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Dover a half decade later: And what difference did it really make?

A friend offers observations about the Dover (Kitzmiller) decision (2005).

 I didn’t cover it, because everyone else did, and I was writing a book, under contract, about something else, basically. Just as well. Everyone else who cared seemed to be on the scene already, and I was otherwise occupied.

Essentially, modern American culture is biased toward atheism, and nothing suits atheism better than Darwinism, its creation story. That Darwin himself thought so can be determined from his own writings, so one does get tired of the various bible school profs, museum curators, and textbook writers who pretend otherwise.

If you believe it, fine. If you don’t, why suck up to it?

I exempt the sweet museum docent who merely landed a summer job and does not know what is at stake. Unfortunately, she might find out later, if her boyfriend dumps here when she is pregnant, and the boyfriend has no idea that he is even doing anything wrong when he just suggests that she has an abortion, still less that there is any reason why he (not the girl, especially if she refuses) should be banished from polite society.*

*Darwinism? Yes, of course. That guy is saving his selfish genes for a more worthwhile and advantageous woman. Or maybe there is no selfish gene, just people misbehaving, who do not wish to accept responsibility for their activities?

Don’t believe me? Watch the 1951 film, A Place in the Sun, where a clergyman patiently explains to a guy why he really is guilty of murder, and you will see the difference between Judaeo-Christian culture and what happened later.

But, back to the main point, what really surprised me was how little public effect followed from Dover, in the long run. The usual professional tax burdens raged and thumped, of course, and their clever public opinion managers have recruited identified Christians who say that evidence for design in the universe is the reason that the last nail has not been driven into the coffin of design in the universe.

But few people who did not believe the Darwin nonsense before do so now. And courts cannot enforce against what most people must really know.

See, that’s the big thing. Anyone can get a prof or reverend somewhere to rant against the idea that the universe shows evidence of design. It is much more useful than getting an atheist soap boxer to do the same thing. Darwin lobby honch, Eugenie Scott, said that herself here (one of many references).

Don’t trust the court system you pay taxes for to decide against the continuing Darwin imposture; they have every reason to decide for it – not because it is true but because the idea that there is no design, no responsibility, and no free will makes your local tax burdens’ lives a lot easier. They can force you to support them while they do nothing of consequence.

And they may even be doing something that harms you. What if they are persecuting a local white coat who is actually developing useful treatments, but he refuses to affirm Darwinism as true? So they run him out of town. The question hangs: Do you want help for your problems or do you want the Darwinist’s ideology?

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53 Responses to Dover a half decade later: And what difference did it really make?

  1. Do you want help for your problems or do you want the Darwinist’s ideology?

    I’d take real science over Darwinist ideology:

    Example of Darwinist ideology in 2005 at Dover Kitzmiller:

    It doesn’t work. It’s a pseudogene, and a pseudogene is recognized as a gene because it’s so similar to the other five in its DNA sequence, but it has some mistakes. It’s broken, and it has a series of molecular errors that render the gene non-functional.

    It’s just a mess.

    Now, the reason that this is important in evolution is actually very simple, and that is, these errors appear in a gene, they have no functional purpose.

    KEN MILLER
    Dover Transcript, 2005
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day1am2.html

    Example of Modern Science:

    We extended our analysis to other cancer-related genes that possess pseudogenes, such as oncogenic KRAS. .. These findings attribute a novel biological role to expressed pseudogenes, as they can regulate coding gene expression, and reveal a non-coding function for mRNAs.

    Prestigious Scientific Journal Nature 2010

    On evidential grounds, this is grounds for a re-trial! But Judge Jones declared he settled the matter for all time!

  2. O’Leary wrote:

    “*Darwinism? Yes, of course. That guy is saving his selfish genes for a more worthwhile and advantageous woman. Or maybe there is no selfish gene, just people misbehaving, who do not wish to accept responsibility for their activities?”

    The analysis here is wrong. A pure Darwinist approach would suggest that the guy spread his genes around as many women as he can – that is the main reason why many social mammal species have one male with a harem of all available females, whilst other males have to fight him and win to get access to females.

    Darwinism would involve your guy not only persuading the girl to have the child – with a view to the child continuing to propagate his genes in further generations – but then going off to do the same with as many other women as possible.

  3. Gaz-

    Not necessarily. It would involve a few different calculations as to how the girl having the baby would end up hindering his own selfishness.

  4. modern American culture is biased toward atheism

    Are you serious ? The US is saturated in religion.

  5. Phaedros (3),

    True if he chose to act like a proper modern Western man and be involved in raising his child. But there have been other human societies – and many social mammal species – in which he wouldn’t be interested in raising the child at all, just be out looking to spread his genes with other females. The latter is, arguably, the classical Darwinist approach. Fortunately we have moved away from organising human society on Darwinist lines – and even Richard Dawkins agrees this is a good thing.

  6. Examples of witness credibility from Dover:

    “So that’s a true statement, Professor Behe, that you’re a co-author?

    A It is not now a true statement but it might be in the future.”

  7. Everyone realizes that the selfish gene isn’t about a gene that causes you to be selfish. Right?

  8. Gaz at 5: “But there have been other human societies – and many social mammal species – in which he wouldn’t be interested in raising the child at all, just be out looking to spread his genes with other females. The latter is, arguably, the classical Darwinist approach. Fortunately we have moved away from organising human society on Darwinist lines – and even Richard Dawkins agrees this is a good thing.”

    Could I make this stuff up?

    Naw. Don’t have the imagination.

    I don’t care what Richard Dawkins agrees with, but as a grandmother I can make an excellent case for taking the blunt end of a broomstick to anyone who thinks as described above: ” … just be out looking to spread his genes with other females.”

    People like me (grandmothers) are doubtless a key reason why population freaks are freaked out about the numerousness of human beings, which vastly exceeds their hopes.

    And, if Grandma’s broomstick is no use, why are we not an endangered species? Why is the local wedding dress industry in my part of town such a big deal? Look, there is even a local event theatre down the street from me, catering to weddings. To say nothing of businesses catering for infant garb and infant transport facilities.

    Here is a hint: It takes about two decades to properly raise a human being. (I know. I have done it, under difficult circumstances.)

    I don’t think that any of it has anything to do with Darwinism or the selfish gene, but it has a lot to do with people – who have real minds – seeing what needs to happen and making it so.

    And hey, I have even heard guys suggesting more serious remedies for tomcattery than I would ever consider.

    And if we have moved away from the “classical Darwinist approach” – which must have happened thousands of years ago, maybe in the days of Abraham and Sarah – then that is another blow against Darwinism, right?

    “Classical” Darwinism is really the only kind, and if it doesn’t work, it is just plain wrong and should not be taught in tax-funded schools.

  9. … and as for Dawkins, he’s forever passing value-judgments that his theory-of-reality not only cannot support or warrant, but logically forbids. Though, it must also be recognized that his theory-of-reality can’t support logic, either.

  10. O’Leary,

    That was a bit of a ramble, but the upshot for me is that Darwinism is an explanation for the origin of species – nothing more. It’s certainly not a model for the way humans ought to live – quite the reverse. There’s an enormous difference between using it to explain how species got here and using it as a template for human life.

  11. how little public effect followed from Dover

    It was a court case to settle a dispute. It did that, end of story.
    Was Jones supposed to transform society ?

  12. The thing is, Gaz, people do not make such a distinction, and there is no reason why they should do so if Darwinism is true.

  13. It’s really too bad Dover wasn’t appealed. What with all the legal errors and all.

  14. That was a bit of a ramble, but the upshot for me is that Darwinism is an explanation for the origin of species – nothing more.

    Yeah, I know that I always explain things by saying “hits happen!

  15. 15

    Dover is not about science and origins. Its about it being said illegal for the American people through their legislatures to demand time or equal time for the historical and common opinions that God and/or Genesis is a true option for origins or to challenge conclusions about points of origins as now held/taught in the origin subjects.
    Its about censorship/speech control/thought control.
    Creationism in America simply needs better lawyers.

    The founding people who made the constitution, Yankee and Southern British Protestants, did not put in it anything that would allow the banning of God/Genesis on origin subjects in public schools.
    Itsabsurd.
    In fact they would of banned anything questioning same.
    The topic didn’t come up.
    Its only since the ’60′s that the present “law” has come to pass.

    Science class is not about scientific approaches to origins but in fact is about conclusions on origins.
    The ‘science’ anyways can not be used by thye state to deny conclusions of origins by anything touching on religion. Creationism is banned because it touches on religion.
    If you can’t teach creationism is true then you can’t teach its untrue.
    That is the law as invented in the ’60′s.

  16. 16

    modern American culture is biased toward atheism

    Graham says,

    “Are you serious ? The US is saturated in religion.”

    ’tis true, and the religion of atheism enjoys the support of our tax dollars and is taught in our schools.

  17. ’tis true, and the religion of atheism enjoys the support of our tax dollars and is taught in our schools.

    *gasp* Now the pretend-atheists (*) are going to go batty vociferously denying the blatantly obvious *gasp*

    Cultic practices, with showy, are not the important part of (generalized) religion. The important part of religion is the attempt to present a sensible and coherent accounting of reality, a framework to begin to make sense of the world and our place in it.

    Now, it’s true that atheism’s accounting of reality fails in that regard, but the failure doesn’t make atheism any less religious than Christianity is.

    (*) Pretend-atheists — most self-identifying atheists, especially the village-atheist-with-DSL sort, only play at being an atheist, and studiously avoid grasping the logical implications of God-denial.

  18. The descision only imapcted a small insignificant district in Pennsylvannia.

    It has no “power” any other place on Earth.

    And it was too bad it wasn’t appealed.

    But what can happen now is the same thing that happened with John Scopes- IDists should go to that district and get some teacher to start talking about ID in the classroom.

    That should bring on another trial…

  19. O’Leary (11),

    People do odd stuff. There’s been nothing uin human history – science or religion – that hasn’t been abused by someone the minute it’s been invented.

    There is a good reason why people should make to disctinction if Darwinism is true – it’s red in tooth and claw, and we humans have had enough of that. Saying we are slaves to nature is to deny our humanity.

  20. If you can’t teach creationism is true then you can’t teach its untrue.

    You can teach the findings of science.

    If creationists disagree with astronomers about the movement of the earth, or with physicists about its age, they need to provide evidence using the methods of science.

    I suspect if the “controversy” were taught, it would be taught as the history of science, with folks like Hutton and Lyell brought in.

    The more you know about the century of science leading up to Darwin, the less it looks like a modern conspiracy.

  21. Since this was apparently the centerpiece of the trial, I thought it would be worth asking why people continue to falsely claim the early drafts of Pandas and People were “creationist.”

    Has anyone managed to find any of the following in the early drafts?

    1. A supernatural god

    2. …created everything out of nothing.

    3. Made everything in less than a week.

    4. The Earth is less than 10,000 years old.

    5. A global catastrophic flood created an appearance of age.

    6. Fossils are there just to “test our faith.”

    7. There cannot possibly be any way a common lineage might exist between apes and humans.

    8. Last but not least, we must rely on the bible or other sacred text in order to draw conclusions.

    Since none of these were present in any of the earlier drafts I think the safest thing we can say is that the main piece of evidence the ACLU Jones used to make his point was no where near what it was purported to be.

  22. I suppose the word creationist doesn’t count.

  23. 23

    Petrushka

    Creationism is not banned because of claims its not science but rather because its claimed to be religious.
    This is the law.
    The law used to censor creationism.

    Therefore, logically, if creationism is illegal because it would mean the state is making an opinion on religion, the illegal thing here, then the state by teaching evolution is also making an opinion on religion and by banning God/Genesis it is making an opinion since it is teaching the truth of origins.

    The law, which i say is a ’60′s invention, is only being applied one way and so is null and void.

    The law is about neutrality claims. Yet in origin issues its censorship is not neutral but a state opinion on conclusions in origins.

    Where am i wrong in my reasoning?

  24. I suppose the word creationist doesn’t count.

    Thankfully, the answer is no.

    If I took a copy of Origin of the Species and replaced “descent with modification” with the term “creation,” would the book thus become a religious text?

    Or just to make the fallacy in question more apparent: This is a rock, and this is also a rock.

    Since they (in this context) are both classified under the same term, that makes them the same thing right?

  25. The law isn’t neutral or trying to be neutral in this, and it makes no difference when the issue was first decided. There are at least two Supreme Court decisions covering creation science, both very clear in their intentions. They aren’t likely to be reversed.

    Perhaps you could give a specific example of something from Genesis that you think should be taught in a science class.

    Then we could focus on whether it can be supported by science.

  26. 26

    Petrushka,

    Perhaps you could give a specific example of something from Genesis that you think should be taught in a science class.

    The Fall and the Flood. At the Fall, sin and death were introduced into nature, which means that nature changed, which means that whatever way nature may appear now is not exactly how it was designed, including the laws of nature, and to use laws of nature to determine events or ages pre-fall is to beg the question. But leaving that on the side, Genesis gives an explanation of nature, whereas science is only a set of descriptions of nature.

  27. The Flood story did contribute to science in the sense that geology was invented to find evidence for it.

    I’m curious if you would like to see the history of that search presented in science classes, in detail.

    Your interpretation of the Fall, and the changes in the laws of nature appears to be a variation of Omphalos.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omphalos_hypothesis

    You seem to be saying that any investigation of the earth’s history will run up against a brick wall due to a discontinuity in the laws of nature.

    Is that a fair reading?

  28. 28

    Petrushka,

    You seem to be saying that any investigation of the earth’s history will run up against a brick wall due to a discontinuity in the laws of nature.

    Is that a fair reading?

    Yes. That is my own belief.

  29. Petrushska,

    Are we now in agreement that the early drafts from “Of Pandas and People” do not lend any credibility to the argument that ID either is or was creationism?

    I think the answer to this is important because considering the fact that Pandas was central to the Dover case, your answer determines whether you personally have reason to doubt the dubious claims made by the ACLU at Dover.

  30. —Gaz: “There’s an enormous difference between using it to explain how species got here and using it as a template for human life.”

    Darwinism is less about providing a template for human life and more about saying that there can be no template. If biodiversity is solely the result of naturalistic forces, then there can be no such thing as objective morality. Thus, to say there can be no morality proper to human nature is to promote amorality, which always leads to immorality.

  31. Yes. That is my own belief.

    I won’t try to talk you out of it, but it’s a lost cause as far as public school science classes go.

  32. Petrushka-

    You don’t think that the assumptions that are made in dating (etc.) should be taught?

  33. Well Petruska how about hard archeological evidence tracing back to Noah?

    there is actually very strong archaeological evidence tracing all human races to the three sons of Noah:

    Tracing Your Ancestors Through History – Noah’s Descendants – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/ancestors.xml

    TABLE OF NATIONS (GENEALOGY OF MANKIND) by Tim Osterholm
    Excerpt: The fact is, that wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 of the Bible has been found completely accurate; resulting partly from linguistic studies, partly from archaeology, and, more recently still, from the findings of physical anthropologists, who are, to this day, recovering important clues to lines of migration in ancient historic times. As implied in verse 32 of Genesis 10, this Table includes everybody; meaning that so-called fossil man, primitive peoples (ancient and modern) and modern man are all derived from Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
    http://www.soundchristian.com/man/

    The following videos outline some surprisingly strong geological evidence for a global flood:

    Startling Evidence That Noah’s Flood Really Happened – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....1519871387

    This video shows how Darwin was found to be wrong in his postulation of a geological formation:

    Where Darwin Went Wrong – geology video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3darzVqzV2o

    This article just came out last month admitting to the catastrophic canyon formation:

    Secular Geology Admits to Rapid Canyon Formation by Megafloods – June 21 2010
    Excerpt: “Our traditional view of deep river canyons, such as the Grand Canyon, is that they are carved slowly, as the regular flow and occasionally moderate rushing of rivers erodes rock over periods of millions of years.” Quoting Michael Lamb of Caltech, co-author of a paper in Nature Geoscience, the article said that such is not always the case: “We know that some big canyons have been cut by large catastrophic flood events during Earth’s history.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100621a

    Here is a site that, though written from a Young Earth perspective, gives a fairly good overview of the many strange anomalies in the fossil record that point to an ancient global flood:

    The Fossil Record
    http://detectingdesign.com/fossilrecord.html

    Yet to be fair here is a paper outlining some fairly reasonable objections to a global flood (of note: Dr. Ross has endured a fair amount of mudslinging from other Christians for holding to a “local” flood):

    Noah’s Flood: A Bird’s-Eye View – Hugh Ross
    http://www.reasons.org/astrono.....-article-1

    This following video, and article, are very interesting for they talk about the evidence for a “genetic Adam” and a “genetic Eve”, and how the evidence relates to Noah’s flood:

    Does human genetic evidence support Noah’s flood? Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4116168

    Book Review; Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man:
    Excerpt: The Bible claims that there was a genetic bottleneck at the Genesis flood. Whereas all females can trace their ancestry back to Eve (through the three wives of Noah’s sons), all males trace their Y-chromosomes through Noah (through his three sons). This predicted discrepancy for molecular dates of mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome data is actually seen in the scientific literature.
    http://www.godandscience.org/n.....05-09.html

    The following video is downright eye-opening with its evidence:

    The Physical Ashen Remains Of Sodom and Gomorrah – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwTVFk1HK3Y

    So Petruska is all of this evidence off limits to school classrooms just because it is proof of a Biblical perspective? If so why do you support suppressing the truth?

  34. Well Petruska how about hard archeological evidence tracing back to Noah?

    there is actually very strong archaeological evidence tracing all human races to the three sons of Noah:

    Tracing Your Ancestors Through History – Noah’s Descendants – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/ancestors.xml

    TABLE OF NATIONS (GENEALOGY OF MANKIND) by Tim Osterholm
    Excerpt: The fact is, that wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 of the Bible has been found completely accurate; resulting partly from linguistic studies, partly from archaeology, and, more recently still, from the findings of physical anthropologists, who are, to this day, recovering important clues to lines of migration in ancient historic times. As implied in verse 32 of Genesis 10, this Table includes everybody; meaning that so-called fossil man, primitive peoples (ancient and modern) and modern man are all derived from Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
    http://www.soundchristian.com/man/

    The following videos outline some surprisingly strong geological evidence for a global flood:

    Startling Evidence That Noah’s Flood Really Happened – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....1519871387

    This video shows how Darwin was found to be wrong in his postulation of a geological formation:

    Where Darwin Went Wrong – geology video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3darzVqzV2o

    This article just came out last month admitting to the catastrophic canyon formation:

    Secular Geology Admits to Rapid Canyon Formation by Megafloods – June 21 2010
    Excerpt: “Our traditional view of deep river canyons, such as the Grand Canyon, is that they are carved slowly, as the regular flow and occasionally moderate rushing of rivers erodes rock over periods of millions of years.” Quoting Michael Lamb of Caltech, co-author of a paper in Nature Geoscience, the article said that such is not always the case: “We know that some big canyons have been cut by large catastrophic flood events during Earth’s history.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100621a

  35. Here is a site that, though written from a Young Earth perspective, gives a fairly good overview of the many strange anomalies in the fossil record that point to an ancient global flood:

    The Fossil Record
    http://detectingdesign.com/fossilrecord.html

    Yet to be fair here is a paper outlining some fairly reasonable objections to a global flood (of note: Dr. Ross has endured a fair amount of mudslinging from other Christians for holding to a “local” flood):

    Noah’s Flood: A Bird’s-Eye View – Hugh Ross
    http://www.reasons.org/astrono.....-article-1

    This following video, and article, are very interesting for they talk about the evidence for a “genetic Adam” and a “genetic Eve”, and how the evidence relates to Noah’s flood:

    Does human genetic evidence support Noah’s flood? Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4116168

    Book Review; Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man:
    Excerpt: The Bible claims that there was a genetic bottleneck at the Genesis flood. Whereas all females can trace their ancestry back to Eve (through the three wives of Noah’s sons), all males trace their Y-chromosomes through Noah (through his three sons). This predicted discrepancy for molecular dates of mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome data is actually seen in the scientific literature.
    http://www.godandscience.org/n.....05-09.html

    The following video is downright eye-opening with its evidence:

    The Physical Ashen Remains Of Sodom and Gomorrah – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwTVFk1HK3Y

    SIMON & EMMA ON REVELATION TV – talking about there recent documentary on Sodom and Gomorrah
    http://www.realdiscoveries.com/videos.php

    So Petruska is all of this evidence off limits to school classrooms just because it is proof of a Biblical perspective? If so why do you support suppressing the truth?

  36. StephenB (29),

    “Darwinism is less about providing a template for human life and more about saying that there can be no template.”

    I wouldn’t agree that Darwinism says there is no template for human life (by which I think we both mean a way for humans to live their live)
    - Darwinism is entirely silent on the issue and cannot address it. It cannot rule out such a template coming from elsewhere. As I mentioned, all Darwinism talks of is the origin of species.

    “If biodiversity is solely the result of naturalistic forces, then there can be no such thing as objective morality.”

    I don’t agree – it is possible for an objective morality to come from outside biology altogether.

    “Thus, to say there can be no morality proper to human nature is to promote amorality, which always leads to immorality.”

    Again, I disagree. There are plenty of people who deny there is an objective morality, yet live their lives according to a morality that humans have devised and worked on since we first organised into social groups. That, after all, is where our apparently objective morality comes from.

  37. —Gaz: “Darwinism is entirely silent on the issue and cannot address it. It cannot rule out such a template coming from elsewhere. As I mentioned, all Darwinism talks of is the origin of species.”

    Oh, but it does rule out morality. Darwinism states that humans arrived by accident. If humans arrived by accident, then they obviously have no purpose. If they have no purpose, then they cannot frustrate that purpose or act in ways that would pervert their nature. Thus, there can be no morality proper to human nature.

    —”I don’t agree – it is possible for an objective morality to come from outside biology altogether.”

    I didn’t say that morality comes from biology, but I did say that amorality comes from Darwinism, which it obviously does. Please read what is written. Since, in your judgment, objective morality is compatible with Darwinism, where would it come from?

    —”Again, I disagree. There are plenty of people who deny there is an objective morality, yet live their lives according to a morality that humans have devised and worked on since we first organised into social groups. That, after all, is where our apparently objective morality comes from.”

    What morality are you talking about? Please define it and explain its origins. Where, when, and by whom was it conceived?

  38. So Petruska is all of this evidence off limits to school classrooms just because it is proof of a Biblical perspective? If so why do you support suppressing the truth?

    Evidence should not be off limits, but bear in mind there is strong evidence that the sun revolves around the earth.

  39. Petrushka you state:

    “Evidence should not be off limits, but bear in mind there is strong evidence that the sun revolves around the earth.”

    and there is also evidence from 4-D space-time that Petruska is the center of the universe! Your point being?

  40. If the Dover decision is so flawed then why isn’t anyone trying to file an appeal ?

    Otherwise you’re just rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic – lot’s of effort, someone will end up a seat that has a great view, but in the end the ship is still sinking and there’s nothing you can about it.

  41. and there is also evidence from 4-D space-time that Petruska is the center of the universe! Your point being?

    My point is that for hundreds of years the brightest people on earth looked at the evidence and concluded the sun revolves around the earth.

    It is not shameful to be wrong when all the evidence supports a theory.

    It only becomes shameful when you ignore new evidence, such as the phases of Venus.

    Finding flood evidence is not shameful. The brightest people in the 18th and early 19th century accumulated such evidence.

    But by 1830 it was obvious that the totality of evidence did not support a global flood. Nor did it support an earth only a few thousand years old.

    Regarding your evidence for earth as the center of the universe: any point in the universe would appear to be the center. All viewpoints are equivalent in that regard. I learned that by reading “One, Two, Three, Infinity” when I was about fourteen.

    I believe a number of people have tried to explain that to you.

  42. Petrushka, if you understand that modern science indicates that any particular material spot is just as center as any other particular material spot in the universe, in fact quantum mechanics gives observers a “privileged’ point of centrality in the universe, then, in the grand view of the entire universe, why are so quick as to deny the earth any point of centrality in the universe? One would think this point of centrality for each human would be something to highlight to children!!! Is it because you think the Bible, which you seem to disdain for no particular reason, says the earth is central? Well, I’ve looked in the Bible and I can find no direct reference in the Bible declaring the earth to be “the absolute center” of the universe. This following verse is about the most direct reference I can find to the earth’s actual “position” in the universe and it surely does not give the indication that the Bible says the earth is “the center”:

    Job 26:7
    “He stretches the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing”

    Although, I can find something in the bible, in congruence with 4-D space-time and “observer centered quantum wave collapse”, that gives strong indication that every human is to be considered central in the universe:

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    I find that verse to be a very satisfying coincidence for how we should find “reality” constructed and for how the Bible portrays the importance God places on each human.

    This following article is interesting because in congruence with 4-D space-time, and quantum wave collapse, it draws attention to the fact that humans “just so happen” to be near the logarithmic center of the universe, between Planck’s length and the cosmic horizon of the cosmic background radiation (10^-33 cm and 10^28 cm respectively) .

    The View from the Centre of the Universe by Nancy Ellen Abrams and Joel R. Primack
    Excerpt: The size of a human being is near the centre of all possible sizes.
    http://www.popularscience.co.u.....feat24.htm

    But even if we were just to look at the local environment of the solar system Petrushka, could not this also reflect our true spiritual condition?

    Personally, I find the fact this seemingly insignificant earth is found to revolve around the much more massive sun to be reflective of our true spiritual condition. In regards to God’s “kingdom of light”, are we not to keep in mind our lives are to be guided by the much higher purpose which is tied to our future in God’s “kingdom of light”? Are we not to avoid placing too much emphasis on what this world has to offer, since it is so much more insignificant than what heaven has to offer?

    Louie Giglio – How Great Is Our God – Part 2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfNiZrt5FjU

    You could fit 262 trillion earths inside (the star of) Betelgeuse. If the Earth were a golfball that would be enough to fill up the Superdome (football stadium) with golfballs,,, 3000 times!!! When I heard that as a teenager that stumped me right there because most of my praying had been advising God, correcting God, suggesting things to God, drawing diagrams for God, reviewing things with God, counseling God. – Louie Giglio

    Psalm 8: 3-4
    When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?

    Journey Through the Universe – George Smoot – Frank Turek – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3993965/

    Sara Groves – You Are The Sun – Music video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3993951/

    Petruska, I do not support a young earth, (neither did Lord Kelvin the father of the second Law of Thermodynamics back in the 1800′s) and again in my reading of the Bible, which apparently you don’t read but seem to be an authority on so as to disdain, I find the “days of creation” have to be interpreted as long periods of time in order to be consistent with the context of all creation accounts found throughout the Bible (Job 38; Psalms; etc..) But more importantly, as far as science is concerned, is that the Bible is the only Holy Book, or philosophy, in the entire world to get the transcendent origin of the universe exactly right:

    “It is very interesting to note that among all the “holy” books, of all the major religions in the world, only the Bible was correct in its claim for a transcendent origin of the universe. Some later “holy” books, such as the Mormon text “Pearl of Great Price” and the Qur’an, copy the concept of a transcendent origin from the Bible but also include teachings that are inconsistent with that now established fact.” (Ross; Why The Universe Is The Way It Is; Pg. 228; Chpt.9; note 5)

    As for the other point you brought up of a global flood, I would not be so quick, if I were you, to completely rule it out because there does in fact happen to be substantial worldwide evidence of a fairly recent catastrophic event involving water:

    Startling Evidence That Noah’s Flood Really Happened – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....519871387#

    As well as very strong archaeological evidence tracing all human ancestry to the three sons of Noah:

    Tracing Your Ancestors Through History – Noah’s Descendants – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/ancestors.xml

    As well as some very suggestive genetic evidence:

    Does human genetic evidence support Noah’s flood? Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4116168

    Book Review; Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man:
    Excerpt: The Bible claims that there was a genetic bottleneck at the Genesis flood. Whereas all females can trace their ancestry back to Eve (through the three wives of Noah’s sons), all males trace their Y-chromosomes through Noah (through his three sons). This predicted discrepancy for molecular dates of mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome data is actually seen in the scientific literature.

    Why does this evidence not interest you? I posted it before and you did not site any evidence to the contrary but merely appealed to “authority that it had been dealt with,,, This is hard physical evidence petrushka, you cannot merely appeal to authority to dismiss it, you must in fact deal with it directly if you are to remain scientifically legitimate.

  43. StephenB (37),

    “Oh, but it does rule out morality. Darwinism states that humans arrived by accident. If humans arrived by accident, then they obviously have no purpose.”

    Not necessarily, or logically, correct. It’s a logical possibility that a purpose may be given to them after they have arrived.

    “If they have no purpose, then they cannot frustrate that purpose or act in ways that would pervert their nature. Thus, there can be no morality proper to human nature.”

    Again, not necessarily or logically correct. Morality may be given to humans after they have evolved.

    “I didn’t say that morality comes from biology, but I did say that amorality comes from Darwinism, which it obviously does.”

    No, it doesn’t. Darwinism is completely neutral on morality. All it is is an explanation for the origin of species, nothing more. But don’t forget Darwinism has only existed since 1859, and it strains credibility to believe that there were no instances of human amorality before then – some city states of ancient Greece, for instance.

    “Since, in your judgment, objective morality is compatible with Darwinism, where would it come from?”

    No, my view is just that Darwinism is entirely neutral on morality – it has nothing to do with it. As to where it comes from, my view is shown below.

    “What morality are you talking about? Please define it and explain its origins. Where, when, and by whom was it conceived?”

    Gosh, what a big question! This is my tuppence-ha’penny worth, in a couple of minutes. Humans have had to learn to live together since we organised in social groups, way back in history. In my view, morality is just the set of tools that we humans need to rub along together. Let’s start with the basics: even early social groupings would have realised that killing others within their own social group was highly disruptive to the basic needs of survival, such as finding food, and the cohesion of the social group. So it would have been conidered wrong (and early form of immorality) within the social group. Other morals – not stealing, for instance – are also likely to have had their genesis in these early social groups for the same reason. Over the tens of millenia since then they have of course become refined – so, for instance, killing is generally considered immoral throughout humanity, not just within your own social group. Even today, though, morality is still changing (evolving, if you like) so that there are differences between societies – for example, in my society the killing of prisoners for certain crimes is considered immoral, whereas in the US, Saudi, China and others it isn’t considered immoral generally if the crime is one of a certain set. Any view that considers morality “objective” needs to account for such differences in what ought to be the easiest moral taboo to define.

  44. —Gaz: “Not necessarily, or logically, correct. It’s a logical possibility that a purpose may be given to them after they have arrived.”

    It is not logically possible for something that arrived by accident and then be “given” a purpose for its existence. If its existence has no purpose, then it has no purpose.

    —“Again, not necessarily or logically correct. Morality may be given to humans after they have evolved.”

    How? By whom? If I, as a human, have no purpose for my existence, how can you or anyone else give me one? Provide the details please. Defend your claim.

    —“No, it doesn’t. Darwinism is completely neutral on morality. All it is is an explanation for the origin of species, nothing more. But don’t forget Darwinism has only existed since 1859, and it strains credibility to believe that there were no instances of human amorality before then – some city states of ancient Greece, for instance.”

    I didn’t say Darwinism makes moral claims. I said that Darwinism, by virtue of its claim that humans arrived by accident, renders objective morality impossible and is, therefore, committed to the principle of amorality. Thus, to say that Darwinism is “neutral” on morality does not address the argument. Darwinism = purposelessness. No one who understands the debate will argue against that proposition.

    [Humans have created a morality] What morality are you talking about? Please define it and explain its origins. Where, when, and by whom was it conceived?”

    –“Gosh, what a big question! This is my tuppence-ha’penny worth, in a couple of minutes. Humans have had to learn to live together since we organised in social groups, way back in history. In my view, morality is just the set of tools that we humans need to rub along together. Let’s start with the basics: even early social groupings would have realised that killing others within their own social group was highly disruptive to the basic needs of survival, such as finding food, and the cohesion of the social group. So it would have been conidered wrong (and early form of immorality) within the social group. Other morals – not stealing, for instance – are also likely to have had their genesis in these early social groups for the same reason. Over the tens of millenia since then they have of course become refined – so, for instance, killing is generally considered immoral throughout humanity, not just within your own social group. Even today, though, morality is still changing (evolving, if you like) so that there are differences between societies – for example, in my society the killing of prisoners for certain crimes is considered immoral, whereas in the US, Saudi, China and others it isn’t considered immoral generally if the crime is one of a certain set. Any view that considers morality “objective” needs to account for such differences in what ought to be the easiest moral taboo to define.

    We are not talking about my claims, which I can easily defend; we are talking about your claims. First, you stated that humans worked out “a morality” and so I asked you to define that morality and explain where it came from.

    Now you are telling me that there are many moralities and that they often contradict each other. Obviously, humans have not worked out a morality, which, of course, is the point. Either humans must accept the single objective morality and conform to it, or else each group works out its own morality, which will always be at war with every other group’s morality. Obviously, it is impossible to build a well ordered society around multiple moralities.

    Also, you contradict yourself when you say that humans are in the process of working out the morality which you once claimed that they had already worked out.

    —”Any view that considers morality “objective” needs to account for such differences in what ought to be the easiest moral taboo to define.”

    It is not hard to explain at all. Not everyone chooses to follow the natural moral law, so they rationalize their failures by inventing arbitrary moral codes that are more congenial with their inclinations. Invariably, they will leave something out. Hence, those who are burdened the vice of lust and cowardice ignore their faults and emphasize the dangers of hate and violence, while those who are burdened with the vice of hate and violence, ignore their faults and emphasize the dangers of lust and cowardice.

  45. @44 should read, It is not logically possible for something that arrived by accident to be “given” a purpose for its existence. If its existence has no purpose, then it has no purpose.

  46. StephenB (44)

    “It is not logically possible for something that arrived by accident and then be “given” a purpose for its existence. If its existence has no purpose, then it has no purpose.”

    If you assume that a god is a logical possibility then it is certainly possible for that god to give it a purpose even if the god arranged for life to evolve. Surely it would be up to such a god to decide what it could and couldn’t do.

    “How? By whom? If I, as a human, have no purpose for my existence, how can you or anyone else give me one? Provide the details please. Defend your claim.”

    See answer above. Now defend your own claim, or tell god what it can or cannot do.

    “I didn’t say Darwinism makes moral claims. I said that Darwinism, by virtue of its claim that humans arrived by accident, renders objective morality impossible and is, therefore, committed to the principle of amorality. Thus, to say that Darwinism is “neutral” on morality does not address the argument. Darwinism = purposelessness. No one who understands the debate will argue against that proposition.”

    No, it’s simply not logically correct – anyone who understands the debate ought to understand that. “Darwinism=purposelessness” makes as much sense as “general relativity=purposelessness”. The fact is that Darwinism, like general relativity or for that mnatter Newtonian mechanics, has nothing to do with whether there is a purpose or not, they are merely concerned with explaining particular natural phenomena.

    “We are not talking about my claims, which I can easily defend; we are talking about your claims. First, you stated that humans worked out “a morality” and so I asked you to define that morality and explain where it came from.
    Now you are telling me that there are many moralities and that they often contradict each other.”

    Of course – that can be found just by looking at the world around you. In my society, bigamy is immoral (and illegal). In others, such as many Muslim countries, it isn’t. Abortion is accepted and uncontroversial in some societies, immoral and outlawed in others. Likewise homosexuality.

    “Obviously, humans have not worked out a morality, which, of course, is the point. Either humans must accept the single objective morality and conform to it, or else each group works out its own morality, which will always be at war with every other group’s morality.”

    Well, that’s not always true, they can converge. But certainly they can conflict – using terms like “at war with each other” suggests they’ll fight over it. That’s not necessarily the case – more and more often societies take a “live and let live” approach and accept that others may not see morality the same way as them.

    “Obviously, it is impossible to build a well ordered society around multiple moralities.”

    Not necessarily true. Democracies have a mechanism for resolving them – roughyl speaking, the will of the majority prevails.

    “Also, you contradict yourself when you say that humans are in the process of working out the morality which you once claimed that they had already worked out.”

    No contradiction at all. To say that moralities are fixed is erroneous, they continually evolve as society evolves.

    “It is not hard to explain at all. Not everyone chooses to follow the natural moral law, so they rationalize their failures by inventing arbitrary moral codes that are more congenial with their inclinations.”

    Ah, the natural law – basically, “what I say is morality is the proper morality, anything different is you being immoral.” So tell me – does “natural law” allow for human beings to kill one another? And how are we supposed to divine what this “natural law” is?

  47. Gaz:

    You might do well to start where Locke did, in his 2nd Essay on Civil Government, ch 2 section 5, by quoting Richard Hooker:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant.

    So, the moral law of the equality of human nature and our resulting duty to one another is a serious issue and is foundational to grounding the civil peace of justice. Precisely what the underlying amorality and callous indifference to justice fostered by evolutionary materialism undermines. As the ghosts of over 100 million victims of governments gone amiss on such materialistic amorality over the past 100 years, remind us.

    It was 2300 years ago, in The Laws, Bk X, that Plato warned us on the destructive consequences of evolutionary materialistic amorality:
    ________________

    >> Ath. . . . [The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily "scientific" view!] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist [NB: In the same Bk X, Plato subtly distances himself form the specific mythologies of Ancient Greece, but hints at a Creator beyond those myths] , not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might, and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions, these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others, and not in legal subjection to them. >>
    _________________

    Sadly, there has been a lot of history on the point, especially in recent decades.

    And as for your selectively hyperskeptical turnabout, burden of proof shifting rhetorical tactic, I think the obvious response is that for many centuries we have known a solid ground for the morality of loving neighbour as oneself: our common Creation by a Good, Loving, Moral God the author of the universe. (And, anticipating the tired, failed rebuttal on the Euthyphro dilemma, so called, notice this was designed to address gods that were too small to be the author of Creation. God and goodness cannot be separated, so there is an IS who can ground OUGHT.)

    In fact, the real problem being sidestepped artfully, is that evolutionary materialism has no serious basis for objective morality, and promotes amorality and chaos. This cuts across something truly fundamental and binding in our nature that comes out every time we quarrel by crying out “you unfair me . . . ”

    In short this is yet another reduction to absurdity by contradiction to fundamental fact of human nature, for the evolutionary materialistic worldview. (Other reductios include its utter inability to adequately ground the credibility of the reasoning mind, and knowledge. Not to mention its pat6ent inability to credibly account for functionally specific complex organisaiton and information in the teeth of the configuration space challenges and the massively observed fact that such FSCI routinely comes from intelligence by art in pursuit of purpose.)

    Okay. Ah gawn . . .

    GEM of TKI

  48. —Gaz: “If you assume that a god is a logical possibility then it is certainly possible for that god to give it a purpose even if the god arranged for life to evolve. Surely it would be up to such a god to decide what it could and couldn’t do.”

    We are not talking about my assumptions at the moment. We are talking about your Darwinistic assumptions that no God is needed. Please stay on topic.
    I wrote: How? By whom? (How can someone provide a morality for humans AFTER they have been created). If I, as a human, have no purpose for my existence, how can you or anyone else give me one? Provide the details please. Defend your claim.”

    —“See answer above. [God could have done it].

    You didn’t answer that question at all. If God provided a purpose for human existence, that purpose would certainly have preceded the creation. It is illogical to suggest that God created humans with no purpose and then decided later on to come up with a reason for his actions. Further, as a Darwinist, you are obliged to leave God out of the picture. My question is to you, a Darwinist, is this: How can someone or something other that God provide purpose for my created existence if my existence is an accident? The debate is over Darwinism and its incapacity to accommodate objective morality. You keep contradicting yourself. On the one hand, your Darwinism rules out God; on the other hand, you call on God to resolve your many contradictions. You cannot have it both ways.

    —”No, it’s simply not logically correct – anyone who understands the debate ought to understand that. “Darwinism=purposelessness” makes as much sense as “general relativity=purposelessness”.

    Incorrect. General relativity does not rule out God as an explanation, as Einstein made clear on many occasions. Further, unlike Darwinism, relativity does not presume to provide a counter explanation to teleology. The two world views have nothing in common.

    —:”The fact is that Darwinism, like general relativity or for that mnatter Newtonian mechanics, has nothing to do with whether there is a purpose or not, they are merely concerned with explaining particular natural phenomena.”

    You keep reciting your talking points without addressing the argument. Darwinism = purposeless; purposeless = amorality. If man has no purpose, there can be no such thing as a morality proper to human nature. Under those circumstances, there could be no purpose to frustrate or no human nature to pervert. As Gaylord Simpson and Richard Dawkins have made clear, “evolution is a purposeless, mindless process that did not have man in mind.” You can’t escape the implications of your own philosophy by claiming that it isn’t your philosophy. That doesn’t work.

    —“Of course – that can be found just by looking at the world around you. In my society, bigamy is immoral (and illegal). In others, such as many Muslim countries, it isn’t. Abortion is accepted and uncontroversial in some societies, immoral and outlawed in others. Likewise homosexuality.”

    Humans have, indeed, created many subjective moralities. However, your claim was that humans created “a” morality.

    —-“Well, that’s not always true, they can [moralities] converge. But certainly they can conflict – using terms like “at war with each other” suggests they’ll fight over it. That’s not necessarily the case – more and more often societies take a “live and let live” approach and accept that others may not see morality the same way as them.”

    When have two diametrically opposed moralities ever converged? Please provide an example.

    I wrote: [“Obviously, it is impossible to build a well ordered society around multiple moralities.”’

    ---“Not necessarily true. Democracies have a mechanism for resolving them – roughyl speaking, the will of the majority prevails.”

    Again, you have ignored your own contradiction. First you say that humans have worked out "a" morality, but later on you say that there are many moralities. Following that, you say that there are many moralities but democracy has a “mechanism” for resolving them. Not only do you ignore the contradictions alluded to, you beg the question. What is the mechanism [or moral principle, if you like] by which democracies resolve THEIR differences?

    Also, for your information, a well-ordered society does not allow the majority to trample over the rights of the majority, which is exactly what a pure democracy does. How do you protect the rights of the majority under a pure democracy? Again, for your information, American democracy is founded on the natural moral law, which means that it is not a pure democracy. I gather that this is news to you.

    I wrote: [“Also, you contradict yourself when you say that humans are in the process of working out the morality which you once claimed that they had already worked out.”]

    —“No contradiction at all. To say that moralities are fixed is erroneous, they continually evolve as society evolves.”

    Each time I refute your claims, you respond by changing the subject and alluding to one of my claims. You are the one who claimed that humans have worked out a morality and you are the one who also claimed that they are still working one out. Please make your choice and retract the statement that you did not mean. If you mean to say that they are on the way to working out a morality but have not yet achieved that goal please say so. Please do not say that they have worked one out but are also trying to work one out.

    I wrote: [“It is not hard to explain at all. Not everyone chooses to follow the natural moral law, so they rationalize their failures by inventing arbitrary moral codes that are more congenial with their inclinations.”]

    —“Ah, the natural law – basically, “what I say is morality is the proper morality, anything different is you being immoral.” So tell me – does “natural law” allow for human beings to kill one another? And how are we supposed to divine what this “natural law” is?

    Notice how you continually move the goal posts. You asked a very specific question and I provided a very specific answer. Your question was this: If there is one objective morality, why do humans seem to disagree about its contents. The answer is, again, that humans rationalize their failure to follow the natural moral law by inventing incomplete and arbitrary moralities that conform to their present behavior so that they will not have to change it. I was answering your question; I was not providing an argument for the natural moral law. Please read for context.

    To answer you second question, we already know that basics of the natural moral law through the testimony of our conscience. Thus, there are only two classes of people, those who acknowledge what they know and those who pretend not to know it. Given our basic and primitive knowledge of the natural moral law, we are morally obliged to fine-tune that knowledge through reading and application. Unfortunately, too many among us, choose not to learn more about it but rather prefer to disavow it. Again, the reason for this is clear. He who refuses to adjust his behavior to a philosophy of life will always find a philosophy of life that conforms to his behavior.

    To answer yet another one of your questions, the natural moral law does not allow humans to kill one another except in self defense. Is this concept new to you?

  49. Or the substantially equivalent.

  50. In absence of a serious onward response overnight, and in light of the recent 234th anniversary of the document, it is appropriate to cite the key 2nd paragraph of the US Declaration of Independence (with some relevant wider context), of 1776; as edited from the drafting committee and then adopted by the delegates in Congress Assembled:

    __________________

    >> When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them [cf the direct parallel of a tax revolution on assertion of power to impose burdensome taxes as the government pleases, in 1 Kings 12:1 - 24; note as well the apostasy that shortly followed, and its ultimate consequences for the Northern Kingdom . . . also, the prophetic warning in 1 Sam 8:1 - 20 on what absolute monarchy would predictably lead to, as happened; today, we are so ill-educated on Scripture that we often miss this underlying context . . . ], a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 - 21, 2:14 - 15], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions [Cf. Judges 11:27 and discussion in Locke; this is an appeal to God to judge in battle by granting victory to the cause of right; cf here the Congressional proclamations of days of prayer, penitence and thanksgiving of March 1776 and for December 1777 etc], do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. >>

    ___________________

    This declaration, as indicated by parenthetical notes, is plainly predicated on a Judaeo-Christian, scripturally shaped [and the too common tendency to try to distort the ethical message of the scriptures through well-poisoning rhetorical tactics by Dawkins and ilk, is revealing in itself on agendas afoot] worldview-shaped understanding of natural law, starting with the roots of he concept of self-evident truths embedded in us by our Creator.

    But, going beyond that, at the heart of that biblical framework, is the concept that certain truths are self-evident, given our constitution as reasoning, knowing, morally bound creatures, in a world that also shows abundant signs of its Author. So, in our quarrels, we instinctively understand that fairness and moral consistency are binding obligations. Fairness in light of that distinctly Judaeo-Christian perspective that we are fundamentally and inherently equal and valuable, so that we need to respond to neighbour as we would wish ourselves treated in light of our legitimate needs and dignity as persons. In short, we should love neighbour as we love ourselves, which is premised on the existence of a prevailing civil peace of justice and liberty.

    In the political and legal arenas, that brings us to the premise that government’s prime duty is the defence of the civil peace of justice, and that systematic violation or failure calls for reformation or where there is extreme resistance to due reformation, revolution. Thankfully, in our day, the ballot box gives us a peaceful access to such remedy.

    So, we have sufficient grounds to see enough of the law of human nature under moral government to correct the sort of selectively hyperskeptical dismissals that were all too evident above.

    By sharpest contrast, we saw already above, how ever since the days of Plato, it has been known that he radical relativism and amorality of evolutionary materialistic philosophies, end in chaos and tyranny, through the utterly nihilistic and destructive premise: the highest right is might.

    We have been warned on what is at stake, even in the context of the sort of education policy so unwisely imposed by Judge Jones five years ago, on copying the ACLU’s post trial submission, blatant errors of fact and justice and all.

    GEM of TKI

  51. PS: 1777 and 1776 proclamations are here. Notice the underlying implication that the founders saw America c 1776 in a very similar condition to Nineveh in the days of Jonah, under the hammer of impending destruction or severe chastisement for its sins, through having willfully forfeited the umbrella of blessing and protection of God. Cf. as well the closely related focus and force of Lincoln’s second inaugural address, here.

  52. StephenB, can I ask you to be more specific in respect of your penultimate paragraph? What is that you advocate reading to fine tune our understanding of the moral law?

  53. 07:

    I don’t know if Stephen is still monitoring the thread, but I will suggest some basic, starter reading.

    A rather useful 101 overview and place to begin is here, at the Mortimer Adler site.

    Excerpting Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D in his “An Overview of Natural Law Theory”:

    ________________

    >> What do we mean by “natural law”? In its simplest definition, natural law is that “unwritten law” that is more or less the same for everyone everywhere. To be more exact, natural law is the concept of a body of moral principles that is common to all humankind and, as generally posited, is recognizable by human reason alone [in light of our common experience of the world as reasoning, enconscienced creatures who cry out for fairness]. Natural law is therefore distinguished from — and provides a standard for — positive law, the formal legal enactments of a particular society.

    Since law must always be some dictate of reason, natural law also will be some dictate of reason. In fact, it is law discovered by human reason. Our normal and natural grasp of the natural law is effected by reason, that is, by the thinking mind, and in this service reason is sometimes called “conscience.” We, in all our human acts, inevitably see them in their relation to the natural law, and we mentally pronounce upon their agreement or disagreement with the natural law. Such a pronouncement may be called a “judgment of conscience.” The “norm” of morality is the natural law as applied by conscience. Lastly, we can say that the natural law is the disposition of things as known by our human reason and to which we must conform ourselves if we are to realize our proper end or “good” as human beings.

    To sum it up, then, we can say that the natural law:

    * is not made by human beings;
    * is based on the structure of reality itself;
    * is the same for all human beings and at all times;
    * is an unchanging rule or pattern which is there for human beings to discover;
    * is the naturally knowable moral law;
    * is a means by which human beings can rationally guide themselves to their good.

    It is interesting to note that virtually everyone seems to have some knowledge of natural law even before such knowledge is codified and formalized. Even young children make an appeal to “fair play,” demand that things be “fair and square,” and older children and adults often apply the “golden rule.” When doing so, they are spontaneously invoking the natural law. This is why many proponents of the natural law theory say it is the law which is “written upon the hearts of men.” . . . >>

    [Read it all, it is very good, and refreshing.]
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    Going beyond that, a re-reading of the 2nd paragraph of the US Declaration of Independence in light of the underlying vision of the law of nature and of nature’s God, in light of Locke’s 2nd essay on Civil Government, and roots for that will help. (Cf above.)

    Notice how in Ch 2 Section 5 Locke roots the key vision of natural law in Anglican theologian Richard Hooker’s exposition on the logic of the classic Golden Rule from the Sermon on the Mount, Romans 2:6 – 15, Rom 13:8 – 10 and the underlying Mosaic teachings (esp Lev 19:15 – 18), in his 1594+ Ecclesiastical Polity:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant.

    We could go on and on, on underlying roots, history and nuances.

    I will only pause to highlight a Thomist discussion here and Finney’s view here [he was first of all a lawyer shaped by Blackstone, whom you would read with profit, also . . . ] because of the shaping importance of these views; also how Plato in The Laws, Bk X, pointed out 2300 years ago, on how avant garde evolutionary materialism (which was popular with Alcibiades and ilk, much to the harm of Athens) is inherently amoral and leads to a very different view of the ;laws of nature, i.e. to radical relativism on ethics and to the patently absurd view that “the highest right is might.”

    Our problem today with grounding law, ethics and morals is nothing new, in short. Evolutionary materialism (aka “naturalism”) is the problem, not the solution.

    GEM of TKI

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