Dec 302006

Dawkins and the Religion Petition

PZ, you really are just about the biggest asshole I have ever known, and you are lying through your teeth. What I have defended in private, and will do so in public is well, is that my post was correct given the information I had. Dawkins did, in fact, sign a petition that clearly endorses a coercive, totalitarian policy to stamp out religious belief. He has now repudiated his signature on that petition and admitted that he made a mistake, but that fact supports my post – I said it was wrong to support that petition and he now agree. And you are simply lying when you claim that I am still arguing that Dawkins supports “coercion to stop religious belief”; I am not arguing that at all. I accept his retraction that he does not support that. But his signature on that petition did support that kind of coercion and I am happy that he has now thought better of it. But the very fact that he has thought better of it shows that my criticism of that petition was right, not wrong.

To make things worse, you had the astonishing gall (and dishonesty) to claim that I am “hesitant to call out creationists” – something I have been doing for 20 years, for crying out loud. You’re a liar, PZ, and a first class, double-barrelled, fully automatic asshole.

Oh, can you feel the love?

Thanks to Telic Thoughts for referencing this entertainging thread.

Dec 222006

One of the most disturbing revelations of the recent congressional investigation into the Smithsonian’s persecution of Richard Sternberg is the behind-the-scenes role of the pro-Darwin lobbying group the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Spying was only part of the NCSE‘s role. According to the congressional report, the NCSE helped mastermind efforts by government officials to publicly smear Sternberg with false information.

Read more about the NCSE‘s smear campaign against Dr. Sternberg here.

Taken from the CSC‘s Nota Bene, 21 Dec 2006. Following the evidence where it leads.

 Posted by at 8:40 pm
Dec 222006

An article in the latest issue of New Scientist highlights the exciting work of scientists at the Biologic Institute, a new research lab conducting biological research and experiments from an intelligent design perspective. While writer Celeste Biever can’t suppress her visceral pro-Darwin bias from the story (which carries the dismissive title “Intelligent design: The God Lab”), Biever’s article is going to make it very difficult for Darwinists to continue to assert that scientists who support intelligent design aren’t conducting scientific research.

Read more about the new ID research lab Biologic Institute here.

Researcher Douglas Axe was featured in that article:
Building a case
While researching protein structure at various institutes in the UK, Douglas Axe, now at the Biologic Institute in Redmond, Washington, published two peer-reviewed papers… Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:39 pm
Dec 222006

I will be away from the computer for about a week as I celebrate the birth of our savior and just wanted to wish all of my friends here a very Merry Christmas.
Thank you for allowing me to participate at Teleological blog and may God bless you all.

Dec 202006

Well, Richard Dawkins is at it again. This time he’s up in arms over an organization called Truth in Science over in the United Kingdom. Here’s a letter to the editor that RD put in The Guardian.

From The Guardian

Creationism in the classroom
Tuesday December 19, 2006
The Guardian

An organisation calling itself Truth in Science has recently used its (evidently large) financial resources to distribute DVDs promoting “intelligent design” to all schools (Report, December 7). The leading scientist behind Truth in Science is Andrew McIntosh, professor of thermodynamics at Leeds University. He has repeatedly said the world is only 6,000 years old. Given that all the scientific evidence points to approximately 4.6bn years as the true age of Earth, the scale of his error is remarkable.

Not surprisingly, therefore, the university has issued an official disclaimer: “Professor Andrew McIntosh’s directorship of Truth in Science, and his promotion of that organisation’s views, are unconnected to his teaching or research [here]… The university wishes to distance itself publicly from theories of creationism and so-called intelligent design, which cannot be verified by evidence.”

However, the claim that McIntosh’s eccentric view of reality is unconnected with his teaching or research as a professor of thermodynamics would appear to be cast into some doubt by a conversation that I recently had with him on BBC Belfast’s Sunday Sequence. McIntosh publicly stated that evolution is incompatible with the second law of thermodynamics.

In the light of this clear connection between McIntosh’s creationist views and his understanding of thermodynamics, Leeds University will presumably need to revise its press release.

Richard Dawkins

Continue reading »

Dec 182006

Smithsonian Scientist Demoted for Views Critical of Darwinian Evolution

The House Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources has issued its official report on the investigation into the harassment and discrimination against biologist Dr. Richard Sternberg. (for more background see here). The congressional report bluntly states: The staff investigation has uncovered compelling evidence that Dr. Sternberg’s civil and constitutional rights were violated by Smithsonian officials. The full report can be downloaded here, and the appendix can be downloaded here.

Read more: Congressional Investigation Confirms Discrimination against Smithsonian Scientist Critical of Darwinian Evolution.

Nota Bene by the The Center for Science & Culture, Following the evidence where it leads. For Fri, 15 Dec 2006.

 Posted by at 5:03 am
Dec 182006

The CSC¨wrote in its Nota Bene for Friday 15 Dec 2006,

The key section of the widely-noted court decision on intelligent design issued a year ago on December 20 was copied nearly verbatim from a document written by ACLU lawyers, according to a study released today by scholars affiliated with the Discovery Institute.

“Judge John Jones copied verbatim or virtually verbatim 90.9% of his 6,004-word section on whether intelligent design is science from the ACLU‘s proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law’ submitted to him nearly a month before his ruling,” said Dr. John West, Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute‘s Center for Science and Culture.

Did Judge Jones ALSO Plagiarize Scholar’s Book in Dickinson College Commencement Speech?

We have made clear that Judge Jones’ wholesale and uncritical copying from ACLU attorneys in the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision is not considered “plagiarism” in legal circles–even though such verbatim copying has been frowned upon by appellate courts. But what about the unattributed use of language from someone else’s book in a public speech? According to the posted text of his Commencement Address at Dickinson College, Judge Jones appears to have engaged in unattributed copying outside the courtroom as well. Compare the following passages and decide for yourself whether this new finding constitutes plagiarism.

 Posted by at 5:02 am
Dec 152006

I am going to offend a few people who read this blog. My intention really is not to offend anyone. I am not being deliberately provocative. I am simply worried. I am going to worrying out loud. I am going to deal with belief, specifically the problem of religious belief. Because I happen to think how we deal with religious belief, or fail to criticize the belief of other human beings at this moment has more to do with the maintenance of civilization than anything else that is in our powers to influence. Our world has been Balkanized by incompatible religious dogmas. We have Atheists against Christians against Jews. The books themselves make incompatible claims. We have this founding notion that Darwin wrote one of our texts. Unfortunately we have many such books on hand. I see no reason to survive our religious differences indefinitely. The fact that a few short years from now, you will be able to sit in a cave in Afghanistan and with your thousand-dollar laptop, you will essentially have a supercomputer that can kick off its genetic algorithms, its malicious code, to the rest of society. You would be able to buy this malicious code from some atheist hackers here in the U.S. This alone makes this Balkanization of our world, the separate moral identities, the fact we are not identified just merely as human beings but we are Atheist and Muslims. It makes it untenable. Continue reading »

Dec 142006

Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and the just out Letter to a Christian Nation (L2CN) has a remarkable capacity for constructing straw men. Indeed both his books are filled with total misrepresentations of views with which he adamantly disagrees. I guess he deems it easier to beat up a monster of his own making than attempt to deal with actual arguments and facts. As an example, let me offer the following quote from the introduction to L2CN:

According to a recent Gallup pole, only 12 percent of Americans believe that life on earth has evolved through a natural process, without the interference of a deity. Thirty-one percent believe that evolution has been “guided by God”. If our worldview were put to a vote, notions of “intelligent design” would defeat the science of biology by nearly three to one. This is troubling, as nature offers no compelling evidence for an intelligent designer and countless examples of unintelligent design. But the current controversy over “intelligent design” should not blind us to the true scope of our religious bewilderment at the dawn of the twenty-first century. The same Gallup poll revealed that 53 percent of Americans are actually creationists. This means that despite a full century of scientific insights attesting to the antiquity of life and the greater antquity of the earth, more tha half of our neighbors believe that the entire cosmos was created six thousand years ago. This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue. Those with the power to elect our president and congressmen — and many who themselves get elected — believe that dinosaurs lived two by two upon Naoh’s ark, that light from distant galaxies was created en route to the earth, and that the first members of our species were fashioined out of dirt and divine breath, in a garden with a talking snake, by the hand of an invisible God.

From Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris, (New York, Alfred A. Knopp, 2006), pp x-xi.

How many misrepresentations of facts and arguments can be stuffed into one paragraph ( like cramming college kids into a VW bug!). Continue reading »

Dec 132006

This is a repost of an older submission which was lost.
It is presented as a resource to answer the recurring question “does ID require intervention by the designer?”

If, by chance, it should ever come up that ID requires miracles or direct interventions in the course of the history of life (just kidding, of course it will come up) perhaps these notes from Dembski and Behe will come in handy.
Continue reading »