Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yeah, More Comments in moderation

  1. 99. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Dan S. I don’t think I misread Greg Fish, it wasn’t that complicated and it’s a bunch of stuff I’ve read from other places. I didn’t misunderstand the new atheist argument about “morality” preceding “religion”, an aspect of that argument is one of the first disagreements I had with Coyne the first day I ever posted a comment on his blog. My point is the same, that any assertion made about that even in the early human population is so speculative that I wouldn’t consider it more than wishful thinking by those with an ulterior motive and I don’t think motives come any more ulterior than in the social and behavioral sciences. Except possibly those motivated by the urgent desire to prove faith, such as fundamentalism in its religious and anti-religious forms.

    “Primate morality”, it’s come to a point where we’re making complex comments about “primate morality” and I’m supposed to take that phrase seriously in the context of science.

    So many issues that could be raised, so little time.

    How do you know that chimpanzees are better at making manifest their moral aspirations through actions than people are? What percentage of the teachings of Jesus do you think you could derive from mere observation of the behavior of contemporary “christians” without recourse to prior knowledge of those? How about even with prior knowledge of those but without the self-identification by the individuals you were observing as adherents of Christianity? I’ve observed many Jews, Buddhists, Moslems, agnostics who are better followers of those te achings than many “christians”. How well do you think that people who hold those teaching as their moral code practice them? Well enough that you don’t have to depend on their articulated self-identification as “christians”. And that’s just one of several complex riddles you would have to solve to some artificial and hardly universally held “human morality”. That is unless you change the meaning of “morality” itself, in order to construct some totally artificial “morality” that probably doesn’t exist within even one individual human being but which you can write up and publish in order for those with a similar professional, perhaps largely materialistic culture to agree with it out of what outsiders such as myself could suspect were less that unself-interested reasons.

    I know you or gillt or the Sorbot will object at my daring to analyze the moral and ethical practices of behavioral and social scientists at this point, voicing my suspicions that their “objective” observations and interpretations of chimp morality and their analysis of the relationship of these “moralities” and “religion” are less than objective. But, unlike chimpanzees, the species that separate our species and theirs in the dead past and the pre-literate human and always illiterate earlier chimpanzee histories, there is a documented present and past in the communities of behavioral and social scientists to make recourse to. Any assertions made about their motives would be based on what folk such as yourself and Greg Fish and anyone who wants to say anything about it SAYS about it. And there is a written and documented record of what has been said about things like that in the past have come to. You must be able to appreciate that, unlike all but modern and relatively modern, human beings all those other beings are inarticulate, we have no access to their concepts of their actions, in all cases other than those where we can document their actions, those are totally absent as well. I don’t know how you could make the assumption that their “morality” isn’t evidence of a “religion” among them, that’s the development of a prior ideological position, not anything that someone who doesn’t believe that’s valid needs to take seriously.

    You do remember that argument we had about the 35,000 year old statue last spring, when I had to point out to you that all of the speculations made about the motives of the human artist were contemporary inventions, none of which seemed to consider that the artist might have been a woman making a self-portrait or an image of her mother, that the figure could have been considered a piece of junk, even by the artist and a number of other points? Everything that was said about that available physical object, sprang from the imagination of a “scientist” or would be scientist or some blog wannabee or news scribbler. Any “correlations” such as the one you wanted to make to much later manufactured objects from much later populations and times (correlations with other, prior, speculations about those) had considerable gaps in time and place to contend with, no documented connection with those, as well as the lack of any real knowledge of meaning and intent by those making or viewing or using them. In the case of these, sometimes presumed to be, religious objects we don’t even have a plausible utilitarian use for them. It was speculation building on speculation filling in gaps with presumption, none of which had any basis other than previous presumptions and speculations in fulfillment of extraneous and, perhaps, ulterior desires on the part of those articulating them.

    You can call that science if you want to, I can’t stop you. If that’s what “science” is, you can cancel everything I’ve said about science as a means of attaining more reliable information about the material universe because it looks a heck of a lot like a more sophisticated version of creation mythology to me. If physical and other hard scientists are content to contain that within science, then it’s going to pay a price and, perhaps, already is.

    I was thinking that you hadn’t been trailing me lately just the other day.

    B.S. Nelson If you’ve got a point, come out and make it because I’m not seeing much in what you say that’s worth making the effort to wonder about. I’d rather watch chimpanzees flinging stuff at people in zoos.

  2. 100. Anthony McCarthy Says:

    Oh, and, Dan S. I forgot to mention, about that 35,000 year old statue. I’ve yet to see any speculation about its “meaning” that takes into account that the attitude of the artist, never mind anyone else viewing it and the ideas they had about the object, was fixed for all time. The ideas that an individual have about a work of art changes, develops, sometimes is entirely overturned over time. You don’t know if the artist had second thoughts and went back to make modifications after they’d originally considered it finished. You don’t know if a second or third individual made modifications in it. Perhaps it was looted from another culture or was a found object and then modified.

    Isn’t it fun to make up stuff about something like that? And to post comments you wonder will show up before what it refers to does? Though I’m going to post these two comments on my blog so they’ll appear in order.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Comments stuck in moderation

# 54. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
August 18th, 2009 at 10:46 am

— Oh, Robert Wright is definitely a big fan of evo psych. As usual McCarthy wants to pontificate without reading the book. Skeptic

I asked if Robert Wright was trying to assert what he wrote was science, I said I had only read about the book but hadn’t read it at the beginning of my comment. I didn’t try to hide that fact. His documentation that Coyne misrepresented what he said was pretty clear, Coyne misrepresented him just as the critics of Unscientific America have repeatedly misrepresented it. Those are the only things I said about his book. You will notice I put the only statement about it’s purporting to represent science in the form of a question.

– So according to McCarthy the best possible explanation for morality and religion is likely to be non-scientific and supernatural? Skeptic

“The best possible explanation for morality and religion,” I know I’ve never asserted anything about any “best possible explanation” for them, I’ve said that I didn’t even think you could come to a real definition of “religion”, never mind “morality” that could be universally inclusive. I doubt such an “explanation” would be complete, it would definitely be non-scientific at this point for that reason.

As to your assumption that I mean a supernatural explanation being the best, no. I tend to look at the results of moral assertions and religious ideas in real life to see what the results are before hazarding an opinion on them. I don’t have much faith at all in theories about things like that, I want to see the results. So, I guess the answer to that part of your assertion would be, clearly not.

I think it’s also typical of scientism that it asserts that we have to come up with some sciency sounding supposed explanation of everything and that huge swaths of alleged behavioral science exists to fill that anxious emotional need. It might be unfortunate that large parts of human experience and the actual universe are now without real scientific explanations about them and that large parts of life and the universe almost certainly never will. It might be unsatisfying or produce anxiety on the part of those who can’t deal with the reality that large parts of life are and will almost certainly be without reliable verification. But that’s just too bad because that’s the way it is. We are stuck with reality and the limits of human abilities and human institutions, including science, are real. I wonder how much the boundaries of uncertainty could be pushed back if the junk science was junked and those people concentrated on stuff that had actual, physical evidence they could make more reliable observations about.

Not that I think the addiction to baseless theorizing is reserved for scientists, I think that’s probably more to do with how people in academia get jobs, recognition and rewards than it does about science. John Kenneth Galbraith once pointed out that agronomists, economists who deal with concrete, physical reality were considered to be far less prestigious than the lofty and airy theorists who, I’d say, have produced mostly junk. These days a lot of those are pretending they’re biologists of the evo-psy kind.
# 55. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
August 18th, 2009 at 10:49 am

gillt, you’re the one who wants to challenge my point that there isn’t a single documented incident of pre-historic behavior in either hominids or the ancestors of chimpanzees. And you expect me to cringe when you come up with that cowardly dodge. You are a fraud.

There is not a single observed or reliably documented incident of behavior to back up any assertion made about it pretending that it is science. Not a single one. Everything that has been said about them is story telling and creation myth.
# 56. gillt Says:
August 18th, 2009 at 11:03 am

Shorter McCarthy: “Knowledge is merely opinion!”
# 57. Anthony McCarthy Says:
August 18th, 2009 at 11:39 am

No, sciencey creation myth is still creation myth. No matter how many letters those making it up have behind their names.
# 58. Anthony McCarthy Says:
August 18th, 2009 at 11:44 am

— The discussion of New Atheism has stifled other valuable discussion. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. Skeptic

New atheism’s discussions have stifled other valuable discussions, that’s not an opinion that’s a fact. That is why it’s been necessary to discuss the silly fad.
# 59. Sorbet Says:
August 18th, 2009 at 11:44 am

-Sciencey creation myth is still creation myth.

Yes, we all know that. And trust the infamous Kentucky creation museum to gratuitously expound upon that myth.
# 60. Sorbet Says:
August 18th, 2009 at 11:47 am

McCarthy; tightly shutting his eyes and convincing himself that it’s a “silly fad” that will go away. No actual reading up on science though.
# 61. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
August 18th, 2009 at 11:59 am

I’m still waiting for that example of Paleolithic or even Neolithic behavior which has been observed and documented in a way that could be passed off as science.

In lieu of that, provide an explanation of how a “behavior” that isn’t observed could be known to have happened, or how a “behavior” that never happened could be real. We’ll leave the matter of how to verify the meaning of such a “behavior” till after one of you can answer the more basic point.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Comments Stuck in Moderation

  1. 218. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    gillt, there are numerous non-fundamentalists who believe in the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. I thought you’d been to Catholic schools, you claimed to have. I don’t know about the one you went to but the ones here would have made that distinction to at least the students they figured were smart enough to grasp the concept.

    You never talked about Augustine in all those years? Aquinas? Or is your “Catholic education” about as real as the rest of your assertions. In short, lies.

  2. 219. Benjamin S. Nelson Says:

    Anthony, to relate my own experience, I did present fairly sharp criticism of Coyne on his blog, and it was deleted (or misplaced — I don’t know). I then grieved this elsewhere; it caused a minor stir, as people were upset at the prospect that Coyne would engage in censorship, because that is a serious detriment to any productive discussion. The stir attracted Coyne’s attention, and he apologized for the error.

    So it seems to me that the facts are quite the opposite of what you claim, as far as that goes.

  3. 220. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Benjamin S. Nelson, I got deleted for making an innocuous remark about memes and for pointing out that his assertion that religion lacked an internal criticism was clearly not true based on internal criticism in both the Jewish and Christian scriptures. And he invited me on several occasions to stop posting comments on his blog, none of which were anywhere like as pointlessly vituperative as the diatribes just above.

    I’m sure by now any critics of PZ even half as mild would have been banned and ridiculed in PZ’s dungeon.

    I don’t question the right of bloggers to ban whoever they want to for whatever reason, I’m just pointing out how, against the whining and sniveling of these same trolls, that they’ve been allowed to keep commenting on this blog.

  4. 221. Sorbet Says:

    Come on McCarthy, even you will contend that your words did not make much sense. I was trying to make a point about the NAs being influential in many circles and you responded with some irrelevant point about their “courage”. I guess you have redefined intellectual capacity. And for someone who was in grade school a long time back your own intellectual capability doesn’t seem to have evolved.

  5. 222. Sorbet Says:

    I’m sure PZ and Coyne would have banned all of you guys by now

    Translation: I am still upset that PZ banned me from his blog (in spite of no evidence to that effect). I would feel much less lonely if I fantasize about all of you being banned there too.

  6. 223. Anthony McCarthy Says:

    — I was trying to make a point about the NAs being influential in many circles and you responded with some irrelevant point about their “courage”. Sorbet

    Anyone who wants to check this out can see at 182 that Sorbet was the one who started in about “courage”. New atheists are always running away from what they said, when someone can answer it.

    —- PZ banned

    Sorbet, I was just making you guys jump through hoops about the mysterious comments that somehow seem to have reappeared, when I mentioned them. I said all along that I never whined about it because it’s PZ’s blog and he could ban me any old time he wanted to. I was mocking another neo-ath who was whining that a comment of his didn’t make it through moderation or got deleted here. And the whole time you were getting all worked up over me charging PZ with what you believed was a horrible crime of suppressing free comment, it’s something he has been doing proudly for ages now. I was reveling in your display of the new atheist double standard and hypocrisy.

    If this was my blog I’d have banned a whole bunch of you weeks ago.

  7. 224. gillt Says:

    I love it how every little point McCarthy tries to make, no matter its triviality, is immediately turned into a sweeping indictment of all NAs.

    This is why mockery or silence are the only affective antidotes against him.

  8. 225. Sorbet Says:

    McCarthy it’s you who is running away from a word that you used first, and you show no understanding of the world. It’s easy for you to sit on your high chair in liberal New England and declare that atheists don’t need any courage to declare their atheism.

    Go tell that to an atheist in Oklahoma or Arkansas. Or go tell that to a gay atheist (like my friend) who grew up in a religious household and faced hell in coming out of both closets. Maybe some slits of wisdom will penetrate your eyes if you care to get rid of that inch thick blindfold you are wearing.

  9. 226. gillt Says:

    oops. effective.

  10. 227. Sorbet Says:

    If this was my blog I’d have banned a whole bunch of you weeks ago

    In other news, bears have indicated a willingness to defecate in wooded areas.

  11. 228. Sorbet Says:

    I never whined about it

    Maybe that’s why you constantly commented on it. And any thinking person who looks at PZ’s comment section will immediately realize that he extremely liberal in allowing comments compared to many others.

  12. 229. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Sorby, Why would I whine about someone doing something I’ve said PZ had a right to do?

    Commenting on a blog isn’t something we have a right to do, it’s something we do with the provisional permission of the owners of the blog. They’re the ones with the rights in the situation, to permit it or to not permit it. You press “submit” and take your chances. That’s really all there is to it.

    Clearly that’s a line of reasoning that over-taxes the new atheist brain which is only capable of rearranging prejudices and unable to process new ideas. It’s clearly too complicated for you.

    — Or go tell that to a gay atheist (like my friend) who grew up in a religious household and faced hell in coming out of both closets.

    Ah, now you’re going to lecture me about what it’s like being gay. Unless you’re gay, yourself, I suspect your knowledge is only half-vast at most. As to your friend, well, that’s one experience. I’ve known many, many people who have been oppressed by entirely secular parents and psych professionals. That’s not a form of oppression that is exclusive to religious bigots.

    As for my being from New England, you going to tell New England Bob he doesn’t have a clue as well?

    — I love it how every little point McCarthy tries to make, no matter its triviality, is immediately turned into a sweeping indictment of all NAs. gillt

    I love it how gillt never comes up with anything substantial and the other new atheists think he’s a genius based on his pose of superiority. Such callow boys are so easily impressed, reminds me of the College Republicans we used to laugh at.

  13. 230. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    —- Go tell that to an atheist in Oklahoma or Arkansas. Or go tell that to a gay atheist (like my friend) who grew up in a religious household and faced hell in coming out of both closets. Maybe some slits of wisdom will penetrate your eyes if you care to get rid of that inch thick blindfold you are wearing. Sorbet

    You might not know but one of the prominent voices promoting the hokum that gay people can “change” their orientation is Robert Spitzer, who is an atheist. It’s not a form of bigotry that is merely the result of religion, a lot of the stronger advocates of gay rights are religious, many clergy.

    Just in case my comment doesn’t get out of moderation in time.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Comments in Moderation

# 28. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
August 8th, 2009 at 3:54 am

—- Are you talking about Jerry Coyne? Sven di Milo

Clearly I’m talking about Sam Harris when I’m talking about people who have made atheism their profession. I’d have said people who have made atheism their fundamentalist cult if I was talking about Jerry Coyne.

—- This blog has just become a parody of what a science blog should be. ShowsOn

And what SHOULD a science blog be? Another tiresome new atheist frat house? Jerry Coyne’s more genteel version of one?

The blog belongs to its owners, they get to decide what it SHOULD be.

— Simply posting parts of reviews that agree with your latest book isn’t scientific. ShowsOn

If anything, the owners of this blog have been unusually open about the negative reviews of their work, I would guess that they have been more open to discussing it than most of their opponents have been. Ophelia Benson has been allowed to gas on at vast, repetitious and tiresome length here as have trolls who are regulars at the blogs of people they’ve criticized.
They’ve certainly been more tolerant than Jerry or PZ of even the most ill informed critics on this blog.

— It is what I have come to expect from parts of the Humanities. ShowsOn

I expect you don’t mean Ophelia Benson, but that’s based on what I’d expect from the rest of your comment. Lots of the people working in the humanities could more than match your average science blogger for fairness and integrity, broadmindedness and openness to criticism. Lots of them are more consistently observant of those than many in the sciences and any of the new atheist ScienceBloggers I’m aware of.
# 29. Anthony McCarthy Says:
August 8th, 2009 at 3:58 am

Reading up the thread again, look at how they’ve tolerated other people presuming to define who is and isn’t a troll on their blog. It’s kind of funny how their opponents seem to figure it’s their right to label CM and SK’s supporters as trolls on their blog.
# 30. Matti K. Says:
August 8th, 2009 at 5:19 am

What is there so difficult to understand? Presently, Mr. Mooney and Ms. Kirschenbaum use this blog mainly to market their book. Therefore one can not expect them to debate the issues in the book for free.

Once the dust settles and nobody buys the book anymore, Mr. Mooney and Ms. Kirschenbaum will probably start to debate the issues again. Also, after the marketing pressures have gone, there will be room to confess the “maturation” of ideas, as has happened before:

I don’t see it as impossible that the present accomodationist stand of M&K will turn once again towards confronting the irrationalities of religion.
# 31. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
August 8th, 2009 at 9:32 am

— Presently, Mr. Mooney and Ms. Kirschenbaum use this blog mainly to market their book. Matti K

That would be as opposed to Jerry Coyne who gave his blog the same name as his book, the only reason I happened to come across his blog to start with.

— I don’t see it as impossible that the present accomodationist stand of M&K will turn once again towards confronting the irrationalities of religion. Matti K.

That would be as opposed to the irrationality of the new atheism which makes all kinds of claims about the mental instability of religious people, despite the high functioning of many of them and about the impossibility of the coexistence of science and religion in society and in individual scientists and others who accept science with little trouble. That is despite massive empirical evidence that the prejudice of the new atheists is factually incorrect.

And that’s not getting to the arrogance of the new atheists who claim the mantle of reason as they demonstrate they’re quite selective in their practice of it, when not entirely immune to its exigencies.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

While Waiting in Moderation

# 44. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
August 4th, 2009 at 9:00 am

Observer, the vicarious and undifferentiated blaming of religious believers, including liberal religious people for ‘creating an atmosphere in which fundamentalism can thrive’ is one of the distinguishing aspects of new atheism. I don’t think I’d ever have commented on the phenomenon once if they didn’t practice that double standard. Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Myers, etc. have all asserted essentially that position. Are you denying that idea isn’t prevalent as statement and practice among the new atheists?

Atheists who reject that standard aren’t atheists I’d consider “new atheists”.

And as I tell you guys all the time, I submit all bigots to the standard they reserve for their opponents because to not do that allows them to rig the rules in their favor.

Skeptic, you’re rather credulous about the evidentiary value of surveys, I’m considerably more skeptical of them. I’m absolutely certain that the new atheists who maintain the same superstition as some of the most benighted religious fundamentalists that religion and science are incompatible have some influence, they’ve been thanked by some of them for making their job easier. However, I’ve pointed out from the beginning that there are religious fundamentalists who either have training or careers in science even as they are religious fundamentalists, so you can be a religious fundamentalist and a scientist at the same time. The point being that the situation in real life isn’t a simple either/or proposition, it’s a lot more complex and nuanced, I’d suspect sufficiently so much so that the kind of survey you propose would be totally useless.

As to the “hundreds of individual charges” in the books, there are billions of religious believers in the world, hundreds of millions in the United States alone. Even “hundreds of millions of individual charges” wouldn’t make a single person who wasn’t “guilty” as charged responsible for them, especially if they specifically and vigorously rejected them.
If the Dawkins-Harris standard of justice was applied to science, they’d be culpable for some pretty awful stuff, crimes rivaling the worst of those committed by religious figures. By that standard, Dawkins would have to answer for eugenics and “race science”. Would you like that standard applied to him?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Comment in Moderation

The rift exists becuase there really is a conflict between science and religion generally, and Christianity and evolution specifically. This simple fact is not contradicted by the existence of religious scientists or by the existence of forms of Christianity that have made their peace with evoluition. Saying there is a conflict between A and B does not mean that A and B are mutually exclusive. Jason Rosenhouse

The existence of religious scientists, many with more substantial careers than Myers, for example, are there. Their existence is a fact, their work is there to be seen. They are as there as the entire fossil record or the record of comparative genetics, it is a fact of history and of the real world. The historical fact that many of the most important scientists have been religious is a fact more objective than any of the speculations about undocumented behavior that Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett continually make to absolutely no objection by Rosenhouse or the other new atheists. Those people who produce both science and who believe in religion are the only ones qualified to tell us if they experience a "conflict between science and religion", Rosenhouse is incompetent to override whatever they have to say on that issue. Their existence in reality, in the objectively existing world is a refutation of the assertion more credible than anything he or Dawkins or PZ Myers theorize about it.

Biblical fundamentalism is in conflict with the science of evolution, many Christians would assert they are also in conflict with what's known about the history of "The Bible", and there are other scholars of those books who would say so too and who aren’t Christians. Those are real conflicts, but those aren’t the same thing as a blanket incompatibility of science and religion. Rosenhouse would have to explain how even some Biblical fundamentalists, even as they deny the reality of evolution, maintain successful careers in science. Even the assertion that fundamentalism is in “conflict” with “science” is objectively false. Richard Lewontin talks about a debate he and Carl Sagan had with an evolution denier who had a PhD in Zoology from the University of Texas in 1964. He asked what people should make of someone with that degree, clearly qualified as a “scientist” even in biology, who also denied the reality of evolution.

— Everything we know about human anatomy suggests that personality and whatnot are the products of physical phenomena in the brain; they die with the body. Jason Rosenhouse

As “human anatomy” is based in the physical body, of course anything you can ascertain by the study of it will end with death. But there isn’t any way to ascertain, scientifically, that the mind is a manifestation of chemistry. If there is a mind that exists independently of the body, then anatomy would be incapable of finding it or, perhaps, not be able to see it beneath what it could see. Rosenhouse is depending on the current fashion for the body only hypothesis instead of on actual fact, because that is only a philosophical position that isn’t universally held.

Here are two things I’ve read recently that are relevant to his assertion.

Suppose we concede the most extravagant claims that might be made for natural law, so that we allow that the processes of the mind are governed by it; the effect of this concession is merely to emphasize the fact that the mind has an outlook which transcends the natural law by which it functions. If, for example, we admit that every thought in the mind is represented in the brain by a characteristic configuration of atoms, then if natural law determines the way in which the configurations of atoms succeed one another it will simultaneously determine the way in which thoughts succeed one another in the mind. Now the thought of "7 times 9" in a boy’s mind is not seldom succeeded by the thought of "65." What has gone wrong? In the intervening moments of cogitation everything has proceeded by natural laws which are unbreakable. Nevertheless we insist that something has gone wrong. However closely we may associate thought with the physical machinery of the brain, the connection is dropped as irrelevant as son as we consider the fundamental property of thought, that it may be correct or incorrect. The machinery cannot be anything but correct. We say that the brain which produces "7 times 9 are 63" is better than a brain that produces "7 times 9 are 65"; but it is not as a servant of natural law that it is better. Our approval of the first brain has no connection with natural law; it is determined by the type of thought which it produces, and that involves recognizing a domain of the other type of law, laws which ought to be kept, but may be broken. Dismiss the idea that natural laws may swallow up religion; it cannot even tackle the multiplication table single-handed. A. S. Eddington Science and the Unseen World

To plead the organic causation of a religious state of mind, then, in refutation of its claim to possess superior spiritual value, is quite illogical and arbitrary, unless one has already worked out in advance some psycho-physical theory connecting spiritual values in general with determinate sorts of physiological change. Otherwise none of our thoughts and feelings, not even our scientific doctrines, not even our DIS-beliefs, could retain any value as revelations of the truth, for every one of them without exception flows from the state of its possessor's body at the time.

It is needless to say that medical materialism draws in point of fact no such sweeping skeptical conclusion.
William James Varieties of Religious Experience Lecture 1

Friday, July 31, 2009

Delayed Comments

23. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Peter Beattie, then it’s an ideological blog and not a science blog, which is pretty much what people have been saying.

Mistaking an ideology for science isn’t limited to the NA’s, it’s a common enough intellectual fallacy. Like most of those who make that mistake, the NA’s hold themselves above taking into consideration the topics and observations outside of “science” that would help them avoid that mistake.

If Collins is guilty of some kind of “sin” it’s in stating the truth that religion can accommodate science, I’ve never seen a supported assertion that he has injected religion into science. A career like his wouldn’t stand even one verified instance of that. Coyne and PZ are no less guilty of trying to inject their ideological position into science, even more so, I’d say.

25. Anthony McCarthy Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

— Marc, there is already a religious test for any scientist appointed to public office - there is no way on earth that any open atheist would even be considered for the position. Atheists don’t want to impose a religious test - we want the one that’s already imposed to stop. Lee Harrison

The prohibition on a religious test to hold public office is binding on local, state and federal government, the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. It isn’t binding on THE PEOPLE, the voters. They can take any consideration they choose to take in how they cast their vote. There is absolutely no legal restriction that prevents them from doing that, there is none that could ever be made to work.

I really resent the lie that atheists are “where gay people were fifty years ago”. Fifty years ago atheists became a protected class under civil rights legislation and pre-existing provisions of the constitution. They have legal recourse if they are discriminated against in all covered areas specifically under the prohibitions about discrimination based on religious belief. Gay people, such as me, aren’t covered in more than local and state law against discrimination and in not a single state do we have equal rights to straight people.