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PZ Myers is really a nice guy?

Someone whose comment I rejected wrote to tell me that PZ Myers is really a nice guy in person. I don’t care, okay. I am entitled to take him at his word as provided in his posts …

And I intend to – unless he informs me personally that it is all hogwash, in which case, ….

Also, a friend asks, given Myers’s well-advertised views,

Would a known Christian, especially one with a known ID persuasion, be able to take a course under Myers without fear of intimidation, ridicule, belittling and threats found on his web site?

Well, here is his university’s policy on the subject:

The University of Minnesota is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation. Inquiries regarding compliance may be directed to the UMM Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer at (320) 589-6021.

So we must hope that he is personally much nicer than his Internet ramblings would suggest.

For more, go here.

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59 Responses to PZ Myers is really a nice guy?

  1. 1

    Funny, I was just berated by a feminist, who claimed posts deriding feminism on my private blog made my university liable for sex discrimination under Title IX. I replied that she ought to familiarize herself with the First Amendment.

    Now I realize that even mentioning the First Amendment might be somewhat of a sore point with a Canadian, seeing as y’all don’t have even a reasonable facsimile to it up there, but the fact is, it’s highly unlikely that anything PZ writes on scienceblogs.com could be used to impugn his professional conduct. And thank heavens, because the first people who would be attacked would be conservatives.

    Ask Mark Steyn for further details.

  2. Well, mentioning the First Amendment would not be a sore point with ME!

    As you may know but others may not, I am in the thick of a huge fight about freedom of speech right now in Canada. See “Human Rights Commissions: Like the Tyranosaur, Big and Bad and Should Be Dead”

    It begins: “This morning, as I write, a very important public hearing is being held (beginning 9:30 am at 160 Elgin St in Ottawa, Canada).”

    I believe that the question about whether PZ would in fact be polite to Christians in his class is legitimate and I would like to see it answered in the affirmative.

    I have so far dismissed all empty claims that he is, in person, a “nice guy.” I don’t really care.

    I can read, and what I read suggests that that is not true.

  3. 3

    Should he be polite to Christians in his class? Of course. He should be polite to everybody.

    What people who aren’t scientists probably don’t appreciate is that in practice, the opportunities to promote one’s religious or political viewpoint in science classes tend to be rather few and far between. I teach mostly physical chemistry; I understand PZ teaches mostly developmental biology. I can think of few instances where I could have interjected either religion or politics in my teaching; I suppose when I cover entropy, I could show that the 2nd law has nothing to say about evolution, but it would be a stretch to claim this was relevant, and so I’ve never done that. We don’t spend our time refuting bad ideas; there are too many important and valid ones to teach. I do mention that evolution has tuned the stabilities of proteins so that in general they’re maximally stable at the organism’s internal temperature. And PZ certainly also teaches in an evolutionary context; evolution is, after all, the unifying paradigm of biology.

    (There’s rather beautiful recent evidence that natural selection has in fact adjusted protein stabilities over eons to match the temperatures at which the proteins operate, so maybe I’ll revisit that).

    What would happen if a student wanted to discuss whether evolution is true? Personally, I’d say a discussion of the evidence for evolution was beyond the scope of the course. I think most scientists would answer the same.

  4. gerardharbison #3 OFF TOPIC
    “(There’s rather beautiful recent evidence that natural selection has in fact adjusted protein stabilities over eons to match the temperatures at which the proteins operate, so maybe I’ll revisit that).”
    I would be interested in seeing that. Please particularly point out the evidence and the resultant pros/cons on whether this fits evolution or design or both. e.g., is there evidence showing a change over time to more a more stable optimum configuration?
    OR is it that the configuration is close to optimum, evolution is assumed, therefore isn’t evolution wonderful! We could start a new thread when you are ready.

  5. We need to work to encourage brave Christians at UMM to take a Dr. PZ Myers’ course and see if he is indeed just another Dr. Michael Dini requiring evolander statements of faith.

  6. I think that PZ Meyers should be engaged as much as possible with questions regarding the origins of life- the complexity of the cell- the digital code in DNA- the fine tuning of the universe- the big bang and its metaphysical support for creation- the religion of methodological materialism and its religious reality- the design inference and its perfectly reasonable science based inference- the suspicious fossil record and its gloriously undarwinian Cambrian explosion.. etc etc…

    If Meyers is such a nice guy let him prove it by allowing people to teach the controversy without a federal court having to get involved.

  7. 7

    Frost #6

    Perhaps we could also asked on what logical ground would we assume that Darwinian blind chance could “build” a hereditary code that is so optimal that it has remained essentially unchanged since the first replicating organism on Earth all the way through todays modern life.

    …talk about “getting it right” the first time!

    Why is there not evidence of increasingly more complex, efficient, and reliable lifecode systems?

  8. 8

    Thank heavens we have Denyse O’Leary, so that these guys don’t get away with there guff.

  9. 9

    You guys may find it interesting that a classmate of mine thinks I’m a “Fascist” because I’m a traditional Christian.

    Can you believe this?

  10. Upright Biped

    re; genetic code – getting it right the first time

    Mike Gene in the book “The Design Matrix” devotes a lot of verbiage to describing how the code is optimized and uses exactly the same words “getting it right the first time”. Did you read the book?

  11. PannenbergOmega wrote (in #8):

    “Thank heavens we have Denyse O’Leary, so that these guys don’t get away with there [sic] guff.”

    Which “guys” are you speaking of, exactly? Just curious…

  12. …and what “guff” do you think “they” are getting away with?

  13. Frost122585:

    I think that PZ Meyers should be engaged as much as possible with questions regarding the origins of life- the complexity of the cell- the digital code in DNA- the fine tuning of the universe- the big bang and its metaphysical support for creation- the religion of methodological materialism and its religious reality- the design inference and its perfectly reasonable science based inference- the suspicious fossil record and its gloriously undarwinian Cambrian explosion…

    This is a very nice synopsis in highly condensed form. These are the issues Darwinists don’t even want to be discussed, especially among young people in public education. These questions encourage logical, philosophical, and evidential consideration of the reigning intellectual orthodoxy, and therefore must be suppressed by any means available.

    It’s kind of like a pseudo-anti-theocracy. Any questioning of the evidence and logic is considered to be “unscientific,” and by the definition of “science,” heretical and unworthy of consideration.

    BTW: I will be attending a big event tomorrow night at Biola University with Ben Stein. It should be interesting. I’ll take notes and report on the event at UD.

  14. BTW: I will be attending a big event tomorrow night at Biola University with Ben Stein. It should be interesting. I’ll take notes and report on the event at UD.

    Since tickets cost $10 I guess the screening will remain private this time.

  15. 15

    Sleazy PZ is now one of the most controversial people on the Internet and I am at the top of his “killfile dungeon” list of commenters who are banned from his blog. That makes me pretty “notable,” doesn’t it?

  16. GH:

    Re: I suppose when I cover entropy, I could show that the 2nd law has nothing to say about evolution . . .

    A little fact-checking is in order I am afraid; after all, this is UD!

    So, why not take a little look here?

    [In short, there is a little more to that story than is usually presented in typical open system and far-from-equilibrium dismissal arguments. Cf this paper and this one too.]

    GEM of TKI

  17. PO:

    Re: a classmate of mine thinks I’m a “Fascist” because I’m a traditional Christian.

    That is in large part because a lot of very relevant history has been suppressed or twisted into almost the opposite of the objective truth, cf. here — and you should have seen the explosions of rage, denial and dismissal when I first pointed it out in a public forum!

    (Onlookers, FYI: much of the just linked is excerpts from some major historical documents . . . For the founding history of the US it may be worth your while to read this book; notice in particular just whose copy in the Harvard Library is reproduced in this Google scan — that is historically important itself!)

    GEM of TKI

  18. Gil:

    RE: These are the issues Darwinists don’t even want to be discussed, especially among young people in public education. These questions encourage logical, philosophical, and evidential consideration of the reigning intellectual orthodoxy, and therefore must be suppressed by any means available. It’s kind of like a pseudo-anti-theocracy. Any questioning of the evidence and logic is considered to be “unscientific,” and by the definition of “science,” heretical and unworthy of consideration.

    We have had an extensive discussion here at UD over the past few days on just that, from here and onward for about 540 posts. Sadly revealing.

    GEM of TKI

  19. The word “fascist,” in certain sectors of academia, has now come to mean simply “Christian.” That’s because the tide in the culture war is turning, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Phillip Johnson and ID.

    Using the word “fascist” to characterize those who disagree with us is just the sort of hysterical outburst one would expect from Chatty PZ, by the way. The love of theory seen in Darwinists is a reflection of right-brain thinking. It shuns detailed analysis with horror and flees to the soft realm of impressions and emotion.

    PZ is a somewhat musty leftover of an age of the Eternal Feminine, when Theory reigned supreme and details were not permitted to get in the way of utopias of one description or another. Theory is natural to right-brain thinking because it is emotional rather than analytical. It totalizes rosy feelings instead of seeking to root itself in what is real.

    Hence all of nature is purely natural to the Darwinists. Offspring of Rousseau, they use their creed to obtain freedom to be the eternally erotic children that they long to be, never leaving Neverland, never coming to terms with reality or making a clear empirical accounting of what is of value.

    Just as Socrates loved to play with his friends at dinner, so Postmodernism embraces eternal “play” as a way of life as well as scholarship. The university provides a shelter from the real world, and Darwinism enables play by allowing its perpetual teenagers to shun the rational limits implied by design.

    So why is Chatty PZ hysterical about “Expelled”? Simple, silly. He wants to go on playing with Richard forever and is afraid of having his reverie interrupted. But does that make IDers “fascists”? Not at all. They’re not the ones who embrace rigid exclusion on ideological grounds. In fact, they’re the ones who have been expelled.

  20. Allanius:

    This is what fascists are about, using Wiki as a handy level 101 reference:

    Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers the individual subordinate to the interests of the state, party or society as a whole. Fascists seek to forge a type of national unity, usually based on (but not limited to) ethnic, cultural, racial, and/or religious attributes. Various scholars attribute different characteristics to fascism, but the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: patriotism, nationalism, statism, militarism, totalitarianism, anti-communism, corporatism, populism, collectivism, autocracy and opposition to political and economic liberalism.

    And this is what nazis [national SOCIALISTS] are — and note the most notable opposition tot hem from inside Germany came precisely from committed Christians: Boenhoffer, Niemoller and the White Rose circle come most immediately to mind:

    The term Nazism refers to the ideology and practices of the German Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler; and the policies adopted by the government of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, a period also known as the Third Reich. German Nazism was the major form of National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus) that emerged after World War I.[1][2][3][4] The official name of the Nazi party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei[5] or NSDAP). Nazism is generally considered by scholars to be a form of fascism.[6]

    Nazism was not a monolithic movement, but rather a (mainly German) combination of various ideologies and groups, sparked by anger at the Treaty of Versailles and what was considered to have been a Jewish/Communist conspiracy (known in the vernacular as the Dolchstoßlegende or “Stab-in-the-Back Legend”) to humiliate Germany at the end of the First World War. The National Socialist party described itself as socialist, and, at the time, conservative opponents such as the Industrial Employers Association described it as “totalitarian, terrorist, conspiratorial, and socialist.”[7]

    Among the key elements of Nazism were anti-parliamentarism, ethnic nationalism, racism, collectivism,[8] eugenics [which traces to Galton et al, and even to Uncle Charlie hisself], antisemitism [I wonder what my Jewish "mom" -- I come from a family that grows by informal but surprisingly tight adoption of friends [I have at least four sets of moms and dads!] — thinks of that one?], opposition to economic liberalism and political liberalism,[9] a racially-defined and conspiratorial view of finance capitalism,[10] anti-communism, and totalitarianism.

    Sure sounds like Auntie Sue over at your friendly local “hoot ‘n holler Baptist,” doesn’t it.

    NOT.

    Sick!

    While the resort to name-calling is a well-known slanderous ad hominem tactic, it simply exposes their utter ignorance and bigotry verging on hatred that now pervades our culture’s rotting academia.

    [Let's see if ANY darwinista out there can actually justify the smear-word, and can in so doing address the already linked history from 1579 -81 on!]

    GEM of TKI

  21. While I am at it:

    Here is the Barmen Declaration against the Nazis by the Confessing Church, 1934 — sealed with the blood of martyrs:

    ______________

    8.01 The Confessional Synod of the German Evangelical Church met in Barmen, May 29-31, 1934.

    Here representatives from all the German Confessional Churches met with one accord in a confession of the one Lord of the one, holy, apostolic Church. In fidelity to their Confession of Faith, members of Lutheran, Reformed, and United Churches sought a common message for the need and temptation of the Church in our day. With gratitude to God they are convinced that they have been given a common word to utter. It was not their intention to found a new Church or to form a union. For nothing was farther from their minds than the abolition of the confessional status of our Churches. Their intention was, rather, to withstand in faith and unanimity the destruction of the Confession of Faith, and thus of the Evangelical Church in Germany. In opposition to attempts to establish the unity of the German Evangelical Church by means of false doctrine, by the use of force and insincere practices, the Confessional Synod insists that the unity of the Evangelical Churches in Germany can come only from the Word of God in faith through the Holy Spirit. Thus alone is the Church renewed.

    8.02 Therefore the Confessional Synod calls upon the congregations to range themselves behind it in prayer, and steadfastly to gather around those pastors and teachers who are loyal to the Confessions.

    8.03 Be not deceived by loose talk, as if we meant to oppose the unity of the German nation! Do not listen to the seducers who pervert our intentions, as if we wanted to break up the unity of the German Evangelical Church or to forsake the Confessions of the Fathers!

    8.04 Try the spirits whether they are of God! Prove also the words of the Confessional Synod of the German Evangelical Church to see whether they agree with Holy Scripture and with the Confessions of the Fathers. If you find that we are speaking contrary to Scripture, then do not listen to us! But if you find that we are taking our stand upon Scripture, then let no fear or temptation keep you from treading with us the path of faith and obedience to the Word of God, in order that God’s people be of one mind upon earth and that we in faith experience what he himself has said: “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Therefore, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

    . . . .

    8.07 We publicly declare before all evangelical Churches in Germany that what they hold in common in this Confession is grievously imperiled, and with it the unity of the German Evangelical Church. It is threatened by the teaching methods and actions of the ruling Church party of the “German Christians” and of the Church administration carried on by them. These have become more and more apparent during the first year of the existence of the German Evangelical Church. This threat consists in the fact that the theological basis, in which the German Evangelical Church is united, has been continually and systematically thwarted and rendered ineffective by alien principles, on the part of the leaders and spokesmen of the “German Christians” as well as on the part of the Church administration. When these principles are held to be valid, then, according to all the Confessions in force among us, the Church ceases to be the Church and th German Evangelical Church, as a federation of Confessional Churches, becomes intrinsically impossible.

    . . . .

    8.09 In view of the errors of the “German Christians” of the present Reich Church government which are devastating the Church and also therefore breaking up the unity of the German Evangelical Church, we confess the following evangelical truths:

    8.10 – 1. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14.6). “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. . . . I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved.” (John 10:1, 9.)

    8.11 Jesus Christ, as he is attested for us in Holy Scripture, is the one Word of God which we have to hear and which we have to trust and obey in life and in death.

    8.12 We reject the false doctrine, as though the church could and would have to acknowledge as a source of its proclamation, apart from and besides this one Word of God, still other events and powers, figures and truths, as God’s revelation.

    8.13 – 2. “Christ Jesus, whom God has made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1:30.)

    8.14 As Jesus Christ is God’s assurance of the forgiveness of all our sins, so, in the same way and with the same seriousness he is also God’s mighty claim upon our whole life. Through him befalls us a joyful deliverance from the godless fetters of this world for a free, grateful service to his creatures.

    8.15 We reject the false doctrine, as though there were areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ, but to other lords–areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him.

    8.16 – 3. “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body [is] joined and knit together.” (Eph. 4:15,16.)

    . . . .

    8.18 We reject the false doctrine, as though the Church were permitted to abandon the form of its message and order to its own pleasure or to changes in prevailing ideological and political convictions.

    8.19 – 4. “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” (Matt. 20:25,26.)

    . . . .

    [more]
    _____________

    Christian = Nazi. Sure!

    NOT!!!!!!!!!

    GEM of TKI

  22. 22

    Thank you Kairofocus.

    I think when secular-progressives call Christians fascists, it is over issues like opposition to abortion, gay marriage, right to life sort of stuff.

    I live in a very liberal party of the country.

  23. 23

    Dave Scott #10

    Yes Dave, I finished the book over the weekend.

    I thought it was an excellent read, and VERY interesting. There are things I would like to see developeed further, namely the idea of protozoa with metazoan capacity, the conventionality of the code, ect.

  24. allanius

    Well written, analytic, poetic, restrained yet brutal at the same time. Well done.

  25. A:

    To such I reply in the name of the blood of the martyrs of Barmen, thusly, by citing Thesis 12:

    8.12 We reject the false doctrine, as though the church could and would have to acknowledge as a source of its proclamation, apart from and besides this one Word of God, still other events and powers, figures and truths, as God’s revelation.

    Such should be ashamed of their slander, and should wake up to see the bigotry they are spewing out; before it reaches where it reached in the 1930′s – 40′s.

    20 centuries of martyrs’ blood speaks very clearly, A.

    It is when the nations finally realised the futility of such mass slaughter of those who were only peacefully confessing their faith in Christ and calling men to repentance from their sins and follies, that they finally recognised that freedom of conscience and related proclamation and witness is a RIGHT.

    I thought that that — as I cited at length in the previously linked — was at the foundation of the American Experiment in liberty?

    But then, if we refuse to learn the lessons of history, we are doomed to repeat its worst chapters.

    GEM of TKI

  26. PS: I forgot this part, thesis 18:

    We reject the false doctrine, as though the Church were permitted to abandon the form of its message and order to its own pleasure or to changes in prevailing ideological and political convictions.

  27. Upright Biped

    I’m on the first page of the last chapter myself. It certainly exposes well how deep the analogy with engineered systems goes.

    Have no fear about the things you’d like to see developed further. It is being done, ironically, by the very people who think ID is pseudo-science. They don’t hide the facts they uncover but rather couch them in an obligatory gratuitous chance & necessity framework. As long as they are not “outed” as people who think ID is a rational framework and they show it by putting a gratuitous “evolution is awesome” (the secret handshake) reference in each paper they submit for peer review to show they have the approved ideological framework then we get to strip it of the ideology and interpret the facts under a broader paradigm of evolution and/or design.

    The only real problem is, if you’re a scientist working in academia, once you’ve wandered too far off the chance & necessity reservation you can no longer get published, you can no longer get funded, and your peers shun and ridicule you. This is the problem that Expelled seeks to expose to the majority of the public who doesn’t share the chance & necessity ideology and who ultimately funds most of the research through taxes and tuition.

  28. 28

    Dave, thanks for the reply.

    My role in this is limited, but its a role I plan to exploit to its fullest potential. We all have our ways.

  29. kairosfocus:
    “Here is the Barmen Declaration against the Nazis by the Confessing Church, 1934″

    Hey kairosfocus, that was 1934, but as the war started and Hitler’s sinister schemes began to unfold, many of these churches succumbed to the Nazi’s evil clutches. There were many, many exceptions of course; but the visible church in Germany as a whole (if only its leadership) failed to abide by its First Century code and was tarnished in the process.

  30. Not wanting to diverge from the main topic discussed herein, I think inserting a biographical tidbit provided by that saintly lady who authored the The Hiding Place will illuminate what many churches and Christians faced while under the dark reign of the Nazis.

    Corrie’s pastor, Rev.Hawthorne, found out that the ten Boom family was hiding a Jewish baby in violation of Nazi law. He questioned the family’s imprudence and worried about what consequences this would bring. “Is it right,” he asked, “to jeopardize so many for the sake of one Jewish baby?”

    The reverend, feeling nervous about the whole situation, decides to hurriedly leave the house without a word after receiving nothing but a dejected look from the family. Corrie’ sister, Betsie, asks Papa ten Boom how could such a person come to wear the cloth? To which her father responded: “If a mouse lives in a cookie jar, does that make it a cookie?”

  31. 31

    kairosfocus said:

    Christian = Nazi. Sure!

    NOT!!!!!!!!!

    Quite right: I agree totally. To say that Christians are fascists, or that Christianity is like fascism, is idiotic.

    Just as idiotic, in fact, as the claim that Darwinism leads to Nazism.

  32. JP:

    You need to research the history of the Confessing Churches, including the personal stories of two of the key men I named: Dietrich Boenhoffer [theologian and martyr] and Martin Niemoller [WW1 U Boat hero, pastor and confessor, to use the traditional term]. Similarly, the story of the White Rose movement [students, soldiers and a professor -- all martyrs] needs to be far better known.

    While you are at it, you need to research the history of 20 centuries of martyrdom — as part of the obvious onward agenda of many radicals is the outright criminalisation of core elements of Bible-believing Christianity. [As to the attempted rewriting of basic morality being used to accomplish that, I can do no better than to point in warning on consequences to Isa 5:20.]

    As to the issue of the line form Darwinism to Nazism, perhaps LNF needs to read Chs 5 – 6 from Darwin’s Descent of Man, in 1870, in light of this key remark in an infamous letter to one William Graham dated July 3, 1881:

    I could show fight on natural selection having done and doing more for the progress of civilization than you seem inclined to admit. Remember what risk the nations of Europe ran, not so many centuries ago, of being overwhelmed by the Turk, and how ridiculous such an idea now is! The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.

    The link from Darwinism to Nazism and the death camps, historically, is real, all too real; but of course VERY taboo in most public media or educational circles.

    GEM of TKI

  33. Just as idiotic, in fact, as the claim that Darwinism leads to Nazism.

    no, no, no, no, no.

    Not leads, but led. There is a difference.

  34. 34

    No difference between ‘em in terms of truthiness.

  35. that was 1934,

    And this was 1937:

    . . . The experiences of these last years have fixed responsibilities and laid bare intrigues, which from the outset only aimed at a war of extermination. In the furrows, where We tried to sow the seed of a sincere peace, other men – the “enemy” of Holy Scripture – oversowed the cockle of distrust, unrest, hatred, defamation, of a determined hostility overt or veiled, fed from many sources and wielding many tools, against Christ and His Church. They, and they alone with their accomplices, silent or vociferous, are today responsible, should the storm of religious war, instead of the rainbow of peace, blacken the German skies.

    7. Take care, Venerable Brethren, that above all, faith in God, the first and irreplaceable foundation of all religion, be preserved in Germany pure and unstained. The believer in God is not he who utters the name in his speech, but he for whom this sacred word stands for a true and worthy concept of the Divinity. Whoever identifies, by pantheistic confusion, God and the universe, by either lowering God to the dimensions of the world, or raising the world to the dimensions of God, is not a believer in God. Whoever follows that so-called pre-Christian Germanic conception of substituting a dark and impersonal destiny for the personal God, denies thereby the Wisdom and Providence of God who “Reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly” (Wisdom viii. 1). Neither is he a believer in God . . .

    8. Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community – however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things – whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.

    Shame the rest of the world — those order-loving atheists in England (H.G. Wells, GB Shaw), Hitler’s atheist ally Stalin — didn’t listen.

  36. No difference between ‘em in terms of truthiness.

    Sure there is: Hitler opposed Christianity and practiced Darwinism.

    Hitler sought to destroy Christianity and establish Darwinism– OK, that may be a little unfair but he sought to impose a morality based on genetics which took Darwinism as an authority.

  37. 38

    “practiced Darwinism?” Oh my goodness.

    “A little unfair”? Try totally unfair, historically bankrupt, bass-ackwards, etc.

    Here’s a thought: when you (rightly) oppose someone’s cartoon view of Christianity, try not to counter-strike with another cartoon.

  38. “A little unfair”? Try totally unfair,

    Why did Hitler find it morally acceptable to murder people based on their genes?

  39. 40

    Your question, which assumes that the reasoning of sociopaths can be analyzed, is absurd on too many levels to deal with. To such depths have we descended.

  40. LarryNormanFan, both you and Turner Coats are ignoring the fact that the Holocaust could not have happened without Charles Darwin.

  41. Just because Darwinists scream louder, doesn’t make them correct.

  42. which assumes that the reasoning of sociopaths can be analyzed,

    Actually, the reasoning of sociopaths is fairly well understood and a sociopath would use whatever means available to accomplish his goal of domination.

    Now something certainly worthwhile pondering is assuming Hitler was sociopath — which is not necessarily the case — why would his followers, most of whom were not sociopaths, find it acceptable to murder people based on their genes?

    Here is profile for sociopaths, btw What U.S. president would fit that bill?

  43. KF:

    Christian = Nazi. Sure!

    NOT!!!!!!!!!

    Surely not, the US were lucky to rescue some good christians from Germany after 45.From another UD thread

    The great rocket scientist and director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Wernher von Braun (Lutheran), in 1972 in a letter to the California State Board of Education where he was opposed to simply teaching one-sided Darwinian evolution in public schools, elegantly put it this way:

    “But must we really light a candle to see the sun?”

    Thus,
    anti-Darwinist + scientist + (of course) engineer + christian (lutheran) = anti-nazi?

    You better visit Dora-Mittelbau and note that he joined the NSDAP in 1937 and the SS in 1940.

  44. I propose that from now on we refrain from refering to Darwin’s theory as “Darwinism” on this blog.

    Why? Because Darwin’s theory isn’t just a theory, we can’t explain anything without it. Before Charles Darwin we didn’t know how children were concieved or that the Earth revolved around the sun.

    So refering to it as Darwinism is misleading. I propose we call it The Most Holy Truth That Can’t Be Questioned.

    Unless you are some kind of slow witted creationist, but even then you covered by the state.

  45. 46

    @kairosfocus

    In P. chem., we have a term called ‘handwaving’. ‘Handwaving’ refers to an argument that has no quantitative rigor, but instead is done by invoking ‘intuitive’ concepts. Of all the branches of physical chemistry, thermodynamics is the least susceptible to handwaving; you *must* use strictly formal proofs, or you’re lost.

    Now, the term ‘raw energy’ simply does not occur in thermodynamics. There is energy, and there are two flavors of free energy. When a term like ‘raw energy’ appears in a text, it’s a dead give-away they’re handwaving.

    What you need to show, to substantiate the claim that evolution violates the second law, is to show rigorously and formally that the total entropy must decrease in the course of evolution. In fact, it’s not at all clear that the entropy of an organism, per unit mass, decreases in the course of evolution, even ignoring the entropy of the surroundings. Is the entropy of 70 kg of bacteria less than or greater than the entropy of a 70 kg human being? I don’t know, and it’s not a straightforward question to answer.

    By the way, it’s not necessary to invoke energy flows or an open system to figure out the entropy change caused by sunlight falling on the earth and then being re-radiated into space. The photons that are radiated from the sun have an entropy; those that are radiated back into space have a (vastly greater) entropy; the difference gives the rate of entropy production by the earth per second or day or whatever. It vastly exceeds the loss of entropy by the growth and preoduction of living systems.

  46. Yeah, Braun was a real hard-core Nazi. Arrest by the Nazi regime (from Wiki no less)

  47. Good find Tribune.

  48. kairosfocus:
    “JP:

    You need to research the history of the Confessing Churches, including the personal stories of two of the key men I named: Dietrich Boenhoffer [theologian and martyr] and Martin Niemoller [WW1 U Boat hero, pastor and confessor, to use the traditional term].”

    kairos, I’ve studied this area of history since it relates to my ongoing research into the occult and secret societies (more specifically, for own discussion here, the Thule Society).

    A quick search on the internet, nay, any book of history dealing with that era, will reveal the following: (all emphases are mine)

    In 1934, the League’s leaders founded the Confessing Church, representing a minority of all Protestant pastors in Germany. Its ideology was to resist Nazi coercion and to expose the moral hollowness of the pro-Nazi “German Christian” movement. The Confessing Church did not, however, protest Nazi racial or social policies. Although a very small number of individual German theologians–such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer–opposed the regime, throughout the Nazi era the vast majority of the Protestant church leadership did not challenge the state’s discriminatory legislation and actions.

    SOURCE: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum @ http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/artic.....d=10005206

    Theologian Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor at Moody Memorial Church and one who has done extensive research on this, agrees:

    Germany, we have learned, was unified in its anger toward its enemies, whether real or imagined. The humiliating Treaty of Versailles, the Communists, and the liberal elite who believed in democracy-all of these were seen as threats to Germany’s recovery. Even for those who called themselves Christians a strong Germany was more highly valued than a srong gospel witness, unless the gospel, as was often the case, was reinterpreted to be a plea for loyalty to the German cause.

    Hatred of the Jews, I’m sorry to say, also flourished within the churches….And although the Jews constituted a small percentage of the population, they were seen as villains, responsible for the defeat of germany in World War I. Although it was grudgingly acknowledged that Jesus was a Jew, it was also asserted that “occasionally a flower did grow in a dung heap.”

    Hitler’s Cross, pp.102-04 (Moody Press: Chicago, 1995)

    And talking about “the history of 20 centuries of martyrdom,” the same phenomenon can be seen in modern China where you have the state-friendly Three Self Patriotic Movement and the underground church worhsipping in hiding and truly living by the New Testament code.

  49. tribune:
    “Yeah, Braun was a real hard-core Nazi. Arrest by the Nazi regime (from Wiki no less)”

    tribune, the Nazis arrested a lot of their own, even citizens who were loyal to the party from the very beginning. These arrests really don’t mean much as they are part and parcel of a totalitarian government bent on inflicting fear on its people for the sake of gaining more control, especially during a time when events weren’t going Hitler’s way.

    Anyway, Braun and other German scientists were given free passage to the US via the now declassified Operation Paperclip, a post-WWII clandestine DoD project aimed at safeguarding former Nazi criminals with lots of technological know-how, who were then later used in the expansion of military and space R&D programs.

  50. Maybe Darwinism doesn’t lead to fascism, but it sure does provide fertile ground.

    And the seeds were germinating in the 19th century.

    Not too many seem to notice the power and influence of that great banking dynasty that provided the fuel for imperial England to continue with a lustful eye for world dominion.

    Yet, we saw her stretching her deceitful hand as she poured forth dirty money on the North and on the South during the U.S. Civil War of 1861-65.

    And under her shadows, one of her darling sons, an affluent and well-connected fellow with a penchant for rhetorical thinking, comes ablaze with a woefully wondrous idea…

    He calls it Origin of Species and publishes it in November 24, 1859.

    ….and the world will never be the same again.

  51. JPCollado @ 50
    I guess this is one of the few occasions that I agree with JP.
    I wonder how KF and tribune would explain other connections between the catholic church and Naziism, e.g. look up bishop Luigi Hudal or the “ratline”.

  52. 53

    #19 allanius

    I missed your post earlier. I am thrilled that I happened upon it.

    (!)

  53. OOPS:

    Put fiver links in a response; miscounted.

    Sorry

    GEM

  54. H’mm:

    Think I forgot to fill in this link to Vox Day’s rebuttal to the wave of current atheism polemical arguments that is echoed in several claims above.

    GEM of TKI

  55. PannenbergOmega (9): “You guys may find it interesting that a classmate of mine thinks I’m a ‘Fascist’ because I’m a traditional Christian.

    kairosfocus (21): “Here is the Barmen Declaration against the Nazis by the Confessing Church, 1934?

    JPCollado (29): “Hey kairosfocus, that was 1934… There were many, many exceptions of course; but the visible church in Germany as a whole (if only its leadership) failed to abide by its First Century code and was tarnished in the process.

    More information, same topic, from Liberal Fascism (2007) by Jonah Goldberg:

    [T]he Nazis worked relentlessly to replace…Christianity with a new political religion. The shrewdest way to accomplish this was to co-opt Christianity via the Gleichschaltung ["coordination" in German] while at the same time shrinking traditional religion’s role in civil society. … The German historian Götz Aly explains how Hitler purchased popularity with lavish social welfare programs and middle-class perks, often paid for with stolen Jewish wealth and high taxes on the rich. Hitler banned religious charity, crippling the churches’ role as a counterweight to the state. Clergy were put on government salary, hence subjected to state authority. “The parsons will be be made to dig their own graves,” Hitler cackled. “They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable little jobs and incomes.”…

    When some Protestant bishops visited the Führer to register complaints [against Nazi policies attempting to co-opt/replace Christianity], Hitler’s rage got the better of him. “Christianity will disappear from Germany just as it has done in Russia… The German race has existed without Christianity for thousands of years…and will continue after Christianity has disappeared… We must get used to the teachings of blood and race.” When the bishops objected that they supported Nazism’s secular aims, just not it’s religious innovations, Hitler exploded: “You are traitors to the Volk. Enemies of the Vaterland and destroyers of Germany.”

  56. Okay:

    Seems that some things are half working in terms of getting through. A few remarks are in order on several points raised above:

    1] Barmen, the Confessing Church and Christianity

    first, it is always a given of the Christian faith that we are finite, fallible, fallen/ sinful [Cf 1 Jn 1:5 – 10 and the significance of “we”] and too often ill-willed; which immediately means that genuine revival and reformation movements will be at best a mixed lot – a lot of good, and more wrong that we are comfortable with; in Peter Hockens’ ever so wise words: THE GLORY AND THE SHAME.

    So, to one-sidedly base one’s response to the force of the Barmen Declaration on pointing out that the Confessing Church was not perfect in its response to Nazism [and that the wider church movements that they were in part protesting against were even more imperfect], while trivially true in principle and sadly true on the mixed-blessing nature of the individuals in question, leaves me very uncomfortable with what such a response pattern points to, as it does little more than distract from the key point of the Barmen Declaration.

    A point we as a civilisation again need to hear, and hear very clearly even as we — again — approach the crumbling edge of a very dangerous cliff. A trend, BTW, that PZM – the case in point at the head of this thread — sadly, aptly illustrates:

    . . . The only appropriate response should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy, far-right politicians … I say, screw the polite words and careful rhetoric. It’s time for scientists to break out the steel-toed boots and brass knuckles, and get out there and hammer on the lunatics and idiots.

    Notice how he responds to those who differ with him, with blatant contempt and tellingly violent and vindictive imagery and proposals?

    Ironic isn’t it that he then turns around and most loudly protests against those who excluded him from a private screening that he in effect sought to gate-crash. [But in fact, the incident, sadly, is indicative of the sort of will-to-power, law unto oneself, ethically incoherent relativistic thinking that is at work here, just under the surface . . .]

    Namely, the Christian Faith [insofar as it is faithful to its NT roots] at its best is inherently opposed — and opposed to the point of willingness to peacefully die for one’s convictions at the hands of tyrants — to the sort of will-to-power [the echo of Nietzsche is intended], manipulative relativist ethics that increasingly characterises the whole West as the effects of radical secularisation driven by that self-refuting worldview system, evolutionary materialism, make themselves increasingly felt. That means, folks, in direct terms, that the increasingly plain trend to abuse the concepts of “hate crimes” and “rights” to criminalise core Christian convictions, is headed only one place: martyrdom of the best, people who — in a healthy culture — would be among our most valued and respected citizens. [I can't believe that here I am, writing in a Western context in 2008 and echoing Josip Ton circa 1970's, writing to the Communists. So far have we come. So sadly far.]

    Christians who take the NT seriously [and BTW, Ac 17 is pretty explicit that God has made the Nations of one blood; which directly and seriously undercuts the premise of racism] are not to be viewed ipso facto as rabid fascists and potential terrorists and tyrants. Further to that, principled objection to license, libertinism and amorality should not be confused with opposition to liberty with justice for all; especially when the uncensored historical record — onlookers, note the silence on this above — shows that the Christian faith has materially and at great cost, contributed to the upliftment and liberation of mankind, including the reformation of a great many terrible evils.

    Nor, should we think that principled challenging of radical, too often ill-thought through “innovations” that exploit the rhetoric of “rights” and “equality” — never forget the French Revolution’s triad: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity — is hateful or bigoted. For, in any sane and reasonably functional society, for excellent reason: radical change needs to bear the burden of proof to show that it will on balance do more good than harm to the community.

    So, in that light, let us all soberly kindly re-look at Barmen theses 12 and 18; remembering that these theses are hallowed by martyrs’ blood:

    8.12 We reject the false doctrine, as though the church could and would have to acknowledge as a source of its proclamation, apart from and besides this one Word of God, still other events and powers, figures and truths, as God’s revelation . . . .

    8.18 We reject the false doctrine, as though the Church were permitted to abandon the form of its message and order to its own pleasure or to changes in prevailing ideological and political convictions.

    2] LNF on the chain of history from Darwin to 1933 – 45

    Tribune is very correct to point out that “LED” — i.e. we are dealing with historical facts — is key: Darwinism [with a heavy emphasis on the eugenics and competition of races side of it; cf. Descent of Man chs 5 - 6] was, sadly, a key component of the “scientific” roots of what Hiter and his doctors did. (I still remember my shock in the late 70′s when I was told that a lot of the brutal, murderous prison camp research was deeply embedded in modern medical progress to that point. In subsequent decades, researchers were able to purify the stream of medicine by redoing the research on ethically sound footing.)

    [. . . ]

  57. 3] GH, off topic, on thermodynamics “hand-waving”

    ______

    –> Maybe, we should use the still open 2 LOT thread for further discussion of this off-topic point, GH?

    _________

    I am not at all in agreement that I used “raw energy” in a handwaving fashion. Surely, you on reading the outline discussion and underlying remarks in TBO’s TMLO, noticed that “raw energy” was used in my always linked, appendix 1, as a descriptive reference to the already just worked out mathematical expression on the Clausius-type first example under 2 LOT [A at T hot gives d'Q of heat to B at T cold within an isolated system], which would make its context — d’Q — plain? And, that the discussion then went on to the heat engine case to make it further clear?

    Second, can you identify empirical cases where heat engines/ energy converters that exhibit functionally specified, code-bearing complex information beyond the Dembski type UPB [500 -1000 bits of information storing capacity] originate spontaneously through simple energy flow through a plausible natural environment — let me allude here to Hoyle’s tornado in a junkyard forms a 747 Jumbo Jet scenario — in your direct observation?

    Let me excerpt from the always linked, appendix 1:

    1] TMLO: In 1984, this well-received work provided the breakthrough critical review on the origin of life that led to the modern design school of thought in science. The three online chapters, as just linked, should be carefully read to understand why design thinkers think that the origin of FSCI in biology is a significant and unmet challenge to neo-darwinian thought . . . .

    2] But open systems can increase their order: This is the “standard” dismissal argument on thermodynamics, but it is both fallacious and often resorted to by those who should know better. My own note on why this argument should be abandoned is:

    a] Clausius is the founder of the 2nd law, and the first standard example of an isolated system — one that allows neither energy nor matter to flow in or out — is instructive, given the “closed” subsystems [i.e. allowing energy to pass in or out] in it. Pardon the substitute for a real diagram, for now:

    Isol System:

    | | (A, at Thot) –> d’Q, heat –> (B, at T cold) | |

    b] Now, we introduce entropy change dS >/= d’Q/T . . . “Eqn” A.1

    c] So, dSa >/= -d’Q/Th, and dSb >/= +d’Q/Tc, where Th > Tc
    d] That is, for system, dStot >/= dSa + dSb >/= 0, as Th > Tc . . . “Eqn” A.2

    e] But, observe: the subsystems A and B are open to energy inflows and outflows, and the entropy of B RISES DUE TO THE IMPORTATION OF RAW ENERGY.

    f] The key point is that when raw energy enters a body, it tends to make its entropy rise. For the injection of energy to instead do something useful, it needs to be coupled to an energy conversion device.

    g] When such devices, as in the cell, exhibit FSCI, the question of their origin becomes material, and in that context, their spontaneous origin is strictly logically possible but negligibly different from zero probability on the gamut of the observed cosmos. (And, kindly note: the cell is an energy importer with an internal energy converter. That is, the appropriate entity in the model is B and onward B’ below [discussion of heat engines follows]. Presumably as well, the prebiotic soup would have been energy importing, and so materialistic chemical evolutionary scenarios therefore have the challenge to credibly account for the origin of the FSCI-rich energy converting mechanisms in the cell relative to Monod’s “chance + necessity” [cf also Plato's remarks] only.) . . .

    4] . . . to substantiate the claim that evolution violates the second law

    Strawman alert: neither Thaxton et al 25 years ago, nor I today have made such an argument; as once we deal with the statistical underpinnings of the 2nd law, one sees that we deal with overwhelming probability issues, not with hard and fast logical/physical impossibilities. That is, it is conceivable, for instance, it is logically and physically feasible that lucky noise has generated all the remarks on this thread, but so overwhelmingly improbable that we routinely infer to agents as the best explanation. The issues on spontaneous origin of life and onward of body plan level biodiversity are of precisely the same order, bearing in mind that the key information storage unit is a 4-state digital string entity known as DNA. [Cf, also, my discussion of the microjets thought expt under point 6, and point 4 in the same appendix on the statistical form of 2 LOT.]

    Citing TBO ch 7 as is excerpted in the same note:

    While the maintenance of living systems is easily rationalized in terms of thermodynamics, the origin of such living systems is quite another matter. Though the earth is open to energy flow from the sun, the means of converting this energy into the necessary work to build up living systems from simple precursors remains at present unspecified (see equation 7-17). The “evolution” from biomonomers of to fully functioning cells is the issue. Can one make the incredible jump in energy and organization from raw material and raw energy, apart from some means of directing the energy flow through the system? In Chapters 8 and 9 we will consider this question, limiting our discussion to two small but crucial steps in the proposed evolutionary scheme namely, the formation of protein and DNA from their precursors.

    It is widely agreed that both protein and DNA are essential for living systems and indispensable components of every living cell today.11 Yet they are only produced by living cells. Both types of molecules are much more energy and information rich than the biomonomers from which they form. Can one reasonably predict their occurrence given the necessary biomonomers and an energy source? Has this been verified experimentally? These questions will be considered . . . [NB: in my note, I advert to Bradley's recent presentation on an updarted form of this discussion, using Cytochrome C.]

    For, we are dealing with a probabilistic issue, and with maximally low probabilities in light of overwhelming weight of states that do not lead to the sort of configs required for life etc, cf my microjets thought expt as an illustrative case in point. That is, the challenge starts with getting to the DNA-enzyme-ribosome etc machinery of the common garden variety “simple” cell.

    [That case in point also , regrettably, reflects badly on your intended dismissive reductio ad absurdum on 70 kgs of bacteria vs human being: the decisive point of issue, as is plain from the current impasse of OOL studies [cf Shapiro vs Orgel on their recent mutually destructive papers], lies in the origin of the nanotech in the cell; which then leads on to the issue of increments in such FSCI as are required to get to the body-plan level diversity in the fossil record and in the current biosphere.]

    5] J, 56:

    Thanks.

    GEM of TKI

  58. OOPS: ” . . . genuine revival and reformation movements will be at best a mixed lot – a lot of good, and more wrong that THAN we are comfortable with; in Peter Hockens’ ever so wise words: THE GLORY AND THE SHAME . . . “

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