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Monday, May 9, 2011

An 'Agnostic Spring'?



While reading an article about Jonathan Wells' new book The Myth of Junk DNA (the preface of which can be read by clicking here), I came across this gem from self-identified agnostic James Kirk Wall entitled Creationism is biblical, Intelligent Design is agnostic. Are so-called 'free thinkers' actually starting to think for themselves?





"Creationism is a Christian expression to argue against certain elements of evolutionary theory that do not coincide with biblical scripture. Intelligent Design (ID) is not tied to biblical scripture; it is an agnostic term in regards to supernatural intelligence outside of any religion.

Many atheists claim ID and Creationism are the same thing. They are not, even though some Christian groups are trying to use ID to bring religious scripture into the classroom. Intelligent design outside of any specific religious text is the only agnostic argument to be had on all of life not simply happening by blind chance.

If ID were somehow proven to be true, it would no more prove Christianity than it would Hinduism. It would not prove life after death, or an interactive God. Many questions may be answered, but many would be unanswered.

The people currently living without God, as in no worship or prayer, would likely continue to live as they are now. Any proof of a supernatural intelligence would still leave the question of what exactly that intelligence is and the implications, if any, toward our daily lives."






Kudos to Wall for exposing what so many of us already know. David Klinghoffer mentions that over at pandasthumb.org there seems to be some serious discussion "that ID seems to imply not theism but dualism, the notion that there's a separate realm of the mind and of ideas that may interact with the physical world and influence or direct it but is not reducible to material terms."

All of this gives one hope that there will be serious discussion on the subject. I'll truly be impressed when those at Pharyngula and Talk.origins start correctly defining Intelligent Design and addressing arguments on the subject like adults instead of actingly like highly dismissive screechy monkeys

33 comments:

Theological Discourse said...

Creationism is biblical and ID is agnostic? wait that wasn't completely obvious from the get go?

Gregg said...

Great take! I agree, should have be obvious out the gate and shame on Christians for even going there.

JD Curtis said...

Insofar as "some Christian groups are trying to use ID to bring religious scripture into the classroom", I don't think that is necessary.

The courts have already ruled that the Bible can be taught in classrooms from the perspective of the great literary source that it truly is.

" The Bible gives us poetry and drama, legal documents, history, and romance, and is arguable the world's most excellent collection of literature, ancient or otherwise. Not only are the Bible stories worthy reads in themselves, but a massive number of common idioms and sayings come to us from the Bible. In fact, a knowledge of the Bible is vital for understanding much of Western literature where allusions to the Scriptures constantly pop up constantly. We don't only find the Bible in obvious places like Paradise Lost by John Milton, but in the writings of John Steinbeck and O. Henry, Mark Twain and William Faulkner. Biblical references pervade our greatest books.

In fact, Shakespeare himself alludes to the Bible so regularly that some folks have speculated he was one of the scholars that translated the King James Version. The story of Cain and Abel alone shows up in Shakespeare 25 times, and a conservative estimate of Shakespeare's biblical allusions runs about 1200 in number. Shakespeare used the Bible with relish." Link

Reynold said...

JD Curtis
Insofar as "some Christian groups are trying to use ID to bring religious scripture into the classroom", I don't think that is necessary.

The courts have already ruled that the Bible can be taught in classrooms from the perspective of the great literary source that it truly is.

You realize that the ID people are trying to bring the bible in as a scientific work, right?

Or more precisely, they're trying to get the biblical version of origins taught as science.

By the way, just because a book is widely read it doesn't mean that it's great literature, see "Harry Potter" or "Left Behind".

It certainly doesn't mean that it's accurate either.

Now, as to "screechy monkeys", you'd best have a look at the rantings of Andy Schlafly himself.

If the man is so stupid that he links the Einstein's Theory of Relativity with "moral relativism" and claims that belief in black holes makes people read the bible less then he's not a good source for analyzing science nor scientists.

Face it, your man Schlafly is a delusional lackwit.

He has an inaccurate grasp of reality and should thus not be relied upon to comment on it.


About Junk DNA? From what I gather, it's still Junk DNA.

JD Curtis said...

You realize that the ID people are trying to bring the bible in as a scientific work, right?

Or more precisely, they're trying to get the biblical version of origins taught as science


I doubt the author of the above article wold agree with this assesment and neither would I.

Would another agnostic, David Berlinski, be accused of "trying to get the biblical version of origins taught as science' when he utilizes the advent of the algorithm to bolster the case for ID?

Insofar as Einstein's theory of relativity being substituted for moral relativety, Schlafy is not the only one to point out how people confuse it with moral relativety. D. James Kennedy has pointed this out in the past as well.

Stormbringer said...

Since "Creationism" is a term loaded with emotional connotations (see "Fundamentalist"), people with sneers on their faces and axes to grind use the terms synonymously. Some of us have pointed out for years that ID is not promoting "religion". I have asked, "OK, what religion? There are people of many religious persuasions in the ID movement". In fact, some Creationists do not like ID.

GentleSkeptic said...

I'm super lazy today, so I'm just pasting some quotes from the comments at the "gem" you linked to. These are all from well-known ID proponents.

"This [the intelligent design movement] isn't really, and never has been, a debate about science, it's about religion and philosophy."
—Phillip Johnson, World Magazine, 30 November 1996.

"The objective is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism versus evolution to the existence of God versus the nonexistence of God. From there people are introduced to 'the truth' of the Bible and then 'the question of sin' and finally introduced to Jesus."
—Phillip Johnson, "Missionary Man", Church and State, April 1999.

"The Intelligent Design movement starts with the recognition that 'In the beginning was the Word,' and 'In the beginning God created.' Establishing that point isn't enough, but it is absolutely essential to the rest of the gospel message."
—Phillip Johnson, Foreword to Creation, Evolution, & Modern Science, 2000.

"Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools."
—Phillip Johnson, on American Family Radio (10 January 2003).

"I also don't think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that's comparable. ... No product is ready for competition in the educational world."
—Phillip Johnson, Berkley Science Review (Spring 2006).

"Indeed, Intelligent Design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory."
—William Dembski, “Signs of Intelligence,” 1999, Touchstone magazine.

"My thesis is that all disciplines find their completion in Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from Christ."
—William Dembski, Intelligent Design, p 206.

"Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don't have such a theory now, and that's a real problem. Without a theory it's very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now we've got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as "irreducible complexity" and "specified complexity" - but as yet no general theory of biological design."
—Paul Nelson, Touchstone Magazine interview, July/August 2004.

Remember: these are the founders of (and primary apologists for) ID speaking. I guess they're all secretly agnostic.



"Or more precisely, they're trying to get the biblical version of origins taught as science."

I doubt the author of the above article would agree with this assessment and neither would I.


This warrants a repeat:

"The Intelligent Design movement starts with the recognition that 'In the beginning was the Word,' and 'In the beginning God created.' Establishing that point isn't enough, but it is absolutely essential to the rest of the gospel message."
Phillip Johnson, Foreword to Creation, Evolution, & Modern Science, 2000.

JD Curtis said...

It seems that you have a particular Phillip Johnson fetish GS.

I admire Johnson in that his background enables him to distinguish between what can commonly be considered "evidence" and what does not qualify.

Take him out of the equation and you have one religious quote from Dembski and Paul Nelson stating "We don't have such a theory" seven years ago.

Here's a A Positive, Testable Case for Intelligent Design recently advanced by Casey Luskin if youre interested.

JD Curtis said...

This just in from Uncommon Descent..

Neuroscience is past viewing the human brain as a machine

Ghost Who Walks said...

There are huge problems with Luskin's supposed "Testable Case for Intelligent Design". Luskin is clever enough to know not to bother submitting this to peer-review because even lay-people will observe the paper assumes its own conclusion. (see table 1 for an example).
Secondly, his paper rests on papers that have been retracted. (The paper by Meyer for example).

Also, most people are smart enough to recognize that the Discovery Institute has a religious agenda. As ex-senior fellow Philip Gold states "It evolved from a policy institute that had a religious focus to an organization whose primary mission is Christian conservatism."

Ghost Who Walks said...

Also, I find your emphasis on Conservapedia hugely surreal.
It's almost as if you want your own reality separate from actual existence.

JD Curtis said...

1. What paper did Meyer retract? I found this entry about a paper of his..

"the journal's publisher (not Meyer) retracted the article, alleging it had not met the journal's scientific standards and had not been properly peer reviewed. This statement was met with much skepticism, with the real reasoning for the paper's retraction being extreme hostility towards intelligent design. This was confirmed when Dr. Roy McDiarmid, the President of the Biological Society of Washington and a scientist at the Smithsonian, later admitted that there was no wrong doing regarding the peer-review process of Meyer's paper:

"I have seen the review file and comments from 3 reviewers on the Meyer paper. All three with some differences among the comments recommended or suggested publication. I was surprised but concluded that there was not inappropriate behavior vs a vis [sic] the review process".

most people are smart enough to recognize that the Discovery Institute has a religious agenda

What religion is Berlinski?

Why are certain Jewish scientists critical of marcro-evolutionary theory as well?

Are they in fact closeted Jerry Falwell fans, secretly rooting for Liberty University?

Ghost Who Walks said...

the journal's publisher (not Meyer) retracted the article

I said the paper was retracted and it was. It had not been submitted to peer-review and failed to meet the scientific standards necessary. Meyer's wiki page will give you links if you wish to know more.

You may not have heard what Zachary Moore observed at an event where David Berlinski spoke;

"Upon drawing close, he heard Krauss ask Berlinski why he wasted his intellect advocating for intelligent design. To which Berlinski replied that he doesn’t believe a word of it, but is happy to cash the checks the Discovery Institute writes him. Strangely enough, this would be consistent with Berlinski’s odd statement early on in which he admitted that his own ethical orientation was focused on living as contentedly and as selfishly as possible."

JD Curtis said...

It's almost as if you want your own reality separate from actual existence

Is it reality that "Dr. Roy McDiarmid, the President of the Biological Society of Washington and a scientist at the Smithsonian, later admitted that there was no wrong doing regarding the peer-review process of Meyer's paper"?

If so, at what point were you going to mention this?

JD Curtis said...

I said the paper was retracted and it was. It had not been submitted to peer-review

So three scientists did not review the paper and recommended or suggest it's publication, is that what you are saying? I will be asking you for a source on that.

Meyer's wiki page will give you links if you wish to know more

Isnt Wiki the online source that school teachers do not allow children to cite as their source when writing papers for school?

Berlinski is highly adept at pointing out the inherent flaws flaws in Darwin's theories.

Again, what religion is Berlinski? second attempt

Jquip said...

Hmm. I'm fond of GS' first quote -- the one from Johnson -- but likely for different reasons. Science itself is a philosophy about throwing down false claims and shoddy religions. It always has been. But that's the rub.

It's not that ID is non-Christian, it is simply non-Sectarian. That's the proper sense of 'Agnostic' to keep it in; that it picks no particular religion but that it is still a religious proposition. eg. Untestable.

But then that's exactly true of Darwinist notions also. They are unprovable -- and so, unproven -- and is a religious proposition as well. And just as 'Agnostic' in the non-Sectarian sense.

Within the American milieu that simply means that neither ought be taught on the public dime. Even for literature. Above complaints notwithstanding great literature is defined by the volume of sales rather than government chosen curricula for small children.

Though I suppose my last is superfluous. It's hardly worth worrying over what the government finds worthy of reading when they remain incapable of teaching the students to read in the first place.

GentleSkeptic said...

It seems that you have a particular Phillip Johnson fetish GS.

And it seems that you have an ID fetish, JD. Phillip E. Johnson is to ID what Darwin is to the ToE.

Phillip E. Johnson (born 18 June 1940) is a retired UC Berkeley law professor and author. He became a born-again Christian while a tenured professor and is considered the father of the intelligent design movement. A critic of what he calls "Darwinism" and "scientific materialism", Johnson rejects evolution in favor of neocreationist views known as intelligent design. He was a cofounder of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture (CSC) and is credited with establishing the wedge strategy, which aims to change public opinion and scientific consensus, and seeks to convince the scientific community to allow a role for God in scientific theory (a position he terms theistic realism).



Take him out of the equation and you have one religious quote from Dembski and Paul Nelson stating "We don't have such a theory" seven years ago.

…says the guy who approvingly links to seven-year-old "research" that cites 33-year-old sources. Whatever.



But then that's exactly true of Darwinist notions also. They are unprovable -- and so, unproven…

Here we go again, insisting that science is about "proving things".

Logic and math are about proving things. Science is about testing hypotheses and reaching provisional conclusions that explain phenomena, creating a theoretical framework upon which you can coherently hang your findings. "The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment."

"Darwinist" notions—whatever we mean by that—were and are manifestly testable. They've been tested over and over and over. Some were found wanting, others passed muster. The Modern Synthesis—our current provisional understanding—is also testable, and also makes predictions which can and will be tested. ID, of course, makes no predictions and proposes no mechanisms for the alleged design. ("We don't have such a theory now, and that's a real problem." —Paul Nelson)

It comes down to personal thresholds for reasonable conclusions. It seems like Jquip's threshold for approving the findings of 150 years of robust inquiry is very, very high. Given that nothing can be proven, one wonders what he would endorse for teaching in public school.

All this to say that if ID is agnostic (believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena), then it certainly isn't science, which is only concerned with knowledge of the material world. And that ID, as it is practiced and promoted in America by its founders and proponents, is most certainly not agnostic.

JD Curtis said...

And it seems that you have an ID fetish, JD. Phillip E. Johnson is to ID what Darwin is to the ToE

This from a guy who couldnt define Biomathematics if a new Cadillac was riding on it.

JD Curtis said...

I can't let this thread pass without posting my favorite all-time youtube video n which David Berkinski makes Eugenie Scott and Barry Lynn look foolish Link

JD Curtis said...

Sorry, Link

Jquip said...

GS: Uh...

"Science is about testing hypotheses and reaching provisional conclusions that explain phenomena, creating a theoretical framework upon which you can coherently hang your findings."

Ok, your position is that science is not about proving things in any sense, but rather simply creating a happy scaffold of unprovable things for us to hang our hats on.

And your objection to the Resurrection was... what again?

""Darwinist" notions—whatever we mean by that—were and are manifestly testable."

If it's testable then it's provable. But -- your philosophy on it -- Science doesn't do proofs. Therefore, in roundabout ways, you agree with my conclusion that Darwinist notions aren't Science. You're just kvetching about the work I showed.

Well, and claiming that Evolution has a Mathematical Proof floating about. Which is nice and all. Despite that none have ever seen it and that, like Euclidean Geometry, all such are based on the happy scaffold of our chosen axioms anyways.

GentleSkeptic said...

This from a guy who couldn't define Biomathematics if a new Cadillac was riding on it.

Well, I (sort of) could now, after reading (a little) about it. And I fail to see how it in any way supports ID or refutes the ToE. (If anything, it seems to loosely mirror Quantum Chromodynamics, in that the idea is matter-as-code, unfolding itself from simpler to more complex forms.) I did appreciate that the anonymous author at Uncommon Descent tried to make it do so by cutting Mr. Stewart short and simply interjecting: "This sounds more like design or self-organization than like natural selection acting on random mutation."

"Sounds more like." Of course, if the anonymous author at Uncommon Descent had finished reading Ian Stewart's article, he'd have found no refutation of natural selection, but rather a lovely and entirely non-supernatural discussion of chaos theory:

It might seem that such outlandish behaviour has no place in nature, but chaos is entirely natural. It arises whenever the dynamics of a system mix everything up, much as kneading dough mixes the ingredients. It seems outland­ish only if you are looking for solutions that can be expressed by neat, tidy formulas. Those are rare, and nature doesn't need them.

The mathematical model that justifies Gause's principle assumes the populations do not fluctuate over time. But this takes the "balance of nature" metaphor too seriously. Ecosystems must be stable, but a stable system need not remain in exactly the same state for ever, just as a stable economy is not one in which everyone has exactly the same amount of money as they did yesterday. A population is stable if fluctuations remain within fairly tight limits. It is not necessary that there be no fluctuations at all.

Chaos theory solves our oceanic puzzle; it ­allows for erratic fluctuations, but places limits on their size. Chaotic fluctuations let different species utilise the same resources, but at different times. They still avoid direct competition, but they don't do it by one of them winning and killing off all the others. They do it by taking turns to gain access to the same resource. This is how chaos solves the paradox of the plankton.


I love it when you guys send me right to the refutation.

GentleSkeptic said...

Takes more than a Blogger crash to shut me up!

This from a guy who couldn't define Biomathematics if a new Cadillac was riding on it.

Well, I (sort of) could now, after reading (a little) about it. And I fail to see how it in any way supports ID or refutes the ToE. (If anything, it seems to loosely mirror Quantum Chromodynamics, in that the idea is matter-as-code, unfolding itself from simpler to more complex forms.) I did appreciate that the anonymous author at Uncommon Descent tried to make it support ID by cutting Mr. Stewart short and simply interjecting: "This sounds more like design or self-organization than like natural selection acting on random mutation."

"Sounds more like." Of course, if the anonymous author at Uncommon Descent had finished reading Ian Stewart's article, he'd have found no refutation of natural selection, but rather a lovely and entirely non-supernatural discussion of chaos theory:

It might seem that such outlandish behaviour has no place in nature, but chaos is entirely natural. It arises whenever the dynamics of a system mix everything up, much as kneading dough mixes the ingredients. It seems outland­ish only if you are looking for solutions that can be expressed by neat, tidy formulas. Those are rare, and nature doesn't need them.

The mathematical model that justifies Gause's principle assumes the populations do not fluctuate over time. But this takes the "balance of nature" metaphor too seriously. Ecosystems must be stable, but a stable system need not remain in exactly the same state for ever, just as a stable economy is not one in which everyone has exactly the same amount of money as they did yesterday. A population is stable if fluctuations remain within fairly tight limits. It is not necessary that there be no fluctuations at all.

Chaos theory solves our oceanic puzzle; it ­allows for erratic fluctuations, but places limits on their size. Chaotic fluctuations let different species utilise the same resources, but at different times. They still avoid direct competition, but they don't do it by one of them winning and killing off all the others. They do it by taking turns to gain access to the same resource. This is how chaos solves the paradox of the plankton.


I love it when you send me right to the refutation. Incidentally, this is a perfect example of a quote-mine.

GentleSkeptic said...

Jquip: Blogger ate your comment and my response, but here goes:

…your position is that science is not about proving things in any sense, but rather simply creating a happy scaffold of unprovable things for us to hang our hats on.

My position is that the scientific method is about "proving" things by way of being unable to falsify them, despite repeated attempts. The scaffolding is made of testable and falsifiable—but non-falsified—propositions. More tests and no falsification yield a sturdy scaffolding that we call a strong theory.

If it's testable then it's provable.

Disagree. If it's testable then it's falsifiable. Repeat. Repeat again. Given repeatable testability and barring successful falsification, it's reasonable to think that your theory has legs. Keep it going for 150 years and get cross-disciplinary support and evidence for your findings, and it's reasonable to think that your theory accurately represents reality.

Science doesn't do proofs.

Correct. Science does falsification, and arrives at provisional conclusions via successive elimination of possible explanations.

And your objection to the Resurrection was... what again?

Non-repeatable and non-repeated. Non-verifiable. Non-falsifiable. No contemporaneous accounts; only documented in one collected and after-the-fact source, which is blatant about its vested interest in persuading us. To top it off: really, really unlikely.

Therefore, in roundabout ways, you agree with my conclusion that Darwinist notions aren't Science.

You know this isn't true. But it is adorable.

I'll leave you with two nice quotes from the author JD introduced me to today, Ian Stewart.

"There is another old joke, about a drunk searching under a lamp post for his keys. "Did you drop them here?" "No, but this is the only place where there's enough light to look." The original context, in Computer Power and Human Reason by Joseph Weizenbaum, was an analogy with science, and his point was the exact opposite of the usual interpretation of the joke. In science, you have to search under the lamp post, or you'll never find anything. Even if the keys are somewhere along the road in the gutter, you might find a torch under the lamp post. Then you can search further afield."

"Science is the best defense against believing what we want to."

Ghost Who Walks said...

"later admitted that there was no wrong doing regarding the peer-review process of Meyer's paper"

At no point did I say there was any wrong doing regarding the peer-review process of Meyer's paper.
That Meyer's paper has failed peer-review is a fact as the paper was retracted. By definition a retracted paper has failed peer-review. You should understand this.

"Isnt Wiki the online source that school teachers do not allow children to cite as their source when writing papers for school?"

At no point did I cite Wiki as a source. I said Meyer's Wiki page can give you links about the events surrounding the paper. It can. In fact, you quote almost verbatiom from one of the links it provides.

"Berlinski is highly adept at pointing out the inherent flaws flaws in Darwin's theories."

Berlinski's objections can be found on any creationist website and have been refuted many times over.

"Again, what religion is Berlinski? second attempt"

Frankly, it is disquieting that a person should suggest that a person's race or religion gives weight to his ideas. I am interested with his notions. His race, religion, or ideologies have no bearing on the ideas he has express. Ideas which have no credibility.

JD Curtis said...

At no point did I say there was any wrong doing regarding the peer-review process of Meyer's paper

Actually, in your above entry timestamped at 7:22 you said that (in regards to Meyer's paper), quote "It had not been submitted to peer-review".

So are you now retracting your earlier statement?

That Meyer's paper has failed peer-review is a fact as the paper was retracted

But I'm confused, wouldnt the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington require that the article had been peer reiewed? Are you saying that the paper failed peer review (which apparently never took place) but then that the Biological Society of Washington went ahaed anyway and just puiblished the paper?

By definition a retracted paper has failed peer-review. You should understand this

Where is this definition found? Please cite your source.

At no point did I cite Wiki as a source. I said Meyer's Wiki page can give you links about the events surrounding the paper

And I asked "Isnt Wiki the online source that school teachers do not allow children to cite as their source when writing papers for school?" and yet you refused to answer. 2nd atttempt

Berlinski's objections can be found on any creationist website and have been refuted many times over

Name one argument raised by Berlinski that A) appears on a creationist website and B) has been refuted at all (nevermind "many times over") or retract this statement.


Frankly, it is disquieting that a person should suggest that a person's race or religion gives weight to his ideas

But that isnt what I said at all and you are changing the topic.

You stated "the Discovery Institute has a religious agenda" timestamped at 6:54.

I stated nothing at all about how one's religious beliefs. Now admit that you are being intellectually dishonest and answer the question "What religion is Berlinski?" 3rd and final attempt

Reynold said...

JD Curtis said...

You realize that the ID people are trying to bring the bible in as a scientific work, right?

Or more precisely, they're trying to get the biblical version of origins taught as science


I doubt the author of the above article wold agree with this assesment and neither would I.

Would another agnostic, David Berlinski, be accused of "trying to get the biblical version of origins taught as science' when he utilizes the advent of the algorithm to bolster the case for ID?

He allies himself with those whose stated purpose in the wedge document, including your hero Philip Johnson, are trying to do just that: bring xianity to prominence in society and science.

Insofar as Einstein's theory of relativity being substituted for moral relativety, Schlafy is not the only one to point out how people confuse it with moral relativety. D. James Kennedy has pointed this out in the past as well.
Schlafly did not say that people confuse it with moral relativity, HE is the one who is that confused in the first place! Are you saying that Kennedy was that stupid also?

JD Curtis said...

Reynold, I think you would be much better served if you actually explained why "the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies" is a bad thing than just pointing to it and saying that it's wrong.

trying to.. bring xianity to prominence in society and science

Christianity does not need to be brought into prominence in science since it basically founded practically every branch of science.

Let's see here, I can only name the following....

"Antiseptic surgery, Joseph Lister

Bacteriology, Louis Pastuer

Calculus, Dynamics, Isaac Newton

Celestial Mechanics, Johannes Kepler

Chemistry, Gas Dynamics, Robert Boyle

Comparative Anatomy, Georges Cuvier

Computer Science, Charles Babbage

Dimensional Analysis, Model Analysis, Lord Rayleigh

Electronics, John Ambrose Fleming

Electrodynamics, James Clark Maxwell

Electromagnetics, Field Theory, Michael Faraday

Energetics, Lord Kelvin

Entomology of Living Insects, Henri Fabre

Field Mechanics, George Stokes

Galactic Astronomy, Sir William Herschel

Genetics, Gregor Mendel

Glacial Geology, Ichthyology, Louis Agassiz

Gynecology, James Simpson

Hydrography, Oceanography, Matthew Maury

Hydrostatics, Blaise Pascal

Isotropic Chemistry, Willam Ramsey

Natural History, John Ray

Non-Euclidean Geometry, Bernard Riemann

Optical Mineralogy, David Brewster

And on it goes. All of these founders were Bible believers...."

Kennedy, D. James and Jerry Newcombe: WHAT IF JESUS HAD NEVER BEEN BORN?, pg 101, Thomas Nelson Publishers

"The idea that religion is the enemy of science is a remarkably silly one when examined in scientific terms. Consider that Christian nation and the hostility to science it supposedly harbors due to it's extraordinary religiosity. And yet the United States of America accounts for more than one-third of global scientific output despite representing only 4.5 percent of the global population. The scientific overproduction of religious America is a factor of 7.89, representing 28.7 percent more scientific output per capita than the most atheistic nation in Europe, France."

Day, Vox: The Irrational Atheist, pgs 58-59,BanBella Books

JD Curtis said...

Schlafly did not say that people confuse it with moral relativity, HE is the one who is that confused in the first place! Are you saying that Kennedy was that stupid also?

Actually, Kennedy wrote, "This is what he (Einsten) said: "Relativety refers only to the realm of physics-not ethics"

So apparently Einstein spoke out against such confusion as well.

GentleSkeptic said...

JD -

I thought you might find this interesting. In a post that got eaten by the Blogger outage, you snarked at me that I "couldn't define Biomathematics if a new Cadillac was riding on it"—as though you could—and then linked with zeal to an Uncommon Descent post in which the author and mathematician Ian Stewart was quoted out-of-context in such a way as to suggest that he supported ID… a technique commonly known as a "quote-mine."

Well, I contacted Professor Stewart via the info on his Wiki page, sent him the link, and asked him what he thought of it.

Here is his response (emphasis mine):

They quote me correctly but their interpretation is their own. It's rather desperate—taking a well known principle that leads to symmetric geometric forms and then calling it 'design'. Design would be NOT getting the obvious simple forms that physics presents us with. That's the trouble with the ID mob: don't know how to think straight. 

In effect they're reviewing my book and I very seldom contest what reviewers say—it's just their opinion. But thanks for alerting me to their idiosyncratic interpretation.



Prof Ian Stewart
FRS
Mathematics Institute

University of Warwick

Coventry CV4 7AL

UK

+44 (0) 24-76523740



You're very fond of demanding that contributors retract statements when they're shown to be false. Will you now show that this is a double standard?

JD Curtis said...

you snarked at me that I "couldn't define Biomathematics if a new Cadillac was riding on it"

I wanted to get around to this. I only recently found out about the field of Biomathematics myself. To be fair, I was rubbing elbows with rather young, hip ER physician who considers himself quite 'with it' when it comes to biology at a function last Saturday and he admitted to never having heard of Biomathematics either.

Did Prof. Stewart speak at all concerning complexity?

I think it's obvious that Uncommon Descent read their own interpretation of Stewart's writings.

Thanks for posting that.

GentleSkeptic said...

Did Prof. Stewart speak at all concerning complexity?

I posted the entirety of his response. He speaks at length about complexity in the original article that UD linked to. It's quite interesting, although I'm not convinced that it represents a "sixth wave." I could be totally wrong about that, of course.

GentleSkeptic said...

Just re-read your list of devout scientists, offered as proof that Christianity "founded practically every branch of science."

I have one name in response. Francis Collins. He believes in the Bible. He also understands the fact of evolution.

I think you see where your "argument" breaks down. Christianity didn't create science, some Christians did. Christians were mostly what we had in the west, so this is hardly surprising. The things they discovered were and are true independent of their faith in Christ, because they discovered them not through their faith in Christ, but through empiricism and the scientific method.

Darwin was a Christian too, you know.