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Re: some books to look at . . .

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  • LucasPA@aol.com
    ... causes; ... The ... Philosophical naturalism is everyone s synonym for atheism. Yes, ID s real enemy is not science but atheism and they continually miss
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 1, 2000
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      > let me quote the very first sentence in
      > Dembski's book: "Intelligent design is three things; a scientific
      > research program that investigates the effects of intelligent
      causes;
      > an intellectual movement that challenges Darwinism and its
      > naturalistic legacy; and a way of understanding divine action".
      The
      > title of the first chapter is "Recognizing the Divine Finger".
      >
      > It seems as though, contrary to all the IDer's yammering, ID
      > "theory" is in fact nothing more than an attempt to "understand
      > divine action" and to combat science's "naturalism" (which is the
      > creationist code word for "atheism").
      >
      Philosophical naturalism is everyone's synonym for atheism.

      Yes, ID's real enemy is not science but atheism and they continually
      miss the real target and hit science instead.

      However, the sentence you quoted shows how ID should be challenged by
      the scientific community.
      1. Dembski does claim it is a research program. Therefore evaluate
      it as you would any other scientific theory: does it explain the
      physical universe? is it consistent? is it fruitful? As a scientific
      theory ID fails.

      2. The second phrase is philosophical. It equates Darwinism with a
      philosophical position. So the way to counter that is to show that
      science's naturalism is methodological and not philosophical. And
      that science's philosophical position is agnostic, not atheist. Of
      course, this means correcting those scientists who state their
      personal philosophical opinion as though it were science, but
      preserving the integrity of science demands that we do this anyway.
      One salient point to use here is Darwin's own admission that when he
      discovered natural selection he was a theist, combined with several
      quotes available from Origin showing that Darwin didn't think
      evolution meant atheism. Of course, there is always the Voices for
      Evolution section on the AAAS website:
      http://www.aaas.org/spp/dspp/dbsr/evol.htm

      3. The final point, understanding divine action, is exactly how
      Darwin perceived evolution by natural selection anyway. Darwin
      deliberately put Origin smack dab in the middle of the natural
      theology tradition. Like Kepler and Newton thinking that they had
      found deity's way of keeping the planets in orbit, Darwin thought he
      had found deity's way of creating new species.

      What Dembski (and all IDers) want is a supernatural way for deity to
      act. This is their theological problem, not a problem for science.
      So this point can be countered simply by saying that evolution can be
      viewed by theists as exactly what Dembski wants: action of the
      divine. Arguing that evolution does not involve the divine puts you
      in the atheism/theism debate, not the evolution/creationism debate.
      >
      >
      > Oh, I also picked up a copy of Niles Eldredge's new book "The
      > Triumph of Evolution", which deals solely with creationism. Very
      > good. Eldredge does a great job of pointing out how silly and
      vapid
      > creationists are (and also describes firsthand the dishonest
      > treatment he got at the hands of creationsit quote-monger Luther
      > Sunderland).
      >
      The new book is a re-write of Eldredge's earlier book The Monkey
      Business, a Scientist Looks at Creationism. It has been updated and
      added to a bit, but most is identical to the earlier work.

      One addition is the following:
      "Nor do I think we can afford these stupid culture wars, with people
      like Phillip Johnson getting upset that his version of God seems
      threatened because scientists have discovered that life developed
      over 3.5 billion years ago on the planet and feel that they can
      explain how that happened through purely natural causes. Nor can we
      afford the arrogant intolerance of the scientists who claim that
      their science -- evolution in particular -- demonstrates
      unequivocally that there is no God. Niles Eldredge, The Triumph of
      Evolution and the Failure of Creationism pages 168-169.

      Looking only at ID obscures another problem facing science: the
      attempt of some people to have science validate their faith of
      atheism.

      BTW, Finding Darwin's God does a much better job of refuting ID than
      Eldredge's book.
    • LucasPA@aol.com
      ... Not exactly. The problem is that to introduce a deity, you have to propose a mechanism of how that deity worked. The underlying mechanism for ID is
      Message 2 of 13 , Nov 1, 2000
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        > At face value, a "neutral" method of introducing the idea of a
        > designer into question.

        Not exactly. The problem is that to introduce a deity, you have to
        propose a mechanism of how that deity worked. The underlying
        mechanism for ID is "miracle" or instantaneous formation in final
        form. Thus, ID mistakenly says that long, gradual, or "natural"
        processes are evidence that an ID is NOT operating. IDers, in
        various publications, do eventually get specific that they are
        counting on "gaps" that can't be explained by any other process.


        > I hate to throw stones, but the more I hear from Creation Science,
        > the more I'm starting to find it untrustworthy. Why does everything
        > seem to me to be working backwards in Creation Science? Why does it
        > appear to distort the scientific method, by using it in reverse
        order?

        Because, historically, creationism was THE accepted scientific theory
        in the 1700s to about 1830. As the scientific method was applied (by
        Christians) it slowly falsified creationism. So, to revive
        creationism they had to discard all the science, and the methodology,
        that falsified it in the first place.

        > > The
        > > title of the first chapter is "Recognizing the Divine Finger".
        >
        > How about "Why I Believe In God." That seems more appropriate.
        >
        IDers don't want "belief", they want PROOF. In actuality, IDers are
        very low on faith. What they want is to prove the existence of a
        deity through study of nature. The present condition of science,
        where deity is possible but not shown to be necessary is intolerable
        to them. What they want to do is restore the philosophical condition
        that existed prior to Darwin, where the Argument from Design was
        unanswerable except in terms of a deity. Darwin showed that natural
        selection is a designer, and that blew the Argument from Design as
        proof of deity away.

        > Then that's their business. If true, it is unfortunate that people
        > would categorize ALL scientists that way.

        Yes, but the fault of that lies just as much with atheism as it does
        with IDers. Eldredge's "arrogant atheistic scientists" portray
        science as atheism without any disclaimers that they are stating
        their own personal beliefs. Fortunately, more and more scientists
        are calling their atheistic colleagues to task. I can see the fruits
        of this in the milder statements by Dawkins in Climbing Mt.
        Improbable.

        For instance, how many atheists ever acknowledge the theistic
        statements in Origin of the Species or that Dobzhansky was a devout
        Christian who, in addition to being a co-discoverer of the Modern
        Synthesis, wrote theological essays? Darwin held off publishing for
        20 years for equal fear of creationist retaliation and misuse of his
        theory by atheists (Desmond and Moore, Darwin). He avoided the first
        but the second fear was well-founded.

        > > Does anybody still think ID isn't just a religious crusade?
        >
        > Nope. I grow suspect of it, considering the hostilities encountered
        > whenever aliens are mentioned in the context of their scientific
        > arguments. This is obviously because they believe that God is
        > actually the one doing the designing, but they are either afraid or
        > perhaps even deceptive in their refusal to directly admit to the
        > Creator being the one responsible for our Universe, which, I might
        > add,
        > is probably due to the fact that they are trying to stress it in a
        > context presentable to the public school system at large.

        Yes. If you visit the ARN website (www.arn.org) the mask of the
        identity of the "designer" is dropped. There's no doubt there that
        they are talking about yhwh. Nor is there in Johnson's latest book
        for the lay public, which makes no bones about having yhwh create.

        HOWEVER, as long as they maintain the fiction that ID is a scientific
        theory, the way to counter them is to refute the claims
        scientifically while stressing that refuting ID does not threaten
        their faith.
      • Purifyit@aol.com
        In a message dated 11/1/00 2:01:05 PM Eastern Standard Time, LucasPA@aol.com ... Winston No, I think science is the target. By attacking science the
        Message 3 of 13 , Nov 1, 2000
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          In a message dated 11/1/00 2:01:05 PM Eastern Standard Time, LucasPA@...
          writes:


          Philosophical naturalism is everyone's synonym for atheism.

          Yes, ID's real enemy is not science but atheism and they continually
          miss the real target and hit science instead.


          Winston
          No, I think science is the target.  By attacking science the fundamentalist
          are trying to take away atheist's philosophical grounds.  If one can make
          science reveal the "divine" then we atheist are just wrong in stating that
          life as we know it does not require divine intervention.  Therefore, science
          is indeed the target.  How else can they brain wash young minds?

          However, the sentence you quoted shows how ID should be challenged by
          the scientific community.
          1. Dembski does claim it is a research program.  Therefore evaluate
          it as you would any other scientific theory: does it explain the
          physical universe? is it consistent? is it fruitful?  As a scientific
          theory ID fails.


          Winston
          That is precisely why scientist don't bother taking ID seriously.  What are
          scientist to do?  Write a proposal for the scientific detection of God,
          little green men or space traveling biochemist?

          2. The second phrase is philosophical. It equates Darwinism with a
          philosophical position.  So the way to counter that is to show that
          science's naturalism is methodological and not philosophical. And
          that science's philosophical position is agnostic, not atheist.  Of
          course, this means correcting those scientists who state their
          personal philosophical opinion as though it were science, but
          preserving the integrity of science demands that we do this anyway.
          One salient point to use here is Darwin's own admission that when he
          discovered natural selection he was a theist, combined with several
          quotes available from Origin showing that Darwin didn't think
          evolution meant atheism.  Of course, there is always the Voices for
          Evolution section on the AAAS website:  
          http://www.aaas.org/spp/dspp/dbsr/evol.htm

          Winston
          I wholeheartedly agree that science does not take a position as to the
          existence or lack thereof of any deity.  The fact that I'm an atheist has
          nothing to do with science.  Simply stated science justifies my position as
          an atheist, but it provides no evidence for my atheism.  Science doesn't
          provide evidence for a deity(ies) nor for a lack of deity(ies).  I just don't
          need to accept baloney from any religious dogma, whether christian, budhist
          or whatever.  

          3. The final point, understanding divine action, is exactly how
          Darwin perceived evolution by natural selection anyway.  Darwin
          deliberately put Origin smack dab in the middle of the natural
          theology tradition.  Like Kepler and Newton thinking that they had
          found deity's way of keeping the planets in orbit, Darwin thought he
          had found deity's way of creating new species.  


          Winston
          My best understanding of what Darwin's position was is that of an agnostic.  
          I'm definitely not a Darwin scholar, and I have heard many conflicting
          theories about what Darwin actually thought.  However, what Darwin thought is
          beside the point.  The fact is that evolutionary theory debunked special
          creation, and therefore gave us atheist better philosophical grounds to stand
          on.

          What Dembski (and all IDers) want is a supernatural way for deity to
          act.  This is their theological problem, not a problem for science.  
          So this point can be countered simply by saying that evolution can be
          viewed by theists as exactly what Dembski wants: action of the
          divine. Arguing that evolution does not involve the divine puts you
          in the atheism/theism debate, not the evolution/creationism debate.


          Winston
          Yes!  A believer can argue that evolution is the divine method.  I can
          respect this position even if it is a position of faith.  I personally
          believe that theists that can reconcile their religious beliefs with science
          without bastardizing science have more faith than any creationist.  I wish
          creationist would realize that their positions simply show how weak their
          faith is.

          Before you argue that atheism is a position of faith, I must say that my
          atheism is due to the fact that I see no evidence for a creator(s), and that
          *I* equate this to my not believing in alien abductions, therapeutic touch
          healing, magnetic treatment, etc.  There is just no need for me to live my
          life in a religious manner, because I don't believe there is any religious
          deity.  I don't look at this as faith, but rather a lack of faith in
          something that can only be believed without evidence.

          >

          >
          > Oh, I also picked up a copy of Niles Eldredge's new book "The
          > Triumph of Evolution", which deals solely with creationism.  Very
          > good.  Eldredge does a great job of pointing out how silly and
          vapid
          > creationists are (and also describes firsthand the dishonest
          > treatment he got at the hands of creationsit quote-monger Luther
          > Sunderland).
          >
          The new book is a re-write of Eldredge's earlier book The Monkey
          Business, a Scientist Looks at Creationism.  It has been updated and
          added to a bit, but most is identical to the earlier work.

          One addition is the following:
          "Nor do I think we can afford these stupid culture wars, with people
          like Phillip Johnson getting upset that his version of God seems
          threatened because scientists have discovered that life developed
          over 3.5 billion years ago on the planet and feel that they can
          explain how that happened through purely natural causes.  Nor can we
          afford the arrogant intolerance of the scientists who claim that
          their science -- evolution in particular -- demonstrates
          unequivocally that there is no God. Niles Eldredge, The Triumph of
          Evolution and the Failure of Creationism pages 168-169.

          Looking only at ID obscures another problem facing science: the
          attempt of some people to have science validate their faith of
          atheism.

          BTW, Finding Darwin's God does a much better job of refuting ID than
          Eldredge's book.


          I personally enjoyed Robert T. Pennock's "Tower of Babel: The Evidence
          Against The New Creationist".

          Peace!
          Winston Colon-Moran




        • Dave Oldridge
          ... From: To: Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2000 2:55 PM Subject: [DebunkCreation] Re: some books to look at . .
          Message 4 of 13 , Nov 1, 2000
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <LucasPA@...>
            To: <DebunkCreation@egroups.com>
            Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2000 2:55 PM
            Subject: [DebunkCreation] Re: some books to look at . . .


            > > let me quote the very first sentence in
            > > Dembski's book: "Intelligent design is three things; a scientific
            > > research program that investigates the effects of intelligent
            > causes;
            > > an intellectual movement that challenges Darwinism and its
            > > naturalistic legacy; and a way of understanding divine action".
            > The
            > > title of the first chapter is "Recognizing the Divine Finger".
            > >
            > > It seems as though, contrary to all the IDer's yammering, ID
            > > "theory" is in fact nothing more than an attempt to "understand
            > > divine action" and to combat science's "naturalism" (which is the
            > > creationist code word for "atheism").
            > >
            > Philosophical naturalism is everyone's synonym for atheism.
            >
            > Yes, ID's real enemy is not science but atheism and they continually
            > miss the real target and hit science instead.
            >
            > However, the sentence you quoted shows how ID should be challenged by
            > the scientific community.
            > 1. Dembski does claim it is a research program. Therefore evaluate
            > it as you would any other scientific theory: does it explain the
            > physical universe? is it consistent? is it fruitful? As a scientific
            > theory ID fails.

            Been there, done that. Shown that there is a serious flaw in the logic of
            Dembski's "filter." This rarely has any effect on the ID'ist position.
            They merely deny the obvious and continue.

            > 2. The second phrase is philosophical. It equates Darwinism with a
            > philosophical position. So the way to counter that is to show that
            > science's naturalism is methodological and not philosophical. And
            > that science's philosophical position is agnostic, not atheist. Of
            > course, this means correcting those scientists who state their
            > personal philosophical opinion as though it were science, but
            > preserving the integrity of science demands that we do this anyway.
            > One salient point to use here is Darwin's own admission that when he
            > discovered natural selection he was a theist, combined with several
            > quotes available from Origin showing that Darwin didn't think
            > evolution meant atheism. Of course, there is always the Voices for
            > Evolution section on the AAAS website:
            > http://www.aaas.org/spp/dspp/dbsr/evol.htm

            Thte trouble here is that, while a few old-earth theists might appreciate
            the argument, the field is littered with young-earth creationists for whom
            Darwinism means an old earth and apostasy from their chosen bibliolatry.
            They see people like Johnson, Dembski and Behe as potential allies in their
            fight against Darwinism and, quite frankly, I don't see any of these three
            doing anything to discourage them. I have yet, for example, to see Johnson
            make an unequivocal public statement against young-earthism, despite the
            fact that the evidence for an old earth is scientifically sound, cogent, and
            well-researched. Perhaps he prefers book sales to principle, perhaps he is
            not certain himself. I just don't know.

            > 3. The final point, understanding divine action, is exactly how
            > Darwin perceived evolution by natural selection anyway. Darwin
            > deliberately put Origin smack dab in the middle of the natural
            > theology tradition. Like Kepler and Newton thinking that they had
            > found deity's way of keeping the planets in orbit, Darwin thought he
            > had found deity's way of creating new species.

            Again, this may have some effect on old-earth creationists, reconciling them
            with theistic evolution, but it will be of no interest to the young-earthers
            who, if the truth were known, probably make up the largest market for ID
            publications.

            > What Dembski (and all IDers) want is a supernatural way for deity to
            > act. This is their theological problem, not a problem for science.

            Granted, although if they would pay more attention to physics they might
            find that science is of some help in their quest for theological answers.

            > So this point can be countered simply by saying that evolution can be
            > viewed by theists as exactly what Dembski wants: action of the
            > divine. Arguing that evolution does not involve the divine puts you
            > in the atheism/theism debate, not the evolution/creationism debate.

            This has been my main argument against Dembski all along. For me it is ALL
            design and his filter is useless because there is nothing NOT designed to
            use it on for a test (even if its logic was sound which I don't believe it
            is). Essentially, ID, like its sister, special creation, is a claim of
            special miraculous divine intervention in nature. Now I don't rule this
            out, but, following a tradition that is nearly 2000 years old, I do not
            accept it except on strong, positive evidence, much as the Vatican's devil's
            advocate will reject weak claims for the miraculous surrounding a candidate
            for official sainthood.

            The thing is, science is about observing the physical universe and making
            inferences from those observations. Theories must be testable at least to
            the extent that they suggest new observations to seek, if they are to be
            called scientific. Weak negative evidence against an opposing theory is all
            that the ID'ists have so far offered, but they want their theory accepted as
            if they had presented strong positive evidence and they want it taught that
            way. When people like Velikovsky and Von Daniken do this with their
            somewhat less politically sensitive theories, we correctly denote them as
            kooks and pseudoscientists, operating on the fringes, and we ignore their
            ramblings in our school curricula.

            But the ID'ists are making powerful political allies in a bid to have the
            state support their brand of logic. This is bound to increase the
            temperature of the debate and do nothing to improve the logic!
          • Liz Craig
            Lucas, Once again, you make some excellent points. In fact, debunkers have blasted away at the foundations of ID creationism with exactly the ammunition you
            Message 5 of 13 , Nov 1, 2000
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              Lucas,

              Once again, you make some excellent points. In fact, debunkers have
              blasted away at the foundations of ID creationism with exactly the
              ammunition you recommend.

              The discouraging thing about the whole so-called "debate" (which
              doesn't exist in the scientific community, despite ID creationists'
              claims to the contrary) is that those who are predisposed to a certain
              Christian theology which ID creationism affirms are not persuadable by
              reason. It's a matter of faith.

              Fortunately, though, people who know anything about science are
              generally immune to the ID creationists' claims, seeing them for the
              illogical claptrap they are.


              --- LucasPA@... wrote:
              > > let me quote the very first sentence in
              > > Dembski's book: "Intelligent design is three things; a scientific
              > > research program that investigates the effects of intelligent
              > causes;
              > > an intellectual movement that challenges Darwinism and its
              > > naturalistic legacy; and a way of understanding divine action".
              > The
              > > title of the first chapter is "Recognizing the Divine Finger".
              > >
              > > It seems as though, contrary to all the IDer's yammering, ID
              > > "theory" is in fact nothing more than an attempt to "understand
              > > divine action" and to combat science's "naturalism" (which is the
              > > creationist code word for "atheism").
              > >
              > Philosophical naturalism is everyone's synonym for atheism.
              >
              > Yes, ID's real enemy is not science but atheism and they continually
              > miss the real target and hit science instead.
              >
              > However, the sentence you quoted shows how ID should be challenged by
              >
              > the scientific community.
              > 1. Dembski does claim it is a research program. Therefore evaluate
              > it as you would any other scientific theory: does it explain the
              > physical universe? is it consistent? is it fruitful? As a scientific
              >
              > theory ID fails.
              >
              > 2. The second phrase is philosophical. It equates Darwinism with a
              > philosophical position. So the way to counter that is to show that
              > science's naturalism is methodological and not philosophical. And
              > that science's philosophical position is agnostic, not atheist. Of
              > course, this means correcting those scientists who state their
              > personal philosophical opinion as though it were science, but
              > preserving the integrity of science demands that we do this anyway.
              > One salient point to use here is Darwin's own admission that when he
              > discovered natural selection he was a theist, combined with several
              > quotes available from Origin showing that Darwin didn't think
              > evolution meant atheism. Of course, there is always the Voices for
              > Evolution section on the AAAS website:
              > http://www.aaas.org/spp/dspp/dbsr/evol.htm
              >
              > 3. The final point, understanding divine action, is exactly how
              > Darwin perceived evolution by natural selection anyway. Darwin
              > deliberately put Origin smack dab in the middle of the natural
              > theology tradition. Like Kepler and Newton thinking that they had
              > found deity's way of keeping the planets in orbit, Darwin thought he
              > had found deity's way of creating new species.
              >
              > What Dembski (and all IDers) want is a supernatural way for deity to
              > act. This is their theological problem, not a problem for science.
              > So this point can be countered simply by saying that evolution can be
              >
              > viewed by theists as exactly what Dembski wants: action of the
              > divine. Arguing that evolution does not involve the divine puts you
              > in the atheism/theism debate, not the evolution/creationism debate.
              > >
              > >
              > > Oh, I also picked up a copy of Niles Eldredge's new book "The
              > > Triumph of Evolution", which deals solely with creationism. Very
              > > good. Eldredge does a great job of pointing out how silly and
              > vapid
              > > creationists are (and also describes firsthand the dishonest
              > > treatment he got at the hands of creationsit quote-monger Luther
              > > Sunderland).
              > >
              > The new book is a re-write of Eldredge's earlier book The Monkey
              > Business, a Scientist Looks at Creationism. It has been updated and
              > added to a bit, but most is identical to the earlier work.
              >
              > One addition is the following:
              > "Nor do I think we can afford these stupid culture wars, with people
              > like Phillip Johnson getting upset that his version of God seems
              > threatened because scientists have discovered that life developed
              > over 3.5 billion years ago on the planet and feel that they can
              > explain how that happened through purely natural causes. Nor can we
              > afford the arrogant intolerance of the scientists who claim that
              > their science -- evolution in particular -- demonstrates
              > unequivocally that there is no God. Niles Eldredge, The Triumph of
              > Evolution and the Failure of Creationism pages 168-169.
              >
              > Looking only at ID obscures another problem facing science: the
              > attempt of some people to have science validate their faith of
              > atheism.
              >
              > BTW, Finding Darwin's God does a much better job of refuting ID than
              > Eldredge's book.
              >
              >


              =====
              ---------------------------------------------


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            • LucasPA@aol.com
              ... LucasPA@a... ... can make ... stating that ... You atheists are wrong anyway. Because you don t have the evidential support to say that life does not
              Message 6 of 13 , Nov 21, 2000
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                --- In DebunkCreation@egroups.com, Purifyit@a... wrote:
                > In a message dated 11/1/00 2:01:05 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                LucasPA@a...
                > writes:
                >
                > Winston
                > By attacking science the fundamentalist
                > are trying to take away atheist's philosophical grounds. If one
                can make
                > science reveal the "divine" then we atheist are just wrong in
                stating that
                > life as we know it does not require divine intervention.

                You atheists are "wrong" anyway. Because you don't have the
                evidential support to say that life does not REQUIRE divine
                intervention. Post the evidence that deity does NOT superintend
                nature. What experiments have been conducted to show that a) deity
                does not exist or b) deity is not involved in nature?

                What you are up against is limitations <b>within<b> science called
                methodological materialism. As Eugenie Scott put it "Neither 'God
                did it' nor 'God didn't do it' are scientific statements." Atheism
                is a faith just as much as theism is a faith.

                What IDers, and YECers before them, want to do is go back to pre-
                Darwin time where biological organisms constituted "proof" of deity.
                Prior to Darwin, atheists had no answer to biological design. At that
                time the only imaginable cause of design was an intelligent entity.
                What Darwin discovered was an algorithm to get design -- what he
                called natural selection and should more properly be called Darwinian
                selection. Now deity was no longer necessary to get design and
                that "proof" went out the window. All creationists want to go back to
                that time and the biggest failing of ID is the failure to recognize
                that Darwinian selection yields design.

                However, while Darwinian selection made it possible, as Dawkins put
                it, to be "an intellectually fulfilled atheist" it does not "prove"
                the atheist worldview either. Darwin recognized that there was no
                way to tell if Darwinian selection or ANY natural process could
                proceed without deity. All that can be said is that, IF you believe
                in a deity, then science gives the MATERIAL method by which deity
                created.



                > That is precisely why scientist don't bother taking ID seriously.

                They don't take it seriously because it is refuted. Just like
                scientists no longer take geocentrism or flat earth seriously. Both
                were fine theories in their time, but both (along with hundreds of
                other theories) were shown to be wrong. ID as a scientific theory is
                just plain wrong.


                > What are > scientist to do? Write a proposal for the scientific
                detection of God,
                > little green men or space traveling biochemist?

                Science cannot test deity directly, due to methodological
                materialism. We simply can't set up an experiment to test deity
                directly. So what happens? We hypothesize a material mechanism by
                which deity acts and test for that. The failings of this should be
                obvious -- refuting the mechanism doesn't refute deity, just the
                mechanism.

                YECers have a mechanism of 144 hour creation in the recent past with
                all material entities created instantaneously in their present form.
                That mechanism has deductions of how the universe should look if that
                happened. Observations show those deductions to be wrong and
                therefore the mechanism to be wrong.

                ID keeps the mechanism of instantaneous creation in present form.
                But instead of planets and species, ID moves to "information" or
                biochemical systems. But we can see new information arising from old
                in the lab and watch the evolution of IC biochemical systems. Both
                these observations are contrary to deductions made by ID and IDers.
                Result: ID falsified.
                >
                > > 2. The second phrase is philosophical. It equates Darwinism with
                a
                > > philosophical position. So the way to counter that is to show
                that
                > > science's naturalism is methodological and not philosophical. And
                > > that science's philosophical position is agnostic, not atheist.
                Of
                > > course, this means correcting those scientists who state their
                > > personal philosophical opinion as though it were science, but
                > > preserving the integrity of science demands that we do this
                anyway.
                > > One salient point to use here is Darwin's own admission that when
                he
                > > discovered natural selection he was a theist, combined with
                several
                > > quotes available from Origin showing that Darwin didn't think
                > > evolution meant atheism. Of course, there is always the Voices
                for
                > > Evolution section on the AAAS website:
                > > http://www.aaas.org/spp/dspp/dbsr/evol.htm
                > >
                > Winston
                > I wholeheartedly agree that science does not take a position as to
                the
                > existence or lack thereof of any deity. The fact that I'm an
                atheist has
                > nothing to do with science. Simply stated science justifies my
                position as
                > an atheist, but it provides no evidence for my atheism.

                Can you clarify your last two sentences here? Your atheism
                has "nothing to do with science" yet "science justifies my position
                as an atheist"?

                > Science doesn't
                > provide evidence for a deity(ies) nor for a lack of deity(ies). I
                just don't
                > need to accept baloney from any religious dogma, whether christian,
                budhist
                > or whatever.

                If you also include some of the atheist baloney I've seen, from
                atheist dogma, then welcome aboard.
                >
                > > 3. The final point, understanding divine action, is exactly how
                > > Darwin perceived evolution by natural selection anyway. Darwin
                > > deliberately put Origin smack dab in the middle of the natural
                > > theology tradition. Like Kepler and Newton thinking that they
                had
                > > found deity's way of keeping the planets in orbit, Darwin thought
                he
                > > had found deity's way of creating new species.
                > >
                >
                > Winston
                > My best understanding of what Darwin's position was is that of an
                agnostic.

                Darwin's personal view as he got older was that of agnostic. At
                least, that was what his position was most of the time. However, he
                said he vacillated but never swung to atheism. I infer that means
                that he swung between theism (but not Christianity) and agnostic.

                However, go back and read the Fontispiece in Origin and you will see
                how he put Origin into natural theology.


                > The fact is that evolutionary theory debunked special
                > creation, and therefore gave us atheist better philosophical
                grounds to stand
                > on.

                Debunking special creation didn't debunk CREATION. What it gave
                atheists was an alternative way to account for biological design. It
                removed the most potent proof of deity. It didn't disprove deity,
                just removed the most potent proof. Your philosophical ground is
                still one of faith, and thus no better or worse ground than theism.


                > Winston
                > Yes! A believer can argue that evolution is the divine method. I
                can
                > respect this position even if it is a position of faith. I
                personally
                > believe that theists that can reconcile their religious beliefs
                with science
                > without bastardizing science have more faith than any creationist.

                :) that's because creationists don't have faith. They want "proof",
                not faith.

                > I wish
                > creationist would realize that their positions simply show how weak
                their
                > faith is.

                > Before you argue that atheism is a position of faith, I must say
                that my
                > atheism is due to the fact that I see no evidence for a creator(s),

                What we are discussing is the difference between what you KNOW and
                what you BELIEVE. There is nothing wrong with belief. Most of human
                existence is based on belief. For instance, on Nov. 7 I cast my vote
                for the presidential candidate I BELIEVED was going to make the best
                next president. Do I KNOW which one will? Of course not! Do I have
                any scientific evidence? Of course not! Do I have REASONS for my
                belief? Yes.

                Your statement represents belief, not knowledge. As Carl Sagan was
                fond of saying: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. And
                "evidence" for a creator depends on that material mechanism again.
                IF deity created the universe through the big bang, galaxies, stars
                and planets by gravity, life by chemistry, and the diversity of life
                by Darwinian evolution, then you have more than enough evidence,
                don't you?

                The statement of faith is that all these processes that we
                call "natural" happen without deity.
                and that

                > *I* equate this to my not believing in alien abductions,
                therapeutic touch
                > healing, magnetic treatment, etc. There is just no need for me to
                live my
                > life in a religious manner, because I don't believe there is any
                religious
                > deity.

                Poor semantics here. Tell me the difference between "I don't believe
                there is any deity" and "I believe deity does not exist"? The second
                sentence is semantically correct and shows the role of belief.

                >I don't look at this as faith, but rather a lack of faith in
                > something that can only be believed without evidence.
                >
                I know. I have heard this from so many atheists. All I can say is
                that it looks like self-deception to me. Poor thinking and a
                blindness at looking at their own position. Also a discredited
                philosophy of science position -- logical positivism.

                Wait a minute! I just realized that you said there was no evidence
                that deity didn't exist, so you also believe in something that can
                only be believed without evidence.

                There's another logical flaw here. Theism has no direct SCIENTIFIC
                evidence, but that does not mean theists don't have "evidence".
                Theists can at least point to personal experience of deity as
                evidence. Yes, yes, I know: atheists attempt to discredit that
                evidence at every opportunity. However, the very necessity to
                discredit it only calls to attention that there is evidence. What
                evidence does atheism have?

                Atheism reminds me of creationism. Creationists don't have
                supporting evidence; they just try to find flaws with evolution.
                Atheists don't have supporting evidence; they just try to find flaws
                with theism.
                >
                > I personally enjoyed Robert T. Pennock's "Tower of Babel: The
                Evidence
                > Against The New Creationist".

                Yes, it is a good book. Pennock deals with the philosophical logic
                behind ID. His comparison of creationist opposition to the evolution
                of organisms AND their opposition to the evolution of language is
                very good. Although his discussion of methodological materialism is
                much too labored. MM is so much simpler if you just derive it from
                experimental design.

                But Miller does a MUCH better job of discussing the scientific data
                that refutes ID.
              • lflank@ij.net
                On 22 Nov 00, at 4:31, LucasPA@aol.com wrote: Post the evidence that deity does NOT superintend ... Gee, this sounds familiar . . . I think I posted the very
                Message 7 of 13 , Nov 21, 2000
                • 0 Attachment
                  On 22 Nov 00, at 4:31, LucasPA@... wrote:


                  Post the evidence that deity does NOT superintend
                  > nature. What experiments have been conducted to show that a) deity
                  > does not exist or b) deity is not involved in nature?



                  Gee, this sounds familiar . . . I think I posted the very same thing
                  to show why ID "theory" is not science. . . . .



                  >
                  > What you are up against is limitations <b>within<b> science called
                  > methodological materialism. As Eugenie Scott put it "Neither 'God did
                  > it' nor 'God didn't do it' are scientific statements." Atheism is a
                  > faith just as much as theism is a faith.



                  How dreadful. Fortunately for all of us, science in general, and
                  evolutionary biology in particular, have no more to do with
                  "atheism" than does mathematics or nuclear physics or the laws of
                  gravity. <shrug>



                  > However, while Darwinian selection made it possible, as Dawkins put
                  > it, to be "an intellectually fulfilled atheist" it does not "prove"
                  > the atheist worldview either.


                  Nor was it intended to. Neither was Newtonian gravity, Einsteinian
                  relativity or Maxwell's laws of electromagnetism. <shrug>





                  > They don't take it seriously because it is refuted.



                  They don't take it seriously because it isn't science. <shrug>



                  ID as a scientific theory is
                  > just plain wrong.
                  >



                  Really. So you have scientifically concluded that there is no God .
                  . . .?



                  > Science cannot test deity directly, due to methodological
                  > materialism. We simply can't set up an experiment to test deity
                  > directly. So what happens? We hypothesize a material mechanism by
                  > which deity acts and test for that. The failings of this should be
                  > obvious -- refuting the mechanism doesn't refute deity, just the
                  > mechanism.



                  Right. Which is precisely why ID isn't science.



                  >
                  > YECers have a mechanism of 144 hour creation in the recent past with
                  > all material entities created instantaneously in their present form.
                  > That mechanism



                  That is NOT a "mechanism".


                  has deductions of how the universe should look if that
                  > happened. Observations show those deductions to be wrong and therefore
                  > the mechanism to be wrong.


                  You are of course quite mistaken. It is entirely possible to argue
                  (and I have heard more than one creationist argue it) that even if
                  everything, absolutely EVERYTHING, that we see in the world
                  around us looks as if it evolved over a long period of time, that does
                  NOT mean that the earth wasn't in fact POOFED into being intact
                  6,000 years ago. After all, since God can do anything, there's no
                  reason why He could not have POOFED it all there with an
                  "appearence of age"-----i.e., it was created so it would LOOK as if it
                  evolved over a long period of time, even though it actually was
                  created intact a short time ago.

                  Go ahead and scientifically falsify that, uh, "theory" . . . . . .



                  >
                  > ID keeps the mechanism of instantaneous creation in present form




                  ID doesn't talk about any "mechanism of creation". Other than
                  "POOF!! God dunnit!!"



                  But we can see new information arising from old
                  > in the lab and watch the evolution of IC biochemical systems. Both
                  > these observations are contrary to deductions made by ID and IDers.



                  No they are not. They are contrary to the observations made by
                  ICers. ICers and IDers are not the same. Plenty of IDers would
                  assert that all of the new information we see arising and all of the
                  new IC systems we see evolving are the result of a deliberate
                  design that produced them that way. Go ahead and scientifically
                  show them wrong . . . . .


                  > Result: ID falsified.


                  No---IC falsified. And only for that particular system. There are
                  plenty of tohers that the ICers can point to and say "Oh yeah, well
                  what about THAT one . . .?"

                  You seem to be laboring under the assumption that irreducible
                  complexity and intelligent design are the same thing. It isn't.
                  There are plenty of IDers who've never said a single word about
                  irreducible complexity, and in fact ID has been around for decades
                  before Behe was even born.

                  The two are not the same.



                  > Can you clarify your last two sentences here?


                  I'd rather you clarify them somewhere else. This is a science list.
                  We don't do god-things (or lack of them) here. Science simply
                  doesn't have diddley doo to say about the existence or
                  nonexistence of God, Allah, Wakan Tanka, Zeus, Odin, Amaterasu
                  Omikami, Quetzalcoatl or the Great Star Goat.

                  If you want to wage war with the atheists, by all means have at it
                  and enjoy yourself. But leave us scientists out of it. It's not our
                  fight. <shrug>



                  >
                  > Darwin's personal view as he got older was that of agnostic.



                  Who cares. Life evolves, whether Darwin was a Christian or a
                  Buddhist or a human-sacrificer for Huitzilipoatli. <shrug>




                  Your philosophical ground is
                  > still one of faith, and thus no better or worse ground than theism.
                  >



                  That's nice.

                  Who cares.




                  The religious wars end. Now. Or heads will roll.




                  =======================================================
                  Lenny Flank
                  "There are no loose threads in the web of life"

                  Check out my reptile page:
                  http://www.geocities.com/lflank/herp.html
                  Suncoast Serpentarium
                  http://www.geocities.com/suncoastserpentarium/
                  Creation "Science" Debunked:
                  http://www.geocities.com/lflank
                • avann31@hotmail.com
                  ... ********KAT-THOOM. Clap of Thunder.***************** I don t think it is a good thing to tell people what is and isn t wrong. This forum is not a
                  Message 8 of 13 , Nov 21, 2000
                  • 0 Attachment
                    --- In DebunkCreation@egroups.com, LucasPA@a... wrote:

                    > You atheists are "wrong" anyway.

                    ********KAT-THOOM. Clap of Thunder.*****************

                    I don't think it is a good thing to tell people what is and isn't
                    wrong. This forum is not a battleground for religious persuasion,
                    although I myself may happen to reflect my religious opinions a bit
                    more often than I should do so.

                    I don Because you don't have the
                    > evidential support to say that life does not REQUIRE divine
                    > intervention. Post the evidence that deity does NOT superintend
                    > nature. What experiments have been conducted to show that a) deity
                    > does not exist or b) deity is not involved in nature?

                    Irrelevant, since evolution cannot prove, nor does it seek to prove
                    such a deity, although I myself believe that such an intelligence does
                    in fact exist.

                    > What you are up against is limitations <b>within<b> science called
                    > methodological materialism. As Eugenie Scott put it "Neither 'God
                    > did it' nor 'God didn't do it' are scientific statements." Atheism
                    > is a faith just as much as theism is a faith.

                    No. Atheism is a state of mind and principle based on ethics for
                    ethics sake, not for reward or benefit in the future of one's life.

                    > What IDers, and YECers before them, want to do is go back to pre-
                    > Darwin time where biological organisms constituted "proof" of deity.

                    Then I suggest that they should go to church, especially YECers with
                    all due respect, since YEC is fundamentally driven by a literal account
                    of Genesis and Scripture.

                    > Prior to Darwin, atheists had no answer to biological design.

                    They saw no need for it. Even the ancient Greeks accepted the fact
                    that variation and descent in a species occurs.

                    > At that
                    > time the only imaginable cause of design was an intelligent entity.
                    > What Darwin discovered was an algorithm to get design -- what he
                    > called natural selection and should more properly be called Darwinian
                    > selection. Now deity was no longer necessary to get design and
                    > that "proof" went out the window.

                    That wasn't what it was designed to do. There are plenty of things
                    science will never explain that have more than enough room for God to
                    exist.

                    > All creationists want to go back to
                    > that time and the biggest failing of ID is the failure to recognize
                    > that Darwinian selection yields design.

                    There is no "design" in Natural Selection. It is simply the basic
                    principles of genetics and biochemical diversity taking place within
                    the predetermined boundaries within which they have been ultimately
                    confined.

                    > However, while Darwinian selection made it possible, as Dawkins put
                    > it, to be "an intellectually fulfilled atheist" it does not "prove"
                    > the atheist worldview either.

                    Nor does it seek to. It is meant to explain a process, a SINGLE
                    process, and not the ENTIRE process.

                    > Darwin recognized that there was no
                    > way to tell if Darwinian selection or ANY natural process could
                    > proceed without deity. All that can be said is that, IF you believe
                    > in a deity, then science gives the MATERIAL method by which deity
                    > created.
                    >
                    > > That is precisely why scientist don't bother taking ID seriously.

                    Most scientists I know who disapprove of ID do so because it conceals a
                    Fundamentalist agenda that they no doubt find displeasing and unlawful
                    to have taught in a scientific classroom.

                    > They don't take it seriously because it is refuted.

                    Talk to Tong or Nelson sometime.

                    > Just like
                    > scientists no longer take geocentrism or flat earth seriously. Both
                    > were fine theories in their time, but both (along with hundreds of
                    > other theories) were shown to be wrong. ID as a scientific theory is
                    > just plain wrong.

                    The Flat Earthers are also still around, by the way.

                    > > What are > scientist to do? Write a proposal for the scientific
                    > detection of God,
                    > > little green men or space traveling biochemist?
                    >
                    > Science cannot test deity directly, due to methodological
                    > materialism. We simply can't set up an experiment to test deity
                    > directly. So what happens? We hypothesize a material mechanism by
                    > which deity acts and test for that. The failings of this should be
                    > obvious -- refuting the mechanism doesn't refute deity, just the
                    > mechanism.
                    >
                    > YECers have a mechanism of 144 hour creation in the recent past with
                    > all material entities created instantaneously in their present form.

                    Which makes absolutely no sense to me at all. God could've done it in
                    one second if he wanted. He is omnipotent, after all, as we all
                    believe Him to be.
                  • Winston Colon-Moran
                    ... From: LucasPA@aol.com [mailto:LucasPA@aol.com] Sent: Tuesday, November 21, 2000 11:31 PM To: DebunkCreation@egroups.com Subject: [DebunkCreation] Re: some
                    Message 9 of 13 , Nov 22, 2000
                    • 0 Attachment
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: LucasPA@... [mailto:LucasPA@...]
                      Sent: Tuesday, November 21, 2000 11:31 PM
                      To: DebunkCreation@egroups.com
                      Subject: [DebunkCreation] Re: some books to look at . . .


                      --- In DebunkCreation@egroups.com, Purifyit@a... wrote:
                      > In a message dated 11/1/00 2:01:05 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                      LucasPA@a...
                      > writes:
                      >
                      > Winston
                      > By attacking science the fundamentalist
                      > are trying to take away atheist's philosophical grounds. If one
                      can make
                      > science reveal the "divine" then we atheist are just wrong in
                      stating that
                      > life as we know it does not require divine intervention.

                      You atheists are "wrong" anyway. Because you don't have the
                      evidential support to say that life does not REQUIRE divine
                      intervention. Post the evidence that deity does NOT superintend
                      nature. What experiments have been conducted to show that a) deity
                      does not exist or b) deity is not involved in nature?
                      ---Winston:
                      Yes, you are quite right, and I must apologize for my above statement.
                      I did not mean to assert that life does not requiere a supernatural
                      intervention. I will amend my statement to life does not requiere a
                      supernatural intervention as an *explanation*. The experiments that
                      have been performed do not point to the existence, nor the lack of
                      existence of a supernatural being. Sorry for the confusing statement.
                      ------

                      What you are up against is limitations <b>within<b> science called
                      methodological materialism. As Eugenie Scott put it "Neither 'God
                      did it' nor 'God didn't do it' are scientific statements." Atheism
                      is a faith just as much as theism is a faith.

                      ---Winston:
                      I must disagree, but if you would like, we can continue this
                      discussion on a different list. Creationevolve is very slow right
                      now, and this kind of talk is well tolerated there.
                      -----------

                      What IDers, and YECers before them, want to do is go back to pre-
                      Darwin time where biological organisms constituted "proof" of deity.
                      Prior to Darwin, atheists had no answer to biological design. At that
                      time the only imaginable cause of design was an intelligent entity.
                      What Darwin discovered was an algorithm to get design -- what he
                      called natural selection and should more properly be called Darwinian
                      selection. Now deity was no longer necessary to get design and
                      that "proof" went out the window. All creationists want to go back to
                      that time and the biggest failing of ID is the failure to recognize
                      that Darwinian selection yields design.

                      However, while Darwinian selection made it possible, as Dawkins put
                      it, to be "an intellectually fulfilled atheist" it does not "prove"
                      the atheist worldview either. Darwin recognized that there was no
                      way to tell if Darwinian selection or ANY natural process could
                      proceed without deity. All that can be said is that, IF you believe
                      in a deity, then science gives the MATERIAL method by which deity
                      created.

                      ---Winston:
                      Agreed.
                      ------


                      > That is precisely why scientist don't bother taking ID seriously.

                      They don't take it seriously because it is refuted. Just like
                      scientists no longer take geocentrism or flat earth seriously. Both
                      were fine theories in their time, but both (along with hundreds of
                      other theories) were shown to be wrong. ID as a scientific theory is
                      just plain wrong.


                      > What are > scientist to do? Write a proposal for the scientific
                      detection of God,
                      > little green men or space traveling biochemist?

                      Science cannot test deity directly, due to methodological
                      materialism. We simply can't set up an experiment to test deity
                      directly. So what happens? We hypothesize a material mechanism by
                      which deity acts and test for that. The failings of this should be
                      obvious -- refuting the mechanism doesn't refute deity, just the
                      mechanism.

                      ---Winston:
                      Agreed again!
                      ---
                      YECers have a mechanism of 144 hour creation in the recent past with
                      all material entities created instantaneously in their present form.
                      That mechanism has deductions of how the universe should look if that
                      happened. Observations show those deductions to be wrong and
                      therefore the mechanism to be wrong.

                      ID keeps the mechanism of instantaneous creation in present form.
                      But instead of planets and species, ID moves to "information" or
                      biochemical systems. But we can see new information arising from old
                      in the lab and watch the evolution of IC biochemical systems. Both
                      these observations are contrary to deductions made by ID and IDers.
                      Result: ID falsified.
                      >
                      > > 2. The second phrase is philosophical. It equates Darwinism with
                      a
                      > > philosophical position. So the way to counter that is to show
                      that
                      > > science's naturalism is methodological and not philosophical. And
                      > > that science's philosophical position is agnostic, not atheist.
                      Of
                      > > course, this means correcting those scientists who state their
                      > > personal philosophical opinion as though it were science, but
                      > > preserving the integrity of science demands that we do this
                      anyway.
                      > > One salient point to use here is Darwin's own admission that when
                      he
                      > > discovered natural selection he was a theist, combined with
                      several
                      > > quotes available from Origin showing that Darwin didn't think
                      > > evolution meant atheism. Of course, there is always the Voices
                      for
                      > > Evolution section on the AAAS website:
                      > > http://www.aaas.org/spp/dspp/dbsr/evol.htm
                      > >
                      > Winston
                      > I wholeheartedly agree that science does not take a position as to
                      the
                      > existence or lack thereof of any deity. The fact that I'm an
                      atheist has
                      > nothing to do with science. Simply stated science justifies my
                      position as
                      > an atheist, but it provides no evidence for my atheism.

                      Can you clarify your last two sentences here? Your atheism
                      has "nothing to do with science" yet "science justifies my position
                      as an atheist"?

                      ---Winston:
                      I wont elaborate too much on this (Lenny is watching). I will just
                      simply say that I do not have the burden of proof. I am not the one
                      claiming that God, or whatever deity exists.
                      -----
                      > Science doesn't
                      > provide evidence for a deity(ies) nor for a lack of deity(ies). I
                      just don't
                      > need to accept baloney from any religious dogma, whether christian,
                      budhist
                      > or whatever.

                      If you also include some of the atheist baloney I've seen, from
                      atheist dogma, then welcome aboard.

                      ---Winston:
                      Yes! Those atheist that assert the non-exsistence of a deity are just
                      as wrong as those who assert the existence of a deity. We simply
                      don't know. We can either believe or disbelieve. I'm sorry for the
                      confusion my above statement created.
                      -------
                      >

                      > > 3. The final point, understanding divine action, is exactly how
                      > > Darwin perceived evolution by natural selection anyway. Darwin
                      > > deliberately put Origin smack dab in the middle of the natural
                      > > theology tradition. Like Kepler and Newton thinking that they
                      had
                      > > found deity's way of keeping the planets in orbit, Darwin thought
                      he
                      > > had found deity's way of creating new species.
                      > >
                      >
                      > Winston
                      > My best understanding of what Darwin's position was is that of an
                      agnostic.

                      Darwin's personal view as he got older was that of agnostic. At
                      least, that was what his position was most of the time. However, he
                      said he vacillated but never swung to atheism. I infer that means
                      that he swung between theism (but not Christianity) and agnostic.

                      However, go back and read the Fontispiece in Origin and you will see
                      how he put Origin into natural theology.


                      > The fact is that evolutionary theory debunked special
                      > creation, and therefore gave us atheist better philosophical
                      grounds to stand
                      > on.

                      Debunking special creation didn't debunk CREATION. What it gave
                      atheists was an alternative way to account for biological design. It
                      removed the most potent proof of deity. It didn't disprove deity,
                      just removed the most potent proof. Your philosophical ground is
                      still one of faith, and thus no better or worse ground than theism.


                      > Winston
                      > Yes! A believer can argue that evolution is the divine method. I
                      can
                      > respect this position even if it is a position of faith. I
                      personally
                      > believe that theists that can reconcile their religious beliefs
                      with science
                      > without bastardizing science have more faith than any creationist.

                      :) that's because creationists don't have faith. They want "proof",
                      not faith.

                      > I wish
                      > creationist would realize that their positions simply show how weak
                      their
                      > faith is.

                      > Before you argue that atheism is a position of faith, I must say
                      that my
                      > atheism is due to the fact that I see no evidence for a creator(s),

                      What we are discussing is the difference between what you KNOW and
                      what you BELIEVE. There is nothing wrong with belief. Most of human
                      existence is based on belief. For instance, on Nov. 7 I cast my vote
                      for the presidential candidate I BELIEVED was going to make the best
                      next president. Do I KNOW which one will? Of course not! Do I have
                      any scientific evidence? Of course not! Do I have REASONS for my
                      belief? Yes.

                      Your statement represents belief, not knowledge. As Carl Sagan was
                      fond of saying: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. And
                      "evidence" for a creator depends on that material mechanism again.
                      IF deity created the universe through the big bang, galaxies, stars
                      and planets by gravity, life by chemistry, and the diversity of life
                      by Darwinian evolution, then you have more than enough evidence,
                      don't you?

                      The statement of faith is that all these processes that we
                      call "natural" happen without deity.
                      and that

                      > *I* equate this to my not believing in alien abductions,
                      therapeutic touch
                      > healing, magnetic treatment, etc. There is just no need for me to
                      live my
                      > life in a religious manner, because I don't believe there is any
                      religious
                      > deity.

                      Poor semantics here. Tell me the difference between "I don't believe
                      there is any deity" and "I believe deity does not exist"? The second
                      sentence is semantically correct and shows the role of belief.

                      >I don't look at this as faith, but rather a lack of faith in
                      > something that can only be believed without evidence.
                      >
                      I know. I have heard this from so many atheists. All I can say is
                      that it looks like self-deception to me. Poor thinking and a
                      blindness at looking at their own position. Also a discredited
                      philosophy of science position -- logical positivism.

                      Wait a minute! I just realized that you said there was no evidence
                      that deity didn't exist, so you also believe in something that can
                      only be believed without evidence.

                      ---Winston:
                      Yes. Yes. Yes. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. I made a mistake. I should
                      scrutinize my postings better before actually posting them. My lack
                      of belief in a deity is a belief, just like I believe that there are
                      no alien abductions.
                      ----
                      There's another logical flaw here. Theism has no direct SCIENTIFIC
                      evidence, but that does not mean theists don't have "evidence".
                      Theists can at least point to personal experience of deity as
                      evidence. Yes, yes, I know: atheists attempt to discredit that
                      evidence at every opportunity. However, the very necessity to
                      discredit it only calls to attention that there is evidence. What
                      evidence does atheism have?

                      Atheism reminds me of creationism. Creationists don't have
                      supporting evidence; they just try to find flaws with evolution.
                      Atheists don't have supporting evidence; they just try to find flaws
                      with theism.

                      ---Winston:
                      No, you shouldn't equate atheism to creationism. Atheist do not have
                      to assert that God does not exists. Damn, I will pay more attention
                      in the future. Once again, I was wrong with what I wrote, but it
                      wasn't meant as it has been taken.
                      ------
                      >
                      > I personally enjoyed Robert T. Pennock's "Tower of Babel: The
                      Evidence
                      > Against The New Creationist".

                      Yes, it is a good book. Pennock deals with the philosophical logic
                      behind ID. His comparison of creationist opposition to the evolution
                      of organisms AND their opposition to the evolution of language is
                      very good. Although his discussion of methodological materialism is
                      much too labored. MM is so much simpler if you just derive it from
                      experimental design.

                      But Miller does a MUCH better job of discussing the scientific data
                      that refutes ID.

                      Peace!
                      Winston

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