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No more Mr. Nice Guy

First Richard Dawkins calls Michael Ruse the Neville Chamberlain of the evolution-ID debate. Now PZ Myers attacks Eugenie Scott for being too soft on us. It reminds me of the old joke about fascists in South America after World War II sitting around a table and musing: “Yep, we’re going to do it again, but this time no more Mr. Nice Guy.” What’s next PZ? Internment camps of ID proponents — or do you prefer interment camps?

Eugenie Scott in Kansas

Key line: “Take off the comfy cardigan, Dr Scott. Scientists have a role to play in our culture, and it’s not as the pleasant, soothing flim-flam artists, mumbling consolation and excuses in return for a donation on the offering plate. We’re supposed to be clear-eyed and critical, even when it’s easier to play the priest and lie. I think you’re doing a bang-up job of accommodating the American citizenry to the fluff and nonsense of woolly religious thinking, but that’s not a job that needs to be done, and it’s not your job.”

Source: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/11/eugenie_scott_in_kansas.php

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21 Responses to No more Mr. Nice Guy

  1. But don’t you think that people such as PZ are ID’s best allies? :-)

  2. Sleezy PeeZee

    Sometimes visual aids just work better.

  3. Watch it Scott. You’ve just insulted Foghorn Leghorn with that comparison, and he’s one of my favorite cartoon characters.

  4. PZ wrote:

    It’s all well and good to say science is limited…to understanding the entire freaking universe. This kind of admission is making a tacit nod to the unfounded claims of the superstitious, that there is something more than matter and energy and time and information and this whole grand collection of dust and stars and galaxies that we live in. Why? If someone wants to claim there’s something more, let them explain it and show some kind of evidence that it is worth considering.

    The problem with people like PZ is that he rejects those things which have been shown to exist which are are not matter and energy or information. For example; thought, or mind, or consciousness. To any non biased person they can easily see that these things are not the same as 3 dimensional matter/energy, they are not made up of molecules. They exist nevertheless. The lengths that evangelical materialists will go to in order to pretend that thoughts, mind, and consciousness are material, even though they lack any proof whatsoever, is proof of their own inablity to observe reality with a scientific rationally. They think that they are qualified to lead us all into a brave new world, even though it is obvious to most people that relying on them for our ontological guidance would be like relying on Captain Queeg to lead us into war. Queeg was preoccupied and obsessed with his own petty concerns over strawberries, he was irrational and unscientific and unable to be the leader he thought he was qualified to be. He couldn’t see what everyone else around could see; his descent into madness. People like PZ are unable to observe reality rationally because they are unable to confront reality on it’s own terms. They set their own terms and then demand that reality meets them. Like Queeg they end up mumbling about conspiracies and how people don’t understand the importance of strawberries.

    As time goes on it becomes clearer and clearer to everyone that the leading evangelical evolutionists are nothing more then ranting ideologically driven preachers trying to convert everyone to their faith and who want us to accept them as their prophets who will guide us to surrender to their worshipable deity; Darwin (PBUH) They reject any good scientific argument against their position based on their dogmatic doctrine that:

    “THERE SHALT BE NOTHING THAT SHALL BE ALLOWED THAT CAN CHANGE OUR PERFECT DOCTRINE OF ABSOLUTE MATERIALISM. IF SUCH A THING IS FOUND THEN IT MUST BE WRONG ON PRINCIPLE AND WE MUST NEVER ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT HAS ANY MERIT FOR IT IS BLASPHEMY”

  5. Mentok – The Caine Mutiny reference was a bit obscure but relevant.

  6. When it comes to science and religion I will take Einstein’s word for it over mental midgets like PZ, Moran and Dawkins:

    “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”

    And one has to wonder where the sciences would be today without the religious types such as Newton, Kepler, Linneaus, Pasteur, Mendell, et al…

  7. I made a previous comment on this, but it doesn’t seem to have escaped the filters.

    Your position is (I understand) that ID is a-religious. PZ Myers calls for Dr Scott to advance the case against religion generally; how does ID have a dog in the fight?

    Oh, and how does a call to broaden the rhetorical agenda become Nazism? Isn’t your rheoric a little overcooked?

  8. One of my English teachers back at school recommended I read The Caine Mutiny because according to her ‘Captain Queeg situations’ were commonly referenced by people. I had never heard of it before but I dutifully read the book. Now 17 years later I have finally come across a reference. So thanks to Mentok it wasn’t in vain after all ;-)

  9. Robin:
    Your position is (I understand) that ID is a-religious. PZ Myers calls for Dr Scott to advance the case against religion generally; how does ID have a dog in the fight?

    According to Einstein, Newton, Kepler, et al., there shouldn’t even be such a fight. I would say that is ID’s stance. And this ID’s bulldog will make sure people are aware of the obvious contradictions.

  10. Joseph

    Nice try, but William Dembski accuses PZ Myers of advocating action against “ID proponents”; yet Myers’s call was for (rhetorical) action aginst religion. Why the identification of “religion” with “ID proponents” if ID is a-religious?

  11. Robin,

    IF you had been following PZ does indeed rail against ID AND religion. He also conflates the two.

    PZ does not and never will see any difference between an ID proponent and a religious fundy.

    It has NOTHING to do with ID and EVERYTJING to do with the state of PZ.

    Got it?!

  12. Joseph

    This isn’t about whether PZ will see a difference between an ID proponent and a religious fundy, although the reponses to me on this blog illustrate his point. I hadn’t expected a flat-out defence of a YEC position without at least someone who knows that a young earth position is poor science getting involved.

    It is about whether William Dembski thinks that PZ’s argument that religion should not be given a free pass by the NCSE applies also to ID proponents; the offending passage quoted by him referred only to the religion. It is also about whether accusing PZ by implication of being a Nazi is an appropriate response.

  13. Robin

    Anyone who claims the earth is 6000 years old isn’t going to be persuaded by any amount of argument so why bother? ID has nothing to say about the age of the earth. We don’t have a dog in that hunt.

  14. There are ID proponents who identify themselves with traditional religions. There are also ID proponents whose religious beliefs are not easily categorized. The point is that when Myers attacks “religion” he attacks the persons who also happen to be ID proponents.

    Oh, and personally I designate atheism as a religious stance because of the level of faith required.

  15. Patrick

    And he also attacks the persons who happen to be evolutionists; indeed especially the poeple who happen to be evolutionists. Have you actually taken the time to read his, and Larry Moran’s, comments about Miller and Collins?

    Oh, and personally I designate atheism as a religious stance because of the level of faith required.

    And personally I designate baldness as a hair colour. The religious find it difficult to understand that absence of faith is antithetical to presence of faith.

  16. DaveScot

    Anyone who claims the earth is 6000 years old isn’t going to be persuaded by any amount of argument so why bother? ID has nothing to say about the age of the earth. We don’t have a dog in that hunt.

  17. I’ve had another post lose a section in your filters – you’ll have to look into this.

    Post 16 originally had a comment by me, as follows:-

    “While ID might have nothing to say about the age of the Earth, does it really have nothing to say about the attitudes to science involved in insisting that science support that belief?

    Again, does ID have nothing to say about, for example, Woodmorappe’s postulation of hypermutation in the aftermath of the Flood to get around the genetic bottleneck problem? I understood that it was one of the tenets of ID that mutation cannot (beyond narrow limits) introduce information into the genome?”

  18. Robin

    ID has nothing to say about the attitudes of anyone. Maybe some theory in psychology might speak to that.

    You’re starting to look like a troll with a chip on your shoulder for YEC. You’re going to be quickly disinvited from this blog if you continue in that manner. Consider yourself warned.

  19. Robin:
    I understood that it was one of the tenets of ID that mutation cannot (beyond narrow limits) introduce information into the genome?”

    Random mutation, Robin. Again it all depends upon the design. Wm. Dembski tells us in NFL that CSI can give rise to CSI.

    JM’s “hyper-mutation” works fine in a design scenario- please read SciAm’s Feb 2003 article “Evolving Inventions” for such a mechanism- a goal, a starting point (two individuals who are as genetically different as possible and still able to sexually reproduce), the resources (that genetic variance), a sound genetic algorithm and let her rip!

    Robin:
    This isn’t about whether PZ will see a difference between an ID proponent and a religious fundy

    Then I guess we can just agree to/ that we disagree.

  20. Davescot

    ID has nothing to say about the attitudes of anyone. Maybe some theory in psychology might speak to that.

    You’re starting to look like a troll with a chip on your shoulder for YEC. You’re going to be quickly disinvited from this blog if you continue in that manner. Consider yourself warned.

    Of course ID has a view about the attitudes to science; it is at the heart of ID criticism of “evolutionists”. ID claims that “evolutionists” have bought into a belief system unsupported by evidence and ignore twhat it sees as evidence for design for reasons unrelated to science.

    I do not understand why a similar criticism isn’t made of others who have blatantly bought into a belief system unsupported by evidence; whose proponents have to agree in advance that no evidence they find can be permitted to count against that belief system. How are they not equally to be criticised?

    I have made no secret of my sympathies – I use the same name on this blog as I do everywhere else on Usenet and the blogosphere. Since this is an ID blog I have deliberately not been confrontational on the issues between evolution and ID; simply queried the consistency of criticising the ToE while giving such as YEC a free pass. The only reason given is effectively that mine enemy’s enemy is my friend – for the moment. That doesn’t look an awful lot like intellectual consistency from where I stand.

    If you choose to disinvite me, there is nothing I can do to stop you – but I would say I feel like the little boy being told to keep his opinions of the Emperor’s fashion sense to himself.

  21. Robin

    Evolution by chance & necessity alone is at odds with intelligent design. Young earth creationism is not. Many theists including many (if not most) YEC proponents reject intelligent design as they say it reduces God to some sort of engineer. We have no problem arguing against any belief system which rejects the design inference and we have no reason to argue against any belief system which accomodates it. If you can’t accept that then your presence here is reduced to nothing more than an inflammatory distraction. If you want to argue against a design inference that’s fine but if you want to argue against YEC then go do it at any of the many YEC blogs.

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