Where's the birth certificate

Free and Strong America

Monday, August 30, 2010

A target rich environment

I had no idea that the guy even had a blog but here it is. Justin Vacula has a blog. Yes folks, THAT Justin Vacula, the epitome of the quarrelsome and irritating type of atheist that was responsible for the manger scene being taken down from the Luzerne County Courthouse. That Justin Vacula.
For JQP and any other non-atheists that pass through here occaisionally, a cursory perusal of his blog would indicate that he is highly reliant on the same tired, old arguments often trotted out by Hitchins and Dawkins. The types of arguments that might sound alright in the beginning, but upon further examination, it becomes apparent why they refuse to debate anyone even remotely knowledgable.
This is going to be fun.

32 comments:

JD Curtis said...

Here's where we left off..

what we see is a pompous ass who has no idea what the words "reliable source" mean

I'm sorry BI, but it would appear I cited two sources that related..

A. A defininition from one of the most common dictionary's in the English speaking world, and..

B. A 2005 ruling by the 7th circuit Court of Appeals.

Are either one of these two examples factually incorrect?

Atheists donate blood, give to non-profits, and do what we can to make the world a better place because we know there’s no afterlife that will make things better

Admittedly, atheists are becoming better organized in recent years insofar as attempting to rehabilitate their public image in which they are still, unfortunately, viewed as angry, bitter, nihilistic, argumentative, quarrelsome and socially challenged men.

Unfortunately, apart from copying the social systems already in place in the historically Christian West, atheists have no basis they can possibly agree uopn insofar as coming up with their own moral code. "The Barna Group found that atheists and agnostics in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabiting with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior, and engaging in homosexuality or bisexuality." Link to the Study by Barna.

Futhermore, according to the Barna Gruop,

"One of the outcomes of this profile - and one of the least favorable points of comparison for atheist and agnostic adults - is the paltry amount of money they donate to charitable causes. The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults." Link

Again, this time from the right-wing, Christian apologetics website called ABC News, "the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable is their religious participation. Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money: four times as much" Link.

Complete, utter, total and EPIC FAIL.



Theism hurts society when the Pope tells Africans that condoms can make AIDS worse

I don't understand. If the disease AIDS is ravaging a community, which behavior would be safer? Promiscuous sex with a condom or abstinence?

Intelligent design. Texas Schoolboard

Why can't teleological arguments be presented in schools? Youre not trying to supress academic fredom, are you? What did the Texas School board do to tick you off? (Specifically)

Froggie said...

"Why can't teleological arguments be presented in schools?"

Our high school has a senior AP philosophy class. The teleological aregument is presented there. Many high schools don't have philosophy classes.

Some high schools present the TA in comparative religion classes.

Justin Vacula said...

And wait a sec...you don't believe that President Obama is an American citizen?

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

JD Curtis said...

See my last comment on the prior thread for my thoughts on Obama.

I would prefer that we remain on topic on this one though.

JD Curtis said...

Our high school has a senior AP philosophy class. The teleological aregument is presented there. Many high schools don't have philosophy classes.

Some high schools present the TA in comparative religion classes


Let me refine my earlier statement and say that I meant teleological arguments presented in reference to origin of life issues.

Froggie said...

"Let me refine my earlier statement and say that I meant teleological arguments presented in reference to origin of life issues."

The TA is a philosophical argument and even as such, it has been refuted over the ages by philosophers from David Hume to Daniel Dennett.

The TA (argument from design) has no basis in fact or science,has no empirical evidence,cannot be tested, and is not falsifiable.

Even if somehow there would be evidence for design would emerge, it would not be evidence that the designer is God, as Voltaire observed in his "Traité de métaphysique."

JD Curtis said...

(argument from design) has no basis in fact or science,has no empirical evidence,cannot be tested, and is not falsifiable

This isn't the exact Stephen C. Meyer quote I was looking for but it will do for know.

"Meyer disputes the demarcationist argument that intelligent design is inherently unscientific. "Scientists make design inferences all the time," he said. "No geologist, for example, would attribute the origin of the faces on Mount Rushmore to wind and erosion, nor would an archaeologist insist that the inscriptions on the Rosetta Stone are the result of purely natural causes. In the case of the Rosetta Stone, we infer design because we know that only intelligent agents have the capacity to produce the encoded information that the inscriptions contain. There is an important and clear difference between a "picture" in a cloud and an encoded message. And modern probability theory entirely supports this conclusion."

Also, in reference to Dean Kenyon, the same article contained...

"the "rules of science" that exclude intelligent design are applied selectively. "Dean Kenyon was accused of violating the canons of the scientific method because he had inferred an unobservable entity - an intelligent designer. Yet scientists, including evolutionary theorists, routinely infer the existence of entities that cannot be seen, such as fields, forces, quarks and past mutations, to name a few."

So it would appear that scientists are selctive in which unprovabe assumptions they wish to accept.

Froggie said...

"So it would appear that scientists are selctive in which unprovabe assumptions they wish to accept."

Not at all. Kenyon is a scientist in name only. He is a crackpot by practice and he fled being a witness in one trial and his Intelligent Design screed was rejected as science in the Dover Trial.

Kenyon has presented no evidence whatsoever for ID.

ID is a religious philosophy only.

JD Curtis said...

Kenyon is a scientist in name only

"Dean H. Kenyon is Professor Emeritus of Biology at San Francisco State University. He received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford University. He was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Biodynamics at the University of California at Berkeley, a Research Associate at NASA-Ames Research Center, and a Visiting Scholar at Trinity College, Oxford University." Link

he fled being a witness in one trial and his Intelligent Design screed was rejected as science in the Dover Trial

Or was it because 2 of the school board members they were supporting were on shaky ground legally and perjured themselves?

Froggie said...

"Or was it because 2 of the school board members they were supporting were on shaky ground legally and perjured themselves?"

No, in his decision the judge found that Itelligent design was merely Creationism dressed in a nice suit and was not science.

That decision spelled the end of teaching Creationism in a science class. It is now illegal. No matter what you say, there is no evidence for ID.

Michael Behe, the most prominent of ID proponents, and the leading expert for the defense said, under cross examination,:

"There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred."

You're dead in the waer, JD.

GentleSkeptic said...

"So it would appear that scientists are selctive in which unprovable assumptions they wish to accept."

Yes. Yes they are. They tend to select hypotheses that lend themselves to testing and confirmation. They tend to select hypotheses that make predictions that can be tested and confirmed, preferably in independent review.

If you believe that fields, forces, quarks and past mutations haven't had their implications and predictions thoroughly tested, then you are sorely mistaken. The predictions of QED are some of the most precise and complete in all of science. A fossil exactly like Tiktaalik was predicted, along with its likely location and position in the geologic column: then it was discovered, thereby rendering the prediction accurate.

In other words, scientists select 'assumptions' that are not 'unprovable,' or untestable, or non-falsifiable.

ID is not testable or falsifiable and flies in the face of all available evidence.

I'd like to hear the scientific ID explanation for lanugo or the blind spot in the human eye.

JD Curtis said...

That decision spelled the end of teaching Creationism in a science class. It is now illegal

From 2008... "One in eight U.S. high school biology teachers presents creationism or intelligent design in a positive light in the classroom, a new survey shows, despite a federal court's recent ban against it." Link

"There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred."

What is your source of information on this quote?

Here is a link to a peer reviewed scientific paper on Intelligent Design submitted by Meyer.

ID is not testable or falsifiable

And yet it's supporters argue that it is and explain why.

the human eye

Funny you should bring that up. Link

Froggie said...

"What is your source of information on this quote?"

Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District Trial transcript: Day 12 (October 19), AM Session, Part 1

"And yet it's supporters argue that it (ID) is and explain why."

No they don't. They are engaging in philosophy, not science. Please try to understand the difference between scientific evidence and philosophy. It is very important to these discussions.

The judge also wrote in his decision that any definition of science that would include ID would also then be open to include astrology.

"First, defense expert Professor Fuller agreed that ID aspires to 'change the ground rules' of science and lead defense expert Professor Behe admitted that his broadened definition of science, which encompasses ID, would also embrace astrology. Moreover, defense expert Professor Minnich acknowledged that for ID to be considered science, the ground rules of science have to be broadened to allow consideration of supernatural forces."
Judge Jones' decision- Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/4:Whether ID Is Science#Page 68 of 139.

Finally schools that actually do teach creationism/ID do so at their own peril and risk lawsuits costing the taxpayers millions of dollars.
The schoolboard in Louisiana just dropped their curriculum on creation under advisement of their attornys.

Creationism/ ID is dead in the water as science.
Done- over- toast- Not gonna happen.
No evidence- never has been.

JD Curtis said...

You guys just reminded me of something I came across late last week, quote..

"Over at BioLogos, biologist Kathryn Applegate has offered what has to be one of the more creative alternatives to the intelligent design of the bacterial flagellum: Magic. I'm not kidding" Link to full article

How is the weather in New South Wales?

GentleSkeptic said...

Yeah. The old irreducible complexity argument. No mention of the blind spot, or why we have one but cephalopods don't: their eyes are more 'well-designed' than ours.

What is the ID explanation for this? Why use an inferior eye-design for the only creatures with souls, the Creator's most beloved creatures? Why use more than one design for eyes at all? Compound eyes? Organisms with eyes that don't see? Intelligent must mean something other than what we ordinarily think of as "intelligence" in this context…

From your (cough: Discovery Institute) link:

"It's true that there's no way to falsify the bare assertion that a cosmic designer exists.
…Therefore, honest commentators should stop claiming that ID is empirically untestable, or that it makes no predictions."


Hard to see how that counts as an argument that ID, overall, IS falsifiable.

As to the specific "irreducible complexity" "arguments", they've been addressed ad nauseum on endless internet forums, although, sadly, not to the enlightenment of the stubborn. It boils down to incredulity. "We simply cannot see how this could have happened, therefore it couldn't have. And we're going to keep saying so. Also, we'd like to teach your kids that, too."

Evolution, on the other hand, is manifestly falsifiable. A single fossil discovery in the wrong strata (rabbits in the precambrian, anyone?) would send the whole thing crashing down.

In the end, a strong hypothesis has no need of a Wedge Document.
http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Wedge_document

JD: what is the ID explanation for lanugo?

Froggie said...

"How is the weather in New South Wales?"

If you were talking to me, I am not in NSW. All of my networking goes through proxy servers- untraceable.

JD Curtis said...

Pardon the NSW reference, I just found out the location of JCB/Secret Muslim diabolical Sybil-bitch that just won't go away.

what is the ID explanation for lanugo?

I don't know but I don't mind looking into it if you like.

Froggie said...

Don't bother, JD, there isn't one.

JD Curtis said...

Youre in NWPA if I'm not mistaken frogster. Next week I'm going to NEPA

Froggie said...

Those two areas are a long ways away. PA is a very wide state. If you're ever over this way, let me know. I'll buy you lunch.

JD Curtis said...

I was only ever to Pittsburgh/beaver falls once. Youre right. It's a wide state.

GentleSkeptic said...

Do wide states have wide stances? ; )

Froggie said...

Hahaha!

JD Curtis said...

Speaking of things that "evolved", this is soooo last week, but I'm sure you guys were getting around to mentioning it sooner or later...

"Harvard University announced last Friday that its Standing Committee on Professional Conduct had found Marc Hauser, one of the school's most prominent scholars, guilty of multiple counts of "scientific misconduct." The revelation came after a three-year inquiry into allegations that the professor had fudged data in his research on monkey cognition. Since the studies were funded, in part, by government grants, the university has sent the evidence to the Feds.

The professor has not admitted wrongdoing, but he did issue a statement apologizing for making "significant mistakes." And beyond his own immediate career difficulties, Mr. Hauser's difficulties spell trouble for one of the trendiest fields in academia—evolutionary psychology.

Mr. Hauser has been at the forefront of a movement to show that our morals are survival instincts evolved over the millennia. When Mr. Hauser's 2006 book "Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong" was published, evolutionary psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker proclaimed that his Harvard colleague was engaged in "one of the hottest new topics in intellectual life: The psychology and biology of morals."" Link

Froggie said...

Yes, because of established standards an methodologies frauds in swcience are smoked out, unlike people like Benny Hinn and Vox Day who defraud people right out in the open for years and years.
That is the beauty of taking philosophical positions; no one can actually prove you wrong. And in the case of the religious fraudsters, they also rip off their credulous minions of their hard earned money.

Froggie said...

"But .......remember this is what makes science so great. Science is not dogmatic. It's based on peer review and constant criticism. Scientists are still human and make errors, sometimes purposefully and sometimes not, so it's important to have these checks in place. Hauser was a giant in his field, but even he was not immune to scrutiny. It was his own graduate students who brought these problems to our attention at great personal risk." --- Jen McCreight

Jquip said...

JD: Yar, seems that way. The Fanboi dialectic -- not desiring to be wrong -- precludes Atheism as a position if the correct answer is to be correct in all things. He's just another trying to micromanage reality with narratives.

zilch said...

JD- get Froggie to make you Eggs Benedict. You won't regret it, I promise.

JD Curtis said...

JQP,

If you read this, tell me, what is your opinion about William Dembski as a mathematician?

For the rest of you, I came across this link over at Dembski's website that answers pretty much any question one might have re: Intelligent Design.

Froggie said...

He answers questions that nobody has asked. He still provides no evidence. It's philosophy.

GentleSkeptic said...

JD, I just have to say that I got a good chortle out of this:

"…the epitome of the quarrelsome and irritating type of atheist…"

And there you are, over on his blog, being… quarrelsome and irritating.

Kudos.

Also, that link that answers "pretty much any question one might have re: Intelligent Design"? Didn't say a word about lanugo.

What's the ID explanation for lanugo? That's my question re: Intelligent Design.

Stephen Albert said...

Gee JD, all of this because you saw Justin's blog linked on my page?