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Re: Cliff Peterson v. "Goliath of GRAS"

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  • w_w_c_l
    WARNING: Very long post ahead. I ve tried to make it interesting, but unfortunately what I think is the best stuff is way on down toward the end. ... You are
    Message 1 of 23 , Aug 27, 2013
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      WARNING: Very long post ahead. I've tried to make it interesting,
      but unfortunately what I think is the best stuff is way on down
      toward the end.

      Cliff said:

      > Rick Hartzog:
      >
      > Thank you for your intelligent and mature response.

      You are welcome. I had hoped for the same from you in return,
      but as I read down through your post last night I realized I
      had been overly optimistic. It was very late and it had been
      a long day, so I thought I would just let it slide, but the
      farther I got into it the more I realized a reply was in order,
      just to let you know I'm on to you.


      > While I appreciate that you opened with compliments, quite
      > frankly it doesn't matter to me who else does what, what they
      > claim or how far they get in apologetics.

      This isn't about who else, this is about you. When you first
      posted here I saw that you were very confused about logic, as
      most newcomers are, and I offered you encouragement. I said,
      "Logic isn't a trick; it's a very useful tool, handy for
      debates but even more useful for examining your own reasoning."

      I now see that you are not interested in logic itself, or in
      making application of it to your own reasoning; you only want
      to *appear* that you know logic and think you can get away with
      misusing logical terms and nobody will know the difference.

      Sorry. When I said logic isn't a trick you should have paid
      attention to that.


      > I only concern myself with being honest and reading people's
      > words in a natural and straight forward manner and responding
      > in kind.

      I'm afraid in this case your response does not indicate that
      you really mean that.

      Let me illustrate:

      I asked:

      > > "Do you really agree that no evidence can be valid if it
      > > contradicts your interpretation of Scripture?"

      And you replied:

      > First, I made the mistake, for ease of response, of committing
      > the logical fallacy of reification.
      >
      > For that I apologize.
      >
      > Evidence doesn't agree or disagree with anything.
      >
      > It simply exists.
      >
      > Conclusions agree or disagree.
      >
      > Thus, the proper way to rewrite that statement is as follows.
      >
      > "No evidentiary conclusion can be valid if it contradicts your
      > interpretation of Scripture."
      >
      > With that in mind; in response to your question
      >
      > -- Yes.

      OK. In the first place, your use of "reification" is misguided.

      Evidence is concrete and observable. In science, an interpretation
      of evidence that has "predictive validity" is also concrete and
      observable. For example, if I look out and see frost on my
      windshield (evidence) I can interpret that evidence to predict
      that it's cold outside. Whether my prediction is true or false
      is immaterial -- I have made a prediction based on interpretation
      of an observation and can test my prediction by stepping outside.

      There is no reification going on in this anywhere.

      So enough of that. Let's get to the second place:

      You say no interpretation of evidence can be valid if it
      contradicts your interpretation of Scripture.

      But then you say:

      > You're making two mistakes.
      >
      > First, I'm not concerned with my "interpretation."
      >
      > My sole concern is proper interpretation.

      How can you possibly arrive at "proper" interpretation if there
      can be no valid interpretation of evidence that contradicts *your*
      interpretation of Scripture?


      > I have changed many beliefs through the course of time
      > and in the past 5 or so years; I have gone through a major
      > paradigmatic transformation in my understanding of Scripture.

      So according to what you've just said above, this "transformation"
      to *your present interpretation* of Scripture was just arbitrary and
      willy-nilly, and not the result of any evidence that contradicted
      *your former interpretation* of Scripture.


      > Second, you're assuming I'm not open to evidence proving otherwise.

      How can it be my assumption? I'm just taking you at your word.
      You just got through saying that no interpretation of evidence
      that contradicts your interpretation of Scripture can be valid.


      > I'm totally open to it.

      And now you are saying exactly the opposite of what you just got
      through saying!


      > To this point I've seen nothing to convince me.

      How can you see something that doesn't exist?

      In other words -- your words: There exists no valid interpretation
      of evidence that can contradict your interpretation of Scripture.


      > I know that to you, this seems ridiculous.
      >
      > I don't blame you.

      Does that mean that it seems ridiculous to you, too?


      > Everyone believes they are the only person who actually
      > lives in reality.

      Do they? How do you know?

      How can someone take seriously what it says in Isaiah 55:8,9 or
      1 Corinthians 13:12 and think that they actually know what
      reality is?


      > I rest everything on a natural and straight forward reading
      > of the Bible because I believe the Bible to be a close
      > rendition to God's immutable and infallible eternal Word.

      Regardless of your beliefs about the Bible, you have not
      justified your reliance on what you keep calling a "natural
      and straight forward" reading, and I don't think that you
      can justify it without referring to extra-Biblical evidence,
      and I think when you do attempt to refer to extra-Biblical
      evidence you will have to misinterpret that evidence in
      order to make it fit your predetermined belief.

      And once you do start misinterpreting extra-Biblical evidence
      you are not going to be able to retreat back to the Bible
      in order to justify your misinterpretation of the evidence.


      > I don't stand by just one translation.
      >
      > I have a working knowledge of biblical Hebrew and Greek
      > as well.

      Good.

      So let's hear your natural and straightforward interpretation
      of Matthew 23:24.


      > Thus, my way of articulating that statement is
      >
      > "No evidentiary conclusion can be valid if it contradicts
      > a natural and straight forward reading of Scripture."

      So you are arguing in a circle with no way out. You can't
      appeal to the external world because it is full of
      evidentiary conclusions that you can neither accept nor
      falsify.


      > To verify a natural and straight forward reading of Scripture,
      > all one needs to do is have an 8 year old who has not been
      > indoctrinated for or against religion read a section of Scripture
      > and ask them to put it in their own words.

      Please ask your eight-year-old to interpret this verse for me:

      | When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood
      | as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became
      | a man, I put away childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11)


      > That's the only way I know of to come by an unadulterated
      > interpretation.
      >
      > Would I build doctrine on that?
      >
      > Nope.

      You are contradicting yourself here -- *again*. You just got
      through saying that the way to "verify a natural and straight
      forward reading" was to have an eight-year-old do it.

      *Are you* or *are you not* building your doctrine on a "natural and
      straight forward" reading?


      > But I have yet to see an adult as trustworthy as a child
      > in interpreting Scripture in a natural and straight forward
      > manner.

      Then Paul erred in telling Timothy to study. He should have
      told Timothy to get a child to explain it to him. And Peter
      erred in saying that some of Paul's epistles are hard to
      understand. He could have just told the believers to get a
      child to explain Paul's letters.

      ============

      > I said
      >
      > I perceive your interpretation
      > of this to assert that I simply
      > dismiss any and all claims contrary.
      >
      > I don't.
      >
      > Rather, I seek empirical evidence
      > that leads to logical and rational
      > conclusions.
      >
      > - - And you responded:
      >
      > > "This is in contradiction to your indicated agreement with
      > > the statement above that says no evidence can be valid if
      > > it contradicts your interpretation of Scripture."
      >
      > No.
      >
      > Reread my correction of this statement.


      Your correction doesn't change anything, Cliff. You are
      simply saying that no interpretation of evidence that
      contradicts a natural and straightforward reading of
      Scripture is valid.

      So insects have four legs and bats are birds. (Leviticus 11)

      No, that's all right! No need to explain! Your "natural
      and straight forward" reading says it all! What we can
      clearly observe in the natural world has no bearing on
      your interpretation of Scripture. I get that!


      > With that in mind, yours is a false dichotomy founded
      > in the deep time paradigm.
      >
      > That dichotomy is evidence vs. the Bible.

      OK, first the misunderstanding of "reification" and now a
      misunderstanding of "false dichotomy."

      Have you ever heard of the "fallacy fallacy"? No? Well,
      let me explain it to you.

      In rhetorical confrontations, it is the tactic of accusing the
      opposing party of committing a logical fallacy when in fact the
      opposing party has committed no such fallacy.

      This puts an unnecessary and unproductive burden on the opposing
      party to stop in the middle of everything and explain why the
      accusation is false.

      In other words, it is a dishonest rhetorical strategy.

      That's OK. It's not like I had anything else to do today, like
      go over to the garden and pick the peas or go down below the
      pond and cut some firewood for this winter. I'll just sit
      right here and mollycoddle you.

      This isn't a matter of evidence versus the Bible. It is a
      matter of science's interpretation of the evidence (e.g., the
      Earth is old) versus Cliff's interpretation of the Bible
      (e.g., the Earth is young). Now, that *is* a dichotomy --
      they can't both be right. But it isn't a *false* dichotomy,
      it is a real live dichotomy -- the two interpretations are
      mutually exclusive, UNLESS Cliff is going to opt for the
      "apparent age" solution, which is an option I have already
      offered him and which he has apparently rejected, preferring
      instead to continue on with his claims that the dating methods
      are all wrong.

      Therefore, the false accusation on his part.


      > Again, evidence doesn't speak or "say" anything.
      > It must be interpreted.
      >
      > Your mistake is the assumption that evidence
      > contradicts Scripture.

      And now a false charge against me. I have "assumed" no such
      thing. Somehow you forget that we're not talking about
      Scripture, we're talking about your *interpretation* of
      Scripture. I'm not saying the Scripture is wrong, I'm saying
      your interpretation of it is wrong.

      Your interpretation, Cliff, is not the word of God. You keep
      trying to conflate the two, but they are two different things.
      And that in itself is the fallacy of equivocation.


      > Your conclusions definitely contradict Scripture.

      If "evidence" was a reification fallacy, as you said at the
      beginning of this post, then "Scripture" is a reification
      fallacy. Both have to be interpreted. Don't you get that?
      But no matter -- you were wrong anyway. I'm just pointing
      out the inconsistency of your thinking.

      But science's conclusions don't contradict *my* interpretation of
      Scripture, they contradict *your* interpretation of Scripture.

      I can take anything and everything science legitimately concludes
      and my interpretation of Scripture can readily absorb it. You,
      on the other hand, must be continually at odds with science.

      But the thing is, you can offer no alternate interpretation of
      the scientific evidence that will be coherent, consistent, and
      comprehensive -- none. It isn't possible -- UNLESS, as I said
      in the last post, God just made everything look old. But if that's
      the kind of God we're dealing with, who's to say He didn't just
      poof the Bible into existence 5 minutes before you were born?


      > But please explain how the forensic examination of a
      > static environment like the fossil record is evidence
      > contradicting Scripture.

      I didn't say it was. I say it is evidence contradicting
      *your interpretation* of Scripture, and I say again that you
      are attempting to conflate your interpretation of Scripture
      with Scripture itself. Cliff's word is not God's word, Cliff.


      > The only thing the static record proves is that those
      > creatures existed.

      How do you know they existed? How do you know God didn't
      just put them in the rocks when he made the rocks?

      See, Cliff?

      Two can play the presuppositional logic nonsense game!


      > The rest is conclusion. I come to a different conclusion
      > than you. That doesn't mean the evidence is proof. It only
      > means your interpretive method differs from mine.

      Yes, your interpretive method is to ignore any evidence
      that contradicts your interpretation. Your method is
      neither externally applicable nor internally consistent.

      And any conclusion you want to offer about those fossils will
      be falsified by the body of empirical evidence that surrounds
      those fossils.


      > We have to decide whose interpretive method is right.

      From your demonstration, we know whose method is *not*
      right. Lack of internal consistency is a dead giveaway,
      lack of external applicability makes one wonder why you
      even bother. What good is an interpretation that doesn't
      apply to the real world?


      ============

      > I said
      >
      > Instead, what I find with deep
      > timers is a universal acceptance
      > of non-provable assumptions as
      > axiomatic.
      >
      > The very foundational assumptions
      > are never questioned.
      >
      > Why not?
      >
      > You asked
      >
      > > "Do you have any evidence that they should be?"
      >
      > Evidence?
      >
      > I really don't understand this inquiry.

      Well, let me put it to you this way, then: Can you
      think of any way to falsify an axiom?


      > Aren't all facets of science continually questioned?

      No. The physical world is what it is. We can hardly
      question that and remain in the realm of rationality.


      > I am inundated with people who claim that.

      I think you are trying too hard to not understand them.


      > Are you not of the same persuasion?
      >
      > Notice that I'm not assuming you are; I'm asking so
      > I know for certain.

      Yes, scientific theories are falsifiable. Scientific conclusions
      are tentative and potentially falsifiable. But axioms are another
      matter. They are self-evident without proof and yet science does not
      have a way to falsify them, either.


      > Why would assumptions that are considered axiomatic
      > not be questioned?

      Because science has no way of questioning nonsensical
      statements such as "The physical world is not the physical
      world."


      > How can any assumption be considered axiomatic? How could
      > anyone who claims to be a logician, scientist, scientific
      > minded or a student of any discipline, accept an assumption
      > as axiomatic? That is illogical.

      So says Cliff. But, Cliff, your pretense at logic is just that:
      pretense. You have allowed presuppositional nonsense to cloud
      your judgement.

      People were doing science for a long time before any philosophers
      ever came by and asked, "Hey, what do you guys think you're doing?"
      Even way back in Genesis they had metallurgy and agriculture. They
      learned by trial and error. They didn't stop to think about axioms
      or underlying assumptions. They just figured out that if they did
      the same thing under the same conditions they would get the same
      results, time after time. They tested hypotheses and refined their
      methodologies, progressing from clay to ceramics, from bronze to iron,
      from mud-and-stick huts to Roman arches, all without even knowing
      they were operating under any axioms.

      Philosopher: "Hey, what do you guys think you're doing?"
      Scientists: "We're digging a canal to irrigate this field."
      Philosopher: "But you're relying on unproven assumptions!"
      Scientists: "So what? It still works."

      ============

      > You said
      >
      > > "If, as you say above, you seek empirical evidence that
      > > leads to logical and rational conclusions, to logically
      > > and rationally conclude that the underlying axioms of
      > > science are faulty you need empirical evidence to support
      > > that conclusion."
      >
      > This is skirting the issue.

      You're trying to make an issue where none exists.


      > An axiom needs no support; it's axiomatic. I speak
      > of assumptions that enjoy axiomatic status. Again,
      > how can any assumption ever be considered axiomatic?
      > That's illogical.

      So what? It still works.

      ==============

      > I stated
      >
      > I already asked several questions
      > concerning how we know conditions
      > that supposedly transpired millions
      > of years ago.
      >
      > In return you asked
      >
      > > "Do you really want to know, or do you just want somebody
      > > to jump through a bunch of hoops for you so that at the
      > > end you can say you're still not convinced?"
      >
      > You're right: It's a rhetorical question.

      That's what I thought. You are not being sincere.


      > The answer is that we cannot know. I know that people
      > who believe in deep time would post all kinds of "proof."
      > It's all conjecture based on interpretation of evidence.
      > It's all simply more conclusions passed off as fact and
      > scientific proof.

      Yet you can offer no alternate explanations that will come
      anywhere close to the explanations we already have. And
      on top of that, you can make no predictions based on whatever
      paltry, untested explanations you might happen to dream up,
      nor do you dare actually test those explanations.


      > In reality, it's all conjecture founded on the best of
      > human intellect and wisdom. I've noticed the marked
      > tendency for otherwise intelligent, rational and logical
      > people to throw it all out the window when it comes to
      > their personal paradigm. Why?

      Oh, I don't know. My best guess is that it is because you:

      1) don't understand logical and rational thinking,
      2) don't recognize it when you see it,
      3) don't have any interest in learning it, and
      4) prefer instead to try to bamboozle people by misusing
      terms like "reification," "false dichotomy," and "axiomatic," and
      5) automatically assume that anything that conflicts with
      your own paradigm is "illogical."

      But that's just a guess...


      =================

      > As opposed to repeating Dr. Wiens quote any more, I'll
      > simply respond to one you posted.
      >
      > You said
      >
      > > "Wiens speaks of several radioisotopes that no longer exist
      > > in nature because their half-lives are so short that they
      > > have all decayed away to nothing."
      >
      > This is a prime example of my point.
      >
      > "half-lives are so short..."
      >
      > We cannot know the starting conditions, thus this inclusion,
      > matching other dating methods, is nothing more than more
      > internal comparison, as well as once again begging the question.

      See, you're wrong here on a number of counts.

      1) We don't have to know anything about "starting conditions"
      to measure the half-lives of radioisotopes. You simply use
      a Geiger counter to count the rate of decays.

      2) Matching radiometric dating methods to NON-radiometric methods
      is NOT "internal comparison."

      3) The suggestion that this is "begging the question" is yet
      another instance of the "fallacy fallacy".


      > The very question is: Is the world/universe thousands or
      > millions of years old? In order to arrive at your conclusion
      > that half-lives prove deep time you have to assume deep time.

      That is false. Either you don't know what you are talking about
      or you don't care whether what you say is true or not. I will
      explain this below, under your non-response to my questions about
      short-lived radioisotopes.


      > The only way to prove deep time is to know the starting
      > conditions.

      We *do* know the "starting conditions," based on *multiple
      independent lines of evidence*. Either the Earth is old,
      or God just made it to *look* old, as I explained in my
      previous post. And, as I said before, if God just made it
      look that way, you have no grounds for criticizing scientists
      for saying that it *does* look that way.


      > Think of it like this.
      >
      > Two men are in a diving bell. They are at 11,000 ft.
      > Within that bell exists atmospheric conditions that
      > easily support life. There is no way for the divers
      > to see outside the bell and someone tells them they
      > can't step outside or they'll die.
      >
      > What if they have no previous experience and don't
      > understand the danger?
      >
      > What evidence is there to believe the man on the radio?
      > If the divers only know they hate being enclosed in a
      > tiny prison, there is none. Everything they know for
      > certain is consistent with the healthy support of human
      > life. What if one was a very self willed and spunky man?
      > He hit the "Open Door" lever and hydraulic presses
      > slammed the door open. Oops! Yet, how was he to know that?
      > He had no way other than someone proclaiming it a foolish move.
      >
      > Nope: Internal consistency is no guarantee of reality.

      Well, we agreed in my last post that internal consistency
      is insufficient evidence that an interpretation is correct,
      remember?

      And I don't think your analogy is very good, but rather
      than just tell you it's the fallacy of "argument by false
      analogy" I'll try to play along with you:

      The diving bell is the young-earth interpretation of
      Scripture. The two men inside are you and me (yes, I
      grew up believing in a young Earth myself). The voice
      on the radio telling us we can't step outside or we'll
      die is the voice of our religious leaders, the sadists,
      who locked us up in this thing to begin with.

      I'll be the spunky one, OK? I hit the "Open Door" lever
      and outside it's a beautiful sunny day on the beach. We're
      not 11,000 feet under water at all. And lined up all down
      the beach I see thousands of other diving bells just like
      the one I've been confined in, with their radio antennas
      all receiving the same threats you and I have been getting.
      They've been lying to us all along.

      Do you want me to hold the door open for you, or are you
      going to sit in there and keep believing you're 11,000 feet
      under the ocean with no way out?


      > At that, there is no such thing as a consistent dating method.

      As I stated in my last post, it is intellectually irresponsible
      of you to say things like this. I could put that a little
      more bluntly if you wish, but 95% reliability is pretty darned
      consistent, whether you like it or not.


      > If anyone is honest, they will admit that.

      Baloney. If you were wanting to be honest you wouldn't be
      trying to argue against established science with analogies
      instead of evidence.


      > Arrived at dates that disagree with expected results are
      > routinely discarded as contaminated without evidence that
      > they are.

      Who says? Unexpected results are reported in the literature
      just like everything else. Unexpected results point the way
      for further research. What caused this unexpected result?
      If it is contamination, how can we guard against it happening
      in subsequent research?

      It was "unexpected results" that led to refinement of C-14
      dating, and now we not only get more accurate results but we
      also know a lot more about past fluctuations of atmospheric C-14
      and the lag time between atmospheric and marine fluctuations.

      Not to mention a much better understanding of ancient Egypt...
      tee hee hee...


      > Why should I believe dating methods that are very inconsistent
      > and have at their core, mere assumptions?

      You shouldn't. But what you are describing is not scientific
      dating methods, it is creationist dating methods. Creationists
      don't know if all the fossils are from the Flood, or if just
      some of them are from the Flood, or if God just put the fossils
      in the rocks when He made the Earth.


      > I remain unconvinced.
      > In that you are right.

      Shall I just close the door of your diving bell back for you
      and leave you in peace? Oh, I see you've already snatched it
      back shut yourself.


      > I notice a definite difference in approach by otherwise
      > logical and rational people. They demand I prove each and
      > every jot and tittle of the Bible to their personal
      > satisfaction before they'll so much as consider any of it
      > as accurate. This, of course, is an impossible task. No one
      > can convince someone who won't be convinced.

      Well, as I said above, I used to be a young-earth creationist
      myself. You don't have to try proving anything about your
      interpretation of the Bible to me -- I know what it is already.

      There is no way I'm getting back in that diving bell with you.
      But now that I'm out, you don't mind if I go tapping on the
      doors of these other diving bells and letting folks know it's
      OK to come out, do you?


      > Simultaneously those people accept assumptions as axiomatic
      > in their chosen paradigm.

      I think you've heard the word "axiom" somewhere and just liked
      the way it sounded -- kinda like "reification."

      I seriously doubt you could describe for me what are the
      axioms of science. But give it a try -- they're not that
      difficult.

      At any rate, as I described earlier, people were doing science
      long before there were any axioms. In reality, the axioms and
      even the supposed "scientific method" are just retrospective
      attempts to codify and describe why science works as well as
      it does.


      > Are you aware that archaeologists have begun using the
      > Bible as their roadmap to finding biblical sites? Yup:
      > They have finally wised up. Contrary to the claims we
      > hear everywhere today, the Bible is more and more being
      > proven infallible and immutable; not the other way around.

      In other words, because Jericho exists your interpretion
      of Scripture is infallible and immutable.

      Boy, that's an interesting piece of logic...

      You say, "Yup: They have finally wised up."

      Ha, ha. Biblical archaeology has been going on for well
      over a hundred years. The lower levels of Jericho are over
      10,000 years old. And those levels sit atop massive sedimentary
      formations. And those formations have caves in them, in which
      Neanderthal fossils have been found and dated at over 40,000
      years. And the slime pits in the Valley of Siddim (Genesis 14)
      are tar pits from fossil hydrocarbons that are millions of years
      old, which slime is not only what they used for mortar between
      the mud bricks of the post-Flood Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) but
      is also the "pitch" used for caulking Noah's ark (Genesis 6).

      The Ishtar Gate is pretty interesting, too.

      It's a pity young-earth creationists have to reject almost
      everything Biblical archaeologists have discovered, just
      because it contradicts their "natural and straight forward"
      reading of the Bible.


      > I choose a natural and straight forward reading of the
      > Bible.

      So you keep saying.

      What is the natural and straightforward reading of this
      verse?:

      | For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city,
      | and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole
      | land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes
      | thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the
      | people of the land. (Jeremiah 1:18)

      Did God turn Jeremiah into an iron pillar? Please answer
      without appealing to extra-Biblical assumptions...

      ===============

      > You said and asked:
      >
      > > "For example, Calcium-41 is a radionuclide with a half-life of
      > > 130,000 years. If the Earth is only about 6,000 years old,
      > > you should have no problem at all locating some Ca-41.
      > >
      > > Where is it?
      > >
      > > Aluminum-26 is a radionuclide with a half-life of 700,000
      > > years. If the Earth is only about 6,000 years old, you
      > > should have no problem at all locating some Al-26.
      > >
      > > Where is it?"
      >
      > All of these are begging the question and resting on the
      > assumptions that are considered axiomatic.

      "Begging the question," huh? Here you are, committing another
      "fallacy fallacy." And here you are, making another verifiably
      false claim about assumptions and axioms.


      > The assumption is that deep time is proven, thus axiomatic.

      No, deep time is not an axiom. Even time itself is not an
      axiom.


      > The next assumption is that we know the starting conditions.

      We don't have to know "starting conditions" to measure half-life,
      as I explained above. All we have to do is take a known number
      of atoms of the radioisotope and count the decays over a
      period of time.


      > If those assumptions are true, you're right, this is
      > very simple.
      >
      > How do we know the assumptions are true?

      We don't use those assumptions to measure decay rates and
      determine half-lives. It's a direct observation. So, yes,
      it *is* very simple: short-lived radionuclides such as Ca-41
      and Al-26 have all decayed away to nothing, and the creationist
      has no rational answer for this, so we are treated to such
      impenetrable obtuseness as what you display above.

      I further note that you have neglected to address the
      observations that spectral analysis of supernovae and the
      fact that the Earth is not molten put the lie to the
      creationist contention that decay rates may have been
      different in the past.

      That's OK. It just makes it that much easier for me to
      wholly discredit your objections.

      ==================

      > I am responding to the rest of the posts in this comment.
      >
      > Shortly it will become clear as to why.
      >
      > Immediately I notice a couple of things in the responses to me.
      >
      > 1.
      >
      > People read between the lines rather than just reading my words
      > in a natural and straight forward manner.

      The natural and straightforward reading of your words leads to
      so many self-contradicting assertions that you *force* your readers
      to "read between the lines" to try to make any sense out of it at all.

      And then it is quite easy for you to say that you have been
      misunderstood. Welcome to presuppositionalism, folks! This is
      exactly how they operate. It's all a bunch of deliberate
      confusion.


      > 2.
      >
      > My responses are interpreted through the strawman edifice of
      > creationism rather than through the true creationist's belief
      > system.

      This statement is belied by your use of the same old tired
      and false criticisms of radiometric dating that the "edifice
      of creationism" has been using for decades, promoted by
      "creation science" organizations and uncomprehendingly picked
      up and regurgitated by young-earthers such as yourself who
      don't understand the subject matter enough to know that it
      does not require speculative assumptions about "deep time" or
      "starting conditions" to determine half-lives -- AND the
      deliberate dismissal of correction about these things AND the
      dishonest repetition of the same false claims after you have
      been corrected.

      Regardless of what you want to claim the "true creationist's
      belief system" is -- well, ye shall know them by their fruit.

      Whatever their axioms are, their science doesn't work.

      Which makes all their griping about unproven assumptions pretty
      pointless.


      > I have neither the time nor the inclination to straighten out
      > every misinterpretation and misrepresentation of my words.

      Apparently neither do you have the time or inclination to get
      your story straight before you go posting long, garbled-up
      non-responses to plain questions. This is very like the tactic
      used by not only presuppositionalists Jason Petersen and
      Sye Ten Bruggencate, but creationists in general. Normal people
      get so confused trying to wade through all the meaningless and
      irrational diversionary blather that they walk away in disgust.

      Unfortunately for you, I'm not normal. I saw through the
      creationist facade many years ago. You are not really about a
      defense of the gospel at all -- you *are* the "strawman", Cliff.

      That's why the atheists love you so much. You're an easy
      takedown of "Christianity".


      > I will correct only a couple showing why they are false.

      Sure you will. Keep reading:

      =============

      > I was asked how I know that a natural and straight forward
      > reading of the Scripture is the way to properly interpret it.
      >
      > In no uncertain terms the Bible tells us that very thing.

      Then it shouldn't be any problem for you to point us to
      those verses. Yet you don't.


      > God inspired and preserved his word, not just the concepts.

      Doesn't mean He meant for you to misrepresent radioactive decay
      in order for you to stick to your "natural and straight forward"
      reading.


      > For the sake of commentary flow; rather than typing out all
      > the Scriptures I'll post a few biblical references at the end
      > of this comment.

      And yet you didn't. You put them in another message.

      Careless, careless! But I have to keep asking myself, is this
      just a matter of carelessness or is it just more deliberate confusion
      and obfuscation?

      Forgive my suspicion, but you are not the first creationist I've
      dealt with, and it appears to me that you have neglected to explain
      to me how you know that a "natural and straight forward" reading
      of Scripture is the correct approach, and I don't think you
      are capable of justifying your hermeneutical "axiom".


      =============

      > I was asked what
      >
      > "A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a
      > thousand years is like a day." means to me.
      >
      > It means exactly what it says when interpreted in a
      > natural and straight forward manner. It means that to God,
      > there is no difference.

      Is that what I asked you? Maybe you'd better go back and
      read the question again.


      > Think of a time traveler. He can be with the dinosaurs
      > just as easily as he can be in current time or with those
      > in the Star Trek era of temporal existence. Now, consider
      > that same traveler only he can be all those places at once.
      > That is God: He's omnipresent.
      >
      > He knows "the end from the beginning." Isaiah 46:10

      While God does know the end from the beginning, that is
      not what Isaiah 46:10 says.

      There is a difference, Cliff, between knowing something and
      declaring something. Do you recognize the distinction?


      > People seldom, if ever, take that Scripture in context.

      Since you just misrepresented it, I think your concerns about
      context are premature. First you need to know what the verse
      says, and apparently you either don't, or you don't want to
      accept the "natural and straight forward" reading.


      > Peter is talking to believers about the end days and those
      > who will scoff about the Return of Jesus.

      I'm pretty sure Peter isn't the author of Psalm 90.


      > Here are sentences in order that bring out the context.
      >
      > "I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers
      > will come, mocking the truth and following their own
      > desires...A day is like a thousand years to the Lord,
      > and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn't really
      > being slow about his promise, as some people think. No,
      > he is being patient for your sake. He does not want
      > anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
      > But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as
      > a thief."
      >
      > To God, it's just like one day. But to us, Jesus' return
      > will come as a thief. God already knows the end. He knows
      > what will happen. He's giving every one of us the opportunity
      > to respond.

      While Jesus does say he will return like a thief in the
      night, and that no one knows exactly when that return will
      be, Peter does say that he will not have us be ignorant.

      The bridegroom comes at midnight. See Matthew 25.


      > This has nothing to do with creation taking eons.

      How do you know?

      It seems to me that your evasion of Psalm 90 could be deliberate,
      and that you jumped over to Peter's reference to that verse to
      *separate it from* its original context.

      I will say to you that Psalm 90 is a very solid and even not so
      subtle hint as to how we should treat those Genesis "days".


      > I am assuming the intent of this challenge is to bolster
      > the paradigm of deep time by saying that God could
      > just as easily mean eons of time during the creation account.
      > That's not true because God's omnipresence has nothing to do
      > with temporal creation.

      No, the intent of my asking was for you to give me your "natural
      and straight forward" interpretation of that verse in Psalms.
      Apparently your "natural and straight forward" reading of my
      question, in plain English, was very wide of the mark of what I
      was asking, since you didn't refer to Psalm 90 at all.

      This does not bolster my confidence in your "natural and straight
      forward" reading skills, Cliff, or in your sincerity.


      > I already posted a long dissertation as to why the Genesis
      > creation account is 6 normal length days.
      >
      > Please reread that.

      Your "dissertation" is no such thing. It is simply a jumble
      of baseless assertions and unstructured reasoning. There is
      no concern for truth or even consistency. We don't arrive at
      a conclusion by way of your rational argumentation; rather you
      just throw your presuppositional conclusion in there and make
      a pretense that you have supported it.

      From your very first two sentences I knew it was evil -- if
      the Genesis days are not ordinary days the whole Bible is
      unreliable.

      You really should reconsider that.


      > It's an arbitrary assumption that II Peter chapter 3 is
      > evidence for an unnatural interpretation of the creation
      > account. In return I ask: How do you know it is applicable?
      > What is the logical reasoning that led you to that conclusion?
      > I've given mine. Let's compare.

      I'm afraid you have not yet shown yourself worthy to receive
      those pearls of wisdom. If you wish to apply yourself, I'll
      give you a hint: Cast your unfounded presuppositions aside
      and go back to Psalm 90 and look for keywords to mark your
      place in time. If you are able to figure this out, I think
      you will find that 2 Peter 3 makes a lot more sense, in a
      whole new light.


      Rick Hartzog
      Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
    • bucksburg
      ... Cliff, I hope you re still here, because I strongly disagree with part of the above statement, which I will break down into three parts: 1. The Bible
      Message 2 of 23 , Aug 28, 2013
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        Cliff Peterson updated the "about" description of his FaceBook Presuppositional Apologetics group to reflect the following, in relevant part:
        >> The Bible presupposes the existence of God and Jesus Christ as God's one and only Messiah. <<

        Cliff, I hope you're still here, because I strongly disagree with part of the above statement, which I will break down into three parts:

        1. The Bible (we've only got as far as the first noun and already we've reached the first presupposition: that we know what "The Bible" is and what it says)
        2. presupposes the existence of God (no dispute there; the first verse of the Bible depicts Him as the First Agent)
        3. and Jesus Christ as God's one and only Messiah (bit of a tautology there, as "Christ" and "Messiah" are the same thing, just transliterated from two different biblical languages).

        And it is on this third point that I vehemently disagree. If the word "presupposition" means what I think it does, it cannot apply to the idea that Jesus is God's only Messiah, because this point is never assumed but frequently asserted on the pages of Scripture. Just an example:
        "But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ." --Acts 9:22

        You don't prove a presupposition; you can't.

        Daniel
      • rlbaty50
        Rick, Thanks again for that lengthy anlysis of Cliff Peterson s efforts here. I have linked to it, with a short introduction, on numerous FaceBook pages. The
        Message 3 of 23 , Aug 28, 2013
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          Rick,

          Thanks again for that lengthy anlysis of Cliff Peterson's efforts here. I have linked to it, with a short introduction, on numerous FaceBook pages.

          The following struck me as particularly insightful as far as context and perspective regarding Cliff and others similarly situated.

          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/32632
          "w_w_c_l" <w_w_c_l@...> wrote, in part:

          > I (Cliff Peterson) have neither
          > the time nor the inclination to
          > straighten out every misinterpretation
          > and misrepresentation of my words.

          Apparently neither do you have the time or inclination
          to get your story straight before you go posting long,
          garbled-up non-responses to plain questions.

          This is very like the tactic used by not only
          presuppositionalists

          Jason Petersen

          and

          Sye Ten Bruggencate,

          but creationists in general.

          Normal people get so confused trying to wade through
          all the meaningless and irrational diversionary
          blather that they walk away in disgust.

          Unfortunately for you, I'm not normal.

          I saw through the creationist facade many years ago.

          You are not really about a defense of the gospel at
          all -- you *are* the "strawman", Cliff.

          That's why the atheists love you so much.

          You're an easy take-down of "Christianity".

          -------------------------------------
          -------------------------------------
        • w_w_c_l
          ... Facebook! Am I going to be famous? Maybe I d better clean up my act a little. For example, how many times have we heard this?: We all have the same
          Message 4 of 23 , Aug 29, 2013
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            Robert wrote:

            > Rick,
            >
            > Thanks again for that lengthy anlysis of
            > Cliff Peterson's efforts here. I have
            > linked to it, with a short introduction,
            > on numerous FaceBook pages.

            Facebook! Am I going to be famous?

            Maybe I'd better clean up my act a little.

            For example, how many times have we heard this?:

            "We all have the same evidence -- it's just a matter of
            interpretation according to one's worldview."

            And we've been letting them get away with that. But it's
            not true.

            We *don't* all have the same evidence.

            If you noticed at the beginning of Cliff's last message, he
            talked about "reification" and said:

            > Evidence doesn't agree or disagree with anything.
            >
            > It simply exists.
            >
            > Conclusions agree or disagree.

            And accommodating fellow that I am, I let it slide, and
            changed it to "interpretations of evidence" for the sake
            of expedience.

            But we don't need to be doing that anymore, not if we're
            going to be famous, because that's not the way it really
            works.

            We all have the same *things* -- or observations of things --
            and we interpret the observations and draw conclusions.
            The "evidence" is the *interpretation* that leads to the
            conclusion -- but only if the interpretation is not shown
            to be false or otherwise unsupported by existing evidence.

            While science is inductive, "evidence" can be likened to the
            major premise of a deductive syllogism; it carries both the
            minor premise and the conclusion.

            So evidence does agree or disagree with *things* and it
            also agrees or disagrees with *conclusions*. And it is
            these conclusions that lead to worldviews, not the other
            way around.

            In this way the old-earth worldview has literally mountains
            of evidence, while the young-earth worldview has exactly
            zero evidence. That's right, exactly zero.

            "We all have the same evidence," is a rhetorical attempt to
            give the impression that creationists actually have some
            evidence when in fact they do not.

            And they're getting too much mileage out of it. Google
            the phrase "we all have the same evidence" with the
            quotemarks around it and see what you get.


            | "We all have the same evidence but we interpret it
            | according to what we already believe. This is the
            | point Bruggencate tries to drive home."
            http://crossandquill.com/journey/how-to-answer-the-fool-a-presuppositional-defense-of-the-faith-review-and-giveaway/

            I'm sure Bruggencate does try to drive this home, but it
            simply is not true. For him to have evidence he has to
            interpret some thing in such a way that it supports his
            conclusion, and that interpretation has to withstand
            falsification tests.

            Take these two interpretations of the same observation,
            which are used to support two different conclusions:

            1) The observation of C-14 in a dinosaur bone
            is interpreted as indicating the age of the bone,
            leading to the conclusion that dinosaurs lived
            only thousands of years ago.

            2) The observation of C-14 in a dinosaur bone
            is interpreted as contamination, leading to the
            conclusion that other biochemical signals in the
            bone may also be from contamination.

            In the case of the first example the interpretation ignores
            all the previous research that has concluded the dinosaurs
            have been extinct for 65 million years. This is not science.
            To even propose such an interpretation one must be prepared
            to address all that previous research, and it is no small
            amount. Failure to address the existing evidence means that
            the existing evidence immediately falsifies the interpretation
            that the C-14 is indicative of the age of the dinosaur bone,
            which in turn means the proposed conclusion is unsupported.

            Therefore, the proposed interpretation is not evidence at all;
            it is false and no conclusions may be drawn from it.

            In the case of the second example, the interpretation that
            the C-14 is the result of contamination is perfectly reasonable,
            given the existing body of evidence across multiple lines of
            inquiry. The C-14 had to come from somewhere, but the idea
            that it has any bearing on the age of the bone itself is not
            even considered. Why should it be? The same body of evidence
            that falsifies that interpretation in the first case immediately
            falsifies it in the second case as well. Testing the bone for
            C-14 was not done for the sake of checking the age of the bone
            in the first place; it was done in the hopes of ruling out
            contamination as being the source of other biochemical signals
            obtained from the analyses, e.g., protein fragments.

            Therefore, the proposed interpretation *is* evidence supporting
            the conclusion -- the biochemical signals may be at least
            partially explained by contamination and the researchers cannot
            conclusively say that whatever protein fragments they may find
            are endogenous to the dinosaur bone itself -- more research is
            needed.

            Now, about those "worldviews"... In the first example, the
            interpretation *was* the result of worldview, but that
            worldview was not informed by evidence, because there is none.

            In the second example, the interpretation was *not* informed by
            worldview; it was informed by existing evidence. Whatever
            worldviews the researchers may hold personally is irrelevant;
            science doesn't care what your worldview is (forgive the
            "reification," Cliff); it is only concerned with evidence and
            logical inferences to conclusions.

            Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with having a religious
            worldview, and it seems to me that those who hold a religious
            worldview have three options: We can ignore the physical
            world, which worldview rests on ignorance; we can say the
            physical world is all just an illusion, which worldview can
            make no appeals to science, and may or may not have theological
            issues; or we can say the world is real and tailor our worldview
            to accommodate what science is able to tell us about physical
            reality.

            What is wrong, though -- morally, ethically, theologically, and
            scientifically wrong -- is attempting to give the impression that
            a particular religious worldview has scientific legitimacy by
            deliberately misrepresenting science itself. From my way of
            thinking, a religious worldview which rests on lies can proceed
            from only one source, and that source is evil.

            So to recap:

            Evidence is the interpretation of an observation that supports
            a conclusion. Interpretations are proposed based on existing
            evidence, not on personal "worldviews." Interpretations that are
            contradicted by existing evidence are, at best, unsupported, and
            are likely to be false. Interpretations that are unsupported or
            false cannot support a conclusion. Conclusions that rely on
            unsupported or false interpretations are themselves unsupported.

            And unsupported conclusions have no scientific validity.

            So the next time you hear a creationist saying that we all have
            the same evidence, that it's just a matter of worldview, point
            them to this post, so that they can get to this point and read:

            Dear Creationist:

            You are either ignorant of science or you are lying. There is
            absolutely no evidence that the Earth is only a few thousand
            years old, and there never will be.


            Rick Hartzog
            Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
          • rlbaty50
            Rick, Thanks again for that additional analysis. I ll have to think of it a bit as it gets a little above my pay grade at points. Part of my problem is that
            Message 5 of 23 , Aug 29, 2013
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              Rick,

              Thanks again for that additional analysis. I'll have to think of it a bit as it gets a little above my pay grade at points.

              Part of my problem is that "other language" they speak. Now I'm going to have to look up "reification" again.

              I was glad to see you make the connection to Bruggencate, but wondering why you didn't manage to work Goldsmith into the discussion; Goldsmith being notorious in proposing "we all have the same evidence".

              I did get some likes for my reference on FaceBook to your earlier analysis and one comment indicating it was a "good read".

              So, there you go; you are a FaceBook celebrity like me!

              I like this closing of yours, Rick:

              --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/32641
              "w_w_c_l" <w_w_c_l@...> wrote, in part:

              > Conclusions that rely on unsupported
              > or false interpretations are themselves
              > unsupported.
              >
              > And unsupported conclusions have no
              > scientific validity.
              >
              > So the next time you hear a creationist
              > saying that we all have the same
              > evidence, that it's just a matter of
              > worldview, point them to this post, so
              > that they can get to this point and read:
              >
              > Dear Creationist:
              >
              > You are either ignorant of science or
              > you are lying. There is absolutely no
              > evidence that the Earth is only a few
              > thousand years old, and there never
              > will be.
              >
              > Rick Hartzog
              > Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism

              Otherwise, I am more and more thinking that Cliff has cut his losses and simply left the conversation. I haven't noticed him making any comments about his experience here in his FaceBook group, and he did post that note in his group about not wanting me to post links there...so I have not been participating on his page which doesn't have much action.

              Sincerely,
              Robert Baty
            • bucksburg
              ... Dear Mr. Hartzog, Thanks for letting us know your mind is closed to any other possibilities than the one you already decided is the only one. Welcome to
              Message 6 of 23 , Aug 29, 2013
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                --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "w_w_c_l" <w_w_c_l@...> wrote:

                > Dear Creationist:
                >
                > You are either ignorant of science or you are lying. There is
                > absolutely no evidence that the Earth is only a few thousand
                > years old, and there never will be.
                >
                >
                > Rick Hartzog
                > Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism

                Dear Mr. Hartzog,

                Thanks for letting us know your mind is closed to any other possibilities than the one you already decided is the only one.

                Welcome to the club.

                The Creationist
              • w_w_c_l
                ... Hi, Buck. ... So what s it gonna be? Which reminds me...
                Message 7 of 23 , Aug 29, 2013
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                  --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "bucksburg" <bucksburg@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "w_w_c_l" <w_w_c_l@> wrote:
                  >
                  > > Dear Creationist:
                  > >
                  > > You are either ignorant of science or you are lying. There is
                  > > absolutely no evidence that the Earth is only a few thousand
                  > > years old, and there never will be.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Rick Hartzog
                  > > Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
                  >
                  > Dear Mr. Hartzog,
                  >
                  > Thanks for letting us know your mind is closed to any
                  > other possibilities than the one you already decided
                  > is the only one.
                  >
                  > Welcome to the club.
                  >
                  > The Creationist

                  Hi, Buck.

                  I think I listed all the possibilities:

                  | Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with having a religious
                  | worldview, and it seems to me that those who hold a religious
                  | worldview have three options: We can ignore the physical
                  | world, which worldview rests on ignorance; we can say the
                  | physical world is all just an illusion, which worldview can
                  | make no appeals to science, and may or may not have theological
                  | issues; or we can say the world is real and tailor our worldview
                  | to accommodate what science is able to tell us about physical
                  | reality.
                  |
                  | What is wrong, though -- morally, ethically, theologically, and
                  | scientifically wrong -- is attempting to give the impression that
                  | a particular religious worldview has scientific legitimacy by
                  | deliberately misrepresenting science itself. From my way of
                  | thinking, a religious worldview which rests on lies can proceed
                  | from only one source, and that source is evil.

                  So what's it gonna be?

                  Which reminds me...
                • w_w_c_l
                  ... Well, as to the difference between evidence and things it may help to think of it like this: A single tomato plant over in my garden is a thing. But
                  Message 8 of 23 , Aug 30, 2013
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                    Robert wrote:

                    > Thanks again for that additional analysis. I'll have to
                    > think of it a bit as it gets a little above my pay grade
                    > at points.

                    Well, as to the difference between "evidence" and "things"
                    it may help to think of it like this:

                    A single tomato plant over in my garden is a "thing."
                    But that thing can be observed and those observations can
                    be interpreted in a number of ways as "evidence" to support
                    a number of conclusions:

                    Rick knows how to grow tomatoes.
                    Tomatoes can be grown in Mississippi.
                    Tomato plants stop putting on fruit when it gets too hot.
                    Tomato plants are killed by freezing temperatures.
                    Redbirds will peck holes in tomatoes.

                    On and on and on. All those conclusions can be inferred from
                    the various interpretations of various observations of a
                    single "thing". Since the interpretations of those observations
                    support the various conclusions, those interpretations are in
                    fact "evidence" for their respective conclusions.

                    But think of this interpretation of that same tomato plant:

                    Tomatoes are a member of the Solanaceae (Nightshade family).

                    And here are two conclusions:

                    1) Therefore, tomatoes are poisonous.

                    (Invalid inference, therefore the interpretation is NOT
                    "evidence" supporting the conclusion.)

                    2) Therefore, next year I shouldn't put an eggplant in that spot.

                    (Valid inference, because eggplants are also Solanaceae, and
                    growing them in the same spot two years in a row cultivates
                    soil-borne diseases, and therefore *the same interpretation*
                    as above *is* "evidence" -- it supports the conclusion.)

                    Notice in the second instance my inference is based on existing
                    evidence, not worldview, because if it was up to me I'd like
                    to plant some eggplants there next year.

                    So all of this is just to drive home the point, contra Bruggencate,
                    that we *don't* all have the same evidence -- that even though
                    creationists do interpret things according to their worldview that
                    doesn't mean science does, and the evidence for a young age of
                    the Earth is still *exactly zero*. They do not have a single
                    scrap of legitimate evidence and what they call evidence is not
                    what science calls evidence and therefore their arguments are not
                    science and therefore their worldview has no scientific legitimacy.

                    Whew! Period.


                    > Part of my problem is that "other language" they speak.
                    > Now I'm going to have to look up "reification" again.

                    Well, I do forget that I'm out in public when I start writing.
                    When I said "forgive the "reification," Cliff" I was being a
                    smart-aleck. My crime in that instance is more properly
                    called "personification". Such things are often lost on
                    people; especially creationists, who are so literal-minded
                    about everything. Wikipedia has an entry for "reification"
                    which may be helpful:
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy)

                    But, yes, it is a problem. If you don't answer them, they think
                    they have outsmarted you; if you try to speak their language,
                    then you end up looking like a "fool," too. If you try to correct
                    them they'll eagerly seize the opportunity to argue with you
                    until the cows come home and you never even get to the meat
                    of the argument you actually started in on before they despise
                    you and take their foolishness to another marketplace.

                    It's like that "fractal wrongness" article we read online
                    years ago:
                    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Fractal_wrongness

                    But as I said, if we're going to have a wider audience, we
                    don't need to be letting them get away with their foolishness
                    like we have been, just for the sake of expedience. Trying
                    to speak their language is futility.

                    I say, as soon as they say "Sibboleth" take them out and
                    slay them.

                    Don't know the difference between validity and reliability?
                    End of argument.

                    Don't know the difference between "evidence" and "observation"?
                    Off with his head!

                    And just like exposing their deceitfulness about "evidence"
                    we need to expose it about "axioms," or "underlying
                    assumptions," and "worldviews."

                    As I said in a recent post, people were doing science a
                    long time before any philosopher ever came along and
                    started asking about axioms. It was only because of
                    science, like the practice of agriculture, that humans
                    rose above mere survival and subsistence and were able
                    to sit around and start asking questions about how they
                    were able to have made such progress.

                    But creationists (and others) like to present it as, if
                    the underlying axioms haven't been proven, then all of
                    science is in doubt.

                    Which is just wrong.

                    Even my squirrel dog knows better than that. "The world
                    is a certain way," says he. "I know where my food dish
                    was this morning, and I know of no earth-shattering events
                    since breakfast. Ergo," he reasons, "it should still be
                    in the same place I left it, perchance with some tidbits
                    from my human's lunch."

                    "But you can't *prove* the world is a certain way,"
                    I philosophise to him.

                    "Is that bologna and cheese I smell on your breath?
                    I'll be back in a minute," says he, "and then you can
                    continue on with your navel-gazing musings."

                    Yes, he's quite the successful scientist, considering his
                    lack of formal training in philosophy and scientific methods.


                    > I was glad to see you make the connection to Bruggencate,
                    > but wondering why you didn't manage to work G*l*sm*th into
                    > the discussion; G*l*sm*th being notorious in proposing
                    > "we all have the same evidence".

                    Because that guy's a nobody -- a *nothing*. I don't even
                    want my name and his appearing on the same page. He's not
                    even a good troll. There's much higher class trolls than him
                    on the Amazon discussion threads.

                    It's like arguing with a batchfile, or with Bruggencate's
                    "proof of God" maze.

                    (For those who don't know, G*l*sm*th took over a Yahoo group
                    with his 24-hours-a-day trolling, everybody left, the group owner --
                    a creationist -- handed him the keys and told him to lock up, and
                    he deleted over 400 of my posts, along with thousands of posts by
                    others, and then declared victory. In a way I'm glad those posts
                    are gone, because he did bring out the worst in me.)

                    So let's not even bring him up, Robert. OK? It's like
                    speaking ill of the dead -- gives me the creeps.


                    > I did get some likes for my reference on FaceBook to your
                    > earlier analysis and one comment indicating it was a
                    > "good read".
                    >
                    > So, there you go; you are a FaceBook celebrity like me!

                    Well, good news: I have just now gone wireless! No more
                    of that agonizingly slow, 28 kbps dial-up connection I've been
                    tied to for the past few years. I can upload and download
                    photos and movies and radio interviews now -- the whole nine
                    yards. Just need to get some speakers hooked up.

                    You know I am rather shy and don't much care to have a
                    Facebook page of my own, but Jack-my-dog says he wouldn't
                    mind having one. So I'll let you know when I get it set up.


                    Rick Hartzog
                    Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
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