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Old February 13 2014, 07:13 AM   #136
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

@ Yminale: Multiple consecutive posts are frowned upon. If you wish to respond to several posts, use the multi-quote function.
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Old February 13 2014, 08:37 AM   #137
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

While I disagree that believing in a religion is inherently anti-intellectual (many of our greatest scientists were religious to some degree), I do agree that Christian apologetics is nothing more than a string of logical fallacies. Having been a Christian apologeticist, it's the modus operandi of any faith that tries to associate religion with science.
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Old February 13 2014, 12:54 PM   #138
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Certainly you can believe in God and be a proper scientist.

It doesn't matter if you ask yourself "is God responsible for lightning" and then research the actual causes of lightning, or if you say "stupid shit, there is no such thing as a god that causes lightning" and then research the actual causes of lightning.

And since I know a lot of religious people who are very well versed intellectuals, I disagree with the notion that theism is anti-intellectual. I consider it one of those extreme point of views that aren't helpful at all in the recents discussion. Fundamentalism is the problem, but it always is. There are also fundamental scientists who stick to their own theories and laugh at every other theory. Or fundamental vegans and vegetarians. Or fundamental Star Trek fans.

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Old February 13 2014, 04:33 PM   #139
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Certainly you can believe in God and be a proper scientist.

It doesn't matter if you ask yourself "is God responsible for lightning" and then research actual the causes of lightning, or if you say "stupid shit, there is no such thing as a god that causes lightning" and then research the actual causes of lightning.

And since I know a lot of religious people who are very well versed intellectuals, I disagree with the notion that theism is anti-intellectual. I consider it one of those extreme point of views that aren't helpful at all in the recents discussion. Fundamentalism is the problem, but it always is. There are also fundamental scientists who stick to their own theories and laugh at every other theory. Or fundamental vegans and vegetarians. Or fundamental Star Trek fans.
The thousands of scientists who believe in God agree with you. Many of those also believe that the universe and life were created by Almighty God.
Religious study is a search for truth, and requires a tremendous amount of critical thinking, comparative research and other "intellectual" pursuits. It requires humility (an important quality in science) and determination. It requires making adjustments to thinking and action when needed, and being loyal to something higher and bigger than oneself.
Those who automatically and arrogantly dismiss religious thought and those who believe in God are mirror images of the Church hierarchy who persecuted and ignored people like Copernicus and Galileo. The majority of those individuals had studied at the most prestigious centers for education in their time period. They were considered well educated, intellectual, and were quite confident that they knew the "best" way to interpret natural events thanks to their extensive study of Aristotelian writings. They felt that they had the upper hand mentally, and did not need to consider any other possibility, or think critically about the instruction they had received.

Intellectualism is not the problem. It is when intellectual people begin to use their own judgment to close off lines of inquiry simply because they feel such inquiries are "beneath" them.
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Old February 14 2014, 12:00 PM   #140
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

We moved past "A wizard did it" with those exact examples you cite (among others). Dismissing religious explanations as unscientific and therefore invalid is just good sense.

Now, if you instead say "A wizard did it, and here is evidence supporting my theory of how." you can be a part of the conversation, but that theory and any supporting evidence will be tested just as thoroughly as any without the wizard involved. Thus, there is no point in involving the wizard at all.
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Old February 14 2014, 09:18 PM   #141
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Finally watched it. Felt I wasted my time. There was little to no actual DEBATE, and the the best answers to the questions they managed to sneak through the format bascially boiled down to "God did it" to "I don't know, but it wasn't God". Neither was particularly acceptable to me.

I believe that an appreciation of science fiction, fantasy, etc. - which most of us on this board share - inherently lends itself to the mindset that there MIGHT be a higher power out there, be they aliens with super-awesome technology, time travelers, or even a being that could be called a "God" from our perspective and current judgment. I personally can believe that there MAY BE someone or something out there that could have created the universe. I have personally seen no real evidence, and do not personally believe there is a "God", but the absence of explanation for fundamental questions of existence suggest to me that there MAY be someone or something behind it.

Likewise, I believe that humans AND nature AND a possible someone or something behind it all are fallible. Thus, a "God" could have done a lot of really good and bad things, and even if it was to some plan, that it could have been a mistake; and similarly that anyone a "God" may have spoken to, or through, could have gotten it wrong too. Ham's late declaration that he essentially believes only the "good parts" of the book, that align with his world view, really irked me. On the same note, whenever Nye said that something really "concerns me" when we all know he WANTED to say "I think that's bullshit" had be smile.

Between the two, I believe that Ham was the better orator and debater, but Nye was more correct, if you can really call the "debate" a true one. The real winner is the museum and their tickets sold and people advertised to. Oh, and we're discussing it. Yay us. :P

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Old March 3 2014, 10:33 PM   #142
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Oh boy.
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Old March 4 2014, 12:43 AM   #143
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Disgusting.

My lady friend is having to take care of her nephew, who showed me a creationist text book at his Christian school.

This is why we need to support public education.

Ironically, the big enemy may not be creationists who honestly believe all this drivel, but the new wave of skeptics--a lot of whom are drepressingly libertarian/conservative Ayn Rand types.

In Alabama, mainstream Darwinian textbooks were required to have warning stickers on them. Now this didn't concern me as much in that the nerds like me would know what it was all about--the jocks wouldn't care, etc.

The only folks to pay attention would be the same folks who like to read the photo credits, the table of contents and the acknowledgements--very few. People of faith got their little pat on the head and were sent on their way.

Now when (then) Republican Gov Bob Riley allowed property tax rates to go up--he still got re-elected--so the institution of public education was protected--new textbooks had, and if someone--oh, I don't know--forgot to put new stickers on new pro-Darwin texts--ah, who cares?

The play is the thing. Even in Trussville Alabama--a very Red community, they voted for a new tax to help schools.

More depressing are the Ayn Rand type skeptics.


If I'm a pro-science public school teacher, and I seen Penn Jillette walking towards me--I don't know how to take him.


He might pat me on the back with one hand, then stick a shank in me with the other. He hates all this religious nonsense, and that's fine, but he hates taxes, gov't and infrastructure more--and that is frightening.

So he might congratulate me on a Kitzmiller vs Dover type lawsuit, then turn around, get on Glenn Beck, and say "see, this is why you can't trust gov't."

Then he supports voucher and charter schools to undermine public schools, and the next thing you know, our tax dollars go to textbooks like what my cousin has now.

The whole purpose of public education is to confront children with ideas and ideals they do not get from home. And libertarians--no matter how Neo-Darwinists they are--aren't helping.

I remember when it was said that Pat Robertson acknowledged the reality of AGW before Michael Shermer of SKEPTIC Magazine did. We've debunked all the other gods--so Mammon should be next on the list.

I think the reason folks don't get evolution is the whole warm pond model, where something just kind of happens. Now we know about chemosynthesis, smokers, impact theory, etc. Nature as Hermes trismegistus--the alembics of the deep.
Ironicaly, had this model come out when people believed in spontaneous generation, it would have been accepted more.

But an atheist in the popular American imagination is not someone who doesn't believe in god--that is your uncle Jim who drinks and doesn't go to church.

Instead, people envision a member of a hellfire club--all puffy shirt and arrogance--like Penn, maybe?

Now, conservatives confuse Darwin and Jesus--they talk about this market which seeks its own level (evolution) but think the Earth 6,000 years old.

The lesson of Genesis to folks is that knowledge is bad--but it was greed that got us thrown out of Eden (as it were). We went from a prepared place and were cast out into a Darwinian wilderness, and that isn't how we should live.

The story I think is a memory of how we destroyed the fertile crescent through agriculture--as we almost did here with the Dust Bowl.

Now survival of the fittest we apply to humans, but think no animal evolves.

What we need is a little more Christ in Wall Street.

As for Darwin? I never liked Darwin's ideas. The Right uses the law of the jungle to keep folks poor.

In fact, I hate them so much that I want them out of Wall Street and back into the jungle and the textbooks where they belong.

Conservatives have the lessons of Darwin and the Bible bass ackwards.

Human gov't is what should be based on intelligent design--not the law of the jungle.

We deserve better than that.
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Old March 4 2014, 01:20 AM   #144
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

publiusr wrote: View Post
I think the reason folks don't get evolution is the whole warm pond model, where something just kind of happens.
No, it's much more basic than that. People feel debased and insulted by being descended from lesser animals. It runs contrary to the assumption of humanity's innate superiority over the rest of nature that people take for granted and that is typically reinforced by American religions.

Next on the list is the time-frame involved. Human evolution is all but static over an individual's lifespan. People as a rule aren't great at extrapolating beyond what is in their immediate experience.
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Old March 4 2014, 04:01 PM   #145
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

sojourner wrote: View Post
You know what's discouraging as well about an Arc Based exhibit is no doubt the film, Noah will further reinforce some people's belief that the Noah parable in the bible is literal truth.
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Old March 4 2014, 04:06 PM   #146
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Wouldn't it be great if the film had a big disclaimer at the beginning, "This film is a work of fiction and not based on any real events"?

I think that would piss off most of the potential audience though.
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Old March 4 2014, 04:56 PM   #147
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

DarthTom wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
You know what's discouraging as well about an Arc Based exhibit is no doubt the film, Noah will further reinforce some people's belief that the Noah parable in the bible is literal truth.
I doubt it. The Noah story is easily one of the most obvious allegories in the bible. There are several theories about which flood it was based on, including when the Mediterranean was formed, but there's a clear line backwards to how it was invented in the first place.
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Old March 4 2014, 05:11 PM   #148
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Deckerd wrote: View Post
I doubt it. The Noah story is easily one of the most obvious allegories in the bible. There are several theories about which flood it was based on, including when the Mediterranean was formed, but there's a clear line backwards to how it was invented in the first place.
Someone [people] donated $63 million to setup an exhibit in the Creationist Museum displaying the Arc Story as literal truth. Also, Ham a creationist, 'scientist,' presented the flood story as literal truth in this debate.

Also the film, Son of God made over $26 million over the past weekend depecting Jesus life story including the multiple miracles.

I never Deckerd fail to under estimate the faithful's ability to believe in water walking - dead raising - water into wine miracle working believers of the Son of God.

Why wouldn't many also believe in the flood story allegedly his father caused - which is somewhat reinforced by this film.
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Old March 4 2014, 05:59 PM   #149
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

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Someone [people] donated $63 million to setup an exhibit in the Creationist Museum displaying the Arc Story as literal truth.
That's utterly false.

What's happened is that Williamstown, Kentucky is selling $62 million in junk bonds to finance the project. People who buy the bonds will be repaid by revenue from the "museum", or not repaid if the project collapses. It's not a donation; it's a speculative loan [link]. The investment would have collapsed if enough money wasn't raised [link]. Apparently they got enough, but not all of the $62 million, and they're not saying how short they were [link]. We'll see.

Anyway, never underestimate people's capacity to overestimate how much people are donating?

Note: The io9 article linked to above got the name of the town wrong. The correct name is Williamstown, Kentucky.
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Old March 6 2014, 12:19 PM   #150
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

publiusr wrote: View Post
This is why we need to support public education.
Public financing of education is a good idea, but it should be tied to a educational voucher system so the parents of a schoolchild would have control of which public or private (or home) school their child attends.

It would give the family more control over the curriculum provided.

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