Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Confronting the Influence of Darwin

I would say that evolution is one of the most spectacular examples of how a speculative idea, for which there is no hard evidence, can come and overtake the thinking of a whole society––in fact dominate a civilization. In light of the tragic consequences of the evolutionary dogma, it is incredible to think that evolution is still being touted today as truth.

As I’ve noted in my book Fatal Flaws, outside of Scripture, Darwin’s magnum opus, The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, could well be the most significant literary work in the annals of recorded history. In other words, this is not some minor issue. Sir Julian Huxley called the evolutionary dogma it spawned “the most powerful and most comprehensive idea that has ever arisen on earth.”[1]

It is the most fundamental of all intellectual revolutions. The twentieth century cannot be understood apart from this intellectual revolution. The far-reaching consequences of can be felt in “virtually every field—every discipline of study, every level of education, and every area of practice.”[2] The most significant consequence, however, is that it undermines the very foundation of Christianity. Nowhere was this more evident than at the Darwinian Centennial Convention, which celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species. With great pomp and ceremony Sir Julian Huxley proudly boasted,

“In the evolutionary system of thought there is no longer need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created; it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul, as well as brain and body. So did religion. Evolutionary man can no longer take refuge from his loneliness by creeping fro shelter into the arms of a divinized father figure whom he himself has created.”[2]

Of course humanity’s newfound autonomy ended up sacrificing truth on the altar of subjectivism. Ethics and morals no longer determined on the basis of objective standards, but rather by the size and strength of the latest lobby group. With no enduring reference point, societal norms were quickly reduced to mere matters of preference.

The responsibility for demonstrating that it is not truth but in reality is a farce should no longer be left in the hands of a few hired guns in the bastions of higher learning. It is crucial that all thinking human beings are involved in the process of battling for truth. In this line of thinking, we recently featured a new DVD on the Bible Answer Man to help in this matter.


[1] Sir Julian Huxley, Essay’s of a Humanist, (New York: Harper & Row, 1964, 125, quoted in John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Darwin’s Leap of Faith (Eugene, Ore: Harvest House, 1998), 39.

[2] Julian Huxley, Associated Press dispatch, Address at Darwin Centennial Convocation, Chicago University, 27, November, 1959. See Sol Tax, ed. Issues in Evolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960), 252, quoted in Henry M. Morris, That Their Words May Be Used Against Them (El Cajon, Calif.: Institute for Creation Research, 1997), 111.


Boris said...

No evidence for evolution Hank? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. You're an idiot. Why stop at evolution. You don't believe in cosmology, geology, paleontology, cell theory, archaeology, anthropology, zoology, oceanography or any other science either Mr. Handmegraaft. ROFL! Stick with what you know man - ripping off your contributors to pay for the lawsuits you have against your former employees who busted you from embezzling from CRI.

John Tucker said...

Boris, go away you annoying little man. Your ramblings are so old and tired, they're gathering dust. Furthermore, now that you've resorted to name-calling, you've reached a new low. Off you go now...

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Did I hear a wind blowing by? No, I don't mean you John. Just before you spoke...

But, I must say that there IS plenty of evidence for evolution. I recommend that those Christians who have heard over and over that there is not should read LIFE. A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth by Richard Fortey, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1998. I found it a good reference, along with the King James Bible and other sources, when I put together my own widely unread book With God All Things Are Possible: A Second Look at Creation. (Look for it at xlibris.com if you're interested).

I have never comprehended why any Christian would waste so much time and effort and expense and breath denying evolution, as if it is the primary enemy of our faith. It is not. The foundations of evolutionary biology are all laid out in Genesis.

Unfortunately, there were bishops in England with small minds who had little comprehension of the glory and majesty of God, or the scope of his Creation, who described Darwin's theory as "incompatible with the Word of God." And people believed them, including some men of equally small mind who leaned toward atheism. Once a concept enters human culture, everyone with an ax to grind uses it for their own purposes. But the facts are plain, once we know how to see them, and if Darwin had not noticed, others would have. In fact, a naturalist named Wallace did, which caused Darwin to speed up his own publication.

Darwin's personal faults and foibles are irrelevant. We all have them. The facts he noticed are real. The conclusions he came to were a reasonably good beginning. Thousands of others have noticed them in the years since, and added to them. There have been many erroneous generalizations, for example, referring to every hominid that lived in the last few million years as "our ancestors." Most of them are not. Evolution doesn't work like that.

Genetic evidence suggests that our own species came from a very small number who were isolated from all others of their kind in the last 50,000 years, and in a very short time, where for millions of years hominids had at most made crude tools and built fires, these new bipeds were multiplying and subduing the earth who had language, art, whole new ways of thinking, living souls and the fruits of the tree of knowledge.

But let us not poison respect for the Word and the Creation of God with petty tirades posing God's Word and his Creation as contradicting each other. Evolution is not a mere idea, it is a pretty good approximation of what happened after God said "Let the waters bring forth the living thing that hath life."

Boris said...

John Tucker,
I don’t remember. Have I had the pleasure of demolishing one of your posts? What exactly is so old and tired about my “ramblings” that they're gathering dust? That’s hardly an accurate portrayal of my posts and you know it. So does everybody else. I have made a lot of arguments and more importantly counter-arguments that the people on this blog have not seen and were unfamiliar with. The proof of this is in the lame responses people have made to them. Without standard apologetic answers to the problems I present being fed to them I’ve shown how none of the Christians on this blog including Hank can think on their feet and defend their faith from attacks they are unfamiliar with. Christian neo-cons really hate being told what to do but they absolutely love being told what to think. Don’t you? They have to be told what and how to think about things. You’re a Hank clone and you are in his cult because he teaches you “how to think correctly and Christianly” right? But he can’t teach you how to deal with Boris can he? So just tell Boris to go away and pray that he does right?

Now if you could refute anything I’ve posted you would. Just telling me to go away only reflects the typical Christian fear and loathing of dissenting views and opinions about their beliefs.

It’s hardly name calling to call someone who claims to know more about science than all the real working result producing scientists in the world an idiot. Hank has guaranteed evolutionary theory is going to be rejected some day and be replaced by biblical creationism. I’ll go one better. Before that happens the theory of dentistry will fall and be replaced by the Tooth Fairy and the theory of gravity will be replaced by the Theory of Intelligent Falling. I guarantee it and guess what. So does science. Science you know, the enemy of all Bible believers ever since the Bible has existed.

“How many times have religions of the world been damaged by some discovery or other only to move the goalposts and carry on as before as though nothing had happened.” – Captain Sensible.

THINK about it.

Boris said...

Siarlys Jenkins

Once again I totally agree except for you know, the God part. But you go get 'em Siarlys. Hank is giving his cult members false hopes and delusions with his anti-science agenda, which as we both know really has nothing to do with science but rather ideology.

What is so absolutely ludicrous about the claims of creationists like Hank is that they can’t even influence their own Christian academic community. All the private Christian colleges in the world teach evolutionary theory and common descent not to mention Big Bang cosmology, old earth geology and the rest of the science the creationists refuse to accept. This battle against evolution is just a smokescreen to hide the fact from the general public that the modern creationists are simply continuing the war on science Bible believers have been fighting ever since the Bible has existed.

PragmaticSoul said...

The problem with the arguments centered around Darwin is that they are straw man arguements. Darwin developed the foundations of evolution and posited two theories- speciation and natural selection. If you want to argue against those two theories than by all means go ahead. But those are never the central themes of the argument against Darwin and instead attack something called Darwinism- something completely made up by theologins.

As it had been pointed out Darwin was only the first person to put his observations on paper but he was not the first nor would he have been the last person to recoginize them. The other point made is that all schools in this country recognized as legitimate educational institutions teach evolutionary biology, geology, astronomy, and everything else that refutes the fundamentalist young earth theory- that includes private christian colleges. The point is that the way this debate is framed is essentially useless. If you want to discredit the theroy of evolution you have to do it through testable, verifiable, and repeatable processes. I guarantee that if any scientist or organization that believes exclusively in a Genesis only account of creation verifiably disproved any part of evolution- their results would be respected, published, and taught. Instead all you have is rhetoric, bending or complete destruction of the truth, and ad hoc attacks against individuals. It is not the culture, the evil denizens of academic organizations that subjigate the lowly Christian, or opressors of the "Truth" that keep fundamentalist ideas out of mainstream society and acadamia. It is the poor argument and the non existent debate proposed by the religious (whether that be Christian, Muslim, or Jew) that prevent their views from being taken seriously.

Truth is only what can be proven. It is something that automatically superceedes rhetoric, prophecy, scripture, perception, or personal denial. To put a spin on the old saying, shit in one hand and put faith in the other and see which one fills up faster. It is only the shit that really exists- faith as something tangible, does not. Disprove what you have an issue with and make sure that others can follow and build upon what you have proven and people will pay attention. Otherwise you are wasting your breath.

I don't have a problem with peoples faith and what Gods they choose to believe in. I have a problem with people like Hank who would fundamentally alter this country in a way that would send us back to the Dark Ages. When the Catholic Church began to supress knowledge at the beginning of the Dark Ages, people seriously forgot how to make simple things like concrete and how to perform basic medicine. If fundamental evangelic Christianity were able to have the command that it desires there is no reason to believe that a time like that would not come again. We aren't even close to being out of the Dark Ages as the time we spent in them. Due to the kind of Christianity that Hank would like to see become widespread, we are still struggling with things that shouldn't be an issue- things that should have been solved hundreds if not a thousand years ago.

Knowledge is power anything that supresses any form of knowledge is dangerous and destructful. Lets be aware of our past and move forward with caution. If you want to alter the available knowledge do it in a way that contributes to and doesn't denigrate the truth as it has been proven.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Well you see Boris, the God part is kind of important. I'm not commenting to embarrass Hank, or expose him as a fraud, or discredit him. He's a sincere man, and he has an interesting and thoughtful radio program. I don't listen to radio much at all, but I used to rent a room from a man who listened to Hank all the time, and we would spend an hour or two discussing some episodes. Nor am I trying to wave in the face of Christians, Jews, Muslims, or Sikhs, that there is no God. I don't believe that.

What I am trying to do is offer persuasive reasons for those Christians, who resist the facts of evolutionary biology, to think again. That requires some degree of courtesy and mutual respect, which are generally lacking in your comments, because you have a different purpose. (It is also true that courtesy and respect are absent from much of the "Creation Science" propaganda, and that does pose some danger of a new Dark Ages. But I think we can avoid that.) In fact, I'm trying to point out that accepting evolution does not require abandoning faith in either God or Jesus Christ. Now if you want to think of that as "Let the poor deluded believers have their hallucination about God, as long as they leave the teaching of science alone," you could, and that would allow for some degree of peaceful coexistence. But its not my perspective. I think there are some reasonable indications, both in science and in the response of individual humans, that the universe is in fact a created one, and that there is a deity who cares about what happens to it, not to mention the inhabitants made "in his own image." Look up Simon Morris Conway and Francis Collins, both biologists with impeccable credentials, both devout Christians.

You may consider my purpose to be a hopeless task. I have not personally accomplished a paradigm shift in the thinking of born-again Christians throughout the world. I have, however, had some significant impact on the thinking of Missouri and Wisconsin Synod Lutherans (a few I know personally), which you should know is no small thing to attain. We can agree that there is plenty of evidence for evolutionary biology, and that it is silly to pretend there is not. I think it is an offense against God to deny it. But for people like Richard Dawkins to smugly pretend that evolution proves there is no God betrays a simplistic notion of evolution, worse than the simple Sunday school stories that obscure the depth of the Biblical account in Genesis. Evolution is a very complex process, with many causes and factors, not excluding catastrophic extinction of entire ecosystems.

It is also true, as Hank alludes to, that a simplistic version of evolutionary principles has been mis-used by all kinds of people in human history. For example, there was "social Darwinism," the philosophy by which certain Christian gentlemen justified their own rapacious exploitation of their fellow Christians, to serve their own greed and comfort. (John D. Rockefeller was a Baptist Sunday School teacher AND a social Darwinist. I suppose he didn't think of the Roman Catholic immigrants among his employees as "Christian," but the miners his thugs killed at Ludlow, Colorado, included many Baptists and Methodists). It is also true that a selective version of Darwin's theorizing was alluded to by the National Socialists (Nazis) to justify their theories of racial superiority. To avoid such pitfalls, it is essential to recognize that human beings are to some extent outside the operation of "survival of the fittest." Our physical bodies are the result of evolutionary biology, but we have re-made our own environment in so many ways (some good as well as bad), and our culture as humans is on a totally different level. We are one species, with a good deal of genetic diversity, but still one species. Our future lies in cooperation, using our unique God-given capacities, not in ruthless competition to be top dog. That said, bullies do sometimes succeed for a time.

Boris said...

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.
"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.
Burdett added: "Gravity—which is taught to our children as a law—is founded on great gaps in understanding. The laws predict the mutual force between all bodies of mass, but they cannot explain that force. Isaac Newton himself said, 'I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain.' Of course, he is alluding to a higher power."
Founded in 1987, the ECFR is the world's leading institution of evangelical physics, a branch of physics based on literal interpretation of the Bible.
According to the ECFR paper published simultaneously this week in the International Journal Of Science and the adolescent magazine God's Word For Teens!, there are many phenomena that cannot be explained by secular gravity alone, including such mysteries as how angels fly, how Jesus ascended into Heaven, and how Satan fell when cast out of Paradise.

The ECFR, in conjunction with the Christian Coalition and other Christian conservative action groups, is calling for public-school curriculums to give equal time to the Intelligent Falling theory. They insist they are not asking that the theory of gravity be banned from schools, but only that students be offered both sides of the issue "so they can make an informed decision."
"We just want the best possible education for Kansas' kids," Burdett said.

Proponents of Intelligent Falling assert that the different theories used by secular physicists to explain gravity are not internally consistent. Even critics of Intelligent Falling admit that Einstein's ideas about gravity are mathematically irreconcilable with quantum mechanics. This fact, Intelligent Falling proponents say, proves that gravity is a theory in crisis.
"Let's take a look at the evidence," said ECFR senior fellow Gregory Lunsden."In Matthew 15:14, Jesus says, 'And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.' He says nothing about some gravity making them fall—just that they will fall. Then, in Job 5:7, we read, 'But mankind is born to trouble, as surely as sparks fly upwards.' If gravity is pulling everything down, why do the sparks fly upwards with great surety? This clearly indicates that a conscious intelligence governs all falling."

Boris said...

Critics of Intelligent Falling point out that gravity is a provable law based on empirical observations of natural phenomena. Evangelical physicists, however, insist that there is no conflict between Newton's mathematics and Holy Scripture.
"Closed-minded gravitists cannot find a way to make Einstein's general relativity match up with the subatomic quantum world," said Dr. Ellen Carson, a leading Intelligent Falling expert known for her work with the Kansan Youth Ministry. "They've been trying to do it for the better part of a century now, and despite all their empirical observation and carefully compiled data, they still don't know how."
"Traditional scientists admit that they cannot explain how gravitation is supposed to work," Carson said. "What the gravity-agenda scientists need to realize is that 'gravity waves' and 'gravitons' are just secular words for 'God can do whatever He wants.'"
Some evangelical physicists propose that Intelligent Falling provides an elegant solution to the central problem of modern physics.
"Anti-falling physicists have been theorizing for decades about the 'electromagnetic force,' the 'weak nuclear force,' the 'strong nuclear force,' and so-called 'force of gravity,'" Burdett said. "And they tilt their findings toward trying to unite them into one force. But readers of the Bible have already known for millennia what this one, unified force is: His name is Jesus." – The Onion

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Cute Boris. I'm sure God is having a good laugh at that. Those who deny evolution in the name of God will be saved by grace, not by their good works, because learning on their arrival in the hereafter that evolution was God's work after all will be penalty enough for their foolishness and lack of faith. I suspect Richard Dawkins may be accepted into heaven also, on the ground that an eternity knowing that God is real is about all his silliness deserves either.

PragmaticSoul said...

Boris- as if I didn't have enough things to stay up worrying about, I now have to worry about these nut jobs. Thanks a lot man.

Jenkins- you propose something that is not possible. Evangelicals (aka Lutehrans) are not objective and will not consider anything outside their limited world views when it parts with their leaders' views. What you espouse is very much a Catholic idea that evolution and God are intertwined- but Protestants don't consider Catholics Christians. Hank refers to Christians and Catholics inferring that Catholics are indeed not Christian. What really drives me nuts is that Evangelicals will stand up for the rights of Israel and the Jews because they need them for their scriptures to work properly but they have also nearly deified Martin Luther. That drives me nuts because Martin Luther hated the Jews and National Socialist party used Luther's hate and his "On Jews and their Lies" book to convince Protestant Germany that killing Jews was okay. I would like to see solid references linking Darwin to Nazism but even if such associations were made it would have been the equivelant of how Christians misuse the made up term "Darwinism" when discrediting (attempting) evolution.

I live in Kansas and have children in Kansas public schools. The EFCR would like the public to believe their is controversy over teaching evolution in school but there is not. Once in a while the EFCR will hijack the Kansas board of education and they will pass some willy creation science regulations. However when the wider public finds out the board members are immediately voted off and their silly regulations are removed before they can take effect.

Once last thing Jenkins says is that - I think there are some reasonable indications, both in science and in the response of individual humans, that the universe is in fact a created one- which I have to whole heartedly disagree with. Any study of the greater universe poses a serious problem to this. Observing the Milkyway as a whole, we see entire solar systems with their planets and stars being created and destroyed through natural processes. We know how stars and planets are formed and we can observe such occurences. There is no reason to believe that this is not how our own solar system came to be. Genesis is a very orderly clean account of how this planet came into existence but these natural phenomena are nothing of the sorts.

PragmaticSoul said...

Finally, I understand the need to open the Bible in order to prove or disprove things but you have to stop that nonsense. The Bible is one "holy book" out of thousands of others all of which their individual followers feel are the "Truth". If you aren't willing to respect and consider the beliefs of others (especially the Abrhamic religions) then why should anyone listen to you. Finally, I understand that the Bible is central to the Christian faith but you have to reconsile the fact that if the Torah (you know it as the Old Testament) had not been written Christianity would not have a leg to stand on. The New Testament (a very brief collection of scriptures compared to the Torah) exists only to fullfil prophecy created in the Torah to make Christianity look legitimate. I would also like to point out that the main author of the New Testament, Paul, never makes a reference to a living Jesus in any of his letters. It isn't until after his letters are written that the Gospels are written to correct this. And last but not least, the entire Bible (New and Old Testament) is rife with references lifted from other holy texts. The Bible is not useful nor is it trustworthy when used as the sole source of discrediting things it doesn't agree with.

Last but not least please consider the following:

The Ionians discovered the truth about the Sun, the Earth and the stars. But their era ended when their last great scientist, Hypatia, was attacked by a mob of Christians and burnt in 415CE. The center of science, the Alexandrian Library, was also burnt and destroyed. Scientists had to suffer torture, silencing, imprisonment and death at the hands of Christians who didn't agree with newly discovered facts about the world. Christianity lost the first battle with astronomers who realized that, contrary to what Christians asserted, the Sun did not orbit the Earth, and that the Universe doesn't seem to be designed specifically for humankind. Copernicus (1473-1543), Kepler (1571-1630), Galileo (1564-1642), Newton (1643-1727) and Laplace (1749-1827) all fought battles against the Church when they published scientific papers challenging religious orthodoxy. Bible verses were all the theories Christians needed; and Joshua 10:12-13, 2 Kings 20:11, Isaiah 38:8 and Isaiah 30:26 all contradicted astronomers. But through intelligence and clever politics, truth gradually won out over dogma, and the Church retreated... only to go on to fight similar ignorant battles, and violently impose dogmatic errors, in the arenas of physics, biology and philosophy.

Without such interference from theists, science would have been more than a thousand years more advanced! Kepler in the 17th century only revived Greek astronomical knowledge that was condemned and hidden by Christians (Ptolemy et al) in the second century.

The Bible has always been used to justify the unjustifiable and to posit things that just aren't true. The previous could be disregarded as archaic because of the time period that it took place but what Hank and others do now is no different than what those before them did.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Pragmatic soul, it is literally easier to talk to a WELS Lutheran about evolution than it is to talk to you about God. They are more respectful and open-minded. It is possible. Please remember that there are dozens of varieties of Protestant, who have little in common, overall, except denying the authority of the Bishop of Rome. In the absence of a church hierarchy exercising secular authority, science can proceed unmolested by persecution, albeit subject to a cacaphony of delirium, such as that acronym that occasionally disturbs the school curriculum in Kansas. Most of what you recite is a series of stereotypes. Like most stereotypes, they are wrapped around a grain of truth, which deserves to be considered, in context, but not wrapped in your own ideological blinders.

E.g.: Isaiah 30:26 does not contradict astronomy at all. It is a far future prediction, or perhaps a poetic allegory, but if literal, could easily suggest a supernova sun and a moon flashing into some sort of nuclear disintegration. Nothing astronomy can't absorb.

Perhaps you have read Arthur C. Clarke's short story about a Jesuit studying the archaeology of a civilization wiped out by a nova, who determines from location and dating that this nova was the star that appeared over Jerusalem. It cause the Jesuit some soul searching. It is plausible, but it is more likely that the "star" was a conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Perhaps none of those stars we see going nova have intelligent life on them. Perhaps they wouldn't be allowed to go nova if they did. Perhaps life only is possible around more stable stars, such as ours seems to be. I see a pattern. You don't. I can't convince you. We don't have to agree in order for
a) science to be properly taught in schools, without the foolishness of asking biology teachers to "confront the influence of Darwin," and
b) people of whatever faith to worship in any manner that doesn't create a nuisance, or homicide, for their neighbors.
What gave you the idea I don't recognize other faiths? I'm sure God had a purpose for Mohammed.

Boris said...

Siarlys Jenkins

Well you see Boris, the God part is kind of important. I'm not commenting to embarrass Hank, or expose him as a fraud, or discredit him. He's a sincere man, and he has an interesting and thoughtful radio program.

Boris says: Hanks’ shows used to be somewhat interesting before they became infomercials. For someone to possess sincerity as a trait the way you say Hank does, in my view anyway, they have to be sincere all the time. I don’t think he is when he bashes science. I think he’s desperate – he doesn’t want to have to get a real job.

What I am trying to do is offer persuasive reasons for those Christians, who resist the facts of evolutionary biology, to think again.

Boris says: The way to change minds is to let them evolve. In other words teach the children of the creationists the truth about science the way Christian colleges have been doing since they were founded. The older creationists will simply die off over the next few generations with no one to carry on their superstitions.

That requires some degree of courtesy and mutual respect, which are generally lacking in your comments, because you have a different purpose.

Boris says: What do you think my purpose, my reason for posting on this blog is?

In fact, I'm trying to point out that accepting evolution does not require abandoning faith in either God or Jesus Christ.

Boris says: No, but it does mean abandoning a literal or historical interpretation of the Bible. But so does a class in literature.

Now if you want to think of that as "Let the poor deluded believers have their hallucination about God, as long as they leave the teaching of science alone," you could, and that would allow for some degree of peaceful coexistence. But its not my perspective.

Boris says: Here’s my perspective. If the poor deluded believers would just not be dogmatic about their beliefs and just admit MAYBE there’s a God and the atheists say MAYBE there isn’t, THAT is what would allow for some degree of peaceful coexistence. Other wise there are always going to be problems.

Look up Simon Morris Conway and Francis Collins, both biologists with impeccable credentials, both devout Christians.

Boris says: Did you see Religulous, Bill Maher’s movie? Collins isn’t my idea of a “devout” Christian. A “devout” Christian at least has a clue as to WHY he believes what he does. Maher interviewed Francis Collins about his Christian beliefs. Obviously Collins had never sat down and actually given any thought to what he was trying to believe until this interview. It was hilarious. Collins couldn’t have looked more ridiculous.
It is also true that a selective version of Darwin's theorizing was alluded to by the National Socialists (Nazis) to justify their theories of racial superiority.

Boris says: I’d like you to provide some evidence of this. Let’s see you provide one statement in which the Nazis ever even used the word evolution or mentioned Darwin. The Nazis rejected evolutionary theory in favor of biblical creationism, which was taught the German public schools until 1961. Only South Africa taught creationism in their public schools after that. So we se the kind of ideology teaching children Christian creationism leads to.

Boris said...

To avoid such pitfalls, it is essential to recognize that human beings are to some extent outside the operation of "survival of the fittest." Our physical bodies are the result of evolutionary biology, but we have re-made our own environment in so many ways (some good as well as bad), and our culture as humans is on a totally different level.

Boris says: Our knowledge of evolution by natural selection has allowed us to counter the survival of the fittest that we see in nature. People with physical defects that would have kept them from living long enough to reproduce in primitive cultures can now reproduce and pass their defective genes on to their descendants. So by human artificial selection we humans have reversed the effects of natural selection. If evolution is God’s process how is it that we humans can reverse this process? Are we smarter than more powerful than God? It would seem so, if there really were a God that is.

We are one species, with a good deal of genetic diversity, but still one species. Our future lies in cooperation, using our unique God-given capacities, not in ruthless competition to be top dog.

Boris says: Like it or not all species including humans are transitional species. If the Christians and Muslims don’t kill us all fighting over whose fairy tales we all must believe, our future will eventually be as a different species. Let me give a theoretical example. If we put some modern humans in suspended animation for oh say a couple hundred thousand years and then future hominids, our descendants, unfroze them and they were perfectly healthy, they would be unable to breed. The future humans would be unable to breed with the parent stock, which would make them a different species. I’m not sure how they would be different but judging from the last few thousand years of human evolution they’d be a lot taller, bigger, stronger and probably run about a 30 to 45 second mile. They might also have a third eye in the middle of their foreheads, which would evolve from centuries of sitting in front of cathode rays. That of course would give future humans the ability to triangulate when they weren’t in front of the ray.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Dear Boris,

Combining the words of two of my favorite writers, H.L. Mencken and Mike Royko, you may be right, but I doubt it.

Boris said...

I’m surprised you don’t think much of what I post but H.L Mencken is one of your favorite writers. Here are a few quotes from Mencken:

“Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration -- courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.”

“The most curious social convention of the great age in which we live is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected.”

“We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.”

How is it I’m so different from Mencken?

Mencken on people like Hank Hanegraaf: “Of learned men, the clergy show the lowest development of professional ethics. Any pastor is free to cadge customers from the divines of rival sects, and to denounce the divines themselves as theological quacks.”

“Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant.”

“Deep within the heart of every evangelist lies the wreck of a car salesman.”

“What is the function that a clergyman performs in the world? Answer: he gets his living by assuring idiots that he can save them from an imaginary hell.”

Menken on attempting to reconcile science and religion:” “The effort to reconcile science and religion is almost always made, not by theologians, but by scientists unable to shake off altogether the piety absorbed with their mother's milk.

“The notion that science does not concern itself with first causes -- that it leaves the field to theology or metaphysics, and confines itself to mere effects -- this notion has no support in the plain facts. If it could, science would explain the origin of life on earth at once -- and there is every reason to believe that it will do so on some not too remote tomorrow. To argue that gaps in knowledge which will confront the seeker must be filled, not by patient inquiry, but by intuition or revelation, is simply to give ignorance a gratuitous and preposterous dignity.”

“There is no possibility whatsoever of reconciling science and theology, at least in Christendom. Either Jesus rose from the dead or he didn't. If he did, then Christianity becomes plausible; if he did not, then it is sheer nonsense. I defy any genuine scientist to say that he believes in the Resurrection, or indeed in any other cardinal dogma of the Christian system.”

Boris said...

Mencken on the evolution deniers: “The so-called religious organizations which now lead the war against the teaching of evolution are nothing more, at bottom, than conspiracies of the inferior man against his betters.”

Mencken on Judaism: “The Jews fastened their religion upon the Western world, not because it was more reasonable than the religions of their contemporaries -- as a matter of fact, it was vastly less reasonable than many of them -- but because it was far more poetical.”

Mencken on faith: “Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.... A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass: he is actually ill.”

“The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.”

Mencken on God: “God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos: He will set them above their betters.”

Mencken on Christian theology: The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent -- slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church, as an organization, has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.

“Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.”

“If we assume that man actually does resemble God, then we are forced into the impossible theory that God is a coward, an idiot, and a bounder.”

Siarlys Jenkins said...

How are you so different from H.L. Mencken? I could say that I am able to take the good and leave the bad from each person I meet, knowing that God does not use cookie cutters, and none of us match anyone's preconceived preferences.

But do you remember a movie called "Emperor of the North"? To paraphrase Lee Marvin's classic closing line, H.L. Mencken has class, and you don't. (Mencken attracted favorable notice from William Jennings Bryant during the Scopes trial, by writing a column saying if the school board in TN didn't want to teach evolution, they didn't have to. On other occasions, Bryant was less appreciative.)

Boris said...

Quotes from famous creationist ignoramus William Jennings Bryan:

"If the Bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it."

"If we have to give up either religion or education, we should give up education."

"All the ills from which America suffers can be traced to the teaching of evolution."

Who cares about Bryan. He was a babbling idiot. Just like Hank Hannegraaf.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Yup. Bryan said all of that. Your point is??? Do you believe it because Bryan said it? Do you believe Bryan summarized all the viewpoints in the world other than your own? I don't even rate Bryan a very admirable populist, after choosing Arthur Sewall as his running mate, coopting and destroying the independent populist movement, and thereby making the world safe for the most vicious Jim Crow laws in American history. But, your point Boris? You are quoting Bryan because...???

Boris said...

I quoted Bryan because you did and it was relevant and you didn't spell his name right. I don't disagree with everything Bryan stood for. He campaigned to give women the right to vote for example. You can't lump people together by worldviews because everyone is different and has a different worldview even Christians.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Dittohead, don't just quote at random from someone I happened to mention. Purpose, please. How do the quotes from Bryan illuminate this discussion? You make as much sense as a baby throwing legos at a wall.

Boris said...

Bryan's quotes prove Bible believers are all idiots. No exceptions to this rule either.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Ad hominem, and guilt by association to boot. One man's remarks prove that all who may agree with him on some point or another are idiots? You are now arguing on about the same level as those who say that Darwin's occasional indulgence in racist observations means that all evolutionary biologists are racist. As if, the data he did observe, and all the legitimate conclusions he did draw, were entirely motivated by racism and are therefor null and void, no matter how many of his contemporaries were arriving at the same conclusions??? Very sad.