Up Coming TV

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Re: Today's TV

Postby a_haworthroberts » Mon May 05, 2014 4:59 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:
a_haworthroberts wrote:The Big Questions (on BBC iplayer, which I've just watched).

Right near the end - Alister McGrath concerned about religious fundamentalists (and those who misuse science - especially certain 'atheists'):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... pisode_16/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview ... ad=8453099
I don't think McGrath said that some atheists misuse science Ashley, I'd interpret him as saying that it does not help science to get involved in the argument. That implies, of course, that "science" is something that can be of itself be polluted or degraded by being used other than for the furtherance of knowledge. He seems to include in such pollution the use of science to extend the boundaries of the known into territory previously known as supernatural - something that's been going on long before the "new atheists" came on the scene. Despite his quoting Huxley, I'm sure Huxley would have had no qualms about taking territory from Soapy Sam. McGrath, I imagine, would be less happy to cede territory to science.
However, he was applauded for suggesting what has been said here: that religious fundamentalism is a driving force towards atheism.
More interestingly, while I was stepping through to find McGrath's bit I heard Fern Elsdon-Baker whom I'd not come across before. My loss, I think, having skipped back to hear the rest of her contributions. She wrote The Selfish Genius: How Richard Dawkins Rewrote Darwin's Legacy as long ago as 2009. It may be possible to find elements of the book on the New Scientist site (titled the "Dawkins Dogma") but I haven't looked for it yet.



I've re-checked. From around 55 minutes 30 seconds McGrath says that scientists need to make clear that science is theistically neutral. (Rather than anti-religion.) And that it needs to be rescued from being used as a weapon by religious or anti-religious fundamentalists. He also suggested that science needs to be purified of ideological elements (which I took to mean ideological claims rather than ideological people). (When I heard him give a talk locally a couple of years back - I posted about it here - he was having a bit of a go at Dawkins; incidentally Dawkins seems to have a low UK profile right now.)

But I could not spot a reference at this point by him to 'atheists' misusing science that I thought I heard last night (he did mention atheism just beforehand). So I accept Brian's comment.
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Re: Today's TV

Postby Brian Jordan » Mon May 05, 2014 6:24 pm

a_haworthroberts wrote:incidentally Dawkins seems to have a low UK profile right now.
Indeed, most of his activity seems to have been in the USA lately. Maybe he's been busy working on this, over there:
Announcing the "Openly Secular" Coalition
posted on April 29, 2014 12:37PM GMT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2014
http://www.richarddawkins.net/foundation_articles/2014/4/29/announcing-the-openly-secular-coalition#
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Re: Up Coming TV

Postby cathy » Mon May 05, 2014 9:39 pm

Fern Elsden Baker
http://www.fernelsdonbaker.org.uk/

Says Dawkins is starting to misrepresent science. And is he trying to popularise science or Richard Dawkins. I'd have to agree with her.

Not sure he's ever been a huge presence in the uk either. The only people I know who know much about him tend to be the uber religious. I'd heard of him but only really became very aware of him via bcse and creationism and the blow up on this site following his faith school menace programme just after I joined. That was after trawling thru a couple of his pop science books.

I'm pretty sure there are elements of the 'supernatural' science can test. Because they are obvious claims made by people, about events in the natural world which is easily within the remit of science, eg clairvoyance or astrology. There are other elements it can not such as the existence of God or Gods because they tend not to be within the realms of the natural world.

Either wat I'm not sure how useful Dawkins is to anything really. I'm not entirely sure why he's famous. His fame is one of those confusing things like Liz Hurley or Joey Essex where you really wonder what the hype is?

At the end of the day most achievements tend to be the result of broad coalitions of moderates like bcse.
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Recent TV

Postby a_haworthroberts » Tue May 06, 2014 8:35 pm

cathy wrote:Fern Elsden Baker
http://www.fernelsdonbaker.org.uk/

Says Dawkins is starting to misrepresent science. And is he trying to popularise science or Richard Dawkins. I'd have to agree with her.

Not sure he's ever been a huge presence in the uk either. The only people I know who know much about him tend to be the uber religious. I'd heard of him but only really became very aware of him via bcse and creationism and the blow up on this site following his faith school menace programme just after I joined. That was after trawling thru a couple of his pop science books.

I'm pretty sure there are elements of the 'supernatural' science can test. Because they are obvious claims made by people, about events in the natural world which is easily within the remit of science, eg clairvoyance or astrology. There are other elements it can not such as the existence of God or Gods because they tend not to be within the realms of the natural world.

Either wat I'm not sure how useful Dawkins is to anything really. I'm not entirely sure why he's famous. His fame is one of those confusing things like Liz Hurley or Joey Essex where you really wonder what the hype is?

At the end of the day most achievements tend to be the result of broad coalitions of moderates like bcse.



When speaking of ideologues McGrath failed to distinguish between those who try to use science to prove or disprove God and those who misrepresent or manipulate science in order to try and prove a young Earth and disprove evolution (or argue for any pet or crank theory that is out there).

I've read two Dawkins books and always thought he was in the former camp.

However it would appear that Elsdon- Baker thought in 2009 at least that he is actually in the latter camp in some way.

From the one single page that appears at Cathy's link I have to say that I am NOT convinced. I thought that natural selection DID act at the level of genes - or at least on gene pools as is mentioned in chapter 2 of 'The Greatest Show on Earth' where he mentions increased or decreased frequency of seeing a particular gene in a gene pool (whatever Darwin might have imagined was going on from one generation to the next based on the rather more limited information that was available to him when he was alive).

For what it's worth:
http://www.economist.com/node/14082089

I thought she made good points on Sunday's programme however.
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Current TV

Postby a_haworthroberts » Wed May 28, 2014 10:58 pm

Coast Australia

Those Australian YECs eg at CMI seem suspiciously quiet about this series, currently showing in the UK after first showing Down Under:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... rrier-reef

Neil Oliver has just confirmed that the Great Barrier Reef is 6,000 years old (a mere 'infant' on planet Earth).

Here's the YEC challenge for this week - and however long they wish. Demonstrate that no geological features on Earth are any older than the Great Barrier Reef. (And, if they are so motivated, that even 6,000 years is too old for the Great Barrier Reef because of the destructive effects of 'Noah's Flood' less than 5,000 years ago.)

Not just claim. Demonstrate (in the sense that 'evolutionists' and 'old Earthers' do just that.)

After all, in the words of Ken Ham "Science confirms the Bible" (and YECs do NOT simply make the honest claims that some Christians make about eg apparent fine-tuning and apparent privilege enjoyed by Earth pointing towards life having appeared by Design and not Chance, so if the YEC claims are not bogus hot air and anti-science they should be able to substantiate from more than Genesis texts that 'science' confirms that NOTHING in the physical universe is older than the Great Barrier Reef):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeO8UQSkJGk
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Alice and the Tar Pits

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:14 pm

Maybe this should be in the Alice Roberts thread but...
I happened to see the final third or so of Ice Age Giants on BBC2 this evening and lo, it was she. No repeat, being BBC, but should be on iPlayer for a week for one's trusty DVD writer. More to come, too, next week.
Anyway, she's visited the Tar Pits of sabre tooth tiger fame and roped in some excellent animators to illustrate the programme. But what really impressed me was her tour round a fossil collection. Not for the fossils shown but for the shelf upon shelf, case up on case, row upon row, room upon room of fossils. All excavated from tar pits, not sediment.
Creationists, weep a flood of tarry tears.
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Radio

Postby jon_12091 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:25 pm

Dipped in and out of this weeks Beyond Belief on the way home from work, billed as being about faith schools, but which was apparently on what is an Islamic Education. Despite two academics and a serious journo' it wasn't exactly enlightening or informative. A large dollop of informed opinion, but little hard fact. Didn't touch on creationism AFAIK, but did a bit on the Birmingham schools issue.

A far more interesting topic would have been are faith schools gaming the system, teaching one thing, but saying another?
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Re: Up Coming TV

Postby cathy » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:16 pm

Caught bits on the way

None of the Trojan horse schools were designated faith schools. Nick Cowan didn't teach in a faith school. I attended a faith school and not a whiff of creationism. My daughter attended a faith school and not a whiff of creationism.

Need to define terms. The issues are not faith schools but a lack of controls snd regulations. A lack of training for Ofsted. Outsourcing ofsted. Not regulations independent schools or free schools enough. And of course freedoms for academies of which all but one of the Trojan horse schools were.

The best school I know is a faith school. Why the f@@@ should it be taking the flak for something it has nothing to do with?
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Re: Up Coming TV

Postby Brian Jordan » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:22 am

On a lighter note, this morning on Radio 4 £xtra Count Arthur Strong (love him or hate him) has just parodied creationism with a slight improvement of an old canard**. It was during "Extra Strong" running all morning from 9am to 12. The section, his talk on "Creationism v Evolution" at the Oxford University Union (allegedly), was from about 10:15 to 10:45. So assuming it will be on iPlayer later it would be from 1hr 15mins onward.
**interesting that he made the fallacy a little more accurate by removing a little ignorance.
I'd put the fallacy bit behind a spoiler for haters who wouldn't enjoy the programme but the software lacks the option.
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Re: Up Coming TV

Postby cathy » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:38 pm

Whilst not strictly about creationism, My Brother the Terrorist on BBC was a very interesting look into the minds of extremists. A follow up to the equally brilliant my brother the Islamist.

Concentrated on Islamic radicalisation obviously but the interesting bit was from a Muslim psychologist who pointed out that those politicised were similar, in fact identical to their counterpart sing the EDL in that that were authoritarian and misogynistic. They were often people that had had trouble fitting in, disaffected, lonely and angry etc and therefore easy pickings for charismatic leaders who would give then not just acceptance but a sense of focus for that anger. Channel rage into some kind of us against them stuff with some neat propaganda.

Now as I say it wasn't about creationism but the parallels were there in terms of linguistic style. I've often said the language of CMI matched that of a hate preacher. The whipped up emotions about atheist evolution were down to lots rhetoric about the way evil scientists ignored and marginalised their view.

Not quite as powerful as the videos of US atrocities shown to newly radicalised Muslims or Islamic atrocities fed to EDL members but still there in essence.

And of course we've yet to meet a creationist who doesn't fit the disaffected lonely scenario. They are all a bit socially odd.

Anyway it's on I player and interesting even if don't agree it has parallels with creationists. Plus it's nice to see balance that removes the old evil Muslim reading evil Koran stereotype and points to the politicisation and the social disaffection as more apposite. Nothing that most people didn't know anyway.
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Re: Up Coming TV

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:16 am

cathy wrote:Whilst not strictly about creationism, My Brother the Terrorist on BBC was a very interesting look into the minds of extremists. A follow up to the equally brilliant my brother the Islamist.

Concentrated on Islamic radicalisation obviously but the interesting bit was from a Muslim psychologist who pointed out that those politicised were similar, in fact identical to their counterpart sing the EDL in that that were authoritarian and misogynistic. They were often people that had had trouble fitting in, disaffected, lonely and angry etc and therefore easy pickings for charismatic leaders who would give then not just acceptance but a sense of focus for that anger. Channel rage into some kind of us against them stuff with some neat propaganda.

Now as I say it wasn't about creationism but the parallels were there in terms of linguistic style. I've often said the language of CMI matched that of a hate preacher. The whipped up emotions about atheist evolution were down to lots rhetoric about the way evil scientists ignored and marginalised their view.



They are all ideologues; there is no underlying difference between any of them. They are all birds of a feather screeching to to the same tune.
Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities - Voltaire
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Re: Up Coming TV

Postby cathy » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:23 pm

Removed
Last edited by cathy on Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Up Coming TV

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:46 pm

cathy wrote:Truly, truly horrendous on the day we hear 17 year old Mohamed Abu Khdier was in all probability still alive when set alight in the latest outbreak of pointless sectarianism.
AFAIK the jury's still out on that one (the meeja jury apart, that is). It's been claimed that his family had just previously been subjected to three failed kidnapping attempts over some local or family dispute.
Have you a link to the Dawkins thing, please?
Oh, and "sectarianism" - that seems to have shifted in meaning from disputes between shades of religion to between religions - the BBC leading the chase. Not sure what the motive is is: maybe to minimise the difference between religions thanks to cultural relativism?
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Re: Up Coming TV

Postby cathy » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:18 pm

Removed post in case libellous and will send link to you privately. See what you think.

Sectarianism has as much to with religion being tied to cultural identity as anything else. And perceptions of discrimination because of being part of something. And without any shadow of a doubt it is getting worse. There are now idiots from all over Britain going to fight in Syria and Iraq. What would have been hysterically funny had it not been so tragic was the one interviewed on radio five who said he was going to fight with his brothers from Syria who would be his brothers of his family hadn't come from Pakistan. He was so clueless and stupid I thought it was a parody.

The parallels with WW2 are scary now and I can't help thinking the world is far more unstable than I've ever known it. So I the distinction has to be made between extremists and normal people - with faith being secondary. Otherwise you risk alienating the normal people as well. I will post you the links if can find them. See if you think they're ok.
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Re: Up Coming TV

Postby Brian Jordan » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:57 am

Brian Jordan wrote:On a lighter note, this morning on Radio 4 £xtra Count Arthur Strong (love him or hate him) has just parodied creationism with a slight improvement of an old canard**.
I almost forgot to expand on this now that it will have gone off iPlayer. What "Count Arthur" did was to improve slightly on the perennial "why are there still monkeys" with a slightly more accurate "why are there still gorillas?" Which suggests to me that he was not just poking fun generally but directly at the creationists.
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