Strategy

Many Christians do not believe that Scripture supports the Young Earth Creationist position. This moderated forum is for good natured scholarly debate.

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Re: Strategy

Postby cathy » Fri May 06, 2011 12:21 pm

was objecting to the equivalence you were setting up between gnus and creationists on the basis that neither seemed to compromise much. Rhetorically what you were saying was "gnus and creationists are as bad as each other". I think that is ridiculous.

Nope you misread me. I was merely pointing out that some people compromise and some don't. Some issues are so blatently black and white (eg evolution or the age of the earth) that you cannot compromise with people stupid or ignorant enough to believe otherwise. Others are a matter of personal feeling and you can either join together and fight one issue on which you do agree or decide the personal differences are too great and not.

I must admit creationism is my limit-I couldn't join them on any issue no matter how strongly I felt without telling them how stupid they were so I'm not unsympathic to Dawkins whose limit is religion in general-though I disagree on that. I've tried arguing politely, even wildly overcompensating in finding nice ways to say moron to our resident creationist troll and creationists generally just to get them to listen to reasonable scientific argumentss, and still ended up being incredibly rude-because at the end of the day there are only so many ways to call someone a lying deluded idiot politely. And he called me the devils agent or an agent of satan. So I wouldn't take what you perceive to be my overt antipathy to you too seriously.

Nobody on the planet could be as bad as creationists (well within reason obviously there are worse thing eg the taliban-but creationist theology accompnying their nonsense is generally pretty unpleasant).
Well, I think it bears some further unpacking. I don't agree that science is irrelevant to either philosophy in general or the question of the existence of god in particular. Nor would lots of theologians, of course.

Not sure what you mean here. I was chatting to a friend last night who pointed out he'd managed to get through the whole of his degree, Phd and ten years of research knowing nothing about the philosophy of science (and never using the word paradigm if Marcs reading). I got through my degree knowing nothing about it nor thinking about it(philosophy that is not my degree-though wish i'd thought about that more).

Science is very clearly defined in what it shows. Radiometric dating shows the age of the earth and allows more than adequate time for evolution. The genome and fossils likewise show transitions and support evolution. issues beyond the science stray into philosophical areas and science becomes nebulous with the same fact being used to support differing opinions. Evidence leads to conclusions about that evidence, those conclusions support theories that are tested to destruction and stand or fall on on the science and absence of alternatives. Evolution is strong and in being so has disproved any chance of a literal interpretation of the bible (or currently any alternative scientific explanation). Science is also a subject that changes only when the evidence does. Philosophy can use science for philosophical arguments but with limitations. Science doesn't need philosophy.

they object to religion in general, or they complain that objection to religion in general is - if not harmful to the narrow campaign - just plain wrong or daft or counterproductive or impossible. And that then becomes a batter about who is welcome where.

But what is the objection to the moderate anglican church which seems reasonable and led by an educated group of people and shares the values of most decent people. The objections to creationist, homophobic, fake healing nutcases is easy to define on about any level. Surely you have to recognise the distinction and how easy it is to draw it.

wish Dawkins would write something more detailed about this issue,
Yes that would be useful wouldn't it instead of all this shilly shallying. There seem to be about three different definitions in that letter. If Coyne is taking the first one and suggesting I've joined an organisation that in any way pretends to respect creationism I'll sue for libel (if I could).

As for Coyne's letter it is ridiculous. The letter has led to such a low level of debate on some of the sites (JCs and pharyngual) involved and damaged relations between groups. On the pharyngula site it seems the bearded guy endorsed it and en masse everyone had to agree or get shouted down with reams of personal abuse rather than reasoned debate. Not a sign of a strong argument. T'was a revlelation to me. To see so many mass debaters gathered in one place.
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Re: Strategy

Postby psiloiordinary » Fri May 06, 2011 12:25 pm

Rich,

Jon is simply pointing out that the arguments are arguments that creationist arguments.

Dan's hypothetical suggestion about creationists being YEC and accepting evolution is also a genuine and very often made creationist argument position. They accept everything except evolution between kinds. They even think evolution happens very quickly as this means less of a crush on the Ark.

I seems to me from rhese comments that neither Dan nor you are familiar with creationist arguments at all. These two related points are integral to their whole argument.

If you want to simply agree with them that's up to you.

They are already quoting atheists making these points ad evidence in support of their position. They use these points for both recruitment and retention.

I've pointed this out several times now and it gets very monotonous having it ignored each time.

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Re: Strategy

Postby Peter Henderson » Fri May 06, 2011 1:04 pm

The bible says that God created the world and everything in it, and so if you're a christian who wants to accept evolution, you have to abandon what the Bible says to that extent.


(1) The bible says absolutely nothing whatsoever about the age of the Earth

(2) The bible says nothing about no animal death prior to the fall

(3) The bible frequently makes reference to "all of the world" or "all of the Earth" when quite clearly it is talking about the local region. Therefore, the flood can be interpreted as a local event, according to scripture.

Young Earth creationism doesn't in itself come from the bible, but from Seventh Day Adventism, the visions of Ellen G. White, the writings of George McCready Price, and with all of this culminating in the Genesis Flood by Henry Morris and John C. Whitcomb, which is really the basis for modern young Earth creationism.

I'm surprised Dawkins doesn't know this.
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Re: Strategy

Postby fropome » Fri May 06, 2011 1:19 pm

Peter,
You may think that nothing in the Bible is in conflict with science. Can you accept that this is at least a point which some people might disagree with you on, with those people not being unreasonable?
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Re: Strategy

Postby Peter Henderson » Fri May 06, 2011 2:06 pm

fropome wrote:Peter,
You may think that nothing in the Bible is in conflict with science. Can you accept that this is at least a point which some people might disagree with you on, with those people not being unreasonable?


Only the YECs and new Atheists are unreasonable on this point. I have mentioned three claims which the YECs make and which have been answered by Christians who accept science. I don't know why Atheists have suddenly decided to take up the mantle of the YECs on this.

I think it is unreasonable for Athists to claim that Christians who accept science are deluded, and that YECs who reject virtually all of science have "sort of got it right". In this respect, Dawkins is as bad as the YECs on misinterpreting scripture, and misrepresenting science.
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Re: Strategy

Postby fropome » Fri May 06, 2011 2:13 pm

Sorry, I'm not clear what your answer is. Do you think it is unreasonable, in itself, to think that the bible is in conflict with science?
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Re: Strategy

Postby cathy » Fri May 06, 2011 2:33 pm

Peter,
You may think that nothing in the Bible is in conflict with science. Can you accept that this is at least a point which some people might disagree with you on, with those people not being unreasonable?
I can't speak for Peter but yes it is a point which some people disagree on. If I was trying to understand it however, and I'm not, I'd go to theologians to get the answers rather than Dawkins and lay people. As far as I can see they are in agreement with Peter, the book of genesis hasn't been read literally for centuries long before tthe science proved that they were right in reaching that conclusion. Nor do many have any other problems reading other parts metaphorically. So I'd look to people with the necassary expertise and without a specific agenda who by and large agree with Petee.

As for other issues raised here-this weeks New Scientist has two interestinging relevant articles which I haven't had a chance to read properly yet. One is 'What We'll Never Know" looking to the limits to or knowledge and whether we even know what they are (using Martin Rees's example that not only can chimps not understand quantum mechanics but they don't even know they don't understand it as it's so far outside their abillity). On a skim read there may be facets of the universe that humans are similarly oblivious too and will never have the capacity to know. It looks like silly billy Jerry Coyne has made a comment in it as well thatwill be loved by creationists. He has said knowing how life began will be forever beyond our reach. I can see what he is saying, ie when we do get manage to create abiogenesis in a lab it won't tell us exactly how it happened on earth. Wonder how long it'll take for that to misquoted by the centre for intelligent design? Can I make a bet on them missing the next bit about there being so many interesting different scenarios. Jerry Coyne was correct to say (that isn't why I called him a silly billy) it and no it doesn't hinder the fight against creationism but we'll see how quickly it is misquoted and it might give the new folk here an idea of how devious creationists are.

The other one is up Neil and Peters streeet. It's a pull out guide to astrobiology. Haven't looked at that yet.

Dannyno if I haven't answered all your points to me it's cause I'm limited to my lunch break and brief periods before child collecting and life. I've tried and will look again at them if I get time.
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Re: Strategy

Postby Peter Henderson » Fri May 06, 2011 2:39 pm

fropome wrote:Sorry, I'm not clear what your answer is. Do you think it is unreasonable, in itself, to think that the bible is in conflict with science?


It is unreasonable to expect any Christian to reject science because of a particular unterpretation of the book of Genesis (or rather Morris and Whitcomb's interpretation of Genesis).
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Re: Strategy

Postby fropome » Fri May 06, 2011 2:54 pm

It is unreasonable to expect any Christian to reject science because of a particular unterpretation of the book of Genesis (or rather Morris and Whitcomb's interpretation of Genesis).


So you've asserted. But this still doesn't answer the question I asked. My last attempt: is it unreasonable for someone to think that the bible is in conflict with science?
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Re: Strategy

Postby rich99 » Fri May 06, 2011 3:26 pm

psiloiordinary wrote:Rich,

Jon is simply pointing out that the arguments are arguments that creationist arguments.

I seems to me from rhese comments that neither Dan nor you are familiar with creationist arguments at all. These two related points are integral to their whole argument.

If you want to simply agree with them that's up to you.

They are already quoting atheists making these points ad evidence in support of their position. They use these points for both recruitment and retention.

I've pointed this out several times now and it gets very monotonous having it ignored each time.


Apologies if you feel you are repeating yourself, but I think you feel that way because you've missed my point somewhat. None of my points had anything to do with creationist arguments - you've said before, and I've accepted, that creationists use some of these arguments. I don't disagree, nor am I claiming to have any experience of creationist arguments - I don't. I'm not ignoring you, it simply has nothing to do with the points I raised.

I raised those points because they make sense to me, and I'm interested to see if anyone has any sensible arguments against them. Whether they are used by creationists is irrelevant to whether they are good points.
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Re: Strategy

Postby Peter Henderson » Fri May 06, 2011 3:38 pm

Whether they are used by creationists is irrelevant to whether they are good points.


Nope, they aren't irrelevant Rich, because it makes the job of defenting science that much harder:

http://www.premiercommunity.org.uk/foru ... ment832366

Peter H

Well, I've signed the petition Egon, though I'm surprised Dawkins did since he now thinks creationists like Andy have "sort of got it right" and Christians like Laura (and myself) are deluded. Hypocritical or what ?

It's just that he doesn't like having the likes of you and your illogical ideas polluting his religion.


Martin


and of course, he's linked to the thread I started on Coyne's letter. Expect the YEC organisations to pick up on Coyne's letter soon (surprised none of them have done so already)
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Re: Strategy

Postby Roger Stanyard » Fri May 06, 2011 3:51 pm

fropome wrote:
It is unreasonable to expect any Christian to reject science because of a particular unterpretation of the book of Genesis (or rather Morris and Whitcomb's interpretation of Genesis).


So you've asserted. But this still doesn't answer the question I asked. My last attempt: is it unreasonable for someone to think that the bible is in conflict with science?


Of course its not unreasonable for someone to think the Bible is in conflict with science - many bright people accept it's in conflict.

However, once you get into this debate, there is the big problem of what it is that religious believers think and there is no consensus on that at all. There are some 29,000 different Protestant sects and denominations and a further 2,000 non-Protestant sects/denominations and this all ignores countless one church independent organisations and the individual views of believers.

It's also a matter of degree; most Christians are not biblical literalists and if they think about it, accept science almost in toto. Yes, there may be areas of dispute - resurrection, virgin births and so on but those beliefs don't really undermine mainstream science.

I've just been looking at Nial Ferguson's latest book on civilisations and he basically presents a picture that Christianity has largely, since the time of the Rennaisance (or before), been open to the progress of science (unlike the Islamic world in general). The problem we have today is that Americans have come up with a particularly nasty and virulent form of Christian fundamentalism which is undermining science for some very unpleasant ends.

However, lads and lasses - having said that, this thread is now exceedingly off it's original topic and should be transferred to the sector on Scripture.
Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities - Voltaire
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Re: Strategy

Postby Chris Sergeant » Fri May 06, 2011 4:17 pm

fropome wrote:
. . it unreasonable for someone to think that the bible is in conflict with science?
I think it is a meaningless question. The conflict involves some interpretations by some people of some parts of the various translations of the original texts of the bible.
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Re: Strategy

Postby fropome » Fri May 06, 2011 4:36 pm

Roger,
If it's reasonable to think that the bible and science are in conflict, then would you agree that it is reasonable for those with this point of view to point this out? Even, to try to persuade people that this is the case?
Because it seems to me that this is mostly what the gnu's are about and is what they are being criticised for doing (the other half is the 'atheist and proud' thing, which strikes me as less relevant in the UK).

The point I'm trying to make here is that the gnu's should be natural allies of the BCSE. If you could use their web traffic and resources then it'd be a great boon. The current attitude towards the gnu's, and by extension those who might share opinions on religion in general with them, is far from attractive.
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Re: Strategy

Postby fropome » Fri May 06, 2011 4:41 pm

Chris Sergeant wrote:
fropome wrote:
. . it unreasonable for someone to think that the bible is in conflict with science?
I think it is a meaningless question. The conflict involves some interpretations by some people of some parts of the various translations of the original texts of the bible.


I don't think this is true, but if you really feel the need then limit the argument to the interpretations of the mainstream Anglicans and Catholics. My point is in my reply to Roger.
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