Apologetics of Christ, atheism, Pro-Life, Really Recommended Posts

Really Recommended Posts 3/3/12

The really recommended posts this go-round feature Richard Dawkins, bioethics, philosopher’s opinions, women in the ministry, and more!

Arguments about Jesus’ resurrection are fascinating, and can be extremely useful in the question of theism. See this great article which features rigorous application of probability theory to the arguments from the resurrection.

Richard Dawkins’ book, The Greatest Show On Earth claims to show the undeniable evidence for evolution. Does it succeed? Jonathan Mclatchie does not think so and has written an excellent, lengthy review to show how Dawkins fails.

Philip Payne, the author of “Man and Woman, One in Christ” (which I reviewed here) has an excellent web site which responds to many criticisms of his positions. Those interested in the issue of women in the ministry should look into it.

No peer reviewed papers advocating intelligent design? False! Check out this list.

After birth abortions? Basically the logical conclusions of the general pro-choice position. Read more.

Prosblogion conducted a survey about philosopher’s opinions on theistic arguments. The results are mostly unsurprising, but interesting nevertheless. Check it out.

About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


12 thoughts on “Really Recommended Posts 3/3/12

  1. Thanks for the Prosblogion article. I post there under Carneades.

    Posted by Lord Griggs [Also, Fr.Griggs & Rabbi Griggs] | March 3, 2012, 3:37 PM
  2. A second-hand copy of the Disco ‘Tute’s list of everything-that-vaguely-looks-like-it-might-say-something-vaguely-nice-about-ID and vaguely looks it might have been peer-reviewed (and sometimes not even vaguely — it came up in cross at Dover that one of the supposed ‘reviewers’ for Mickey ‘the astrologer’ Behe’s book ‘Darwin’s Black Box’ hadn’t even read the book) is not evidence of anything, let alone a refutation of Dawkins.

    Is there a single article in that garbage dump that actually (i) provides evidence supporting ID & (ii) passed legitimate scientific peer review? Not a sausage.

    Posted by Hrafn | March 4, 2012, 12:05 PM
    • I mostly just approved this comment to show how ridiculously close minded people are who oppose ID. For example, Hrafn seems to claim that none of these articles has “legitimate scientific peer review” which means he[?] is asserting that journals like the “American Journal of Physics” and “The Journal of Molecular Biology” are illegitimate. Why? It seems just because they publish papers on ID. This kind of ridiculous bias is exactly that of dogma. People like Hrafn cannot be reasoned with, because the fact is, they cannot accept that any evidence can be contrary to their own position. That is fine if you want to cling to your worldview and ignore any reasoning; but that is also called fideism. Hrafn, enjoy your dogma. I’ll stick to the facts.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | March 4, 2012, 8:22 PM
      • 1) The list was originally published by the Disco ‘Tute — an ID propoganda mill, notorious for its exaggeration, misrepresentation and outright lying. Therefore anybody who isn’t open-minded-to-the-point-that-their-brains-fall-out to every claim made by creationists (and by a completely inevitable coincidence UTTERLY CLOSE-MINDED to the mountains of scientific evidence that evolution explains, but creationism, including ID creationism, completely fails to address [*see below]), would take their claims with a very heavy pinch of salt.

        2) Please explain how a paper on ‘Teaching of Transcendence in Physics’ provides any evidence whatsoever for ID. This is what I meant by “everything-that-vaguely-looks-like-it-might-say-something-vaguely-nice-about-ID”. Given it’s topic it would appear that (a) the paper is highly unlikely to address any of ID’s core claims; and (b) it is also highly unlikely to contain any hard science (let alone scientific evidence) at all (it is a paper on science EDUCATION, not hard science).

        3) While Douglas Axe is himself an ID-Creationist, his paper, ‘Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds’ provides no support for any core ID claim. In fact the substance of his research actually undercuts ID’s evolution-bashing (see for example this detailed discussion of it: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/01/92-second-st-fa.html ).

        Again I ask for even a single paper that (i) survived legitimate scientific review and (ii) PROVIDES ACTUAL EVIDENCE THAT ACTUALLY SUPPORTS ID. “Everything-that-vaguely-looks-like-it-might-say-something-vaguely-nice-about-ID” simply does not cut it. I could probably find papers that, if you squint at them just right, would give the impression of supporting all manner of ludicrous claims.

        Ah, and Mr bigotedly-and-delusionally-dogmatic-and-hypocritical Wartick, I would point out:

        1) The Theory of Evolution IS NOT DOGMA — in that it has changed considerably in the last 150 years. The fact that it doesn’t change, simply because it conflicts with your (or others’) religious views, does not make it dogma. Likewise it is not “dogmatic” to expect SPECIFIC EVIDENCE OF SPECIFIC CLAIMS that DIRECTLY undercuts evolution, that have passed legitimate scientific peer review, before entertaining the possibility that such a massively-supported scientific theory is in any trouble whatsoever. Creationists have been trumpeting the eminent demise of evolution for the last century and more. Same ol’ same ol’ (and often the same ol’ debunked arguments gussied up) — why should anybody care?

        2) The Book of Genesis IS DOGMA, in that it was accepted as canonical by the Christian hierarchy in the 4th and 5th centuries (and earlier, give or take the odd heretic like Marcion).

        I follow the mountain of peer-reviewed scientific EVIDENCE, you follow a bronze-age creation myth — who’s being “dogmatic” here?

        * For example I have yet to see any creationist engagement of the wealth of evidence from the field of Biogeography that goes beyond the most ludicrously superficial and fantastical, let alone an attempt at providing the depth and consilience of explanation of it that evolution provides.

        Posted by Hrafn | March 6, 2012, 1:45 AM
      • I did not claim evolution is dogma. I claimed you are dogmatically reflecting any challenge to it at any means necessary.

        The virulent nature of your writing really underscores my point.

        Posted by J.W. Wartick | March 6, 2012, 7:55 PM
  3. Wartick:

    What the hades is “dogmatic” about basing an opinion on (i) a long-standing knowledge of the list in question (the DI have been peddling this list for 5 years or more, and it has been debunked countless times) and (ii) a long-standing knowledge of the modus operandi of the perpetuator of this canard?

    As opposed to simply fatuously listing a couple of journals from the list with impressive-sounding titles, where the articles in question offer NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER for ID.

    You J.W. Wartick are a DOGMATIC denier-of-science, who DOGMATICALLY accepted the claims of your fellow Christianists (without properly researching whether their claims had a substantive basis) and DOGMATICALLY ignored my point (made in my very first post) that this list is rife with “everything-that-vaguely-looks-like-it-might-say-something-vaguely-nice-about-ID”.

    You sir are a dogmatically dogmatic dogmatist, and are in no position whatsoever to throw stones.

    Posted by Hrafn | March 6, 2012, 10:21 PM
    • I’d say you had good points, except that I actually endorse the theory of evolution. My position is akin to that of intelligent design, but that position itself is an endorsement of evolution. Not that I’d expect careful research happening here.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | March 6, 2012, 10:24 PM
      • Basically, what I’m trying to say is that the claims you make get substantiated by evidence. How, exactly, am I a “denier-of-science”? What does that claim mean? Can you demonstrate I “dogmatically accept the claims” of others? What evidence do you have for your personal attacks?

        Posted by J.W. Wartick | March 6, 2012, 10:26 PM
  4. You are a “science-denier’ in that you were repeating the science-denial canard that there are “peer reviewed papers advocating intelligent design” without checking to make sure that the cited list contains any papers that BOTH passed legitimate peer review AND actually advocate intelligent design (let alone provide substantive evidence for it). Duck test.

    Incidentally, mere *advocacy* is a very low hurdle. It would be very easy to find peer-reviewed papers that advocate communism, theocracy, biblical literalism, and all manner of viewpoints — that does not mean that these viewpoints themselves have passed peer-review, let alone that the viewpoints can be assumed to have any validity.

    ID is, and always has been (look up the phrase “cdesign proponentsists” for its origins), a form of creationism, that is religiously-motivated anti-evolutionism. Virtually its entire contents (most notably Irreducible Complexity, Specified Complexity and Theistic Realism) are arguments against Evolution and/or the Scientific Method. If you are genuinely pro-evolution, then I would suggest that you investigate the position of Theistic Evolution (a viewpoint that IDers virulently vilify).

    And if you baselessly throw around insults like “ridiculously close minded” and “bias” and “dogma”, then YES YOU BLOODY WELL SHOULD EXPECT A “VIRULENT” response!

    J.W. Wartick: please provide EVEN A SINGLE example of GENUINE advocacy of ID, that has withstood LEGITIMATE scientific peer review. If not, then please withdraw the claim made in your initial post.

    Posted by Hrafn | March 6, 2012, 11:45 PM
    • Thus we have revealed that your standard for “denying science” is disagreement with you on a topic. I can’t help but be unimpressed.

      Plus I’m not sure what you mean by “legitimate” peer review. This loaded term seems to be weighted already to exclude any opposition.

      Anyway, both of William Lane Craig’s articles are published in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, which is ranked 7th in the science citation index in history and philosophy of science. Both of his articles are for the defense of the “fine tuning” of the universe–one of the design arguments.

      Douglas Axe’s paper, “Extreme Functional Sensitivity to Conservative Amino Acid Changes on Enzyme Exteriors,” published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, argues for the practical usefulness of intelligent design in generating theories about the future evolution of diseases and other utilitarian functions.

      Stephen C. Meyer, “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, is another example of peer review by a non-pro-ID group.

      I can’t help but be in wonder about whether you actually tracked down any of these articles are just did some blanket statements and hand waving. I know I’m not going to convince you otherwise, because you’ll just deny that these are “legitimate” peer reviewed articles. Oh well.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | March 7, 2012, 9:57 AM
  5. 1) The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science is explicitly a PHILOSOPHY journal not a SCIENCE journal. Anything contained in it therefore has not been subjected to scientific peer review. And, given that the titles of his two BJotPoS papers contain the phrases “Divine Design” and “God, Creation” respectively, and Craig himself is a Chrsitian Apologist, NOT A SCIENTIST (by any stretch of the imagination), it is reasonable to infer that the contents of these papers is religious apologetics, NOT SCIENCE.

    2) Axe’s paper makes NO MENTION WHATSOEVER of intelligent design. So NO it DOES NOT argue “for the practical usefulness of intelligent design in generating theories about the future evolution of diseases and other utilitarian functions.”

    3) Meyer’s notoriously bad paper was (a) smuggled into an irrelevant journal by his fellow ID-creationist Richard Sternberg, in his last edition as editor. (b) The paper’s peer review has long been viewed as questionable (although the paper was on the Cambrian Explosion, none of the reviewers or editors, including Sternberg himself, were paleontologists). (c) The paper was immediately disavowed by the journal. The paper is worthless except as an example of how low IDers will stoop to claim “peer review”.

    None of these amount to “GENUINE advocacy of ID, that has withstood LEGITIMATE scientific peer review” — even setting the threshold at the abysmally low level of mere “advocacy”.

    Posted by Hrafn | March 10, 2012, 11:06 AM
    • I never claimed they were all science journals. It is still a peer-reviewed journal.

      Regarding 2, a paper doesn’t have to use the term “ID” in order to defend or address part of the theory.

      Regarding 3, again we can see the kind of language you use is steeped in rhetoric, not facts. “Notoriously bad”; “worthless”; etc. Oh well.

      Regarding your last point, all I need to do is note what I claimed: peer reviewed papers. Do these papers appear in peer-reviewed journals/sources? Yes. Will you still reject them no matter what? Clearly. Our conversation is now over.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | March 10, 2012, 11:30 PM

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