I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Darwinists' obsession with religion

Darwinists have this crazy idea that the main or even the sole cause of Darwin-doubting is that Darwinism conflicts with religious beliefs. This crazy idea is advocated by an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman.

The main cause of Darwin-doubting is that people do not find Darwinism to be credible. Geocentrism -- like creationism -- is in the bible, but geocentrism is unacceptable to most religious people because the evidence against it is strong.

The op-ed says,
The age-old, simmering conflict between science and religion is threatening to boil over in Texas with the usual battle lines being drawn around evolutionary biology and public education science standards. Here's a thought: Instead of a long and potentially bitter stand-off between science advocates and creationist proponents, why doesn't Texas skip that mess and go straight to a reasonable compromise? Instead of arguing about fossils, radiometric dating methods or constitutional law, I'd ask those skeptical of evolution what better natural evidence for the brilliance of a Creator could there be than myriad complex processes unfolding over billions of years through countless steps in exquisite order spanning the entire cosmos?

That is not a "reasonable compromise" -- that is not even a compromise at all. That is a completely one-sided endorsement of Darwinism.

The article then describes the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision as a "blistering rebuke against Intelligent Design Creationism." For crying out loud, this was just a decision of a single judge, and a stupid, biased judge at that. The Dover opinion's ID-as-science section was ghostwritten by the ACLU and Judge Jones showed extreme prejudice against the defendants by saying in a commencement speech that his decision was based on his notion that the Founders based the establishment clause on a belief that organized religions are not "true" religions.

The op-ed then says,

We could discuss the Constitution, most especially our cherished Bill of Rights, which wisely forbids government from taking sides in a purely religious debate.

No, it is not a "purely religious debate." There is nothing in the bible about irreducible complexity, random mutation, bacterial flagella, co-evolution, etc..

The Roman Catholic Church accepts the age of the universe and the validity of evolution. Similar statements have been made by the United Methodist Church, the American Jewish Congress, the United Presbyterian Church, and many others.

So far as I know, the Catholic church does not accept the idea of unguided evolution. Cardinal Christophe Schoenborn, chief editor of the Catholic catechism, is an especially vocal critic of Darwinism. Orthodox Jews tend to be especially hostile towards Darwinism. The op-ed does not mention Islam, which also opposes Darwinism.

And for the faithful who carefully and honestly study the fascinating bounty of scientific evidence, there can be only one liberating conclusion: God is one hell of a scientist, and He's not exactly a bad engineer either.

Anyone who knows anything about anatomy and physiology knows that god is one hell of a bad engineer.

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Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

It's hard to say why anyone believes in Darwinism, since it coincides very poorly with the available evidence, at many points.

The doctrine of descent of new species from old comports quite well with the evidence; but the specifically Darwinist theory of the causes of such descent, seems highly improbable.

Friday, January 18, 2008 1:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darwinists have this crazy idea that the main or even the sole cause of Darwin-doubting is that Darwinism conflicts with religious beliefs.

Is it really that crazy when the backers of all these anti-evolution interest groups are in fact fundie religious organizations who have stated on record (written, visual, audio) that they are trying to push god/Christianity/the bible back into the picture?

No, it is not a "purely religious debate." There is nothing in the bible about irreducible complexity, random mutation, bacterial flagella, co-evolution, etc..

You're right, except when it comes down to motive. Look at the fundie religious organization that specifically sponsored the study and formulation of these evolution-crtical "theories," most of which, are written by people of non-biological science backgrounds.

Friday, January 18, 2008 1:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The leaders of the Discovery Institute, which has played a role in publicizing anti-Darwinist theories, are certainly not religious fundamentalists. They are conservative Christians, but they don't interpret the Bible literally, as do "fundies." It's no suprise that conservative Christians want to advocate their religion; but this is a free country and they have the right to do so.

It's hard to imagine why "fundies" would favor intelligent design theory; and in fact many of them are hostile to it. For instance, they don't want their kids to speculate that space aliens might have played some role in designing them.

Friday, January 18, 2008 1:25:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

As Larry points out, Darwinism is losing credibility, but not because of religious people or religious arguments. Behe, for instance, is a Catholic, and like most Catholic scientists, was happy with Darwinism: until he discovered that there were substantial scientific reasons to doubt the Darwinist doctrine.

"My Darwin!He's gone!" So cried
A zealot, all misty-eyed:
"I've worshipped his beard,
And yet, as I feared,
His whole credibility's died!"

Friday, January 18, 2008 1:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to imagine why "fundies" would favor intelligent design theory

Nevertheless, they do.

and in fact many of them are hostile to it. For instance, they don't want their kids to speculate that space aliens might have played some role in designing them.

A claim which no ID proponent or creationist of any other flavor takes seriously: Dembski said "no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life." Johnson said "I have built an intellectual movement in the universities and churches that we call The Wedge, which is devoted to scholarship and writing that furthers this program of questioning the materialistic basis of science. ... Now the way that I see the logic of our movement going is like this. The first thing you understand is that the Darwinian theory isn't true. It's falsified by all of the evidence and the logic is terrible. When you realize that, the next question that occurs to you is, well, where might you get the truth? ... I start with John 1:1. In the beginning was the word. In the beginning was intelligence, purpose, and wisdom. The Bible had that right. And the materialist scientists are deluding themselves." Nelson says Intelligent Design is simply a "big tent" strategy which all creationists can unite and support and when successfully promoted reinstates theism in the teaching of science, after which debates regarding the details of creationsim could resume.

Let's not be so naive as to play creationist's game by their rules.

Friday, January 18, 2008 2:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Dembski and Johnson have both said a lot of things that I don't agree with. Paul Nelson is indeed a creationist, and a young earth creationist, in fact! Of course I don't agree with him on that. Intelligent design theory is not the same thing as particular interpretations of it by the different individuals involved. DaveScot at Uncommon Descent does suppose that the intelligence involved is extraterrestial and physical.

Friday, January 18, 2008 3:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a free country and it certainly is within someone's rights to advocate their religion. But that right stops when it steps on the rights of others, (freedom OF or FROM religion) or encroaches into institutions which by law are to have no preferential treatment to any type of religion whatsoever.

The one thing you have to realize, is that intelligent design, regardless of how secularly you choose to interpret the designer, is a fundamentalist Christian invention with a fundamentalist purpose. FUNDAMENTALIST because it was originally fabricated to enforce their literal interpretations of Genesis as the answer to the origins of life on earth. This goal has not changed from the appearance of its earliest form as pure creationism, to it's transition to "creation science", and now in its current incarnation as "intelligent design".

I find it puzzling that you (Sherwood) who purportedly rejected the theory of evolution through extensive study on its inconsistencies, would embrace intelligent design as the harmless, benign, secular theory you keep stating it to be. If you had made the same level of effort to study/critically analyze intelligent design as you claimed to have done with evolution, how could you just turn a blind eye to all the fundamentalist agendas, lies, and leaked/subpoenaed documents. And given how you say that Darwinism is still highly improbable given the "evidence" then wouldn't intelligent design be completely impossible given that there IS NO EVIDENCE?

My only conclusion that you Sherwood, are either

A)DUMB in terms of critical analysis

B)BIASED due to failure of applying the same critical analysis you used to refute evolution on intelligent design

C)MALICIOUS as your whole "I support ID but I'm not a fundie LOL" gimmick is a ruse for your own agendas and purposes

Friday, January 18, 2008 3:29:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Well, I guess it's clear that we don't agree on this, isn't it? Glad we got that straight. The trouble with these "debates" is that they simply serve to reinforce the parties involved in their original views, and thus may be useless.

Friday, January 18, 2008 4:01:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Incidentally, Larry, the author of the op-ed writes for Daily Kos, a liberal blog that I sometimes read. There's a leftish guy named "nemo" (John C. Landon) who says he once was a writer for Daily Kos, but they kicked him out for being an anti-Darwinist! I used to comment on nemo's blog, but he's anti-ID as well as anti-Darwinist, and I eventually got tired of it. "Nemo" calls himself Rad-Green and Ultra-Far-Left, and his website, for anyone interested, is www.darwiniana.com

Friday, January 18, 2008 5:43:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...


As a registered Blogger.com user, you might be able to delete your own comments by means of the trashcan icon that might appear at the bottom of your comments on the comment-entry pages and sometimes also the post pages. For you to see this icon, your computer may have to be set to accept "cookies" (small files that websites deposit on your computer's hard-drive) -- I don't know. Also, you apparently use computers at a public library and so you might not use the same computer each time. Also, if you don't log off Blogger.com (Blogger/google) when you leave a public computer, it would be possible for someone else to maliciously delete your comments.

Anyway, let me know if you are unable to delete your comments and I will do it for you.

Saturday, January 19, 2008 5:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it would be possible for someone else to maliciously delete your comments"

Even more malicious would be leaving them up.

Saturday, January 19, 2008 6:24:00 PM  
Anonymous ABO said...

jim Sherwood

Larry is correct, Darwinism is losing credibility. However a small church in Florida is trying to keep the faith alive. Pretty cool. www.fcefaith.org

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 4:06:00 PM  

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