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Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,06:46   

Is it just me, or does this Synthese business kinda cross with the fully blown Matzke/NCSE/BCSE controversy? Where can accomodationism lead us?

Wes, I'm raising this with due respect to your faith and beliefs, of course (which you have the grace not to flaunt except when really needed. I really appreciate this side of yourself :))

ETA: Typo

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4503
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,07:01   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 27 2011,06:46)
Is it just me, or does this Synthese business kinda cross with the fully blown Matzke/NCSE/BCSE controversy? Where can accomodationism lead us?

Wes, I'm raising this with due respect to your faith and beliefs, of course (which you have the grace not to flaunt except when really needed. I really appreciate this side of yourself :))

ETA: Typo

I'm not sure that the Synthese flap has anything to do with accommodation. Even if one goes with the idea of IDC pressure as the motivation for the Editors-in-Chief to publish a disclaimer, that's a bit different from implying that accommodation in the sense deployed by Coyne and others is going on. There is no issue raised in the Synthese disclaimer affair about a formal description of whether religion and science are compatible in some sense or any assertion that they are. Could you explain how you see the connection?

Back in 2006, I debated DI Fellow Ray Bohlin at Southern Methodist University. I didn't mention anything about my stance on faith until the question period, when an obviously agitated student got up and accused me of being there simply to advance the atheist agenda. I said that was news to me, since I was a member of the United Methodist church. He sat down.

I think it was really needed at that point.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,07:12   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 27 2011,13:01)
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 27 2011,06:46)
Is it just me, or does this Synthese business kinda cross with the fully blown Matzke/NCSE/BCSE controversy? Where can accomodationism lead us?

Wes, I'm raising this with due respect to your faith and beliefs, of course (which you have the grace not to flaunt except when really needed. I really appreciate this side of yourself :))

ETA: Typo

I'm not sure that the Synthese flap has anything to do with accommodation. Even if one goes with the idea of IDC pressure as the motivation for the Editors-in-Chief to publish a disclaimer, that's a bit different from implying that accommodation in the sense deployed by Coyne and others is going on. There is no issue raised in the Synthese disclaimer affair about a formal description of whether religion and science are compatible in some sense or any assertion that they are. Could you explain how you see the connection?

Back in 2006, I debated DI Fellow Ray Bohlin at Southern Methodist University. I didn't mention anything about my stance on faith until the question period, when an obviously agitated student got up and accused me of being there simply to advance the atheist agenda. I said that was news to me, since I was a member of the United Methodist church. He sat down.

I think it was really needed at that point.

Well, the way I see it, if there was indeed pressure from the IDC crowd and the Synthese editorial team bent to their demands, I will perceive it as accomodationism, and I'm quite positive some others will, although I'm only engaging my own views on the matter at hand. I think once a secular, scientific, or philosophical institution jumps through hoops to not obfuscate religious sensibilities, accomodationism is "en route".

Then again, maybe I'm a bit too extreme in my views. I don't know. To me, it seems that publishing the disclaimer is tantamount to saying "some of those papers are too harsh towards religious views", which shouldn't even appear in a seculare venture. Now, not being really familiar with Synthese, I might be wrong in assuming they are a secular venture. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

And again, your line-drawing between religious and scientific matters does you credit, and should be the way to go for both the NCSE and the BCSE. But that's another debate altogether...

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,07:29   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 27 2011,07:12)
Well, the way I see it, if there was indeed pressure from the IDC crowd and the Synthese editorial team bent to their demands, I will perceive it as accomodationism, and I'm quite positive some others will, although I'm only engaging my own views on the matter at hand. I think once a secular, scientific, or philosophical institution jumps through hoops to not obfuscate religious sensibilities, accomodationism is "en route".

Part of the problem I see here, SD, is conflation between accommodating the demands of creationists (of any stripe) with accommodating the religious sensibilities of the vast majority of people in order to better convey to them the message of sound science and science education.  The two are not the same thing, but seem to be treated as such by certain noisy cohorts.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Schroedinger's Dog



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(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,08:20   

Quote (carlsonjok @ April 27 2011,13:29)
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 27 2011,07:12)
Well, the way I see it, if there was indeed pressure from the IDC crowd and the Synthese editorial team bent to their demands, I will perceive it as accomodationism, and I'm quite positive some others will, although I'm only engaging my own views on the matter at hand. I think once a secular, scientific, or philosophical institution jumps through hoops to not obfuscate religious sensibilities, accomodationism is "en route".

Part of the problem I see here, SD, is conflation between accommodating the demands of creationists (of any stripe) with accommodating the religious sensibilities of the vast majority of people in order to better convey to them the message of sound science and science education.  The two are not the same thing, but seem to be treated as such by certain noisy cohorts.

I wouldn't say these two views are being conflated. I would say that they are basically the same. NCSE and BCSE shouldn't publicly endorse theological views on science. They should focus on science, and most of all not allienate the "noisy cohorts" of die-hard atheists who are vocal on this subject. In fine, they should be silent on these issues. that's my opinion.

As for Synthese, what's the difference between Matzke accusing Dawkins of "ridiculously pulling the Nazi Card" towards the religious, and the editorial team implicitly accusing Dr Forrest of being too harsh to the religious (I know it's not specificaly implied, since they don't say which paper(s) is concerned by the disclaimer, but it seems everybody understands it's related to Dr Forrest's paper)?

Religious evolutionists? Good! Just don't compromise yourself by giving undue weight to their beliefs.

Butthurt creationists? Even better! Just don't compromise yourself by appologizing for justified attacks towards their beliefs.

Sorry for the disgression, back to topic...

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Kristine



Posts: 3044
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,08:58   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 27 2011,06:23)
Quote (Dr.GH @ April 26 2011,22:32)
I have been a bit thick witted today, and consequently did some useful plumbing, and gardening work. While clearing a drain, I had the inspiration that the solution to the Synthese fandango was obvious; the current editors should either resign, or be fired.

That taken care of, I think I'll go fishing tomorrow.

I'd settle for them to fix the mess with a retraction of the disclaimer and actually learn from the experience.

It doesn't look promising that way, though.

I suspect that what is going on here is not accommodationism, but an attempt to avoid any criticism, whereas now we see certain members of the ID crowd crowing about the so-called "retraction." The editors need to respond to that, as well as to explain themselves.

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
carlsonjok



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(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,09:04   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 27 2011,08:20)
     
Quote (carlsonjok @ April 27 2011,13:29)
 
Part of the problem I see here, SD, is conflation between accommodating the demands of creationists (of any stripe) with accommodating the religious sensibilities of the vast majority of people in order to better convey to them the message of sound science and science education.  The two are not the same thing, but seem to be treated as such by certain noisy cohorts.

I wouldn't say these two views are being conflated. I would say that they are basically the same.

I don't agree.  You don't treat the Presbyterian that lives next door, who isn't immersed in the controversy but has questions about it,  the same way you treat Casey Luskin.  Luskin deserves every bit of the derision directed at him.  Pull that with Bob at the neighborhood block party and you can be sure that he won't listen to another word you say, no matter how scientifically correct it is.

True story: I was once at a horse show with my wife and another couple.  A young lady arrived with her boyfriend in tow, and parked her trailer next to ours.  This was during football (real football, not that pansy shit they play in Yurrup) season, and the boyfriend was clearly not happy about being there and was generally rude to the young lady.  One of my friends went over and gave him the following advice:  Don't make her choose between you and her horses, because she isn't going to choose you.  I think that is advice that fits many situations.

For better or worse (YMMV), religion isn't going away.  If you wish to moot the influence of the creationists on science education, you need to bring religious believers into the pro-science camp.  You aren't going to do that by mocking their beliefs, no matter how worthy of mocking those beliefs may be.  To even get them to the place where they are open to information regarding sound science, they need to understand that they don't have to choose between science and their religion.  Their lives have been immersed in religion. Science was something they did for 45 minutes a day in school.  Ask them to choose one or the other, and I can pretty much guarantee you won't like their choice.

   
Quote
NCSE and BCSE shouldn't publicly endorse theological views on science.

To note the fact that certain Christian denominations are cool with evolution isn't the same as endorsing those particular sects.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,09:15   

Quote (carlsonjok @ April 27 2011,15:04)
 
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 27 2011,08:20)
       
Quote (carlsonjok @ April 27 2011,13:29)
 
Part of the problem I see here, SD, is conflation between accommodating the demands of creationists (of any stripe) with accommodating the religious sensibilities of the vast majority of people in order to better convey to them the message of sound science and science education.  The two are not the same thing, but seem to be treated as such by certain noisy cohorts.

I wouldn't say these two views are being conflated. I would say that they are basically the same.

I don't agree.  You don't treat the Presbyterian that lives next door, who isn't immersed in the controversy but has questions about it,  the same way you treat Casey Luskin.  Luskin deserves every bit of the derision directed at him.  Pull that with Bob at the neighborhood block party and you can be sure that he won't listen to another word you say, no matter how scientifically correct it is.

True story: I was once at a horse show with my wife and another couple.  A young lady arrived with her boyfriend in tow, and parked her trailer next to ours.  This was during football (real football, not that pansy shit they play in Yurrup) season, and the boyfriend was clearly not happy about being there and was generally rude to the young lady.  One of my friends went over and gave him the following advice:  Don't make her choose between you and her horses, because she isn't going to choose you.  I think that is advice that fits many situations.

For better or worse (YMMV), religion isn't going away.  If you wish to moot the influence of the creationists on science education, you need to bring religious believers into the pro-science camp.  You aren't going to do that by mocking their beliefs, no matter how worthy of mocking those beliefs may be.  To even get them to the place where they are open to information regarding sound science, they need to understand that they don't have to choose between science and their religion.  Their lives have been immersed in religion. Science was something they did for 45 minutes a day in school.  Ask them to choose one or the other, and I can pretty much guarantee you won't like their choice.

       
Quote
NCSE and BCSE shouldn't publicly endorse theological views on science.

To note the fact that certain Christian denominations are cool with evolution isn't the same as endorsing those particular sects.

I never said the religious should be mocked (that would be utterly stupid and counter-productive). I just said their religious beliefs should not be encouraged or endorsed by organizations such as the NCSE or the BCSE. That's all, no more, no less. And these organizations shouldn't attack out-spoken atheists.

And the BCSE doesn't just note that "certain Christian nominations are cool with evolution". They actualy endorse these religious views.

From the BCSE site:

 
Quote
Properly understood, there is no conflict between religion and science…

Scientists will respect these beliefs of their religious colleagues, realizing they may very well provide those colleagues with the moral guidance which makes them better scientists

Religion properly provides the individual with the moral courage to act despite the possibility of failure.

Religion is responsible for humanity’s moral and spiritual guidance.


What do we make of that?

And again, it's a disgression on the main topic here. Sorry, it's my fault. Maybe we can take this somewhere else?

ETA: Linky

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Badger3k



Posts: 861
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,10:34   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 27 2011,09:15)

If this gets moved, please move this with the diversion - I've never seen this before (hadn't gone to the site yet):

Quote
Properly understood, there is no conflict between religion and science…

Ok, so I and many others are wrong.  We feel the same about you (Stanyard et al).  We'll bring our evidence, you bring yours.
Quote
Scientists will respect these beliefs of their religious colleagues, realizing they may very well provide those colleagues with the moral guidance which makes them better scientists

Wrong.  We criticize beliefs we consider misguided (ignorant, delusional, stupid, etc) all the time.  Do I have to respect my colleagues belief in homeopathy?  Why not?  Why the special exclusion?  That's what the debate is about.  I can respect the individual for other things, but if they hold a stupid belief, I have no requirement to respect that.  Period. Full stop.  Beyond that, the argument is a different one on tactics, which is situational anyway.
Quote
Religion properly provides the individual with the moral courage to act despite the possibility of failure.
and the moral courage to fly planes into buildings, or attack artists in their own homes with an axe, or kill them altogether, threaten them with fatwas, deprive millions of people with the right to marry or choose what to do with their own bodies or in their own homes...and many more.  A lot of other beliefs can provide the same things.  Irrelevant to if the belief is true or backed by reason and evidence.
Quote
Religion is responsible for humanity’s moral and spiritual guidance.
Bullshit.  Many things, including a long line of evolutionary development and civilization provide moral guidance.  Religion is not necessary for that.  As for "spiritual", since spiritual is a made up and useless word, the term is meaningless.  In this sense, spiritual guidance means following the religious beliefs, which is a...tautology?  Religion provides religious guidance?  I wonder what the BCSE says to those religions that do not find agreement between evolution and religion?  Aren't they saying the theological judgement that they are wrong, as the NCSE says?  Shouldn't they just not say that?

Sorry to add to the diversion.  Feel free to ignore this or move it to a separate thread with the other comments, please.

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"Just think if every species had a different genetic code We would have to eat other humans to survive.." : Joe G

  
Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,16:25   

I agree with Schroedinger's Dog's stance on the NCSE, the BCSE, and religion, but here is why I do not believe that that issue ("accommodation"), and the issue of ID, are the same here:

Scientists who uphold the standards of research, the scientific method, transparency, and peer review, and follow the evidence wherever it leads, while maintaining certain religious/spiritual beliefs, are not going to get an argument from me on the science.

If they want to argue with me about religion, then it's a separate argument, a tennis match about philosophy that I do not want to bring into the area of research or teaching.

My being an atheist is the least important to and least interesting thing about me. For this and many other reasons, it is not a "religion," and I do not find my lack of belief as fascinating to talk about as religious believers find their beliefs to be.

However, anyone claiming to be a scientist who does not uphold the standards of research, the scientific method, transparency (as the editors-in-chief of Synthese did not), and peer review, and instead skew the evidence toward their foregone conclusion (namely, their certain religious/spiritual beliefs), are going to get a big-ass argument from me on their religion masquerading as science.

Once I was attracted to the idea that "the universe comes to know itself through us." I have put that away, but it did not affect my understanding of evolution. I am not saying that such beliefs without evidence never touch upon evidence; what I am saying is that, when we focus on teaching and communicating the science, we are on much more solid ground than when we quibble about "but you think that Zeus caused the Big Bang!"

I think people have a right to mock or parody whatever they want. I would be the first to laugh if anyone at UD ever came up with anything funny. DaveScot showed the most potential, unfortunately. But this does not belong in science class.

Scholarly publishing, academia, and advocates for science (such as the NCSE) should not be getting into the area of trying to convince people to accept evolution once it is taught. They should not go there. They are not the thought police; their job is to make sure that creationism is not taught. Let's focus on the science. I have not read Forrest's paper yet, but if the editors-in-chief thought her too strident, they should have acted like editors, or stood by what was accepted and said, "This is how scholarly publishing works."

I want to win this fight for science first. I get tired of quibbling about religion because frankly, it does not interest me.

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,16:29   

Quote
I am not saying that such beliefs without evidence never touch upon evidence; what I am saying is that, when we focus on teaching and communicating the science, we are on much more solid ground than when we quibble about "but you think that Zeus caused the Big Bang!"

Oh, that wasn't Zeus, it was Thor - a side effect of throwing around that big hammer of his.

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,16:36   

Quote (Henry J @ April 27 2011,22:29)
Quote
I am not saying that such beliefs without evidence never touch upon evidence; what I am saying is that, when we focus on teaching and communicating the science, we are on much more solid ground than when we quibble about "but you think that Zeus caused the Big Bang!"

Oh, that wasn't Zeus, it was Thor - a side effect of throwing around that big hammer of his.

Went to the moving pictures today, have you?

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,17:15   

Also, continuing with the disgression (we really have to open a new thred, methinks), here is an excellent short essai by Jerry Coyne about science and religion.

Seeing and believing

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,05:59   

There is quite some disingenuous attitude over on the BCSE forum:

BCSE thread

It looks weird, the way the issues raised by Dannyo and others seem to be escaped by the BCSE participants. Up until that business, I didn't have a single bad thing to say about the N or B (which I had never heard of) CSEs, but now I'm starting to wonder. Plus, this whole mess will give extra ammo to the creos. Something that the organisations are actualy accusing New Atheists of doing...

But in a way, it is a fascinating issue.

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Hermagoras



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Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,06:54   

I'm sort of between carlsonjok and SD here.  I was with carlsonjok until SD quoted the BSCE on religion and moral guidance.  

The Synthese flap fits into accomodationism because the disclaimer is based on a fundamental misrecognition of Forrest's argument.  To wit: Forrest didn't associate Beckwith with IDC because she can't tell one religious view from another; she associated them because Beckwith's writings provide plenty of (admittedly slippery) grounds for doing so.

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"I am not currently proving that objective morality is true. I did that a long time ago and you missed it." -- StephenB

http://paralepsis.blogspot.com/....pot.com

   
Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,08:24   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 27 2011,17:15)
Also, continuing with the disgression (we really have to open a new thred, methinks), here is an excellent short essai by Jerry Coyne about science and religion.

Seeing and believing

What is a "die-hard Darwinist"?

Sorry to quibble, because this is a well-written piece. However, I would agree that uncompromising atheist language can and has driven potential accepters of evolution to the creationist corner. However, I see that as a consequence of the marketplace of ideas.

I have said this over and over: I think many more people than will admit it actually do accept evolution, but do not know how to fit it into their worldview and their moral precepts, which I do not insult. I cannot fault Miller for attempting this; he must follow his line of thinking because he is compelled to do so, as I am compelled to follow mine. I do think that "Darwinism" per se can explain the origin of ethics and values, inasmuch as those evolved, too.

The problem is, many believers seem to see evolution as a consequence of the Fall. Miller does not of course, but certain IDists have come close to saying this. Dembski seems to have rejected this idea in his theodicy piece.

Dawkins must also say what he has to say. He cannot not say it; Miller cannot not say it; if anything, it is the ID crowd who holds back and will not be honest. Even Rush Limbaugh (!;) recognized that, and Judge Jones certainly did. That is why Kitzmiller stung them so.

So let's put aside "accommodationism" and talk about honesty. Honesty unites "strident atheists" and "accommodationists" and theistic evolutionists. Dishonesty unites ID advocates with creationists.

Edited by Kristine on April 28 2011,09:22

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
Kristine



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Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,09:30   

Follow-up article idea: "Creationists may be rational, but are they honest?" I realize that my musings have been leading me in this direction for some time.

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3568
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,12:40   

I don't understand why "accommodation" is an issue.

Evolution neither requires nor denies intervention. It is not possible to accommodate the concept that evolution requires intervention. Doing that would be dishonest.

But is is possible to accept people who believe intervention happens. One may think they are wrong, but it is not possible to prove them wrong.

The irreconcilable line is between those who think intervention is necessary and those who don't. the whole enterprise of science for the last several hundred years has been focused on demonstrating that things can be explained by regular processes.

One can rightfully say that everything is not (yet) explained, but if you deny in principle the adequacy of regular processes, you undercut the foundation of science.

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”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
Henry J



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Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,14:11   

Quote (Kristine @ April 28 2011,08:30)
Follow-up article idea: "Creationists may be rational, but are they honest?" I realize that my musings have been leading me in this direction for some time.

Honest ones don't go around repeating arguments that they've already seen refuted, so they're much less vocal, and don't get noticed.

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,14:15   

Quote (midwifetoad @ April 28 2011,18:40)
I don't understand why "accommodation" is an issue.

Evolution neither requires nor denies intervention. It is not possible to accommodate the concept that evolution requires intervention. Doing that would be dishonest.

But is is possible to accept people who believe intervention happens. One may think they are wrong, but it is not possible to prove them wrong.

The irreconcilable line is between those who think intervention is necessary and those who don't. the whole enterprise of science for the last several hundred years has been focused on demonstrating that things can be explained by regular processes.

One can rightfully say that everything is not (yet) explained, but if you deny in principle the adequacy of regular processes, you undercut the foundation of science.

I think you are going a bit too deep in there. The main question is: should NCSE or BCSE endorse religious views and diss out prominent atheists just so they can reach their goal? Where's the neutrality?

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
OgreMkV



Posts: 3314
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,14:32   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 28 2011,14:15)
Quote (midwifetoad @ April 28 2011,18:40)
I don't understand why "accommodation" is an issue.

Evolution neither requires nor denies intervention. It is not possible to accommodate the concept that evolution requires intervention. Doing that would be dishonest.

But is is possible to accept people who believe intervention happens. One may think they are wrong, but it is not possible to prove them wrong.

The irreconcilable line is between those who think intervention is necessary and those who don't. the whole enterprise of science for the last several hundred years has been focused on demonstrating that things can be explained by regular processes.

One can rightfully say that everything is not (yet) explained, but if you deny in principle the adequacy of regular processes, you undercut the foundation of science.

I think you are going a bit too deep in there. The main question is: should NCSE or BCSE endorse religious views and diss out prominent atheists just so they can reach their goal? Where's the neutrality?

By going the route that they did, those two organizations alienated many of their supporters.

If they had continued on without the 'accomodations', then all scientists could have unequivably supported them.  Now, some scientists cannot support them because of the explicit religious statements.

It's that simple.  Since the organizations' missions are to promote the teaching of good science, then they have over-stepped their bounds.  Religion has nothing to do with science or science education.  By including religion, they have made a huge step backwards from their mission and their goals.

That being said, I sometimes don't agree with militant atheists.  If one pushes too hard, too fast, one ends up looking like a un-thinking knee-jerk reactionary blowhard (coughPZcough).

One should not accomodate wrong information.  One should not delve into areas one's mission doesn't address.  One should carefully consider statements made for truth, accuracy, and supportability.

Both sides have these exact same issues (see PZs rant on the Republican thing from this date... I don't have all the data, but I agree with the sentitment, but disagree with the actions).  

Wandering... will shut up now...

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carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,15:36   

Quote (OgreMkV @ April 28 2011,14:32)
By going the route that they did, those two organizations alienated many of their supporters.

I think you have gone off the rails right at this point here by confusing supporters of the NCSE with consumers of the services that the NCSE provides.  The consumers are school boards, parent and students.  Many of them are religious and all have to deal with the religious.  

   
Quote
If they had continued on without the 'accomodations', then all scientists could have unequivably supported them.

[snip]

It's that simple.  Since the organizations' missions are to promote the teaching of good science, then they have over-stepped their bounds.  Religion has nothing to do with science or science education.  By including religion, they have made a huge step backwards from their mission and their goals.


The first sentence is unsupported and demonstrably false.  The fact is that the folks at the NCSE who made this decision are themselves scientists.  Further, one of the themes of Ken Miller's writings on the subject is that believers can accept modern science. The various anti-evolutionists set up the (false, IMO) equivalence that one must choose between modern biology or your religion.  The more strident atheists, like PZ and Jerry Coyne, will stand up and will agree that people must choose between religion or science. If the NCSE remains silent on the matter, as you would suggest they do, they cede the discussion to the two poles, who both insist people must choose. Remaining silent makes the whole discussion simpler, to be sure, but it also makes it a loser.  Forcing such a  choice will not solve the problem of religiously motivated interference in science education. It will exacerbate it.  When faced with a conflict you will surely lose, the rational choice is to not play to your opponents strength.

To return to the part I snipped above:
   
Quote
Now, some scientists cannot support them because of the explicit religious statements.


Organizations exist to perform their mission. In the NCSE case that mission is to promote science education and, I agre with them that means noting that people can accept evolution without giving up their most precious beliefs.  If you want an organization that exists to solely do the bidding of their most strident supporters, there are plenty of them out there. They're called churches.

Related Note: I do find the BCSE statement quoted by SD to be problematic, though I consider it more intended as a statement to flatter the religious and not nesessarily a truth statement.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,15:41   

Quote
Related Note: I do find the BCSE statement quoted by SD to be problematic, though I consider it more intended as a statement to flatter the religious and not nesessarily a truth statement.


Then we have a problem right here...

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
OgreMkV



Posts: 3314
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,15:49   

That statement by the BSCE was what I was mainly commenting on.  

I think we both said the same thing.  

Every scientist can agree on the science.  Science, as a discipline, makes no comment on religion except (as Kristine noted) that many 'relgious concepts' seem to have evolutionary bases (morality, ethics).

Yes, I wish people were rational.  I understand that they are not.

I don't know, maybe it's a no win for anyone.  10-20 years ago all we really had were the creationists.  Now, we have the militant atheists and, as shown, they are almost as bad as the creationists in terms of knee-jerk reactions and animosity.

That's why I would prefer that these groups stick to the science.  That's demonstrable.

When they start even talking about religion, they are going to piss off a lot of people that might not have been POed before.  

That's all I'm saying.  

Should they all stay quiet?  Of course not.  If a principle or something is balking at teaching evolution (hey, I've been there), then find out why.  If it's religion based, then there are all these resources that show religion and science can be compatible.

But I still think it's a mistake for a secular science education advocacy group to promote religion or any Religion.  It's not their job.  Resources (clergy letter project, statements from the various faiths) that's all good.  But an explicit statement supporting a religious interpretation... I totally disagree with that (and not just because of my personal atheism).  That might end up being the one time, creationists use the first amendment "See, evolution is religious".

wandering again... so very tired...

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Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

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carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,15:50   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 28 2011,15:41)
Quote
Related Note: I do find the BCSE statement quoted by SD to be problematic, though I consider it more intended as a statement to flatter the religious and not nesessarily a truth statement.


Then we have a problem right here...

I prefer to think of it as finding common ground in hating the British.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Wolfhound



Posts: 468
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,15:56   

Just pulling a Kwok here, but seriously, I concur wholehearted with SD on this.  He conveyed my exact opinion on this issue and I think he is a fucking sexy beast even if he is French and smells like dirty feet/cheese.

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I've found my personality to be an effective form of birth control.

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,15:58   

Quote (carlsonjok @ April 28 2011,21:50)
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ April 28 2011,15:41)
Quote
Related Note: I do find the BCSE statement quoted by SD to be problematic, though I consider it more intended as a statement to flatter the religious and not nesessarily a truth statement.


Then we have a problem right here...

I prefer to think of it as finding common ground in hating the British.

Turkey or dandellion would be enough to hate the brit! Hell, even cartwheel would do!

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,16:05   

woolfie: Don't tease ;)

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
MichaelJ



Posts: 455
Joined: June 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,17:58   

I think that for them to say that many people find science and religion compatible is a truth statement and PZ and Co have said that they have no problem NCSE/BCSE saying this and even pointing to some very notable examples.

The problem is when they say that they ARE compatible because this is an opinion and a lot of people don't share this opinion.

For some reason the accommodationists have missed and keep missing this very simple point

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3568
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 28 2011,18:06   

Quote
The main question is: should NCSE or BCSE endorse religious views and diss out prominent atheists just so they can reach their goal? Where's the neutrality?


Disrespect goes in both directions. I think Dawkins is a respectful writer, but PZ is quite abrasive.

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”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
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