always wanted to use.

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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: Oct. 20 2006,09:33   

Heddle, I've attempted to clarify my explanation in LUCA. This won't make the slightest difference with the academic stingrays lurking on this site, but it might aid the lurkers confused by my ineptitude.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,09:59   

Hey Dave Heddle, your ID friends are as good at physics, as they are at biology.

   
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,10:11   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,12:56)
Now if there are multiple universes, then you are correct—it is obvious that ours would appear fine tuned for life.

Just to clarify - it should be "if there are or have ever been multiple universes".  There is no need for them to exist simultaneously in this case.

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Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,13:55   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,04:58)
virtually the entire professional physics community agrees that there is a substantive fine tuning problem.

And virtually all of them think "cosmological ID" is a load of horse hockey.

So what?


Science doesn't crae about your religious opinions, Heddle.  After all, they are no more authoritative than anyone ELSE's religious opinions.

So go preach your religious opinions in church, where they belong, and stop pestering science with them.  Science simply doesn't give a flying fig about your religious opinions.


Sorry if you don't like that.  (shrug)

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,14:04   

Hey Heddle, given your assertion that if cosmological constants were different, we wouldn't be here, and given the fact that we, um, are here, what's so surprising about the fact that circumstances allowed us to be here?  If green jelly beans exist, would it surprise you to learn that conditions are such as would allow green jelly beans to exist?  How the #### else COULD they be?

Another question: If there were some other set of constants and therefore we were NOT here, would THOSE particular set of constants be evidence for a designer?  Why would the probability of THAT specific set of constants be any different from the probability of THIS specific set of constants?  What would make one set of constants "designed" and the other "not designed".  

Other than your religious opinion that God created us. . . . . (which is, of course, all that your 'cosmological ID' crapola boils down to anyway)?


Something else I'm curious about, Heddle ---- since well over 85% of the people in the US believe in God, what's the use of your preaching to all and sundry that God exists?  Don't they, um, already believe that?

Or are you trying (quite unsuccessfully, it appears) to convert the remaining 15% . . . ?

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,14:10   

Another question for you, Heddle:  Suppose physics produces a scientific theory that explains why all of the observed universal constants are as they are, and demonstrates that, by the laws of physics, they could not be anything else.  

What happens to your God then?  What gap do you plan on cramming him into then?

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,14:43   

He's already explained that somewhere in the past. If a law was discovered which did the tuning, then god must have tuned that law. Gap[n] -> Gap[n+1]

It's called apologetics, because you oughta apologize for it.

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,15:11   

Lenny, I usually find your anger annoying, but I did have a good laugh at this bit of yours on PT:

Quote
(2) all of the people who are popping in now, looking for ways to beat the IDers, are too late. ID is already dead. It was shot in the knees in Kansas, shot in the head at Dover, and its coffin lid was nailed on in Ohio.


I'm referring to this as The Long Twilight of Intelligent Design. ID supporters will while out their days making silly comments on blogs. People will stop paying attention. Thousands of papers a month will continue to elucidate the mysterious things nature's gotten up to in the last 4 billion years.

   
heddle



Posts: 124
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,16:05   

Well...

I am indebted to Lenny. I was starting to spend too much time here. The discussions started out fine, but he reminded me that, utimately, they are not elevated beyond the level of the PT comments. It took a while to break that addiction, but I've been "sober" for  couple months. No point trading one bad habit for another--especially one no different from the first. Have fun y'all.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,16:21   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 19 2006,11:56)
No, it is perfectly reasonable to invoke God for questions outside the domain of science. You may wish to invoke purely secular philosophy or to ignore such questions, but I think most people would agree that such questions are in the domain of religion. So suppose the constants are determined from a theory. And suppose someone asks you why do think the theory just happened to produce the values in the life-supporting range. How would you answer? And why would it be irrational to invoke God in answering this non-scientific question?

That's right! God cut off his father's balls and now he's the freakin king. Why can't you all just get it throiugh your thick skulls.

Tequila, since you asked. Whoopee!

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Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,16:31   

Quote (heddle @ Oct. 20 2006,21:05)
Well...

I am indebted to Lenny. I was starting to spend too much time here. The discussions started out fine, but he reminded me that, utimately, they are not elevated beyond the level of the PT comments. It took a while to break that addiction, but I've been "sober" for  couple months. No point trading one bad habit for another--especially one no different from the first. Have fun y'all.

Well, Heddle, since you are leaving, it seems everyone else is indebted to me now, too.

Bye.  (waving as you ride off on your white horse)

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,16:43   

Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 20 2006,20:11)
Lenny, I usually find your anger annoying

Come onnnnnnnnnnnnn --- you like the entertainment value.  You *know* you do.

:)


Anyway, I'm no longer angry at creationist/IDers.  Back when they were a serious political threat, I was.  But now that they're all but a corpse, I just laugh at their pain and piss in their wounds.  

No one deserves it more than they.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2006,16:59   


   
Kristine



Posts: 3061
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2006,11:06   

Quote
Hey Heddle, given your assertion that if cosmological constants were different, we wouldn't be here, and given the fact that we, um, are here, what's so surprising about the fact that circumstances allowed us to be here?  If green jelly beans exist, would it surprise you to learn that conditions are such as would allow green jelly beans to exist?  


I think the problem is that Heddle is arguing the jelly bean equivalent; that is, jelly beans having been designed, we were, too; which makes us spiritual treats for God, I guess...

Not a very appetizing thought right before Halloween.

The problem with Heddle is, metaphorically speaking, he has obviously never crashed a party without it turning out that those hosting the party wanted him to stay. Therefore, Heddle cannot conceive of finding himself at the party called Life without an express invitation, as it were.

Where'd he run off to? Probably sitting by the phone, waiting for someone-anyone to call. There was a Halloween party last night Heddle, and you missed it. If you continue this way, Heddle, there are going to be fewer and fewer parties to which you are "privileged" to go...

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2006,12:35   

Quote (Kristine @ Oct. 29 2006,18:06)
Quote
Hey Heddle, given your assertion that if cosmological constants were different, we wouldn't be here, and given the fact that we, um, are here, what's so surprising about the fact that circumstances allowed us to be here?  If green jelly beans exist, would it surprise you to learn that conditions are such as would allow green jelly beans to exist?  


I think the problem is that Heddle is arguing the jelly bean equivalent; that is, jelly beans having been designed, we were, too; which makes us spiritual treats for God, I guess...

Not a very appetizing thought right before Halloween.

The problem with Heddle is, metaphorically speaking, he has obviously never crashed a party without it turning out that those hosting the party wanted him to stay. Therefore, Heddle cannot conceive of finding himself at the party called Life without an express invitation, as it were.

Where'd he run off to? Probably sitting by the phone, waiting for someone-anyone to call. There was a Halloween party last night Heddle, and you missed it. If you continue this way, Heddle, there are going to be fewer and fewer parties to which you are "privileged" to go...

He went back to his own blog, which you might like, if you enjoy terribly boring discussions of the details of christianity.

   
Kristine



Posts: 3061
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2006,17:34   

Quote
He went back to his own blog, which you might like, if you enjoy terribly boring discussions of the details of christianity.


Meh, nothing like Christian "tut-tut"-erware parties--a whole post devoted to refuting "pointlessness." I'm hip. :D

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 30 2006,04:54   

Quote
UD on Harvard's "Origin of Life" Iniatiative

Longtime readers might recall that I have, on several occasions, written favorably about abiogensis research. As it turns out, this means that, once again, I don't see eye-to-eye with Mr. Dembski.

I noticed on Uncommon Descent that Dembski posted on Harvard's "Origin of Life" initiative. As is his style, he simply makes a wry comment and then pastes an excerpt from some an article.

Dembski's comment:
Quote
How much play do you think ID is going to get in Harvard's new origin of life initiative[?]
Of course, the question is rhetorical: Dembski knows the answer: the answer is none.

His manner of asking it, however, is meant to imply that the answer is "none" because of some vast scientific conspiracy.

In fact, Dembski is correct: the answer is none, because nothing is owed a "play" in scientific research, which self-organizes along a pecking order based on "put up or shut up." Dembski is preaching to his choir, one that tends to believe that research scientists view theists and theism as the enemy. This is false, as Dembski would know if he spent any length of time in an actual research environment. At least I hope that's his excuse--I hope he doesn't sing that "they hate us, the really hate us" tune knowing that it's a lie. At any rate, one of his great disservices to Christianity is that he is helping to make Science vs. Christianity a self fulfilling prophecy. He is doing his darndest to drive a wedge between the two--and many Christians, I fear, are taking the bait. Demonizing scientists is just another way that Dembski is very much like Ken Ham of AiG.

Perhaps, Mr. Dembski, if you care to make a testable prediction regarding Harvard's initiative they will give you some "play." In fact, I am willing to bet that if you can make a testable prediction from your theories and apply for research funding under this initiative that your proposal would be reviewed favorably. By all means, submit a proposal that states: My ID theory states that if you do this experiment: [fill in the blank] the result will be this: [fill in this blank too].

As it is, or at least as far as I know, ID makes no prediction beyond that of the theologian: Harvard's effort will fail to explain the origin of life. Though of interest, that's not a scientific prediction. Neither is its corollary: research into the origins question will only further demonstrate the implausibility of life starting by itself.

Though such predictions don't constitute scientific research, they are precisely why Christians (and IDers) should embrace and participate in the origins initiative. It's the same reason we should encourage cosmology studies or archeological research in Palestine. If you are worried that scientific research can undermine your faith, then I suggest you work on strengthening your faith instead of attacking the researchers. Attacking the researchers is Dembski's and Ham's approach, and it is bad scientifically and, more troubling, it is bad theologically.

Christians should be saying, in effect, "bring it on!" Dembski, for reasons that I cannot fathom, does not go beyond predicting that he won't be invited to Harvard's potluck, while conveniently ignoring the fact that, scientifically, he has nothing to contribute.


Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
posted by David     Permalink

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 30 2006,05:34   

A shame. Intelligent fundies like Heddle refuse to stay, while brainless ones like Dave Hawkins cling like barnacles.

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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: Oct. 30 2006,06:48   

Crikey Demski's really ticked David "the answer is 42" Heddle off.

So that ratbag Demski gets the credit after all our hard word.

Dang.

In further hot news I've had the transcript of Demski's phone call to Harvard for a place on the team secretly sent to me.

It seems he was put on speaker phone when Summers took the call.
......
Summers: ....Ah Bill.... I'll get each team member to introduce themselves they already know it is you calling.

Op 1: Hi Bill it's Ivana Bukdeal here, Post Doc Toroidal Nano Biology we study the logical tautness of biological machines, we call it nano tautology ....we're REALLY interested in CSI.
snicker.....sh sh  sh

Bill: Fantastic.. Complex Specified (whatever)

Ivana: No ...Crime Scene Investigation

Bill: oh

Op2: Hi Bill it's Valter Mitzzy 'ere, 'ow do you do.

Bill: Valter?

Valter: yez Valter. I am ze head of fitting zee fruit fly heads on ze ants. Ve 'ave a saying here Time flys like an arrow, friut flys like a banana, I like bananas.

Summers: ..ah Bill ..sorry about that, that's Walter he cleans the test tubes, I'll pass you over to Steve Fuller

Bill:...THE Steve Fuller?

Steve: Yup.
Bill: I thought you were in England.
Steve: Was
Bill: ...Are you on the team?
Steve: No ...I'm writing a new book..A New Paradigm for Creation. Recontextualizing the epistemology for abiogenesis.
Bill: Hey I thought you were on our side.
Steve: All's fair in love and war Bill, that how postmodernism got started you know.... Hows your new book going?
Bill: You can buy it when it comes out.
Steve: What.... no invitation for a promo, no back cover blurb?
Bill: From you...no way...you traitor.
click

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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

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2006,04:48   

The latest Heddle money shot:

Quote
Perhaps, Mr. Dembski, if you care to make a testable prediction regarding Harvard's initiative they will give you some "play." In fact, I am willing to bet that if you can make a testable prediction from your theories and apply for research funding under this initiative that your proposal would be reviewed favorably. By all means, submit a proposal that states: My ID theory states that if you do this experiment: [fill in the blank] the result will be this: [fill in this blank too].

As it is, or at least as far as I know, ID makes no prediction beyond that of the theologian...


Say what you will about Heddle's personal beliefs, but he's on the money when it comes to the Dembski cult.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2006,09:45   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Oct. 31 2006,10:48)
Say what you will about Heddle's personal beliefs, but he's on the money when it comes to the Dembski cult.

I completely agree. In a way, by being an ID suporter, Hedle's arguments will probably have more effect.

I am glad that he has realised what a charlatan bunch UD has.

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2006,09:20   

Looks like Heddle has been booted from yet another ID forum.  This time for criticizing Moonie cultist J. Wells.  Well he criticized Wells and also pointed out ID is not science and got the boot.  

http://helives.blogspot.com/

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2006,09:39   

But note that he's diplomatic and doesn't actually say what group he got booted from.

Anyway, the essay is in fact quite interesting:

Quote
I am down to one (or maybe zero, I'm not sure) ID friendly lists. This time I was unceremoniously booted after I criticized a Jonathan Wells post. The thread was related to the recent brouhaha over peer review. Wells expressed boilerplate ID-leadership whining, and then bizarrely claimed that ID is relying on peer review, by which he meant the proofreading of one's writings by other competent IDers. That's actually called rubber-stamping.

I responded with my own boilerplate, that if ID is science then it's high-time time that IDers you-know-what or get off the pot.

Jonathan Wells is an enigma. To be blunt, I see no redeeming quality in Jonathan Wells. Everything he has touched has backfired. He does no science. And of course I don't even see him as a Christian brother, since the Unification Church to which he belongs is an apostate cult. (Contrary to popular misconception, the bible teaches that Christians are most definitely supposed to judge.)

If ID were science, then I could work side-by-side with Jonathan Wells on ID in spite of his false religion. And if ID were science, Jonathan Wells and his colleagues would not consider scientific questions regarding the age of the earth to be off the table.

Based on some discussions I had over the weekend, I have come to realize something that I have missed, something rather obvious. That is, I never really appreciated the importance of the culture-war aspect of the ID-movement. I viewed ID-proper in simplistic terms: it is creationism that is being disguised as science and through deception and political maneuvering the attempt is being made (while simultaneously being denied) to get it into the classroom. (Where, ironically, it could once be found before pressure arose to make it an official part of the curriculum.) However, I didn't realize the extent to which this is viewed internally as a culture war.

That makes me even less of an orthodox IDer, because I don't support the culture wars. That's a broad statement that I'll have to blog about later, but for the most part I disavow Christian political activity. Oh, I'll vote along the usual Christian lines, but I simply don't see how (a) a Christian can avoid compromise and still hope to be [re]elected and, more importantly (b) I see no biblical mandate.

John F. Kennedy is a perfect example. Assuming he was a truly a devout Roman Catholic, he professed the ultimate compromise: when asked whether he would choose between the good of the country and the authority of Rome, he chose the former. Utter and total capitulation. A solid Catholic should have said—sorry, if it comes down to that choice, and I hope it doesn't, I’d have to side with the Church. Of course he wouldn't have gotten elected, which is precisely my point.

Christian (and ID) culture wars (and those pesky theonomists) get the biblical message bass-ackwards. The bible teaches that we should preach the gospel (in words and deeds) and, as the church gains purchase, the culture will follow along. The culture war proponents argue, in effect, that if we force the culture (through legislation) to reflect our world view then, then—I don't know what—then converts will follow? The Second Coming? In any case the strategy is found nowhere in the teachings of Christ or the apostles.

But whether ID is a culture war (I don't see it that way) or about theism (I do see it that way) I have no more interest in standing side by side with Jonathan Wells than I would, for example, seek to align forces with Bishop Spong or Ralph Reed.

Put differently, if ID were science, then my criticism of Well's faith would be an unforgivable ad hominem. Since ID is actually apologetic in nature, it is not. His religion is relevant. For me, ID is powerful because it shows how creation speaks of God's glory. The Unification Church teaches of Sun Myung Moon’s glory. There can be no compromise.

I should clarify my position on peer review. I have no doubt that the playing field is not level—as I have written about many times. In cosmology, one is free to speculate about any manner of untestable theory, but one is not (generally) free to speculate about a divine explanation for fine-tuning. However, that is not the central issue here. And personally I would rather avoid an argument based on pointing out an equally bad counter example. The real point, as I have belabored to establish, is that an actual proposal to perform an experiment that would test an ID theory would, in my opinion, be reviewed favorably even while the reviewers fully expected it to fail. Reviewers would be delighted to set ID up for an anticpated spectacular fall.

I asked my ID colleagues for an example of a proposal that was submitted to a funding agency, one that asked for money and equipment to do an ID-testing experiment. In spite of the claim of vast forces arrayed against them that have systematically derailed such proposals, no examples were provided. (Some argued that there is no point in submitting research proposals because they would surely be rejected.)

Note that I am talking about science and scientific research, not science education. In science education, I think there is a strong claim to be made that IDers are treated unfairly, and I'm thinking specifically of the Ohio State case. But we should not conflate the separate questions of fairness in science and science education.

As far as I can tell, the real complaint, boiled down to its essence, is that ID speculation and ruminations of ID motivations should be permitted in journal articles. Nonsense. If you can test ID, then by all means you would have to spell out the ID theory in question. You could belabor the details to your heart's desire. If you just want to elaborate (in a peer reviewed science journal) on how ID motivated your experiment, even though it doesn't test ID, then you have no basis for a complaint—even though some other speculation (multiple universes) is permitted when it shouldn't be. It's the old two-wrongs thing.

I can truthfully say that, at some level, ID motivated everything I ever did in science after becoming a believer. I never felt, however, that I should be entitled to a paragraph in Physical Review C explaining how this result affirms my belief in God. There are other places for such discussions including, until the ID movement did its little Keystone Kops number, the occasional rabbit-trail classroom discussion.


(I've boldfaced some interesting bits.)

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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

  
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2006,11:18   

Wow! Good for Heddle! While his religious weirdness will never make sense to me, I have to conclude that he actually has learned something in his months and years in this discussion.

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Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2006,15:20   

Quote (Russell @ Nov. 21 2006,11:18)
Wow! Good for Heddle! While his religious weirdness will never make sense to me, I have to conclude that he actually has learned something in his months and years in this discussion.

I couldn't have put it better myself. While I personally have no use at all for the kind of religion that is obviously so important to Heddle, his analyses of the dishonesty of the ID crowd and why they aren't doing science are deadly accurate. No wonder they all ban him.

And it is interesting how this seems to be an ongoing process:

 
Quote
I have come to realize something that I have missed, something rather obvious. That is, I never really appreciated the importance of the culture-war aspect of the ID-movement.


I would politely point out that many of us 'secularists' have been saying ID was all about the 'Culture Wars' for years (that's why DaveTard's doing it), but hey, better late than never.

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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

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2006,19:36   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Nov. 21 2006,10:39)
Note that I am talking about science and scientific research, not science education. In science education, I think there is a strong claim to be made that IDers are treated unfairly, and I'm thinking specifically of the Ohio State case. But we should not conflate the separate questions of fairness in science and science education.

Heddle has an unfortunate tendency to look the other way to give certain side branches of ID a free pass. Like "Oh, Dembski is a fraud and a cheat and a liar, but Sternberg was unfairly treated." ""Oh, Cordova is a fraud and a cheat and a liar, but there may be something to Behe." "Oh, Wells is a fraud and a cheat and a liar, but Brian Leonard might have been discriminated against." Before he read Dembski, he even did this about Dembski. "Oh, Dembski himself may be a fraud and a cheat and a liar, but I can't say, I haven't read his stuff specifically."

   
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 22 2006,11:06   

DaveScot's latest clowning is being discussed far and wide today:

Quote
As for bizarre posts, if you haven't already, checkout DaveScot's (for those who don’t know, DaveScot is one word, like Fabian) UD post on the scientific possibility of a virgin birth. Now whether or not a virgin birth is a scientific possibility is an interesting question. However, it is irrelevant in terms of Mary’s virgin birth, in which she was conceived by the Holy Spirit. A virgin (or any woman) conceiving by the Holy Spirit is a miracle and hence inexplicable via science. It can be denied, but its lack of a scientific explanation is a feature, not a bug.


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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: Nov. 22 2006,11:18   

From the middle paragraph:

Quote
Ed's writing will often remind you that there was a time when atheists did science, and believers did science, and atheistic scientists and believing scientists had pleasurable philosophical discussions in the cafeteria without demanding that their view be given a free-pass. After lunch they did experiments and wrote papers together. And then someone came up with the idea of stickers in textbooks and lawsuits and wedge strategies and “Vice” strategies and guidebooks for getting nonscience into the science curriculum and that religion was child abuse and now Moran's contrubution that students should pass an evolution litmus test or be expelled.


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k.e



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 22 2006,11:22   

Quote
A virgin (or any woman) conceiving by the Holy Spirit is a miracle and hence inexplicable via science. It can be denied, but its lack of a scientific explanation is a feature, not a bug.


That boy did not grow up on a farm.

If Heddle ever sees this ......read my lips.

A virgin (or any woman) conceiving by the Holy Spirit is a NOT a miracle IT'S AN URBAN LEGEND aka Myth.

Feature or bug? Yes of course it could be considered to be either if it wasn't just vapourware and only ran on Powerpulpit with a man in a dress moving the mouse....virtual reality aka magical thinking.

Now that the IDist's have shown that each time they boot their stupid OS the blue screen of death comes up quicker and quicker, soon the whole mess will end up in a dumpster.

Maybe that's where Heddle got his OS from.

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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: Dec. 29 2006,21:15   

I'm afraid Heddle is back to saying really stoopid things:

Quote
Quote
Au contraire -- it is precisely information that atheists demand before they switch sides. Information, in the form of empirical evidence, is the basis for belief for an atheist. The very fact that the available information has not convinced us atheists of the existence of Thomas' god should tell him something about the quality of the information.

Or, it should tell you something about the nature/process of regeneration which is not
1) I hear the gospel or read the bible
2) I accept it as reasonable
3) I eventually believe
4) I am regenerated (born again) as a reward for my belief
If that's the case, then you are correct in your assessment of Cal Thomas on this point. However, if the actual process of conversion (then one I believe is supported by the bible) is:
1) I, like everyone else in their natural state, find the gospel and the bible to be utter foolishness
2) Nevertheless at some point I am regenerated (not because of anything I've done)
3) I now respond to the bible and the gospel, and no longer find them foolish
then he is right (on this point.) In other words, like all atheists, especially the smarter ones, you assume that you are an atheist because you weigh and easily reject the evidence. The reverse is actually true. You have the process bass-ackwards. You are stuck, from all indications and hopefully just for the moment, on step 1 of the second flow chart.
Posted by: David Heddle | December 29, 2006 05:11 PM


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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

  
Alan Fox



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2006,05:10   

"John is molested to be decent" - VMartin

(chuckles)

  
Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2006,07:51   

LMFAO!

I've heard this schtick from people before in a variety of guises. Different "levels", access to different "revelations", different "information" etc. It's  the ultimate get out clause.

Heddle is claiming that he has been regenerated (hurriedly followed by no claim of deeds of virtue on his part, ain't he yummy? Sparing our lil' atheist feelin's 'n' all that) and thus can understand the bible in a way we heathens cannot. He has been raised to a different "level", has access to different "information". Excellent.

So this process of levelling, this different information, where do we get it?  By suspending our rational minds and just accepting it whole cloth?  By shifting the goalposts of evidence so that they are meaningless? By {gasp} pretending our desperate bias and wish for these things to be true somehow constitutes evidence? Nope? Yup? Neither? This is the appeal to mystery yet a-fucking-gain. Colour me rigidly unimpressed. Again.Will these god botherers never come up wiith anything new?

Add to this the strawman of the "foolishness of the gospel" etc. I'm perfectly  happy for the gospel to contain things that aren't foolish, in fact I'm pretty certain bits of it aren't foolish at all. How do I know that some of it isn't foolish? Guess how! And it isn't by revelation, access to priviledged information, spooky language, appeals to mystery, being really really sure it is, or any form of faith. Oh ok I'll give you a clue. Anyone can do it, it doesn't require my a priori agreement with any faith based position, it's accessible and checkable by anyone of any faith or none and it relies on observation. Yes, you guessed it, reason, rational thought and observation of the real world outside my head as it is an not how I wish it to be. Woohoo!

Louis

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2006,18:17   

Quote (Louis @ Dec. 30 2006,07:51)
Heddle is claiming that he has been regenerated (hurriedly followed by no claim of deeds of virtue on his part, ain't he yummy? Sparing our lil' atheist feelin's 'n' all that) and thus can understand the bible in a way we heathens cannot. He has been raised to a different "level", has access to different "information". Excellent.

I.e., he's holier than  the rest of us and his opinions are correct because he understands God better than we mere mortals do.

Alas, despite Heddle's delusions of sainthood, he is no holier than anyone else alive, he doesn't know any more about God than anyone else alive does, and his religious opinions aren't any more authoritative than mine, yours, or the kid who delivers my pizzas. (shrug)

No WONDER everyone thinks fundies like Heddle are self-righteous pride-filled arrogant holier-than-thou (literally) pricks.

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Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2006,18:50   

Lenny,

Quote
Alas, despite Heddle's delusions of sainthood, he is no holier than anyone else alive, he doesn't know any more about God than anyone else alive does, and his religious opinions aren't any more authoritative than mine, yours, or the kid who delivers my pizzas. (shrug)


Well actually I've changed my mind about this.

I was sat at home after a fairly hefty session on the loopy juice this evening and lo unto me came a host of angels. As fortune would have it they were female angels and, having been disturbed performing acts of an extremely lewd nature upon my person by my beloved and irate wife armed with a broom, they vouched safe unto me the secret and the mystery.

As it happens my religious opinions are more authoritative than, well, anyone's really. Came as a bit of a shock to me I might add. Especially as I have met my hot cheesy comestible delivery person, and her religious opinions were fucking astounding.

Now I don't want anyone to get all sloppy and sentimental about this, but allegedly I am sort of, well, god. It's all a bit embarrassing really. After all I am British and we don't hold much truck with this sort of stuff doncherknow. Religion's ok for you yanks and some foreigners, but it simply isn't cricket. Frankly it gets in the way of a good drink if I am forced to be honest. Apparently, I erm, sort of created the universe too. Terrible bugger, can't remember a bloody thing about it. I guess I shouldn't have invented marijuana shortly afterwards.

There are a few things I'd like to clear up. This "intercessory prayer" lark and "revelation of god speaking to you", both total bollocks. I only found out this evening and I was really drunk. I'm pretty me-darned certain I've never answered a prayer or done any offical speaking duties in all my puff. You're talking to yourselves you silly sods. Behave!

Allegedly I have to knock out a few commandments. Frankly, the booze is wearing off, my bottle of calvados is nearly at an end, and I can't be bothered with anything too profound. So here goes for my first go at divine commandments, it may change later on so pay attention:

1) Be excellent to each other.

2) Party on dudes!

{buuurp}

{fart}*

{snore}

Louis

* conclusively proves I am the intelligent designer.

P.S. Platypus. BWWWWWWWWWWWAHAHAHAHAHA figure that one out.

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2006,21:58   

Quote (Louis @ Dec. 30 2006,18:50)
Now I don't want anyone to get all sloppy and sentimental about this, but allegedly I am sort of, well, god.

Cool.  Could I get an internal anatomy that was actually designed for a biped instead of a quadruped, please?    I'm not getting any younger, ya know . . . .       ;)

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www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
keiths



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2006,23:02   

Sleaze-ador Cordova on Dawkins' repudiation of the petition he signed:
Quote
So, my speculation is that Dawkins is making this withdrawal under duress. I accept his sincere "regret" (cough).

Being accused of insincerity by Salvador Cordova is like being accused of anti-Semitism by Mel Gibson.

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2006,23:20   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Dec. 30 2006,18:17)
Alas, despite Heddle's delusions of sainthood, he is no holier than anyone else alive, he doesn't know any more about God than anyone else alive does, and his religious opinions aren't any more authoritative than mine, yours, or the kid who delivers my pizzas. (shrug)

No WONDER everyone thinks fundies like Heddle are self-righteous pride-filled arrogant holier-than-thou (literally) pricks.

Lenny,

In fairness to Heddle, he is a Calvinist, which means he doesn't take credit for his own "regeneration".  He just happened to be one of the lucky ones that God picked to regenerate.  As a result of this undeserved regeneration, he now understands the Bible in a way that is inaccessible to us, the unchosen.

On the other hand, it remains a mystery why Heddle thinks a God who arbitrarily saves some and damns others is worthy of worship.

Also, it raises the question of why the same logic and reason that we unbelievers use successfully in all aspects of our lives suddenly fail (according to Heddle) when applied to the Bible, but the same thing does not happen to him and the other chosen ones.  Presumably God sits there and short-circuits our unchosen brains every time we ponder the Bible or any other religious topic.

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2006,01:50   

Quote (keiths @ Dec. 30 2006,23:20)
He just happened to be one of the lucky ones that God picked to regenerate.

Then, uh, what's the point to his preaching . . .?  If it's all already decided, then, um, what difference does his preaching make . . .?

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2006,01:56   

Quote (keiths @ Dec. 30 2006,23:20)
As a result of this undeserved regeneration, he now understands the Bible in a way that is inaccessible to us, the unchosen.

How the #### does Heddle know that he's one of the Chosen Ones, anyway?  Did God mail him an advance prepaid ticket to Heaven, or something?

Or is Heddle just arrogant, self-righteous, pride-filled and holier-than-thou (literally) enough to simply assume that he MUST be one of the Chosen Ones, since he is so, ya know, holy and all . . . .?

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Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2006,03:41   

Lenny,

Internal organs of a biped eh? No worries.

{waves hands, does a little dance, mutters some spooky words}

There ya go. Um sorry about that vagina, THAT shouldn't be THERE!

{waves hands, does a little more dance, mutters some different spooky words}

Ok you're good to go.

On the Heddle topic, I can confirm that despite his protestations he is not one of the chosen. I can assure you the criterion for being chosen are very simple. They all seem to fall into a narrow category of female and naked. Blonde is apparently optional. Who knew? I was just scratching my head thinking about it and these stone tablets appeared. Some lad called Hefner ran off with them and has started some sort of selection process. I can't pretend I understand it all to be honest. Anyway, at least this way more people get into heaven. I'm also working on heaven mark 2 for the guys. Don't worry there'll be beer.

So as you can see I am a venal and shallow deity. My choice of who to have in heaven beside me is not based on some footling Bronze Age witterings or adherence to worldy virtues, it's all about breast size. Hurrah!

Louis

P.S. Cordova thinks there are people/things that can compel Richard Dawkins to retract potentially unpopular views? (as opposed to changing his mind on the basis of evidence, which we know Sal thinks is a bad thing anyway) Wow, Sal sure has his head buried in his unfortunately quadrupedal digestive tract. Did we know that already?

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Bye.

  
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2006,05:07   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Dec. 31 2006,01:56)
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 30 2006,23:20)
As a result of this undeserved regeneration, he now understands the Bible in a way that is inaccessible to us, the unchosen.

How the #### does Heddle know that he's one of the Chosen Ones, anyway?  Did God mail him an advance prepaid ticket to Heaven, or something?

Or is Heddle just arrogant, self-righteous, pride-filled and holier-than-thou (literally) enough to simply assume that he MUST be one of the Chosen Ones, since he is so, ya know, holy and all . . . .?

EMail from God@yahoo.com maybe?

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
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keiths



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2006,06:54   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Dec. 31 2006,01:50)
         
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 30 2006,23:20)
He just happened to be one of the lucky ones that God picked to regenerate.

Then, uh, what's the point to his preaching . . .?  If it's all already decided, then, um, what difference does his preaching make . . .?

That's one of the interesting aspects of Calvinism.  Even though it's all predetermined, someone still has to go through the motions of preaching the Gospel to the chosen ones (aka "the elect") in order to accomplish their (inevitable) conversion.

It turns out that Heddle even has a post on the topic.  Excerpts:
Quote
Regular readers know that I am strongly in the Calvinistic predestination camp. There may be suspicion that this view disinclines me as to the merits of missionary work and evangelism. If so, that reflects an inaccurate view of Calvinism. Proper Reformed teaching states that, at least in the normative sense, man must hear the gospel in order to be saved (Rom. 10:13-15).
Quote
Now it is true that as a Calvinist I view missionary work different from an Arminian. I think a missionary should have this point of view:
Quote
God, grant me the privilege of being used to preach your gospel.

Rather than  
Quote
God, I want to reach the unsaved and help them to accept Christ as their "personal Lord and Savior".

This is an important clue as to why Heddle isn't bothered by the chilly reception his religious views get here. His job is not to convince anyone; God will take care of swaying the elect.  Heddle merely needs to keep preaching, regardless of the feedback (or lack thereof) he's getting from his audience.

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2006,08:06   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Dec. 31 2006,01:56)
Quote (keiths @ Dec. 30 2006,23:20)
As a result of this undeserved regeneration, he now understands the Bible in a way that is inaccessible to us, the unchosen.

How the #### does Heddle know that he's one of the Chosen Ones, anyway?  Did God mail him an advance prepaid ticket to Heaven, or something?

Or is Heddle just arrogant, self-righteous, pride-filled and holier-than-thou (literally) enough to simply assume that he MUST be one of the Chosen Ones, since he is so, ya know, holy and all . . . .?

Don't get him started on his ability to determine who is and is not a true Christian.  Apparently, he has the magical ability to hold forth on that topic, and pronounce anyone as not a True Christian.  And, when you point out the No True Scotsman, he has the magical ability to point out that it's not true since he really can tell who is a Christian and who isn't, since some obscure passage of the Bible shows the apostles rebuking some guy for trying to buy the gift of god.  (Acts 8)

Yeah, if ya'll figure that one out, let me know.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2006,08:27   

Quote (keiths @ Dec. 31 2006,06:54)
Heddle merely needs to keep preaching, regardless of the feedback (or lack thereof) he's getting from his audience.

Well, as Abbie Hoffman once famously said, "There are times when the only proper intellectual response is, 'F*ck you'.  "

(shrug)

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bystander



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2006,19:44   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 30 2006,14:15)
I'm afraid Heddle is back to saying really stoopid things:

 
Quote
 
Quote
Au contraire -- it is precisely information that atheists demand before they switch sides. Information, in the form of empirical evidence, is the basis for belief for an atheist. The very fact that the available information has not convinced us atheists of the existence of Thomas' god should tell him something about the quality of the information.

Or, it should tell you something about the nature/process of regeneration which is not
1) I hear the gospel or read the bible
2) I accept it as reasonable
3) I eventually believe
4) I am regenerated (born again) as a reward for my belief
If that's the case, then you are correct in your assessment of Cal Thomas on this point. However, if the actual process of conversion (then one I believe is supported by the bible) is:
1) I, like everyone else in their natural state, find the gospel and the bible to be utter foolishness
2) Nevertheless at some point I am regenerated (not because of anything I've done)
3) I now respond to the bible and the gospel, and no longer find them foolish
then he is right (on this point.) In other words, like all atheists, especially the smarter ones, you assume that you are an atheist because you weigh and easily reject the evidence. The reverse is actually true. You have the process bass-ackwards. You are stuck, from all indications and hopefully just for the moment, on step 1 of the second flow chart.
Posted by: David Heddle | December 29, 2006 05:11 PM


Well this is testable. We should find a stack of atheists waking up being Calvanists. Unfortunately, the conversions are one way, educated Atheists never (with one exception) never reconvert.

Quote
 
Quote
Au contraire -- it is precisely information that atheists demand before they switch sides. Information, in the form of empirical evidence, is the basis for belief for an atheist. The very fact that the available information has not convinced us atheists of the existence of Thomas' god should tell him something about the quality of the information.

Or, it should tell you something about the nature/process of regeneration which is not
1) I hear the gospel or read the bible
2) I accept it as reasonable
3) I eventually believe
4) I am regenerated (born again) as a reward for my belief
If that's the case, then you are correct in your assessment of Cal Thomas on this point. However, if the actual process of conversion (then one I believe is supported by the bible) is:
1) I, like everyone else in their natural state, find the gospel and the bible to be utter foolishness
2) Nevertheless at some point I am regenerated (not because of anything I've done)
3) I now respond to the bible and the gospel, and no longer find them foolish
then he is right (on this point.) In other words, like all atheists, especially the smarter ones, you assume that you are an atheist because you weigh and easily reject the evidence. The reverse is actually true. You have the process bass-ackwards. You are stuck, from all indications and hopefully just for the moment, on step 1 of the second flow chart.
Posted by: David Heddle | December 29, 2006 05:11 PM


Well this is testable. We should find a stack of atheists waking up being Calvanists. Unfortunately, the conversions are one way, educated Atheists never (with one exception) never reconvert.

  
heddle



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2007,08:11   

GCT,

I’m sure it doesn’t matter to you, but by opinion of you has degraded from one of the more interesting critics to perhaps the most dishonest. There is nothing on the thread to which you refer that remotely sates that I claim to be able to tell who is a true Christian.

Any reasonable person reading that thread would acknowledge that what I wrote, quite clearly, is that the bible instructs us to judge those who claim to be Christian, and to judge them by their works—specifically because we do not have any ability to see if someone is a “true” Christian. If we had the ability to see, we wouldn’t need to judge at all. But scripture has many examples of people who claim to be Christians but are not, and a guidebook for judging them and throwing them out of the church—even if they claim to be Christians. (The passage  to which you refer, involving Simon the Magician in Acts 8, is one of the more famous in the New Testament—I’m not sure why you think it is obscure.)

When anyone: I, the church, or any other Christian states: X is not a Christian--in spite of his claim to the contrary what is being stated is that it is by our actions that we are to be known, and your actions (e.g., Fred Phelps) are so contrary to Christ's teachings as I/we understand them, that, as instructed by the bible in such cases, we will treat you as a non Christian.

At most you can say that "You are not a true Christian" is sloppy language for the more precise "although I can't say whether you're a Christian or not, by all indications you are not, so I will treat you accordingly."

No, I don’t claim to be able to tell who is a true Christian. What I claimed was: we are instructed to judge people by their fruit, and if there is no evidence and especially (as in the case of Fred Phelps) there is counter evidence, then treat them as if they were not Christians. This is what excommunication, a practice with crystal clear biblical support, is all about.

In the Corinthian Church (1 Cor 6) there was a man sleeping with his father's wife (his step mother, it appears.) Paul instructed, by letter--excommunicate him. He wrote: "And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present." It wouldn't matter if the man claimed: "But I am a Christian--this makes us happy and I'm sure God wants us to be happy! I am a Christian!"

And, by the way, Paul didn't add: "And only I, as an apostle, can make this sort of judgment." On the contrary, he scolded the church for not having already acted on their own.

I'm sure GCT would have spoken up for this man: he claims to be a Christian, who are we to state otherwise?

On that basis I claim that Fred Phelps (our example) is not a Christian, and should he not repent I fully expect that he’ll rot forever in he77. But I could be wrong, as I stated in that thread. However, based on biblical instruction, I am going to treat him as a non-Christian until such time he demonstrates the fruits of the faith he claims.

Of course, the real problem here is not that you’re offended that I don’t think Phelps is a Christian; the real problem is that it is so convenient to have Phelps labeled as a Christian—so much easier for you to attack Christianity if its representatives include Phelps.

Tell me, if a moderate Moslem were to say that the 9/11 terrorists were not “true Moslems” would you charge him with the “True Scotsman” Fallacy?

Will you go on record that the 9/11 terrorists are just as much "true Moslems" as any other person claiming that faith?

I’ll reuse the True Scotsman vignette from that threat:

The scene: someone who denies the trinity, the resurrection, and the divinity of Christ still calls himself a Christian because he thinks Jesus' moral teachings are neat-o.

Heddle: he denies the trinity, the resurrection, and deity of Christ, he is not a Christian! I don't care if he claims to be one or not, there is a certain minimum set of truths that any Christian would affirm!

GCT et al: No, if he claims to be a Christian, he IS!! Who are you to say otherwise!! If Nazis claim to be Christians, they are! If klansmen claim to be Christians, they are! If Fred Phelps claims to be a Christian, he IS! No True Scotsman Fallacy, No True Scotsman Fallacy, No True Scotsman Fallacy!!!

Heddle: OK, but what if I say: I believe in evolution—in fact I think the diversity of life comes entirely from evolution--God reached down and made every single genetic change supernaturally and the species evolved one into another! I AM AN EVOLUTIONIST!!

GCT et al: Huh! You may call yourself an evolutionist, but you're NOT!

Heddle: But…No True Scotsman Fallacy!

Heddle And although some Nazis claimed to be Christians and adopted some trappings of Christianity, some also claimed scientific support from evolutionary ideas…

GCT et al: No no no! They were Christians because, they claimed to be! But they were not true evolutionists, just because they claimed to be!

Heddle: But…No True Scotsman Fallacy!

GCT et al: *Sigh* no, it’s just different!! The True Scotsman Fallacy, er, only applies to Christians who want to set limits on orthodoxy, the intolerant bastards! But we certainly get to say who is a “real” scientist because—er—that’s different!

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2007,09:12   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 01 2007,08:11)
GCT,

I’m sure it doesn’t matter to you, but by opinion of you has degraded from one of the more interesting critics to perhaps the most dishonest. There is nothing on the thread to which you refer that remotely sates that I claim to be able to tell who is a true Christian.

Bullsh*t.  You claim to be able to tell if Fred Phelps is a "True Christian."

Quote
When anyone: I, the church, or any other Christian states: X is not a Christian--in spite of his claim to the contrary what is being stated is that it is by our actions that we are to be known, and your actions (e.g., Fred Phelps) are so contrary to Christ's teachings as I/we understand them, that, as instructed by the bible in such cases, we will treat you as a non Christian.


Translation:  Even though I just said I can't tell who is a true Christian, I can.  Nevermind the fact that it is all based on my ad hoc definition and my personal interpretation of scripture.

Quote
No, I don’t claim to be able to tell who is a true Christian. What I claimed was: we are instructed to judge people by their fruit, and if there is no evidence and especially (as in the case of Fred Phelps) there is counter evidence, then treat them as if they were not Christians. This is what excommunication, a practice with crystal clear biblical support, is all about.


First off, quit contradicting yourself.  Second, it is only by your very possibly faulty interpretation that Phelps is not acting in a "Christian way" as defined by your interpretation.  It's circular logic at its finest.  Last, do you have the ability to excommunicate?

Quote
In the Corinthian Church (1 Cor 6) there was a man sleeping with his father's wife (his step mother, it appears.) Paul instructed, by letter--excommunicate him. He wrote: "And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present." It wouldn't matter if the man claimed: "But I am a Christian--this makes us happy and I'm sure God wants us to be happy! I am a Christian!"

For disobeying a cut and dried letter of the law.  Does it mean that the person wasn't a True Christian?  It just means that he was cast from the Church, but it doesn't touch on what he had in his heart.  If everyone who broke some law (sinned) were cast from the Church, there would be no Christians left.

Quote
And, by the way, Paul didn't add: "And only I, as an apostle, can make this sort of judgment." On the contrary, he scolded the church for not having already acted on their own.

I'm sure GCT would have spoken up for this man: he claims to be a Christian, who are we to state otherwise?

I would certainly wonder how anyone could tell what what was in his heart if they claimed to have that ability.

Quote
On that basis I claim that Fred Phelps (our example) is not a Christian, and should he not repent I fully expect that he’ll rot forever in he77. But I could be wrong, as I stated in that thread. However, based on biblical instruction, I am going to treat him as a non-Christian until such time he demonstrates the fruits of the faith he claims.


Or until he acts as you self-righteously know he is supposed to act based on your self-evidently correct interpretation of the Bible.

Quote
Of course, the real problem here is not that you’re offended that I don’t think Phelps is a Christian; the real problem is that it is so convenient to have Phelps labeled as a Christian—so much easier for you to attack Christianity if its representatives include Phelps.

And you have it completely backwards.  You are embarrassed of Phelps, so you try to dissociate yourself from him instead of dealing with the problem.  If you are unhappy with his actions, why don't you do something about them, instead of just trying to disown him and wipe your hands clean?

Quote
Tell me, if a moderate Moslem were to say that the 9/11 terrorists were not “true Moslems” would you charge him with the “True Scotsman” Fallacy?

Yes.

Quote
Will you go on record that the 9/11 terrorists are just as much "true Moslems" as any other person claiming that faith?

I will go on record as saying that I think it is a logical fallacy for Muslims to simply try to disown the 9/11 attackers.

Quote
I’ll reuse the True Scotsman vignette from that threat: [snipped for brevity and to save some of Mr. Heddle's dignity]

And, I'll repeat that that is a straw man.  That is not my argument, that is not the sense that I use the No True Scotsman fallacy, and that scenario has never even come close to happening.  And, you dare to call me the dishonest one here?  You might want to check out the log in your eye before trying to remove the splinter in mine.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2007,09:47   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 01 2007,08:11)
There is nothing on the thread to which you refer that remotely sates that I claim to be able to tell who is a true Christian.

So you can't tell who is a Christian and who isn't, you aren't any holier than anyone else, you don't know any more about God than anyone else does, you're not God's Spokesman ™©,  and your religious opinions aren't any better than anyone else's.

So why, again, should anyone listen to a word you say . . . . . ?

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2007,09:57   

Hey Heddle, since you are such a Bible expert and all, I'm curious about something:


"Exodus 22:18 -- "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."


(1) Do you think supernatural witches and witchcraft actually exist?

(2)  If so, do you think they should be killed?


"And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." (Matthew 10:7-8)


(1) Do you think that supernatural devils and demons actually possess people?

(2) If so, do YOU have the ability to cast out these demons and devils?


No sermons necessary, Davey -- just a simple "yes" or "no" will do fine.  I just want to see how nutty you really are.

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"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2007,10:01   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 01 2007,08:11)
On that basis I claim that Fred Phelps (our example) is not a Christian

How dreadful.  (yawn)

And we should care what you claim because . . . . . . . ?

Who the #### are you, again . . . . . .?

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ScaryFacts



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2007,10:03   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 01 2007,09:11)
On that basis I claim that Fred Phelps (our example) is not a Christian, and should he not repent I fully expect that he’ll rot forever in he77. But I could be wrong, as I stated in that thread. However, based on biblical instruction, I am going to treat him as a non-Christian until such time he demonstrates the fruits of the faith he claims.

Dr. Heddle,

With all due respect...

Calvin tortured and murdered several dozen people in the name of Christ--by your definition was Calvin a Christian?

   
djmullen



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2007,00:40   

How on earth can you say that Klansmen aren't Christians?  It's a REQUIREMENT for joining!

What the heck do you think they burn, Stars of David?

Newton didn't believe in the trinity.  Was he a Christian?

How can you say the Nazis weren't Christians?  Where else did their anti-Semitism come from?  Do you think that all started with Hitler?

  
heddle



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2007,08:07   

Djmullen,

Was your post serious, or a parody? I truly don’t know. Although you might disagree with my point that:

Claiming to be a Christian does not make you one, even if you think that it does, and even if you are sincere in your belief. And that some people/organizations adopt the trappings of Christianity for their own vile purposes. And therefore I don’t believe that Phelps is a Christian, or that the “Nazis” or the Klan are Christians organizations.


Your response is along the lines of: whaddya mean the Nazis and the Klan aren’t Christians—don’t you know they claim to be?

This, at the very least, misses the boat.

p.s. You should read up on what I had assumed was now common knowledge—that the Nazis had a plan to persecute the Christian church. You can read about it here.  So far, no Nazi plan to persecute evolutionists has been uncovered, as far as I know.

For a thumbnail of what you'll find:

The editor of the Nuremberg project, Julie Mandel, quoted in the Phildelphia Inquirer, Jan. 9, 2002:

 
Quote
A lot of people will say, 'I didn’t realize that they were trying to convert Christians to a Nazi philosophy.' … They wanted to eliminate the Jews altogether, but they were also looking to eliminate Christianity.


And from a 1945 OSS report:

 
Quote
Important leaders of the National Socialist party would have liked to meet this situation [church influence] by complete extirpation of Christianity and the substitution of a purely racial religion


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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
ScaryFacts



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2007,08:27   

Dr. Heddle,

Possibly you thought my question about Calvin was meant as a jab to be taken rhetorically.  I was truly asking for your opinion.

I tend to believe Calvin did not display any level of Christian fruit and, while he may have been correct in some of his scholarship, he himself was not a Christian.

And about predestination and election:  What are your thoughts on determinism?

   
heddle



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2007,09:18   

ScaryFacts,

Of course I think Calvin was a Christian. He was one of the great Christian theologians of all time, and he preached the gospel (our first and foremost requirement as Christians) throughout his life.

As for committing murder, I would dispute that, although at some level it doesn’t matter. If he did, he certainly isn’t the first Christian to do so nor the last.

And you should study the history carefully—I don’t know where your number of a few dozen tortured and murdered comes from. The most famous Geneva death penalty case is Sevetus, which I wrote about here.

(scroll down to the heading: “The Burning of Servetus”)

Calvin and others spent a great deal of time trying to get Servetus to recant his apostasy. When that didn’t happen, Calvin lobbied the Geneva magistrates (who had sentenced Servetus to death—Calvin didn’t) to behead Servetus rather than burn him to death. They refused. Calvin always believed that the execution was justified under the Leviticus instruction to kill blasphemers. Whether this makes him a murderer or not is a matter of debate—but as I said, it doesn’t matter. His whole life was a testimony of his love for God. You’ll recall that the man (other than Christ) most highly regarded in scripture (in terms of the number of times his heart is mentioned) is David, who committed what is unambiguously an act of murder. About the Geneva government, and one area in which I definitely think Calvin was wrong: he favored a theocracy. Geneva, however, demonstrated that even with the most biblically-sound doctrine, theocracies fail miserably. Fortunately the losers in the Reformed theocracies, the Baptists, to protect themselves from other Christians, more or less invented the idea of separation of church and state, so something good came from it.

As for predestination and election and determinism, I can only guess that your question is related to the misconception that Calvinism (more properly: Augustianism) negates the free will. Nothing could be further from the truth. Augustianism teaches that you have a free will, you choose God with that free will, and you’ll take that same free will with you to heaven. If you are interested in my details on my take on this, see here

If you want a really good, readable, and short book on the subject, get RC Sproul’s Chosen by God.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
keiths



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2007,09:48   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 02 2007,09:18)
Calvin always believed that the execution was justified under the Leviticus instruction to kill blasphemers. Whether this makes him a murderer or not is a matter of debate—but as I said, it doesn’t matter. His whole life was a testimony of his love for God.

I guess killing blasphemers isn't such a horrible thing, as long as you do it out of love for God.

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

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ScaryFacts



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2007,10:27   

Quote
The pattern held up was that of the Old Testament, although Christians were supposed to enjoy Gospel liberty. In November, 1552, the Council declared that Calvin's "Institutes" were a "holy doctrine which no man might speak against." Thus the State issued dogmatic decrees, the force of which had been anticipated earlier, as when Jacques Gouet was imprisoned on charges of impiety in June, 1547, and after severe torture was beheaded in July. Some of the accusations brought against the unhappy young man were frivolous, others doubtful. What share, if any, Calvin took in this judgment is not easy to ascertain. The execution of however must be laid at his door; it has given greater offence by far than the banishment of Castellio or the penalties inflicted on Bolsec -- moderate men opposed to extreme views in discipline and doctrine, who fell under suspicion as reactionary. The Reformer did not shrink from his self-appointed task. Within five years fifty-eight sentences of death and seventy-six of exile, besides numerous committals of the most eminent citizens to prison, took place in Geneva. The iron yoke could not be shaken off. In 1555, under Ami Perrin, a sort of revolt was attempted. No blood was shed, but Perrin lost the day, and Calvin's theocracy triumphed.


(http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03195b.htm)

Under his control people who disagreed with his theology were tortured and killed.

I have read your argument that “this was a different time” and that Calvin had the backing of leaders in the protestant church.  But I disagree with that assessment.  Calvin was a highly educated, intelligent and deliberative man.  If you claim he was so in love with Jesus (and presumably filled with the Holy Spirit, obedient to God) then how did he miss the compelling fruits of the Spirit which would have precluded such actions?

Supposedly as the Spirit works in us we are not “conformed to the pattern of this world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds” just so we can know God’s will (Rom 12:1-2)  Unless I am misreading your point you are insisting his despicable conduct was totally forgivable since he was simply a product of his time.

Did this brilliant theologian lack the ability to be transformed by the Holy Spirit?

This is where you and I differ, and I believe it is at the heart of the argument of “fruit inspection”—we can arbitral ally overlook some sins and not others.  Theocracy or not, I don’t believe anyone today would see this as Christian behavior.

So Dr. Heddle, do you believe torture and execution are a valid way to deal with heresy?  As Calvin’s apologist you have to not only show why it was a perfectly Christian thing to do in the 16th century and why it is not a Christian thing to do today.

I admit there may be other options, but at this point I am not seeing them.  I am perfectly open to hear any other options you may have.

About free will and determinism…

I wasn’t trying to imply that Calvinism negated free will.  Instead, I believe determinism is likely the best interpretation for the variety of scriptures that picture God choosing us and us choosing him as well as Romans 9-11.

I would appreciate your feedback on this idea.

Years ago I was reading CS Lewis’ “Letters to Malcolm” when I came across this quote—it has always stuck with me.  To paraphrase:  If God answers prayer at all, He must do so from the foundations of the earth.

I have come to believe (and I think this is consistent with the scriptures) that we have “true” free will (not simply the “illusion”) in that we can make any choice at any time.  However, based on all the things that have happened before (from the foundations of the universe/multiverse) our choice is predictable by an omniscient God.

This depends on several supernatural events since true omniscience is precluded in our current understanding of physics, but I do believe it fits the scriptures.

If my thinking on this is total hogwash, be happy to say so.  I not a theologian nor a physicist.  I do, however, know what the Bible says.

   
heddle



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2007,11:11   

ScaryFacts,

Two points, not meant to exonerate Calvin on this instance but worthy of consideration.

First, the blurb you quoted recognizes that the state carried out these actions and Calvin’s role is difficult to ascertain. Second, although I trust the Catholic Encyclopedia, in fact I think it a tremendous resource,—it’s still the Catholic Encyclopedia, and so it will have its own natural bias, as do we all. It will not be predisposed to paint the reformers in a favorable light, although I believe it does an admirable job of being objective.

And you are misreading if you think I claim that he should be “excused” merely as a product of his time. As for anyone, his time and his culture must be factored into in fair assessment of his flaws, but I don’t think it provides a blanket excuse.

But none of that matters. I can agree that Calvin was wrong in his vision of theonomy. All that means is that Calvin was wrong. Although we are to be transformed, as you point out, scripture is crystal clear that none of us will be transformed perfectly. The biblical heroes demonstrate such imperfections, some to a startling degree. Calvin was transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, as far as I can judge—which again I can only base on his good works—but he should not be held to a standard of perfection. He preached the gospel all his life—which is what we are supposed to do. He also dedicated his life to defending the faith through apologetics—which is something else we are called to do.

Quote
So Dr. Heddle, do you believe torture and execution are a valid way to deal with heresy?


No I don’t. I have written and spoken many times against theonomy and the basing of our civil law on Old Testament law. I have written many times in favor of the separation of church and state. There are two main reasons I am against theonomy. The first and most important is that I don’t see any New Testament mandate for it—in fact I see something of the opposite. The other is that, as Calvin’s Geneva demonstrated to my mind anyway, it would fail miserably—as Christians are just as susceptible to being corrupted by power. However—had I been there, in Geneva, at that time, during the Reformation—might I have gotten caught up with the notion of a theocracy based on Old Testament Law? Quite possibly.

Maybe what you are getting at is how can I judge Calvin as a Christian and Phelps as a fraud? It is because in the totality of Calvin’s life I see a man dedicating his life to God’s glory, even though he made mistakes. With Phelps I see a man dedicating his life not for God’s glory but for his own—which he acquires through exploitation of hatred and bigotry and general meanness.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
ScaryFacts



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2007,14:05   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 02 2007,12:11)
First, the blurb you quoted recognizes that the state carried out these actions and Calvin’s role is difficult to ascertain.

While I agree Calvin’s role is more civil than spiritual here, this account is consistent not only with what I have read elsewhere, but I believe with things you have written yourself.
 
Quote (heddle @ Jan. 02 2007,12:11)
Second, although I trust the Catholic Encyclopedia, in fact I think it a tremendous resource,—it’s still the Catholic Encyclopedia, and so it will have its own natural bias, as do we all. It will not be predisposed to paint the reformers in a favorable light, although I believe it does an admirable job of being objective.

Agreed, and I had the same thought myself.  One of the problems with church history is most of it came through the custody of the Roman Church, which was not always pre-disposed to treat reformers fairly.

But I didn’t see anything in this account which seemed inconsistent with others I’ve read—I used this one because it was online and I didn’t have to dust off any books!
 
Quote (heddle @ Jan. 02 2007,12:11)
Calvin was transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, as far as I can judge—which again I can only base on his good works—but he should not be held to a standard of perfection.

Moses was a bad husband.  David a bad father, adulterer and murderer. Paul was possibly a bad husband.  Were they servants of God?  Without question.

Was Calvin a Christian?  That’s the problem with looking at issues this way—you are convinced by the totality of his life he must have been; I respectfully see the opposite.

Does a man have to be perfect?  No.  Somewhere there is a line—you don’t have to be a perfect husband, but you can’t live in adultery, etc.  I don’t think any of us knows exactly where that line is.

And a major difference between David and Calvin is David’s repentance.

Certainly most of Christendom agrees with your assessment, which likely means you are correct.  Still, I see so many non-Christians pointing to things like this to say “see, look who these Christians are—genocide, rape, torture…”

I’ll let this go and go back to reading Phil 3:15.

Peace.

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2007,17:51   

Hey Heddle, since you are such a Bible expert and all, I'm curious about something:


"Exodus 22:18 -- "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."


(1) Do you think supernatural witches and witchcraft actually exist?

(2)  If so, do you think they should be killed?


"And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." (Matthew 10:7-8)


(1) Do you think that supernatural devils and demons actually possess people?

(2) If so, do YOU have the ability to cast out these demons and devils?


No sermons necessary, Davey -- just a simple "yes" or "no" will do fine.  I just want to see how nutty you really are.

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www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2007,17:58   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 02 2007,11:11)
Calvin was transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, as far as I can judge

And we should give a flying fig about your, uh, "judgement" why, again . . . . ?

Who the #### are YOU, again . . . . . ?

You are just a man, Davey.  Just a man.  You are no holier than anyone else, you don't know any more about God than anyone else does, your interpretations of the Bible are no better than anyone else's, your "judgements" are no more binding than anyone else's are, and your religious opinions aren't any more authoritative than are mine, my next door neighbor's, my car mechanic's, or the kid who delivers my pizzas.

You, uh, seem to forget that from time to time.

No need to thank me for reminding you.  I'm very happy to do it.  I rather enjoy deflating self-righteous pride-filled arrogant holier-than-thou (literally) pricks like you.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com