Frank Turek’s Criminally Bad C.R.I.M.E.S. Argument: Evil and Science

Frank Turek’s Criminally Bad C.R.I.M.E.S. Argument: Evil and Science November 28, 2016

bubblesThis is a continuation of a critique of arguments by Christian apologist Frank Turek in favor of Christianity made in his latest book. See the beginning of the discussion here.

The E in CRIMES is Evil

Turek wants to turn around the Problem of Evil (“Why would a good god allow so much bad in the world?”) to make it work for him.

Objective evil presupposes objective good, and objective good requires God.

That is, from evil we get objective morality, and from there, God. As C. S. Lewis said, “A man does not call a straight line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.” God’s morality is that straight line.

Once again, Turek makes a bold assertion of objective morality with zero evidence that it actually exists (more in the critique of his morality argument). Drop this assumption, and his argument deflates like a flabby balloon.

(Apologist Greg Koukl makes a similar argument that I critique here.)

Commenter Ron observed that that Turek’s carefree assertion that God is the only source of objective morality—“Objective evil presupposes objective good, and objective good requires god”—also needs backup. He offered “Shoelaces presuppose shoes, and shoes require leprechauns” as a similar evidence-free assertion.

The S in CRIMES is Science

Turek asks why the laws of nature are predictable.

Why does he ask? Would you otherwise expect laws of nature that were unpredictable? That’s an interesting claim—I invite Turek to show that in a godless universe, we’d have unpredictable laws of nature. Only with that will his question be provocative and relevant.

Turek says that God is holding the universe together right now. Again, that’s an interesting claim with no evidence to back it up.


See also: “A Universe That’s Understandable Points to God,” but How Understandable Is the Universe?


Next, he quotes Einstein: “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible” and concludes,

Science can’t be done if atheism is true.

Turek turns Einstein’s provocative observation into a supernatural conclusion. Turek says, “Ooh! Ooh! I know! It’s because God did it.” No, you need evidence to go there.

Turek thinks that the success of science proves God, though the scientists who actually understand the science disagree. If the fact that we can do science disproved atheism, wouldn’t we learn that first from science? In fact, the higher up the science ladder you go, the less the Christian belief. Only one third of U.S. scientists believe in God, far less than the fraction in the general population.

Science is built on a foundation of immaterial realities that theism, not atheism, can explain.

Sure, you can explain the foundation of science. You can explain anything. But is your explanation worth listening to?

Think of the map of world religions—Protestants in the green area and Roman Catholics in the blue and Hindus in the yellow. Something of a consensus extends to the boundaries of a particular religion or religious sect but not beyond. Simply understanding another religion better doesn’t mean that the boundary will break down, because religion isn’t built on a foundation of evidence.

Contrast this with science. Why is there a map of world religions but not world science? Understanding and evidence do break down barriers within science. Incompatible theories demand resolution, and further experiments determine which theory explains reality better. There is no map of world science (say, with the Geocentrists in green and the Heliocentrists over there in blue).

Axioms of science

Turek moves on to a long list of fundamentals that science can only assume but his theology can explain.

Science does have axioms that we take as givens and are not built on still-more-primitive axioms. Turek seems to imagine that they’re taken on faith, but axioms are continually tested.

Let’s imagine that 1 + 1 = 2 were such an axiom. If that were an axiom at the foundation of an argument that came to crazy conclusions, every step, including this axiom, would be reconsidered. There is no dogma within science. Everything is challengeable, and nothing is sacred. If 1 + 1 = 2 were only true in some situations but not others, that would be duly noted. For example, Newton’s law of gravity worked until it didn’t, and relativistic caveats are now part of that law.

Here are three of Turek’s fundamentals.

  • We assume orderly natural laws. Show us that disorderly laws are to be expected. Without that, why is your observation interesting?
  • “You have to assume the law of causality to do a science experiment.” If the “law of causality” states that every effect must have a cause, we know that that’s not the case. Quantum events may not have causes, for example. Second, nothing is taken on faith, including any assumption of causality.
  • Laws of logic. When presented with a puzzle such as “Can God make a rock so big he can’t lift it?” (or a square circle or a married bachelor), I’ve heard apologists sidestep this by saying that God can only do things that are logically possible. But in so doing, they defeat Turek’s objection. God is then bound by logic; logic is external to God. Logic becomes a property of reality, not an invention of God. (More here.)

WWSD (What Would Sherlock Do?)

Sherlock Holmes observed, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” While this sounds appropriately wise from the Sage of Detection, I find this dictum useless in practice.

Say that I’m looking for my car key. I drove home and haven’t left since, so it has to be in the house. But it’s not in my key drawer or my pants pocket, and my wife didn’t take it. With the obvious options eliminated, does that mean that “ghosts took it” becomes a viable option? Of course not. The weak part of Holmes’ scheme is being sure that you’ve eliminated the impossible. I’ll likely find that my key was in the key drawer but I didn’t see it, or it’s in the pocket of my other pants, or my wife did take it but forgot or misunderstood my question.

This seems to be Turek’s approach to apologetics. He tries (ineptly) to eliminate natural explanations and show, by elimination, that his pet theory is the winner.

No, it doesn’t work that way. Does God exist? Then show us the evidence. Science has to; why should you get a pass? Without evidence, your hypothesis isn’t even in the running.

Not for nothing do major mythologies almost always have a trickster god
like Loki, Eris, Kokopele, Puck, coyote, Satan, Anansi, Krishna, Seth, or Legba
as an excuse for why the Universe isn’t orderly and predictable.
— commenter RichardSRussell

Which is it,
is man one of God’s blunders,
or is God one of man’s?
— Friedrich Nietzsche

If God has made us in his image,
we have returned him the favor.
— Voltaire

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 8/14/13.)

Image credit: Mike Jack, flickr, CC

 

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  • Kevin K

    It’s only through the violation of the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology that theists claim to know of the existence of a deity. So, if the laws are so damned well-ordered, why the burning bush, the whirlwind, the walking on water, and healing sick people at a distance unintentionally and instantly (the centurion’s slave)?

    This is yet another classic Orwellian move. The universe can be found to obey a few basic “rules” about the behavior of forces and particles and … BAM! … it must be god that wrote those “rules”. But whenever you want to see the power of god in action … WHAM … it’s miracles that egregiously violate those rules.

    Declaring victory either way. Classic intellectual vacuity.

    • Joe

      He seems to overlook the fact that science has shown a lot of the Bible to be untrue. The Bible is the only way to know specifics of his God, so why does he cling to those specifics, if God himself has shown them to be wrong?

      • Kevin K

        Hah! Haven’t you heard? In every single instance where the clear words of the Big Book of Myths are at odds with the verifiable facts … why that was god speaking metaphorically! And where the facts can be reconciled somehow with the BBoM…literally!!

        Win-win! I have many exclamation points today!!!

        • al kimeea

          You’re taking the holey book out of context

        • Michael Neville

          And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head. –Terry Pratchett Maskerade

    • Nice one.

    • Indeed. You can’t use the regularity of nature to argue for God, while also arguing that interruptions to that regularlity (alleged miracles) are also evidence for God.

      • Why not? Those who would do so believe Him omnipotent and at the same time a capricious being given to fits of pique. No reason in their minds why He could not violate His own rules and norms…and they in fact expect Him to. Mysterious ways and all that.

        • It’s contradictory, that’s why. Either there’s regularity or there isn’t.

  • Joe

    Objective evil presupposes objective good, and objective good requires God.

    Most proponents of objective morality argue that there is no such thing as evil, only a ‘lack of good’. Is Frank Turek proposing God is also the grounding of absolute evil? Or, like most apologists, is he just involved in silly semantic games?

  • macaroonie

    Very simple. If there are natural laws, then there must be a lawgiver. And if there are orderly natural laws, then there must be an orderly. That’s where Jerry Lewis comes in. The Disorderly Orderly (1964).

  • MNb

    “Objective evil presupposes objective good, and objective good requires God.”
    Then why does the omnivolent god who grounds objective morality allow so much objective evil?

    Or, to elaborate on Joe’s comment underneath:
    Why does the omnivolent god who grounds objective morality allow such a huge lack of good?

  • When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains is often more improbable than your having made a mistake in one of your impossibility proofs.

    — Steven Kaas

  • Rudy R

    With the supposition that God is the source of all morality, theists may not realize the implication is that the human brain is not the source of morality. If theists believe human brains aren’t capable of determining right from wrong, what reason do they have for thinking brains are capable of determining ANYTHING outside of a god’s instruction.

    • Kevin K

      Of course human brains aren’t the source of morality. That comes from the IQ-raising sin-fruit that the mud man and rib woman ate in the Garden Terrarium of Eden.

  • RichardSRussell

    Turek asks why the laws of nature are predictable.

    Tautological! Anything that isn’t readily predictable doesn’t get called a “law”.

    • eric

      Yes. And if there were no regularities at all, we wouldn’t be around to make that observation. So the theists’s argument from incredulity – which needs no answer at all, but still – is easily answered by the weak anthropic principle.

  • Dangitbobby

    The one thing that apologists love to do is first prove that the world has a creator. But then they want to jump quite a few steps and assume that means *their god* is the creator.

    There is a problem with this – you first have to establish a creator through evidence, you then must establish that the god you believe in is THAT creator – again, through evidence.

    Or, put simply:

    Christian creationists:
    1. Universe has laws.
    2. Only a designer could make such laws.
    3. Therefore, Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior, there was a real Adam and Eve, we are all sinners and going to hell unless we accept Jesus.

    What they really need to do:
    1. Universe has laws.
    2. Evidence that a creator exists.
    3. Evidence explaining how a creator created the Universe and the laws.
    4. Therefore, a creator exists.
    5. The creator could be Yahweh.
    6. Evidence that Yahweh is the creator.
    7. The Old Testament may have been written/inspired by Yahweh
    8. Evidence the OT was written/inspired by Yahweh.
    9. Therefore, the OT is correct.
    10. There may have been a man name Jesus who may have been the son of Yahweh.
    11. Evidence there was a man named Jesus.
    12. The NT may have been written/inspired by this man.
    13. Evidence the NT was indeed written/inspired by Jesus.
    14. Therefore, the NT is correct.
    15. Evidence that my interpretation of the OT and NT is correct.

    I’m sure I left some logical steps out – but it goes to show that these Christian creationists have a *shit load* of work to do before they even begin to present the argument their religious beliefs are correct.

    A creator might have existed. It might have been Yahweh and Jesus – or it could’ve been the Hindu gods, or Native American gods or Greek gods…or it could’ve been a programmer in the universe one step up from us. It could be machines of the Matrix as far as we know.

    Apologist creationists exist to make their ridiculously inconsistent beliefs seem rational and logical, but in reality, their arguments are some of the weakest of weaksauce that exists.

    • Michael Neville

      I’d modify your argument to add:

      4.a. Evidence that Yahweh exists.

    • MNb

      A compatriot of mine, the theologian, apostate and socialist Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis once said “to derive a divine world from our concrete world requires a salto mortale.” You nicely described that salto mortale.

    • See Noevo

      Dangitbobby,
      I’m pretty sure you won’t accept *any* religion, no matter
      what its followers show, because religion is not science and science is your “god.”

      But, regarding your #7 through #15, I’m going to post
      something I recently posted on another of Bob’s blogs.

      I do so for *your* benefit, *not* that it would in any way sway you, but just so you might understand *why* some *other* people *do* believe a reasoned argument exists to support #7 – #15.
      Again, I show this *not* to convince you of anything, but only so that you might appreciate where they’re coming from.

      Here it is:

      “The Protestant Reformers said that the Bible is the sole authoritative source of religious truth, whose proper understanding must be
      found by looking only at the words of the text itself. This is the Protestant
      teaching of sola scriptura (Latin: by Scripture alone). According to this
      teaching, no outside authority may mandate an interpretation, because no
      outside authority, such as the Church, has been established by Christ as an arbiter to determine which of the conflicting interpretations is correct.
      There is perhaps no greater frustration in dealing with Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants, than in trying to pin them down on
      why the Bible should be taken as a rule of faith at all, let alone the sole
      rule. It reduces to the question of why Fundamentalists accept the Bible as
      inspired, since the Bible can be taken as a rule of faith only if it is first
      held to be inspired and, thus, inerrant.

      Now, this is a problem that doesn’t keep many nominal Christians awake at night. Most have never even given it any serious thought.
      To the extent that they believe in the Bible, they do so because they operate in a milieu that is, if post-Christian in many ways, still steeped in Christian presuppositions and ways of thought.

      A lukewarm Christian who would not give the slightest credence to the Koran would think twice about casting.aspersions on the Bible.
      It has a certain official status for him, even if he cannot explain why. You
      might say that he accepts the Bible as inspired (whatever that may mean to him) for some “cultural” reason, but that is hardly an adequate reason,
      since on such a basis that would mean the Koran rightly would be considered inspired in a Muslim country.

      “It Inspires Me”
      Some Fundamentalists say they believe the Bible is inspired
      because it is “inspirational,” but that is an ambiguous term. On the
      one hand, if used in the strict theological sense, it clearly begs the
      question, which is: How do we know the Bible is inspired, that is,
      “written” by God, using human authors as instruments?
      But if “inspirational” means nothing more than
      “inspiring” or “moving,” then someone might decide that the
      works of Shakespeare are inspired. Furthermore, parts of the Bible, including several whole books of the Old Testament, cannot at all be called
      “inspirational” in this sense. One bears no disrespect in admitting
      that some parts of the Bible are as dry as military statistics—indeed, some
      parts are military statistics—and offer little to move the emotions.

      Witness of the Bible
      What about the Bible’s own claim to inspiration? There are
      not many places where such a claim is made even elliptically, and most books in the Old and New Testaments make no such claim at all. In fact, no New Testament writer explicitly claims that he himself is writing at the direct behest of God, with the exception of John, the author of Revelation.

      Besides, even if every biblical book began with the phrase,
      “The following is an inspired book,” this would prove nothing. A book
      of false scriptures can easily assert that it is inspired, and many do. The
      mere claim of inspiration is insufficient to establish that something is bona
      fide.

      These tests failing, most Fundamentalists fall back on the
      notion that “the Holy Spirit tells me the Bible is inspired,” an
      exercise in subjectivism akin to their claim that the Holy Spirit guides them
      in interpreting the text. For example, the anonymous author of How Can I
      Understand the Bible?, a booklet distributed by the Evangelical organization “Radio Bible Class,” lists twelve rules for Bible study. The first
      is, “Seek the help of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has been given to
      illumine the scriptures and make them alive to you as you study them. Yield to his enlightenment.”

      If one takes this to mean that anyone asking for a proper
      interpretation will receive one from God—and that is exactly how most
      Fundamentalists understand the assistance of the Holy Spirit to work—then the multiplicity of interpretations, even among Fundamentalists, should give people a gnawing suspicion that the Holy Spirit has not been doing his job very well.

      No Rational Basis

      Most Fundamentalists do not say in so many words that the
      Holy Spirit has spoken to them directly to assure them of the inspiration of
      the Bible. Rather, in reading the Bible they say that they are
      “convicted” that it is the word of God, they get a positive
      “feeling” that it is inspired, and that’s that. But this reduces
      their acceptance of the Bible to the influence of their culture, habit, or any
      number of other emotional or psychological factors.

      No matter how it is examined, the Fundamentalist position is
      not one that is rigorously reasoned out. It is a rare Fundamentalist who, even for sake of argument, first approaches the Bible as though it is not inspired and then later, upon reading it, syllogistically concludes that it must be. In fact, Fundamentalists begin with the fact of inspiration—just as they take the other doctrines of Fundamentalism as premises, not as conclusions—and then they find passages in the Bible that seem to support inspiration. They finally “conclude,” with obviously circular reasoning, that the Bible confirms its inspiration, which they knew all along.

      The man who wrestles with the Fundamentalist approach to
      inspiration is eventually unsatisfied, because he knows that the Fundamentalist has no sound basis for his belief. So where does one find a reasonable proof for the inspiration of Scripture? Look no further than the Catholic Church. Ultimately, the Catholic position is the only one that proves conclusively the divine inspiration of Scripture, the only one that can satisfy a person intellectually.

      The Catholic method of proving the Bible to be inspired is
      this: The Bible is initially approached as any other ancient work. It is not,
      at first, presumed to be inspired. From textual criticism we are able to
      conclude that we have a text the accuracy of which is more certain than the accuracy of any other ancient work.

      An Accurate Text

      Sir Frederic Kenyon, in The Story of the Bible, notes that
      “For all the works of classical antiquity we have to depend on manuscripts
      written long after their original composition. The author who is the best case in this respect is Virgil, yet the earliest manuscript of Virgil that we now possess was written some 350 years after his death. For all other classical writers, the interval between the date of the author and the earliest extant manuscript of his works is much greater. For Livy it is about 500 years, for Horace 900, for most of Plato 1,300, for Euripides 1,600.” Yet no one seriously disputes that we have accurate copies of the works of these writers. However, in the case of the New Testament we have parts of manuscripts dating from the first and early second centuries, only a few decades after the works were penned.

      Not only are the biblical manuscripts that we have older
      than those for classical authors, we have in sheer numbers far more manuscripts from which to work. Some are whole books of the Bible, others fragments of just a few words, but there are literally thousands of manuscripts in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Coptic, Syriac, and other languages. This means that we can be sure we have an authentic text, and we can work from it with confidence.

      The Bible as Historical Truth

      Next we take a look at what the Bible, considered merely as
      a history, tells us, focusing particularly on the New Testament, and more
      specifically the Gospels. We examine the account contained therein of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

      Using what is in the Gospels themselves and what we find in
      extra-biblical writings from the early centuries, together with what we know of
      human nature (and what we can otherwise, from natural reason alone, know of
      divine nature), we conclude that either Jesus was just what he claimed to
      be—God—or he was crazy. (The one thing we know he could not have been was
      merely a good man who was not God, since no merely good man would make the claims he made.)

      We are able to eliminate the possibility of his being a
      madman not just from what he said but from what his followers did after his death. Many critics of the Gospel accounts of the resurrection claim that
      Christ did not truly rise, that his followers took his body from the tomb and
      then proclaimed him risen from the dead. According to these critics, the
      resurrection was nothing more than a hoax. Devising a hoax to glorify a friend
      and mentor is one thing, but you do not find people dying for a hoax, at least
      not one from which they derive no benefit. Certainly if Christ had not risen
      his disciples would not have died horrible deaths affirming the reality and
      truth of the resurrection. The result of this line of reasoning is that we must
      conclude that Jesus indeed rose from the dead. Consequently, his claims
      concerning himself—including his claim to be God—have credibility. He meant
      what he said and did what he said he would do.

      Further, Christ said he would found a Church. Both the Bible
      (still taken as merely a historical book, not yet as an inspired one) and other ancient works attest to the fact that Christ established a Church with the rudiments of what we see in the Catholic Church today—papacy, hierarchy,
      priesthood, sacraments, and teaching authority.

      We have thus taken the material and purely historically
      concluded that Jesus founded the Catholic Church. Because of his Resurrection
      we have reason to take seriously his claims concerning the Church, including
      its authority to teach in his name.

      This Catholic Church tells us the Bible is inspired, and we
      can take the Church’s word for it precisely because the Church is infallible.
      Only after having been told by a properly constituted authority—that is, one
      established by God to assure us of the truth concerning matters of faith—that
      the Bible is inspired can we reasonably begin to use it as an inspired book.

      A Spiral Argument
      Note that this is not a circular argument. We are not basing
      the inspiration of the Bible on the Church’s infallibility and the Church’s
      infallibility on the word of an inspired Bible. That indeed would be a circular
      argument! What we have is really a spiral argument. On the first level we argue
      to the reliability of the Bible insofar as it is history. From that we conclude
      that an infallible Church was founded. And then we take the word of that
      infallible Church that the Bible is inspired. This is not a circular argument
      because the final conclusion (the Bible is inspired) is not simply a
      restatement of its initial finding (the Bible is historically reliable), and
      its initial finding (the Bible is historically reliable) is in no way based on
      the final conclusion (the Bible is inspired). What we have demonstrated is that
      without the existence of the Church, we could never know whether the Bible is
      inspired.

      Inadequate Reasons

      The point is that Fundamentalists are quite right in believing the Bible to be
      inspired, but their reasons for so believing are
      inadequate. In reality this conviction can be based only on an authority
      established by God to tell us the Bible is inspired, and that authority is the
      Church.

      And this is where a more serious problem comes to light. It
      seems to some that it makes little difference why one believes in the Bible’s
      inspiration, just so long as one believes in it. But the basis for one’s belief
      in its inspiration directly affects how one proceeds to interpret the Bible.
      The Catholic believes in inspiration because, to put it bluntly, the Church
      tells him so and that same Church has the authority to interpret the inspired
      text. Fundamentalists believe in inspiration, though on weak grounds, but they
      have no interpreting authority other than themselves.

      Cardinal Newman put it this way in an essay on inspiration
      first published in 1884: “Surely then, if the revelations and lessons in
      Scripture are addressed to us personally and practically, the presence among us
      of a formal judge and standing expositor of its words is imperative. It is
      antecedently unreasonable to suppose that a book so complex, so unsystematic,
      in parts so obscure, the outcome of so many minds, times, and places, should be
      given us from above without the safeguard of some authority; as if it could
      possibly from the nature of the case, interpret itself. Its inspiration does
      but guarantee its truth, not its interpretation. How are private readers
      satisfactorily to distinguish what is didactic and what is historical, what is
      fact and what is vision, what is allegorical and what is literal, what is
      [idiomatic] and what is grammatical, what is enunciated formally and what
      occurs, what is only of temporary and what is of lasting obligations. Such is
      our natural anticipation, and it is only too exactly justified in the events of
      the last three centuries, in the many countries where private judgment on the
      text of Scripture has prevailed. The gift of inspiration requires as its
      complement the gift of infallibility.”

      The advantages of the Catholic approach are two: First, the
      inspiration is really proved, not just “felt.” Second, the main fact
      behind the proof—the reality of an infallible, teaching Church—leads one
      naturally to an answer to the problem that troubled the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:30-31): How is one to know which interpretations are correct? The same Church
      that authenticates the Bible, that attests to its inspiration, is the authority
      established by Christ to interpret his word.”

      http://www.catholic.com/tracts/proving-inspiration

      • Dangitbobby

        Blah blah blah.

        Let me summarize your wall of text:

        A collection of old tales was put into a book. It is old. Thus it’s true.

        • TheNuszAbides

          thank you for reading See Noevo (or at least glancing at the turds thereof) so that i don’t have to.

      • adam

        “I’m pretty sure you won’t accept *any* religion, no matter
        what its followers show, because religion is not science and science is your “god.””

        Nope science is not a god,

        But the great thing about science is that it follows the evidence, where religion RE LIES on faith

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3641484758a605f709b7a067bee6bed3f832a3ee135e160e4a32b93e19bfabd3.png

      • Michael Neville

        TL:DR

      • Don’t. Feed. The. Troll.

    • I like both lists. And you’re right–the second list would need to be expanded to be rigorous.

  • See Noevo

    The wisest thing in this piece is the quote from Einstein:

    “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.”

    Science will never solve that marvelous mystery.
    ……………………..
    The silliest line in this piece is
    “There is no dogma within science. Everything is challengeable, and nothing is sacred.”

    So silly. Science, or at least “science”, indeed has unchallengeable
    dogmas, probably chief of which is evolution.

    • Bruce Gorton

      You can challenge evolution all you want. There are people who have tried to do so before, there will be people who try to do so in future.

      What you can’t do is simply assert your beliefs and expect that to count as a challenge.

      You see that is the big problem with you creationists, you don’t actually challenge anything, you just assert, over and over again ideas as empty as your heads.

      Those who point out that evolution is true – they can point to the fossil record, known mutations in DNA, observations under lab conditions, observations in natural conditions, animal husbandry etc…

      That’s right, animal husbandry. The mechanisms of evolution are so clear that they actually have predictive results that we as a species have been taking advantage of for hundreds of years.

      All of this is stuff that people can actually check. What have you got? Faith! You believe it in your heart! Who cares if page one of your Bible doesn’t agree with page two, you have faith.

      Who cares that the distribution of world species doesn’t fit a narrative in which everything was crammed onto one boat while a global flood killed everything, you have faith.

      Who cares that even studies by pro-religious groups like the Templeton foundation have found that prayer doesn’t fucking work, you have faith.

      You think if you just believe hard enough that will make it all true. Well this isn’t Never Neverland, and you aren’t Peter Pan. Your faith counts for precisely jack shit, you want to challenge evolution? Provide actual evidence.

      Otherwise you’re nothing but talk, Talk isn’t a challenge, it is just talk.

      We turn to evolution, and what does it give us? advances in medicine and food that allow us to support the existence of over six billion people. Predictive, useful results.

      We turn to your religion and what does it give us? “Miracle water” and pastors spraying pesticide in people’s faces. You provide nothing but bullshit and you expect to be respected for it.

      You want to challenge evolution, then cut the shit, learn what it is and produce the evidence to actually challenge it.

      Until you are prepared to do that you can stop wasting our time.

      • MNb

        “What you can’t do is simply assert your beliefs and expect that to count as a challenge.”
        You’re totally wrong. Regarding Evolution Theory it’s the only thing SN can do and hence does.

      • See Noevo

        “Those who point out that evolution is true – they can point to the fossil
        record, known mutations in DNA, observations under lab conditions, observations in natural conditions, animal husbandry etc…”

        Those who point out that evolution is NOT true can point to the same things.

        “We turn to evolution, and what does it give us? advances in medicine and
        food that allow us to support the existence of over six billion people. Predictive, useful results.”

        Another large lie.
        There have been NO advances in medicine or science for which a faith in evolution was required.
        ZERO.
        …………
        “… prayer doesn’t fucking work…
        Your faith counts for precisely jack shit…
        You provide nothing but bullshit…
        cut the shit…”

        OK. I’m cutting you out.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Those who point out that evolution is NOT true can point to the same things.

          And thus demonstrate by simple observation that their hypothesis is wrong.

          Another large lie.
          There have been NO advances in medicine or science for which a faith in evolution was required.
          ZERO.

          Sure, there are no advances that require “faith in evolution” – because it isn’t faith. It is backed by mountains of evidence that no matter how much you shut your ears to it and wish it all went away, still remains. And you can use evolutionary theory without actually believing it and achieve useful results with it, it doesn’t rely on you believing in it to be true.

          Unlike your death cult.

          “… prayer doesn’t fucking work…
          Your faith counts for precisely jack shit…
          You provide nothing but bullshit…
          cut the shit…”
          OK. I’m cutting you out.

          Aww, does the poor widdle lying wanker not like it when his utter fucking bullshit gets called?

        • See Noevo

          “…widdle lying wanker… utter fucking bullshit…”

        • MNb

          Excellent self portrait.

        • Bruce Gorton

          I can justify every word of that if you want. And I am being harsh here because you’ve earned it.

          In other arguments you’ve demanded one form of evidence, and complained when you got five.

          And it isn’t really about God when you get right down to it, because you don’t really worship God.

          You worship your ego, and call it God. You take what you think, you assign the source to an omniscient being, and you never have to worry about being wrong because “God revealed it”.

          But isn’t God is it? It is all you. And you don’t even do the work involved in being knowledgeable, because why would you? You’ve already got all the answers.

        • See Noevo

          “I can justify every word of that if you want… In other arguments you’ve demanded one form of evidence, and complained when you got five.”

          You’d love me if I was your teacher in “evolutionary biology”.
          Because for your test, I wouldn’t ask you to justify every word of your statement that “Those who point out that evolution is true – they can point to the fossil record, known mutations in DNA, observations under lab conditions, observations in natural conditions, animal husbandry etc…”

          I’d ask you to justify just ONE from your list of five:
          fossil record, known mutations in DNA, observations under lab conditions, observations in natural conditions, animal husbandry.

          *And* I’d let YOU pick the one to justify!

          What an easy teacher.
          I’d probably be voted (by the students) Teach of the Year!

          So PICK ONE.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          I’ve proposed to give you ONE as you dishonestly demand, See NoLieICantPeddle, ONE as you repeat in order to run from backing up what problems there are with evolution.

          You know the condition, simply answer this honestly:
          What is your objective here?

          But we know what you will do:
          You will not answer but you will run run run.

        • See Noevo

          Glad to see I continue to have your riveted attention.
          You’re welcome to stick around.
          You might learn something.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          So as predicted, you opted to run run run.

        • adam

          “You might learn something.”

          So what is the point in learning that you lie?

        • TheNuszAbides

          for me, it was SN becoming the first user i’ve ever blocked.

        • See? Nothing here but a troll wasting your time. Cut off the food supply and it will graze elsewhere.

        • Myna

          And See Noevo’s grazing grounds have become fewer and fewer. I understand he gets banned quite frequently from forums. Banning isn’t a bad option, but somehow watching him blather and be ignored would be much more of an entertaining send off.

        • TheNuszAbides

          but here, it seems like the pattern is that a few regulars gradually get bored of the repeat annoyance, their replies taper off, but the annoyance is persistent enough to push just a few buttons for just a few regulars, which leads to calls for banning before it ever gets to the “everybody’s ignoring me! *flounce*” phase.

        • Bruce Gorton

          You’ve just proven Zeta correct. So not only are you a lying shitstick, you’re a predictable lying shitstick.

          Observations in nature (meaning uncontrolled conditions):

          Elephants are evolved smaller tusks due to hunting. As larger tusks are more desirable for the ivory trade, massive overhunting has caused elephants with larger tusks to be selected against, as per Darwinian evolution.

          There was an article fairly recently on the BBC’s website.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/elephants-africa-tusks-ivory-poaching-born-without-a7440706.html

          That is direct observation of a species adapting to evolutionary pressure in the wild.

          Another example is fish in the Hudson river evolving to be resistant to PCB.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1332660/

          One can also look to the evolution of diseases. The emergence of antibiotic resistant TB, which ravages my country, is a direct result of evolution. The disease evolves to be able to survive the medication that once would have cured it.

          All of this is based on the exact same mechanisms of evolution as a whole, all of which demonstrate that evolution is indeed happening.

        • See Noevo

          “Observations in nature (meaning uncontrolled conditions):
          Elephants *are* evolved smaller tusks due to hunting.”

          I thought evolutionists would say that ‘elephants evolved tusks’,
          not ‘elephants themselves are evolved tusks’.
          No big deal. Evolution theories are changing all the time.
          But I’ll assume you meant
          ‘Elephants evolved smaller tusks due to hunting.’

          I wasn’t aware elephants were into “hunting”.
          What animals do elephants hunt?

          “As larger tusks are more desirable for the ivory trade,
          massive overhunting has caused elephants with larger tusks to be selected against, as per Darwinian evolution. There was an article fairly recently on the BBC’s website. http://www.independent.co.uk/n…”

          I looked through the article.
          So, if, say, Adolf Hitler had a thing against tall people (instead
          of against Jews), Germany would have ended up with few if any tall people (instead of few if any Jews), then,
          THIS would be an example of evolution????

          OMG!
          I cannot believe THIS ridiculousness was your one pick.

          P.S.
          I’m not bothering with your Hudson fish story, et al.
          I asked for ONE tall tale, not two or twenty or two hundred.

          P.P.S.
          For extra credit:
          1) What mutation caused the advent of tusks in elephants to begin with?
          2) What non-elephant animal mutated into the elephant?

        • Bruce Gorton

          No, you actually asked me to back one point. Which I did using multiple examples. Now you’re doing exactly what you did before – whining about how there is just too much evidence.

          To quote you:

          I’d ask you to justify just ONE from your list of five:
          fossil record, known mutations in DNA, observations under lab conditions, observations in natural conditions, animal husbandry.

          Not one line of evidence, one point from my list.

          You are a dishonest wanker.

        • See Noevo

          You blew it, Brucey.

          Now sit down and let one of the other students have a chance.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Oh and…

          So, if, say, Adolf Hitler had a thing against tall people (instead
          of against Jews), Germany would have ended up with few if any tall people (instead of few if any Jews), then,
          THIS would be an example of evolution????

          Yes, that would be an example of evolution. Do you think humans somehow get a special pass?

        • Bruce Gorton

          For your bonus questions, I’m not sure on the mutation that led to elephants developing tusks in the first place, but the common ancestor to the elephants was apparently palaeomastodon.

        • See Noevo

          I’ll give you half a point for Googling some conjecture, but it won’t be enough to boost your overall grade: F.

        • Bruce Gorton

          That, I take as a compliment. You’re such an ignorant fucking moron that you’re approval would be at least somewhat suspect.

        • See Noevo

          You got an F on the test.
          Now you’re being expelled.

        • Bruce Gorton

          Oh, the heartbreak, oh the sorrow, because an ignorant fuckwit whose so stupid he sees multiple lines of evidence as being a weakness thinks I should be expelled. How ever will I cope?

          Oh and I note – you’ve still provided precisely fuck-all evidence for your assertions.

        • I think you just got an early Christmas present.

        • adam

          “1) What mutation caused the advent of tusks in elephants to begin with?”

          What is a tusk?
          Usually in mammals tusks are enlarged canine teeth, but in elephants they are actually elongated incisors and are essentially no different from other teeth. One third of the tusk is actually hidden from view, embedded deep in the elephant’s head. This part of the tusk is a pulp cavity made up of tissue, blood and nerves. The visible, ivory part of the tusk is made of dentine with an outer layer of enamel. http://www.eleaid.com/elephant-information/elephant-tusks/

          I dont know the precise cause, do YOU?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          I can answer your extra-credit questions but remember the condition? You just to answer 1 question honestly rather than run run run away as you always did.

          Think about it, I’m not cowardly going with “PICK JUST ONE” as the biggest coward here usually goes, I’m offering two for the price of one!

          So how about it? Ready to show some courage rather than your usual yellow?

        • See Noevo

          Fire away.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          So running away again. Unsurprising. Whatever breed of protestant you must be, you must make them proud.

        • See Noevo

          I guess you don’t understand what “Fire away” means.

          In this case, it means:
          “GO AHEAD; ANSWER the extra-credit questions.”

        • TheMarsCydonia

          And I guess you don’t understand:
          “You just need to answer 1 question honestly rather than run run run away as you always did”.

          Actually, I do think you understood but that you’re just dishonest and cowardly to answer a question you ran away from over twenty times now.

        • See Noevo

          What question is that, the question about what my purpose is here?
          If that’s it, I already answered: To get to the truth.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          There you running away again.

          My offer still stands, answer the question honestly and it will be mu turn.

          Don’t answer with something that is obviously a lie. We’ve been over this before.

        • See Noevo

          OK. What’s the question?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          The question which you must answer honestly is still the same:
          What is your objective here?

          You’ve answered with a lie plenty of time but I won’t accept that as an answer because I want the truth. Answer truthfully this time.

          Or don’t, we’re used to it by now.

        • See Noevo

          You funny, TMC.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Running away again.

          Thank you for your contribution. You make it clear that cowardice and dishonesty is not a problem with whatever brand of christianity you’re from. You must make it proud.

        • See Noevo

          You don’t get forever to hand in your test answers, missy.
          You, too, get a grade of F.
          You’ve flunked out, and are now expelled.
          …………….
          “Running away again.”

          You funny, TMC. But keep dancing…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRd3A0sawpk

        • adam
        • TheMarsCydonia

          Well I guess you know all about flunking since tests require honest answers and that’s something you’re
          mentally incapable of.

          So, again, I’ll answer your 2 questions if you answer mine honestly.

          Just to show you’re incapable of doing it one more time.

        • See Noevo

          You funny, TMC.

          Keep a runnin’ and a dancin’…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq25ZJwZJzU

        • TheMarsCydonia

          You should leave the “I’m not running! You are!” to the school children.

          If you think I’m running, I’m willing to “stop” if you just answer the question you ran from over two dozen times. Will you stop running?

          We both what you’ll do: you’ll run run run like you’ve always done.

        • See Noevo

          You funny, TMC.

          I’m watching you…

          Runnin’

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BsTF22SPyM

        • TheMarsCydonia

          You just have to answer the question honestly.

          Or you can keep run run running away thinking you’re fooling anyone more than yourself.

        • Kodie

          You are so contentless. Does it make you happy to be that stupid and unable to keep up an adult conversation with literate folks?

        • His purpose here is to waste your time with his trolling. I’m wondering why you feed him so. This is not an intelligent human being…why do you treat him as if he is?

        • Dangitbobby

          A single look at vestigial DNA provides enough evidence to support evolution.

          We humans have:

          – A second eyelid we no longer use.
          – Organ’s that have virtually no use (appendix)
          – Tails, which do pop up in births occasionally.
          – 8% junk DNA

          But again – so what?

          There is a creator. Big deal. Doesn’t mean YOUR GOD is real. You haven’t provided a single shred of evidence to support that your god, your bible, or your specific beliefs are correct over hindu’s or native american’s or the machine’s matrix.

          You suffer the same sort of intellectual dishonesty that all religious believers suffer – you neglect or hand-wave all other possibilities and you do so without any honest appraisal of your own internal worldview.

          And BTW – I was a christian. A hardcore, fundy, creationist christian. I know the arguments you have – none hold water – and when I took an *honest* appraisal of the arguments, the only possible conclusion was this: it’s all hooey.

          So I understand that challenging your own thoughts is extremely scary. This worldview you’ve constructed all around you – you can’t let a single shred of doubt in. You can’t honestly appraise your own beliefs – what if you’re wrong? The whole world comes crashing down and can send you into an abyss of psychological torment called existential crisis.

          The brain hates this terribly scary condition and will fight tooth and nail to prevent it from happening. It prefers to live in comfort of certainty, even if that certainty is perfectly false.

          So you can plug your ears and close your eyes all you want. You can ignore evidence if you want. That’s fine – you can enjoy the benefits modern science has given you while degrading science and it’s processes in favor of flaky, ill-thought religious belief. That’s your prerogative.

          Enjoy your certainty. Let us adults handle the uncertainty that is the real world and you can enjoy and reap the benefits of it through technology and medicine.

        • See Noevo

          The only part of your response I could agree with is also descriptive of the response over all: “junk”.

        • Dangitbobby

          No evidence or rebuttal, huh?

          Well, you can’t argue with vestiges. I mean, you can look in the mirror and see your third eyelid and then wonder why your creator inserted it for shits and giggles.

          While we’re at it – let’s talk about Vitamin C and why humans are one of the rare mammals that cannot produce it. Interestingly enough, we still have the gene, but a mutation from our past disabled it. Again, I guess your god did a poor job of creating us if he left in DNA that used to have a function (vitamin C production) that has since been deactivated.

          Oh, I know. Falldidit. I’m sure our sinful past totally allowed satan to put this trickery in our DNA to point to a mechanism of evolution instead of creationism so that we are all lead away from god – and of course, god allowed this trickery to exist so that he can test us so we can choose the not obvious and irrational choice of, by faith, believing in Jesus so Jesus won’t toss us in hell. Or something. (But I mean, he totally showed himself to the early Jews – burning bush and all – so they certainly didn’t need to believe in him by faith, he actually appeared to them. I guess the rest of humanity isn’t important enough to grant a physical audience with the almighty creator)

          Yes. Let’s all accept this total mindfuck that is Christianity on no evidence and take See Noevo’s at his word, who thinks he’s specific interpretation of a book, which was never written as a complete book, is absolute truth *because circular reasonings*…while he doesn’t have the intellectual honesty to view contrary evidence and can only resort to one liners such as “junk”.

        • MNb

          “No evidence or rebuttal, huh?”
          Never.

        • See Noevo

          “Well, you can’t argue with vestiges. I mean, you can look
          in the mirror and see your third eyelid and then wonder why your creator inserted it for shits and giggles.”

          I’m sorry, but would you first link to an ophthalmology website, one dealing with the *human* eye, so I can see what you’re talking
          about.
          I checked these two with no luck:
          https://nei.nih.gov/health/eyediagram

          http://www.allaboutvision.com/resources/anatomy.htm

        • Dangitbobby

          You’re rarely going to find information about the plica semilunaris on any site dealing specifically with human eye surgery, as surgery on the organ is rarely needed.

          However:

          https://www.aao.org/SearchResults.aspx?q=plica%20semilunaris

          https://www.britannica.com/list/7-vestigial-features-of-the-human-body

          http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/plica+semilunaris

          Before you go quoting some creationist claptrap about it being necessary – yes, it does have an auxiliary function of keeping the eye clean – what makes it a vestige is that the muscles are so underdeveloped that the eyelid cannot close – unlike in other animal species.

        • See Noevo

          “You’re rarely going to find information about the plica
          semilunaris on any site dealing specifically with human eye surgery, as surgery on the organ is *rarely needed*. Before you go quoting some creationist claptrap about it being necessary – yes, it does have an auxiliary function of *keeping the eye clean* – what makes it a vestige is that the muscles are so *underdeveloped* that the eyelid *cannot close* – unlike in other animal species.”

          Wow!
          Eye *surgery* itself is relatively rarely needed but you say surgery on the “third eyelid” is rarer still. So it must be very reliable.
          Very reliable despite the supposed drawback that it “cannot close”,
          supposedly on account of it having “underdeveloped” muscles.
          Yet with all that, the “third eyelid” works well to help keep the eye clean. All in all, sounds like a wonderful little “vestige.”

          Your feverish “evolved” imagination should get some rest.
          Get some shut eye.

        • adam

          “Get some shut eye.”

          Yes, we have had enough of your brown eye.

        • Dys

          Oh, the deal with them by coming up with lame excuses for why they don’t count.

          Or they’ll create a false split, and accept micro-evolution but reject macroevolution, when the fact is that they’re the same thing viewed at different scales.

        • Joe

          Your agreement is not a requisite for truth.

        • Kodie

          Yer tho thmart!

        • adam
        • MNb

          “You suffer the same sort of intellectual dishonesty”
          I disagree. SN is worse. And that’s confirmed by his reaction to you just underneath, which is typical for him.

        • adam

          “Those who point out that evolution is NOT true can point to the same things.”

          Yes, just like ignorant children, expressing their ignorance.

          “Another large lie.
          There have been NO advances in medicine or science for which a faith in evolution was required.
          ZERO.”

          Yes, we know it is a lie, science doesnt require faith.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6fdb39aadd75100b6a42a22589cc237e66125efb7c16def734b5dcc49a03caaa.jpg

      • Zeta

        Bruce Gorton to See Noevo: “You want to challenge evolution, then cut the shit, learn what it is and produce the evidence to actually challenge it.

        Bruce, I am afraid you are wasting your time trying to educate SN. He is immune to evidence and even to insults that he inevitably brought upon himself. In fact he perversely enjoys it as he showed in another thread on this blog.
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/11/the-great-debate-theism-vs-naturalism-where-does-the-evidence-point/#disqus_thread

        He is nothing but full of hot air. Let me recap some facts about him:

        1. He claimed to have believed in evolution for 30+ years but has been anti-evolution for the last 12 years.

        2. He claimed to have read ALL the literature on evolution but has been easily exposed as a liar.

        3. He may challenge you (as he has done to me in the other thread mentioned) to quote “a hyperlink to a pro-evolution piece that YOU think is exceptionally compelling.” with the additional condition: exactly “ONE paper or article that I, and all the others reading this, can access and digest in one sitting.” When one article with 5 lines of evidence was quoted to him (by Michael Neville), he demanded that the article must only contain exactly ONE piece of evidence, not 5. Note the additional escape clauses he built into his requirements: (a) he must be able to “digest” it, and (b) ALL other readers must also be able to digest it. Too bad for your evidence if he or if there is even one other reader who is not able to understand it.

        4. He proudly announced that he has been banned by a long string of websites including his pro-evolution coreligionists (but expert biologists) at Biologos.

        To NS, am I spoiling your trolling fun when you just started here?

    • MNb

      Weird. That same Einstein you admire so much also maintained that there is no dogma within science.

      • Paul

        Yes, there’s definitely dogma in science.

        • MNb

          And you of course are the ultimate authority on such stuff, so you don’t need to back up your claim.

    • TheMarsCydonia

      I see that See NolieIcantpeddle is here.

      What is objective here? Will you run from this question again?
      What is problematic with evolution? Will you run from this question again?

      Run, run, run, show us once more your true christian colors.

    • adam
      • Paul

        Thank you for sharing Einstein’s opinion.

        • adam

          You are welcome.

          Now share your demonstrate of “God”

          Paul

          17 hours ago

          “Can we see the wind? No, but we have evidence of it’s existence, moving trees, etc. Does that sound like wishful thinking to you? ”

          No of course not, ANYONE can easily demonstrate wind.

          Demonstrate your ‘God’ in a similar fashion.

        • adam

          Now share your demonstrate of “God”

          Paul

          17 hours ago

          “Can
          we see the wind? No, but we have evidence of it’s existence, moving
          trees, etc. Does that sound like wishful thinking to you? ”

          No of course not, ANYONE can easily demonstrate wind.

          Demonstrate your ‘God’ in a similar fashion.

    • adam
    • Dys

      Evolution has been challenged…that’s why the theory has changed significantly since Darwin’s time.

      You’re wrong, plain and simple.

    • “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.”
      Science will never solve that marvelous mystery.

      But Christianity can? Show me. Y’know, with evidence (not just a bland, evidence-less claim).

      The link I give above responds to this “marvelous mystery.” See what you think.

      Science, or at least “science”, indeed has unchallengeable
      dogmas, probably chief of which is evolution.

      And you should know how weak the theory of evolution is, given that you’re a biologist.

      • See Noevo

        Al E: “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is
        that it is at all comprehensible.”

        Me: “Science will never solve that marvelous mystery.”

        You: “But Christianity can?”

        Of course not, at least, not in a science-y, physical evidence-y way.

        But you think Science can? Show me. Y’know, with evidence
        (not just a bland, evidence-less claim).
        ……………….
        “The link I give above responds to this “marvelous mystery.”
        See what you think.”

        I took a look. Some thoughts:

        1)
        “Let me push back a little. These interpretations [of some
        Christian apologists] make a huge, unstated assumption that a godless universe could *not* look like our universe, but what supports this?”

        What supports the assumption that a godless universe WOULD
        look like our universe?

        2)
        “Do they think that the dependability of physics is only due
        to God? That our physics wouldn’t look like it does without God is a very bold claim, for which I see no evidence.”

        What is the dependability of physics due to? Show me the
        evidence for your answer.

        3)
        “Furthermore, “God did it” is unfalsifiable, which is a fatal trait for any theory, let alone one that claims to explain all of science’s most perplexing problems.”

        “God did it” is *not* science or a theory and *never claimed to
        be* science or a theory. It is faith, a faith based in reason/rationality.

        4)
        “The universe is indeed understandable … but only to the
        extent that we can understand it. And how far is that? No one will ever know. “The universe is understandable” is an empty statement.”

        If it’s truly an empty statement, then I guess you’d be in
        favor of emptying out our universities and research laboratories.
        (About the only upside I can see to that is that “evolutionary biologists” would be out of a job.)
        Like, you know, if you can’t know everything, there’s no point in
        knowing anything, man.

        NOT!

        Just some thoughts.
        ……………………..
        Me: “Science, or at least “science”, indeed has unchallengeable dogmas, probably chief of which is evolution.”

        You: “And you should know how weak the theory of evolution
        is, given that you’re a biologist.”

        Don’t worry that you’re not a biologist, Bob.
        You don’t have to be a biologist to know how weak the theory
        of evolution is.

        • Me: “Science will never solve that marvelous mystery.”
          You: “But Christianity can?”
          Of course not, at least, not in a science-y, physical evidence-y way.

          Ah, good to see we’re on the same page here.

          But you think Science can? Show me. Y’know, with evidence
          (not just a bland, evidence-less claim).

          I don’t much care. Science has unanswered questions. If it solves this one, you’ll just pretend you never referred to it and go find another one.

          What supports the assumption that a godless universe WOULD
          look like our universe?

          Who cares? That’s not the hypothesis on the table.

          What is the dependability of physics due to? Show me the
          evidence for your answer.

          Dunno. You have an interesting hypothesis? Lay it on me. With evidence.

          “God did it” is *not* science or a theory and *never claimed to
          be* science or a theory. It is faith, a faith based in reason/rationality.

          You’re half right: it is indeed faith. “God did it” has never been the answer to any scientific puzzle. Maybe it’ll be in the future, but the trend isn’t looking good.

          (About the only upside I can see to that is that “evolutionary biologists” would be out of a job.)

          I know! They keep coming up with uncomfortable evidence. God’s little corner is getting ever more cramped.

          Don’t worry that you’re not a biologist, Bob.
          You don’t have to be a biologist to know how weak the theory
          of evolution is.

          It’s the scientific consensus. Deal with it.

        • See Noevo

          Me: ““God did it” is *not* science or a theory and *never
          claimed to be* science or a theory. It is faith, a faith based in reason/rationality.”

          You: “You’re half right: it is indeed faith. “God did it”
          has never been the answer to any scientific puzzle. *Maybe it’ll be in the future*, but the trend isn’t looking good.”

          Ah, good to see we’re on *more than half* the same page
          here.
          However, I would say “God did it” has *always* been the
          answer to any scientific puzzle *at the deepest level.*
          But apparently you’re interested only in staying shallow.
          ……………
          Me: “You don’t have to be a biologist to know how weak the
          theory of evolution is.”

          You: “It’s the scientific consensus. Deal with it.”

          I’ve dealt with it. However, we both know that consensus and
          truth are not necessarily the same thing. But apparently only one of us knows how weak is the thing (i.e. evolution) the scientists have a consensus about.

        • However, I would say “God did it” has *always* been the
          answer to any scientific puzzle *at the deepest level.*

          But you believe this without evidence, apparently.

          we both know that consensus and
          truth are not necessarily the same thing.

          That’s right. The fact remains that the scientific consensus is the best approximation to the truth we laymen have.

          But apparently only one of us knows how weak is the thing (i.e. evolution) the scientists have a consensus about.

          Phew! Good thing one of us is informed. Wake me up when the consensus changes.

        • See Noevo

          Me: “However, I would say “God did it” has *always* been the
          answer to any scientific puzzle *at the deepest level.*”

          You: “But you believe this without evidence, apparently.”

          If you consider belief based on reason/rationality to be
          belief without evidence, then, yes.
          …………………..
          “The fact remains that the scientific consensus is the best
          approximation to the truth we laymen have.”

          No, not at all necessarily.
          ………….
          “Wake me up when the consensus changes.”

          Then, you’ve been woken up a number of times in the past and
          probably will be in the future.
          That is, you *are* aware, aren’t you, that the consensus on
          the “what, how and why” of evolution has been changing since St. Charlie’s time?
          And today there is *no* consensus on the scientific stuff, on the devilish details.
          No consensus on the premises, only on the conclusion.
          Consensus only on the Darwin Dogma: “Evolution is true!”

        • “The fact remains that the scientific consensus is the best
          approximation to the truth we laymen have.”
          No, not at all necessarily.

          Which doesn’t help me understand the alternative.

          “Wake me up when the consensus changes.”
          Then, you’ve been woken up a number of times in the past and
          probably will be in the future.

          And when the consensus changes, I’m on board with the change. But since evolution is the consensus, your fuming about that fact only amuses me.

          That is, you *are* aware, aren’t you, that the consensus on
          the “what, how and why” of evolution has been changing since St. Charlie’s time?

          You mean that biologists have been learning more and more about how evolution works? Yes, I understand that. And yet the consensus for evolution remains overwhelming.

        • See Noevo

          “But since evolution is the consensus, your fuming about
          that fact only *amuses* me…
          You mean that biologists have been learning more and more
          about how evolution works? Yes, I understand that. And yet the consensus for evolution remains overwhelming.”

          Yes, I mean there is *no* consensus on the scientific stuff,
          on the devilish details, *no* consensus on the premises, but only on the conclusion.

          Very amusing “science”.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, I mean there is *no* consensus on the scientific stuff, on the devilish details, *no* consensus on the premises, but only on the conclusion.

          You read too much creationist garbage. You would be surprised how few premises lack consensus regarding evolution.

        • You’re struggling to salvage a win of some sort, but don’t even understand what you think you’re saying. And I don’t much care.

          Science wins. You lose.

        • See Noevo

          “Science wins. You lose.”

          The winners and losers are determined at the end of the
          game, cowardly lion.

          We’re not there yet.

        • Nope. Science answers questions. It has a track record. Religion also has a track record: a track record for telling us nothing new about reality.

          Which is why I say: science wins; you lose.

        • Michael Neville

          You creationists always are poor losers. But you’re losers all the same.

        • Kodie

          Very amusing stuff you are too uneducated to understand.

          Evolution is still the conclusion, despite bullshit from your favorite bullshit artists. Why does religion need to lie about this? What else are they lying about?

          I know that makes no difference to you because you’re a fucking delusional fuckhead. If you don’t want rational people who are in touch with reality to call you names, you might examine that you’ve gone wrong here. Are you actually here to collect insults instead of have an adult conversation? I notice you respond to posts calling you names by quoting the insults and saying nothing else, or only adding lame bullshit name cranks that don’t actually bother anyone, because we don’t take you seriously. Be sure to add in your report that nobody takes you seriously because you’re a creationist ignorant buffoon.

        • adam

          “If you consider belief based on reason/rationality to be
          belief without evidence, then, yes.”

          What is reasonable/rational about believing in MAGIC?

        • Michael Neville

          If you consider belief based on reason/rationality to be belief without evidence, then, yes.

          You can of course provide evidence supporting your belief that your belief is based on reason/rationality. Because as Adam says below, what’s reasonable/rational about magic?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Those were your most hilarious lies yet.

        • MNb

          ““God did it” is *not* science or a theory and *never claimed to be* science or a theory. It is faith, a faith based in reason/rationality.”
          Go tell the folks from Discovery Institute, who reject Evolution Theory for the same non-reasons as you do.

        • Zeta

          SN: ““God did it” is not science or a theory and never claimed to be science or a theory. It is faith, a faith based in reason/rationality.

          I am sure there are many Christians who disagree with you, like what MNb said nearby about the Discovery Institute. Are Bryan Fischer and John Lennox your friends?

          Bryan Fischer: What Holds an Atom’s Nucleus Together?

          Answer: Jesus.

          This sure has been keeping Jesus busy, even before he was born. Particle and nuclear physicists, you are doomed.

          Bryan Fischer: Jesus is the Force Holding the Universe Together.

          Hey, astronomers and cosmologists, are you worried?

          John Lennox: Jesus invented the atom, Jesus invented the mind and Jesus invented all the chemistry we have…

        • Lennox is a sad case. The guy is an Oxford professor emeritus, and he has 3 doctorates. But the apologetics ideas that come out of his mouth could’ve been composed by a teenager.

        • Michael Neville

          So when are you going to show us WITH EVIDENCE how weak evolution is? Or are you just going to continue to assert it without bothering to explain how you reached that silly, ignorant assumption?

  • barry

    Christians are dishonest to bring up an atheist’s own morality when confronted with the argument that the bible-god is evil, for when when we accuse the bible-god of being “evil”, we are not “complaining”. We are only pointing out that biblical statements lead to this conclusion.

    Since in any other context, we would say the parent who “enjoys” causing their children to be raped, kidnapped and sacrificed would be “evil” under biblical presuppositions alone, then we are forced to conclude that the god who “delights” to bring such horrors on his own people (Deut. 28:30-41, see esp. v. 63), or who can inspire language about how “happy” it will make King David to slam babies to death against rocks (Psalm 137:9), is just as evil as the people who do these things.

    So because the biblical authors portray god as a sadistic lunatic, all atheists are doing is asking Christians why they refuse to go where biblical logic leads. Why the inquiring atheist personally thinks rape is “evil” has nothing to do with the problem, and an atheist’s attempted justification for her own personal beliefs about evil or morality has no hope of giving any sort of help to the Christian confronted with this exclusively biblical rebuttal to the holy-god myth.

  • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

    “Once again, Turek makes a bold assertion of objective morality with zero evidence that it actually exists (more in the critique of his morality argument). Drop this assumption, and his argument deflates like a flabby balloon.”

    Retain the assumption, and his argument still deflates like a flabby balloon.

    Objective evil doesn’t presuppose objective good, and objective good doesn’t require God. He needs both prongs to be true, and neither of them are. Further, Lewis’ analogy to crooked and straight lines isn’t even one of the better ways to make the argument he’s trying to make.

    While a straight line may aid us in distinguishing a crooked line, crookedness is a quality unto itself, which refers to specific facts about it’s geometrical orientation. In a universe with only one line which was not straight, that line would be crooked.

    But even it was true that the crookedness of a line was defined in terms of its properties relative to other lines, it still isn’t necessary that there exists a perfectly straight line, only another less-crooked line from which an ideal line can be extrapolated. It’s irrelevant to the crookedness of the line whether the ideal line actual manifests in reality, even on this false account of the nature of crookedness.

    You’re a generous man to spend so much time analyzing the apologetics of a man so undeserving of a serious person’s attention. He ought to feel honored 🙂

    • This is an aside, but what do you think about objective moral truth? My approach is simply to question that it exists, since I’ve seen zero evidence. Others have questioned the other premise, that if it exists, there must be a god. I’ve simply ignored this second line of attack.

      Do you think objective moral truth exists?

      • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

        Hi Bob,

        There are a couple of ways to approach the question of what it means to say that objective moral truth exists. In the strict sense, I do believe in objective moral truth, though I reject certain accounts of the nature of moral objectivity.

        The standard moral objectivist position is that:

        1) Moral claims are the sort of claims that have truth values.
        2) At least one of these claims is true, and
        3) Moral claims are made true or false by facts about the external world (the world that exists outside the mind).

        This is my position, so I believe in objective moral truth.

        To the extent that the objectivity of moral truths require morality to exist as a kind of substantial, non-physical entity in and of itself (as is sometimes claimed), I’m highly skeptical of that…but of course, I reject the idea that this is required of morality for moral claims to be objectively true.

        Despite what I happen to believe myself, I think subjectivist accounts of morality are capable of providing everything that’s required of a coherent and useful moral theory.

        Questioning its existence (in responding to the theist) is a viable strategy, but the contemporary apologetic notion that moral objectivism requires (or is even better explained by appeal to) God is so wildly out-of-step with the bulk of philosophical thought on the question that atheists shouldn’t feel the least bit pressured to accept it if they aren’t otherwise inclined to.

        • What is your response to “objective morality requires God (or a god)”?

          I can imagine, “Prove it” as one answer.

          Another would question the definition of “objective.” For example, “moral truths that are valid whether anyone believes them or not” is one popular definition, but there are others. “Bob’s car is yellow” is a true statement, but there doesn’t have to be a God to ground that statement.

          And back to your 3 points above. What I hear you saying (to make it into an example) is that one of the following two statements is true: (1) “Euthanasia is moral in some situations” and (2) “Euthanasia is never moral.” But it still raises the question, according to whom? I’m not seeing the objectivity here. Or maybe I don’t understand your position.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          “Prove it” would definitely be the first response 🙂

          More appropriately, I’d start by asking them to explain what it is that makes them think so. While there are some responses that come up often, there’s quite a large variety of them, and they each tend to require a different approach.

          One way is to clarify, with the claimant, precisely what it means to say that a moral claim is objectively true, and have them explain not only how God could make such a claim true in that way, but how every conceivable atheistic account of the way in which moral claims could be objectively true fails. Given God’s nature as a transcendent mind (read: subjective being) it’s not immediately clear what role he could play in imbuing moral claims with “objective” truth.

          If you have some examples of attempts you’ve heard, by theists, to defend this statement, I’d be happy to tell you how I’d respond to them.

          As to your second paragraph, I don’t see a relevant distinction between the first and second parts. If it’s true that “the objective fact that Bob’s car has physical properties that render it yellow” IS the reason Bob’s car is yellow, then saying Bob’s car is yellow is another way of saying that Bob’s car is yellow, whether anyone believes it or not.

          As regards the euthanasia example, the objectivist would say that: If euthanasia is moral, the reason it’s moral is because of some mind-independent fact about the world. If euthanasia is moral, for example, it’s because it’s an objective fact that refusing terminally-ill patients the right to death causes them harm, AND there’s something morally-significant about causing harm. If that’s true, then euthanasia is objectively moral.

          Consider,by contrast mind-dependent facts, like an individual’s beliefs, or attitudes, or personal feelings. The subjectivist would say that: If euthanasia is moral, the reason it’s moral is because someone has a belief, or attitude, or feeling about it, and there’s something morally-significant about having that belief, attitude, or feeling.

          The point of objectivist accounts of morality is that they don’t require a whom. A given something is moral or immoral in the same way that a car is yellow or not yellow…because something about the external world makes it so. People may have conflicting opinions about the morality of an action or the color of the car, but we can always (at least in theory) settle those conflicts by pointing to some to some fact in the external world.

          Edit:

          It’s 2 AM here, so please excuse me while I catch a couple of “Z’s” Ill get back to you on any responses tomorrow 🙂

        • As regards the euthanasia example, the objectivist would say that: If euthanasia is moral, the reason it’s moral is because of some mind-independent fact about the world. If euthanasia is moral, for example, it’s because it’s an objective fact that refusing terminally-ill patients the right to death causes them harm, AND there’s something morally-significant about causing harm. If that’s true, then euthanasia is objectively moral.

          And this gets us to the ontology vs. epistemology issue. It may be true that euthanasia is moral, but how would we know? The fact that we disagree proves that this truth, if it’s mind-independent, is not reliably accessible (at least not with the mental tools we have now). And then one wonders, at what point is this “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” thinking.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          Well, I’m under no pretense that moral questions are easy, or that acquiring moral knowledge should be thought a trivial matter.

          …but, notably, subjectivism doesn’t resolve these problems. On a subjectivist account, we have every bit reason to wonder how reliably we can access moral truth with the mental tools we have, and to what extent we can ever know.

          So, this is more a question of “how difficult or intractable must a question be before we consider it a waste of time to think about (like angels on a pin)?”

        • subjectivism doesn’t resolve these problems.

          If you’re saying that we’re still left with figuring out moral issues, then yes. But if “objective morality” is a detour, the sooner we see this, the sooner we can focus on how moral improvement is actually done.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          Objective morality is no more a detour than subjective morality is. They’re two different ways of answering the same question.

          Even if we all agreed that subjectivism is true, we’re still left to ask in what sense it’s true. Exactly what subjective facts are morally-relevant and why?

          It’s certainly true that if everyone agreed on the answer, we could start making progress (in so far as that’s the right answer). If it’s not, we be unified in our regress.

        • Objective morality is no more a detour than subjective morality is.

          If “there are moral truths that exist whether anyone is here to appreciate them or not” is false, then objective morality (at least, defined that way) is indeed a detour.

          Even if we all agreed that subjectivism is true, we’re still to ask in what sense it’s true. Exactly what subjectivist facts are morally-relevant and why?

          But what does subjectivism have to do with the conversation? If I’m arguing with you about some moral issue, yes, it’s a subjective conversation, but that’s not tripping us up. We both realize that we’re simply stating a moral position making the best use of our experience and internal morality. That’s never part of the conversation, we understand the limitations of our position, and we proceed.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          “If there are moral truths that exist whether anyone is here to appreciate them or not” is false, then objective morality (at least, defined that way) is indeed a detour.”

          Well, yes. If something is false, it’s a detour on the way to the truth.

          I think, to the extent you think that’s a detour with regard to morality generally (irrelevant of its truth), you think it’s a detour with regard to objective truth generally. Would you say that scientific facts (like the fact that a water molecule consists of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom) is a fact that’s true whether or not there is anyone here to appreciate it?

          If so, I think I understand what you’re getting at, but if not, I think you’ll have to explain.

          “”But what does subjectivism have to do with the conversation?

          Subjectivism has to do with the conversation because (unless you quibble with the definition I laid out and have been using) it follows logically that anyone who believes in moral truth at all, but rejects objectivism, accepts subjectivism…and subjectivism is susceptible to all the same problems you raised, straight down the line.

          Now, one can reject moral truth altogether, or have some other nuanced position about it (that’s a different conversation).

          You’re right that we’re not getting tripped up by the distinction between the subjectivity of a conversation or the statement of a moral position, and whether the referent of that conversation or position is subjective or objective. I’m just unclear what objection you have to objective moral truth specifically, that isn’t actually a broader objection to morality or truth generally.

          It might help to note that point out that the typical apologist’s understanding of moral philosophy is even more laughable than their understanding of evolution, so if your objections are being informed by their claims, it may color how you’re interpreting the positions as I’ve laid them out.

          Edited to correct a misreading of your comment.

        • Comrade:

          Would you say that scientific facts (like the fact that a water molecule consists of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom) is a fact that’s true whether or not there is anyone here to appreciate it?

          Of course. Moral truths are different.

          anyone who believes in moral truth at all, but rejects objectivism, accepts subjectivism

          Right . . .

          …and subjectivism is susceptible to all the same problems you raised, straight down the line.

          It seems to have different problems.

          And I was talking about something else: if objective morality doesn’t exist, we’re on a quixotic quest if we pursue it. The sooner we see reality, the better our chances for making progress.

          I’m just unclear what objections you have to objective moral truth specifically, that isn’t actually a broader objection to morality or truth generally.

          There not being any evidence for “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in them or not” (WLC’s formulation).

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          WLC’s formulation conflates too many issues at once to be taken seriously in a discussion about moral objectivism. “Value” and the extent to which moral claims are binding (if true) are separate topics, and his statement is far too loaded to be useful here.

          If you’re objecting to Craig’s statement, you could be objecting to dozens of things, only one of which is objectivism as I laid it out.

          You’re right that if if objective morality doesn’t exist, we’re on a quixotic quest if we pursue it. If subjective morality doesn’t exist, we’re also on a quixotic quest if we pursue it.

          Perhaps neither of them exist?

          You seem to believe that there is such a thing as moral truth…namely that moral claims purport to report facts, and there are such facts. If I’m wrong about that, please correct me.

          To that end, we’ll try this:

          Could you give me a moral statement that you personally consider true and uncontroversial, and then explain what it is that makes the statement true?

          Edit: “If subjective morality doesn’t exist”.

        • Greg G.

          Could you give me a moral statement that you personally consider true and uncontroversial, and then explain what it is that makes the statement true?

          Of course not. I can only give a subjective moral statement. I might be able to give one that I consider to be true but I would not swear that I could not eventually come up with an exception. I would expect someone to find it controversial.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          All I’m looking for is a statement that Bob considers true, and I’d like it to be one that he considers uncontroversial (so that I’m analyzing a statement that he sincerely believes, and I don’t get muddled in the nuance of a statement that he might lean toward, but ultimately consider an open question).

          I don’t care if anyone else considers it controversial. I just want to see how he reasons about moral claims.

        • Greg G.

          What about the action of beating puppies to death makes it wrong? Regardless of whose platform you’re appealing to, or what other people think:

          When you say that beating puppies to death is wrong, what is it you’re saying about that action?

          Exercise in morbidity but say a killer is trying to kill you (and your kids, to add drama). The best place to hide from him is where momma dog has her litter of puppies who are hungry and whining. The killer has already killed the mother dog. Your best chance of survival is to kill the puppies before the killer hears them because he would likely kill the puppies after killing you, anyway.

          I think most people would be morally OK with you killing the puppies with a ballpeen hammer in this situation. I think that would make it morally justified to beat puppies to death. I have read of mothers smothering their own infants to keep from being found by marauders.

          If a scenario can be conceived where a moral action is not clearly immoral, it cannot be said to be objective.

          But, per a post exchange about an hour ago with Paul B. Lot, we should distinguish whether the discussion is about absolute vs relative morality, or objective vs subjective. I don’t think there is an absolute morality but I think morality is based on values, which are subjective.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          Sure.

          To say that morality is objective is not to say that an action which is wrong in one circumstance won’t ever be right in another circumstance. I haven’t even hinted at that notion in anything I’ve said.

          The conversation about the absolutism or relativism of morality is certainly important…it’s just not what Bob asked me, and it’s not what I’m responding to.

          “If a scenario can be conceived where a moral action is not clearly immoral, it cannot be said to be objective.”

          This, however, I think to be completely false in principle, and to the extent that it could be true at all, it’s just a way is saying that objectivism is false. The degree to which something is “clear” is irrelevant to whether it’s true.

          Certainly, IF you believe that values are subjective, and IF you believe that morality is based on values, it makes sense that you’d reject objectivism. It’s no problem to me if you do. I said at the outset that I think subjectivism is capable of satisfying all the requirements of a useful ethical theory.

          But, if your modified puppy scenario was intended as an objection to objectivism (and I’m not saying I think it was), I don’t think it would be a good one.

        • Kodie

          If someone is trying to kill you, and you have to hide and kill puppies to avoid the killer, I think the situation changes if you are Hitler. Or I’m not sure it changes. The moral reaction is to survive being killed by a killer, which is the same. From outside the situation, hunting down Hitler, and Hitler foiling efforts by killing puppies is sickening, and not understandable, even if it’s the same moral impulse you’d have.

          Is the difference the morality of the original situation? The killer after you is the immoral actor, whereas one after Hitler intends killing as only the worst scenario, but hopes to capture him alive, and Hitler being the worst, we would want him to surrender even to a vigilante who is trying to do the world a favor. Is it justifiable for anyone to kill the puppies while hiding from a killer, or just some people?

        • MR

          I haven’t been following the thread, so by jumping in here I hope I’m not completely derailing things.

          When we talk about the morality of killing puppies, I think we’re trying to explain something with too narrow a view. It seems to me that the dark side of morality tends to fall into two camps, societal transgressions and pathological problems.

          The “bad” things that we do actually helped us survive in our evolutionary past and is simply part of our DNA. The capacity for violence, murder, lying, stealing, yes, even rape, etc., ensured that someone, and even more importantly, some thing in our evolutionary past was able to survive and take the next evolutionary step. A lot of this stuff is part of our DNA from the earliest times. Just like we don’t call it murder when a lion kills another lion, placing a moral judgment on our ancestral behaviors is nonsensical. And that is part and parcel of our past.

          We start evolving social skills, and now the more violent aspects of our being take a back seat, but they are still relevant in times of scarcity, so they never really go away. They pop up from time to time in conflict with the rules we’ve laid down as a society, whether that be religious rules, laws and government, etc. We don’t want violent people on a daily basis, but the capacity for violence will do us well should we be invaded. There’s always a certain amount of tension with between these latent “immoral” capacities and what we consider normal societal behavior.

          The second camp is pathological, where you have either a psychopath, or someone who has a tumor on the brain that sends them on a shooting rampage, someone high on drugs, or the brain gets cross wired like a teenager whose brain isn’t fully developed and maybe has other complicating life factors like a violent home life or something, who takes it out on a puppy litter because he’s mad at life or something. I mean, really, who is most likely to beat a bunch of puppies to death, your grandmother or the angry kid down the block?

          To me, this talk of puppy killing is like trying to squeeze the pathological aspect into the more common varieties of moral tension like, “Do I lie to my boss about why I was late? Do I cheat on my husband?” Etc. When you get into the, “Do I kidnap and rape that woman? Do I literally rip that guy’s head off because he cut me off in traffic? Do I beat this litter of puppies to death because my stepdad beat me…?;” well, you’re dealing with something different there that I’m not sure warrants the same kind of moral conversation.

        • TheNuszAbides

          It seems to me that the dark side of morality tends to fall into two camps, societal transgressions and pathological problems.

          nicely put.

        • WLC’s formulation conflates too many issues at once to be taken seriously in a discussion about moral objectivism.

          That’s fine, but it’s popular among Christians. That’s my stand-in for objective morality when I respond to them.

          If you’re objecting to Craig’s statement, you could be objecting to dozens of things, only one of which is objectivism as I laid it out.

          My objection is to the idea that there is repository of morality outside of and independent of humans. I think of it as God’s library with a book titled, “Big Book of Moral Truth.”

          You’re right that if if objective morality doesn’t exist, we’re on a quixotic quest if we pursue it. If subjective morality doesn’t exist, we’re also on a quixotic quest if we pursue it.

          To make this a simple dichotomy, I think of my position as “not objective morality.” If objective morality (admittedly, a slippery term that must be defined) doesn’t exist, then I’ve backed the right horse.

          You seem to believe that there is such a thing as moral truth…namely that moral claims purport to report facts, and there are such facts.

          I would say that there are moral opinions. I don’t know what “moral truth” (which seems to imply a single correct answer) would be if objective morality doesn’t exist.

          Could you give me a moral statement that you personally consider true and uncontroversial, and then explain what it is that makes the statement true?

          Beating puppies to death is wrong. I say this from my perspective only; that is, the platform behind this is “Bob.” I suspect that it’s uncontroversial because I’ve seen enough to know.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          Alright.

          I suspect, based on what you’ve said here, that if we dug deep enough into the topic, we’d find that you and I disagree with Craig on a great deal ore than we disagree with each other on. Part of the problem is the sloppiness with which apologists trade in these topics.

          I’m perfectly happy to do that if you’re interested, but it will exponentially increase the scope of the discussion.

          For the time being:

          What about the action of beating puppies to death makes it wrong? Regardless of whose platform you’re appealing to, or what other people think:

          When you say that beating puppies to death is wrong, what is it you’re saying about that action?

        • Yes, I would like to avoid an involved conversation on this right now.

          When you say that beating puppies to death is wrong, what is it you’re saying about that action?

          I thought I made that clear. I’m speaking from the Bob platform; that’s it. It’s not much, but it’s all I’ve got. If I were Ethicist for the Country, I’d have a bigger platform.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          Sure, but you don’t have a reason for saying THAT thing from the Bob platform, as opposed to something else?

          You don’t use any thought to arrive at moral conclusions? You just look at a situation, and a moral position appears randomly in your mind by surprise?

        • I consult my conscience, and my conscience gives me an answer. So I suppose, yes, it appears randomly.

          If it’s something more complicated than the puppy situation that I might weigh intellectually for years, swaying one way or another (like abortion, say), then that is obviously informed by experience, society, etc.

          But it sounds like you have an opinion.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          Let’s take something more complicated than the puppy situation then. When your position on abortion changed last, why did it change?

          Did you get a new, random idea about it, or did you reach some conclusion about something that caused you to change your mind?

        • This is getting a little too much like a Socratic dialogue for my taste. We can have a regular dialogue if you’d like.

          I don’t know where you’re going with this. Add to the conversation.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          I’m just trying to figure out what our position is on the topics we’ve been discussing. It’s still a mystery to me. This isn’t a debate…it’s of no consequence to me what you believe, I’m just trying to figure out what that is. You’ve said you believe that moral claims are true, but that’s all I know. I’ve no idea how you tell the difference between a true claim and a false one.

          Maybe you haven’t thought about it enough to have a position, or maybe you have some reason for not wanting to tell me?

          I don’t care enough to pry, but we’re sort of stuck.

        • I’ve no idea how you tell the difference between a true claim and a false one.

          How do you? You don’t think they’re the same?

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          No, I don’t. If you don’t think there’s a difference between a true moral claim and a false one, then that answers my questions.

          I’ve stated that I’m an objectivist, so you know that (in the puppy case for example) I think the referent for truth claims would be facts like whether the puppy was harmed, whether the puppy had rights that were infringed upon, and whether the action was justified, and necessary to bring about (or avoid) certain states of affairs.

          I’m just interested to know (in so far as you really do believe there are true moral claims) what you think to be the truth-making facts for those claims.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i am terribly disappointed that this didn’t get off the ground. but hey. i suppose there has to be at least a statistical excuse for the fact that [e.g.] the youtube videos of Ozymandias Ramses III aren’t waaaay more popular.

        • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

          Indeed.

          I like Ozzy a lot. I’m a fan of NCG’s “The Place”, and was introduced to him from there a couple of months ago. Very few of his caliber on Youtube, and he deserves exponentially more viewers than he gets.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i like most of what i’ve heard (i generally only watch youtube pieces if they have animated enhancements) from The Place–merely a few sessions, 10 or 12 hours’ worth–but generally i’d rather catch up on Ozy, Dillahunty & AXp first. hell, i’ve been poking around patheos for several years and still haven’t really caught up with any blog.

  • Paul

    Hi Bob,
    One of your previous blog posts received a mention in this article. It’s the third link in the article that says “Patheos”

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/11/was_darwinism_b103304.html

    Would you care to do a follow-up blog post?

    • Philmonomer

      The evolutionnews article states: A blogger on Patheos claimed that “the Nazis burned copies of the Origin of Species.”

      That seems to be simply false. Bob’s blog post doesn’t state “the Nazis burned copies of the Origin of Species.”

      (At least the blog post linked to (Bob’s September 7, 2012 post entitled “Nazi Soldiers Indoctrinated with Darwin? Yeah, Right.”) doesn’t state that.)

    • TheMarsCydonia

      Would you care to explain why should trust a website with an avowed anti-science agenda about an article for which no sources is posted?

      I know this standard rigor of creationists but why do you think non-creationists should apply their double-standards?

      • TheMarsCydonia

        Weikart is best known for his 2004 book From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and Racism in Germany. The Discovery Institute, the hub of the intelligent design movement, “provided crucial funding” for the book’s research. The academic community has been widely critical of the book. Regarding the thesis of Weikart’s book, University of Chicago historian Robert Richards concluded that “Hitler was not a Darwinian” and “calls this all a desperate tactic to undermine evolution.” Richards expressed an opinion that, “There’s not the slightest shred of evidence that Hitler read Darwin,” and “Some of the biggest influences on Hitler’s anti-Semitism were opposed to evolution, such as British writer Houston Stewart Chamberlain, whose racial theory became incorporated into Nazi doctrine.”

        And I can provide sources for the above.

        • Paul

          So, you’re just pointing out that there are critics of his book? There are going to people on both sides of any one particular issue.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          I agree as you are a perfect exemple that there will always be people who an choose an ideological agenda over the evidence.

          But with the exception of yourself, we’re not religious so why should we?

        • MNb

          Question for you: does the following two quotes sound like creationism or Evolution Theory?

          “iron law of Nature–which compels the various species to keep within the definite limits of their own life-forms when propagating and multiplying their kind.”

          “The fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose, and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger.”
          Not answering my question will be taken as an answer unfavourably for you.

        • Michael Neville

          Even if Hitler was a convinced, enthusiastic neo-Darwinian evolutionist, so what? Hitler believed that 2+2=4 as did Stalin, Mao and probably Pol Pot. Does that mean we should discard mathematics because these people were arithmetists?

      • Paul

        Would you care to explain why you think they are anti-science?

        • TheMarsCydonia

          For the same AiG and yourself are. See my response concerning AiG. See if the description does not match both the DI and yourself, it does.

          Again, what is your objective here?

        • Paul

          That doesn’t tell me anything. You didn’t link to your description.

          Define “science”. Maybe that will help me understand why you think that I’m not anti-science. As I’ve said repeatedly, I’m not anti-science. You telling me that I am doesn’t make it so.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Again, see my answer when you asked about AiG.

          And about “you telling me that I am doesn’t make it so”, if that is the case, why do you think your unsubstantiated assertions make what you assert so?

        • Paul

          Again, please provide a link to your response.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Please scroll down. Or look at your DISQUS notifications

        • Paul

          “Please scroll down.”

          Why? This is the first time responding on this particular blog post. You couldn’t possible have responded to something I said earlier on this post.

          I don’t look at my DISQUS notifications. I reading the posts directly on the blog. Helps to keep the conversations separate.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Perhaps you should stop willfully applying a poor understanding to everything that challenges your worldview:
          As I mentionned, my response here would be the same one as the one I provided when you asked the same question about AiG.

          So you could ask nicely “Please copy paste your previous answer as I am too lazy to scroll down”.

          We already knew of your lazyness but this astoundingly confirms it.

        • adam

          And please provide your demonstration

          Now share your demonstration of “God”

          Paul

          17 hours ago

          “Can
          we see the wind? No, but we have evidence of it’s existence, moving trees, etc. Does that sound like wishful thinking to you? ”

          No of course not, ANYONE can easily demonstrate wind.

          Demonstrate your ‘God’ in a similar fashion.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          The wind does not require apologetics of the like of Turek’s.

        • adam
        • Joe

          OK, how’s this for a definition:

          the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

          Now, explain to me how creationism fits into that description, it being neither systematic , and conducts precisely zero experiments.

        • Philmonomer

          Are you concerned at all that the evolutionnews article’s quotation of Bob’s words in his blog post is wrong?

        • Paul

          All I did was point out that one of Bob’s blog post was mentioned in another article and asked Bob if he would care to follow-up. While the exact quotation is wrong, Bob did seem to imply it that the Nazi’s did burn copies of Darwin’s book. But I’ll let Bob have to final say as to whether the misquote does in fact line up with what he meant.

          Here’s the relevant part of Bob’s blog post (I capitalized a small part for emphasis):

          “In doing my own research on books issued to German soldiers, the only page I came across was a post in another atheist blog who’d heard the podcast and asked the very same question. That blogger raised a great point: Why issue those two books but not Hitler’s own Mein Kampf?

          “And remember that Nazis liked to ban books. OR BURN THEM. The official Nazi library journal in 1935 listed twelve categories of banned books. One category was:

          ” ‘Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism.’ “

        • Philmonomer

          If you are at all connected with academia (or journalism, or other fields) then you know that getting an exact quote of someone else’s words wrong is a pretty big no-no. (Where did these words come from? Presumably the author of the article simply made them up. That should be troubling–the quote isn’t even a simple rewording of what Bob’s blog post states.)

          Now, could the sentence be rewritten to be both accurate and convey the evolutionnews’ author’s meaning? Sure. And being most generous to the author of the evolutionnews article, is was probably a simple mistake.

          Still, it does (rightly) lessen faith in the author’s article.

        • Paul

          “Presumably the author of the article simply made them up.”

          Maybe it not that he made them up, he just shouldn’t have put them in quotations, since that would imply a direct quote. I think the basic meaning of the misquote is contained in Bob’s article but, like I said, I’ll let Bob have the final say on that.

        • Philmonomer

          Maybe it not that he made them up, he just shouldn’t have put them in quotations, since that would imply a direct quote.

          Strictly speaking, he did make up the words in the quote. Now maybe he didn’t intend to do that–this then gets into useless (and unknowable) speculation about the author’s intent. Did he not intend to quote the article directly there–and mistakenly put the quotes in? Did he mean to directly quote Bob’s blog post and simply got it wrong? Did he believe that’s what the blog post actually said?

          As an academic, the author of that article should be extremely aware of when to use quotes and when to not use them. That said, mistakes happen.

        • Joe

          Philmonomer: “Are you concerned at all that the evolutionnews article’s quotation of Bob’s words in his blog post is wrong?”

          Paul: *evades answering the question*

        • Kodie

          Because they don’t use science. They don’t do science. They are desperately trying to pose as though they are equivalent to science, but they are fictionalizing a version they can present to dummies like you who can’t tell the difference.

        • Bruce Gorton

          They’re psuedo-scientists. They don’t actually do any real research, instead focusing their work on publishing propaganda for their version of creationism.

          They often misquote scientists, claim support where there isn’t any and they’re a bit dodgy with regards to the credentials they claim to have. The research output they claim in support of ID is both tiny, and generally very poor.

          The Bullit Foundation withdrew their funding for it, proclaiming the DI to be the love child of Jerry Falwell and Ayn Rand, neither of whom were scientists.

          And then there is the wedge document, which illustrated that they were fundamentally taking a page out of the tobacco industry’s book to push creationism.

          Go check out Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District to get a real feel for what those snakes are about.

          If they were selling a diet, they’d fit right in with the likes of Gilliam McKeith. It is all about the appearance of science, rather than actual science.

          The silly thing is, they’re part of what I figure is slowly killing religion. I know I’m not changing your mind on anything, I’m mainly just venting after a year of seeing my countrymen eat grass and get sprayed with pesticide.

          We atheists, we can rail against religion, we can be as nice as pie, none of it really has the same sort of gut-punch as catching someone you like, respect and trust lying to your face. That gross realisation that what they’re saying just ain’t so, that tends to set that first domino tumbling.

        • MNb

          It’s already in the title: “Darwinism”. It’s an attempt to create a loaded term, suggesting that it has political aspects.
          The article is written by RIchard Weickart, another established liar.

        • Dys

          Evolutionnews is just a cover for the Discovery Institute, which promotes the pseudo-science of intelligent design aka, genericized creationism.

    • Evolution News doesn’t allow comments. If you’re suggesting doing a reply as a post here, I don’t think it’s worth the effort.

      A few thoughts: the article says:

      the Nazi Ministry of Education published curricular guidelines in 1938, and the biology curriculum mandated extensive teaching about evolution. Further, the National Socialist Teachers’ League developed a biology curriculum in 1936-37. Of the ten major topics covered in the higher grades, one was biological evolution and another was human evolution.

      In the first place, my link to banned books gives a 1935 reference that argues against that. In the second, what’s the problem with teaching accurate science? The Nazis don’t get everything wrong, and evolution is reasonable to teach. Much of the article is just an ad hominem attack (“Dr. Jones advocated for evolution, but he was a radical Nazi!!”)

      Near the end:

      Now, none of this proves that Hitler’s ideology relied on Darwinism.

      You got that right. And even if it did, so what? Some dictator misunderstand science, so therefore … what?

      But the myth of the Nazis banning Darwin does show how desperate the counterarguments of my critics are.

      Desperate? He trips over Godwin’s Law, and the pro-science people are the desperate ones??

    • Thanks for the link. I see some of their articles but read very few of them.

  • Mr. A

    Good read as usual.

  • MNb

    Specifically for Paul the creationist:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/11/frank-tureks-criminally-bad-c-r-i-m-e-s-argument-evil-and-science-2/#comment-3030525324

    Ignoring my comment will demonstrate that Paul is as dishonest as Richard Weikart, the author of the blogpost he linked to underneath.

  • See Noevo

    Did any of the evo experts here attend this meeting of The Royal Society?
    https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2016/11/evolutionary-biology/

    I didn’t attend, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say
    that whatever the “developments in evolutionary biology and adjacent fields”
    and “calls for revision of the standard theory of evolution”,
    even if the “issues involved remain hotly contested”,
    all attendees would still be of the consensus
    that evolution is a fact.

    • Michael Neville

      I suspect that you’re right that the Royal Society didn’t say “evolution is wrong, GODDIDIT!” Looking at the programme it appears that the ramifications of evolutionary development (evo devo) were considered.

      Evolution is the consensus of biologists. Just because you dislike it for purely ideological reasons doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

      • Kevin K

        Yeah, I looked at the abstracts. Bog standard evo devo.

    • Kodie

      I don’t know what you think you know what makes you believe that evolution is not a fact. What would hurt you about evolution being a fact?

      • See Noevo

        Hey, Kodie the mountain man is back!

        “I don’t know what you think you know what makes you believe
        that evolution is not a fact.”

        I don’t know what you think you know that makes you believe
        that evolution *is* a fact.
        I’ve never seen anything that would lead me to believe it’s a fact.

        I can’t recall now, but are you one of the one or two brave souls here who actually presented me with ONE “rock” from your mountain, the mountain of
        evidence?
        If you’re not, the offer’s still open. Show me here your one, favorite “rock.”
        ……………..
        “What would hurt you about evolution being a fact?”

        I suspect that no good thing comes out of believing in
        something that’s false.

        • Kodie

          No good thing comes out of believing evolution is false.

        • See Noevo

          I’m doing better than ever.

          Do you have a “rock” for me?
          HIT ME!

        • Kodie

          The rocks are all in your skull. I’m not going to indulge your ignorant and demanding ass. You spend a lot of time pretending you don’t have time to read what you’ve already been given. That’s bullshit. You’re bullshit.

        • See Noevo

          I shall give thee a new appellation.

          You are hereby christened “Kodie *the Kowardly* Mountain Man”.

        • Kodie

          You must think you’re so important. Idiots like you aren’t important. You have been given your rocks and you’re too arrogant (stupid) to respond, and now, for whatever dumb reason, you think you’re in charge. I don’t care what some asshole like you calls me. I already know you’re a dummy, and don’t need any more proof.

          Do you care that I think you’re a dummy? I don’t care what you think either. You’re a weak thinking nobody.

        • adam
        • Do you have a “rock” for me?
          HIT ME!

          OK: evolution is the consensus view of those people qualified to understand the evidence. You lose.

          It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

        • See Noevo

          Hey, Bob the Cowardly Lion is back!
          You and Kodie the Kowardly Mountain Man make a good pair.
          You deigned to not hit me with your favorite abortion rock,
          and he cowered from pelting me with his favorite evolution stone.

          Ahh, but you can both point your quivering fingers to the…the… mountains… of evidence.

          Pussies.

          (That’s short for pusillanimous.)

        • My, what a big dick you have!

          When you’re done swinging it, come back and actually give us an argument. That’s the only currency that matters around here.

        • See Noevo

          “My, what a big dick you have! When you’re done swinging it,
          come back and actually give us an argument. That’s the only
          currency that matters around here.”

          That’s what’s so hilarious!
          *You* won’t give me an argument, your “best” argument.
          You have no currency with me, little bob.

        • Ooooh, you make me so mad!

          One of these days, I’ll write down my thoughts into a blog and make it public. Then you’ll be sorry! Then you’ll have every argument laid out simply and easily searchable, and you’ll be forced to face them!

          Or maybe you’ll run away like a pussy. I guess we’ll just have to run that experiment and see.

        • adam
        • MNb

          The second no good thing coming from you believing in something false: a lousy sense of humour.
          The third thing: you contradicting yourself. First you talk about “rock”, ie one piece of convincing evidence, and now you talk about mountains of evidence.

        • TheMarsCydonia

          Is it because you feel alone in your cowardice and dishonesty that you must project your cowardice unto others?

          Take the first step toward courage and honesty and answer my question.

          Or remain the cowardly liar you are and stay secure in the knowledge that no one here buys your b.s.

        • MNb

          That only shows how bad you always have done.
          The first no good thing coming out of you believing in something false: not understanding how the scientific method works with your “rock”.

        • I suspect that no good thing comes out of believing in
          something that’s false.

          Ironic. Most observers here think that your belief in Christianity is false.

        • MNb

          “I suspect that no good thing comes out of believing in
          something that’s false.”
          Agreed and you demonstrate that every time you deny evolution.

        • adam

          “I’ve never seen anything that would lead me to believe it’s a fact. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3641484758a605f709b7a067bee6bed3f832a3ee135e160e4a32b93e19bfabd3.png

          Of course not:

    • Just making conversation? Or is this supposed to be a significant challenge to evolution?

      all attendees would still be of the consensus
      that evolution is a fact.

      Thanks for reaching a conclusion so quickly. So you’re just making conversation.