Posts Tagged by evolution

The Curse of Genetic Testing Multiplied by 3,500

An article I read today announces that they have found a way to test for 3,500 genetic faults, raising concerns (the article says) about the ethical implications.  The story veers headlong into a sustained bout of research that I am currently engaged in, research that began by wanting to answer the basic question “how does  […]

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PZ Myers Should be Fired for Labeling Aborted Babies as ‘Meat’: A Debate

Tomorrow night, Tuesday Feb 1st, for our next Knights of Contention, we will debate the following proposition: PZ Myers Should be Fired!

Click here for information about past Knights of Contention.

His latest incendiary remarks involve dismissing unborn children (he calls them fetuses) as mere ‘meat’ that practical, scientific minded individuals are indifferent to. He also made news for his over the top, foaming at the mouth mockery of the Catholic faith regarding the elements of the eucharist smuggled out by what appeared to be a budding atheist activist. PZ Myer’s frequently visited blog is permeated with crude, rude, crass and sometimes positively fascistic ravings. Oh, and by the way he is professor at the University of Minnesota.

So, the issues to be debated are: Are there limits to academic freedom? Does a person or institution supported by the public dime have an obligation to show a modicum of respect to the public it allegedly serves? Does the public have the right to speak to the values they want their public institutions to transmit- or not? (PZ and his defenders are likely to manifest great hypocrisy on this point and others since they have no problem actively fighting and denouncing proponents of Intelligent Design and Creationism.)

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PZ Myers: People are Just Meat, Deal with It

PZ Myers continues to descend down the various stages into madness that atheism can lead a person- that is to say, like the religionists he despises, he also believes every lick of what he says he believes. In a recent blog post writing in reaction to an email from a pro-life person, he writes:

“You want to make me back down by trying to inspire revulsion with dead baby pictures? I look at them unflinchingly and see meat. And meat does not frighten me.”

On PZ’s view, we are all meat, whether we are diced and sliced or not. This is what we’re up against. P.S. I’m not talking about ‘science.’

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James Jay Lee’s Manifesto to Save the Planet

James Jay Lee originally posted this at www.savetheplanetprotest.com but it seems the site is down. I am posting it here in full for posterity’s sake.

The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY:
1. The Discovery Channel and it’s affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn’s “My Ishmael” pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other’s inventive ideas. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A game show format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leading scientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science and the problem of human overpopulation. Do both. Do all until something WORKS and the natural world starts improving and human civilization building STOP

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The Explanatory Fallacy

In the nearly 20 years or so of debating with various kinds of non-Christians, I have often encountered a way of thinking that I think is self-evidently flawed, but oddly common nonetheless. What I mean is this: as soon as you press the point, they drop the principle, recognizing it can’t be maintained as tightly as was presented. A moment later, or in another conversation, the principle is re-presented.

The principle is this: that a proposition is true if it explains something. Or, a belief is to be preferred if it explains something. Or, the better belief is the one that explains the most.

At first blush, this principle seems pretty solid. After all, don’t we give weight to an idea, hypothesis, or theory if it provides an explanation for something else? If I come across the body of a clearly murdered person and the evidence points to another person who is known to have hated the victim, wouldn’t we say, “Well, that explains that. He hated him.” ? Well, yes. It does explain it, but it still doesn’t follow that he actually murdered anyone. The time honored tradition for hanging a murder verdict on someone does include motive- but also means and opportunity. Merely having a hypothesis that ‘explains’ the facts does not prove the hypothesis. One must corroborate it. If it cannot be corroborated, it doesn’t follow it isn’t true. We just have to be careful how we weight it. We certainly would not (or ought not) sentence a man to death for it.

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Atheism and the Problem of Death

As I argued above, all the religions and most of the world’s people deal honestly and seriously with the problem of death, but I should like to point out something truly unique about Christianity: it believes that at a specific place at a particular time in our history, God himself- knowing perfectly well what an offense death was- dealt death itself a death blow. He came to earth in a real place at a real time and interacted with real people that we can know from real history and really died and really rose from the dead and really promised to share that victory with anyone who will really accept the medicine he really offers.

In my view, since death is the common denominator for all of us and the one thing that stands in our way of ultimate and meaningful happiness, it is a proper subject of intensive human scrutiny. If there were hope, real hope, that there is an ultimate answer to death, then it is worth doing everything in your power to find out, and if one finds that hope to be more than plausible, but actual, seize upon it.

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History of the Culture of Death

Pro-life speaker Anthony Horvath recounts the history of the ‘Culture of Death’ from Thomas Malthus to Charles Darwin to Margaret Sanger to Peter Singer, with an array of personalities in between. Horvath shows why population control proposals permeate the ‘Progressive’ movement for the last 200 years and why, and how, it must be countered today. This presentation was delivered Nov. 20th, 2010, at Concordia University in Seward Nebraska for a Nebraska Lutherans for Life organization.

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Apologetics is the Answer to Everything

Some Christians will begin seeing red just from reading the title of this entry.  They will be angry and annoyed and may even jump up out of their seats.  Therefore, let me say it again:  apologetics is the answer to everything. Whether it be the rapid decline of the Christian Church in America, the brisk […]

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Video (PETV)

A few weeks ago, James Jay Lee stormed the Discovery Channel network. There was a man who understood the power of video. In his screed, published online, he decried the shows “encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions.” Instead, he argued, Discovery should push “programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility.”

James Jay Lee was in a desperate spot. He knew that the fate of the planet hung in the balance. The earth, literally, needed saving. The people who knew this best were actually fueling the death of the earth. He wrote: “You MUST KNOW the human population is behind all the pollution and problems in the world, and YET you encourage the exact opposite instead of discouraging human growth and procreation. Surely you MUST ALREADY KNOW this!” (Emphasis his)

And how did Mr. Lee come to this startling revelation? In other online writings he indicated that he had been ‘awakened’ by Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”

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Methodological Naturalism, Falsifiability, and Evolution: A Challenge

# In order for something to be considered robust science, it needs to be falsifiable.
# Modern evolutionary theory is usually presented so that it entails unintelligent operations.
# To falsify the claim that something is driven by unintelligent forces one would have to show how intelligent forces were at work.
# Evolutionary apologists insist (with heapings of derision) that such a showing is outside the bounds of science.
# But if showing design is outside the bounds of science than there is no reliable and objective way to conclude scientifically that something is not designed.
# Therefore, macroevolutionary theory cannot be scientifically falsified at the point that it is the result of unguided natural processes since they reject as unscientific the very things that could falsify it.

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Global Warming Fraud Uses Same Scientific Method as Evolution

The Internet is abuzz with the revelations that global warming proponents have been… lying, hiding data, and deceiving. The whole notion that ‘climate change’ is an emergency requiring drastic and immediate action now hangs in the balance. I was reminded of a post I wrote last year responding to a global warming skeptic comparing the global warming proponents to creationists. I said that in fact it was the other way around. Today, with ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ in particular being smacked around, it is good to revisit the issue.

Why?

Because the raw fact is that the ‘science’ behind global warming is just as shady as the ‘science’ behind macroevolution. Just as we see in this current case where scientists worked not merely to suppress data but also suppress viewpoints, trying to manipulate the peer review process to exclude dissenters and refusing to debate them in order to deprive them of credibility, so too in evolution.

This was exposed by Ben Stein’s Expelled, which I already discussed here.

But there are even more dramatic similarities between the ‘science’ behind evolutionary theory and global warming. It is my hope that when people see how reputable scientists tried to buffalo the entire world, hiding behind ‘consensus,’ and ridiculing those who think other wise- regarding global warming- that they will spot the same patterns of behavior regarding evolution… and approach it with more skepticism.

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The Theological Implications of Finding Alien Extra-Terrestial Life

I have already addressed this in several places- here, and here- so I won’t dwell on things much. Instead, I want to reflect on an article I just read regarding the Vatican participating in an astrobiology conference to discuss the question.

In my previous posts, I argued that if aliens appeared, they might fly in the face of current expectations that are drenched in an evolutionary (and atheistic) outlook. Namely, we may find that these intelligent agents believe in God. They may not, as Richard Dawkins smugly posits, inquire first as to whether not humans have ‘discovered’ evolution. Let us allow that it is a possibility… but they may also possibly have a concept of God and creation that is identical, in theological principle, to what we see in the Christian Scriptures. Naturally, they may have a belief system identical to other systems.

My point is that they may deviate a great deal from the common narrative of aliens either being hostile consumers of resources or super-intelligent, highly technological and benevolent agents that have transcended petty human foibles and myths. In this narrative, both sides assume not just evolution but atheistic presuppositions.

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Atheism as ‘Gateway Drug’ to Drifting Away

As of this writing, I am facilitating a course/discussion regarding the decline of Christianity in America. Someone made a point in the discussion that is similar to one I’ve made previously… but I can’t find where I made it so I’m making it anew. 🙂

The question begins with a look at the measured increase in self-identified ‘religious nones’ in America since around 1990. (This data can be found linked to here.) In 1990, some 8% of Americans identified themselves as having no religion. Today, that figure has doubled. In the meantime, there has been a drop in those identifying themselves as Christians, from about 86% to 76% of the nation’s population. Some back of the napkin calculation suggests that some 30,000,000 fewer people call themselves Christian than did in 1990 with a significant portion of these falling into the ‘religious none’ category.

However, of note, the number of outright atheists has seen only a moderate increase. Even many of the ‘religious nones’ say they believe something.

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A Christian Reaction to ABC’s “V” Visitors

I am hoping that ABC’s “V” takes the place that Heroes formerly occupied before it jumped dozens of sharks. It is too soon to be sure, but there is certainly promise.

While “V” does not appear to break this kind of innovative ground, it was a breath of fresh air to have one of the main characters be a Christian priest who is… wait for it… skeptical. Christians are often portrayed as gullible or extremist whackos (see again, “Contact”) and your hard core evolutionary atheistic types are veritable bastions of cool headed logic and reason (see the TV show, “Bones.”) (Yes, it’s true that one Christian in “Contact” was more reasonable, but he wasn’t exactly definitive about his beliefs, either).

The Christian priest in “V” issues forth a sermon that makes quite a bit of sense: “Before you jump on the bandwagon, make sure it is sturdy enough to hold you.” There is no atheistic foil in “V.” Nonetheless, I am pretty sure that your hard core secular humanist would accept without question a message presented to them by aliens like those we see in “V.” I know this because they already have.

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