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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

1. Mayday mayday mayday SoS Darwin! Is it really that bad? Guess so, if you go by BioLogos.

Professor Karl W. Giberson vice-president of BioLogos asks, in Saving Darwin Can you still be a Christian and support the idea of evolution? He argues that we can save Darwin and still be Christians or theists.

Darwinism is kept in place by people I can only describe as atheist tax and donor burdens. They do not hesitate to lavish sickening obsequies on the old Brit toff. Christian tax and donor burdens who support these atheist tax burdens support them and pay no attention, so far as I can see, to the fact that the vast majority of their compatriots are pure naturalists (= no God and no free will). Indeed, their constant refrain is, if we don’t accept these people's views, ours will not be believed or accepted.

As if that would ever happen in an environment where such people rule. It would be a laff riot if it did not involve serious public policy issues.

Next segment: 2. Christian Darwinism is not in trouble? No? Want to put it to a real test?

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2. Christian Darwinism is not in trouble? No? Want to put it to a real test?

Well, let’s start with the fact that Christians and theists in general are decreasingly respected as sources of information in a society whose science is so largely governed by atheist tax and donor burdens.

Look what happened to poor Michael Reiss, Church of England clergyman who was - heart and soul! - in favour of force feeding Darwinism to schoolkids, persuading them that they are merely hapless lumps of "evolution".

It would never have occurred to Reiss to question the system; he only wanted to '"help" - the usual social worker's wretched excuse for bad judgement and wrong action.

Reiss was driven out mainly because he was a clergyman. I bet he wouldn’t have been driven out if he were an atheist popularizer. In the shallow Brit culture today, he would have been lauded, except that his problem was that he really believed what others use only for gain - in power, prestige, or cash. And they are wiser than he was. That's what it is good for,not because it is true.

Atheists and theistic evolution fellow travellers think they can kid us all, because it is so easy to get politicians to holler and thump stupidly for Jesus at prayer breakfasts - as long as it never means anything. But clearly, for whatever reason, that is not working now in North America, where lots of people still have kids or grandkids, and we need to think about a real future, not a pretend one. But Christian Darwinism still attracts funds, as the BioLogos Institute attests.

You think I am being too harsh? Thomas Cudworth said much the same thing here. Okay, forget him, for now. Look at Giberson’s piece at the BioLogos site, a former home of Francis Collins, better known for being a capable genomics administrator than a clear thinker, who is now part of the United States' administration and avid supporter of human embryonic stem cell research.

Biologos is now a home, so far as I can see, for everyone who wants to persuade theists that the universe and/or life forms show no evidence of design (so, of course, human embryos can just be trashed, right? Just more stuff for the blender ...).

Real test: What credible real evidence is there that a deer-like creature turns into a whale by purely Darwinian means?* Fine with me if it is true, but how do we know it is, apart from the need to advance the claims of Darwinism by plumping up stuff that is largely speculation?

* And don't try to con us by claiming that Darwinism is the same thing as evolution. Increasing numbers of people just know better now.

Next segment: Why are we not all contented Darwinian cows?

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3. Karl Giberson's basic point: Why are we not all contented Darwinian cows?

Giberson's basic point in "Would you like fries with that theory?" is that lay people should be contented cows when listening to scientists.

Well, first, what about the Altenberg 16, scientists seeking to rescue evolution from tax burden Darwinists?

And just shutting up and listening would get us where, exactly? My favourite Giberson lines:
My field is physics. I cannot imagine what it would mean for a layperson to deal with the data of physics and draw their own conclusions.
Well, physics can easily be divided into what can be demonstrated and what can’t. The prospects of getting an explorer probe out to Pluto or a Canadarm on the space shuttle could, at least in principle, be demonstrated or refuted. Multiple universes or competing Darwinian universes (Lee Smolin-style) cannot. Well, Giberson goes on, as profs tend to do:
Furthermore we rarely—if ever—apply this “Professor Everyman” style of reasoning to, say, medical diagnoses. If our child is sick we want our doctor to share the collective wisdom of the medical profession with us and tell us what to do, not hand us some charts and say “Here are the facts. Let me know what medications you want me to prescribe. Or if you think surgery is required.”
Well, excuse me. I sure want a say myself. And have always had one in the past. And my kids and grandkids are fine.

I don’t know what happens in Prof. Giberson’s community, but here we think that consensus is important, because it affects patient care - except in unusual, emergency situations, where no one need accept responsibility for an adverse outcome. I once saw a doctor on her knees on the floor of a hotel lobby, administering heart massage to an unconscious heart attack victim, while awaiting emerg backup.

However, in a normal surgical situation, the doctor offers the patient a chance to choose, or a parent a chance to choose on behalf of a minor child. That is quite different. The reality is that, today, matters are often complex. Many people simply refuse further conventional treatment, and they are by no means less aware than the physician of what that means. They need to live with whatever outcome either way, and if one outcome means more suffering than another, they need to determine at what point conventional treatment has run its course. Onward, research!! But why the parent is a worse judge than the physician in such difficult cases, is out of my reach.

In a typical modern community, where we have clean water, vaccinations, absence of constant violent crime, etc., obvious solutions work, and we just provide them. We call that "applied science" - known locally as "engineering." But we cannot extrapolate applied science to all difficult cases.

Next segment: 4. Maybe the coffin is still empty because no one actually bought it?

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