Oh, for god’s sake!

We’ve taught our kids they come about through chance through primordial slime, and then we’re surprised that they treat their fellow Americans like dirt!

the problem is not the absence of laws, it’s an absence of morality. Really, the result of the decades-long march through the institutions of America, driving religion and God from the public square.

 

Tony  Perkins -Former US Police Officer responds after Texas Mass Shooting.

Thanks to Scottie for the heads up.

 

To know Him is real freedom. It is only as we see the light of Christ that we can get out of the shadows of the cave.

Without Christianity, the West has no answer to China

I gave her ( Miss World) a copy of Magnificent Obsession.  Please pray for her…

David Robertson – Pastor.

 

The simplest Christian can know that the resurrection of Jesus is an historical fact by the testimony of the Holy Spirit in his heart.

–Apologist William Lane Craig in his book, The Son Rises

Nod to Gary.

 

Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”

Martin Luther

 

Silly People …..

 

 


174 thoughts on “Oh, for god’s sake!

  1. Wha? “To know Him is real freedom.” All of the prophets go on and on about teaching us to FEAR that god, to OBEY that god. This is the absence of FREEFOM. (It looks like 1984 happened my earlier for Christians, who use the chains of their slavery as decoration.) And then these morons impress all of this other bullshit upon that relationship … “Oh, to know god is to have everything you want: cotton candy, pretty sunsets, insects that don’t bite….”

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  2. “The simplest Christian can know that the resurrection of Jesus is an historical fact by the testimony of the Holy Spirit in his heart.”
    At least Craig got rhat right, and Christians are striving, and succeeding, to be the simplest people on earth.

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  3. It is clear after submitting their morality to the churches, they prove they are the ones that need strict governance and should not be allowed to own guns. Guns are a great equalizer, putting the very weak toe-to-toe with the very strong. The tried and failed idea they think prayer is still going to work on this issue is proof they are too young in the head to solve anything with more guns.

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    1. You know that feeling a short while after eating a really hot curry and your digestive system starts grumbling … ”You have got to get to a toilet very quickly.”
      It’s a bit like this, except that with the Holy Spirit one is even more full of shit.

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    2. JZ:

      If you have to ask, you obviously won’t be able to comprehend anyway. To find God you have to have found Him … (sounds like something out of Zen, no?).

      But don’t fret, secondhand Bibles/Korans (and any other sacred ‘Good news!’ literature) is so cheap they give ’em away even without provocation—

      —so you get a lifetime supply of dunny paper, free. Just wander around looking lost outside the recruitment centre of ANY religious franchise and you’re quids in.

      Incidentally, we watched Billy Connolley’s “The Man Who Sued God” again last night. Brilliant~! (Despite the Australian setting.)

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    3. What it means, John,
      is an unconflicted conviction of the believer’s:
      • Wisdom
      • Understanding
      • Counsel
      • Fortitude
      • Knowledge
      • Piety and
      • Reverence
      that accords with what the Bible teaches and is confirmed by answers to prayer.
      Yours,
      John/.

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        1. Sure, Ark,
          I had a problem with evidences — pretty much the opposite of your problem with evidences, by the way — because I thought it wrong to point a sceptic or a seeker to anywhere else other than to the eyewitness accounts of the resurrection. You yourself asked me — in all insincerity, I’m sure — why didn’t I pray for incontrovertible evidence just to appear and I was peeved because it seemed to break my resurrection-first principle. But why not pray for the evidence that’s there to be further established? It’s proving to be an exhilarating ride so far and I have no reason to doubt that God is answering my prayer in full measure, more than I could ever have thought of.
          Yours,
          John/.

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          1. Excellent! Then as previously requested , please provide examples of this evidence.

            Oh, and for the record, there are no eyewitness accounts of the resurrection of the character Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, all we have are unsubstantiated claims.

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        1. Your saying that there are no eyewitness accounts, Ark,
          doesn’t make it not so. But since we’ve been discussing what ‘the testimony of the Holy Spirit in his heart’ means, let’s look at that because that’s the evidence that’s there in front of you in the lives of those much maligned Christians. John finds the list of gifts of the Spirit ‘cryptic’ but I’m sure that that criticism could be reduced down to a quibble about the meaning of one or two words, so here’s an expanded list of how the testimony of the Holy Spirit is to be seen increasingly in the life of a believer, emanating from the heart giving the:
          • Advocacy of a comforting wisdom
          • Assurance of a love-filled understanding
          • Admonishment of the ‘wartime consigliere’
          • Apostleship of the last man standing
          • Afflictions of the punctured cognoscenti
          • Ambassadorship of God’s own pity, and
          • Adoption into the liberty of filial fear.
          Yours,
          John/.

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          1. Your saying that there are no eyewitness accounts, Ark,
            doesn’t make it not so

            True. However,perhaps you ought to take it up with those who invented your religion – the Catholics. As far as I am aware their foremost scholars accept that the gospels are not eyewitness accounts.
            and these days it seems only those who are truly indoctrinated and closed to evidence who think the gospels are eyewitness accounts.
            Maybe you could present your evidence to the Pope?
            Hell, if you could convince him maybe there would be a Nobel in it for you?
            I’d put your name forward.

            But this is not evidence JK, as we have all been art pains to point out to you. It is merely a claim.
            ”Oh, I am a MUCH better person these days since I became a Sunbeam for Jesus and it’s all thanks to the Holy Spirit.”

            Don’t Muslims and Orthodox Jews have similar claims – albeit through a different lens, but effectively the same god – Yahweh.

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          2. And one of the most incredibly annoying things that Believers do is preach at everyone. They can’t just say “Jesus” they have to say “Our holy Lord Jesus Christ, son of God”. They can’t open their Holy Mouths without making a Sacred Speech out of it. They don’t speak English, they speak Bible, and not an original thought among the lot of you. Stop.

            Sorry, Ark, I woke up cranky.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. This religious nuts make me absolutely ill…
    I so believe, no, know, that religion poisons everything. It is the root of all evil..always has been and always will be, until we can free ourselves from it’s hold…and I don’t see that ever happening…

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      1. God doesn’t like me either—all those times I’ve held my breath in prayer when the Lotto machine is tumbling out them balls … you’d think I’d get fed up with it and stop buying tickets …

        Liked by 1 person

      1. As he says, the teaching is faulty to produce such faulty individuals. Those who know they come from dirt, are dirt. Perhaps discipline arising out of strict religion would, after all, be an improvement of sorts.

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          1. Actually, human evolution provides the most likely hypothesis at present; there are too many gaps and holes for it to be accepted completely as fact, as comes with other creatures where fossils provide an unbroken chain. But that is off the topic; bad teachers emphasizing bad aspects are in part responsible for bad attitudes.

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          2. “Actually, human evolution provides the most likely hypothesis at present; there are too many gaps and holes for it to be accepted completely as fact.”

            Actually, this statement is so wrong it’s not even wrong. It’s a statement of deep ignorance.The theory of evolution is the strongest explanation humanity has ever established and is backed by more overwhelming compelling and mutually supportive evidence in every single avenue of inquiry. No other scientific theory competes with evolution on this metirc… not germ theory, not nuclear theory, not classic physics, not any chemical of physical law ever proposed. If you doubt evolution, then to avoid being a complete hypocrite you should trust gravity less.

            But you don’t.

            That’s why the statement is a statement of either profound scientific ignorance or religious indoctrination.

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          3. Wrong?
            It depends on which researchers one tends to follow. Those who point out a lack of continuity in fossils traced, with an utter lack of proof for macroevolution, cannot be disregarded. Interesting that you bring in gravity; that is a scientific fact and not a theory. Evolution remains a theory because of the many levels of uncertainty. Scientists can be, and are, as dogmatic as religionists about protecting the aspects they regard as proven, even when they are not. To claim they are is a statement of scientific indoctrination.

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          4. So, it’s religious indoctrination, I see.

            You give the game away when you say, “Evolution remains a theory because of the many levels of uncertainty.” This demonstrates you do not understand what the term ‘theory’ means. It is the highest level of confidence we can grant an explanation. In other words, you can (and do) bet your life on it because it has withstood every challenge to it over a significant length of time. Thought you’d want to know.

            You also demonstrate a significant lack of understanding about why evolution is a theory (as well as a fact you can and do bet your life on). I’m going to ask you to consider something here.

            The hypothesis that life on Earth shares common ancestry but alters over time into species for several reasons, but namely natural selection, came to a watershed moment when the field of genetics arrived. On the one hand, if the hypothesis were wrong and the diversity of life came about by some cosmic creation event, then the examination of every specie’s genetic makeup should clearly show these demarcations… especially demarcation along the lines of ‘kinds’ were, in fact, likely. If, on the other hand, evolution were likely, then we should find only slight variations between closely related species and slightly greater variations between distant related species. In other words, the point I am raising here is that this genetic evidence could go either way at this point. Do you understand this point? We could have found good evidence from examining the genetics about all kinds of explanations… perhaps even evidence for a new understanding all together. The evidence genetics provides isn’t from geneticists; it is from the genetic code they study. There is zero dogma here, zero room for importing some other explanation; rather, genetics reveal the reality of genetic information to us. Period. End of story.

            So these paltry quibbles you raise as if creating wiggle room to deny the scientific robustness of evolutionary theory have already been put to bed, already dealt with so many times that a term was created for the religiously motivated memes you raise. That term is called ‘PRATT’. You raise PRATT, meaning Points Refuted A Thousand Times. Your counter argument carries zero scientific value but by raising them yet again demonstrates the source of the religious indoctrination you have received.

            And it is religious indoctrination for two reasons. The first is that not only does the study of genetics align PERFECTLY with the hypothesis of decent from common ancestry by the main mechanism of natural selection but clearly demonstrates the branching that links every living thing on the planet to each other. You and I really are genetically linked by common ancestry to a carrot, to a mollusk, to trees and fish and birds. We share core genetic building blocks. What this means is that the idea of ‘kinds’ is unequivocally false. The only source that continues to teach this nonsense as if true is religion.

            The second reason for your opinion to be a result of religious indoctrination is because there is no scientific reason to doubt evolution. What this means is you can occasionally find a religion without this version of creationism but you cannot find any creationism with a religious promoter. Again, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to back it up and nothing but overwhelming evidence demonstrated by applications, therapies, and technologies based on evolutionary theory that just so happens to work for everyone everywhere all the time… so much so that we enjoy the benefits of understanding this evolutionary explanation is a very diverse field of human endeavors, from forestry and farming to medicine and engineering.

            The final nail in the doubter’s coffin regarding evolution is if this isn’t the case, then it’s up to YOU to produce an equivalently likely explanation that fits what reality demonstrates to us. In addition, this ‘other’ explanation must explain why all the applications, therapies, and technologies that now work based on the evolutionary explanation still work under the new one you have produced.

            This is why the explanation offered by ‘Intelligent Design’ is so laughably absurd. It offers the same explanation religious folk use, namely, “Don’t know, therefore a Designer (Blessed be His name).” That explanation in comparison has produced zero evidence, zero knowledge, zero insight, zero practical advancements. Nada. Bupkus. Zilch. That’s not an ‘alternative’ explanation, colonist: that’s pure, unadulterated, religious belief that has zero connection to the real world.

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          5. I said, “but you cannot find any creationism with* a religious promoter.” My apologies. That should read, “WITHOUT.

            This is why so many outspoken New Atheists are biologists. They are sick and tired of having their area of study maligned, misrepresented and sold to a gullible and ignorant population, having to answer the same intentional PRATT promoted from the pulpits yet aimed clearly not at respecting reality, not at finding out what’s true about it, but solely for the purposes of trying to protect a religious idea about our origins that is without doubt scientifically wrong. The Chair Dawkins held was mandated to address this most significant lack of scientific literacy and sustained attack against one of the three pillars of our scientific understanding of reality.

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          6. Gaps? Holes?
            Who says this? Out of interest, have you a link to an evolutionary biologist who is on record backing this assertion?

            What bad aspects of evolution are teachers emphasizing?

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          7. Rather than pepper this with links, can you provide a single link to a scientific study establishing macroevolution, or evolution actually following useful patterns like humans growing fur, or having grown it, in cold regions?

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          8. I think it fair that as you made the initial assertion you provide at least one link that supports your claim.Once I have read it I’ll offer you link on evolution.

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          9. Stop framing your questions in religious idiocy and start asking them as if you actually wanted to find out what’s true. That information is easily available but you have to do the work if you actually wish to reduce your religious indoctrinated doubt. For example, how about YOU explain why in vetro human babies first grow and then shed a full coat of long hair… when you are already chucking away a perfectly sound and tested explanatory model that does exactly that using the genetic evidence that supports common ancestry? How about YOU explain why you and I and every human being on the planet share the same damaged genetic sequence found in exactly the same spot in the genetic makeup of all the Great Apes. YOU explain this with an alternative to common ancestry.

            Go ahead. The world of biology waits to be transformed by your more likely alternative.

            Look, you’re just trying to defend the indefensible by asking questions to which you simply have no interest in answering! These questions are more PRATT.

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  5. No religioso has yet answered my questions, none of ’em … so let me try again with the most basic, and see if we can’t just work up a little from there?

    Actually … I shan’t.
    I have better things to do—but the answers, for all, lie in those three essential defining qualities of God, make of ’em what we may. For Him (Her, in some schools)(and I like that notion better~) there can be no questions because He knows everything. And there can be no need to ask any questions, ever; not for Him and not of Him … no?

    So in arguing religion we (you) aren’t doing other than a wee mental exercise for the fun of it. The fount is faulty always, even if in some cases there is a weird mix of some beauty, some historical fact, a lot of conjecture, a lot of wishful thinking … all stirred together with the ladles of Human Ambition and the desire for (a) control and (b) unearned income harvested from the labours of others.

    Who really cares how accurate a record the Holy Bible is, or the Holy Koran, or the Holy Harry Potters? Accuracy doesn’t matter a damn. Neither does truth—which is often a handicap in fiction; although a little does go a long way towards acceptability (Terry Pratchett springs readily to mind).

    The threat of religion is politics. If religion gets political control we are all lost. Just look at Mecca and the Meccanese—they at least have got it right:

    “The working class
    Can kiss my arse—
    I’ve gort the foreman’s job
    At last!”

    This, Sir, is religion. God be damned, She is just a tool used to get that foreman’s job. Wherever … and God was kind to Its chosen people when he sat a bunch of camel copulators atop huge oilfields … without which—what?

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  6. Again, rather than pick among the nits, one gets to the core of the matter: the disinclination of the scientific die-hards to accept possibilities of other concurrent explanations to slot into their pet (and constantly varying) scientific theories. I repeat, though, that a theory remains a theory until it apparently meets all tests; even then they may be the wrong tests and the theory requires minor or major revision. Those who are rooted in genetic proofs and burrow themselves comfortably in them might yet have many ‘Oops!’ moments. That one thing is true does not automatically cancel out other possibilities.
    However much the scientific community may sneer at the concept, they cannot establish that there is no element of purpose, direction, and therefore possible design or overall control in, all that is. Or deny that what, with all scientific knowledge, we become aware of, is a tiny tip of an iceberg. Denial is just as absurd as the fundamentalist religious views put forward. Did the Big Bang and Expansion happen spontaneously, or did someone/something dunnit, for example? Are more viable theories for the evidence leading to conclusions regarding those occurrences still waiting in the wings, in fact? (Just as BB was modified to BB+E.)
    The answer lies in accumulating available knowledge while remaining open to all other fields of conjecture without prejudice.

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      1. Oh, so we’re onto the questions game. Can you name any who successfully — and I mean successfully — refute it? If I get time I can blow you away with links: at present, I have better things to do.

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        1. No, I really don’t believe you can, as the only ones who promote design (that I have ever read or listened to) generally have a religious agenda of some sort.

          at present, I have better things to do.

          And yet you considered it worthwhile to comment?

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          1. Worth commenting in short form; long form would probably take a long debate.
            Many arguments for a teleological universe are put forward without necessarily involving an outside ‘God’. The purpose can be inherent. The argument that it all happens because it happens has never seemed rational or reasonable, particularly when the infinitely numerous cases of synchronicity and interconnectedness come into play.

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          2. ”Many arguments”. Yet you don’t even reference a single one?
            As far as I am aware all such arguments require a designer.
            At least offer an (identifiable/recognisable) alternative to evolution.

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          3. Oh, come on, Col. Did you even bother researching this bloke?

            Sorry, but I am on the verge of giving up on this, and when the others see you have cited Meyer, (and once they have stopped laughing,) they may take you to the cleaners.

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          4. They may try. It depends on the point of view. Does one expect someone now espousing these views to remain rigidly attached to scientific mainstream views? Incompatible. The laughter may have all the intelligence of hyenas, and the after-cleaner view will still reveal an awful lot of dirt.

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          5. I think you are missing the point here, Col, and the reason why I was surprised you did not do enough research on Meyer who has come full circle and released a book advocating that the designer/creator is in fact ”God”.
            If this is your argument then it is only intellectually honest that you present evidence for a viable alternative to evolution.
            To date, Intelligent Design has been shown to be merely a front and does not pass muster.

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          6. The minute one gets to God/Gods other than as part of the more esoteric aspects of the universe, I have hesitation. However, given simple observations that things do work and do progress interrelatedly, I am constantly persuaded — and by looking at verboten areas to the scientists like synchronicity and
            evidence of life after death (which I have found at second but utterly reliable hands) — that an intelligence is involved. The best explanation I find for this at present is that it is inherent. This is NOT the same as ID. An outside being is not necessarily involved. The fact that Meyer has taken the same sort of data and cooked it into God does not make him an idiot.
            How and to whom has ID been shown to fail as a hypothesis? Only, from what I have seen, by postulating ends that are not necessarily in the scheme of things.

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          7. How and to whom has ID been shown to fail as a hypothesis?

            It makes no predictions, that’s how it’s a failed hypothesis.

            That aside, do you believe that evolution is entirely unguided, that mutations are random (meaning not goal-orientated, not adaptively directed), and human beings are nothing but an unplanned evolutionary accident; a fortuitous (for us), but completely unintended, incident in the evolutionary paradigm?

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          8. “How and to whom has ID been shown to fail as a hypothesis?”

            Because using it consistently and reliably produces no knowledge, no insights into reality, and has yielded no applications, therapies, or technologies that work based on it. None. Ever. This is why it’s not a scientific hypothesis and why it will not, does not, and cannot use reality or anything in it as evidence for it. It is equivalent in all ways to a religious belief exempt from reality’s arbitration of it. Rather than rely on the old, “Godidit” as if this were an explanation for anything, the ID ‘hypothesis’ relies on, “It was designed that way.” This can be applied to virtually everything simply by proclamation. It is entirely vacuous of knowledge and absolutely useless as anything other than a pseudo-explanation (meaning it gives the appearance of explaining something when, in fact, it explains nothing). That’s why it’s a failed hypothesis and why it should not be taught in a science class: it has no knowledge merit, meaning it has no scientific validity.

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          9. This is surely a homocentric POV?
            That everything operates on a knee-jerk reaction basis is surely a very blinkered view of everything. Why does scientific validity provide the test of actual validity?
            Actually, ID should be changed to IO for Intelligent Operation, because it is ongoing.

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          10. I cannot see how this view is any different from a religious person claiming ”God did it.”

            Granted the terms are more couched but the end product is more o less the same.

            Now, I am not saying a deity or ”intelligence” of some sort could not be involved. What I do demand is evidence to demonstrate such a claim.

            The best explanation I find for this at present is that it is inherent.

            Again …. evidence?

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          11. The evidence towards progress towards whatever end is particularly evident in caveman-rocket scientist. There is a fair difference between an outside agency/agencies (God or gods) and intelligence within the whole system of things.
            What sorts of other evidence would you expect should be produced to meet such a demand?

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          12. But evidence of outside intelligence has not been demonstrated, only presumed.

            The onus is on the claimant to produce evidence.

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          13. Quite so; the evidence of intelligence is there for those who have the intelligence to recognise it; whether outside or inherent is still on the presumed list. Then again, what constitutes evidence in such matters? Different parameters operate than are in force with physics. Religionists are quite satisfied that their evidence holds water and that attempts to discount them, however logical they may seem to the presenter, are of no consequence.

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          14. The evidence of intelligence is there for those who have the intelligence to recognise it;

            Then I guess this rules out the majority of the world’s scientists and scholars.
            I don’t know where to go after this, I’m afraid.

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          15. It probably does. Religionists and those scholars are indoctrinated by their religion; scientists and those scholars are indoctrinated by their science methodology. That still leaves a very good number who can see a wider picture.
            Yes, when a discussion reaches the ‘is’ ‘isn’t’ stage it is time to call it quits.

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          16. Scientists are not indoctrinated. They are informed by evidence.
            If indoctrination was the basis of science then we would all believe that Creationism was fact.

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          17. The indoctrination is that unless things conform to scientific method they are not valid. Thus irregular but repetitive events/observations are discounted.

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          18. Absolute nonsense.

            If science was limited to the observable (as you’re suggesting) then quantum entanglement, electromagnetic forces, atomic decay, probability clouds, etc. would never have been revealed.

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          19. Quantum entanglement is hinted at through, say, the motion of planets?

            LOL.

            You’re trying to claim science has inherent limits. It doesn’t. Nothing is “off the table.”

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          20. Just so. This idea that science has limits is true, in the sense that anything that has material properties exists in reality (is real) means we can know something about it and science is the method of inquiry that reveals this to us. And I can’t think of anything that is real that is or should be exempt from this. I would even go so far as to say that the only way of knowing (knowledge) about reality is through the scientific method. If not, then it’s not knowledge about reality; it’s a description of feelings or beliefs that has no means of independent verification.

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          21. The point here is that the theory evolved to try and explain observed anomalies in the behaviour of atoms, and the quanta do a pretty good job of that.

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          22. Huh?

            Atoms behave like atoms… That’s the baryonic universe. You know, Newton. It’s oblivious to particle/wave functions, entanglement, etc.

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          23. The pseudo-scientific references always nod towards QM, don’t they? We don’t know something, or encounter something weird, and all of a sudden it’s the home base evidence for some mystical force. The modern version of God of the Gaps. “But quantum mechanics indicate Oogity Boogity is just as likely!”

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          24. So you would question this:
            ‘Scientists of the early 20th century found they could not explain the behavior of atoms using their current knowledge of matter. They had to develop a new view of matter and energy to accurately describe how atoms behaved. They called this theory quantum theory, or quantum mechanics’?
            Who has got things screwed up, here?
            Are we back to considering that those scientists simply thought there might be another theory out there to serve no particular purpose so they grabbed one at random?

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          25. I found your quote. Interesting what is said next: “In the visible objects encountered in everyday life, the wavelike nature of matter is too small to be apparent.”

            And to say ‘behaviour of atoms’ is wrong. It was questions to do with heat radiation.
            The discrete understanding of energy (classical physics) said radiation [invisible] can be explained [theoretically] by jiggling [invisible] atoms. And this demonstrates exactly what I’ve been saying: if science behaved the way you’re suggesting it must behave, then all enquiry would have stopped at ‘must be wiggling [invisible] atoms.’ The enquiry didn’t stop there, it dived-in and even though he couldn’t explain it, Plancks formula worked by seeing matter differently, and that opened a realm NO ONE could ever have suspected existed, and that’s the point: NOTHING is off the table. There is no magical barrier. You *want* there to be one so you can slip in your belief system and immunise it to critical assessment.

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          26. This is getting increasingly confusing. Radiation has nothing to do with behaviour of atoms? And how does one know a test works, theoretically or otherwise, without something observable?
            Does postulating that matter doesn’t really exist at all and is all part of a dream process open up a realm worth pursuing though there is no reason or impetus to pursue such a line of enquiry?
            What belief system?

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          27. Shouldn’t be confusing. The discrete understanding of energy (classical physics) said radiation [invisible] can be explained [theoretically] by jiggling [invisible] atoms. That was the understanding. Planck opened a can of worms when his formula re-described matter, postulating the subatomic realm. He hated his formula, but for some reason it worked.

            And that’s the point.

            Does postulating that matter doesn’t really exist at all and is all part of a dream process open up a realm worth pursuing though there is no reason or impetus to pursue such a line of enquiry?

            Sure, why not. The “dream process” should be quantifiable. It’s not insane to look into it. Hell, Max Tegmark is proposing that consciousness is a fourth state of matter. Roger Penrose is proposing it bubbles it from QM in our neurons. Again, nothing is “off the table.”

            That’s the point.

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          28. The scope of science certainly goes much further than what I imagined, then. Why, therefore, is it so narrowly and fanatically applied?

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          29. Of course not. One is a fantasy in the minds who *want* to believe. The other is actual. Would you like me to begin to list the physical damage and death and ruin caused by religious fanaticism? When should we begin, European religious wars, or are you more interested in contemporary history?

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          30. Whether based on the actual or fantasy, the fanatic is of equal danger to society, in their drive to stop at nothing to implant their views. Look at the glorious ideals of Communism.

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          31. Ideology combined with science does a pretty good job. Look at the Nazis, or, for that matter, the much-venerated Americans with the A-bomb.

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          32. Nazi ideology, as with other ideologies might well (try to) attach itself to science, but this hardly makes science an ideology.

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          33. So true. Who amongst us can ever forget the three-hundred-year holocaust those rampaging, fanatical scientists inflicted on the world, murdering young and old.

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          34. You know real biologists have ripped this work to shreds, don’t you?

            All you’re trying to do, it seems to me, is find something online that seems to support your vapid criticism of the theory of evolution. Let me save you the trouble: there are lots. Gobs and gobs. A never ending stream of them. But the important take away point is not one has given rise to demonstrating the doubt you exhibit. In fact, the theory handles every one of them. So far. No piece of evidence raised in this endless and very often mindless knee-jerk stream of trying vainly to justify doubt is contrary to the theory or offers us any cause to decrease the level of confidence in it’s unquestionable explanatory value. Not. One.

            Stop being a mouthpiece of the Merchants of Doubt who come up with these idiotic arguments and sell them to the ignorant (for whatever anti-scientific reasons you may hold) and clear the decks. Put aside all opinions in this matter. Now start learning about what evolution is, and discover for yourself why there is scientific unanimity in accepting the fact that evolution is true and remains true in every single avenue of inquiry undertaken, meaning go learn why the theory fits reality no matter in whatever field of study you choose to examine it. Learn why your current arguments are PRATT and learn why they are not scientific. But whatever you do, understand that those of us who respect reality enough to allow it to arbitrate our beliefs about it cannot with any intellectual integrity or honesty grant your opinions any respect whatsoever for the simple fact they don’t deserve any. These opinions you offer have no merit other than disinformation, distortions, and lies meant to promote anti-scientific feelings and a complete disregard for one of humanity’s greatest insights into the living world from which you and all the other buyers of this doubt unthinkingly use to benefit your lives. At the very least, understand that to continue to doubt as you do without doing the work necessary to eliminate ignorance is nothing more than turning up the dial of hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty.

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          35. A philosopher, a mathematician, a lawyer, a sociologist, and a dead biologist who doesn’t seem to understand the fundamental mechanism by which evolution proceeds.

            Great list!!

            Liked by 2 people

        2. Critics of evolution assert that evolution is “just a theory,” which emphasizes that scientific theories are never absolute, or misleadingly presents it as a matter of opinion rather than of fact or evidence.[28] This reflects a difference of the meaning of theory in a scientific context: whereas in colloquial speech a theory is a conjecture or guess, in science a theory is an explanation whose predictions have been verified by experiments or other evidence. Evolutionary theory refers to an explanation for the diversity of species and their ancestry which has met extremely high standards of scientific evidence. An example of evolution as theory is the modern synthesis of Darwinian natural selection and Mendelian inheritance. As with any scientific theory, the modern synthesis is constantly debated, tested, and refined by scientists, but there is an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that it remains the only robust model that accounts for the known facts concerning evolution.[29]

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objections_to_evolution

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    1. “the disinclination of the scientific die-hards to accept possibilities of other concurrent explanations to slot into their pet (and constantly varying) scientific theories.”

      Just because one follows the evidence to produce an explanation that fits all the evidence is not “disinclination of the scientific die-hards to accept (other) possibilities.” That framing is the problem and not the ‘die-hards’ who respect reality enough to allow it the right to arbitrate our beliefs about it. You are trying to disallow reality’s role and replace it with your religious beliefs.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, colonist, then why resurrect PRATT in your defense? No evidence. No facts. Just PRATT. I wonder why?

          Look, if you were actually curious and actually wanted to know anything about evolution, you wouldn’t make the kind of ignorant statements you do that are factually wrong nor empower very ignorant religiously motivated memes you assume effectively counters evolutionary theory when they don’t. You would immediately recognize that neither of these planks upon which you extend doubt about evolution have any scientific merit. The merit science uses – unlike your ill-informed opinions – comes from reality backing explanations that are highly likely BECAUSE they are used successfully and repeatedly to produce applications, therapies, and technologies that work all the time and it is this FACT that then generates the highest possible level of confidence.

          But you wave this away, claiming it’s someone’s job to explain to you with links why evolution is a fundamental pillar of biology upon which trillions of dollars of investment money continues to produce profits for those who incorporate this explanation. You blithely and sanctimoniously wave aside the ongoing scientific insight evolution produces, the ongoing development of knowledge derived from these, the ongoing advancements in all kinds of related fields that use this explanation. You simply seem not just oblivious to them but disregard every biologist on the planet who thinks evolution is far more than just a fact – (about 95% of all biologists!); it’s an accurate and useful explanatory model that regularly and reliably produces knowledge we can use to effect. But you think that’s not enough.

          This makes you seem unaware that you must be the smartest guy on the planet to see through the power and scope of evolution because YOU assume it must be based not on reality’s arbitration of the evolutionary hypothesis but because all the scientists, all the applications, all the technologies, all the therapies are caused by an equivalent kind of dogma that proposes some agency of Oogity Boogity! has POOF!ed ‘kinds’ of critters into existence… with absolutely NO evidence to back this up and a growing mountain of evidence contrary to this religiously inspired hypothesis.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Presumably by PRATT you mean the ‘Previously refuted’ version. That means nothing. The observation that the earth and planets revolve around the sun fall into that category to this day. Common acceptance of a theory by sufficiently qualified people is likely to make it fact, but not infallibly so; and there are generally modifications arising subsequently. As I have pointed out to Ark, contrary views are not only religiously inspired.

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          2. Thanks, Guys.
            It has seemed obvious for some time that Neo-Darwinism is being served very badly by many of its most ardent defenders. Get a grip, Tildeb; How much of your firepower have you just wasted with your misplaced ‘religious indoctrination’ tirade? It’s quite clear that colonialist is using ‘theory’ in its widespread, non-scientific sense but your ‘defense’ of the proper use is embarrassingly OTT and, IMO, counter-productive. Anyway, I now have an example of how an anti-religious rhetoric can drown out true scientfic reasoning, so thank you.
            It has also seemed obvious for some time that the Biological sciences have been hampered by what we might call ‘political’ difficulties. The Neo-Darwinian establishment have felt their position to have been under attack and rightly so: there is a certain amount of hubris in calling something ‘the central dogma of molecular biology’ for example and people love to attack dogmatism, don’t they?
            At the minute, those who question Darwinian orthodoxy are accused of being religiously indoctrinated, contrarians, or philosophers. Since both Hawkins and Dawkins have rather peremptorily declared philosophy to be dead, I suspect that it’s the philosophers that will do most to bring Neo-Darwinism back to reality. (And put the gas of those who seek to leverage their work for illegitimate polemical ends at a peep.)
            Yours,
            John/.

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          3. If you -or anyone – consider the theory of evolution is full of holes or gaps or is in any way not the Slam Dunk proponents consider it is, then the onus is on you, and every detractor, to provide evidence of what you believe is the viable alternative.

            The floor is yours John K.
            Give it your very best shot.

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          4. Yes, yes, yes… the tone is what matters, the tone is counterproductive, the tone, the tone the tone. For atheists, this is the defining argument against those who actually criticize religious claims for very good reasons; leave those alone but focus on the tone and criticize that.

            *sigh*

            People like you will allow the criticism to be raised but, hey, you know it’s counterproductive, blah, blah, blah. This is standard operating procedure for agnostics and other fence-sitters, to not directly support religious idiocy itself but claim those who criticize it are if not as bad then probably even worse because of the tone, you see, the tone, the tone, the tone…. all packaged up to present the facade that you’re speaking from a higher position than both.

            I call bullshit on this form of mewling apologetics from those who defend those who make incredibly ignorant claims and seek to present themselves as legitimate skeptics when they are anything but. No one who knows anything about evolution, hell, about science, would make these kinds of anti-scientific claims like colonist does and most honestly interested or questioning people would at the very least try to understand the subject first before hopping on board the pseudo-skeptic train and making such ignorant claims and think them as defensible – pseudo-skeptic because that is all these kinds of claims are… no different than any other pseudo-scientific claim that relies on the ignorance of the audience to meekly accept.

            Your use of the term – neo Darwinist is a tell… unless you think it reasonable I call you a neo-gravitationalist for vigorously defending the explanation of gravity to someone who produces a faux-skeptical argument that it’s just ‘dogma’. Or doctors defending germ theory as neo-medicalists. I mean, the term indicates a level of idiocy introduced into an area that can easily be investigated and the discovery made why these explanations are well past the kind of pseudo-skepticism some people think justifies their ignorance. But don’t worry about that. Worry about the tone of those who defend human knowledge from faux-criticism.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Don’t expect JK to reply. He is the master of the impotent Drive-By comment.
            Like a patron in a bordello dipping his flaccid wick once who then walks out thinking: ”Well, they’re well and truly fucked!”

            Liked by 1 person

          6. You’re missing the point, big style, and the impotent drive-by comment jibe is jaw-dropping.
            I’ll be back with a little list of non-religious contrarians and philosophers in due course. In the meantime, Tildeb, forgive me for not knowing that ‘Neo-Darwinism’ is no longer the name used, I didn’t get the memo, obviously.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          7. (N.B., I am merely posting these names and titles to demonstrate that questioning Neo-Darwinian orthodoxy — or whatever we are supposed to call it nowadays — is not the sole remit of the ‘religiously indoctrinated’. There are cases to answer and anti-Creation counter-apologists ought not get away with their over-use of the one worn-out tarbrush.)
            Richard Milton: Shattering the Myths of Darwinism
            Thomas Nagel: Mind and Cosmos: why the materialist Neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false
            Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini: What Darwin got Wrong
            James Le Fanu: Why us?: How Science rediscovered the mystery of ourselves.
            You don’t need to tell me that there is pushback from the science establishment against all these books. I’m not endorsing their answers by pointing out that they raise some questions
            Yours,
            John/.

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          8. And not one raises any legitimate scientific questioning of the theory of evolution as it stands today (called the Great Synthesis after its validity as an explanation for how life evolves over time by various natural UNGUIDED mechanisms was verified). yet there are hundreds of such books, almost all written by those outside of biology. So ask yourself, “Why?” It’s not about the science.What is it about, then?

            Liked by 1 person

          9. Milton: engineer.
            Nagel: philosopher
            Jerry Fodor: Philosopher
            Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini: linguistics and psychology
            James Le Fanu: general practitioner and journalist

            Do you see the problem here? The issues raised by these authors as if revealing some inherent weakness or problem with the theory of evolution are not valid scientific critiques done by people who know what they’re talking about. These folk are not biologists and so they write these books and sell them to an unwary public who presume, as you do, that their theses possess some scientific validity. They don’t. At best they raise the kind of internal squabbles typical in every scientific field as if these disagreements revealed something to question the underlying theory. Again, they don’t. The theory remains the bedrock of biology – a fundamental principle no longer questioned within the field because it has passed all tests for over 150 years and nothing you raise now offers anything scientific to doubt this position.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. Well done for having read them, Tildeb,
            but you are on the way to proving the point that I’m trying to make. By shouting out the word ‘Unguided’ in your reply you demonstate that your judgement of what is or is not legitimate scientific questioning of the theory of evolution as it stands today is blinkered. It could easily be argued that these books have a place — or perhaps several places — in the continued development of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis but I would by grateful if you could direct me to the places where they as much as imply that evolution is a guided process.
            With these four carefully selected books, I think that it is about the science, so there you go.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          11. John, if you wish to contend that evolution is ‘guided,’ could you provide an explanation for why 80% of all mutations are harmful to an organism’s fitness.

            Does 80% speak to competent guidance, or randomness?

            I look forward to your answer…

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          12. @ John Kilpatrick
            How on earth does the view of a philosopher have the right to be regarded on an equal footing with a biologist on the subject of evolution?

            That’s like calling in an expert on Papier-mâché to offer a second opinion to an oncologist!

            Liked by 1 person

          13. I have no wish to contend that evolution is guided, John,
            nor do these authors seek to contend that and that is why they are on this list.
            (That said, you’ll probably think what I believe to be even sillier that what is proposed by the various proponants of guided evolution — Biologos, ID, etc. — and if I remember correctly, you said I wouldn’t be safe with a metal spoon.)
            Yours,
            John/.

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  7. Again, point missed, the journalists and philosophers are asking the questions and biologists are not dismissing those questions as quickly as you think they are. Anyway, Piattelli-Palmarini for one started his career as a bio-physicist and a molecular biologist so your divide is not as great as you think.
    (Wasn’t Einstein a patent clerk?)
    Yours,
    John/.

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    1. Well, anyone can ask questions. That’s how we learn stuff.
      It’s when the questions become allusions that lead to forthright suggestions, to full blown assertions ….. ”God did it!”
      This is when the men in the white coats need to be called and the kiddies removed.

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      1. Once again, Ark,
        these books don’t do that which is why I listed them.
        Misplaced suspicions of god-of-the-gaps intrusions will cause a lot of collateral damage.
        Yours,
        John/.

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          1. If you recall, Ark,
            Colonialist was not talking about refutation and I haven’t been either. Here is a quote from Milton’s Preface:

            I accept there is persuasive circumstantial evidence for evolution, but I do not accept that there is any significant evidence that that the mechanism driving that evolution is the neo-Darwinian mechanism of chance mutation coupled with natural selection.

            All I’m saying here is that treating a thesis which expressly denies being a refutation as though it is a failed refutation is not the optimum way to safeguard science.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          2. The word that has pilloried this idiotic statement is “circumstantial.” This means ‘indirect’. The evidence for evolution is not indirect. For example, Great Apes have 24 chromosomes, Humans 23 and only significant difference between the is your very own Chromosome 2, which just so happens to have telomeres in the middle. Telomers, as I’m sure you know, are the buffers located at the end of chromosomes and are the key feature in division during development. Chomosome 2 is hybrid, that when broken into two at this telemere accurately reflect almost identical base pairs as any other Great Ape. To consider this ‘circumstantial’ when added to thousands upon thousands of other examples that always, always, always align with the central mechanism of evolution by means of genetic inheritance is to not just misrepresent the science but to border on open denial of all this aligned evidence.

            And this raises the second idiocy of this statement is about “neo-Darwinism” and describing the mechanism of natural selection as random mutations he calls “chance.” Anyone who has even the most elementary school understanding of natural selection understands that genetic mutations alone is not the driver but the interaction between the environment and the suitability of the traits critters inherit: natural selection is NOT “chance” at all with this rudimentary understanding but a direct influence by the environment on arbitrating which traits are favourable to promote reproduction. And we know – not by indirect but direct evidence – that the environment can and does influence which heritable features best suit successful multi-generational reproduction. That’s what term ‘fitness’ means in the Darwinian lexicon. This fact of suitability that over time weans out traits that are not helpful in successful reproduction is obvious to anyone who looks at life in nature: organisms well suited to their environment flourish; those that are not yield lower multi-generational rates of successful reproduction. Always.

            So the question raised here is whether or not random mutations can increase fitness and the evidence for this is not only direct but overwhelming. And it aligns PERFECTLY with the theory of evolution becuase this is what the theory of evolution proposes: changes to life over time by NATURAL selection. This is the all-purpose term for all the NATURAL mechanisms involved beyond direct inheritance but the central one remains firmly genetically inherited traits.

            So to pretend “chance” is synonymous with natural selection and therefore circumstantial is beyond simple misrepresentation. It demonstrates EITHER brute ignorance about evolution OR a willful intent to deceive. You have bought into it not because it is a legitimate scientific question about evolution but because it SEEMS to align with your thesis that evolution is an ideology. It’s not. It is the very best science ever produced because it is the most applied and effective understanding we have about anything. It is not just a fact but the most productive explanation in any field of science that, oh by the way, works for everyone everywhere all the time. But according to you, we should doubt this knowledge because this person or that says this or that. And this is why I say one has to be motivated by something other than respecting what’s true to urge this unreasonable doubt… because any contrary evidence would do the job. The problem is, no such evidence has been, is, or likely will be produced. If it is, if we turn out to be wrong in this, then we have even less reason to accept any other scientific understanding. In addition (and this is where all these Merchants of Doubt like you fail spectacularly) it falls to YOU to come up with an explanation that not only fits all the evidence raised to support evolution but also explains why it works all the time for everyone everywhere. The Intelligent Designer crowd assume ‘the Intelligent Designer designed it this way’ is sufficient, but that, too fails to account, for example, Lenski’s experimental results where a single random mutation in e coli creates an entire new subspecies with traits to utilize a new food source NOT inherited but yielding massive increase in fitness.

            So a Nobel awaits you and these supposed critics of evolution. All you have to do is demonstrate that the theory does not account for something. Seems simple, right? Well, it turns out to be Herculean because no such evidence has ever been produced.And that is why evolution is not an ideology but the pinnacle of good science that only the ignorant and the deceivers tell us is still up for debate when it’s not.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. Of course God is ‘needed’, Ark,
            because we’re made in his image and we sooner or later deify whatever we put our trust in. Until you get it that Christians believe in the God who made and sustains everything, explained or unexplained, you will continue your windmill-tilting attack on the god-as-hypothesis-to-fit-the-gap that nobody puts any faith in. I know that the first line of defense is that Atheists can’t deify anything because it’s part of the definition of what an Atheist is. I’d be so bold as to say that there is nobody who is so bound to his God as the man who says that he doesn’t have one.
            Take the reply we’ve just had from tildeb — who has missed the point that I’ve quoted Milton simply to show that the ‘religious indoctrination’ defence won’t do — and what we get is nothing less than religious indoctrination!

            evolution … is the very best science ever produced because it is the most applied and effective understanding we have about anything.

            John Gray, in Seven Types of Atheism, has a chapter entitled “A Strange Faith in Science” where he discusses ‘Evolution vs. ethics’; ‘Racism and anti-Semitism in the Enlightenment’; Mesmerism, the first religion of science’; ‘Science and the abolition of man’; and ‘Transhumanism as techno-monotheism.’
            Yours,
            John/.

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          4. The minute you introduce your god into anything it has a similar effect on me as a horse tranquiliser, and no matter how you try to wrap up your flowery language and present it as having some sort of ”sciencey” legitimacy you simply sound like a twit.

            As evolution is fact then unless you can provide evidence to refute this it is you, I’m afraid, that believes we see your god as an enemy.

            You are bringing a Sooty glove puppet to a genetics convention and declaring:
            ”See, I put my hand up it’s arse and it comes alive!”
            There are no ”types” of atheism
            There is no faith in science.

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          5. No, John, it is you who has missed the point: to assume anything other than UNGUIDED change to life over time by means of NATURAL selection imports an ideology that reality itself refutes. Not scientists. Not ideologues. Reality refutes this imported contrary belief. No matter what you may call this imported denial of reality, the opinion is equivalent in all ways to an incompatible religious belief with what the method of science has revealed. It is not any kind of ‘faith’ in the religious sense that is used to recognize this fact of unguided natural mechanisms as you continue to believe, continue to insist, continue to use to support your opinion. It is reality that refutes it.

            So to categorize those of us who respect reality enough to allow it to arbitrate our beliefs about reality as some kind of ideologue, some kind of religious person who replaces worshiping a god with worshiping science, is again another very intentional and, frankly, dishonest attempt to misrepresent those who respect reality. The method of science that produces knowledge derived from reality, produces a derived explanation that when used as a model for how reality operates empowers technologies and applications and therapies that work for everyone everywhere all the time, is not another kind of religious ‘faith’ but the necessary groundwork to legitimize confidence in it. Your sources have all failed to do this, failed to legitimately question with evidence why we should decrease the confidence in the theory. It is this overwhelming alignment in all the evidence that creates the confidence to support the theory that is means, the justification, by which we can better allow reality to arbitrate our beliefs about it regarding life.

            This kind of inquiry into reality, this same method that should possess evidence from reality to support doubt about the explanation, you refuse to allow to soil your opinion. So you pull on all kinds of extraneous sources, all kinds of imported beliefs – philosophical, metaphysical, psychological – that are then imposed on reality and think this is legitimate reason to doubt, reason to lower confidence. It’s not. It’s illegitimate. What you’re doing is in spite of the overwhelming evidence from reality that does not support these imposed beliefs. And you continue to use this tactic as if by doing so this number of impositions magically improves the lipstick on the pig you have applied to these contrary beliefs, by pretending that that this number turns the contrary, reality-denying imported belief into some kind of legitimate skepticism about evolution. This is simply not true.

            You have failed to justify any doubt. Having failed utterly to reveal any contrary evidence from reality to justify the doubt, these imported beliefs are contrary to reality and so they require the misguided among us to utilize misrepresentation and dishonesty in order to maintain the fiction that there is any scientific doubt about the theory of evolution. It is this presumption of legitimacy in the doubt that is the fiction, John. There isn’t any doubt by those who understand the theory because reality does not provide any good reasons to doubt this scientific explanation, PLUS there is nothing but a vast sea of good reasons and examples why this explanation works reliably and consistently to reflect how reality operates in regards to life. This total package from every field of inquiry that utilizes reality for its evidence is what you are trying to doubt. But this doubt has no scientific validity because it has no contrary evidence from reality to support it. That’s the point you continue to miss and that’s the essential ingredient to support legitimate doubt, legitimate skepticism, legitimate contrary belief. You’ve got squat.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. JK writes, because we’re made in his image. And I can’t help but ask — do we look like him/her/they … or does he/she/it look like us? And which one of us? Is “god” fat or slim? Tall or short? What color hair? Eyes? Skin?

            You may think I’m being facetious, but if one is to take “The Word” literally (as so many do), then the question should be considered as an honest one.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. Seven aspects, Nan:
            Creativity;
            Spirituality;
            Rationality;
            Morality;
            Impartiality;
            Authority;
            Dignity.
            Is that what you see when you look in the mirror?
            Yours,
            John/.

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          8. Absolutely!!

            But that doesn’t answer my question. What does “God” LOOK like? How can we know we’re made “in his image” if we don’t have any idea of what “he” looks like??? The list you offer does not contain physical attributes.

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          9. He looks like Jesus, Nan!
            but who says that similar physical characteristics are what is implied by being made in the image of God? We know that the true likeness of God is being restored in us because we have an otherwise unaccountable love for our Christian Brothers and an otherwise unaccountable hunger for the Word of God. These are the two places where what God is like is on display.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          10. Hence the grandiose dismissive hand wave towards anything from reality that clearly and indisputably refutes whatever contrary belief the person pretends is sufficient to doubt evolution. And that is almost always a religious belief in some kind of POOF!ism.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. [1 John 3:1-3]

            See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appear we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

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    1. Hence the grandiose dismissive hand wave towards anything from reality that clearly and indisputably refutes whatever contrary belief the person pretends is sufficient to doubt evolution. And that is almost always a religious belief in some kind of POOF!ism.

      You really want to go there, Tildeb‽ For if you do, you will have to stop jumping to conclusions about what I think of evolution, otherwise you will dig a trap for me and fall into it yourself. Bring it on!
      Yours,
      John/.

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      1. The fact that you think humans were ‘made’ in any way other than by a natural unguided process over deep time demonstrates an opinion contrary to overwhelming biological evidence. This belief of yours stands incompatible with science. You have zero evidence that humanity was touched at any historical moment in any way to direct our development. Our development is fully and wholly a natural process without any agencies of Oogity Boogity! intervening. That’s what ‘unguided’ means and that is what you are denying not because of good reasons based on compelling evidence but because of an imported religious belief you maintain that directly conflicts with what reality shows us to be the case.

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        1. Hold on a wee second, Tildeb.
          I’m fully aware that my belief in the Creator God of the Bible is obnoxious to you because of your atheism so I’ve made no attempt to hide that; there’s no trickery here but you really ought not jump to conclusions about what that belief entails.
          So, are you asking me how the expression ‘made in God’s image’ does not contradict the evidence of a phylogenetic relationship between all living things; the ongoing process of evolutionary development; and the length of time needed for that process to take place? Why not pillory me for my actual opinions rather than those you impute to me?
          Yours,
          John/.

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          1. What’s obnoxious to me are ignorant and anti-scientific opinions and denialist beliefs that try to be presented as reasonable and informed by reality when they are not. Hence the stream of misrepresentation, PRATT, and dishonesty. Your criticism of evolution is empty of any knowledge value as well as a watered down version of creationism that requires a straightforward denial that reality should arbitrate beliefs about it. That’s what I’m calling out. You got nuthin’.

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          2. What criticism of evolution, Tildeb?
            and for that matter, what’s ‘watered down’ about my creationism? Every post makes clear that you don’t know what I’m talking about and — not that anybody will tell you here — you’re increasingly giving the impression that you don’t know what you’re talking about either.
            You say I’ve got nothing: how will you possibly know what I’ve got or haven’t got if you keep jumping to thoroughly unwarranted conclusions? I thought atheists had better arguments.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          3. Your criticism that there is any validity to doubting evolution is true. There isn’t. There is no scientifically valid criticism because there is no valid evidence. As I said, that’s why you offer links thinking they do when, in fact, they don’t. You wave this away.

            Your creationism is watered down because you suggest your view is still compatible with evolution. It isn’t because evolution means an unguided and natural process without any evidence of intervention at any time. Your belief is contrary to and incompatible with evolution. There is no scientifically valid middle ground here. You just wave this away.

            Whenever you comment, you make it abundantly clear that you do not know what you’re talking about in regards to evolution. When I explain something or offer you compelling evidence contrary to your comment, guess what? You wave it away.

            The conclusions I arrive at regarding your contrary and incompatible beliefs you have mentioned is that you’ve got nothing scientifically valid to back up your original claim that you know anything about evolution because you continue to believe yourself justified in doubting that it is contrary to and incompatible with your claim it is deserving of doubt. In addition, you have not offered any recognition that my efforts in regards to your opinion have had any effect whatsoever. So I can safely conclude you simply don’t care about any of this so that means you don’t care your beliefs are contrary to the compelling evidence reality provides. That makes you either anti-scientific or a evolution denier… not for any good reasons but because it interferes with maintaining your beliefs. And that tells me you simply don’t care about learning (or you would demonstrate this) or respecting what’s true (or you would actually deal with the content of the comments I have offered).

            My conclusions are fully warranted and so you dip into the usual grab bag off religious apologetics and try to make your failures appear to be mine, appear to be justified if only I… whatever. You hide behind the straw man you have created about ideological scientists, my atheism, my lack of knowledge about what you actually believe, yada yada yada and so wave your magic wand and excuse yourself from holding beliefs that are not only without justification from reality but in denial of it. By all means prove me wrong.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. @ John K.
            Let’s make it simple for hicks like me who sometimes have the attention span of a goldfish when it comes to trying to figure out what Christian apologists such as you, John are saying,

            Do you accept that evolution is unguided?
            Yes or No?
            Do you accept there is no evidence to support any claims of divine intervention?
            Yes or No?

            Simple straightforward questions that remove any ambiguity.
            Please do me the favour of replying with Yes or No answers.
            Thanks.
            Ark

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          5. Tildeb,
            You said

            Your criticism that there is any validity to doubting evolution is true. There isn’t. There is no scientifically valid criticism because there is no valid evidence. As I said, that’s why you offer links thinking they do when, in fact, they don’t. You wave this away.

            The four books I cited are by authors who all declare that they have no religious axe to grind. All I was doing was calling you out on your ridiculous assertion that anything critical of neo-darwinian orthodoxy must be due to religious indoctrination. You are the one insisting that that I must think these books to contain valid criticisms of the very idea of evolution but if sticking to my original reason is hand waving, so be it.
            You said

            Your creationism is watered down because you suggest your view is still compatible with evolution. It isn’t because evolution means an unguided and natural process without any evidence of intervention at any time. Your belief is contrary to and incompatible with evolution. There is no scientifically valid middle ground here. You just wave this away.

            Two points: 1. Those who do believe in a guided process of evolutionary development (Classic theistic evolutionists) or in occasional intervention (Biologos/evolutionary creationists) would reasonably point out that your definition puts the cart before the horse and is at best a safeguarding codicil to a definition, designed to shut out frivolous and dishonest claims but needing adjustment to avoid stipulating that there must be no counter evidence. Science can’t do that. 2. Creationism is concerned with more than evolution. My attempt at being comprehensive says that the sphere of creationist interest comprises:
            • time;
            • chaos;
            • change;
            • stability;
            • renewal;
            • life; and
            • energy.
            Evolution simply has to be dependent on the prior existence of all of these including life so the question for me is whether or not evolution is compatible with what the Bible says about all these, not the other way around.

            You said

            Whenever you comment, you make it abundantly clear that you do not know what you’re talking about in regards to evolution. When I explain something or offer you compelling evidence contrary to your comment, guess what? You wave it away.

            and although saying that my comments reveal a profound ignorance of evolution is just plain daft, I admit that I haven’t engaged with your examples. My dilemma has been that you have consistently — like a general fighting the last war instead of the present one — attributed to me views that I don’t hold and I thought it would be confusing to discuss (e.g.) chimp chromosomes and the long term Lenski e. coli experiment, at least until you stopped beating me up for the wrong misdemeanor. I’m sorry for any frustration this rudeness on my part has caused you.

            Now does that clear things up?

            Yours,
            John/.

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          6. It is frustrating to encounter people who think/assume/believe their opinions contrary to the scientific consensus have some legitimate amount of scientific criticism. It is my experience that these people rarely if ever understand the science but fail to grasp why this might matter in the merit of their doubt.

            Evolution as we understand it today – and not some straw man version of ‘neo-Darwinism’ throwback prior to the great synthesis – is an explanation that aligns perfectly with reality and all evidence extracted from it. That’s remarkable. Truly remarkable. What is even more remarkable is that many people think their own thoughts on this matter exceed this sum of evidence in merit… and with a level of insight presumed to be at least on par with if not superior to the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of working biologists, engineers, doctors, silvaculturists, geologists, geneticists, farmers, researchers in dozens of related fields who utilize this understanding all the time to successfully create new knowledge about life, new understandings about life, new insights about life, all of which produce new applications, new therapies, and new technologies that work for everyone everywhere all the time. The doubter of evolution exceeds all this. Obviously, the level of hubris must be incredible to assume one is smarter than all the rest to see the merit of doubting all this.

            So when I question on what basis these folk think themselves able to do this without even a hint of shame or appreciation to the extent of hubris needed, I find out again and again that there is no valid scientific criticism on display. Perhaps unsurprisingly, what should amaze me but no longer does, is that this lack of scientific merit to their criticisms phases these critics not one iota.

            Like you.

            How do you account for this?

            Well, it almost always requires some other motive/goal/agenda than facing up to the fact that their arguments to support their doubt has no scientific merit. In the words, the criticisms have nothing to do with the content of the scientific topic being doubted and everything to do with the context. In other words, the scientific explanation is rejected not on a lack of merit but because of some other conflict with a person’s beliefs. That is what I am challenging you to explain. Why should something other than scientific merit empower doubt about an explanation’s scientific merit?

            Because this method of denying scientific knowledge is the means to deny reality and this denial when acted upon threatens the welfare of all of us.

            It is the identical method of denial to justify all kinds of contrary opinions and beliefs that threaten all of us: from anti-vaccination to the cause of rapid climate change. Politicians and businesses utilize this same method to sew doubt, to sell doubt, to paralyze effective responses to real threats in real life to real people.

            This is why you suggesting legitimate criticism to the scientific merit of a theory can be found outside of science is an error. It is a thinking error. It is category mistake. It is introducing subject matter unrelated to the subject in order to doubt the knowledge we have about the subject.

            This observation I make has nothing whatsoever to do with some anti-religious dogmatic view you apply to me and everything to do with your failure and/or refusal to understand and appreciate what constitutes legitimate scientific criticism. Your doubt has no scientific merit. What you have offered has no legitimate scientific criticism. If it did, we’d be talking science and not metaphysics, science and not philosophy, science and not religion. Science. And science is the language of reality, of how we come to know anything about reality, about real things, real processes, material processes and material mechanisms we can understand, harness, and apply to our benefit. Scientific understanding comes from reality and is not imposed on it, imposed like the language of metaphysics or imposed like philosophical assumptions, or religion beliefs, and so these areas cannot offer any insight or legitimate criticism of a scientifically valid explanation, cannot offer scientifically valid insights into reality without granting science it’s proper place.

            So basing your doubtful opinion about a scientifically valid explanation like evolution without substantiating this doubt with scientifically valid evidence means the doubt is empty of any scientific merit. Yet this absence of evidence has no standing in your mind when it comes to justifying your doubt about a scientific explanation. This tells us that you are motivated to doubt by something other than evidence from reality. And so the importance of this intellectual stance is is the point you really don’t grasp: it means you are being dishonest with yourself that doubting evolution has some scientific validity when it does not. It has validity only by denying what reality has to show us in the same way anti-vaxxers deny reality, climate change deniers deny reality, evolution deniers deny unguided natural changes to life over time, changes that are indisputably unguided and without tweaking or tinkering or fiddling, natural processes utilizing natural mechanisms that are cause by biology is going on around you all the time no matter what word games or alternative hypothetical realities may motivate your doubt.

            Why does any of this matter when it comes to John Kilpatrick?

            The point is vital to you and everyone else because it means you really don’t care to reexamine your misplaced doubt about why evolution is true yet try to fool people into thinking you do. This is pernicious. It means that like any good religious soldier, you are going to believe in this doubt-fueled belief in spite of anything anyone including reality may say or do to alter it. And this makes you intellectually dishonest not just to me or others but to yourself. It makes you foolish, and each of us is the easiest person in the world to fool. If you don’t care about what’s true about reality then nothing you can say about anything regarding reality is worth listening to. And you are helping to deny to others the means to address problems arising from our common interaction with reality by empowering doubt dishonestly, by pretending philosophy and metaphysics and religion are of equivalent scientific merit when they are not. Once you swallow this red pill then what you think matters only to you no matter how wrong it may be in reality because you’ve jettisoned reality as the means to arbitrate your beliefs about it.

            Think about that, John. You’ve been fooled. But you don’t have to remain the fool, the doubter, the denier. That’s the choice you have, the choice not me or anyone else is imposing on you but one you are deciding to award with unearned and damaging loyalty. From you. You.

            Liked by 2 people

          7. Okay, Tildeb,
            the rhetoric is impressive but you are shooting arrows in the dark. I call you. Since there is no place for ‘faith’ in science, ‘doubt’ can’t be outlawed without it meaning the death of science.
            Read Marcus du Sautoy — What we cannot know: from consciousness to the cosmos, the cutting edge of science explained — on ToE

            As Hawking declared in A Brief History of Time: ‘I believe there are grounds for cautious optimism that we may be near the end of the search for the ultimate laws of nature’ … | Is such a thing possible? To know everything? Would we want to know everything? Science would ossify.

            And as far as I know, nobody has revoked my B.Sc. in Botany/Zoology — though it was earned a long time ago.
            As I say, the rhetoric is impressive — or should I call it sophistry — but I think you’re havering and we’ll never know if you keep telling me what my opinions are instead of — scientific/socratic method like — just asking.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          8. It makes no difference if you have degrees to burn or whether you are John Kilpatrick, Georges le Maitre or Francis Collins; if your god features anywhere in the scenario then you are doing exactly what Tildeb is saying.

            Like

          9. This is another pair of creationist clunkers you raise here, that the theory of evolution is somehow susceptible to being doubted on the basis of consciousness (hinting at dualism, a second independent agency related in some magical way to the biology that produces it), and that having the highest possible level of confidence in an explanation about how life changes over time that accounts for all the evidence is equivalent to ‘faith’ in assuming we already know everything there is to know and so no doubt is allowed. In both cases, these are wrong. That’s why they are clunkers because they keep being recycled no matter how often they are debunked.

            Evolution has nothing to say about consciousness, other than to suggest what we call ‘consciousness’ is an emergent property of biology. In other words, take away or alter the biology, take away or alter consciousness. The two seem co-joined not by some anti-religious ideology but because of compelling evidence… without any hint whatsoever of some dualistic party or agency, some tiny invisible driver, some element of life that is separate from the biology. Sure, we don’t understand fully how what we call ‘consciousness’ arises but this does not mean we then have cause to raise legitimate doubt about how life changes over time by means of unguided, natural mechanisms. It is always raised versus evolution but remains firmly a non sequitur. Doesn’t stop the critics from espousing it.

            Look, I started off this thread by saying nothing in human knowledge deserves as much confidence as the Theory of evolution, that to suggest there is enough evidence that we should maintain some level of doubt about evolution means we should therefore doubt gravity even more because it has less evidence for confidence, doubt germ theory more because we have less evidence for confidence, doubt any understanding about reality we have come to use because we have less evidence than what we have for evolution. This consistency of doubt the critics of evolution want to sell they suspend for every other scientific explanation. That is revealing because it indicates a motive other than respectfully lowering confidence when warranted. But we don’t do this nor have we cause to maintain the level of doubt critics of evolution tell us we should maintain. Evolution is particularly targeted as deserving doubt by this dishonest hypocritical critics. And they try to sell this doubt we are told, because, hey, we don’t know everything, can’t know everything, we should have some doubt. Yes we should, but the issue here is about levels of confidence. And we should grant the theory of evolution our least amount of doubt compared to all other scientific explanations. In fact, we know nothing about reality better than why we should accept that evolution is as true as anything else we think we know because all the evidence aligns and it all points in exactly the same direction that evolution is a fact, is a mechanism we understand, is an explanation that is highly productive in producing new knowledge and it is widely applied and it seems to always work. When combined with reasons to grant evolution our highest level of confidence, all these elements of the explanation is deserving fully and wholly on merit. If we told anything other than this, we are being sold something that has nothing whatsoever to do with reality, nothing to do with honest and reasonable skepticism, nothing to do with critical thinking, and everything to do with some other agenda… almost always religious or, if not directly religious, intended to apologize for this dishonest religious sensibility. Furthermore, those who say it is undeserving of our highest level of confidence never produce good scientific reasons for lowering that level of confidence, never good evidence that doesn’t fit with the explanation, never anything other than word games and non sequiturs to support this so-called doubt. That’s why such criticisms are unworthy of anyone concerned with respecting what reality tells us about itself and everything to do with imposing some other agenda through the tactics of apologetics, namely misrepresentation, hypocrisy, and dishonesty.

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          10. Not only invincible ignorance, Tildeb,
            but cowardly invincible ignorance, at that.

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          11. Because you are erudite enough to know that

            the theory of evolution is somehow susceptible to being doubted on the basis of consciousness (hinting at dualism, a second independent agency related in some magical way to the biology that produces it), and that having the highest possible level of confidence in an explanation about how life changes over time that accounts for all the evidence is equivalent to ‘faith’ in assuming we already know everything there is to know and so no doubt is allowed.

            is not what I have been saying.
            That you should attack me for what I do say is understood — as Ark implies, mention of God has the stench of death to most people who verture here, and I can’t help that — but to consistently condemn me for what I am not saying is cowardly.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          12. Then spit it out, John. Make your case in concise unambiguous terms.

            You can’t blame Tildeb or me for that matter for reacting the way we do.

            You are a christian who has doubts about evolution, yet seemingly refuse to specify exactly what those doubts are and to offer any sort of reasonable rational alternative that will meet the standards set by evolution.

            If you persist to equivocate ( which is what it sounds like to me, at least) then you are always going to come in for a barrage of flak.
            So, once more.
            State your case in plain English. No waffle, no obfuscation, no allusions or metaphor or allegory.
            Tell us exactly where your god fits into your perceived scheme of things.

            Like

          13. Your the one introducing consciousness as if this supports doubt about evolution. I think I can be excused for deducing that you share this belief. This is not cowardly. This is an honest deduction. Consciousness has nothing to do with evolution except in the way those who raise consciousness try to use it. The only way to use consciousness as if it were a <legitimate criticism is if it were not attached or beyond or outside of biology. This is where it fails. Consciousness is demonstrably tied to the biology that produces it and this has massive evidence in its support. That you are not stating this categorically doesn’t mean I am cowardly for raising that which you seem unable/unwilling to enunciate; I’m simply cutting to the chase. I am showing WHY raising consciousness as if to demonstrate some inherent weakness in the Theory of Evolution is nothing but a creationist clunker.

            So, if you did not mean it this way, then you’re going to have to do more than quote mine to support your case. And your case continues to have nothing of any scientific merit whatsoever.

            But it is fascinating that you will not admit that your belief that evolution is worthy of some lower level of confidence is entirely imported and imposed on a reality that simply does not agree with it. And you remain loyal and fixed to the belief rather than curious about why reality is the way it is or willing to change your belief. That shows the pernicious power of the motivation behind denying reality… strong enough to convince you to reject reality. I’d even bet you think doing so is virtuous!

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          14. I couldn’t work out why you keep accusing me of bringing up consciousness, Tildeb,
            because I couldn’t see where I’d given any cause for you to do so. Then I glanced at the title of the book I quoted — Marcus du Sautoy, What we cannot know: from consciousness to the cosmos, the cutting edge of science explained — and I saw your mistake: Giving the full title of a book isn’t intruding a concept from the subtitle into the discussion! I withdraw the ‘cowardly’ accusation.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          15. The ‘end products’ of the evolutionary process are true-breeding populations of kinds of living things. The big question for Creationists is why God chose to make everything ‘after its kind’ rather than at abiogenesis: the projectable beginning of life on earth. Because all living things are in a phylogenetic relationship with one another, the word from God which brought the curse of the fall onto humanity, has aflicted the entire creation in a consistent way.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          16. The only ‘end products’ in biology are extinct species. Everything alive is subject to unguided mechanisms like natural selection and so one cannot say with any accuracy, “There we go: an end product.”

            There’s no such thing as ‘true breeding’ except in the context of eugenics: a belief in blood purity that, now we know through genetics, does not exist in reality. That’s why you and me sharing the same damage from an ancient simian virus is not irrelevant but informative.

            The hypothesis that some agency with a plan could have gotten the ball rolling at abiogenesis has been tested repeatedly in the sense of trying to achieve a particular something later. What has been demonstrated is that once life becomes subject to natural selection and many other natural unguided mechanisms, all bets are off because of the impossibility of selecting which mutations will end up meeting with just the right conditions at just the key moment to yield the desired/planned/designed changes. What we do know is that life wins out every time and not along the best laid plans for it.

            As for ‘the curse’ I have no clue what you’re talking about because this certainly isn’t anything of scientific validity but an imported religious belief imposed on everyone without their informed consent.

            Liked by 1 person

          17. I think ”the curse” has something to do with a talking reptile. I am actually very surprised you are not fully up to speed on the whole vocalizing herpetology scene
            ” Pssst, have I got a story to tell you!”
            Tsk tsk … Tildeb, get with the program.

            To my mind, however, if John K’s god had created a fully formed (modern) human male he would have had to have been a few sandwiches short of a picnic to have put up with a talking snake: Unless the real author of Genesis was Rudyard Kipling, …. but if this is the case it seriously screws up the dating.”

            I dunno, let me go and play with my Rosary and maybe I will get inspiration.

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          18. Oh, I’m aware of the idiotic interpretation of the Genesis myths by Christians (it’s backwards in that the meaning of a millennium old myth is assumed to ‘explain’ a later historical event). What I’m saying is that this meaning has absolutely no relevance to human biology relating to its evolution and so I have no clue what John means by inserting it in his comment.

            Liked by 1 person

          19. Good joke, Tildeb —
            ‘The only ‘end products’ in biology are extinct species.’ and the fact that we can all appreciate it demonstrates that ‘end product’ is a good enough expression of what evolution does . Similarly, ‘true breeding’ can be understood to embrace both variation flexibility and species stability so if it’s also a joke that ‘true breeding’ only has meaning in Eugenics — a pseudoscience invented by Darwinian true believers — then the joke is on you. But I don’t think you were joking.

            Joking aside, we are engaged in drawing up battle-lines here: thesis and antithesis. Obviously, the moment of abiogenesis becomes a magnet to those given to god-of-the-gaps reasoning but

            The big question for Creationists is why God chose to make everything ‘after its kind’ rather than at abiogenesis

            should have been enough to draw your fire away from them. Granted that some of them only want — for whatever reason — to be contrary, you demonstrating how weak is the evidentialist argument serves to drive the others towards the strong presuppositionalist belief in God who speaks and bring things into being.

            I couldn’t determine what particular damage from an ancient simian virus you were referring to; a cursory glance suggests that the evidence for such a thing has been postulated more than once. However, inasmuch as such events demonstrate the interconnectedness of all living things, I’ll bet that it supports the reasonableness of belief in the Decretal God-of-the-Bible as opposed to belief in an attention-seeking god-of-the-gaps who messes things up.

            You are in good company, not understanding the importance of the Fall: Darwin missed it out of his theodical reasoning and spent a lot of time demonstrating that Paley’s Evidences was wrong on the subject of perfection when the Bible had said that he was wrong all along.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          20. Your comment reminds me of what a Far Side cartoon on what a dog hears when someone talks at it. It’s identical when talking at a creationist.

            But I’m beginning to think there isn’t a creationist clunker you won’t embrace with open arms and the espouse with an empty head. This time it’s the creationist clunker that eugenics is derived from Darwin – or, as creationists like to do, use the term Darwinism, or from those you create in your head who supposedly supported Darwin at this time. In fact, even a rudimentary understanding of evolutionary theory – something you still do not have in spite of me commenting to you in the hope of bringing a little light into your large dark space devoid of knowledge on this subject – reveals why this claim is untrue. And not just untrue but a reversal of what is true. An inversion. A fabrication. On the one hand you seem to have no ability to stop yourself from espousing these lies, these inversions, these creationist fabrications, while, on the other, unable/unwilling to learn why this speaks not just to your lack of knowledge but a lack of any concern with respecting what’s true. It was in historical fact Darwin’s bulldog – Huxley – who actually did an entire presentation to the Royal Society and wrote a book explaining to those like yourself unwilling to understand the theory of evolution why the fundamentals regarding eugenics was ANTI-evolutionary, or as someone like you would say, anti-Darwinian. But because you have amply demonstrated that you simply don’t care about learning what’s true when it comes to the subject of evolution but will insert anything – no matter how fictionalized it may be – to misrepresent it, along with no desire whatsoever to correct your religiously inspired deceit and dishonesty about the subject, I won’t waste any more of my time. other than concluding you, like every other anti-evolutionary so-called ‘skeptic’ have no good reasons for your position but an agenda that you think excuses you from respecting what’s true. You sir, have shown no intellectual integrity in this comment thread.

            Liked by 2 people

          21. High above the hushed crowd, Rex tried to remain focused. Still, he couldn’t shake one nagging thought: He was an old dog and this was a new trick.

            The Far Side, Frank Larson.

            Thank you for pointing me to the Thomas Huxley Eugenics rebuttal, Tildeb.
            Although I am an old dog, a library search is not a new trick for me. Since Galton — the Darwinist who coined ‘Eugenics’ — did not do so in print until 1883 and Huxley was by this time about to retire from teaching, it is hardly surprising that I can’t find a single use of the word ‘Eugenics in his works. It would be helpful if you could point us to the title of the book you mention.
            Yours,
            John/.

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    2. that;s the one statement that always puzzled me, as a kid: “In his image”. Which image? Are all supposed to look like that huge angry bearded Deity painted on the Sistine Chapel ceiling? Is Jesus black, latino, blue eyed blond (I grew up with a picture of Jesus on my bedroom wall who had definitely blonde hair and a tidy beard)? When we see him, will we see a mirror reflection of ourselves?

      How do we explain a white (not Jewish) Jesus to African Americans, to Indians, to the Japanese? Did he convert? Ah. One of those deathbed conversions. Of course. Now I get it.

      Carry on.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. See the discussion further up the page, Judy,
        since the full Bible verse — Genesis 1:27 — reads ‘So God created man in his own image | in the image of God he created him; | male and female he created them’, something other than physical characteristics is in view.
        Yours,
        John/.

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  8. Come oh, Ark,
    you know I don’t do yes/no answers. Tildeb is half right about me but I don’t know to correct the bit that’s crazily wrong except that I might do so by demonstrating that my Creationism is far more obnoxious than he imagines. For what it’s worth, I think anti-evolution is at best a distraction and at worst a different gospel, but how science is supposed to work without doubt, I cannot imagine. Tildeb’s rhetoric is religious not scientific, which is ironic.
    Yours,
    John/.

    Like

    1. By not answering you have, in fact ,answered.
      One can deduce from your hand-wave comment that the answers would be ….No to both questions.
      Don’t ever wonder why you are considered a Nob when you try to engage in dialogue above your pay grade.

      Liked by 1 person

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