Re: your link to a Yahoo report about melting Arctic Ice …
such a \’polarising\’ subject if you will excuse the pun. Vehement beliefs on both sides and, perhaps, some rather questionable presentation of the \’science\’. Whether our knowledge of the planet\’s systems is good enough to qualify as science yet is another matter for debate.
But in the spirit of a balanced view, outwith which we surely avoid logic and science both, I offer this analysis of various papers prepared by scientists. (One begins to wonder what a scientist is these days.)
Now clearly this is from a fairly partisan source and one of the polarized view points. But as the middle ground seems to have melted away it seems that all one can do is seek the nearest points of contact between the two positions and build ones own bridge.
i think the writings of any historian should be critically examined especially jenkins who can mislead judgements
I have the deepest admiration for Azar Majedi of the Organisation for Women’s Liberation-Iran, and for any muslim who has the courage to resist the incipient fascism of political islam.
Contrast the support we should be giving to such people to the pandering to islamic bigotry indulged in by the EU. For example,
\’the Rotterdam police were destroying a mural by Chris Ripke that he\’d created to express his disgust at the murder of Theo van Gogh by Islamist crazies. Ripke\’s painting showed an angel and the words \”Thou Shalt Not Kill\”. Unfortunately, his workshop is next to a mosque, and the imam complained that the mural was \”racist\”, so the cops arrived, destroyed it, arrested the television journalists filming it and wiped their tape\’
It could be argued that the problem encountered by the creationist/ID camp is that they make their concept of “God”(Mind, spirit, etc.) contigeant on the very materialism they try to contradict. Since we are aware that every action we take, whether deliberately planned or experimentally improvised, is accompanied by the presence of mind there is no reason to assume that the same doesn’t hold true for nature generally without having to rest on some “miraculous” intervention to prove itself. Methodological materialism doesn’t need to prove its efficacy by becoming a comprehensice worldview any more than a more spiritual worldview has to prove itself by gaps in physical process. Of course this does require a bit more insightful view of spirit but that can be found in older philosophies that have had no conflict with science.
Re: Patience and Absurdity: How to Deal with Intelligent Design Creationism
While I also cringe at the sloppy pseudo-science that appears as \”evidence\” for the scientific credibility of a theory of creationism- I similarly am reluctant to take to heart anything written by someone who can refer to \”unshakable evidence\” when discussing Darwinian theories of the evolution of specific functions.
As any other hypothesis, ID must be proven to gain scientific recognition and validity. Otherwise it is just, said with sensitivity, one speculation more.
As a science teacher who has has my lessons disrupted by anti-Darwinists, or \”True Believers\” as thay like to be known, I think that it is so important that the merciless criticism that scientists constantly apply to their own work, be applied to any that attempt to make counter claims.
Maybe one day the dominance of Darwin\’s world view, like Newton\’s, may be relegated by events. If so, this will be because science and scientists will have developed a more powerful explanatory tool by using logic, physical evidence, and most importantly,a constantly inquiring, open mind.
So far, science has been one of the more noble fruits of the human race, and it\’s as well for humanity that the resources of civilization are not yet exhuasted.
You can\’t argue with people who insist evolution is just a theory, but an invisible guy floating in the sky is a proven fact.
Paul Gross\’ article, \”Patience and Absurdity…\” succeeded in demeaning all proponents of ID, but it failed to explain away the claims of ID.
To say that Michael Behe\’s irriducible complexity (IC) for example, is refuted because subsystems of one IC system can be found in a different functioning system shows that Gross either didn\’t read Behe\’s book (Darwin\’s Black Box) carefully, or that he doesn\’t really want to tackle the real problem. Namely, that Behe\’s definition of IC is more rigorous and requires the important consideration of species survival. What needs to be demonstrated is how a particular function, i.e. the blood clotting cascade, in a particular organism, i.e. mice, for example, could be \”reduced\” and still function so that the species could survive. Gene \”knock-out\” experiements that have attempted to demonstrate this have all failed miserably.
I am not a scientist, but I can read. And, people who can read are insulted when so called \”experts\” use demeaning language and don\’t even address the details of the argument. On the other hand, this arrogance on the part of the Darwinist establishment is probably the biggest reason ID is making such progress.
\”Patience and Absurdity…\” by Paul Gross is an example of how polarization drives both sides of an argument into indefensible positions. By standing firm on their principles, and cementing them ever more firmly in place, evolutionists lock themselves into princioples that become absurd to third parties.
\”Evolution\” as it confronts ID is not science, it is a form of discourse. It\’s a way of talking about things that\’s grown up through discussion. Opposition to Lysenko for example as part of the cold war is I believe responsible for an unreasoning hostility to the concept of group selection which now costs evolutionists support.
Paul Gross\’s refusal to accept any blame for the success of Creationism is costing us all dear. Are there middle positions, or have the two extremes straffed them out of existence in the crossfire, as extremes usually tend to do?
Evans, in his trite and paltry attempt to discredit poststructuralist histories, throughly shows his own bias against the methodology. In no way whatsoever does the Iriving case have anything to do with poststructuralist arguments. Nowhere does it state in any poststructuralist theory that history \’can just be made up.\’ This is the \”hyper\” response of critics like Evans who are bound intimately to an academic style that they are beholden to in order to maintain an academic standing. To bring up cases of holocaust denial as an outcome of poststructuralism is pathetic and a weak attempt to distract less educated readers, as is his \”truth\” arguments. Sadly, Evans knows better than this, and he knows the greater complexity involved in these debates. For a better read of the dialectical nature of the debate, Beverley Southgate offers better ways to frame the debate thoughout that are less reactionary than Evans and his \”Defence of History.\” Sadly, we will have to contend with this sort of entrenched academic who pretends to appreciate the complexities of the past-as-history, poo pooing the Whiggish and Rankean type historians–because that is the currently the correct thing to do if you are a tenured reconstructionist historian–when really they are just a less obnoxious version of these historians. I wonder why Evans just doesn\’t have the courage to make the out right statement, like one his obvious influences, that poststructuralist theory is the \”intellectual form of crack.\” Until historians like Evans stop pulling out the same old tired examples against poststructuralism–that sadly do turn many undergraduate and less intelligent minds from the \’lingusitic turn\’–they will be forced to reconcile with the \”TRUTH\” of the matter. Not one historian has been able to make a solid, comprehensible, intelligent argument against the consequences of poststructuralism. They all resort to the same tactics and name calling. And any attempt they do is muddled and confusing due to how much they concede to the poststructuralists, and then turning about face in trying to assert that the poststructuralists are telling them nothing new. The bottom line is that postructuralism calls into question the epistemeological status of history. If a historian is convinced in that there disciplne is the same a scientific endeavour, founded on the same principles of a positivist scientific enterprise, or even that of a Popperian, post positivists, or even resembling a Kuhnian paradigm, then any attempt to deny them that status will raise serious alarms among those who pride academic achievement and advancement as opposed to staying true to writing \’good\’ history. If historians accept these outcomes, and can severe themselves from there academic constraints that raise such alarms then maybe we can get on with the business of being historians, instead of being sycophants to a larger beast.
Too much vain babbling. The forest is being lost here in the dissection of the splinters. The question remains, where is the irrefutable evidence for macroevolution? Functional complexity does not arise from disorder by chance.
Truth does not stand nor fail based on the arguments made for or against it, nor does it depend on the integrity, or lack thereof, of its proponents or opponents. Truth cannot be refuted, therefore the only course of action available is to ridicule and dismiss it.
Paul R. Gross hates
Christians/creationists and has spoken out against us for years, calling us,
among other things, \”Luddites.\” Atheist David Berlinski – with no
theological axe to grind – answers Gross in Commentary magazine (Sept.
\’96, pp. 27-30) regarding Grosses insistance that macroevolution is a fact.
I know a LITTLE about cell signaling/signal transduction (the specialty of Gross at the U of Va). I took several UCSD classes in molecular
pharmacology – all taught by darwinists I might add (how\’s that for being open-minded)? How much do we know about the alleged evolution of such systems? \”How signal peptide binding is achieved, how peptide binding & release is controlled, and how the signal recognition particle coordinates interactions with its receptor, the ribosome, and the translocon remain fascinating unanswered questions\” Doudna & Batey, Annunal Review of
Biochemistry, 2004, p. 555. Once we do figure it all out – will the origin
of these systems point to time, blind chance and random genetic mistakes
(mutations)? No. According to Romans 1:20 it will – and does – point to the
Hand of the Creator.
Indeed, \”Domain shuffling aside, it remains a mystery how the undirected
process of mutation, combined with natural selection, has resulted in the
creation of thousands of new proteins with extraordinarily diverse and
well-optimized functions. This problem is particularly acute for tightly
integrated molecular systems that consist of many interacting parts, such as ligands, receptors, and the downstream regulatory factors with which they interact. In these systems it is not clear how a new function for any protein might be selected for unless the other members of the complex are already present, creating a molecular version of the ancient evolutionary riddle of the chicken and the egg\” – Thornton and DeSalle, \’Genomics meets phylogenetics\’, Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics 2000, p. 64.
A British atheist at Nottingham Trent U said, \”Replication is regarded as a
characteristic feature of living cells, and in no known organism can it take place without the involvement of both nucleic acids and proteins. This
interdependence between nucleic acids and proteins gives rise to what has
been called the \”chicken and egg\” problem: in evolutionary terms, which of the 2 came first, or could they have evolved together? From the early days of the debate there has been disagreements: Haldane believed the gene had primacy, whereas Oparin considered the process to have been more interactive. Even today, the answer is by no means obvious\” – Trevor Palmer, 1999, p. 266. Speaking of Palmer, he has an outstanding site of what creation scientists have been saying all along (he refuses to give us credit, of course): http://science.ntu.ac.uk/life/staff/tp/fallc.htm
Steve Stephens\’ comment \”will the origin
Hand of the Creator \” encapsulates the problem with creationists.
You are having a technical scientific discussion when up pops an interpretation of something from the Bible. To the creationists any bit of science – not just evolution – can be rejected by reference to that collection of books as interpreted by them.
So to turn the tables on the Steve Stephens of the world: if \”the origin
(mutations)\” what will they do? Cease to believe in the Bible ? Reinterpret it ?
One further comment: this is Romans 1:20 in a modern translation (New American Standard).
\”For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse\”.
I read this as a guarantee that if we investigate nature scientifically we can trust our results, that the Creator will not play silly buggers with us. But then I do not believe in any god so am obviously thereby disqualified from having a valid opinion on what the Bible means.
For these kinds of debatable topics it is easy to take either position and argue. Not only in Hindu Fundamentalism, in every aspect. It is easy to criticize something and anything, but very difficult to do constructive work.
What I would like to know is this lady\’s background. Has she read the 4 Vedas, Upanishads and Geeta. For starters her time reference for the Vedas of circa 3000 years is very wrong. Please refer to \”Proof of Vedic Culture\’s Global Existence\” by Stephen Knapp. She is taking on 10-15000 years of history, thought and tradition and criticizing it as if it has very weak foundations. Something does not last for that period of time if there is not truth in those thoughts. Additionally she has referenced two intellectual giants of the Indian tradition namely Vivekanada and Aurobindo. Has she actually read all of their works. There are millions of followers of these two people both in the East and the West. Finally the conclusions of science (and so called naturalism) change over the course of time. At one point we thought that the atom was the smallest element however by breaking the atom of uranium we found sub-atomic particles. What we believe today may not necessarily be the entire truth. I would reference you to two very good books that synthesize the discoveries of science with religion. The first is, The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Caprja which finds the similarities between modern physics and Eastern thought. The second book is, The Great Design which is a collection of essays by 14 leading scientists (one of them is Einstein) about the nature of the world and why there is matter AND spirit in each atom (which is what Vedanta teaches and the 1st Mantra of the Ishavasyam Upanishad).
It is sadly true that there is a rise of fundamentalism in Hinduism. However you must realize that this is a country that has never invaded another country in its entire history and yet has had to suffer 800 years of foreign rule under the Moghuls and British. It has given refuge to, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Muslims and given birth to 3 new religions though they have very close ties to Hinduism; Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. We are not concerned about labels whether you are Christian, Moslem or a Jew. Be a good human being and then be a good Christian, Jew or Moslem. This has been possible because of the firm belief of Hindus that all humans are equal and the divinity which is within me is the same within others irrespective of caste, creed or color. This is the underpinning for why we are all brothers and sisters and should strive for a one world family and not look at creating divisions. Religion can be a force to bring humans together. The name Hindu is one given to the tradition, culture and beliefs by outside invaders. The original name of our dharma (religion) is sanatana dharma meaning a way of life for mankind.
We do not think that religion should interfere with scientific endeavor or fiddle about with the process or how its carried out as Ms Meera Nanda has explained. Those who do do this have not truly understood or read the teachings of Hinduism. Unfortunately these kinds of people (who are not well read) are in the many. We should not fear the discoveries that science makes and will continue to make.
Venu Vuppalapati makes a couple of questionable points.
1) Referring to the time Hinduism has existed, he says that \”[s]omething does not last for that period of time if there is not truth in those thoughts\”.
Whenever I hear such a claim I ask how old an idea has to be to qualify. Another problem is that little word \”truth\”. Most people would subscribe to the notion that \”what goes around, comes around\”, without accepting the full idea of karma. Yet when arguing claims such as these, defenders typically elide the distinction between the two and assert that the truth of the lesser claim somehow demonstrates the truth of the larger.
2) Regarding \”The Great Design\” which apparently asserts \”there is matter AND spirit in each atom\”, we are all familiar with the fallacy of misplaced authority. No scientist can speak with authority on non-scientific matters such as the existence of \”spirit\”. Indeed the thoughts of a quantum mechanic are no more to be heeded on any non-scientific issue than the opinions of your local car mechanic.
From what I have gathered about the basic tenets of Islam, the article \’Political Islam vs Secularism\’ seems to be missing the point, viz: the unification of faith and everyday life in the surrender of one\’s life to Allah, when the article advocates the separation of religion and state. Doesn\’t this take all the force and relevance out of a religion in any country?
Also it is an article which promotes cultural relativism in the sense of different laws for different people, but goes on to explain why certain laws, (for instance the veiling of underage girls), are wrong, with the implication of this only being wrong in the Western world, and it is not explained why these same laws would not be wrong in an officially Moslem country.
I\’m impressed that St. Paul made a study of peptides. I suppose that was while he was wiling away his blind time in Damascus.
The so called \’facts\’ of evolution were refuted even before the theory was stated – how about that for divine prescience. Among other facts hidden by the liberal agenda in our schools:
St. Peter made detailed studies of enzymes among sticklebacks, and published them in the Alexandria Journal for early A.D. research. Astonishingly, the enzymatic action proved that God created sticklebacks at 5:25 a.m. on the third day of creation. He then had an early breakfast.
St. John might have had apocalyptic visions that would do a schizophrenic proud — but in his spare time, on the Island of Patmos, he investigate eye development across phyla. His discovery, still unrefuted by atheistical scientists, is that God came up with the eye on the second day. It was a Eureka moment for God. He\’d been pondering light, which he was very proud of, when one of the seraphim pointed out that his critters (which were in the pipeline) wouldn\’t appreciate it at all (except for tanning purposes) unless they could see it. This momentarily enraged the demi-urge, and there was one less seraphim in the heavens. After he calmed down though, he got some calipers and drew up a blueprint. This blueprint can still be seen hanging in the Discovery Institutes dining hall. It has been doubted that the blueprint came from his diviness, but all doubt was put to rest when the blueprint was cleaned. It was clearly signed, \”Jehovah\”.
The other disciples were similarly bio-chemists of note. But do you read about this in your standard secularized pharmacological textbook, which goes irrelevantly blubbering on about chemicals when it could be advertising Oral Roberts Faithhealling cold cure (\”good for what ails ya!\”)? No. And whose at fault?
As usual, what sounds to be a foreign neo-con is making recommendations for his society that would never fly in the United States, much less a similarly totalitarian Islamist state, that coincidentally would make things very convenient him, not unlike the universal support for Hussein\’s ouster by the Iraqi National Congress (poor suckers thought they would have some kind of meaningful role in the government. . .). The removal of religion from Middle Eastern society is not the obvious answer to any question, nor do I believe it to be the obvious answer to any question in any society. Nevermind it\’s just not going to happen.
America is not a secular state. I can not speak for any country in Western Europe (certainly not France), but considering who is principally bankrolling action against \”Islamic (choose an -ism),\” I believe the US to be the most important comparison.
He really recommends outlawing religious schools. Is that a universally good idea? It\’s certainly not from a democratic standpoint. That\’s quite literally thought control. The governments are clearly not providing the means for children to get a good education outside of religious institutions (some would argue that is also the case in the United States), so they go elsewhere. That\’s pretty self-explanatory to me. It\’s what my parents did.
If I felt that the world was flawed to the point where I believed violent action was necessary for the greater common good following my education, then I would consider that my personal responsibility. Is developing a sense of morality no longer considered part of an education?
I\’ve yet to hear the possibility that \”Islamic Terrorists\” have any interest in doing good, however misguided, from even ACADEMIC Western sources, for the record. There are greater goods than economic stability.
My country is no longer communist in it\’s economic policy, although we are not allowed to question the almighty rulers who are our overlords. Still, I welcome the shift to capitalist values, since the class structure still exists and young, enterprising (and most importantly) Chinsese young men are now able to fund a growing economy. As we say in China \”Things are getting better! But dont\’t tell your neighbour\”.
That Chinese fellow sure knows what he\’s on about. My unbiased analysis is based on the fact that anyone with such a stupid name as Ching Yako Burnun must actually be from China.
Democracy! Winston Churchill said that it was the worst form of government, apart from all other the other types that have been tried. The man who led the UK and our allies to victory against Hitler is right.
But the stupid socialists have got it wrong! Democracy is a concept that is, literally, foreign to Islamic people who come here, to Europe. Extremist Islamists have an anti-democracy view of the world. By allowing these people into Europe, the democratic traditions that England has enjoyed in the past 700 years, and the rest of Europe in the past 200-100 years, will be crushed into nothing.
Comment on that my nemisis.
Brian Leiter\’s comments on Derrida are entertaining in their own way, but he really does appears to believe that Derrida was a fraud and no philosopher.
Let me suggest an empirical test for his proposition. Go into a large bookstore in Austin, Mr. Leiter\’s hometown, and count the number of books by Jacques Derrida in the philosophy section, then go to a bookstore in Paris and count the books by Mr. Leiter in the philosophy section. If that\’s too difficult, Mr. Leiter could count and compare the two authors in an Austin bookstore. Who has more books? Empirically then, who is the philosopher and who the pretender? It appears American philosophers are reading more of Derrida\’s books. I suspect that further testing would indicate that they read more of Derrida\’s books than by any American philosopher. Apparently they prefer to spend their money on someone Mr. Leiter calls a fraud. Is that likely? Would such a proposition be supported by common sense? Might not the simplest explanation for Derrida\’s popularity be that Derrida was a popular philosopher? Isn\’t that the \”excluded\” element in Mr Leiter\’s diatribe? And that in \”return\”, Mr. Leiter is more likely to be the intellectual charlatant?