Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Jan 20, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
HFCS I wasn't talking about Dawkins or anyone else.

My comment was about you.

You're over ranting too much and over emphasizing what we already know.

Relax and breath, man .....
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 20, 2013 - 01:41pm PT
I'm trying REALLY HARD to not make this personal. You really don't want to return to the old days, now do you?

When naysayers or deniers attack science education or their advocates it's natural for those who care about it, or who care about them, to come to the defense. As it's hard to begin with, interest or passion helps. Try to understand this.


I am goning "skiing" to Kirkwood. Or rather my wife is going skiing...

There's probably wifi at the lounge. Have your wife take pics of the conditions off chair 6. Post em here. Thanks.

Jan 20, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
I don't see Jan attacking science education.

She just doesn't like Dawkins attitude.

Relax dude .....
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 20, 2013 - 01:49pm PT
If you weren't an outlier, you'd understand.

Here's a hint: "elite snobs" or "elite snobbery" or "militant" atheism.

Please, I've heard enough.

"I don't see this touron with his chisel and hammer causing any trouble. Look, it's a big cliff, tons of rock. Relax, dude."

Jan 20, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
I'm going climbing now

Where's my chisel?

Be back later dude.

and relax, breath in breath out .... Ho Mannnn ......

Hebrews 1:3
Jan 20, 2013 - 02:57pm PT
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”...???

No one has a hand in their physical or the spiritual birth that Jesus is talking about...

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

James 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth

Titus 3:4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because
“All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

...All that we have done can't get us into Heaven, and all that we have done can't keep us out of Heaven in Christ Jesus!

The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jan 20, 2013 - 03:35pm PT

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jan 20, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
Stephen Gould was no 21st century slouch either

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 20, 2013 - 04:04pm PT
HFCS, You are right about me being an amature. I don't have an agenda or a desire to join somebody's wagon. You should know by now that I am far away from Chopra's ideas. Dawkins didn't say anything new in this video. I share his views on religion, but I think he is an arogant SOB. I just don't see how telling people how stupid they are can turn a religeous person into an atheist. We (atheists) need to learn from missionaries how to promote our philosophy.
I am well past the age of knowing it all. I care less if anybody agrees with me.

It is a sunny day at Kirkwood. My wife didn't go on chair 6 because she is still recovering from surgery. It looks firm and fast from the lodge. I took a picture but don't know how to post it from my iPad.

Elit: My wife said 11 is good, no ice.

Cornice looks nice from here. I bet there is still good snow in the gullies. It really sucks to sit here and watch people skiing.

Observation: There is about 4:1 skiers to boarders ratio on 6.

Edit: I am still in Red Cliffs Lodge. Half closed. Beer selection is poor. I don't like Modelo. $9.20 for 24 OZ. Where is my wife? Lets go home.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jan 20, 2013 - 05:25pm PT
There was a point somewhere along Dawkins' popular writing career (which has made him far wealthier than his research career), where he became the high priest of Atheism.

I went to a lecture a while back and there were probably 30 kids wearing black shirts with a gigantic red "A" on them, helping people find their seats and generally acting like ushers. I have no idea why. The hall wasn't THAT huge.

For a guy like me, who is so far over the line on evolution that I will entertain a debate of the matter only out of kindness to a friend, it seemed over the top. Then he spent the next almost the entire time poking fun at the uproar his lecture received in the state legislature...who actually passed a bill against him (unsigned by the dem governor).

I agree wholeheartedly with most of the thing Dawson says, but it seems like he is spending more time being a diva than a scientist. That's OK, but I would have liked to know before I went to the "lecture."

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jan 20, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
I just don't see how telling people how stupid they are can turn a religeous person into an atheist

I don't get the impression that you do that Dawkins is actually trying to convert the religious to Atheism.

His focus seem to be on "defending" the rationale of Atheism, and secondarily to mock the more extremist elements of theism, more for fun maybe than serious conversions.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 20, 2013 - 07:55pm PT

First of all, thanks to Jingy for posting those thought provoking videos. I watch everything he posts because it's always thought provoking.

In answer to Dr. F's question, I do think it would be possible to teach young children about evolution as our origins but I don't think that would eliminate the desire for God or some sort of philosophical/religious structure apart from science. Most people are going to want to center their personal beliefs and ethics around something more personal than scientific objectivity. In that sense scientists will always remain elites though hopefully not elitists.

The main hindrance to educating children about the natural world and our place in it, comes from parents, churches, and local school boards. Other advanced countries have a national curriculum and avoid this problem. If the federal government mandated exit exams for a high school diploma as has been talked about, and knowledge of evolution was on the exam, people would want their children to know the answers even while they told them not to believe them. A certain percentage of kids would catch on anyway.

As for rigidly programmed fundamentalists, I agree, most people just mouth what their parents and community believe. The kid that represented that was the minister's son on that video. He knew he would lose his family and community and whole childhood background if he believed in evolution and he couldn't give that up. Conversely, the uptight fundamentalist who came across as quite unlikeable could be seen as a person to pity. I think his issues were much deeper than religion and must have gone back to a very unhappy childhood with either overly strict and judgmental parents who probably beat him a fair amount, or perhaps he had undisciplined, drug addicted or alcoholic amoral parents that he was reacting against. Either way, I would interpret his fundamentalism as a kind of shield against a lot of personal pain.

To repeat, people's opposition to evolution is based on many factors, few of which actually involve science. Talk to the average person on the street and somehow belief in evolution has become a kind of code for everything they perceive is wrong with modern America. They tie it to moral relativism and its follow on, social change, which they are unhappy about. The question in my mind is how to decouple that link.

In that regard, fructosee's suggestion that:

In 100 years time, I predict it [atheism] (or what follows from it) will have its own disciplines, its own institutions and organizations, its own language (means of expression) dealing with spirituality, life satisfaction, good and evil, morality, meaning and purpose, etc.. -All in response to these "trials of life" as part of nature set against us, set against all living things.

seems to me the way to go, rather than these frontal attacks on religion.

I refer him and everyone again to the article in the New York Times on the blessings of atheism.


Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 20, 2013 - 08:01pm PT
I don't get the impression that you do that Dawkins is actually trying to convert the religious to Atheism.

IMHO, if somebody makes a public statement, he IS trying to convince somebody that his point of view is a valid one. If not, than Dawkins was showing off to his disciples; what’s the point in doing that? He is too prominent a figure to mock other people.

I like debates because I can test my ideas against the others’. If I value my ideas I try to convince other people that I am right. I do believe that: 1. There is no prove that god(s) exists, 2. The organized religions do more harm than good. Does this make me any better than a religious person? Think not. I don’t allow prayers in my house because that’s my house, but I don’t ridicule religious people.

What I am trying to say is that I don’t have a superiority complex, but I do stand my ground. If I like somebody’s post I try to recognize it regardless of his/her affiliations.

And that’s the last time I explained myself to this audience. Thank you for your patience.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 20, 2013 - 08:23pm PT

Taken today from the Red Cliffs lodge:

photo not found
Missing photo ID#285225

Somewhere out there
Jan 20, 2013 - 08:38pm PT
Jan wrote:
I really dislike elitist snobs and the dialogue of Dawkins and Gervais reeks of it.

 Jan, Not sure how you are getting "elitism" from Dawkins or Gervais unless you see each of them as being somehow more elite than yourself. Remember, there is the presenter and the listener/viewer in this equation: each playing a role, one giving the other receiving. The receiver in the one who gets to place their own interpretation on every word and stance and nuance on the presentation. And that it where you come in.

I say it is strictly because you see yourself not as an equal to Dawkins and Gervais, but a lesser than them that you find what they say to be elitist. In this instance I'd have to say that if I thought of myself as lesser than these two human beings then I too might find what they say to be elitist….. but I don't see them as better than me; I'm sure even in my somewhat diminished state I can take them both on any climb they pointed at. But in the realm of biology or in the realm of comedy I would have to say that Dawkins is the better biologist and indeed Gervais is the better in comedian/writer.

P.S. Being considered one of the best in your field does give one a tad bit of confidence (I can only imagine, as I have never been considered the best anything ever… But I don't hold that against any of the best out there)

So, if there is any elitism it is you who are seeing it, feeling it or interpreting it.

The same could be said of any talk by William Lane Craig. He seems to have all the knowledge of what happened at the beginning of time on through to the crucifixion and since the resurrection. Do you hear me calling him elitist? No. But then again that might be because along with all his knowledge is based on one thing…. His imagination!!. And that is what I feel he is most knowledgable of, certainly more than anyone else alive.

As for the more recent video about the creationists seeing evolution in the flesh… that vid speaks for itself. Did you notice how that one creationist started to get a bit panicky when there was just enough evidence to cause that first light of dissonance in him? He felt the need to start coaching the others. He thought that maybe they might be slipping; Mainly because this is what he was feeling, then he said to them what he felt he needed to say to them (him - his imaginary self) to make sure that they (he) would still be on solid ground with their imaginary faith factor.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Jan 20, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
I don't like elitist snobs either. However no matter how snobby they are their ideas and arguments are rated not in the least by how oppressively smug and superior their presentation is. Nine times out of ten the offensiveness of any given statement has less to do with its intention, purpose and content and more to do with the defense mechanisms of the recipient. Nine times out of ten a simple intellectual challenge is interpreted as an unacceptable threat to ones belief structure - unacceptable because its certainty is of utmost paramount importance, certainly more important than the possibility of that belief structure having to change or - gasp! - being destroyed.

They don't call them elite for nothing. The fact that they may be snobbish is just something that comes with the territiory when wrestling with humans at the pinnacle of their field. Distasteful but would you prefer someone meek and accommodating?

Jesus h, complaining about snobs is the last bastion of the Sarah Palins of the world. Look at how quickly the Scientologists scurry away claiming "you guys are too mean" when all we're doing is straight up challenging them with very simple and legitimate questions. No way can anyone deny that Dawkins and Hitchins and most other assertive debaters rankle almost entirely because their points cannot be refuted rationally. If that makes them elite snobs then I suggest the alternative is to be "fair and balanced"for the sake of politeness, not correctness.

Jan 20, 2013 - 09:59pm PT
Against the "Absolute Truth" every single atheist has always been totally destroyed since the beginning of time itself .....

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 20, 2013 - 10:38pm PT

Interesting responses. For the record, I do not feel inferior to either of the speakers. In fact I agree with most of what they say, I just dislike Dawkins' way of expressing himself. Of course they're intellectual elitists and of course they can be snobs if they want. I just happen to think from many points of view ranging from Marxist to religious, that it is preferable if elites who live privileged lives confine their snobbery to private gatherings. Once you put something on utube or give a public lecture then you're addressing a non elite audience and will be judged accordingly, thereby diluting your message since most people in the world are not elites.

I lived in Cambridge England by the way and met many British elites, some snobs and some not. I went to meals in the colleges where everyone wore their academic gowns (mandatory), the faculty ate on a raised dais, and grace was said in Latin so I know a bit about that background. As an American anthropologist I found it interesting and amusing.

I collaborated with one of those elites (his father was head of the British medical council and an ancestor had been the personal physician of Henry VIII). We're talking centuries of privilege, but also public service. This guy and I spent 6 months sleeping on the floors of Nepalese peasant homes and explaining to illiterates why we would like a blood sample from them. That same person is now the head of the lab at Imperial College in London that discovered the mechanism by which HIV overcomes the human immune system - and he's still the same unpretentious person in spite of his upper class accent. There are British intellectuals and there are British intellectuals.

I also believe the difference between correctness and politeness is the difference between knowledge and wisdom, best understood by reading wisdom literature, not more scientific facts.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 20, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
what happens to your soul if you are at ground zero of a Hydrogen Bomb

Does it come out of it unscathed?
or does it get eviscerated in the sub-atomic blender

Jan 20, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
Nothing happens, nothing material can destroy the individual soul.

Modern science is still in the dark cave as to understanding life itself.

All their material knowledge will crumble without knowledge of the soul for it is the foundation that all life stands on.

Thus the atheists remain in ultimately perpetual bewilderment and mislead themselves down the drain of ephemeral gross materialism.

They have no power, and all their knowledge is ultimately useless except to try and rescue their outer dress.

The material world is like the wax museum ........

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