The Raving Theist

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Teaching The Controversy

October 6, 2005 | 491 Comments

[The Raving Atheist welcomes frequent commenter A Different Tim as today’s guest poster].

If I may break in to the general round of recrimination and abuse that we all visit TRA for . . .

As I write, a rerun of the Scopes monkey trial is being held that could determine what your children are taught at school, and may make a laughing stock of American education. I

Comments

491 Responses to “Teaching The Controversy”

  1. Mookie
    October 6th, 2005 @ 2:28 am

    Some of the aversion to evolution is the realization that we share a common ancestor with apes and monkeys. Sometimes people mistake common ancestor with “we evolved from monkeys”. Oh silly human monkeys, denying your nature, denying your humble roots! Be not ashamed to be cousin to the mighty gorillas and the screeching monkeys, or to the sex-crazed bonobos. Accept who and what you are, and point out the cute ears on chimps that stick out all funny-like. Yes, there is much to enjoy about being a monkey. Eating fruit all day, swinging through the trees. Using those opposable digits and stereoscopic vision. Thank our common ancestors for all those things that make humans what we are. Be proud to be a monkey.

  2. Borgia
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:12 am

    “Since watches are the products of intelligent design, and living things are like watches in having complicated mechanisms which serve a purpose (e.g., having eyeballs to enable sight), living things are probably the products of intelligent design as well.”

    The above is a quote from William Paley, widely regarded as the father of intelligent design theory.

    First, I would be remiss not to point out that the father of the theory felt obliged to insert “probably” in his conclusion that the creator of humans has an intellect in some way analagous to the human intellect. This should serve as ample tonic to all those who would describe this theory as scientific fact. I don’t seem to remember Newton concluding that F probably equaled mass times acceleration.

    Second, if we cast a skeptical eye upon the above Paley quote, the analogy seems less than apt. Because if we take a hard look at the nuts and bolts of human intelligence and the process by which it creates objects of complexity, we see that all obects of human contrivance are created a posteriori. To use Paley’s watch example, all watchmakers, even the first watchmaker, must know a great deal about gears, wheels and pinions and the laws that govern their actions in order to create working watches. Without a perception of how these watch constituents function in an orderly, law-abiding and therefore predictable universe, there could be no watches. This is no more than to say that our experience of an orderly, law-abiding and uniform universe is the stuff that human intelligence is made of. Therefore it is impossible to see how an entity with a mind analagous to the human mind could create an orderly, law-abiding universe without prior experience of an orderly, law-abiding universe. To conclude, since the cause of order in the universe, by definition, can’t experience an ordered, law-abiding universe prior to its creation of order in it, the analogy to human intelligence falls apart.

    Lastly, let us assume for a moment that intelligent design could prove scientically the existence of God and that we, as living things, are the product of his intelligent design. What then? Is this sufficient bedrock upon which to found an entire religion? I ask you, what good is a religion that can only claim that the creator of the universe, and by extension, living things within it, created it via intelligent design? It cannot serve as a basis for morals, it cannot promise an afterlife, it cannot even promise a more enjoyable earthly life for its adherents.

  3. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:39 am

    Hmmm. Much of what you write, Borgia, is accurate but I don’t think it gets to the heart of the matter, since it lacks context.

    Paley died in 1805. He was very much a product of the rationalism of his time. His interest was in seeing if he could find proofs for Christianity that didn’t depend on divine revelation. Your assumption that this theory necessitates a mind analogous to ours is a premise that you have not proven and cannot, I don’t think.

    I don’t see how this follows on what you have written: I ask you, what good is a religion that can only claim that the creator of the universe, and by extension, living things within it, created it via intelligent design? The “religion” makes no such claim and doesn’t depend on it. The claims are made by men in the 18th -21st centuries trying to see if they can find ways outside of the biblical account to explain the origin of life in this world.

    The rest of the paragraph makes no sense to me at all and doesn’t follow on anything you have argued.

  4. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:39 am

    Hmmm. Much of what you write, Borgia, is accurate but I don’t think it gets to the heart of the matter, since it lacks context.

    Paley died in 1805. He was very much a product of the rationalism of his time. His interest was in seeing if he could find proofs for Christianity that didn’t depend on divine revelation. Your assumption that this theory necessitates a mind analogous to ours is a premise that you have not proven and cannot, I don’t think.

    I don’t see how this follows on what you have written: I ask you, what good is a religion that can only claim that the creator of the universe, and by extension, living things within it, created it via intelligent design? The “religion” makes no such claim and doesn’t depend on it. The claims are made by men in the 18th -21st centuries trying to see if they can find ways outside of the biblical account to explain the origin of life in this world.

    The rest of the paragraph makes no sense to me at all and doesn’t follow on anything you have argued.

  5. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:39 am

    Hmmm. Much of what you write, Borgia, is accurate but I don’t think it gets to the heart of the matter, since it lacks context.

    Paley died in 1805. He was very much a product of the rationalism of his time. His interest was in seeing if he could find proofs for Christianity that didn’t depend on divine revelation. Your assumption that this theory necessitates a mind analogous to ours is a premise that you have not proven and cannot, I don’t think.

    I don’t see how this follows on what you have written: I ask you, what good is a religion that can only claim that the creator of the universe, and by extension, living things within it, created it via intelligent design? The “religion” makes no such claim and doesn’t depend on it. The claims are made by men in the 18th -21st centuries trying to see if they can find ways outside of the biblical account to explain the origin of life in this world.

    The rest of the paragraph makes no sense to me at all and doesn’t follow on anything you have argued.

  6. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:39 am

    Hmmm. Much of what you write, Borgia, is accurate but I don’t think it gets to the heart of the matter, since it lacks context.

    Paley died in 1805. He was very much a product of the rationalism of his time. His interest was in seeing if he could find proofs for Christianity that didn’t depend on divine revelation. Your assumption that this theory necessitates a mind analogous to ours is a premise that you have not proven and cannot, I don’t think.

    I don’t see how this follows on what you have written: I ask you, what good is a religion that can only claim that the creator of the universe, and by extension, living things within it, created it via intelligent design? The “religion” makes no such claim and doesn’t depend on it. The claims are made by men in the 18th -21st centuries trying to see if they can find ways outside of the biblical account to explain the origin of life in this world.

    The rest of the paragraph makes no sense to me at all and doesn’t follow on anything you have argued.

  7. Think
    October 6th, 2005 @ 9:19 am

    Chirality?

  8. Jennifer
    October 6th, 2005 @ 9:31 am

    There is an article out in the Times Online today announcing a new document by the Catholic Church that specifies which part of the Bible is true and which part is not. I can’t wait to see their take on ID. And I would like to know what Steve G thinks of this new development.

  9. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 9:48 am

    Jennifer: I think I can help but I cannot speak for Steve G.

    This is not a new development, though the document will be. The Church has always held that the Bible is made up of many kinds of literature. Some of it is poetry, some of it is history, some of it is chronicles, some of it fable (no serious person thinks that Job is literally true. I mean the book starts out with a sort of “once upon a time…” introduction.) some of it is rather like reportage (Gospels, Acts).

    Some very strict fundamentalist sects do seem unable to make or understand these distinctions but they are way out in left field and do not speak for the rest of us.

  10. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 9:48 am

    Jennifer: I think I can help but I cannot speak for Steve G.

    This is not a new development, though the document will be. The Church has always held that the Bible is made up of many kinds of literature. Some of it is poetry, some of it is history, some of it is chronicles, some of it fable (no serious person thinks that Job is literally true. I mean the book starts out with a sort of “once upon a time…” introduction.) some of it is rather like reportage (Gospels, Acts).

    Some very strict fundamentalist sects do seem unable to make or understand these distinctions but they are way out in left field and do not speak for the rest of us.

  11. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 9:48 am

    Jennifer: I think I can help but I cannot speak for Steve G.

    This is not a new development, though the document will be. The Church has always held that the Bible is made up of many kinds of literature. Some of it is poetry, some of it is history, some of it is chronicles, some of it fable (no serious person thinks that Job is literally true. I mean the book starts out with a sort of “once upon a time…” introduction.) some of it is rather like reportage (Gospels, Acts).

    Some very strict fundamentalist sects do seem unable to make or understand these distinctions but they are way out in left field and do not speak for the rest of us.

  12. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 9:48 am

    Jennifer: I think I can help but I cannot speak for Steve G.

    This is not a new development, though the document will be. The Church has always held that the Bible is made up of many kinds of literature. Some of it is poetry, some of it is history, some of it is chronicles, some of it fable (no serious person thinks that Job is literally true. I mean the book starts out with a sort of “once upon a time…” introduction.) some of it is rather like reportage (Gospels, Acts).

    Some very strict fundamentalist sects do seem unable to make or understand these distinctions but they are way out in left field and do not speak for the rest of us.

  13. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:02 am

    So ‘strict fundamentalists’ do not speak for the rest of you? That is why you never hear fundamentalist views from the religious right, the republican party, and most right wing commentators…………..

    for them not speaking for you, they sure do most the speaking for religion these days.

    As Sam Harris contends, it is the fact that ‘moderates’ accept portions of the worlds holy books to be true and the fact that it is not proper to question someones beliefs (no matter how idiotic and down right evil they may be) that allows the fundamentalists to not only exist but to flourish…

    A large number of the worlds problems would be solved if we all viewed the bible, torah, and koran in the same light as Greek myths.

  14. hermesten
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:14 am

    Based on their comments in another thread, it looks like the theists have pretty much conceded the fact of evolution, at least on this blog. Daphne

  15. Mutt
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:15 am

    True, Mookie. When I come across a rabid anti-monkeyist and haven’t the energy to reason with her/him/it, I tend to say “Be a Homo if you want; I’m a Pan and proud of it”.

  16. Viole
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:26 am

    Great post, Tim. Much above RA’s usual standard.

  17. Jim
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:43 am

    We’ll definitely try and keep things around here up to the standards on your blog, Viole. Just as soon as we can invent some more characters and a complete fantasy language to go around with it.

  18. Steve G.
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:08 am

    Jennifer:
    Daphne

  19. Viole
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:21 am

    Nice logical fallacy, Jim. What I do elsewhere has no bearing on what I do here, and writing fiction does not require a tenuous grip on reality.

  20. hermesten
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:29 am

    “I

  21. Jim
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:32 am

    Viole:

    Not only was it a logical fallacy, it was an insult, just more blunt than the one you delivered earlier.

    Steve G:

    I’m glad to see you back! First you were debating, then you couldn’t debate, then we were too crude for you, now *I’m* too crude for you… I don’t really care whether your story is straight, and I’m certainly not the gatekeeper of this or any other weblog.

    I’m perfectly confident you’ll pretend to run off again the moment you’re confronted with evidence you can’t address… then come back again on your high-horse as soon as you see language that makes you feel like a big boy. When you’re done trolling the forums for porn, that is.

  22. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:34 am

    I would like to ask how exactly does one decide which parts of the bible are true and which are not true? Do we go by the Pope? Is there an annotated list showing clearly which portions are fact and which are bullshit? Are individual moderate’s allowed to pick and choose which parts of the bible are true? I repeat the following:

    As Sam Harris contends, it is the fact that ‘moderates’ accept portions of the worlds holy books to be true and the fact that it is not proper to question someones beliefs (no matter how idiotic and down right evil they may be) that allows the fundamentalists to not only exist but to flourish…

    A large number of the worlds problems would be solved if we all viewed the bible, torah, and koran in the same light as Greek myths.

  23. kmisho
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:44 am

    Steve,
    ID is a new development in several ways, but it is of course not new in others. ID was born between 1987 and 1990 because of the 1987 supreme court that once again deemed ‘creationism’ a violation of the establishment clause. ID was specifically designed to circumvent this objection, and it is new in that sense.

    Also, the emboldening of american fundamentalists can be directly sourced to a contemporary tide of reactionary conservatism. While this is not new, it comes in cycles. We are approaching a new high tide. So the question is not so much a matter of newness, but of countering the present rising tide to get it going back in the other direction.

  24. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:45 am

    Joe said: So ‘strict fundamentalists’ do not speak for the rest of you? That is why you never hear fundamentalist views from the religious right, the republican party, and most right wing commentators

    We agree on many doctrinal issues. We don’t agree on everything.

    I would have no problem at all with teaching evolution in the schools, if it were taught competently. But if I can judge by what I read and hear every day, it isn’t being taught competently. Since coming here I see that neither history nor logic are being taught competently either.

    I apologize for being insulting and if there were a tactful way to make that point I would gladly do so. But there isn’t. I can only marvel at Steve G.’s patience and on-going attempts to have a coherent, sane discussion with some of you.

    Steve refers to evidence; you screech about not accepting other people’s opinions (the scholarly consensus no less!) and then start foaming at the mouth. Yet the only evidence you have seems to be based on the state of your digestion. There is nothing else offered. These are the tactics of the asylum and I will not engage them.

  25. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:45 am

    Joe said: So ‘strict fundamentalists’ do not speak for the rest of you? That is why you never hear fundamentalist views from the religious right, the republican party, and most right wing commentators

    We agree on many doctrinal issues. We don’t agree on everything.

    I would have no problem at all with teaching evolution in the schools, if it were taught competently. But if I can judge by what I read and hear every day, it isn’t being taught competently. Since coming here I see that neither history nor logic are being taught competently either.

    I apologize for being insulting and if there were a tactful way to make that point I would gladly do so. But there isn’t. I can only marvel at Steve G.’s patience and on-going attempts to have a coherent, sane discussion with some of you.

    Steve refers to evidence; you screech about not accepting other people’s opinions (the scholarly consensus no less!) and then start foaming at the mouth. Yet the only evidence you have seems to be based on the state of your digestion. There is nothing else offered. These are the tactics of the asylum and I will not engage them.

  26. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:45 am

    Joe said: So ‘strict fundamentalists’ do not speak for the rest of you? That is why you never hear fundamentalist views from the religious right, the republican party, and most right wing commentators

    We agree on many doctrinal issues. We don’t agree on everything.

    I would have no problem at all with teaching evolution in the schools, if it were taught competently. But if I can judge by what I read and hear every day, it isn’t being taught competently. Since coming here I see that neither history nor logic are being taught competently either.

    I apologize for being insulting and if there were a tactful way to make that point I would gladly do so. But there isn’t. I can only marvel at Steve G.’s patience and on-going attempts to have a coherent, sane discussion with some of you.

    Steve refers to evidence; you screech about not accepting other people’s opinions (the scholarly consensus no less!) and then start foaming at the mouth. Yet the only evidence you have seems to be based on the state of your digestion. There is nothing else offered. These are the tactics of the asylum and I will not engage them.

  27. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:45 am

    Joe said: So ‘strict fundamentalists’ do not speak for the rest of you? That is why you never hear fundamentalist views from the religious right, the republican party, and most right wing commentators

    We agree on many doctrinal issues. We don’t agree on everything.

    I would have no problem at all with teaching evolution in the schools, if it were taught competently. But if I can judge by what I read and hear every day, it isn’t being taught competently. Since coming here I see that neither history nor logic are being taught competently either.

    I apologize for being insulting and if there were a tactful way to make that point I would gladly do so. But there isn’t. I can only marvel at Steve G.’s patience and on-going attempts to have a coherent, sane discussion with some of you.

    Steve refers to evidence; you screech about not accepting other people’s opinions (the scholarly consensus no less!) and then start foaming at the mouth. Yet the only evidence you have seems to be based on the state of your digestion. There is nothing else offered. These are the tactics of the asylum and I will not engage them.

  28. Borgia
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:56 am

    Daphnae’s Mom,

    The assumption that the theory necessitates a mind analagous to ours is Paley’s assumption, not mine. If you reread the quote, the analogy constitutes the centerpiece of his argument.

    Behind his whole argument is the simple proposition: like effects have like causes. Paley is saying that objects of human contrivance and humans themselves are like effects. Therefore, he is also saying that the creator of objects of human contrivance and the creator of humans are like causes.

    As for the last paragraph, my point was that ID can’t really say anything about the nature of God such as whether he is mortal, benevolent, omniscient, etc.

  29. Xianghong
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:56 am

    Well it looks like there’s some advantage in living under an authoritarian government after all- we don’t have to worry about crap creeping into our education system like ID.

  30. hermesten
    October 6th, 2005 @ 12:01 pm

    “Well it looks like there’s some advantage in living under an authoritarian government after all- we don’t have to worry about crap creeping into our education system like ID.”

    The problem with this line of thinking is that it depends on the authorities. As the government in the US becomes more authoritarian it will have the opposite effect.

  31. Rob
    October 6th, 2005 @ 12:09 pm

    I can offer even more direct evidence of the flaws in Xianghong’s statement. During the 1930s to 1960s, Soviet Union embraced a form of pseudoscience known as Lysenkoism, that set back their study of Biology at least 30 years.

  32. Jim
    October 6th, 2005 @ 12:13 pm

    Daphne’s mom said: Steve refers to evidence; you screech about not accepting other people’s opinions (the scholarly consensus no less!) and then start foaming at the mouth. Yet the only evidence you have seems to be based on the state of your digestion.

    I’m not sure if you simply haven’t read the entire thread, or if your reading comprehension is just not at an adult level. There was no “screeching” done by Steve or anyone about not accepting the scholarly consensus; on the contrary, it was stated that it was a strong one, and evidence was laid out why some of us disagreed with it.

    If you missed any of the evidence we laid out, I suspect you might need to re-read the thread, or simply to concentrate a little harder.

  33. Steve G.
    October 6th, 2005 @ 12:14 pm

    Herm,
    I think your figures are probably correct for the U.S. But I was speaking in a larger context of the entire world. The numbers are a bit skewed here because such high concentrations of fundamentalists are in the U.S. I just finish a post detailing the numbers and when I went to post

  34. Steve G.
    October 6th, 2005 @ 12:16 pm

    crap again! I always mess up my links. here….
    adherents

  35. Steve G.
    October 6th, 2005 @ 12:23 pm

    kmisho:
    I personally think ID as science is a pretty crummy (from what I’ve read from both sides and with an admittedly limited abilities in the scientific arena). I think the fundamentals (i.e. irreducible complexity) have been clearly refuted at least with regards to the examples commonly used.

    I even concede that at least the founders (Behe and others) of the current movement are a bit disengenious about their intentions (they are pretty clearly on record as to what their intentions are, and they are not about science). I also think that arguments from silence in general (which are what ID boils down to) are not worth much. So in many regards, I agree with you.

  36. Steve G.
    October 6th, 2005 @ 4:35 pm

    And by the way, the people I know who believe this stuff all openly refer to Catholics as idol worshippers or worse.

    Yeah, everybody hates us, even other Christians. :-D

  37. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 4:44 pm

    I checked in a couple times over the last 4 hours and kept getting a “This account has been suspended” message. Yet I find that there are many more messages than when last I looked. Interesting and disappointing. I was starting to believe that you know who might finally have run out of patience with you.

    Even though it is coming late, I shall respond to Joe’s earlier message which, while expressed with all the wit and taste you all are noted for, actually has the makings of a legitimate question in it:

    I would like to ask how exactly does one decide which parts of the bible are true and which are not true? Do we go by the Pope? Is there an annotated list showing clearly which portions are fact and which are bullshit? Are individual moderate’s allowed to pick and choose which parts of the bible are true?

    The Bible consists of writings in a variety of genres. They are the same genres you have been reading your whole life (at least some of them). You know a poem when you see one, right? If a piece of writing starts,

  38. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 4:44 pm

    I checked in a couple times over the last 4 hours and kept getting a “This account has been suspended” message. Yet I find that there are many more messages than when last I looked. Interesting and disappointing. I was starting to believe that you know who might finally have run out of patience with you.

    Even though it is coming late, I shall respond to Joe’s earlier message which, while expressed with all the wit and taste you all are noted for, actually has the makings of a legitimate question in it:

    I would like to ask how exactly does one decide which parts of the bible are true and which are not true? Do we go by the Pope? Is there an annotated list showing clearly which portions are fact and which are bullshit? Are individual moderate’s allowed to pick and choose which parts of the bible are true?

    The Bible consists of writings in a variety of genres. They are the same genres you have been reading your whole life (at least some of them). You know a poem when you see one, right? If a piece of writing starts,

  39. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 4:44 pm

    I checked in a couple times over the last 4 hours and kept getting a “This account has been suspended” message. Yet I find that there are many more messages than when last I looked. Interesting and disappointing. I was starting to believe that you know who might finally have run out of patience with you.

    Even though it is coming late, I shall respond to Joe’s earlier message which, while expressed with all the wit and taste you all are noted for, actually has the makings of a legitimate question in it:

    I would like to ask how exactly does one decide which parts of the bible are true and which are not true? Do we go by the Pope? Is there an annotated list showing clearly which portions are fact and which are bullshit? Are individual moderate’s allowed to pick and choose which parts of the bible are true?

    The Bible consists of writings in a variety of genres. They are the same genres you have been reading your whole life (at least some of them). You know a poem when you see one, right? If a piece of writing starts,

  40. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 4:44 pm

    I checked in a couple times over the last 4 hours and kept getting a “This account has been suspended” message. Yet I find that there are many more messages than when last I looked. Interesting and disappointing. I was starting to believe that you know who might finally have run out of patience with you.

    Even though it is coming late, I shall respond to Joe’s earlier message which, while expressed with all the wit and taste you all are noted for, actually has the makings of a legitimate question in it:

    I would like to ask how exactly does one decide which parts of the bible are true and which are not true? Do we go by the Pope? Is there an annotated list showing clearly which portions are fact and which are bullshit? Are individual moderate’s allowed to pick and choose which parts of the bible are true?

    The Bible consists of writings in a variety of genres. They are the same genres you have been reading your whole life (at least some of them). You know a poem when you see one, right? If a piece of writing starts,

  41. Jim
    October 6th, 2005 @ 4:50 pm

    PS:

    Whomever thought it would be clever (and oh, so brave!) to refer Pacific International, Inc. to my work telephone number, please rest assured that the problem in my household is with *wet dreams*, not bedwetting, so they were unable to assist me.

    Thanks for the kind thoughts, though.

  42. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 4:53 pm

    I’ve been reading the transcripts of the Dover trial lately (they can be found at: http://www.aclupa.org/downloads/Day1AMSession.pdf )

    The opening statement of the plaintiff’s lawyer included the following:

    “At this trial, you will hear the parties use the term ‘methodological naturalism.’ Methodological naturalism is the term used to describe science as self-imposed limitation, that it will only consider natural causes for natural phenomena. Science does not consider supernatural explanations becuase it has no way of observing, measuring, repeating, or testing supernatural events.
    But intelligent design will not accept the well-established boundaries of science and openly rejects methodological naturalism, the way science has been practiced for centuries. Why? Because it has to. In the end, no matter how many stones intelligent design throws at the theory of evolution, the only alternative it presents for the development and diversity of life…is a miracle, an abrupt appearance, an act of supernatural creation. That, by itself, establishes intelligetn design as a religious argument, not a scientific argument, for the creation of biological life that cannot be taught to public school students.”

    I think that sums it up nicely….

  43. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 4:59 pm

    to that Mom:

    fundie Xtians are diff. from fundie Muslims?

    hmmm

    Erin Rudolph, Tim McVay, 50-60 diff people involved in abortion bombings and killing doctors………..

    I said moderate enable fundie’s by accepting the idea that any of our ‘great books’ are written or inspired by god………

  44. Steve G.
    October 6th, 2005 @ 5:03 pm

    I would like to ask how exactly does one decide which parts of the bible are true and which are not true? Do we go by the Pope? Is there an annotated list showing clearly which portions are fact and which are bullshit? Are individual moderate’s allowed to pick and choose which parts of the bible are true?

    Joe, this is an absolutely valid question, and I

  45. kmisho
    October 6th, 2005 @ 5:13 pm

    Sam Harris, who ever he may be, doesn’t sound like a profound thinker to me. In fact as someone on another thread put it (quite hilariously, I thought) the inability to draw distinctions (categorize) is a serious cognitive impairment. To suppose that an American Christian “fundamentalist” or a believer in Torah is the equivalent of an islamic fundamentalist is lunacy yet again. When is the last time a Primative Baptist, decapitated anyone? Can’t even think of the last time any Rabbi flew a plane into a building. But I nitpick, no doubt.

    This is off topic, but I have to answer.

    Christians can be terrorists, abortion clinic bombers and the IRA for example. I’m not going to speculate on why these things happen, but I have my atheistic suspicions. I think it is entirely fair to say that christianity has its own form of jihad which can be waged at any cost.

  46. a different tim
    October 6th, 2005 @ 5:24 pm

    Real life more important than metaphysical argument shock horror!!

    I’ve waited a while to see what came up on this as I made the post and I thought I should sit back a bit. I also don’t intend to comment agian on this thread. It would be kind of….I dunno….like hogging the limelight or something. God and Steve know that once I get going, I don’t tend to shut up. I can’t add much useful to what I have already said (although I was prepared to if an ID advocate came along and I had to argue it in detail). I’m not sure it’s “better” than TRA’s usual – although thanks for the compliment – as I think TRA and I posted to different purposes. TRA aims to provoke as his statement on tolerance (something to do with claw hammers as I recall) makes pretty clear. I was not doing that on this post – I think this is an issue which we should be quite happy to accept support from theists on. It is a real court case, happening right now, with real consequences.

    I’m not sure about Steve’s caveat about “the extent that it doesn

  47. That MOM
    October 6th, 2005 @ 5:57 pm

    You will have to try again to get your facts straight: fundie Xtians are diff. from fundie Muslims? hmmm Erin Rudolph, Tim McVay, 50-60 diff people involved in abortion bombings and killing doctors………..

    None of these are Christians. Eric Rudolf was repulsed by Christianity and claimed to be a follower of Nietsche. Tim McVey made no such claims or defense.

    There have been precious few doctors killed (1 if I remember correctly and the butcher Tiller was wounded). No one can prevent a delusional person from doing whatever he takes it in his head to do. But when you can find a mainstream church of any kind or size that preaches these actions regularly from the pulpit, and has the agreement of vast swatches of the population, maybe then you will have a case that can be discussed.

  48. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:03 pm

    A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist…….no matter if he is christian, jewish, muslim…..or any other. Look at the statements made by Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. They rank up there with anyway fatwa that has been put out. The only difference is we are lucky enough to live in a secular democracy where the state is not enforcing this idiocy. Hell, there is a state senator from Alabama that said Katrina was punishment from god for our sinful ways……….didn’t someone from Al Qeada recently make the same exact statement? And this is an elected US official. All religions are just as bad as one another. Christians, after killing muslims during the crusades, got so bored they decided to split off from one another and kill each other for the past few hundred years (I’m including the present since catholics and protestents are still killing one another in N. Ireland.

    My contention, which I ripped off from Sam Harris ( http://www.samharris.org ), is that by accepting any of our ‘holy books’ as being factual (ie moderates) simply enables fundamentalists. Why shouldn’t they assume it all to be true? The catholic church held the same view for most of its existence. It is only since the development of incontrovertable scientific knowledge has been acquired that the catholic church has changed its view. Funny how the more scientific knowledge we acquire, the less we attribute to god. god just keeps getting smaller and smaller.

    And if the bible is the ‘inspired’ word of god; why didn’t god simply ‘inspire’ the simple truth and have it written like a text book? This way there wouldn’t be no problems with interpretations. The simple truth is the bible can, and is, interpreted thousands of different ways. Just because catholics abdicate their own minds and leave it up to others does not make them better then david Koresh (sp?), jerry falwell, or any other christian nutjob.

  49. Jennifer
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:08 pm

    From Wikipedia

    t has been alleged that Rudolph is an adherent of the extremist group Christian Identity, a sect that holds that white Christians are God’s chosen people, and that others will be condemned to Hell.

  50. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:17 pm

    Jennifer: Yes, I am familar with this claim. But in interviews he emphatically denies it. Is it important enough to you for me to look up a cite that you can consult? If so, I will but it will not be til later tonight or tomorrow, as I must feed the kiddies and do other mundane stuff…

  51. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:17 pm

    Jennifer: Yes, I am familar with this claim. But in interviews he emphatically denies it. Is it important enough to you for me to look up a cite that you can consult? If so, I will but it will not be til later tonight or tomorrow, as I must feed the kiddies and do other mundane stuff…

  52. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:17 pm

    Jennifer: Yes, I am familar with this claim. But in interviews he emphatically denies it. Is it important enough to you for me to look up a cite that you can consult? If so, I will but it will not be til later tonight or tomorrow, as I must feed the kiddies and do other mundane stuff…

  53. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:17 pm

    Jennifer: Yes, I am familar with this claim. But in interviews he emphatically denies it. Is it important enough to you for me to look up a cite that you can consult? If so, I will but it will not be til later tonight or tomorrow, as I must feed the kiddies and do other mundane stuff…

  54. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:18 pm

    The only reason we don’t have Christians killing gays, doctors, atheists, other denominations, etc, etc everyday is that we are smart enough to ignore religious nutjobs (or leaders either/or).

    Our founding fathers were intellegent enough (after witnessing Europe devolve in an orgy of killing for a few hundred years) to create a seperation between church and state.

    So ya’ll are catholic? I was raised catholic. Where in the bible does it say raping children is acceptable?

    Christian terrorists:

    One source reported in late 1996, that there has been “over $13 million in damage caused by violent anti-abortion groups since 1982 in over 150 arson attacks, bombings, and shootings.”

    Since 1989:
    Murders and attempted murders: 24
    Bombing, arson, attemped bombing & arson: 179

    Multiple instances of anti-abortion violence in Florida:

    Pensacola, FL: This city was a focal point for anti-abortion crime from mid 1984 to mid 1994: 9
    1984-JUN: An abortion clinic was bombed
    1984-DEC: The same clinic was bombed again
    1986-MAR: A second clinic was broken into and vandalized; two female employees were assaulted. John Burt, a former member of the KKK, and his daughter were tried and convicted. John Burt became the local leader of Rescue America.
    1993-MAR: Michael Griffin, allegedly a member of Rescue America, killed Dr. David Gunn outside an abortion clinic. Griffin’s lawyers claimed that Burt had brainwashed Griffin into committing the killing. (There is a consensus among mental health professionals that this sort of “Manchurian Candidate” programming is impossible). Griffin was convicted and given a life sentence.
    1994-JUL: Paul Hill, a former Presbyterian minister and leader in Defensive Action killed a physician and bodyguard outside another abortion clinic; he wounded the wife of the bodyguard. He was sentenced to both life imprisonment on federal charges, and execution on state charges.
    1994-AUG: Five KKK groups demonstrated adjacent to an abortion clinic in Melbourne FL. They were opposed to abortions given to whites; they encourage abortions to persons of other races. They named Hill their hero of the month.

    hard to tell the difference between christians and muslims…….

  55. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:21 pm

    So, Daphne’s mom, you find Eric Rudolph to be a completely trustworthy individual? Strange you accept what he says, but question science facts……………

  56. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:22 pm

    to quote myself:
    But when you can find a mainstream church of any kind or size that preaches these actions regularly from the pulpit, and has the agreement of vast swatches of the population, maybe then you will have a case that can be discussed

  57. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:22 pm

    to quote myself:
    But when you can find a mainstream church of any kind or size that preaches these actions regularly from the pulpit, and has the agreement of vast swatches of the population, maybe then you will have a case that can be discussed

  58. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:22 pm

    to quote myself:
    But when you can find a mainstream church of any kind or size that preaches these actions regularly from the pulpit, and has the agreement of vast swatches of the population, maybe then you will have a case that can be discussed

  59. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:22 pm

    to quote myself:
    But when you can find a mainstream church of any kind or size that preaches these actions regularly from the pulpit, and has the agreement of vast swatches of the population, maybe then you will have a case that can be discussed

  60. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:28 pm

    One could say that the catholic church holds sway over vast swaths of US society and actively protects people who rape children……….so aren’t they defending child rape?

    And to quote myself:
    The only reason we don’t have Christians killing gays, doctors, atheists, other denominations, etc, etc everyday is that we are smart enough to ignore religious nutjobs (or leaders either/or).
    Our founding fathers were intellegent enough (after witnessing Europe devolve in an orgy of killing for a few hundred years) to create a seperation between church and state.

  61. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 6:48 pm

    This time I’ll quote you:

    “American Christian “fundamentalist” or a believer in Torah is the equivalent of an islamic fundamentalist is lunacy yet again.”

    I then list numerous examples of christian fundamentalists whose actions are just as bad as muslim fundamentalists.

    You then reply:
    “But when you can find a mainstream church of any kind or size that preaches these actions regularly from the pulpit, and has the agreement of vast swatches of the population, maybe then you will have a case that can be discussed”

    This is not what we were discussing. We were discussing fundamentalists. This is what theists always do, can’t win an argument, pretend we were arguing something else.

    I would contend that the preaching of Falwell and Robertson are just as dangerous as any pscho muslim mulla. I can bet you money that a number of the christian terrorists I referred to earlier were apt followers of Falwell and Robertson.

  62. Jim
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:05 pm

    Daphne’s mom:

    So Pat Robertson isn’t the head of a “mainstream” sect? He called for the murder of the elected leader of a sovereign nation. He’s also called for the delivery of a weapon of mass destruction to the headquarters of the United States’ own State Department. He’s actively supported terrorist movements throughout Central America.

  63. MBains
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:07 pm

    Jim is funny (& angry but that makes sense in our Theist’s culture.)

    Joe is right on point.

    Herm is herm (that’s a good & rational thing of course.)

    Daphne’s Mom… whatever. Have a nice day.

    Steve G is, well, lol! You sound like a pretty good guy SG so I don’t read much of what you say cuz my only problem with your idea that a god is in charge is that it is baseless and as likely as finding Zues nappin’ on Mt Olympus; you just moved his nap-spot off planet. Not very convincing bro. That’s why I don’t bother repeating it ver’ oft’.

    Thanks for an excellent post A D T. I have nothing to add but that I always appreciate your comments on here. (Good pick TRA!)

    An occasionally Proud & Silly Monke, er, Human (intellectually evolved ape)(Thx Mookie!)

  64. Xianghong
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:32 pm

    Rob: What if the government is authoritarian about being strictly scientific?

  65. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:33 pm

    I would contend that the preaching of Falwell and Robertson are just as dangerous as any pscho muslim mulla. I can bet you money that a number of the christian terrorists I referred to earlier were apt followers of Falwell and Robertson. Nonsense

  66. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:33 pm

    I would contend that the preaching of Falwell and Robertson are just as dangerous as any pscho muslim mulla. I can bet you money that a number of the christian terrorists I referred to earlier were apt followers of Falwell and Robertson. Nonsense

  67. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:33 pm

    I would contend that the preaching of Falwell and Robertson are just as dangerous as any pscho muslim mulla. I can bet you money that a number of the christian terrorists I referred to earlier were apt followers of Falwell and Robertson. Nonsense

  68. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:33 pm

    I would contend that the preaching of Falwell and Robertson are just as dangerous as any pscho muslim mulla. I can bet you money that a number of the christian terrorists I referred to earlier were apt followers of Falwell and Robertson. Nonsense

  69. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:39 pm

    ah, that is a sharp wit you’ve got there……………you’ve defeated me with your superior debating skills………

  70. Jim
    October 6th, 2005 @ 7:48 pm

    Joe:

    That really is superior, isn’t it? That’s how Daphne’s mom shows us all her background in academia. “Nonsense!” got me really far with my advisor when I was defending.

  71. Rob
    October 6th, 2005 @ 8:29 pm

    Xiahghong, then you might have new scientific hypotheses squelched and gone untested just because they contradict the ruling authoritarian scientists. You’d get exactly the sort of thing such organizations like skepticalinvestigations.org are accusing skeptics of right now. Its difficult for people to radically change ideas, and the ones with the most firmly entrenched ideas would be the ones in power. Furthermore, the amount of skepticism one has is not directly linked to intelligence. The more intelligence you have, the more able you are to defend fallacious ideas. With a democracy, the power of the people defending the entrenched worldviews lessen so new ideas flow more freely than in an authoritarian environment.

  72. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 8:43 pm

    Rob…….i think you switched gears on us…………so I’ll repeat what the lawyer for the plaintiffs said in his opening statement in Dover:

    I’ve been reading the transcripts of the Dover trial lately (they can be found at: http://www.aclupa.org/downloads/Day1AMSession.pdf )

    “At this trial, you will hear the parties use the term ‘methodological naturalism.’ Methodological naturalism is the term used to describe science as self-imposed limitation, that it will only consider natural causes for natural phenomena. Science does not consider supernatural explanations becuase it has no way of observing, measuring, repeating, or testing supernatural events.
    But intelligent design will not accept the well-established boundaries of science and openly rejects methodological naturalism, the way science has been practiced for centuries. Why? Because it has to. In the end, no matter how many stones intelligent design throws at the theory of evolution, the only alternative it presents for the development and diversity of life…is a miracle, an abrupt appearance, an act of supernatural creation. That, by itself, establishes intelligetn design as a religious argument, not a scientific argument, for the creation of biological life that cannot be taught to public school students.”

    I think that sums it up nicely….

  73. Rob
    October 6th, 2005 @ 9:16 pm

    Um, sorry Joe. I wasn’t switching gears on you, I was answering Xianghong’s question which was a response to something earlier. If we had a nested thread system for our comments, it would fall under a different branch from the other comments here.

  74. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:01 pm

    Re: #42 Joe The only reason we don’t have Christians killing gays, doctors, atheists, other denominations, etc, etc everyday is that we are smart enough to ignore religious nutjobs (or leaders either/or).

    This is painfully mixed up. Who is we? Who is the “we” smart enough to ignore religious nut jobs? Christians of one sort or another are the majority in this country, so if we really wanted to (which is a doltish idea), who on earth could stop us? You all have already conceded that at least one branch of the military is full of “nutters”. The gov, corporations, police depts et al. are filled with us… the only “we” that is smart enough and numerous enough to prevent the mahem is … us.

    Re #44. Jim: Have you ever heard the term Realpolitik? It was outrageous for a man who claims to be a Christian to have said anything of the sort. You have presumably read enough history to know that what he said is how all gov’ts throughout all recorded history have acted. I don’t have trouble with him talking about it. I have trouble with him not rejecting it firmly and unambiguously.

    Re #48 Jim: If you had brought forth anything that foolish during your defense, they wouldn’t have stopped long enough to exclaim “NONSENSE”! They would have kicked your sorry butt out of the room and that would have been the end of your defense and your program.

    Re #48 Joe: I didn’t defeat you with wit. I merely mocked you. I defeated you with a little knowledge of the facts.

  75. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:01 pm

    Re: #42 Joe The only reason we don’t have Christians killing gays, doctors, atheists, other denominations, etc, etc everyday is that we are smart enough to ignore religious nutjobs (or leaders either/or).

    This is painfully mixed up. Who is we? Who is the “we” smart enough to ignore religious nut jobs? Christians of one sort or another are the majority in this country, so if we really wanted to (which is a doltish idea), who on earth could stop us? You all have already conceded that at least one branch of the military is full of “nutters”. The gov, corporations, police depts et al. are filled with us… the only “we” that is smart enough and numerous enough to prevent the mahem is … us.

    Re #44. Jim: Have you ever heard the term Realpolitik? It was outrageous for a man who claims to be a Christian to have said anything of the sort. You have presumably read enough history to know that what he said is how all gov’ts throughout all recorded history have acted. I don’t have trouble with him talking about it. I have trouble with him not rejecting it firmly and unambiguously.

    Re #48 Jim: If you had brought forth anything that foolish during your defense, they wouldn’t have stopped long enough to exclaim “NONSENSE”! They would have kicked your sorry butt out of the room and that would have been the end of your defense and your program.

    Re #48 Joe: I didn’t defeat you with wit. I merely mocked you. I defeated you with a little knowledge of the facts.

  76. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:01 pm

    Re: #42 Joe The only reason we don’t have Christians killing gays, doctors, atheists, other denominations, etc, etc everyday is that we are smart enough to ignore religious nutjobs (or leaders either/or).

    This is painfully mixed up. Who is we? Who is the “we” smart enough to ignore religious nut jobs? Christians of one sort or another are the majority in this country, so if we really wanted to (which is a doltish idea), who on earth could stop us? You all have already conceded that at least one branch of the military is full of “nutters”. The gov, corporations, police depts et al. are filled with us… the only “we” that is smart enough and numerous enough to prevent the mahem is … us.

    Re #44. Jim: Have you ever heard the term Realpolitik? It was outrageous for a man who claims to be a Christian to have said anything of the sort. You have presumably read enough history to know that what he said is how all gov’ts throughout all recorded history have acted. I don’t have trouble with him talking about it. I have trouble with him not rejecting it firmly and unambiguously.

    Re #48 Jim: If you had brought forth anything that foolish during your defense, they wouldn’t have stopped long enough to exclaim “NONSENSE”! They would have kicked your sorry butt out of the room and that would have been the end of your defense and your program.

    Re #48 Joe: I didn’t defeat you with wit. I merely mocked you. I defeated you with a little knowledge of the facts.

  77. Daphne's mom
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:01 pm

    Re: #42 Joe The only reason we don’t have Christians killing gays, doctors, atheists, other denominations, etc, etc everyday is that we are smart enough to ignore religious nutjobs (or leaders either/or).

    This is painfully mixed up. Who is we? Who is the “we” smart enough to ignore religious nut jobs? Christians of one sort or another are the majority in this country, so if we really wanted to (which is a doltish idea), who on earth could stop us? You all have already conceded that at least one branch of the military is full of “nutters”. The gov, corporations, police depts et al. are filled with us… the only “we” that is smart enough and numerous enough to prevent the mahem is … us.

    Re #44. Jim: Have you ever heard the term Realpolitik? It was outrageous for a man who claims to be a Christian to have said anything of the sort. You have presumably read enough history to know that what he said is how all gov’ts throughout all recorded history have acted. I don’t have trouble with him talking about it. I have trouble with him not rejecting it firmly and unambiguously.

    Re #48 Jim: If you had brought forth anything that foolish during your defense, they wouldn’t have stopped long enough to exclaim “NONSENSE”! They would have kicked your sorry butt out of the room and that would have been the end of your defense and your program.

    Re #48 Joe: I didn’t defeat you with wit. I merely mocked you. I defeated you with a little knowledge of the facts.

  78. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:12 pm

    What facts? You have been discounted at every turn.

    All govt. call for droping a nuke on their own state dept? (re Robertson).

    So christians support murder?

    what the hell I’m I doing, I’m debating with a person who takes her orders from people who rape children, protect child rapers, and enable child rapers…………….

  79. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:16 pm

    and yes this country is technically christian (of course you would be hard pressed to find anything in our society that remotely reflects the teaching of the book character named christ), but the reason the nut job fringe is kept in check is because our founding fathers wrote a godless constitution…

    pedophiles, people who call for nuking their own nation, and those that hate anyone who they do view as being sinful

  80. H20
    October 6th, 2005 @ 10:47 pm

    Why do creationist debate with athesit if they have disproven evolution time and time again, is it to make fun of evolutionist?

  81. Joe
    October 6th, 2005 @ 11:31 pm

    (cont.)should never be placed in a position of power……………….

    and if you think most of the republican party is religious you are half…………..the worship money and personal loyalty

    and they’ll ride the jesus freaks for as long as they can

  82. Jim
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:18 am

    DM:

    Interesting how, once again, you’ve cherry-picked only the parts of the posts that you feel capable of responding to.

    Robertson wasn’t participating in governmental Realpolitik (which is also horseshit, btw; we the people elect the officials, and should expect a higher standard); he is the head of a massive Fundamentalist sect who called for the illegal murder of a soverign leader.

    Robertson also (which you didn’t address) called for a terrorist act involving a nuclear weapon against the diplomatic headquarters of his own country.

    Robertson also actively financed terrorist organizations in Central America.

    But, of course, this is just “frothing”, right?

  83. Jim
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:20 am

    DM:

    Thank you for admitting your own intellectual laziness in the use of “nonsense” as a response tactic.

  84. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:41 am

    Scroll up and read what I actually said, again. How much more clearly can I say what I thought of his comments? Wait! I will save you the trouble:

    It was outrageous for a man who claims to be a Christian to have said anything of the sort (i.e. anything about assassination, etc.). You have presumably read enough history to know that what he said is how all gov’ts throughout all recorded history have acted. I don’t have trouble with him talking about it. I have trouble with him not rejecting it firmly and unambiguously.

    It would be refreshing if you held yourself to the same standard that you insist I don’t meet.

    Interesting how, once again, you’ve cherry-picked only the parts of the posts that you feel capable of responding to.

    Too much subliterate garbage to wade through. I don’t have enough years of life left to waste my time with most of this drivel. I respond only to that which I find sufficiently interesting. There is less and less of that here.

  85. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:41 am

    Scroll up and read what I actually said, again. How much more clearly can I say what I thought of his comments? Wait! I will save you the trouble:

    It was outrageous for a man who claims to be a Christian to have said anything of the sort (i.e. anything about assassination, etc.). You have presumably read enough history to know that what he said is how all gov’ts throughout all recorded history have acted. I don’t have trouble with him talking about it. I have trouble with him not rejecting it firmly and unambiguously.

    It would be refreshing if you held yourself to the same standard that you insist I don’t meet.

    Interesting how, once again, you’ve cherry-picked only the parts of the posts that you feel capable of responding to.

    Too much subliterate garbage to wade through. I don’t have enough years of life left to waste my time with most of this drivel. I respond only to that which I find sufficiently interesting. There is less and less of that here.

  86. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:41 am

    Scroll up and read what I actually said, again. How much more clearly can I say what I thought of his comments? Wait! I will save you the trouble:

    It was outrageous for a man who claims to be a Christian to have said anything of the sort (i.e. anything about assassination, etc.). You have presumably read enough history to know that what he said is how all gov’ts throughout all recorded history have acted. I don’t have trouble with him talking about it. I have trouble with him not rejecting it firmly and unambiguously.

    It would be refreshing if you held yourself to the same standard that you insist I don’t meet.

    Interesting how, once again, you’ve cherry-picked only the parts of the posts that you feel capable of responding to.

    Too much subliterate garbage to wade through. I don’t have enough years of life left to waste my time with most of this drivel. I respond only to that which I find sufficiently interesting. There is less and less of that here.

  87. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:41 am

    Scroll up and read what I actually said, again. How much more clearly can I say what I thought of his comments? Wait! I will save you the trouble:

    It was outrageous for a man who claims to be a Christian to have said anything of the sort (i.e. anything about assassination, etc.). You have presumably read enough history to know that what he said is how all gov’ts throughout all recorded history have acted. I don’t have trouble with him talking about it. I have trouble with him not rejecting it firmly and unambiguously.

    It would be refreshing if you held yourself to the same standard that you insist I don’t meet.

    Interesting how, once again, you’ve cherry-picked only the parts of the posts that you feel capable of responding to.

    Too much subliterate garbage to wade through. I don’t have enough years of life left to waste my time with most of this drivel. I respond only to that which I find sufficiently interesting. There is less and less of that here.

  88. ElDiablo
    October 7th, 2005 @ 7:55 am

    SteveG., Daphne’s Mom,

    I have to ask…
    One would think that if the existence of a “God” were true, a being of superior intellect, knowledge and power would have had the forethought to make it’s existence absolutely crystal clear? Why would ANYONE have to interpret ANY so-called “Holy Text” over and over and over again? More importantly, if this “God” did exist, wouldn’t it be much more advantageous to just say “Here I am, put down that beer buddy and kiss my ass or I’ll smite you from the planet?”

    Com’on! A “creator” who would rather sit back and watch the humans debate it’s existence, murder, mame, and torture in it’s name, based on THEIR individual interpretation of “Holy Texts” written by none other than..MAN?

    ROLOL!

    Then there’s there’s the “Devil”, “Satan” question. Personally, I’d rather poke my eyeballs with tooth picks while running naked through a fundie church, masturbating while yelling “The British are coming!”

    I guess your reality and mine have nothing in common, sans, mine is real and yours is delusion.

  89. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:16 am

    Somehow I overlooked this which is, I think, in need of answering since it may clarify some terminology:

    Joe wrote in #43 I then list numerous examples of christian fundamentalists whose actions are just as bad as muslim fundamentalists You then reply: “But when you can find a mainstream church of any kind or size that preaches these actions regularly from the pulpit, and has the agreement of vast swatches of the population, maybe then you will have a case that can be discussed”

    This is not what we were discussing. We were discussing fundamentalists. This is what theists always do, can’t win an argument, pretend we were arguing something else. I

    I will overlook the ignorant “this is what theists always do…”)

    Fundamentalists and their churches are mainstream. I didn’t realize that you didn’t know that. Fundamentalism was hijacked as a concept fairly early in the movement and has been misapplied so long that it has come to mean something other than what it does to Christians and religious scholars.

    Fundamentalists are in danger of going off the rails because they reject any outside authority over their congregational life or their personal interpretations of the Bible. In that respect, the Roman Catholic magisterium which is the authoritative body for doctrine, is vastly superior to an individual deciding for himself what an ancient book written over hundreds of years in a foreign language means.

    Because of their congregational independence, it is possible for tiny groups to splinter off over some very weird and trivial things. It is these groups we consider out of the main stream.

  90. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:16 am

    Somehow I overlooked this which is, I think, in need of answering since it may clarify some terminology:

    Joe wrote in #43 I then list numerous examples of christian fundamentalists whose actions are just as bad as muslim fundamentalists You then reply: “But when you can find a mainstream church of any kind or size that preaches these actions regularly from the pulpit, and has the agreement of vast swatches of the population, maybe then you will have a case that can be discussed”

    This is not what we were discussing. We were discussing fundamentalists. This is what theists always do, can’t win an argument, pretend we were arguing something else. I

    I will overlook the ignorant “this is what theists always do…”)

    Fundamentalists and their churches are mainstream. I didn’t realize that you didn’t know that. Fundamentalism was hijacked as a concept fairly early in the movement and has been misapplied so long that it has come to mean something other than what it does to Christians and religious scholars.

    Fundamentalists are in danger of going off the rails because they reject any outside authority over their congregational life or their personal interpretations of the Bible. In that respect, the Roman Catholic magisterium which is the authoritative body for doctrine, is vastly superior to an individual deciding for himself what an ancient book written over hundreds of years in a foreign language means.

    Because of their congregational independence, it is possible for tiny groups to splinter off over some very weird and trivial things. It is these groups we consider out of the main stream.

  91. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:16 am

    Somehow I overlooked this which is, I think, in need of answering since it may clarify some terminology:

    Joe wrote in #43 I then list numerous examples of christian fundamentalists whose actions are just as bad as muslim fundamentalists You then reply: “But when you can find a mainstream church of any kind or size that preaches these actions regularly from the pulpit, and has the agreement of vast swatches of the population, maybe then you will have a case that can be discussed”

    This is not what we were discussing. We were discussing fundamentalists. This is what theists always do, can’t win an argument, pretend we were arguing something else. I

    I will overlook the ignorant “this is what theists always do…”)

    Fundamentalists and their churches are mainstream. I didn’t realize that you didn’t know that. Fundamentalism was hijacked as a concept fairly early in the movement and has been misapplied so long that it has come to mean something other than what it does to Christians and religious scholars.

    Fundamentalists are in danger of going off the rails because they reject any outside authority over their congregational life or their personal interpretations of the Bible. In that respect, the Roman Catholic magisterium which is the authoritative body for doctrine, is vastly superior to an individual deciding for himself what an ancient book written over hundreds of years in a foreign language means.

    Because of their congregational independence, it is possible for tiny groups to splinter off over some very weird and trivial things. It is these groups we consider out of the main stream.

  92. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:16 am

    Somehow I overlooked this which is, I think, in need of answering since it may clarify some terminology:

    Joe wrote in #43 I then list numerous examples of christian fundamentalists whose actions are just as bad as muslim fundamentalists You then reply: “But when you can find a mainstream church of any kind or size that preaches these actions regularly from the pulpit, and has the agreement of vast swatches of the population, maybe then you will have a case that can be discussed”

    This is not what we were discussing. We were discussing fundamentalists. This is what theists always do, can’t win an argument, pretend we were arguing something else. I

    I will overlook the ignorant “this is what theists always do…”)

    Fundamentalists and their churches are mainstream. I didn’t realize that you didn’t know that. Fundamentalism was hijacked as a concept fairly early in the movement and has been misapplied so long that it has come to mean something other than what it does to Christians and religious scholars.

    Fundamentalists are in danger of going off the rails because they reject any outside authority over their congregational life or their personal interpretations of the Bible. In that respect, the Roman Catholic magisterium which is the authoritative body for doctrine, is vastly superior to an individual deciding for himself what an ancient book written over hundreds of years in a foreign language means.

    Because of their congregational independence, it is possible for tiny groups to splinter off over some very weird and trivial things. It is these groups we consider out of the main stream.

  93. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:19 am

    Sigh! Then there’s there’s the “Devil”, “Satan” question. Personally, I’d rather poke my eyeballs with tooth picks while running naked through a fundie church, masturbating while yelling “The British are coming!”

    I don’t have any doubt that a pillar of intellect, such as yourself, would enjoy this.

  94. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:19 am

    Sigh! Then there’s there’s the “Devil”, “Satan” question. Personally, I’d rather poke my eyeballs with tooth picks while running naked through a fundie church, masturbating while yelling “The British are coming!”

    I don’t have any doubt that a pillar of intellect, such as yourself, would enjoy this.

  95. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:19 am

    Sigh! Then there’s there’s the “Devil”, “Satan” question. Personally, I’d rather poke my eyeballs with tooth picks while running naked through a fundie church, masturbating while yelling “The British are coming!”

    I don’t have any doubt that a pillar of intellect, such as yourself, would enjoy this.

  96. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:19 am

    Sigh! Then there’s there’s the “Devil”, “Satan” question. Personally, I’d rather poke my eyeballs with tooth picks while running naked through a fundie church, masturbating while yelling “The British are coming!”

    I don’t have any doubt that a pillar of intellect, such as yourself, would enjoy this.

  97. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 9:15 am

    Sam Harris has a new article online:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-harris/there-is-no-god-and-you-_b_8459.html

    Daphne’s mom said:
    “the Roman Catholic magisterium which is the authoritative body for doctrine, is vastly superior to an individual deciding for himself ”

    Two points to this:
    – how can you follow a group of men who actively decided to hide child rape from secular authorities, and then continue to move these rapists to new parishes where they could continue the abuse?

    – just because you abdicate independent thought and allow others to dictact your beliefs does not make it superior. All religion is deeply flawed and should be left behind, much like a child learns to leave behind belief in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy; and is a better person for it

  98. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:38 am

    #64: Do you suffer from any sort of learning disability? That gibberish you wrote has nothing to do with what I said. I will try to find one syllable words to put this in but doubt I will succeed.

    I am not Catholic. Your anti-Catholic insults, which are ignorant and annoying, do not insult me or wound me, though I resent them on behalf of the heirs of an intellectual tradition so rich and varied that the world has little, if anything, comparable to it.

    You may well have left religion behind but I see nothing in your childish taunts and unawareness of your educational deficiencies to indicate that you are a better person for it.

  99. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:38 am

    #64: Do you suffer from any sort of learning disability? That gibberish you wrote has nothing to do with what I said. I will try to find one syllable words to put this in but doubt I will succeed.

    I am not Catholic. Your anti-Catholic insults, which are ignorant and annoying, do not insult me or wound me, though I resent them on behalf of the heirs of an intellectual tradition so rich and varied that the world has little, if anything, comparable to it.

    You may well have left religion behind but I see nothing in your childish taunts and unawareness of your educational deficiencies to indicate that you are a better person for it.

  100. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:38 am

    #64: Do you suffer from any sort of learning disability? That gibberish you wrote has nothing to do with what I said. I will try to find one syllable words to put this in but doubt I will succeed.

    I am not Catholic. Your anti-Catholic insults, which are ignorant and annoying, do not insult me or wound me, though I resent them on behalf of the heirs of an intellectual tradition so rich and varied that the world has little, if anything, comparable to it.

    You may well have left religion behind but I see nothing in your childish taunts and unawareness of your educational deficiencies to indicate that you are a better person for it.

  101. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:38 am

    #64: Do you suffer from any sort of learning disability? That gibberish you wrote has nothing to do with what I said. I will try to find one syllable words to put this in but doubt I will succeed.

    I am not Catholic. Your anti-Catholic insults, which are ignorant and annoying, do not insult me or wound me, though I resent them on behalf of the heirs of an intellectual tradition so rich and varied that the world has little, if anything, comparable to it.

    You may well have left religion behind but I see nothing in your childish taunts and unawareness of your educational deficiencies to indicate that you are a better person for it.

  102. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:55 am

    So what are if not catholic? Why would someone who is not catholic write the following:

    “In that respect, the Roman Catholic magisterium which is the authoritative body for doctrine, is vastly superior to an individual deciding for himself what an ancient book written over hundreds of years in a foreign language means.”

    And I ask again, where in the bible does it say one should protect and enable men who rape children? If this the wisdom you speak of?

  103. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 11:03 am

    And I love how DM, when proven completely wrong, simply drops the given subject and tries another futile gambit. You have no point and have no defensible position.

  104. DM
    October 7th, 2005 @ 11:09 am

    Thanks, hermesten. I can’t imagine that I will have a better or bigger laugh than you have provided me with. And you posted this in two places! I have obviously made an impact in my mere 24 hours among the denizens of this here bog. ummm, blog.

    Let’s see. Apart from the lack of vulgarities and profanity, apart from the fact that I write in complete, grammatically correct sentences which form coherent paragraphs; apart from the wit (admittedly savage at times) how does anything I have written differ from what 99% of you write?

    Nevermind. I just answered my own question.

  105. hermesten
    October 7th, 2005 @ 11:45 am

    “Thanks, hermesten. I can’t imagine that I will have a better or bigger laugh than you have provided me with.”

    You’re quite welcome. Now I feel bad for not thanking you first, but I’m happy I could return the favor.

    “… apart from the fact that I write in complete, grammatically correct sentences which form coherent paragraphs;”

    “Too much subliterate garbage to wade through.” is a “complete, grammatically correct sentence?” Thanks again, but even with out the evidence to the contrary, I don’t think there are enough truly kinky people here to really appreciate your grammar fetish.

    “apart from the wit (admittedly savage at times) how does anything I have written differ from what 99% of you write?”

    I agree that your “wit” is a savage wit. However, most of the people who post here, dare I say it, even the theists, are a good deal less self-congratulatory, which I take as a measure of their self-confidence in comparison to yours. You seem to possess a rather child-like desperation for praise and attention. I’m glad I could help.

  106. severalspecies
    October 7th, 2005 @ 12:01 pm

    Wow!

    Going from “Teaching the Controversy” to ‘raping priests’ to ‘grammar education” Most impressive.

    BTW, I’ve done my part in supporting this ’cause’. I endured nearly 90 minutes of droning on of a creationist speaker in what I thought was going to be a true debate. (The fact that it was sponsored by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship should have raised a HUGE red flag) But I am now becoming more interested in stopping these “IDists” from gaining more of a foothold.

  107. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 12:30 pm

    Let me help you out–“Too much subliterate garbage to wade through.” This is a sentence fragment indeed. People who know the rules are allowed to break them for effect. As I have demonstrated over and over, I know the rules.

    Now this bit is, soberly speaking, preposterous:

    However, most of the people who post here, dare I say it, even the theists, are a good deal less self-congratulatory

    You have got to be kidding. I have never in my life seen so much preening, so much strutting of stuff, even among the peacocks at our local zoo, as I have here! The “theists” I leave out of this. The ones I have seen here have been saints.

    Oh blimey, if laughter is medicine, I have just added 20 years to my lifespan.

  108. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 12:30 pm

    Let me help you out–“Too much subliterate garbage to wade through.” This is a sentence fragment indeed. People who know the rules are allowed to break them for effect. As I have demonstrated over and over, I know the rules.

    Now this bit is, soberly speaking, preposterous:

    However, most of the people who post here, dare I say it, even the theists, are a good deal less self-congratulatory

    You have got to be kidding. I have never in my life seen so much preening, so much strutting of stuff, even among the peacocks at our local zoo, as I have here! The “theists” I leave out of this. The ones I have seen here have been saints.

    Oh blimey, if laughter is medicine, I have just added 20 years to my lifespan.

  109. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 12:30 pm

    Let me help you out–“Too much subliterate garbage to wade through.” This is a sentence fragment indeed. People who know the rules are allowed to break them for effect. As I have demonstrated over and over, I know the rules.

    Now this bit is, soberly speaking, preposterous:

    However, most of the people who post here, dare I say it, even the theists, are a good deal less self-congratulatory

    You have got to be kidding. I have never in my life seen so much preening, so much strutting of stuff, even among the peacocks at our local zoo, as I have here! The “theists” I leave out of this. The ones I have seen here have been saints.

    Oh blimey, if laughter is medicine, I have just added 20 years to my lifespan.

  110. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 12:30 pm

    Let me help you out–“Too much subliterate garbage to wade through.” This is a sentence fragment indeed. People who know the rules are allowed to break them for effect. As I have demonstrated over and over, I know the rules.

    Now this bit is, soberly speaking, preposterous:

    However, most of the people who post here, dare I say it, even the theists, are a good deal less self-congratulatory

    You have got to be kidding. I have never in my life seen so much preening, so much strutting of stuff, even among the peacocks at our local zoo, as I have here! The “theists” I leave out of this. The ones I have seen here have been saints.

    Oh blimey, if laughter is medicine, I have just added 20 years to my lifespan.

  111. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 1:00 pm

    DM: Why are you posting? You have made no points. You have said nothing to support ID, theism, or much of anything. You make a point. Others refute the point. Then you act as if you were discussing something else. Much like theism, I do not see the point of your posts.

    Do you support the teaching of ID? If so, why? And if so, how are you able to get past the 1st amendment of the constitution? If you think our founding fathers founded an officially Christian nation, why did they fail to mention god in the constitution? 11 of the 13 colonies had religious tests written into their state constitutions, why wasn

  112. Jim
    October 7th, 2005 @ 1:45 pm

    DM: Since you proclaim endlessly to be not participating in this discussion, I’m sure you won’t be returning to admit that you just conceded the point that mainstream Christian leaders do call for murder, do sponsor terrorism and the murder of innocents, and are engaged in the same kind of horrifying crap as Islamic fundamentalists. These are your brothers in Christ and fellow heirs, after all.

    And on what basis do you make the assertion that ‘evolution is not taught properly’? Is it the same dizzying level of intellectual prowess you’ve used when cherry-picking your way through others’ posts and launching ad hominem attacks?

  113. daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 2:32 pm

    Joe: If I have made no points, how can this be true? You make a point. Others refute the point

    You are, however, right about one thing. I have not been able to get into any substantive discussions with any of you because I allowed myself to be dragged into the stupidest and most pointless attempt to refuse to rehash cold left overs and find a fresh vantage point from which to discuss the proofs of Christianity with Jim.

    I should have just walked away. But as his posts became more and more abusive and more and more vulgar, I could not resist the temptation to yank his chain. (I did this with you and one or two other people who were abusive and not particularly willing to articulate a rational position.) That was not very nice of me and, in retrospect, I am not proud of having given in to the temptation. But maybe it will ultimately do him good to come up against someone he cannot shout down and who can shrug off his abuse, even as it did me none to indulge my own “wit”.

    No, I do not support the teaching of ID or creationism. It would have saved bandwidth if you had waited for my answer before going off into a lecture on the constitution, etc. However, you did ask some interesting questions which I will answer in a moment.

    Yes, I believe in God. Yes, for reasons other than the way I was raised (I was raised by agnostics). No, I don’t believe just because I do. Belief came hard to me. What book could I have read it in? What is “it”? If you mean arguments for Biblical Christianity, great scott, I probably read hundreds (partly out of my growing interest in it and partly because the historical development of Christianity figured in my major in college).

    I think that covers your questions. Now to the constitutional issues you raised:

    Of course the US was not founded as an officially Christian nation! What sort of uneducated boob would a person have to be to believe that? Yes I believe in the separation of church and state. The constitution is clear that the government is not to establish a national church nor interfere in its citizens’ rights to worship (or not) as they please. And a damned good provision it is.

    I am unsure of the propriety of anyone other than the blog owner telling someone to leave. At the same time, I have pretty much lost interest in participating here, so it will cause me no pain to do as you wish, especially if the level of the debate here doesn’t rise and soon.

  114. daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 2:32 pm

    Joe: If I have made no points, how can this be true? You make a point. Others refute the point

    You are, however, right about one thing. I have not been able to get into any substantive discussions with any of you because I allowed myself to be dragged into the stupidest and most pointless attempt to refuse to rehash cold left overs and find a fresh vantage point from which to discuss the proofs of Christianity with Jim.

    I should have just walked away. But as his posts became more and more abusive and more and more vulgar, I could not resist the temptation to yank his chain. (I did this with you and one or two other people who were abusive and not particularly willing to articulate a rational position.) That was not very nice of me and, in retrospect, I am not proud of having given in to the temptation. But maybe it will ultimately do him good to come up against someone he cannot shout down and who can shrug off his abuse, even as it did me none to indulge my own “wit”.

    No, I do not support the teaching of ID or creationism. It would have saved bandwidth if you had waited for my answer before going off into a lecture on the constitution, etc. However, you did ask some interesting questions which I will answer in a moment.

    Yes, I believe in God. Yes, for reasons other than the way I was raised (I was raised by agnostics). No, I don’t believe just because I do. Belief came hard to me. What book could I have read it in? What is “it”? If you mean arguments for Biblical Christianity, great scott, I probably read hundreds (partly out of my growing interest in it and partly because the historical development of Christianity figured in my major in college).

    I think that covers your questions. Now to the constitutional issues you raised:

    Of course the US was not founded as an officially Christian nation! What sort of uneducated boob would a person have to be to believe that? Yes I believe in the separation of church and state. The constitution is clear that the government is not to establish a national church nor interfere in its citizens’ rights to worship (or not) as they please. And a damned good provision it is.

    I am unsure of the propriety of anyone other than the blog owner telling someone to leave. At the same time, I have pretty much lost interest in participating here, so it will cause me no pain to do as you wish, especially if the level of the debate here doesn’t rise and soon.

  115. daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 2:32 pm

    Joe: If I have made no points, how can this be true? You make a point. Others refute the point

    You are, however, right about one thing. I have not been able to get into any substantive discussions with any of you because I allowed myself to be dragged into the stupidest and most pointless attempt to refuse to rehash cold left overs and find a fresh vantage point from which to discuss the proofs of Christianity with Jim.

    I should have just walked away. But as his posts became more and more abusive and more and more vulgar, I could not resist the temptation to yank his chain. (I did this with you and one or two other people who were abusive and not particularly willing to articulate a rational position.) That was not very nice of me and, in retrospect, I am not proud of having given in to the temptation. But maybe it will ultimately do him good to come up against someone he cannot shout down and who can shrug off his abuse, even as it did me none to indulge my own “wit”.

    No, I do not support the teaching of ID or creationism. It would have saved bandwidth if you had waited for my answer before going off into a lecture on the constitution, etc. However, you did ask some interesting questions which I will answer in a moment.

    Yes, I believe in God. Yes, for reasons other than the way I was raised (I was raised by agnostics). No, I don’t believe just because I do. Belief came hard to me. What book could I have read it in? What is “it”? If you mean arguments for Biblical Christianity, great scott, I probably read hundreds (partly out of my growing interest in it and partly because the historical development of Christianity figured in my major in college).

    I think that covers your questions. Now to the constitutional issues you raised:

    Of course the US was not founded as an officially Christian nation! What sort of uneducated boob would a person have to be to believe that? Yes I believe in the separation of church and state. The constitution is clear that the government is not to establish a national church nor interfere in its citizens’ rights to worship (or not) as they please. And a damned good provision it is.

    I am unsure of the propriety of anyone other than the blog owner telling someone to leave. At the same time, I have pretty much lost interest in participating here, so it will cause me no pain to do as you wish, especially if the level of the debate here doesn’t rise and soon.

  116. daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 2:32 pm

    Joe: If I have made no points, how can this be true? You make a point. Others refute the point

    You are, however, right about one thing. I have not been able to get into any substantive discussions with any of you because I allowed myself to be dragged into the stupidest and most pointless attempt to refuse to rehash cold left overs and find a fresh vantage point from which to discuss the proofs of Christianity with Jim.

    I should have just walked away. But as his posts became more and more abusive and more and more vulgar, I could not resist the temptation to yank his chain. (I did this with you and one or two other people who were abusive and not particularly willing to articulate a rational position.) That was not very nice of me and, in retrospect, I am not proud of having given in to the temptation. But maybe it will ultimately do him good to come up against someone he cannot shout down and who can shrug off his abuse, even as it did me none to indulge my own “wit”.

    No, I do not support the teaching of ID or creationism. It would have saved bandwidth if you had waited for my answer before going off into a lecture on the constitution, etc. However, you did ask some interesting questions which I will answer in a moment.

    Yes, I believe in God. Yes, for reasons other than the way I was raised (I was raised by agnostics). No, I don’t believe just because I do. Belief came hard to me. What book could I have read it in? What is “it”? If you mean arguments for Biblical Christianity, great scott, I probably read hundreds (partly out of my growing interest in it and partly because the historical development of Christianity figured in my major in college).

    I think that covers your questions. Now to the constitutional issues you raised:

    Of course the US was not founded as an officially Christian nation! What sort of uneducated boob would a person have to be to believe that? Yes I believe in the separation of church and state. The constitution is clear that the government is not to establish a national church nor interfere in its citizens’ rights to worship (or not) as they please. And a damned good provision it is.

    I am unsure of the propriety of anyone other than the blog owner telling someone to leave. At the same time, I have pretty much lost interest in participating here, so it will cause me no pain to do as you wish, especially if the level of the debate here doesn’t rise and soon.

  117. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 2:40 pm

    DM: I ask yet again, “why are you posting?” You have made no points. The only one I can see is you believe in some kind of vague christian god and you think evolution is not taught properly. Yet, you have made no statements supporting your contention.

    How can you say that the country was founded as a christian nation? What founding document mentions christ or christianity?

    You must be one incredibly lonely person to log on and make this many points with no discernable positions and no support evidence given of your even vague position.

  118. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 2:45 pm

    I tell you what:

    1)log off
    2)sit quietly and think
    3)come up with some sort of position on religion, church state seperation, and/or evolution.
    4)right down the point(s)
    5)then write out arguments supporting your positions.
    6)log back on and make your points w/ supporting arguments
    7)when someone completely discredits you idiocy, acknowledge your contention has been disproven or address the statements addressing your points.

    I’ve spelled it out and enumerated the points to ease comprehension.

  119. DM
    October 7th, 2005 @ 2:52 pm

    What on earth? Am I speaking in tongues? Or did you write comments 76 and 77 before reading what I wrote in #75? If you did read it and still wrote these last two comments, I am too sincerely saddened by your mental state to ever mock you again.

  120. JCLOVE
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:13 pm

    DM, this is what always happens when you believe in the Lord and you come here with arguments that the atheists have no response to. I’ve seen it happen dozens of times. Soon they will start using foul language and abusing you. Don’t let it get to you!

  121. Dada Saves
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:25 pm

    daphne’s mom, You wrote: “The constitution is clear that the government is not to establish a national church nor interfere in its citizens’ rights to worship (or not) as they please.”

    Please tell me where the Constitution says the government cannot interfere with a citizen’s right to not worship. That point doesn’t seem ‘clear’ to me at all.

  122. hermesten
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:25 pm

    Oh DM, if only you impressed others as much as you impress yourself –perhaps you’d be exceptional in some less ironic sense of the word. Of the theists that are currently posting here there are perhaps two that are exceptional: Steve G and Frank.

    You’re just like every other theist who comes here on a crusade to stun us with your self-professed wit and intellectual skills. In fact, you could be Colleen’s less modest twin. I’ve yet to encounter anyone with your obsession for self-promotion who had anything important or significant to say: they’re all too busy trying to compensate for their own shortcomings.

    If you have a message to deliver you’re going to have to stop talking about yourself long enough to get it out.

  123. DM
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:27 pm

    Thanks JCLOVE. I don’t think it is getting to me personally so much as it is beginning to worry me that these folks can vote and reproduce.

    Jim: I am completely speechless for once. How much more plainly can I reject what Robertson said? Try and pay attention.

    What he said was outrageous. It is impossible for a Christian to say those things. It is ok for him to talk about current events, of course but he must clearly and unambiguously reject assassination, and all the rest.

    For someone who continually snarls that I don’t read and/or that my reading comprehension is deficient, your sure don’t do any better.

  124. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:31 pm

    I challenge anyone to find a position with supporting arguments in any of this stated by DM in #75:

  125. hermesten
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:32 pm

    “I don’t think it is getting to me personally so much as it is beginning to worry me that these folks can vote and reproduce.”

    I don’t know why you’d be worried about it, you’re part of the majority aren’t you? You can just pass a law to prevent it –like the law recently introduced in Indiana by one of you fine Chrisitan Republican compatriots.

  126. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:35 pm

    You stated that there were no christian leaders who held sway over vast swaths of the American public who called for murder. We brought up Robertson to counter your point……

    you reply was that you don’t agree with him. Hey good for you, but that was not the point. You made a point, we disproved your point, and then you pretend as if there was never a question put forth…

  127. Jim
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:37 pm

    JCLOVE: The last time I saw you, you weren’t responding to arguments, and trolling for porn in the forum. Find any more sweet, sweet facials?

    DM: You’re evading again. I’m glad you reject any Christian who says what Robertson said. Robertson also actively financed terrorist organizations. He is culpable in the deaths of innocents. He is a mainstream fundamentalist Christian leader.

    And for future reference, DM, I’m not snarling. I’m actually blowing kisses in your direction; anyone who heaps abuse as actively and well as you must be a real kitten with a whip.

  128. JCLOVE
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:47 pm

    Jiim, you are a very funny guy. You should be on tv or someting, with that sort of intellect you could be a gopher on fear factor or something similar. The porn on the forums was vile and I will not be returning there. I merely offered some support to DM, since you prefer to maul theists instead of debate them. I have no wish to be another one of your victims. I choose not to be abused by small mined atheists like you thanks all the same. Why don’t you actually address some of the points that DM has raised that are making you so angry instead of attacking me (when I have said nothing to you).

  129. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 3:51 pm

    JCLOVE:
    What is it with you theists? If either of you would make a point, support it, and then reply when other contradict your points, that would be great…

    I’ve yet to see a position stated with a supporting argument. Perhaps you are praying your points, but you need to understand that only your imaginary friend can her those.

  130. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 4:24 pm

    #80 Dada saves: Here are a couple of Supreme Court decisions with a couple of state court decisions thrown in. There are many more that are relevant but I think these would enable you to find more, if you wish. You may be able to find these cases or at least summaries of the important points by googling them. If you have access to Lexis Nexis or one of Westlaw’s products, you are home free, as far as finding more are concerned. (I looked under key words “free exercise and 1st amendment”)

    Cantwell v. State of Connecticut, 60 S.Ct. 900
    U.S.Conn.,1940

    Lee v. Weisman, 112 S.Ct. 2649
    U.S.R.I.,1992

    Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village School Dist. v. Grumet, 114 S.Ct. 2481
    U.S.N.Y.,1994

    U.S. v. Ballard, 64 S.Ct. 882
    U.S.Cal.,1944

  131. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 4:24 pm

    #80 Dada saves: Here are a couple of Supreme Court decisions with a couple of state court decisions thrown in. There are many more that are relevant but I think these would enable you to find more, if you wish. You may be able to find these cases or at least summaries of the important points by googling them. If you have access to Lexis Nexis or one of Westlaw’s products, you are home free, as far as finding more are concerned. (I looked under key words “free exercise and 1st amendment”)

    Cantwell v. State of Connecticut, 60 S.Ct. 900
    U.S.Conn.,1940

    Lee v. Weisman, 112 S.Ct. 2649
    U.S.R.I.,1992

    Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village School Dist. v. Grumet, 114 S.Ct. 2481
    U.S.N.Y.,1994

    U.S. v. Ballard, 64 S.Ct. 882
    U.S.Cal.,1944

  132. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 4:24 pm

    #80 Dada saves: Here are a couple of Supreme Court decisions with a couple of state court decisions thrown in. There are many more that are relevant but I think these would enable you to find more, if you wish. You may be able to find these cases or at least summaries of the important points by googling them. If you have access to Lexis Nexis or one of Westlaw’s products, you are home free, as far as finding more are concerned. (I looked under key words “free exercise and 1st amendment”)

    Cantwell v. State of Connecticut, 60 S.Ct. 900
    U.S.Conn.,1940

    Lee v. Weisman, 112 S.Ct. 2649
    U.S.R.I.,1992

    Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village School Dist. v. Grumet, 114 S.Ct. 2481
    U.S.N.Y.,1994

    U.S. v. Ballard, 64 S.Ct. 882
    U.S.Cal.,1944

  133. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 4:24 pm

    #80 Dada saves: Here are a couple of Supreme Court decisions with a couple of state court decisions thrown in. There are many more that are relevant but I think these would enable you to find more, if you wish. You may be able to find these cases or at least summaries of the important points by googling them. If you have access to Lexis Nexis or one of Westlaw’s products, you are home free, as far as finding more are concerned. (I looked under key words “free exercise and 1st amendment”)

    Cantwell v. State of Connecticut, 60 S.Ct. 900
    U.S.Conn.,1940

    Lee v. Weisman, 112 S.Ct. 2649
    U.S.R.I.,1992

    Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village School Dist. v. Grumet, 114 S.Ct. 2481
    U.S.N.Y.,1994

    U.S. v. Ballard, 64 S.Ct. 882
    U.S.Cal.,1944

  134. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 4:45 pm

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a bonafide miracle on our hands

  135. Jennifer
    October 7th, 2005 @ 5:02 pm

    This is not a new development, though the document will be. The Church has always held that the Bible is made up of many kinds of literature. Some of it is poetry, some of it is history, some of it is chronicles, some of it fable (no serious person thinks that Job is literally true. I mean the book starts out with a sort of “once upon a time…” introduction.) some of it is rather like reportage (Gospels, Acts).

    Some very strict fundamentalist sects do seem unable to make or understand these distinctions but they are way out in left field and do not speak for the rest of us.

    Well, in a way the fundie position is more easily defended. Are you not treading into dangerous territory when you say “Some of this is true and some of it isn’t” How is “Truth” determined?

  136. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 5:11 pm

    Joe : What planet do you live on? I gave you a direct answer to the questions you asked. Answering only what you actually asked resulted in a lengthy post, which I cannot be sure it is worth my time to write, since I don’t think you will actually read it. If I had fleshed out my answer to each question, it would result in a lengthy essay. How about if we tackle one at a time?

    I am finding it tiresome to wade through your claims that I either don’ t answer your points or somehow change the subject or whatever. The problem is that you don’t understand most of what you are trying to talk about when you try to talk about Christianity or Christians. For instance, this:

    You stated that there were no christian leaders who held sway over vast swaths of the American public who called for murder. We brought up Robertson to counter your point……

    Robertson is no longer a Christian leader and he does not and never has held sway over vast swaths of the American public. He is a bogeyman that dopey leftists have conjured almost out of thin air and one that the media *loves*.

    If they wouldn’t feature him and Jerry Falwell at every turn, no one would much remember him. But Pat and Jerry are so deliciously loathsome to so many, that the media can’t help themselves. Unfortunately, for the unwary (you all) this has led you to believe that they are far more important and influential than they are.

    Robertson certainly had a following in his “prime” (it is much smaller today) and he certainly was able to make common cause with other Christian groups when he got involved directly in politics but whether any one of them was the sort of mind-numbed robot that a jihadist is, is highly unlikely.

    Hermesten: Sorry, I don’t know what you are talking about. (don’t know why you’d be worried about it, you’re part of the majority aren’t you? You can just pass a law to prevent it –like the law recently introduced in Indiana by one of you fine Chrisitan Republican compatriots.)

    Which brings me to Jim. Ah Jim. Yet again angling for a date! Still, since I actually did spend a few conscience stricken moments wondering if I had sent you over the edge, I am glad you are back in all your snarky splendour.

    It is news to me that Robertson sponsors terrorists.

    You wrote: I’m sure you won’t be returning to admit that you just conceded the point that mainstream Christian leaders do call for murder, do sponsor terrorism and the murder of innocents, and are engaged in the same kind of horrifying crap as Islamic fundamentalists

    Come on Jim, you can do better than this. Did Methodists fly a plane into the Leaning Tower of Pisa recently? Did Pope Benedict issue a fatwa against the Lutherans? Did Southern Baptists bomb a nightclub in Bali and I missed it somehow? Or maybe, while I was sleeping, some Pentecostals blew up the Washington monument?

    Robertson running his mouth off is pretty repulsive but it is orders of magnitude less horrifying than what we have heard from muslim fundamentalists. Actually that concedes too much. It isn’t in the same universe of horrors, I don’t think.

  137. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 5:11 pm

    Joe : What planet do you live on? I gave you a direct answer to the questions you asked. Answering only what you actually asked resulted in a lengthy post, which I cannot be sure it is worth my time to write, since I don’t think you will actually read it. If I had fleshed out my answer to each question, it would result in a lengthy essay. How about if we tackle one at a time?

    I am finding it tiresome to wade through your claims that I either don’ t answer your points or somehow change the subject or whatever. The problem is that you don’t understand most of what you are trying to talk about when you try to talk about Christianity or Christians. For instance, this:

    You stated that there were no christian leaders who held sway over vast swaths of the American public who called for murder. We brought up Robertson to counter your point……

    Robertson is no longer a Christian leader and he does not and never has held sway over vast swaths of the American public. He is a bogeyman that dopey leftists have conjured almost out of thin air and one that the media *loves*.

    If they wouldn’t feature him and Jerry Falwell at every turn, no one would much remember him. But Pat and Jerry are so deliciously loathsome to so many, that the media can’t help themselves. Unfortunately, for the unwary (you all) this has led you to believe that they are far more important and influential than they are.

    Robertson certainly had a following in his “prime” (it is much smaller today) and he certainly was able to make common cause with other Christian groups when he got involved directly in politics but whether any one of them was the sort of mind-numbed robot that a jihadist is, is highly unlikely.

    Hermesten: Sorry, I don’t know what you are talking about. (don’t know why you’d be worried about it, you’re part of the majority aren’t you? You can just pass a law to prevent it –like the law recently introduced in Indiana by one of you fine Chrisitan Republican compatriots.)

    Which brings me to Jim. Ah Jim. Yet again angling for a date! Still, since I actually did spend a few conscience stricken moments wondering if I had sent you over the edge, I am glad you are back in all your snarky splendour.

    It is news to me that Robertson sponsors terrorists.

    You wrote: I’m sure you won’t be returning to admit that you just conceded the point that mainstream Christian leaders do call for murder, do sponsor terrorism and the murder of innocents, and are engaged in the same kind of horrifying crap as Islamic fundamentalists

    Come on Jim, you can do better than this. Did Methodists fly a plane into the Leaning Tower of Pisa recently? Did Pope Benedict issue a fatwa against the Lutherans? Did Southern Baptists bomb a nightclub in Bali and I missed it somehow? Or maybe, while I was sleeping, some Pentecostals blew up the Washington monument?

    Robertson running his mouth off is pretty repulsive but it is orders of magnitude less horrifying than what we have heard from muslim fundamentalists. Actually that concedes too much. It isn’t in the same universe of horrors, I don’t think.

  138. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 5:11 pm

    Joe : What planet do you live on? I gave you a direct answer to the questions you asked. Answering only what you actually asked resulted in a lengthy post, which I cannot be sure it is worth my time to write, since I don’t think you will actually read it. If I had fleshed out my answer to each question, it would result in a lengthy essay. How about if we tackle one at a time?

    I am finding it tiresome to wade through your claims that I either don’ t answer your points or somehow change the subject or whatever. The problem is that you don’t understand most of what you are trying to talk about when you try to talk about Christianity or Christians. For instance, this:

    You stated that there were no christian leaders who held sway over vast swaths of the American public who called for murder. We brought up Robertson to counter your point……

    Robertson is no longer a Christian leader and he does not and never has held sway over vast swaths of the American public. He is a bogeyman that dopey leftists have conjured almost out of thin air and one that the media *loves*.

    If they wouldn’t feature him and Jerry Falwell at every turn, no one would much remember him. But Pat and Jerry are so deliciously loathsome to so many, that the media can’t help themselves. Unfortunately, for the unwary (you all) this has led you to believe that they are far more important and influential than they are.

    Robertson certainly had a following in his “prime” (it is much smaller today) and he certainly was able to make common cause with other Christian groups when he got involved directly in politics but whether any one of them was the sort of mind-numbed robot that a jihadist is, is highly unlikely.

    Hermesten: Sorry, I don’t know what you are talking about. (don’t know why you’d be worried about it, you’re part of the majority aren’t you? You can just pass a law to prevent it –like the law recently introduced in Indiana by one of you fine Chrisitan Republican compatriots.)

    Which brings me to Jim. Ah Jim. Yet again angling for a date! Still, since I actually did spend a few conscience stricken moments wondering if I had sent you over the edge, I am glad you are back in all your snarky splendour.

    It is news to me that Robertson sponsors terrorists.

    You wrote: I’m sure you won’t be returning to admit that you just conceded the point that mainstream Christian leaders do call for murder, do sponsor terrorism and the murder of innocents, and are engaged in the same kind of horrifying crap as Islamic fundamentalists

    Come on Jim, you can do better than this. Did Methodists fly a plane into the Leaning Tower of Pisa recently? Did Pope Benedict issue a fatwa against the Lutherans? Did Southern Baptists bomb a nightclub in Bali and I missed it somehow? Or maybe, while I was sleeping, some Pentecostals blew up the Washington monument?

    Robertson running his mouth off is pretty repulsive but it is orders of magnitude less horrifying than what we have heard from muslim fundamentalists. Actually that concedes too much. It isn’t in the same universe of horrors, I don’t think.

  139. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 5:11 pm

    Joe : What planet do you live on? I gave you a direct answer to the questions you asked. Answering only what you actually asked resulted in a lengthy post, which I cannot be sure it is worth my time to write, since I don’t think you will actually read it. If I had fleshed out my answer to each question, it would result in a lengthy essay. How about if we tackle one at a time?

    I am finding it tiresome to wade through your claims that I either don’ t answer your points or somehow change the subject or whatever. The problem is that you don’t understand most of what you are trying to talk about when you try to talk about Christianity or Christians. For instance, this:

    You stated that there were no christian leaders who held sway over vast swaths of the American public who called for murder. We brought up Robertson to counter your point……

    Robertson is no longer a Christian leader and he does not and never has held sway over vast swaths of the American public. He is a bogeyman that dopey leftists have conjured almost out of thin air and one that the media *loves*.

    If they wouldn’t feature him and Jerry Falwell at every turn, no one would much remember him. But Pat and Jerry are so deliciously loathsome to so many, that the media can’t help themselves. Unfortunately, for the unwary (you all) this has led you to believe that they are far more important and influential than they are.

    Robertson certainly had a following in his “prime” (it is much smaller today) and he certainly was able to make common cause with other Christian groups when he got involved directly in politics but whether any one of them was the sort of mind-numbed robot that a jihadist is, is highly unlikely.

    Hermesten: Sorry, I don’t know what you are talking about. (don’t know why you’d be worried about it, you’re part of the majority aren’t you? You can just pass a law to prevent it –like the law recently introduced in Indiana by one of you fine Chrisitan Republican compatriots.)

    Which brings me to Jim. Ah Jim. Yet again angling for a date! Still, since I actually did spend a few conscience stricken moments wondering if I had sent you over the edge, I am glad you are back in all your snarky splendour.

    It is news to me that Robertson sponsors terrorists.

    You wrote: I’m sure you won’t be returning to admit that you just conceded the point that mainstream Christian leaders do call for murder, do sponsor terrorism and the murder of innocents, and are engaged in the same kind of horrifying crap as Islamic fundamentalists

    Come on Jim, you can do better than this. Did Methodists fly a plane into the Leaning Tower of Pisa recently? Did Pope Benedict issue a fatwa against the Lutherans? Did Southern Baptists bomb a nightclub in Bali and I missed it somehow? Or maybe, while I was sleeping, some Pentecostals blew up the Washington monument?

    Robertson running his mouth off is pretty repulsive but it is orders of magnitude less horrifying than what we have heard from muslim fundamentalists. Actually that concedes too much. It isn’t in the same universe of horrors, I don’t think.

  140. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 5:22 pm

    Joe, your sarcasm is childish. Make Dada saves your model. He asked one clear question and made it easy to see what sort of answer was wanted. He didn’t bury his question in a convoluted miasma of insults, rants, etc.

    Jennifer: you have asked a real interesting question. I will have to defer answering it til after dinner so I will have time to ponder it, while not neglecting to feed the young’uns.

  141. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 5:22 pm

    Joe, your sarcasm is childish. Make Dada saves your model. He asked one clear question and made it easy to see what sort of answer was wanted. He didn’t bury his question in a convoluted miasma of insults, rants, etc.

    Jennifer: you have asked a real interesting question. I will have to defer answering it til after dinner so I will have time to ponder it, while not neglecting to feed the young’uns.

  142. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 5:22 pm

    Joe, your sarcasm is childish. Make Dada saves your model. He asked one clear question and made it easy to see what sort of answer was wanted. He didn’t bury his question in a convoluted miasma of insults, rants, etc.

    Jennifer: you have asked a real interesting question. I will have to defer answering it til after dinner so I will have time to ponder it, while not neglecting to feed the young’uns.

  143. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 5:22 pm

    Joe, your sarcasm is childish. Make Dada saves your model. He asked one clear question and made it easy to see what sort of answer was wanted. He didn’t bury his question in a convoluted miasma of insults, rants, etc.

    Jennifer: you have asked a real interesting question. I will have to defer answering it til after dinner so I will have time to ponder it, while not neglecting to feed the young’uns.

  144. hermesten
    October 7th, 2005 @ 5:49 pm

    “Sorry, I don’t know what you are talking about.”

    Hmmmmm. Problem/solution. It doesn’t seem all that complicated. Having told us so many times, and in so many ways, how smart you are, I have to assume you’re being deliberately obtuse.

  145. Lurker
    October 7th, 2005 @ 6:10 pm

    If they wouldn’t feature him and Jerry Falwell at every turn, no one would much remember him. But Pat and Jerry are so deliciously loathsome to so many, that the media can’t help themselves. Unfortunately, for the unwary (you all) this has led you to believe that they are far more important and influential than they are.

    I totally agree. The media keeps going to the same people for comments. These people have very little influence on christians in general. Most of the influence comes from everyday people you never hear about. My church pastor, friends, family, co-workers affect the way I live my life more than any national figure.

  146. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 6:32 pm

    DM: so you admit you have not made any points, you have only given vague answers with no support. I’m glad we can agree.

    Lurker: these Christian extremists affect all of our lives because Falwell, Robertson, Dobson, all work hand in hand with the very people that run this country.

    Pat Robertson is a bogey man? The man has his own network. He has spoken to virtually all the leaders of the republican party.

    As for him supporting terrorists (excerpt from Good Muslim Bad Muslim) written by Dr. Mamdani from Columbia University:

    Christian-right activism in foreign policy focused on Central America and began with Guatemala, where General Efrain Rios Montt had been converted to Pentecostalism by a group of young Californians who had brought their Gospel Outreach church to Guatemala after a devastating earthquake. Following the 1982 coup that installed Montt as dictator of Guatemala, Pat Robertson and other Christian-right leaders lobbied successfully for the resumption of US military aid to the country. When Montt

  147. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 7:30 pm

    Hermesten: While it is true that I am very well educated, I, yes, even I, do not know everything. I have no idea what happened in Indiana.

    Joe What are you talking about now? What is this in reference to ? so you admit you have not made any points, you have only given vague answers with no support. I’m glad we can agree.. OK. Whatever makes you happy. But jumping Jehosophat, you were doing so well, writing clear, pretty correct, mostly correctly spelled sentences and now you have relapsed.

    I will look into the accusations that you have told me have been made about Robertson. But since he hasn’t been prosecuted, I am not inclined to take this stuff too seriously. We will see what sort of credible evidence I can turn up on this stuff.

    Jennifer, I haven’t forgotten my promise to you. But whether it will be tonight or tomorrow, I can’t say. I haven’t even managed to leave my office yet.

  148. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 7:30 pm

    Hermesten: While it is true that I am very well educated, I, yes, even I, do not know everything. I have no idea what happened in Indiana.

    Joe What are you talking about now? What is this in reference to ? so you admit you have not made any points, you have only given vague answers with no support. I’m glad we can agree.. OK. Whatever makes you happy. But jumping Jehosophat, you were doing so well, writing clear, pretty correct, mostly correctly spelled sentences and now you have relapsed.

    I will look into the accusations that you have told me have been made about Robertson. But since he hasn’t been prosecuted, I am not inclined to take this stuff too seriously. We will see what sort of credible evidence I can turn up on this stuff.

    Jennifer, I haven’t forgotten my promise to you. But whether it will be tonight or tomorrow, I can’t say. I haven’t even managed to leave my office yet.

  149. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 7:30 pm

    Hermesten: While it is true that I am very well educated, I, yes, even I, do not know everything. I have no idea what happened in Indiana.

    Joe What are you talking about now? What is this in reference to ? so you admit you have not made any points, you have only given vague answers with no support. I’m glad we can agree.. OK. Whatever makes you happy. But jumping Jehosophat, you were doing so well, writing clear, pretty correct, mostly correctly spelled sentences and now you have relapsed.

    I will look into the accusations that you have told me have been made about Robertson. But since he hasn’t been prosecuted, I am not inclined to take this stuff too seriously. We will see what sort of credible evidence I can turn up on this stuff.

    Jennifer, I haven’t forgotten my promise to you. But whether it will be tonight or tomorrow, I can’t say. I haven’t even managed to leave my office yet.

  150. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 7:30 pm

    Hermesten: While it is true that I am very well educated, I, yes, even I, do not know everything. I have no idea what happened in Indiana.

    Joe What are you talking about now? What is this in reference to ? so you admit you have not made any points, you have only given vague answers with no support. I’m glad we can agree.. OK. Whatever makes you happy. But jumping Jehosophat, you were doing so well, writing clear, pretty correct, mostly correctly spelled sentences and now you have relapsed.

    I will look into the accusations that you have told me have been made about Robertson. But since he hasn’t been prosecuted, I am not inclined to take this stuff too seriously. We will see what sort of credible evidence I can turn up on this stuff.

    Jennifer, I haven’t forgotten my promise to you. But whether it will be tonight or tomorrow, I can’t say. I haven’t even managed to leave my office yet.

  151. Jim
    October 7th, 2005 @ 7:33 pm

    DM:

    Why would Pat Robertson be prosecuted for supporting terrorists that have the tacit support of the Reagan Administration? You don’t naively think the United States opposes all terror, do you?

  152. ElDiablo
    October 7th, 2005 @ 7:41 pm

    DM responded to my last line… ONLY the last line of a series of questions I challenged her to answer: Post #61

    I Wrote: “Then there’s there’s the “Devil”, “Satan” question. Personally, I’d rather poke my eyeballs with tooth picks while running naked through a fundie church, masturbating while yelling “The British are coming!””

    DM Responded: “I don’t have any doubt that a pillar of intellect, such as yourself, would enjoy this.”

    DM,

    You respond to sarcasm but not to substance in my MANY questions in Post #61? Cat got your tongue? Or, are you simply running from the questions because you already know the answers and don’t want to admit you are wrong?
    Avoiding the pointed questions I posed above cannot save you from the reality that you really don’t have a clue.

    You may insult me all you want. You can avoid my questions as well. But you cannot escape from logic and reason.

  153. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:06 pm

    El Diablo: I don’t have enough years of life left to respond to vulgar insults couched as “questions”. If there was a trace of substance in your MANY questions, how would I know? I go into insult mode immediately, upon reading witless, vulgarities. Logic and reason have nothing to do with anything you wrote.

    If you actually have one or more questions, pose them. But do so in the following fomat:

    Yes/no questions:

    Verb–subject-verb-predicate or object. For example:

    Do you like spinach?

    Or in this format:

    Informational questions:

    Interrogative–verb–subject–predicate/object. For example:

    Why do you believe that Christianity is true?

    If you can do this and avoid insults, vulgarities and profanity, I will be delighted to answer. If not, forget it.

  154. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:06 pm

    El Diablo: I don’t have enough years of life left to respond to vulgar insults couched as “questions”. If there was a trace of substance in your MANY questions, how would I know? I go into insult mode immediately, upon reading witless, vulgarities. Logic and reason have nothing to do with anything you wrote.

    If you actually have one or more questions, pose them. But do so in the following fomat:

    Yes/no questions:

    Verb–subject-verb-predicate or object. For example:

    Do you like spinach?

    Or in this format:

    Informational questions:

    Interrogative–verb–subject–predicate/object. For example:

    Why do you believe that Christianity is true?

    If you can do this and avoid insults, vulgarities and profanity, I will be delighted to answer. If not, forget it.

  155. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:06 pm

    El Diablo: I don’t have enough years of life left to respond to vulgar insults couched as “questions”. If there was a trace of substance in your MANY questions, how would I know? I go into insult mode immediately, upon reading witless, vulgarities. Logic and reason have nothing to do with anything you wrote.

    If you actually have one or more questions, pose them. But do so in the following fomat:

    Yes/no questions:

    Verb–subject-verb-predicate or object. For example:

    Do you like spinach?

    Or in this format:

    Informational questions:

    Interrogative–verb–subject–predicate/object. For example:

    Why do you believe that Christianity is true?

    If you can do this and avoid insults, vulgarities and profanity, I will be delighted to answer. If not, forget it.

  156. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:06 pm

    El Diablo: I don’t have enough years of life left to respond to vulgar insults couched as “questions”. If there was a trace of substance in your MANY questions, how would I know? I go into insult mode immediately, upon reading witless, vulgarities. Logic and reason have nothing to do with anything you wrote.

    If you actually have one or more questions, pose them. But do so in the following fomat:

    Yes/no questions:

    Verb–subject-verb-predicate or object. For example:

    Do you like spinach?

    Or in this format:

    Informational questions:

    Interrogative–verb–subject–predicate/object. For example:

    Why do you believe that Christianity is true?

    If you can do this and avoid insults, vulgarities and profanity, I will be delighted to answer. If not, forget it.

  157. Joe
    October 7th, 2005 @ 8:57 pm

    DM: “If I had fleshed out my answer to each question, it would result in a lengthy essay. How about if we tackle one at a time?”

    How about answering 1 question? You know actually taking a position on anything. I repeat:

  158. ElDiablo
    October 7th, 2005 @ 9:39 pm

    DM,

    What part of the following copy/paste of my questions are “couched, witless vulgarities?

    I Wrote:
    “I have to ask…

    One would think that if the existence of a “God” were true, a being of superior intellect, knowledge and power would have had the forethought to make it’s existence absolutely crystal clear? Why would ANYONE have to interpret ANY so-called “Holy Text” over and over and over again? More importantly, if this “God” did exist, wouldn’t it be much more advantageous to just say “Here I am, put down that beer buddy and kiss my ass or I’ll smite you from the planet?””

    The next question I have to ask you is “How old are you?”
    “Why?” you may ask. Because you said, “I don’t have enough years of life left to respond to vulgar insults couched as “questions””

    I am curious how you come to such a quick judgement of who I am, and my level of intelligence based on a sarcastic remark that followed pointed questions. I take it that any sarcasm on your part is totally acceptable? Much like the hypocrites embedded within x-tianity? I am entertained! Please, continue burying yourself and avoiding answering my questions. It’s fascinating to watch someone drown in their own ego.

  159. Steve G.
    October 7th, 2005 @ 9:50 pm

    ElDiablo:
    How you can call this…


    …Why would ANYONE have to interpret ANY so-called “Holy Text” over and over and over again? More importantly, if this “God” did exist, wouldn’t it be much more advantageous to just say “Here I am, put down that beer buddy and kiss my ass or I’ll smite you from the planet?”

    Com’on! A “creator” who would rather sit back and watch the humans debate it’s existence, murder, mame, and torture in it’s name, based on THEIR individual interpretation of “Holy Texts” written by none other than..MAN?

    ROLOL!

    Then there’s there’s the “Devil”, “Satan” question. Personally, I’d rather poke my eyeballs with tooth picks while running naked through a fundie church, masturbating while yelling “The British are coming!

    …a series of substantive questions is beyond me. Whatever substance *may* be present, it’s bound to be lost in the overall attack mode of the post. A reader who it’s addressed to (DM and me) is left with the option of ignoring it (which I did), or responding in an equally combative way (which DM did).

    The thing that alot of you miss is how nasty and arrogant you ‘questions’ come across. You are bashing DM for not addressing them, but when they are couched in terms such as ElDiablo’s, and laced with references to jeebus and the bable, it’s really hard to separate the crap from something potentially serious you might be bringing up.

  160. ElDiablo
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:09 pm

    Steve G,

    A “couch” is something you sit on. A question is something you answer. I WILL ask you and DM the following question:

    “Are you getting enough bran in your diet?”

  161. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:38 pm

    Joe: you have restored my good humor. You just can’t help yourself can you? I really think you did start that last post intending to step up to the plate and ask one question that I could actually understand without recourse to liquor or a Dell exorcist.

    This would have done nicely, without the snippy commentary:

    How about answering 1 question? You know actually taking a position on anything. I repeat:

  162. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:38 pm

    Joe: you have restored my good humor. You just can’t help yourself can you? I really think you did start that last post intending to step up to the plate and ask one question that I could actually understand without recourse to liquor or a Dell exorcist.

    This would have done nicely, without the snippy commentary:

    How about answering 1 question? You know actually taking a position on anything. I repeat:

  163. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:38 pm

    Joe: you have restored my good humor. You just can’t help yourself can you? I really think you did start that last post intending to step up to the plate and ask one question that I could actually understand without recourse to liquor or a Dell exorcist.

    This would have done nicely, without the snippy commentary:

    How about answering 1 question? You know actually taking a position on anything. I repeat:

  164. Daphne's mom
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:38 pm

    Joe: you have restored my good humor. You just can’t help yourself can you? I really think you did start that last post intending to step up to the plate and ask one question that I could actually understand without recourse to liquor or a Dell exorcist.

    This would have done nicely, without the snippy commentary:

    How about answering 1 question? You know actually taking a position on anything. I repeat:

  165. ElDiablo
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:41 pm

    SteveG. Wrote:

    “The thing that alot of you miss is how nasty and arrogant you ‘questions’ come across. You are bashing DM for not addressing them, but when they are couched in terms such as ElDiablo’s, and laced with references to jeebus and the bable, it’s really hard to separate the crap from something potentially serious you might be bringing up.”

    Have you considered theother side of the fence here Steve?
    I mean, have you given a thought to the fact that the x-tian attacks on secularism are just as “nasty and arrogant” but WITHOUT SUBSTANCE? My sarcasm injected into my posts is NO EXCUSE for avoiding an answer. Would it not be x-tian of you to be loving, accepting and forgiving…showing patience and resolve in the face of adversity? Oh… I forgot… that only works if someone belives the way you do.

    Please forgive me for being so short sighted. I guess being 44 years old, a former x-tian of 30+ years doesn’t stand up to you Catholic heritage, beliefs and ego.

    I’ll try very hard to refrain from insulting your religion or your SkyDaddy.

  166. Debbie
    October 7th, 2005 @ 10:49 pm

    I have a question for the Christian believers of Intelligent Designer.

    Isn’t the Christian religion built on faith? Faith is an
    unquestioning belief that exists in the absence of proof or any credible evidence. If there was credible evidence of god’s hand then faith is not required.

    Thus if god were to provide evidence of a designer through irreducible complexity in biology he would be providing clear proof and therefore eliminate the need for faith.

    Therefore he would also be eliminated by his own hand.

  167. ElDiablo
    October 7th, 2005 @ 11:05 pm

    Debbie! I’ve never met you… but I think I love you!
    WOW! Now that, my dear friend is a FANTASTIC piece of LOGIC!

    BRAVO! Debbie!

  168. Steve G.
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:08 am

    ElDiablo:
    Have you considered theother side of the fence here Steve? I mean, have you given a thought to the fact that the x-tian attacks on secularism are just as “nasty and arrogant” but WITHOUT SUBSTANCE?

    I consider it all the time when posting. I am clearly not perfect, and slip into impatience occassionally too, but for the most part I actually do refrain from the back-biting and nastiness. I even try to apologize when I’ve wronged someone, and admit if I’ve made a mistake. If you can find anything in this thread that I’ve written that even remotely fits into the mode you describe, then I’d say it’s understandable that you retaliated. But there isn’t anything of such a nature from me, and yet you specifically addressed your comments in part to me in post #61.

    Likewise, I ‘try’ to be substantive in my posts. Obviously, I am not the smartest guy on the planet, so I am sure that I fail to even achieve that goal, but I’ve tried nonetheless.

    Would it not be x-tian of you to be loving, accepting and forgiving…showing patience and resolve in the face of adversity?

    Yes it would, and I try my best, but I’ve found that being vastly outnumbered here, and unable to respond to absolutely everything, I usually just skip over the posts that have a vicious tone to them. That’s what I mean by the questions getting lost in the midst of the other ‘stuff’.

    Please forgive me for being so short sighted. I guess being 44 years old, a former x-tian of 30+ years doesn’t stand up to you Catholic heritage, beliefs and ego.

    I am honestly not sure what this means, but ask again why you find it necessary to insult me? If that’s what you’ve gotten from the posts I’ve made here, I am surely doing a lousy job of communicating.

    I’ll try very hard to refrain from insulting your religion or your SkyDaddy.

    I can see your efforts already. ;-)

  169. Steve G.
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:11 am

    Debbie:
    I realize that you were posing that to Christians that support ID, but I just wanted to note that so far, the theists in this threat have all said they are OK with evolution as mechanics in principle.

    Also, I have to be a bit cheeky and ask if you borrowed that logic from Douglas Adams and just swapped ID for the babblefish? ;-)

  170. Steve G.
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:14 am

    thread, not threat *sigh*

  171. Steve G.
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:15 am

    thread, not threat *sigh*

  172. Jennifer
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:20 am

    but I just wanted to note that so far, the theists in this threat have all said they are OK with evolution as mechanics in principle.

    True, but they have not explained how they determine which parts of the Bible are “The Truth” to be translated literally, and which parts qualify as Whimsy.

  173. simbol
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:21 am

    no diablito

    Had not debbie written the last sentence, she had posted a good logic proposition. What god had done, as written by debbie, is eliminating the need for faith, but at the same time he had proven his existence. In any case the question is valid, but the problem is that christian will take the last sentence to dodge the question.

  174. simbol
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:21 am

    no diablito

    Had not debbie written the last sentence, she had posted a good logic proposition. What god had done, as written by debbie, is eliminating the need for faith, but at the same time he had proven his existence. In any case the question is valid, but the problem is that christian will take the last sentence to dodge the question.

  175. simbol
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:21 am

    no diablito

    Had not debbie written the last sentence, she had posted a good logic proposition. What god had done, as written by debbie, is eliminating the need for faith, but at the same time he had proven his existence. In any case the question is valid, but the problem is that christian will take the last sentence to dodge the question.

  176. Steve G.
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:24 am

    Jennifer:
    I attempted to give at least a sketch. See post #32.

  177. simbol
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:27 am

    sorry for the repetition.

  178. Jennifer
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:29 am

    Thank you Steve, I didn’t see that.

  179. Joe
    October 8th, 2005 @ 1:23 am

    yes, steve g. believes that the same people who protect men that rape children are the ones to decide which parts of the bible are true…………….

    Once again dm you have made no points…………….why is evolution not taught properly?……and support your belief in this vague christian god……………

    you’ve done neither, and have made no argument supporting anything, other then trying to put christian and jewish fundimentalists above muslim fundimentalists, which was proven to be bs………………

  180. Joe
    October 8th, 2005 @ 1:52 am

    I figured out DM………..she is a masochist…

    she whines and complains that others are treating her poorly; but takes pride in her own rudeness…

    so I guess that should be sado-masochistic; she complains about the poor treatment she has recieved, but simply continues to come back for more………..

    I bet you her favorite sentence is, “thank you sir, may I have another”

    hehehe

  181. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 5:34 am

    Well, Joe, I fail to see where I have made any complaints that anyone is treating me poorly; in fact, I think I have done no such thing but have, instead, mocked your profanity and your inability to express yourselves without vulgarity.

    In your case I have indulged a certain reprehensible pleasure in correcting a few of your outlandish notions of what Christianity is and your inability (or unwillingness) to write a coherent, correctly spelled sentence. At a certain point I have to stop because I can’t swim in manure without beginning to stink.

    I see you have not taken advantage of any of the work I did for you, so no dessert or tv for you this week.

    Steve G. I commend you. Your reward in heaven will be great. I am less sanguine about your reward here. I work with convicts a couple times a month whose ability to talk to each other and the people they deal with is less profane than that of these spoiled sons of privilege.

    I owe Jennifer an answer, if she still wants one from me, since she actually asked a question phrased clearly and without profanity.

    Let’s see– before I head off to my well deserved rest. Oh yeah, Jim you and others appear to have been right about Pat Robertson. What a depressing experience to read up on his doings. I told you all that he was a nonentity to us as a “Christian leader”, so I have had no interest in his doings. But I see he has kept busy. Sheesh.

  182. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 5:34 am

    Well, Joe, I fail to see where I have made any complaints that anyone is treating me poorly; in fact, I think I have done no such thing but have, instead, mocked your profanity and your inability to express yourselves without vulgarity.

    In your case I have indulged a certain reprehensible pleasure in correcting a few of your outlandish notions of what Christianity is and your inability (or unwillingness) to write a coherent, correctly spelled sentence. At a certain point I have to stop because I can’t swim in manure without beginning to stink.

    I see you have not taken advantage of any of the work I did for you, so no dessert or tv for you this week.

    Steve G. I commend you. Your reward in heaven will be great. I am less sanguine about your reward here. I work with convicts a couple times a month whose ability to talk to each other and the people they deal with is less profane than that of these spoiled sons of privilege.

    I owe Jennifer an answer, if she still wants one from me, since she actually asked a question phrased clearly and without profanity.

    Let’s see– before I head off to my well deserved rest. Oh yeah, Jim you and others appear to have been right about Pat Robertson. What a depressing experience to read up on his doings. I told you all that he was a nonentity to us as a “Christian leader”, so I have had no interest in his doings. But I see he has kept busy. Sheesh.

  183. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 5:34 am

    Well, Joe, I fail to see where I have made any complaints that anyone is treating me poorly; in fact, I think I have done no such thing but have, instead, mocked your profanity and your inability to express yourselves without vulgarity.

    In your case I have indulged a certain reprehensible pleasure in correcting a few of your outlandish notions of what Christianity is and your inability (or unwillingness) to write a coherent, correctly spelled sentence. At a certain point I have to stop because I can’t swim in manure without beginning to stink.

    I see you have not taken advantage of any of the work I did for you, so no dessert or tv for you this week.

    Steve G. I commend you. Your reward in heaven will be great. I am less sanguine about your reward here. I work with convicts a couple times a month whose ability to talk to each other and the people they deal with is less profane than that of these spoiled sons of privilege.

    I owe Jennifer an answer, if she still wants one from me, since she actually asked a question phrased clearly and without profanity.

    Let’s see– before I head off to my well deserved rest. Oh yeah, Jim you and others appear to have been right about Pat Robertson. What a depressing experience to read up on his doings. I told you all that he was a nonentity to us as a “Christian leader”, so I have had no interest in his doings. But I see he has kept busy. Sheesh.

  184. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 5:34 am

    Well, Joe, I fail to see where I have made any complaints that anyone is treating me poorly; in fact, I think I have done no such thing but have, instead, mocked your profanity and your inability to express yourselves without vulgarity.

    In your case I have indulged a certain reprehensible pleasure in correcting a few of your outlandish notions of what Christianity is and your inability (or unwillingness) to write a coherent, correctly spelled sentence. At a certain point I have to stop because I can’t swim in manure without beginning to stink.

    I see you have not taken advantage of any of the work I did for you, so no dessert or tv for you this week.

    Steve G. I commend you. Your reward in heaven will be great. I am less sanguine about your reward here. I work with convicts a couple times a month whose ability to talk to each other and the people they deal with is less profane than that of these spoiled sons of privilege.

    I owe Jennifer an answer, if she still wants one from me, since she actually asked a question phrased clearly and without profanity.

    Let’s see– before I head off to my well deserved rest. Oh yeah, Jim you and others appear to have been right about Pat Robertson. What a depressing experience to read up on his doings. I told you all that he was a nonentity to us as a “Christian leader”, so I have had no interest in his doings. But I see he has kept busy. Sheesh.

  185. a different tim
    October 8th, 2005 @ 7:40 am

    I know I said I wouldn’t post again on this thread, but…..I’d quite like to know what you meant by evolution “not being taught properly” as well, DM.
    It may in fact be something we agree on (given that most people – atheist or theist – who I have spoken to, don’t seem to have a good understanding of it, I too suspect it isn’t being taught well).

    An interesting semantic point that is coming up here – and has been raised before in a thread I was posting on at thinkchristian – is that from a Christian point of view, Christian leaders like Robertson who come out in favour of atrocity (or Christians who behave in some other immoral way) are not considered true Christians. In fairness there is a passage in the new testament about not all who call on Christ’s name getting into the kingdom….It strikes me that the notions of “Christian” are predicated on two very different things. From a Christian point of view, my understanding is that you can’t just declare yourself a Christian but have to be accepted by Christ/act accordingly/fulfill the strictures of your church etc (delete where applicable). I ask you to consider that from an atheist point of view the whole “accepted by Christ” thing is delusory and that Christianity is a social phenomenon only, and that we therefore have to assume that anyone who says they are a “Christian” is one. We do make a distinction between mainstream and fringe/fundies, but from our perspective you can’t just disown these people. You can say they don’t belong to your church or whatever, fair enough, but to say they aren’t Christian assumes a dividing line that, to us, does not exist.
    Just a thought to ponder…..

  186. GRRRRRR
    October 8th, 2005 @ 12:09 pm

    Well now let me express how I feel about this ID thing.

    Hey fuck face! If you want your ass hole kids to learn about “(cough gag) intelligent (heave) design” take them to your fucking tax exempt church or easier yet, just fucking tell them in the privacy of your home,

  187. daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 1:25 pm

    What a great post, a diff. Tim. And lots of interesting stuff to respond to.

    Since I think this will be too long otherwise for comfortable reading, I would like to respond to your various questions/comments in a couple of different posts.

    In general, I suspect we can agree on the teaching of evolution not being done very well. Have you not had the experience of reading that most dreadful part of the newspaper and just cringing at what well-meaning people write on certain hot button issues (letters to the editor)?

    It really bothers me the most when their conclusion is right (i.e. dovetails with mine!) but for the wrong reason. It is sort of like when I see the kid’s arithmetic homework and see that he has worked through a problem that requires several steps, gotten one or more of the steps wrong and gotten the right answer…by mistake because his final calculation was wrong, too! Does that count as a “right” answer? Not in my book.

    I teach research skills to undergraduates who mostly are headed into teaching. They are woefully underprepared because their programs require too much educational theory and other garbage and not nearly enough subject preparation. It really shows, too, in their papers. If I could wave a magic wand, I would make it possible for them to have much more opportunity to take classes in their subects and lots of chance via writing papers to wrestle with the questions that are controversial in those areas.

    Maybe if they could count on having good textbooks to work from, they would be hugely helped, but they can’t. It doesn’t matter which subject you name, the textbooks are usually dreadful. They are boring, mired down in finding ways to be politically correct, poorly written, and downright confusing. etc.

    There are lots of reasons for that of course. An important one is the way textbooks are marketed and sold. If they don’t pass muster and get selected in the really huge markets (like Texas and California), they usually die a quick death. So authors are forced to write in a way that offends as few groups as possible, when writing in areas like history or biology where there is lots of controversy.

    Next time Christianity or, who is, who isn’t and why it matters, to me, at least!

  188. daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 1:25 pm

    What a great post, a diff. Tim. And lots of interesting stuff to respond to.

    Since I think this will be too long otherwise for comfortable reading, I would like to respond to your various questions/comments in a couple of different posts.

    In general, I suspect we can agree on the teaching of evolution not being done very well. Have you not had the experience of reading that most dreadful part of the newspaper and just cringing at what well-meaning people write on certain hot button issues (letters to the editor)?

    It really bothers me the most when their conclusion is right (i.e. dovetails with mine!) but for the wrong reason. It is sort of like when I see the kid’s arithmetic homework and see that he has worked through a problem that requires several steps, gotten one or more of the steps wrong and gotten the right answer…by mistake because his final calculation was wrong, too! Does that count as a “right” answer? Not in my book.

    I teach research skills to undergraduates who mostly are headed into teaching. They are woefully underprepared because their programs require too much educational theory and other garbage and not nearly enough subject preparation. It really shows, too, in their papers. If I could wave a magic wand, I would make it possible for them to have much more opportunity to take classes in their subects and lots of chance via writing papers to wrestle with the questions that are controversial in those areas.

    Maybe if they could count on having good textbooks to work from, they would be hugely helped, but they can’t. It doesn’t matter which subject you name, the textbooks are usually dreadful. They are boring, mired down in finding ways to be politically correct, poorly written, and downright confusing. etc.

    There are lots of reasons for that of course. An important one is the way textbooks are marketed and sold. If they don’t pass muster and get selected in the really huge markets (like Texas and California), they usually die a quick death. So authors are forced to write in a way that offends as few groups as possible, when writing in areas like history or biology where there is lots of controversy.

    Next time Christianity or, who is, who isn’t and why it matters, to me, at least!

  189. daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 1:25 pm

    What a great post, a diff. Tim. And lots of interesting stuff to respond to.

    Since I think this will be too long otherwise for comfortable reading, I would like to respond to your various questions/comments in a couple of different posts.

    In general, I suspect we can agree on the teaching of evolution not being done very well. Have you not had the experience of reading that most dreadful part of the newspaper and just cringing at what well-meaning people write on certain hot button issues (letters to the editor)?

    It really bothers me the most when their conclusion is right (i.e. dovetails with mine!) but for the wrong reason. It is sort of like when I see the kid’s arithmetic homework and see that he has worked through a problem that requires several steps, gotten one or more of the steps wrong and gotten the right answer…by mistake because his final calculation was wrong, too! Does that count as a “right” answer? Not in my book.

    I teach research skills to undergraduates who mostly are headed into teaching. They are woefully underprepared because their programs require too much educational theory and other garbage and not nearly enough subject preparation. It really shows, too, in their papers. If I could wave a magic wand, I would make it possible for them to have much more opportunity to take classes in their subects and lots of chance via writing papers to wrestle with the questions that are controversial in those areas.

    Maybe if they could count on having good textbooks to work from, they would be hugely helped, but they can’t. It doesn’t matter which subject you name, the textbooks are usually dreadful. They are boring, mired down in finding ways to be politically correct, poorly written, and downright confusing. etc.

    There are lots of reasons for that of course. An important one is the way textbooks are marketed and sold. If they don’t pass muster and get selected in the really huge markets (like Texas and California), they usually die a quick death. So authors are forced to write in a way that offends as few groups as possible, when writing in areas like history or biology where there is lots of controversy.

    Next time Christianity or, who is, who isn’t and why it matters, to me, at least!

  190. daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 1:25 pm

    What a great post, a diff. Tim. And lots of interesting stuff to respond to.

    Since I think this will be too long otherwise for comfortable reading, I would like to respond to your various questions/comments in a couple of different posts.

    In general, I suspect we can agree on the teaching of evolution not being done very well. Have you not had the experience of reading that most dreadful part of the newspaper and just cringing at what well-meaning people write on certain hot button issues (letters to the editor)?

    It really bothers me the most when their conclusion is right (i.e. dovetails with mine!) but for the wrong reason. It is sort of like when I see the kid’s arithmetic homework and see that he has worked through a problem that requires several steps, gotten one or more of the steps wrong and gotten the right answer…by mistake because his final calculation was wrong, too! Does that count as a “right” answer? Not in my book.

    I teach research skills to undergraduates who mostly are headed into teaching. They are woefully underprepared because their programs require too much educational theory and other garbage and not nearly enough subject preparation. It really shows, too, in their papers. If I could wave a magic wand, I would make it possible for them to have much more opportunity to take classes in their subects and lots of chance via writing papers to wrestle with the questions that are controversial in those areas.

    Maybe if they could count on having good textbooks to work from, they would be hugely helped, but they can’t. It doesn’t matter which subject you name, the textbooks are usually dreadful. They are boring, mired down in finding ways to be politically correct, poorly written, and downright confusing. etc.

    There are lots of reasons for that of course. An important one is the way textbooks are marketed and sold. If they don’t pass muster and get selected in the really huge markets (like Texas and California), they usually die a quick death. So authors are forced to write in a way that offends as few groups as possible, when writing in areas like history or biology where there is lots of controversy.

    Next time Christianity or, who is, who isn’t and why it matters, to me, at least!

  191. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 2:23 pm

    A different Tim:

    I can

  192. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 2:23 pm

    A different Tim:

    I can

  193. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 2:23 pm

    A different Tim:

    I can

  194. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 2:23 pm

    A different Tim:

    I can

  195. Debbie
    October 8th, 2005 @ 2:31 pm

    Steve,

    > Also, I have to be a bit cheeky and ask if you borrowed that logic from Douglas Adams and just swapped ID for the babblefish? ;-)

    I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a long time ago but didn’t remember Adams using the babelfish as proof of a self-contradictory god. Did he do that?

    But the idea of Christians trying to prove that there is evidence of their god being contrary to the essence of faith is something I’m not trying to claim credit for.

  196. Debbie
    October 8th, 2005 @ 3:26 pm

    ElDiablo – I’m probably too old for you. ;-)
    I don’t post here that often, except when the subject of science comes up, and particularly when theists use physics (my background) to claim proof of god. But usually these arguments are even more futile than those with the ID crowd so I must do it out of a sense of masochism. I also like to throw in a European perspective as the experience growing up there of religion is so different to the USA. Just think …recently a politician was deemed unelectable to a very senior position in the European Parliament because he was overtly religious and they feared his faith would interfere with his judgement.

    Daphne’s Mom – I didn’t understand where your point was headed regarding the deficiencies in skills of those who teach the limited amount of evolution in the typical high-school biology class. How should this influence the content of the curriculum? I’m quite sure that many high-school physics teachers’ knowledge of quantum physics is inferior to the average biology teachers’ knowledge of the subtleties of evolution, but that doesn’t affect the fundamental correctness of the theory. It certainly doesn’t mean ID deserves any presence in a science classroom.

  197. Steve G.
    October 8th, 2005 @ 4:01 pm

    I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a long time ago but didn’t remember Adams using the babelfish as proof of a self-contradictory god. Did he do that?

    Yes, it was a pretty funny sequence in the book. Something along the lines that once God realized he’d blunder into this argument by creating the babelfish, he said, ‘oh’ and poofed out of existence. Someting like that anyway.

    But the idea of Christians trying to prove that there is evidence of their god being contrary to the essence of faith is something I’m not trying to claim credit for.

    I tend to agree with this proof of existence by scientific standards. It seems extremely misguided to me. I’d rather stick with logical and moral reasons as my ‘proof’ (though I know that both my logic and moral premises are not accepted here).

    ——————–
    ADT:
    You post does indeed raise some interesting question. I’ll try to revisit it tonight or in the next few days. Suffice it to say that while indeed I would consider DM a sister Christian, the view I have as a Catholic is a bit different, and it’s actually gets back to one of the main reasons I became Catholic as oppossed to any Protestant denomination.

  198. a different tim
    October 8th, 2005 @ 4:44 pm

    DM: “I am not sure that it necessarily follows that you all can

  199. Jim
    October 8th, 2005 @ 7:26 pm

    DM:

    On what, exactly, do you base this idea of “disfellowship’? Is it a concept listed in the Bible, or a doctrine of your particular church? I think we’re all familiar with formal excommunication (which is also contradictory, but we’ll leave the Catholics aside for a moment), but the idea that a Christian can simply decide that another is not a Christian seems to be in conflict with the creeds of your own faith.

    I seem to recall a certain authority in your religion stating something like::

    “Judge not lest ye be judged’

  200. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 8:43 pm

    Hello Debbie,

    I wanted to address your first comment and now you have given me an even meatier issue to respond to! Let me start with the most recent: you said that you didn’t understand where I was going with regard to the poor preparation of teachers and asked why it should effect the curriculum.

    It shouldn’t effect the curriculum, per se. But how can you teach what you yourself don’t know? If there were stronger support for the teaching of science (one way being the availability of really good textbooks, av and supplementary texts), that would help. To my mind the bigger issue is how we teach science at all. Typically, very little of it is required of high school students and so, when they do take a course (usually an “intro”), it is possible that they might spend 1 or 2 instructional weeks on evolution and then move on to the next topic. Even if the course content were taught really well, how does so little training compete with movies, fiction and the mixed up notions of the surrounding culture?

    My sister, who is a teacher (a rather recent graduate of our teacher training programs) and fervent supporter of evolution, doesn’t have the faintest idea what it is. Mention micro vs macro evolution to her and she looks at you like you are speaking Greek. Speciation? What is that? Phylogeny? She insisted that I made that word up. (She is always suspicious because I almost always beat her at Scrabble.) And she graduated from a well known university at the top of her class. Thankfully, she is not teaching science. Hello! Teacher preparation!

    It certainly doesn’t mean ID deserves any presence in a science classroom.

    You’ve shown up late to this dance. The only two dreaded theists that are responding to this thread are Steve G and I (I think) and we also don’t think ID should be taught as science. However, we do think (Steve, please correct me if I am putting words in your mouth), that if science were taught properly, the weaknesses of the theory of evolution and the questions that remain unresolved would be acknowledged along with the existence of alternative theories.

    As to your earlier post: while it may have sent ElDiablo into an orgasmic frenzy, it fails, I think, to address the issue of faith, accurately. You asked: Isn’t the Christian religion built on faith? Faith is an unquestioning belief that exists in the absence of proof or any credible evidence.

    Not exactly. The Church was built by the apostles and the witnesses of the events in a specific place at a specific time and preached among those who came to believe that what they were hearing from was a credible alternative explanation of the events they had heard about.

    That religion has been handed on in an unbroken line to the rest of us. Now those of us who live(d) after the first generation died off, do believe by faith. But it is hardly blind. We read what has been said, we see what the church as a whole has believed and how it has grounded those beliefs, and find it credible. (Along the way that includes a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ or, to put it another way, a personal realization that he is who he says he is and that he knows us individually. In other words, we are not just assenting to a proposition but becoming the friends and followers of a person). If after weighing the evidence, you or anyone else says, “nope, can’t believe it” I would never insist that you accept it blindly! No other reasonable person would either.

  201. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 8:43 pm

    Hello Debbie,

    I wanted to address your first comment and now you have given me an even meatier issue to respond to! Let me start with the most recent: you said that you didn’t understand where I was going with regard to the poor preparation of teachers and asked why it should effect the curriculum.

    It shouldn’t effect the curriculum, per se. But how can you teach what you yourself don’t know? If there were stronger support for the teaching of science (one way being the availability of really good textbooks, av and supplementary texts), that would help. To my mind the bigger issue is how we teach science at all. Typically, very little of it is required of high school students and so, when they do take a course (usually an “intro”), it is possible that they might spend 1 or 2 instructional weeks on evolution and then move on to the next topic. Even if the course content were taught really well, how does so little training compete with movies, fiction and the mixed up notions of the surrounding culture?

    My sister, who is a teacher (a rather recent graduate of our teacher training programs) and fervent supporter of evolution, doesn’t have the faintest idea what it is. Mention micro vs macro evolution to her and she looks at you like you are speaking Greek. Speciation? What is that? Phylogeny? She insisted that I made that word up. (She is always suspicious because I almost always beat her at Scrabble.) And she graduated from a well known university at the top of her class. Thankfully, she is not teaching science. Hello! Teacher preparation!

    It certainly doesn’t mean ID deserves any presence in a science classroom.

    You’ve shown up late to this dance. The only two dreaded theists that are responding to this thread are Steve G and I (I think) and we also don’t think ID should be taught as science. However, we do think (Steve, please correct me if I am putting words in your mouth), that if science were taught properly, the weaknesses of the theory of evolution and the questions that remain unresolved would be acknowledged along with the existence of alternative theories.

    As to your earlier post: while it may have sent ElDiablo into an orgasmic frenzy, it fails, I think, to address the issue of faith, accurately. You asked: Isn’t the Christian religion built on faith? Faith is an unquestioning belief that exists in the absence of proof or any credible evidence.

    Not exactly. The Church was built by the apostles and the witnesses of the events in a specific place at a specific time and preached among those who came to believe that what they were hearing from was a credible alternative explanation of the events they had heard about.

    That religion has been handed on in an unbroken line to the rest of us. Now those of us who live(d) after the first generation died off, do believe by faith. But it is hardly blind. We read what has been said, we see what the church as a whole has believed and how it has grounded those beliefs, and find it credible. (Along the way that includes a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ or, to put it another way, a personal realization that he is who he says he is and that he knows us individually. In other words, we are not just assenting to a proposition but becoming the friends and followers of a person). If after weighing the evidence, you or anyone else says, “nope, can’t believe it” I would never insist that you accept it blindly! No other reasonable person would either.

  202. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 8:43 pm

    Hello Debbie,

    I wanted to address your first comment and now you have given me an even meatier issue to respond to! Let me start with the most recent: you said that you didn’t understand where I was going with regard to the poor preparation of teachers and asked why it should effect the curriculum.

    It shouldn’t effect the curriculum, per se. But how can you teach what you yourself don’t know? If there were stronger support for the teaching of science (one way being the availability of really good textbooks, av and supplementary texts), that would help. To my mind the bigger issue is how we teach science at all. Typically, very little of it is required of high school students and so, when they do take a course (usually an “intro”), it is possible that they might spend 1 or 2 instructional weeks on evolution and then move on to the next topic. Even if the course content were taught really well, how does so little training compete with movies, fiction and the mixed up notions of the surrounding culture?

    My sister, who is a teacher (a rather recent graduate of our teacher training programs) and fervent supporter of evolution, doesn’t have the faintest idea what it is. Mention micro vs macro evolution to her and she looks at you like you are speaking Greek. Speciation? What is that? Phylogeny? She insisted that I made that word up. (She is always suspicious because I almost always beat her at Scrabble.) And she graduated from a well known university at the top of her class. Thankfully, she is not teaching science. Hello! Teacher preparation!

    It certainly doesn’t mean ID deserves any presence in a science classroom.

    You’ve shown up late to this dance. The only two dreaded theists that are responding to this thread are Steve G and I (I think) and we also don’t think ID should be taught as science. However, we do think (Steve, please correct me if I am putting words in your mouth), that if science were taught properly, the weaknesses of the theory of evolution and the questions that remain unresolved would be acknowledged along with the existence of alternative theories.

    As to your earlier post: while it may have sent ElDiablo into an orgasmic frenzy, it fails, I think, to address the issue of faith, accurately. You asked: Isn’t the Christian religion built on faith? Faith is an unquestioning belief that exists in the absence of proof or any credible evidence.

    Not exactly. The Church was built by the apostles and the witnesses of the events in a specific place at a specific time and preached among those who came to believe that what they were hearing from was a credible alternative explanation of the events they had heard about.

    That religion has been handed on in an unbroken line to the rest of us. Now those of us who live(d) after the first generation died off, do believe by faith. But it is hardly blind. We read what has been said, we see what the church as a whole has believed and how it has grounded those beliefs, and find it credible. (Along the way that includes a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ or, to put it another way, a personal realization that he is who he says he is and that he knows us individually. In other words, we are not just assenting to a proposition but becoming the friends and followers of a person). If after weighing the evidence, you or anyone else says, “nope, can’t believe it” I would never insist that you accept it blindly! No other reasonable person would either.

  203. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 8:43 pm

    Hello Debbie,

    I wanted to address your first comment and now you have given me an even meatier issue to respond to! Let me start with the most recent: you said that you didn’t understand where I was going with regard to the poor preparation of teachers and asked why it should effect the curriculum.

    It shouldn’t effect the curriculum, per se. But how can you teach what you yourself don’t know? If there were stronger support for the teaching of science (one way being the availability of really good textbooks, av and supplementary texts), that would help. To my mind the bigger issue is how we teach science at all. Typically, very little of it is required of high school students and so, when they do take a course (usually an “intro”), it is possible that they might spend 1 or 2 instructional weeks on evolution and then move on to the next topic. Even if the course content were taught really well, how does so little training compete with movies, fiction and the mixed up notions of the surrounding culture?

    My sister, who is a teacher (a rather recent graduate of our teacher training programs) and fervent supporter of evolution, doesn’t have the faintest idea what it is. Mention micro vs macro evolution to her and she looks at you like you are speaking Greek. Speciation? What is that? Phylogeny? She insisted that I made that word up. (She is always suspicious because I almost always beat her at Scrabble.) And she graduated from a well known university at the top of her class. Thankfully, she is not teaching science. Hello! Teacher preparation!

    It certainly doesn’t mean ID deserves any presence in a science classroom.

    You’ve shown up late to this dance. The only two dreaded theists that are responding to this thread are Steve G and I (I think) and we also don’t think ID should be taught as science. However, we do think (Steve, please correct me if I am putting words in your mouth), that if science were taught properly, the weaknesses of the theory of evolution and the questions that remain unresolved would be acknowledged along with the existence of alternative theories.

    As to your earlier post: while it may have sent ElDiablo into an orgasmic frenzy, it fails, I think, to address the issue of faith, accurately. You asked: Isn’t the Christian religion built on faith? Faith is an unquestioning belief that exists in the absence of proof or any credible evidence.

    Not exactly. The Church was built by the apostles and the witnesses of the events in a specific place at a specific time and preached among those who came to believe that what they were hearing from was a credible alternative explanation of the events they had heard about.

    That religion has been handed on in an unbroken line to the rest of us. Now those of us who live(d) after the first generation died off, do believe by faith. But it is hardly blind. We read what has been said, we see what the church as a whole has believed and how it has grounded those beliefs, and find it credible. (Along the way that includes a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ or, to put it another way, a personal realization that he is who he says he is and that he knows us individually. In other words, we are not just assenting to a proposition but becoming the friends and followers of a person). If after weighing the evidence, you or anyone else says, “nope, can’t believe it” I would never insist that you accept it blindly! No other reasonable person would either.

  204. daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 9:03 pm

    Jim:

    Disfellowship isn’t a doctrine you hear much about but it is certainly a biblical “concept” just as excommunication is. Those just aren’t the terms used in scripture.

    The point is to make it clear that an individual is in grave error (sin) and to prevent him from participating in the Lord’s Supper, unworthily, which is another really grave sin. I am not sure that the word “disfellowship” is used universally in evangelical churches nor do I know how the mainline churches refer to this disciplinary process, if they still do have it.

    The “judge not, that ye be not judged” is proof-texting and completely irrelevant. The context of that is something quite different than what we are discussing here. You can’t seriously believe that it means we are not to bring any critical judgement to bear on the world we live in! Pat R. wants to assassinate someone? Fine and dandy. I ‘m not gonna judge that!

  205. daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 9:03 pm

    Jim:

    Disfellowship isn’t a doctrine you hear much about but it is certainly a biblical “concept” just as excommunication is. Those just aren’t the terms used in scripture.

    The point is to make it clear that an individual is in grave error (sin) and to prevent him from participating in the Lord’s Supper, unworthily, which is another really grave sin. I am not sure that the word “disfellowship” is used universally in evangelical churches nor do I know how the mainline churches refer to this disciplinary process, if they still do have it.

    The “judge not, that ye be not judged” is proof-texting and completely irrelevant. The context of that is something quite different than what we are discussing here. You can’t seriously believe that it means we are not to bring any critical judgement to bear on the world we live in! Pat R. wants to assassinate someone? Fine and dandy. I ‘m not gonna judge that!

  206. daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 9:03 pm

    Jim:

    Disfellowship isn’t a doctrine you hear much about but it is certainly a biblical “concept” just as excommunication is. Those just aren’t the terms used in scripture.

    The point is to make it clear that an individual is in grave error (sin) and to prevent him from participating in the Lord’s Supper, unworthily, which is another really grave sin. I am not sure that the word “disfellowship” is used universally in evangelical churches nor do I know how the mainline churches refer to this disciplinary process, if they still do have it.

    The “judge not, that ye be not judged” is proof-texting and completely irrelevant. The context of that is something quite different than what we are discussing here. You can’t seriously believe that it means we are not to bring any critical judgement to bear on the world we live in! Pat R. wants to assassinate someone? Fine and dandy. I ‘m not gonna judge that!

  207. daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 9:03 pm

    Jim:

    Disfellowship isn’t a doctrine you hear much about but it is certainly a biblical “concept” just as excommunication is. Those just aren’t the terms used in scripture.

    The point is to make it clear that an individual is in grave error (sin) and to prevent him from participating in the Lord’s Supper, unworthily, which is another really grave sin. I am not sure that the word “disfellowship” is used universally in evangelical churches nor do I know how the mainline churches refer to this disciplinary process, if they still do have it.

    The “judge not, that ye be not judged” is proof-texting and completely irrelevant. The context of that is something quite different than what we are discussing here. You can’t seriously believe that it means we are not to bring any critical judgement to bear on the world we live in! Pat R. wants to assassinate someone? Fine and dandy. I ‘m not gonna judge that!

  208. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 9:29 pm

    ADT: you wrote: I think that we, from our premises, have no valid way to make the distinction that you see, from your premises, and in fact working from our premises we have to claim that your distinction isn’t valid. It sounds slightly arrogant but I don’t think we can avoid it if we follow our logic through, in the same way that if you follow theist logic through it implies that atheists will ultimately be judged on criteria we probably don’t agree with.

    I appreciate your position but I don’t concede it. Even though you don’t believe what we do, you still have to try and understand us on our terms, in order to criticize us meaningfully. But of course, there is no rule that you must. If all a commenter wants to do is strut among the likeminded and hurl impotent curses at us, well, … whatever turns him on.

    There are lots of more neutral areas where you can see what I mean. Take for example, the proposal to privatize social security.

    There are good and bad arguments that get made about this. The bad ones are the sort you find on DU (Evil republicans want helpless elderly people to lose their benefits and starve).

    The good ones are the ones that weigh the factors (the market, the risks involved, actuarial realities, etc) which then lead one to come to an educated conclusion. If newer better information comes along, which invalidates the conclusion, such a person will change his mind.

    The fact that people take the time to learn what the issues are, makes real discussion possible. Otherwise, as is the case here in these blog comments, there is lots of strutting, insulting, shouting and cursing, but very little substance.

  209. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 9:29 pm

    ADT: you wrote: I think that we, from our premises, have no valid way to make the distinction that you see, from your premises, and in fact working from our premises we have to claim that your distinction isn’t valid. It sounds slightly arrogant but I don’t think we can avoid it if we follow our logic through, in the same way that if you follow theist logic through it implies that atheists will ultimately be judged on criteria we probably don’t agree with.

    I appreciate your position but I don’t concede it. Even though you don’t believe what we do, you still have to try and understand us on our terms, in order to criticize us meaningfully. But of course, there is no rule that you must. If all a commenter wants to do is strut among the likeminded and hurl impotent curses at us, well, … whatever turns him on.

    There are lots of more neutral areas where you can see what I mean. Take for example, the proposal to privatize social security.

    There are good and bad arguments that get made about this. The bad ones are the sort you find on DU (Evil republicans want helpless elderly people to lose their benefits and starve).

    The good ones are the ones that weigh the factors (the market, the risks involved, actuarial realities, etc) which then lead one to come to an educated conclusion. If newer better information comes along, which invalidates the conclusion, such a person will change his mind.

    The fact that people take the time to learn what the issues are, makes real discussion possible. Otherwise, as is the case here in these blog comments, there is lots of strutting, insulting, shouting and cursing, but very little substance.

  210. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 9:29 pm

    ADT: you wrote: I think that we, from our premises, have no valid way to make the distinction that you see, from your premises, and in fact working from our premises we have to claim that your distinction isn’t valid. It sounds slightly arrogant but I don’t think we can avoid it if we follow our logic through, in the same way that if you follow theist logic through it implies that atheists will ultimately be judged on criteria we probably don’t agree with.

    I appreciate your position but I don’t concede it. Even though you don’t believe what we do, you still have to try and understand us on our terms, in order to criticize us meaningfully. But of course, there is no rule that you must. If all a commenter wants to do is strut among the likeminded and hurl impotent curses at us, well, … whatever turns him on.

    There are lots of more neutral areas where you can see what I mean. Take for example, the proposal to privatize social security.

    There are good and bad arguments that get made about this. The bad ones are the sort you find on DU (Evil republicans want helpless elderly people to lose their benefits and starve).

    The good ones are the ones that weigh the factors (the market, the risks involved, actuarial realities, etc) which then lead one to come to an educated conclusion. If newer better information comes along, which invalidates the conclusion, such a person will change his mind.

    The fact that people take the time to learn what the issues are, makes real discussion possible. Otherwise, as is the case here in these blog comments, there is lots of strutting, insulting, shouting and cursing, but very little substance.

  211. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 9:29 pm

    ADT: you wrote: I think that we, from our premises, have no valid way to make the distinction that you see, from your premises, and in fact working from our premises we have to claim that your distinction isn’t valid. It sounds slightly arrogant but I don’t think we can avoid it if we follow our logic through, in the same way that if you follow theist logic through it implies that atheists will ultimately be judged on criteria we probably don’t agree with.

    I appreciate your position but I don’t concede it. Even though you don’t believe what we do, you still have to try and understand us on our terms, in order to criticize us meaningfully. But of course, there is no rule that you must. If all a commenter wants to do is strut among the likeminded and hurl impotent curses at us, well, … whatever turns him on.

    There are lots of more neutral areas where you can see what I mean. Take for example, the proposal to privatize social security.

    There are good and bad arguments that get made about this. The bad ones are the sort you find on DU (Evil republicans want helpless elderly people to lose their benefits and starve).

    The good ones are the ones that weigh the factors (the market, the risks involved, actuarial realities, etc) which then lead one to come to an educated conclusion. If newer better information comes along, which invalidates the conclusion, such a person will change his mind.

    The fact that people take the time to learn what the issues are, makes real discussion possible. Otherwise, as is the case here in these blog comments, there is lots of strutting, insulting, shouting and cursing, but very little substance.

  212. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 10:21 pm

    And finally, before my eyeballs fall out with fatigue, Jennifer I want to address your question.

    Well, in a way the fundie position is more easily defended. Are you not treading into dangerous territory when you say “Some of this is true and some of it isn’t” How is “Truth” determined?

    I don’t think it is dangerous. How is truth determined? In most cases the way it is in any other sphere: If you see a psalm that mentions in it that the “mountains clapped their hands” you know that is a metaphor.

    Likewise when Jesus said to his disciples that they were to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves, no one supposes that he expected them to lay eggs. (I ripped that off from CS Lewis. I found it one of his funnier bon mots.) Lots of stuff that isn’t “true” is of that nature.

    One of the real biggies “creation” we have been talking about here at length. And while Steve and I also believe in evolution, we both know (again, apologies Steve, if I am putting words in your mouth) that evolution only addresses the mechanics. How life originated is a completely different question and one that evolution cannot address. The Bible is mostly concerned with who created the heavens and the earth. Not the mechanics of how it happened.

    As for the rest, we do quibble over a number of doctrinal details. The Catholic Church has the magisterium (a teaching body) to safeguard teaching. I should let Steve talk about this from his greater knowledge, so suffice it for me to say that I think the idea of having a lot of highly educated people discussing and tussling with questions of doctrine and then coming to consensus is far superior to individuals deciding for themselves what an ancient text and in translation, to boot, means.

  213. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 10:21 pm

    And finally, before my eyeballs fall out with fatigue, Jennifer I want to address your question.

    Well, in a way the fundie position is more easily defended. Are you not treading into dangerous territory when you say “Some of this is true and some of it isn’t” How is “Truth” determined?

    I don’t think it is dangerous. How is truth determined? In most cases the way it is in any other sphere: If you see a psalm that mentions in it that the “mountains clapped their hands” you know that is a metaphor.

    Likewise when Jesus said to his disciples that they were to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves, no one supposes that he expected them to lay eggs. (I ripped that off from CS Lewis. I found it one of his funnier bon mots.) Lots of stuff that isn’t “true” is of that nature.

    One of the real biggies “creation” we have been talking about here at length. And while Steve and I also believe in evolution, we both know (again, apologies Steve, if I am putting words in your mouth) that evolution only addresses the mechanics. How life originated is a completely different question and one that evolution cannot address. The Bible is mostly concerned with who created the heavens and the earth. Not the mechanics of how it happened.

    As for the rest, we do quibble over a number of doctrinal details. The Catholic Church has the magisterium (a teaching body) to safeguard teaching. I should let Steve talk about this from his greater knowledge, so suffice it for me to say that I think the idea of having a lot of highly educated people discussing and tussling with questions of doctrine and then coming to consensus is far superior to individuals deciding for themselves what an ancient text and in translation, to boot, means.

  214. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 10:21 pm

    And finally, before my eyeballs fall out with fatigue, Jennifer I want to address your question.

    Well, in a way the fundie position is more easily defended. Are you not treading into dangerous territory when you say “Some of this is true and some of it isn’t” How is “Truth” determined?

    I don’t think it is dangerous. How is truth determined? In most cases the way it is in any other sphere: If you see a psalm that mentions in it that the “mountains clapped their hands” you know that is a metaphor.

    Likewise when Jesus said to his disciples that they were to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves, no one supposes that he expected them to lay eggs. (I ripped that off from CS Lewis. I found it one of his funnier bon mots.) Lots of stuff that isn’t “true” is of that nature.

    One of the real biggies “creation” we have been talking about here at length. And while Steve and I also believe in evolution, we both know (again, apologies Steve, if I am putting words in your mouth) that evolution only addresses the mechanics. How life originated is a completely different question and one that evolution cannot address. The Bible is mostly concerned with who created the heavens and the earth. Not the mechanics of how it happened.

    As for the rest, we do quibble over a number of doctrinal details. The Catholic Church has the magisterium (a teaching body) to safeguard teaching. I should let Steve talk about this from his greater knowledge, so suffice it for me to say that I think the idea of having a lot of highly educated people discussing and tussling with questions of doctrine and then coming to consensus is far superior to individuals deciding for themselves what an ancient text and in translation, to boot, means.

  215. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 10:21 pm

    And finally, before my eyeballs fall out with fatigue, Jennifer I want to address your question.

    Well, in a way the fundie position is more easily defended. Are you not treading into dangerous territory when you say “Some of this is true and some of it isn’t” How is “Truth” determined?

    I don’t think it is dangerous. How is truth determined? In most cases the way it is in any other sphere: If you see a psalm that mentions in it that the “mountains clapped their hands” you know that is a metaphor.

    Likewise when Jesus said to his disciples that they were to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves, no one supposes that he expected them to lay eggs. (I ripped that off from CS Lewis. I found it one of his funnier bon mots.) Lots of stuff that isn’t “true” is of that nature.

    One of the real biggies “creation” we have been talking about here at length. And while Steve and I also believe in evolution, we both know (again, apologies Steve, if I am putting words in your mouth) that evolution only addresses the mechanics. How life originated is a completely different question and one that evolution cannot address. The Bible is mostly concerned with who created the heavens and the earth. Not the mechanics of how it happened.

    As for the rest, we do quibble over a number of doctrinal details. The Catholic Church has the magisterium (a teaching body) to safeguard teaching. I should let Steve talk about this from his greater knowledge, so suffice it for me to say that I think the idea of having a lot of highly educated people discussing and tussling with questions of doctrine and then coming to consensus is far superior to individuals deciding for themselves what an ancient text and in translation, to boot, means.

  216. Steve G
    October 8th, 2005 @ 10:37 pm

    I ask you to consider that from an atheist point of view the whole “accepted by Christ” thing is delusory and that Christianity is a social phenomenon only, and that we therefore have to assume that anyone who says they are a “Christian” is one. We do make a distinction between mainstream and fringe/fundies, but from our perspective you can’t just disown these people. You can say they don’t belong to your church or whatever, fair enough, but to say they aren’t Christian assumes a dividing line that, to us, does not exist.

    I think you are correct, and more so than just from your perspective. The problem that I see is that we in Christianity have simply given outsiders no standard by which to judge where a Christian claimant stands. Without any desire or intent to attack Protestantism, I believe this is fundamentally a self-inflicted wound stemming from the structure of Protestantism itself. At the base of all things, the authority in the life of the Protestant

  217. SteveG
    October 8th, 2005 @ 10:51 pm

    DM
    I appreciate your position but I don’t concede it. Even though you don’t believe what we do, you still have to try and understand us on our terms, in order to criticize us meaningfully.

    Your last few posts where fantastic. The only part I disagree on is this (as I explained in my last post). Once we move past the admittedly basic things all Christians have in common (mere Christianity if you will), how is the outsider suppossed to navigate what our terms are? When we get to moral or social issues, are our terms that of the Orthodox Presbetyrians, the progressive (name escapes me a the moment), the ELCA, the Episcopalian/Anglican (in both high church or low church flavors of course), Catholic, Assemblies of God, Jack Chick, Fred Phelps, Baptists, Southern Baptists, etc., etc., etc. I know exactly where you are coming from, and I too sometimes feel that there is a lack of desire to understand ‘us’ before hurling misinformed comments, but….boy have we made it difficult for them to figure out what exactly our terms are. To that extent, I think ADT’s comments are on the money.

    OK, now, I have to ask, what denomination are you? It’s driving me batty. I am usually pretty good at picking this out just from the language used by a poster, but you’ve got me flummuxed. If you aren’t Catholic you should be. :-) The only other possibility I’ve considered is either Eastern Orthodox, or possibly a REALLY well informed Lutheran. Please, please, please tell me. :-D

  218. SteveG
    October 8th, 2005 @ 10:58 pm

    DM:
    A final comment that probably goes without saying, but….well, I’ll say it anyhow. I hope that nothing in post 136 is taken in any way personally, or as an attack against you or Protestantism. I am a true post VII Catholic (no, not the ‘spirit of VII’, but the actual content), and do indeed consider Protestants brothers and sisters in Christ.

  219. ElDiablo
    October 8th, 2005 @ 11:22 pm

    Debbie wrote:
    “ElDiablo – I’m probably too old for you. ;-)

    Unless you are older than 44, probaby not. :-)

  220. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 11:51 pm

    Steve, of course, you can ask what denomination I am!! That’s not offensive nor is your much better explanation of the differences between evangelical Protestantism and Catholicism.
    But it is amazingly hard to answer.

    I illustrate the point you made in 136 better than you could probably have dreamed. I started out in a fairly large non-denominational church. No reason for choosing it (I was very new to the faith) I just went with my college housemate). I was happy there, though. Those were some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life.

    When I went off to grad school, I chose an evangelical church that became a bad fit for what I believed (I had started to do some serious reading and then some of my classes intersected with church history so I had a chance to read medieval philosophers, lots of Aquinas, Bonaventure, Bernard of Clairvaux, etc), theologians like Calvin and Luther and follow developments up to the great Schism.

    So I auditioned a bunch of churches over the next years and ended up with the Episcopelians. Loved those smells and bells! But after a couple of years, it was clear that, corporately, they had no theology. I left early on but, as you undoubtedly know, many believers held out hope, until it became impossible recently. They are leaving in droves and coming over your way.

    So what is left? You actually pretty much guessed it! I keep trying to swim the Tiber but there are some issues I can’t quite resolve. I do go to Mass but I don’t, of course, participate in the Eucharist since I haven’t been received into the Church. I guess that makes me a born again Fence Sitter!

  221. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 11:51 pm

    Steve, of course, you can ask what denomination I am!! That’s not offensive nor is your much better explanation of the differences between evangelical Protestantism and Catholicism.
    But it is amazingly hard to answer.

    I illustrate the point you made in 136 better than you could probably have dreamed. I started out in a fairly large non-denominational church. No reason for choosing it (I was very new to the faith) I just went with my college housemate). I was happy there, though. Those were some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life.

    When I went off to grad school, I chose an evangelical church that became a bad fit for what I believed (I had started to do some serious reading and then some of my classes intersected with church history so I had a chance to read medieval philosophers, lots of Aquinas, Bonaventure, Bernard of Clairvaux, etc), theologians like Calvin and Luther and follow developments up to the great Schism.

    So I auditioned a bunch of churches over the next years and ended up with the Episcopelians. Loved those smells and bells! But after a couple of years, it was clear that, corporately, they had no theology. I left early on but, as you undoubtedly know, many believers held out hope, until it became impossible recently. They are leaving in droves and coming over your way.

    So what is left? You actually pretty much guessed it! I keep trying to swim the Tiber but there are some issues I can’t quite resolve. I do go to Mass but I don’t, of course, participate in the Eucharist since I haven’t been received into the Church. I guess that makes me a born again Fence Sitter!

  222. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 11:51 pm

    Steve, of course, you can ask what denomination I am!! That’s not offensive nor is your much better explanation of the differences between evangelical Protestantism and Catholicism.
    But it is amazingly hard to answer.

    I illustrate the point you made in 136 better than you could probably have dreamed. I started out in a fairly large non-denominational church. No reason for choosing it (I was very new to the faith) I just went with my college housemate). I was happy there, though. Those were some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life.

    When I went off to grad school, I chose an evangelical church that became a bad fit for what I believed (I had started to do some serious reading and then some of my classes intersected with church history so I had a chance to read medieval philosophers, lots of Aquinas, Bonaventure, Bernard of Clairvaux, etc), theologians like Calvin and Luther and follow developments up to the great Schism.

    So I auditioned a bunch of churches over the next years and ended up with the Episcopelians. Loved those smells and bells! But after a couple of years, it was clear that, corporately, they had no theology. I left early on but, as you undoubtedly know, many believers held out hope, until it became impossible recently. They are leaving in droves and coming over your way.

    So what is left? You actually pretty much guessed it! I keep trying to swim the Tiber but there are some issues I can’t quite resolve. I do go to Mass but I don’t, of course, participate in the Eucharist since I haven’t been received into the Church. I guess that makes me a born again Fence Sitter!

  223. Daphne's mom
    October 8th, 2005 @ 11:51 pm

    Steve, of course, you can ask what denomination I am!! That’s not offensive nor is your much better explanation of the differences between evangelical Protestantism and Catholicism.
    But it is amazingly hard to answer.

    I illustrate the point you made in 136 better than you could probably have dreamed. I started out in a fairly large non-denominational church. No reason for choosing it (I was very new to the faith) I just went with my college housemate). I was happy there, though. Those were some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life.

    When I went off to grad school, I chose an evangelical church that became a bad fit for what I believed (I had started to do some serious reading and then some of my classes intersected with church history so I had a chance to read medieval philosophers, lots of Aquinas, Bonaventure, Bernard of Clairvaux, etc), theologians like Calvin and Luther and follow developments up to the great Schism.

    So I auditioned a bunch of churches over the next years and ended up with the Episcopelians. Loved those smells and bells! But after a couple of years, it was clear that, corporately, they had no theology. I left early on but, as you undoubtedly know, many believers held out hope, until it became impossible recently. They are leaving in droves and coming over your way.

    So what is left? You actually pretty much guessed it! I keep trying to swim the Tiber but there are some issues I can’t quite resolve. I do go to Mass but I don’t, of course, participate in the Eucharist since I haven’t been received into the Church. I guess that makes me a born again Fence Sitter!

  224. a different tim
    October 9th, 2005 @ 5:54 am

    Well..

    back to the ID thing a minute, if I may, and with reference to posts 132 and 133.. I’m not sure, DM, (in fact I’m dead certain but I’m being polite) about “the weaknesses of the theory of evolution and the questions that remain unresolved would be acknowledged along with the existence of alternative theories”.The issue is that there are no alternative scientific theories to evolution, although there a certainly alternative theories within it as linked to in the original post (the “no scientific controversy to teach” link gives some of these if you scroll down). Any individual evolutionary position may have weaknesses but I don’t think evolution per se is in any more doubt than gravity (this is a good analogy to me – we wouldn’t countenance the teaching of pre Copernican astronomy because of weaknesses in the QM standard model). What is worth debating is where the locus is (genes/organisms/groups), how exactly speciation works, etc. I assume this kind of thing is what you meant…..

    For the record I tend towards the Dawkins position (genes are locus of selection, etc) not because he’s an atheist like me, but because his logic seems pretty clear. Most of my reading on evolution has been based on Dawkins and Gould (Although I did go back to the source and read Darwin as well – and it’s surprising how many of the “objections” to evolution are clearly addressed in the “Origin”). I don’t think Gould makes his case for group selection as he fails to demonstrate heritable group-level characteristics.

    Now in 133 you mention that evolution is essentially a post origin theory – it doesn’t address how life got here – and this is true. However there are plausible origin scenarios about (lots of precursor structures to life are self organising, like RNA replicators and bilipid layer vesicles) and the issue is more that we will probably never know the origin of life because that stuff doesn’t fossilise. We may one day be able to make life of some description self organise from simple chemicals in a lab, but that still doesn’t show that it did originate in exactly that way. If you want to say God did it, OK I guess (for the purposes of this thread anyway – I specifically don’t want to get bogged down in the “does God exist” stuff for reasons outlined in post 34), but what I’m saying is you can’t use gaps in our knowledge as an argument for God (although, reading back, I don’t think you were – but plenty do. If lots of secularists don’t understand evolution, there are also lots of Christians who don’t seem to grasp some very basic theology).

    If you’re interested in this we had a huge thread about the big bang a while back – a brief summary of my position is that I’m not convinced that the idea of a creator, or anything else, that in some way exists “before” the universe makes any sense in physics terms. Outside, maybe, but in that case how could he/it be causally linked to us? That leaves the option of an immanent God which I understand is not Christian doctrine. Steve, as I recall, thought I was being metaphysical for even arguing the point at all, though I may misremember……

  225. a different tim
    October 9th, 2005 @ 8:24 am

    A follow up, I suppose, on the topic of who’s a real Christian – I think that we can’t accept the distinctions given to us by Christians insofar as they are predicated on the existence of God.
    The context was about who sponsored terrorism as I recall….now there are a lot of Muslims who state that 9/11 etc are contrary to the dictates of Islam, which as I understand it is pretty clear about the undesirability of killing innocents. By DMs argument these people are as far outside the umma as a Christian who did the same would be outside the Christian community. Yet we tend to say, hey, they quote the Koran, they say they’re doing it for Allah, they’re Muslims. And I think we’re right in saying this, so I have to apply the same standards to Christianity.

    On the Catholic/protestant position the Anglican communion is a case very close to the Catholic as they have apostolic succession and a heirarchy and are not Lutheran (Henry VIII hated Lutherans as he quite rightly saw them as a threat to royal power) – they do not take the view that “anyone can read the bible and witness the truth thereof” (and in fact the ArchB of C has criticised fundamentalists as “misreading the bible”).

    However the position of many in the American churches seems to be essentially gnostic – that is, that the holy spirit will guide these churches without need for a heirarchy, and individuals can have direct knowledge of God through personal revelation and prayer. From an atheist point of view these are obvioulsy insane or at the least deluded people, but I’m not sure how you rule it out from a Christian perspective.

  226. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:01 am

    ADT, these factious religions, in fact all religions, require revelation of God’s will, be it through a book, a head wacko or noxious gases seeping up through a volcano. It’s the knowledge of God’s will that allows for all the crazy behavior, since if God wants it, it’s good. The heirarchies make it worse, and that’s one of the biggest problems of religion: society has created institutions that adopt one specific theme of unprovable nonsense and immunized it to critique. It’s harder to fight since so many adhere to one big lie, but it’s no less insane. The readily apparent insanity of one fundie church is not as big a threat in my opinion as the massive organizations that vote in chunks and want me to recognize their irrational beliefs.

    I know you know all this, but I haven’t posted in a while.

  227. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:38 am

    Thanks, ADT, I thought I was going to leisurely drink my coffee and ease into my day but, no, you want to put me through my paces again! :)

    We have a couple overarching problems here. You are committed to a position that God does not exist, there is no purpose or plan to the universe, etc. This is philosophy, not science. You cannot prove it but accept it for what seems to you like good and sufficient reason.

    I, on the other hand, am committed to a position that you know well. There is a God, there is a plan and purpose, etc. I cannot prove this either, but accept it for what I believe to be good and sufficient reason.

    Within the Christian community there are those who have, unfortunately, believed that they must adhere to a prescientific view of the cosmos because they read the Bible too literally. This has come from being challenged and demeaned and not, in most instances, knowing enough science to tease apart that which is sensible (provable) and that which comes from a materialist’s perspective on the world.

    Y’all, on the other hand, tend to see every question about evolution as an attack on universally accepted scientific facts. Now, possibly this is true sometimes. Since I am not a member of the scientific community, I only hear this stuff at second hand.

    But I look at questions like: if birds really did evolve from reptiles, it would only have happened over a longer period of time as the result of a number of mutations. That, in turn, suggests that there was a period when some creature without the advantage (and protection) of either feathers or scales survived long enough to fully evolve. How?

    Well, I am not a scientist and it sounds like you are. Or, at least, I am nowhere near as well read as you are in the science. But more acknowledgement of the areas where there still are questions and a firm insistence that this science does not and cannot explain the origin of life would make the whole thing far more palatable to people who don’t have any real understanding of what is going on but see only an attack on their most cherished and deeply held beliefs.

    As to the questions around the issue of who’s a Christian and who isn’t, I acknowledged the scandal of our divisions as being a real impediment but felt that y’all still needed to be a little bit more curious about what we actually do believe. I still believe that.

    But Steve G.’s wonderful post persuaded me that it is asking a lot under our current circumstances and that it is probably too much to demand from you all. So I will get off that and see what I can do to help set our house in order.

  228. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:38 am

    Thanks, ADT, I thought I was going to leisurely drink my coffee and ease into my day but, no, you want to put me through my paces again! :)

    We have a couple overarching problems here. You are committed to a position that God does not exist, there is no purpose or plan to the universe, etc. This is philosophy, not science. You cannot prove it but accept it for what seems to you like good and sufficient reason.

    I, on the other hand, am committed to a position that you know well. There is a God, there is a plan and purpose, etc. I cannot prove this either, but accept it for what I believe to be good and sufficient reason.

    Within the Christian community there are those who have, unfortunately, believed that they must adhere to a prescientific view of the cosmos because they read the Bible too literally. This has come from being challenged and demeaned and not, in most instances, knowing enough science to tease apart that which is sensible (provable) and that which comes from a materialist’s perspective on the world.

    Y’all, on the other hand, tend to see every question about evolution as an attack on universally accepted scientific facts. Now, possibly this is true sometimes. Since I am not a member of the scientific community, I only hear this stuff at second hand.

    But I look at questions like: if birds really did evolve from reptiles, it would only have happened over a longer period of time as the result of a number of mutations. That, in turn, suggests that there was a period when some creature without the advantage (and protection) of either feathers or scales survived long enough to fully evolve. How?

    Well, I am not a scientist and it sounds like you are. Or, at least, I am nowhere near as well read as you are in the science. But more acknowledgement of the areas where there still are questions and a firm insistence that this science does not and cannot explain the origin of life would make the whole thing far more palatable to people who don’t have any real understanding of what is going on but see only an attack on their most cherished and deeply held beliefs.

    As to the questions around the issue of who’s a Christian and who isn’t, I acknowledged the scandal of our divisions as being a real impediment but felt that y’all still needed to be a little bit more curious about what we actually do believe. I still believe that.

    But Steve G.’s wonderful post persuaded me that it is asking a lot under our current circumstances and that it is probably too much to demand from you all. So I will get off that and see what I can do to help set our house in order.

  229. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:38 am

    Thanks, ADT, I thought I was going to leisurely drink my coffee and ease into my day but, no, you want to put me through my paces again! :)

    We have a couple overarching problems here. You are committed to a position that God does not exist, there is no purpose or plan to the universe, etc. This is philosophy, not science. You cannot prove it but accept it for what seems to you like good and sufficient reason.

    I, on the other hand, am committed to a position that you know well. There is a God, there is a plan and purpose, etc. I cannot prove this either, but accept it for what I believe to be good and sufficient reason.

    Within the Christian community there are those who have, unfortunately, believed that they must adhere to a prescientific view of the cosmos because they read the Bible too literally. This has come from being challenged and demeaned and not, in most instances, knowing enough science to tease apart that which is sensible (provable) and that which comes from a materialist’s perspective on the world.

    Y’all, on the other hand, tend to see every question about evolution as an attack on universally accepted scientific facts. Now, possibly this is true sometimes. Since I am not a member of the scientific community, I only hear this stuff at second hand.

    But I look at questions like: if birds really did evolve from reptiles, it would only have happened over a longer period of time as the result of a number of mutations. That, in turn, suggests that there was a period when some creature without the advantage (and protection) of either feathers or scales survived long enough to fully evolve. How?

    Well, I am not a scientist and it sounds like you are. Or, at least, I am nowhere near as well read as you are in the science. But more acknowledgement of the areas where there still are questions and a firm insistence that this science does not and cannot explain the origin of life would make the whole thing far more palatable to people who don’t have any real understanding of what is going on but see only an attack on their most cherished and deeply held beliefs.

    As to the questions around the issue of who’s a Christian and who isn’t, I acknowledged the scandal of our divisions as being a real impediment but felt that y’all still needed to be a little bit more curious about what we actually do believe. I still believe that.

    But Steve G.’s wonderful post persuaded me that it is asking a lot under our current circumstances and that it is probably too much to demand from you all. So I will get off that and see what I can do to help set our house in order.

  230. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:38 am

    Thanks, ADT, I thought I was going to leisurely drink my coffee and ease into my day but, no, you want to put me through my paces again! :)

    We have a couple overarching problems here. You are committed to a position that God does not exist, there is no purpose or plan to the universe, etc. This is philosophy, not science. You cannot prove it but accept it for what seems to you like good and sufficient reason.

    I, on the other hand, am committed to a position that you know well. There is a God, there is a plan and purpose, etc. I cannot prove this either, but accept it for what I believe to be good and sufficient reason.

    Within the Christian community there are those who have, unfortunately, believed that they must adhere to a prescientific view of the cosmos because they read the Bible too literally. This has come from being challenged and demeaned and not, in most instances, knowing enough science to tease apart that which is sensible (provable) and that which comes from a materialist’s perspective on the world.

    Y’all, on the other hand, tend to see every question about evolution as an attack on universally accepted scientific facts. Now, possibly this is true sometimes. Since I am not a member of the scientific community, I only hear this stuff at second hand.

    But I look at questions like: if birds really did evolve from reptiles, it would only have happened over a longer period of time as the result of a number of mutations. That, in turn, suggests that there was a period when some creature without the advantage (and protection) of either feathers or scales survived long enough to fully evolve. How?

    Well, I am not a scientist and it sounds like you are. Or, at least, I am nowhere near as well read as you are in the science. But more acknowledgement of the areas where there still are questions and a firm insistence that this science does not and cannot explain the origin of life would make the whole thing far more palatable to people who don’t have any real understanding of what is going on but see only an attack on their most cherished and deeply held beliefs.

    As to the questions around the issue of who’s a Christian and who isn’t, I acknowledged the scandal of our divisions as being a real impediment but felt that y’all still needed to be a little bit more curious about what we actually do believe. I still believe that.

    But Steve G.’s wonderful post persuaded me that it is asking a lot under our current circumstances and that it is probably too much to demand from you all. So I will get off that and see what I can do to help set our house in order.

  231. Dada Saves
    October 9th, 2005 @ 12:03 pm

    Daphne’s Mom, Thank you for attempting to answer my question, but I can see you misunderstood it. Perhaps I wasn’t as clear as the Constution when I posed it.

    I looked at “Cantwell v. State of Connecticut” — How that backs up your claim that the Constitution says the government cannot interfere with a citizen’s right to NOT worship is mystifying.

    Moreover, does citing court cases really support your contention that the ‘Constitution is clear’ on these points? If there were clarity, there probably wouldn’t be so many forensic disputes, no?

  232. Jim
    October 9th, 2005 @ 1:24 pm

    DM:

    I never meant to suggest the “judge not” quote meant that Christians should ignore all wrongdoing by others in the world. In fact, during my brief flirtation with fundamentalist Christianity, we specifically interpreted the quote to mean that we were not to judge the worth of others as Christians… that this was specifically the role of God himself, and Jesus, as no human could appropriately judge the “Christianness” of another.

    I’m not trying to be argumentative here, but I’m genuinely curious as to where in the Bible the origins of excommunication and disfellowship come from. Both doctrines seem rather contrary to Christ’s messages, at least as they were taught to me.

  233. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 2:31 pm

    Dada Saves I’m sorry, I should not have just thrown the cases at you without a bit more info. The 1st amendment reads as it does and in the words you already know.

    What I should have said is that the precedents and rulings by the courts over the last 65 years (as far back as I went) have held that the free exercise of religion clause has always protected the freedom not to exercise, as well. I will look up the cases again and try to find the specific point/place where the court ruling explicitly says that and copy it out. But it won’t be today I don’t think! I will try to post the information tomorrow.

    Jim:

    The most relevant passage for dealing with erring church members comes from Corinthians 5:9:13 which says in part (in my version):

    “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of the world … or else you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person … But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”

    1st Timothy is basically a “how to run a church” book and Paul writes in 5:20 to rebuke those who continue in sin in the presence of all, in order to make them think twice about sinning, too. There may be other relevant passages but these spring readily to mind.

    The passage you were citing “judge not, lest ye be judged” is followed by “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you.”

    This is a warning against hypocrisy, overzealousness, and, above all, self-righteousness. The bit about removing the speck from your brother’s eye while ignoring the beam in your own also occurs in this same sermon. Good stuff, I’d say.

  234. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 2:31 pm

    Dada Saves I’m sorry, I should not have just thrown the cases at you without a bit more info. The 1st amendment reads as it does and in the words you already know.

    What I should have said is that the precedents and rulings by the courts over the last 65 years (as far back as I went) have held that the free exercise of religion clause has always protected the freedom not to exercise, as well. I will look up the cases again and try to find the specific point/place where the court ruling explicitly says that and copy it out. But it won’t be today I don’t think! I will try to post the information tomorrow.

    Jim:

    The most relevant passage for dealing with erring church members comes from Corinthians 5:9:13 which says in part (in my version):

    “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of the world … or else you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person … But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”

    1st Timothy is basically a “how to run a church” book and Paul writes in 5:20 to rebuke those who continue in sin in the presence of all, in order to make them think twice about sinning, too. There may be other relevant passages but these spring readily to mind.

    The passage you were citing “judge not, lest ye be judged” is followed by “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you.”

    This is a warning against hypocrisy, overzealousness, and, above all, self-righteousness. The bit about removing the speck from your brother’s eye while ignoring the beam in your own also occurs in this same sermon. Good stuff, I’d say.

  235. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 2:31 pm

    Dada Saves I’m sorry, I should not have just thrown the cases at you without a bit more info. The 1st amendment reads as it does and in the words you already know.

    What I should have said is that the precedents and rulings by the courts over the last 65 years (as far back as I went) have held that the free exercise of religion clause has always protected the freedom not to exercise, as well. I will look up the cases again and try to find the specific point/place where the court ruling explicitly says that and copy it out. But it won’t be today I don’t think! I will try to post the information tomorrow.

    Jim:

    The most relevant passage for dealing with erring church members comes from Corinthians 5:9:13 which says in part (in my version):

    “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of the world … or else you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person … But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”

    1st Timothy is basically a “how to run a church” book and Paul writes in 5:20 to rebuke those who continue in sin in the presence of all, in order to make them think twice about sinning, too. There may be other relevant passages but these spring readily to mind.

    The passage you were citing “judge not, lest ye be judged” is followed by “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you.”

    This is a warning against hypocrisy, overzealousness, and, above all, self-righteousness. The bit about removing the speck from your brother’s eye while ignoring the beam in your own also occurs in this same sermon. Good stuff, I’d say.

  236. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 2:31 pm

    Dada Saves I’m sorry, I should not have just thrown the cases at you without a bit more info. The 1st amendment reads as it does and in the words you already know.

    What I should have said is that the precedents and rulings by the courts over the last 65 years (as far back as I went) have held that the free exercise of religion clause has always protected the freedom not to exercise, as well. I will look up the cases again and try to find the specific point/place where the court ruling explicitly says that and copy it out. But it won’t be today I don’t think! I will try to post the information tomorrow.

    Jim:

    The most relevant passage for dealing with erring church members comes from Corinthians 5:9:13 which says in part (in my version):

    “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of the world … or else you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person … But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”

    1st Timothy is basically a “how to run a church” book and Paul writes in 5:20 to rebuke those who continue in sin in the presence of all, in order to make them think twice about sinning, too. There may be other relevant passages but these spring readily to mind.

    The passage you were citing “judge not, lest ye be judged” is followed by “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you.”

    This is a warning against hypocrisy, overzealousness, and, above all, self-righteousness. The bit about removing the speck from your brother’s eye while ignoring the beam in your own also occurs in this same sermon. Good stuff, I’d say.

  237. a different tim
    October 9th, 2005 @ 2:45 pm

    DM – for the birds/reptiles thing see the “wing” link on the post. This is in fact the main ID argument- what would the intermediate forms be good for – and I have attempted to link to good answers to these questions in the original post. Darwin also anticipated it. The solution is known as “co-option”, “preadaptation” or “exaptation” depending on whose nomenclature you use. I don’t like “preadaptation” as it implies purpose which Darwinism explicitly refutes.
    It seems in fact that there were dinosaurs – such as the famous velociraptor – with both scales and feathers. The feather is a fairly simple (genetically speaking) development of the scale (as is the mammalian hair). The earliest feathers were obviously not useful for flight – so the obvious answer is that they evolved for something else (thermoregulation, balance, gliding, prey entrapment, sexual display….) and became coopted for flight at a later evolutionary stage. A fairly good intermediate fossil exists in the form of Microraptor which has what are clearly long rigid feathers – ancestral flight feathers if you will, on both arms and legs, but these feathers have not nearly enough surface area for flight. The current thinking is that it was a glider like a sugar glider.

    This is exactly the type of question that leads me to agree that evolution is being taught poorly. There has been a good answer since Darwin, but you, someone who is clearly not stupid, were unaware of it.

    I do appreciate that Darwinism in particular seems to be not only an attack on Genesis but is also an attack on the argument from design in addition to which it seems to work in such a nasty way (zillions of animals fail for each one that succeeds) that in many people’s minds it calls into question the idea of a merciful God (Not least Darwin – “What a book a Devil

  238. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 2:46 pm

    oops, Jim: you are right, however, in what you were taught, but it needs to be understood in the larger context of first judging yourself correctly.

    But it doesn’t mean not bringing critical judgement to bear, when a person is obviously not following the way he professes to be following. If you really believe that such a one is in danger of losing his soul, it is not friendship or love not to do all that one can to bring him back to his senses.

  239. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 2:46 pm

    oops, Jim: you are right, however, in what you were taught, but it needs to be understood in the larger context of first judging yourself correctly.

    But it doesn’t mean not bringing critical judgement to bear, when a person is obviously not following the way he professes to be following. If you really believe that such a one is in danger of losing his soul, it is not friendship or love not to do all that one can to bring him back to his senses.

  240. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 2:46 pm

    oops, Jim: you are right, however, in what you were taught, but it needs to be understood in the larger context of first judging yourself correctly.

    But it doesn’t mean not bringing critical judgement to bear, when a person is obviously not following the way he professes to be following. If you really believe that such a one is in danger of losing his soul, it is not friendship or love not to do all that one can to bring him back to his senses.

  241. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 2:46 pm

    oops, Jim: you are right, however, in what you were taught, but it needs to be understood in the larger context of first judging yourself correctly.

    But it doesn’t mean not bringing critical judgement to bear, when a person is obviously not following the way he professes to be following. If you really believe that such a one is in danger of losing his soul, it is not friendship or love not to do all that one can to bring him back to his senses.

  242. a different tim
    October 9th, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

    OOps…..now I read it, there’s a para in there that sounds a little – well – conspiracy theory/paranoid. I’m a little tired. Forget I wrote it if you like (third from bottom…..)

  243. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 3:13 pm

    ADT: Where is the link you are pointing me to? I am either blind or a whole lot stupider than I ever dreamed ‘cuz I don’t see it.

    Re my ignorant question: For right now, until I can inform myself better, it has always seemed to me that natural selection, by its nature, rules out lots of changes over time because departures from whatever the norm is would be selected against. At least that is how it seems to work in cat breeding which I am fairly familiar with. We want a certain trait and muck around til we get it. We reject anything in subsequent litters that doesn’t fit that bill.

    If that is a valid comparison, I still think that the intermediate forms question is a bit of a problem.

  244. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 3:13 pm

    ADT: Where is the link you are pointing me to? I am either blind or a whole lot stupider than I ever dreamed ‘cuz I don’t see it.

    Re my ignorant question: For right now, until I can inform myself better, it has always seemed to me that natural selection, by its nature, rules out lots of changes over time because departures from whatever the norm is would be selected against. At least that is how it seems to work in cat breeding which I am fairly familiar with. We want a certain trait and muck around til we get it. We reject anything in subsequent litters that doesn’t fit that bill.

    If that is a valid comparison, I still think that the intermediate forms question is a bit of a problem.

  245. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 3:13 pm

    ADT: Where is the link you are pointing me to? I am either blind or a whole lot stupider than I ever dreamed ‘cuz I don’t see it.

    Re my ignorant question: For right now, until I can inform myself better, it has always seemed to me that natural selection, by its nature, rules out lots of changes over time because departures from whatever the norm is would be selected against. At least that is how it seems to work in cat breeding which I am fairly familiar with. We want a certain trait and muck around til we get it. We reject anything in subsequent litters that doesn’t fit that bill.

    If that is a valid comparison, I still think that the intermediate forms question is a bit of a problem.

  246. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 3:13 pm

    ADT: Where is the link you are pointing me to? I am either blind or a whole lot stupider than I ever dreamed ‘cuz I don’t see it.

    Re my ignorant question: For right now, until I can inform myself better, it has always seemed to me that natural selection, by its nature, rules out lots of changes over time because departures from whatever the norm is would be selected against. At least that is how it seems to work in cat breeding which I am fairly familiar with. We want a certain trait and muck around til we get it. We reject anything in subsequent litters that doesn’t fit that bill.

    If that is a valid comparison, I still think that the intermediate forms question is a bit of a problem.

  247. Lurker
    October 9th, 2005 @ 4:39 pm

    ADT said:
    I don’t like “preadaptation” as it implies purpose which Darwinism explicitly refutes.

    and then said….

    so the obvious answer is that they evolved for something else

    The last statement seems to conflict with the first. Evolving for something else implies a reason for evolving, i.e. purpose. Would feathers form because the animal needed to keep warm or would they form for no specific reason? Not sure how that all works.

  248. Steve G.
    October 9th, 2005 @ 4:40 pm

    On the Catholic/protestant position the Anglican communion is a case very close to the Catholic as they have apostolic succession and a heirarchy and are not Lutheran (Henry VIII hated Lutherans as he quite rightly saw them as a threat to royal power) – they do not take the view that “anyone can read the bible and witness the truth thereof” (and in fact the ArchB of C has criticised fundamentalists as “misreading the bible”).

    True, and I attempted to distinguish that some read it and interpret individually, while others do so in groups. That Anglicans claim apostolic succession is a good start, but then even the LDS/Mormons claim that. The claim needs to be examined if it

  249. Steve G.
    October 9th, 2005 @ 4:50 pm

    So what is left? You actually pretty much guessed it! I keep trying to swim the Tiber but there are some issues I can’t quite resolve.

    You should email me on this. While my own journey is not exactly the same as yours, they are similar enough that I would be willing to bet that I could list the

  250. a different tim
    October 9th, 2005 @ 5:28 pm

    Last post for tonight…maybe we should go to a forum or something as I am hogging my own thread now after all. Thanks, Steve…I’m not really up for defending the Anglicans – I was interested in the claim (which I have heard) that the American churches are essentially Gnostic. I guess I mentioned them as I was brought up Anglican. The apostolic succession can be traced however as Cranmer was originally ordained into the Catholic church.

    DM – the link is when you click on “wing” in the original post. It leads to a Sephen Jay Gould article called “not necessarily a wing”. The small steps are selected in response to a changing environment – something you are unlikely to see in the short term with the cats. That environment may be physical or selection could be in response to other biological entities (there is a theory that a lot of selection is in response to disease and parasite load), or as a result of differential breeding success by having a better display (which is called sexual selection). There is an interesting example of selection in response to disease and environment in the sickle cell gene. In temperate climates it tends to be eliminated quickly as it leads to sickle cell anaemia, but in the tropics (especially in west Africa) it persists as it gives some protection aganst malaria. However selection is most obvious in bacteria as they have such a short breeding cycle – traits such as antibiotic resistance, once established, rapidly spread through a population, and in a timescale that is easy to observe. Interestingly this even occurs with artificial antibiotics such as Vancomycin (which some staphylococcus are now immune to) making the trait more likely to be the result of a mutation than a preexisting wild trait. In the absence of antibiotics such traits carry a metabolic cost and tend to be eliminated.
    You are right in that most departures from the norm (mutations in the genome) are deleterious (like antibiotic resistance when there aren’t any antibiotics) and are selected against, but once an advantageous one comes along (or the environment changes in such a way as to make it advantageous) it spreads quite fast. The laws of chance tend to lead us to believe that ther are many more ways of going wrong than improving on an organism, which is why evolution takes a long time to happen. (An interesting prediction was made at the end of the 19th century when Lord Kelvin – Britain’s preeminent physicist at the time – said Darwin’s model could not be true as the sun could not have existed for the billions of years necessary. This was at a time when physics was the undisputed top science, and also when the sun was thought to burn by gravitational heating. It turned out Darwin was right and the physicists wrong – the physicists had the wrong mechanism for the sun’s heat as nuclear fusion was unknown at the time. This is a good example of evolution making a strong prediction that was vindicated.)

    This is also why it is thought that evolution does not take place in large jumps – it would be very hard to have a lot of mutations, all of which were advantageous. However note that a genetic large jump and a large jump in form are not quite the same – it only takes one mutation to produce a neotenous creature (one that breeds in the juvenile stage, which may look very different from the previous “adult” stage) such as the Axolotl (a Mexican salamander). In fact although axolotls live and breed looking very like large larval salamanders if adult hormones from another species are injected they metamorphose in to the (presumably) ancestral “adult” form. This is how we can tell they are truly neotenous and evolved from a more normal salamander. it is supected that humans are neotenous chimpanzees as we have many of the characteristics (flat face, upright stance, large head) of a juvenile chimp. Single mutations in the “homeobox” gene cluster may also have large physical effects by affecting an embyo early in its development.

    Lurker – I should have been more clear. The “purpose” thing refers to the ultimate purpose – a feather may indeed have evolved for thermoregulation but be coopted into flight. It is not likely that a feather would evolve from scratch for the purpose of flight as the early stages wouldn’t be airworthy. Once they reached a certain size they might turn out to be useful for gliding, then there may be a selection pressure in favour of better gliders, and finally flight.
    Now this is philosophically unsettling as it implies that there is no way Darwinian evolution can give ultimate purpose – selection is always in response to immediate environment, and always on individuals. There is no such thing as selection “for the good of the species” and there is no way a trait that might be useful in a few generations time can be selected for right now – so evolution has no goal. The emergence of humans must therefore be seen as a lucky (for us) accident, not some inevitable high point of history. However “philosophically unsettling” is no reason to reject something that has logic and evidence behind it. I personally find quantum mechanics philosophically unsettling but it seems to be true.

    Having said that we now have genetic engineering. We may not be intelligently designed with a goal in mind, but our grandchildren might…….

  251. a different tim
    October 9th, 2005 @ 5:32 pm

    Er..Steve. Ignore comment in last post on the succession. should have read your post more carefully.
    However I understand the Catholic ruling on contraception is relatively recent – only ex cathedra from the 20th century as far as I am aware.

  252. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 6:07 pm

    Steve: If you can edit out your address, pls do so. I know how to contact you, since I read Dawn’s blog and Mark Shea’s. And yes, I am darned sure you do know what my issues are! How predictable we mortals (at least protestants) be! This is more an emotional thing anyway, than an intellectual one in my case. I pretty much know that my objections won’t withstand serious challenge.

  253. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 6:07 pm

    Steve: If you can edit out your address, pls do so. I know how to contact you, since I read Dawn’s blog and Mark Shea’s. And yes, I am darned sure you do know what my issues are! How predictable we mortals (at least protestants) be! This is more an emotional thing anyway, than an intellectual one in my case. I pretty much know that my objections won’t withstand serious challenge.

  254. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 6:07 pm

    Steve: If you can edit out your address, pls do so. I know how to contact you, since I read Dawn’s blog and Mark Shea’s. And yes, I am darned sure you do know what my issues are! How predictable we mortals (at least protestants) be! This is more an emotional thing anyway, than an intellectual one in my case. I pretty much know that my objections won’t withstand serious challenge.

  255. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 6:07 pm

    Steve: If you can edit out your address, pls do so. I know how to contact you, since I read Dawn’s blog and Mark Shea’s. And yes, I am darned sure you do know what my issues are! How predictable we mortals (at least protestants) be! This is more an emotional thing anyway, than an intellectual one in my case. I pretty much know that my objections won’t withstand serious challenge.

  256. Lurker
    October 9th, 2005 @ 6:21 pm

    ADT said:
    a feather may indeed have evolved for thermoregulation but be coopted into flight.

    There it is again – a statement of purpose. Maybe you are meaning to select different words and it just doesn’t come out that way. Don’t know. Would it be accurate to say that feathers showed up for no reason whatsoever and ended up being used for something like thermoregulation?

  257. SteveG
    October 9th, 2005 @ 8:21 pm

    ADT:
    Sorry, I realize that you are more interested in the ID vs. evolution issue, but I said all I can really say much earlier. Fortunately for me, I have a friend who is a research biologist who walked me through a lot of this a while back. I also stumbled onto some writings by Ken Miller (if I correctly recall the name), who is a Catholic biologist whose tackled some of the ID claims. He’s fortunately able to write in a less antagonistic way to faith (being faithful himself) than many writers on the subject do. For me that made a huge difference. While I am not too sure of some of his theological positions, his ability to disarm the debate by speaking both languages as it were made the difference in allowing me to be able to hear what the other side was saying (though I was never a big fan of ID from the beginning. If any atheist is looking for someone to get through to believers, Miller might be a good place to point them.

    Any way, I just wanted to address this quickly….

    However I understand the Catholic ruling on contraception is relatively recent – only ex cathedra from the 20th century as far as I am aware.

    The Church only pronounces on something when it seriously comes into question. Prior to the Lambeth conference of the Anglicans in 1930, contraception was pretty much universally condemned by all Christendom. Only after that did it begin to rise to the level (especially in the 1960’s when the extremely effective pill became available) where it needed to be flatly stated what the Church’s position. So while this has always been the position of the Church, it’s never been talked about all that much, because frankly it didn’t need to be. Most ‘contraversial’ issues have a similar history. We finally get the clear proclamation of the nature of Christ only in response to Arianism for example.

    One final comment. I do agree with the statement that much of American Christianity has indeed fallen into a gnostic tendency as you describe.

  258. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:51 pm

    Dada saves

    While looking up the cases I had found, so that I could quote the relevant bits, I came across this site which might be of interest to you atheists:

    http://atheism.about.com/library/decisions/indexes/bl_l_DecisionIndex.htm

    This is brimming with legal information, cases of interest, etc. I did not take the time to try and evaluate the information but on the surface it looks legit.

    Now, as to what I found: In Cantwell (1940), the court held “The principle that government may accommodate the free exercise of religion does not supersede the fundamental limitations imposed by the Establishment Clause, which guarantees at a minimum that a government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in a way which “establishes a [state] religion or religious faith, or tends to do so.” The whole case can be found at :

    http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/90-1014.ZS.html

    In Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village School Dist. v. Grumet (1994) the court said “The First Amendment has a dual aspect. It not only ‘forestalls compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the practice of any form of worship’ but also ‘safeguards the free exercise of the chosen form of religion. The court was actually citing Cantwell here.

    I stopped here because the cases themselves were not strictly about freedom from religion but made these remarks as foundational for the resulting judgement. The chief defect of key word searching is that the ratio of garbage to treasure is very high and I am quite sure that I did not find the most important cases. However, the precedent is clear.

    The atheist law site that I alluded to above, may have more on “freedom from religion”.

  259. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:51 pm

    Dada saves

    While looking up the cases I had found, so that I could quote the relevant bits, I came across this site which might be of interest to you atheists:

    http://atheism.about.com/library/decisions/indexes/bl_l_DecisionIndex.htm

    This is brimming with legal information, cases of interest, etc. I did not take the time to try and evaluate the information but on the surface it looks legit.

    Now, as to what I found: In Cantwell (1940), the court held “The principle that government may accommodate the free exercise of religion does not supersede the fundamental limitations imposed by the Establishment Clause, which guarantees at a minimum that a government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in a way which “establishes a [state] religion or religious faith, or tends to do so.” The whole case can be found at :

    http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/90-1014.ZS.html

    In Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village School Dist. v. Grumet (1994) the court said “The First Amendment has a dual aspect. It not only ‘forestalls compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the practice of any form of worship’ but also ‘safeguards the free exercise of the chosen form of religion. The court was actually citing Cantwell here.

    I stopped here because the cases themselves were not strictly about freedom from religion but made these remarks as foundational for the resulting judgement. The chief defect of key word searching is that the ratio of garbage to treasure is very high and I am quite sure that I did not find the most important cases. However, the precedent is clear.

    The atheist law site that I alluded to above, may have more on “freedom from religion”.

  260. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:51 pm

    Dada saves

    While looking up the cases I had found, so that I could quote the relevant bits, I came across this site which might be of interest to you atheists:

    http://atheism.about.com/library/decisions/indexes/bl_l_DecisionIndex.htm

    This is brimming with legal information, cases of interest, etc. I did not take the time to try and evaluate the information but on the surface it looks legit.

    Now, as to what I found: In Cantwell (1940), the court held “The principle that government may accommodate the free exercise of religion does not supersede the fundamental limitations imposed by the Establishment Clause, which guarantees at a minimum that a government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in a way which “establishes a [state] religion or religious faith, or tends to do so.” The whole case can be found at :

    http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/90-1014.ZS.html

    In Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village School Dist. v. Grumet (1994) the court said “The First Amendment has a dual aspect. It not only ‘forestalls compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the practice of any form of worship’ but also ‘safeguards the free exercise of the chosen form of religion. The court was actually citing Cantwell here.

    I stopped here because the cases themselves were not strictly about freedom from religion but made these remarks as foundational for the resulting judgement. The chief defect of key word searching is that the ratio of garbage to treasure is very high and I am quite sure that I did not find the most important cases. However, the precedent is clear.

    The atheist law site that I alluded to above, may have more on “freedom from religion”.

  261. Daphne's mom
    October 9th, 2005 @ 9:51 pm

    Dada saves

    While looking up the cases I had found, so that I could quote the relevant bits, I came across this site which might be of interest to you atheists:

    http://atheism.about.com/library/decisions/indexes/bl_l_DecisionIndex.htm

    This is brimming with legal information, cases of interest, etc. I did not take the time to try and evaluate the information but on the surface it looks legit.

    Now, as to what I found: In Cantwell (1940), the court held “The principle that government may accommodate the free exercise of religion does not supersede the fundamental limitations imposed by the Establishment Clause, which guarantees at a minimum that a government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in a way which “establishes a [state] religion or religious faith, or tends to do so.” The whole case can be found at :

    http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/90-1014.ZS.html

    In Board of Educ. of Kiryas Joel Village School Dist. v. Grumet (1994) the court said “The First Amendment has a dual aspect. It not only ‘forestalls compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the practice of any form of worship’ but also ‘safeguards the free exercise of the chosen form of religion. The court was actually citing Cantwell here.

    I stopped here because the cases themselves were not strictly about freedom from religion but made these remarks as foundational for the resulting judgement. The chief defect of key word searching is that the ratio of garbage to treasure is very high and I am quite sure that I did not find the most important cases. However, the precedent is clear.

    The atheist law site that I alluded to above, may have more on “freedom from religion”.

  262. Jen
    October 9th, 2005 @ 11:13 pm

    Can someone please tell me, really, what is the problem with ID? Do athiest evolutionists feel threatened by a theory that they claim holds no water? Is it really that bad to introduce students to ALL of the facts and let them make their own decision? Evolutionists argue that ID is a weak arguement and does not belong in the classroom. I wonder, if it is so silly, what is this fight about then? Could it be fear of the truth? Does it scare you to know that in a matter of days, a volcanic eruption can creat a piece of petrified wood that was onced believed to take millions of years? Maybe it’s the part about the carbon dating that bothers everyone, now that we have figured out that it is seriously flawed. Umm….no, I think I have a better one. What about those dinosaur bones that have been found with red blood cells and hemoglobin inside. Science tells us that at the rate that stuff breaks down, it would only last a few thousand years. (that’s far short of the few billion required for evolution) Speaking of billions of years, evolutionists seem to keep pushing back the age of the earth to make this theory possible. So, where are we at now? Oh, yes, i remember, 4.6 billion years, that is how old the earth is according to evolution. Here’s the funny thing about that, science says that’s impossible. Don’t you know that at the rate that the moon is drifting away from the earth it actually would have been touching our planet 1.2 billion years ago? The probability of the earth sustaining life at that point is ZERO! 500 million years ago the earth would have been flooded twice a day, again making dinosaur life impossible. Don’t you think it is important that students know that 90% of the studies and tests ever performed to determine the actual age of the earth point towards a young earth of 6,000 to 20,000 years old? Yes, I said 90%, and we are worried about the separation of church and state? What about the truth? A missing link has never been found, not one! Still, there is no evidence of evolution of complex systems which means that by our own findings, we can not conclude that the human body evolved. Darwin himself said that if it could not be proven, his theory would fall apart. Well, I am saying that is has not been proven, and it never will. The human body can’t function without everything working, so evolution of our bodies would be impossible.

    As far as the Bible is concerned, it can, and should, be taken literally. Every proven scientific fact only confirms what the Bible already teaches us. (the age of the earth, dinosaurs, etc. have yet to be considered proven) The global flood in the Bible is quite credible and actually explains a lot in science. If you don’t know what I mean, read about it. It may do some of you some good to educate yourselves on the other side. The Bible talkes about Moses parting the Red Sea, wouldn’t that explain the chariot wheels and other artifacts of that day that were found at the very bottom of the sea? Those of you who ask about the defference between the Christian Bible as opposed to other holy books of different religions obviously haven’t done your homework. The Bible is the only book that has been found to be COMPLETELY historically accurate. Let’s not forget that science hasn’t even come close to discrediting anything written in it. We certainly can’t say the same for any one of those other holy books. Another arguement that I would like to add is simply that the Bible is a book pefectly written by all standards including moral, historical, and yes, even scientific. Please, anyone, show me otherwise.

  263. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:14 am

    Jen: The evolution vs ID debate has been lengthy and for me, at least, quite informative. Pretty much the last 20 comments (with a few deviations) have been devoted to it.

    As far as the Bible and how to read it are concerned, Steve G and I, the Dreaded Theists (along with Lurker), have spoken a bit about it. If you would like to read what we said without hunting for the comments, see 6,12, 28, 32, 135, 136 and 144.

  264. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:14 am

    Jen: The evolution vs ID debate has been lengthy and for me, at least, quite informative. Pretty much the last 20 comments (with a few deviations) have been devoted to it.

    As far as the Bible and how to read it are concerned, Steve G and I, the Dreaded Theists (along with Lurker), have spoken a bit about it. If you would like to read what we said without hunting for the comments, see 6,12, 28, 32, 135, 136 and 144.

  265. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:14 am

    Jen: The evolution vs ID debate has been lengthy and for me, at least, quite informative. Pretty much the last 20 comments (with a few deviations) have been devoted to it.

    As far as the Bible and how to read it are concerned, Steve G and I, the Dreaded Theists (along with Lurker), have spoken a bit about it. If you would like to read what we said without hunting for the comments, see 6,12, 28, 32, 135, 136 and 144.

  266. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:14 am

    Jen: The evolution vs ID debate has been lengthy and for me, at least, quite informative. Pretty much the last 20 comments (with a few deviations) have been devoted to it.

    As far as the Bible and how to read it are concerned, Steve G and I, the Dreaded Theists (along with Lurker), have spoken a bit about it. If you would like to read what we said without hunting for the comments, see 6,12, 28, 32, 135, 136 and 144.

  267. Steve G.
    October 10th, 2005 @ 8:38 am

    Jen,
    I am also a ‘theist’ (beleiver), and would like to comment, as well as suggesting you read the posts that DM points out. The bottom line problem is that ID is not really science. It offers no theory to test that can be proven or disproven in any way. It makes some observations (many of them dubious upon investigation), and says that because science hasn’t explained certain processes in detail yet, it must mean that their is a designer. That is not science, it’s philosophy, and it doesn’t belong in a science textbook or classroom.

    I agree that evolutionary theory can be aggendized itself, and can be taught almost as a belief system, but inellectually honest researchers and proponents gend to keep away from that. I even feel uncomfortable saying, or hearing someone say they ‘beleive in’ evolution. It either is a valid theory or isn’t, and all the evidence ‘so far’ appears to say it is. And there is absolutely no reason why our faith need be threatened by this.

    As far as reading the bible literally, since I assume that you believe the bible is the sole authority in the life of the beleiver (meaning that all doctrine must be explicitely found there), I’d have to ask where the doctrine that the bible must be read literally is to be found in scripture itself?

  268. Dada Saves
    October 10th, 2005 @ 9:29 am

    Daphne’s Mom,

    Thank you for the follow-up. (And that link; it’s useful.) I agree that some individual court cases have protected, or at least recognized, the rights of those who do NOT worship in any way. Thank God!

    My little bone of contention is that said protections are not clearly delineated in the Constitution, which is perhaps purposefully vague on the issue. Again though, thanks.

  269. Debbie
    October 10th, 2005 @ 10:41 am

    Steve,

    I presume that you live in the US and for the reasons you have stated I can understand why you might find Catholicism attractive if you are looking for a source of authority in guiding your faith.

    But to the Europeans who have many centuries of direct experience of the operation of the Catholic church they see an organization which is as un-‘christlike’ as it could be. And I’m not looking back hundreds of years – it is still their way of operating today. For example, the excessive opulence and grandure of the Vatican and many major European cathedrals built and maintained from the incomes of the very poor, use of fear and guilt as primary recruitment and retention mechanisms; their criminal coverups regarding paedophile priests, use of child slave labor in Irish orphanages. Power leads to arrogance to corruption and then to immoral and criminal behavior.

    The Catholic church has been long on statements on morality, but very lacking in actual moral leadership.

  270. daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 11:01 am

    Debbie:

    Forgive me for jumping in here but your list of sins of the church lacks some context. One of the things that I find puzzling is that most people seem to think that those professing the faith are going to do so perfectly. They simply don’t get that we all “see in a mirror dimly” so to speak. We are members of a society, at a specific point in time, with a specific culture and a specific shared history and language that conditions how we see and understand things. The Catholic Church is as much a product in its outer being, so to speak, of the culture as it is a shaper of it. It draws its clergy just as much as it does its believers from the same people. Now I don’t deny that when I look back on history, I wish that the church could have been less entagled in the secular affairs of the day. But how? Short of a race of non-humans rocketing in and running the show, I fail to see how. This, however, does not mean that its teachings are wrong.

    This leads inevitably to the question: why do you think you and your fellow atheists see clearly? What has allowed you to break the bonds of time, place, culture and language to be so sure that you can run things better? Europe is in chaos. That little piece asinine fatuity of denying an Italian Catholic a govt position in the EU was really telling. What makes you think that the most corrupt bunch of beaurocrats since the Byzantine court of Constantine thinks clearly and rules wisely?

    In some ways it doesn’t matter. Europe is dying. Abortion and post-modern dislike of children has led to steeply declining populations in Europe and, as you undoubtedly know, the projection is that Europe will be a majority Islamic state in what? 30 years? If you think the entanglement of church and state is a good thing, you are going to love shari’a.

  271. daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 11:01 am

    Debbie:

    Forgive me for jumping in here but your list of sins of the church lacks some context. One of the things that I find puzzling is that most people seem to think that those professing the faith are going to do so perfectly. They simply don’t get that we all “see in a mirror dimly” so to speak. We are members of a society, at a specific point in time, with a specific culture and a specific shared history and language that conditions how we see and understand things. The Catholic Church is as much a product in its outer being, so to speak, of the culture as it is a shaper of it. It draws its clergy just as much as it does its believers from the same people. Now I don’t deny that when I look back on history, I wish that the church could have been less entagled in the secular affairs of the day. But how? Short of a race of non-humans rocketing in and running the show, I fail to see how. This, however, does not mean that its teachings are wrong.

    This leads inevitably to the question: why do you think you and your fellow atheists see clearly? What has allowed you to break the bonds of time, place, culture and language to be so sure that you can run things better? Europe is in chaos. That little piece asinine fatuity of denying an Italian Catholic a govt position in the EU was really telling. What makes you think that the most corrupt bunch of beaurocrats since the Byzantine court of Constantine thinks clearly and rules wisely?

    In some ways it doesn’t matter. Europe is dying. Abortion and post-modern dislike of children has led to steeply declining populations in Europe and, as you undoubtedly know, the projection is that Europe will be a majority Islamic state in what? 30 years? If you think the entanglement of church and state is a good thing, you are going to love shari’a.

  272. daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 11:01 am

    Debbie:

    Forgive me for jumping in here but your list of sins of the church lacks some context. One of the things that I find puzzling is that most people seem to think that those professing the faith are going to do so perfectly. They simply don’t get that we all “see in a mirror dimly” so to speak. We are members of a society, at a specific point in time, with a specific culture and a specific shared history and language that conditions how we see and understand things. The Catholic Church is as much a product in its outer being, so to speak, of the culture as it is a shaper of it. It draws its clergy just as much as it does its believers from the same people. Now I don’t deny that when I look back on history, I wish that the church could have been less entagled in the secular affairs of the day. But how? Short of a race of non-humans rocketing in and running the show, I fail to see how. This, however, does not mean that its teachings are wrong.

    This leads inevitably to the question: why do you think you and your fellow atheists see clearly? What has allowed you to break the bonds of time, place, culture and language to be so sure that you can run things better? Europe is in chaos. That little piece asinine fatuity of denying an Italian Catholic a govt position in the EU was really telling. What makes you think that the most corrupt bunch of beaurocrats since the Byzantine court of Constantine thinks clearly and rules wisely?

    In some ways it doesn’t matter. Europe is dying. Abortion and post-modern dislike of children has led to steeply declining populations in Europe and, as you undoubtedly know, the projection is that Europe will be a majority Islamic state in what? 30 years? If you think the entanglement of church and state is a good thing, you are going to love shari’a.

  273. daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 11:01 am

    Debbie:

    Forgive me for jumping in here but your list of sins of the church lacks some context. One of the things that I find puzzling is that most people seem to think that those professing the faith are going to do so perfectly. They simply don’t get that we all “see in a mirror dimly” so to speak. We are members of a society, at a specific point in time, with a specific culture and a specific shared history and language that conditions how we see and understand things. The Catholic Church is as much a product in its outer being, so to speak, of the culture as it is a shaper of it. It draws its clergy just as much as it does its believers from the same people. Now I don’t deny that when I look back on history, I wish that the church could have been less entagled in the secular affairs of the day. But how? Short of a race of non-humans rocketing in and running the show, I fail to see how. This, however, does not mean that its teachings are wrong.

    This leads inevitably to the question: why do you think you and your fellow atheists see clearly? What has allowed you to break the bonds of time, place, culture and language to be so sure that you can run things better? Europe is in chaos. That little piece asinine fatuity of denying an Italian Catholic a govt position in the EU was really telling. What makes you think that the most corrupt bunch of beaurocrats since the Byzantine court of Constantine thinks clearly and rules wisely?

    In some ways it doesn’t matter. Europe is dying. Abortion and post-modern dislike of children has led to steeply declining populations in Europe and, as you undoubtedly know, the projection is that Europe will be a majority Islamic state in what? 30 years? If you think the entanglement of church and state is a good thing, you are going to love shari’a.

  274. SteveG
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:00 pm

    Debbie:
    But to the Europeans who have many centuries of direct experience of the operation of the Catholic church they see an organization which is as un-‘christlike’ as it could be. And I’m not looking back hundreds of years – it is still their way of operating today. For example, the excessive opulence and grandure of the Vatican and many major European cathedrals built and maintained from the incomes of the very poor, use of fear and guilt as primary recruitment and retention mechanisms; their criminal coverups regarding paedophile priests, use of child slave labor in Irish orphanages.

    While it’s true that we don’t have the history of disastrous intermingling of the secular government with the Church (the Catholic Church anyway), we have to deal with many of the same things here. But, I tend to look at the entire set of issues you bring up in a different light. Firstly, with regard to judging the excessive opulence and grandeur as un-Christ like, I think you might be wrong there. Christ was a Jew, and if the gospels are to be trusted at all, we know that he attended synagogue, and referred to the opulence of them, but never really condemned that opulence. As fleshly creatures, the artistic, and the beautiful is important in inspiring us whether we are Catholic or Atheist. I have no shame in the fact that some of the greatest works of art, and some of the most beautiful architecture ever implemented has come from the church in it’s attempt to build something worthy of lifting our eyes from the dust of the ground to the heights of the heavens. To the extent that this opulence exists at the expense of the poor, that is indeed not a good thing, but I’ll modestly suggest that the two goals (helping the poor and creating works of beauty) are not mutually exclusive, and are both necessary as part of being human. We are not Gnostic after all.

    And for every Cathedral that you might think money wasted on, the church has created a hospital here, a university there, a charitable organization over here, etc. I would never suggest that the Church members are guiltless, or haven’t done terrible things. I will strongly suggest though that the credit the Church deserves in the development of the western world in terms of science (yes science), philosophy, reason (yes reason), charity, and the rest, is more often than not overlooked in the rush to bash the failings of it’s members.

    The church is accused of supporting slavery, which is not true….
    Slavery

    …the church is accused of being anti-science based mostly on one false charge…
    Flat-Earth

    …and one misunderstood charge (that when looked at in detail is not flattering to the church, but not quite so damning as some people like to pretend.)….
    Galileo

    …The list of false or twisted charges goes on and on. As Chesterton said, any stick seems good enough to beat the Catholic Church with.

    I won’t deny what you’ve stated, but it’s only a very small part of the story. Here is just another small part of the rest…..

    Stark on Catholicism and Science
    The myth of the conflict 1
    The myth of the conflict 2
    The myth of the conflict 3

    Power leads to arrogance to corruption and then to immoral and criminal behavior. The Catholic church has been long on statements on morality, but very lacking in actual moral leadership.

    True, but I never became Catholic thinking that I was going to find anything other than the normal imperfect human beings populating the church (it

  275. a different tim
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:10 pm

    OK, Lurker, you can if you like, say that a proto feather, or mutated scale, arose for no reason and then was coopted for thermoregulation. Most mutations arise at random, and the useful ones get selected. There was some detail in this in the above posts.

    Jen – I hadn’t heard about the moon because IT’S NOT TRUE. Someone has been lying to you about known scientific facts. And those same people want ID in classrooms. There are tree ring series older than 12000 years. The stuff about 90% of the tests is, I’m afraid, such utter rubbish that I can’t think of anything appropriate to say. In the words of Linus Pauling, “not even wrong”. Follow the “no controversy to teach” link for more.

    Would you give people “the full facts” and let them choose between alchemy and chemistry? Or Heliocentric and Geocentric astronomy? Of course not. And any book which rates Pi as equal to three is not scientifically accurate in any sense of the word (Steve, I can’t remember the reference but I do remember the argument). Much of the bible, as even most theists admit, is to be taken as metaphor or spiritual guidance.

    sorry to be a bit abrupt but I’m typing this from work and need to teach a class…..

    PS as someone who lives there Europe seems to be doing OK. And muslim majority in 30 years? Don’t think so. Sounds like the kind of figure put about by Immigration Watch (UK racist organisation with respectable front). There’s a lot of scaremongering from the likes of these people and most of it is based on false statistics, but when they get to US websites I appreciate it can be hard to tell from that side of the pond which ones are real and which ones aren’t. European populations are roughly static as the birthrate roughly balances the deathrate. The demographic “crisis” is far more about population stabilising at normal levels after the baby boom generation.

  276. SteveG
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:19 pm

    Of course not. And any book which rates Pi as equal to three is not scientifically accurate in any sense of the word (Steve, I can’t remember the reference but I do remember the argument).

    Not sure I follow?

  277. a different tim
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:32 pm

    I seem to recall a while back in a debate on scientific accuracy of the bible a passage about a bowl of brimstone in which Pi came out equal to three. I think you* pointed out that this should be taken as a metaphorical passage. The reat of us were complaining that it seems a little unfair to claim a bit of bible as metaphor just because it’s wildly inaccurate.
    I didn’t raise this to have a go at you, but to point out that it’s ludicrous to claim literal accuracy (as Jen was doing) for the bible.

    *Come to think of it, it might have been Frank. Oops. Sorry.

  278. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:37 pm

    ADT: The coming muslim majority is a fact and no demographer worth his salt will tell you that the population of Europe is stable or stabilizing. Japan is nearly gone too. This is a wide-spread phenomenon in countries that have limited child-bearing and lots and lots of abortion. The US is only barely hanging on, reproducing just at replacement level. Unfortunately, it is mostly immigrants who are reproducing, as in Europe. Fortunately, they aren’t muslims.

    Parts of the former East Germany have so depopulated that forests have reclaimed what were once bustling villages and wolves, which were virtually extinct, are back. It is a grim scenario, no lie.

    In fact, I read in the news just this week that France is bribing its married women (either with subsidies or tax cuts, can’t remember which) to have a second child. Too little, too late.

    Now, this ought to derail your thread, even further… (:

  279. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:37 pm

    ADT: The coming muslim majority is a fact and no demographer worth his salt will tell you that the population of Europe is stable or stabilizing. Japan is nearly gone too. This is a wide-spread phenomenon in countries that have limited child-bearing and lots and lots of abortion. The US is only barely hanging on, reproducing just at replacement level. Unfortunately, it is mostly immigrants who are reproducing, as in Europe. Fortunately, they aren’t muslims.

    Parts of the former East Germany have so depopulated that forests have reclaimed what were once bustling villages and wolves, which were virtually extinct, are back. It is a grim scenario, no lie.

    In fact, I read in the news just this week that France is bribing its married women (either with subsidies or tax cuts, can’t remember which) to have a second child. Too little, too late.

    Now, this ought to derail your thread, even further… (:

  280. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:37 pm

    ADT: The coming muslim majority is a fact and no demographer worth his salt will tell you that the population of Europe is stable or stabilizing. Japan is nearly gone too. This is a wide-spread phenomenon in countries that have limited child-bearing and lots and lots of abortion. The US is only barely hanging on, reproducing just at replacement level. Unfortunately, it is mostly immigrants who are reproducing, as in Europe. Fortunately, they aren’t muslims.

    Parts of the former East Germany have so depopulated that forests have reclaimed what were once bustling villages and wolves, which were virtually extinct, are back. It is a grim scenario, no lie.

    In fact, I read in the news just this week that France is bribing its married women (either with subsidies or tax cuts, can’t remember which) to have a second child. Too little, too late.

    Now, this ought to derail your thread, even further… (:

  281. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:37 pm

    ADT: The coming muslim majority is a fact and no demographer worth his salt will tell you that the population of Europe is stable or stabilizing. Japan is nearly gone too. This is a wide-spread phenomenon in countries that have limited child-bearing and lots and lots of abortion. The US is only barely hanging on, reproducing just at replacement level. Unfortunately, it is mostly immigrants who are reproducing, as in Europe. Fortunately, they aren’t muslims.

    Parts of the former East Germany have so depopulated that forests have reclaimed what were once bustling villages and wolves, which were virtually extinct, are back. It is a grim scenario, no lie.

    In fact, I read in the news just this week that France is bribing its married women (either with subsidies or tax cuts, can’t remember which) to have a second child. Too little, too late.

    Now, this ought to derail your thread, even further… (:

  282. SteveG
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:40 pm

    No problem. Probably was Frank, as I don’t recall that, and would likely have given a different answer. After all, I’ve only been hanging out here about a month or two, so it likely predates me.

  283. SteveG
    October 10th, 2005 @ 12:46 pm

    ADT:
    I think DM is correct on this. I’ve read the last report on population from the UN and it flatly states that Europe as a whole is facing depopulation over the next 50 to 100 years.* In some cases (Italy if I recall correctly, where the birthrate is 1.2) they are looking at staggering depopulation of something like 25-50%. If European social systems are structured anything like ours (my understanding is they are), you (figurative) are in for a heep of trouble when the baby boom generation is fully retired. This has been widely reported in news journals as well. I even recall reading a brief discussion of it in National Geographic.

    *I can dig this up if you like.

  284. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 1:12 pm

    Steve: I am on the case. I am pretty sure ADT isn’t gonna let me get away with my claim without wanting some corroborating research. So I pulled up a bunch;

    This comes from France and is the most accessible chart of birth rates to European women. All are well below the 2.1 babies per woman that constitutes replacement:

    http://www.ined.fr/englishversion/figures/developed-countries/indexE.html

    Here is a pdf (slow to load) from the Vienna Institute for Demography:

    http://www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/

    And here is a New York Times article from 1998 talking about the issue.

    There is so much more out there but you are perfectly capable of finding it, if this subject is of interest to you.

  285. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 1:12 pm

    Steve: I am on the case. I am pretty sure ADT isn’t gonna let me get away with my claim without wanting some corroborating research. So I pulled up a bunch;

    This comes from France and is the most accessible chart of birth rates to European women. All are well below the 2.1 babies per woman that constitutes replacement:

    http://www.ined.fr/englishversion/figures/developed-countries/indexE.html

    Here is a pdf (slow to load) from the Vienna Institute for Demography:

    http://www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/

    And here is a New York Times article from 1998 talking about the issue.

    There is so much more out there but you are perfectly capable of finding it, if this subject is of interest to you.

  286. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 1:12 pm

    Steve: I am on the case. I am pretty sure ADT isn’t gonna let me get away with my claim without wanting some corroborating research. So I pulled up a bunch;

    This comes from France and is the most accessible chart of birth rates to European women. All are well below the 2.1 babies per woman that constitutes replacement:

    http://www.ined.fr/englishversion/figures/developed-countries/indexE.html

    Here is a pdf (slow to load) from the Vienna Institute for Demography:

    http://www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/

    And here is a New York Times article from 1998 talking about the issue.

    There is so much more out there but you are perfectly capable of finding it, if this subject is of interest to you.

  287. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 1:12 pm

    Steve: I am on the case. I am pretty sure ADT isn’t gonna let me get away with my claim without wanting some corroborating research. So I pulled up a bunch;

    This comes from France and is the most accessible chart of birth rates to European women. All are well below the 2.1 babies per woman that constitutes replacement:

    http://www.ined.fr/englishversion/figures/developed-countries/indexE.html

    Here is a pdf (slow to load) from the Vienna Institute for Demography:

    http://www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/

    And here is a New York Times article from 1998 talking about the issue.

    There is so much more out there but you are perfectly capable of finding it, if this subject is of interest to you.

  288. Jen
    October 10th, 2005 @ 1:43 pm

    Steve G,
    Obviously there is symbolism in the Bible, like in the book of Revelation. As a seminary student, I’d like to point out that after careful study of the Bible, it is increadibly easy to figure out what is symbolical, and what is not. The account in Genesis of the earth being created in six literal days, that actually means 6 days. As a Christian, I am unclear how some can claim to live by scripture, believe in the all powerful God, and somehow deny that He could create the Heavens, the earth, and everything on it in 6 days.
    ADT,
    I know that you’d like to think that I am misinformed, but that is simply not true. I have spent a long time studying this, and I get my information from many resources. It seems that the internet is easily accessible to you, why don’t you look up the moon drift? I am certain that you will find this information on many credible websites.
    Also, this passage in the Bible you speak of, show me. If you can’t figure out that one, give me another. I’d bet you can’t get me one proven inaccuracy, not one.
    I am really looking forward to this.

  289. Jim
    October 10th, 2005 @ 1:44 pm

    The obsession with the increase in muslims is pretty depressing, really.

    We’ve seen throughout history, both recent and in the past, that other religions, including Christians, are equally capable of acts of horror towards one another, so it’s clear that simply being a member of one group or another is not the only factor that determine whether or not you’ll be some kind of bloody, oppressive, fundy murdering bastard.

  290. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 2:26 pm

    Jen: Of course God could have created the world in seven days, he could have done it in 7 hours. The question is did he? The creation cannot have taken six 24 hour days; the sun and moon were created after the earth and its vegetation were.

    I don’t know why you feel that we must read the Bible so literally. I don’t know what you can mean by perfectly written. It was not dictated by God so it cannot be scientifically perfect (accurate) unless it was so dictated. God reveals himself to us in many ways but we can only understand what we are in a position to understand. In a prescientific era, I would expect a fable-like account of the creation of the world. That has zero effect on my absolute certainty that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God.

    What will you do with the seminary education you are receiving?

    Jim! You had a relapse. Hope you feel better soon.

  291. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 2:26 pm

    Jen: Of course God could have created the world in seven days, he could have done it in 7 hours. The question is did he? The creation cannot have taken six 24 hour days; the sun and moon were created after the earth and its vegetation were.

    I don’t know why you feel that we must read the Bible so literally. I don’t know what you can mean by perfectly written. It was not dictated by God so it cannot be scientifically perfect (accurate) unless it was so dictated. God reveals himself to us in many ways but we can only understand what we are in a position to understand. In a prescientific era, I would expect a fable-like account of the creation of the world. That has zero effect on my absolute certainty that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God.

    What will you do with the seminary education you are receiving?

    Jim! You had a relapse. Hope you feel better soon.

  292. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 2:26 pm

    Jen: Of course God could have created the world in seven days, he could have done it in 7 hours. The question is did he? The creation cannot have taken six 24 hour days; the sun and moon were created after the earth and its vegetation were.

    I don’t know why you feel that we must read the Bible so literally. I don’t know what you can mean by perfectly written. It was not dictated by God so it cannot be scientifically perfect (accurate) unless it was so dictated. God reveals himself to us in many ways but we can only understand what we are in a position to understand. In a prescientific era, I would expect a fable-like account of the creation of the world. That has zero effect on my absolute certainty that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God.

    What will you do with the seminary education you are receiving?

    Jim! You had a relapse. Hope you feel better soon.

  293. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 2:26 pm

    Jen: Of course God could have created the world in seven days, he could have done it in 7 hours. The question is did he? The creation cannot have taken six 24 hour days; the sun and moon were created after the earth and its vegetation were.

    I don’t know why you feel that we must read the Bible so literally. I don’t know what you can mean by perfectly written. It was not dictated by God so it cannot be scientifically perfect (accurate) unless it was so dictated. God reveals himself to us in many ways but we can only understand what we are in a position to understand. In a prescientific era, I would expect a fable-like account of the creation of the world. That has zero effect on my absolute certainty that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God.

    What will you do with the seminary education you are receiving?

    Jim! You had a relapse. Hope you feel better soon.

  294. Lurker
    October 10th, 2005 @ 2:44 pm

    Jen:
    Which definition of the hebrew word “yowm” do you want to use? To say “24 hrs” is a literal reading and some other period of time is not a literal reading is silly to me. Both are literal readings. It seems the real question at hand is which literal reading is the best and is internally consistant with the rest of scripture.

  295. SteveG
    October 10th, 2005 @ 2:48 pm

    Jen:
    Obviously there is symbolism in the Bible, like in the book of Revelation. As a seminary student, I’d like to point out that after careful study of the Bible, it is increadibly easy to figure out what is symbolical, and what is not.

    I

  296. a different tim
    October 10th, 2005 @ 3:01 pm

    Jen – I Kings 7:23, KJV – “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about”. Pi is the relationship between the circumference of a circle and its diameter. So according to this, Pi=3. A “metaphorical” passage, no doubt. I seem to recall Frank postulating a brim (not mentioned in Kings) to explain it.

    I consider you rather worse than misinformed. I think you have been actively lied to, and you may wish to consider who has done it and what they may hope to achieve thereby. Most theists have abandoned a literal interperetation of Genesis because there are an enormous amount of carefully measured and meticulously documented observations which contradict it.

    For example – 12000 years (being generous – Bishop Usher calculated from the ages of the patriarchs a date of about 6000 years and I see no reason to doubt his calculation) or rather more? Let’s see. Apart from the tree ring series, there are ice cores (Greenland and Antarctic), carbon dates, archaeological artefacts etc all of which come out at over 12000 years. That’s not to mention the potassium-argon dates, soil deposition rates, solar spectrograms (which indicate the sun is about half way through its life on the main sequence – about 4.5 billion years for a type G star), magnetic flux patterns laid down in ocean beds indicating billions of years of continental drift, etc. All of which are well in tune with Darwin’s timescale.
    Maybe it’s the earth that’s the problem. But then again, the Hubble constant cames out as the universe being about 13.5 billion years old. There are plenty of stars more than 12000 light years distant (measured by the independent method of type 1 supernovae). If the earth was younger than 12000 years we would not see anything more than 12000 light years away.
    What I would like to know is who did these “90% of tests”, or who told you they were done. I know of no scientific establishment (and believe me, I would know) that has come up with a young earth estimate since about 1800.

    Lunar drift is about 4 cm per year according to this site http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/moon_mechanics_0303018.html which also attests that a billion years ago it only took 20 days to complete an orbit. A simple calculation shows that, if it recedes at 4cm per year it would have been 40,000km closer a billion years ago. As it is 450,000km away now it would have still been 410,000km away then. Looks like someone misplaced a decimal point. Now in fact it was probably a bit closer as the tidal effect would have been stronger when the moon was closer to earth – but not that much stronger.

    I’m not trying to turn you atheist here, but I don’t think you can accuse the likes of Steve G of “not living by scripture” because he takes some of the more obvious absurdities to be metaphorical. I, of course, think the writers meant it literally, and that therefore it is all discredited, but then I’m an atheist.

    DM – something occurred to me today re your cat breeding – The entire first section of the Origin of Species is made up of careful observations of pigeon breeding. Darwin lived in a society where animal husbandry was still a major part of the economy – he would not be able to get away with a theory that contradicted what breeders knew. In fact, he documents pigeons, breeds them, back crosses them, considers one explanation, considers another, and finally is led to natural selection as the only one that accounts for the facts. He argues better than I do, although the prose is a bit Victorian. It’s worth reading, to see what he actually said, if you’re serious about finding out about evolution and what evolutionists are saying.

    Last post tonight. Jen, if you want links why not follow the one here and some of those in the original post – although I have gone for the popular versions in the interests of comprehensibility it only takes one or two clicks to track to the original research in most cases.

  297. SteveG
    October 10th, 2005 @ 3:07 pm

    Also, this passage in the Bible you speak of, show me. If you can’t figure out that one, give me another. I’d bet you can’t get me one proven inaccuracy, not one.
    I am really looking forward to this.

    He’s referring to 1 Kings 7 verse 23. It reads:

    And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

    If you read that carefully, you can see that this is a description of pi. A inaccurate description of pi given as 30/10 or 3 (instead of 3.14159265358979323). It’s not a big deal if you consider it an approximation given in the bible, and understand that the intent of scriptures is not to provide scientific or mathematic accuracy in all cases (it’s not what the writers were most concerned with). But if you are going to argue that the bible is perfect in that sense, you’ll have a hard time reconciling this.

  298. Jim
    October 10th, 2005 @ 3:18 pm

    DM: I haven’t had any particular kind of relapse. I pointed out something that anyone who pays attention to the facts knows: that there are multiple factors that determine whether a theist will be simply a theist or a murdering theist. If you’d care to debate that, I’m all ears.

  299. Debbie
    October 10th, 2005 @ 5:35 pm

    DM,

    In post #166 … are you seriously arguing ANY of that to be true? Your comments on Europe in particular are both ignorant and hateful. Do you really believe that? And WHERE did you learn to spell bureaucrats (beaurocrats) like that? Hardly a typo. Is that how they teach spelling at Liberty University or Bob Jones? ;-)

    You claim that I’m looking for perfection from the Church. I’d just like, among other things, for the nuns in Ireland not to have used child slave labor in the late 20th century. For all my failings, forced child slave labor hasn’t been one of them, and I have never claimed to be a moral leader like the Catholic Church has.

    Steve, my reference to slavery was that which ocurred until recently in Irish orphanages (look up the Sisters of Mercy and the Magdalene Asylums if you are unaware of it. Having grown up in Ireland and experienced at first hand the behavior of the Catholic Church I see that their good works are so few compared to their atrocities. You should save your time by responding to the point made, not ones you wish I had made ;-)

    My experience was fortunately nothing as bad as that of those in the Magdalene Asylums, but let me give you an example of how the Irish Catholic Church tried to impose it’s world view on me. The nuns ran all the local girls’ schools including those that were state funded. NONE of these schools offered advanced classes in mathematics or physics, thus denying a career in the physical sciences and many other fields to Irish women. Teaching, nursing and clerical work were the recommended paths. I had a strong interest in the sciences (and aptitude too, I suppose you could argue, as I was awarded a Ph.D later) and to enable me to pursue a degree in engineering in the late 70’s I attended a Protestant school where these courses were offered. In my freshman class of 50 of the brightest students in Ireland, 3 were women because of the Catholic Church determined what were appropriate subjects for girls to study. Talk about a glass ceiling. Oh and by the way that was 1970’s … not the 1570’s, 1670’s, 1770’s or even the 1870’s.

  300. SteveG
    October 10th, 2005 @ 6:57 pm

    Debbie:
    I admit it was somewhat off point, and wasn’t bringing in slavery in response to your comment. Just a chance for met o do a mini-rant regarding some of the charges the Church gets slammed with. :-) Some are deserved, some are not.

  301. SteveG
    October 10th, 2005 @ 6:59 pm

    actually, not somewhat off point. A lot of point. :-)

  302. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 7:33 pm

    Hi Debbie:
    What was ignorant and hateful about what I posted in 166? The bit about where population in Europe is headed? If so, all I can say is consult the links I posted in 174.

    If you are referring to my spelling of bureaucrat; well, now you have gone and done it. You have spoiled the homage I pay to the gods so they won’t think I am competing with their perfection. If Athena comes along and turns me into a spider, you will be to blame!

    A little more seriously though. Why is it hateful to post that muslims are going to be the majority in Europe somewhere in the next 30-50 years? That is a proposition and, as you know, propostions are either true or false. It might be ignorant but then you have discount a huge body of study, most of it done in Europe, that indicates that Europeans in a position to worry about this stuff are really worried.

    Truthfully, this garbage about racisim or being hateful or being ignorant that gets thrown around so casually these days to indicate your disagreement with … whatever has totally robbed those words of any power to wound. I don’t think that is an unalloyed good thing.

  303. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 7:33 pm

    Hi Debbie:
    What was ignorant and hateful about what I posted in 166? The bit about where population in Europe is headed? If so, all I can say is consult the links I posted in 174.

    If you are referring to my spelling of bureaucrat; well, now you have gone and done it. You have spoiled the homage I pay to the gods so they won’t think I am competing with their perfection. If Athena comes along and turns me into a spider, you will be to blame!

    A little more seriously though. Why is it hateful to post that muslims are going to be the majority in Europe somewhere in the next 30-50 years? That is a proposition and, as you know, propostions are either true or false. It might be ignorant but then you have discount a huge body of study, most of it done in Europe, that indicates that Europeans in a position to worry about this stuff are really worried.

    Truthfully, this garbage about racisim or being hateful or being ignorant that gets thrown around so casually these days to indicate your disagreement with … whatever has totally robbed those words of any power to wound. I don’t think that is an unalloyed good thing.

  304. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 7:33 pm

    Hi Debbie:
    What was ignorant and hateful about what I posted in 166? The bit about where population in Europe is headed? If so, all I can say is consult the links I posted in 174.

    If you are referring to my spelling of bureaucrat; well, now you have gone and done it. You have spoiled the homage I pay to the gods so they won’t think I am competing with their perfection. If Athena comes along and turns me into a spider, you will be to blame!

    A little more seriously though. Why is it hateful to post that muslims are going to be the majority in Europe somewhere in the next 30-50 years? That is a proposition and, as you know, propostions are either true or false. It might be ignorant but then you have discount a huge body of study, most of it done in Europe, that indicates that Europeans in a position to worry about this stuff are really worried.

    Truthfully, this garbage about racisim or being hateful or being ignorant that gets thrown around so casually these days to indicate your disagreement with … whatever has totally robbed those words of any power to wound. I don’t think that is an unalloyed good thing.

  305. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 7:33 pm

    Hi Debbie:
    What was ignorant and hateful about what I posted in 166? The bit about where population in Europe is headed? If so, all I can say is consult the links I posted in 174.

    If you are referring to my spelling of bureaucrat; well, now you have gone and done it. You have spoiled the homage I pay to the gods so they won’t think I am competing with their perfection. If Athena comes along and turns me into a spider, you will be to blame!

    A little more seriously though. Why is it hateful to post that muslims are going to be the majority in Europe somewhere in the next 30-50 years? That is a proposition and, as you know, propostions are either true or false. It might be ignorant but then you have discount a huge body of study, most of it done in Europe, that indicates that Europeans in a position to worry about this stuff are really worried.

    Truthfully, this garbage about racisim or being hateful or being ignorant that gets thrown around so casually these days to indicate your disagreement with … whatever has totally robbed those words of any power to wound. I don’t think that is an unalloyed good thing.

  306. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 7:49 pm

    Debbie: I completely forgot to ask you why you didn’t answer my question about the putative advantage in having atheists reign over the EU. I wrote:

    This leads inevitably to the question: why do you think you and your fellow atheists see clearly? What has allowed you to break the bonds of time, place, culture and language to be so sure that you can run things better? Europe is in chaos. That little piece [of] asinine fatuity of denying an Italian Catholic a govt position in the EU was really telling. What makes you think that the most corrupt bunch of bureaucrats [pace Debbie] since the Byzantine court of Constantine thinks clearly and rules wisely?

    So. How about a few words to support your atheistic superiority over the rest of us mere believing mortals?

  307. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 7:49 pm

    Debbie: I completely forgot to ask you why you didn’t answer my question about the putative advantage in having atheists reign over the EU. I wrote:

    This leads inevitably to the question: why do you think you and your fellow atheists see clearly? What has allowed you to break the bonds of time, place, culture and language to be so sure that you can run things better? Europe is in chaos. That little piece [of] asinine fatuity of denying an Italian Catholic a govt position in the EU was really telling. What makes you think that the most corrupt bunch of bureaucrats [pace Debbie] since the Byzantine court of Constantine thinks clearly and rules wisely?

    So. How about a few words to support your atheistic superiority over the rest of us mere believing mortals?

  308. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 7:49 pm

    Debbie: I completely forgot to ask you why you didn’t answer my question about the putative advantage in having atheists reign over the EU. I wrote:

    This leads inevitably to the question: why do you think you and your fellow atheists see clearly? What has allowed you to break the bonds of time, place, culture and language to be so sure that you can run things better? Europe is in chaos. That little piece [of] asinine fatuity of denying an Italian Catholic a govt position in the EU was really telling. What makes you think that the most corrupt bunch of bureaucrats [pace Debbie] since the Byzantine court of Constantine thinks clearly and rules wisely?

    So. How about a few words to support your atheistic superiority over the rest of us mere believing mortals?

  309. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 7:49 pm

    Debbie: I completely forgot to ask you why you didn’t answer my question about the putative advantage in having atheists reign over the EU. I wrote:

    This leads inevitably to the question: why do you think you and your fellow atheists see clearly? What has allowed you to break the bonds of time, place, culture and language to be so sure that you can run things better? Europe is in chaos. That little piece [of] asinine fatuity of denying an Italian Catholic a govt position in the EU was really telling. What makes you think that the most corrupt bunch of bureaucrats [pace Debbie] since the Byzantine court of Constantine thinks clearly and rules wisely?

    So. How about a few words to support your atheistic superiority over the rest of us mere believing mortals?

  310. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 8:02 pm

    Jim: I am open to the debate you propose but this thread has been so thoroughly hijacked that I am not sure we want to do it here. If you have the ear of the master (TRA) maybe he would post something that would let us start afresh. (?)

  311. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 8:02 pm

    Jim: I am open to the debate you propose but this thread has been so thoroughly hijacked that I am not sure we want to do it here. If you have the ear of the master (TRA) maybe he would post something that would let us start afresh. (?)

  312. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 8:02 pm

    Jim: I am open to the debate you propose but this thread has been so thoroughly hijacked that I am not sure we want to do it here. If you have the ear of the master (TRA) maybe he would post something that would let us start afresh. (?)

  313. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 8:02 pm

    Jim: I am open to the debate you propose but this thread has been so thoroughly hijacked that I am not sure we want to do it here. If you have the ear of the master (TRA) maybe he would post something that would let us start afresh. (?)

  314. Debbie
    October 10th, 2005 @ 8:33 pm

    DM,

    I would characterize statements such as “Europe is dying”, “Europe is in chaos”, and Europeans having a “post-modern dislike of children” as being ignorant or hateful, perhaps both. Given the diversity of Europe, what makes you even begin to think such statements are fair. Similarly describing the EU as “the most corrupt bunch of beaurocrats since the Byzantine court of Constantine” is just ridiculous.

    As for Europe being an Islamic state … this is ridiculous too. It is possible, because of modern Europes’ drift away from Christianity, that Islam may become the most popular religion in Europe, but as the vast majority would be atheist, or agnostic, or don’t care, I don’t see that you could characterize it as an Islamic state. And of course the reason many of those with roots in the Islamic world come to Europe is not to establish some state under Sharia-law but exactly because their countries of birth are controlled by religious fundamentalists.

    If your sources really state such things you need to broaden your reading.

    And if you have no idea how to spell a simple word such as bureaucrat, I think “ignorant” is a reasonable adjective to use. ;-)

  315. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 9:27 pm

    Debbie:

    Anyone who doesn’t do the easy research involved but, rather, throws around the word “ignorant” as freely as you do, cannot be taken seriously, except as a bad-tempered and/or humorless cipher. Moreover, you have blinded yourself to the nature of reality. Just who do you think murdered Theo van Gogh? What do you think the Dutch are facing up to after ignoring the poison within just like the Brits? Escape the fundamentalists at home, my foot. That sort of “thinking” will have you in a burka faster than the speed of light. Whether you will enjoy it is another matter.

    Even if they were escaping the fundamentalists at home, their total and complete lack of integration and their wish not to integrate into western society has created, is creating, and will continue to create serious problems. Hell, when I studied in Germany 25 years ago, they were a serious social problem. Things have not improved. Your politically correct blindness will ensure serious problems for decades to come. And the outcome is pretty clear.

    Until you can answer a rather easy question, such as the one I posed (why you think atheists can do a better job than the rest of us mere mortals at reigning over Europe) and until you show that you know something about the demographic realities of Europe, I have no further interest in trying to discuss anything with you.

    And lets be real honest while we are at it. Of the two of us, misspellings notwithstanding, I appear to be the only educated one. I have two advanced degrees in liberal arts subject areas. I speak a couple of languages fluently. Engineering is a rigorous discipline but it is training; not education, in any meaningful sense of the word.

  316. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 9:27 pm

    Debbie:

    Anyone who doesn’t do the easy research involved but, rather, throws around the word “ignorant” as freely as you do, cannot be taken seriously, except as a bad-tempered and/or humorless cipher. Moreover, you have blinded yourself to the nature of reality. Just who do you think murdered Theo van Gogh? What do you think the Dutch are facing up to after ignoring the poison within just like the Brits? Escape the fundamentalists at home, my foot. That sort of “thinking” will have you in a burka faster than the speed of light. Whether you will enjoy it is another matter.

    Even if they were escaping the fundamentalists at home, their total and complete lack of integration and their wish not to integrate into western society has created, is creating, and will continue to create serious problems. Hell, when I studied in Germany 25 years ago, they were a serious social problem. Things have not improved. Your politically correct blindness will ensure serious problems for decades to come. And the outcome is pretty clear.

    Until you can answer a rather easy question, such as the one I posed (why you think atheists can do a better job than the rest of us mere mortals at reigning over Europe) and until you show that you know something about the demographic realities of Europe, I have no further interest in trying to discuss anything with you.

    And lets be real honest while we are at it. Of the two of us, misspellings notwithstanding, I appear to be the only educated one. I have two advanced degrees in liberal arts subject areas. I speak a couple of languages fluently. Engineering is a rigorous discipline but it is training; not education, in any meaningful sense of the word.

  317. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 9:27 pm

    Debbie:

    Anyone who doesn’t do the easy research involved but, rather, throws around the word “ignorant” as freely as you do, cannot be taken seriously, except as a bad-tempered and/or humorless cipher. Moreover, you have blinded yourself to the nature of reality. Just who do you think murdered Theo van Gogh? What do you think the Dutch are facing up to after ignoring the poison within just like the Brits? Escape the fundamentalists at home, my foot. That sort of “thinking” will have you in a burka faster than the speed of light. Whether you will enjoy it is another matter.

    Even if they were escaping the fundamentalists at home, their total and complete lack of integration and their wish not to integrate into western society has created, is creating, and will continue to create serious problems. Hell, when I studied in Germany 25 years ago, they were a serious social problem. Things have not improved. Your politically correct blindness will ensure serious problems for decades to come. And the outcome is pretty clear.

    Until you can answer a rather easy question, such as the one I posed (why you think atheists can do a better job than the rest of us mere mortals at reigning over Europe) and until you show that you know something about the demographic realities of Europe, I have no further interest in trying to discuss anything with you.

    And lets be real honest while we are at it. Of the two of us, misspellings notwithstanding, I appear to be the only educated one. I have two advanced degrees in liberal arts subject areas. I speak a couple of languages fluently. Engineering is a rigorous discipline but it is training; not education, in any meaningful sense of the word.

  318. Daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 9:27 pm

    Debbie:

    Anyone who doesn’t do the easy research involved but, rather, throws around the word “ignorant” as freely as you do, cannot be taken seriously, except as a bad-tempered and/or humorless cipher. Moreover, you have blinded yourself to the nature of reality. Just who do you think murdered Theo van Gogh? What do you think the Dutch are facing up to after ignoring the poison within just like the Brits? Escape the fundamentalists at home, my foot. That sort of “thinking” will have you in a burka faster than the speed of light. Whether you will enjoy it is another matter.

    Even if they were escaping the fundamentalists at home, their total and complete lack of integration and their wish not to integrate into western society has created, is creating, and will continue to create serious problems. Hell, when I studied in Germany 25 years ago, they were a serious social problem. Things have not improved. Your politically correct blindness will ensure serious problems for decades to come. And the outcome is pretty clear.

    Until you can answer a rather easy question, such as the one I posed (why you think atheists can do a better job than the rest of us mere mortals at reigning over Europe) and until you show that you know something about the demographic realities of Europe, I have no further interest in trying to discuss anything with you.

    And lets be real honest while we are at it. Of the two of us, misspellings notwithstanding, I appear to be the only educated one. I have two advanced degrees in liberal arts subject areas. I speak a couple of languages fluently. Engineering is a rigorous discipline but it is training; not education, in any meaningful sense of the word.

  319. Debbie
    October 10th, 2005 @ 10:28 pm

    DM

    I did not state that atheists could do a better job at managing Europe than the religious. My earlier reference to the failure of a Christian to get elected was solely to make the point that public expressions of faith from politicians are viewed very differently in Europe to the USA. I made no judgement on his actual merit as a political leader.

    No-one is stating that Europe is problem-free, but the Theo Van Gogh case hardly consitutes a European-wide crisis.

    As for your insulting my education, what kind of silly person are you? My doctorate is from Oxford University and I also have an MBA from one of Europe’s leading business schools. Are you suggesting a doctorate from Oxford constitutes ‘technical training’? You have two liberal arts degrees and an inability to spell simple words such as bureaucrat. Fluency in several langauges doesn’t appear to be helping you with English. Do you realize how silly and petty you seem?

  320. daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 10:52 pm

    Do you realize how silly and petty you seem?

    Uh, no. This and every other internet forum is full of misspellings. You can comb my postings on this one alone and out of the many hundreds of words I have written, find what? 3 misspellings? And this proves exactly what?

    No, I do not dismiss your education. But I also have advanced degrees from various universities and spent two years at a German university. This background was good enough to secure me employment at MIT at one point in my career. That’s the sort of silly person I am. My degrees required a huge amount of reading in philosophy, history and literature. Until you can show some understanding of the current cultural and social situation in Europe, I have to continue to posit that your experience is too provincial to take your politically correct insults seriously.

    Now, unless you can amuse me by posting another message as fatuous as the last few, I really will let you have the last word. I have no time for this sort of silliness.

  321. daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 10:52 pm

    Do you realize how silly and petty you seem?

    Uh, no. This and every other internet forum is full of misspellings. You can comb my postings on this one alone and out of the many hundreds of words I have written, find what? 3 misspellings? And this proves exactly what?

    No, I do not dismiss your education. But I also have advanced degrees from various universities and spent two years at a German university. This background was good enough to secure me employment at MIT at one point in my career. That’s the sort of silly person I am. My degrees required a huge amount of reading in philosophy, history and literature. Until you can show some understanding of the current cultural and social situation in Europe, I have to continue to posit that your experience is too provincial to take your politically correct insults seriously.

    Now, unless you can amuse me by posting another message as fatuous as the last few, I really will let you have the last word. I have no time for this sort of silliness.

  322. daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 10:52 pm

    Do you realize how silly and petty you seem?

    Uh, no. This and every other internet forum is full of misspellings. You can comb my postings on this one alone and out of the many hundreds of words I have written, find what? 3 misspellings? And this proves exactly what?

    No, I do not dismiss your education. But I also have advanced degrees from various universities and spent two years at a German university. This background was good enough to secure me employment at MIT at one point in my career. That’s the sort of silly person I am. My degrees required a huge amount of reading in philosophy, history and literature. Until you can show some understanding of the current cultural and social situation in Europe, I have to continue to posit that your experience is too provincial to take your politically correct insults seriously.

    Now, unless you can amuse me by posting another message as fatuous as the last few, I really will let you have the last word. I have no time for this sort of silliness.

  323. daphne's mom
    October 10th, 2005 @ 10:52 pm

    Do you realize how silly and petty you seem?

    Uh, no. This and every other internet forum is full of misspellings. You can comb my postings on this one alone and out of the many hundreds of words I have written, find what? 3 misspellings? And this proves exactly what?

    No, I do not dismiss your education. But I also have advanced degrees from various universities and spent two years at a German university. This background was good enough to secure me employment at MIT at one point in my career. That’s the sort of silly person I am. My degrees required a huge amount of reading in philosophy, history and literature. Until you can show some understanding of the current cultural and social situation in Europe, I have to continue to posit that your experience is too provincial to take your politically correct insults seriously.

    Now, unless you can amuse me by posting another message as fatuous as the last few, I really will let you have the last word. I have no time for this sort of silliness.

  324. Viole
    October 11th, 2005 @ 12:19 am

    A degree is hardly an indication of intelligence. I know plenty of idiots with degrees. Several degrees. I even know some idiot professors. A well-trained monkey can earn a degree at most American universities, especially a liberal arts one(for the record, I’m a liberal arts major, and extremely poorly trained as far as monkeys go). Moreover, some of the most intelligent and observant people I know have never sought a degree, and probably never will.

    In oh’er words, that theyr fancy book lernin’ o’ yours don’ mean nottin’ t’me, sweetie.

  325. simbol
    October 11th, 2005 @ 2:37 am

    I also was employed at the Medieval Institute of Theology (MIT). Previously I got a degree (Phd) at he HIV (Honduran Institute of Voodoo) and now I am engaged in research in Germany at the STD (SpezialTechnnik Dresden) Investigating the relationship between the bible and the owners manual for the people interested in managing his own soul in the voodoo afterlife. When I finish my research I will be entitled to an ADVANCED DEGREE in soul management. Don’t confuse this degrees with training, my degrees required a huge amount of reading in philosophy, history and literature and those institutions I have mentioned, are highly regarded institutions. I have been lecturer at LOL in London, GTH of Hamburg and FYA in Alberta, Canada. BTW, I am CEO of VWC (voodoo world congress) in charge of negotiating a partnership with the Vatican. Please, if you find some misspelling in this post, blame the spellchecker of the TRA blog, lest Debbie put under question my academic career. Let me tell you that I am fluent in Speranto, Romanian, german and Ladino, and can write in chinese, japanese (kanji, hiragana and katakana but not romanji) english, french, spanish and portugese (of course with the help of a dictionary). I have never been a public employee because I hate to be a beureaukrat.

    P.S. Really, is not my intention to show off, but I think is my duty to inform you all that mi doctoral dissertation at HIV was “Behavior of the plasma content in the voodoo soul when plasma reaches 99.95% purity in presence of AIDS a its relation with the western religions and culture in the post renaissance period”. I proudly inform you also that JPII read my thesis and enthusiatically supported its conclusions.

  326. a different tim
    October 11th, 2005 @ 4:07 am

    If you like, I too have two advanced degrees (M.A.) , in widely separated subjects (history and philosophy of science, and music education), one from the University of Cambridge. (Sort of liberal arts, atlthough due to the way the curriculum works my M.A. in the history and philosophy of science is technically a natural sciences degree). I generally try not to mention this as I also think that posts here should depend on quality of argument, not “my degree is better than yours”. I also think science degrees involve more rigorous thinking than liberal arts degrees, and are certanly harder work, comparing the workload the nat.sci students I knew to my own.

    DM, I would strongly contend that engineering is more than just “training”. The older I get, the more respect I have for subjects such as engineering which deal with real world practicalities.

  327. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 7:06 am

    ADT: You wrote: DM, I would strongly contend that engineering is more than just “training”. The older I get, the more respect I have for subjects such as engineering which deal with real world practicalities.

    Yes, this follows, since you are a materialist. I, of course, am not. And I am old-fashioned enough to be a snob about what qualifies as “education”. To me, without a solid background in history (political, social, etc), philosophy, et al. one has training but not education. This is not about rigor but about substance. Any education that does not delve deeply into the human condition, is not complete, in my estimation.

    I also agree with this: I generally try not to mention this as I also think that posts here should depend on quality of argument, not “my degree is better than yours”..

    As always (being the sort of person I am, which is, emphatically, not a saint), I take great offense at someone telling me I am ignorant and hatefilled for alluding to European demographics. She utterly ignored the evidence (easy to find and read) I presented and then decided to overwhelm me with her superior education. I particularly love that one idiotic misspelling led to silly insults about my having studied at Liberty or Bob Jones.

    The fact that she didn’t get my Athena/spider reference, which was not merely amusing but an attempt to diffuse her temper tantrum, reinforces what I said. Training, not education.

  328. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 7:06 am

    ADT: You wrote: DM, I would strongly contend that engineering is more than just “training”. The older I get, the more respect I have for subjects such as engineering which deal with real world practicalities.

    Yes, this follows, since you are a materialist. I, of course, am not. And I am old-fashioned enough to be a snob about what qualifies as “education”. To me, without a solid background in history (political, social, etc), philosophy, et al. one has training but not education. This is not about rigor but about substance. Any education that does not delve deeply into the human condition, is not complete, in my estimation.

    I also agree with this: I generally try not to mention this as I also think that posts here should depend on quality of argument, not “my degree is better than yours”..

    As always (being the sort of person I am, which is, emphatically, not a saint), I take great offense at someone telling me I am ignorant and hatefilled for alluding to European demographics. She utterly ignored the evidence (easy to find and read) I presented and then decided to overwhelm me with her superior education. I particularly love that one idiotic misspelling led to silly insults about my having studied at Liberty or Bob Jones.

    The fact that she didn’t get my Athena/spider reference, which was not merely amusing but an attempt to diffuse her temper tantrum, reinforces what I said. Training, not education.

  329. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 7:06 am

    ADT: You wrote: DM, I would strongly contend that engineering is more than just “training”. The older I get, the more respect I have for subjects such as engineering which deal with real world practicalities.

    Yes, this follows, since you are a materialist. I, of course, am not. And I am old-fashioned enough to be a snob about what qualifies as “education”. To me, without a solid background in history (political, social, etc), philosophy, et al. one has training but not education. This is not about rigor but about substance. Any education that does not delve deeply into the human condition, is not complete, in my estimation.

    I also agree with this: I generally try not to mention this as I also think that posts here should depend on quality of argument, not “my degree is better than yours”..

    As always (being the sort of person I am, which is, emphatically, not a saint), I take great offense at someone telling me I am ignorant and hatefilled for alluding to European demographics. She utterly ignored the evidence (easy to find and read) I presented and then decided to overwhelm me with her superior education. I particularly love that one idiotic misspelling led to silly insults about my having studied at Liberty or Bob Jones.

    The fact that she didn’t get my Athena/spider reference, which was not merely amusing but an attempt to diffuse her temper tantrum, reinforces what I said. Training, not education.

  330. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 7:06 am

    ADT: You wrote: DM, I would strongly contend that engineering is more than just “training”. The older I get, the more respect I have for subjects such as engineering which deal with real world practicalities.

    Yes, this follows, since you are a materialist. I, of course, am not. And I am old-fashioned enough to be a snob about what qualifies as “education”. To me, without a solid background in history (political, social, etc), philosophy, et al. one has training but not education. This is not about rigor but about substance. Any education that does not delve deeply into the human condition, is not complete, in my estimation.

    I also agree with this: I generally try not to mention this as I also think that posts here should depend on quality of argument, not “my degree is better than yours”..

    As always (being the sort of person I am, which is, emphatically, not a saint), I take great offense at someone telling me I am ignorant and hatefilled for alluding to European demographics. She utterly ignored the evidence (easy to find and read) I presented and then decided to overwhelm me with her superior education. I particularly love that one idiotic misspelling led to silly insults about my having studied at Liberty or Bob Jones.

    The fact that she didn’t get my Athena/spider reference, which was not merely amusing but an attempt to diffuse her temper tantrum, reinforces what I said. Training, not education.

  331. Jen
    October 11th, 2005 @ 8:46 am

    Good Morning, Everyone!
    Please excuse my delay as yesterday evening was very busy for me.

    Daphne’s mom,
    I am assuming you have not studied God’s word any more than just reading words on a page. If you had, you would know that God created time, and He certainly does not need the sun around for his assistance. Based on what I have seen you write, I would like to give you a friendly warning. If you really are a Bible believing Christian, please, read 1 Corinthians 6. If you don’t understand the message I am trying to get to you, then maybe you should go to your pastor.
    I would also like to add that you are right when you say that the earth did come before the sun, and this does have a reason. This passage is a fine example of God’s word having both literal and spiritual meanings. Yes, the earth was first, LITERALLY. This is also meant to teach us that the sun is of little importance, especially for those who choose to worship it.

    Luker, Steve G, & ADT,
    Let me start with the 6 literal days. The numeral adjective used with the word “day” (Hebrew YOM) does translate to a 24hr day. Did you honestly think it meant different? If you research it, you will find that the majority of Heberw language scholars believe that same thing. As far as 2 Peter goes, you must always reference the original text, not the translated. In the original, you would find that the word YOM is not there.
    Steve, I appreciate your warning, but you should understand that someone of my faith has nothing to fear when it comes to the word of GOD! If Darwin himself was here right now, I would not be intimidated. (ADT, please don’t take this to mean that I am in any way being disrespectful towards you.) The claims against Genesis that you bring up Steve have been found to be false, I won’t even waste my time with that. You also like to point out that the writer of Genesis was not present at the time of creation, however, you are forgetting that this is God’s word, not the writers. The Bible tells us over and over that God used His people to write His word for him.
    So, on to the passage that you all gave to me to answer for. 1 Kings 7:23 is talking about an enormous reservior of water which is supposed to correspond to the original bronze laver made for the tabernacle. In a deeper study on the temple, on would find that the measurement used here was actually taken below the rim on the inside cercumference. The exact measurement, when taken on the on the top, is 31.416 cubits. Pick this apart if you will, but this hardly questions the integrity of the Bible. Can you find anything else?
    ADT,
    I am certainly not trying to question your intelligence. I do agree that there are a lot of things that have been explained using billions of years, but if you have ever studied what the effects of a global flood, you would find that for many things, there can be two far different answers. The accuracy of carbon dating has already been questioned, and in many cases it has been wrong. I understand what you are trying to say about the stars, but like my Bible says, God spoke of them, and then they were there. The age of the universe is far from being proven, many people are simply trying to discredit what my faith tells me, and still to this day, no one has succeeded.
    One last thing, you all keep talking about different denominations, and you wonder why everyone thinks differently. Let me tell you that there are always going to be difference of opinions. We (churches) all agree on salvation through Christ, the trinity, the virgin birth, the blood atonement, etc. These are the few things that make up a Christian, and these are the things that we all have in common. Those of you who want to focus on the scandals, it’s not Christ you are seeing, it’s man. If you think that’s a reflection on the written word of God, you are wrong.
    I hope I answered everyones question. Have a blessed day!!

  332. Viole
    October 11th, 2005 @ 10:07 am

    Oh, hell. I missed your “Athena/spider” reference, DM, and I know that story well enough. It’s a good thing, too, or I wouldn’t know the foolishness of attempting to compete with the gods, though I’ll humbly suggest that Athena would turn you into those proverbial thousand monkeys typing Shakespeare instead–a much more fitting punishment for the crime. Arachnae got turned into a spider for her weaving, after all.

    I originally considered that Athena would not even be the most fitting goddess to inflict this punishment upon you. After all, she isn’t the goddess of spelling. I’m not sure the Greeks had one of those. Of course, she is the goddess of wisdom, which is close enough.

    When I reflect on that, I can’t help but think of my suggested punishment as particularly apposite. What better way to mock your spelling and supposed divine origin? However, I find it equally plausible that Pallas Athena might reward your pride in a more fitting manner; your words filled with allusion and metaphor, and empty of meaning.

    (I apologize, Debbie, for using all these big words and references to history. I know you, with your engineering background, must be feeling particularly worthless right now. Don’t worry about it; it’s just the natural superiority of people who don’t study science. Please also note that none of this post is directed at you. Not even the bit in parenthesis.)

  333. SteveG
    October 11th, 2005 @ 11:16 am

    As far as 2 Peter goes, you must always reference the original text, not the translated. In the original, you would find that the word YOM is not there.

    Since the letter was written in Greek, I really wouldn

  334. Debbie
    October 11th, 2005 @ 11:41 am

    I enjoy conversations with Steve and many others on this borad. He is both polite and rational. I didn’t initiate the conversation with the attention-seeking troll called DM and it was my own fault for responding to it.

    IHBT. IHL. HAND!

  335. Debbie
    October 11th, 2005 @ 11:41 am

    I enjoy conversations with Steve and many others on this board. He is both polite and rational. I didn’t initiate the conversation with the attention-seeking troll called DM and it was my own fault for responding to it.

    IHBT. IHL. HAND!

  336. Debbie
    October 11th, 2005 @ 11:41 am

    I enjoy conversations with Steve and many others on this board. He is both polite and rational. I didn’t initiate the conversation with the attention-seeking troll called DM and it was my own fault for responding to it.

    IHBT. IHL. HAND!

  337. Debbie
    October 11th, 2005 @ 11:43 am

    Oops. Sorry for the multiple posts. The Post button is conspiring against me ;-)

  338. simbol
    October 11th, 2005 @ 12:03 pm

    “To me, without a solid background in history (political, social, etc), philosophy, et al. one has training but not education.”

    That’s why I was always very suspicious about the wanderings of Einstein and Feynman out of physics. After all engineering is related to physics and physics is only training; and that babble talk about relativity and quantum electrodynamics has nothing to do with serious matters like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Thomas; not to mention population trends in Europe and the inclusion of some part of Turkey in that continent what I strongly rejects. The same goes for some Balkan countries with very many Muslims. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced Germany has to be taken out of Europe. Many Muslims.

    “The older I get, the more respect I have for subjects such as engineering which deal with real world practicalities.”

    That’s why some say that aging is a wreckage.

  339. Debbie
    October 11th, 2005 @ 12:55 pm

    Back on topic: The Onion’s take on the ID trial.

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/41260

  340. a different tim
    October 11th, 2005 @ 1:27 pm

    “To me, without a solid background in history (political, social, etc), philosophy, et al. one has training but not education.”

    I’m afraid I have to take issue with this one as well.
    Maybe it would help if I explained that my materialism is a result of my philosophical stance, not vice versa. I stand in the so-called “anglo saxon” empirical tradition (also big in the US – see Dewey who IMHO is one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century). I am interested in epistemology, reliable knowledge, and how we gain that knowledge and on all I know faith based knowledge does not qualify as reliable (although I’m sure Steve can demonstrate that it is possible to build a logically consistent argument around it).
    I also think many of the humanities and a large part of philosophy fall outside any sane definition of “reliable knowledge”. As an ex humanities student I am aware of quite how much of these disciplines are academic posturing. I defy you to read those great philosophers/humanities scholars Derrida, Foucault, Barthes or Lacan and come to any other conclusion. For a big laugh at their expense, go here: http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/#impostures

    I always find it strange that humanities people can call physicists philistines if they haven’t read, say, Shakespeare or the bible (which most of them in fact have) but happily and in some cases even proudly claim ignorance of the most basic scientific and mathematical results. How many of them could quote you one of Newton’s laws? How many of them have the haziest understanding of Godel, which in the case of philosophy directly affects their discipline? With the honourable exception of symbolic logicians, precious few. For that matter humanities scholars seem to feel free to pronounce on Darwin without actually reading him :). You wouldn’t get away with that with a humanities text.

    Simbol. Engineers build stuff. Most of the stuff that makes your life bearable was constructed, and is mantained, by an engineer. Is this a problem for you or were you joking? Sorry, I’m a bit ill, my sense of humour is absent today.

    Jen, I didn’t think you were questioning my intelligence. However it is clear that however much evidence I bring to the table, you are just going to say “I have faith”. I notice you haven’t replied to my lunar drift figures, or 1 Kings 7:23 (you asked for one inaccuracy, I gave you one, your reply???), or told me where this “90% of tests” figure came from. I assume you’re ignoring it in the hope that it will go away. No doubt your pastor will reassure you that I and all scientists everywhere are wrong.
    Look at some of the posts from theists we respect. The deal is, you come here, theist or atheist, you make a claim, someone comes out with evidence/arguments against you, you need to provide evidence/arguments or hold your hands up. I repeat, I’m not trying to turn you atheist on this thread, but you’re laying into carefully gathered evidence (in fact you asked me to gather some of it, which took up some of my precious life which I will not get back), to say nothing of other Christians, and the least you can do is answer the points made.

  341. a different tim
    October 11th, 2005 @ 1:41 pm

    PS Last para – yeah, I know we don’t all do it, all the time. Sometimes we get a little cranky. It’s an aspiration.

    PPS By my own standards I should hold my hands up on the demographics thing, since you checked your sources so nicely, although I agree with Jim that the obsession with Muslims is worrying. We have a paper here called the Daily Mail, an outpost of the worst kind of hatemongering this side of Der Streicher, and it’s the sort of thing they often say, so I assumed it was bullshit without really doing anything more than superficial research.

    PPPS thanks Steve for compliment in 179, missed it before, but I suspect Debbie knows more physics than me – I think she studied it at grad level.

  342. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 1:43 pm

    Viole: You can google!

    Debbie: Wonderful riposte! You have no answer for your failure to examine the demographic evidence I provided and evaluate it. I was supposed to be stunned into repentance for my hateful opinions by your credentials, but was not. I can see where that makes me a troll. Thank you for conceding the argument.

    All things considered, I’d say my work here is done. Another foolish non-thinker and her amen corner have been outed.

  343. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 1:43 pm

    Viole: You can google!

    Debbie: Wonderful riposte! You have no answer for your failure to examine the demographic evidence I provided and evaluate it. I was supposed to be stunned into repentance for my hateful opinions by your credentials, but was not. I can see where that makes me a troll. Thank you for conceding the argument.

    All things considered, I’d say my work here is done. Another foolish non-thinker and her amen corner have been outed.

  344. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 1:43 pm

    Viole: You can google!

    Debbie: Wonderful riposte! You have no answer for your failure to examine the demographic evidence I provided and evaluate it. I was supposed to be stunned into repentance for my hateful opinions by your credentials, but was not. I can see where that makes me a troll. Thank you for conceding the argument.

    All things considered, I’d say my work here is done. Another foolish non-thinker and her amen corner have been outed.

  345. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 1:43 pm

    Viole: You can google!

    Debbie: Wonderful riposte! You have no answer for your failure to examine the demographic evidence I provided and evaluate it. I was supposed to be stunned into repentance for my hateful opinions by your credentials, but was not. I can see where that makes me a troll. Thank you for conceding the argument.

    All things considered, I’d say my work here is done. Another foolish non-thinker and her amen corner have been outed.

  346. Lurker
    October 11th, 2005 @ 1:45 pm

    Jen,
    When I say the phrase “I spent the day working in the yard”, we know this can be interpreted literally in many ways. ‘Day’ can mean a literal 24 hr period, the daylight hours, or a major portion of the day. All are equally valid and equally literal interpretations. There is a way to determine which is the most likely meaning, but don’t tell me that one is literal and the others are not.

  347. Jen
    October 11th, 2005 @ 1:53 pm

    Steve G,
    Thanks for the useful info about 2 Peter that I already knew. Did I say that 2 Peter was written in Hebrew? As far as everything else goes, I will be responding to this later. I am home only for a few more minutes, then I must leave.
    ADT,
    Sorry I missed that, I will get back with you on that asap. :o)

  348. Debbie
    October 11th, 2005 @ 1:59 pm

    Viole,

    I understand ;-)

    I’ve owned a copy of Lempriere since I was twelve, and still have it in my library at home, so I’m not unfamiliar with Greek mythology.

  349. SteveG
    October 11th, 2005 @ 2:06 pm

    Thanks for the useful info about 2 Peter that I already knew. Did I say that 2 Peter was written in Hebrew?

    Jen,
    I am not sure how else I could have possibly read your mention that the original text did not contain a Hebrew word? What was you point in noting…?

    As far as 2 Peter goes, you must always reference the original text, not the translated. In the original, you would find that the word YOM is not there.

    And you did not answer the questions I posed, or even attempt to counter the argument I made.
    ——————————-
    1. I

  350. Viole
    October 11th, 2005 @ 2:11 pm

    Indeed I can, DM. I’m terribly proud of my abilities. I’ve spend whole minutes honing them under the watchful supervision of my professors, until my fingers blistered and my eyes bled. Even then they didn’t let me rest! I continued my work, grinding my fingers down to the second knuckle, typing in words and watching the results return as if from god himself! I read essays by ‘Biggus Dickus'(I really though Monty Python had made up that name) and ‘!s3xx0rzjoo’, and other great philosophers and historians whose works have long been forgotten, revived by the mysterious methods of the great ‘l3377

  351. jahrta
    October 11th, 2005 @ 2:39 pm

    At the end of the day, let it simply be said that I truly feel sorry for this “Daphne” girl, whomever and wherever she may be.

  352. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 4:38 pm

    ADT: As always, you are a breath of fresh air in this rather fetid swamp. Since you mention the unholy quartet, Derrida, Foucault, Barthes or Lacan, I must quickly and emphatically reject any notion that reading them constitutes a sound liberal arts education.

    No, in my day the canon was still fairly unchallenged, we read tons of primary literature, we argued Big Ideas and slaved over the math and science we needed to take to get admitted to our senior seminar (where we had to write endless papers). It probably will come as no surprise to you that I flailed (not failed) in physics.

    Sokal! I will have to read the stuff your link points to. What I inevitably think of when I see his name is “”Transgressing the Boundaries” an article I read at its publication and have reread over the intervening years with the greatest pleasure. If you would like to see another real take down of the direction in which literature has gone, I would draw your attention to the “Post Modern Title Generator”. Essentially, you choose an author and a work, and it spits out a title/paper topic for you.

    http://www.brysons.net/generator/

    Then there is the Scigen project of two MIT students who pulled off a really good prank with it. This allows you to randomly generate computer science papers with graphs, footnotes, etc. There is much more to the particular scam they pulled off but I won’t spoil it for you, in case you want to check it out.

    http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/

    No, if I really wanted to rant, I would rant about the state of too much of liberal arts education in the last 25 years. I had a master’s thesis (English) come across my desk a couple of years ago that began “Everyone knows that Keats wrote with a phallic pen”.
    I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to be impressed. …

    Jahrta: I am touched! If you feel sorry for Daphne, please don’t bother. She is dead and in a better place (the backyard). If for me, please don’t. I am a professional woman with no debts, a half a quiverful of little darlings running around the house, a good job and atheists to browbeat into good manners. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

  353. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 4:38 pm

    ADT: As always, you are a breath of fresh air in this rather fetid swamp. Since you mention the unholy quartet, Derrida, Foucault, Barthes or Lacan, I must quickly and emphatically reject any notion that reading them constitutes a sound liberal arts education.

    No, in my day the canon was still fairly unchallenged, we read tons of primary literature, we argued Big Ideas and slaved over the math and science we needed to take to get admitted to our senior seminar (where we had to write endless papers). It probably will come as no surprise to you that I flailed (not failed) in physics.

    Sokal! I will have to read the stuff your link points to. What I inevitably think of when I see his name is “”Transgressing the Boundaries” an article I read at its publication and have reread over the intervening years with the greatest pleasure. If you would like to see another real take down of the direction in which literature has gone, I would draw your attention to the “Post Modern Title Generator”. Essentially, you choose an author and a work, and it spits out a title/paper topic for you.

    http://www.brysons.net/generator/

    Then there is the Scigen project of two MIT students who pulled off a really good prank with it. This allows you to randomly generate computer science papers with graphs, footnotes, etc. There is much more to the particular scam they pulled off but I won’t spoil it for you, in case you want to check it out.

    http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/

    No, if I really wanted to rant, I would rant about the state of too much of liberal arts education in the last 25 years. I had a master’s thesis (English) come across my desk a couple of years ago that began “Everyone knows that Keats wrote with a phallic pen”.
    I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to be impressed. …

    Jahrta: I am touched! If you feel sorry for Daphne, please don’t bother. She is dead and in a better place (the backyard). If for me, please don’t. I am a professional woman with no debts, a half a quiverful of little darlings running around the house, a good job and atheists to browbeat into good manners. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

  354. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 4:38 pm

    ADT: As always, you are a breath of fresh air in this rather fetid swamp. Since you mention the unholy quartet, Derrida, Foucault, Barthes or Lacan, I must quickly and emphatically reject any notion that reading them constitutes a sound liberal arts education.

    No, in my day the canon was still fairly unchallenged, we read tons of primary literature, we argued Big Ideas and slaved over the math and science we needed to take to get admitted to our senior seminar (where we had to write endless papers). It probably will come as no surprise to you that I flailed (not failed) in physics.

    Sokal! I will have to read the stuff your link points to. What I inevitably think of when I see his name is “”Transgressing the Boundaries” an article I read at its publication and have reread over the intervening years with the greatest pleasure. If you would like to see another real take down of the direction in which literature has gone, I would draw your attention to the “Post Modern Title Generator”. Essentially, you choose an author and a work, and it spits out a title/paper topic for you.

    http://www.brysons.net/generator/

    Then there is the Scigen project of two MIT students who pulled off a really good prank with it. This allows you to randomly generate computer science papers with graphs, footnotes, etc. There is much more to the particular scam they pulled off but I won’t spoil it for you, in case you want to check it out.

    http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/

    No, if I really wanted to rant, I would rant about the state of too much of liberal arts education in the last 25 years. I had a master’s thesis (English) come across my desk a couple of years ago that began “Everyone knows that Keats wrote with a phallic pen”.
    I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to be impressed. …

    Jahrta: I am touched! If you feel sorry for Daphne, please don’t bother. She is dead and in a better place (the backyard). If for me, please don’t. I am a professional woman with no debts, a half a quiverful of little darlings running around the house, a good job and atheists to browbeat into good manners. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

  355. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 4:38 pm

    ADT: As always, you are a breath of fresh air in this rather fetid swamp. Since you mention the unholy quartet, Derrida, Foucault, Barthes or Lacan, I must quickly and emphatically reject any notion that reading them constitutes a sound liberal arts education.

    No, in my day the canon was still fairly unchallenged, we read tons of primary literature, we argued Big Ideas and slaved over the math and science we needed to take to get admitted to our senior seminar (where we had to write endless papers). It probably will come as no surprise to you that I flailed (not failed) in physics.

    Sokal! I will have to read the stuff your link points to. What I inevitably think of when I see his name is “”Transgressing the Boundaries” an article I read at its publication and have reread over the intervening years with the greatest pleasure. If you would like to see another real take down of the direction in which literature has gone, I would draw your attention to the “Post Modern Title Generator”. Essentially, you choose an author and a work, and it spits out a title/paper topic for you.

    http://www.brysons.net/generator/

    Then there is the Scigen project of two MIT students who pulled off a really good prank with it. This allows you to randomly generate computer science papers with graphs, footnotes, etc. There is much more to the particular scam they pulled off but I won’t spoil it for you, in case you want to check it out.

    http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/

    No, if I really wanted to rant, I would rant about the state of too much of liberal arts education in the last 25 years. I had a master’s thesis (English) come across my desk a couple of years ago that began “Everyone knows that Keats wrote with a phallic pen”.
    I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to be impressed. …

    Jahrta: I am touched! If you feel sorry for Daphne, please don’t bother. She is dead and in a better place (the backyard). If for me, please don’t. I am a professional woman with no debts, a half a quiverful of little darlings running around the house, a good job and atheists to browbeat into good manners. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

  356. St. Teabag
    October 11th, 2005 @ 4:48 pm

    Just for the record, the phony articles that the MIT jokers got accepted to a conference are hilarious, but they would never pass muster at a “real” conference. The particular meeting it did get into is a phony bullshit conference designed to make money. I was invited to attend several times, and they make it seem like a great honour when it is full of gibberish. The people who do go are usually grad students of new professors in small liberal arts colleges, or just crackpots. They accept anything because they only care about collecting the registration fee.

    And Sokal gave social text an ass reaming that it will never recover from. In the physics dept where I work one needs only to mention social text to elicit much laughter.

  357. jahrta
    October 11th, 2005 @ 4:52 pm

    “Jahrta: I am touched! If you feel sorry for Daphne, please don’t bother. She is dead and in a better place (the backyard). If for me, please don’t. I am a professional woman with no debts, a half a quiverful of little darlings running around the house, a good job and atheists to browbeat into good manners. Life doesn’t get much better than that.” – DM

    Really? Did you talk her to death with half-baked pedantic psychobabble?

    As far as brow-beating is concerned, is that really what you think you’ve accomplished here? Interesting. For a self-proclaimed professional woman with not a worry in the world and all manner of academia under her belt, you certainly like to frequent a site that you seem to mock, ridicule and detest with the same level of intensity which we deliver back upon you. For someone so educated one would suppose you might “know better.”

    Are you so lonely and desperate for human contact that you’ll take it in whatever form you can manage, no matter how much vitriol you must wade through in the process?

    DM – are you a cat lady?

  358. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 5:23 pm

    Jahrta: dear boy. It only *seems* like I have spent a lot of time here. Having spent most of the last 3 days at home with a cold and a bad back and having no desire to work, I had nothing better to do for amusement. You cannot even begin to imagine how amusing this has been. With the sane posters, like ADT it actually has been informative and a pleasure.

    Still, as I said above, my work here is done. Having heaped your abuse back on you all (only minus the profanity and the vulgarisms), I have made you appreciate the real saints like Steve G and Lurker much more. At least, I notice that you all are much more civil to them than when I started reading here a couple of days ago. I made you appreciate them, I suspect.

    I will come back in a few weeks and make sure that you (all) keep on talking to them politely. If you don’t, I will return and spank you again. You have been warned.

  359. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 5:23 pm

    Jahrta: dear boy. It only *seems* like I have spent a lot of time here. Having spent most of the last 3 days at home with a cold and a bad back and having no desire to work, I had nothing better to do for amusement. You cannot even begin to imagine how amusing this has been. With the sane posters, like ADT it actually has been informative and a pleasure.

    Still, as I said above, my work here is done. Having heaped your abuse back on you all (only minus the profanity and the vulgarisms), I have made you appreciate the real saints like Steve G and Lurker much more. At least, I notice that you all are much more civil to them than when I started reading here a couple of days ago. I made you appreciate them, I suspect.

    I will come back in a few weeks and make sure that you (all) keep on talking to them politely. If you don’t, I will return and spank you again. You have been warned.

  360. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 5:23 pm

    Jahrta: dear boy. It only *seems* like I have spent a lot of time here. Having spent most of the last 3 days at home with a cold and a bad back and having no desire to work, I had nothing better to do for amusement. You cannot even begin to imagine how amusing this has been. With the sane posters, like ADT it actually has been informative and a pleasure.

    Still, as I said above, my work here is done. Having heaped your abuse back on you all (only minus the profanity and the vulgarisms), I have made you appreciate the real saints like Steve G and Lurker much more. At least, I notice that you all are much more civil to them than when I started reading here a couple of days ago. I made you appreciate them, I suspect.

    I will come back in a few weeks and make sure that you (all) keep on talking to them politely. If you don’t, I will return and spank you again. You have been warned.

  361. Daphne's mom
    October 11th, 2005 @ 5:23 pm

    Jahrta: dear boy. It only *seems* like I have spent a lot of time here. Having spent most of the last 3 days at home with a cold and a bad back and having no desire to work, I had nothing better to do for amusement. You cannot even begin to imagine how amusing this has been. With the sane posters, like ADT it actually has been informative and a pleasure.

    Still, as I said above, my work here is done. Having heaped your abuse back on you all (only minus the profanity and the vulgarisms), I have made you appreciate the real saints like Steve G and Lurker much more. At least, I notice that you all are much more civil to them than when I started reading here a couple of days ago. I made you appreciate them, I suspect.

    I will come back in a few weeks and make sure that you (all) keep on talking to them politely. If you don’t, I will return and spank you again. You have been warned.

  362. simbol
    October 11th, 2005 @ 5:30 pm

    ADT

    1) It was a joke.

    2) I know what engineers do.

    3) Maybe I’m older than you.

  363. Jim
    October 11th, 2005 @ 5:36 pm

    DM:

    When you respond to points with arguments more specific than, “I don’t have time for this,” “I can’t be bothered with this”, “I really can’t waste my time with this”, “I’d hate to hijack the thread”, then maybe we’ll feel “spanked”. And trust me, I like to feel spanked.

  364. a different tim
    October 12th, 2005 @ 6:57 am

    Sorry, Simbol – I haven’t been well, which leads to grumpiness.. I did say in another thread that I had no sense of humour…….

    DM – you may also like the postmodernism generator at http://www.elsewhere.org/cgi-bin/postmodern
    It generates not just a title, but an entire paper……I’ll give the title generator a go.

    I assume reading between the lines that Daphne was a cat, and therefore never cared two pins about God, Darwin or anything else except cat food, small animal torture, and sleep. I have some experience with cats…….

    Still interested to see what you make of first part of “Origin”.

    Who are you calling “sane”?

  365. Jen
    October 12th, 2005 @ 11:09 am

    ADT,
    Good morning to you! You again brought up the issue of 1Kings 7:23, I apologize if I didn’t clarify that for you before. Like I said before, it is believed that the measurement of thirty cubits was taken below the rim on the inside of the circumference. Whatever the situation was, this verse was not intended to be a mathematical formula. I don’t expect you to try to understand this because you and I are looking from two different perspectives. The idea was for it to correspond to the original Tabernacle and also to give the reader an indication of the size of this pool of water. If I told you that the divorce rate in America was about 50%, then based on what I tell you, you could guess that about 1/2 of all marriages end in divorce. This percentage hardly comes close to explaining exactly how many Americans got a divorce last year, but you get the idea. This is the same for that verse in 1 Kings.
    Now, to address your other question. I have read many books from many credible authors, so most of what I know comes from my own personal study. I did spend some time checking out the internet and I found more websites than I ever would have imagined with much of this same information. I think I picked one that I think you would appreciate, and it happens to have a lot of information on it, so when you have the time, check it out. http://www.allaboutcreation.org
    Steve G,
    Oh, where do I begin with you? Listen carefully, please. In Genesis, God did mean day in the literal term, I have already explained the translation. If it were to mean anything else, it would have said different. I would encourage you to cross reference it if you’d like, Ex 20:11, 31:17, and Ps 33:6-9. This is God’s word meant for us to understand. It would make absolutely no sense for God to have man write a book only for Himself to interpret. With that said, you will also find the the Bible makes other references to weeks of days, weeks of weeks, weeks of months, and weeks of years. This can be found in Daniel, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and 1 & 2 Peter. If you really read this, you would also know that these are books of prophecy. This is a completely different topic from creation. The beauty of the Bible is that you don’t get it all in one or two verses. To figure it out, you have to cross reference everything. God actually makes you study to figure out what He is trying to tell you. This is how I, and many other Christians, are able to tell the difference. You should know that I have done many extensive studies on these books and others, your basic knowledge of a couple of verses is hardly able to withstand what I have spent years to understand.
    I believe this answers your question.

  366. Viole
    October 12th, 2005 @ 11:46 am

    Jen:

    Why do you seem more angry with Steve than with AD Tim? Steve is supposed to be on your side. AD Tim is a heathen atheist.

  367. Jen
    October 12th, 2005 @ 11:47 am

    Steve G,
    If I sound as though I am being rude, please accept my apologies. It is not my intention to be disrespectful to anyone, but after reading my last post, I can see how it can be taken that way. I do not deny that the Bible contains symbols, Revelation is full of it. Sometimes, one has to figure out the symbols to understand the true literal meaning. The only book that I rarely ever comment on is Revelation. I am sure you know that this is not an easy book to figure out, although I think we all get the basics of it. I stand firm on everything else, and if you would be interested in learning more about the literal translations in the Bible, I would like to recommend that you check out Chuck Missler. This man is truely amazing and he goes into great detail in explaining each verse.

  368. Jen
    October 12th, 2005 @ 11:52 am

    Viole,
    This is the very reason for my last post, I don’t want to sound as though I am being rude to anyone. FYI, I am not angry with anyone, not even ADT. Athiest or not, ADT should get the same respect as anyone else, wouldn’t you agree?

  369. a different tim
    October 12th, 2005 @ 12:01 pm

    Brim? Kings mentions no brim.

    Now, if you’re saying the bible is “about” right, OK, but that’s not what you claimed before. You said there was not one inaccuracy. “Not one”. Making Pi equal to three is more than a minor quibble. Maybe six days is “about” 13 billion years.

    Now, I had a look at all about creation, and on the lunar drift they state – without any proof or calculation – that 1.2 billion years ago the moon would have been touching the earth. I have given you the calculation that proves otherwise. Other information on that site is simply inaccurate – the magnetic field is decreasing, but not exponentially. It is thought that some time in the next few thousand years the magnetic poles will flip – as they have many times before (http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/developing.html). I see no experiments, papers (peer reviewed or otherwise) or serious science to back it up (to be fair I didn’t expect to). They’re just claiming stuff. Newsflash: anyone can claim stuff. I could put up a site saying the moon is made of green cheese. You need to show the data.

    The thing that disturbs me, I think, is that you assume that every scientific datum that emerges that is not in strict conformity with the bible is an attempt to detsroy your faith. (“If Darwin himself was here right now, I would not be intimidated”; “many people are simply trying to discredit what my faith tells me” etc). Darwin is (or rather was) not trying to “intimidate” you or anyone else but trying to find out the truth about where animals, people and plants came from. Scientists are not trying to “discredit your faith” but to discover how the universe works. In fact there are many scientists who are also theists. If you look at their sites you will see evidence, observation, argument – the ideal is on the lines of “I saw X happen in this experiment, this is my theory about why, if it is true we should also expect Y”. If you look at your site you see bald assertion with no experimental back up. It is purely based on faith, and on an attempt to undermine scientific theories. This is usually done by lying, as with the discovery institute’s claim that the bacterial flagellum is “irreducibly complex” (see the link to “bacterial flagellar rotor” in the original post for why it is not). This is why we don’t want their – if you’ll excuse be – bullshit in the classroom. I have tried to follow the scientific ideal in my posts to you – where I have said something, I have made my arguments – as in the lunar drift calculation.

    Now when you say “one inaccuracy” I expect you to either put up or fold, as I did with DM over demographics. I couldn’t raise the evidence, she could, she wins. I found your inaccuracy and you glossed over it by saying it is “about” right, as in the divorce rate. Likewise for lunar drift you either find an astronomy site which gives a yearly figure that is different from mine, or you have to accept my calculation (my maths is very basic multiplication and you can verify it for yourself). If you don’t do this stuff all you are doing is the philosophical equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and going “La, la, la, I can’t hear you”.

    Sorry if I sound rude, but there it is.

    P.S. I think you’ll find Steve has been studying the bible – and other Christian thinkers – and philosophers – for years too. There aren’t many theists on here who can give me a philosophical run for my money, but he’s certainly one of them. To return his compliment “he’s no common schlep spouting uninformed opinions”, and I respect him even though I think he’s dead wrong.

  370. Jim
    October 12th, 2005 @ 12:09 pm

    Jen:

    I suggest you review the work of actual Biblical scholars rather than lunatics trying to support their religious worldview.

    When reviewed in a scholarly context, the field of Biblical study is still fascinating — you can find out just how much is based on history, and how much is based on legend, allegory, world myth, and the rest.

    But to suggest that every line outside of Revelations is true? It stretches your credibility beyond the breaking point to make you look like an idiot, and brings into question anything you say about any topic.

  371. a different tim
    October 12th, 2005 @ 12:10 pm

    Follow up – sorry, Jen, didn’t read your Kings thing as accurately as I might have. it’s actually a more interesting case than I thought.

    Now: “the measurement of thirty cubits was taken below the rim on the inside of the circumference”. Who assumes this? Why? It sounds to me like they’re desparately trying to make the bible fit basic maths. They are assuming the bible is right, so they must have meant something other than what they said, so that shows the bible is right. This is called circular reasoning and I’m afraid it counts for diddly squat.

    If I have a scientific theory which predicts the world is square, there’s no point in me turning round and saying “well it’s thought I did the calculation including extra corners”. I look at the world, it’s round, my theory is wrong. If you have a biblical source to show this is how they did the measurement, quote it, otherwise it’s wrong, I’m afraid.

    The rest of my post stands as before.

  372. SteveG
    October 12th, 2005 @ 12:28 pm

    Jen
    In Genesis, God did mean day in the literal term, I have already explained the translation.

    I am sorry to be so obstinate, but you have not explained the translation in the least. You have claimed it is literal, mentioned the word YOM, and also claimed it is literal (even though lurker showed it is not necessarily so), and then discounted the possibility that 2 Peter applies because it doesn

  373. SteveG
    October 12th, 2005 @ 12:39 pm

    Sometimes, one has to figure out the symbols to understand the true literal meaning.

    So it

  374. SteveG
    October 12th, 2005 @ 12:46 pm

    P.S. I think you’ll find Steve has been studying the bible – and other Christian thinkers – and philosophers – for years too. There aren’t many theists on here who can give me a philosophical run for my money, but he’s certainly one of them. To return his compliment “he’s no common schlep spouting uninformed opinions”, and I respect him even though I think he’s dead wrong.

    Thanks AD Tim! Though I am not sure I deserve such a compliment, I’ll take it nonetheless. :-)

  375. Jen
    October 12th, 2005 @ 1:13 pm

    ADT,
    As I stated before, the website I referred you to was just a general overview. I could easily run a list of books and authors, none of which I think you would take the time to read. If you devoted as much time to creation as you do against it, I believe it would cast much doubt into what you know to be true. 1 Kings 7:23 in no way declares that these measurements are perfectly accurate, it is simply a general description. I don’t expect you to analyze every word because you don’t believe in God, so what good would it do you to figure out its true meaning?
    Steve G,
    Let me tell you why is is easy for me to figure this out. Every time I am about to go into study, I pray to God and ask that He will give me the wisdom to learn the truth from His words, and He does. So, you want honesty, yes, I can understand scripture very well. I wouldn’t expect it would be easy for someone like ADT with all of his education to do the same, wisdom from the Holy Spirit is only for the saved, and for those who ask for it. I also think that if you payed attention, you would find that I am on the same page as most Bible scholars and historians.
    I am very passionate about what I believe in and as I said before, at times it may come across to as rude. In trying to be sensitive to you, I delivered an apology earlier. I would just like to point out, however, for someone who makes the claim to have studied God’s word in depth, have you forgotten the very basics of how to treat others, especially a friend in Christ? You should be a direct reflection of Jesus in everything you do. (I am certainly not trying to say that I am perfect) I have yet to see this character in any of your postings.

  376. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 1:42 pm

    I wanted to drop in quietly to see how Jen would ground her literalism. But it is more than flesh and blood can bear, at least this flesh and blood, to see a Christian attack another Christian.

    Jen, as far as the blog world goes (can’t speak for real life :) ), Steve G is a blinking saint. For you to criticize him is preposterous. I would ask you to remember what scripture has to say about bearing false witness.

    As long as I am here, I must ask you about your referring me to 1Cor: 6. That chapter deals with not taking legal disputes before outsiders. If the application is that I, or anyone else, for that matter should not speak of doctrinal issues with outsiders, well maybe, but that train left the station 2000 years ago.

  377. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 1:42 pm

    I wanted to drop in quietly to see how Jen would ground her literalism. But it is more than flesh and blood can bear, at least this flesh and blood, to see a Christian attack another Christian.

    Jen, as far as the blog world goes (can’t speak for real life :) ), Steve G is a blinking saint. For you to criticize him is preposterous. I would ask you to remember what scripture has to say about bearing false witness.

    As long as I am here, I must ask you about your referring me to 1Cor: 6. That chapter deals with not taking legal disputes before outsiders. If the application is that I, or anyone else, for that matter should not speak of doctrinal issues with outsiders, well maybe, but that train left the station 2000 years ago.

  378. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 1:42 pm

    I wanted to drop in quietly to see how Jen would ground her literalism. But it is more than flesh and blood can bear, at least this flesh and blood, to see a Christian attack another Christian.

    Jen, as far as the blog world goes (can’t speak for real life :) ), Steve G is a blinking saint. For you to criticize him is preposterous. I would ask you to remember what scripture has to say about bearing false witness.

    As long as I am here, I must ask you about your referring me to 1Cor: 6. That chapter deals with not taking legal disputes before outsiders. If the application is that I, or anyone else, for that matter should not speak of doctrinal issues with outsiders, well maybe, but that train left the station 2000 years ago.

  379. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 1:42 pm

    I wanted to drop in quietly to see how Jen would ground her literalism. But it is more than flesh and blood can bear, at least this flesh and blood, to see a Christian attack another Christian.

    Jen, as far as the blog world goes (can’t speak for real life :) ), Steve G is a blinking saint. For you to criticize him is preposterous. I would ask you to remember what scripture has to say about bearing false witness.

    As long as I am here, I must ask you about your referring me to 1Cor: 6. That chapter deals with not taking legal disputes before outsiders. If the application is that I, or anyone else, for that matter should not speak of doctrinal issues with outsiders, well maybe, but that train left the station 2000 years ago.

  380. a different tim
    October 12th, 2005 @ 1:49 pm

    “I could easily run a list of books and authors, none of which I think you would take the time to read”
    Yes, you probably could. I asked for evidence, you haven’t shown me any yet. There was a book published in Germany in the 1930’s called “100 authors against Einstein”. None of them count, because they didn’t present any evidence. I did, if you’ll recall, look at the site you suggested. It contained nothing but unfounded assertions.
    Going back to your original post – “What about those dinosaur bones that have been found with red blood cells and hemoglobin inside”….what you’ve done here is confuse real life with the movie “Jurassic Park”. You made an assertion about lunar drift. That assertion turned out to be untrue, as a simple calculation that you could easily do showed. You have not acknowledged this.
    If this is the quality of the books and authors you refer me to then, no, I don’t think I’ll bother.

    “1 Kings 7:23 in no way declares that these measurements are perfectly accurate, it is simply a general description”.
    It states a clear figure. That figure is wrong. You asked for an inaccuracy. There it is. You are claiming literal accuracy for the bible, except, it seems, when it isn’t accurate, then in some way it doesn’t count.

    “I don’t expect you to analyze every word because you don’t believe in God”. I don’t expect you necessarily to analyse every scientific claim either, but if you are going to say things like “science has not proven this” then you should back that up with some actual science, not ill informed and unsubsantiated opinions. You made the claim, not me. I’m not (on this thread) trying to disprove God or anything of the kind.

    “what good would it do you to figure out its true meaning?”
    If the bible has a “true meaning” that is separate from its literal one, why shouldn’t that apply to Genesis?

    Oh, and “have you forgotten the very basics of how to treat others, especially a friend in Christ?”.
    I think Steve has been very patient with you, personally. But now his patience is running out. And so is mine.

  381. Viole
    October 12th, 2005 @ 1:51 pm

    Me? I personally think that this particular incarnation of the universe began roughly sixteen billion years ago. I don’t have the qualifications to say why. I think the earth has existed for roughly four and a half billion years, around four billion of which hosted the progress of life from, possible, simple self-replicating strands of DNA to complex organism capable of standing up and shouting, “I am me!” and, eventually, figuring out that “I” is not the center of the universe, and that no omnipotent being has set things up in advance.

    I think that Genesis is not only meant to not be taken literally, it’s a bad account of creation. An omnipotent god could at least get things in the right order. Futhermore, I suspect that taking any part of the bible literally will give you a bad history lesson and an extremely bad example in the form of genocide, deception and outright viciousness by our supposed creator. I think we’d all be better off if we dumped the bible in the trashbin of history. The assholes will still be assholes, and the greedy will still be greedy, but hopefully the mindless sheep will start thinking for themselves and we can actually make some social progress.

    Somehow, I don’t think the above is quite what you wanted, is it Steve? This might, though: No, Jen, I don’t think that answers any questions to any degree of satisfaction.

  382. a different tim
    October 12th, 2005 @ 2:06 pm

    Viole – in that case you may be interested in this http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html

    Sorry, Steve, but it seems to back her up. Secularised societies have lower rates of abortion, teen pregnancy, homicide……

    Accepting the theory of evolution seems to help too :)

    Actually, this is interesting, and not what I expected. I’ve always been an atheist because I thought it was factually right, not because I thought it would necessarily lead to a better society.

  383. SteveG
    October 12th, 2005 @ 2:15 pm

    Viole:
    No, not *exactly* what I wanted, but I’ll take the last sentence anyway. ;-)

  384. Jennifer
    October 12th, 2005 @ 2:25 pm

    Viole Said

    The assholes will still be assholes, and the greedy will still be greedy, but hopefully the mindless sheep will start thinking for themselves and we can actually make some social progress.

    I’m pretty sure the sheeple are a universal constant.

  385. SteveG
    October 12th, 2005 @ 2:34 pm

    Viole – in that case you may be interested in this http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html
    Sorry, Steve, but it seems to back her up. Secularised societies have lower rates of abortion, teen pregnancy, homicide……

    I

  386. Debbie
    October 12th, 2005 @ 2:51 pm

    Viole,

    A minor point but something very dear to my heart …

    You state you don’t have the qualifications to say why the universe is 16 billion years old, but the wonderful truth of science is that you don’t actually need them to understand science. Given study of peer-reviewed literature you can make a very decent assessment of what is known by science (1)
    to a very high degree of certainty, what is very likely given the evidence, and what is humanity’s best hypothesis.

    Sure, someone with ‘qualifications’, whether it be relevant education, or experience, is often more likely to have a correct opinion than a layperson. But a statement by a scientist is not considered ‘true’ until it has been through a thorough peer review process and validated independently. Scientific truth is not determined by a majority consensus, or the wisdom of those at the top of the hierarchy. Albert Einstein was a humble patent clerk, not employed by any scientific institution, when he published his most important work. But the scientific world tested his theories and found them to explain many phenomena.

    Getting back to the topic … thus Intelligent Design does not belong in the classroom, NOT because many, many more people with qualifications are lined up in favor of evolution, but because there is NO science to back ID. NOR are there problems in evolutionary theory (which has an incredible amount of validating evidence) that suggest alternative theories are required. Michael Behe, although he has qualifications, is entitled to his opinions on evolution but that doesn’t make them science.

  387. SteveG
    October 12th, 2005 @ 2:57 pm

    Egads! Typos galore! Sorry for my sloppy proof-reading.

  388. a different tim
    October 12th, 2005 @ 3:08 pm

    I thought you might get the correalation/causation thing.

    Nonetheless it certainly puts the lie to the “secular society is destroying America/is evil/etc” that we hear from the religious right (and on topic – “what the nation needs is a renewal of faith”; “An economy of ideas and innovations ultimately means an economy ruled by spirit and faith”; George Gilder, senior fellow of the Discovery Institute; “ID is going to clear the ground of this suffocating naturalistic theology” – William Dembski, professor of theology and science, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; The Centre for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks “nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies”, all quoted in New Scientist 8.10.05). Causation or no causation, secularism certainly doesn’t seem to be destroying moral behaviour, even by Christian standards of morality.

    Still, intriguing, isn’t it? The study was subtitled “a first look”. Maybe follow ups (and it’s made a big enough splash that I’m sure there’ll be follow ups) will elucidate, and even show a causative mechanism. Correalation doesn’t imply non causation either. As far as the abortion thing goes the (unmarried) teen pregnancy rate was high as well, so in one sense this backs your point, but surely a high unmarried teen pregnancy rate can’t be a good thing? It seems to relate to abstinence programs – the more prevalent they are, the higher the pregnancy rate.

    I am also amused by the clear assumption on the part of many theists that a religious society is necessarily a moral society (although I’m aware you don’t necessarily hold this view). And, it turns out, that assumption, even in Christian moral terms, is not necessarily true.

  389. Choobus
    October 12th, 2005 @ 4:00 pm

    Sorry to bring the level of the debate down, but Jen you are a serious retard, and I thought it was important that you know this.

    good day

  390. Debbie
    October 12th, 2005 @ 4:11 pm

    Correlation/causation is very difficult in an experiment where you don’t have a ‘control’ against which to compare your results, and unfortunately such studies of a whole society very rarely, if never, have that.

    Regarding ADTs comment in #242 on the religious right … what does seem to be more prevalent in strongly religious societies is the use of an extreme position or a solitary tactic in order to achieve desired results. It seems to be either/or rather yes/and. This, like investing in a single piece of security technology, is very dangerous as when it fails you loose everything.

    Take teen pregnancy for example … with a teen daughter this is something very close to my heart! Growing up in Ireland the Catholic Church, and consequently the government, put all its emphasis and resources behind intimidation using fear of sin as a deterrent. Education on sexual health and especially actual contraception was not available. It was prohibited on the grounds that its availability would weaken the message of deterrence. While this works with a percentage for the population for some of the time, when it fails it fails horribly. Even in a small country like Ireland it was regular news that another baby had been found abandoned and soon after another teen mother would be hospitalized if not found dead. Some with resources took the short sea crossing to England for abortions. Some were rejected by their families to end up in the Magdalene Asylums. Families who raised their unexpected new baby tried to cover up the child pregnancy but usually faced public scorn.

    As ADT also said, faith-based abstinence programs often favored in the parts of the US are similarly flawed. They work only to the point when people make their decision not to continue and then those who decide to experiment usually have no knowledge of safe sex, contraceptives. As we have seen, even the most fervent churchgoers stray from their moral code on occasion, and so relying solely on one defense mechanism is bad security.

    Conversely, anyone who argues against lengthy education (and a little gentle parent intimidation ;-) but is in favor of giving kids contraceptives and letting them at it doesn’t get my support either.

    So rather than an either/or, I favor the yes/and. Of course, such a ‘shades of gray’ approach is unpopular with the fundamentalist or extremist of the right or left.

  391. Viole
    October 12th, 2005 @ 5:47 pm

    Hey, Choobus! I was just thinking you needed to say hi to Daphne’s Mom, preferably in your usual manner.

    Debbie: Oops, I was rather unclear there. I have a fairly decent understanding of why we measure the universe at around sixteen billion years old. What I don’t have much idea about is why the universe began, and that’s what I’m talking about not having the qualifications for. What I really meant was that I don’t know anything about the various theories about why the universe began. Any comments I made on that would be my personal preference, and not even slightly educated. I’m perfectly happy to comment on things I don’t have a degree in, especially since I don’t have a degree at all.

    Steve: Y’know, I’m pretty sure an unachievable set of rules promotes hypocrisy. You can’t be moral enough, sinner. This is where you get people like Falwell and Robertson, who repeat loudly and often the ten commandments, and that becomes our moral standard, not how we act, but what we say. It’s like ten thousand people are watching our emperor on parade in his new clothes, and we assume the man shouting, “I SEE THE EMPEROR’S CLOTHES,” in the loudest voice is the one who, with the most certainty, does. That’s not how the world works, though. It’s the quiet, unassuming one, who just shakes her head and walks away who really sees. The one screaming the loudest is usually the most vile of them all.

    Thus we have a large and vocal christian community in this country that believe the person taking down the ten commandments from the courtroom is automatically a godless communist(like me) who’s probably converting their children to homosexuality at the local school(not like me) in their spare time, while the hate-spewing tele-evangalist who has slept around more than anyone in a hippie commune, while married, hoards millions of dollars, and calls for genocide of non-christian populations and anyone who isn’t ‘conservative.’

    Thanks, friend, but I’ll take secularism. We have our problems, but we don’t have a rule book to wave.

  392. Choobus
    October 12th, 2005 @ 6:43 pm

    Hi Viole,

    well, I thought Daphne’s mom was some burger flipping loser from a trailer park and so I took pity on her 400 lb ass.

    I have never seen anyone so desperate to bring up phony educational qualifications. It’s almost as if she never graduated from high school and has somehow gotten people to believe that she has been to college, and is now so pleased with this little deception that she cannot resist telling everyone who will listen about her advanced “degrees”. (If the Devry institute even accreditied? Maybe she went to Bob Jones “university”). It’s quite funny, if a little tragic. In between rants she probably has to check her little cheat sheet to come up with some authors or something to sound clever. What a joker! She’s having a rogan. One thing I am sure of though, she definately loves anal. I have a sense for these kinds of dirty assclownery loving babes, and she’s one of ‘em, no question.

  393. SteveG
    October 12th, 2005 @ 7:06 pm

    Viole:

    Steve: Y’know, I’m pretty sure an unachievable set of rules promotes hypocrisy. You can’t be moral enough, sinner.

    Thanks, friend, but I’ll take secularism. We have our problems, but we don’t have a rule book to wave

    To set up any rules is to inevitably to set one

  394. SteveG
    October 12th, 2005 @ 7:10 pm

    I think failing to be that wish we endeavor to be is just being a human being

    Boy did I mangle that. I REALLY need to proof better. I promise I’ll try.

    Try this …

    I think failing to be that which we endeavor to be, is just part of the nature of being human.

  395. Debbie
    October 12th, 2005 @ 7:13 pm

    Viole,

    Compared to any religion, your opinion is at least as good as any as to WHY the universe began.

    My mundane scientific training (thanks DM) would lead me to suggest that the universe began because the wave function of the universe (look up Hartle & Hawking’s papers if you are curious) provides an unconditional probability for the existence of a universe of our sort. Interstingly, a lot of the discussion of modern quantum cosmology is taking place in philosophy departments and refereed journals (e.g. http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ppox/).

    Speaking of the ultimate work in progress, the most recent calculation on the age of the universe indicates 13.7 Billion years plus or minus about two hundred million years. Jen with her 6,000 years is a little out. Viole with 16 Billion is much, much closer.

  396. St. Teabag
    October 12th, 2005 @ 7:24 pm

    the universe began because the wave function of the universe (look up Hartle & Hawking’s papers if you are curious) provides an unconditional probability for the existence of a universe of our sort.

    No offense Debbie, but this is tantamount to saying “it is because it is”. This might be an explanation of one particular way of describing what we think may have happened at a time close to the big bang, but it is by no means an answer to why, and it is at best a crude guess at explaining how.

  397. Debbie
    October 12th, 2005 @ 7:52 pm

    Teabag,

    I think that’s the point. Do you think there is a ‘why’?.

  398. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 7:54 pm

    Ok, now you’ve done it. Here I am wanting to see what more Jen might have written and what do I see? A 100% wrong personality dissection by one Doofus. Let us count the propositions:

    1.burger flipping loser (actually that’s two but let it pass) wrong
    2.from a trailer park (wrong)
    3.400 lb ass. (wrong. However, if you had guessed chubby you would have been right. But you went out on a limb and it broke under your weight.)
    4. phony educational qualifications. (wrong)
    5. Following conjectures: all wrong. It’s almost as if she never graduated from high school and has somehow gotten people to believe that she has been to college, and is now so pleased with this little deception that she cannot resist telling everyone who will listen about her advanced “degrees”. (If the Devry institute even accreditied? Maybe she went to Bob Jones “university”).
    6. One thing I am sure of though, she definately loves anal. (wrong, though none of your business)
    7. I have a sense for these kinds of dirty assclownery loving babes, and she’s one of ‘em, no question. (I’d say you have no sense. And you are wrong again, oh psychobabbler. Or is it just psycho? Psycho Doofus, now that is a fine handle.)

    Grand total? 100% wrong. Sheesh, I would have expected you to get something right just by accident.

    Well, unfortunately, I don’t have enough free time to play regularly any more, but clearly I will have to check in from time to time. Who knew that atheists, though themselves mostly completely lacking in humor, would be so funny? I can’t possibly stay away, so long as you continue to talk about me so nicely.

  399. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 7:54 pm

    Ok, now you’ve done it. Here I am wanting to see what more Jen might have written and what do I see? A 100% wrong personality dissection by one Doofus. Let us count the propositions:

    1.burger flipping loser (actually that’s two but let it pass) wrong
    2.from a trailer park (wrong)
    3.400 lb ass. (wrong. However, if you had guessed chubby you would have been right. But you went out on a limb and it broke under your weight.)
    4. phony educational qualifications. (wrong)
    5. Following conjectures: all wrong. It’s almost as if she never graduated from high school and has somehow gotten people to believe that she has been to college, and is now so pleased with this little deception that she cannot resist telling everyone who will listen about her advanced “degrees”. (If the Devry institute even accreditied? Maybe she went to Bob Jones “university”).
    6. One thing I am sure of though, she definately loves anal. (wrong, though none of your business)
    7. I have a sense for these kinds of dirty assclownery loving babes, and she’s one of ‘em, no question. (I’d say you have no sense. And you are wrong again, oh psychobabbler. Or is it just psycho? Psycho Doofus, now that is a fine handle.)

    Grand total? 100% wrong. Sheesh, I would have expected you to get something right just by accident.

    Well, unfortunately, I don’t have enough free time to play regularly any more, but clearly I will have to check in from time to time. Who knew that atheists, though themselves mostly completely lacking in humor, would be so funny? I can’t possibly stay away, so long as you continue to talk about me so nicely.

  400. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 7:54 pm

    Ok, now you’ve done it. Here I am wanting to see what more Jen might have written and what do I see? A 100% wrong personality dissection by one Doofus. Let us count the propositions:

    1.burger flipping loser (actually that’s two but let it pass) wrong
    2.from a trailer park (wrong)
    3.400 lb ass. (wrong. However, if you had guessed chubby you would have been right. But you went out on a limb and it broke under your weight.)
    4. phony educational qualifications. (wrong)
    5. Following conjectures: all wrong. It’s almost as if she never graduated from high school and has somehow gotten people to believe that she has been to college, and is now so pleased with this little deception that she cannot resist telling everyone who will listen about her advanced “degrees”. (If the Devry institute even accreditied? Maybe she went to Bob Jones “university”).
    6. One thing I am sure of though, she definately loves anal. (wrong, though none of your business)
    7. I have a sense for these kinds of dirty assclownery loving babes, and she’s one of ‘em, no question. (I’d say you have no sense. And you are wrong again, oh psychobabbler. Or is it just psycho? Psycho Doofus, now that is a fine handle.)

    Grand total? 100% wrong. Sheesh, I would have expected you to get something right just by accident.

    Well, unfortunately, I don’t have enough free time to play regularly any more, but clearly I will have to check in from time to time. Who knew that atheists, though themselves mostly completely lacking in humor, would be so funny? I can’t possibly stay away, so long as you continue to talk about me so nicely.

  401. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 7:54 pm

    Ok, now you’ve done it. Here I am wanting to see what more Jen might have written and what do I see? A 100% wrong personality dissection by one Doofus. Let us count the propositions:

    1.burger flipping loser (actually that’s two but let it pass) wrong
    2.from a trailer park (wrong)
    3.400 lb ass. (wrong. However, if you had guessed chubby you would have been right. But you went out on a limb and it broke under your weight.)
    4. phony educational qualifications. (wrong)
    5. Following conjectures: all wrong. It’s almost as if she never graduated from high school and has somehow gotten people to believe that she has been to college, and is now so pleased with this little deception that she cannot resist telling everyone who will listen about her advanced “degrees”. (If the Devry institute even accreditied? Maybe she went to Bob Jones “university”).
    6. One thing I am sure of though, she definately loves anal. (wrong, though none of your business)
    7. I have a sense for these kinds of dirty assclownery loving babes, and she’s one of ‘em, no question. (I’d say you have no sense. And you are wrong again, oh psychobabbler. Or is it just psycho? Psycho Doofus, now that is a fine handle.)

    Grand total? 100% wrong. Sheesh, I would have expected you to get something right just by accident.

    Well, unfortunately, I don’t have enough free time to play regularly any more, but clearly I will have to check in from time to time. Who knew that atheists, though themselves mostly completely lacking in humor, would be so funny? I can’t possibly stay away, so long as you continue to talk about me so nicely.

  402. St. Teabag
    October 12th, 2005 @ 7:58 pm

    Debbie, the way you wrote your post suggested that you were saying that was the why. You wrote

    “……lead me to suggest that the universe began because the wave function …….”

    Because is not how it is why.

    I don’t know if there is a why or not.

  403. Choobus
    October 12th, 2005 @ 8:13 pm

    Oh dear, now I’ve gone and upset Daphne’s fat mama.

    I should apologise, but I aint gonna.

    I don’t care how many DeVry Institute awards you won for best sandwich maker, Jesus will not be pleased with you for you are commiting the sin of pride, and of being a fatass (gluttony) and for bearing false witness (lying about being a fatass). If you want a face full of jesus spooge when you get to heaven you’re goping to have to cut down on all the sinning.

    Why don’t you tell us what degrees you have and from where, unless I have already given it away.

    And come on, let’s be honest here shall we. Everyone knows that the chubby chicks have to do shit that the hardbodies won’t do if they want to get laid, so the odds are that you do anal, that you love anal, and that you simply can’t get enough anal. Tell me I’m wrong.

  404. daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 8:32 pm

    Psycho doofus: you are wrong. But so amusingly and subliterately so, that I do encourage you to go on.

  405. daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 8:32 pm

    Psycho doofus: you are wrong. But so amusingly and subliterately so, that I do encourage you to go on.

  406. daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 8:32 pm

    Psycho doofus: you are wrong. But so amusingly and subliterately so, that I do encourage you to go on.

  407. daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 8:32 pm

    Psycho doofus: you are wrong. But so amusingly and subliterately so, that I do encourage you to go on.

  408. Jim
    October 12th, 2005 @ 9:05 pm

    Choob:

    When you combine the chubby effect with the Christian effect (because, as we already established, the Christian girls get SUPER freaky), then you have real ass-sex dynamos.

  409. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 9:35 pm

    Begging does not become you, Jim. I already told you; no matter how you angle and plead, its a no go. Compliments, no matter how extravagant, will get you nowhere. Rational conversation sans vulgarities… now that could work.

  410. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 9:35 pm

    Begging does not become you, Jim. I already told you; no matter how you angle and plead, its a no go. Compliments, no matter how extravagant, will get you nowhere. Rational conversation sans vulgarities… now that could work.

  411. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 9:35 pm

    Begging does not become you, Jim. I already told you; no matter how you angle and plead, its a no go. Compliments, no matter how extravagant, will get you nowhere. Rational conversation sans vulgarities… now that could work.

  412. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 9:35 pm

    Begging does not become you, Jim. I already told you; no matter how you angle and plead, its a no go. Compliments, no matter how extravagant, will get you nowhere. Rational conversation sans vulgarities… now that could work.

  413. Jim
    October 12th, 2005 @ 9:45 pm

    DM:

    My attempts at rational conversation usually lead to you begging off and disappearing from the topic at hand. Is it safe to assume that you just are intimidated by a guy who actually knows what he’s talking about?

    The one thing that brings you back time and again is vulgarity, so I thought you dug it.

  414. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 10:37 pm

    Jim: In the short time I have “conversed with ADT, he has not been vulgar. Maybe that is unusual. But I suspect it is not, since he really is interesting and well-informed in the areas he talks about. I am guessing he doesn’t have time for that garbage. Because he has been highly informative, I have learned a lot from him and enjoyed “talking” to him. My offer to Joe still stands and is open to all. Ask me one question (ok with a couple *closely* related ones thrown in, I guess) to start a real conversation and I am still willing. But I don’t think it will happen.

    I do come back when you all annoy me with your vulgarity. I learned growing up that you stand up to a bully. (And in case this is a novel thought to you; that is what all this vulgar, testosterone-laden posturing is…plain, old-fashioned bullying.) I find that though I did not start out wanting to smite the heathen, so to speak, given the lack of interest in ideas that is endemic here (shouting at and bickering with each other doesn’t count as conversation), it was amusing for a time. Now that you have a real life literalist on board, I am interested again. But I suspect she will tire of all of us quickly enough and I can fade out for real.

    Now, as much as I hate to do it, I have to “run” away again. It is time to sleep and regain energy for tomorrow’s battles.

  415. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 10:37 pm

    Jim: In the short time I have “conversed with ADT, he has not been vulgar. Maybe that is unusual. But I suspect it is not, since he really is interesting and well-informed in the areas he talks about. I am guessing he doesn’t have time for that garbage. Because he has been highly informative, I have learned a lot from him and enjoyed “talking” to him. My offer to Joe still stands and is open to all. Ask me one question (ok with a couple *closely* related ones thrown in, I guess) to start a real conversation and I am still willing. But I don’t think it will happen.

    I do come back when you all annoy me with your vulgarity. I learned growing up that you stand up to a bully. (And in case this is a novel thought to you; that is what all this vulgar, testosterone-laden posturing is…plain, old-fashioned bullying.) I find that though I did not start out wanting to smite the heathen, so to speak, given the lack of interest in ideas that is endemic here (shouting at and bickering with each other doesn’t count as conversation), it was amusing for a time. Now that you have a real life literalist on board, I am interested again. But I suspect she will tire of all of us quickly enough and I can fade out for real.

    Now, as much as I hate to do it, I have to “run” away again. It is time to sleep and regain energy for tomorrow’s battles.

  416. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 10:37 pm

    Jim: In the short time I have “conversed with ADT, he has not been vulgar. Maybe that is unusual. But I suspect it is not, since he really is interesting and well-informed in the areas he talks about. I am guessing he doesn’t have time for that garbage. Because he has been highly informative, I have learned a lot from him and enjoyed “talking” to him. My offer to Joe still stands and is open to all. Ask me one question (ok with a couple *closely* related ones thrown in, I guess) to start a real conversation and I am still willing. But I don’t think it will happen.

    I do come back when you all annoy me with your vulgarity. I learned growing up that you stand up to a bully. (And in case this is a novel thought to you; that is what all this vulgar, testosterone-laden posturing is…plain, old-fashioned bullying.) I find that though I did not start out wanting to smite the heathen, so to speak, given the lack of interest in ideas that is endemic here (shouting at and bickering with each other doesn’t count as conversation), it was amusing for a time. Now that you have a real life literalist on board, I am interested again. But I suspect she will tire of all of us quickly enough and I can fade out for real.

    Now, as much as I hate to do it, I have to “run” away again. It is time to sleep and regain energy for tomorrow’s battles.

  417. Daphne's mom
    October 12th, 2005 @ 10:37 pm

    Jim: In the short time I have “conversed with ADT, he has not been vulgar. Maybe that is unusual. But I suspect it is not, since he really is interesting and well-informed in the areas he talks about. I am guessing he doesn’t have time for that garbage. Because he has been highly informative, I have learned a lot from him and enjoyed “talking” to him. My offer to Joe still stands and is open to all. Ask me one question (ok with a couple *closely* related ones thrown in, I guess) to start a real conversation and I am still willing. But I don’t think it will happen.

    I do come back when you all annoy me with your vulgarity. I learned growing up that you stand up to a bully. (And in case this is a novel thought to you; that is what all this vulgar, testosterone-laden posturing is…plain, old-fashioned bullying.) I find that though I did not start out wanting to smite the heathen, so to speak, given the lack of interest in ideas that is endemic here (shouting at and bickering with each other doesn’t count as conversation), it was amusing for a time. Now that you have a real life literalist on board, I am interested again. But I suspect she will tire of all of us quickly enough and I can fade out for real.

    Now, as much as I hate to do it, I have to “run” away again. It is time to sleep and regain energy for tomorrow’s battles.

  418. Jim
    October 12th, 2005 @ 10:52 pm

    DM:

    Then I refer you to question 182. You’ve already ducked out of answering that one, but since I’m feeling generous, I’ll give you another shot. Not a hint of vulgarity in that question or the re-asking.

    Feel free to take a pass at it, if you’re able.

  419. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 8:28 am

    Jim: You asked very nicely. I gladly concede that. But just as I didn’t at the time, I don’t see much to answer. Of course there are multiple factors that determine whether a theist will be simply a theist or a murdering theist. This doesn’t seem like a question, so much as a statement of fact.

    At the same time there are multiple factors that determine whether an agnostic or an atheist will be a murdering A. (Sounds like a great name for a baseball team: the Murdering As)

    We can cetainly try to tease out the reasons a theist turns to violence but I suspect that they are the same ones that drive any murderer or would be murderer to violence.

    You may disagree. If so, we can certainly have a conversation about that.

  420. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 8:28 am

    Jim: You asked very nicely. I gladly concede that. But just as I didn’t at the time, I don’t see much to answer. Of course there are multiple factors that determine whether a theist will be simply a theist or a murdering theist. This doesn’t seem like a question, so much as a statement of fact.

    At the same time there are multiple factors that determine whether an agnostic or an atheist will be a murdering A. (Sounds like a great name for a baseball team: the Murdering As)

    We can cetainly try to tease out the reasons a theist turns to violence but I suspect that they are the same ones that drive any murderer or would be murderer to violence.

    You may disagree. If so, we can certainly have a conversation about that.

  421. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 8:28 am

    Jim: You asked very nicely. I gladly concede that. But just as I didn’t at the time, I don’t see much to answer. Of course there are multiple factors that determine whether a theist will be simply a theist or a murdering theist. This doesn’t seem like a question, so much as a statement of fact.

    At the same time there are multiple factors that determine whether an agnostic or an atheist will be a murdering A. (Sounds like a great name for a baseball team: the Murdering As)

    We can cetainly try to tease out the reasons a theist turns to violence but I suspect that they are the same ones that drive any murderer or would be murderer to violence.

    You may disagree. If so, we can certainly have a conversation about that.

  422. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 8:28 am

    Jim: You asked very nicely. I gladly concede that. But just as I didn’t at the time, I don’t see much to answer. Of course there are multiple factors that determine whether a theist will be simply a theist or a murdering theist. This doesn’t seem like a question, so much as a statement of fact.

    At the same time there are multiple factors that determine whether an agnostic or an atheist will be a murdering A. (Sounds like a great name for a baseball team: the Murdering As)

    We can cetainly try to tease out the reasons a theist turns to violence but I suspect that they are the same ones that drive any murderer or would be murderer to violence.

    You may disagree. If so, we can certainly have a conversation about that.

  423. Jim
    October 13th, 2005 @ 10:05 am

    DM: At the time I first posed the question, you claimed not to be willing to have a conversation because of “thread hijack”. To now claim that you didn’t understand it was a question is disingenuous, to say the least.

    Which reason will you use to avoid the discussion this time, I wonder?

  424. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 10:40 am

    Jim: You are the moodiest creature. Is it PMS? Are you really Jamie? I was concerned about hijacking the thread, though nearly 100 messages and 4 or 5 topics later, that doesn’t seem like a problem any more. More to the point, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this a.m. and you expect me to remember the context of that remark in 182?

    Let me spell it out. I have told you that I think the piece I quoted is a fact. So, like a good conversationalist, I have tried to define the problem, as I see it. I have asked if you disagree. As soon as we clarify what it is we are going to talk about, off we go. OK?

  425. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 10:40 am

    Jim: You are the moodiest creature. Is it PMS? Are you really Jamie? I was concerned about hijacking the thread, though nearly 100 messages and 4 or 5 topics later, that doesn’t seem like a problem any more. More to the point, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this a.m. and you expect me to remember the context of that remark in 182?

    Let me spell it out. I have told you that I think the piece I quoted is a fact. So, like a good conversationalist, I have tried to define the problem, as I see it. I have asked if you disagree. As soon as we clarify what it is we are going to talk about, off we go. OK?

  426. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 10:40 am

    Jim: You are the moodiest creature. Is it PMS? Are you really Jamie? I was concerned about hijacking the thread, though nearly 100 messages and 4 or 5 topics later, that doesn’t seem like a problem any more. More to the point, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this a.m. and you expect me to remember the context of that remark in 182?

    Let me spell it out. I have told you that I think the piece I quoted is a fact. So, like a good conversationalist, I have tried to define the problem, as I see it. I have asked if you disagree. As soon as we clarify what it is we are going to talk about, off we go. OK?

  427. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 10:40 am

    Jim: You are the moodiest creature. Is it PMS? Are you really Jamie? I was concerned about hijacking the thread, though nearly 100 messages and 4 or 5 topics later, that doesn’t seem like a problem any more. More to the point, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this a.m. and you expect me to remember the context of that remark in 182?

    Let me spell it out. I have told you that I think the piece I quoted is a fact. So, like a good conversationalist, I have tried to define the problem, as I see it. I have asked if you disagree. As soon as we clarify what it is we are going to talk about, off we go. OK?

  428. Jim
    October 13th, 2005 @ 11:57 am

    DM:

    For someone who is obsessed with the vulgarity and insults people trade on this site, you’re awfully quick to tee off with them yourself. It’s part of what I love so much about you, and why you’re so easy to dispatch.

    If you’d spend a little bit less time trying to flirt with me, and a little bit more time just reading the actual threads of our conversations, you’d note that I was referring to comment #176, in which I discussed your fascination with anti-Muslim hatred (which is completely illogical, given the equal likelihood of violence from other religious sects, including your own); you actually directly responded to it in comment #188, so the context must not have completely escaped you.

    This is all, of course, just part of the way you duck any type of debate that you feel unequipped for. I’m sure your next response will be along the lines of “I don’t have time for people like you”, or “I have too many degrees to argue a topic like this”, or “You are far too vulgar for me”. Perhaps I should lay bets on which tactic you use, actually.

    Just in case you try to feign ignorance one more time: I’m specifically asking you why on earth you pretend that Muslims are somehow more “violent” or “debauched” than any of your other skydaddy religions, when history clearly teaches us that there are far more factors involved in the choices that drive religious types to violence than simply which of the theist sects they adhere to.

  429. Viole
    October 13th, 2005 @ 12:51 pm

    Thanks for the comments, Choobus. You have successfully raised the level of discourse on this thread, and I don’t mean that in the mocking manner of the theist. We were seriously so low that your crude insults were much needed.

    Thanks again.

  430. Daphne's Mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 1:45 pm

    Jim: See how quickly that thin veneer of civility wears off? I was too lazy to work backwards throught the threads to see what led to 182. That makes me lazy not ignorant. And now that you have laid out the context for me, I say, huh?

    When did 19 Christians of any stripe last fly a plane into a building? Which Christian denomination preaches that killing the infidel is an automatic ticket to heaven with 72 virgins as the bonus? When is the last time a Methodist walked into a Sbarro and blew himself and all the civilians around him into dust?

    Which non-Christian politician is currently living in the middle of a high security prison in order to prevent death threats from Presbyterians being carried out? Where are the squads of Pentecostals killing their daughters for talking to a young man? How manny Mennonites have murdered their 5 year old daughters for being raped by their uncles?

    Get serious. Does this give you a clue as to why I don’t really think we can talk about anything meaningfully? You call it ducking, I call it using my time wisely. If I see that nothing is to be gained by continuing, I don’t.

    I invited you to clarify terms and subject. I get insults back. Are you equipped to debate or is this just more macho posturing?

  431. Daphne's Mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 1:45 pm

    Jim: See how quickly that thin veneer of civility wears off? I was too lazy to work backwards throught the threads to see what led to 182. That makes me lazy not ignorant. And now that you have laid out the context for me, I say, huh?

    When did 19 Christians of any stripe last fly a plane into a building? Which Christian denomination preaches that killing the infidel is an automatic ticket to heaven with 72 virgins as the bonus? When is the last time a Methodist walked into a Sbarro and blew himself and all the civilians around him into dust?

    Which non-Christian politician is currently living in the middle of a high security prison in order to prevent death threats from Presbyterians being carried out? Where are the squads of Pentecostals killing their daughters for talking to a young man? How manny Mennonites have murdered their 5 year old daughters for being raped by their uncles?

    Get serious. Does this give you a clue as to why I don’t really think we can talk about anything meaningfully? You call it ducking, I call it using my time wisely. If I see that nothing is to be gained by continuing, I don’t.

    I invited you to clarify terms and subject. I get insults back. Are you equipped to debate or is this just more macho posturing?

  432. Daphne's Mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 1:45 pm

    Jim: See how quickly that thin veneer of civility wears off? I was too lazy to work backwards throught the threads to see what led to 182. That makes me lazy not ignorant. And now that you have laid out the context for me, I say, huh?

    When did 19 Christians of any stripe last fly a plane into a building? Which Christian denomination preaches that killing the infidel is an automatic ticket to heaven with 72 virgins as the bonus? When is the last time a Methodist walked into a Sbarro and blew himself and all the civilians around him into dust?

    Which non-Christian politician is currently living in the middle of a high security prison in order to prevent death threats from Presbyterians being carried out? Where are the squads of Pentecostals killing their daughters for talking to a young man? How manny Mennonites have murdered their 5 year old daughters for being raped by their uncles?

    Get serious. Does this give you a clue as to why I don’t really think we can talk about anything meaningfully? You call it ducking, I call it using my time wisely. If I see that nothing is to be gained by continuing, I don’t.

    I invited you to clarify terms and subject. I get insults back. Are you equipped to debate or is this just more macho posturing?

  433. Daphne's Mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 1:45 pm

    Jim: See how quickly that thin veneer of civility wears off? I was too lazy to work backwards throught the threads to see what led to 182. That makes me lazy not ignorant. And now that you have laid out the context for me, I say, huh?

    When did 19 Christians of any stripe last fly a plane into a building? Which Christian denomination preaches that killing the infidel is an automatic ticket to heaven with 72 virgins as the bonus? When is the last time a Methodist walked into a Sbarro and blew himself and all the civilians around him into dust?

    Which non-Christian politician is currently living in the middle of a high security prison in order to prevent death threats from Presbyterians being carried out? Where are the squads of Pentecostals killing their daughters for talking to a young man? How manny Mennonites have murdered their 5 year old daughters for being raped by their uncles?

    Get serious. Does this give you a clue as to why I don’t really think we can talk about anything meaningfully? You call it ducking, I call it using my time wisely. If I see that nothing is to be gained by continuing, I don’t.

    I invited you to clarify terms and subject. I get insults back. Are you equipped to debate or is this just more macho posturing?

  434. a different tim
    October 13th, 2005 @ 2:18 pm

    Haven’t we been here before?

    Let’s see….how can I put it….para 2, post 142.

    “The context was about who sponsored terrorism as I recall….now there are a lot of Muslims who state that 9/11 etc are contrary to the dictates of Islam, which as I understand it is pretty clear about the undesirability of killing innocents. By DMs argument these people are as far outside the umma as a Christian who did the same would be outside the Christian community. Yet we tend to say, hey, they quote the Koran, they say they’re doing it for Allah, they’re Muslims. And I think we’re right in saying this, so I have to apply the same standards to Christianity.”

    Now, if we look back through history there are plenty of atrocities committed in the name of Christianity. And an admittedly fairly superficial reading (as I’m tired and ill and don’t have time to go through all of the last 2000 years) suggests they only stop when wetern Christian societies become secular (then of course we get atrocities committed in the name of secular/atheist ideologies – I think we have to hold our hands up to dear old uncle Joe Stalin, although not Hitler as he was probably closer to neo paganism than anything else). Which suggests that the reason we don’t get so many Christian atrocities these days is because they don’t have much power. They do still happen though – I refer you to the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda for the worst of them).

    Most vaguely sensible ethical systems (and even the religious ones which of course, as an atheist, I consider silly :)) have strictures against this sort of thing. And humanity has a habit of throwing up psychos who do them anyhow.

    I think, DM, that you do have to take the hit for Christian atrocites, but I don’t think the Christians are necessarily any worse than anyone else. It’s just what happens when a bunch of chimps develop serious weaponry.

    PS 267 posts. I’m quite pleased. Is this some kind of record?

  435. Jim
    October 13th, 2005 @ 2:25 pm

    DM:

    From dictionary.com:

    ig

  436. SteveG
    October 13th, 2005 @ 2:27 pm

    PS 267 posts. I’m quite pleased. Is this some kind of record?

    I dunno, but it seems that every thread that you and I get involved in breaches at least 150+ comments. Wonder what that means? :-/

    You’ve mentioned a couple of times over the past week that you have been ill. Nothing serious I hope. Please get well soon. I’d say I’ll pray for you, but I know there’s been some discussion that that’s not quite an appropriate thing for a theist to say to an atheist. But I would, if it were. ;-)

  437. a different tim
    October 13th, 2005 @ 2:33 pm

    Oh – the questions in 266.

    Lord’s Resistance Army, again, I’m afraid. They really aren’t very nice people.

    Also, here in the UK, we had (until very recently) and may have again the ongoing murdering taig fenian bastards versus evil oppressive proddie hun scum question. With various women and children being blown up for no good reason that I can see, in places like Omagh. The Christians over there in the US may not do much in the way of terrorism, but the ones elsewhere sure do…..

    If Islam is responsible for 9/11, then Christianity has to take the rap here.

    Sorry about that.

    Now, we could I suppose agree that people are often bastards and religion doesn’t affect it much one way or the other……but I’m not sure. I mean, would they really be so prepared to kill stuff if they weren’t true believers? Dunno…….

  438. a different tim
    October 13th, 2005 @ 2:36 pm

    Thanks. Steve.
    Not too serious. Head cold. But, because I am a man, it’s flu.

  439. SteveG
    October 13th, 2005 @ 2:39 pm

    LOL! :-D Aint that the truth!

  440. Choobus
    October 13th, 2005 @ 2:59 pm

    Daphne’s mom,

    do you consider premarital sex to be a sin, or a good time?

  441. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

    From dictionary.daphne

    Jim: noun

    1. Time waster
    2. Testy positivist (positive that he is right and that his position does not need defending)

    How does what you wrote not say in many words what I offered as our jumping off point? To quote myself We can cetainly try to tease out the reasons a theist turns to violence but I suspect that they are the same ones that drive any murderer or would be murderer to violence. I disagree that Christianity and Islam are the same sort of group phenomenon. You can’t even come up with a decent example without going back to the Crusades which were, in fact, fully justified, although a couple of them spun out of control badly.

    Let’s deal as fully as necessary with what you wrote: Individuals defend Islam and say that it does not require what its clergy preach regularly–Jihad and murder. You cannot find a mainstream denomination whose clergy does the same. Nor can you find texts in the New Testament that support murder.

    This is just drivel: I’m specifically asking you why on earth you pretend that Muslims are somehow more “violent” or “debauched” than any of your other skydaddy religions, when history clearly teaches us that there are far more factors involved in the choices that drive religious types to violence than simply which of the theist sects they adhere to. History teaches us no such thing. Try offering one bit of proof for that statement. Just because you say it doesn’t make it a fact. Islam is more violent and debauched. It is the nature of its culture and religion which has caused it to fall behind the rest of civilization. Where is their math? Their literature? Their science? Their music? They are stuck in the 7th century.

    And, all of you atheists, formerly Christians (or so you think) post without fear of murder. That is more than Hirsi Ali (Somali born Dutch minister who renounced Islam) can do. The Dutch government had to hide her out of the country for 3 months after Theo van Gogh was murdered (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/11/60minutes/main679609.shtml) to protect her from the same islamic peace lovers.

    Tim:I have to answer you separately as my lunch is over and I am off to a meeting. Get well! Take a little zinc and a little vitamin c.

  442. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

    From dictionary.daphne

    Jim: noun

    1. Time waster
    2. Testy positivist (positive that he is right and that his position does not need defending)

    How does what you wrote not say in many words what I offered as our jumping off point? To quote myself We can cetainly try to tease out the reasons a theist turns to violence but I suspect that they are the same ones that drive any murderer or would be murderer to violence. I disagree that Christianity and Islam are the same sort of group phenomenon. You can’t even come up with a decent example without going back to the Crusades which were, in fact, fully justified, although a couple of them spun out of control badly.

    Let’s deal as fully as necessary with what you wrote: Individuals defend Islam and say that it does not require what its clergy preach regularly–Jihad and murder. You cannot find a mainstream denomination whose clergy does the same. Nor can you find texts in the New Testament that support murder.

    This is just drivel: I’m specifically asking you why on earth you pretend that Muslims are somehow more “violent” or “debauched” than any of your other skydaddy religions, when history clearly teaches us that there are far more factors involved in the choices that drive religious types to violence than simply which of the theist sects they adhere to. History teaches us no such thing. Try offering one bit of proof for that statement. Just because you say it doesn’t make it a fact. Islam is more violent and debauched. It is the nature of its culture and religion which has caused it to fall behind the rest of civilization. Where is their math? Their literature? Their science? Their music? They are stuck in the 7th century.

    And, all of you atheists, formerly Christians (or so you think) post without fear of murder. That is more than Hirsi Ali (Somali born Dutch minister who renounced Islam) can do. The Dutch government had to hide her out of the country for 3 months after Theo van Gogh was murdered (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/11/60minutes/main679609.shtml) to protect her from the same islamic peace lovers.

    Tim:I have to answer you separately as my lunch is over and I am off to a meeting. Get well! Take a little zinc and a little vitamin c.

  443. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

    From dictionary.daphne

    Jim: noun

    1. Time waster
    2. Testy positivist (positive that he is right and that his position does not need defending)

    How does what you wrote not say in many words what I offered as our jumping off point? To quote myself We can cetainly try to tease out the reasons a theist turns to violence but I suspect that they are the same ones that drive any murderer or would be murderer to violence. I disagree that Christianity and Islam are the same sort of group phenomenon. You can’t even come up with a decent example without going back to the Crusades which were, in fact, fully justified, although a couple of them spun out of control badly.

    Let’s deal as fully as necessary with what you wrote: Individuals defend Islam and say that it does not require what its clergy preach regularly–Jihad and murder. You cannot find a mainstream denomination whose clergy does the same. Nor can you find texts in the New Testament that support murder.

    This is just drivel: I’m specifically asking you why on earth you pretend that Muslims are somehow more “violent” or “debauched” than any of your other skydaddy religions, when history clearly teaches us that there are far more factors involved in the choices that drive religious types to violence than simply which of the theist sects they adhere to. History teaches us no such thing. Try offering one bit of proof for that statement. Just because you say it doesn’t make it a fact. Islam is more violent and debauched. It is the nature of its culture and religion which has caused it to fall behind the rest of civilization. Where is their math? Their literature? Their science? Their music? They are stuck in the 7th century.

    And, all of you atheists, formerly Christians (or so you think) post without fear of murder. That is more than Hirsi Ali (Somali born Dutch minister who renounced Islam) can do. The Dutch government had to hide her out of the country for 3 months after Theo van Gogh was murdered (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/11/60minutes/main679609.shtml) to protect her from the same islamic peace lovers.

    Tim:I have to answer you separately as my lunch is over and I am off to a meeting. Get well! Take a little zinc and a little vitamin c.

  444. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

    From dictionary.daphne

    Jim: noun

    1. Time waster
    2. Testy positivist (positive that he is right and that his position does not need defending)

    How does what you wrote not say in many words what I offered as our jumping off point? To quote myself We can cetainly try to tease out the reasons a theist turns to violence but I suspect that they are the same ones that drive any murderer or would be murderer to violence. I disagree that Christianity and Islam are the same sort of group phenomenon. You can’t even come up with a decent example without going back to the Crusades which were, in fact, fully justified, although a couple of them spun out of control badly.

    Let’s deal as fully as necessary with what you wrote: Individuals defend Islam and say that it does not require what its clergy preach regularly–Jihad and murder. You cannot find a mainstream denomination whose clergy does the same. Nor can you find texts in the New Testament that support murder.

    This is just drivel: I’m specifically asking you why on earth you pretend that Muslims are somehow more “violent” or “debauched” than any of your other skydaddy religions, when history clearly teaches us that there are far more factors involved in the choices that drive religious types to violence than simply which of the theist sects they adhere to. History teaches us no such thing. Try offering one bit of proof for that statement. Just because you say it doesn’t make it a fact. Islam is more violent and debauched. It is the nature of its culture and religion which has caused it to fall behind the rest of civilization. Where is their math? Their literature? Their science? Their music? They are stuck in the 7th century.

    And, all of you atheists, formerly Christians (or so you think) post without fear of murder. That is more than Hirsi Ali (Somali born Dutch minister who renounced Islam) can do. The Dutch government had to hide her out of the country for 3 months after Theo van Gogh was murdered (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/11/60minutes/main679609.shtml) to protect her from the same islamic peace lovers.

    Tim:I have to answer you separately as my lunch is over and I am off to a meeting. Get well! Take a little zinc and a little vitamin c.

  445. Viole
    October 13th, 2005 @ 3:35 pm

    And there I thought you said you had some background in history, Daphne?

    The crusades were justified? By what? A little minor Muslim encroachment on Christian lands? I don’t think so. They were, quite simply, an unjustified attempt to rest control of a stretch of desert from people who believed in the same god the wrong way. The ‘justifications’ for all the crusades is basically the same, and entirely worthless.

    At the time, the Saracens were a much more civilized people than the Europeans. In fact, it seems the Italian renaissance began when classical Greek works were reintroduced–by Muslims. Hmm. It’s a good thing Christianity is so much more civilized than Islam, or we’d all be in serious trouble, wouldn’t we? The trouble is that poverty produces religious fundamentalism and social conservatism. Not that Islam is any more likely to produce intolerant bastards than any other exclusive faith.

  446. Jim
    October 13th, 2005 @ 3:36 pm

    DM:

    I’m perfectly willing to defend a position as long as you present something to attack it. You provide nothing but straw men and red herrings.

    I provided multiple examples of 20th century Christians committing mass murder. This isn’t even a comprehensive list of the murderous acts of mainstream Christians in the 20th and 21st centuries. I mentioned the murderous past of Christians offhand, and you focused on it. This is an evasion tactic which you have used the entire time you and I have been going back and forth. I’m not in the least surprised that you’ve resorted to it once more. When will you address these incidents?

    So is it your claim that only the teachings in the New Testament apply to Christians? And your claim that only “mainstream” denominations preach holy war and murder is ridiculous. Your people tie themselves to morons such as Robertson and Falwell when they’re useful politically, and discard them as soon as the political heat rises. Mainstream Catholic and Protestant leaders exhorted the fellowship to support the “boys” fighting in the streets in Northern Ireland as little as 15 years ago. Simply screeching that this isn’t so does not hide the truth.

    To claim that Islam is behind the rest of civilization due to “inherent failings” shows that you’ve not cracked open a history book in some time, possibly in your life. Would you like some recommendations on the history of Western imperialism in the middle and near east? Perhaps you’d should actually read the literature, study the science, and to the music from Islamic societies that are not ruled by US-sponsored fundamentalist dictatorships before jumping to conclusions. I know this would take a little more time than flipping on Fox News, but you might find it genuinely rewarding.

    Before you throw up any more straw men, I defy you to find a place in this thread where anyone claims that all Muslims are peace lovers, or that no Muslim has committed acts of evil or terrorism. I simply suggest you check the glass walls of your own house as well — consider just how safe Catholic and Protestants on both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland have felt, being members of your “religion of peace” over the past several decades when they tried to speak out against the hatred.

  447. Choobus
    October 13th, 2005 @ 3:49 pm

    so DM, given that you can’t get enough anal, would you rather be fucked deep in the ass by a muslim with a 5 inch wang, or a christian with an 8 inch wang?

  448. a different tim
    October 13th, 2005 @ 4:03 pm

    Sorry to intrude, but I think I have to intervene on Islam’s science, music etc. We got a lot of our renaissance science from Islamic sources (they preserved and then built on the work of the Greeks when we were in the dark ages, looking at all that stuff as pagan knowledge. The renaissance probably would not have started if Christendom had not captured the library of Toledo during the reconquista). Arabic words in maths and science – Algebra. Chemistry (derived from alchemy). Alcohol…….

    I think you know this, to be honest.

    Literature? hello? Perfumed garden? 1001 Nights? They have a canon that stands up to ours, I think.

    Music? As I write I have put on a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan CD (just to check, you understand). It’s sublime. I know, it’s religious music, atheists aren’t supposed to like that stuff…..

    Now, yes, Islam seems to be going through a nasty fundie phase, mostly down to the Wahabis. But to say that all Islam is evil seems to be leaning perilously towards a similar position, as in “The infidels are evil. Let’s smite them”.

    Hang on a minute…I’m defending a religion!

    Crap.

  449. a different tim
    October 13th, 2005 @ 4:09 pm

    Well, after that, back on topic: religion can’t really explain evolution, but evolution may be able to explain religion:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1590776,00.html

  450. Debbie
    October 13th, 2005 @ 5:08 pm

    DM,

    In reference to the examples provided of terrorism committed recently by Christians, including that in Northern Ireland, you said “You can’t even come up with a decent example without going back to the Crusades “.

    Are you suggesting that what happened in Northern Ireland wasn’t a “decent example”, by which I presume you mean a terrorist attrocity committed by Christians? By conservative estimates 3,500 innocents died in Northern Ireland. Sure, no one incident matched the WTC falling for number of casualties, but there are plenty of horrors from sustained violence over thiry years to choose from for your “decent example”.

    Here’s two:
    Omagh – Catholics kill 29 people in a bomb with no warning: 13 women, 9 children and 6 men. One of the women was pregnant with twins.
    Enniskillen – Catholics kill eleven in the Remembrance Day massacre also without warning. Those killed included veterans of the first world war in their wheelchairs.

  451. daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 6:09 pm

    Tim: you crack me up. I hope that means you are feeling better. And there is no point in the oh so, subtle “well back on topic” either, because certain folks here don’t accept that a reasonable desire not to hijack a thread is legit.

    To pick up where I left off:

    — The car bombings and large-scale murders of civilians by the Provisional IRA and Unionist militias in Northern Ireland (Christians)

    So you say. But I think the better explanation would be far closer to tribalism. The issues that plague Ireland go back a long way and have become part and parcel of the thinking of whole generations. I have seen something like that here. My father grew up in South Philadelphia at a time when neighborhoods were Polish, Jewish, Italian, etc. and they thought of themselves in those terms too. My father, a 2nd generation American, couldn’t speak Italian (except for a few delightful cuss words) and had no particular affinity for things Italian. But it was his identity.

    — The massacre of refugees with Israeli assistance by Phalangist militias in Palestine (Christians)

    I assume you are referring to Sabra and Shatila (sp?). What can I say? It is too simple-minded to say that they did what they did because they are Christians. The question is why did they do it, if they were? You talk as though one could be purely or perfectly a Christian. At the best of times that is impossible. Put a bunch of superficial believers in a voilatile situation and don’t be surprised at what you get. But again, what Church sanctioned the massacres?

    — Massacres by right-wing US Christian-supported terrorist groups throughout Central and South America (Christians)

    This is sheer nonsense. When have the Presbyterians supported such a thing? The Methodists? The Catholics? It is one thing to say that people of a certain psychological persuasion will support such things but that is not the same thing as saying that the religion and its clergy and followers preach and practice it.

    — Attacks by the Eric Rudolph, Tim McVeigh, and their co-conspirators (Christians)

    I already answered this one many many posts ago. Eric Rudolph repudiates Christianity and says his beliefs are derived from Nietsche. Who knows? But again, what Church (not splinter group, not a small heretical sect doing its own thing) preaches this kind of activity? So far as I know, Tim McVeigh made no such claim either. But even if he had, so what? He acted as an individual and not with the blessing of the Church.

    — Willing participation in the Holocaust by Christians throughout Germany and Eastern Europe (again, Christians)

    Some did. Some didn’t. Ever hear of Bonhoeffer? Niemoller? Wallenberg? to name but a few of the most famous. The hundreds of unfamous Christians who helped have been recorded in a number of books, e.g. Path of the Righteous Gentiles by Mordecai Paldiel (1993), The Man who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz by David Kranzler (2000) and The Righteous : the unsung heroes of the Holocaust by Martin Gilbert (2004) among many hundreds of other such books. In fact, Gilbert tells a touching story of one Jew who, having been thrown out of his Polish village wondered where he could possibly go; whom he could trust and decided to seek out a very small maligned sect whose members had always seemed cheerful and kind to him–the Baptists. They did, indeed welcome him, and save him.

    Next stop. The Crusades.

  452. daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 6:09 pm

    Tim: you crack me up. I hope that means you are feeling better. And there is no point in the oh so, subtle “well back on topic” either, because certain folks here don’t accept that a reasonable desire not to hijack a thread is legit.

    To pick up where I left off:

    — The car bombings and large-scale murders of civilians by the Provisional IRA and Unionist militias in Northern Ireland (Christians)

    So you say. But I think the better explanation would be far closer to tribalism. The issues that plague Ireland go back a long way and have become part and parcel of the thinking of whole generations. I have seen something like that here. My father grew up in South Philadelphia at a time when neighborhoods were Polish, Jewish, Italian, etc. and they thought of themselves in those terms too. My father, a 2nd generation American, couldn’t speak Italian (except for a few delightful cuss words) and had no particular affinity for things Italian. But it was his identity.

    — The massacre of refugees with Israeli assistance by Phalangist militias in Palestine (Christians)

    I assume you are referring to Sabra and Shatila (sp?). What can I say? It is too simple-minded to say that they did what they did because they are Christians. The question is why did they do it, if they were? You talk as though one could be purely or perfectly a Christian. At the best of times that is impossible. Put a bunch of superficial believers in a voilatile situation and don’t be surprised at what you get. But again, what Church sanctioned the massacres?

    — Massacres by right-wing US Christian-supported terrorist groups throughout Central and South America (Christians)

    This is sheer nonsense. When have the Presbyterians supported such a thing? The Methodists? The Catholics? It is one thing to say that people of a certain psychological persuasion will support such things but that is not the same thing as saying that the religion and its clergy and followers preach and practice it.

    — Attacks by the Eric Rudolph, Tim McVeigh, and their co-conspirators (Christians)

    I already answered this one many many posts ago. Eric Rudolph repudiates Christianity and says his beliefs are derived from Nietsche. Who knows? But again, what Church (not splinter group, not a small heretical sect doing its own thing) preaches this kind of activity? So far as I know, Tim McVeigh made no such claim either. But even if he had, so what? He acted as an individual and not with the blessing of the Church.

    — Willing participation in the Holocaust by Christians throughout Germany and Eastern Europe (again, Christians)

    Some did. Some didn’t. Ever hear of Bonhoeffer? Niemoller? Wallenberg? to name but a few of the most famous. The hundreds of unfamous Christians who helped have been recorded in a number of books, e.g. Path of the Righteous Gentiles by Mordecai Paldiel (1993), The Man who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz by David Kranzler (2000) and The Righteous : the unsung heroes of the Holocaust by Martin Gilbert (2004) among many hundreds of other such books. In fact, Gilbert tells a touching story of one Jew who, having been thrown out of his Polish village wondered where he could possibly go; whom he could trust and decided to seek out a very small maligned sect whose members had always seemed cheerful and kind to him–the Baptists. They did, indeed welcome him, and save him.

    Next stop. The Crusades.

  453. daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 6:09 pm

    Tim: you crack me up. I hope that means you are feeling better. And there is no point in the oh so, subtle “well back on topic” either, because certain folks here don’t accept that a reasonable desire not to hijack a thread is legit.

    To pick up where I left off:

    — The car bombings and large-scale murders of civilians by the Provisional IRA and Unionist militias in Northern Ireland (Christians)

    So you say. But I think the better explanation would be far closer to tribalism. The issues that plague Ireland go back a long way and have become part and parcel of the thinking of whole generations. I have seen something like that here. My father grew up in South Philadelphia at a time when neighborhoods were Polish, Jewish, Italian, etc. and they thought of themselves in those terms too. My father, a 2nd generation American, couldn’t speak Italian (except for a few delightful cuss words) and had no particular affinity for things Italian. But it was his identity.

    — The massacre of refugees with Israeli assistance by Phalangist militias in Palestine (Christians)

    I assume you are referring to Sabra and Shatila (sp?). What can I say? It is too simple-minded to say that they did what they did because they are Christians. The question is why did they do it, if they were? You talk as though one could be purely or perfectly a Christian. At the best of times that is impossible. Put a bunch of superficial believers in a voilatile situation and don’t be surprised at what you get. But again, what Church sanctioned the massacres?

    — Massacres by right-wing US Christian-supported terrorist groups throughout Central and South America (Christians)

    This is sheer nonsense. When have the Presbyterians supported such a thing? The Methodists? The Catholics? It is one thing to say that people of a certain psychological persuasion will support such things but that is not the same thing as saying that the religion and its clergy and followers preach and practice it.

    — Attacks by the Eric Rudolph, Tim McVeigh, and their co-conspirators (Christians)

    I already answered this one many many posts ago. Eric Rudolph repudiates Christianity and says his beliefs are derived from Nietsche. Who knows? But again, what Church (not splinter group, not a small heretical sect doing its own thing) preaches this kind of activity? So far as I know, Tim McVeigh made no such claim either. But even if he had, so what? He acted as an individual and not with the blessing of the Church.

    — Willing participation in the Holocaust by Christians throughout Germany and Eastern Europe (again, Christians)

    Some did. Some didn’t. Ever hear of Bonhoeffer? Niemoller? Wallenberg? to name but a few of the most famous. The hundreds of unfamous Christians who helped have been recorded in a number of books, e.g. Path of the Righteous Gentiles by Mordecai Paldiel (1993), The Man who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz by David Kranzler (2000) and The Righteous : the unsung heroes of the Holocaust by Martin Gilbert (2004) among many hundreds of other such books. In fact, Gilbert tells a touching story of one Jew who, having been thrown out of his Polish village wondered where he could possibly go; whom he could trust and decided to seek out a very small maligned sect whose members had always seemed cheerful and kind to him–the Baptists. They did, indeed welcome him, and save him.

    Next stop. The Crusades.

  454. daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 6:09 pm

    Tim: you crack me up. I hope that means you are feeling better. And there is no point in the oh so, subtle “well back on topic” either, because certain folks here don’t accept that a reasonable desire not to hijack a thread is legit.

    To pick up where I left off:

    — The car bombings and large-scale murders of civilians by the Provisional IRA and Unionist militias in Northern Ireland (Christians)

    So you say. But I think the better explanation would be far closer to tribalism. The issues that plague Ireland go back a long way and have become part and parcel of the thinking of whole generations. I have seen something like that here. My father grew up in South Philadelphia at a time when neighborhoods were Polish, Jewish, Italian, etc. and they thought of themselves in those terms too. My father, a 2nd generation American, couldn’t speak Italian (except for a few delightful cuss words) and had no particular affinity for things Italian. But it was his identity.

    — The massacre of refugees with Israeli assistance by Phalangist militias in Palestine (Christians)

    I assume you are referring to Sabra and Shatila (sp?). What can I say? It is too simple-minded to say that they did what they did because they are Christians. The question is why did they do it, if they were? You talk as though one could be purely or perfectly a Christian. At the best of times that is impossible. Put a bunch of superficial believers in a voilatile situation and don’t be surprised at what you get. But again, what Church sanctioned the massacres?

    — Massacres by right-wing US Christian-supported terrorist groups throughout Central and South America (Christians)

    This is sheer nonsense. When have the Presbyterians supported such a thing? The Methodists? The Catholics? It is one thing to say that people of a certain psychological persuasion will support such things but that is not the same thing as saying that the religion and its clergy and followers preach and practice it.

    — Attacks by the Eric Rudolph, Tim McVeigh, and their co-conspirators (Christians)

    I already answered this one many many posts ago. Eric Rudolph repudiates Christianity and says his beliefs are derived from Nietsche. Who knows? But again, what Church (not splinter group, not a small heretical sect doing its own thing) preaches this kind of activity? So far as I know, Tim McVeigh made no such claim either. But even if he had, so what? He acted as an individual and not with the blessing of the Church.

    — Willing participation in the Holocaust by Christians throughout Germany and Eastern Europe (again, Christians)

    Some did. Some didn’t. Ever hear of Bonhoeffer? Niemoller? Wallenberg? to name but a few of the most famous. The hundreds of unfamous Christians who helped have been recorded in a number of books, e.g. Path of the Righteous Gentiles by Mordecai Paldiel (1993), The Man who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz by David Kranzler (2000) and The Righteous : the unsung heroes of the Holocaust by Martin Gilbert (2004) among many hundreds of other such books. In fact, Gilbert tells a touching story of one Jew who, having been thrown out of his Polish village wondered where he could possibly go; whom he could trust and decided to seek out a very small maligned sect whose members had always seemed cheerful and kind to him–the Baptists. They did, indeed welcome him, and save him.

    Next stop. The Crusades.

  455. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 6:32 pm

    Debbie:

    I would never deny the horrors of the slaughter in Ireland! It is a scandal and a very great shame that Americans of Irish descent have played so hideous a role in financing and arming the criminals.

    But I am trying to draw what I believe is the relevant distinction between Islam and Christianity. There are and always have been lots of bad Christians (which to us is pretty much saying that they were lying to themselves and others if they think they were Christians). But it has been a very long time, as in many centuries, since the Christian Church has blessed or sanctioned or preached violence to achieve political ends. Because such violence was never part of the essence of its teachings, the Church has been able to correct its missteps. Someone may want to bring up just war theory here but I don’t accept that as belonging in the category of violence for political ends.

    Islam does preach and sanction murder for all sorts of reasons. Its adherents, those who have managed somehow to achieve a more irenic disposition, would like to bring Islam into the 21st century and I hope it can be done. Turning our heads away and pretending that violence isn’t woven into the very fiber of Islam won’t help. Let’s face it. Mohammad was a general and a very successful one at that. How hard is it to understand that the religion he invented would be militaristic and bent on conquest?

  456. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 6:32 pm

    Debbie:

    I would never deny the horrors of the slaughter in Ireland! It is a scandal and a very great shame that Americans of Irish descent have played so hideous a role in financing and arming the criminals.

    But I am trying to draw what I believe is the relevant distinction between Islam and Christianity. There are and always have been lots of bad Christians (which to us is pretty much saying that they were lying to themselves and others if they think they were Christians). But it has been a very long time, as in many centuries, since the Christian Church has blessed or sanctioned or preached violence to achieve political ends. Because such violence was never part of the essence of its teachings, the Church has been able to correct its missteps. Someone may want to bring up just war theory here but I don’t accept that as belonging in the category of violence for political ends.

    Islam does preach and sanction murder for all sorts of reasons. Its adherents, those who have managed somehow to achieve a more irenic disposition, would like to bring Islam into the 21st century and I hope it can be done. Turning our heads away and pretending that violence isn’t woven into the very fiber of Islam won’t help. Let’s face it. Mohammad was a general and a very successful one at that. How hard is it to understand that the religion he invented would be militaristic and bent on conquest?

  457. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 6:32 pm

    Debbie:

    I would never deny the horrors of the slaughter in Ireland! It is a scandal and a very great shame that Americans of Irish descent have played so hideous a role in financing and arming the criminals.

    But I am trying to draw what I believe is the relevant distinction between Islam and Christianity. There are and always have been lots of bad Christians (which to us is pretty much saying that they were lying to themselves and others if they think they were Christians). But it has been a very long time, as in many centuries, since the Christian Church has blessed or sanctioned or preached violence to achieve political ends. Because such violence was never part of the essence of its teachings, the Church has been able to correct its missteps. Someone may want to bring up just war theory here but I don’t accept that as belonging in the category of violence for political ends.

    Islam does preach and sanction murder for all sorts of reasons. Its adherents, those who have managed somehow to achieve a more irenic disposition, would like to bring Islam into the 21st century and I hope it can be done. Turning our heads away and pretending that violence isn’t woven into the very fiber of Islam won’t help. Let’s face it. Mohammad was a general and a very successful one at that. How hard is it to understand that the religion he invented would be militaristic and bent on conquest?

  458. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 6:32 pm

    Debbie:

    I would never deny the horrors of the slaughter in Ireland! It is a scandal and a very great shame that Americans of Irish descent have played so hideous a role in financing and arming the criminals.

    But I am trying to draw what I believe is the relevant distinction between Islam and Christianity. There are and always have been lots of bad Christians (which to us is pretty much saying that they were lying to themselves and others if they think they were Christians). But it has been a very long time, as in many centuries, since the Christian Church has blessed or sanctioned or preached violence to achieve political ends. Because such violence was never part of the essence of its teachings, the Church has been able to correct its missteps. Someone may want to bring up just war theory here but I don’t accept that as belonging in the category of violence for political ends.

    Islam does preach and sanction murder for all sorts of reasons. Its adherents, those who have managed somehow to achieve a more irenic disposition, would like to bring Islam into the 21st century and I hope it can be done. Turning our heads away and pretending that violence isn’t woven into the very fiber of Islam won’t help. Let’s face it. Mohammad was a general and a very successful one at that. How hard is it to understand that the religion he invented would be militaristic and bent on conquest?

  459. Choobus
    October 13th, 2005 @ 6:37 pm

    DM, you never answered my question about muslim anal. Stop avoiding the tough questions!

  460. Jennifer
    October 13th, 2005 @ 6:59 pm

    DM the rape of children is heinous act. I don’t see the improvement. And Islamic Clerics regularly denounce violence. The problem is that believing there is a life after this life and embracing a life style that does not encourage critical thought (ie faith) leads to atrocities.

    Religion isnt some cute harmless thing. Its a dangerous opiate.

  461. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 7:16 pm

    Jennifer: With all due respect, I don’t see how atheism is an improvement. Human nature is what it is. If you will not be guided by the precepts of a religion that positively proscribes murder, adultery, lying, etc. you will have to get your precepts from somewhere. The notion that you can reason your way out of selfishness and all the rest of the ills that plague mankind is really… irrational. You have all of human history (but especially in the 20th century) against you.

    This just won’t hold: The problem is that believing there is a life after this life and embracing a life style that does not encourage critical thought (ie faith) leads to atrocities.

    I don’t doubt your sincerity but this is as clear an example of why one’s education must contain a goodly portion of humanistic study as ever I could come up with. What is your proof for any of this? Why do you believe that believing in an afterlife encourages atrocities? If you believe that you are going to stand before a God who forbids murder, adultery, lying, stealing, etc, give an account of your life and be judged accordingly, that is a pretty good incentive to good behavior. On the other hand, if you think Allah wants you to kill and will reward you with beautiful women afterwards, well ’nuff said. It matters what you believe!

    I can’t even begin to deal with your belief that Christianity and critical though are incompatible. The roster of first rate intellectuals who are or were believers would take years to read through.

  462. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 7:16 pm

    Jennifer: With all due respect, I don’t see how atheism is an improvement. Human nature is what it is. If you will not be guided by the precepts of a religion that positively proscribes murder, adultery, lying, etc. you will have to get your precepts from somewhere. The notion that you can reason your way out of selfishness and all the rest of the ills that plague mankind is really… irrational. You have all of human history (but especially in the 20th century) against you.

    This just won’t hold: The problem is that believing there is a life after this life and embracing a life style that does not encourage critical thought (ie faith) leads to atrocities.

    I don’t doubt your sincerity but this is as clear an example of why one’s education must contain a goodly portion of humanistic study as ever I could come up with. What is your proof for any of this? Why do you believe that believing in an afterlife encourages atrocities? If you believe that you are going to stand before a God who forbids murder, adultery, lying, stealing, etc, give an account of your life and be judged accordingly, that is a pretty good incentive to good behavior. On the other hand, if you think Allah wants you to kill and will reward you with beautiful women afterwards, well ’nuff said. It matters what you believe!

    I can’t even begin to deal with your belief that Christianity and critical though are incompatible. The roster of first rate intellectuals who are or were believers would take years to read through.

  463. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 7:16 pm

    Jennifer: With all due respect, I don’t see how atheism is an improvement. Human nature is what it is. If you will not be guided by the precepts of a religion that positively proscribes murder, adultery, lying, etc. you will have to get your precepts from somewhere. The notion that you can reason your way out of selfishness and all the rest of the ills that plague mankind is really… irrational. You have all of human history (but especially in the 20th century) against you.

    This just won’t hold: The problem is that believing there is a life after this life and embracing a life style that does not encourage critical thought (ie faith) leads to atrocities.

    I don’t doubt your sincerity but this is as clear an example of why one’s education must contain a goodly portion of humanistic study as ever I could come up with. What is your proof for any of this? Why do you believe that believing in an afterlife encourages atrocities? If you believe that you are going to stand before a God who forbids murder, adultery, lying, stealing, etc, give an account of your life and be judged accordingly, that is a pretty good incentive to good behavior. On the other hand, if you think Allah wants you to kill and will reward you with beautiful women afterwards, well ’nuff said. It matters what you believe!

    I can’t even begin to deal with your belief that Christianity and critical though are incompatible. The roster of first rate intellectuals who are or were believers would take years to read through.

  464. Daphne's mom
    October 13th, 2005 @ 7:16 pm

    Jennifer: With all due respect, I don’t see how atheism is an improvement. Human nature is what it is. If you will not be guided by the precepts of a religion that positively proscribes murder, adultery, lying, etc. you will have to get your precepts from somewhere. The notion that you can reason your way out of selfishness and all the rest of the ills that plague mankind is really… irrational. You have all of human history (but especially in the 20th century) against you.

    This just won’t hold: The problem is that believing there is a life after this life and embracing a life style that does not encourage critical thought (ie faith) leads to atrocities.

    I don’t doubt your sincerity but this is as clear an example of why one’s education must contain a goodly portion of humanistic study as ever I could come up with. What is your proof for any of this? Why do you believe that believing in an afterlife encourages atrocities? If you believe that you are going to stand before a God who forbids murder, adultery, lying, stealing, etc, give an account of your life and be judged accordingly, that is a pretty good incentive to good behavior. On the other hand, if you think Allah wants you to kill and will reward you with beautiful women afterwards, well ’nuff said. It matters what you believe!

    I can’t even begin to deal with your belief that Christianity and critical though are incompatible. The roster of first rate intellectuals who are or were believers would take years to read through.

  465. a different tim
    October 14th, 2005 @ 7:19 am

    I definitely remember from somewhere that the 72 virgins thing is a mistranslation between the arabic of Mohammed’s time (more closely related to aramhaic) and that of today. It should be 72 white raisins.
    There’s going to be a lot of disappointed martyrs out there….

    Now the comment about tribalism/other political causes is one I thought might come up. But why should this not apply to Muslims as well? We tend to speak of Al Quaida as a purely religious organisation but they are largely a result of political and economic situations (I say situations as I don’t wish to imply it was “all America’s fault” or anything of the kind. But I think that discussing the rise of Islamic fundamentalism without addressing the social/political/economic events in the middle east that fuelled it is disingenuous, if we’re going to allow them in for northern Ireland. And speaking of cultures of supporting terrorism, Noraid have a lot to answer for).

    re 279: You can hijack the thread all you like. I just thought the link I provided there might amuse…..

    Choobus: “there’s a boy across the river/with a bottom like a peach/but alas, I cannot swim” (traditional Pathan song).

  466. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 8:04 am

    Hi ADT. Glad to see you back in the fray. Are you feeling better? I agree that tribalism is a big issue in Muslim life. I am not one that wants to simplify everything– religion bad. Capitalism bad. Or, whatever. We humans and our societies are a complex lot. We do tease apart the strands so that we can try to talk about different elements but do risk oversimplifying questions when we do. So your reminder is timely indeed.

    Not to be obnoxious but isn’t the mess in the Middle East (as long as we are looking at root causes) largely of Britain’s making? We do have a history of trying to put right what others have mucked up….

    Raisins! Just a couple of nights ago I read a story that I simply cannot credit but I will have to hunt it down since I don’t remember where it was. In any case, it seems that muslim suicide bombers wrap their … ahem… manly parts in aluminium foil to preserve them intact for action in the afterlife. The mind boggles.

  467. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 8:04 am

    Hi ADT. Glad to see you back in the fray. Are you feeling better? I agree that tribalism is a big issue in Muslim life. I am not one that wants to simplify everything– religion bad. Capitalism bad. Or, whatever. We humans and our societies are a complex lot. We do tease apart the strands so that we can try to talk about different elements but do risk oversimplifying questions when we do. So your reminder is timely indeed.

    Not to be obnoxious but isn’t the mess in the Middle East (as long as we are looking at root causes) largely of Britain’s making? We do have a history of trying to put right what others have mucked up….

    Raisins! Just a couple of nights ago I read a story that I simply cannot credit but I will have to hunt it down since I don’t remember where it was. In any case, it seems that muslim suicide bombers wrap their … ahem… manly parts in aluminium foil to preserve them intact for action in the afterlife. The mind boggles.

  468. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 8:04 am

    Hi ADT. Glad to see you back in the fray. Are you feeling better? I agree that tribalism is a big issue in Muslim life. I am not one that wants to simplify everything– religion bad. Capitalism bad. Or, whatever. We humans and our societies are a complex lot. We do tease apart the strands so that we can try to talk about different elements but do risk oversimplifying questions when we do. So your reminder is timely indeed.

    Not to be obnoxious but isn’t the mess in the Middle East (as long as we are looking at root causes) largely of Britain’s making? We do have a history of trying to put right what others have mucked up….

    Raisins! Just a couple of nights ago I read a story that I simply cannot credit but I will have to hunt it down since I don’t remember where it was. In any case, it seems that muslim suicide bombers wrap their … ahem… manly parts in aluminium foil to preserve them intact for action in the afterlife. The mind boggles.

  469. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 8:04 am

    Hi ADT. Glad to see you back in the fray. Are you feeling better? I agree that tribalism is a big issue in Muslim life. I am not one that wants to simplify everything– religion bad. Capitalism bad. Or, whatever. We humans and our societies are a complex lot. We do tease apart the strands so that we can try to talk about different elements but do risk oversimplifying questions when we do. So your reminder is timely indeed.

    Not to be obnoxious but isn’t the mess in the Middle East (as long as we are looking at root causes) largely of Britain’s making? We do have a history of trying to put right what others have mucked up….

    Raisins! Just a couple of nights ago I read a story that I simply cannot credit but I will have to hunt it down since I don’t remember where it was. In any case, it seems that muslim suicide bombers wrap their … ahem… manly parts in aluminium foil to preserve them intact for action in the afterlife. The mind boggles.

  470. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 8:06 am

    Hi ADT. Glad to see you back in the fray. Are you feeling better? I agree that tribalism is a big issue in Muslim life. I am not one that wants to simplify everything– religion bad. Capitalism bad. Or, whatever. We humans and our societies are a complex lot. We do tease apart the strands so that we can try to talk about different elements but do risk oversimplifying questions when we do. So your reminder is timely indeed.

    Not to be obnoxious but isn’t the mess in the Middle East (as long as we are looking at root causes) largely of Britain’s making? We do have a history of trying to put right what others have mucked up….

    Raisins! Just a couple of nights ago I read a story that I simply cannot credit but I will have to hunt it down since I don’t remember where it was. In any case, it seems that muslim suicide bombers wrap their … ahem… manly parts in aluminium foil to preserve them intact for action in the afterlife. The mind boggles.

  471. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 8:06 am

    Hi ADT. Glad to see you back in the fray. Are you feeling better? I agree that tribalism is a big issue in Muslim life. I am not one that wants to simplify everything– religion bad. Capitalism bad. Or, whatever. We humans and our societies are a complex lot. We do tease apart the strands so that we can try to talk about different elements but do risk oversimplifying questions when we do. So your reminder is timely indeed.

    Not to be obnoxious but isn’t the mess in the Middle East (as long as we are looking at root causes) largely of Britain’s making? We do have a history of trying to put right what others have mucked up….

    Raisins! Just a couple of nights ago I read a story that I simply cannot credit but I will have to hunt it down since I don’t remember where it was. In any case, it seems that muslim suicide bombers wrap their … ahem… manly parts in aluminium foil to preserve them intact for action in the afterlife. The mind boggles.

  472. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 8:06 am

    Hi ADT. Glad to see you back in the fray. Are you feeling better? I agree that tribalism is a big issue in Muslim life. I am not one that wants to simplify everything– religion bad. Capitalism bad. Or, whatever. We humans and our societies are a complex lot. We do tease apart the strands so that we can try to talk about different elements but do risk oversimplifying questions when we do. So your reminder is timely indeed.

    Not to be obnoxious but isn’t the mess in the Middle East (as long as we are looking at root causes) largely of Britain’s making? We do have a history of trying to put right what others have mucked up….

    Raisins! Just a couple of nights ago I read a story that I simply cannot credit but I will have to hunt it down since I don’t remember where it was. In any case, it seems that muslim suicide bombers wrap their … ahem… manly parts in aluminium foil to preserve them intact for action in the afterlife. The mind boggles.

  473. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 8:06 am

    Hi ADT. Glad to see you back in the fray. Are you feeling better? I agree that tribalism is a big issue in Muslim life. I am not one that wants to simplify everything– religion bad. Capitalism bad. Or, whatever. We humans and our societies are a complex lot. We do tease apart the strands so that we can try to talk about different elements but do risk oversimplifying questions when we do. So your reminder is timely indeed.

    Not to be obnoxious but isn’t the mess in the Middle East (as long as we are looking at root causes) largely of Britain’s making? We do have a history of trying to put right what others have mucked up….

    Raisins! Just a couple of nights ago I read a story that I simply cannot credit but I will have to hunt it down since I don’t remember where it was. In any case, it seems that muslim suicide bombers wrap their … ahem… manly parts in aluminium foil to preserve them intact for action in the afterlife. The mind boggles.

  474. a different tim
    October 14th, 2005 @ 8:19 am

    yes, a lot of it was us, and the French.

    “the British and French, after the first world war, divided up the middle east in a way that was both completely self serving and unbelievably haphazard, like chimps at a salad bowl…..the huge, senseless notch in the border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia is known as “Winston’s Hiccup” as Churchill apparently settled on this line after a particularly long lunch”. (PJ O’Rourke, “Give War A Chance”, quoting from memory but you get the idea…..)

    Posting from work, lunch break over soon, so I probably won’t reply any more till much later…..

  475. Jim
    October 14th, 2005 @ 10:30 am

    DM:

    Let’s see if I can describe the double standard in your own statements slowly and carefully enough that even you can understand it.

    When atrocities are committed by Christians throughout history, it doesn’t count because either “the Church” (whatever that means, given the thousands of different sects of your corpse-god faith that exist at this point) didn’t officially sanction it, or because when it was sanctioned (as in the case of the Crusades), “they actually deserved it”.

    When atrocities are committed by another religion, it’s proof that they have murder and warfare woven throughout the fiber of their being, and we need to be prepared for bloody mano-y-mano spiritual and cultural combat to the death.

    Do you actually believe this stuff, or are you just playing devil’s advocate for shits and giggles? I would think even your ITT Technical College education would have exposed you to better history lessons than this.

    My point, by the way, is *not* that the cross-worshippers are somehow more evil than the Mohammed-worshippers, or the Vishnu-worshippers, or the let’s-roll-around-skyclad-and-fuck worshippers, but that religions, like any other opiate (incluing Nationalism, another dangerous and heady brew), can be warped by other societal influences to create violence and destruction. This is why we’ve seen such radical differences between, say, the civilizing influences of Islam vs. suicide bombers. This is why we’ve seen the education and insight of the Jesuits vs. the Inquisition.

    To suggest that we’re “cleaning up the British mess” in the Middle East is purely farcical, given that we’re repeating the same mistakes made by the British, with British participation.

    And to beat a stupid and dead horse, to suggest anyone deserved the rapine and plunder of the Crusades suggests that you’ll never guess at any of the root causes of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism, and you seem to wish to invite more and more of it. While you may secretly drool over that particular form of bullshit armageddon, please leave the rest of the educated world out of it.

  476. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 11:40 am

    Well, Jim. That’s a conversation killer. I’d like to say it’s been fun but it hasn’t. Go ahead and stick your head in the sand. What you don’t know about the Crusades is as vast as the time span between then and now, apparently. As for the rest? You have indulged you love of potty-mouthed posturing again along with vulgarity (in the original sense of ill bred) ranting and ahistoricism. Its a trinity!

  477. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 11:40 am

    Well, Jim. That’s a conversation killer. I’d like to say it’s been fun but it hasn’t. Go ahead and stick your head in the sand. What you don’t know about the Crusades is as vast as the time span between then and now, apparently. As for the rest? You have indulged you love of potty-mouthed posturing again along with vulgarity (in the original sense of ill bred) ranting and ahistoricism. Its a trinity!

  478. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 11:40 am

    Well, Jim. That’s a conversation killer. I’d like to say it’s been fun but it hasn’t. Go ahead and stick your head in the sand. What you don’t know about the Crusades is as vast as the time span between then and now, apparently. As for the rest? You have indulged you love of potty-mouthed posturing again along with vulgarity (in the original sense of ill bred) ranting and ahistoricism. Its a trinity!

  479. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 11:40 am

    Well, Jim. That’s a conversation killer. I’d like to say it’s been fun but it hasn’t. Go ahead and stick your head in the sand. What you don’t know about the Crusades is as vast as the time span between then and now, apparently. As for the rest? You have indulged you love of potty-mouthed posturing again along with vulgarity (in the original sense of ill bred) ranting and ahistoricism. Its a trinity!

  480. Jim
    October 14th, 2005 @ 12:02 pm

    DM:

    Everything’s apparently a conversation killer for you when you’ve been out-argued.

    Have fun sipping tea with your little finger while discussing with those few people who won’t point out your intrinsic style of intellectual bullying and broadly evident ignorance.

  481. a different tim
    October 14th, 2005 @ 1:59 pm

    DM – did you say that when the Crusades happened “they actually deserved it”? I can’t find you saying that. If you did say that I’m definitely going to argue with it……

  482. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 3:38 pm

    ADT: OF course I didn’t say that. That is just Jimmy, off on one of his rants. Actually, I wrote that the Crusades were fully justified but it would have helped if I had added “from a Western point of view” or something like that. But hey, it’s the Internet. We are writing in a void with no concurrent feedback to help us avoid less than fully clear sentences.

    Some people understand this better than others.

  483. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 3:38 pm

    ADT: OF course I didn’t say that. That is just Jimmy, off on one of his rants. Actually, I wrote that the Crusades were fully justified but it would have helped if I had added “from a Western point of view” or something like that. But hey, it’s the Internet. We are writing in a void with no concurrent feedback to help us avoid less than fully clear sentences.

    Some people understand this better than others.

  484. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 3:38 pm

    ADT: OF course I didn’t say that. That is just Jimmy, off on one of his rants. Actually, I wrote that the Crusades were fully justified but it would have helped if I had added “from a Western point of view” or something like that. But hey, it’s the Internet. We are writing in a void with no concurrent feedback to help us avoid less than fully clear sentences.

    Some people understand this better than others.

  485. Daphne's mom
    October 14th, 2005 @ 3:38 pm

    ADT: OF course I didn’t say that. That is just Jimmy, off on one of his rants. Actually, I wrote that the Crusades were fully justified but it would have helped if I had added “from a Western point of view” or something like that. But hey, it’s the Internet. We are writing in a void with no concurrent feedback to help us avoid less than fully clear sentences.

    Some people understand this better than others.

  486. Jim
    October 14th, 2005 @ 3:43 pm

    Oh, I’m sorry, you said the Crusades were fully justified. You’re only completely batshit insane instead of just being ignorant.

  487. Retarded Clown
    October 14th, 2005 @ 4:01 pm

    Daphne’s mom, you’re off you’re fucking rocker. I suppose you think the Holocaust was completely justified “from a German point of view”.

    Nutty cow.

  488. a different tim
    October 15th, 2005 @ 2:04 pm

    Can we reach 300?

  489. a different tim
    October 15th, 2005 @ 2:04 pm

    Can we reach 300?

  490. a different tim
    October 15th, 2005 @ 2:06 pm

    maybe………

  491. Retarded Clown
    October 15th, 2005 @ 4:02 pm

    It’s funny, as the number of posts here goes up, Daphne’s idiot mom’s IQ seems to drop like pee wee hermans pants in a wank theatre. What a fucking bitch.

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