Creationists and Nobel Prizes

I came across this image on Facebook and realized that it manages to sum up a crucial point in few words:

When someone offers evidence and does research that radically changes our understanding of the world, or decisively disproves something that was previously accepted, they make news headlines and win science prizes.

The next time someone says to you that they have or know of evidence disproving evolution, or any other mainstream scientific conclusion, maybe the best thing to do is to respond the way the meme image suggests, and ask them where their Nobel Prize is.

  • arcseconds

    this won’t impress creationists, of course, because they think there’s some combination of a conspiracy or blinkered dogmatic heels-in-the-ground bias preventing the truth from outing.

    also, often this evidence has been presented. in fact, they’re often taking this evidence from scientific journals!

    They’ve taken a crude view of how science is done. Maybe because they’ve learnt about ‘critical experiments’ somewhere, maybe it’s some lingering distant influence of Karl Popper, maybe it’s because scientists often unfortunately explain things in these terms (Fred just had a post about Feynmann saying something like this), but they appear to think that one piece of contrary evidence is all that’s needed to wipe off an entire theory, no matter how successful it’s been up until now.

    So they’re constantly on the lookout for anything that could remotely be dressed up as a contrary bit of evidence.

    Of course, with the amount of data coming to light every day about evolutionary biology, it would be very surprising if there were no surprises or wrinkles. At this stage, the sorts of things that would overturn all belief in the phenomenon of macroevolution in the scientific community would be something like discovering we’ve been systematically deceived by the Matrix, God or super-aliens supplying us with evidence that points to evolution. A few anomalous results simply aren’t going to cut it.

    • don

      Scientists at ICR (Institute for Creation Research) have proved
      conclusively over and over that evolution is impossible. There
      is no longer any real question about this matter.
      Most scientists have adopted the creationist viewpoint. There are
      however some very stubborn holdouts.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        That is simply a lie. You may be merely repeating it, but the Bible condemns gossip and the passing on of falsehood. The ICR has proved no such thing, and most scientists have not adopted the young-earth creationist viewpoint the ICR promotes.

        If being honest and accurate are of no interest to you, then in what sense are you a Christian?

      • arcseconds

        Oh, yes, I remember now!

        It, was, what, the late 90s, and there were major articles in Science and Nature about it, and E. O. Wilson went on Oprah, slightly sheepishly, to explain why the scientific community had got it so very wrong. It was news for months — it was on the cover of Time magazine, and Dawkins really spat the dummy, said he’d never accept this, and emigrated to North Korea with a few of his remaining followers.

        Theology programmes became really popular with biologists, because they’d realised that the only way to understand organisms was to understand the designer.

        How silly of me to forget!
        ;-)

        • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

          I wish I could upvote multiple times!

  • Hero Marcel

    Dr. Brian Josephson(Nobel prize for Physics, 1973);Dr. Richard
    Smalley(Nobel prize for Chemistry,1996);Abdus Salam (1926-1996),1979
    Nobel Prize in Physics;Sir John Eccles(1903-1997),Nobel Prize for
    Physiology/Medicine in 1963;Ernst Boris Chain(1906-1979),1945 Nobel
    Prize in Medicine&Physiology;Wolfgang Pauli(1900-1958),Nobel Prize
    for Physics in 1945;Guglielmo Marconi(1874–1937),1909 Nobel Prize in
    Physics,Charles Townes,1964 Nobel Prize in Physics&Baptist Preacher. All of these people were Creationists :)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      You are using the term in the broad sense of people who believe in creation and a Creator. The headline was – I thought obviously – referring to the science-denying sort of creationists such as young-earth creationists. I think everyone knows that it is possible to hold science and belief in a Creator, and that isn’t what this post was addressing.

      • Hero Marcel

        they didn’t simply believe in God,they believed in Creationism. Whether it be Young-Earth or Old-Earth Creationists, all of these people believed that evolution and the Big Bang theory was false,and that God created the Earth. And those are just the ones who personally won the award,there are others who were on Nobel winning research teams or were runner-ups to the award. My point being that while we are ridiculed for our theories, we have made some of the greatest contributions to science. If you don’t agree with the theory,say that,but don’t disregard us as religious fanatics or say that all the facts we present supporting that theory are lies.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          By lumping different views together, you are obscuring important distinctions, and missing the fact that these are, at least for the most part, people who believe in creation, but who do not deny science (the Big Bang, evolution) as part of that. You have probably been exposed to selective quote-mining, which is a common tactic of the deceitful charlatans who promote young-earth creationism. But if you take the time to inform yourself, you will see that you have been misinformed, and will see that there are some really great scientists in our time who fit the same pattern. Take Francis Collins, for instance. Does he believe in creation? Yes, in no uncertain terms. Does he deny mainstream science in the process? No, his work on the Human Genome Project, and his Christian books about the relationship between science and Christian faith, speak unambiguously on the subject.

          • Hero Marcel

            how is believing in a different theory on the origin of life denying science?lol all the men I’ve named have made some of the greatest contributions to science in history.that’s like Michael Jordan denying the basketball exists after winning a championship.did you know that the first man I named in that list was an atheist,and even died as one?How am I not informed but I could so readily provide you this list of just a few accredited scientists who believe in creationism?are you saying that these scientists are misinformed as well about how the world works?lol and I am not quote mining, pick any of the scientists I mentioned above and I will give you whole speeches worth of information where they speak on creationism.and let me to repeat, these NOBEL PRIZE WINNING SCIENTISTS are ALL creationists, ALTHOUGH NOT ALL believe in a god.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              You are running together different sorts of viewpoints, and failing to distinguish between what theory means in popular speech vs. what it means in the natural sciences.

              One can be a great basketball player without being a great football player. Likewise, one can be a pioneer in one domain of science but not as well informed in other areas as specialists in those areas are.

              So let’s start there. Which Nobel prize winner in biology or other such field denies that evolution occurred?

              • Hero Marcel

                i gave you the list above my friend, those are physicists, doctors, and chemists that believed the universe was created through creation

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  “Created through creation”?! I am responding to your comment through response. But does that tell you anything about the process involved?

                  • Hero Marcel

                    don’t patronize me and stick to the issue,all of the men above are some of the greatest scientist of their time and all of them believed in intelligent design.and before you bring religion into it, Dr.Brian Josephson ,the first guy on the list,went through his whole life as an atheist.

                    • arcseconds

                      hmm, the wikipedia page for Brian Josephson fails to mention his disbelief in evolution and the big bang and his belief that God did it, and there’s no clear mention of it on the other sites I just looked at.

                      Could you show me where these beliefs of his are documented?

                      It does look like he might believe in some kind of teleology to evolution that could be interpreted as intelligent, which could be seen as a form of intelligent design, I suppose, but on first blush it looks like it’s probably got more kinship with Nagel’s ideas than Behe’s.

                      Do you believe in telepathy?

                    • arcseconds

                      Also, I’m confused as to how Josephson can believe God created the Earth, and be an atheist?

                    • Hero Marcel

                      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/seven-nobel-laureates-in-science-who-either-supported-intelligent-design-or-attacked-darwinian-evolution/

                      that’s the link to the information. Josephson believed in Intelligent Design. He is considered atheist because he denounced religions in much of his talks, and even when he spoke of his belief in Intelligent Design he made sure not to mention God or any religion.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      So he is pretending to be an atheist in the interest of promoting Intelligent Design?

                    • Hero Marcel

                      he didn’t believe in a God, so he didn’t mention God in his talks on Intelligent Design. sounds like an atheist though, pretending not to believe in God in order to promote a theory. usually its evolution though *shrugs*

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Who pretends to be an atheist to promote evolution? I take it you aren’t familiar with Francis Collins and vast numbers of other less famous biologists who are religious believers?

                      What is the point of having public discussion of a topic that you either don’t know enough about or misrepresenting?

                    • arcseconds

                      Let me remind you of what you said:

                      all of these people believed that evolution and the Big Bang theory was false,and that God created the Earth.

                      Nowhere in that uncommon descent piece does it give any reason to believe any of these things about Josephson. The article you link to contains this quote:

                      And as far as I can tell, Dr. Josephson is still an atheist. In a lecture delivered on his 70th birthday, on May 5, 2010, Josephson put forward a non-theistic version of intelligent design, in which he seemed to favor an infinite regress of causes, and didn’t mention God once.

                      That sounds very different to most intelligent design advocates I’ve heard, and certainly doesn’t sound like he believes in God.

                      The Big bang is not mentioned in relationship to Josephson in that article.

                      This article really makes it sound as though Josephson believes in evolution. If he doesn’t, he is being extremely disingenous:

                      http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/specials/evolution-and-the-complexity-principle/

                      Perhaps you had better be more explicit about what you mean by believing evolution is false?

                      If all you mean is ‘don’t think current models are the end of the story, but does believe that species change over time and natural selection, in some sense, is the main agent of that change’, then you probably ought to choose a less dramatic and less misleading turn of phrase.

                    • Hero Marcel

                      i love how you didn’t use any of the quotes from Dr.Josephson himself from that article,here’s one he said from one of his lectures on Intelligent Design.
                      “So I said at some point this theory looks a bit like theology, and I can imagine intelligent design is real. Intelligent Design is rejected just because it’s part of the scientific culture that it cannot be true, you must not talk about it, but it’s not actually disproved. I think it will turn out that there is a design and that the usual theories are wrong there as well.”
                      furthermore, I don’t know if he’s disingenuous or not, what I do know is what he’s recorded to have said. and frankly, he said he believed in Intelligent Design.
                      I don’t have any information on telepathy, I’d have to do some research before I can say I believe it or not
                      lastly,who said he was dead? he’s 73years old and still alive

                    • arcseconds

                      You’re not actually reading my posts, are you? I’ve said several times that he does seem to believe in intelligent design. Do I need to put this in capitals for you? There doesn’t seem like much point in quoting him on something we agree about.

                      What I want is for you to show that

                      1) Josephson doesn’t believe in the big bang
                      2) Josephson believed that God created the Earth

                      and explain how he can believe God created the Earth and yet be an atheist.

                      I also want you to:

                      3) explain what you mean by ‘doesn’t believe in evolution’.

                      Josephson, in the prospectus magazine article I cited, apparently does believe that species change over time and that some form of natural selection is a major component of that. I would call that believing in evolution.

                      That’s quite compatible with believing that design comes into it somehow, too. I think many ID people believe in evolution in this sense.

                      As for who said he was dead, you did!

                      did you know that the first man I named in that list was an atheist,and even died as one?

                      also:

                      Dr.Brian Josephson ,the first guy on the list,went through his whole life as an atheist.

                      and you kept using past tense when describing him:

                      he didn’t believe in a God, so he didn’t mention God in his talks on Intelligent Design.

                    • arcseconds

                      Dr. Brian Josephson, Ph.D., Nobel laureate, believes in telepathy.

                      Shouldn’t we therefore believe in telepathy?

                    • arcseconds

                      Also: do you believe in telepathy?

                    • arcseconds

                      Also, also: what makes you think Josephson is dead?

                    • Hero Marcel

                      1.here is a quote by Josephson himself that you appear to have ignored from that article,”So I said at some point this theory looks a bit like theology, and I can imagine intelligent design is real. Intelligent Design is rejected just because it’s part of the scientific culture that it cannot be true, you must not talk about it, but it’s not actually disproved. I think it will turn out that there is a design and that the usual theories are wrong there as well” I don’t know what else he has to tell you to show he believes in Intelligent Design
                      2.I don’t know,I’ve never thought about the possibilities of telepathy nor done any research on it
                      3.Dr.Josephson isn’t dead, he is 73years old. If i did say that though I apologize,I misspoke.

                    • arcseconds

                      Here are some quotes from me that you seem to have ignored from my posts:

                      It does look like he might believe in some kind of teleology to evolution that could be interpreted as intelligent, which could be seen as a form of intelligent design, I suppose, but on first blush it looks like it’s probably got more kinship with Nagel’s ideas than Behe’s.

                      then in my second:

                      [quote from the article you linked to]

                      And as far as I can tell, Dr. Josephson is still an atheist. In a lecture delivered on his 70th birthday, on May 5, 2010, Josephson put forward a non-theistic version of intelligent design, in which he seemed to favor an infinite regress of causes, and didn’t mention God once.

                      That sounds very different to most intelligent design advocates I’ve heard, and certainly doesn’t sound like he believes in God.

                      I suppose you might have interpreted this as denying he believed in in intelligent design, but I’m not so stupid as to quote something that asserts one thing in order to prove the opposite.

                      Also, in one of my latest posts:

                      You’re not actually reading my posts, are you? I’ve said several times that he does seem to believe in intelligent design. Do I need to put this in capitals for you? There doesn’t seem like much point in quoting him on something we agree about.

                      maybe capitals will help after all:

                      I UNDERSTAND JOSEPHSON BELIEVES IN INTELLIGENT DESIGN!!!

                      So please stop trying to prove it to me over and over again!

                    • arcseconds

                      3.Dr.Josephson isn’t dead, he is 73years old. If i did say that though I apologize,I misspoke.

                      You don’t have to speculate whether or not you said it. It’s right there on the website!

                      Are you some kind of performance artist, or deliberately trying to gaslight me or something?

                      I mean, it’s pretty surreal to continue trying to prove to me something I’ve already accepted on the one hand, then also taking me to be asserting something that you asserted, apparently with no memory of having done so.

                      Given that you seem to be paying no attention either to what I write, or what you write, there doesn’t seem to be much point in continuing this discussion.

                      Thanks for mentioning Brian Josephson, though, he does seem like an interesting person.


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